The holiday season in New York City ushers in one long stretch of great traditions in the city. Thanksgiving would be strange without the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and 5th avenue would seem barren without the extravagantly decked out window displays.
Gabriel Balestra, the creator of luxury skincare line Skin & Co. Roma, is a big believer in tradition-- family tradition to be exact. Balestra started Skin & Co. based on recipes that his Grandmother created in the 50’s. Her treatments were so effective that even A-List celebrities shooting movies in Rome at the time would come clamoring for her wares.
All of her formulas revolve around the truffles which his family farms and distributes through their original company Sabatino & Co. Roma. Though his grandmother passed shortly before he was born, the wealth of knowledge that his grandmother amassed during her life was preserved and perpetuated by his family.
Balestra feels Skin & Co, is a personal calling for him and researching her recipes was the key to unlocking a unparalleled natural secret to healthy skin. After digging deep in his Grandmother's journals, and carefully testing the remaining vials of his grandmothers work; Balestra was able to determine that the truffles used to create his grandmother's beauty serum are a very specific truffle. The truffle only grows during a very specific time of year, under specific conditions, and within Umbria where Sabstino & Co. is located. Balestra considers his ability to finish his grandmother's life long project a blessing and his homage to her.
Examiner got a chance to learn about Gabriel's special journey first hand, and find out how Mr. Balestra carries on with his holiday traditions.
EXAMINER: How do you celebrate the holidays?
GABRIEL: I usually go back to Italy where my family lives. We celebrate with all members of my family, younger and older. We are a lot! Usually we are 25 people at each meal. Each Christmas Eve we bring SKIN&CO Holiday Gifts to all of those people who wouldn’t be able to afford it and each year we focus on a specific cause. We will be spending this year with those afflicted by the Earthquake in Italy.
EXAMINER: What is your favorite holiday memory?
GABRIEL: It probably goes back to my childhood. Each year on the 24th of December Santa meets all kids for a parade along the main street of my village. I remember I was always so scared when he’d appear. That’s probably one of my favorite memories (beside my mom’s apple pies) ☺
EXAMINER: What is your pick this year for a fail proof holiday beauty gift for your favorite gals? What is your pick for the fellows?
GABRIEL: Besides the SKIN&CO Truffle Therapy™ Gift set, my gift for gals will be the PERFEKT Skin Perfection Gel (it’s like Photoshop for you face!!!) and MALLY’s Holidays 6 Piece High Shine Liquid Lipstick Collection which I picked up at QVC the other day; it’s a complete set of Lipsticks that can bring you from morning to night and recreate yourself one color at a time! For men definitely a subscription to BIRCHBOX MAN, It’s such a good tool to find beauty products. We boys all need one!
EXAMINER: You have 15 minutes to get ready for a holiday soriee, what do you do?
GABRIEL: I freshen up with SKIN&CO Acqua Mist and get my skin glowing, change my blazer to an evening blazer, Brush my teeth and leave!
EXAMINER: Do you believe in Santa?
GABRIEL: I do believe in Santa more and more! See? When you are a kid you know that if you are good, Santa will bring you lots of gifts. When you are an adult you believe that if you are good to others, good things will happen to you. I am deep believer of that.
EXAMINER: Talk about your dearest wish for this holiday season.
GABRIEL: Well it’s been an amazing year for me but perhaps a tough one for most. I really wish to feel so supported by so many women across three continents in 2014 as well and to keep making great products that people love. I also wish everyone, this holiday season gets a bit closer to their families because it’s the greatest thing we have!
EXAMINER: Any final words of wisdom for how to look great and feel great all the way through this holiday season?
GABRIEL: Keep it simple & elegant. Take care of your skin and keep it hydrated at all times (yes at all times, even after that third glass of Champagne), celebrate and have fun, be thankful & let go of all your insecurities, because you are perfect!
In the spirit of holiday giving, Skin & Co. Roma is partnering with Examiner Alice An to offer a giveaway. Swing by Made (Up) in NY to enter to win a Skin & Co. Roma Holiday Kit, exclusive at Henri Bendels, and stay tuned, a new giveaway will be posted every day leading up to December 25th.