Georgia Louise Vassanelli doesn't understand why aestheticians aren't included in magazine beauty credits. "The aesthetician does all the work," she says with a laugh. "I'm the one who's been treating that celebrity's skin for six months so the makeup looks that good. Where's my 'Skin by Georgia Louise' credit?"
As a kid growing up in England, Vassanelli knew she wanted to help people look better by treating their skin. Her mother worked for a cosmetic surgeon whose patients needed reparative surgery because of abuse or illness, so she saw firsthand how a new nose or corrected smile could instill confidence. She was also inspired by the rise of a fellow Brit.
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"I remember wanting to be as successful as Jo Malone," she says. "Jo started in Chelsea; she had an oil and did face massage. So I went to beauty college and opened a place on King's Road. I was 18 and just loved it."
Vassanelli tended to the complexions of London socialites, editors, and members of the royal family until love came calling in the form of an American (now her husband), with whom she crossed the pond six years ago. Within a few months in New York she met makeup artist Gucci Westman, who introduced her to, well, everybody, and word spread about the chic Brit with the magic hands.
Today Vassanelli tailors each session to her client: One visit might require a detoxifying face massage or microcurrent and radio-frequency machines to stimulate blood flow. To round out the experience there's always an arsenal of painstakingly chosen products from her own line as well as from Biologique Recherche, Environ, and Dr. Barbara Sturm. "I'm an alchemist," says Vassanelli. "One line doesn't have all the answers, but I've found solutions that work. I get results without compromising skin. That's important to me."
It's no surprise that when red-carpet season rolls around, Vassanelli is in high demand. She starts working with clients (like Amy Schumer, Nicola Peltz, and Linda Evangelista) months in advance, using treatments like TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels to shed dull outer layers of skin before moving on to derma-needling to kick-start skin's collagen production. As the big event draws near, she focuses on oxygenation, hydro-jet cleansing, and massage. "It's all about lifting, lifting, lifting, and glow," says Vassanelli, who plans to open a space in L.A. by next spring. "These treatments also re-energize the body, and that really resonates with my L.A. clients. They want to relax, and they trust my hands."
For more stories like this, pick up the December issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.