Drop your routine: Top agents share their beauty secrets

“It was incredibly painful. I hope I never have to do it again. But the results were amazing.”

Real Estate Agents Drop Their Beauty Routines
(Getty; Illustration by The Real Deal)

Blame Instagram, reality TV or a hyper-competitive industry, but being a successful broker often means engaging in a constant pursuit of pretty.

Americans are spending more money than ever on beauty products, wellness and cosmetic procedures, and real estate agents are no exception. While they don’t all come to work looking like “Selling Sunset” stars, there’s no mistaking that many agents view their personal upkeep as part of the job.

“Beauty comes with the territory,” said Lourdes Alatriste, a top Douglas Elliman agent who sells $30 million Miami mansions and makes weekly visits to her hairdresser, facialist and masseuse. “You have to take care of it, and you have to be on top of it.”

Serious business

There are plenty of paying customers like Alatriste out there. Consulting firm McKinsey estimates that annual sales of skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products will accelerate to $114 billion in North America by 2027. Allergan, the pharma giant that makes Botox, was acquired for $63 billion in 2019.

For those working in this highly lucrative beauty industry, real estate professionals spending on their appearance amounts to a resounding “duh.”

“In every luxury industry, everybody wants to look their best,” said Melinda Farina, who markets her New York City-based firm, the Beauty Brokers, as a medical aesthetics consultancy. “Talking to high-net-worth individuals that you want to take you seriously, you have to look the part, be the part, all the time.” 

Farina spends her days meeting with the well-heeled about their beauty concerns and pairing them with practitioners — doctors from around the world whose methods and results she’s vetted. 

“It’s an insecurity point for people and no one should ever feel insecure, especially when you’re trying to make a deal,” she said.

Men, she said, typically come to her looking for a neck lift, blepharoplasty to clean up eyelids, hair transplants and anti-aging laser treatments.

“Men usually are very conservative in their approach to these things,” Farina said. “For professional women to keep up their appearance, I would say face lifts [are popular].”

Filler instinct

One of the most accessible and widely popular cosmetic treatments, injectable fillers, are not typically recommended to Farina’s clients.

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“Anyone who looks like they’ve had plastic surgery usually has poorly done fillers and non-invasive procedures,” she said. It’s a sentiment that seems to be popular among agents as well. 

“No one wants to see a fake-looking person,” said Chris Leavitt, another top Elliman agent in South Florida. “Realtors should really keep it down on the fillers.”

Leavitt, who was one of the listing agents on a Palm Beach mansion that sold last month for $152 million — the priciest residential deal in Florida this year — keeps a regular schedule of facials, massages and facial massages. He’s a connoisseur of the area’s spas, but “the Four Seasons is my favorite,” he said.  

Compass agent Phillip Salem, based in New York and Los Angeles, also advised caution when it comes to injectables. “In the Kylie Jenner era, you’d take three syringes for one lip,” they said.

Salem said he goes to the barber twice a week, the nail salon twice a month, and visits Dr. Hooman Khorasani in Manhattan and Glam Bar Medical Spa in L.A. for skin treatments.

“I do PRP and Fraxel and Morpheus8 once every three months,” Salem said. “That’s just face.”

PRP, or platelet-rich plasma treatment, involves injecting a patient’s own blood plasma into the skin; Fraxel is a laser treatment for skin resurfacing; Morpheus8 is an advanced microneedling procedure described by Kim Kardashian as a “game changer” in her beauty routine (it is also notoriously painful). A single session of these treatments can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

Bianca D’Alessio, a Nest Seekers agent and star of the reality show “Selling the Hamptons,” said she gets her nails and eyelashes done every two weeks and a facial once a quarter as part of her upkeep. She also opted for a Morpheus8 microneedling treatment.

“It was incredibly painful. I hope I never have to do it again,” she said. “But the results were amazing.”

In some cases, the pressure to look good can come at an even heftier cost: Miami-based agent Daniela Rendon was sentenced to 41 months in prison last year after federal investigators accused her of diverting thousands of dollars in Covid relief funds to foot the bill for cosmetic skin procedures and a leased Bentley, among other extravagances. 

While that serves as a cautionary tale of sorts, many agents approached by The Real Deal for this story emphasized a restrained approach, mentioning the importance of self-care and not venturing beyond one’s comfort zone when it comes to cosmetic treatments. Many said they view their beauty routines as a mode of managing stress associated with their jobs.

Despite that stress and its ability to generate wrinkles, none admitted to personally using Botox — though all agreed that its use is fairly ubiquitous among brokers.

“The real estate market is pretty competitive, so [agents] may not want to share what they’re doing and just exude this facade,” Salem said. “If people are 45 years old and have no wrinkles, saying they haven’t had Botox — that’s a lie.”