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The Heyday Founders on Becoming a Household Name in LA

By Christina Najjar | November 6, 2018 | Lifestyle

Heyday is reshaping how people think about facials.


Genius Co-Founders Adam Ross and Michael Pollak have started to totally transform skincare and skin upkeep through their brainchild, Heyday. The spa reimagined has already taken over New York, and now the duo has set out to transform LA’s skin. We sat down with the pair to discuss just how they conceived the incredible idea, and what excites them about taking on a new city.

Heyday is experiencing such great success! Tell us about the inspiration behind the brand.
ADAM ROSS: In my banking days, I was doing a lot of work with beauty companies who focused on pushing products rather than helping consumers do what’s right for their skin. And personally, looking after my skin was increasingly difficult and confusing. In speaking with my friends, I found that everyone was equally frustrated and unsure where to turn. I became convinced there had to be a better way to access correct information and get the support we all need. Access to professional skincare services and knowing how to look after your skin with the right products should be easy to do, especially given the cumulative benefits of great skincare. Consumers want, and need, an option that sits between doctors, big beauty stores, and the internet. So we’re setting out to build that relationship.

MICHAEL POLLAK: You know, skincare is a bit mysterious, a bit confusing, a bit intimidating for many. Yet, it’s pretty much one thing we all have in common. It’s the biggest organ on our body, and our faces, specifically, are what we face the world with every day. Through dealing with acne in high school and stealing my mom’s foundation and oil blotting papers and doing the Accutane thing, no one ever brought up the idea of a facial or an esthetician. In this Heyday journey, it’s truly hit me that what our team offers—an understanding of everyday skincare—is something that just isn’t widely available or appreciated. You either shop your way to a solution at a drugstore or beauty store, or you see a dermatologist. There’s a whole lot missing in between, and to me, it’s the expert skincare with a human touch that our team brings to the table. They study every skin, they touch it all day, they try every product, they know ingredients—and that’s what’s missing from the skincare conversation that’s been dominated by either marketing or medicine.

You're expanding in LA - what excites you about taking on a new city?
AR: LA is a large and important market where, like New York, people see value in continued self-care for all aspects of their life and will put the time into it. Replicating in Los Angeles what we have done in New York lets us address our market on both coasts.

What makes the Heyday experience different from other spas?
AR: There are a number of differences in our business relative to others. At the highest level, I would classify into three broad categories: in-shop experience, treatment and product curation, and our engagement and commitment post-treatment.

Our in-shop experience is a modern, un-intimidating experience that feels more residential compared to other concepts—there are a number of other in-store touch points such as our chairs, music, phone chargers, etc. that certainly create a different environment.

As for our treatments, our menu only offers three time-based options which let us customize the right treatment based on what our team sees in a client’s skin that day. From this, we select the right products for you to use at home. We curate from a highly curated group of brands we feel are the best in the market that let us address all skin types, concerns and price points. Often places you would get a facial don’t have this type of product curation perspective and they generally have their own lines (or a very limited number of lines) which we feel strongly doesn’t do the right thing by the client. Our treatment and product approach lets us really personalize a skin care routine client by client.

And lastly, we use our skincare database and consultation notes to follow up via email with a personalized home care routine. We also send weekly select content (we have the largest team of Skin Therapists that create this), tips and tricks and help cut through the noise in the category to make skincare easier to understand. We also have our Skin Therapists on hand to answer any other questions you have at any time. These touchpoints are critical to us as what you do out of the treatment room is so important in between your monthly treatments to bring out the best in your skin.

MP: Bottom line, we don’t call ourselves a ‘spa’ because if you’re coming to us for ooohs and aaahs and to be taken out of your world, we’re not your place. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good spa day, but skincare is for every day, not just vacations and birthdays. I would say the biggest difference is that we’re a place where we actively encourage our team to share the knowledge and passion they have for skincare with our curious clients who want to know it all. We want people to leave feeling great and relaxed, but also empowered to know how to take care of themselves every day. As one of our therapists says, we touch your skin once a month, at best, and you touch it twice a day. Us helping people do that more confidently is what we’re about.


What's the best skin tip you've learned via growing your brand?
AR: If I was going to name one tip that sticks with me, it is the pressure you use to apply your exfoliant (spoiler alert—most people use way too much pressure). Blow up a balloon until it won’t blow up anymore. Then put some exfoliant on your hands and rub the balloon. As soon as the balloon pops, you’re using too much pressure on your exfoliant!

MP: That skin type is a construct and framework at best, and at worst, a marketing gimmick. We all love to be classified and labeled. I’m a Capricorn, Leo rising, INTJ, with a normal skin type. How does that really help me shop for products? It doesn’t. Sure, your skin type is something endemic to each of us, but skin conditions—the temporary things that are happening to your skin at the moment and influenced by factors inside and out, complete the skincare picture.

How do you stay healthy and grounded on the road when traveling between New York and LA?
AR: I work on the plane, which is actually incredibly productive, interrupted time for me. No movies! This time lessens that feeling of being overwhelmed and backlogged on your emails/to-do list. It’s hard to lose those hours of working time regularly. When I’m in LA I go for daily hikes in Runyon Canyon, which I find really helps me clear my head and keep perspective. And finally, diet is critical—and for me a key leading indicator for how I’ll feel by day’s end. I need to eat the right food, drink lots of water—and graze throughout the day—if I get off track with this it’s a slippery slope that never ends well. Just ask my team about my peanut butter filled pretzel issue.

MP: Skin Savior Balm by One Love Organics on that airplane, first and foremost! I can’t with the visible sheet masks on the plane, but I can with a good, light occlusal to keep that cabin air off my face. I try to keep my exercise routine up when I travel. That’s what makes me feel most human.

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