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Simply Serena Marie

Bringing a TriBeca Vibe to Staten Island with Serena Marie Beauty, Body & Skin

City Lifestyle: How did you get into the beauty and wellness industry?

Serena Marie: I actually wanted to be a mortician at first. I didn’t have the grades for medical school, and to be honest, once I really began to think about embalming people, I didn’t like that idea. So, I thought, alright, let’s work on live people instead! I attended Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics & Cosmetology and then ended up going to the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy and Allied Sciences.

City Lifestyle: What was the process like for you to start your own business?

Serena Marie: Long! I got my degree, and I started working with a plastic surgeon when I was around 20 years old. From there, I moved to Equinox. A lot of stars go there. I began making connections with a lot of celebrities. When Trump SoHo opened, I started working there, and I was there for about seven years. Then, the hotel shut down, and eventually, I was lucky to end up working at the Greenwich Hotel which has a super elite following and a luxury approach. My background allowed me to bring a luxury and wellness feel to Serena Marie Beauty, Body & Skin. I saw an opportunity to bring a TriBeCa vibe to Staten Island. Nothing like this really existed here.

City Lifestyle: It seems like there’s a med spa on every corner these days. What sets you apart from the rest?

Serena Marie: Most of these spas carry certain brands, and it’s for marketing purposes more than anything else. No one out there is carrying the products I use because I use products that are based on effectiveness, not on brand awareness. The products are what really set us apart. They speak for themselves. Natura Bisse has a cult following as well as Pietro Simone. They have a bit of a high price point but they are very effective and result driven. The products are what allow me to bring high-end services and treatments to everyone. We’ll do facials, and the products show an immediate change. So when people come in, they see the difference right away and love the results.

City Lifestyle: Really? So there’s no irritation or recovery period with your services and products?

Serena Marie: I never use reactive skincare lines. The facials and treatments people get here are actually perfect for same-day events like parties or weddings. They get their treatments, and they’re out the door with no downtime.

City Lifestyle: So what are your main services? I’ve seen videos of you giving facials, but I’ve also seen you walking on people’s backs.

Serena Marie: I’m a dual therapist licensed for both massage and esthetics. For example, walking on people’s backs is actually an Ashi Thai massage, and it works the fascia of the muscles, not the bones. A lot of my facial treatments are actually forms of massage to help keep the muscles and skin supple.

City Lifestyle: From the outside looking in, it can seem like these types of treatments can be considered a luxury. Would you say your treatments are on the higher spectrum as far as pricing goes?

Serena Marie: I have treatments for all budgets! I believe my pricing is very fair and can accommodate a variety of people. I don’t believe in surprise add-ons. You know what you’re paying for when you come in. You can ask for something extra, or I can suggest something that I think would help your treatment, but nothing is ever a surprise or exorbitant.

City Lifestyle: That’s a big deal because some of these places will charge you for every little thing.

Serena Marie: Exactly! I don’t want to be a salesperson. I don’t like it. It’s so tacky. I just want to give the customer what they want and provide the best service. Almost everything is included in the treatment cost. If a client asks for CBD cream, let’s say, instead of the one that's normally used, most places will add an upgrade charge. Are you kidding me? No!

City Lifestyle: What is it like juggling your own business and having a home life?

Serena Marie: It’s actually a lot easier than before. I loved working at the Greenwich Hotel and the experience I had there but I knew it was time for me to leave after having a family. Hotel hospitality was difficult for me after having kids. Starting my own business gave me the opportunity to be more flexible and split up my time accordingly.

City Lifestyle: What else would you want people to know that we haven’t already covered?

Serena Marie: It’s so important to me that I make the experience unique. I’ve worked hard to make my treatments available and effective for everyone, from my products to my massages. There’s no cookie cutter approach here. Everyone that comes in has an individualized experience based on their needs and the results they would like to attain. That’s the most important thing.

City Lifestyle: What is the process like to book an appointment with you?

Serena Marie: I like to do consultations first by text, phone, or in person so I can get a good idea of what the client's needs are. After that, you can make an appointment with us by calling 718-909-3819 or you can visit our Instagram page @serenamarie_licastro and click the link in our bio to book.