For leading skincare expert Nancy Pellegrino, NP, the field of aesthetic medicine has always appealed to her. Her skills in giving skin care injections, coupled with her background as a makeup artist, eventually led Pellegrino to develop a deep zeal for creating and restoring beauty. Today, she owns her own practice, N.P. Aesthetics Inc., and is still as enthusiastic and dedicated to aesthetic medicine as ever.
How did you get your start in aesthetic medicine?
From the moment I discovered the blossoming field of aesthetic medicine I was hooked. Botox was just becoming a mainstream procedure when I started, and I was privileged to work in one of the first med spas in the country to solely utilize nurse practitioners to deliver care. There were no professional certifications in the field of aesthetic medicine at the time; I was, however, very fortunate to have been personally trained by a leading dermatologist. Hungry for more knowledge, I traveled across the country and attended every conference and lecture, as well as read every article I could, about the growing field of aesthetic medicine. I was quickly recognized for my skill with the needle, my eye for beauty, and for teaching my fellow nurse practitioners the art and science of Botox and filler injections.
Fifteen-plus years into my aesthetic medicine career, I can honestly say I’m even more passionate about what I do now. It is a dynamic world and I get excited every day working in what I call “Happy Medicine” ‚—transforming, sculpting and recreating beautiful faces. The gratitude expressed by my patients, the smiles and giggles of excitement, and the tears of happiness when they look in the mirror is priceless to me. It’s the secret to my success—I just love it!
What makes your practice unique?
My practice is solely dedicated to aesthetic medical treatments and procedures. In other words, we only perform injectable and laser skin treatments for the purpose of anti-aging and restoring/maintain the beauty of our patients. We are 100-percent committed to the art and science of beauty, and all of my patients appreciate the time and care we put into every face. As both a makeup artist and skin care expert, I can take it a step further and advise clients on how to make the right choices and navigate the ever-growing number of products available.
Can you elaborate a bit more about your experience as a makeup artist?
Prior to my entry into aesthetic medicine, I went to makeup school. I already had my masters degree from UCLA and was working as a nurse practitioner, but the beauty field was calling my name. I attended classes at night at the Empire Academy of Makeup, received formal training and eventually became a professional makeup artist. The academy also had an agency run by the owner and makeup guru, Donna Mee, that I joined as a makeup artist, with jobs ranging from weddings to commercial photo shoots to films.
Can you explain your “less is more” philosophy for treating clients?
I am known for my conservative approach to skin injections with Botox and fillers. It is important to use the lowest does of Botox to produce the desired effect. I have done tens of thousands of injections and have developed unique techniques and dosing recipes based on each client’s anatomy and beauty philosophy. We start with “baby steps” and do treatments in phases to allow for healing and settling of the product so that subsequent sessions can refine and balance the asymmetries of most faces. It is vital to discuss an individual’s beauty philosophy and properly educate all patients that walk through our door, carefully managing expectations and informing them of all options.
What advice would you give to clients looking to put their “best face forward” with skin care?
Educate yourself. Go to someone with extensive experience or trained by a master. Discuss their philosophy of beauty and approach to procedures. Do not allow someone to inject permanent projects; they can result in mistakes that cannot be reversed or corrected. Not knowing what products are being used, how much experience the injector has or basing your choice on the price of the service may lead to disaster. The person approaching you with a needle must have knowledge and skill that goes beyond medicine and reaches into art, translating into a skilled assessment and the hand-eye coordination necessary to establish a life-long plan to restore beauty and maintain a youthful appearance.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I am fortunate to have a busy, thriving practice full of patients whom I adore. I know their stories; I have listened to their heartaches and have shared their happiness. I am their cheerleader, counselor and beauty expert. I can soften lines and wrinkles caused by years of living life, and celebrate that first look in the mirror after making them look years younger. It’s why I share these precious moments with patients away from my family: I create beauty and bring joy into the lives of my patients. I am so lucky.