The Cognoscente: Well-known Facialist Kristina Holey Shares Her Magnificence Secrets and techniques

“The Cognoscente” is a series of interviews with the city’s tastemakers, all experts in their diverse fields, who share their inspirations and tips for living the best life in San Francisco. This month, we meet famed facialist Kristina Holey, who opens her SF skincare center mid-June.

Named one of “8 Under-the-Radar Facialists with Over-the-Top Skills” by Vogue, skincare expert and California native Kristina Holey will soon be making her name as a permanent fixture in San Francisco’s beauty scene. Her eponymous skincare center, located in Lower Pac Heights next to natural beauty shop In Fiore, is slated to open on June 15. It comes as a relief to those of us city-dwellers whose pores need a little TLC.

During her two years in Paris, where she studied cosmetic formulation and perfumery composition as an apprentice under renowned facialist Joëlle Ciocco, Holey built up a roster of private clients. She became a highly sought-after skincare expert whose custom treatments, nutritional suggestions, and lifestyle advice have been widely lauded. Since then, she’s been featured in Vogue and W magazines.

Her goal as a facialist is to restore balance in the entire body. One look at the body’s largest organ, our skin (Is it glowing? Is it pallid?), and you can tell just how healthy a person really is. In her own practice, Kristina incorporates cleansing, facials, massage, masks, minerals, and oils. Here, she clues us in to a few of her beauty secrets. 

My favorite skincare product is… pure and fresh aloe.

My best beauty secret is…an internal mouth massage. 

I learned what I know from… a lot of school and research; from my mentor, Joelle Ciocco; from using myself as a guinea pig. Now, I learn everyday from my clients. 

My signature style piece is… my hair. 

When I need to decompress… I hang out with my husband. He centers me.  

My favorite beauty food is… beef gelatin and tisane peau from my herbalist. 

The last best meal I had was… my husband’s food at the Starline Social Club in Oakland. 

A recent “find” in San Francisco… I had the opportunity to live in the Outer Sunset, by the beach, for the spring. The trail above the Sutro Baths to China Beach is as pretty as it gets. 

The best supplement for your skin is… liver-loving formulas. My herbalist makes a dipuratif blend for specific hormonal imbalances that really clears the skin and most importantly, makes you feel good. 

I always carry… a mist, a few facial oils, and In Fiore solid perfume. 

For a hangover cure use… marine plasma ampules, swim in the ocean, and rest. 

An indulgence I would never give up is… coffee, red meat, and a really good fresh baguette with butter. I guess there are few things I’m pretty happy to indulge in forever.

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