From vintage to face masks, Instagram star Michaela Podolsky has scoured the city to find her ultimate picks.
A career as an influencer was preordained for Michaela Podolsky. Not only are her siblings also in the fold—one is star stylist Danielle Nachmani and the other, Arielle Charnas, runs the successful brand Something Navy—but she’s been perfecting her skincare routine since she was a tween. “I’ve always been interested in beauty, but not by choice,” she chuckles. “I'll never forget: I went away to camp one summer and my skin was fine. I got there and my cheeks—everything—were covered in hives. I was panicking because I didn't have my mom and nobody else my age was going through that.”
A young Podolsky made it her mission to find a skincare routine that brought her relief. “I had to try everything; I had to learn about all these new products. And ever since then, it's been a constant in my life. It's something that I deal with every single day,” she says. Of course, looking at her dewy skin now, it’s clear she’s found skincare with legitimate results. We caught up with the beauty maven in her Williamsburg neighborhood to chat about her favorite brands, why she loves Brooklyn, and what’s next for her business.
What’s your current skincare routine? MICHAELA PODOLSKY: Every single morning I wake up and I wash my face with Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I just love the smell of it and it's super gentle. Then, I typically use Biologique Recherche P50, followed by Vintner's Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum, which I'm obsessed with. And since I'm oily, I take a pea-sized amount of Weleda Skin Food and dab it on the high points of my cheeks. It's this really thick, creamy moisturizer, and it's not technically for your face.
Do you wear makeup on most days? MP: Because I break out from everything, I just prefer to let it breathe. And to be honest, I'm not a big face makeup person to begin with. I never wear foundation and I openly say that on my Instagram. Just take concealer and cover the spots where you need it, and call it a day. Anytime I do that, I get the most compliments on my skin.
You’re a big proponent of face masks, so what are some of your favorites? MP: There’s a mask by Biologique Recherche called Masque Vivant, which I swear by. If you can get through the smell, it's incredible. Sometimes I use it as a spot treatment overnight, but if I just leave it on for 30 minutes, my skin looks clear, less red and more plump. Another one that I love—I mean it's kind of old news—is Drunk Elephant Baby Facial. I don't know what it is, but you feel that tingling on your skin. I always see a big difference after using that. And there's a sheet mask by Snow Fox with Japanese cherry slossom and white tea. I do "Mask Mondays" every single Monday on my Instagram and this was the first mask I ever gave a 10 out of 10.
Any favorite under-the-radar brands? MP: I worked with this brand Nuria that I absolutely love; they're a clean beauty company. They make amazing masks, great serums and eye creams. And they have such great messaging because they support women from underdeveloped places and help them to go to school.
Where do you shop for products? MP: I really just go to Sephora, to be honest, or I'll go to a counter in Bergdorf, which is so dangerous anytime I walk in for something! For clean beauty, I’ll go to Follain because I love RMS and Ilia lines. Online, believe it or not, Urban Outfitters has good makeup. I actually came across this Milk Makeup blush that I'm obsessed with there and I got all my friends hooked on it.
You’ve been in Williamsburg for a few years now. What are your favorite spots? MP: I have a favorite brunch spot, which no one really knows about called Carthage Must Be Destroyed. It's in Bushwick: you're in a totally commercial space, with trucks and everything. You walk behind this building and there's a little pink restaurant. It's the cutest. For the dogs, I go to McCarren Park. My husband tends to work late because he’s at a startup. So, at like 10 or 11 at night, we'll take them to McCarren Park and let them off leash and run around. It's really nice. I also love the vintage shopping around here. One of my favorites is Awoke Vintage. They have the best accessories like jewelry and sunglasses, and they have great vintage Levi jeans for under $100 dollars.
What’s next for you in terms of building your brand? MP: Honestly, I'm just kind of rolling with it. When I started this [Instagram], it was really just beauty-based, but now we're expanding to everything and it's opened a lot of new doors, and I've been able to build a lot of new relationships. I kind of like that it's unknown. It's really fun and exciting, and every single day is different and I'm grateful for that.