Somewhere between flying to meet Oprah Winfrey for a private home facial, toting her Max+ LED light therapy technology to and from award shows, and attending White House galas, Jennifer Brodeur had time to formulate, produce, and launch her own skin care line. Nicknamed the Skin Guru, Brodeur certainly has the clout to back up such a title. Best known as Winfrey’s facialist, she has established a career built on many a beautiful face.
“He came out in 2003 and I thought I would be working on the project for just a few months, and I’m still talking about him today,” Brodeur laughs over the phone from her Montreal office. She affectionately refers to her invention, Max+ LED, in the male pronoun; it seems they’ve gotten well acquainted over the last 14 years. The technology, which is available in Vancouver at Project Skin MD, is a non-invasive treatment that uses LED light—light in the spectrum of the rainbow—to treat an array of skin issues by simply implementing a different colour. “We have different wavelengths, and each wavelength of light gives you a different benefit,” Brodeur explains. For example, blue light is used to treat skin with acne, while red totes anti-aging benefits because the rays stimulate the production of collagen. “It actually works more like photosynthesis,” says Brodeur. “So it is like a photo-biochemical effect, rather than a thermal effect that you would have with lasers.”
With the success of Max, Brodeur then turned to tackle a problem that was affecting many of her clients: product fatigue. “What I’m seeing now, on the regular, are people with what I call ‘environmentally damaged skin,’” she explains. “By that I mean skin that has just too much of everything and is in total disarray.” Day cream, night cream, intensive masks, serums, oils—Brodeur feels people are using too many products at once. To combat this, she suggests a tidy, simple routine of just four products: a cleanser, toner, serum, and cream. It’s the entire range of her newly launched Peoni skin care.
“My first idea for a product was, and you’re going to laugh, to work with broccoli,” she says, chuckling along. “I think broccoli is amazing! It’s a natural retinol, but it’s not sexy—no one wants to put broccoli on their face.” Instead, Brodeur turned her focus to a botanical with a bit more sex appeal: the peony—not the flower, but the root. “I wanted to work with something that wasn’t explored, and wanted something that was in the ground,” she reflects. “A lot of people think of the flower when you say ‘peony,’ but what I decided to work with was the peony root: what’s really grounded in there and getting all the nutrients.” The skin care line, which is designed, made, and packaged in Quebec, caught the attention of Brodeur’s most famous client, Winfrey, who put it on her famous Favorite Things list—a major coup for any brand.
With all the new developments in her career, Brodeur still maintains a dedication to her number-one celebrity client. “I’m always very competitive with myself to make sure my clients have the best care ever,” she says. “And that’s how I attack Ms. Winfrey’s skin, being very adamant that is she using all the right stuff, and we are taking the right steps. It’s a lot of strategy.” And who could understand what it means to have a multi-faceted empire better than Winfrey?
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