Nikol Johnson Sanchez,
Creator, Fresh Beauty Studio
– as told to The Silver Women
Women who inspired you as a young girl?
My Mother as she always made everything perfect and effortless, from her fashion style and dinner parties to her table favors perfectly arranged in front of the charger plates on the table. She knew how to entertain, cook, paint, and make everything look flawless.
Yasmeen Ghauri was a model I saw on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine back in the 1990s. In a world where only blondes were getting covers, she made me feel that it was OK to be brunette and more ethnic looking. Yasmeen broke down the barriers of the Blonde’s Rule era. As strange as it sounds seeing her on the cover made me feel like it was OK to be brunette and it was attractive.
Women who inspire you now?
I am inspired by women that are entrepreneurs and have a style of their own and do not follow trends. I look at women like Carolina Herrera and Aerin Lauder. Classic, sophisticated and timeless. I am also inspired by the women that are embracing their gray and moving the needle when it comes to societies view on women and aging.
Most valuable lesson taught by your Mother or any other women growing up?
My Mother taught me to shoot for the top and never settle. When I was a teenager and was thinking about modeling, she took me straight to the top agency in Miami, FORD Models. She encouraged me to push the boundaries and aim high.
“Do I think older women are valued
or celebrated enough?
No, not at all.
Women being valued and celebrated starts with women.
We have to honor ourselves and value ourselves
before anyone else can or will.”
Have you made career changes over the years?
I have made career changes, but they have all been in the same industry of beauty. I love helping women look and feel better through my skincare and makeup education. I could never be out of the beauty industry. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
Through the decades!
20’s: I had started modeling in my teens and spent time abroad. Then I began working in the corporate cosmetic spa industry. I traveled like it was going out of style. On four planes by Thursday and worked like a beast. I was a regional sales manager for seven states and offshore with a French skincare company. I took my job seriously and wanted to be the top producer in the company. It took me traveling and working seven days a week, but I did it. I loved my job and working, but it didn’t leave much time for fun or social connections. Oh gosh! I wish I had known my worth when I was in my late twenties, I allowed people and social pressure to get in my head because I wasn’t married as I neared thirty. I know everyone wants to live life without regrets but sometimes your biggest mistakes are your biggest blessings.
30’s: I started my own company Fresh Beauty Studio in 2006 out of the pure desire to write my own story and help women feel better about themselves both mentally and physically. That fire in my belly took over and turned up my workaholic pace to a new level. I made my dreams of being a successful entrepreneur a reality. My career took a back seat at thirty-seven when I went through infertility and IVF.
40’s: Coming off the roller-coaster at forty-two from four years of IVF I was ready to make my comeback. I had put my entire life on hold putting my body through science experiment after a science experiment aka IVF. On my last IVF failed transfer, I told the nurse “Listen, I am not that girl, I am not the girl that’s going to sit in this office and wait until I see two pink lines. I am done.” I walked out of that fertility clinic with my head held high, and I was on a mission to get my life and happiness back. I feel more empowered now going through such a dark time because I kept going, kept fighting, continued learning and eventually came out of that experience a stronger, bolder woman. I wouldn’t exchange that experience as horrible as it was for anything. Struggles and challenges make you who you are, and without going through infertility, I would have never met so many strong amazing women all over the world that came together and helped me through my fertility challenge. Same goes with gray hair. I can honestly tell you if I didn’t go through so much fighting to have a baby I don’t know if I would have accepted going gray in my thirties. I was tired of the battle, and when my gray hair exploded on my fourth IVF cycle, I was like Bring It On!
What are you most grateful for in your life?
I am genuinely grateful for all the fantastic opportunities that God has blessed me throughout my life and career. I’m grateful for my family and friends. Marrying my husband, he has pushed me beyond what I ever thought I could do or create. Every time I would complain he would say “Figure it out” so that’s what I did and it was the best advice anyone could have given me. He’s my best friend and my number one supporter. Our little French Bulldog and as everyone knows I refer to her as our “doghter.”
“Writing my first book this year,
has been a goal of mine since I was in grade school.”
Thoughts on aging?
I feel that acceptance is critical when we are aging. Things are going to change, be prepared mentally and love yourself.
The downside: The pressure to look like I am twenty. There is beauty and sexiness in aging. If more people looked at it that way, we wouldn’t have such a negative tone towards aging.
The upside: I love that with each year I gain more knowledge about myself. I feel it’s a blessing to celebrate each birthday. Why women are not celebrating like a rock star on their birthday and pretending that they are not aging is ridiculous. Life is about moving forward, experiences and learning and that should be celebrated of course, with a beautiful glass of champagne.
Your advice to young women of today?
Believe in yourself and take the time to get to know who you are.
-Nikol Johnson Sanchez xoxo
Images courtesy Nikol Johnson Sanchez unless credited otherwise.
FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
You Are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero
I found this book to be just the right amount of “get over yourself” and you have the power to create the life you want.
Film: Something’s Gotta Give
Flower: Peony or garden rose and in PINK.
Scent: I’m obsessed with anything Rose. I love Diptique Rose after the shower, but I am hooked on Giorgio Armani Rose d’Arabie Intense.
It’s the most incredibly sexy scent for day or night.
City/place: Las Vegas Baby!
My husband proposed to me on top of the Eiffel Tower/ Paris Hotel in Vegas. It was magical.
Song: Bruce Springsteen “I’m on Fire”
Rod Stewart “Have I Told You Lately”
Billy Joel “Just the Way You Are”
My husband is the most incredible chef. He’s Italian and Cuban and makes everything from scratch. I always ask him to make me linguine with clams sauce or his famous sea bass encrusted with pistachios on a crispy risotto cake.
Artist: Claude Monet
I had the pleasure of visiting his garden in Giverny, France.
All I have to say is that it’s spectacular.
Style Inspiration: Oscar de la Renta, I could watch his runway shows for the rest of my life and never get bored.
Skincare product you can’t live without:
This is a hard question for a beauty expert to answer. I have SO many skin care products that I can’t live without. To name one… I have to have oil at night for my skin to deeply hydrate there is nothing like applying a high-quality oil such as Darphin Rose Oil, the instant radiance you get is priceless and please don’t ask me to go to bed without a lip balm on my lips. I am currently addicted to LanoLips.
Lipstick color or Makeup product you can’t live without:
OMG! I feel like I am supposed to choose only one and I can’t be limited with my beauty LOL.
OK, lipstick color that I can’t live without would be a gorgeous matte red, I created a lipstick called “Secret Weapon” it’s a matte red that turns heads and always gets me the best last-minute dinner reservation. As much as I would love to be a minimalist, there is no way I am leaving the house without mascara and my La Mer foundation!