Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘I realized that I was a healer by nature.’

Gillian Woods, Patchogue

“When I was 10 years old, I had a terrible case of acne that made me feel incredibly insecure about my skin. I would stand in front of the mirror every morning, trying to cover up my blemishes. But no matter how much foundation and concealer I applied, it felt like makeup could only do so much. I truly needed a solution that would heal my skin, rather than just temporarily cover it up. It was during those moments that my passion for skin care and makeup truly ignited. I became determined to find a way to not only improve my own complexion but to help others struggling with their skin as well.

“I enrolled in the New York Institute of Beauty and dedicated myself to learning everything there was to know about skin care. It was at the institute that I discovered my true calling. I learned how to properly care for all skin types and provide specialized facials tailored to each individual’s needs.

“The secret was in manipulating the ingredients to ensure that the skin responded positively to the treatments. No two clients were the same, and I took great pride in creating customized treatment plans for everyone who walked through my door. But my true joy came not just from transforming clients’ skin, but also from helping them embrace their own natural beauty. I realized that I was a healer by nature, and creating a relaxing environment was just as important to me as the services I provided. I wanted every person who stepped into my studio to feel a sense of peace and tranquility, knowing that they were in capable hands. Seven years ago, I embarked on a journey that filled me with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to share my passion with the world.

“Today, I dedicate my days to massaging and rejuvenating my clients, not just transforming their physical appearance, but also healing their minds and souls. Turning my passions into a career has been the greatest reward, allowing me to make a daily difference in the lives of others. Embracing my love for skin care, I am grateful for the opportunity to help others discover their natural beauty.”

Interviewed by Starr Fuentes