This month we’re chilling out with Cyndi Ramirez, founder of Chillhouse, a new-age spa with facials, massages, manicures, and pedicures on the menu, alongside a wellness cafe – in other words, the ultimate self-care destination in NYC. We had to know more about how Cyndi came up with the idea for Chillhouse, her beauty must-haves, and much more!

What inspired you to open Chillhouse?

It was a random Sunday with my husband and when we were trying to figure out what to do. We discussed getting massages but realized we didn’t love our options. It sparked this realization that spas are kind of antiquated and sterile. I was never inspired to visit any of them and they also were fairly expensive. I’d get anxiety post-massage just thinking of how much I’d spent — I felt like I didn’t deserve to spend that kind of money on myself, you know? It was pretty obvious that the industry needs some modernization and overall, a new message… so that’s what we did!

How do you cultivate your work/life balance?

I basically started Chillhouse so I'd be forced to relax occasionally. Getting massages on a regular basis has been fun. But seriously, the only way I disconnect is by being forced to put my phone away, whether that's at a workout class or the movies -- and with massages now, obviously. 

Sleep is so important to a balanced life. Do you have any sleep rituals?

Depends on how tired I am! I really don’t like to stick to a strict ritual. I let my body dictate how tired is it and based on that, I either do or do not do certain things like a skincare routine. Otherwise, I usually need at least an hour or two in front of the TV before sleeping to settle down the mind. 

If it’s different from the above, what’s the last thing you do before going to bed?

Put on Netflix - either Friends or New Girl. They always calm my mind and make me pass out. :) 

In addition to getting the right amount of sleep, what are some other ways people can cultivate chill vibes in their own homes?

To me, lighting is everything. Having a calming night light on the side of your bed and just leaving that on for 30 minutes before dozing off is essential to me. Otherwise, keeping a little melatonin or valerian root supplement bedside helps for those moments where you can’t sleep naturally.

What are your bedside beauty must-haves?

A sleeping eye mask, a sleeping face mask, and a glass of water. 

When did you first start paying more attention to your skin and why?

Always, but mostly in my mid-20s. That’s when I really start seeing the effects of dehydration and NY pollution.

Walk us through your daily skincare ritual.

I do the steps. Wash face (currently using Erno products - the Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar and Detoxifying Cleansing Oil). Followed by a toner, then a serum, then a face oil, and topped off with SFP. Too much? :) 

What’s your number one skincare goal?

To look hydrated and balanced and brightened. 

Do you have any skincare or beauty “hacks” that you swear by?

Does botox count?

You’re stranded on a deserted island and can only bring 3 skincare/beauty products. What are they?

Water with lemon. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir and a face oil. 

What’s your go-to beauty product?

It always varies. I’m not super loyal to one thing. 

How did you hear about Erno Laszlo? Do you have a go-to product?

Through the grapevine! I love the Pore Cleansing Clay Mask

What’s your favorite underrated NYC spot and why?

It wouldn’t be underrated if I told you, now would it? ;-) I have an Italian restaurant that I LOVE in the West Village that I hesitate to tell people about. It’s tiny and they have the most insane pastas. Fiaschetteria Pistoia. You’ll thank me later. And if I show up and you’re standing in line because of me, I’ll gladly take your spot.