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Why Professional Skincare?

Sometimes its hard to understand the difference between the skincare products given to you by your dermatologist or your licensed esthetician, and the products available in national boutiques, department stores or the drugstore. I mean really, what’s the difference? It’s a big one.

Anyone vs. You

Drugstore and Department store products are formulated to suit the needs of the masses. The concept behind them is a ‘one size fits all’ model to satisfy a very wide range of skincare concerns a little bit at a time. Many OTC products have multiple claims on them such as hydration, soothing, and nourishing, using small doses at the same time. Lower percentages of active ingredients also reduce the risk of unwanted results if a product is purchased by someone that it is not correctly suited.

Products available from Estheticians and MDs are created for a very narrow range of consumers, the needs of the individual. Professional products formulated with high amounts of active ingredients that target one specific condition.  Increased activity yields quick results but also increases the need for the right product to be matched perfectly to a consumers skin to avoid reactions. Thus the need for a professional recommendation.

When you purchase from licensed professionals, you are also benefitting from education that pros receive to help achieve the best results possible which may include methods of use and product synergies not listed on the labels.

Feel free to pick our brains.

Authored by Katt Philipps, Licensed Esthetician, Master Makeup Artist, G.M. Collin Master, Owner

Katt’s a bit different from most estheticians. As the first-ever G.M. Collin Master Esthetician in the Midwest, you already know she’s special.

But her story of two and half decades as a makeup professional began far, far away from Chicagoland, in a place they call Tinseltown, where Katt worked as an in-demand Makeup Artist on over 30 movies, preparing stars such as Dennis Hopper and Ellen DeGeneres.

Working in Hollywood was a dream but during her 10-year stay, Katt realized two things: taking makeup off was at least as interesting as putting it on and her passion for education was calling her.

So after a stint teaching at the famous Makeup Designory School in Burbank, Katt headed east with a dream of turning her talents into her day job. She qualified as an esthetician, patiently added to her skills and in 2013 opened Gräfin Skin + Beauty, her now world-renowned studio in Oakbrook Terrace.

But to talk about Katt only in terms of her experience and expertise is to miss at least half the point.

There’s another reason why she’s appeared on CNN, the BBC and in Forbes magazine. Why clients fly across borders to get one of her legendary 90-minute facials. Why Gräfin’s held a five-star Yelp rating since day one and has won the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award for five years straight.


For Katt, caring for skin means caring for people. And caring for people starts with listening to them. Clients, or rather guests, at Gräfin wax lyrical about how Katt creates a place without judgment or prejudice. A place of integrity where everyone is part of the family and works together towards the best outcome. A visit to Gräfin is good for the skin and good for the soul.

Katt understands that everything from diet and exercise to stress and sunshine impacts the way people look and feel so she helps guests learn to take care of their body and mind as one. But, refreshingly, it’s never ‘my way or the highway’ with Katt. She encourages guests to fit positive habits around their existing lifestyles and if they don’t manage to be perfect 100% of the time, well, who does? Don’t beat yourself up about it.

This educational and giving approach extends to the products Katt retails through her associated business, Petal & Herb. Katt’s investigative nature helps clients see beyond the advertising hype and figure out the science behind the formulas to make smart, informed buying choices.

Oh, and did we mention that Katt donates a portion of every Petal & Herb sale to community charity projects? A different charity to support every quarter. Told you she was a bit different.

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