Betting on Beautiful

Skin and Makeup Tips for Derby with Erica McDowell, Owner of SKYN Lounge

By Janice Carter Levitch

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Erica McDowell balances life and work with great finesse and makes it look effortless. As a business owner, she is hands-on and manages her clinical day spa located in the heart of St. Matthews with a caring attitude.

McDowell recently invited us into her home to discuss her business and introduce us to her daughter, Chloe. It definitely takes a village to help her juggle a thriving business and, as a single mother, keep a watchful eye on raising her child. Owning a home adds another layer of responsibility to attend to, but all of this falls into place with Erica as she has surrounded herself with helpful family members and top-notch employees.

In anticipation of Derby, McDowell discussed preparing for the big race with skin care tips for how to stay fresh at the track all day long.


Make sure to plan ahead.

“Derby is the time of year when everybody wants to look their best,” she said. “You can’t wait until the last minute and pull it all together that day. Plan at least a week or more in advance to make sure you have your outfit together and makeup, hair and nail appointments booked in a timely fashion. So many times I hear that my clients have waited until the last minute, and they wake up Derby day and wish that all the details were done.”


Book an appointment for a facial one week in advance.

“A Luzern oxygen facial gives you a glow that lasts for seven days,” McDowell explained. “This facial also exfoliates, cleans out your pores and gives a nice glow to your skin.”


Begin clinical services weeks in advance.

McDowell says to benefit the most from skin treatments, begin at least three to four weeks prior to Derby.

“You want to start now with chemical peels or dermaplaning clinical services that provide deeper exfoliating to treat brown spots along with fine lines and sun damage,” she affirmed.


Lose the puffy eyes.

“The way to treat puffy eyes is to use our Luzern eye cream,” McDowell said. “There is a titanium tip used with the eye cream and the temperature stays cold constantly, which helps to de-puff the eyes. I have brought in Luzern products from Switzerland. It’s the fastest growing skincare line at my spa. It’s all natural and safe for most skin types. For Derby day, I recommend taking the titanium tip eye cream and a tinted BB cream that has sunscreen built into it for touch ups during the day. The Luzern Hydra enzyme mask is also great for an overnight treatment prior to Derby day. The enzymes are cleansing and hydrating.”


Use less powder and think ahead. 

“For makeup, I would avoid too much face powder to set your foundation,” she said. “Keep it looking dewy by using less powder for a youthful finish. Plan your makeup in advance with colors that complement your complexion and Derby outfit. You should be able to enjoy the day knowing you’re prepared and able to have fun looking your best.” V

SKYN Lounge is located at 227 Chenoweth Lane. For more information, visit or call 502.894.3335.