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woman made:

TERA
PETERSON

How the California-based esthetician and co-founder of NuFACE is electrifying your beauty routine—one DIY device at a time.


Written By AMBER KALLOR


VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. 

It was during the lazy days of summer as a young teen that Tera Peterson’s entrepreneurial spirit was initially sparked. While other kids were lounging by the pool, she opted to spend her free time tagging alongside her facialist mother, Carole Cole, whose devotees included some of Hollywood’s elite. “As a pioneer in microcurrent facials in the ’80s and ’90s, my mom would lug her oversized microcurrent machine to Los Angeles,” says Peterson. “I would go with her and watch as she completely transformed clients’ faces.”

After college, a short stint in sales, and esthetician school, it finally clicked over a conversation with her mom: Bring the magic of microcurrent to the masses and put the power, quite literally, of gorgeous skin in customers’ hands. Five years later, the game-changing NuFACE and NuBODY were born. Here, Peterson reveals how she built a multimillion dollar business, why “brainless TV” is the secret to her success, and the best beauty tricks she’s learned along the way.


First thing you do when you wake up?

I know I’m not supposed to, but I look at my phone. I check on my twin girls via the Nest app, then I check emails.

Hours of sleep on the regular?

Eight is a must! I don’t sacrifice on sleep, because I need it to function.

Time spent on beauty in the a.m.?

15 minutes, and I’m done. 

Typical skincare regimen?

I wash my face and exfoliate in the shower. Then, I apply Kerstin Florian Caviar Serum and use the NuFACE Trinity and the NuFACE Fix. I finish with Skin Authority Dramatic Eye Lift Cream, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer, and Skin Authority SPF. Three to four times a week, I’ll use the Replenix Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Wash 10%, which I swear by for breakouts.

At night, I use a cleanser from Susanne Kauffman, Biologique Recherche P50, Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, and Crème De La Mer. I love multitasking, so I’ll use the NuBODY while brushing my teeth. Three to four times a week, I’ll add in peel pads from Dr. Gross and the NuFACE Trinity Wrinkle Reducer attachment, which uses a combination of red and infrared lights to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Hair situation in the a.m.?

I typically wash and blow-dry my hair at night so that in the morning I can just brush it out and create soft waves with a curling iron or straighten it with a flat iron. I have a ton of hair, so I only need to wash it twice a week. I live for Batiste dry shampoo!

Your signature beauty look?

I definitely go for the no-makeup makeup look, which takes me all of three minutes. My must-haves: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation, Kosas LipFuel, Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain, MAC Extended Play Perm Me Up Lash, Chantecaille cheek stain, It Cosmetics bronzer, and an Hourglass palette with neutral shades.

Favorite workout?

I run on the beach at home in Encinitas, CA. When I’m traveling, I use the SWEAT app. I believe in exercising hard enough that your face gets red, so you boost circulation. You could also pop into an infrared sauna for that.

Go-to breakfast and a.m. beverage?

Peppermint tea and egg whites with avocado.

Foolproof self-care move?

Sleep! 

Signature scent?

Pirette has a perfume oil roller I love that smells like summer.

An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?

The NuBODY device, of course. 

A cheap-but-chic product or treatment?

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.

Bedside beauty essentials?

Hand and foot lotion, plus a lip moisturizer.

Last thing you do before bed?

Brainless TV helps me mentally turn off. I love watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Bravo, or E!

Beauty icons?

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. She didn’t wear a lot of makeup and always had an easy hairstyle—my favorite was a center-parted bun. I also loved when she wore a red lip to add a little drama.  

Best job?

Mine. Love it!

Worst job?

Anything you hate doing. For me, being a lawyer would be terrible because I hate reviewing contracts.

Best career advice you've ever received?

Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.

Highest point as an entrepreneur?

Honestly, it just keeps getting better.

Lowest point as an entrepreneur?

The beginning stages were very hard. I always wanted to be further than we were. But building a business is about taking one step at a time.

Scariest thing you've ever done?

Having twin girls.

Best hidden talent?

I can touch my tongue to my nose.

Backup career?

Return to my roots as a microcurrent esthetician.

THE BEST IN BEAUTY FROM THOSE WHO KNOW BEST

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