A Thing of Beauty

With a holistic take on aging and beauty, aesthetics doctor Irene Gladstein provides a fresh take on cosmetic enhancements.

BY July 1, 2021
At her new Project Glammers clinic, Gladstein, who recently relocated from Manhattan to Naples, promotes the idea of preventative aging. Photography by Brian Tietz.

Scroll through the before and after case studies on the Project Glammers Instagram account, and two things are clear: One, social media-savvy oculoplastic surgeon Irene Gladstein and her team are dedicated to lifting the curtain on procedures they offer and the rationale behind them. Two, the overall effect of the cosmetic tweaks, be it a nonsurgical nose job, lash lift or under-eye fillers, is very subtle.

And it’s exactly that low-key, natural approach to beauty that Gladstein brings to her newly opened 1,300-square-foot practice on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples.

A New York transplant who heads north once a month to see patients at her Brooklyn and Manhattan locations, Gladstein is a highly skilled eyelid surgeon, who only resorts to the scalpel when its necessary these days. Still, her training—a medical degree from NYU Grossman School of Medicine; residencies at NYU Langone Health and Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital; and a fellowship at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey—informs the more delicate facial rejuvenations she executes today with a needle and syringe.

Although Gladstein’s medical training involved a heavy dose of traditional oculoplasty, such as eyelid surgery and traumatic eye injury repair, she credits her fellowship with exposing her to the then-burgeoning field of aesthetics. Learning about facial fat transfers, liposuction, injectables and brow lifts—she was hooked. For her, the field seemed like a natural extension of her lifelong appreciation for art and her punctilious nature. “I’ve painted all my life. In college, in addition to premedical courses, I focused on the history of fine arts. My emphasis was on antiquities; I’ve always been fascinated with the Greek and Roman study of the human form,” the Kyiv, Ukraine, native says.

In addition to cutting-edge treatments, Gladstein also offers proprietary procedures that deliver almost-zero downtime.

Today, Gladstein, who juggles clinical research with in-the-trenches patient care and maintaining a heavy social media presence, offers the 2021 version of the cosmetic procedures she learned at Saint Barnabas, including the aforementioned contouring with collagen-biostimulating injectables and smoothing furrowed brows and crow’s feet with customized neurotoxins. This is in addition to standard medspa fare, such as facials, brow tints and laser vein removal, as well as bigger procedures, such as eyelid surgery.

The latter—going under the knife for the sake of looking younger—is not the norm for Gladstein’s patients, who tend to subscribe to her less-is-more approach. While she didn’t coin the term “preventative aging,” Gladstein is a proponent of making small adjustments early to avoid full-scale surgery down the road—no matter how young or old you are when you start. “The uniqueness of our approach lies in a holistic vision and the artistry of the treatment planning,” she says. “Numeric aging isn’t as important as individual anatomic predispositions and characteristics. To use a personal example, I started developing glabellar lines (or 11s) on my forehead at the tender age of 20, while some patients don’t see that until much later in life.”

A few examples of these minimally invasive, almost-zero downtime procedures: marionette contouring of the lower face, which lifts downturned lip corners; AquaGold, a customized cocktail of Botox, hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma that’s microneedled into lackluster skin to restore glow and smooth wrinkling; and her proprietary approach to using collagen-stimulating injectables virtually everywhere on the face. “It’s the single most important modality that has proven to benefit patients across multiple age groups, skin types and facial shapes,” she says of the facial contouring technique.

The trained oculoplastic surgeon relies on a facial analysis system she created to map out tailored treatment plans.

Gladstein relies on a facial analysis system she created to plan treatment protocols that can, and do, span decades. “The most fun part of my job is to take pictures of my patients when they first start—like, say, when they’re 37; now this same woman is 47, and she looks better, fresher and more rejuvenated and natural than 10 years prior.”

While a permanent move to Naples had long been in the cards for Gladstein and her family, which includes a physician husband and three daughters that range in age from 1 to 14, the pandemic pushed the timeline forward. “This is our happy place,” she says. “We’ve been coming here for all our time off—holidays, vacations, school breaks—for the past 12 years.”

Although she’s just getting to know her new clientele in Naples and can’t yet predict what treatments they’ll gravitate toward, Gladstein says she doesn’t expect big changes between the north and south. “Despite the difference in geographies, the desire for looking and feeling great is the same across state lines,” she says.

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