Navigating the world of plastic surgery can be hard, especially when you don't know where to start. There are thousands of doctors out there claiming to be the very best, countless aesthetics to consider, and a multitude of procedures to choose from, all with varying benefits and outcomes. Many people wish there was someone to guide them through this life-changing experience — and, luckily, there is. She's known as the "beauty broker."
Melinda Farina is the founder Beauty Brokers Inc., a consultancy agency that helps clients throughout their plastic-surgery journey. Think of her as the ultimate matchmaker to any and all cosmetic procedures and surgeons.
Farina got her start at 13 years old helping around the office of a family friend who was a cosmetic dentist. "I kind of grew up in the industry," she tells POPSUGAR. That part-time job inspired her to go to dental school with the goal of becoming a cosmetic dentist herself, but halfway through, she discovered it wasn't the right fit. "I didn't completely want to get out of the industry," Farina says, so she switched majors to organizational psychology with a plan to work as a business management consultant for surgeons.
"That quickly took a turn when people realized I was working for exceptional surgeons and dentists, and they started asking me where to go," she says. At 21, advising future patients on where to go and what to get based on her own personal "directory" became her side hustle. By the next year, she launched her own consultancy.
Now, 22 years later, it's a global business. "We work with patients and surgeons from all over the world," she says. "I travel; I spend a lot of time in [operating rooms]. We've met surgeons everywhere; we look for niche specialties. It's really just rounded out into this well-oiled machine that just keeps growing by the year."
Though she knows the best-of-the-best doctors for nearly everything, her team specializes in facelifts and body-sculpting procedures like liposuction and mommy makeovers. Farina has a busy job: her days are filled with client consultations, phone calls with plastic surgeons from around the world, operating room (OR) visits, and post-op follow-up Zooms.
Below, she gives us a look into her daily schedule:
5:30 AM: Wake Up
Most of her days start at 5:30 a.m. with a wakeup call from her golden retriever. (The exception being surgery days for her clients; in those cases, she'll wake up around 4:30 a.m. and head to the surgery clinic at 6:30 a.m. if they are taking place in New York City. If it's in another state, Farina makes all of the necessary accommodations beforehand.)
"For any entrepreneur, it automatically occurs to you that you must wake up super early in the morning to make the most of your day," Farina tells POPSUGAR. That early rising is immediately followed by a tall glass of water with fresh-squeezed lemon and supplements, followed by an hourlong walk with her dog. "I try to get about 10,000 to 15,000 steps in every single day," she says.
7 A.M.: Breakfast and Emails
When she gets back, she makes herself a double espresso and a breakfast meal from Daily Dose, a meal prep plan she swears by. "I'll have my breakfast as soon as I come in and usually just sit, start to read my emails, see what's coming in, see what my schedule is looking like," Farina says.
8 A.M.: Get Ready For the Day
After breakfast, Farina dedicates about 45 minutes for a quick shower, does her hair and makeup, and gets dressed for the day.
8:45 A.M.: Work Begins
"My staff arrives usually around 8:45 a.m., so we get right to it," she says. Since the pandemic, Farina has been working out of her home along with most of her 12-person staff. As an East Coast-based consultant, she goes into their Manhattan office twice a week to see people in person as needed, but mainly, they rely heavily on Zoom calls to touch base with their clients from around the world.
9 A.M. to 7 P.M.: Client Consultations Via Zoom or Phone
For the next 10 hours, Farina and her team spend their day on back-to-back consultation calls. This can look a little different depending on where a person is in their procedure timeline. If it's a potential client, she goes over the types of services they offer. If it's someone looking to find a doctor, she gathers information about the client's expectations and goals they have for their surgery and walks through the different surgeons best suited to meet their needs. If it's someone with an upcoming scheduled surgery, she goes over pre- and post-op protocol. Or, if it's someone who's already undergone surgery, she checks in on their status and how they're healing.
These calls range anywhere from just 30 minutes to an hour long. "We do about 15 on average a day," she says. These meeting-heavy days account for most of Farina's schedule, but the aforementioned surgery days are a whole other ballgame.
"I'm the person who really listens to my client, listens to what they're looking for, and understands the aesthetic that they're looking to achieve."
On her clients' surgery days, if they choose to have Farina attend the procedure, she acts as a second set of eyes for you to ensure everything goes smoothly and you get exactly what you want. "My clients like having somebody else there advocating for them while they're sleeping," says Farina. There, her duties include making sure everything in the OR is copacetic before surgery begins and speaking up while surgery is in progress.
"I'm the person who really listens to my client, listens to what they're looking for, and understands the aesthetic that they're looking to achieve," Farina says. "I'm there to say, 'Hey, I don't really like the placement of that incision — can we make it a little bit lower? Hey, you know what, I think these implants might be just a touch too big — let's do a couple of other sizers to see what looks best?'"
7:30 P.M.: Dinner Break and Calls With Doctors
Around 7:30 p.m., after Farina's consultations end, she'll take a break for dinner — but her day still isn't over. "Then I'm on the phone with surgeons all night long," she says. "Usually up until about like 10 or 11 p.m. because I finished my day speaking to my West Coast surgeons." On those phone calls, they talk about everything from how a client's surgery went that day (if she didn't personally attend) and if there were any complications or changes in the procedure, to post-operation and healing instructions she should know about.
11 P.M.: Bed
Once those phone calls wrap around 11 p.m., she finally goes to sleep and does it all over again the next day.
It's a whirlwind schedule, but Farina truly loves what she does. "I care about people, and I care about people not being led in the wrong direction because I think this industry is brutal," she says. "A lot of entrepreneurs have to deal with the work-life balance, right? That's definitely not something I have mastered."