3 Elements to A Good Facial

facialWhen Jeannine sent me for my first facial with celebrity facialist Cecilia Wong, my skin was so soft I had to restrain myself from continuously petting it. Yes, petting it.  I controlled myself of course, but my fresh skin was proof she would be the perfect expert to guide us through the key elements that every facial should contain

3 Key Elements of a Facial

When going for a facial, the first thing your facialist should do is look closely at your skin and create a facial customized to your skin type. Wong explains that your facialist should ask you certain questions to customize products accordingly. “Having a facial tailored to you and your skin needs will help you achieve the very best results,” explains Wong.

Another key step to every facial – extractions— the removing and softening of clogged pores and blackheads. “This benefits all skin types, especially those with oily or acne prone skin,” Wong explains. “Extractions will help to refine pores and prevent enlarging, while also allowing the products you use to be absorbed quicker and more effectively into the skin.”

Exfoliation is another crucial step. Why is this key for all skin type? “Those with dry skin will see a decrease in dead skin cells and flakiness,” explains Wong, “And those with oily or acne prone skin will benefit from the balance in oil production and prevention of future breakouts.”

Cecilia Wong can be found at Cecilia Wong Skincare in NYC and offers many different types of facials.

A Facial Worth Trying at Bliss Spa

Whenever I go for a facial, I'm normally after one thing – clean pores.  To get the job done, I often visit Mario Badescu in midtown, which is more like a factory than a spa. Not sure what I'm talking about?  Check out my review here.  Last week I moved to Hoboken (seriously) and visited Bliss Spa (which happens to be directly across the street from my apartment, dangerous I know) for a Fabulous Facial.   My esthetician, Megan McGhee, was super sweet, yet on a mission.  After chatting with me about my skincare concerns (I'm currently breaking out like a teenager), she recommended the facial I booked along with an added on peel that consisted of a combination of salicylic and glycolic acid.  Exactly what my poor skin needed to help rid my pimples, tight up and make it glow.

I found it interesting that instead of using steam, Bliss uses an oxygen mask to help open the pores before extractions.  "Steam allows for bacteria to get into the open pores," Mcgee explained.  As one who's always had facials with steam, this made me think.  The facial was worth every penny.  While face masks took their time to set, my face, neck, arms, shoulders and feet were massaged.  In the end, not only do I not have a clogged pore in sight, but I also had a full spa experience of relaxation and massage.

I ended up booking one every six weeks with Megan.  Yes, I know it sounds extensive, but I do have a wedding coming up!

The Bliss Spa in Hoboken is located at the W Hotel at 225 River St.  Call 877 862 5477 for an appointment.




The Facial Zac Posen Swears By & Why It Works

Zac Posen, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Ashley Greene all turned to Celebrity Facialist, Joanna Vargas just days before the Met Gala to whip their skin into shape.  She's Hollywood's constant go-to and you bet your butt I'll be visiting her the day before my wedding.  I had the pleasure of chatting with Joanna again about what thehype of her facials is all about.

Your Triple Crown Facial seems to be popular amongst your celebrity clientele. Why is this the facial to receive before a big event? 

My Triple Crown Facial is an awesome treatment to get before an event and is favored by my celebrity clients before a shoot or the red carpet. I use a mild electric current to drain puffiness, tone muscle and tighten skin. There is no downtime, people love the instant effect and long term, the effects are cumulative. I usually recommend this facial once a month. For someone in their twenties, a facial once a month is always recommended, but this facial is a great treatment once a month for thirty and up. Since I designed this treatment myself, it is only available in my salon.

Can you describe the three steps and their benefits?

Step one, the diamond peel, really removes surface dirt and dead cells. I believe a great exfoliation is awesome and can transform the skin. It allows or all the products to penetrate better.

The microcurrent drains puffiness, tightens muscle and builds collagen. It's like going to the gym for your face .

Oxygen is soothing, healing and collagen building all on its own. It gives anyone an instant glow and gives the skin a much needed boost.

How did you come up with combining the elements of the facial?

I always try to combine the best technologies for my clients so they always see a difference in their skin at the end. 

Since most of the results are temporary, how long do they last and how far in advance should someone get one before a big event?

The day of is ideal. If not, then the night before is what I recommend.

Do you do anything differently durning the facial when treating mens skin like Zac Posen than treating womens like Michelle Williams?

Well, we all tend have the same concerns: clear skin, small pores, and everyone wants to look well rested and fresh even when they’re working night and day!


The Secret Behind the Oscar Red Carpet Glow, Get It At Home

Spotted: Halle Berry walking into Kinara Skin Clinic and Spa in Los Angeles, CA to prep for the Oscars.  An email I received from the spa's PR rep stated, "The spa literally closes for celebrities the days leading up to the Oscars."  No wonder other famous faces that frequently visit for their signature "Red Carpet Facial" include Eva Mendez, Emily Blunt, Amy Poehler and Sofia Vergara.  The three step facial isn't unattainable though!  Even Emily Blunt does it at home sometimes.  Here's the scoop: The Kinara Red Carpet Facial is fifty minutes and costs $160 at the spa.  Known for giving an instant glowing complexion by starting with a peel to turn cells over revealing fresh, brighter skin, then neutralizing and revitalizing and finishing with a mineral mask that increases cell renewal.  Some celebs treat themselves to the facial regularly for maintenece and others pop in just before big events.

At home, Kinara created a Red Carpet Facial Kit that mimics the facial so carefully even celebrities use it when they can't make it into the spa.  You can get the kit for $145 at shop.kinaraspa.com.


My First Date with an Epidermologist

Last week I experienced something like never before.  I visited an epidermologist for the first time, Isabelle Bellis, for what I thought was going to be a regular facial.  I was wrong.  She has a truly unique talent. The beginning of the facial was all about connecting your mind and body through breathing, meditation and relaxation.  I laid under a blanket on the facial bed as Isabelle took me through a meditation and massaged my face.  Throughout the facial she used plant based products by Joelle Coicco and the mind and body connection remained a consistent theme.

Isabelle also did lymphatic drainage, which helped to drain toxins from my skin.  The whole idea was to drain toxins from your skin and your mind.  I absolutely loved it.  As a New Yorker who's constantly on the go, it was nice to take the time out and enjoy a beauty treatment and truly relax.  Think yoga mixed with a facial. An hour and a half later I swear I had an out of body experience.

Isabelle Bellis, 60 East 66th St., New York, NY 10065

A Sincere Facial

Last week I experienced a facial at Soie Aroma Skin Care Salon in NYC, which opened just three months ago. Owned by esthetician Cecilia Wong, who worked for over ten years as a facialist, the space was very cozy and the experience was intimate.

"I wanted to create an atmosphere where I would be able to establish a personal relationship with all of my clients," commented Wong.

Always a bit nervous about putting my skin into someone's hands, I immediately gained trust in Wong because she genuinely took interest in my skin and customized a facial that would work for me.  It was relaxing, yet effective, exactly what I needed.  She used all natural products combined with LED light, oxygen, masks and of course did some extractions to whip my skin into shape.

I learned that the current products I'm using have too much AHA in them and are too harsh for my skin, so I'm scaling back on the usage.  After consulting with Wong I am going to start weaning onto organic skin care products.  

Tip: When switching up your skin care regimen start by rotating new products into your current routine.  Begin by replacing your moisturizer, then two weeks later replace your face wash and so on.  This will prevent your skin from having any sudden reactions and allow you to notice what really works.