August 23 2014

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4 posts tagged "Isabelle Bellis"

Isabelle Bellis on Complexion Weatherproofing


isabelleAnyone who has experienced a facial with Isabelle Bellis firsthand would likely agree that it’s a transformative experience. And a lengthy one, at that—her signature facial treatments, which incorporate plenty of circulation-stimulating massage, usually hover around the two-hour mark. Even her extractions somehow don’t seem as painful an ordeal. And Bellis herself is always full of helpful skincare advice, so we couldn’t think of anyone better to offer up some guidance on how our skin can best, ahem, weather the extreme changes in temperature that seem par for the course this winter. Here, five tips to abide by.

“The skin needs to be cleaned in a more gentle way during the winter. As the skin of the face and neck get finer, it is more vulnerable to the cold weather and the heat in our homes. It’s vital to retain the good elements that the skin produces in order to protect the complexion. An aggressive foaming gel can damage and dry the skin, so even if one has oily skin, it is better to clean with a mild formula in order to keep the delicate skin fabric intact. A milky cleanser and toner or an extremely gentle foam cleanser is preferred.”

“Limit the amount of acidic products and treatments the face and neck are exposed to. Those who have fragile skin should opt to use these kinds of products in the spring or fall instead.”

“Try to limit the use of tap water on your face. If you use product that needs to be rinsed off with water, I recommend finishing with a spray of thermal water—I prefer the La Roche-Posay Spray Thermal for its beneficial properties and wonderful dispersion—to rid the skin of hard elements like chlorine, calcareous deposits, etc. We also have a tendency to take longer and warmer showers in the winter, and it’s important to avoid directing too much of the shower’s spray directly on the décolletage, as it is a very sensitive area where capillaries can react easily. Be sure to dry your body in a gentle way and not to rub with your towel. If you take a bath, apply oil to your body before you soak or add a few drops of oil to your tub.”

“Avoid too much raw food, as it has a tendency to create dryness in the system that shows up on the skin. Since the body needs more energy to break it down, you may feel tired and less energetic. If you juice, make sure you have warm, balanced, healthy meals to compensate.”

“Oil is for any age and any type of skin, from combination to extremely dry. Apply an oil-based product to create an extra barrier and protect the capillaries from the cold. L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Oil is fantastic for winter. It absorbs rapidly without leaving skin greasy. And if you’re very dry, top it with a moisturizing cream for extra protection and nourishment.”

The 411: Rachel Comey


Rachel Comey is among a select group of designers whose name will always, even among the most discerning fashion followers, elicit immediate nods of approval. Comey first launched her eponymous, New York-based line in 2001 with menswear only, but after women took note of her meticulous tailoring, she decided to broaden her scope two years later. Nowadays, her singular aesthetic—which favors easy, vintage-inspired silhouettes in an array of eclectic prints—has earned her widespread devotion, while her shoes have acquired an almost cultlike following; just watch how quickly they fly off the shelves at a sample sale. Here, the longtime downtowner shares some of her local beauty essentials.

The Midday Pick-Me-Up: Catch a Fire at Melvin’s Juice Box
“A spicy juice in the middle of the day really gets me going.”
132 West Houston Street,

The Handsome Haircutter: Pasquale at Ion Studio
“Another way to spice it up is to have your hair cut by a handsome Italian man—even if he’s the husband of a friend!”
41 Wooster Street,

The Face Refiner: Isabelle Bellis
“My friend Leanne turned me on to this little nugget of a NYC experience. Isabelle Bellis will make you feel and look like you slept for a week in a bath of moisturizer. And the Joëlle Ciocco products she uses and sells are a pleasant way to turn in at night; the scent of the face cream soothes me to sleep.”
For more information, visit

The Pro Tips: Neutral Territory
“For some reason nail polish makes me feel claustrophobic. I like a shocking color now and then but mostly stick with getting them buffed.”

The Signature Scent: The Afternoon of a Faun by Etat Libre d’Orange
“Justin Bond is an amazing performer that reminds you why you moved to this city in the first place. He offers a poignant, gritty, romantic, and hilarious point of view, and the scent he created [with Etat Libre d'Orange] helps to remind me of those things every time I pass a chain store opening up.”

The Life-Giving Lather: Invigorate from Como Shambhala
“This is a long story with a happy ending, about me accidentally going into labor at their hotel in the Caribbean, an evacuation by speedboat at midnight through the ocean, with a little healthy baby boy as a result. Despite all that, I couldn’t forget their amazing shower gel and had to order some.”
For more information, visit

The Trusted Yogi: West Village Yoga’s Alex Auder
“If you haven’t had a yoga class with Alex, you haven’t lived.”
311 West 11th Street,

The Chinese Massage: Spring Wellness

“Lucy delivers a serious elbow to the mid-back and always mentions how tight my shoulders are. She’s superstrong, though.”
215 Mulberry Street, NYC, (212) 219-2189.

Photo: Takemi Photography

The 411: Isabelle Bellis


A facial massage that includes your aesthetician actually putting her fingers inside your mouth to properly stimulate weak and tired muscles is a talking point unto itself, but that’s just one of the many things that makes an appointment with Isabelle Bellis such a special experience. Trained in France, Switzerland, and Germany in the school of L’Oreal skincare expert, biochemist, and Marc Jacobs favorite Joëlle Ciocco, Bellis isn’t your average facialist. An epidermologist, holistic nutritionist, and health counselor, she is a skincare multi-tasker who doesn’t just look at the state of your pores, but investigates your skin’s reaction to its environment in order to develop the best cosmeceutical regimen to bring it back to its optimal state. Take one look at Bellis’ own flawless complexion, and you’ll be a believer. Her innate French style sense happens to transcend to skincare products—as well as a few other beauty and lifestyle must-haves that she’s shared with us below.

The Seasonal Skin Saver: Joëlle Ciocco
“I adore Joëlle Ciocco Cerat aux Fleurs in the winter. It protects the skin from the cold and protects the capillaries from the extreme change in temperature that occurs from going indoors and out.
Available at

The French Manicure: Essie Eternal Optimist

“I maintain my own nails, and I always paint them a soft, pale pink—my favorite color is Eternal Optimist by Essie. I guess it’s very French of me, but I don’t feel comfortable in red—it just doesn’t make me feel like me.
Available at

The Natural Colorist: Jean-Marie Paret
“I travel to Paris several times a year and I always go to Jean-Marie while I’m there. It all started because I had a very bad color job years ago, and I went there to fix it. He only uses natural dyes and natural products, which is very important to me because I don’t like using chemicals on my scalp. Plus, the ambience is lovely and it’s very personal, which I love.”
Jean-Marie Paret, 26 rue Monsieur le Prince Paris, France, 75006.

The Requisite Rub-Down: Shibui at the Greenwich Hotel
“The massages are absolutely great here, and the ambience is so beautiful and relaxing. After a massage I stay an extra hour, have a fresh-squeezed juice and read. It’s heaven.”
For more information visit,

The Signature Snacks: Maison Kayser and Gobo Juices
“Eric Kayser on the Upper East Side has a fabulous breakfast. I love the Cocotte [an organic egg casserole with eggplant]; it’s so, so good. I also love Gobo juices for a smoothie in the West Village. I get one with chocolate and peanut butter when I’m feeling decadent.”
For more information, visit

The Domestic Indulgence: Fresh Flowers
“I love flea markets because there’s always a story behind every piece you purchase. I’ve found a table for my kitchen—it’s very French—and I always love to buy vases because I love flowers. I buy them from Dean & Deluca or get them from a friend’s garden in Connecticut.”
For more information, visit

Photo: Courtesy of Isabelle Bellis

The Beauty Law Of The Land, According To Facialist Isabelle Bellis


Two hours is the length of a feature film, a train ride to Philadelphia and—wait for it—a treatment with Isabelle Bellis. A session with the French facialist—who has become best known in beauty circles for her practice of the Buccal technique, wherein a patient’s mouth is massaged from the inside to reduce wrinkle-causing tension on the outside—officially clocks in as the longest service I have ever had in my many years as a beauty editor. It’s so lengthy, in fact, that at multiple points over the course of the thorough, one-hundred-and-twenty minute affair I thought, “it has to be over now, right?”, all the while secretly hoping that I was dead wrong and Bellis would continue on with her wizardry just a bit longer. (I was, and she did). Facial massage—and a vigorous one at that—is at the heart of the Joelle Ciocco-trained epidermologist’s treatments, which takes some getting used to as its not something most American facial-getting women are accustomed to. But they should get accustom to it—particularly if the result of its continued practice is skin like Bellis’; the slight, flaxen-haired, Brittany-born beauty may just be her own best advertisement. Besides leaving her chicly outfitted penthouse studio with a complexion that was ridiculously dewy, glowing, and so taut I thought she had given me a mini brow lift during one of the few instances I dozed off—I also gleaned a bit of skincare wisdom on a recent visit. Below, Bellis reveals her five commandments for looking and feeling beautiful, which include some very honest opinions on wearing sunscreen, drinking water and why you don’t need to be in the lotus position to meditate effectively.

I. Sunscreen, But Not All The Time
“About ten years ago people started to use products with a lot more acid, and started doing a lot of peeling and [microdermabrasion], so their complexions weren’t as protected. To be safe, experts were saying to put sunscreen on all the time to preserve the skin, because it was more bare than ever. But if you aren’t doing harsh treatments you don’t need to wear it every second of the day. Obviously we do need sunscreen on the beach, on a sunny day, and especially if you have sensitive skin, but for people who are in an office all day there is no need. Your skin needs a break, and continued use of [SPF products] can just make your skin more sensitized. It should also never be used instead of a moisturizer; your skin needs something to penetrate into it before the sunscreen is put on. And if you are wearing sunscreen, it’s very important to clean your skin thoroughly at night. It’s sticky like glue, and any toxins we receive during the day get stuck [to it].”

II. Massage, Always
“I’m a strong believer in massage to improve circulation and to help relieve tension, then I use manual lymph drainage to rid the body of toxins. It’s all very relaxing and you are basically working with the nervous system and following the anatomy. And you can get the benefits of massage at home. Women need to be aware of how they apply products, massaging from the inside to the outside gently—and enjoying it! You should please yourself. I always like to say to women that the best advice is for you to be your own best friend; women can be very rude to themselves.”

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