August 23 2014

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17 posts tagged "Joanna Vargas"

A Celebrity Facialist’s Secret Soak for Sensitive Skin



This column reveals the personal beauty recipes, homegrown remedies, and family concoctions that the industry’s trusted pros rely on for staying radiant.

From the Kitchen of: Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare

“The best skincare tip I can recommend is a soothing bath. My mother-in-law taught me this recipe, and it’s a traditional remedy from Nicaragua, where my husband is from. I learned to make it when my son had eczema as a baby. I love being able to pass this tradition to my kids—and these old-school cures are a lost art! To this day, it is my family secret for healing dry, sensitive skin.”

One for the Recipe Box: Miracle Skin Soak

1 cup chamomile tea leaves
1 cup freshly chopped rosemary leaves

“Boil a large pot of water and add in the chamomile tea leaves and rosemary. Cook these for 15 minutes, strain, and pour this water into a lukewarm bath. After checking the temperature, sit in the water for 20 minutes, then towel off and apply coconut oil (it contains fatty acids that are awesome for helping to maintain skin’s lipid layer). Not only will you feel relaxed from your day, this potion will soothe your skin like nothing else. Dry patches and redness will disappear overnight.”

The Fab Five: Fall Facials



Autumn is all about renewal. In the style realm, that usually means a complete overhaul—or, at the very least, a switching over—of your closet to reflect the new season’s falling temperatures, while in beauty, there is a lot of refreshing going on: bouncy new haircuts, moodier hues of lipstick and nail lacquer, and maybe even a warmer, spicier scent than what you were donning in the summer months. Skincare, too, usually gets a reboot, with hydration becoming a more central focus. I think it is precisely that seasonal change that these five New York spas had in mind when designing the latest facial treatments to hit their menus.

Dermalogica BioActive Peel

The beloved skincare brand’s first-ever chemical peel is as unfussy and results-driven as its signature products. The BioActive Peel is focused on resurfacing the skin, curbing inflammation (even that caused by acne), and addressing hyperpigmentation using a biphasic peel approach. The biggest difference between it and more traditional chemical peels, though, is that Dermalogica’s version boasts minimal downtime—a major bonus.

$125 to $150, available at Dermalogica spas in New York and Santa Monica, Calif., nationwide rollout to follow;

Kiehl’s Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Facial

To accompany the fall launch of its potent lifting, firming, contouring, and re-texturizing wonder moisturizer (Super Multi-Corrective Cream), Kiehl’s made it the star of a facial at its eponymous New York spa. A godsend for the listlessly complexioned—the treatment includes a bit of microderm, then micro-current and LED stimulation, and, of course, the slathering on aplenty of the aforementioned moisturizer.

$195, at Kiehl’s Spa 1851, 157 East 64th Street; 888-SPA-1851;

Joanna Vargas Holiday Refresher Facial

We are not shy about our love for Joanna Vargas’ skincare wizardry, and she has long proven to be indispensable when a complexion reboot is in order. And her latest limited-edition facial is focused on just that. Designed to infuse a bit of life and light into dull skin, it includes a thorough lymphatic drainage massage; a micro-current treatment; an anti-inflammatory red currant, pineapple, and lemon mask; and, naturally, many of Vargas’ own products, like the intensely moisturizing Daily Hydrating Cream.

$250, or $400 for an appointment with Vargas, Joanna Vargas Salon and Skin Care Sanctuary, 501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2011; 212-949-2350;

Savor Organic Pumpkin Enzyme Facial

At Savor, a petite gem of a spa in the West Village, natural products and treatments are front and center. And to transition skin from summer into fall, the ingredient of choice couldn’t be more seasonally appropriate: pumpkin. The core of the spa’s latest facial, pumpkin enzyme is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and, when applied to the skin, has a brightening, glow-inducing effect.

$165, Savor Spa, 327 West 11th Street; 212-304-2887;

Aire Ancient Baths Natura Bissé Vitamin Boost Facial

If you have yet to discover the magic that lies beneath a quiet Tribeca street at Aire, a subterranean maze of thermal baths (shown above), go. Go now. Especially because your rejuvenating soaks can be followed by a citrus-driven facial using cult-favorite Natura Bissé products. Designed to reinvigorate and restore luminosity to the skin, Vitamin Indulge or Vitamin Boost treatments are available. Both include ninety minutes of the thermal bath circuit, followed by a massage, then facial (the former option lasts forty-five minutes longer).

$180 to $240, Aire Ancient Baths, 88 Franklin Street; 212-274-3777;

Photo: Courtesy of Aire Ancient Baths

Get Skin Worthy Of The Big Screen For Less Than You’d Expect



As far as beauty editors go, I consider myself an anomaly. Blow-outs are not my jam, and I rarely have patience to sit for a spa treatment. The notion of being confined to a bed with steam blasted onto my face is just not my idea of a good time. Call me crazy, but I prefer something speedy that produces visible results. Enter Joanna Vargas. It’s no secret that this aesthetician has worked some serious skin magic on everyone from the fashion set to celebrities. But for $50 and with 45 minutes, what would the woman who recently prepped Emma Stone for Spider-Man actually do for me? (As part of Spa Week—beginning today and ending October 20—Vargas is offering her Power Peel or Tone Up body treatment, a favorite among Victoria’s Secret models, at this affordable rate.)

After opting for the Power Peel with high hopes that it would cure my fashion month-ravaged complexion, I expected an abbreviated version of the $175 experience. But the reason that Vargas has the reputation she does is that she doesn’t skimp on service—ever. I received the works, starting with diamond peel microdermabrasion. “It gets all the airplane off,” said Vargas. (Much needed after nearly a month of traveling.) Next, my skin was cleansed of impurities with her Vitamin C Face Wash and treated to a detoxifying blueberry and paprika mask. I was left under collagen-boosting LED lights—eyes covered—for twenty minutes, then topped off with a steady stream of repairing oxygen and slathered with her Daily Serum. It was swift yet effective—leaving my face so soft and glowy I was afraid to touch it. “Your skin looks like Michelle Williams’,” she said. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but the finished product was enough to convince me that wonders can be done in under an hour. I could very well get used to this.

Joanna Vargas Salon, Skin Care Sanctuary 501 Fifth Avenue, #2011, New York, NY (212) 949-2350;

Photos: Courtesy of Joanna Vargas

Beauty 411: Rebecca Minkoff


Rebecca Minkoff

For California-bred, New York-based designer Rebecca Minkoff, it all really started with a bag. Specifically, a very cheekily named bag. Minkoff launched her eponymous line back in 2001, and though she quickly earned major buzz for a series of customized “I Love NY” tees, widespread success would come in 2005 with the Morning After bag. An immediate favorite among cool-girl fashion insiders, the now-iconic carryall essentially cemented Minkoff’s reputation as an accessories guru. After dipping her toe back into apparel in 2009, Minkoff now boasts a fully realized line with countless fans, many a celebrity among them. And they are likely all waiting with bated breath for New York fashion week to commence in a few days so they sneak a peek at her latest spring collection, which, according to Minkoff, pulls inspiration from a range of influential Latin American women—from Bianca Jagger and Frida Kahlo to Carolina Issa and Alice Dellal. “The result was American sportswear-inspired pieces with strong Latin American details, like bursts of color, saturated prints, rich textures, and intricate embroidery,” Minkoff shares. “I’m especially excited about the floral prints; they’re so vivid and fun!” Here, she takes a break from fashion-week prep to share some of her local beauty favorites.

THE MANE KEEPER: Vanessa at Butterfly Studio Salon

“Vanessa is my go-to. She recently convinced me to cut my hair, and I have to say, I’m so glad she did! She also achieved the perfect wave for my hair—no one else does it like her.”

149 Fifth Ave., 2nd floor, NYC, (212) 253-2100;


“I love going to Joanna for an oxygen facial. Once fashion week is over, getting a facial is one of the first things I do.”

501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2011, NYC, (212) 949-2350;


“I love getting gel nails because I hate when [regular polish] chips. My go-to shade lately has been white.”

THE BROW GROOMER: Christina at Butterfly Studio Salon

“Christina keeps my eyebrows thick and gives them a really great shape.”

149 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor, NYC, (212) 253-2100;


“I love its hot-stone and aromatherapy massages. The new space at The Surrey is so tranquil and chic.”

Cornelia Spa at The Surrey, 20 East 76th Street, NYC, (646) 358-3600;

THE WORKOUT MASTER: Kelvin Gary at Body Space Fitness

“Kelvin is my personal trainer who I go to twice a week for one-on-one intense cardio and resistance sessions.”

Visit for more information.

THE REGULAR DETOX: BluePrint Cleanse

“I like to do a juice cleanse at least once every other month. Usually I mix it up with different cleanses, but BluePrint is one of my favorites.”

Visit for more information.


“My favorites skincare products come from June Jacobs—I love that they’re all-natural and organic. For hair, I use Tresemmé and Living Proof because they have the greatest antifrizz products. And my most-used makeup items are Stila Lip Stain in Cherry Crush, Stila mascara, and Giorgio Armani foundation.”


“It’s a combination of masculine and feminine scents, and not everyone wears it, so it feels very unique. It has been my regular fragrance for more than a year now.”

Available at

Photo: Danielle Kosann/The New Potato

Sitting Pretty @StyleDotCom


Fashion Week Beauty Products

We revealed what keeps fashion week regulars like makeup artist James Kaliardos and hairstylist Odile Gilbert going during the month-long parade through New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Now, the team shares the beauty must-haves they’ll be stashing in their bags and keeping in their bathrooms for the Spring 2014 season:

Nicole Phelps, executive editor

“I had my first facial with superstar esthetician Joanna Vargas last week. As her devotees well know, Vargas likes to tailor her facials to the seasons and the skin’s response to them. It may be Spring ’14 fashion week, but weather-wise here in New York it’s still the end of summer. Vargas’ new Fall Superfoods Facial is designed to address the ravages of three months in the sun. For me, that meant patchy dryness and SPF-induced bumps along the hairline, as well as some trouble spots on my chin. Vargas addressed them all, using the all-natural and organic skin care products, like the Vitamin C Face Wash (shown above), she’s known for. My favorite part of the facial was the pumpkin purée and avocado mask, which smelled almost good enough to eat and left my face looking dewy and fresh. If only Joanna would create a facial designed to heal the effects of four weeks of fashion shows.

Matthew Schneier, deputy editor

“Dry shampoo [from Klorane], sunscreen [by Clarins], water, and coffee—the combination makes you look like you haven’t slept for a week, when in reality, you haven’t slept for two.”

Marina Larroudé, market director

“I’m obsessed with Clé de Peau Beauté concealer (shown above) and use it every day—no matter if it’s fashion week or not. The only thing that’s different is the frequency that I go to Drybar, which is pretty much every other day. It helps that there’s a location only a block away from my house where I can book early morning appointments.”

Kate Cerigo, senior designer

“When my skin is looking ‘blah’ after a string of late nights I use Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (shown above) before bed and wake up to a more refreshed face.”

Kristin Anderson, assistant editor, special projects

“In the throes of fashion week, I’ll be trimming the excess from my makeup routine, and opting for Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Cream. This glowy, medium coverage BB eliminates the need for concealer and SPF. The botanical formula also treats any pesky, stress-related spots. And rather than risking a sticky finger situation, I’ll be toting the luxuriously packaged lip oil from Hourglass Cosmetics (shown above).”

Amber Kallor, senior beauty editor

Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation (shown above) offers the brightening magic of their famous pen—for your entire face, which is especially helpful when my skin can’t keep pace with my hectic schedule. Before bed (usually somewhere around 2 a.m.) I treat myself and computer-strained eyes to Skyn Iceland Hydro Cooling Firming Eye Gels, which de-puff with ginkgo biloba leaf extract and firm with hydrolyzed elastin.”

Emily Farra, editorial coordinator

“Long days in the office tend to dry out my skin, so over the next few weeks I’ll be relying on my favorite new face oil with rosehip extract from Boots Botanics. Not only does it smell clean (not musky) and keep my skin looking fresh for 12 plus hours, but it only costs $9 so I can slather it on guilt-free. An afternoon dose of this rosewater spritz (shown above) reactivates the oil and serves as a wake-up call when caffeine isn’t cutting it anymore. As for my hair, I’m using leather bow clips from American Apparel, in neutral colors like black and camel, to get it off my face while I work on the computer all day.”

Katharine K. Zarrella, associate news editor

“I have somewhat of a red lip obsession, and when Chanel discontinued my favorite stain last year, I had a bit of a panic. Earlier this month, my hairstylist, Michael Angelo at Wonderland Beauty Parlor, introduced me to Beauté’s lip stain in Fever and lip cream in Masochist (both shown above). I’ll be wearing them every single day, because no matter how tired I feel, painting on the perfect rouge pout always provides a much-needed kick of rejuvenation.”

Brittany Adams, associate fashion editor

“Running between all the shows, presentations, and events during fashion week is enough to make even the most polished girl look a little rough around the edges. I’ve tried nearly every primer on the market and keep returning to L’Oréal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base (shown above). I dab a little bit on my nose and forehead to make me look perfectly matte and smooth before walking into each appointment. I also carry around a can of Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish spray, which gives my hair volume and texture on the go.”

Rachel Walgrove, social media editor

“Bags are for arms, not eyes. Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer is my look-alive go-to for fashion season and beyond.”