Hollywood’s best aestheticians and dermatologists reveal their red carpet beauty secrets
The Sunday Times, February 25 2018, 12:01am
Next Sunday, the 90th Academy Awards will take place and, for many Oscar hopefuls, the long, gruelling road to being red-carpet ready will take as long as preparing their acceptance speeches. Perfect, glowing skin and taut, toned limbs are practically prerequisites on the biggest night of the year, but how to look as if you’ve had nothing done when, in fact, that’s all you’ve been doing for the past few weeks? Here, we reveal what Hollywood’s best aestheticians and dermatologists offer to create an award-winning appearance.
The Botox neck lift
“The slick forehead is passé,” says Lisa Goodman, owner of GoodSkin Los Angeles, whose speciality is the untouched look. “People realise now that trying to look too young just makes you look older.” Her mantra? Forget about Botox for wrinkles; instead, think of it for lift. “The face is covered in muscles — some that pull up, but more that pull down,” she says. Her most-requested treatment this awards season is the Botox neck lift — the neck is an oft-neglected area that can be the first to show signs of ageing. “Placement is key,” Goodman says. “The Botox is injected under the jaw near the ear to release spasms and tensions in the neck and create a longer, more elegant profile and upright appearance.”
In LA goodskinlosangeles.com
In London Dr Daniel Sister, from £250
The face scrape
Industry insiders flock to veteran Hollywood facialist Heather Bradley for her Signature Scrape, a two-hour treatment during which she gently shaves off dead skin, fine “peach fuzz” hair and what she likes to call “barnacles” from the face, neck and décolleté, using a technique called dermaplaning. “It’s a painless, non-invasive, healthy trauma. It’s actually incredibly relaxing — a lot of clients fall asleep during the treatment,” Bradley says reassuringly. “It jumpstarts natural collagen production by increasing cellular turnover and leaves the skin looking youthful.” The treatment is done on clean, dry skin and results in instantly smoother skin texture and tone, while the long-term effects include the reduced appearance of fine lines and a significant reduction in acne scarring.
In LA bradleybeauty.com
In London Dr David Jack offers dermaplaning, from £150
The infrared body wrap
The secret to not sweating it on the red carpet? Turn up the heat with Cynthia Franco’s signature Head to Toe Glow treatment, during which clients are cocooned in a full infrared body wrap for a 50-minute sweat session — the wrap slowly heats up to about 55C — while Franco administers a bespoke facial. “Far infrared rays deeply detoxify the skin,” Franco says. “The treatment improves circulation, oxygenates the blood and boosts collagen production.” And there’s more — the American Medical Association concluded that a 30-minute infrared sauna session can burn about 600 calories. “Regular infrared sessions raise the metabolism, so you burn calories even when you are not on the treatment table,” Franco says. “On the big day, my clients find they fit nicely into that red-carpet dress.” Salma Hayek and Amber Heard are fans.
In LA cynmarietherapy.com
In London KXU offers infrared-sauna sessions, from £35
Mini fat freezing
The hottest fat-freezing treatment on the market has finally been given a makeover of its own. CoolSculpting, a non-surgical body-contouring procedure that uses cryolipolysis technology to freeze away fat cells, is now available in Petite. This means it can target smaller areas, such as the flesh on the back of the arms. “It’s liposuction with zero downtime,” says Dr Glenn Vallecillos of DMH Aesthetics, who recommends a course of two to three sessions, six weeks apart, for optimum results. During this painless, non-surgical procedure, areas of fat are sucked into a handheld, vacuum-like device and cooled to -5C, at which temperature the fat cells are destroyed without damaging surrounding tissue. “The satisfaction rate is close to 100%, because it hits those areas that are resistant to diet and exercise, and it can be done on much slimmer body types,” he says.
In LA dmhaesthetics.com
In London PHI Clinic, from £650
The skin fix
When it comes to flawless, head-to-toe, red-carpet-ready skin, former actress and stuntwoman Gina Mari has it covered. “I always ask my clients what they are going to be wearing,” Mari says. “We take the gown into consideration and make sure that every inch of skin on display is smooth, even and toned.” Mari’s comprehensive Birthday Suit service involves an arsenal of treatments, starting with full-body diamond microdermabrasion to slough off dead skin, followed by a full-body lactic-acid wash (read: a peel) and a round of vitamin C-infused microdermabrasion. “This really helps to brighten dull winter skin and get rid of discolouration on the elbows and knees,” she says. Mari then contours the body using radio frequency and ultrasound therapy to tighten the skin on the upper arms and knees, before sending clients to lie under a full-body LED light-therapy panel to stimulate collagen production. “Maintaining beautiful skin is an neverending battle against time, genetics and our environment,” she says.
In LA ginamari.com
In London Cadogan Clinic offers Accent body contouring, from £500
The laser toner
“The one thing everyone can benefit from is laser toning,” says A-list dermatologist Dr David Colbert, who regularly jets from coast to coast to administer his cult Triad Facial for the face, hands and even feet on the likes of Sienna Miller and Naomi Watts. “It really improves skin quality and makes cheekbones pop.” Colbert recently teamed up with The Wellness Clinic at Harrods to offer the treatment, which includes microdermabrasion to remove dead skin, followed by several passes with a YAG laser, which emits 5,000 light pulses a minute to stimulate collagen and increase skin firmness, and a chemical peel to deliver instant tightness, brightness and luminosity. “On the red carpet, my clients want to glow,” he says. “Laser immediately delivers a smoother, tighter, more lifted look for the face.”
In LA colbertmd.com
In London The Wellness Clinic, Harrods, from £800
Hollywood’s hardest-working actresses — Alison Brie and Michelle Monaghan to name but two — have facialist Biba de Sousa’s number on speed dial, thanks to her reputation as the go-to fixer when it comes to burnout and breakouts caused by early call times and heavy on-set make-up. “My clients are running around like crazy during awards season,” says de Sousa, who treated Brie to a three-hour session before the Golden Globes. “They come in tired and want to leave looking rested and rejuvenated.” De Sousa’s red-carpet weapon of choice is a next-generation, three-in-one machine called OxyGeneo, which exfoliates, delivers a custom infusion of active ingredients onto the skin and then oxygenates using CO2 bubbles that gently burst on the skin surface, creating a physiological response that sends oxygen-rich blood to the area. “You walk out looking bright-eyed and emanating wellness,” she promises.
In LA estheticunderground.com
In London Arezoo, from £195