JOANNA Vargas has a reputation for being really rather good at facials. It’s pretty safe to say that she takes care of a sizeable chunk of the A+-list (need names? Ok: Sofia Coppola, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore, Rachel Weisz; think that suffices) and her mastery is based on being a whiz with technology.
At her namesake salon, slap bang in midtown Manhattan, leading high-tech methods are pooled together to create treatments that have names such as Power Peel and Double Happiness. As well as creating the world’s first patented LED Light Therapy bed, Vargas also found the time to establish her own organic skincare line, which is incorporated in salon treatments.
For my visit, I booked in for Vargas’ signature treatment, the one which started it all off: the Triple Crown Facial. Entering the white-washed room, with a killer view, I got the impression that relaxation wasn’t necessarily at the heart of this operation as I heard loud music playing (Broadway show-tunes, I believe, if my knowledge of Annie is as good as I think it is). Some serious machinery stood next to the towelled bed. I wondered what I was in for.
Proceedings started with a quick cleanse, using Vargas’ Vitamin C face wash, after which a diamond peel was applied for gentle exfoliation. The next stage, involving mild electric currents, was where the real action took place. My therapist began to very slowly move two handheld prongs from my jawline to my forehead, which felt like cold metal balls being rolled across my skin. It was a soothing sensation.
The prongs were stimulating the muscles under my face, in order to promote collagen and elastic formation − two key proteins that basically hold skin together. Other than improving muscle tone, this exercise was also helping to boost cellular activity and reduce puffiness.
Following this roller-ball action, which constituted the bulk of the facial, an oxygen component was administered. Combined with vitamins, pure oxygen is applied to the skin using a device that feels as though your skin is being lightly hoovered with cool air. The concoction boosts radiance whilst directly offering nutrients to the skin. It was a refreshing last step before a touch of serum and hydrating face cream was applied.
The results? I was certainly impressed when I looked in the mirror to find extremely plump, glowing skin. More than that, though, was the pleasure I took in touching my skin. Had it ever been this smooth? It was highly unlikely. As I noticed a few blackheads still looming here and there, I was aware that my therapist had pointed out that extractions would not be made, and this isn’t a treatment that would meet your cleansing or massage desires. But if you’re seeking a rejuvenated and pillowy appearance, courtesy of the finest technology, then this is the facial for you.
by Derby Jones
Joanna Vargas, 501 5th Avenue, Suite 2103, New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1 212/949-2350
Joanna is on instagram here