Pret-a-Reporter

Hollywood's Last-Minute Awards Prep: Double Facials and Emptying Out the Bad Filler

Courtesy of ThermiRf
The Thermi Smooth device

One West Hollywood salon owner, whose clientele includes Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore, recommends attendees get two facial therapies on the day of the Oscars.

A select group of doctors and beauty experts in L.A. and New York are working overtime with award-night attendees. Koji Nakano of NYC’s Salon helps Zoe Saldana’s tresses maintain luster with a conditioning Sherpa treatment, followed by an amino acid that works similar to a Brazilian without harsh chemicals ($600 for both). “It keeps her hair smooth and shiny and helps prevent damage that can be seen under lights,’’ says Nakano.

For some, however, the preparations begin months ahead. Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Mark Mani starts the process with minimally invasive stromal transfer, or MIST, an hourlong procedure in which fat is removed from a patient’s flanks, stem cells and stromal cells (the matrix surrounding the stem cells) are extracted and reinjected into the face as a fine liquid (from $3,500). There is no real down time, Mani says, but it takes weeks to realize the maximum benefits. “Fillers stretch out the skin and interfere with blood supply, but this does the opposite," he says. “It generates new blood vessels and the skin looks rosier, healthier and moister. I just did this two months ago on a studio head who is up for a couple of awards and also on two actresses who will be attending.’’

Another faster-working treatment is platelet-rich plasma (or PRP) facial injections. Howard Sobel, a Park Avenue aesthetic dermatologist, uses enhanced PRP injections to diminish wrinkles and fine lines, and a new filler to add definition ($1,500). “I add growth factor to the PRP, which really helps with lines, and for a stronger jawline I use Restylane Define, which has just come on the market. I also use it in the cheeks because it gives more lift than other fillers." This treatment still needs to be done well ahead, however, as swelling and bruising subsides within seven days.

During Oscar week, aesthetician Mia Belle, whose clients include Gerard Butler and Sophia Amoruso, uses a three-tiered approach at her Beverly Hills boutique. “I keep the jawline tight for photos with strong microcurrent and keep the eyes open with Thermi smooth, a radio-frequency device that stimulates fibroblasts [connective-tissue cells that produce collagen] and elastin. This is important because they might be drinking a little” ($1,300 for all three treatments).

New WeHo salon owner Joanna Vargas, who treats Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore, recommends two therapies on the day of the Oscars: Her Triple Crown facial is a combo of microdermabrasion to smooth, microcurrent to lift and oxygen for radiance ($550), while Double Happiness mixes full body microdermabrasion and oxygen ($500).

Sometimes, however, a look in the mirror can lead to buyer's remorse. WeHo derm Derek Jones says he is doing down-to-the-wire business of getting rid of fillers that his actor clients are unhappy with ($250). “I use hyaluronidase to erase the fillers," he says. "It has to do with lighting because shadows can accentuate wrinkles. High-def is really difficult and brings out every flaw.” 

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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