From Laser Recovery to Microneedling: The Annotated Awards-Season Beauty Calendar

6:30 AM 12/3/2018

by Beth Landman

CBD oil? EmSculpt? Anti-aging doctors and skin practitioners treating stars such as Lady Gaga and Rachel Weisz nail down what to do and when.

Illustration by Eda Akaltun

Awards season has kicked off, and many who will go before the kliegs and flashes will want what they consider optimal presentation. Yes, it's too late for a little nip and tuck, says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Garth Fisher (Kim Kardashian and Kate Hudson are patients): "With high-def cameras, you need six weeks for anything surgical or an ablative laser and four weeks for most other lasers to be safe; you can't afford scars or blotching." What you can do is improve skin quality and tone (drink collagen!), restore gleam to hair (try CBD oil) and make your body look like you've been in the hands of a trainer for months with new combinations of machines and injectables. Here's what still can be accomplished in time for the Golden Globes:

  • One month before an awards show, you can …

    SPEED LASER RECOVERY WITH CULTURED STEM CELLS Three types of stem cells — from human placenta, adipose fat and neonatal fibroblast or infant foreskin — mixed with anti-bacterial manuka honey is the collagen-stimulating secret formula ($1,350) used by Tony Nakhla of Orange County’s OC Skin Institute to speed recovery of his post-laser patients. For extra wow, he adds ultrasound skin tightener Ulthera ($3,500 for full face), the effects of which begin to be visible after four weeks.

    ENHANCE DECOLLETAGE Injections of diluted Radiesse, a filler made from bone calcium, smooth the chest area ($1,200). An award-winning actress in her early 50s “who is in the chatter again this year, is planning on wearing a low-cut dress, and the injections really help with lines and wrinkles as well as the skin texture,” says cosmetic dermatologist Ava Shamban, who has offices in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and reportedly treats Nicole Kidman. “I also use it for crepiness in patients’ arms and sagging elbows” ($2,000).

    To enhance the decolletage, Lady Gaga’s dermatologist, Simon Ourian of Epione in Beverly Hills, uses stem cells — derived from a patient’s blood for those under age 50, fat for those over ($12,000 to $18,000) to enhance the décolletage. “It gives the body more and more glow,” he says.

    East Coast plastic surgeon Lyle Leipziger has been giving a subtle fine-tuning to his entertainment patients’ breasts with injections of their own fat ($4,000 to $6,000). “Low-volume fat injections can significantly enhance inner cleavage and give a natural, slightly fuller look without traditional surgery,” he says. 

    APPLY CBD TO HAIR Salon Ishi, which dispatches practitioners from its Manhattan locale to shoots and for pre-awards prep, has its clients on a program of CBD oil for the scalp ($150 for a shiatsu shampoo with the oil). Notes owner Eisaburo Ishikawa, “It not only keeps hair healthy, it helps with the season’s anxiety.”

    CHUG NUTRACEUTICAL DRINK SHOTS Cate Blanchett is among the devotees of Aethern ($295 for a 30-day supply), a step beyond the collagen drink craze. The daily shot also contains antioxidants and firming bioactive peptides. “Clinical trials show an increase in plumpness of skin after a month,” says Shamban.

  • A week before, you can …

    AMP UP THE MICRONEEDLING Making tiny punctures in your skin has become a popular way to trigger collagen production, but now the procedure has escalated. Fisher, who adds human stem cells in his microneedling process ($2,000 for the face), says, “I am doing this for an actress in her mid-40s who is attending the Golden Globes. The skin is plumped from the new collagen, and there is a brightening effect.”

    Park Avenue dermatologist Anetta Reszko uses the Vivace machine, which layers in radio frequency, on her awards attendees. “It has 49 anti-inflammatory gold needles, and we can vary penetration depending on how much time we have before the event,” she says. She boosts the effect with a topical cocktail of growth factor, hyaluronic acid, potent antioxidents and pure oxygen for extra wattage ($1,500 for face and neck).

    Danuta Mieloch, who owns New York’s Rescue Spa and travels to her Hollywood following, uses electrostatic impulses ($500), which reduce pain and help serums to penetrate. Shamban extends microneedling to the hand ($850). “If you clutch your statuette, you don’t want your hands to look 20 years older than your face,” she says.

    TONE AND SLIM WITH MACHINES Beverly Hills’ Lasky Aesthetics and Laser Center now has the EmSculpt ($1,000), a device that exercises for you, performing the equivalent of 20,000 crunches in 30 minutes, while its Ballancer ($350) — which looks like a hazmat suit with 30 compression chambers that facilitate lymphatic drainage — contours the body.

    "Some people have come in for 10 days straight and dropped two sizes, and some actresses are multitaskers — they get a hydrofacial ($250) and an IV vitamin infusion ($250 and up),” says Terri Ross, the center’s managing partner.

  • The weekend of, you can …

    DO LAST-MINUTE MULTITASKING “The conversation is about how many treatments we can fit in, as my clients are doing press and roundtables,” says Joanna Vargas, who has a West Hollywood salon and treats Rachel Weisz, Jake Gyllenhaal and Elisabeth Moss with her radio frequency “Forever Facial” ($400) but also can layer in anti-aging cryotherapy, microcurrents and LEDs ($250 for all three adds).

    "Rachel Brosnahan is pretty young so we take a different approach, alternating between cleansing and the Supernova Facial [$325], which is extremely hydrating, de-puffing and anti-inflammatory. And for Jake Gyllenhaal I do a cleansing and the Triple Crown [$250] with microcurrent and oxygen. I also have a cryotherapy machine that increases circulation," Vargas says.

    Facialist Thuyen Nguyen also works overtime visiting L.A. clients ($700 for house calls) to detox skin and define facial muscles. “With Natalie Portman, I start two weeks before, then two days before and hopefully the day of,” he says. Weisz, who “is very natural, no fillers, recently had a baby and we are working to get her muscle tone back,” adds Nguyen. “I saw her right before Thanksgiving and plan on seeing her three times in December and two days before an awards ceremony. We look at this as her skin fitness.”

    A version of this story also appears in the 2018 Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.