The Story Behind the Cate Blanchett "Penis Facial" Controversy
No, that’s not a typo.
We thought Hollywood had already gone to the nth degree in terms of out-there, OTT beauty treatments — from cannabis manicures to Gwyneth Paltrow willingly getting stung by bees in the name of vanity. But Cate Blanchett’s beauty confession earlier this week takes the cake.
In an interview with Vogue Australia while in Sydney to celebrate Giorgio Armani’s latest fragrance, Si Passione, Blanchett (who is the face of the fragrance) revealed that she and Sandra Bullock got “penis facials” at Georgia Louise Atelier in New York.
"Sandy [Bullock] and I saw this facialist in New York, Georgia Louise, and she gives what we call the 'penis facial' and it's something — I don't know what it is, or whether it's just 'cause it smells a bit like sperm — there's some enzyme in it, so Sandy refers to it as the 'penis facial,'" Blanchett responded, after reporter Remy Rippon asked her: "What's the most outlandish beauty treatment you've tried?"
After The Cut, New Beauty and several other publications picked up the news — and the Twitter-sphere went bananas over the controversy — Vogue Australia quietly removed the quote from the story without any notation that the originally published story had been edited, although the article could still be viewed on the magazine site via Google search hours later and the interview is reprinted in full on a Cate Blanchett fan site.
While Blanchett's publicist has not yet responded to requests from THR for comment, aesthetician Louise was happy to spill details about her $650 Hollywood EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) Facial.
"The Hollywood EGF Facial started last year when Sandra Bullock was filming in NYC and came to see me for a deep cleansing and long-lasting facial glow," says Louise. "I wanted to give her something that would transform her skin without the need to undergo lasers, so I loaded up her bespoke facial with something that would give her long-lasting results. Within weeks her makeup artist, Whitney, and castmates wanted to know what was the cause of her amazing, long-lasting glowing skin.... And from that moment onward the Hollywood EGF Facial was born!"
"The foreskin is collected during circumcision and the stem cells are then harvested and extracted through a centrifuge," says Louise. “I am always very mindful to explain radical serums and potions that I carry in my back bar, so I always explain that EGF is derived from newborn baby foreskin, but cells were taken and from that, new cells are cloned from a laboratory.”
On Thursday, Louise posted a screen shot of an article that recapped the controversy in the Daily Mail accompanied by some blatant self-promotion. "My ultra-exclusive facial to the stars has been revealed by Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock and is now available at my atelier! No babies were used — only clone cell[s] taken years ago!!!!!! The facial includes a cleanse, followed by an intensive TCA peel, micro-needling machine and en electrifying mask to calm the skin, followed by my 'secret box' of EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) serum."
"EGF is clone cells taken from progenitor cells (original cells) of the human fibroblast donated from newborn baby foreskin," she continued. "We are not using original stem cells, only clone!! The stem cells were [given] to a stem cell bank in Korea!!!! Which had the world's largest bank of [stem cells] which helps to generate collagen and elastin. FDA approved stem cells and peptides are penetrated deep into the skin using a special electric micro-needling wand. This process allows the active ingredients to be transported deep in the skin by creating a temporary micro-channel. email@example.com"
My ultra exclusive facial to the stars has been revealed by Cate blanchett and Sandra Bullock and is now available at my Atelier! NO BABIES WERE USED- ONLY CLONE CELL TAKEN YEARS AGO!!!!!!! The facial includes a cleanse, followed by an intensive TCA peel, micro-needling machine and an electrifying mask to calm the skin, followed by my ‘secret box’ of EGF serum (Epidermal Growth Factor). EGF is clones cells taken from progenitor cells (original cells) of the human fibroblast donated from newborn baby foreskin. WE ARE NOU USING original stem cells only clones!!! The Stem cells were giving to a stem cell bank in Korea!!!! Which had the worlds largest bank of steamcells.. which helps to generate collagen and elastin. FDA approved stem cells and peptides are penetrated deep into the skin using a special electric micro-needling wand. This process allows the active ingredients to be transported deep in the skin by creating a temporary micro-channel. firstname.lastname@example.org
We happened to notice that the language on the Georgia Louise Atelier website had also been updated since Wednesday to add this particular service to the menu (it was not on the site as of late Wednesday night) as well as to publish the quote from Blanchett in its entirety.
In the margin, next to the facial description, are quotes from other A-listers including Emma Stone, Katy Perry, makeup artist Gucci Westman, model Linda Evangelista and fashion designer Alexander Wang that praise Louise and her services. Not sure they will appreciate this sudden association.
On Instagram this morning, Louise also posted a screen shot of supermodel-entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, who appeared on the Today show, along with the shout-out: "So excited and so impressed with @karliekloss for going on the @todayshow today, fresh after a facial with me."
In case you're wondering, you can book your own treatment with a couple of week's wait time. Although Louise is no longer taking new clients, one of her "elite team members" will be happy to serve you. And we gotta say, we've always marveled at Blanchett's radiant glow (she's notably been a spokesmodel for the Japanese skin care brand SK-11 for 14 years), so maybe she's on to something.