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Social isolation is difficult enough without seeing gray hairs sprouting or lash extensions fall onto the computer keyboard or pillow as the weeks go by amid shelter-in-place guidelines.
Salons and beauty emporiums are shuttered, elective procedures put on hold, and dental offices unavailable for cleanings or whitenings by order of the American Dental Association. But beauty gurus are not abandoning their flocks, and many are still staying in touch, communicating virtually and sending out personalized care packages.
“We have been mailing out clients’ formulas to them with all the instruments they need,” says Paul Labrecque, who owns salons in New York, Palm Beach and Philadelphia and tends to the tresses of Renée Zellweger, Warner Bros. chair Ann Sarnoff and ex-Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami. “If they need extra help, I will FaceTime with them.” He is also sending kits to new clients after an initial FaceTime consult.
Kadi Lee of Highbrow Hippie salon in Venice, California, whose clients include Julia Roberts, Amber Valletta, Kristin Davis, Diane von Furstenberg and Alma Har’el, also has been dispensing customized kits. “At first I had a lot of house call requests, but everyone has gotten more serious, so now we have been leaving them in driveways,” says Lee. “People are looking at you on Zoom, so these take care of the hair that frames your face and your hair part. They are pre-mixed and pre-measured; all clients have to do is mix them in a bowl.” Lee has also been posting tutorials. “I have one on how to rock a hair scarf,” she says.
Those who have gotten used to various straightening and smoothing treatments don’t have to live with frizz. Ashley Streicher of Beverly Hills salon STRIIIKE, who counts Mandy Moore among her flock, says this is a good time to lay off irons altogether. “Garnier’s Sleek Shot will give you that smooth look without the use of damaging tools,'” says Streicher. For a more immediate smoothing effect, Ishi, a top stylist at New York’s Mia Wagner Salon, whose clients include Carey Mulligan, Zoe Saldana, and Ivanna Sakhno, recommends John Frieda’s Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray for its “lasting power.” For deep conditioning, he likes Oribe’s Moisture & Control Deep Treatment Masque to fortify hair and keep it smooth. “Just apply it, pull your hair back and leave it on overnight,” he says. He also recommends Color Wow Root Cover Up (also used by L.A. stylist Chris Appleton on clients Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian) to touch up the hairline.
Estheticians are holding their clients’ hands, figuratively, through this time. “Today I had a video call with someone who waxed her own lip and tore the skin off,” sighs L.A. facialist Candace Marino, who maintains the skin of Kourtney Kardashian, Miranda Kerr and Jackie Cruz among others. “When people are bored and experimenting and looking at DIYs on Instagram, that’s when we see trouble. You wouldn’t take medical advice from a barista, so don’t listen to skin care tips from a bored mom!” Marino is creating custom packages to send to her following and suggests that people stay away from magnifying mirrors. “Nobody sees your pores that close, and no good can come from it!”
There is plenty of time to apply masks now while you work, read or watch TV. Facialist Aida Bicaj (clients include Jennifer Connelly, the Olsen sisters and Sienna Miller) suggests Biologique Recherche’s Masque VIP O2 to brighten skin, and Masque Heritage from Future for deep cleaning, while Karen Hong of NYC’s Sia’s Beauty recommends an MBR moisturizing mask or Cellcosmet’s collagen sheets. “This is also a good time,” says Hong, “for a home glycolic peel or a retinol cream because you won’t be out in the sun much.” Yasmine Djerradine, head esthetician for dermatologist Dr. Anetta Reszko, where Kate Walsh and Helena Christensen are patients, is known for her remodeling facials with electronic muscle stimulation as well as her microneedling technique. She suggests “home devices like NuFace, which will give you a mild electronic muscle stimulation for maintenance, and something you can get online called Aquagold, which has little needles. The one I use in the office has gold needles, and I add hyaluronic [acid], growth hormones and vitamins, but this one costs less than $20, and you use it with your favorite serum.”
Beauty doctors have transitioned to video appointments, and as of March 7, insurance companies have expanded their coverage of telemedicine to accommodate the homebound. “We are doing lots of consultations this way,” says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Ava Shamban. “It is very convenient, and we can give prescriptions for things like Retin-A.” Unfortunately, injections can’t be delivered via video, so she recommends old-fashioned Frownies wrinkle patches or silicone sheets. “They stretch skin and help you remember not to animate too much, which keeps it from pleating.”
New York dermatologist Dr. Marina Peredo says upping your vitamin intake is key during this limbo. “Studies have shown that zinc makes Botox last longer,” she reports.
While a professional manicure is out of the question right now, supplements will also help nails grow and stay strong. “Taking the right vitamins is an essential way to help support skin, hair and nails,” maintains Dr. Arielle Levitan, author of The Vitamin Solution and co-founder of Vous Vitamins. “These often include vitamin D3, iron, biotin and vitamin C.”
Brows and Lashes
Brows, too, can use a boost while you are away from a stylist. Amanda Rile of L.A.’s Harbor Salon likes Revitabrow conditioner, a favorite of Olivia Wilde and Lena Dunham. “It helps strengthen your arches by nourishing them with essential nutrients like biotin, peptides, lipids and green tea extract,” she explains.”In just a handful of weeks, you’ll notice brows are healthier, more defined and fuller-looking.” And if lashes are shedding, esthetician Karina Freedman of Karina NYC Skin & Lash Clinic, whose clients have included Bette Midler and Susan Sarandon, suggests giving eyes a rest. “Use castor oil at night because it nourishes the lashes and keeps them lustrous, and in the morning apply a growth serum like Eye Envy,” she instructs. Celebrity makeup artist Carissa Ferreri suggests Babe Lash to promote growth. “I love that it has the added benefits of botanical extracts that conditions for healthy lashes,” she says.
Dentists, too, have home hacks to recommend. New York-based Marc Lowenberg, the man behind countless sparkling smiles like those belonging to Christy Turlington, Julianna Margulies, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Rock and Martha Stewart, advises a remedy during the office gap. “Since you won’t be able to get your teeth cleaned or whitened for a while, you can accomplish a brighter smile and keep your mouth healthy with an at-home mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide,” he shares. “The baking soda is not too abrasive, but it will remove surface stains, and the peroxide not only lightens the color of teeth, it delivers oxygen to the gums, which kills bacteria and reduces inflammation.”
Another top New York dentist, Lana Rozenberg, whose patients have included Scarlett Johansson and Kim Cattrall, says she has found a dental ultrasonic plaque scaler on Amazon for $32.95. “It will remove hard tartar that you can’t get off with a toothbrush, and you can follow that up with Crest White Strips,” she advises.
And in general right now, says Marino, it’s OK to worry less: “We all just have to give each other a little grace.”
A version of this story first appeared in the April 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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