There's nothing more vulnerable than getting a facial.
I know I sound like an overindulged privileged princess here, but hear me out.
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You lay down on that heated table, wrapped snugly in a plush blanket, and get ready for some serious relaxation. But just when you start to really get into the soft, new age-y music, the esthetician shines a hospital-grade light on your face. Then, she peers through her special magnifying glass to look at your gigundo pores, extract zit-causing grime from said pores, and judge your fine lines.
And here's the real kicker: What always seems to make my own skin insecurities worse is that when I look up at my favorite facialist's face, it's perfect. Flawlessly even. Crystal clear. Just the right amount of dewy glow.
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Which is why at my last facial appointment, I decided to put my beauty editor chops to good use and asked Olga Lorencin-Northrup, founder of Kinara Spa, the secrets to her amazing skin. Sure, she's worked on the envy-worthy faces of Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendez, and Natalie Portman, but I wanted to know the skin care products she keeps stashed in her own medicine cabinet. Here they are:
NO. 1: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $146
"I think SkinCeuticals makes the best vitamin C serum -- everybody else just attempts to get close," says Lorencin-Northrup. The antioxidants in this serum work to neutralize damage from free radicals before they start attacking your healthy skin cells. And the vitamin E in this serum helps stabilize the vitamin C, while the ferulic is an antioxidant that doubles up as a sunscreen.
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NO. 2: Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Body Cream, $13.99
"It doesn't have parabens [a preservative], so when buying, be careful that the moisturizer hasn't gone bad. I always smell the lotion before I buy it and I use it up in a month," she says.
NO. 3: Kinara Intense Moisturizer with Peptides, $95
"I was oily all my life and I used to use a lightweight moisturizer, but now that I'm getting older, my skin is getting dryer."
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NO. 4: Solar Protection Formula SPF 60 Tinted Concealer, $30
"This particular product is so brilliant that I've never seen anybody break out from it." Plus, Lorencin-Northrup really loves that the color is customizable. It comes with light and dark color tints, so that as you get lighter and darker with the seasons, you can change the color accordingly.
NO. 5: Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel, $78
For your skin to be thoroughly clean, Lorencin-Northrup says the secret is to "peel, peel, peel -- especially if you have a lot of blackheads and acne. Impurities make space for themselves and do not leave on their own. They need an eviction notice." However, she concedes that not everybody can walk into a spa and get a $160 facial on a regular basis, so what's your alternative? Peel and exfoliate at home. "Hold back on scrubs and invest in a really good chemical peel," she says. She recommends Dr. Dennis Gross Skin Care Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel, $78.
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NO. 6: Cle de Peau Cream Foundation, $80
"It has really heavy coverage and is silicone-based, so I can't use it all the time. But it has a hi-def technology that reflects light, so for special events or when I know I'm going to be on camera, this is the best." For drugstore alternatives, she loves Maybelline and L'Oreal foundation as well.
NO. 7: Dior Bronze, $39
"I don't use too much blush; I primarily use bronzers. I love Dior Bronze, $39," says Lorencin-Northrup. Plus it has an SPF of 20 for UVA and UVB protection.
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