Sunday, August 11, 2013

Skin Laundry

I recently reviewed a new skincare service for the website Truth in Aging which I've reprinted below.The original review can be found here.

Photo courtesy Skin Laundry
Last week TIA asked me if I would test out a new skin treatment service called Skin Laundry that recently premiered in the Los Angeles area. Here’s the best part though: Anyone who lives nearby can also make an appointment for one complimentary session (a $75 value).

So what is Skin Laundry? It’s one of the new hybridized beauty businesses where they do one thing only, quickly and for a good price, along the lines of Drybar for blowouts or Blushington for makeup application, but this is skincare on the go. You’ll get the results of a full facial in about 10 minutes.

You might be wondering how this is possible. Well, Skin Laundry, which was founded by Dr. Elson Lai, (an ophthalmologist who grew up in the LA area) and his partners, has secured itself a niche that lies between a cosmedical procedure one might receive in a dermatologist’s office and a facial performed by an esthetician. This is achieved with a quickie laser and light treatment that has no downtime.

The facials are done using a YAG laser, which Dr. Lai describes as the workhorse of the procedure, followed by a proprietary light treatment which he referred to as "the secret sauce," based on intense pulsed light (IPL). Essentially, the laser works below the surface of the skin, killing bacteria, vaporizing the gunk in your pores, blasting the melanin and stimulating collagen. Skin Laundry believes in shorter more regular treatments to optimize the skin’s health and recommends four to six treatments in a row (once or twice a week), followed by maintenance each month or whenever you would normally schedule a facial. A series of six sessions costs $430 and a pack of 12 sessions costs $860.

Skin Laundry has three locations in Southern California: Santa Monica, West Hollywood (where my appointment was) and soon-to-be-opened Newport Beach, with more possibly to come. The WeHo space is bright, clean and modern with a beachy vibe. The staff, in their Converse sneakers and T-shirt uniform, is young, casual and friendly. After being offered bottled water and filling out some health history questions on an iPad, I was invited to remove my makeup at a vanity area (you can leave your eye makeup on... great if you’ve got to return to work). Shortly thereafter, I was led to one of the four treatment areas separated by linen curtains.

The facials are all done by licensed registered nurses trained by Dr. Lai himself, though he actually performed mine. After putting on goggles and getting a test of the treatment on the back of my hand, the laser part begins. It feels somewhat annoyingly prickly, but it’s not really painful. Two passes (one if you’re the sensitive type) across the face and you’re on to the light, which is preceded with the application of a water-based conducting gel (I asked if it had any antioxidants in it and he said no, but that it was a good idea). The light just feels warm as it passes in flashes over your face. Afterward, the gel is removed, some sunscreen is applied and you’re done.

Obviously, though pleasant enough, this isn’t the full-on pampering experience of getting a standard facial, but it’s not intended to be. It’s for people who just want to get things DONE. So did it?

Well, my face, which is usually quite sallow, looked attractively vibrant and glowy. My pores did indeed look smaller. My skin looked the way I always want it to look, but without resorting to tinted moisturizer, blush and concealer. It felt nice and smooth. Furthermore, when I got home, I realized that my chin area, which is plagued with deep pore congestion and occasional cystic acne, seemed to be purging. There were all these little waxy plugs right at the surface that I swept away with a granular exfoliator (YBF Prep). Pore clearing is something that glycolics, enzymes and clay masks are barely able to do for me. Of course after just one Skin Laundry treatment, I didn’t see any improvement on brown spots, but if yours are bad, you would probably do better with a full laser treatment somewhere else.

Would I go back? Absolutely – especially if I had somewhere to go where I wanted to look really good. It’s quick, effective and less expensive than a facial. Will they be coming to other cities? I can’t see how not.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Mariska ... Is That You?

Mariska Hargitay by Lori Dorn/ Hair and Make-up by Susan Seyler
I've done Mariska Hargitay's make-up and hair about 3 times now. I always loved the photos from this shoot I did with photographer Lori Dorn. It's one of my "oldie but goodies", (pre- Law & Order: SVU), that I thought you might enjoy because it shows such a different side to her than how she's usually portrayed. She's definitely channeling her mom a bit here I think.
You can imagine how much I enjoyed making up her huge brown eyes, and in a bit of contrast to her character on the show, she was light and girly and fun. Also, unlike many actors, she never seemed to mind having photos done and was very open and collaborative to the process.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween in Reverse

Cool video courtesy of of Canadian Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy, promoting Dermablend covering make-up products. .

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Year's Worth of Make-up

Lernert & Sander: Natural Beauty on

From Dutch artists Lernert and Sander, one half pound of make-up, 365 layers, all applied in the same day (a 9 hour shoot) on model Hannelore Knuts. I really wish they would have applied mascara though. I'd love to see what that many layers of mascara would look like. Full details at:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My New Hobby

What? Is it too much? Wearing all of them I feel rather Renaissance.

So I started making jewelry. Specifically, silk knotting with semi-precious stones. I'm trying to recycle some old jewelry I never wear anymore. I've always preferred necklaces, so old earrings and the like are getting a new lease on life and I've got fun new things to wear.

This was the first piece I made. It's Jasper, Carnelian, Pyrite, sterling beads, and some pearls from a choker I got for my high school graduation that I dis-assembled (I never wore it, but it had sentimental value, and voila! Now I wear it ... or, er ... part of it) on gray silk.

For this necklace I took a sterling silver designer earring from the 90's (Lee Brevard. I bought it at Theodore. Remember them?) and strung it as the center piece with Pyrite, freshwater pearls, African Jade, Yellow Fluorite, and some gray faceted glass beads. I know, glass is not semi-precious, but they were pretty and they worked. This one's also on gray silk.

This is my very ethnic piece. The large center piece is an inexpensive costume jewelry earring made of plated brass. The two pieces flanking it are also earrings, but they're rather prized. I got them in the early 80's from a couple who was importing jewelry handmade by Afghani nomads. I bought several pieces. I think they're just glass, but I love them. The problem was that I don't wear earrings anymore. This piece is knotted with orange silk and features Peach Adventurine, Pyrite, Mother of Pearl, and Jasper.

This is a piece I made last night. The cameo is from a pair of my mother's earrings. My grandparents may have given them to her. I think they were from the late 30's to early 40's. The little gold chains to either side came from my graduation choker (see first necklace above). This one has little brass beads, Mother of Pearl, and Peach Adventurine knotted with  purple silk. I feel like all my pieces work well together and look really nice layered. Sort of gypsy chic.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Workin' (Yay!)

A few weeks ago I started working full time on a "show" for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) called My Own Time ... get it? I put the word *show* in quotes because it's only 4 minutes long and will appear as segments during the commercial breaks of another show, but it still takes about a 12 hour day to shoot two of them, so lots of hours per week.

I'm privileged to be working with Kristen Eykel again who is hosting the show and who I worked with for a couple of years in a similar set-up on Court TV called The Saturday Night Solution. So my job, if you can call it that, is to do her hair and make-up and keep her looking fab during a long shoot day, but considering she's gorgeous and modeled professionally for years, I can't say it's particularly challenging, and that's really ok with me (but getting up at 4:30 a.m. five days a week ... whoa boy!)

Anyway, because of my new gig I might not be posting as much here. We're scheduled to shoot until mid July. Here's the link to the promo video on the OWN page:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Watch This

MB999 Menswear: Arthropoda Collection - Spring/Summer 2011 from MB999 Menswear on Vimeo.

I did hair and make-up on this fashion video for the really beautifully made and designed menswear collection MB999. It was a vision from the creative mind of designer Maya Reynolds, produced by Glenn Campbell, directed by Jason Matzner and shot by both Jason and Glenn.

Here's what designer Maya had to say;"The spring/summer collection, Arthropoda, was inspired by the exoskeletons of insects. I translated the shapes as well as the concept of armor into the seaming and construction of the clothing. This video depicts the evolutionary journey of an arthropod and parallel journey of man in his navigation of life, both through creation and destruction".

The video was a real collaboration and I'm glad I was asked to be a part of it. It was a totally fun day deep in a no man's land on the outskirts of downtown.

Check out the full collection here:

Btw, the MB99 line is cut very lean and many of the pieces could be unisex if you ask me. The fabrications are rich and fabulous and I could totally see myself wearing many of them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Aria Alpert

Photo by Kelly Kagen

Aria Alpert is a talented stage actress and lovely woman (in all senses of the word) whose make-up I've done several times over the years. I always thought that she naturally had the most amazing "retro" or "period" vibe with her ivory skin, big eyes, soft natural curls and perfect bowed lips, so one day we decided to play around a bit and really go for that look. She and her friend Kelly Kagen, who took these photos, both brought along some great vintage clothing and I think the shots came out pretty cool. I did tweak them a little after the fact to even further drive home the feeling of an old photo.

Aria also writes a gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly vegan, foodie cooking blog (whew!) called Organic Snob. Do check out her healthy yet deliciously yummy recipes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm a f***ing Moviestar!

photo by Lori Dorn

A few days ago I did hair and make-up on a shoot for up-and-coming actress Susannah Hart Jones ... you can see another photo of her with a very natural make-up look here. I wanted to post this shot as well because I think it's gorgeous, plus I thought it might be interesting to see 2 very different make-up looks from the same day.

Anyway, as we were getting ready to go out and shoot this, Susannah asked, "So what look is this exactly?", and my reply was, "This is your 'I'm a f***ing moviestar' look". I do think she was sucessful in conveying that, no? Btw, it was FREEZING cold (I was dressed in a sweater and jacket and shivering) and she was wearing nothing but this little slip of a dress, her hands were blue, yet she focused, relaxed, and nailed it. That's the kind of thing that separates the "just another pretty girl" from those that have a chance of actually making it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Joely Fisher on Craig Ferguson

I did Joely Fisher's make-up for the Craig Ferguson show this past Wednesday. She was funny, sexy and a bit bawdy ... as always. That's why we love her! Oh, and Guy Romeo did her Rupunzelesque hair. Enjoy!