Although she is envied by millions, we should actually pity the poor red carpet–hoofing celebrity whose flashbulb-assaulted face will be torn apart by the petty darts of gossip bloggers who will dissect every wrinkle, freckle and jowl.
To stave off this oftentimes vicious media onslaught, film stars pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to have their faces shined, buffed and waxed in the weeks before the Oscars so that they are ready for their public close-up. And Los Angeles plastic surgeons, dermatologists and aestheticians are all too happy to cash in, with treatments that may or may not be worth the cost and results that are often temporary.
For example, Gina Mari in Beverly Hills is offering skin-insecure celebrities a pre-Oscars beauty treatment called the Statuette: “her most advanced multilayer treatment designed for award-season skin perfection.” For a mere $900, a team of aestheticians gets to work simultaneously (“It’s like NASCAR,” Mari says), performing dry and wet microdermabrasion on the face, neck, hands, forearms and calves, and deep-pore cleansing, active vitamin infusion oxygen therapy and “oxygen glow serum” to the face.
The 90-minute session also includes treatment with an electro-microcurrent device that temporarily tightens and lifts skin, such as around the eyes and along the jawline (the effects last about three days). The final part of the treatment involves lying for 30 minutes under red LED face and body lights to stimulate collagen growth and minimize fine lines by making skin plumper and firmer.
Mari demurs about exactly who and how many famous people she will be treating pre-Oscars but says it will be “many, including behind-the-scenes people like directors and producers who will be walking the red carpet.” She says for ideal effects, the treatment should be done two days before the show, which is Feb. 22.
The Ko’an Center for Integrated Aesthetic Medicine in Santa Monica goes one step further in pre–red carpet treatments. Two board-certified plastic surgeons staff the center but some treatments are nonsurgical. They include I-Lipo, which uses low-level lasers that purportedly signal fat cells to break down their contents, slimming problem areas. It’s $300 per area, and results are not permanent unless you are “prepared to commit to a lifestyle change.” (I-Lipo is listed on the menu under “Fat Loss and Body Styling.”) That can add up quickly for a temporary fix. Or you could spend 40 bucks on Spanx.
The center also recommends the Signature Treatment Facial ($350), which includes a form of microdermabrasion using a wand topped with diamond microtips to buff away dead skin, “allowing a fresher and brighter complexion to appear," and the Regenlite laser ($900), “designed to repair and reverse signs of aging without damaging the skin,” before the Oscars.
Facialist Sonya Dakar in Beverly Hills, whose clients have included Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bar Rafaeli and Sandra Oh, puts some celebrities through a six-week pre-Oscars detox program she calls the Beauty BootCamp. It involves dietary and lifestyle changes (no dairy, sugar, white flour or gluten), vitamins and probiotics, and treatments, lots of treatments. Thousands of dollars' worth. “I am the trainer for your skin, and it can be tough love at times,” says the Tel Aviv native, who says celebs must come into her clinic once a week for six weeks before tripping down the red carpet.
One of those treatments involves synthetic viper venom to tighten the face without Botox. The Snake Venom Age Control Facial uses “nanosphere technology” and “SYN-AKE®, a synthetic ingredient that mimics the effects of temple viper snake venom, for a temporary relaxed appearance.” The snake-bitten look will set you back just $450.
Other pre–red carpet treatments include Dakar’s Signature Fitness Facial ($250), Apple Stem Cell Facial ($450), Total Lift ($500), LED Red Light Therapy ($800) and Oxygen Treatment ($500).
What price beauty? A lot.
But what if somehow you managed to score a plus-one to the Oscars but can’t afford to have apple stem cells infused into your cheeks? First of all, don’t worry — no one will be looking at you. But just in case you’re terrified a camera might catch a stray shot of your forehead, aesthetician Mari recommends the following (you can try this at home on your couch, too): “Keep hydrated inside and outside to support that healthy glow and exfoliate well the night before, followed by an active vitamin C serum. This will help keep the skin’s texture flawless and smooth.”
Or you could, you know, maybe do a pumpkin mask and some Oil of Olay.
Gina Mari, 9350 Wilshire Blvd., #204, Beverly Hills. (310) 276-7601, ginamari.com
Ko’an Center for Integrated Aesthetic Medicine, 1301 20th St., Suite 150A, Santa Monica. (310) 315-3022, koancenter.com.
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Sonya Dakar, 9975 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. (888) 64-SONYA, sonyadakarskinclinic.com.
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