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Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas on Epsom Salts, Vampire Facials

 Photos: Courtesy of Joanna Vargas
Photos: Courtesy of Joanna Vargas

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Joanna Vargas is a celebrity facialist with dewy-faced clients including Kiera Knightly, Emma Stone, and Julianne Moore. Tomorrow, the skincare pro will make an appearance at Space NK Apothecary at Bloomingdale's. Vargas typically charges $500 for a facial, but tomorrow she'll offer them for free, by appointment only, from 10:30am until 5:30pm. (Call 312-440-4479 to book your spot.)

As she preps her skin for Chicago climates, we caught up with Vargas to glean some quick beauty tips. Here's what she had to say on easy skincare tricks, great drugstore products, and the best way to take a bath. [Ed's Note: the PA is over as of March 29, but there are still skincare tips in here to take you through the changing seasons.]

Of all the crazy facial trends out there—snail facials, snake venom facials, et cetera—are there any that you actually recommend?
I tend to be more of a technology junkie than a weird facial treatment person. To me, technology-oriented [services] like micro-current and LED have science on their side. I'm not sold on the vampire facials.

What is the easiest, anyone-can-do-it trick for taking care of your skin?
Exfoliation is our secret weapon for great skin! Always twice a week in spring and summer. It will make you look like you just had a facial!

Do you have any drugstore products that you recommend?
Jergens self-tanning body cream is great for spring/summer. I love Aveeno products for people with skin sensitivity. Epsom salt is a great relaxing bath that's great for your lymphatic system.

What products are always in your makeup bag?
My own Rejuvenating Serum for hydration and anti-aging. Marula body oil- love the scent! By Terry makes a gold shimmery face serum that I love as a tinted moisturizer for day, and I carry around five or six Bite Beauty Lip Crayons and their lip primer goes with me everywhere.

How often do you recommend getting facials?
I like for people to get facials on a monthly basis. It is really important for people to get a professional exfoliation on a regular basis and I think it's always good to work hand in hand with an esthetician who knows your skin and can make recommendations to you season to season.

Does that frequency change, based on climate? For example, should Chicago residents get facials more often than folks in Los Angeles?
I don't think that I would change the fact that once a month is a standard optimal skincare routine. What does change from climate to climate is what we would do to treat the skin- the long cold months in Chicago would focus more on hydration and less on peels. I always treat the skin first by the season, then by skin condition.

How do know if a facialist is very skilled at his or her job? What makes a great facial?
I always tell my clients that you know your skin the best. If a facialist is telling you things out of left field about your skin or if something just doesn't feel right, chances are it isn't right for you. For me a great facialist puts me at ease and is as good of a listener as a talker. You should feel that she is thinking with the information you are giving her and using it to provide you the best service. That's what is going to make you feel relaxed and come out looking beautiful.

If you could invent any skincare wonder product, what would it do?
I would probably want to have a body cream that both addressed cellulite in an effective way but also stopped the loss of elasticity on the body.
· Joanna Vargas [Official Site]
· Space.NK Apothecary [Official Site]


900 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL