We all need a little help to look good, and now, with all the advancements in the beauty industry, it is easier-than-ever to go full-out gorgeous. Better than that, why not take advantage of the latest-and-greatest beauty treatments, to take at least 20 years off of your face? I recently visited some of New York’s best purveyors of beauty, to discover some of the treasures that would erase time. Here’s how you can quickly go glam.
This sparkling-and-gleaming boutique is where I got “bombshell” lashes that made a world of difference in my face. Aesthetician Tina applied about 540 – that’s right, 540 – lashes to each eye, and the results were dramatically different. The process only took about 75 minutes, and all I did was lie back and rest while she worked wonders on my lashes. I opted for a full lash – not an almond-shaped cat’s eye – and the results opened up my entire face. “The effect is to give you a full, fluffy, textured look,” she told me. My peepers proudly took to their new lashes, and I can’t recommend Envious Lashes enough. (Vogue magazine also endorses Envious Lashes.) I went home with a special serum to apply to my lashes daily and a special lash brush. The only thing I needed to remember was not to wet my lashes for 48 hours.
The Eyebrow Doctor, better known as Piret Aava.
I first learned of Piret when I read a recent issue of Allure magazine, as she had worked her magic on its Editor-In-Chief, Michelle Lee. Piret is a phenomenon whose handiwork has been featured in countless magazines on the planet. (On the day of my treatment, the Rachael Ray show was coming in to feature an eyebrow makeover.) Piret first applied numbing cream, then examined my over-plucked, and very blonde brows, and went to work. She outlined in brown eye pencil onto my eyebrows, so I could see beforehand the area she planned to fill in with pigment. At that point, my lashes already looked incredible. Then she filled in the two brow areas using a brown pigment. “You’ll simply feel a little scratch,” she said, as she applied her super strokes. “I start conservatively, but you can always go darker,” she told me. Piret is the go-to-brow gal who has given bold new brows to Serena Williams, Debi Mazur, and Veronica Webb, not to mention countless other celebrities. “And I use a special pigment, not a tattoo ink,” she added, although she calls her method a “semi-permanent tattoo technique.” She said, “I draw tiny hair strokes to mimic your brow hairs to achieve fuller-looking brows.” To say I was thrilled with the results is an understatement – I was wildly happy with not only how beautiful they looked – but also how natural my brow results were – and without any discomfort. Piret is an artist in every sense of the word. I only wish I had done this brow process sooner! I have supermodel brows!
I was determined to make the “Best Tressed” list, and I had heard so many great things about Frederic Fekkai’s famous hair salon that I just had to visit his SoHo location to see for myself. I was in very good hands, and my over-processed blonde strands were in serious need of a cut and some TLC. First, stylist Rita cut my hair while I was standing up. “We do the perimeter-cutting with you are standing up, as it ensures we see all of your proportions and see you as a whole,” she told me. Then, after I sat down, she cut about one inch off of the ends of my hair. “And I softened the ends to ensure a nice flow to your hair,” she told me. “The new length will flirt with your décolletage,” she said. And indeed it does. Next, colorist Kelly performed a complete hair-painting balayage on my blonde hair, as Fekkai salons do not do foil highlights. But she was able to beautifully weave in color, and touch up my roots, using a mere brush. “Everyone at Fekkai is an expert at balayage,” she told me. “I can recreate what happens with foils, but it won’t have the damage that foil gives you,” she explained. “One of the great things about balayage is that it is exact, and you can place the color exactly where you want it.” The salon also featured Frederic Fekkai’s brand new line of products, called The One, which is free of sulfates, parabens, and silicone, and is entirely vegan. The results were stunning, and I got stares as I made my way back to my hotel. “Your hair looks amazing,” my husband told me. And I agree – my blonde hair, thanks to Fekkai, is my greatest beauty accessory.
Mynd Salon on Fifth Avenue (it used to be the Red Door by Elizabeth Arden).
I thrilled to this Mynd Salon serene spa, in a very convenient midtown location. My Polish aesthetician, Iwona, was utterly charming (and since my maiden name is Karpowicz, we two Poles bonded very well). Right from the start, it was a delightful process. I was served a stellar cappuccino, and Iwona placed a heated wrap around my neck, which was infused with the most delightful fragrances of cinnamon and cloves. She trimmed my nails (making them easier to type on a keyboard), and then gave me, toes down, one of the best pedicures of my life. The salon also offers a wealth of other beauty treatments, and even at the sleepy time of 8 AM, there were plenty of women and men there to take advantage of the services. Make sure to save time for the Relaxation Area, where you can lie down, cover yourself with a blanket, and get a few extra ZZZZs. I loved the experience.
The medical office of board-certified plastic surgeon David Shafer.
Dr. Shafer is a plastic surgeon to the stars and celebrities (not to mention dozens of TV personalities), and he even has a “back door” entrance that these folks use to ensure their privacy. Dr. Shafer did his plastic surgery training at the Mayo Clinic, and advanced training at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital – a prestigious fellowship for top plastic surgeons. He is also a top injector for Allergan, and he teaches patient safety and is a master trainer on behalf of Allergan, all over the world. With such bona fides, I knew that my face would, quite literally, be in excellent hands. His warm-and-welcoming personality also made the experience all the better.
After a professional consultation, Dr. Shafer administered Botox to my crow’s feet around my eyes, and the lines on my forehead. Voila! In an instant, I was on my away to be wrinkle-free. (BOTOX® Cosmetic is the world’s Number-one-selling treatment of its kind and the only FDA-approved treatment to temporarily improve moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet, and frown lines between the brows in adults. According to recent research, forehead lines, crow’s feet, and glabellar lines are among the top facial areas patients prioritize for treatment.) Then he injected Juvederm Vollure XC into my nasolabial folds (smile lines), and also to my small marionette lines by my chin. “Vollure is one of my favorite products,” he told me. The “XC” means there is numbing medication mixed into the filler so it makes it much more comfortable for the patients. Then he added some Juvederm Voluma XC to my cheeks, to lift up my cheekbones. “In 3-5 days, after the Botox takes hold, you will look amazing,” he told me. It was a totally delightful experience – and scores of happy patients agree. Dr. Shafer’s practice is so busy; he is opening a brand new office in 2020, which will house his surgical center (he also performs facelifts, great implants, and liposuction), an injection center, a medical spa, and a training center. “I’ll have three floors all devoted to wellness, even including hormone replacement. It will be a one-stop-shop.” Scores of patients come from all over the world – from far-flung locations including California, Florida, The Maldives, and Saudi Arabia; many of them stay right across the street at the Omni Hotel or the New York Palace. Dr. Shafer does all he can to make his patients comfortable – he even administers Pronox nitrous oxide at times “for really scared patients,” who undergo injections. He also makes house calls. Who could ask for more? Well, maybe chocolate on the gurney pillow – but I’ll leave it at that. https://www.shaferplasticsurgery.com/
All in all, as I sit writing this, I look like I’m in my Forties (not my Sixties), and I am over-the-moon in amazement for my updated new look. As Norma Desmond said so famously, “I’m ready for my close-up,” and I feel the “girl-power” in knowing I can truly stop the ravages of time and easily enhance my looks. All it takes is a visit to New York, and it’s as easy as (Big Apple) pie.