How To Give Yourself A Spa-Worthy DIY Facial

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
I can faithfully say I only expected to fall in love in one way while lying flat on my back. But, then I was invited to a bed so coveted and chic, a bed that has housed countless A-list derrières, with sheets full of red carpet secrets, that I couldn't help myself: I had fallen again. This time, for a woman. (Can you read this, Dad? Are you happy now?)

I was experiencing the Triple Crown Facial, a legendary red carpet treatment by the equally legendary Joanna Vargas. Joanna, if you haven't seen her name a dozen times before on Refinery29, is something of a star aesthetician. She had, graciously, invited me to experience her signature facial, which costs about $400 for an hour. In the middle of the service, she had me hold up a mirror above my face, as a delightful little suction wand pulled at my visage, "promoting lymphatic drainage." She had just finished the left side, where I could suddenly see a more pronounced jawline, a more contoured cheek, and a slightly lifted eye area. I was, essentially, half Kim Kardashian post-makeup application, half myself (a.k.a. bloated from Chinese food the night before).

I have rarely gone more than a few months without Joanna's magic hands and wisdom. But, I've also had to enlist her help (via text) in the case of emergency pimples, reviving a sallow face for a first date, and even a dreaded bout of psoriasis. So, we decided to invite her to good ol' R29 HQ to work her ultimate magic on a lucky model — and give us some tips on how to use her methods to get glowing on our own, at home. Prepare your Sunday accordingly: This treatment is...involved. Plan a half hour with your bestie, your S.O., or just your good ol' self, and get ready to reveal fresher, brighter skin.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Take The Day Off
"I love an edited routine," Vargas says. "A cleansing balm is a great way to thoroughly remove makeup and cleanse the skin in just one step. Balms are also ideal for winter because they're less harsh on the skin." Simply apply a dime-sized amount of balm all over dry skin, and then massage it over the face and eyes to release the makeup. Then, use a warm, wet muslin cloth to wipe it all away.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Start Scrubbing
"Scrubs feel so incredible, and they're really effective in cleaning the pores out instantly," Vargas says. "They also prep the skin by allowing all the products of the facial to penetrate the skin better."

She chose an exfoliating powder, because the granules are on the softer side. "You don't need to scrub your skin raw for a deep clean — spending a few minutes with something gentler will make your skin glow." Simply pour a nickel-sized amount of powder into your hands, and then add water so it turns into a gritty lather. Work it into skin before rinsing off.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Get Multi-Masking
"I love mixing masks together for an added effect," Vargas says. This is especially key when it feels like different parts of your face require different kinds of lovin' (like, your oily T-zone needs a totally different treatment than, say, your super-red chin). Here's what Vargas prescribed for our model.

"The chin and jawline tend to get inflamed easily," she says. "I always see women with hormonal breakouts that need calming, so this blue mask is ideal for it will flatten breakouts."

She continues: "I chose an açai mask for the cheekbones and crow's feet — this skin tends to be thinner for most women, and even younger clients see the aging process in that area."

For the T-zone, Vargas chose clay. "It's a great way of pulling impurities from the pores. This Chantecaille mask is great here, because everyone has larger pores in that area that tend to get clogged easily."
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Don't Forget...
"Eye and lip masks are so neglected, but these areas need so much care," Vargas says. The lips, of course, can become chapped and cracked. But, the eyes also have very thin, delicate skin, and are typically the first to show aging. "Eye and lip treatments will make you look instantly rejuvenated," she says.

On the eyes, Vargas applied Klorane's soothing patches, which contain cornflower and arnica. For the mouth, she used a lip mask with organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, and plenty of the antioxidant trans-resveratrol.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Lighten Up
"Red and infrared lights are great for helping with inflammation and regenerating collagen, while blue light is antibacterial," Vargas explains. "They are absolutely essential for all skin types — I use them on everyone who comes to my salon. I even take a handheld device with me when I do awards-season prep for celebrities in Los Angeles."

There are many handheld devices on the market, and Vargas insists on their merit: "If you still have raised breakouts, the red light will flatten them almost immediately so you can cover them with makeup," she says.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Just Keep Misting
"Toning gives an added hydration or calming boost to the skin," Vargas says. "I love the formulas from Eminence Organics because they're super-light, so you don't risk breakouts. I recommend them to all my celebrity clients before air travel, because you can spritz them mid-flight for extra moisture."
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Oil Up!
After all of this fancy stuff, the last step is the simplest: Moisturize. "Basically, after a facial, you should treat your face like it's baby needs TLC after exfoliating," says Vargas. She concocted her Rejuvenating Serum for this very purpose: "It has five different oils, and it's rich in omega-3. That means it helps hold water in your skin."

Apply one pump (not the copious amounts we poured on our model here), and let it sink into the skin. If you're oily, start by warming the oil between your hands, press your palms against your neck, and then move to your cheeks and forehead, avoiding the T-zone altogether when you're massaging it in. Enjoy your fresh face!
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