I’ve written several skincare articles over the past few months (Allure, Self, MSN among others) and there’s one esthetician who is always on the editor’s recommended source list: Joanna Vargas, New York City based spa owner and skincare guru to celebrity moms like Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Julianne Moore. Joanna has been a true pioneer in using all natural ingredients in skincare to produce amazing glowing results. She launched her downtown spa eight years ago, then soon after introduced an eponymous skincare line. Today, she’s recognized as one of the country’s leading skincare experts, for celebrities and real women alike. And, yes—she’s a supermom. Her son Odin is eight years old and her daughter Ruby is just 17 months old. How does she manage diapers, lunch boxes and a demanding schedule? Here’s how.
PI: Since you’re such an amazing skincare expert, my first question has to be, how can you look well rested and radiant after you’ve had one of those sleepless nights?
Joanna: If I wake up with really tired eyes, which happens quite a bit right now because my daughter is teething, I make a cup of chamomile tea using two teabags, then I place the teabags on the saucer and let them cool until they are comfortable enough to rest on my eyes for five or ten minutes. This really de-puffs under-eye bags and takes the redness out of my eyes so it’s not quite so obvious that I haven’t slept.
PI: Do teabags work better than eye cream or cooling eye gels?
Joanna: I think so. If somebody prefers a more cooling eye treatment, make some cucumber slices. Peel the cucumber first so the slices will mold nicely to your eyes and stay put. They are also very de-puffing.
PI: Do you ever bother to eat breakfast?
Joanna: It’s absolutely an essential for me. I don’t have a lot of time because I’m making breakfast for my children and busy doing the lunch box, so I’m running around in the kitchen. But what I do for myself is I toss a Dr. Frank Lipman Recharge shake ($119 for 28 servings), which has organic greens and whey protein from grass fed cows, into a plastic shaker and add almond milk. It’s an amazing breakfast because I don’t feel hungry and all those greens oxygenate your skin, which gives you a healthy glow and hydrates you from the inside. I preach a lot of green vegetables in one’s diet in order to have beautiful, vibrant skin!
PI: What are your skincare and makeup must-haves?
Joanna: My JVC Vitamin C Face Wash ($65) because it also gently exfoliates the skin. It’s great for reducing dark spots and it gets your skin really nice and clean, making the perfect clean canvas for your makeup. I also use my JVC Daily Serum ($85), which I call a green juice for the skin. It has chlorophyll and oat grass juice in it, so it oxygenates your skin. As far as makeup, I can’t live without Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Tinted Balm ($48). You can go lighter or heavier with it, depending on the amount of coverage you want, I really love that. Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil ($24) is organic, has a very saturated color and contains the super antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in red wine. It’s therapeutic, and they have great colors. I also can’t live without Eminence Organics Sun Defense Minerals ($58), which is a translucent powder that has SPF 30 and is really great for when you’re just going to the office. You need to use sun protection every day and this easily goes on over your makeup.
PI: What are some fashion trends that you’re liking this winter?
Joanna: I gravitate towards a uniform because being a busy mom, I think it’s key to have your go-to looks that you love. I need it to be easy. When I’m getting ready in the morning, I’m interrupted by my kids 60,000 times, and I’m always in a rush, I’m always late, and I don’t want my son to be late for school. I love the leather leggings look that’s has going on. You can dress it up or dress it down, depending on what you’re doing, and it just always seems appropriate. Pamela Love is a great jewelry designer and she’s also one of my clients. She’s my go-to for accessories! She has a great Mini Arrowhead Pendant ($185) necklace in rose gold that’s edgy, but also sort of classic. It goes with everything—I haven’t taken it off since I bought it. The most comfortable heels that I own are either Prada or Fendi. The Fendista Platform Pump ($730) comes in lots of different colors.
PI: What treatments do your celebrity mom clients come to you for?
Joanna: Even though they are celebrities, they’re into natural beauty from the inside and outside. That’s what they’re looking for when they come to see me, because I don’t use invasive treatments. My Triple Crown Facial uses microcurrent to de-puff, tone and tighten the skin. I’m also very well known for using LED Light in my treatments. I actually engineered an LED light bed for the entire body, which I have a patent for. My clients like to use it because it’s collagen-building for all over. I also do a Power Peel, which is a blueberry detox peel combined with LED light and a diamond peel, so it really flushes toxins out of the tissue, builds collagen and corrects surface damage. Then I finish with oxygen, which is amazing because it makes your body produce more collagen, so it is very healing.
PI: In general, how often do your celebrities come to you for a treatment?
Joanna: Most come once a month. I think that’s a normal amount to get facials and have a professional deal with your skin tissue.
PI: Great. Anything else you want to share about being a crazy, busy mom?
Joanna: I think crazy, busy moms like myself are all insanely organized. My schedule is so insane and packed, but at the same time, I’m very regimented. Crazy, busy moms…we’re just very capable individuals, who are responsible for making everything work!