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What Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas Can’t Live Without

Photo: Courtesy of the subject

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas — whose first book, Glow From Within, is out next month — about the lip balm, massage gun, and eye mask she can’t live without.

When you travel a lot, you need a way of shutting down so that you can guarantee that you get enough sleep no matter what time zone you’re in. This was a complete game changer for me. There are Bluetooth speakers where your ears go, so they cancel out all the background noise of wherever you are, whether you’re on a hotel or an airplane. And obviously, you have the eye mask on. I play a nighttime meditation playlist for myself to go to sleep.

My skin is always super dehydrated, especially in winter, and this is such a nice, rich cream. The scent is really light, so it’s great for work because I feel like I smell good without it being overpowering. I always put it on after the shower and the scent lightly stays with me all day long, so I just smell kind of delicious.

I’ve been wearing it for about four years. My friend Helena Christensen created it and I’m completely obsessed with the musky smell. It’s just super sexy — I wear it every time I go out. My strongest association with it is when Helena actually gave me some that came with a necklace — it’s in a little vial on a chain. The vial of perfume sits between your boobs. She put it on me and was like, “It sits right between your cleavage, and heats up with your body heat.” Helena is so sexy and cool. It was one of those moments where you have a girlfriend and she’s teaching you how to be cooler than you are.

I have it in black, and have had it for like three years. I copied my client Julianne Moore, who always wears one in winter and looks so cute in it. I literally don’t go anywhere without it. It’s so handy for travel — especially when you’re going from one climate to another climate. It’s cashmere and it really keeps you warm without making you overly hot.

Nothing is more comfortable to me, or goes better with everything. I have a million of them in different sizes, and just feel like they’re really cool. I’ve been wearing them for years — I like something that can be a staple.

You can put on very little of this, and it still makes your lips instantly feel healed and hydrated. When I’m working a lot, I don’t have time to look in the mirror in between appointments, and lipstick fades really fast and can look sort of gnarly when it’s sort of half-on, half-off. The lip balm is sort of glossy, so it makes you feel like you look a little bit finished, in addition to just being hydrating for your lips.

I use it for a post-workout massage to get the lactic-acid buildup out of my muscles. I’ve been training at Iconoclast Fitness for the past year with the trainer Jason Lee. He murders me three days a week, and after that, I just take the gun and work everything out of my shoulders and my IT band and all of that stuff. The cool thing is that if I’m getting off a plane in Paris and have to go to work, it really works out the kinks in your muscles and shoulder and back. It’s really handy and rechargeable, so I charge it before a trip and just pull the gun out and use it.

Some years ago, makeup artist Pati Dubroff recommended that I use creamy eye shadows for my eyes because I’m not a good makeup artist and they’re easy to manipulate and blend in. I just love the shades of these — lots of copper, toasty browns, beigey shades that are really good against my red hair. I’m not a genius when it comes to eye shadows and different brushes, so when I’m traveling it’s convenient to be able to stick different colors into your makeup case that don’t take up a lot of room.

I personally love face oils — they feel really good on my skin. The scent of this serum is neroli and rose hips combined, but it was inspired by my memories of growing up in a very rural area. There were tons of honeysuckle bushes, and in the summertime we used to stand in front of the bushes and suck on the little bits of honey that you can pull out of the flowers. So the smell reminds me of being a kid and tasting the honey of a honeysuckle flower with my friends. The product itself is the only thing that makes my skin feel fully nourished and happy. I can use it in the eye area, on my neck, on my chest; it really feels good all over. It’s also great for my kids’ skin if they’ve had too much sun on a trip — I’ve used it as a scalp treatment when my son gets eczema. It’s kind of a product that I use on everybody for everything.

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What Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas Can’t Live Without