I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Jesus, what have I become? “Sorry, Ma, I was getting a facial. Welcome to NYC, see ya around.”
Also, Hannah is the Editor At Large, not a contributor. She’s an encyclopedia of beauty knowledge. I’ve sat next to her during desk-side meetings with makeup brand reps where she schools them on their products. Like, “No that shade was discontinued in 2009,” and, as a cold chill fills the room, “The formula obviously changed along with the packaging. I have to order the original on EBay. You should really look into that.” It’s amazing.
She’s also take-no-prisoners when it comes to relationship advice. As I finished spilling the last of my guts about my dudebro issues over guacamole and $14 fish tacos, she stared at me blankly, then took a sip from her glass of sangria while slightly shrugging her right shoulder and said, “I’ll never date another musician. I’m much happier being single anyway,” right before giving a sultry side-eye to our waiter, who happens to be a dead-ringer for Fabrizio Moretti.
Of course it was Hannah who took pity on me after getting extractions from hell last month, which left me with volcanic eruptions all over what is supposed to be the face of a beauty editor. Which just made me question everything and wanna move back to Texas where my hair and skin like the water. And also keep living my old life, which was way easier and didn’t involve, like, changes. Or thinking, really. I digress--but what else is new?
She invited me along to get professional extractions at Mario Badescu. (Duhhh, where did you think we went?) At least, that’s how Irina inadvertently described them after I told her about getting pricked with a lancet at the last place. “No, no, no. That is… unprofessional,” she sighed, while crushing my nose a full 90 degrees sideways with what felt like her entire body weight, “Extractions should be gentle.”
Look, getting extractions will never be a comfortable experience. I was actually against the idea for the longest time, and especially after the minimal invasiveness of my first go-round. But after Irina got ahold of my mug, I get it.
Your pores--especially, I feel, on your nose--just won’t get cleared any other way. I’m jealous of the chicks that can clear their blackheads with at-home pore strips, but I’m convinced that they only exist in Commercialville USA, and they’re brunettes with names like “Vanessa” and “Chelsea.”
If you’ve never had it done, here’s what to expect: You’ll be cleansed and toned, and left to cook under a facial steamer for around 10 minutes while your pores open up and your skin softens. Then, the esthetician will get to work squeezing out (hopefully not using anything other than her fingers covered with facial tissue) any junk in your pores. In English: they’re popping your zits for you.
And, as I’m sure you’ve figured out from at-home trial and error, the nose is the worst part. Just be cool and breathe through your mouth while your nostrils are smushed shut to allow for the squeezage of the sides, like NBD. You’re a pro! A beauty editor! Act like it.
You’ll then have a calming mask slathered on, maybe followed by a few other treatments and masks.
At “Mairee-oh,” as Hannah calls it, they have this SICK vitamin C facial that has an am-ah-zing cooling sensation before drying to a thick jelly that Irina gets to have all the fun peeling off. I’m entirely stupid as to what it does for your skin, but it obviously rules.
Everything about Mario rules. Even just getting there feels like you’re one of the Upper East Side locals (who just forgot to wear your Chanel flats--you must have…uhh… accidentally stepped into your maid’s thrift store clogs--so weird!) because, as the one of the dopest PR gangsters forever and ever, Nicole, explained, “This is a neighborhood spot.”
But, I mean, leave it up to the Upper East Side of NYC to have their quaint neighborhood spa become a world-renowned skincare destination. For real, chicks from all over come here just to get their freaking zits popped.
You’re always warned that you’ll be a bit red after your treatment, but I didn’t think I looked too haggard.
I did break out a little over the next day or so, but used the products that Nicole recommended to keep everything in balance: the Drying Lotion for the three whiteheads that surfaced after the extractions, and the Seaweed Cleansing Soap and Cucumber Cleansing Lotion morning and night for getting clean or whatever. They’re both extremely gentle for my sensitive skin (which I never knew was “sensitive” before being deemed so by Irina, who pointed out that I get very red after extractions; I’ve begun see the world a little differently now).
Then I use the Drying Cream on my nose and as a spot treatment on any below-the-surface-type activity. Its name is a little misleading--it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. Just keeps the oil production in check and helps prevent breakouts. Boss.
The Hyaluronic Eye Cream has kind of a strange consistency--almost sticky, mucus-y even. But it really hydrates and doesn’t sting like about 50% of the anti-aging eye creams that I’ve tried lately. For real, this certain drugstore eye cream left me with a raised rash on my cheekbones. MY CHEEKBONES: second only to my eyebrows as my most prized facial feature. They’re not even that great, but especially not that great with hives.
I’d been using the Collagen Moisturizer for a while; it was the only Mario one available at the store I stopped into in Texas with SPF. Then I moved to the Oil Free, and finally scored the Oil Free with SPF 30 from Nicole. And the congregation rejoiced!
It’s been less than a week and I’m confidently walking around makeup-free. I mean, I always confidently walk around without makeup anyways, even with some mean patches of activity, but that’s because I’m a self-absorbed brat who thinks that anything I do is awesome. So like, when I have zits, they’re totally in. Only the baddest of bitches walks around NGAF about what her face looks like.
Because IG a little of AF, for purposes of being photographed at least, I finish my perfect-beauty-editor skin with some oil-absorbing Silver Powder on my nose and the middle of my forehead to control moisturizer-induced shine.
Tell me how pretty I look!! Jk, I DGAF... wait jk, you can tell me.