Just days after the fog of New Year's Eve, the best and brightest of Hollywood are headed to the first red-carpet affair of the season. Has the proverbial glow ever seemed so elusive? Facialist Joanna Czech, recently named Dior's skin-care ambassador, lays out her prescription for a photo-ready turnaround for the Golden Globes.
Right now as I type, Joanna Czech is on the far side of the continent, tapping out a flurry of her own. The Dallas-based facialist is stationed in Los Angeles, not with a keyboard at her fingertips but rather a retinue of familiar faces: Kim Kardashian West, eager to look her Sunday Service best; Jennifer Aniston, a Golden Globe nominee for her performance in The Morning Show; Rooney Mara, a fair-skinned match for her Jokerfiancé. They, along with two dozen others, are getting Czeched this week, as the facialist likes to call her revitalizing efforts—a treatment that typically includes microcurrent zaps, LED light bathing, and a whirring facial massage that will send you straight to heaven. Frederic Chopin, another Polish virtuoso, might have sensed a kinship.
I have been Czeched. Afterwards I floated out of her Manhattan outpost seemingly an inch or two off the ground. But the lingering fog of holiday travel and fizzy revelry makes the arrival of Sunday's Golden Globes seems unseasonably early. Glow—what glow? "This is the craziest," Czech confirms in her accented clip, referring to the sprint to the red carpet. She, for one, hopes that the attendees have been on their best behavior. "As much as I believe strongly in skin care, without proper diet and lifestyle, I could do a headstand during the facial and I would help very, very little!" she says with sly modesty.
But leave it to Czech, recently named Dior's skin-care ambassador, to know just what the fallible among us might need. Here is her no-nonsense guide to a red-carpet reboot.
Slurp to Your Health
Whatever the vice—Champagne or sweets or perfect retro cheeseburgers at your hometown burger joint—the past few weeks served it up. If an event looms, Czech first suggests a food-as-medicine approach. "I would say go straight away for three days on an anti-inflammatory program. Vegetable soups, basically, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner," she suggests. (Consider avoiding lectins, she adds, referring to the inflammation-triggering proteins found in such foods as wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, and squashes; that said, some think slow-cooking is enough to render the proteins inactive.) In lieu of alcohol, "keep drinking tons of water with exaggeration," she says. As the "puffy eyes and puffy waists" return to normal, the skin tone should even out as well.
Unwind the Body
Now is not the time to hop back into a hot yoga class or go for a midday run. "That's going to create dehydration and may actually show more hyper-pigmentation," Czech says, blaming the heat. "I would rather suggest brisk walks—really elevating the heart rate, getting a little sweaty—but not necessarily in higher temperatures." Agreeable enough, even for the March sisters of Little Women. A thorough kneading helps get the bodily fluids circulating, including oxygen-ferrying hemoglobin. That, of course, includes facial massage, says Czech: "It automatically creates brightness and also helps the skin absorb everything that we are going to be applying." If your own magic fingers pale to Czech's, there's a tool for that: her facial massage implement (currently sold out, but patience is a virtue).
Prime the Canvas
If glow is the operative word for red-carpet season, exfoliation is the essential step—sloughing off dull layers to get that flashbulb bounce. Pre-event, a gentle approach is key, particularly if skin is still recovering from airplane travel and merrymaking. Czech recommends Protective Nourishment’s Pumpkin Peel, with natural enzymes and 5% glycolic acid, to clients for an easy-going weekly refresh. Exfoliating pads with alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids (such as Dr. Dennis Gross’s classic Alpha Beta peel, in travel-friendly sachets) are another standby, refining texture while clearing excess sebum. And if you already use Biologique Recherche’s cult-favorite toner, P50, "that's exfoliation on a daily basis.” Just remember Czech’s line about the face starting “from the nipples up.” Skin destined for the limelight, wherever it may be, warrants the royal treatment.
Feed the Skin
Nearly all of the facialist's favorite products are hiding in plain sight (in the [shopping section])https://www.joannaczech.com/pages/the-shop) of her website). There you'll find Biologique Recherche's Crème Masque Vernix (designed to mimic the lipid-rich protective layer of a newborn's skin), which she recommends with a few drops of Vintner's Daughter face oil in a meet-cute of buzzy skin care. But her latest obsession is from Dior. "Nobody is hearing me now. I'm by myself on a terrace!" she jokes, acknowledging her alliance with the brand. She has spent the last three months testing the new Super Potent Serum, along with the ceramide-rich cream; part of the Capture Totale range, they're designed to re-energize cells, with a floral complex propelled by a targeted delivery system. "Your skin feels like it's in a cloud—I personally have never experienced anything like that," says Czech, who likens the science-driven approach to her own high-tech facial tools.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
This is the no-brainer. Concealer works only so well under sleepy eyes. "Emily Weiss introduced me to those weighted blankets, and I've lately been sleeping under a fifteen-pounder," says Czech, who finds it helpful for drifting back after a middle-of-the-night stir. A heavy grain-filled eye pillow—also from Poland—quiets restless eyes; a crisp room temperature improves sleep and is good for the skin, she adds. Come morning, the only pick-me-up needed might be a hydrating sheet mask. Her favorites are by 111 Skin, Cle de Peau, and Exquisite, which makes a combined version for the neck and decollete—"those fragile areas with a reduced amount of sebaceous glands," she says. As for the rest? The makeup artist heading up to the hotel suite will take care of it.