There is one facialist in all of New York whom I know by name. She is Aida Bicaj and for a while, I didn't even think she was real—sort of like Sally Hansen, or Chiquita Banana. More concept than woman. Real she is (I can confirm; I sat with her for an hour in the lobby of her Upper East Side salon for this interview), and influential, too. She's the reason everyone's at least considered Biologique Recherche P50, if not completely converted to its skin-rehabbing powers. Also, just a small thing: She regularly touches Jenna Lyons' face.
Someone with that kind of power clearly has wisdom to spread. So I sat her down and asked: What do you know about our collective skin that us plebes do not know? A lot, it turns out. Here are her Top Five of sorts. Simple, but face-and-body-changing. Read on...
[Side note: Her absolute, #1 live-by-it tip is actually to use P50, which is part toner, part chemical exfoliant that treats your skin after you wash it but before you put on the rest of your serums or lotions. But you knew that already, so go forth with that in mind.]
Not all serums are the same, so they should not be used the same. “You have the water-based serums and the oil-based serums. Water-based serums go under the cream and they are so important. They nourish the inner layer of the skin because the molecule is very small so it penetrates—because of the P50, of course. The oil-based serums go on top of the moisturizer because they have a bigger molecule. They're supposed to keep the cream and whatever you put underneath moist during the entire day. There are so many products out there and everybody claims that it’s the best, so consumers are confused as to what works for them.”
Don't use eye cream at night! “Only use it during the day. Because that skin is thinner, the water retention is more noticeable there—so when you apply eye cream at night and then go to sleep, you wake up puffy. In the morning, use very little from the temple and then you push it in towards the eye. “
You can do your own lymphatic drainage massage : “It’s very consuming to do, but people don’t want to pay $400 on a body treatment. They don’t care so much about skin on your body. But if you have cellulite, you can't just treat the cellulite—you have to treat the muscles and the aging skin. If you start at 25, you won’t have to deal with this at 40. I do it every day with a silicone glove that Biologique makes. You massage your products in with the glove—there's P50 for body, but you can also use their Creme MSR-H Corps—pushing everything up towards the heart. This makes the product penetrate deeper. When your skin gets red, you stop. I mix body lotion and body oil together because I want to have a glow. I apply it section by section and then use the glove upwards, never down.”
Cheese with caution : “Usually younger people have a problem with oiliness and often it is what you eat. I see a lot of dairy products consumed by people and I know right away that oiliness, zits underneath the skin, patches, and redness are from dairy.”
Skincare is like working out (but better, because it's not working out) : “You don’t need to do anything to clean damage on the skin if you are always working on it. If you workout daily and you eat well, you are not going to have problems—and it is the same with skin. It takes five minutes! When people say, ‘I don’t have time,’ how is that possible? If you have time to brush your teeth, you have time to put on five minutes worth of products. People don’t think of the skin as the most important thing that exists in your body—it is. If you have good skin and good hair, you can put anything on and look like a million dollars.”
Photo via ITG.
_Time for a facial. Tips on at-home skincare from the woman who handles Mila Kunis and Condoleezza Rice can be found here.