×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Meet Celebrity Facialist Joanna Vargas, Who Has ‘About 30’ Starry Clients for Oscars

Just in time for the Oscars, New York-based celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas — whose clients include Sofia Coppola, Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore — has opened a chic salon in the Sunset Tower Hotel.

“It was my home away from home for years,” says Vargas, who spends the last week of each month in Los Angeles tending to her West Coast clients, of the iconic L.A. landmark. “I would do awards seasons there, and I always dreamt about being there permanently.

Vargas opened her first L.A. outpost, an unlisted address in West Hollywood, in 2016. The ultra-secretive salon proved so popular, she soon outgrew the space. “The demand was just too great,” Vargas says of the “smaller, more intimate” location. “Having a bit of a wait list is one thing; it’s less chic when you can’t even fit regulars in.”

Vargas readied Greta Gerwig, Elisabeth Moss, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dakota Johnson, Emma Roberts, Mandy Moore, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing and Ever Carradine for the Golden Globes. Vargas is working with “about 30” clients for the Oscars.

“We start with nominees long before the big day, planning out what services we want to accomplish by what date,” says Vargas, who says her most popular facial by far this season is the new Supernova introduced before the Globes. “When a star explodes, the event increases luminosity by as much as 20 magnitudes,” says Vargas of the inspiration for the treatment, which includes an aqua peel, microcurrent, medical-grade collagen mask and cryotherapy. “It’s become the treatment to get this awards season. Resurfacing, cell turnover, deep hydration, increased metabolism of the skin cells and oxygenation are all a part of what makes it magic.”

Another popular pre-Oscars prep is the Rub, a full-body microdermabrasion. “Bright glowing skin on the red carpet is a must,” says Vargas, who arrives in L.A. about eight days before the big event. “I have a team in place in Los Angeles who are incredible — four aestheticians and one master massage therapist. They help with the treatments and yes, I work from quite early in the mornings till very late. Usually people will book four facials total, once a week for two weeks and then two the week of.”

Since many of her clients are based in N.Y., and already see Vargas, founder of the eponymous salons and skincare collection, monthly, they have a head start.

“However, once we get an idea of things when the first nominations come out, we see some people weekly, if possible,” says Vargas, who likes to work right up to the penultimate hour. “I like to see everyone either the day of or the day before, but it really depends on the clients’ schedules. It’s important for me not to add stress to the equation. So many moving parts are involved in getting ready, including a busy event schedule leading up to the Oscars.”

For those who can’t make it in on March 4, Vargas recommends sleeping in her exfoliating mask the night before. “It evens out pigment, takes down inflammation and, after a night’s sleep in it, you wake up fresh faced like you’ve just had a facial.”

Since the Oscars mark the culmination of months-long succession of red carpets, does faking fresh skin present a challenge? “Yes! My clients are super dehydrated from travel and certainly stressed from all the running around. However, if they’ve been in my care already, it’s pretty easy to get the skin feeling happy again.”

More Film

  • Midnight Traveler review

    Film Review: 'Midnight Traveler'

    Refugees rarely get to tell their own stories, which means their stories get told for them — often inaccurately and with undue hostility. Lack of resources is one issue, but a lack of stability is another: Asylum-seekers are in a frightening state of limbo, fleeing the imminent dangers of their native countries only to suffer [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content