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I Experienced L.A.’s Most-Wanted Facial—and It Was Glorious

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun. 

Yesterday will go down in history as one of my favorite days, ever. After years of reading about and driving by Sofia Coppola and Madonna’s favorite facial haven, Face Place, I finally booked a coveted appointment at their West Hollywood location. The trip was, in a word, thrilling.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A facial is a facial is a facial. What’s the big deal?” Oh, but friends, this is a very big deal. You see, Face Place offers only one facial treatment, and the technique of that treatment hasn’t changed in 40 years. It’s that special. There’s something to be said about an establishment that sticks to tradition—especially when, amidst the recent surge of advanced skincare solutions, famous faces continue to call Face Place home.

On to the appointment: Although my reservation was for 9:30am, I arrived promptly at 9:15 to fill out necessary first-timer paperwork that was refreshingly quick to complete. Next, I met my assigned facialist, Tony Silla, who is co-owner of the salon and a legend in his own right. Stars flock to Tony for his thorough yet gentle approach to treatment, which was ideal for a newbie like me. After taking a moment to stare at his unbelievably flawless skin, the process began. Tony started the treatment by deep cleansing my skin, which inspired me to pick his brain about skincare routines. Regarding the good old cleanser, toner, and moisturizer trio, Tony says that all steps are important, but formula effectiveness varies by skin type.

As far as exfoliation goes, he advises to err on the side of caution. Also, if you’re a high-flying Clarisonic advocate like I am, he suggests using the cleansing tool once a day rather than both day and night.

After cleansing, my face was wrapped in hot towels for ten minutes to soften the skin for the next step: extraction. Ah, extraction—it hurts so good! Tony was extremely thorough here, which assured me that I would be walking out of there with the squeakiest of squeaky-clean faces. Next, he sprayed my face with a collagen mist and wrapped it with an anti-aging mask of vitamin C and zinc. He then used the Face Place’s signature galvanic treatment, which features a (gentle) current that penetrates ingredients into the facial tissues to help regenerate skin cells, tighten pores, stabilize the pH of skin, and other miracle-working things. After 20 minutes, the mask was removed, toner was applied, and I was sent on my merry, five-years-younger-looking way.

One new popular skincare trend is holistic facials. To learn more about them, click here

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