IIt is logical that Joanna Vargas's first book, "Glow From Within," an encyclopedic manual that appears with pink pages, comes out next week, just after the Oscars. The prize season, after all, is when Vargas is most in demand, bouncing from coast to coast and attending to the complexion of famous actresses Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Rachel Brosnahan and Elisabeth Moss (among other striking faces).
But the mother of two takes full advantage of all those red eyes between her Midtown salon in New York and her Sunset Tower outpost in West Hollywood. "I mainly did it on airplanes," Vargas recalls of his book writing process. "A five-hour flight can be superproductive."
Judging by the fleshy but very readable result, Vargas is not kidding. The facial guru (who opened his first flagship space on Fifth Avenue in 2006) manages to translate his deep institutional knowledge of anatomy, ingredients, product formulation and device technology into useful tips that are useful for celebrities and mere mortals alike. .
"The general idea of the book is that anyone can have great skin," says Vargas. "You just have to do the right steps and honor yourself with the right program."
She offers fascinating DIY tips for home lymphatic drainage facial massage and emergency skin repairs, such as her elegant but easy cocoa and champagne mask for buds. Other lifestyle tips abound, such as changing sheets with a high number of threads, because the economical bedding pulls our skin as we pull and spin, causing wrinkles.
Vargas splashes his prose with juicy anecdotes from list A, like the moment he brought an Oscar-nominated (unnamed) actress from the edge of beauty on the morning of the Academy Awards. It seems that the trophy contender had been up all night before throwing himself into food poisoning, and was understandably pale, swollen and decidedly not bright. But after one of Vargas's microcurrent facials buzzed, the lucky woman instantly became "the glamorous movie star she is."
The best insider beauty information, Vargas says his underlying mission is to give readers the keys to the realm of great skin.
"A lot of people look in the mirror and criticize themselves," he says. "The book addresses that feeling and gives you something to act directly and simply."
What better way to face your fears of beauty?