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Getting a Facial on Zoom Was Actually Great

Before the pandemic, Georgia Louise could sometimes be found on Jennifer Aniston’s plane, giving her a facial. Today, she’s in her kitchen, assessing my cheeks via iPhone. “They look a bit … gray,” she says skeptically. Skin-care experts refer to this kind of socially distanced facial as a “virtual skin session” — a new form of tele-beauty in which an aesthetician examines your complexion through HD Zoom or an iPhone’s retina display. (It’s only apropos, since that’s how most people see us nowadays).

n my second skin session of the week, I have a Zoom encounter with Louise, Jennifer Anniston’s facialist, who has a two-year waiting list in normal times. She immediately asks that I try to find an area with better light. After seven weeks in isolation, the only well-let areas of my apartment are filled with clutter, but I do my best. When I ask her what she thinks of my skin, she says, in her a slight British accent, that it’s looking bouncy with plumpness, but also a bit dry and puffy (and this is with the beauty filter turned on.)

“You can see when skin looks dry and dehydrated?” I ask.

“Well, it looks a bit gray,” she says. “But could also be the light.”

I can definitely see that my cheeks look a little more chipmunk-y than usual, probably from snacking while watching Terrace House late the night before. The remedy, Louise says, is to do some lymphatic drainage, ideally morning and night, but for the next ten minutes, we do one together. First, we have to “activate” the system, so we find a soft point about a half inch under my clavicle. She tells me to “pump” and press gently there with the sides of my ring and index finger about 20 times. “It probably feels a little tender,” she says. Then we do the same motion across my face, moving from behind the earlobe to beside the nose to the temple to the chin.

Next, she instructs me to take a generous amount of face oil, apply it to my face, and “drain everything down.” In unison, we hover our hands in prayer position at heart center, moving to the third eye, and then slide them down the sides of the face, down to the jawline and into the clavicle. “Push!” she says with vigor, like I am in a skin-care lamaze class. We repeat this move five times. My favorite part is when she tells me to take two cold spoons, place the round section against my cheeks, and drag them out. It feels satisfying, like I am a summertime worker at a scoop shop, trying to work through a vat of hard ice cream.



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