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It's no surprise Grimes' complexion is just as ethereal and otherworldly as her music. And the 31-year-old cover star of CR Japan Issue 4 and a special edition of CR Fashion Book Issue 16 has Beverly Hills-based facialist Candace Marino to thank. After connecting through a mutual friend last summer, the Miss Anthropocene artist has been hitting up the aesthetician monthly for lymphatic massages, LED facials, red carpet peels, and oxygen domes (the latter of which looks just as celestial as it sounds) to keep her skin radiant.

Now a mom-to-be (she announced her pregnancy with boyfriend Elon Musk in January), not much has changed for Grimes in the realm of skincare, as Marino's customized facials for the star don't involve invasive treatments—a no-no for expecting mothers. Her main concerns these days are, of course, fatigue and puffiness, which can be quelled by Marino's magic hands—and maybe a light chemical peel, which Marino says is totally pregnancy-safe, contrary to popular belief. Below, the facialist, who's been in the biz for 14 years and counts Miranda Kerr, Kourtney Kardashian, Sky Ferreira, and Orange Is the New Black's Jackie Cruz as other clients, talks working with Grimes, common misconceptions about skincare and pregnancy, and the products she swears by.


You were probably one of the first to learn that Grimes was pregnant, considering how closely and frequently you work with her.

"I think so. I mean, it was very early on and we were getting her ready for a music video shoot and she was like, 'Hey, I have to tell you this because obviously you're touching my face and there are things that could maybe be bad. I'm pregnant!' It’s kind of funny—in this celebrity world, everyone wants to keep it hush-hush obviously, especially in the beginning. But when you're dealing with people who are manipulating your body and using things on you, you obviously have to disclose that information because it would be horrible if anything were to go wrong. Most of the things I do are pregnancy-safe, but it’s good to know in the event that I was going to use something specific."

What's Grimes' typical treatment? How has it changed since her pregnancy?

"It really hasn’t changed because a lot of what I do is pregnancy-safe. The only thing that wouldn’t be safe for pregnancy is going to be the deeper chemical peels, micro-needling, things like that. But with her, we’re not puncturing the skin, and she really doesn’t have the need right now for anything more invasive than just the facials. And especially because she is in the spotlight, most of what we always do is just maintaining a glow, keeping her skin healthy, preventing aging, breakouts, things like that. Obviously with pregnancy, hormones and all of that will create different things with the skin. Commonly, melasma is a big issue. She’s been lucky to not have that and she’s really been lucky not to have any crazy hormonal breakouts. I think she feels like she’s just looking more tired and puffy. So, a lot of massaging to just bring circulation to the face—that’s kind of what I’m known for, really deeply massaging the face. A lot of estheticians don’t, and I find that that’s how you get a glow. It’s from within, by oxygenating the blood. And you can actually sculpt the muscles. So for her, we'll do a lot of that, we’ll do a light chemical peel on her—a lactic acid—which is completely pregnancy safe. It’s not going to even warrant a visible shed. It’s basically just breaking down the chains of dead skin build-up and getting rid of that so the skin can glow and accept hydration. We also do the oxygen dome with the LED light, which is super fun and so her vibe because it’s super outerspace-y."


Is there a particular treatment that she really loves aside from the oxygen dome?

"It’s always customized, but she loves the jelly mask which is super fun-looking as well. It’s an alginate. It starts off as a jelly and it rubberizes and hardens on the skin and then you peel it off in one big piece. It calms the skin and helps with inflammation. It has a cryotherapy effect on the skin, so it drops the temperature but feels amazing."

You mentioned she doesn’t require any invasive procedures like micro-needling. What makes procedures like those unsafe for women who are expecting?

"You don’t want to be doing those while pregnant because if you’re opening up the skin, you’re creating a risk for infection—it's a low risk, but it's a risk. And when somebody’s pregnant, you’re not going to want to put them in a state where they have that risk. With pregnancy, you want to be mainly doing facials, light things. You never want to compromise the skin barrier. Also, when the body is in pregnancy, all of your energy is going toward that creation of life, so to take away that energy and put it toward healing something is probably not in someone’s best interest. I’m not a doctor, obviously, so people would have to consult with their doctor whether that’s safe or not, but it’s not something that I would ever be comfortable doing on someone."


Are there any specific skincare brands or products you swear by and that you use on her?

I work with a brand called iS Clinical. I love them because their entire range is pregnancy- and breastfeeding-safe. For women in their 20s and 30s, that pregnancy-bearing age, it’s an amazing line because you can use it consistently and you don’t have to taper off your regimen or alter things because you become pregnant or you’re breastfeeding. That's amazing because a lot of women like to have that consistency, and they’re able to use it through all life stages. [Grimes] is on a full regimen from them."


April 13, 2020 — Candace Marino