I asked Candace Marino, a medical aesthetician with 10 years of experience as a facialist, for a quick masterclass on how to replicate the experience. Marino, whose client list includes Kourtney Kardashian, Chloe Grace Moretz, and celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, lays out every step below, along with a shopping list of the products you'll find in her bathroom cabinet. If you're sticking to a budget or have specific skin concerns, like sensitive skin, you can swap in your own favorites and keep the general wisdom — like starting with the calm of dim lighting and your favorite candle nearby.


Marino does not have paid affiliations with any of the brands below, but it's worth mentioning that Miranda Kerr is a client, and Kora Organics (Kerr's brand) is included.

How to fake a spa-level facial at home, according to a medical aesthetician:


First, start by cleansing your skin.


"Always start by thoroughly cleaning the skin — double cleansing, or triple cleansing if you're starting with makeup on," Marino says. Cleansers should be customized for your skin type and condition (for instance, if you have sensitive skin), but Marino has a few universal recommendations.

"As a blanket statement, I love to recommend an oil cleanser for anyone removing makeup. A universal cleanser that works for all skin types and conditions is Lait U by Biologique Recherche. It's a non-oily, milky cleanser that leaves the skin nourished. It's a beautiful way to begin an at-home treatment. I also recommend One Love Organics' Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil, and the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. It's a non-oily, gel cleanser that leaves the skin nourished and not stripped."



Biologique Recherche Lait U Cleansing Milk



One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover




Once the skin is clean, exfoliate your face and lips.Marino likes to begin by exfoliating the lips to remove dead skin." iS Clinical Youth Lip Duo is my go-to for soft, plump lips. It includes a scrub that you'll use during this part of your facial and a hydrating lip balm that you'll apply later. Another good lip scrub is Agave Lip Scrub."






iS Clinical Lip Duo




Bite Beauty Agave+ Weekly
Vegan Lip Scrub




For your complexion, Marino says she likes a gentle chemical exfoliation for all skin types. "My favorite at-home facial in a box is Olga Lorencin. It comes in three sets: the red carpet facial, the deep detox, and the ageless facial. Each box contains an at-home no-downtime peel and a mask.


In terms of professional-quality treatments from the comfort of your couch, Marino says these are a good bet. "I actually use all three of these peels in my clinics on my celebrity clients and they always request to bring the at-home versions home with them. They are a lifesaver when you need a pick me up but can't make it into the office. Plus, each kit has 14-16 uses so it's a pretty good bang for the buck, at about $6 a use for a peel and mask."





Olga Lorencin Ageless Facial in a Box





Next, massage — and take your time.

KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil


After a chemical exfoliator, Marino suggests a massage — and to take as long on this step as you'd like. "Massaging helps to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the skin which creates a major glow payoff. Real "glows" come from within, and a massage is the ticket." You can also sculpt and lift the face using lifting strokes, according to Marino.


For tools, Marino recommends your hands, or a gua sha or jade roller — whatever you prefer.

"I love using a massage balm or oil. Kora Organics' Noni Glow Face Oil is a favorite of mine to work into the skin with a deep massage. Biossance's 100% Sugarcane Squalane is a cheaper alternative too."








Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil




Biossance 100% Sugarcane Squalane



Sephora Collection Facial Sculpting Set



Then, apply a mask — and don't forget your eyes.

Skyn Iceland Cooling Gels


After massaging, you'll apply the mask from your Olga Lorencin Facial in a Box kit (or any mask you prefer). This step helps replenish your skin's hydration and calm it post-peel, and the mask will target specific concerns depending on which one you select.


Just don't forget the eyes. "I like to slap an eye mask on at this time [too], Marino says. "A couple of my favorites are the Skyn Iceland eye gels and VII code Oxygen eye mask for dark circles, which are calming eye patches with the thickest gel cushion I've found for eye masks. They are single-use but may be used up to 8 hours, which means you can sleep with them if you're battling puffy, tired eyes."










Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels



Viicode O2M Oxygen Eye Mask



Tone the skin, and hydrate with serums.

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After you've masked, your skin is ready to tone and hydrate. According to Marino, a good hydrating toner will also help your serums and creams to penetrate the skin.


One of Marino's all-time favorite toners is the Fresh Rose Hydration Toner. "The scent alone will immediately transport you to the spa. I press (not rub) this into the skin on cotton pads to hydrate and balance the skin after the facial."





Fresh Mini Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Toner




Next, Marino recommends applying a serum that's designed for your skin type. But, if you'd rather bet your money on one universal product, she says the iS Clinical HydraCool Serum is a good recommendation for all skin types. "This botanical-based hydrating serum replenishes dehydrated skin and features cooling properties that help kill bacteria, heal breakouts, and calm redness."





iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum




Lastly, don't neglect the eyes and lips. "No facial is complete without treating the eye and lip area." Apply your favorite lip balm or try Marino's go-to suggestions — the iS Clinical Lip duo (mentioned above) or any of the Fresh Lip Balms. "I'm obsessed with Fresh's Sugar Lip Caramel. Other good ones are the Laneige Lip mask and Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer."





Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm




Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask



Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer




Apply an eye serum.

Kora Organics Eye Oil


To finish, Marino suggests applying a good eye product. "I like eye serums because their smaller molecules deliver targeted ingredients to the delicate skin around the eye area."


Marino's splurge is the Restorsea Pro Firming Eye Serum. "It contains salmon roe to gently digest dead surface cells in the orbital region. Many people suffer from dry, flakey skin in this area during the winter and this product takes care of that while also addressing puffiness, dark circles, and dehydration."


If your budget is on a strict no-salmon-roe diet, Marino suggests the Kora Organics Radiant Eye Oil, which contains coffee oil to awaken and brighten the under-eye.





Restorsea Pro Firming Eye Serum



Kora Organics Noni Radiant Eye Oil






Once the serum has been absorbed, Marino recommends completing your facial by layering a potent eye cream on top. "My all-time favorite is the Skyn Iceland Icelandic relief eye cream because of its fluffy whipped like texture. It blends evenly without piling up and addresses all eye area concerns, but most importantly it feels amazing!"



Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream







This article was originally published on insider.com

June 03, 2020 — Candace Marino