THE ARCONA STUDIO
There's facial massage, and then there's "facial contouring," a toning technique that draws heavily from lymphatic-drainage massage. The late Swedish herbalist Arcona built a cult following around contouring in the '90s, and she bequeathed the method to her soft-spoken, motherly protege, Jenae. Using effleurage (soothing strokes), chopping, and percussive movements, Jenae "irons out" wrinkles and expression lines. "We hold a lot of stress in the jaw," she explains, "and fluids in the face." (Afterward, I did have a firmer jawline and more defined cheekbones.) The technique also engages the acupressure points on all 55 facial muscles, and as they correspond to those in the body, I ended up very relaxed. Jenae, like Arcona, also recommends using fruits and vegetables to care for the skin: Her line includes Golden Grain Gommage (chunky with cornmeal and oatmeal), Cranberry Milk Toner, and Berry Enzyme Fruit Bar.
OLGA LORENCIN- NORTHRUP
KINARA SKIN CARE CLINIC AND SPA
QUEEN OF STEAM
The chamomile she sprinkles in the steamer recalls the facials of her youth in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but in every other way Lorencin-Northrup is right up to date. Her airy, two-story spa incorporates a chic clothing boutique and spa restaurant, and her facials, while lasting the standard hour, are packed with cleansing, hydrating, and toning steps. Her hand-mixed masks combine high-sci ingredients like peptides with homey ones such as English-primrose oil, slippery-elm bark, and marshmallow root. She prefers to exfoliate quickly and deeply, which is why she uses modern acids like salicylic, malic, and lactic, but then neutralizes them with plain old baking soda. The result is a cool, fizzy sensation she likens to "steam-cleaning your skin down to your pores." And she often keeps what she calls "the Cadillac of steamers," her German-made Ionto, trained on the client's face for the entire hour. "The herb-infused steam helps activate the ingredients in the peels and masks," she says. "Plus, most of us need all the hydration we can get."