How did you go from a double major at University of Chicago to a celebrity facialist?
My path was a bit unusual for sure! I graduated from college and decided to move to NYC to be a photographer. I realized quickly that I didn’t really have the personality for it- I was shy! I thought perhaps makeup might be a way of being there in a different way, so I went for my esthetics license. Once I tried facials, I knew I had found my passion. I had always loved products and I love taking care of people. It was meant to be.

What techniques make you stand out from other spas?
I think that my focus on results rather than “relaxation” is different. People do relax here, but they come because they know that we are really going to address their biggest issues in a non-invasive, healthy way. I’m most proud of being known as someone who encourages women to embrace what makes them unique. I don’t offer cookie cutter beauty.

Are there common skin issues you see on clients than can be prevented?
From a client’s perspective, women continually seek that “glow” in their skin. Skin tends to look lifeless and dull from stress and lack of sleep. More greens in your diet goes a long way to fixing almost any skin issue. It will help oxygenate the skin, it will assist in digestion (so it cuts down on breakouts) and hydrates the skin as well. You would be amazed at how much of a transformation occurs from adding a green juice or more greens. It’s my favorite tip!Joanna-Vargas

What’s the top product you recommend from your line and why?
My line has a serum, my Daily Serum, which is inspired by my love of green juices for the skin. It contains oat grass juice for the lymphatic system, chlorophyll for oxygenation, vitamins ACEF found in leafy greens, and hyaluronic acid which holds 1,000 times its weight in water. My favorite ingredient is galactoarabinan, derived from the larch tree, which causes more cell turnover than a glycolic but it’s also anti-inflammatory, so it doesn’t cause irritation, even in sensitive skin. It’s the top selling product in my salon because it works for everyone and it’s my secret weapon for dull skin.

Spring’s around the corner. What are your top 5 beauty must-haves we’ll find in your handbag?
Well, sunscreen is key for all women, all skin types, all skin tones. I love Eminence Organics mineral powder sunscreen SPF 30 in translucent. It is great because you can wear it with or without makeup, and it really helps protect the skin against sun damage and hyper pigmentation.

I always carry a packet of Dr. Frank Lipmans Recharge shake because it contains a ton of amazing greens for the skin. If I don’t have time to order a juice or if I’m just running around all day it’s a great pick me up and a great way to keep on my program. 11

Bite Beauty makes an awesome lip primer and great heavy pigments lip crayons. They are organic (of course) and the primer is great at erasing the dry lip line before you put on your lip color. Also it’s unusual for organic pigments to be so rich in color- I always have five or six different colors on me!

My own Rejuvenating Serum is something I keep in tow because if I’m feeling tired or like my skin is starting to reflect low energy I put a little on my cheeks and eyes- instant glow again from the neroli oil, which stimulates the circulation in the skin.