Whether you know facialist Mimi Luzon’s name or not, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the fruits of her labour via a number of very beautiful faces. A supermodel favourite, everyone from Gigi and Bella Hadid to Kaia Gerber, Irina Shayk and Sara Sampaio has enjoyed her facials. She is also the brains behind the now infamous 24 Karat Pure Gold face mask that frequently adorns those famous visages – in fact, you might call her the modern day Midas.
“I believe in using the three ‘diamonds,’” she tells me over the phone. “That is, good hands, good product and good machines. When I started [as a facialist] over 30 years ago, I was obsessed with machines and devices in my treatments, but now I think that the three of them together offer the best results.” She name-checks Alma laser, which helps do everything from rejuvenate skin to zap capillaries that cause redness, as well as other lasers, radiofrequency, IPL and tools that she combines with excellent skincare formulas and her expert hands for gold-standard facial treatments.
On the subject of her hands, she puts them to work extracting blemishes and blackheads, applying product, and massaging, using a technique which has evolved over her years doing the job. “Many years ago my massage technique was more stimulating, but now I use ‘effleurage’ [a series of massage strokes to warm up the muscle before deep tissue work] to calm the skin, because the machines do all the stimulation; my hands now do the relaxation and help reduce wrinkles.” She uses the effleurage technique from the very top of the face down to the heart area, ensuring the neck and décolletage are well cared for.
She is also emphatic that tackling skin ageing via brilliant facials (that include different, non-invasive devices), and great products can “prevent [plastic] surgery and lots of injections, like filler”. In the age of Covid-19 and numerous lockdowns, however, she has had a wholly hands-off approach to skin, going from a rather jet-set lifestyle to sending her clients products and teaching them what to do via Zoom. “I miss the personal connection,” she says. The people she treats, she says, are like friends, which is one reason she believes she has such a strong model client base – a close-knit community, they all talk to one other – and nothing sells a service quite like word of mouth.
As for the gold? Well, that came about after she noticed her clients were after formulas that offered real results. They were prepared to spend money on luxury skincare, but wanted to see something happen to their skin – no mean feat given most skincare formulas require playing the long game to see a difference. In the search for a good product that would cater to their demands, she began looking into concentrated formulas, eventually asking a lab to create a pure gold mask after observing its glow-boosting effects at a skincare exhibition in Hong Kong. “They told me it was really expensive and that it’s to be used as flakes or [gold] dust… but I wanted it in its pure form,” she says.
Having combined the gold leaf with her Anti-Wrinkle Mask (which is full of firming peptides), she notes that it stimulates the skin, improves collagen production and has a lifting effect. “Also, it’s gold, and every woman wants the gold!” she laughs. An easy DIY job, you apply the cream mask first, then press the gold leaf on top. The results are really quite remarkable, and it’s a bestseller not because of the vast number of likes it generates on Instagram, but because it actually works.
Here, Luzon shares her top home skincare tips to deploy in lockdown.
Make use of good acid formulas
“I really believe that anyone can treat themselves if they have good products. These days, lots of dermo-cosmetic brands sell great acid products. You can start with a lactic acid that is low (around 3.5 per cent), and then you could go up to 10 per cent. Same with glycolic acid – start with a lower percentage and then [as your skin gets used to it], move to a higher percentage. You will see results.”
Don’t be afraid to use masks
“People are often afraid to use a mask, or say they don’t have time. Years ago, I was at a big conference and learned that the Japanese use masks everyday. I use a different mask every day. You can buy all kinds of masks and play with them. You can do one for five minutes and see results, especially if it’s concentrated, and a lot of masks you can sleep in.”
Play with your products
“I think with treatments and products, it’s a game. Taste all the flavors and don’t be afraid to mix things together, like serums. Pretend they are cocktails! Just play with them.”
Make do with what you’ve got
“There are so many at home skincare tools on the market, but even I often use cold spoons on my eyes [to depuff].”
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk