"Harvey Gets A New Face"
Okay girls, I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is. I mentioned in my last column that I'm here to be your "Cyber Main Gay" and that you can trust me. You can trust me because I'm going to show you EV-ER-Y-THING. If I am your "Cyber Main Gay," I owe you my total allegiance and total openness. No hiding anything. It is you and me together, girl. The good, the bad, and the (soon to be transformed to fabulousness) ugly!
I'm going to start by showing me at my ULTIMATE worst. How did I get there? Well, being a beauty junkie, I really believe in using the latest skincare technologies to keep everything firm and lifted. Years ago when I was the Global Director of Beauty at Revlon (REV), I was trying to drop some weight for a TV tour. My PR person looked at me and said "It's great you're exercising and trying to lose weight, but you may need a little help from the Doctor." A long moment of silence ensued. She didn't budge. I just looked at her. I was stunned! Then, I looked in the mirror and thought "Wow! She's probably right. Had I reached an age where a mix of cosmetics and the doctor was now necessary due to sun exposure, fast food, martinis, smoking in my 20's, and all the stress from a host of bad marriages?" Thanks Donna Shapiro for telling me the truth. This is one reason I love women! I mean, this is definitely more important than telling your best girl friend that she has spinach or lipstick on her teeth. It's above the call of duty. Here's to the Sisterhood!
Fast forward to now. Two weeks ago, I was in New York meeting with a TV producer about being the style maven on a popular woman's morning show. How exciting! Then, it got ugly. I saw my face on the TV monitor and my thoughts drifted back to that historical moment with Donna. The camera doesn't lie! In fact, now with HDTV, the camera tells the the entire ugly truth with no apologies! Now some of you may be thinking "I like my wrinkles! I've earned every one of them." Well good for you. Maybe in my next life time I'll have your confidence.
What should I do? Well, having worked in the beauty industry as long as I have and knowing the women I know, I knew the first important step was to do some research to find the right Board Certified Professional and to look at their history of before and after's. If you're considering any cosmetic procedures, this is a step you must not miss! You also should get a second opinion to make sure you are using the right doctor or nurse practitioner. Check out their web site and make an appointment for a consultation. It's normally free, but with the the better professionals there may be a nominal charge. And please ladies, do not go to someone because they are running a "Special." I'm not saying don't compare costs. But you wouldn't go to the dollar store to get your face done, now would you? I had a friend do that and her botox experience made her look like the joker from the Bat Man movies. Enough said.
After my meeting with the producer, I ventured over to Bergdorf Goodman's specialty store at the corner 5th Avenue and 58th Street for my favorite lunch -- the Gotham Salad. A mix of greens, low fat ham, egg, a light dousing of Thousand Island salad dressing. It was my entire fat content for the day, but so worth it. I Love Bergdorf's for shopping and their cosmetic department on the lower level is the absolute bomb! If you cant find beauty here, you're not going to find it! Lunching on the 7th floor at Bergdorf's is also the best place to observe the "ladies who lunch" -- those who've had the latest plastic surgery procedures in New York. While munching on my yummy salad, I sat there looking back and forth from table to table at the beauties there that day. My thoughts went from "She's too pulled" to "Those can't be her lips" to "She looks so refreshed like she just spent 2 weeks in St. Bart's." I wanted to look refreshed, not done! Actually my problem is that I still have oily skin at this age and my pores are enlarged. Plus, I have wrinkles. God does have a sense of humor! A few seconds later with the help of my iPhone I googled and found the answer to my quest. Her name? Nurse Practitioner Lynn Bartels. I live in Palo Alto California and wanted to have something done there. I also called some of the girls I trust in that area and after some serious phone conferences, I made an appointment for the next week at a very special place called Skin Spirit.
The morning I went in, I was nervous but the staff was beyond gracious! I was escorted to a private area and was offered a cappuccino. When I heard my name I looked up and saw an Angel. Literally. Gorgeous blond with skin that was beyond perfect and a million dollar smile. Kind and nurturing. Lynn took me to her private den of beauty and I saw all of her Board Certifications hanging on the wall. She immediately made me comfortable and asked about my skin concerns. She then put on some rubber gloves and began to view my skin under one of the largest magnifying mirrors I've ever seen. I thought "Only God should see me this close!" As she looked , she spoke about her philosophy about beauty and skin. Now she does specialize in Botox, facial contouring with dermal fillers, Thermage and IPL[Photo facials], but she told me she was professionally committed to the art and science of facial rejuvenation.
UMMM. Rejuvenation! That sounded delightful. I'd never thought it about it like that. I guess many can learn the science but I believe the "art" is what sets people apart. Knowing how to give someone a natural effect definitely separates the women from the girls! She looked at me and said "Harvey, you deserve to feel as radiant and youthful outside as you do on the inside!" I guess she could see that I was still a wide-eyed teenager in this aging body!
I had some friends who had been to Lynn and, let me tell you, these ladies wouldn't leave their faces to just anyone. Let's just say that it was not only their praise but the look of their glowing faces that convinced me that I could trust my face to Lynn. She explained that I should consider the Active FX Laser treatment to achieve the best esthetic for my enlarged pores and fine lines. She didn't ask for a commitment at that point. She gave me the brochure on the treatment and explained to me the process and what would happen afterwards. Then she looked at me and said, "I want you to go home and think about it. Call if you have any questions or concerns." No pressure. As I walked out to the lobby I saw that they also sold cosmeceutical skin care products. Being the die-hard beauty junkie, I stood in there for an hour feeling all the magical elixirs as one of the practitioners explained their benefits. Again there was no pressure to buy! But, of course, I did. I can never help myself if there is a product I haven't tried staring me in the face! I purchased DermaQuest 5% salicylic acid cleansing pads. 5%! You want to talk about a deep pore cleansing! As I got in my car I was so relieved to have had this experience right off the bat. I did get a second opinion though just like they suggested and in the end I chose Lynn Bartels, my Skin guru, to help me look my best.
Look at my before and after pic's in my Flip video clips and see me at stages in the process. It's not pretty. It didn't hurt. You will be medicated and will need a friend who can keep your secret to give you a ride home after the procedure. You are also a little messy, red and peely for about 10 days. I did hide away and write, but by day 5, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Incredibly smooth skin with little red dots from the laser. Lynn assured me the dots would disappear! A few more days later and the dots did disappear and the redness had started to subside. About 3 weeks after the procedure I ran into some girlfriends whom I hadn't seen in a while at Neiman Marcus. They said "Harvey! You look fabulous darling! Have you been on holiday?" I simply looked back and said, "Oh girls, you know how lovely and rejuvenating St Bart's can be this time of year." So if you're thinking about a little rejuvenation of your own, make an appointment with Lynn or use your iPhone to find your own Lynn. Call girl friends you can trust.
Maybe when I'm at Bergdorf's enjoying the Gotham Salad next time, someone will look at me and say, "Hmmm, I want to look refreshed like him!"
Loving Air Kisses for no smudging,