"Give me the penis!" Sandra Bullock told Ellen DeGeneres during a recent appearance on her daytime TV show.
The actress wasn't talking about *that* penis, on the contrary, she was talking about celebrity aesthetician Georgia Louise's Hollywood EGF Facial -- or the 'penis facial' as many of Hollywood's elite have dubbed it.
"I wanted to give [Sandra] something that would transform her skin without the need to undergo lasers, so I loaded up her bespoke facial with something that would give her long-lasting results," Louise said. "Within weeks her make-up artist, Whitney, and castmates wanted to know the cause of her amazing, glowing skin ... and from that moment onwards the Hollywood EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) Facial was born!"
The 'penis facial' was born while Bullock was filming "Ocean's Eight," but it went absolutely viral when her co-star Cate Blanchett revealed details of the regimen during an interview with Vanity Fair back in March.
Of course, after writing an article about Blanchett's Vanity Fair interview, I became intrigued by the 'penis facial' and promised myself that if there was ever an opportunity to try it, I'd jump on it. Flash forward nearly two months later, and I was en route to Louise's uber posh atelier to try the 'penis facial' for myself.
As soon as I walked into her atelier on the first floor of an Upper East Side townhouse, I knew I was about to have an experience of a lifetime.
From the moment I stepped in the door, the service was exceptional. A friendly receptionist already knew my name and greeted me with a warm welcome as she asked if I'd like herbal tea or water (mint tea, please!). As I took a seat in the waiting area, I immediately fawned over the atelier's decor -- plush white chairs, high-ceilings and touches of gold from the wall art to the light fixtures (who is Louise's interior decorator?) gave it a cozy, but chic, vibe. Even the fancy china that my tea was in was coated in what looked like 24K gold.
After a few sips of tea, in walked Sarah Smith -- the woman who was about to change my life.
As she walked me into one of the treatment rooms, I began asking her very important questions. Where is she from? How long has she been an esthetician? Is she excited about the royal wedding?
Sarah is originally from Britain, but she has been living in the United States for over a decade now. She was the lead facialist at John Barrett salon in Palm Beach, Florida, before she joined Louise's team over a year ago. And with more than 12 years of experience under her belt, I knew Sarah would work *magic* on my skin.
After slipping into a comfortable towel-like robe ... it was show time! Most of the facials I've had in the past have been relaxing, to the point where I've nodded off to sleep. However, Louise's Hollywood EGF Facial was quite different -- although some parts were relaxing, my nearly 1.5 hours with Sarah definitely didn't turn into nap time. And with a rigorous 12-step process, it's understandable why the facial isn't as relaxing as others I've experienced before.
First things first, Sarah double-cleansed my face before applying a toner that she massaged into my face with firm, sweeping motions, followed by a chemical peel.
A layer of numbing cream was applied to my face (to prep it for the microneedling treatment to come) before turning on the LED light which emitted red and blue light -- the red light is normally used to stimulate collagen production while the blue light is used to kill the bacteria that causes acne. As you can see from the photo below, it also makes for one good Instagram photo!
(Photo: Marah Alindogan)
Sarah removed the excess numbing cream with a warm towel. After making several unflattering facial expressions to see if the cream actually worked, I can definitely attest that I couldn't feel my face.
Next, what we've all been waiting for ... the 'penis' part.
The main part of the facial involves microneedling -- a treatment that involves using a tiny roller device to needle hundreds of tiny holes into your skin. Before Friday's facial, I was skeptical of microneedling because willingly poking hundreds of holes into your skin just sounds pretty insane. But if it worked for Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett, it works for me!
Sarah, with her oh-so-gentle hands, began poking holes into my skin with the wand ... first on my jawline, chin and then my cheeks, making her way up my face. The process was relatively painless (thanks to the numbing cream) but I did feel a stinging sensation around my eyes and lips. Sarah paid more attention to these areas because that is where we develop a lot of fine lines (like 'crow's feet' and 'lipstick lines') as we age.
(Photo: Marah Alindogan)
As she was poking my face, Sarah was simultaneously applying EGF serum -- this liquid is how the treatment got its 'penis facial' nickname. The EGF, or epidermal growth factor, serum is obtained from the progenitor cells of human fibroblasts from Korean newborn baby foreskin. The serum is harvested in a lab where the cells are cloned, so you can rest easy knowing that it's not continually harvested from male Korean babies.
But why does this serum work? The EGF serum contains over 40 vitamins and antioxidants ... including Vitamin C and D. Antioxidants are crucial in limiting the production of free radicals that occur by just straight up living -- like when your body breaks down food or when your body is exposed to harmful irritants, such as cigarette smoke, pollution or radiation. These free radicals can damage your skin cells, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines ... a.k.a everything you don't want to see on your face.
But the bigger question is ... what did this serum smell and feel like? To be honest, I either really have a bad sense of smell or it was pretty much unscented! I sniffed and sniffed as Sarah applied the serum on my face, but other than a momentary whiff of a slight enzyme-like smell, you can't really smell much of anything! As far as what the serum felt like, it was cool and liquidy (but not too liquidy) as it coated my face and worked its magic.
And lastly, the grand finale! After the EGF treatment was another chemical peel, followed by the application of a thick liquid face mask that hardened into a rubber-like texture. As you can tell from the photo below, I couldn't see or talk. For those who get claustrophobic easily, you can opt to leave your lip and eye areas uncoated.
(Photo: Marah Alindogan)
Sarah then hooked my face mask to an electrifying machine, which would send waves through my skin to lift and tone it. She removed the mask in one motion effortless motion and ended the treatment by applying a couple more serums a moisturizer and of course, SPF.
She then gave me the lowdown of what I can't do after the treatment (yes, there are rules) -- no makeup, working out and too much sun for 24 hours.
After she left the room, I immediately grabbed the nearest hand mirror I could find. As soon as I saw my reflection in the mirror -- my jaw dropped! My skin was flawless and glowing. My next move? I took a *no-filter* boomerang to share with my Instagram followers because that is just what one does after getting a $650 facial.
I texted one of my closest friends a photo of my new and improved face post-facial, to which she immediately replied: "WOWWW. I literally thought you looked like one of those beauty bloggers."
After moving to New York from California, my skin had, unfortunately, lost its glow. I've tried every product in the book -- from serums to creams, but never found a combination of products that restored my youthful glow ... until now!
Louise's Hollywood EGF Facial is a gift from the skin gods above. With its hefty price tag, it's definitely a 'treat yourself' kind of treatment (Sarah told me she's worked with a lot of brides before their big day), but would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat!