Liquid Confidence The latest in facial technology gives one beauty writer a glow.

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Longtime Baltimore makeup and skin expert Karen Weiner and I share many clients and friends, and one thing I have noticed about them in recent years is their skin. They always seem to have a glow about them. Their secret? They may not have time for a makeover, but they have a standing (only 30 minutes) HydraFacial appointment.

Aren’t all facials hydrating, you might ask? Yes, but not to this level or with this technology. Over the past year or two, I have spent more time on my freelance
career and less time in local spas, and I have put my skin through a lot. To help out, Karen was kind enough to offer a HydraFacial at her Owings Mills space, Studio of Make-Up & Skin Health. I accepted, because I knew I had to get my glow back before summer.

How it Works: A HydraFacial involves a four-step process that is a bit different from the typical facial. Karen shared that some spas add them on to other treatments, but that can compromise effectiveness. In a comfortable room, slightly more lit than most, we started with an exfoliation and skin softening.

In the next step, the extraction, dirt and toxins were removed from my skin. This wasn’t uncomfortable and just felt like suction. I was so relieved that I asked them to turn it up to a more advanced level and didn’t mind seeing a year’s worth of toxins suctioned away.

After this step, there are four boosters that can be added. These include products to reduce wrinkles or sunspots. Adding these extras add $60 to $85 to the $170 cost of the facial but could be well worth the cost. I jokingly asked if they could get my Irish sun-damaged hands, too, and they obliged. We finished with an antioxidant-illuminating cream with the recommended SPF. Afterward, I popped up to the front of the boutique to check out Karen’s thorough selection of makeup products, only available there, and we talked home care. She suggested the Skin Better line for me, which features an SPF 20 powder that you can dust on to protect your glow. This suggestion made great sense, as my eyes often get irritated from liquid SPF, and although I like a glow, I don’t enjoy being oily.

The Verdict: I ran into a friend and wasn’t too surprised to learn she is also a big HydraFacial fan. She confessed to buying a package deals that allows her to get one free facial after a group of five. As for me, when I arrived at the evening’s event on the water, my colleagues said I looked great. To prove their point, they took selfies on the pier with me. Now that’s the true test. I’m convinced.

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