LA is the land of fillers and faux faces. While my alliteration may make me sound critical, I promise you, I’m not. I’ve spent my fair share of time comparing myself to Instagram models ten years my junior and tugging on parts of my face while looking in the mirror, wondering what new procedure might revert my skin back to the elasticity of my early twenties. And it does seem like there is always something new on the market, from threading to fibroblast facials. While I can shamelessly admit to having a number of doctors pinned to my Saves on Instagram, the simple truth is, all these options are expensive. So, if you’re living in LA and quite literally keeping up with the Kardashians but don’t want to break the bank, what can you do to preserve that youthful glow? My recommendation: turn to Dr. Brandt.
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While the prefix may be confusing, Dr. Brandt is a brand, not an aesthetician, and you can find his products at your local Sephora. My personal lifesaver: No More Baggage. I started doing Botox in my late twenties, a few years earlier than most of my friends (I may or may not have been participating in some recreational drugs that aged me a bit quicker than I would have liked) after a lunch date where I was facing a mirrored wall and was utterly distracted by the creases that littered my forehead and eyes. I pretty much fell in love with the Botox for giving me the brow lift I’d always wanted, and for a while, I was content: feeling fresh and looking five years younger. But life happens, years pass, and sleep is lost. And one morning (pre-pandemic) when I was putting on makeup before work, I was struck by the puffiness underneath my eyes and the lines that ran from my tear ducts in diagonals towards my cheekbones. Again, this may or may not have been my own fault – I was still living in New York where nights on the town can fade into the early hours of the next day and you trade your beauty sleep for another shot of tequila. But the nonetheless, the under-eye swelling had to be remedied – if, at the very least, to not to show up at work looking like I hadn’t slept in days. My roommate at the time was working for Ipsy and recommended Dr. Brandt’s Needles No More: No More Baggage.
In the Sephora on 5th avenue, I purchased the skinny, $42 tube. While it was hundreds of dollars cheaper than the alternative (which is actually injecting fillers into this region), my first reaction was that it seemed a bit high-priced for the size of the bottle. However, this notion was entirely obliterated the exact second that I took a blouse-button-sized dab, rubbed it between my forefingers, and swiped it across the swollen skin underneath my eyes. I could feel like clay-like material hardening and reducing the puffiness instantaneously. It was (and, if I’m being honest, still is every time I use it) such a surreal feeling: to actually experience the effects so immediately. The trick behind this sensation is the combination of algae and South American shrub extract, and the product also includes peptides, caffeine and botanical extracts, and Japanese knotweed – which extend the effects to eliminate future inflammation and generally revitalize. I’m now in the habit of applying this morning (since I don’t do make-up each day working from home) and night, and I will sometimes plop a pinch on underneath my concealer if I need the boost before beating my face.
Dr. Brandt has a number of other products that he guarantees will kill your cravings for injectables, such as Pores No More and Dark Spots No More. This September, as fall fashion reminds me to revisit both my closet and my beauty collection, I’ll be taking my own adventure through Dr. Brandt’s line. So, before you book that appointment, I encourage you to stop by Sephora and join me!