Whether you’re at The Diamond enjoying a cocktail, grabbing a cappuccino at Revolver, or dining amongst the city lights at Parq, spotting a celebrity in Vancouver is becoming a daily occurrence. Often hiding under baseball caps and tucking in through back doors, these actors scout out Vancouver’s most glorious hideaways for a bit of leisure or relaxation. After a long day on set under bright lights, even Hollywood stars need a moment of self-care. And in Vancouver, it seems like they know exactly where to go.
Olivia Munn is a fan. So are the girls of Riverdale. Not to mention Lucy Hale and Katie Cassidy. What these actresses want is crystal clear skin after spending hours in heavy makeup. As for who they call, the word is out: The Skin Girls.
Owner Lisa-Marie Blair, along with her 11-year-old Boston Terrier, warmly welcomes clients to the tranquil Yaletown space she opened in June 2017. After years of working undercover as one of Vancouver’s top facialists, Blair is finally stepping into her much-deserved spotlight. Since leaving the film industry (she was a stunt performer) more than 10 years ago, the Montreal native has seamlessly transitioned into the beauty scene, becoming the skin guru for stars who come through Hollywood North. What began as a mobile medispa service, making house calls for exclusive clientele, turned into a full-time beauty shop operating out of a top-secret location in Gastown in 2015. Blair worked discreetly, never publicly sharing the exact address of The Skin Girls, which made receiving one of her luxurious facials that much more special.
Her behind-the-scenes approach to beauty is still very much practiced, though when the opportunity to move into a bigger space (with a back door for celebrities to easily sneak in and out of) in one of the city’s chicest areas became available, it was a chance Blair couldn’t pass up on. The move to Yaletown meant one thing for certain: The Skin Girls was ready to reveal itself to the world. Now, celebrity or not, everyone who walks through the door gets the star treatment.
When it comes to the clinic’s raved-about facials and latest skin technologies, there is a selection of favourites to choose from—everything from the Oxygen Facial, a glorious rejuvenation perfect for post-travel or tired skin, to the PRP Facial, a service that tones and plumps the skin with a platelet-rich formula. But it is the (appropriately named) Celebrity Facial that will leave any client feeling as if they’re silver screen-ready.
Beginning with a diamond-head microdermabrasion, a procedure that exfoliates and removes the top layers of dead skin cells and cleans out the pores (Blair offers to show this residue at the end of the treatment, but it isn’t for the faint of heart) all while stimulating blood flow, the Celebrity Facial’s royal treatment comes in the form of the Hollywood-approved Deesee Mask. Using LED light therapy, the non-invasive tool flickers back and forth every minute from a vibrant red to calming blue light to get into the deeper layers of the skin. The red light helps boost collagen, plumping up aging skin, whereas the blue light kills bacteria and treats acne. Though the mask may look frightening, the procedure is painless and relaxing. Blair even suggests closing the eyes, taking this moment to enjoy an afternoon snooze.
Blair believes in skin care as a form of self-care. She never asks her celebrity clients to share their post-Skin Girls fresh faces on social media, but many do so anyway, which is a testament to the fantastic work she does. And now the rest of Vancouver is in on the secret.
STORY: Monika Markovinovic of Montecristo Magazine