Tuesday, June 17, 2008


In the five years that Stephen Kazanjian has graced my chair, we've had so much fun sharing tips back and forth. I know hair and he knows everything else. Now Stephen's agreed to share some of what he knows with you. This is the first post from Stephen, enjoy and learn how you can take five years off your appearance in preparation for that special event. Honey when I heard this, I knew that this was a match made in heaven.

Thanks darling.

I have always been very conscious of my physical appearance. I think it stems from the time when I was quite young and asked my mother if I was attractive. In true motherly fashion, her response to me was that I had a lot of friends and was loved very much by her and my father. This told me her answer was no. Consequently, I decided to do something about the way I looked and over the years have devoted significant time and effort to maintaining my appearance. There are those outsiders (and some insiders) who might say this stems from being extremely vain. Absent years of extensive counseling to delve into my level of vanity, I tend to think my desire to stay as attractive as possible stems from the fact that I feel much better about myself and the world around me when I look my best. I don’t think I am alone in this regard which is why the phrase “a bad hair day” means so much to so many.

Given my desire to look my best, I am frequently asked how I have maintained my appearance throughout the years (I admit to being 45). My response is “There is a highly trained team of professionals, consultants and advisors on call 24 hours a day to make sure I look flawless whenever I am out in public.” In reality, it is all done with mirrors (and various products). I am in no way a trained professional on this subject but I have developed several skin care regimes that seem to work well at delaying the march of time as it crosses over my face. As a result, when Antonio asked me to write an article for his blog about a product I like, I could not say no, especially since Antonio is one of the highly trained team who probably feels like he is on call 24 hours a day.

Given the number of products I have tried over the years, I found it difficult to write about just one. Since my claim to fame (aside from making the perfect martini) is being able to help any man’s face look at least five years younger with my beauty regiment, Antonio and I decided this would be the ideal topic for an article. While my perspective is for a man, the process can work on women as well. Women’s skin tends to be more sensitive than men’s so I suggest women be more careful and alter the products for those that are for a woman’s complexion.

This procedure can be done no more than once a week, involves a few relatively easy and painless steps and takes about one hour. I typically start with an unshaven face. The first step includes a thorough cleansing of the face and neck area. According to Victoria Principal, your complexion does not stop at your chin so why should your beauty regiment. I like to use both Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cream Cleanser and Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion. The Biore has a slight texture to it which removes surface dirt and then the Kiehl’s is able to get deep down dirt. First I wash my face and neck with the Biore product like I would with any soap. I then use the Kiehl’s product on a large cotton (not cosmetic) ball. I apply a slight amount of pressure as I am rubbing the cotton ball over my face to really clean out my pores. You may see dirt on the cotton ball, so I recommend replacing the soiled cotton ball with a fresh one until all of the dirt is removed.

The next step is to exfoliate the face and neck to remove a layer (or two) of dead skin cells. My new favorite exfoliation product is Kiehl’s, Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub - Skin Buffer for Men, although I have also used Freeze 24/7’s Ice Crystals Anti-Aging Prep and Polish with great results. With both products, apply a small amount to a wet face and rub in a circular motion for two to three minutes, avoiding the area around the eyes. Rinse thoroughly after finishing.

Given the granules in any good exfoliation product, they are hard to thoroughly clean from your face so after this step, I typically shower to remove any granules which may be left on my skin. After my shower, I shave. I know that men’s facial hair is all the rage right now but a clean-shaven face always looks younger than a face with a scruff, especially if your scruff has as many naturally highlighted (gray) hairs as mine does. After I shave I cleanse one more time with the Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion on a cotton ball. This process removes any dirt that might have been hiding under a hair follicle and any bacteria your blade may have placed on your skin while shaving.

The next step is a facial mask to tighten the skin and close the pores. I prefer a clay mask as they tend to really tighten the skin, although I have used other types of masks. My current mask of choice is Yon-Ka Masque 103 Purifying and Clarifying Clay Mask. This is for normal to oily skin but there are other masks for dry skin. Apply a layer of the mask to a clean face and neck, again avoiding the eye area. Leave the mask on until it hardens completely (about 15 minutes) and try to avoid talking or making facial expressions while using the mask. Then remove the mask with a damp warm wash cloth. Make sure you get the entire mask off your face and neck. The last thing you want is to walk around with green clay on your face.

If your face has as many lines as mine has, you will want to use an anti-wrinkle cream. I recommend Freeze 24/7 Anti-Wrinkle Cream. Apply a small amount to the forehead and wrinkles around the mouth and on each cheek. Wait two to three minutes and then moisturize. Depending on the time and type of day, I have two products I like to use on my face for moisture. If I am going out during a sunny day, I use Kiehl’s Facial Fuel SPF 15 Sunscreen – Energizing Moisture Treatment For Men. My good friend, Anna, has always said that SPF is your face’s best friend. On cloudy days, and when I am heading out after sunset, I use Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Moisturizer. Both products leave my face with a matted finish and never feeling oily or looking shiny. Many beauty aestheticians are of the posture that a shiny face is a healthy face but I think it simply looks oily, especially on a man.

The results from this procedure vary depending on your age, how much damage has been done to your skin over the years and on your skin type. Antonio has flawless skin so it would be hard to help him look much younger but a mature man with a few wrinkles who has led an “active” life like myself can look anywhere from five to ten years younger. The effects on most men will last anywhere from four to six hours depending on how many cocktails are involved after the treatment is completed. Over time and with the proper care, the effects can become more permanent. If invited back to write again for Antonio, I will share some of my other secrets for long-term care, shaving and fighting problem skin.