For anyone that who knows or follows me, they know about my love for Joanna Vargas. It started with our first interaction, and has never stopped. She had me addicted to everything JV Skincare from my first visit. It doesn’t just start with the locations of her impeccable bi-coastal salons. They are both furnished with the world’s most cutting edge tools, that she meticulously researches and curates herself. If you thought her taste in art was exquisite, look at the treatment devices! It extends further to her fully stocked shelves of her celebrity-coveted namesake skincare line; of which forever changed my skin and the way I care for it. Even back all those years ago I, I knew Joanna had changed my outlook on skin. I could have never predicted the launch of her Magic Glow Wand would elevate it even further.
Within a week of moving to New York, her flagship Joanna Vargas Salon on Fifth Ave became one of my most frequented and beloved places in the city. It was at the flagship that she held unveiled The Magic Glow Wand months ago. It was there, amongst clients, editors, celebrities, and the media that they got the first insight. That the trademark Joanna Vargas results would soon be available from the comfort of their own hands and homes.
WHEN I FIRST HEARD…
When I was last in the salon at the end of January, we were talking about what was next. 2020 had big things in store for Joanna Vargas. Her book Glow From Within was released in February. Back in January, copies already adorned in the treatment rooms. I would sneek into each one hoping one would actually have the full book. But no such luck, they were all blanks! The launch was celebrated with glamours parties at both flagships. This gave the attendees an evening of skincare, champagne, and the first look at the Magic Glow Wand. Pictures of Mindy Kaling holding one would quickly make its away around Instagram, fueling the industry’s desire even more. On May 1st, her Magic Glow Wand device officially launched.
Not only is this the skincare guru’s biggest product launch to date, but it held a waitlist. Not just any waitlist, one that sold out not once, but twice before its ultimate release. No one could have anticipated the state the world would be in when the Magic Glow Wand launched. But in a way, it couldn’t have been released at a better time. With her biggest product launch to coincide with the time where her devoted clients couldn’t leave their homes, and were clamoring for her treatments. She released the answer.
With the doors to her Fifth Avenue flagship and Sunset Tower Townhouse closed, Joanna delivered the ultimate gift to her clients and the world. A tool to recreate her famous signature facials at home, when they couldn’t physically leave their homes. The Magic Glow Wand was an instant hit. A bonafide symbol that glowing skin doesn’t require leaving your home to achieve. Eternally loyal to her clients (many of whom she considers friends), she gave us something no other esthetician could. Glowing and sculpted skin at home, during a global lockdown, done by themselves.
She gave us the DIY tips and tricks in her book Glow From Within. Provided new and devoted clients alike more access than ever to her beloved products through online discounts. Then launched her now game changing device. While people were mourning their in-person treatments, Joanna surprised us all. She packaged the environment of her salon and signature treatments into a box, and placed in your hands.
After years of religiously getting her Supernova Facials, and stocking my medicine cabinet full of her namesake skincare products, I was more than ready for this facial massage device. The newest addition to the ever-evolving JV Skincare product line-up did not disappoint. It also taught me a lot about spa-grade facial devices that I thought I already knew about, and I didn’t. I have been using it nearly everyday now since I received it, often times twice. The name itself truly epitomizing it’s results. Magic & Glow.
THE MAGIC GLOW WAND
The Magic Glow Wand is a spa-grade facial massaging device that, according to Vargas, “reduces the appearance of puffiness, invigorates the skin, and bring your glow back.” I don’t know about you, but I always wake up puffy. Regardless of if I just had the best sleep of my life, or partied like it was 2007 at Chateau Marmont. The irony is not lost on me that her West Coast outpost of the Joanna Vargas Salon is located directly across the street. Instead of Fifth Avenue, it’s housed within a townhouse at Sunset Boulevard’s other famed property, the Sunset Tower Hotel.
THE PERFECT DESIGN
The device itself has a very minimalistic design, and very on brand. White. Blush Pink. Titanium. Sleek. She designed it with a titanium head to help with sensitive skin and its massage modes, which are gentle enough to use every day. Where the majority of skin tools only offering one function, the Magic Glow Wand offers four different modes. With its convenient matching charging stand, the device rests on your bathroom vanity as if it owns the place. Which it now does. It also comes packaged with a luxuriously branded black travel pouch. Perfect to protect the device while traveling, and keeping its charging cord and manual handy. While you may not be leaving the house anytime soon for a getaway, you surely won’t leave this behind when you finally do.
As I have talked about many times on the blog, I am shameless when it comes to applying Joanna Vargas sheet masks religiously on flights. Often horrifying my brother when I do so, much to my delight. So you can bet that I will be taking it to the next level by adding this device into the mix on my next flight. I am already picturing the flight crew’s quizzical stares. Or the ones when I am poolside in Miami for my birthday in August. Where I no doubt will be using my Glow Wand while laying out. What? The product needs to absorb BEFORE I put on my sunscreen! I will not apologize. Now that I am able to obtain the #GlowBrighter complexion Vargas has made her calling card, anywhere I want, I will.
Just as many of her products have before this, the Magic Glow Wand launched with instant critical acclaim. Nearly a month before its release, Cosmopolitan Magazine named it The Best Skincare Device in their 2020 Holy-Grail Beauty Awards. So what exactly makes the Magic Glow Wand the best skincare device of the year?
For starters, it’s equipped with four different settings. Each allowing you to target a multitude of skin concerns in an instant, and each one preprogrammed to last three minutes. There is the Hot Mode, Hot + Massage Mode, Cold Mode, and Cold + Massage Mode. Utilizing the hot features stimulates circulation and loosens sebum; while the cold settings combat puffiness while minimizing the appearance of pores. You can make it a new morning staple or elect to save for the end your night to wind down. Or you can use it on a plane or beachside in a cabana as I intend to, it’s your prerogative!
The device takes a cue from Joanna’s cult-favorite lymphatic drainage techniques which play a vital role in all of the treatments. She impressed upon me very early on the importance of this, and it’s something I have practiced ever since. The Magic Glow Wand is able to mimic the natural flow of your body’s lymphatic system, which creates a sculpted and illuminated complexion. It’s that complexion that has amassed her a cult following.
I have have previously sworn by my ice roller, glass ice globes, and gua sha stones, and I’m not saying I won’t ever use them again. But I probably won’t. The Magic Glow Wand has single handily taken their place. It not only builds replicates the results of those tools, but it create the results of all those tools in one device. The best parts? You don’t have to keep it in the freezer like other facial tools. The Magic Glow Wand also only takes three minutes.
WHAT IT DOES
“The lymphatic system acts as the waste removal system for our bloodstream and helps to deliver fresh nutrients throughout the body. It doesn’t have its own pump, so it relies on exercise, nutrition, and physical manipulation, in order for it to work,” says Vargas. Since the lymphatic system is the well known waste removal system from our bloodstream, the Magic Glow Wand is able to physically manipulate the lymphatic system to get rid of all of that stagnant waste. I do something very similar called Endermology, it vibrates your entire body to flush toxins out of your lymphatic drainage system.
“By clearing toxins from the body, it bring fresh nutrients into the skin, so that it appears healthy, refreshed, and less puffy.” Over time, Vargas says these lymphatic drainage massages will be “a game changer” in terms of how your skin looks and feels. She explains that “if you’re activating your lymphatic system, you’re going to be glowing. Because really, when we say we want to glow, what we mean is we want increased circulation, we want better hydration, and we want more nutrients in our skin. So over time, your skin is just going to become healthier and healthier.”
THE MAGIC GLOW WAND SETTINGS
SOME LIKE IT HOT
Setting One – Hot Mode (102.2°F): is designed to closely mimic the facial steaming you would experience during your facial in the salon. It aids in stimulating skin circulation, loosening sebum to deep-cleanse, and eliminating the buildup of dirt and oil in your pores. Joanna recommends applying either an exfoliating or clay mask before using this setting. I use the Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask or the Tom Ford Men’s Intensive Purifying Mud Mask, and then put the device to work. Of the two masks I tend to lean towards the Exfoliating Mask.
It is best to move the device from the center of your face outwards (basically nose to ears). Upwards on your forehead, and down on your neck. I always have facial stubble. Because of that my face doesn’t reap the same full face benefits that it would otherwise. This might be the one time I will contemplate going clean shaven, but we will see.
Setting Two – Hot + Massage Mode (96.7°F): This is the step that mimics one my of my favorite activities during the signature facials at the salon. The process where they actively massage the product into your skin to help to activate it and maximize its results. “The massage setting is what really starts to depuff and sculpt the face,” says Vargas. “You’re also continuing to drain the lymphatic system while you do this, which is helping to increase circulation and oxygen within the skin for a more effective treatment.” This setting is the one that allows for the most effective absorption of your mask and serums.
IT’S TIME TO COOL DOWN
Setting Three – Cool Mode (55.4°F): This step combines my favorite product to use with the Magic Glow Wand, and utilizes my favorite technologies from the salons. This setting works best with one of her sheet masks. I let it fully absorb before using the device, or a hydrating mask. My favorite Joanna Vargas sheet mask is her Eden Instant Lift mask, which is great for brightening and firming. This setting was designed to simulate the effects of cryotherapy. This is an all time favorite of mine and something I always insist upon at the salon. This setting also stimulates oxygen, tightens the skin, and most importantly, calms and reduce inflammation. A great hydrating mask that I’ve used for years is the Orange Blossom Gel Mask from Radice Cosmetics. With the products being all handmade in Italy, her Orange Blossom products bring me right back to Morocco.
Setting Four – Cool + Massage Mode (41°F): This mode is designed to minimize the appearance of pores and decrease the appearance of puffiness. For this setting, Vargas recommends using a high-powered serum or facial oil. “This is the setting I really want people to use to really sculpt the skin completely. At the end, your skin will look more sculpted, the redness and inflammation will be gone, and you’ve addressed any pimples or cysts.”
THE SERUMS I SWEAR BY
I use the Joanna Vargas Rescue Serum, which is a highly concentrated and corrective Vitamin C serum. I find its oil base makes it easy to use with the device. It lubricates the skin and gives the device some slip action. There are two other serums that I swear by, especially using with this device. Joanna Vargas’ Rejuvenating Serum, which is a glow-enhancing, and replenishes skin for improved hydration and tone. It’s made with Neroli oil, which is a long favorite of mine. Once I knew it was in that serum, I discovered the African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil. This neroli-infused ‘miracle oil’ absorbs instantly to plump, brighten, and help reduce redness and hydrate. These three serums and oils are perfect to use with the device and Setting Four. Hands down the most firming and efficient setting for sculpting your face, this has my vote for favorite setting.
WINNER of “Best Skincare Device” in Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Holy-Grail Beauty Awards 2020.
Setting Four is perfect for your morning skincare routine, with the cold being the perfect wake-up call. Especially now, when that wake up call doesn’t always require you getting out of your pajamas. With working from home quickly becoming the new normal, Vargas also shared a tip for this setting in the AM. Since it adds additional sculpting, its perfect to do before starting your day of Zoom calls off! Even Tom Ford himself agrees, where wrote a piece for The New York Times. Aptly titled “How to Look Good on Camera, According to Tom Ford,” it should comes as no surprise even he wants to look his best for his Zoom calls! Too bad he wrote this a month before the device launched!
Using Setting Four in the evening also serves as a great wind down after a long day, while allowing you to sculpt your face before bed which allows you to wake up to a far less severe puffy face.
To be sure that I was using the device in the correct ways, I watched the videos on the Joanna Vargas website, and also watched her use the device on herself on Instagram Live. This helped me copy her moves, always gliding the Magic Glow Wand outwards and up my forehead. I did get a little jealous of the women on the videos because they don’t have beards. Having to navigating around a beard, or worse, wasting products in it, is annoying AF.
Don’t use either of the hot or cold settings without a physical barrier between you and the device. Always use a hydrating or cream face mask, sheet mask, or serums. Joanna recommends exfoliating or clay masks for the two hot settings. Sheet masks or cool hydrating cream masks are ideal for the cool setting. A powerful serum is the best when using the Cool + Massage setting.
The first thing I noticed when I used the Magic Glow Wand, was how quick it was to warm up and cool down. The heat was very calming and reminiscent of a facial steamer. I could feel my pores being opened from the heat. Out of all four settings, using one of her sheet masks is my favorite. Followed by a powerful serum as a close second. The Magic Glow Wand made it easier than ever to get the full use out of a sheet mask. This often very difficult being a guy with a beard. Gliding the device over the mask makes you feel like you’re getting every ounce out of that mask.
The setting I love the most is Setting Four. I wanted to see if I could replicate the sculpting effects that I always leave the salon with. And I did! It is one of my main results that made me devoted to these treatments. I followed the videos as best I could, and to my surprise my face definitely appeared more sculpted and taught. While I don’t suffer from dark circles, like I mentioned before I always wake up with puffy eyes. Just as I used an ice roller for years to combat that, the Magic Glow Wand took its place. It sculpted my face in ways no tool previously had, and eradicated my puffiness.
Day after day, I have become more and more devoted to this device. The way my face feels, is sculpted, and glows; is beyond description. Joanna truly created a device that has her #GlowBrighter mantra instilled in its core. While it doesn’t replace the appeal of going into the salon, I can assure you one thing. The amount of times since I began using the device that someone has asked me either: “what have you been doing differently to your skin?” or “your skin is glowing,” is WELL worth the more than reasonable price tag. It brings me joy in knowing that people assumed that I continued getting facial treatments on the black market. Which isn’t a far off assumption at all. In reality I was, but it was with haircuts and my dermatologist.
Now that the wait (and waitlist) is finally over, it’s time to use it! Joanna Vargas’ Magic Glow Wand is the device we didn’t know we needed, but now know we can’t be without.
The Magic Glow Wand is available now, for sale at Joanna Vargas for $285.00. You can sign up for the Joanna Vargas emails and receive 20% off your entire order! It gives you exclusive access to sales, deals, and upcoming launches!