It can take months to secure an appointment with the “Queen of Skin,” so I felt fortune shine on me today when Robin Hillary had a cancellation and called my assistant. Nestled in the elegant Park Avenue offices of plastic surgeon, Craig Foster, she is known in private circles for the flawless faces she maintains. Those who must look perfect for the camera, as well as their careers would be lost without her. Slender and blonde–exuding confidence–the moment you meet her, you immediately understand why she is worth the wait.
“What brings you here?” she asks while scoping out my pores through her striking, magnifying readers. “I want a facial,” I reply. Robin says, “Facials are done at Elizabeth Arden. I’m a dermatological R.N. and do acne surgery. I clean out skin without massaging creams into it.” She takes a mirror and holds it up to my face. “You see all of those bumps and lumps under your skin? I will make your skin immaculate. Clogged skin is old looking skin, and your skin is clogged.” My stomach sinks but I buckle in for the ride.
She taps some pedals with her foot and my chair morphs into a recliner. I feel I’m under a microscope as she begins to clean my skin. This is not your mother’s facial. Sensations of electric currents, pin pricks, squeezing and popping surprise me as she turns my head from side to side, looking for what she calls the enemy! Her enthusiastic commentary puts me at ease as she applauds a victory march across my face. “That was a milia on your chin. Wait….a sebaceous adenoma on your forehead. Did you hear that,” she asks? “I just got my best cyst of the day!”
While she is busy picking, injecting, peeling and zapping, I find myself somehow incredibly relaxed and freely sharing with her more about my work, my family, my life than I might with a therapist. I wonder if it’s the chair or her. She exudes warmth and inspiration while her deft fingers work their magic on my skin. I could almost fall asleep if not for the hypnotic, engaging pageant that is playing out on my face.
As the appointment reaches its triumphal end, I feel a tingly acid on my face, followed by some cool compresses. She sits me up and holds the mirror to my face, once again. My skin looks poreless, slightly pink. The bumps are gone. My skin is smooth and my spirits are lifted and I wonder if I even need to re-apply my foundation before going back to my office. I look younger and fresher!
“Wash your face gently for the next few days, and stay off anything too drying. Come back in 2 months, and then we will see after that,” she instructs me. I feel a little panicked leaving her, and the only question I can manage to get out is, “Could I come back sooner?”
Robin Hillary is available by appointment at the offices of Dr. Craig Foster 212.744.5746