Before calling New York City home, board-certified dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor worked at one of Washington, DC’s most prestigious dermatology groups and directed the Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology Center for Georgetown University. She joined New York’s thriving downtown Union Square Laser Dermatology Group in the summer of 2012, a practice that prides itself on having the latest lasers and treatment technologies—the office boasts over 25 lasers and energy devices in their treatment rooms. MacGregor and her colleagues are always the first to test and evaluate the latest equipment, sometimes helping assist with their development or working in clinical trials that lead to FDA approval. MacGregor is an expert in Ultherapy and when it comes to cosmetic procedures she always makes sure her patients look natural and healthy, not as if they had work done.
Here Dr. MacGregor talks with Beauty in the Bag on her background and treatment philosophy.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get started in the beauty business?
My interest in dermatology started while working in a cancer research laboratory. In medical school, I chose to specialize in dermatology because of the unique mix of medicine, surgery, pathology, procedures, and aesthetics. The focus is on treating skin conditions, but I have realized through practice that helping people achieve healthy, clear skin and their best appearance possible is an important component.
What is your treatment philosophy?
I usually start with prevention and address overall skin health along with the aesthetic. For younger patients, I may focus on skin health first followed by the aesthetic component. Some patients who come in to see me and already have healthy skin, I may just work with them on keeping it healthy
What is your signature procedure?
Ooh, do I have to choose one? I find combination procedures improve the skin in the most natural way. For early sun damage, I like to combine vascular laser (for redness and capillaries) with low density non-ablative resurfacing that treats uneven skin tone, pores, and fine lines. It’s a great way to rejuvenate the skin with little downtime. And in patients with loose or sagging skin, I find non-invasive skin tightening combined with a few well-placed filler injections can provide a remarkable natural-looking lift with virtually no recovery.
New and better lasers are constantly being introduced. What technology do you find particularly useful or exciting?
An exciting trend that continues to gain popularity is combining antioxidant topical serums (such as SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic) with low density non-ablative resurfacing lasers. The microscopic channels created by the laser can potentially deliver ingredients deep into the skin. This is great for repairing sun-damaged skin and for overall skin quality as well as treating fine lines, texture, pigmentation, and pores. Down the road, we may see this combined technique to be used with fillers, which would allow the filler particles to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Besides technology, what other innovations that are in the pipeline are you excited about
We will see further improvements in non-invasive fat removal, such as injectables, in the coming years. Our current devices are also advancing and becoming more effective, particularly for the hard-to-treat stubborn pockets of fat.
These days, women have so many great anti-aging products to choose from. What are your must-haves?
A must-have, of course, is a broad spectrum SPF 30. Beyond that a topical antioxidant serum and topical retinoids (both prescription or one that you can find over-the-counter) if skin can tolerate it.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
I would have to say Meryl Streep. She is a naturally beautiful, timeless, talented, and successful woman that always projects strength and confidence. She is aging with such grace and elegance and still looks amazing.
Why do you love what you do?
I have been blessed with an incredible career that allows me to help people with a variety of skin issues, but also to help people to look their personal best. We all want to look natural and healthy and this is closely tied to an overall sense of psychological well being. Even if I had all the money in the world, I would still want to do it.
When I was asked to try out Dior’s new anti-aging skin perfector, Dreamskin, I jumped at the thought of trying it. After all, the name promises “dreamy” skin, and it tackles a variety of skin problems for all ages and skin types.
Dior Dreamskin, which just hit department stores this month, is part of the brand’s Capture Totale line of skincare and makeup products. Priced at $110, the weightless serum hybrid promises to work on the surface of the skin as well as below to fight the signs of aging, boost radiance, and correct dark spots, redness, and large pores.
Two key components make up the serum: optical properties and active biological ingredients plucked from the Dior Gardens—farms in various locales that grow potent flowering plants that are infused in the brand’s elegant skincare. Optical ingredients, such as biomimetic mineral powders, contain mica platelets and diffusing silica microspheres. The mica platelets help diffuse light and leave a radiant glow, while the silica microspheres give a “blurring” effect and even out texture and tone. Active botanicals such as longoza extract target stem cells to help firm and plump skin while opilia extract targets dark spots, pores, and redness.
Frigid cold temperatures here in the Northeast have made my skin drier than normal, but this pale pink-hued silky serum has given it a moisture boost without causing any breakouts. I’ve been wearing it during the day, and apply one or two pumps to my cheeks and forehead after my daily moisturizer. It absorbs quickly and leaves a nice velvety matte finish with a subtle sheen that is more noticeable around the cheekbones.
I’ve worn it alone and with makeup and I prefer the latter as my bare face needs some coverage. After using the new serum for over a week, I’ve noticed my skin’s texture is more even and my pores seem less noticeable. It has also kept my skin hydrated and smooth; however, I did not notice a big difference with my redness.
For now, I will keep incorporating Dior’s new Dreamskin into my daily beauty routine as I like how it feels on my skin and works well with my makeup. I encourage you to try it, too.
A gorgeous well-groomed brow does wonders. It opens up the eyes and helps define features.
But, many of us may be sporting the wrong eye brow shape for our face type. We talked with owner Malynda Vigliotti of New York City’s Boom Boom Brow Bar, on how to get the right brow shape for your face type and ways to keep brows looking fab this holiday season.
“A properly groomed brow highlights the good and downplays the bad—it’s the perfect non-surgical tweak you can do to brighten up and look younger,” says Vigliotti. There are so many options with eyebrows—thick, thin, dark, natural, arched and straight—and the right shape can bring out your best features. “Brows are always about balance and proportion, and the most natural brow is best.”
Those with oval face shapes like stunning actress Marion Cotillard have longer faces than wide, with the jaw line, cheekbones, and forehead being the same width. If you have this face shape, Vigliotti suggests, “going with a strong defined brow, which draws attention to the eyes, away from the longer chin and forehead.” She likes to use Boom Boom Brow Boostier ($16), a mineral-based powder that is applied with a brush, to make brows appear more lush and give definition. If your brow color is hard to match, try Anastasia Brow Powder Duo ($23), which lets you mix and blend to perfection.
Heart shape faces like celebrity Vanessa Hudgens have narrower chins while the upper part of the face—the forehead and cheekbones—are about the same width. Vigliotti suggests heart shape faces go with a softer arch, which can lessen the point of the chin and help balance the face.
New mom and singer, Fergie, is a great example of a round shape face, and can benefit from a more angular brow to help bring out facial bone structure. “Well defined brows with a high arch is best for round faces as you want to create angles to break up the roundness of the face,” says Vigliotti.
Square face shapes like actress Demi Moore have a square jaw line, and the forehead, cheekbones and jaw line are about the same width, so it’s best to go with an angled arch with a sharp peak. “A well-defined angular arch can help draw the attention up and away from the jawline,” says Vigliotti. She likes to use Boom Boom Push Up brow highlighting pencil ($16) on the brow bone to highlight and define the arch. You’ll also find a highlighter pencil in the Two-Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit ($35).
After you go in for a professional shaping and find your best shape, it’s important to groom brows once a month. “Ideally you want hair growing in on the same growth cycle so it can be removed at the same time all at once, only one time during the month,” explains Vigliotti. And, if you over-tweezed and need to thicken up your brows, Vigliotti recommends putting down the tweezers and using an over-the-counter conditioner with vitamins and peptides like Brow Job ($49) two times a day. Even some eyelash conditioners like City Lash Growth Enhancer ($49) can help enhance brows.