Hungarian-born medical aesthetician Gita Gabriel is gentle and intuitive in the way she approaches skincare. Her methods are holistic, blending both old and new world customs. These are just some of the reasons that her namesake spa, Gita Gabriel Spa, has been one of New York City’s hidden gems for a quarter of a century. Gabriel has a legion of happy clients who would gladly follow her anywhere. One of whom is acclaimed film director Wes Anderson. In fact, Gabriel played herself in the one of Anderson’s films—The Royal Tenenbaums. In the movie, she gives actor Gene Hackman a facial.
Despite her celebrity status among Manhattan’s elite, Gabriel is both humble and earnest. “I like to guide my clients in the right direction to take better care of their skin and bodies. I love seeing results and happy clients!,” she tells BeautyInThe Bag.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been an aesthetician for over 30 years and this year will be my 25th anniversary for my spa, Gita Gabriel Spa.
Where did you learn about skincare?
I’ve been certified in Hungary, France, and the United States. I’ve attended countless seminars over my 25 years in business to learn all the cutting edge skin and body care techniques.
What is your specialty or signature procedure?
The Biologique Recherche Soin Lissant Restructuring facial with turbo lift is popular among our clients for its toning and rehydrating effects for all skin types. This facial is perfect before fillers or non-invasive surgical procedures.
What do you offer that women or men can’t find anywhere else?
A personalized, super private spa service with the majority of treatments conducted on our unique amethyst biomat with infrared rays and negative ions, which helps increase blood circulation, burns calories, improves the skin, reduces stress and pain and much more. Facial treatments also include Charme spray, which is low pH acidic water that provides hydration, soothes chronic skin conditions while cleansing and tightening the skin. Hand and foot massages are also included during the facial for a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
What treatments do you use for yourself?
I like to alternate products, I often switch products according to the season, current skin condition, or if I am traveling. I mostly use products from Biologique Recherche and Institut Esthederm as well as Karin Herzog. I also use Charme spray from head to toe everyday.
What is your personal beauty philosophy?
I believe your skin reflects on the way you feel inside. If you are stressed or not eating well, or have an unstable home skincare regimen, results will show on the surface.
What technology would you not want to live without?
Pellevé® is a wonderful non invasive treatment that helps produce your own collagen for tightening of the skin with no down time and no damage to the epidermis. Alternating between Pellevé and Clear + Brilliant laser treatments improve skin quality and minimize the effects of aging.
What is your choice for facial hair removal and why?
I recommend threading or tweezing rather than waxing because it’s less damaging to the surface. Electrolysis or laser hair removal treatments are also good choices for facial hair removal.
New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, is as much an artist as he is a surgeon. Early in his career, he was tapped to serve as the director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, which includes Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and the Manhattan V.A. Hospital, and did so from 1994 to 2012 before starting his own practice. Today Constantinides specializes in the type of complicated reconstructive and cosmetic facial procedures that many doctors shy away from.
Even with a thriving Upper East Side private practice, he finds time to give back to his specialty through his work with the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Constantinides is the secretary-elect of the AAFPRS and serves on their Board of Directors. He is also one of the directors for the industry’s premier rhinoplasty event—Advances in Rhinoplasty.
He recently sat down with BeautyInTheBag to chat about his practice and why he still loves what he does.
How do you define/create beauty?
The best definition of beauty is by an anonymous author: “Beauty is hard to define, but when it walks into the room, you know it.” Creating beauty requires a sensitive eye. I look for the best features in a face, usually the eyes and smile, and find ways to enhance them and draw attention to them. For instance, when I speak to someone about rhinoplasty, I look for ways to change the nose so I can enhance how the eyes and the smile look.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
It sounds corny, but my wife Melissa. She is a beautiful woman on the outside, and one of the most caring people you will ever meet. She inspires me to be a better man and a better surgeon.
What is your beauty mantra?
Achieving beauty is overcoming your fears to reach a more positive place in your life.
What is your signature surgery?
Complex rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty.
How did you get started in the beauty business?
I started off training in head and neck cancer surgery in the department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at NYU Medical Center in New York City. The surgery is fabulous and complicated, but the disease is terrible so many patients die despite excellent surgery. I really liked the reconstructive aspects of that surgery, so I did a wonderful fellowship in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Toronto. My chairman at the time hired me back to build a Facial Plastic Surgery division at NYU. From there, I got lucky and continued to get great cases in rhinoplasty. The rest is history.
What sets you apart from others in your space?
I do the cases that no one else wants to do because of their level of difficulty. I spend a lot of time making sure my patients know what their surgery will be about. I love the process of making patients feel well cared for, and I am always available to my patients for any question or problem, 24/7/365.
What procedure do you find most challenging?
Revision rhinoplasty in a patient with nasal obstruction requiring rib grafts to rebuild the nose.
What charities do you support?
The Face-To-Face program of the AAFPRS, which provides free surgery to victims of domestic violence and veterans of U.S. wars.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do every day. I love the process of helping a patient who feels scared and afraid of surgery become comfortable and optimistic. I love imagining the potential for beauty every face has, and finding ways to make that face look better, but never fake or operated-on. And I love the surgery. It requires supreme concentration, minute-to-minute decision making, and minute attention to detail. It is still exciting after 20 years in practice.
A certain elitist image comes to mind when you think of “Beverly Hills,” but cosmetic dentist Dr. Arthur Glosman wants to change that. A beautiful smile and healthy teeth should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, he believes. Dr. Glosman stresses that healthy teeth and gums not only give you a gorgeous Hollywood smile, but also are beneficial to your health, including the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, oral cancer, and stroke. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s dentistry school, he narrowed his area of specialty to porcelain veneers, metal-free bridges and crowns, and “Smile Makeovers” through his studies at Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies.
What can our readers do at home to keep their teeth strong and white? Are there any special foods to eat?
Keeping teeth strong and pearly white is very easy if you eat right and have the right tools to brush, floss, and rinse at least two times a day. I always recommend a healthy diet and to eat carrots, cauliflower, apples, nuts, and cheese to keep teeth clean and strong. Crunchy foods like these help physically remove plaque but also have nutrients your teeth need to stay healthy.
For cleaning, I recommend electric sonic toothbrushes, but if that’s not in your budget, get a toothbrush with medium bristles unless you have extra sensitive gums. Be sure to brush all the way in the back and floss in the hard to reach places as best you can. Whitening toothpastes are great for daily maintenance, but for extra whitening, at-home whitening kits or pens sold at the grocery store are affordable and effective.
What is the difference between professional teeth bleaching at a dentist’s office and at-home bleaching strips, which seem to work quite well?
If a quicker or brighter white is desired, professional in-office teeth bleaching with higher concentrations of whitening active ingredients rather than at-home kits is the way to go. In-office treatments may or may not have a light source to accelerate the process. Either way, instead of a gradual process over 2 weeks, an in-office treatment can have your teeth pearly white in about an hour. Additionally, when done in-office, a fluoride solution can be applied to help reduce tooth sensitivity. Also, in-office treatments open the enamel pores on teeth, not only making the teeth potentially sensitive, but also easily stained. So only ingest clear liquids and foods for 24 hours after treatment and avoid acidic drinks and foods for a few days.
Is capping teeth still a popular solution to correcting a smile. Why or why not?
Capping teeth, or placing an all-ceramic crown restoration, is still a popular and necessary solution to correcting a smile in many cases. A crown can correct the position, shape, color, as well as the bite. It provides full coverage protection for the tooth and increases its longevity in the mouth. Veneers are the alternative and can be a better solution because they involve a more conservative restoration.
Can dental procedures improve one’s facial appearance? Tell us about the Glosman Dentalift™ and Liplift™.
Dental procedures such my Glosman DentaLift™ and LipLift™ can improve the facial appearance by enhancing and correcting certain features due to teeth being worn down over time. For example, the LipLift, is the use of veneers or crowns on a person’s upper teeth to help support the upper lip and give it the appearance of being fuller by angling the restorations forward toward the lips. It also can help make cheeks that have lost volume look fuller by angling the restorations more toward the cheek area.
The Glosman DentaLift helps restore a collapsed bite that has been worn down by grinding over time. When a bite is collapsed due to wearing down of the teeth, wrinkles, and fine lines develop at the corners of the mouth. By restoring the length of the teeth, we can help reduce the fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth as well as the eyes, the face is elongated and wrinkles are reduced for a more youthful and healthier appearance.
Is symmetry always a goal in correcting someone’s smile? Nothing is perfect in this world—does that go for smiles?
I strive for symmetry in my work, but I add natural characteristics to each tooth to give it natural beauty so as to avoid looking artificial. Listening to the wants and needs of the patient is instrumental so I can provide them with the end-result they want and at the same time making it look like it was the smile they were born with.
What three questions should a patient always ask his or her cosmetic dentist?
Three questions a patient should always ask are: 1) How long have you been practicing cosmetic dentistry? 2) May I see photo examples of your work? 3) Check online and read reviews by other patients. Research and due diligence will always get you the best result.