Secret Service


You would think that after years of talking about fashion and beauty I would be a beauty guru, but I’m not. Ok, let me correct that. While I lived in New York New York, in many instances, I was the one to answer the beauty questions. But since moving to LA, it’s gone to a whoooole new level. I feel totally ignorant when I talk to my friends. They’re just SO PRO.

Enter Anna. Anna is my friend, and thanks to her I also discovered the magics of lymphatic drainage which she practices in her studio in LA. I’ll tell you more about that very soon. Anna is also one of the women I call when I have a health or beauty question.
Yes, and there is also you, Lauren, and you Shiva, and you, Lise Ann, and…


Anna knows everything. She’s tried about everything. She talks about it with passion, distance, and she’s also very funny about it (last time she had me put on the Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask on my face while she was driving (“I do that all the time! Who cares if you scare other cars!”) so I thought, Anna needs to write for us.

And let’s start with… Her at-home beauty essentials. And I mean, if they’re essential to her, they are essential to me. And maybe to you? Here’s Anna!




Apprenticing, then running a studio with a niche offering like lymphatic drainage has expanded my beauty and wellness scope from limited to panoramic. Garance is generous for believing I know everything, I’d consider myself more of an enthusiastic nerd than renowned expert. What I have found in my time spent as both practitioner and client, is that the necessity for a simple, curated collection of beauty tools is essential, and overwhelming. We are perpetually sold on excess consumption with limitless selection. Fortunately, I’ve made a career out of my obsessive searching, researching, and engaging my clients. Beauty is not only a matter of investing in products that deliver results, but also making self care an essential practice with a less is more approach. Focusing on quality over quantity, these tools have proven themselves to be signature accessories that transform your self care routine into ritual. Anticipate some sticker shock (I chose the word investment deliberately), but keep in mind that these scientifically backed products retain their value and reduce extraneous spending on unnecessary products and salon treatments. Here we go!

The Infrared Mat
So many people ask about the best investment for their home wellness regimen, and the infrared mat is always top of the list. I lounge on my mat daily (it has become a permanent fixture on my living room sectional), and I’m a huge advocate of its healing properties. As part of the electromagnetic light spectrum, infrared rays recreate the healing properties of natural sunlight without the harmful UV/UVB radiation. Each mat provides negative ions, far infrared rays, and heated jade, amethyst, and tourmaline gemstones that are scientifically proven to boost the production of healthy cell tissue, increase circulation, relieve muscle soreness and calm the nervous system. Infrared mats are used on pro athletes, in hospitals, and are a godsend if you’re sick or have any injury (my mom, who’s had multiple surgeries, sleeps on hers every night). The best part, no effort required – I’ve spent many a Netflix binge sessions regenerating my cells. (The Infrared Mat, $699.00)

The LED Mask
Aside from transforming into what I call Beauty Kruger, my LED mask is a definite staple. If you’re doubting it’s legitimacy, take comfort in knowing it was born out of NASA technology developed to improve healing for astronauts on space shuttle missions, and has quantifiable results. Designed to emit specific photon wavelengths, LED masks reduce breakouts and bestow a noticeable glow. Blue LED wavelengths kill acne causing bacteria, while Red LED lights diminish wrinkles and skin fatigue by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. I always love the luxury of reducing my expression lines and neutralizing breakouts while taking a few minutes out of my day to bathe my skin in healing light, usually while reclining on my infrared mat (despite my mystical star wars appearance, this is not just a Los Angeles beauty fallacy.) Regular use of LED lights are essential, similar to the necessity of continual sunlight for plant growth, but the experience is so lustrous that never seems to be an issue. (The LED Mask, $94.99/$250)

The ZIIP Nanocurrent
There’s more to treating your skin than selecting effective skincare products. Often overlooked, exercising your skin cells and practicing regular lymphatic stimulation in addition to applying product is essential for ensuring healthy skin. The best way to stimulate your skin between treatments is the ZIIP – a pocket sized nanocurrent device that stimulates lymphatic drainage, increases collagen production, reduced breakouts and tonifies skin texture.

Melanie Simon (the renowned LA esthetician who designed it) spent 10 years developing the product to expand her reach beyond her clients so trust me, it’s worth forking over the $500. I know, I’m sorry! But you could be spending this or more on med spa treatments and regular microcurrent facials. The ZIIP allows you to customize your treatment with varying electric currents and frequencies (there’s an iPhone app too, of course). I’ve seen regular use of this device transform skin from lackluster to lustrous, particularly around baggy eyes, necklines, and fatigued jawlines. Slathering a thick layer of gold jelly over your skin (part of the process) also amps the luxury experience. (ZIIP Nanocurrent, $495)

So there you have it, my essential foundation for a beauty regimen formulated over years of work and experimentation. As much as I’m an advocate for quality treatments with skilled practitioners (my black book is ever expanding), the lasting results of taking beauty and self care into your home, or with you while you travel, are uncontested. Even if you hire a landscaper for the garden, you still need to water the houseplants, know what I mean?

Oh and please, feed my obsession for exploring the beauty terrain, share the tools you love with us below.

HealthBrett RaneyComment