There was no better way to spend my Friday night than relaxing at the four-year-old Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village — it’s a bit of a drive, but completely worth it to get away from the hustle and bustle of L.A. But it’s not your typical hotel and you’ll notice it when you first step in. Aside from all the bells and whistles you would expect from the Four Seasons franchise, this particular location is heavily focused on the art of feng shui, a Chinese system of aesthetics. I mean, everything down to the Yamaguchi Salon to Dr. Ronald Moy‘s skincare line to the fabulous outdoor landscaping.
At Yamaguchi Salon, owner Billy Yamaguchi focuses on bringing out his clients’ inner beauty through the use of feng shui. He heavily utilizes the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood. From the pleasant earth-toned walls to the nature-inspired decor, it’s hard not to notice how much he incorporates the more spiritual side of beauty that’s not often seen in most salons.
“We’re the first to adapt feng shui in the beauty industry, globally,” Yamaguchi said. “Each of those five elements has a cutting technique, has a makeup technique, has a massage technique – everything that has to do with wellness.” He adds that though a hairstyle or hair color in itself may look good, it might not necessarily be fitting for that particular client’s energy.
From my past experiences, my stylists have always started off any appointment with asking me what look I’m going for — what kind of cut, color, etc. But not Yamaguchi. He starts off each clients’ appointment asking a set of questions, and depending on the answers, the client will get a specific look targeted at what his or her “inner” self looks like.
Only using my answers of “bubbly,” “blue,” “organized,” and “grey,” he concluded that I needed a professional, clean-cut look with a bit of an edge. I must say, he pretty much nailed it. (You’ll have to stop by for a visit if you want to know how he got to that conclusion.)
Dr. Ronald Moy’s DNA EGF Renewal
The hotel is also home to the California Health & Longevity Institute, where clients can not only be pampered from head to toe, but also learn how to live healthier lives by combining treatments in the areas of medical, nutrition, fitness, life balance, and the spa. Dr. Moy, the director of dermatology and cosmetic surgery at the institute, is spearheading the battle against skin cancer and the physical struggles with aging skin. His new line, DNA EGF Renewal, targets anyone who suffers from skin problems — specifically those who want to alleviate signs of aging, prevent against skin cancer, and reverse sun damage.
“DNA repair enzymes have been scientifically shown to prevent cancer,” Dr. Moy said. “It reverses aging; it decreases spots. On Asian skin, maybe we don’t get as many wrinkles, but it will prevent them and prevent brown spots from forming.”
But with a barrage of so many beauty products claiming to cure all of your skin ailments, what does Dr. Moy claim his products can do?
“Because our’s works,” he said confidently. “Everything else contains antioxidants, which I hate to be controversial, but that is all stuff that has not worked out at all. Thirty years ago when I graduated from medical school , we talked about antioxidants . . . and it’s panned out to be nothing. People can use as much Vitamin E and Vitamin C, it doesn’t do anything – the only thing that matters is if you eat the antioxidants. But if you put it on topically, it’s nothing.”
Dr. Moy prides himself on his Growth Factor Serum — a product that he said accelerates the growth of healthy skin cells. He said he even has the exclusive patent to this barley-based product, which is the only plant-based product that has the epidermal growth factor. By increasing the rate by which new cells form, your skin will look more radiant and and have a smooth texture. The rest of the line includes more than half a dozen products, including eye renewal creams and scar therapy gels.
For the life of me, I can never get my makeup right — I either don’t have enough coverage or I cake it on, which is definitely not ideal for the muggy weather we’ve had lately. I took a break from mineral makeup this summer and jumped on the BB cream (which stands for “blemish bomb” makeup cream, which is a big hit in Korea) bandwagon. But after getting an awesome makeover by Glo Minerals rep Patricia Dinino, I might just have to switch back. The mineral makeup line uses a blend of Vitamins A, C, E and green tea extract. The line also touts that it has broad-spectrum UV protection and lasting coverage.
Dinino said a great thing about mineral makeup is the fact that you can essentially blend any of the eye or cheek colors into any skin color, without it looking jarring. She did a bit of work on my eyes, and was able to keep it natural, but noticeable enough. There was a noticeable difference in skin color — she was able to match my tan skin really well — and overall coverage, hiding my blemishes and scars.