Megan Tries It

A Skin Whisperer’s Sculpting At-Home Facial

Written by: Megan O’Neill


Published on: August 31, 2023


There are facials that feel fantastic, and then there are facials that make you fantastic. A combination of the two is actually quite rare. But it does exist—and you can get it from Fatma Shaheen.

There’s a monthslong waitlist to see the 51-year-old Shaheen—she’s founder and CEO of the gorgeous line Skin Design London and “one of the world’s most famous facialists,” according to Vogue Italia—at her skin studio at the Matchesfashion townhouse in London, where she’s based. Her formulas are pure skin-firming, luminizing, tightening magic, and her own complexion, not to mention her clients’ (Naomi Campbell, Naomi Watts, and Irina Shayk are all part of the crew), is the sparkling proof. She even makes something called Face Tight Serum, which is true to its name (it’s loaded with peptides to lift, luminize, and tone, and it’s unsurprisingly one of my favorites).

  1. Skin Design London Face Tight Serumgoop, $222

Shaheen’s dewy-fresh skin inspired serious confidence as I lay back on her treatment table at Casa Cipriani’s spa in New York, where she was posted up for the next few days, slammed with appointments for the city’s glittery somebodies there for the Met Gala.

“Let’s make you glowy,” she said. For the next hour, I was in a blissed-out haze as she pressed, smoothed, kneaded, exfoliated, hydrated, and even sculpted (with the help of some microcurrent). I was devastated when she was done and I had to get up—yet I no longer felt or looked like the bleary-eyed mother of a two-year-old. It was shocking: My skin glistened (see the selfie I took minutes after the treatment, above), my cheekbones were subtly chiseled, and my eyes were more wide-awake than they’d maybe ever been.

Shaheen is now back home in London, but I’ve been approximating the facial at home once a week—the glow, I’m telling you, is unstoppable. More than a few people have asked me, “Did you just get a facial?” (And they don’t believe me when I tell them I did it myself.)

The At-Home “Did You Just Get a Facial?” Facial

  • 1

    Brighten and Exfoliate with Real Cherries

    Skin Design London The Cherry Gloss Peel, goop, $180

    This peel is serious and smells like an explosion of fresh cherries —it took Shaheen eight years to get right, and it’s her secret weapon for making clients look killer on a red carpet. I smooth it on first and let the blend of alpha hydroxy acids and fruit-derived antioxidants go to work for 15 minutes.

  • 2

    Smooth Texture and Tone with Vitamin C

    goop Beauty 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum, goop, $125/$112 with subscription

    “Wait, your skin,” “Omg, what are you using?” and similar incredulous praise started rolling in after even just a short spell of using this daily. It’s the best vitamin C serum I’ve ever tried—it comes in two parts—pure L-ascorbic acid powder and a hyaluronic acid serum—that you mix together—and you really do see a noticeable difference in your skin. It’s great every day, but it’s a secret ingredient for glow in my at-home facial.

  • 3

    Moisturize with Plumping Rose Cream

    Skin Design London Alpine Rose Glow, goop, $150

    My skin drinks up this silky blend of plant extracts, alpine rose, and antioxidants—and the cream instantly deposits a gleamy sheen that looks better than makeup. I take a few deep breaths in and close my eyes as I blend it over my skin. Such a lovely moment of calm.

  • 4

    Sculpt with Vibration

    Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, goop, $195

    The next best thing to Shaheen’s hands, this 24-karat gold bar uses vibrations to sculpt and lift your face temporarily (the results last for about a day—or a night). It feels so good and really changes the way your skin looks; I use it for about 10 minutes, massaging all over my face.

  • 5

    Don’t Forget Mineral Sunscreen

    Forah Everyday Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, goop, $47

    I wear this one every day, which is easy to do because it’s invisible (truly), light, and so gorgeously moisturizing that I’m almost tempted to use it at night, too. Mineral sunscreen is the only clean sunscreen (the only active ingredients listed should be zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both); it doesn’t harm coral or people. And this one has a chic tube, too.