Backstage with Cara at the Met Gala

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Behind the circus of the red carpet, the runways of New York Fashion Week and the pages of US Vogue, you’ll find Romy Soleimani. As one of the world’s top make-up artists, with clients like Keira Knightley, Reese Witherspoon and Natalie Portman, she is known for her trademark look of glowing second skin. Romy rarely steps into the spotlight herself, but her Instagram army is strong: check out her hashtag #romyglow. The LYMA laser is a mainstay of her toolkit: here’s what happened when she took it backstage at the Met Gala to prep Cara Delevingne.

So tell us Romy, what’s the Met Gala really like?

Honestly? Total madness. We were getting Cara ready at The Marco Hotel and you could barely get through the doors for all the people, and that’s before the elevators stopped working. Add to that it was being held smack in the middle of New York Fashion Week and US Vogue was shooting the whole process, it was nuts. Cara and I rode in the car together to the Gala and it took an entire hour to travel three blocks – there were a million barricades and the streets were crazy.

Who decided Cara’s standout Met Gala look?

Her team sent me the sketch of her outfit ahead of time. She was thinking a red lip, but I thought that seemed too classic, especially with the suit she was wearing. You have to take in the personality of who you're working with. What's her vibe? What's the spirit that she puts out there? I just thought a red eye felt cooler and more unexpected. Luckily Cara is super trusting and very kind, so she went with me on it. There was a lot of red eye make-up at the Met Gala this year. It’s weird when you have a feeling about something and then it becomes the zeitgeist.

What’s the most important part of a red carpet make-up look?

For me, prep is everything. People that work with me expect it and know it’s what I do. When it comes to glowing skin, it's not what you apply on top of the skin, it's how you take care of the skin. How you nourish it, how you stimulate it and how you heal it. Before any huge fashion cover shoot, supermodel or red carpet event, I take a lot of the time to treat the skin because the finish that you get is never the same as it would be if you just were just to apply makeup. What’s more, it puts the person in more relaxed state, you physically feel their shoulders go lower. With Cara, I had two and a half hours and so 45 minutes of that I spent prepping and treating her skin, and that’s when I got her into using the LYMA laser.

Why use a long-term gadget for a one-off event?

Because even in the short-term, it helps calm redness and offer healing. You're never going to get a crazy reaction to the skin from the LYMA laser. I'm not zapping the skin, I’m taking down inflammation and stimulating the facial muscles to lift the face. Also, this thing is worth sharing! There are a lot of beauty gadgets out there but not so many that truly work, are easy to use and appropriate for sensitive skin. I think the LYMA laser would be amazing for Cara long-term; mainly for reducing inflammation because when you’re young and have a crazy lifestyle, always travelling, anything that reduces inflammation is vital.

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How do your clients feel about you using a laser on them?

When I've used the LYMA laser on celebrities and supermodels, they always have a positive reaction and are impressed. I use the LYMA laser on all my celebrities because I know it can help their skin moving forward and I want to introduce them to the device because I know they will fall in love with it. If their skin is in better condition, then it's better for me, right? People trust me because this is what I do and I’m choosing from a million products that come to me, plus they know me and can see what it’s done for my skin. I personally use it, love it and I've seen work on me, so I feel very secure recommending it.

How has the LYMA laser changed your skincare routine?

First off, I'm blown away with the technology and with what it's done for me. Since I've been using the LYMA laser, I haven't gone to a dermatologist once. I would say that before Covid I certainly would do a drop of Botox here and there, even if it was minimal I would do some. Now I use the LYMA laser, good skincare and nothing else. I’m 47, sure I have some wrinkles but they don’t bother me and my skin feels stronger, plumper and has more bounce to it.

How do you use the LYMA laser on yourself?

I swipe across an area, count to five slowly, then move onto another area and I’ll do that for 20 minutes. If I have a sunspot, I try to lighten it and focus on that or longer. Or sometimes, I’ll hold it on the apples of my cheeks because I feel like I want to build more collagen there and get more bounce to my cheeks. I try to do that twice a week.

How is it different from professional laser skin treatments?

I love that the LYMA laser repairs skin by healing, not by damaging it. So many dermatologists’ lasers work on damaging the skin. The skin repairs itself and builds collagen, but it’s been attacked. I see people ‘over laser’ their skin with traditional lasers all the time; they make their skin more fragile and increasingly sensitive to the elements. So, I'm interested in things that act by healing and not by damaging.

What do you make of all the at-home beauty gadgets right now?

I have every single one that you can think of, including everything from Celluma. The Celluma LED face mask is excellent, but I seldom feel inclined to just sit under there. There's not that many that I want to put the time into, especially if it's just another LED sheet on your face or another microcurrent device. LED lights are great but the idea of just sitting there and not being able to do anything doesn’t work for me. Also, most of the serum gels that come with them, whether it be the NuFace or the ZIIP, I don't love the feel of. They don't feel like they're doing anything besides being a conductor for the electrodes. But the LYMA Priming Serum with the bioavailable stabilised oxygen and those stem cell actives? That genuinely feels like you're feeding your skin with something good.

How much time do you put into your own skin?

I personally would love to just sit at home all day and treat my skin, but that's not my reality. I have two kids, I’m fortunate to have a big career, and travel a lot - my life is crazy. I feel like I'm always multitasking and with this LYMA laser I can still do all that, that's what I'm looking for. I’m always asking how many good things can I do to myself at the same time? Because there's a lot of moving parts to life, right? So, I want things that are going to make my life easier and that work. With the LYMA laser I feel I’m proactively taking care of my skin and feel happier with how it looks - you can't ask for more than that.

Originally published Oct 4, 2021.
Written by Jess Lacey.

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