Doll Face Skincare Studio: Charming Retro Vibes and Flawless Skin
Tucked away inside a cozy space in Los Angeles’ trendy Atwater Village neighborhood, Doll Face Skincare Studio is a retro-inspired atelier that offers an array of luxurious and personalized skin care services. Owner Lila Castellanos, who is a licensed esthetician with more than 13 years of experience in the skin care industry, opened her business in 2014—which has been named among the best facial and brow shaping places on the Los Angeles Hot List.
She also pioneered the Oxygen Facial, a highly effective treatment that offers targeted results by accelerating collagen production and stimulating cellular repair, resulting in visibly rejuvenated skin. We recently visited Castellanos at her Los Angeles studio and chatted with her about the services she offers, secrets to flawless skin, and where she found all of her fabulous vintage decor:
What made you decide to open Doll Face Skin Care Studio?
One day I walked into the Pilates studio that was part of this building to pick up a copy of their schedule, and I saw that there were a bunch of different rooms here. I noticed there was a massage therapist, so we ended up connecting, and then I slowly transitioned into opening my own business here a couple days a week. At the time, I was the head esthetician at a day spa for eight years.
I always knew I wanted to open my own skin care boutique. I love the 1940s and 1950s, and knew that I didn't want to have your run-of-the-mill typical studio or spa. It’s clinical but its still has a bit of a vibe to it that a lot of my clients love. On my website’s opening page it says, “Take your skin back in time!” My goal is to help clients’ skin look youthful again and keep it looking great as they age. It’s great to embrace aging, just do it gracefully.
How did you come up with the name for your studio?
The name came from my boyfriend, who always calls me “Doll Face” or “Doll.” I also loved how in movies from the 1950s, men would address women by saying, “Hey, Doll!”
Where did you find all of your decor from?
I love to go to the Long Beach Antique Market Everything that is in my studio I’ve found, and there’s a story behind all of it. I collect vintage vase heads that women used to store their makeup brushes. All my things are true vintage. I have a hairdryer from the 1950s that was turned into a light, and I love items from that era that are robin or teal blue.
I was a ballet dancer for 15 years, which has inspired some of the decor here as well. The very first item I bought for the studio is a vintage photograph of ballerinas that’s on the wall in the facial treatment room. I had it enlarged, put on canvas and enhanced with sepia. I bought it at an antique shop in San Luis Obispo, where I’m originally from. It’s also where my second studio is located—I go up there once a month to see clients.
To enhance the ambience, instead of playing typical spa music, I have my own curated playlist that includes Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, Pink Martini, French music, and anything with a nice Bossa Nova swing to it.
What is the Oxygen Facial?
We were one of the first studios on the East Side that offered oxygen facials, which is the most popular specialty facial that I do. I have a few different ways I do it: I can just do the oxygen, which a lot of women like to do before a red carpet event or wedding because it creates a nice palette on the skin for makeup application, or I can combine it with microdermabrasion and a peel, which I call the Triple Threat on my menu. I also do it with LED Red Light Therapy.
What other services do you offer?
Another popular treatment I offer is The Doll Face Facial. That’s always a good one to start with if you haven’t had a facial in over a year. I do a skin analysis and determine the right products for people and what they’re wanting to get out of their service. During the fall and holiday season, I offer a cranberry enzyme, which is also exfoliating and brightens the skin. I put clients under steam with it for about 10 minutes—I’ve seen some really good results with that.
We also offer LED add-ons with LightStim. The Red Light Therapy is for anti-aging, which creates collagen, helps skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles. The Blue Light is for acne, so it kills bacteria and helps with inflamed pustules. I also have the new LightStim Orange Light, which is for pain management.
I can add on peels to most of the facials, and I also do some heavier peels like Jessner and TCA, as well as the the micro current facials. What I like about all of my treatments is that I can integrate a lot of them with the different modalities. I also offer back facials, waxing, peels on the hands, and I have a gal that comes in to do do eyelash extensions.
How often do you recommend getting a facial?
I’d say once a month. Unless we’re working on something like scarring, spots or pigmentation, if we’re on a treatment plan then anywhere from two weeks to once a month is ideal for getting a facial.
What brands do you carry?
I carry Intraceuticals, which is an Australian-based oxygen line. I also carry MDSolarSciences, and I have other lines that I use certain products from such as Bella Schneider Beauty.
What do you love most about what you do?
I have such a passion for skin care. I’ve been doing it for almost 15 years. I love when people leave here happy—when they feel good, confident, and can see that they are on a road to positive change. I have a lot of younger clients who struggle with acne, which I had when I was 17, so it’s nice to be able to offer them a place where they can come and not be judged, be listened to, and then walk out of here knowing that something good can happen. I love to give that confidence back to people.
[Images courtesy of Doll Face Skincare Studio]
Doll Face Skincare Studio
2019 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90039