In Los Angeles, there are about as many facialists promising that coveted “Hollywood glow” as there are palm trees dotting Sunset boulevard. But only one of them is continually entrusted with the faces of YouTube’s biggest beauty vloggers, from Patrick Starr and James Charles to Desi Perkins and Nicol Concilio. Yolanda Mata, more endearingly referred to as Yoli Glo (her Instagram handle) may not have her own spa or skin care line like many of her fellow celebrity estheticians (yet) but her unique treatments are just as sought after. But it’s not because she's got the fanciest gadgets or the latest buzzy ingredients — Mata doesn’t even use a steam machine when extracting blackheads — it’s the entire experience itself, coupled with the fact that her clients emerge from her hands red carpet-ready, no downtime needed.
She’s got the receipts to prove it — before Mata worked with influencers, she primarily treated A-list celebrities. But she never set out to become a celebrity esthetician, nor does she want to be known as one either. Mata has always been more focused on delivering immediate results to anyone interested in getting a facial from her, whether you're an actor, musician, YouTuber, or a regular person like you and me. When she invited me for a treatment, I could hardly wait to see what the hype was all about.
Mata greeted me into her Los Angeles home where she occasionally sees her clients (she mostly does house calls) with a homemade cup of hot apple cider, cookies, and flowers waiting on her coffee table. It was like walking into a mystical greenhouse — orchids, crystals, and candles were strewn across the room and the sun was beaming brightly through the house's big windows. She hugs me, sits me down, and asks me about myself, how I’m feeling, what I do. It already feels different from a traditional facial — like a therapy session almost — and that’s even before she begins the treatment.
To start, Mata cleanses my skin using Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil followed by their Rice Enzyme Powder, which she whips up into a frothy foam and applies all over my face with a brush. She mostly uses Tatcha products, not only because she is an ambassador for the brand, but also because of their emphasis on using natural, clean ingredients, something she considers important when it comes to skin care, she shares.
There are no chemical peels or harsh retinols involved in Mata's facials (which I usually am a fan of) — besides Tatcha, Mata only relies on essential oils and other single ingredient products to treat the skin. She doesn't believe you really need anything else to achieve a glowy, healthy complexion.
When it comes time to remove my blackheads, her method is much gentler too — Mata uses a tiny microneedle to carefully unclog my pores and pop my pimples. Unlike a traditional comedone extractor tool, which most estheticians use to press down onto the skin and release blackheads and whiteheads, Mata uses a needle to pinpoint exactly what needs to be released without bothering the rest of your skin. “You’ve brought me gifts!” Mata smiles, referring to my emerging blemishes. “I love when my clients bring me gifts.” Mata spends almost an hour meticulously going over every inch of my face, extracting each tiny impurity with such care and detail. (She even cleaned the insides of my ears!) Mata thinks that this technique is what sets her apart and keeps her clients coming back. "My method of purifying and decongesting the skin is the foundation a healthy glowing complexion," she explains. "I can thoroughly micro clean the pores without stressing the skin and without downtime."
After hydrating my skin with a nourishing sheet mask made from coconut, Mata ends the facial by massaging my face with two Akari gold leaf-covered acupressure sticks that were custom made for her in Japan. As she moves them up, down, and around my forehead, cheekbones, and jaw, she explains how the motions encourage lymphatic drainage and boost collagen production in my face. As "LA" as it sounds, it almost feels like she's waving her magical wands over me to complete a spiritual healing of some kind. Yes, my face looks and feels as clean and bright as ever (even after being pricked all over with needles), but I feel lighter all over, too.
Maybe it's Mata's warm, calm energy that is so infectious, or the actual energy from the crystals she uses during the treatment (again, so #LA). Whatever it is, I feel rejuvenated from the inside out. It didn't feel like Mata was just going through the motions of cleansing and extracting and hydrating my face — her scrupulous attention to detail and the care she showed for not just my skin health, but my wellness overall felt special, something I don't often experience in a typical facial. And while I won't be abandoning my laser and chemical treatments anytime soon, it's nice to know that I don't need to rely on them as heavily as I do. The literal glow emanating from my face as I left Mata's home is a great reminder of that.