The Beautiful, Horrific Transparency Of Injecting Your Own Blood Into Your Face

Now, I’ll be straight as I can with y’all: Even though I love skincare more in theory than in practice (because in practice I love using makeup wipes, vaseline and a cheapo charcoal mask and falling asleep immediately), I have a particular dark and voyeuristic interest in the mysterious world of Rich Lady Skincare.

I think this is something a lot of other women who grew up not-so-flushed with cash share — it’s fun to imagine a world where you could throw yourselves full-bodied and full-heartedly into pampering yourself, a world where you didn’t need to bust your ass to take care of your ass. Even though you know on an intellectual level that there are certain standards that you shouldn’t have to adhere to, that there are certain lengths you physically and mentally will not go to, sometimes you want to see the people who do it anyway. Just because.

Which is why I literally cannot stop thinking about Elizabeth Chambers Hammer, bakeshop owner, influencer and wife of your boyfriend Armie Hammer, and her skincare routine today. Particularly I cannot stop thinking about the way she injects her own backwashed blood into her face.

Okay, maybe that’s not the most accurate way to frame this procedure, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), that I just found out about from an Into The Gloss interview that I never got around to reading in a flood of #content last month— but now it’s literally the only thing my brain will hold onto today.

LMK if you feel it too:

“I’ve found this incredible woman who I’ve turned everyone on to in LA—so much so that she didn’t even get me in last week! Her name is Lena at Carasoin Day Spa. She’s incredible. She knows everything about every product, and puts an extraordinarily high value on effective, clean products. She has the best machines that work wonders. She always jokes that I’m a frustrated aesthetician because I’m obsessed with her job—I’m really fascinated by the science behind skincare. I’ve had facials everywhere by everyone and Lena is by far the best. She does microcurrent, she does a lot of stem cells, she does microneedling with bovine stem cells—a lot of people use plant stem cells which come in jars, but they’re not really shelf stable. She’s really good at coming up with alternatives to Botox and fillers. I’ve been doing PRP, which is where they take your blood, spin it, and inject it into your face. I think it really works.”

Casual. Elizabeth Bathory realness. We stan legends.

It’s weird little facts like this that make these kinds of interviews endlessly fascinating. But they also, for me at least, offer some crucial perspective in addition to giving a freaky funky look at how the richer half live.

Chambers-Hammer comes from some money herself (hello wine business dad) and married into that sweet, sweet baking soda empire. She’s, in addition to all the other hats she wears (mother, businesswoman, skincare fan) that I have no doubt are hard work, a lady of luxury and can afford to dote on herself in ways that my brain can’t even conceive. So hearing someone matter-of-factly unpack the weird, intense, kinda scary and resource-consuming efforts it takes to look like a soft baby seal pup/super model hybrid while never making it seem low-key or effortless (or that me, a person who just waved goodbye to a chunk of my paycheck for loans, rent, etc., could or should be able to do it too) is everything.

For those of us raised in the age of facewash ads with smiling clear-skinned ladies splashing water over their still hella made-up faces, our ideals of what we should look like were forged in the fires of “effortless, low maintenance beauty” rhetoric that demonized the girls who couldn’t hide the fact they were trying. Our ideas of what our skin and bodies are supposed to look like and how much work we’re supposed to put in to get them there are admittedly skewed.

We don’t even have a grip on how diverse, how wild, how unruly (and beautiful) the naked aesthetics of humans can be — which explains why there’s always a new (most likely expensive) something coming out to shrink you, smooth you and rip some hair outta you.

But that’s where this interview really gets me. I am still thinking about the alien-like process of having your blood spun and reinjected back into your face to make your meat suit look young and not-zitty or whatever. I imagine this process as something definitely more alien, carnal or ritualistic than it probably is at the nice, minimalist aesthetician office she’s at — but I am kind of attached to my brain’s gorey rendering.

After all, beauty is a labor of love for so many people who want to appreciate their bodies with their aesthetics and somewhere, between my desire to just wrinkle and age as intended and concerns about beauty standards and patriarchy, I have so much affection for that work. But because that work is still side-eyed and shamed and denied so wholly by the same society that demands it, we so rarely get to really see it that way.

So the blood injections? They do it for me in my creepy little heart. It’s so undeniably extra, so unabashedly conspicuous. It’s the Rich Lady exaggeration of a bathroom full of eight-step cleansing routines that won’t fit in your medicine cabinet when company comes over. It’s the time I came out of the bathroom,mid-eye-liner-removal raccoon eyes wide to prove a point to my ex who thought I didn’t wear makeup. A blown tf up, You asked for it? You’re gonna get it, answer to demands that femme folks look a certain way.

Chambers-Hammer continues on, talking about more parts of her lifestyle from kombucha habit to the realities of being a parent and wrangling her kids. She’s a real human, beyond my class anxiety and the syringe fantasies I’ve created, who works and plays and must on some level pay attention to the pressure to look forever 22. She mentions how she calls on a cupping and acupuncture specialist (another privileged, extra, and still sorta ugly thing that I am enamored with, dear god) to help her go to sleep.

 

As is @katiejanehughes color pop on the eye 💜

A post shared by Elizabeth Chambers Hammer (@elizabethchambers) on

“I think the greatest luxury is to have both kids asleep, have taken a shower, and have her come over at 10:30 to do acupuncture and cupping and then just go to sleep,” she says.”I tell her, ‘Leave the key under the mat!’ That’s the only way I’ll sleep solidly. I function fine on maybe four hours of sleep, but if Eva comes over I’ll get closer to six!”

And god, is it a relief to hear someone acknowledge that so much of this maintenance, on top everything else that makes a life a life, might be something you lose a little sleep over.