As seen in Angeleno
By Carita Rizzo
When it comes to your skin, Sonya Dakar does not mince words. Within minutes of meeting a new client, “The Fixer”—as the woman who coined the term “Beauty Boot Camp” refers to herself—has identified every issue you are facing, from lines to lifestyle, and is ready to present a solution. The question is: Are you with her? “It’s my way or the highway,” Dakar cracks about the individualized regimens she puts her clients on, but, deep down, you know she means business.
Though Dakar’s establishment, which she runs with daughter Mimi Dakar Berry, has gone through several face-lifts over the past 30 years, her ethos has stayed the same: She will fix your complexion without injectables. “I’m like a trainer,” says Dakar. “If I said I have a love handle, a trainer would tell me how to lose it. This is no different.”
The Tel Aviv-born esthetician started her career stateside in the ’80s, giving facials in her guesthouse before moving to a 1,000-square-foot location in West Hollywood where young Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Denise Richards made her the worst kept secret in town. “Stella McCartney came to me because she was best friends with Gwyneth, and she said, ‘I thought your place would be so much bigger,’” recalls Dakar. “I said, ‘I know. My name is bigger than my place.’” In 2002, Dakar got a location to match her growing reputation, moving into her flagship outpost in Beverly Hills, where she runs the skin clinic, while her daughter handles the product division.
To celebrate three decades of success, the duo is not only expanding the company to Italy, but is also relaunching the brand’s signature Omega skin care line. “Since I was little, my mother said, ‘I’m going to build an empire for this family,’” remarks Dakar Berry. “She really did.”