“Meet me at my house at ten. I live just down from SoulCycle in Bridgehampton. You know, across from Madonna.”
It is a Monday in high summer and Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, who usually practices cosmetic dermatology on Fifth Avenue in New York City, has his Botox syringes loaded at his weekend house. On Mondays, “friends and family” are invited to wander into Dr. Frank’s house in their beach cover-ups, their riding breeches, their Bandier Crop Leggings and Power Bras for a quick hit of Botox. The doctor might be wearing a bathing suit or shorts, and because you are friends and family, he’ll kiss you on the cheek and ask about your mother, your sister, the kids, maybe your husband. He inquires about the dinner party last night and whether you’re going to the breast-cancer paddleboard thing, you know, the Gwyneth thing, next week. (“I love getting all the invites,” he tells me. “I love all the cool accoutrements of my work.”) Then he will lead you to his home gym, past the free weights and the Peloton bike and into the antique wooden dentist’s chair.
Amy, an artist who lives in the old Elaine de Kooning house, brings a copy of Beach magazine, where she’s profiled. She’s getting Botox in time for a benefit for Bruce Weber — or maybe it’s a benefit in his honor — at her house. “Do you think this will be good by Saturday?” she asks Dr. Frank, somewhat anxiously, although you’d never know it by looking at her forehead. “Every A-list fashion person is going to be there.” Dr. Frank squeezes some Botox between her brows, on a few spots on her forehead, and on the bridge of her nose, and she doesn’t flinch once. For a minute welts appear, as if she were bitten by a large and hungry mosquito. By the time Amy steps into her car (“the cheapest one in the driveway!” she says cheerfully) the welts have disappeared.
“Hi, honey!” says Dr. Frank to Courtney, who’s wearing a flower-embroidered navy dress, sandals, a ponytail, and a tan. Uh-oh. (“You’re a little tan, darling.” “I know, I’m sorry” “Let’s do something about that in the fall.”) Dr. Frank holds a syringe the way a movie star holds a cigarette, waving it around as he speaks. Courtney looks as if she’s never frowned or even sulked once in her life, and her brow is as smooth as a yogi’s. Still, she says she hasn’t gotten Botox since March. “That’s about right for you,” says Frank. “You’re not so old.”
Dr. Frank, who’s 47, doesn’t see the olds at his house on Mondays. For them, it’s the office on Fifth Avenue, where he uses multiple needles for fillers and Botox, lasers, Ulthera, whatever it takes. “We just got laughing gas,” he tells Courtney. “Ten seconds and you don’t feel anything. It was my dad’s idea and he was a dentist.”
After Fredric Brandt, the beloved superstar dermatologist, died in April of 2015, Dr. Frank hired his receptionist and one of his nurses, acquiring a number of Dr. Brandt’s patients along the way, including, rumor has it, Madonna. He’s had to open additional office space to accommodate the 60 percent increase in business. The Hamptons gym is strictly a one-chair, one-needle operation where Dr. Frank’s policy is this: “I’m only willing to see people who I’d have a glass of rosé with.” And like the occasional rosé shortage in the Hamptons, Dr. Frank’s Botox has run dry on certain Mondays. “I only bring out so much, and people book appointments and cancel. But sometimes they bring friends with them. I usually do two to four people on Mondays, but I can get as many as eight to ten, and then I run out. That’s what happened. I could only see the priority people. No one was upset because they knew they were trying to catch me.” It’s nice to have a dermatologist’s mobile number. Sometimes, “I get calls about poison ivy and splinters. Those are favors.”
Everything about summer in the Hamptons is ripe and firm, the tomatoes are taut, the corn is sweet and still warm from the field. The rosé is iced, the light is golden, the air, briny. Nothing suggests that this bewitchment will end, that the cold will descend, tans will fade, and foreheads wrinkle.
By then, you might find Dr. Frank, his wife, Diana, and his parents gathered at his long dinner table in Bridgehampton. Their faces will be red and flaky. “I do Fraxel on myself and everybody before Thanksgiving,” says Dr. Frank. “We’re all at the table and, yeah, it looks a little weird.”