Every other week, for the past ten years, Dr. Michael Apa has flown to Dubai. If you’ve seen Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Huda Kattan, and Elsa Hosk smile, then you’ve seen the cosmetic dentist’s work. With offices in New York, Dubai, and Beverly Hills (come Spring), the king of not-too-perfect-looking veneers is ready for world domination.
“Ultimately, I’d like to have 20 locations around the world,” says Apa, who recently opened an on-site veneer lab to accommodate his two new Brazilian ceramists Murilo Calgaro and João Ricardo. “London is next, probably in 2020.”
The Saratoga native might not have foreseen that one day he’d have so many international hubs, but he did always know that he wanted to be a dentist. His own childhood dentist, aware of his patient’s avid interest, handed him a stack of audio tapes featuring Dr. Larry Rosenthal.
“I listened and I was hooked,” recalls Apa. “I was determined to become Larry’s associate. Once I worked there, I was determined to become his partner … then own it. It’s all about having real focus on what you want.”
He launched Apa Beauty in 2015, which began with a sleek sonic toothbrush, followed by a toothpaste, lip loofah, and tooth gloss, all in the pursuit of healthier, gleaming smiles.
“Everyone requests white, but natural teeth,” he says. “Then I show them what ‘natural’ is, which are various shades of brown. That’s not what they want. What they really want are various shades of yellow white. That’s a natural smile.”
Apa spoke with the Cut about his devotion to Brunello, his distaste for excess “stuff,” and his favorite smell.
Bath or Shower? Shower.
Facial cleanser of choice: Kiehl’s, grabbed from Equinox.
Deodorant of choice: Axe because of its commercials.
Razor of choice: None. I use a Philips Norelco trimmer.
Who cuts your hair? Julien Farel.
Did you ever go through a longer-hair phase? Yes, but I have a short neck, so it was not good.
Scent of choice: Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani.
Scented candle of choice: Diptyque Oyedo.
Bed linens of choice: Frette.
Towel brand of choice: Frette.
Daily carryall: A Berluti duffel bag.
Daily uniform: Brunello.
Weekend uniform: Brunello.
Work shoe of choice: Brunello.
What fashion look do you struggle with achieving? “Casual rock star” is a look I cannot pull off.
What’s your “chill out and watch TV” outfit? Brunello cashmere sweats, Mack Weldon T-shirt.
Watch of choice: Patek Philippe 5522A Limited-Edition Pilot’s Calatrava; only 600 made and available only in the U.S.
Who was your icon growing up? Dan Marino and Don Johnson.
What phrase or word are you known for saying? “Really?!?”
What word do you overuse? “Amazing.”
What drives you crazy? Messes.
How do you usually get around the city? Range Rover Autobiography 2018.
Last great film you watched? The Avengers.
What would the name of your autobiography be? Getting it Done.
Who would star as you in the film adaptation? Charlie Sheen, circa 1984.
Where do you go when you need quiet? The bathroom.
Favorite smell? Thanksgiving dinner.
What is always in your fridge? Fiji water.
Most impressive dish you make: Lobster linguine.
Snack vice: Salted almonds, Crystal Lite tea, and Diet Coke.
What do you think Pantone’s color of 2019 should be? Gray. It’s calming and classic.
What song is currently in your head right now, and are you happy about it? “Dreamer” by Supertramp — and, yes, very happy about it.
What item stresses you out if you’re running low on it? Diet Coke and hair product.
Name a trait or talent you possess that few know about: I have a wicked forehand.
Who in your opinion is currently crushing it? Bang Bang, the tattoo artist, who’s also a patient.
What technology or app do you rely on most? Instagram.
Favorite meal and where: The Chicken for Two at Locanda Verde.
Comfort food: Anything not healthy.
Name of your most-listened-to Spotify playlist (can be one that you’ve created, but we need its name): “Take me back to the ’80s”
Most recently binged TV show: Arrested Development.
Favorite spot in the entire world: Home.
What do you foresee as the top beauty trends heading into 2019, and why? A return to natural beauty. It’s time for the pendulum to swing back from the overly contoured looks, and overly white teeth.
What product in your company’s domain is misunderstood and should be a best seller? Our gloss floss, Apa Tooth Gloss. It’s classier and healthier than chewing gum, but it also gives a smile that extra bump with shine.
If you won the Powerball tomorrow, what are the first five things you would do? I’d buy a plane, but for work. Accumulating stuff just provides extra, unwanted, and unnecessary stress. But a plane would be very useful to transport not just me but my staff from location to location.