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Sunshine in a Bottle: Best Perfumes For SPRING!

16 Mar


Every year, about this time, I get a MAJOR hankering for some fresh and floraly scents with the deepest hopes of quickening that bright and cheery re-emergence of spring.  Since I am generally drawn to fragrances that have notes of Jasmine or Orange Blossom, it’s with absolute certainty that I bring you a list of fabulous fragrances for just about any fellow harbinger of SPRING 🙂 .  Each one of the fragrances mentioned herein, are subtle but are also sure to evoke the sweetest memories of springs gone-by.

I once read that every woman should have ONE true fragrance… For years and years I searched for that one scent that was absolutely me… but then I just gave up; For me, this is simply impossible and I have finally accepted it.  In my humble opinion, fragrance is a personal journey (I carry bottles of the first perfume I ever wore (Love’s Baby Soft), and the one I remember my Mammaw wearing to church (Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door or Tresor by Lancome), just so I can bring back the memory with a whiff), and a trip to a local perfume department is almost like looking into a scrapbook of memories or listening to THAT song you loved during a certain time period of your life.  Here, I will give you my take on each fragrance, but urge you to take a sniff of each one the next time you’re at the mall and see what memories they conjure for you.  Treat yourself to some sunshine in a bottle!!!Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 11.07.03 PM

1. Orange Blossom, by Jo Malone: This fragrance was introduced to me by one of my very best friends who lived in Paris for a bit… Well, she actually lived all over… I would receive post cards from exotic locals and imagine all the wonderful adventures she was having, and upon her return there was always a bit of beauty or fashion influence imperative to follow from my perspective.  As such, anytime she suggests something to me, I just know it will be luxurious!!    This scent IS the sweet and enduring scent of orange blossoms, pure and simple.  It reminds me of carefree days spent waiting for warmer weather and educational freedom so I could get out and ride my bike around the neighborhood with friends.  Being in the heart of fruit-tree country, often I could smell these blossoms on the wind… So incredibly lovely, this was my firsScreen Shot 2013-03-15 at 11.08.22 PMt Jo Malone LOVE and my first TRUE bottle of spring!

2. French Lime Blossom, by Jo Malone: This one, my Parisian loving friend wears today and it really does remind me of her, which is just lovely!  I’ve never been to Paris (yet), but I do imagine a wonderfully and effortlessly fabulous Parisian woman wearing this scent… It’s light and fresh, but has the playful floral of the lime blossoms. French Lime Blossom is slightly more sophisticated than the orange blossom scent with it’s green quality and hint of actual lime, but is it equally evoking of spring… or perhaps a spring romance!

3. White Jasmine & Mint, by Jo Malone: White Jasmine & Mint was a fragrance addition FOR ME  last year, and I plan on continuing the indulgence.  The sparkling green-ness of the mint in this blend is so lovely and adds something altogether unique.  Often, I blend this fragrance with my Orange Blossom scent to get a fragrance more complex and all my own (I should mention Jo Malone’s fragrances are designed to be worn alone or combined with others! Yipee).  This IS NOT your grandmother’s white-flower scent, so if you’re nervous about a fragrance that contains jasmine in the title, don’t be.  To me, this scent revives memories of warm spring evenings when all the night blooming jasmine starts to tell it’s secrets to the wind… mmmm, I can smell it now!

4. La Chasse aux Papillons by Le Artisan Perfumeur: If I could only have one bottle of spring for the rest of my life, this would be it.  If I had to bury a bottle of perfume for every season so that the future might know what spring smelled like in days gone by… I say again, this would be it.  The title means “chasing butterflies” and perhaps this, as much as the extremely feminine nectar cradled within is why I keep coming back to it year after year.  This fragrance hits every note I adore in a fragrance, orange blossom, lime, lemon, tuberose, laughter, sunshine, and pure woman-ness (Ok, the last three aren’t really notes, but THEY ARE TO ME!).  This is a fragrance I wear in the daytime, unless I layer it with something for night…  I picture myself out in the sun with a picnic basket or strolling an outdoor mall with friends.  This scent is pure and clean and fresh… which I think is asking a lot of a white-flower fragrance! It doesn’t give this headache prone girl any trouble!

5.  Grand Neroli by Atlier Cologne: This is another fragrance that was introduced to me by a fellow fragrance lover and friend.  This scent is much… hmmm.. what word should I use here… Deeper than the other fragrances.  It’s certainly one that could be worn at night as well as in the day. If you haven’t heard of this line before, you really are missing out! Their Orange Sanguine was so close in place of this one that I think it must be mentioned here as well.  For if Grand Neroli would be night, the Orange Sanguine would be day, with juicy hints of blood orange and bitter orange peel… I somehow imagine myself in Greece or Italy when I envision the obviously fabulous woman who wears either of these scents… but you can be positively marvelous right in your own backyard with a bottle of this on your nightstand!Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 12.15.02 AM

6. Pink Jasmine by Fresh: This scent is a cross between the freshest most clean scent you can imagine (think fresh laundry or your favorite shower soap) and jasmine… Imagine walking past a warm dryer vent on a spring day.  I love to wear this to bed (yep, I even wear a touch of perfume to bed… If it worked for Marylin, Hallllllo!!) or any time I want to feel super fresh and cleeeeean.  I should mention that the like-named cream, which fetches a pretty penny, is lovely layered with any of the Jo Malone fragrances suggested here. This is probably the scent in the bunch that I wear the longest, from March through August when I need a real freshness lift! Did I say fresh enough here!!!?

There you are! I’ll note here that some of the biggest complaints with any of these fragrances is that they don’t last once sprayed.  I sort of agree and disagree.  Since I am so sensitive to fragrance, I can’t use many that are bold enough to last from dawn to dust; at least without me become immune to the scent after the first hour… And, I will also mention, that to me, part of what is so great about these scents is that they are closer to the smells I LOVE in nature, and not that strong, overpowering fragrance that is usually associated with white flowers. Do you have any favorite spring scents I should try!?  Looking for a fragrance recommendation? Hope this helps you find the perfect spring fragrance!!!


Best Undereye Concealer!

14 Mar
Best Undereye Concealer!

Bye Bye Under Eye offers a waterproof, yet moisturizing formula that will stay put no matter what. The truly innovative formula contains high concentrations of Vitamins K, A, C, E and Collagen – clinically proven to reduce under eye puffiness and discoloration while strengthening the delicate skin of the under eye area.

Soooo… there’s one downside… I don’t know where to get it besides ONLINE (super sad face). But can I please, PLEASE tell you how much I love this product!

For years I had searched and searched for a product that had enough coverage but didn’t crease in those little tiny evil lines under the eyes!!! I tried everything the drugstore had to offer, and just about every single brand at Sephora… But now, my search is over… I faultered just once this last year to re-prove that this, in fact is, the best 🙂 .

What’s to love about this one?  Here’s a couple things:  first, it’s SUPER blendable, which is very important to me, it’s waterproof (this stuff won’t budge), it’s packed with TONS of vitamins and minerals that are great for the undereye area (almost like an ultra tinted eye cream), AND this tube is HUGE!!! Mine lasts almost 8 months or more!

If you don’t like something with coverage, this isn’t for you, but if you’re like me and need to erase those undereye bags and circles, this works like a dream!!!

Let me know what you think!!!


Spring 2013 Nail Polishes I ADORE!!!!!!!!!!

6 Mar

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 7.02.20 AM I am a self proclaimed NAIL POLISH JUNKIE! I thought I was hiding my habit from my husband, but one night he mentioned that I should never light a candle in the downstairs bathroom or the entire house would be engulfed in flames due to the sheer amount of nail polish present. I have managed to get my ‘nails’ on all except the purple color (I have an almost identical color from OPI).

All of these formulas are cheery and opaque, so they really pop on the nail! I love BUTTER LONDON’s Philosophy when it comes to chemicals, and their colors are TO DIE FOR! So far the peachy tone is my favorite, closely followed by the bubblegum pink! I have a feeling the mint color as well as the typically hard-to-wear yellow will be a mainstay in my nail repertoire from Spring through Summer! Try them out!Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 7.02.58 AM


For those of you looking for more coverage in a BB cream!

4 Mar

For those of you looking for more coverage in a BB cream!

Many of you know how much I have LOVED the Nars Tinted Moisturizer… But, like many of you, it just didn’t provide enough coverage when I needed it. I still love my Nars lotion, but after of a week of using Diorsnow White Reveal, I may be a convert. Although it does have SPF 50, and I am not a huge believer in higher than 30, the coverage is great with the same benefits of BB creams!!! However, because of the added sunscreen, you really need to make sure you wash your face before bed!!! Try it out and let me know what you think!

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

21 Feb

Etsy by DaisyChic

Hello my fabulous Glitterati… Long time no BLOG! I know, you can’t believe it, after nearly 2 weeks of web silence… I think I am back.  I’m pretty sure I’ve decided for this post, I might get a little more personal, and share with you what I’ve learned in these last two weeks… because yes, it is certainly surprising what you can learn in two weeks when life manages to throw you a few curve balls… Sometimes, even in spite of all your best efforts, it’s hard to find your happiness DARN IT!

About a year and a half ago, I lost one of the best friends of my life, very suddenly.  And I am telling you this because this week, I’ve thought about my dear friend Christine quite a bit and was reminded of some of the best lessons we learned together in our 10-year friendship…  To start, I remember talking to Christine once about some of the struggles we have endured in our lives, and how now and then, no matter how much work is done to heal; emotionally, through therapy, or just via the wonderful nature of time and growth, sometimes these struggles of our youths or those of our lives can suddenly and without warning come right back to rear their ugly little heads.

I remember describing it to Christine, one day when she was nursing some of her own ‘stuff’, as a deep wound that has been mended and even though the pain is gone and the skin is smooth something large or small happens in life, and almost if by magic the wound is reopened and you have to deal with it.  This is just part of life, and it’s good to be aware of those spots in our lives so we can remember two things: 1) Time will heal most things, including re-opened wounds (thank the Lord!) and 2) “Be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle (Plato).”

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These last 2 weeks have been hard for me, some of my oldest and newest wounds were reopened, and I just wasn’t prepared.  And, life being… well, life, my husband was also having a difficult two weeks too.  If any of you are married to your best friend like I am, this means you take on your spouse’s burden too, and vise versa… The good news is, generally, we can lean on each other, another lesson I learned from my friend Christine “We can’t all collapse at the same time, we need to fall apart at different times so we can slap each other out of it!” Of course, sometimes this just doesn’t happen, and the people we normally lean into are struggling too… Which can make things much more difficult.

Next, an ugly situation arose… A person who I use to call friend, committed what in my eyes is an “Unforgivable Curse” (I may be watching too much Harry Potter).  After standing up for what I felt was right in an uncomfortable situation (and to be fair this person thought they were doing the same thing as well) this … ehem, friend, basically slandered my FULL name on The Facebook. I was so saddened and mortified… But I learned a few things from this that I want to share with you all, I think they are things you already know, but I realized I hadn’t really ever thought about them… 1) DO NOT EVER POST SOMEONE’S NAME IN A PUBLIC FORUM SO THAT YOU CAN FEEL VALIDATED, no matter how wronged you may feel.  It’s just not right, and that is all I have to say about that.  2) If one of your friends doesn’t follow rule number #1 and slanders a friend, or a person in a public forum, think about what I am about to say.  Most likely, you do not know both sides of the story, so commenting in a negative manor, or ‘liking’ said post, doesn’t really do anything positive for the poster, even if you feel that you are helping.  How would you feel if the rolls were reversed? 3) Stand up for yourself! It’s not ok to give in to people who bully you!!  This is what was so sad about this post, I felt as if this person didn’t get what they wanted, to so they decided to potentially harm me emotionally, or even professionally.

Winston Churchill once said “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” While I don’t think one should go about making enemies, and you must always ask yourself how an enemy was created and take responsibility on your end if you did wrong in YOUR EYES; it’s taken me a long time to be ok with having them.  You just can’t please everyone all of the time and still have a life that is fulfilling FOR YOU.  And trust me here, no one but you is accountable for the life you live and the happiness you obtain therein.  I read something along these lines in a commencement speech once, which unfortunately I cannot find, but these words really put my heart at ease, simply because it’s the TRUTH!  It’s OK to be disliked by some people; sometimes it’s just a byproduct of standing up for yourself, or standing strong for something you believe in. (However, it’s not an excuse to be a jerk 🙂 )

At the end of these weeks, both my hubby and me were just feeling drained, or what my beloved Lucy from ‘I Love Lucy’ would say “BLAHHHHHH”. The two of us had a full-blown case of the Blahs. I might even use the word depressed… Yep, I know, this beacon of happiness got VERY BLUE, and I knew it, but I couldn’t get out of it… So I put some plans in action!!

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First, I took stock of what I had; one of the things that literally touched me into tears was that some people had stood up for me in the afore mentioned post.  Really, people didn’t have to, they really didn’t… I mean these were brave people to speak out against this, and when I saw it, I was so uplifted.  And that was step one; Next, I decided I needed a break, and so, even though I hated to do it because I LOVE my clients, and of course it’s how I pay my bills, I decided to take a day off.  I cannot tell you how an impromptu day off can lift the spirits…  It did so in the same way I always say a good night’s sleep or a nice hot shower does.  Finally, my hubby and I decided to not watch anything on T.V. that would jostle our delicate senses… So we watched Harry Potter… full of childlike fantasy and magic, it took our minds right off the daily stresses and helped lighten the mood.

Just to round it out, here is the biggest secret for getting out of the blues, and it’s something you already know, something I already knew, and something I talked in depth about with my dear friend days before she passed.  The secret is to let go of what you cannot control.  And what dear friends can you control? Not a thing. NOT A THING.  This IS easier said than done, and really it can’t be forced, you have to go through the range of emotions, even if you have it in your head and know it to be true, you have to arrive at the place of letting-go before the burden of a bad day or a week can suddenly and swiftly take flight from your being.

So here I am, sharing this with you, in case any of you are having a hard time or will and hopefully these words will bring you comfort.  It’s going to be ok. I promise. It really is, things tend to end up in the rights. Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself and your support. Ask for help, even if it’s just an ear, or someone to make you dinner… It’s ok if someone doesn’t like you. You’ll live, and they’ll live. Sometimes it can be fixed, and sometimes it just can’t, and that’s ok too. You’re going to be ok.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

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Skincare Tip: The Importance of Masks!

6 Feb


So…  If you’ve read my take on The Basic Five Skincare Regime  you know  I didn’t include MASKS as part of the most basic of skincare plans.   However, this does NOT mean they aren’t important!  In fact, while taking an advanced skincare course, one of the product knowledge consultants mentioned that in their recent skincare studies the products that encouraged the most positive changes in the skin were a combination of serums and MASKS.

Serums, I wasn’t surprised by… Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE me a serum… Masks though, I was impressed!

I’ve been doing masks on my face ever since elementary school. Back then I used Noxzema or a thick, gloppy little number called a Mint Julep that my Mammaw bought me at the local beauty store…

Nowadays our mask selections are ENDLESS! Each one claiming a multitude of miracles; anywhere from erasing wrinkles to ending the next world war that has erupted on your face.  But it’s so difficult to wade through the hordes of promises and figure out which mask (or in my opinion MASKS) are the best for YOU, and when to use it/them.

Last week, while forcing my husband (who’s skin was parched from all the flying he does) to smear an Aloe Gel Mask on(From Bloom, which I also love and has a small price tag), I noticed he was concerned that it wasn’t DRYING.  Let me say here, right now, most masks of today aren’t meant to dry (mind blowing I know), unless it’s of the deeply purifying variety, which is meant to draw out impurities (mostly reserved for me occasionally AND teens).

The next thing I am going to say MIGHT sound excessive, and for some it will be, but for me, and I am a serious beauty aficionado and hopeful preventer of skincare problems and Imageaging, this wisdom is invaluable and in the end money saving (since you won’t keep buying this or that and never knowing how to use or when to use them!)… Here it is: Most of us need 3 masks in our beauty arsenal. 

Let me explain…

I rarely EVER see a skin that is ALWAYS in revolt or ALWAYS dry.  I would venture to say that 95% of the skin I see is in varying degrees of dryness, dehydration, and/or other problems such as acne.

That said, my three-mask belief can be easily explained and perfectly executed.

First, you need an EXFOLIATING MASK.  This is generally in the form of an enzyme or fruit acid (AHA, BHA) which will help the second mask you put on be more effective.  The reason for this is simple, exfoliation helps to slough off dead skin cells that might be clogging your pores and/or causing dryness, thus allowing anything you follow up with, like a mask to better treat the fresher skin below. Oh yeah, and this mask, this is the one that is going to help decrease the appearance of large pores and fine lines, soGET ONE OF THESE! (Use this mask at least once a week)

1. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask: One of my FAVORITES!

2. FRESH: Sugar Face Polish: This is so luxurious and leaves your face feeling the same way your body does after a good scrub!

One of the other 2 masks should be one that you can turn to when you’re experiencing breakouts, or skin that needs EXTRA DETOXIFICATION.  These often include clays, tee tree oils, or other inflammation fighting ingredients.  Even if you aren’t acne prone, there are always times when you need extra purifying.  Whether it’s after a long trip or a stressful week, this is the mask for you!

1. PTR: Therapeutic Sulfur Masque: You REALLY feel this one! It’s great to use as a spot treatment, or when you have some MAJOR breakouts! Not for everyone!

2. Eminence: Clear Skin Probiotic Masque: This is the one I have in my shower ALL THE TIME.  It’s my go to detox mask because it doesn’t dehydrate!

3. BOSCIA: Luminizing Black Mask: Maybe this “Luminizes” because it peels off all your hair, lol, but I LOVED it! It did make my eyes water a bit, maybe that’s why I was glowing too…Image

In contrast, your third mask should be the one you turn to when you need a HYDRATION BOOST and a fabulous GLOW! This is usually a gel-type mask that will contain ingredients that should refresh the skin and infuse it with vitamins and boosters.

1. Eminence: Pink Grapefruit Vitality Masque: Also a GO-TO for me! Perfect for that hydration and glowing skin! Good for everyone, even my acne prone skin!

2. FRESH: Rose Face Mask: Nothing says lux like Rose to me, and this one pairs really well with the sugar scrub for a super hydrated glow! LOVE!

3. Eminence: Bright Skin Masque: This is a great line for targeting very specific issues, which means when you run out, you can try another hydrating treatment mask! This one helps brighten you up!


Sometimes I use all three in one sitting depending on what’s going on with my skin, but I ALWAYS use the exfoliating mask first (if I’m using the EXFOLIATING mask and at least one of the other types), followed by the detox and then the hydration mask if I’m using all three.

Some tips: Obviously not everyone has the time it takes to do something like this once a week, and actually most of us could use a treatment mask (Detox or HYDRATING) 2-3 times a week.  How then, can one accomplish this with everything else there is to do in a day, in a week!? The way I have accomplished this feat is by keeping my masks in the shower.  I wash my face first when I hop in, and then put the mask or masks on and leave them on for 2-5 (7-10 is better) minutes each while I’m cleaning all the other bits.  This is a great way to get your mask on, and change your skin for the better!

I’ve included some of my favorite masks in this blog so you have an idea of exactly what to get! As a general rule though, the masks don’t have to be expensive either, if you’re buying from a drugstore, keep in mind the tips presented herein… Exfoliating formulas will have enzymes or acids, Detox versions will contain clays, muds, or acne fighters, and Hydrating masks will be in the form of a clear gel or a cream!

Happiness Tip: Live Your Happiness OUT LOUD ~ Fake it Till You Make it!

3 Feb


by DAZYCHIC via Etsy

Well my dearest friends, I really do think we live in a funny little world.

I have found that days or weeks could go by without ever hearing anyone say anything truly spectacular about their everyday lives.

I mean, I cannot tell you how often I ask people “How have you been” and hear in response a regurgitation of all the awful things that happen or have happened to them in the last year, month, day, or hour… The thing is, and I’ve said this before, I think we live in a society that loves to hear the crappy stuff. Now that’s a bold and spikey statement to swallow… You’re thinking right now, “That’s not true, I love to hear positive things” but let me elaborate…

From a young age I was taught not to be boastful or a braggart; not to be conceited or over-confident in myself or in the life I live…Meanwhile, in the same breath, I was told to have self-confidence and self-esteem, to be both happy and positive as well as grateful for all the things that I have… But here’s the question: How can we do and be all those things if all we hear around us is negative? Or put simply: How can we focus on the positive if all we talk about is the negative?

And now, a story: Once I met a woman who I asked very casually, as I do most people I meet, “How are you?” … To my utter and complete surprise, this seemingly normal gal beamed right back at me “I am sooo good!”

WOW!!! I was so taken aback that I instantly smiled and let her know how rare it was to get such a radiant and cheerful answer like hers back. She proceeded to tell me why she was so good… She hadn’t won the lotto or married her perfect mate… nor did she have the job of her dreams… but she was happy with the day, with the sun and some free time, and yes, her husband who she loved and her small child who she was happy to be away from at the moment… This proclamation really got me thinking about ME. How do I respond when people ask me about ME?

Not long ago, I had fallen victim to the daily ‘bitch-session” with some of my close friends. We didn’t talk about the happy or wonderful things in our lives, only about the rotten things. I would leave the conversations feeling low and dull, not at all happy and uplifted… Not how I felt when I left the conversation with the cheerful stranger mentioned before (who I never saw again but clearly changed my thinking pattern! Thanks stranger!!!!)… With these friends, I rarely brought the good stuff up because I didn’t think anyone wanted to hear it… Think about it, when someone says how in love they are or how happy they are, often we say some smart-ass comment about a genuine and truly positive feeling (I even do this!). We don’t mean to do it; we’ve just been programmed that way!

From that moment on, I vowed to really think about how I was going to answer that question when asked, and how I would speak about a life I really do love (in spite of some really crappy things that can, and do, and will happen).

DISCLAIMER: I’m not suggesting that you lie here people. You’re allowed to have crappy days, or a broken heart, PMS, or just run of the mill bad luck! I’m not implying that you should become a pre-programed Stepford wife! If something’s wrong, and you have friends that you trust who can support you and you can lean into, then tell them; I want to know, I want to help if I can. But DO NOT LET THESE THINGS CONSUME YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS!!!! You have to make the choice yourself, your peers won’t do that for you, your spouse can’t even do it for you. If you are the somebody who only dishes the negative, trust me, you are doing your relationships AND yourself a disservice.

This week try to Live Your Happiness OUT LOUD, Live Your Life out loud. I’m going to do the same thing! If you’re stuck in the habit of sharing only the crappy parts, sharing the good stuff will feel like bragging at first, it won’t come easy, but FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT (something I learned from my dear friend Christine). That is, just TRY to be MORE positive. Positivity is infectious AND it grows exponentially once shared, especially with people you love and adore. Trust me on this (or you can just be miserable); I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum!

Basic Five-Product Skincare System

25 Jan


click photo for close up!

As an Esthetician I always have a hard time convincing people just how important it is to take great care of your skin at HOME.  A skincare regime will help to prolong your facial results, and just plain keep your skin in good shape! It’s the same advice I give to all my girlfriends; I’m ALWAYS insisting to them that it’s imperative to take care of your face!  Our faces just aren’t a great place to skimp since we don’t live in a society where covered faces are the norm… 

Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on your skincare regime, I’m not even insisting that you need 15 different products to care for your skin; but what you do need to do is make some thoughtful choices about AT-HOME skincare if you want to keep your skin looking and feeling nicer, for longer.

After 12 years in the skincare industry, I feel that I have a fairly good grasp when it comes to what the most important products EVERYONE should own are.  Below is my tried and true basic system that I feel even the lowest maintenance, busiest person can do.

 In my opinion you should spend a little more on certain products, although even a cheaper version of those mentioned is so much better than nothing!  This is not what I would call a “comprehensive” skincare regime, but it’s a great start for those who don’t currently have one, and a good foundation to build on for those beauty mavens, like me.

The Basics:

 1.     A DEEP CLEANSER: Your deep cleanser should be appropriate for YOUR skin type.  If it’s on the oily side, get a gel cleanser, if it’s dry choose a creamier version. The point is, you want something that will deep clean for YOU and help take off the daily grime without stripping! Expensive cleansers are not that important (in my opinion), cleansers just aren’t on your skin long enough to REALLY make a huge difference, but picking the right one for your skin IS very important.

2.     A GOOD HYDRATER: This is a moisturizer that you can use both day and night if needed.  Some of you will prefer a thinner oil-free version and some need something richer.  You might have to change this depending on the season but you DO NOT want this to contain SPF because you may need to use it at night.  I don’t care what type of skin you have, whether it’s acne-prone or sensitive and beyond, moisture has gotten a raw deal when it come to skin problems and it is a step that should not be avoided!

3.     A GOOD SPF: For everyday, my personal opinion is that for MOST of us SPF15 is just fine, and it’s usually found in most of our foundations.  However, it is important to have a great SPF30 in your skincare arsenal.  I personally don’t believe in SPF’s that are higher (I know, there’s a gasp heard round the world).  There are a lot of people who disagree with me here, but I believe higher SPF provides both a false sense of security when you’re in the sun (you need to reapply or get the heck out of it!), and opens you up to irritation and/or breakouts. There are tons of options out there, from powders to creams; I’ve tried both and think they both work well, but I generally spend a little more for something that won’t cause problems for my skin, even if it’s at the drugstore.

4.     A GOOD EXFOLIATOR: Exfoliants are often found in 2 different forms, either a manual scrub (one with beads present), or acids (such as AHA’s or BHA’s).  I exfoliate every single day, which is fine for some but not for everyone! Most people find their exfoliation-sweet-spot somewhere between 1-3 times weekly. Exfoliation is my big secret in combination with hydration, so do not skip this! Exfoliants are what make your skin look bright and clear!

5.     A CORRECTING PRODUCT AKA TREATMENT: This is generally some sort of serum, which you might want to change fairly regularly, or seasonally depending on what’s going on with your skin. Correcting products generally contain retinols, glycolics, anti-agers, or other high-powered ingredients aimed at targeting whatever might be going on with your skin at any given moment.  This one is gonna be the most expensive because you need it to do the most work, and that often costs money!


There it is!  Again, this is very basic; you don’t want to even know what I have in my skincare cabinet!  I’m happy to help anyone with more specific questions or concerns in the comment section as time permits.  What I want my readers to take away from this article is that facials are important, regularly, or seasonally to help get your skin in great shape.  Think of facials as maintenance for your face; however, at-home-skincare is even more important because it’s something you do every single day! (And that’s from me, an Esthetician, who wants you to come in for facials telling you that what you do at home is even more important!)

 Products: Most can be found at


1. Purity by Philosophy, great at deep cleaning but not too drying!

2. Yonka Lait Nettoyant Cleansing Milk ( Perfectly gentle for dryer sensitive types, and on of my favorite Estheticians favorite cleansers!

3. Josie Maran: Argan Cleansing Oil: I LOVE cleansing OILS! These are good for everyone if you pick the right brands, but really great for dryer types! Do be scared of OIL!


4. Hope in a Jar by Philosophy: I love this cream, it’s great for normal and combo types, and they have one called “When Hope is Not Enough’ for even dryer types.

5.Peter Thomas Roth: Ultra Lite Oil Free Moisturizer: This is great for skin that is prone to breakouts or gets very oil, it can always be boosted with a serum if you need a touch more hydration!


6.Dermalogica Super Sensitive Sunblock SPF 30: This travels well, soaks in, and is great for men!

7.Jan Marini Anti-Oxidant SPF 30: This is my go to EXTRA sunscreen; I take it with me to the pool, to the beach, or on a day in my convertible, and REAPPLY people!

8. Kiss My Face: SPF 30: Great for sensitive skin, water RESISITANT, and a lot cheaper than the other ones… this goes traveling with me too!


9. Jurlique Enzyme Exfoliator: Smells great, feels great, good for just about anyone!

10. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish: This is the one I use every single day.  I’m not recommending you do it that often, but this one is just lovely!


11. Clear Skin Ultra Gel (Bloom Skincare, Los Altos): Around here we call this liquid gold.  I have just about all my favorite people in the world using this to help curb breakouts (clears you up without drying you out!).  It’s not crazy expensive and it lasts a LONG time.  Perfect for adult breakouts… I wear mine daily under my moisturizer.

12. Cell Youth Actif (Bloom Skincare, Los Altos): Ok peeps, I begged my boss to get this.  We all tried it and loved it!  It’s got all sorts for new anti-agers, plumpers, and brighteners in it and it’s a great time to start using it for a wonderful glow.  This is a PERFECT example of what a treatment product should look like! But it will cost you!


Happiness is a CHOICE

18 Jan


I’m pretty certain, on most days that happiness is a choice. Today is Friday, so for most of us that’s reason to be enough to be happy… But what if you work on Saturday? How can you achieve the same level of happiness all day that the rest of the weekend lovers have?

I say, really, CHOOSE happiness today. No matter what!

For me, it’s the knowledge that I am having dinner after work with a dear friend AND get to see so many people AT work that I adore AND actually, my co-workers make me laugh!!

Find your happiness today no matter how small it is!
Happy weekend Y’all!


Chapped Lip Fix!

17 Jan

Chapped Lip Fix!

Favorite Chapped Lip Remedies

I was just talking to a client today about the fact that I don’t think I have gone more than 5 times since junior high without some form of lip balm on. Because of this, I rarely suffer from chapped lips, and I know that I am a very lucky girl!

Day in and day out clients and friends ask how best to combat their dry lips! Wintertime is an especially difficult time for those little guys. I have a couple of tricks and a few solutions for getting, and keeping those kissers soft hydrated!

1. You MUST, ALWAYS wear something on your lips! I mean it people! That balm won’t work if you don’t keep it on your lips. Coat those bad boys till they look like a pair of rubber kissers!
2. Choose a balm WITHOUT medication. I have never seen a pair of lips that does well with medication. If your doctor prescribes it, fine, I’ll let it slide, but try to avoid mentholated, even peppermint or anything with the word MEDICATED.
3. Choose petroleum based (I know some people don’t like this, but it really works and doesn’t irritate the majority of the public) or shea butter based balms instead, and buy a few of them so there is no excuse not to have it on… I have mine in my car, my handbag, next to where I sit on the couch and next to my bed. There is NO defense for not to follow #1… Oh yeah, and get one for your travel bag too! There’s nothing worse than being in paradise with chapped lips but get one with sunscreen for the beach!
4. Exfoliate. If you are already experiencing dryness, there are lots of things you can do to GENTLY (notice I capitalized this, it’s important) exfoliate. I have OVER EXFOLIATED my lips into a very strange and painful state. You can use one of the cute and effective lip scrubs on the market, a disposable mascara wand (everyone should have a package of these), a baby toothbrush, or even a washcloth.
a. How to: When lips are clean and dry, gently employ one of these methods; sometimes I like to use the mascara wand WITH a scrub since the scrub alone can be messy. Use a moist washcloth to remove said scrub then go right back to step #1!

I’m including some links, and pictures of my favorites. These, for me, are tried and true but I would love for you to comment on what some of your favorite basic hydrators are for the lips. When I tell you I have just about used everything, trust me, I have. Inexpensive and expensive, I’ve tried it!

1. Sugar Lip Polish by Fresh
2. By TERRY: OR DE ROSE ~Just like the balm but with really fine shimmer, this was given as a gift for my birthday, and it is by far one of the best gifts I’ve received, one of my handbag musts!
3. By TERRY: BAUME DE ROSE ~If I had to choose one this is it. I have kept mine in the car and it’s lasted a year, just the LOVLIEST! High price tag, but I only need the one for an entire year!
4. VASELINE lip therapy ~ This is the one I used for years and the only one I’ll let my hubby use.
5. LaNatura Shea Butter Lip Balm ~My personal all-over-the-house favorite is Cocovanilla but they have about a billion incredible flavors. I buy at least 4 at a time and stash them in all the places mentioned. This is what I put on before bed at night! It’s super hydrating and luxurious!
6. The lip scrub: by Sara Happ: This little set packs a big punch! The scrub is awesome, I’ve used it for years and the lip-slip is a second runner up to my much beloved Baume De Rose. This is a great set to meet all your parched lips needs!,default,pd.html

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