Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cane + Austin Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen

Cane + Austin SPF 55 Protect
2 fl. oz.  $38
When I recently attended the HBA Global Beauty Expo, I was happy to meet the team representing Cane + Austin.  Cane is not a person.  It refers to the pharmaceutical grade glycolic acid, derived from natural sugar cane, that Dr. Austin uses in his Hollywood favorite Retexturizing Pads. 

I have used and loved this product before and blogged about it with a resounding rave, (

I was anxious to hear what else had been developed by Dr. Austin and was pleased that he did the natural follow-up and createdRetexturizing Pads for the Body.  A jar of 60 large pads arrived yesterday and my elbows, knees and decollete squealed with joy. (Stay tuned for a future review)

The also showed me another product they were quite proud of,  theirUltra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen, with SPF 55 designed to block both UVA and UVB rays. I  crooked my eyebrow, expecting to see yet another heavy sunscreen that looked like Milk of Magnesia...

I couldn't have been more wrong. Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen is a silky lightweight fluid, that absorbs in an instant.  It also leaves a luminous glow on your skin. I think it's ideal for use on the face and tops of hands.

Here is how they describe it:


NEW! A weightless, ultra-sheer SPF55 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection that is optimal for daily use.
Provides an optimum residue-free, transparent finish and is ideal for use alone or under makeup. Fortified with anti-oxidants (green tea, vitamin E and Co-Q10) and organic UV absorbers. Contains no oil, fragrance, alcohol or parabens.
As I continue to faithfully stay out of the sun for the second summer, I am delighted to have finally found a  sunscreen that not only protects, but actually enhanced the appearance of my makeup.  All this and they put the good stuff in and took the bad stuff out too. 

You can purchase Cane + Austin products on their website and luxury beauty retailers like Space NK Apothecary.  Dr. Austin also practices in Manhattan.  He is dedicated to helping his patients look their best with little pain or downtime.  After 20 years of successfully achieving great success with his in-office patients, now we can all benefit from his experience.

In a word: impressive.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo
and Conditioner $5.99 drugstores  nationwide

Experience has shown me to be the sucker who runs out and purchases any product with even the tiniest twist on "new".  The concept behind Unilever's Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy is that we have gotten it all's not our hair we should be worrying about it's our scalps.

Uncharacteristically, that didn't resonate with me as a reason to run out and buy it. As well,  the packaging is fairly generic.  Nothing was screaming, "Buy Me" about Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy,including the name. Meh...

Nicely, my friend Jackie Silver author of Aging Backwards gave me hers to try.  There are several formulations: Total Care, Strong Lengths, Volumizing Root, Damaged and Color Treated, Ultra Shea, and a product for Men.  Here is how they are described: 

New CLEAR SCALP & HAIR BEAUTY THERAPY Total Care Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner System for all hair types is clinically proven to help restore scalp's natural moisture balance when using the shampoo and conditioner regimen. Formulated with Nutrium 10, an advanced moisture complex of vitamins and nutrients including vitamins B5, C and E, sunflower, almond, soybean and coconut oils, and aloe vera, the system gently cleanses and nourishes the scalp and hair. 

I used the "Total Care" shampoo and conditioner (which I think is the most basic, and probably a good one to start with), on Thursday night. I had a very pleasant experience in the shower. Clean Scalp & Hair Therapy is clean smelling, and created a rich, creamy lather.  The conditioner did not feel leaden and it rinsed out easily.  The real surprise was when I took the towel off my head...
I've never seen my wet hair shine before, but shine it did.  I couldn't stop staring at my scalp and I was excited to dry it.

To my amazement, my hair looked incredible. Every section behaved and dried to thick, bouncy, shiny perfection. (* The only other product I used was my summer staple, John Frieda's 3-Day Straight). Even better, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy is only supposed to get better with continued use.

My hair often feels quite silky after I dry it, but I frequently wonder why it doesn't stay feeling that way for more than a few hours.  Today was hot and humid, but my hair remained both shiny and silky despite the horrible hair conditions.

Honestly, I can't stop touching my hair!

I guess there really is something to the science of treating the scalp as the Alpha hair is glowing.

Woof woof.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Glytone Step-Up Mild Gel Wash Cleanser is a Step-Up

Glytone Cleansers 6.7 oz. $30
I have to admit, these days before I go out and buy anything new, I check my goodie closet first to see what I might have unused and never tried...and there is plenty.

"Roses" are having a beauty moment (probably for the 11,000 time) and I have been testing a cleanser infused with lots of it.  While it did a nice job of gentle cleansing with my beloved Clarisonic Mia, it was a wee too cloying, particularly in the morning, so I needed to move on.

I spied a never opened Glytone Step-Up Mild Gel Wash, with a "Free Acid Value" of 4.7 in my vanity.  I know I put it there, but other than that, I have no clue where it came from, but now I'm glad I have it.

This exquisitely light aqua gel, does a fabulous job of removing every trace of makeup without any sense of stripping or drying. Very little product is needed.  If I had been a little swifter, I would have realized the "gly" in Glytone, represents "glycolic acid", an anti-aging skincare ingredient I firmly believe in.

I did a little online research and found Glytone's cleansers (and there are several), to be highly rated by users at and endorsed by well known dermatologists who use it exclusively in their practices.

It is an extensive line that tackles various skin issues like rosacea, hyperpigmentation, acne, anti-aging and  post-op needs.  I found the company history to be interesting. It makes sense to me now why so many physicians embrace it.

he foundation for GLYTONE’s future started back in 1943, when 2 pharmacists began making exclusive topical dermatological skincare products. The true benefits of Free Glycolic Acid were only starting to be discussed in 1998. Then in 1992, under the name Genesis Pharmaceuticals, GLYTONE was created as the physicians-only glycolic acid product line that provides the highest skin rejuvenation efficacy and targeted solutions for skin health through the utilization of the highest free acid levels available. In 2002, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique bought Genesis Pharmaceuticals and with it the GLYTONE brand, the only American brand to exist within the company.
Pierre Fabre has been a major player in dermatology for over 40 years and has had over 45 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. As the group behind the GLYTONE brand, our rigor and pharmaceutical know how shines in top expertise in research and development, offering scientific solutions that guarantee optimal tolerance and efficacy. Health and safety are at the core of all of Pierre Fabre’s formulations. GLYTONE promises to continue this commitment, as it invests in assuring the best possible synergy between dermatological and cosmetic practices.
This unique partnership makes GLYTONE stand apart from the others, we are not just about the beauty we bring, it is the scientific and medical rigor through precision, purity and expertise that allows us to truly commit to providing customized skincare solutions both in-office and at-home.

And so, having learned something new today and have the pleasure of clean, scent free, glowing skin to show for it, I'm going to go shopping in my goodie closet more often.

There's no place like home...


Monday, June 25, 2012

HBA Global Expo: Diva in Wonderland

2012 HBA Global Expo Jacob K. Javitts Convention Center NYC

I don't know how it is exactly, that until Wednesday, I have never had a reason to attend the Jacob Javitts Convention Center before, but I relish new experiences, even on 100 degree days, so off I went.  Remarkably, this behemoth that spans nearly 6 city blocks was as cold as a meat me, I wasn't complaining.

What was going on was an International fair of new products, technologies, packaging, formulation, speakers and panels.

I connected, reconnected, sampled products, learned about new launches, did facial exercises and sat in on an excellent seminar, "Social Influence In Skincare And Beauty", well moderated by Katie Welch, Vice President of Communications of Bliss.

Katie and fellow panelists Felicia Walker Benson, Social Media Beauty Director, Bergdorf Goodman, Dr. Stuart Schultz, President of DermTV and  mySkin′s CEO, Rahul Mehendale  all top influencers in the world of social skincare and beauty, shared their "Golden Rules" with us.  It was time well spent.

I also met:

Friday, June 22, 2012

BlackTie...with Sleeves

This is my second article in a series of two that I wrote for the website Women's Voices for Change about dressing beautifully for a wedding. The first covered daytime venues.  This time we focused on Black Tie. With both, the challenge was to create fashionable looks on Polyvore with sleeves. I like the range of these options.

It was particularly thrilling to see this spectacular Lela Rose gown arrive at Richards this week. Sometimes, my dreams do come true.


It’s official: Official wedding attire is no longer set in stone. This spring, Vera Wang, the trendsetting bridal designer, sent her models down the runway in shades of dahlia, scarlet, crimson, and vermillion. As brides make the leap to new traditions—and, make no mistake, they will—the “rules” of proper guest attire will again be blurred.
A few years ago, no one would have dreamed of wearing black to a wedding. Now, complete wedding parties, Moms included, wear black.  This makes shopping in or out of your closet a bit easier for a guest . . . particularly for those who are “sleeve challenged.
The Lela Rose gown on the left beautifully marries fashion and elegance. The exquisite silk and wool skirt with ruffled train is topped by a tulle bodice with a face-flattering bateau neckline, hand embroidery, and, yes, a sleeve. It’s an important gown, one that would make a fabulous choice for the mother of the bride at a black-tie wedding. (This dress is also available at Richards, contact me  at for a personal viewing.)
Every closet should include a pair of perfectly cut black evening pants. If they are a lightweight wool, jersey or silk, they will be wearable 365 days a year.  The Talbot Runhof black lace coat, paired with the Etro pant, is an elegant and versatile wardrobe addition. The coat would also be lovely on top of a classic black dress or one with a pop of color.
Legs became the new “booty” the minute Angelina Jolie flashed us a thigh-full of Versace at this year’s Academy Awards.  Elie Saab, master of impeccable eveningwear, is always ahead of the curve. This seemingly simple jersey gown has it all; lot’s of leg, a long sleeve, and the color of today—vermillion. This is the type of dress that would look elegant anywhere in the world, and it would pack beautifully too. Now would be the perfect time to wear it to a black-tie wedding: Next year, vermillion may be off limits.
Ensembles that multi-task are a dream.  When both pieces pair as well with each other as with items you already own, that is true investment dressing.  The black cotton and silk top, from Alessandra Rich, looks fabulous with the ivory lace skirt, but would look equally good with the black Etro pant or slim-cut white jeans. Conversely, the lace skirt would look chic paired with a black turtleneck and boots at a holiday party.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back to Basics: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner $22
Tapered brush $25

I have long been a fan of Award Winning Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner.  This was Bobbi's baby and though it's been oft imitated, the depth and consistency of it is unmatched.  Initially, it was sold in darker hues, traditional eyeliner shades.  I was surprised to see it now comes in 13 shades, including brights and shimmering mauve.

The latter would not be my passion.  When I line my eyes, I am looking for definition.  If I had a gun to my head and had to choose between mascara or liner, the liner would win.  Without it, I look exhausted.

Gel liner is not for novices, but once you get the hang of it, it's worth it.  Don't even think of attempting it without the specially designed ultra fine eyeliner brush. It's an investment I was cranky about making, but one that was well worth it and with a little TLC it can last for years.

In hindsight, I realized the reason I took a long break from using this excellent product was because I always purchased the black ink.  If I didn't apply it with the steady hand of a neurosurgeon, I risked looking like Mariska Hargitay...

Don't get me wrong--I think Mariska is a beauty, but top and bottom black liner past a certain age, can be a bit harsh...even for a Homicide Detective.

I decided to try it again, but this time I purchased Espresso Ink.


Espresso ink is deep enough to define the eye, but less stark in hue, so it doesn't require quite as much precision. The result is finished and refined...softer.

It was a good lesson for me.  Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner has been a product that has served me well in the past and now, will again, just by tweaking the shade.

The wheel doesn't always have to be reinvented--sometimes it just has to be rethought.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Holy Grail Alert: John Frieda's Frizz Ease Hair Setter

John Frieda® Frizz Ease® Hair Setter by Conair ($49.99)

I love my friends, whole heartily. They have faith in me and believe I can succeed at most things I attempt. Naturally we are not talking about anything PhD. worthy...more like the ability to use a curling iron or learning to play Mah Jong.

I however, know the limitations of my skill set. Both of the above are excluded. All attempts have proved futile.

When I received information about a new type of hot roller developed by John Frieda for Conair, I perked up. When I learned that it is part of the Frizz Ease Collection, I was all ears and ecstatic to hear they could be sent to me for review.

JF has more than proved he knows a thing or three about helping tame frizz.

My John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Setter arrived the other night. It was a damp, humid day and a trip to the gym did nothing to improve the state of my hair. Though I was planning to wash my hair in the morning, I was too excited not to try them and more than curious if they could do anything to smooth my hair or improve it all. Suffice to say, anything should have looked better.
The set contains five 2-inch titanium ceramic-coated jumbo rollers and five jumbo clips to keep them in place. The setter is designed with an "ionic generator to safely distribute heat throughout the hair, so there is no fear of frizz or dull strands.

The rollers heat up quickly. With the exception of my bangs, all 5 rollers took up every inch of my slightly longer than shoulder length, naturally wavy hair. They are cinch to smoothly roll around your hair and the large clips are a snap to use.

My hair takes a curl very quickly. After about 45 seconds, I slipped them out and brushed my hair. I was AMAZED to see tame, glossy, full layers that were stepping out worthy.

In short, a miracle.

Too bad I was in my pajamas.

I woke up this morning and rather than a mass of damp waves underneath the top layers, my hair was still smooth.

In short, a miracle.

Yesterday I slept in and was short on time getting ready for my friend Nancy's annual outdoor Birthday Bash. (I love a Girl who will own her age and throw herself a party). Her husband is a fantastic chef, and we all fast in anticipation of the beautiful food he prepares. Happy Birthday Nanc!!!

I washed my hair, doused my hair with John Frieda's 3-Day Straight and plugged in my Hair Setter. I didn't have time to tug and dry every strand, so I used the rollers instead. They were immediately smoothed and the curl stays in exactly the direction you roll it in. I was making head headway quickly. A few strokes of my other H.G. product, John Frieda's Touch Up Flyaway Tamer and I was good to go.

Despite the heat and hair that wasn't fully dried, my hair was full, shiny and tame.-

In short, a miracle. Who needs a curling iron???

After lunch, the Girls broke out their Mah Jong sets. They "cracked" and "bammed" while I sat dazed and confused...(Perhaps it is time to purchase that DVD I saw online, "Mah Jong for Morons".

All in all, a beautiful day. Whenever your hair looks good, it always is. One miracle at a time...


Friday, June 8, 2012

Tricks Up My Sleeve: What to Wear to a Daytime Summer Wedding

As a style contributor to the website Women's Voices For Change, I was asked to write a piece on a fashion conumdrum that women currently face; where oh where are they hiding the dresses with sleeves???  Here is my take:

As we thought about occasions to address for Fashion Friday in June, the concept of weddings arose, of course. When you’re invited as a guest, what is appropriate yet fashionable attire? In a lecture last week, Iris Apfel mentioned how difficult it is to find dresses with sleeves when you’re shopping for such events. So we have made it our mission to find some suggestions. Our frequent contributor Debbi O’Shea explains her selections for the fun Polyvore set she created for daytime nuptials.—Ed.

June remains one of the most popular months for brides and grooms to tie the knot. If you will be a lucky guest attending a daytime wedding, figuring out what to wear always requires some thought. And if you are at the point where a sleeveless dress will be highlighting a lesser asset, you may require strategic planning. Designers, it seems, will always have a special affinity for bare arms.
Finding a dress that is not overly embellished for day, with a sleeve, can be particularly daunting.

In Iris Apfel’s talk, the 90-year-old style icon and maverick commented that if she had more time, she would open a store called, “Sleeves!” The audience roared with appreciation; probably no one would be surprised if it was a great success.

When a trip to your favorite store becomes an exercise in frustration, looking online may be your easiest solution. While Polyvore is often thought of as the creative equivalent of X-Box for a fashionista like me who enjoys styling fantasy sets of clothing, it is also a terrific source; all the clothing items actually have live links for purchase.

Suits are always an option, but dresses just seem more festive, particularly if there will be dancing. The beauty of these is that they are timeless, and, with dressier accessories, could easily be notched up for evening occasions. A bit of work to find, but well worth it. Who said only the bride and groom deserve congratulations?

These dresses are meant to be a guide, but if you find yourself particularly enchanted, they can be found: the versatile cream silk crepe Valentino (on sale), the colorful yet classic Pucci, and the on-trend, affordable lace Diane von Furstenberg.

Debbi O'Shea has spent her career in fashion and is currently the "By Appointment" consultant and Brand Ambassador for Giorgio Armani Black Label at Richards in Greenwich, CT. O'Shea also writes the Beauty and Fashion Blog DivaDebbi.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brilliant: Anastasia of Beverly HIlls Tinted Brow Gel

Anastasia Brow Tinted Brow Gel $21

When it comes to brows, I was a late comer.  Brow grooming for me entailed a basic clean up at my nail salon three times a year.

The lovely ladies at the Benefit Brow Bar taught me the necessity and art of regular grooming, brow powder and wax...

YES, (big sigh), it's another step in my daily beauty routine, but the difference that a finished brow makes cannot be underestimated.

A few weeks ago, I purchased an Anastasia Beverly Hills eye shadow palette, despite the fact that Anastasia is the Queen of Brows.  Not only are the shadows beautiful, but they also contain anti-aging treatment ingredients.  Good stuff...

I was at Sephora on Saturday and decided to revisit Anastasia's brow products this time. I had never tried a tinted brow gel before and decided to go for a swipe (after dousing the brush in alcohol, naturally).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Dr. Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Glow Pads

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads for Face and Body 8 Pads $45

I recently posted the first of Prevention Magazines 2012 "Celebrate Your Beauty Awards". They will be unveiling the complete list of winners over the next several months. The first segment was dedicated to the "body", and I knew instantly that I would want to try Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Glow Pads for the Body.

Not only do they start working within an hour and don't require gloves but they are scentless and good for you. Here is how they are described on Sephora's website:

What it is:
An exfoliating self tanner that firms and smooths skin, while minimizing the need for shaving.

What it is formulated to do:
This multitasking self tanner offers the glow you desire with added, skin-friendly bonuses. Packed with vitamin D, this exfoliating and anti-aging formula repairs and nourishes skin, combating irritation and blemishes. Capislo™ helps reduce shaving frequency by minimizing hair texture, length, and growth, while the microencapsulated DHA and soy proteins deliver color deep into the skin to prevent fading.

How could I resist buying these when Dr. Dennis Gross' Extra Strength 2-Step Alpha Beta Peel is one of the best products I have ever used? I couldn't and didn't.

I generally read reviewers experiences on Sephora's website and I wished I had read them first. The Body Glow Pads are actually a set of 8 individually packaged large towelettes. They are infused with a lot of product upon removing them from the package, and whatever area gets the first application, may end up considerably darker than other areas of the body. Since it dries quickly and you will need to work fast.

I applied it before going out to dinner on Saturday night and skipped my face, since I wasn't starting my makeup from scratch. I loved how quickly it dried, did not smell and the fact that I could get dressed within the 15 minutes I had to spare. I could see the color evolving subtlety through out the night and I was glad to see there was no color transference to my white skinny jeans.

I woke up with a streak free, natural looking "tan", until I spied my feet, which received the first dousing out of the package...Ruh Roh.

They were two or three shades darker than the rest of my body and patches that I missed, like a heel and between my toes, created a "Vitiligo" like effect, (def: Vitiligo is a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of skin). Not pretty. I also never knew I had sun spots on my feet! These hidden beauties now appeared like cappucino measels.

To resolve it, I tried using nail polish remover on a cotton ball with a Playtex gloved hand, (so much for no gloves). It didn't do much, so I took the opposite tact and opened a new towelette, carefully cutting off a small section and resealing it, so as not to waste $6.25 another one. I first applied it to my face in a circular motion and then went for the white spots on my feet.

I woke up this morning with a spectacular looking natural "tan" on my face and much improved looking feet. My colleagues have not stopped raving. Now that I know the ropes, I am postive that Dr.Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Glow Pads for the Body will become a staple in my beauty arsenal.

Finally, a beautiful tan that is good for you too.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Act II: Garnier's BB Cream

Garnier's B.B. (Beauty Balm) $11.99

Recently I reviewed Garnier's B. B. cream, an all in one cream that hydrates, blurs imperfections, imparts a wash of sheer color and includes SPF 15. (

BB's hail from Europe and based on their popularity, I think we will see versions from every cosmetics company from prestige to mass.

Garnier's BB cream comes in two shades. Naturally, I used the darker one and I quite like it.

As I enter my second sun shunning summer, I glanced down at my legs last week and sighed. I missed having real color on my legs, despite using Jergen's Natural Glow and Protect Firming Body Lotion daily.

Then inspiration struck...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Almond Joy: Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Scrub

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Scrub $46

Some of my fondest, earliest memories were my bath time rituals as a toddler.  While bedtime can be an exhausting ritual for parents, I couldn't wait to be bathed, creamed, powdered, slipped into cool cotton pajamas and tucked into bed.

Remarkably, not much has changed...

As much as I love Laura Mercier cosmetics, I am also a huge fan of her bath and body collections.  I have used several products from her Creme Brulee and Fresh Fig collections and enjoyed them all. I have also given them as gifts, since they make a lovely presentation and are always happily received.

When I received word that Laura Mercier launched her new "Summer Scentsational" Almond and Coconut Milk collection, I was excited.  I love both of these elements when used in body products. (I don't mind eating them either.) Laura's goal was to recreate a, "tropical island ambiance" and it has quickly become a celeb fave.

I like to use a body scrub several times a week. I knew from experience that LM's scrubs are not heavily oil based like many others  Cheers to that-- I have learned the hard way that most of the scrubbing that will get done is with a sponge on the floor of my shower .  No thanks.

The Almond Coconut Milk Scrub I received is a generous 12 ounces.  If you appreciate the smell of almond and coconut as much as I do, you will have to steel yourself from taking a little's positively intoxicating.

Winner Announcement: Ultherapy Giveaway

We have a winner!!!  Congratulations to "Felt Like Dancing".  FLD, was picked at random from my commenters on DivaDebbi to win a free Ultherapy Brow Lift with Dr. William Song. (Please contact me at so I can send you your Gift Certificate.

Thank you for all who threw your foreheads hat in the ring and to Dr. Song for such a generous offer to one of my lucky readers.