Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You Glow Girl...

EmerginC Scientific Organics
At-Home Facial Peel and Clarifying Kit
$90- 60 pads

I am a big believer in using at home acid peels that are gently formulated on a regular basis. The best ones are 2-step systems that also include a neutralizer.

If you want clearer, brighter skin, and diminished age spots and minimize fine lines, you must consider adding this to your skincare routine.  They are simple to use and take just a few minutes.  It's all gain and no pain with  a lot of instant gratification.

I've tried many peels. Some good, some bad.  Now I've tried one that's great...
I recently started using some EmerginC products.  I am currently using theirLavender Toner every night and it's one of the best toners I have ever used.
This purely botanical formula never makes my skin feel stripped or tight and it smells fabulous.

When their P.R. team asked me if I might be interested in trying EmerginC Scientific Organics At-Home Facial Peel and Clarifying Kit, naturally I leaped.

After thoroughly cleansing my skin with my Clarisonic Mia, I patted my skin dry and applied a peel pad to my face and neck.  The directions suggest leaving it on for 2-5 minutes...naturally I'm a 5 minute Girl.

I looked at the ingredients and determined that "willow bark" and "cypress" must be the Pepe Le Pew's of natural fruit acids. Everything else; lactic acid, aloe, green tea, tea tree and apple extracts probably were not responsible for me holding my breath for 300 seconds.

As soon as I use rinsed it off with cool water, applied the gentle clarifying pad to dry skin and slipped on some serum, all was forgiven.

Wowza!!!  My skin looked spectacular after just one use!

The At-Home Peel Kit is formulated for all skin types and can be used nightly. but I did feel a good amount of tingle and I might caution those with sensitive skin to not exceed two minutes and to work up to nightly use.

I'm excited and impressed.  Ding-ding-ding...We have a winner.


Friday, October 12, 2012

The LBD: One of Life's Necessities


    J. Mendel LBD available at Richards of Greenwich

Close your eyes and picture a beautiful woman in a Little Black Dress – the uniform of New York.Chances are you conjure Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the film of the Truman Capote’s classic, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

The iconic opening scene – featuring a pre-dawn, whippet-thin Audrey, dressed in perfectly cut Givenchy, long gloves, dark glasses and a swirling up-do – is seared into our consciousness.

Hepburn/Holly’s LBD is her armor, her art and her artifice.

So what is it about an LBD that demands space in every woman’s closet?
  • LBDs are great cheaters It can be as difficult to spot an inexpensive LBD as it is to detect a cubic zirconia at a glance. With haute couture runway being copied and reproduced for the H&Ms and Zaras of the world within weeks, all you need is your best accessories, good posture and a little attitude.

  • LBDs are versatile – You can easily segue from day to night, simply by swapping daytime pumps for nighttime Jimmy Choo platform sandals. Leave your tote behind and pull out your YSL clutch, add a pop of bling and you are good-to-go to an event or dinner.
  • LBDs are good travelers – An LBD looks as chic in L.A. or Monaco as it does in New York. If it’s knit or jersey, pack it well in tissue, and chances are you won’t even need to steam it on arrival.
  • LBDs are timeless – As an investment, a good LBD is as solid as a savings bond. I still wear a Dolce & Gabbana sleeveless wool turtleneck sheath dress I bought back in 2002. Why would I part with it? It looks as fabulous and stylish as the day I bought it. At this point, it costs pennies per wear.
  • LBDs are brainless It may be the one item in your closet you put on with complete confidence that requires no second-guessing. If you have ever lamented the ease with which men get dressed every day, well, the LBD should give you some comfort.
Is there a menswear equivalent to the Little Black Dress? Of course.

A classic navy blazer and gray trousers can gracefully take a man almost anywhere. Since it is a staple in most men’s wardrobes, it makes sense to buy the finest quality you can afford. Originally, most navy blazers were double-breasted, from their uniform origins. Most men prefer the ease of a single-breasted style, because to look their best, double-breasted jackets must remained buttoned.

Optimally, it’s best to have a light-weight wool version for warmer months and a heavier cashmere or flannel for the winter months. Silhouettes are so much slimmer and more refined in cut than they were years ago. You can appear several pounds thinner just by taking the leap. Merely altering your old blazer will not do the trick. The shoulder line will be broader and will not tailor well. It’s worth every penny to update your navy blazer if it is more than a few years old.

Personality can easily be injected with the choice of shirts and ties. Khakis or ivory linen trousers can replace gray wool or flannel in the spring and summer.

A more formal approach would be a perfectly cut dark suit in a midnight navy or charcoal gray with a crisp white shirt, pocket square and a brown slip-on shoe. No tie required. It’s elegant and irresistible and gives every man who wears it the touch of je ne sais quoi that women adore.

If a man were sipping coffee and gazing into a window at dawn, either coming to or from me, that’s exactly what I would imagine he would be wearing.

Holly, meet your match.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Heather Dubrow: A REAL Real Houswife


Heather Dubrow A REAL Housewife

I received an email from the a California P.R. firm asking me if I would be interested in interviewing (the beautiful, well mannered, perfectly groomed impeccably dressed) Heather Dubrow for my blog.


I kept thinking Heather walked onto the wrong set this season...she seemed much better suited to join the Beverly Hills cast, but I guess geography rules...She and husband renown Plastic Surgeon Dr. Terry Dubrow live in Orange County, so she joined the cast of the original Housewive's franchise.

What a breath of fresh air!!!

I had heard Heather grew up in Chappaqua, a leafy suburb in Westchester County N.Y., a stones throw from where I live and where the Clinton's currently reside. It made for a nice introduction and starting point for our 2 part interview:
DD:You are a New Yawker! We have something in common. I live very close to where you grew up in Chappaqua. Tell me something you loved about growing up in Westchester?

HD: I was born in the Bronx and then my family moved to Ossining, finally settling in Chappaqua when I was in 4th grade. I had a great childhood and a completely normal upbringing. I have very fond memories of growing up in Westchester.

DD: I know your are an actress. Did you go to California to pursue your career?

HD: I graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in musical theatre. My goal was to work on Broadway, but I had an opportunity to pursue a part in California and decided to take a chance on exploring it. Things worked out professionally and then I met Terry, so the West coast became home.

DD: You and Terry seem great together. Is this both of your first marriage?

HD: Yes! We both married a little later. We dated for several years and that got married when I was 30 and Terry was 40. It's been 16 years of happiness.

DD: And now you are married to a plastic surgeon. Every Girls dream...well certainly mine! ...Honey, can you pick up a quart of milk and bring home a few vials of Botox...

HD: Laughs..Believe me, I hear it all the time and yes, I know I'm lucky!

DD: Do you feel that women scrutinize you trying to figure out what procedures you have had done?

HD: Absolutely and it's a littke frustrating. All my features are my own. When I was younger, I had a very round face. As we age, our faces lose volume, so my cheek bones are more pronounced. I see a lot of scrutiny and speculation on blogs and Twitter about what I've had "done". Do I use Botox and fillers as needed? Yes.

DD: Is there a pressure to look perfect all the time?

HD: As an actress, I would be recognized sometimes. Now, everyone has a camera and video at their fingertips, I do feel more conscious of the fact that people are snapping photos and tweeting, so yes, I do pay a bit more attention to how I'm pulled together.

DD: You are so pretty, polished and thin! How do you manage it with 4 kids under 8?
HD: I try and eat really cleanly. Lots of lean protein and vegetables. I don't get to work out as much as I might want to between the kids busy schedules and filming the RHOC. I'm not great at pushing myself even though we have a home gym. I'm much better with the structure and push of working with a trainer.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I went a bit crazy! As an actress, there is a lot of pressure to stay thin. This was my one time to eat with abandon. I put on 60lbs! That wasn't fun to take off!

DD: Do you have any beauty finds you can share with us? Your makeup always looks flawless?

HD: For the show, we do our own makeup, but work with a fabulous makeup artist when we are attending events. She turned me on to a great inexpensive find; Wet and Wild lip liner 666. I just line my lips, fill them in and finish with a bit of gloss. It's a great universal shade! I'm also a fan of Dior's Black Out Lashes.

DD: I'm a Personal Shopper professionally and I appreciate your elegant taste...I certainly could NOT say that about many "Housewives"! Who are some of your favorite designers?

HD: I do love Chanel, but it has gotten really pricey. I wear a lot of Valentino, and I think their secondary line Valentino Red is terrific. I like to mix and match and feel perfectly comfortable pairing a Gucci pencil skirt with a Zara top.

I recently started working with an amazing stylist, Samara Nahabedian, who has great style. My own taste can be a little too understated, so it's fun working with Samara, who will nudge me to be a bit more adventurous and explore color. She also saves me a ton of time. I recently discovered a new designer at Bloomingdales, called Sandro. it fits my lifestyle to a tee and I bought quite a few pieces.

End of Part 1!

Tune in tomorrow for all the poop on the nitty gritty of being a "Real Housewife".

Heather is completely a Girls Girl and the real deal...don't you agree???


Sunday, October 7, 2012

More Murad Magic

Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator
1.7 oz. $49
I have to admit that of all my skin concerns, "pore size" is fortunately not one of them.

I can think of only a handful of people whose "large pores" ever breached my consciousness.   I'm sure to those afflicted they loom, as craters, whether real or imagined.

I mentioned I recently attended a cocktail reception with Dr. Howard Murad, where he quite enjoyably, spoke on his philosophies on maintaining youth and wellness.

Afterwards, we left with hefty swag bags, which is always brings me back to the glories of Christmas morning as a kid...was I happy??? Youbetcha.

One of the products was Murad's Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator.  My immediate thought was, "Oh. What will I do with this?"

Since there would be no kind way to re-gift it to someone with large pores without potentially offending, I had nothing to lose by trying it... besides, I've never met a Murad product I didn't love.

Well lo and behold, I guess I do have pores that need minimizing, because it both tightens them and plumps fine lines.

People tell me I have beautiful skin and I am truly appreciative of their kindness, but this made my skin look absolutely flawless.  Even I couldn't believe my eyes.

So, in answer to my own question, "what will I do with this?", the answer is "use it."

Every single day...


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dr. Howard Murad--A Man Full of (Healthy) Secrets

Two weeks ago, I attended a cocktail reception at the St. Regis Hotel for a select group of beauty bloggers to meet famed Dermatologist, Dr. Howard Murad. His highly potent, yet always gentle skin care products, address every conceivable skincare woe and I have yet to be disappointed. They always do just what they say they will...Hallelujah!

Dr. Murad is utterly charming, and it is evident that is very lucky patients are seen by someone who is paying attention to every fiber of their being---not just their dermis.

We were treated  to an overview of his philosophies on what we can best do to combat not just wrinkles, but the daily stresses that often consume our lives. Also, a few mini biology lessons on cellular aging.

Over the years, he has devised a set of daily aphormisms that he has shared with his patients like: "Be thrilled with who you are--the reality of who you are!"  "Have big flexible dreams with no limits, so your potential will have not limits!" And the seemingly simple but intelligent: "Surround yourself with happiness."

Judging by his enthusiam and robust appearance, I have no doubt he takes a spoonful of his own medicine each day. 

I am happy to share a synopsis of what we learned, gleaned from his book The Water Secret The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger.

(Naturally, we left with hefty goodie bags and I will tell you about two terrific products tomorrow...One of them is a Holy Grail!)

         What’s Really Stressing You Out and Tips from Dr. Murad

Stress can damage your health at the cellular level, Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, has determined through clinical research and found that managing stress is a critical part of an Inclusive approach to optimizing health as it promotes and protects cellular integrity.  In his book The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger (Wiley, September 2010), Dr. Murad explains how Emotional Self-Care is key to mental and physical well-being.  Take a look at several factors that can stress you out and some tips on how to manage the stress!

What is Stress?
Stress is typically felt by most people who experience it by irritability, heart racing, and their face feels hot, headaches or upset stomach, an impending feeling of doom and even the smallest factors can irritate most.  Studies show that when subjected to constant stress, humans can develop certain life-threatening afflictions, including heart attacks and strokes.

What is Cultural Stress?
Studies have shown that people who live in “blue zones,” places where people live long, lean lives into their 90’s, all have a common dominator – a low-stress lifestyle.  Some cultural stressors include work, supervisors, children, tardiness, technostress, and constant e-mail.  Dr. Murad discovered throughout his studies of more than 50,000 patients, that using the Water Secret to create healthy, hydrated cells, helps the body fight aging and disease and more importantly, the ruinous effects of Cultural Stress.

Health Impacts from Stress
Studies show that stress releases neuropathies directly damage cellular membranes.  It causes our cells and connective tissue to break down, which in turn prevents our heart, lungs, brain, and other organs from functioning at optimal levels – all of which become apparent when you look at the skin.  The best way to keep stress at bay is to learn how to manage it so it affects you less.

Tips to Manage Stress and Cultural Stress:

  1. Get Connected:  Get involved in community events, exercise classes, professional groups or associations, book clubs, potluck dinner nights with your friends, charity events at your children’s schools or volunteer at a nearby nonprofit or take a class at a local community college. 

  1. Disconnect: There’s an odd duality to being attached to machines that allow us to connect with others around the world in an instant. In a nutshell put down your phones!  Take time at least twice a week to not check your phone or email. It’s a healthy mental break.   

  1. Start Your Day Off Right:  Deficiencies in B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium stress out your body and trigger and increase in cortisol levels, not to mention food cravings.  Many people skip breakfast and can easily find themselves lacking these critical nutrients and in turn rely on caffeine to stay alert and productive throughout the day.  Try eating a handful of berries (vitamin C), six to eight ounces of low-fat yogurt (calcium and magnesium), and a slice of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter.  Whole grains are loaded with B vitamins, while peanut butter contains fatty acids that can decrease the production of stress hormones.  Peanut butter will also keep you satisfied longer. 

  1. Eat “Brain Food”:  About two-thirds of our brains are composed of fat, and the protective sheath around communicating neurons is 70 percent fat.  In essence, we need fat to think and to maintain healthy brain function, as well as normal growth and development. The omega-3 fats in salmon (often called “brain food”) as well as other cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and olives have numerous proven health benefits, including those that protect your heart.  It is also important to limit your intake of processed foods! 

  1. Exercise:  Exercising regularly nourishes the skin with oxygen while sweating flushes out toxins. It will also improve digestion and increase one’s metabolism and endocrine function so that the entire body is functioning at an optimal level.

According to Dr. Murad, “Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness.”  When the body is at optimal health, the skin will follow suit. Through a three-pillar approach, Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health philosophy focuses on internal, external and emotional elements.  Help regulate stress by following the Inclusive Health philosophy!