Saturday, December 29, 2012

DivaDebbi's Best of 2012: The Hall of Fame

It's that time of year again...As usual, I have tried a ton of new products this year and whether I purchased them myself or received them to sample, I have done my best to always tell you the good, the bad and the ugly of their benefits and features.

I wanted to start off my Best of 2012 lists with products that I continue to love and use, and that I feel are peerless, having tried many of their competitors. I purchase them over and over for one reason: They work!

In no particular order, I am never without with links to all:
                              DivaDebbi's 2012 Hall of Fame Beauty Picks

1) La Peau Skincare, Day Cream-Gel, Night Cream-Gel and Eye Contour Cream ($235) I am proud to be La Peau's Brand Ambassador. I am steadfastly loyal to this miracle skincare trio from Switzerland.  These potent lightweight gels penetrate the skin, repairing damage while restoring firmness and elasticity.  From the first week that I tried it, back in October of 2011, I was hooked. Despite receiving dozens of offers from premium, organic and mass skincare brands to sample their complete skincare lines, I always turn them down. Nothing I tried before was more effective and I truly believe nothing after could be.

I am sticking...

2) Lumene Premium Beauty Anti-Wrinkle Serum ($32.99) I am crazy about this lightweight, delicious smelling, velvety serum from Finland. I use it twice a day before moisturizer and my face instantly lights up with a dewy glow. I use it with abandon (always repurchasing with my CVS Beauty Bucks.) This is how I imagine J.Lo probably runs through La Mer. I have tried many other serums, some as much as 5 times the cost of Lumene Premium Beauty Serum.

None better...

3) Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Gel Eyeliner ($22, though don't even consider using it without purchasing her eye liner brush made specifically for this product $25)

Simply the best. Yes, it takes a steady hand and a little finesse, but this deeply pigmented, smooth gel liner defines and lasts like no other.  You can dot it on, and blend it, learn to create a ultra thin line, or glam it up with a thick line, winged up at the corners for a more dramatic look.

I have strayed often and always return...

4) Laura Mercier's Lip Glace in Pink Tulle ($24) When it comes to lip gloss and everything else, I'm fairly picky.  I abhor sticky, overly perfumed glosses and I prefer them to be richly pigmented.  Over the years, I may have tried nearly every lip gloss manufactured. Pink Tulle, a natural rosy nude is always available on Laura Mercier's website.  I made the mistake of tracking it down as far as Japan on EBay, before realizing that just because a color is not offered at retail, doesn't mean  it won't be part of a brands larger offerings on their own website.

Lesson learned...

5) MAC's Lip Pencil in Soar ($15) Whether for lining or filling in the lips with a stain of color, MAC's Lip Pencils are in a class by themselves. Well priced, long lasting and available in a wide range of shades, Soar is the color of my natural lips, so used as a liner, it enhances them subtlety, without an obvious line, which can look harsh and dated.


6) Revlon's Colorburst Lip Butter This is the best $10 lipstick on the planet, in fact it's one of my faves at any cost.  Lip Butter is a perfect blend of a glossy balm and lipstick.  It's hydrating, smooth and comfortable.  I have them in several shades and it's the only lipstick I will used down to the nub.

A beauty and a bargain to boot...

7) John Frieda's Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight (9.99) This non-sticky spray, with a water like consistency protects hair from heat, while keeping hair silky and frizz free, even in high humidity for up to three days or until your next washing. Been there, tried that-

A miracle...

8) St. Ives Naturally Smooth Body Lotion with Natural Fruit AHA Complex (5.99) A few years ago, several manufacturers included Alpha Hydroxy Acid in their lotions. That single ingredient is the difference between smoother, younger looking skin and skin that is merely moisturized.  When St. Ives introduced Naturally Smooth, a citrus based product with AHA complex, I rejoiced and hoarded.  This non-greasy lightweight formula is a pleasure to use and keeps my skin silky smooth.

A winner...

So there you have it...Stay tuned for my 2012 Best of Beauty and 2012 Best of Skincare lists.

Thank you for you loyalty and kindness, wishing you a safe and Happy New Year.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DivaDebbi's Holiday Giveaway's: A gift of youthful beauty

For many of us, December is a very busy month socially, in a blink we've gone from 4th of July barbeques to Holiday Cocktail parties.  In the last month I have seen friends who looked refreshed and radiantly beautiful and some who looked overly botoxed and frighteningly filled.

How to you avoid the latter?  Below is an excerpt from a previous post I wrote about Botox with my point of view.  At that time, Courtney Dunavent, P.A. with the New York Group for Plastic Surgery generously offered my readers a 10% discount on their first appointment for any of her services. This time, to help you look natural and refreshed in the New Year, Courtney has agreed to offer DivaDebbi readers 15% off their first appointment! 

Read on:
 Last year over 1,000,000 people tried Botox for the first time.  Chances are, if done properly, most will be pleased with their results and thus repeat the procedure 3 or 4 times a year.  Botox, has more or less owned this burgeoning market for the last 20 years, with virtually no competition. As a result, prices have not come down, but do vary by practice and practitioner.  

Dysport, joined the frey about two years ago.  Some women like it because it tends to kick in faster and is a little less expensive.  Its chemical makeup differs from Botox, so it requires 3x more product and someone comfortable with their abacus to successfully convert the proper amount of units needed.  The inside poop?  Clients like it, some practioners...not as much.

What's the best way to find the right person to administer a muscle paralyzing toxin into your face?  Be your own detective...  If you have a friend who has the permanently surprised look of someone who just sat on a pinecone or is so frozen you cannot discern she is emoting, try to find out who they are using and stay clear.  

Conversely, if a good friend looks refreshed, a few years younger and has natural movement, ask them if they "know" of anyone to recommend for your maiden voyage...(mind you, you are about to find out just how good this friend really is).  She will either come clean with her own experience or at least tell you who she has "heard" does good needle.

In my opinion, Girls Night Out parties, dentist offices and day spas are environments that are better suited to wine, amalgam and steam facials. Plastic Surgeon and Dermatologist's offices are a much safer bet of a good result.

What should you look for?
  • A qualified, recommended Dr., Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practioner
  • An immaculate environment
  • Someone who takes the time to ask you about your goals and objectives while you look in a hand mirror
  • No surprises.  Ask approximately what the per unit cost of your Botox, Dysport  is and approximately what your visit will cost. 
  • A candid discussion about how much movement you wish to retain (there really are women who want to be "completely frozen").
  • Someone who discusses potential side effects and bruising candidly and asks if you are doing this in advance of an important event
  • Someone who prefers to do less until you see how you like your results and will gladly see you in a week or two, to evaluate if  more is needed.
Who would I recommend if  I knew someone???

Hands down Courtney Dunavent, Physician's Assistant to the Plastic Surgeon's at The N.Y. Group for Plastic Surgery in Tarrytown, N.Y.(Easily accessible, particularly for those in the tri-state area). Consultations with Courtney are always welcome, so even if you are just thinking about taking this step, you can come and be educated about what non-surgical options (including Restalyne, Sculptra or Ultherapy) may help you look as young as you feel.

Patients who mention they are DivaDebbi readers will also enjoy a 15% discount off their first appointment in 2013. (914-366-6139)

Do I really think everyone I know has taken the plunge???...

Ya.  I do. For better and for worse.  Choose better.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Get the Look: Kate Middleton

I frequently receive emails from my P.R. friends, with laborious details describing how A to Z list stars have achieve their Red Carpet coiffs.

When I received this one about Kate Middleton's stunning Holiday hair styles, with easy to achieve tips and results by Edward Tricomi, Co-owner of Warren Tricomi Salons,  I had to share this.

 Warren Tricomi Greenwich is where my own genius colorist Christopher Hornauer resides.  I am also crazy about their products.  I recently blogged about their new Super Hold Hair Spray (

J'Adore!!! I recently saw Christopher for color.  I told him they have achieved "Bump-It in a Can". Genius!

Check out Kate Middleton’s gorgeous holiday styles with tips on how to get the look from Edward Tricomi, Co-owner of Warren-Tricomi Salons.

Kate’s Updo:

“This look is Elegant, charming and surprisingly easy to achieve.”

· Begin by parting your hair where it would naturally fall.

· This look is started with a very basic French braid at the back of the neck. Be sure to braid very loosely, this will keep the look modern and effortless.

· Once your braid reaches the top of your back begin to twist it into a bun. The bun should be more oval in shape as opposed to round and should sit right at the base of your neck. Secure with hair pins.

Products used:

“Kate has mirror-like shine which makes her color look extremely rich. I would recommend using a hair glaze to really bring out the shine and richness in color.”

Kate’s Half Up, Half Down Style:

“Lady Kate kills it with this, taking a look that is sophisticated yet surprisingly simple to create. The off-center pin curls are unexpected, innovative and original.”

· Start by setting your hair with a curling iron in large sections until your entire head is curled. This will give it a soft bounce.

· Divide your hair into two sections from ear to ear across the back of your head.

· Brush the top section straight back (this look is achieved with no parting)

· Take hair from your temple and pull it away from your face, twirling it into a pin curl and securing it with pins at the crown of your head, repeat with the remaining side.

Including products used
“Use a blow dry lotion to provide humidity resistance, frizz-control and protect the hair from heat styling.”

Wishing Kate and Will's a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful royal heir...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Update: Day 14 Review: Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightnening Serum

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
I promised to keep you updated on my progress with Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum on the freckle I sprouted while on "vacation" in Florida, (actually happily stranded during Hurricane Sandy.)  

Normally, I eschew sun bathing, but the weather was glorious, and by body was seriously craving some Vitamin D.  It felt delicious and I looked relaxed and healthy.  I did however bring home an unwanted souvenir; a freckle right in the middle of my forehead.

I am a huge fan of Murad products, and fortuitously;  my P.R. friends atMurad reached out and asked if I was interested in sampling Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum ($60).  Murad products lastforever  and I promise you, a little goes a long way.  

I'm so pleased that it is a clear lightweight gel.  It makes the application a snap. Here is my forehead on day one; pre-treatment:


Post-treatment 14 Days

I am happy with my progress.  Not only is the freckle fading, but everything else is looking lighter too. I have also been using it on the back of my hands and they look, well, spotless.

Stay tuned for the finale, two weeks from today...