Monday, December 30, 2013

The Wizard is in: Beautiful Skin CAN Be Yours

The Wizard is in: Beautiful Skin CAN Be Yours

MPXE Elite Laser-
An incredible multi-tasker that builds collagen,

 zaps spider veins, broken capillaries and age spots
The New York Times recently ran in article in their Thursday Skin Deep column about the trend towards going back to home grown skincare, reminiscent of the kinds of stuff our grandmother's used to use, (

No thanks...I like my skincare regimens to be cutting edge with a bit of zhush to increase its efficacy like retinol, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid etc...

I recently invited a group of my friends for an evening of information about the latest in non-invasive beauty at The New York Group for Plastic Surgery, ( Non-invasive beauty is not the arena for bargain hunting, IMO.

We had the opportunity to tour the newly opened Spa Nouvelle at their Tarrytown N.Y. office.  Spa Nouvelle offers the latest in laser, microdermabrasion and chemical peels with Ashlea Hoess, a passionate expert, certified in Advanced Aesthetics on staff, to guide you towards attaining youthful beautiful skin.

I think it's the perfect adjunct to the fabulous work they are already doing with other minimally invasive treatments like Botox, Restalyne, Sculptra and non-invasive treatments like Ultherapy.

In addition to anti-aging techniques, Ashlea is also an expert at improving and treating tone, firmness, visible capillaries, melasma, rosacea and stage l-lV acne patients.

On a separate visit, when Ashlea told me that she could zap the pesky broken capillaries around my nose and they would be gone instantly I was ecstatic. She did and they were.  Spectacular!!!
Ashlea also performed a "Cinderella" laser facial on me.  This treatment is often used on stars on the same day as their Red Carpet appearances.

It takes about 20 minutes, is not painful and instantly plumps and rejuvenates the face. I bumped into my facialist at the Equinox later that day and Danielle literally did a double take...too bad I was only going to Pilates class.

The Cinderella laser facial uses thermal heat to stimulate collagen production of the dermal layer. It is best done in a series of 3, 3 weeks apart, to maximize long term collagen building benefits. ($375 each).  
Ashlea perfoming a "Cinderella Laser Facial" on me

On another day, I treated  the sun spots and broken capillaries on my chest and decollete.  I had previously done a head to toe treatment years ago with an older type of laser.  It left me looking like I should be living on a leper colony.  The lesions were dark eggplant and did not fall off for close to a month!!!

Post laser treatment Day 2.  The spots are darker
temporarily, but nothing like what I had experienced previously 

Post Treatment at 12 Days

I am thrilled with the results!  Now here is some really good news: You can be treated for sun spots and broken capillaries (that are instantly removed) in reasonably priced sessions; $100 for 10 minutes of laser time.  Trust me, Ashlea is a whiz and can accomplish plenty in a short time.

As always, DivaDebbi patients get a 15% percent discount off their first treatment at the New York Group for Plastic Surgery.

To schedule a consultation or appointment with Ashlea Hoess please call 914-366-6139.  Their office is conveniently located and easy to access, so NYC, CT and NJ readers, don't be put off.

Yes, it takes a village these days, but I'll take all that's offered instead of this anytime:


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review: Dr. Brandt DNA Transforming Pearl Serum

Dr. Brandt DNA Transforming Pearl Serum
$150 (Gulp)

Every now and then, I can't resist buying some insanely priced anti-aging potion, in sheer hope that it will truly be the fountain of youth on tap. The cleverly named DNA Transforming Pearl Serum is and acronym for "Do Not Age"--big props to the marketing gurus who hatched this little ditty.

DNA Transforming Pearl Serum has been on my radar. It is supposedly a daily do for none other than Madonna and it won a More Magazine Award for a favorite of the many products a group of lucky readers got to test drive.

When I saw that Dr. Brandt was running a 40% off Black Friday sale after Thanksgiving + free shipping, I caved.  Here is how the product is described on Sephora's website:

What it is: 
A breakthrough antiaging serum powered by patented duo pearl technology and Juvenescence Complex. 

What it is formulated to do: 
Each application of this revolutionary serum delivers the right dose of fresh ingredients through the duo pearl delivery system. It supports cell respiration and encourages skin metabolism to address the visible signs of aging and minimize the appearance of roughness and wrinkles for younger, more radiant looking skin. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT: 
- Parabens 
- Phthalates 

Research results: 
In a 30 day self assessment study: 
- 88% of volunteers felt their skin was more lifted after 1 day 
- 96% of volunteers reported that their skin looked firmer after 1 week 
- 92% of volunteers reported that the appearance of lines and wrinkles has diminished after 1 month

I have been using Dr. Brandt DNA Transforming Pears Serum for a little over three weeks.  It looks pretty, does not require a lot of product to cover the entire face and has no discernible smell. It should last for many months.

The good news kind of ends there...

I have seen no difference in firmness, glow or diminished wrinkles.  Don't get me wrong, my skinlooks fine.  It just doesn't look finer so to speak.  I see no improvement whatsoever.

Naturally, at this price, I'm sticking with it, until I need to scoop the remains out with a Q-tip.
Of course I will keep you updated if there is a sudden turnaround.

As of this writing I'd say DNA should stand for DNB.

I'll leave it to you to figure out...


Saturday, December 14, 2013

The $24 Lip Job: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Gloss


Bobbi Brown Rose Sugar Lip Gloss

I adore my friends...and the closer we are, the more we don't hold back. Girlfriend creed is to be able to tell your friends what other people are saying, or at least suspecting. I have a posse that I'm relying on to tell me the second my sleeveless days are over.

I was enjoying a Holiday drink with my hilarious friend Monica the other night in Greenwich.  One sip in, she said, "so, you got your lips done", wasting not a second.

"No, actually I didn't. They are all mine, but I am wearing an old favorite,
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Lip Gloss."

I was surprised to see it offered as a Sephora Insider perk in Greenwich, since they are not a branch that carries Bobbi.  Naturally, I snagged one, particularly since the shade offered, Rose Sugar, was perfectly gorgeous. (The colors on the website look nothing like they do in person, so I strongly suggest seeing them in person).

I picked up a full size gloss at Blue Mercury today and even that was slightly lighter than my Sephora sample, which was perhaps a few years old.


The thing that I always loved about Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Lip Glosses, is that they really dress the lip up a bit. They are a little sticky, but aside from that slight nuisance, you get a lot longer wear out of an application, than a traditional gloss.  The shimmer, thankfully has nothing to do with "frost" and it actually does make your lips look fuller and more youthful.

There is good stuff in it too, Vitamin C and E, and Jojoba and Avocado Oils, which are both anti-aging and moisturizing.

I guess it has been awhile since I purchased one, since they are priced 20% more than the last time I bought one. But, on the plus side, it's a lot cheaper than Restalyne and I imagine, whole lot less painful too...


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beautiful Foundation- How to Choose?


DivaDebbi and the one and only Ty Barnes
Sephora, Greenwich Ct.

Well for starters, with the help of an expert.  The best foundations are getting pricey and making a mistake is not the same as blowing it at the drugstore. It takes a bit of leg work...

A few weeks ago I was with my dear friend actress Alison Wachtler, who was in NYC for some auditions.  We had a leisurely Birthday lunch at Bloomindales in White Plains and both bee lined for the Space NK Cosmetics Boutique.  

Alison Wachtler Braunstein

Space NK is chock full of delicious high end skincare, and a few choice cosmetic lines with By Terry featured front and center.  I picked up one of their gorgeous hyaluronic based lipsticks in Grand Cru. It drenches the lips with moisture, but imparts a lot of pigment. Truly lovely.

I also sampled Terrybly Densiless, their new serum foundation and took some home to try. It is absolutely luscious.

Densiless is not just a foundation, but skincare as well, designed to target,"wrinkles and density with immediate and long term benefits, on the surface as well as deep down. Evens out skin tone and facial contours are firmer, adding youthful radiance to an ultra natural finish".

I haven't used it long enough to speak to the facial toning, but I can attest to the luminous finish of this smoothing powder foundation. I was beginning to think I couldn't possibly live without Densiless, as my generous sample dwindled.

I stopped in to purchase it and for once, asked the price first.  Jade Creamer, one of the knowledgeable consultants who has helped me before, swallowed hard and 'fessed up, "$110".

Ouch!  Really???  Ugggh!!! 

Nearly twice as much as I had dared imagine...and they can barely keep it in stock. Generously, she offered me a fresh sample and nicely, invited my to meet Eric Baez, By Terry's National Makeup Artist, who will be visiting on December 13th (please call 914-684-6453 for an appointment.) 

We will see if Eric has his way with me...

In the interim, I stopped into Sephora in Greenwich to pick up something for my annual book club Holiday dinner gift swap and saw Ty Barnes, my favorite consultant and makeup artist.  Talk about warmth and skill!  Ty is a total joy, a font of knowledge and a true artist.

I had 10 minutes to spare before a Holiday Party and asked him for a quick touch up.  To my delight, Sephora is now carrying Giorgio Armani Beauty, and I asked Ty to test out their award winning Luminous Silk foundation ($60) and Fluid Sheer Illuminator ($59).


Ty did a gorgeous job of applying both products, which he loves using on his clients and sent me packing with plenty of product samples and instructions, (see above)  If you are lucky enough to live in the Greenwich area or are interested in hiring Ty for event work, please contact him here.
In the meanwhile, I'm taking my time deciding and I'm glad that I have two experts to help coach me along.  
There are many beauty areas where you can cheat, foundation is not one of them.

Is there something wonderful you are using that I should know about?  I'm all ears...


Friday, December 6, 2013

Renee Zellweger: Then and Now

There has been an awful lot of buzz about Renee Zellweger lately. Tongues have been wagging and pundits are weighing in, including plastic surgeons (with heady disclaimers), about what exactly did Renee do?

Frankly, if someone had shown me the picture at right above on its own, I could not identify who it was...could you???

Ms. Zellweger always had a atypical Hollywood look, which I found charming... mostly. There were definitely some Red Carpet appearances, however, where she appeared chipmunk cheeked, from over zealous injections of fillers, (see yesterday's blog for my take on tweaking the right way:

Her squinty eyes, were well, Renee's.  Highly identifiable, but certainly not an impediment to her successful film career, with hits like Jerry McGuire and The Bridget Jones Diaries, that delighted fans.

What would make her want to change her look so drastically?  There are even rumors that she is "obsessed" with Jennifer Lawrence and one can't exactly deny the resemblance:

Renee (44) and Jennifer (23)

Here's what I think Renee has had done:

Photo courtesy of Perez Hilton

A brow lift, Botox and upper eye lift; notice the larger, tight shiny forehead and wide eyed look. Sculptra to add volume and lift her cheekbones, and a chin implant, there is significantly more length to her face then there was before.  Her skin looks luminous a youthful, so I would guess some combination of peels and laser treatments.

Actually, I think she looks beautiful...I just don't think she looks anything like her former self.

I think one of the top things that stop women from undergoing plastic surgery is the nagging fear that they will no longer look like themselves. They may want to look more youthful, but not alien to their own eyes.

I do think Renee has crossed the line into Meg Ryan turf, another adorable girl next door, who completely altered her looks.  The results are much better, but I do think the rumblings will follow her for the rest of her career.

It's hard now, not to think of Meg, without the image of her post surgical face coming to mind, rather than the fine work she did in films like When Harry Met Sally.

Meg Ryan

Back in the late 80's Jennifer Grey, burst to fame after starring in the warmly entertaining film Dirty Dancing.  She too, was not classically beautiful, but fresh faced and adorable.

In the early 90's, she had a nose job. While the result was not unpleasant or particularly unnatural looking, she lost what was unique and special about her and her career in films along with it.

Jennifer Grey
I wonder what Renee's intentions were; was she chasing her youth or hoping to changing her look?  Perhaps a bit of both... I truly hope shes happy with her results. I also hope it doesn't do what her unconventional look never did before; impede her success...


Girls Night Out: The New York Group for Plastic Surgery

Girls Night Out: The New York Group for Plastic Surgery

Beautiful friends Izabella and Christine

I have a  wonderful, long standing relationship with the doctors and practitioners at The New York Group for Plastic Surgery.  Dr. Andrew Salzberg is a personal hero of mine.  He compassionately and brilliantly did my breast reconstruction nearly 14 years ago, when I opted to do a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, (think Angie),  and yes, I was way ahead of the curve.

When it came time to address my anti-aging concerns, it never occurred to me to go elsewhere. Though I think plenty of women don't fess up to all their tweaks, Botox, Restalyne, Sculptra, peels and lasers are as much a part of beauty maintenance these days as facials, highlights and root touch ups.

Lately, I have noticed a discouraging trend; Botox parties, Dentists doing injectibles, Groupon, Amazon and Living Social offering cut rate deals on anti-aging treatments and a new entry Zendy Beauty, modeled like Priceline, where you name your price and see if any of the doctors in their network will accept it.

I think it's begging for trouble.  After all, we wear our faces everyday, this is not an area you want to bargain hunt.

Truly, your very best bet for excellent, natural results is to select your practitioners based on their experience and friends who have had great results.

Accordingly, I gathered a group of 15 friends for an event at the NY Group for Plastic Surgery in Tarrytown, N.Y., where they had the opportunity to meet Dr. Salzberg, Dr. Aydin, Physician's Assistant Tami Healy and Ashlea Hoess. Nicely, there was champagne, munchies and goodie bags for all and their cheerful staff on hand to make sure everyone was comfortable and attended to.

Readers often email me for help and information. I also wanted my friends to have the benefit of hearing about all the latest in anti-aging advances too. As a jumping off point, I put together a list of questions to ask the experts and the Girls chimed in with their own as well.

Here were some of the questions asked and answered by their team of experts:

Tami Healy P.A. Expert injector, Ultherapy, Surgical Assistant

DD: We all know Botox is routinely used to smooth furrows on the brow, the "coin slots" between the brows and around the eyes. Are you using it anywhere else successfully?

Dr. Salzberg: Botox is a highly purified and diluted form of the muscle paralyzing botulism bacteria.  It is very effective in treating problem areas for people who perspire excessively. Cosmetically, we can get a nice result on the platysma muscles, the vertical bands on the neck,  and it can be used on the jawline to feminize it".

DD: Tell us about Restylane how is it most commonly used?

Dr. Aydin: "Restylane is stabilized hyaluronic acid, a filler, used to add volume and diminish wrinkles.  Commonly treated areas are the lips, nasolabial folds, (nose to mouth) and crows feet.  It can also be used to add volume to facial hollows".

DD: What kind of results are you getting with Sculptra and who are good candidates for this treatment:

Dr. Salzberg:  "Sculptra is used to replace volume in face.  It is deeply injected and stimulates the production of collagen.  It is generally done in a series, about 3 weeks apart. You can roughly approximate one treatment per each decade of life. Results are cumulative and will look best in a few months, lasting two or more years. Generally, one touch up treatment should be done each year. The areas most commonly treated are the temples, cheeks and jawline.  We are having fantastic results with patients reporting firmer lifted skin. This is a great option for women who are looking for a significant improvement without surgery. Because it is done over time, it is also a subtle change. Because it lifts the cheeks, the need to fill the nasolabial folds with Restylane may be diminished".

DD: It's interesting to me that Plastic Surgeons have embraced Ultherapy, a non-invasive FDA cleared procedure that uses ultrasound waves to tighten skin on the chin, neck and brow.  Is this in response to women trying to put off surgery and who are the best candidates?:
Tami demonstrating Ultherapy, a non-invasive lifting
and tightening treatment for the face and neck

Tami Healy: "Well, we are treating men with Ultherapy too, so, I would agree that people do want to retain their youthful good looks as long as possible and they are looking for non surgical alternatives.  Ultherapy is particularly appealing because there is downtime and very little bruising. Ultherapy is best used on patients with mild to moderate sagging.  The ultrasound waves stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin, stimulating collagen,without disturbing it's surface. Results are best seen 2-3 mos. after treatment and can last for several years. The happiest patients are the ones who are doing this at the right time...meaning they really don't yet need surgery."

Discomfort is relative.  I have used this treatment myself and had no pain in my neck area. Tami performed a sampling of Ultherapy on three of my friends that night. All were pain free.

When the whole face is being treated, I can imagine that during the one plus hour treatment, the discomfort may be cumulative.  Tami told us some patients prefer a mild sedative during treatment.  If that is your preference, you will need to have someone drive you home.

Ashlea Hess- Certified in Advanced Asthetics

Ashlea Hoess recently joined the practice to head up their new Spa Nouevelle. She is certified in chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments. Ashlea is passionate about helping each patient achieve their goals and is an expert at treating rosacea, melasma, spider veins and melasma.

(I recently underwent a three procedures that required zero downtime and some immediatebenefits.  I will share those with you with pictures, in the next day or two. I couldn't be more thrilled with the results!!!)

It was a fun and informative  Girls Night Out and I was happy to be able to share my team with my friends and offer them the "DivaDebbi" discount, 15% off your first procedure or treatment.

The N.Y Group for Plastic Surgery treats patients in four location including NYC. You can click on this link for for more details.

I like to think of my readers as friends too, so if  you are interested in consulting with my A team, please call 914-366-6139.  If you do book a procedure, please tell them I referred you and they will honor the same discount for you.

Whether it's the NYGPS or other highly trained, well recommended practitioners, my point to you is don't take chances.  There is an art to this artifice.  Be smart and beautiful.