Looking to Detox Your Skin?

Whether we know it or not, there are chemicals in everything we consume, from apples to microwavable popcorn.  I recently read an article about 7 Foods You Should Never Eat referencing expert commentary from food scientists. Fortunately, I haven’t eaten any of the forbidden foods but that got me thinking how it applies to what I put on my face.
One of my friends in New York put me in touch with Marie Michele, founder of Juvance Cosmetics. Her experience spans many of the beauty industry’s most renowned brands such as Clinique, Chanel and Shisheido.  Now Michele’s mission is to provide natural and therapeutic products and regimens to balance, enhance and renew the skin’s natural beauty. On my journey towards putting an end to my dry skin, I was excited to speak to this leading “skin scientist.”
I tried out the 4-step regimen Michele suggested after I gave her a rundown of my skin routine.  Her overall analysis was that my skin was “eating” but not “drinking”.  Here’s her custom recipe:
Images from JuvanceCosmetics.com
1.      Purifying Gel
  • What It Does: Deeply cleanses, purifies pores and removes impurities.
  • Ingredients: Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy Acid, Aloe Vera Gel, Salicylic Acid, Lactid Acid, Vitamin B, Bromelain Extract and Papain Enzymes.
  • How I used it:  Twice daily using gel cleanser and exfoliant.
2.      Balancing Ginseng Softener
  • What It Does: Preps the skin for hydration while balancing, toning, refreshing and firming the skin.
  • Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Ginseng, Witch Hazel and Horse Chestnut Extracts.
  • How I used it:  Applied with cotton ball after Purifying Gel.
3.      Renewal Bamboo Scrub (Exfoliant)
  • What It Does: Gently removes dead skin cells, refines pores and stimulates cellular regeneration.
  • Ingredients: Ground Bamboo and Jojoba Beads, Chamomile Extract, Aloe Vera, Papaya Extract, Bromelain Extract and Papain Enzymes.
  • How I used it:  Scrubbed gently in circular motion avoiding delicate eye area, twice a week.
4.      Revitalizing Moisturizer
  • What It Does: Helps improve oxygenation, detoxifies and stimulates the skin. Helps refine pores, balance oil, soothes irritation, and slows the creation of new lines and wrinkles.
  • Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Sodium Hyaluronate.
  • How I used it:  Twice a day.
The main ingredient not included in these products? Alcohol! Also the culprit for dry skin. So yes, this is rehab for my face.  Granted, not all alcohol is created equal but after one week of use, I can see a difference in my skin. It’s smoother, my pores are smaller, no break outs and overall my skin just feels cleaner and moisturized.  Michele’s line of Juvance Cosmetics can be found in beauty boutiques in the tri-state area and can also be purchased directly on the Juvance Cosmetics website.  She’s currently working to become available in Whole Foods as well so make sure to look out for that! In the meantime, take a look at your skincare regimen and identify which ingredients you’re currently applying on your skin…you just  might be in need of a skin detox.  Share your thoughts below!

GTL: Golden and Tanned in Las Vegas

Ok that’s a stretch! I attribute my love of tanning to my Jersey roots. The Coca-Cola and baby oil tanning sessions are no more and while I don’t have the same love for going to the gym or doing laundry, I still love getting my summer tan on – in the safest way possible.  I have tried so many sunscreen products, always on the hunt for that perfect one that gives UVA and UVB protection, one that moisturizes without being greasy and gives great color.  I’ve tried everything from carrot-based lotions for the golden glow to oils from my trips to Mexico and the Caribbean, anything I could find that was different from the products sold at the local drugstore. 

Now, in my 30’s, I want more from my sunscreen!  Recently, I came across some great online reviews for Carol’s Daughter, Gelee de Soliel Browning Oil and thought I’d try it out.  It has SPF 15 (which might too low for your first time out in the sun).  It’s also enriched with Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Mango Butter and Avocado Butter.

INGREDIENT BENEFITS: (some descriptions are from Sephora.com)

  • Palm Kernel Oil – Provides excellent moisturizing properties while leaving skin soft and youthful.
  • Cocoa Butter – Protects and nourishes the skin with natural oils that deeply penetrate into the skin.
  • Shea Butter – Renowned for its moisturizing properties, shea butter is rich with fatty acids your skin will love.
  • Mango Butter – Natural emollient and lends protection against the sun. Also reduces degeneration of skin cells and restores elasticity.
  • Avocado Butter – Contains antioxidant vitamins A, E and D, which kill free radicals that age your skin.

I bought Carol’s Daughter Gelee de Soliel Browning Oil at my local Sephora about a month ago.  I’ve only used it a couple of times so far and already love the non-greasy golden glow if gives me while moisturizing and protecting my skin from the sun.  The scent is more nutty than tropical and it’s NOT waterproof, so reapplication is necessary. Although I’m not really looking forward to the 100+ degree Vegas heat, I’ll need to stay cool and protect my skin from the harsh desert sun.  Here’s to fun in the sun!

From Rickety to Rimmelicious!

 I have tried out countless amounts of mascaras, too many to name.  That was up until I came across the new Rimmel Lash Accelerator mascara, I was hooked! This mascara has AVEC Grow-Lash Complex , a formula that will make your lashes appear up to 80% longer (as detailed on the package label). I bought it and have been using it for about three months now and I could not be more pleased with the results. My eyelashes started to look fuller, longer, darker, and stronger within two weeks of using it. Now, with a bristle brush instead of the rubber brush it originally had, it gives great volume. It does not clump or leave any residue on your face. I have even fallen asleep with it on and still stayed on without a smudge. I would definitely recommend this mascara.  You will be amazed at the “fuller” results you will get…just look at my BEFORE and AFTER!

What’s in my makeup bag?


This is my first contributor post so I’d figured I’d start by giving you more than a sneak peek into my makeup bag!  I like to keep my beauty look very chic but the application process very simple. Here goes. I start off every day with using my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15. I have been using this moisturizer for about three years now and it works great with my dry skin and the oil-free formula does not make my skin feel greasy or cause breakouts. I then use Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer in Sand to cover any blemishes and under eye dark circles. Then for some color, I use Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Powder foundation in Medium Sandy Beige applied with MAC kabuki brush #182. On to the lashes, I use my Shu Uemura eyelash curler (which I just heard was discontinued so I will soon be on the search for a new eyelash curler that works well with my stubborn eyelashes!) and Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in Extreme Black. I finish my look with CoverGirl Liquilineblast in Black which makes a super smooth sleek black line on my top lid – making my eyes look brighter and bigger (also an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner). The pencil also has a rubber side to smudge the liner for a more dramatic look. On my lips, I use Blistex DCT lip balm to keep my lips conditioned and smooch-soft!

Please let me know what’s in your makeup bag and if we share any products in common! Any suggestions on a good eyelash curler are welcome!

From the Vegas Strip to Polish Strips: I’m officially gaga for Glitz Blitz, Sally Hansen’s New Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips


I heard that these new nail polish strips should only be used for special occasions because they are gaudy and loud, not easy to put on and only last about 10 days or less.  But now after having tried them myself, I beg to differ. 

I bought two packages of Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips last weekend at my local CVS (they were on sale!) I had originally had my eye out for the leopard print strips, can’t take the Jersey out of the girl I guess.  But they were sold out so I opted for the next best thing, gold metallic glitter (#260 Glitz Blitz) and black & white zebra print (#310 Wild Child).

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

My friend is getting married tomorrow, so that’s special-occasion-enough for me!  I started with clean, dry and groomed nails and set my stopwatch on my iPhone.  I read the 5-step instructions which were easy:

  1. SELECT best fitting strip for each nail
  2. PEEL clear cover and plastic backing (2 peel-offs per strip)
  3. BREAK tab from strip
  4. APPLY by holding at center of nail bed
  5. SHAPE by filing away excess

I finished the entire manicure in 30 minutes!  And ladies, here are my personal tips to make these stunning strips last longer on your nails! 

There are 16 strips per package.  Since my nail beds are relatively standard in size or perhaps on smaller end, I was able to use ONE strip for TWO nails! Instead of filing off the excess, I used cuticle scissors to cut off excess and got as close to tip as possible.  Then I used the “excess” for my same nail on my other hand.  Now, here’s a little tip to make them last. Aside from using the cuticle stick to make sure all the edges of the strip bond to your nail – I pressed the strip down by applying additional pressure with my finger. Voilà!

#260 Glitz Blitz

Stay tuned for the “Wild Child” manicure…guess this is Vegas and I don’t need a special occasion to rock those!  If you’ve tried on any of the other designs, please share!

My Eye on Beauty

I still remember when I was in grammar school in NJ we were asked to write down on a piece of paper what we wanted to be when we grew up. Then those papers full of our grade school dreams were locked away in a time capsule.  I fondly recall writing down “cosmetologist.” Fast forward years later, many of you may know that I did not follow that schoolgirl dream of mine but I can say that I always managed to surround myself with makeup.  Personally, I’ve always loved being the first to discover the latest and then pass along those tips to my friends and family.  Professionally, I came very close to the world of cosmetology, working with some of the most well-known brands and alongside those geniuses behind-the-beauty-scenes.  Now, I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned to date and continue learning with you through product reviews, the latest beauty news and occasional guest contributions.

This is my introductory post, so I ask you to please share your thoughts, opinions and suggestions as to what you would like to see here.  Please make sure to sign up to receive my posts in your inbox.

 Thank you beauties!