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Interview With Emma Hardie

Interview with Emma Hardie

We are infatuated with beauty experts, entrepreneurs and products that empower women to take care of their skin holistically. Women in the U.S. are beginning to understand that the hunt for a miracle in a bottle is akin to the search for the holy grail – it simply doesn’t exist. Instead we may need to learn more about ourselves and our skin and develop habits that will take care of it over time. The move to what I call holistic preventative skin care has finally landed on the shores of the U.S. and is starting to take root.

A significant part of this movement is not so much about putting a band aid on skin problems once they occur but taking proactive steps to nurture and protect the dermis so imperfections never have a chance to emerge. Instead of using harsh products and procedures that break the skin down to build it up, the idea is to use ingredients that work with the skin’s natural functions to boost its health and luminosity.

Emma Hardie is considered to be a leading pioneer in natural healing and skin rejuvenation and is the most accomplished holistic aesthetician in the UK today. She is known for treating the skin from the bone up.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Emma to discuss her approach to skin care.

How did you land in the skin care industry?

EH: I started out as an interior designer and fell on ill health, which made it not only necessary for me to change my career, but to heal myself. I began researching the details of the human body and discovered that with the right catalyst, our bodies have the wherewithal to heal themselves. Part of the healing process, for me, involved facial acupuncture and exercises, which boosted my body’s ability to heal itself. I noticed that it did the same for my skin. Working optimally, my skin began to rebalance itself and started to look great. I was inspired to show women how to feel and look great by empowering them to heal their bodies naturally

What is your philosophy?

EH: I developed a facial and skin care range based on the research I had done. Skin is living. I discovered it is possible to optimize the skin’s natural functions by working with it, using hi-tech, plant based ingredients to build it up instead of using harsh ingredients and treatments to fight against it.

What do you love most about what you do?

EH: So much! I love immersing myself in the research – the R & D piece of the work is fascinating. Understanding the human body and ingredients at the atomic level and how they interact with each other is fascinating. I also love educating people on the process  - empowering women to heal themselves naturally and see results.

What is the most important piece of skin care advice you give your clients?

EH: Use a nourishing cleanser, moisturizer and SPF product regularly. The emphasis should be on the massaging technique. All must be applied in downward or cross hatch strokes, working with the grain of facial tissue and lymphatics. It brings up the water levels in the skin, allowing products to penetrate deeper into the layers of the dermis and promoting lymphatic drainage. This process optimizes the skin’s ability to carry out its activities at the cellular level. Using a microfiber wash cloth boosts the efficacy of the process. staying out of the sun and drinking water are incredibly important as well. If you are dehydrated the organs of the body can’t work optimally – this includes the skin.

If you had to recommend a single product that you would encourage people to splurge on, what would it be?

EH: neck product. Beauty does not end at the chin. The neck supports the face and creates a complete structure. It should all be beautiful. The neck and chest area are the loveliest part of a woman, not to mention one of the most erogenous zones. A graceful neck makes one look elegant like a swan and more importantly makes a woman feel elegant. A neck serum enables the skin to absorb creams more readily and together correct issues that may be present. I just love serums.

facial-massage-Emma-HardieWhat is your process for creating products in your range?

EH: It takes passion and loads of work. First and foremost, it’s about the face. Breaking it down and determining what bits deserve the most attention and Emma Hardie love. Teamwork is crucial. The best results come from working in an environment where you have the freedom to be creative and have fun. We also do a great deal of product testing, market research and trials. We are creating products for people we don’t know and that’s hard – everyone has her own preferences for product texture and smell – I want to make effective skincare that makes women feel comfortable. Products that sit seamlessly under foundation, smell pleasant and stimulate the olfactory senses.

There has been a shift in attitudes surrounding the term anti-aging as it relates to skin care. What are your thoughts?

EH: Age has many positives. We become more mature, wiser and more at peace with our surroundings and ourselves. We also begin to embrace change, investing more time in taking better care of ourselves as we get older. We need to work with our bodies to enable them to change gracefully. If we are always fighting against the changes that begin to occur in our skin as we age, we will not look natural. Instead, we can use ingredients that help our skin look and feel great at any age. Fighting age with abrasive products and treatments cause irritation, damage the skin and in many cases accomplish the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

New Year’s Beauty Reboot

New Years Beauty Reboot

This may be your last chance to relax before 2018 officially starts. Then it’s back to school…back to work…back to life…back to reality…

Still looking for inspiration to get the New Year off to a splendid start? Start with you! This is an excellent time to take care of yourself, even if you set aside 10 minutes to do so. You can multi-task to make the most of those minutes.

Relaxing Facial Masks When You Don’t Have Time To Relax

Start with a face mask—even if your skin is pitch perfect, any complexion can benefit from a reparative face mask once a week, especially during the winter months. Our skin requires an intensive reconstructive care product regularly to enable it to recover and reboot its cellular functions. For the severely time starved, Cosmetics 27 Plasma 27 Bio Lifting Cell Restoring Mask, is just the thing! This pre-soaked, pre-cut, single serve sheet mask is packed with high concentrations of Centella Asiatica and Proline to stimulate the skin’s ability to produce collagen. Just open the packet, pop it on your visage, have a cup of coffee and voila!

If you prefer a creamy mask format, try Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Yes, it’s a face cleanser, but it is so much more. Massage the balm into your face using downward strokes – this promotes lymphatic drainage. I store mine in the refrigerator: the cool temperature is refreshing and calms puffiness. Remember to apply it to the backs of your hands as well. When you embark upon 40, even if you take A+ care of your skin and have great genes, there is no place that is more revealing of age. The all-natural scent of moringa is also calming to the senses which is beneficial especially on hectic mornings. This multi-tasking treatment can also be used as a lip balm.

Hair & Scalp Treatments for Your Tresses

While your face mask is gelling, turn your attention to your hair and scalp. Christophe Robin’s line of hair treatment products is a must. Period. Especially if you highlight, bleach or chemically process your hair. You can sleep, workout and even golf in them. These intensive moisturizing treatments are magic!

For dry, damaged hair requiring some serious tender loving care, try his Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil. It contains powerful antioxidants and moisturizers sure to leave your hair frizz free, soft and radiant.

The holidays are stressful. Combine this with crisp, dry air and you’ll find yourself with a troublesome itchy, flaky scalp. If this sounds familiar, Christophe Robin’s scalp detox maskCleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt, is calling your name.

Eye, Brow and Lash Treatments

Feeling a little bit of champ-shame about how much you drank (not to mention ate) this holiday season? Copious consumption could leave your eyes puffy and your skin sallow. No problem! Here are a couple of instant eye pick-me-ups that will get you going in the right direction:

Institut Esthederm Lift & Repair Eye Contour Lift Patches are fast penetrating under eye masks that target all concerns of the eye area: bags, shadows, fine lines, sagging skin and swelling. In as little as 6 minutes a few days a week, you can take years off your eye area. They also make the perfect travel companion – try them at the end of a flight, or the morning after a long night out to look “bright-eyed” (bushy-tailed is on you).

While you’re de-puffing your eyes, you can pump up your brows and lashes with Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty Brow and Lash Conditioning Serum. This conditioning treatment is the real deal! It is a two-in-one product for use on brows as well as lashes and contains additional treatment ingredients, including natural marine extract that not only boosts hair growth but conditions and hydrates for strong, lush brows and lashes.

We hope you take the time to indulge in a drop of self-care, not just this week, but all year long. For more tips, tricks and tools to perfect your look, find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

By: Travel Beauty Editors

Are Antioxidants Really Enough?

Sapelo Skin Care Serum

While many all natural and organic anti-aging skin care lines purport to contain a cocktail of antioxidants promising to rejuvenate skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines, the truth is that antioxidants alone are not enough. I’m not knocking antioxidants, they are an important part of a well rounded skin care regimen. However, while they help stabilize already sustained skin damage born of braving the elements and pollution, they have a minimal affect on building and strengthening the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. In other words, they don’t do much in the way of actually turning back the hands of time.

Skin science basics

As we age, our skin’s ability to produce collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid wanes. We see the visible signs of this in the form of wrinkles, fine lines, irregular pigmentation and sagging skin.

What’s a girl to do?

The reality of the situation is that every 365 1/4 days, our skin, along with the rest of our body, ages another year. Enter Sapelo Skin Care Spring Tide Serum. My mother discovered this skin care line, literally as it was launching, two years ago in Savannah, Georgia. At first, I wouldn’t even look at it. “Savannah, Georgia”, I said, “you’ve got to be kidding me”. I’m a serious skin care snob and, with few exceptions, won’t let anything near my face that is not from Europe or Asia.

A month later, I had lunch with my mom and noticed a significant change in her skin. It looked really taught and radiant, like she had just sat for a microcurrent facial. I mentioned that her skin looked great and she said “it’s Sapelo. I’ve been using it for a month and can’t believe the results.” I couldn’t either. I’ve never seen results like this from a topical skin care range.

Naturally, when I learned that Sapelo Skin Care had launched a new revolutionary anti-aging serum, I had to investigate. This silky serum combines the power of nature with science to visibly reduce wrinkles and fine lines by retraining signals in the skin to manufacture increased collagen and elastin. Spring Tide Serum is the latest addition to this all natural, wonder anti-aging line. Similar to the other products in the range, the science is rooted in its Southern heritage.

Founders Cindy Edwards and Stephanie Duttenhaver explained:

“In Savannah, the Southern spring tide signals the season of rebirth and renewal. This nourishing surge tide coincides with a full moon, flooding the wetlands of Savannah with nutrients to last the year through.”

Sapelo Spring tide antiaging serumThis sounds like exactly what my skin needs! Especially with winter around the corner. In addition to high concentrations of a potent cocktail of proteins, peptides, amino acids, active Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, as well as selenium, magnesium, copper and zinc, the fourth ingredient in the formula is 5% highly blenderized, unfertilized, organic Norwegian Salmon Roe Extract.

Warning! We are about to get a little science geeky…

If you think about the purpose of roe, it is to provide all the nutrition that a zygote needs to become a fry - right? Molecules that stimulate growth are concentrated in the egg. Similarly, this extract stimulates growth in the dermis boosting the skin’s ability to build collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Why is this so important? The skin’s capacity to produce these vital anti-aging proteins and acids begins to diminish at the age 25 and by the time our 80th birthday rolls around our skin has lost 32% of its ability to carry out these cellular activities. So even if you are 25 and still look twelve, listen up! The earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better positioned it will be to age beautifully.

The best part is that there is real science to back this up. The highly-concentrated extract that Sapelo uses is taken from the unfertilized salmon roe by an all natural organic solvent which stabilizes this extraordinary biologic activity. The effectiveness has been proven in a Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial (The gold standard of scientific proof of principle – we are talking the very same standard that is used to test prescription drugs y’all) to dramatically increase collagen and elastin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and minimize redness and irritation. I won’t get into a scientific dissertation but I can tell you that using the 5% concentration of this new ingredient, dramatically increases collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production by up to 350%. That’s huge! Results can begin to be seen in as little as two weeks and have proven to transform skin in eight weeks. It is also worth noting that Sapelo Skin Care Spring Tide Serum is the only product on the US market to contain this powerful ingredient.

Spring Tide Serum can be used as a stand-alone product at night or as part of a bedtime skin care regimen prior to applying face cream. I have been using it morning and night as the second step in a cleanse, treatment, moisturizer regimen. It is so gentle, you can even work it around the eye area.

Spring Tide Serum has multiple applications

It is an excellent, non-abrasive alternative to undergoing a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser treatment. These procedures burn and damage the skin in order to initiate repair whereas this serum works to naturally repair the dermis without harming it.

Not convinced enough to forego these abrasive therapies?

Spring Tide Serum is also prescribed as an ideal post-procedure treatment product. It is extremely gentle and can be applied to nourish and protect your skin as it undergoes the healing process.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

Interview With Christophe Robin

Interview-with-Christophe-Robin

I have always had thick, curly hair. Growing up in New York City in the 90s when stick straight hair was en vogue, I always felt like the odd woman out. Make no mistake, when dealing with thick, curly hair, curating the right product selection is a process and finding a hair care expert that is intimately familiar with cutting curls and how they behave is an imperative.

Just as important is finding the right products which can be akin to a science experiment. You have to be patient and willing to try different combinations of products to see how they interact with each other and your hair. I have experimented with many different products in so many categories.

Today, on the precipice of 41, I have learned to appreciate my curly situation. Every day is a little different and even if you have the best products – you’ll always have a day where a little frizz infiltrates the system…until now.

Enter Christophe Robin, colorist of choice to the world’s most celebrated actresses and top models including Natalie Portman, Catherine Deneuve, Tilda Swinton, Kylie Minogue, Kristin Scott Thomas – you get the picture. While working with his clientele to transform their hair color for fashion shows and on the sets of film and television, he began to understand what hair needed to look and feel healthy and beautiful. Robin launched his own hair care line, designed to nourish, strengthen and protect color-treated and sensitive hair and scalps from root to tip.

All Christophe Robin products are formulated with powerful, rare ingredients and inspired by traditional recipes to address the needs of men and women with all hair types, textures and conditions. In addition to restoring hair health, these innovative products are free of parabens, silicone, harsh sulfates, oxidants and ammonia. Best of all, they make hair look outstanding! They are the best I have come across.

Until recently, I had to travel to France or St. Barths to purchase these hair care gems. Lucky for all of us, it can now be found in The US. I can’t say enough good things about these products. It keeps my hair in line, even on the most humid of days. I have also seen it work wonders on friends with fine or even thinning hair. The Volumizing line is bar none, the best I have seen.

I sat down with Christophe to interview the man behind the line.

AW: How did you choose your current career path?

CR: Growing up in the French countryside, I remember spending weekends with my mother and her friends while they coiffed their hair. I started coloring hair when I was 14 years old as an apprentice. The lady who trained me told me that you can’t have a beautiful result if you don’t take good care of the hair. I was passionate about hair color and the craftsmanship that it involved. At the age of 17 I arrived in Paris to work on my first big shoot! Things started to snowball. Everything happened very quickly!

AW: What is your philosophy?

CR: Beautiful hair color cannot exist without good care! A healthy and balanced scalp leads to healthy and beautiful hair!

AW: What do you love most about what you do?

CR: I have always been passionate about enhancing a woman’s natural beauty through hair color. It’s usually very subtle changes, but I love how it can unveil her eye color and enhance her complexion. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love and meet people along the way!

AW: What is the most important piece of hair care advice you give?

CR: Take great care of your hair! It’s the little things that count, brushing your hair before washing it with a gentle hairbrush, protecting your hair with a plant oil before washing it and, once a week, doing a deeply nourishing treatment for your hair (think Cleansing Mask with Lemon or Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil).

AW: What is your process for creating the very best in hair and scalp care?

CR: I listen to what people have to say! In my salon, on movie sets or photo shoots, I always listen to what people have to say, it’s incredibly valuable. My Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt was created for women who experience itchy scalp due to color residue buildup. It’s quite common, and sea salt is known to soothe the irritation!

The same is true for for my Cleansing Mask with Lemon and Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender. These were the first products I created. I used to work with models changing their color 4 to 5 times a week. Imagine the damage! I needed something to protect their hair and wash it gently.

AW: Has there been a single defining moment in your career?

CR: The day Catherine Deneuve called me in my salon to make her first appointment!

Pro tip for curly, dry or color damaged hair: Once a week apply, on dry hair, Hair Oil with Lavender through lengths and then apply Cleansing Mask with Lemon right over it. Leave it in for as long as possible. I leave it in all day or sleep with it in my hair overnight. An hour will do the trick as well but the longer the better. Results are astonishing! For more on this moisturizing treatment, see the how-to video below.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

Cupping Therapy Basics

cupping therapy

When Michael Phelps prepared to dive into the pool last summer at the Olympics, millions of spectators were stunned by the rows of large purple circles that adorned his back. In an instant the ancient modality of cupping resurfaced on the global stage. The record breaking olympic gold medalist practices cupping therapy to heal and support his muscles, joints and immune system which are pushed to the limits all year long by his intense training and then days of competition during the games.

Save Michael Phelps, I knew nothing about cupping and wanted to learn more. I sought a master practitioner in New York City and was introduced to Anton Lee, a third generation licensed acupuncturist with extensive cupping training. Acupuncture is an integral part of cupping. Anton educated me on the basics.

What Is Cupping?

Born of a culture that considered surgery, the act of cutting the body, an affront to their ancestors, (I found this particularly interesting as Judaism forbids the practice of tattoo and most piercings precisely for this reason) until the introduction of antibiotics, cupping was the principal modality of healing not only muscular pain in the body but ailment of major internal organs as well. In fact, prior to the introduction of antibiotics, boils were the leading cause of death. Cupping was partly developed as a method for removing the toxic fluids that were contained within the boil. With the introduction of antibiotics cupping began to fall by the wayside where it would become classified, at least in western medicine, as an alternative therapy.

Dispelling Myths

You will read almost everywhere that the practice originated in China. “Not true!” Anton insisted. It has been practiced all over the world for a few thousands years throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Middle East. Cups were made out of whatever natural resources were available in the region. In the Middle East, cups were made of goat horns, while in China they were fashioned from Bamboo. The modern day versions are made of glass and silicone.

What Does This Have To Do With An Olympic Athlete?

Every time we move energy is created which makes blood and fluids circulate through the body. This in and of itself is a good thing. But like anything, too much of a good thing can turn bad. When muscles and tissue are over exerted, it creates a trauma. When there is a trauma to the body, typically blood and fluid flow to the affected area in an effort to repair it. If The body is functioning healthfully, it is extremely efficient and directs energy, blood and fluid to where it is needed to support and heal the area. When this excess fluid is not completely absorbed by the body it can get deposited onto the muscle. This fluid bonds like glue to the muscle and creates a blockage. This can be in the form of a knot that you might get in your neck, or back. This causes pain and is toxic to the body. Just as the person loses his or her typical range of movement, this blockage is stuck. If you’re not an olympic athlete, you may be susceptible to extreme weather, which can also cause trauma to the body. When it’s cold we condense our bodies physically and this energy creates stagnation. This stagnation is perceived by us as pain.

How Can We Break Up The Blockage?

what you need to know about cuppingBy hand. A needle is inserted at the point of pain (Acupuncture is an integral part of cupping) to create the movement of energy, fluid and blood, within the tissue – to break up the proverbial “glue”, then a cup is placed over it and suction is applied to draw it out into the skin. The skin is not only the largest organ of the body, but the largest filtration organ of the body. Just as the liver filters blood, the lungs filter air and the stomach filters food, similarly the skin filters excess fluid. Skin contains millions of micro vessels – this is why, when we get cut, we heal so quickly. Using the skin’s filtration system the body disposes of what it does not need and recycles what it can use.

The Basics

The more toxic your body is the darker the cup marks will be. In general men tend to present with darker marks as women’s bodies are cleaner due to the menstrual cycle which circulates and cleans out blood and tissue from the body regularly.

My Mini Consultation

Anton is the real deal. Towards the end of our almost two hour meeting, Anton turned to me and asked if he could take my pulse. He told me that I am a worrier. Worry and stress cause the digestive system to slow down. The stomach is considered the mother organ as it filters food that is then distributed to the other organs of the body in order to nourish them. The odd thing is that I have colitis. It turns out that cupping can be used as part of a regimen to heal colitis and other digestive ailments. He also told me to keep an eye on my posture as bad posture wreaks havoc on the body – yes, causing trauma. The odd thing is, as soon as I walked into Anton’s office, I became acutely aware of my posture. It almost felt as if he was communicating telepathically to me, nudging me to sit up straight.

Just Scratching The Surface

Cupping is a practice that is tailored specifically to each individual depending on his or her needs and there are many more tools involved in the modality that I did not delve into here. Above I have merely scratched the cupping surface. To schedule a consultation or appointment with Anton, please call Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté at 212-588-1771.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie