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Monthly Archives : February 2015

Oscar Night with M.B. York

oscar night mb york

My Oscar Night Adventure

One of my favorite Oscar experiences is when, a few years back, I decided to splurge on a room at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills on Oscar night. The limos were lined up in the valet area and around the block starting at around noon. The nominees and their beauty entourages were coming in and out of the hotel and pictures were being snapped by their very own “Mamarazzi”. Yes, huge celebs often have their mothers follow them around taking pictures.

The private party in the Four Seasons Lounge was pretty relaxed. There were huge projector screens playing the award show. It was on a delay, and as celebs like Morgan Freeman were being nominated on the screen, they were walking into the bar and celebrating! It was surreal to say the least, and so much fun to watch the celebs celebrating their wins in the relaxed bar atmosphere.

A Surprise Guest

My assistant and I ended up sharing a table with a designer and his two assistants. I sat next to him and he was so excited as women he dressed came out on the stage, including Hillary Swank. This designer had also spent a lot of time in Scottsdale, and we talked about his favorite places to stay there. I was very excited for him and assumed he was an up and coming new designer, since he seemed so genuinely excited to see the nominees wearing his designs. We all had a blast…including checking out Johnny Depp who was hanging out on the outside patio.

The Mystery Man…Revealed!

When I went to bed around midnight, I gazed out of my hotel room window and watched as limo after limo drove past. The next morning, we turned on E! News to get the post-show scoop and I said to my assistant, “We need to see who that designer was we were sitting next to”. Turns out it was Calvin Klein! Talk about wanting to kick myself. He even introduced himself as Calvin but it never clicked! He looked nothing like he did in the pictures I had seen, including the cover of his autobiography which I was reading and was on my bedside table! He was also so unassuming and sweet, you would have never thought you were sitting next to a fashion icon.

The Excitement of Awards Season

Having done lots of celebrity gifting suites leading up to the Oscars, I can say that it is such a privilege to personally show the nominees my products and how they work. With very few exceptions, they are so gracious about taking photos with my Beauty Ammo Kit or Rock Your Tube dress. They give me their full attention, and you can tell they are blissfully soaking up every minute of the dream come true of being nominated for an Oscar.

My Turn on the Red Carpet

Today, I am putting the final polish on my screenplay, “Survival of the Prettiest”, in which my Beauty Ammo Kit saves the world with my vegetarian message. I look forward to the year my limo rolls up to the red carpet and my screenplay is nominated.  Like my night at the Four Seasons hanging out with Calvin, all I can say is, “Life is but a dream”.

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Phylia de M. Organic Hair & Scalp Care and Sebaceous Cysts

phylia de m sebaceous cysts

In Part One of my ode to Phylia de M., I gushed about how effectively the products did what they said they would do – namely providing a potent and powerful remedy for hair loss, slow growth, thinning, limp or lifelessness and chemical treatment damage. But the results went way beyond that; these products caused another unexpected, though very, VERY much welcome, result.

Sebaceous Cysts on the Scalp

Since my teen years I had been getting sebaceous cysts on my scalp; a hereditary condition. These cysts would literally sprout up anywhere on my scalp, with no rhyme or reason. Though they were mostly painless, they could – and did – become inflamed and/or infected, which was rather unpleasant. I went to countless doctors to find out how I could prevent these cysts from forming, and was told time and again that there was no help to be had. One doctor recommended I go on Accutane. I was apprehensive since Accutane is such a harsh drug with serious side effects, but if it meant no more cysts, I was game. When I went to get a second and third opinion on this course of therapy, however, it was vehemently shot down by other doctors. I was partly relieved…but mostly frustrated.

In Treatment

With no preventative measure available, the only “treatment” was excision once a cyst had formed. This entailed going to my derm’s office, getting my scalp partially anesthetized, then cut open, the cyst “popped out”, then the incision stitched back up (usually 3-4 stitches per cyst). The surgery site throbbed like the dickens for at least 24 hours, and was very tender for a week. For the 2 weeks I had the stitches in, shampooing, conditioning, brushing or in any way touching my head or hair was something to be done with extreme caution, lest I experience extreme pain. Two weeks later, I had to go back to my derm to get the stitches removed. The process itself was quick, but like all highly sought after NYC dermatologists, the wait was 30-45 minutes for this 5 minute visit. Also, not being a hair stylist, my derm was not so indiscriminate with the scissors he used to cut out the stitches, he also removed some chunks of hair!

You can imagine my dismay when I looked ahead to a life of endless minor scalp surgeries…the pain, the stitches, the inconvenience. It was my only choice, however. And in a way I was glad to even have that choice: had I not had excellent health insurance, the medical expenses probably would have prevented me from getting many of the cysts removed. Over the years, these cysts had become a hopeless situation for me. I told myself there were much worse medical conditions to have and I should just get over it, but every time I sat in the shampoo chair at the salon, I would literally cringe with embarrassment at having my head touched.

Phylia de M. to the Rescue

Enter Phylia de. M Clean, Connect and ReConnect. I immediately delved more deeply into the science behind the brand.

The Science Behind the Products

Phylia de M.’s science defines scalp & hair care as an integral part of optimum total health. The brand’s proprietary formula restores the body’s inherent ability to grow its best hair and help activate and maintain hair’s vital role in maintaining overall well being. Hair is a barometer of one’s health; internal disease and dysfunction are reflected in the condition of your scalp and hair. Whether we are conscious of it, (and whether it’s fair or not) we certainly cast aspersions on someone with thinning, greasy, stringy and/or fried hair, no?

Hair Health is an Indicator of Overall Health

Though hair is considered a “nonessential” tissue, the action of growing hair is an essential mechanism for optimum health. Hair helps to draw toxins, such as heavy metals, out of the body. (There’s a Def Leppard/Poison/Motley Crue joke to be made here…) When our internal health is in balance, skin (including the scalp), hair and nails look healthy and effectively play their part in maintaining overall health. For me, using Phylia products kickstarted my hair’s ability to properly detoxify, which helped inhibit new cyst growth.

When I spoke to Phylia de M. founder, Kazu Namise, she said I wasn’t the first person to tell her that Phylia products helped cure his/her cyst issue, or cyst-ssue, if you will. She recommended that I add Phylia’s Fulphyl nutritional supplement to my personal care regimen to further support my body’s detoxification process, which of course, I did. It’s only been a week, but I am excited to see just how much better my results can get.

By Claire McCormack Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Phylia de M. Organic Hair & Scalp Care

phylia de m organic hair scalp care

A woman’s relationship with her hair is often a tumultuous love affair. She’s satisfied, unsatisfied, fulfilled, unfulfilled…she breaks it off (pixie cut, anyone?), tries to change her lover (highlights, perms, flat irons) and sometimes only finds relationship bliss with the help of a good therapist (mine is Lina Arrojo of Arrojo Studios).

A Love/Hate Relationship with My Hair!

I’ve often loved (thank you, Lina) and occasionally hated (thank you, genetics) my hair. Then a year and a half ago, after two kids, one MBA and a very exciting entrepreneurial venture, my hair and I starting having some major relationship troubles. My hair was leaving me – for the shower drain, my hairbrush, the back of my wool coat. Anyone who’s experienced hair thinning knows what an unsettling, upsetting experience it is.

A Trip to Philip Kingsley’s Trichological Clinic

After much fretting and lamenting, I remembered that beauty is my business, and I got proactive. I visited the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in New York City. In addition to the transcendental scalp treatments I received, I also got invaluable healthy hair and scalp diet and lifestyle guidance from trichologist Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips. I never skipped a protein-rich breakfast again. I stocked up on hair-healing supplements. My quest for healthy hair also led my discovery of Phylia de M. products.

Along Came Phylia de M.

I read in beauty book after beauty book that this new, organic hair and scalp care line of products produced extraordinary results for those suffering from thinning hair. I could not get my hands on them quick enough! I started with Condition and Connect, adding in ReConnect after a month or so, as directed. The short and long term results were extraordinary. Immediately, I noticed an improvement in the overall look, feel and texture of my hair. Since I would massage Connect and ReConnect into my scalp with my fingertips, I also noticed an immediate improvement in my nails – they were less dry, less brittle and started growing like weeds. I was fairly certain this boded well for my mane.

Eyebrows, Nails and Hair – Oh My!

The first place I noticed significant hair regrowth was my eyebrows, where I also applied Connect and ReConnect. I was genetically blessed with my mom’s big eyes, and I had full brows to match. I then proceeded to pluck my brows into oblivion in the 90s when Kate Moss made us think we all could pull that off. Years of tweezer detox later, I still had brows that didn’t quite pass the ideal brow length pencil test. It took a few months, but after diligent daily application of Connect and ReConnect, my brows started to go all the way…to the end of my big eyes.

At Last…New Baby Hair

Now, this was all very exciting stuff, but I bought these products to treat my hair on my head. Though I saw a significant improvement in the overall health of my hair rather quickly, regrowth on my scalp was harder to gauge. I kept spraying and praying though, and sure enough, I started to see new little hairs sprouting about 2 months in. Elizabeth at Philip Kingsley had taught me how to distinguish new hair growth from broken hairs: new hairs would be tapered at the end, broken strands would not. A subtle distinction though this was, it became very clear upon close inspection: I knew these little hairs were newbies. These baby hairs are still there today…and have grown long enough so as to not stick straight up when I part my hair. Progress!

Within five months of starting my Phylia regimen, I knew that these products were truly exceptional – dare I say game-changing. I was so pleased with the effects Phylia had on my nails, brows and hair that it took me a few more months to realize another unexpected – yet most welcomed – benefit.

TO BE CONTINUED…

By: Claire McCormack Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Best Hair Lengths For All Hair Types

best hair length for all hair types.

The texture of your hair determines the best length for your hair, while your face and body proportions are still the most important factors in getting a style that helps you look your best. Though having long hair may be a style choice, you have to let the quality of your hair rule.

Fine Hair

If you have baby fine, thin hair letting it grow long only draws attention to its quality. The ends get even thinner looking because the volume of space you are filling with your hair is greater. Shorter hair brings out the best quality in fine hair.  Many people are disappointed with this type of hair, but from the hairdresser’s perspective it’s great hair to work with. You can do all sorts of things with it that thicker hair just doesn’t allow: It styles easily, and you can get it to move in the style direction you desire. A little holding product is all you will need to keep that style. The finer the hair the shorter the length is a good rule of thumb. Caretrico Treatment Moist Sleek is a great conditioner for fine hair.

Medium Hair

If you have medium texture hair, curly or straight, body proportion and of course your face determine the length that’s best for you. Your hair needs to be trimmed regularly to keep it looking healthy. Just a slight trim to remove dead ends helps in the growing process. And like all textures, your overall hair condition determines the length you can grow your hair.

Thick & Curly

For thick curly hair, longer length adds weight to your hair. The length keeps it from puffing up and makes it more manageable. You need to add styling products to keep the curl in control. Let it dry naturally. Don’t brush or comb through it, as this disturbs the curl pattern and makes it get bigger. Curly hair is the most delicate. It breaks easily so getting to a longer length takes commitment. Proper conditioning is absolutely essential. Caretrico Treatment Slim Through  works wonders on thick curly hair.

The longer you grow your hair the more you have to condition it. Exposure to the elements over time depletes hair’s moisture, making it dry and fly away. The texture of your hair could make it dry and brittle. The more you shampoo the more damage you could do. Rinse, rinse, rinse and conditioning in most cases is the best way to keep your hair in its best condition. Let’s face it, long hair is older hair. If you don’t keep the condition good, you’ll need to trim to get rid of the hair that is not in good condition. Sometimes this will be a dramatic trim, but long, healthy smooth and shiny hair is the only long hair to have.

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