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Monthly Archives : April 2016

Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare Is All The Buzz

Heaven Skincare Bee Venom Deborah Mitchell

One of our all time favorite brands, Heaven Skincare, was recently written up on New York Social Diary and we wanted to share it with you.

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When she was 16 years old, Carla Sayer got into a bad automobile accident. The car in which she was a passenger was hit and one of the back windows smashed into her face. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors spent the next four hours removing shards of glass from her left cheek. She was subsequently put on steroids because of other injuries sustained in the accident. The steroids, according to Carla, resulted in severe acne. To control the acne, she was prescribed a birth control pill but when she stopped taking the pill several years later, the acne returned with a vengeance. With a face full of angry lesions, a distraught Carla was on the verge of canceling a much anticipated reunion with a long distance boyfriend.

Enter some divine intervention in the guise of Deborah Mitchell’s Heaven Skincare. An acquaintance of hers who worked for the product line recommended she use the Hydro Cleansing Milk, the Peppermint Clarifying Lotion and the Youthful Moisturizer twice a day and nothing else. Carla followed her advice and five days later, when she stepped off the plane to meet her boyfriend, she had only one spot on her face.

An added benefit was that the products also smoothed the scarring caused by the accident, eliminating the need for skin grafts. And in truth, when I met the 33-year old, her complexion was virtually flawless. “I genuinely believe Deb’s products saved my face,” declares Carla who has become such a fan that she now works for the company. “And the aromatherapy component helped with the emotional side too. It’s a healing experience,” she says. “I used to treat my acne with benzoyl peroxide which smelled like chemicals and burned and dried my skin, whereas Deb’s products are very gentle.”

The star ingredient of the line is bee venom. Deborah’s patented Abeetoxin, a complex formulation of bee venom, honey and botulism – a natural form of the toxin used in Botox that can be harvested from beehives – has generated a good deal of buzz for its smoothing effects. Her bee venom facials have been credited with taking years off the Duchess of Cornwall’s face. Deborah won’t discuss her work with the royals, but it is said that Kate Middleton enjoyed one of her facials just days before the royal wedding, having been introduced to Deborah and her products by Camilla Parker Bowles.

Heaven Skincare Bee Venom Deborah MitchellOther celebrities who have swarmed to Heaven Skincare include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Victoria BeckhamNicole Kidman and Kylie and Danii Minogue. Nor are men strangers to the products. David Beckham, Simon Cowell, Jack Nicholson and Robert Downey, Jr. also count among the devotées. Indeed, 30% of Heaven’s customers are men.

Intrigued, I wanted to meet the queen bee behind this luxury skin care line. Not only did I learn a bit about the ingenious formulations, but I walked away completely energized for Deborah’s story is nothing if not inspiring. The self-described “working class girl” turned herself into a bona fide business mogul. Last year, 24 years after its inception, Heaven Skincare earned a reported $45 million in revenues. The products are sold worldwide through its website and via stockists in 15 countries including the United Arab Emirates and China.

Blonde and glamorous, Deborah greets me with a big smile and a warm hug at the posh Langham hotel in London, her home away from her country home. Over a glass of bubbly and some hors d’oeuvres, the daughter of a hairdresser and owner of a courier business, tells me of her humble beginnings. The English native got her start in the beauty industry at the tender age of 17 by working as a door-to-door manicurist. “I started off with one £10 pack of nail extensions and my first customer gave me a £1 tip,” she recalls, revealing that she couldn’t afford to buy many products, so she began making her own. Armed with knowledge gleaned from cosmetic science classes and with a degree in lab science, she began experimenting with various formulas. 

According to Deborah, she suffered from severe acne in her youth and acne products left her red-faced. So, she came up with a soothing chamomile mask. More products followed, to be snapped up by her clients, and it wasn’t long before Deborah started giving facials. Her first treatment room was the handicapped bathroom of a gym in a Holiday Inn. In short order, her facials became so popular that she graduated to London’s prestigious Hale Clinic.

Deborah’s big break came when Tracey Taylor, the wife of Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, called to make an appointment after reading about her, only to be placed on a three-month waiting list. “I was working 7:00 am to 7:00 PM every day treating my existing clients, and I wasn’t going to let them down. I guess that increased my appeal,” she explains. “Pretty soon I was looking after all the band members and their wives, and then that group expanded, and before I knew it I was in LA doing treatments on Jack Nicholson around the pool!” 

Her next leap forward came while she was giving the Duchess of Cornwall a facial. “I caught my reflection in the mirror and thought ‘D’you know what? I really need some Botox.’” Disliking the “pinched and aggressive” look she got from the toxin, Deborah began looking for a natural alternative. “I went to bed that night, and, as with most of my products, I dream them up,” she discloses. “My sister, who lives down the road from me, is a beekeeper, so I had a lot of information about bees and honey in my head. I woke up and knew what I had to do.”

Heaven Skincare Bee Venom Deborah MitchellThe Bee Venom Mask is sold in three tiers, starting with silver, which contains the lowest amount of Abeetoxin, then black, and up to gold. Deborah recommends the more potent black one for men as they have thicker skin. The venom in the gold mask is collected from the queen bee. This is very rare – nearly impossible to obtain – as there is only one queen bee per hive. The price of one ounce of bee venom costs $38,000 and that of one ounce of venom from the queen bee is $140,000 according to Deborah. Our beauty expert, Alyssa Barrie, uses the Silver Mask daily, putting it on over her moisturizer and eye cream. “You need very little,” she advises.

The bee venom in the resulting Abeetoxin fools the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung. This causes blood to flow towards the skin and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Deborah makes the process through which the venom is harvested sound simple: “We release a small electrical current through a pane of glass that causes the bees no harm but encourages them to sting the glass, depositing their venom. When a bee stings a person, the stinger gets released into the flesh, causing the bee to die. But when they sting glass, the stinger can’t come out because it’s too hard, but their brain tells them they’ve stung, and so not to sting again.” Due to the fact the she actually saves the lives of bees, Deborah, who donates a portion of her profits to bee charities, has been named an official Guardian of the Bees in the UK.

“We have something for every pocket with our travel size options,” says Deborah. The Long Weekender Kit retails for $45 on NYSD Beauty and contains a cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer and the silver bee venom mask.

Our beauty experts at NYSD Beauty also swear by the Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream. The cream’s vanilla scent is even purported to act as an appetite suppressant!

Not surprisingly, imitators have jumped on the bandwagon but Deborah is quick to point out that her competitors use freeze-dried bee venom which is ineffective according to the skin care guru, whereas her products contain real botulism found in the hive. As industrious as her beloved bees, this 50-year old mother of two does not rest on her laurels. Debuting this summer is Bee Peel, an intensified facial peel for home use which again harnesses the power of bees. “It gives professional results without the downtime of regular chemical peels,” discloses Carla, who ten years on, still only uses Heaven products.

Expert tip: When it comes to exfoliation, forget the “once a week” rule. Exfoliate as and when you like, as long as your skin can handle it. I like Heaven’s Bee Polish which combines bee venom and botulism with raw cane sugar. It’s gentle on my sensitive, dry skin, leaving it smooth and reflective. Plus, it doesn’t contain those environmentally damaging microbeads. I also like the Clarifying Hydrogel (as a toner) which has a cross polymer interlocking (net-like) firming action. Both are in NYSD Beauty’s Long Weekender Kit.

By: Delia von Neuschatz

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The Best Spring & Summer Body Care Tips

best spring summer body care regimen

Here it is! I scoured our archives to compile the greatest collection of Spring & Summer body care best practice articles we’ve ever published. Read on for all the info you need to bare it all with confidence come Memorial Day. From shaving to body product layering to self-tanning, here are my step-by-step guides on how to get every inch of you ready for short-shorts, slingbacks, sarongs and all things slinky.

Layering Body Care Products

We’ve been told how to layer our skin care and even our hair care products, but what about our body care products? Exfoliator, self-tanner, body cream, body oil, SPF…how is a girl to know which to apply first? Here’s the order of operations to ensure you get the most out of your body care routine.

Your Best Summer Shaving Tips

Love summer frocks, but hate shaving daily? Here are my superstar shaving tips that just may allow you to skip a day of shaving.

Defeat Dry Feet For Pedicure Season

I have a bit of a (soft) foot fetish. Here’s the heel deal on how to have the smoothest feet in town.

Sunless Self-Tanning Tips From Travel Beauty

Orange will NEVER be the new tan. From a truly pale girl, here’s how to flawlessly fake your tan.

By Claire McCormack

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7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Anti-Aging Routine

anti-aging skin care tips

The women behind Sapelo Skin Care got together with their team of health experts to discuss wellness; specifically, how it affects appearance. Sapelo’s staff and physicians were buzzing about the lifestyle choices that contribute to aging. Here is your chance to be a fly on the wall.

“Skin is the largest organ in the body and performs a number of essential roles in supporting health. It provides a protective barrier against the weather, harmful sunlight, and environmental pollution,” states Dr. John Duttenhaver. “It also helps regulate body temperature and acts as the first line of defense against infection.”

“Vitamin D, which is critical for bone health and other processes in the body, is manufactured in the skin,” notes Dr. Joseph Edwards “and the integrity and health of the skin affects the fluidity of the body’s ability to move comfortably.”

John Duttenhaver, M.D. and Joseph Edwards, M.D. agree that taking care of your skin through a healthy lifestyle is essential for ensuring that this vital organ is able to function in the most optimal way possible while keeping the signs of aging at bay. Read their 7 tips:

Sunlight

Apart from aging, the majority of skin damage is caused by the sun. 

Limiting UV exposure by seeking shade; using broad-spectrum (blocks both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher; and wearing protective clothing help to minimize damage to the skin that can manifest as increased skin pigmentation; changes in skin texture; increased number of moles and development of skin cancer.

Smoke Exposure

Smoking is second only to the sun in causing skin damage.

Stopping smoking, avoiding secondhand smoke, and protecting against air pollution, all help prevent the premature aging of the skin, which can result in skin staining, desiccation of the skin, increased number of wrinkles, and slower recovery from skin injury.

Cold and Wind

The use of moisturizers can help maintain the integrity of the skin barrier by decreasing the dryness, itchiness and cracking of the skin that can result from exposure to harsh elements.

Chronic Stress

Learning to manage stress is not just essential for overall wellbeing and health, but can improve the look and health of skin. Chronic stress activates inflammatory changes in the body that are mediated through the endocrine, nervous and immune system. Acne, impaired skin healing and renewal, hives, eczema, itching and redness, are some signs of a lack of balance in managing stress. Practices such as meditation, yoga, music, exercise, etc. can be of great value in dealing with the stressors of daily life.

Sleep

Lack of sleep is often simply accepted as a consequence of a busy, hectic life. Inadequate sleep has been implicated in weight gain, particularly for women, exacerbation of chronic disease, including depression and is often reflected in the appearance of the skin. Practicing good sleep hygiene promotes a good night’s sleep, which allows for relaxation of facial muscles and overall rejuvenation of the skin.

Nutrition

Eating a whole food well-balanced, anti-inflammatory diet with plentiful vegetables and fruit helps supply the body with antioxidants, phytochemicals and monounsaturated fats, which help combat inflammation and promote health. Skin care products are now including antioxidants in their products to combat the by-products of inflammation that may be present in the skin.

Hydration

Staying well hydrated moisturizes your skin from inside out, helping your skin look fuller and less wrinkled. It is important to avoid liquids that dehydrate the skin, such as those including caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol.

Got questions? Please post questions in comments below and we will get back to you just as soon as we can!

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Non-Surgical Treatments for Under Eye & Cheek Areas

injectable under eye filler and cheek augmentation

They say the eyes have it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that “it” is my age. Every single year. Perhaps it’s because I have big eyes, but I feel like one night of crummy sleep can age me five years…or more. There’s the redness, the eyelid crepiness and–probably the most universal sign of raggedness–pitch black under eye circles. What to do, what to do?

I sat down with New York City plastic surgeon and Travel Beauty expert, Dara Liotta MD, to discuss how the face–specifically the under eye/cheek area–age, and what non-surgical options exist to make this aging process a bit more graceful.

“It’s not just wrinkles that age you”

Dr. Liotta said. “If you just ‘chase the lines’, you’ll end up with that obvious, overdone filler look. What can really age the face is volume loss and gravity, leading to a hollowed-out look. If you really want to look more youthful, you have to replace that lost volume.”  I asked Dara how volume loss ages the eye area, and she handed me a mirror. She instructed me to hold the mirror above my head and look up into it. “There are different components to under eye area aging, two are shadow and pigment. When you look up at yourself in a mirror, any shadow disappears, and all you are left with is pigment. No matter what anyone says, there is nothing you can do about pigment. No lasers, fillers or anything else will get rid of it.” (I frown slightly at this because, even looking straight up into the mirror, there is still some darkness underneath my eyes.)

“What you can treat with filler, however, is shadow”

I have some shadow too, so hearing this makes me happy. And hopeful. “Hollowness here [she points to under eye area] creates shadow, and a line right to the eye that draws attention and ages you.” Dr. Liotta said.

To reduce shadow in the under eye area, filler is added to the “tear trough”. This plumps up an otherwise hollowed-out under eye area that can become dark and thus, age us. “I only use Belotero for tear trough injections. It is the thinnest hyaluronic acid filler, which is so important as the skin under the eye is itself so thin. Other, thicker fillers can cause unpredictable swelling.” Indeed, search RealSelf.com for “tear trough reviews”, and you’ll read/see several horror stories of major, unsightly swelling as a result of thicker filler being used to treat tear trough hollowness. [This expertise is why I love Dr. L.]

What about this line that’s starting to form right through my cheeks?

I ask. This line, when coupled with pronounced nasolabial folds (the lines that form from the sides of the nose to the sides of the mouth), is what Dara refers to as the “thumbprint”, because the area between the two “lines” is the exact size of a thumb. She demonstrates by placing her own thumb between the non-existent “line” in her cheek and her non-existent nasolabial folds, but I get the idea.

“Well-done injectable cheek augmentation can take years off of your appearance. Since the skin is thicker in this area, I use Voluma here.” Dr. Liotta said. For those that aren’t on top of their injectable filler game, Juvederm Voluma is another injectable hyaluronic acid gel. It is the first and only FDA-approved filler that can instantly add volume to the cheek area. AND…since Voluma is a thicker filler, the results last two years! The amount of Voluma required for cheek augmentation varies between 1-4 syringes. “As we age, we tend to lose that youthful volume in the cheek area. Then, as gravity causes the natural fat pad of the cheek to drop, the nasolabial folds become more pronounced. By using Voluma to add volume back into the cheek area, you get a subtle, natural lift in the cheek that helps restore a well-rested, youthful look. This lift also improves the appearance of the nasolabial folds.”

Looking at Dr. Liotta’s before and after pics, it was amazing to see how much Voluma injected into cheeks improved the appearance of nasolabial folds–a different area of the face. The improvement is seen in the reduction of “shadow” on the side of the nose…the same reason women spend millions of dollars every year on highlighters meant to mask/minimize/erase such shadows.

I’m not ready to take the Voluma plunge yet

Dara swore I don’t need it yet–but it just might be my 40th birthday gift to myself!

I cannot recommend Dr. Liotta highly enough. As a Board Certified ENT surgeon, as well as a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, she is intimately acquainted with, and comfortable manipulating, the complex anatomy of the face. That’s why I won’t trust my face to anyone else. To get more information and to schedule a consultation, visit Dara’s website.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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Diet & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Hair

foods that stimulate hair growth

Spring has sprung; cosy coats and bulky boots are being tossed aside to make way for jackets and peep-toe shoes. The urge for a top-to-toe makeover is in full swing – and for many this involves embarking on a healthy new lifestyle, with improvements to diet and fitness. No look really feels complete if we don’t feel good about our hair, so it’s important to make sure your locks are benefiting from these changes, too. And most importantly, are not impacted adversely. Here are my favourite, and lesser-known ways, to give your hair a revitalising boost from within.

Mercury

I am not talking about the 1st planet from the sun, but the metal element found most abundantly in larger fish, like tuna, king mackerel and swordfish – which we tend to eat more as the weather gets warmer. Mercury is toxic and can build up in our systems causing various health problems if levels get too high – and one such problem is hair loss. To help avoid overexposure, try to limit your intake of these high mercury foods to once a week maximum. Fan of sushi? Swap out your tuna for salmon, shrimp, eel, crab or scallops.

Eggs

Hair is composed primarily of protein, so incorporating enough into your daily diet is essential to the growth of strands. Eggs are perhaps my favourite hair healthy protein as they contain all essential amino acids and are also absorbed easily by the body. While the bulk of an egg’s protein lies in its whites, the yolks are a great source of Vitamin B6 & B12 and Vitamin D – all of which are good hair boosters. As a general rule, we ask that people include at least a palm-sized portion (approx. 120g) of a ‘complete protein’ at breakfast and lunch to support optimal production of hair cells. Apart from eggs – fish, lean meats, low fat cottage cheese, poultry and quinoa are good examples of complete proteins. Nuts, pulses and tofu are also protein rich, but alone they do not contain all essential amino acids. It’s therefore important you mix and match them to get the full array that you need.

Breakfast

Energy to form hair cells is at an all-time low first-thing in the morning, making breakfast the most important meal of the day for your hair. Within 2 hours of waking, eat a nutrient dense meal that contains both protein and complex carbs. Think eggs on wholemeal toast, smoked salmon on an everything bagel or quinoa porridge with nuts and berries. As an added benefit, eating a hearty breakfast helps to amp up your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Two For Tea

If your new health regime involves upping your chai or matcha tea intake, remember to add a dash of milk. Tannins found in black tea can bind to iron in your blood, increasing the likelihood of anaemia. Anaemia and ferritin (stored iron) deficiency are common causes of hair loss in women.

Snack

Energy to form hair cells drops 4 hours after eating. If more than this time is left between meals, snack on a healthy carbohydrate, like fresh fruit, vegetables or no-added-sugar granola to energise your follicles. Do not eat full-fat dairy, such as cheese, as a snack – this takes over 4 hours to digest.

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements can be great hair helpers – but you will only really see their full benefits if they are taken alongside a healthy diet. Hair is a non-essential tissue. This means that if your nutrient levels are lacking, any goodness contained within a supplement will first be sent to essential organs, with your hair receiving little, if any. The best hair supplements are those that contain nutrients at levels specifically geared towards your strand’s requirements. I take our Tricho Complex nutritional supplement every day with breakfast. It contains iron, Vitamin C, Biotin, Zinc, l-lysine and B12 to help support hair growth from within. It also contains Vitamin D3 as studies are increasingly showing a link between Vitamin D levels and hair health.

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