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Monthly Archives : February 2017

Beauty Expert Profile: Interview With Jessica Johnson of Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty

Interview with Jessica Johnson founder of Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty

Even if we are lucky enough to have lush eyebrows and thick, long eyelashes in our youth, as we age, they tend to thin. Many of us don’t realize how pivotal our brows and lashes are to our overall look until they begin to wane, or worse, become non-existent.

What to do?

There are prescription eyelash serums available like Latisse. Though they work for some, many are hesitant to go this route due to numerous side effects that can present including eye infections, allergic reactions or even the changing of one’s eye color. Forget it! For brows, semi permanent tattooing is available. This is a great solution if you can find an experienced practitioner, but they are difficult to come by and can be prohibitively expensive. Lash extensions are also an option but can be a struggle to maintain and care for.

Having turned 40 this past summer, I’ve noticed that my eyelashes are becoming a bit sparse. To that end, I have been on the hunt for a product that would not only spur hair growth but condition my lashes. Lash extensions are not practical for me. They seem like way too much work. I tried a reputable, over the counter lash serum only to have an allergic reaction. I have extremely sensitive skin to begin with, let alone the skin around my eye area. I was almost ready to give up when I came across Jessica Johnson’s Brow and Lash Serum.

Jessica Johnson is the founder of – you guessed it – Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty and is known on the east and west coasts as the woman to see for sensational brows. With over 25 years experience in brow shaping, makeup and aesthetics, she is a recognized industry expert and innovator boasting a celebrity clientele. She has her own studio in Portland Maine and is the guest Brow Expert at the Yves Durif Salon at The Carlyle Hotel in New York City. Her Brow & Lash Serum launched in Spring of 2016 and has quickly gained recognition and endorsements by top physicians and prestigious salons and spas countrywide.

I sat down with Jessica to learn more about her philosophy.

What inspired you to create Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty? Tell us the story behind the brand.

JJ: Many years ago I came across a small book on personal style called “Simple Isn’t Easy” by Amy Fine Collins, a woman I admire greatly in the world of fashion. Interestingly, Amy is now one of my clients and a friend.

The book’s message was women don’t need more clothing, just the right clothing. There are staples every woman should own, and from this she can build a style that is unique and timeless. The same is true for beauty.

Women are buying more services and products than ever, but are frustrated with the results. Why? Because they’ve lost sight of the key staples every woman needs to celebrate her unique, individual beauty. In 25 years of practice working with thousands of women, I realized that the two critical elements to looking great are beautiful brows and healthy skin. You can have perfect skin and gorgeous makeup, but if your eyebrows don’t look good, everything is thrown off. I decided to open a special salon devoted to these two services and launch a simplified product line for lasting results at home.

I did much of my advanced studies in skin care in Germany and Vienna and noticed women received facials on a monthly basis as part of a healthy lifestyle, not a luxury. The specialized brow and skin services I offer at my studio are modeled after these classic treatment protocols, and are quick and affordable. Like a manicure or a blow dry, these services offer instant, high-impact results. Our clients are now making brows and facials a part of their lifestyle and love that they need a lot less time to get ready.

What differentiates your Brow and Lash Serum from Latisse and other treatments?

Jessica Johnson Conditioning SerumJJ: Along with our active ingredients, the serum:

  • Has additional treatment ingredients to keep lashes intensely hydrated and strong
  • Is a two-in-one product – it may be used on brows and lashes
  • The active ingredient is natural marine extract
  • Is clinically proven to be safe and to work. Clients do not have the reactions that typically accompany other lash treatments
  • Has been endorsed by one of the top Ophthalmologists on the Upper East Side of Manhattan

There are lots of wonderful products out there. Latisse is a great product but you can only get it through doctor’s offices or with a prescription and for some patients there are side effect issues.

What lead you to focus on eyebrows and eyelashes?

JJ: I’ve been into beauty since I was 5 years old and I’ve always been drawn to the eyes. My mother was Greek. If you sat around a table with my Greek relatives, you’d want to go into the brow shaping business as well. But seriously, I’ve always been drawn to the impact that eyebrows have on the face. At my first studio in San Francisco, I shaped clients’ brows as a complimentary service. I knew once they left my spa this would be the first thing people would notice. Their face was a walking billboard for my business and I wanted it to be beautiful. It worked…I ended up with the largest brow clientele in San Francisco.

What do you love most about your work?

JJ: Making people feel good. Helping people feel and look beautiful.

What has been the most defining moment in your career?

Being named Guest Brow Expert at the Yves Durif Salon at The Carlyle Hotel and launching my product there. It’s always been my dream to work or live in New York City. They say if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. If you can make it at The Carlyle, then you’re really making it. After all, everything’s better at The Carlyle. It’s an honor to work alongside a great artist like Yves Durif and all his highly skilled stylists. When I stop learning or improving in this business is when I’ll get out. This group keeps me inspired to grow and always do my best.

What is the most important piece of advice you can give with regard to lash & brow-centric beauty?

JJ: Don’t over pluck…especially when you’re young. I have many clients who bring in their teen daughters because that’s when girls start to experiment and they end up with thin brows for life.

Brows aren’t one size fits all. Don’t use a stencil or make them too precise or dark. You want to work with and enhance your natural shape and texture. I see the industry moving away from the high-maintenance, over sculpted brow and towards a softer, fuller, natural look.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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5 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts That Will Save The Day

5 last minute valentines day gifts that will save the day

Have you waited until the absolute last nanosecond – today is the day, February 14, Valentine’s Day – to realize that you still have not picked up something special for your honey or Mom? Instead of running out at lunch, or right after work, like a crazy person on a tear, or settling for something not so unique just to check off the I got you something, box, give the gift of a pampering beauty experience! It’s so easy to phone a spa and purchase a gift certificate, and it’s something you can give right away. Everyone will welcome the gift of self-care. An indulgent treatment can be just the thing your favorite person needs to unwind, not to mention the perfect treat that communicates how special he or she is to you. Here are some of our favorite beauty and wellness treatments.

Shiatsu Shampoo at Salon Ishi

The shiatsu shampoo and head massage at Salon Ishi to the rescue. This is the quintessential serenity now gift and can be particularly wonderful during the cold winter months when our immune systems could use a little boost. A Japanese treatment is applied to open pores and gently cleanse and nourish the scalp. The massage activates acupressure points stimulating blood flow and relaxation. Prepare to be magically transported to a very happy place.

Salon Ishi, 70 East 55th Street, New York, New York. Call: 212.888.ISHI

Gift Certificate to Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté

Want to give someone a wonderful treatment experience but not certain what s/he would like? Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté is one of New York City’s preeminent spas. Yasmine has been written up in Vogue, New York Magazine, Allure and New Beauty – just to name a few – and offers a wide variety of world-class treatments including massage, cellulite and body treatments and semi permanent makeup sessions. Yasmine’s Remodeling Facial is the spa’s signature treatment. Be prepared to look 10 years younger by the end of your session! We also love the 60 minute Seaweed Wrap Treatment.

Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté, 60 East 30th Street, New York, New York. Call: 212.588.1881

fred pirkey design yasmine djerradine institut de beauteColonic at Exhale Healing Arts

At first blush this might seem like an odd gift, but for a wellness-minded individual, a colonic is a wonderful  - albeit unique – gift. Gina Mikan is as good as it gets. She uses the Woods Gravity Method, essentially an internal bath (possibly the best euphemism ever) that helps cleanse the colon of gas, mucus and accumulated fecal matter. There is no discomfort (really!) and only slight internal pressure, just a gentle flow of water in and out of the colon, expertly controlled by the therapist. During the procedure Gina explains the process step-by-step so your friend (or you!) will feel as at ease as possible, given the circumstances. The colonic appointment is one hour.

Exhale Healing Arts, Brooklyn: 71 Eighth Avenue (corner of Union Street) & Manhattan: 124 East 40th Street (corner of Lexington Avenue), Suite 703. Call: 787.406.8061. Email: ExhaleHealingArts@gmail.com

Hair & Scalp Treatment at The Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic

Treat him or her to a one-of-a-kind custom hair treatment. A one hour session which includes the application of hair and scalp cream and of course, Philip Kingsley’s world famous Elasticizer which was created expressly for Audrey Hepburn. Also includes infrared, radiant heat and/or ultraviolet light therapy, depending on your unique hair and scalp concerns and a heavenly scalp and neck massage. Whether you have hair loss, texture and/or scalp issues or just want to give your hair a boost of health and radiance, this gift is aces.

Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic, 16 East 52nd Street, New York, New York. Call: 212.753.9600

Aesthetic Treatment With Dara Liotta, MD

If you know someone who’s been considering a little cosmetic “tweaking”, but has been nervous about finding a quality doc, a gift certificate to Dr. Liotta’s practice is just the thing! Dr. Liotta is masterful at what she does. She is board certified in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery as well as Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Liotta spent five years training in Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery before going on to complete fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She is intimately acquainted with, and comfortable manipulating, the delicate and complex anatomy of the face and neck from its most superficial to its deepest layers. As a Board Certified ENT surgeon as well as a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, she believes her job is not complete until everything looks good, functions well, and feels healthy.

Dr. Liotta does it all: from Botox, fillers and laser treatments to rhinoplasty, facelifts and necklifts (and more).

City Aesthetics, 154 E. 85th Street, New York, New York. Call: 212.288.2222. Email: facialplasticsnyc@gmail.com

By: Travel Beauty Editors

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Interview With The Founders Of Sapelo Skin Care

sapelo skin care antiaging facial skin care

One of the benefits of working with indie beauty brands is we have the opportunity to develop relationships with the brands’ founders. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Stephanie Duttenhaver and Cindy Edwards, the founders of Savannah, Georgia based Sapelo Skin Care.

Sapelo Skin Care is the wonder anti-aging line that you may not have heard of yet, but you will! We instantly fell in love with Sapelo’s spa grade, deliver on its promise, formulas and unique Southern heritage. It started with two Southern women who developed the skin care products they sought for themselves but could not find in the marketplace. They drew inspiration from the Southern marshes, tides, marine and plant botanicals as well as the legacy of beautiful Southern women.

3-Step, 28-Day Recovery System

This isn’t just a genius piece of marketing, though. All Sapelo Skin Care products are developed and manufactured at a high quality cosmetic laboratory in Savannah, GA. The impeccable packaging is evocative of a lush Southern garden —  these products would make a stunning addition to any vanity or shelf. Most importantly, however, these products WORK. Sapelo Skin Care merges state-of-the-art scientific breakthroughs with long passed-down knowledge of indigenous plants to understand the biological mechanisms of healthy skin rejuvenation. This is a 3-step, 28-day recovery system that gently hydrates, nourishes and improves skin quality at the cellular level.

You met each other in 2009 while serving as board members of the Savannah Book Festival. How did this meeting lead to the creation of Sapelo Skin Care?

SD: I had been thinking about developing a skin care line for years. Many of the anti-aging products on the market have harsh ingredients that actually strip aging skin of what it needs to protect itself. I wanted to create an effective line sans these harsh elements. Having worked with Cindy for three years to build brand awareness for the nationally acclaimed Savannah Book Festival, I realized that I had found my partner. We shook hands sitting in front of the great Pat Conroy and began our own story: Enter Sapelo Skin Care.

CE: I had spent the past two decades as a stay-at-home mom and though I had been active on charitable community boards, my true desire was to resurrect my career. After a twenty year absence from the workforce, finding employment proved to be challenging. In 2009 I joined the board of the Savannah Book Festival and met Stephanie Duttenhaver. We hit it off right away.

How did you develop Sapelo’s 3-Step System?

Living in coastal Savannah, we drew inspiration for our products from the twice-daily high tides that bring life-sustaining nutrients and water to our environment. Our complete and simple 3-step regimen mimics the rejuvenating effects of the tides with hydration, stimulation and revitalization of the skin. This regimen contains all the ingredients and molecular compounds needed to hydrate skin and renew collagen, elastin and skin cells.

Step 1

Our Renewing Serum creates a flood tide or open channel, deep within the basement layer of the skin. The serum is infused with gardenia stem cells and hyaluronic acid, the goddess of all humectants. The water-based ‘flood tide’ prepares the skin to inhale our star product, the Rejuvenating Cream.

Step 2

The Rejuvenating Cream unleashes peptides, humectants and micronutrients on the ‘flood tide’. Infused with 5 peptides, the platinum peptide targets inflammation caused by UV damage while the other 4 peptides work to boost collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production at the cellular level. It is oil based to enable the ingredients in the cream to easily penetrate the dermis and effortlessly deliver all the goodness needed to build up collagen and elastin.

Step 3

The Softening Emollient is infused with essential oils that bar the evaporation of the dermal saturation of peptides, stem cells, hyaluronic acid and micronutrients that are in Steps 1 and 2. In other words, it seals all the good stuff in! The essential oils also add an extra boost of hydration to the skin – particularly useful in winter or for drier skin types –  you will love how it moisturizes, especially the dry areas around your eyes and brow! Our emollient contains only natural and breathable oils and there are no silicones or ingredients that stop the skin from breathing.

What about an eye cream?

CE:  You can use all three products around the eyes. During development, our cosmetic chemist advised us that it would be all that we would need. There are no retinoids or harsh ingredients that can cause irritation to the sensitive eye area — which is the only reason to have a separate eye cream. That said, due to demand, we have since released our Restoring Eye Cream. Like the cornerstone products in our three step system, it contains a blend of powerful peptides, including anti-aging milk peptides that boost collagen production and skin cell count. It also contains antioxidants to increase circulation and strengthen capillaries in the tissue surrounding the eyes.

By: Travel Beauty Editors

sapelo skin care antiaging facial skin care line

 

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6 Ways To Get Healthy, Glowing Winter Skin

6 Ways To Get Healthy, Glowing Winter Skin

I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to protect our skin from all the perils of winter. We’re not just talking the face – the lips and body take quite a beating during this season too.

While everyone’s skin becomes more sensitive regardless of skin type, some people experience different degrees of dehydration and dryness, while others struggle with unexpected blemish breakouts. During the winter months we are contending with a multitude of factors that the skin quite literally has to weather. In addition to the cold, crisp air which dehydrates and strips the skin of the nutrients it needs to protect itself, we are constantly transitioning from the arid, manufactured heat of our homes and offices to the dry, frigid air of the great outdoors. This never-ending revolving door between 2 highly contrasting environments whips our skin into a tizzy. The skin becomes like a yo-yo not able to adapt quickly enough to its ever changing environment. It’s uncertain of what to do first to protect itself, so we need to do a little hand holding and take extra special care of our skin so that it can return the favor.

Back to basics! Drink tons of water!

It may be a bit counterintuitive but we need to drink as much water during the winter as we do all summer long. Our bodies are working overtime to keep us warm during the chilly winter months. This requires us to consume more calories and water. Since our skin comes into direct contact with the elements outside, it gets hit hard. If we don’t drink enough water, the skin is unable to carry out its cellular activities as efficiently. As a result the skin becomes dehydrated. So remember to drink.

Skin care by skin type

There is no one skincare regimen that fits all. That said, it’s important to step up your skin care game in the winter, but be gentle! No matter what your type, skin becomes more sensitive during the cold winter months and needs us to cut it a little slack.

Winter blemish breakouts

If you tend to experience bouts of seasonal breakouts during the winter, chances are, you are using too harsh a regimen for this time of year. In a time when even combination and oily prone skin requires more hydration, you may be exfoliating or using peeling treatments too frequently. This can actually strip skin of the nutrients it needs. Parched, the skin responds by going into overdrive and manufacturing excess oil. This surplus of oil rears its ugly head on the skin’s surface in the form blackheads, whiteheads and other varieties of blemishes. Ease up on these type of harsh treatments. Try exfoliating 1 x per week or give your face a couple weeks off. Make sure that the exfoliator you choose is gentle. I prefer all natural exfoliators like Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish. It utilizes ingredients like rice brand and bamboo to exfoliate, extracts of ginger root and ginseng to balance the skin and green tea, geranium oil and camphor to soothe and refresh. (Can be used as a body scrub too!)  I also eliminate glycolic acid peel treatments and products entirely during the winter. If this sounds too scary, try reducing the number of treatments you use. When overused these types of products produce the very blemishes we initially used them to heal.

You may also want to try a moisturizer geared for more sensitive skin that is a bit richer than what you normally use. I can’t say enough good things about Sapelo Skin Care Rejuvenating Cream. It is an anti-aging wonder that is hyper nourishing, yet simultaneously guards against breakouts. It helps stimulate cell growth providing the building blocks to manufacture new collagen, elastin and keratin cells. Alternatively you can try adding 4-5 drops of  face oil to your favorite moisturizer to give it a boost. Cosmetics 27 Huile 27 is an all natural elixir packed with nutrients that boosts the skin ability to repair, moisturize and protect itself. This French multitasker can be used on the lips, hair and cuticles as well.

Chapped face syndrome

Even if your face doesn’t qualify as chapped, like mine does during the winter, you probably want to opt for a richer moisturizer, add a nourishing, water based serum and boost your moisturizer with 3 – 5 drops of face oil. This is by no means taking things too far. If you’re still feeling dry, you may want to try cleansing your face at night only. If you are washing off the remains of the day at night, a bit of warm water followed by a gentle toner is enough in the morning. For those of us with dry skin, even the gentlest cleansers can be extremely drying.

While some of these practices may sound counterintuitive and perhaps even a little scary, dare yourself to conduct an experiment. Giving your skin a break may be just the thing it needs to rebalance itself and keep you looking healthy and beautiful all winter long.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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