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Monthly Archives : April 2017

A Curly Encounter at The Yves Durif Salon

A Curly Encounter at Yves Durif Salon

I was recently introduced to Yves Durif, the founder of The Yves Durif Salon at The Carlyle Hotel. Yves was born in Grenoble, France and by the age of 17 had already begun his hair dressing career at the legendary Jacque Dessange Coiffure in Paris. By 21 he was working in Montreal where he mostly cut and styled hair on the set of films and television. At the age of 30, Yves moved to New York City expressly to work with the legendary Bruno Pittini at the Bruno Dessange Salon. In the mid 80s and early 90s Dessange was ground zero, turning out what was akin to the brat pack of celebrity hairdressers. These included Frederic Fekkai, Michel Aleman, Odile Gilbert, Serge Normant and many of the other coiffeurs that subsequently became the most sought after hairstylists of their time.

The Yves Durif Salon

The space is extremely luxurious and welcoming. The entrance has a distinctly old world European sophistication and warmth about it while the cutting room itself is bright and modern. I encountered a number of television personalities during my visit.

The consultation

First thing, I was whisked away for a brief consultation with Yves. He insists on meeting his clients, sans a salon robe, so he can assess their style and energy. He does this all in minutes. Yves explained that facial geometry is perhaps one of the most important details. Is the face oval? Round? An upside down triangle? Yes – those exist! If one has a perfectly oval shaped face, no hair is needed to complete a beautiful look. Yves remarked that many Ethiopians, for example, have characteristically oval shaped faces and so these women can easily pull off a short buzz cut or completely bald look gracefully. If the head is any other shape, the hair must be manipulated to form an oval in tandem with the face. A long face, like mine, needs volume on the sides to create an oval, whereas a round or upside down triangular shaped face requires volume at the top.

Instead of asking the client what she has in mind style-wise, Yves will first tell you what he thinks. Yves remarked:

“Many people come in with a strong sense of what they want,  but often what they want is not well suited to their features and lifestyle. Let me tell you what I see… There is nothing wrong when people come in with a picture of a style they like. It is my job to interpret that style and adapt it for them.”

When looking at my hair, Yves asserted “curly hair is typically the last texture that professionals master. It can be difficult to gage because it is unpredictable. You don’t know where it is going to land. I know curly hair.” Lucky for me, Yves does know curly hair!

Yves’ signature shampoo technique

After the consultation I was dressed in a robe and lead to a sink where my hair was washed using Yves’ signature shampoo technique adapted for thick, curly hair like mine. As basic as it might sound, the majority of people do not know how to shampoo their hair properly. The most important part of any shampoo regimen is cleansing the scalp and roots properly. Typically, too much emphasis is placed on sudsing up the lengths of the hair and not enough on the scalp and roots which need the most attention as this is where the sebaceous glands are producing toxins and oils that can affect hair adversely. The washer started by running a pre-shampooing hair oil through my hair and then brushed it through with The Yves Durif Vented Brush ends first and then gradually brushing down the lengths of my hair. She let it sit for 5 minutes and then rinsed.

She then mixed two pumps of shampoo with water in Yves’ signature applicator bottle, shook the mixture and applied it directly to my scalp in sections. This process keeps the shampoo concentrated on the scalp and roots where it is needed. She then massaged the entire scalp thoroughly for a full five minutes. This stimulates circulation and hair growth. She then ran The Yves Durif Comb from my scalp to ends - once again applying pressure at the scalp to stimulate circulation and then combing through the hair to distribute the shampoo evenly through the length of my hair, gently cleaning the tips without causing abrasion. Next, she applied a walnut sized amount of conditioner, avoiding the roots and scalp, distributing the conditioner through the lengths of my hair. She once again, used Yves’ Comb to distribute and rinse the conditioner. She finished with a cold water rinse to seal the cuticle.

Yves’ realm

Yves Durif Salon Carlyle HotelI was escorted back to Yves where he asked me to stand and turn my head upside down. From there he cut some strategic layers. Though my hair is curly, it is straight underneath in certain sections. Yves took those pieces and texturized them with a razor so that they would blend in to match the other 97% of my mane. I was impressed because though I was keenly aware of these rebellious straight patches, no one else had ever mentioned them. After applying some styling products – one of which is a new staple in my hair care regimen, Shu Uemura Touch Of Gloss, Yves twisted the bottom straight strands in small hair clips to dry to further assist in texturizing them to match the rest of my curly locks.

No cell phone please

Yves is a big believer of being in the moment and brings this philosophy to his work. Though early in his career, he would see up to 42 clients a day, devoting 15 minutes to each, his practice has evolved. Today he is dedicated to creating a mindful space. Cutting hair is an art form and Yves strives to create a safe space to be creative. Yves also believes that the client has his part to play too. “The experience is an exchange” Yves noted. And so Yves has one rule. When you sit in his chair –  no cell phone! If you brought a picture to show a style you want on your phone, that is fine but Yves believes in creating the conditions necessary to produce great results requires mindfulness on both sides. Yves desires his clients to be present with him while he is cutting. He needs them to be in the moment, otherwise the connection between Yves and his client is severed.

It’s all in the hands

One last detail that I found charmingly haunting was a visual symbol of how much Yves’ work is quite literally etched into his body physically. The hand that he holds his shears in has permanently taken on the shape of his hand grasping them, whether he has them in hand or not. Very telling. As for me, this was quite possibly the best haircut I’ve ever had.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

Photo credit: Alexander Berg

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Expert Tips For Treating Thinning Hair

Expert Tips For Treating Thinning Hair

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). With Spring in the air, I thought now would be an ideal time to tackle the issue of thinning hair.

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 and 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 received invaluable healthy hair and scalp diet and lifestyle guidance from trichologist Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips. I never skipped a protein-rich breakfast again and stocked up on hair-healing supplements. My quest for healthy hair also led to 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 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 Re-Connect 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 Re-Connect 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 Re-Connect. 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 Re-Connect, 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 purchased these products to treat the 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!

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. In other words, Phylia is focused on getting to the root of the problem. Hair is a barometer of one’s health; internal disease and dysfunction are reflected in the condition of the 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?

By: Claire McCormack

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At Home Spa Facial In A Pouch

Cosmetics 27 At Home Spa Facial In A Pouch

I have sensitive skin that tends to be dry and have always had a difficult time finding anti-aging skin care that hydrates my skin enough without causing breakouts or irritation. Three years ago I stumbled upon an all natural, apothecary style line from France that made a huge difference in my complexion. Ever since, Cosmetics 27 by M.E. SkinLab has become an integral part of my regimen. During the cold winter months when the elements are particularly relentless and now that I am pregnant (pregnancy hormones can send sensitive skin over the edge), Baume 27, the line’s signature moisturizer, is my savior. Cosmetics 27 by M.E. SkinLab is the first of its kind, new generation of organic cosmeceuticals. It is the closest thing to a bespoke pharmacy preparation that can be commercially purchased.

Never heard of Cosmetics 27?

Michèle Evrard, the founder, studied pharmacology in Belgium and spent many years working, hands on, in a laboratory on product formulation and development. She has over 25 years experience and has worked for the likes of Max Factor, L’Oréal, Christian Dior Parfums, Boucheron Parfums and Matis Skin Care.

Michèle’s unique skin care philosophy is founded on the concept of homeostasis, the ability of an organism to maintain its own equilibrium. As we age, our skin loses its capacity to self-regulate. This leads to dehydrated, saggy, and irregularly pigmented skin. Cosmetics 27 is a line of rebalancing treatment products aimed at helping the skin to self-regulate, and consequently self-regenerate. An important part of this is stimulating the skin to produce increased collagen, which means bidding adieu to wrinkles and fine lines. It’s all natural, clinically tested and made in France.

Michèle Evrard on Cosmetics 27:

“I want to help women have healthier skin. If skin is healthy, it will look good. If you look good you feel beautiful. My products are unique in concept and formulae. It is not a conventional line, I create products that are useful and bring something different. Our products are organic and produce results. We validate the results by extensive testing.”

Michèle’s key piece of advice:

“Get to know your skin!  You will know how to treat it and maintain it better.  There is not one treatment solution for all –  we are all different. Too many women use and abuse products and treatments. Be good to your skin. Adopt a simple routine, clean your skin gently, don’t abuse the sun (that’s not to say stay away from it!). Massage skin as often as you can, it is a the first step to prevent skin aging. Drink water, a lot, don’t smoke and laugh a lot!”

Cosmetics 27 Plasma 27 Mask on womanA booster to revive cell generation

The line, which is built around the repairing virtues of Centella Asiatica, focuses primarily on skin regeneration. It enables the dermis to reset and rebalance itself. Though I have a consistent daily regimen, I’ve always been a little lax with respect to applying a weekly mask. When Cosmetics 27 relaunched the formula for its Plasma 27 Bio-Lifting Cell Repair Mask, I decided to give it a try.

The treatment mask for dummies and time starved

Like every product in the range, this mask is not merely another cosmetic but a treatment that enhances the skin’s wellbeing – making it look beautiful. It is a 15 minute facial in a single serve pouch. And all the work is already done for you – it’s presoaked with just the right concentration of ingredients and pre cut, so all you have to do is open the pouch and put it on. It even has hooks for your ears and has a bottom bit that covers and coats the neck. When time is up, there is no clean up. You just massage any excess ingredients right into your skin.

I use it first thing in the morning while I drink my coffee. It fits so well, you can do that! It’s like a second skin. I take that 10 – 15 minutes to be in the moment and set the tone for the day ahead. No television; no computer; just me, Plasma 27 and a delicious cup of coffee. It’s also great for travel and flight skin damage recovery, as well as a quick pick-me-up to transition into night activity mode. If that’s not enough, the mask is ideal to use immediately after harsh aesthetic treatments like laser, chemical peel or microdermabrasion, in fact, that is what it (and the entire range) was originally developed for. The goal was to create the first all natural product that would not only compliment these treatments but prolong the results of the procedures as well as maintain the skin’s homeostasis over time. It nourishes and hydrates the skin, calming inflammation and stimulating it to produce increased collagen and elastin on its own. It also happens to be a fantastic skin reboot for pregnant women. No matter what your skin type, the hormones that support the placenta tend to turn skin upside down. During this time skin requires a weekly reset. Plasma 27 gets the job done.

Bottom line:

Skin requires an intensive reconstructive care product regularly to enable it to recover and reboot its cellular functions. Plasma 27 is packed with high concentrations of Centella Asiatica and Proline to stimulate the skin’s ability to produce collagen. The immediate results? A bright complexion and firm, lifted skin. Also makes for a scary selfie!

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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