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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

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

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

Turning Back The Hands of Time With Norwegian Salmon Roe

Turning Back The Hands of Time With Norwegian Salmon Roe

While many anti-aging skin care lines boast having 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, who was then 66, 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 now 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 heard that Sapelo Skin Care had launched a new revolutionary anti-aging serum, I had to learn more. 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.”

This sounds like exactly what my skin needs! 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 baby fish – 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.

Spring Tide Antiaging Serum

 

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

Eye-yay-eye Beauty Secrets: The Beauty Ammo Kit

MB York Beauty Ammo Kit

Having been based in Scottsdale, Arizona as a make up artist, esthetician and spa owner for many years, I specialize in working with dry, dehydrated and sun-damaged skin. When I started out as a make up artist over 20 years ago, I struggled with the fact that no matter how great I could make someone look with make up, if they had serious crow’s feet, dark circles, and/or under-eye puffiness, it didn’t seem to matter. All you would notice was the eye area problem(s). Often, the concealer, powder and foundation would make these problems even worse. Noticing that almost every woman that walked in my spa had this issue, I set about creating a solution.

Is your concealer and powder too cakey?

These issues affect women everywhere. I have done make up for women in LA, New York, Orlando, Dallas, Las Vegas and many cities in between, and I have heard (and seen) how powder and concealer cakes into fine lines and calls more attention to them, making the situation even worse. Even young girls in their late teens and early twenties seem to have crows feet and “feathering” under the eyes. Whether a woman has a small or more serious issue with dry skin and dark circles, she wants help. Our confidence is increased when we look in the mirror and like what we see.

Step I: Pump It Up, Leave It On!

My Beauty Ammo Kit started with the first step, the “Pump it up, Leave it on” Collagen Eye Mask. Most eye creams just absorb and then disappear into the skin. There is a dearth of rich enough, hydrating enough products available for this area. I created my eye mask to be richer than anything else on the market, using collagen and shea butter to create a buttery, primer-type look and feel. The trick is to apply the eye mask in a thick white layer that stays on all day. There is no other leave-on eye mask available. It not only makes the skin look instantly younger, but also gives the added benefit of continually hydrating skin. A lot of lines and wrinkles are dehydration lines, and these are virtually eliminated with my Collagen Eye Mask.

Step II: Line Putty

The next step is my Line Putty. For years, I tried to create the perfect line filler product, but had a hard time getting the product to adhere to the skin properly. When I finally created my Line Putty, then pressed it into the skin with a sponge over my Collagen Eye Mask, the result was instantly smooth and wrinkle-free skin. The chamomile I added to the Line Putty is very soothing, and the witch hazel helps relieve puffiness. Another benefit of steps 1 and 2: my clients say applying these products feels like a mini-spa treatment…very calming and soothing. Any concern they had of it feeling too heavy is replaced with surprise at how good it feels. Then they look in the mirror and are amazed with the results.

Step III: Camouflage Eye Disguise

MBYork-Beauty-AmmoKit-Now that the skin is totally hydrated and prepped, I add step 3, my best selling concealer, Camouflage Eye Disguise. After steps 1 & 2, you can now use a lot more concealer than you normally would, sweeping it across under the eyes and on the lid as a base for eye shadow. You get far better, natural-looking coverage without worrying about accentuating fine lines. My Camouflage Eye Disguise concealer works on all skin types, colors, and tones. For best results, it is really important to use a sponge to blend it in.

Heather Mills & Kelly Ripa

Since launching the Beauty Ammo Kit, I have sold tens of thousands in spas and salons around the US. I’ve sold Beauty Ammo on HSN, Ideal Vitality TV in London and in Henri Bendel. While doing an event at Henri Bendel, I met Heather Mills, who was shopping with her make up artist. He was so impressed with my Beauty Ammo Kit that he immediately called Kelly Rippa’s make up artist to share the dramatic results.

Celebrities using M.B. York’s Beauty Ammo Kit

I often get called onto sets to apply Beauty Ammo on celebrities such as Jane Lynch, Jamie Lee Curtis, Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Kevin Bacon before the make up team does their make up. I was also asked for Beauty Ammo for Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White, Jane Leeves and Wendy Malick on the set of Hot in Cleveland. Actors love Beauty Ammo because it makes them look great for hours and allows them to avoid the constant touching up of powder throughout the day, which usually leads to the accentuation of fine lines. After training the Dancing With the Stars make up team on how to use Beauty Ammo, they said it made Chloris Lechman look 30 years younger. The makeup team said it is “definitely one of our beauty secrets that the entire cast and crew loves.” Even the judges, Carrie Ann, Leni and Bruno love Beauty Ammo!

Beauty Ammo Kit is easy to use at home

Another great benefit of my Beauty Ammo Kit is that you can apply it by itself in less than one minute. Even if you don’t like to wear foundation or make up elsewhere on your face, your entire eye area will be hydrated, fresher and brighter all day long.