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Best Skincare Products to Revitalize & Refresh: Masks, Serums & Moisturizers

spring skin care

Put Your Best Face Forward

We are emerging from an exceptionally harsh winter. Many of us have spent far too much time exposed to indoor heating systems. These conditions have left us dehydrated and have likely stripped the hydrolipidic film from the surface of our skin. (This is a thin barrier that sits on top of the skin, ensuring suppleness and protection from bacteria.) This can leave the face sensitive, dull and even a little spotty.

The Cure

B. Kamins Laboratories Nutrient Replacement Cream Kx, is a cozy, post winter treatment that contains a unique, non-greasy formula that soaks right in. It contains blue capsules filled with hyaluronate molecules. Upon contact with the skin, the capsules dissolve and the hyaluronate plumps the skin. Think of it as a topical filler treatment in a bottle.

Got Hyaluronate?

The hyaluronate molecule is the active ingredient in fillers and injectables. B. Kamins Laboratories Nutrient Replacement Cream Kx is the perfect moisturizer to use if you’ve been pondering a filler treatment but are hesitant to go that route, or if you already use fillers, to prolong the effects of your injectable treatments.

Spring Is On The Way

With spring one month away, there is still time to give ourselves the extra boost we need to get ready for warmer weather. Also it’s important to layer skin care products all through winter and into spring. Juvena Specialist Skin Nova SC Serum is just the “skinnovation” that you’ve been looking for. This fragrance-free, light clinical serum is non-sticky and soaks right into the skin. Think of it as a multi-vitamin for your face, neck and décolleté that is highly concentrated with active ingredients.

Treat Yourself to a Mask

Seasonal transition periods are also a great time to treat yourself to a weekly mask. Valmont has just introduced its new and improved Prime Renewing Pack. This is another great multi-functional prep regimen for spring. Just apply in the morning and leave it on while making breakfast. Fifteen minutes will do the trick, then peel off. For a serious infusion of moisture, this treatment can also be used as a night cream, or as a quick fix as you shift from work to play, before dinner or a party- consider it your glow-on-the-go secret weapon.

Give Yourself a Lift

Whether you are stressed, tired, traveling or just had too much for dinner last night, banish shadows and puffiness under the eyes with Institut Esthederm Repair System Eye Contour Lift Patches. This treatment contains caffeine, sodium hyaluronate (the same active ingredient found in injectables) and algae extract to wake up your eyes from the inside out. You won’t believe the difference ten minutes make. Under eye masks are the ally of choice for many celebrities during award season to ensure that they look their best as they walk the red carpet.

 

The Best Tips & Luxury Products for Curly Hair

how to guide for curly hair

Most women with curly hair seem to feel societal pressure to straighten it. It’s as if a message has been communicated- if only subtly- that straight hair is preferable. Is curly hair not good enough? I have observed this phenomenon in all types of woman: Caucasian, Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Hispanic- the list goes on.

Strong Anti-curly Cues

This message is so strong that demand has created not only straightening balms, industrial strength blow dryers and flat irons, but also more permanent solutions, like hair straightening processes – some taking 6-7 hours.

I’m OK, You’re OK

As a curly cue myself, it took me a long time to accept my curly situation. I realized I needed to commit to who I was and let my hair be. Who I was was good enough- great, even. All I needed to do was find the right products.

It’s All About the Products

Finding the right products for curls can be akin to a science experiment. You have to be patient and willing to try different combinations of products to see how they work together with your hair. I have tried so many different products in so many different categories! To some extent, I tweak my regimen depending on the weather or season and occasionally due to new product finds.

Here’s my current regimen:

Shampoo Daily

I either use Caretrico’s Type H Shampoo or Philip Kingsley’s Re-moisturising Shampoo. This shampoo can be found in PK’s Smooth & Shiny Jet Set. I recommend trying both for a period of 4 weeks each to see if one is better for your hair. If you like them both, rotate seasonally. You may find that one works better for you in colder weather, etc. Also, depending on where you live, one may react better with your water supply. Here in New York City we have hard water, which is tough on dry, curly hair. In the Caribbean, or other parts of the world where the water is soft, you may find that your hair dries nicer, softer and/or shinier.

Use a Leave-in Conditioner or Leave Your Conditioner In

This particular step is one that many hair care professionals will not advise. But if this is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It works! My favorite, absolutely can’t live without hair product is Caretrico’s Moist Bounce Treatment. Ishi introduced this product to me. It is meant to be used as a conditioner or 10-20 minute hair treatment. Since there is not enough moisture for my hair (my hair is coarse, curly and bleached), I actually leave it in, and once applied, run my Du-Boa’s Scalp Massager through my hair to distribute the product.

Use a Scalp Toner

Right out of the shower, use Philip Kingsley’s Scalp Toner. Healthy shiny hair, starts with a clean scalp.

“Priming” Products

Start with a quick spritz of Vine’s Care Water. This boosts the efficacy of all the styling products that you use subsequently. It also defrizzes and adds volume to fine hair! If its good enough for NASA, its good enough for me!

    • Winter Hair Primer: This winter I have been using Philip Kingsley’s Preen Cream. It adds a little extra moisture to my hair, pre-styling product application.
    • Spring & Summer Hair Primers: In the summer I substitute this product for Caretrico’s Enrich Milk, and use Arimino’s Bamboo Moisture Veil in the summer.
    • After Coloring or Going to the Beach: If you have just colored your hair, or you plan on going to the beach, use Arimino’s Aqua Moisture for this step. (Yes, I am completely OCD about this entire process.)

Styling Products

I use M.O.P. Defining Cream followed by Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Drops.

Note

All these steps should be done separately and you must flip your head over and scrunch to make sure you coat every hair with product.

For a step-by-step how-to guide, please see the below video.

 

Simplify Your Relationship with Complex Carbohydrates

best foods for healthy hair

Many people I know have quite a tempestuous relationship with carbohydrates. In some, their eyes glaze over in reminiscent bliss. Others save their carb allowance for an indulgent Sunday, while a select few simply run away screaming. More often than not, there are wheels of debate turning. Bread or no bread? Salad or potatoes? Fast day or free day? Well, the reality is that your body – and ESPECIALLY your hair cells – need carbohydrates to function.

Carbohydrates Are a Source of Energy

Carbohydrates provide you with energy, and as the 2nd fastest growing cells in your body, your hair cells need a lot of energy to grow (and keep growing). Hair is also a non-essential tissue, so your brain will never send nutrients its way if another part of your body is lacking. Carbohydrates also give your body the fuel to use proteins in cell repair and growth. Lack of dietary carbs can cause increased hair shedding and hair failing to grow past a certain length – as well as general tiredness.

All Carbs Are Not Created Equal

Now, I’m not suggesting you charge for the nearest cookie jar (which is fine in moderation). What I’m talking about is complex carbohydrates. These contain particular sugar molecules called polysaccharides, which provide a slow-release of energy to the body. They don’t give you that sugar high and the crash that often occurs after eating sweets (mono-saccharides). Great hair-healthy complex carbs include baked or boiled potatoes, rice, grains and whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta. What’s more, complex carbs not only provide energy, but depending on which one you choose also contain fiber, hair essential B vitamins and other important vitamins & minerals! Include a varied selection of complex carbs in your diet for maximum benefit.

Watch The Clock

Here at Philip Kingsley we suggest you also snack on a complex carb between meals if longer than four hours pass. Energy to your hair cells drops after this time, which could lead to shedding. If you’re traveling, make sure you have a healthy complex carbohydrate snack on hand so you don’t cave in and eat candy at the airport.

Feed Your Scalp

While complex carbs will help hair growth from the inside out, don’t forget to help your hair from the outside in as well! For an added boost to your hair growth, try using our Philip Kingsley Stimulating Scalp Mask once a week and our daily Scalp Toner.

Expert Tips and Products for Eye Makeup Application: Brows, Lashes & Lids

perfect eye makeup

Great Brows

Great brows are the first step to gorgeous eye makeup. When properly groomed and filled-in, they lift the eye and make you look years younger. To discover your ideal brow shape, lay a pencil next to your nostril reaching up to your brows. Brows should start at the spot where the pencil hits. Then angle the pencil to the outer corner of your eye to see where your brows should end.

Brow Shaping

It is crucial to get your brows shaped by someone skilled. After having them done professionally, you can tweeze new hairs as they come in. Tweezing is most precise, but I recommend at least some waxing, to remove the fine blonde hairs under the brow. Cleaning these up brightens the eye and helps shadow go on smoother.

Thin Brows

Many people’s brows are too thin and/or short. When thin was in, in the 60s and again in the 90s, women over-tweezed, and now their brows won’t fully grow back. You want them look thicker yet still natural. Many women use a pencil that’s too dark. A taupe pencil works on everyone. Brenda Christian’s Universal Brow Definer is a great choice! Follow this with her Perfect Brow Gel to hold everything in place.

Thick Brows

You may be attached to your full brows, but if they are too full they can look heavy and weigh the eye down. It is important to give brows proper shape and balance for your face.

Proper Eye Makeup Application

Many women don’t know how to do eye makeup. Either they wear hardly any for fear of doing it wrong, or they put on the wrong colors confidently, thinking it looks good. The biggest offense is sparkly, frosty shadow- it makes eyelids look wrinkled. Also, avoid cream shadow – it looks oily on the lids.

Powder Shadows are Best. Here is My Foolproof Way to Apply it:

  • Apply a base/primer on the lid to cover undertone colors and brighten the eye. I use my Camoflauge Eye Disguise Concealer (part of my Beauty Ammo Kit).
  • Apply base eyeshadow. Choose a base color that isn’t too light (think 60s dated light pink) or too dark. It should be close to your skin tone. A pinky-peachy-sunset color is universally flattering. Apply it to entire lid with a fat shadow brush that you use only for base shadow. If you apply other colors with that brush, the next time you apply base shadow the other colors will still be on the brush and the base color won’t go on properly.
  • Apply a crease color to the outer 1/3 of the eye and across the whole crease. Most women apply crease shadow too low, which ends up “closing” the eye. Using an angled shadow brush, sweep it up onto the brow bone, and blend it well after. My favorite crease shadow color is a caramel-light-mocha, more bronze than brown with a hint of peach. It looks great with any clothing, eye color and doesn’t distract from features.
  • Stay away from purple, green and plain brown for crease colors. Most purples make your eyes look red, greens can look dated and browns are just dull.
  • Navy works as liner. Line upper and lower eye with a pencil, then go over it to set it with a dark navy shadow. Use navy with some shimmer for nighttime, but only as liner applied with a stiff tiny angle brush.
  • For night, most women look best in the same shadows they use for daytime, but applied with a heavier hand and always well-blended. For a smoky eye, apply navy to the outer third and around the crease, then add black liner in pencil shadow or liquid. Because pencil liner can be oily, it is important to go back over it with shadow to set it and give more staying power.

No Eye is Complete Without Mascara

One of the best selling mascaras (not naming names!) is one of the worst looking on. I can always spot it on someone – their lashes look like frog legs! It is stiff, clumpy and requires several coats. I also dislike waterproof mascara as it is so hard to remove and so harsh on lashes. Use mascara that stays soft on your lashes. Always do a couple coats, and apply a lash conditioner/thickener underneath to make lashes look fuller, yet soft and conditioned.

Expert Hair & Scalp Products & Treatments: Promote Healthy Hair & Fight Hair Loss at the Philip Kinglsey Trichological Institute

Philip Kingsley Trichological Institute

Certain physical attributes can significantly elevate a person’s appearance. Say you were not blessed with modelesque bone structure. There are several other features (skin, brows, teeth…) the optimization of which (clear & glowing skin, well-shaped brows, straight, white teeth…) can still land you firmly in “10″ territory. Probably the most notable of these features is hair. Shiny, bouncy, Breck-girl hair makes a world of difference on anyone. As a low-maintenance gal, I relied on my high-quality (read: expensive) hair cut and color to compensate for the makeup I didn’t bother applying, the accessories I didn’t bother wearing, etc. Imagine my despair, then, when I realized my hair was falling out at an alarming rate. It was devastating and stressful…not to mention embarrassing.

Hair Loss & Thinning

Why? Why, oh, why was this happening to me? Well, the body considers hair a “non-essential” tissue, so the brain will not send nourishment to it if requirements elsewhere in the body are not being met. This can result in hair loss and/or thinning, as well as dry, brittle and lifeless hair. Additionally, (unfortunately) hair loss in women is a more complex problem than it is in men because of all the different factors at work:

  • Diet
  • Stress level
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormones

Poor Diet & High Stress Levels

I was struggling on all these fronts. Simultaneously completing my MBA, working part time and caring for my two young children had led to me often neglecting the most basic self-care. My diet was awful: I grabbed food on the go, never paying attention to eating a well-balanced diet. My stress levels were sky high and sleep was but a stranger. Although I felt run down and depleted, I also felt too busy to do much about it.

The Last Straw

My attitude quickly changed once my hair started to fill my shower drain…every day. Is that my scalp I see in the mirror?!?! My body was alerting me that the status-quo was not working, and I could no longer not deal with it. On top of my hair shedding, my scalp suddenly became extremely dry and flaky for the first time in my life. So now my suddenly visible scalp had become quite unsightly. It was clearly time to take action. I proceeded to purchase every scalp and hair loss product under the sun, from Apple Cider Vinegar to Zinc supplements. Still, I was not seeing any real results. Time for another tactic.

I Took The First Step

I made an appointment at The Philip Kingsley Trichological Institute in New York City, knowing that they specialize in hair and scalp health. The Institute is a hidden gem of hair health, tucked away in midtown Manhattan. It is not a spa or a flashy full-service salon; it is a no-frills hair and scalp treatment center. I was comforted by the straightforward professionalism and “clinical” setting; I knew they were going to go beyond scalp deep to deal with my issues. My visit was two-part. First, I met with trichologist Elizabeth Cunnane-Philips. This was an in-depth interview, just shy of a therapy session. Liz conducted a thorough investigation into my life, asking about:

  • Overall health
  • Family history
  • Diet/nutrition
  • Lifestyle

Her expertise and depth of knowledge were immediately apparent. Though she was a consummate professional and listened matter-of-factly to all I said, there was an air of compassion to our meeting which I really appreciated. When she asked me (rhetorically) where the protein was in my diet (surprise…there wasn’t any), it wasn’t a judgment, but a dose of tough love. Philip Kingsley takes a holistic approach to hair and scalp issues, treating the underlying causes as well as the appearance your hair/scalp. My diet was my biggest issue – woefully deficient in protein. And iron. And breakfast. To discover what else may be amiss (thyroid problems, deficiencies, etc.), Liz recommended a comprehensive series of blood tests, the results of which I would report back to her.

The Examination

She then examined my hair and scalp under a large magnifying glass. My scalp was inflamed, flaky and altogether unhappy. An inflamed scalp can often go hand-in-hand with hair loss, and can lead to even more hair loss if left untreated. Based on what she observed, Liz wrote up a personalized product list to be used during my treatment – the second part of my visit.

The Treatment

For my treatment, I met with another trichologist, Stephen Pullan. Where Liz was tough love, Stephen was kid gloves. His healing hands put the “treat” in treatment. After expertly applying an exfoliating scalp mask (to remove “debris” from my scalp), Stephen started squeezing a bottle of white goop onto my hair. He said it was Elasticizer diluted with water to make it easier to apply. Brilliant- I learned a new trick! My hour-long treatment included a divine 10 minute head and neck massage from Stephen, as well as time under a scalp steamer: Just like the helmet dryers used in salons, but with STEAM! I can’t begin to describe how soothing and restorative it felt. After steaming, I was put under infrared lamps, then shampooed and rinsed.

TO BE CONTINUED….