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Tag Archives : skin care

Beauty Expert Profile: Interview With Jessica Johnson 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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4 Must-Have Natural Exfoliating Scrubs Without Microbeads

My skin & body care product obsession started at a young age. By middle school I was doing my own independent reading about – and purchasing of – beauty products. One of the first products I fell in love with was St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub. This product has achieved cult status over the years, and for good reason – it left skin super-soft and glowing. I was thus distraught a few years later when one of the big beauty books said that my scrub with natural exfoliating particles should be shunned, as these irregular shaped bits can cause tiny tears in the skin. YIKES. Never fear, they said – swap in a scrub with manmade perfectly spherical plastic “microbeads”! No more mini-tears; totally skin safe.

This was all years before the green beauty movement took off, so no one really followed this thinking through to the obvious end…where we find ourselves today. These tiny plastic beads, which have become ubiquitous in thousands of products ranging from body scrubs to toothpaste, do not dissolve and therefore pose a major threat to the environment.

In fact, a recent study reported that more than 8 trillion microbeads enter the country’s aquatic habitats daily. These seemingly innocuous microbeads have contributed to an increase in microplastic polluting the planet’s oceans and lakes, and pose a threat to aquatic life. These little plastic perpetrators have since been banned by public policy. However, if your favorite exfoliators contain these microbeads, you might be reeling over the ramifications on your skin.

What To Use Now? What Works?

I’m proud to say that here at Travel Beauty, we’ve only carried scrubs with natural exfoliating particles. By virtue of them populating our virtual shelves, you know they get our stamp of approval as an all-around excellent and effective product. So if you’re on the search for a plastics-free scrub, look no further. Here is our list of the best of the best.

For Face

Lavido Gentle Exfoliator Peeling Cream: This exfoliator/mask is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It contains Oyster Shell Powder and Pomegranate Peel Grains to provide a subtle scrubbing action, sloughing away dead cells and buildup. Scrub-a-dub for 20 seconds then leave on skin for another minute et viola! Glowing skin is yours.

For Body

Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish: I find myself writing about and recommending this face & body scrub often. Here’s why: At $18 (for an almost 7 oz) tube, it’s one of the best bargains in beauty. Because it contains fine grains of Rice Bran and Bamboo as well as gentle cleansing (no sulfates!) agents, this polish not only effectively exfoliates, but also works into a luxurious foam as you scrub, so no additional cleaning step is needed. Skin is left totally clean and ready to soak up your skin care products like a sponge. It also has Ginger Root, Ginseng Green Tea, Geranium Oil and Camphor – all benefit skin in different ways and give this polish it’s refreshing and invigorating scent.

Mio Skincare’s Double Buff Dual Action Enzyme Exfoliator: you can easily buff away dull, lackluster skin with Mio’s Double Buff. This non-abrasive scrub is dedicated to revealing brighter, smoother, more even toned skin. In place of harmful buffing fragments, this omega-rich exfoliator utilizes perfectly spherical particles of pumice, lava and bamboo to gently but effectively slough away dead skin cells. Extract of Fig and organic Shea Butter hydrate and moisturize while organic Sweet Almond Oil soothes sensitive skin. The results? Smooth and supple looking skin with renewed clarity and radiance. Not only helping skin to look smoother and more even, its formula is packed with essential nutrients which work to maintain elasticity so skin looks and feels younger, firmer and extra dewy. Use on dry body, pre-shower. Like all Mio Skincare products, Double Buff is free from parabens, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance and colorants, xenoestrogens, PEGs, glycols and phthalates.

Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub: A much stronger choice of body scrub than the two mentioned above. This invigorating body treatment is made with Indonesian Sumatran Coffee Beans, finely crushed walnut shells and gentle, sulfate-free cleansing agents. This scrub will *wake you up* as it stimulates circulation, exfoliates, cleanses and helps to firm, tone and brighten skin. Coffee has been clinically proven to provide powerful antioxidant and tightening benefits for skin – hence the proliferation of coffee scrubs. Juara’s scrub was one of the first and is still the best in my book. This unique scrub also features Vitamin E-rich Rice Bran Oil, which provides additional hydration and helps maintain skin’s elasticity, leaving skin supple, soft and smooth. Many people have cured their pesky keratosis pilaris with it. A true therapeutic body ritual in a jar.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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4 Ways To Enhance Your Beauty Regimen With Minus Ion Care Water

When cold, crisp winter weather makes our hair and skin freak out (i.e., break out…dry out…frizz out…), we make sure to stock up on our favorite multitasking product from Japan. No one can sing the praises of Vine Minus Ion Care Water better than Travel Beauty’s hair care expert, Ishi.

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Where do I begin? Vine Care Water is negative ion water that was first developed in Japan for NASA to clean the lenses and mirrors on space bound vehicles and satellites. Bacteria cannot live in a pH 12.5 environment, so it was made as a germ-killing cleanser. Negative ion water is 170 times more absorbent than water, so on its own it provides moisture. Used in conjunction with hair and skin care products, negative ion water works as a driver – so it boosts the effectiveness of products used subsequently.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Hair Care

The negative charge of the water is attracted to – and bonds to – hair.  It helps strengthen fine hair, making it feel thicker. It boosts the strength of conditioners, treatments and styling aids to amplify the benefits of these products. It can also be mixed with your shampoo or conditioner at a rate of 10%, or can be sprayed onto hair, roots to ends, before leave-in conditioners or styling aids are applied. This is a fabulous tool for thick, curly hair as well; read more here about how to use it.

Vine Care Water Minus IonNegative Ion Water Benefits for Skin Care

Care Water works well as a moisturizing skin toner or clarifier (most products that clarify tend to dry the skin). Many of my clients have had success clearing up some forms of acne with Care Water as well. Layered with other products, it boosts the benefits of those products. Here’s an easy experiment to give you an idea of what Care Water does:

  • Put a few drops of oil into water. You will see it separates.
  • Then spray the oil and water with Care Water.
  • You will see it actually reduces the size of the oil drops so that the water and oil mix together.
  • This is the same way Care Water breaks up and clears away oils on the skin.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Scrapes & Cuts

Sprayed on scrapes or cuts, Care Water cleans the wounds (by killing bacteria) and moisturizes, therefore promoting healing. It’s currently being used in research at burn hospitals in Japan with very positive results.

Negative Ion Water Benefits for Teeth

Care Water also works for brushing your teeth – both cleansing and whitening. Read all about our smile-cleaning secrets here. Don’t swallow it, though! It is not for internal use. The pH is too extreme for that. Care Water is the ideal multi-tasking travel companion. You can find this cure-all wonder water in travel size here at Travel Beauty.

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The Best Exfoliating Scrubs Without Microbeads

My skin & body care product obsession started at a young age. By middle school I was doing my own independent reading about – and purchasing of – beauty products. One of the first products I fell in love with (that I could afford to buy for myself) was St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub. This product has achieved cult status over the years, and for good reason – it left skin super-soft and glowy. I was thus distraught a few years later when one of the big beauty books said that my scrub with natural exfoliating particles should be shunned, as these irregular shaped bits can cause tiny tears in the skin. YIKES. Never fear, they said – swap in a scrub with manmade perfectly spherical plastic “microbeads”! No more mini-tears; totally skin safe.

This was all years before the green beauty movement took off, so no one really followed this thinking through to the obvious end…where we find ourselves today. These tiny plastic beads, which have become ubiquitous in thousands of products ranging from body scrubs to toothpastes, do not dissolve (DUH) and therefore pose a major threat to the environment.

In fact, a recent study reported that more than 8 trillion microbeads enter the country’s aquatic habitats daily. These seemingly innocuous microbeads have contributed to an increase in microplastic polluting the planet’s oceans and lakes, and pose a threat to aquatic life. These little plastic perpetrators have since been banned by public policy. However, if your favorite exfoliators contain these microbeads, you might be reeling over the ramifications on your skin.

What to use now? What works?

I’m proud to say that here at Travel Beauty, we’ve only carried scrubs with natural exfoliating particles. By virtue of them populating our virtual shelves, you know they get our stamp of approval as an all-around excellent and effective product. So if you’re on the search for a plastics-free scrub, look no further. Here is our list of the best of the best.

FOR FACE

Lavido Gentle Exfoliator Peeling Cream: This exfoliator/mask is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It contains Oyster Shell Powder and Pomegranate Peel Grains to provide a subtle scrubbing action, sloughing away dead cells and buildup. Scrub-a-dub for 20 seconds then leave on skin for another minute et viola! Glowy skin is yours.

FOR BODY

Sasawashi Mesh Body Scrub Towel: If you want to forgo scrubs altogether, or want to boost your scrub with extra exfoliating action, this towel is perfect. Can be used in shower in lieu of a loofah or you can put your favorite scrub on the towel. You can also use it for dry brushing skin, if you find a skin brush too harsh.

Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub: A much stronger choice of body scrub than the two mentioned above – this is not OK for use on the face! This invigorating body treatment is made with Indonesian Sumatran Coffee Beans, finely crushed walnut shells and gentle, sulfate-free cleansing agents. This scrub will *wake you up* as it stimulates circulation, exfoliates, cleanses and helps to firm, tone and brighten skin. Coffee has been clinically proven to provide powerful antioxidant and tightening benefits for skin – hence the proliferation of coffee scrubs. Juara’s scrub was one of the first and is still the best in my book. This unique scrub also features Vitamin E-rich Rice Bran Oil, which provides additional hydration and helps maintain skin’s elasticity, leaving skin supple, soft and smooth. Many people have cured their pesky keratosis pilaris with it. A true therapeutic body ritual in a jar.

FOR FACE & BODY

Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish: I find myself writing about and recommending this face & body scrub often. Here’s why: At $18 (for an almost 7 oz) tube, it’s one of the best bargains in beauty. Because it contains fine grains of Rice Bran and Bamboo as well as gentle cleansing (no sulfates!) agents, this polish not only effectively exfoliates, but also works into a luxurious foam as you scrub, so no additional cleaning step is needed (just like the Juara scrub!). Skin is left totally clean and ready to soak up your skin care products like a sponge. It also has Ginger Root, Ginseng Green Tea, Geranium Oil and Camphor – all benefit skin in different ways and give this polish it’s refreshing and invigorating scent.

Mio Skincare’s Double Buff Dual Action Enzyme Exfoliator: Another scrub that’s safe for face and body, you can easily buff away dull, lackluster skin with Mio’s Double Buff. This non-abrasive scrub is dedicated to revealing brighter, smoother, more even toned skin. In place of harmful buffing fragments, this omega-rich exfoliator utilizes perfectly spherical particles of pumice, lava and bamboo to gently but effectively slough away dead skin cells. Extract of fig and organic shea butter hydrate and moisturize whilst organic sweet almond oil can soothe sensitive skin. The results? Smooth and supple looking skin with renewed clarity and radiance.

Not only helping skin to look smoother and more even, its formula is packed with essential nutrients which work to maintain elasticity so skin looks and feels younger, firmer and extra dewy. Use on a damp face or on a dry body, pre-shower. Like all Mio Skincare products, Double Buff is free from parabens, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance and colorants, xenoestrogens, PEGs, glycols and phthalates.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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Beauty Benefits of Preventative Care

Travel Beauty recently interviewed renowned New York City Dermatologist, Dr. Mitchell Kline. When asked what younger women in their 20s and early 30s can do in the way of preventative care, Dr. Kline replied:

Underappreciated is the benefit of rest, diet and supplements that truly affect the way the skin ages and damages. The science is astounding and soon will become part of prevention rather than treating problems that develop.

Old Is New

The movement towards prevention as a mode to protect against illness has been prevalent in this country for some time. As a society, through media coverage and increasingly public policy, we are educating ourselves to eat healthier, exercise more often and even decrease the stress levels in our daily lives. While to many, this notion sounds so basic, it is something that has not yet seeped into the American psyche with relation to skin and personal care.

American Attitudes Towards Personal Care

Typically Americans wait until they see signs of aging, sunspots, blemishes or develop a skin condition, like rosacea to become serious about a skin care routine. Similarly, they wait until they experience hair loss or have serious dandruff issues to establish healthy hair care habits. Even more prevalent - women typically start using body firming lotions and scrubs after they give birth or are presenting with cellulite. Perhaps you’ve heard that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? All I have to say is #TRUTH.

A 360 Degree Approach to Beauty

In Europe the approach to personal care is different. Europeans appreciate skin for what it is – the largest organ of the human body – and an important one at that. It is the only protection our bodies have from the elements. All that stands between our blood, veins, internal organs and tissue and the outside world is skin.

This approach not only includes eating right, getting enough rest, taking supplements and regular facial treatments but using quality skin care products early on. Effective ones that prevent the type of skin damage that results from pollution, climate and aging, before we start to see the effects in the form of wrinkles, fine lines and sunspots.

A Lifelong Obsession With Beauty

I became interested in personal care products at a young age. I traveled with my mother frequently overseas and the most anticipated stop of the trip was the charming, local European pharmacies.

My earliest product memories star Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Soap – revolutionary when it first hit the scene - My mother had all sorts of serums and potions in lovely glass jars stored on an elegant, old world sit down vanity. It was so glamorous.

My mother also always used body lotion. This annoyed me as it took her, what seemed like a year, to get dressed. When I asked her why she insisted on this long drawn ritual (we once missed a bus that ultimately crashed because she was running so late – THANK YOU BODY LOTION) – she said the only reason she didn’t look like an old bag is because she’d been using body lotion her entire life and if I didn’t want to look fat and saggy skinned I better think about doing the same. My mother is not one to hold back.

Forming Healthy Habits Early On

I started having regular extraction facials when I was 12. When I think facial, I don’t conjure a picture of lounging in a robe, cucumber water in hand. In fact, many spas of lesser quality play up this piece of the experience to makeup for the mediocre quality of their treatments. Not to say that you should be having a facial in a dingy back alley. It should be a lovely, tranquil place but the most important part is a knowledgeable, experienced aesthetician that works closely with dermatologists and plastic surgeons, understands product and is not a one treatment fits all practitioner. Facials should be akin to clinical treatments – parts of which can be painful – hello extraction! They can be likened to teeth cleanings. You have your teeth cleaned at least every six months to prevent tooth and gum decay. So to, regular facials keep your skin in check. Yasmine Djerradine is the only person that I trust with my skin.

To that end, here are some exceptional products that approach personal care through a preventative lens. They are not only extremely effective but are aimed at keeping skin and hair healthy. If you have healthy skin and hair, they will look great and these products are the proof.

Skin Care That Works At The Cellular Level

Sapelo Skin Care, a revolutionary, all natural line from Savannah, Georgia combines high concentrations of plant extracts, indigenous to the region, with powerful, scientifically proven peptides that nurture the skin at the cellular level turning back the hands of time. These products protect the skin from the elements and are formulated without harsh retinoids and acids. Sapelo is ideal for sensitive, dry and/or mature skin. This is an anti-aging skin care line bar-none. My mother is 67 and since she started using this line 6 months ago, has never looked better. Her skin looks like she has a microcurrent facial daily.

What About Sunspots?

The foundation of protection is applying a product that counteracts the body’s chemical reaction to Ultra Violet radiation or sun exposure. Sapelo Skin Care’s Rejuvenating Cream contains anti-oxidants and platinum peptides, biochemically designed to halt UV injury before sunspots occur. The system was designed to replicate the skin’s healing response to injury. If used twice a day, Sapelo works 24/7, at the cellular level, to stop UV damage – which causes ugly brown spots.

Skin Care With Ayurvedic Roots

Cosmetics 27 by M.E. SkinLab leverages the restorative nature of Centella Asiatica extracts, a plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years to strengthen the skin’s ability, at the cellular level, to fight the factors that cause it to look old and dull, on its own. Michèle Evrard, the founder of Cosmetics 27, is a pharmacist by training and has worked in product development for years. She approaches beauty in a holistic manner also offering a nutritional supplement, Supplément 27, to be used in conjunction with her skin care line. It contains active anti-oxidant and anti-free radical ingredients, Centella Asiatica, Vitamin A, C and E and Selenium which combat cellular aging, reinforcing the skin’s natural defenses while providing the skin with the elements it needs to regain its beauty and radiance. It visibly reduces the signs of age and helps maintain the skin’s natural equilibrium and beauty from the inside out.

Preventative Hair Care

World renowned hair and scalp Trichologist, Philip Kingsley takes a similar approach. At his clinics in London and New York City, Kingsley’s team runs a full blood work up, examines eating habits and digs into clients’ daily routines to determine the types of stress they might be facing. Believe it or not, all of these factors impact the condition of the hair and scalp. Once you have been examined, Kingsley’s team, or if you are lucky enough to see Kingsley himself, devise a custom treatment of products just for you – that really work.

If you can’t make it to the clinic, Kingsley has formulated a retail line that addresses different hair and scalp concerns from dandruff, to thinning hair, to serious frizz.

Holistic Body Care

Mio Skincare is an all natural body care line designed to work in conjunction with regular exercise and healthy eating habits. Products like the Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Motivating Gel contains ingredients like Arnica Montana to sooth and bring down the swelling that overworked muscles may experience due to intense workouts. The A Cream creates a soothing shield to combat dryness and boost elasticity, fighting the damaging effects of sun, pollutants and free radicals. It balances, deeply moisturizes and strengthens skin. These happen to be skin firming products but the truth is, the earlier you start moisturizing your body, the more supple it will be.

So that next time someone asks you if any of your products really work or do you just have great genes, you can confidently say, I am sure my genes do play a part, but I take care of myself and that makes all the difference.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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