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Monthly Archives : December 2014

Interview with Robin Shobin of Charlotte’s Book

robin shobin charlottes book

Q & A With Charlotte’s Book founder Robin Shobin

Colorists, chiropractors, even colon hydrotherapists – women love sharing their arsenal of personal care professionals with each other. Those communication lines shut down a bit, however, when it comes to procedures like injectables and cosmetic surgery. Other than one hushed conversation with one of my closest girls over a glass of Pinot Noir, I can’t ever remember openly discussing Botox, Juvederm or Fraxel with a friend. This dearth of knowledge-sharing leaves many women at a loss to find the very best professionals…for procedures we wouldn’t want to trust to anyone less.

Well, the aesthetics and wellness WikiLeak we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: say hello to Charlotte’s Book. Founded by ex-Wall Street exec Robin Shobin, Charlotte’s Book is an online resource where women can find invaluable information on the best in skin care, anti-aging, aesthetics and wellness. We sat down with Robin to talk about (and say thank you for) Charlotte’s Book.

TB: What prompted you to create Charlotte’s Book?

RS: As a busy Wall Street executive, I was incredibly frustrated with how hard it was to find trusted recommendations for cosmetic dermatologists and other types of beauty and wellness experts. This process is still word-of-mouth….with no true online recommendation source. It was equally difficult to research the latest treatments and trends. I never had time to read beauty magazines or watch daytime TV, and getting advice from friends and colleagues was difficult as many women still aren’t as willing to divulge their latest laser treatment as they are to talk about their favorite lipstick. And, quite frankly, I was busy. The only time I had to research experts and treatments​ was late at night or on the weekends, so I would search online, which wasn’t helpful. In fact, it made me even more confused. I wanted to create an easy to navigate online resource that spoke in a trusted, relatable and discerning voice.

TB: What is Charlotte’s Book’s mission?

RS: Our tagline is #BeTimel​e​ss and I think that sums it up perfectly. We want to be the leading online resource for skin care, anti-aging and wellness.

TB: How does your background in finance inform and inspire Charlotte’s Book?

RS: I think it gives a great outside perspective and the site was born out of a true need. I never had a trusted source to ask questions ​about cosmetic doctors or beauty services because it was so taboo. I​n​ my world​ of female executives​, beauty is often seen purely as vanity, and women aren’t taken seriously if they care too much. Getting a facial or ​Botox is seen as a luxury. I like to quote Tyra Banks who says, “Right now, with women in power, and not apologizing for being strong or wanting to make money or to be on top, that’s my message — and that’s all feminism​.​ I feel like you should be able to have a fierce face at the same time.” Why is it wrong to want to look your best?​​

TB: How do you select the experts, doctors and businesses in your directory?

RS: We do anonymous surveys of women, consider the history of appropriate relevant credentials and bedside manner.​ We also think about the ability of our experts to partner with other experts. That is very important because being timeless is about the integration of beauty and wellness. And given all of the latest advancements, doctors are becoming very specialized. It’s important to see the right expert for different treatments​.

TB: In your work thus far, have you learned or uncovered anything surprising about the beauty/wellness/cosmetic surgery field(s)?

RS: It’s so alarming the amount of “fake” products​ on the market. Stories of watered down Botox, and outdated laser equipment being used at low levels… ​causing women great harm that is often irreversible. That’s why it’s so important for the public to be educated. It’s not just about credentials and qualifications, it’s about integrity.

TB: What do you look for when choosing a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon or esthetician?

RS: Bedside manner, honesty, expertise in a specific field and a holistic viewpoint, meaning they truly understand that your skin is ​a ​reflection of everything going on in your life. I actually see two different dermatologists, one for laser and one for injectables.

TB: What do you think is the right balance for a person to strike between dermatologists, estheticians, plastic surgeons and your at-home personal care routine?

RS: I think it depends on that person’s goals and what she is trying to achieve. It can vary, not only by age, but by what is going on in one’s life. The ideal is building a personal network of ​a​ dermatologist, esthetician and wellness professional that you can trust, knows you, and can always help you look your best. Just like a woman has a relationship with her hair stylist, she should have one with her derm, facialist, and nutritionist. It’s an investment in herself.

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Why Going Vegetarian Is Good For Your Body & The Planet

vegetarian diet improves body and planet

Having worked with thousands of women one-on-one as their makeup artist and esthetician, I get asked the same questions over and over. Upon finding out I am a vegetarian, they usually ask, “How do you get your protein?”, followed by “What do you eat?”, “Do you eat fish?”, and often, “What made you go vegetarian?” I have many reasons for going vegetarian, but the main one is I am an animal advocate. I truly believe that being vegetarian is a way to achieve beauty from the inside out.

Why I Became a Vegetarian

When my dog died 19 years ago, I was so distraught. At that time, I came across a book that opened my eyes to the suffering animals endure at the hands and mouths of humans. I decided then that I would give up meat as a tribute to my dog. I have not eaten meat since. Then about 8 years ago I read the book Skinny Bitch, which argues that dairy has to go as well (I am not a complete zealot and will occasionally eat a little cheese).

It’s Healthy

Over the years I have continued to educate myself on how eating animal products has killed more people than all the world wars combined. Not only heart disease, but also many forms of cancer are directly correlated to meat consumption. As meat consumption has risen over the years so have our death rates, and as other countries have followed our lead and started consuming more and more animal products, their death rates have risen as well.

It’s Environmentally Sustainable

Several years back at an Animal Rights convention, I came across a DVD called EATING. This documentary outlines how eating meat is the #1 cause of death as well as the demise of our planet through the greenhouse gases the industry creates. Greenhouse gases destroy the environment and our rainforests at an alarming degree. Both Bill Clinton and Steve Wynn went vegan after watching EATING, and both have been vocal with their support of this movement. When Al Gore wrote An Inconvenient Truth, he missed this larger issue, but since has also become vegan.

Vegetarianism & Beauty

How does all this relate to our outer beauty? Of course when we are healthier it shows in our skin as well as how we fit in our skinny jeans. Vegetarians on average weigh 25 pounds less than meat eaters. I hope that my makeup clients will be open to my bigger message after I educate them. The repeated questions they ask me about everything else I do makes me think they are looking for answers. My hope is that I can teach them that how and what we eat is literally killing our beautiful planet and us.

I truly love nothing more than having die-hard meat eaters come to my house and tell me how much they love a vegetarian meal I’ve made. From the gym to happy hour to Facebook, I continually have people confess that they are very curious about the idea of giving up meat, and most people have a story of a niece, daughter or friend that did it and inspired them. I had one friend lose 60 pounds after I told them to just try a vegan “diet”. After she lost the weight, she never did go back to eating meat! Of course, after seeing the numbers on the scale go down and the general feelings of health and wellbeing go up, most people who try a vegan diet will make it their everyday lifestyle.


The above views are those of M.B. York and do not necessarily represent those of Travel Beauty.

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Travel Beauty Travel Diaries – St. Barths

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone you might be starting to make plans for the holidays. This is a reprint of an article that was recently published on Fathom, Travel Beauty’s go-to resource for everything you’ll need while globetrotting. Fathom’s got it all: From the best places to stay, eat, visit and shop to essentials that you will want to have with you on the road. In October, Fathom devoted a week to the best islands in the Caribbean. Travel Beauty was asked to give a quick and dirty guide to one of our favorite places to visit, St. Barthélemy (otherwise know as St. Barths). Read on for your in-the-know guide to St. Barths.


travel-diaries-st-barths-caribbean-beachHow Do I Love St. Barths? Let Me Count the Ways

In between drugstore hopping around the world to findthe best global beauty products for her website, Travel Beauty, Alyssa Barrie Weiss makes time for island hopping around the Caribbean. St. Barths is her favorite, for so many reasons.

ST. BARTHS – There are special places that stand out in my mind as magical. Saint Barthélemy, better known as St. Barths, in the French West Indies, is one of them.

This tropical volcanic island offers breathtaking views from its steep peaks and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This is a place where people go to unwind and disconnect from their everyday lives and it’s also where people go to be part of the scene and party with the rich and famous. (If you are one of them, make sure to visit Le Ti St. Barth.) Its lush scenery and old-world European ports and towns converge on one small island to create a one-of-a-kind vacation spot that remains blissfully untouched by towering hotel developments. You’ll never forget where you are: The French accent is very strong around here — in every possible way.


If you are in St. Barths for a day trip and short on time, head to Colombier Beach. Drive up the hill along the road parallel to Baie des Anges where you will reach a dead end. Park the car and hike 40 minutes downhill to crystal clear water and a secluded beach surrounded by jagged boulders. The hike through the tropical forest is a great workout, with lush vegetation and wildlife lining the winding path. A word to the wise: Bring sneakers and lunch. There is nothing at the beach. Of course, if it’s an option, you can also have your yacht pull directly into the cove .


Hit as many beaches as you can. As opposed to other Caribbean islands, the beaches on St. Barths have their own personalities. These are my top picks:

Gouverneur Beach: My favorite. Behind you, there’s a view of the hillside, and, in front, it’s all blue skies and calm, clear turquoise water that goes on and on. There are no hotels on this beach, giving it a secluded feel.

Grande Saline Beach: A stunning beach of fine white sand adjacent to what used to be an old salt mine (hence the name). You won’t find any hotels here either (hence the deserted island vibe).

Shell Beach: One of the smaller beaches, named for the tiny shells that cover it. Dõ Brazil, a lunch spot right on the beach, has superb food, cocktails, and music.

Flamands Beach: One of the most tranquil on the island, overlooking the islands beyond St. Barths. There’s a lot here: the newly renovated Hotel Taïwana, villa rentals, and great restaurants.

For more on where to eat, drink, shop, and stay as well as how to plan the logistics of your trip visit Fathom and checkout the original article.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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