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EXFOLIATION The Key to Glowing Skin

Labelle Photo

I have an obsession with my skin, I admit it! Constantly looking for products that will make my skin look amazing. I do not care how long my beauty ritual takes whether in the AM or PM. If it makes my skin glow, skin tone more even and fine lines and wrinkles less apparent then I will do it. I have worked in the beauty industry for a long time and have tried hundreds of products, not all have been good for my skin and yes I DO think you can overdo it, but not in this case.

The good news is that thanks to technology, today’s products are better than ever. In the last several years, “at-home” skin care devices have become very popular as they have made it easier to get spa-like results at home for much less money. The first product I bought, one that my facialist swore by, was the Clarisonic Facial Brush System which I have been using faithfully for years.

The latest product in my arsenal of skincare tools is the Labelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula by Trophy Skin. This tool may look a little like something from Sweeney Todd but do not fear. I actually call it a magic tool as it uses ultrasound technology to help loosen and remove dirt, oil and debris from the pores and bring them to the surface where it is simply wiped away. It is very gentle and non-abrasive so it can be used on ALL skin types to achieve a healthier complexion without the redness and swelling that is often associated with microdermabrasion. This is a multi-functional device that exfoliates and also helps product penetrate deeper into the skin for maximum effectiveness.

Before I ever used it the first time I watched a YouTube video because I did not believe it was as easy as advertised—and I was seriously impressed! This is how it works:

Step 1: Cleanse your face with a mild foaming cleanser to remove makeup and excess oil.

Step 2: Wet your face as this is the conductor for the ultrasound. Turn on the Labelle to peeling mode and begin to gently rub across your face 2-3 times on each cheek, 1-2 times across your forehead and 1-2 times across your chin adding water as you go. You may be a little grossed out by the dirt and oil that you find coming out of your pores.

Step 3: Dry your face and apply serum or moisturizer of your choice, I use the Elemis Pro-Collagen Mask. Turn the Labelle to Ion mode and turn it over with the flat side resting on your face and massage over your face for 1-2 minutes.

THAT’S IT! This is also gentle enough to use over acne and rosacea, it will not aggravate any existing skin condition.

After the first time I could tell a big difference, I mean just seeing all that dirt and oil was difference enough, but after 2 weeks of using it 2 -3 times a week my skin tone was brighter and more even, and all of the tiny little bumps that I would get across my forehead were gone.

It really is magic.




A Wellness Strategy for Successful Travels


Every year it seems that once the sun starts peeking its’ way around the clouds, the sudden itch to travel is upon us all. I know I get it! While researching tips and tricks to skincare wellness while traveling, I learned that whether in flight or hitting the road, Charlene Florian seems to know exactly how to stay balanced while traveling, and thankfully she shares much of this information on the Kerstin Florian blog! I thought I’d fill you in on some of the tips I recently learned from Charlene.

Pre-flight Charlene suggests using Ginger Bath and Body Oil after showering because it’s a moisturizing formula which helps maintain hydrated skin and is naturally antiseptic so it will help you from catching colds during those long flights. Another great supplement to the Ginger Bath and Body Oil is Kerstin Florian’s Fuß Balm which you can apply to your legs and feet to lessen aches and pains.

In flight, healthy snacks like apples, raw nuts and dark chocolate are great alternatives to airplane meals which are usually prepackaged and high in sodium which can cause swelling and dehydration. Fresh snacks along with lots of water, daily supplements and a spritz of Kerstin Florian’s Rehydrating Neroli Water will keep you feeling fresh and energized through any day of travel!

Once you’ve reached your destination, start your trip with a luxurious shower or bath using the Kerstin Florian Mineral Wellness Soak which is a therapeutic way to alleviate jet lag and will get your mind and body relaxed and grounded for your adventures ahead. While traveling it’s also essential to be mindful of the climate you are headed to, two things to keep in mind are the location and the weather/environment you will be in. Keeping these two things in mind will help you when considering what kinds of skincare products to bring with you. Luckily, Kerstin Florian makes many of your favorite skin care products in travel size so you will never have to be without them on the road!

By far my favorite advice from Charlene’s blog was to have a great attitude, and that a smile is always a healthy way to handle the unexpected. Good luck on all of your future adventures and remember these tips above for a successful trip!

Get Flawless Makeup That Stays All Day


The hot weather is upon us, and with that comes shiny skin—and makeup that just refuses to stay in place! For all my ladies out there who are afraid to face the heat without fear of their make-up running, look no further: all you need is Skindiavia’s No More Shine Make-up Finish.

This makeup setting spray absorbs excess shine and prevents the dreaded “melting” of your foundation. Its patented Temperature Control Technology®  forms a breathable layer on your face that holds every bit of your makeup in place for up to 16 hours. You can either apply this before or after your foundation for a flawless stay-all-day face! This spray does not contain any sulfates, parabens or oil, so it’s great for all skin types.  But don’t just take it from me—check out these glowing  reviews!

Simply Good Stuff

Le Couvent des Minimes

As a product junkie, I am always interested in trying new brands and innovative beauty products that might be able to provide the best fix to x y and z.  Recently I got my hands on Gardener’s Hand Healer by Le Couvent des Minimes.  I just figured it would be just another hand lotion, so I placed it in my top drawer at work for those days when my hands are feeling parched.  I learned very quickly that this stuff is not just another hand lotion, this is more of a soft hand and moisturizing skin potion! Gardener’s Hand Healer  contains coconut oil which is one of my new favorite product ingredients and it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth. I highly recommend this hand lotion and it makes for the perfect gift.

Additionally, it was recommended that I try the Le Couvent des Minimes Everyday Deodorant With Alum StoneI was a little skeptical at first, thinking “what can this fancy deodorant do that my $3.00 drug store deodorant can’t?”  Well, I was amazed actually at how much I liked this deodorant.  I was used to smelling my deodorant the second I put it on. This deodorant is great and doesn’t clash with my perfume because its subtle scent fights odor and leaves you feeling fresh. I also really like that this stuff is packed with great ingredients such as lemon peel oil, rosemary leaf oil, and orange peel oil.

The Return of ME Bath, A Dermstore Favorite


Is Bathtime your favorite time of day? If not, well it will be with this new and improved line from the Makers of MeBath! Advanced Skincare by ME Bath offers new and more refined formulations that still transform your everyday bath or shower into a luxurious spa-like experience while nourishing and rejuvenating your skin.

I took a couple of these new products home to try them out and I was really impressed by their natural aromatherapy and skin-nourishing properties. Their new bath soaks look just like the original bath ice creams but feature more refined and layered fragrances like apple blossom and kumquat, frangipani and mulberry leaves, and madagascar vanilla and lavender. Their revitalizing sugar body scrubs feature the same aromas in an emollient botanical emulsion that hydrates and softens your skin as it exfoliates.

I took home the Apple Blossom and Kumquat Bath Soak and the Apple Blossom and Kumquat Tri-Functional Sugar Scrub. I use a lot of body scrubs as I have some keratosis pilaris on the backs of my upper arms and have found that the best remedy is regular exfoliation. As with the original shower sherberts, just a little of this rich scrub goes a long way so it’s a product that definitely will last.

The bath soak contains just the right amount of essential oils and epsom salts to leave your skin feeling soft and clean without a greasy residue. Bath salts are great for alleviating muscle tension after a long day or a rigorous workout. I found the aromas to be equal parts fresh, clean and comforting as well as very natural. It reminded me of what a Jamba Juice smells like, sort of a fruity multivitamin fragrance that just restores energy and vitality. I encourage you to try out ME Bath’s new collection of advanced formulations for yourself. Your muscles, skin and senses will definitely thank you for it.


Live Q&A with Trophy Skin


Experience the cutting-edge microdermabrasion device and treatments that deliver immediate, spa-quality results at home. Join us on Facebook on Wednesday, April 9th from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. PST. We’ll be hosting a live Q&A session with Lisa Sodolak, Operations and Service Director at Trophy Skin.

As the Operations and Service Director for Trophy Skin—maker of the MicrodermMD and a full line of at-home devices—Lisa Sodolak is committed to helping people experience great results in the pursuit of their skin care goals. Having recently participated in Trophy Skin’s first clinical study on microdermabrasion, she has a great deal of valuable insight to offer.

Given the expertise Lisa has to share, you don’t want to miss this FREE opportunity to get professional answers to all your skin care questions! And there’s more great news: during the live Q&A, 5 participants will win Trophy Skin’s Argan Stem Cell Serum ($39 value). To join the Q&A and be considered for the giveaway, simply use hashtag #TrophySkin when you post your questions on our Facebook wall.

*The content in this Q&A is for informational use only and does not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. Consult your personal physician for any medical questions or concerns.

Skin Care Made Easy

vmvA solid skin care regimen is essential to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy—and to know what’s best for you, it helps to determine your skin type first. This quiz, from fitness magazine might be helpful. Regimens are typically made up of a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. You could definitely also include an eye cream, exfoliator and mask.


In addition to a regimen suited for your skin type, remember the following helpful skin care tips and tricks:

Take your makeup off every night – make sure to remove before you even think about lying down.

Wash your face every night – start with warm water (to open pores), and rinse off cleanser with cold (to close pores).

Drink plenty of water – hydration is key to healthy skin.

Maintain a healthy diet – stocking up on healthy omega 3’s.

Cut back on sweet stuff – chocolate can lead to breakouts (I know it’s devastating).

Recently my face has not been cooperating and I figured it was time to buckle down with a serious regimen that I would not stray from and not mix in other products. I am in the process of using VMV Hypoallergenics ID Complete Anti-Acne Clarifying Starter Kit and I am in love with their products.  The starter kit is made up of five products; all travel deluxe sizes and a great way to test a new regimen without having to commit to full size products.

The starter kit is made up of a Skin-Buffing Cleansing Scrub, Clarifying Body Soap, Anti-Acne Toner, Anti-Acne Oil-Free Lotion and Monlaurin Gel. So not only is this kit great for the face, but also can treat body acne.

VMV Hypoallergenics is a validated hypoallergenic, products are as skin safe as you will ever see, fragrance free, never tested on animals and the brand was created in 1979. Products range for the care of men, women and children. The products will deliver a true spa-like experience in the comfort of your home, absolutely worth a try!

Pregnancy-Proof Your Beauty Cabinet

Blog - 4.1

So much of my life has changed since I found out I was expecting. Aside from my rapidly increasing weight (and waistline) and dwindling wardrobe and food choices, I’ve also been forced out of my old daily beauty routine. And I’m not just talking about giving up mani and pedi sessions for doctor appointments and prenatal classes, or foregoing 8 hours beauty sleep to make time for reading parenting books. I’ve also begun pregnancy-proofing my beauty cabinet, which basically means investing in milder skin care alternatives and tossing those that contain ingredients believed to be harmful for the baby. Trust me, the newsletters your medical provider hands out to you don’t always have this information. So if you’re on the same boat as I am and haven’t had the chance to do this, here are some beauty tips for pregnant women.

What to Stock Up On:

  1. A good sunscreen – This is your best defense against melasma/dark splotches (also known as “pregnancy mask”). For added protection, use makeup products with an SPF of at least 15. My current fave: CoTZ PLUS SPF 58 
  2. A belly butter – Once those stretch marks start showing, it will be a lot harder to treat them. So to make sure you don’t get them in the first place, start slathering those vitamin E oils and shea and cocoa butter concoctions even before your baby bump shows. My current fave: Belli Skin Care Elasticity Belly Oil  
  3. Bath products designed for babies – If you’re looking for milder shampoo, soap, lotion and body wash alternatives, look no further than baby products! If they’re mild enough for babies, then they’re definitely mild enough for you. Plus, it’s a good way to test these products out before you use them on your child. I’m even using Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths to remove my makeup now.

What to Toss:

  1. Retinol creams – Retinol hasn’t exactly been proven to cause any harm, but most dermatologists and physicians dissuade expectant moms from using retinol-based products.
  2. Nail polishes – Some nail polishes contain phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde—these ingredients have been linked to birth defects. Fortunately, there are nail polish brands that don’t have these in their products, like butter LONDON, Londontown and RGB Cosmetics.
  3. Hydroquinone serums– Not yet tested on animals or humans, best to avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding.
  4. Salicylic acid peels– It’s usually safe at lower concentrations (below 2%), but just to be sure, opt for milder alternatives like glycolic or azelaic acid.

What Else You Need to Avoid:

  1. Professional BHA Peels
  2. Tanning Beds
  3. Saunas and Hot Tubs
  4. Invasive Cosmetic Procedures

Hope this helps!

Thank you Mila Kunis


We all sometimes get frustrated at the continuous spotlight our society puts on youth, but for now let’s put that aside and admire Mila Kunis for these two very different looks. It’s shots like these that can help bring everyone back down to earth! We know by now that the vast majority of these celebrities have a combination of Photoshop, genes and products to thank for their “flawlessness,” but it’s still nice to be reminded of this fact by catching a glimpse of someone like Ms. Kunis without makeup.

In this day in age we should be teaching our younger generations more so than ever that nothing should be based on looks. As long as we know that, it is still okay to want to feel and look sexy all in our own unique ways. Since most of us live without makeup artists and Photoshop I am providing this curated list of products that deliver results!

Here’s to having the power and self-confidence to discover a different you:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Brunette- If you don’t have time for anything take 15 seconds to do your brows. Thicker brows will change your perspective. Super easy with this tool to comb them out fill them in and continue on with your busy life.
  •  Beauty Blender Travel Kit- I was hesitant for quite some time refusing to get rid of my application process of foundation until a friend broke it down very simply for me. This tool is a game changer and really changes the way any foundation looks on your skin.
  •  BKR Glass Bottle in Chip- Challenge yourself to drink three liters of water a day. Do it for four weeks and you will notice a difference in your skin’s clarity and brightness
  •  Ultraluxe’s Visualift Eye Cream- (Former brand name was Sonya Dakar) This line never tests on animals and is equipped with potent anti-aging peptides and nourishing ingredients that work to lift the skin and reduce wrinkles.
  •  St. Tropez’s – Self Tan Bronzing Spray (Available on 3/28) Go big or go home! Self-tanning is far better for your epidermis then the real sun so lather up with this delicious smelling

Until next time,

Grazie Belle Donne!

How to have a ‘Spring Break’ When You’re Employed

Noah Votivo Candle

For those of us full-time cube dwellers, spring break is only a memory of college parties and sundrenched vacations. But this year I am taking back my spring break with an emphasis on the “break” part. Sometimes we need an excuse to sit back and relax which is why I am proposing a movie themed spring break weekend.

Friday: Unwind with friends

Noah debuts in the theaters on a Friday (March 28th) aka a great way to end a work week and a jump head first into the weekend. I have been meaning to try one of those fancy theaters with the bigger comfy seats anyway!

Saturday: Personal rejuvenation through relaxation

Hatha Yoga it a great way rejuvenate body and mind. Yoga at home makes it easy to personalize your savasana with aromatherapy. In keeping with the movie theme, Votivo (one of my favorite candle brands) has launched a special edition Rain scent inspired by Noah. Rain is described as an exhilarating fragrance combining dew-covered oak moss and cedar with breezy notes of citrus and peppery jasmine. All Votivo Aromatic Candles come in a clear jar with the same neutral colored wax making them perfect for any décor no matter what scent you favor.

Sunday: Set your Intention

There is nothing like coming back to work on Monday morning focused after a revitalizing weekend and I truly believe it is all based on setting intentions.

“Intentions are easy because they don’t tie us to an outcome. Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, hour-by-hour, being as mindful, conscious, aware and awake as we are able to be in that moment.”-

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