cool to be kind

Shopping cruelty-free brands is simply a no-brainer, given all we have learned about animal-testing through the years. An early supporter, Kiss My Face, has been steadfast in offering a bevy of beauty options for the cruelty-conscious.

Kiss My Face are cruelty-free leaders–please tell me more about that and what it means to you.

As you know, Kiss My Face has produced products that are naturally effective and cruelty free for over 30 years. From its inception to date, KISS embodies a 360 degree view of their personal care products – taking not only the consumer and the effectiveness of their products into consideration, but also how the packaging, manufacturing and shipping affect the planet and its natural inhabitants as a whole.

In support of their long commitment to being cruelty free, minimizing the brand’s footprint on the earth and observing appropriate human rights practices, Kiss My Face promises to leave animals out of the cosmetics picture – meaning no animal testing of any kind!

For many consecutive years, Kiss My Face has been noted on the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny List. Offering safe products without testing finished products on animals, and refusing to sell in countries where animal testing is mandatory, is a pledge the brand is proud to maintain and uphold. Ultimately, we want what you want — clean, natural, effective and cruelty free products that are affordable for everyday use – and we are delighted to be able to provide that for you.

How are you involved with the Humane Cosmetics Act?

Kiss My Face continues to join efforts to end animal testing for cosmetics in the US by supporting The Humane Society of the United States’ Be Cruelty Free campaign and the Humane Cosmetics Act. Proudly working hand in hand with the Be Cruelty Free campaign, Kiss My Face aims to make the US the next cruelty free marketplace.

The Humane Cosmetics Act is inching closer toward being put into practice and if passed, The Act, started by Representative Jim Moran, would ban all animal testing for cosmetics in the USA changing the cosmetic industry for the better. In all, KISS is a proud supporter of the effort to stop animal testing of cosmetics and happily endorses the Humane Cosmetics Act.

Check them out at

Check out some products from other companies who also employ the cruelty-free philosophy:

Organic Doctor guarantees that their products are completely organic, meaning no harsh chemicals, animal ingredients or testing. The new Organic Doctor Dead Sea Mineral Face Wash leaves skin feeling refreshed with Siberian Pine, Mandarin, and Thyme Oil. (Available at

Nature’s Gate is a 100% cruelty-free brand. The Lemon Verbena Cleansing Gel is a biodegradable cleanser derived from sustainable palm oil. The Lemon Verbena Moisturizer is a lightweight, fast absorbing lotion. Both are ideal for normal/oily skin. The Rice Bran Cleansing Milk is a non-foaming, hydrating cleanser with rice bran oil and Vitamin E for normal/dry skin. Follow up with the Rice Bran Moisturizer, also for normal/dry skin and featuring essential fatty acids and plant-based ingredients. (Available at Whole Foods)

green&glam is an eco-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free bath and beauty line that uses only 100% natural and organic ingredients. The green&glam Hair Repairing Mask features Acai Berry oil, Ginger extract, and Organic Neroli oil for hair in need of repair and moisture replenishment. (Available at

Sebamed, the dermatologist developed skin and hair care brand, has received the honor of Cruelty-Free Certification by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny Program. The Program is a respected animal protection group dedicated to animal rights. Sebamed’s Everyday Shampoo, Repair Conditioner, Liquid Face & Body Wash, and Moisturizing Body Lotion all maintain a pH value of 5.5, the ideal pH for healthy skin and scalp in all skin types, especially sensitive and problematic skin. (Available at

For over 50 years, JĀSÖN has created face, body, and hair care products that stay true to the JĀSÖN Code of Honor which use safe and gentle ingredients and never test on animals. The new Gluten Free Face, Hair and Body Collection is free of Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Petrolatum, Artificial Colors and Phthalates. The line includes the Facial Cleanser, Facial Scrub, Facial Lotion, Facial Crème, Daily Shampoo, Daily Conditioner, Body Wash, Hand Soap, and Hand & Body Lotion. (Available at

Avalon Organics are part of the Leaping Bunny program, and they don’t test their products on animals nor allow ingredient suppliers to do so. Their Anti-Dandruff Itch & Flake Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner are also biodegradeable with a safe and effective 2% Salicylic Acid to treat and prevent dandruff, Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis. Aloe Vera, Tea Tree and Chamomile Extract helps relieve scalp dryness, itchiness and flaking. (Available at Whole Foods)

facing the truth: it’s a skin-win part II

Sunny day…chasing the clouds away! Just make sure you’re ready for its warm and wild ways. This week we continue to stress the importance of sun Dr.-Michael-Taylorprotection.

Portland, Maine dermatologist, J. Michael Taylor, M.D., M.P.H., recently launched his first skin care product, Ocean Elements Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30.

I asked him about the importance of sunscreen, how to apply, more about Ocean Elements Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30, and his philanthropic work.

The importance of sunscreen:

Sunscreen is an important part of sun protection. With daily use of sunscreen, you can protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays, and if used correctly, minimize the chances of sunburn, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling and most importantly, skin cancer.

Application tips and tricks:

• Most people don’t know that it is best to apply sunscreen to damp skin
• It is important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
• Ears and eyelids are high risk melanoma areas. They are typically forgotten about because they are not always in direct sunlight. It is extremely important to cover these areas with sunscreen and to reapply throughout the day
• If you’re trying to decide what SPF you need, it is important to remember that FDA requires sunscreen products meet an SPF of 30 or more to be approved
• Beyond SPF ratings, a sunscreen labeled as “Broad Spectrum” will insure protection from UVA rays, as well as UVB rays
• If you have sensitive skin, there are products out there that will still work for you. A little ingredient investigating will keep your skin irritant free. I suggest a sunscreen like Ocean Elements Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30, that contains zinc and titanium because neither causes allergic reactions

About Ocean Elements™ Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30:

I participated in a free melanoma screening at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum after I had already begun researching marine life that has beneficial properties for the skin. During the screenings, I noticed that the hands of seaweed harvesters were smooth and moist while those of lobstermen and fishermen were rough and dry. These observations inspired me to investigate other marine sources and properties in which I found a treasure trove of beneficial ingredients including SPF boosters, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and anti-inflammatories and moisturizers.

This research, along with years of clinical experience in skin care, led to the development of Ocean Elements™ Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30, which provides extensive benefits:

• Five marine ingredients that increase sun protection, provide long-lasting hydration and restore sun damaged and aging skin
• Gentle non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that protect against photo aging
• Effective moisture from cocoa seed butter and sweet almond oil, as well as marine and other natural ingredients
• Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that even skin tone, alleviate redness, calm and rejuvenate skin
• Sheer formulation that combines superior hydration and serious sun protection that is water resistant for up to 80 minutes
• Free from fragrance, PABA, parabens, BPA, phthalates and other harmful chemicals.

As a dermatologist, I have seen individuals of all ages who recognized the importance of daily sun protection, but struggled to find sunscreens that weren’t greasy, thick, or filled with questionable chemicals. Even with scores of products available, I found it impossible to point my patients to an effective, cosmetically acceptable, natural and hydrating sunscreen. So we developed Ocean Elements™ Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30 to address this need.

Ocean Elements proceeds:

Up to 50 percent of the profits from the sale of Ocean Elements Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30 will benefit non-profit organizations involved in health care or the environment, including Konbit Sante–-a health care initiative in northern Haiti founded by Dr. Taylor and his wife Wendy Taylor.

About Konbit Sante:

Founded by Dermatologist Dr. Michael Taylor and his wife Wendy Taylor, Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership helps to support the development of a sustainable health care system to meet the needs of the Cap-Haitien community with maximum local direction and support.

More in the new and current sunscreen and sunless tanning department:

Get an easy sunless tan with Comodynes Sunless Tanning Towelettes. Throw the individually wrapped towelettes in your beach bag or luggage for tanning on the go. The paraben-free formula allows you to show off your tan in as little as three hours. The Radiant Glow Body: Instant Body Bronzing Gel is also paraben-free, is fast-absorbing, and washes off with water. (Available at

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Lotion Spray with Cell-Ox Shield is body sunscreen spray that uses micro-shield technology and ensures a smooth application that remains uniform in both intense UV conditions or in water. The Cell-Ox Shield technology is a powerful patent-pending antioxidant complex featuring the Senna Alata plant extract that has a self-defense mechanism to protect against cell damage and environmental aggressors. (Available at

The Hydration Sprays from jane iredale, including POMMISST ™, Balance, and D2O ™ refresh and hydrate skin post-sun. They have earned the ECOCERT Natural and Organic Cosmetics certification. ECOCERT is an independent, natural, and organic certification body and was the first to develop a standard for natural and organic cosmetics. ECOCERT strives to promote the use of ingredients derived from renewable resources and organic farming in addition to using production processes that are environmentally safe. (Available at

Cygalle Healing Spa Sun Crème 30+ is a sheer, absorbable oil-free/PABA free crème that provides light moisture while helping prevent premature aging caused by sun exposure. It contains oxybenzone, which provides maximum protection against UVA radiation as well as UVB protection. (Available

 Meaningful Beauty® by Cindy Crawford Skin Brightening Décolleté and Neck Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF 15 features a new, advanced formula to diminish the appearance of age spots and SPF 15 to help protect the often neglected chest and neck area. Meaningful Beauty® Antioxidant Day Crème SPF 20 Broad Spectrum has luxe ingredients and broad-spect rum protection to help rejuvenate, firm, and reveal younger looking skin. (Available at

The new Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup SPF 25 is medium to full coveragein twenty shades.It brightens, reduces the look of lines, and provides oil-free hydration. (Available at


Elemis Liquid Layer Sunblock SPF 30 is a lightweight, broad-spectrum sunscreen formulated with naturally occurring titanium dioxide. It’s water-resistant and features cellular-protecting antioxidants to help defend against daily pollutants.  (Available at


The new H2O Plus Total Source UV Defense Fluid SPF 50 is a weightless fluid that quickly absorbs into the face to create a transparent veil of chemical-free UV protection and blocks up to 98% of UVA and UVB rays. The powdery, matte finish can be used alone or under makeup. (Avilable at

facing the truth: it’s a skin-win

Chances are you’ve gotten in the habit of applying sunscreen prior to heading to the beach or a summer concert. But, the giant orb is up there 365 days a year. Read on for tips on skin cancer prevention and ensuring you are prepared for the sun’s sneak attacks.

Dr. Gary Rogers from Tufts University shares some tips on summer skin protection:

Prevent future exposures – Wear sunscreen, hats or other protective clothing, limit time in the sun and avoiding tanning beds.

Learn how to detect skin cancer – The warning signs for melanoma are changes in shape, size or color of a mole and for non-melanoma skin cancers, the warning signs are a reddish, irritated area or a shiny bump or scar-like tissue. Any sudden or continuous changes in a mole or lesion are a sign you should see a dermatologist.

Conduct frequent skin cancer self-exams – Watch videos on how to check your skin, or go to to learn how to examine your skin.

Attend free skin cancer screenings – Check for screening sites in your area or schedule an annual appointment with a local dermatologist.

Know your treatment options – Most skin cancers cases can be cured if caught and treated when the disease is limited to a small area of the skin. However, if the disease advances, it may have devastating consequences and could become deadly. Knowing what treatment options are available can help you decide if surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, topical or targeted oral treatments are the best option for you.

Sunscreen technology keeps improving; see below for some new and current sunscreen and sunless tanning ideas:

Coppertone’s CLEARLYSheer For Sunny Days line is targeted for acne-prone and sensitive skin. The sheer formula is matte and lightweight and can be used under makeup or alone. It’s available in body lotion, body spray, and face lotion. Its counterpart, the CLEARLYSheer For Beach & Pool, is water-resistant, and is available as mentioned (along with a min-spray). The Sport AccuSpray is a body spray featuring a controllable continuous spray for high performance, durable protection that is sweat and water-resistant. (Available at drugstores)

Self-tanning is a breeze with Vita Liberata pHenomenal Tan Lotion and Rapid Tan. The Tan Lotion provides a long lasting tan in a hydrating formula good for sensitive or dry skin. It’s odorless, easy to apply, dries on contact, and has a unique moisture-lock system for a two to three week tan and 72 hour hydration. The Rapid Tan Mousse allows you to choose your shade—leave it on for one hour for a sunkissed glow, two hours for a golden bronze tan, and three hours for a dark tan. (Available at

DERMAdoctor Brazilian Bombshell Skin Perfecting Body Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 combines rainforest botanicals and Flawless Sapphire Complex to help enhance the appearance of skin and mask imperfections. (Available at

The new Amarte Ultra Veil Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is a super light, water resistant facial sunscreen. Six botanical plant extracts protect and condition skin while offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The mild formula is good on all skin types including sensitive skin. (Available at

NEOVA approaches the sun’s rays in a couple of ways. The sunscreen line includes DNA Damage Control Silc Sheer (Broad Spectrum SPF 40), an oil-free, color-correcting cream with a sheer tint. DNA Damage Control Everyday (Broad Spectrum SPF 44) defends against the sun and restricts the appearance of sun-inflicted damage. DNA Damage Control Active (Broad Spectrum SPF 43) is 80 minutes water-resistant and is ideal for active lifestyles. And for post-sun, DNA Total Repair is a skin care treatment that features DNA repair enzymes and antioxidants for damage inflicted to the skin by UVA/UVB rays. (Availble at

MB Suncare has teamed up with the city of Miami Beach; a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to help clean up local beaches. MB Suncare’s line includes the SPF 15 Salt Water Sport Sunscreen Gel which provides a natural cooling effect while protecting from the sun. The SPF 30 Triple Action Sea Kelp Sunscreen Lotion provides the benefits of seaweed’s natural sunscreen while firming the appearance of skin and protecting against photo-aging. The SPF 50 Sport Spray Sunscreen is a long lasting, quick drying, water resistant protection spray. The Instant Color Sunless Bronzer Glow Lotion provides temporary instant color that’s easy to customize. (Available at

L’Oreal Paris has a couple of new sunscreens. For the face, the Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion is a lightweight tinted face lotion that contains color-equalizing pigments to correct, even, smooth, and brighten the skin. It’s available in SPF 30 and SPF 50+. For the body, the Advanced Suncare Quick Dry Sheer Finishing Spray is an alcohol free aerosol spray. It provides a non-sticky matte finish. It’s also available in SPF 30 and SPF 50+. (Available at drug stores)

The new SkinCeuticals Physial Eye UV Defense SPF 50 is designed specifically for the thin, delicate skin around the eyes. Though the skin around the eyes represents 1% of the skin’s total surface area, 10% of skin cancers occur in the area. The 100% mineral filter base defends the entire eye area and offers SPF 50 protection without irritating the eyes. (Available at

Illuminate and protect the delicate skin on the décolletage with the Erno Laszlo Luminous Intensive Décolleté Treatment SPF 20. The treatment helps soften, firm, and brighten the skin, while the UV protection guards against discoloration and photo-aging. (Available at

Bring relief to sunburn, redness, and inflammation with the Le Mieux Iso-Cell Recovery Solution. The alcohol free formula contains organic zinc, which activates natural enzymes, and polyol, which reduces itching and nourishes the skin. (Availble at

heat proof make up

It’s that time of year again!  Country 102.5 ushers in the summer concert season with the Country 102.5′s Country Music Festival 2014.  With the sun beating down on the Xfinity Center, you’ll need to make sure you’ve “got it covered.”

I asked MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro & Media Educator Jessie Powers for tips (Instagram: @jessiepowers).

1.    Now that the weather is getting warmer, how do you recommend people keep their make up in place?

The most important thing to consider is how humid and hot the weather will get.  If the heat and humidity go up I recommend switching your foundation formula to a matte finish.  Matte formulas tend to hold up the best in this climate and will still look natural.  The other thing to consider is setting your makeup with a true setting powder.  This powder should contain some talc and nylon powder.  These are both key ingredients that help to absorb excess oil while setting makeup.  Finally, how you apply your setting powder will make a difference.  Instead of using a brush to dust powder lightly over the skin, try applying setting powder with a velvet powder puff.  Pick up some powder on the surface of the puff, then fold the puff in half and gentle rub the sides of the puff together.  This will work the powder into the puff and help to spread it evenly over the puff’s surface.  This ensures that you won’t end up with the “I Love Lucy” floured face effect.  To apply, gently press the powder puff onto your skin.  Start applying in the areas that you usually see shine appear first.  For most of us this will be the forehead, nose and chin.

2.    Which products are your favorites for long wear in the sun?

MAKE UP FOR EVER Mat Velvet Foundation, Super Matte Loose Powder, Aqua Matic waterproof shadow sticks, Aqua Brow eyebrow gel and Aqua Lip lip liner.  Your best option for summertime weather will always be a waterproof formula.  This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have to retouch your makeup, but it does mean that your makeup will last longer and require far less maintenance.

3.    Any suggestions for application tips?

When working with waterproof formulas, less is more.  Apply creamy waterproof products in sheer layers.  If you’re using waterproof cream shadows use your fingers, the warmth of your hand will help you quickly blend the shadows before they set.  Keep your makeup simple and fresh looking in the summer – it’s easier to maintain and makes sense with most of the outdoor activities that we save for summer weather.

Lots of new summer shades to choose from:

Add some SPF to your foundation with Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 15.  The light, breathable formula protects with its moisturizing formula and is available in 26 shades. (Available at
Estee Lauder welcomes the warm weather with the Limited Edition Bronze Goddess Summer 2014 Collection.  It features The Nudes EyeShadow Palette (five sunlit nudes plus three high-impact metallics) and Bronze Goddess Cheek Glow.  The Limited Edition Pure Color Lip Shine comes in two super glossy colors—Mandarine and Luscious Plum.  (Available at

The Colorescience Sunforgettable collection makes it easy to remember your SPF.  The Mineral Sunscreen Brush is a mineral powder conveniently packaged in a self-dispensing brush for on the go coverage.  It comes in SPF 30 and SPF 50 and is available in a variety of shades/shimmers.  The Mineral Eyescreen SPF 30 camouflages dark circles while providing UVA/UVB protection.  The Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35 keeps your lips glossy (in seven shades) while protecting them from the sun. (Available at

Erno Laszlo Controlling Face Powder helps control oil and shine.  The silky, triple-milled formula gives skin a matte appearance.  Wear it alone or over make up to minimize the appearance of pores.  (Available at

And for your hair, Ouidad’s new Color Sense uses technology to preserve color and enhance vibrancy.  The trio includes Color Sense Color Preserving Shampoo and Conditioner that provides a shield against fading from UV exposure and styling, and the Color Sense Shine Boosting Color Extender creates a high gloss finish, extends the life of hair color, and is sulfate and silicone free.  (Available at

Achieve bright, sunkissed hair with the new OGX Sunkissed Blonde Lemon Highlights Collection.  The lemon extract enhances highlights and eliminates discoloration caused by mineral deposits.  The Sunkissed Blonde Lemon Highlights Shampoo and Conditioner locks in moisture and locks out humidity, and the Highlight Activating Citrus Oil Mist is a peroxide and ammonia-free formula which brightens with coconut oil and citrus extracts.  (Available at Walgreens)

spring it on

The weather is finally catching up to the calendar!  Celebrate the signs of spring with floral tones and dewy complexions.

NYC Makeup Artist & Beauty Expert Neil Scibelli talks about a couple of his favorite products for spring:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil: These waterproof gel liners are on trend and perfect for spring and summer because they come in a variety of fun colors and they don’t smudge! The UD formula is creamy but dries quickly after applying, ensuring long wear and easy application. Try the emerald green or electric blue as a liner across the top lid or smudge it out as an all over eye shadow.

H20 Plus Face Oasis Mist: this hydrating blend of water and minerals helps to rescue dry skin in the summer and also serves as a skin pick-me-up. I love keeping the mist in the fridge for the instant cooling effect. It calms redness and also sets makeup nicely.

Lots more going on for the spring season:

Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Matic is a new collection of long lasting, smudge-proof color eye shadow pencils.  The creamy texture includes Silica, Oils and Polymers to create a flexible film that locks water out to create crease-proof color.  Aqua Matic is available in ten shades from neutral to vibrant with a satin, matte, diamond, or iridescent finish.  (Available at

Simple is a range of facial skincare products that are sensitive to skin’s needs.  The new Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer provides hydration in a fast-absorbing gel and the new Nourishing 24-Hour Day/Night Cream is an ultra-rich cream with a non-greasy formula.  They join the line along with the Replenishing Rich Moisturizer and Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15.  (Available at drugstores)

MAC celebrates spring with Playland, a whimsical new line of cotton-candy shades.  Casual Colour is in all-in-one color for cheeks and lips in three shades, the Lipstick comes in six shades ranging from Playland, a golden frost to Head in the Clouds, a deep plum, and Pigment comes in four shades including Hi-Def Cyan, a sky blue and Golden Olive, a bright chartreuse.  (Available at

Elemis has a few newer products for glowing skin.  For the face, the Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm acts as a primer, moisturizer, and boosts radiance with Acai, bergamot, and Noni extract.  For the body, the Elemis Spa @ Home Skin Nourishing Body Scrub polishes with bamboo, apricot and cherry powder, and nourishes with sweet almond, macadamia and wheat germ oils.  The Elemis Spa @ Home Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow uses mineral rich salts and hibiscus to cleanse and exfoliate and Tahhitian Monoi Oil and frangipani flowers leaves skin with a light fragrance.  (Available at

bliss gears up for sleeveless weather with the new fatgirlslim armcandy. “Arm” yourself with a formula of caffeine, white sapphire, and moisture beads to reduce redness and provide a firmer, smoother and more toned appearance.  The fabulips ‘pout’-o-matic lip-perfecting system includes with the fabulips ‘pout’-o-matic exfoliating tool and sugar lip scrub to smooth and exfoliates for soft, full lips.  (Available at

The new Flower Eye Marker & Crème Eyeshadow features a smudge-proof eye marker on one end and luminous, long-wear eye shadow on the other.  Available in Lovely Lilac, Poolside Kiss, and Steel A Kiss.  (Available at Walmart)

Urban Decay introduces the newest addition to their NAKED line, NAKED Lipgloss.  The luxe gloss has a creamy non-sticky texture, like a gloss and balm rolled into one.  It’s available in nine shades ranging from pinky nudes to berry nudes to naked nudes (Available at

Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish provides nigh shine with a glossy finish.  The extra wide brush ensures easy application and the high levels of solid pigment prevent streaking.  The five new shades include Mercer Street, cobalt blue, Downtown, bright fushia, Mayfair Lane, a dusty pink, Soho Place, aqua, and Kensington Passage, a deep coral.  (Available at

And for the guys, Dove has partnered with leading barbers and dermatologists to create the new Dove Men+Care Expert Shave Range.  The line is a three-step approach that delivers a superior shaving experience for men.  It includes the Expert Shave Exfoliating Pre-Shave Scrub, Expert Shave Softening Pre-Shave Oil, Expert Shave Smoothing Shave Cream, Expert Shave Total Comfort Shave Cream, and Expert Shave Intense Post-Shave Repair Balm.  (Available at Target)

hair springs eternal

In many ways, the warm weather ushers in thoughts of lightening the load–spring cleaning, shedding layers, shorter sleeves, and lighter hair.  Read on, and color yourself spring- ready with these tips from one of New York’s hair apparent experts.

Joel Warren, Co-owner of Warren-Tricomi Salons (in New York, LA, and elsewhere), answers a couple of questions about spring color trends.

What color trends do you see for the spring?

I’ve been doing a lot of “baby” blondes recently in preparation for spring.  Women bring in pictures of their children to mimic that irregular, beautiful color they have. Everyone loves going lighter with her color in the summer– it seems more natural and looks like you’ve been spending time outside. Besides blondes, pastels are going to be a huge trend for spring.  Whether all-over color, highlights or ombre – you’ll be seeing a lot of ‘unnatural’ color in the spring/summer months.

What suggestions do you have for women who do their own color at home?

I would encourage doing a test patch on your hair before committing to the color all over.  The picture on the box is never 100% accurate and it’s hard to tell how a color will look with your complexion or how your current color will react. In terms of brands, L’Oreal Paris is classic and has the best formulas I’ve seen.

Spring welcomes some of the new products below:

The Body Building Collection from Phillip Kingsley provides hair with volume, bounce, and shine.  The Phillip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo is ideal for fine or lightweight fly away hair, and the Phillip Kingsley Body Building Conditioner is a lightweight conditioner that adds volume and reduces static.  The Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defense is an anti-breakage, heat protecting conditioning spray and the Phillip Kingsley Maximizer prolongs the life of color treatments.  (Available at

Bigen is no longer Japan’s best-kept secret.  Their new hair treatment line features naturally derived ingredients from botanical sources.  The line includes the Bigen Protect & Repair Shampoo, Deep Conditioner, Sheen Spray, and Polishing Serum.  (Available at

Celebrity hair stylist Umberto has launched U Color by Umberto, a line of foolproof professional color.  The one-step Sachet Packet System of Color, Developer, and Equalizer comes ready to use making the system quick and easy.  (Availble at

The L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Txt It Deconstructing Gum is an ultra-pliable gum that can be used to create a sculpted braid.  With its elastic texture, hair is easily shaped and reshaped.  (Available at drug stores)

The Alterna Bamboo Volume: 2-in-1 Volumizer is a versatile, all-in-one volumizing styler that can be used on wet or dry hair to achieve buildable volume.  The rich formula includes Organic Bamboo Extract and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic color, petrolatum.  (Available at

Speed through security with the TSA approved OGX Travel and Trial Collection.  The line is an affordable line includes Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner, Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil, and others.  (Available at drug stores)

Ouidad’s new Superfruit Renewal Clarifiying Cream Shampoo is a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser that removes product build up without stripping hair.  It’s infused with concentrated superfruit acids such as acai, blueberry, cranberry, papaya, and pomegranate.  (Available at

AG Hair Beach Bomb creates bombshell-worthy waves that are natural and full of texture.  The lightweight, alcohol-free cream is infused with keratin protein and silk amino acids to condition and keep hair healthy.  (Available at  Click here for a tutorial on AG Hair Beach Bomb Waves.

lasering in on boston’s best skincare

Non-invasive laser treatments are a tried and true method gaining more and more momentum.  Newer technologies can help diminish signs of aging, acne scars, dry skin, and other skin conditions that drive you crazy!

American Laser Skincare is the largest non-invasive skincare company in the nation.  They have recently announced that select clinics in the Boston area will be the first in the country to trial this latest skincare technology.

Locations in Peabody, Worcester, Braintree and Boston (Newbury Street) are now testing the cutting-edge Palomar Icon®  and Envy SilkPeel® skincare systems. The Palomar Icon is a state-of-the-art laser and light technology that is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including hyperpigmentation, scars and wrinkles. The Envy SilkPeel is a microdermabrasion technology that removes the top layer of skin while simultaneously infusing the skin with a potent topical serum to treat acne, dry skin, stretch marks and signs of aging.

I asked Chief Medical Director Dr. Paul Flashner about the Palomar Icon Aesthetic System and Skintel Melanin Reader and how they work to improve skin for both face and body:
“The Palomar Icon™ Aesthetic System is the next generation of platform technology, with high peak powers, state of the art internal cooling, built in calibration, and the Skintel™ reader – the only FDA-cleared melanin reader to help adjust equipment settings based on the specific skin type of the patient.
The Palomar Icon platform uses multiple hand pieces combining both optimized light and laser technology to treat various skin conditions on the face and the body.  The Palomar Icon delivers higher total energies with much greater specificity than any other platform technology available.  By doing so, it delivers the best clinical efficacy and outcomes that can be achieved using non-invasive light and laser technology and does it with the greatest safety.

We are currently field testing three hand pieces in Boston-area American Laser Skincare locations; the MaxGTM, the MaxYsTM and the 1540 fractional laser:

  • The MaxG hand piece uses Smooth Pulse optimized light technology (proprietary to Palomar) to treat facial vascular lesions including facial telangiectasia (spider veins), pigmented lesions, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, rosacea, and facial acne, and can improve skin tone and texture.  This Smooth Pulse technology allows for much greater delivery of energy (more than twice that of comparable intense pulsed light systems).
  • The MaxYs hand piece is designed to treat pigmented lesions on the body, using similar technology to the MaxG.  It is most commonly used to treat sun damage on the chest, shoulders, back and hands and smaller more difficult to reach areas.
  • The 1540 fractional non-ablative hand piece allows for significant penetration of fractionated laser energy to greater depths (as much as 2000 microns) while at the same time sparing the superficial layers of the skin.  This procedure is often referred to as fractional non-ablative resurfacing.  This treatment can be used safely on every skin type from the lightest skin types (fair skin) to the darkest skin types (skin of color).  It is highly effective in treating and combating the signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles, helps to address volume loss in the face by stimulating collagen production, and improves overall skin tone and texture.  Because of the significant depths of penetration and higher energy delivery that is achieved with the 1540 hand piece it is also highly effective in treating acne scaring as well as surgical and traumatic scars.  The Icon 1540 hand piece is the only FDA approved device for the treatment of stretch marks and does so in a highly effective manner.

Built internal cooling allows the most powerful platform laser treatments to be delivered with the greatest patient comfort and safety.”

He also describes how the SilkPeel treatment differs from past microdermabrasion technologies:

“The term microdermabrasion covers a range of mechanical skin resurfacing procedures.  These include the traditional approach of using sand or aluminum particles to remove the superficial layer of the skin.  It also includes the use of abrasive tips, fibrous pads or brushes to give the skin a “polished” feel.

Envy Medical’s SilkPeel® DermalinfusionTM is not a replacement for microdermabrasion, but is a uniquely advanced technology that incorporates a form of microdermabrasion as part of its process to accomplish much more.  It is a medically therapeutic treatment that gives the same benefits as a microdermabrasion, and because of its proprietary dermalinfusion technology, infuses one of several different types of serums directly into the skin without pain or discomfort.

  • One of these serums is Lumixyl (a peptide that blocks melanin production and is highly effective in the treatment of hyperpigmentation).  Lumixyl is 17x more potent that Hydroquinone in blocking melanin production.
  • The SilkPeel Dermalinfusion system also offers a highly effective non-pharmacologic treatment for active acne when used with its ClarityMDTM infusion solution.
  • SilkPeel Dermalinfusion is gentle enough to be used as a highly effective treatment for Rosacea.
  • Additionally, the SilkPeel Dermalinfusion system can be used with Hyaluronic acid solutions for infusion which hydrate the skin and combat fine lines and wrinkles.
  • It can be used with Vitamin C infusion as an overall anti-aging treatment.
  • The SilkPeel system can also be used to treat acne scarring, stretch marks and surgical scars.  It can be used to treat all these conditions not only on the face but also on the body.”

Newbury Street Clinic Manager Katie Sheehan talks about one of their most popular treatments:

“Our most popular treatment is and has always been laser hair removal. With the addition of the Gentle Max Pro in early 2013, we have been able to provide both men and women with hair free bodies! The GMP as we refer to it is the gold standard equipment in successful laser hair removal treatments. As a company we have performed over 11 million treatments and have really been able to change peoples lives with this treatment. The GMP allows us to perform very safe, effective and virtually pain free hair removal treatments on all body areas for men and women alike. The other really awesome feature the GMP is equipped with is the ability to safely and effectively treat all skin types, which is an advancement in technology that has really been huge for us. So whether it be stubborn facial hair for a woman or unsightly back hair on a man, at American laser Skincare we are able to provide all of our clients with the hair free solution they are looking for.”

Finally, Jessica Salerno, L.E., gives her opinion on her favorite treatments:

“My favorite treatments are the skin rejuvenation treatments we offer here at American Laser Skincare.  Microdermabrasion is a very popular treatment.  The exfoliation you get from the microdermabrasion buffs away dry dead skin leaving your skin feeling super smooth.  Our Skin Medica Peels are retinol based and work great for people who are looking for a quick anti-aging treatment to help boost collagen and even out skin tone. You will see noticeable improvements after just one peel and even better results when done in a series. Our Silk Peel Dermalinfusion treatment leaves your skin feeling freshly clean and smooth. We use different types of solutions for different skin concerns at the time of your appointment.  The silk peel dermalinfusion exfoliates your skin while infusing a specialized solutions into your skin, the results you can expect from these treatments are truly remarkable and can be performed on all skin types.”

Check them out at American Laser Skincare.  Or, call the Boston Newbury Street location at 617-419-3273, Worcester at 508-756-0400, Peabody at 978-854-0002, and Braintree at 781-843-0800.

earth day 2014

Each year, spring’s new growth reminds us to be kinder to our Mother Earth.  In celebration of Earth Day we take a look at little ways we can make a difference, even with our beauty choices.

Avalon Organics’ commitment to organic agriculture includes personal care formulation and a passion for home grown sustainability, cleaner environment, and personal health.   Director of Marketing Sarah Galusha discusses the philosophy of the brand.

What does Earth Day mean to Avalon Organics and the company philosophy year-round?

  • Earth Day is great for building awareness of environmental issues, but we live this philosophy year round.  It’s in everything that we do. Avalon Organics has sustainable packaging initiatives- we have switched a large portion of our bottles to 100% PCR, our unit cartons are made from sustainably sourced FSC fiber, constantly working on more sustainable packaging initiatives including several that we will transition later this year. Additionally, a majority of our products are confirmed biodegradability and this claim will be added to all of our packaging and there are no petroleum-derived ingredients in our products because petroleum is a non-renewable resource. We don’t just do all of this because it is better for you, we do it because it is better for the earth.

You’re NSF/ANSI 305 Standard certified, please explain.

  • Unlike organic foods and beverages, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not created specific organic standards for formulating and labeling personal care products that contain organic ingredients. NSF/ANSI 305, the American National Standard specific to personal care products that contain organic ingredients, has established the materials, processes, production criteria and conditions that must be met in order for a brand to call itself organic. Under this standard, all personal care products with “contains organic ingredients” marketing claims or the use of “Organic” in the brand name, must contain a minimum organic content of 70 percent. Avalon Organics® brand was in development for several years to meet the NSF/ANSI 305 standard. Now all Avalon Organics® products contain at least 70 percent organic content; all ingredients are approved by NSF International; and the labeling has been updated. The new and improved products are on shelves across the United States today. All products are free of Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Petrolatum, Artificial Colors and Phthalates.

Which Avalon Organic products would you recommend to someone who is new to the brand?

  • Our best-selling hair and body products are our lavender products:  Nourishing Lavender Shampoo & Conditioner, Lavender Bath & Shower Gel, Lavender Hand & Body Lotion.  Our best-selling facial skincare line is Vitamin C Renewal (top sellers for the franchise:  Refreshing Facial Cleanser, Vitality Facial Serum, Renewal Cream).  Pick them up at Whole Foods, Target, or

Other earth-friendly brands join in with new and current products:

Alba Botanica Good & Healthy Range is a new line of facial moisturizers developed for different skin types.  The Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture is for normal to oily skin, Oil-Free Radiance Cream is for normal to dry or sensitive skin, Tinted Perfector is for combination skin, and SPF 15 Moisturizer is for daily sun protection.  All are free of Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Petrolatum, Artificial Colors and Phthalates.  (Available at

The AHAVA Natural Dead Sea Mud is black mineral mud harvested from the banks of the Dead Sea.  Captured within is an extremely high concentration of minerals to absorb excess oil and remove dead skin cells from the body.  The treatment can be heated to help relieve stress and muscle aches.  It’s Eco-Certified.  (Available at

The Alterna CAVIAR: Omega (+) Nourishing Oil is an anti-aging treatment for dry, dull hair.  It’s free of Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Synthetic Color, Paraffins, Gluten, DEA/TEA, Phthalates, Mineral Oil & Petrolatum.  (Available at

H2O works with Earth Echo International as one of their charity partners.  The H2O Plus face Oasis Mist is a convenient facial spray ideal for conserving water.  The oil-free hydration is enriched with sea-sourced Vitamins A, C, E, and Provitamin B.  (Available at

Conserve water with the L’Oréal Paris EverStyle Texture Series Energizing Dry Shampoo.  It diffuses a formula with micronized minerals that instantly absorb excess oil and odor, ultimately extending the life of one’s hairstyle with a virtually undetected formula.  (Available at drug stores)

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Conditioner Spray is the perfect complement to any dry shampoo. Delivered in a weightless, ultra-fine mist, the spray features a combination of oils, emollients and vitamins that work synergistically to detangle, soften and polish the hair – no wash needed. Its creamy citrus fragrance neutralizes odors, while sunflower oil nourishes hair, hydrolyzed keratin seals the cuticle, and Vitamin B5 prevents future knots.  (Available at

The Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar cleans deeply without stripping skin’s natural oils.  The iconic black bar, featuring minerals from the Dead Sea, is made of 97% natural ingredients. (Available at

Sprinkle Matrix Design Pulse Mega Dust at the roots for an instant boost. Absorb oil and grease, preserve a second day blowout and create messy texture on those not-so-good hair days. Mega Dust offers lightweight texture separation and control, plus natural movement. The featherweight powder dissolves into hair instantly and won’t build up or clump. (For a salon locator visit

The JĀSÖN brand announces their new Gluten Free Face, Hair and Body Collection.  It’s free of Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, Petrolatum, Artificial Colors and Phthalates.  The extensive line includes the Gulten Free Facial Cleanser, Facial Scrub, Facial Lotion, Facial Crème, Daily Shampoo, Daily Conditioner, Body Wash, Hand Soap, and Hand & Body Lotion.  (Available at

The Urban Decay B6 Complexion Prep Spray is a great way to conserve water.  The advanced formula contains the first-ever stabilized, liquid form of vitamin B6 which absorbs oil, minimizes pores, and softens skin.  (Available at

Kiehl’s Since 1851 celebrate their fourth Earth Day campaign with Recycle Across America, whose mission is to introduce solutions that make recycling more simple, comprehensive, and effective. Kiehl’s presents the Kiehl’s Limited Edition Label Art series with socially responsible celebrity partners.  This year’s partners, actress/animal activist/environmentalist Ashely Judd and actor/environmentalist Anthony Mackie, designed the label art for the Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque.  100% of proceeds benefit Recycle Across America.  (Available at

The Fat Hair “0” Calories Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner help transform limp hair into thicker, stronger, fuller hair.  The vegan, sulfate-free formula is designed with a blend of natural extracts and proteins.  (Available at Walgreens)

Weleda is well know for their sustainability and fair trade principles.  On top of that, they’re pioneers of 100% certified-natural skincare.  All Weleda products are certified natural by NaTrue’s strict guidelines.  The new Oat Replenishing Hair Care Collection includes Oat Replenishing Shampoo, Oat Replenishing Conditioner, and Oat Replenishing Treatment—all infused with natural coconut oil, organic oat extract, and jojoba seed oil.  The new Wild Rose Facial Smoothing Capsules deliver nutrients into skin to soften fine lines, improve elasticity, and restore vitality.  (Available at

The WetBrush is eco-friendly in every sense of the word.  The brush is made of bamboo (a sustainable and natural material), its also cruelty-free, dye-free and its packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and printed with soy ink.  The WetBrush is committed to improving the quality of life in impoverished communities across the globe and have teamed up with charity:water.  The brush works well on wet or dry hair (and extensions and wigs) and detangles painlessly.  (Available at

Jamaica’s natural beauty was the inspiration behind isola, a line of all-natural body scrubs, lotions, and candles.  They’re free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, and GMOs.  Jamaican Coffee & Sugar Scrubs are available in Vanilla Latte and Lemongrass Island Blen, Isola Sea Salt Scrubs are available in Coconut Kiwi (new!), Coconut Grapefruit, and Vanilla Orange.  Moisturize post-scrub with isola’s Vanilla and Coconut lotion.  The Soy Candle Collection features 100% non-toxic soy wax candles with pure cotton wicks and is available in seven scents.  (Available at

L’Occitane celebrate Earth Day year-round with their Eco-refill bottles so customers can refill without purchasing additional packaging.  In addition, for Earth Day 2014, L’Occitane is offering 50% off a product refill when customers purchase the accompanying full size product throughout the month of April.  (Available at

brushes with greatness

Make Up For Ever recently launched their Artisan Brush Collection.  76 brushes in all!  The extensive set includes everyday ‘must-haves’ to highly customized tools to create the most intricate artistic effects.  Talia Cich, Make Up For Ever Artistic Tools & Curriculum Developer and Lijha Stewart, Director of Education and Artistry take us on a tour of a select few.

For eyes:

Fine Corrector Brush/#170: This is ideal for precise application of spot concealing or highlighting.  You will also love this brush for defined work on the eyes.

Precision Smudger Brush, Small/#202: Great for smudging eyeliner on top and bottom.  Delivers a very precise application.

Round Shader Brush, Small/#210: Its density is great for a specific area like the lash line or eye lid.  A must for smoky eyes!

Extra Fine Eyeliner Brush/#250: Firm brush for applying clean eyeliner with liquids or creams.

Shader Brush, Medium/#226: This is a do anything Brush. It’s shape is flat and firm which makes it multifunctional, so you can use it all over the eyes to apply eye shadow. I also love it for concealer application.

For face:

Precision Foundation Brush, Medium/#112:  Large size brush for generous application.  Great for applying foundation and achieving an airbrushed finish by buffing into the skin.

Precision Powder Brush/#128: Tapered shape is great for accurate application.  Love this brush to set makeup using either pressed or loose powders by pressing it into the skin.

Precision Highlighter Brush/#144:  Multi-purpose brush that works great for highlighting, concealing, and sculpting.  The size is perfect for spot concealing under eyes, and fits perfectly on the upper cheek plane.

Highlighter Brush, Medium/#152: Larger sized brush that is great for highlighting and applying blush.  The round shape makes it ideal for versatility with powders and creams.  Also, this is a great foundation brush!

Double-Ended Sculpting Brush/#158: This brush is wonderful because you get two for the price of one. The slanted side is great for sculpting and highlighting. The domed side is perfect for powder and blush application.

For lips:

Lip Brush/#300: This lip brush has a blunt square head to line the contour of the lip. The flat side is great for filling in the lip with any type of product. Its flexibility allows the brush to easily blend lip pencils, giving precise definition.

Lip Brush with Cap/#304: Its rounded shape is great for quick and clean lip application.  Metal cap makes it perfect for travel and hygiene.

Check out more here at the Make Up For Ever site.

Pick up any of the brushes at

day to night

Amanda Gabbard, beauty and makeup specialist at the Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York, gives us suggestions for transitioning from the office day look to evening glam.

“No need to bring 12 more products in your purse to switch from your day look to an evening on the town. All you need is the same eyeliner you used in the morning, a small duo eye shadow, face powder and lipstick or gloss.”

Amanda’s three easy steps to transition from day to night:

  1. First, apply a darker, more dramatic line on the top lash line with an additional wing tip at the end for fun flair. You can also line the lower inner water rim for added nighttime drama.
  2. Second, use a small duo eye shadow (one with dark and light shades) to create a smokey eye using the darker shade in the lid’s crease and the lighter color for highlight under the brow and along the inner corner of the eye. Easily used for multiple purposes, you can even take your finger and swipe a bit of the lighter shade on the upper cheekbone for shimmer!
  3. Last, use a skin-tone matching powder all over the face and a swipe a colorful gloss or lipstick on the lips to bump up the look.

Check out some newbies out there to help kick it up for your nighttime festivities:

jane iredale’s Chocoholicks is a compact with four deep shades to create sultry night looks and is housed in a slim palette for easy portability.  The glossy shades provide a delicious array of options for your lips.  (Available at

CARGO’s Water Resistant Blush delivers a non-shiny glow.  The silky texture layers easily for added intensity as you gear up for a night out. (Available at

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Extraordinaire Liquid Lipcolour delivers a smooth surface and rich color.  It’s available in sixteen shades from nudes to bright shades, all high shine.  (Available at drugstores)

A Fantasy of Flowers, from MAC, is one of their new spring 2014 lines.  For eyes, the Mineralize Eye Shadow features four frosty coordinating colors.  Layer Cremesheen Glass over lipstick or use it alone, all three are flower-inspired shades.  (Available at

The new NARS Matte Multiple is one stop shopping in one product.  The multipurpose makeup stick for lips and cheeks may be used wet or dry.  Use it dry for a burst of high-impact color, use wet for a smooth, sheer finish.  (Available at