Peridot– The Birthstone of August

PeridotGreen and crystelline, peridot is reputed to protect wearers against nightmares, and bring both  power and  influence  All good news, but peridot is also fabulous for its glorious yet affordable  glorious color.  Peridot ranges from pale green to deep olive and was often used in crowns as faux emeralds.   At $35/carat it delievers  the green of  uber precious emeralds for a fraction of the price (  FYI one carat of Columbian emeralds clock in at $700).

Most  peridot comes from Arizona, but there are also  good  supplies  from China and Pakistan.   It is also one of those rare jewels( like pearls) that is flattering for practically any skin, eye and hair combinations.  While  it is used  in  bracelets and pins, it really comes into its own in a pair of earrings.  if … Continue Reading…

Question: How Can Good Products Produce Bad Results?

Question on PeelsQuestion:   I’ve been using  a 1% retinol serum, 15% vitamin C serum for my face and another 5% vitamin c serum for my eyes for two weeks and now my skin  is a mess!  It’s red, peeling, super dry and  wrinkled.  It even hurts   when I wash my face and put on sunscreen.   I’m so scared and don’t know what to do.

Answer:   These are  strong and genuinely  effective  formulations, but you overdid it a bit.  According to the wizard of Park Avenue, Dr Albert Lefkovits, stop using all  current products.  He recommends soothing the skin  with a milk compress.  Soak a  man’s hankerchief  in a mixture of   1/4 cup milk and 1/4 room temperature  cup water, wring it out  a bit and apply it to  face and neck.  Wash your face with a  super gentle cleanser like Cetaphil … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week my favorite fashionista Diva Debbi  is hosting  Fashion Flash.  There  is  reason that she has more than 12,000 Polyvore followers.  Her eye  for color , shape and texture  comes through in her  amazing style posts.  With fall  hard upon us, I can’t  wait to see what she  has created for  colder weather.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Dropping Acid– the Reflux Diet  Cookbook and Cure

My BFF from college never smoked, but when she turned 50, Annie  developed a chronic cough  that never  went away.  A non-smoker  she has tried the usual medications for asthma,  but nothing  really seemed to work.  When she asked my pulmonologist  husband  for help, he suggested she … Continue Reading…

Skin Care Expert to the Stars

Skin care expert Gayelord HauserI first “met”  skin  and heath care expert Dr Gayelord Hauser  in a dusty junk shop where I picked up a copy of his 1951 best seller, Treasury of Secrets.  His clear  writing and positive attitude was addicting   and I  trolled old bookstores to find his other  out of print books.  ( This was before Amazon, way before).

Dashingly handsome, Dr Hauser was a European nutritionist who Hauser skin care client the Duchess of Windsor promoted the idea of “living foods”– unprocessed  fruits, vegetables,  low fat dairy  and  even  meat.   He was certainly not the first natural health guru.  There have been self-styled  diet experts  who  recommended a wide range of  supplements, magic foods, and exercise programs  and equipment.  But Hauser was the first  who made the link between  a … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Jodell of Black Cat Plus is  hosting Fashion Flash. This terriffic plus size  site is living proof that style has no size.  I love  how Jodell  explains  how to  enjoy   top trends at any shape and age.  Jodell is also  a committed  activist against fat  shaming and discrimination and I am so proud to  know and work with her.

Fashion Flash beauty IconFashion Flash Beauty Icons

This week I got an invitation from HSN  to join their “Skinspiration” discussion that explored the beauty icons that ifluenced me.  I have so many that it  is  hard to pick just one. I love the style and highlights of Jennifer Aniston’s hair.  I admire  her casual All-American style during the day and  her … Continue Reading…

Skin Care From Shark Tank– How Cool is That?

RIght now I have two top  passions–  honest skin care and   watching Shark Tank every Friday night.  For those  who may  not yet  be addicted, Shark Tank is a competition where  aspiring entrepreneurs seek to partner with self-made  billionnaires like  Mark Cuban ( Yahoo, owner of Dallas Maverick’s)  Barbara Corcoran ( real estate magnate ) and  Daymond John ( brilliant founder of Fubu fashions).  I usually find  competition shows banal and  mean inspirited, but each week I am blown away by the originality and intelligence  of these uber successful moguls.

When I discovered that three  Shark Tank winners    were exhibiting  their products at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas it felt like the mothership was calling  me  home.  While there are literally  hundreds of new products  at  this  international beauty show, the  Shark Tank products were truely unique:

Skin Care on Shark Tank1.  Simple Sugars  is … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

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Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Cindy of Prime Beauty is hosting Fashion Flash.Before I discovered Prime Beauty I had boxes of lipsticks,  foundations, bronzers,  and mascaras that failed to deliver  for me.  This site  changed my failure/success rate with new make-up choices.  Cindy does the heavy lifting, testing each one  and providing in-depth analysis of  fragrance, texture and color. The ads promise so  much that its easy to get drawn in. Prime Beauty gives  me  much better info to make good  beauty purchase decisions.

Fashion FLash Book Review: Cuisine SanteFashion Flash Book Review: Cuisine Sante by Christopher Buey

I recently reviewed  Afro Vegan by Bryant Terry which offered meat-free versions  of  African and  Carribean cuisine.  It beautifully captured the flavors  of the original cuisine but  with a fraction of the fat and calories.  I  wondered if there was  an equivalent  book that did the same for traditional french recipes.  When I had tried  myself to  simply to cut back on the butter,  cream, bacon and salt  on french cookbooks,  the meals  just didn’t taste French. When I found Cuisine Sante in a quirky  second hand book store  in  upstate New York,  I was inspired to try again.

The book genuinely drills down into the subject.  It  starts with clear, well illustrated  photos  for techniques like filleting a fish, boning a chicken and prepping  vegetables  in traditional  french style.  It  offers recipes  for  stocks with full flavor yet  lower sodium levels by compensating with additional seasoings like ginger and mushrooms.   For creamy dishes, Cuisine Sante substitues Greek yogurt for heavy cream and  exchanges  olive oil for butter in braised  dishes.  I love  carot soup  but it usually is packed with butter and  cream.    I love a  true rich quiche but  the  fat and  calorie   count is truely scary. I’ve tried making a low fat version but  they were watery and bland.   The  Cuisine Sante version  cuts calories by “sauteing”  the onions in a mixture of wine and thyme until lightly carmelized and mixing a bit of  cream with skin milk for the custard.  The result?  Even better than the original.

I  wish that  Cuisine Sante  provided nutritional breakdown of their recipes. Cuisine Sante does not consider their recipes diet food, but  healthier versions  of beloved french meals, but I really like to know what I am eating.  Some of the recipes are time  consuming and others are technically challenging.  But   there are  many  simple  yet hearty   dishes like glazed  pork loin,  ratatouille, “creamy” carrot soup which allow me to both eat  French and wear French.

 

 

If sunscreens are so good, why do they make my skin breakout?

Question and Answer logoQuestion:  Sunscreens are always the last  step of your  treatment plans.  I hear what you are saying, but sunscreens  make  my skin breakout– and I’m 34!  And if I spend  time in the sun, my  skin  actually clears up and looks geat.   Could I be allergic  to sunscreens?

Answer:  I hear you too!.  For years  I found that sunscreens didn’t  so much  prevent  a sunburn as they triggered  more breakouts.  Turned out that many sunscreens  contain ingredients that provoke acne.  Most contain oils, waxes,  and polymers that clog pores.  Others have chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and homosalate that are irritants– and over  age 30 acne is often provoked by inflammation rather than excess oils.  To get the benefits of a sunscreen without  problems,  look  for oil free  physical sunscreens  formulated with zinc oxide or titanium oxide.  Mineal based  powdered … Continue Reading…