Monthly Archives: May 2013

Before and After: Temptu s/b Airbrush Makeup

So here is a cute before and after of some airbrushing I did this weekend for a wedding.

This is using TEMPTU Silicone-Based Makeup and a small, relatively inexpensive compressor.  My fabulous makeup artist friend Jennifer Johnson schooled me on basics a while back, and suggested TEMPTU to start my airbrush kit. I’ve been playing around with it for a while and I think I’m in love!

This cutie-pahtootie didn't need too much help...

This cutie-pahtootie didn’t need too much help…


Gorgeous, Dahling!!!

Gorgeous, Dahling!!!

After Airbrush 2

As you can see, she has beautiful skin and gorgeous features anyway, so she could make any makeup artist look good… but I LOVE the dewy (yet not greasy or shiny) consistency of the s/b makeup, and it wears like a champ!

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Fabulous Lashes without Batting an Eye?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Latisse lately, so I thought I’d throw something together with my personal tips and some official information, too!

1)   Latisse rocks, but it’s $$$: Here’s a video of how I like to store and use my disposable brushes so you can get more use out of each package. This is considered off-label, meaning it’s not necessarily the way the product is labeled for use- so always do what your doctor or skincare professional recommends!

Click on the image to see the you-tube vid!

Click on the image to see my you-tube vid!

2)   Let’s not get Crazy: I’ve heard of patients using a makeup brush to apply the product… I would NOT recommend this, as Latisse does not have a preservative in it. Hygiene is of course very important, especially with the eye-area, so stick with the disposables for sure.

3)   Night Owl: Only use Latisse at night, with your contacts out and makeup off. Contacts can actually absorb the product, so be sure not to cut corners here. Apply your eye products and treatment creams first, and Latisse will be the very last step.

4)   Browing out: An off-label use of Latisse is applying it to the eyebrows. I did that once for a period of time to experiment, and found that it would not grow hair where there wasn’t hair already, but that it did make individual brow hairs a bit darker and longer, too, contributing to a bit of a fuller effect.

5)   Changing Eye Color?!?: I think when patients hear this, they freak out and think their blue eyes could turn brown and vice versa- thankfully this is not the case.  To summarize, when Allergan did a 5000 patient study of the Lumigan version of this product (used IN the eye) for the treatment of glaucoma, there was a small percentage of people with hazel eyes that had darkening of the gold-flecks in their eye. This change was found to be lasting. If you have hazel eyes, consider if that would bother you, as it could be a risk… important to consider that it was only happening to a small % of the people using the solution IN the eye, like an eye-drop, which we are NOT doing with Latisse. Other eye colors have not been found to change or darken.

6)   No biggie?: There is a chance that you can get darkening of the lash line where you apply the Latisse, since it’s increasing melanin (and making your lashes darker!) it happened to me, but the trade-off for awesome lashes is just fine with me. It’s kind of a light pink, so it covers easily with a light shadow/I don’t even really notice it. Some of our patients who already have dark eye areas think twice about using Latisse. Thankfully, when you stop using it, it goes away… so no biggie if you ask me.

7)   Keep the Faith:  Latisse can take up to 16 weeks for full results… this is because when you first start using it, its treating the lashes that haven’t grown in yet. So, it can be hard to use a product every night when you don’t see much happening, but Latisse WORKS, so keep up the good work, and hang in there for fabulous lashes!

Here’s a link to Allergan’s Latisse page, please read up for full Rx info and more official business!

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Product Review: Obagi Medical’s Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration: Obagis HYDRATE

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

“Hydromanil technology” delivers moisture in a 2 Part Action.

Part 1: There are Hydromanil matrix molecules that stay on the surface of the skin to reduce LOSS of moisture.

Part 2: A water-bearing 3D matrix captures and hold on to water within the skin, continuously releasing moisturizing compounds, increasing moisture for at least 8 hours after you put it on.

Appropriate for who?:

It’s designed for every skin type, and I would agree with that after using it.

It’s got a medium consistency that would please a dryer skin-type, but it dries mostly matte and does not feel heavy or look greasy, which oilier types would love. It is mild enough that I would recommend it to people who are post- chemical peel or using retinoids (or other treatment products) that could compromise the skin too!

Here's what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?

Here’s what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part): It didn’t make me break out (Just look at me wrong and I’ll break out!) but I really feel that it improved my dry skin.  I’m also not seeing an increase in pore congestion or any indicators of build-up. There is no scent, so I didn’t have to decide if I liked the smell or not. (no fragrance also usually means non-sensitizing and non-irritating, which is a score!)

Just OK: I suppose the packaging could be splashier? That’s getting picky though.

Needs work: Nothing!

Star Rating: 4 STARS!! ★★★★

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Misc Notes/Other Need-to-Know’s:

It’s Non-comedogenic and allergy-tested. Obagi says that there is a 51% improvement in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) after 8 hours, and a 92% improvement in moisture content of the skin within 2 hours.

I would definitely buy that, since their clinical studies were performed using a Tewameter ® (funny name!) and a Corneometer… this wasn’t an interview of 3 of your best friends who thought they liked it (‘3 out of 4 women agree’)!

They used a Tewameter... yup, it's a real thing. :)

They used a Tewameter… yup, it’s a real thing. :)


The consistency is medium... not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

The consistency is medium… not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

Good work Obagi… I will be recommending this one for sure. 

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5 Things to AVOID after a Chemical Peel Treatment

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This is one of my favorite Birthday Cards ever!

Despite some really awesome (in my opinion!) post-care instruction sheets,  every once in a while we’ll get a phone call from a post-peel patient in distress. These clients, no matter how aesthetically-seasoned, occasionally forget the warnings of their providers, or maybe could have underestimated some post-peel sensitivity (maybe just a bit.) Here are 5 things to surely avoid that are sometimes forgotten in the days after a chemical peel:

(-and please always follow the instructions given to you by your skincare office-)

1) Over-moisturizing:

If you over-moisturize, you can make the peeling skin too soft, which can  cause it to come off before it’s ready. This can leave the fresh, baby-like skin underneath exposed and possibly compromised. An additional disadvantage of over-moisturizing includes possibly s-l-o-w-i-n-g the peeling stage… and if you’ve ever had a peel, you know that nobody wants that!! Use just enough moisturizer to make you feel comfortable.

2) Hair-removal:

This includes laser-hair removal on any peeled area (you’ll want to follow your skin-care office’s specific instructions, but I wouldn’t treat someone with laser for at least 10-14 days).  Waxing and shaving are also off-limits because they can remove the skin, so be sure to avoid both. If you have to, simply tweeze.

3) Picking!!:

This one is easier said than done FOR SURE. Its hard not to pick off any little flakes that might be staring back at you in the mirror. But, try to remember that the flakey dead statum-corneum is actually protecting skin that isn’t necessarily ready to be exposed yet. So, even though its annoying…hands off!

4) Excessive Sweating:

Depending on the strength of the treatment, some peels will cause the top layer of skin to get crispy or tight like a thin plastic-wrap… and this could trap sweat underneath the skin. A little bit usually doesn’t cause an issue, but if you visit your usual hot yoga class, you might end up looking like a freshly waxed car after a rain.  Sweat gets trapped under the skin and forms little pockets that look just like those little beads of water… but these droplets don’t wipe off… Yikes!

If this happens, don’t panic- they only look alarming, and aren’t harmful. Give your skin care expert a call and ask how they recommend handling it.

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Yup, it kinda looks like this…

  5) Vacation-Related Activities:

You’ll want to avoid several activities that I like to classify under: ‘Things you’d likely do on Vacay’. These things include Sun Exposure, Swimming (keeping skin wet for extended periods of time AND Chlorine) and having treatments like Facials.- yes, even the ‘natural’ ones.

Remember that we want to treat the skin as if it’s very sensitive in the days after a peel, even if it feels or looks normal. Folllow your provider’s recommendations for post-care and continued treatments, and play it safe with products, sun, and picking, even if it’s tough. Your skin will thank you!!!

Here’s a great link to a super-compliant, 5 Star non-picker friend who’s documented her experience: check it out!

And always be sure to play by the rules for less irritation and great results from your exfoliation!

Happy Peeling!

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La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water… for all kinds of hotness!

Drug-Store Shout Out!

Thought I’d share one of my faves for comforting the skin post-laser, post-chemical peel, or to refresh and cool when you are just feeling HOT! (Although we know you’re always hot! :))
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, seen here for $13.
We used to carry this at the plastic surgery institute I worked for. We loved it! The company tells us that it has a pretty neutral pH, (great as a toner) and it’s rich in Selenium, which is to help skin heal faster! Pick it up the next time you’re in need… saw this at Walgreens.

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Practice Safe Sun: Faux Tanning

I just got home from the fabulous Cosmos Beauty Bar, the home of  -you guessed it- Cosmopolitans (and wine, and coffee, and martinis!) AND simultaneous high-quality beauty treatments by amazing professionals. This cutie pie place is located conveniently in my neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago, and offers spray tans, waxing, and all kinds of fabulous nail services. Although I did not happen to imbibe today, I did indulge in a pedi and a spray tan… which got me thinking about spray tans, how they work, and why they rock.

Don't look TOO close... but these runner's feet have been polished to the maximum extent of cute at Cosmos.

Don’t look TOO close… but these runner’s feet have been polished to the maximum extent of cute at Cosmos.

It seems that the first ‘fake tan’ was available around 1960, when Coppertone® came out with the first sunless-tanning product — QT® or Quick Tanning Lotion. I understand that this was an orange-nightmare of sorts. Yikes.

Anyway, things have come a long way since then, and there are all kinds of formulations and application methods to suit your fancy. The ones that I have the most experience with are DHA self-tanners. DHA is actually a type of sugar. Who knew?

According to the FDA’s website: “One commonly used ingredient in these products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the skin’s surface”

If you are having a spray tan, or spraying yourself (with a tan in a can), a fine mist of product containing DHA (Dihydroxyacetone) blankets the skin lightly. Lotion products also contain DHA. It turns out that DHA does not produce the same melanin as a “real tan” (by stimulating melanin levels), but it does create the look of a tan appearance by turning the upper layers of the skin brown. DHA activity only takes place in the upper layer of the skin (epidermis) as amino acid proteins and epidermis skin cells mingle and party.

Dihydroxyacetone parties with epidermal skin cells: "Epi-DAMN, girl! Let's Mingle!" (yes, I drew this!)

Dihydroxyacetone parties with epidermal skin cells: “Epi-DAMN, girl! Let’s Mingle!” (yes, I drew this!)

Typically, color develops somewhere between 2 – 24 hours from the application and the intensity is depends on how much DHA in the product. More DHA=More Brown.

If you’re having an “airbrush” tan, or a spray tan applied by an individual, it usually means that you’ll be in your undies in front of a stranger… but really, there’s nothing they haven’t seen… so try not to worry about it. It’s less than 10 minutes, and the result is AWESOME, custom, and usually really dang perfect.

If you go to an LA Tan, or similar tanning boutique, they will also offer a spray tan or UV-Free tan via a booth. This is more private, usually a bit cheaper, but not as flawless as the airbrush. Oh, and it feels fumy! I try to hold my breath as much as I can, but I’m sure the poor employee on staff does not want to find me passed out in there… so I do feel like I end up breathing some of it in- just a bit worrisome for me, but it’s still GOTTA be safer than UV tanning, so I’m still doing it. Take that, tanning beds!

If you’re a DIY-type, here are a few of my favorite at home self-tan products:

Playboy (yes, they have tanners!) Glitz Celebrity Sunless Spray …AMAZING. Love the lotion too, but you might want to try applying it with one of those disposable sponge brushes that painters use for corners… it’s pretty dark (scary) when it comes out of the bottle…

Victoria’s Secret Beach Sexy Instant Bronzing Shimmer Lotion

Fake Bake Airbrush Self Tanning Spray

Jergens Natural Glow+ Firming (I generally don’t bother with the fair to medium levels… go for the gold! Err, GOLDEN with medium/tan!) This is also awesome for maintaining a spray tan! Caution, this one has a bit more scent than the others in the line.

For Face: Clarins Face Self Tanning Mouse SPF 15… extra points for SPF, Clarins!

The take-away from today: It may take some trial and error (though we are much better off these days than in 1960!) but it’s important to find a bronzer, a spray tan, or a self-tanner that works for you.

because always remember, kids: we all need to practice SAFE SUN…  your skin will thank you!

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