June 2014 archive

nyakio Skincare

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco

nyakio, a skincare brand based on ingredients sourced from Africa, recently celebrated its first anniversary. I have been wanting to write about the brand and try it out, and finally got around to it. The founder of the brand, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, is a first-generation American of Kenyan descent. She spent summers as a kid in Kenya, where her paternal grandmother, who grew coffee and sugarcane, and maternal grandfather, a medicine man, shared their secrets for beautiful skin.

Nyakio, or Kio, as she is known, was nice enough to take a moment and answer some questions for me via e-mail.

What inspired you to create the nyakio brand?

One of my earliest childhood memories is a trip my family and I took to visit my grandmother in Kenya. After working outdoors during the day, she used to boil down Kenyan coffee beans with honey and oil, apply the grounds to her skin, then exfoliate using a sugarcane rod. My family’s beauty secrets and rituals, like this one, inspired me to celebrate the sophistication of Africa by creating a skincare line for all skin types and ethnicities.

How do African women view growing older and aging?

It’s hard to generalize all women’s views on aging since Africa is such an ethnically diverse continent. I do think there is simplicity in African beauty: it’s not about over processing your skin or overworking your skin. Rather, it’s more about eating right, taking care of your skin, getting rest, staying hydrated, and being happy.

I can’t speak for all African women, but I believe that growing older is a natural part of life, which I’ve tried to embrace. However, we can do many things to take care of ourselves. From a young age, my mother taught me the importance of staying hydrated; not just topically, which is important, but also by drinking water and eating water-rich fruits, like grapefruit. Staying hydrated helps eliminate dry, ashy skin and increases skin elasticity. I try to drink as much water as possible during the day, and eat as healthy as I can, and I encourage my children to do the same.

I’ve completely embraced my mother’s hydration philosophy, which is why I was so passionate about launching the Hydrating Kola Nut Collection.

What is the best collection for mature skin? The Kola Nut collection?

My skincare products cater to all skin types, all ethnicities, and all ages. My new Firming Baobab Collection, launching this August, is a targeted anti-aging skincare collection that provides immediate firming for a more youthful look. The collection was inspired by my medicine man grandfather, who introduced me to vitamin-rich Baobab Oil, from the African Tree of Life.

Baobab Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Baobab fruit, which grow on large, resilient trees that can reach 100 feet in height, live for thousands of years, and withstand extreme conditions. The Firming Baobab collection will initially launch with three products: Firming Eye Balm with Baobab Complex, Firming Face Serum with Baobab Complex, and Firming Face Gel Cream with Baobab Complex.

I’ll be on the lookout for it. I have been loving the Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut. It smells amazing, and your skin feels as soft as a baby’s behind. I love to slather it on before I take a nap. And I’ll bet the Kenyan Coffee Collection smells awesome, too!

nyakio Skincare Hydrating Kola Nut Collection

nyakio Skincare Hydrating Kola Nut Collection

nyakio Skincare is available online and through hsn. Will you give it a try?



Urban Outfitters In-Store Beauty

You might know Urban Outfitters as a fave of your teen queen daughter and her BFFs. But did you also know they have an awesome online beauty store stocked with hard-to-find brands from beauty mecca South Korea? And that, according to a recent Allure blog post, they are now opening in-store beauty departments?

The first in-store beauty boutique opened recently at Urban Outfitters’ Herald Square location, here in New York City, and its pretty amazing. I stopped by last week on my way to a class I am taking, and I can’t wait to go back. Here are some pics the company sent me.

Urban Outfitters Herald Square Beauty Department

Urban Outfitters Herald Square Beauty Department

Urban Outfitters Herald Square Beauty Department

Urban Outfitters Herald Square Beauty Department

Some highlights: Panda’s Dream White Magic Cream from TONYMOLY.

TONYMOLY Panda's Dream White Magic Cream

TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream White Magic Cream

Apparently this stuff really hydrates and brightens, and how adorable is the packaging? In my world, you can never have too many pandas! I also love how he is holding bamboo!

Mizon is another line carried by Urban Outfitters that is appropriate for more mature skin. The active ingredient in its All-In-One Snail Repair Cream is, wait for it, snail extract. I know it sounds gross, but this is not the first time I’ve heard of snail extract as a skin treatment. I once write an article for Daily Glow, now EverydayHealth Beauty, about a spa in Japan that offers a snail facial.

The reasoning is that as they crawl around, snails secrete a transparent, gel-like mucus that is full of good-for-the-skin ingredients, such as proteins, hyaluronic acid, and the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase, Oscar Hevia, a dermatologist in Miami, Fla., told me at the time via e-mail. These ingredients fight aging, reduce inflammation, and get rid of dead skin. They also have wound-healing properties.

Laura Johnson, Urban Outfitters’ executive director of women’s fashion and beauty, told Allure, “This stuff is unbelievable. It does everything for your skin and even works under the eyes, minimizing dark circles and calming puffiness. We’re all totally obsessed with it in the office.” I want to try the Snail Repair Cream and some of Mizon’s other snail-centric products such as the Snail Repair Eye Cream and Snail Sleeping Pack.

Melissa Mathewson, a public relations assistant for Urban Outfitters, told me in an e-mail that the company plans to expand its online beauty selection and roll out more in-store beauty boutiques.

What do you think? Will you stop by Herald Square or go online for beauty goodies from Urban Outfitters?




Clear Clinic Acne + Aging Clear Kit

Today, let’s talk about adult acne. Yes, adults can get acne. They can even get zits for the first time as an adult, which is known as adult-onset acne.

Fortunately, a new line of acne fighters from Clear Clinic Laboratories, developed by acne specialist Dr. Eric Schweiger, targets adults’ special needs. Schweiger is the founder of Clear Clinic, a group of six clinics here in New York City that specialize in acne treatment.

“We really wanted to have a line that treats adult acne, but also addresses the unique concerns of the adult population, who have drier skin,” Schweiger told me during a phone chat. For example, the Prep & Soothe moisturizer is oil free, but still thick enough to hydrate the skin.

Schweiger also said that he wanted the line to combine traditional acne remedies, like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur, with newer treatments like tea tree oil and green tea. The idea was to develop high-end acne products that include both traditional medications and newer treatments, and put them together in an easy-to-use kit, he said.

The Clear Clinic Acne and Aging Clear Kit includes the O2 Wash, which contains benzoyl peroxide; the GTS 2.4 gel, which contains 2.4 percent epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the active ingredient in green tea; deepPORE pads, which combine green tea and retinol to soften the skin and even skin tone; and Prep & Extra Soothe moisturizer to use before and after the other products.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, adults can get acne into their 30s, 40s, and 50s, and adult onset acne is most common among women going through menopause. Although adult acne is linked to stress, hormones, and heredity, the underlying cause of all acne is the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, said Schweiger. Your body mounts an inflammatory response to P. acnes, which can live in and clog your pores, resulting in swelling, redness, and of course, unsightly zits.

Dr. Schweiger recently appeared on CBS New York’s The Couch:

In addition to the Clear Clinic Laboratories web site, the Clear Clinic Acne + Aging Clear Kit is available through Amazon and at the six Clear Clinic locations in the New York City area.

Do you battle adult acne or breakouts long past your teen years? How do you deal?

Spring/Birthday Makeup Haul!

My birthday was June 1, and my family and I celebrated yesterday. I got some pretty makeup (what else?!), so I thought I’d share my haul, if you’ll excuse my amateur photography. Annie Leibovitz and Patrick Demarchelier have nothing to fear.

Spring/Birthday Makeup Haul

Spring/Birthday Makeup Haul

For my birthday, my grandmother got me Tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Amused, Lancome Le Crayon Poudre in Taupe, and MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Soul Serenade, a plummy brown, from the Alluring Aquatic collection.

For spring/summer, I picked up two Physicians Formula compacts from my local CVS: the Shimmer Strips in Waikiki Strip/Peachy Glow bronzer and the  Nude Wear Glowing Nude Bronzer in Light Bronze. I popped for a MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Legendary Lure, a cerulean blue, also part of the Alluring Aquatic Collection. While I was at The Makeup Show last month, I picked up a Temptu Champagne Shimmer, which I can mix with a moisturizer for a beachy glow.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to prep my makeup stash for Summer 2014. Do you change up your makeup when the weather gets warmer? How so?


Nudestix eye pencils

Nudestix eye pencils

I love trying a new beauty brand, but when I first read about Nudestix in Allure, I thought, “That’s for Millennials, not a woman my age.” But I couldn’t stop thinking about these gorgeous eye pencils! Nudestix founder Jenny Frankel, who is in her 40s, set me straight: this recently launched line from Canada is more than appropriate for the 40-and-over crowd.

Frankel is a former chemist who has developed products for M.A.C., among others. Nudestix was inspired by her teen daughters, Taylor and Ally, who are the face of the brand. However, Nudestix is less about age, and more about lifestyle.

“I’ve realized that the Millennial generation is the modern generation,” Frankel said. And modern women do it all. They have homes, jobs, and families. They would rather spend three minutes in the morning making lunches for their kids and getting them out the door than doing their makeup, said Frankel.

That’s where Nudestix comes in. All the colors are soft neutrals, and all the products multitask. The eye pencils are your eye liner, eye shadow, and highlighter in one. And they come with a sponge on the end so that you can smudge and blend. No need to carry makeup brushes and additional products around.

The lip and cheek pencils are just that: your lip liner, lipstick, and blush in one. When your lip and cheek are the same tone, that’s when you look the most youthful and natural, said Frankel. Basically, you draw and you smudge. And because the colors are neutral, it really doesn’t matter what your company’s dress code is.

Less is more as we age, Frankel said. The more neutral the tone is, the less product you use in strategic places, and the more youthful you look. And the neutral colors are more age appropriate. Where have we heard that advice before?

It makes you “imperfect but perfect,” said Frankel. She went on to explain what she meant: “No one wants to look overly polished, per se. It just helps you feel a little better about yourself.” As the company’s slogan says, “Go nude, but better.” Sounds very wabi-sabi to me.

The products come with a little tin that can fit up to 6 pencils. It has a full-size mirror and a sharpener, too. In addition to the eye and lip and cheek pencils, there are also concealer pencils and mascara.

Nudestix just launched at Space NK stores in the U.S. and the U.K. In the fall, it will launch in Sephora stores in North America, and on sephora.com and beautylish.com. You can find Nudestix on Instagram at @n_stix.

So will you give Nudestix a try, or leave it to the Millennials?

Hair Cut? Hair Cute!

Olympic ice dancer Charlie White just cut his hair. So did Nashville star and mom-to-be Hayden Panettiere. So I thought I’d join in the fun and get my hair cut, too. See the evidence on Instagram below:

Haircut? Haircute! #before

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

Haircute #after

A photo posted by Charlotte LoBuono (@clobuono) on

The guy who did the honors is my longtime mane man, Stephen Cunniff of Imago Beauty Group here in Hoboken.

I love it! This pic of Hilary Duff was my inspiration pic. I was kind of going for a long bob.

What do you all think? If you’ve ever made a big hair change, how did it work out?




M.D. Complete Skincare by Dr. Brian Zelickson

M.D. Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson

M.D. Complete Skincare by Dr. Brian Zelickson

Like most women over 40, I am always on the lookout for new anti-aging skin care products. So when info about a line called M.D. Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson popped up in my inbox, I took it upon myself to pick up the phone and learn more.

The line features three different anti-aging regimens: one for fine lines and wrinkles, one for dark spots, and a third that targets multiple signs of aging. (There is also a line to treat acne and breakouts, btw.)

In the morning, you use the zinc-based sunscreen that contains vitamin C and additional antioxidants, as well as moisturizers, Zelickson told me. At night, use the Advanced Wrinkle Remover, which contains retinol, peptides, vitamins C and B5, niacinamide, and rice and algae extracts. These ingredients erase fine lines, support collagen production, improve skin tone, and strengthen the skin barrier.

There is also a dark spot remover that contains hydroquinone to fade dark spots, and allantoin to soothe inflammation and calm the skin, said Zelickson, the Mayo Clinic-trained derm who runs Zel Skin & Laser Specialists in Edina, Minn. The Non-Irritating Pro Peel contains salicylic and glycolic acids to help jump start the results you would see with the dark spot and anti-wrinkle products.

And did I mention the eye cream for those annoying crow’s feet? I have tried both the Advanced Wrinkle remover and the eye cream, and have definitely noticed a difference in my skin. I want to try the Pro Peel and the Youthful Sun Shield SPF 50 sunscreen, too.

M.D. Complete debuted online and on target.com in February, and started rolling out into 450 Target stores last month. Zelickson said that additional products should be launching over the next six to eight months.