September 2014 archive

Antiaging Heroes For Your Skin

Jeannie Jarnot, founder of Spa Heroes

Jeannie Jarnot, founder of Spa Heroes

When I spoke to Spa Heroes founder Jeannie Jarnot, we started talking about her top antiaging “hero ingredients” for the skin. She mentioned three: vitamin C, peptides, and sea buckthorn oil, which was a new one to me.

Vitamin C has antioxidant properties: it fights the free radicals that cause the signs of aging. It also protects the skin against harmful UV rays and boosts cell turnover. Peptides like neuropeptides and pentapeptide-3, 4, 5 smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Neuropeptides also boost cell turnover and hydrate the skin, while pentapeptide-3, 4, 5 is an antioxidant.

Sea buckthorn oil, which I’d ever heard of, is not widely known ingredient, said Jarnot. She said she likes to combine it with rose oil. Sea buckthorn oil has anti-inflammatory properties, so it really helps with healing. It also boosts collagen production and fades sun and age spots. “Its an incredibly potent topical oil,” Jarnot said. A quick Google search found Sibu Beauty, a company whose skincare line is based on sea buckthorn oil.

Vitamin C, peptides, and sea buckthorn oil are three very different ingredients, so Jarnot said she likes products that combine them.

For the body, Jarnot recommends products that contain coconut and avocado oils t0 nourish the skin and boost elasticity. She mentioned that avocado oil is one of the main ingredients of October’s Spa Hero product, Arctic Berry Cloud Milk Cream by Red Flower. Jarnot said that in addition to your hands, you can use the cream on your chest and décolleté, and even on your breasts to boost collagen. You can also use it your feet, which are often overlooked. And yes, you can use it on your face, too.

Have you ever heard of sea buckthorn oil or tried products from Sibu Beauty? If so, tell me if you liked the results!



Spa Heroes

A Spa Heroes box

A Spa Heroes box

If you love beauty sample services like Birchbox or Memebox, you’ll want to know about Spa Heroes, the new service started by Jeannie Jarnot, former spa director of The Carneros Inn in California. Jarnot founded the company last year, and the first box just shipped this month.

For $39 a month, Spa Hero subscribers get one full-sized “hero product” that comes wrapped in a little red face mask! The products usually retail for between $50 and $100, so $39 is a really good deal: you save up to 60 percent! If you want to buy more of your new hero, as a subscriber, you get a 15 percent discount in the online shop. You can also find supporting, or sidekick, products there, too.

Of course, you’ll get a list of product ingredients and info on how to use it. The company includes its pocket guide of “superpower ingredients,” vitamins and peptides that nourish the skin, and villain ingredients, dangerous chemicals linked to things like cancer and birth defects, in each box as well.

The September Spa Heroes box features Truth Serum face serum from Sumbody. Its sidekick is the brand’s Detoxifying Deep Sea face mask. October’s hero is Arctic Berry Cloud Milk Cream from Red Flower.

Jarnot told me as a spa director, she got to try lots of new products. Over time, she began to focus on those with “superpower ingredients” that were free of “villain ingredients.” She also made it her mission to simplify her clients’ search for a so-called “hero product.”

“I wanted to save people the time, energy, and frustration of finding what works,” said Jarnot. And that is the concept of the hero product: people want something that works. And once you find that hero product, you can find products that work with it and make the most of its benefits. Jarnot calls these hero helpers “sidekicks.” (Every superhero has a trusty sidekick. Think Batman and Robin.)

Jarnot said as she grows the company, she is very excited about highlighting brands founded by people who have a health story to tell. “The ability of Spa Heroes to tell their story is really exciting to me, and something we want to do more and more, because I think people really care about their health,” she said. For example, she recently spoke with a company founded by two women inspired by their struggles with infertility to start a skincare line free of hormone disruptors.

You can find Spa Heroes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Will you check it out? Do you worry about the ingredients in your skin and hair care products?






New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015

New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 just ended, so I’d be remiss as a beauty blogger if I didn’t point out one of the biggest trends: “no makeup” makeup, or “flawlessly bare skin,” was a serious thing. Behold this pic from backstage at Marc Jacobs, for which founder and creative director Francois Nars sent models down the runway with NO, repeat NO, makeup!

Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2015

Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2015

The look for the show features only moisturizer, Nars said in a press release. He added, “With Marc, we always take it to the extreme, we’ve done bold looks in the past, but this season we wanted to make a statement by not applying anything.” I think no makeup for a fashion show is pretty bold and extreme in and of itself.
Over at Jenny Packham, makeup artist Talia Shobrooke used little more than Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Truffle and Ginger and Laura Mericer Caviar Stick Eye in Pink Opal to create this look.
Jenny Packham Spring/Summer 2015

Jenny Packham Spring/Summer 2015

And Matin Maulawizada also used Laura Mercier products, including the Bonne Mine Healthy Glow palette and the Bonne Mine Stick Face Colour in Bronze Glow, to get a bare, flawless look at Pamela Rolland.

Pamela Rolland Spring/Summer 2015

Pamela Rolland Spring/Summer 2015

I personally am loving this trend. Nothing is sexier than taking good care of your skin and showcasing it with minimal makeup. French women are known for taking meticulous care of their skin, avoiding the sun, and not using much makeup. And how chic are they?

Check out Glamour for how to get the dewy skin at Marc by Marc Jacobs (hint: it involves lip balm), and Allure for more on the simple, sophisticated pretty at Ralph Lauren.



NeoStrata Skin Active

NeoStrata Skin Active

NeoStrata Skin Active

Recently, I began using NeoStrata’s Skin Active line. I really love it, so I wanted to share. I use the Exfoliating Wash twice a day; the Matrix Support SPF 30 in the morning; and the Cellular Restoration Complex at night. I also use the Intensive Eye Therapy and the new Triple Firming Neck Cream twice daily. A few drops of the Antioxidant Defense Serum in the morning preps my skin to face the day, and the Firming Collagen Booster Serum before bed firms and tones my skin as I sleep.

Skin Active products contain four active ingredients: retinol, a vitamin A derivative that promotes cell renewal and collagen production; maltobioinc acid, a polyhydroxy acid that acts as an antioxidant and skin conditioner; NeoGlucosamine, a proprietary ingredient the company says exfoliates, reduces pigment production, and works with retinol to support the skin’s underlying structure; and apple stem cell extract, which is supposed to preserve the function of older skin cells.

The products also contain Chardonnay grape seed extract, an antioxidant high in vitamins C and E. I have heard of using grape seed extract or grape seed oil on your skin before, but Chardonnay? Who knew?!

My skin looks and feels great since I have been using the products. My fine lines and crow’s feet are less noticeable, and my skin tone is more even. The Exfoliating Wash can be a bit drying and it makes my skin feel tight, but that feeling goes away once I apply the Matrix Support SPF 30 day cream.

A new at-home peel, called the Skin Active Perfecting Peel, is also available. It comes in a box as a three-month supply, and you use it weekly. I ordered a box, and we’ll do some sort of before and after on here.

The Skin Active line is only available through a dermatologist. However, NeoStrata sells many other antiaging products on its web site.

Check out this video about NeoStrata Skin Active:

Do you use NeoStrata products, or skincare you get from your derm?




Charlotte Tilbury: Coming to America!

Charlotte Tilbury official

Charlotte Tilbury

I have posted about British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury before, and shared this cute video of her making up her mom and providing makeup tips for older women. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know that Charlotte’s eponymous 100-piece makeup and skincare line is now available in the U.S.! You can buy it online at Nordstrom, Beautylish, and Net-a-Porter. You can also go to Charlotte’s new U.S. site. A company spokeswoman told me it should start hitting counters in early October.

Have any of you tried Charlotte’s line? If not, will you try it?


Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful

Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Eye Cream

Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Eye Cream

Antiaging junkie that I am, I was psyched when WWD reported that British cult favorite Soap & Glory was bringing its antiaging line, Make Yourself Youthful, to the U.S. The line arrives here this month with two products: Make Yourself Youthful Super Serum and Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Eye Cream.

The serum contains, among other things, a peptide complex that the company says reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has hyaluronic acid and shea butter to hydrate the skin, and a blend of oxygenating and energizing ingredients such as ginseng, caffeine, ginger, and guarana. The  eye cream has these ingredients, too, as well as cucumber juice and other puffiness fighters, and ingredients to brighten the under eye area and get rid of dark circles.

A company spokeswoman told me that Soap & Glory was founded by celebrity facialist Marcia Kilgore following the birth of her son and the sale of her spa and skin care company, Bliss. “She wanted to have fun, use her sense of humor, get into writing a bit, and do a bit of something old (brilliant body butter comes easy to her) and something new (with footwear called FitFlop),” said the spokeswoman.

I have never tried Soap & Glory products, but their names are great! (Sexy Mother Pucker lip plumper, anyone?) Check out the witty word play and bon mots on the U.K. site. They are hysterical!

And look for more from Soap & Glory and Make Yourself Youthful this January. “We’ve got big plans to extend our mission across the whole skincare spectrum,” the spokeswoman said. “January will be a big month for us in terms of testing our concept, and we’re excited, because we have as much experience as any of the ‘big guys’, but with a maverick attitude!”

Make Yourself Youthful will be sold in 303 Sephora stores in the U.S., and FYI, is currently available on the Sephora web site. The spokeswoman mentioned that the Rejuvenating Eye Cream was recently chosen as a Sephora Hot Now product, and the company is “looking forward to riding that momentum!”