• Fashion & Beauty

    The New Year, The New You

    • Feb 18, 2013

    • By:Marco Medrano

    We’re well into 2013, fellow anti-agesters. All the holiday dust is but a distant memory, and we’ve surely abandoned most of our New Year’s resolutions by now. But a clean slate is a beautiful canvas. So let’s get gorgeous. The idea for this column started several months ago while ingesting anti-oxidant teas and skin supplements—asking myself a few questions you may have asked yourself: Is Botox and microdermabrasion the only solution for unwrinkled eyes? Should I push aside those topical spot creams and just suck it up for a chemical peel bulldozer? Are my brows ever going to grow back? My heavy night creams are softening lines, but giving me enlarged pores. Eeek! Can I thicken the diameter of my thinning hair strands without extensions? It’s time for some answers.

    I like to start by using methods we can control. We know drinking up to two gallons of pure water (and/or green tea) will not only shed pounds, but also greatly improve skin tone, texture and firmness. Well, I’ve taken it a step further with “skin-a-mins.” Allow me to introduce SIBUbeauty.com, a philosophy I was impressed by because it incorporates what’s known as the Eurasian bioactive beauty berry. SIbu’s Sea Buckthorn is truly an “inside out” Himalayan regimen that aids digestion (the mother of all health). It impounds powerful antioxidants and the rare Omega 7 to promote supple, clear skin while achieving strong, shiny hair and nails. The line includes potent nutritive drinks, gel caps and a no-nonsense skincare regimen that I found to be organically pure and matte, yet supple. And wait until you taste the Omega 7 Chocolates, which the company claims to be certified kosher truffles.

    Remember “Pixy Stix” powdered candy? If you find your petite gullet requiring an even gentler intake or need a slam-dunk vita-format for children, consider AlternaVites.com, an amazing, tasty way to take a full-spectrum multi-vitamin. Just tear the convenient stick pack and dissolve the mixed berry powder on your tongue—that’s it! Another chic and glamorous option even your Pilates instructor would envy is Pure Inventions liquid concentrates; considered the ultimate liquid water enhancer. These ingenious, delicious, great-for-you extracts can fit in your purse and include remedies such as D3 for calcium and immune support, Wild Cherry Apple Resveratrol for overall anti-aging and Blueberry White Tea for a sharp mind.

    Now that we’ve addressed some internal beautifying options, let’s shed some light on new-to-market anti-aging skincare advances. As far as I’m concerned, Ester C (not Vita C) with Flavonoids—the white insides of citrus, are the most soluble and in skincare form are considered golden for even skin tone. Perricone MD’s Vitamin C Ester 15 serum contains an unprecedented 15 percent concentration for an almost immediate collagen boosting, brightening and all over smoothing effect—and can be used on crows’ feet. Before its Cold Plasma could finish wowing the world, the Blue Plasma non-acidic daily peel is causing waves through the skin science community (Dr. Perricone is a non-invasive pioneer), providing a gentler bio-exfoliation that targets only the dead skin cells via salmon egg enzymes. Without redness or irritation, it peels and hydrates as one using a long list of other extracts. This is used as a treatment under your serum or daily regimen.

    To our benefit, it appears La Prairie scientists never sleep. I love when skin ‘anti-products’ feel like they’re marching. Behind their motto of “never look your age again” stands Cellular Power Charge Night. Whoa! A dual-chamber pumps out the breakthrough Cellular Power Infusion with timed-release Retinol—and separately, a boost of oxygen to balance and resurface your skin each night. Decadent. Worthy. I’m hooked! Additionally, La Prairie suggests alternating the above with Cellular Power Infusion ampule droppers (a four-week treatment), allowing its potent ingredients to re-ignite, densely hydrate and energize skin cells from the inside. Yes, please.

    Not rich enough for you? CARITA’s Perfect Serum Trio Of Gold is part of a trademarked skincare lineup that utilizes the exclusive CINETIC technology, which reactivates skin energy, flows and cell dialogue. To us, that means true radiance-youth activation, a three-gold nectar containing pure mineral gold, plant gold and biological gold to restore all around vitality, radiance and lift while smoothing tone imperfections and wrinkles. Equally as impressive, focusing on elasticity, deep lines and pores is the Genesis of Youth Serum that ultimately re-sculpts and refines dull or sallow skin from within. One of my CARITA faves is the Lagoon Serum—a thirst-quenching gel and radiance corrector, from the super-duper hydration collection. You’ll find that much of this results-oriented line is interactive, meaning you could easily use Pearl Of Youth Nutritive day or night cream for seriously lifting and restructuring mature skin or any of the targeted moisturizers with any of the above serums. Exclusive and rare, caritadirect.com provides full access for those not near Red Bank or The Ritz-Carlton in New York City’s Battery Park. Considered a French Pilates for our face, CARITA’s professional Le Rénovateur service is one of the most astounding, customizable facials I’ve ever experienced, utilizing cloves, Lagoon Cream, citrus and crushed sunflower seeds with pulsating electrode-sponges. Wow.

    Now, if you find yourself on an above-the-shoulder treatment plan that keeps you lying low for a bit, I say, shift the focus. Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but lashes and brows are everything. A major contender in past VIP lineups is HydroPeptide, having just added even more to my permanent repertoire. Bink. Bink. Bink. Enter Lash, a regrowth serum. Just like that, lashes came in long, lush and full of color. The upside? Moderately priced (no Rx), no darkening of the skin around the creases of the eyes and brings back those over plucked and waxed brows in a snap. The other can’t-live-without product is Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Toner. I’ve never had a toner work like an expensive treatment (buy two). It brightens discoloration while attacking lines and pores. HINT: Wipe a small amount with a cotton ball, then pat a quarter-size with fingertips and don’t rinse. Proceed to Even Out if you’re on a brightening program, an award-winning tone correcting and dark spot treatment.

    So, now, let’s not confuse daily hot-iron straight hair with thick, shiny, keratin-smooooooth hair. Keratin is not a perm or a relaxer— it’s a treatment. Discussing keratin smoothing has become righteous sport for many, but I’d gladly wear a cap over the weekend to have amazingly easy hair for months. There are so many misconceptions about keratin. Many establishments are offering non-formaldehyde and “green” 30-day formulas at the same price merely because they’re not required to install ventilation or be specifically insured (state-by-state), while causing many consumers disappointment in the long-term glam hair department. Marcia Teixeira of braziliankeratin.com is one of the true pioneers of keratin smoothing and was providing professionalism and happy hair customers in vent-monitored environments long before the craze in 2006. Whether you wish to go with the full-blown Original Treatment or Chocolate Treatment (dark, resistant hair)—both with formaldehyde and lasts up to five months or several other long lasting non-formaldehyde formulas—what you will get is plump, full, soft, shiny, manageable, salon smooth hair every day when you get out of the shower. It’s the most amazing time saver. If you want to take it slow, Marcia offers a luxurious test drive home kit called Pérola, for 30 days of perfect hair. Did you know a keratin treatment not only reverses over-processed hair (color, perm, relaxer or iron-fried), it will actually improve the health of fine, fragile, straight or kinky, virgin hair? Our nails and hair are comprised of this liquid keratin luxury—the processing merely amplifies what we have. Ready to hear the final verdict? Proceed.