Tag: skincare

meet my favorite facialist, Jenette, and support small business saturday!

November 29th, 2014 — 5:49pm


I visited Jenette Serrins at Being In LA, her lovely one-bed spa studio, to photograph her as she hand-made her latest must-have skin-healing, clearing, hydrating, and deliciously (naturally) scented face scrub. She calls this creation ‘From Costa Rica, To LA, With Love’, and she’s offering it as a limited edition product because the ingredients are on short supply; she collected the volcanic ash herself, on her last trip to the central american country.

After watching her hand-make the all-natural product (see the pics below), and experiencing how awesome it is during a treatment, I grilled her about what makes it so special. The quick back-story on why I’m a Jenette devotee: I saw a complete turn-around of my own skin when I started seeing her and using her products over a year ago. I’d tried countless products since my teens, to treat my acne-prone, dehydrated, all-around dull skin- to skin, and now I can honestly say that I get compliments on my glowing skin all the time. I still can’t believe it.


So this is what Jenette had to say about her latest formulation:

The gentle grit of the volcanic ash from Mt. Arenal (along with the cinnamon) works to flush impurities out of skin, and assist in bringing fresh new skin cells to the surface for a bright, clean and renewed face. It’s like you’re giving yourself a gentle microdermabrasion treatment, which helps to ensure that the rest of your skincare regimen can penetrate more effectively, and deliver rich ingredients more intensely and deeply.  You can apply it alone, or mix it into your face wash.

‘I created it for people with both sensitive and dry skin. Most folks with sensitive skin can’t scrub without risking irritation and inflammation, but with this scrubbing mask, you’ll find the base ingredients of zinc, magnesium, and aloe, to be super soothing and hydrating, allowing you to exfoliate and detoxify, without the ‘dry-face effect’.’ She says it’s so gentle, it can be used one to three times a week. Plus, she added pumpkin seed oil, which is rich in alpha omega fatty acids, but non-pore clogging.  She suggests taking a nickel sized amount onto a damp face, massage it in gently, leave it on for a minute, and then rinse and pat dry.



Jenette isn’t selling this limited-edition mask online, but if you’re not local to Los Angeles, you can call or email her salon directly to request one be sent to you.  While you’re on her page, you’ll find her 3 top selling products – all of which are handmade with love and formulated with years of expertise.

This is the view of the smiling-faced Jenette, as she painted her other fantastic mask (which smells like chocolate!) on my face recently:



and finally, a close up of the three products you’ll find for sale right now on her site, each for which I can personally vouch.


One key point to remember is that if you’ve accustomed your skin (as I had, not realizing there was another way) to the use of harsh synthetic chemicals and prescription antibiotics to clear your acne, it will take time and patience before you see results. I had a difficult time with this – I wanted immediately clear and hydrated skin, and I struggled with what I thought was a need for antibiotics during the times that my skin was breaking out. As the months passed, I watched the transformation (exactly what Jenette said would happen!), and with regular treatments and the use of her products at home, I really can leave the house without foundation or even spot-concealer, most days.

I wish the same for each of you.

I encourage you to support small businesses like Jenette All Natural Skin Care, and all the others I’ve written about on this website, and find the clear-skin formula that’s right for you.



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In the studio with May Lindstrom

July 9th, 2014 — 10:34pm


Meet May Lindstrom, the mind and heart behind the eponymous, all natural, good-enough-to-eat skincare line. Based in Los Angeles, CA, May radiates the sunshine her body soaks up every day. I recently went to visit her in the enormous loft work space into which she’d just moved (note the boxes), and she kindly let me take pictures of her in her newly inhabited surroundings. I’m excited to go back soon and see how she’s transformed her space to reflect her beautiful aesthetic.

I believe in the transfer of energy. I know that when I spend time around someone who is miserable and can’t find their way out of their misery, I often take on some of that energy. Likewise, when I spend time with those who exude light and happiness, my energy tends to follow suite. I like to think that the same principle applies to the person who envisions, crafts, and bottles what we put onto our skin. In the case of this skincare line, I feel the good energy inherent in it, and I think you will, too.

Have I lost you with my talk of energy transfer and good vibes? Here are some pics I took during my afternoon with May, to bring us back to the tangible.


May recently launched this beautiful new website full of great info about her vision for her company, and each of her delicious and effective products.

While I was visiting with her, she mixed up a very special toner for me which smells incredible. The kind of incredible where I feel like I need to smell it all the time. She said it was a recipe she’d included in a recent special offer holiday box. It made me realize I need to be better about keeping up with special product offers from my favorite brands, something I hope each of you is doing so that you don’t miss out on little bottles of amazingess like this one, which I now carry around in my purse.

These are beautiful handmade bowls she’s created in which you can mix your skin scrub to your desired consistency (her Masque Treatment Bowl)


Beautifully designed packaging…


May demonstrated for me just how blue the soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredient Blue Tansy, a wild-crafted North African flower really is.  Find it in her incredible product she calls The Blue Cocoon (first recommended to me by Spirit Demerson of spiritbeautylounge.com)


A framed reminder for the office:


Thank you so much, May! See you (and the newest member of your family: your pot bellied pig!) soon.  xo


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Deliciously scented, all natural food for your skin & hair, created by a super smart herbalist. Have you tried Roots Rose Radish yet?

March 24th, 2013 — 3:46am
photo courtesy of photographer Dawn Blackman: http://dawnblackman.com/

photo courtesy of photographer Dawn Blackman: http://dawnblackman.com/


While I was in Los Angeles in January I spent the day with the creator of the all natural skincare, hair oil,  and fragrance line, Roots Rose Radish. She wears a lot of hats: from herbalist to doula (soon to be a midwife!), RRR founder and creator, Christian Toscano, really knows her stuff when it comes to plants. We started with a hike in Griffith Park, where she pulled out her shears and wild crafted ingredients that she uses in her product line and around her home. I should have brought a notebook because my brain couldn’t keep up with all the ‘oh my gosh, I had no idea!’ information she shared with me about nearly every plant, tree, grass, and flower we passed.

I met Christian earlier last year when she came to NYC to introduce her  handmade-in-small-batches line of products to magazine editors. The first thing she said to me when I picked up her honey pecan rose face cleanser was: here’s a spoon -” you have to taste it.”

I loved that we share the belief that what we put on our bodies has to be safe enough for us to eat. Our skin is our largest organ, and as Christian says: “it does the most ingestion and elimination for the body, and  plays an important part in the immune system – protecting against pathogens and harsh chemicals. We have to nourish it with only the best!”

So far my favorites from her line are the Wild Grains Face Exfoliator made with French green clay,  the Citrus Face Oil Cleanser (which doubles as a face oil- which makes it the perfect two-in-one for traveling, her Rose Face Oil -the scent is surreal, and nothing like that synthetic rose smell we’ve all come to associate with rose scents, and her Rose, Frankincense and Patchouli solid perfume that’s so beautifully housed in a shell. I keep one in my purse, and one by the front door so I’m sure to always waft a trail of deliciousness as I walk past you. I can’t tell you how many people comment that they love the way I smell!

A few years ago when I stopped wearing synthetic fragrance (and now they make me really grossed out). I’d read that when you see the word ‘fragrance’ in an ingredient list – whether it’s in a cosmetic, a room spray, a candle or your perfume, it’s pretty much always synthetic, and the exact chemicals used to formulate it aren’t required to be divulged.  Synthetic fragrances often contain petrochemicals, which have been shown time and time again to be irritating and toxic to the body and to the environment.

Back to my day with Christian: we got lost in the trails and had to slide on our bums down some really steep hills until we found our way back down. During our adventure, these are some of the things we saw:

White sage trees (how cute is Christian in that hat?):


This is the castor plant, and its’ seeds are where castor oil comes from. I had no idea. Have you ever tried using castor oil on scars? It’s fantastic. Christian recommends soaking a washcloth or muslin cloth in castor oil and sitting with it on your lower abdomen when you have period cramps. I’ve heard of this before, and seen it used to topically treat other pain happening inside the body. I think it’s pretty miraculous.


Leaf tagging – Christian had told me about this, and that it’s just like the spray-paint-on-the-side-of-a-building tagging we see all the time in NYC. To me, it’s way less cool, although an interesting phenomenon:


Back at Christian’s house, where she brewed up the most delicious and thick hibiscus tea (doesn’t it look like coffee?), I learned a lot about various ingredients she likes to use and what she grows in her garden:


These are loofahs she grows on a tree outside her home, dries, cuts to an appropriate size, and then uses as body scrubbers and dish scrubbers. Imagine how funny the tree looks with these things growing off of it. They’re NOT small.


Christian showed me one of her cabinets of ingredients. Here’s a jar of calendula blossoms.


I still haven’t tried her tinted lip balm, but this is how she gets it to be that beautiful deep berry color:


I had such a great day with my new friend, Christian. In addition to her product line that’s sold online at Urban Outfitters – and numerous other places – she also sees private clients for herbalist treatments, providing tinctures to treat everything from emotional health to intestinal health. I got some digestive bitters from her to try and stave off acne breakouts, which she says for me, probably stem from my liver.

One last visual to leave you with: I’m allergic to cats, and have taught myself not to like them. Christian’s cat was so cute, though, that I couldn’t stop taking pictures of him sniffing, and then nibbling on, the flowers



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After 10+ hours on an airplane, Spontaneous Recovery Creme got Susan’s skin glowing for the red carpet.

August 20th, 2012 — 5:10pm

I always look online the day before I work with a celebrity client to see what they’ve been up to since I last saw them. The night before I was to work with Susan for the event where the photo above was taken, I saw pictures of her wearing a beautiful ornately embroidered silk, floor length caftan, walking beside a man in a white robe, with a pink turban on his head. The caption beneath said she had attended the closing ceremony of an International Film Festival in the Omani capital.

I quickly calculated the time difference, and realized that when I was to begin getting her ready for that night’s event in NYC, she would have just arrived home from her trip – IF she flew direct. I so hoped that she’d been able to sleep on the plane.

Flying is one of the biggest culprits in dry skin and overall systemic dehydration. I made a promise to myself years ago: no alcohol while flying and LOTS of water (I generally stick to this promise).  I try to sit on the aisle so I don’t feel guilty about waking the person sitting beside me every time I have to use the loo.

As soon as Susan took her seat in front of me at her kitchen table, I began massaging one of my very favorite immediately hydrating products onto her face and neck: Tammy Fender’s Spontaneous Recovery Creme.  The texture is unlike any other, and the scent is so raw and delicious. I like to demonstrate on my friends with tattoos just how miraculous this stuff is; it takes a 15 year old ink drawing and makes it look new again.

Now I know that this  product line ain’t cheap, and because I’m pretty darn frugal, you have to believe me – these creamy lotions and potions really are great. I don’t advocate for spending your last dime on fancy beauty products, but if you’re saving up to splurge, this line is one to put on your wish list.

Needless to say, the spontaneous recovery creme did it’s job on Susan (who looked pretty amazing despite her trip around the world sans a good night’s rest) and I think she looked incredible as she walked in front of the paparazzi.

I’ve been using a number of Tammy’s products on myself the past few months and I LOVE what they do for my skin.  Disclaimer: I have incredibly sensitive, acne prone, rash prone, super temperamental skin, and I’ve never had anything but great experiences with the following regimen.

I use her Bulgarian Rose Water as a toner -right out of the shower – immediately before the Capillary Stregthening Blend serum, followed by her delicious Antioxidant Creme in Neroli and Orange. I also think her Firming Eye Gel (which is really creamy and does that perfect mixture of sinking in and still keeping the top layer of skin looking dewy) is one of my all time favorites. The scents of her products aren’t in any way sweet or perfumed – they’re just what you’d expect from the woman whose tag lines are ‘holistic skin care’ and ‘pure living energy’, and who serves up her products in light-protecting brown glass bottles and jars.

As a side note: the other day I arrived at Susan’s and she and a few others were gathered around her laptop watching the trailer for Cloud Atlas, the latest film from the creators of the Matrix, in which Susan stars along side Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.  It looks incredible, and Susan looks amazing – both when she plays a character in her own likeness AND when she plays a character of an older man of Indian descent. Now that’s some talented hair and makeup! I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.





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join me for my next class at Whole Foods in NYC: Clean & Green Makeup and Skincare!

May 6th, 2012 — 8:00pm

I had so much fun teaching my first class at Whole Foods on Houston and Bowery here in NYC a few months ago that I’ve scheduled another one for next week. I’m sorry I didn’t post this sooner, because I hear it’s nearly sold out, but if you’re free on Monday, May 14th from 7-9, I’d love to see you!

The class is held in the kitchen where cooking lessons are given, and it’s a good thing because in addition to discussing the best in clean** makeup and skin care – and not just those sold in Whole Foods – we’ll also make one or two of our own facial treatments with products found right in your kitchen, and we’ll package them up so you can try them for yourself in the comfort of your own home!

**I can’t figure out which word to use to best describe products that are as free from potentially harmful chemicals as possible: green? non-toxic? healthy? natural? you get the picture?

You can click HERE to register.

My friend photographed and shot video of the last class (thank you, Michelle!)  and the most fun images were taken during the eyelash curling session. I love watching the delight on each person’s face when they see how wide open their eye looks after I teach them how to curl.  It was such a hit that I’m sure we’ll do it again on the 14th.

Some shots from my makeup/skincare table:

…and a little video for your viewing pleasure (again, thanks to my good friend Michelle for shooting and editing). Does anyone know how to keep the advertisements from popping up along the bottom of it? Darn ads!

Another big thank you to my friend, and model, Tanya Sweet, who looks amazing in a red lip!



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