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Weekend Getaway Beauty Essentials

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Hooray, the warmer weather is here bringing with it wonderful sunny weekends and a desire to get away for a few days. Looks like it’s time for a weekend getaway! The only problem left after deciding where to go is trying to decide what to pack. If your bathroom vanity or cabinets are anything like mine, they are filled to the brim with various beauty products. How on earth do you decide what to take with you?

Here are my top three essentials for every weekend getaway:

CleanTruthFor a quick yet thorough cleanse the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths are my go-to items. These wipes cleanse the day away and offer refreshing scent.

Another compact time saver that I love is the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo. It’s perfect for use in between regular shampooing or to revive hair during the day. Excess oil at the roots is quickly absorbed by the rice, oat and tapioca starches while lemon verbena leaves a refreshing scent.

For the most part, I like to keep my makeup pretty low maintenance on vacation unless I’m going out somewhere special. That’s why I love tinted moisturizers! JBtintMy favorite is the Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer. Moisturizer, color and SPF in one step, it doesn’t get much easier than that. It’s lightweight and provides lasting hydration and it also contains the antioxidant benefits of Vitamins C and E.

Caring For Your Underarms

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Let’s talk underarms. They’re the pits. They are pit-iful. They need a ton of TLC to stay looking smooth and healthy.

There are a few things you can do to prevent ingrown hairs, rashes, and tenderness when shaving your underarms. There are also a few tricks to getting a closer shave than ever before, and going longer between shaves, too!

Always shave in the shower or bath, when your skin is damp. Hot water softens the hair and the skin holds onto the hair less tightly when it’s damp. Never, ever dry shave, especially under your arms.

Always use shave cream or gel, and invest in a high quality razor. Your razor should have at least three blades and a moisture cushion around the blade. One-blade disposable razors shouldn’t have ever been made.

Because the hair under your arms grows in a circle type of shape rather than in one direction, it’s important to maneuver your blade to adjust to hair growth – always shave downwards first, then upwards, and then sideways if you have any strays. Don’t go over the area more than three times with your blade, and if you have any stubborn strays left remove them with tweezers post-shower.

Don’t apply deodorant or antiperspirant after shaving, let your skin rest overnight, or at least for a few hours. If you must use something I suggest a gentle or natural formula with soothing ingredients like aloe.

If you’re prone to getting bumps or rashes after shaving apply an aftershave gel post-shave, we like Shaveworks The Cool Fix because it’s soothing, cooling, and has glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin and prevent ingrowns.


Save 25% Storewide

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Use Code 25NOW. Facebook fans and customers can shop one-day early, some items are sure to run out. This offer will not be shown on‘s website until Wednesday. Now’s the time to try something new or stock up on your favorites. Shop skin and hair care, cosmetics, tools, natural and men’s products. Don’t miss this opportunity to save more than ever!

Quick Tip: Hair Care Survival Kit

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oscarIt’s Saturday morning and you have to get the kids to soccer, baseball and ballet functions…time is of the essence right? The Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo is a quick fix solution when you have to run but don’t have extra time to wash your hair. With rice, oat, and tapioca starches excess oil and product can be absorbed quickly without weighing your hair down. Increase volume, refresh and recharge your hair pronto with this little beauty secret. It smells fantastic too! Just apply a small amount in your hand and massage into your scalp to experience a dry wash that will get you through your busy day. The Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo is a life saver! Plus it is an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner. Be sure to add this to your hair care survival kit!

Our Top Retinol Picks

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Top Retinols1. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 – Retinol 0.5 contains .5% pure retinol and is enhanced with the latest stabilization and delivery technologies to provide maximum efficacy. Recommended for more sensitive skin or to help condition skin not acclimated to retinoids as a prerequisite to SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0. Our retinol products help stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from both photo- and intrinsic- aging. Additionally, they help minimize the appearance of pore size, while correcting blemishes and blotchiness often associated with problematic skin. Also available: SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0

2. SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.5 – This exclusive Retinol formula is encapsulated with an antioxidant complex, enhancing skin texture and minimizing irritation. This formula is appropriate for all skin types pre-conditioned by using Retinol Complex .25 or another retinoid product. Also available: SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0

3. ARCONA Vitamin A Complex -This synergistic formulation stimulates collagen and elastin growth to reverse the signs of aging, sun damage and problem skin. Diminishes sun damage and hyperpigmentation with a Glycolic Acid complex.

4. Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 5X – This serum assists in achieving smoother, firmer and more evenly toned skin. This Retinol based formulation helps achieve more radiant looking skin while delivering the skin enhancing benefits of Green Tea Polyphenols. Also available: Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 2X, Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X, Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 10x.

5. PCA SKIN Retinol Renewal – This potent corrective serum features a unique blend of stabilized retinol and phyto-retinol that provides numerous age controlling benefits. This product replenishes vital moisture-binding components and provides superior antioxidant action to help achieve healthy, youthful skin. This product is recommended for dry or sensitive skin.

6. CosMedix Refine – Refine restores life to environmentally damaged skin to reduce signs of premature aging and improve skin texture and tone. This potent, chirally correct refinishing treatment combines 4% of CosMedix’s proprietary retinol complex with key amino acids and powerful moisturizers to help stimulate collagen production without irritating or drying out the skin.



Acne Products and Purging: What You Need To Know

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Before you decide to switch regimens to address breakouts for the 100th time, read this!

So you just started a regimen a week or two ago that your esthetician raved about and now you are breaking out more than ever?  Believe it or not, this is not the time to change routines.

It is crucial to understand how your skin functions and how certain ingredients influence its behavior so you know what to expect when starting a new regimen.

Normally, your skin regenerates itself every 28-50 days depending on age and skin health. You shed skin cells daily, but the amount is so minute that you rarely see it happening.  This is called natural exfoliation.  Acne regimens rely on products that will enhance this process (along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients).

When starting a new acne regimen, your skin goes through an accelerated exfoliation and renewal process.  This allows for breakouts to show up much more quickly than they would have otherwise.  The products are not creating new breakouts, but rather unveiling them at a sooner date.  You would have seen the same blemishes surface weeks down the road, but since your skin function has been sped up you are seeing 5-6 weeks worth of breakouts in one or two weeks.  This amazing and horrifying process is commonly referred to as “purging”.

This can definitely be alarming, but it is very important to adhere to the regimen suggested to you so you can get through this period, and you will get through it.  The average time frame is 7-10 days, but it is not uncommon for it to stretch to 2-4 weeks.  It all depends on the severity of acne you were experiencing and how quickly you can advance your regimen.  Sensitive skin has to advance more slowly so the “purging” period may be a bit longer than tolerant skin which can increase the frequency of product usage more quickly. This breakout period can be minimized by using products with anti-bacterial properties such as benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotics from your derm.  We suggest sticking to a regimen for 6- 8 weeks and sometimes longer before deciding to switch, unless you are have a reaction (not skin purging).  Keep in mind that not all acne will clear in 8 weeks, but you will definitely get a sense of the products and if you will be able to achieve better results over time.

The bottom line is to stick it out and you will see clearer, more refined healthy skin.

The key players in this acclimation process are:

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (glycolic, lactic, salicylic, malic, mandelic acids) –   Hydroxy acids have the ability to break down corneodemosomes on the surface of the skin.  These are what hold the dead skin cells together.  Think of the mortar on a brick wall.  Once the corneodesmosomes are dissolved, the dead skin cells are ready to fall off.  Using a hydroxy acid will speed up the rate that the cells are shed which means your skin has to make new skin cells to fill their place.  When these new cells die, they are pushed to the surface for their turn to be shed. Any debris or microcomedones (pimples) rise to the surface too, which is why it seems like the product is making you break out.  When using these ingredients for acne, daily is usually best.

Retinol – Retinol works from the inside out, which is opposite of a hydroxy acid.   This ingredient stimulates cell renewal first, which then forces your skin to shed the dead skin cells from the top layer.   This is a very potent ingredient and flaking and peeling is a common reaction because it has the ability to speed up the production of new skin cells so fast that you can visibly see the shedding of the old skin cells, which is usually invisible.  This is generally not a desirable outcome, so moderation is the key with retinol.  Use maybe 2-3 times a week.

Ask a professional before starting a regimen with either of these active ingredients.

Have a questions for our estheticians? Ask us here.

Winter Foot Care

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The winter season brings a host of skin concerns for many of us whether we spend our time outdoors in the cold or inside near the heater. Inside we are exposed to the drying heat of the heater that zaps the hydration out of your skin and outside we are exposed to searing cold which also works to dehydrate our skin very quickly (you’ve heard of freeze-dried?).

Dry cracked feet are a very common concern during the winter season, but what can you do? Esthetician’s answer this question all the time. Proper foot care all year round is important to your overall health and we always suggest that you focus on hydration on all parts of your skin including your feet daily.

If you require an aggressive approach you can incorporate a Ceramic File, Callus Rasp or a Buffer for additional callus removal by controlled friction. I would give you some caution that you should never go too aggressive with these tools as you could cause additional cracking or bleeding if you get your skin too thin so be gentle at first and perhaps do just a little but each day until you get the desired results.

A gentle alternative is the Barielle Total Foot Care Cream, this is a top customer rated cream that can be used twice daily. A great suggestion with this product is to apply the cream then place your plain 100% cotton socks in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and put them on and leave overnight.

If your feet simply need hydration, the Archipelago Botanicals Milk Foot Balm is a great selection. With milk solids, oat and soy protein, this product will provide adequate moisture if used morning and evening.

You can find the products mentioned on

Do you have a winter foot care secret? Share with us here  – leave a comment below.

Say Goodbye to Dry Winter Hands

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Winter can wreak havoc on your hands. The skin on our hands is thin, delicate and often dry making them more vulnerable to cold winds, frost, and dry heated air.

SkinStore has the cure; Barielle Intensive Hand Treatment (gloves included) is an intense, overnight, moisture treatment. It’s formulated with revolutionary Oat Beta Glucan, which acts as a natural anti-irritant. The Barielle Intensive treatment is the perfect remedy for treating and healing rough, dry, scaled, and chapped hands. This greaseless penetrating cream provides a protective barrier directly on the skin to prevent dryness and is safe for even the most sensitive skin.

To apply, massage the cream into hands, put on enclosed gloves and allow the healing powers of the Oat Beta Glucan, Aloe Vera, Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Passion Flower, Rosehips, and Vitamin E to transform your hands into the soft, healthy and hydrated hands that you are seeking. No more irritation and dryness!

For best results microwave the gloves for 10 to 15 seconds, then put the gloves on and allow cream to penetrate overnight. Make sure the gloves are not too hot before putting them on.

You can find this product on

Spice Up Your Skincare this Fall!

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Spices are not just for cooking, many skincare companies utilize spices, or the oils obtained from them, in the formulation of their products. Here are just a few with notable skincare benefits.

• Fennel – Fennel’s ability to decrease irritation and redness make it a great ingredient for sensitive skin. It also has the capability to tone and tighten making it a useful tool for mature skin and a great addition to an eye cream. The Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Eye contains fennel. With its ability to stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness, Fennel is a useful firming agent.

• Cloves – These little evergreen tree buds have been used all over the world for centuries. Clove oil is an effective antimicrobial agent and is often added to cleansing products such as Eve Lom Cleanser. Additionally, cloves are rich in Vitamins A and C, two very effective antioxidants.

• Cinnamon – Individuals with oily or acne-prone skin will benefit from this yummy ingredient due to its antibacterial and naturally astringent properties. Juara Sweet Black Tea and Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer is a great product that makes use of its benefits. This refreshing gel-cream combines the anti-aging benefits of fermented sweet black tea with the shine-reducing and pore-purifying properties of ginger and cinnamon for a luminous matte finish. Completely oil-free, it immediately reduces shine while at the same time helping delay and reverse signs of aging.

• Pepper – Pepper is a popular ingredient in body products due to its ability to boost circulation. Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Sugar Scrub also have analgesic properties and can be used to soothe muscle aches. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel is another great muscle soother.

• Turmeric – This is a popular ingredient because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant and can help with the lightening of hyperpigmentation. For a more in-depth look on Turmeric, see our previous blog. [“Hot Ingredient – Turmeric”]

You can find the products mentioned on

Top Eye Creams

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I’m always on a search for the best eye cream, and so are our customers. At least five times a day I have customers asking “What is the best eye cream you have?”

Of course, ‘best’ depends on customer preference. Things that work for some people may not work well for others, but it seems that there are those cult-favorites with the loyal following that always seem to top the ‘favorites’ charts for just about everybody.

Here are some magic little potions we (and our customers) can’t stop raving about:

Neocutis Lumiere Riche Bio-Restorative Eye Balm with PSP is excellent for dry, dehydrated skin and is formulated with 30% more PSP. Lumiere Riche helps target the most prevalent signs of skin aging including: lines and wrinkles, under eye darkness, stress and fatigue, puffiness and hydration.  This is a periorbital wonder cream!

Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Firming Eye Repair features a powerful combination of active copper, cutting edge peptides and anti-aging proteins that help boost collagen levels lost due to aging. This soothing, rich, cream-gel formula improves the overall health, balance and quality of collagen to firm, tone and tighten the entire eye area, while reducing the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.Neocutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye

SkinCeuticals Eye Balm is a synergistic combination of highly effective, yet gentle phytochemicals rehabilitates mature, aging skin around the delicate eye area. This rich, corrective emollient treatment is specifically formulated to counter the three prime signs of aging— moisture loss, collagen breakdown, and free radical damage. A natural anti-inflammatory is added to reduce the appearance of under-eye puffiness, while a soothing agent derived from the chamomile plant calms irritated skin.

L’Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm – An eye cream with anti-aging benefits that reduces dark circles, puffiness and signs of tiredness around the eyes. Formulated with Immortelle floral water, this cream will soothe, moisturize, nourish and tone the delicate skin around the eyes.

Give one (or all) a try- we’re sure you’ll love them!

You can find these and many other great products on!


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