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The Braided Bohemian Updo

This #WeekendBeautyTip is what every gal loves: a hair tutorial! While we like to let our hair go all flowy with beach waves for Summer, Fall usually introduces some polished, pulled-back styles. Thankfully for us, we live in a time where braids are super-in-style, so there’s no better tutorial than one that incorporates braids into a pulled-back look!

This “Braided Bohemian Updo” is from a stylish gal named Heidi Marie Garett. She won a tutorial competition on instabraid.com, and has over 79,000 followers on Instagram who are in love with her hair posts! You can’t talk about hair tutorials and not mention Heidi, so here is her Boho-Braid that has captured our hearts! It can be perfect for holiday parties, work, or a night out on the town. Even our web-gal, Ashley, tried out the look and wants to show you that it works!

1. Separate your front hair line into two sections, on either side.

2. Braid the sectioned portion of hair that is on the dominant side of your part. Now braid the other side. Secure bottom with transparent elastics.

3. Now back-comb or tease the portion of hair located on your crown till it has your preferred volume.

4. Separate that section into to portions, lengthwise, on either side of your neck. Braid those two pieces, till you have four braids total (as shown in #4 of the picture above).

5. Pull the dominant-front braid around the back of your head, as far as it will stretch. Secure it in place with  bobby pin, and repeat the same action with the other side-braid.

6. Now wrap and pin both bottom-braids over and under each other, tucking and covering the elastics.

And done! Amazing, right? Just to show you that a normal person can do it, our web-gal (remember, she’s not a hairstylist!) has tried this for herself and achieved great results!


Merry Weekend everyone, and best of luck with the Boho braid!


The Water Secret: How to Hydrate your Skin when You don’t have Time for 8 glasses a day!

Book Review on The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger

If you’re a person who just can’t do the “Eight Glasses of Water a Day” thing, this is the book for you! Dr. Howard Murad’s book The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger posits that we should be eating our water rather than just drinking it.

When we’re born, human bodies are approximately 75% water. As we age, this percentage decreases down to about 50%. According to Murad, our cells gradually lose their ability to retain water, and it is this fundamental water loss that leads to malfunction, aging and disease. Drink all the water you want, but if your cells can’t hold on to the water, you’re still going to be dehydrated (and running to the bathroom).

Here are the 10 Steps of the “Water Secret”

1. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those with a high water content (e.g., apples, melons, carrots, lettuce, pineapple, tomatoes). According to Murad, your cells are better able to effectively use and retain water from food.

2. Take a daily multivitamin, as well as Omega-3, Lecithin and Glucosamine supplements. Bonus points if you also take a B-complex vitamin, Calcium + Vitamin D, and an antioxidant supplement. Many of these nutrients are necessary to maintain the health of the cell wall structure (thereby increasing the retention of water within the cells).

3. Get moving! Exercising helps maximize your cellular water throughout your muscles.

4. Practice Self-Discovery. What job or hobby would you like to try? What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet? Keep a journal, start a blog, write down the positive things you’re grateful for in your life.

5. Get some sleep! Dr. Murad states that insufficient sleep may well be the biggest health-related lifestyle problem in America, as it can lead to obesity, depression, immune impairment, and lowers the threshold for enduring stress.

6. Try something new and work with your passions and talents as much as possible. Take a cooking class, pottery workshop, or join a book club. Meet new people, experience new things, immerse yourself in what makes you passionate. Excite your brain!

7. Give back to the people you love. Put down the phone, log off your computer and spend REAL face time with people to nourish these connections. Volunteer to clean up a neighborhood park, mentor at a local youth club, or something else that will connect you to your community.

8. Water your skin and treat it well. Wash your face in the morning and evening and slather on a hydrating moisturizer. Wear sunscreen. Get a facial!

9. Relax. Set time aside each day to turn off your cell phone, forget about FaceBook, and stop checking emails. Get a massage once a month. Get outside and experience Mother Nature.

10. Celebrate. Get together with friends or family and have a good time. Laugh until your sides hurt! Spending time with people who are dear to us can be incredibly therapeutic.

My review: The book was interesting to read, but I didn’t feel like there was a lot of new knowledge imparted. The 10 “secrets” are all wonderful and will definitely lead to a more healthful lifestyle, gorgeous skin, and a strong body. Just do like your mom always said—eat your veggies, go to bed, go run around outside with your friends, put down the phone and look at me please, and would it kill you to put on some sunscreen?

Join me on Wednesday, November 5th to learn all about Posh’s new Advanced Facial Peel! Get ready to meet your new skin!!





Retinoids: What they are + why they are best for aging skin!

Last month we talked about the powerhouse nutrients your skin needs to be its healthiest and most radiant. Vitamin A is one of those nutrients and, when used topically, its effect on skin is amazing! Whether your concern is acne, hyperpigmentation, or wrinkles, derivatives of Vitamin A—collectively referred to as retinoidscan do wonders for your skin.

Retin-A (generic names: retinoic acid or tretinoin) is the most widely recognized retinoid, and has been on the market since the early 1970s. Originally developed as a treatment for acne, scientists soon discovered that its effects went beyond treating blemishes, curbing oil production, and shrinking pores. Users of Retin-A also experienced smoother skin texture, fading of dark spots caused by sun damage, and diminished wrinkles. In the mid-1980s, further research was conducted proving the effectiveness of Retin-A for aging. Retin-A is available only through a prescription from your physician.

Retinol and retinyl palmitrate are “over the counter” versions of prescription retinoic acid. Once applied to the skin, they are converted to retinoic acid. Though less powerful than the prescription version, these ingredients are still effective in reducing the signs of aging and may cause less irritation. You’ll find them in abundance in the Dermalogica AGE Smart line of products as well as in some drug store brands (though at a lesser percentage than in Dermalogica).


Retinoic acid receptors (RARs) within your skin may start to mutate or work less effectively due to sun damage or aging. Retinoids bind with and activate these receptors, leading to a normalization of cellular function. This results in increased cellular turnover, increased collagen formation, and inhibition of the breakdown of collagen. Aging, sun exposure, pollution and oxidation can cause skin cells to mutate in shape and size; retinoids encourage your skin cells to form in the correct size and shape. Basically, retinoids help your skin function at its optimal best!


Please Note: If you are trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant or nursing, do not use prescription or over the counter retinoids as they made cause birth defects.

1. Sunlight degrades the effectiveness of the product, so apply prescription retinoids at night to dry skin.

2. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 during daylight hours and avoid direct sun exposure as retinoids increase your risk of burning.

3. Do not use retinoids concomitantly with glycolic acid, vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid. Use products with these ingredients in the morning after you have washed off any remains of the retinoid.

4. Start slowly and use only a pea-sized amount of product. Using more won’t increase the effectiveness, but it will definitely increase irritation. Begin using prescription retinoids every other day and slowly build up to every day as your skin adjusts.

5. Because retinoids thin the top layer of skin, facial waxing is contraindicated for prescription retinoid users. Some people can tolerate hard wax because it only sticks to hair, not skin. However, to be on the safe side, tweezing is recommended.

Also, don’t expect a miracle overnight. I tell my clients that using retinoids is more like running a marathon than sprints. It takes time, often several months, to really see the big changes that they can make when it comes to age-reversal. So hang in there!

Join me next week for my book review of The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger by famed dermatologist Howard Murad, M.D.





How to Get Ready Faster in the Morning!

We’ve all fallen victim to the weekday-morning routine of getting ready that feels kind-of “blah” or even worse—unfinished. We are in such a hurry that we are usually forced to just not do a portion of our routine.

Maybe for you, it’s your hair— you have enough time to pick out an outfit, throw on some makeup, grab your coffee and fly out the door, but your hair never had a chance to be in anything but a wet bun. Or perhaps you always end up sacrificing your makeup in favor of a clean outfit and dry hair. Whatever it is that you usually end up sacrificing, this #WeekendBeautyTip is here to help you quicken your routine so you can get it all done!

Here are the Top 6 Ideas that I found as I scoured the interwebs for you:

1. Prep what you can the night before.

You may not be able to do it all the night before, but choose a couple things to check off the list so you’re not a mess in the morning. Maybe it’s packing your lunch in advance or setting the coffee maker. Maybe it’s choosing an outfit so you’re not rummaging through your closet half-awake tomorrow morning. Maybe it’s taking your shower and styling your hair the night before so you only have to touch-up in the AM. Just pick something to do the night before and your getting-ready time will drastically change in the morning.

2. Have a space that makes sense.

A lot of our time in the morning is simply spent on finding stuff. Maybe we keep our brushes in a different place than our makeup, which is in a different place than our styling products. Wasted time can go to searching for things. To save on time, have an organized space with all your needs at arms-length.

3. Practice on weekends

Use the events that you have more time to get ready to practice. Cat-eye liner takes some time to perfect, so use the weekends to get quicker at it. Certain hairstyles can take longer as well; use your weekends to consistently practice certain styles, and you’ll find that you’ll be able to pull them off faster and faster. Eventually they may make it into your weekday routine!

4. Have Q-Tips on hand

When you’re pressed for time, you usually make a mistake or two just from feeling hurried. Prep for this in advance and keep some Q-tips nearby to quickly spot-correct.

5. Use Multi-Tasking Products

Another sure way to speed up your hair/makeup routine is to use products that multi-task for you. For example, Pureology’s Colour Fanatic has 21 benefits that includes detangling, split-end treating, heat protection, anti-frizz, shine-enhancement, and more! That stuff is liquid gold for a girl in a hurry! Another idea is to use the Redken’s Pillow Proof Primer that cuts your blow-dry time in HALF.

6. Create 3 “Weekday” Hairstyles

Having a few backup hairstyles that are quick is a simple way to vary your weekly style without sacrificing time. There are so many cute options for quick hairstyles on Pinterest these days. Find a few that are easy for you and practice them until you can quickly move through the steps. This will help you feel a little more put together on days you are in a hurry!

And there you have it! 6 easy ways to quicken up your weekday routine!

Merry Weekend everyone, and may next week’s routines be more efficient!:)

Your web-gal,


*kudos, love and credit go to beautyhigh.com for these great getting-ready tips!



Goldilocks was onto something when it came to comfy chairs, food temperature, and the thread count of bed sheets. This same philosophy also applies to hormones. In puberty we have too many, in menopause we have too few, and in between your body is doing a precise juggling match to keep things *just right*. What exactly are hormones?

The endocrine system is made up of various glands and organs and secretes hormones directly into your blood stream for distribution throughout the body. For your skin, the most important organs are the ovaries and testes, and the most important glands are the adrenals. These organs and glands secrete the hormones that bring on puberty and menopause, control ovulation and support pregnancy, and many other function. When out of whack, these hormones can cause acne and other skin woes.

The ovaries secrete three hormones: estradiol, estrogen, and progesterone. The testes secrete the aptly names testosterone. The adrenal glands secrete androgens (male hormones), which are responsible for the development of underarm and pubic hair at the start of puberty. After puberty, the testes take over in males and secrete testosterone; however, for women, the adrenal glands continue to secrete androgens.

So what does this mean for your skin? And what can you do about it?

Puberty:  In addition to an increase in body hair, moodiness, and general just…blech…the production of new and exciting hormones at this point in life increase sebaceous gland activity, leading to subsequent sebum production and dilation of pores. Propionibacterium acnes is the anaerobic bacterium present inside the pores and it feeds on the sebum and multiplies, causing breakouts. Tweens and teens should be taught to clean their skin gently twice daily with a foaming cleanser to remove oil, and use an overnight treatment that contains 2% salicylic acid (to exfoliate and clean out the pores) or a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide (the oxygen kills P.acnes).

Later Adolescence/Early Adulthood: As if puberty wasn’t fun enough, then there’s the onset of ovulation/menses. Rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone make you want to eat everything in sight, fight with your best friend, and cry at cheesy commercials on television. They can also lead to breakouts especially in the chin area, known to estheticians as the hormone zone.” Increased stress during the college years kicks those adrenals into action as well, causing more breakouts. Regular facials (including extractions), appropriate exfoliation,  and topical products such as Dermalogica’s Overnight Clearing Gel and Special Clearing Booster contain 2% salicylic acid and 5% benzoyl peroxide, respectively, and are great for combatting these breakouts. If you have more severe acne, or acne that doesn’t respond to treatment, a visit to your family doctor, dermatologist or endocrinologist is in order. Prescription birth control pills can do wonders for hormonally charged acne, as can topical or oral antibiotics.

Speaking of birth control pills, many women notice an increase in hyperpigmentation after starting treatment. The same thing can happen in pregnancy, referred to as melasma (commonly called the mask of pregnancy). Yep, you can blame your hormones again for this increase in melanin production. Regular use of sunscreen, hats, and seeking out the shade are musts if you wish to minimize this effect. While this condition will usually resolve itself after stopping the pill or giving birth, in some instances it lingers for years. Chemical peels are very effective at aiding the skin in lightening, as are the melanin production disrupting ingredients in Dermalogica’s Chroma White line of products.

Menopause: Heavens to Mergatroyd, haven’t we endured enough?? Normally occurring when a woman is in her late forties or early fifties, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and stop producing estrogen. Hot flashes, moodiness, insomnia—oh my! Because estrogen strongly influences collagen formation, the dramatic drop that occurs in menopause can lead to increased sagging, wrinkle formation, and loss of elasticity. Other changes include impaired barrier function, sensitivity, dehydration, hyperpigmentation, and even acne. Sun damage from years past also presents itself in full force adding to the changes. Ingredients such as retinol and peptides can help increase collagen formation, as can procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Dermalogica’s AGE Smart Line is full of peptides and retinol to combat signs of aging, but you’ll see the best results if you start using it before menopause sets in.

So there you have it, my friends! Aren’t hormones fun?!?!?

Join me next week when I’ll tell you all about the differences between “Retin-A”, retinol, retinoid acid, and retinyl pallmitate. Pssst—these are performance ingredients to combat signs of aging!




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