Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Patricia Wexler, MD

By on July 22, 2010

Q5 with Patricia Wexler, MD

Much like Isabella Rossellini’s character in Death Becomes Her, Dr. Patricia Wexler’s allure lies in her infinite wisdom of all things anti-aging, youthful facade and lengthy list of (seemingly ageless) devotees.

Below, the good doctor dishes on everything from the secret to “eternal youth” to preventative fillers and age-specific s.

Q1: What skincare products and services should one splurge on? Save on?
SPLURGE: Our skin rebuilds and repairs itself as we sleep. Without environmental factors to ward off, skin is able to speed up its natural renewal process and absorb ingredients. This is why nighttime is the best time for active treatment. That’s why I highly recommend to splurge on an anti-aging night cream.

SAVE: Any SPF will do, just make sure to protect your skin. Women tend to not be vigilant about sunscreen during the times in which they are indirectly exposed to the sun. I demand that all my patients wear SPF 30 all year but it is especially important to be vigilant now by using a product with an SPF of 30 even on cloudy days.

Q2: Retinol is often hailed as the only proven treatment to fight both acne and aging. Do you agree?
The deepest wrinkles need an extra punch— that’s why I paired my patented MMPi-20 technology with pure Retinol. This “responsible retinol” treatment works in two ways: First, pure Retinol, coupled with MMPi-20 and vitamin C, works to exfoliate surface skin and optimize cell turnover, revealing fresher, younger looking skin while tired cells are reawakened to produce new collagen. Second, the antioxidant technology of Avantage and the moisture barrier properties of NIACYL work to protect skin from the traditional side effects of Retinol like drying, redness, and irritation, ensuring that skin looks its best even as you treat it.

Q3: What’s the one must-have (anti-aging) product/treatment for women in their 20s and 30s? 40s? 50s+?
20s: Skin in the 20s tends to be on the oilier side especially along the t-zone and hairline with open and closed comedomes. Sun exposure may have already caused freckling, pigmentation and fine lines most obviously around the eyes. A good skincare regimen including daily exfoliation and moisturizing with an SPF of 30. Use at least one anti-aging product to prevent further damage to collagen and elastic tissue.

30s: Etched lines become more exaggerated especially around the eyes, lips and forehead. Avoid smoking, wear large sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to protect the eye area. Stress and hormone manipulation may require adult acne relief. Use anti-bacterial but not drying solutions. It is vital to incorporate your acne regimen into your anti-aging routine.

40s: Lines previously only seen with movement become visible at rest. Use products that contain peptides for immediate relaxation of lines while promoting long term collagen and elastic stimulation. In addition, line fillers containing dermaxyl and polysilicone will give immediate improvement in the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

50s: Now loss of volume in the face is occurring along with loss of elasticity and squaring of the jawline. Lost of estrogen and increased MMPs cause inflammation resulting in continued loss of collagen that causes more sinking and sagging. Use products that inhibit MMPs, increase firmness and promote elasticity. Remember daily exfoliation will help the penetration of active ingredients.

60s: With continued volume loss, we see hollows develop under the eyes which are associated with dark circles. Treating dark circles, bags and wrinkles requires the use of multiple peptides to boost collagen, decrease pigmentation, diminish bags and light diffusers to do the job.

Q4: Do you believe in the “preventative” use of fillers? How soon is too soon to start?
Botox is about a yin and yang of muscle movement. If you weaken a muscle that’s pulling something down, the muscle which is pulling up has nothing to oppose it. Unlike botox, which for about four months paralyzes muscles, fillers plump up the face from underneath the skin, actually filling in the wrinkles. For some who don’t have the money, time or desire for a face lift, these new injectable fillers offer a cheaper alternative. For the past 20 years, we have been using bovine collagen, which is collagen derived from beef. And this is an excellent filler. It lasts anywhere from three to six months. It’s several hundred dollars. And you have to be skin tested prior to the treatment because three to six percent of the population can be allergic to it.

As far as how soon is it to start, I think it’s more important as a doctor to tell a patient when they’re becoming obsessed, or when they have an unrealistic expectation. I think we see examples all the time of actors and actresses that have gone too far and certainly I don’t want patients like that in my waiting room, looking as if they’ve done too much and they look Draconian. So I think it’s up to the doctor to say you really have to accept the fact that we’re not going to turn the clock back to 20. We have to look the best we can for our age and look naturally and expressive. You know, when you talk about looking frozen, nobody should be abusing botox to the point where they do look frozen. We should keep our expressions. Botox is great for over expressive muscles, but then we use fillers for around the mouth. You don’t want to get rid of expressions around the mouth. I like to smile. Botox has been used for over 20 years for many medical uses. We actually use it for children with cerebral palsy muscle spasm. So it can be used very safely for non-cosmetic use in children. So I’m not worried about the safety of botox.

Q5: Finding an accomplished dermatologist, such as yourself, is often a daunting task. What questions can a patient ask to help ensure a success?
How much is enough sunscreen and what active ingredient should I look for?
What are the signs of skin cancer and how often should I have my moles checked?
How is my makeup affecting my skin?
What is the best way to treat visible sun damage?
What is the best facial cleansing routine for me?

Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Charlotte Tilbury

By on November 28, 2009

Q5 with Charlotte Tilbury

There are few people in the industry that can command the level of respect and admiration that comes so naturally to Charlotte Tilbury. She simply transcends titles and limitations.

And whilst Charlotte has become as recognizable as her celebrity clientele, she remains one of the most charming and accessible women you could hope to meet. She’s quick to share her insider tips/tricks, and admit that she’d rather be caught nude than head out the door without a proper coat of mascara and a little color on her cheeks.

I recently had the chance to interview this globetrotting superartist, for her expert advice on everything from beauty tools and the ultimate concealer, to the secret behind her flawless complexion…

Q1. Did you always long to be an artist, or did you stumble upon your talent by chance?

I always knew I wanted to do something involving the arts. My father is a painter and I knew I had his talents but I also felt drawn to the fashion industry, with a huge interest in clothes, shoes and trends. I was always styling my friends and doing their hair.

At the age of 13, I met makeup artist Mary Greenwell and she definitely inspired me in my choice of career. But it was when I was about 16 and met a different makeup artist, with whom I had a long conversation about what his job in the fashion industry involved. I instantly knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. There was no turning back, I had made my mind up and I told my mum that same day that I was going to be a makeup artist!

Q2. What beauty trend is most exciting to you at the moment? Why?

One makeup look I am really into at the moment is a berry stain on the lips. It’s the most modern way to wear a lipstick, patted onto your lips with a finger. Don’t worry about the lip-line not being perfect it’s part of the look to leave it soft.

Q3. If a girl is going to invest in 5 makeup brushes, which do you feel are the most important to own?

I swear by the brushes by Paula Dorf. Try her concealer brush Total Camouflage, it blends the product perfectly into the skin.

For blending eyeshadow whether it’s cream or powder, Paula Dorf’s Smoke Lid is the perfect size for blending under the lower and along the top lashes. It’s amazingly soft and also works perfectly to smudge eye-pencil.

To blend on the eye-lid and/or in the socket Sheer Crease by Paula Dorf is ideal. You will have great control of the movement of the pigment.

Trish McEvoy also does a wonderful range of brushes. The Sheer Blush brush is so soft, feels amazing on the skin and blends products amazingly. You can use it to apply your blusher and/or bronzer.

The slightly smaller version, the Highlighter brush, is the perfect tool not only to apply highlighter but also to apply powder!

Q4. What brand/type of concealer is your favorite for camouflaging the effects of a late night out (under-eye circles, blemishes)?

I love Estee Lauder’s Maximum Cover and I use them religiously! Mix with a tiny bit of moisturizer for a texture that covers any blemishes and makes your complexion look dewy and glowing!

For an under eye “lift” try Bobbi Brown’s Eye Brightener. It will get rid of any dull shadows!

Q5. You’ve got a gorgeous complexion, who/what do you rely on to keep your skin so luminous?

I do look after my skin. I cleanse it morning and night plus I have regular facials.

But I also rely on amazing products!  I love all the products by Ila. Their skincare range is natural, organic and made of the best quality ingredients that are the purest available, sourced from around the world.

Their Face Oil for Glowing Radiance does exactly what it says in the name. Your skin will look rejuvenated and radiant and you will notice the difference instantly!

Ila also does a Body Oil For Vital Energy. It will help you restore your natural energy and help your body deal with everyday stress.

Hair Care & Styling | Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Sally Hershberger

By on June 30, 2009

Q5 with Sally Hershberger

From her ability to create trendsetters out of celebrities, to the long list of award-winning products she’s helped to develop (think John Frieda’s Sheer BlondeBrilliant Brunette…), Sally Hershberger has become synonymous with innovative, papillon-like transformations, as well as lengthy wait lists and Manolo-priced haircuts. She’s simply that good.

I recently had the chance to interview Sally on her new product collection, the famous ‘shagg’, and how little we can really get away with trimming.

Q1: Do you think the average girl needs to splurge on high-priced hair care products, or are drugstore finds just as good?

My favorite products have often been things I find at the drugstore. But I also think it’s OK to splurge on luxury items every once and a while, too. The most important thing is to find products that work well and have high quality ingredients, and those come from both the drugstore and a high-end boutique or salon. Regardless of where you buy the product, if the ingredients are cheap, you’ll be able to tell in the performance of the product. That’s why it was really important to me when developing my new haircare line, Supreme Head, to only use the best ingredients, even if it cost a little more.  In the end, I was able to produce products that are affordable for all women and available at your local drugstore, but that still deliver great style.

Q2: As you’re the leading source for all things ‘shagg’, do you feel it’s a look that anyone can wear?

Yeah, for the most part I think a very layered haircut, long or short, is a great look for most people… It adds an easy sexiness to your style, and I love that. It’s probably not ideal for an aristocrat or the first lady – no one in a conservative position — but otherwise I think its a great look for most women, and even some men!

Q3: Many women leave their salon in a tizzy because their stylist decided to trim-off more length than desired. If someone is trying to grow their hair, or keep it long, what’s the absolute minimum you feel can be taken off ?

Generally speaking, an 1/8 of an inch should keep hair healthy without taking off a noticeable amount of length.  If your hair is really damaged, you may want to take off a little more than that.

Q4: Which facet of your career is the most exciting at the moment?

Developing products is definitely one of my most exciting projects at the moment… I really love coming up with new ideas for products and testing them out and all that. I developed products for years with John Frieda, working on both the Sheer Blonde and Brilliant Brunette lines, so it’s nice to be able to do it for myself now and have complete control over the finished product.  I’m also working on opening two new salons — one on the Upper East Side here in NY, and one in Los Angeles — so that’s also very exciting.

Q5: What’s the one haircare tool you simply can’t live without?

Definitely a blowdryer! I tend to use my hands a lot why styling, but having a blowdryer is an absolute must to get out any kinks or reshape small sections.


For additional information on the Supreme Head haircare collection, Sally’s salons, or to view her fabulous ‘how-to’ instructional videos, visit SallyHershberger.com.

Beauty News

D&G; to Launch Cosmetics Collection

By on January 26, 2009

D&G; to Launch Cosmetics Collection

It was only a matter of time until Dolce & Gabbana joined their competitors in the prestige beauty business. Under the direction of legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, the duo will be launching a full range of cosmetics for Spring ’09.

“We see makeup as another thing for women, like a dress. We worked on the makeup line like we work on a clothing collection — you can change makeup like you can change your clothes, depending on your mood,” says Stefano Gabbana.

As for the products, the packaging will be gold (a la YSL, Chanel…), the shades bold and bright, and the lipsticks scented with a hint of rose. “We wanted to create makeup with a scent. Domenico and I remember when we were children and opened our mother’s handbags — the scent of her lipstick trailed out. I observed that when women open makeup, they smell it first.”

Expect to see the premiere collection of D&G Cosmetics in stores as early as next month.

Beauty News

Longer Lashes, No Extensions Required

By on January 22, 2009

Longer Lashes, No Extensions Required

If the latest innovations in mascara and faux cils haven’t satisfied your lash-lengthening needs, the FDA has just approved the first-ever medical growth treatment for at-home use.

“LATISSE fulfills a significant and previously unmet need in the medical aesthetic marketplace with a product approved by the FDA that increases the growth of eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker,” said Scott Whitcup, M.D., Allergan’s Executive Vice President of Research and Development. “As the global
leader in medical aesthetics, LATISSE exemplifies our continuing commitment to developing innovative treatments that are studied in well-controlled clinical trials, manufactured to pharmaceutical standards, appropriately labeled for use, and available to consumers as a prescription product.”

Available only through a doctor, LATISSE is a once-daily prescription treatment applied to the base of the upper eyelashes with a sterile, single-use-per-eye disposable applicator. Users can expect to experience longer, fuller and darker eyelashes in as little as eight weeks, with full results in 16 weeks. To maintain effect, continued treatment with LATISSE is required. If use of LATISSE is discontinued, eyelashes will gradually return to where they were prior to treatment over a period of weeks to months (average eyelash hair cycle).

Based on their recent FDA approval, Allergan expects to launch the product nationwide in Spring 2009.

For additional information visit Latisse.com.

Daily Rant

Attention Fragrance Fanatics

By on December 16, 2008

Attention Fragrance Fanatics

If you’re in the NYC area tomorrow, you must stop by the new Chanel Fragrance and Beauté counter at Saks Fifth Avenue for a beauty event unlike any other.

Between the hours of 11:00-1:00pm, 2:00-4:00pm, and 5:00-7:00pm, a Chanel artisan will be showcasing the delicate craft of Baudruchage LIVE for all to see.

If you’re not familiar with Baudruchage, it’s the art of applying the iconic ‘CC’ seal that graces each authentic bottle of Chanel parfum. But Baudruchage is also as functional as it is luxurious, helping to preserve the scent so you’re able to enjoy it at its peak.

Should you be inspired by watching this cinematic process, be sure to explore their Olfactive Bar— It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced within the walls of a department store. Utilizing a new, patented ceramic blotter system, this table houses the 43 fragrance concentrates that encompass the entire range of CHANEL perfumery.  Intimidated? Don’t be, there’s also an on-site fragrance expert that can help guide your interactive journey.

Hope to see you there!

Chanel Fragrance and Beauté at Saks Fifth Avenue, 12 E 49th StNew YorkNY‎.
For additional information ring +1 212 940 5305.

Daily Rant

Diamonds are a Boy’s Best Friend

By on

Diamonds are a Boy's Best Friend

Just hours ago, armed robbers lifted upwards of $100 million in precious gems from Harry Winston on Avenue Montaigne, according to reports.

Dressed in drag, these well-prepared thieves were (supposedly) able to complete one of ‘Europe’s biggest heists of all time’ in under a minute.

The robbery happened just one year after a similar raid on the same store, when more than $25 million in baubles were stolen. 

Is it just me, or can you see this appearing on the silver screen next year (with Brad and George in push-up bras and pumps)?

Daily Rant

BeautyMaverick in The New York Times

By on August 23, 2008

BeautyMaverick in The New York Times

Exciting news!

A recent interview I’d done with Natasha Singer, a lovely editor at the NY Times, has been included in her latest piece entitled ‘En Garde! The Great Mascara Duel’.

From today’s Style Section:

CALL it the Battle of the Battery-Operated Mascaras.

On July 17, Estée Lauder introduced TurboLash, a mascara with a battery-operated vibrating brush, at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The night before, the company’s Web site, esteelauder.com/turbolash, sold out of its stock of about 1,000 mascaras, said Elana Drell Szyfer, the senior vice president for marketing at Estée Lauder.

On July 31, Lancôme, which had been scheduled to trot out its own battery-powered wand in November, fired back with a one-day advance sale of the mascara, called Ôscillation, in a handful of stores nationwide.

By the end of the day, more than 5,000 mascaras had sold out at outlets like Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan, Neiman Marcus in Houston and sephora.com, said Kerry Diamond, the vice president for communications at Lancôme USA.

Both companies said the purpose of an electronic mascara wand is to better separate and more evenly coat lashes than a traditional brush would.

Estée Lauder said TurboLash, $30, produces 7,500 vibrations per minute.

Lancôme said Ôscillation, $34, produces 7,000 “micro-oscillations,” or pulses, per minute.

“It has been a question of who would get to market fastest,” said Karen Young, the chief executive of the Young Group, a beauty marketing firm in Manhattan, who has worked at both companies. “It is the mascara wars.”

The battle is so intense that manufacturers are borrowing the promotional weaponry of cellphone companies. They compete over technological iterations, stoke expectations by favoring certain bloggers with advance information, and tightly control initial distribution so that people who pride themselves as being early adopters can buy the product first. Beautymaverick.com, a blog written by a former cosmetics publicist, referred to the Lancôme mascara as “possibly the iPhone 3G of the beauty realm.”

“If you miss the boat, you are unable to be one of the people who have the It product, who are in the know,” Lily Nima, who started the blog 18 months ago, said last week in a phone interview.

“If a mass-market brand were to put a vibrating mascara on the shelf, it would look more like a novelty you would expect a drugstore to do,” she said. “The limited edition at the beginning makes it cooler, unattainable and more glamorous.”

A mass-market wand has been on the shelves at stores like Target and CVS since March.  Called  Spinlash (spinlash.com), the battery-powered gizmo costs about $14.99; more than 100,000 have been sold, a company spokeswoman said.

But, whatever the price, will women embrace a device that requires greater meticulousness to use than a manually operated mascara, and which emits a hum as annoying as a vibrating cellphone?

Beauty companies are positioning the power mascara and the power-free mascara as the difference between automatic and stick-shift.

But even beauty bloggers predict the electric mascara may find only a niche audience.

“An electric battery-operated mascara can be a tricky thing to apply in the back of a cab or on the go,” Ms. Nima said. “The beauty junkies may take to it, but the average beauty consumers may have a harder time with it.”

Still, Jennifer Nobriga of Woodbridge, Va., one of a pair of self-described average beauty consumers and stay-at-home moms behind the blog Beauty in Real Life (beautyinreallife.blogspot.com), said she had already tested Spinlash and was eager to try its higher-end competitors.

“Once we get our own hands on them,” she said, “we are going to be doing a comparison.”

TurboLash is available at Saks; Lauder is working seven days a week to produce more, Ms. Szyfer said. For those who must have Ôscillation, there’s a waiting list at Lancôme counters.

Q&A with the Pros

Q5 with Pat McGrath

By on February 20, 2008

Q5 with Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath is a sui generis superartist, one whose influence on the beauty industry spans much farther than any runway or red carpet. Of course, such talent doesn’t go unnoticed; This brilliant Brit’s now added to her resume the title of Global Color Cosmetics Creative Design Director for Procter & Gamble (now that’s a tongue-twister!).

I recently had the honor of quizzing Ms. McGrath on her source of inspiration, the need for primer, and what she just can’t travel without.

Q1: What initially inspired you to become a makeup artist?

My mother was obsessed with both fashion and makeup. We would spend hours researching makeup for black skin.

Q2: When creating looks for the runway, do you prefer to let your creativity run wild or do you try to create looks that the average women could wear?

When creating looks for the runway, I always collaborate with the designers to develop the look. They usually have an idea of the makeup they want for the show, but they look to me to create makeup that’s unique and represents the designer’s aesthetic. Some makeup looks are more daring than others, but they all involve a great deal of creativity and help shape future beauty trends.

Q3: Using makeup to contour can be a bit tricky for most of us. Would you have any tips or tricks for enhancing or softening certain features?

Avoid using contour powder along the cheekbones as it can look too harsh, particularly in the daytime, but use a soft brown shadow in the eye crease to give subtle depth and dimension. Use a loose shimmer powder, such as Benefit Show Offs in Miss Moon, to accentuate the cheekbones, inner corners of the eye, Cupid’s bow and brow bone.

Q4: Do you think the use of primer is necessary for the average girl, or is it more for professional use?

Primer is great to use if your skin is normal to oily or when wearing foundation. It’s great for controlling shine and helps foundation last longer. You can even use it in place of foundation to give the skin a soft focus look that diminishes the appearance of imperfections and wrinkles. YSL Matt Touch is a great primer.

Q5: What beauty products do you always carry with you when traveling? Why?

MAX Factor Volume Couture and CoverGirl Lash Blast Mascara- These mascaras pump up my lashes and make them look full with lots of definition. They give my lashes a nice lift too.

CoverGirl Amazemint Lip Gloss is very fresh and great when traveling. Every time I press my lips together when I wear this gloss, I get a cool mint flavor that’s refreshing. It makes my lips feel smooth for hours.

SKII Air Touch Foundation (custom blended for my skin). I love the way it makes my skin appear flawless, yet you can’t see any foundation. It’s also very easy to use and carry with me. I wear it when I’m on camera backstage and when I go out in the evenings.

Aromatherapy Associates Essential Oils bring a wonderful smell to hotel rooms and combat jet lag. I love applying it to my pulse points (wrists, temples) because it releases a relaxing scent all day, and before I go to sleep at night.

MAX Factor ColorGenius Blush in Spices– This blush is a wonderful shade for deeper complexions, as it gives that hint of peachy rose color that’s so pretty.