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mario badescu

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Packing skin care products for travel has never been easier…at least for me. When TSA first instituted the 3 fluid ounce rule where all products had to fit into a tiny ziplock bag, people scrambled to find appropriate sizes of their current skin care products. Skin care fanatics the world over were pissed! No one wanted to go buy tiny bottles to measure out 3 ounce portions. Fast forward to present day and the growth in the number of products now available in travel sizes and the increased access to these products through beauty box subscriptions such as Glossybox, COCOTIQUE and Birchbox and sites like 3floz.com, make it simple to pack a tiny bag of skin care products without the use of a funnel. The trouble now is narrowing the selection down to only the essentials. Before I start packing, I assess the condition of my skin and make adjustments based on the weather conditions at my travel destination.  I have an upcoming trip to the Sunshine State and my oily skin will need help to be on its best behavior in the heat and humidity. Here’s what I’m packing…

Skin Care Travel Essentials

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant  is a rice-based powder formula that activates with water to release Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to gentle cleanse and exfoliate the skin.  It is the perfect cleanser for travel (and one of my faves of all time) because it’s in powder form.

Cleanse by Lauren Napier  contains aloe and cucumber and is rich in vitamins B and C. The wipes are individually packaged making them perfect to slip into a bag, a pocket or your bra (I’m not judging.) Cleanse by Lauren Napier works great to remove even waterproof makeup but they are gentle enough for eyes.  On days when I have only a light application of makeup, one wipe can do the trick.  I use two one days when I wear heavier makeup and no matter what, I always follow up with a toner and moisturizer.

There is a lot of debate about the necessity of a toner.  While that debate rages on I’m gonna go ahead and use my toner twice per day and ignore all the noise.  A long time favorite, to which I was recently reacquainted, is the Clinique Clarifying Toner. The first time I used this toner  was in Florida, so, it’s only fitting it is one of my favorite warm weather toners. It helps to control excess oil to minimize breakouts and leaves skin feeling clean, cool and refreshed.

I’m headed into a very humid climate which means my skin can act a fool without notice.  I’m preparing for any pesky pimples with Mario Badescu’s Complexion Perfection Kit, it  contains the Special Healing PowderDrying Cream and the Drying lotion. If something pops up that cannot be kept under control with this trio of products…all hope is lost and I should leave Florida immediately and never return.

When it’s hot and humid I often skip the moisturizer and use  a serum and a sunscreen. My winning combo for the last few weeks has been  Clarins Double Serum and Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30. Clarins Double Serum contains 20 pure plant extracts and potent, high-tech molecules in a dual chamber  bottle.  It firms and evens skin tone and provides a great moisture boost without feeling heavy.  Clarins Double Serum  is great for use day and night. Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 is a broad spectrum lightweight sunscreen  that helps to prevent shine on oily,  breakout-prone skin like mine. Win!

Eye Cream is a must once you hit 25 and I have been north of that for several years, so, I can’t finish packing my skin care travel bag without a proper eye cream or two.  For day time I’ve been using Skinceuticals Physical Eye UV Defense Sunscreen with SPF 50. In addition to providing UV protection, this lightweight  neutral tinted eye cream also brightens the eye area and works well under concealer or alone.  For night I use BlissLabs Active 99.0 Multi Action Eye Cream.  It  is lightweight cream formulated to easily absorbs into the delicate eye area to help “reduce puffiness and diminish the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles.”

While I have not yet narrowed down the bathing suits I will take on this trip, my skin care travel essentials are packed and ready to go!

What are Your Summer Skin Care Travel Essentials?

This post was written by Christene Carr. Find her on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her personal blog

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It’s no surprise I am again writing about the bane of my skincare existence – acne.  But instead of just reviewing a product, I figured I would group my favorite, most effective acne fighting winners together in one post. From cleansers, to moisturizers and everything in between, these are my regular stand-bys for  acne treatment and the unending war on blemishes.


Boscia Makeup Breakup Cleansing OilThe first step in helping me reduce breakouts is an effective cleanser that removes all makeup, dirt and grime from my face. Cleansing oils are my recommended choice because they give the skin a nice and thorough deep clean, without stripping the face of necessary oils. Leaving a small amount of oil on the face is a good thing, and often using an oil based cleanser can help to balance out the skin. Boscia Cleansing oil is an all time favorite.  I often follow up a cleansing oil with a secondary cleanser aimed to help reduce bacteria or address breakouts.  Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is one I always keep around and use about 2-3 times/wk because it helps to exfoliate the skin and remove any build up from the skin’s surface.

Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil retails for $28.00 and is available at SephoraMario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser retails for $15.00 and is available at Ulta.


First Aid Beauty Blemish Control PadsA toner is the one step of many skincare routines that gets overlooked or skipped, but it is the one I feel can make the most difference.  Toners are designed to help balance the pH of the skin, prepare it for subsequent treatments and serums and remove any bacteria that may still be on the face. I recently came upon these First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads and think they are a wonder! Gentle enough to be used daily, I have found they help to reduce any breakouts I may be struggling with, soothe any irritation and prevent any future blemishes from making an unwanted appearance. I was a tad hesitant they would dry out my skin, but I am going strong after 30 days and my skin has never looked better! Now for those particularly evil times when I need to bring out the bigger guns (hormonal breakouts in particular), I substitute in my Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion a few times per week after cleansing and it does wonders to remedy any cystic or incredibly stubborn pimples that may be hanging around.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads retail for $30 and are available at Sephora. Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion retails for $15.00 and is available at Ulta.

Spot Treatments

Murad Acne Spot Fast FixI don’t know where I would be without spot treatments. My acne is not typically all over my entire face, but more regional, attacking the same areas over and over (and over and over). Targeting the specific area is always my first line of attack. This Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix is new to my acne treatment arsenal. The active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide and I like it for some of the stronger, cystic  pimples I get around my jawline. It does burn a tad when I first apply, but it does a great job at reducing the size and depth of the blemish within the first 2-3 days. Clinique’s Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel is another new discovery for me and has been a life saver. This one is formulated with salicylic acid, goes on as a clear gel and wears beautifully under makeup! Though it can be used over the entire face, I find it best used for me as a spot treatment.

Murad Acne Spot Fix retails for $16.00 and is available at Sephora. Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel retails for $17.00 and is available at Sephora.


murad-acne-clearing-solutionWhile my chin may be the number one spot for hormonal breakouts to set up shop, my forehead can be the place where I get smaller blemishes and often small little bumps. I use the Murad Acne Clearing Solution under my moisturizer  to help address my forehead shenanigans.  Formulated with retinol and salicylic acid, it does a great job at exfoliating the area and helping to clear up the area overall without causing irritation or dryness. Speaking of retinols, the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream is my ultimate favorite, and while it is designed specifically to treat anti-aging concerns, I find that it is one of my holy grail products for helping me to keep my skin looking clear and blemish free.  The retinol in the cream helps to exfoliate the skin, which can make the skin appear brighter and more even, but for me it has helped to remove any congestion or dead skin build up that often clogs pores and leads to breakouts.

Murad Acne Clearing Solution retails for $39.00 and is available at Sephora. Ren Bio-Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream retails for $65.00 and is available at Sephora.


Ren Invisible Pores Detox MaskNext to cleansing, masking is my favorite skincare activity. My pore clearing masks are obviously my most used, and this REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask quickly became a staple in my routine after just one use. I have tried many similar masks that seek to detox the skin, remove debris from the pores and heal acne, but this particular mask did all of those things while still leaving my skin feeling hydrated, soft and supple. I use it all over my entire face, whereas other similar masks I use just on the areas that are prone to breakouts. My Mario Badescu Drying Mask is one I have used for years and works best on the congested area rather than the entire face. It attacks the blemishes with a vengeance, but does leave the area a bit dry after (which I then follow up with the Herbal Hydrating Serum to help balance – it truly works wonders).

REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask retails for $34.00 and is available at Sephora. Mario Badescu Drying Mask retails for $18.00 and is available on Ulta.

What are you favorite acne fighting products?

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For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.



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If you caught this post by Felicia, you know that the beauty industry is currently obsessed with face oils, and with good reason. I have tried several oils over the years and only a few of them have really stuck.  I find that I tend to use oils during the day mostly in the cooler months because they give the skin a boost and a bit more protection when the temperature gets frigid.  Otherwise, I use oils at night. I recently went through my beauty closet and pulled out the face oils that I think are worth trying. Here goes:

Dermalogica Pre Cleanse 

Dermalogica Pre Cleanse

When used correctly Dermalogica Pre Cleanse loosens every stitch of makeup on the face and prepares it to be washed away by  your cleanser. It is effective, yet gentle enough to rub over lids and lashes to loosen even waterproof makeup.  Dermalogica Pre Cleanse  contains ricebran, olive, kukui and apricot oils, vitamin E, essential oils  among other ingredients and works wonders to lift the grime from your face preparing it for a more deep down clean. $37

Mario Badescu Rose Hip Nourishing Oil

Mario Badescu Rose Hip Nourishing Oil

Though labelled as an oil,  this product is oil free.  Propylene glycol and glycerin gives this product slip that is reminiscent of a dry oil but it disappears in the skin leaving no greasy residue behind. The Rose Hip extract in this oil makes it rich in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, it also has some antiseptic properties.  If you are skeptical about using oils, Mario Badescu Rose Hip Nourishing Oil  is a good place to start. $20

Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil

Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil

This product contains several botanical oils and extracts including sandalwood, cardamon, lavender and hazelnut.  Though formulated for dry and extra dry skin, on super cold days and nights it helps to layer this under a moisturizer.  On its own and when used as directed, Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil soothes and comforts dry, irritated or stressed skin, as well as reduces redness and helps prevent moisture loss. $52

L’Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal

L'Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal

This oil smells amazing! It is formulated by adding 8 essential oils and other botanical oils and extracts to Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, a derivative of coconut oil. It has a silky feel and disappears into damp skin leaving no greasy residue at all.  If you are new to facial oils or have oily skin, this oil is the perfect place for you to start. When used as directed, L’Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal restore skin’s youthful glow by deeply nourishing and replenishes dull, dry skin. $24.99

Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil

Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil

This has a similar feel to the L’Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal because it also uses Caprylic Capric Triglyceride as its base and carrier for the active botanicals. Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil is formulated as “an instantly soothing face oil that improves skin’s overall tone, texture and glow.”  The botanicals include: borage seed Oil to aid in cell repair, yangu oil to improve elasticity, marula oil  to prevent moisture loss and argan oil, a vitamin rich antioxidant. $138

TIP: If you are shopping for an oil and and you want something light, look for a product where the first ingredient is Caprylic Capric Triglyceride. It is a great base for facial oils and acts as a vehicle to deliver other actives to the skin.  Also, remember that you can’t moisturize without water or water like substance, so for best results, apply your oils on damp skin either immediately after washing and lightly drying or after toning the skin.

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Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog

2013 has come and gone, but my beauty favorites from this past year are here to stay.    Narrowing down the list of best beauty products was not easy but someone’s gotta do it.  And I selflessly gave of my skin, hair, face and body for the task.  It’s like I am a beauty blogging saint – ok, ok, I took it a tad too far, no?  But nonetheless, I have tried a myriad of things to bring the readers the best of the best (in my opinion) – and hopefully you will agree with my choices.  Here are my 2013 Beauty Favorites:

Perricone Blue Plasma


Exfoliation is the key to glowing skin in my opinion.  Formulated as a non-acidic peel, the Blue Plasma uses salmon roe enzyme and copper to help slough away dead skin cells leaving behind glowing, radiant and re-texturized skin.  The major bonus of this product is its ability to be used AM or PM and on almost any skin type, even sensitive.  It is quite the splurge, but worth every penny.  Available at Sephora for $95.00.

 Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Mario Badescu Buffering LotionOily skin may keep me young looking forever, but the down side is I am still dealing with acne even into my adult years.  And so the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion has become a life saver that I can use both at night when I have a breakout or feel one coming on, or under my makeup in the morning to help treat the affected area all day.  Blemishes disappear in just a day or two, and it is instrumental in keeping my problematic skin at bay.  Available at Nordstrom for $17.00.

Nest Fragrances in Midnight Fleur

nest fragrances midnight fleur

With Nest’s recent launch at Sephora this year, I am thrilled to see my favorite fragrance going mainstream.  Everyone and anyone needs to get in on this unique and intoxicating scent.  With notes of black amber, vanilla orchid, rhubarb, green apple and patchouli, this fragrance is meant to stand out and make a statement.  Red lip not required.  Available at Sephora for $25.00.

Dermalogica MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque

We all have that special event, date, interview, party, etc that we need a Hail Mary skincare moment to prepare us properly for success.  This is that product.  I call this my “secret weapon” mask because it does just about anything and everything to make my skin next to perfect.  A revitalizing combination of vitamins A, C, E and F, it helps skin to recover from damage, restore moisture and increase elasticity.  End result is glowing, healthy, revitalized and supple skin.  Available at Dermalogica for $46.00.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig

Bite beauty luminous creme lipstick in fig

How could I pick just ONE lipstick from the entire past year? By simply looking at how worn down the bullet is by December – and there is my answer.  Not only was this the perfect natural pink lip-color-only-better shade, it was so delightful to wear.  Soft, hydrating, long lasting and richly pigmented – Bite Beauty is quickly rising on my list of favorite brands.  Available at Sephora for $24.00.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation

urban decay naked skin foundationA second close runner up to my love of skincare is foundation – I love the look of flawless, fresh skin.  And while I have more foundations than I should probably admit, I continously wore Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Foundation over and over.  Amazing coverage that can be applied sheer and built up as needed, with a natural matte finish, the Naked Skin Foundation made its most impressive mark on me by helping to control my oil throughout the day leaving my skin looking healthy and radiant without being shiny.  Available at Sephora for $39.00.

Shop My 2013 Beauty Favorites:

For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

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Great beauty products don’t have to break the bank. The 10 products below offer great results and all ring the register at under $10!

10 Amazing Beauty Buys Under $10

CoverGirl Clump Crusher 

Clump Crusher by LashBlast Mascara

If you’ve ever had to deal with clumpy mascara you know how annoying it can be. CoverGirl’s Clump Crusher mascara has an innovative double-sided brush that delivers product to the tiniest lashes while combing out clumps and separating lashes…making them appear to double in fullness and length. $6.94

Yes to Grapefruit Facial Cleansing Wipes

Yes to Grapefruit Facial Cleansing Wipes

Formulated with the Vitamin C found in Grapefruit, Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Towelettes naturally exfoliate, cleanse, and rid skin of pore-clogging impurities. These genius do-it-all towelettes are perfect for cleansing on-the-go. They leave the face fresh with just a hint of moisture. $5.99

Mario Badescu Elbow & Heel Smoothing Cream

Mario Badescu Elbow and Heel Smoothing Cream

Now that winter has officially wrapped, restore skin with this amazing product. It is formulated with glycerin and salycylic acid to exfoliate, heal, and moisturizer rough, dry skin.  For best results, use at bedtime with beauty booties or an old pair of cotton socks. $7.00

L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer

L'oreal True Match Concealer

True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer stick is convenient and offers full coverage of small spots to large areas of imperfections.  The  concealer is formulated with high levels of liquid and soft waxes making it creamy,  light weight and blend-able, while silicone elastomers and light-diffusing pigments keep the product from looking ‘cakey’ on skin. Available in 6 natural shades.  To see how quick and easy this is to use, check out Felicia’s video review. $8.99

Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover

Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover

This hand-saving treatment allows you to cut your manicure time in half! Ditch the clippers, this gel formula breaks down and melts away excess cuticles in seconds! With regular use, it helps prevent cuticle problems before they start.  TIP: Instant Cuticle Remover can also be used on calluses. $5.99

L’Oreal Ideal Moisture Even Tone Day Lotion

L'Oreal® Ideal Moisture Even Tone Day Lotion 

Infused with the antioxidant Vitamin E and lightweight hydration, this oil-free lotion works to provide skin with a weightless, natural, instant  glow. It combines 48HR moisture with Broad Spectrum UVA/ UVB SPF 25 protection, and doesn’t leave a grayish cast on the skin — something that generally concerns women (and men) with darker skin tones. $6.99

NYX Butter Gloss

NYX Butter Gloss

At under $5 a pop,  this ultra moisturizing lip gloss make lips butter soft with just a hint of sweetness. In 12 lip biting shades, get sheer to medium coverage on your lips without the stickiness. $5.00

Ruby Kisses No More Blemish Liquid Foundation


There is nothing better than a double duty beauty product. Treat and conceal problem areas with Ruby Kisses No More Blemish Liquid Foundation. This oil free formula delivers medium to full coverage, while the micro-salicylic acid bead technology helps to clear up blemishes and breakouts. $4.99 (Also check out your local beauty supply store.)

E.L.F. Studio Blush

e.l.f. Studio Blush

Get a subtle flushed cheek or build up for bright rosy glow with ELF Studio Blush. These blushes easily blend into the skin for a silky, natural finish.  Available in 11 shades. $3.00

Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer


If you’ve ever tried sunless tanners you know the unpleasant odor that comes with the territory. I have been a fan of this product for a couple of years and Jergens recently reformulated the product to remove the odor.  Jergens Natural Glow +FIRMING Daily Moisturizer now gradually and subtly darkens skin without the odor. The ingredients in this moisturizer even out complexion giving it a sun kissed glow. Not only that, in as little as 7 days this moisturizer also visibly firms skin making mild to moderate cellulite less visible. Available in fair to Medium and Medium to Tan.  $8.99

Let’s Connect!

ChristeneCarr: TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest Blog

T’is the season for giving!  To show our appreciation for all our TTB readers, we are giving away one beauty prize pack per week from now until Christmas!  Each week we will feature our favorite products from our favorite brands.

First up is  Mario Badescu.

Mario Badescu was an early supporter of ThisThatBeauty.  They also make some of our favorite products, as can be seen here, here, here and here.


This giveaway features:Herbal Hydrating Serum, Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Special Cucumber Lotion, Drying Lotion, Healing Cream, Oil Free SPF30, Calma Mask

How to Enter:

Like the picture above on Instagram

Follow @ThisThatBeauty on Instagram and Twitter 

Follow @MarioBadescu on Instagram and Twitter

Re-post this picture on YOUR Instagram with hashtags #TTBMBGift, #TTBHolidayGiveaway and #MarioBadescu 

Mario Badescu giveaway ends Saturday, November 17th, 2012.

Giveaway/Contest Rules:

This contest is open to US residents 18 and older. If you have won a prize from ThisThatBeauty in the last six months you are not eligible to win. This prize cannot be redeemed for cash. The makers and manufacturers of the items being given away are in no way affiliated with this contest. While we do take every precaution to ensure packages are delivered to contest winners, we do not take any responsibility for items lost or stolen during the shipping process once we have confirmed shipment from our end.



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Surprise, Surprise: Most of the things I blog about are submitted to ThisThatBeauty for editorial consideration. In simpler language — I don’t pay for them. Oh yes, that’s pretty much the way it works with most blogs and all magazines. PR professionals pitch products and as the Editor, it’s my role to decide which items get reviewed or included in stories for ThisThatBeauty. And while we cover lots of great product here on my little bloggy woggy, not all of it gets replenished. Some things I use until they’re all used up . . .never to be replenished again. But then there are those star products that I cannot imagine life without. These are the things that I replenish time after time.

I always say, the true sign of product lust/ loyalty is whether or not a beauty editor BUYS the product on her own dime. Here are the items that I happily pay for with my CHASE Visa Debit Card:

Everything Mario Badescu: Just search my blog and you’ll find countless reviews. MB is basically my skin care savior. Whenever my skin goes through seasonal changes or gets out of whack, I can always rely on MB products to rein it in.

GrandeLash MD: Uhm, excuse me, Bambi! This stuff works. I’ve been using it for the past three months and just placed an order for my next three month supply. My lashes are now super duper long and thick. What I love most about this product is that it does not irritate my lash line at all, unlike other growth serums I have tried. I also love that it dries totally clear and I can use it day or night. With other growth serums I’ve tried, they tend to dry with a little white-ish film that doesn’t look so nice for daytime. I saw length after about four weeks…but now that I am three months in, my lashes are not just longer, but also thicker and darker. I’m hooked!

Everything ReVive (except their eye care…meh!): I fell in love with the line about a 18 months ago, and let me tell you — I had the best skin of my life when I was using all ReVive everything. I’ve yet to meet a line of anti-aging products that work as well as ReVive. On a whole, the line is the best there is. Obviously I like products from other lines and constantly test new products….but I always go back to ReVive when I’m in need of an anti-aging fix. FAVS: Defensif Renewal Serum for day and Moisturizing Renewal Cream for night. Trust!

Koh Gen Do Spa Cleansing Water: Hands down, the best cleansing water for removing stubborn mascara and liner. Super effective, yet super gentle.


Yes to Cucumbers Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

CoverFx Blotting Powder

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Ahh...inside the tents!

Fashion Week is upon. No. Seriously. It’s like this week. First it’s FNO (see our FNO rundown here) and then…BOOM, full on #NYFW. But before nonstop shows, breakneck speed note-taking on my iPad, impossible deadlines, and everything in between, I make time to properly prep and get my booty, I mean, beauty in shape for the rigorous week ahead.

Read on as I share my Fashion Week Beauty prep for skin & hair. . .


Facial: About a week or so before Fashion Week, I always make time for a really thorough facial. The week promises to be incredibly stressful so getting my oily, acne-prone skin into shape in advance is a wise move. I visited Mikki at Mario Badescu and let me tell you — Mikki gave me the business! She worked me over and it was awesome. I walked in looking a super congested, hormonally broken out wreck . . . and my skin now looks great. I love that Mikki was extremely thorough and committed to getting me all cleaned up. And let me tell you, she’s strong for a petite gal! Immediately post-facial my skin looked like I was wearing foundation — and clearly I was not. Yep, I’ll be seeing Mikki again in six weeks….a girl can get used to this!

Proper Skin Maintenance: While the aforementioned facial laid a solid foundation, proper skin care is key. I’m currently managing my adult acne prone skin with…

1) TRIA Skin Perfecting Blue Light. I use this blue light treatment device (the same technology used by dermatologists) to zap the bacteria deep within the skin…the acne causing bacteria that leads to painful breakouts [and naturally, at the most inopportune moments – like Fashion Week]. I treat with TRIA once per day for five minutes. And yes it really works. . . this is my second device, after losing the first one. I highly recommend this as preventative tool for acne-prone skin!

2) Mario Badescu Drying Mask. Like most Mario Badescu products, Drying Mask is one of those skin care saviors that I am never without in my beauty closet. I rely on it to help dry existing pimples and clarify problematic areas before pimples have the opportunity to emerge. While it’s safe to use all over, I generally apply to cheeks and chin (a little area I like to call the “muzzle”)…my most congested areas. And for nights when I do not use the Drying Mask, I balance things out by incorporating  Mario Badescu Healing Soothing Mask. It’s a yin & yang sort of thing.

3) The Body ShopTea Tree Pore Minimiser. You know how we always want what we don’t have?. . . curly girls want stick straight hair & straight girls want coily curls. Well-endowed bellas want a less ample bosom & chesty girls want to frolic in sundresses sans brassiere. . . the list goes on & on. I have notoriously oily skin (though, I’m often told it’s “glowy”) and all I ever want is perfectly matte skin. Luckily, The Body Shop understands my struggle. Incorporating the acne-fighting, natural antiseptic power of tea tree oil, The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser immediately softens the appearance of enlarged pores by absorbing and mattifying excess sebum. Unlike most primers that simply prime the skin for makeup application, The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser also helps to treat and improve congested skin.


Set Things Straight: For Fashion Week, I am all about straight hair. Given the zillion other things that I have to worry about, I really cannot be bothered with my temperamental, unpredictable, naturally curly hair — So I turn to Sultra The Diva Pressing Iron and Pressing Creme. I first came to know (and quickly love) Sultra back in 2009 when I was a contributor for The Makeup Girl. . . so when I heard that the brand had launched a pressing iron, especially designed to suit the needs of hair like mine. . .  well I wept a unicorn. With so many flat irons and stylers on the market, it’s tough to find one that is suitable for coily hair…one that gets hair straight and smooth, but also does not damage or compromise hair’s natural curl pattern. The Diva’s ThermaGuide™ Plate System, which allows hair to slide across plates without tugging or pulling, and advanced ceramic heater can beautifully style the kinkiest of coils. The grooved side of the plate sort of acts like a comb and helps to smooth the entire length of hair as the plates straighten. Pure genius! For relaxed hair, there is a “relaxed” heat setting and for natural hair, there is a “natural” heat setting. Personally, I like to use the “relaxed” setting for my natural hair. “Relaxed” is a lower temperature and I like to limit my hair’s heat exposure. The Pressing Créme is great because it aids the straightening process and gives my hair shine without feeling heavy.

For a little added sass (and you know how much I love to get sassy), I’ll add a few strips of pastel colored extensions for Fashion Week. I love non-committal ombre.  And lucky you — they’re currently on sale at Sephora for only $9.

(Ahem, it's a curling iron. . . remove your mind from the gutter!)

For a bit more texture (think: soft wayward waves) I like adding The Bombshell Cone Rod Curling Iron to the mix. While we’ve all seen clip-less curling irons, I can guarantee you’ve never seen a clip-less like this. The point of difference is the nubby tapered-barrel. . . it provides mega hold & creates loose, slightly tighter waves at the root and flowy, sexy, messy ringlets at the bottom. Between The Diva and The Bombshell, my hair is NYFW ready!

Stay tuned for my NYFW makeup musts — I’ll rundown the products that help me fake a good night’s sleep, the lipstick that makes my teeth look whither, the highlighter that gives my skin a candlelit glow, and more. Stay tuned! Xx

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This summer has been exceptionally hard on my skin. I can’t say if it’s the record breaking heat or the evolution of my skin in general but in addition to dealing with my usual shine, I also have to deal with heat rash and heat pimples.

Mario Badescu: Calma Mask, Hydrating Serum and Aloe Toner

Mario Badescu

To help deal with this problem I turn to three Mario Badescu products: Calma Mask, Hydrating Serum and Aloe Toner. The Calma Mask is oil free and formulated with Balsam Peru, Kaolin and Calamine to soothe the skin. The Hydrating Serum is oil free and formulated with Ginkgo Extract, Ceramides and Ginseng Extracts, it can be used in place of a traditional moisturizer or used to boost the effects of your existing moisturizer. I used the Hydrating Serum in in place of my nighttime moisturizer when my heat rash was at its worst. I sometimes use the Aloe Toner for cleansing. It is formulated with aloe, so, it is very soothing.


Vaseline Total Care Moisture Aloe Fresh


Another product that has proven invaluable this summer is the Vaseline Total Care Moisture Aloe Fresh Lotion. In a blind survey, 82% of consumers said they are ‘Likely’ or ‘Extremely likely’ to buy Vaseline Total Moisture on their next shopping trip and I totally understand why they would. Vaseline Total Moisture Lotion offers complete moisture without feeling heavy or sticky on the skin, and it is a one step process – much needed after the multi step process that is my face care routine. See my review here. Speaking of Vaseline, the Petroleum Jelly still gets play, especially on my feet. I know this is the equivalent to cleaning before the cleaning lady comes but I tend to prepare my feet before a pedicure by slathering on Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on damp feet the night before and putting on a pair of old socks. This softens cuticles and the bottom of my feet to ensure I get the most out of my pedicure. This trick is also great coming off winter when my puppies may have been a bit neglected and need the extra love before open toe season.

Dove Clinical Strength Protection

Dove Clinical Strength Deodorant

Nothing test my deodorant like a 100 degree day, but this summer I was lifting my hand confidently because I was rocking Dove Clinical Strength Deodorant. I don’t want to admit that I sweat like dude running laps…but I kinda do. This Dove deodorant provides 24 hours of prescription-strength wetness protection but also has Dove’s signature 1/4 moisturizers which leaves my underarms feeling and looking fabulous for all my sleeveless numbers — and you know how I get down.

Tom Ford Santal Blush

Santal Blush

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my number one fragrance for the summer.  I sometimes layer my fragrances and Tom Ford’s Santal Blush makes the cut more days than any other fragrance in my collection.  Santal Blush is a complex and exotic composition. Click here to read my full preview on Bergdorf Goodman’s blog.

There you have it folks, a few of my summertime favorite products. What are some of yours?

Every now & then I like to republish this article for my many followers who deal with hyperpigmentation & inquire about my skin care routine. The blog post is a couple of years old — but my core principles are timeless….

Grab a cup of tea, a big bowl of (ThisThatBeauty’s fav) popcorn, glass of vino, yummy cocktail, or what ever it is you reach for when you settle in for a good read. This article promises to be the longest post in ThisThatBeauty history.

I am often approached regarding my exact skin care routine. I must confess. This is an extremely difficult question to answer for a number of reasons:

1) Everyone’s skin is different and the results I achieve may or may not be similar for your sweet little face.

2) My skin care routine changes from season to season…and when I say “season to season” I am not referring to weather. I am referring to my different “skin seasons”. For example, there’s the “acne season”, where my primary focus is managing my annoying adult acne. There’s the “dry season” where I incorporate products that help remedy excessive dryness. Currently my skin is in “hyperpigmentation season” so my routine is very heavily and aggressively focused on remedying the dastardly dark spots that have taken up residence on my otherwise pristine (I kid) mug.

3) I regularly (and cheerfully) review/test/and flip flop from product to product….and allow me to clarify what I mean by “flip flop”. I only flip flop from product to product after I’ve used for the recommended time frame (usually 4-8 weeks). If there’s no adverse reaction, I generally stick with a product until its used up. I then write a review and decide to re-purchase or move on to the next one. However, I should note that even though I regularly review and switch products, there are certain skin care principles that are constant (more on that later).

4) My overall skin care routine is somewhat extensive. Just ask @KatAragon. We recently roomed together in LA and she lovingly poked fun at my diligent day and evening skin care rituals…but she also all but licked my face and marveled at how smooth and even my complexion is. (I kid about the licking, but I could tell she wanted to-LOL).

So for reasons 1 through 4, it is hard for me to give an exact run down of what my skin care routine is….No two faces are the same, my skin issues and products change often, and my overall routine is quite intense…I’ve actually seen eyes glaze over when I’ve tried to explain it all.

The main focus of this article is my current “skin season”HYPERPIGMENTATION, which is in bold and spelled out in caps to signify that I am yelling the word at the top of my lungs. Hyperpigmentation is no joke! It makes me feel angry, sad, insecure…and basically unpretty. So for this article I will share with you, the intimate details of my struggle with hyperpigmentation and the products I am currently using. Once I am through this particular “skin season” some of the products will likely change.

Before getting into the actual products, I have to take a small step back and talk a bit more about my overall skin care routine. As I’ve already said, my routines are “skin season” specific and change often. HOWEVER HOWEVER, there are CORE PRINCIPLES that are constant….cleanse, tone, eye cream, treat issues, anti oxidant serum, sunscreen, special treatment masks, regular facials and regular dermatologist visits.


I generally tend to favor gentle cleansers. I am usually on some sort of topical medication for acne management (currently using Evoclin foam) so I steer clear of harsh cleaners that will possibly conflict. However, the cleanser must clean deep enough to control my excessive sebum and oil production. A few of my fav cleansers include:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – It is super gentle and does no harm.

KISS MY FACE Exfoliating Face Wash – Don’t let the word “exfoliating” scare you. The formula is gel-like with no bits or particles. The cleanser gently uses the power of natural fruit acids to exfoliate the skin. Lemon Grass Oil is incorporated as an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Antioxidant Green Tea repairs damaged skin.

Lancome Creme Radiance – This clarifying cream to foam cleanser contains antioxidant White Lotus and soothing Rose de France to penetrate deeply without drying out the skin. I always feel brighter after using.

GRN Blue Chamomile Cleanser – Certified Organic Extracts of Chamomile, Rosemary and Green Tea. This gentle cleanser provides deep cleansing without harsh chemicals. It does not dry or irritate my skin.

So you see, I mainly use cleansers that are gentle and free of harsh irritants. My cleansers do rotate from time to time, but GENTLE is key for any cleanser I use. In addition, my Clarisonic Skin Care Brush is a staple. This brush is working miracles in my skin….*cue the parting of the sea and the conversion of water into wine*

This brush saves lives! I bought my first Clarisonic a few years back when Lady O (not Michelle, Oprah) touted the brush as one of her fav things. The brush flew off the shelves like Free Pancake Day at IHOP, but I was lucky enough track one down (and was later rather unlucky because I left it at a hotel and was forced to buy a replacement). For some odd reason I abandoned using the brush…bad move. During a skin care convo with my sister from another mister – Adri, she encouraged me to get back on my Clarisonic grind. I charged up the super sonic brush and have not looked back. My skin is, at this very moment, the best it has been in a long time. Regardless of the different cleaners I rotate, my Clarisonic skin care brush is a staple.


The next step of my skincare routine involves the use of a “gentle” toner. There’s that word again, “gentle”. My current favs are all awesome with a capital “A” because they are non-drying, contain no alcohol, and help to restore my skin’s balance after cleansing:

Chella Refining Tonic – Contains zinc and pomegranate. Is gentle and refreshing. The yummy pom scent is a bonus!

Renee Rouleau – Moisture Infusion Toner, Revitalizing Ginseng Toner, and Balancing Skin Tonic are my favs.KISS MY FACE Balancing Act Facial Toner – (Description from KISS MY FACE) Tone and nourish skin with organic ingredients. Revitalize tired skin with this blend of certified organic grapefruit, orange, ginger and lemon balm essential oils and extracts. Seaweed extract provides trace minerals while antioxidants Ester C® and Vitamin E help fight the signs of aging.

Again, the trend is “gentle” yet effective!

The last few steps in my general routine include acne medication, serum, eye cream, SPF, special treatment masks, regular check-ins with my derm, and somewhat regular facials.

And now, getting back to the main focus of this article, the next few products in my routine are formulated specifically to address my current “hyperpigmentation season”.

Are you surprised that I stated there will be a “few products” required to address hyperpigmentation? Well don’t be. Often times we expect one miracle product to solve our issues. I wish! The reality is that good skin takes a concerted and continued effort.

While this post is intended to share with you the products I am using to win my personal battle against hyperpigmentation, I also want to express my opinion that a lot of folks out there are slackin’ on their skincare pimpin’ and expect one miracle product to improve your skin. Girlfriends, I am here to tell you that if you are not properly addressing your skin from all angles, don’t expect the two or three hyperpigmentation remedies I’m about to recommend to work for you.

For example –

  • If you’re sleeping in your makeup….your skin is filthy and not properly repairing itself so don’t expect these products to work for you.
  • If you are not using sunscreen daily (preferably SPF30)…. don’t expect these products to dramatically diminish your hyperpigmentation.
  • If you do not properly exfoliate…do not expect these product to magically transform your roughness.

Am I making myself clear:) Good skin care is a multi-pronged approached. Whipping your skin into shape is serious business, kids. I highly suggest that you evaluate all aspects of your regime and not just place a band-aid. I am taking the time to highlight my core principles of skin care because I want you to understand that it takes a certain level of sustained commitment to achieve your desired results.

So having said ALLLLLLLL that (Whew, momma’s tired), I now want to share with you the products that I am currently using to address my hyperpigmentation. But remember, overall good skin care habits in conjunction with these products is the route that ThisThatBeauty wholeheartedly recommends.


I did not always have post acne hyperpigmentation. When I was in my early twenties and first started breaking out (Hello Adult Acne), my pimples usually healed without leaving a trace of its existence. This is no longer the case. I went through a terrible breakout phase last summer. The pimples were often cystic and extremely painful. After months of a couple pimples here and a couple pimples there, my face transformed from relatively blemish free to a face full of dark spots.

I went from skin like this (no makeup in pic):

To occasional breakouts like these (NSFW):

Which eventually led to lots of dark spots like these (DOUBLE NSFW):

I even ended up in my derm’s chair for cortisone shots:

With the help of great concealers by Cinema Secrets, Make Up For Ever, CoverFX, and BECCA, I was able to conceal the dark spots with minimal effort. But that was a band-aid, not the solution. The products I am recommending in this post are tried and true skincare solutions!

First and foremost, not to beat a dead horse because I already mentioned my Clarisonic in this post but ….hats off to my Clarisonic skin care brush. Its sonic technology gently and effectively cleanses my skin, clears pores, and really helps to improve my tone and texture. Everything about my skin improved once I started back using my Clarisonic skin care brush. Without proper cleansing, environmental stressors like pollutantion, oil and bacteria accumulate on the skin, clogging pores which causes blackheads, blemishes and dullness. Clarisonic’s gentle cleansing and massage help to prep my skin to better absorb my skin care products. In a study Clarisonic reported that after cleansing with their brush, skin showed a 61% improvement in the absorption of Vitamin C. They claim that skin becomes clean, clear and smooth—allowing skin to experience the full benefits of serums and moisturizers. I co-sign. The proof is in my gorgeous glowing skin….and did I mention I bought two Clarisonic brushes? Yea, its that serious!

For daytime I use Kiehl’s Highly Effective Skin Tone Corrector (KHESTC). This has been a staple in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal. I’ve been using for over four weeks and already see significant improvement.

KHESTC is formulated with a blend of antioxidants and acids that help to lessen the appearance of dark spots, sun spots, and uneven skin tone. KHESTC does not contain Hydroquinone. Instead it is made of a unique blend of Glycolic Acid, Emblica Fruit extract, and HEPES which KHESTC claims is as effective as 2% Hydroquinone and a safer, gentler combination of ingredients to achieve almost similar results.

Emblica Fruit extract contains a large amount of Vitamin C which serves to protect the skin from sun damage, promote collagen production, reduce inflammation, and help repair damaged skin. It is a natural antioxidant, which means it eliminates free radical damage to the skin. Emblica extract also works as a skin lightener. HEPES is an organic chemical buffer and acts as a hydrating agent to the skin. HEPES helps to eliminate roughness. It is as powerful as Glycolic Acid.

Glycolici Acid, a long time friend of mine, is essential because it works to dissolve the outer skin layer, breakdown hyperpigmentation, and reveal fresher looking skin. Glycolic Acid also helps to even out skin tone and improve texture/scarring.

I like that KHESTC is a corrector and antioxidant in one. That’s very important because it cuts down on the need for a separate antioxidant serum. The product comes in a gel like formula which is quickly absorbed into the skin. My one complaint about the product is the packaging. The metal tube oozes product long after you squeeze and dispense. This leads to the wasting of product. Here’s how I worked around this annoyance…I squeeze less than I need and allow the tub to ooze out additional product. Does this make sense? [UPDATE: KHESTC has been discontinued but try Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution instead]

After applying KHESTC, I follow up with a healthy slathering of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I am eternally grateful to my beauty blogger bud who was kind enough to give me her press sample of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I had heard buzz from several friends in the industry that the moisturizer is effective in correcting hyperpigmentation. I used the product every morning for about 6-8 weeks and noticed that my dark spots were beginning to fade. Over time they became less and less obvious. After going through one full sized container, I rushed out and purchased another. I continue to use it today.

In the evenings, for the last 2-3 weeks, after cleansing, toning, eye cream, and Evoclin, I have been applying Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. Once again, I have my sister from another mister, Adri, to thank for turning me on to this product. I was complaining that I need another product in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal and she suggested stepping up my game with Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. NOTE: Your Hyperpigmentation might not require a treatment for day and a treatment for night….but you saw my pictures. I did not have time to play games. I should disclose that Murad contains 2% Hydroquinone. Momma’s not hear to judge, but merely inform. My dark spots, in my opinion, require a product like Keihl’s that’s safe for daytime use…AND a product like Murad’s that’s highly effective for evening use. Once my spots fade a bit more, I will transition off of the Murad because I don’t want to use a product with hydroquinone for an extended period of time. You definitely need to think long and hard about the severity of your hyperpigmentation and then choose a product accordingly. Consult your dermatologist…which is actually a very important step that I won’t spend too much time on today. But see your derm…I do, regularly. Over the counter products can be expected to do but so much. I usually get regular facials and Silk Peels (but I haven’t made time for either since starting this new regime…bad girl!).

After applying Murad, in lieu of a night cream I rotate between one of two Vitamin C serums. In the evenings I alternate between Mario Badescu Vitamim C Serum and MD Skincare Hydra Pure Vitamin C Serum. Both contain potent doses of Vitamin C and have proved effective in diminishing my dark spots. Sometimes I skip the serum and go straight for Creme de La Mer.

On a weekly basis I use enzyme masks like Chella’s Enzyme Exfoliating Crema Mask. I also alternate between at home peels like Erno Laszlo C Peel or MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peels.

I am incredibly pleased with the improvement I am seeing in my skin. If my skin remains on its current course, I hope to slay the hyperpigmentation beast and be blemish free by summer.

Here’s what I look like today…WITH NO MAKEUP!!! You will notice that my hyperpigmentation is SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Perfect? No! But definitely much improved. I feel I’m well on my way….

Hyperpigmentation is no joke! In my day to day as a makeup artist and beauty writer, I often come across women who struggle to remedy their hyperpigmentation. Often times in our insecure moments of weakness we purchase some random snake oil in hopes that we’ll wake up looking like new money. This is almost never the case, love bunnies. You must commit to improving the overall health of your skin. And that has everything to do with how you care for your skin from sun up to sun down and from “skin season” to “skin season”. Make the investment!

This is an extremely personal post for me. I went back and forth in my head debating whether or not to leak my “un-pretty” photos. In the end I decided to share my photos/experience and pour hours into writing this post because I want to help other women in the hyperpigmentation struggle. I want to arm you with the information and resources to improve your skin. Be empowered! I also want you all to know that you’re not alone…ThisThatBeauty’s been there too!

Please share this post with your girlfriends, aunties, roommates, etc. I hope this extremely long article is in some way helpful!

Please share your thoughts! Have I helped…or run-on for way too long? Leave a comment:)

*Now that crisp fall air is upon us, I thought I would re-publish my “Winter Skin Care Solutions” blog post with originally ran in December 2010. Enjoy!*

Dry winter skin happens to the best of us…even a top notch Grade A (my words, not yours:)) Beauty Editor like myself. I generally have fairly oily skin, so you can imagine my shock and dismay over my recent bout with parched, winter, sandpaper skin. After returning from Paris (where is was 20 degrees), my skin decided to betray me and behave as if it’s one hundred and eighty five years old. My cheeks were dry and wrinkly, my forehead was extremely dehydrated…with every facial expression, deep dry lines road-mapped my entire face. So very un-pretty!

If you’ve noticed, I am speaking in the past tense and using words like “was” and “were” because thanks to a few incredibly effective skincare products from my beauty closet, I am healed!!! In a matter of two weeks, my skin’s balance has been restored and supple hydrated skin is mine. Not one to keep a good thing to myself, I created a quick video to demonstrate my step by step regime for combating dry winter skin. This regime worked for me and I hope it works for you! Here are the products used:

jeune d’âge organics Premiere Cleanser

jeune d’âge organics Marin Toner with Mister

Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate

Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum

And here is my video tutorial. I would love to hear your thoughts on my regime.

Now that we’ve got your dry skin in check above the neck, let’s journey south. Annet King, Director of Global Education at The International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica shares her top tips for winterizing skin. To add to my tips above, here are Annet’s top to do’s for a beautifully hydrated body!

Lower humidity levels, extreme cold, and varying indoor and outdoor environments can all damage the skin’s protective outer layer, causing irritation, sensitivity, dryness and even stinging. We all know the look: Dull, flaky, dry skin around the eyes, red cheeks. Winter can wreak havoc on all skin types.

Here are some simple tips to protect your body from the elements, while keeping your skin hydrated.

For the body and hands:

  • Avoid hot water as it removes moisture from the skin. Instead, use lukewarm water and pat skin dry, don’t rub. While the skin is still damp, apply your body moisturizer immediately. Try Dermalogica’s UltraRich Body Cream for supreme nourishment and protection from the elements.
  • Nylon and wool can worsen any sensitivity or eczema, so try to wear 100 percent cotton and natural fabrics.
  • With shower and bath products, avoid soap, artificial fragrance and high-foam products, as they dehydrate the skin. Alternatively, add a few pumps of aromatherapy oil to your bath. Try Dermalogica’s Stress Relief Treatment Oil and Conditioning Body Wash.
  • Slough off dead cells effortlessly by adding Hydro-Active Mineral Salts to the bath for a relaxing and exfoliating soak. If your prefer to shower, try Dermalogica’s Exfoliating Body Scrub and use in gentle, circular movements paying special attention to knees, elbows and hands. For super all-over-smoothness, use with the Ultimate Buffing Cloth.
  • Opt for the paraffin dip the next time you get a manicure – it’s good for locking in moisture.
  • Wear 100 percent cotton gloves to bed over a healing cream like Multivitamin Hand and Nail Treatment; this practice speeds up absorption and you’ll wake up with super-soft hands.

Fridays with Felicia: An intimate look behind the curtain as I share my favorite style/ beauty discoveries and ThisThatBeauty shenanigans from previous week.


During a recent breakout that was on the mend, I pondered the necessary balance of “treatment” and “healing”. Many times with pimples we aggressively work to “treat” and eradicate the pimple…this usually involves drying the sucker out by zapping it with concentrated amounts of drying ingredients like salicylic acid, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, etc. However, once the pimple begins to subside, it is very important to transition from “treating” the skin to “healing” the skin…or you will be left with a dried out, hyper-pigmented area of skin.

While I like to think I know it all when it comes to skincare, I do recognize when it’s time to turn to the real pro’s for advice. For today’s “Fridays with Felicia” post, I interview Nicole Darmanin, Head of Public Relations and Communications for Mario Badescu. The focus of our interview is the proper balance of treating AND healing pimples.


Nicole, thank you for agreeing to this interview. As my ThisThatBeuty readers know, I am a huge fan of Mario Badescu. I have written countless glowing reviews…in short, I’ve never met a Mario Badescu product I didn’t like!

Let’s chat about breakouts and skin discoloration. Why do breakouts cause discoloration and how can blemish treatments help us to avoid this?


Post pimple discoloration, also known as Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation, is the skin’s natural response to inflammation.  When inflamed, the skin will sometimes over produce melanin.  The color of the mark is determined by your skin tone (it can range from pink to red to brown) and the severity of the inflammation.  The absolute best thing you can do is to find a skin care regimen that is appropriate for your skin type. This will help prevent breakouts in the first place.  If you are dealing with a current breakout treat pimples right at the onset.  This will help to disinfect and heal the blemish so that you have less inflammation than if you did not treat it at all.


When should you transition from a “drying” pimple product to a “healing” pimple product? Which Mario Badescu products do you recommend for both stages of pimple recovery, and why?


I generally tell people to switch from a drying product to a healing product when you feel like the pimple has turned a corner and is on its way out.  You will know that the pimple is ready for healing products when you start to visibly see it shrink in size and it ceases to hurt when you touch it. If there was a pustule (whitehead) that should be gone before switching to healing products. Try Mario Badescu’s Healing Cream.


Once you’ve dried and healed the pimple, what routine steps do you recommend to keep pimples at bay and continue to maintain skin’s smooth complexion?

The easiest thing you can do for breakout prevention is to use a daily treatment like Mario Badescu’s Anti Acne Serum which contains the pore clearing ingredient salicylic acid.

For the best results, you really want to make sure you are using skin care that is appropriate for your skin.  A common mistake I see, especially for those fighting acne along with the signs of aging, is that they will want to use anti aging products that are too rich for their skin type and will eventually clog their pores and cause breakouts.  There are so many options and formulations to choose from that with just a little research you can find the products that are right for you.

Mario Badescu has great skin care specialists on staff that can recommend a regimen and even send samples to try.  You can call 800 BADESCU or do an online skin consultation at www.mariobadescu.com.


Nicole, thank you for sharing your skin care expertise with ThisThatBeauty. I also highly recommend that readers check out mariobadescu.com’s online Acne Resource Center to learn about causes and different types of acne, product recommendations and more!   http://www.mariobadescu.com/acne

Have a good weekend everyone!


As I am only a few months from celebrating the 12th anniversary of my 20th year, I figure I need to take my skin care game up a few notches.  What better way to do that than to kick-start my new regimen with my first professional facial?  Felicia, as you should already know, is crazy about great, healthy looking skin and she suggested I do my first facial at Mario Badescu.

Upon entering Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon at 320 East 52nd in New York, I felt like I had gone back in time.  Not only because of the decor but because of the familiar scents that greeted me.  I was suddenly seeing my mom apply her nightly creams. It brought me back to the smell of products my mom used when I was a girl, so many moons ago.

Even though I was a bit tardy, I was quickly whisked to a room where I was told to remove my top and put on a gown (in my mind I was like “it’s only a facial.”) My esthetician was Julia and she had the softest hands that have ever touched my face or my anything. She had a lovely accent, Swedish, I think.

She started with a milk cleanser and did two applications because I was wearing makeup. Next up was the facial massage, which included a massage of my neck and shoulders (now I understood why I was half naked.)

According to Julia “you should treat your neck and chest just the way you treat your face.”  I agreed wholeheartedly, but then again I was so relaxed that I would have agreed to anything.

After the massage, I had a 10-15 minute facial steam, I can’t say for sure because when Julia put the steam on and left the room, I fell asleep.

Upon returning to the room, Julia recommended that I have two treatments; the Glycolic Acid Treatment for exfoliation and the Vitamin C Mask for moisture, and to help with a bit of hyper-pigmentation I have in my chin area.  While Julia did her thing, I asked the questions below:

  • At what age should women start using an eye cream?

“We recommend that women start using an eye cream at about age 25.”  Already you see that I am way behind.  Yikes!

  • Is it okay to work out in makeup?  (I don’t do this but I see women at my gym who look like there are ready for the Oscars)

“You should never workout in your makeup because as you sweat your pores are open and makeup will clog your pores, causing you to breakout.  Also, you should never ever sleep in your makeup. Ever.”

  • Besides a good skin care routine, what suggestions do you have for those of us who want to achieve and maintain great skin?

“Diet is very important.  Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids and lean protein.  You should exercise and drink lots of water. Each night, try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. You should also get a facial about once per month.”   I don’t know about the sleep thing but the rest I can definitely do.

After my two masks, Julia finished up my facial by applying an eye cream and SPF 30 moisturizer to my face, neck and chest.  It was now time for me to have a little chat with Kelly, a skin care specialist, regarding the products I needed to help me achieve and maintain great skin.

Kelly checked my skin under a bright light with a magnifying glass and remarked that I my skin looked good with hardly any (visible) pores.  I guess my routine wasn’t as bad as I thought it was or I should send my Mom and Dad thank you cards for the great genes.  She concluded that I should include the products below as part of my new regimen. She also gave me confirmation that my oily skin will be a blessing in old age because as my friends with dry skin start to wrinkle, I will still be wrinkle free. Yes!

I am only in my first week of including the above products in my regimen and I’m already in love with one product.  The Drying Lotion is the absolute truth.  Once per month or so, I get pesky pimples that threaten to take over one side of my face.  The Drying Lotion shrunk those suckers over night. Kelly told me the drying lotion is one of the products that made Mario Badescu popular and I can see why. If you have a pimple, no matter the size, this lotion is a must try. It retails for $17.

I could not have asked for a better first time facial experience and so far I like the recommended products. If you have never had a facial or even if you are a facial junkie, you should definitely make an appointment to visit  Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon. The basic facial is only $65, the Glycolic Peel is $45 and the Vitamin C mask is $35. A full menu is available here.   Ask for Julia, she is great and didn’t skip a beat as I asked her questions.  The smell of the recommended products really takes be back to the 90s, so technically, I can say I got my first facial before my 20th birthday and it was at Mario Badescu.

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Fridays with Felicia: An intimate look behind the curtain as I share my favorite style/ beauty discoveries and ThisThatBeauty shenanigans from previous week.

(I visited HSN last week ======> full deets soon)

Let’s kick off “Fridays with Felicia” with you. Yes, YOU!

Hey girl! How you doin? How’s your skin? As you all know, I am absolutely positively obsessed with good skin care habits. I love pretty makeup as much as the next product hoarding Beauty Blogger but a solid skincare regiment is EVERYTHING. Six months ago, my passion and never ending holy grail quest for perfect skin prompted me to pen an epic post on my personal skincare philosophy.

While the article was a little long in the tooth (nearly 3000 words long to be exact) I think it did a lot of good. The post garnered 59 comments – a ThisThatBeauty record. In fact, your responses were so heartfelt and extensive that it lead to the creation of my current ongoing series on Hyperpigmentation which currently has nine articles.

So six months later, I am compelled to check in  with you. Yes YOU!  So many of you commented to say:

  • “Thank you”
  • “I’m going to take better care of my skin”
  • “I’ll try committing to a solid skincare regiment”
  • Etc.

It’s six months later and I am curious to hear where you are with yours! Have you stepped up your skin care game? Has you skin improved? Are you taking care of YOU?

Please do me a favor – If you commented when I originally posted the Hyperpigmentation/ skin care piece, please comment today and fill me in on how you’re doing. When I wrote that article six months ago, your comments really meant EVERYTHING to me. I want to know how you are progressing.  Also, your comments help me tailor content to meet your needs.

And because I practice what I preach….and pride myself on “don’t talk about it, be about it”…I will lead by example and provide an update since writing the post six months ago:

So to recap…here’s what my skin looked like about 8 months ago (no makeup):

Here’s what my skin looked like after about 2 months of following the regiment outlined in my ThisThatBeauty vs Hyperpigmentation post (no makeup):

And here’s what my skin looks like today…6 months after writing that epic post on skincare (no makeup…or maybe I’m pulling a Jessica Simpson — I think there’s a little stray smeared eye liner that I didn’t completely remove…but there is absolutely NO foundation in these pics).

Let me start by saying this….WOW! Those original pics are still so hard to look at. I cannot believe my skin was that bad. On top of that, I was astounded at how much my skin had improved in just 2 months on my regiment. Those products really kicked butt!!!

In looking at my skin today, its hard to believe I ever had any issues at all . As re-read  the regiment I posted back in March, while the principles remain the same, the actual products have changed since then. I currently use different cleansers, toners, serums, and masks. I still use the Evoclin foam to keep my acne at bay. I’ve rotated a few different hyperpigmentation treatment products in and out of my regiment over the last few months. Again, the products may have changed but my skin care principles remain the same…and that, in my opinion, is the most important take-away. Commit to a skin care regiment that is rooted in the fundamentals…and be consistent day to day. If your products work stick with them…naturally, as a beauty writer, I am constantly trying out new stuff. But I definitely recommend that you practice product loyalty…let ME be the guinea pig!

Please leave a comment and update me on how your skin is progressing!

PS: Look out for an equally EPIC hair story that’s in the works…


This week I was invited to tour the soon to be completed, state of the art, new and improved beauty level at Lord & Taylor – 39th Street.  The space is still a bit raw so I had to wear a brightly colored hard hat that’s certain to protect me from falling debris :)

The event consisted of a guided tour of the finished and unfinished space. Beauty brands like Clinique, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Nars, Mario Badescu, Bobbi Brown, Clarins, and more presented some of the amazing new beauty innovations that we can expect from L&T once the beauty level is completely renovated. I hope I have the opportunity to get more one-on-one time with the brands but here are a few highlights:

Mario Badescu will have a counter at L&T. I am as pleased as punch to see the brand expand their retail outlets and get more exposure. A simple search of this site using the key words “Mario Badescu” will yield countless product reviews. Be on the look out for an upcoming piece from ThisThatBeauty Contributor Christene Carr. She recently visited Mario Badescu for her first facial EVER. If you’re a facial virgin, you will want to hear all about Christene’s experience.

Clinique’s skincare computer marries technology and beauty

Estee Lauder promises to help you find your perfect foundation match in two minutes in six different lights. Wondering what that crimson lip will look like in daylight vs office light vs candlelight?…Estee Lauder can help!

Lancome boasts that their new state of the art “Diagnos” machine will survey your skin’s texture, pore size, hydration level, and firmness and recommend the perfect products for your skin. I would love to give this a try and report back!

Lancome is also pleased to offer 10-day supplies of their foundation, which comes in 117 shades and 6 formulas. I’m no numbers cruncher but I like those figures!

Lastly for Lancome, the beauty counter at Lord & Taylor features a mascara bar that lets you try out various mascara wands. This is incredibly innovative…no more one size fits all disposable wands. Is the mascara performance not all about the BRUSH? Kudos Lancome!

Want more info on L&T’s new beauty department? Check the Twitter timeline for  #LTFACELIFT and see what your fav beauty bloggers are saying.


In Fashion’s Night Out News, check out this Three Custom Color Specialists and Talbots collaboration…


Beauty360.com is the online shopping destination for CVS/pharmacy’s prestige beauty retailer and carries coveted cosmetic brands including Vincent Longo, Paula Dorf, Laura Geller, Cargo and many more.  Through August 23rd Beauty 360 is promoting an exclusive online makeup sale.  Save 20% on your favorite prestige makeup brands by entering the special code SIZZLE at checkout!  Click the following link for additional details and to start shopping: http://tinyurl.com/29n9rum


“Find Your Fall Style” with Style Coach, Kim Johnson Gross of Chic Simple.

Sign up to receive daily style tips on how to revamp your wardrobes for fall. When signing up, members are entered to win $100 gift cards to Target to start fall shopping. Check out the campaign http://challenges.ivillage.com/fall-style


If you love beauty apps as much as I do, iPhone users listen up! Give yourself a virtual makeover with Pur Minerals IPur Beauty iPhone application!

Pür Minerals now offers a commitment-free way to experiment with new looks..and who doesn’t love a good “try before you buy?”

Trying out a new look on the Pür Minerals app is simple and fun:

  • TAKE: upload or use a model photo to start your makeover.
  • APPLY: Click a product, select a shade and experience a Pür transformation. The customized algorithm will identify the facial co-ordinates for precise application. Don’t like your new look? You have the option of adjusting the facial co-ordinates, undo or start again.
  • SHARE: Once the makeover is complete, the finished look can be shared through Facebook for a polished profile picture or send to a friend via email.
  • BUY: Love your new look? iPür Beauty offers a direct link to Ulta.com to order products online or to find a location near you for an in-store purchase.


Up and coming designer Eliza Starbuck of Bright Young Things pays tribute to Coco Chanel by offering a week long sale on her versatile take of the little black dress. You will recall that I participated in the Bright Young Things Style Challenge and modeled the dress of a thousand looks.

In honor of Gabrielle “CoCo” Chanel’s Birthday, The Bright Young Things LBD will be on sale for $150 (reg $185) through Wednesday, August 25  online at www.youbrightyoungthings.com.

Of the iconic CoCo Chanel, Eliza Starbuck says this:

“Coco Chanel was the most innovative designer of the 20th Century. She dared to wear and design clothes that challenged the social standards and gender roles of the times. She broke every rule and always looked amazing doing it. She was living proof that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it that defines style. Fabulous, determined, and outspoken, Coco Chanel made an enormous impact on society and the way people dress. Happy Birthday, Mademoiselle Chanel”

Eliza Starbuck recently experienced an opportunity that most only dream of…and by “most” I mean “me”.

Find your sacred quiet place and savor this — Eliza Starbuck’s exclusive interview with CoCo Chanel. Here is the intro:

To celebrate, I thought I’d give her a ring. She doesn’t get out much these days, and most people seem to think she’s dead, but like Tupac and Elvis, she’s virtually immortal.

Read the complete interview here: http://www.youbrightyoungthings.com/2010/08/18/eliza-starbuck-celebrates-128-years-of-style-with-coco-chanel/

I love you all for reading my lil ol blog week after week!



PS: Happy Birthday two of my bestest friends. We partied hard. Friendship is golden and I thank God for these gals!

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