Terms that describe botanical skincare: plant-based, nontoxic, chemical and synthetic-free, locally sourced, and eco-friendly. All apply to spa-born, San Francisco based botanical line, Botnia, with one kicker: customization. “With our back-bar items (Botnia skin care used during spa services) especially, we can be specific to the skin’s needs,” explains aesthetician and founder, Justine Kahn, who developed her line like a deconstructed palette with plant biologist, Clayton Coker, while he was working at Stanford. The Botnia skin care back-bar items, now used in more than 30-spas nationwide, soon to be fifty (there’s a long spa waiting list), can be mixed and…

View Post

Biologique Recherche P50W Best for: Gentle exfoliation, refining pores, smoothing texture and subtle brightening Skin type: Sensitive Review: While the Biologique Recherche P50W is the gentlest of the Biologique Recherche P50 toners, as someone with sensitive skin, I still found the toner to be a tad strong for every day use as directed. There was no burning or itchy sensation, but after three days of daily use, I started to get tiny red bumps all over. Aestheticians well versed in Biologique Recherche products advised me that this was part of the “purging” process associated with the first month of using…

View Post

At-home lash extensions have arrived! Just the sound of that – “at-home” paired with “lash extensions” – gives me happy chills. I love lash extensions, but the pain of having them professionally applied and touched up every 2-4 weeks is painstaking. Who has time to drive to the spa, lay there for an hour for touch-ups (or two for a full application) and then pay through the roof?! I certainly don’t, which is why I could never stick to getting them done consistently. So when I saw Lashify’s at-home eye lash extension kit, my eyes bulged out of my sockets…

View Post

Three months ago, celebrity aesthetician, Angelina Umansky, put me on the path to my best skin ever with one piece of advice, “Stop using foaming cleansers and switch to milk cleansers.” Her reasoning: If your skin is dehydrated, dry and/or crepey – which mine is – it desperately needs its natural oils to maintain a strong, healthy skin barrier. And foaming cleansers are capable of stripping away skin’s natural oils. Cleansing milk on the other hand, she explained, gently removes makeup, dirt, debris without stripping the skin. (*read full interview with Angelina here.) But what about gentle foaming cleansers, I…

View Post

Phlur Reviews The fragrance world is shrouded in secrecy. Ever wonder why fragrances don’t list their ingredients? Well, the FDA views fragrance formulas and scent combinations as proprietary “trade secrets”, and doesn’t require fragrance brands to list ingredients on their labels. Great for brands, but not so for us customers. This lack of transparency leaves us unable to know whether our favorite perfume contains harmful chemicals, like endocrine disrupting preservatives and phthalates used to make scents adhere to skin, lift and linger in the air. But things are about to change. A new nontoxic parfum brand is on the scene…

View Post