Philly Fashion Blogger: Why I Chose to Add Botox to My Beauty Routine

When you think about Botox, what is the first thing that runs through your mind? I’m thinking it’s probably a variety of negative or positive thoughts depending on information you research or whom you speak with. Am I right? Well, just like everything in this world, everyone has different views on everything and I wanted to share with you my experience with Botox injections and why I chose to add it to my beauty routine.

I never thought I would get Botox. I had my doubts, as I never really understood the full health benefits. And I wasn’t even sure if I needed it. But as I got older, I started noticing the wrinkles on my face were becoming more prevalent and the natural aging process was in full effect. Of course, I didn’t want these wrinkles to progress at a rapid pace, so I started using even more creams and nothing was truly doing the trick. I needed another way to prevent these unforgiving wrinkles and that is when I started investigating Botox injections.

What is Botox and How Does it Work

Here is a definition of Botox. When your muscles are contracting they start to leave defined lines/wrinkles on your skin (which will start to form wrinkles). Botox is administered into those contracting muscles that causes those lines/wrinkles and helps with “freezing” those contracting muscles from creating deeper lines/wrinkles. I find this in my forehead and around my eyes.

Research and Consultation

After hours of research, I decided to make an appointment to meet with a professional – no matter how much research you find online, it is very important to have a licensed professional answer your questions and having a great Doctor is key. I met with Dr. Sam and she answered all my questions and provided me with a lot of facts. She walked me through the entire process of Botox and really eased any concerns I had.

One of my main concerns I wanted to share was having too many injections and not looking natural. She explained to me that her approach is ‘less is more’ for her patients. Especially for first timers, she wants you to feel extremely comfortable and leave feeling like a new person…naturally. Less is more and it’s easier to add more than take it away. I also informed her about how I suffer with migraines and I learned that Botox injections have been proven to help with migraines as it freezes the muscles and nerves in your face. This enticed me more to move forward as this was something I had been suffering with for so long, that I started dreaming about what life would be like with fewer migraines.

Administering of the Botox Injections

After all my questions and concerns were answered, the actual injection process was super simple. She washed my face clean, took before photos, marked the desired injection spots, and provided me with a mirror to review the areas she feels needed the most attention. Once we agree, it’s time to start the injections. I would describe the feeling of the Botox injections as a little pinch and nothing more. Since it was my first time, I was a little nervous about how painful they might be. But after the first initial one, I was all set and my mind was at ease. The entire process was under fifteen minutes. Afterwards she rubs you’re the injection spots to smooth everything out. She provided me with simple instructions on next steps.

Aftercare

  1. You cannot lay down flat for at least a minimum of four hours
  2. No working out for the first 24 hours

Additional Details

The cost can vary depending on where you go. I paid $12 per injection spot and Dr. Sam administered 17 total injections. Depending on the person of course, Botox injections can last anywhere from 3-5 months.

Overall Thoughts

I had my first round of Botox injections this past December after a long and careful deliberation with myself. Such a weird feeling; however, it has been totally worth it. I feel like a new woman! I love that my wrinkles have disappeared, and my migraines have really subsided. Yes, I still can move my face but now there are no lines/wrinkles visible. I am extremely satisfied with my decision to start adding Botox injections to my beauty routine.

Have you ever tried Botox? Did you like it? Please Share your comments.

Product Game Changer for Your Skin, Hair and Body: Seed Phytonutrients


Photo Credit: Seed Phytonutrients website

It’s time to go back to the basics. I’m taking about nontoxic, chemical free hair, skin and body products. More specifically, the collection by Seed Phytonutrients. Not only are they obsessed with all things organic and natural, but they are leading the charge on completely ecofriendly packaging.

But first, what are Phytonutrients? According to Helen Sanders, Chief Editor at HealthAmbition.com, her recent blog post “What are Phytonutrients” describes phytonutrients as concentrations right under the skin of fruit and vegetables. Scientist have determined that there are many health benefits associated to adding phytonutrients to improve our overall health. You can read more on these benefits from her very informative post on her website.

I’ve tried my fair share of products ranging from all different price points. Some I still use today and some didn’t stand up to the challenge. In a previous post about my sensitive skin, nothing truly seemed to work for me when it came to treating my skin. My scalp in particular. Every shampoo or conditioner I used left my scalp feeling either irritated or chemically. Determined never to give up on the day my scalp wouldn’t be irritated by the products I used, I came across a company in Doylestown, PA that specializes in crafting natural-origin products for your hair, face and body. I wasn’t going to hold my breath that this product would work for me but once I received their samples, it changed everything.

In today’s world of mass production, adding harmful chemicals helps with extra lathering and shelf longevity. It made me really think what harm these products might be doing to my body over time. Many of the products I’ve used had their long list of ingredients – half of them I couldn’t pronounce. Adding these harsh chemicals to our products need to stop. I am not saying to take us back to the time where bathing wasn’t really necessary but take us back to the time that we cared about what went onto our bodies. Even more important, we should hold these companies socially responsible for the harmful chemicals they use.

Seed Phytonutrients products are sulphate-free, plant based, gluten-free, paraben-free, natural fragrance, 93-100% natural origin and are not tested on animals. A bonus, they are the first company ever to have shower-friendly post-consumer recycled paper bottles. Talk about a social responsibility. Here is an article on their website that speaks more to their post-consumer recycled paper bottles.

Their natural quality ingredients come from American organic farmers where they take nothing but the absolute quality products to use for all of their product lines. These products consist of sunflower seed oil, coconut, shea butter, camelina seed oil, and turmeric. By working directly with these farmers, they ensure that over-commercialization of the seeds is non-existent. They strive for only the best products that are also high in vital natural nutrients.

As of today, I have used these products from them:
Daily Hair Cleanser
Lightweight Conditioner
Gentle Facial Cleanser
Lightweight Facial Lotion
Body Moisturizer
Exfoliating Hand Wash

No matter what product of theirs I use, my body is left feeling rejuvenated, hydrated, natural and free from chemical residue. I feel like a million dollars! Even after my first use, I felt an instant change. This is the first time in years that my scalp hasn’t felt irritated. They are leading the charge with their environmental sustainability business model and their superior products.

They are set to officially launch their product line in April 2018, and you can bet, I will be right there purchasing it all. If I could buy in bulk, I would do so! That is how much I believe in their products. Keep up the fantastic work and I look forward to watching your successes.

Learn more about Seed Phytonutrients and their list of products. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and or check out their website to be informed on their ecofriendly movement.

Author: Julie Davis

Stop the Predictability this Valentine’s Day with These Gift Ideas


Hair by: Justin Littlefield Photo creation: ReBranded Designs

February is here…where did January go? Most people associate February as the month of love (or the Super Bowl). It’s the time where we start seeing ads for flowers, jewelry and or chocolates. Right? I’ve never been a fan of the predictable gift giving of Valentine’s Day. If you Google “Valentine’s Gifts” you’re guaranteed to see the pages filled with ads for roses or chocolates. I mean not a bad gift at all to receive by any means (the majority of the world loves flowers and or chocolates) but when everyone else around your special loved one is also receiving the same thing, it’s not that memorable. Disclaimer: if you know your loved one is obsessed with flowers, send them flowers but add another element that will wow them! It’s time to stop being predictable and add extra love and attention to your gift giving this year. Let’s leave those clichés to the youngsters! =)

Cards and thoughtful gifts have always been near and dear to my heart. Nothing screams “I put a lot of time into something” than having a crafted card written just for you. Or having a gift that isn’t from your local Walgreens (you know who you are). It’s all about the time and effort you put into it. This rule isn’t just for your significant other, this goes for your Galentine’s too!

I’m super lucky to have found someone to love for the rest of my life and even though we aren’t big into Valentine’s Day. We always find creative ways to celebrate and try to stay away from those clichés.

In my search for fun Valentine’s gifts, I wanted to share with you my findings and hopefully you will be inspired to do the same for your Valentine or Galentine!

Cards:
Paper Source
By far the greatest place to find creative, out of the box cards (for any occasion). I can spend DAYS there (store or online).

Galentine’s Gifts:
I rounded up quite a few options for any Galentine in your life.

Jewelry

Clothing/Shoes

Other Special items

Experiences
I have a fabulous hair stylish (Justin Littlefield) and I love giving my Galentine’s gift cards for either a blowout, haircut, treatment or style and my friends love it! Take it a step further and go with them. Make a whole day of it…together. Start with a great brunch, hair, nails, dinner. They will always remember the total experience and that is priceless.

Date Night at Home
Can’t find a reservation in your area? No problem! Setup your own special table out of the comfort of your own home.
Helpful tips: If you’re a great chef, you’re covered. If you’re not, either order takeout from your favorite restaurant and plate it beautifully on your own dishware. Or head over to your local grocery store and cook one of your favorite meals (that you have successfully completed before).

Non-Predicable Gift
A fabulous and original idea is the Love Notes Jar. Complete separate love, heartfelt messages on what your significant other means to you.

Fun for both of you
Bring the coupon book back and have a little fun.
No links here but get creative and go to your local craft store.

A Keeper
Print your favorite photo of the two of you and place it in this picture frame.

Custom Personalized Gifts:

Dress Ideas

What is the best Valentine’s Day gift you have either received or gifted?

Author: Julie Davis

Best Dermatologist in Philadelphia: Center City Dermatology

For as long as I could remember, I never worried about taking care of my skin. I just chalked it up to being young and I didn’t think I needed to worry about starting a routine until I was older. Arizona born and raised, I was notorious for sunbathing outside without sunscreen. I would wear makeup all day and never wash my face. I didn’t look at brands or care what I was putting on my skin. Furthermore, I didn’t have my first facial until I was an adult. Since I was wrong about needing to take care of my skin, I decided to search for a dermatologist that would help me with all my skincare needs.

I’ve had a lot of meetings with dermatologist, but none of them were a good fit for me. I needed someone who could recommend the best regime for my skin type and my particular skin issues. I also needed someone to teach me the importance of skincare focused on me. In the past, I felt I was being pushed into products they needed to promote (while making my skin worse) and not the products that were right for me.

That changed after I met Dr. Stephen Hess, M.D., PhD. I was impressed immediately when I first met him. He quickly educated me on my specific skincare issues, which was a fresh of breath air. During a stressful time in my life, my skin changed and I had developed eczema and psoriasis (more on this treatment coming in another post).  Since there are not a lot of scientific details on what causes eczema/psoriasis, I’ve had zero luck in controlling my skin issues. The same goes for the hundreds of other dermatologists that don’t seem to have a great grasp on how to treat it besides taking pills (not my thing).

After I met with Dr. Hess, he introduced me to his other team members: Samantha Colosi, MS, PA-C, and Chelsea Dipilla, Aesthetician. The three of them are a force to be reckoned with. Their entire staff is FABULOUS! As soon as you walk in the door you are welcomed and they make you feel right at home! They are very personable, knowledge and treat you like family.

During my first examination, they were all about me. I reviewed everything about my skin history and they asked me what I felt needed to change. They talked a lot about preventive care and they didn’t push any product.; however, I will take advantage of them when the time comes. They were the FIRST dermatologist team who helped control my eczema and psoriasis. They also have provided me with a regimen on how to treat my under eye dark circles and how to properly care for my skin. More importantly, they keep me up to date on any new products that will work for me.

Center City Dermatology is leading the charge in educating their patients on the newest technology while delivering the highest quality of care to all their patients.

They specialize in a wide range of dermatological conditions, cosmetic needs and much more (all services here):

  • Acne
  • Brown spots
  • Eczema / Psoriasis / Rosacea
  • Botox
  • Latise
  • Body sculpting
  • Microneedling
  • Advanced exfoliation
  • And more

With my busy schedule and needing to be on 24/7/365, I must look refreshed, glowing and have my best skin forward. No matter what type of skin care you need, Center City Dermatology can help. I have the upmost respect and trust in them and recommend them to everyone I encounter. Try them for yourselves and see what they can do for you!

Author: Julie Davis

‘Tis the season for…treatment!

 

In the cold winter months, it’s just as important to treat your tresses with some tlc. Going from bitter temperatures to artificial heat can take a toll on your locks (not to mention the static from removing your favorite beanie). It’s super important to take control and give your hair some serious care to avoid dryness and damage. Whether it’s a deep conditioning masque or an in-salon treatment, here are my favorite options for flawless, healthy locks.

Kerastase Fusio Dose
These treatments are done in salon and are customizable. With options for density, manageability, strength, moisture and brilliance, these are perfect for anyone and everyone, especially the gal-on-the-go. Fusio Dose starts with a vile representing your primary concern and a booster for your secondary concern giving you a world of options. They can be easily added to any salon service and take no extra time. Results last about 7-10 shampoos.

ShuBar
Shu Uemura’s ultimate treatment is perfect for anyone with color treated hair. This treatment starts with a “master base” and then is amped up with moisture and repairing boosters making them customizable as well. ShuBar is mixed and served up in a shot glass and after adding it to the hair you’ll process under heat for 10-15 minutes. Results last up to 4 weeks depending how frequently you shampoo.

Kerastase Cronologiste 
Kerastase’s “masterpiece of formulation” and my personal fav. This is your ultimate scalp-to-ends treatment. It starts with a gommage to exfoliate the scalp and remove any debris and dead skin. Next, you’ll be indulged with a rich lather using the Cronologiste shampoo. Finally, we take a special “caviar” for your hair and mix with the Cronologiste masque. After the treatment is applied to your hair you’ll hang out under heat for about 20 minutes before rinsing. When finished you’ll experience what seems like an entirely new head of hair. Results last for up to 4 weeks depending how frequently you shampoo.

Besides experiencing your favorite in-salon treatment, you can continue the love at home with a deep conditioning masque. Consult with your stylist to determine which at home care is best for you. Most masques for at home come in a massive tub and using only once a week should get you a solid 3-6 months of product depending on the length and texture of your tresses.

Treat yourself and your hair this season so you can show up at all of your holiday functions with a hair-flip that is sure to turn heads.

Justin Littlefield
Hair Stylist
Wella Brand Educator
610.301.3111

I LOVE getting my hair treated by the one and only Justin Littlefield. For this treatment he went with Kerastase Fusio-Dose and it truly does wonders to my hair. My hair always looks and feels healthy because of these treatments. Justin is a true expert and someone I trust to the fullest with my hair. I highly recommend if you are in the Philadelphia area to book an appointment with him.

Author: Justin Littlefield

 

Makeup Guide for a Neutral Look

I love makeup and I love how so many different techniques can accentuate your beauty. However, I’m not a professional makeup artist and having any sort of technique is not really my strong suit. For as long as I can remember, I have always leaned towards more of a neutral look. I have only experimented with different looks on special occasions with the help of a certified makeup professional. There is nothing wrong with that because that’s how I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks from those experiences.

I appreciate the lovely compliments I have received from people and many of you have asked me to share my everyday go-to beauty products. Here you are…enjoy!

I always start with a fresh clean face and I use this skincare line every morning and evening! When I wash my face with Bioceutica, my face is left feeling very refreshed and looking radiant! (Additional details on this in a future post).

After my face is primed and ready to go, my next step is my ABSOLUTE number one under eye brightening corrector BECCA. In my fast pace lifestyle, a full night of restful sleep doesn’t always happen, and that’s why I’m thankful for this product. It works like magic and corrects my dark circles, hides any imperfections and gives my face a brighter look as if I had the best night sleep of my life. If you haven’t tried BECCA I highly recommend you give it a go…it will change your life. I apply BECCA by softly patting the product under my eye with my fingertip before I apply my all-day, oil-free, full coverage concealer.

My full coverage concealer is by Make Up For Ever. I’ve used many concealers over my lifetime and this is the first one that doesn’t look “cakey” on my face or crease under my eyes. It gives me the all day coverage I need while looking very natural. After I apply the concealer, I blend the product with my BeautyBlender to make sure everything is even. If there is any extra product, I will use the BeautyBlender on any other imperfections on my face.

After that I blend my Nars sheer glow foundation to the rest of my face (and even on my eyelids to provide a base for my eye shadow) for an even canvas. I will use my BeautyBlender again with my Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder. Creating a soft matt finish that luminous my face and helps keep me oil free. After that I start the contouring process and finish my face with my Nars blush. I am not even close to mastering my contouring…but practice will make perfect!

Lastly, it is all about the eyes. I love my Urban Decay Naked2 Palette. It provides me with a wide range of neutral colors, which allows me to change my look daily. The colors are gorgeous and stay on all day. Each shade blends very well and they don’t disappoint. This range of shadow colors accentuate any eye color and elevate any look.

My hazel eyes always seem to pop with a killer eyeliner and I have found two that I cannot live without. The first one is my easy gel glide waterproof eyeliner by Marc Jacobs. It’s effortless to apply and it makes a bold statement for any look. And it stays on ALL day…so much so that you’ll need some great makeup remover to get it all off. It doesn’t smudge and never leaves you with raccoon eyes. My second one is this liquid eyeliner by Clinique. Super easy to use and it creates a clean line with one sweep. It doesn’t smudge, dries quickly and it allows me to create variety of different line thicknesses. The best part about this eyeliner is how easy it is to take off at the end of the day.

With having eyelash extensions, I only wear mascara on my lower lashes and Better Than Sex mascara by Too Faced is my absolute favorite! Even before eyelash extensions, this mascara volumized my lashes and made them look voluptuous. I finalize the eye look with my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz pencil. For those who don’t know how to tackle eyebrows or feel apprehensive…don’t worry, this product is very easy to use and fills in the brows nicely. Your eyebrows don’t need to look like identical twins, just cousins!

When the fabulous day comes to a close, I always turn to my Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelettes along with my Clinique rinse-off eye makeup solvent for the times I need a little more. I wash my face and repeat all again in the morning!

I am always experimenting with new makeup products to bring you the latest and greatest. If you have something you are looking to try or a product you feel I should definitely know about…drop a note here.

Author: Julie Davis

Lashes for Days

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Let’s face it, we always want what we don’t have and for me that’s long luscious eyelashes. For years I have always purchased a variety of glue on strip eyelashes to accentuate my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, they looked amazing but the process of putting them on was a struggle. I am not an expert and if people only knew how long it took me each time to execute the strip eyelashes, they would laugh. The glue would be everywhere and you have to be exact with glue and timing of when to place them on your eyelids in order for the strip to stay on.

Nothing is worse than when you feel like you have done a great job but realize that half of the lashes are falling off your face…not a great look.

I was beyond ready to skip the tricky strips and try something different. With all that being said, I decided to completely amp up my eyelash game and put on semi-permanent eyelash extensions. And I am ADDICTED! The extensions have given my eyelashes full volume and a completed look every day. I could wake up, wash my face and head out the door still looking like I attempted a complete look. The eyelashes make my face look fresh and more importantly, I look awake!

Here are a few things to know before moving forward with semi-permeant eyelashes:

  1. Research the stylist/company – preview before and after pictures of their work and make sure they are highly recommended.
  2. Know your ideal look before you go in. Some eyelash stylist can have a variety of styles/looks. Come prepared on eyelash looks so you can have a conversation with your stylists on what “look” you are going for.
  3. Time – your first session could be anywhere from two-three hours in length. And you are unable to open your eyes. I recommend either playing music, listening to podcast or purchasing an audiobook. Learning and beauty…that’s a win/win!
  4. Once you put your first set of eyelashes on, you will be obsessed. There is quite a bit of maintenance with your lashes, which you must be prepared for. Remember, they are very delicate! Be sure the company gives you a list of things to follow in order to keep these beauties maintained.
  5. Make sure you shower before you go as you CANNOT get your lashes wet for the first 24 hours!

My eyelash stylist is absolutely amazing and makes the experience effortless. She keeps me informed on things I need to do to keep my eyelashes well maintained. I have full confidence in her that she will put the best quality lashes on my “other lashes” and elevate my look at every appointment. My lashes last a full two weeks and sometimes I can go up to three weeks. If you are in the Rittenhouse area in Philadelphia, you must see Kelly.

What are your thoughts on semi-permeant eyelashes?

About Kelly:
Kelly is a highly trained beauty professional with over 8 years of experience working in the salon industry. Her education background and licensing includes Licensed Esthetician, Licensed Cosmetologist, Salon Management, and Certified Lash Artist. She strives to provide an excellent professional service to all her clients in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia and Woodbury, New Jersey. Her fundamental values are: Health, Quality, Integrity and Beauty.

Feel free to connect with Kelly as she is ready to add some glamour to your world!
Location: City Nails on Square 1630 Walnut Street 2nd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 267.370.8888
Email: lashinglely@gmail.com

Author: Julie Davis

Eyelash look: A classic wispy Cateye using D curl (lengths 9 to 15 mm)