Monday, July 30, 2012


Takara Belmont, West 56th Street, NYC

words/images Judith Ecochard

What a spot-on spot for a hair products launch...we thought-the nanosecond we walked into the elegant limestone building housing the salon equipment of leading design/manufacturer Takara Belmont..for a media preview of USDA certified organicIntelligent Nutrients PureLuxe Shampoo and Conditioner...styling products (all new to us)--- and a terrific-made from recycled materials- Original Paddle Brush (we know fab when our wet tresses gets brushed and there's a lack of ripped out hair strands).

Since the intro to the essential oils collection (we wrote about last month)---we knew to expect exotically scented products that are delicious smelling-made with pure essential oils-not some chemically derived facsimiles...

And on that aromatic note, we certainly thought that the lightly scented Purelux Harmonic Shampoo and Conditioner were just right.

We think about what we put on our skin/scalp much some same way that we think about what we eat/drink...and we know that founder Horst Rechelbacher -from the get-go---has created all things in his Intelligent Nutrients product line just so “because everything we put in and on our bodies must be nutritious and safe...

What's as important from a user's perspective---when haircare is that what's packaged on the inside- (in an eco-friendly recyclable manner) ---actually delivers on delivering shiny, soft, manageable locks...

T    The  PURELUXE™HARMONIC Shampoo ($18) and Conditioner($20) are ideal for chemically treated, dry, damaged they literally feed locks with ingredients that are good enough to aromatically transporting cupuacu butter made from the Brazilian fruit that's loaded with phytonutrients, muru muru butter with rich, moisturizing oleic acid...and the Intellimune® Seed complex-a blend of "nature's powerhouse antioxidants": certified organic black cumin, pumpkin, red raspberry, red grape and authentic scents that are amazing---with hints of lemongrass, geranium and woody green ylang/ylang.


Our hour of indulgence began with a scalp accu-pressure massage using the Focus essential oil blend  with its delicate floral blend---(appropriately enough...used on our head, after all)...

...followed by two washes with the new PureLuxe Shampoo (non-toxic, color-safe)...that washed out all the dirt and gunk, easily...without the use of harsh, chemically conjured up stuff...followed by the silicone-free PureLuxe Conditioner-similarly scented...that got the knots out, and was indulgently moisturizing without weighing down our hair. (Also can be a Copoo---too---the PureLuxe Conditioner by itself-can cleanse, soothe and condition---a method we employ at least 3x a week).

A blowout was preceded with quarter sized applications (roots-tips) of the Certified Organic Hair Pomade ($29)---that prevents frizz in humid conditions without the glunky feeling---mixed with a dab of the PureLuxe conditioner ---yes, our hair is really dry...!!!

And the final touch-the Certified Organic Hair Shine ($29)---a light spray that finished the 'do---taming flyways...and as billed, adding shine. Our silky tresses were now worthy of running our fingers through without hitting a snarl...

love-the Anti-Oxidant Lip Glosses $24---and so does our BF who prefers not kissing a chemically laden bunch of lips.

ADDED PLUS:---all the products are the best smelling out there, we think---a natural blend that appeals to men and women, imo....and yet, def. not overwhelming...something we figure, took a lot of work to get just right.

The result-was healthy looking, fab shiny hair---that probably under a microscope----would actually be healthier too...

Other Intelligent Nutrients products were on display...and served as a reminder that the company is really a broadly diverse consumer products company ---dedicated to making healing/healthy skin/hair/body care that are multi-tasking ---and good for you--- and for good looks...and with an eco-cradle to cradle MO---and not pay a fortune to use, accordingly.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Aesthetic Plastic Surgry/Anti-Aging Medicine: The Next Generation Highlights

July 20, 2012
Conrad Hotel, NYC

For a few hours, we listened to an expert group of practicing physicians weigh in on various topics related to aesthetic medicine, anti-aging, lipo-facial rejuvenation (fat transfers) and the changing perception of what an aging face, revitalized, should (and should not)- look like...during a morning session of the Aesthetic Plastic Surgry/Anti-Aging Medicine Conference.

First for us- was listening to James Carraway, MD - Director, Aesthetic Skin Care Center in Virginia Beach,  VA. His remarks concerned the importance-i.e. dangers and benefits ---of hormone replacement therapies, good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise- and vitamin regimens -in keeping his middle aged patients (51-71) looking years younger-in addition to surgical and non-invasive procedures.

Next up was NY based Neil Sadick, MD of Sadick Dermatology...who gave an informative (and fast talking-there were time limits, after all)---talk on the next generation of cosmeceuticals ...starting off with what we as consumers know-that there are hundreds of skin care products out on the market with so called "science behind it" ---that is often more about the science of marketing, so we think.

Sadick did point out a rather impressive list of effective ingredients with potent anti-aging components- often backed up with slides of before and after pics---

Many of the tested ingredients are derived from botanicals (soap nut tree, pine extract, perennial vine)...

Plus we have noticed- a trend in the relabeled in the USA- broad spectrum sunscreens-now loaded with collagen repairing/free radical scavenging ingredients that actually work---Sadick mentioned catechins- from tea leaves, chocolate, wine, resveratrol-grape extract, green tea and coffeeberry extracts, pomegranate, soy, vitamins c and e-to name just a few--- with goals of improving fine lines and to generate collagen synthesis.

Other effective entities cited that have been proven to stimulate collagen- include retinoids- a vitamin A derivative, peptides-protein derivatives, DMAE... and hydrating ingredients for 24 hour effectiveness- that provides a barrier to keep moisture in the skin---like dimethicone, ceramides and hyaluronic acids.

For uneven skin pigmentations-besides the prescription only in the USA- hydroquinone--- licorice extract, lignin peroxidase cream from a tree fungus, kojic acid derived from mushrooms, and tetrapeptide PKEK- were noted...and for redness- feverfew, thistle, tumeric, aloe vera, aframomum angustifolium seed, and malva sylvestris extract got the nod...

Needless to say, formulations and the ability to penetrate the skin to actually kickstart the turnover/generate new skincells- are key...and we wonder about formulations working synergistically-or just canceling each other out in those all-in-one products.

In the future, custom tailored cosmeceuticals---featuring the next genration of peptides that stimulate growth factors---with better penetration of the dermis, results driven formulations-  with self-regulating properties (smart)...and genetic cosmetics that target aging processes...IMPRESSIVE...are all 'something' to look forward to.

Hailing from Munich --- dermatologist Sabine Zenker, MD talked about her experience with Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix-using a patient's own blood...similar to PRPS-a therapy athletes treated with, swear by---and a topic we wrote about from last year's conference.

Her observations with her patients -who age differently---are that they responded positively to platelet rich fibrins, injected into the skin.

Zenker noted that platelets---are processed differently---and that there is no standard protocol for this...concluding that more clinical research- showing dermal thickening ---is needed---though it is "very exciting."

She also mentioned fat injections as another effective collagen stimulating technique- that also needs more research.

Lastly, Zenger concluded with how effective both magnetic pulse therapy (radio frequency delivery procedures-"for even heating")- combined with electro magnetic therapy typically used in wound healing -are effective in tightening lax skin, body contouring, and stimulating collagen growth.

Consumer friendly Heidi Waldorf, MD of Waldorf Dermatology&Laser Associates P.C. in Nanuet, NY...started off with how the $10 billion (at least) cosmeceutical industry lacks FDA approval process worthy science (randomized, double blind,  placebo-controlled studies)--- to backs claims of fabulousness.

What we appreciated about her talk was the common sense tips offered up- based on her experiences with patients...including...physical block sunscreens (not chemical) work the best...5% hydroquinone used -for uneven pigmentation-in the "Kligman" formula=a prescription only cream that includes retinoic acid and dexamethasone (and we assume the popular Tri-Luma)....should be used on a limited basis...for skin lightening. procedure---a protocol of no scrubs or vibrating cleaning devices should be used...and only "bland" moisturizers-not vitamin c laden for example (that can be irritating)-should be applied post laser swim googles for two weeks after injectible fillers to the eye area (can lead to weird ridges). 

Waldorf advises her patients to take a two fold approach to skin care-during the day- faces are protected with sunscreens/anti-oxidants, pigment protection---and at night, a protocol of the skin renewing itself rules-with collagen stimulators, pigment lightening and lipid barrier (moisturizing) ingredients. 

Ingredients found in formulations that get the two thumbs up (though in meaningful amounts that effectively sink into skin)--- include the Vitamins A, B, C, and E, CoQ Enzyme 10, soy, niacinamide, and the supplement Heliocare for added sun protection...and arnica and bromelain-a pineapple enzyme-for their anti-inflamatory properties.

Ivona Percec MD. Phd and J. Peter Rubin MD both touched on the abundance of adult stem cells found in adipose (fat ) tissues---with the former giving a very scientific slide presentation on her ongoing lab experiments/ findings...

J. Peter Rubin MD of Pittsburgh, PA. highlighted how stem cells from adipose tissues can be used in aesthetic surgery-as it can be molded and shaped...and how it is believed 'they' secrete growth factors to induce healing.

With Syd Coleman MD...the next speaker---Rubin cited their work funded by the Department of Defense in reconstructive surgeries for disfigured veterans...(our clip about this)...and also how stem cells from fat are showing great results in stimulating new collagen/improve skin texture in radiation and burn injury sufferers.

The concluding part of that morning session was led by Brian Kinney, MD who showed some pics of patients ---with something "done" and the panelists aforementioned -and including  Z. Paul Lorenc, MD had to weigh in on what procedure(s) were performed---and interesting ---what looked like some major mistakes, meaning bad work/bad results---with the assembled weighing in on what could be done to correct the errors, realistically.

Afterwards, we had some time to chat with some of the exhibitors...

The two new to us methodologies that really grabbed our attention ---was Cryoshape™ -an innovative cryosurgery treatment designed to reduce or eliminate keloid and hypertrophic scars in a single office treatment that freezes and thaws scars from the inside out, providing deep penetration of tissues (kinda like how warts are treated, we thought)...

...And Laviv™-what we figure to be an updated, FDA approved version of Isologen-owned by Fibrocell Science, Inc  (read a prior clip for more info) ...whereby a patient's own autologous dermal fibroblast cells ---taken from a skin-punch sample from behind the ear---are purified, cultivated, frozen (and then defrosted for treatments-usually three total)---that's injected into smile lines (severe to moderate-where the FDA approved it) ---and --- wrinkles, acne scars fill in via one's own cells replicating.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Aesthetic Plastic Surgry/Anti-Aging Medicine: The Next Generation Media Breakfast

Renaissance Times Sq. Hotel/NYC

A panel of leading physicians---

Z. Paul Lorenc, M.D., F.A.C.S., Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Cheryl M. Burgess, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist, and Christine Hamori, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon-

...presented some very interesting info on key trends and clinical research developments on the latest in anti-aging medicine, non-invasive technologies (meaning not much in terms of down time, if any)- and aesthetic surgery---to a packed room of mostly journalists.

The 90 minute meet preceded the annual Aesthertic Plastic Surgry/Anti-Aging Medicine: The Next Generation Conference- that this year- took place in downtown Manhattan.

Moderated by Wendy Lewis...the breakfast started off with Dr. Lorenc discussing how "just the concept of (plastic) surgery' is  "old fashion" and an integrated approach of pre and post op treatments (like Hydrafacials ) and modalities (nd:YAG laser/Genesis by Cutera, Limelight IPL and radio frequency based skin tightener Pellevé----to treat pore size, hyper pigmentation, fine lines)---all combined--- offer the most optimal results for the preparation for a "surgical insult."

AND def NOT smoking!

Loranc also discussed how important it was to address the loss of volume in one's face as one ages---something that is not 'corrected' in a facelift procedure-but can be restored via (temporary) filler agents like Scupltra, Radiesse,  or fat transfers---citing the three most popular.

Other newish FDA fillers that smoothly fill in the delicate teardrop area of eye sockets include the FDA approved (both) hylauronic acid based Preville Silk® and Belotero®.

The so called Facelift by Syringe is a popular do-it-in-a-day (or a few days, spaced out) approach with little or no downtime and side effects- other than temporary bruising perhaps...though it's not permanent.

Dr. Lorenc himself customizes his Facelift by Syringe approach ---and uses different formulations/dilutions of many different fillers and frown freezers (our term) like Botox and Xeomin depending on what's best for each individual patient and what the patient wants. Not a cookie cutter approach.

AND THAT'S WHY---one should never let just any one inject anything in one's face- without a thorough vetting process of who's wielding the syringe. No doubt, all practitioners on this particular panel have done their share of correcting/minimizing mistakes inflicted on patients who maybe, should have done their homework, better.

Dr. Cheryl Burgess hails from Washington DC and is often quoted in magazines and televisions---for her expertise and patented techniques on "soft tissue enhancement and injectable fillers and neuromodulators injection techniques"...and for the fact that as an accomplished Afro-American ---she gets (experiences) all skin types.

Her talk focused on facial rejuvenation in skin of color--- and she used the glam Halle Berry as an example of an inverted triangle shaped face-of a youthful looking gal....with the focus on the mid-face and eyes.

As one ages, Burgess pointed can get skin tags, sagging/lax skin, loss of volume/sinking cheeks/thinner lips, photo damage etc---that changes the shape and focus of one's face.

In fact, skin laxity is the number one concern of women of color---and Burgess herself show a series of slides of HERSELF---before and after a series of skin tightening treatments with Pellevé. (Read our review).

Other lasers/modalities were cited as helpful in slowing down the aging process (Fraxel, for one)---with a procedure-or series of treatments- done every 18 months are so--- suggested as a non-invasive way to forestall the march of time, aesthetically speaking...from the neck up.

The event concluded with conference sponsor Ellman International Inc.'s CEO, Frank D'Amelio...announcing the acquisition of Sandstone Medical Technologies "affordable laser portfolio" of four multi-functional products (Cortex-a CO2 and Erbium YAG laser, Tri-Lase Q-Switched NdYAG & Erbium YAG laser for tattoo removal/superficial skin rejuvenation, APX IPL & Erbium YAG laser for hair reduction, acne, vascular and pigmented lesions, and Cheveux Diode Laser for permanent hair reduction).

Why we as consumers would even care- is that- as we joke, everybody has a mortgage to pay off...and with affordable laser treatments available, trusted practitioners can actually better afford to offer their patients a soups to nuts assortment of hopefully better prices...not having to send them off to other establishments for treatments desired.

FYI: The aforementioned Pellevé is part of Ellman International's product offerings.

Thesession ended with a list of trends and popular procedures-non-surgical-for neck down- in the aesthetic realm of things-including tattoo removals, non-invasive contouring using ultra-sound technology that sculpts the body and melts the fat, cellulite treatments and hair removal.

The Wedding Salon NYC @ Capitale July 23rd, 2012

Taj Tents-transporting tents worthy of some exotic locale
CAPITALE, 130 Bowery, NYC

words/images Judith Ecochard

It always amazes us that when we leave a Wedding Salon tradeshow event-there's a queue out the door, populated by brides-to-be (mostly)...waiting to get checked in.

The latest Big Apple edition took place off the bustling Canal Street and restaurant/lighting equipment stores on the LES side ---inside the glorious Standford White designed Beaux Arts structure, Capitale---a stand out building anywhere.

This is how you get a crowd-pass out yummy samples of wedding cake-Palermo Bakery 

we were told by the gal in the white jacket that there's a 2-3 months lead time for wedding cake orders...we couldn't believe it.

sponsor Hpnotiq liquor

Packed ---even when we got there at 4:30PM...the venue had a crowd---they was buzzing...and genuinely checking out the table settings and other exhibitors...not just casually strolling through.
Kleinfeld had princess-y Cinderella and more sophisticated gowns scattered pretty!
Our obsession-the press on, idiot proof nails by KISS®

AND---the most popular style of false eyelashes...easy to apply with that string.

Capitale ---jammed with attendees-like a fab cocktail party.

stunning-this centerpiece by A French Tulip

tropical paradise-Mimosa Floral Design Studio

Feminine table---The Artful Event

We are always impressed with the table designs---even if not our personal taste---all are stunning.

Diana floral and event decor.

destination weddings are popular...though we have a pal on her 9th this year alone...and is like enough already.

alooonggg line for the fun podpix-photobooth  for the 21st century

it's not just all cash----Blooomingdales Registery

Lavish invitation, memory books, thank-you notes...guest books---ECR Designs, Inc amazed with what they can they have a .org web address 

even in the din-we could hear...Élan Artists

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


IN OUR INBOX: (from Berlin...)

NIKE SPORTSWEAR: "THE LOOK OF SPORTS 'FALL 2012... is a lot of lifestyle collections packed into apparel and kickers- that are as functional as techy performance wear too--- in a lot of instances.

Three sports serve as inspiration---running, football (the soccer kind), and basketball ---the later an inspired apparel take on the USA Olympic DREAM TEAM from 1992...

PLUS: loads of references to the heritage of NIKE itself...beginning with its own track and field/running past...

INFO: Delivery dates...etc...

. The Women's Collection from Nike Sportswear offers fleece, tees and wind runner silhouette is a selection of exceptional Key items that can be perfectly combined with each other.

WOMEN'S FOOTWEAR "LOOK OF RUNNING" (though we doubt you can really do serious track work in these...but running for the subway, yup)



The "look of Running" collection for Fall 2012 celebrates both the history of the Nike brand and the latest developments in design and serves as a tribute to the performance of athletes at major competitions.

The Nike Sportswear Track & Field is the Heritage Collection of Nike Running. Made of soft cotton with vintage washes resulted in a collection in which each article builds on the successful legacy of legendary heroes running. Vintage Nike logo and the Nike International symbol emblazoned on sweatshirts and T-shirts. Running crews served as inspiration for the Nike International crews collection is a tribute to the groups of runners from London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin (pink!?!!!!), Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi and Shanghai... honored by vintage T-shirts with retro graphics. (AND) ...The Nike Fast Unleashed Collection includes prints and multi-dimensional graphics. 

MEN'S FOOTWEAR "LOOK OF RUNNING" (Love...the mixture of materials and colors---will be collected by sneaker heads and stylish guys alike).




The Look of basketball collection of Nike Sportswear is a tribute to the triumph of worship team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The team was the first U.S. basketball team with professional players...and was known as Dream Team...  forever in the annals as a kind of world sport.
In tribute to Nike Sportswear's 20-year anniversary of that great Olympic victory, NIKE issued a special clothing line that represents the story of the Dream Team include on a AW77 Hoody, a round neck sweatshirt as well as on T-shirts and caps.


In addition to apparel collection brings Nike also some of the shoe models out again, carrying the team for competition, among them the model Nike Air More Uptempo, Nike Shox BB4, Nike Air Force 180 Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 and Nike Air Force 1 Hi . 

AIR FORCE High Team USA...kinda look like the AIR JORDAN 7 RETRO---available in red, white and blue....