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Posted by 11.21.14

There’s a reason steam is a vital part to getting a facial — it opens up pores, hydrates and clarifies the skin — but getting these services regularly at a spa can put a dent in your pocket.

Enter Dr. Dennis Gross Steamer Solutions ($125), which serves as an at-home facial, delivering a constant flow of moisture to dehydrated skin. The machine has a calibrated glass cup that you pour water into through spigot. There are two buttons that give you control over the steaming process. It provides continuous steam for 20 minutes, and the heat does not scald your skin.

Dr. Gross advises that “Steaming skin at home is a great option to open pores and help get rid of pore-clogging surface debris. I developed the Steamer Solutions, which uses steam fusion technology to simultaneously cleanse pores, hydrate skin, and allow for more efficient exfoliation.” He recommends that you use it 1-2 times per week or as needed.

To Use:: This is an extremely uncomplicated device; it comes pretty much assembled and all you need to do is to latch the measuring cup into the steamer, make sure it is secure in its place, and then pour the water through the spigot — to the MAX level — plug the device in, and you’re good to go. The best part about the steamer is the hydration level: my skin is instantly nourished, as though I had a lovely long day luxuriating at the spa.

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Posted by 11.19.14

I thought that once I was out of my teens and early adulthood, the only thing I’d have to be on the lookout for complexion-wise would be fine lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. “Many people (women in particular) find pimples popping up well into their late 20s and beyond,” says Montclair, N.J.-based dermatologist, Jeanine Downie, M.D. She adds that while there are different types of pimples, both adult and teen acne “have the same process of clogged pores creating the optimal environment for the bacteria linked to acne, P. acnes, to flourish.” Here, she gives BITB readers the lowdown on adult acne as well as causes and treatment options:

What’s the difference between teen and adult acne? Adult skin is less oily and more prone to dryness than teenage skin, and adult acne tends to occur on the neck and jawline whereas in teens it’s usually on the nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks. It’s also typically more cystic than that of teens.

What causes adult acne? Fluctuating hormones (including pregnancy), stress, family history, sometimes certain foods and drinks (especially dairy or foods high in sugar) and pore-clogging products can be to blame. Mineral oil based products (found in some makeups) can also clog your pores and break you out.

When should someone see a derm for acne? If you have been using an over-the-counter treatment for 2 weeks and you haven’t experienced improvement, make an appointment with your dermatologist. There are some great new over-the-counter regimens (such as Benzac, a potential game-changer for people who suffer from mild to moderate acne), plus many effective prescription treatments available.

What are the best OTC, prescription, and in-office treatments for adult acne?

  • OTC: I recommend an acne treatment regimen of cleanse, treat, hydrate plus an SPF of at least 30, all year round, rain or shine. 
  • Rx: As far as prescription treatments go, I like retinoids. Epiduo is a powerful prescription that contains adapalene (a retinoid) to unclog pores and decrease redness, swelling and inflammation, and benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria, p. acnes. In clinical trials, Epiduo started working to reduce pimples in the first week of treatment. Another prescription acne treatment that I recommend is Aczone because it causes minimal irritation.
  • In-Office: Glycolic acid or salicylic acid peels are superficial peels that work for all skin types to help clear and excavate dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and deep in the pores. I like to do these monthly for my acne patients. Three to six are typically the number of peels to see optimum results. 

Is it okay to cover up acne with makeup? If so, what do you recommend and why? Rule #1 is to check the label of your makeup to ensure that the concealer or foundation you’re using won’t exacerbate breakouts with ingredients such as mineral oil or waxes. 




Galderma Benzac Acne Solutions ($36, available 12/29/14) — a new over-the-counter favorite of Dr. Downie — is a 3-step regimen that features a Skin Balancing Foaming Cleanser to gently exfoliate and remove excess oil without over drying the skin, an Intensive Spot Treatment to neutralize and calm blemishes, and a Blemish Clearing Hydrator to control excess oil, moisturize, and prevent blocked pores. All contain the powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial pure, pharmaceutical-grade East Indian Sandalwood Oil and salicylic acid to unclog pores. Also formulated with skin brighteners, super-antioxidants, essential minerals, and more.


Dermalogica Breakout Control ($46) treats adult acne without Benzoyl Peroxide, which can sometimes irritate those with sensitive skin. It’s formulated with an Azelaic Acid derivative to regulate sebum, Lactobacillus Ferment to gently remove plugs which lead to infected impactions, Colloidal Silver to eliminate acne bacteria which thrive on cell debris and can collect in congested pores, and contains Tea Tree oil that works in tandem with Zinc Sulfate to reduce redness and minimize irritation. Non-tinted so it blends invisibly into the skin, use as a spot-treatment or as an all-over treatment to absorb oil, loosen early-stage impactions, and soothe inflammation. 



Tria Beauty Acne Clearing Blue Light ($299) offers dermatologist results with this FDA-cleared device that targets acne causing bacteria and eliminates it deep beneath the skin’s surface to clear skin and help prevent future breakouts. 



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Posted by 11.14.14

Everywhere I look I see someone whipping out their cell phone to snap a selfie or group shot. With the holidays fast approaching and parties crowding calendars, you can bet this clicking frenzy will only intensify — there will be cameras aplenty to capture every detail of every family gathering and group get-together.

The lucky few are naturally photogenic; they can’t take a bad picture. Everyone else will benefit from beauty, fashion, and technical tips gleaned from industry insiders to ensure you look your best. Get ready to embrace your inner supermodel!




Margret Avery is one of the most influential makeup artists of all time. She’s been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair, can call Cindy Crawford, Barbara Streisand and Naomi Campbell clients, and has worked on major brands including J.Crew, Revlon, and L’Oreal.

Alison Raffaele, the first national makeup artist and international trainer for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has worked on A-list celebs including Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Gisele Bündchen. She became a product development specialist with her first brand, Skin Alison Raffaele, and followed that up with Alison Raffaele Cosmetics, a line of healthy, high performance eco-friendly makeup and anti-aging products. Currently, she’s on the makeup team at both CNBC and Yahoo! and is an on-demand editorial makeup artist.

DeShawn Hatcher has worked on hundreds and hundreds of photo shoots in her 13+ years as a makeup artist. Beyonce, Tom Cruise, Grammy winners, All-Star athletes, Fortune 500 Executives, and Academy Award nominees were all lucky enough to sit in her chair. Her most challenging (and exciting) role is that of Beauty Director for the Cotton 24 Hour Runway show, the world’s only runway show where she creates over 200 hair and makeup looks, and runs a staff of over 80 talented artists in just 24 hours.

Jasmine H Chang is a well respected fashion stylist who has worked for numerous magazines, most recently as the executive fashion editor of O, the Oprah Magazine and Good Housekeeping. She’s currently a top editorial strategist and fashion consultant but in our hearts she’ll forever be the stylist who styled Spinal Tap’s 1992 tour.


  • Powder on the t-zone is a must so you don’t look greasy. Everyone likes a bit of glow but keep it to the brow bone, lips, and high on the cheekbone, a la J.Lo. – Margret Avery
  • It’s important to look uniform in color. To even things out in a flash, start with a quick dusting of colorless setting powder to ensure even blending and then warm up your skin tone where needed with a matte powder bronzer. — Alison Raffaele
  • To make your eyes pop, line the inner rim of your top lid with black pencil liner. This will make your lashes look fuller and help define the shape of your eyes. – Alison Raffaele
  • To make a double chin disappear: 1) simply push your head (and only your head) straight out toward the camera OR 2) smile, then bite down. When you smile (with either lips closed or opened) and bite down, your chin automatically goes up and your jaw line gets tighter. While doing so, you can also raise your tongue to the roof of your mouth to automatically tighten your chin. — DeShawn Hatcher
  • Turtlenecks tend to make you look like you have no neck in photos. Instead, choose a V-neckline. It’s always more flattering (especially if the pic is more of a body shot) as it creates a more elongated upper body. If the photo is a head shot, a crew-neck or boat-neck is best. — Jasmine H Chang
  • If you’re wearing a statement necklace, opt for a simple and solid color top. — Jasmine H Chang
  • Pale pink is universally the most flattering color to wear. – Jasmine H Chang

Insider Tips


  • If you feel bored while being photographed you’ll look bored in the photo. Instead, concentrate on whatever it is that makes you sparkle from within (ie. chocolate, a great handbag, your best vacation). — Margret Avery
  • Can you laugh like Julia Roberts? A fake laugh looks so authentic in photos! — Jasmine H Chang
  • Lighting is KEY. The light should always be behind the camera so that you’re facing directly into it. — Alison Raffaele
  • The most flattering shot is when you’re sitting and the photographer is above you OR when the photographer takes the shot from a higher view point forcing everyone to look up — it is the best shot ever! Never have the photographer shoot under you as everyone will have a double chin. — DeShawn Hatcher

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