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Date: 12.11.13

Created by renowned Beverly Hills dermatologist, Zein Obagi, MD, ZO® Skin Health and ZO® Medical products feature high potency ingredients in concentrations that are powerful enough to truly make a difference in your skin.

The new ZO Medical LipRebuild Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($50) is no exception. It includes retinol, advanced peptides, and powerful antioxidants to slough dead skin and repair dry, cracking lips that make you look older. The LipRebuild complex is bioengineered to restore severely dry, cracked, and wrinkled lips using a clinically proven moisture recycling technology. Vitamins A and E and breakthrough plant stem cell antioxidants help defend exposed lips from further oxidative damage from the environment, i.e., the sun’s rays and pollutants. A clever advanced patented peptide complex also works to increase microcirculation to plump up your lips, improving overall shape, while restoring lips to their natural rosy hue. They also added a cooling complex that soothes parched lips.

According to Dr. Obagi, “The skin of the lips is very thin and gets constant exposure, making it more susceptible to the signs of aging. We used potent retinol in our Lip Rebuild formula to help restore severely dry, cracked, and wrinkled lips to an optimum healthy condition. The addition of powerful antioxidants also helps to defend lips from continued exposure to the environment and UV radiation.”

ZO® Medical LipRebuild can be used under lipstick or gloss, or on its own for added protection and extra comfort. Available exclusively from ZO Medical physicians in-office and through the ZO online physician stores at


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Date: 12.09.13

Formula X is certainly a different kind of nail experience. First of all, it is a huge range. Walk into any Sephora and you will be overwhelmed with the choices of a rich rainbow of colors, cool textures, shimmery metallics, glow in the dark neons, over the top glitters, and wild eye-catching finishes. The extensive selection will set every nailaholics’ heart a flutter. For me, however, I was searching for my go to beige, creme, pearl, and shell tones. (I know…yawn).  If you can’t decide on your favorite shade, Sephora has a clever tester set up on the display—you slip your fingers under a clear acetate sheet and polish over your nail to see how it would look against your skin tone.

When it comes to beauty services, I’m all about saving time. Between working on my collection of Apple electronics 24/7, carrying around a bag that weighs a ton, running from meeting to meeting, in and out of taxis, etc. my typical mani lasts 2-3 days tops and I usually break at least one nail. I tried one of the home gel kits but it was too complicated and messy for me to stick with. I don’t have a schedule that lets me go for professional gel manis—nor the patience—and I’m too ADD to sit still long enough to have it done anyway. Therefore, my nails really take a beating and it’s not pretty.

So the promise of lasting well (like a whole 7 days!!) without chips and without UV light exposure that can cause skin cancer, got my attention. The idea of being able to take off or change your polish without soaking or using a sharp instrument also appeals.

To get into the Formula X frame of mind, start with the System Kit ($32.00) that contains 4 key steps needed to deliver the whole Formula X experience. It includes a cleanser, base coat and top coat, plus the color of your choice (that is, if you can pick just one!). I was skeptical about why I really needed to use the Nail Cleanser instead of just washing my hands, but after trying it, I can see the benefits. It gets your nails and cuticles squeaky clean without oils, dirt, sweat, or residue, so they are ready to accept the polish. The Base Coat is supposedly designed to be an adhesive primer that forms a sticky layer, thereby helping the polish stay in place. Next step is the color of your choice. And the last step is to  finish with their signature shiny Top Coat to protect your mani and voila—you’re done! It’s that fast, easy, and it looks like a pro did it.

I’m in LOVE with Formula X. In fact, I’m going back for more colors—and I might even venture out of my comfort zone this time (brights or metallics?). I especially love the Neutrals and the New Classics collections. I am very impressed with the long wear time and chip-free formula. And I’ve already bought the System Kit for two girlfirends for the holidays.

Ladies, this nail polish is a MUST try!

Look for Formula X on and in Sephora stores, prices range from $10.50-$12.50 depending on the polish.


Date: 03.09.13

Everything’s custom these days: suits, shoes, accessories—so why not hair care?

Advanced Haircare, L’Oreal’s latest breakthrough collection was five years in the making. The attention to detail, packaging, and results leads to five superb modules, targeting different hair concerns, that under promise and over deliver. I’ve never seen anything on the market quite so luxurious and results-driven: think of these new launches as the Cadillac of haircare.

The collection addresses the damaging effects of a variety of aggressors such as chemically-processed hair, heating tools, and the general harshness of the environment in which we live. While these are not palpable on an immediate or even daily basis, they take their toll on hair—so much so, that not just any old shampoo or conditioner will do (you wouldn’t just go to any esthetician now to get your facial, would you?).

Well, that’s just one of the ways hair care has evolved: it’s becoming more like skincare. While we certainly don’t think you should splash toner on your hair, we certainly agree that some extra specialized TLC is in order.

Total Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

About Advanced Haircare

The idea behind the collection is five sets of shampoo and conditioner and seven treatments designed to be a sort of bespoke tailor for your hair. The marketing claims are strong: the line promises instant results and lasting transformation. The last time I encountered any hair treatment that was truly lasting, it was  certainly a professional job at a salon, and not something that I could get from my local mass market store.

Of course, the hair market has always prided itself for being innovative, and offering products for every hair type. But this is the most comprehensive hair care collection launch I’ve seen yet.

And because each particular hair type is so different (ethnic hair, frizz-prone hair, fine and limp hair, thick and full-bodied hair….the list goes on and on), bespoke makes total sense. The star ingredient in this line is Arginine-K Complex, the fourth largest component of keratin in the hair, and one of hair’s basic building blocks.

The five modules include:

LOreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair BalmTotal Repair Damage Erasing Balm

Total Repair 5: Targeted towards those with visibly damaged hair, this collection of products is all about repair, and it includes Arginine-K Complex along with ceramide, which is a patented L’Oreal ingredient that aims to reinforce and strengthen the weaker sections of the hair shaft. The Damage Erasing Balm (use with the shampoo) Benjamin Buttons your hair for up to a year’s worth of damage—tall claims from a jar! But the proof is in the pudding: my strands were less brittle, more hydrated, and full of shine. The other Total Repair 5 products include a shampoo, a conditioner, and the marvelous Restorative Dry Oil—a leave-in treatment for flyaways.

Loreal paris advanced haircare smooth intenseAdvanced Haircare Smooth Intense Xtreme Straight Creme

Smooth Intense: This module is all about frizz control for up to 72 hours, thanks to the Arginine-K Complex combined with Oleo Keratin. The line includes Xtreme Straight Creme, a leave-in smoothing creme, which truly works and delivers great cushion while blow drying. Then there’s the shampoo and conditioner, of course, and the Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum, which is one of my favorite products in the Advanced Haircare collection.

Advanced Haircare Moisture Rush Mask

Power Moisture: You guessed it—this line is all about hydration, and the formulation of these products combines hyaluronic acid with Arginine-K Complex. The idea is that these ingredients give an instant rush of moisture. Hence the Power Moisture Rush Mask, which is a rinse-out conditioning masque for some seriously superb hydration, a shampoo and a conditioner, which quenches hair from root to tip. This is one of my favorite modules because my hair gets drier than a fried coconut in a desert—especially during winter.

After using Advanced Haircare Total Repair Shampoo/Conditioner

Color Vibrancy: With Arginine-K Complex, anti oxidants, and UV filters, this module is for those who really can’t stand faded color. It is like a Halle  Berry’s Storm-like shield for your hair: the products are all about protection. Since sunlight and aggressors can really cause UV oxidation and faded color, the ingredients lengthen your color vibrancy for up to eight weeks. The line includes the Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray, in addition to a shampoo, and a conditioner.

Triple Resist: The last module features concentrated Arginine, and is all about reinforcing hair so it doesn’t fall out or break. This is so vital to me because as a new mom, hair loss is all I’m experiencing. The concentrated Arginine reinforces strands and helps weak hair. The module includes a Triple Resist Ultimate Strength Solution, as well as a shampoo and a conditioner.

And, just like a bespoke tailor, you can mix and match the products you want and need to address your specific issues. That’s shear genius.

As if all of this technology wasn’t impressive enough, the prices are pretty fantastic as well, from $4.99  – $7.99. If you have any questions about your hair—or products to buy, tap into the power of  Twitter: @LOrealParisUSA has debuted #AskHairGenius—a service designed to share personalized and expert hair advice. Whether it is an inquiry on style, products, regimen, or hair health, tweet away (don’t forget to tag #AskHairGenius) to receive expert advice.








Date: 02.18.13

Aptly named the “hair color of the future”, L’Oreal knocked it out of the park with INOA, with a whopping 22 patents to its name. What’s so special about INOA? It’s secret lies as much in what is in it as what isn’t. They added oil (a friend to strands) while removing the ammonia (an enemy of good hair), which is a fine tradeoff when you think about what harsh chemicals do to stylists and operators who are breathing in fumes for 14 hours a day.

As Teresa Probst at Varin Salon in New York City explains, “It has no ammonia so it doesn’t strip your hair. The hair feels softer, stronger and loaded with 50% more natural shine and better color retention. There is nothing else like it—it is truly the best hair color on the market.” Touted to be less corrosive than ammonia, which can remove paint off your car, INOA preserves the integrity of natural, healthy hair. Sounds good? Agreed.

I admit that I approached INOA with a healthy dose of skepticism, mainly because I was not unhappy with the high end color Teresa was already using on me BI (before Inoa). It is also more expensive in the salon, but only slightly more and yes, I am worth it! But it’s hard to resist a color system that so many hair professionals are telling you is the the best thing since the Brazilian took off. So I took the plunge with relatively low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

Why do I love it? In a word my golden blonde is BLONDER—which is a good thing at these prices. My hair is also SOFTER and I can practically see myself in the SHINE. It feels sort of like there is a halo around my head that I surely did not earn.

INOA’s claim to fame is that it is an oil-based system, which has been a hot trend in haircare ever since those pretty turquoise bottles of Moroccanoil took over salons everywhere on the planet. So INOA maximizes the effect of permanent hair color, while it minimizes the damaging effects by providing more lipid protection.

Clearly ammonia-free color is the new black in hair care. It can be likened to the sulfate-free craze in shampoos. Sulfate-free cleansers for hair used to be something one had to hunt for in organic, natural beauty stores, and celeb-infused Wen informercials. Now the category seems to have multiplied at all price points, fueled largely by the green beauty trend as well as women (like me) who spend so much on their Brazilian keratin treatments that they won’t dare wash their hair with real detergents for fear of losing a single day of gorgeous straightness. Ladies, INOA is a keeper and lives up to the hype.

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