Ask Us Beauty Magazine: Inaugural Issue 2021

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REAL BEAUTIES REAL STORIES Tips & Tricks We Can Learn From Olympian





Josie Bissett The down-to-earth actress & author who’s the girlfriend everyone wants to have




The Cosmetic Doctors You Need To Know




HOW TO NAVIGATE LOCATE YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLES by using the search feature or contents.









EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Emmick







MAGAZINE LAYOUT Allison Michele Horwath Kaymie de Jesus

MAKE-UP-GLOWING GREY ARTICLE Katrina Russell/ Photography-Kristin Grennan PHOTOGRAPHY Josie Bissett-Richard Reinsdorf

COVER PHOTO Dani Brubaker


Ask Us Beauty Magazine looks to provide our readers with educational and empowering content. We ask our contributors to share their stories through their own words and beliefs. Our stories are published after reviews by our editorial team. Our content providers are not employees of Ask Us Beauty, and while we do seek out contributors that we consider subject matter experts to the stories we share, we do not represent or guarantee their contributions, and note that we are independent to the information they provide. We do want to always acknowledge that we are committed to providing accurate information. If an error is brought to our attention, whether grammatical or factual, we will be happy to make the appropriate changes. Please feel free to contact us You will find links inside our stories based on the readers interest in related topics discussed. We encourage our readers if they like the content, to support our contributors through their personal social platforms that are included inside the articles we publish. Ask Us Beauty participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorial chosen products through our links to retailer sites. These are products/services that we believe may offer value to our readers. This does not affect our decisions on the products or services we select. We always want to champion that our readers decide for themselves on all beauty/ wellness decisions which is the mission of our platform.




hen it comes to most things, I’ve never had limiting beliefs. That’s not to say that my mind doesn’t wander from time to time, but for the most part, especially in business, I’ve always had a can-do attitude. “Why wouldn’t someone say yes?” Maybe some would consider that naive, or maybe it is part of the Teflon resilience I’ve built up, having spent so many years in the field of sales and hearing the word ‘no’ roll past many tongues- like a mom telling her little one, “No, you can’t have the candy in the checkout aisle.” Yet, they keep asking. Whatever the reason, saying yes to a magazine felt like a made-sense, next-steps progression. So here we are! When I launched my first book, Blue-Collar Beauty, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of women that supported the book’s success. I’m sure some people had questions about a book with the subtitle Confessions of a Plastic Surgery Coach. Whether you love the industry, dabble in the industry, or you’re a woman just flat out against it, what the readers uncovered was that the book was about so much more than having an aesthetic procedure. It was about the message of self-empowerment and loving yourself both inside and out. But what struck me so profoundly was the power of connection. For one day, we came together and reached an audience that pushed the book to number one on Amazon. Less than a

year later, I followed up with a collaborative book called Mamas Gotta Work with a fantastic group of women. That too made its way to number one. Like many of you, I surfed my way through Netflix and Hulu over the last year and a half. I read books on everything from conspiracy theories to sports memoirs. Yet, through it all, I couldn’t shake the feeling of ‘Now What?’ What do I do with this something bigger calling? How can we continue to educate, empower and connect? And so, after many months, the light turned on, and a new platform was built. This magazine is for you. It’s our community. It was built to share ourselves and our stories. It’s to take our power back from the false marketing gods that try to tell us how to define beauty. It’s to celebrate and share the message that you can do you, and I can do me. So whether you want to wear flip-flops or high heels, cover yourself with tattoos or remove the ones you have, natural hair, curly hair, vegan, keto, tummy tucks, make-up face or make-up free, corporate job, or stay at home mom, WE ARE ALL connected. We all have the knowledge to share, and we all want to be beautifully united. Please enjoy our inaugural issue so you can get to know us. Our magazine has taken on a heartbeat through creation and development, and like us, we hope you fall in love.

XOXO, Michelle Emmick, Editor in Chief 6 INAUGURAL ISSUE

contents 12 On the Cover:

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We Salute You

By Taylor Anne Knueven, Florence, Alabama 10 INAUGURAL ISSUE

“beauty” is exuding confidence, happiness, compassion, and love through every pore”


was born in New Orleans, but I moved at the age of seven and have lived in Alabama and Georgia for considerable amounts of time in my childhood/young adolescent years. I enlisted out of Florence, Alabama. I joined the Army, on a whim, to become an Active Duty Combat Medic in 2013. Over the last 8 years, I have been stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Benning, GA, and am currently assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY. My husband is on Active Duty and a Special Forces Communications Sergeant with the 5th Special Forces Group also on Fort Campbell. We have two beautiful children together (ages 4 and 5). Over the last year, I have been working at the Rascon School of Combat Medicine, where I instruct and facilitate the training

and recertification for all combat medics on the post. I love instructing, as well as coaching resiliency skills, as a certified Army Master Resilience Trainer. This year, while finding my voice through my personal journey, I was led to compete for the title of Ms. Veteran America 2021 and advocate for Veteran woman homelessness. In early July, I was selected to be one of the 19 finalists heading to Orlando to compete this year and am eagerly awaiting October to celebrate all of our Women Veterans and their beauty “beyond the uniform.” Beauty to me is an attitude. It implies an action or a mental state that we have. I love Botox, fake tans, and pretty teeth as much as the next girl, but “beauty” is exuding confidence, happiness, compassion, and love through every pore… even when your pores might be clogged. INAUGURAL ISSUE 11

Image credit: Dani Brubaker

Josie J



By Michelle Emmick



prepared my camera to come face-toface with the woman whom I singularly tried to emulate in terms of beauty and style for most of the nineties. Whether it was wearing a babydoll dress, motorcycle jacket, or the signature short blonde pixie cut, Josie Bissett, who played the popular Jane Mancini on Fox-TV’s Melrose Place, was the epitome of cool, and I was all about it. Back in the day I copied her image to a tee, and here I am 30 years later virtually meeting my TV style icon in-person. For any readers who weren’t part of this phenomenon and may not know life before media in the palm of your hand and streaming platforms like Netflix, let me set the stage: Monday nights primetime, we reserved a seat on the couch in front of a big square box with an antenna, preferably with girlfriends, or on a landline or gigantic cordless phone spending hours gossiping about the outrageously fun storylines of a beautiful group of people living in an apartment complex in Los Angeles. For anyone like me who lived in Smalltown, USA, it was an exhilarating world we could only fantasize about. My feelings of nostalgia started to take over when the beautiful blonde popped up on my screen and immediately greeted me with her megawatt smile to say hello. Josie’s downto-earth, could-be-your-bestie personality showed up from her first words, and for the next hour and a half I had the chance to get to know more about her. I’m happy to share that she is as beautiful inside as she is out. To get to know Josie more is to share her story. Josie was 12 years old when she started her career in front of the camera. As a 16-yearold teenager, while most kids are still walking the halls of their high school, Josie left home and moved to Japan to further her work. Her

courage, independence, and tremendous talent brought her to the Hollywood scene within a year. Josie landed her first big role in the TV series The Hogan Family. She spent two seasons on the show before being catapulted to stardom in her internationally recognized role and cult favorite hit Melrose Place. Josie shared with me that during those years on Melrose she was in her early twenties, and having recently connected with a few of her co-stars for a new project, Josie reminisced on how young she was and how different times were then. “I was so focused on my work; I don’t remember a lot of it,” Josie confided. When the series ended, Josie went on to star in other hit shows like the ABC hit The Secret Life of The American Teenager, which ran for five seasons, Lifetime movies and Hallmark’s wildly successful series of franchise movies, The Wedding March. Josie has also hosted numerous shows and made innumerable guest-starring appearances. In a profession that can easily place fame ahead of all else, Josie has managed to crack the code to career longevity and success. I think what makes her most relatable is the fact that, like many women, she has worked to balance career and family, making the appropriate adjustments to put family first. In addition to playing so many beloved characters, Josie has graced over 50 magazine covers to date. Her radiant skin has landed her national commercial campaigns for brands like Neutrogena and Murad Skin Care. She keeps her skin looking great by wearing sunscreen. “I wear it rain or shine,” she told us. “In addition to applying sunscreen, I always wear a hat and cover my chest if I am out in the sun. If I had to pick one INAUGURAL ISSUE 13


product that has kept my skin looking its best it would be a Tretinoin cream.” Josie shared that when she has months of time off, she visits her dermatologist and asks for the latest laser treatment. “I love to have PRP ‘vampire’ facials at least once a year,” Josie shared. During our conversation on beauty, Josie and I talked about our shared love of Botox. Josie told me “I started using Botox for migraines when it first appeared on the market. I have been doing it for many years. It has been a savior for my migraines but also wrinkles!” Josie said she feels most beautiful when she’s taking care of herself physically, mentally, and spiritually, sharing, “I eat a plant-based diet and do not consume dairy. However, if I am really craving meat or dairy, I will have it. I am thankful that I absolutely love water. I can’t remember the last time I drank a soda or bought any type of juice. I do, however, love a glass of wine or Prosecco!” Josie shared the importance of getting rest, doing her best to get between six and eight hours of sleep. “I am constantly working on creating a balanced life,” she said. “When I feel balanced, I feel calm and happy and, therefore, less stressed, and stress looks awful on our skin.” Besides being an actress, model, and beauty spokesperson, Josie has found incredible success and fulfillment outside of Hollywood with her career as a book author. With several books penned, it’s clear that children and family are part of her deep core values. “I have spent many years working on children’s books and a cartoon series. I absolutely love creating content for children. It’s so much fun,” Josie enthusiastically told us.

Josie’s first book, Little Bits of Wisdom, is a heart-warming collection of parenting wisdom inspired by the birth of her first child. Her follow up, Making Memories, features ways for parents to create rich family lifetime memories with their children. Josie’s first children’s book, Tickle Monster, became a national sensation, based on a treasured family tradition. Fuzzy ‘Tickle Monster’ mitts, an interactive companion piece to the book, are packaged in an adorable gift set. Parents can wear the gloves to tickle their children while reading along to the story. Josie then followed up with her second children’s book, Boogie Monster, which features a lovable character from Planet Boogie whose only mission is to inspire kids to dance. Boogie Monster teaches kids that there’s no right or wrong way to dance and helps kids build confidence while having fun exercising. The Boogie Monster Dance Kit was the recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award and won the Moonbeam Gold Medal at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. To help you get a full picture on just how down-to-earth Josie is, during our conversations both of our daughters came into the room where we were chatting. She introduced me to her beautiful teenage daughter. As my nine-year-old entered the room, as she often does wanting to say hi to my virtual friend on the other side of the camera, Josie immediately made her feel special and started chatting with heart and sincerity. Having overheard our conversation on books, my daughter was excited to show off her own children’s book she authored. Being the person she is, Josie contacted me the next day, going online to buy a copy of my INAUGURAL ISSUE 15

“she feels most beautiful when she’s taking care of herself physically, mentally, and spiritually” 16 INAUGURAL ISSUE

Image credit: Dani Brubaker

daughter’s book. That speaks volumes to the realness of who Josie is. Being a mom, I asked Josie what beauty advice she has passed down to her daughter. She said, “I have a few: wear sunscreen, make water your main beverage of choice and drink a lot of it, create healthy sleep patterns and eat mainly plant-based, but listen to your body. Manage stress by paying attention to what makes you happy and do more of that. I also can’t express the importance of caring for your teeth and living a balanced life.” Since I felt such a great connection throughout our conversation, I had to share with Josie that I, too, rocked her style and wore the same haircut as she did in the nineties. It was such a drastic hairstyle back then, and even now most girls wear their hair long. I asked her what inspired the style. She replied, “It was an accident! I love to change my hair and try different looks. I also love to cut my own hair and one time I really had a good hack at it! It wasn’t my best work, so I went to the salon and had it all cut off.” Well, the style clearly worked, for both of us, of course, and later that night I texted her a picture of me from back in the day so she could get a good laugh. Josie’s next projects are Sealed with a Kiss: Wedding March 6, premiering August 14, 2021, on the Hallmark channel, and she has a guest-starring role on the new FOX TV series Fantasy Island, which will air in September. You can follow Josie on her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @josiebissett INAUGURAL ISSUE 17


Heather Thomson Contributor Michelle Emmick



f you are a Real Housewives of NYC follower, you know Heather Thomson. I admit, years ago I was a big weekly Bravo watcher, but now I catch myself up with the occasional binge during a lazy Sunday. So when I had the opportunity to interview Heather, I knew before we even spoke I would like her. She is what we call “the real deal.” Born and raised in Hudson Valley, Heather has a genuine and unique downto-earth style. Everyone who sees her is immediately captivated by her infectious smile and amazing energy. Her impressive background and long list of accomplishments speak to her work ethic and make her a woman I want to know more about. Having moved to the city to pursue fashion over 25 years ago, Heather started working for Calvin Klein and continued up the ranks, working as a Design Director for Sean “Diddy” Combs’s Sean John label as well as Creative Directing alongside Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Lopez. In 2008, Heather founded her own brand, Yummie Tummie, which she sold five years ago. For most people, that would be enough accolades and experience for a lifetime. However,

there is that one thing that can make anyone take a professional 360-degree turn, and that’s love. When it’s the love a mother has for a child, well, you’ll do whatever it takes to make things better. You can work with the biggest brands and become the most prominent celebrity, yet there is no more important job than that of Mom. For anyone reading this, just hearing the words that your child is sick will make your eyes wince and your heart break. As a mother, you always want to take away your child’s pain and fix it. At the age of only six months old, Heather Thomson’s son Jax had a liver transplant. After Jax was prescribed over 38 different types of medications, Heather became more than concerned. She made it her mission to educate herself and learn everything she could regarding food and nutrition. She decided to go back to school to learn about science and educate herself. “Food is fascinating and beautiful,” Heather states, “and the more we learn, the more we evolve.” Through her journey and passion for nutrition, Heather became an Integrative Health Coach and launched a new brand: Beyond Fresh.


“Beyond Fresh was developed to make whole-food plant-based nutrition easy to understand, affordable and most importantly, taste delicious.”

“Beyond Fresh was built to fill a hole in the market. Convenience is killing us with processing and GMOs, and supplements can be overwhelming unless you’re an herbalist,” she shares. “Beyond Fresh was developed to make whole-food plantbased nutrition easy to understand, affordable and most importantly, taste delicious.” What’s great about these products is that they are 100% natural and good for the entire family. Beyond Fresh consists of whole food powder supplements sourced from organic farmers worldwide and made in the USA. It was specifically developed to support anyone on his or her journey to practice better health and overall wellbeing.


Through our interview, Heather shared some simple and important steps we can all take from her knowledge as a coach. These steps are as simple as reading labels, listening to your body, shopping local organic/grass-fed, and getting plenty of rest. So what exactly is an Integrative Health Coach? “An Integrative Health Coach functions much differently than our parents’ doctors,” Heather shares, “using plants and food as well as eliminating things from the diet instead of masking the issue.” In the past, they were trained to treat illness, not prevent disease. When you mix Eastern and Western culture prevention with treatment, it’s called integrative or functional medicine, and it will exhaust every natural

option—integrating nature and medicine. Heather’s son, now a teenager, is doing great, and his favorite product is the Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse ($30 at, which doesn’t taste pungent like you’d expect but sweet as it includes coconut water for hydration, aloe vera, pineapple, and papaya. “Our health is all we have, and I want to share my knowledge with as many people as possible. Wisdom should be given away.” What keeps Heather going

“Our health is all we have, and I want to share my knowledge with as many people as possible. Wisdom should be given away.”

is her passion for learning. In addition to Beyond Fresh products, Heather conducts wellness retreats and adventure excursions. She also conducts a podcast called In My Heart which she started

recording pre-covid. Heather has hosted guests like Andy Cohen, Tina Knowles, Bobbi Brown, and many more. “I am learning the importance of listening more intently to myself and others,”

Heather shares, “and we can together learn, grow, and support each other.” One thing that’s evident in talking with Heather is that she is curious about life, and when we are curious,



we become more knowledgeable and resourceful. We ask questions like what, why, and how we can do better. It makes us humble, understanding that we don’t have all the answers yet seeking those who do. I am not surprised Heather has found so much success and continues to build

her professional empire. She is a lifelong truth seeker and educator, and she’s doing a great job. Please keep sharing your wisdom, Heather. We can all benefit. Holla! You can follow Heather on IG at @iamheathert



For many, a defining setback could end a career, but not Kelly. Kelly’s setback only made her work harder.



elly Gunther considers herself a laid back kind of girl. As a former Olympian, being laid back wasn’t anywhere close to her lifestyle for most of her life. Having started skating at the age of six, Kelly committed years to her sport and has had an


incredible career, one that the everyday athlete only dreams of, competing at the highest level. When you hear about Kelly’s career, one word stands out: resilience. As an in-line skater, Kelly won multiple World Championship gold

medals for the United States relay team. She made the transition to ice speed skating in 2009. That same year, after years of training, Kelly just missed qualifying for the Vancouver Olympics. For many, a defining setback could end a career, but not Kelly. Kelly’s setback only made her work harder. In 2010, a fall during a race almost severed her foot. After intense rehab, however, she not only skated her personal best times, but she also made the 2011-2012 World Cup team followed by the career pinnacle, competing in the 2014 Olympic games in Russia. Now a retired Olympian, Kelly is spending time

with friends and figuring out life just like most of us. Kelly says beauty has always been important to her; even when she was playing sports, she considered herself a girly-girl. In her skating years, Kelly would be at the starting line with a bit of mascara and blush. Now she gets to put on a full face of make-up. “I love to do my full make up. I’m still not the best at it, but I’m learning how to make it look good!” One beauty tip that Kelly shares is to always wash your face. “Especially on the days, you aren’t so sure if you can bear taking off your makeup at the end of the night after a long day of work, or even going out, wash your face, girlfriend! I promise you won’t be mad if you did!” Being out of the daily grind of skating is a complete life change for someone who spent 25 years with one focus. Now it’s a new journey of learning and growing. Kelly gets to share her journey of perseverance,

“ I’m redefining myself as Kelly THE comeback kid! ” dedication, determination, and drive. “I’m redefining myself as “Kelly THE comeback kid!” Kelly is quick to share that life isn’t always going to be perfect with rainbows and butterflies, yet if we keep pushing forward, life will be what we make of it. Kelly has made a new career achievement in becoming a motivational speaker to help others build their confidence. She wants all people to become the best version of themselves and help others do the same every day. Kelly’s story is one of strength and grit, a truly inspirational story that we can all benefit from hearing. You can find Kelly on Instagram @KellyGuntherr. INAUGURAL ISSUE 31

Small town,

Big Heart By Brooke Sinko



am a busy mom of two boys, Maxwell and Jack, ages seven and four, and I work full-time in marketing communications for a Fortune 500 corporation. I’ve been married almost 11 years to my amazing and supportive husband, Colin. We have two dogs, an 11-yearold male Australian shepherd named Roni and a five-month-old female cockapoo named Birdie, who I say is my only daughter. When I told the boys I wanted a girl dog because I am the only girl in the house, my oldest said, “but you have Hey Google,” aka the voice of our home assistant device. I could legit write a book about all the funny, weird things my kids say, and I’m sure most moms can say the same about their kids. I’ll save that for another time, though. We enjoy spending as much time outdoors as we can through hiking, taking walks and bike rides through our neighborhood, and visiting Seneca Lake. We also got into geocaching recently, which, if you have not done before, I highly recommend!


Spending time with my family is my biggest priority and being together with them brings me incredible joy. We had our first child while living in Raleigh, North Carolina, and moved back to our hometown while I was pregnant with our second. I always said I’d never move back home, but once I started a family of my own, I realized the value of this small town and having family close by. Being able to stop by my parents’ house with the kids any day of the week or meeting up with my sister for brunch or a Target run are privileges I will never again take for granted. My best friend and her family live here too, which is a huge bonus! When I’m not working, mom-ing, or with family, I take time for myself through different creative outlets and practice yoga. Yoga has been a fantastic outlet for me, and it definitely keeps me sane and balanced! I live in Big Flats, NY, a 10-minute drive from my hometown of Elmira. The town itself is tiny, and we live in the best neighborhood you could dream of. There are lots of families with kids, and the local grocery store is right down the road. There is a great park nearby and the school

district is wonderful. It’s also right behind a hospital, which as a mom of boys, I’m sure will come in handy! Even though I would love to have shorter winters, the seasons here are beautiful. My family especially loves the fall, apple picking, pumpkin picking, and the beauty of the colors on the rolling hillside. The lake is just a short drive away, full of unique trails through gorges and waterfalls, wineries and breweries, and some of the best scenery around. There is a lot to do outside, and one of my favorite summer activities is the annual Street Painting Festival in Elmira. I have participated in this every year since moving back home. It gives me a chance to dust off my creative side. The street shuts down for a full weekend, and hundreds of artists of all ages from around the area come out to fill the road with chalk art. Each artist is assigned a 5’ x 5’ or 8’ x 8’ space to create their own work of art. People can walk around and interact with the artists and choose their favorites. Prizes are awarded to the best ones. I have yet to win, but I’m sure my time will come.

“Yoga started as a way for me to get back in shape after having kids and has turned into something else entirely. I found my own strength and a new sense of empowerment through this practice.”


In Corning, a town known for glass blowing, 10 minutes in the opposite direction of Elmira, there’s the Harvest festival in the fall, Sparkle in the winter, and Glassfest in the summer. Local vendors galore, these events always draw a crowd. Events like this give a town character, and I love seeing everyone in the community out and about. There’s also the annual NYS Yoga Festival that happens at Letchworth State Park. It’s just over an hour’s drive for me, and the vibe is always super positive and fun. You really can’t go wrong when you put hundreds of yogis together! This festival started 4 years ago, and I have been to every one except last year’s event (thanks, Covid!). Yoga started as a way for me to get back in shape after having kids and has turned into something else entirely. I found my own strength and a new sense of empowerment through this practice. Working full-time and being a mom to two young boys can be very stressful, especially this past year during the pandemic. Yoga is my safe place where I can go to escape for a short time to bring the best version of myself back to my family. Taking this time for myself allows me to refocus and not think about schedules, chores, meetings, or any of my other day-to-day activities. Having this outlet makes me a better mom, a better wife, and a better employee. I love yoga so

much that I wanted to share it with others, so I became a registered yoga teacher (RYT200) and started teaching yoga as well. The one beauty tip I learned and want to share was from my grandma Helen who taught me the most about being beautiful. Everything she did, she did for us grandkids. Being with her, I knew she cared about me. I could feel it whenever I was around her. I think a lot of what made her beautiful and her favorite way to show love came from her cooking. She loved having everyone over and feeding them, having everyone gathered around the table. To her, that was everything. She once told me she really liked my husband (then boyfriend), but what she loved most was watching him eat the food she cooked. In a more traditional beauty sense, here is another tip. One day we were headed someplace, probably shopping. I was driving, of course, because she never got her driver’s license. She had the visor mirror down, and she was fixing her makeup. She had forgotten to apply her blush and did not have any, so she took a couple dabs of lipstick to her cheeks and rubbed it in. This move added the perfect amount of rosy. She finished up and just looked at me and smiled like she knew she nailed it. And she did. She always did. IG - @scenesfromtheyogaroom Yoga classes at Vibrant Life Yoga –


KeishaJohnson Johnson Keisha @Keishais50ish @Keishais50ish


person who is optimistic, positive, and has empathy t 51, I define beautyCompared based on exuding confidence, authenticity, and self-awareness. I find the most and understanding of others. to being in

genuinely radiant beauty is a person who is optimistic, positive, and has empathy and understanding

focused on beauty and to more on in projecting ofphysical others. Compared being my 30s and 40s, beauty looks different to me. I am less focused on

physical beauty and more on projecting inner confidence, self-love, wellness, and emotional balance by

balance by practicing self-care. As a mother, aunt, friend, counselor, and pro-aging advocate, I feel a demonstrate that beauty can bebeauty broadened responsibility to demonstrate that can beand deepened with age so that others can look forward to it with excitement, promise, andwith optimism! broadened and deepened age so that others can look forward to it with excitement, promise, and optimism! practicing self-care. As a mother, aunt, friend, counselor, and pro-aging advocate, I feel a responsibility to


What is Natural Beauty? By Carrie Hooey


ve spent the last few days thinking about what natural beauty is, and I keep coming back to the idea that it is whatever makes people feel good about themselves, which means it’s different for everyone. I could tell you what it means to me, and I will, but that doesn’t mean that you or anyone else needs to agree. In fact, make your own decisions about it because natural beauty isn’t a set of guidelines from other people. Natural beauty- yours, mine, everyone’s- comes from within, not from the outside world, so it’s up to you to decide what it is. Since natural beauty comes from an internal place, I don’t believe we should

limit it to one’s appearance. That would be too shallow of a definition. When I think about other women and what makes them beautiful, it’s not what they are wearing on their face or their bodies or in their hair. It’s how they treat others, how they set boundaries, and how they ebb and flow in their world because natural beauty comes from one’s inner workings. It’s an attitude, a light, an energy. It’s like the source of an ocean’s tide. Natural beauty runs deep like a belly laugh that contorts the face and seeps water from the eyes, or like a grin from ear-toear when beaming with pure pride and joy. It’s getting so lost in doing something

“ there is only one person whose judgment is genuinely worth caring about, and that’s the one staring back at you when you look in the mirror. ”


with purpose that the desire for outside validation disappears. It’s finding time for yourself amongst the craziness of life. It’s daring to feel pain and walking through it to the other side. It’s feeling good in your own skin, comfortable in whatever space you are in, but venturing out of that comfort zone now and then. It runs so deep that it cannot be carved out and molded externally, solely by the human hand. The outside glow is primarily an inside job, and any final external touches are simply the icing on the cake. Natural Beauty is not looking for approval from others. It is not comparing yourself to anyone. It is not losing yourself to people. It is not obsessing about one’s physical appearance. It’s quite the opposite. It is living your life authentically and listening to your voice above all other voices about how you should exist in the world. And with that said, there is only one person whose judgment is genuinely worth caring about, and that’s the one staring back at you when you look in the mirror. When I look at my reflection, sometimes looking put together but more often appearing or feeling like a frazzled mess, I can manifest my sense of beauty when I contemplate the day ahead or recall the end of an usually long day with all the things I had accomplished that made me feel fulfilled, like: How I helped a student with a problem, or how I could smile when one of my daughters excelled at what they love. How I laughed with my colleagues over lunch, or how silly I was during a moment of downtime.

How I made the time to work out for my physical and mental health, or how I didn’t obsess about what someone thought of me. How I said yes to something new, or how I said no to something I didn’t want or need to do. How I made some creative outside-ofthe-box decisions, or how I survived my endless to-do list one decision, one inhale, and one exhale at a time. I could give many examples of experiences that make me feel naturally beautiful, and not one of them has any material value. And let’s be frank, sometimes natural beauty isn’t pretty. It can feel downright ugly, but it’s only the inner world trying to shine through when the layers are peeled back. It might be a vulnerable moment to shed tears or reach your breaking point and put other people in their place with you first. So, how about you? When you reflect, what moments in your life do you consider to be your most beautiful? If wearing make-up, getting your hair done, dressing up, etc., makes you feel good within, then do it. Do it every day. Do it once a week. Or don’t. I sometimes adorn my inner beauty with outside dressings, and when I do, it feels like an enhancement for the natural beauty that already resides within me. Whatever you decide to do, don’t judge others for their choices. And hopefully, you won’t be judged for yours- and if you are, let your natural beauty sweep those judgments into thin air because natural beauty is a judgment-free zone.


Verenia Ohanian @vereniaohanian

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“Who says you can’t have the life you’ve always wanted?”



yhtapme sah dna ,evitisop ,citsimitpo si ohw nosrep t 45, I believe it’s important to embrace what niGod gniegives b ot deus. rapWhat moC .makes srehto fus o gnidnatsrednu dna different is precisely what sets us apart. The thing that makes us memorable is the

nitcecan’t jorp nhave o erothe m dlife na yyou’ve tuaeb laalways cisyhp no desucof very thing that makes us different. Who saysgyou

wanted? All it takes is figuring out what you really want and then mapping out the steps

,tnua ,rehtom a sA .erac-fles gnicitcarp yb ecnalab a leef I ,etacovda gniga-orp dna ,rolesnuoc ,dneirf choose to surround ourselves with. It has become a simple eb nquestion: ac ytuaebwill tahtitetprovide artsnomme ed ojoy? t ytilibisnopser nac srehto taht os ega htiw denepeed dna denedaorb dna ,esimorp ,tnemeticxe htiw ti ot drawrof kool !msimitpo to get there. Great choices include anything from what we put into our body to who we




MOTH ER By Danielle Hall



always dreamed of being a mother. More specifically, a boy mom. From a very early age, I envisioned how I wanted to raise my children and planned the things we would do together and the trips we would take as a family. I would do everything in my power to give them the life that every kid dreams about. By some stroke of grace and luck, I was blessed with two amazing sons. Just as instant as a mother’s heart fills with love for her child, my soul rapidly yearned to execute those dreams and plans for their lives. The feeling and pressure didn’t overcome me in small, slow ripples, but a tidal wave that engulfed my entire being. In a split second, they were my life. There was no question. There was no doubt. People don’t have to look far to find information on getting themselves back to pre-kid status. Lists, tips, tricks, articles, books all aimed at making a woman feel like she did before the bundle of joy took over her life. The moms who are past the baby stage fast forward to the abundant “life balance” genre. Not me. I pressed forward, plunging deeper and deeper into the day-to-day challenges of being a working mother. My relentless quest to be a present mother, provider, and funder of their dreams never wavered. I was dedicated. I was motivated. I was competitive. I was determined. I was also lost. I was unrecognizable. I was burnt out. I didn’t know it.


By my 42nd birthday, the mirror should have reflected the mom and successful career woman I always hoped I would be. My boys were 11 and 13 and doing well in their lives. The career I built and worked so hard for was doing better than ever. Yet, there was this frumpy, chubby thing staring back at me. I looked old and exhausted. This image didn’t coincide with the victories and accolades I earned at work or the successes my boys had at school and in sports. Everything I had given, everything I dismissed as unnecessary because it seemed too trivial or shallow compared to what my family needed, was now back to haunt me. The deficiency I felt was swallowing me whole and crippling me in self-doubt and low self-esteem, an allconsuming feeling affecting every facet of my life. How can a woman work so hard and commit to putting others first be so miserable? Was this not what I was called to do? Had I somehow missed the mark? The funny thing about image and beauty is that it is associated more with wrinkle treatments and fillers at a certain age. I wasn’t opposed to trying those. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I needed. I knew that my internal happiness had to play a part in beauty. Pinpointing that was a great place to start. The first step was permitting myself to spend some of my time and money on me. The boys always had top-of-the-line sports equipment, clothes, and shoes. Meanwhile, I was budgeting a whopping three bucks for my concealer. It was just another nod to the

lack of balance. Sleep was another issue. I was depriving myself of sleep to finish everything for my family. It had to stop. So when I was tired, I went to bed. It was now about accepting ownership over my health and well-being and letting others take over areas of their own lives that I previously felt the need to control. Next, the people-pleasing had to take a back seat. With it, the realization that my effort and problem-solving did not control the entire universe. It wasn’t until I made myself a priority that I even recognized the amount of stress I was carrying and what it had done to the image of a once fun, healthy, and fun-loving gal.

is a long-distance sport. There is plenty of work to do. I still get a slight twinge of guilt when I treat myself to a luxurious lip gloss or take two hours on a Saturday morning to get my nails done instead of slaving away, making the boys a pancake breakfast before their games. I am better than I was. There is hope and momentum in forming new healthy habits.

“ My path to looking like my best self and the everambitious goal of aging gracefully is a long-distance sport. ”

While this may not sound like a traditional beauty treatment, my face softened. My shoulders and jaw relaxed. The stress eating slowed. My head was clearing. A slightly more youthful radiance slowly peaked through. A glow only emerges with happiness and contentment and the freedom of self-discovery and internal peace. Age was not reversing in numbers or pounds dropping off with no effort, but there was now a familiarity to my reflection and not the kind from which I wanted to run. My path to looking like my best self and the ever-ambitious goal of aging gracefully

The very people I gave so much of myself for seem happier with my newfound selfconfidence. The boys have not lost out. Their lives are not deficient because I took time and money to care for myself, my image, or my happiness. Quite the contrary. My rediscovered radiance and my confidence that had been lacking for so long enriched their lives. They are proud of their mom. That very thing might make me feel the prettiest I have ever felt. I only hope that other moms out there learn quicker than I did that giving motherhood your everything and being mindful of your own needs are not mutually exclusive. The two should be a harmonious endeavor. Everyone benefits from a mom that feels good about herself.


Maryjane @gloriousbroads


nosnhoJ ahsieK Check out the link to fun t-shirts Old htheir si05 siahsieK@ with Swag T-shirt and the amazing Debra Rapoport who is as glorious as the t-shirt she’s wearing! @debrarapoport


yhtapme sah dna ,evitisop ,citsimitpo si ohw nosrep t 71 years old, Maryjane says she feels more like 40, ni g35 niedepending b ot derapmon oCthe .sreday. hto fShe o gnattributes idnatsrednu dna feeling so well to being attentive to diet, exercise, fun, sex and love. Maryjane’s simple

gnitcejowhom rp no eshe romloves. dna y“Use tuaebalagreen cisyhptea no desucof beauty tip comes from the one and only Norma Kamali,

mask on your face every night. Squeeze the tea with a paper towel and put it on your face for 20

,tnua ,rehtom a sA .erac-fles gnicitcarp yb ecnalab a leef I ,etacovda gniga-orp dna ,rolesnuoc ,dneirf platform that celebrates passionate, gutsy, unconventional women eb nac yover tuaeb50. tahIG t e@gloriousbroads tartsnomed ot ytilibisnopser nac srehto taht os ega htiw denepeed dna denedaorb dna ,esimorp ,tnemeticxe htiw ti ot drawrof kool !msimitpo minutes. It has given my skin the zing it was missing.” Marjane is the creator of GLORIOUS BROADS, a



Gray O

By Jordan Peden | Photography by Kristin Grennan | Make-up by Katrina Russell

n Memorial Day, I attended my first post-vaccination family gathering. It was the first time many of us had seen one another in nearly a year and a half, and needless to say, there was a lot of catching up to do. Mothers, aunts, and grandmothers made quick work of it, milling around the kitchen gabbing lightheartedly about who was pregnant, who’d had babies, and who was still as hot of a messa as ever. It was just like riding a bike. I was a fly on the wall, having snuck in only to change a diaper. As I slathered the Aquaphor on my daughter’s bottom, the

conversation turned to hair. Most of those women either hadn’t visited a hair salon in almost 15 months or had just been reunited with their beloved hairdressers only in the weeks before. One of the aunt’s fresh, modern pixie cut was being admired when it happened. “You left it gray, huh?” Leave it to grandma to make such a loaded yet astute observation. I chuckled to my baby. I was almost done with the diaper, but I wanted to hear how this ended. I was not disappointed. The aunt proudly and confidently INAUGURAL ISSUE 45

announced that yes, she had left it gray. In fact, she wouldn’t be covering it up ever again. She’d grown used to and fond of it during her time in quarantine, and the only thing she’d be doing to her silver locks from now on was nourishing and enhancing them. I was fist-pumping in solidarity from the next room. She looked great, and more importantly, she seemed like she felt better than she probably had in the last five years. She was totally owning the room and glowing in all her natural gray glory. And in kitchens all across America, aunts just like her were basking in their own proclamations of fearless liberation from fighting against the gray. It’s a movement. Gray Hair, Don’t Care! There are two camps in the Gray Hair Don’t Care party- those whose hair turned gray for the first time during the pandemic and are embracing it, and those whose hair had been gray but opted out of hiding it. No matter your affiliation, one thing is true: Covid-19 left us in a tight spot from a beauty perspective. Between the stress of living through a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic and the governmentmandated shutdowns, our hair took quite the hit. Hair graying is an inevitable byproduct of aging. It’s something that happens to everybody, though some sooner than others. During the pandemic, however, people who’ve never had a single gray hair to speak of

were surprised to find wiry, white hairs invading their manes. According to a 2020 study, the stress of the dumpster fire year we experienced could be to blame. Researchers in this study determined that stress contributes to a loss of melanocyte stem cells, which are responsible for the pigmentation and color of hair. Well, shit. The other piece to the puzzle is that whether your grays were pandemicinduced or you’ve been graced with them for years, our relationships with salons have been strained at best over the last 15 months. Stay-at-home orders closed our hair havens for weeks and sometimes months at a time, and even when they reopened with new health and safety standards, many of us elected to tough it out without the professional services for

the foreseeable unvaccinated future. Unless you spent your lockdown days performing the ol’ box dye job, chances are your grays became a quarantine staple. With nowhere to go, it became easy to relinquish some of our primping routines. Our faces went without as much (or any) makeup, and our hair went without the chemicals and dyes that covered our naturally-occurring silver strands. And guess what? We thrived. Maybe it was the confidence gained by no longer feeling the need to expend energy concealing a part of ourselves. Maybe it was the freedom offered by no longer being bound to an appointment every six weeks (give or take). Maybe it was the extra cash in our wallets no longer being blown on root touch ups. Whatever it was, we got it. We became comfortable in our own skin. We had to. Left to our own devices, shut off from any physical social connection, we got to know ourselves a little better. And we embraced ourselves in ways we, perhaps, hadn’t before. We showed ourselves a little grace in the rat race of looking as young as possible. We let ourselves be human, believing in the collective human understanding that we were all in it together. We became bold enough to not hide our pride in our age and wisdom and experience. And now, as we peek our grayhaired heads out and look around, we can emerge as the poised, fully-realized, dayceasing, bad-ass women that we are. The road to acceptance isn’t always easy, though. According to Revelina Tokromo, 46, there was definitely some denial and even a little depression in the process of transitioning to gray. “How could I EVER

reach the point of acceptance and let those silvers be what they want to be. So I did a little soul searching,” Tokromo says. That soul searching paid off. Tokromo’s transition has given her the confidence to stand up to gray naysayers and to find worth and value and beauty in herself, regardless of what anyone else sees. “Am I content with myself? Do I like what I see in the mirror? Am I there for myself if my confidence is about to take a hit? YES, YES, AND HELL YESSS!!” You go girl. Therese Cranick, 58, recalls wanting to go gray for years and just not feeling ready. She was inspired by gray-haired beauties like Jamie Lee Curtis, and eventually followed suit. Cranick told us, “When I hit my mid 50’s and seeing all these beautiful, vibrant women who’ve gone grey with much success, I knew I was ready. And I’ve never

but becoming a member doesn’t mean throwing your hair care routines out the window. Though you may not be hitting the salon every six weeks or so, your newly allnatural locks will still need some special attention to keep them looking and feeling healthy, luscious, and nourished.

looked back!” One highlight for Cranick in her journey to gray has been the support she’s received. “I’ve been very fortunate to have the support of my hubby & my family. They’ve encouraged me the entire way. And I’ve only experienced positive comments, with the exception of an occasional ‘Granny’ on social media when I’ve upset someone!” While having a strong support system is an important factor in boldly entering into gray territory, Cranick added that you have to “remember this is for you, no one else!” Since you’re loving yourself so much, you’ll want to know all about gray hair care so you can really rock those radiant gray locks. Ok, so maybe we do care a little. Gray hair is beautiful, and like most beautiful things, it comes with its own unique upkeep needs. The Gray Hair Don’t Care Party is awesome and empowering,


One of the most important considerations for your new gray hair groove is toner. Hair is gray because it lacks pigment, and pigment hides the yellow or brassy tones that pollute our hair as a result of environmental residue build up. In order to keep our gray glowing and luminous, we have to neutralize those yellow tones with a special toner for gray to white hair. Purple toning products will keep gray hair shiny, vibrant, and free from unwanted dullness. Purple toning shampoos and

It’s a movement. Gray Hair, Don’t Care! conditioners will provide the needed toning effects while nourishing with hairhealthy ingredients. While we’re talking yellow, it’s also essential to shield your gray tresses from the sun. Without pigment, gray hair is left unprotected against the sun’s UV rays. UV rays can weaken and burn gray hair, leaving it discolored and negatively affecting its texture. The best way to protect your hair from the sun is to cover itbasically, wear a hat. To beef up your sun protection regimen, you can also search for hair products that contain the antioxidant histidine, which protects hair from harmful UV damage. Another way to help your gray hair reach its

full potential is to max out your moisturizing efforts. You may notice your grays are more coarse or wiry than the non-grays- this is totally normal. Hair texture inherently changes over time, but our oil production starts to slow down at some point, too, which also contributes to the texture transformation. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for gray, white, or silver hair will all assist you in maintaining your mane. Hair oils are a great way to combat this oil deficiency as well, and you can also incorporate weekly hair mask treatments to provide extra hydration. Outside of specialized products, one of the best things you can do for your new ‘do is to style it appropriately. The right haircut for your new look can make all the difference in the world. After all, you’re debuting a more authentic you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the right style to communicate just who that person is. Remember the aunt from my Memorial Day gathering? Her pixie cut was the conversation starter that gave her the platform to boldly assert her membership in the Gray Hair Don’t Care party. Do it up!

Say it with me:



It may have taken a pandemic for some of us to embrace our grays, but there’s no going back. Whether the stress from Covid-19 is to blame for the big change or the separation from the world gave you the time and space to see the beauty under the artificial color, the gray is here to stay. With the right hair care tools and the perfect style, your grays will be a gorgeous exaltation of your confident inner beauty. Follow Glowing Gray on IG Ravalina @revelina.tokromo Janine @neen2089 Bravely Gray @Bravely Gray


@rielfinishings |




y path to self-acceptance was long and littered with bottles. I spent my young adult life striving for perfection on the outside while silently screaming on the inside. And by screaming, I mean trying to drown my perfectionism and anxiety by self-medicating with alcohol. I was an overachiever in my youth. I played elite-level hockey until I was 19, and after a bad experience with an abusive coach, I quit. I come from a great family, and I am extremely privileged, so this was the first real adversity I had ever faced in my life. I


was depressed and lost. I decided to take some time off school, and I got a job at a local restaurant and bar. This was one of those fun places to work where the staff were all friends and often enjoyed drinking and partying after work. That’s when I discovered the answer to all my anxiety and depression—alcohol. I had my drinking under control for a long time. Being an athlete and a student kept it at bay, though if I am honest, I can’t think of a single time in my adult life where I said I would ‘just have one drink’ and followed through. Once I started, it was hard for me to stop. Something in my brain just loved how much alcohol quieted my anxiety. This little habit caused me quite a bit of grief in my early twenties. There were blackouts, cravings, and significant warning signs of dependence, but I didn’t hit my bottom until I was 27. I got a degree and functioned for the most part, but I was so sick inside—a constant cycle of guilt, shame, and trying to clean up my act. When I turned 25, shit hit the fan. I went through a bad breakup, my mom got sick, and I couldn’t cope with any of it. I was living alone, so I started drinking to fall asleep at night and went to work every day either still drunk or super hungover. Nobody knew. Somewhere along that path to self-destruction, my drinking went from being a choice to being necessary for baseline functioning. My body physiologically craved alcohol, or I would shake uncontrollably. You might be reading this thinking, wow, she has zero willpower, but anyone who has struggled with a substance use disorder understands there 52 INAUGURAL ISSUE

is a point where it is no longer a choice. You want to stop more than anything. You tell yourself you’re going to do it, but it’s beyond that. That’s what addiction was for me. A cycle I couldn’t break—layers and layers of guilt, anxiety, and sickness. On the outside, I kept it together. I was employed, generally functioning, and doing whatever I could to keep up the ruse that I was ok. But I was sick.

My bottom consisted of an ambulance ride to the hospital, which was, unfortunately, the wake-up call. I needed to understand that I could not do this alone. By some absolute miracle, the nurse who was helping look after me at the hospital was 30 years sober. Her name was Leslie, and I swear she was a 6’5” angel. She smiled at me and said, “I know you, and I know exactly what the problem is here because I was you.” I didn’t believe her because she looked so normal and happy. She said, “You need help, and I will introduce you to some people who can help you live a much more comfortable life.”

something I love to teach and share with others. My social life never suffered, but it did become much more authentic because my relationships are now grounded in more than social drinking. I met my husband, and we have two beautiful sons who will never know what it’s like to experience drunk or hungover parents.

I’ve been sober for ten years, and though it’s not always easy, the last decade of my sobriety has been beautiful. I went on medication for my anxiety, went to CBT group counseling, went to AA, and got involved in a community of people who struggled just like me. To my surprise, none of them fit the mold of what I thought an alcoholic or addict would look like (but then again, neither did I). They took me in and gave me a soft place to land. They helped me realize that my situation is so, so, so common. Alcohol does not discriminate, so if you are struggling or suspect you might be someone who could benefit from not drinking, reach out, get help, find a group of sober or sober curious people (There are even online communities for this now!). Don’t wait for your own ambulance ride. I’ve been sober for ten years, and though it’s not always easy, the last decade of my sobriety has been beautiful. I used to think I would lose so much if I quit drinking because it’s just so pervasive. But for me, getting sober made room for wonderful and inspiring relationships. It made room for hobbies like meditating, yoga, running, hiking, and weaving (which has now become my full-time business). Weaving, for me, is a form of art therapy, and it’s now

Most importantly, though, it made room for self-acceptance and self-love. It allowed me to learn how to be in my own head and not want to run away. That’s where the real work comes in - because whether it’s alcohol, drugs, eating, shopping, gambling, or any other vice it’s all just a form of escape, and we need to do the work to learn how not to feel the need for escape. We live in a world full of influencers offering up quick solutions for skincare, beauty, weight loss, etc., but the most important work you can ever do is from the inside out. If you are struggling with an addiction, help is a phone call away. Alcoholics Anonymous 24-hour 7 days a week confidential hotline 1.800.839.1686.

We live in a world full of influencers offering up quick solutions for skincare, beauty, weight loss, etc., but the most important work you can ever do is from the inside out. INAUGURAL ISSUE 53

KeishaJohnson Johnson Keisha Dena V. Sciacchitano, M.ED @Keishais50ish



n the 90’s, I would spend hours putting outfits together, experimenting with new makeup tips, and changing hair color/styles. I would

understand the importance of being in an

stay out until the early morning with my closest

environment that consistently promotes health and

friends, making new ones along the way on our crazy



weekend adventures. We were college kids, and while school and grades were important, everything

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wasperson impulsive, exciting, who iscreative, optimistic, positive,and andwild. has empathy

it a priority to maintain my well-being, to have some

Fast forward the clock. From college to career days,

truth. Aging has given me something much bigger:


and understanding of others. Compared to being in

focused on beauty and more person who is physical optimistic, positive, and on hasprojecting empathy marriage to mom, personal and professional highs

and lows, understanding of others. Compared to being and wild andin balancemy by priorities practicingshifted. self-care.My Asonce a mother, aunt,

“me time” and ignore all the noise, to center my the wisdom to embrace the little things. Aging has helped me live in the moment with a positive

impulsive quickly Friendships friend, ways, counselor, and phased pro-agingout. advocate, I feel a

mindset, and be much more aware of myself. And

broadened and deepened with age socelebration that others can now saved for an occasional holiday or balance by practicing self-care. As a mother, look forward to it with excitement, promise,aunt, and reunion with friends. while my wild heart friend, counselor, andAnd pro-aging advocate, I feelwill a optimism!

down memory lane, I’m keeping myself forever young

focused on physical beauty and more on projecting

responsibility demonstrate thatadventures beauty can are be remain, yet thosetocrazy weekend

responsibility to demonstrate beauty can forever rage with excitement,that I have come tobe

broadened and deepened with age so that others can look forward to it with excitement, promise, and optimism!


while from time to time I take myself on a mindcation by embracing aging with new adventures and new stories along the way.

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FASHION Funds the Fight By Amy Breuer


t was at the exact moment when Kerry and I simultaneously flipped on our cameras that I knew I had just met someone special.


Moments later, as the other ladies joined our video call, I was overwhelmed with the positive energy of a team of women who were passionate and dedicated

to making a positive impact in the world, for a cause that has affected so many, including them. And, as the conversation progressed, I began to learn more about

these ladies, their stories, and their journey that brought them together to create The Cancer Cartel. The Cancer Cartel was founded by three amazing cancer survivors: Kerry Solmonsen, Katy Tinney, and Shelly Tinney- Miller. Having survived the toughest fight of their lives, they were ready to help others, but exactly how wasn’t always clear, until one day when inspiration hit. They had attended a nonprofit event, and through a casual conversation on the ride home about cancer warriors’ everyday expenses and their love for fashion and shopping, their mission emerged. They would soon become the RealReal of the nonprofit world where fashionistas can donate luxury designer and fashion items or shop newto-you fashions. When speaking to them, their perseverance and passion shines through in their cool yet confident vibe about their experiences. They are grateful to be survivors, and they have become warriors to help others who are still in the fight. These women realize the financial drain that cancer can impose, and they are also aware of the many others that are out there who would love to help, but need a platform. So, they created an important mission of providing financial resources to those fighting cancer and welcome and appreciate any donation of luxury brand items. If you do not have any items on hand to donate, they also accept monetary contributions as well. There are many creative opportunities available on their website, but the biggest single thing you can do today is share. It was through sharing that I met these inspiring women

and am now able to share their story with you. The power of community and connection is strong, and you can help by sharing their story too! The future of The Cancer Cartel looks so bright that I just might need a pair of luxury shades (hint hint). Despite all of the uncertainties around the pandemic, their resilience shined-on as they continued to give. As of the date this article goes to print, the ladies have given away over $100,000 to people in the fight! The money the recipients receive goes towards things such as transportation needs, fuel to get warriors to and from their treatments, prescription medications, meals at the hospital cafeteria, and other small expenses that can quickly break a patient’s bank. The website is not only practical, but spiritual. For some warriors, their needs are not only monetary, so the Cancer Cartel continues to give virtual hugs and support to anyone that needs them along the way. With an ultimate goal of $11 million annually, they are looking for corporate sponsors or angel investors to help cover their administrative costs so that they can make an even bigger difference to people in need. Whether you need a little help to cover those everyday expenses or looking to help in a meaningful way, visit their website at https://www.cancercartel. com/. You can follow The Cancer Cartel at cancercartel and


The Gift of Confidence


hen Nancy Lemon started Girls With Confidence in 2011, she wanted to create extraordinary experiences for school-aged girls to develop self-

love and grow brave spirits they would carry with them the rest of their lives and shine onto others. She desired to give girls the safe space she believed would have significantly impacted her own young life had such a place existed. Prior to beginning Girls With Confidence, Nancy volunteered with a now-closed youth support organization from 2008 to 2011. Her volunteer work came from a deep place, as her own experiences and struggles drove her to work to equip the strongspirited and vibrant youth she encountered. Moving from Pain to Purpose

background or socioeconomic status, struggle from time to time with self-perception and confidence. Every girl needs guidance, mentors, positive friends, and places to be herself. Girls are given opportunities to rise through workshop series, camps, craft nights, and other inspirational events. Nancy is proud of the work everyone involved with Girls With Confidence has accomplished to affect hundreds of girls who have heard the message of how to love themselves from the inside out and accept themselves wholeheartedly. One of Nancy’s greatest joys is seeing girls go through the programs from elementary to high school and come full circle by applying what they’ve learned and mentoring the younger girls. If you’d like to learn more about our programs or volunteer opportunities at Girls With Confidence, please contact us. We are expanding and would love to bring our programs to your area! Follow Girls with confidence on IG @girls_with_confidence

With her confidence shaken at a young age because of childhood trauma, Nancy experienced shame and the lack of proper support to heal. Into adulthood, her childhood events manifested in an eating disorder, which Nancy battled for years.

Nancy LEMON Founder

Through years of counseling and personal work, Nancy found herself whole, healthy and healed. Seeing the gap of programs to teach girls to love and honor themselves, make positive decisions, and navigate all that comes with growing up in the modern world, Nancy was inspired to continue the mission she had once served through volunteering and now on a new path that this time she would forge. Envisioning a World Where Every Girl Knows her Worth Since Nancy founded Girls With Confidence, it has grown from Tampa Bay to cities and countries beyond. Nancy knows that all girls, no matter their


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r. Suzanne Trott is one of the most in-demand plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills. We know her for her honest approach, artistic eye, and her meticulous attention to detail. Dr. Trott is a double board-certified plastic surgeon born in Bronx, New York. Dr. Trott has been practicing in the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area for over 18 years. The number one priority of Suzanne A. Trott, MD, is providing each patient with individual attention, education, and beautifully natural-looking results. Her goal is to give each patient objective information and honest opinions so that they’re confident to make informed decisions. Another reason for her success is that Dr. Trott takes pride in developing personal connections with her patients. She and her team are always reachable by email or phone call. They are there for you every step of the way during your cosmetic or reconstructive surgery experience. I had to ask Dr. Trott (since she is in Beverly Hills) how she reacts to patients coming in with unrealistic expectations or pictures of celebrities they want to look like? Dr. Trott’s response was, “If someone wants to look like a different person, they are probably going to weed themself out of my practice, because I am very realistic about expectations. We have all become so conditioned to seeing “perfect looking” people on social media, that we forget that almost every image has been filtered or


adjusted in some way. We are comparing ourselves to something that doesn’t exist. Often a celebrity doesn’t even look like their own picture.” Dr. Trott is also a co-founder of the everso-popular shapewear called “Lipo Queen™” designed to accentuate the body. Dr. Trott and her co-founder initially developed the garment for the patient’s transition from liposuction to shapewear as a second-stage compression garment; however, it became much more as her patients enjoyed wearing the garment long after their procedures. Friends and family who hadn’t had a procedure started wearing the shapewear under their clothes, and it soon became shapewear for everyone. Known as the best-kept secret in Hollywood, there are five styles known as the “Vixen,” “Siren,” the “Siren Ultra” the “Luna” and the “Luna Ultra” The Ultra versions have more upper abdomen compression. Once you try it on, you won’t want to take it off. You can follow Dr. Suzanne Trott on: Instagram at @drsuzannetrott & @lipoqueen You Tube: @lipoqueen Facebook: Dr. Suzanne Trott @lipoqueen



Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter, MD has a tremendous career as a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Medical Director of Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC. In addition, Dr. Porter is a Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.



r. Porter received her undergraduate degree at Brown University and was awarded a full tuition merit scholarship to attend Duke University School of Medicine. After completing her residency in Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, she completed a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Porter was recruited to return to Baylor College of Medicine as an Assistant Professor, leading the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training for the residency program as well as establishing the Baylor Facial Plastic Surgery Center. With a return to

Q&A Tell us about yourself before becoming a plastic surgeon. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC. My father was an engineer and my mother a social worker, so the medical field was a good blend of both.


the DC area in 2003, Dr. Porter established Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC. She is certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. Additionally, she is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Surgeons. Dr. Porter was recently elected this year to serve as a Director for the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. We had some questions for Dr. Porter so we could get to know her better.

What made you decide to become a doctor?

structure of the nose to which the skin conforms.

My AP Biology class and teacher, Ms. Crabtree. I loved that class so much; it really sparked my interest in medicine.

What are some reasons a person would seek a rhinoplasty?

For readers that do not know, can you tell them at a basic level, what is a rhinoplasty? A rhinoplasty is a surgery that can change the appearance of the nose. The surgery involves changing the underlying

To fix a hump on the bridge, lack of a bridge, large tip, wide nostrils, or droopy tip. There are many other requests, but these are the most common.

What cosmetic improvements will it potentially provide for a patient?

surgeon that can provide guidance on the possibilities is key.

It will provide a nose that appears to be better proportioned to itself, the face, and the body.

What is the one beauty tip you learned from a loved one and who is that person?

What is the difference between an open and closed rhinoplasty? An open rhinoplasty requires a scar in between the nostrils. A closed rhinoplasty has no external scar. I always tell patients not to get hung up about the scar – it is the ultimate result that matters most. Is a rhinoplasty different based on ethnicity? Proportions that are ideal can vary based on ethnicity. Likewise, the thickness of the skin can be highly variable. Finding a

True beauty comes from within -My Parents. When do you feel most beautiful? When getting dressed up for a special event. If you are interested in a cosmetic procedure, you can visit Instagram: @thechevychaseface @drjenniferparkerporter Facebook @Chevychaseface Twitter @Chevychaseface



DOCTOR ANAHITA AZHARIAN Dr. Anahita Azharian is a boardcertified plastic surgeon and owner of Magnolia Plastic Surgery, a boutique practice that serves patients in the Tampa Bay area. She was born in Iran and grew up in Dubai.



uring her teenage years, Dr. Azharian moved to Florida with her family. Like many teenagers, those years were challenging, and for Anahita, moving to a city that wasn’t international made it exceedingly difficult to fit in. This helped her keep intense focus on her studies, something she was good at and could feel confident about. After graduating from high school, Dr. Azharian completed both her Bachelor’s and Master of Public Health in Infectious Disease at the University of South Florida. Since she was always good at science and had a love for fashion, aesthetics and plastic surgery made sense and led her to enroll in medical school at NOVA Southeastern University and surgical training in Pennsylvania, where she trained under some of the most well-known plastic surgeons in the greater Philadelphia and New York area. After completion of her fellowship, Anahita traveled internationally with a focus on providing care to underserved areas. When she returned to the United States, she worked in New York City, eventually making it back to Florida, closer to family. Dr. Azharian has built an incredible reputation in the Tampa Bay area as the premier go-to surgeon. Her specialties are tummy tucks and breast augmentation. We chatted with Dr. Azharian and asked her some questions about plastic surgery that our readers wanted to know more about.



The number one question we get from women is about the mommy makeover. Can you explain more about that? A mommy makeover is not a procedure. It’s an umbrella term used to refer to any surgical needs a woman may want after having kids, and now they want to feel good about themselves. There are all shapes, sizes, and different mommies, and each wants and needs something different. One person may need a breast augmentation, another person just a tummy tuck, another person may need both. The procedure is very personalized based on the needs of the patient. What are the pros and cons? I guess the pro is that it helps us see women and address all of their concerns in one consultation session. The con is that most patients forget that keyword in our 70 INAUGURAL ISSUE

specialty: plastic SURGERY. So having to explain to some that they can’t have everything performed in one session is sometimes difficult for them to understand. Is it better to do everything at once or separately? That all depends. The doctor might do multiple minor procedures or a combination of a small and a large procedure all at once. Multiple large procedures shouldn’t be done all at once. At the end of the day, we practice medicine; it’s our job to keep our patient’s safety in mind, especially that this is elective and not medically necessary. There are also state guidelines that we have to practice. It’s our job as surgeons to educate our patients why and guide them to achieve their desired goal in the safest, most efficient way possible. What is the typical downtime?

Depending on the type of procedure. Abdominoplasty has the most prolonged downtime, liposuction the shortest. What’s the difference between a mini tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck? A full tummy tuck involves a hip-to-hip incision and an incision around the belly button, the excess skin of the upper and lower abdomen is addressed, and the muscle laxity (diastasis) is repaired. Most patients think we make a new belly button, and that is not true. The belly button is attached to a stalk, so it’s impossible to move it anywhere else other than where it is and will permanently be attached to the abdominal wall. We place the large incision at the bikini line, so it hides well, and the length of this incision is proportional to how much loose skin there is. A mini tuck, which not very many people are a candidate for, involves removing some of the loose skin of the lower abdomen. Some surgeons tighten the muscle as well, but since in this procedure

we only have access to everything below the belly button, that’s’ the only part that gets tightened. Most patients’ laxity is in the upper abdomen, so in my opinion, tightening the lower part only makes the upper part look even more accentuated. In a mini tuck, we do not address the skin above the abdomen. What are some things you would tell a friend or family member if they were going to get a procedure done? • Find a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and trust. This is a journey. • Stay local to where you live. No one will touch you if you have complications, and this is a SURGERY. Complications and setbacks are a fair part, just like any other surgery, • Don’t price shop. This is your body, and there is no going back. • Make your safety rather than the dollar sign your deciding factor. If a surgeon is advising you not to do multiple procedures simultaneously, don’t find the next person who will. • Do your research and ask questions.

Plastic surgery is a beautiful and gratifying specialty, but it’s important to remind everyone not to set social media as a standard and keep realistic expectations. Remember, we work and improve what we bring to the table, and every individual is unique in their own way. Where can our readers find you? You can follow me on Instagram: @drazharian and visit our website

When do you feel the most beautiful? When I’m overly dressed up! I have always loved fashion and being different from everyone else. It’s my happy place. What is the one beauty tip you learned from a loved one, and who is that person? My mom’s words: “Stay out of the sun. You’ll get wrinkles!” Anything else you believe will bring value to our readers for the story?




Dr. Ashley Guthrie is an Ivyleague educated, fellowshiptrained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Dr. Guthrie is originally from northern New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan, and completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by medical school at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan.



he completed her five-year residency in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She pursued more specialized training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery through her fellowship at the Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Guthrie Facial Plastic Surgery will open in Brentwood, TN, in the early fall of 2021.

Q&A Tell us about you in the early years before becoming a plastic surgeon. Where did you grow up? I grew up in northern New Jersey in a small town in

Bergen County. I spent my summers in Long Beach Island at the beautiful Jersey Shore and wouldn’t have traded it for the world! I have a wonderful, supportive family and am the youngest of three siblings. I am now a proud aunt to five beautiful nieces and nephews who I am crazy about. What made you decide to become a doctor? I have actually wanted to become a doctor since I was in kindergarten! When asked what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” I always said “pediatrician” because that was the only type of doctor I had been exposed to at the time! My mom is a registered nurse and encouraged my interest in medicine right from the start. I loved school and learning- especially science and biologyand was drawn to

helping people, so it was a natural choice for me! What are your favorite procedures to perform? My favorite procedures to perform are rhinoplasties and facelifts. They both provide essentially instantaneous results, which can be utterly life changing for my patients. Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing patients cry tears of joy over seeing their new nose for the first time or seeing a patient finally recognize themselves in the mirror again after a restorative facelift. There is a procedure all over social media these days called the “fox eyes.” Can you explain more about what that is? The “Fox Eye” trend seems to have started from the desire to mimic the look of celebrities such as Bella


Hadid, who appears to be a laterally lifted brow and outside corner of the eye. It pulls the eye into an almond shape, giving the look of a “fox” or a “cat.” Many think this shape of eye and eyebrow to be sultry or exotic, which has given rise to the popularity of both surgical and non-surgical procedures promising to deliver this look.

placed strategically. Fillers, such as the commonly used hyaluronic acid products, can be placed in the temple to give a subtle lateral brow lift as well. These are discussions that need to be had with patients individually to deliver the best possible results.

What procedure(s) do you recommend for patients that want to achieve that look?

People are getting threads put in their faces for this procedure. Can you explain more about that option and the pros and cons of choosing a non-surgical approach?

First, I would like to say that I don’t recommend going after the more extreme versions of this result. It can give an unnatural appearance to the eye that is not always aesthetically pleasing. However, for lifting the outer portion of the eyebrow, I would recommend a temporal brow lift, either alone or in combination with a vertical brow lifting procedure. These will lift the brows but still maintain the natural brow shape and arch. Neurotoxins can also be quite effective at achieving a lateral brow lift when

Threads are, interestingly, an older procedure that largely fell out of favor in the early 2000s because of concerns over their safety and efficacy. They have since made a comeback with a change in the type of thread material and placement technique. The PDO thread lift is commonly used to achieve the abovementioned “Fox Eye” look. PDO, or polydioxanone, is a type of dissolvable suture. These sutures, or threads, are placed under the skin and used to pull the outer corner of the upper eyelid up and laterally


toward the temples. It also lifts the outer portion of the eyebrow. While the threads dissolve within a few months, theoretically, there is a stimulation of your body’s own collagen and scar tissue that helps maintain the result. Some pros of this procedure include that it is minimally invasive and can be done under local anesthesia. There are no true incisions or large cuts in the skin and no visible scars in the skin. There is also very little to no downtime, and results are instant. The cons include that the results rarely last over six months to a year, the potential for visibility of the threads or bunching under the skin, scar tissue formation, and extrusion of the threads through the skin. What other trends do you see in terms of facial rejuvenation? There is a lot of focus recently on preventative treatments, which I think is a great thing. Carefully and modestly done neurotoxins, such as Botox, can be placed in such

a way to prevent deep wrinkles from occurring. The term “Baby Botox” has recently been coined. This refers to placing small, strategically placed aliquots of Botox to reduce movement enough to prevent static wrinkles but not enough to completely freeze the muscles. This allows for a natural, softer look. Judicious use of fillers can restore a more youthful appearance in a patient who is not quite ready for a surgical procedure such as a facelift. Skincare and skin maintenance have also come to the forefront, and procedures such as microneedling, with or without the addition of radiofrequency or PRP (platelet-rich plasma), are gaining popularity. What advice would you give to women over forty who have been considering cosmetic procedures? I would tell women over forty and real women of any age to research and seek a reputable physician that they trust and feel

comfortable with. Finding a practitioner you can speak openly and honestly [with] about your goals, questions, and concerns is of the utmost importance. You should never feel afraid to express yourself. I would also advise women to take their time to explore their options and avoid jumping into a procedure or surgery that they aren’t fully prepared for. Cosmetic surgery is still surgery, and it carries risks you need to at least be aware of- even if they are small.

I am so excited to be opening my practice in Williamson County, Tennessee! It is a breathtakingly beautiful place, and the people are wonderful. There is a vibrant culture that I am excited to learn more about and become a part of. I also have several family members who have recently moved to the area, and being near them was a significant draw for me.

You are opening a new practice in Tennessee. Where will it be located, and what made you decide on that area?

You can find me on the web at My Instagram handle is @drashleyguthrie, and my Facebook page is Guthrie Facial Plastic Surgery.

Where can we find you? (website/social media)



MORAN Dr. Mary Lynn Moran, M.D., comes from a long lineage of physicians, seven in her family, however only she holds the distinguished accomplishment of being the first female President-Elect of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. As a double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon for over 25 years, Dr. Moran brings her extensive experience in facial plastic surgery and a no-pressure approach to make her patients feel comfortable and cared for. Her commitment to a conservative and safe approach provides results that keep her in high demand, both natural and beautiful, with both art and skill.



r. Moran is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology, specializing in head and neck surgery. Her professional memberships include the American Academy of Facial, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).

balance and replace lost volume, and laser resurfacing for extensive sun damage. Skincare is essential at every age. What is the one beauty tip you learned from a loved one, and who is that person?

What is your favorite procedure to perform?

so if someone is not happy with their nose, they are constantly reminded of that disharmony. As a Facial Plastic Surgeon, we are highly trained in both the functional and the aesthetic aspects of the nose. I view it as both a technical and sculptural process. Both the mathematical and artistic parts of my brain fire away when I perform rhinoplasty. For a woman in her 60s that has never had a procedure, what would you recommend having done to provide the most natural change (surgical and nonsurgical)

I enjoy rhinoplasty the most because it is, by far, the most challenging cosmetic procedure within our specialty. The nose is the center point of the face, and it can either complement it or dominate it. When it is not in balance with the rest of the face, it can detract from other beautiful features. It is hard to ignore,

It depends upon what bothers her most and what is creating the most imbalance. Many women are bothered by their eyes first, but by the ‘60s, most women are excellent candidates for a facelift and possibly a brow lift. Non-surgical procedures include Botox throughout adulthood, fillers to restore

When Dr. Moran is not with patients, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her son. She supports several charitable organizations, including animal rescue, domestic violence, & has traveled overseas to teach other surgeons. She has a pilot’s license and enjoys flying.


My Mom always took great care of her skin, so I started using good products at a young age. For my 16th birthday, my stepmom gave me monthly facials. The Aesthetician was a Russian Ph.D. psychologist who was also gifted in her craft. She authoritatively told me to keep my face out of the sun, and I listened. There would be no escaping a strong scolding if I ignored her advice. It has served me very well. How do you define beauty? Beauty is what we project to others. It is love, compassion, empathy, and humility combined with a sense of gratitude. From a visual point of view, beauty is the harmony that our facial features create with one another and with our sense of self at any point in our life. You can visit Dr. Moran at And on Instagram @mlmoranmd



DOCTOR PIA LIEB There are some people you just meet and fall in love with right away. This was the case in my interview with celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Pia. As the founder of The Cosmetic Dentistry Center on Park Avenue in NYC, Dr. Pia has had the opportunity to work with many notable clients spanning from Oscar winners to Victoria’s Secret models. Featured on shows like TLC’s popular reality make-over series, 10 Years Younger, some of her high-profile clients include Brooke Shields, Ashley Graham, and even Royal Family members. In other words, Dr. Pia is the go-to cosmetic dentist for a customized and beautiful transformation, and I can see why. Her charismatic, straight-shooter personality and more than 30 years of experience make Dr. Pia a leading authority in cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry.


o understand where her greatness stems from is to start with her story. Dr. Pia was born in Romania under communist rule. Her family escaped to Italy when she was five, then immigrated to the United States when Pia was only seven years old. She graduated from high school at the age of 16, and went on to earn her degree in Doctor of Dental Surgery from the prestigious New York University’s College of Dentistry. Dr. Pia held an 18-year tenure starting as Clinical Instructor and worked her way up to Assistant Module Director leading the Clinical Assistant Professor at NYU’s College of Dentistry. In addition, she served as Clinical Assistant Professor for the Sackler.

Dr. Pia’s start in Cosmetic Dentistry was a bold decision. At the time, it was hard to compete, as there were little to no female cosmetic dentists. Pia found her inspiration after attending a lecture by a renowned dentist that both impressed and impacted her so much that she decided to enter the specialty field. “I was told from the start that to become a cosmetic dentist you are

“I was told from the start that to become a cosmetic dentist you are either born with the skill or not. It’s an art that only a few master.” either born with the skill or not. It’s an art that only a few master.” Dr. Pia believed in her artistry and brought her high-level skills to transform the lives of some of the most affluent and well-known people in the world. The most common request Dr. Pia receives inside her office is for a cosmetic smile makeover. Patients come to her wanting to know how they can improve and change their smiles. Veneers are the most sought after service. To achieve a celebrity-looking smile, it can include veneers as far as the smile goes. Super large smiles can include 12 teeth; however, some can get away with between 8-10 on the top alone. It can also include one arch or can be both upper and lower teeth. “It’s hard to match,” says Dr. Pia. It’s recommended to stay in the natural zone when it comes to veneers. Dr. Pia is able to provide a natural look by staying in the natural zone, with all veneers done by hand. While many use a computer and 3D printer so that the teeth have to be filed down, Dr Pia’s method requires no filing and allows the veneer to be an overlay that


layers different colors of porcelain which provides translucency. Unlike the hasty one day in and out appointments that can provide a less than pleasing look, Dr. Pia’s smile makeover takes an average of three weeks to complete, which will in turn provide a beautiful, customized, and most importantly, natural look for her patients. Dr. Pia shares that for patients who are concerned with the high cost of veneers, the most affordable way to make an impact can be made through the use of Invisalign® and whitening gel in the trays. I asked Dr. Pia about the difference between the direct mail option versus going to see your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist. Dr Pia shared that the biggest difference is that there is no doctor oversight with the consumer direct programs. “Those clear aligners are built through artificial intelligence. Consumers need to make sure they pay attention and speak up. I perform quite a bit of redos because patients need more trays due to poor attention to the rotations and positioning of the teeth.” We asked Dr Pia some questions that came from our Ask Us Beauty readers. People want to know what the deal is with whitening toothpaste. Here’s the simple secret, says Dr. Pia: “Please read the label. Your whitening paste has to include the word peroxide in the list of ingredients or it’s not teeth whitening; it’s a stain remover and will not lift color. It’s like getting highlights. You can’t get highlights if you have dark brown hair by putting dark blonde hair color on; you need the bleach to lift out the color. It’s the same as [the] hair coloring process.” 80 INAUGURAL ISSUE

Our readers also wanted to know about charcoal for their teeth. According to Dr. Pia, “One word, rubbish!” It’s so abrasive to your teeth, it can wear out your enamel. Dr. Pia shares when it comes to defining beauty, it’s become complicated. She still believes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; however, society has altered the definition, and when it comes to teeth, well, bigger and whiter is the new trend. Dr. Pia wanted to stress the importance of keeping your smile within the natural boundaries. Everything from your face shape, tooth shape, and cheekbones are to be taken into consideration. “Consider your face a beautiful piece of art. You can’t go against the grain.” Dr. Pia has added cosmetic enhancement procedures such as injectables to her list of services to keep the integrity of the smile. When men and women have facial aesthetic procedures done, it can alter the smile. Performing injections allows me to control the appearance and make sure my patients look their best. As a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, American Academy of Facial Aesthetics, New York State Dental Association and New York County Dental Society, Dr. Pia is at the top of her game and continues to empower women, helping build their self-esteem through her artistry everyday. For more information on Dr. Pia and Cosmetic Dentistry Center, please visit You can also contact Dr. Pia at 212-829-1515.


DOCTOR DIANNE S. DAVIS DiAnne S. Davis, MD is a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist out of Dallas, Texas, specializing in noninvasive facial rejuvenation, skin of color, hair loss, and cosmetic dermatologic surgery. Dr. Davis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American Society for Dermatologic Surgeons (ASDS), the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS), Skin of Color Society, and the Texas Medical Association.



n her early years, Dr. Davis grew up as the youngest of five children in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her dad was an anesthesiologist and, as most children, she wanted to do everything just like him. “At a young age, I knew I wanted to go into medicine,” Dr. Davis shared. After graduating from high school, Dr Davis moved to Tuskegee, Alabama, where she majored in Biology at Tuskegee University. She then moved to New Orleans, LA, to attend graduate school at Tulane University majoring in Cell & Molecular Biology. Dr. Davis believes in a collaborative approach when it comes to helping her patients look and feel their best. During her twenties, Dr. Davis shared that she started to develop adult acne which really had an effect on not only her skin but her overall self-esteem and quality of life. “Suffering with acne as a young adult woman definitely opened up my eyes to exploring a career in dermatology. While living in New Orleans, I saw a couple of dermatologists who I felt like really didn’t understand my concerns as a young African-American woman with acne. It wasn’t until I started seeing a Hispanic dermatologist that I felt like she really understood my skin care needs as a woman of color and really took an interest in not only my acne, but my overall well-being. As an AfricanAmerican woman I soon realized that there were not a lot of dermatologists who looked like me, and given skin of color

patients usually have very sensitive skin issues, I decided to pursue dermatology as a career so that patients could have someone that they felt comfortable with and one who they felt understood their skin issues,” Dr. Davis said of her experience. In addition to being an amazing dermatologist, which took years of commitment and dedication, Dr. Davis has an exciting background not too many other dermatologists can share. During her time in New Orleans, Dr. Davis followed another passion: cheer and dancing. While attending graduate school, she found herself wanting to get back out on the field as a cheerleader, which had been a big part of her life through middle school, high school, and college. She researched ways to continue her love of dance beyond the collegiate level, and in the spring of 2005, she decided to audition for the New Orleans Saints NFL cheerleading team. Dr. Davis shared, “This became part of my life for the next four years, and I can honestly say it is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I traveled to places I never thought I would go, and I developed lifelong friendships that I still hold on to today. It was an interesting time because my first year on the team the city of New Orleans and the entire gulf region was greatly impacted by Hurricane Katrina. I’ve never been able to give up on something I have set out to do, so I decided to remain in New Orleans and be a part of the rebuilding process as an ambassador for the team,

“Dr. Davis believes in a collaborative approach when it comes to helping her patients look and feel their best. “ 82 INAUGURAL ISSUE

and I was able to witness the city coming back bigger and better than it ever was. My first year of medical school was the same year that the team won the Super Bowl, so that was exciting to witness, but I was sad that I didn’t get to be on the sidelines with my former teammates.” Dr. Davis shared with us the importance of skincare and starting a skin care regimen in your early teenage years. She stated once you start to enter puberty, you have so many different changes with your hormones that can definitely start to affect your skin and start the early stages of acne. “I am of the belief that as a dermatologist I want to get acne under control and treated


How do I know if my skin looks good for my age?

I think that’s a question that the reader will have to answer for him or herself. If you are happy with the way that your skin looks then go with it. However, if you have concerns about certain blemishes, acne, discoloration, etc., then that is where seeking out the help and assistance from a board certified dermatologist can guide

as soon as possible because I know how the development of acne scars can really affect one’s self-esteem. I’m not saying that you have to start a skincare routine at the age of five, but I would definitely say somewhere between the age of 12 to 14, every teenager should be on a comprehensive skin care regimen that at least includes a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and acne fighting ingredient if applicable. Dr. Davis answered some questions that came in from our Ask Us Beauty Community.

you in the right direction to achieve your personal skin care goals. Are tanning beds really bad for you? Yes. Tanning beds are a big no-no. The years of tanning can expose your skin to unregulated harmful ultraviolet lights (UVA & UVB) that can lead to early signs of aging and development of skin cancers. Using tanning beds before the age of 35 can increase your chances of developing a melanoma by 59%, and that risk increases with

each use. Women younger than 30 are six times more likely to develop a melanoma if they engage in indoor tanning bed practices. Indoor tanning can increase the risk of developing a squamous cell carcinoma by 67% and basal cell carcinoma by 29%. What about spray tans? Spray tans are a great option to achieve a nice glow to your skin without the risk associated with indoor tanning devices.


What procedures are good for sundamaged skin? The number one procedure is to start wearing sunscreen as soon as possible if you are not already doing so, so that you can minimize further damage to the skin.

Adding a Vitamin C or other antioxidant into your skin care regimen will also help to protect your skin from further sun damage and help with superficial fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, and discoloration on the skin. Topical retinols/retinoids are another great ingredient to consider adding into your skin care regimen because it helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, improves the skin tone and texture, and can help with any acne breakouts or blemishes. In terms of procedures that can really help to clear up lentigines or the brown sunspots/liver spots, those include chemical peels and intense pulse light (IPL) therapy treatments. If you are looking to improve the overall texture of your skin, discoloration, and get some skin tightening, then you can look into either microneedling or radio frequency microneedling. If you have moderate-to-severe sun-damaged skin, then you may want to look into more aggressive laser procedures provided by your board-certified dermatologist. If you live in the Dallas, Texas area, you can book an appointment with Dr. Davis at You can follow Dr. Davis: Instagram:@drdiannedavis Facebook:@drdiannedavis TikTok:@drdiannedavis Twitter:@drdiannedavis




When you meet Dr. Day, you can’t help but connect the irony of her name and relate it to a new day and fresh approach to nurturing her patients by healthcare in the true sense of the meaning: HEALTH CARE.



r. Day has a unique niche to her practice as she offers complete skincare in a personal, approachable setting for the whole family. She is rooted in her belief that a purposeful partnership with patients is the foundation to achieving their skin health goals. Dr. Day believes the success of her business is the established trust factor she has with her patients. She feels she’s built her practice on integrity with a goal and plan for every patient. You will be greeted and treated as a valued patient. Dr. Day believes how you look is the first thing people see. She loves educating and treating her patients to be the best version of themselves. When discussing her background in holistic skincare, we asked her to share a bit about what women can do to make the right choices. Dr. Day’s approach is to understand her patients’ value systems and honoring what matters most. She may ask them how they manage their stress, what their nutrition is like, or she may just have a conversation with them on a friendly, personal level. Dr. Day was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. Her father is a doctor, and her mother is a registered nurse. She grew up a volleyball athlete and started in college as a business and economics major until she realized her love of art and science. Dr. Day is the mother of a seven-year-old along with four-year-old twins. This doctor does it all with grace and commitment.


Dr. Day believes in a Four Core approach when advising her patients. 1. After cleansing in the morning, use Sunscreen SPF every day. Nothing less than 30 spf and preferably mineral-based (titanium dioxide). When outside for long periods in the sun, she suggests reapplication options of products like Skin Better or Colorescience brands. 2. Antioxidants such as topical Vitamin C or Ferulic Acid to fight free radicals provide a second layer of protection to support your skin when incorporating this treatment

When we asked Dr. Day what some of the best treatments to prevent premature aging are, her go-to advice is that the four core steps for treatments that create significant results are micro-needling with PRP with natural growth factors to stimulate collagen. We cannot forget the effect 2020 had on us. While things like Zoom helped us communicate, it also left us staring at ourselves all day and finding every flaw on our faces or other things we were unhappy with. This prompted many people to

by using small amounts to avoid breakouts, as this is normal in the beginning. 3. Retinoid prescription to increase cell turnover and help support collagen. Emphasize the importance to use in the evening only, as sunlight deactivates the effect. 4. Moisturizing barrier cream acts as a lubricating film on the skin to prevent water depletion in the skin’s outermost layer, such as Sente Dermal Repair.

address their skincare along with volume restoration, fine lines, wrinkles, thinning lips, and loss of volume around the temples. If you feel you haven’t been paying attention to the largest organ in your body and want to start with some TLC, Dr. Day is an excellent place to start. How to connect with Dr. Rachel Day: @lovemyoneskin



DOCTOR BEVERLY PEDROCHE Dr. Pedroche is a clinical psychologist who primarily utilizes CognitiveBehavioral Therapy (CBT), a collaborative, presentbased form of talk therapy that focuses on solutions, challenging distorted cognitions, and changing destructive patterns of behavior. Dr. Pedroche received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University, Master of Science, and her Doctorate of Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She has an established private practice in Boca Raton, FL.



tudies have identified two primary reasons for making aesthetic changes to your appearance, the first being to raise self-esteem and the second to improve self-image. As the number of cosmetic procedures increases and will probably continue, we wanted to take a deeper dive. We had the honor of interviewing Dr. Beverly Pedroche.


Let’s start with the fundamental question: What would you tell a client who wants to have a cosmetic procedure? As a psychologist, I do more questioning/asking, what we call exploring, than telling. My primary question for a patient considering a cosmetic procedure is “why?” If the response involves anyone other than themselves (for example, “so my significant other is more attracted to me” or “because my mother always said that I would be pretty if only I had a smaller nose”), I encourage more therapeutic work before proceeding. A cosmetic

procedure is not a cure for low self-image. What’s the difference between someone who is looking to have a procedure and body dysmorphia? How can you detect if they’re doing it for the wrong reasons? Many people experience a degree of dissatisfaction with their physical appearance. Body Dysmorphic Disorder, however, is a severe mental illness that involves: - A preoccupation or obsession with a physical feature that they perceive as flawed, yet the “flaw” is not observable or really appears slight to other people.

- A history of repetitive behaviors focused on the perceived flaw. These behaviors might include mirror checking, efforts to hide the perceived deficit, or excessively grooming. - A significant impact on a person’s functioning. For example, they may spend excessive money on procedures and never feel sufficiently satisfied with the outcome. They may negatively impact their relationships by frequently seeking reassurance about their appearance, or people with BDD may avoid social situations due to anticipated rejection or being mocked. As a psychologist, I look at how much time the person spends on their perceived


flaw (thinking about it and trying to fix or hide it) and how these thoughts and behaviors affect their functioning. Some questions I ask are, “About how much time do you spend each day thinking about your appearance or trying to improve your appearance?” or “Do these concerns interfere with your life or cause problems in any way?” or “What efforts do you make to conceal the concern?” What can patients do to help them decide on having a procedure? I encouraged patients to really think about their motivation and their expectations. If a patient feels pretty good about themselves on the inside and wants the outside to match, go for it! How do you define beauty? When I reflect on the people I perceive as beautiful, I realize that physically they have little in common. But what they do


have in common is that they prioritize self-care. For some, that may mean facials, manicures, and marathons, but for others, it may mean a consistent eight hours of sleep, therapy, and meditation. People who prioritize self-care glow from within. They tend not to be as exhausted or resentful; they are calmer to be with and are naturally attractive to others. What is the one beauty tip you learned from a loved one, and who is that person? I have a self-learned, less-conventional beauty tip - exercise! I am not the person who loves exercise, but I do it, in part, because no matter how I perform, by the end of my workout, despite no makeup, a dirty ponytail, being sweaty and stinky… I feel like a beautiful badass! You can reach Dr. Pedrone, text/call: 561-805-3600, or Email:

Ask Us.



How Do You Define Beauty?



Answers by Beauties...

Being selfconfident and comfortable in your own skin. Once you have these traits beauty will radiate from within. KATRINA RUSSELL, 41


“Beauty is the ability to smile and make others smile.” KATIE HATFIELD, 31

“Beauty is the souls experience of what brings us elation, fulfillment and joy.” VASILIKI GKARMIRI, 47


listening, and attention to detail. Beauty is the small things that you never thought mattered but secretly matter the most! True beauty cannot be seen, it can only be felt to be known.



“Beauty is the purest essence of a person who is able to live their truth.” DARA PEYTON, 49

Beauty is when your child looks at you at any age. When they say mom you are the most beautiful person inside and out, and I’m honored to be your son.” [SON IS 24] AMY HALL, 55


“True Beauty begins within. It’s about our inner qualities and how we show up in the world. When we radiate inner beauty, the whole world shifts!” ELIZABETH HARTIGAN, 44


Join the community to share what brings you joy with the holiday season...Answers in next issue.


What is Lymphatic Massage? Vodder-style manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), also referred to as lymphatic massage, is a series of skin-stretching movements that help promote the movement of lymphatic fluid. Our lymphatic system removes waste products and excess fluid from our tissues. The body then naturally eliminates fluid in our urine. After plastic surgery, clients often feel swollen and tight. Lymphatic massage can gently move swelling into the lymphatic system and increase the range of motion to reduce that tight, heavy feeling in the surgical area. If swelling may stay in the area, it can slowly take on a firmer and firmer consistency and may eventually become fibrosis. Manual lymphatic drainage after plastic surgery is supported both in medical journal articles and liposuction textbooks. In the article “Unfavourable


Outcomes of Liposuction and Their Management,” Dixit and Wagh recommend “providing manual lymphatic drainage in the early postoperative period.” In High Definition Body Sculpting, Hoyos and Prendergast dedicate several pages explaining the manual lymphatic drainage technique. The massage will not be painful. Book your first MLD appointment four to seven days after liposuction surgery, and make sure your massage therapist is licensed or certified, specializes in post-surgical clients, and has hands-on training in Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage. Kathleen Lisson is a Board Certified Massage Therapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist practicing in San Diego, CA. She is the author of the Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook.


Much Ado About

Gua Sha Everything You Need to Know About the Hottest Trend for Glowing Skin

If you’ve recently found your social media feed filled with beautiful gemstone tools in an array of intriguing shapes and enticing colors, you may wonder what the buzz is all about. You’re not imagining things. For a few years now, gua sha has been a hot topic in beauty and skincare and shows no signs of stopping. The roots of gua sha go back centuries, originating in ancient China. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, gua sha refers to a technique of scraping the body with a wooden or ceramic spoon to bring stagnant blood to the surface, move qi (energy) and promote healing. Dark red or even purple marks can and will appear on areas that have been scraped signaling “sha” or stuck blood is rising to the surface. From a Western

perspective gua sha is creating trauma in the body to create an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response to heal. Today, gua sha has found its way into the mainstream and into the world of beauty treatments for the skin. Gua sha has been billed as natural Botox, and with good reason. In its modernday iteration, the technique focuses on using gentle stroking motions to naturally lift and sculpt the face (without the dark red marks) making it a fantastic holistic alternative to other more aggressive treatments and procedures. What are the benefits of gua sha? A better question might be, what aren’t the benefits of gua sha? Because it


works to facilitate lymphatic drainage, gua sha essentially helps to naturally detoxify the skin and body by moving stagnant fluids that can sometimes accumulate under the skin’s surface. It also drastically helps with muscle tension in the face and sinus pressure and headaches, which often stem from face or neck tension. Gua sha helps with many skin concerns, including acne, congested skin, puffiness, wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, discoloration, dark circles, and dull skin AND physically sculpts the face, neck and jawline. The results of a facial massage with gua sha are instant, but the practice also has cumulative benefits. Test it for yourself. Gua sha one whole side of your face first- you will see a visible difference in the side that was not massaged. Over time, consistent training helps to reduce facial tension and creates a kind of muscle memory, meaning the muscles of the face are more likely to stay taut and toned between treatments. How to Get Started Suppose you’re sold on all the amazing benefits of gua sha and ready to begin. In that case, all you need is a tool and good facial oil- such as jojoba, squalane, or your favorite botanical


blend, to facilitate gentle glide on the skin. Another added perk of gua sha is that it helps infuse skincare products deeper into the skin, ensuring those skin-nourishing ingredients can penetrate the epidermis and get to work. Alexis Sarandon points out, “It’s so important to remember that when doing facial gua sha, you are working with the lymphatic system, so you always want to bring everything down the neck. After working upwards to achieve that nice sculpt, ensure you are bringing the fluids down so they can properly drain through the lymphatic system. Nourishing your body with plenty of water, dry brushing, and adding movement into your daily life will also help facilitate lymphatic drainage and enhance your results.” An easy rule to remember is to always start going down the neck. Think of the face as having three sections: the chin and jaw (which holds a ton of tension), the sinus and cheekbone area, and the forehead. Always remember to bring each section back down to the neck to facilitate fluid, lymphatic drainage and detoxification. As much as possible, try to hold your tool flat to the skin at about a fifteen-

degree angle and always use only very gentle pressure so as not to stretch or damage your skin. Everyone is different, so listen to your own body; it’s time to move to a different section of the face when the skin becomes pink and the “she” or blood is moving to the surface.

Last, as with all things skincare, consistency is key. When beginning your gua sha practice, a good goal is to perform your gua sha massage about three to five times per week. Treatments can include just a few tool strokes per section.

Although your gua sha stone needn’t be a luxury purchase, it is a good idea to do a little research before investing. With such a high demand for these trending tools, many companies have produced their own proprietary versions, but not all are created equal. A brand to consider is @wildlingbeautytool.

Regardless of how you implement gua sha into your skincare, you will love this quick and easy self-care ritual for happier and healthier skin! Once you know how to properly use a gua sha stone, it’s such an incredible way to proactively care for your skin from the inside out.

Alexis Sarandon, MS Alexis Sarandon, M.S. L.Ac., is a New York based Cosmetic Acupuncturist, Gua Sha Expert and Chinese Medicine Practitioner. Alexis specializes in helping women achieve optimal beauty through wellness, with a strong emphasis on mind + body connection. She offers digital courses nationwide and in-person appointments via her Kingston, NY location.



PLASTIC SURGERY Advisor and Coordinator


By Nicole Carter

worked for plastic surgeons for seven years. Prior to that, I managed a medical spa for three years in Ohio. I am originally from Northern California and is currently working for an amazing plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. I worked in the beauty field growing up. My mother owned a full service salon that I managed. My cousin worked as a hairstylist and I managed her salon as well, all throughout highschool. In 2012 I was introduced to the founder of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics(AAFE) who guided me into the field. My first position in Arizona was as an office manager for a plastic surgeon,

which has given me the perspective from the front and back office. The best part of my job is working with the patients and interacting with them. I love to learn about their concerns and how I can help them achieve their goals. In my experience, most of the time, patients think they need so much, and most of the time, they don’t. It’s common for people to compare themselves to others, and some go overboard, so I love to provide them with alternatives. I love the education I can provide patients that think they need everything and give them confidence about what they have.


had thought about plastic surgery for many years. At 54 years old, I was comfortable with my looks but must admit that in the past few years gravity had gotten the best of me. It started when I saw my photos at a wedding and didn’t recognize myself.


I finally took the first step and started my research online, managing to research my way into a double board-certified plastic surgeon’s office that had stellar reviews. As I drove to my appointment, I thought…what am I doing? I walk in the door; I was greeted by the front receptionist who asks me to have a seat and



The biggest challenge is a patient that doesn’t have the moral support of their family or friends. This is a big change, and I highly recommend having a “go-to” support person without a doubt. Another challenge I have is communicating realistic expectations; I encourage people to bring their previous photos or have an idea of how they want to improve their looks. If you’re in Southern California and would like to speak to a professional plastic surgery advisor, contact Nicole.

fill out the intake forms. I see other people checking out and they look, “normal” I guess this is a good sign? A beautiful woman introduces herself as Nicole and I follow her into her office. We small talk for a bit, then get around to my concerns. I tell her I’ve used every serum and cream and it’s not helping. I’ve always been confident about my looks, and now people ask me if I’m upset or tired. I don’t know what happened, I was voted best looking in my high school yearbook! Ok, that was 39 years ago but it’s how I feel inside. I

don’t want to look like I’m in my 20’s or 30’s I just want to be the best version of me. When the doctor enters the exam room, he has a nice, relaxed disposition. He asks me about my goals. I tell him I notice my jawline is falling and my neck is saggy. He addresses my concerns, and all my questions are answered. I appreciated his confident manner and I left smiling. When I returned home, I discussed my plans with my husband and decided that I was ready to move forward! I’m nervous yet excited, and ready to do something for myself. INAUGURAL ISSUE 99

PRACTICE Growth Coach

Sherrine Washington, MSW Master Trainer


herrine Washington, MSW, is an Award-Winning, Multi-Million-Dollar Master Trainer. Sherrine works alongside elective medical practices to improve the overall patient experience through practice growth. Utilizing her background in counseling, Sherrine also coaches all types of dental patients, educating and supporting patients from all over the world that are looking for improved function, seeking cosmetic dental procedures to create a more youthful appearance. If you are a Dental Practice Owner and would like help with Practice Growth you can reach Sherrine at www.


650.575-1034 Expert Custom Work, Redesign, Restoration, and Repair

Athleisure Wear: 102 INAUGURAL ISSUE

What’s It All About? INAUGURAL ISSUE 103


ho doesn’t like wearing their gym clothes as you go about your day? Whether you are going grocery shopping, to the gym, out with your friends, a walk at the park, or even work, this is an outfit for every occasion.

get home as soon as possible just to get a change of clothes. As we seek modern solutions to present-day hurdles, a notable milestone in the fashion industry is the rapid change of style to functional, comfortable, and minimalistic fashion.

As you go about your busy schedule, you want to ensure that what you are wearing doesn’t make you want to

We met up with some of the Brand Founders of Savvi to learn more about athleisure wear, and through the

process fell in love with them, their story and their clothes! Savvi is a premium all-inclusive quality athleisure wear company that offers sizing for every body type. They are a community of like-minded women who promote empowerment by staying fit, looking amazing through clothes and making money doing it. Savvi considers themselves a design house first, who chose a unique social selling business. Based in Utah, Savvi 104 INAUGURAL ISSUE

is disrupting this 6-billion-dollar industry by offering cutting edge designs but with a better price point. They’ve partnered with industry professionals that have worked in womenswear for decades. They have been pre-launch since 2020 and are gearing up for their global launch in September. Savvi is a simple concept of wear and share. When you sign up with Savvi you become a brand partner. No parties, no inventory, no quotas or pushy sales pitch. That’s not

If you are interested in Savvi, visit their website at askusbeauty.

Savvi’s style, nor does it need to be. As a brand partner you get to shop at sample prices, and you get set up with your own fashion boutique website and direct link to share with friends and family. It’s simple in that the customer creates an account that’s tied to you. They can either download the app or shop directly from your site. There are three membership levels and three lines of clothing at different price points ranging from $35-$99. Julie Healy, a Founding Member for Savvi shared, “When you put the clothes on, you feel good and want to do good. That’s empowering in and of itself!”

we have to mention the clothes are cute, fit great and are super comfortable. But wait, there’s more! Unlike many other wellknown brands, Savvi athleisure wear is not ridiculously expensive. “That’s an added benefit of removing the middleman, brick and mortar stores,” says Shelly Good, a brand partner from Georgia. When we started our Athleisure wear article, it was to gather facts. What we ended with was connecting with an amazing group of women, some super cute, comfortable clothes, and the opportunity to grow our brand through a partnership. Win-Win!

If the business side of Savvi isn’t enough with a lucrative commission and bonus structure, INAUGURAL ISSUE 105

Jen Robinson @makingupforglossedtime


Jen’s individuality is her superpower, and she’s on a mission to help you find yours.


f you could design a best friend who was equal parts motivational speaker, beauty expert, style coach, and comedian, then her name would be Jen Robinson. After turning 50 this year and being constantly discouraged by the messages projected to women over 40, Jen set her intentions toward creating social media accounts that celebrate women–and “Making Up for Glossed Time” was born. A rally cry for a pro-aging revolution, her platforms promote radical self-love and encourage women of all ages to live out loud. Not your daughter’s blogger, Jen offers tips and tricks


for beauty and style from low end to luxe that are both hilarious and accessible. She’ll have you convinced that leopard print is INDEED a neutral and that a pop of neon can amplify any outfit, all while extolling the virtues of an oversized handbag (“a big bag makes your ass look smaller.”). You will often find her rocking a CHANEL handbag with her favorite thrift camo jacket and scoffing at the concept of “age-appropriate.” Jen’s individuality is her superpower, and she’s on a mission to help you find yours. A curator of all things fabulous and our resident funseeker—you can count on Jen to deliver the answers to your beauty and style questions with genuine honesty and her trademark sense of humor.



Overwhelmed with all the options? Need a simplified routine to look flawless in a flash? Here are my makeup bag essentials!

#1 SUNSCREEN All those years of slathering yourself in baby oil in the 1980s trying to get that Bain de Soleil tan may have taken their toll—but the best way to combat the effects is to incorporate a broadspectrum sunscreen into your routine TODAY and EVERY DAY to protect your skin from further damage while you battle your brown spots. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day! My picks for under makeup: La Roche Posay and Supergoop My picks for over makeup: Coola Setting Spray and Neutrogena Face Shield Spray



EYELASH CURLER Many of us have noticed that our eye shape has changed over time (hello, muffin top), and the laxity of the skin can make the eye look droopy. A curled lash gives the eye an instant lift for a more wideeyed appearance. My picks: Kevyn Aucoin and Shu Uemura

MASCARA On your simplest makeup days, a little brown color, some blush, a quick lip, and a swipe of mascara will give you a balanced and polished makeup look. Find a formula that you love and give those curled lashes some pop! Check out tubing formula mascaras if you struggle with finding a mascara that doesn’t smudge or run. My picks for mascaras: CHANEL Inimitable Intense and Essence Lash Princess Tubing mascaras: Trish McEvoy Lash Curling, Kevyn Aucoin The Volume and Clinique High Impact INAUGURAL ISSUE 107


CREAM BLUSH Easy to apply even for the makeup novice, a cream blush melts easily into the skin and maintains a beautiful glow throughout the day. A soft peachy-pink intense enough for your skin tone can be the perfect goes-with-everything color. My picks: Stila Convertible Color and Colourpop Super Shock Cheek


BRONZER The quickest and safest way to fake a sun-kissed look is with a bronzer. Look for one with a soft glow and apply with an oversized powder brush for a sheer wash of color. My picks: CHANEL “Les Beiges” Bronzing Cream, NARS Bronzing Powder, Physicians Formula “Butter Bronzer


EYEBROW PENCIL OR POWDER After the eyebrow massacre in the 1990s (what were we thinking?!), many of us are still suffering from a condition I like to call “Dinky Brows.” Couple that with our natural brow color fading, and our brows may need a bit of help. Use a brow pencil to create hair-like strokes to define the brows and/or brush in a brow powder to add depth to a faded brow. My picks: Mented “High Brow” and NYX “Micro Brow” pencils; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo



NEUTRAL EYESHADOW PALETTE As we age, sometimes less is more for eye makeup. A great neutral eye palette can give you multiple options, from soft to smoky. And if you’re still longing for a pop of color, try smudging a bright shadow along the lash line. My picks: Urban Decay “Naked” palettes, Juvia’s Place “The Nubian” palette


TINTED MOISTURIZER Repeat after me—texture draws attention to texture. Meaning, the heavier the foundation formula, the more likely it will draw attention to lines, scars, and dryness. Now is the time to lighten up with coverage, and a tinted moisturizer is a great way to even out the skin, add a glow, and diffuse the look of textured skin.

Repeat after me— texture draws attention to texture.

My picks: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Trinny London BFF Destress Serum, It Cosmetics CC Cream


THE PERFECT NUDE LIP Nude doesn’t have to mean naked—from soft peach to ballet slipper, latte, to rose—the perfect nude is out there, no matter your skin tone. Couple it with a lip liner to intensify the lip border and perfect the look. My picks: Pat McGrath Blitztrance Lipstick in “Skinsane,” Mented Semi-Matte Lipstick in “Peach Please,” Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte in “Miriam.”


THE PERFECT BRIGHT LIP Don’t shy away from a bright lip! You can start with a stain, a balm, or a gloss to baby step your way into a bolder lip look. Keep the eye shadows neutral and soft, and then reach for a red, a coral, or a bright pink for that perfect pick-me-up that always looks polished. Be sure to line the lips softly with a coordinating color to prevent the pigment from traveling into fine lines around the mouth—or choose a more satin-matte lipstick finish for a punchy pout that stays put. My picks: Pat McGrath Mattetrance Lipstick in “Full Panic,” CHANEL Rouge Allure Ink #170, Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte in “Sade” and “Tina.”

There you have it! Consider this your capsule collection for an easy and effective makeup routine. Take these with you, and you’ll be ready for whatever life throws at you! ‘Til next time, beauties!

x, Jen


available exclusively at: take 20% off using discount code: BEAUTY | |


Major started when, after a fundraiser, I found myself walking the streets of Manhattan barefoot, as one more second of wearing my heels was simply too much to bear, says Jen Fessler. Refusing to succumb to flats, Jen started on a quest to find a single black pump that would get her through a night without excruciating pain. Her search for a comfort heel online was unsuccessful, as the look of what was being offered was not sexy, to say the least! Her quest culminated in a trip to a department store where she was told by a saleslady that upscale designers do not make heels for wide feet! She suggested “sizing up” and learning to walk in heels that were both too narrow and too long for my feet. “As you can imagine, at age 50, I was not interested in re-learning to walk, Jen laughed! That was my “ah-ha” moment and the beginning of what’s now F.Major.” The concept behind F.Major is very similar to the little black dress. They go virtually everywhere with everything. A black pump can be worn to a business meeting, a night out with friends, a wedding, date night…any occasion when a woman wants to feel sexy and powerful. Jen and Shari created a heel that you not only want but need. “No flashy red bottoms or rhinestones needed for us. Experience has taught us that feeling sexy does not require bells and whistles. It requires feeling confident and comfortable, which is what F.Major embodies” F.Major eventually plans on adding other must-have colors to their collection. Unlike most brands, their heels range in size from 5 to 12 in medium and wide!

The Perfect Pump



In this issue, we are shining a spotlight on Stephanie Cartin, CEO of Entreprenista.

stephjillcartin Stephanie Cartin





Stephanie, tell us about your background? An Entreprenista at heart, I walked away from my corporate career in 2012 to follow my passion to launch Socialfly, a leading social-first digital and influencer marketing agency based in New York City. Within nine years, Socialfly has blossomed to over 30 full-time employees and named to Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies two years in a row. Our agency has worked with over 200 wellknown brands, including Girl Scouts, WeTV, Conair, Nest Fragrances, 20th

Century Fox, and Univision. I am the cohost of the Entreprenista Podcast and the co-founder of Entreprenista Media, a platform to highlight successful female founders. We recently launched our private membership community, the Entreprenista League! I am also the co-author of “Like, Love, Follow: The Entreprenista’s Guide to Using Social Media To Grow Your Business.” Most importantly, I am a mom to a two-yearold baby girl, Mollie Hope.

Let’s talk about Entreprenista, a community all about celebrating women and empowerment; tell us how you got started and what are some benefits of being a part of the community? Peer-to-peer support is critical, especially during the early stages of business. We realized this as we were scaling and growing our social media agency Socialfly over the past nine years, and that’s why we were inspired to launch The Entreprenista League. We wanted to provide Entreprenistas with access to virtual events guaranteed to lead to meaningful

business connections, introductions to mentors, potential investors, prospects, and the tools and resources we have used to grow our business. League members also have access to our network and a private community of like-minded Entreprenistas who impact business every day, exclusive content features on our website and Instagram, and members-only events. INAUGURAL ISSUE 113

Books & Media

we love Blue-Collar Beauty, Confessions of a Plastic Surgery Coach, provides a different and unique perspective inside the aesthetic industry. It represents the everyday people that want to look and feel their best. It’s part memoir, business, and self-help that provides for a heartfelt, yet fun read while sharing stories of patients, doctors, and the authors own professional journey. Are we so enamored with outside influences and ridiculous standards of distorted beauty that we’re losing the true essence of what makes us unique?

Other Books We Love

chain and other similar companies. She shares the good, the bad and ugly truth of plastic surgery and is on a mission to reach everyday people who want to look and feel their best. Michelle fully supports any decision women want to make when it comes to beauty, if it makes them happy. She guides them through the process while reminding them that happiness always comes from within. You can follow Michelle Emmick takes Michelle and Blueus inside what it was Collar Beauty at www. like working for at theplasticsurgerycoach. one time the nation’s com. largest plastic surgery

Other Podcasts We Love

She believes worklife balance is crap, and we all just want a life and all that it encompasses.


The Bitches Be Brave Podcast is hosted by Bev Steele, who works in corporate America and is trying to raise a family, succeed at her career, and live unapologetically. She believes work-life balance is crap, and we all just want a life and all that it encompasses. It is her hope to change the guilt working moms feel for wanting to be a great mom, have a successful career, and take care of themselves. She hopes to change the corporate culture for working moms and create a new approach, so that together we can truly thrive and experience wellness in all dimensions of life. Beverly Steele has been in leadership for over 25 years. She has been

supporting companies in the post-COVID workplace, creating programs to support the new workplace and for employees that work from home. Bev, too, has worked from home, since 2010, and after marriage and children, has navigated the balance and support needed to do this successfully. She is founder of the Bitches Be Brave Podcast that supports working parents and the lies we tell ourselves about work-life balance. She has completed multiple marathons, and half marathons, and continues her pursuit of a new PR. She is a proud mom to three unique daughters and has been married to her husband for 22 years.



Remember—your hair is your biggest accessory, so never give up on it!

Healthy Hair By Michelle Stall, Owner Vibe Salon and Co As we age and mature as women, our hair can age as well. This is completely normal. Here are a few tips to keep your hair looking great.


Choose a stylist that works for your current hair type, not what it once was.



Use high quality products to keep your hair soft and looking its best.

Pick a color that suits your skin tone and your lifestyle.

Melanie Cross, NP-C @crossablehealth

“As a long time advocate for plant medicine, Melanie combined her two passions: Functional Medicine and Plant Medicine, and Crossable Health was born.”

elanie Cross, NP-C: Melanie Cross


ICU and ER Nurse to Nurse Practitioner in Family

is known as The Functional Plant

Medicine and ENT. Through those many years

Medicine Woman for people wanting

she realized she was not able to help people in

to go from feeling crappy to happy. Melanie is a

the way they deserved to be helped. She found

mom of two kids, wife, friend, and Family Nurse

her way into Functional and Integrative Medicine

Practitioner turned Functional Plant Medicine

where she has been since 2018. As a long time

Provider who is always up for an adventure

advocate for plant medicine, Melanie combined

and laughs. Melanie spent over two decades in

her two passions: Functional Medicine and Plant

conventional medicine in a variety of roles from

Medicine, and Crossable Health was born.




Beauty Sleep

1 Start each day first giving to yourself and not your phone. Most of us do the same thing every day right when we wake up: reach for our phone. This sends us immediately into reaction mode- many times this equals sympathetic nervous system mode. Instead, take those first few moments of your day, before getting out of bed and give them to yourself. Spend five minutes deep cleansing, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

2 Get fresh air and sunlight on your eyes. Make every attempt to get outside very early in the day, getting fresh air and sunlight on your face and eyes, even if it’s five minutes and a walk down the street. Some is better than none! The sunlight hits your eyes and fires up mitochondria, which puts your energy producing cells to work. This also helps set your circadian rhythm for the day, which can help you have more restful sleep at night.

3 Consider adding plant medicine to your day (or night!). This one is my favorite as it really hits my three criteria for habit making: easy, fun, helpful. Cannabis decreases stress and puts you right into parasympathetic nervous system mode. Plant medicine makes getting sleep easier, more fun, and is helpful.

If you’re interested in learning more about why you’re not sleeping and what you can do about it, you can contact Melanie at


Timeless BEAUTY “Age is only a number, never stop dancing, and always enjoy your life to the fullest.”


n 1928, Theresa D’abbracci was born in upstate New York. Sadly, when she was just three years old, her mother passed away. Theresa had been told by all who knew her mother that she was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. This is where she believes she inherited her all things beauty attitude. When asked about how the standard of beauty has changed, Theresa said it’s been drastic. “I’ve watched the definition and expectations of mainstream beauty completely change over the years—from make-up and clothes to a woman’s size and shape.” Theresa has loved the aging process because you can do what you want, say what you want, and eat what you want. The days of worrying are long gone, and her advice to women of a younger generation is just to be yourself. “The old saying is true. Beauty is in


the eye of the beholder,” says Theresa with a smile and grin of certainty. One beauty tip that Theresa has used her entire life is Vaseline, and her advice is to moisturize as much as possible. Theresa said her favorite beauty products are from Mary Kay. She never leaves the house to this day without her lipstick and a quick peek in the mirror to check her hair. Theresa said she gets up every morning with a positive attitude and says to herself, “Now what?” She said aches and pains these days are to be expected. “If I’m not feeling them, I think I’m dead!” Theresa recommends eating a piece of chocolate every single day, preferably with a bit of hot pepper. When we asked Theresa for a motto she lives by, she said, “age is only a number, never stop dancing, and always enjoy your life to the fullest.” And that’s just what this timeless beauty is doing!

“I’ve watched the definition and expectations of mainstream beauty completely change over the years—from make-up and clothes to a woman’s size and shape.” —Theresa D’abbracci




ess than three months ago, from the launch of this Inaugural Issue, an ordinary moment in time became extraordinary when inspiration hit and the idea of Ask Us Beauty Magazine was born. Through this journey of bringing to life the stories of everyday women, authentic beauty experts, top doctors, and industry insiders, we realized there was a tremendous amount of conflicting information around beauty products and services. We also discovered that what the mainstream defines as beauty depends on who you ask outside that channel. Today, we celebrate our contributors, from our Top Docs who were so willing to share their tips, our beauty insiders’ tricks, the personal stories of everyday women, and our influencers who took a leap of faith to

be a part of something new and different. The support we have received from our family and friends has been incredible, as well as the amazing people we have met along the way. In a time where we can sometimes feel disconnected, we have had an opportunity to feel more connected than ever. We have watched connections form, collaborations happen, and a community come to life. As you turn the final pages of our Inaugural Issue and begin to dream of opening the next, we are beyond inspired to continue providing a platform for our contributors to share their products, procedures, and services so that you and I can make informed decisions about ‘all things beauty.’

Be Well,

Amy Breuer Managing Editor


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