How to Get a Really Clean Shave

December 13th, 2011

For all of you ladies out there who reach for the razor instead of waiting for a waxing appointment that is still weeks away – get the cleanest shave possible!

Waxing your legs allows for lastingly smooth skin but there are two major irritations about waxing:  one, you must allow for enough growout to get a clean wax, and two, it is expensive.  …Oh, it hurts too. Three.  So, when you reach for a razor, get a super clean shave with less than ten steps, courtesy of New York-based Aesthetician, Simona Flat.

  • 1. Soak up your shower or bath water for several minutes before shaving, this softens the hair.
  • 2. Let shaving cream sit on skin for two minutes before shaving this eliminates razor burn.
  • 3. Hair grows in all directions, so you should shave in all directions.
  • 4. Avoid soap in place of shaving cream it parches your skin tremendously (if you are in a bind, use hair conditioner.)
  • 5. Rinse blade between every stroke.
  • 6. Use short strokes.
  • 7. Pat dry when finished.
  • 8. Combine small amount of mineral oil with daily moisturizer.
  • 9. For super silky skin, apply a generous amount of shea butter and let dry.


- By Stefanie Payne, for Beauty Trade Secrets

Ener°g Bath and Body Products: Destination Spa Meets Home Spa

December 7th, 2011

Ener.g Bath and Body Products by Willow Stream Spas and Kerstin Florian

By Stefanie Payne, Executive Editor at CityRoom

I was in Scottsdale recently for a much needed weekend away with the girls… and what goes better with a group of girls than a day at the spa?

But this story isn’t about my trip to Willow Stream Spa (though it was absolutely perfect for me and my posse.) This story is about the epiphany I had during my 90-minute aromatherapy massage.  Entranced by the miraculous scent of essential oils that were customized specifically for my visit – lightly herbaceous, woody and citrusy—I vowed to recreate this experience at home to the best of my ability.  On the way out, I purchased four products used during my service that I simply couldn’t live without from that day forward, and declared to my gal-pals, “Spa day, once a week—with or without Willow Stream!”  And as a product aficionado and longtime writer of beauty and wellness, you can trust that I have kept to my declaration… and now, I am in love.

Why I love Ener.g bath and body products:

  • 1. The first and very most important reason:  Value.  Let’s face it—high-end spa products are expensive.  But I love them.  So, when I buy them, I want them to last.  And I want the freedom to apply them liberally and know that they will still be there tomorrow.
  • 2. Results.  Whether it was the warming exfoliation or the hydrated cleansing or the elevated emulsified moisturizing… who cares?! My skin feels so freakin’ soft!  And hours later, my skin still felt as though it was wrapped in a sheath of silk.
  • 3. Aromatherapy.  I am the stressed out type, so I regularly consult aromatherapy to calm me down and lift me up. The particular essential oils formulated into Ener.g products smell clean and subtle. Subtle fragrance, happy boyfriend – ten points!

My new products (and where to buy them):

Each product contains a blend of Bergamont, Rose Geranium, Clary Sage, and Roman Chamomile, essential oils that energize and promote overall well-being that reflects Willow Stream’s “’find your energy’ philosophy.”

  1. ener.g Mineral Body Scrub with ($45 8 oz.)
  2. ener.g Hydrating Body Emulsion ($45 for 6 oz.)
  3. ener.g Organic Bath and Body Oil ($40 for 3.4 oz.)
  4. ener.g Aromatherapy Face and Body Mist ($45 for 3.4 oz)

At Home Spa Day with Ener.g Body Care Products

How I used them:

In the Shower (I)

I created a body wash cocktail with blood orange and vanilla body wash (one of my favorites!) and the ener-g bath and body oil.  Hey, if it can go in the bath, it can be used in the shower.

Bonus: It did not leave a slippery film in my tub – it’s so great when I don’t fall!

In the Shower (II)

I exfoliated my entire body – from the tip of my forehead to top of my tippy-toes.  Did you know that exfoliating is an excellent way to soften skin and hair follicles prior to shaving?  Doing so not only gives you an incredibly smooth shave, but helps your body absorb more moisture when applying lotion after bathing.

After Shower Moisturizing

An emulsion cocktail (guess it was cocktail hour at my house!)  I sprinkled a quarter size amount of oil in the palm of my hand and added to it the emulsion cream, rubbed my hands together and applied.

Bonus: It absorbed very quickly, meaning I could get dressed very quickly.  And, it left behind no residual film or oily layer that so often appears with the application of inexpensive ingredients.  After ten minutes, my skin was amazingly soft… soft and smooth and actually healthier looking.

I bought the toner to use as a toner, but as I feel about most toners, I am not sure if they ever really work… so I now use the face and body mist during the day to refresh my face when I am bored at my computer, and as an aromatherapy mist to cool down after yoga class!


More about the Ener.g body care line from Willow Stream Spas and Spa Partner Kerstin Florian:

Willow Stream Spa, the award-winning signature spa brand of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, introduces its newest product line ener.g, made exclusively by spa partner Kerstin Florian International. The fresh, inspiring line of bath and body products is designed to captivate the spirit and awaken inner energy and well-being, capturing the essence of the Willow Stream Spa brand.

“Willow Stream Spas are founded upon the principal of energy – living with abundant energy and offering energy-enhancing treatments that promote a sense of joy and healthy well-being,” says Anne McCall Wilson Vice President Spas, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. “With the ener.g line, we are able to provide this to our guests whether they are at the spa or at home.”

How to Wear Red Lip Color

November 17th, 2011

Nothing says Fall and Winter fashion like a bold red lip.  It is a statement piece, a classic counterpart to sophisticated clothing (nobody loved a red lip more than Coco Chanel)! a vintage staple… and red is one of those rare colors that looks good on everyone if it has undertones that complement your skin tone.  Read below to learn how to apply it, how to style your other makeup when wearing a red lip, and steps to make it last as long as you want it to.

Bold red lip with blue undertones (left) and yellow undertones (right)

Find the right shade for your skin tone.  Go to a department store and speak with a makeup artist working with your preferred brand. Typically, blue undertones work well for olive, dark, and “pinkish” skin – yellow and orange undertones are usually best for pale, ivory and “yellowish” skin.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.

To Apply:

    1. Use lip liner and blend completely inward and upward from the natural line to create an adherent base.  Red lipstick bleeds, this keeps the color locked.
    2. Apply red lip gloss, lipstick, or lip stain to the entire lip, using a shade slightly lighter than the color of the liner. Blend, avoiding the edges of the natural lip line.
    3. Blot.  Finish with a dab of clear lip gloss (MAC Lipglass rules) in the center of the pucker on your bottom lip. Mwah.


  1. On some occasions it is perfectly appropriate to wear smokey eye makeup with a red lip, just go dark with earth tones, such as: charcoal, gray, brown and sage.  To make your lip color pop, downplay all makeup.  To go sultry, modern or rockabilly, use black liquid eyeliner and apply a cat eye.
  2. Accentuate the lip by flaunting flawless looking skin, wearing bronzer and mascara. Avoid too much blush, heavily drawn eyebrows, and overly smoked eye makeup to keep the look classy.  The key is to focus on one point of beauty at a time.
  3. Wear either very dark or very light nail polish – do not match to the shade of your lips.


- Stefanie Payne, Executive Editor at CityRoom (for


Page 3 of 161234510...Last »