Dec 062012

Hello lovelies. I hope you caught the coveted and chic Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show! My eyes were glued to the screen — as I stared in awe — at all of the excitement. In keeping up with the spectacular — I caught up with Stephanie Tamez — NYC most in demand tattoo artist hailing from “Saved Tattoo” in Brooklyn — and she was happy to share her exclusive interview with you…by the TEMPTU PRO team. Why TEMPTU? Well, TEMPTU Body Art and Makeup (including custom tattoos and Dura inks) were used by Stephanie — to create this year’s controversial looks — the “Painted Angel” which Victoria’s Secret very own Liu Wen adorned…

Image Courtesy of TEMPTU Blog

TEMPTU: What was your inspiration for the Victoria’s Secret tattoos?

Stephanie T: I was asked to make the tattoos feel and look like classic Americana tattooed circus lady style.

TEMPTU: Can you describe the process of creating the Victoria’s Secret tattoo from start to finish?

Stephanie T: I met with the designer Todd Thomas and he had a very clear feel for what he wanted- he wanted an authentic painted lady vibe and had researched circus ladies with tattoos and wanted that feel- but with maybe more skin showing, since it is Victoria’s Secret. Also we decided we wanted only sweet and positive images, so we worked out our options and I gave input as to what I believed would feel accurate. I drew up images to size, ran them by Todd, they approved them, and then I had TEMPTU make the stencils from them. Larger stencils are far more difficult to apply and so we figured we might need to hand paint most of them the day of. I asked two other female tattooers to assist me and Sophia sent me two other assistants, one from TEMPTU, who had experience with the stencils and a make up artist who also had experience with TEMPTU stencils. We started at 8 a.m. and with five people working on her non stop we finished just shy of 6 hours. A long day for all of us, but I am happy with the results.

TEMPTU: What was it like being backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?

Stephanie T: It was wonderful to see all the production that goes into such a huge project. It is unbelievable- the models are of course gorgeous and all the custom made outfits are truly a great deal of craftsmanship done by a lot of hardworking people. I loved hearing and seeing Rihanna. I thought the opening circus production was fantastic- so clever with all the staging and outfits. I also loved the pinball set.

To read more from the interview, check out the TEMPTU BLOG.

Image Courtesy of TEMPTU BLOG

Sep 062012
FNO Fal l2012

Tonight, is all about Henri Bendel my lovelies! Celebrity Makeup Artist and President of Mally Beauty — Mally Roncal — will be there, so check her out! Here is the official deets and invite!!!


WHO: Celebrity Makeup Artist, Mally Roncal

WHAT: Celebrity Makeup Artist Mally Roncal will be talking makeup, fashion, and more! Make a purchase of $75 or more…and receive a gift with purchase! An exclusive Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara in Black and an Evercolor Waterproof Automatic Eyeliner

WHERE: Henri Bendel (712 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10019)

WHEN: Tonight…September 6th from 7pm-8pm


I can’t wait to review Mally Beauty mascara and lip gloss ;) . More to come, so stay tuned!

Aug 272012

Did you know that acne tops the list of skin concerns — affecting an estimate of 40 million individuals in the US — across all ethnicities, and is the most common reason people seek out a dermatologist. In us colored girls, it is the fastest growing skin type in the US and globally.

Photo Credit: Phil Bicket

acne manifests itself differently and is more difficult to treat.

At the 2012 Skin of Color Seminar, held in New York back in April, leading dermatologists shared the latest studies about acne in skins of color, best practices, as well as new and promising treatments on the horizon.

Skins of color have increased risk of post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation (PIH) or hypo pigmentation in response to injury or irritation,”  explained Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH, Director of the Skin of Color Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.

“Therefore, even if no active lesions are present and the disease is otherwise cured, acne is still often noticeable in skins of color.

According to a 2002 study — Susan C. Taylor MD of Society Hill Dermatology  — found that 65% of African-American patients, 52% of Hispanics, and 47% of Asians had PIH lesions after acne treatment.

PIH may persist for months or years after acne clears, according to Dr. Taylor.

Now listen up to this next fab piece of info, ladies!! We are granted access to this essential info, thanks to the lovely Diana Tedesco for BeautyPress.

Treatment must balance between aggressive efficacy and potential for irritation and maintenance therapy is also important. Dr. Taylor prefers topical retinoids for treating both acne and PIH. For best results, she advocates a combined therapy of prescription treatments: retinoids plus a benzoyl peroxide 5%/clindamycin 1% gel.

To minimize the drying side effects of these treatments, Dr. Taylor recommends beginning with a low concentration and raising dosage slowly; waiting at least 20 minutes after washing the face before applying medication; and washing hands thoroughly after application. She explained that any other products patients usually use on their skin-deodorant soaps and toners, for example – should be discontinued during treatment. She also pointed out that hair products that contain petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oils, or vegetable and animal fats can cause or exacerbate forehead acne and should also be discontinued. For hair, she suggests silicone-based products (such as the John Frieda range) instead.

When PIH occurs, Dr. Taylor advocates daily protection from UV with a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or above sunscreen, applied every two hours, as a first step. « Often patients do not realize the link between the sun and their condition, » she said.

To treat PIH, Dr. Taylor advocates Hydroquinone-containing topical agents, as does Eliot F. Battle, MD of Cultura Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center. Dr. Battle said that PIH or melasma are the number one concerns of patients at his Washington, D.C. practice. He believes an integrated approach to treatment has best result because it’s synergistic—a combination of medical treatment, lasers, and hydroquinone. (Hydroquinone has come under fire

Chemical peels are the fourth most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed in the US, according to a 2008 study, and PIH is one of the most common indications for these peels. Dr. Taylor recommends these treatments as they are well-tolerated with good clinical results. The key is for dermatologists to carefully choose the appropriate peel to avoid irritation.

Two promising new alternatives to hydroquinone were presented at the conference: new short-sequence Oligopeptides (Lumixyl), which showed a significant improvement in patients with melasma; and Lignin Peroxidase Cream. The latter, based on a proprietary enzyme, Melanozyme, is available only in a new skin-lightening product Elure, available through dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other medical aesthetic providers.

As world demographics evolve and the population diversifies at unprecedented levels, interest in treating skins of color is exploding. According to participants in this year’s Skin of Color Seminar Series, we can expect to see more studies, education initiatives, and ultimately more effective new treatments very soon.

*Dr. Taylor’s 2007 study of combination treatments (Benzoyl Peroxide 5%/Clindamycin 1% gel with either Tretinoin .04%, Tretinoin 1.0% or Adapalene Gel) found that when used in combination with Benzoyl Peroxide and Clindamycin, all three retinoids reduced hyperpigmentation. The best results were achieved with either .04% Tretinoin or with Adapalene Gel.

Aug 252012

Sheryl Lynn Gibbs – Holistic Aesthetician and Cosmetologist, with over 25 years of experience and a unique background — has mastered various certifications in holistic beauty and wellness. With aromatherapy, nutrition, homeopathy, anti-aging, herbal medicine, Ayurveda and cosmetic chemistry, all under her belt — has the abundance of knowledge to develop the most luxurious non toxic, yet effective beauty products and specialty services. Sheryl is also an esteem member of the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists,  enabling her to stay up-to-date on the latest cosmetic trends, ingredients and beauty procedures. She still caters to an elite clientele –providing beauty procedures and custom blended treatments — and also formulating her brand, Sevani — and Holistic beauty workshops.

Sapphire: In wake of the natural {r}evolution, it can get a little confusing, and intimidating — to select a natural and organic product. How do we know what  %’s mean and how do we  ‘select’ a truly natural product?

Sheryl: Great question! Unfortunately the term “natural” is not regulated. It can be very deceiving as a product may contain as little as 1% of a natural ingredient, yet the average consumer would be unaware. This deceiving tactic is very common in the marketplace, however today’s well-informed consumers are becoming much more ingredient-savvy. Additionally, some of the most well-respected specialty retail chains are now imposing stricter standards for anything that carries a “natural” label.

Organic on the other hand, does require certification. Any product in the United States that is labelled as “100% organic”, “organic”, or “made with organic ingredients”, must be certified. Only 95% and higher % organic products are able to display the USDA organic seal on their labels. Not all useful ingredients are available certified organic, yet this does not always mean the ingredient was contaminated with a chemical. In some cases they are wild-crafted or grown at a small farm.

Avoiding controversial toxic ingredients is more important in my opinion then seeking an organic product.
A good rule of thumb to consider, if a product is labeled “natural” yet is priced in line with the least-expensive products on store shelves, chances are it is not truly natural. Read ingredients and become informed.

Sapphire: I was in search of a different and unique approach to my career, and going green has played an enormous roll! What was your calling — into the ‘green’ beauty industry?

Sheryl: As a child I suffered with extremely sensitive skin. I was highly allergic to nail polish, dyes and synthetic fragrances. My sensitivity prevented me from using beauty products like other teens, and it was quite frustrating. When my grandmother from Italy came to live with us and started an herb garden she would make tinctures and massage them on my skin and it made a considerable difference. This inspired me to work with natural remedies.
I studied cosmetology as a teenager and for over 25 years I have been customizing clients facial and scalp treatments with botanicals and anti-inflammatory ingredients to minimize negative effects for others. Nature has always had a special place in my heart having suffered from headaches, allergies and more. Immune disorders, allergies and sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea are in abundance today. There are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today but nearly 20% of them are kept secret according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Diseases of the skin and allergies are on the rise and have increased dramatically during the past few decades. Green beauty is the best solution!

Sapphire: Ingredients is an important aspect in my decision making, when purchasing products for me or my family! What are some key ingredients that we should be on the look-out for right now — when shopping around for ‘natural’ products?

Sheryl: The key is to avoid terms such as “natural” on labels alone and become more familiar with the highest quality natural ingredients.Knowing what to avoid may be easier then knowing what to look for. Highly controversial ingredients to consider avoiding include parabens, silicones, hydroquinone, DEA, TEA, Phthalates, SLS, mineral oil, propylene and butylene glycol to name just a few.

Sapphire: Can you please help everyone who’s reading this understand what are the benefits of living a green lifestyle!?!??

Sheryl: Knowing that you are contributing to a healthier planet and lifestyle is beneficial to all. It is never too late for change and living the green lifestyle shows that we are committed to the very planet that we should show gratitude for. Mother nature provided us with an abundance of beautiful land, food and water so it only makes sense to treat it with respect. Getting involved in community, helping others and contributing to green methods of manufacturing, minimizing waste, water and eliminating plastic are just a few ways anyone can easily contribute. It’s never too late to start and reap the rewards!

Sapphire: I’ve been asked this question — time, and time again! As an expert in holistic health, is it safe to assume that a  ‘natural’ product — doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safer?

Sheryl: Absolutely. A good example here would be that of Poison Ivy. While it may be natural it is certainly not our friend in most cases (homeopathy being the exception). Of course many known natural ingredients such as these are not in beauty products, because we know of their negative effects. We are all complex beings that have unique sensitivities or allergies. Allergic reactions are possible to even the most pure and natural ingredients. However, they are often less common. As with any ingredient, just because the first 50 people that use it may have no reaction cannot possibly guarantee that number 51 will not. As a result I work with anti-inflammatory ingredients that have a history of minimizing sensitivities. I always recommend that people slowly introduce new products and note any changes. Sometimes we misinterpret our skin acclimating to new products as an allergy when it is not.

Sapphire: There are so many companies — attempting to join the ‘green’ {r}evolution — and are changing their ingredients and packaging, accordingly. Do you think this will be a lasting trend?

Sheryl: Definitely. I find it very rewarding to be a part of this movement as I do believe it is here to stay. Many manufacturers will be implementing more green methods of manufacturing and ingredient sourcing. Unfortunately those “claiming to” will likely always exist but it my greatest hope that us moving in a positive direction inspire others.

Aug 182012

Aha! It feels so amazing to sit here, writing these words – that I would like to dedicate to my fellow mom-entrepreneurs and elite socialistas everywhere…

Yesterday was very hectic for me, as  (technical issues) kept me from my planned tasks. But I am happy to be back and better than ever! The site needed to be upgraded so that you lovelies can have a supercharged experience…as you sit back with your tea/coffee/hot chocolate — and enjoy this delicious feature!

I had a fellow beauty maven – sound the panic alarm! She wanted to know, how I managed 2 magazines, mini blogs and 3 children – ALL as a single mom! She asked if my family and friends knew about my career!

This struck me as strange! Everyone who’s anyone – in my life – knows about my creative ventures as a Goddess of creativity – and I couldn’t imagine hiding it! That would require too much energy I rather not waste. I live my life – set to the rhythm of my own soul! NO ONE ELSE’S. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! It’s what and how I want it…period!

Don’t get me wrong! At times, things can get extremely hectic (like yesterday -____-).  But for me – its about the raw desire to write my future – rooted around my addiction to beauty, passion for fashion and setting a few life(STYLE) trends along the way! I enjoy empowering, educating and entertaining – that’s it! Money is always nice – but the illusion of security isn’t work the sacrifice ~ denying my soul’s desire to create.

To stay sane, it pays to steal (and I don’t mean other people’s content)! Yes, you heard me right…STEAL – some much blissful “ME” time! 15 minutes or more a day should keep you out of the mad house. Get active, do yoga – cook your fave dish, write – whatever you desire – to help you get grounded! I remember my journalism professor saying “K.I.S.S – keep it simple student” and we are all students of life! A half hour aromatherapy bath – with Epsom and essential oils, candles and zen music – can work magic on your performance and attitude.

The power of the mind is an amazing tool – if not guide. When you’re unclear about something or stuck with the tedious task – of making a life changing decision – an alternative approach to bliss, like – aromatherapy, acupuncture, massages like Swedish or reflexology, facials, manis & pedis, shopping – all acceptable methods of zen in my book – just might to the trick, giving you a peace of mind.

I’m a strong supporter in self pleasure – and that coveted blissful retreat might be closer to home than you think. Whenever my 18 month old son decides to tests my sanity, or even my teen girls, who test my nerves…I make bath time extra blissful.

Try a pampering session or throw a SPARTY (invite your girlfriends, have them bring over their latest beauty products and do facials, mani & pedi).

I love being around water – and I call my bathroom – my “Zen Den,” as all of my relax, release and revive – happens here. My bathroom walls, hold my most intimate and passionate secrets! Taking a nice, relaxing bath – soaking in Epsom and essential lavender oil should loosen you up – releasing the tensions and tightness of your muscles, while soothing your nerves. It also soften my skin – which makes it perfect for exfoliation.

Being a beauty ambassador – my life is loaded with endless beauty product review and that can take a toll on my sensitive skin! I try to keep my skin – including my scalp – nourished and healthy as possible.

Image Credit: 5th & Madison

Next, I head to the intersection of 5th & Madison Ave (not an actual intersection in NY, but the concept is there :) ). I spent over 20 years – growing up in New York. Brooklyn to be exact. I recently relocated – with my little ones – to Delaware, and often get homesick! A quick exfoliating sugar scrub – remedies this right away! The Fifth and Madison Sugar Scrub reminds me – with each sweet retreat…why I love NY so much…making all of the long hours and hard work – all worth while.

Beauty Fixx – best when used on clean skin. Take a small amount and gently rub hands together, then smoothing over entire body (avoiding face and neck area – base oil is mineral oil and might clog pores, causing acne), rinse and then pat dry! The invigorating fragrance of fresh fruits – makes bath time amazing! I call it, candy for the soul!

Whenever I give myself time to connect to bliss – I notice that I can create — for hours!

P.S. – bliss is at its peek when kids, spouse, guests, computer and gadgets – aren’t around to distract your zen. Simply let go & let bliss :) .


Aug 162012

Hello Darlings,

Media Maven here, your Elite Travelista  & SPAlista, with an amazing review of YeloSpa, located 5 East 57th Street, New York, NY. This SPAtacular find will definitely make a believer out of any non-believers!

During my SPAtacular Venture, I had the pleasure of indulging in three of YeloSpa’s signature services; a 20/20 Reflexology & Power Nap service with Joe, a Restore – Hydrate 60 minute Facial with Nadia, and a Yelo Signature Massage (the best of Reflexology & Swedish massage) with Leslie. When you’re on a vacation, the main goal is to leave the everyday mundane stresses at home as you embark on some blissful relaxation and release!  I aim to educate you about the true meaning of “SPAtacular Bliss.” You can expect to get lost & found in tranquility.

For many of you, like myself – I was new to reflexology! I thought it was a fancy way of saying foot massage. But it is so much more than that. Reflexology touches on specific “reflex” pressure points on the feet. These areas correspond to organs and systems of our body.
I was politely greeted by the friendly receptionist, Jaridy, surrounded by a Tibetian ambiance, sipped Tropical Fusion Blend herbal tea, refreshed with a warm scented towel and filled out a quick questionnaire, to allow YeloSpa therapist know how to better service your needs; My venture was about to begin!

Joe came and escorted me to YeloCab #4, a small, quaint cocoon-type treatment room for my 20/20 session.  I was not aware that I was about to be transported to a happy time – Negril, Jamaica to be exact! Customized according to my preference, my YeloCab adorned lavender aromatherapy to the sounds of ocean waves, in a very calm and romantic setting! I guess this can explain why my mind commenced a mini-vacation! I reminisced to one of the most blissful times of my life!
•    I sat in the Zero-Gravity YeloChair, where my feet were elevated above my head!
•    The pressure used by the specialist isn’t too firm nor is it too soft!
•    You don’t have to worry, it doesn’t tickle! And I am very ticklish under my feet!

For 20 minutes, you will understand what the term serenity means! When your reflex service is done, you will then be left with dimmed lights for your 20 minute powernap, which doesn’t necessarily allow for you to fall into a deep slumber and avoiding that grogginess which is usually associated with short & interrupted sleeping! Lights will begin to brighten, simulating sunrise to alert you!

Leslie escorted me to YeloCab # 7, for my Yelo Signature Massage, which had a massage bed, and was calmly lit in lavender lights! I got undressed from my waist up, including my necklace! I laid face down waited for Leslie to return (specialist leave room giving customers privacy)! As Leslie began to touch my back and shoulder area, it was like magic! She instinctively knew exactly where to touch, making me wonder if her hands were equipped with magnets. Once again, the pressure applied was just right! We engaged in uplifting conversation which blended beautifully with her warm and positive vibes!
•    Relax completely and prepare for a blissful release
•    Remember to breathe deep and exhale fully! Breathing is an important part of relieving stress and ridding the body of pent up, unwanted and stagnant energy.
•    Specialist begins at your problem area and works down to soles of feet, ending with reflexology!
•    This service is 45 minutes Swedish Massage  (most popular massage technique used for sore muscles, relaxation and stress relief) and 45 minutes Reflexology (can be performed on ears or hands as well).
•    Therapist uses essential oils to facilitate smooth gliding movements, but can also knead, use friction and stretching techniques as well.

Nadia escorted me into YeloCab #2, which also adorned a bed, a contraption that had a lamp and a facial steamer (I found this out once we began our service). Like to two signature services prior, you will need to fill out a short questionnaire pertaining to your skin and your skincare regimen. Just like Reflexology, the Yelo Hydrate Facial was my first experience with a facial and not only am I happy that Yelo took such wonderful care with me, I am officially addicted (to Yelo on a whole)! Nadia touch was so delicate and focused, like a mother to a child. Nadia informed me of her intentions as each step in the process approached! I was also instructed to de-robe from the waist up, and laid face up on the bed…
•    My face was first examined under a bright lamp, with my eyes covered and protected from the extreme brightness! This allowed Nadia to see deep into my skin and enabled her to assess my skin type and problem areas, such as excessive oily/dry areas.
•    Next, my face was deep cleaned with Lemon Cleaner – a hydrating cream cleaner for normal/dehydrated/dry skin types…and the scent is totally breathtaking!
•    Cleanser residue was removed with a warm towel, then my face was exfoliated with the (Eminence Handmade Organic Skincare or Hungary) Strawberry Rhubard Dermafoliant, with Lactaid acid for a mild peel. The rice based formula was very gentle and nonabrasive! Residue was also removed with a warm towel.
•    A hydrating masque, Stone Crop to be exact, is based from the exotic succulent plant that seeks moisture, while producing moisture and is safe for all skin types, which was applied and massaged from my face to my neck and décolletage.
•    With masque, my face was then steamed for approximately 10 minutes. Nadia told me that this softens the skin, allowing easy removal of facial impurities and blackheads. The steam was not too hot or not too cold!
•    Masque residue was removed, also with a warm towel, before Nadia began to remove the facial impurities (I am happy to report that my face was surprisingly clean) and wiped clean with warm towel, and finished up with a Stone Crop moisturizer.
All products used were Eminence Handmade Organic! Feeling absolutely refreshed, renewed and alive – I emerged a whole new person. From the ambiance to the exceptional staff, YeloSpa just topped my “SPAlista’s Too Bliss” list! I strongly recommend this SPAtacular find!

For an appointment:
YeloSpa,  5 West 57th Street in the Columbus Circle area of Manhattan! The spa is accessible by NYC Transit through the B,D, C, A lines to 59th Street or by a (yellow) cab!

Call 212-245-8235 for your blissful release! Their hours are Monday – Friday from 10 am – 9 pm, Saturday 12 to 8 pm and Sunday 12 t0 7 pm. Visit The spa offers massage, reflexology, skincare, powernaps, detox and waxing. Tell Michael Hazel, Media Maven sent you for an extra treat!

Jul 132012

Good Morning Beauty Mavens & Enthusiasts,

Every week, I will bring you a series of beauty roundups.  This will feature the best in beauty, from some of the best in beauty, or as I know them…the Beauty Blogazons and my fellow sisters in beauty!

Ladies (and gents)…*drum roll please*….


  • Beauty Binge: What good is your make-up if it’s melting down your face? Beauty Binge helps you win the war against summer meltdown!
  • My Newest Addiction Beauty Blog: Laura goes crazy over an oldie but a goodie: MAC Azalea Blossom.
  • Beauty Product Review: Have you heard the Bzz? Check out my Smooth ‘N Shine Keratin Power Semi-Permanent Hair Tamer review and see if it’s worth all the Bzz!
  • Mani Curiously: E’s loving Essie’s Mirrored Metallics collection! Check out Penny Talk and her review of this shiny new stunner!
  • The Lacquerologist: It’s time for The Lacquerologist’s six month blogiversary Nail Art Contest! Submit your manis now!
  • Ishah x Beauty: Ishah x Beauty explores skincare with Mary Kay and finds the best microdermabrasion product ever!
  • The Science Of Chic: Carly raves about the new Maybelline Beauty Balm! Find out why it’s her favorite summer face product.
  • Spontaneous Chick: Learn how to make sugar scrubs and get some of my favorite recipes.
  • Amber Did It!: Matching mom & daughter watermelon nail art
  • Midnight Manicures: Follow Jeanie at Midnight Manicures as she takes you on an adventure with China Glaze’s newest collection “On Safari”.
  • Geniabeme Beauty Blog: Genia takes the Revlon Red Lipstick Challenge! Take a look at her red lips!
  • adore-a-polish Swatch of Julep O Canada!
  • The Beauty Professor: The Beauty Professor swatches all seven shades of the Rouge Bunny Rouge Fire Drops Loose Glitter Pigment…prepared to be dazzled!
  • iHeartPrettyPolish: Essie Rae showcases Revlon Facets of Fuchsia polish in her Friday Favorite with a Flair Post!
  • Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom: The new metallics from the Zoya fall collection, NYFW Diva, are featured.
  • Beauty Apocalypse: We found a primer that makes your make-up wear like armor and clears your skin!
  • Polarbelle: Venique Nail Lacquer has a fun new summer 2012 collection called Desire the Desired and can be compared with part of China Glaze On Safari.
  • Beauty by Miss L: Showed some of her favorite summer must have accessories.
  • All Things Beautiful: Shares a glitzy, shimmering, & gorgeous haul from Ricky’s NYC featuring Mattese Elite Makeup & Nail Polish!
  • Shades of Beauty, Inc.: POLL: What products make up your DIY Spa Days?

Revlon Red [Revlon]

Revlon Red [Revlon] (Photo credit: *Vanessa Frehley*)


Essie Vermillionaire

Essie Vermillionaire (Photo credit: Zicon)