“It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With those holiday meetings and gay happy greetings when friends come to call - it's the hap-happiest season of all”…

The holidays are a super special time of year when we want to show up with our happiest of selves and have a wonderful time. Hosts spend precious time during this busiest of seasons doing something special for us and it is our duty to arrive with a joyful heart. My husband always laughs at me because I am often the last person to leave a party. It‘s because, as a frequent party host myself, I know all the blood, sweat and tears that was put into it and I want to help them feel that it was all worth it. So, if you see me on the dance floor at the end of the evening it is because I am having a fun time and am so grateful to the host for giving me a good time!

It is just a fact. You typically would not show up for a job interview disheveled with dirty hair and most certainly not for a party. It is considered ill form and sends a message to the interviewer and or host that you simply do not care. I say this because I also hear people tell me they feel guilty about devoting time, money, and energy to their looks. In my practice, I do try to be conservative and responsible in my approach to myself and that also extends to my patients. Not only for their betterment, but also because less sometimes IS more. You want to make this look effortless. You want to look natural. It is you - only the best version of you. The one who looks bright eyed, not tired with a radiant, glowing complexion (not dull and dry). Beauty is a continuum that if you can start early and be consistent with your efforts, you can float through life looking like you have done nothing at all.  

So, what does all this mean for holiday beauty? I presume you are like me and want to look your best for holiday fun. This fun can manifest as a houseful of holiday décor, delicious holiday meals, a festive holiday party or lighting a fire and staying in. We often buy special holiday outfits and save them for the special holiday photos. So much goes into every celebration that it is no wonder beauty enhancements are top of mind.

My holiday beauty prep starts in January and runs right through December! I have been trying to teach my patients that good aging (looking the best at each age) is not a sometimes-sporadic thing. Regular, consistent intervention is key.

What should we be doing for ourselves Year-Round that will give us a perpetual holiday glow? I will focus on skincare and the face neck and décolleté because this is my area of expertise and leave the fashion, food and home lifestyle for those experts (even though I try and good at those things too!)

You have heard me say it before, but good aging of the skin starts with UV protection. Your SPF should be “broad spectrum” and I prefer tinted mineral- the minerals supplying the tint help boost the SPF power. THE SHAKE & SHIELD tinted sunscreen checks all the boxes for me. SPF 50, broad spectrum, transparent zinc oxide (no titanium dioxide or chemical sunscreens) it is waterproof and fights against UVA/UVB and blue light damage. Damage to the skin from the sun results in both external and internal damage and is equally if not more so important in the winter as it is in the summer.

I also preach about the importance of preserving, fixing or supporting a happy healthy epidermal barrier – that top layer of lipids and skin cells that protect us and create an environment for healthy skin aging. A healthy barrier is set up with an intact microbiome (that layer of healthy microorganisms that balances good and bad bacteria and keeps skin harmony) this can be altered or destroyed by our own habits (harsh destructive cleansing, over aggressive scrubbing or too aggressive ingredients or prescription topicals.) I recommend twice daily, gentle cleansing with a cream or oil-based cleanser or a combination as found in THE TRIPLE CLEANSE face cleanser. A cream to oil to milk cleaner that cleanses thoroughly but respects the skin’s naturally balanced barrier replaces the double cleanse in one product. I use this product twice a day, every single day!

Twice a week, I gently exfoliate my skin. Exfoliating the skin in the short-term lifts off dull dry skin cells that need a little help sloughing off which reveals the new cells underneath and creates a soft to the touch, smooth, light reflective skin appearance. Properly exfoliated skin looks bright, glowing, and radiant. I prefer non downtime, mild chemical peeling that is done regularly at home twice a week so that my skin is always fresh. I love office peels as well but honestly; I always reach for the no downtime ones more often than not. Do not get me wrong there is always a place for in office chemical peels that sheds larger thicker layers of skin. THE PARTY PEEL at-home chemical peel was the first product I invented because it is one of those products that everyone can use and needs to incorporate in their routine It combines four acids that gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells in a non-scary, effortless way. Pump it out, rub it in, wait till it dries and rinse it off. Easy-peasy. No timing, no stinging, no scariness at all. Studies show that superficial chemical peeling helps strengthen the skin with collagen over time. Skin, free of its dead layer of skin cells, can also help it absorb your products and their special ingredients better than skin that is overwhelmed with dead dry skin cells that hang on. Regular exfoliated skin not only looks better, but it feels better too. It is soft and smooth and feels nice to the touch!

The order of application of your skincare is important for proper ingredient penetration and gives your skin its best chance at absorption. Remember the skin exists to protect us from outside invasion so it is designed to keep things out. Pollution, free radical damage, environmental dust, and toxins to name a few things but also the very skincare we apply to the skin naturally wants to block its entrance. I took this concept to heart when I formulated our entire product range and in particular our serums and the “everything” franchise. Applying product from the lightest consistency to the heaviest in that order is the most favorable and scientifically sound approach.

I designed two serums, one for day with peptides and antioxidants and another for the night, with a gentle retinoid and repair ingredients. I also formulated two active multitasking active moisturizers that are applied on top of the serums that take advantage of what is happening in the skin during the day and the night. They are based on the skin’s circadian rhythm which results in different skin behavior based on the time of day.  THE PINK PEPTIDE BOOST growth factor serum and THE EVERYTHING DAY daytime moisturizer have your daytime needs covered.  THE GOLDEN RULE retinoid/retinol serum and THE EVERYTHING NIGHT nighttime moisturizer cover your nighttime needs. 

Lastly, THE GIRLFRIEND makeup primer is an illuminizing primer with incredible skincare benefits and is just the thing for that extra glow for special or holiday makeup. Not only does healthy, exfoliated skin make a better pallet for makeup, but add in this primer to create extra radiance that makes you look like you glow from within. Holiday skin should look fresh, lively, and always include a little something extra in the makeup department. A brighter, shiny, redder lip added shimmer or sparkle to the eyes, cupid’s bow or the collarbones. My go to is a set of long flirty lashes – the application of which has been an acquired skill over many years.

A holiday look to me is doing something a little different or unexpected to highlight the specialness of the occasion. It is that extra effort that makes your host, your guests or family and friends feel nice because you took the time to look good for them (although we all know we do it for ourselves!)  

The bottom line is if you take care of your skin all the days of the year, you will be holiday, party, special occasion, and every day ready. You will not have to scramble to make up for lost time or do something drastic that you normally would not do (another blog!) This way, you can focus on the things that matter most - spending time with your loved ones!

I hope your skin has a brilliant glow this season and you “sparkle like the top of the Chrysler building” (to quote little orphan Annie)!



Nurse Nancy

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By gleaning insight from her decades of experience working with patients to improve their skin, Nancy has created the exclusive Nurse Nancy™ Complex, a proprietary cocktail of her tried and true ingredients your skin needs in abundance to promote daily skin health.

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