Series-"3 Tips from the Top"-Courtney Dunlop

As I begin my foray into this new series I call "3 Tips from the Top", a procession of pieces that profile Top tier experts in fashion,beauty, design and film who have agreed to share their Top Tips with us.  I am very excited to begin with 'Top Beauty Expert' Courtney Dunlop
freelance beauty editor/writer and former beauty editor of Jane magazine, whose work has appeared in Real Simple, InStyle, Allure, Elegant Bride, and Nylon, who also works as a consultant for companies such as Aveda and Pureology, as she has some seriously erudite knowledge of the best that the beauty industry has to offer. I am delighted to share her thoughtfully sound and simple tips, that are sure to call you back to 'good old common sense' and very likely, the Clarins counter.

Courtney's Top 3....and I quote:

  1. Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control SPF 30 Eye Cream.  "I completely attribute the fact that I have zero lines around my eyes to my longtime daily use."
 2. "I avoid split ends/breakage in my very fine hair by doing whatever possible to avoid hot tools and styling with bobby pins (they tear!)."
 3. "Do yoga to avoid wrinkles! I mean it! When you're stressed you furrow your brows which causes wrinkles."

Courtney's latest piece that features a modern take on a wide range of classic makeup and hair looks for your wedding, can be read in the Summer issue of InStyle Weddings that should be out on the newsstands in June.  

To visit Courtney's website please click the Title link "Series-3 Tips from the Top-Courtney Dunlop"


the frugal chef-recession recipes for radiant skin

as much as we all LOVE our luxury beauty products, we probably LIKE saving our shillings a wee bit more these days, so i thought it was a good time to whip out a short list of ingredients and share my recipes for radiant skin that will help you keep more money in your pocketbooks and a bigger smile on your face.

1. BAKING SODA exfoliator-my favorite skin polisher-add a dime sized amount to your favorite cleanser and buff away any dead skin cells while minimizing your pores-it really's my favorite trick before a big event! (you can also dip your toothbrush in for some extra whitening action too)

2. HONEY AND EGG WHITE mask-this will make a babies bottom seem rough-in a bowl, mix a teaspoon of honey and an egg white or two....whisk and apply to your face and neck with a clean  medium sized brush....layer if you like.  let dry then rinse....ahhhhh!  follow with your fav moisturizer or press in some olive oil.

3.  SUGAR AND HONEY body polisher-mix 1 part honey with 1 part sugar (enough for your whole body) and jump in the shower.  wet your skin then vigorously introduce and work the scrub on all your parts that need it.  rinse and glow.

4. OLIVE OIL moisture seal-after your body is squeaky clean, but before you towel off-work the olive oil into your wet skin.  this will help to seal in the moisture and keep your skin super supple.  towel off excess water and oil.  you can also use it for a hot oil treatment by combing it through your tresses and wrapping a plastic bag around your head for 20-30 minutes (add heat for more intense results) then shampoo and condition as needed.

5.  SEA SALT bath soak- pour half of a large container of sea salt into the running water as you fill up the tub.  soak for as long as you like.  not only does the sea salt help to heal the skin, but it also helps to pull out excess water and toxins and many mystics believe that it pulls out bad energy too:)



still the most masterful and haunting cover of a song that i have ever heard

i wanted to post a video for you all but for some reason it no longer seems to exist...
but CLICK the title link above to listen....ENJOY!!!
may i also add that it is 11:11 long.... :D


40's the new 30 indeed

So here I am, just one glorious day until I can say that I am officially 40 years old, not 'almost forty' or 'old chick' as that has been my mantra for the last year or so.  And just for the record, I only say 'old chick' in jest, because I find it ironic.  It's funny how the years keep rolling over you before you even have time to catch up to yourself, all the while racing toward the next.  I just don't understand it.  I mean on the one hand, I feel SO proud to be turning 40, and hope that I will represent myself and what it is to be female and aging in todays society with dignity and grace.  But on the other hand, even those words 'dignity and 'grace' seem like they're from another time and place that does NOT accurately represent what 40 feels, looks and acts like to me.  I am starting to suspect, dare I say it, that women these days are actually PROUD of getting older rather than ashamed and in denial.  Or maybe it's just me?  But I'm certain I've seen proof of it.  Is it that we take better care of ourselves?  Is it that we have superior beauty products and treatments?  Is it that we are better educated as a whole on nutrition, and alternative modalities?  Is it that we are moving at a pace faster as a people than we have ever moved before?  I think probably yes, in many circumstances.  I have to say though, that I count myself lucky to be growing older in a time when it has become so much more socially celebrated and embraced by the majority.  I'm not certain by any stretch that I will reach any definitive conclusions about what 40 is, but I am confidant that it ISN'T what it used to be.


lash growth therapy...

Being the child of a half Chinese and Hawaiian father and an Italian, Scottish, Dutch mother....things could have gone either way with regard to my mother having picture perfect, long, thick eyelashes with an enviable natural curl and all, but that would have been too easy-instead, I of course inherited my fathers short, bone straight Asian ones.  You know-the ones that virtually disappear when uncurled and are without lacquer.  Well fast forward to the beginning of this decade, back when I held the title of Blackbook Magazine's beauty editor, and my very first beauty product that I presented to my editor-in-chief to be featured in our very first pages dedicated to beauty was Mavala's Eye-Lite Double Lash.   It promised to encourage hair growth and fullness...and while this did little else than condition my lashes, it put the idea in my head that this WAS possible.  After all, we'd been sending men to the moon for a good 30 some odd years by this time....I mean if you believe the Neil Armstrong story...but my point is-we SHOULD have the technology!  Fast forward to right now-we do indeed have the technology and it WORKS!!! While I wasn't privy to Jan Marini's original lash growth formula (by the time I had discovered it's miraculous claims-it had been taken off the market), but without regret because I was introduced to Revitalash!  All I can say is IT REALLY WORKS!! I now enjoy what I thought only possible with surgical adhesive and synthetic, perfectly curled, long hairs glued to my very own longer, fuller, thicker darker eyelashes!    But wait, there's more!!!  (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)  Upon further discovery I found another product that is supposed to deliver the same results without irritation called LiLash...I've personally NEVER had any irritation from Revitalash but understand that it is somewhat prevalent, so if you have been craving your very own longer thicker lashes, check out LiLash and for those of you over-tweezer's out there, there is LiBrow as well.  I imagine that it has to be a similar if not the same formula, so if you're on a budget....use just the one!  You can search "Lilash" to go to there site to learn more, but shop'll find this product that is 139.- for a lot less elsewhere.  
CLICK the title link "Lash Growth Therapy" to goto "the REAL makeup show w/ Shawnelle Prestidge to watch fun comprehensive makeup tutorials in there entirety. 

cirque de beaute'

A wee peek at my latest beauty see it in it's entirety Click on the title link "Cirque de Beaute" above.


the REAL makeup show w/Shawnelle Prestidge

Join me, your resident REAL makeup artist where I demonstrate and instruct "how to do REAL make for REAL life on myself....for REAL! 

CLICK the title link "the REAL makeup show w/ Shawnelle Prestidge" above to go straight to my channel to watch fun, comprehensive makeup tutorials in there entirety and to view my other makeup "How-to's" for Sephora and HSN.

My new favorite least for now!

As I was recently blessed to go to Miami for a job (to work as a "local") for a wonderful client of mine who usually works out of NY.  More blessed was I to have my dear old friend, Edward Cruz host me in his palatial new 2 story, 2 bedroom apartment w/ 3 terraces BUT then to have him introduce me to his decidedly intuitive, holistic esthetician "Teresa Stepanov" who makes her own line of products.  After having a rigorous hour plus treatment which included a mini facial w/ reiki, microdermabrasion and ultrasound for a whopping $60- (YES-you read that correctly-SIXTY BUCKS) I asked for a good hydrating moisturizer because I am nearing the end of my beloved DIOR Capture Totale. (if you've watched my show on  episode 1-"Ready in a Rush" you know I LOVE my 'Capture Totale') Teresa suggested one of two products from her arsenal of about eight.  I decided on the only unabashed moisturizer in the bunch, the aptly named Natural Healing Inc. "Moisture Plus" w/ collagen and vitamin E, deciding against the alternative more firming less hydrating cream offered. Time will tell whether that was the BEST decision-but for right now, the skin on my face and neck is not only quenched and elevated but supple, soft and bursting at the pores with moisture-NOT greasy, slimy or coated like so many creams before have left it feeling.  I would say it is one of THE most perfect moisturizers that I have tried-and I've tried a lot-but for the price, I beg to challenge anyone to find something in this category of perfection that rivals it in cost....1000 penny's people. Ten dollars! Honestly, I feel like I may have won the moisturizer lottery!  Don't worry though, you can too...Teresa sells her product online-her company is "Natural Healing Inc."
Please let me know how it goes for you....
CLICK the title link "My New Favorite Moisturizer..." to tune in to "the REAL makeup show" w/ Shawnelle Prestidge @ for fun, comprehensive makeup tutorials in there entirety!