Welcome to My Esthetician's Blog!

Esthetics is the study of all things beautiful. A balanced life is a beautiful life. Mind, Body, Spirit . . . Beauty can change your life and those around you, Beauty is Power. To seek to be beautiful is not vanity, it is your birthright.


Every summer I have one day when I completely breakdown from seeing how little people regard the dangers of sun exposure.  Last night while out to dinner with my husband, I spotted a family of five in the back of the restaurant dressed in typical summer clothing: shorts, sleeveless shirts and sandals. The very attractive mother had a low cut spaghetti strapped dress on and her sunburn extended down halfway of her breast. “Saggy breasts in ten years,” I thought discouragingly.  Then I got a good look at the children who appeared to be aged ten and under. They were blistery red.  I got so angry I got tears in my eyes. That being said, 

I’m now going to tell you the 
TRUTH about sun protection. Forget the articles you’ve read in fashion magazines, beauty blogs, and the newspaper. 

In fact, ignore what your dermatologist told you!

Lie Number 1: Apply Sunscreen When You Are Going To Be Outside.
Don’t worry about that, Sunscreen doesn’t work. It may be labeled SPF 100 and you may reapply it frequently.  You may never leave the house without it and limit your total exposure to early morning.  Nevertheless, you WILL get sun. That’s not my opinion. That’s my empirical experience from years of wearing it and paying attention to clients’ skin who I know are using it faithfully. Your sunscreen is a liar.  SPF numbers mean nothing. Same goes with sweat proof and waterproof sunscreens.  There is no such thing.  The only thing that is waterproof is a plastic bag.  

Lie Number 2: Wearing a Hat Protects Your Face. 
Again, a lie.  Sun is reflected off the beach, the pool, the concrete, just about anything and is thrown back on your face and neck.  If you don’t have on sunscreen, which doesn’t work anyway, you will get sun on the most vulnerable part of your face, the chin and neck. Hats are great, don’t get me wrong.  Just don’t fool yourself into thinking they do much of anything.  The only perfect hat is a brown paper bag.

Lie Number 3: The Best Sunscreen is Broad Spectrum.
Most people don’t even have a clue what that means. Theoretically such a sunscreen offers protection from burning rays (UVB) and aging rays (UVA). Ok, buy it.  Just don’t assume by wearing it you are immune from sun exposure. You’re not.

Lie Number 4: Apply Sunscreen Twenty Minutes Before You Go Outside.
Your should have two sunscreens.  One physical protection (zinc oxide, titanium oxide) and the other chemical (all those long words you can’t pronounce). With the physical sunscreen you can throw it on and immediately go outside.  It’s the chemical sunscreen that needs time to be effective. Again, why bother?

Lie Number 5:  A Little Sunshine Helps you Absorb Vitamin D Through Your Eyes.
Deliberately getting a little sun through the eyes is like swimming in shark infested water to get over your fear of sharks.  Take supplements.  Wear sunglasses. Sun reflected into the eyes causes cataracts and melanoma of the eyeball.  

Lie Number 6: Apply Sunscreen Where Clothes Don’t Cover You.
Unless you’re wearing clothing from UV Skinz, Solari, Solumbra,Coolibar or another sun protective clothing company, you should put sunscreen all over your body before dressing. I mean, of course, if it worked.   Oh, and the correct amount is one ounce for your entire body.  That means you would go through an 8 oz bottle of sunscreen once a week. Right. I personally know of people who pour from the same bottle for year after year.

Alright, Alright, so I’m speaking somewhat tongue in cheek!  But I’m desperate to convince you that when outside you are besieged by a enemy that wants you dead from cancer or at the very least wrinkled and sagging before your time. So for goodness sakes, apply sunscreen SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum. Sunscreen pathetically over promises, still, apply it liberally and wear a hat and sunglasses.  Spurn fashion and throw a shawl over your shoulders. Go the distance for your health and beauty. 

The Surprising Beauty Vitamin

I run out in the morning, sans sunscreen, to take out the garbage and check on my flowers and guess what, it is my ten minute devotion to beauty and health that starts my day. That’s right, I’m absorbing my necessary intake of Vitamin D, a vitamin I am passionate about. Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin in a compound including D-1, D-2 and D-3  affects as many as 2,000 genes in the body!  

Vitamin D Can Revolutionize Your Health and Transform Your Beauty! 

Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include salmon, sardines, egg yolk, shrimp, fortified milk, fortified cereal, fortified yogurt, fortified orange juice. Personally I have blood work every three months before my hormone therapy where they routinely check my Vitamin D levels as well as thyroid and hormone levels. I take 50,000 i.u. of Vitamin D weekly.

Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in women include fatigue, aches and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well. Severe bone or muscle pain or weakness may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause someone to walk with a waddling gait. Deficiency can lead to stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips. Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.

Why Is Vitamin D So Important For My Beauty and Health?

Vitamin D plays a number of important roles in your health and beauty: It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous.  It works with calcium and phosphorous to promote strong bones and teeth. And it’s involved in cell growth, immunity, and reducing inflammation throughout the body.
In recent years, researchers have been investigating whether vitamin D might also help prevent or treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
In another study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.

Another study linked calcium and Vitamin D supplements with the surprising discovery of losing weight    as a natural appetite suppressant.

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).

In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, decrease your chance of developing heart disease, and help to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

My Saggy Arms, What The Heck Happened?

Breaking News research from Botucatu Medical School at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil suggests that taking Vitamin D supplements can significantly increase muscle mass and muscle strength for at least 12 years after menopause.  The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over a nine-month period, results showed that women receiving the supplements exhibited a significant +25.3% increase in muscle strength at the end of the study, whereas those assigned to a placebo actually lost an average of 6.8% of muscle mass. Women not receiving Vitamin D supplements were also nearly two times as likely to fall. Conclusions were “that the supplementation of Vitamin D alone provided significant protection against the occurrence of sarcopenia, which is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle.”

Women of the 1960's Know a Beauty Secret You Don't!

We charge through our days, cramming as much as we can into each 24 hour period, staying up late to wring the last hour of activity from it and wonder why we run exhausted with six hours of sleep.

Others of us go through our days somewhat leisurely, making sure to get eight to ten hours of sleep at night.

Neither of these groups know the secret to longevity and beauty. But the Sixties Women knew as did all great beauties and successful men of the past who made this secret a daily must…

From Loughborough University, Professor Jim Home is quoted stating that human beings are actually designed to have two sleeps a day: one at night and one in the early afternoon.

Naps aren’t just for toddlers.  And hour nap in the afternoon boosts brain power and stimulates the right side of the mind to organize and consolidate memories.  When you sleep in the day you correct prolonged wakefulness and neurocognitive functions beyond where you were before your nap.

Studies prove that those who nap after learning retain more of their information.  Thomas Edison was famous for his naps from which he swore his inventions came.   Don’t have time for an hour snooze? Leonardo Di Vinci took 15 minute naps every four hours for a total of 1.5 hours a day.  I can speak personally for the rejuvenating effects of power napping.  Working in my forties and fifties, a ten minute nap every two hours while a client had her masque on enabled me to pull 12 hour days and 70 hour weeks.

Have an important event tonight?  Cancel your hair appointment and take a nap instead.  You’ll look refreshed, able to sparkle during conversation and party all night long!  Don’t have time for an hour nap?  Lie on a slanted board, feet 18” higher than your head. Few young women today would know what this is but we matrons from the sixties utilized this famous beauty secret daily.  Ten to twenty minute increments on it is all you l need to reverse sagging and drooping face and body skin.  You’ll experience an increase in blood circulation to the brain and a surge of energy. This supine pose tightens up your abdominal muscles, eliminates lower belly bulge, helps drain lymph glands and reduces aching and swelling in the legs.

Did you know the idea we should sleep eight-hours at night is relatively recent?  Think about it. Daytime napping is common for millions of people all over the world.  Want to be successful?  Nap daily like Winston Churchill and John (and Jackie) Kennedy did.

We Were Just Having Some Fun

When I was growing up in the summers with my cousins in Arizona, nearly every weekend our parents would throw us kids in the car and drive to Canyon Lake to water ski. This was the early sixties, before sunscreen or any knowledge of sun causing skin cancer and aging.  At sunset on the drive home we kids were piled into the back of the station wagon like little lobsters, burnt to a crisp and nauseous with sun poisoning.  Our parents in the front seat, drinking iced tea liberally laced with vodka and swerving across the perilous road home would turn periodically to look at us and beam about how healthy we all looked with a little ‘color’ and weren’t we glad we had got to ski. (Actually, we each skied once, the adults skied and drank all day while we cooked.) 

I have deliberately and consistently avoided sun exposure since my early twenties. Yet those summers are now paying me a visit.  I’ve noticed more skin aging this year than any year before:  Brown spots popping up on my face and arms though I have diligently worn sunscreen and long sleeves, hats and gloves for four decades. I cringe to think what I would look like had I not.  Listed below are the six primary causes of prematurely aged skin, listed from least to first.  Without looking, see if you can name them first. 

Number 6.
Allergies. Itchy and puffy eyes leads to pulling and rubbing, causing lax and wrinkled skin all around the eyes as well as undereye bags. Not only that, untreated allergies are terrible for your health, causing chronic internal inflammation, precursor to all sorts of major diseases, as well as sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Number 5.
Pulling delicate skin. I’m so appalled when I see women pull and rub their skin when removing makeup. The skin around the eyes and mouth is delicate! All of this stretching and pulling leads to further breakdown of the underlying collagen, creating and worsening the appearance of lines.

Number 4. 
Repetitious Facial Expressions.
I can tell a woman’s predominant thought pattern by the lines in her face. There’s the worried face, the resigned face, the angry face, the serene face, the happy face, the thoughtful face, and so on.  Indeed, repetitive facial movements create the face you have at rest. Activities such as smoking, unconsciously pursing your lips, drinking out of straws, brushing your teeth, putting in your contacts, eating and chewing, concentrating, squinting, applying makeup, etc. will permanently etch themselves into your face. 

Number 3.
Smoking, drug use and pollution. You can forget nice skin if you smoke. Smoking, pollution and drug use causes free radical damage to the skin as well as to major organs in the body. The caustic chemicals from these wreck havoc, creating irrevocable breakdown of collagen and elastin. 

Number 2.
Intrinsic aging. Aging is a collection of natural processes one of which is the slow and steady breakdown of the structural support of the skin. Collagen, elastin and moisture, which are the key components that keep skin firm and resilient gradually degrade and dissipate, causing fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. The effects of intrinsic aging becomes apparent in the mid-30s, the best time to begin an anti-aging skin care protocol.

Number 1.

Extrinsic aging. Good news! We have control over extrinsic aging! By avoiding them, we largely deter or slow down the aging process. The No. 1 culprit of extrinsic aging is sun exposure. And, whether you have been a sun worshipper all their life, or an avid tanning bed user, the result will be the same. This type of exposure creates free radical damage in the skin that speeds up the intrinsic aging process. It attacks cells, depleting collagen and elastin at a much quicker rate. The damage from UV/sun exposure is accumulative. Damage often manifests decades from exposure. 


I’m crazy for my product, STAGELIGHTS Gel Creme. The active ingredients,  Niacinamide and Hexylresorcinol are the hip and savvy new kids on the block for treating aging skin and hyperpigmentation. Just listen to this: 

Previously, you may have identified Hexylresorcinol as an ingredient in mouth washes and throat lozenges where its function was as an antiseptic and analgesic!Chemists are now understanding it’s enormous ability to address skin discoloration and  hyperpigmentation.  Studies prove that Hexylresorcinol at .5% is just as effective as .2% Hydroquinone!  

That’s not all, though! Hexylresorcinol also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!  Additionally,  daily use increases protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays (Note: it is NOT a sunscreen itself.) as well as the cell suffocating damage caused by pollution.  It does this by improving the skin's natural barrier which reduces TDWL (trans dermal water loss), thus eliminating dehydration and keeping the skin moist and soft.

The other active ingredient in Stagelights, Niacinamide (also know as Vitamin B3 and Nicotinic Acid) increases free fatty acid levels and ceramides in skin, again, by improving the skin’s natural barrier and preventing TDWL. By stimulating microcirculation, it too treats uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.  It even helps to prevent and heal blemishes as well as the scarring resulting from them.  Add to this the ability to address fine lines and wrinkles, elasticity, laxity of tone and uneven texture and you have a nearly perfect ingredient!

Combine these two together in one gel creme, suitable for All Skin Types, for use day or night or both and, Viola!  You have STAGELIGHTS!

Six Surprising Tips To Feel Young

Change can inspire us in ways that are startling. Actively seeking learning and growth happens when we first are willing to alter small habits in life. Stubbornness ages our minds and our bodies. Practice small rebellions and redesign yourself. You are only as old as your lack of diversity.  

Assumption is aging.

I have eighty year old clients who are younger than some thirty year olds I know.  Wonder is everything.  Lack of it takes the sparkle out of our eyes, where youth shines forth.  Here's a few surprising steps you can take to feel younger. 

 1.  Spray your sheets with perfume.  When Marilyn Monroe was once asked by the press what she slept in she replied, "Chanel No.5". That one quote inspired me when I was nineteen and since then I've perfumed my sheets.  I suspect this one thing is what convinced my husband I was the one. Besides using your precious perfume, there are spray fragrances specifically for linen. And, of course, you can DIY with aromatherapy oils: Mix 1 oz alcohol with 10 drops essential oil in a spray bottle and shake well. Add 3 oz of water and shake again before each use.  Lavender (or Lavendula) mixed with 1 drop Clary Sage will give your dreams flight.

2.  Get up an hour earlier.  May sound like nonsense coming from me, robbing yourself of an hour of beauty sleep, but it will make your day.  Alone time with your  coffee or tea before the house wakes up will remind you of the childhood excitement you felt on summer mornings. Connecting with your Higher Power and your inner self in the morning will silence your screaming To Do list and help you prioritize for a fulfilling day.

3.  Choose different sleep wear.  If you've always worn pajamas, pick out some cute nighties for a change.  If your thing is nightgowns, try lightweight loose fitting T-shirts with sexy panties. And if you never have, sleep naked.   Just try it for, say, ten days and see how you feel when you wake up. You'll never go back.

4. Brew a week's supply of black tea bags and store them in the refrigerator in a container filled with 1/2 witch hazel and 1/2 distilled water. In the morning, take five minutes to lay down with a bag on each eye. Viola! Bags gone, lines smoothed.  Alternately, there are products just for this, such as Patchology Under Eye Gels.  I put one under each eye while I drink my morning coffee. A ten minute game changer.

5. Wear lip liner.  A bit of lip liner will make your lips look young and full. As as we age our lip line flattens out. Really, putting on lip liner is so fast and easy you will marvel that you never did it before. And for goodness' sake, be courageous, don't cheat yourself! Line where your lips used to be.  Fill in the rest with lipstick or gloss or the liner itself.  This doesn't take but a few seconds more when your running out the door but will make you feel like your twenty.

6.  Eat a spoonful of  dough when you make chocolate chip cookies.  Now I know you've heard since forever that raw eggs can kill you or at least send you to the hospital.  Not so, I have been eating cookie dough since I was 8.  Once my sister and I made a batch of cookies just so we could eat the dough.  And we did.  All of it.  We loved it.  We're still here.

HOW IT WORKS: Microneedling

Microneedling the skin as a cosmetic procedure sounds mysterious. It seems counter-intuitive to damage the skin by piercing it with micro-fine needles.  A little bit of explanation can simplify the science behind this remarkable treatment.

When a trauma occurs, such as the controlled trauma of Microneedling, the skin goes into an accelerated cellular turnover.  This action is very different from it’s daily maintenance. Healing is a very rapid and very efficient specific function.  The quicker metabolism creates a collagen cascade in response to the "injury". For instance, during acne scarring, collagen production overdoes it, creating thicker, stiffer tissue. Microneedling cannot create scarring because as the name says, it is a controlled injury on a micro level.  In fact, Microneedling can remodel acne scarring into a softer, smoother complexion.  

The skin loves doing what it does best, which it does very well if we get out of the way and let it do it! It is, quite simply, doing what its reason and function is: To create, repair and maintain an intact, healthy barrier for the body against infection. 

Production of Collagen Type I and Type III are responsible for healthy healing.  During repair, the complexion is redefined minus fine lines, wrinkles, scar tissue, texture irregularities and large pores.  Additionally, the newly refurbished dermis created in the weeks following the Microneedling procedure, creates some tightening of tissue which appears as firmer contours.  

Collagen Induction Therapy is not for every skin type.  Active acne and rosacea are two types that should avoid Microneedling, both at home in an office setting. Those clients with a history of Herpes Simplex Infections must pre and post treat with prescribed Rx. 

For a comprehensive list of  benefits, precautions and contraindications of Microneedling, email me at cbryant-rushing@cox.net.

Redesign and Grow Your Eyebrows With Rogaine

While shopping at one of my favorite places, a drugstore, I started taking pictures of all the products I think are indispensable: those items every woman needs in her medicine cabinet.  

I decided to add THE CORNER DRUGSTORE feature to my newsletters and introduce you to some surprising and essential products to add to your beauty regimen!

One I have written about before in previous blogs and several newsletters is Minoxidil, brand name Rogaine.  I have used this since 1995 to grow my eyebrows in thicker and wider.  About three months ago, my Makeup Artist daughter, Katie Kahoun Go to Her Website! , suggested I rethink the shape of my brows.  She said they aged my face and, of course, when she showed me this picture, I completely agreed.  

The problem was that I would have to extend and lift the arch of my brows,  which meant I would have to tweeze out the entire outside third of them!
 Rogaine to the rescue!

I applied Men's Rogaine every night with a Q-Tip™ under the inner two thirds of my brows and to the outside third where no eyebrow had ever grown before!

 Below are the results after about two months. (These have a tiny amount of eyebrow pencil, just enough to sharpen the shape.) DO NOT USE ON EYELASHES!

And You Thought You Were Getting Beauty Sleep . . .

Ever woke up with a crease on your face?  While creases go away eventually (hours later😬) the same day, they are an indication of the damage done to your face from sleeping on a cotton pillowcase.  This damage seems temporary, but through the years these creases are ‘ironed’ into your face.

We spend a third of our lives in bed. By the time we are 60, we will have slept for an average of 20 years!  That’s 87,600 days of perpetual damage to the skin!  Unlike lines from expressing ourselves, this damage occurs passively, yet with deep, permanent purpose.  

That’s just the beginning of the problem.  Cotton is so absorbent, it can hold up to 27 times its weight in water! It actually draws moisture away from you skin, drying it out and absorbing your expensive night crème in the process! And that’s not all: Cotton grabs your hair and twists it at the root throughout the night, damaging hair, drying it out, encouraging split ends and as if that wasn’t enough, causing bad hair day!

Movie stars and hairdressers have known for decades that silk pillowcases are exquisitely gentle for your hair. Listen up those of you with hair extensions, curly hair, fine and fragile hair and anyone wanting to maintain the integrity of their hair, 100% silk preserves the integrity of your hair, extends the time between shampoos and allows your hairstyle or blow-dry to last and last.

Silk is a natural temperature regulator, so it's cooler in the summer, naturally hypo-allergenic and mold and mite resistant.  While copies abound such as synthetic satin, nothing has ever come close to the health and beauty benefits of real silk. There are 18 amino acids and copper naturally found in silk, enabling it to actually treat your complexion, restoring its youthfulness and strength as well as increasing your hair's elasticity, luster, body, and shine!

Not all silk pillowcases are created equal though!  My personal preference is for at least a 22 momme Mulberry Silk with a Charmeuse finish. (Similar to thread count, momme is the standard measure for silk weight. It indicates the weight of a piece of fabric 110 yards by 45 inches.)  Listed below are some websites I found that carry quality silk pillowcases: 

Good Mom / Bad Mom The Top 3 Best and Worst Advice From Mothers

With Mother’s Day in a week, I’m pondering the advice I’ve heard from clients over the years given them from their mothers.  I’ve compiled a list of the the top 3 best and worst advice I’ve ever heard.   

Great Advice:

  1. “ Wash your face before you go to bed.”  This was a big one with my Mother and from a very early age my sister and I  mimicked her nightly ritual, even down to eye cream, which for us was vaseline.☺️  
  2. “Don’t look at the sun.”  I know, right?  Yet I grew up with kids that dared each other to see how long they could look at the sun.  Those kids all have cataracts now.  My Mother made it simple for us.  She told us we’d go blind.  
  3. “Eat your vegetables.” Again, easy for me as I loved vegetables. Not so easy for the hamburger patty, cooked rare, I was served for dinner every night to cure my anemia.  Anyone remember the saying, “Blood feeds blood?” I heard it nightly from my Mom in response to my protests.  Eck.  It still gags me to someone with a steak floating in blood on their plate.  What, they missed the invention of fire? 

Not So Great Advice:

  1. “Go outside and get some color, you look like a ghost.”  Yep, I have several clients who grew up with this one. It harkens back to the fifties and sixties when suntans were supposedly a sign of health and vitality.  Those people are now getting basal and squamous cell carcinomas burned off their skin every three months.  I grew up in Arizona.  Going outside to play lasted two minutes, max.
  2.  “All you need is soap and water.”  Come On!  Just typing this advice makes my face itch. Thirty years ago I would get clients whose whole protocol was soap and water. “Squeaky Clean,” remember?  Read: Stripped of precious pH balance mantle.  Thankfully magazines, beauty books and blogs have educated most of us to the error of that advice. 
  3. “Freckles are cute.” R-i-g-h-t.   I remember cringing hearing my daughter’s Stepmother telling that to her ten year old twin girls, their faces covered with freckles after a summer of sunburns.   They’re just a little over thirty now and one can pass for her  mother.  In case you didn’t get the memo:  Freckles are sun damage.  Period.  Not cute.  

    Now it’s your turn.  Go to my Facebook Book Page at https://www.facebook.com/BryantRushingBeauty/ and post the best and worst advice you ever got from your mother.