Unhappy with the shape of your lips? Do your lips seem to lose volume as you age? Like many other parts of the body, lips lose their smooth, full appearance as we get older. Natural substances in our bodies decrease with age, causing our skin to sag, dry, wrinkle, and crease. The lips are no exception, but they can be especially bothersome because they are such a prominent feature on the face.


Well, modern science might have just the solution for you, and it doesn’t require surgery or anesthesia. It’s lip augmentation to the rescue, a cosmetic procedure that can give you fuller, plumper lips.

Whereas years past, Collagen and fat injections were the most commonly used dermal fillers, they are used less often today because the newer options are both safer and offer longer  lasting results. There are many types of dermal fillers that can be injected in your lips and around your mouth. But the most common fillers today are products that contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body. There are several hyaluronic acid fillers on the market today including various forms of Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane. These products all are injected the same way and give you similar results. Each product also contains lidocain, a local anesthetic that renders the procedure nearly painless.

Once injected, the gel in the filler supports and shapes the tissues of the lips. The  physician has control over the amount of lip volume, and for the patient who prefers to see a gradual change, injections can be given during a series of appointments until the desired results are achieved. The effects typically last around six months to a year. After that more injections are needed to keep the volume of your lips.


Are there any downsides to these hyaluronic acids? Actually very few.  Occasionally, movement of the lips creates lumps, but these can easily be dissolved. Allergic reactions are unlikely because hyaluronic acid fillers are replicated from substances similar to those found in the body. Of course these dermal fillers come at a price and as a cosmetic procedure, will not be covered by your medical insurance.

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Which Is Better for Skin Tightening – Ulthera or Thermage?

I recently saw this question posted on Dr. Rod Rohrich’s Facebook page, which in turn linked me to a RealSelf posting of opinions provided by other noted plastic surgeons.


Although Thermage wins kudos for being on the forefront for non-invasive skin tightening devices, most of the plastic surgeons who weighed in on this topic voted Ulthera as their preferred choice for face and neck skin tightening. Here are a few of their expressed opinions:

Although none of the noninvasive technologies will give the same results as surgery, they do provide a subtle, yet noticeable improvement without much downtime or cost. Ulthera is my choice for skin tightening in the face and neck, since I have seen a definite improvement in the face and neck of the the patients…

Angela Sturm, MD

Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

 “I have followed both technologies since their inception, Thermage for about the last 10 to 12 years, and Ultherapy by Ulthera for the past 2 years.  Based on the science behind them and the patient satisfaction results, Ultherapy by Ulthera is a superior treatment.”

Rian Maercks, MD

Miami Plastic Surgeon

And finally, the statement that to me is most significant of all.

“Keep in mind these are only tools and by themselves are neither good nor bad.  A scalpel is neither good nor bad but can be used to perform beautiful surgery or make a terrible mess.  That being said, these devices are commonly used by practitioners with no formal training in plastic and reconstructive surgery and thus no understanding of what interventions, forces structures …”

 Michael A. Persky, MD

You’ll find informative articles on most every non-invasive and minimally invasive cosmetic procedure at


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19 Best Hair Care Secrets


As soon as summer arrives, with its high humidity here on Long Island, my hair fights back with more than its natural curl. Shall I be honest and say the dreaded word? Okay, here it is – frizz.

All summer  I have been going to the Local Access Cable TV studio to do live shootings of intros for my Tales2Inspire™ authors’ inspiring stories. This is a good thing, except that unfortunately for me and my hair, these shootings are scheduled for Tuesday mornings. Now, here’s the rub! My hair salon is closed on Sundays and Mondays and doesn’t open again until 9:00 AM on Tuesdays. I’m already on the road by 9:00 AM. This means that the best I can do for my hair is get it washed and blow dried – flat ironed with lots of products and spray – late Saturday afternoon. In the winter, my hair would still look pretty decent three days later. But in the summer, it’s a disaster waiting to happen! And to be quite honest, I was a bit appalled by my fly-away topsy hair on some of those videos!

Yes, I tried Keratin once, but for reasons I won’t go into now, decided it wasn’t for me. I’ve begun to read about amino acid hair straightening products and will investigate that further. In the meantime, I love to learn from the experts, and often find Web MD a great source of information. Here is a slideshow quiz they have put together not just for those with frizzy hair, but to address many hair problems and solutions. Take the quiz here. One additional tip I can add to their quiz is the use of a ceramic hair brush. I recently bought one (after watching the video runs) and see a noticeable difference.


But nonetheless,  I’m so proud of my authors that if you promise not to make fun of my hair, you can watch their video introductions to their winning stories: The Man From Nowhere by  Cami Ann Hofstadter and Garden of Miracles by Heidi DuPree.  Look for their story titles on the Winning Tales channel.

And if you enjoy them, please leave a quick comment to let them know!


I came upon this article in one of Susanne Warfield’s  recent newsletters and felt it was worth sharing.

Beauty Breakthroughs from the American Academy of Dermatology will change the way you view skin care 

beautybreakthrough-225x300photo courtesy of dolgachov

“Does anyone remember that hilarious, yet somewhat true, scene in the 2008 Sex and the City movie when Samantha chastises Carrie for becoming engaged to Mr. Big, and proposes Botox as a more viable option? She proudly states, “Honey, you know me, I don’t really believe in marriage. Now, Botox on the other hand, that works every time.”  This may be a fictional scene from a movie, but the sentiment could not hold more true for many women today. “Looking and feeling younger” is a claim many beauty companies and plastic surgeons have used to steer women towards extremely expensive creams that sometimes have less than desirable results, or procedures that are uncomfortable and in some cases painful.’

“Well, mark your calendars because today the way you view your anti-aging routine will change forever. Researchers at the American Academy of Dermatology have discovered a new method using plant stem cell technology to extract antioxidants from plants in their most pure and stable form. This will allow for beauty products to be extremely effective in treating the signs of aging and cuts down on the contaminants, like pesticides and heavy metals, which can potentially be found in products today.’


“Looking to find the best anti-aging product right away? While more research is needed, it has been found that two of the most popular and beneficial antioxidants come from berry extracts (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) and soy extracts. Unfortunately, we all cannot hop into a time-machine and wind up back in high school, but with these beauty breakthroughs at least we have a chance of looking that way.”

* Susanne S. Warfield, President/CEO of Paramedical Consultants, Inc. ( Official Publication of the Society of Dermatology SkinCare Specialists. Warfield has over 31 years experience, is a leading expert on business, legal and liability issues that affect physician and esthetician relationships. 

Susanne was the author of the chapter titled “Why an Esthetician?” in my book, Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour, where she details the work of the esthetician.



I seldom tout products by name here, but prefer to simply offer sound advice from the experts. So the topic for today is: How to make your skin appear brighter, more radiant and youthful looking. Exfoliation is the name of the game.cotton-wool-skin_1684345c

One way to achieve this skin glow is with the consistent use of glycolic peel pads. They come in different strengths. Some do a great job of exfoliating the skin, while others are too mild to achieve the desired effect. And then there are some that might be too harsh for your skin, especially if used on a daily basis. If so, don’t throw them away quite yet. You might just have to modify your routine by using them on an alternate day basis – or even a bit less frequently.

But suppose you’re in a big hurry to achieve that glow – maybe even yesterday? Here is a temporary quick fix. Look for a makeup with light reflecting particles. Foundation with light reflecting particles makes your skin appear to glow because the tiny reflecting particles act like little mirrors, reflecting light and giving your skin the illusion of smoothness. But know that more is not always better. Exercise caution when selecting your foundation.


Too much glitter might make you look like a day-glow commercial. Go for a subtle effect.


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Lois W. Stern


As women age, their friendly mirror often morphs into an unfriendly encounter. Remember the daily ritual of the wicked stepmother in the Snow White fairy tale? Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all? In the fairy tale version, the reality of her aging face drives one woman to the extreme of ordering the slaying of her competition – her beautiful, young step daughter.

Although few are so distraught over their aging appearance that they are driven to kill off the competition, the mirror often becomes a woman’s weapon of self-destruction as she ages. Here’s a common scenario. After many years of preening before her reflection, she awakens one morning to a startling reality. That image staring back at her looks so much more like her mother than her former self. Plastic surgery to the rescue.

Today the mirror takes a back seat to modern technology.


Photoshopped faces set a new standard in beauty, making the flaws in non-image edited faces all the more self-evident. Now Facebook, video-chatting tools like Skype and FaceTime, iPhones and iPads are fueling the plastic surgery market. This new, social-media-derived vanity is driving plastic surgeons to cater to the technologically savvy consumer. Be prepared for a whole new jargon of minimally invasive procedure terms designed to make people appear more attractive during FaceTime conversations.

Are they long term improvements or simply quick fixes? Would some of the plastic surgeons out there weigh in on this conversation?

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Lois W. Stern



Dr. Joseph Rucker recently posted an interesting article about causes and cures for dark undereye circles,  explaining the multiple factors that can be responsible, including  heredity, hormone levels, sun exposure, stress, aging, a lack of sleep, and allergies. However, contrary to what you may think, dark circles cannot be remedied by  skin lighteners because the darkness is not caused by skin discoloration, but rather a shadowing of the skin.

To minimize the appearance of darkness around the eyes, he suggest the following methods:

  1. Using powerful peptides such as Enza Essential’s Eyebright Eye Gelee will cool and sooth the appearance of puffy bags while increasing cell turnover, leaving you with a more youthful, brighter appearance.
  2. Dermal fillers can be used in order to plump the area around and under your eyes which reduces the intensity of shadowing.
  3. Wearing sunscreen, particularly an SPF 30 or greater, will help to minimize unprotected sun exposure and the effects of aging from the sun.
  4. Applying ice or cucumbers directly on the dark circles at nighttime will soothe and minimize the dark circles caused by puffiness.
  5. Lastly, Dr. Rucker suggests certain energy driven radiofrequency treatments to the dermal tissue  to help tighten and brighten your face while also increasing collagen production that will work against the skin’s natural aging process.

His advice: “Although there is no way to completely prevent dark circles from appearing, there are multiple ways to reduce the shadowing.”

Read his full article.

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