The Clock Stops Here...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Creme Brûlée

Creme Brûlée

Review: Hot Tools Ceramic Styling Brush

Hot Tools Ceramic Brush
$49 at Ulta stores 

I've been meaning to write about Hot Tools Ceramic Styling Brush for the last few weeks. Despite 3 in my arsenal, I am a flatiron failure.  If I need to smooth and straighten locks that have gone awry, flat ironing is not my solution; it looks like a took a Rowenta to my head, (which Lisa Gort and I did do in the 7th grade, when pin straight was all the rage.)

Not a good look...

My last styling brush had short static bristles and was at least a decade old. Despite every hair tools recommendation to remove build-up with a bit of mild detergent, (and my failed attempts with small brushes and Q-Tips,) none of them are ever as pristine as the first day out of the box.

I went to Ulta because they do have a well stocked hair gadget department. I spotted the Hot Tools Ceramic Styling Brush, because I couldn't not. The silicone bristles come in a variety of neon shades, which guarantee, you will always properly store it, rather than leaving it out to clash with your bathroom.


I love the flexible silicone bristles, having experienced blind panic over the years. when the old one got tangled in my hair and a poultry shear seemed the only solution. There is a temperature gauge that allows you to select the level of heat you want to use. It handily smoothes frizz and adds volume and curl exactly where you want it and as claimed, really does wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Below are  the product details:

CERAMIC produces far-infrared heat to seal the hair cuticle and eliminate frizz. Hair is soft, radiant and shiny. Fast heat-up and instant heat recovery. Maintains constant, even heat while you style.
SILICONE is uniquely responsive to your hair, minimizing breakage and protecting hair’s integrity. More resilient, stronger, and longer lasting. Easily wipes clean with a damp cloth.
  • Rheostat Control Dial with variable heat settings up to 430˚F
  • Soft, Flexible Silicone Brush gently grips hair
  • Rubberized Handle for a more comfortable, secure grip
  • Cool Tip for easy handling
  • Power Indicator Light
  • Separate On/Off Switch (Not shown)
  • 8 ft. Professional Swivel Cord
  • One-year warranty                                                                                                                         
All in all, a total winner.

At $49.99 it may eclipse stocking stuffer material, but hey, 'tis the season of giving and while you are treating others, why not treat yourself???


Friday, November 27, 2015

The Red Lip; Be true to thy self

A model at this Springs Oscar de la Renta show
Photo courtesy of the NY Times Magazine

I have tried, dozens of times over the years to find and then actually wear the red lipsticks I have purchased. I love the allure of thinking that all I would need to zzssshuush up an evening ensemble, is a slice of red lip, quiet cheeks and a smokey cat eye, (which after umpteen years of trying, I have still yet to master.) What about you???

I have deluded myself into thinking maybe I just haven't found the right shade; too orange, blue, bright, matte, glossy, when in fact, I am just not that Girl.  I look in the mirror and all I see is my mouth. It's as if everything else loses focus.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving...Bitmoji Style

It's 9:00 am and I'm already starving!!!  I don't think I know anyone who does not cherish this most American holiday, (except of late, the Sr. Management of our retail stores...rant in a moment.) Traditional food favorites that are tweaked from home to home, appear annually on the table. Family members travel in, college students arrive home and we all gather, with appreciation of one another and our good fortune.

Then we digest and more and more, sneak a peek to shop online. I must say, I am disappointed that one of my own family members won't be at the table.  She is the General Manager of a large flagship store and will be working today...Call me crazy, but can't Black Friday wait till Black Friday??? I think it's appalling that this National holiday no longer means that everyone gets the day off to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday with their loved ones. Is nothing sacred???  

On a lighter note, if you are wondering how "I" appeared cartoon like, wrapped in a turkey, than perhaps you have not yet heard of  Bitmoji, a  free, app that you can download onto your smart phone. Bitmoji  walks you the steps of creating a caricature of your own likeness, as you choose things like facial shape, eye and eyebrow shape, jawline, lip size, skin tone, hair color, body type and clothing style.

Once in place, you never have to speak again as it covers just about every thought or emotion with a cartoon and slogan. They are sweet, charming and fun and I love seeing how my friends have created themselves when I receive them in texts and emails.  Try it! It's a hoot!

I am thankful for many things, my wonderful husband Chris, who will make an amazing turkey, our wonderful son, pussycat and extended family, my splendid retail employers and my second family, the Mitchell's, who not only cherish Thanksgiving as a day for family, but do the same and are not open on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. My incredible friends, some of whom I have been bonded to since Jr. High School, and knock wood, good health.

I also deeply appreciate you, my loyal, Lovelies. Wishing you a delicious day, safe travels, good health and much love...


Monday, November 23, 2015

Sophia and Joe Tie the Knot!!!

Silly me!  I literally leaped for joy this morning when I caught the my first glimpse of the wedding photos of magnificent bombshell Sophia Vergara to the magnificent bombshell Joe Manganiello, (truth be told, I would have preferred clean shaven...I can't speak for Sophia.)

Why was I so excited about her dress??? Because all day, I thought Sophia went traditional, in a full skirted gown...little did I know till later when I took a better look at photos,that it wasn't "fully full".

I often lament, that the stunning Sophia never deviates from her tried and true strapless, curve loving, skin tight gowns on the Red Carpet. Zuhair Murad is frequently her go-to designer and though always pretty, I often have to stifle a yawn.

True to form, and a fabulous form it is, the bones of the dress are essentially the usual and no surprise, the skirt detached, rendering her in yet another strapless, curve loving, skin tight gown.

Oh well! It's her day, not mine and I'm firmly in the "all brides are beautiful" camp, especially this one. I'll hold on to the hope, like I always do, that one day Sophia will take a risk and wow us not just with her beauty and charm, but with a look that stands apart from the dozens that preceded it.

Wishing them all the joy they deserve...


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Becker Salon in Greenwich/ Beauty Rx The Peel Bar By Dr. Schultz

Becker Salon
380 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich Ct.
(Second floor) 203-340-9550

Becker Salon
Spacious and Gracious

This, is my happy place...

Every time I step into Becker Salon, (which I might add, is at least once a week :), I instantly feel calm As you enter, every client is greeted warmly and with the full attention of Armann and Paul at the front desk.The next thing your eye takes in is the beauty of the sleek, all white Italian design, framed by sunlight streaming through the exposed windows. I've never been there when there wasn't a luscious little treat on hand to tempt and all of that is before meeting with a member of their creative talent, on hand to pamper and make you look and feel beautiful.  Services include, hair styling, color, makeup, manicures, pedicures waxing and brows, (with the fabulous Pina), and massage. 

Since doubling their space and moving to Greenwich Avenue last February, partners Becker Chicaiza and Nathali Ocampo have achieved their dream; creating one magnificent space and place to take care of all your beauty needs. (Wedding parties are a also a specialty.) 

It's a triumph!!! Visit just once, and you will understand why this oasis of warmth, calm and caring really is my happy place. Oh, and I didn't even mention the massage chairs at the shampoo station. Delete any notion or previous experience you have had. If I could, I would just come their just to nap...No detail for your comfort as been overlooked.

Becker and DivaDebbi
Whenever I read about something new in the beauty for fashion world that intrigues me, I pop it in a virtual folder.  I had read an article in the NY Times, about Dr. Neal Schultz, a respected NYC Dermatologist, who has performed over 55,000 gylcolic peels in his office. Dr. Schultz believes that Glycolic acid is the "gold standard" of chemical exfoliation. (So does Diva.)

In addition to his in office treatments, he developed a line of his signature products called BeautyRx. He then took a good thing one step further...Dr. Schultz created a pop up Peel Bar at Butterfly Studio in the Flatiron district. Now without having to book an expensive appointment for a 40% Gylcolic peel in his uptown office, anyone could be in, out an freshly exfoliated in minutes for a fraction of the price. 

The idea caught fire, spawning other BeautyRx Peel Bars by Dr. Schultz in many Saks stores and...wait for Becker Salon.  Be still my heart!

A brilliant addition to painlessly refresh their clients faces and hands while enjoying other services or as a quick and easy pit stop, to keep skin glowing, with zero downtime. Who among us don't have 5 minutes to spare??? (Men too, are of course welcome to get in on the action. Dr. Schultz estimates 20% of his clients are men.) 

Dr. Neal Schultz's Peel Bar at Becker Salon
Expertly run by Eden Gillman 203-340-9550

I was at Becker Salon yesterday having a perfect blowout with Marcia, when I decided to first try the peel on my hands.  Eden, who is passionate and knowledgeable about Dr. Schultz peels and at home products, guided me though the simple process: cleanse, apply the 40% Glycolic solution, wait 2 minutes, neutralize and moisturize.  There was no discomfort, just a mild tingling.  Eden said the hands and their glowing results, ($25) are often the gateway to consenting to a facial peel.  The instant results can be maintained with use of products for at home use and a monthly visit.

Below are my results pre and post peel. My right is visibly brighter and less mottled looking. Naturally, I wasn't leaving without a matched set.  Look closely again at the my hand in the second picture compared to the first....
Right hand post peel
Left hand untouched

Left hand post peel, visibly brighter and matching the right
Loved it! I think the results speak for themselves. Next time, I will have a facial peel ($50) and the hand peel. (Only $60 when performed together). Seriously good stuff.

I am also looking forward to a Media and Blogging event Dr. Schultz PR team has organized in December at Becker. I promise to update and share what more I learn.

In the meanwhile, my thanks to Becker and Nathalie for always making me feel relaxed and cocooned whenever I visit. I know in my heart that any of my lovely readers, close enough to experience Becker, will be treated with equal TLC. Passion, expertise and kindness awaits...


Flight of Fancy

Flight of Fancy

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Goodies from the UK; Sarah Chapman's FaciaLift Roller, Lipstick Queen's Oxymoron Blush

Sarah Chapman Facial Lift Roller
Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Lipstick and Blush

I always say my beauty life and real life frequently coincide.  Right before leaving for London, I received a Space NK newsletter about British Skin Guru Sarah Chapman's newly update Facial Lift Roller. Intrigued, I started doing research. Tech gadgets bore me to tears, beauty gadgets garner my full, rapt attention.

Big Sigh. Sold out.  Next shot, I emailed the Sarah Chapman peeps.  Wouldn't they LOVE to send me a Facial Lift Roller to sample?  "Yes" we would love you to Blog.  "No" we don't have any samples available to send...seriously???  Okaaaaaay.

Before I left, I was also in Bloomingdales, on the hunt for my perennially sold out lip liner fave MAC's Soar. Annoyingly, my Holy Grail liner was also discovered by a well known Kardashian makeup artist. He touts it regularly, spurning a worldwide shortage. Grrrrrrr. Maddening for me, and yes sold out on this trip to Bloomies. (I nearly wept at JFK when a MAC outpost had them in stock. 2 for me, one for my divine host Nancy.)

While at Bloomies, I popped into their Space NK boutique. I enjoy perusing this beautifully curated "shop" featuring the best in skincare and makeup, (but no Sarah Chapman at this location.)  I did spy Lipstick Queens's display of Oxymoron Lipstick and Blush, a matte product that is meant to be used on both facial areas. "Romantic"  is a gorgeous pop of pink, but would never have enough pigment to be my choice as a lip shade, but oh the possibility of being a gorgeous, long wearing blush...(I did love and use Makeup Forever's High Definition Blush, but truth be told, there is nothing "forever" about it. It fades.)

I sampled it and ran...and then obsessed, as this pretty pop that I tapped on my cheekbones with my finger pads, did indeed, stay put. The only time it budged was when I removed it 6 hours later when I was taking my makeup off.  Note to self:  Must have...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to Terri!  Terri has won SimySkin's  $40 Micro-Exfoliating Toner.  The winner, including Facebook participants, was chosen at random.

I am really loving this toner!  Not only am I always shocked to still see a wee bit of makeup left over, despite my scrupulous cleansing, but it also infuses the skin with glycolic acid, my favorite go to glow getter.

Terri, I hope you will like it as much as I do!  I'll be in touch via email for your contact info. My thanks to SimySkin and Melissa Kelz PR for arranging for this great give-away.



Meet Lisa Topham Director of Split Rock Aesthetic Institute

Lisa Topham R.N., BSN
Director of Split Rock Aesthetic Institute
Wilton Ct./Greenwich Ct.

The Split Rock Aesthetic Institute in Wilton, Ct. first came on my radar when I went there to interview the famed Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Neil Gordon.  The blog I wrote, still stands as one of the more comprehensive articles written about Dr. Gordon, who works under the radar as he deftly resets the clock, on the faces of media elite, film stars and his well heeled patients. (I'm sure if he wanted, Dr. Gordon could star in his own "Botched" reality show. He is also known for 'fixing" the faces of distraught patients of other surgeons.)

The Retreat at Split Rock is where Dr. Gordon operates, in his fully accredited surgical center. Patients can recuperate, in a luxuriously appointed spa and Inn, with round-the-clock medical care and nourished by their acclaimed full time chef.  It is also, harmoniously, where Lisa Topham and her staff work with patienys at the Split Rock Aesthetic Institute.

If it seems counter-intuitive for a surgeon and a premier non-surgical practitioner to share one roof, you are looking at anti-aging beauty as a competition between practices.  It's not.  It's all about you. Your face, your needs, your budget and how far you are willing to go to stay ahead of natural aging.

Going under the knife is not for everyone and lucky for us, Lisa Topham and her staff are utilizing all of the best injectibles, lasers and therapies out there, to work with you on your goals. With 30 years of experience in the field, and the passion and training to know exactly where a long term filler should be placed, does it really make sense to trust your face to a practitioner promoting with a  Group-On offer???

Not to me...

    Logo from Lisa's webpage

Lisa Topham came back on my radar in the last year.  Some of my friends and clients, who share my confidence, were looking fresh, youthful and lifted in a subtle but appealing way.  Long term fillers like Voluma XC, more gradual ones like Sculptra, or quicker fixes like Perlane could be the answer, but was I missing the 411 on something more?  And if so, by whom?

Enter again, Lisa Topham, who in addition to working at the Aesthetic Institute in Wilton, was now seeing patients in Greenwich Ct. at Dr. Gordon's satellite office at 116 Mason St.

It was Lisa who was responsible for the smoother jawlines, wider temples and more open eyes, my own eagle eye was scouting. The 5 year filler Lisa is using with such great success is called Bellafill and it is beloved in Europe.

Lisa, who has always been on the "cutting edge" of the non-cutting edge, was an early convert, training 3 years ago and using it on patients who trust her aesthetic expertise, experience and dedication to helping patients look refreshed and natural.

Since Bellafill lasts up to 5 years, would you risk going to someone, even your most trusted injector, who is newly adding this to their anti-aging arsenal???

I wouldn't...

I attended a seminar at their Mason Street office on November 29th, and was able to see some examples of Lisa's work with Bellafill, Botox and other injectibles with before and after slides. Lisa's team, is also expert in administering Ulthera Treatments (Ultrasound for lifting and tightening), Exilis (Radio frequency which removes fat and tightens skin non-surgically) and the very effective Sciton Laser.

It was interesting to be seated among women of all ages, copiously taking notes.  I get it. It's a lot to process. No matter what your age, whether in your late 30's and looking towards prevention or your late 60's and determined not to have a facelift, Lisa will help you navigate and create a long term plan for your best self.

Having a complimentary consultation with Lisa, is the first step towards getting educated about your face and what can and can't be achieved non-surgically.

I defy you to meet her and not instantly feel comfortable with her warm, engaging manner. Lisa will give you a direct, but kind, assessment of the current state of where your age is showing and how she can best correct it. She understands there are a lot of options to consider and encourages you to think about them before getting started on your next appointment. 

For your complimentary consultation with Lisa Topham in either location, contact her at 203-831-8029. Please tell Lisa you  were referred by DivaDebbi. I would be honored to hear back from you, as I have from people who have worked with Dr. Gordon after reading my blog @

Your face is the one thing you wear everyday...It's not the place to cut corners, like scoring a great Prada knockoff at Zara.  Any physician or dentist can now take courses for a few short hours and start injecting. Be smart.  Be safe...


Sunday, November 15, 2015

SimySkin Micro-Exfoliating Toner Give-a-way Contest


Have my lovely readers gotten jaded?!  This fabulous Glycolic (my favorite word in the English language)
toner can be yours for FREE!

This contest ends tonight at 8 pm.  All you have to do to be considered is leave me a comment why you would like to try it with your email address. Even easier, Like me on my FB in the right margin and leave a message there.

Easy Peasy. Good Stuff!



Friday, November 13, 2015



Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil
38 Shades/$20

My beauty and my blog life have always seem to run in parallel...I was down to the nub of my very nice espresso brown Palladio eye pencil just before I left for London.  Ulta, had very few in stock when I purchased it, so I wasn't about to risk hauling back, to an empty shelf for a $4.99 pencil.

I was taking the Red Eye and had immediate plans to meet friends for breakfast.  I needed a new pencil that could, literally, last through the night, but whose???

Kismet prevailed, as my inbox produced a reach out from on of the editors of , with an extremely comprehensive review of the the best waterproof eyeliners. Cutting to the chase, I went straight to the most highly rated, which turned out to be Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil.

I was heading to Sephora anyway, as I always enjoy bringing my London host a bag full of my "can't live without" faves of the moment.  I veered straight to the Urban Decay area and was blown away by the staggering array of shades offered.  (When I'm happy with a shade I'm trying to duplicate, I always bring it with me so I can stripe swatch my wrists with a close match. )   I thought "Demolition" to be an excellent dupe. When I repurchase, I will probably go for a shade lighter since it appeared a hair harsh under my eyes.

True to their rave, Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Pencil held up without a budge through my Ambien slumber, and wide eyed on my return trip.  My only grudge about the no budge, is that I would describe the application as a bit more "tug" than I would "glide".

Overall, I'm pleased and I'm happy that I went with's recommendation. To read the entire article for yourself, please click here.  Their team take their work very seriously.  It was written with as much depth as many of the medical abstracts I have read on breast cancer over the years. Either way, whether you skim or hunker down, I promise you will come away more informed then when you started.

With luck, the next time I'm running low on something, my beauty stars will align and another will again, come to the rescue.

Here's hoping...


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What I Wore Today

DivaDebbi "What I Wore Today"

I have been a Personal Shopper and Stylist for the whole of my professional career. I feel blessed that my job is my joy and that so many clients, now friends, have been so loyal to me. Though many of my purchases are from Richards of Greenwich where I have work, like most women, I fill in here and there with items from all over; Zappos, J.Crew, Zara, Club Monaco etc...

The lag time between when I designer collection is shown and when it is "reinterpreted" at every price point, has shrunk from a season to a matter of days.  "Looks for Less" are everywhere and can be easily be achieved with the help of a stylist or inspiration from well curated magazines.

If it's within budget, there is nothing more satisfying then investing in beautiful, timeless pieces that can serve as the backbone of your wardrobe for many seasons. Case in point; the mink trimmed Loro Piana vest, paired with a navy Brunello Cucinelli skirt. The "cheat" here, is the navy silk Swiss dot J. Crew blouse, that I purchased in Boca 2 years ago...still wear it. Still love it.

For fun,  I will try to post "what I wore today" as often as I can, so you can get a sense of my personal style. I try to buy only what I love and give away or consign things I no longer wear, (trust me, you won't think twice about anything you finally purge.)

I so enjoy meeting new clients. My services are completely complimentary.  I will take the time to get to know your lifestyle needs, designer, fabric and color preferences and help you build a wardrobe of flattering ensembles, that will last for many seasons.

Once you enjoy the convenience of having me edit an entire store to suit your needs, and experience the talents our seamstresses provide, (with the guidance of my trained eye) you won't want to shop any other way!

Let's tawk!  Call me at (203) 622-0551. I am your most affordable luxury…


Sunday, November 8, 2015

DivaDebbi Give-A-Way Contest; SimySkin Micro-Exfoliating Toner

SimySkin Micro-Exfoliating Toner

I am always thrilled when I am offered the opportunity to have my readers get to try a product I've been sent...particularly when I love it!

My friends at Melissa Kelz PR asked me if I would be interested and of course I said, "yes, yes, yes!"

SimySkin is a newer skin care line, with an interesting twist; the use of different advanced scientific formulations depending on age.

Think about it...does a 20 year old have the same skin care needs and concerns of a 45 year old? Not really.  As such, specific products are designed for three age categories; 18-25/25-45 and 45+. The constant among them is the use of Vitamin B 12, their signature ingredient.

I was particularly excited to receive their SimySkin's Micro-Exfoliating Toner for one good reason; it's essentially a twofer.  The one skin care step that I tend to skip is a daily toner, and not for any good reason besides a bit of laziness. Especially since I know, that despite scrupulous cleansing, I sometimes still have a trace of makeup left behind.

Day to Night

Day to Night

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Town & Country

BB. I still gasp every time!
The view from my guest room window.

I've been away Lovelies, visiting dear friends in London. My hosts planned a fantastic stay in both the city and country.  Despite all my best intentions, I was way too busy to post. Apologies!

Not to worry, I will be catching up with you this week.

I have a new eye pencil that can survive transatlantic travel intact. It was recommended by Sarah Ban of, who sent me the most comprehensive review on eyeliner's ever written. I promise to share...

I found my new Holy Grail blush from Lipstick Queen at Space NK in the UK. Stay tuned...

While there, I also couldn't resist picking up London skin Guru Sarah Chapman's Face Roller. Coincidentally, I had been researching it at home and then had hoped to have time to pop into her Chelsea skin clinic to learn more about it. Time did not allow, but Space NK had it at the ready. Of course I had to have it and I will be telling you all about it...

Night night. Missed you!



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