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We are passionate about our career-we live, breathe, and talk about the hair and beauty industry everyday. Here, we share with you our favorite beauty tips, products, trends and hair and makeup how-to’s. Everything that inspires us from fashion era’s to our favorite blow-dryer’s! 



Anti-Aging Creams, Serums, Eye Creams, Ooh My!

My favorite skin care products that are on the top shelf of my beauty counter.

April 20, 2020

As early as I can remember, I have always been in love with the beauty industry. After all these years I can still smell the frosted pale pink, Mary Kay lip gloss my mom wore. Whenever she would apply it she would always let me put some on.  Many times I would even sneak in to her makeup drawer and put her makeup on or use her facial creams on my face. I grew up making weekly visits to my Uncle’s European Beauty Salon. You could find me following my cousin Joey into the color room to watch him mix hair color, or over in the spa smelling all the skin care products. It was my birthday, and I was turning 12. My friends and I had the spa to ourselves as we celebrated my birthday by getting facials, manicures, and learning how to apply makeup appropriately for our age. It was then that I learned how to properly take care of my skin. I am so grateful my mom instilled these self care habits in me at a young age. What many people don’t know, is that I was an esthetician for years before I decided to do hair full time. Yes, our looks are due to our genetics, but how we take care of our selves and treat our skin and bodies is in our hands. 


I am very diligent with my skin care regimen. I have a few rules I follow, that I am going to share with you before I fill you in on my favorite products I CANNOT live without! 

  • I never, I repeat, NEVER fall asleep with makeup on my face, or without cleansing my skin and applying moisturizer. I don’t care how many glasses of wine I’ve had, or that it’s 3:30 am, I wash my face. Night time is the best time to treat and repair  your skin because it is at rest. Falling asleep with your make on even once a week, sets your skin back years in age just so you know. And not to mention it’s unsanitary. Who wants to sleep on a dirty pillow, with a days worth of makeup, and outside pollutants settling on your skin. Gross. 
  • Once a week, I use a deep pore cleanser and a gentle buffing mask. I use them on the same night for better results. These two products help keep my skin clear, my skin tone even,  reduce my pore size and keep my skin hydrated while helping my creams and serums be able to travel deeper into my skin. I’ve used these same two products for over 15 years. I listed them below! 
  •  I mask once a week. Not only is this so relaxing, and I have 15 minutes to just chill, but I am feeding my skin. If I have a special occasion coming up, I might do a brightening mask or skin tightening mask. If I feel dry, I’ll do one that is super hydrating. 
  • I love dewy, glowing skin. I think it makes you look refreshed, younger, and helps give you a flawless finish when applying makeup. I wear skin oils during the day, and I apply them when my skin is still wet. Not dripping wet out of the shower, but I gently blot my skin with a towel, apply moisturizer and then apply my oil on top. 
  •  Trick your skin. I have several different serums, creams, cleansers and masks for different reasons. Weather changes, hormonal changes (my least favorite) and some are for special occasions. During the day I protect my skin. I use products to protect my skin from the sun, pollutants, and to keep my makeup from settling in my skin, because again that ages your skin. At night, I use treatment products. I used to be a sun worshipper, and preventing pigmentation and wrinkles is a concern for me. I use treatment products at night to help correct any damage I’ve done to my skin over the years. 

My Favorite Skin Care Products I’m Using Now

Institute Estherderm Osmoclean 

  • Hydra Replenishing Cleansing Milk
  • Hydra Replenishing Fresh Lotion
  • Osmoclean Gentle Pore Cleanser 
  • Osmoclean Lightening Buffing Mask
Institute Esthederm Cellular Water
  • Cellular Water Hydra Booster Mist
  • Cellular Water Concentrate Serum 
  • Melting Moisturizing Cream
Institute Esthederm Intensives 
  • Hyaluronic Mask
  • Vitamin C Cream
Tata Harper 
  • Retinoique Oil​
Earthy Body
  • Miracle oil

Paris Hilton Pro D.N.A ​

  • Gold Peel Off Mask
  • Lift and Firm Eye Cream
Neutrogena

  • Hydro Boost Hydrogel Mask
Laneige

  • Lip Sleeping Mask
L’Oréal 

  • Lumi Glotion 
PCA Skin

  • C Quench Antioxident Serum
Revitalash 

  • Advanced Eyelash Conditioner 




Need a little pick me up?

Time to try some of those freebie samples you have hoarded all this time! 

April 18, 2020

I’m sure many of you are just as guilty as me when it comes to holding up the checkout line at Sephora. I waste everyone’s time, including mine, trying to deci​de what free sample of lip gloss or eye cream I want. Or if I should save my points to get that big gift of more samples I probably will never use. I try to think of what I might want to bring with me on my next long weekend trip, or what might be the easiest to fit into a small overnight bag. Come to think of it, who am I kidding, I’ve never packed a small overnight bag in my life! But I stand in line at Sephora and think to myself, “Ooh, Pomegranate Lip Scrub, Better then Sex Mascara, I’ll pick those”. Then I go home, put it in the top left drawer of my bathroom cabinet along with countless facial masks, eye creams, serums, lip balms and deep pore cleansers. Honestly the only reason I ever open that drawer is to take out my emergency pair of tweezers I keep in there. During the second week of quarantine and what has become the new norm for us, I started to feel a little blah, and opened my drawer and started trying out some of these samples. Here’s what I have tried so far and loved! 


Institute Esthederm Excellage Creme

I’ve been using the Institute Esthederm skin care line since I was 17 years old. It’s my favorite line and I typically don’t stray away from using at least 2 of their products in my everyday skin regimen. They recently replaced one of my favorite creams with Excellage Creme. I was skeptical because I usually never like any newly formulated products. But I LOVE this cream! There was enough for me to try it for a few days. My skin felt hydrated, tighter and had a natural dewy, glow.


GLOW RECIPE Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser

This cleanser smells fresh, fruity and reminds me of summertime. It’s meant to be a gentle makeup removing cleanser. I really liked using this. It removed all of my makeup, including my eye makeup. I’m not an eye makeup remover user, so I like when my face wash can remove my eye makeup easily for me. It’s a gel consistency which I love, and my skin looked refreshed and didn’t feel dehydrated or tight after using it.

 

Kiehl’s Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque

I recently found out I have rosacea, and I need to be mindful when using certain exfoliants and anti-aging products. Anything too abrasive, has active enzymes or high percentages of acids can cause a flare up for my rosacea, causing my face, neck and chest to break out in a rash. So I was hesitant to try this, but it seemed gentle enough when I read the reviews. Immediately after rinsing this off, my skin  was clear, brighter and my pores were less visible. I love that this doubles as a brightening mask, and before rinsing it completely off, you add some water to your finger tips, and gently rub the cranberry seeds to exfoliate your skin. I am definitely going to purchase this for future use! 


I hope you feel refreshed and have as much fun as I did discovering some new products! Happy sampling!

Xox,

Ritamarie



How to Air-Dry Your Hair

Tips on the best technique to 

air-dry your hair in beach waves. 

April 3, 2020

Our Master Stylist, Lorri Comfort, has been loving her hair shorter hair style! She is having fun trying new ways to style her hair. Lorri tells us, “ right now my favorite way to style my hair is by letting it air-dry and do it’s own thing. Air-drying my hair is not only quick and easy, but I love how it gives my fine, straight hair texture and added volume.” 


We asked her to share her secret for creating this look! Here is what she had to say!

  “ When I choose to let my hair air- dry, I have two products that are my go to! Redken NBD (No Blow Dry)  Airy Cream and Lanza Dry Texture Spray”, explains Comfort. NBD cream is for fine textured hair, and also is formulated to speed up the drying process. Lanza Dry Texture Spray is “ by far one of my favorite products. It gives extra body and fullness, but you can also substitute it for a dry shampoo!” She goes on to tell us that she first applies a nickel size of NBD Airy Cream to her towel dried hair. “ I have a fine, shirt bob, so a nickel size is the perfect amount. Then I take sections of my hair and twist my hair around my finger and let my hair set,” Lorri says. Scrunching your hair is ok, but she warns to be careful not to scrunch your hair too much, “because it can cause frizz.” She recommends twisting your hair around your finger because it helps set a wave pattern. 

  *Extra styling tip from Lorri, the size of your sections you take when twirling your hair, doesn’t matter. Naturally wavy hair has all different wave patterns and directions. You don’t want to make it look too perfect, so don’t think about it too much and have fun with it! 


Lorri then tells us what she does next to finish her style! Lorri explains, “once my hair is 90% dry, I break up my waves I created from twisting my hair around my fingers. I spray the Lanza Texturizing Spray. Depending on the amount of fullness I want, depends where I use it. If I want just added volume, I spray just my roots and work it in. If I want added texture and a lot of fullness, I will also spray my ends. I love the control I have with this product. It’s brushable, I can tone down my waves by gently brushing them out, and still have body and movement!” 


*Extra styling tip from Lorri... You can do Lorri’s first step the night before by applying NBD Airy Cream to towel dried hair. Then section your hair in to two or three sections and braid those sections. Sleep on your braids overnight to dry, and in the am, apply Lanza Texture Spray as your shake our your braids out with your fingers! 


And that’s it! It’s that easy to achieve touchable, soft, air-dried beach waves! 





Don’t Panic, We G​ot ​You

 March 26, 2020

Here are some quick tips and tricks to keep your hair healthy while we are closed during this pandemic!

  • Let your hair air dry as often as possible!
  • Embrace this time we have, taking a break from styling your hair everyday is good for your locks.                                                       * Time to embrace those natural curls or natural beach waves!!!
  • Try to extend the days between shampooing. This will help your color to last longer, and your natural oils from your scalp will condition your hair. 
  • Do some at home deep conditioning. Don’t have a deep conditioner? LeVe your conditioner on an extra 15-20 minutes. Have coconut oil on hand? Apply to dry hair, leave on for 45 minutes, shampoo and condition as usual. 
  • PLEASE, try to NOT use box dye. It can cause more harm to your hair that will last longer than this pandemic. 
  • If you have grey hair visible, most colors can be camouflaged by using eyeshadow. Apply to your part and hairline.                                                       . *Bonus Tip this will even make your hair appear thicker! 
  • Hair needs a toner? Contact your stylist or PM us to suggest a toning shampoo for you.
  • Wear a cute hat!
  • Be patient. PLEASE WAIT FOR YOUR STYLIST. 

Beauty within. 


How making changes, little by little to our diet, can help improve not just our health, but can aid in the wellness of our hair and leave us with glowing skin! 

March 30, 2020

Hi everyone! My name is Ritamarie Battisti, and I’m the proud owner of Bellezza Salon and Spa​I’m now 35 years old, and over 13 years ago, I decided at the age of 22, I would take a leap of faith and open my own salon. I have been very fortunate that myself and my team have had great success thus far! It has been quite the learning journey for me. It still is actually, I find myself learning new things everyday not just professionally, but personally as well. When I opened the salon, I immediately dove in to working extremely long hours, and became obsessed with it. With my obsessive work ethic, came bad health habits that at the time, I didn’t see in myself, until it all caught up with me. Around 7 years ago, I was eating a plant based diet, which included eating a lot of soy. Protein shakes and protein bars containing soy, tofu, edamame, soy milk in my smoothies. You get it, I was consuming a lot of soy based foods daily. I was having less oils, and healthy fats. My hair became dry and brittle, resulting in having hair only an inch long in some areas ( thank god for hair extensions!), my skin was so dry, and I started to breakout terribly. Even the tone of my skin was very sallow. This also resulted in a lot of stress, which only made things worse. I went to my Gynecologist, long story short, the diet I was following, had caused a hormone imbalance. Her suggestion was to completely stop having all soy. After that, I began doing my research on how what we put in our bodies can actually effect our hair and skin, good or bad. Of course I know that our skin and hair conditions, whether good or bad, can be genetic. I also truly believe that proper nutrition can help aid in the wellness of it. And in some cases can reverse the problem. Skin care creams and serums, hair shampoos, conditioners and serums are only half the solution to shiny hair, clear and youthful skin. I have seen it completely change my skin and hair, as well as many of my clients through the years. I’m here to share with you some helpful information on eating for your beauty within. 


Who doesn’t love food, let’s be serious! When it comes to our skin, our hair and our bodies, there are a lot of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, dry itchy skin, lack of skin tone, wrinkles, and even eczema that come about solely from what we are putting in our bodies. Same with our hair. Hair loss, thinning, limp or dry hair, lack of hair growth. EVERYTHING we ingest WILL show through our skin and hair! That means medications, drugs, alcohol, lack of water consumption, poor diet, lack of nutrition, and even stress can take a serious toll on our hair and skin.  


Keratin is the main protein component that makes up our hair, skin and nails. Many factors in our everyday life, can breakdown the Keratin in our hair, skin and nails. Pollution, hair styling tools, smoking, tanning, coloring our hair, drugs, medications, lack of nutrition, even shampooing your hair everyday 😉.  I can’t stress this enough, our bodies NEED protein to make protein! Protein keeps our hair and skin strong. Consistent rejuvenation of red blood cells is what keeps our scalp healthy, and our skin glowing. There are foods we should have in a balanced diet, that WILL bring oxygen, vitamins and minerals to nourish our hair follicles and our skin. 

I personally am not a huge fan of vitamins. I only choose to take vitamin D. Vitamin D is great for our immune system, our heart, bones and muscles. When we take the vitamin D supplement, it helps our bodies to better absorb the nutrients we get from our food. I am not a Dr. by any means, or a nutritionist, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t take other vitamins and supplements if you do. I am just saying from my own experience I have found that my body absorbs vitamins and minerals better through the foods I eat, then from the vitamins I have taken before. I take prebiotics and probiotics everyday, my vitamin D everyday, and then everything else I need a get through my food. 


Beauty is an inside jobs ladies! I seriously feel like every time I take a bite of a tomato, I am taking years off my skin. I’m serious, I have even said that out loud to my co-workers on many occasions! Tomatoes are loaded with Vitamin C, and several antioxidants. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which is another major component of our skin, hair and nails, that keeps our skin glowing, keeps our skin elastic, and hydrates our hair! 


I eat avocado EVERY day. How much, depends on the size of the avocado. Because moderation is also key. Not only do they burn fat, which is a bonus, but you name it, an avocado has it. Loaded with magnesium, several vitamins and minerals including B,C,E,D, and K. Omega 3 fatty acids and many antioxidants, and folate ( which is what folic acid derives from and I will write  later about that). Eating avocado will leave your skin hydrated, plumps your skin, leaves a smoother texture, and keeps your skin looking young. Your hair will be stronger, softer and very hydrated. 


Sweet potatoes are also very high in Vitamin C, which again, produces collagen and helps not only keep our skin younger, but keeps our hair strong! And Vitamin C also helps our bodies absorb iron. Broccoli, citrus fruits and berries contain high amounts of vitamin C. 


Blueberries are LOADED with antioxidants that help fight inflammation. When I’m feeling really bloated, I eat blueberries.  


I tell my clients to add nuts to their diet. Especially almonds, pistachios, cashews, Brazilian nuts, and walnuts. These are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and PACKED with protein. They also contain magnesium. 


Magnesium is an all natural anti- stress mineral. Stress can play a major role in hair loss, hair shedding, lack of oil production, acne, dull looking and aging skin. When stress levels are high, our immune system goes into regression. Which stops cell growth, slows down oxygen and blood flow to our scalp and skin. Consuming magnesium can help reduce stress, reduce hair loss, reduce loss of elasticity to our skin, and lock in moisture. 


Other foods high in magnesium are asparagus, beans, and leafy greens. Especially spinach. Spinach is my favorite. I add it to my smoothies, soups, salads, or sometimes I just sautée it with garlic. It’s loaded with vitamin A to keep our hair follicle healthy and hydrated by regulating our oil production. Which aids in hair growth.  It’s great for our skin because it keeps us hydrated and gives us a natural glow. There is a large amount of folic acid in spinach. Folic acid is a form of vitamin B. This gives our bodies energy. We use some of that energy to circulate our red blood cells, bringing oxygen and vitamins to nourish our hair follicles. Healthy hair follicle, means healthy hair growth, less thinning, less shedding, and healthy hair! 


Eggs contain vitamin D and Biotin, and give you lots of protein that strengthens your hair and adds shine. 


Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help moisturize your skin, and hair. And as a bonus, helps with inflammation. 


Oatmeal is another one of my favorite foods. It’s loaded with iron, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids. It’s not only anti-inflammatory, but it helps with skin rejuvenation to continue to exfoliate itself leaving you with glowing skin. I read years and years ago, that Jennifer Lopez, eats oatmeal everyday for her skin. So naturally I had to research the benefits of oatmeal, and thus added it to my diet. 


And I saved the best for last, my saving grace, water! It’s my go to. Have a headache? I drink water. My lips are chapped? I drink more water. My stomach hurts, I drink some hot water. See where I’m going with this? Water helps with our digestive track too. Not to be personal, but have you ever not gone to the bathroom for days, and your skin starts breaking out, looks dry? It’s because your body is holding onto unwanted toxins, and that comes out of our skin as pimples or irritated, dry skin.  Water will help improve your complexion, give you glowing skin, and flushes out all unwanted toxins from our bodies! I learned years ago at a skin care class I took, that water hydrates our cells and brings more blood flow to our skin, which brightens our complexion. Whenever I’m feeling blah, I swear drinking extra water, makes my skin glow! 


I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing and sharing it with you. 

There is more to come! 

Until next time,

Ritamarie xo