Tag Archives: anti-aging

GM Collin Lip Plumping Complex

29 May



GM Collin Lip Plumping Complex


Sometimes you fall in love with a beauty product and don’t want to live without it. Lip products that feel great on, smell nice, and don’t taste weird often fall into the category of products people love using daily. If you have ventured into the realm of top quality lip and beauty products, you have most likely become a product snob! This isn’t a bad thing, though. It’s sort of like being accustomed to farm fresh butter, you can’t go back to margarine. When you have used the best, sub par products simply will not do.

GM Collin Lip Plumping Complex might be one of those products that you cannot do without, so purchase at your own risk.

This product contains a proprietary blend of hyaluronic acid (moisture-binding), micro-collagen (moisture-binding), and copper peptide (firming), and is meant to hydrate and plump the lips. However, it is a gentle plumping, not an “oh my gosh, my lips are on fire” kind of a plumping.

GM Collin states that using this product three times a day for 29 days showed up to 60% increase in hydration, up to 41% increase in lip volume, and a notable decrease in superficial lip lines in their clinical trial subjects.

This lip plumping product is easy to use. It comes in a tube and is applied like a lip gloss. Choose between clear and rose tint, both impart a subtle shimmer to the lips. 

Retail price is $33.00.

SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum – the beauty BOMB!

7 Aug

Alrighty, so I’ve been avoiding purchasing SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum for a long time now because, well, it’s expensive! But after traveling recently from Kennewick to Tacoma to visit my workplace, Laser Hair and Skin Center of Tacoma, I was pushed over the beauty budget line due to the fact that all my co-workers were looking so fresh and prittay after using this product.

TNS Essential Serum by SkinMedica is a powerfully rejuvenating pharmaceutical-grade skincare product that works for all skin types.  That in itself is a pretty great thing, don’t you think? This product incorporates a combination of anti-oxidants, growth factors, cytokines, matrix proteins and peptides, which, when whipped up together in this magical formulation, will make your skin look amazing right away.  The longer you use it, wow, it’s like a beauty bomb went off and wreaked havoc on all your skincare woes! It improves fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone and texture. Mmmm, yes!!!  You will notice brightening, tightening, and even a reduction in hyper-pigmentation, or age spots.  How does it do that?!!

You probably have heard of anti-oxidants in skincare, which speed up and increase the skin’s natural process of repairing itself, and help keep further damage from occurring. But what about growth factors, cytokines, and matrix proteins?

According to SkinMedica, “Growth factors are messenger proteins that are inherent in our bodies and play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin.”

Paula’s Choice notes that cytokines “encourage cell growth, promote cell activation.”

In Shape Your Face’s glossary of skincare terms, they describe matrix proteins as “responsible for the skin’s strength, firmness, and elasticity.”

Peptides inform your skin cells of damage and signal them to produce new collagen. How cool!

Pharmaceutical-grade products do make a difference. The purest form of the ingredients are used in the formulation of physician-strength products, and in the highest potency allowed without a prescription.  Pure, powerful, high caliber ingredients are expensive, so be prepared.  However, your pharmaceutical skincare products may not be any more expensive than department store products.  While some department store products may be wonderful, keep in mind that they are not in the same category as pharmaceutical skincare products. You will absolutely get the most impact and the highest efficacy from products, such as SkinMedica, which are purchased from a medical spa.

The Essential Serum is to be applied to the face, neck, and chest, after cleansing and toning, and before any other products, such as SPF or makeup.  SkinMedica’s website states “Clinical studies show that initial results occur in 30 days with best results occurring in 90 days.” Use twice daily for best results, but even if you only use it at night, it will generate a positive difference in your skin. It’s sort of like waking up each day and having your skin look like you just had a facial. Gotta love that!

Oftentimes we peoples with oilier or problematic skin shy away from rejuvenating products.  I’ve gotta say that I’ve been using this product for over a week now, and, if anything, oil production and breakout appear to be minimized. Mmmmhmmm!  I even felt comfortable going into town without makeup today, which doesn’t often happy when you’re, sigh, over 40!  Yes, we are still camping, but still!  That’s never stopped me from wearing makeup before!  ;)

Glamour for Glampers and Other Girls on the Go

2 Aug

We are camping again!  I brought my makeup and my husband brought four pairs of shoes, so maybe we actually are glamping!  This time we are at Wallowa Lake in Joseph, Oregon.  So pretty!  Mountains, lake, river, activities, and I practically got to pet a deer!

Two days ago my coworker, Angela Janssen, gave me a dermaplaning treatment. I think she removed about a year’s worth of dead skin that I’ve accumulated living in the desert!  Plus the dermaplaning shaves off the velus hairs, leaving the skin so smooth and nice.  I also had a little Dysport put in my forehead to smooth out wrinkles, and a touch of Restylane in my lower lip to even out asymmetry. Thank you, Dr. Robert Niedbalski, my wonderful boss, for letting me have a little day of beauty!  Dysport is similar to Botox, and Restylane is a hyaluronic acid gel that has been FDA approved to be used for lip injections.


My lower lip is a bit uneven, which is NOT a huge deal, but I wanted to see what it would be like to have it plumped on the one side.  Plus, as I “mature” and begin to lose volume, I am sure I will venture into a full lip refill one day.  ;)  Also, I tell my clients and friends about dermal filler for the lips, so it’s good to be able to really share in what the experience is like.  Some of the fillers have a built in numbing agent these days, including the Restylane we used, so even though I felt a sharp poke initially, I didn’t jump out of the chair as I had feared!  Well, I didn’t jump ALL the way out.  The lip area swells quickly, so after that goes down, we can determine whether to use a little more filler in the area or not.


Being that my lip is still a little bruised and swollen, I decided to try some Jane Iredale Lip Fixation to help camouflage the discoloration.  It works!  You can see in the photo above, the bottom photo in the before and after is from today.  I only applied one layer of the stain portion of the Lip Fixation in Craving, and then put a layer of Lip Drink (lip balm/spf over it).  Later I tried adding a second coat of the lip stain just over the discolored area, and I think it did pretty well. Although I think it would look a bit better if I’d have touched up my foundation right underneath my lip.  Oh well, I am camping after all.  ;)



Another thing I am trying out is my new Jane Iredale primer and bb cream!  So nice.  Smooth Affair Primer has botanicals for hydrating, smoothing, and controlling oil, but even those with maturing skin are finding they can use it during the day over their serums instead of a moisturizer.  The new primer can be used under any of the Jane Iredale foundation formulations, or even on its own. It makes the skin look pretty and fresh.  The bb cream, Glow Time, makes the skin look like velvet.  Glow Time is full coverage and a little goes a LONG way. If you try using it like traditional makeup, you will have used way too much product and will think you don’t like it.  I was able to use a small pea size for my entire face and neck, smoothing it in with my fingertips.  Then I just took a little extra product to tap into the under eye area and did not need an additional concealer.


I’ve been on the road all day, and except for where I’ve wiped my mouth after eating, my makeup does not need to be retouched!

As far as camping goes, the Smooth Affair saves space since it can double as a moisturizer.  Glow Time is also a broad spectrum SPF 25, and since you can apply it with your fingertips, there is no need to bring a brush.  Another bonus is that there is no need for an additional concealer for the under eye area.  For you Jane Iredale fans, you will not need to use your hydration spritz over the bb cream. Saving space here, people!

Oh, and between using the Smooth Affair and the Glow Time, my pores look less visible!  Bonussss!!!

More Youthful Eyes

16 Jun

Either from hereditary factors or from being such a crybaby, in my thirties I started noticing that my eyes were getting little bags underneath, plus that hollowed-out look in the “tear trough” area.  That’s the kind of stuff that does not make an aging (but still young!) gal feel cute.  I thought I was going to need blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), but I really didn’t want that.  I had seen some good results and some really bad ones.

Before Tear Trough Correction

How about let’s send those bags packing!

When I first heard of a technique utilizing dermal fillers to improve the look of the under eye region, I was all about it.  Sadly, the plastic surgeons I worked for at the time were leery and did not yet offer the technique.  Years later I began hearing rave reviews about a nurse injector specialist in Western Washington who was offering the “tear trough correction”.  Lisa Davenport had come highly recommended by numerous people I knew in the beauty and medical industries, so in 2009, I decided to pack my bags away!

Big improvement!

Lisa is a fun, pretty, sweet, and talented lady who fixed me right up.  I’ll be honest, it’s a bit creepy getting dermal filler injected into the under eyes, but it was quick and relatively painless.  There was a little swelling for a few days, though most people would never notice.  The results were evident right away.  Instant payoff!

Tear trough correction doesn’t have to be done all that often, thank goodness!  After your initial injection appointment, you will likely go back to the office in a couple weeks to see if any touchup is needed, and then once a year might be all you need after that.  I’ve had multiple under-eye treatments with Lisa since 2009.

A little over four years ago, I moved across Washington State, from Puyallup to Kennewick, so my visits with Lisa have been few and far between lately. But when you have a favorite, what can you do?!! I will either need to travel over the pass more often or move back to Puyallup. Either way, I am in need of a re-fill!!!

Lisa Davenport offers injectable and laser services at Laser Artistry & Medi-Spa by FASA, in Tumwater/Olympia, WA. Be sure and tell her that Jerri Lien sent you!

*** Update 11/13/15

iS Clinical Youth Complex

10 Jun

Youth Complex

Have you ever been really annoyed to see that your skin is starting to acquire a certain crepiness to it?  Autocorrect just tried to change crepiness to creepiness, and I can hardly blame it!  If only real life skin corrections were as instant as autocorrect!  Or are they?

One product I’ve really seen make an instant and visible reduction in crepey skin is Youth Complex by iS Clinical Skincare.  The benefits of this product are tri-fold; instant, intermediate and long term.

I have enjoyed seeing improvement on my neck area, as well as on my elbow region, where I will smooth some Youth Complex on if I am going out or something.  The skin just perks right up, and boy do I wish I could afford to slather it on from head to toe!  iS Clinical does make a very nice Body Complex, but I am still wishing for a Youth Body Complex!

A little of this product goes a long way, and its benefits can be enhanced and tailored to your needs by using an iS Clinical treatment serum underneath.  I’m still acne prone, sighhhhhh, so I really enjoy alternating my Youth Complex with Active Serum, which helps with both aging and acne issues.


iS Clinical Active Serum: A Skin’s Best Friend

4 Jun


When the iS Clinical Skincare line came onto the med spa scene several years back, it really rocked the worlds of a few Tacoma estheticians, myself included.  iS Clinical is a plant-based pharmaceutical skincare line, which is a cool combination.  They have formulated several fantastic “treatment” serums, as well as having a full skincare line.

Medical estheticians already use high-octane products on their skin and regularly receive skincare treatments, so it isn’t that easy to impress us.  And if you manage to impress more than one of us within a single med spa setting, that is really saying something!  iS Clinical’s Active Serum is one such product.

Active Serum is anti-aging, anti-acneic, and brightening, and works like a dream on a variety of skin types, including mature, acneic, and hyper pigmented.  This serum contains a special botanical blend of “active” ingredients for exfoliating, brightening, toning, and clearing.  Active Serum also contains a touch of menthol to help with ingredient penetration, which also gives the skin a fresh, tingly sensation.


The estheticians and their co-workers that tested Active Serum way back when ranged in age from early 20s to late 50s.  Instead of using the product for two weeks and waiting to see a difference in the skin, everyone’s skin looked and felt better right away.  We all noticed smoother, clearer, brighter, more toned skin.

Good news for pregnant or nursing women, Active Serum is safe for you to use! During a precious time when you may have to give up certain of your favorite things in order to keep baby safe, this is one hard-working product you won’t have to give up.

Except those with particularly sensitive or rosacea skin types, Active Serum fits well into most skincare regimens.  Also, iS Clinical notes that Active Serum should be used at night.  A cool fact is that our skin exfoliates itself up to 8 times more during the night while we are sleeping, and Active Serum enhances that process.

Whaddya Know About Getting Great Skin?

1 Jun benefits-of-is-clinical-skin-care-21550659

Want the real skinny on skin care?  Better, healthier, more beautiful skin is achievable.  So how do you go about acquiring a healthy, glowing complexion?

As an esthetician, I’ve noticed a few things over the years.  How you take care of your skin and what you use to take care of your skin with matters.  Getting professional skincare treatments makes a big difference in the health and appearance of your skin.  Getting your skin scans and skin cancer checks is important.  You need to get familiar with your esthetician.  She, or he, can help you achieve skincare miracles, but your esthetician does not replace your dermatologist.  You need both.

Standing in the skincare aisle at the drug store, or at the department store, for that matter, trying to figure out a plan of action for yourself is the equivalent of self-medicating.  First of all, while the products in and of themselves may not be bad, even the most expensive department store products are not in the same category as a professional spa line, and will be well inferior to a pharmaceutical skincare line.  You will waste time and money, rarely will you get the desired effect, and you may even cause yourself damage if you start trying to treat skincare problems yourself.  So where do you go, and how do you get started? That depends on your concerns and how quickly you want to see results.

Do you have naturally beautiful skin that doesn’t require much attention?  It’s okay to admit, we less fortunate folk will try not to dislike you too much.  ;)  In the case of youthful, normal, healthy skin that mostly looks good no matter what, you can get away with having facials every 6-8 weeks, or more often if you like. You will want to use esthetician-recommended, professional skincare products at home.  Your routine can be as simple or elaborate as you wish, but the minimum will be a cleanser and a moisturizing SPF in the daytime, and cleanser and moisturizer at nighttime.  The ultrasonic facial would be a nice one for you.  The goal here is to maintain what nature blessed you with.  If your skin is starting to show a little wear and tear, or you’re having some breakout, go for a more active type of treatment, such as a chemical peel or microdermabrasion.

You have skin issues?  Mild to moderate acne, sun damage, wrinkling?  You want results quickly?  Get thee to a med spa for sure, darling!  You probably already know my favorite place is Laser Hair and Skin Center of Tacoma, but anyway, a med spa will be a more clinical setting, and a place where people are serious about results.  While a medical esthetician will typically provide your treatments and recommend your products, there will be a medical director (doctor) on board to oversee and sign off on your care.  The plan of action might include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and/or laser treatments, and your products will be pharmaceutical-quality.  That means you’re gettin’ the goods, friends, like doing boot camp plus eating a perfect diet (if only I was as serious about that as I am my skincare)!  Med spa products and treatments are meant to get great results quickly.  Again, your skincare routine can be fairly simple or more elaborate, but you will always at least cleanse, treat, and protect in the morning, and cleanse and treat/moisturize at night.  At a med spa, you will also have access to prescription skin care products, if they are needed, like Retin-A and Hydroquinone.

Twins, one smoked and sunned, the other didn’t.
CREDIT: Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center

If major skincare concerns are plaguing you, it’s important to see a dermatologist to get things under control.  Urgent matters such as infections, severe acne, rashes, etc., need to be diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist.  While your esthetician can discuss with and help you with concerns such as mild to moderate acne, sun spots, wrinkles, and flushing, he or she cannot make a medical diagnosis or replace medical attention.  After your dermatologist has everything under control, then you can work with a medical esthetician to keep things moving along smoothly.

Regardless of which route you go with your skincare, remember to check in with your dermatologist once a year, even if you aren’t noticing any particular problems with your skin.  Hopefully you will never get skin cancer, but SkinCancer.org reports that “One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.”  As you know, early detection of any kind of cancer is extremely important, and most skin cancer is curable if detected early.  So you see, it’s good to get these things checked out.

Are you wondering if you really need professional skincare?  Can’t you just put some egg whites or honey on your face and read a book for 15 minutes?  Sure, if you are 17 with perfect skin, you can do that and still have perfect skin.  I can understand being cautious with your time and money, but if you’re serious about caring for your skin, you need professional assistance.

I was in my late 20s when I started skincare school, I knew I was interested in the industry but was not yet aware of the benefits of skincare.  I was always mildly acne-prone and flushed easily, but I was not yet experiencing many signs of aging. At school, we practiced facials on each other, so I was receiving spa facials approximately once a week, and I was using spa-level products for the first time. When I began getting compliments on my skin for the first time ever, and as I saw my classmates’ skin improving, I knew I was on to something with this whole skincare biz.  ;O

Once I entered the med spa realm, there was no turning back, baby!  Getting regular med spa treatments and using pharmaceutical-grade products, such as iS Clinical (my personal favorite), is about as close to the fountain of youth as you’re likely to get.  Oh, plus, at a med spa you can get a lil Botox and a lil filler, and, yeah, Holdin’ Back the Years by Simply Red just popped into my head.

Have you ever met two sisters and asked who was older, only to find that one you thought was older is actually 8-15 years younger?  You may have just met yourself an esthetician whose younger sibling does not listen to skincare reason.  Ha! Note to self, never directly ask two siblings who is older, instead ask what the age difference is between them, you’re less likely to get injured that way.  Skincare matters, friends, it really does!


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