December 2012


Visual proof that beauty professionals are experts at elevating your look…

The scary lady without makeup on in this photo is me before I got into the hands of an amazing beauty professional, Jenny Simon. 

And while printing a picture of my naked face feels like a bold move on my part, especially since I never leave the house without makeup on (seriously), I thought I needed to show you the difference that personalized beauty procedures can make to your look. 

A beauty professional has the skill set and training to customize your appearance needs from determining the optimal shape for your eyebrows to administering the correct facial for your skin type to applying makeup that works with your coloring. Let me take you through everything Simon did to me. 

Brow And Lash Tint 

For those of you who don’t know Simon, she is the proprietress of Jenny Simon FACE in Hyde Park. For those of us who do know her, we refer to her as the “Eyebrow Expert.”

Simon has a gift for waxing your brows into the shape that best complements your eyes and face. Everyone is different, so she doesn’t necessarily subscribe to trendy shapes such as thick or thin; she does what looks right for you. This is important because I’ve had my brows waxed according to what’s in style before instead of what looks best on my face and, unfortunately, I’ve learned from experience that black, pencil-thin brows are not a good look for me.

Simon arched my brows and left them thicker in some places. She also suggested I tint them because I have really light brows, and then created a custom dye based on my complexion and hair color. The tinting makes a big difference in how my visage comes across.

I also have pale eyelashes. If I don’t wear mascara, my eyes recede. Simon recommended that I tint my lashes with vegetable dye so I don’t have to wear mascara all the time.

Look at the difference the brow work and lash tinting make to my face between my before and after shot. Still no makeup. That’s a pretty visible impact, right?

Custom Facial

I have to admit that I have recommended different spas for facials in the past — no one loves a spa day more than I do. And ordering a facial off a spa menu is fine if you don’t have specific skin concerns to address, or you just want a general, pretty glow from the cleansing and moisturizing. But if you have ongoing concerns such as anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, acne, etc., you are probably better served by getting a custom facial.

Simon offers personalized service and will discuss your skin concerns with you when you come in. She observed that my skin was sensitive, reactive and dry. She also noticed some clogged pores and fine lines, which suggested that I was dehydrated. Who knew you could tell that by looking at my face? Simon applied a chamomile cleanser and gentle, exfoliating beads with a rotary brush, then a 30-percent lactic peel — it’s safe and non-burning (although it did tingle). She explained that the acid helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, flaky patches, sun damage, uneven skin texture and other signs of aging. Simon then massaged my face to improve circulation, release muscle tension and further remove dead skin cells.

After the peel had worked its magic, Simon applied a mega-rich, intensive, anti-aging cellular moisture mask. It felt cool and wonderfully rich.

She finished my facial with a hydrating serum, anti-redness serum, vitamin C (which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits), SPF 30 and triple action Eye Excellence for dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. She also applied a peptide lip therapy, which rebuilds collagen and maximizes hydration and protection. That was a first for me.

Personalized Makeup

So now I had a glowing complexion — a new canvas to work with. I wanted a professional makeup look, but I also wanted to experiment with colors outside my normal comfort zone. I trend toward plum palettes because they make my eyes look greener.

Simon introduced me to browns and greens. She applied a peachy brown to my eyelids and an emerald green to my brow bones — I had always steered clear of green because I was told it would make my own green eyes less impactful. Wow, was I wrong. She also used a lovely peachy blush (my normal choice would have been a rose) and finished off with half-red lips and bronze gloss.

She talked me through the process, told me what brands she was using and showed me how to apply it myself. I’ve been sporting my new look all over town.

The Finished Product

As you can tell, there’s a huge difference between my first photo and my last one. I can honestly say that since I got my facial, brow tint and lash tint, I feel more comfortable wearing less makeup. I don’t need to hide behind it because my skin is at its best and my tinted lashes, along with my shaped and tinted brows, make a big impact on how I look without being fully made-up. I’m comfortable throwing on some lipgloss and heading out the door to run errands on a Saturday.

Simon really brought out the best in my skin and helped make my eyes pop without makeup. She also showed me a new way to approach my look when I wear makeup — all in a customized consultation. Treat yourself to one. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. Book an appointment at jennysimonface.com in time for the holidays. Show up at your next holiday party with your new look or, better yet, take some time for yourself after the holidays and rejuvenate your skin to start the new year off fresh

Photos by Al Bell

Cincinnati area yoga and movement teachers join the global trend of leading mind, body and spirit retreats in exotic locales.

With limited leisure time and money, more people are rejecting the old-school vacation model of “checking out” on a beach with a paperback novel and a flotilla of margaritas. The new model is far more tuned in and likely to include yoga, massage and/or healing, healthy fare and cultural rituals in exotic locales — give or take a margarita or two.

Wellness retreats have become one of the biggest trends in travel, and three Cincinnati area yoga and movement teachers (myself included) are leading healthful getaways as close as Kentucky and as far away as Bali. Each wellness retreat focuses on multi-sensory ways to nourish and rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit — all while enjoying beautiful, natural surroundings. Most of the retreat prices include accommodations, meals, activities and local airport transfers, but not airfare.

Envision + Embody + Enlighten 

Quintana Roo, Mexico • Jan. 4 – 10, 2013 

Teachers: Meredith Hogan, Katie Silcox 

$1,498 per person 

Yogi Meredith Hogan is partnering with one of Cincinnati’s favorite visiting teachers, ayurvedic firebrand Katie Silcox, on a New Year’s nourishing retreat in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Their Envision + Embody + Enlighten retreat will include daily restorative yoga, gourmet meals, a purification ritual, a healing day of silence, dancing and free time, all at a luxury eco-resort center on Bacalar Lagoon. 

“The element of movement as a practice of freeing ourselves from the past will be very much a part of our Mexico retreat as it is the new year,” explains Hogan. “We will be tribal dancing every day.” Get details at parayogini.com

Flowing Through Grace Nyepi Yoga Retreat 

Bali, Indonesia • March 10 – 16, 2013 

Teachers: Meredith Hogan, Rachel Roberts 

$1,950 per person based on double occupancy 

Rachel Roberts, owner of the Yoga Bar in Over-the-Rhine, left her home in 2008 to travel the world through yoga. She did part of her teacher training in Bali and now leads retreats there with Meredith Hogan.  

“Bali is considered by many to be the heart chakra of the Earth,” says Roberts. “So when I am there I lead retreats on compassion, kindness and self-love.”  

This retreat celebrates the Balinese New Year and will feature daily yoga, meditation, spa treatments, purification rituals and a day of silence, known as Nyepi, observed by the entire island. There will also be plenty of additional time to explore the natural wonders of Bali. Get details at theyogabar.net

Spring Cleansing Retreat 

Natural Bridge State Park, KY • April 19 – 21, 2013 

Teacher: Rachel Roberts 

$425 per person 

For those of you who don’t have the time (or money) to jet set, you can still gain the benefits of a wellness retreat closer to home. Rachel Roberts offers cleansing retreats at Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky several times a year. The retreats, which focus on rejuvenation and renewal, feature a juice cleanse with Hunter Green Grass juices, daily asana, yoga, hiking, detoxifying sauna sessions and relaxation. Get details at theyogabar.net

Come To Your Senses 

Bali, Indonesia • June 23 – 29, 2013 

Teacher: Stacy Sims 

$1,395 per person I’ve spent the last two years traveling to Asia to work with survivors of sex trafficking as part of my True Body Project female empowerment and wellness work. This past year, I added Bali to my itinerary and taught a workshop at a Bali yoga studio about how stress and trauma habituate in the body and did private sessions in True Movement, a proprietary movement system inspired by Pilates, yoga and neuromuscular repatterning.   

I had first visited Bali in 2002 and fell in love with far more than just the surfer I met there. A conversation with a Bali retreat organizer led me to create the first of my Come to Your Senses retreats for June in Ubud, the arts and cultural epicenter of Bali. The retreat will feature True Movement practice, herb walks, massage, a Balinese feast and a service component — working on a small project with Balinese orphans — in order to journey toward reawakening your best self. There’s also an optional excursion to meet  Ketut and Wayan from Eat, Pray, Love. Get details at cometoyoursenseswithme.blogspot.com

Can’t travel out of town?

Check out Roberts’ and Hogan’s classes at theyogabar.net, and Sims’ classes and workshops around town at stacysims.net