Dr. Polla (aka Dad’s) top skin care tips

Earlier this Summer, I had the chance to share my Dad’s (aka Dr. Luigi L. Polla, Switzerland’s leading dermatologist) favorite tips about how to age gracefully with consumers and influencers across the country. For those of you whom I did not have the chance to preach in person, I would like to preach in writing… thank you for humoring me.

Here are my Dad’s top dos and don’ts to age more gracefully:

  1. No smoking. Ever. It increases the presence of free radicals in your skin, accelerates aging, gives your skin a leather look, and creates terrible upper lip wrinkles.
  2. No straws. Just don’t do it. These are bad for the environment and bad for your upper lip wrinkles.
  3. Sleep on your back. And yes, you can teach yourself to do it. Even if you sleep half the night on your back, your face and décolleté wrinkles will thank you. (My Dad can always tell how a woman sleeps by looking at her facial wrinkles… deeper on the side you sleep on).
  4. SPF daily. From January 1st to December 31st. When it rains, When it snows. Every. Single. Day. No excuses, no exceptions.
  5. Don’t go to a tanning salon. Ever.
  6. If you’re old enough to drink, you’re old enough for a good anti-aging eye cream. Prevention is key, and the skin around the eyes is so thin it needs more help and earlier help than the rest of our face.
  7. Your face ends on your décolleté. Treat your neck and bust as you do your face, with effective anti-aging products and SPF every day. Nothing is worse than your face saying “I am 37” and your décolleté saying “I am 44.”
  8. Wear less “skin” makeup (ie foundation, powder, concealer, etc.). Take care of your skin and let your natural beauty show through.
  9. Leave your pimples alone. Don’t ever pick at them, don’t do your own extractions. All that will accomplish is scarring.
  10. Drink water. Your skin is as much a reflection of what you put on it as what you put in your body.
  11. Exercise. It’s great for your body, but also great for your skin.
  12. Choose to be happy. It shows on your skin.

Thanks Dad for everything you have taught me. About life, about love, and about skin. What tips would you add to these? I can’t wait to hear!

Powerful Lessons from Robin Sharma

I work on my self-care in a variety of ways, ranging from SoulCycle to Botox (you can read more about this here), from quiet time outdoors to reading. This past weekend was filled with the latter: my husband and I spent it at a camp on the North Pass in Louisiana (a beautiful river house accessible only by boat, with limited cell service, and absolutely no Wi-Fi). The beauty of the place is the scenery, of course, but the magic also comes from the lack of people, and the lack of noise other than birds, the river, thunder and rainstorm sometimes, and once in a while a boat passing by. It does wonders for my head-space; it is a place where I resource myself.

I spent part of the weekend finishing a book I started about 9 months ago – The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma. If you know me, you know that it never takes me 9 months to read a book; yet this one was so filled with concepts, advice, information, that it took me that long to fully process it.

Here are some of the concepts and quotes that most resonated with me.

On progress:

“Small steps over time generate big results.” What can I do today to make today better than yesterday? What can I improve today?

“The Daily 5: imagine doing 5 little yet important focused acts every day to get you closer to your most important goals.”

“Change is always hardest at the beginning.”

“Whether you think something is possible or impossible, you’ll most certainly be right. Because your belief determines your behavior.”

On the power of words:

“The words that come out of your mouth determine how you feel.” (not just how others feel.)

“Leaders Without a Title are truly impeccable with the words they use. They don’t gossip. They don’t complain. They don’t condemn. And they never swear. The only words they try their best to use each day are those that inspire, engage, and elevate.”

We all need to develop a “leadership vocabulary.”

On focus:

“Focus. To the point of obsession.”

“Shift from chaotic complexity to elegant simplicity.”

“Cut out all the low-impact activities from your workday to make room for an obsessive focus around your high-impact ones.”

“Use every minute of your time doing only those things that will get you nearer to where you want to go. Do fewer but better things.”

On kindness:

“Be awesomely nice. Please don’t confuse kindness with weakness.”

“Be tender and tough.”

“Leave every single person who intersects your path better, happier and more engaged than you found them.”

“Only hurt people hurt people.”

On thinking:

“Your thinking creates your reality.”

“Even one bad thought is like a germ in your mind that attracts more germs to it.”

“Any time your mind shifts into negative thinking, gently guide it back to thoughts that will support your commitment to show leadership and pure excellence.”

“Every thought you think generates a consequence.”

“One thing that makes us fully human is our ability to think about our thinking.”

BeautyView: Kara Manos, Beauty Blogger

Beauty bloggers based in DC are about as common as skin care companies based in DC. That may be why I always gravitated towards Kara, feeling like we are part of a special club (even if we are the only two members in our club). She has impressive press credentials, is beautiful on the inside and out, and is the brain behind Politics of Pretty. And she has some Greek in her… I am obsessed!

AP: What city were you born in? KM: Rockville, MD.

AP: What city to do you live in? KM: Chevy Chase, MD.

AP: What is your middle name? KM: Vasiliki (it’s Greek for Victoria).

AP: What is your astrological sign? KM: Cancer.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? KM: There is a full-size cardboard cutout of me at my alma mater’s campus library. I was chosen for a campaign and they put my face on water bottles, brochures and a cardboard cutout.

AP: What is your most prized possession? KM: My beauty products, of course.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? KM: Lauren Conrad… so I could pick her brain about her favorite beauty products and have her teach me how to do a cat eye.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. KM: Bohemian chic.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? KM: Yes! I can’t live without my gold Fossil watch.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? KM: Diamonds!

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? KM: Buy your favorite products in bulk. That way you won’t have to worry about transferring products from home to purse to work, etc. Plus you never know when they will be discontinued.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? KM: I’m a seasonal scent type of girl so lately I’ve been getting the last spritzes out of Bobbi Brown “Beach” and transitioning in to Estee Lauder Modern Muse. Jo Malone and Chanel are year-round favorites too.

AP: Botox or not? KM: Not. I’m 25 so hopefully I won’t have to take the Botox route… not sure I can handle the needles either.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? KM: Somewhere in between. A natural look is always preferred but lately I’ve been having fun with highlights and color.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? KM: What’s a diet? haha kidding… but really, if you know of any good tips, I’m all ears!

AP: What do you do for exercise? KM: I recently started doing yoga and I love it. I definitely took the flexibility I had in high school for granted though, that’s for sure.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? KM: Feta cheese (typical Greek, I know), craisins and almond milk.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? KM: I have a thing for sweet drinks so my go-to is amaretto sour.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? KM: I am still working on that… get back to me in like, 10 years.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? KM: Sadly, I haven’t traveled much lately and funny enough, I love airports. I’m hoping I get to go somewhere soon because I’m dying to check out those beauty boxes in the airports selling everything you can carry on the plane.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? KM: 1. Pack a carry-on with all your essentials in case the airline loses your luggage. 2. Opt for travel size versions of your favorite beauty products to save suitcase space. 3. It’s better to have too much than too little so don’t listen to your significant other if they say to “pack light.”

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. KM: Katy Perry “Roar,” Lana Del Rey “Summertime Sadness,” and Imagine Dragons “Radioactive.”

AP: What book are you reading right now? KM: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

AP: Quote to live by. KM: “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.” by Carrie Bradshaw.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? KM:  Twisting earring backs. I try to refrain from wearing studs now because of that.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? KM: During the week, 7 a.m. (and I usually hit my snooze button once or twice). On the weekends 9 or 10 a.m. I try to get 8 hours of sleep. Every girl needs her beauty rest!

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? KM: With my blog, I’m able to test new products before they hit stores so I feel very VIP. I also love learning a wealth of beauty knowledge from beauty gurus, makeup artists and entrepreneurs.

AP: Least favorite thing. KM: Chipped nail polish.

AP: Who is your mentor? KM:  Kate Bennett. She’s my former boss but I still keep in touch with her frequently and she’s always had sound career advice. Minus her obsession with fanny packs, she has a great sense of style too.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. KM:  It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.