Erin Sykes

Breaking Down the Korean Skincare Routine for an American Attention Span

The Korean skincare routine is the Holy Grail of beauty rituals; lasting anywhere from 10 to 17 steps, depending on how enthusiastic you are during the serum portion of the regimen. Almost more important than the products, is the order in which you apply them, as it directly affects how well they're absorbed. I’ve tried a variety of methodologies, but being a realist, decided to break it back down to a more manageable 6 steps. The Korean ritual of ‘double cleansing’ is becoming more popular stateside with the first step being removal of stubborn eye, lip, and face makeup with an oil cleanser (e.g. GloTherapeutics Cleansing Oil) followed by a pore freshening foaming cleanser (e.g. Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Foaming Cleanser); both applied with circulation-boosting circular massage. Double-cleansing is the most effective way to wash your face as it first removes oil-based debris (makeup, sunscreen and sebum) completely. Otherwise, the foam cleanser would just push these elements around on the surface of the skin, leaving a residue, preventing future products from fully penetrating.

The next most impactful treatment, also gaining popularity from Asian culture, is the use of an essence lotion (e.g. YonKA HydraNo1 Fluid). This product may look like your typical toner, however, it is packed with powerful anti-antiaging ingredients. Still liquid, but lightly thicker and with a slight slip, this product is best applied when skin is still damp from cleansing and using fingertips (no cotton pads needed). Its light texture will allow for the deepest pore penetration.

Waiting 30 seconds between each product to allow full penetration is essential to magnifying effectiveness. After 30 seconds has passed, apply your targeted serum (waiting 30 seconds), follow with your favorite eye cream (wait 30 seconds) and then follow with moisturizer (with SPF). Note the order of product application moves from thinnest to thickest… i.e. from deepest penetrating to surface protectant.

Soup to nuts, less than 5 minutes… and it’s actually a bit therapeutic. The key is daily prevention, which eliminates any need for expensive facials. Sure, if you’re stumbling home a bit toasty, do yourself a favor and at least wipe off the day’s makeup with some cleansing tissues. Sleeping in your makeup is the universal ultimate skincare sin—whether you're in NYC or Seoul.

May: Skin Cancer Awareness Month


A JAMA Dermatology study just found that there are more skin cancer cases linked to indoor tanning beds than lung cancer cases linked to smoking! May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month - It's the perfect opportunity to make an appointment with your dermatologist to have a full, head-to-toe examto make sure you don't have any abnormal moles or early warning signs of skin cancer. I personally had my exam today with Dr. Doris Day and was clear with the exception of a potential, small Basal Cell Carcinoma on my nose which was quickly treated on-site. For more information on mobile exam units that may be visiting your area and how to do a self-exam between doctors visits, refer to [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="277" align="center" title="images" frame="true" icon="image"]

Gel Manicure Smarts

Gel Manicures can expose hands to increased amounts of UV light. Be safe; wear sunscreen or gloves.I am a huge fan of gel manicures - no chips and extra shine, sold! However, along with the gel process comes extra exposure to the UV lights (up to eight minutes). To prevent any potential negative impact from these lights, be sure to apply sunscreen on the hands prior to exposure or use white anti UV gloves to cover hands, leaving just your fingertips exposed.

StepUp Power Hour 2014

Step Up Women's Network is an organization that inspires women to inspire girls. It is extraordinarily important to me as mentorship is an incomparable resource and has helped me tremendously in my career. The current high school graduation rate of StepUp mentees is 100% and of reflection. For more information about Step Up Women's Network, visit Celebrating Powerful Connections and Powerful Philanthropy at Step Up Women's Network Power Hour



It’s pretty obvious that working out regularly and drinking plenty of water is good for you… check. But which supplements to take to help bring out the glow in your skin and improve your energy can be a little more daunting. Every person needs to figure out the best combination for their body, but I want to give you a bit of insight about what I have found that works for me. Not only have the following supplements / vitamins improved my skin, but they have also helped with my migraines. So, this is my very personal protocol… don’t think of it as a prescription, but glean what you wish… Tumeric: Tumeric is a root that has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems (University of Maryland Medical Center). The University of Maryland’s Medical Center also states that turmeric’s powerful antioxidant properties fight cancer-causing free radicals, reducing or preventing some of the damage they can cause. I have personally found that it helps me recover more quickly from workouts and my skin seems less puffy (especially after a few cocktails). I believe its long-term benefits are the most important investment and will continue to be a devotee. I take one New Chapter Tumeric Force Supplement daily. supp-1 sup2 Fish Oil / Vitamin D: I was able to find these two supplements combined into a tasty mango liquid form (Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil with Vitamin D). Like Tumeric, Fish Oil has a number of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. It is helpful in treating dry skin and Psoriasis. The Omega3 Fatty Acids are major player here; they boost the growth of enzymes in the body to produce more collagen and elastin protein. They also kill off the ‘bad’ enzymes that lower the collagen levels in the body. Ideal levels of of collagen and elastin are necessary to avoid wrinkling of the skin. Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, which helps with energy levels. I can personally see the difference in my energy on the days that I forget to take the supplement. Having sufficient energy ensures that you can take care of yourself on a daily basis and make good choices. I have one tablespoon of the Barlean’s liquid each night. sup3 B-Complex Vitamin: B-complex vitamins refers to all of the known essential water-soluble vitamins except for vitamin C. These include thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (vitamin B12) (more info: e-vitamins). B-complex vitamins promote healthy hair, skin and nails as they work together to counteract damage caused by free radicals. Deficiencies of any of these B vitamins can lead to dry, grey skin, dermatitis, wrinkles, acne, rashes, hair loss and weak, splitting nails. Vitamin B12 helps to regulate your skin’s pigment production and location, preventing hyperpigmentation – the darkening of skin in certain parts of your body. Vitamin B5 can help to minimize acne by helping the body to breakdown oils in the form of triglycerides and cholesterol, whereas Vitamin B2 has been the most helpful of this group with my migraines (More info: University of Maryland Medical Center) I take Pure B Complex Liquid in the morning.



How can probiotic supplements help with acne? Probiotics help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Since skin is the largest organ of the body, its serves as a phenomenal indicator of when our bodies are off-balance. Often, generalized inflammation can manifest itself as acne, psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis. Thus, taking a probiotic may not only help with your digestion, but also help with the clarity of your skin!

Most probiotic supplements include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, two of the most well-studied strains. Most experts say a supplement with at least 20 billion live organisms per dose to be the most effective. Also, try switching supplements every month or two to keep your system fresh.



Ultimate Flora 50 Billion Available at Vitamin Shoppe or Whole Foods



Wait two minutes in between applying your serum and your moisturizer. The serum needs an opportunity to penetrate to a deeper level and you don’t want the formulas to mix on the surface area of your skin.

1st: Always Serum [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="250" align="center" title="tip2-2" frame="true" icon="image"]

Wait 2 Minutes, Apply Moisturizer [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="250" align="center" title="tip2-1" frame="true" icon="image"]


Always use blush and lip color in the same tone (not necessarily matching!) For example, if wearing a warm lip color (peach, tangerine, coral, orange-red, brick red, or copper) wear a warm blush (bronze, peach). If wearing a cool lip color (pink, fuchsia, blue-based red, or mauve) wear a cool blush (carnation pink, berry or blood red). Generally, cool tones have a lot of what appears to be blue or purple in it whereas warm tones are based in yellow. This is a good starting point as a way to look subdivide all of your makeup and start to see a pattern as to what looks best on you.



[lightbox link="" thumb="" width="0" align="center" title="brutus2" frame="true" icon="image"] Don’t forget that your pups need some beauty TLC during the cold too. Apply a bit of triple antibiotic ointment of Vaseline to their nose to prevent dry out. Brutus will definitely need a bit after this romp!



Applying oil directly to your face seems counter-intuitive of so many of us who spent our teenage years doing everything we could to forever banish oil from our lives. Now, as adults, we have a whole new array of concerns – with anti-aging leading the pack… and OIL is what will keep your skin looking plump and youthful. Many of the new breed of face oils (include Rodin, Estee Lauder Nutritious, and Josie Marin) contain ingredients such as Argan, Passion Fruit, and Marula Oils which have anti-oxidants that protect against free radicals. Argan, Yangu, and Borage Seed Oil also sooth against inflamation, thus flaming redness and even helping with acne. The oils are dry which means you won’t be left looking shiny. You can use the oils alone at night, under moisturizer, or mix a drop into foundation for a dewy look. Once a week, try using the oil as an exfoliator; after cleansing take a few drops a rub into skin in a circular motion, starting from center of face and working outward. Continue the motion for a few minutes until your start to feel a slight pilling of dead skin. The oil helps to loosen the surface skin in combination with the extended massage. continue until even and radiant.   A few to try: Josie Maran Argan Oil Rodin Olio Lusso Estee Lauder Nutritious Fresh Seaberry Oil [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="580" align="center" title="oils" frame="true" icon="image"]


Heading out of your first ski trip of the year? or is your skin struggling to adjust to the December chill? As the seasons change it’s important to change your skincare routine. Contrary to what you may think, less is more when the winds pick up and temps drop. High quality, deeply penetrating moisturizers and serums will become your best friend! Be sure keep the following handy: □ Lightweight serum with hyaluronic acid to help skin hold on to moisture □ Eye cream that treats your main concerns (dark circles? lines?). The area around your eyes is more delicate and sensitive that the rest of your face so it needs special care, especially in extreme conditions. □ Moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher (note that sun reflects off of snow an will cause damage more quickly than you may think) □ BB Cream to perfect your complexion in one step (not to mention further protect) □ Black waterproof mascara so that you will look wide-eyed even when skiing or caught in a a pleasant ‘wintery-mix’ □ Tinted lip conditioner to keep lips moisturized and looking polished □ Softly exfoliating cleanser to get rid of dry, chapped skin at the end of each day


Here is a recap from our Ladies Lounge Beauty Night!

Step inside with the ladies via this video:

Pinterest Board of our favorite products:

Some of my favorite tips that help streamline your beauty routine!

1) For minimalist traveling bring a face serum, moisturizer, mascara, conditioning lip gloss, and blush/bronzer. It’s important to maintain your Skincare routine or boost it according to your destination (desert heat, beach sun, ski trip dryness).

2) BB and CC creams boot traditional tinted moisturizers. Choose a BB for tint + primer + sun protection. Choose CC for added Skincare benefits if you have uneven skintone, redness, or blemish marks that need extra concealing.

3) Find the mascara formula right for you. Molded wands are great for those with shorter, sparser eyelashes or those that like a defined look. Classic bristled wands give a fluffy, feathered finish. ‘Tubing’ formulas or those with two step that include fibers are a good choice for dramatic evening events or humid days where smudging is not an option.

4) Line and define! Most women choose their eyes as their favorite feature. Enhance them with colored eyeliner, smudged kajal formulas, or a winged looked.

5) Makeup will only look as good as the skin that glows through. Stick to a Skincare routine that includes a repair serum, eye cream, and moisturizer day and night. Don’t forget to apply the serum and moisturizer to your neck and back of hands.

The Ladies Lounge is a collective of fabulous women. Founded in 2003, its mission is to connect stylish ambitious ladies through engaging monthly soirees. Held in the comfort of a member’s home, each event is themed and brought to life through a unique activity. Topics range from goal setting to wine tasting, and everything in between. The Ladies Lounge now proudly boasts chapters in LA, SF, and NYC.



Australian Fashion week is happening now. Not the most covered weeks of the year, but one of my favorites as it always offers summery whites, sheers, lace, and gorgeous swimsuits to get you in a beachy state-of-mind. Frankly, its the stuff I actually wear. Take a look at these looks from Karla Spectic, Aje, By Johnny, Alex Perry, and Bec and Bridge. [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="600" align="center" title="model1" frame="true" icon="image"] [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="600" align="center" title="model2" frame="true" icon="image"] [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="600" align="center" title="model3" frame="true" icon="image"] [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="600" align="center" title="model4" frame="true" icon="image"] [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="600" align="center" title="model5" frame="true" icon="image"] [lightbox link="" thumb="" width="600" align="center" title="model6" frame="true" icon="image"]



Im taking this as an official sign that SUPERMODELS are BACK. #Fashion #ClosingCeremony #Olympics

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