American-born Shelissa Kearney is an author, mother, model, and the founder of Shelissa Cosmetics in Maryland. She also trained with some of the fashion and beauty world's most prominent experts on skin care. With enviable locks, skin, and a svelte physique, she is the perfect American to shed light on which grooming tips and tools women around the world are using and how we can replicate them in the U.S. Her new book, "Naturally Naked", sheds light on the cosmetic industry and secrets to aging gracefully. Read up on her responses below. #beauty
Shelissa Kearney: European women are very committed to their facials and aestheticians, with less emphasis on makeup and more emphasis on skin care products. Visting their skin-care specialist on a regular basis is as important as the daily regiment they follow. European women see their aesthetician as an expert skin therapist who can objectively assess the current condition and "moods" of their skin.
BECKA KENNEDY: What is the consensus vis-a-vis plastic surgery in most European countries?
SK: European women are not very likely to seek medical/surgical cosmetic procedures and do all they can to avoid injections. They prefer treatments emphasizing facial muscle relaxation, circulation, and lymphatic drainage to create an overall healthy and youthful appearance.
BECKA KENNEDY: What is your recommended skin-care regimen?
SK: In the evening, a basic cleansing milk or cleansing gel (depending on traditional or dry skin), followed by spraying the face with essential oil water, and then [the use of] a specific toner. Finish with a evening moisturizer specific to the season. Eye cream is a must, must, must. Eyes are the windows to the soul, and the window to your age.
BECKA KENNEDY: What about your daytime routine?
SK: For morning, spray with essential oil water (rose water is a nice choice) to remove all the moisturizer sitting on the top layer of the skin during the night. Cleansing is not necessary in the morning, because you already cleansed the prior evening. The essential oil water should be adequate to remove oils that accumulates during sleep. Follow with a toner to prepare skin [for] a day moisturizer. When necessary, an extra layer of serum underneath the day moisturizer increases its benefits, and eye cream. If skin care budget is an issue, I recommend applying a light weight moisturizer (lightly dabbing) around the eyes, concentrating on the outer corners where you may see fine lines developing.
BECKA KENNEDY: How does nutrition affect our skin?
SK: Eat a well-balanced diet, drink ample water and pay attention to what you consume. Like my grandmother use to say, eat slowly, and chew your food. Craving sugar? Reach for an apple and peanut butter. Consume meats and starch (breads, rice) in moderation, as both are difficult to digest. A happy and stress-free stomach and good digestion is generally reflected in happy glowing skin.
BECKA KENNEDY: What about your hair care advice?
SK: Dry hair and scalp is generally a result of chemical processing, stress, and a poor diet. I recommend shampooing three times a week with a gentle shampoo, not foregoing a scalp massage. I recommend massaging the scalp with a nourishing oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, fresh avocado) and leave it in for 15 minutes to penetrate. Then, shampoo, followed by a mask once a week. I swear by olive oil for dry hair. I've used it since childhood on my wavy hair and see an immediate improvement.
BECKA KENNEDY: Have you noticed a focus on any specific makeup look in Europe vs America?
SK: European women tend to gravitate more toward high quality moisturizers and lip care. Generally, they leave their skin bare, and use a bit of blush and mascara. I think the lack of makeup reflects the innate confidence that some European women have. And I think this confidence is apparent in their emphasis on the lips. Maybe it's an invitation for a kiss? I like a nice pinkish nude lip color with a shimmer of gloss or balm.
BECKA KENNEDY: What's been the most rewarding part of your job?
SK: It’s been gratifying to change my American clients' perception of natural skin care. It’s rewarding to see clients embrace the beauty idea that less is actually much more and that routine and discipline are necessary for a radiant glow and heathy skin.