Our in home private session featured in Today Chicago Women

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Little swimming tips for your skin

I know that summer is coming to an end but some of us who have taken on swimming this season will probably continue in the fall and winter.

This summer I rediscovered the pleasure of swimming. When I was a teenager I was in a swimming team and really loved the way I felt. So this year with the weather being so hot I got to do more water fitness then before.

One think I did noticed was how dry, hydrated and uncomfortable my skin felt after being in the water for so long that I started putting different products to protect it and avoid more aging damage…

Here are a few tips you can use anytime you swim or are in the water a long extent period of time:

1-      Apply a very thick layer of Aquaphor from Eucerin. You can find this product at any drugstore

2-      If you are swimming outside apply a layer of sunscreen. Badger SPF 30 is great because it is water resistant and is an instant protection with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. You can find this at Whole Food

3-      Once you are done, remove all excess product left, you should not have much left. A dry towel will do it

4-      If you are planning to stay out on the sun, reapply sunscreen

5-      If you are done with outdoor activities apply one of the replenishing Decleor balms. They are amazing and create a beautiful soft and moist skin. Their essential oil will provide your skin what it needs to heal itself

  1. If you skin is very dry use Angelique Nourishing night balm
  2. You skin is normal to dry use Neroli Essential night balm
  3. If you skin is more mature use Excellence night balm
  4. For all skin type with some sensitivity use Sun Expert  high repair after sun balm
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Every time I take a water class I always wonder why only mature people participate, as I believe it is beneficial for everyone. It makes me feel amazing after just one class; even the water retention in my legs is gone and some of the skin dimples are reduced. Why has the American consumer not caught on to it? Being a native of France, water fitness classes are so abundant and attended that is it as common as drinking a glass of wine at meal, but here in the States I most often end up being the youngest one in attendance.

Aqua aerobics classes are available in most gyms and they utilize the law of water resistance. These classes can be a great add on to a traditional workout, or an alternative form of cardio. We all know that Aqua classes are great for people with joint problems or injuries because the water helps to reduce the pressure onto the articulation. In addition, classes help increase the lymphatic drainage and blood circulation to help the body eliminate toxins. Classes are often recommended to people who may have weight issue, as it helps to get started on a fitness program as well as weight loss. Doing a water class is like exercising and getting a massage at the same time…

The next phase and more challenging water class is Hydro Tone. Hydro Tone utilizes hydro boots and hydro bells to increase the water resistance and provide a more specific work out. Hydro Tone increases flexibility, cardiovascular and respiratory condition, while incorporating strength training, toning, body sculpting and muscle endurance.

It is much easier to work the full range of motion in the water due to the lack of gravity compared to land based exercise devices. The Hydro boots and bells maximize the water resistance in all dimensions of the movement. Water workouts place an additional load on the respiratory system because of water pressure on the diaphragm and the chest; this will lead to expanded lung capacity and improve respiration. The resistance of the hydro tone equipment can build muscle strength and tone and help developing body symmetry. It can increase the muscle definition in the arms and shoulder while reducing hips, thighs.  All of these elements will lead to muscle endurance, which results in an increase of energy.

I have taken a series of Hydro Tone classes in the past and I find that series of 10 to 12 classes, twice a week is the best way to see a result pretty fast. It is a great way to get in shape or stay in shape during the bikini season or right after a pregnancy.

I have always taken my classes with John Clark who had been in the health and fitness industry for many years and is a very well rounded professional. You can contact him directly at www.johnclark.com for more info on classes schedule and locations.

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Press Feature 2010

On the last few months we have been feature in many magazines and on line publication, take some time to review them…

Trés Joli: Beauty Ateliers Launches- May 2010  


Beauty Ateliers: Mobile Skincare and Wellness-May 2010


Chicago | French connection-June 2010 



Chicago Social Bride June 2010

The French Connection…Beauty ateliers, is a crash course in skin wellness and best of all, they bring the how-to beauty bash to you…


Chicago Collection June 2010

The insider in the know…The French connection



Beauty at any age is beauty July 2010

Jack of all trades and master of many….


Beauty from inside out August 2010

Jessica Durivage on the women radio network “HereWomenTalk” speak to Beauty Ateliers founder Fabienne Lindholm about ways to have heathy skin and body. Listen by clicking below


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The Power of Essential Oils

Almost everyone has heard of essential oils, as they have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and therapeutic uses. A more recent modern-day example would be in the simple form of air freshener or scented candle. There are hundreds of different kinds of essential oils. The natural varieties are found in skin care products and are more expensive, while the synthetic oils are usually used in candles, perfumes and skin care on occasion. While the oils each have their own characteristics, they all have a common action: purifying.


The Name:

First of all, I feel that the name essential oil, which was given by Mr. Rene Gattefosse in the 1930, is not really appropriate.  I think they should be called aromatic essence because they are more volatile than oil, which means they evaporate in the atmosphere. An aromatic essence is heart and soul of a plant or flower that is extracted by a process called distillation, which pulls out all the benefits of a plant or flower extract by conserving all the molecules and making them very powerful.


Essential oils are part of the natural science of aromatherapy, another name that was coined by Dr. Gattefosse. How can we use them everyday? In my childhood my mom used to give me a couple drops of essential oil of orange blossom in a glass of water to help me to sleep, but I have never seen this kind of essence in the USA. The most common way is in skin care products; how do they work?

The Science:

Essential oils are the heart and soul of the plant and they have a capability to be absorbed by the skin into the deepest part of the epidermis and it has been said that they can even be found in the blood stream within 24 hours. They get into the inter-cellular fluid and work within the skin cell metabolism. All essential oils are purifying, which means they will clean the cell environment and help the cell regenerate better. Imagine that you were living in a polluted area, where you could not get any food or receive any of the essential elements necessary for survival. The area would need to be cleared in order for the food to arrive to the destination. Well, in our skin it is the same. You can apply all sorts of skin treatments, but if the environment of the skin cell is not clean, the ingredient that you are sending will not go into action. Using an essential oil daily before a treatment cream will do just that, while boosting the effect of your treatment products.

Essential Oils for Healthy Skin:

Each essential oil has a secondary action that is determined by the molecular structure of the plant. Each oil has a specific action to assist with the nutrition of the skin, whether you’re oily, mature, lackluster and much more. With that being said, it is very important to choose the right essential oil for each skin type or skin need. Skin needs vary each season, so be sure to have your skin assessed regularly to re-evaluate your essential oil.

Here are some of the skin care brands I believe put a lot of research and time into their essential oil formulations.

–          Decleor Aromessence: My all time favorites probably because they offer a triple guaranty to their essential oils and also because I have visited their lab in Paris and seen the way they make their blend

–          Sundari: They are one of the most authentic Ayurvedic skin care line and their essential oil blend are lovely

–           Naturopathica, Yonka, Jurlique and Thalgo are also very good

This information explains a localized way to purify your skin, but it is very important to purify or detox our body by eating the elements that will help bind toxins and flush them out…Read our post from July 6th 2010.

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How important are fibers in our diet?

I have always known that fibers were important to our wellbeing but never knew that they played a critical role in our health until I read the article in Experience Life magazine.

Fibers affect every organ in our body from our digestive system and liver to the way our skin looks. They are the element that bind the fat and waste in our digestive system and flush them out. Without fibers toxins are being recycle in our system over and over again which in turn over load liver and gallbladder as well as many other vital organs.

Basically we need anywhere from 20 to 40 gr. of fibers a day and according to the article the average American intake between 8 to 12 gr. daily. In the last few weeks I have recorded my family fiber intake and unless you make it special focus it is very easy to go a full day with almost no fibers.

 It is crucial to eat fibers during every meal  to regulate the blood sugar and to facilitate the digestion of fats, keep in mind that fibers do not wait for the next meal they are used right then.

They are 3 kinds of fibers essential to our body; soluble fiber, insoluble fiber and prebiotic fiber so make sure you eat all three.

I have included the article I mentioned earlier and strongly recommend that you take a few minute to read it, it was a great eye opener for me…Enjoy and have a cup of lentils today


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How to Correctly Prepare Your Skin for Sun Exposure

We all know that protecting the skin while on the sun is a must no matter how quickly we burn or tan (refer to our last post on sunscreen.) While sunscreens block or filter the UVA and UVB rays, what should we do to keep our skin healthy?

Let’s start with the most common one, water lost or dehydration:

While we’ve been told to consume the good old eight glasses a day, we need to increase our intake in the summer because we sweat quite a bit. Aim for at least 1.5 liter of spring water a day. Spring water is better than purified water because it contains more minerals, which are essential for the function of our skin and to balance our electrolytes.

Try using a skin care product that increases water movement between the water channels of the skin cell such as wild pansy extract. Ingredients such as sodium PCA have the capability to retain the water in the skin by capturing the moisture in the atmosphere. Some others such as codium extract or hazelnut oil are also great to reduce water lost. Look for formulations that deliver the ingredients by slowly releasing them throughout the day via a system of liposomes, thus providing hydration all day.

Protecting the natural skin defenses:

Argan oil is very rich in Oleic acid, omega 9 fatty acid and lioneliec acid, omega 6 essential for our body and skin function. It is rich in Vitamin E and is a powerful antioxidant and also serves as a great nutritional component.

Antioxidants are vital to our skin as they neutralized free radicals which damage our natural defense mechanism. There are many on the market: vitamins C and E, polyphenols, beta carotenes, green tea and white teas and bioflavonoid, to name a few. Using these ingredients is very important, as well as taking an oral form of antioxidant supplements.

How about sensitivity, redness and irritation of the skin?

 It is important to calm and cool our skin from an overheated environment and boost our immune system. Essential oils of rose, Roman chamomile and neroli all sooth the skin, while ingredients such as kudzu extract help to block inflammation of the immune system. Masking weekly with such ingredients will keep the skin calm.

As for hyper-pigmentation, it’s not secret that sunscreens are the best to avoid it, but do not underestimate our natural melanin. When our melanocytes produce melanin, it creates a natural protection on the surface and our skin becomes trained to produce and deliver evenly. Keep in mind that it takes over 72 hours for the melanin to reach the surface of the skin and provide natural protection and a tan.  It is true that after the age of forty, the delivery of melanin is going to be a bit chaotic, so hyper-pigmentation will be more present.

When your skin is prepared for the sun it will stay youthful longer. Here are some formulations I recommend:

Aromessence Solaire from Decleor:

I am completely addicted to this product…It reinforces the sun protection by boosting the effectiveness of sunscreen, thus slowing down sun damage. It also promotes an event toned complexion and most of all; it has Argan oil and heliocarrot to save us from water lost and free radicals. Just a few drops daily before a treatment cream and we have boosted our skin natural defense by 33%, not bad! Available in a face or body formulation

Apricot and Shea Hydrasoothing from Sundari:

Doing a mask on a weekly basis in a must during the summer; they are like a giant glass of water for your skin and they usually replenish, sooth, calm and soften the skin like no other skin care products. This mask contains shea butter and really helps heal and nourish the skin.

Coffeeberry Natureceuticals supplement from Priori:

100% natural, this fruit of coffee plant has developed powerful antioxidant. These super rich defense compounds are very rich in polyphenols. It has 3 time more antioxidant then green tea… a couple tablets a day and you are all good to go.

Mega Antioxidant form Usana:

This product offers a range of antioxidant nutrients for protection against oxidative stress and cell damaging process. It contains the vitamins E and C, the carotenoids, the bioflavonoid, the alpha lipoic acid and many more.


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The summer season is in full swing and you’re probably looking back at your old sunscreen tube from last year and wondering if you can still use it. You’re also probably wondering if what you are using is effective and truly protects you. With all the talk in the media about sunscreen these days, it is hard to know what to do or not do to.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, according to a review published by the American Cancer Society. Among all the forms of skin cancer, 80 percent are basal cell carcinoma, 16 percent are squamous cell carcinoma and 4 percent are malignant melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Today many experts believe that both UVA and UVB exposure may contribute to the melanoma risk. Sunscreens on the market have blocked UVB, but may not have protected the skin against UVA. Not only do we need a product that protects against the rays that burn, but also the ones responsible for the long-term outlook of our complexion. It is those rays that may actually cause more damage to the skin in long term. So what is the best solution?

The best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt—I know that is not what you want to hear.  When exposed to the sun, use a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection, avoiding the formulas with hazardous chemicals like Octyl Methoxycinnamate, PABA and Benzophenone-8 which penetrate the skin. The EWG, Environmental working group, is a non-for-profit organization that studies and tests cosmetic ingredients. The organization just released a guide to the sunscreen based on their results after testing 500 sunscreens on the market. The result? They only recommended 39 of them.

My recommendation is to stay away from a chemical sunscreen and look for a physical sunscreen that contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These moderate-to-low risk ingredients are probably the safest on the market at this moment. The FDA is in the process of approving new ingredients, while working on a different system to rate sunscreen, which would rate both UVB and UVA protection. 

Keep in mind that mineral sunscreens can leave a whitish film on the surface of the skin and may not look so appealing. Avoid formulations that contain Oxybenzone or benzophenone 3, as it has been shown that those ingredients can trigger an allergic reaction, is a potential hormone disruptor and can penetrate the skin in relatively large amounts.

On the other hand, Mexoryl SX is a relatively low risk and effective ingredient that provides UVA protection, but it is sold in very few formulations. Tinosorb S and M also appear to be both safe and effective but are not yet available in the US. The best option for now is sunscreen containing avobenzone.

Though no ingredient is without hazard or perfectly effective, I tend to prefer the mineral sunscreen because of their low probability to penetrate the skin and a better UVA protection.

Here are some of my recommendations:

Badger SPF 30: I like the lightly scented version and it feels very moisturizing. It is also water-resistant, so it is great for kids or vacation.

Skin2 skin: What is great about this brand is that the sunscreen is tinted so you won’t look like a ghost. They formula is a bit tightening, so it’s best suited for an oily skin.

Priori Mineral powder: This product is great for casual sun, such as in and out of the car or office. Although they are causing a bit of controversy because of their powder form and the possibility of inhaling them, I still find them very appealing — especially for people who are working indoors. This should never be used in place of a sunscreen at the beach

And NO you should not use the sunscreen you had last year, it is less effective and probably was contaminated by bacteria from the sand or other outside elements. It’s time to toss and get a new tube.

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Self tanner and other tan enhancers for brides and everyone else…

It has been said that looking tan makes you look healthier—not always. In fact, it really depends on what you are using, as well as your activity level. A little sun will not hurt anyone and yes, it will create a an attractive healthy glow while aiding with vitamin D absorption, but being tan is truly not healthy for your skin.

In my quest to look glowing and radiant, self tanners, tan enhancers and bronzers have crossed my life many times, so here is the low down:

Self Tanner:

–          Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush  self-tanning mist  by L’OREAL

This spray-on tan is very practical, easy to use and does not require getting your hands dirty. Exfoliating prior is always a good idea but not necessary with this product. I recommend spraying twice—leaving a day in-between applications. After the first application you may notice that you have some areas that were missed, so go back and spray a bit more in that area. The down side? This is not a moisturizing formula, so be sure and hydrate with a body lotion to keep your skin moist and your “tan” looking fresh.

–          Aroma sun self tanning milk SPF 8 by DECLEOR

This product has been on the market for ages and still does very well. Decleor was one of the first self-tanners that actually looked natural. It is definitely recommended to do an exfoliating body scrub (my favorite the Priori Invigorating face and body scrub) prior to the use of the tanner. This application is something you have to plan, as it is preferable not to get dressed after. With that being said, do it one evening when you don’t have anything else planned. The application is more of a massage-like application, so it takes a bit longer. The Decleor self-tanner is extremely moisturizing and has an SFP8.


–          Gradual Everyday Self-Tan Lotion by  ST TROPEZ

Love this one…You just apply everyday as a body lotion and the color will start developing and gradually darken. Stop using when you have achieved the color you want. Exfoliating is also recommended, before and during application to keep the glow natural and even.


–          CARITA Fluide de Beaute 14 gold

This is the perfect glow enhancer for the bride. It gives a beautiful radiance and a very elegant and classy shimmer to the skin.  Fluide de Beaute is best used on the body and due to its dry oil texture, it is very easy to apply and will leave the skin lightly hydrated—not greasy.

–          Priori Mineral powder

For the face, mineral powders are perfect, as they provide a healthy tan with a sun protection— isn’t that great?  All mineral powders will give anywhere from a SPF15 to SPF30 without the use of chemicals. My advice? Every women should use them.

Tan Enhancers:

There are numerous brands that offer tan enhancers. These products boost the melanocyte activity and start producing pigment prior to sun exposure. Although it is not a product I recommend, they do have their purpose. If you are a tanoholic and love to be dark fast, I would prefer for you to prep your skin with a great tan enhancer versus going into the sun without protection or baby oil—yes we still see that…

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The Endless Quest for Long Lashes

Every woman wants long lashes—but at what price? With millions of mascara tubes sold every year across the world, the quest for long lashes has become the talk of the town more than ever.

If you search the Internet, you will find a flow of overwhelming information about the subject; Lilash, Latisse, Lumigan, Marini lash, Talika and Revitalash. To complicate matters even more, everyone talks about how their product is superior to competitors.

There are over the counter products available almost everywhere and I must say, they do a pretty good job at lengthening and thickening the lashes. They usually take a bit longer (8 to 10 weeks) to see a difference then their counterpart—the prescription drugs (4 to 6 weeks). The price is also much different. The over the counter products usually offer a 3 to 6 month supply and the prescription a 1 to 2 month supply.

I understand that having to get a prescription given to you monthly can be time consuming and expensive, which is why everyone wants the prescription drug without having to make all the steps.  Purchasing prescription drugs in other countries is not new. I remember in the 90’s when everyone was purchasing Retin A in Mexico —now it is easier because of the Internet, a mass market place to buy everything and anything.

One thing we have to remember is when the FDA approved the drugs, they must have had a reason why they believed they should be recommended by a doctor. Of course, most people think they know better or are smarter, but before you buy a prescription drug without a prescription, you might want to think twice because it can be very risky —who wants to risk their vision for gorgeous lashes?

I recently I ran into this article from the New York time and would like to share it with you:


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