Secrets of Our Most Gorgeous Women
Mirror, mirror on the wall, the county’s beauties tell us all: secret weapons, trusted talent, and treasured places.
By Nancy L. Claus
Featuring photography by John Fortunato
In our never-ending search for truth, justice, and a really great face cream, we at Westchester Magazine surveyed hundreds of women in the county, asking them for their beauty secrets: what keeps their skin flawless, what gives their hair shine and body, what keeps their tummies taut, and who gives the best Botox injections. More than 150 enviably beautiful and admirably honest women were more than willing to share their beauty secrets. The following are products, people, and places that our county’s most beautiful women credit for their good looks.
most touted beauty products
THE BEST LASH BUILDER
Look into most any model’s makeup case and that bubble-gum pink and lime green tube will be there. Ditto most any makeup artist’s arsenal. Who would have guessed that the first mascara we ever bought at the local five-and-dime would turn out to be the best? Maybelline Great Lash (“the No. 1 mascara,” the manufacturer boasts), has a lash-doubling formula with a lash-building brush that thickens and conditions lashes without clumps or globs. All that for a tad under $5. Diana Sica of Yonkers, a fan of Maybelline’s Lash Discovery, maintains that it’s the only brand that can avoid the dreaded “tarantula eye” look.
BEST Rx for DRY SKIN
“My not-so-secret treatment for extra-dry skin is Nivea creme,” says Karen Odom, a freelance writer who lives in White Plains. “It’s been around forever, but it’s still the best.” (Odom insists on the “original Nivea in the signature blue container,” and not the “bottled lotion or the anti-aging Visage line.”) “My mother insisted that I use it from head to toe while I was growing up and guess what?” she says. “I’ve tried all different kinds of lotions and potions and she was right. Just goes to show that Mom really does know best!”
Nivea claims scientific studies have proven that its product helps skin become smoother, softer, and more elastic, and with regular use can even protect against environmental damage. What’s in it? Triple-purified water, mineral oil, and glycerin, plus a witch’s brew of vitamins, fragrance, and conditioners with chemical-sounding names. It promises to boost the moisture in your skin and keep it there for up to 12 hours. It’s really cheap, too: just $7.50 for the six-ounce creme. And our beauties (and their mothers) say it apparently works. We won’t argue with success (or mom).
FAVORITE SKINCARE PRODUCTS
Sure, you can spend $110 on a 1-oz. jar of CrÃ¨me de la Mer, but you can save yourself more than a few bucks and net the same (perhaps even better) results with plain old drugstore brands. “I’m a 44-year-old facial virgin,” declares mosaic artist and mom Cathleen Newsham of Waccabuc, whose complexion rivals that of Andie McDowell. “I’ve never had one.” So what is her skin beauty secret? “A big jar of Cetaphil cream. It works for me.”
It apparently works for millions of women. Last October, Allure magazine inducted Cetaphil into its Hall of Fame after the brand received its “Best of Beauty Award” seven years running. InStyle magazine concurs: “You’d be hard-pressed to find a dermatologist who wouldn’t recommend this moisturizing, soap-free cleanser to patients of all skin types, from acne-prone to dry and sensitive.” Its claim to fame is what it doesn’t have—any fragrance or harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin. (The cleanser’s three main ingredients are water, cetyl alcohol, and propylene glycol to “enhance hydration.”)
Cetaphil reports that clinical studies show that its cleansers are four times less irritating than Dove soap and that its moisturizers provide significantly greater hydration than Eucerin. The original Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser was formulated by a dermatologist in 1947 and hasn’t changed one iota since—no sense fiddling with a winner. In 2004, a whopping six million bottles were sold (for around $8 for an eight-ounce bottle of cleanser, $12 for a four-ounce bottle of moisturizer with sunscreen).
Super HAIR PRODUCTS
At an average of $20 bucks a bottle, Bumble & bumble hair products ain’t cheap, but in this case, you get what you pay for. Static Hair Salon in
the beauty pros
THE GO-TO GUY FOR GREAT COLOR
Freelance writer (and herself a beauty) Helene Epstein of Briarcliff Manor spent months researching hairstylists and colorists in our county on assignment. And? “Franco Marino at Beautiful Hair Color Salon in Pleasantville is my favorite colorist in the county by far,” she declares. “I’ve been coloring my hair for 15 years and Franco is the only one who can do my color without turning brassy.”
After reading about the salon in our magazine (Marino was named “best” colorist), Susan Bartholomew, sales manager at Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook, decided to try him out. “My regular hairdresser had to go to Portugal for a family emergency so I was in a beauty crisis,” she says. “I am happy to say that I was thrilled with the results.”
Marino has taught color techniques to stylists for decades; the experience shows.
Beautiful Hair Color Salon
36 Wheeler Ave.
GREAT PERMS, BRAIDS, AND SISTERLOCKS
Donna Chambers, owner of That Old Black Magic gift store in White Plains, counts on Lacie Redd, a hairstylist at Roots, to keep her hair healthy, well maintained, well groomed, and manageable. “Lacie specializes in perms, braids, and sisterlocks—and she loves styling little girls,” Chambers says. Redd, who has been at Roots for the past five years, says she stays current on trends by going to classes in New York City as well as Atlanta.
65 Lake St., White Plains
THE MASSEUR WITH HANDS OF GOLD
“He’s unbelievable,” declares interior designer Carol DeBear of masseur Orlando Ocasio. “Hands of gold,” says Lisa Honigman of Briarcliff Manor.They’re not the only ones who rave about the 44-year-old master. We know of women—and men—who travel for miles to have Orlando lay his hands (and hot volcanic rocks) on them. Lorraine Guzman of Shine Salon and Spa in Ossining, where he works part-time, says there are burly police officers who at first balked at the idea of having a man touch them. “But once they come out of the room, they can’t wait to come back for more.” You could say he was born to do massages. “It is a family tradition,” Orlando says. “My father was the first to teach me massage techniques.” He then went on to do work as a medical illustrator, surgical assistant, and anatomy instructor. “With massage, I get to use everything I’ve ever known—every path has drawn me to massage.”
Orlando Ocasio; (914) 260-6612
A MOST GIFTED HAIRSTYLIST
There’s no sign, no storefront. Just a tiny glassed-in salon in a former horse stable tucked away on a secluded estate where stylist Dale Stein Krenza plies her craft.
It’s quite a change from the chichi Madison Avenue salons where Krenza used to work with a Who’s Who of celebrity stylists. “I cut every type of hair, but cutting curly hair is a joy,” she says. “Stylists sometimes get carried away—they’ve been to one too many styling shows or have tried one too many products or new scissors. With my haircuts, you can toss your hairbrush away and just run your fingers through your wet hair and it will fall into place.”
Rob Kinnaird of Ridgefield, CT, has been a Krenza convert for 10 years. “I do nothing to my hair. I wash it, go to bed, get up, get dressed, and go to work. After I get out of the shower, I dry it and push it forward with my fingernails. When it’s long, I pull it back. It always looks good. And, yes,” he adds, “I’m married…to a very stylish and fussy woman.”
Dale Stein Krenza
Cross River; (914) 763-9649
THE MAKEUP MAGICIAN
Devra Bader opened her skincare and beauty spa in 2003 and has her own line of hypoallergenic and fragrance-free cosmetics that she uses to transform her grateful clients from soccer moms into glam gals. She’s done her share of movie stars too, including Sopranos star Jaime-Lynn Sigler, who selected Bader to do her makeup for her wedding.
Devra Bader Skin Care
and Beauty Spa
38 Garth Rd., Scarsdale
THE BOTOX KING
His is the name most fre-quently whispered by women of a certain age—too young for plastic surgery, yet mature enough to have acquired a few fine lines and age spots. Before yielding to the knife, many of these ’tween women head to Dr. David Bank, the director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, for his wildly popular injections of Botox and Restylane, laser treatments, and chemical peels.
Dr. Bank is well educated—he received his Bachelor’s degree with honors from Yale University and his medical degree from Columbia University. He in-terned in internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital and did his dermatological training at Columbia Presbyterian. But the real secret to his popularity is his artistry with Botox. He was one of the first to jump on the Botox bandwagon back in 1993. His boyish good looks are the best advertisement—he readily owns up to using it himself. “Everyone who gets Botox from Dr. Bank, walks out looking natural,” swears Dee Croce, his admittedly biased office manager. And that is the point.
David Bank, MD
The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery
359 Main St., Mount Kisco
A MOST Cutting-Edge Plastic Surgeon
Alas, there comes a time when the Botox, lasers, and other topical treatments no longer do the trick. That is when many go to see board-certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. Douglas A. Roth of the Mount Kisco Medical Group. New York magazine featured Dr. Roth as one of the area’s “sharpest young talents” in its “Best Beauty Docs” issue (October 6, 2003).
Yes, he also injects Botox and Restylane, but he points out, “less invasive means results that are not as long lasting.” He adds, “If you want to turn the clock back 10 years, you need to consider a surgical facelift.” Most of his patients start with eyelid surgery, usually at around age 45; they go on to have facelifts at around age 50. Liposuction and tummy tucks are also popular procedures.
Dr. Roth graduated from the New York University School of Medicine, then he spent five years as a general surgery resident at
Mount Kisco Medical Group
90 S. Bedford Rd., Mount Kisco (914) 242-5647
An enlightened YOGA instructor
Devotees claim Susan Malcolm’s yoga classes are like a
“moving meditation.” She trains with Westchester’s legendary Nevine Michaan of Katonah Yoga along with masters in New York City. While she learned “an incredible purity of form and alignment from Nevine,” her classes feature more of a vinyasa or flowing style. “I try to make the experience fast-paced and easy for non-yogis,” she says. Call Malcolm at (914) 834-5801 for class times and locations in Larchmont, Mamaroneck, and Scarsdale.
A superb PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Denise Miller at Pilates Connection is “one of the best trainers,” says Jaimie Pistilli of Armonk, “and this is coming from someone who hates to exercise. Even when I come in and tell her I can’t even bend over, she finds a way to make me do it. Some people are just born to teach—and she is one of them.” Of course, the ultimate goal, Pistilli says, is to end up looking like Miller!
106 Washington Ave. Pleasantville (914) 747-4711
The Ultimate Facialist
There’s a reason that Lorraine Hoy’s name comes up every time people start talking about facials. She knows what she is doing—making for a delightfully decadent experience. And she doesn’t stop at the chin line. Be prepared to have your neck kneaded, your shoulders rubbed, your fingers and toes massaged, dipped in hot paraffin, and tucked into cozy little mitts. But don’t take our word for it. Laurie Johnson of Pound Ridge says “my skin glows” after a session with Hoy, who she describes as gentle, “with a wonderful shoulder massage.” It is nearly impossible to get an appointment with her, though. (If you can’t, ask for any of the facialists she has personally trained at the spa.)
Park Avenue Medical Spa
495 Main St., Armonk
(914) 730-3333; www.parkavenuemedicalspa.com
the most revered
FOR Magnificent MANICURES
Why have one person pamper your nails when you can have several? At Adam Broderick Salon and Spa’s “Nail Bar,” four to six nail technicians and assistants rotate from one client to the next, one removing old polish, one shaping the nail, another massaging in creams and lotions. Up to nine clients at a time can have their nails “rehabilitated” in this multi-step process, which takes about an hour. The products used are all natural too—fans claim they are like skincare for nails. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve been able to grow nails without acrylics,” one devotee declares. Prices start at $23 for a classic manicure, $45 for a pedicure.
Adam Broderick Salon & Spa
89 Danbury Rd., Ridgefield, CT
(203) 431-3994; www.adambroderick.com
For PRETTY PEDICURES
The pedicure room here is about as pretty as the
toenails you’ll walk out with—with soft amber lighting and silk curtains surrounding the three pedicure thrones that massage your back while the nail specialists pamper your legs and feet with hot stones, steaming towels, and a delightful concoction of yummy smelling creams. “Temporary heaven,” one woman called it.
Angelface Day Spa
322 Underhill Ave., Yorktown Heights
(914) 245-1083; www.angelfacespa.com
For Overall Pampering
We still remember how excited we were when Westchester got its very own Red Door at The Westchester. With good reason. The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa is world renowned for its signature massages, facials, and other pampering processes. Once you escape through that red door, you can feel your stress begin to melt away as you sip lemon water or decaf tea in the relaxation room as you await nirvana in the treatment rooms. “The ultimate spa experience” exults Lorraine Munoz of Croton-on-Hudson.
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa
The Westchester, 125 Westchester Ave.