Go with what you got

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Recently I was speaking to a friend who was too discouraged to go to her high school reunion. She wasn’t happy with her weight or her life. I shared with her one of most important beauty I had learned long ago. And it is simply, “Go with what you got” or in other words make the most of what you have. As it turned out this “beauty lesson” was one of best life lessons I could have learned. For me it meant not worrying about not being tall or anything else that couldn’t be changed and focusing on what did work for me. It was easy to transfer that idea to other areas of life. When you stop longing for what will never be or worse has never really been – you make room for a host of wonderful possibilities.


I was lucky to have learned this early in life but it is never too late to learn to be open to new ideas, possibilities, and to always go with what you got.


Make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love because, my darlings that is truly where the sweet life lies.


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Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

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All contents copyright © 2014





Gracey Hitchcock Angkor WatOver my years as a beauty editor many women have confided that they would love to be more glamorous or chic but they don’t dare. They fear they would look foolish or less professional. It’s sad. While no woman should feel obliged to look like a starlet or model, fear should never hold anyone back from indulging in their feminine side. So darlings, go ahead and dare to be anyone you want to be.
Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already by emailing your info to domore@dolcedolce.com . DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/dolcedolcecom/215363998481866 We post new items and tips almost daily. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address or sharing in Facebook –we will respond! We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!
And please drop by my site www.luxuryofpearls.com for the most stunning pearls at drop dead prices. I have used all my editor shopping savvy to bring you the same fabulous pearls I wear at amazing prices. And yes, the pearls are all real. We already back ordered on several styles!
Gracey Hitchcock
Gracey Hitchcock
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Chatting with Challen Cates

Challen CatesBig Time Rush, the hit series about four young hockey players who are also members of a hot boy band, is returning for another season. We were able to chat with Challen Cates who plays “Mrs. Knight,” mother to the hockey-playing, reluctant boy band member, “Kendall,” and his younger sister Katie.
DolceDolce readers will recognize Challen from her from daytime drama Passions as well as appearances on popular shows such as Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, CSI, and In The Heat of the Night. In the Heat of the Night was Challen’s first big part in a TV series.
Challen lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her two children. She actively supports the ‘Darkness to Light’ foundation as well as the ‘Say It 2 My Face’ Anti-Bullying campaign.
Here is what Challen had to tell us about her life, fashion, and beauty routines:
DD: How did you like living in Atlanta and working on in The Heat of the Night?
CC: Atlanta is an amazing Southern city with so much to offer! I had never lived in a city before — let alone one that big — so it was a great transition for me before embarking on Los Angeles. I was fortunate to work on some wonderful projects in Atlanta. My first booking was a guest star role for In The Heat of The Night and it was a huge part! I had no idea what I was doing on a TV set, but I navigated my way through and learned a lot. It went so well they brought me back as a different character!
DD: What was your favorite thing to do in Atlanta in your down time?
CC: I really enjoyed exploring different neighborhoods like Virginia Highlands and Little Five Points. Piedmont Park is Atlanta's Central Park and it is amazing! On a beautiful spring day, it is the most wonderful place to be
(DD Note: Challen is on to something here. Frederick Law Olmsted (April 26, 1822 – August 28, 1903) designed Piedmont Park Central Park in New York, Mount Royal Park in Montreal, and many other famous urban parks and landmarks in the U.S. and Canada!)
DD: How did you become active in the anti-bullying movement?
We live in a world that has become highly technological and dependent on social media. Though social media can be great in moderation, it has also become a breeding ground for Cyber bullying—and to devastating effects. A friend of mine introduced me to Taylor Audette who created Say It 2 My Face (www.SayIt2MyFace.org ). The philosophy is simple: think before you type. Would you say it in person? The decision is in your hands! I am doing my part to ensure my own children never have to deal with Cyber bullying.
DD: How would you describe your own style?
CC: Bohemian and eclectic with a little tart. I like to mix it up. I love getting dressed up to go anywhere. I really love dresses as well because they are feminine and sexy. They also involve fewer decisions — one dress plus some great shoes beats putting together a whole ensemble any day in my world!
DD: What are your three fashion must-haves?
 CC: Jeans that are perfectly fitted to my body. For me, that means J Brand. A go-to sexy black dress that can be worn with strappy sandals or boots (depending on the weather) is a must. Speaking of footwear, nothing elongates the leg and polishes an outfit like the perfect shoe. Platforms are definitely at the top of my list.
DD: What is the secret to your fitness routine?
CC: I am devoted to Pilates. I work out with my friend Elizabeth Ordway at her studio, Movement Studio LA (www.movementstudioLA.com ). I work out on the reformer and the Cadillac. I also take Elizabeth's bar and mat classes, which target those little muscles that make a big difference. I did Pilates during both pregnancies and started back four weeks post-baby to get back in shape. For me, Pilates is the thing that just works.
DD: What are your best fashion or beauty tips?
CC: Wear sexy shoes, but always have a pair of flip-flops stashed in your car in case you encounter a playground or go on an impromptu walk. Have a great denim jacket to dress up your workout clothes and/or dress down a dressy dress. Splurge on classic items that will be in your closet forever like the perfect leather jacket or cashmere sweater. And bargain hunt for trendy items that you know will be collecting dust next year.
This is going to make you laugh, but the best lip conditioner is nipple cream! I couldn't bring myself to throw away perfectly good nipple cream after I weaned my babies. I looked at the ingredients and thought “Hmmm, this is good stuff! I think I will try it elsewhere…” And voila my lips have never been chapped since. Because I am very fair I avoid the sun, but I do love a sun kissed look. I use St. Tropez tanning cream to get a 1, 2, 3… faux tan. I love Max Factor Mascara, but it isn't sold in the U.S. any longer, so it's tough to find.
DD: What is always in your hand-bag?
 CC: Well, the nipple cream for my lips. ;-). My iPhone, which works as my mini-computer as well as entertainment for my kids when I run out of jokes. Max Factor mascara to cover my blonde lashes, which look invisible without a good coating. Lastly, my prescription sunglasses because I can't see you without them.

The man behind the makeup!

Beauty junkie and bio fans will love Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World by Fred E. Basten. You may not realize it, but you owe your false eyelashes, lip gloss, foundation, and eye shadow to Mr. Factor, as he invented them.
Max fled a career of virtual servitude to a Russian Czar. Once in Hollywood he began career-creating makeup for silent films, then talkies, and, ultimately, color motion pictures. He helped to "glamourize" Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and many other beauties of the day.
Basten, a former PR man for Max Factor, paints a fascinating portrait of the man who helped to bring glamour to modern women.

Fabulous skin now!

Even a glam mask is  no substitute for a glowing complexion!Women always ask me the secret to great skin. It’s a good question, because today there is no reason not to have fabulous skin. A woman can improve her skin and get a healthy glow many ways, no matter her age or budget. 

Good products at every price

The good news is that there are wonderful products available at every price. If you think you need a big beauty budget to have beautiful skin, forget it. Some of the best cutting-edge research in skin care is done by the makers of Olay, Neutrogena, and other fabulously-effective products you may never have heard of.
Here is a guide to fabulous skin throughout your life with all the latest products:
In your 20s
This is the time to form good skin habits
·        Hydrate your skin by washing it morning and night.
·        Remove make up thoroughly by washing your face with good cleanser for your skin type.
·        Change any towel or face cloth that touches your face daily.
·        Use sun protection daily to stop signs of ageing in their tracts. You need a sun screen with minimum SPF 30 broad spectrum against UVA/UVB everyday.
·        Fight dry circles with eye creams containing caffeine and vitamin K. And get panty of sleep.
·        Apply anti-oxidants to skin in the morning to combat free radical damage done to skin by the environment.
·        We love Youth Corridor with Vitamin C, and E, and melatonin. Dr. Gerald Imber, the renowned plastic surgeon and creator of Youth Corridor says: “Anti-aging products like the antioxidant Youth Corridor Skin Boost should be used by women in their early 20s to prevent damage. Young women will benefit the most by staying youthful. It is never too early to protect your skin,” he explains. “The importance of antioxidants in maintaining a youthful complexion cannot be overstated. Antioxidants counteract free radicals in the tissues. These free radicals are responsible for collagen breakdown, sun damage, and wrinkling.”
In your 30s
This is the time actively fight the signs of aging. You will want to maintain your skin’s radiance as well as minimize the beginning signs of aging.
Keep up your good habits and begin using anti-aging products. Do not go overboard. Add new products to your regime one by one. Using too many product or products that are too strong can irritate skin.
Retinols are a form of Vitamin A. Dr. Jeannette Graf, a dermatologist and recognized expert, explains why they’re so vital: “Retinoids are extremely important for the health and beauty of the skin. They are an essential part of any skin care regimen and should be included, whether you are in your 20s or your 90s. Retinoids convert into their active form of all-trans retinoic acid after they penetrate
the skin. All-trans retinoic acid interacts with retinoic acid receptors found in the skin and form compounds with DNA which helps skin regulate and repair itself on a molecular level.  That is why retinoids are an essential part of any skin care regimen.”
“There is a major difference between using a retinoid such as retinal or retin-A vs. a glycolic or polyglycolic acid.  First and foremost, glycolic acid is not essential for healthy skin and it is not an ingredient that is necessary for normal healthy skin development and repair, whereas retinoids are.  Glycolic acid simply exfoliates the outer layer of dead skin which hangs on and makes skin look dull and tired.”
Many women get frustrated trying to use retinol. Their skin becomes red and irritated. Start slowly, if your skin is sensitive. Apply retinols every third day and work up to a full week. Never skip sun protection. And use a non-irritating formula.
“I would first say that prescription retinoids are highly concentrated forms of retinoic acid and they can be irritating,” Dr. Graf explains. “Gentler options are retinols and Retinaldehyde, which are found in OTC products. Both are actually precursors in the pathway resulting in the formation of active all-trans retinoic acid. Retinol can be found in products such as SkinCeuticals Retinol 1, RoC Retinol Correxion products and Olay Anti-Wrinkle Replenishing Night Cream, and Retinaldehyde is available in Avène Rétrinal+ 0.05 and 0.1 formulas. Retinaldehyde is gentler than retinol, but also proven to be a highly effective non-prescription choice, with little to no irritation, is a good choice for sensitive skin.  The OTC formulations are made so that the active retinol or Retinaldehyde penetrate effectively without irritating the skin.  These forms are quite effective, but it is all in the formulation.  Not all are the same — not all of them can be used on sensitive skin.”
My sensitive skin has reacted very well to Avène Rétrinal+ 0.05 and 0.1.
Exfoliate with PHAs. PHP’s are a powerful anti-aging tool. They are alpha Hydroxy acids such as lactobionic acid and gluconolactone. They increase cell turnover, moisturize by attracting water to skin, fight free radical damage, and help increase collagen and elastin for firmer skin. We love PHAs; they make skin look soft and pretty. Some of our favourite PHA products are from Neostrata and Glytone. Both companies offer a wide choice of lines and products for all skin types. They have been recommended by dermatologists for many years because they work. And they are good value.
I also really like Lierac’s Crème Mesolift, a “cocktail of vitamins, minerals, hyaluronic acid, fruit acids, and skin illuminators.”
40s, 50s, and up
This is when many women notice real skin changes, as hormones begin to shift and they move into perimenopause. Skin may become dry and also break out at the same time. Lines and wrinkle appear overnight. Skin begins to lose firmness. These changes can come any time between the ages of 40 and 50. All women are different, so do what works for you and be ready to adjust your regime as the seasons change.
Pentpeptides are amino acids that help the skin repair and regenerate. Many Olay products contain them, as do more expensive formulations such as the Dr. Perricone line. All pentapetides are not created equal and you will need to try a few to see what works best for your skin. You will find them listed under ingredients in many popular anti-aging products today.
DMAE is short for dimethylaminoethanol. It is naturally-occurring. Research shows it can help to firm and rejuvenate skin. I love what it does for mine. Many of the well respected Dr. Perricone products contain it.
I use Source Naturals Skin Eternal DMAE Cream. It smells divine and is full of anti-oxidants, rich moisturizers, and it costs under $30.
Dry skin can be an issue at any age, and after 40 most women suffer from it to some degree. Pure squalene oil or argan oil can renew and nourish dry skin. Apply oils sparingly to damp skin over serums and treatments. Do not slather oil on or you will look oily and may clog your pores.
I use Kaé Pure Argan oil from France and Mayumi Squalene Oil from Japan. Both are under $30 and available online. I also like Josie Maran argan oil. Oils work very quickly to calm irritated dry skin.
Developing blemishes as you notice lines and wrinkles can be maddening. Try Olay’s Pro X Clear Acne Protocol. It is designed for adults and has effective ingredients to clear skin, but won’t dry and irritate it. Or, get yourself to a good acne doctor; they can do wonders. Ask around as not all dermatologists are good at treating acne.
Remember good products are only part of the good skin equation. Good nutrition and exercise are equally vital to getting a glow on. Dr. Imber cautions: “Steps to control the aging process include sun protection, no smoking, sensible exercise, weight control, and proper skin care.”
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants is as important as applying them to your skin. A diet rich in Omega 3 oil, protein, and citrus will also help you have great skin and hair, too. Did you know that Omega 3 oil can help to moisturize skin from the inside out, as well as help to minimize break outs? And don’t forget your citrus. Vitamin C is essential for building collagen, the stuff that holds your face up.  
And get moving. Exercise does more than bring a pretty blush to your cheeks! Regular vigorous exercise actually changes the way your blood flows, and that helps make your skin younger and more vital-looking. You will look younger for many reasons when you work out regularly. If you exercise outside, use a good sun screen and reapply.
Remember darlings, it is never too soon to start good beauty habits and never too late to look younger and more radiant.

Top doc’s guide glowing skin

Dr. Jeannette GrafStop Aging, Start Living by Jeanette Graf M.D. with Alisa Bowman is like having a really smart dermatologist for a friend. Dr. Jeanette Graf is a well-respected cosmetic dermatologist who is often quoted in beauty and fashion magazines. In her book, she confesses to be a beauty junkie who learned the hard way that beauty starts from the inside out.

Dr. Graf shares her recipe for great skin. It involves vitamins, minerals, fresh fruits and vegetables — andgreens powder. She believes that too much acid is the enemy of great skin and robs you of you glow. She tells you exactly what to take and how to test for the right PH to get your glow back!
This informative little volume includes tips on how to slow down aging and select the right products for your skin, and other professional trade secrets.
Dr. Graf’s boon names products and gives precise instructions on to how to take care of your skin, unlike other experts whose books frustratingly give only general recommendations. She also recommends products at all price points.
This is good book of basic skin care wisdom for any woman looking for guidance. Also check out Dr. Graf’s website:

Effective treatment for hyperpigmentation


Too many skin brightening and lightening cream regimes promise too much and deliver too little. Some may fade spots just a little. Some creams containing hydroquinone can even make hyperpigmentation worse, or in rare cases turn skin blue!
The new elure Advanced Skin Lightening program is a three-part system designed to safely erase hyperpigmentation, also called sun spots or age spots. And serious clinical trials show it works on all types of skin in 28 days!
The night cream and lotion are price to sell for $150 each, and the cleanser sells for $35. Costly laser treatments may or may not work, depending on the cause of the pigmentation and the operator’s skill. And prescription creams that contain high doses of hydroquinone can have serious side effects.
There are three products in the régime: Advanced Lightening Lotion, Advanced Lightening Night Cream, and Advanced Facial Wash.
elure contains lignin peroxidase, a naturally-occurring enzyme derived from a tree fungus that actually breaks down melanin, the substance in skin that causes spots and discoloration. It has been proven safe in clinical testing and does not appear to cause irritation, skin thinning, or other undesirable side-effects. I tried the line on my very sensitive and dry skin, and found it pleasant to use. I experienced no burning or dying.

Botanicals for pretty, “ageless” skin

Darlings, if you read DolceDolce, you know that I believe the prettiest, healthiest and youngest-looking skin comes from combining dermatologist products such as retinol, Vitamin C, glycolic, and peptides, with high-grade botanical products. 

One of my favourite things to put on my skin is pure botanical oil. I like to use it before or after treatment products to keep my skin smooth and dewy looking. During the winter, it is essential to fight the dryness from heating. In summer, it saves my skin from air conditioning. I even pat it over make-up and often after misting my skin, to seal in moisture.

Recently, I tried Kahina Argan oil and Kahina Toning Mist, and loved them both. The toning mist contains “Argan leaf extract,” which is high in anti-oxidants. The light and refreshing mist is full of anti-oxidant-rich botanicals.
I do not use toners after washing my face; I don’t see the point. I like to apply products to my still-damp face to seal in moisture. But I do like to mist my face through the day to replenish moisture. Kahina Toning Mist is perfect for this.
The Kahina Toning mist contains aloe vera leaf juice, rose flower water, willow bark extract, aspen bark extract, argan leaf extract, and other ingredients to soothe and hydrate the skin. It sells for $36.
Kahina Argan oil leaves skin dewy and glowing. Argan oil is one of the many pure botanical oils that are beneficial when applied directly to skin. Kahina makes a full line of beauty products using pure organic Argan oil. My favourite is the pure Argan oil, but the Kahina eye serum is also delicious if you are looking for a light soothing eye product. Kahina eye serum has lupine protein to firm the eye area, and botanicals to reduce dark circles and puffiness. It’s $78.
The company’s owner Katherine L’Heureux gives 25 percent of the profits from Kahina back to the Berber women who harvest the oil. And if you were wondering, Kahina means “female seer,” or wise woman in Arabic. Isn’t that lovely? Kahina Argan oil is $89.