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:

Don’t miss this!

If you missed our item on Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula facial care line, take another look. We love this value-for-money line, and so do our friends and readers who have tried it! It’s packed with fabulous anti-aging and skin-pampering ingredients, such as Vitamin E, milk proteins, Retinol, and evening primrose. The prices range from $10 to $15, but it feels much more expensive. And darlings, we can’t resist a good night cream for just $15!

The line consists of a Palmer’s creamy Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Daily Cleanser that actually has ingredients to brighten skin. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub has micro-fine crushed cocoa beans to gently exfoliate. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Facial Lotion contains antioxidants, evening primrose, and milk proteins. It also has a broad-spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Night Renewal Cream feels luscious. It contains cocoa and shea butters, retinol peptides, and evening primrose to firm and tighten skin. This is my favourite product. There is also a soothing eye cream. This line is a touch of luxury that most women can afford, yet it will be right at home next to your most expensive products. The formulas are effective, but gentle enough for most skins to tolerate.

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.

Little luxuries

Crabtree & Evelyn Black Sea Mud & Seaweed Triple Milled soap smells like the sea with a splash of citrus and cedar. The sexy-looking black bar is spa-like experience that pampers your skin with purifying sea silt extract and red and brown algae. It also contains shea butter, cocoa butter, and primrose to leave skin moist and soft. Pair this luxe soap with a big fluffy loofah, and you have a perfect gift for any luxury loving friend.  



Gracey HitchcockDarlings, friends can help make or break you. Like it or not, you are judged, by the company you keep, so choose well. Friends can lift you up or drag you down with their words and their actions. Be a good friend and know you deserve the same. Never miss a chance to lighten the load of another person with an encouraging or kind word. Speak up against meanness and stop it in its tracks. It is a vile poison that sucks the joy from life. 

And here is a creative opportunity from Mary Kay: Starting today  through June 30th, women ages 18 to 34 are invited and encouraged to apply online at: In August, the lucky selected entrants will work together for a week in Hollywood to create, produce and direct three unique documentaries that share inspiring stories of women affected by domestic violence.

Until next week, please sign-up if you haven’t already by emailing your info to . DolceDolceis free. And please forward us to all your friends. And please give us your comments by emailing us at the same address. We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation!  Now, follow us on Facebook, too!
Gracey Hitchcock
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Fashion on the go!

Soyon AnYou want to be ready in minutes when it is time for summer fun. And you want to look fabulous, too! That is why we asked Soyon An, an American Idol stylist and guest stylist for Baby Phat, for her favourite tips on how to be look fab in a flash. She had a list of must-have items for summer, handy fashion tips for summer weddings, and ideas for how to dress up a dull look fast. She also asked that we share her cute Baby Phat style video – so give it a look.  

Embed links to feature the web video featuring Soyon are here:


DD: What are this summer’s must-have items?
S: Definite must-haves for the season are a fringe bag, wedges, and a floral wardrobe item.
DD: What are few quick and easy ways to change a look from boring to chic?
S: As you can see in the video, all it takes sometimes is switching out the top and shoes, and pairing them with some over-the-top statement accessories!
DD: What is your favourite look for a casual evening?
S: It’s all about layers: Boots, skinny jeans, fitted tanks, cardis with shawl attached, leather jackets, light cashmere scarves, fun earrings.
DD: What do you suggest that can be worn more than once for this season’s spring and summer weddings?
S: For summer weddings, you can absolutely wear a great pair of dressy shoes and fabulous accessories more than once.
DD: What are your three fashion must-haves?
S: Boots, skinny jeans, and a great purse!! If I could have four, I would squeeze in a leather jacket!
DD: What is always in your handbag, and what is you favourite "on the go" handbag?
S: My camera, notebook, business cards, and my Almay eyeliner! My on-the-go handbag for this season is my Michael Kors suede fringe bag.

Dessert Diva

Maida HeatterMaida Heatter has been called the Queen of Desserts. She has been praised by culinary luminaries such as Wolfgang Puck, Martha Stewart and Charlie Trotter. They agree her recipes are perfection. For decades home cooks from beginners to experts have made delectable desserts by following her well-tested recipes.

Now there are two new and affordable Maida Heatter cookbooks in paperback: Maida Heatter’s Cakes and Maida Heatter’s Cookies. Both have charming anecdotes and hundreds of tested recipes with clear easy-to-follow instructions. No cook should be without these classics! They would make excellent shower gifts.


Smart girls don’t play with snakes

Cleopatra came to a sad end --or so the story  goes -- playing with a snakeIn an incredible display of irony on a recent episode of The Real Housewives of New York, Jill Zarin sponsored an event to help stop classroom bullying. Let me be clear, I have nothing but admiration for her step-daughter Jennifer Zarin, a young woman with a facial deformity. She spoke elegantly about being bullied and is an example as to how to behave graciously.

But one can only wonder what the ladies were thinking as they ripped into each other at an event to prevent bullying. Watching them go at it, it should come as no surprise that studies show that women are among the worse bullies in the workplace, and that mean girls can be as dangerous as bully boys.
The “Housewives” franchises are my guilty pleasures. Many people may dismiss them as crass nonsense, but I find they too often mirror the values and behavior I see daily.
I shuddered as I watched Countess Luann attack cast-mate Ramona Singer. The countess demanded that Ramona discuss her problem with Jill Zarin before a planned trip to Morocco. She then informed her, in the middle of the event, that she (the countess) and several cast-mates had been at a spa party, and no one wanted to go on a trip with Singer. She continued to berate Singer for not wanting to share David Meister, the designer who supplies Singer’s clothes for the show. It was almost comical when the countess feigned innocence as Singer told her to stop “getting in the middle and picking a fight.”
Reality TV is not reality. Producers do edit and manipulate story lines, but a thread of truth runs through it. People often behave this way. We have lost our civility. Gone are the rules that make polite society polite.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be said for good old-fashioned manners, when it comes to getting ahead and getting along.
For instance, people don’t like to hear about parties they were not invited to. So follow the old rule and never talk about an event unless it was at least five years ago or 500 miles away. You will be more popular. Keep Facebook posts of these festivities to a minimum; a few pictures will do. More is less, and classier.
The exceptions include family parties, such as weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, and reunions. Class reunions fall in this category, too. Post away! Anyone who missed the event will love seeing the photos. Try to label pictures and avoid posting anything that embarrasses anyone. Be discreet and you will be loved.
I recently saw the documentary film Bill Cunningham New York, about the legendary New York Times photographer and social chronicler. In it, Annette de la Renta, the philanthropist wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, lauded Cunningham for “always being kind.”
Follow his example – and hers. Pick your fights and choose your words carefully. Life is too short to go around battling and gossiping over every little thing. I am not advocating being a doormat, far from it. But many little scraps people try to draw you into are just not worth it. Fight for things that are worth it. If someone tries to bully you or tarnish your reputation, stand up for yourself, then walk away. Needy people get a charge out of battling. They like drama and they will drain your energy if you let them. I prefer work, accomplishment, friendship, and creativity.
Often women who try to bait or bully you are jealous or needy. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Bethenny Frankel left the show after seeing so-called friends attack Ramona Singer. Both Bethenny and Ramona are successful businesswomen.
Recently, a woman I know casually came to me to vent her frustration after a business venture she had counted on had failed. She was discouraged and angry. It was in an area where I have some expertise and experience, so I was glad to give her some advice and reassurance. I also offered a few tips on how to avoid the same situation in the future. I was careful not to lecture or be negative. I know no one enjoys feeling naïve or stupid, and it is counter-productive. It was a brief and positive conversation, and one that she had initiated.
So darlings, you may imagine my surprise a week later when she and I were chatting about another matter involving a mutual friend. “Oh,” she said, “she should have asked you – you’re so sneaky.” I quickly objected to that characterization, and she backed down. But as far as I am concerned, that was the end of it, and of our relationship.
I don’t need friends who take jabs at me — or anyone else, when they are feeling badly about themselves and want to feel smarter. I am simply not interested. It might surprise her, but her behaviour did not make her new friends that day. Smart women know that being friends with women like that is like snake handling – it is just a matter of time before you get bitten. Smart girls don’t play with snakes – just ask Eve.
Another friend of mine — a delightful, hardworking professional — has had mean girl issues at the office. Recently she was assigned to work with a woman who refuses to get along, no matter what my friend tried to do. My friend even asked for advice from her own boyfriend, an even-tempered professional, but the woman remained surly. Finally, the woman disclosed the real reason for her discontent. She was jealous that my friend gets more respect for creative ideas from their boss. The problem is my friend is the creative person in the partnership, and the malcontent is the administrative person. Perhaps the woman longs to be creative, as do many people.
The other housewives long for the monetary rewards and fame Bethenny and Ramona enjoy. I think they are foolish. Ramona is savvy and I would keep her close. I am impressed with her business acumen. She has successful jewelry line, skin care business, and now a new wine.
As for me and my friend, we have worked hard to get where we are professionally. I am not thin-skinned and am happy to help others whenever I can. I have many old dear friends, and I don’t accept bitchiness or bad manners in my friendships. I know it isn’t necessary or healthy. My friend will ride this out. The other women will be the poorer for missing out on a great colleague, who would have their backs.
Smile and walk away from troublemakers when you can. Always be a lady, even when you have to defend yourself. And remember darlings, smart women never play with snakes.