Today we have an awesome guest post from Kelsey (that’s her in the photo above, isn’t she gorgeous?!)! Kelsey is the editor at LuxAuthority and is trying to balance both her budget and her credit card balance. She likes to live lavish and treat herself when the opportunity allows it. She loves the newest tech, old cars and the smell of rich mahogany and leather bound books as well!
Youthful looking skin is the key to helping you feel more confident. With so many products on the market, finding the ones that are most effective can be a daunting task. Drugstores carry many products for less than $20 that work well. However, skincare regimens that come with a higher price tag could produce better results. Expensive products tend to provide long-term effects and come in a physician-strength formula. A retinol product at a drugstore, for example, will give you the ingredients but at a much lower strength. Here is a list of the top 5 luxury skincare products that are worth the splurge.
Sonja Morgan is the hilarious gorgeous star of Real Housewives of New York City. She always has a super-natural look about her that’s light, radiant, and youthful, and probably helps her get all of those younger guys when she’s out at Beautique.
Sonja looks so incredibly beautiful no matter how frazzled the other ladies on the show try to make her. Lucky for us in December 2016 she Instagrammed her beauty routine so we can try to emulate her amazing looks. I still can’t believe Sonja is in her fifties she looks incredible! Check out the post on Sonja Morgan’s Makeup Secrets for more!
Quickly before we start- because Lady Morgan uses many expensive products, I highly recommend using Ebates to get cash back (free) for purchases at certain stores. All you do is sign-up, download the handy web browser extension which will notify you when you can use ebates and then click on the cash back button. Or go to ebates.com, type in the store you want to shop at, and follow the link from there!
Sonja Morgan Skin Care
Sonja has an intense regimen so I thought it might be helpful to talk about what order skin care is supposed to go in and how different ingredients work. If you want to learn more about skin care go check out the amazing Caroline Hirons blog which helped me figure out which step goes where.
Step 1: Cleanse the Skin.
Sonja and her daughter use the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser($28) (Source). This cleanser is a soap-free liquid formula so it does not over-dry skin. Apply to damp skin and massage your cleanser in circular movements and rinse with warm water.
This is an optional step but a nice hydrating process that can help wake you up in the morning. Sonja’s “Facial Spritz” of choice is the OSea Sea Minerals Mist (Source). This is an elixir that is sprayed on the face to hydrate dry skin. It also reduces inflammation and redness and neutralizes surface impurities. The mist can be used alone after cleansing, throughout the day, over makeup to set it, or after storing in the refrigerator for a cool pick me up.
4. Step 4: Eye Cream. You want to apply eye cream first before moisturizer so it can absorb where you want it. Sonja likes the Perricone MD Cold Plasma EyeCream. This eye cream helps with fine lines, dark circles, puffiness, dryness, discoloration, and dullness.
5. Step 5: Serums/oils.
Take a few drops of your serum of choice on the end of your fingertips and pat them quickly on your face. You can mix and match any you like. Sonja uses a few different types of serums. Some are specific to daytime or nighttime and others can be used both day and night. Serums can really make a difference in your skin over the long-term since they contain ingredients that repair and correct problems whereas your moisturizer is just used to seal it all in. A few Sonja likes are:
Complexion Correcting Serum: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum ($79). This serum is again supposed to help give smoother, brighter-looking skin and also helps treat acne and blemishes and fade dark spots.
Vitamin C Serum: Sonja uses the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum($165). This is a daytime vitamin C serum that provides environmental protection, helps produce collagen, can reduce the appearance of fine lines, firms skin, and brightens the complexion. Cameran Eubanks from Southern Charm is a big fan of the Skinceuticals serums as well.
Retinol Serum:Smooth Synergy Retinol+ ($75). This product contains 0.5% Retinol which has been scientifically proven to improve fine lines and wrinkles and it helps shrink the look of enlarged pores. After washing the face you would apply this to the face and neck at night and follow with a moisturizer. Once your skin has built up a tolerance you can work up to twice a day.
6. Step 6: Moisturizer.
Moisturizing is like a top coat/protection for your skin. Use about the size of a quarter. Sonja reaches for Caudalie again with theCaudalie Premier Cru The Cream($158). This is a luxurious cream that’s supposed to combat the signs of aging like fine lines, dryness, and loss of firmness and elasticity. This is applied morning and evening to the face and neck.
Moisturizing Gel: The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($28) is a fantastic product that I have re-purchased several times and it’s great for summer as well because it’s light texture won’t leave your face feeling greasy or heavy. This works great for day or night and is great under makeup too.
There’s lots of different kinds of masks including sheet masks, hydrating masks, charcoal masks, etc. If it is a hydrating mask or a clay-type mask, you should cleansing and exfoliate the skin before applying. After you’ve removed the mask you can apply your serums/oils and moisturizers. If it’s an overnight hydrating mask or a sheet mask, first apply your nightly serums/oils and then use the mask as your moisturizer to seal them all in.
Sonja likes the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask ($52) which is a refreshing, cooling, moisturizing, calming gel that helps soothe dry, irritated skin. It also helps hydrate, de-puff, smooth, and soften the skin. You would apply a generous coat after cleansing and exfoliating, keep the mask on for 10 minutes then since with cool water. You could also refrigerate this for extra de-puffing power. You can use this mask 2-3 times per week or even daily if you need intensive hydration. Erika Jayne and Kyle Richards are also Peter Thomas Roth fans.
Sheet Masks: Sonja uses the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($95). This is a luxury cotton face mask that’s pre-soaked with a concentration of Pitera which hydrates the skin making it look more radiant. To use a sheet mask you unfold the mask, place it on top of your face and pat it firmly. Leave it on for 5-15 minutes and after you take it off you pat in the excess on your face so it can soak up all the benefits. You can use this mask 1-2 times a week after exfoliating/toning.
Ah yes, placenta. Placenta aka afterbirth is an organ that connects a developing fetus to the uterine wall. Placenta provides nutrients, eliminates waste, fights against infection and produces hormones to support the pregnancy. Cosmetics companies typically use sheep placenta claiming that it serves as a source of protein and hormones especially estrogen and progesterone. As far as I can tell there is no data or scientific evidence backing up this claim.
Do you have a top skincare secret? “Satoko Yamazaki has my back, and my face! Since my divorce, she comes to my home to give me glycolic peels when I am in town. I have been a fan for decades of any peel. Acid, vegetable, fruit. Anything that removes the top layer of skin and refreshes. I also do regular body scrubs, preferably with salt.” (Source)
If you watch Real Housewives of New York you know that not only does Satoko keep Sonja looking good, she also has all the hot gossip. Satoko worked at Caudalie Spa at the Plaza Hotel which may be why Sonja uses so many Caudalie products.
Sonja says she sees Satoko once a week when she’s in town! You can check out Satoko’s services on her website satokonyc.com. She offers Alpha-Beta Peels, Papaya Enzyme peels, Lactic peels, a Vi peel, and a TCA peel.
You can do your own at home 24k Gold mask with the Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle 24k Gold Intense Wrinkle Sheet Mask ($68). This is a sheet mask that has anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic acid which is super hydrating. The appearance of wrinkles and expression lines is reduced and skin is comforted and soothed (which is what it needs after a good peel!)
This mask also increases hydration levels in the skin and will make it look energized and illuminated. After cleansing and using a glycolic peel (optional), remove the mask and pat gently onto the face then leave on for 15 minutes. Remove the mask and lightly pat in the rest of the product until it’s absorbed (don’t rinse off!) You can use this type of mask 1-2 times per week.
Sonja is wearing a 24k Gold Mask after a glycolic peel. Caudalie makes a Glycolic Peel ($39) you can do yourself at home. A glycolic peel is a treatment that tightens pores, reduces oils, renews skin texture, and improves radiance. It also fights dark spots. You apply a thick layer twice a week after cleansing the face, leave on for 10 minutes and rinse.
If you want to give yourself an exfoliating grape extract back facial, Caudalie makes a Deep Cleansing Exfoliator ($35) that includes grape pulp extracts to hydrate the skin leaving it silky smooth. This is a natural exfoliator that uses rounded corn beads to remove dead skin without causing irritation. You can apply it twice a week to damp skin (face or body), massage delicately and rinse with water.
Sonja also goes to Luz at Dr. Sadick’s office for a “deep action facial” aka a Medical Cleanse Facial (Source). This type of facial includes cleansing, steaming, gentle extractions to eliminate blackheads and clogged pores. The esthetician then uses an exfoliation treatment, cleanses the skin again, and applies topical cream treatments to help lock in moisture.
Sonja Morgan’s Body Care
Body Exfoliator:OSEA Malibu Undaria Body Polish($48)this fine-grain body polish has uplifting aromatherapy and this product is vegan and cruelty-free. I would guess that Sonja uses this all over before getting a spray tan.
Body Oil: Caudalie Divine Oil($49). I LOVE this stuff as well it smells so nice and expensive. You can use it on your body as a moisturizer as well as on your face and the ends of your hair.
Tinted Body Lotion:Caudalie Divine Legs Tinted body lotion. This is a body bronzer that gives an instant glow that lasts all day and washes off in the shower. It gives a nice sun-kissed look and helps to cover any discoloration. Divine Legs may be discontinued, but an alternative would be NARS Manoi Body Glow($59).
Sonja also uses the LORAC TANtalizer ($21) to give her body a golden glow. This one again can be applied all over the body for a temporary glow that can later be washed off in the shower with soap. Having a shimmering (fake) tan is great at covering up any imperfections and makes you look more toned!
Sonja horrified the Countess and viewers when she soaked her face in an ice filled bidet on vacation, but with benefits like those can you blame her? (Source)
If you want to ease yourself in to icing your face, you can wrap an ice cube in a washcloth and run it all over. It can temporarily reduce the look of your pores, tighten the face, and give you a little glow (Source). It’s especially helpful if you’re a little puffy from travel and water retention.
Sonja tweeted after going to the Youth Corridor Clinic that she had a No Peel Peel that required no downtime. The Youth Corridor Signature No Peel Peel is a chemical peel that uses 70% Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin cells making skin instantly more vibrant. Glycolic acid is a great exfoliator that reduces fine lines, helps with acne scars, and clears up blocked pores and blackheads (Source). They say there is no downtime because typically with a chemical peel the skin is red and irritated afterwards, but this peel is more gentle.
Sonja Morgan’s Injectables
Gabrielle Reilly: Do you have any cosmetic surgery or injection favorites Sonja Morgan: I am open to anything and everything. (Source)
Sonja Morgan Botox
Sonja admits to getting Botox yearly to prevent creasing from repetitive facial action (Source). She says for most people it lasts 3-6 months, but on her it claims much longer (Source). She has also had Botox done by Dr. Kassir Ramtin (Source).
She also says she has had a non-surgical nose job with Dr. Kassir Ramtin which she called “interesting” (Source). A non-surgical nose job uses dermal filler to alter the contours of the nose. It can be used to camouflage a bump, raise a drooping tips, fix a low bridge, and correct post rhinoplasty asymmetry (Source).
Lilly Ghalichi had a live makeup tutorial using one of her many professional makeup artists Bria Valencia (Instagram @BriaMakeup) on 8/15/14 and I watched it for Blushing in Hollywood research purposes 😉 If you don’t know Lilly, she is a reality TV star from Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset where she was referred to as Persian Barbie.
Lilly is not just a pretty face she is also an attorney, a fashion designer, a (very successful) business owner, and a blogger as well. Lilly is from Houston (but lives in LA) and as a native Texan she loves big hair and big glamour.
She typically rocks a very full face, several pairs of false eyelashes, and lots of contouring. She even mentioned in the class that she hates makeup artists that only use a little bit of foundation and pinch your cheeks for a “natural look” because she wants to look like she is wearing makeup.