Welcome Temptalia's Skincare Contributors!

Welcome Temptalia’s Skincare Contributors!

This smart and skincare-savvy group of individuals is here to help you understand your skin better.  From oily to dry, acne-prone to combating the signs of aging, they will share their tips and tricks on getting the most out of your skin care routine and what works (and doesn’t!).  Please welcome them! 🙂

Cécile, 28, France/Switzerland | Cécile is 28-years old and is half French, half Belgian. She spent most of her life in France, with a little in Belgium and Cyprus, but she currently resides in Switzerland. For the past six years, she has worked in the cosmetic and perfume industry after she obtained her Master’s in Chemistry from ISIPCA (founded by Mr. Guerlain himself!), with an emphasis in cosmetics. She prides herself on her extended knowledge of cosmetic ingredients, skincare products, and European cosmetic legislation. She has been developing cosmetic products like skincare and suncare and is wise to marketing claims.

Cécile has a natural curiosity about everything in life. She loves cooking world food and anything related to nature and animals. Her two cats, Guinness (Cyprus) and Guru (Siamese) are always there to keep her happy!

Cheryl Billinger, 34, Florida | Originally from Pennsylvania, Cheryl graduated from the local creative and performing arts high school where her focus was in Visual Art. It was during those high school days in the early 1990s that she bought her first MAC and Chanel eye shadows and developed a fascination for beauty products overall. She then went on to pursue a B.A. in International Relations with minors in Political Science and General Business. She spent two years living and studying in Nicaragua while working on her Bachelor’s degree which permanently changed her life.

Cheryl has been a vegetarian since the age of 13 and prefers to use cruelty-free products. She also has broad professional experience, ranging from marketing/public relations specialist, to pet sitter, to insurance adjuster. Having developed a preference for warmer climates during college, she now permanently resides in Florida.

Christina Bellevue, Canada | Christina is a professed skincare and makeup junkie living in La Belle Province (aka Québec, Canada). Although she cannot recall the exact moment her passion for beauty started, she knows that being voted “Best Lips” in high school was one of the many catalysts of her beauty junkyism, which a 3-year stint working in sales and retail marketing for an international beauty company fanned all the more.

When not reading beauty blogs and magazines, stalking the beauty aisle of her local pharmacy fawning over new products, or making her girlfriends spend way too much money at the beauty counter, Christina is studying full-time to obtain a masters degree in marketing, with a research focus on multicultural marketing and advertising in the beauty industry. Known among her friends as “the girl with a cautionary tale for everything”, Christina loves to try new restaurants with her friends, shop on eBay to satisfy her champagne taste on a beer budget, and watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer reruns whenever they’re on TV. With her academic background, professional experience and community involvement, Christina hopes to become a good role model in her community and make her mom, friends and boyfriend proud! You can follow her on Twitter!

Dain, 26, New England | Dain is a freelance editor and writer, who graduated with a Bachelor of Art in English. She expected to pursue an academic career but found her interests straying elsewhere–like beauty! She has dry, sensitive skin and is always looking for ways to keep her skin hydrated.

When she isn’t writing about beauty, she loves to play video games, cook (and eat!), and read. Check out her blog, Ars Aromatica!

John Su, 21, California | John describes himself as eccentric–you might find him having a conversation with himself or making “A Beautiful Mind”-like movements while doing so. He’s a stickler for accuracy, so you might find him correcting one thing or another! His goal is to answer questions and provide unbiased, meaningful, and insightful information.

At 21, he is an aspiring dermatologist and will return to school next fall to get those plans moving. John enjoys singing, playing piano, hitting volleyballs, playing video games, and chatting with friends. Some day, he’d love to try more adventurous activities, like skydiving and mountain climbing! Check out his blog, The Triple Helix Liaison!

Laura Hogan, 40s, New York | Laura “came of age” in the 80s, so she considers a survivor of some very disturbing fashion and makeup trends, like shoulder pads, acid-washed jeans worn unironically, streaky blush, and thick eyeliner that we softened with a lighter before putting it on–don’t even get her started on what women wore to the gym in those days! She now works in a more conservative field, and she’ll get an odd look or two if she wears crackle nail polish (and she expects we’ll look back on that trend with the same disbelief we now reserve for horizontally-striped leg warmers).

Laura sometimes thinks she may need an intervention for her beauty product addiction, because the inside of her bathroom looks like an Estee Lauder warehouse. When she’s not unhealthily obsessed with beauty and fashion, she lives and works in New York with her husband and two cats.

Marcia, Michigan | Marcia is a former elementary school teacher. Teaching was her absolute passion, and she never thought she’d want to do anything else. She considered herself a creative teacher and poured her heart and soul into it. When the opportunity came up to retire at a young age, she took advantage of it, but she needed a new outlet for her creative abilities–enter in beauty.

She began writing reviews online and became a freelance makeup artist. She’s worked for lines like Paula Dorf and MAC as well as was a prestige makeup consultant at Ulta. At present, she enjoys her retirement while writing her beauty blog, Beauty Info Zone. Marcia is a married mom with adult children and the cutest grandson in the entire world (no prejudice!). She has a very close family and elderly mother she cares for–her extended family means the world to her.

Nicki Zevola, Pennsylvania | Nicki Zevola is a beauty expert and the founder of FutureDerm.com, where she provides clear, well-researched information about beauty+skincare, fashion+style, nutrition+fitness, and personal development from a different perspective from most in the blogosphere.

Named one of the top beauty bloggers since 2009, Nicki is also a medical student (M.D.) with an estimated graduation date of May 2013. She has been interviewed or mentioned in The New York Times, Fitness, Shape, DermMatters: The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology online, Elegant Lifestyles, as well as other publications. She has also won numerous awards for academics as a student in the B.S./M.D. program at the University of Pittsburgh, including graduating magna cum laude with dual degrees in Biological Sciences and Physics/Astronomy and a minor in Chemistry, eight-time Dean’s List, Phi Beta Kappa, two-time Chancellor’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Chancellor’s Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship, University Scholar designation, and many others.

When she’s not blogging or studying, she can be found reading, running, doing Pilates, or spending time with her family, friends, and boyfriend, Garrett. She loves Sex and the City, high heels, the Muppets, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. She is also an avid fan of the works of Jim Rohn, Martha Beck, and Success magazine.

Learn a little more about skincare fanatics! 

Q&A with Cécile

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? I don’t know actually, I’m the only really girly girl in my family?!
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? I can’t live without a makeup remover (preferably a rinse-off cleansing oil, like the Bobbi Brown Cleansing oil), my beloved face cleanser without soap Boreade, a good hydrating cream (I like to try new thing here, right now it’s the new Crème Prodigieuse of Nuxe) a good eye-cream that’s anti-wrinkle and anti-dark circles (Again, I change often here, Now it’s also the Crème Prodigieuse for the eyes from Nuxe) and finally I couldn’t live with a good suncream, at least SPF 30.
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? I have a very very fair skin, combination (Normal on the cheeks to Oily on the T-zone) and I have black heads around the nose and chin, and I can have a bit of pimples some time to time. I am also very allergic to Sweet almond oil and some perfumes. So I need to be careful about buying non comedogenic products, and I always check the ingredient list to be sure about allergens.
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? I enjoy trekking, preferably in the mountains, but the country side is as good! I like playing around with crafts: I like drawing, doing polymer clay, creating jewelries with beads and ribbons… I like cooking a lot. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen daily, and I especially love cooking Asian food. And I really enjoy reading as well.
  5. Who makes up your family? Any pets? I have a boyfriend, a bigger sister and a younger brother. I have 2 cats, a Cyprus cat called Guinness, very very furry lovable little guy, and a crazy Siamese called Guru who’s really talkative and needs to have someone to play with him ALL THE TIME! But he does fetch the little toy mouse, that’s so funny !
  6. What’s your favorite quote? “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” — Albert Einstein
  7. What’s your favorite color? I like bright colors in general, my eyes usually get attracted with greens and reds!
  8. What’s in your makeup bag? Mostly MAC, Bobbi Brown and Make Up For Ever, but a also have a lot of Zoeva makeup brushes, I’m getting to know brands like Kiko (very nice brand!) and for the nails, it’s all about OPI, Orly and Peggy Sage (and a bit of Mavala).

Q&A with Cheryl

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? My grandmother’s folksy, homespun wisdom and unorthodox beauty tricks are what initiated my passion for skin care. She always said that the secret to being attractive is to have a pretty face. Your hair, clothing and body may not be perfect, but as long as you take good care of your face, the world will still think you’re pretty. Of course, healthy-looking skin is a very important part of having an attractive face.
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer, Caudalie Cleansing Water, Clarins Eye Contour Balm, Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream, and ARCONA Booster Defense Serum.
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? Recently, my skin has been cycling out of a 20+ year combination oily t-zone/dry phase. It is now as close to “normal” as it’s ever been (though it’s subject to change with the weather, amount of air conditioning I’m exposed to, etc.). Being almost 35 years old, all of my skin care concerns relate to my desire for a seamless transition into my 40’s (appearance-wise, at least). I want to preserve and prevent as much as possible!
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? I enjoy reading Japanese and Korean graphic novels and watching anime. The best time of year is when the anime and sci-fi conventions come to town. My favorite outdoor activity by far is going to the beach; I like to see which shell species I can find the most of from week to week. I particularly love to make things and am presently working on an Ewok village diorama for the living room. A less “nerdy” interest would be experimenting with makeup and mixing my own colors. Of course I love buying and trying different skin care products as I get a real thrill when I find something truly unique and effective that can live up to its claims!
  5. What’s your favorite quote? “Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1971
  6. What’s your favorite color? I love the color grey. Light or dark grey, it doesn’t matter so long as it isn’t in the sky.
  7. What’s in your makeup bag? I had to switch to a larger makeup bag due to all the amazing Halloween cosmetics currently available in every store I go to. My favorites are a ‘mood-changing’ teal/dark blue lip gloss and various little pots of cosmetic-grade glitter. More everyday items in the bag include: MAC Select Cover-Up and Studio Fix powder (both in NC20), theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, NARS Bronzing Powder, Laguna, Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion and a travel-friendly Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Eye and Lip Cream.

Q&A with Christina

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? I’d say that my first job out of undergrad, as a sales representative for two skincare brands, really kicked my passion for skincare and healthy skin into high gear. Since keeping abreast of industry innovations was a huge part of the job in order to become a more convincing and knowledgeable sales rep, I had the pleasure of attending various skincare product trainings and conferences, and met with dermatologists on a regular basis to learn about skincare. Every day, when I would be visiting stores in my territory to oversee the brands’ in-store executions, I’d also take the time to speak with pharmacists, cosmeticians and customers about skincare and healthy skin habits. Over time, all those learning opportunities and discussions allowed me to pick up many useful tips and tricks on how to properly care for your skin, much to the delight of my friends and family who still ask me for skincare advice to improve their daily routines or for product recommendations! All the knowledge gained over the years has also helped me become a more discerning skincare consumer, which is something I’m very grateful for because there are so many products on the market and so many false claims out there. I’m no longer a skincare sales rep, so to stay informed about what’s going on in the industry, I work part-time as a freelance dermatological skincare consultant, read beauty blogs and trade magazines, peek at dermatology journals every so often (while I’m in grad school and currently have access to all the academic journals databases), and attend various skincare workshops and events organized in the city in order to learn from the best skincare experts around.
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? 1) Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive Shine + Oil Control Cream, 2) Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder, 3) AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam, 4) Vagheggi Rehydra Eye Contour Cream, and 5) Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? I have combination skin; it’s very oily on the T-Zone and normal to dry on the cheeks. My main skin concerns are oiliness on my T-Zone, cosmetic acne, hormonal breakouts on my chin and jawline, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation acne scars on my face covering them up with makeup and fading them away with the right skincare products.
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? First and foremost, beauty is my passion; therefore, I spend quite a lot of my free time reading beauty blogs and magazines to keep abreast of what’s going on in the beauty world and learn tips that I can share with my friends, my family, and now you, Temptalia readers! Right now, I also volunteer for two organizations that I’m very happy to be involved with: Look Good Feel Better, a non-profit charity that offers free makeup and skincare workshops to women living with cancer, and The SWAP Team, a non-profit social enterprise that organizes clothes swapping events across North America to promote sustainability and collaborative consumption. Volunteering for these organizations has been such an amazing experience, and I’m very grateful to be working alongside such dedicated and inspiring individuals. Moreover, in the year since I’ve made the decision to let my hair grow in its natural curly state, I’ve decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle and empower myself with regards to healthy eating. Nowadays, I also spend quite a bit of my free time educating myself on nutrition and trying out healthier recipes. Recently, I’ve also started taking salsa, kizomba and Bodylicious dance classes, and I love it because it’s a great way to have fun while working up a sweat!
  5. Who makes up your family? Any pets? No siblings, so I’m an only child, haha! I was raised by a wonderful single mom who left her home country and all her family behind (her parents, plus 13 brothers and sisters!) with only a suitcase and $500 in savings to pursue a better life in Canada. She sacrificed a lot to give me the best life possible, and I cannot thank her enough. I’m currently living with my boyfriend and we don’t have any kids.
  6. What’s your favorite quote? I love this quote by Mercedes Jones from Glee: “I don’t know why people think I’m angry all the time, it’s called being sassy!” I just thought it was hilarious! All joking aside, I also like this quote from Molière, a famous French playwright, who said “The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit”. I can be quite impatient at times, especially with regards to school or my career: I want it all and I want it now! Whenever I feel things in my life are moving too slowly for my liking, I think of this quote. It reminds me that patience is a virtue and that all good things come to those who wait, and I feel better.
  7. What’s your favorite color? Lavender!
  8. What’s in your makeup bag? Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive Shine + Oil Control Cream: this silicone-, paraben- and alcohol-free cream is definitely one of my lifetime HG skincare products! I use it as a primer, and it works extremely well at keeping my skin matte and my makeup looking fresh all day without making me break out; Boscia Green Tea Blotting Papers; Cover FX Powder FX Mineral Powder Foundation in B25 and Cover FX Matte FX Oil Absorbing & Blotting Powder in Dark for touch-ups during the day; Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer and Treatment in Dark: it’s my favourite full-coverage concealer because it covers undereye circles and dark spots very well; LORAC Bronzer in Glow to highlight and contour my face; Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, in Flush for a more visible “blush look”, and in Blissful for a more natural, everyday look; Make Up For Ever Super Matte Loose Powder in #56 – Caramel to finish off my makeup;Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to prime my eyelids before applying one of my go-to eyeshadows, either MAC Star Violet Eyeshadow, MAC Constructivist Paint Pot, Kevyn Aucoin Goddess Essential Eye Shadow Single or Sephora Dying for Fudge Colorful Mono Eyeshadow; Three of my favourite Benefit products: Magic Ink Jet Black Liquid Eyeliner for my eyes, Brow Zings Dark Eyebrow Shaping Kit to define my brows, and the High Brow Brow Lifting Pencil to highlight my brow bone; Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara in Black; A tube of Original Carmex Lip Balm to prep my lips before applying one of my favourite lipsticks or lipglosses, such as MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick or Lipglass (whichever tube I grab first), Guerlain Gigolo (70) Rouge G Lipstick for a quick day-to-evening makeup transition, Nars Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil to create my favourite “my lips but better” look, or OCC Anime, Hoochie and Harlot Lip Tars for bold lips; A travel-size tube of my lifetime HG hand cream, L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream – I cannot live without this hand cream!

Q&A with Dain

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? My routine is, perhaps unnecessarily, intricate, forever in a state of constant evolution. Skincare is my foremost obsession: a monomania within a monomania. When it comes to beauty, I am attracted to self-indulgence rather than self-improvement—and nothing’s more luxurious than skincare.
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? Bioderma Créaline H2O, Avène Eluage, Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm, Kahina Toning Mist, Weleda Calendula Baby Wash (as cleanser).
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? My skin is pretty much the conventional definition of dry and sensitive: fine textured, thin and easily irritated, and sebum starved. As it is so thin, my skin needs to be coddled, swathed in layers of moisturizer, to make up for its lack of barrier function. It doesn’t require much correction: neither acne nor aging. Indeed, powerhouse actives, whatever benefits they may provide, are likely to cause incidental damage.
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? Inside me, there’s a 12-year-old boy obsessed with video games.
  5. What’s your favorite quote? “The death of Satan was a tragedy for the imagination.” -Wallace Stevens
  6. What’s your favorite color? Green.
  7. What’s in your makeup bag? Whatever lipstick I’m wearing at the moment. I prefer to carry a minimum of goods on my person.

Q&A with John

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? The answer is quite simple: I find sheer fulfillment doing this; so it’s a purely selfish endeavor. Since the age of 12, I have had terribly bad cystic acne, along with blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules… the works. And I never sought professional medical help, or any help for that matter. For whatever reason, probably my naïvety and idiocy at that age, I believed my mom’s adages about how my acne would disappear with age if I left it alone; how if I prayed harder my acne would lessen; how I wasn’t washing my face enough, etc, etc. Then finally at the age of 20, I had enough and began following an actual skin care routine. And after 6 months of research and product tailoring, I was clear. I was shocked at actually seeing clear skin after almost a decade of acne, and angry at myself for actually believing my mother and her “advice.” That’s how this idea of fulfillment was born. I wanted to, no, needed to let other people know about what I had learned because I knew that there was bound to be someone out there like me, struggling and groping in the unending darkness with no light or hope in sight. That’s when I started to comment extensively on all the skin care posts made on Temptalia.com. And to my surprise, the Temptalia community responded extremely positively and graciously to my efforts, mostly. It’s cliché, but every “thank you” brought joy and an uplifting sense of pride to my persona that I just had to keep doing it as an obligation to the readers, and of course, to keep renewing my cache of fulfillment. I’d say that in this particular aspect, I’m a compelling example of Classical/Pavlovian Conditioning. And with that in mind, I’m not being completely selfish. Instead, I’ve found a way to be selflessly selfish. I guess that says a lot about my character, doesn’t it?
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? Well, let’s rephrase the question. If I had to choose, what five skin care products would I use for the rest of my life? That would be a liquid salicylic acid product, glycolic acid product, vitamin C serum, a retinoid, and a good sunscreen. Cleansers do not count!
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? I have very oily, acne-prone, mildly-sensitive skin that is occasionally flaky and dehydrated in certain areas like around the nose, mouth, chin, eyes and between the eye brows.
  4. Who makes up your family? Any pets? Just my mom and sister live near me. Yes, my computer. It’s one of my best friends, it doesn’t judge me, and I own it. I even ask it, “who’s a good boy, huh, huh?”
  5. What’s your favorite quote? “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.” – Dory from Finding Nemo
  6. What’s your favorite color? The ones with wavelengths of anywhere between 440-490 nanometers are my favorites.
  7. What’s in your makeup bag? Unfortunately, I don’t carry any makeup bag around with me. I just always have a lip balm with SPF handy when I go outside. I guess my right front pocket would be my makeup bag.

Q&A with Laura

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? I had to develop one! When I was a child, I developed problem skin very early — when I was about ten or eleven I started getting dreadful breakouts. I was no older than that when I started using Retin-A, only then it was for acne instead of anti-aging. I went through about, oh, a zillion various skin care regimens (Retin-A, antibiotics, Cleocin-T, painful extractions, blah blah blah) before I was through. I am also blessed with extremely good genes; until the end of her life, my grandmother had barely a wrinkle evident on her face, and my mother doesnʼt look nearly her age. So I figured if I actually worked hard at it, I could do even better than they did. Whether Iʼve succeeded is still an open question, but Iʼm trying!
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? 1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! At least 15 SPF, but preferably higher. I vary on the, brands I use; right now Iʼm mostly using Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 70. 2. Tretinoin Cream 0.025% (the generic form of Renova, Retin-A, or other brand-name Vitamin A derivatives). 3. Paulaʼs Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate Serum. 4. Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum, Fragrance-Free. 5. Lip balm. I admit to being a bit obsessed with lip balm. I tend to try a lot of different ones, but my one absolute requirement is that it not be petroleum-based. And on the subject of lips, although itʼs not a skin care product as such, Iʼve found riboflavin to be very helpful for extremely dry, ouchy lips — you know the kind I mean.
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? When I was young, I had very oily skin; I had to use ultra-matte foundations because anything else slid off my skin. Now that Iʼm in my 40s, my skin has become combination-oily; itʼs still oily in the T-zone but more or less normal elsewhere. My biggest concern now is aging skin. However, I still get occasional breakouts, mostly on my forehead, so that can be a concern as well. It can also be hard for me to find a well-balanced skincare routine, as I live in the Northeast and it can get extremely dry in the winter. Therefore, I sometimes hit the trifecta of aging skin, breakouts, and flakiness. Not much fun.
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? Iʼm a knitter and crocheter (mostly a knitter; I just learned to crochet rather recently), and I always have something on my needles or hook. I also love to bake, and am very excited to have just received my first Kitchen-Aid Mixer (thanks, Mom!). I also read fiction often, and non-fiction a bit less often. Iʼm also a bad TV addict — the programs I watch are bad enough that Iʼm too embarrassed to publicly name the actual shows.
  5. Who makes up your family? Any pets? My family is relatively small: my immediate family consists of my husband and our two impossible cats. I also have two brothers, two sisters-in-law, two nieces, and three nephews.
  6. What’s your favorite quote? “She waited for the train to pass. Then she said, “I sometimes think that peopleʼs hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows whatʼs at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.” — Haruki Murakami, “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman”
  7. What’s your favorite color? Can I pick two? Red and pink.
  8. What’s in your makeup bag? It changes a lot, but today: a Sonia Kashuk powder brush; a lip brush of unknown provenance; LʼOreal True Match Pressed Powder in N1, Soft Ivory; Make Up For Ever High Definition Blush; Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara in Classic Black, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara; Eve Pearl Lipstick in Hollywood Affair; Yes to Carrots Lip Butter in Carrot; Burtʼs Bees Honey Lip Balm; Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Pie (and you thought I was kidding about being obsessed with lip balm!), a sample-sized Origins GinZing eye cream.

Q&A with Marcia

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? I didn’t develop a passion for skincare until I was about 40. Suddenly what I took for granted started changing. My skin had always been combination with occasional breakouts and unexpectedly I was acne prone. I needed a change and started learning about what was available and what was best for my skin. As my skin has changed through the years, so has my skincare.
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? Eye cream (and more eye cream), sunscreen, exfoliator, serum and moisturizer. Did I mention eye cream?
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? My skin is confused. I still have a very active t-zone yet my cheeks are dry. I’ve been told many times that my skin is dehydrated too. My skin related concerns are keeping any breakouts at bay, fine lines especially by my eyes and keeping my skin as youthful as possible.
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? I love to read, I’m a magazine junkie especially. I like to do crossword puzzles online. My hobby is writing.
  5. Who makes up your family? Any pets? I’m married with 2 adult sons who are also married. The best part of my family is my 6 month old grandson who I dote on. I take care of him two days a week and can’t quite get enough of him. I have the world’s sweetest Chocolate Lab named Harley. Dogs have always been a big part of my life.
  6. What’s your favorite quote? “What goes around, comes around.” I’m a big believer in karma.
  7. What’s your favorite color? Blue.
  8. What’s in your makeup bag? I change my makeup bag fairly often. I usually end up with half a dozen lipsticks and lip glosses since I forget to take them out. I always keep blotting papers and concealer in there. If I think about what to bring it will be MAC Blot Powder with an appropriate travel size brush, a cool and warm lipstick and gloss, a brown liquid eyeliner, concealer, Touche Eclat, a tweezers and blot papers.

Q&A with Nicki

  1. Where did your passion for skincare come from? Gosh, as long as I can remember. My mother likes to recall a story from when I was two years old where I sneaked out of my crib, stole the jar of Vaseline, and rubbed it all over my face and hair! I can’t remember when I didn’t love skin care products. My passion for skin care research, however, started in college and grew exponentially when I first read Dr. Leslie Baumann’s textbook Cosmetic Dermatology. It made me well-aware of the fact that sound scientific research could back beauty products and treatments. Within a month of receiving the book, FutureDerm.com was born!
  2. What are five skincare products that you can’t live without? 1. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic with 15% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and 1% tocopherol (vitamin E), plus ferulic acid as a stabilizer, 2. Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion with 1.5% retinol. 3. Neutrogena SPF 100 with Helioplex. 4. Aveeno Moisturizing Bar. 5. Either MLA Power Cream or Revale Skin Intensive Recovery Serum (it’s a tie!).
  3. What kind of skin do you have? What are your skin-related concerns? I have normal-type skin. My main concern is contact dermatitis from trying so many different products. It turns out I get allergic reactions when I topically apply chamomile, limonene, and several other extracts, which unfortunately I had to learn the hard way!
  4. What can we find you doing in your free time? Most of my time is occupied between the blog and studying. However, I always say family comes first, and I mean that wholeheartedly. My parents have been married for 46 years, and they have been a positive influence on me. My boyfriend, Garrett, also helps make me a better person, and we like to try new restaurants, go for long hikes and walks, cook, watch movies, that sort of thing. On my own, I’m an avid reader (Jim Rohn and Martha Beck are my all-time favorites) and runner.
  5. Who makes up your family? Any pets? My parents are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They’re wonderful and very active – my dad’s actually in his sixties and in two bands, called The Elmonics and Elmo’s Fire. If you’re ever in town, check them out! I have two dogs, Emmie and Pookie. Emmie is a Yorkshire Terrier who gets a little bossy sometimes but means well and has a sweet, underlying nature. Pookie is a Shih-Poo who is very loving and passive and just wants to lay around and cuddle with her mommy. The dogs were a turning point for me – I got them early in medical school, and I quickly realized I could not squeeze in any more commitments! I love them way too much to ever give them up, though. They’re like my kids with fur!
  6. What’s your favorite quote? Gosh, I have so many! Probably this sparkler from Nelson Mandela (feel free to shorten it!) is my all-time favorite: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
  7. What’s your favorite color? Purple.
  8. What’s in your makeup bag? Yves Saint Laurent Touche de Eclat brightening concealer; NARS Orgasm blush; Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner; Dior eyeshadow; Dior Show mascara; Chanel No.5 eau premiere; classic red lipstick, various brands.


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Hannah Avatar

I love FutureDerm! I honestly was not that excited about all of these new contributors (because most of them have their own blogs and when I come to Temptalia, I want Temptalia), but I’m excited to see what Nicki will contribute!

Sam Avatar

Wish I had time to do this, I wanted to apply for the Skincare Contributors, since I went to school to study skincare and now have a degree in Esthiology. But unfortunately I’m way too busy. Congrats to all!

Adelita Avatar

Wow, is it THAT John? Congratulation, you deserve the spot!
I always enjoy reading every comments you wrote on temptalia.com, they’re really helpful (and hey, we’re on the same page about acids, cant live without it!). I can’t wait to read your first post! 😉

Carol Schefman Avatar

I am excited to see Marcia from Beautyinfozone.com on your list of new skin care contributors. She is a wonderful writer and product reviewer and I am a devoted follower of her informative blog!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!