Nykia Spradley

The White Smile Diet

April 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm , by

Admit it, we diet for every other reason under the sun, so why not for whiter teeth?
But this isn’t your typical diet. Think of it more as a compromise that will leave you with a brighter smile. Dr. Timothy Chase a New York City dentist dished on what to eat and what to give up to get your choppers their pearliest.


Certain foods help to remove bacteria that cause plaque which hardens into a yellowish tartar if not brushed away soon enough.

  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables work best because they function as an abrasive scrub for your teeth.  They also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to keep plaque from forming:
    • Apples
    • Cauliflower
    • Carrots
    • Celery
  • Strawberries and oranges are both useful for polishing teeth.  Rubbing an orange peel or a strawberry over your teeth, following by washing out your mouth with water will get your noticeable whiter teeth after a few months
  • Dairy products such as yogurt, milk and cheese contain a lactic acid which may help protect teeth against decay.  Hard cheeses are best for whitening since they help remove food particles as well.


  • It’s important to avoid stain-causing foods and substances as much as possible.  A simple rule is any food which causes a stubborn laundry stain can stain teeth too.  Brushing teeth or at least rinsing one’s mouth with water after consuming these foods is a great way to help prevent staining.  Foods to avoid include:
    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • Blueberries
    • Red Wine
    • Soy Sauce
    • Tobacco
    • Soda

Fringe Benefits: 3 Ways to Transform Your Bangs

April 9, 2012 at 10:43 am , by

What if we told you that a completely new, completely fresh hair look can be yours in just a few minutes. Don’t believe us? Maybe you’ll believe Joico International Creative Director Damien Carney. Here, his favorite bang looks for spring.

#1 Blunt and Beautiful

Get your hair dresser to add a graphic effect to your ‘do by creating a super sharp square bang. An excellent choice if you have a circle face shape, this bang style neutralizes roundness, thins cheekbones, and opens the eye area.

How to style ‘em: Blow dry hair smooth and flat. If you have super-textured tendrils, tame them with a flat iron.

#2 Super Soft

Have your hairdresser chip and chop into the edges of your bangs. “This creates a softer feel that kind of looks as if you’ve been growing them out for a while; very sexy and slightly messy and undone,” says Carney.

How to style ‘em: To add body and bounce to your bangs, blow dry them using a large round brush. Direct the hair to the side for a glamorous look. For a youthful vibe part your fringe down the center.

#3 Long and Natural 

Longer bangs look great when a little wave is added to lift the hair away from the face, says Carney. They also help to control the hair from flopping and crowding facial features.

How to style ‘em: Take a large curling iron and twirl the hair away from the face. Before the bangs cool and set, run your hands through them to break up the hair. “Remember the looser the movement in the bang area, the more modern it looks,” says Carney

‘Mad Men’ Inspired Skin Cocktails

March 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm , by

To say that we were anxiously awaiting the return of Mad Men is quite the understatement. We’re happy to have had our fix with last night’s season five premiere, and of course it’s our main topic of conversation today.

Considering the very memorable fête that the new Mrs. Draper threw for Don’s 40th birthday, nothing screams Mad Men more that a good ‘ol drink. These cocktail-inspired beauty concoctions created by Jasmina Aganovic, Founder of Stages of Beauty show us that alcohol can do a lot more than pack pounds onto your waistline. When mixed right it’s actually a beneficial ingredient in skincare recipes that can assist in the fight against fine lines and wrinkles.

Okay so you may not actually be drinking these, but you’ll thank us later!

Spring Fling Mask
Winter takes a toll on our skin so springtime is the time to do some damage control. Exfoliation, detox, and hydration are key. The ingredients in the mask below help us do just that.
·       1 egg white – These have tons of protein and lecithin which help hydrate the skin and cure it from winter’s dry skin woes. Eggs are the symbol of spring and new beginnings in many cultures.
·       1 tbsp Honey – Antibacterial and renewal properties.
·       1 tbsp Brandy – Helps slough off dead skin cells while stimulating circulation for a rosy springtime glow! Plus, the brandy helps fight fine lines and wrinkles.
·       1 tbsp green tea – Detoxifying and antioxidant

The Sidecar Mask
This recipe is based on the Sidecar cocktail (Cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice)
·       1 tbsp Cognac – Cognac is great for stress release (by drinking and applying topically!), plus it helps fight fine lines and wrinkles while healing damage to the skin (wound healing).
·       1 tbsp orange juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects
·       1 tbsp lemon juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects + antioxidant and astringent properties
·       2 tbsp ground oatmeal – Serves as a cleansing and calming ingredient (reduces redness and irritation)

The “Between the Sheets” Scrub (or Mask)
This recipe is based on the cocktail called “Between the Sheets” (brandy, light rum, triple sec, lemon juice)
·       1 tbsp brandy – Helps slough off dead skin cells while stimulating circulation for a rosy springtime glow! Plus, the brandy helps fight fine lines and wrinkles.
·       2 tbsp packed brown sugar – (this represents rum, which is derived from sugarcane). Despite the debate over the effects of sugary foods on the skin, when applied topically, sugar has some great benefits. Sugar is actually rich in alpha-hydroxy acids, which means that it helps give you glowing skin. When used as a scrub it can help slough off dead skin and stimulate circulation in the body.
·       1 tbsp orange juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects (this represents the triple sec)
·       1 tbsp lemon juice – Citrus enzymes for brightening effects + antioxidant and astringent properties

Guilty As Charged: Hair Faux Pas too Commonly Committed

March 19, 2012 at 10:30 am , by

We’ve all been there: You can’t get your curls right, you hair is super dry, or you unconsciously OD on product and are left with a slicked mess. We asked KMS California Artistic Lead, Simon Miller to share 5 of the biggest hair faux pas he’s encountered, and how to fix them.

1.      Not shaking out curls- After you use a curling iron on your hair, don’t be afraid to run your fingers through the curls and shake them out a bit. It will make them look way more natural and effortless.

2.       Towel Turban- Instead of tying your hair up in a towel when you get out of the shower, spray in some leave in conditioner and use a big clip to keep your hair up. This will make your color’s vibrancy last a lot longer!

3.       Too much product in bangs- When you’re putting product in your hair, really rub the product into your hands and apply to the ends and mid shaft of your hair. Your roots and bangs will pick up oil form your scalp and face, so keeping finishing products out of these areas will keep your hair looking cleaner longer.

4.       Know your color maintenance- Make sure to work with your stylist to come up with hair color that works with your schedule. If you don’t have time to be in the salon every 4-6 weeks, get color that grows out well and that looks good as it fades. And take advantage of bang trims! When the front of your hair is on point, if the back is messy, it looks on purpose.

5.       Towel dry techniques- When you’re towel drying your hair, make sure to  blot and squeeze the water out of your hair instead of scrunching and being ruff with the towel. This will keep your hairs cuticle closed which will result in shiny, frizz-free hair.

6 Fall Beauty Trends to Keep An Eye On

February 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm , by

We invaded New York Fashion Week and chatted with some of the top hair, makeup, and nail peeps in the biz. Although we’re all anxiously awaiting summer, we’re fast forwarding to Fall with a peek at some of the beauty trends we spied backstage. Tell us which ones you’re loving or leaving alone!

How To: Survive Fashion Week Like a Pro

February 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm , by

New York Fashion Week (aka the craziest busiest week in many makeup artists’ and hairstylists’ lives) kicked off today. Before Sonia Kashuk was Sonia Kashuk, Deborah Lippmann was Deborah Lippmann and Oribe was Oribe, they too were in the trenches of Fashion Week–look close and you may still catch them there. With all of that experience we couldn’t help but wonder if some of the products they’ve since created were inspired by the Fashion Weeks of their past–what to use to look your best in the quickest amount of time.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Purse Spray ($19.50) stretches out an old blowout by adding texture and a delish scent.

Sonia Kashuk Brightening Powder ($9.99) helps you fake a good night’s sleep by minimizing the appearance of dark circles.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Fashion ($16) is a unique taupe that makes chips not so noticeable.

Plastic Surgery Trends (to Avoid!)

February 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm , by


From “stem cell facelifts” to butt implants some plastic surgery procedures are too good to be true. Here’s board-certified plastic surgeon (and author of In Stitches) Dr. Anthony Youn’s take on the hottest not-so-hot trends in plastic surgery.

What IN THE WORLD is a stem cell facelift? Are they safe? 
AY:The newest craze in cosmetic surgery is stem cell therapy. Some doctors are now injecting the patient’s own stem cell growth factors into and under the facial skin–in hopes of creating a younger, healthier glow. Some cosmetic and plastic surgeons are touting stem cell treatments as cutting edge procedures that promise results far greater than anything we have ever seen in plastic surgery.  It’s true that the future of medicine and plastic surgery is stem cells.  Unfortunately, the claims of today’s marketing have pushed far ahead of the actual science supporting these cosmetic stem cell treatments. So if you are considering a stem cell cosmetic treatment, two words of advice: buyer beware.

Why have there been so many horror stories about buttock implants?

AY: There are two traditional techniques of buttock augmentation used to give women a fuller, rounder look–solid silicone implants and fat injections. The majority of women undergo the Brazilian Butt Lift, where fat is removed from one area of the body (typically the abdomen, hips, or thighs) and injected into the buttocks. Implants are less common, but the only option in women who don’t have extra pockets of fat. While buttock enhancement is growing in popularity, it doesn’t come without risks. There is no shortage of ‘plastic surgery gone bad’ stories, including the woman who died after having tire sealant and cement injected into her buttocks by a phony doctor. More and more physicians, such as Ob-Gyns, ER physicians, and even family docs are practicing outside their specialty training to perform liposuction and buttock enhancement. Without proper knowledge of anatomy and technique, these doctors can leave a trail of botched surgeries and complications.

Let’s discuss Groupon deals from plastic surgeons and other physicians…they sound sketchy. Are they? 

AY: First and foremost, budget shopping is okay for some things, but not when it comes to your health. It is simply dangerous and irresponsible to purchase a procedure from a doctor you haven’t consulted with or even met! The most important step you can take to protect yourself is education–do your homework! This is especially important when it comes to board-certification. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Most reputable, skilled plastic surgeons advertise little or not at all, relying on good word-of-mouth to power their practice. Participating in drastic discount deals smacks of desperation. Who wants a desperate surgeon to operate on them?