Rule the Beauty Aisles! Savvy Shopping Tips from the “Skin Authority” CEO, Celeste Hilling

Jul 30, 2013 by


Celeste Hilling, CEO Skin Authority



Lauroly Opening- Welcome Celeste. I really appreciate you taking the time to drop in and share your beauty expertise and wisdom with World Wise Beauty. I know you are the “go to” beauty expert for leading media outlets like FOX News, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Forbes and Businessweek and we are lucky to have you here! With 20 years in the beauty and wellness industries and CEO of your own prestige skin care line “Skin Authority”you really are the ideal expert to share a few insider tips about purchasing beauty products. Even with a plethora of options both on-line and down the beauty aisles at department stores, it is still challenging for a woman on a budget to find good value when shopping for cosmetic and personal care products. We all aspire to be savvy and want to become a wise connoisseur of beauty products no matter where we are shopping.  Hope you’ll share some secrets!



Lauroly Q- So let’s start with a double play and ask you two questions for one! Does spending more on a particular beauty product necessarily mean you are getting a superior product? And what is your criteria when searching for “good value” in the beauty aisles?

Celeste Hilling: “Just because a product is expensive, does not mean it’s amazing. On the other hand, a product that costs less may not be a bargain that will work for you. A few things to think about when shopping for skin care:

Cost Per Ounce – Shop for skin care the way you shop for food, by looking at the cost per ounce. When you see a product that is $20 for .2 of an ounce, multiply and see that it’s actually $100 for one ounce… not a great deal. Instead, visit spas and salons. What you’ll find is that spa and salon-quality products are a bargain as they include complimentary consultations with licensed experts.

Concentrate on Concentrations – After evaluating the ounces, concentrate on the concentrations. Take a look at the active ingredients and ensure that any treatment product has a pH below four. The human skin ranges from 4.5-5.5 pH. A product should be below the pH level of the skin for maximum penetration. Otherwise, you might as well be using water!

Lauroly Q- I didn’t know this! Good tip! Ok, how about packaging? The packaging can be quite elaborate for some beauty products, does this also mean it is a better product?

Celeste Hilling: “Don’t be awed by packaging. A cool bottle or great packaging does not necessarily equal a good buy. Because of their shape, some bottles look like they contain more than they do (again, look at the ounces). Boxes may appear larger, leading you to believe you are getting a good deal. In reality, the box may be filled with a tiny product and a lot of marketing materials. Again, spas and salons are great for actually touching and testing products before purchase.”

Lauroly Q- What about ingredients? Sometimes we all feel like we need a degree in cosmetic chemistry, and it’s hard to know what is good and what is bad. Most of us know a few buzz words like “no parabens” and “no phthalates” but it’s really confusing to read some bottles because the ingredients listed are often in the tiniest typeface! Here at World Wise Beauty we focus a lot on natural and organic ingredients but what about just “safe” ingredients for all of us? While I don’t buy products that test on animals, how do I know the products I buy will be safe for me? Sorry Celeste, I loaded this one up!

Celeste Hilling: Overall, stay away from dyes, parabens and added fragrances. More specifically:

Dyes or Added Color pigments often listed as FD&C: These are chemically synthesized colors made from coal-tar which can have also have traces of metal salt. Artificial or added Fragrances: Artificial fragrance contains a large number of chemical compounds which can be a cause of allergic reaction and skin sensitivity including rashes and breakouts. In addition, headaches and eye sensitivity often occur from artificial or added fragrances.

Parabens: These petroleum-based preservatives are a concern for long-term toxicity and carcinogenic effects.

Essential Skin Care Kit



My company Skin Authority is committed to products that do not include parabens, dyes or added fragrances, plus we never test on animals.




Lauroly Q- Thanks so much for sharing your savvy expertise and practical wisdom with us Celeste.  I think we may be ready to “rule the beauty aisles” armed with savvy shopping skills to help us recognize the difference between marketing “hype” and a good value! Now we know why you named your skin care line “Skin Authority”! 

Since Celeste highly recommends the salon and spa experience, I thought I would share this SpaFinder link so when you feel like splurging ( or you want to be splurged on) you can find a wonderful place near you!  You can search both the salon and spa categories.  Just plug in your zip code and you’re on your way…



*World Wise Beauty shares information about products but does not endorse one product over another.
Always  Be your Own Guru!

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WWB’s Culture Wise: What’s Next in Wellness Culture…Slowing Down to Power Up!

Jul 18, 2013 by



According to a recently released survey from Wellness Tourism Worldwide a little wanderlust might not only be good for the body and soul but it’s also good for work productivity.  I kid you not! Alert all the stressed out hard working Puritans who believe where there is no pain–there is no gain. Wellness Culture is rising! Well sort of– but maybe more so outside of the Unites States. Check out what many of us Americans believe but are not practicing enough below…


                  Fun Facts  – U.S. Vacationers Report & Survey Data                             

Wellness Tourism Worldwide 2013 Survey


U.S. Surveyed Respondents believe…

  • 90% believe vacations can improve happiness.
  • Nearly 90% believe vacations can improve health.
  • 84% believe vacations can improve productivity
  • 37% decided to start a health regimen while on vacation

The people have weighed in but why aren’t we practicing our beliefs? The truth is Americans are very low on the totem pole in comparison to other westernized countries when requiring mandatory vacation leave and the length of time we take vacations (US standard is one week and shrinking).  See this infographic for the weary details!

Let’s stay optimistic because as ideals for wellness culture gains momentum more American businesses will begin to see the “value” in investing in wellness culture and the importance of healthy employees. Right now there are Wellness 2.0  inspired ideas out there. I was happy to discover this encouraging piece from Wired Magazine’s Innovation Insights column entitled “Taking a Culture First Mentality With Workplace Wellness”.

When you look at things from an economic perspective, healthier employees not only cut health insurance costs but they also can increase productivity and innovation.  Your healthy brain and body is our country’s economic future. Too bad we have to be financially motivated to “value” the health of our people, but whatever it takes to move wellness culture forward–we’ll take it!


Slow Fix, by Carl Honoré

 Carl Honoré, author of the Slow Fix, Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a Fast World says Politicians and business people go around saying we’ve got to raise a generation of creative thinkers, problem-solvers and so on but when you look at the kind of education they’re given it seems to run completely in the wrong direction”.

Carl’s point is well taken, “stressed out fried brains” are not going to produce creative innovative thinkers. We can look to one of America’s most innovative companies Google and see how wellness culture is taking hold of the workplace. Check out one of the perks Google offers! Forget the basic gym membership–that’s a given.  Anyone for a little nappie poo? One of the latest employee perks at Google is use of their high-tech nap pods (brand name EnergyPod) because they want to keep their workers energized!

Don’t roll your eyes just yet because sleep is becoming a sought after luxury in today’s high stressed world.  In addition to the built in Bose sound system see the additional spa like features of the EnergyPod. (photo below). 


Several studies from the National Sleep Foundation, substantiate how napping has important psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury or a mini-vacation. It can also provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

  • Napping Boosts Alertness                                      

    EnergyPods ( aka sleep pods)

  • Napping Improves Learning And Memory
  • Napping Increases Creativity
  • Napping Boosts Productivity
  • Napping Lifts Your Spirits
  • Napping Zaps Stress

The focus on sleep is nothing to snooze over! According to Wellness Tourism Worldwide Sleep Aids rank # 5 on the 2013 Top Wellness Travel Trends list. Look out for Pod Hotels coming to an airport near you and already popping up in Japan & Europe.

Don’t know if the EnergyPod is in your future? No worries– the simple art of taking a nap is still free the last time I looked. Just plug in your ipod and kick back. Preferably it would be nice if you were taking a nap on a beach in Bali but hey that’s what dreaming is for!  Wherever you sneak a snooze I highly recommend this CD The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World Ever and the “just dreamy” Sonoma Lavender eye pillows. Oh and there is nothing like a warm cup of yummy herbal infused vanilla drink from Beauty Foods to send you off to the lala land of your dreams!








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WWB’s “Comfortable in Your Own Skin” Culture Glean Series…First Stop Japan

Jul 9, 2013 by



Lauroly in Paris/The Louvre

No matter where you go–there you are! Woman and men around the world have different ideals of beauty. Our individual cultures define us more than we realize. Yet in every culture we can spot “that girl” who is authentic, self-assured, and comfortable in her own skin. I hope together we can bring “that girl” to life in all of us and cultivate world wise beauty from the inside out.  I believe we all have a certain “je ne sais quoi” as the French say–-a distinctive quality that makes each of us unique and beautiful. If you enjoy a worldly savvy approach to beauty, health and wellness and believe what is on the inside is just as important as the outside then please come visit WWB often and share with your friends. I promise it will be a trip worth taking — and no passport is required!



Welcome to my first installment of the “Comfortable In Your Own Skin” Culture Glean series. I begin our wellness culture glean with Japan, a country often associated with beauty and aesthetics.  There has been so much advancement in the areas of bio-individuality and gene mapping and it is exciting as we keep learning more, especially when it comes to understanding predisposition to disease. Yet beyond identifying faulty genes we also have learned a lot about preventive health practices through studying other cultures and their lifestyles. Researchers keep discovering in richer detail how culture, environment, lifestyle and daily rituals contribute greatly to our overall health for better and for worse. Japan is a perfect focus for my first installment as their “culture, customs and rituals” elevate ideals for wellness culture” and we can apply their secrets to our own lifestyle wherever we may be. World Wise Beauty is all about cultural fusion!


Japanese Geisha


When we think of iconic Japanese Beauty we think of the Japanese Geisha which often is confused with courtesans when, in fact, they are actually respected artists dedicated to preserving time-honored arts including classical dance, playing musical instruments, hosting select clientele and supporting religious ceremonies for local temples.  Artistry, yes–but comfortable in your own skin, maybe not so much! But did you know that underneath the “white mask” they have gorgeous skin. How do they keep their skin so beautiful with layers of makeup put on and removed  every day?


Camellia Japonica


Their beauty secret is in the cleansing “ritual” and use of a  natural oil called camellia derived from the Camellia Japonica tree. Camellia japonica seeds are cold-pressed to produce the clear pale yellow edible oil with a light sweet scent.  Amazing how the Japanese Geisha somehow has beautiful skin despite harsh treatment and extreme sweating ( under 40 lbs of costume!) and all because of careful rituals using ingredients from nature. Is beauty in their genes? Today, many scientists eschew this debate by emphasizing “nature x nurture.” In this context, nature and nurture are inseparable. Some genes, for example, cannot be activated without certain environmental inputs.  All the more reason to encourage wellness culture don’t you think? But don’t feel bad,  the Japanese are not exempt from wanting to “bottle” whatever they can to nurture everlasting beauty, in fact they are leaders in skin care product development and big consumers of cosmetics and nutraceuticals.  Japan has become one of the largest LOHAS markets in the world and they really lean in when it comes to sourcing natural based ingredients.


Japan’s City of Okinawa/Longest Living Society

Moving beneath the surface which I always like to do at World Wise Beauty, Japan is an exemplary culture to learn from when it comes to beauty, health and wellness. This is not to be taken lightly as the first book to really bring the subject of health, wellness and longevity to the forefront is based on an impressive twenty-five year long Okinawan Centurian Study. Okinawa is the second largest city in Japan and the book is called the Okinawa Program. The book reveals how the Okinawan’s particular diet, exercise and lifestyle practices made them the healthiest and longest lived population not just in Japan but in the world! This is possibly one of the best books I have read on wellness culture–never mind longevity. The book illuminates and details a break through study and much of what we know today about health and longevity stems from this landmark study.

There is no mention of age-defying magic potions in this book  –just an excellent comprehensive overview of what an ideal health and wellness lifestyle looks like backed by solid research and science. Nutrition is of course a main contributing factor to their longevity and when you are on the other end of the spectrum (like our western diet) the Okinawans did almost seem magical to us.  Suddenly there was a “fish craze” and the move away from meat in the U.S!  Yes, a very healthy transition for us but fish oil is just one of the factors for living a long life in Okinawa.  But we Americans like our magic bullets! So here are two Okinawan longevity secrets. Are you ready? One is they spend time cultivating health and wellness from the inside out through daily rituals and two there is this little bugger called STRESS they simply do not have. I guess a little Tai Chi goes a long way! Do we need to live in Japan to live long? Of course not but we can learn from their culture, values and rituals. All about the fusion ladies…

Speaking of fusion, how incredible is it to live in a melting pot like America with such an eclectic mix of cultures and end up with a Fast Food Nation! Do we blame industry? Or did our love for agricultural industry perhaps blind us to the unhealthy road we were taking slowly but surely over the last forty  years? It’s complicated but we KNOW for sure now that cultural values matter when it comes to nurturing healthy societies.  


Beauty Bottom Butt Shaper



Before we fall madly in love with Japan let’s have a little chuckle with this link Japan’s Questionable Beauty Trends. The Beauty Bottom Butt Shaper? All I can say, isn’t going for a walk much easier than pronouncing this tongue twister?! 

Naomi Moriyama’s Best Seller





Back to lovely Japan. Naomi Moriyama was born and raised in Tokyo, and spent childhood summers on her grandparents’ hillside farm in the Japanese countryside, eating tangerines from the trees and fresh vegetables from the family garden. Ahh paradise…until she attended college in Illinois, where she gained 25 pounds eating pizza, burgers and banana splits before moving back to Japan and re-discovering the secrets of her mother Chizuko’s Tokyo kitchen.  Her book Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat is a play on the book  title “French Woman Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano who I also interviewed right here at World Wise Beauty! Visit the Healthy Epicurean department for Mireille’s French perspective because for now we are still in Japan.

Naomi’s story stands on another important fact about the benefits of Japanese culture. Japan has the lowest obesity rate in the developed world! 3% compared to 11% for the French Women and a “whopping” 34% for Americans. Should we feel bad about our standing here in the U.S? Yes–but we should also get fed up (no pun intended) if our food industry continues to market fat inducing processed chemical laden foods! What are Japan’s healthy secrets? In a nutshell–fabulous tasting home cooked meals using fresh nutritional ingredients ( mainly plants) presented beautifully on your plate. And psst…another big secret you think you never heard before–they exercise and walk a lot! 

Back on American soil we love industry and continue to eat processed foods and then fork over our money to diet books, diet programs and chain food restaurants! Come on my American peeps when are we going to wake up and smell the tea leaves? Green tea? Did anyone say Green Tea?  You know the tea the Japanese drink daily and is packed with anti-aging polyphenols found naturally in plants. I’m suddenly channeling Kernel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken right now. “There are “dem” pesty plants again! They don’t seem to sell well  in drive through food chains and they don’t  fry up well either!

Phew! Ok, I’m back from the possession by Kernel Sanders. What a world wise whirl! Japan was a great start to this series. I didn’t give you quick sound-bites because I think the above mentioned books are far better sources to give you real context and help you understand the rituals and practices of wellness cultures like Japan. I saw a great quote the other day ” If you don’t take good care of your body, where are you going to live?”.  Whether it be Japan or America being comfortable in you own skin all comes down to you! No matter where you go…there you are.

Be wise and be well,

P.S  After all this talk of Japan, maybe you are planning a trip there. If you are, here are great travel tips  plus do’s and don’ts when you get there from our friends over at the Lonely Planet. Whatever you do DON”T blow your nose in public! Slurping your food ok though! 😉







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