Beauty, Skin, Skinthusiasm

I “Dew”: Julie’s (Hypoallergenic!) Bridal Beauty Success Story

“Most bridal magazines say that wedding planning should include a skin regimen. My very first facial was at the VMV boutique in New York City. Holly, my VMV esthetician, was just amazing! I knew my skin was in great hands. After my 6-month wedding bliss facial package, I couldn’t be any happier! From experience, VMV regimens and make-up are so gentle. I simply love VMV!” – Julie

Julie’s Skin Story:

From rashes to radiance…

Julie had rather severe eczema and a bad allergic reaction to her cleanser when she started coming in for VMV facials. Holly customized a regimen and a 6-month facial package for her. Julie’s skin cleared beautifully and is glowing in her wedding photos & video —  all VMV makeup, natch! — which she emailed to Holly.
Holly’s reaction? “I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have been able to help Julie achieve her beautiful wedding skin!”
Your happy is our happy!
Problem skin may need a little longer time to get ready for the big day, or may need more targeted care. Luckily enough, this is precisely what we “dew”. Give us a call at (212) 217 2762 and we can customize a daily regimen-and-facial program for you. We can even recommend products based on allergens from your patch test results!
Why risk a major rash or acne breakout on the honeymoon? Our allergen-free, non-comedogenic makeup provides powerful performance for stage, TV, and all-day weddings, and is a great way to keep your wedding glow longer.
Congratulations, Julie! 🙂


Holly has been licensed in esthetics and manicuring for 14 years. Before joining VMV HYPOALLERGENICS®, Holly held positions in several prestige spas. Known for her professional expertise, affable personality, and ability to anticipate guests’ needs, celebrities in the know ask for Holly by name. With her gentle touch, joyful demeanor and replete knowledge of her trade, Holly defines professional skin care. Holly’s deft abilities have been written about in articles and reviews throughout NY media and beyond.

As our Senior Esthetician-Accounts Manager, Holly leads VMV’s International Development of Spa Protocols + Treatments.

Beauty, Featured, Skin

Wedding-Perfect Skin: 10 BRIDE Ideas To Prep Your Skin For The Big Day!Featured

Planning your skin as well as your wedding? My, what a BRIDE idea!

Fact: Many brides give themselves about a year to book venues, find the perfect dress and plan the reception.
Fact: This year of planning will have its (warning: understatement alert) moments of stress.
Fact: Stress is a reliable trigger of myriad skin problems, from rosacea and eczema flare-ups, to severe dryness and, you saw this coming, zits, zits and more zits.
Fact:  There may not be another day in your life when you feel this beautiful, and those photos are legacy.

Why more brides don’t invest in their skin right at the beginning of their wedding planning is beyond us. The earlier you start, the more you prevent problems (preventing is always easier than treating) and the more assured you are of looking radiant and timeless on the big day.

Living proof of what a well-designed Skinvestment Plan can do: Marie generously gives us a peek into her own wedding, and shares the tips that worked for her, from skin to body and mind. Efficiency can be beautiful, no?

Beauty, Featured, Skin

Wedding Belles — Say I "DEW": Bridal Skin + BeautyFeatured

Lorinda, a good friend of the VMV family, has a contagious love of life and the world. She’s lived in Ghana, Spain, the Netherlands, New York, Brazil and D.C., where she met now-husband Ben, in their last semester at law school. Ben loved Lorinda’s cooking (they later went on a journey to eat their way across the U.S.) and won her heart by digging her car out of two feet of snow with a garden spade. Attended by friends from around the world, their wedding’s relaxed sophistication was rich in laughter and peppered with silly (flash mob to Thriller, anyone?). Such easy grace requires attention to detail. Even Lorinda’s skin wasn’t left to chance. And it shows: no makeup can faux that resplendent a glow! 
“I did not ‘prepare’ my skin for the wedding,” writes Lorinda, “I believe that you need good skin care always.” Lorinda is sharing fundamental “skintel”: caring for your skin early on gives you the best results. Starting a regimen weeks before an event is better than nothing, but results can be remarkable if started several months (or more) before. “My favorite is Id Toner. I have been using it for over five years. It evens out my skin and keeps it looking and feeling smooth. If I miss even a few days, I definitely notice a difference.” 
An outdoor wedding means sunscreen. “Growing up in Ghana, I was always in the sun. I never thought about sunscreen. I thought that because I was black, I had a natural shield from the sun and did not need to worry about sun damage or skin cancer like my fairer friends.” This is a misconception that can have dangerous consequences. Luckily, Lorinda was disabused of this notion early on. “I realized I was terribly wrong when I went to my first dermatologist appointment and my doctor told me that I had sun spots. I was confused and even tried to explain to her that she had to be mistaken because I was black! She patiently explained to me that I still needed protection.” Since that day, Lorinda says, I always wear sunscreen, at least SPF 30.

After my experience, I tell every darker-skinned person I know that they need sunscreen. We are not immune.

Under makeup, a sunscreen helps with spread and hold. But with such great skin care for years, Lorinda skipped base. “For my wedding, I just made sure to wear Armada Face Cover 30 because it was very sunny outside.” Instead, Lorinda focused on color: “Since my wedding was at dusk, I used bold colors for eyes—a dark sparkling blue and a lighter gold. I felt like it was a lot of makeup but strong colors work in pictures.” The perfect bridal accessory? Rosy cheeks. This wakes up the skin and brings to the fore the beautiful glow that all brides have.
To get this look: try Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Sea & Sky for brilliant blues and Dallas for oranges and golds. Get rosy cheeks with Skin Bloom Blush in Georgia or Pant. For lips, start with Velvet Matte Lipstick for longer-lasting color. Try a nude like Birthday Suit then top off with Lip Gloss in Sweet Stuff or Beso for camera-loving shine. 
Chic Sheet
As far ahead as possible, start a targeted skin care regimen like Id for acne (and bacne; crucial for off-shoulder gowns!) or Illuminants+ for dark spots.
Add monthly Vx Facials to boost the efficacy of your regimen and clean away pore-clogging and skin-dulling impurities. The relaxing bliss is a welcome escape from wedding-planning stress, too!
Yes, it’s for the dress, but it’s for your skin, too. Eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are fundamental to a gorgeous, intrinsic glow (and a way better mood!)
Book a pamper party with your bridesmaids at a VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique, or gift your bridal party with bliss: adorable eGift Cards or “gift skintificates” to our popular Vx Facials


Beauty, Featured, Skin

Bridal Beauty: 1920s Nostalgic NuptialsFeatured

By Jess Arnaudin

With the popularity of Downtown Abbey and the cinematic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby”, 1920’s fashion came roaring back into popular culture. Many modern brides are embracing the glamour and decadence of this bygone era. With these tips for incorporating vintage elegance into your big day, you’ll be the “Cat’s Meow”!


Look for trademark vintage details such as the dropped waist, delicate traditional lace, and art deco details. Don’t shy away from lots of jewelry, but keep the look from turning into a costume by opting for genuine pearls and authentic vintage pieces (this could be your “Something Old”)!



Every bride wants to be radiant on her wedding day, but glowing skin doesn’t happen overnight. Start investing in your skin by booking facials regularly and adopting a regimen built for your skin’s specific needs. Try using a brightening line like Illuminants+. Packed with a blend of three antioxidants (vitamin C, green tea, and rice phytic acid) you’ll be glowing before you can say, “Gee Whiz!”

Stress over the flowers, not your skin. At your wedding, you want to be breaking out in song, in dance, in happy tears…not in anything else! We can help with a customized Skincare Routine and Facial-Spa Package to get your skin in shape for the big day, as well as hypoallergenic Wedding Day Makeup. You can spread the glow, too, with wedding favors and bridal party gifts! Contact us at (212) 217 2762 or via Facebook for information. – Ed.



Soft curls are very romantic and can feel less fussy than a proper updo. Looking for something more retro? A deeply parted side bun with neatly placed waves is right on trend. Add a touch of whimsy by incorporating a headband or birdcage veil.



Get “Dolled Up” with sheer foundation and dramatic red lips. Try ultra-light Skintangible “BBBB Cream” SPF 30 for your base. This barely-there, skin-matching formula will provide weightless coverage (even if you dance into the night!) For lips, try a deep shade like Sheer Lip Tint  in “Cherry Fudge” or choose a bright crimson like Subtle Shine Lipstick in “Big Red” . Finally, pump up the drama with smudge, smear, and flake-proof lashes. Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara is the “Bee’s Knees”.


Crucial tips for your wedding look!

SCHEDULE A TRIAL. Practice makes perfect and bridal makeup application is no different. Making time for a thorough consultation is vital!

QUICK-CHANGE ARTIST. Wear a garment that is easy to remove. It’s a detail often overlooked. Contorting out of a tight top after hair and makeup are done is no small feat. Do yourself (and your beauty squad!) a favor: wear a front-button blouse or robe.

EYE DO. Wedding emotions can run high. Apply eye drops frequently before makeup to turn teary-eyed redness into bright-eyed twinkle. And use smear-proof mascara!

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

The Bride With A Zillion AllergiesFeatured

by The Allergista

Photography: Curtis Lehmkuhl
There once was a girl who watched wedding television shows endlessly. She dreamed of lace, pearls, diamonds and trying on dress after dress after dress until ultimately the perfect one brought her to tears. Flowers, diamonds and fresh linens danced through her head, and every imaginable moment was bursting with love and glitter…fast forward to me sitting in a conference room on my lunch break, practically getting hung up on by a bridal shop employee. She didn’t want to take the time to think of options for navigating around my polyester allergy. This is one of the most well known names in bridal store chains, by the way.
It was my very first phone call about wedding dresses, which I made sure to mention….I was so excited! I wanted them to know they were my very first choice. Yet, the excitement wasn’t echoed. I was rushed off the phone after being told “there’s polyester in every single dress.” She hadn’t even looked… or thought…and while most wedding dresses have a polyester lining, not all dresses are made of 100% polyester. If the only occurrence of polyester is in the lining, that’s an easy fix. I’ve had more than one lining replaced since developing this allergy (among many others).
So there I was, my allergies once again standing in my way…leering at me. This obstacle (my WEDDING) was one of my most daunting…but I knew it was time to put on my proverbial war paint and take care of business. I would NOT give up on our wedding. Giving yourself ample time to figure things out is of the utmost importance. I gave myself just under eight months and I managed to pull off an outdoor rustic bohemian wedding and reception with the help of a handful of staff people and a bunch of friends.
As I was on a budget, I narrowed the potential dress shops down to a handful of places. I figured I’d start out with one day of dress shopping and do two shops. If I didn’t find anything, I’d add a second day. I chose one dress shop that is well known in my area and another that I found online. The second one was supposed to be very budget friendly. A few of my bridesmaids met up with me and we headed out to the first shop. SO FUN! The first shop had been kind enough to email back and forth with me beforehand and send some options they thought could work.
The first dress I tried on was lace and while I love love love lace, there was too much polyester that couldn’t be covered up on the outside of the dress; a cotton lining wouldn’t help. When I put that dress on…tears! I absolutely loved it…seeing myself in a wedding dress was everything I thought it would be. I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle toward my future husband.
I tried on a couple other dresses and they just didn’t do it for me. THEN… I tried on one more. This dress was included in the photos the shop had emailed me and didn’t think I’d like it at all. The amazing employee at the shop convinced me to try it on, though. Plus, it was backless which I DID want and it was 100% silk aside from the lining, which was perfect. I put it on and was so surprised that I loved it! It needed some adjusting to hide a section of one of my tattoos, but other than that, I knew it was the one. The view from the back was to die for and the silhouette was beautiful. It had a beautiful train that rippled along the floor as I moved.
The most important thing was that I knew I could wear it without being itchy and uncomfortable. Plus, the last thing I wanted was to head out on our honeymoon with allergic reactions all over my skin. After developing allergic contact dermatitis (a form of eczema) in 2010, my priorities have definitely shifted. They had to if I didn’t want my skin to be the giant oozing, painful mess that it once was.
So, I put the silk dress on hold while we headed over to the second shop. We walked into the second shop and knew instantly that it probably wasn’t going to work. Polyester was EVERYWHERE. After years of searching for 100% cotton clothing in stores, I’ve gotten pretty good at being able to tell which fabrics are synthetic just by looking at them. I always read the labels, though, just to be sure. I tried on a few dresses and there was one that I liked, but the whole thing was made of polyester. Besides, it was a bit more formal than what I was going for.
As expected, I ended up with some allergic reactions from my day of dress shopping, but after dreaming about that day for so long, it was worth it!
I had my makeup done by a friend of mine who owns her own salon, which was perfect. I knew I could trust her. She was very accommodating and did a bunch of emailing with me beforehand about my chemical allergies (check out TheAllergista.com for more details on my wedding day makeup!)
Next, we scheduled a trial run. I wanted to do this earlier than most brides because if I DID have a negative reaction, I needed time to heal and time to try something else after the healing was complete.
The thing we were most nervous about was the glue for the eyelashes. My skin HATES adhesive…band aids, tape, you name it, it’s a no-no. So, instead of taking the risk on my face, we put the glue (by Duo Adhesive) on my arm and left it on for about thirty minutes.
With no reaction, I was willing to go for it and she applied the lashes by La Femme Cosmetics. So cool! And so weird-feeling. They take a few minutes to get used to, but then you forget they’re even there. I left the lashes on until I went to bed and was still without an allergic reaction. I. Was. Thrilled. The lashes ended up looking GREAT in the photos, by the way.
I wanted to do something simple with my hair since we were going for a more casual theme. I wanted it to be down with some loose curls. I bought a great flower crown off Etsy as opposed to going for the more traditional veil. The night before the wedding, I washed and braided my hair and made sure to use zero product as my stylist instructed. The day of, my maid of honor and I headed to the salon. All I brought with was my hair spray that was literally the only product we used. But even though I can control what products I bring, I can’t control what they use on other people in the salon…and oh my gosh do those hair dryers blow EVERYTHING around.
My old stylist recently left the company and her chair happened to be more toward their nice big open entryway. Now, I’m closer to the back of the salon. I end up having coughing fits that can only be helped by slugging down some water and trying not to take deep breaths of hair spray-filled air. I know that hair stylists have their designated chairs, so I’m kind of afraid to make waves by asking her to move her chair just for when I come in. Maybe I’ll try next time!
Aaaaah the jewelry. With my nickel allergy to take into consideration, I think my poor husband must have been terrified! There is often nickel in gold as gold is soft and when nickel is added, the gold gets a little more tough. The other option is platinum and let’s not even get on the subject of how expensive that is! I’d rather have more sparkle than a platinum setting. I ended up with a white gold ring which is coated in rhodium. The jeweler warned me that I may have to get it re-dipped more than once a year, depending on how sensitive I was. With the whirlwind that our engagement and wedding was, I don’t even know if they tested the gold for nickel, but the coating was put on just in case. I’ve had the engagement ring since December and have been anxiously waiting for my ring finger to get incredibly itchy but it hasn’t happened! I don’t know about you, but I’m not taking extra maintenance trips to ANY store if I don’t have to!
The earrings I wore were a pearl-drop style and made out of sterling silver. My bracelet was loaned to me by my lovely bridesmaid and was made of sterling silver and pearls. For our outdoor wedding, something more natural like pearls was PERFECT.
We went with a more affordable caterer who specializes in BBQ and comfort food. I pretty much couldn’t eat any of their normal items, but I WAS able to have their roasted chicken. That was the only entree that didn’t have the various chemicals I’m allergic to, or lactose.
Not only do my food additive allergies/intolerance give me digestive issues, but they can wreak havoc on my skin as well. It’s more of a cumulative thing. If I eat five string cheeses a day every day (which I’d love to do and maybe have done in my past), I get a bit itchy all over. The same seems to go for my food additive allergies.
My dinner consisted of roasted chicken, a plain baked potato and a salad which I drizzled extra virgin olive oil on. For dessert, we had cupcakes. I wanted them from a local bakery which is famous in our area and makes such yummy things. They don’t do cupcakes without dairy and frankly I didn’t feel like tracking down a baker who would. I knew I wouldn’t be horfing down cupcakes at my wedding, so I wasn’t concerned. I had the tiniest bite out of my cupcake, but we didn’t do a cake cutting ceremony, so nobody was the wiser…and they loved their cupcakes! I barely even ate my dinner because I was so excited, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all.
With food comes…drinks! There was no champagne toast because I’m allergic to champagne. No biggie, though! Everybody had drinks in their hand the whole time anyways. We had more than one successful toast that was in no way tarnished by the absence of champagne. Beer kegs were ordered from a local brewery and their beer is the GOOD stuff — no yucky chemicals that bring on my allergic reactions.
All in all, our wedding was special beyond words. I will never ever forget it and will always cherish it. Starting this new chapter of my life with my unbelievably awesome husband is a dream. I may have had to make sacrifices for my allergies regarding the dress, but I still love my dress more than I could love any dress in the world. I plan to save it and one day, I will have it hung in a box frame in my dream walk-in closet.
It may be a struggle, but the bit of extra work was worth it! I was able to live my dream and you can too! You will probably have to make some compromises, but so what? The most important things are that you’re alive, loved, and happy. Learning to be ok with these compromises will make you a better and more patient person. It will make you focus less on yourself and more on the important things…and I think we could all use that, couldn’t we?