About Me

NEW YORK, NY, United States
Im a freelance makeup artist and skin therapist. www.ginanicora.com


Thursday, December 30, 2010


I don't know about you but this is my least favorite time of year! This snow storm has definitely kicked in the Winter blues. If you are feeling sluggish, depressed and bloated after all the holiday over indulgence now is the perfect time to start a Winter regime. I have put together some of my favorite ways to beat the blues.

1. Cleanse-Now is the perfect time for a cleanse after an indulging in holiday eating. Sugar and carbs can actually cause depression by slowing the body down. This time of year our desire to sleep and eat more is increased which can cause weight gain and lack of motivation. I like to start my Winter regime with a cleanse. The Master Cleanse is a great easy way to jump start the metabolism and get back on track with a healthy diet after the holidays. http://themastercleanse.org

2.90 Day Challenge-The next step after the cleanse is to create a diet plan that includes lots of organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein like organic poultry, fish and tofu and complex. It is especially good to make fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juices which will boost mood and metabolism. I like to start a 90 day challenge in January so I'm ready for Spring.

3. Vitamin Supplements-This time of year because of the lack of sunlight we can be deficient in Vitamin D which can increase depression. It is important to get plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids as well. It is recommended to take 1000-4000 IU of Vitamin D as well as an Omega 3 supplement and eat plenty of salmon which is naturally high in Omega 3.

4.5HTP- This supplement is a natural amino acid that boosts serotonin which helps with depression.It can also help with insomnia and weight loss. It can be purchased over the counter and has very little side effects.

5.Warm Baths-This is one of my favorite ways to deal with the cold weather. A nice bathe helps with muscle tension and aches and pains brought on by the cold. I love to use natural bath salts from Wholefoods. I love to mix lavender with a little bit of eucalyptus.

6.Light Therapy- The most important way to relieve the blues is to get as much light as possible. The days get shorter and the dark can make us lazy and tired. I have found using a light box really helps. I purchased one from Amazon.com for $89.98 from Nature Bright Sun Touch Plus.

7.Massage-This is another one of my favorite ways to unwind and relax. Massage relieves tension and stress and muscle aches from the cold and helps improve circulation and improves mood. I'm very luck to have my amazing sister who is an excellent massage therapist. Stay tuned for more on the Body and Soul Massage website!

8.Melatonin-This is another natural supplement that can help regulate sleep cycles which can also help regulate mood and depression. I like to take it at night before bed for a restful sleep.

9.Stay Active+Social- Now is more challenging than ever to not want to just stay inside and isolate. I combat this urge by going to hot yoga. It's a great place to meet people and feel connected. It's also a great way to stay active and to stay warm and cozy.

10. Treat Yourself-I like to treat myself to something special at least once a week like a manicure/pedicure or a Sex in the City day with the girls, or just taking some quality alone time to meditate or listen to music


Thursday, December 23, 2010


In my opinion it's all about lasers. Now with more and more advances in the skin care industry lasers can correct the mistakes of our teens and 20's and give us a new youthful look without having to go under the knife. Syneron has a variety of laser treatments that can erase the years away.

FotoFacial RF- this technology is different from other skin rejuvenation procedures in that is uses two types of energy. It utilizes both Intense Pulse Light of IPL and Radio Frequency. This allows the laser to treat brown spots, broken blood vessels, spider veins, sun damage, uneven skin tone and even treats rosacea. The Radio Frequency also stimulates collagen production helping to reduce fine lines and tighten pores giving the skin a smoother younger look.

ReFirme Skin Tightening- this is the latest FDA approved non-surgical procedure to actually tighten skin and soften lines and wrinkles. It's like a mini face-lift without the down-time. It uses Bipolar Radio Frequency and Infared Light which produces little discomfort and amazing results!

Syneron also has two Medical Physician administered lasers as well which I will have the pleasure of observing and learning about from the amazing team of doctors at Tranquil Escape Medical Spa.

Stay Tuned for the Matrix and the Triniti Laser Treatment

Saturday, December 11, 2010

" The Doc"

I wanted to talk about one of New Jersey's best plastic surgeons. Dr. Michael Nagy. Dr Nagy is a certified Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has a bachelors degree in Biology that he received on a four year academic scholarship at the University of Scranton and graduated Summa Cum Laude.He earned his Doctorate of Medicine from University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine. He completed a one-year fellowship with world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. John McCraw. He now specializes in Breast Augmentation, Rhinoplasty, Body Contouring with Vaser Liposuction, Abdominoplasty, Face lift and Fillers.

For more information visit www.drnagy.com


Skinceuticals helped to pioneer the advent of cosmeceuticals on the market in 1997 with the first topical vitamin c formulation. over the past 14 years has provided skin care solutions to dermatologists, plastic surgeons and medical spas in the U.S. and over 35 countries. Skinceuticals has been featured in the media on The Today Show, Fox News and in top fashion and beauty magazines like Vogue, Allure, New Beauty and Health just to name a few.

Now, a sneak peak into the product line. I have my top picks: Pholoretin CF, CE Ferulic, Hydrating B5 Gel and Epidermal Repair a

Phloretin CF-This 5 star rated and winner of Allure's Editor's Choice Award is amazing! It is not only a powerful antioxidant but protects from reactive molecules known to cause DNA mutations. So not only does it help hyperpigmentation but loss of elasticity, redness, uneven skin tone and can help prevent skin cancer!

CE Ferulic-This is also 5 star rated and an Allure award winner. This antioxidant formula is great for dry and sensitive skin and is excellent for photodamaged skin; it reduces sunburn cells by 96 percent!

Vitamin B5 Gel- This is amazing for both oily, dry and sensitive skin and is an amazing hydrator even for dry chapped lips. It's a must have for flying. It's like a tall drink of water for your face

Epidermal Repair- This is another 5 star rated product. This is INCREDIBLE for sensitive skin, after cosmetic procedures such as microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, retinoid therapy and amazing for the harsh winter weather. If you ski this is a must have!


Obagi Medical is the leading speciality pharmaceutical company that creates prescription strength skin care products. The products are exclusive to physicians such as dermatologists and plastic surgeons and only available in medical spas. I am a member of the Obagi Inner Circle which is for skin care professionals. I would like to give you an insider look at the line.

I would first like to talk about the Obagi C Rx System. This is a prescription strength formula that contains 4 percent hydroquinone and 10 percent of L-ascorbic acid aka vitamin c. This is not like any over the counter formula promising results that it cant deliver. This system really works! It is also designed to enhance laser procedures which can really rid you of all your brown spots and uneven skin tone from years of sun damage. I don't know about you but I am guilty of tanning back in the day with oil without sun screen. I also went to the tanning beds before I started in the beauty industry and learned about the dangers. If you are seeing the damage from the sun, this product system is definitely for you. The great news it's even approved for sensitive skin like mine that can't handle more aggressive treatments. OK, let's talk stats for a 6 week physician-assessed clinical trial: 60 percent overall pigmentation improvement, 46 percent overall photadamage, 86 percent in skin texture/roughness and 30 percent improvement of fine lines and wrinkles. I'm not only excited about recommending this product line to my clients but I will be using it myself.

The next Obagi Line that I would like to talk about is the Clenziderm Acne System. This is one of the most amazing product lines I ever had the pleasure of learning about. As I have shared before, I am a former acne sufferer. When I was in my early 20's I suffered from chronic breakouts and tried almost every acne product line on the market including Proactive. In addition to all kinds of prescription medications from dermatologists. I ended up with nothing but redness, irritation, allergic reactions, dry flaky peeling skin which was almost worse than the acne itself. I eventually went on Accutane which caused all kinds of health problems. This system is the first acne system that I have ever seen that actually has two separate systems for actual skin types.
The system not only treats the acne but is specially designed to treat the needs of each specific skin type. The system also has a patented delivery system that uses a solubilized form of benzoyl peroxide that actually penetrates the root of the pore. The difference between Clenziderm and other systems is that instead of the benzoyl peroxide remaining on the surface of the skin because it penetrates the skin, which allows for less irritation and more healing.

This next system is as amazing as the Clenziderm! The Rosaclear System is for rosacea. This is another very hard to treat skin condition like acne. Clients often mistake it for acne and end up making it worse by using harsh products which aggravate rosacea even more. If you suffer from rosacea then this is th answer for sure. This amazing system not only has the prescription strenght medication to treat the rosace but it also has a gentle cleanser, and a anti-inflammatory hydrating complexion corrector and a SPF 30 sunscreen.

Monday, November 29, 2010


The HydraFacial is one of the latest advancements in non-laser treatments for the skin. It was just named Les Nouvelles Esthetique and Spa Magazines Best Spa Machine 2011. This amazing technology provides cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection. This treatment is non-invasive and non-irritating which makes it a great option for sensitive skin as well as thin aging skin. The HydraFacial targets fine lines and wrinkles as well as oily congested acne prone skin and sun damaged skin showing hyperpigmentation and brown spots. It's an amazing all in one treatment. This is an amazing alternative to traditional chemical peels. The HydraFacial doesn't use harsh acids that can cause redness, peeling, flaking and significant down time. This treatment is ideal to get a day or two before a special occasion. It will leave the skin smooth and glowing and makeup will go on smoother and more even. This facial is a great option for models and actresses before an audition or photo shoot but is great for the everyday woman or man looking for younger fresher looking skin. The Hydrafacial is very reasonably priced between $125-175 for a more comprehensive result in less time for around the same price as a regular facial. The ideal number of treatments is between 4-6 which can be about the price for one laser treatment or deep chemical peel.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm a huge fan of Hot Yoga. I have been practicing for ten years. I have tried all other kinds of workouts from Pilate's to having a personal trainer. I have found that hot yoga is not only an amazing workout but it has so many health benefits that can keep you looking and feeling young. I am in my late 30's and I am mistaken for being in my early 20's all the time. I have found that the more I go to yoga the younger and healthier I feel and look. I rarely get sick. When I do get a cold it lasts for less then a week. I have also found that yoga has become more than just a workout it has become a lifestyle. I decided I want to share my personal fountain of youth with all of you! I have put together a comprehensive list of all the benefits of hot yoga and listed more resources on where to take yoga and where to get the best hot yoga clothes.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Hot Yoga:

1. Weight Loss and Muscle Tone-the strenuous exercise in the heat burns more calories than a regular workout and helps to increase the metabolism which burns more calories even when you are not working out. The postures use body strength for balance which helps to build lean toned muscle.

2. Flexibility- the stretching in hot yoga helps you to become more flexible and less prone to injury and can actual heal existing injuries. I have herniated discs in my neck, sciatica and had torn ligaments in my right knee all from being a former ballerina. I now am virtually pain free and haven't had another injury.

3. Detoxification-sweating in the hot dry room helps the body to detoxify helping the major organs to work less and is AMAZING for the skin!

4. Increased Immune System-exercising in a heated room increases body temperature which helps to fight off infections and create a strong immune system which prevents the onset of disease.

5. Blemish-Free Skin- the detoxification process during hot yoga benefits the skin by keeping skin clear as well as moisturized and glowing. The skin is also more hydrated from the increased amount of water that needs to be drank in order to perform hot yoga. I'm a huge fan of Zico coconut waters which have increased electrolytes and lots of vitamin C which all creates an antioxidant effect for the the skin. www.zico.com

6. Increased Brain Function-working out in the hot room increases will power, concentration and focus. All these benefits result in increased functioning of the brain

7. Natural Anti-Depressant-the amount of endorphins that are released in a hot yoga session help you to feel energized and happy. I like to call it the "post yoga high" I feel so amazing after yoga and the feeling lasts the more and more I practice. I used to suffer from panic attacks and depression and was on medication for years. I'm happy to report I am medication free and panic attack free with yoga!

8. Natural Face Lift-yoga can help prevent wrinkles and produce a natural face lift from doing inverted postures like headstand and shoulder stand. It's also helps to increase blood circulation to the face and help tone the muscles of the face like the muscles of the body.

9. Improves Sleep/Wake Cycle-in hot yoga we do specific postures that are designed to help increase a more restful sleep. The stimulating effect yoga has on the nervous system and the brain help with insomnia. I was also an insomniac for years since I was a little girl. I always had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and now after yoga I am out as soon as I lay down and sleep a full eight hours and sometimes if my schedule allows more!

10. Spiritual Practice/Connection-hot yoga really helps with self realization. It creates and amazing mind, body spirit connection. one to heal mentally,physically and emotionally. I have found hot yoga to be the best therapy in town!

So if you are intrigued and want to learn more about hot yoga check out these sites:

www.bikramnyc.com if you are in NYC this place rocks! Check out teachers Georgia and Emily some of my faves!
www.jerseyshorehotyoga.com if you are near the Jersey Shore Check out teachers Ann, Jill and Chris AMAZING! Studio is immaculately clean and so peaceful!

Now let's talk wardrobe! It's all about wearing cute, fun functional clothes. You will sweat like you have never sweat before and it is important to have absorbent clothes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE K. Deer Haute Yoga Wear. They have the most amazing colorful shorts and headbands. I even had some pairs custom made!


Sunday, November 14, 2010


Well, unless you are one of the Housewives of Beverly Hills then you have realized we are in a recession! I have decided that even though times are tough and money is tight I'm not going to let the recession break my spirit and I wont let it break the bank either. I have learned that I can still be fabulous and find a way to have my "girlie guilty pleasures." So I have decided to share with you my top 10 resources for staying "fabulous on a budget."

1. Gilt Groupe- this is an amazing invitation only website filled with amazing deals on designer clothes, shoes, bags and more for both men and women! This weeks steals are a Tracy Reese dress for only $129 regular $350 and a French Connection dress for only 59 regular $119 and a amazing pair of Leelo platform sandals for ?179 regular $300 www.Gilt.com

2. Bag Borrow or Steal-if you cant afford to own the Chanel purse why not borrow it instead?! This is the website that was featured in Sex In The City movie. They have more than just bags, they have accessories like sunglasses and jewelry and even watches. If you become a member for a $60 annual fee you can have access to designer bags like Dolce and Gabbana for as little as $60 for a week. If you have a special occasion you can order your bag and have it for the weekend and then keep it for the week. Now that's FABULOUS!!!!! www.BagBorrowSteal.com

3.Top Shop-Top Shop is the new H+M but WAAY better! They have amazing staple pieces that are designer inspired at reasonable prices and the quality is so much better than H+M. You can actually wash it and wear it again without it shrinking or changing colors or shape like H+M. Don't get me wrong H+M is still my go to for a night out at the club for a disposable item for $20, like the corset I wore for Halloween but I love Top Shop for everyday wardrobe building pieces! 478 Broom in Soho www.TopShop.com

4. Uniqlo- JEANS JEANS JEANS!!!! I'm living for Uniqlo jeans 2 for $49.00. They have every size, style and color you can imagine. It's almost overwhelming like going to one of those diners that has a 10 page menu and everything looks so yummy you don't know what to choose. If you are in NYC you have to go in person 546 Broadway in Soho or www.Uniqlo.com

5. The Budget Fashionista-this is another one of my favorite go to sites for coupons and deals, sample sales, shopping guides and more! This weeks feature is fall boots for under $100...hello! FABULOUS!!!! www.thebudgetfashionista.com

6. Beauty Steals- this is an amazing website for any makeup artist, makeup junkie, or any gal who just wants to save on her favorite lipstick! They have everything from A-Z when it comes to makeup brands! Just an example is an Yves Saint Laurent palette for $25 regularly priced at $65...now that is a steal! www.BeautySteals.com

7.Great Skin- this is like beauty steals but specifically for skin care products www.GreaSkin.com

8.Spa Deals- now if your looking to go to top rated spas for luxurious treatments and you cant afford the prices here is a list of amazing sites that offer daily deals and discounts


and these are just a few of many!

9.Restaurant.com-I still love eating out and it can still be expensive. This site offers $25 gift certificates for only $10 for over 15,000 places www.Restaurant.com

10. Well that you know how to have fabulous fashion, makeup, skin care, spa treatments and how to dine out last but not least how to go on a fabulous get away!

HauteLook-this site has incredible deals on hotels, vacations but also has deals on housewares, beauty and fashion as well
www. HauteLook.com


Sunday, November 7, 2010




Now that the holdiay season is approaching I'm obsessed with the new holiday makeup collections and trying new products. This week I'm in love with Nars. The Nars holiday collection is fun and playful and a little bit daring with a bold blue shadow. I also love the new Pure Matte lipstick formula Francois created for Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 show. My other new goto product is the Luminizing Black Mask by Boscia. It's great if you have oily skin and want to tighten, brighten and shrink pores and give the skin a luminous glow before a special occasion. This product is especially great for men. This products comes highly recommended by one of my male clients. He loves to use it once a week. It's like a mini 10 minute facial at home. I however wouldn't recommend this if you have a drier more sensitive skin.

Nars Pure Matte Lipstick and Holiday Collection www.NarsCosmetics.com
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask www.Sephora.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This Fall it's all about luxurious leather handbags and ankle boots. I have picked my top 3 splurges in each category. I'm absolutely in love with the new Louis Vuitton Intrigue calf skin leather bag in rose. It's so classic and chic. I'm usually a big fan of black but I love this bag for a special occasion. My second favorite bag of the season is the Miss Sicily by Dolce and Gabbana. It's a great evening bag since it's smaller and more structured. It's all about animal prints and textures this season so this snakeskin bag is a fabulous way to make a little black dress something special. My third and final pick for the season is the Givenchy Antigona Duffle. This is a great carry all, over sized bag.It's great for a plane trip to Miami for a winter weekend away form the cold. I don't know about you but I'm very paranoid to check anything at the airport so if I can fit my wardrobe items in my carry on and have a purse large enough for my makeup, skincare and toiletry products I'm set!

Now let's talk shoes! I'm so in love with the ankle boot trend. They look amazing with leggings, skinny jeans, and dresses. They are such a great way to take a day look to a night look. I like to throw a pair in my bag for after work the city. It's a great way to make a quick change for a night on the town. My number one pick is, of course Christian Louboutin. They are definitely a show stopper. They were designed for Marchesa's Fall collection. My second pick are leopard print booties by Fendi. They take animal print to a whole new level with sequined embellished leopard print. My last pick are an amazing pair of open toe black python booties by Alexandre Birman exclusively for Saks.

If these "it" trends are going to break the bank Stay Tuned for "How to be Fabulous on a Budget"

Intrigue Louis Vuitton calfskin leather bag $2,440 www.louisvuitton.com
Miss Sicily Dolce and Gabbana snakeskin leather bag $2475 available at Nordstroms
Givenchy Antigona Duffle bag $2330 available at Barneys New York

Christian Louboutin Marale ankle boots for Marchesa Special Order
Fendi Vertigo leopard print Bootie $1,195 Barneys New York
Alexandre Birman python peep toe bootie $750 Saks Fifth Avenue


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Ok boys! This is special edition just for you. I have put together my top ten favorite products for men.

#1 One of my favorite cleansers for male clients is Clean by ZIRH. This is great alpha hydroxy cleanser that works well to deep clean and exfoliate men's skin. It removes dirt and oil without drying the skin. It has a fresh citrus scent. It's also very reasonably priced at $20. My bff swears by it. I like to use it for shoots with male models so they can remove makeup at the end of the day.

#2 The second cleanser I love for men is for a man with more sensitive skin. Purifying Cleansing Gel by G.M. Collin is a soap free and alcohol free. It cleanses more gently than the ZIRH and is great to use before shaving. This cleanser is also reasonably priced at $23 www.GMCollin.com

#3 The most common issue I encounter with male clients is they don't want to look shiny. I have found a great product from Peter Thomas Roth that works great for men's skin to reduce pore size, absorbs excess oil and perspiration without drying out the skin. The Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel is another great bang for your buck at $35 and is available at Sephora.

#4 One of the most important ways to prevent aging is to make sure the skin is hydrated and moisturized. I find that a lot of men skip this step because of the concern about being shiny. The key is to use a moisturizer that is specifically designed for men. Women tend to need more moisture because they tend to have drier more delicate skin and smaller pores. Men by nature have larger pores and oilier skin especially on the face because of facial hair. I have found a great moisturizers that men love! The Oil Control Daily Hydrator by Lab Series is an oil-free option that hydrates without clogging pores. It's priced at $27 www.LabSeries.com

#5 Another huge concern for male clients is ingrown hairs and breakouts from shaving. A fellow skin male skin therapist swears by the Art of Shaving shaving system. The system combines a pre-shave oil, with a shave cream applied with a brush and an after shave balm. They have sets specifically for sensitive skin and ingrown hair as well as unscented and hypoallergenic products. The products can be a bit pricey but the best bet is to purchase a travel kit or starter kit which includes a razor Priced at $150 www.TheArtofShaving.com

#6 It doesn't matter if your a woman or a man every one's biggest concern is breakouts! Since men don't wear makeup it is very important to treat blemishes and heal them as quickly as possible. My favorite go to product for both men and women is Mario Badescu Drying Lotion for that occasional blemish that pops up right before that special date. It can dry out and heal up a whitehead over night. It's also a great bargain priced at $17 www.MarioBadescu.com

#7 The next concern men are having is fine lines and wrinkles. They are looking for a treatment that doesn't involve a procedure or any fancy step by step process. I found a great product with a botox like effect that works great around the eyes and on expression lines. This is professional product available from PCA Skin. The Exlinea Peptide Smoothing Serum is an amazing product that has ingredients that relax facial muscles and have an instant lifting effect. This product is available through skin care professionals like myself. Contact me for details ginanicora@ginanicora.com

#8 Since men don't wear lipstick or lip gloss it's important to still have nice lips. Hello who wants to kiss a guy with dry lips. I found a great cheap manly lip balm for $2.50 It's petroleum free with SPF 15. It's great for outdoor sports and has a minty fresh flavor. It's available at Eastern Mountain Sports www.EMS.com

#9 When men come to me for facials they also mention breakout on their back, chest and arms. It's not only important to use a good cleanser on the face but for the body too. Men sweat more than woman and especially when they are weight training testosterone levels are increased which can lead to breakouts on the body. I highly recommed using the Acne Body Wash by Murad during the summer and anytime "bacne" flares up. It's priced at $39.50

#10 My final product recommendation: hair car by American Crew. I LOVE the Molding Clay and the Pomade. The molding clay is great for short styles. It keeps hair in place without being too sticky or greasy. I've actually used it myself for a slick pulled back look. The pomade is great for taming curly hair without being crunchy. They also have a full line of shampoo and condtioners. They now even have a hair recovery system for men who are dealing with hair loss. Visit www. American Crew.com for the complete line!


This Fall nails have become one of the greatest accessories. There is a trend for everyone, from classic to rocker chic. I personally love the deep plum colors on short neatly manicured nails, but if you like something different and fun then the reverse french might be for you. This is a fun trend using two colors instead of the classic white tip french. The trend also uses the half moon shape at the nail bed with two different colors.

I always opt for the more classic look so the reverse french is a little too much for me. The other trend that I am loving is the matte nail colors and neutral colors like the Chanel Kaki Collection. The colors remind me of leaves falling in Central Park and are great for a Fall day look.