Break Up with Your Makeup By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

Ladies this will be the easiest break up of your life. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you why.  We go our lives thinking we have to cover up the things that make us, us.  Maybe you have fine lines, freckles, sun spots, or scars. We all have something that bothers us.  All of those things tell a story, your story and you have them for a reason. As I’ve gotten older and busier, I’ve learned to embrace my face and take better care of my skin. Wouldn’t you prefer to make your skin healthier and wear less makeup than try and cover up the real you?  Let’s dive into the makeup drawer and learn what to keep and what to toss.

All cosmetic products have a shelf life.  Here are some great guidelines:

  • Mascara/Liquid Liners: (Toss after 3 months) Mascara is the product that has the highest chance of spreading bacteria from eye to eye. If your mascara begins to dry out before the 90 days, do not add eye drops or water, toss it in the garbage.
  • Eye pencils: (Toss after 2 years) Sharpen your pencils or spray twist pencils with alcohol to keep clean.
  • Eye shadow: (Toss after 1-2 years) Keep lids closed tight and free of moisture.
  • Lipstick: (Toss after 2 years) Keeping the caps tight and spraying with alcohol will extend your lipstick life.
  • Lip Gloss: (Toss after 6 months) Always close tightly to keep airflow at a minimum.
  • Blushes/Powders: (Toss after 2 years) Keep lids closed tight and free of moisture.
  • Foundations/Concealers: (Toss after 12-18 months) Keep the lid tight. As with mascara, if your foundation begins to dry out do not add water.  Replace it with a new product.


  • Always keep cosmetics and skincare in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Always throw away cosmetics and skincare that have caused an infection or that you have used while you are ill.
  • Think of cosmetics and skincare as food.If it stinks or has a weird film- toss it out.
  • Write the date of purchase on your cosmetics and skincare.

Now that we have proper info on what to keep and for how long, let’s go back to the less is more thought.  Wearing too much makeup can actually make you look older than you are.  Some may be in the habit of hiding spots and blemishes, but what happens to the other areas of the face if you’re putting that much makeup all over.  That makeup will begin to crease in fine lines, laugh lines and around the nose. I don’t know about you, but I love to see peoples laugh lines.  The less makeup you wear, the better the skin will look.  Your natural glow will be able to shine through.

An easy skin care regimen that will aid in a less is more makeup routine:

Eye Cream:

Anyone over 20 should be using an eye cream. Prevent, Prevent, Prevent!  My favorite is NIA24 Eye Repair Complex.


Depending on your skin type and goals will determine what serums you use. Serums are your treatment product, packed full of benefits.  Here are some favorites:

If your looking for more of an antioxidant treatment SkinCeuticals has three great serums to offer.

  • CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF are packed full of vitamin C, which brightens skin and protects it from free radical and environmental damage. The CE is beneficial for all skin types, and the CF is often more suitable for oily skin.
  • The Resveratrol BE is your night time antioxidant treatment. I love the feel and look of my skin after using this product.Resveratrol, vitamin E and baicalin help with radiance and firmness to the skin.


All skin types can benefit from a moisturizer. Even oily skin needs moisture.  There’s a difference between hydration and oil (sebum). NIA24 offers two incredible moisturizers:


All day, every day, forever and always…the sun is the number one ager of skin, so please use your SPF regularly! I love mineral-based sunscreens, like our NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention SPF30, but everyone’s needs and preference is different.  If you would like to find out what’s best for your skin and lifestyle, schedule a complimentary consultation with me, I’m happy to help you with all your skincare concerns!

To healthy skin,

Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

NIA24 Intensive Recovery Complex

Intensive Recovery Complex

This rich cream helps initiate skin’s own revitalizing abilities to promote recovery. Skin looks fuller and firmer by locking in multi-level moisture, while minimizing transepidermal water loss. Brighteners help to reduce the appearance of discolorations and restore radiance.

Intensive Recovery Complex Key Ingredients

  • Pro-Niacin® to strengthen and nourish the skin barrier.
  • Pro-Niacin® is clinically shown to visibly improve skin tone, texture, dark spots, sun spots and discoloration.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate penetrates and locks in moisture for enduring hydration and plumps skin.
  • Licorice Root Extract refines and brightens skin tone.
  • Peptide Complex and Ceramide 3 aid in smoothing lines and reducing transepidermal water loss while helping to restore skin’s barrier.


Application and Usage: Use in the morning and at night.

Apply a small amount on face and neck.

Caution: Avoid contact with eyes. For external use only.

Complimentary Consultation

Schedule your complimentary skin care consultation with our Licensed Esthetician at 692-6838 or click below:

Aesthetic Studio Winter Open House Sip & Shop

Ready to Love Your Skin Again?

Stop by for a complimentary skin consultation-NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY!

Enjoy coffee & cookies while you shop and take advantage of free samples & exclusive discounts-today only!

What skin treatments do you offer?

Learn about what you’ve been missing with our modern laser treatments, NIA24 and Skinceuticals.

How do I register?

Click the brown REGISTER BUTTON, below.  Stop by anytime-but your registration truly helps us plan and tailor sips and snacks for each of you!  Friends and public welcome.





Do Foods Really Affect Your Skin? By By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

Could what you eat affect your skin?  YES! The food you eat can keep your body in good health, but a poor diet may affect not only your waistline, but also your skin.

Processed foods:

Processed foods (packaged cookies, chips, candy, frozen dinners) These foods can cause blood sugar spikes. When blood sugar rises, your skin will produce more oil (sebum). This oil lingers causing bacteria to breed, which leads to acne.  Eating these foods every now and then won’t hurt, just do not make them staples in your everyday diet.

Refined carbohydrates:

Refined carbohydrates (breads, pastas, pastries) These foods can fill us up quickly, but offer little nutritional support.  A spike in blood sugar can affect not only oil production, but hormone levels leading to possible breakouts. Too much sugar also breaks down collagen and elastin. Try increasing your activity or exercising to help boost your energy. This is more effective than loading up on empty calories. Exercise will also help detoxify your pores at the same time.

Excess salt:

Excess salt (chips, french fries, popcorn, salted nuts) Any high sodium food can cause the skin to weaken and age faster.  Sodium makes you retain water which causes bloating and puffiness of the body, including the face. Try using herbs and spices to season your food instead of salt. It is an easy, cost-effective change and often more flavorful.


Caffeine (coffee, soda products) Caffeine thins and dehydrates skin making you look older and dull. One cup of coffee is not harmful, just avoid relying on coffees and sodas as your only liquid intake.  DRINK WATER! Its one of the best things you can do for your skin.

Fast Food:

Fast food ( burgers, pizza, fries, tacos) Most fast food items are fried in refined and processed oils giving them an elevated, unhealthy fat content. This is hard for the body to break down and cleanse out of the system, which in turn may possibly lead to other health and skin problems.


Dairy (milk, ice cream, yogurt) Most cows supplying your milk are given hormones to increase their supply. These hormones make the way into your body and cause skin problem as well as other digestive issues.

Consequences will always arise if you do not prioritize a healthy lifestyle. With anything in excess, side effects occur, as well as, weight gain, high cholesterol, and irritated skin. If you focus on limiting your intake of possible dietary triggers, you may notice an improvement in your body and your skin.  If you feel there is a link between the foods you eat and how your skin looks/the way you feel, consider food sensitivity testing.  It’s an easy way to know for certain.

Fun Fact:

When possible you can substitute sugar with honey.  It’s a natural humectant (used to reduce the loss of moisture) and loaded with antioxidants.

At home body exfoliant:

  • Pour about 1/4 cup of warm honey into a small bowl.
  • Stir in about a 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats.
  • Mix well.
  • Exfoliate skin in circular motions and rise in the shower.

To Healthy Skin,

Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

DIY Spa Treatments By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

Everyone needs a little spa time.  This winter, why not indulge right from the comforts of home?  Facial rolling and dry brushing are two ways you can give your skin a DIY pick-me-up from home.  Facial rolling with a Rose Quartz Roller is an ancient Chinese practice that has been used to improve complexion and many other skin benefits.  Dry brushing is relatively new but often used by massage therapists pre-massage or body treatment.

Rose Quartz rollers are packed full of minerals, including silicon, magnesium, iron, and oxygen.  If you purchase a roller make sure you’re getting a 100% natural stone.  With frequent rolling, the skin will experience numerous benefits:

Benefits of Rose Quartz Roller:

  • Lymphatic drainage (releasing toxins built up over time)
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing circulation
  • Increasing the absorption of skin care products
  • Temporarily lifting and firming the skin
  • Diminishing dark circles.

How to Use a Rose Quartz Roller:

My personal Rose Quartz Roller is kept in the refrigerator, so it’s nice and chilled when I use it. The treatment itself is easy; roll on clean skin or over skincare (i.e., serums, moisturizers, masks) in an upward outward motion towards temples.  A light touch is all you need to reach the lymphatic system.  In fact, less pressure is better; you don’t want to pull or tug the skin.  Results are instantaneous, and you cannot roll too often.  For instance, my area of concern is dark circles so I may roll the eye area more often. You can also roll your neck moving in a downward motion towards the collarbones.

Dry Brushing How To & Benefits:

Dry brushing is an even easier treatment to practice at home.  This will exfoliate dead skin cells off and detoxify the skin and can also diminish the appearance of cellulite-temporarily.  You’ll want to use a stiff brush and work in upward motions, starting at the feet and working up the legs, across the midsection and up the arms.  Some people like a long-handled brush but I like a more compact brush.  I feel like I have more control.  Brushing speeds up the circulatory system, which increases blood flow, so I like to do it in the morning for an energizing start to my day. After dry brushing, your cleansingserums and moisturizer products will penetrate better, leading to more radiant, glowing skin.

As far as the cellulite goes, there is no documented evidence that dry brushing will get rid of cellulite permanently.  However, I see a temporary difference right after as far as dimpling goes.  Cellulite is caused by stagnant toxins that break down connective tissue, which in turn leads to texture underneath the skin. The smoothing effect is most likely caused by the slight swelling/plumping of the skin.  Either way, I’ll take it.

A few of my favorites:

  • Jenny Patinkin Rose Quartz Roller
  • Argan Republic Rose Quartz Roller
  • ecotools Dry Brush

To healthy skin,

Leslie Ann




Born from decades of skin cancer research that led to pivotal breakthroughs in antioxidants, Skinceuticals high potency formulas are concentrated in pure actives and proven to penetrate optimally into skin.  Clinically proven topical antioxidants, corrective serums and creams, feature pharmaceutical-grade ingredients that have the scientific proof to back up their claims.

By combining a customized at-home regimen with powerful in-office treatments and targeted skincare solutions, the result is healthier skin with visible improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging.

SkinCeuticals philosophy centers on three main pillars: PREVENT. PROTECT. CORRECT.  These principles work synergistically to provide the healthiest skin possible, and optimal anti-aging results.

To customize your skin care regime, call 692-6838 to schedule your Free consultation with our Licensed Esthetician today!


Laser Hair Removal FAQ’s By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

Laser Hair Removal (LHR) is rapidly becoming more and more popular as a preferred method of hair removal.  Let’s face it, the less upkeep we ladies can have the better, right? Here are some of the key LHR benefits my clients rave about:


  • Cost effective

There is an initial cost up front, but over time, you will save on razors, creams and ongoing expensive regular procedures.

  • Time saving

Imagine no more daily shaving!

  • Eliminates ingrown hairs

Unlike waxing, threading and epilating, you will not have to put up with painful and unsightly ingrown hairs. Neither will you have to tolerate razor burns or irritation.

  • No waiting for hair growth

(Don’t you hate waiting for your hair to be a 1/4’’ before you can have a wax treatment?)

  • Precise

Laser hair removal specifically targets hairs right down at the follicle.


How it works: The laser projects a pulse of light into the follicles of dark hair.  This destroys or damages the hair and the root.  Because the hair grows in three cycles (Anagen, Catagen and Telogen) multiple treatments as well as maintenance treatments are required to obtain premium results.


Q:  Am I a candidate for LHR?

A:  Depending on the area of the body and the color of the hair the answer is usually YES.  The darker and thicker the hair the better the results will be.  If the hair is grey, white, blonde or in the Vellus phase (peach fuzz) the treatment will be ineffective.

Q:  How many treatments will I need?  How long does a treatment take?

A:  Every person’s body is different; we at the Couri Center offer treatments in a series of 6, 4-6 weeks apart.  A treatment session ranges from 15-60 minutes, depending on the area treated.

Q:  Is LHR painful?

A:  In my experience, most patients do well with the level of discomfort.  The pulse of light is similar to a warm rubber band snap.  After the treatment, ice is applied and the discomfort subsides rather quickly.

Q:  What are the common LHR side effects?

A: While a few of my patients have experienced the below side effects, they generally subside within 24-48 hours.

  • Redness/Swelling
  • Itching/Dryness
  • Folliculitis (Inflamed follicles, which may appear as red or white bumps)


If you would like to know more about LHR please call the Couri Center at 309-692-6838 for a FREE consultation: laser hair removal.  I look forward to treating you!


To Healthy Skin,

Leslie A. Gilstrap, LE