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New!! DMK Oxygen Therapy

It’s here! Well it’s been here a few months on the DL but now it’s OFFICIALLY here…and we are so excited to have it!

DMK is an incredible company, also changing skin from the inside out. Their philosophy and products marry so well with Osmosis…together the sky is the limit!!

I will talk at greater length about DMK’s treatments, products and approach shortly…in the meantime please have a peek at this oh so very high tech video they have made to illustrate their signature treatment. Science!!

Comments Off on Formulating Holistic Skincare that WORKS

Formulating Holistic Skincare that WORKS



So, last week I attended a trade event in LA, focused on holistic beauty:

“The indie beauty market is one of the fastest growing industry sectors. Learn more about this booming niche at a unique showcase of small, independent beauty, wellness, and lifestyle brands. The first two days are devoted to indie entrepreneurs; day 3 is a shopping day open to the public. The expo wraps up with a day exclusively for industry professionals”
– SkinDeep Magazine

I’ve been to a good number of shows like this, primarily in London. My technique for investigating is pretty basic: I collect their promotional material mainly, and sift through it at home with the aid of google. I take apart the actual philosophy of the brand, and see if it truly viable.

I so often feel I am at such a great advantage at a show like this, having had both serious acne and scarring for most of my life. When it comes to acne the results are not debatable: Either it works or it doesn’t. It’s with this mindset that I investigate new products and treatments…will it really WORK? Or is it just a nice idea that SHOULD work…but doesn’t?

I think we have all had the experience of walking into the skincare department of Sephora, and being fully overwhelmed by what seem like glorious, innovative options. The branding is slick…it has ingredients that seem healthy? I have heard of that one before, people swear by this one? Might as well give it a go.

And then you get it home and within weeks or months discover nope! Not working. Back to the internet I mean drawing board. And you start again that vicious circle of research, experimentation, dissapointment…repeat ad infinitum.

Or…you go to a dermatologist or an esthetician, and invest loads of time and money in their approach. And still, nothing. The heartbreaker here to me is the time wasted, the weeks/months/years of suffering with skin you don’t feel comfortable in.

It’s my goal to save you from wasting that time. I might not have the answer immediately…but I am creative and invested. If we don’t nail it straight out the gate we will get there eventually, don’t you worry. I am relentless, as only someone who has had problem skin can be.

And so! What did I see at this trade show? A lot of gorgeous, heartfelt, hand-crafted products made by well meaning individuals (for the most part)…that simply aren’t going to work.

Here’s why: the delivery system. If you are a client of mine you have heard me talk about the issue of absorption and molecule size. The larger the molecule the less it will absorb. This is why I am not a fan of skin oils…the molecule is too large. And putting an active ingredient you want to deliver results (say retinal) in an oil…forget about it. Total waste. A lot more goes in to formulating a truly effective product than just putting lovely ingredients in. The order they are put in, the combination of ingredients, the stability of the ingredients…it’s a painstaking task to get it right.

Now, not every product needs to mean business like this! I make a sweet little toner people like a lot…it’s not terribly sophisticated, but it does its job (cleaning) well. It would be a good fit in this show.

But when it comes to serum…moisturizer…and treatments? Unless you have glowing perfect skin you need something that’s going to do some work for you. And if you DO have perfect skin…don’t you want to keep it that way? Well use a product that delivers then!

And look: I completely support the desire to get away from toxic chemicals in our products. In fact I am fanatical about it…I think so many health issues today relate to man-made toxins. The products I saw at this show are certainly non-toxic, so better than the alternative. But I want it all: holistic products that produce visible results. It’s completely possible. In fact, that’s what we do.

I describe the “holistic” approach to skincare to clients this way: We are deducing the imbalance that is causing the symptom (such as acne) in your skin. And then – respecting that and not trying to suppress it – we feed and nourish your skin and body so that it can rebalance, and release the symptom. Like it wants to!

I use this approach because it works the most effectively. When you suppress a symptom…you just get another (different) symptom. The symptom is there to help you! It’s doing a very important job! Respect that, and you have a much greater chance of resolving the issue completely.

So, at an event such as the one I just attended…I just feel so lucky that we have not one but TWO stellar holistic brands/philosophies we ascribe to. Which (btw) marry perfectly in their approach and application. Can’t be an accident, that…great minds think alike?

These brands are Osmosis skincare and DMK. It’s fair to say the former has completely changed my life. The latter is brand new to us! But equally brilliant. I’ll be discussing each line in greater detail in future blog posts…they are just too smart to NOT be communicated. I have such a trememdous respect for the creators of these lines…to think outside the box and create products so unique and effective is no easy feat! They are true innovators.

And…the exhibitors I saw at the show may be in the future as well. But for the time being I am quite content that I could not ask for better products…we have all we need to truly transform your skin, from the inside out.

Comments Off on the Responsibility of the Empath

the Responsibility of the Empath


I am in Hawaii. It’s the first week of January, and back in DC there is something called a “bomb cyclone” impending. The temperature is in the single digits there.

And….Hawaii is glorious of course. All the more glorious in that five years ago I was too ill to take trips like this. Which didn’t stop me from trying…but I was in abject misery at every given moment and trying desperately not to be. It was excruciating both physically and emotionally.

But now I am in twelve step recovery. For me it works, like nothing else I tried ever could. Now I have the tools to navigate life’s bumps, and it’s a different world. I have freedom like I have never had before. I’ve regained my sanity. I feel guided, supported.

The most seductive aspect of travel (I think) is that all the new stimuli jostles loose your thought patterns. A stream of memories I had forgetten – and new associations put together from them -flicker through my mind like ticker-tape. Many humbling, but the safety of hindsight allows me to see them with new eyes.

To my core I am an explorer. Every dark corner I must investigate, every diversion off the beaten path I must take. The thrill in this is the intuitive guidance I receive when I head off into the unknown, and this intuition is the foundation of my recovery. Just around each corner that I am urged is some new wonder I couldn’t have anticipated.

Example: I like to go for long walks on the beach. Long, tranced-out, silent, solitary walks. I sit and watch people. I buy food from locals. I climb over fences. I listen to music. I stare at the sun on the sea until I go blind. I talk to children. I stretch and I sit and I notice and I appreciate. I try to quietly leave a trail of tiny positive actions behind me, but only that. I connect.

So I go for a long walk. To walk in Hawaii means you climb volcanic rocks on the shore line for ages. It’s not easy…but I am nimble. I press forward, always.

And I find a giant sea turtle napping on the beach. I am flabbergasted. I break every rule out of ignorance. I get super close, pet its fin. They are incredible creatures to see, prehistoric…black eyes as big as my fists, lazily blinking at you. Water flushes out of their noses and eyes occasionally…“turtle tears” they are called.

The next day I walk further. It’s not easy but I have set a goal, to get to the furthest point I can see from where I am staying. And I am rewarded for this. It’s moments like these that let me know my intuition is the Universe speaking through me, and it wants the best for me.

I stumble upon a small cove of twenty sleeping sea turtles. It is mind blowing, all these big docile animals napping on each other. Each of their faces different. I am mesmerized.

And then I walk further on…and find a stranded turtle. He is on a dry rock, stuck. The rocks behind him are jagged. He must have floated in and then the tide went out..and now he is locked in, unable to move.

I climb down to him, talk to him. As I do many people pass by…local services were called days ago but nothing is happening. He has been there for two days I am told by a passerby. Stranded. In pain. Dying. Alone. Exactly as I was, for about fifteen years. I feel like I can read his mind, the situation is so similar in a sense. How did I get here? How long will this pain last? Can no one help me? How long will dying take? I imagine his pain, his confusion…I have felt this way myself, so many times. He is suffering. If he is to die I need him to know someone cared, that some kind of kindness was given him. That the world is actually good. That he is not alone. That we truly did all we could.

I travel back down the beach to fetch him water. When I return I am overjoyed to see a ten year old boy has mercifully placed a small pail of water underneath his mouth. We take turns filling the bucket, and wetting him down. He drinks a bit, weakly. But he does it and perks up a bit. It’s so sweet to see him swallow, to trust us.

When I am alone with the turtle I talk to him in soothing tones and pet his fin. I hope the vibration of my voice at least relays that I mean well. He lifts his head and looks at me. We make eye contact.

“We are a team” I tell the kid when he returns. “You water him now, and I will come back tomorrow and do it again.” I tell him “You were very smart and brave to put the bucket underneath his mouth. Thank you for doing that. Our responsibility is to do all that we can, and the rest we must let go. But if you can do something you should. That is our repsonsibility.” And we high-five, we are turtle saving team. When I leave he is diligently at his station, wetting the turtle. I love this kid, I am so proud of him for going the extra mile here…when every adult who has passed by expresses concern and leaves it at that. “Rest assured I won’t let this go” I tell the boy before I leave. “I am going to do everything I can to help. But if it doesnt work please just know we tried our best.”

On my way back I tell every local I can find. A man I met who runs a local tour company, the kid who runs the surfshop, a posse of preteen boys vaping. “Tell everyone you know who might help” I ask them. “Go get your older brothers”.

That night I think about the turtle. In the dark, alone. Just himself and his maker, the stars and the sea. Is he afraid I wonder. I was, for him.

And the next morning I am fully expecting to see dead turtle…but he is gone. I am quite sure someone came early in the morning and lifted him out…or the tide must have finally come in enough he could muster enough energy to climb out. And I am so grateful that he is free and will live to swim in the sea again.…even if he were to die tomorrow I’d feel satisfied. Just like me…we have lived to tell the tale.

And I think about the little boy…and whomever lifted the turtle out (if indeed that is what happened)…and the turtle himself. It just makes me so happy to know we are not alone. We are never alone…listen for the Universe to tell you what you need to do. It speaks in the form of intuition…like ”bring the turtle water”. But then it is up to you to listen to it, and do what it says. Beyond that you have no control, and you must rest assured the Universe has it’s logic.

No one will ever love you more than this force, this voice, this energy…all good things come from it. Recognise and appreciate it. And when you are given moments like this…that affirm “I am human, I don’t know what’s around the bend but I know I will be good” give thanks. You are alive.

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our in-house products!

Hello! This is long overdue…but I thought with the introduction of our NEW eye creams it was a good time to give you some info on our in-house products.

We have four thus far…Skin Tonic (toner), Sea Serum (daily serum), and Eye Bright and Eye Tight (eye creams).


Here is a bit more info on what is in them…and what these active ingredients do!

Please note: products containing hyrdolized collagen are not suitable for vegans/vegetarians! Also…I was unable to have the eye creams made without parabens, this go round.

Anyway, here you are! We hope you love these products as much as we do :)

xo A

Skin Tonic
with: aloe vera juice, rose and orange flower waters, sea kelp ferment

Sea Serum
with: sea kelp ferment, hydrolyzed collagen, coconut fruit juice, fucoidan, fucoxanthin and astaxanthin

Eye Bright
with: jojoba seed oil, sesame seed oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, pomegranate seed oil, lavender oil…sea kelp bioferment, cholesterol lipids, caffeine and chrysin, alpha lipoic acid, astaxanthin and lycopene, glauthione

Eye Tight
with: jojoba seed oil, sesame seed oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, lemon grass oil…hydrolized collagen, boswellia serrata extract, green tea extract, cholesterol lipids, betalunic acid


sea kelp ferment – soothing yet potent carrier of powerful antioxidants and nutrients essential in cell function. used in many of our treatments as a mask…one of our all time favourite active ingredients!

fucoidan, fucoxanthin and astaxanthin – ultra potent antioxidants found in our sea kelp

glauthione – tripeptide composed of the amino acids L-glutamine, L-cysteine, and glycine. amino acids are the “building blocks” of proteins in our skin

chrysin – a flavone present in the blue passion flower, can help diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes due to thinning skin

green tea extract and caffeine – tightens delicate skin around the eye

hyrdolized collagen – peptides obtained by the hydrolysis of fish collagen. they help supply your skin with amino acids that can be used in collagen synthesis. this is one of the few animal derived actives we have because plants don’t make collagen 😉

boswellia serrata/”indian frankincense”- promotes collagen synthesis and is also an inhibitor of elastase (protease) and hyaluronidase (breaks down hyaluronic acid), a real life preserver for the dermal matrix.
betulinic acid – helps to stimulates collagen synthesis and actively inhibits the enzyme elastase to prevent/correct the loss of elastic fibers responsible for skin suppleness.

lycopene and alpha lipoic acid – powerful anti oxidants

cholesterol lipids – all natural, light-reflecting hydrators

Comments Off on Special offers for Bespoke Aesthetics clients!

Special offers for Bespoke Aesthetics clients!

Hello Friends!
Happy Summer!  I hope you are well.

I have recently had the pleasure of meeting a few wonderful new complimentary therapists I would like to share with you.

I have had/am currently having treatment from each of these ladies, and am happy to recommend them personally.  What they are doing is very much in line with what we are doing here at Bespoke Aesthetics.  So if you are interested please do feel free to contact them and say that I sent you…to be privy to special offers for BA clients only!

JILL HICKS is an acupuncturist and herbalist, and will be working closely with us in treating the internal causes of many common skin conditions.  That being said she of course treats all kinds of conditions, particularly regarding Women’s Health. She is offering 25% off your first two supplement orders. For more info on Jill and/or to contact please visit

JOANNA ANDREAE is a friend from my Georgetown Yoga days, and a wellness consultant.  She is offering one-on-one wellness consulting, guided relaxation/meditation, and “workplace wellness” sessions.  She is offering 10% of your first session for BA clients, please

ZANNA YARDAS performs both massage and energy work, from the space I worked from previously at Georgetown Yoga!  She is offering a massage intro offer at $99 for a 50 minute session (reg. $125.). Visit

As we do not offer brow services at BA, ILLUSIONS (the hair salon literally next door) would like to fill this gap for our clients.  They are offering a complimentary threading session with any blowout!  Visit for more info

And finally, my dear friend MEGHAN MOODY is offering a haircut and style for first time clients for $85.  She does the most amazing balayage…my colour has never been better!  Visit

Enjoy!  And I will look forward to seeing you next :)



Ps:  Starting September I will be experimenting with no longer using online booking for my appointments.  Lindsey and Allison will still be able to be booked online…but to see me appts should be made in person through one of us.  Hopefully this way I will be able to organize my book to see more of you!  Thank you for your patience as we try this new system!

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Radiesse and Liliya

I am quite thin…and my face shows it.  I have noticed “hollows” forming in my cheeks, causing my nasolabial lines (the long lines running running from nose to mouth on either side) to deepen as I age.

I have been debating trying one of the new longer lasting fillers on the market, such as Sculptra.  What makes this filler different it acts acts as a bio-stimulatory filler, meant to stimulate your own collagen.  It begins to form starting 2 weeks after injection, requiring typically 3 sessions, 2 vials each 4-6 weeks apart.  The result is very subtle, as it develops over time…and is very long lasting at about a year and half.

However after much internal debate I have opted for Radiesse.  Radiesse also stimulates collagen to form over time…but has immediate effects like traditional fillers.  Radiesse doesn’t last quite as long (a year), but there is less of a tendency for “lumping” of the product.  And when you are dealing with a filler that lasts so long, the very last thing you want is for something to go wrong.

Which is why I am SO glad I have met Liliya.  She is a lovely aesthetician, with just the right balance of professionalism and confidence.  Liliya just did my Radiesse for me and I literally couldn’t be happier.

She noticed a large amount of asymmetry in my jaw – one side is much larger than the other.  So in addition to treating the hollows in my cheeks she “built up” the weaker side…I can’t tell you what a relief it is to see it more even, and the difference it makes to my face!  Also the treatment was REALLY very painless.  She uses a cannula – which is like a long hollow needle – to pull the product through the face in lines, minimising injections.  This lessens the chance of bruising, as less injections are made.  In fact I don’t think I have a single bruise.

The result of the treatment is very subtle – I doubt anyone could put their finger on exactly what is different.  Which is exactly the way I want it!  But I can tell, and feel much better for it.  Then in a few months we will come back and do the treatment again – as less is more and any changes are best taken in stages.  Also, building the collagen like this will extend the results to that of Sculptra.

What’s really fantastic is that building my jaw like that makes my face look less thin…and is much more natural looking than just filling out the cheeks to do so.

Liliya can be contacted at, or 02036510467, or 077 8033 4449.  She will be working from Wimpole Street.  If you go to see her please mention my recommendation!

Comments Off on The “Deep” Dermaroller treatment

The “Deep” Dermaroller treatment

Being a long weekend, I just performed the very popular “deep” dermaroller treatment.

The deep treatment uses 1.5mm needles, and the face is first numbed with emla.  That being said I wasn’t looking forward to the treatment, and nearly didn’t do it.  Also, I had never done one to myself, and wasn’t even sure if I would be able to.  But…it really wasn’t very bad at all.

First of all, the emla REALLY numbs.  This is a lidocaine solution, and literally upon removing it I could not feel my face AT ALL.  I still can’t and I finished half an hour ago.

When I started rolling I didn’t feel a thing…but inevitably there comes a point at which the treatment starts to be felt.  It is a little annoying, but being used to doing the “light” treatment without emla I didn’t find it all that uncomfortable really.

My face is red. But not as bad as I expected!  Also, I had a few “blood points”, which means tiny little droplets of blood over the face…but nothing too gruesome, especially compared to past laser treatments.


Now we wait and see for the results…but I can say with certainty there will be more of these in the future, about four to six weeks apart.  Brilliant treatment.

Two days later:

My face is no longer very red…but it feels very dry.  This, I think, is because the epidermis was surely damaged in the rolling.  This is part of the purpose of the treatment, as it incites activity in the dermis to replace these damaged cells on the surface of the skin.  I plan to just leave it for another few days, and then do a nice strong peel to clear it all away.

One week later:

All has been resolved, face is back to normal, looking improved!  Will repeat in a few months time.

Comments Off on Beauty and the Mind/Body Connection

Beauty and the Mind/Body Connection

Part One

I’ve been doing some extra yoga lately…and it has me thinking about our mind/body connection, and treatments.

Savasana is usually the last pose of a yoga session, which to the casual observer is just lying on one’s back with eyes closed.  And yet any yoga practitioner knows this pose is, in it’s own way, a real challenge.

Savasana is an opportunity to integrate the work done to the body in the day’s session.  “Yoga” means “union”, and it is a physical meditative process to unite the body and the mind.  Through yoga the mind influences the body, and the body the mind.  I remember hearing in a class in LA years ago that each pose was a metaphor, a physical expression of an intention, thought, or feeling.  Warrior pose is proud and strong of course, whereas a forward bend is introspective and yielding.  In this way we harmonise our mind, body, and breath.

Savasana is a pose, though it looks like nap time.  We close our eyes, and it the objective is to notice the changes we are instigating in the body through our practice.  I try to feel the different energies in the body, feel the sense of liveliness my muscles and cells now have.  I try to keep a fluid focus on this, and not start thinking about what I am going to eat after class or what emails I have to return.  Herein lies the challenge!  And yet is essential to close the session, to sum it all up and get the greatest benefit of all that work you’ve been sweating through.

Sometimes when we close our eyes to try to meditate our minds seem to fly wild.  But it is important we continue to focus on the sensations of our body, and the changes we are trying to create.  And during an aesthetics session is no exception.

If you work with me as a client you have certainly heard me compare the sessions we do to “working out”.  “Consistency is the key to change!” I say over and over, because this is a principle I have seen work in my own life.  There are no quick fixes, there are no miracle treatments.  Some treatments can seem a miracle…but without repetition and consistency these results will fade.  However if we have a goal and we just keep showing up, with a clear vision in your mind of what you want to achieve these changes will happen, if only by degrees.

Before I do each treatment we talk about your skin, how it feels now, what you might like to work on today.  This is because rather than work “on” you, I want to work “with” you.  I want you to check in with yourself, and set a goal you would like to achieve with the session.  Reduced spots, reduced wrinkles?  Collagen production?  It’s important that you tune into yourself and set an intention for the session, just like in yoga.

And then, when we do the session, your eyes are closed and you are on your back, as in Savasana.  My suggestion is to focus on what we want to achieve, and the steps we are taking to achieving it through the mechanism of the treatment, rather than “zoning out”.  Focus on the sensations of the treatment, and the science behind it.  Feel the changes taking place.  Notice these changes when the session is through.  Through repetition of these actions and intentions we can mold and change ourselves physically to be our best… and through this meditative process we will also experience psychological benefits, exactly as we do in yoga.