Great Chemistry: Me and Dr. Joe, Skin Care Genius!

Yes, he holds a PhD in organic chemistry, but I never call him “Dr. Joe” like most people do. I call him “Genius Joe”!

I first met Dr. Joe Cincotta when he was the head of Product Development for John Frieda Professional Hair Care. Joe was the “genius” behind the groundbreaking Frizz-Ease, Sheer Blonde and Beach Blonde ranges….award-winning products that completely revolutionised the beauty industry.

So when my skin started to show signs of ageing and I couldn’t find any skin care products that REALLY MADE A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE, I went straight to Dr. Joe.

“Help!” I said, “I am loading on all the best moisturisers money can buy and I don’t see any improvement!”

Joe said that one of the main reasons why skin starts to show signs of ageing is due to the loss of skin’s natural sebum…its oils.  These oils keep the skin looking supple, plump and fresh.  In order to effectively combat the signs of ageing it is critical to try to replace the natural sebum first and foremost.

Off he went to the lab! After endless trials,  the result was the innovation of Youth Juice….one of the most powerful “secret weapons” in my Time Bomb anti-ageing skin care range.  A delightfully light blend of olive, kukui, avocado and jojoba oils, enriched with Vitamins E and C,  Youth Juice mimics natural sebum and is a serious “quencher” for my dry skin.  What makes it a “genius Joe” product is that this particular blend of oils has a molecular structure that allows it to penetrate deeply….unlike most other oils that just sit on your skin, looking and feeling greasy. The key is to apply it BEFORE a moisturizing cream so it can penetrate deeply. (In fact, Dr. Joe formulated  Time Bomb Glory Days day cream and Flashback night cream to actually “seal in” Youth Juice oils for even more powerful and noticeable results.)

Joe’s way of thinking about skin care problems is so different, and his ability to explain his innovative solutions in simple terms is so good that beauty editors everywhere have him on speed dial! So of course, he is my featured guest speaker on QVC sessions where he can share the “smart science” behind Time Bomb formulations.

Tune in to my next show 8th October to get to know “Genius Joe”!


Olympic Fever

Can the Olympics really be OVER?? I don’t know what to do now with all my free time!

Since day one, I  was completely swept up and away with Olympic fever.  Like everyone, I was excited that London was hosting the games, but I never imagined how TOTALLY ENTHRALLED  I would be.  Glued to the telly, tweeting madly for so many inspiring Team GB victories.

How about that Super Saturday…..3 gold medals in an hour!  Jessica Ennis scorching the heptathlon, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah getting first of his two gold medals.  (I just love Mo – he is so disarming, and so amazingly clear about his focus and strategy. )

Of course, I’ve always been a huge follower of Andy Murray – fellow Scot that he is. What a smashing match, and I was really moved to see him sing the National Anthem (so many of them didn’t).

Proud as I am of Team GB,  I have to say that ALL the athletes were incredible. Lucky me got to go to Olympic Park with my American friends, where we cheered for EVERYONE…. Yanks, Brits….whatever!  Who wasn’t ASTONISHED by Michael Phelps’ sheer power? Or Usain Bolt’s jaw-dropping speed?  And even more amazing, beyond their athleticism, such engaging, gracious HUMBLE people!

I got to meet and chat with some of the champions at a special reception, hosted by Albert II, Prince of Monaco. A former Olympian himself (bobsled) and now an active member of the Olympic Committee, Prince Albert feted us royally at Maison de Monaco.  Of course, I was sporting a bling-y Union Jack scarf to show my true colors!

Things are going to be a lot quieter around London now.  But we’re left with some stunning reminders like the spectacular wave-inspired London Aquatics Center, designed by architect Zaha Hadid.  (I’m a huge fan of her work) Every time I see it, I’ll remember the incredible past  weeks, when the nation truly seemed to come together “as one”  and the whole world was watching our little part of the planet.

xx Lu


Prince Albert of Monaco, Karina Bryant/Bronze in Judo, April Ross & Jennifer Kessy US Silver Medalists in Beach Volleybal

So Much to Share…How I use Social Sharing Platforms

As much as I love to gather information from the internet, my real joy is sharing! Amazing how easy it is to stay in touch with friends and family, and to keep those relationships fresh with special messages, photos and videos. At first, I was really nervous about “sharing”….but finally, after lots of practice (and help from young, technically competent friends!), I’m pretty comfortable with a few of the top sharing platforms. Here’s how I use them:
My WordPress blog (which you’re reading) is a work-in-progress journal. I like to think my posts are valuable and interesting to “women of a certain age” (like me!) who think age is just a number, and that life after 50 holds limitless opportunities for success and joy. I subscribe to a few blogs, like “Fab After Fifty”, which I also contribute to.  When I find a post with interesting information, I always share it with my friends so they can benefit from it too.When it comes to “speaking my mind” I prefer Twitter over Facebook. (Though I do like to talk to Facebook “friends” about new innovations and offers for my Time Bomb beauty products.) I like to “tweet” when I’m riding (NOT DRIVING!!) in my car. This week like most of us in London, I’ve been tweeting about the Olympics and cheering out support for the GB athletes. You can follow me at @lulushouts!
Of course, YouTube is the go-to site to post videos. I put my “studio diaries” up on YouTube so friends can see the “real me” performing! Smart phones make it so easy to catch spontaneous moments – like my grand-daughter dancing with me! And share  with YOU! (Remember when grandmas used to lug around giant photo albums to “show-off” their grandchildren? Now all it takes is a phone!)
My new passion is Pinterest. I love to cook, so Pinterest is a great place to find, save and share recipes. No more scraps of paper cluttering up my kitchen! Check it out!At my age, technology can be so intimidating….but all of these “sharing” platforms are really, really easy to use! With so many options for sharing, there’s no excuse not to! In fact…why don’t you share this blog with friends and get in on the fun?xx Lulu (While we are on the subject of sharing…did I mention that I have a granddaughter?  And a grandson now too!)

Studio Diaries – Rock Steady

Music is more than my livelihood, its my life.

I love the exhilaration of performing before a crowd. It’s indescribably exciting to see hundreds of people get into a song.  When I see them rocking out,  it inspires me to kick it up a notch, and we all have a blast!

But whether I’m on-stage or off, music is in my head all the time and I just want to sing it out!! So one of my favorite things to do in the whole world is to spend an afternoon in a studio with a long-time friend (and VERY talented guitarist/backup singer) like Jimmy Smith, ripping out raw vocals like this classic Bonnie Raitt tune.

Hope you have as much fun listening as I did singing!

xx Lulu

Beat the “Dull-drums”: Effective Exfoliation


When I turned 40, I noticed my skin taking on a sort of dull, almost dingy appearance and I felt it was losing its plumpness.  I tried dozens of cleansers:  no improvement.  I tried loading on moisturisers: didn’t work.

So I literally went on an exfoliation binge, trying everything. Still, I did not get the results I wanted.  My complexion was still dry and dull.

Lucky for me, I had access to Dr. Joe Cincotta, the renowned cosmetic chemist who masterminded John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease and Sheer Blonde ranges that totally revolutionized hair care with their unique “prescriptive approach” to solving never-before-addressed hair problems. I call him “Genius Joe”!  And put him to work solving my dull complexion dilemma.

Dr. Joe told me immediately that I was never going to get the results I was looking for with conventional cleansers, moisturizers or exfoliaters. He said the problem was that typical exfoliants use spherical particles/beads or grains, seeds etc. that are only partially effective in removing dead skin cells. He said that the best and most effective way to remove the dead surface layer of the skin is to use the ingredient that professionals use…magnesium oxide crystals which have straight-edges which enable them to gently but effectively lift away accumulated dead cells. Joe formulated a gentle cleanser that contained the
magnesium oxide…my Take-Off Time Cleanser and believe me, I saw the difference immediately!

Once you reach a certain age, there is no question that traditional cleansers are definitely not enough. You have to take off more than just your make-up, dirt and grime…it’s critical to remove the dead cells that no longer slough off on their own to reveal the fresh, dewy skin underneath. As my friend, Gail Federici (co-founder of John Frieda Professional hair care and CEO of my skin care range) said, once you think about it…it’s a “blinding glimpse of the obvious…B.G.O.”

This product literally “re-booted” my complexion, which brightened and took on a glow I hadn’t seen for years! (I get best results when I use a double-sided, toss-away pad that has one smooth side, one more textured for days when I want a slightly rougher scrub.)

So if your ageing skin has the “dull-drums”, here’s the good news:  it’s never too late when you exfoliate…everyday, but with the right ingredients!  Give it a try, and let me know how quickly you regain your lost glow!

xx Lulu

Henley Festival 2012: With A Little Help From My Friends

I think I speak for all of us in the UK when I say, ‘enough already’ with this rain!  It’s been dreadful!  But when something like a sunless summer gets me down, music lifts me up.  That was the case this last weekend when I hit the stage at the time-honored Henley Festival.

Henley is known as the most ‘magical summer event in the United Kingdom.’ I never attended or performed at there until this year and I must say it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Henley is a ‘black tie’ outdoor festival with a little something for everyone.  It’s held on the banks of the Thames, and food, music, art and wine are all equally abundant.  And as any amateur weatherman could predict, it rained.  It was truly something to look out at the crowd and see tuxes and gowns and wellies!  Distinctly British…

But the good times rolled in spite of the rain, thanks to the amazing musicians and talents that joined me on stage.  Lee, Duncan, Antony and Simon – aka “Blue” have four of the most amazing voices; and their harmonies!  It doesn’t get any better.  They normally perform in front of thousands of screaming girls, so you’d never hear the intricacies of their voices, but the Henley crowd was treated to fab a cappella singing that got a huge reaction.

The set list included some of the songs I most love to perform live, including the Etta James classic, “Something’s Gotta Hold on Me”.   And of course we did “Shout” and “I Don’t Want To Fight”.  Thanks to Peridot, who helped me bring a little extra ‘swagger’ to Henley!  Together we performed my “Let’s Dance For Comic Relief” version of Soulja Boy’s “Crank That”.  (Here’s a little video sampling of it thanks to one of my backup singers, Mark).

It was just a great night.  My good friend Jimmy Smith and my guitarist Alan Darby (a fellow Scot, who has played with Clapton, among others) brought the house down with an incredible “Eagle”-like guitar jam to “Still the One”.  And I was blown away by “The Brasstitutes” who are three magnificent horn players who also know how to get their groove on!  They brought ‘the business’ to “I Can’t Turn You Loose.”

It was also great to see so many of my QVC friends there – Alison, Pipa (check out her blog about the evening), Vanessa, Wendy, Dickie and Luke.  Thanks for all the support!

And one final, special thanks to Caroline Stewart for sharing her wonderful photos with me!)

So tell me, have you attended Henley before?  What do you most like about the festival.  Were you there last Saturday?  Let’s hear it!

(And for those of you who have noticed that I have been absent from my blog for a bit, I’m back!)


Fresh Dressing: hot pops of citrus + textured neutrals

Women over 50 have a real fashion challenge:  how to walk the fine line between dressing too young and dressing too old.  So easy to fall into “slinky”, “silly” or “stodgy”.

As an entertainer, I have a little more leeway and can get away with dressing a little funkier, a bit rock ‘n’ roll.  But every woman – from the most conservative bank executive to the most reserved school marm – deserves to dress modern, fresh and fabulous.  And right now, the answer is COLOUR, especially hot pops of shocking citrus…verging on neon.

The secret to getting “brights” right (especially when you are a little older) is to anchor them with textured neutrals that provide an elegant, understated contrast.  This spring, I’m giving my wardrobe a color infusion from one of my favourite boutiques, Intermix:

- Pink pants are IT! These cheery hot pink skinny jeans have been perfectly washed-down and distressed to lose that “too-new” glare.  You could wear them with a tee to the beach, but I like the unexpected pairing with a vanilla, slubby, Chanel-like boucle jacket and leg-lengthening nude patent pumps.

- Orange looks great on everyone, and its a welcome wake up call to any boring wardrobe.  I love layering fiery shades and different textures, like a crisp tailored jacket over a flowy ombre tank.  Again, neutrals keep it cool, calm and classic… white jeans, a gorgeous untanned leather satchel and fawn leather sandals.

-Citrine (a little yellow, a little green, a lot of “pop’!) is a shocking go-with-everything colour… so this jacket goes with me everywhere!  Whatever top goes under….a teal snakeskin print button-down or a lady-like tie-front blouse…this jacket takes the spotlight…in fact it IS the spotlight! Chic, dark distressed jeans provide the perfect low-key compliment.

You’ve probably got a closet full of neutrals – khaki, beige, tan, taupe, etc. All it takes is a few key pieces….some seriously hot pops of colour ….to give them new life.   And suddenly EVERYTHING will look brighter!

xx Lulu








photos and captions

A Bad Hair Day Is a Great Hat Day

I love hats!

To me, they are the ultimate fashion statement.  Hats have really have become part of my signature style… for so many reasons.

1.   Classic cover up for “bad hair”

To keep my hair healthy, I don’t wash it everyday.  (Hair’s natural oils are so important for keeping your hair strong, smooth and shiny.) So on days when my hair looks flat, unstyled and just plain blah!, nothing beats a hat.

2.   Instant chic + versatile style

Plunk on a hat, tie on a headscarf and you have instant panache.  A hat will change your look or suit your mood in a second:  wear a classic suit jacket and jeans, and see how totally different the same outfit looks (and feels!) with a polished fedora, a funky baseball cap or a billowy chiffon headscarf.

3.   Sun protection + shade

My fair Scottish skin needs an extra measure of cover-up, but everybody should think about wearing a hat with a face-shading brim when they’re outside, even on not-so-sunny days.

My own everyday hat-wear style is pretty practical and low-key, but I do get a kick out of “hat watching” at special events like Ascot and the U.S. Kentucky Derby. Polo matches and L.A. garden parties are even better!  And certainly, when it comes to “statement chapeaux” the royals rarely disappoint!  I am absolutely intrigued,  amused and fascinated by the intricate shapes and embellishments of “fascinators”.  Check out some of my fascinator faves on Pinterest! 

You know, the “millenary” art form started in England in the 1700’s.  Those were the days when a lady simply wouldn’t walk out her front door without a great plumed hat and gloves.  Now hat choices are much more fun.

Lately, I’m loving the look of a natty, stolen-from-the-guys fedora…maybe in straw, banded with a brilliant splash of color.  I like to pull it low and give it a little tilt…makes me feel sassy and, well, “fedorable”!

Remember the old saying, “If you want to cheer yourself up, go out and buy a new hat” ?   Works for me!

I’d love to see some photos of YOU in your favorite hat! Why don’t you send some?  Tweet me @lulushouts or share at Lulu’s Place Official.





30/Day For A Stronger, Skinnier, Smarter, Younger You!

30 what???  Minutes of exercise!  And what a difference it makes!

Medical experts in all fields concur:  staying healthy, happy and high-functioning as we age is directly related to getting regular daily exercise.

The truth is, exercise isn’t a luxury and shouldn’t be viewed as optional:  It is THE most important anti-aging medicine known. Regular cardio work-outs have been shown to not only help prevent Alzheimer’s, but also almost every other age-related disease.

Exercise is a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and stress buster. It will help you sleep better, lower your cholesterol, lower your blood sugar and insulin levels and of course, give you more energy!  Within weeks, you will think more clearly, feel better, brighter and stronger. Not to mention your clothes will fit better!

Make yourself get up and do something at least 4 times a week – anything goes. Walking, running, swimming, dancing, whatever gets you going!

Recently, I tried Zumba while on a business trip to the US (another exercise must is keeping up with it even when traveling!)  The music is meringue, salsa….pulsating Latin rhythms.  And the moves are from all kinds of dance: hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa,  mambo…..even martial arts, Bollywood and belly dancing!  Squats, lunges, thrusts and resistance bands make it a muscle-builder AND a calorie burner.

What’s great about Zumba is you can do just as much or as little as you are able.  You don’t have to take it too seriously.  No matter how old you are or what kind of shape you’re in, Zumba is  a great way to dance your weight off……while you laugh your head off!

I’m going to work harder to find 30 minutes every day to GET UP AND MOVE!!!  I hope you do, too.  Your body and your brain will thank you!


Traveling in Fashion II: Bag It!

Years of travel and suitcase stuffing have turned me into a pro packer, with a tried-and-true method: use lots of little bags to organize just about everything in your big bags!

The bottom layer in my suitcase is always jeans and leggings, folded and flattened. On top of that go jackets and dresses all neat and tidy in their dry cleaning bags….I just fold the hangers underneath.  The plastic wrap does a great job of preventing wrinkles.

For EVERYTHING ELSE…..bags, bags, bags! I am the original bag lady.  Little toiletry cases, soft chamois shoe bags, and dozens of Zip-Lock plastic bags. Because there is one rule of travel you can count on:  anything that can spill, rip, fray or get tangled  in your suitcase, will.

For my delicate lingerie? Plastic bags. Scarves, embellished T’s or chiffony tops? Plastic bags. Jewelery?  Gets separated by category (earrings, bracelets, necklaces) in small,  snack-size Zip-Lock bags.

I use bigger Zip-Lock bags along with toiletry cases to make “kits” for:

- vitamins and homeopathic supplements

- pens, markers, sticky notes

- make-up

- my Time Bomb skin and hair care products

I pack these kits in the same suitcase with shoes and boots, which I keep wrapped in soft shoe bags to protect the leather from scratching.

All in, when  I travel for a week, I usually take 2-3 good sized suitcases.   I can’t make a claim to packing “light”, but I’m proud to say I’m quite good at packing “right!”

How do you load up a suitcase?  How many bags accompany you for a week on holiday?  I’d love to hear your personal packing tips!

Xx Lulu