The Rich Life’s Spring Makeover Progress

The Rich Life’s Spring Makeover Progress

Spring officially arrives tomorrow! I thought this would be the ideal time to revisit my Rich Life Spring Makeover that I embarked on last month.




I had an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment at SkinSpirit several weeks ago. Although my brown spots aren’t very dark (you can see a photo in the previous makeover post), they are incredibly stubborn.

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada where it’s often very hot and very sunny. My best friend and I used to slather ourselves in Coppertone tanning oil – SPF Zilch – and bake away in the radiating sun. So it’s no surprise to me that my brown spots are deep and resistant to treatments.

While the IPL did not remove the spots, they did fade a bit. But not enough to be finished with this process. Andrea Frederick, R.N., M.S.N., N.P., Aesthetic Nurse Specialist of SkinSpirit, told me at our consultation last January that my spots would be challenging and she was right!

Andrea now has me on a program that includes using SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex 0.5  (the Obagi combination I mentioned in the last post was too strong for my thin skin), staying out of the sun and applying SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical Defense SPF 50.


In several weeks, Andrea will reevaluate my skin and decide whether she thinks it’s a good idea to have a second IPL.

So while Kim of Northern California Style had fantastic results with her IPL, I did not. My Italian heritage, my hardcore sun-worshipping practices as a teen and my genes all play a big role in the condition of my skin as it is now at 47. The truth is, we are all different and it takes a professional like the staff at SkinSpirit to customize a plan that works for you and your skin.

While I continue battling my pesky brown spots, I also wanted to focus on the rest of my face. I had a Micro-Penning procedure on Monday with Heidi Beck, esthetician in the Mill Valley SkinSpirit location.

Micro-Penning is a 30-minute procedure that creates controlled micro-injuries to the skin with tiny needles. It helps produce collagen and elastin in the skin. The skin’s repair process results in improved texture and softer wrinkles. Find out more about Micro-Penning here and be sure to take advantage of their $50 off promotion, going on now!

There was very little discomfort during my Micro-Penning procedure. The only sensitive area was around my mouth but even that wasn’t bad and it was very brief. The procedure was actually very soothing and I caught myself drifting off a few times. Yes, drifting off while Heidi swept micro needles across my face. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true!

I have been taking photos daily of my progress. It will actually take about 21 days for my new skin cells to form. That’s when my skin will really be looking great!

I wanted to show you the redness. I only had it for two days. As far as discomfort after the procedure, I felt like I had a sunburn the rest of the day but by the next morning, I had no discomfort.


My skin still feels a little rough and it’s dry but the redness is gone. I am so excited to see how my skin progresses over the next couple of weeks. I will be sure to take photos and show you the results next month.


I started my Smile Brilliant applications once I received my teeth molds. You can see them in the image below. They look like Invisalign teeth aligners but they aren’t. Smile Brilliant molds are soft and flexible and allow the gels to penetrate your teeth. Using an Invisalign for whitening gels would be a big mess. They are not flexible and fit so snug to the teeth, there is not room for gel. It would ooze out of the device.

I have found the whitening process to be easy, not messy and gradual. The way I like it. I am very good about using the Desentizing Gel each time before using the Whitening Gel. I have had no discomfort doing it that way.

I thought I could skip the Desensitizing Gel so I tried it once. I had some mild pain in one of my molars and decided it was necessary to keep using both gels  if I wanted this to be comfortable experience.

The lovely people at Smile Brilliant told me that you can also use the desensitizing gel after your bleaching treatment to keep your teeth white longer.

You can tell that my teeth weren’t very yellow or dingy to begin with. But I have noticed they’re now brighter. In the photo, the top image is “before” and the bottom is “after” – see the difference?


To order your Smile Brilliant kit, visit their website. They have friendly and helpful people standing by to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.



My original Spring Makeover plan did not include my hair, other than perhaps a trim and a moisturizing treatment. But after some consideration, I decided to take some length off and go blonder for spring!

Now I have more body, more movement, more texture and I feel brighter! One great thing about being blonde is my grays aren’t as noticeable and I feel the need to wear less makeup.

Will I keep the blonde going? I think I will, at least until next winter, then I’ll re-evaluate. What you think of my shorter (for me) and blonder ‘do?


I mentioned in my first Rich Life Spring Makeover post that this was not just an external project. I want to makeover some internal things too.

Part of my makeover plan included attending the G3 Women’s Conference. The conference was last week. I have much to share about it and will do so next week. I am still letting all that I learned and experienced settle in. It was an exciting three days!


By the time you read this, I will be on the road to the South Bay Area. Kim of Northern California Style and I are attending the Grand Opening of Event of SkinSpirit’s Los Gatos location! There will be live demonstrations,  goodie bags and tasty things to eat and drink.

I can’t wait to see Kim again and experience this with her. Before we go, we’re getting blow outs, brow waxes and our makeup done at Halo Blow Dry Bar in Los Altos. What a fun day ahead. This will be my first blow out (that wasn’t after a haircut). I even get to spend the night at Kim’s house and meet her family!

Kim and I will be Instagramming up a storm, as lifestyle bloggers are known to do!

Follow Kim: @NorthernCalStyle

And I can be found: @therichlifeonabudget

Just a gentle reminder that April’s How I Wear My: Layers is fast approaching!

Visit the How I Wear My page for all the details!

How I Wear My Badge

 Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: My treatments at SkinSpirit were complimentary in exchange for promotion. I purchased the skin care products. Smile Brilliant gave me the teeth whitening kit in exchange for promotion. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 


  1. March 19, 2015 / 11:03 am

    I love your hair! And you make me really want to do a total makeover myself. I need to sit down and make a plan like you did. Thanks for the inspiration! I really wanted to go to the conference this year but things got in the way. Hopefully next year. Have a fun weekend! Peace! Cheryl

  2. March 19, 2015 / 11:08 am

    I had my hair done at the San Antonio Blo Dry Bar a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun and lasted for days. You look lovely and this does sound like such a fun day!

  3. March 19, 2015 / 11:14 am

    Love your hair. It lifts your face a bit (not that you need a “lift” and looks really balanced…all fantastic stuff!

  4. March 19, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    Yay to blonde for the summer! I added a few tiny streaks myself and may do a few more. I hope you and Kim have a great time, I know you ladies will. I can’t wait to hear all about it! xx

  5. March 19, 2015 / 11:03 pm

    My friends and I used to slather ourselves in crisco before we laid out in the sun – I shudder to think of it now :)! I’m very interested to see how your skin treatments turn out. I LOVE your new hairstyle/color. Absolutely gorgeous on you! I hope you and Kim are having a great time – I’ve been following along on Instagram and it looks like so much fun!

  6. March 21, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    your hair looks fantastic, I love it. I think I am going back to blond for summer. I have tried the smile brilliant but I have not used the desensitizing gel yet, liking the results, subtle but still results.

  7. March 22, 2015 / 3:25 am

    LOVE the new hair. The shorter length means you can see your face more. Looks great.

    I too have had IPL in the past to try and even out my skin tone. I had an OK result, but I think it works best when you have a series of treatments. The irony is, the one spot that I had been trying to get rid of with the IPL went away on its own via a combination of religious sunscreen use and exfoliants like toners with vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acid in them. Go figure. It’s a hard thing to try and plan too, because if you are outside a lot (tennis court, skiing, etc), you have to be super-vigilant with the sunscreen.

    Not sorry I did it, but like you, I was underwhelmed with the result.

  8. liz kroin
    May 1, 2015 / 7:35 am

    I declared April Brown Spot month and attacked my brown spots with Proactiv Dark Spot remover, benzoyl peroxide, retinol, an Olay Dark Spot Treatment wand and exfoliation. Two spots are worse and two more appeared out of nowhere. Today I even put up with a video on aol on brown spots that when on forever before the doctor declared some plum the miracle cure. If anyone has any ideas that will make dark spots fade let me know. Somehow I think a laser treatment will leave a dark spot.

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