It’s hard to believe that spring, in all its fresh and colorful beauty, arrives next month. Weren’t we just celebrating the New Year?

For some of us, it already feels and looks like spring. Where I live in Sonoma Valley, the temperatures are climbing into the 70s and daffodils and fields of mustard flowers are adding vibrant colors to the landscape everywhere you turn.

It’s got me thinking about spring cleaning and sprucing up! I’m going to clean out my closet, detail my car, rearrange my home office and deep clean the fridge.

I would also like to have a little spruce up and decided to give myself a spring makeover!

Over the next several weeks, I will be making some personal improvements that involve my appearance, as well as my personal and professional life. I’m calling it The Rich Life’s Spring Makeover!


I’ve already begun my spring makeover with a visit to SkinSpirit in Mill ValleyWhen they approached me about working together, I was intrigued. I had heard of SkinSpirit and have a couple of friends who have had treatments at other SkinSpirit locations. I decided to make an appointment for an evaluation.


After being warmly greeted by the front desk staff and offered a glass of cucumber spa water – my favorite –  I was taken into an examination room to meet with Andrea Frederick, R.N., M.S.N., N.P., Aesthetic Nurse Specialist.

Andrea took a careful look at my skin – particularly my brown spots – and suggested that I have a full-face IPL (Intense Pulsed Light, also known as Photofacial) with both a pre and post treatment.

You may remember that I have mentioned numerous times that I’d love to rid myself of the brown spots on my face. This has been an on-going battle of mine for years. I tried having them burned off by a dermatologist in my late 30s, I used an at-home laser (made for tightening skin and promoting collagen, not brown spots) with the hopes that it would somehow erase my spots and I tried chemical peels. While I did have slight fading with each treatment, in the end, my spots remained and have even darkened over time.


Andrea told me my spots look more stubborn than normal and suggested I treat my skin for a several days before and after having my IPL procedure. She gave me Obagi Blender – a bleaching cream – and Obagi Tretinoin. I mix a small amount of each in the palm of my hand and apply to my face each night before bed. I have been using the combination for about 10 days and have seen quite a bit of peeling and some redness but nothing too dramatic that it keeps me home. During this process, I make sure to apply extra sunscreen throughout the day.

On Saturday, I go in for my IPL and will be sure to take photos to post later in the series. I am very excited to see how this treatment works for me. I will be doing lots of happy dances if my brown spots go away!


Next, I am going to spruce up my teeth! The nice people at Smile Brilliant thought I might appreciate having a brighter smile as part of my spring makeover. While my teeth aren’t too terribly yellow and dingy, they are stained from years and years of drinking coffee, tea and red wine.

I talked to the folks at Smile Brilliant on the phone and was assured that their product is safe and effective. I was told their products remove stains for a brighter, natural looking smile but it does not create optic white teeth, thankfully. I am not looking for Chiclets!


I love this simple concept. Smile Brilliant sends you everything you need to make your own molds in just a few easy steps. Once you have created your molds – mine took about 10 minutes from start to finish – you let them set, then pop them into the pre-paid envelope. Drop in them in the mail and off they go to St. Louis!

On Monday, I received a friendly email confirmation telling me my trays are being made and will be shipped to me soon. I expect to receive them next week, then begin my treatments!


My spring makeover is not limited to outside appearances. I am giving my personal life and career a little sprucing up, as well, and attending the G3 Women’s Conference next month in Sonoma.

G3 Women's Conference Sonoma

You may recall that I attended the inaugural G3 Conference last fall and left incredibly inspired. Since then, many exciting things have happened to me – both personally and professionally – and I owe it, in part, to what I learned at G3. I have also met some pretty amazing women, many of whom I have kept in touch with.

I am looking forward to learning from the speakers slated to talk, meeting new people and setting personal and professional goals. I am thrilled to get to Gather, Grow and Go again!


 These are just a few of the things I am doing for my spring makeover. There is more to come!

Follow along on Instagram, if you like, where I’ll be using the hashtag #richlifespringmakeover

 Make it rich day!



Disclosure: My treatments from SkinSpirit and Smile Brilliant are complimentary in exchange for promotion. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.  


For the last eight weeks I have been using my Tria Age-Defying Laser five nights a week and am continuing to see fantastic improvements in my skin.

In my last post I shared my initial progress photos and all the reasons why I love my Tria. Today I thought I would not only share my recent progress photos, but also answer some of the many questions I have received since publishing my first Tria post.

Let’s begin with my Week Four photo, taken shortly after my last post. Here, my forehead is beginning to feel more taut and appears to have been lifted a bit, making me look less tired and not so ‘frowny’. My childhood scar on my left cheek next to my nose is becoming less noticeable, and the flesh on my face is plumper. My skin continues to feel smoother and the skin tone looks a little more even.

Tria Age-Defying Laser - Week Four

At Week Five, I had been on level 3 for several days. Level 3 is a ten-minute treatment, up from the four minutes I had been doing on level 2. I do notice that this level makes my skin pinker and it feels more burned, as if I had a sunburn. Thankfully both the redness and the discomfort fade by morning.

Tria Age-Defying Laser - Week Five

I often will grab a hand mirror and do my level 3 treatment while watching the evening news with my husband before bed since it’s a 10-minute session.

Tria Age-Defying Laser - Level 3

At Week Six, I noticed an even smoother forehead. Like many people, my deepest wrinkles are across my forehead. I use them as a beacon of sorts to monitor my progression. I also notice a more plump chin area.

Tria Age-Defying Laser Week - Week Six

And finally my latest photo, taken this morning at the Week Eight mark. I notice diminishing lines on my forehead, a bit more plumpness in my cheeks and shallower smile lines.

I also notice that I need to be more careful about re-applying sunscreen now that the sun is more intense and longer days are upon us. Using sunscreen during the treatment process is very important as your skin becomes very sensitive and your dark spots will darken if not protected.

Tria Age-defying Laser - Week 8

Since my initial post about my experience using Tria Age-Defying Laser, I have received a large number of inquiries about the device. I thought a Q & A would be a great way to publicly answer some of the great questions I received.

 Q: How old are you? What are your primary skin issues?

A: I am 46-years-old. My primary areas of concern are the creases on my forehead, my nasal labial folds (smile lines), dark spots on my jawline, a childhood scar near my nose on my left cheek, acne scars, and lines around my eyes.

 Q: Will the Tria Age Defying Laser harm my vision?

A: The Age-Defying Laser is designed to be used to treat skin around the eyes and you won’t be able to harm your eyes or vision.  The device has special safety sensors to ensure the laser will not fire if it is not in contact with the skin and gliding across to new areas. As a rule of thumb, place the device and treat only where you can feel bone beneath the skin; you should not treat your eyes or eyelids or aim the device directly into your eye.

 Q: Does the Tria Age Defying Laser cause skin cancer?

A: The Tria Age-Defying Laser has FDA clearance for safety and is clinically proven to be safe and effective. Non-ablative fractional lasers were cleared by the FDA in 2003 and have been available in physician offices since. At this time there have been no known reports of cancer associated with the use of non-ablative fractional lasers.

 Q: Can it be used both in summer and winter?

A: You can use the Tria Age-Defying Laser year round. You may get color or tanned in the summer months due to increased sun exposure, but this is not connected to the Age-Defying Laser. Tria suggests using an SPF of at least 30, daily, in order to prevent and shield from the damaging affects of the sun. If you experience a sunburn, Tria does not recommend treating with the Age-Defying Laser while your skin is red and/or irritated.

 Q: Can I use it if I have rosacea and will it help my rosacea condition?

A: The Age-Defying Laser was specifically designed to reduce fine-lines and wrinkles, however, many users have seen an overall improvement to the texture, tone and clarity of their skin. For good measure, you should consult your physician before use if you have a preexisting skin condition such as rosacea.

Q: Is it safe to use along with my Retin-A regimen?

A: You can, but it is important that you do not begin both treatments at once. If you have already been using Retin-A, Tria recommends waiting until any redness, dryness, or flakiness subsides. This is to prevent any interference with the Age-Defying Laser and make clear what results are coming from the laser treatments. Tria does not recommend that you begin a new skin treatment, whatever it may be, at the same time as beginning the Age-Defying Laser

Q: Once I have completed my 12-week program, may I continue to use it?

A: Treatments are 5 days a week for 12 weeks. Users should take at least 1 month off from using the device, between 12-week treatments

 Q: I have read some reviews about problems with the device charging. What’s the status of that issue?

A: Tria has let me know that they have identified an issue with a small percentage of power supplies (which is the plug that goes into the wall).  This does not impact the device itself, but it does prevent the battery from consistently charging. They have a new power supply that remedies the charging issue. If you experience issues charging your device, you can contact their Customer Care department at 877-567-6231 or [email protected] and they will send you a replacement power supply.

 Q: How much dryness and redness should I expect?

A: I have experienced very little dryness. Occasionally my skin feels a little rougher than normal but that only lasts a couple of days. I have had no flaking except around my nose, which is an area I do not treat with the Tria ( but I could if I wanted to). My redness has been minimal and has always appeared after my evening treatment. When I wake up in the morning, it’s gone – save for a little pinkness. I apply Tria’s serum directly after my treatment before bed, which soothes and calms my skin.

Tria just repackaged their cleanser and serum. Not only are they now more sleek looking but they contain twice the amount of product than the older models did.

 Tria Age-Defying Cleanser and Serum

Q: Do I have to wear more sunscreen than I usually do? What kind do you use?

A: I do wear more than usual, even on cloudy and rainy days. I apply more frequently especially now that we are well into spring and the days are longer and brighter. I use Coola SPF 30 organic sunscreen. The people from Tria sent it to me and I love it, although it does give me a bit of a white tint. I simply apply some foundation on top if the white tint is bothering me.

Q: Is it really worth $500?

A: I think the Tria Age-Defying Laser is worth its price tag for a few reasons. A laser treatment at the doctor’s office will cost about $900 to $1000 per treatment and most people need about three treatments total. And there is no down-time with Tria. I also think that the Tria Age-Defying Laser is much more effective than topical anti-aging creams, oils and serums which are often expensive and can really add up but not deliver the results they promise.

Q: Does it hurt?

A: While it is not without discomfort, it does not hurt. It feels like many tiny pin pricks at once. It’s not exactly pleasant but not intolerable either. I actually like it because I know it’s doing something!

Q: Do I have to start on level one? Can’t I just get right to it?

A: Tria and I advise that users start on the first level. It’s a great way to get yourself familiarized with the way it feels and how to use it. It also prepares your skin for the next level. I think if I would have had more redness throughout the treatment program had I skipped level one.

Q: Do you feel it tightened up your skin on your face?

A: I do! I used to feel that my brow was heavy, sort of weighed on my eyes and gave me a frown. It feels like my forehead has been lifted up a bit, a difference I not only see but feel. I also notice more fullness in the flesh of my face, especially on my chin.

Q: Do you use it on your jawline and neck?

A: Yes, I use it on my jawline. And no, I do not use it on my neck. Tria is not designed for use on the neck area.

Q: Do you travel with your Tria? 

Tria Age Defying Laser comes with a darling travel bag to keep your Tria device, charger, cord, user guide and your cleanser and serum. It’s easy to travel with and keeps everything you need for your Tria in one place.

 Tria Age-Defying Laser Kit

I hope that Tria and I have been able to answer the questions you may have about the Tria Age-Defying Laser. If you have any additional questions, leave them in the comments or contact me via email at [email protected]. I will have another update at the end of my Tria treatment in about four weeks.

You may purchase a Tria Age-Defying Laser at Tria and at the following retailers: Amazon, Sephora, Selfridges and Bloomingdale’s.


 I will be back soon with lots to tell you about our Bloggers in Napa Valley trip!

Make it a rich day!




Disclosure: Tria gave me a Tria Age-Defying Laser to review and keep. All opinions expressed about Tria Age-Defying Beauty are my own. I use affiliate links in this post which may produce commission for The Rich Life (on a budget).