Skincare Brand Obsession: VMV Hypoallergenics

Let’s hear your #SKINTHUSIASM! That’s VMV Hypoallergenic‘s hashtag du jour, and I certainly see why. I spent last weekend out in the beating sun and 95 degree heat at the Coachella Music Festival, and one application of VMV’s Armada Sport SPF 70 in the morning got me through the entire day, including dips in the pool, and I didn’t burn at all. At ALL! It’s also weightless and doesn’t leave you feeling globbed in lotion. And the best part: it does NOT smell like sunscreen. It’s completely fragrance-free, phthalate-free, dye-free, paraben-free and preservative-free, and a non-comedogenic – just like all their products.

I’ve also been using VMV’s Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer 15 for Combination Skin, and it’s deeply moisturizing while being light and airy on the face. My skin’s been supple and knock on wood, my skin’s had this beautiful, clear glow since I’ve started using it. I haven’t used concealer in two weeks! Want some great makeup for sensitive skin? I’ve been using their Ooh-La-Lash Volumizing Mascara, perfect for people whose eyes get irritated easily.

The VMV story goes beyond skin deep: In the Philippines in 1979, dermatologist-dermatopathologist Dr. Vermen Verallo-Rowell was noticing more and more of her patients had skin allergies, and there were no good products she could find to recommend to them. So, she took matters into her own hands began crafting the right formulas herself, all 100% hypoallergenic. Word got out about her private skincare formulas and it was soon in hot demand. Soon after, VMV was born.

Her daughter Laura Verallo-Bertotto grew up sort of like a “guinea pig” with her mom’s creations, and is now the CEO and Creative Director of the award-winning brand. To this day, VMV maintains 100% control of its formulas because instead of using external labs which risks sharing production machines with non-hypoallergenic products, she formulates everything herself with her team of chemists. The founder still plays an active role in all the research, development, and clinical testing and is on the board of many leading dermatological, contact dermatitis, photodermatological and dermatopathological societies across the USA and Asia. VMV also publishes IN SKIN magazine, as a unique and leading voice in the skin care industry.

There’s one location in the country (for now, at least!), and it’s in Union Square, NYC, a block away from the Spa Week headquarters. With an inviting storefront filled with top-quality products and a full skincare salon in the back, it’s a perfect place to host events. And they do. If you’re in the area, check out some of their upcoming and ongoing happenings:

Free Skin Cancer Screening – May 1st and 3rd they will be offering complimentary screenings by the founder of VMV, Dr. Vermen Verallo-Rowell. Appointments are required by calling (212) 217-2762.

Mother’s Day Celebration – VMV will be celebrating safe skin care on Thursday, May 10th from 6pm-8pm with special focus on moms and moms-to-be. VMV’s CEO, Laura Verallo-Bertotto will be hosting and we will have special gifts-with-purchase for moms. There will be drinks and hors’oeurves too.

Mother-Daughter Pampering – Mom gets a 30 min facial and t(w)een a skin consultation on caring for changing skin and mini-facial, all for $45. Packages available the last Saturday of every month. But in honor of Mother’s Day they are holding it on May 19th, too.

Disclosure: Products were gifted by VMV, but all opinions are very much my own.

Another Reason to Love the Number 50!

Kick up your leg and shout “I’m FIFTY” like Molly Shannon’s character on SNL. Here at Spa Week, fifty is our favorite number – hello $50 treatments. And now a community of women is helping women look and feel well… fabulous.  FabOverFifty is a place for women over 50 to ask beauty and style advice as well as share their tips for staying young. They are on a mission to change the dirty term  “over the hill” to something to be proud of. Women should shout from that hill: “I’m 50!”


Mark your calendars because Fab Over Fifty is hosting a 2-day health, beauty and spa event on October 1st and 2nd for  women who’ve proudly passed the half-century mark. Beauty Bash is where women can get their burning fashion questions answered by top stylists. For example, Mark Garrison will be on hand for personal hair and makeup consultations. His celebrity clientele include America’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johansson.

Meet with the “Guru of Hue,” Jill Kirsh for a personal color analysis. Along with 1-on-1 consultations with New York’s top doctors, including, Dr. Sharon Giese and Dr. Robert Gotkin.  Dr. Giese’s “Natural Lift” is touted as “the future of plastic surgery” by Dr. Oz, and Dr. Gotkin, a dermatologist, was named “One of New York’s best doctors” by New York Magazine. Not too shabby. Then have one of the most respect doctors in the dermatological field, Dr. Ellen Marmur, do a full-body skin check.

There’s a staggering statistic that 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size! Le Mystere will be on hand to solve this dilemma for attendees with custom fittings. HALLELUJAH!

To top the day off, attendees receive a gift bag filled with more than $150 worth of beauty products, as well as exclusive offers from partners, including Soft Surroundings, Molton Brown, Cynthia Rowland Beauty Systems, Perricone and many more.

Spa Week Daily readers, enjoy a 50% discount on tickets with code BB50 at checkout. To learn more, visit the event site.

With ladies like Kim Catrall and Michelle Pfeiffer (and YOU?) in the FOF community, 50 never looked so FAB.

Beauty, Bellinis & Breathtaking Views at the Carefree Spa Week Pre-Summer Party

As the sun arched over the Hudson on the evening of Monday June 20th, graciously bowing out Spring with the last official sunset before Summer 2011, it’s a fact: WE had the best view in New York City.

In honor of Spa Week’s 2011 Presenting Sponsor Carefree, and in partnership with our exclusive media sponsor Allure Magazine, we co-hosted a beauty and Bellini-filled bash for 150 lucky Spa Week clients. If we’d been able to invite all million and a half of you we’d have needed a much bigger venue than the 21st story of Glass Houses in Chelsea, so let us take you through the evening as though you are experiencing it, starting of course with your flute of champagne. If you think you could say no to that face, you are mistaken.

Next, you head over and put your name down for the official spa treatment of Spa Week 2011: Carefree’s Signature Spa Week Misting Massage. Choose face or hands (I chose face for the mind-blowing head massage), choose your essential oil (grapefruit = YUM), and soon enough – if only for a few minutes – your day becomes ironically carefree.

Then you take your cocktail onto the patio to take in the gorgeous views and mingle with SpaWeekers like yourself…

… including me and Stephanie. Hi!

Then you head inside because Allure Editor-at-Large Abbie Kozolchyk just started speaking, dishing the magazine’s top beauty tips and trends for summer. Check out our 7 favorite beauty tips of the evening!

After all that beauty talk, you wander over to get your hair and makeup done yourself.

Then, a familiar feeling strikes. You’ve had 3 flutes of champers and a glass of white… ah HA, that’s it! You have to…… And perhaps change your pantyliner?

Much better. You’ve also been noshing on savory crispy scallops, thai chicken and mozzarella skewers all evening, so it’s time for something sweet on the step and repeat. It’s time for chocolate bites and goody bags.

And there you have it! Two hours goes by fast, huh? And I wanted to share (although I am not obligated to whatsoever), that I’ve started using Carefree’s new Acti-Fresh liners occasionally ever since we started working with them, and they really are better than any pantyliner I remember using back in the day when I wore pantyliners. We did a post back in April with some ideas for wearing Carefree liners – check it out. The next Spa Week is October 10-16… get excited and stay fresh!

Thank you to everyone who came. Take a look at all the photos on our Facebook page.

VIDEO: Spa Week Media Party 2011

You read the party recap, you browsed over 100 photos on Facebook, you got the tour of those Mary Poppins gift bags… now here is the video evidence of our Media Party this spring—our best celebration yet, or so we heard.

Watch as we kicked off the 14th season of Spa Week $50 treatments nationwide at the Prince George Ballroom in NYC on April 6th, 2011. Take a virtual tour of our exclusive sponsors at the CAREFREE Refresh Lounge, Dole Real Fruit Bites oxygen bar, Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics “matchmaking” vanities, the clariSEA make-your-own-salt-scrub station, and the trendy Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas. Those shoulder rubs, hand scrubs and scalp massages from felt even better as we sipped delicious GIVEN Liqueur cocktails.

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate… see you in October!

Trump Soho Spa Soiree + Win Hammam Treatments & Kate Somerville Skincare!

On the eve of Spa Week Spring 2011—the calm before the calmer—we were toasting to the upcoming week of $50 indulgences at one of our spa hotspots, the Spa at Trump SoHo in NYC, which just nabbed a coveted spot on the Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List for 2011.

Hosted by me on behalf of Spa Week and Shauna Mei, the founder of AHAlife, the intimate spa soiree was designed as a get-together for the curators of, an eclectic group of influencers from around the world who choose the unique products featured in AHAlife’s gallery-like daily online store. Some of the guests included Home Cook Superstar Sarah Simmons, Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai, Armani US Retail Director Alessandro Valenti, and bloggers James Andrew, Kimmie Smith and Kristin Booker.  As a curator myself, it was great to bring together such a wonderfully diverse group of people.

The Spa at Trump SoHo, curated by Ivanka Trump, has been wildly embraced by the media, including a feature in VOGUE, and right here on Spa Week Daily. Read about Trump’s Turkish Hammam bathing ritual, one of the most traditional Hammam experiences in the US.

At the end of this post, enter to win that same Trump Hammam experience (2 winners), or a Kate Somerville Skincare Gift Set!

First check out the soiree highlights:

During Yamuna Foot Fitness, a little-known fitness trend, everyone learned the importance of stretching their feet, from heel to pinky toe. It helps with flexibility, circulation and strength. It’s especially great exercise for women who walk in high heels often, but also for people who walk, period. Learn more about it here.

The Spa at Trump refreshed each guests’ skin with an Oxygen Facial Blast with Mineral Veil, a quick mini-facial treatment.

Henna got super glam that evening—ladies loved the Henna Body Art with glitter and crystals, one of the upcoming treatments to look forward to at the Spa at Trump.

Foot soaks and shoulder massages in the Hammam setting gave guests a glimmer of the peaceful, other-world Hammam experience.

Guests mingling, sipping on wine and champagne, and enjoying the spread of meats, cheeses and crudite while indulging in the mini spa services.

Gaga was on. We couldn’t help ourselves!


To win The Spa at Trump Hammam experience – ONLY ENTER if you are able to be in NYC for the treatment – (2 WINNERS)

Answer this question in the comments below: Why do YOU most want to experience a Turkish Hammam?


Winner #1 Someone who really needs some pampering… Jennifer SparI have experienced a rough year with some setbacks. I had lost my job and undergone a surgery. I am a spa enthusiast and love to try new spa treatments.”

Winner #2 Someone who we hope will report back and let us know! Deniz KustuBecause I am from Turkey and I need to test it to see if they are doing it properly:)”

To win A Kate Somerville Skincare Gift Set – (1 WINNER)

Answer this question in the comments below: What is the most important thing you learned about skin care in the past year?

Winner: Someone who made us smile with her truthful, simple logic: Linda Slayton: The most important thing I learned about skin care in the past year is that I really have to be friends with my skin. Skin is not the same for everyone. In order to decide what products are most beneficial, I need to really know what my skin likes and needs. Just like a good friendship requires work, so does my relationship with my skin. And a little pampering helps too!

You can enter both contests with two separate comments. Contests end Sunday, April 24th at midnight, EST. Please link your name to a valid email address or Facebook profile. Winner will be announced on this blog post and notified, and you must claim your prize within 48 hours.

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