If you ask the good-looking people at Stella Nova what their best anti-aging product is, they will recommend Dr. Brandt’s skin care line. Dr. Fredric Brandt (yes, he’s a real dermatologist) has created a line of alternatives to plastic surgery, such as “Laser in a Bottle” ($110) and “Microdermabrasion in a Jar” ($75). There are two basic versions of Dr. Brandt’s skin care — preventative care and quick-fix temporary cosmetics. The “Lineless” preventative collection uses green tea and grapeseed extracts to build antioxidants and skin strength. The repair line features “Crease Release” ($150), a topical BOTOX alternative that works like the injections, paralyzing facial muscles for about eight hours. It is less expensive and less painful than injections, and, at the end of the day, the wrinkles come back. Stella Nova highly recommends the product line, which uses natural ingredients and does wonders for the face at a fraction of the cost of surgery. Call Stella Nova (722-9797) for more information or visit



Repair the Damage

Today’s market is flooded with makeup that promises to take 10 years off your face, but Clinique’s Repairwear line has gotten some of the best reviews of all of them. The makeup specifically targets wrinkles and lines, claiming to boost collagen levels in the skin and add moisture. The interesting thing about the Repairwear foundation is that it has SPF 15 sunblock built in, protecting the face from additional sun damage while allowing full makeup coverage at the same time. The deep wrinkle concentrate works its way to the bottom layers of skin where collagen deflates over time. The makeup only works if used regularly and often, though.

Spider veins rank right up there with cellulite and frown lines as the most annoying and unsightly age markers. The tiny red, blue, and purple clusters of veins are not only ugly; they can cause aching and burning, too. Creams just don’t seem to do the trick, but a slightly more invasive treatment called sclerotherapy can help. During treatment, the veins are injected with a sclerosing solution. The solution causes the veins to collapse, and voila, no more ugly spider veins. The good news — it’s almost guaranteed to diminish the veins with a very low health risk. The bad news — it may take two or more treatments, can cause up to two weeks of redness and irritation, and does nothing to prevent future spider veins from appearing. Call Trident Dermatology at 797-3960 for more information.

Is it worth enduring two hours of having your lips needled a thousand times to never have to put on makeup again? Supporters of the “permanent makeup” trend say it is. Kissability is a permanent cosmetics practice that services South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, applying a permanent but, um, painful solution to people who don’t have the time or the makeup skills to do it themselves. Imagine getting a tattoo all around your eyelids to simulate eyeliner and mascara, or searing on permanent eyebrows. Nancy Ruth is the Board-certified practitioner for this area and says that the procedure is good for mothers or professionals with little spare time or for people who miss their youthful look. She also applies anesthetic cream before tattooing to reduce pain. The swelling goes down in a couple of weeks. Call Kissability at 803-640-4205 for more information.