I on Beauty: Chapter 13 -- New Year Renewal Favorites

Photo courtesy of Irene Michaels.

There is nothing better about a New Year than the inherent reminder that we have the ability to refresh or redefine any chosen facet of our lives. New Year's Day is a designated fresh start for anyone willing to take it. With the concept of renewal in mind, I offer up some of my personal favorites: people, places, and things that help me to refocus, restore, and reinvigorate my life--all to achieve a great New Year.

Char Panico Muffitt, Color and Texture Specialist of Joseph Michael's Salon and Spa, Chicago

Thankfully, the old adage "pain is beauty" doesn't apply to hair care, perhaps my favorite beauty luxury. I am fortunate to have found an extremely talented hair care professional I trust and a wonderful salon that offers me a relaxing experience with each appointment. Always a busy bee, my time at Joseph Michael's Salon and Spa is like a mini-vacation right on Chicago's Gold Coast. Color and Texture Specialist Char Panico Muffitt and the salon team work to design a look that complements my skin tone, head shape, and lifestyle, all while addressing my specific care needs with the best products on the market.

The salon's clients relax on a comfy couch in an intimate fireplace setting, enjoying a Starbucks and Baileys, a glass of wine, or cucumber water while their color processes. At the end of each visit I leave feeling as rejuvenated as I look.

Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya

Getting away for the New Year creates a valuable opportunity to step outside your daily routine and evaluate your life objectively. Away from the bustle of business-as-usual, you are able to consider important questions central to your wellbeing. What contributed most to my happiness or success last year? Have my priorities since changed? In which direction would I like to move forward this year?

The Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya is an intimate, all-inclusive retreat and the perfect destination to relax and reflect. Situated along Cancun's beautiful Riviera Maya, the resort offers luxurious suites with breathtaking ocean views, gourmet dining with fine wine and spirits, a full-service spa, and an ample array of entertainment choices. With the Endless Privileges program and an attentive staff eager to accommodate all your needs, you are left completely free of responsibility. I return home reinvigorated and refocused, ready to conquer the year.

Omega XL

It was my friend, Nikki Haskell who first introduced me to this joint health supplement. I have always been extremely active, from my demanding work and travel schedule to my exercise routine and horseback riding. When you push your body to its limits, it's important to give it the support it needs to stay healthy. For post-50 adults, joint health often requires special attention.

Omega XL is a highly concentrated omega-3 supplement containing 30 fatty acids. The EPA and DHA contained in each capsule are backed by over three decades of clinical research that has demonstrated their effectiveness in relieving joint pain caused by inflammation and in supporting mental acuity.

Del-Ray Sorbolene Cream

Unfortunately, many of us begin the New Year with dry winter skin. For this reason the Del-Ray Sorbolene Cream has become a staple in my home. It not only eases the discomfort of tight, extremely dry skin but also serves as a protective barrier to keep my skin feeling richly hydrated longer than typical lotions. It is suitable even for sensitive skin and can be used everywhere from the thicker skin on elbows and heels to the delicate skin of the face. As a bonus, it also removes makeup and works as a shaving cream.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

This mask is a great at-home treatment for reducing the appearance of fine lines, evening and improving skin tone and radiance, and enhancing firmness of mature skin. It is paraben and sulfate free, powered by a complex of lactic, glycolic, tartaric, and citric fruit acids along with a potent papain enzyme, which acts as a texture improving exfoliant. While not recommended for sensitive skin, I have found it very beneficial for restoring younger looking skin. And who doesn't want to embrace the year with a youthful, glowing face to complement a youthful, glowing outlook?

Dr. Jon Wilensky

If you have ever made the decision to undergo a cosmetic procedure, or even if you are just considering it, you have already realized the importance of trust in the relationship you develop with your doctor. Cosmetic procedures, even when non-invasive, can produce undesirable results when performed by inexperienced practitioners. Dr. Jon Wilensky has gained and held my trust.

Dr. Wilensky offers many services, but I particularly value his expertise in administering Botox injections. We have all seen women who have been poorly advised in this area and encouraged to overuse the product, resulting in an unnatural stiffness and lack of expression. When used appropriately, however, Botox gently weakens the muscles that contract to form wrinkles and looks very natural. Not only can it instantly soften lines in the face, regular use can prevent many of these wrinkles from becoming permanent.

While we each work on our more intangible resolutions, we often seek an external representation of our commitments. For me, this can be expressed with the care I take in my own health and beauty regimens. My wish for you all this year is to live each day deliberately and with enthusiasm, treating yourself with all the respect you deserve and enjoying all the indulgences you have earned. Have a great 2015!

Follow Irene on Facebook, Twitter, and IOnTheScene.com!