Between selfie sticks and smart phones, capturing life's memorable moments has never been easier. In a split second an everyday occurrence can become the perfect photo-op, including special time with beloved pets. For our annual "Best Pet Selfie" contest, we asked readers to submit selfies with their pets as part of an effort to raise funds for local pet-related charities. Through votes from friends, family and the Best Self community, the top three contest winners were able to win cash prizes donated to Puglanta Dog Rescue, Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption and Good Mews Animal Foundation.

 

P1First Place Winner
Kelley Pierce and Miss Lola
Awarded $250 for Puglanta Dog Rescue, Inc.

From the very second Kelley Pierce laid eyes on Miss Lola, she knew that precious, irresistibly cute, wiggly little creature, with a cinnamon bun tail and eyes on opposite sides of her head had captured a piece of her heart. She says she is thankful every day for "this sweet and gentle pug who's responsible for so much joy and laughter and whose unconditional love inspires, encourages and lifts me, and so many others, up each day!" At 13 years young, Miss Lola just might be one of the most stylish pugs you'll meet. She recently won a pug "Dress & Impress" contest at a Pug & Mug event in Virginia-Highland—and that's just the start. Miss Lola looks forward to getting into modeling, creating her first pug-calendar and being featured in her very own book. Her latest escapade was trying her "paw" at riding skateboards. But Miss Lola isn't all about looks and adventure, says Pierce. She is also American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen-certified and enjoys serving the community as a therapy dog with Happy Tails Pet Therapy. Although Miss Lola herself wasn't an adopted rescue, since bringing her into her home Pierce has become a staunch adoption supporter, which is why she chose Puglanta Dog Rescue to receive the first place prize money. "I feel adoption provides a pet with a chance to experience love that they otherwise may never have the opportunity to know." Fans of Miss Lola can follow her Facebook page "Miss Lola The Pug" to see what she'll be up to next.

Details: puglanta.com

 

P2Second Place Winner
Sheila Jordan and Nash
Awarded $150 for Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption

Sheila Jordan often jokes that her Yorkie/Poodle mix, Nash, "has no clue he is a dog." When the two of them aren't exploring the city, Nash can be found squeezing in quality time with his neighborhood best friend, who just so happens to be a cat, or chasing the ever-elusive "dot." The two recently celebrated the second anniversary of Nash's adoption from Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption (APRA). Jordan reminisces on how helpful APRA was during the process of bringing Nash home. "It was great! APRA ensures that their rescues are going to loving homes that are dedicated to the well-being of the pets. They also act as a resource to help with any needs that might arise once you take your furbaby home." Thankful for the joy Nash has brought into her life through adoption, donating prize money to APRA to assist with finding homes for other pets was a no-brainer to Jordan. She says, "Animals may be voiceless, but their souls speak volumes. Being able to do my part in making a difference in the life of such a sweet angel was my motivation [to adopt]."

Details: atlantapetrescue.org

 

P3Third Place
Barb Murphy and Cora
Awarded $100 for Good Mews Animal Foundation

Every birthday is special, but the year Barb Murphy received Cora as a surprise gift from her husband and stepson was extra special. Not only is Barb a longtime pet lover, she's also a huge adoption supporter. So when her husband and stepson decided to surprise her with a pet, they knew adoption was the way to go. "There are too many animals out there that need to find their forever home and too many animal shelters that need help," says Murphy. They brought Cora home from a Planned Pethood event at PetSmart and her spunky personality quickly made her a favorite of the whole family. "Cora is a nut! She drinks running water out of the faucet, talks all the time, is constantly underfoot and loves to hang around her mom," says Murphy. "Cora was the best birthday present ever! The gift that keeps on giving!"

Details: goodmews.org

 

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Monday, 01 August 2016 15:51

Hearts of Gold

P1By David Purdum

On an early spring morning in May 2013, approximately 300 swimmers of all ages showed up at Lake Spivey, near Jonesboro, Georgia, for the inaugural Swim Across America Atlanta Open Water Swim, a just-for-fun jaunt out into the lake to raise money for cancer.

Conditions were not ideal.

Temperatures may have reached 60 that day, barely, and the lake water wasn't much warmer. While setting up the weekend event, organizers were pummeled by heavy rain and wind. Buoys flew all over the place as the course was being marked, and rain seeped through tent roofs onto volunteers below.

By the day of the swim, the volunteers were covered in mud up to their knees. They pulled the event off, though, even managing to decorate the grounds with reminders of why everyone was there. Yard signs, each with a picture of the face of a child battling cancer, were everywhere.

SB1Current Olympic superstar Amanda Weir and two gold-medal winners of the past, Steve Lundquist and Doug Gjertsen, were among the volunteers. Weir, a product of Brookwood High School in Lawrenceville, started the summer in a position to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the third time. Lundquist won a pair of gold medals in the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, and Gjertsen won two gold medals at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. The trio of Olympians had never met before getting involved in the Atlanta chapter of Swim Across America. Lundquist and Gjertsen even lived in the same area near Lake Spivey, but didn't know each other.

"We all kind of met through Swim Across America," Lundquist explains. "And that's cool. Swim Across America has brought a lot of Olympians into my life that I would never have had a chance to meet. It's fun to get to know them and do some good charity work as well."

Lundquist, who now works on the commercial side of the insurance firm Stewart Title, lost his grandmother to stomach cancer, and his father underwent chemotherapy in the spring for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. "Look to your right and to your left, you're going to find one person you know who has or has dealt with cancer in the past," he says.

For Gjertsen, Swim Across America provided an avenue for him to honor an elementary-school classmate who passed away from kidney cancer during the middle of sixth grade. He attended Austin Elementary School in Dunwoody and remembers learning of his classmate's diagnosis of kidney cancer around Christmas. By Valentine's Day, his friend's hair was gone. In April, he passed away. It was the first time Gjertsen had lost a friend to cancer. It stuck with him.

"It was my first experience with anything like that, so it had a profound impact on me," explains Gjertsen, who has been a coach for SwimAtlanta since 1993. "I have always remembered that. It frustrated me terribly that there was nothing that could be done to improve his situation."

"I think everyone involved in the race will remember that blustery day for a long time," Weir chuckles. With their teeth chattering, Weir, Gjertsen and Lundquist swam alongside participants to help them finish the race and make sure everyone got back to land and some warmth.

Organizers who were trying to jump-start an Atlanta chapter of Swim Across America feared not everyone's memory of the first event would be positive. "We were told that it would be hard to grow the swim given that first year's experience," recalls Sheri Hart, the Atlanta chapter's director.

But it has grown, and three years after that memorable day at Lake Spivey, Swim Across America will accomplish a fundraising milestone with this September's event. (In a strategic decision after inaugural fiasco, the open swim was moved to late summer for the sake of warmth.) Last year, 325 swimmers participated in the swim and 200 attended an Olympic Clinic at Georgia Tech. The Atlanta branch of Swim Across America has raised more than $800,000 for cancer research and expects to cross the million-dollar mark in 2016. Nationally, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $65 million. It also has created a bond between three local Olympic swimmers.

SB2Now in its fourth year, the Atlanta open swim has outgrown Lake Spivey and, for the first time, will be held at Lake Lanier on September 17. The 2016 Olympic Summer Games, which kick off in August in Brazil, always produce a boost in the public's interest in swimming, so the event has a chance to grow even more this year.

Weir, a sprinter who prefers to follow the black line across the bottom of the pool rather than swim in open water, is committed to September's swim. She is heavily involved in growing swimming throughout the metro area and says she's around high-school swimmers every day.

SB3"Swimming has grown like crazy in the past several years," Weir said. "[In] the Atlanta area especially, with huge numbers in the summer neighborhood swim leagues, there's a tremendous pool of young swimmers who might decide they love it enough to continue on into year-round club swimming and/or high-school swimming, which is awesome."

Swim Across America attracts a network of Olympians with Atlanta ties. Weir, Lundquist and Gjersten have looked forward to the event for months. They see each other often these days and were having fun together at a photo shoot this spring, talking about what Olympic athletes talk about with each other.

"You always ask about training," notes Lundquist, "and what they're doing—especially the younger athletes—how they have no respect for us old people, because they keep getting faster and faster."

Monday, 01 August 2016 15:32

Testing, testing, 1-2-3

By Katie Lambert

All mistakes are not equal. The famous leaning Tower of Pisa wasn't meant to lean, but its construction on soft soil hasn't resulted in much other than a charmingly tilted structure. The series of mistakes that led to the sinking of the Titanic, however, resulted in catastrophe.

Gene mutations are like that, too. A cell can replicate and slightly scramble the genetic recipe, swapping out one nucleotide for another. Perhaps the results produce nothing more than another "charming tilt" as the cells make do with what's there. Or, that change in code may dictate devastating effects on the human body.

Genetic testing is a broad term covering a variety of purposes. The forensics testing used in criminal investigations identifies DNA in blood at the scene of a crime. Similar testing methods might also predict how well a woman with breast cancer will respond to certain medication. A few types of genetic testing even allow a little glimpse of the future, such as the predictive testing and the genetic tests done before the conception and birth of a child.

Mapping It Out

Each of our 50 trillion or so cells contains the DNA often called our blueprint. Encoded in DNA are the instructions for life—such as directions that tell cells whether they belong to the eye or the kidney, and whether their job is to pump blood or fight bacteria. DNA molecules are tightly wound and packaged into 23 pairs of chromosomes. These chromosomes are made up of thousands of genes, each with a specific function or the potential to activate new characteristics.

Occasionally gene mutations occur. Some of these are hereditary and known as the germline mutations from parents. The other kind, acquired or somatic mutations, crop up during our lifetime —UV rays from the sun, for example, can damage some genes, as can the chemicals in cigarettes. Sometimes cells simply damage themselves when they replicate.

Looking for Signs

The genetic testing process doesn't really target those harmless mutations. It's meant to search for indicators of ovarian cancer, sickle cell anemia, Huntington's disease or other causes of human suffering.

Kimberly King-Spohn, a certified genetic counselor and manager of the genetics program with WellStar Health System, describes genetic testing to her patients this way: "When we do genetic testing, it's like we're proofreading a book. We're looking for typos, extra letters and larger errors that change the meaning of the whole sentence."

Dr. Mark Perloe, medical director at Georgia Reproductive Specialists, says, "We talk about genetic screening with every patient who's thinking about getting pregnant. Each year, half a dozen couples come in after their first pregnancy was a disaster—either the child was lost or had mental insufficiency or another condition. An equal number come in having no idea that there is a 1-in-4 chance of their child having a genetic condition because they are a carrier couple."

Carrier couples each have one copy of a mutated gene that, in them, causes no problems. But combine the two through reproduction and there is a 25 percent chance they will have a child with a condition like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, and a 50 percent chance that the child will be a carrier as well.

Pondering Direction

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends specific tests to certain groups (couples with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, for example, should be offered a screening for Tay-Sachs disease), but there are additional options available. There are also prenatal tests administered to pregnant women to help identify conditions like Down syndrome. "We present the spectrum of what's available and allow patients to self-identify with what meets their needs," says King-Spohn.

As a genetic counselor, it's her job to discuss the possible psychological effects of results before testing ever takes place. She must consider: "Would this information be valuable to the patient? Would it be useful to them to help direct their treatment or allow them to prepare for the future? Or would it just cause them anxiety? Would the knowledge hang over their head or make them unable to sleep? Then it's not helpful." For example, if knowing that testing positive for the risk of Down syndrome would not change the course of the pregnancy, the patient may not want to know at all.

SB1Finding Clues

Predictive testing carries its own weighty decisions. It allows a doctor/scientist to scan the genome for genes known to be related to certain cancers. The best-known of these is probably the blood test for BRCA1 and BRCA2, genes known to harbor harmful, inherited mutations that sharply increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The medical options for women who test positive for BRCA can be tough, both psychologically and physically. Often, these results start a series of frequent mammograms and MRIs, possibly adding chemopreventive drugs or even risk-reduction surgeries such as the removal of both breasts and ovaries.

"Removing your ovaries is what saves your life if you're BRCA-positive. The outcomes for ovarian cancer are dismal because we can't find it early," says Katie Lang, certified genetic counselor and Hereditary Cancer Program Coordinator at Northside Hospital. "But that's a huge decision. It puts you in menopause. If you're a woman who hasn't had children or isn't in a relationship, you have to start thinking about things like whether you want to do an egg harvest and freeze your eggs, or whether you want to adopt. You are suddenly under pressure to make life choices you thought you had more time to make."

A Family Affair

The big difference between carrier testing and predictive testing is that when there are two prospective parents present, they inherently have all the information needed. When testing for gene mutations like BRCA, it's necessary to check in with the whole family.

Lang says that genetic counselors always joke about their nosiness. If your mother died of breast cancer, they're not just going to ask you about her—they're going to ask you about her mother, your sisters, and where your aunt lives so they can recommend a testing center. If your mom's sister tests negative, then you don't need to be tested for BRCA. She was the missing piece.

Genetic counselors are very careful to explain what test results can mean. A positive result for BRCA, for example, does not mean that you have cancer, or that you will get cancer. On the flip side, testing negative for BRCA doesn't mean that you won't get breast or ovarian cancer—most women with breast cancer do not have the BRCA mutation.

Both Lang and King-Spohn urge patients to talk to their relatives about their family's medical history. "We can't do genetics with just one person," says Lang. "We solve the puzzle with everybody. That can be hard. Maybe your relatives have passed away, maybe they don't want to be tested. Maybe you don't have access to your family history or have a very small family. Risk is a spectrum, and we don't know where you fall on the spectrum."

There are researchers who, every day, spend hours in a lab looking for genetic clues to conditions like autism, diabetes and Alzheimer's. They've already found puzzle pieces for breast and ovarian cancer, colon cancer and sudden cardiac death. The field will keep advancing, and it will save lives. While those facts don't make the choices easy, the knowledge does empower patients with greater understanding.

Resources:

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology— acog.org
FORCE, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered—facingourrisk.org
Georgia Reproductive Specialists—ivf.com
National Cancer Institute—cancer.gov
National Library of Medicine—ghr.nlm.nih.gov
National Society of Genetic Counselors—nsgc.org
Northside Hospital—northside.com
WellStar Health System—wellstar.org

Friday, 29 July 2016 14:15

August 2016 Digital Issue

Thursday, 23 June 2016 20:04

Men’s Skincare in 3 Simple Steps

Men's skin is resilient and tough, but it still requires a regimen to ensure it's ready for life's everyday events and ages gracefully. Three main products every man should have are cleanser, sunscreen, and a night treatment.

Cleansers: Gentle cleansers allow removal of dirt without the removal of all the natural oils, leaving skin hydrated yet cleaned. When suffering from acne prone or oily skin, there are different types of cleansers that may contain ingredients to combat those concerns.

Sunscreens: Sunscreens are the answer for slowing the formation of aging lines and allowing dark spots to fade. Sun is everywhere--even on overcast, cloudy, rainy, and snowy days. Wearing an SPF30+ daily can be the difference between "looking your age" and "looking beyond your years."

Night Treatment: Any cream that targets a concern, whether it's acne, dark spots, skin texture, ingrown beard hairs/bumps, or anti-aging should be applied to the skin at night--when hands are away from the face, sweating is diminished, and sun isn't around. This allows the topical treatment the most uninterrupted contact time with the skin.

Creating a personal men's skin care regimen can be an overwhelming task. Dr. Nikki Hill at the SOCAH Center can assist with creating simple yet effective regimens that are specific to skin type and skin goals. This month we are celebrating men's skin care with a free chemical peel (can be gifted to a friend or loved one) after a skin assessment! Call our office today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hill and learn how to maintain healthy skin everyday.

 

Dr. Nikki D. Hill, MD, FAAD
Concierge Dermatologist and Hair Loss Specialist

Dr. Nikki Hill is a board-certified dermatologist, hair loss specialist and founder of Atlanta's first and only concierge dermatology practice, the SOCAH Center, which brings quality care to you—conveniently.

Men’s Skincare in 3 Simple Steps

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by: SOCAH Center | 2256 Northlake Parkway Suite 300A | Tucker, GA 30084
Phone: (404) 474-2301 | www.socahcenter.com | Instagram/Twitter: @DrNikkiHill | Facebook: Socahcenter

 

Thursday, 23 June 2016 16:36

High-Tech Hair Restoration

When the Silicon Valley company Restoration Robotics, Inc. introduced the ARTAS® Robotic System in 2012, the company was very selective about awarding contracts for use of the revolutionary hair transplant technology. Hair restoration surgeons across the country participated in a rigorous interview process, and only a handful of highly successful practices were chosen to receive a coveted ARTAS® surgical robot. And it's really no surprise that metro Atlanta's own Anderson Center for Hair was one of those notable practices.

"The introduction of the ARTAS® robot was a technological quantum leap forward in the field of hair restoration surgery," says Ken Anderson, MD, founder and director of the Anderson Center for Hair. "We were honored to receive Georgia's first and only ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System in 2013. My center was chosen for several reasons, primarily because of my long-standing track record of success in Atlanta, as well as our boutique-style practice that is 100% dedicated to treating hair loss in both men and women. This is a world-class facility, the most prominent in the Southeast United States, and I know that Restoration Robotics felt comfortable placing one of their robots in my practice to lead the way in this region of the country."

That is exactly what Anderson and his staff of highly trained surgical technicians have done since completing Georgia's first ARTAS® robotic hair transplant surgery on September 4, 2013. People from around the world now travel to Georgia to visit the Anderson Center for Hair, which remains the only practice in the state to offer ARTAS® robot-assisted hair restoration surgery. What's more, Dr. Anderson, who is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and renowned lecturer, has amassed an impressive list of accolades in the last few years alone, including the 2015 National Doctors' Choice Award for Plastic Surgery, and the 2015 Real Self Top 500 Award. He also was recognized as a Castle Connelly Top Doctor, and admitted to the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, a group that has admitted less than 70 hair transplant physicians worldwide.

"I'm the only facial plastic surgeon in the world who has exclusively practiced hair restoration surgery for over a decade," Anderson explains. "People are reluctant to come to a doctor for hair restoration surgery because they're afraid of bad hair transplant jobs. But this is not your father's hair surgery. These are not hair plugs. It's a hair-by-hair transplant, and looks completely natural because it is. During private consultations I personally show patients how we apply traditional medical principles and today's technology to hair restoration surgery."

Anderson employs the non-invasive Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method; it involves removing hairs from the back of the head, which are immune to hormones that cause balding, and placing them into sites on top of the head, where those permanent hairs will continue to grow as if they are still in the permanent hair zone. The challenge is not only to make sure that the relocated hair looks completely natural, but also that any scars on the back of the head are virtually undetectable. The ARTAS® Robotic System allows Anderson and his team to achieve that goal. Here, Anderson answers some of the most common questions about robot-assisted hair restoration surgery and the technology that continues to change the industry.

Q: How does the ARTAS Robotic System work?

A: The ARTAS® robot features a six-jointed robotic arm with two stereoscopic cameras. It can "see" each individual hair follicle because of the two cameras and determine the exact angle of that hair follicle down to a fraction of a millimeter. Using complex computer algorithms and robotic precision, it removes one follicle at a time using a 0.80 millimeter punch—without touching any of the surrounding hairs.

Q: What are the main benefits of using the ARTAS Robotic System?

A: Compared to a traditional, linear hair extraction with a scalpel, robot-assisted hair restoration surgery is less painful and offers a quicker recovery time. Additionally, when the individual follicles are removed, we want to minimize the look of dimples on the extraction site. The 0.80 millimeter punch creates a very small hole, and those little holes heal right up with virtually undetectable scarring. And because there is no linear scarring, which is a telltale sign of traditional hair restoration surgery, it allows clients to have short haircuts. The option for wearing short haircuts is very appealing to those who just don't want to worry about a linear scar ever being seen on their heads or in their hair.

Also important is the robot's speed and efficiency. When the hair follicles are removed, they are put in a dish for preparation under special microscopes. We definitely want to limit the amount of time that the follicles spend in the holding solution. This is because as the follicles have been removed from the scalp they have no blood supply while in the dish awaiting implantation they are technically slowly perishing. We need to be able to get the follicles out and placed quickly. That efficiency means better growth rates because the grafts survive better with the robot assistance.

Q: Is the follicle extraction an automatic process with the ARTAS robot?

A: There are several machines that can do the FUE method, and the common thread with those is that they are handheld instruments. The ARTAS® is not handheld, but it is not like a carwash. We don't just set it and go. It is a complex tool, and what's important is how the tool is used. It requires a human to use it. I work the robot, and I watch every single extraction as it is done to ensure the best possible results for my patients.

Q: Does the ARTAS Robotic System also place the hair follicle back into the scalp?

A: No. The implantation is handled by me and our team of highly trained surgical technicians. Once the follicles are harvested, the grafts have to be prepared for implantation with a human touch. The surgical team trims and prepares each follicle, and I make the implantation sites personally. It's the most artistically demanding portion of a hair transplant procedure: creating the implantation sites in such a way so that the hair looks as though it has always been there, and not like some person or robot has surgically placed it there.

Q: How much pain or discomfort can be expected during a robot-assisted hair restoration surgery?

A: Very little. Every single patient is surprised how painless the entire process is. Of course, we numb the areas where the hair follicles are extracted and placed. And patients are sedated during the surgery. But overall, it's not a painful process. Many patients say that, after a procedure, it feels like a mild sunburn. Many have mentioned to me that the entire process is less intense than having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist.

Q: How expensive is a robot-assisted hair restoration surgery?

A: It is an investment, but results in a lifetime of new hair. Typically, clients can expect to pay between $10,000 and $20,000. And it is a worthwhile investment. There is a real psychology to hair loss. We all have hair, and when it's lost, it's distressing—for both men and women. Getting that hair back is transformational.

Q: What will my experience be like at the Anderson Center for Hair?

A: We are one of the world's premier boutique centers for hair restoration. We are a world-class center that is specifically for people with hair loss. I do all of the consultations personally, and we offer a very comfortable environment in a private facility. No patients meet face-to-face, and we only do one procedure per day. That way we can dedicate all of our time and effort to each particular case.

It's 2016, and the technology that allows this type of procedure to be done is here. Hair restoration is a very natural cosmetic procedure. And once you have it done, you're going to feel great about yourself.

In the next six to eight months, the Anderson Center for Hair will expand to include a second ARTAS® robot system here in Atlanta. For more information about robot-assisted hair restoration surgery, call 404-256-4247 or visit www.atlantahairsurgeon.com.

 

Thursday, 23 June 2016 16:18

Soul of the City

John and Vivian Bencich have left their mark on Atlanta. All over Atlanta. From incredible commercial spaces to sleek retail locales to gasp-inducing restaurant designs, the Bencichs and their Square Feet Studio team elevate the cityscape with a vision that's backed by talent, ingenuity, experience and deft skill. They believe in the power of telling a story through architecture and design, of bringing to life a setting through its structural and aesthetic elements.

SB1The husband and wife duo met while in graduate school at Georgia Tech. They each worked in different architecture and design firms for over a decade before coming together in 2001 to establish Square Feet Studio. Now their Krog Street studio backs up to the BeltLine and hums with a staff of about ten—architects, interior designers, urban planners and some, like Vivian, who are schooled in both architecture and interior design. You love their work ... yes you do. From The General Muir to Kimball House, from Room & Board to R Hughes Atelier, from Sid Mashburn's to Staplehouse, from Pink Barre to Preserving Place to parts of Ponce City Market ... the list goes on and on, including some of the chicest locales ever to rise up in this metropolitan phoenix nest.

To hear the Bencichs discuss their design process and focus reveals their commitment to the city of Atlanta. A commitment recognized by awards and accolades merited through a fervent mission to "make every square foot of our designs smart, simple and sustainable by using resources that minimize the impact of our work on the environment and maximize its benefit for future generations." They respect the inherent character of a project setting and feel a sense of responsibility for what they are contributing to the area. For their own home, they chose a home ripe for renovation and surrounded by the businesses, parks and museums that add to the character of their living experience.

SB2Whether for home or for business, "There's a reason you pick the location," John says. "We try to find what's special about that location. I got into this great discussion with [some restaurant] clients of ours. They talked about how dining, well, how going out, is a way to find out more about your neighborhood and community. So the places that you can sit down—restaurants, bars, coffee shops—are the easiest places to hang out for a while. When someone picks a location, there's the immediate building as well as the ethos of the surrounding area. If you want to find out about Atlanta, what do you tell people that come to visit Atlanta to do? Tell them to check out the BeltLine and stop at Ponce City Market. Tell them to get out and discover these neighborhoods. If you're not from Atlanta, you don't know it's all there." The couple says they are drawn to parts of the city that are walk-able, enjoying long strolls through the neighborhood with their daughter
and dog.

SB3Vivian remembers, "With Atlanta, for me, having been a child of the 70s, coming down here to visit from North Carolina, you went to Underground and Crofts, and my parents had mugs from Pitty Pat's Porch. We went up to Lenox. ... The buzz was about sports teams, Buckhead, the Omni Hotel ... very disparate. The highways split it all up. Yet, there are pockets of neighborhoods."

The seemingly hidden history of Atlanta intrigues both of them. Uncovering the original use for a building or the origin of a certain purlieu fuels their creativity and pulls them in closer to the people and places that built the city. "Did you know that all the neighborhoods used to be called 'wards' and the Old Fourth Ward is the only one that's still called that?" John explains, "Old Fourth Ward was a heavy textile area, there was a cotton mill across the tracks. Many of the buildings were for storage and workers' housing. That's part of the story of that area. The Civil Rights Movement is part of it. The gentrification now, the kind of in-town living done now, all becomes part of the story."

SB4Chapters of the Atlanta story re-open throughout the city. The area around the Civic Center emerged in the 1880s as Pittsburgh, called such for its industrial feel, reminiscent of the Northern steel town. Nearby Castleberry Hill may have been a red-light district in the 1850s before becoming a thriving warehouse area. East of there, across the highway, sits Peoplestown, building up in 1885 as the Atlanta Electric Railway moved along Capitol Avenue. Behind Historic Oakland Cemetery, a landmark itself, lies Cabbagetown, which popped up near the Fulton Mill and supposedly derived its name from the pungent aroma of cabbage floating from the small cottages of the poor Scots-Irish millworkers. The list of similar histories goes on and on—Reynoldstown, Mechanicsville, King Plow, Druid Hills, Hapeville. From Jonesboro to Newnan up to Marietta Square and Roswell Mills, the "old" districts long to shine for future generations and current revitalization efforts can help them do it.

While their firm does not focus on residential work, their expertise applies to a variety of projects, as does their process for developing a stand-out project. John credits setting an "intention" for the overall project as one of the first and most crucial steps to success: "It can be tough, but it's important to find that filter to help you make good decisions. That's part of the process. It's collaborative. There are things [clients] bring to the table that we don't have and we have experiences to bring too. We talk to them about what we know, about the materials that are out there and the resources available. We can help them see things in a new way—that they have never considered. We don't tell people how to make decisions. We are steering them toward something that makes sense and is what they need."

SB5Vivian agrees, further adding her belief that establishing that strong collaborative partnership with the client enhances the creative experience. "It really is about getting a good match. What do you want to sink your teeth into? We get the initial phone call or email and then we come to the office and ask the team if they are excited about it. Ask what they think. And they give wonderful feedback. We tend to tag-team, along with the rest of the office—'look at this, read this, tell me what you think.' It comes down to looking at the projects that we connect to. We build what we want to see, what we want to visit, and try to say what our clients want to say. Sometimes clients come in firm with the directive and we get on board to make it work. Sometimes they come in and they have no idea, but we figure it out. We need to come up with a story to reflect what is here. A story that makes sense."

"Yes, the story of the place," John confirms. "There's a term in the architecture world called the genius loci and it means the 'spirit of the place'—the essence. A great architect actually said that about one of our projects when we got the ADAC award. He said, 'There's a genius loci to their work, when you go in, it feels like it should be there.' That was an incredible compliment to us."

The Bencichs and their Square Feet Studio team voice enthusiastic support of those efforts.

And they're incredible talent rallies the attention and support that encourages all of us to build new stories while honoring history.

Details: www.squarefeetstudio.com

Thursday, 23 June 2016 16:00

Guy Grooming 101

Dude, that haircut from high school and your unruly beard have got to go. Let's start with a "man"icure, because every guy should have a proud handshake, and move on from there.
Here is a rundown of what the experts say members of the male species ought to do to take care of their appearance from top to bottom.

Face Forward
Put down that soap, guys. Good grooming begins with a good skincare routine. That means you should kick off each day with a gentle face wash, hydrating moisturizer and sunblock. At night, cleanse, exfoliate up to three times a week, tone and finish with a hydrating moisturizer. In addition to developing a proper daily and weekly routine, experts recommend monthly facials to give your skin an extra boost.

Guy Grooming 101"We live in a time where being fit, healthy and staying young are in demand," says Allison Hillyer, owner of Dermani Medspa. "It's imperative to use a great skincare line at home, and to come to us as professionals—think of us as personal trainers for your skin."

Lyn Ross, a master esthetician and founder of Institut' DERMed Spa notes, "A man's skin is 20 percent thicker than a woman's skin and usually is more oily. For this reason, their skincare needs are slightly different." She also thinks that most men prefer a simple home-care regimen that might include cleanser, exfoliator and specialty creams for oil control or wrinkles.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to product selection? Patrick Pickens, co-owner and co-developer of HiQ Cosmetics, recommends going natural with products because, as our largest organ, skin absorbs whatever you put on it. "If you take care of your skin, and start at a young age, it will delay the signs of aging," says Pickens. Most importantly, wear sunblock every day and look for a product with a physical block, like zinc.

At the Root of It All
When it comes to hair, men have a lot of it; even if it's not always in the right places. Whether you need a shave, a wax, a trim or maybe to spur new growth, a solution is out there.

Let's start with manscaping. The fastest method of removing unwanted body hair is waxing, and if the thought of it makes you quiver in your man boots, Venus Simmons, licensed aesthetician and male-waxing specialist at Male Waxing Atlanta, assures us that most guys say it does not hurt as badly as they expected it to. Waxing removes hair at the root and has become popular for the back, chest and private areas—and yes, the male Brazilian wax is a thing. The best part is that you will be smooth for three to six weeks, much longer than with shaving, which removes hair at the surface. "Areas that are repeatedly waxed over long periods of time often exhibit a thinning of regrowth that is softer and lighter in color," says Simmons.

For a more permanent solution, laser hair removal uses a wide beam of light to penetrate the skin and destroy the hair follicle, which causes hair to fall out. In order to completely eliminate hair, multiple treatments are required. Laser hair removal works on darker hair only and is not recommended for blonde, gray or white hair.

After getting rid of those chest hairs that are popping out of your shirt, you'll want to catch any hair that might be peeking out of your nose or ears, too. Mary Todd Hairdressing Company recommends purchasing a quality pair of scissors with a blunt tip to help avoid accidentally cutting yourself, or even investing in nose hair clippers. "With practice, cutting those annoying nose and ear hairs with clippers is quite easy," according to Mary Todd's Steven Sloss. "Just be sure to take your time."

While you're at it, how about cleaning up those eyebrows too? "A little trimming goes a long way to make sure you're not scaring kids with your crazy brows," says Sloss. He suggests using a fine-toothed comb to lift the hair in an upward direction and then trimming excess length along the top of the brow line. Cut above the brow and not below.

Moving on up, your haircut says a lot about you. Mitchell Barnes of Carter Barnes Hair Artisan observes, "Men want to venture out, but are hesitant. An experienced stylist can choose a look to fit the client's head shape and also teach how to style it with proper tools and products." If you are seeking your perfect stylist, try asking for a recommendation from someone whose hair you like. Don't be shy!

Give Me Down to There Hair
For men who suffer from hair loss, surgical and non-surgical treatments today offer game-changing
results. Beginning with topical remedies like minoxidil or prescription oral medications, such as finasteride, hair loss can be slowed, and a small percentage of patients may even
regrow hair.

"By combining different forms of treatment into a single treatment plan, we can help all sorts of patients suffering from many different forms of hair loss to maintain or even grow new hair," says Edmond Griffin, MD, from The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research.

As for hair-transplantation surgery, the procedure has come a long way in past decades. A far cry from 20th-century "hair plugs," today, there are two approaches to hair-restoration surgery: follicular unit grafting (FUG) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Both forms work by moving individual clusters of hair follicles—or follicular units—from full-coverage areas of the scalp to areas where hair is thinning. The difference is in how the units are removed from the donor area.

And that's not all.

"Surgical robots, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and fetal growth serum treatments with micro-needling are just some of the newer advances in just the past five to six years," according to Ken Anderson, MD, with Anderson Center for Hair. However, not all treatments are created equal. "There are over 200,000 products marketed for hair loss, and there are exactly three approved by the FDA for hair loss. So most products do not aid in the treatment of hair loss at all."

SB-2To Beard or Not to Beard
From bikers to the boardroom, men have rediscovered a fondness for full-on facial hair. But don't just let your beard grow wild, make sure you keep it under control, whatever the length. "Beards are meant to enhance the face shape and jawline," according to the team at Mary Todd Hairdressing Company. They recommend keeping the edges around the earlobe and taking the underline to a point under the chin in order to avoid a "waddle" shape. You can also fade your beard into your hairline by matching the shortest length from the top of your side burn to the longer part of your earlobe. Then, take care of your beard by applying conditioner and even a beard oil. "Remember, facial hair is still hair and, because of its coarser nature, it needs even more moisture than the hair on your head."

Richie Arpino of Richie Arpino Salon often suggests his clients invest in a quality clipper and use it at the number two setting to keep a groomed beard looking clean. He also advises: "Don't let [facial hair] grow above the cheeks so it doesn't get too scruffy, but in general, beards are very back in style as seen in every major men's ad campaign."

For guys who prefer a smooth face, nothing compares to a hot-lather shave.
The man's equivalent of a spa treatment, a traditional hot-lather shave will pamper any guy, leave him feeling refreshed and looking quite dashing.

Nip and Tuck
In recent years, men have become more likely to enter the playing field when it comes to medical skincare treatments and plastic surgery in order to turn back the clock. Botox®, dermal fillers, laser hair removal, gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction) and laser skin resurfacing are all popular procedures for males, according to Robert A. Colgrove, Jr., MD, of Vinings Surgery Center.

And men are branching out into other types of plastic surgery as well. "The most common facial procedures for men are the facelift, necklift and eyelid surgery," says Elizabeth Whitaker, MD, with Atlanta Face and Body Center. "Plastic surgery has become more accepted by men, who feel similar pressures of a culture that values youth and vitality. Maintaining a youthful, vital appearance for men can help them keep a competitive edge."

Modern men also turn to fat-reduction treatments to get rid of trouble spots that can't be beaten by a gym routine. "When we first started noticing a rise in the number of male patients, they were basically just doing Botox and laser hair removal," says Angela Sanders, spa director of operations at Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa. "However, within the last year we have seen more and more men scheduling CoolSculpting®." Other body contouring procedures include Smartlipo™ and non-invasive technologies such as SculpSure®. Thus, with today's variety of cosmetic procedures, guys can easily tighten skin, get rid of love handles or reverse sun damage without surgery.

OK, fellas, all that remains is to make sure your feet are ready
for summer. Have you booked that pedicure yet?

Resources:
Dr. Ken Anderson, Anderson Center for Hair, www.atlantahairsurgeon.com
Richie Arpino, Richie Arpino Salon, www.arpinosalon.net
Mitchell Barnes, Carter Barnes Hair Artisan, www.carterbarnes.com
Dr. Robert A. Colgrove, Jr., Vinings Surgery Center, www.colgrove.com
Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis, The Griffin Center for Hair Restoration & Research, www.griffincenter.com
Dr. Nikki D. Hill, Skin of Culture and Hair Center (SOCAH Center), www.socahcenter.com
Allison Hillyer, Dermani Medspa, www.dermanimedspa.com
Patrick Pickens, HiQ Cosmetics, www.hiqcosmetics.com
Lynn Ross, Institut' DERMed Spa, www.idermed.com
Angela Sanders, Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa, www.gardnerdermatology.com
Venus Simmons, Male Waxing Atlanta, www.malewaxingatlanta.com
Steven Sloss, Mary Todd Hairdressing Company, www.marytoddhairco.com
Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker, Atlanta Face and Body Center, www.AtlantaFaceAndBody.com

Thursday, 23 June 2016 15:47

Brow-Raising Beauty

When it comes to drawing attention to your eyes, ways to use shadow and liner techniques abound, but a pair of perfectly shaped brows sets off any gaze—even on makeup-free days. To achieve and maintain the best brow looks, we've turned to some experts for their take on treatment options and grooming methods for every day.

Just like any hair growth, brows will thin over time, making you look older. "Brow hair texture, length and rate of growth are all determined by your genetics," says Pamela Jeschonek, founder of Eyebrow MBA™. "So learn to love and keep what you have." As for current trends, Jeschonek says brows are very full right now, with the latest beauty reports showing a more natural brow shape. "The most classic and flattering shape is a full, well-shaped brow," she says.

achieve and maintain the best brow looksIn order to define the right shape for your face and give a clean browline, some hair removal may be necessary. Don't even think about trying major brow artistry on yourself; seek out a pro for the best results. A brow technician can measure the exact angles right for your face and show you how to keep up the look between appointments. Some of the most common methods of brow shaping are:

Tweeze—By far the most gentle and precise method for sculpting brows, tweezing simply means removing an unwanted hair with tweezers.

Wax—Ideal for thick or bushy brows, a waxing tech spreads wax in a thin layer over the skin, then adheres a strip to the wax and quickly rips it against the direction of the hair growth to remove it from the root.

Sugaring—Similar in application to waxing, sugaring uses a natural paste of sugar, water and lemon juice to stick to hair, which is then pulled off in the same direction of hair growth, reducing irritation.

Threading—Works by twisting a cotton thread and pulling it along the skin's surface, removing the hair directly from the follicle.

SB-1While tweezing is the most common method, it lasts the least length of time. Other hair removal options, like waxing and threading, also exfoliate the skin, which can leave it red and raw. Jeschonek notes that certain medications that cause skin to be more sensitive or peel (like some antibiotics and Retin-A) make waxing a really bad idea, as it could "remove the skin in strips or chunks that can scab over and even leave a scar."

When your brows have issues that general maintenance just won't cover, specialty services are the way to go. If, for example, your brows don't match your hair color, tinting can work wonders. "Tinting is coloring the brow hairs, much like hairstylists color your head hair," explains esthetician Melody Kuck of the International SalonSpa Business Network. "Traditional hair color isn't safe for the face, so estheticians use a vegetable dye or 'tint' that fades away in three to four weeks."

SB-3For a longer-lasting way to alter eyebrows, microblading and permanent makeup are good options. "Microblading is a semi-permanent makeup procedure that allows you to dramatically correct or fully reconstruct lost eyebrows," Kuck says. "Eyebrow microblading is performed by manually depositing pigment in the basal layer of the epidermis by a special pen." Permanent makeup employs tattoos as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, such as eyelining and eyebrows.
Perhaps most important of all, always visit a licensed salon or spa that employs licensed estheticians and cosmetologists. "Most states require that the licenses be kept on site, so never hesitate to ask to see them," Jeschonek says. "Every cosmetologist is licensed to remove brow hair, but you want to find someone who is well trained, if not an expert, at that particular service."

Resources:
Authentic Beauty, www.myimagejourney.com
Aviary {beauty & wellness collective}, www.aviarybeauty.com
Brows by Milly, www.browsbymilly.com
Eyebrow MBA, www.eyebrowmba.com
International SalonSpa Business Network, www.salonspanetwork.com
WOO Skincare + Cosmetics, www.wooskincareandcosmetics.com

SB-4

 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 14:54

July 2016 Digital Issue

 
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