Sunshine State Solutions + Services

More from Marco Island: Shelfie Time with Leila Burns

More from Marco Island: Shelfie Time with Leila Burns

J'adore Leila, a 30-Something former NYC broad/sister-in-spirit I met when she shopped Sandpiper two years back. Typically, when someone asks how you are here, responses range from “Oh, just another day in paradise...” or “You know, just living the dream!” This mom to two totlettes and local part-time model doesn’t hold back - most often in an oh-so-honest, humorous way.

(FYI, Tamara Boxx, bosslady at photography studio The Painted Boxx, provided the gorgeous photo above from a recent shoot for Naples glossy eBella featuring Kathryn’s Collection.)

I seldom meet NYC women in my neck of the woods, funny and Ivy League-educated to boot. (Leila’s a Columbia University grad). I couldn't help but ask, "Why Marco?" Yes, I live nearby, but let's be honest: it's a pretty slow-paced locale for gals-on-the-go who thrive on being busy.

After Leila’s first child was born and her hubby always traveled for work, life up north started working her last nerve - even after she ditched Manhattan for the Jersey 'burbs. “Quite frankly, I hated staying home or taking my bébé to the mall to get out of the house. Why isn’t there sunshine here? It’s gray, and there's garbage on the road, and everyone is miserable. I planned a trip to Marco Island to visit a friend who moved here. I stopped at a traffic light and looked over to the person in the car next to me... and to my surprise, she smiled. It was the same for those walking by me also. People smiled, said hello, and they were complete STRANGERS.”

“Hubs and I decided Marco would be a great place to raise our daughter and have another little one, which we did. We go to the beach, we boat to the beach, and yes we are under umbrellas and any shade we can find, and slather on SPF because we respect the sun enough to not test that mofo: she is brilliant and dangerous.” Her only peeve: “The driver ahead not making the 30-mph speed limit ahead of me. So friggin annoying!” 

Not too awful after a lifetime of delayed subways and Penn Station crowds. 

Epitomizing a best-in-class Tory-mom, Leila is always fashionably yet effortlessly stylish, with natural makeup that stays put despite Marco's Everglades-exacerbated humidity. Thus, I had to ask what’s in her beauty stash. She casually tossed her enviable frizz-free long locks over her shoulder while we sipped coffee and dished as follows:

Power Shower

For my hair, I use Monat’s Revive shampoo and Restore leave-in conditioner, plus a J.F. Lazartigue Hydratant weekly treatment. For my body, an EcoTools loofah from Wal-Mart with its own lathering agent that also exfoliates at the same time. It's good for 12 uses. After that, I use St. Ives Even & Bright exfoliating body wash; I love the pink-lemon and mandarin-orange smell and feel of it.

Blow-Dry Prep

I mix Alfaparf Milano’s Semi di Lino Luminating Essential Oil with Monat Blowout Cream, and apply, starting midway to the ends, never near the scalp. 

Since I only wash my hair twice a week, Philosophy’s Amazing Grace dry shampoo is an in-between fix so I don’t look oily.

Facing It

I wash with Obagi foaming gel followed by Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50 1970 as a balancing exfoliator toner. Its lactic acid adds a nice zing and keeps my skin clear as I’m prone to breakouts now and then. I am really loving GERnetic for after-toning: I mix the Synchro and Nuclea in equal parts and pat onto my face. Then I take a pea-size of their Immuno and pat that on top, just as my facialist Valentina Bergström instructed, morning and night. It smells fantastique.

Meltproof Makeup

Living in Florida, I am either pale white when I’m vampiring and like Dior’s AirFlash because it’s the lightest spray foundation; or “oops” went out in the sun and got a hint of rays. When that happens, I use my darker Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation for flawless-looking skin.

Under my eyes I need help sometimes (I have two kids under 7) so I use Benefit’s boi-ing hydrating concealer which never cakes under the lids. I highlight my cheekbones with Laura Geller’s Swirl Illuminator in gilded honey then contour with Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer. Lip color is always changing but I love Tom Ford lipsticks because the colors are fabulous and the formula is hydrating too. I finish with Le Volume de Chanel mascara.


NOTE FROM DIANA: Shamelessly, I'm stealing one of Leila's local sources. While she often flies back to NYC for hair and facials, she relies on Chloe Lamb at Marco’s JW Marriott spa for touch ups and blowouts to keep her gorgeous tresses in shape. Finally, someone on Marco who’s great with brunettes! YAY!

Meet Sophie Bel of Beyond Beauty Studio, A Damn Fine Facialist

Meet Sophie Bel of Beyond Beauty Studio, A Damn Fine Facialist

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