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BEST OF NYC: A Dental-Mental Makeover with Dr. Frank DiCicco

3 Jul

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post)

I am in a sheer panic. Sweating profusely, spitting out what seems like many more than 32 teeth from my mouth. Frantically, I try to pick them up from the ground and push them back into their gummy homes (which at this point have become too soft to re-attach to anything).

THIS is the night terror-esque recurring dream I have had since I was mini CC. With no past trauma that would cause such a sequence to play on loop for a good 30 years, one can only imagine the fear that sets within my whole body when the dreaded text for my “check-up and cleaning” pops onto my iPhone.

“You don’t have to floss all your teeth, CC”, said Lisa, my dear friend and dental hygienist by trade. “Just floss the ones you want to keep”.  Her snark was an attempt to scare me into keeping on schedule for my bi-annual visits. I took her advice and became more diligent about flossing. Day two into my regiment, that damn white, waxy string pulled a piece of my back tooth right off. Yes, only me. Nightmare quickly turned into my reality.


That happened in October 2013. In June 2014, the discomfort had become so extreme I had no choice but to go get myself into that dreaded chair. Fortunately, I had heard one of the top sedation dentists Dr. Frank DiCicco (Central Park South Dentistry) practiced right in my neighborhood. I had no more excuses. And honestly, if anyone was going to treat me at this point, it needed to be someone who catered to cowards; one who would willingly offer me unlimited visits to the nitrous gas buffet.

As I dug my nails into the door frame of Dr. DiCicco’s  2nd floor suite, I looked more like a felon resisting arrest, than an adult arriving to a pristine dental office for a tooth consultation.

My hands were noticeably shaking when I greeted the good doctor. Though my instinct was to yelp out a terror infused “I hate you” right in his face – his kind eyes and gentle manner immediately put me at ease and made me not want to hate him (knowing still,  he might be solely responsible for inducing some sort of pain and anxiety in me at any given moment). I realized, I had just met “the tooth whisperer”…

Then the ‘aha-moment’ happened. Sedation dentistry is not just slapping a mask on my face and making me giggle ‘til dawn like I am champagne giddy. Sedation dentistry delves much deeper and Dr. DiCicco’s thorough explanation of the process (start to finish) made me trust him instantaneously. I even laughed (sans drugs)…dare I say, I then gave him permission to not only crown my broken back tooth, but to also place veneers on my two, upper lateral incisors. Underneath bonding that was birthed with the big-hair bands, were mere “peg laterals” (i.e. in Layman’s terms – stunted little vampire teeth. Cool on the cast of Twilight perhaps, but NOT cool on this beauty and fashion guru).

How could someone as informed as me not know about this?  I have spent years at other dental offices offering my first-born in exchange for any type of mind altering substance to get me through my cleanings and drilling sessions. Sadly…denied every time. Until I met Dr. Frank DiCicco – who single-handedly changed my world and my teeth in just one day.

One week after my consultation, “D-Day” arrived and Kara escorted me to Central Park Dentistry (which wound up being more of a chaperone job much to her delight).

Sedation dentistry begins the day before your appointment, with 5mg dose of Diazepam before bed. One hour prior to your scheduled appointment, a dose of Triazolam is taken and then upon arrival, a powder form dose of Diazepam is placed under your tongue. What a difference one week and a ‘cowards cocktail’ can make…I practically cartwheeled through the same door that I clawed at the week prior.

The end result after my 2 hours in the chair? What I can tell you is I have never had so many compliments on my smile. At least once a day someone comments how beautiful and white my teeth are. Though they were not whitened, the porcelain veneers are so lifelike they reflect the light the same as natural teeth. Dr. DiCicco explained, “There are many advantages to using porcelain vs. traditional composite bonding. Composite bonded restorations typically stain over time, dulling the appearance of the rest of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are color matched to the patients other teeth, are translucent in appearance and mimic natural tooth structure. Results are dramatic and can generally be completed in just two visits.”

My mouth (though never an unfortunate one), has gone from “run of the mill”, to toothpaste commercial perfection. Innumerable people have asked me if I am in love, because I have a certain glow about me (hells ya! I am in love with my new teeth).  Total sidebar, I went to my general practitioner four times in four months about my debilitating chronic sinus pain. Unbeknownst to me, all that pain and suffering was a result of my exposed tooth and nerve. Since my appointment with Dr. Frank DiCicco, I am no longer keeping Novartis in business with my extensive Excedrin purchases.

before after

My advice? Call Central Park South Dentistry and never look back. Trust Dr. DiCicco and his very capable team – they know what they are doing.

“YOU ARE IN A SAFE PLACE…” one candid dentophobic said to the rest of the anxiety-ridden bunch.

I promise you will thank me later when your therapy sessions get a fighting chance to aid in the recovery of another neurosis or psychosis you harbor. After meeting Dr. Frank DiCicco, you might even LIKE going to the dentist. Perchance you pro-actively make appointments now…call me crazy, but you shall see for yourself. I already booked my six month cleaning AND decided to have more veneers added. #DentalMentalMakeover

Things you should know before going:

  • Bring a friend who you trust (one who will not post photos and videos of you acting like a moron on Facebook.
  • Be prepared for a bit of temporary amnesia. That is why you are there to start with! Gone is the time in the dentist’s chair, but also gone is a part of your day post procedure. Apparently I Salsa danced in the room, passed out in the 5 minute cab ride home and yelled at Kara for taking advantage of me while filming me in my profound (albeit temporary) Bell’s Palsy glory. None of which I remember (but thanks to my trusted assistant, is all digitally documented).
  • Take the day off of work (you probably need a vacation day anyway). Though I tend to be a delicate flower…I was “out of it” for the majority of the day and my face was paralyzed on one side clear until dinner time (Kara later confessed, she feared I would stay that way).
  • Be comfortable – wear flat shoes ladies. I fell over quite a few times on the commute from CPS to the UWS. My klutz-factor magnified with the sedation aids. Who knew?

DICICCO HEADSHOT LO RESFrank DiCicco, DMD, is a sedation dentist who performs general, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments. He attended San Diego State University, with a major in biology and a pre-dental course of study. Dr. DiCicco continued his education at Temple University School of Dentistry as an advanced-standing student before he completed his undergraduate education. Dr. DiCicco graduated with honors from the Periodontal Society and the Stomatognathic Honor Society at Temple University.

Owner of thriving dental practice in Philadelphia, PA for almost a decade, Dr. DiCicco recenly relocated to continue growing his private dental practice, Central Park South Cosmetic Dentistry in New York City.

A member of the Dental Organization for Oral Conscious Sedation (DOCS), Dr. DiCicco brings to the practice exceptional surgical and endodontic skills, including the ability to service highly anxious patients.

30 Central Park South, Suite 2C
New York, NY 10019

Office Hours:
Monday: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Tuesday :8:00AM – 3:00PM
Wednesday :11:00AM – 7:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 7:00PM
Friday – Sunday: Closed

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signature xo CC



5 Summer Beach Bum Hair Fixes…

1 Jul

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post)

According to top stylist Sam Villa, Founding Partner of Sam Villa and Redken Education Artistic Directorhair care rituals should change with the seasons.  In the summer, protecting hair from the sun, water, chlorine and salt is a full time job while trying to look chic on the beach and poolside. Here are 5 Summer Hair Fixes Villa describes as simplexity – simple tips that deliver complex results.

beach hair

1. Protect: Oils like Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine are light and deliver restorative and protective properties that maintain optimal health and control during the summer months.  Perfect for 2nd and 3rd day hair and great for adding shine.

2. Set: Take advantage of the braid parade – tame hair poolside by braiding and then remove the set in the evening for casual curl and texture – can it be any easier?

3. Temperature: Don’t crank thermal tools up during the summer months when hair is fragile, stick to medium and color treated temperatures.  And, slow down to speed up – slow down the pass with the iron so heat is directed to the sections of hair that need to be altered, it prevents unnecessary wear on hair and styles it much faster.

4. Spray: Hairspray is a women’s best friend, especially in summer when humidity and flyaways are a factor.  Redken fashion work 12 versatile hairspray is formulated with Vitamins C and E to protect hair and prevent color fading, and it provides 24-hour humidity resistance and 8-hour control.

5. Shine: Blondes tend to be less shiny than darker hair hues, pump up the gloss with Redken shine flash 02 glistening mist  – it has Vitamin B5 and camelina oil to boost hair’s natural shine and control frizz for an ultra polished look.

Sam Villa is founding partner of the Sam Villa® brand, Education Artistic Director for Redken 5th Avenue and Stylist Choice Award Winner for Favorite Platform Artist and Educator (2012, 2011 and 2007).  He is the pro that teaches the pros how to do hair.  Check out his new consumer website (www.samvilla.com) for hot tips, tricks and techniques for achieving professional results at home, including professional recommendations for the tools needed to recreate the looks – Sam Villa Signature Series brushes, combs, thermal tools and blow dryers. Sam Villa’s HairShow Blowout Bar is located at LOOK Style Society at Town Square Las Vegas www.samvillahairshow.comFacebook: SamVillaBrand; Youtube: SamVillaHair;Twitter: @samvilla; Pinterest: SamVillaHair; Instagram: @SamVillaHair + #SamVillaHowTo.

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Cool Peep of the Week: Sam Villa, It Takes a Villa to Build a (Hair) Empire

25 Jun

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post) Sam Villa Who is this “Cool Peep”? Sam Villa was born in New Mexico and grew up shining shoes and sweeping floors in his father’s barbershop.  “When my father took me to a Vidal Sassoon hair show, it changed my life.  I knew then and there that I wanted to be a hairdresser and educate,” says Sam.  He fulfilled that dream and went on to win Behind the Chair “Favorite Platform Artist and Educator” at the prestigious Stylist Choice Awards in 2012, 2011 and 2007.  Sam has more than 30 years teaching experience – he joined Redken in 1998 and as Education Artistic Director and is a lead Facilitator at the Redken Exchange in New York City where he teaches a variety of design and trend sessions to salon professionals from around the world and is part of the team that trains the entire Redken Artist Network worldwide. Sam is co-founder of the Sam Villa® brand (Allvus, LLC) designed to bring “More Sam to More People” – his educational world can be experienced on www.samvilla.com. Sam lives in Florida with his wife Lisa.

Sam, what are a few of your favorite things? I love having a nice meal with a table cloth (mMom always insisted using a table cloth)…my all time favorite sports team is the SF 49ers football team – I used to have access to season tickets, great times during the Joe Montana days…”The Power of Now” (by Eckhart Tolle) is my all time favorite book – it changed my life as only a good book can do…any song by Carlos Santana is at the top of my list…my wife, Lisa, makes me happy and getting outdoors playing a round of golf .

When you are alone and you think no one is watching you…what quirky things are you doing? I find myself grabbing and rubbing my ears a lot – rub and scratch my ear lobe.

What is your favorite haunt? My favorite local pub – I love to sit and read a newspaper with an ice-cold beer …and if on the road, I find a favorite pub.

Empty your pockets – right now? BE HONEST…what did you find? My iPhone is almost always in my pocket…and that’s what I just pulled out now, my iPhone.

What is one thing that no one would ever guess about you? Most people can’t believe I fish (fresh water) and play golf…really?  Really…fishing is so relaxing and an opportunity to quiet my mind, pause and reflect…golf…it’s just me and the ball.

What is playing on iTunes, right now? Classic rock, yet remixes…love finding music remixed.

Where can we find you next? On the road as usual…next stop as I write this, Las Vegas, as I have a PR stop for HairShow, a blow out bar I opened in March.  Yes, I have gotten back into the salon business as I have partnered with Look Style Society, a one stop beauty destination…then on to Orlando for the Premier Show. Note from CC:  In 2014 Sam Villa’s HairShow Blowout Bar opened the first ever location with LOOK Style Society at Town Square Las Vegas.  To book a reservation or for additional information, call 702.712.4348 or visit www.samvillahairshow.com.

SECRETS FROM THE PROS – what are your all time FAVE products? My favorite at the moment is Redken Powder Grip 03, great product for any girl to have in her purse …and course the Sam Villa Textur iron as it’s a tool that can do multiple things….I have a lot of like for Bumble and Bumble styling products too…

Accolades: Behindthechair.com Favorite Platform Artist and Educator 2007, 2011 and 2012; and Favorite top-five finalist from 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010; Redken Platform Artist of the Year 1998; “Master of the Craft” Award from the Art & Fashion Group 1992; and finalist in the North American Hairdressing Awards — Classic Category 1991. Follow Sam and stay up to date on all his work, upcoming events and personal appearances! Social Tree w words

#SamVillaHowTo Facebook/samvillapros and /SamVillaBrand  YouTube: samvillahair Twitter: @SamVillaPro and @SamVilla Instagram: @SamVillaHair Pinterest: /samvillahair 

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Quaint, Cozy, Back to Nature: Carmel-by-the-Sea

24 Jun

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post)

Imagine “Any City USA” (in my case, NYC) and all of its hustling-bustling glory. The blinding lights that never go out, the persistent honking of EVERY car, taxi and bus on the roads, the smothering smog that hangs in the air, the no-sense-of-personal-space commuters and yes, that indescribable, odoriferous odor that wafts through every street come trash days (especially in the heat of the summer).

NOW …imagine the complete ANTITHESIS of all that… a small hometown with NO traffic lights, NO honking, NO street address numbers and even a law against wearing high heels.  A place where people are kind, genuine, polite and always friendly; the alluring scents of dewy grass, fragrant flowers and pine needles consistently kiss your nostrils – regardless of whether or not it is trash day. I know what you are thinking ‘where on EARTH is this place and when can I go?’…

HofsasThe town is Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  The the place to rest your weary head is the  Hofsas House (located between 3rd & 4th Ave on San Carlos Street), and the time you need to go is NOW (did you not read the paragraph above? get with the program).  Carmel-by-the-Sea, often called simply Carmel, is a small city on the Monterey Peninsula. Founded in 1902,  Carmel is known for its natural scenery and rich artistic history.

If my intro didn’t entice you enough, I am confident my own personal experience in Carmel and at the Hofsas House will. This family owned 38-room boutique establishment was the ultimate getaway with ocean views overlooking the pines. It makes you want to turn off the TV, shut down the iPad, let your cell phone die (and not re-charge it), kick your shoes off and enjoy the sun and stars as your sources of light. With her inviting persona and ideal location, the Hofsas House is a prime vacation spot for a romantic weekend away with your honey or for a solo trip to reconnect with YOU (which is what I opted for after a business trip to San Fran). Hofsas House is like a luxurious massage that never ends – ridding unnecessary stresses upon entering the front Dutch door.  The charming decor added just the right amount of familiarity for instant comfort yet the amenities quietly reminded me I was on VACATION: cozy king size bed, a private kitchen stocked with wine and cheese, a fireplace (indoor s’mores anyone?!) and the front balcony overlooking the most glorious gifts of nature. The Pacific Ocean glistened with tiny diamonds in the horizon – I was officially off the clock (at least for 3 days).

With a glass of wine in hand, I grabbed a book (Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D. –  oh, the irony), curled up with a blanket on the balcony, and embraced the views of the immaculate sunset Hofsas House has become famous for, staying just long enough to welcome the full moon.

One of the most enjoyable parts of my trip was the Carmel-Wine-Walk by-the-Sea™ and I recommend you make time for it. ‘Sip , swish and spit’ at your own pace, visiting 9 different tasting rooms all stocked with local estate-grown still and sparkling wines (all within a 1X1 square mile radius). Don’t forget your ‘passport (which you can get it at the Carmel Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center) – it provides a $10 flight at each room . Each sampler offers something unique, you spend the day with wonderful folks, and all the wines are locally crafted to perfection. Best of all if you do buy a bottle (I purchased and very much enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc from Wrath Tasting Room and Merlot from Shale Canyon Wines), the corkage fee is waived from most restaurants in the Carmel area, including Mundaka.

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The landscaping, food and design at Mundaka (San Carlos Street between Ocean and 7th Ave) makes you feel like you have traveled to Spain (even my waiter had an accent!). With indoor and outdoor seating and a mouth-watering menu, I opted for a courtyard table. I sat solo near a fountain that offered the most picturesque backdrop for my spectacular meal. True to my intro where I described people as kind and friendly, a group of people who sat nearby struck up a conversation and asked me to join them. As it turns out, they had all just met as well (try doing that in NYC and you might just get yourself arrested!).  Sitting with my new set of dinner companions, it came time to order. Our waiter was from Spain, and his accent and heritage only added to my belief that I had “beamed” myself over-seas. With his help, my dinner delights included (hold back your drool):

Tartare: beef tartare, house chips, 6 minute egg
Rusa: shrimp, potatoes, peas, carrots, aioli, forty-minute egg
Bravas: fried potatoes, brava sauce, aioli
Datiles: bacon wrapped dates, goat cheese, almond
Gratin: potato,butternut squash,mahon cheese
Hamburguesa: mini lamb burger, pickled cauliflower, truffle fries

Deliciously decadent and perfectly portioned, the only negative thing I have to report is  I stuffed myself silly! At the end of our meal the owner came out to ensure everything was prepared to our liking. Fabulous Sangria, food and (new) friends – I couldn’t ask for much more (but I did when I requested the waiter to surprise me with dessert and he brought out something I can only describe as “death by chocolate crepe”. CC muerto!

I have had a long-standing love for Dr. Seuss (little known fact: I wrote all of my college entrance essays inside a drawing of  “The Cat in the Hat” ), so you can imagine my delight when I came upon the Art of Dr. Seuss gallery.  Located on San Carlos Street, it’s a must see – I walked right back in time and my 6 year-old self squealed with delight at the framed masterpieces.  My favorite showcased was his original rendering of the ‘Cat’ (for obvious reasons).

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” – Dr. Seuss

Upon my departure, I sipped my last cup of mint tea on the Hofsas House back deck and “reflection hour” commenced .

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a true gift – a hidden charm that up until this trip remained unknown to me (and likely you).  A village that reflects Dutch architectural charm, Pleasantville’s poise, yet oozes artistic expression and left-brain flow – it gets my highest rating (Fact: After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the village was inundated with musicians, writers, painters and other artists turning to the established artist colony after the bay city was destroyed).

Now I cannot bash my Big Apple too much…she is my heart and I really do love living here, but ever comes the day that  the owners of Hofsas House want to adopt me, Carmel-by-the-Sea might just be the place for me!

The Hofsas House
Address: San Carlos St,
Carmel, CA 93921
(831) 624-2745




Carmel-by-the-Sea is an exceptionally dog-friendly city. Most hotels allow dogs to stay with guests. Almost all restaurants that offer outside dining allow dogs in those areas, with most of them also offering water. A few have special “doggie menus.” Many retailers allow dogs to accompany their owners in their stores and many have treats available. Water bowls and dog biscuits can also be found in front of many stores.

UNUSUAL LAWS (Ladies, leave the Louboutins at HOME):

Though often mistakenly thought of as an urban myth, the municipal code prohibits wearing shoes having heels more than 2 inches in height or with a base of less than one square inch unless the wearer has obtained a permit for them. While the local police do not cite those in violation of the ordinance, this seemingly peculiar law was authored by the city attorney in the 1920s to defend the city from lawsuits resulting from wearers of high-heeled shoes tripping over irregular pavement distorted by tree roots. Permits are available without charge at City Hall.


Carmel-by-the-Sea experiences a cool summer Mediterranean climate  normal in coastal areas of California. The wet season is from October to May.  September and October (Indian Summer) offer the best weather of the year, with an average high of 72 °F (22 °C).

* (Source: wiki)

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Cool Peep of the Week: Ruth Roche, Hair Goddess…

18 Jun

By Christabelle… @CBellesCloset (*Pure Editorial, Non-Paid Post)

Who is this “Cool Peep”?  Ruth Roche is Artistic Ambassador for Pureology Serious Colour Care, specializing in design and finishing.  She is also an established celebrity stylist (Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, Amy Adams, Jenna Fischer, Mariah Carey…) and maintains a loyal clientele at RARE Salon in NYC, where she is both founder and creative director. Her work has been published in countless magazines, including Bazaar, Nylon, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Culture, More, American Salon and Modern Salon (portfolio). Stylists from around the world fuel their creative fire with her and consumers and celebrities are attracted to her down-to-earth edgy approach to hair. Roche makes everyday a good hair day!
What are you from? I was born in San Fran and my dad was in the navy so we moved quite a bit. Ended up in Napa for high school.  I have been living in Manhattan for 18 years… this is my home now.   What are a few of your favorite things? Coffee, a canvas and paints, my bed, doing hair, animals, family

NOTE FROM CC:  I had the pleasure of seeing Ruth’s artwork and it is #amazing

What is on your wish list? Scuba diving in Belize .. Cozumel and Hawaii. Owning a big vacation home for my family to congregate – on the water somewhere! What is playing on your iTunes, right now? Chill station on Spotify What handbag are you carrying and what is in it – right now? It’s not a designer label, but it’s cool, I got it in the Seattle airport. It’s black leather with cream stitching, satchel-type.  Small ipod and headphones, wallet, 2 phones, gum, zicam, hair clip, pencil, keys, my favorite Tom Ford lipstick, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, mints… What song plays when you walk into a room? The only song I can think of at the moment is ‘Thriftshop” … ‘I’m gonna get some clothes … I got 20 dollars in my pocket…” Where can we find you next? I am heading to Denver, Long Beach, Tampa and Seattle sharing and teaching!

SECRETS FROM THE PROS- Ruth’s go-to products include:Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Condition, Root Lift and her Sam Villa texture iron!

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Follow Ruth and stay up to date on all her work and upcoming events and personal appearances!

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signature xo CC


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