By Barbara Bellesi    

Like many working women with families, “spa” and “pampering” are not common words in Sabrina Taliento’s vocabulary. In addition to her work as a project manager for a Staten Island construction firm, the 42-year-old is married with three school-age children. As great as family life is, Taliento says, “Mommy has been put on the back burner.”

That all changed when the Staten Island resident learned she was the recipient of this issue’s “BELLA in You” makeover. “I never felt that much attention lavished on me at any point in my life,” Taliento says of the experience.

Taliento’s complete makeover began with a series of gym sessions with Lisa Ciavola, a personal trainer from Intoxx Fitness. The focus was less on weight loss and more on toning up and regaining strength. “Just like everybody else, she lost who she was,” Ciavola says of her client. The sessions were difficult at first, because Taliento realized that she needed to get herself back into the swing of exercising. Slowing down her workouts was an important lesson. “You can’t judge health and fitness by the way someone looks,” Taliento says. It wasn’t long until she was back on track with her workouts and feeling great.

Taliento also met with Dr. John Decorato, a board-certified plastic surgeon who is also one of Staten Island’s top doctors. In addition to getting a few moles removed from her face, Taliento took the Botox plunge. Any concerns she had about the injections quickly disappeared – along with her deep frown lines – after her session with Dr. Decorato, whom she describes as “genuine and down-to-earth.”

“The safety profile of Botox has been tested for a long time,” explains Dr. Decorato, who is eager to help patients get past the false information and misconceptions about Botox. “It’s a well-studied, well-controlled treatment,” he says.

BELLA saved the best for last for Taliento’s makeover: a trip to Avanti Day Resort in Manalapan, New Jersey. From teeth whitening, spray tanning, and eyebrow shaping to eyelash extensions, gel tips, and a great hair cut and color treatment, Taliento was in for the transformation of her life. “It was awesome!” she says.

Avanti Day Resort owner Luda Conti spent a good amount of time during Taliento’s initial consultation explaining that it was necessary for her to feel as beautiful on the inside as her staff would make her look on the outside. “If the person is still going to feel insecure [after the treatments],” says Conti, “it’s not a makeover.” Conti was so thorough in her vision for the makeover that her staff helped Taliento achieve two completely different looks: one casual and one that was more dressy and sophisticated.

“My wish is for customers to wake up tomorrow feeling beautiful and carrying that through the rest of their lives,” says Conti of her spa philosophy.

If Taliento’s after-makeover euphoria is any indication, Conti more than got her wish. “My outside now matches my inside,” says Taliento. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, BELLA!”

Sabrina’s Complete Makeover

Luda Conti, owner of Avanti Day Resort, styled all the looks, hair color and clothes for both the day and evening look. Her talented team treated Sabrina to the following:

  •      Jeta Klobuchista – brought Sabrina back to her natural hair color and then added highlights
  •      Laura Reina – eyelash extensions
  •      Dana Spano – make up and eyebrow-shaping
  •      Linda Bolognese – full set of gel nails by LCN
  •      Elona Hudek – spray tan
  •      John Vaughan – teeth whitening

(Jewelry by Avanti Day Resort; clothing by Zabayon)

Avanti Day Resort, 345 Rt. 9 South, Manalapan, NJ 07726; 732.780.0222; AvantiSalonSpa.com

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