Beauty, Gift GuidesA Few of My Favorite Things…

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So no one burned down the house making the turkey this year (merci Dieu), and we’re off and running towards gift season. We’re in need of some calm after the storm after this epic year, and there’s no better way to do that than with a quiet corner, a cup of tea, and a candle. We have been scouring the current offerings for what we love the most, and can’t be found without some savoir-faire. Our favorites range from stocking stuffers to full-blown luxury, hope you love them as well.

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Mom & KidsThe “Littlest” Holiday Gift Guide

16001_4-cozy-muslin-dream-blanket-fateIt can be a daunting time coming up this week with Black Friday and the frenzy that follows. We aim to keep the joy in giving, and the excitement in finding that perfect gift. This year we’ve whittled down our shopping list for the littles into the best products on the market, so you don’t have to go crazy looking! Whether you have a baby or know someone who does, we’re sharing a few of our favorites today.

The new Cozy Muslin collection from Aden + Anais is not only soft and warm, but modern and luxurious. Every baby needs a gorgeous keepsake blanket to be loved in and grow up with. My favorite is the Cozy Muslin Dream Blanket, in a soft gray with sweet stars, in a perfect weight to stay warm but still breathable. It is versatile and works as a soft mat for tummy time and will last through toddlerhood for those early mornings that are made for cuddling in the big bed with Mommy. Made from soft brushed cotton, the cozy muslin dream blanket offers cushion-like comfort thanks to its premium flannel muslin with a hypoallergenic fill. Its uses go beyond cuddling though, as  I’ve trusted Aden + Anais for years with my kids, from swaddling on the first day out in the world to keeping them warm in bed at night, no matter what the season. The quality of each piece is unmatched, and they only get softer with washing and time.

 

swaddleThe best gift for a new mother is sleep! It’s priceless, but fortunately not unattainable. Our thoughtful friends at the Nested Bean have built their Zen Sleep System around the simple idea that a mother’s touch, felt on baby’s chest with a lightly weighted sweet spot will soothe and allow for longer sleep periods. Babies feels security and comfort as they sleep swaddled, and mom can rest easy knowing that the softest material (seriously, you’ve got to feel it to believe it!) of eco-friendly bamboo (70%) and cotton (30%) are incorporated. The bamboo has a breathable, moisture-wicking property that keeps baby warm and comfortable. The five new prints are gender-neutral and irresistibly cute.

lion_small_production1204x683A game-changer in baby toys, the Yoee Baby toys are highly researched and uber-cute. However, the toys are more than just cuddly, Yoee Baby takes advantage of a baby’s developing senses to teach and advance. With young ones, brain synapses are forming by the hour, there’s no time to waste! Designed by social scientists, the line includes features such as gentle rattle and crinkles, high contrast colors, playful characters, silicone teethers, and so important for moms, they’re washable! The valuable skill set being honed includes interaction and bonding, sensory development, body awareness, language development, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills. Be the first to get or give this revolutionary toy for the newest member of the family, it’s available via the online store which is up and running for the holidays!

yummie-by-heather-thomson-womens-briana-long-3-panel-shaping-tankLast but definitely not least, a new mom is learning to embrace her new life as well as some new curves. I still struggle with trying to get just a little more baby weight off, and I always turn to Yummie by Heather Thomson for my loungewear and workout needs. These versatile pieces run with me to grab a carton of milk or getting that precious workout time in. Slimming and well-made, the collection is a great mix of comfort and style. There’s nothing more appreciated than some support, both literally and figuratively!

 

Food, InternationalMaille Duo of Truffle Mustards

mailleWith holiday season upon us, tastebuds demand to be tantalized by something extra special. La Maison Maille comes through with a winning duo, the new limited edition Truffle and Cep Mustard and the best-selling Chablis White Wine and Black Truffle Mustard, plus a signature wooden mustard spoon in a black gift box. I have a special place in my heart for truffles, and sometimes crave them at random times (work, walking in the park, in the bath even!). The mustard is perfectly balanced to showcase the flavor of the truffles even amidst the tanginess, combining my two favorite tastes.  I incorporated the Truffle and Cep Mustard into a recipe for Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew. The result was an incredibly savory, comforting and  rich stew, perfect for autumn! I recommend trying the recipe for an intimate gathering, just leave plenty of time to stew the beef, as I needed an hour on top of the suggested time to make sure it was tender enough. On second go-around, I used a slow cooker, and it turned out even better! I was quite liberal with the mustard, and the high quality of the mustard elevated the dish substantially. My guests were astounded, and I was a happy chef.

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Fragrance, InternationalTenue de Soirée

cm9ifp2wcaaf7_mI am about to embark on a long, fantastical weekend in Paris where the lights are always bright and the Haussmannian architecture sweeps me off my feet at bonjour. Packing is of utmost importance to maximize space for some imports coming back (wink wink), and every outfit has to be effortless, chic, but warm! I have a few favorites in the bag ready to go for being a flâneur in my favorite city, and the amazing scent Tenue de Soirée is an essential which embodies the spirit of sophisticated adventure. The newest and most beloved member of the Annick Goutal family is this modern fragrance inspired by the sky at dusk (my favorite time of day) and the promise of a magical night out in Paris. Does it get any more romantic than that?

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Beauty, SkincareVotre Vu Duette

3005_416x500My skin is better than a weather forecast when it comes to temperature changes! It starts to dry and flake even before the chill fills the air, especially lips and hands. Moisture evaporates quickly into cold air and leaves behind chapped and crackly skin. My lifesaver has been Votre Vu’s Duette which is a tube of rich and luxurious hand cream topped (literally) with a nourishing lip balm. The pop up top is a mirror which is more handy than I’d like to admit when making discreet checks during the day. The combo is genius and convenient, and it is either by my nightstand or ready to go in my day bag.

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Insider's Obsessions, JewelrySmith + Mara

diamond%20suspender%20-%20on%20earI’m excited to share my latest obsession, a super edgy and creative jewelry line which has burst in and changed the landscape of the accessories scene. Smith + Mara, which is based out of LA, marries punk rock with fine jewelry. The unique shapes really caught my eye at first, making a statement piece out of every necklace, ring, and bracelet. I was swept away by the ingenuity, beauty, and edginess of the suspender earring in particular. I love how it takes the idea of the earring out of the box, and still maintains the quality and materials for high-end jewelry. The earring is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and the delicate size retains femininity while standing out in the crowd. It contours perfectly to a sensual part of the ear that is underrated, in my opinion. I even fell asleep with it on, and didn’t notice until I was pleasantly surprised to look in the mirror the next morning! The diamonds are well- set, so I don’t have to worry about losing one (Mara comes from a line of experienced jewelers). The pouch that delivers the jewelry is perfect for travel, with a hidden magnetic closure and compartments for two pieces. With Smith + Mara jewelry you’ll be in the know, channeling the likes of Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr, Anna Kendrick and Sophia Bush who are already fans.

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ShoppingThe Shopbop Sale is On!

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There’s nothing that excites me more than a good sale and all the better when it comes from Shopbop! These types of sales are rare, so if you’ve got your eye on that new must-have bag (or just want extra deep discounts on existing sale items), this is your week!

To get a head start on your spring shipping, Shopbop is giving up to 25-30% off your entire order so you can get ahead on your holiday shopping (and something for yourself!).

Use Code: MAINEVENT16. Now stop reading, and get shopping! x

 

Mom & Kids, New YorkBonpoint Sample Sale

bonpoint_braderie_octoberOne of my favorite sales of the year, where I wish everything came in my size. Some of my favorite pieces have come from this sale which I’ll keep forever, even when they’ve been outgrown!

Beauty, MakeupRimmel Brow Shaping

scupltingkit_productWhen I’m doing makeup on the go (subway, uber, planes), I need products that are easy to apply but foolproof that don’t require a lot of technical prowess. One nifty little compact that packs a punch is the Rimmel Brow This Way to create defined and manicured brows by filling and shaping. There are two easy steps: first apply wax to shape & fix, then layer powder to set. I’ve even used the wax on its own before with good results. The formula glides on easily and blends well, creating a natural look. The mini brush it comes with includes ends for precise application, and I love how this tiny box fits into my makeup pouch with no bulk.

The kit is available in three shades- dark brown, mid brown, and blond, there’s no complicated color matching since these are meant to complement a variety of natural brows. I have black brows myself, and find that the dark brown blends without looking unnatural (I’ve tried jet black brow liners before and look like Cruella Deville). The result is long lasting and dependable. And the icing on the cake? It’s around just five bucks!

SkincareJuara Radiance Enzyme Scrub

juara_radianceenzymescrub_900x900So many of the best beauty products draw their ingredients and inspiration from exotic roots. The Chinese found that proteins found in egg whites tighten and hydrate skin, and Queen Cleopatra bathed in milk, honey and olive oil to soften and smooth her legendary skin. Juara is one of my favorite lines which incorporates extracts from fruits and plants from ancient Indonesian traditions. For its products, Juara draws on time-tested beauty rituals as well as current research and modern advances to make products effective and safe even for sensitive skin. I always gravitate towards products with a natural base and a long history, simply because the knowledge built up from hundreds of years holds much wisdom from utilizing nature’s remedies.

The Radiance Enzyme Scrub contains bamboo and Jojoba beads to gently and effectively remove impurities including dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup from deep down. Apple enzymes naturally soften skin by dissolving dead skin cells, and cinnamon fights bacteria and is especially great for oily skin. Only gentle to moderate pressure in circular motions is needed when applying to wet skin, as the beads are firm and substantial enough to do all the work. The formula itself is fluid and milky and does not leave a residue as it rinses off easily. Clove flower brightens and protects by inhibiting melatonin production, which is how those pesky dark spots appear in the first place. My skin tone was more even after settling down for 30 minutes following the scrub, and dry patches were virtually eliminated, revealing fresh skin underneath. I love the end result, which is smaller pores, tighter skin, and best of all, a natural glow. The scrub is part of my post-workout routine twice a week, and I love the feeling of scrubbing out all the toxins and giving my face a new start!

 

 

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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