Bath & BodyBudget Beauty

21532620Being on a budget does not mean your beauty regimen must suffer! I happen to love quite a few products that are effective and work just as well as the “investment” lines. One of my faves that has saved me a trip to the spa is the PediSpa Gentle Exfoliating Foot Mask ($9.99 for a pair), a foot exfoliate plus treatment filled in a pair of wearable and disposable foot masks for your feet. Key ingredients like chamomile and natural botanical fruit extracts help control callus build-up for visibly smooth feet within two weeks. A few days after application, dead skin will actually slough off on its own, sans pumice or a file of any sort! The first time I tried it, I actually forgot that I had done the treatment and a couple days later, was pleased to notice some dead skin rolling off (painlessly, I might add).

A tip on application- I would recommend treating this like a home-spa ritual- lie down, and do a mask at the same time, and relax. I tried to move around and clean up while wearing the masks, and felt a little sloshy and slippery. There was no noticeable discomfort, only some mild tingling while the formula did its job. I ended up encouraging my baby soft heels to reveal themselves by exfoliating a bit after I noticed the sloughing, which required much less force than without the treatment.

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Fashion, Obsessions, Paper GoodsObsession of the Moment: Yves Saint Laurent Coloring Book

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Insider's Obsessions, InternationalPalais des Thés

961-jardin-suspendu_3I’ve had a long love affair with Palais des Thés after gleefully discovering it many years ago in my Paris hotel room on the Left Bank. I recall fingering the delicate muslin tea satchel and taking in the deep, sweet, and herbal aroma of a finely crafted tea. Since then, I’ve found some way of bringing loads of it back from Paris, as I can’t imagine going for any period of time without it. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed when Palais des Thés opened their first boutiques in New York. My love was renewed this spring with their new collection of herbal teas, which defy any notion of tea I’ve held in the past. Spring is synonymous with blooms, sun, fresh fruit, and the essence is captured beautifully in the bright orange tins. Upon opening the tops of the floral and fruity Jardins collection, the colorful dried fruits mingling with tea enchanted me with eyebrow-raising aroma. I’ve tried three well-rounded flavors so far, and have found each to have its own personality and can fit into and enhance the mood of the day.

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Accessories, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Karen Walker Joyous Sunglasses

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Beauty, Skincaregoop by Juice Beauty

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The beauty world has been buzzing about Gwyneth Paltrow’s new skincare line, and it got me really curious! Was it any good? I love a good face oil – especially organic – but many that I’ve tried are simply too heavy, sitting and leaving your face oily…which only leads to not-so-great skin results. So of course, I wanted to try the goop by Juice Beauty Enriching Face Oil.

Ladies (and gents!), it’s good! It’s certified organic and made with a pure blend of USDA certified organic oils like jojoba, evening primrose, sunflower, grapeseed and others. The oil is meant to boost your existing moisturizing routine, but I’ve mainly been using it at night on its own. It’s only 1 fl. oz, but a little goes a long way. I love that the oily sinks in fairly quickly as well. The packaging is clean and pretty on your counter, and most importantly, it always leaves my skin feeling soft and glowy!

Beauty, MakeupGuerlain Summer 2016

guerlain_cover2I’m a perpetual admirer of the House of Guerlain, one of the most storied French cosmetics and perfume houses which remains at the cusp of fashion today.  Guerlain defines the haute-couture of beauty, and with each thoughtfully created collection, my notions of a classic product are redefined with fresh trendsetting ideas. The Color Collection 2016 is truly amazing and luxurious, and I’m excited to share with you my favorite highlights.

G042203It’s such a pleasure to unwrap and discover one of the ever-evolving Terracotta bricks which have an incredible cult following. The Terracotta Pause D’Éte is a limited edition, and my favorite of this summer’s bronzing powders for the face and décolleté. It warms beautifully, and magically produces cheekbones that remind me of Christy Turlington’s glamorous photos. The long-lasting blush/bronzer gives that nuanced glow deepened by a fine sun-kissed hint of gold which does an amazing job of hiding my freckles. The Duo Shades are flexible depending on the look you want to achieve. If I’m going for more of a flush to go with a brighter day outfit, I concentrate my brush in the middle for more of the pink-coral shade (which is a bit more powdery), and for a more sophisticated evening look, the medium-brown tone (the best-selling Terracotta shade 03) mixed with a shimmer of gold is stunning. An element of the swirl is inevitable, and for good reason: the blend is formulated to capitalize on natural skintone. The contouring “3” is perfect for applying the terracotta from forehead scooping in to cheeks to pop cheekbones and down to the chin. The magnetic case is a work of art in itself and is made of sustainably harvested wood. The top is held on by magnets but can be lifted off completely. A light fragrance of orange blossom, vanilla and musk makes for a delicate ending to an impeccable product.

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Mom & Kids, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Motherhood x Jessica Simpson Moon & Stars Maternity Tee

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Beauty, Hair, SkincareGet Back Your Glow!

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Anyone else feeling like winter has left them with dry, dull everything? From my dry, flaky skin to dull tresses, my whole beauty regime could use an extra dose of moisturization this spring. Raise your hand if you’re in the same camp as me.

While I usually up my game during the winter season with ultra moisturizing products, this year seems particularly worse and I’ve needed to find some new products to help fix this! To the rescue are…  READ MORE

Food, InternationalPrintemps! A Taste of France

maille-760x428The French countryside in the spring is one of my favorite places to visit in person or in my daydreams. Picturesque lavender fields set against a perfect blue sky are paradise on earth, and the beauty and romance are never quite fully captured in pictures and words. I treasure each and every delicacy from France, whether it is gorgeous chocolate or a gooey cheese. This spring, French mustard expert Maille’s garden-inspired trio of mustards captures the spirit of France- the focus on the most beautiful and aromatic herbs and high quality ingredients. Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet  collaborated with Maille to create each flavor, drawing inspiration from his childhood garden in rural France. Maille has been the expert on all things mustard since 1747, and I still have the clay pot which years ago held my first tastes of the exquisite Maille condiment. I recall savoring every bit of it, and spread it on anything I could find. Who knew mustard could be so addictive? The new trio comes gift-ready in a beautiful box fit for the treasures it holds, and the three varieties include Mustard with Carrot and a Hint of Shallot, Mustard with Olives and Herbes de Provence, and Mustard with White Wine, Beet, and a Hint of Honey.

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Home, Insider's Obsessions, InternationalProject Rebel Walls

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I’m so excited to share with you the results of my project with Rebel Walls to transform a bedroom that badly needed a heavy dose of personality and whimsy. I absolutely love how it turned out, and it’s quickly become my favorite room in the house to relax in. A few weeks ago, I introduced the creative Swedish company which has taken upon itself to transform the way the world sees wallpaper. They encourage the inner artist and make it possible to design your own wallpaper or choose from their growing bank of texture and designs, with themes like travel, nature, and architecture. I adored the Bellewood paper at first sight, and now that it’s been installed, the effect on the room is even better than I expected. The description paints the background story:

There is something indescribably beautiful about a classic toile pattern based on small hand-drawn strokes painting up romantic scenes usually consisting of lovebirds ​talking in the shade. We wanted to create a modern toile but maintain the traditional craftsmanship. This inviting and a little mysterious forest ​are ​based on several toile designs where we only ​picked the trees from the romantic ​sceneries. If you want fill the woods with a love message of your own, you can always ​use our ​designstudio to carve your beloved’s name in one of the tree trunks.

The mural was custom fit to my wall, and the resolution and color are vibrant and sharp. I will admit that I had a professional installer come in, but the paper arrives with instructions and paste for the brave DIYers.

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