Stories for the year: 2008

Accessories, Beauty, Dining & Nightlife, Home, Jewelry, Makeup, NailsChampagne Supernova

Editor’s Note: All of us here send our best wishes for the New Year and look forward to spending 2009 together with you.  We will be back on the 2nd.

New Year’s is that one holiday every year that I really really look forward to.  In the same way that some people deck out for St. Patrick’s Day, or Halloween, or Christmas, I go all out festive on New Year’s.  This year I’ve compiled 12 of my favorite champagne themed products of the year – whether they be champagne colored, scented, flavored or the real deal.  It won’t be too difficult to guess what theme I’ll be rocking all night tonight.

Champagne in Hand

1. Essie Nail Polish in Imported Champagne: This sparkly golden beige polish straddles that delicate balance between gloss and frost and creates a very beautiful champagne finish.  Unlike purely glossy colors, the shimmer lets you get away with a little bit of careless in the application.  I did mine at home just yesterday in anticipation for my New Year’s party and they look fab.

2. Lauren Merkin Lucy Champagne Clutch: For those of you who like to accent your outfit with a fab accessory, this Lauren Merkin champagne colored, vintage-inspired, lambskin clutch fits in your hand or under your arm. The bubble metallic lambskin dresses it up for the evening and adds just the right amount of sophistication. READ MORE

Beauty, Books, MakeupBobbi Brown Makeup Manual

I still remember the first time I ever picked up a book about makeup. It was Kevyn Aucoin’s, and I remember feeling so amazed at the transformative powers of beauty products. I was only in high school then, yet I still find myself leafing through beauty books from time to time. My most recent find is the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, which is definitely a keeper. Rather than show you looks that you probably wouldn’t be able to achieve on your own, Bobbi walks you through all the how-tos of makeup so that you can always look your very best.

Along with Bobbi’s expert advice, the book contains beautiful photographs and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions on every type of makeup. You’ll know how to apply eyeliner and blend eye shadow correctly, pick the right shade of foundation for your skin tone, and learn about the different kinds of makeup brushes. But beyond that, Bobbi also discusses how to take care of your skin, since that’s where it all starts. Proper cleansing and moisturizing are super important and too often overlooked in favor of just covering the flaws up.

The Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual is billed as “For Everyone from Beginner to Pro,” and I agree completely. Makeup novices will learn about basic application and those with more experience will find new looks and skin care tips. This book is a must-read for any beauty or BB fanatic!

BeautyBest of Beauty 2008

At the end of each year, we compile our favorite beauty products – and this year is no different. Each TDO editor has chosen two products that she discovered and became completely obsessed about this year. Together, you’ll find ten products (listed in no particular order) that are our Best of Beauty for 2008!

1. Lancome Oscillation
2. Clinique Moisture Surge
3. Lipstick Queen Medieval
4. 3Lab Perfect Mask
5. Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow
6. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
7. Clairol Natural Instincts
8. Kinara Red Carpet Facial Kit
9. Chanel Haute Chocolat
10. Eve Lom Cleanser

Want to know why we love them? Find out behind the cut.  READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupInvisibly Lined Lips

You may be asking what the point of an invisible lip liner is, and I wouldn’t blame you. The key word here is definition, which Lipstick Queen’s Invisible Lip Liner provides in spades. Since it goes on without color, it will complement any lipstick shade. Yay for never having to buy matching liners for every lipstick ever again!

What the Invisible Lip Liner does best is define your lips perfectly. It smooths over your natural lip line to define and shape. Also, it prevents your lip color from bleeding or running over for a more precise application. Any fan of brighter lip colors knows that one should avoid the look of imperfectly applied red lipstick, and Lipstick Queen has come up with the perfect solution for that.

You can find the Invisible Lip Liner and all of Poppy King’s amazing products at lipstickqueen.com or barneys.com.

Beauty, Celebrities, Hair, MakeupHow To: Get Amy Adam’s Retro Glam Look

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to get ultra glammed up and have some fun with it! You want your look to be really stunning. But you also don’t want it to be difficult to maintain and to last since you’ll be ringing in the New Year at your party of choice – most likely with no more than a small clutch (that doesn’t leave room for an arsenal of makeup for touch ups). We loved Amy Adam’s retro-inspired look (pictured left) that looks alluring, but not too intimidating to replicate. With a few days left to practice, we know that you’ll be able to rock this look out!

To help guide you through the process, we turned to Farah Reid, the resident makeup artist at Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar, for her tips. “It’s super easy to re-create this retro glam look at home,” says Farah. Click behind the cut for her step-by-step instructions on how to get this look: READ MORE

Hair, Los Angeles, Spas & SalonsStylin’ Hair

My hair had been super long for about two years before I got it cut recently.  Even though I knew that it was definitely time for it to be shorter (it was getting kind of straggly and had no shape or style), I was still slightly nauseous at the thought of getting it done because that big of a change is scary.  It could look awful!  I could wind up resembling the “before” picture in a makeover (always a fear of mine)!  So when I was looking for a salon to visit for the big chop, I was really excited to be able to choose Kinara.  Every service I’ve ever had there has been amazing, but I’d never been to the Hair Studio before, so I was really looking forward to it.  I’m happy to say that it more than lived up to my expectations!

The Hair Salon is located in the back of Kinara and overlooks a garden patio area, so it’s great because you can look outside while you’re getting your hair done.  (Plus, it made me feel super happy that I live in L.A. because it was the beginning of December and it was something like 73 degrees outside.  Nice!)  When I first arrived, I talked with stylist Koji Toyoda about what I wanted my cut and color to look like.  It was a great conversation; sometimes, I feel like the stylist I’m talking to isn’t really listening or is determined to give me the cut they want no matter what, but Koji genuinely wanted to hear what I was looking for.  It instantly made me feel more relaxed about the fact that I was getting so many inches cut off my hair because I knew he wasn’t going to go overboard. He even steered me away from getting a cut like Gwyneth Paltrow’s because he said that it was actually much shorter in back than the styles I had been describing to him.  Originally from Tokyo, Koji is a fourth generation hair stylist, so when you visit him, you’re not only getting the benefit of his expertise, but all that he’s learned from the other stylists in his family. READ MORE

Bath & Body, Beauty, Hair, SkincareGimme Some Sugar

Sugaring has been around since the ancient Egyptian and Greek times, and while you may have heard the term thrown around interchangeably before with waxing, the primary difference is that sugaring is made out of all natural products.  Additionally, sugaring is rumored to be less painful than waxing, as when “sugaring,” the sugar clings only to the hair and not the skin.

The sugaring kit from the legendary Shobha, who we’ve already raved about here and here, features all of the elements that you need for at-home, hassle-free hair removal.  In the kit are talc free powder (to be applied prior to waxing to help dry out the area), an instruction booklet, 2 different length spatulas (both short and long), 6 long denim strips, and professional grade Shobha sugaring gel in a plastic jar.

The sugaring gel is easy to warm up in the microwave for between 30-45 seconds. (Note: Although you should remove the lid when microwaving, it’s not necessary to remove the layer of cardboard in between the lid and the wax.) And the best thing about the kit is that the denim strips are easily re-usable and washable.  Sugaring/waxing, regardless of what kind you use, will always be messy, but luckily, the Shobha sugaring gel is easily washed away using hot water, on both skin and on the denim strips.

As far as my pain assessment in sugaring versus waxing, I personally found it to be about similar during my at-home demo, but I figured “no pain, no gain” and attributed the cause of pain mostly to my technique.  The kit retails for a very reasonable $30 since the kit provides 8 fluid ounces of sugar gel, which can easily be used multiple times and you can buy it here.

Beauty, MakeupTeint Innocence

Chanel’s Teint Innocence Compact Foundation gives your face, as the name suggests, a youthful, innocent radiance – making this my makeup of choice for my New Year’s party. This creamy foundation sits weightlessly on the skin, glides on like water, and gives a dewy fresh glow that lasts throughout the day.  Even though the compact comes with a sponge, I choose to use my trusty foundation brush, which lets me control the coverage. The texture of the formula lets you use it in a variety of ways – from covering up a blemish to creating a camera-ready face. The foundation is double capped. Though the intention might have been to seperate the foundation from the sponge; the result is that the makeup is kept ultra fresh for a long time. This sleek compact will be tucked into my New Years clutch for touch ups throughout the night.  Not that I plan to need to use it for that purpose, but pulling out a little Chanel never hurts. icon

Bridal, International, TravelMy Big Fat Indian Wedding

In my next life, I decided that I wanted to come back reincarnated as an Indian princess…and if that isn’t possible, I think I would settle for having an Indian wedding in this lifetime.  Being a bride or groom at an Indian wedding is probably the closest a person can ever get to feeling like a Maharaja and Maharani in current times, since Indian weddings are known for being a three day extravaganza of grandeur and opulence.  The wedding I attended a month ago in Jaipur was no different.  With three nights of parties going from evening to past midnight and different outfits for each one, I wondered why anyone would ever want to have a traditional non-Indian wedding.  Elizabeth Hurley, who wedded Indian textile businessman, Arun Nayar last year (see picture left) clearly sees herself the benefits of having an Indian wedding.  She held not just one, but two weddings, including a Western one and a traditional Indian one. READ MORE

FashionSimple Wipes

Early holiday hours means that a lot of my last minute beauty emergencies need to taken care of  by the lone 24/7 drugstore down the block from my apartment.  Lucky for me, it’s a Duane Reade, the sole carrier (in the US currently) of one of UK’s top selling products: The Simple Wipes.  I had plenty of this on hand this week when my entire family crammed into my New York apartment for Christmas celebrations.  They, of course, didn’t bring toiletries (as no one should when visiting me) and while my mom used my floral scented cleanser of the moment, the men opted for a simpler (ha!) route. Simple Wipes are oil and alcohol free and contains no fragrance, which was a big plus for the men. It’s a great way to take off the grime of the city in a gentle and effective manner.

Simple Wipes are $6 for 25, which means stocking the bathroom full of these barely dented my Christmas allowance.

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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