Stories for the year: 2008

Beauty, New York, Spas & SalonsThreading at Shobha

Longtime readers may know that Shobha was my preferred place to get waxed before I underwent laser therapy and never had to see the inside of a waxing jar again. That, however, didn’t stop me from returning to Shobha when I had to get my eyebrows done before my recent vacation.

I already have sparse yet unruly eyebrows so my preferred method is threading – which Shobha is famously known for. Threading is a very precise method of removing hair in a line formation to achieve an exact and angular brow. And when it comes to eyebrows, I am all about the precision. It is also the gentlest form of hair removal as it avoids the skin all together and perhaps the most hygienic since there are no chemicals or tools used besides a spool of thread. In fact, dermatologists recommend threading for anyone on topical  medications since skin is not irritated in the process. The pain factor of threading amounts to that of tweezing but goes away much quicker.  It’s an interesting sensation as you can actually fell each hair coming out in a linear succession. Shobha is so committed to this form of facial hair removal that they do not offer any alternatives (such as waxing or sugaring) for the brows.

Sure I could get my eyebrows threaded for $10 at the hole in the wall down the street but as I always want to put my best face forward- why risk it? I’d rather have the highly skilled aestheticians at Shobha do it for peace of mind- and a guaranteed good result.  That’s why Shobha is the go-to place for New York city gals in the know.  At least four different people have mentioned it to me as the only place they trust for their brows.  The colorful decor cheers me up every time and the staff is super attentitive.  Threading at Shobha starts at $20 and lasts for weeks so you’re hardly breaking the piggy bank.  Not to mention, soon you too will be one of those gals (or guys) that only swear by Shobha.

Beauty, SkincareOil Futures

It may not surprise you that as a sometimes oily skinned gal, I never ventured into the world of oil-based cleansers.  In fact, my first foray into this apparently popular type of cleanser was because I thought Lancome’s Huile Douceur was a pretty color in a nice bottle. Kudos to Lancome’s design team for making the packaging so pretty that it attracted me to try a product I would otherwise have never picked up.  Good thing it’s also good for oily skin.

To my surprise, Huile Douceur quickly started replacing all the other facial cleansers I was testing because my skin just felt super comfortable after each use (so much that I sometimes forget to put on cream!).  My sometimes oily skin also suffers from being occasionally dry, and this cleanser addressed both problems by moisturizing and removing excess sebum simultaneously.  As Huile Douceur is oil based, it also removes waterproof (and regular) eye and face makeup easily and effortlessly without any scrubbing.  Just rub this over your closed eyes to take off even the most stubborn mascara! I also happen to like the fresh floral smell of the product. READ MORE

Beauty, FragranceViolet Vale

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the “Anne of Green Gables” series, and I was always jealous by the talent she had for giving beautifully descriptive and flowery names to places she loved.  One of her favorite places in town was Violet Vale, “a little green dimple in the shadow of Mr. Andrew Bell’s big woods” that has “millions of violets in the spring.”  In my mind, if there was a perfume that would represent the essence of what that place would smell like, it would be Van Cleef Arpel’s Feerie.

The strongest top note of the fragrance is violet, which is a unique and unusual scent that distinguishes Feerie.  Due to the strength of the top violet note, I would classify Feerie as a powdery floral yet woodsy scent, with hints of red currant and mandarin that tie it together nicely and prevent it from being too overpowering.  It is a sophisticated light scent that would wear well for day without being too overwhelming or intense.

The whimsical and luxurious design of the Feerie bottle is also beautiful with an ornately cut round sapphire blue bottom, and a fanciful fairy figurine on top, who is featured perching effortlessly on a branch.  Granted, the fairy figurine on top combined with the bottom doesn’t make this bottle very light to tote around, but it does make a beautiful sculptural statement on your nightstand table.  I think of this perfume as perfect for any young cousin or little sister who is on her way to growing up, because they  will love the playful design of the bottle and at the same time be ready for the youthful, graceful and not too sweet fragrance with hints of girlishness.

Dining & Nightlife, MiamiIn BED But Not Sleeping

I’ve always wanted to visit BED after I saw it featured on Sex and the City, but sadly the New York hot spot closed after an accident involving some of its patrons more than a year ago. Though I never made it to the original establishment that aired on the show, I did make a point to check out its sister, the recently renovated BED Miami, which I was pleased to discover is alive and well. READ MORE

Beauty, Insider's ObsessionsInsider’s Obsessions: Laura DeLuisa LaRocca

Laura DeLuisa LaRocca is a force of nature in the world of beauty.  You probably know her as one of the founders of DuWop Cosmetics, and we recently introduced you to her new skincare line called Rocca Skincare. With her love of beauty stemming from her days as a Hollywood hairstylist, she honed in on her entrepreneurial instincts and founded DuWop, which is now a $10 million dollar brand with a cult following; she recently handed the DuWop reins over to someone new, for a fresh voice and to grow the brand even more.  When Laura was faced with total kidney failure not too long ago, she was introduced to the natural healing properties of 24K Gold.  With her experience, she was inspired to create a natural line that utilized the power of gold and Rocca Skincare was born. We are truly inspired by Laura’s life story and were thrilled when she agreed to tell us about her latest obsessions!  To find out what they are, click behind the cut. READ MORE

AccessoriesCatherine Rapetti JoJo Clutch

If you haven’t had a chance to scoop up a fabulous clutch for your New Year’s Eve party, we’ve got a good option for you. (Forgot about that NYE bash, didn’t you?  After all, the holidays do keep you mighty busy…but don’t let your outfit be an after-thought to your Christmas soirees. Plan ahead!) Catherine Rapetti is a new accessories designer on the scene that you should definitely consider for your perfect party purse.  After working at Sak’s Fifth Avenue’s marketing division, Catherine was inspired to create a line of accessories that are refined and elegant.  She went back to school at the Parsons School of Design and got her degree in Fashion Design; now, she’s producing fabulous, luxurious leather goods that you can imagine having in your closet forever.

For the holidays, our pick is the JoJo Clutch, which has a classic rectangular shape. Available in black tan or pink, each clutch is made of gorgeous embossed croc leather with a magnetic closure. Measuring 14″W x 8″H, this is definitely an oversized clutch that will fit all of your night’s essentials.  The clean, sleek lines, along with the high quality, make this an investment piece that you’ll still be able to use 20 years down the line.  Order at catherinerapetti.com.

Editor’s Note:  We will be taking December 24 and 25 off for the Christmas holiday, returning December 26.  We send our best wishes to you and your loved ones, and have a very merry Christmas!

Celebrities, InterviewsTDO Interview: Shawn Johnson

At just 16 years old, American gymnast Shawn Johnson has already made a huge splash in the worlds of sports and beauty. She won multiple medals during the Summer Olympics in Beijing and has also been busy outside of the gym as a spokesperson for Cover Girl and Crest. We had the amazing opportunity to meet her while she was in Chicago to work with Feeding America (formerly known as America’s Second Harvest). Shawn took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about her charity work, beauty obsessions, and her future goals.

The Daily Obsession: Tell us a bit about what you’re working on with Crest and Feeding America here in Chicago.
Shawn Johnson: Crest actually just donated $1 million worth of toothpaste to Feeding America. Especially during times like these, a lot of families’ first priority is to put food on the table, and people forget about dental care. I’m going to be giving out food and toothpaste and hopefully raise awareness about food donation shortages and health. READ MORE

Bath & Body, HomeArt Basel at Home

Today is the coldest day of the year in New York and I can’t stop thinking about Miami.  Seriously, when can I take another trip?  

To tide me over until the next time I hit South Beach and to wrap up in this chilly air, I’ve been using my oversize Art Basel towel, which I love, love, love! These oversize terry cotton towels are huge – 60 x 70 and sooo soft (no prewashing required).  Plus, they don’t pill or leave fuzzies so you can enjoy your art without worrying about a mess.

My favorite is this one by Karen Kilimnik, which brings the beach to me even when I’m stuck in a cold apartment. Each towel retails for $50 at Target making this a perfect last minute holiday present, but one lucky TDO reader will score one for free in a one day only giveaway.  In the comments below, please tell me the next beach you plan to hit and use these towels at.  We’re also planning our next beach trip and would love some ideas.  Contest closes tomorrow at noon EST. Only US entries with valid e-mail addresses please.

Beauty, Fragrance, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Estee Lauder Sensuous Precious Petals

Beauty, Makeup, SkincareSalvation For Your Lips

With the crazy winter weather that’s been taking over New Jersey during my visit (it’s been a fun combination of rain, sleet and snow this week), my poor lips were starting to get chapped. (They’re used to sunny Los Angeles weather!)  With all the family Christmas pictures coming up, I really didn’t want them to look gross in photos, so I picked up a jar of Ole Henricksen’s African Red Tea Exfoliating Lip Salvation.  It’s a petroleum-free lip salve that I’ve been applying constantly since I got it, and it’s totally reversed the condition of my lips in only three days.

The formula is chock full of emollient and conditioning extracts, like jojoba oil, linseed oil, and cranberry seed oil, so it’s intensely moisturizing, and the sheer dark pink color will be flattering on everyone.  It smells great too, with its combination of grapefruit, orange and tangerine extracts – very fruity and uplifting.  What I really like about it is that it has a slightly grainy texture, so it exfoliates your lips, getting rid of any dead skin and helping to keep chapped lips at bay.  (And don’t worry, the texture becomes smooth when you rub it in, so it doesn’t look grainy on your lips.)

If you’re looking for a lip balm that’ll take you through the winter and still be light enough to keep your lips in tip top shape during the summer, look no further.  Here it is!

Ole Henricksen’s Africa Red Tea Exfoliating Lip Salvation retails for $15 and can be found at sephora.com.

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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