Stories by: Grace

SkincareFighting the Cold

AUB-LipGel_Prod-12-11-15-Front-ProductAfter the holidays, I’m counting the days til spring flowers first peek out. Although we’ve had a mild winter, I still feel like my lips take a toll as they’re uber sensitive and needy. One savior for the sleety days or those on the ski slopes have been products from Aubio Life Sciences. Their dermatologist-developed Hydrating Lip Balm with SPF 30 stays with me at all times, and provides me with instant soothing relief when my lips are chapped (pulling it out right now!). Lips tend to be neglected, but they need SPF as much as our facial skin as they can be sun damaged and show age. Aubio’s formula is multi-functional, taking care of nourishment, protection, and appearance of lips. Skin lipids work to restore the lips’ surface, while the long lasting barrier keeps moisture in even through eating and drinking. Sarracenia Extract is a natural plant-based ingredient which works wonders to soothe and protect cells. READ MORE

Insider's ObsessionsLovers’ Tea

theWith the annual Day of Love approaching, I put any thought of dining out away (eschewing massively priced prix fixe menus) in favor of a romantic night in with a homemade dinner, wine, and candles. To commemorate the occasion, I am combining my love of France and of tea in a gift for mon amourPalais des Thés has just launched a gorgeous set of teas, Paris for him and Paris for her, inspired by tender moments in the City of Light. The brand has been a darling of mine since I first encountered the muslin tea bags in my Parisian hotel many years ago, filled with the most fragrant and unique flavor combinations. For her, a green tea base carries a fragrant floral blend of rose, raspberry, and lychee. Sipping a cup of it becomes gentle and soothing afternoon ritual while daydreaming of walks across the Seine. For him, notes of citrus fruit, coriander, and vanilla, complement the rich black tea. And just because I can, I borrow from his to wake me up in the morning and start my day afresh.

 

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SkincareFountain of Youth

youthserum_mfIt’s not easy finding a serum that is effective and fits your skin’s needs. I started using serums around my 30th birthday, both to help with sun spots and to preserve my skin for years to come. I’ve tried enough serums to fill a beauty counter, and have been really happy with the IS Clinical Youth Serum which has made a difference in my face within a couple weeks of use. My long term goal is to stave off wrinkles and protect from free radical damage, which is all wrapped up with the Youth Serum. The serum sets itself apart from others with its double intentions. For the impatient side of me, I want quick results which are accomplished with intelligent proteins, targeting damaged areas and working on firming and fine lines. For the future, the safe growth factors discourage wrinkling, and the patented Extremozyme® technology works with antioxidants to fight environmental aggressors. The serum is especially good for the winter months as the white willow bark component hydrates and soothes.

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Beauty, SkincareAmore Pacific

amoreIn the London-like weather which has taken over January, I’ve reworked and tweaked my skin care regimen to add elements of intense moisture, nutrients, and antioxidants. The highlights of my new routine are a night and day pair from Amore Pacific, my long-trusted line to take care of my sensitive and needy skin. I love their philosophy of utilizing centuries of knowledge and botanically-based ingredients. I’ve had a long term obsession with green-tea antioxidants, and the Future Response Age Defense Crème showcases ingredients like potent hand-cultivated green tea from Jeju Island. Pine mushroom extract and Future Response Complex also work together to provide powerful antioxidant benefits. The antioxidants are the best weapons against damaging oxidizing agents from pollution and disease which run skin ragged and ages it quickly. The complex of 12 Asian Botanicals also work with the antioxidants to naturally reduce signs of aging and leave my skin supple and dewy.

I look forward to my cleansing ritual in the evenings, mainly because it feels so luxurious to apply the creme as the final step. I make sure to use horizontal motions across my neck and even down to the décolletage, and gentle upward circles for the face. A little bit goes a long way as it is rich and concentrated. However, it doesn’t have that oily feeling so breakouts can be avoided, and it will work for dry, normal, or combination skin.

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Food, Insider's ObsessionsIn a Nutshell

untitledThe New Year is always a welcome time to start afresh, rethink goals, and start a less conscience-racking diet, in my case. With the rigors of holiday eating done for the season, I’m craving a change in my waistline and an infusion of energy back into my system. Thankfully, eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up all joy in life! I am completely obsessed with the crazy-fresh and naturally scrumptious nut bars from Nutshell. It may seem impossible that a bar- usually a last resort breakfast or snack- can be worthy of such a rave, but I myself was amazed the first time I tried a bite. The freshness of the nuts and ingredients such as espresso beans (in my fave flavor, Java), cinnamon, and of course walnuts, cashews, and other premium nuts produce a surprising and welcome flavor bomb.

Nutshell is a new boutique company headed by Will D’Agostino, an active outdoorsman who refuses to sacrifice flavor in a nutritious bar. They pay an amazing amount of attention to every single ingredient that goes into the bars. Each is packed with organic, vegan, gluten-free ingredients, and each flavor profile is so well curated it would be at home in a bakery. The bars can be kept fresh in the fridge until they’re ready to eat, and I recommend enjoying the bar at room temperature to ensure your tastebuds get the best experience. The crave-worthy bars available to the lucky residents of Connecticut and thankfully, to the rest of the country online. Trust me on this one, your workouts and tastebuds will love you that much more.

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Food, Insider's Obsessions, Mom & KidsNurture Life

peyote_nl-banner71516-everything3-v1_dsc9738-1-3I’m excited to introduce a life-changer to the heroes out there, moms and dads who do it all. Just yesterday I was chatting with a friend and described my experience of being a parent, and compared it to driving a car when you don’t know how everything in the car works, and you also don’t know where you’re headed. If this resonates with you or anyone you love, Nurture Life will be a welcome addition to the family. A much-needed service at least in my household, Nurture Life delivers healthy, tasty, organic food tailored to picky tastebuds. It replaces worry with peace of mind and gives you more time in the day to actually enjoy your kids instead of slaving in the kitchen. I don’t have to stress over planning meals, grocery shopping, and meal prepping and am free to play, teach, and love my kids with more patience (parents need every ounce!).

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AccessoriesWrap It with an Echo Scarf

11_11_16_echo_gift_boxes_wrapped_in_scarfs-lynn107877Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved giving and receiving beautiful packages, sometimes even more than the gift itself! I was so inspired by this season’s new chic idea of wrapping with scarves. Not only is it a beautifully elegant way to present a gift, but the scarf is a treasure in itself. I’ve been avoiding wrapping paper for years, opting for gift bags or a simple bow, but I’m now all-in for this creative eco-friendly option. I love shopping for scarves, and my favorite boutique is Echo New York. It’s got amazing selection and is full of varieties of colors, prints, lengths, and materials.

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Beauty, Gift GuidesA Few of My Favorite Things…

annick-goutal-noel-scented-candle-300g

 

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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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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