Stories by: Grace

Mom & Kids, SkincareP-R-E-P for the Future

kidsI was quite surprised during a recent conversation with a close girlfriend to find out that she doesn’t use SPF on her face on a regular basis, and she was in turn shocked that I do, even if I know I’ll be in the office or inside for most of the day. She happens to have lovely skin, a genetic blessing from her mother, which is priceless and so worth preserving. I realized then that good habits start young, so I was delighted to come across PREP, a newly launching dermatologist-founded and tested line of skincare for girls. It stands for Powerful, Real, Everyday, Protection and is entirely plant and mineral based, free of petroleum and parabens, and chock-full of yummy anti-oxidants. PREP is not only dedicated to improving the lives of young women, but gives back by participating in charitable campaigns.

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BeautyA Fresh New Year’s Eve

lipWith the Big Kiss looming tomorrow night, here are two beauty treats that are fun and functional, just in time to be fresh and sexy for midnight! A fierce but classic red lip is always alluring and kissable, and Rimmel’s Lasting Finish in 01 (true red, of course) surpasses expectations with its intense pigment, edge, and longevity. It was created by the beautiful Kate Moss in her first lipstick collection. The fierce red lip lasts for up to 8 hours, and the formula is infused with Black Diamonds to reflect light! The lipstick is surprisingly affordable at $5.49 and is available in drugstores.

marvinI brush my teeth at least three times a day (it’s an obsession!), and the event just became a little more luxurious with Italian-made toothpaste Marvis in Cinnamon Mint. It’s hard to go back to prosaic brands after experiencing the rich and creamy luxury formula with a spicy sweet flavor that’s sure to make a kiss linger. Besides uber-important removal of plaque, the sorbitol and glycerin base conditions and fortifies teeth and gums, leaving a spicy aroma of mint and cinnamon. Happy New Year!

Bath & Body, Gift Guidesa philosophy-cal holiday!

Philosophy-Christmas-Cookie-Shower-Gel-OrnamentThe delightful smells of cinnamon, Christmas cookies, and fresh pie are such lovely associations with this time of year. I love walking into the warmth of a home from the grey cold outside to be enveloped by laughter, holiday scents, and the promise of fun to come. philosophy captures the nostalgic smells of the holidays in the form of beauty (no calories!)- lotion, lip shines, and my favorite 3-in-1  Christmas cookie shower gel (also a shampoo or bubble bath) packaged in an ornament box. This adorable stocking stuffer is age-versatile as it would certainly bring a smile to a little girl’s face and same for grandma. philosophy gives back to the community by donating 1% of all philosophy.com sales to mental health efforts- so your gift gives gives back!

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Mom & KidsLittle Dream Bird Baby

birdThere isn’t too much about motherhood that’s truly glamorous, unless you’re Victoria Beckham and can balance 5 inch heels,  a bundle on your hip and have a bodyguard to carry your diaper bag. Despite all the spit-up and exasperation, there’s more than enough love and joy to cause amnesia so procreation can continue! With some anxious thoughts on my mind about my little-one to come, I was more than a little excited to come across Little Dream Bird, a sweet company offering a little luxury to moms on-the-go who have a penchant for chic design.

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Bath & Body, Gift Guides, SkincareObsessions: Luxe Holiday Gifts

carlyNaked Undies. This is the perfect gift for the girl in your life that knows how to unwind and relax in style (or needs that incentive to do so!). The essential loungewear line is unbelievably light and feather-soft, not to mention sexy! The Carly T is my favorite long-sleeve tee for its creative back opening- think two graceful semi-sheer panels overlapping for comfort and ease. This piece fits true to size and is flattering at just the right length without trying too hard. The fabric hugs skin but doesn’t feel constricting in the least, so it’s perfect for traveling, lounging, and rewarding oneself for getting through the holidays! The chic pieces can be machine laundered with care and come in a variety of neutral shades. Naked Undies was founded by two fashionable ladies from LA whose eco-friendly philosophy and charity go beyond the luxurious threads. I love their ideas for giving back, and ten percent of proceeds go directly to the animal rescue organization Banfield Charitable Trust. Naked Undies is a treat for a woman of any age, and makes every day into a spa day whether that’s on the to-do list or not!

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MakeupParisienne Lights from Lancome

Lancome-Parisian-Lights-Holiday-2014-PromoMy office wall has a vintage print of Paris hanging in the center, and it’s not uncommon to hear strains of Edith Piaf in the background. When I daydream, my mind will wander the cobbled streets of my beloved city and I’ll start checking flights. One New Year’s Eve I spent there was especially glamorous, with a decadent meal at Le Cinq, an evening walk amidst twinkling lights on the Seine, and of course beaucoup de champagne. At this time of year, pastries are even more beautiful, dresses are at their chicest, and makeup is divine. Lancôme has introduced the most gorgeous head-to-toe holiday collection which embodies quintessential French richness and sophistication, bringing Paris to us no matter where we celebrate the holidays.

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NailsYotel + Habit Cosmetics

B0qJlCfIgAAlkS6I don’t think my nails have seen the light of day for years- they’re perpetually painted! It’s still a thrill to find new colors that bring some excitement to looking down during daily tasks. A new collaboration from Yotel + Habit Cosmetics has yielded two perfect shades that are environmentally friendly and toxin-free. The first bamboo-capped bottle is a bold plum color which is bright but not tween-y, and the second is a cool blue-grey flecked with a fine smattering of silver shimmer. The polishes are infused with exotic myrrh extract, which naturally strengthens nails and is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Nails not only look chic but are healthy underneath!

The two-shade collection captures the innovation and energy of New York, which is where Yotel thrives two blocks from Times Square. The space is inspired by first class travel so hotel living takes on an entertainment aspect kicking it to the next level.

MakeupHoliday Glamour from Dior

diorI’m giddy just thinking about the holiday season approaching- cocktail dresses, champagne, and countdowns! To go with couture, I scoured makeup counters near and far to find the most editorial and chic palette. My criteria required that the makeup looks flawless and striking in person and well as in photographs, and I could find no match for the limited edition Dior 5 Couleurs 756 Golden Shock set. Right away, I was impressed with the lush pigmentation of the colors, and the gorgeous color combinations that the makeup experts at Dior turned from fantasy to reality. Most of the time, I find that there is always a color or two in a palette that I know I won’t be using, but I buy it anyway. In this case, the experts at Dior have thoughtfully placed each shade in to maximize potential for perfect depth and blending color to create a dramatic eye.

The light pink base is a delicate sheer sparkle, followed by an intense plum which anchors the palette. I applied the plum in a crescendo to the outer portion of the lid, and then under the eye for cohesion and impact. The upper right warm pink shade can overlap the plum on top, naturally flowing into and accenting the crease. The versatile taupe on the lower right can be worn solo or blended in to create an gradual effect coming towards the inner part of the eye. The definition I achieved with this was striking and so dramatic! Finally, the gold in the center adds that glowing glamour for the holidays, turning the whole eye up a notch. The finished looks is polished, festive, and fashion-forward, I absolutely love it. The palette photographs beautifully and plays to accent the eyes creating a sexy sophistication.

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Fitness & Health, Hair, SkincareAutumn Roundup

serumI’m totally embracing autumn this year, loving every minute of the crisp air on my skin, snuggling under a blanket, and lots of apple pie! I don’t mind a bit of lingering summer weather here and there, but I do mind the stubborn sprinkling of freckles that a few hours too many in the sun has left on my face, not to mention a couple tan lines I’m still sporting from two months ago. After doing a little digging into the reasons for pigmentation, I found out that a big problem causing dark spots is excess melanin produced in the deeper layers of skin due to chronic inflammation. La Roche-Posay has a unique system to prevent and treat uneven skin tone without ever stepping into a dermatologist’s office. The Intensive Dark Spot Correcting Serum attacks spots which are visible and recurrent as well as those still in development. I apply the serum in the evenings after cleansing so it can work all night long, and have been consistent for almost eight weeks now, which is the suggested time for reducing spots by about 39%. I’ve noticed that it does brighten and even my complexion without irritating my finicky skin. My little freckles are lightening, so I’m hopeful that they’ll stay on that track.

spfWhile the serum does its job, it’s important to keep skin protected from the sun while continuing the work of correcting and preventing visible dark spots. The Daily Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer does all this while absorbing quickly, and doesn’t feel greasy. UVA and UVB rays are blocked, which are the number one cause of dark spots. Both the serum and moisturizer use Phe-Resorcinol to reduce excess melanin at early stages of production and ferulic acid and gingko to reduce oxidation of melanin pigments. LHA is a signature ingredient which exfoliates the upper layers of the epidermis containing melanin. The regimen is effective and easy to incorporate for a brighter complexion to glow among the layers of autumn foliage! READ MORE

SkincareKiehl’s Latest Innovations

KIE116-2Kiehl’s is constantly impressing me with the amount of research they put into their products! There’s a reason they’ve been so popular and relevant since 1851, one being that the current head of laboratory is something of a magna cum laude genius. Dr. Geoffrey Genesky puts his doctorate from Cornell to work in finding the latest anti-aging technology. When skin ages, dehydration becomes a problem that even oily skin types have to deal with, because it has to do with an imbalance and lack of water retention in skin. The result of a crazy amount of testing is the new Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate. Taking inspiration from dermatologic procedures such as Juvederm Hydrate, the serum floods the deepest layers of dehydrated skin to restore moisture, resulting in fresh, plump, and youthful skin.

The serum utilizes a potent complex of Plant-based glycerin – a natural moisture magnet, and Shiso Leaf Extract, which binds deep moisture into the skin’s surface layers. The lab results show rapid improvement- think 72 hours – in treated skin’s retention of moisture. In my case, I could really start to see improvement after about a week of regular use. Fine lines start disappearing and that supple feeling of younger skin inches back in. If you’re already a Kiehl’s addict like me and could use a comparison, the Hydro-Plumping Serum retains almost double the hydration of their beloved Ultra Facial Moisturizer and Rose Arctica Cream, which are great options for combining with the serum for other properties.

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