Last minute gift shopping for Mother’s Day usually results in a not-so-thoughtful gift, with the exception, of course, of buying her a new bottle of perfume, which is one of the most personal gifts out there. We know it’s Friday…and that you have to see mom on Sunday, but no sweat — the mall is open on Saturday, and our personal perfume picks below will definitely hide any trace of this being a last-minute job. So whether your mom is super luxe or super down-to-earth, we’ve got you covered with some of the best new fragrances this season (plus something extra to go with each one).
For the fun mom: Jimmy Choo Flash. If you have a fun mom — you know the kind that knows how to have a good time (and maybe even rolled to a few parties with you back in the day) — consider me very jealous of you growing up. Celebrate her fun-loving ways with the new perfume by Jimmy Choo, Flash, a bright burst of white florals tempered by pink pepper and powdery woods that creates an uplifting yet sensual fragrance. Even the bottle and the packaging is a lot of fun: the crystal-faceted, shimmery bottle is reminiscent of a paparazzi flash bulb and the glitter packaging barely needs any wrapping. If you’re really good to your mom, you might even get her a new pair of party shoes to go with it. (more…)
I’m not a betting woman …but I’ll bet that if I took a poll and asked readers if feel like they lead a stressful lifestyle, I’d get more yeses than noes. The sad fact is, I don’t know anyone who isn’t stressed out on a regular basis by something — be it work, exams, relationships, new baby, or kids in general. As if just being stressed isn’t already bad enough, it’s also pretty much a guarantee that the negative effects of stress will manifest itself on your face — in the form of fatigue, redness and unevenness, breakouts and dehydration. Thanks a lot stress hormones! And the kicker: odds are high than when we’re stressed, we also pay less attention to our skincare routines, making our already suffering skin even worse.
Well Kiehl’s is here to rescue us stressed folks and if we know anything about Kiehl’s, we know that they’re really great at saving our skin (and sanity). The newly launched, and aptly named Skin Rescuer Stress- Minimizing Daily Hydrator, uses highly effective ingredients to address many of the skin conditions that are caused by stress. In order to do this, Kiehl’s chemists identified a three step process (which thankfully, they rolled into 1 great product): calm and hydrate the skin, limit inflammation, and protect the skin barrier from future reactions. To sooth already-stressed skin, the new moisturizer uses chamomile extract to calm, glycerin to deliver immediate moisture, and shea butter to help keep hydration in. The product also contains Rosa Gallica, a flower extract, which has been proven to act as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps to keep reactions like redness and blotchiness in check. Finally, studies have shown that stressed skin is weak skin, so the moisturizer packs a trio of ingredients designed to replenish lipids and straighten the skin barrier. The result is that redness is minimized, skin is kept supple, hydrated and protected.
We love that Kiehl’s designed this as a daily moisturizer, because frankly that gives us one less thing to stress out about. Our four week test trial has shown that this is a very pleasant product indeed: we love that it’s lightweight, fragrance free, moisturizes thoroughly and has noticeably reduced unevenness and splotches in some areas. Sadly, they haven’t figured out a way to make me feel less stressed yet overall (damn deadlines always!), but at least I no longer have to look like it.
To learn more check out Kiehls.com.
For me, happy hour is any hour where I’m getting a professional blowout. Luckily, ever since DryBar opened here in New York a couple years ago, I’ve been treating myself to waaaayyy more happy hours than usual (plus their services come with free champagne, so it really is happy). Even the pre-blowout wash at DryBar is really great — I always feel like my hair is softer, cleaner, and smoother after a professional shampoo. Recently the brand launched a collection of hair products and tools — the same goods used at their salons — for at home use, so now my happy hours have turned into happy mornings in the shower. Despite having tried all kinds of shampoos and conditioners, I still felt like there’s was a need for a really good daily use set (one that you don’t get tired of after a few washes), and DryBar has stepped in to create just the perfect one. Regardless of hair texture, every beauty editor I’ve talked to who has tried the products has raved about it, and I can definitely see why.
The shampoo and conditioner duo, aptly named Happy Hour, are formulated around the philosophy that a really great style starts clean, nurtured hair that isn’t weighed down by grease, oil, dirt, or excessive products. The Blowout Shampoo is a gentle shampoo that is extremely effective at cleaning hair and removing leftover product and residue. Even though it’s sulfate and paraben free (yay!), it still does an amazing job of lathering and covers my entire head with just a nickle-sized amount of product. It rinses off easily leave my hair feeling clean, but never squeaky or dry. (more…)
There are few things that are more soothing to me than the sweet scent of a really fragrant tea. During colder days, I love curling up with a hot cup of jasmine or chrysanthum tea and inhaling the steam and scent — really it’s half the joy of drinking tea in itself! Now that the weather’s warmer, the iced beverages don’t quite provide that same experience, but I recently learned about a collection of candles put out by one of my favorite tea companies ever — Le Palais des Thes (their Fleur de Geisha green tea is beyond…) – that recreates that delightful fragrance for your home. They really give the term “tea lights” a whole new meaning!
The collection of candles include five scents — ranging from the delicate nature of green tea to spicier aromas of oriental tea leaves to bright, vibrant fragrances of herbal blends. Each candle is housed in a colorful frosted jar that brightens up any room visually and the scent lightly fragrances for 50 hours without ever being overpowering. I personally love to keep one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, especially when there are guests over — these are definitely beautiful candles that you want people to see!
To view the entire collection, check out Le Palais des Thes.
We are all too familiar with winter skin woes, but now it’s finally spring and the warmer weather and milder conditions mean we don’t have to worry too much about our skincare anymore, right? Sadly, wrong. As it turns out spring (allergy season anyone??!) brings with it its own set of skin challenges — but don’t worry, we’ve outlined a few must-do’s so your skin can be as happy as you are this season.
1. Exfoliate more. Wintery conditions make skin dull and sallow, so make sure to exfoliate during this transition period to unveil soft, radiant skin. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it — be sure to use an extra gentle product that won’t hurt your skin. We love the Simple’s Skincare Smoothing Facial Scrub, which is formulated with hypoallergenic rice granules and is effective at removing surface dead cells without causing pain or irritation. (more…)
A month ago Chaps reached out to me with a style challenge — seeing that I now have a separate blog dedicated just to my personal outfits, I obviously could not say no. This spring, Chaps is all about two closet staples that every gal should own — the cardigan and the capri. How very Audrey Hepburn!
Of course the two items would go perfectly well together by themselves but as a city gal, I wanted to create both a weekday (fashion forward) and weekend (totally relaxed) look out of the pieces. See below how I styled the classics in my own way!
I am living proof that you can change your bad habits, overnight. Ok…so this has only applied to dental care so far, but recently I’ve become obsessed (obsessed, I tell ya) with keeping my teeth as perfect as they can be. For example, I never used to wear my night guard even though I ground my teeth to hair away from needing oral surgery, until one day I decided that I would really like to have legit teeth, not nubs, and have since worn my night guard religiously, every night, home or away. In fact, I can’t even sleep now until my guard is securely in. I even tell everyone how obsessed I am with it — people think I’m straight up crazy.
Then…the same thing happened with flossing. I went for some 20+ years lying to all my dentists about my flossing habits (yeah I floss…um once a week, why do you ask?) until my last visit when my dentist had to do unspeakable things to my gums to get.. well let’s not go there — it’s gross. But afterward, it made me realize that I really do have to start taking better care of my teeth better unless one day I want to end up with a mouth full of porcelain. So that very night, I took out the floss I’d gotten in my dental goodie bag and never looked back. However, I still find it a little hard on my gums, especially towards the back where the space between my teeth are really tight. Also, I still haven’t figured out how to hold the floss correctly as not to get the gunk all over my hands.
Recently, I was introduced to the Philips Sonicare AirFloss, and it was a game changer. For one, it’s actually really fun to use and it’s also incredibly effective, yet quick. The AirFloss looks a lot like an electric toothbrush but has an angled nozzle at the top that delivers a pressurized burst of air and water that removes 99% more plaque that builds up between teeth than by brushing alone. You fill the device with about two teaspoons of water and then simply align the nozzle in between your teeth, push a button, and a stream of air and water gets right in those crevices and helps remove stuck food and buildup. I’ve also tried water based flossing machines before and found the AirFloss to be much easier to use: you don’t have to worry about water leaking everywhere, it’s much quicker, and the product is sleek, saving space on my already-limited bathroom counter top. But the best part is that you can actually fill up the AirFloss with fluoride rinse instead of water to give your mouth an even deeper clean and protect it from cavities forming in between teeth in the future. To me, this is the best thing ever, because as crazy as I am about dental care, gargling Listerine hasn’t quite made it up there on my obsession list yet — and now I can take care of it all in one go. The peeps over at Sonicare told me that my dentist will be in for a very pleasant surprise the next time I visit her and I totally believe it — I can already feel a huge difference! Check it out — $80 on Drugstore.com.
My latest travel obsession isn’t a destination (well, that’s for a different post), but rather a bag that’ll get me to any place of my heart’s choosing. I’m a proud member of the “carry-on only club” and that applies to destinations near and far. In fact, on a recent two week sojourn to Asia this past January, I managed to pack everything into one carry on bag, and even had enough clothing options to shoot a few outfit pics. Being this dedicated isn’t easy — it requires foresight, determination, clothes rolling skills, a really great bag, and occasionally sitting on that bag. The first few requirements can be learned, but the great bag — that must be discovered — and finally, after so many years of hauling not-the-greatest carry on luggage around the world, I’ve found Lipault.
What I love about Lipault bags is that they are made from soft nylon that is incredibly durable but also bendable and has more give than traditional luggage. What this means is that a) I can stuff my bag to the max and then some and b) it’s easier to cram into tighter spaces because the bag sides don’t take up valuable space. The soft material also makes the bag itself very lightweight — an important consideration when I have to stuff the bag into overhead compartments or carry it up or down stairs. Because the soft side luggage bends to accommodate what I’m putting inside, I find that I don’t have to use the outside compartments too often — a plus since I like to keep everything in one place. The wheels provide a smooth roll and I love that there are handles on both sides, making carrying it that much easier. Lipault also contains a collection of 0% Foldable Luggage, which folds flat when not in use and saves valuable space in my already small NYC apartment. The luggage comes in black, brown, grey and five bright colors. This yellow is my favorite and has already garnered many compliments on recent trips. Check out this and larger bags (in case you don’t do the carry-on-only thing) at Zappos.com.
There are few things in life that I’m worse at than the DIY manicure, but when I found myself hit with a bout of insomnia last night, I decided to try two new nail polishes that Jin Soon Choi had sent over anyway. Much to my surprise, not even ten minutes later, I had managed to achieve a glossy, even, streak-free manicure on both hands. The only explanation I can think of is that Jin Soon’s polish must be formulated with magic ingredients and a brush that knows how to paint by itself. To say that I was merely impressed by the polishes would be an understatement — I was immediately obsessed!
My fresh manicure is comprised of two polishes that Jin Soon recently launched exclusively with SpaceNK — Voile and Gossamer. In the bottle, Voile looks like a medium shade of purple that I probably wouldn’t have thought to pick out of a lineup — something about it made me feel as if it could look a little heavy or flat. On the nail, however, the polish transforms into a really feminine lilac-royal purple hybrid that is almost multi-dimensional in how glossy and vibrant the color is. I could not stop staring at my nails. (more…)
I spend most of my time and energy focusing on skincare, but this season, I’m really stepping it up with haircare. Last summer, after too many curling irons and one disastrous in-salon coloring experience, my poor hair was so fried that nothing could save it except for lopping it all off. I ended up having to get inches trimmed, which was totally fine and even fun at the time — but this year I can’t have a repeat for a very good reason: I’m getting married in the fall and my hair inspiration is Veronica Lake aka long, luscious, healthy hair. With that in mind, I have been extra careful about everything that comes into contact with my hair, and have even started using Pantene’s Overnight Miracle — a night repair serum — to make sure that my locks are kept in the best condition possible for the big day.
Pantene’s Overnight Miracle is designed to restore hair while you sleep, much like a potent night cream. Although it is meant to be used as part of a complete regimen (Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner), I have been using it just on it’s own to great results. The product is a milky serum like consistency and easily absorbs into hair without leaving any grease or film. A number of ingredients moisturize and restore damaged strands while you sleep and coats the cuticle to prevent additional damage from pulling or friction caused by sleep. In the morning, hair is noticeably softer and I don’t even have to re-condition to keep it shiny and bouncy all day long. (more…)