Stories by: Carolyn

SponsoredAHAVAWoman Travel Essentials

image001To me, beauty and travel go hand in hand. After all, when I’m relaxed and in a happy place is when I not only feel most beautiful–but also want to look most beautiful (vacay selfies anyone??) And despite my usual “carry-on only” rule, I’ve been known to check my bag on more than one occasion when there were beauty products involved (grrr,  TSA rules). Said beauty products that could convince me to check luggage? The new AHAVA body and skincare line including their new Dead Sea Osmoter Concentrate, Carressing Body Sorbet, and Purifying Mud Mask.

image003The Concentrate and Mud Mask are key to taking the perfect #nomakeup vacation selfie–because honestly, a full face of makeup while you’re ziplining or beaching is a bit overkill. The Purifying Mud Mask helps to absorb excess oil–a glistening look is never a good look. The product is also infused with horsetail extract to help clean and soothe skin and take down any inflammation, and jojoba oil to help moisturize skin. But before you get snap happy, make sure you apply a layer of the Osmoter Concentrate, for that ultimate youthful vacation glow. The product helps to hydrate, illuminate, and recharge skin.

And let’s not forget about the body! Nothing better after day in the sun, than a cooling, soothing rubdown. The Caressing Body Sorbet, does exactly as it sounds. It’s a refreshing cream-gel that hydrates and rejuvenates the body.

image002Ready to learn more? Follow along on my social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest) as I take these products with me on vacay this month (look out for posts with the hashtags: #AHAVAWoman, #AHAVA, and #AHAVALove). We’re also hosting a giveaway so you can win a set to try for yourself!  Just drop me a comment below to enter!

 

SponsoredProactiv+ Skincare System Review

This past month, while I tested the new Proactiv+ System, has been an interesting one. I’ve traveled more than any other 30-day period in recent memory–spending every week in a different city, from the East Coast to the West Coast (2x!), to the Gulf Coast, with a couple stops in the Midwest along the way. Needless to say, while my frequent flier account has been looking good, my skin was not as lucky.

Fortunately, most of the Proactiv+ products are TSA friendly, so I made sure to pack what I could every time I got on the airplane. Thanks to the product’s targeted treatments and ingredients that promote overall skin wellness, my complexion hasn’t taken that much of a beating, despite the drying plane air, long days, and the occasional face-on-airplane-window sleeping position.

My favorite product in the lineup is the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator. Even though I was not bringing this along during my travels, it was the first thing I reached for every time I was back in my own shower. The gentle scrub melts away any makeup (or lets be honest, dirt and grease) after a long day of travel and helps to brighten my complexion and soften skin immediately. I follow up with the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator and feel pretty comfortable in my skin for the rest of the day.

My go-to product while traveling is the Targeted Pore Treatment, which I unfortunately ended up needing to use more frequently than I had hoped. The bacteria-killing formula was key for when I woke up with pimples on my cheek after passing out (20 minutes at a time) on some gross airplane seat. The product helped to minimize redness and clear up the blemish faster. I also always packed a mini tube of the Skin Purifying Mask, which was always a treat (and a necessity!), to put on at the hotel after a long day.

Ready to try the new Proactiv+ for yourself? I’m giving away a 3-piece set and announcing the winner on social media tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Home, SponsoredPainting my Apartment with Valspar & Ace!

A couple weeks ago I hinted that I was undertaking a new (and different) sort of color project. And now I can finally reveal that it was  in partnership with Valspar Paint and Ace Hardware! What, you may ask? Let me explain:

If you follow me on Instagram (and specifically on my #CHliving hashtag), you’ll know that I recently moved into a brand new, adult apartment.  And so begins my newest obsession: interior decorating.

But while I’m all about “making up” my home now, I can’t claim to be the most experienced at this (yet). So, of course, I did what I know from years of blogging about fashion and beauty: hit up blogs and Pinterest for inspiration.

I realized that decorating your home is a lot like decorating yourself—there’s an endless array of colors, styles, and products to try. Some looks you’ll gravitate towards more than others—and somewhere along the way you’ll discover your personal style.

But while I could spend hours (or days!) at Sephora trying out new makeup shades, that experience has not translated at all when it comes to picking out, say, paint colors for my home. Until now that is—Ace Hardware is bringing the “beauty experience” to hardware and is helping to make all my pinned dreams a reality through their new The Paint Studio, which carries practically every color you could want from Valspar (over 700 hues) and Clark+Kensington .

The Paint Studio is designed to give customers a boutique-style shopping experience, similar to how you may shop for makeup or clothes. Along with a ton of mood-inspired palettes , you’ll get personalized attention from educated associates to help you find the perfect shade –Helpful is Beautiful! And of course—no beauty purchase is complete without sampling! You can buy pint-sized samples for $4.99 to test!

I took Ace up on the challenge and went with two Valspar colors to make over my new home. As with most Manhattan apartments, space is limited where I live, so instead of cluttering up my apartment with much furniture, I chose to define the different rooms with color. First, I painted my dining nook in Valspar Lavender Twilight, the most beautiful shade of lavender-grey (remember that color inspiration board from my first post?) and was surprised at how it instantly transformed the corner and made it so inviting. I actually sometimes sit at my dinging table and stare at the wall because the color is so pretty and soothing. Plus with its own color, the dining area has suddenly transformed from just an extension of my living space into its own rom.

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I was so excited by the results that I chose to extend my painting project to my living room as well. Back to The Paint Studio I went and discovered that a light dove grey was a beautiful complement. This shade was also the perfect compromise for my husband and I: he wanted something super light (in fact, white) to keep the area bright and spacious while I wanted something that could add contrast and personality to the space. It turns out Valspar Modern Gray is light enough to feel safe if you’re nervous about color, but it still brings a multidimensional feel to the room. Plus, the hue goes with everything—especially that pretty lavender dining room. And remember, Valspar also offers the Color Guarantee so if you don’t like the first color you choose, you can have another on them.

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Do you have a paint project to tackle? Be sure to visit your neighborhood Ace Hardware store to check out the Star Spangled Sale, which is taking place July 2-7 and offers Instant Savings of $5 off gallon purchases of Valspar and Clark+Kensington paint .

Disclaimer:  This project was done in partnership with Valspar Paint and Ace Hardware, but all thoughts, words, and excitement over final product are my own.

 

SponsoredA Little Color Inspiration for the Season

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greylavender3lavendergray2lavendergrey1lavendergrey4lavendergrey5Lavender + Grey

My style is feminine, but not saccharine, so when it comes to choosing colors (for my clothes, makeup, or home), I tend to shy away from anything that’s too girly or precious. One of my favorite ways to make color feel more “grown up” is by mixing pastel shades with variations of grey, which allows me to use the season’s pretties hues, but update it in a way that’s much cooler (both in terms of color palette and just figuratively speaking.) This little rule-of-thumb especially works well when it comes to home décor: I just love mixing and matching shades of blush and lilac with the neutral.

Right now, I’m especially partial to light shades of purple mixed with grey. I find myself gravitating (or mixing!) this hue in everything, from home accent pieces to nail polishes, to prints on my clothing and even eye shadow (try it, it works surprisingly well!). Just scroll through my inspiration board above, and you’ll see what I mean.

That’s why I’m excited to partner with a new retailer that totally gets how I like to work with color. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be undertaking a big project to incorporate my favorite hue in an unexpected (but pretty major) way. Have I intrigued you? Stay tuned to find out what I’m up to!

Giveaways, SponsoredGiveaway: Proactiv+ 3-Step Skincare System

proactiv

Honestly, which teenager did not swear by Proactiv? That line totally got me through college and the worst of my acne-ridden years.

Luckily, these days, mention the word ‘acne’ and I’ll be more likely to think of my favorite clothing line than a serious skin condition, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still suffer from the occasional blemish (and even worse, long-term skin discoloration and marks from those pesky flare-ups). Luckily, Proactiv has evolved with me and the new line of Proactiv+ is designed to address the slew of adult skin concerns I now face: dry skin (check), oily skin (check. Yes I suffer from dry skin and oily skin at the same time), lack of clarity (check), redness (check), prominent pores (check, check, check, check…)

The new lineup contains the same easy 1-2-3 process as my teenage favorite: a  Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, an all-in-one cleanser and scrub, the Pore Targeting Treatment, an acne-bacteria killing serum for those occasional pimples, and a daily Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, which moisturizes, brightens, and mattifies.

For the next four weeks, I’ll be test driving all these products and more from the Proactiv+ line, with the hope of being able to rock that #nomakeup and #nofilter hashtag on all my summer selfies.

Follow along on my social media channels: @carolyn_hsu, @tdailyobsession as I try these new products!

Want to win a set to try yourself? It’s easy! You can win one of two ways:

1) Follow @tdailyobsession on Twitter and retweet this post

2) Follow @carolyn_hsu on Instagram and like this photo

Good luck! Winner will be announced in 4 weeks.

 

TechHTC One (M8) Harman Kardon Edition

Ed Note: It’s fair to say that little brothers–especially my own–probably don’t concern themselves too much with the day-to-day going ons of this blog. After all, one of his recent text messages to me read: “What is Balenciaga and why is it so big? I’ve never heard of it before.”

But when I got my hands on the new HTC One Harman Kardon Edition, I knew there was only one person who could test it for me and leave no app unopened. So below, is my brother first (and hopefully not last!) contribution to The Daily Obsession!

By Frank Hou

htcm8I recently had the pleasure of trying out the HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon Edition. It is a premium version of the (M8), with focus on the music experience. Needless to say, I’ve been very impressed with the phone, and have had a difficult time finding any flaws. Below are just a few of my favorite things about the phone.

1. The Hardware

HTC really killed it last year with the  design of the HTC One, and has outdone itself with this year with the (M8). Most of the flagship phones for Android, such as the Galaxy S5 and the Nexus 5, are made primarily of plastic. The HTC One (M8) is made nearly entirely of metal, with a polished back, curved edges, and a stunning screen finished with Gorilla glass. It can be a tad slippery to hold at times, and iPhone users using it with just one hand may find it a bit cumbersome. However, the larger real estate, packed with 1080×1920 pixels, provides a much more immersive experience for apps like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest (haha just kidding. I don’t use that but my sister says it’s cool.). Overall, the HTC One (M8) aluminum body displays thoughtful engineering and beautiful aesthetics that may have surpassed the current barometer for smartphone design, the iPhone 5S.

2. Entertainment and Media

The (M8) is a premium phone for watching videos and listening to music. Watching Nexflix or YouTube is a great experience, with quick HD streaming and plenty of space to notice the small details. What is most impressive, especially in the Harman Kardon edition, is the dual front-facing BoomSound speakers. The stereo speakers deliver excellent sound quality, making music and video a key component of the (M8). HTC really shows off its commitment with a new feature called the Clari-Fi. It promises to augment low-resolution tracks, such as .mp3 files, with enhanced depth and detail. A similar feature is the LifeStage technology, which creates a live performance-feel into ordinary tracks.

READ MORE

SponsoredGet Your Beauty On with Bergdorf Goodman!

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On May 1, Bergdorf Goodman will partner with ELLE magazine for a very exciting day of beauty. All day long we will offer complimentary makeovers, beauty consultations and customers can try out the latest colors, treatments and more. And from 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Bergdorf’s Social Media Beauty Director, Felicia Walker Benson will do a personal appearance in store and chat spring beauty.

Here’s the list of services you an get at the May 1 event: 
·        
Green Tea Leaf Reading with Amore Pacific 
·        
Facebook Look Transformation Station with Biobliss 
·        
Customized palettes by Bobbi Brown Artist Brianna Tallos 
·        
Sublimage consultation with Chanel 
·        
Mask Event with Cle de Peau & Shiseido 
·        
Hair Styling and Tutorials by the Designer with Colette Malouf 
·        
Manicures and Nail Art with Estee Lauder 
·        
Bronzing Bar Event with Guerlain’s  National Makeup Artist Marcus Monson 
·        
Complexion Perfection Makeover with Hourglass 
·        
Braid Bar with John Barrett Salon 
·        
Stress Releasing Massage with La Prairie Massage Therapist Edan Harari 
·        
Mini-facial pampering with Lancome 
·        
LED Light Chromo Mask Tool “Robo Cop Mask” with Natura Bisse 
·        
Scalp Treatments and deluxe gifts with purchase with Restorsea 
·        
Neck and Hand Massages with ReVive 
·        
Expert brow shaping with Sania’s Brow Bar 
·        
Sultry Sun Kissed Makeovers with Tom Ford 
·        
Lash Application and Personal Appearance by Trish McEvoy 
·        
“The Light Belongs to YSL” – 3 Minute Lumiere with YSL Beaute 

 

Beauty, MakeupbareSkin Foundation

bareminerals_bareskinIt’s pretty difficult to rethink foundation–after all, you just squeeze some out of the bottle, rub all over your face, and (hopefully) admire it’s radiant, better-than-natural finish then get on with your day, right? Well BareMinerals wants you to think otherwise with the new launch of bareSkin foundation.

bareSkin doesn’t have any water, oils, or silicone in the formulation–instead this “serum foundation” is formulated with jojoba coated mineral pigments suspended in a coconut-derived base. The result is an ultra-ultra-lightweight product that provides (up-to) full coverage. But don’t think you can just apply this innovative product any ol’ way: the foundation is paired with bareMineral’s Perfecting Face brush, which once again, probably doesn’t look like anything you’ve seen before. The brush is engineered with a unique fluid reservoir, which is where you drop one drop (yeah you read that right) of the bareSkin foundation. Then the soft surrounding bristles buff the liquid into skin for 100% seamless application. If you want more coverage, simply drop 2 drop into the reservoir–but don’t overdo it: just one drop amply covered more than half my face and did a noticeably good job at covering redness.

Ready to try out this miracle product for yourself? Check it out now at Ulta and BareEscentuals.com on May 1.

 

 

BeautyEstelle and Thild Repairing Oil Complex

Estelle and Thild

It’s no secret that we have a love affair with oils. In fact, all winter, we’ve been rotating through five or so faves in our routine, but now that the days are warmer and humidity is starting to become a real threat, we’re trading in our heavy duty oils for something lighter. Enter Estelle & Thild, a luxury organic beauty brand from Stockholm that’s made its way stateside by way of Net-A-Porter. One of their key products, the Super Bio-Active Repairing Oil Complex is our new must-have oil for the season.

The delicately scented oil is so light and dry that it instantly absorbs into skin, leaving it a smooth, velvety texture akin to the best primer. The oil not only feels great, it’s also great for moisturizing and anti-aging, working to improve skin long term. The oil is infused with the brand’s microalgae-based ingredients which helps to even skin tone, boost collagen production, increase elasticity and soften fine lines while combatting free radial damage. The result is a youthful glow that reflects both the oil’s finish on the skin as well as the improved health of your dermis with regular use. You can use the oil both morning and evening–the oil works well under makeup, giving it a smoother look as well as an overnight treatment. And the product is so lightweight and easily absorbed that it’ll never come off or stain your bedding. The best part? It’s ideal for use during the warmer months because it will never leave you looking greasy.

For more info, check out the product exclusively on Net-A-Porter.

Beauty, HairWhy You Should be Swapping out your Daily Shampoo with Ojon Co-Wash

ojon_cowashThere are some beauty rules that you know you should follow because they’re good for you…but it’s just so damn hard! For example, the shampooing every day thing. 10 out of 10 hairdressers agree you shouldn’t wash your hair every day because it’ll strip your hair of beneficial natural oils and wear down the strands, but changing that habit can be really hard, especially if you enjoy your daily shower routine. Well, thanks to the new Ojon Rare Blend Cleansing Conditioner (also called Co-Wash), you can go on as you normally do and not have to worry about the effects of using too much shampoo–simply swap out your shampoo/conditioner combo every other day and use the co-wash instead. This amazing alternative to lathering shampoo and conditioner will leave hair glossy, smooth and refreshed without stripping it of any of the natural oils that shampoo does. The low lather formula is sulfate free and made with a blend of 5 oils which softens and nourishes hair and boosts shine. It has a fantastic light fragrance and makes washing your hair feel like a luxurious little ritual–and best of all, you don’t have to worry that you’re “doing it wrong.” Thanks Ojon for making practicing good beauty habits so easy!

 

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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