Stories by: Carolyn

BeautyLupita Nyong’o is the new Face of Lancome Paris

Lupita

Well we totally saw this one coming! After the Internet clamored to get their hands on Lupita Nyong’o’s  lip balm after she whipped it out at the Oscars, we knew a beauty deal was just a matter of time. Today Lancôme Paris announced that the stunning Mexican-born-Kenyan as their newest brand ambassador and we think it’s the perfect match. Nyong’o fits right in with the beauty brand’s elegant, feminine, and aspirational feel.

“I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for  women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself,” says Lupita Nyong’o. We can’t wait to see her gorgeous face in future Lancome ads.

Bath & Body, IntimatesPerfect Pairing: Warner No Side Effects Bra and Dove Advanced Care Deodorant

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This spring (we can call it that now, right?), it’s all about taking care of your armpits. Instead of only complaining about them (amirite?), it’s time to give those forgotten body parts some love. Two of my favorite products of the moment strive to do exactly just that–and they work even doubly well when used together! Warner’s No Side Effects Bra is the first bra I’ve come across that’s dedicated to fighting “sleevage”–or in laywoman’s terms, armpit fat. In addition to being insanely comfortable, soft and cushy, the bra even contains an extra side panel solely for the purpose of tucking and smoothing away that area. So now when you’re wearing a sleeveless or silky top, you no longer have to curse your armpits–you can instead, admire them.

Speaking of sleeveless and silky shirts, they also tend to show off one other armpit pitfall and source of many complaints–wetness. This season, you can put that worry to rest too with the new Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant which delivers, not one, but two day’s worth of protection with each application. Now you don’t have to sweat it (ha ha) even if you forget a day. Of course in addition to fighting wetness and odor, the product is also packed with Dove’s nourishing skincare ingredients which soothe and smooth. Oh, and it goes on clear so you don’t have to worry about that embarrassment either. Trust me, your armpits will never be happier.

Warner’s No Side Effects Bra, #36, Macys.com
Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, $6, Drugstore.com

 

HomeDrink SOMA (& An Early Lesson on Marriage)

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People often ask me if things feel different after getting married. Since my husband and I cohabitated for a year before we even got engaged, I would’ve expected to answer “no.” Well, I was wrong–and never did that become more apparent than when I bought our first water filter as a married couple.

My husband only likes to buy tried-and-true products. He is anti-trends. Me? I’ve tried everything from fermented gel lotion (it’s the next big thing), to sleep-mask self tanners (get on it), to long distance energy healing sessions. If I discover something new, I’m curious to test it out. 50% of my GChat conversations are essentially me sending links of products to my friends followed by “I want this.” My husband writes off my ADHD product obsession tendencies half affectionately, half mockingly as an effect of my “blog life.” Well, someone’s gotta try all the new things.

READ MORE ON THE HSU CLOSET >>

Accessories, Insider's ObsessionsInsider’s Obsession: Sandy Leong

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Sandy Leong, of eponymous luxury jewelry line Sandy Leong Jewelry, isn’t just a talented designer–she’s a fabulous woman. When we first met her at a press preview months ago, we knew we’d be gawking at her line of modern structural jewels (just take a look at this statement topaz ring and twist bangle with diamonds)–what we did not expect was to end up chatting and laughing with her for an hour! Naturally, we needed to know what all her obsessions were…so we can add them to our own list!

ONE. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara — Look beyond the catchy name; this mascara is my go to daily secret for keeping my peepers looking peppy.

TWO. Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment — In love with this skin treament – it really does add a daily glow to the face  - no secret about it! 

THREE. Sandy Leong Origin Mesh Bracelet — Part of my classic collection and still a favorite- this 18K gold bracelet lays nicely flat against the wrist- perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle.  I even wear it while playing tennis!

FOUR.  Case Mate iPhone5 ID Case — This cover with room for my ID, metro card and Visa — great for those days when I’m walking the dogs, running errands, picking up groceries and oh, wait, what are those cute jeans doing in the window?

FIVE.  Dark denim by IRO  — I love the way these jeans fit.  They are super flattering and have been my go to denim brand lately.

 

SponsoredRoad Testing Olay’s new Sensitive Body Wash

olay_sensitive_body_washAlthough I’m normally not too sensitive when it comes to beauty (a definite plus when my job involves trying all sorts of products), this winter I’ve been experiencing a peculiar problem. I’m blaming it on the super cold weather and the hot showers I’m taking because of it—my skin has become so dry and sensitive that I literally have scratch marks from my upper back to my lower legs thanks to how irritated and itchy my entire body has become. (Insert huge sigh. I actually just did that while writing this.)

So when Olay approached me to give their new Sensitive Body Wash a try, I was more than happy to oblige. Out went my usual assortment of fancy fragranced shower gels and even my old standby, Dove, and in came the new bottle of ultra-gentle and ultra-moisturizing Olay body wash. What’s so fantastic about this product is that it’s formulated to sensitive skin so it’s unscented, dye-free, and soap-free which is a major plus because the last thing my delicate, scratched up skin needs is anything that could irritate it further. But while it’s gentle, it’s still incredibly effective at moisturizing—more so in fact that most other body washes I’ve tried. I was impressed and decided to investigate why. READ MORE

Beauty, Makeup, NailsPerfect Pairing: Jin Soon Nail Lacquer in Pop Orange and Votre Vu French Kiss Lipstick in Social Death

Processed with VSCOcam with k1 presetI’m not one to talk smack on any reds (truly, I love all the shades) but lately I’ve been feeling like my go-to classic blue red could benefit from an extra dose of sass–a bit more heat. In response, I’ve gravitating towards fiery tomato hues that strike just the right balance between the season’s it-color orange and the glamour of a bold crimson. On my lips, I’m wearing Votre Vu French Kiss Lipstick in Social Deatha thrilling red that injects a bit more intrigue into daily life. Inspired by Tatiana Boncompagni’s book of the same name, the moisture-rich lipstick is meant to reflect the complex and glamorous intrigue of the story’s leading ladies. On my tips, I’m slathering on multiple coats of Jin Soon’s Pop Orange. Part of her new Color Field collection, the bold, creamy hue is inspired by mid-century pop culture but modernized for today’s fashion forward pack. Like all of Jin Soon’s polishes, this hue imparts a can’t-look-away high shine finish and long lasting color that’s already on its third week running. Try wearing both the limited editor lipstick and nail polish for a coordinated look that’s sure to turn heads and inspire conversation.

Votre Vu French Kiss Lipstick in Social Death, $23, VotreVu.com
Jin Soon Nail Lacquer in Pop Orange, $18, Nordstrom.com

Beauty, MakeupPerfect Pairing: Aerin Kaleidolight Palette and Rose Balm Lipstick

Aerin Beauty Spring 2014 Essentials

In beauty editorial, no word is more overused than ‘perfect’–I’m certainly guilty of it as well, but there is no other word that can better describe these two key pieces from Aerin’s Spring 2014 collection. They’re all you need to put your prettiest–and most radiant–face forward for the season. The Kaleidolight Palette is designed to be an all-in-one complexion brightener, featuring five versatile and light-enhancing shades that add a subtle glow to cheeks, lids, or anywhere on the face. The palette contains the classics–two shades of beige for highlighting, two shades of bronze for contouring and adding warmth, but you’ve also got a beautiful rosy pink blush and a vibrant lavender powder that instantly brightens eyes. You can use each color separately, but I often do the lazy-girl-swirl and take a large blush or powder brush over the entire palette. Even with minimal effort, the payoff is gorgeous–a beautiful, natural-but-better, glow for the entire face.

The only other tool needed for complete complexion perfection is lipstick and this season, Aerin launches her best one yet. The new collection of  Rose Balm Lipsticks combines luxurious color and balmy texture with a light shine finish that gives yourl lips that same pretty glow. The lipsticks come in ten shades–from a peachy coral (Cabana) to a moody purple (Wild Lilac) to a blush pink (Pretty). Pictured above is a pinkish neutral shade most aptly named Perfect Nude.

Both items are encased in Aerin’s signature gold packaging–and is equally as elegant displayed on your vanity or work desk.

Aerin Kaleidolight Palette, $70, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom
Aerin Rose Balm Lipsticks, $30, Saks Fifth Avenue

FashionObsession of the Moment: Citizens of Humanity Pencil Skirt in Bauhaus

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BeautyCetaphil Launches Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths

cetaphil_cleasning_clothsI’ll admit it: I’ve been jumping on the cleansing cloths bandwagon. A quick glance at my new bathroom cabinet (which I’ll spare you for now as I am mid-move) shows an assortment of wipes from all kinds of brands. I’ve got ones that are oil-balancing and acne-treating and skin-radiating, but at the end of the day I really just want my wipes to do one thing: remove makeup, clean, and doesn’t leave me feeling guilty about not giving my face an end-of-day wash.

Luckily Cetaphil, purveyors of gentle skin care, has just launched Cleansing Cloths and despite having just used them for a couple days, I’ve already deemed them my new favorites. The first things you’ll notice about these cloths are that the texture is much softer than many other wipes you may have tried and the size is quite a bit larger. Cetaphil designed these cloths to be a one-stop-shop and thanks to the fragrance-free gentle formulation, they’re even safe for removing stubborn eye makeup. Each cloth is infused with Cetaphil’s ever popular gentle cleanser and according to the brand, is effective enough to cleanse the entire face and even replace face washing. While I wouldn’t recommend doing that on a nightly basis, the wipes do leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed–never leaving behind any kind of film or other ickyness. Priced between $5.99 and $6.99 (or $5.39 at Target right this second) for a pack of 25, these wipes are super accessible. Grab a pack and try them out for yourself!

 

Bath & BodyLand’s End Coastal Living Body Collection

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Growing up in Southern Connecticut, I always associated Land’s End with the other New England: the Cape Cod/Kennebunkport/ carefree on the coast kind of living rather than the (let’s be honest) uptight, conservative Stepford-wife-soccer-mom suburban town I was stuck in. I carried around one of their iconic canvas totes and fantasized about going sailing Jackie Kennedy style. After adolescence, I ended up moving to the big city, but never lost appreciation for the rugged-but-romantic style of the American shore.

This spring, the brand is bringing that nautical romance to me with the launch of their first body care line: Coastal Living. Their inaugural collection features the essentials: a body lotion, a body wash, and a hand cream in an absolutely divine lavender-honey fragrance. The products are formulated with hydrating shea butter extracts, soothing aloe vera, and good-for-you Vitamins A and E to nourish skin and protect it from daily damage. The lotions are easy to apply and leaves the skin feeling hydrated and soft instead of greasy. I’m particularly addicted to the hand cream which I keep by my work desk and apply on an hourly basis.

While I usually tend to shy away from scented body products, I am absolutely in love with the fragrance of this collection. There’s a distinctive note of lavender, but it’s soften and sweetened by honey blossoms. The result is a fragrance that is neither too aromatic nor heavy–and kudos to the brand–it also lacks that “generic” quality that seems to be a tell-tale sign of mass body care products.

Discover the new collection for yourself at LandsEnd.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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