Stories by: Carolyn

Bath & BodyLand’s End Coastal Living Body Collection

landsendlavender

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.

Beauty, SkincareKiehl’s Launches Ultra Facial Overnight Mask & Intense Hydration Cream

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I’m writing this post in honor of the fact that I’m going to China tomorrow and I have gotten upgraded. Let me count the number of times I’ve been able to sleep while spending 15 hours over the Pacific Ocean/North Pole in all the 20 years I’ve been flying to Asia…and that number is zero. But now, thanks to a very generous friend who passed along his Executive Platinum perks for the day and that 40,000 ft lifesaver called a lie-flat bed, I can actually catch some winks on this overnight flight instead of just sitting there in misery the whole way.

So it was just the best timing ever that I got my hands on the new Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque and Intense Hydration Facial Cream–it was like somehow they knew that I was traveling from one freezing locale to another and would desperately need both items to keep my skin hydrated for the journey. Plus now I can actually enjoy the “overnight” benefits of the Overnight Mask while en route–and you’d better believe that I’ll be decanting these products into TSA approved sizes so I can slather on a healthy helping on the plane while I’m s-s-s-sleeping!  READ MORE

BeautyValentine’s Day Beauty is Coming Up Roses

Coming Up Roses
Aerin Rose Balm
Fresh Rose Face Mask
Le Couvent des Minimes Cleansing Cream
Dolce & Gabbana Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Rose
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
Korres Cheek Butter in Philia Rose
Amala Rose Concentrate
Roses de Chloe
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Candle
Coming Up RosesAerin Rose BalmFresh Rose Face MaskLe Couvent des Minimes Cleansing CreamDolce & Gabbana Gloss Fusion Lipstick in RoseMario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and RosewaterKorres Cheek Butter in Philia RoseAmala Rose ConcentrateRoses de ChloeViktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Candle

Like all things classic, roses tend to have a reputation of being a bit too “old school.” Some people may even actively avoid wearing rose products all together out of fear of appearing one (or two) generations too old. But I’m here to put that powdery perception to rest; the newest crop of roses are light, feminine, joyful, and yes–even youthful. From the most romantic hue of blush to a facial mask infused with actual flower petals, we’ve rounded up our nine favorite products of the moment just in time for Valentine’s Day–perfect for beauty gifting or to enhance your own bathroom shelves. Below, our guide to la vie en rose.

1. Aerin Rose BalmRoses have long been used in skincare thanks to its hydrating and anti-aging benefits. Aerin Lauder is a fan, having made the flower (and color) a signature across all the products in her elegant beauty line. Her new Rose Balm is completely dedicated to the flower, carefully crafted with an extract from over 350 petals and can be used to soothe and moisturize any part of the body from eyes and lips to face and cuticles. The unique balm formula is deeply moisturizing but ultra light to the touch without any stickiness and leaves behind a natural radiance. The product is housed in a gorgeous frosted glass jar with just the subtlest hint of rose fragrance. READ MORE

Beauty, SkincareIndie Lee COQ-10 Toner

indieleeq10Toner is one of those debated beauty items (kind of like facial mists), where it’s hard to get a definitive answer on if you really need it. One of the most common reasons you hear for using toner is that it’s supposed to help remove any last traces of product that has made it past your cleanser. This might be true, but instead of stocking up toner, it makes me want to buy better makeup and cleanser. In other words, I never felt convinced enough to incorporate a toner into my beauty regimen.

When Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner landed on my desk though, it completely changed my perception of this category of beauty products. This non-alcoholic toner is infused with so many hydrating ingredients from hyaluronic acid to citrus aurantium flower oil, that it’s actually quite effective as a moisturizer on its own. I discovered this by accident one day when my face felt so dry and tight (thanks a lot crazy weather) that I grabbed the first thing within reach and slathered it on. That thing happened to be Indie Lee’s toner, sitting closest to me in a queue of things to test. I was immediately impressed with this product right after I applied it–my skin felt soothed and softer instantly. To test how long lasting the results were, I opted not to put an additional moisturizer over it–and it turns out, even hours later, my skin still felt comfortable. Now would I recommend this in place of your moisturizer? No–but in extreme weather or if you suffer from dry skin, it can be a very effective additional step to incorporate into your routine. I now use it every evening and after my morning showers. Dry skin begone…and yes, any stubborn makeup remnants as well.

Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner, $32, Dermstore.com.

Fitness & HealthJuice Press Your Way to a Healthier Week

juice_press_alternative_cleanse

I might be doing things a little differently from the average folk, but I actually love to use the weekend to rebalance my diet and get the next week started off on the right foot. Weekdays are usually a minefield of bad-eating opportunities from sweets in the office (someone always has to bring them in!) to “just one glass” of wine at after-work events. During the weekends, however, things are usually under my control, especially since my rage-out Saturday nights are long in the past and I now prefer unwinding on the couch with Netflix. So when I had the opportunity to try a selection of juices from Juice Press, I opted to start on a Friday and conclude on Sunday night, leaving me much more motivated to tackle Monday with a healthier outlook. (Plus, for weekend cleansers, Juice Press will deliver twice–once on Friday morning and once on Saturday morning, to make sure that juices are at their freshest. Gotta love a company that’s looking out for us!) READ MORE

BeautyPerfect Pairing: Guerlain Météorites Clair Pearls & Powder Brush

Processed with VSCOcamPolar vortex, Arctic tundra, too cold to breathe–whatever phrase anyone is using to describe this cold front, the next sentence is usually the same: “I wish it were spring already!” 

Unfortunately, since winter isn’t showing any signs of letting up soon (or perhaps because of it), I’m strongly gravitating towards any spring-y makeup that lands on my desk. The product I’m reaching for most frequently these days? Guerlain Météorites in (02) Clair, the brand’s newest face powder and part of their 2014 Blossoms collection. Just looking at the pastel pearls immediately reminds me of Paris (a little Miss Dior Cherie throwback anyone?) and Easter all in one. It’s happiness inducing, and luckily the glow it’s giving my cold weather-battered skin is just as warm. The colorful blend of pearls are infused with “Stardust technology,” a light-creating polymer which gives skin that romantic youthful glow. But the real genius is that each color pearl performs its own vital function: yellow and green help counter redness, pink to add freshness, mauve to catch light, and white to illuminate the complexion. READ MORE

Beauty, Skincare5 Oils That’ll Change How You Approach Skincare

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ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery
Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil
Origins Planscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil
Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum
.ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerumKiehl's Midnight RecoverySunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face OilOrigins Planscription Youth-Renewing Face OilJoanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum

They call it a skincare routine for a reason: you’ve probably been doing that same old wash/moisturize two step for as long as you can remember. Even as an avid beauty product connoisseur, I find it pretty hard to incorporate a new product regularly beyond the initial testing phase. But every once in a while, something so good comes along that you have to make room for it–on your bathroom counter and in your beauty schedule. In this case, I’m talking an entire category of products: oils, which dare I say, has even replaced my usual face cream this winter.

According to Dr. Harvey Leo, a research scientist at the University of Michigan who spends much of his time studying how ingredients interact with skin, oils are some of the most effective products for helping skin lock in and retain moisture. Ample hydration, as we know, is the key not only to a healthy complexion, but that coveted glow (and despite what you may think, none of the grease). Even something as simple as canola oil can do the trick, says Dr. Leo, but I totally get it if you’d prefer to leave the Crisco in the pantry. Below, I’ve rounded up my five favorite oils of the season–try any of them and I’m pretty sure they’ll become the favorite part of your new beauty routine.

READ MORE

AccessoriesObsession of the Moment: Rian Laris Hair Calf Satchel

rian_laris_calf_hair_satchel

BeautyPerfect Pairing: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow & Duo Brush

anastasiadipbrow

Brows: seriously underrated and often overlooked. People frequently cite mascara or lipstick as their can’t-live-without-product, but when was the last time you heard anyone lament about not being able to leave the house unless her brows were perfectly groomed? Well, that would be me, and once you start paying attention, the before/after will seem so stark that you’ll actually feel naked without a little brow touchup. Thanks to Anastasia Beverly Hills new Dipbrow Pomade and #12 Large Duo Brush, achieving polished, defined brows are now easier, quicker, and more foolproof than ever. READ MORE

Beauty, NailsScotch Naturals Red Hot Trio

scotch_natural_red

Well, here’s a novel concept: a nail lacquer so pure and free of chemicals that it doesn’t smell. While I usually tend to avoid sniffing polishes, I found myself bringing bottles of Scotch Natural up to my nose on more than one occasion in disbelief that I really couldn’t detect any scent aside from a very mild whiff of almonds. Crazy right? And that is how, through the unlikely sense of smell that I first fell in love with one of the most luxurious and innovative polish brands on the market.

Scotch Natural polishes are created using a unique water based (as opposed to solvent based) formula and are absent of a slew of chemicals typically found in nail polishes. In addition to being free of all toxins, Scotch Natural polishes are also vegan, cruelty free, gluten free, fragrance free, and paraben free. What’s left is water, an adhesive agent, and color–a rainbow palette of 43 shades ranging from the softest blush to the moodiest indigo. Now in time for Valentine’s Day (and for red-lovers, any day), Scotch Naturals has released a trio of their favorite reds: Tartan Swizzle, a vibrant magenta, Stiletto, a pink-red creme, and Whisper, a shimmery pale pink in a beautiful, giftable set complete with their Sticky Base Coat and On The Rocks high gloss top coat. The polishes are highly saturated and evenly coats the nail bed with just one swipe for chip-free color that lasts (3 days and going strong!). Added bonus: the polishes also seem to dry quicker than their non-toxic counterparts, now officially leaving you with zero reasons not to get on the better-for-you bandwagon.

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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