We have a longstanding love affair with the Ritz-Carlton here at TDO, and the latest property we ventured to, Hong Kong, is no exception. Opened in 2011, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is not only one of the newest properties in the portfolio, but it’s also the highest — and not just among other Ritz-Carltons, but of all the hotels in the world. Soaring 118 stories above the ground, the property provides a view –and guest experience –unlike any other. Needless to say, prepare to be wowed.
Located on the Kowloon side of the city, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong sits atop the International Commerce Centre (ICC), a notable office, commercial, and residential building that came up in 2010. Not only do hotel guests have fine dining and the best shopping right at their fingertips, (more importantly) the ICC is also one of the stops made by Hong Kong’s Airport Express Service. Now, if you live in the States like me, you’ll think that an airport shuttle is nothing to be impressed with, but in Hong Kong, it’s quite a different story. Finding transportation after arriving in a foreign land is one of the most annoying parts of traveling — but guests at the Ritz Carlton won’t have to worry: a twenty minute high speed train service will take travelers from airport straight to the hotel. Departing the property is even easier (though much sadder!) — simply board the Airport Express again, but this time, don’t even worry about carrying your luggage. You can simply check in and send your bags ahead of time directly onto the flight and enjoy a leisurely trip to the airport hands free. Mind blown? So was mine.
I am very much a Clinique girl. Probably like many of you, the brand was my first introduction to the beautiful world of prestige makeup–for me, at young age of 12. But even as I’ve gotten older and matured in my beauty taste, I always still turn to Clinique for products that I know are high quality, efficacious, doesn’t irritate skin, and at the end of the day, won’t rob me of an arm and a leg. In other words, through the years, many of the Clinique products I grew up loving (Black Honey almost lipstick anyone?) have become staples in my beauty routine–classics.
One such classic, of course, is Clinique’s iconic Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. This was the first moisturizer that I purchased and one that I’ve used through many bottles of, but as product technology kept changing and advancing, this classic started to feel a little…well, old school. Recently, however, Clinique has refreshed and relaunched the product –now Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + –and has once again brought it to the forefront of my skincare routine. Like the old classic, the lotion is a pale yellow hue, lightweight, absorbs quickly, and is meant for daily use as part of a 3-step regimen. The big change with the formulation is the introduction of a new complex incluing hyaluronic acid, glycerine and urea that helps strengthen skin’s own moisture barrier by 54% , leaving it feeling soft and supple all day while boosting the skin’s natural defense. Even though I have combination to oily skin and it’s currently summer–the lightweight product and gentle formulation leaves my face feeling hydrated and nourished, but doesn’t leave it looking shiny or greasy. The lotion is now available at all Clinique counters, replacing the original version–a new modern classic!
There are fewer places more relaxing to me in this country than that beachy/resort area around San Diego. The city is apparently the birthplace of California, and the best representation of that that sunny, active, free-spirited, life-is-good vibe that I always associate with The Golden State. So it was not only appreciated, but much needed after a particularly stressful beginning to summer (and some travel plan hiccups), that I started my first vacation of the year right in the midst of that beautiful Southern California landscape. Last week, I finally checked out of crazy New York City and checked into Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, just north of San Diego. (more…)
A few weeks ago, I finally gave in to curiosity (and the desire for fuss-free, long, lush lashes) and booked myself an appointment for lash extensions. As it turns out, it was quite the learning experience. For those of you who are contemplating extensions, read on for the things to know!
1. Book at a reputable place: I got my extensions done at Browhaus and could not have been happier with their level of cleanliness and professionalism. Yes, I’m tempted to scrimp sometimes when it comes to certain things, but anything that involves gluing individual hairs onto your eyes should not be that thing. Make sure you book at a place that has skilled professionals and uses the highest quality products. Which leads me to point two…
2. Get ready for an hour-long service of having individual lashes glued onto your existing lashes. I’m not sure what I expected going into the service, but I sure didn’t anticipate that I’d be laying there for an hour having such detailed work done to my lashes. Each false lash is adhered to an existing lash using a special, semi-permanent glue. During the entire procedure, your eyes will be closed to prevent any irritation…however the detailed work on your lash line can sometimes cause ticklishness. The entire procedure is pain free but does require patience and the ability to resist rubbing your eyes, which for some people like myself, can be quite challenging in itself. (more…)
During my run as a corporate gal, I was really into having the perfect work desk–I felt crippled without the usual desk gadgets and always had to have everything in the right place. Then, about a year or so ago, I switched over to freelance life aka taking meetings out of out of different spaces, working out of home/coffee shops, and basically being a traveling lady with a different routine every day. I realized that my new work lifestyle required a whole new set of tools: gone were the days of tape dispensers, staplers, and nicely organized metal filing systems. Instead, I was looking for mobile tools that were lightweight, kept me organized, and weren’t such a pain to use that they become messes themselves (I don’t know about you, but I already have enough randomness floating around in the bottom of my bags).
That’s when good ol’ office supply brand Post-it came to the rescue. My newest obsession is their Attach and Go Pocket, which has become this mobile working gal’s savior. I attach the clear pocket, which comes in a handy 9×12 size, to the front of my laptop (the main thing I travel with during the day) and throw in anything I need for meetings, appointments, and just general work for the day. The large size sits perfectly on my 13in laptop and fits all the essentials: papers, pens, and notepads. The velcro fasteners are also super secure so I never have to worry about anything falling out. Sure, I might look a little bit strange with a folder stuck onto the front of my laptop, but the functionality is so good that I don’t even care.
The folders come in various sizes to fit iPads, notebooks, laptops…whatever you want to stick them on. The 9×12 is only $5 so take my word for it and grab one yourself. Trust, I wouldn’t get so excited about a Post-it unless it was really that good!
The last time I had success with a self-tanner was well …never (though I do see evidence that they do work–for other lucky gals). Combine that with the fact that I can practically *feel* cancer cells and wrinkles forming if I don’t slather on an inch of sunscreen, and you’ve got one very pasty beauty blogger in the summer. Luckily for me, there seems to be a new breed of tinted body lotions hitting the market for gals like me who a) don’t want to self-tan or sun-tan and b) don’t want to blind strangers on the street with glow-in-the-dark skin. Unlike similar products of years past, the 2013 crop of these tinted body lotions have finally achieved perfection: they are richly pigmented, deeply conditioning, give realistic bronze color, and actually don’t rub off on clothes. Below are my top 3 faves:
LORAC TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer – This bronzy/brown body makeup contains a good dose of shimmer to cover any imperfections instantly and give a better-than-natural radiant finish. The color is a bit more on the dark side but still sheer enough to let natural skin shine through, giving your limbs a beautiful wash of streak-free color. Once the lotion sets, it gives long wear coverage that doesn’t stain clothes as it wears through the day. Even though the TANtalizer is meant for all-over body use, the shimmer factor prompted me just to keep it to the legs.
Caudalie Divine Legs Tinted Body Lotion – This product wins, hands down, for best packaging and scent. The heavy glass container and divine fragrance make applying this product a little luxury in itself. The lotion isn’t as pigmented as LORAC but is build-able in coverage and gives skin more of a light, natural tan. The product also has a touch of shimmer to conceal any skin imperfections, is quick-dry, and works with all skin tones. Once dry, the lotion does not budge and I would trust using it even when wearing white. Since I tend to follow product labels, I use this primarily on legs though it would also work well on arms.
AERIN Beach Cream for Hair and Body – Of all three products, this one offers the lightest coverage. In fact, the cream that comes out is more of peach than a deep bronze or tan. Once applied, however, the product gives skin a beautiful wash of color that is subtle, yet definitely makes a huge difference. This is also my go-to cream for applying to arms and décolletage as it never runs the risk of looking unnatural or “caked-on.” A very slight shimmer helps to diffuse any imperfections and make skin-tone look healthy and radiant, never fake or orange. Plus the packaging reminds me of the beach, and never fails to put me in a lighthearted, happy mood.
Got any new fave discoveries of your own? Let me know!
When scoping out beauty products is a big part of your 9 to 5 (actually in my case, more like a 9 to 9), it becomes hard to find things that feel fresh, new, and innovative. At some point, all the beauty products in my closet start to meld together and the ones I catch myself reaching for are more a matter of convenience than anything else (I could probably put together a full makeup look with the amount of products strewn in any given room at any given time). So when I do come across something that actually feels cool, and prompts me to reread the label a few times, and save the insert for future reference, I know that I have something really special in my hands. The latest discovery to make my beauty obsession list is GlamGlow’s Youth-Mud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, a mask that promises to deliver Super Sexy Super Radiant Skin in just one use. (more…)
Summer weather calls for special lipstick–one that holds up in heat or humidity, that replaces our gloss, that’s fuss-free and low key enough to wear to the beach (it’s a requirement), and packs enough color so we can just swipe and go. Naturally, we turn to Lipstick Queen, one of our all time favorite brands (they’ve perfected that balm meets stain combination like no one else). For the season, founder Poppy King has released a set of sticks aptly called Endless Summer that contains three gorgeous shades–a nude (Hang Ten), a pink (Perfect Wave), and a coral (Stoked Coral). Named after the 1966 surf movie of the same name, the Endless Summer lipstick collection is meant to be effortless, pretty, and worn for day or night. One swipe of the nourishing, ultra-glossy lipstick provides a sheer wash of prettiness for anytime but we love to layer for more intense coverage and bright color. The formulation is packed with vitamins and natural oils to keep our lips soft and hydrated–so much so, that this has replaced our balm stash now that the weather is warmer. And the shades, well they speak for themselves: it doesn’t matter which one we throw in our bag for the day, the color is guaranteed to make us look pretty and fresh. Isn’t that what we all want for the summer?
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a beauty editor or hair stylist that doesn’t tout the benefits of the all natural brush. In fact, you’ll hear from many that it’s boar bristle or bust. Well I’m here to say that there is life beyond the Mason Pearson, more specifically, in the form of a funny, little plastic brush that couldn’t look any more different from your hairstylist’s favorite tool. The brush I’m talking about, of course, is the TangleTeezer, which recently released a “salon elite” version of their famous untangling brush.
Like the Original, the Salon Elite Tangle Teezer is made from high quality plastic and contains short bristle teeth that glide over wet or dry hair. The salon version, created for professional stylists, features alternating length bristles and a centralized concave design that contours to the head shape and gives a quicker, firmer brush stroke from root to ends. The brush works on both fine or thick hair, and the bristles flex, not pull, upon contact with knots, helping to untangle hair gently without causing breakage. I especially love that the brush is designed to be used on wet hair, and I now use mine daily in the shower after conditioning to get silky smooth locks instantly. During the day, it’s also easy to use this brush to untangle after any styling mishaps (or a strong gust of wind) as the bristles don’t create any static or frizz even when used on dry hair. Despite how gentle the brush is, hair is bound to fall out (it’s natural!), and the best part is how easy it is to clean–just rinse or pull out any hair left on the brush. No more gnarly hair balls or stuck strands. Even the Mason Pearson can’t beat that!
For more information, check out the TangleTeezer Salon Elite which is now available at SpaceNK.