Stories by: Carolyn

SponsoredThe Science Behind Younger Looking Skin

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As us beauty obsessed folks know, there’s an art to looking younger. Whether it’s how to mask a sallow complexion, hide dark circles, or contour my cheeks to look plumper—I’ve learned a few tips and tricks through the years. But, wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to fake it? What if your skin didn’t just have to look younger, it actually acted younger? Thanks to Olay Regenerist, I’ve also recently learned a few things about the science behind better skin—get ready for some beauty biology!

As our skin is our body’s first layer of defense, it gets put through a lot. No wonder it might be looking—and feeling—a little fatigued. The scientists at Olay have discovered that on a cellular level, as we age, our skin’s energy levels decrease—that is it gets tired and stops doing its job as well. “Easy,” you say. “I’ll just load it up with some products!” Well, as it turns out, tired skin also becomes less responsive to anti-aging ingredients, so your products may not actually produce visible results as quickly as you would like. That’s why the team at Olay discovered that a key step to anti-aging is first reawakening and boosting the skin’s natural bio-energy production so that skin is then ready to absorb anti-aging ingredients. READ MORE

Hotels, TravelThe Viceroy Anguilla

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When I mentioned to my friends that I was planning a trip to Anguilla, the recommendation was the same across the board: “You must stay at The Viceroy!” Whether they had gone with family, friends, or on their honeymoon, it seemed like everyone had nothing but great things to say about the sprawling Kelly Wearstler-designed resort–and it only took about a minute on property to see why. If there ever was a case where a space could be at once jaw-dropping and impressive yet casual and relaxing, this would be it–the perfect cocktail for a luxurious vacation. READ MORE

Hotels, New York, TravelThe Surrey Hotel

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I feel like I’m stepping into a New York fantasy as I walk into the cool monochromatic marble lobby of The Surrey Hotel. Suddenly I’m no longer that city girl schelpping bags from the subway (the bellmen already took care of those), I’m a more refined lady as I stand a little taller and move a little slower among my new immaculate surroundings. Located on the prettiest stretch of East 76th St between Madison and Fifth Avenues, The Surrey is every bit as elegant as its address would suggest: a 1920’s Beaux Art townhouse with a soothing muted color palette, luxurious furnishings, and Lauren Rottet designed interiors. But it’s Upper East Side posh with a decidedly modern attitude–and one that I love as I spot Chuck Close’s enormous tapestry of Kate Moss welcoming me in the hallway. 

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I’m not checking into The Surrey just for any ol’ occasion, however–I’m here to get ready for my wedding, and as with anything wedding related, there was a lot of thought put into this decision. First and foremost, I wanted a hotel that is photogenic, and every square inch of the Surrey certainly was. There’s not a bland corner to found on property–from the plush Bar Pleiades (described by my friend as the architectural interpretation of a Chanel bag) to the peaceful and artfully designed rooftop garden. The public and private areas of the hotel also house an impressive modern art collection, which adds interesting variety to the space. Rooms at the property are split into salons and suites with each one graciously appointed in neutral palette of creams, beiges, and greys lending a sophisticated and soothing feel to the space. Salons, which range from 330 to 570 square feet are single rooms outfitted with hand-painted wardrobe armoires, oversized desks, spacious sitting areas, and Duxiana beds complete with custom Sferra bedding. Suites, which can go up to 660 square feet, contain separate living areas, small kitchens, dining tables, soaking tubs, and private terraces. As a bride though, I’m going all out and zip up the elevator to the very top floor–The Penthouse Suite. READ MORE

Beauty, Gift Guides5 Beauty Gifts for Your Most Discerning Friend

We all know that woman–impressive resume, incredible wardrobe, impeccable style, and…impossible to shop for. But this is beauty and there is something for everyone–even the girl who has it all. Below, we’ve rounded up our five favorite beauty treasures of the moment that are guaranteed to delight even your most discerning friend.

 

Aerin-fragrances

1. AERIN Fragrance Collection: Aerin Lauder is, plain and simple, a style icon. She is the epitome of timeless American style and ever since the world of Aerin launched, discerning girls everywhere have wanted to live no where else. Her inaugural fragrance collection invites users on a sensory journey through her life and memories, with each scent inspired by her experiences and traditions. From sparkling white flowers and wet marine notes (Gardenia Rattan) that invoke the carefree happiness of a summer day in the Hamptons to a rich blackberry, cognac and rose elixir (Evening Rose) that captures the intoxicating buzz of a glamorous evening city gala, the collection is meant to transport and inspire. Each of the five eau de parfum sprays (Ikat Jasmine, Evening Rose, Gardenia Rattan, Amber Musk, and Lilac Path) is encased in a heavy beveled glass bottle topped with a tumbled stone cap, making the packaging just as luxurious as the fragrance. READ MORE

Hotels, New York, TravelHampton in the Fall at c/o The Maidstone

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Ahh, The Hamptons. The hamlet at the very end of Long Island is always in the media and on the travel list of the chic jet-set for a good reason: it really is incredibly beautiful and relaxing. But like any place that gets a little too popular, it can start to lose a bit of its natural character during peak season, which is why my favorite time to visit is actually the fall. So with foliage in full bloom and the weather still considered warm, I headed out for a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation (and of course, an obligatory visit to the beach).

My favorite town in the collective “Hamptons” is East Hampton, with its charming town center, pristine beach, good restaurants, easy access to wineries, and overall calm atmosphere. It’s not as rowdy as its neighbor to the west, Southampton, and still more refined than its sea-side neighbor to the east, Montauk–but within easy distance to either town so you can still party or surf to your heart’s content. My idea of a good time in the Hamptons however, involves neither activity–I am getting away after all–so I prefer to eat, drink, and be cozy.

Luckily, I was staying at c/o The Maidstone,, a quaint Scandinavian lifestyle hotel right in the heart of East Hampton. With a restaurant serving some of the finest Scandinavian food I’ve ever tasted, a cozy lounge with cocktails that rival the best in Manhattan, and Hastens luxury beds in every room, the hotel immediately met all my Hampton vacation requirements and more. READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupClinique 16 Shades of Beige

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When done right, nudes can be some of the chicest hues around, endlessly flattering on lids, tips, and everything in between. When they’re a shade or two off however, beiges can look a little strange. That’s why the makeup gurus at Clinique have released 16 different shades of nude, 8 in its A Different Nail Enamel polish collection and 8 shades in a new All About Shadow eye palette, so every beige-loving gal can find the color that’s just right for her.

The nail polish collection ranges from a creamy off white (Room Service) to a deep cocoa (Nighty Night) with a spectrum of pink, peach, yellow, and reddish nudes in between. Cool skinned gals should opt for a neutral with more of a pink undertone (Pajama Party) while warm skinned gals look more flattering wearing a nude with yellow undertones (Tickle Me).

The same concept is applied to Clinique’s new “All About Shadow 8-Pan Palette,” but unlike nail polish, eye shadow practically demands  mixing and layering, allowing users to create a wardrobe of looks, from a simple, understated wash of color to a dramatically contoured smoky eye. It’s my new go-to palette: easy to tote around and endlessly versatile for day or evening.

Find out more on Clinique.com.

 

 

Hotels, New York, Spas & Salons, TravelShibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel

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For New York City dwellers, few things are as important to our well-being as simply getting away. Of course there are the obvious options — jaunts to the Hudson Valley or the Hamptons, but starting off a weekend of relaxation by sitting in traffic always seemed less than ideal. Instead, I prefer to search for sanctuaries in the city — whether a hidden restaurant or a quiet bar to enjoy a cocktail overlooking snowy streets — where I can retreat to at any time. My latest discovery is the Shibui Spa, a tranquil Japanese-inspired spa located in the luxurious Greenwich Hotel.

Walking into the hotel, I immediately feel a sense of calm and privacy. There are no travelers rushing about or too many staffers greeting you at every turn. Instead the concierge smiles and directs me to the spa — a short elevator ride one floor down — where when I arrive, the receptionist already knows me by name. The spa artfully blends luxury and tranquility, with a heavy emphasis on Japanese design and treatments. The focal point of the spa is a lantern lit pool (one of the largest I’ve seen in the city), which is surrounded by a 250-year old Japanese farmhouse, artfully constructed using antique Japanese craftsmanship. Here guests can lounge and enjoy tea or dried fruit before or after their treatments. READ MORE

BeautyGlossybox for Net-a-Porter

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When it comes to online shopping, Net-a-Porter is just the best: a luxurious, chic, and well curated discovery experience. And as far as subscription boxes go, that is also exactly how I feel about Glossybox. So it only made sense that the two would collaborate this month (finally!)–and their joint baby is just as wonderful as you would expect.

One of the fantastic things about Net-a-Porter beauty is their selection of hard-to-find, niche luxury brands. Even for a beauty editor that’s seen a lot of things out there, I still continuously discover new products on Net-a-Porter. The NAP Glossybox (limited quantity available now) lets beauty enthusiasts try 8 sample and full size products that cover all the beauty bases from sun protection (Natura Bisse Diamond White) to hair care (RGB Cuticle Oil) to color cosmetics (Kevyn Aucoin and Ellis Faas). Net-a-Porter calls this box “the essentials” and I would agree–it’s everything a chic beauty wardrobe should have. The box is priced at $40 for all 8 products, which is a steal considering just that Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadow costs $42.

Discover more and pick up your own box at Net-a-Porter.

Bath & BodyA Tropical Bath for Winter

Now that the weather in New York is straight up cold and we’re pretty much sprinting towards winter, I’m revolting. No Starbucks holiday cups for me thanks–but please do bring on anything and everything tropical! It’s probably no coincidence that as the weather gets cooler, my shower rack is getting fruitier. Here are my favorite new tropical themed bath and body products that’s helping me get through this transition period, one cold day at a time.

alba1. Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Shampoo in Mango and Coconut Milk Conditioner. Ahhhh..first can we please talk about the scent? The shampoo smells like the juiciest mango and the conditioner like sweet milky coconut that makes morning showers feel like a little mini vacation. Honestly, I can’t stop drinking in the scent of these two products! If that wasn’t vacation enough, the products also welcome you to to take a “permanent vacation from flattening sulfates and heavy minerals in conventional shampoos”  with an ingredients list that’s missing parabens, artificial coloring, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The formula does include nourishing fruits such as mango and papaya and gentle botanical cleansers to lift away grime and dirt. The product suds up wonderfully and rinses away easily leaving soft hair that’s never weighed down. The conditioner is high in fatty acids and protein to help rebuild damaged strands and infused with coconut milk and tropical oils to lock in moisture, strengthen hair cuticles and protect from heat styling leaving my hair the longest and softest its ever been.

stivesspray2.St. Ives Naturally Indulgent Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract Fresh Hydration LotionWhile I may be in total denial about the weather, the cold front unfortunately is already starting to wreck havoc on my skin. These days my skin is so dry and itchy that not moisturizing is simply not an option. Thanks to the new continuous spray body lotion from St. Ives, the morning and evening moisturizing process is now easier and faster. I love that it’s mess free and can be applied with just one hand! The spray dispenses a light layer of lotion that absorbs into skin easily, providing deep hydration that lasts, and leaving just a subtle hint of tropical coconuts and orchids.

skintimate3. Skintimate Signature Scents Moisturizing Shave Gel in Luscious Kiwi SplashOne perk of cooler weather is that you don’t have to shave anymore, you may think. But Skintimate’s enticingly fragranced gels actually make shaving a nice sensory experience. Plus the formula is infused with 11 moisturizers including Olive Butter and Vitamin E which leaves skin feeling softer and more hydrated after each use. Kiwi Splash, infused with juicy fruit and sweet melons, is my favorite fragrance for bringing back summer memories–and getting my gams ready for warmer days ahead. (Can you tell this girl is ready?!?!)

 

SponsoredDedicated: Address Uneven Skin Tone with Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion System

olayprox1Living right in the middle of New York City, I put my skin through a lot more due to pollution and external factors than say my friends in the beautiful, lush suburbs of Seattle. Anyone who has tried to meander across Seventh Avenue only to get blasted by a gust of exhaust fume, has to commute to work by walking during the sweltering heat or frigid cold, or ever gets in the subway will know what I mean. While living in New York is fantastic in countless ways, an experience I have no intention of giving up anytime soon, on the skincare front, it can leave a little to be desired.

Through my years of living here, every time I have an icky day and feel that my skin is just layered with stuff, my first reaction is always just to scrub it off. As it turns out, exfoliating on the regular actually does help to address uneven skin tone that could be caused by pollution, extreme weather, and other stressors. Being constantly in the midst of city grime isn’t just unpleasant feeling, it contributes directly to clogs and dirt trapped in pores, dull complexion, and even surface discoloration. You know that I’ve been using (and loving) Pro-X by Olay Microdermabrasion + Advanced Cleansing System twice a week for a while now so I was happy to learn that regular use of the tool can keep all these pesky skin issues at bay and keep my complexion radiant through it all. The rotating tool and Crystal Thermal Polisher combines to exfoliate 7x better than just scrub alone—results I definitely appreciate after a particularly grimy day. Numbers aside, it’s also just a satisfying feeling to scrub it off and feel like I’m getting so fresh and so clean! The soft and bright skin revealed gives me confidence to put my best face forward for the next day.

For more info on Pro-X by Olay Microdermabrasion System, check out my full review here.

 

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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