Stories by: Stacey

Beauty, MakeupA Rose By Any Other Name…

Decon-Rose-Lipgloss-1-Low-Res

I’ve been wanting to try Bite Beauty for a long time, so when I got the opportunity to test out their Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library, I jumped at the chance.  (I love that it’s called a library, by the way.  It makes me feel like I’m doing something studious or important by writing about it!)

The set has twelve different limited-edition shades in colors ranging from light pink to dark red, and each gloss has a rose scent to them, which is a very nice touch. I love that they’re all really pigmented, rather then being too sheer. I’ve said many, many times that that’s my pet peeve in a gloss (why pay money for something you can barely see?) so I’m happy that that’s not an issue here at all. The formula is also moisturizing and the color stays on my lips for a few hours before I need to reapply. Plus, I love the size of the tubes. They’re not so tiny that you’ll only get a few applications from each one, but they’re small enough to fit in a pocket or a clutch with ease–and you can actually use up a tube! I love that because I tend to travel with way more lip products than I need, so this lets me do that without weighing down my bag even more than usual. Consider me a Bite fan!

Hotels, Los Angeles, Spas & Salons, TravelA Lovely Way to Exhale

Zen Lounge

There’s nothing I love more than a good massage…seriously, it’s a struggle every day not to just schedule another one. When I win the lottery, I’m totally going to have a masseuse on standby and get one every single day. So, naturally, I love finding a great new place in my city where I know I can escape to anytime I need to de-stress.

Exhale Spa has locations all across the country, including three here in Los Angeles (Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice) and offers Core Fusion and Yoga classes, as well as spa services. When I got the chance to visit for a service, I had about thirty seconds of wondering if I should do something to burn calories, then I came to my senses and picked the massage. (I’m no fool!)

I visited the Santa Monica location, which is inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Wilshire Blvd near the ocean. If you’ve never been to the hotel before, you’re in for s treat: It’s gorgeous and luxurious and everything you would expect from a hotel in that area, so it instantly sets the tone when you enter. Once you check in, you change in the lounge, which has seating areas for relaxing and a chill vibe. If I hadn’t had an appointment I needed to get to afterwards, I would’ve definitely parked myself in one of the comfy chairs in my oversized robe and read magazines for an hour or two. (The above image is from the Zen Lounge in the Hollywood location, but it gives you a good idea of what the Santa Monica one looks like as well).

I booked myself for the sixty minute Exhale Flow massage, which is their signature full body massage. It involves what they call “choreographed waves of kneading” that are meant to open your muscles up, free energy blockages and relieve tension. It’s a technique that incorporates more lymphatic drainage than a traditional deep tissue, so it helps detoxify your body more and boosts your immune as well. All of that sounds very technical, but what really matters is how it feels and that answer is… amazing. I had been so tense over a work project that was having some unexpected problems and for that hour, I forgot all about anything but the fabulous massage I was getting. It was so, so relaxing with the aromatherapy oils that were used and I loved that my technician followed my lead–when I started a conversation with her, she was lovely to talk to, but when I was quiet, she was also silent so I could fully enjoy the massage. My only complaint?  That I didn’t book the ninety minute treatment because the one hour one was over far, far too soon.

It was such a nice treat in such a lovely setting, and if you live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend this location, especially because it’s so close to the Third Street Promenade, which means you can shop afterwards (the perfect follow up to a massage!)

To learn more about the Exhale spas across the country or book a treatment for yourself, visit www.exhalespa.com.

Beauty, SkincareJosie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

josiemaranarganspfYou guys, I’m obsessed with Josie Maran’s Argan oil products. Totally, totally obsessed. My skin is sensitive and had been really red and flaky for some time (damn you, fickle weather!), so I tried applying her regular ol’ Argan Oil before my moisturizer at night and seriously, in about a week, all the redness and flakiness was gone. And it’s stayed gone.

So naturally when I heard about Josie Maran’s new Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, I had to try it. Once again, a very wise decision.The moisturizer is great–it’s thick, but not so thick that it feels greasy or gross (my pet peeve in moisturizers with sunscreen) and I love that it has a high SPF. I’m very fair and burn easily, so as much as I may like some daytime moisturizers that I’ve tried with lower SPF’s, they’re just not practical for me if I plan on spending any time in the sun at all. But having an SPF 47 is a lot of protection for my average days since I don’t spend a ton of time outside in the direct sun (just enough that an SPF of 30 or below isn’t practical). I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and it’s definitely protecting my skin and keeping it really well moisturized (no redness or flakiness has returned!). It does have a little bit of a sunscreen scent, but nothing overwhelming at all and I find that it goes away quickly once I smooth it into my skin. All my fellow pale skin friends – definitely check this one out!

Beauty, NailsTickled and Bubbly

zoyatickledWith the temperature hovering around what can only be described as “hotter than hell” in Los Angeles as I’m writing this, I’m taking the time to enjoy all the inside activities that I can right now. This includes mani-pedis because not only does it involve air conditioning (sweet, sweet air conditioning…) but it’s also a relatively inexpensive way to pamper yourself. And for my next mani-pedi, I’m taking along Zoya’s new summer shades – the Tickled and Bubbly collections.  The Tickled collection is made up of all creams, which I personally really love for my fingers.  Here’s what you’ll find in that group:

  • Ling – A vibrant royal blue cream
  • Tilda – A warm mantis green cream
  • Rooney – A mid-range magenta pink cream (my fave)
  •  Kitridge – A bubblegum pink cream
  • Wendy – A juicy summer melon (my other fave!)
  • Rocha – A classic red cream

For my toes, I’m all about the Bubbly collection, which is made up of holographic sparkly shades that look fabulous peeking out of open toed shoes.  They’re all so, so pretty that you’re going to have a hard time picking a favorite (I’m not even going to try).  Here’s what you’ll find in the Bubbly group:

zoyabubbly

  • Muse – A blue raspberry holographic fizz with a subtle vein of gold
  • Stassi – A brilliant citron green with a gold metallic glaze and holographic finish 
  • Harper – A cotton candy pink with a spun gold shimmer (Okay, fine, I lied – this one’s my favorite!)
  • Binx – A spicy orchic purple dappled with gold metallic and holo sparkles 
  • Jesy – A fiery coral orange metallic holo
  • Alma – A warm golden peach metallic

The new shades are all in stores now.  Get them before they sell out!

Beauty, MakeupPick Up Some Stila Spring

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Ah, Stila…one of my true makeup loves–and definitely one of the only brands I would ever consider getting out of bed super early for (when it’s still dark out!) to attend their warehouse sale (true story). Anyway, this was just to say–in case it wasn’t already totally obvious–that I’m obsessed. One of my favorite products is their Smudge Sticks, so you can imagine that I could barely contain my delight over the fact that they came out with a TON of new shades for spring. They introduced a whopping twenty-two new shades!  For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of using a Smudge Stick yet, they’re some of the best eye liners around.  The shades range from black to yellow (yellow!) and the formula is fantastic. It applies easily, blends with a swipe of your finger, and stays on all day and night. Oh, and did I mention that it’s waterproof?  I’m so happy about all the new shades too. If I had any issue with the Smudge Sticks at all before, it was the fact that there wasn’t a ton of variety in the shades, but they’ve managed to correct that basically overnight.  I adore the new Deep Burgundy and Black Amethyst for a good smokey eye, but Turquoise, Deep Fuchsia and Sienna are also really fun to play around with.  (Oh, who am I kidding?  I love them all!)

Also new for spring are the Magnificent Metals Eye Liners.  It was total love at first sight for me with these.  These are pure rock and roll and just made for a night out. There are four shades available: Metallic Black Tanzanite, Metallic Black Gold, Metallic Gunmetal and Metallic Navy and they’re all equally gorgeous. They all have what’s called a “blackout base” and that’s what gives them all such deep shimmer, and a  crazy intense metallic finish to them and you can use them in two different ways – as a liner or as a shadow, so they’re more versatile than you might think. If I HAD to pick a favorite, I would have to go with Metallic Black Gold.  It is such a stunning shade – I find myself sometimes just staring at it in the morning in my makeup drawer even though I know I won’t be wearing it to work.  I love the way it enhances my green eyes and makes them seem even greener than usual. It’s addictive! Find out for yourself at Sephora.

Beauty, NailsMagical Pixie Dust

zoya

Oh, Zoya. You really do know how to satisfy my glitter loving heart!  The new Magical Pixie Collection is a trio of shades with their trademark Pixie Dust finish pumped up even more with bigger glitter and their first ever holographic pixie particles. Does that sound amazing? Because it really, really is. Here are the three shades you’re going to be coveting:

  • Cosmo – A silver crystal sparkle, textured PixieDust with mega hex iridescent particles
  • Vega – A blue opal sparkle, textured PixieDust with mega hex iridescent particles
  • Lux - A rose quartz sparkle textured PixieDust with mega hex iridescent particles

zoyaawakenI’m currently wearing Cosmo on my toes and it is a glitter explosion–you can see the different sizes of glitter (it sparkles an insame amount) and how holographic the finish is. The woman who was doing my toes at my salon couldn’t stop talking about it and even pulled a few of the other people there to look at it too. And the other two are equally as pretty, just in different colors. If you like sparkly polishes at all, you REALLY need these.

Also new for spring from Zoya is their Awaken collection. With delicious sherbet shades of purple, green, blue, pink, orange and gold, it’s the perfect collection to take you into the warmer weather. All of the shades just beg to be worn on a picnic or with a cute dress. The collection also includes a top coat called Monet, a multi-colored, cellophane holographic special effect topper and you can wear it over any of the shades in the collection (or any others you already own) for a super cool effect. Love this one. Bring on spring!

Beauty, MakeupA Fresh Tarte

tarteIt’s always so great when a brand updates a product you already love–it’s kind of like your favorite product getting a new outfit or a kick ass new pair of shoes. (Can you tell I’ve been shopping a lot lately?) And those fabulous new outfits are now adorning the Cheek Stains and Power Pigment lip tints.

Tarte’s Power Pigments are lip tints are pencils that have a touch of mint to them, and are easily applied (you can do it without a mirror!) and give you some minty freshness with a decent amount of color. I love the way the pencils have the shade colors right on them so you can easily figure out which one you’re grabbing without having to open it (always a problem when you carry as many lip products as I do!). They also make my lips super soft because of the vitamins and shea butter, so they’re almost balm-like in a way. All of the eight fantastic shades were inspired by the colors of the Cheek Stain, making it even easier to go for a coordinated look if that’s what you’re after.

The Cheek Stains are the same they’ve always been, just with what they’re calling a makeover (a brand after my own heart!)  The sticks use the same easy push-up form as before and the colors still leave a good amount of natural looking color on your cheeks that lasts all day.  The containers are definitely smaller now so they’re easier to tote around with you or pack (always something to consider) and they look great paired with their matching Lip Pigments. All around, the new look these old favorites are sporting is fabulous. Check them out!

Beauty, MakeupA Most Radiant Universe

 

sephora_universe

This post is a little late due to technical difficulties on my part (i.e. my lack of internet access over the holidays, which was even worse than it sounds. Thank God for my iPhone, which helped a little. A very little…) but in a rare turn of events, that’s actually a good thing because I was planning a piece raving about the SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE holiday collection, but now that it’s post holidays, the collection is actually on sale. Don’t you love when that happens?

First, you’re going to want to pick up the Lavish Jewel Gloss Set (on sale for $15). There are four glosses in it, all in pretty shimming jewel tones and a total steal at less than $4 apiece! Then you’re definitely going to want to throw both of the Precious Metal Mousse Shadows in your cart (possibly with backups of both). The creamy eyeshadow mousse (with a really cool texture) comes in Silver and Gold – both gorgeous – with a fabulous metallic finish that shimmers and pops. You can use it all over your lid as a shadow, but you can also use it as a liner (because you know, holiday parties are now over). These were the unexpected standout of the collection for me, so don’t pass them up. READ MORE

FragranceA Taste of Honey

marc_jacobs_honeyI love Marc Jacobs anything, so I always get excited when he has a new product out. (You should’ve seen me the first time I laid eyes on his new makeup collection.  There were practically tears!)  So naturally, I was super happy finally to get my hands on his new scent, Honey. First of all, how cute is the bottle? Adorable, right? It just makes me smile when I look at it and love its bright cheerfulness and the little “bees” attached.But even more than the bottle, I love the scent itself. It’s so fruity and energizing and just the right fragrance that works for both day and night with notes of Pear, Juicy Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Peach Nectar, Apricot, Honeysuckle, Honey, Golden Vanilla and Smooth Woods. You can definitely smell all of the citrus notes in it, which is a plus for me and is very fresh and feminine, not overpowering or too heavy. READ MORE

Beauty, MakeupAdd Some Ambient Lighting

hourglass

Hourglass has quietly snuck up on me to become one of my favorite brands; I just love everything I’ve tried from them. Right now, I’m obsessed with their new Ambient Lighting Palette.  It’s a limited-edition palette that has three shades of their fabulous Ambient Lighting Powder in it – Dim Light and Radiant Light, which were already available, and a brand new one, Incandescent Light, which was made just for this palette.  The powders are used as a finishing touch to create an extra flattering glow.  They capture, diffuse and soften the way light reflects on your skin so it gives it a flawless appearance and just makes it look overall… better. (I know, that’s very vague, but really, that’s the perfect word.  It just looks better). I especially like to sweep one of them on for a night out because they almost make my skin look like it was lit from within–perfect for a candlelit dinner or a dark bar. The palette also comes with a deluxe mini sample of their fantastic Veil Mineral Primer, so if you haven’t tried that out and would like to before you commit to buying the full-sized version, here’s your chance. The palette’s skinny too, so even though it has three powders in it, you can still tuck it into your bag easily for a weekend away.  At $58, it’s a little bit of a splurge, but you’ll definitely get a lot of use out of it, so I say go for it!

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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