Bath & Body
Hurray for summer and all it brings–cookouts, beach days, and swimming pools. Being in the sun is great for the soul, but don’t forget to throw a tube of sunscreen in that chic tote! For people of all ages, sun protection is an absolute must, and especially for the little ones whose skin is brand-new and thinner than adults. We know how confusing the range of sunscreens can be, so we turned to an expert in the field, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a renowned New York dermatologist, for some sage advice. Baby’s first summer? Read on for for the how-to’s on sun protection:
This time of year is the perfect time to invest in fantastic body scrubs and moisturizers to get your skin ready for the warmer weather ahead. My choices this season are from Tocca, whom I love for their consistently amazing scents.
I’ve been testing out the Esfoliante da Corpo in Giulietta ($32), and my goodness, it is good. This paraben-free sugar scrub uses natural oils including grapeseed, olive and safflower that helps leave skin feeling super soft. It is delicately scented with pink tulip and green apple, which is surprisingly not too sweet. My skin has never looked better coming out of the shower!
I follow up it up with Tocca’s Crema da Corpo in Stella ($20), one of my all-time favorite scents from the brand. The Crema da Corpo lotions incorporate sweet almond oil, shea butter and honey — a combination that richly moisturizes and soothes any dry patches you may have. Stella is their signature Italian blood orange fragrance, and I love how the scent lingers on my skin post-application. The lotion also absorbs quickly so I can throw on my clothes shortly after using it.
It’s been a few weeks now, and my skin is looking so much better than it has all year… finally ready to show itself with short sleeves and flirty spring dresses!
The blooming of the Cherry Blossoms always makes me catch my breath, no matter how many times I’ve stood among the flutters of pink petals floating around like a cloud. There’s nothing like the sight of graceful branches hanging over still water and the sweet scent of new blossoms to make you tingle with excitement for warm spring weather. I’m not stranger to cherry blossoms living in Washington DC, but I can only imagine the blooms in the Provence region in the south of France, my favorite place in the entire world. L’Occitane’s Spring Cherry Eau de Toilette captures the magic and beauty with the breezy scent of spring and takes you to Luberon, a French town known for its culinary scene and physical beauty. Cherry trees dot the landscape in the spring among olive trees and summer lavender. The eau de toilette mingles the fresh floral scent of a Provençal cherry orchard with woody notes and a base of musk. (more…)
There’s a reason this site is called The Daily Obsession — there’s nothing better than when you find a great new… well, anything, to obsess over. It’s so fun, isn’t it?
Right now, my fragrance obsession is the new Fresh Vanilla Lemon fragrance from LAVANILA. You guys, it smells sooo amazing. (Three o’s for emphasis!) The scent was inspired by the versatility of Madagascar vanilla and also has notes of lemon, watery fruits and fresh bamboo: it’s very clean and fresh, but also warm and sweet at the same time. I also like that it’s subtle and not overpowering… because if it were too in-your-face, it would smell like you rolled around in a bakery and well, no one wants that! Also, I love that LAVANILA infuses their scents with essential oils that contain vitamin-rich antioxidants instead of chemicals so they’re better for those with allergies or sensitive skin. The fragrance is limited edition, so get your hands on it now before it vanishes and you never get a chance to smell its lemony-vanilla goodness. That would just be tragic.
When the weather is hot outside, I have to take a lot of showers because I find it impossible to get into bed at night feeling dirty from the day. (Ed. note: This New Yorker is so jealous right now.) I’m also on the lookout for great new products I can use to switch things up a little (hate being bored using the same ol’ thing every shower) and I’ve recently discovered Whish Body.
So far, I’ve tested the Three Whishes Body Wash in Coconut and the Three Whishes Sugar Scrub in Almond and I’m loving them both! The Coconut body wash has such an exotic, tropical vacation scent to it — sort of warm and a little spicy, but the coconut note stands out and it’s intoxicating. When I use it, I can close my eyes and pretend that I’m showering in Hawaii instead of in my condo in Los Angeles. It lathers up nicely and a little goes a long way, so you don’t have to use a ton of it to get results, which I always appreciate. (How annoying are those body washes that make you use like, half the bottle before you get any suds? The worst, right?)
The Sugar Scrub is one of my favorite scrubs that I’ve tried this year. I’m all about the exfoliation, but I have sensitive skin so I don’t want my scrubs to be too rough or abrasive and this one isn’t at all. It has a delicious nutty scent to it and gets rid of all my flakey dead skin without taking off any “good” skin along with it. It creates a great base for your favorite moisturizer (maybe their Three Whish Body Butter? I haven’t tried any of those yet, but now I’m dying to!) I also really appreciate the fact that the scrub is thick – it’s not liquidy so you get more bang for your buck AND there isn’t any liquid to slide down into your tub, creating a slippery standing hazard (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wiped out in my tub from scrubs like that. I’m fairly convinced I’m going to wind up in the hospital one day after one of those incidents and that is going to be super embarrassing).
Curious? Check out all of their yummy products on SkinStore.com.
One of my favorite perfumes in the world comes naturally from a jasmine flower, which is also one of the simplest tiny blooms I’ve ever seen. The dainty little beauty creates such a lovely and unique scent it’s no wonder that it is one of the most prized flower for teas and fragrances. As soon as I opened the beautiful aluminum tube of Soap & Paper Factory Hand Cream, it was like a thousand jasmine flowers floating out. The cream itself is incredibly velvety on my hands which are so parched from getting washed a million times a day! Soap and Paper Factory is all about putting heart, soul, and beauty into their products, as evidenced by carefully sourced ingredients to exquisite earth-friendly packaging. Their products are made in New York and organic ingredients are used whenever possible. The hand cream is chock full of aloe, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and other fine natural oils. I try not to touch anything with parabens, so this one is safely void of them as well as phthalates and petroleum. Equally loveable is the pretty girly packaging- each design actually starts from a hand drawing!
Jasmine flowers release their scent at night under the moonlight, so it’s fitting this I use this as a night treatment for my hands. After all, our hands deserve to be pampered after being busy all day! The cream is long-lasting enough to hydrate my skin through the night, and with the deep-moisturizing effects, I can tell the difference in the morning. I’ve learned to be careful to moisturize every night since hands show age easily and are often overlooked. The creams come in a variety of scents and each has its own pretty package, making it a perfect gifts for mom, grandma, or even sis (if she’s nice).
A quick refresher — you may have noticed the pretty blue bottles of Moroccan Oil hair treatments in the windows of all the best salons around town — it’s like a hair revolution! The line is getting international attention and the hair products have won the coveted Stylist Choice Award as the “Favorite Product You Can’t Live Without” for five years in a row. There are stories, legends even, of how severely damaged hair has been tamed, shiny and reingivorated with the oil treatment. I set out to test a few products (including one new launch!), and have been converted over a matter of weeks.
The base of the treatment is the Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo is great because it’s gentle enough that I can use it daily, and it really does the job- my hair feels clean without residue. It also contains powerful antioxidants, Vitamin A and red algae which also retain moisture and slow the aging process, and there are no parabens, sulfates or phosphates. It’s a perfect primer to be a canvas for the conditioner and beyond. The hydrating conditioner feels incredibly rich when it’s allowed to work for a few minutes, and because it’s a “water-loving” formula, it is activated as you rinse out, leaving silky, healthy hair.
Newly launching from the brand is their Heat Styling Protection Spray and the star of the line in my opinion. I blow dry my hair quite frequently, but a lot of product will weigh it down. The spray protects and gives a touch of gloss while providing a soft hold so I don’t have to add in another product t unless I’m going for a really styled look. After towel-drying my hair, I’ll spray about 8 inches away on sections of hair concentrating on the ends, then blow dry sans worries! (more…)
I love enormous cheeks on babies, possibly because my baby has some of the fattest cheeks around town. Hubby and I joke that since they protrude so far from her face that they have to be moisturized more often! My latest obsession is Lavanila’s Healthy Baby Butter which I just love for her cheeks and body (and my hands too, while I’m buttering!). It absorbs easily and has a clean scent (without synthetic fragrances or dyes), so it doesn’t cover up that delicious newborn smell. As a plus, I don’t have to worry about the safety as it’s 100% natural and is free of alcohol, parabens, and petroleum and since it contains aloe and is hypoallergenic, it’s perfect for dry skin and sensitive skin — even eczema. Baby’s skin is comforted and richly hydrated by pure shea and cocoa butters which are blended with nourishing Calendula and Noni Juice. My little girl is soft and smooth, protected against dryness without feeling slippery or greasy.
Though the product is meant for babies, everyone in our family has been grabbing for the butter this winter, which probably explains why it’s missing at the moment… Time for a new tube!
Do you remember blowing bubbles as a kid and watching them stream gently from your wand? To this day, I’m still hypnotized by them and absolutely love that the Italian luxury brand Bulgari has created the exclusive Petits et Mamans line dedicated to children and their mothers (much appreciated by this mom!). My favorite item in the collection is the beautiful bath and shower gel for the little ones with a bubble wand for whimsical fun in the tub. I recommend putting a bit of gel into a plastic cup, add a tablespoon or two of water, and voila — the perfect bubble solution. Ever since we started using it, my baby squeals in delight when she sees the bathtub and even tries to climb in herself (game changer in the lets-try-to-get-the-baby-to-take-a-bath routine)! I even love the cheerful packaging — the box unfolds into a numbered connect-the-dots game.
Bulgari is held in high-esteem for its line of lotions and fragrances, and Petits et Mamans carries on that tradition. Only the most gentle ingredients are used which makes it safe and ideal for children’s sensitive skin. The physiological balance of young skin is boosted with Provitamin B5 and the gel hydrates as it cleanses, refreshes, and smooths. The sweet and light fragrance of peach and lily extracts transports you to an imaginary playground in Florence — even my husband remarked: “It smells like luxury!”
One of my earliest memories is sitting on my mother’s bed, poring over her jewelry box and trying on her pearls while watching her in the mirror. She was applying a cream which she told me contained real pearls! I could hardly believe it, and she laughingly explained that one day I would understand the need for quality skin care. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I want to give her the best of the best, especially when newborn skin is so soft and sensitive. I was delighted to discover Perfect Pearl’s complete line for baby skin created by Ying Zhou, a mother of two who wanted to incorporate the centuries-old secrets into caring for newborn skin. Asian history shows that the health benefits of the pearl have been proven through generations and pearl powder is considered a precious gift worthy of royalty. Healing, vitality, and beauty are the virtues attributed to pearls, and the soothing properties are noticeable immediately. The formulations used in the line are of amazing quality- sea pearls are carefully sourced and safety is first and foremost. All products are hypoallergenic, fragrance free, colorant and paraben free and doctor recommended. (more…)