As we usher in the lovely crisp autumn air and humid hot air out, my skin is begging for a change, and that’s one thing I’ve learned not to ignore! I’ve revamped my beauty regimen for the cooler, drier air but don’t want to bring in the heavy-hitting rich creams for the winter season yet. The theme of the fall facelift? Pampering skin with the absolute highest quality ingredients sourced in nature if possible.
1. To start out, a gentle but potent cleanser which rebalances and infuses energy into skin is vital to the success of everything that comes after! The luxurious Sjal Skincare line is completely different from anything I’ve ever come across; it utilizes eastern medicine in conjuction with biotechnology of today to create gemstone-infused products. The Rose Aura Cleansing Set actually contains gold, silver, and rose quartz (talk about precious metals!) to balance skin and encourage healthy cellular activity. I love the incredibly soft 100% natural Konjac sponge for application, which when wet is so soothing on your skin that it can be used daily of the most gentle exfoliation and makeup removal. Not only is skin detoxified, but my visage appears brighter and healthier, sans that oily feeling. Since fall brings brisker air, I recommend immediately using toner and a medium-weight moisturizer to follow cleansing in order to avoid dryness.
2. L’Occitane’s Divine Lotion is part of a new line of anti-aging products which take advantage of the legendary Immortelle flowers from Corsica. The flower never fades, even after it’s been picked! So wisely using nature as the ultimate guide, L’Occitane has coaxed out the essential oils from this sprightly yellow flower, and boosted its effectiveness with 7 plant-derived active ingredients. The Divine lotion is actually a super-toner, designed to maintain a balanced complexion and help accelerate exfoliation while leaving skin feeling smoother and more supple. I prefer the Divine Lotion to traditional toners because it’s milky and pleasantly absorbed, and it multi-tasks anti-aging with rebalancing skin. The light scent of the Immortelle flower is preserved, and my skin feels deliciously soft after application.
Even though my lil’ girl has a while before she has enough hair for braids and ponytails, I adore finding mini bows for her hair to complete an outfit (and make sure that no one thinks she’s a boy!). One of my favorite sites to find the cutest accessories is Lil Sugarplum. Started by a creative mom who dreamed of making hair accessories for her daughter, she named the company “Lil Sugarplum” after the nickname her father gave her when she was young. Any imaginable shape, bow, and animal, and even fruit (think cherries!) can be found on the seemingly endless pages of Lil Sugarplum. The clips will actually stay in baby hair, even if there’s not much there! The baby hairclips are small and cute as a button, and stay in with a snap of the clip. The alligator clips are larger and work perfectly on a toddler, and are lined with velcro to ensure they stick. My favorite design is the little pink butterfly, which goes with pretty much any outfit and comes in two sizes, the alligator clip for a more dramatic look, and the adorable baby clip. The clips are top quality and won’t end up losing tightness after a few wears. The vibrant colors and fabrics are even better looking in person, which is a rarity! Even for newborns, Lil Sugarplum’s stretchy-soft headbands add a splash of color and girliness to any outfit, perfect for meeting grandparents or getting portraits done. Just be prepared for lots of “ooohs” and “aaahs” and other moms asking where to find the clips. I’ve got my eye on a Hello Kitty clip- just irresistible! (more…)
As soon as I sauntered into the James Royal Palm on South Beach, I felt like I was transported back to 1963, where I might turn a corner and run into Don Draper on assignment. Everything from the coffee bar in the lobby to the green-on-wood entrance to the Florida Cookery restaurant screams retro chic. The beachfront location affords prime views and service, so instead of running to the action, it comes to you. This 1939 Art Deco classic recently underwent a top to bottom renovation, preserving the original aesthetic with a modern sensibility.
The original green-glass reception desk has been perfectly preserved and restored, and now serves as the coffee bar while art installations throughout the hotel are a nod to Miami’s famous modern art scene and deserve a double take when passing through the halls. Dapper gentlemen and ladies at the front desk direct guests to its 393 guest rooms and suites My go-to source for happening hotels, Conde Nast Traveler, has taken notice of its gorgeous makeover and featured the James Royal Palm on its 2013 Hot Hotels List! Speaking of hot, the hotel’s club SL draws the beautiful young Miami crowd in with its earth-shaking sound system, so guests need not worry about traveling to find the action or bump elbows with a few celebs. (more…)
Shaving is the one thing that I inevitably forget while showering, and if I do remember, it is my least favorite part! Stubbly legs are not cute, but unless I shave frequently, those pesky hairs won’t leave me alone. The best appliance I’ve tried all summer not only saves time, it results in smoother legs for up to weeks (just imagine the freedom!). Philips Satin Perfect Epilator is an innovative at-home hair removal device that works just like you’re plucking your eyebrows, but much quicker. Satin Perfect pulls out hair at the root, without irritating or pulling the skin, and actively lifts hairs to ensure that even shorter hairs are removed. A built-in light illuminates the area you’re working on, so you can make sure everything is gone. Two options for speed control make it ideal for comfort and sensitive areas. The result is priceless, in my book: smooth and silky skin for much longer than a razor will afford. The epilator is perfect for those impromptu trips to the pool or beach since it’s so quick, and should be used on clean dry skin. I’ll be honest- I wanted it to work on my armpits as well, but it was just too sensitive for me.
The design is pretty and ergonomic–no scary looking metal springs or anything of the sort. Cleaning is a cinch–just click off the roller and put it under water, spinning the white ceramic discs with your fingers for a minute. It’s ready for use after just an hour, and provides 40 minutes of action. It took a few tries for my legs to get acclimated to the Epilator, and I found it most effective after a warm shower and exfoliation. At first, it pulled out some hairs at the skin’s surface (much like shaving), but after a few uses, my hair actually became a bit finer and seemed easier to pull out by the root. Since hair growth happens in stages, I use the Epilator weekly just for touch-ups. Results will vary depending on hair thickness, but I found that the slower speed works more effectively for taking out hair. My legs are ready to take on the beach–and I haven’t shaved for a month!
Recently I noticed that my hair, when air dried, was looking a lot better than it used to. Frizz, kinks, and the odd volume issues I used to suffer from were replaced with overall smoother, sleeker, and shinier locks. My day-to-day routine hadn’t changed so I knew that my hair transformation was due to one thing– the Rahua Omega 9 Pro Treatment that I had gotten done at Arte Salon a few weeks ago.
This is the first professional treatment from the uber-nourishing, organic hair brand Rahua and it promises to restore damaged hair in a thirty minute service that includes shampoo, conditioner, and an oil-based mask. The fifteen minute mask treatment is infused with omega- 9 rich pure ungurahua oil, which is grown and sourced directly from the Amazon rainforest. Ungurahua oil not only helps to strengthen and regenerate hair, but it also helps to remove toxins that may have built up in the hair, resulting in strands that are healthier and more nourished. The treatment also includes a head massage and Palo Santo (“holy wood”) incense, which helps to relax the mood. The overall treatment is quick and easy and hair is immediately transformed with long lasting (2 weeks and counting!) results. You can also maintain your treatment results for longer by applying the at home Omega-9 Mask once a week.
With fall fashion’s new bold and architectural looks on my mind, I’m realizing that a polished hairstyle is the only way to complete a look. My current (seemingly unending) obsession with hair continues, and along that vein, my new favorite toy is the Ferrum Professional Styler. Don’t let it fool you, it is so much more than just another straightener. Let me preface by saying that I don’t straight-iron my hair very often out of fear of split ends and brittle dry hair. Ferrum’s new innovative design eases my mind: one side consists of a specially designed German-engineered fabric plate, allowing hair to breathe and retain moisture, while the other side heats and straightens. Besides being gentler and healthier to use on hair, the fabric plate allows me to use thetool at my roots, so a sleeker, professional look is achieved- sans the burnt scalp. Compared with conventional straighteners, my hair feels softer and healthier! The fabric plate is actually designed to encourage volume, so you don’t get the same one-dimensional flat look that other irons create by mashing hair. It’s the best of all worlds- damage and burning are averted without compromising efficacy. (more…)
“Everything that we put on our bodies must be nutritious and safe,” says Horst M. Rechelbacher, the founder of Intelligent Nutrients, who is an active environmentalist changing world of beauty. I couldn’t agree more–it makes total sense, doesn’t it? I am a firm believer that the food you eat makes a huge difference in your health and appearance, so it follows that what seeps into our bodies from the outside should be carefully sourced as well. I sampled and fell in love with two products from Intelligent Nutrients, the Anti-Aging Serum and Organic Hair Shine.
My skin is fed and glowing with clarity as soon as I apply the oil-based Certified Organic Anti-Aging Serum, which combats dryness as it nourishes. With autumn’s inevitable cool-down on the way, I now feel prepared! The unique blend of argan and acai oils protect skin from fall’s drying wind gusts while boosting elasticity. The results are undeniable, and I can actually see my fine lines (crinkles!) fading. I’m currently using the serum at least once a day before bed, so the oils can work magic and literally create beauty sleep for me. Because of the hydrating properties, I don’t even need a separate moisturizer since it acts as a barrier to seal nutrients and moisture in. I use a gentle cleanser, then just one pump of the serum covers my whole face, then one more pump for neck and decolletage. I massage it in using gentle, circular motions, and it’s soothing and calming as it absorbs. My face actually looks younger in the morning, and any irritation or redness is happily absent. My mind is at ease knowing that night after night, the serum I’m generously applying is certified organic. The treatment also contains antioxidants to affect skin on a cellular level, restoring collagen and elastin production.
3 More Inches. It seems like every year,usually around this time of year, I’m trying to will my hair to do just that. I dream of long, luscious locks a la Peony Lim, but a combination of summer damage and just not having the right genes, means that my strands are usually looking a little more scraggly than shiny by the time August rolls around. This year, however, thanks to a month of using Michael Van Clarke’s 3 More Inches line religiously, my hair’s looking a lot healthier and glossier than it has in a long time. Though I’m usually never too partial to any particular shampoo and tend to use whatever’s at my disposal, I am now definitely a 3 More Inches convert. (more…)
I decided a few weeks ago that I had to end it all… frizzy hair, that is! This summer in particular, I’ve been wearing headbands and scarves incessantly (love the Hermes Twilly colors!), just trying to keep a bird’s nest situation from taking place atop my head. With thicker hair and a sudden plethora of baby hairs, I began earnestly exploring hair treatments. After an abundance of research and polling women for the secrets to their beautiful hair, the one came most highly recommended was the Brazilian Blowout. The keratin-based treatment eliminates frizz and straightens hair for up to three months, and can even work on hair that’s been chemically treated. The unique thing about the Brazilian Blowout is that besides smoothing and de-frizzing, it actually improves the health of your hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft. The result is smooth, healthy, and shiny hair–my dream come true! (more…)
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.