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.
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. More »
Bird, check. Veggies, check. This year’s “It” pie, check. Wine … Marijke?
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year or being a gracious guest, you may find yourself staring blankly at a wall of wines, trying to decide which (affordable) bottle will be most delicious with a turkey dinner. Well, stare no more. I’ve enlisted my dear friend and sommelier Marijke van Niekerk @lawinegal to provide her top recommendations for Thanksgiving.
The theme is ”classic gourmet” with a deep Southern twist, based on the menu I curated from the growing stack of Bon Appétit magazines under my coffee table and a borderline obsessive recipe-search habit. Marijke has decided on an all-American wine selection because, “Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to explore the United States’ fantastic, world-class wines.” Very well, then! Here’s the lineup:
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.
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. More »
After being inspired by my recent experience with an amazing high-tech facial, I re-evaluated my skincare routine to see where I could take advantage of scientific advances on a daily basis. The ultrasound delivery of serum and moisturizer intrigued me, and I eventually discovered the Jenu ‘Active-Youth’ Skincare System. The system utilizes a professional-grade ultrasound system to infuse twelve times the amount of anti-aging ingredients into facial skin around the eyes and lips as opposed to traditional creams. When I stopped to think about it, it makes total sense that the depth of penetration makes so much difference in effectiveness of the serum. How can my quick fingertip application compete with hundreds of thousands of safe, gentle, ultrasound waves infusing treatments? The Jenu system updates skincare to today’s standards by utilizing modern technology coupled with advanced compounds to feed the skin. More »
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. More »
Yes, this is happening! I’ll make this quick …
For those of you who have never been in my bathroom, I have an entire drawer full of Tarte Cosmetics — and I wear their eye shadows almost every day. So you can imagine how delighted I was to receive a sample of their Bow & Go 3-in-1 Holiday Gift Collection, three gorgeous gift boxes filled with full-size, vegan-friendly, cruelty free products. The set includes a box of Amazonian clay eyeliners and Lights, Camera, LASHES mascaras (two each), a box of four LipSurgence Lip Cremes and a box of 16 Amazonian clay eye shadows.
And get this, for today only, they’re available at QVC for only $49.98. That’s, like, almost a $200 savings. (What?!? Is the world ending?!?) I suggest you get over there and buy at least one before the price goes up. They make great gifts — and since there are three boxes, you can keep one for yourself. (The hard part is choosing which one!)
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.
Is it too early to talk about holiday gifts? My mind is already racing with ideas! It started at a truffle-making class I took recently at Caffe Luxxe, one of the best coffee shops in Los Angeles (well, Santa Monica, to be specific). There, Craig Boreth, founder of Twice the Vice chocolates and author of The Hemingway Cookbook, plied us with his amazing artisan spirited truffles.
Made with Callebaut Belgian chocolate, Twice the Vice chocolates are filled with top-shelf liquors such as The Glenlivet 15-year Scotch, crowd-pleasers such as Bombay Sapphire gin and cocktails such as the Woodford Reserve Mint Julep or The Big Lebowski lovers’ favorite, the White Russian. Each piece is packed with 1/8th to 1/10th of a shot, giving you a much richer, more sophisticated flavor than you’d get with those funny little bottle-shaped chocolates. Still, while select boxes are still illegal to ship in many states, the chocolates aren’t overwhelmingly potent — which is a good thing. Of course, if you choose to eat a whole box yourself, I can’t guarantee you won’t get a buzz!
Twice the Vice spirited chocolates are available online and totally worth the price. I highly recommend ordering them this year for the drinking men and women in your life — naughty and nice!
Every once in a while, I get really fed up with my lifestyle of working a lot, eating far too much crappy food at the office (who can resist chips and fresh guacamole when it’s put right in front of you?) and just generally not getting nearly enough time to exercise as I would like. Most of the time, me getting fed up just involves me complaining about it to a friend, but this time I went all out and decided to do a cleanse. I’d previously done a juice cleanse with Ritual Wellness and really enjoyed the juices, so I decided to use them again since I’d had such a good experience. I opted for a three day cleanse – you can choose from either pre-set juices (the Classic Reset Cleanse, the Seasonal Reset Cleanse) or you can build your own cleanse and order whatever combination of juices you’d like. I went with the three day Seasonal Reset Cleanse, which replaces one of the classic juices with one that uses the best seasonal fruit because as great as the green juices are, let’s face it, it’s nice to have another option during the day. There’s only so much green juice a girl can drink! More »
Sometimes a lady just needs to be pampered with the absolute best. When it comes to the eyes, I feel like this statement applies more than ever, and here’s why: I was told many years ago by a facial guru (when I thought I was too young to have even heard of eye cream) that it was necessary to start even then to preserve what I had. The thin skin around our eyes is the first thing to show age. I took that advice to heart, and have always taken special care to research eye creams for high quality ingredients and superb formulations. I’m currently obsessed with Erno Laszlo’s Phormula 3-9 Eye Repair, a gel-cream which is the “caviar” of eye treatments. Erno Laszlo founded the eponymous skincare line in 1927, incorporating his expertise on skin pathology to develop a treatments used on Hungarian royalty. Ever since, it has remained the gold standard for skin treatments and is a favorite among Hollywood’s elite. The emollient Phormula 3-9 preserves the skin’s texture and appearance (best to start while you’re young, but it’s never too late to catch up!) while providing defense against environmental stressors. My little beauty secret is putting the jar in the fridge, so when I apply, it feels cool and refreshing and tightens my under-eye bags right up (a necessity after a long night!). The gel component is non-irritating and absorbs quickly, and I can barely feel any weight at all. More »