I’m not a betting woman …but I’ll bet that if I took a poll and asked readers if feel like they lead a stressful lifestyle, I’d get more yeses than noes. The sad fact is, I don’t know anyone who isn’t stressed out on a regular basis by something — be it work, exams, relationships, new baby, or kids in general. As if just being stressed isn’t already bad enough, it’s also pretty much a guarantee that the negative effects of stress will manifest itself on your face — in the form of fatigue, redness and unevenness, breakouts and dehydration. Thanks a lot stress hormones! And the kicker: odds are high than when we’re stressed, we also pay less attention to our skincare routines, making our already suffering skin even worse.
Well Kiehl’s is here to rescue us stressed folks and if we know anything about Kiehl’s, we know that they’re really great at saving our skin (and sanity). The newly launched, and aptly named Skin Rescuer Stress- Minimizing Daily Hydrator, uses highly effective ingredients to address many of the skin conditions that are caused by stress. In order to do this, Kiehl’s chemists identified a three step process (which thankfully, they rolled into 1 great product): calm and hydrate the skin, limit inflammation, and protect the skin barrier from future reactions. To sooth already-stressed skin, the new moisturizer uses chamomile extract to calm, glycerin to deliver immediate moisture, and shea butter to help keep hydration in. The product also contains Rosa Gallica, a flower extract, which has been proven to act as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps to keep reactions like redness and blotchiness in check. Finally, studies have shown that stressed skin is weak skin, so the moisturizer packs a trio of ingredients designed to replenish lipids and straighten the skin barrier. The result is that redness is minimized, skin is kept supple, hydrated and protected.
We love that Kiehl’s designed this as a daily moisturizer, because frankly that gives us one less thing to stress out about. Our four week test trial has shown that this is a very pleasant product indeed: we love that it’s lightweight, fragrance free, moisturizes thoroughly and has noticeably reduced unevenness and splotches in some areas. Sadly, they haven’t figured out a way to make me feel less stressed yet overall (damn deadlines always!), but at least I no longer have to look like it.
To learn more check out Kiehls.com.
For me, happy hour is any hour where I’m getting a professional blowout. Luckily, ever since DryBar opened here in New York a couple years ago, I’ve been treating myself to waaaayyy more happy hours than usual (plus their services come with free champagne, so it really is happy). Even the pre-blowout wash at DryBar is really great — I always feel like my hair is softer, cleaner, and smoother after a professional shampoo. Recently the brand launched a collection of hair products and tools — the same goods used at their salons — for at home use, so now my happy hours have turned into happy mornings in the shower. Despite having tried all kinds of shampoos and conditioners, I still felt like there’s was a need for a really good daily use set (one that you don’t get tired of after a few washes), and DryBar has stepped in to create just the perfect one. Regardless of hair texture, every beauty editor I’ve talked to who has tried the products has raved about it, and I can definitely see why.
The shampoo and conditioner duo, aptly named Happy Hour, are formulated around the philosophy that a really great style starts clean, nurtured hair that isn’t weighed down by grease, oil, dirt, or excessive products. The Blowout Shampoo is a gentle shampoo that is extremely effective at cleaning hair and removing leftover product and residue. Even though it’s sulfate and paraben free (yay!), it still does an amazing job of lathering and covers my entire head with just a nickle-sized amount of product. It rinses off easily leave my hair feeling clean, but never squeaky or dry. More »
“People underestimate DC!” exclaims spa founder and master esthetician Shae Jackson, when asked about introducing a fresh new concept in beauty treatments to the nation’s capital. We are sitting next to the zen waterfall in the outdoors of the newly-opened Haven Beauty Lounge. She is the expert that everyone is trying to book, and for good reason! Having traveled around the world researching beauty treatments, Jackson has formulated her own integrated approach to skin care and wellness, combining her vision with years of experience at the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Bliss, and Blue Mercury. Now, Jackson has branched out on her own and opened Haven, a members-only beauty lounge, where she has meticulously selected the best and most effective products for her signature custom facials, nail services and waxes. Membership starts at only $30 a month and instead of going through the hassle of setting up a pedicure every few weeks or monthly facial, you can have an ongoing appointment scheduled with credit card on file, so you can literally forget your wallet! More »
There are few things that are more soothing to me than the sweet scent of a really fragrant tea. During colder days, I love curling up with a hot cup of jasmine or chrysanthum tea and inhaling the steam and scent — really it’s half the joy of drinking tea in itself! Now that the weather’s warmer, the iced beverages don’t quite provide that same experience, but I recently learned about a collection of candles put out by one of my favorite tea companies ever — Le Palais des Thes (their Fleur de Geisha green tea is beyond…) – that recreates that delightful fragrance for your home. They really give the term “tea lights” a whole new meaning!
The collection of candles include five scents — ranging from the delicate nature of green tea to spicier aromas of oriental tea leaves to bright, vibrant fragrances of herbal blends. Each candle is housed in a colorful frosted jar that brightens up any room visually and the scent lightly fragrances for 50 hours without ever being overpowering. I personally love to keep one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, especially when there are guests over — these are definitely beautiful candles that you want people to see!
To view the entire collection, check out Le Palais des Thes.
I’ve been looking for weeks for a great roll-on perfume oil — and I’ve finally found it! New Jurlique Essence of Rose Roll-on Fragrance Oil is simple, easy to carry and now, a permanent staple on my office desk!
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 »
One of my favorite things to do on vacay (besides relax and drink margaritas obviously) is experiment with makeup. No one knows me (hopefully!) and I can try new things that I wouldn’t normally have time to do when rushing out for dinner after work. I toted Estee Lauder’s new Limited Edition Pure Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Batik Sun with me to Mexico, and it was the perfect color scheme to celebrate the clear blue ocean and orange sunrise (yes, sunrise!). The palette is part of their annual Bronze Goddess collection and the colors can be seen modeled by the goddess herself, Hillary Rhoda. I admit that these colors are not ones I’d normally choose (I love my neutral palette), but just opening the golden compact is akin to discovering treasure — brilliant teal, gold, and nude shades that add drama to any look. The neat thing is that the finishes range from matte to shimmer, so layering is encouraged and gives the eyes an added dimension.
Let me give some attention to the most exciting shade in the box — the turquoise immediately brings to mind summer and surf! I was a tad wary of wearing blue on my eyes, but it looks really beautiful when applied and then layered with the gold shimmer. Turn the volume on this vibrant shade up or down by draping the whole lid, or just applying with a liner brush along the lashline. The dark brown (with the EL logo) can be used as a brow definer or just above the lashes for an evening look. There are so many exciting combinations that the range can move from highlighting features to making an off-runway statement with bold color. I’d recommend checking out the colors in a department store near you, because with this type of color, computer screens always distort. This compact forced me to think outside the box, and my summer is looking brighter because of it!
We are all too familiar with winter skin woes, but now it’s finally spring and the warmer weather and milder conditions mean we don’t have to worry too much about our skincare anymore, right? Sadly, wrong. As it turns out spring (allergy season anyone??!) brings with it its own set of skin challenges — but don’t worry, we’ve outlined a few must-do’s so your skin can be as happy as you are this season.
1. Exfoliate more. Wintery conditions make skin dull and sallow, so make sure to exfoliate during this transition period to unveil soft, radiant skin. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t overdo it — be sure to use an extra gentle product that won’t hurt your skin. We love the Simple’s Skincare Smoothing Facial Scrub, which is formulated with hypoallergenic rice granules and is effective at removing surface dead cells without causing pain or irritation. 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.