Accessories, BagsLo & Sons Catalina Tote

catalina-dovegrey-springsummer-bedshot-783x485I have a soft spot in my heart for oversized bags because I love to have everything with me. You just never know when you’re going to need that extra jacket or tube of suncreen! Huge bags also have the added bonus of making me look small in comparison to it, so they always come off looking chic. I’m obsessed with the Lo & Sons Catalina Tote, the bag that’s always packed and ready to go this summer. It’s made of lightweight but high quality canvas and comes in colors that’ll match any ensemble. Even the shiny zipper pulls are made of durable metal that are easy to grab.

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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, SkincareClean Skin with VERSO

versocleanser

Recently, with the changing season (and more importantly, weather), I’ve been looking for a new gentle, yet effective cleanser to try. I’ve heard good things about the skincare line, VERSO, and decided to try out their Foaming Cleanser.

First, I love the minimalistic packaging. The simple black and white bottle, paired with the bold typeface…this is perfect for leaving out on the bathroom counter. If you had the entire line, it would look so gorgeous together for an immediately styled bathroom vignette.

The cleanser itself markets itself as a “soothing and purifying gentle foaming cleanser for daily use,” and after using it, I can say that this cleanser is exactly that. The cleanser itself pumps out as a thicker white liquid, and with water, it foams and lathers nicely on the skin. It has a very light clean scent that I found soothing, not irritating. It easily removed all light makeup, grime and excess oil from the day without leaving behind any residue. Most importantly, so far – no breakouts from using this cleanser (which can easily happen for me). A thumbs up for daily use!

Accessories, Obsessions, ShoesObsession of the Moment: Shoedazzle Cleantha Flat

ootm---shoedazzlecleantha

SponsoredA Little Color Inspiration for the Season

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greylavender3lavendergray2lavendergrey1lavendergrey4lavendergrey5Lavender + Grey

My style is feminine, but not saccharine, so when it comes to choosing colors (for my clothes, makeup, or home), I tend to shy away from anything that’s too girly or precious. One of my favorite ways to make color feel more “grown up” is by mixing pastel shades with variations of grey, which allows me to use the season’s pretties hues, but update it in a way that’s much cooler (both in terms of color palette and just figuratively speaking.) This little rule-of-thumb especially works well when it comes to home décor: I just love mixing and matching shades of blush and lilac with the neutral.

Right now, I’m especially partial to light shades of purple mixed with grey. I find myself gravitating (or mixing!) this hue in everything, from home accent pieces to nail polishes, to prints on my clothing and even eye shadow (try it, it works surprisingly well!). Just scroll through my inspiration board above, and you’ll see what I mean.

That’s why I’m excited to partner with a new retailer that totally gets how I like to work with color. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be undertaking a big project to incorporate my favorite hue in an unexpected (but pretty major) way. Have I intrigued you? Stay tuned to find out what I’m up to!

Beauty, SkincareAnti-aging Summer Skin

dryoilI’ve decided to put on the brakes this summer. Not on everything- I’m still city-hopping, driving too fast, and staying up late, but I decided to stop aging! Of course it sounds facetious, but how to slow aging has always been a ubiquitous question. I’ve been considering a serious dive into what I refer to as investment skincare, and after getting some great recommendations from skin experts, I have finally settled into a stellar new routine. There’s no way I can get a facial every week or professional makeup done every time I go out, but I have literally put my face into the hands of the legendary La Prairie, a pioneer and gold standard in cellular anti-aging therapies. Their collection of lines and products can be overwhelming, but I’ve narrowed it down to two indispensable products which are easy to incorporate and give the best balance of results per investment. The products I treat my skin to day and night are the Anti-aging SPF 30 Emulsion and the Swiss Crystal Dry Oil.

Face oils have become popular lately, and the main reason for their superior effectiveness is that they lock in hydration and powerful nutrients in high concentrations. I’ve never even considered using an oil in the summer, as my face is already melting from the heat and humidity, but the Swiss Crystal Dry Oil is so light that a tiny amount covers my whole face and absorbs incredibly quickly! I was also concerned about looking super-shiny, but instead got a young, healthy glow. In my opinion, the dry oil is La Prairie’s best kept secret since it’s so concentrated and effective using only a couple drops. In other words, a bottle will last exponentially longer than a cream which is water-based. A patent-pending complex of Alpine flora found to survive in the Swiss Alps lends its natural secret of youth, powering the anti-aging abilities. Pure oils lock in hydration better than creams, so the formula is best applied right after a shower or facewash. The result is soft and smooth skin no matter which skin type, but works especially well on slightly dry or combination skin, like I have in the summer. It feels like the ultimate luxury to apply the dry oil, and I’ve loved the effects of the anti-aging complex on my skin as it repairs the daily stresses I put it through.

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Giveaways, SponsoredGiveaway: Proactiv+ 3-Step Skincare System

proactiv

Honestly, which teenager did not swear by Proactiv? That line totally got me through college and the worst of my acne-ridden years.

Luckily, these days, mention the word ‘acne’ and I’ll be more likely to think of my favorite clothing line than a serious skin condition, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still suffer from the occasional blemish (and even worse, long-term skin discoloration and marks from those pesky flare-ups). Luckily, Proactiv has evolved with me and the new line of Proactiv+ is designed to address the slew of adult skin concerns I now face: dry skin (check), oily skin (check. Yes I suffer from dry skin and oily skin at the same time), lack of clarity (check), redness (check), prominent pores (check, check, check, check…)

The new lineup contains the same easy 1-2-3 process as my teenage favorite: a  Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, an all-in-one cleanser and scrub, the Pore Targeting Treatment, an acne-bacteria killing serum for those occasional pimples, and a daily Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, which moisturizes, brightens, and mattifies.

For the next four weeks, I’ll be test driving all these products and more from the Proactiv+ line, with the hope of being able to rock that #nomakeup and #nofilter hashtag on all my summer selfies.

Follow along on my social media channels: @carolyn_hsu, @tdailyobsession as I try these new products!

Want to win a set to try yourself? It’s easy! You can win one of two ways:

1) Follow @tdailyobsession on Twitter and retweet this post

2) Follow @carolyn_hsu on Instagram and like this photo

Good luck! Winner will be announced in 4 weeks.

 

Beauty, HairSHOW Pure Treatment Oil

showI usually eschew hair oils because my hair tends to produce enough on its own, especially in the summer! However, I was so taken by the stunning bottle that SHOW Beauty Pure Treatment Oil comes in that I couldn’t resist trying it, and I have to admit that I love what the lightweight treatment does for my hair. Since I’ve been growing my hair, the ends have been dry and more brittle, especially with the summer sun beating down. While the oil increases the elasticity of hair, it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy as I was expecting. The argan oil-based formula allows me to condition and strengthen my hair while making styling so much easier. The SHOW beauty line was designed by Tamara Ecclestone, a British model and TV personality to fill a void in luxury hair care. She worked with fragrance leader Givaudan to create the delicate notes of rose water and rosewood with creamy caramel and almond butter, blending in vanilla and patchouli. I find the fragrance light and pleasing, and not overwhelming.

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Mom & KidsSnuggle up with Aden + Anais

8062_1-classic-sleeping-bag-up-up-awayThe transition to summer is always an exciting one in our household, between sunny afternoons by the pool, beach trips, and yummy barbeques. Sleeping in warmer weather is a little trickier though, because it can be either too hot or too cold, and I’m contantly adjusting the thermostat in the middle of the night. For my little one, Aden+Anais has the perfect solution to summer slumber, a super lightweight Classic Sleeping Bag. It allows a breathable and comforting layer to stay on all night without restricting moderate movement. I’ve raved about the signature muslin before, and have yet to find anything even comparable. It really does get softer with every wash! I just zip the bag over her diaper and pajama top and she’s snug as a bug all night.

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Obsessions, TechObsession of the Moment: Braven 710 Ultimate Bluetooth Speaker

braven bluetooth speaker

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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