Thursday, May 29, 2008

Herban Legend


My grandmother is an excellent gardener. She's an herban legend of sorts. All her plants are a vibrant leafy green, her tomatoes are plump, and she even grew a papaya tree in New Jersey! Unfortunately, this skill does not run in the family. I don't do well with plants, so I just observe them rather than being an active participant in their care and well being. However, this AeroGarden Pro 100 for herbs looks like it would be easy enough for even me to master. While I'm waiting for my herbs to grow I can content myself with these Peppermint Towelettes from Herban Essentials. My mother and I received them as a gift from a dear friend, and we have both been using them constantly. These all natural towelettes, which also come in Eucalyptus and Lavender options, have a fresh and uplifting scent and are perfect for washing your hands and cooling off. I also like to use them for aromatherapy. Now, even those without a green thumb can enjoy the pleasures of herbs.

photo credit towelettes: http://www.herbanessentials.com
photo credit garden: http://www.surlatable.com

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Under the Sea



I am in love with SJP's luminous mermaid dress that she wore to the Sex and the City premiere last night. Now, I may be biased because I wore the same elaborate mermaid costume I purchased at Ricky's to almost every Halloween party that I attended for over 6 years, until I finally retired it for Little Red Riding Hood. Nevertheless, I think that the dress looked so amazing with her Darryl-Hannah-in-Splash-esque blonde waves. Check out a pic of the dress on The Cut. In honor of SJP's look this post is about my favorite three marine-based products that will keep any mermaid looking star(fish) worthy. The first product is Chantecaille's Limited Edition Protect Paradise Face Compact. Swirled together with a large brush these shimmery, gilded colors impart a candle-lit glow to the cheekbones, and when used separately the colors can be implemented as highlighters on the brow bone and eye lid. A portion of the proceeds is donated to marine conservation research. The second product is Marvis' Aquatic Mint Toothpaste. The zingy tingle you get from this flavor will wake you up in the morning, and the cool packaging will look luxe on any bathroom sink. The last product, Calypso's Marine fragrance, has a deeply lingering oceany scent that will make you long for the sun and the sand.

photo credit compact: http://www.eluxury.com
photo credit toothpaste and fragrance: http://www.beautyhabit.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mykonos in a Bottle


I'm not feeling well again, so I've been resting in bed the past two days, reading a lot of travel magazines to relax, and planning my dream vacation. Invariably, it will include a trip to a Greek island, preferably Mykonos, where I can relax on the beach by day, taking some time to check out the jewelry collection at the Archaeological Museum, and have amazing dinners at tavernas in the evening. Until I get to my travel destination I can experience a little bit of the Greek islands right here in Chelsea. The German based company Linari has created an elegant line of diffusers in large, sleek, and reflective glass bottles with exotic wooden tops. Though all the scents are appealingly unique, Estate really captures what I would imagine to be the scents of Mykonos: fresh lemons, sand and salt air, with notes of honey and ouzo in the background. Estate fills my living room with an intoxicating fragrance, so that my imagination can really go places.

photo credit: http://www.destination360.com/europe/greece/images/s/mykonos.jpg

Friday, May 23, 2008

Grand Finale: The Top 5 Must-Have Beauty Products For Summer




1.) Bliss A Tan For All Seasons
This self tanner for the body is easy to use, just spray it on and blend quickly with downward strokes, and wash your hands VERY WELL after use. The tanner isn't streaky and dries quickly, so you don't have to wait more than 5 min to get dressed. It leaves a pleasant citrusy scent behind and a believable light bronze that deepens over a few hours into the best faux tan ever! Seriously you will look like you just got back from a vacation in the Galapagos, and you'll be the envy of all your friends.

2.) Miss Ferling's Baume des Tigresses
This amazing tube of hand and nail cream has a light and delicious tropical scent and contains passionflower, mango butter, and mallow. The French import has a lusciously light texture which melts into hands giving your skin a luminous, healthy look. The packaging is also gorg.

3.) Ocean Potion Sunblock Lotion, Anti-Aging, Ultra Light, SPF 30 (available at Ricky's and Clyde's)
I first learned about this great sunblock after reading in Vogue or Elle that stunning derm to the stars Lisa Airan uses this stuff on herself at the beach. I decided I would give it a try and found that I was a convert. The big tube and very reasonable price tag mean that you can apply A LOT of it, which is the whole point of sunscreen anyway, and the texture is pleasant. It doesn't make my skin oily or make me breakout. I also love the orange-creamsicle-like scent.

4.) Frederic Fekkai's Summer Hair Wash & Wear
This spray not only amps up the volume on limp and oily locks but also protects your hair from UV rays. I always manage to have lackluster hair after a day in the sun, and this product restores my hair's shine and bounce and protects the color from fading. Summer Hair is definitely a beach bag essential.

5.) Philosophy's Senorita Margarita: Bath & Shower Gel
Deliciously lime scented, this is totally summer in a bottle for me. Perfect after a day of swimming, you can jump in the shower and wash your hair and body with this moisturizing lather. It'll leave your skin smelling delicious and feeling revived.

I hope that everyone has a nice Memorial Day weekend! I'll be back on Tuesday with a review of my favorite product for your home that will make you feel like you're living in a marble palace on Mykonos.


photo credit for Fekkai and Philosophy products: http://www.sephora.com
photo credit for Miss Ferling product: http://www.beautyhabit.com

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summertime Sweets: The Best Desserts for Summer


Winner Best Dessert for Summer: Ovaltine-Banana Pudding topped with Rice Crispies (Batch 150 B W 10th Street at Waverly Place).

Now, I don't have a picture of this one so you'll just have to use your imagination or check out the review of Batch on DailyCandy. Imagine The creamiest, dreamiest chocolate pudding with bananas piled atop a graham cracker crust and garnished with sticky Rice Krispie goodness. This dessert is light enough not to leave you feeling stuffed, but is still richly satisfying. You might even have room for one of their divine Yuzu Shortbreads. You must try it and tell me what you think! Also, don't miss the insanely cool chandelier.


Runner-up Dessert for Summer: Attune Probiotic Bars

If you aren't into splurging at the dessert counter (which I am a big fan of), you can indulge without the guilt with an Attune Probiotic Bar and boost your overall health and wellness. The chocolate mint flavor is delicious, and it takes like a Crunch bar. You'd never suspect that it is actually good for you! Click on this link to find out where to purchase these delish bars.

photo credit: http://www.attunefoods.com

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Art Outing: Best Under the Radar Summer Entertainment


Winner Best Under the Radar Summer Exhibition: Arbiters of Style: Women at the Forefront of Fashion (Museum at FIT) May 21-Nov 8, located at 7th avenue and 27th Street

Exploring the multi-faceted position of the female in the fashion industry, Arbiters of Style celebrates the women behind the sewing machine as well as in front of the camera lens. Drawing on the museum's vast archive of designer accessories and garments, woman is represented in all her glory as an integral part of the fashion industry. The exhibition blurb on the FIT website explains, "Arbiters of Style includes designs by Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, Sonia Delaunay, Jeanne Lanvin, and Claire McCardell." The exhibitions at this museum are always exceptionally well curated, well researched, and not crowded. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday noon-8pm and Saturday 10 am-5 pm.

photo credit: http://www.fitynyc.edu (Irving Solero Photographer)

Runner-up Under the Radar Summer Entertainment: Shakespeare in the Garden: Romeo and Juliet (Hammond Museum: located at 28 Deveau Road North Salem, NY) Friday, July 25th 6:30 pm, call to reserve tickets: 914-669-5033, museum hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-4

Take a day trip about an hour and thirty minutes (by car) outside of the city to explore the glorious Hammond Museum in North Salem, and stay for their evening theatrical performance in the garden (in lieu of braving the line for Shakespeare in the Park). Spend the afternoon enjoying the gorgeous gallery installations and ambling through the pristine Japanese Stroll Garden that will make you feel truly zen. Head over to an early dinner at the glorious 121 Restaurant right nearby before enjoying the show.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fab Fiction: Best Beach Reads For Summer

Winner Best Beach Read: Playing with the Grown-ups: A Novel by Sophie Dahl

Get swept away into the glamorous and scandalous world that is Kitty's reality in Playing with the Grown-ups. A young English beauty coming of age in a home where her exquisite artist mother Marina smokes joints with the rich and famous, gets entangled in a cult-like ashram, and cries herself to sleep over a slew of failed relationships, Kitty remains remarkably grounded amidst a sea of loonies. Dahl's voice is direct and unwavering as she weaves a vivid, painterly narrative with the same dark and whimsical humor that her grandfather was fond of. This book is supposedly loosely based on Dahl's own childhood, which gives it an added mystique, as she is a fascinating character in her own right (ie: racy Opium ad and romance with Jagger).

photo credit of book cover: http://www.bookcourt.org


Runner-Up Best Beach Read: Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart

Satisfying like a Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity, Summer at Tiffany is a light-hearted and fun read about two young women who move to NYC for the summer. It will transport you to old New York in the 1940's, complete with lunches at Schrafft's soda fountain, checker cabs, and weekends at the beach. Reminiscent of Auntie Mame and Thoroughly Modern Milly, this book is sure to keep you happy and entertained in the sun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Snazzy Soles: The Best Shoes For Summer


Winner Best Shoes: Sue London "The London Slipper"

This pick for summer won highest marks for comfort, style, and versatility. I own 5 pairs of "The London Slipper" and literally wear them constantly all summer long. With chic metallic tones that have names like Midnight Moss and Twilight, as well as matte leather options in colors like Carter Gray and Malay (red), you'll have a variety of choices. They fold up for easy storage in their matching pouch, and you can tote them around with you on spontaneous weekend getaways. The timeless style is so classically elegant that they will take you directly from work to cocktails, and your feet won't hurt a bit.*

*note: Be sure to buy one size bigger than you normally wear because they run small! If you live in Manhattan and don't want to order online you can pick up a pair at
Jussara Lee located at 11 Little West 12th Street.

photo credit: http://www.blissworld.com (shoe shown in Platinum Gold)


Runner-up Best Shoes: Not Rated's Jammin Jelly Flat

These fun candy-colored jellies with an elegant foot-elongating shape are light-weight and cool for the summer and will look amazing with white jeans. They are really reasonably priced at $22.95, so you'll be able to get more than one pair to wear throughout the summer.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flaw Fixer: The Best Concealer For Summer

Winner Best Concealer: Cle De Peau

This week I'll be posting about the best items for summer to get you in the spirit for this coming Memorial Day Weekend! The first item on the list I simply can't live without. It transforms me from a dark-under-eye-circled and freckled mess to pulled together, fresh, and polished in seconds. After reading about Cle De Peau's Concealer numerous times in fashion and beauty mags, I knew that I had to try it out for myself. I went to Barney's and immediately gravitated toward the elegant Cle De Peau counter. I was stunned by how perfectly the ivory tone (it also comes in ocher and beige) matched my fair skin, blending in smoothly and evenly, and literally disappearing into my skin while simultaneously concealing a pimple on my chin. The reason why I think this concealer is perfect for summer is the texture. While it is creamy enough to use on my dry under-eye area without flaking or creasing, it also somehow magically seems to absorb sweat and excess oil throughout the day when I apply it to spots along my T-zone. I'd even swear that my pimples are less prominent when I wash this stuff off, making it not only a concealer, but a flaw fixer as well.


Photo Credit: http://www.makemeheal.com

Runner-up Best Concealer:

For those of you who don't want to spend so much money on concealer, I find that L'Oreal's True Match Foundation works very well for me. I use it to spot treat rather than all over my face.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Warm Weather Wicker




For warm spring and summer nights your bulky leather handbags that you toted around all winter simply won't do. Wicker, a material previously reserved for screen porch furniture is reinvented for the season in the guise of feather-weight clutches that come in a variety of colors and textures. Lighten up with one of these luxe straw clutch options from Kotur or Anya Hindmarch. The Bright Wicker Clutch by Kotur comes in a selection of beachy hues to match your sun dress or sarong, and the slightly fancier Purple Weave Clutch (that comes with a thin gold chain link strap attached in case you tend to leave your clutch on restaurant banquets like I do) will look gorgeous at any evening soiree in the city. Neutral colored yet undeniably elegant picks include Hindmarch's straw Five Stone Clutch inlaid with ocean-blue stones and Kotur's Lind Clutch with a striking jade and tiger's eye clasp. Vivre.com features a multitude of stunning clutch options (including the ones I mentioned above) in an array of materials, colors, and shapes, making it difficult to choose just one. Luckily, clutches don't take up too much closet space and conveniently you can store them in your big winter handbags.


photo credits: http://www.vivre.com