Monthly Archives: September 2011

Beauty - "The Lovely"

Beauty junkies rejoice: is here

September 30, 2011

I’m calling it now, is going to be a game-changer in the way we shop for our beauty products. It’s the recently-launched social beauty store. What does that mean? Well, you know how we girls like to talk our products to death (“You will LOVE this new gloss I discovered,” “WHAT can I do about my dark circles?” “I spent an hour at the drugstore and I came out with THIS shampoo”… it sounds something like that, right?). Now, you can do that with your friends AND people who have similar beauty concerns as you. Sort of like your makeup-Facebook…genius!

All from

I went to a event recently to learn more about it. It’s as easy as signing in with your Facebook account and you can get right started. After filling in my profile, I headed straight to the Best4You section, where products are organized based on types and most popular ratings. I had a $100 gift card to play with, and decided to go with some of my all-time favorites (theBalm TimeBalm concealer, a BeautyBlender sponge), and some new products I was just introduced to after trying samples at the event (Barbor Deluxe Foundation in Almond Beige, Japonesque Pink Heated Mini Lash Curler, and Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Guava).

My purchases AND sample gifts that came with it

The cool part about for me is a few things — (1) they not only offer high-end products, but you can get your favorite drugstore buys here too (HELLO CoverGirl and Olay);
(2) everyone has their “beauty cabinet” which are items they love that work for them…you can peruse others to get ideas of what might work for you; and (3) the really fun part, you get a hella lot of free samples with your purchase. You get 10% back on every purchase in the form of “BloomDollars” which can be used toward future purchases on the site, as well as Silver, Gold and Platinum BloomBoxes. You also get a choice small, mid-sized, and FULL SIZE product samples with your purchase as well (depending on how much you spend). You pick from a round up that they offer you when you’re checking out. So I basically got 15 items total — way more than I expected.

That included this beautiful eye shadow palette from glominerals, worth $92 for free:

glominerals Alloy eyeshadow palette

Here’s a peek at some of the others:

More samples

Sign up today and you can even peek into MY beauty cabinet:


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Bakery - Coffeehouse/Cafe - FOOD - "The Delicious"

The Grey Dog near Union Square

By Bilal Mohammad

Grey Dogs Coffee

I love New York City mornings because of the special energy that is in the air as people are rushing to work, class, and wherever else they are going. What I don’t love is when you’re running late and you don’t have time to get a coffee on your way. This morning I was walking through Washington Square Park with only five minutes until class so I decided to defer getting my morning caffeine fix until after class. To make up for the self-inflicted delayed gratification, I decided to go to The Grey Dog, a quaint coffeehouse situated on University Place that I’d been meaning to try for a few weeks now.

THE grey dog...I think

Grey Dog more closely resembles a quirky Austin, TX coffee haunt than it does the other chichi coffee shops that densely populate downtown Manhattan. The distressed, wooden, sea foam blue furniture and the lowered vintage ceiling fans add a special charm to the place.

I ordered a hazelnut iced coffee with fat-free milk and asked the barista to pick his favorite muffin for me. He chose the vegan pumpkin muffin made with soy milk. My eating habits are nowhere near macrobiotic, and so this would not have been my natural choice. But this was one special muffin.

My iced hazelnut coffee and muffin

I could obviously taste the pumpkin, but was surprised by hints of clove, ginger, and cinnamon. And if you’re particular about your coffee, rest assured that hazelnut doesn’t translate to a sweeter house blend. It tastes and smells like the real thing.

Bilal is a new contributor to Beauty and the Feast. He’s currently a first-year pre-med student at NYU, majoring in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.

Restaurant Info:
The Grey Dog

90 University Place
btw 11th and 12th Streets
New York, NY 10003
(212) 414-4739
Union Square


Meal: Mid-morning breakfast
Price: $
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***(Quirky, Different, Definitely an experience)
Food: **
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes!

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Acne - Anti-Aging - BATF Giveaways - Beauty - "The Lovely"

Olay Professional Pro-X Clear giveaway!

Weren’t we supposed to leave acne back in highschool with our three-sizes-too-big JNCO jeans (what? Oh…that was just me?). You may be in your 20s, 30s, or beyond and for many of us, breaking out or the occasional zit still manages to pop up. The worst part is, a lot of products are not formulated to treat our type of skin — that is, one that is also deal with anti-aging. That’s why I was BEYOND excited to learn about the new Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol line recently.

Olay Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol line

Olay didn’t just tell us about the adult acne line any old way either — a handful of beauty writers were invited to Exhale Spa on the UES to take part in a Hot Ki Power Vinyasa class with instructor (and creator) Isauro Fernandez. Ki Power Vinyasa is a combination of vinyasa and martial arts. All I know is it was no walk in the park.

My Olay yoga mat :)

I'm focused man!

Hot Ki Power yoga at Exhale Spa

After an intense hour-long workout (extra intense for me — I was fasting that day and couldn’t drink any water either!) on our Olay-branded yoga mats, NYC dermatologist Dr. Diane Berson talked to us about the connection between working out and taking care of your skin.

“After a workout, [Olay Professional Pro-X Clear] is the perfect fit,” she said. “A lot of the traditional acne products that used to be available over-the-counter were targeted to adolescent skin…[which] tends to be very oily and very clogged. It’s important while you’re using products that decrease acne, to also use products that contain barrier repair products.”

Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol, $40

She assured us that it’s a “myth” that you grow out of acne.

“Adult women can deal with acne breakouts at the same time they’re dealing with anti-aging concerns.” That’s why she’s a fan of the new line from Olay, a three-step system which contains salicylic acid and niacinamide to treat breakouts and redness. Results, she says, can be seen in as little as four weeks.

Sounds like something you can use? Well then, you’re going to LOVE today’s giveaway!! I’m partnering up with Olay this week to give one lucky BATF reader:

– The ENTIRE Pro-X Clear line
– 2 yoga mats
– 2 water bottles
– 2 Lululemon yoga bags.

Seriously, how amazing? All you have to do to enter is one of the following, however doing both increases your chances at winning:
1) Leave a comment below
2) Tweet “Win the entire Olay Pro-X Clear line, yoga mats, & more @BeautyNDFeast #OlayBATFgiveaway”

You have to have a US shipping address to be eligible. Winner will be announced on Friday, 10/7. Good luck!


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy

Zumba and Ritual Cleanse at Giuliana Rancic’s FabFitFun LA event

September 29, 2011

By Sadia Khawaja

Zumba in the park!

You’re nobody in Hollywood ’till you’ve successfully mastered the art of multi-tasking. And you’re nobody in any ‘wood ’till you’ve successfully mastered the art of being Fabulous, Fit and Fun. So when E! News Correspondent Giuliana Rancic (master of all of the above), launched her new initiative, FabFitFun, it’s only fitting that I was pumped up in my kicks and inspired to feel fabulous, fit and fun at the aptly titled FFF Spotlight Event at the beautiful Oceana Hotel in Santa Monica, CA last Thursday evening.

Oceana Hotel

Giuliana Rancic fliers

Full of all the ingredients for a healthy and fabulous evening with great sponsors, primo company, and an amazing swag bag, this event had me moving and shaking all night. What I thought would be a ‘light’ 15 minute Zumba session, ended up being an intensely amazing full-on Zumba course right on the beach as the sun set.

Getting our Zumba on

The only thing that was ‘light’ was the breeze. Led by the beautifully fit and energetic, Eliza Storm, the course made me feel like my second calling should be a booty-bouncer/salsa dancer. OK, maybe that’s being a bit ambitious, but she did make this aerobic dance form seem so organic and effortless.

Me with Zumba Coach, Eliza Storm

After the course we lounged at the hotel with a delicious spread of hors d’oeuvres, and skinny cocktails provided by Ritual Cleanse.

Ritual Cleanse founders, Marra O. St.Clair and Lori Kenyon

Lori and Marra passing out their delicious RC drinks

Ritual Cleanse's watermelon drink

I don’t drink, but I tried the sparkling lemonade with a kick cayenne pepper, and the very refreshing watermelon juice. Both were apart of their cleanse system, and both were equally great tasting. Equally refreshing were owners/founders Lori Kenyon and Marra O. St. Claire, who spoke passionately about their product and good health.

Zumba Wii demo

Since my 45 minute ‘Beach Booty Bounce’ workout apparently wasn’t enough, I moved on to demo the new Zumba 2 on the Wii (Release date – November 8th) and fell in love. The wii-mote comfortably fits snug in the waist band, so you can move freely (Awesome). And with new music categories, and great choreography, Zumba 2 feels like you’re just playing a game, not working out (Awesome, again).

I left feeling like I successfully conquered the art of multi-tasking on all 3 aforementioned F-word fronts. I even pre-ordered my Zumba 2 game on the Wii, and started attending the previously overlooked Zumba classes at my gym. Thanks to everyone for a great time, and for allowing me to feel so many F-words at once.

American - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Elmo Restaurant in Chelsea

September 28, 2011

I feel like there hasn’t been much “feasting” on my blog lately. Well, that’s because I don’t eat anymore.

Just kidding.

During Fashion Week, I was primarily surviving on Fiber One bars (not totally by choice but necessity due to running around so much) and barely had time to sit down for a meal in between shows and writing — much less cook for myself. The one place I did manage to lunch at was Elmo in Chelsea, which was right around the corner from the Bebe show I attended.


I was reading a few reviews for Elmo and most of them describe it as “trendy without the attitude.” NY could always use more restaurants like that. This place is a decently-sized restaurant lounge with plenty of open tables that day, but it was also so nice out that my friend and I decided to take it outside. When it came to ordering, the one thing that was really getting to me was how lousy and tired I was feeling that week. While normally I’d be down for a burger, I went for a salad instead. But not without preceding it with some good ol’ guac.



[Do you like how I’m trying to get a little fancy with the pics? Eh? Eh?]. I’m working on my sloppy Photoshop skills.

I think the spicy pico de gallo really saved because it wasn’t extraordinary otherwise. Then came my Asian salad with chicken: shredded carrots, cucumbers, red onion,mandarin oranges, wonton chips, crushed roasted peanuts and sesame rice vinaigrette. I felt like it didn’t taste as tangy as I’m used to with similar salads.

Asian Salad

Again, good not great. I’m trying…trying to eat a little healthier. I’m not sure if I could straight up diet because I love food too much, but just for the sake of my energy which seems to be slowing down a bit after these long days. Anyway, if my side of the table would be considered the ‘healthy’ side, my friend’s was the opposite. He went with a luxurious looking Elmo burger with fries.

Elmo burger

Elmo burger

Elmo fries

The meaty dishes are probably where this place’s strengths are, at least from this limited experience. In between pop songs like Gaga and Rihanna, we did enjoy the outdoors, friendly service and decent food.

Restaurant Info:

156 7th Avenue
btw 19th and 20th
New York, NY 10011-1813
(212) 337-8000


Meal: Lunch
Occasion: Re-fueling between fashion shows
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: **
Food: **
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes – but not for my healthy run…I’d go back for their burgers and other comfort foods.


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BATF Giveaways - Fashion

Karen Millen Giveaway Winner!

Whew! This was the most entries I’ve ever received for a giveaway — over 100 of you entered by leaving comments and tweeting. But sadly, there can only be one winner.And the winner who was drawn totally at the mercy of is….MEHWISH! I’ll email you directly so you can claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone for entering! I’m going to be putting up another giveaway tomorrow — health freaks stay tuned!