Monthly Archives: November 2012

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Fashion - Nails

BaubleBar teaming up with Essie for the cutest polish & bangle sets

November 21, 2012

Do you ever match your nail polish to your jewelry? Here’s a good reason to start: Bauble Bar (the jewelry site I’m obsessed with) is partnering up with Essie for the cutest holiday sets.

Bauble Bar x Essie

It’s pretty genius: You just pick one of Essie’s nail polish and matching bangle, then two more complimentary bracelets of your choice, and they’ll send you all of them in a snazzy carrying case for $50.

Matching polish to bangles

The Essie colors come in Snap Happy (a cheerful red orange), Where’s My Chauffeur (an opulent turquoise), Beyond Cozy (a decadent silvery gold glitter), She’s Pampered (an indulgent red), Butler Please (an indulgent bright blue), and Leading Lady (a supreme deep red with glitter).

Layering bangles

From top to bottom: 1) Silver Scrunch Bangle, 2) Ettika bracelet (my own), 3) Baroque Clear Bangle, 4) Matching bangle that came with my ‘Where’s My Chauffeur’ set. I can really appreciate that the collection is so edited that it helps takes the guesswork out of layering. It’s really hard to go wrong with the options they give you for every set!

Essie Where's My Chauffeur?

Carrying case

Snap it up while you can! Available exclusively at Love the turquoise nail polish with these bangles…Which set would you pick?

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty Tip of the Day - Hair - Tips and How-To's

Are you washing your hair too much? Stylist Tera Rae Stephens thinks so.

Any of you remember the “no ‘poo movement” I wrote about way back when? That’s short for no shampoo, just FYI. I asked you guys to weigh in on how long you’d go between shampoos. Now, experts are saying the less you shampoo, the better. In fact, if you can hold out to once a week, that’s ideal according to SoCal hairstylist Tera Rae Stephens. Here’s why:

– Washing more than you should actually throws off your body’s chemical balance and deprives your hair of the necessary oils it needs to stay healthy
– It actually dries out your hair by stripping the hair of moisture
– Washing too much gets you back to the salon chair more often (hence, more money) by fading your hair color

Stylist Tera Rae Stephens

Think you can’t last a week? Here are some of Tera’s tips:

– Use a dry shampoo. Section hair into 4 inch pieces, spray the dry shampoo where it’s most oily (usually in the front), then run your fingers through your hair. TRY: Oribe Dry Shampoo, $19.50.

– Wear a cute scarf or fedora to cover locks. TRY: EcoShag Scarf $18.50.

– Don’t be afraid to rock the pony tail or side braid (check out How To: Fishtail Braid).

– Work with your natural texture and use pins to pull front hair to the side witha bang braid for a hippy chic look. TRY: Goody Mini Spin Pins.

– If you’re really desperate to wash, stick to just washing your bangs or the very top of your hair over the sink.

“It will be a process and may take you months to get to the point of washing your hair just once a week,” Stephens says. What do you think? Do you think you can go a week without shampoo?

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Spas and Salons

De-stressing (with chocolate!) at the Ritz-Carlton Spa in LA

November 16, 2012

This trip to LA has been the most time I’ve ever spent in the city, and not going to lie, it’s been a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Add the God-awful weather before I left, I felt like I could use some sun and beaches. And, yeah, a massage definitely couldn’t hurt either. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because the Ritz-Carlton just rolled out their seasonal offerings at their spa and had previously invited me to check it out. I had to (painfully) decline at first because, well, I was in New York at the time. But once I bought my ticket, I took them up on the offer and made an appointment.

Their seasonal services are pretty enticing: a Pumpkin Spice Hydrating Facial that uses pumpkin and orange to revitalize the skin and frankincense to moisturize, a Cranberry Promegranate Body Treatment where they use the aforementioned fruits to polish the skin with the added benefit of blueberry shimmering lotion to leave a glow, and a Peppermint Pedicure where they use essential oils and a peppermint mask on your feet before applying the nail polish of your choice. But I really couldn’t resist trying their Hot Chocolate Stone Massage , and what’s more de-stressing than combining chocolate and a massage? (Nothing.)

Ritz Carlton Spa's Sanctuary Room

More on that in a second though. In what I could have only expected from the Ritz, you are first led to the locker room to put your stuff away and get cozy in a plush white robe. Then, you’re led into this gorgeous sanctuary room.

Sanctuary Room

I know. Heavenly.

After stretching out and helping myself to their complimentary bites, I was given to the care of Jovanni for my massage. I think there was a moment where I realized I had no clue what a “hot chocolate massage” would entail – would they use chocolate in this at all? Luckily they actually use chocolate oils with the heated basalt stones for a total body massage (did I mention you’re laying on a heated bed too?). I’ve had only one hot stone massage before, and the click-clacking of constantly switching the heated stones was distracting – not here. Jovanni was a pro at seamlessly switching stones covered in the velvety oils. She smoothly stroked out every last knot and when she got to my feet I felt the most relaxed I think I had all month…I know, because I easily fell into a cat nap in which I dreamed of (and I’m 100% serious about this) chocolate chip cookies.

Vanity area in locker room

Locker room

I know some of you might be curious – does smelling chocolate throughout your massage make you hungry? Honestly, for me the scent is associated so much with happiness, I just felt so relaxed and lifted. Jovanni, on the other hand, said all she wanted to do now was bake a chocolate cake. But if you really do crave it, the good news is they give you the most decadent chocolate truffles as a parting gift. A true combination of “beauty” and “food” ;).

Delicious chocolate gifts

Afterwards, I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt so rejuvenated and peaceful, I went back to the sanctuary room for another half hour just to relax and take everything in. It was easily one of the best, if not the best, massage I’ve ever had.

Dressing tables to freshen up after your spa services

The spa services run from $70-$160 (the massage is $160) and are available only until Dec. 31st. If you’re looking for the perfect way to unwind and have every last stress wringed out of you, I’d come here first (and ask for Jovanni! She’s amazing!). Plus with the holidays around the corner, I’d find it hard to top it for one luxurious gift.

Spa info:
The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles Spa

900 W Olympic Blvd,
Los Angeles, California 90015
(213) 743-8800

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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Mexican - Spanish/Latin American - Travel Feasts

Frida: Mexican Cuisine at the Americana Mall

November 15, 2012

Hurricane, winter storms, and the generally miserable weather on the east coast warrants a visit to California. And MAYBE my friends Yasir and Sarah moving out here had something to do with it. But 70s (aka perfect) and sun made it a little bit of a selfish vacation to get away from the madness in the city. I don’t think I realized how many people are out here but my days already have been full of good company, including having brunch yesterday at Frida at the Americana mall with the lovely Nadia of Sweet Pillar & Co..

Burrito Vegetariano

Burrito Vegetariano

Burrito Mazatlán

We split a burrito vegetariano (sautéed asparagus and zucchini with white rice, black beans, lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco and guacamole, wrapped in a flour tortilla) and burrito mazatlán (sautéed shrimp in a chile-pasilla orange sauce, onions, lettuce, and guacamole wrapped in a flour tortilla. Served with rice and beans). Without meat, you would think it would fall short but both burritos were fresh, tasty, and in the case of the mazatlan, spiced perfectly. We finished off with green tea and a very strong, but well-timed, latte.

Plus with plenty of outdoor seating, we felt like we weren’t missing the extremely beautiful day I was hoping for…even after sitting there comfortably for four hours. Time flies with good food and good company!


Meal: Lunch
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: ***
Service: *** (no one bothered us for taking our sweet time and there was no pressure to order more than we could finish)
Would I go back?: Yes

Restaurant Info:

750 Americana Way
Glendale, CA 91210
(818) 551-1666

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Beauty - "The Lovely"

New Yorkers: Promotion on Laser Hair Removal

November 14, 2012

Central Park Women’s Health is having their Grand Opening in which they’re running a ridiculously awesome deal on laser hair removal using the state-of-the-art Cutera CoolGlide Laser. The deal includes:


Extra Small Areas – 3 sessions for $75 (reg. $220) or 6 sessions for $155 (reg. $445). Choose upper lip, sideburns, between brows, ears, nose, fingers, toes, or areola.

Small Areas – 3 sessions for $95 (reg. $445) or 6 sessions for $175 (reg. $850). Choose underarms, bikini line, cheeks, chin, feet, forehead, hands, happy trail, women’s neck (back or front), women’s jawline, women’s side of face, or inner buttocks.

Medium Areas – 3 sessions for $145 (reg. $600) or 6 sessions for $275 (reg. $1,150). Choose Brazilian bikini, legs (upper or lower), inner thigh, arms (upper or lower), shoulders, women’s abs, or women’s face (cheeks, lip, chin, sideburns).

Large Areas – 3 sessions for $195 (reg. $745) or 6 sessions for $375 (reg. $1,450). Choose women’s full legs, women’s full arms, women’s full back, full buttocks, men’s abs, men’s full face, men’s upper back and shoulders, or men’s chest.

To book an appointment, call: 646-389-1497

ADDRESS: 372 Central Park West Suite 1D New York, NY 10025 (On 97th Street & Central Park West, near the B & C subway lines). Go for a complimentary consultation and test patch!

Here’s some more info on the laser they use directly from Central Park Women’s Health:

Regardless of the color of your skin or how fast (or slow) your hair grows, we’ve got a customized treatment program for you! Cleared for permanent hair reduction,The FDA-approved Cutera CoolGlide laser can treat men and women of all skin types safely and effectively, year-round. Virtually any area of the body or face can be treated.

What do CoolGlide treatments feel like?

As the name implies, the CoolGlide handpiece cools and soothes as it glides along your skin. When the pulse of light is delivered, some patients experience a mild pinching or stinging sensation. No local anesthesia or pain medication is typically required; however some patients may prefer to use a topical anesthetic when sensitive areas are treated.

How many treatments will I need?

Most areas require 3-6 treatments. However, the number of CoolGlide treatments required for optimal long-term benefits depends on multiple factors – hair thickness, the area treated and your hair’s growth cycle.

Why CoolGlide?

The CoolGlide technology is considered the gold standard in the laser industry because of its long history of safety and effectiveness on all skin types–even on tanned skin. It can treat not only coarse hair but fine hair as well. It is permanent, safe and effective. The CoolGlide can remove hair from any part of the face or body.

Often times, certain types of lasers can burn skin. Not the Cutera. The beauty of the CoolGlide technology is that it effectively destroys the hair without harming the surrounding skin. You may be a little red afterward, but that typically goes away in a matter of hours.

The hair treated with CoolGlide will not grow back, and patients can expect an 85 percent reduction in hair after four to six treatments. As we age our hair patterns change, so this does not prevent the possibility of new hair growth over the years. No laser or light-based system can treat blonde, white, red or gray hair since there is no melanin in it to absorb the light, but with our CoolGlide system people with any other color hair can receive treatment.

We are trained to work with all skin types, including extra sensitive skin and skin-of-color.

What happens after the treatment?

Immediately following your CoolGlide treatment, the area may appear a bit red and swollen. Three to seven days after treatment you may experience what seems to be regrowth of hair. Actually, most of these hairs are being shed as a result of your treatment and are not regrowing. Between treatments you should not wax or pluck your hair, but it is permissible to shave.

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Beauty - "The Lovely"

Lise Watier cosmetics have arrived stateside!

After our shoot! That's a wrap! Photo: YM/

So remember I was raving about my trip to Montreal recently? I wanted to tell you more about why I was there in the first place. Lise Watier, a leading Canadian beauty brand, has officially launched stateside with their US website, and they brought us over to give us a little taste of their high quality cosmetics, and of its wonderful birthplace. Here are the cliffsnotes from the trip and some of their products that I already can’t get enough of!

Our ride for the stay!

WHERE WE STAYED: The luxurious Hotel St. Paul Old Town. Robes, a humongous bathtub, a decadent bed, and comfortable lighting made it hard to give it up when it was time to check out!

Inside St. Paul

St. Paul

WHAT WE ATE: First stop, Hambar for a quick lunch after we landed (I had a delicious pasta in a creamy sauce and ordered a side of fries because they were to die for). Others had duck confit, seared salmon or hangar steak.

Lunch at Hambar

Inside Hambar

My meal! Pasta

Duck confit

Hangar steak and fries

We were told we couldn’t leave Quebec without having poutine (a dish of french fries, topped with gravy, and cheese curd that you can’t find in the US!), so we made a late night stop at La Banquise. Dinner for champs!

Poutine from La Banquise

And finally, a fab brunch at the Ritz-Carlton’s Boulud restaurant. I had french toast, and others opted for the salmon and bagel, or poached eggs. So delicious!

Ritz-Carlton Montreal

Decadent entrance to the Ritz

Tweeting away at Boulud

French Toast

Bagel with cream cheese and salmon

WHAT WE SAW: An up-close look at the talented Montreal-based designer, Eve Gravel‘s studio.

Eve Gravel's studio

Montreal based actresses and singers wearing Eve's designs

Eve Gravel sketches

She showed us this beautiful video (below) of her collection as a quick intro, and we got a closer look at her elegant clothes.

If it wasn’t kind enough of her to open her studio doors to us, she even gave us a parting gifts from the Winter collections — woven scarves and winter hats (I’m obsessed with mine!). That’s all of us with Eve, rocking our new gifts in the pic below!

Photo: YM/

WHAT WE DID: Of course, a considerable part of our trip was learning more about the brand and testing her products. We got to look first hand at her best-sellers like Portfolio.

Ready for our Lise Watier workshop!

Our box of products to test!

Portfolio Complexion Corrector

LOVE their new Vent du Sud perfume

We also got samples of her skincare line, after which seeing a difference after one use, I promptly ordered her Age Control Supreme Crystal Day Elixir and Black Night Elixir ($50 each) when I got back home. I was convinced after trying it and after hearing about it at our brunch (more on this below). The key ingredient in Labrador Tea, a tea leaf found in the Boreal Forest of Canada. According to their research done in partnership with the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi, Labrador Tea is 20 times more potent than Q10 and three times more active than Vitamin C and grape seed extract as a powerful antioxidant.

Makeup wise, I need to do separate posts on this, but her LED-light up lip glosses and new intense eyeliner pen are everything.

Later, we got ready for their US launch party at Arsenal, where they went all out in beauty treats: edible lipsticks, a manicure nail bar, ballerina modern dancers, makeup touch ups, and a photobooth we had too much fun with…

Inside the launch party at Arsenal

Dancers using Lise Watier's light up glosses in their performance!

Nail bar

Makeup bar Credit: YM/

Photobooth! Credit: YM/

WHO WE MET: We should have known after we were told we were having brunch at the Ritz-Carlton which recently hosted the Princess of Monaco, that we’d have an equally special guest: Lise Watier herself!

In one word, she is stunning in person with such presence and grace. It was surreal having conversations with her about her passion to empower women through her products and initiatives. She set up the Lise Watier Foundation, which is a non-profit that helps financial assistance to talented young girls and women and also provides a safe environment for women to regain confidence after hardships like domestic violence or homelessness. “Underprivileged women are also underprivileged children,” she told us at brunch explaining why the cause was so important to her.

Lise Watier with her pooch, Folie who was quietly hiding in her purse the whole time!

To me, this was the highlight of the trip. Being in the company of Madame Watier really made me feel like we found the heart of the brand. Madame Watier has such an inspiring presence about her, and she laid so many gems of wisdom in our meal with her. Just making the time to meet with us really speaks to how much heart she puts into connecting with people and understanding their needs. It shows in every aspect of what we were exposed to in these two days.

“Creativity never gets old. Creativity keeps you alive. It’s a gift from God,” she told us about constantly striving to be inspired. “Young people need a dream. The dream hold you. When you have a dream, it helps you absorb life’s problems.” I felt like I could listen to her forever!

After brunch with Madame Watier. Credit: YM/

It was definitely a meal to remember! We finally wrapped up the trip with an elaborate photo shoot coordinated by Lise Watier, complete with hair provided by the fabulous Schwarzkopf team and makeup from the pros. Will share those photos and video soon!

Felicia getting her hair done, nails done, everything did... Photo cred: YM/

Has anyone ever used any products from Lise Watier? What are your favorites? The more I discover from the line, the more convinced I am that it’s going to be HUGE in the US soon!

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