Monthly Archives: April 2013

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body - Eyes - Hair - Product Review

3 new drugstore buys under $10

April 17, 2013

I keep meaning to do a regular weekly column on awesome drugstore buys, but I’m still thinking of a cute name. Any ideas? Until then, here are some of my current faves that I’m pretty sure you’ll love too for all intents and purposes (or at least, many of them):

Q-tips Precision Tips ($3.50)

Q-tips Precision Tips


This might seem like the strange thing to write about, but you know those things that you never knew you needed but now can’t live without? Right here. They’re not the normal rounded Q-tips, these are their pointy Precision Tips. Anyone who does any type of eye makeup – even if you limit it to just mascara or only eye liner – you need these. A regular Q-tip can’t get into tricky areas like the tear duct and creases like this one to clean up any stray mascara or shadow like these. Even smoking out your eyes (you know how you apply eye liner, then ‘smudge out’ with a cotton swab? Yes? No? Shall I do a tutorial on this?), is ten times easier with these babies.

John Frieda Style Revival ($9)

John Frieda Full Repair Style Revival Spray


Love this spray because it protects my hair from blow drying but also gives it body and movement. It’s a styling spray with a flexible polymer technology (means it coats your hair to protect it but won’t leave it stiff and bee-hivey like so). It’s heat-activated and weightless so you won’t feel like you have a ton of product in your hair. What’s more, it uses Inca Ichi Oil that also helps penetrate damaged strands to help mend flyaways.

Dial Skin Therapy Himalayan Pink Salt & Water Lily Replenishing Body Wash ($5)

Note, I don’t even have a picture of the product in front of me to take since I went through it so fast. Whenever one of us at the apartment uses this, it leaves us (and the bathroom) smelling heavenly. Seems like the perfect transition into spring (which by the way, seems to be taking forever in making up its mind here). This new body wash has Himalayan salt, which contains 84 minerals & elements.

Dial Skin Therapy Body Wash (cheating with a screen image of the product)

Since we’re on the topic of Dial anyway, their new 7 Day Moisturizing Lotions ($7) are ridiculous (meant in the most affectionate way possible). It contains shea butter and packed with a non-greasy formula.

Dial 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion -- at least I'm still going through this to take a pic!

I got the product being a tad skeptical — how can you even tell it’s working for seven days (assuming we shower/dry out our skin at least a few times in that time period). But after a couple weeks of use, my normally dry skin is smooth as ever, even in between showers. A huge feat to conquer — where was this last winter?!

Which new drugstore finds have you come across lately?


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Shy
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CHARITY - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Love With Food – Gourmet Bites for a cause

April 15, 2013

You know how Birchbox delivers monthly luxe beauty samples (of which you have the option of buying the full sized items on their site if you can’t live without)? Well, Love With Food is a similar idea only with food and a feel-good edge. You pay $10 a month to get a curated selection of gourmet bites, and for every box you get, a meal is donated to a hungry child. Totally brilliant.

Love With Food


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If you realize that you devoured some of the snacks a little too fast, you can buy the full-sized versions on Love With Food’s website for a discounted price (and free shipping). There’s a new theme every month, so for example, this month’s was Classics with a Twist which included:

Classics with a Twist snacks


Kids 50 Fruit & Veggie Juice – apple, carrot, and acerola berry juices with 50% less calories
Ola! Foods Granola – oats, pure vanilla, and maple syrup
Chocwasabi Chocolate Covered Wasabi
Cosmos Creations Salted Caramel Baked Corn
Revolution Tea Green Tea – an antioxidant-rich green tea with acai
Mary’s Gone Crackers – organic, vegan, and gluten-free crunch snacks made with whole grains
Wacky Apple Wild Berry Flat Fruit – Organic apple and blackberries mashed into fruit leather
Emily’s Chocolates Dark Chocolate Orange Good Fortune Cookie, which provides you fortunes like so:

;)

The more you purchase from their site and feedback you leave on items you’ve tasted, the more points you rack up towards free food. ALSO, if you’re feeling extra generous, you have the option to gift a friend with an 8-month subscription, and the same rule applies — for every box they get, a child in need also gets a meal donated. Wins all around.

Check them out at lovewithfood.com.

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American - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Scoping out Brooklyn Diner’s new spring menu

April 11, 2013

It’s delightful! It’s delicious! It’s de-lovely! (Has NO one here seen the Broadway Anything Goes? Because if you have, this song will be forever stuck in your head).

I digress.

So word on the street is Brooklyn Diner just unveiled their new spring menu options (read: I was emailed a press announcement about this and invited to check it out). My friend Mehreen came along to try some of them out…and she possibly ended up getting something from their regular menu, but at least one of us stuck to the task at hand.

Fried House-Made Mozzarella marinara sauce, $10

I guess first things first: this restaurant isn’t actually in Brooklyn. Its home is actually one of two locations in Midtown West (we went to the one on 57th and 7th, the other stands on 43rd Street). Second, it’s not exactly the usual diner. Normally, you’ll meet lunch hours here with a wait — easy enough to see given its prime location — and also find dressed-up staples on their menu both in accoutrements and price. Plus, it’s cozy enough but not stark and depressingly-lit as another diners. Even Mehreen was surprised when she walked in: “I expected…a diner,” I believe were her exact words.

With that, we ordered their Fried House-Made Mozzarella marinara sauce which looks so simple but the sauce and basil topping gives it so much flavor. Must order. The new spring menu options include options for everyone: “Brooklyn’s Little Oriental” Fried Calamari Salad, California Shrimp Salad, Lobster Grilled Cheese with cheddar, gruyere and parmesan cheese, Braised Short Rib sandwich with caramelized onions, and Meatball Parmigiana. I went for their new Veggie Burger with Vermont Cheddar cheese and served with fries. Because if you give me an option for a burger, I will more than likely take it.

Veggie Burger with cheese and fries

The burger is delicious but on the softer side, and maybe even easier to eat piece by piece. Mehreen got their 3-Cheese Chicken Parmigiana with spaghetti pomodoro. The dish is massive (if you are to share, there’s a $5 sharing fee, but you may even have to with dishes like these), and like the appetizer, this place makes very regular menu items way better than you expect (even something as simple as spaghetti).

3-Cheese Chicken Parmigiana


Spaghetti pomodoro

We decided to end with the red velvet cake. Clearly, we didn’t realize how massive this thing would be — the slice was as big as our heads:

Red Velvet cake

Man. It looks smaller in pictures. But I promise, it’s BIG. The cake itself was a bit more on the drier side than we were hoping for, but the whipped cream it came with sort of compensated. Check out their new spring menu options yourself — they’re marked with a star on the menu right now!

Restaurant Info
Brooklyn Diner

212 W 57th St,
at 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 977-1957
Midtown West

REPORT CARD
Meal: Lunch

Occasion: New Spring Menu beckoned!
Price: $$$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: **(Lost a star for the dessert fail)
Service: ***(Wonderful and attentive wait staff who didn’t rush our meal at all)
Would I go back?: Yes, and definitely to try their lobster grilled cheese and shrimp salads!


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body - Face - interviews

Dove uncovers the Truth with Samantha Bee of The Daily Show

April 8, 2013

Last week, as part of Dove’s Truth Files Campaign, The Daily Show‘s very own Samantha Bee hosted an event where she told us some of her personal truths. “Ladies,” she asked, “can you exfoliate to a point where you get a completely different face? I was using my Clarisonic the other day, and I swear I hit a patch of skin from the future.”

Samantha Bee of The Daily Show (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Dove)

Such were among some of Bee’s hilarious reflections of the night. While Dove was demonstrating the “truths” about our skin and body care products in booths scattered around the event, Bee talked to me about how she was celebrating April Truth Day:

Beauty and the Feast:
How did you get involved with Dove and Truth Day?
Samantha Bee: Well, it’s a great partnership for me because I’ve used Dove my entire life, since I was a little baby really. My grandma even used their Beauty Bar. I’ve admired their advertising and brand over the years so I thought it was a good fit.

BATF:
What’s the most surprising thing you found when you were interviewing people on the street about sharing their truths?
Bee: It’s amazing how much truth people will lay on you. People told me far too much. We didn’t use a lot because it ended up being so personal! I mean, people told us about relationships that went sour. I think people want to tell their stories and they want to be heard. When you least expect it, they’ll share something deeply personal.

BATF:
Did you fall for any April Fools jokes? I think I fell for like five.
Bee: That’s adorable. Well, I think people know better. And for the record, I did not perpetrate any untruths. I’m all about truth. April Truth Day, through and through.

Bee sharing her truths at the Dove event


Packed house at the April Truth Day event!



BATF:
What’s the one truth about you you’d want to share today?
Bee: I sometimes hide from my children. Even though I hear them calling my name and I just don’t come out. I don’t respond. I know they’re safe and I know they’re okay, and if I know they’re okay, I just pretend I don’t hear them. Sometimes you have to…sometimes you have to.

BATF:
What is your beauty truth?
Bee: Other than Dove Beauty Bar, I try to leave myself alone a bit. Less is more.

BATF:
Do your kids love it too?
Bee: Absolutely. We’re a Dove family!

BATF:
Truth: favorite thing about Jon Stewart?
Bee: He’s so smart! So, so, so smart. That is the absolute truth!

Truth booths



BATF: Best thing working at The Daily Show?
Bee: Everyday is completely different. It’s an adventure working there. You never know what to expect.

BATF:
Are you competitive with your husband, Jason Jones, on the show?
Bee: We can’t compete with each other, because I give him all my good jokes [laughs]. We did this trivia game show in Canada and I was obsessed. I didn’t really think of myself of a competitive person but when I was on this game show, I was like, I’m gonna win this thing – like, don’t even try it. It just came out of me!

Me and Lara Eurodolian of Prettyconnected.com with Samantha Bee!



BATF:
Truth, who’s funnier – you or your husband?
Bee: Obviously, it’s me. But let’s not tell him that.

BATF:
He probably doesn’t read my blog.
Bee: You never know…

BATF:
The other part of my blog is food, so wondering if you have any favorite restaurants in the city that you like to go to with your family.
Bee: It’s super fancy, but my husband took me to Le Bernardin for our anniversary and I flipped out. It was my first time there. It was a real experience. When I go out, I mean I have little kids (they’re two-, four-, and seven-years-old), and we don’t eat out too often but I really love good food. So when we go out, we try to make a big deal about it because I just want to be taken care of. I want to be in a soft chair, I want it to be relaxing, I want all the food to be delicious. There, you can’t go wrong. Everything is perfect.

BATF:
What in your opinion would be the best way to celebrate Truth Day?
Bee: Call up one person you love and tell them something true about your relationship. I just made that up right now, but it’s pretty nice, right?

Thanks to Dove and Samantha Bee for taking the time to interview! To learn more about Dove’s Truth Files Campaign, CLICK HERE!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face - Tips and How-To's

How to: Mendhi makeup for the glowing bride!

April 2, 2013

Years before she was even engaged, my friend Sarah Khan would always tell me that she wants me to do her makeup for her wedding. It started out as just a small thing where I would do her makeup just for a night out in New York City, while on vacation to Italy or Miami, or to attend another friend’s nuptials. I thought by the time her wedding came around — seven years later — she would forget all about it. Negative. She had asked me well in advance if I’d be game to do her makeup for at least one of her wedding events and I obliged…for her bridal shower, and her mendhi day (a Indian custom the day before her actual wedding).

The beautiful Sarah

The makeup is traditionally a lot lighter on this day than on the wedding day. We had planned to do a trial run before her big day which never happened since I was not in the city for even one weekend for the month preceding her move back to Boston. When the day finally came, I asked her how she envisioned her makeup to look and my only instructions were “make me look hot.” Clearly that wasn’t hard to do. She always trusts me with her makeup and that made me feel a bit more comfortable with diving right in. Given free reign though, I decided to keep her looking fresh and dewy with light, shimmery eyes. Her outfit was elaborate enough, and I thought it would balance everything to keep it mostly neutral so her own natural beauty would shine through. Here’s how I got her look:

Me doing makeup for my friend Sarah on her mendhi day



Face
: I began by massaging in Olay Regenerist cream on her face. Then I used Lise Watier’s Portfolio and blended some of the purple under her eyes and across her nose to brighten that area. Then I used a mix of Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer and Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer around her eyes and nose just to even out some darker/red areas. Next I wet a BeautyBlender sponge with water and dabbed on Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfecting Makeup.

Tricks of the trade. Makeup I used on the bride, minus the foundation and concealers



Cheeks
: Sarah has really fair skin and she didn’t want to be washed out in photos, so I used a few things to sculpt her face. First, I used Make Up For Ever’s Sculpting Kit in the neutral brown to swipe on the outer corners of her forehead, under her cheekbones and jawline (in a ‘3’ motion) using their double ended sculpting brush. Then I went over it with Laura Geller’s Air Whipped Bronzer just under her cheekbones and jawline and blended it in. Next I used Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronze Powder in Soft Radiance to give her a little more color on her cheeks. I added just a touch of L’Oreal’s Magic Smooth Souffle blush in Cherubic on the apples of her cheeks and blended it in. To give her a little bit of a dewy sheen, I finished off using Nars Illuminator in Orgasm on her cheekbones. I LOVE this product — a little goes a long way and it doesn’t show up streaky or messy.

Eye shadow
: I started with Make Up For Forever Aqua Cream in Gold to cover her lids. Then I defined them more by adding Taupe from the same collection and a brown IT Cosmetics shadow from their Luxe Eyeshadow palette to the crease of her eyes and blended it in. The Aqua Creams are waterproof and you don’t need a primer for them. They’ll stay put all night. Then I highlighted her brow bones with Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in Snow. I went over the lid again with a shimmery pink from the same IT Cosmetics palette to give it a little more dimension, and finished off by dabbing just a little more of the gold to the center of her lid.

A closer look at the Aqua Cream shadows applied



Eye liner
: I used Laura Geller’s InkWell Waterproof Gel liner in Black to rim her upper lashline, and inside her waterline. Then I used InkWell in Burgundy to line right outside her lower lashline. I thought the burgundy would just mix it up a little and play off the colors in her dress, without making her eyes overly intense (wanted her to save that for her wedding the next night). These liners, by the way, did not budge at all all night! I just wrote about them HERE.

Using the Lash Cards with Lancome Hypnose Star mascara



Mascara
: I used Lancome’s Hypnose Star (my current go-to mascara) on her upper lashes, and Benefit’s They’re Real! on her lower lashes (I used a small travel size of this mascara which made it easier to use sparingly on her lower lashes). I used these awesome Lash Cards to make sure none of the mascara got onto her lids as I was applying. I didn’t even have to curl her lashes, or add falsies — the mascara was intense enough and I didn’t want to overkill.

Brows
: I used Joey Healy’s brow shadow in Raven and his Duo Brow Brush to just fill in her already amazing brows a little more.

Lips
: I just used a rose-color lip liner to liner her lips, and NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair.

MAC Fix+



Finish:
Lastly, I spritzed her face with a few pumps of MAC Fix+ to set her makeup.

Her finished look (that's her adorable nephew Amaan who she made her entrance with on Power Wheels...kid you not)


Glowing bride and her nephew!

All mendhi photos by Bharat Parmar/www.parmarphoto.com

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BATF Giveaways - Beauty - "The Lovely"

GIVEAWAY: Win a year supply of Dove swag for telling the TRUTH

April 1, 2013

Hi all! Following 24 hours of “fooling people” today, tomorrow, April 2nd, is Truth Day. What better way to reward you for coming clean than by supplying you with A YEAR supply of Dove products and other fun swag? All you have to do is reveal a (Dove friendly) truth about yourself in the comments section below to reap your reward. You can also share your truth by tweeting @Dove and using hashtag #AprilTruthDay.

Dove wants you to come clean!

I’ll be choosing the winner based on the most compelling and inspiring truth so make it good! It can be anything from your shower habits, to event etiquette, to strange rituals. In the meantime, check out the Daily Show’s Samantha Bee scouring the streets of New York to find some shower truths of women in the city:

So tell me — what truth will you reveal? Comment below today and tomorrow, and I’ll choose a winner on Wednesday!

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