Monthly Archives: May 2013

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair

Stylist Sarah Potempa and Aussie bring Unfair Hair to Chicago

May 28, 2013

By Summar Ghias

This summer's hair trends: a sleek top-knot, fishtail braids, messy side buns, and the ever popular beach waves.

Let’s be real: the luscious locks you often see in hair commercials can seem a little unfair. To bridge reality and our greatest fantasy, Aussie took to the streets this weekend to give local Chicagoans the opportunity to shine. That meant handing out a whole range of unfair advantages courtesy of the handiwork of celeb stylist Sarah Potempa and Aussie styling products. Aussie set up shop at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue, where a number of stylists (and if you were lucky, the woman that does Jake Gyllenhaal‘s hair on the regular) gave locals the latest in hair trends ranging from beach waves to top knots to fishtail or milkmaid braids.

With the wonderful stylist herself, Sarah Potempa

Also on hand: assistance from the Aussie Lifeguard Concierge, personal shopping assistance to help carry your bags and lunch reservations at hotspots along Michigan Avenue. While Sarah tended to my own ‘do, we spoke about the most popular summer hairstyle trends, quick ways to eliminate frizz, and her new line of hair tools.

The Aussie Kangaroo takes over Michigan Avenue

Braids of all kinds are definitely in this summer, but it was still the beach waves that were getting the most airtime, so Sarah didn’t seem surprised that I also wanted in. To immediately de-frizz my tresses before beginning the curling process, she took some hair spray and sprayed a paddle brush. Then, she brushed out my hair. A totally easy trick that evenly distributes the hair spray and tames those pesky fly-aways. Even more helpful: The magical Beachwaver which immediately seemed to answer all my hair curling woes. Invented by Sarah herself, the curling iron rotates in both directions to give you consistent curls and is motorized so you aren’t doing anything but pushing a button to take your hair from average to unfair. (FYI: The Beachwaver is now in Ulta stores, making it even more accessible across the nation).

Sarah's go-to products, the Aussie Sprunch Mousse and Leave In Conditioner and You Can Shine Hairspra

For the perfect beach waves

-Before drying hair, spray Aussie Hair Insurance Protecting Shine Spray to protect hair from heat styling.

-Select the side of the hair you want to curl first.

-Depending on the side you are starting with, take your curling iron (or in this case, the genius Sarah Potempa Beachwaver) and make sure the clamp is facing inward.

-Curl hair away from your face. (If you are using the Beachwaver, simply press the button to have the hair curl for you)

-Repeat on the other side.

-Run your fingers through your hair to separate the curls once they have cooled.

-After you are done, take a quarter-sized amount of Aussie Miraculously Smooth Anti-Frizz Cream to create definition and add shine.

To enhance your own natural wave, sans curling iron

–       When you get out of the shower, with damp hair, use a dollop of the Aussie Sprunch Mousse + Leave In Conditioner.

–       Scrunch your hair, distributing the product evenly throughout.

–       Blow-dry just a little.

–       Use the Aussie Smoothing Serum to get rid of frizz.

Why thank you Beachwaver. My curls after my 'unfair hair' styling session with Sarah!

For Chicagoans who missed out, Aussie isn’t finished with the Windy City just yet! In fact, the brand has events lined up all summer that dole out unfair advantages of all kinds, including a Wrigley Field tailgate, where fans will get ticket upgrades and “Cubs Cash”, a Lincoln Park Zoo outing with “roo” treats, and a North Avenue beach day with access to a private cabana and Aussie beach gear. Unfair? We aren’t complaining.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face

Travel Tips from Elizabeth Arden

May 24, 2013


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Elizabeth Arden has gotten somewhat of a face-lift. Seems about right — the company has been around for over 100 years afterall. They are staying true to their great formulations and popular products, but they’re getting in with the times (hello, they’re on Twitter and Instagram now!). Which is great, because with their expanded presence and appearance at events got me more acquainted with some of their products which I’m absolutely loving right now. Plus, I got the low down on some great travel tips from their global makeup artist, Rebecca Restrepo:


Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules

These golden beads are little drops of moisturizing heaven. Seriously. They are made with a Ceramide Lipid Complex, which is a combination of hydration an ceramide benefits (ceramides are made of 50% of the essential lipids in the skin that in protecting it from any signs of aging). These single dose capsules help keep each potent dose pure, and eliminates the need to use preservatives that most other moisturizers use. Each capsule also contains a healthy dose of vitamin E and retinyls that protect against environmental stress and improve skin’s clarity respectively. After just a week of use, I myself noticed softer, more supple skin. (90 capsules, $92; 60 capsules, $72).

Travel Tip
: Restrepo says she loves these to pack on her carry on (an added benefit of carrying your mosturizer in tiny capsules!). These deliver so much moisture, she applies her mid-flight or as a makeup primer.


Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

There’s a reason this is a cult classic. The Eight Hour Cream was created by Ms. Arden in 1930 and has remained true to its original formula. This is an award-winning all purpose beauty balm that helps protect dry, rough skin and even soothes minor irritations. Not to mention, it helps give cheeks and leg a healthy glow. ($19.50)

Travel Tip
: To keep lips from getting dehydrated, Restrepo uses the Eight Hour Cream on her lips before every flight, and on her hands and elbows throughout the flight. She says she likes to warm up the product in the palms of her hands before applying to skin to help activate it and absorb quickly.


Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Lipgloss in Sunset

This is a brand new product from Elizabeth Arden, that not only keeps lips shiny but also provides increased moisture with mango and shea butter and a delicious vanilla scent. In fact, their key ingredient, “Maxi Lip,” is clinically proven to increase lip volume by 40%. It comes in 14 shades, and I now keep their Royal Plum in my bag, always.

Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss in Royal Plum

Travel Tip:
Before she lands after a long flight, Restrepo says, the perfect pick-me-up is a touch blush to brighten the cheeks, a swipe of brightening shadow to open the eye and a dab of rosy lip gloss. For her, her go-to products are the Ceramide Cream Blush in Nectar, Beautiful Color Eye Shadow in Innocence and Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss in Sweet Pink.

Check out Elizabeth Arden on Twitter (@ElizbaethArden) , Facebook , Pinterest, and Instagram!

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**This is a sponsored post, but opinions are my own after testing the products**

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair

An intro Schwarzkopf Professional’s BlondMe line (or How a brown girl goes blonde)

May 22, 2013

By Sadia Khawaja

Schwarzkopf BlondMe event in NYC

They say blondes have all the fun. So, I’ve been thinking for a while about joining in by going blonde myself. A dramatic platinum blonde. Pretty bold for a brown girl. But this is the baby steps edition — for now, I’m opting for highlights. So when Schwarzkopf Professional was hosting a BlondMe breakfast in TriBeCa, I was all over that.

Did they just entice me with food AND beauty products? Why, yes. They did. And they did it well.

Locanda Verde: Fruit and yogurt parfait, toasted hazelnut french toast, zucchini frittata

As I indulged on the-three course breakfast at Robert De Niro’s Locanda Verde, Celebrity Stylist Kim Vo continued to gush about how great Anne Hathaway’s new platinum bob looked at the Met Gala. His golden hair looked pretty perfect as well. My urge to go lighter heightened.

After my second helping of the yogurt & granola parfait, (don’t judge me), I took a minute to appreciate all the themed branding and packaging for this event. Golden polka-dot place mats, yellow and white calla lily centerpieces, and adorable mason jar favors of all the ingredients to make blondies, with the recipe affixed to the jar with mini yellow spatulas. How fitting — how brilliant.


How to make blondies at home!

I made them over the weekend, and they were delicious. I tried the BlondMe line of products they gave, and noticed a significant glow and texture change in my hair. I knew instantly, I was already starting to feel the ‘fun’ all the blondes must have been referring to.


My highlights have a more illuminated and ashy blonde undertone after using the leave-in conditioner and shine magnifying spray. They also make my hair smell great. Granted, 10 minutes underground and above ground later, I’m pretty sure my hair just smells like an amalgamation of city scents — including that fresh kabob fragrance from all the food trucks I walk by. But the point is, that good smells are underneath there somewhere!

BlondMe and blondies ;)

I’ve also been using the BlondMe Brilliance Intense treatment, which really softened my colored hair. It definitely protects my highlights, and enriches the color. It prevents it from fading brassy, as is the course of black to bleached hair, and actually helps it fade a pretty golden blonde.

I’m tempted to try their other line of products as well. But for now, I’m enjoying my faux blonde life!

To check them out yourself, visit



1 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 egg
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 tbs of unsalted butter, melted


– Preheat oven to 350 degrees
– Brush an 8″ square baking pan with butter
– In a large bowl, whisk butter and smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add the rest of the ingredients
– Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top
– Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the corner comes out clean, 40-45 minutes
– Set pan on a wire rack. Let cool completely and then cut into 16 squares

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

Try this: DIY Sugar Scrub

May 21, 2013

Here’s a refreshing scrub you can make using ingredients you probably already have at home. It’s an excellent exfoliator and the ingredients have amazing skin benefits. Lemon is a natural source of vitamin C that brightens, evens out the skin tone and is a natural astringent to tighten pores. Sugar is a natural exfoliator and source of glycolic acid to also help even out skin tone. It improves skin texture by removing impurities and dead skin cells as well. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E, a natural healing agent and moisturizer. Finally, honey is a great antioxidant and natural humectant so it keeps skin hydrated and soft. It also is a natural antibacterial to help reduce breakouts when used on the face!



1/2 fresh lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp organic honey


Mix lemon juice and olive oil thoroughly. Add the honey and whisk or stir quickly until the ingredients bind together and create a medium thick consistency. Add in sugar and mix.

Scrub after mixing all the ingredients

Apply to body, paying extra attention to elbows, knees, feet and hands. Rub in large, circular motions for 3-5 minutes and rinse. You’ll feel so smooth and refreshed! This is enough for one use on the entire body, but if you want to make more (and maybe store it for later in a tupperware), just remember to use 1/2 a lemon for every 1/2 cup of sugar. This is great to use in between shaves as well.

If you want to use it on the face (it’s great for acne-prone skin!), rub gently and make sure there are no open wounds! Leave on face for 7-10 minutes and rinse. Let me know if you try this and how it worked out for you!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body - interviews

Chrissy Teigen gets candid at her bridal shower for her upcoming wedding to John Legend

May 20, 2013

“I’m sorry, I think I just grabbed your ass.” This is the first thing model Chrissy Teigen says to me after we hug at our one-year reunion.

Me with the gorgeous Chrissy Teigen

Our “reunion” was really her bridal shower which Gillette Venus hosted for her at the rooftop of The Strand Hotel at NYC to celebrate her upcoming nuptials to singer John Legend. And what better way to celebrate the beautiful and hilarious spokesperson for the brand? She was visibly touched by the gesture (“I’ve never even been to a bridal shower before!” she told us), and equally down to answer most questions about her upcoming wedding. “John never does this, but he had to take me aside and say, ‘Chrissy, you need to just say no to some questions’…but you know what, f*ck it.” Besides revealing that she will have a destination wedding, FOUR outfit changes, a crepe-ey Lady M style cake that’s “a couple hundred layers,” Teigen sat with me to give me a couple more extra details about the big day:

Chrissy Teigen answering questions for her bridal shower games with Dr. Jody Levine

Chrissy playing bridal shower games with Dr. Jody Levine

Beauty and the Feast:
What are you most excited about for your upcoming wedding to your fiancé, John Legend?
Chrissy Teigen: I’m going to treat this wedding as a family reunion of sorts. I’m most excited about seeing my dad’s face when he gets to see all his kids and everyone together.

Do you have anything left that has to be planned?
Teigen: Yes. Everything. We’ve done the guest list, but we haven’t sent any invites…

Oh yeah, I’m still waiting for mine…
Teigen: I know! That’s the reason you haven’t gotten yours! [laughs] We’re taking our sweet ass time.

What’s the cuisine going to be like?
Teigen: The cuisine will be very hearty without letting people fall asleep. It’s my favorite type of cuisine, but I feel like if I give it away then you’ll know where we’re getting married!

Chrissy's hair at the bridal shower. Photo: Allure_magazine

I love your hair today! Are you going to do something similar for your wedding?
Teigen: Thank you! It IS going to be something very similar. We’re going to do a messy updo. Maybe some flowers. But for the most part, very natural, messy, not too much thought – I mean it will take hours. You know when “natural looks” take hours? That’s how it will be like.


I was looking at the new Venus & Olay razors and noticed their new Sugarberry scent bars. If you could scent your own razor, what would it be? I have a feeling you’re going to say bacon…
Teigen: Oh man! See, I love bacon but everyone sends me like bacon toothpaste and all these things with crazy bacon shit. I don’t want bacon flavored shit, I just love bacon! If I was going to scent my own Venus bar, it would be like chocolate pudding. Something very sweet. What they’ve already done is amazing but chocolate pudding would be delicious. OH man! I would love chocolate pudding!

The bridal shower cake and 'razor cakes' as Chrissy called them

You’ve been a Venus spokesperson for over a year now. What has been your favorite part about representing such a great brand?
Teigen: I get emotional thinking about things like this. It takes a lot to be a brand ambassador. You have to have the perfect personality, you have to be mindful of what you say, and I think it’s very cool they took me on because I’m very outspoken. I’m nuts. I’m sure there have been times where they’ve been like, Oh my God! Why did you say that?! But they are wonderful and I’m happy to represent them. We’re doing one of our last events soon and I think I’m really going to cry! I’m going to be really sad because they’ve been so awesome to me.

Teigen and her adorable mother

We’re kinda obsessed with your captions and hashtags at my apartment. Your #mymomisgrindingpeppercornsbecauseidontknowwhy was one of our favorites. You’re so great on Instagram!
Teigen: But sometimes I’m so boring! You never know what’s going to do well.

Are you more careful about what you post?
Teigen: I am more careful. Not because of that little Instagram snafu of the spray tan thing. But I’m more careful just because I represent an amazing brand and I don’t want them to look bad. But I would tweet a lot more things if I could.

Are you going to be Instagramming on your wedding day?
Teigen: I’m sure I’ll get drunk and Instagram a lot. I’m actually positive of it. I mean like, we’ll be very hush hush, and then I’m sure at like midnight I’ll be like, “WE GOT MARRIED B*TCHES!!!!”

Oh, Chrissy. This is why we love you.

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Face - Sun Protection

Summer SPF tips from Dr. Howard Sobel of DDF

It’s always easier to prevent than treat when it comes to your skin. Wondering how much SPF is enough for maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays? DDF founder and leading dermatologist, Dr. Howard Sobel, answered some really great questions about SPF below — take a look:

DDF Protective Eye Cream SPF 15

Is SPF found within makeup sufficient protection for an average day?

No, SPF within makeup is not sufficient protection for an average day. It would require 7 times the normal amount of foundation to provide enough coverage, so it’s important to wear a separate moisturizer with that offers SPF protection.

What level of SPF should I use?

Sunscreens with SPF 15 or greater should always be applied to the skin daily. Be sure to pick a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection against harmful both UVB rays that contribute to damaging outer skin layers, or receiving a sunburn, and UVA rays that damage deeper layers of the skin contributing to fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re hitting the beach, I recommend increasing your protection to an SPF of at least 30 and be sure to reapply every two hours.

How effective is sunscreen with SPF 50+?

The SPF rating measures the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to the time it would take with sunscreen on. SPF 15 blocks about 93% of the sun’s rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%, so doubling the number and applying SPF 50 or higher doesn’t double your skin’s protection and none offer 100% protection.

What’s the best way to protect the eye area?

In addition to wearing sunglasses, opt for a light-weight eye cream with SPF protection such as DDF’s Protective Eye Cream SPF 15. Sun damage is the number one cause of fine lines and wrinkles, and it’s important not to forget about the delicate eye area where crow’s feet begin to appear over time if the skin is not protected against harmful rays.

Are there any foods or supplements that can help increase your body’s own SPF?

Anti-oxidants are a great way to boost your body’s natural sun protection. Tomatoes, red bell peppers and watermelon all contain the powerful antioxidant, lycopene, which helps block the action of free radicals found in the sun’s rays.

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