Monthly Archives: May 2013


CEW Insiders’ Beauty Award Winners 2013

May 19, 2013

Last Friday, I was fortunate to attend the Cosmetic Executive Women Insiders’ Beauty Awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC. The awards show sheds light on some of the most popular and up-and-coming beauty brands and products, awarding 36 products across 30 product categories. This year, there were more than 650 entries, and below are the products that came up on top!

CEW Award Winners

The 2013 CEW Beauty Awards winners are:
Bath and Body Mass

Eucerin – Professional Repair Lotion Extremely Dry Skin Lotion

Bath and Body Prestige

Bliss – Fatgirlsixpack

Acne Treatment

GLAMGLOW, Inc. – Super-mud Clearing Treatment

Anti-Aging Mass

Avon – Anew Clinical Pro Line Eraser Treatment A-F33

Anti-Aging Prestige

Philosophy – Full of Promise Treatment Duo for Uplifting Days and Volumizing Nights

Cleanser & Scrub

Fresh, Inc. – Rose Cleansing Foam

Eye Treatment Mass

L’Oréal Paris – Revitalift Triple Power Eye Treatment

Eye Treatment Prestige

Lancôme – Génifique Eye Light-Pearl

Lip Treatment

Fresh, Inc. – Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy

Moisturizer Mass

Neutrogena Corporation – Naturals Multi-vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer

Moisturizer Prestige

Clinique – Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

Skincare Tools

NuFACE – Trinity Skin Boosting System with Microcurrent and Red LED

Sun Product

Elizabeth Arden – Prevage Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50+++

Hair Care Product

Ojon- Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy

Hair Coloring Product

Rita Hazan New York – Foaming Color Gloss in Tones Down Brassiness

Hair Styling Product

Ojon – Super Sleek Restorative Blowout Perfector

Eye Product Mass

Maybelline New York – The Mega Plush Mascara by Volum’ Express Mascara

Eye Product Prestige

Dior Beauty – Diorshow New Look Mascara

Face Product Mass

Sonia Kashuk for Target – Chic Luminosity Bronzer in Goddess

Face Product Prestige

Smashbox Cosmetics – Photo Finish More Than Primer Dark Spot Correcting

Lip Product Mass

Sonia Kashuk for Target – Satin Luxe Lip Color with SPF 16

Lip Product Prestige

Dior Beauty – Addict Extreme Lipstick


Jack Black – Dry Erase Ultra-calming Face Cream


Sally Hansen – Salon Insta-gel Strips

Men’s Scent

Viktor & Rolf – Spicebomb
Perfumer- IFF

Women’s Scent Mass

Coty – Closer by Halle Berry
Perfumer- Firmenich

Women’s Scent Prestige

Coty Inc. – Dot Marc Jacobs Perfumer- Firmenich



* Sponsored by Givaudan and vetted by The Natural Step
Nourish | Organic Food For Healthy Skin


Neydharting Moor


L’Orèal Paris Colour Riche Nail


Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum


Lancôme La Vie est Belle

Congratulations to all the winners!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails

Fact: When I’m upset, I paint my nails.

May 16, 2013

Yesterday was one of those days — the Bulls lost (good run though, guys…you were quite the injured team and you still made it farther than most people expected you all too! Also I dunno why I’m writing to you guys here as if you all would ever read a makeup/food blog…sigh). Anyway, the PMS didn’t help. My email was compromised. My room needed serious organizing. After walking around in a few circles, I decided there’s nothing I wanted to do more at 1AM than paint my nails with Jin Soon‘s new Spring line, which I’ve been crushing on since FOREVER. Or, at least last winter when I began seeing the most stylish editors sporting them on their nails.

Jin Soon nail polish in French Lilac, Tea Rose, Blue Iris, Coral Peony, and Poppy Blue

Seriously, in all my years, I haven’t seen a line up of gorgeously elegant colors I’ve coveted more. Specifically, her Blue Iris. It amazes me how nail polishes now come in almost every color imaginable, but none have nailed (no pun intended) this specific shade of blue quite as perfectly as Jin Soon. Plus, the color blue itself causes the body to release calming chemicals and give you a sense of peace and tranquility. Needed.

Jin Soon Blue Iris

It’s easy to see why it’s their best seller. With just two coats, it dried to a nice, clean, and shiny finish. I wanted to make sure it stays a while though (and I have a basketball game tonight — my nails have yet to last through a game), so I finished with Julep’s new Freedom Polymer Top Coat ($17 at

Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat

It goes on like polish but finishes like a gel. The best part is that it doesn’t need a UV lamp to have a high shine finish. It cures in 5 minutes in natural light (or 2 minute under a 60 watt bulb), and you can remove it with regular nail polish. Win, win, win.

From Jin Soon's instagram: Blue Iris is the 'it' color at the Jin soon spas, they say

Back to the color though, I woke up admiring the inky blue in all its glory. This is when I realized putting on nail polish is a way to have a few moments to myself and sort of zone out. Conclusion: painting on a couple coats as pretty as these is the best de-stresser ever. Try it.

Jin Soon nail polishes are available at for $18 each.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Gift Guide - Gift Guide

7 Last minute Mother’s Day gift ideas!

May 10, 2013

Mother’s Day is May 12th. Yes, that’s in two days. Because we’re all procrastinators (just hold my hand, it’s OK), here are some suggestions of gifts you can get your lovely mama:

Sonia Kashuk Native Beauty Brush Set, $17

Sonia Kashuk Native Beauty Brush Set

I always say makeup brushes are the best gifts. It’s one of those things we don’t think to invest in, but trust me, everyone needs a good set. Your brushes make all the difference in how your makeup looks. I love these bright brushes from Sonia Kashuk that come in a chic raffia tribal case. Plus it’s a travel set, that easily fits in a bag or clutch. Perfect for moms who are constantly on-the-go. The set includes a Synthetic Domed Powder Brush, Eye Shadow Brush, Angled Fluffy Eye Shadow Brush and Synthetic Pointed Eyeliner/Lip Brush with full size brush heads.

Lancôme Trésor In Love Hearts Set, $61

Lancôme Trésor In Love Hearts Set

A gorgeous scent, Tresor in Love, packaged with a mascara that will give your mama Kim Kardashian-lashes — no really, her makeup artist used Lancome Doll Lashes Mascara on Kardashian for her wedding day.

Vitamix 5200 blender
, $450

Vitamix 5200

I know. It’s $450, but it’s the Rolls-Royce of blenders. This blends everything and anything, and has a 7-year warranty. When my mom discovered this, she would call me every single day to tell me to get the same thing just based on how many healthy drinks she can make from this one alone. This 5200 is the standard, but they have a bunch more options on their website. If you guys read my post earlier today, this green smoothie is ONE of them. Bonus: You will easily secure your spot as ‘favorite child’ after this one.

DDF Revolve 400X, $99 for the kit

DDF Revolve 400X

She probably doesn’t have time to get facials, much less setting up a microderm appointment. Here’s a much less intimidating option: DDF’s Revolve 400X Micro-Polishing System. It’s dubbed to be just as good as professional treatments and at a fraction of the cost. It’s a spa day at home, ya’ll!

Sonia Kashuk Beauty organizers in Floral and Yarn, $25 each

Makeup organizers from Target

Another great find at Target: these organizers are beautiful on it’s own or filled with Mom’s favorite beauty goodies!

Laura Mercier La Petite Patisserie Eau Gourmande Fragrance Coffret, $45

La Petite Patisserie Eau Gourmande Fragrance Coffret


These gorgeous scents from Laura Mercier are limited edition and includes includes three travel-friendly scents in Vanille, Fresh Fig and Almond Coconut Milk. Scents to compliment any type, and can even be layered for a lovely unique scent that your mother can claim for her own. Gift wrap optional — did you check out the pretty box it comes in??

French’s Flavor Infusers, $1 each

French's Flavor Infusers

One of the many great things Robert Verdi has taught me is that it’s really the sentiment that matters most in the gift, and it’s also very easy to package affordable, useful items in a pretty way. I’d take items, like these $1 Flavor Infusers from French’s, and package them in a pretty basket along with other items (tissues, scented hand soap, homemade cookies, etc). These are 10-minute flavor marinades that doesn’t require refrigeration, and because it has a pointy tip, you can infuse it right into your meat and let it sit for only 10 minutes before it’s ready to be cooked. Saving mom time? Isn’t that the greatest gift of all?

What gift are you getting your mom this year?

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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Recipes

Healthy breakfast smoothie recipe

I’m forever trying to find great smoothie and juice recipes in an attempt to eat a little better and rectify my snacking ways. I even got a juicer last December and still have not used it. I’m almost intimidated by it, I don’t know why. It makes no sense because they really are the easiest things you can put together in the kitchen, but I haven’t gotten around to experimenting yet. I’m currently visiting my brother and his family in Michigan, and the other night, he made the most delicious smoothie for me. It reminded me a lot of the smoothies you can get at Blue Dog (one of my favorite healthy joints in the city). He told me he actually stole the recipe from our cousin, Sabeen…so we can all thank her for this tasty and nutritious treat :). My brother made it again for me so I can share it with you all here:

Breakfast Smoothie ingredients

1 1/2 cups green grapes (note: make sure you get green grapes — you can use red grapes too, but it will taste a little more tart)
1/2 orange
1 banana
1 slice Pineapple
1 handful fresh spinach
5-6 mint leaves
1 cup ice
Run on High for 35-40 seconds

My brother using his Vitamix to make the smoothie

Total side note, but my family is completely obsessed with the Vitamix blender. It’s a little pricey, but so worth it. I’ll write about it again in my Mother’s Day Gift Guide :).



Try it and let me know what you think :). Do any of you have any other tips/recipes for healthy smoothies or juices? Share in the comments! I’m always looking for more!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty on the Streets

Beauty on the Streets: Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend

May 9, 2013

Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend

Name: Megan Collins

Age: old enough to know better than to answer that question! 😉

Occupation: Writer

Location: NYC


Twitter: @styleGF

Style Girlfriend is a blog I started that’s all about guys’ style from the female perspective. Basically, I give guys the insider info on what we ladies like to see them wearing…and what we definitely DON’T (think: bootcut jeans and ratty, bbq sauce-stained hoodies).”

My style is: Upper East Side princess gets in a fight with Williamsburg hipster. Winner unclear.

The song I have on repeat right now is: Mirrors, by Justin Timberlake. Yes, still.

Growing up, I really wanted to be: a professional namer – of pets, babies, buildings. Whatever might need a name, I’d be there to christen it. Turns out, that is not a viable career option. Still seems like it would be fun, though.

The best part about being a female menswear blogger: is that my voice stands out in the crowd a bit better. I’m one of only a few women talking about guys’ style out there today!

My best fashion advice: Put your tailor on speed dial! It’s incredible what taking in an inch (or, ahem, letting it out) here or there can do to make your clothes look 100x more amazing on you. Fit is everything.

Guys, please stop: wearing running shoes when you’re not actually running.

People usually compliment my: Eyes. They’re big and brown and run in my family.

I’ll never forget the time: I saw Joshua Malina (Will Bailey from The West Wing) at a skate park in LA, and was totally starstruck. Honestly, I never geek out over celebrities, but I am such a huge West Wing fan. My friends thought I was the biggest nerd for getting so excited.

For my skin, I use: The whole skincare line from NARS is amazing. Definitely worth the splurge.

My favorite place in the whole world is: my parents’ backyard in Wisconsin. They’ve got a beautiful patio and have put a ton of time into the gardening and landscaping. There’s no place better on a Sunday morning in the summer than out there, listening to The Beatles (a family fave), sipping coffee, and reading the paper.

Current beauty product obsession: Jin Soon’s quick dry top coat, Top Gloss. I’m terrible at giving myself manicures at home, but this stuff actually makes them last!

But I also can’t live without: Bumble & bumble Surf Spray. Now that warm weather is finally here (or at least, on its way), I’ll be rocking beachy waves non-stop.

Worst habit: I ma-a-a-a-y bite my nails when I’m stressed. Maybe. Don’t tell anyone.

When I travel, I MUST have: a big bottle of water. Trying to combat that drying airplane air, I chug water like it’s my job whenever I fly.

My favorite scent right now: Tom Ford Grey Vetiver. Mmmm.

People might be surprised to know that: I have kind of a dirty mouth? I try to keep curse words off my social networks (what if I decide I want to be president one day?? Can’t have that stuff lurking for posterity around the interwebs). But yeah, sometimes I swear like a sailor.

My current favorite hair product is: Man Cave Caffeine Shampoo. It’s not available in the US yet, but it’s paraben-free and I like the idea of a jolt of java for my hair in the mornings. It seems only fair, since the rest of me gets at least a few cups each day.

I don’t understand people who don’t like: cheese curds. I am from Wisconsin, after all.

The restaurant I can never get tired of is: Marshall Stack on the Lower East Side. It’s a cash-only bar with a tiny kitchen (more like kitchen nook), so nothing fancy. The owner and bartenders all know me, which I love, and there’s not a more satisfying meal than a good IPA and their sloppy joe sliders.

Though I can make a mean: chili. me and my slow cooker are in a very serious, committed, long-term relationship. It’s true love that I know will last.

I hope in 5 years: I still love what I do as much as I do today.

Who inspires me: my sister. She is crazy talented, hard working, fun, and is raising two kids who are awesome (which is saying something for someone previously terrified of children). She’s basically Superwoman.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Spas and Salons

The time a facial made me see the light

May 8, 2013

By Nicci Jordan Hubert

A pic of me with my husband after one of the greatest facials of my life -- yes I used a filter for IG, but my skin really glowed just the same!

When I first moved to New York, I was hired at a big publishing company, an experience which I’d fantasized about most of my life but which quickly turned sour, thanks to a Devil-Wears-Prada-esque boss who told me she wanted to “crush my face.” Disillusioned, I swore off publishing and went to work as a receptionist at a medical day spa on the upper east side, owned by a renowned plastic surgeon. This was before the financial crisis caused the spa to close. It was a time when medical facials were considered a necessity, not a luxury, and where UES ladies in fur coats were as ubiquitous as NYC parking tickets. I became familiar not only with the ins and outs of good, scientific esthetics, but also the contours and the width of the American Express Black Card (its titanium is nearly as thick as the hard cover of a book). The estheticians at the spa were medically trained, and worked with products that combined essential oils with top-level chemistry. My face looked and felt like a 16-year-old’s when I worked there, thanks to the legendary employee perks of the financially confident, indulgent aughts.

About nine months later, I came to my senses, and returned to work in publishing, but I was left with an indelible sense for what constituted a good facial. And let me tell you something: for as much as NY has a reputation for having top-of-the-line everything, it seems almost impossible to get a good facial here. Almost every spa I’ve patronized since working on the UES has provided only the most basic–and the least scientific–of services. A scrub (or at best, an enzymatic) exfoliation. Painful extractions. Inappropriate use of oils. I even recently had a facial at one of New York’s most upscale spas–as a media guest at that–and the esthetician botched it to such a degree that I broke out in practically every corner of my face. Oh, and her fingers smelled like cigarettes and her breath like tobacco-infused paprika. I learned a lesson about smoke and mirrors that day, my friends.

So last week, when I discovered that an esthetician I’d long-ago worked with at the Upper East Side spa had moved on to Paul Labrecque, I immediately booked an appointment with her, not caring what the cost. My face hadn’t been touched by experienced fingers for years, and I’d gone from looking 16 to looking my age, and that just wouldn’t do. Thank God—no, seriously—for Tatiana.

Paul Labrecque salon and spa

Here’s what you need to know about Tatiana (and, I’d like to presume, the other estheticians at Paul Labrecque): she KNOWS skin. She answered my questions with expertise and grace (is my skin still oily like it was when I’d first seen her? Am I getting OLLLLLLD?). The exfoliation she gave me was chemical in nature (a scrub is for home, people; a chemical exfoliation is for the treatment room). I barely felt her extractions (except for on the nose, which can’t be avoided). And as the hydrating mask was setting, her face massage was so transcendent that–I’m not kidding you–my brain opened a little to the heavens, and–I swear I’m not making this up–a bright light in the shape of the door formed in my head. THAT’S how talented this woman is. My mind’s eye practically saw the gates of heaven in Tatiana’s treatment room.

The products she used–props to Paul Labrecque–were excellent, too, and I could tell because my skin looked and felt red-carpet ready after the facial. I had dinner plans that night and had opted out of foundation to show off my skin. I was repeatedly told that I was glowing.

Facial room at Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa

After the facial, I was in such bliss I decided to keep the feeling going and get a manicure, which was a happy alternative to the basic neighborhood spots I usually frequent. Although the facial was pricey (a basic treatment is $130), I can’t recommend it enough for at least once every 6 months if you can swing it, once a quarter would be even better. Request Tatiana*. You’re welcome.

*Paul Labrecque has 4 salon/spas in Manhattan. Tatiana is at the E 65th location.

Salon Info:
Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa

171 E 65th St (near 3rd Ave.)
New York, NY 10065
(212) 988-7816

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