Monday, November 24, 2014

holiday 2014: fragrant gift ideas

if you're looking to gift your loved one with scent this holiday season, consider these individual fragrances and sets featuring scents i happen to love {and know already have many fans}. of course, remember: fragrance is personal, so don't forget to include a gift receipt. :)

Guilty by Gucci 3 Pc. Gift Set for women features the daring, oriental floral fragrance that combines notes of mandarin, pink pepper, lilac and amber for an edge of sexiness and sensuality. set includes eau de toilette, body lotion and portable fragrance spray.

La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme is made with the most precious natural ingredients, boasting a modern interpretation of an oriental fragrance. a perfect choice for cooler temps, elegant iris with the strength of patchouli and the sweetness of gourmand blend together, creating a gorgeously feminine fragrance.


Lancôme's most beautifully classic scent {and one of the first "grownup" scents i ever bought for myself when i was in my early 20s}, Trésor, is for a woman who understands that time is precious and each moment is meant to be treasured. elegant rose and lilac notes will make her feel as radiant and precious as this fragrance is.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Gift Set features the very popular, sophisticated, whimsical scent; always elegant, always enchanting ~ but not too serious ~ Daisy is a sparkling floral bouquet, spirited and fresh, wrapped in comfort and warmth. the set comes with a black keepsake box, which is covered in sleek fabric and encloses a mirror in the lid.



Clinique A Little Happiness gift set is a fabulous option when you have multiples gifts to give but or on a budget, or as one fabulous gift for the happiest gal in your life. includes bright floral Clinique Happy, rich floral Happy Heart, limited-edition Happy In Bloom, Wealth of Flowers, and Clinique Hint of Citrus perfume sprays. 

for the on-trend young woman, Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy Nail Duo Kit includes two chic, classic, on-the-go, travel-friendly sized fragrances {Viva la Juicy Eau de Parfum and Viva la Juicy Gold Couture Eau de Parfum}, plus a travel nail set {a nail color duo and statement nail decals} in a pink and gold envelope-style cosmetics bag.

Killer Queen by Katy Perry includes an eau de parfum spray, a purse-friendly rollerball and body lotion in the fun, daring floral fragrance. notes include plum, red velvet flower, jasmine sambac and rainbow plumeria.

these are just a few suggestions, beauties! what scents would you recommend for gift-giving?













images and info courtesy of pr for featured brands

Friday, November 21, 2014

expert tips for creating a perfect at-home bath


did you know that immersing the body in water has been medically proven to be a very relaxing, therapeutic and a complement to a healthy lifestyle? you can find luxurious baths the Lapis Spa in the Fontainebleau Miami Beach where they offer water therapy in various ways and at varied temperatures; the deep muscle relaxation associated with a good hot bath helps to reduce cramps, tension headaches and improves muscle elasticity. this process is similar to a massage and beneficial for everyone, from athletes to those who sit at a desk all day. it has even been said that taking a bath takes you back to a time when you were in the womb, thus creating a comforting and relaxing environment.

with winter in the air and the stress of the holidays just around the corner, a bath is certainly something that will aid in relaxing. i admit, i don't remember the last time i took one, but since receiving the following tips i have to share with you, i'm thinking it's about time i take one soon…

many thanks to Josie Feria, director of Spa at Lapis {located at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach}, for  sharing these helpful tips to create the ultimate at-home soaking experience. take a look…

bath temperature 
a warm bath is best for relaxing the body with the ideal water temperature being 92 degrees fahrenheit. "test the water by using your wrist, not your hand, as it's a better gauge of how the water will feel once your entire body is submerged."




use scented bath oil 
Feria recommends floral scents like lavender, jasmine, iris and rose since they are associated with relaxation and can help to ease you into a relaxing state quicker. "adding oils to the tub {when the bath is halfway full} will help them disperse evenly throughout the water."

body scrub 
most people are used to being active all the time, so when they get in the tub their minds start racing and they become unable to relax. engage your mind by gently massaging your body with a sponge and body scrub; as the scrub buffs away dryness, your thoughts can move to something less stressful.

closing your eyes 
it's important to close your eyes during the bath to enter deep relaxation, so anything that forces you to keep your eyes closed is a great. "try cold cucumbers, an icy compress or eye pads which have been soaked in chilled chamomile tea."

bath salts
if you've had a tough workout, bath salts are like external muscle relaxants. soreness, pain or swelling are reduced, along with inflammation and stiffness, when using bath salts. they also help detoxify skin and increase circulation which helps to ease tension and revitalize the body.



candles
bright bathroom lights tell your body its go-time ~ not bath time. instead, light a few candles and place them around the room and on the edge of the tub.

cold water
if you’ve set your water temp right {somewhere between steamy and very warm}, you should be feeling quite toasty in the tub. a warm bath raises your body’s core temperature, so you’ll start sweating. Josie says, "before getting into the tub, set a bowl of ice water and a washcloth next to you and use it as a cold compress on your forehead or the nape of your neck to help keep you refreshed throughout the bath time. i also grab a tall bottle of San Pellegrino and force myself to drink the whole thing to hydrate."

bath robe/nice bath sheets
 "nothing jolts you out of a zen state like going from a warm, luxe bath to a measly, threadbare robe or old dingy towel. get a plush terry cloth robe or fluffy towels that allow you to feel warm and comfortable."

multitask
make the most of your bath by using the time to also give yourself a face and hair treatment. both the skin and hair respond very favorably to the moist environment created by a steamy bath. to cleanse your face, apply a clay mask to the skin avoiding the eyes, allow to remain on the skin for 7-10 minutes then remove gently with wet washcloth. to soften and hydrate your hair, apply conditioner or hair mask to wet hair then cover in plastic cap and hot towel and allow the conditioner or mask to remain on hair for duration of bath for 15- 20 minutes. wash and rinse thoroughly.

music
"play relaxing music to sooth your mood and aid in the process of relaxation. visualization is also a great tool to enhance relaxation in the bath," says Josie. complimented by music, visualization exercises can transport you to your own private nirvana…caribbean beaches anyone?

relax afterwards
leave the smart phone alone for an hour or so and just enjoy time for yourself. get a glass of tea and read or listen to music. want more coziness? "heat a towel in the microwave and wrap around your neck and take a deep and well-earned nap."


 thank you again to Josie Feria for these fabulous tips!

 if ever i'm in miami…

so, tell me ~ which of these suggested tips will you, {or maybe do you already} incorporate into your bath time? any fave products you include in your ritual? share in the comments!


info and images courtesy of pr representing Josie Feria of Spa at Lapis {located at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach}

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

holiday 2014 {beauty}: Bobbi Brown Scotch On The Rocks Collection


when considering beauty gifts, the brand i'd consider highly for gifting would certainly be from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. for holiday 2014 allow me to bring your attention to the Scotch on the Rocks collection ~ a gorgeous, confident assortment of new products featuring sexy, warm matte browns, golden metallic nudes and silky rich reds. these beauties can be used to create simple yet stunning looks to complement anything you wish to wear, day or night. 



the Bobbi Brown Scotch On the Rocks Collection includes:


LE Warm Glow Eye Palette


Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Scotch


Lip Color in Sultry Red, Bordeaux, Malt Shimmer and Beige Gold Shimmer


Lip Gloss in Scarlet, Gold {glitter} and Bellini {high shimmer}


Nail Polish in Bordeaux, Scotch Shimmer and Cherry Tomato


LE Highlight Powder in Pink Glow and Bronze Glow




needless to say, this is a beyond fabulous, breathtaking collection! any beauty-loving person {including me} would be happy to receive anything {or everything} from it.

you can find the Bobbi Brown Scotch On the Rocks Collection now at all Bobbi Brown counters, including nordstrom and macy's and of course at bobbibrowncosmetics.com



info, images, and video courtesy of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Monday, November 17, 2014

winter beauty: Obiqo Silky Body Butter + Smoothing Eye Cream


Obiqo skincare combines nutrient-rich sea kelp from new zealand’s pristine waters with the very finest natural marine anti-aging extracts and powerful antioxidant properties of french organic sea lavender. this beauty brand was recently introduced to me, and it was this description that caught my attention.

i've been using Silky Body Butter and Smoothing Eye Cream for a few weeks and i can't stress enough how i think you need these gems in your life. since using them, i've noticed on my skin looks better, feels amazing and they're just a treat to use!




the rich-textured Silky Body Butter really is silky and lush; it absorbs quickly, smells fabulous, and i just love it. it's perfect for using right out of the shower, but of course can be used anytime and anywhere on the body that needs moisture. i especially love applying it right before bed ~ its a guaranteed way to wake up with soft, smooth skin!



Obiqo Smoothing Eye Cream is a luxurious treat for my eyes at the end of the day {and so refreshing when used in the morning}. thanks to its gorgeous rich formula, this fragrance free, non-irritating {in my experience} cream keeps dryness and puffiness at bay. 

 i've had such a fabulous experience with Obiqo; so much so that i'm ready to try out some of their other items {like the Restoring Night Cream and the Radiant Day Cream}. and the best thing about this luxurious brand is their products are so affordable! 

you can get more info about Obiqo products at obiqoskincareusa.com and purchase online at amazon.com




products sent to me for review consideration; all opinions are based on my own experience; pics taken by me :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Foolproof Fall Makeup from butter LONDON

bonjour, beauties! it's a pretty busy time in my life currently, and since there are no signs that things will slow down, especially with the holiday season right around the corner, saving time wherever possible is truly helpful…

so when makeup artist and butter LONDON global color ambassador Katie Jane Hughes offered some tips for a foolproof fall makeup look that anyone can achieve in about 10 minutes, i was more than happy to learn more, and of course, share the tips with you!

Katie says: "bold lips are always a fall makeup staple, but you don’t have to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to create a look that’s worthy of the red carpet. for a foolproof fall makeup look, i suggest pairing a bold lip with a soft eye." 

 follow these steps below for the perfect fall look that’s sure to get you out the door faster:
skin:
"always start with a clean base. use one of the new Scrubbers Makeup Remover Wipes to remove excess makeup or oil from the skin. apply moisturizer {like Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream} followed by foundation {Laura Mercier Silk Creme} over the T-zone and concealer {Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage} as needed. dust a bit of pressed powder over the face.


eyes:
take a brown pencil, like WINK Eye Pencil in Twigged, skim the pencil around lash line and blend so it looks lived-in, like a natural smokey shadow. {tip: the striking metallic effect will look great against a matte lip!} finish with a few swipes of mascara {WINK Mascara in Union Jack Black} being sure to separate each lash.



lips:
"for a fall lip, i love matte lipstick. my current favorites are LIPPY Moisture Matte Lipstick in Old Blighty and Ruby Murray. to maximize your matte, press your finger into the lipstick bullet and dab onto a puckered lip, applying until most of the lip is covered. finish by gently pushing your lips together. if you want extra definition, use the highest point on the lipstick bullet to line lips or use a brown liner {WINK Eye Pencil in Brown Sugar ~ this product is genius, i've even used it to contour!} to blend in added color and create an ombre pout."
cheeks:
fall doesn’t require too much color on cheeks, but a barely there pop of color is nice. take a blush brush and lightly dab into CHEEKY Cream Blush in Ruby Murray and gently brush over the apples of your cheeks. Your skin will look fresh and natural.

for the overachievers:
if you have an extra few minutes, a liquid-lined eye is a gorgeous addition to this fall makeup look. take your liner {try WINK Matte Liquid Eyeliner in Brown Sugar} and start with the wing, working out from the edge of your lash line where the top and bottom lid meet. work up and outward and then back toward the lid. stop here if you want an Angelina Jolie inspired cat eye. if you want more of a doe-eyed Zooey Deschanel look, continue to line the length of the eye towards the inner corner.

thanks, Katie! and to you, dear beauties, i hope this info will keep your life easy and allow you to be your fabulous self in minimal time {and if you're interested, take a look at Katie's own bold lip look on Instagram}.

you can find butter LONDON at Ulta, Macy's and online at butterlondon.com



info and images courtesy of butter LONDON