July 3, 2013 § 4 Comments
I happen to be sitting in the waiting area of the service department for my car. As the minutes have turned into hours, I remembered that I have other maintenance items of note:
Christophe Robin’s Rose Conditioner
You may remember that I have been using his shampoo and wheat germ hair mask for a few months now. With success on that end, I decided to go a little deeper and started using this excellent conditioner when I don’t have time for a mask. What can I say? It smells heavenly — and not too strong — and nicely hydrates the hair. And have I mentioned the use of conditioner as shampoo for a light wash? It works especially well when you just want to touch up and not dry our your locks or to give your bangs a little extra shine. Like!
Kate Somerville Moisturizer and Eye Cream
While I have been using Sonya Dakar’s line for a decade with great happiness, I was kind of looking for a change. Since the Kate Somerville Glycolic Polisher is so great on my skin, I thought I would give these two products a whirl. So far, pretty good, but it takes a little time for my skin to get completely acclimated. But, overall, I am digging it! (And still devoted to the Rodin oil and Dakar Retinol treatment.)
Kiehl’s Eye Makeup Remover
I’ve been using this for years and don’t think that I have ever revealed my love of this product. Gentle and effective. Perfect.
And now back to my other regularly scheduled maintenance…
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
March 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
As we all know, it is technically spring. I know this not because of the weather — it snowed again this morning — but because Mr. H and I were invited to a Yankees game next week. Upon accepting this excellent invitation, I realized that I need to get up to speed on their roster this year. And this reminded me that it might be a good time to share the newest additions to my lineup this season:
Butter’s “Pink Ribbon” nail polish. Truth be told, I am finding many of my go-to brands of polish to have less shine and longevity of late. (I do not know why.) I’d read nice things about the Butter line, so when I found a shade that didn’t emulate the Pez palette, I gave it a whirl. Excellent coverage, quick-ish dry time and so far, the longevity has been good. We shall see what the rest of the week brings, but for now, I say “like”! (http://www.butterlondon.com/lacquers/3-free-lacquers/pink-ribbon)
Kate Somerville’s Micro Glycolic Polisher I didn’t think it was possible to have skin even more dry and sensitive than mine was already, but this winter’s weather had upped the ante. While my Rodin oil has been keeping things well-hydrated in this hostile climate, I can’t seem to use even the gentlest of scrubs for exfoliation without feeling irritated. Enter Kate Somerville’s polisher. A few pumps is all I’ve been using once a week for a couple of months now. And I have to say that the results are far better than any scrub I’ve ever used: Soft, even and really clean. In my mind, all the product I put on after the polisher (Sonya Dakar’s Cellular Patch Cream, Visual Lift and Retinol Serum, followed by a vigorous massage with a few drops of the wonder oil*) absorbs more quickly and works more effectively after I’ve “polished”. That part may be in my mind, but the rest is not. This stuff is just great. (http://www.katesomerville.com/micro-glycolic-polisher/)
And that is all I have this evening. Enjoy!
* Yes, I need them ALL, plus sunscreen. And a good brow shaping every couple of weeks. And a facial every six weeks or so. And a little makeup each day to look alive. This is how it goes in ones’ forties.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
Happy Thursday! I’ve been back home for almost a week now and I must say, things have been not too shabby.* As always, a combination of planning and being open to whatever has been key.
On the planning front, I made sure that the house was in Ready Mode when we arrived with a stocked fridge c/o Fresh Direct and some lovely flowers from Emily Thompson (http://www.emilythompsonflowers.com/):
There is also the matter of making sure that my agenda for the return week was set to a certain degree. Before I left, I divided my “Work”, “Home” and “Personal” To Do lists into “Before You Leave” and “Upon Return” segments. I’ll spare you the contents, as many things were as mundane as “order diverter for shower” and “complete the E&O Insurance Application”, but every list feels better when you have it in something pretty. I count my blue diary with refillable inserts among one of those things, even if the checkbook sticks out:
And in the diary, I reminded myself to schedule some fun and some maintenance. So, brows and facial this afternoon with the lovely Robin Evans who keeps me from looking like a teenage George Whipple (http://robinevansskincare.com/) and dinner at The Modern (http://themodernnyc.com/) last night, with a wonderful view of one of my very favorite gardens in the city…
Nothing like this kind of view to make you feel less glum about leaving the sparkle of the sea and unlimited amounts of guacamole. Also, the wine and painstakingly prepared and served food helped.
And this evening, dinner with a Bestie — just us girls — as the most excellent 606 R&D (https://somecozynight.com/2012/06/12/cool-places-606-rd/). Donuts may be consumed, so I was good and had some steamed broccoli for lunch.
As for the unexpected, I managed to unpack on Saturday (this almost never happens to me), leaving me with a free Sunday. So, I decided to head uptown to buy some hankies for the upcoming and dreaded allergy season. In addition to discovering that the watch repair place was open (ON A SUNDAY!!), I also happened upon the last few boxes of my absolute favorite plain note cards by G. Lalo. I am a great fan of the handwritten note and these could not be more stylish…
They are still on my dressing table because the boxes make me happy. I will put them away, but not until a trip to Ladurée occurs, I think. Macarons are immensely cheering, no?
The weekend will be at the beach, where large amounts of working out will hopefully occur, as will the consumption of a fabulous Saturday lunch c/o Topping Rose House (http://www.toppingrosehouse.com/), one of the best additions to our little town out there.
And that is about all I have for now, except to say that I have more to say about the Fall Collections, but for now, I will leave it at this: Is it me, or was there WAY too much fur?? (For me, “none”, is best.)
*Except for my inability to rise at a decent hour to work out or meditate. Hoping to re-set on that one this weekend.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
January 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
Hello there. So this week was a doozy, and next week stands to be equally “stimulating”, so to keep things light, I thought I would give you all some updates on prior posts and mention a few things that I am really enjoying these days.
Here we go…
Rodin Face Oil, Three Weeks In
I LOVE THIS OIL!!! I use it on top of my other products — mostly the Cellular Patch Cream and a Retinol Serum (at night) and I have to tell you, my skin feels wonderfully soft and I think I might even be approaching “dewy”, which is no small feat in one’s forties.
I also got in a little deeper and started using the hair oil as well. On just-washed hair, I put it on right after my leave-in conditioner, and lately, I haven’t been using much product after that combo. When I let it dry naturally, I look much less like Monica in a humid climate and much more like someone who has a nice wave in her hair. When I blow it dry, less static and the ends don’t look fried. I also use the oil on non-wash days, when the ends look a little dry. However, a word of caution: They say use TWO DROPS of the oil. I did not listen the first time and I should have. TWO DROPS. THEN STOP. That is all you need. Enjoy! (To buy: http://oliolusso.com)
Things were going really well in the first two weeks of the year, since I decided to tack it on right after workouts in the morning. Then this past weekend a horrid illness set in and I found myself stoned on NyQuil and getting overly emotional while doing a Loving Kindness meditation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_kindness_meditation) To be fair, they can be hard, but I was a disaster this week, so I am going back to some of my other favorites for the time being. For the record, some of my go-to guided meditation practices are by:
Jack Kornfield — I recommend him to anyone starting a practice. There is just something about his voice and perspective and how he mixes in Buddhist teachings with just smart stuff to think about outside of Buddhism that really works for me. If you try him, I hope he does the same for you. (http://www.jackkornfield.com and iTunes)
Tara Brach — New to me, but recommended by a friend. I find her discussions of Self Acceptance to be very on point. I don’t really meditate to her, but I do listen to one piece, The Wisdom of Self Acceptance, (I know…but we are talking meditation here) before bedtime and I always sleep really well after listening to it. (http://tarabrach.com and iTunes)
Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah — His Splendor of Meditation guided sessions contain three of my favorite ones: Morning Time Stress Prevention, Five Minute Rescue and Restorative Yoga Nidra. These are less spiritual and more about decompressing and keeping a good attitude. Perhaps that is why they are my go-tos for pre work sessions. (http://www.siddharthshah.com and iTunes)
Also, even if you aren’t meditating, may I remind you of the power of a few good, deep breaths? Whenever you feel like you Just Can’t, try it and see if maybe You Can.
Cook and Freeze
I did it again this past Sunday, which made eating while being too sick to cook (Mr. H had the same thing I did this week) a breeze. Also, have I mentioned how much I enjoy escarole raw? I grew up eating it cooked, mostly in soups, but it is fabulous with some hummus and warm pita and a really nice change when making salads. My new favorite is escarole, toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds with a citrus dressing. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Escarole-and-Butter-Lettuce-Salad-with-Pomegranate-Seeds-and-Hazelnuts-356310)
Favorite Online Reads
Sometimes you find yourself at your desk and in need of something that takes you Away from It All. If you are avoiding gossip, hard news, or what fabulous things people are up to on Facebook, I highly recommend these sites:
Into the Gloss (http://intothegloss.com) Lots of great interviews with interesting people, lots of great product info and generally transporting.
Nowness (http://www.nowness.com) Owned by LVMH, but don’t let the Corporate Giant thing keep you away. They cover everything from Art to Fashion to Culture. I even saw a video of Rick Rubin meditating. If it is interesting, it is on there. Enjoy.
Refinery 29 (http://www.refinery29.com) I am probably a touch too old for this site, but it is filled with fun stuff and reminds me of when I had little else to do but wonder what I was going to wear on a date. Still, how would I know about BB Creams — of which that Urban Decay stuff I mentioned recently happens to be — if I didn’t check them out on a regular basis? Have fun.
And that is all I have for today. Happy Weekend!
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)
December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
In a final flurry of Pre-Holiday Socializing, I met up with my friend who is a Make-up Artist…let’s call her Ms B. I usually try very hard not to pepper her with questions about how to look perfect on her nights off, but one bottle of wine in and all bets were off. So I asked the one question that has been weighing on me: Should I give the old pencil eye liner a try? (I know, we tackle the Big Issues here.) Ms B gave me an unqualified “YES!”, and told me the one to try was the darkest one I could find by Urban Decay (http://www.urbandecay.com), and to use a push brush* to do the necessary smudging.
I ordered two shades that evening: a really dark brown and a fierce black. Today I tried the brown since it is daytime and I am at the beach, so I wanted to at least approach the Naturally Fresh and Lovely look. And I have to tell you, this stuff goes on smooth, is easy to smudge until the desired smudginess has been achieved and then kind of “dries” and stays put. Needless to say, I am impressed and bow down to Ms B for sharing her secrets.
Three other items that I wanted to share while we are on the subject:
1) B. Kamins Daily Facial Peeling Pads. Recommended to me by a facialist when I mentioned that sometimes even the gentlest of scrubs can sometimes feel a little harsh on my face. I’ve been using these about once a week and whenever I am too tired to actually wash my face before bed. (I know, the height of laziness…but I always make my bed.) Bottom line: They do the job and suspect that for someone with less sensitive skin, they would be great everyday use. (http://www.bkamins.com/en/peels.aspx)
2) Rodin Face Oil: Just sent to me by one of my dearest friends. I haven’t used it yet, but its reputation precedes it and it smells heavenly. I begin oiling tonight. (http://oliolusso.com/products/rodin-olio-lusso-face-oil)
3) Urban Decay Beauty Balm: This came with my eye pencils and I am not sure that it is released just yet, but I tried it today and I really like it! Not at all greasy, but goes on smoothly and has a broad spectrum SPF, which from what I hear, is a good thing.
And that is all I have for today, but that feels like enough, right?
* That is the stubby little brush that comes with all those kits of brushes you see. Also, have you washed your make-up brushes lately? Just a little reminder in case you haven’t.
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)
September 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
I have a friend who is a makeup artist. And last week while we were having a drink, I mentioned my unhappiness with certain hollow areas of my face and that I was considering some more time with my derm. She poo-pooed the idea and said that all I needed was some YSL Touche Eclat and I would be fine. I’d heard of the product, but as a devoted Laura Mercier Secret Concealer girl, I could not imagine anything better. That said, when a pro who always looks amazing tells you something, you should listen.
Boy am I glad that I did! This stuff is amazing…super light, great coverage and it really does seem to eliminate the darker areas under my eyes, near my smile lines and even that pesky wrinkle on my forehead created by years of raising my right eyebrow in disbelief and wonderment. The result: A tired and haggard me that looks like I’ve never had a bad night’s sleep. So, I thought I should mention it, just in case you aren’t already Eclating.
Enjoy the Fake Awake!
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)
August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s been some time I’ve noted things I’ve been loving lately. So just in time for you to ponder “Where has the summer gone?” and “Ack! Am I ready for fall?” this weekend, some more food for thought…
While the magazine isn’t always as fashion forward as the cooler kids (V, for instance), I am still a Vogue Girl. And their site, while not quite well-formatted, provides bursts of inspiration any time you need it. I especially like APT with LSD, the Best Dressed of the Week and all their thoughts on things to do at a given time of year. Enjoy! (http://www.vogue.com/)
2) Yoga Toes
During a recent trip to southern California with some girlfriends, we discussed the important subject of keeping our feet in good shape as the years pass by. And that is when Yoga Toes came up. They are a touch hard to explain, but I have been using them for about ten minutes a day for well over a month now, and I love them. A great stretch for your tootsies that have been shoved into all manner of foot-hostile shoes. And don’t fret, they come in clear. (http://www.yogapro.com/products/YogaToes.html?utm_source=adCenter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=YogaToes%2BKeywords%2B-%2BUSA)
3) Diptyques’s Mini Candles
As I have said before, Diptyque makes the best (outrageously priced) scented candles on the market. Full stop. And their mini ones are great for trying out new scents, to give as gifts and to just save a few dollars if you haven’t been fully converted yet. I am especially loving the
Feuille de Lavande scent, but there are few that I don’t adore. (http://www.diptyqueparis.com/home-fragrances/mini-candles.html)
For the major splurge, nothing feels more right these days that Phoebe Philo’s chic, streamlined and wearable designs. I loved her work with Stella McCartney and at Chloe (much of which I still have!), but she is just white hot these days. No gimmicks. Not super trendy, despite everyone in fashion loving everything she is doing right now. Just things that will effortlessly fall into your wardrobe and make you feel confident and comfortable. Love. (http://www.celine.com/)
5) Ciao Bella Malt Ball Gelatto
Theis flavor has been around for a while, but in case you are unfamiliar with it, put down your computer and go get yourself a container. There really isn’t anything more to say on the matter. (http://ciaobellagelato.com/#/products)
6) Tokyo Banana
Friends of mine brought me a box from a recent trip to Tokyo. Apparently, they are kind of a touristy thing to buy, but they are like a Japanese Twinkie and they are also crazy delicious. (http://www.tokyobanana.jp/)
And that is all I have got for you this evening. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!
(Funky photo of the bag my latest splurge came in, taken while on a bus, mind you: Some Cozy Night)
August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
Oh, we are really in worst of summer right now, yes? In New York it generally feels like one is stepping inside of a mouth. Also, unless you are out of the city, it smells. Really.
All of this makes finding the right fragrance extremely important. Personally, I want something light, but not so light that I am not protected from the odors I run into around town. My two favorites for this time of year these lovelies:
As you can see, I am extremely fond of Balanciaga’s fragrance. It is pretty without being too sweet, if that makes any sense. And for those of you who did not know that you can also blow some money at Diptyque on things other than (the World’s Best) candles, their Do Son fragrance is a touch more masculine, but totally fresh and cool.
I also find that by this time of year I have almost no patience for makeup. So in addition to my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and brow gel, I just barely get on a smear of Nars cream shadow in Lido and a little blush in Deep Throat. (I don’t name them…but I can’t resist them.) Oh, and a bit of mascara so that I look like I tried.
Other Hot Weather Concessions:
1) Flat sandals. Currently digging those from K. Jaques…very Rosemary Woodhouse.
2) The Bun. Seriously, I can’t deal with my hair right now.
3) Jill Platner’s teeny silver and gold “Baby” studs. Although they are hardly a concession — their super-small size just feels the right amount of light and airy. (http://jillplatner.com/store/item/E-0517)
4) My Mood. Yes, I am grumpier than usual when the weather is like this, so I just try to accept it but try to not go completely berserk on anyone.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)