Archive for September 2015

A Spa Facial With Real Results

September 30, 2015
Spa Week, Spa Facial

It's been awhile since I've had a spa facial but this was something I used treat my skin to on a monthly basis before I got ill a few years ago. Having vertigo and and tinnitus made me highly sensitive and I developed pretty bad claustrophobia as well. Life wasn't fun when laying down made me dizzy and the thought of having my eyes and face fully covered made me shudder back then. Since recovering, I've slowly eased backed into getting facial treatments again but I definitely don't go at the same frequency that I once did or else this would have been on my list of 10 health skin habits. Still I do want to mention that getting a spa facial even sporadically has some fantastic benefits since professional grade treatments can give you a safe deep cleaning of your pores, provide a relaxing experience and feature technology that you wouldn't be able to access in home that give viable and lasting results.

Spa Week, Spa Facial
Spa Week, Spa Facial

Last week I tried SKNSpa's popular Brightening SKN Oxydermy Treatment with LED Light Therapy Facial which combines the benefits of oxygen and microdermabrasion. This facial which utilizes cutting-edge technology is highly effective for decreasing wrinkles, blemishes and fine lines while providing hydration and nourishment to the skin. After your skin is cleaned and prepped, the Oxydermy treatment is applied around the entire face through a wand-like device. It feels like concentrated cool blasts. These contain sodium water with oxygen which deep cleans the pores while removing dead skin and killing bacteria. The LED light treatment works to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, treat sun damage, stretch marks and reduce redness. It can also be targeted to your specific skin concerns. I received the Red LED light with anti-aging and skin regenerating benefits. There is also a Blue LED light for troubled skin that works to banish deeply embedded acne causing bacteria. And a Mixed LED light can be provided for those with both blemishes and aging concerns. This was finished off with a collagen boosting facial mask and massage. It was a relaxing and refreshing experience and more importantly it yielded visible results with just one treatment. My skin was plumped and glowing afterwards giving me the confidence to ride the subway home without any makeup. And my husband immediately noticed that my freckles were lighter as soon as he saw me that night. He was disappointed but he might be the only one who likes my freckles. 

10 Things I Do For My Skin

September 28, 2015
Healthy Skin Habits, What To Do For Good Skin,

There are some things that I wish I had started doing earlier as far as taking care of my skin when I was younger or knew better but it's never too late to develop good skin habits. I actually get asked about my skin care quite often so here some things that I do for it in addition to my product regimen. I really think that no. 9 has some truly incredible anti-aging and skin clearing benefits.

1. I drink plenty of water and start the day with a cup of hot lemon water everyday.
Skin is hydrated from the inside out. Drinking water helps skin to be moist and glowing and reduces the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles. I swear by lemon water for a daily detox to keep my skin clear. It also has loads of other incredible benefits btw!

2. I eat a balanced diet that includes healthy fats.
There is something to be said about feeding your skin and I believe that healthy eating leads to healthy skin.  I'm a part-time vegetarian and I try to eat clean most of the time concentrating on lean proteins and foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats like Omega-3s that are good for your heart and can keep your skin looking soft, supple and radiant. I haven't given up french fries or pizza but I don't eat them very often.

3. I make sleep a priority.
Beauty sleep is not a myth and sleep does wonders to reset our skin as well as our bodies. If I don't sleep enough it definitely shows up on my face and my skin appears dull and tired so I try to get my 7 - 8 hours every night and take advantage of the repair cycle.

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

September 25, 2015
Park Shin Hye

Since most of you seemed to enjoy the first editorial roundup, these will become more of a regular feature on here going forward. So many fall pictorials have been released lately but none of them have been really been outstanding as a whole so I've just pulled some of the best images here. Park Shin Hye looks all grown up in a look from the Chanel Fall 2015 collection in the latest edition of Self China. I'm just loving the feminine/masculine dichotomy of her outfit. Do any of these images catch your eye?

Daniel Henney
Daniel Henney shows off his Hamilton watch with a side of smolder against a backdrop of the Red Bull Air Race in Chiba, Japan for the September 2015 issue of Arena Hommes +

Dine Out : Perry St

September 23, 2015
Perry St New York

Ever since I dined at Perry St a few years ago, I've been meaning to return. I had a chance when I met up with a good friend who was in town for the day recently. This sleek and elegant Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant offers a view of the Hudson River along with it's contemporary French and Asian accented American cuisine. We happened to be there during Summer Restaurant Week where 3 courses can be had for just $25 at lunch but Perry St also has a reasonably priced seasonal tasting menu lunch all year round. For our starters we got the heirloom tomato salad with raspberry, serrano and basil and shaved salmon sashimi with chili tapioca, asian pear and lime. The presentation was artful and the mingling of flavors in each dish was surprising and good. We both opted for the roasted hake with miso yuzu glaze and baby bok choi as our entrée. It was my first time having hake and it's a flaky white fish that's similar to cod. This dish was nice but nothing special. For dessert we tried the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and blueberry pound cake with corn ice cream. I expected the corn ice cream to have more of a corn flavor but it was just really sweet. The molten chocolate cake was rich and decadent as it should be. I've mentioned here that I don't really eat sweets and neither of these desserts tempted me beyond a few bites. Overall the atmosphere, modern minimalist decor and service are winning. The food was balanced and tasty if not especially impressive but apparently their fried chicken is where it's at so maybe I'd come back to try that.

Perry St
179 Perry Street (Washington & West)
New York City

Blue Les Copains Spring Summer 2016

September 21, 2015
Blue Les Copains SS 2016, NYFW SS2016

Blue Les Copains Spring/Summer 2016 features a distinct nod to boho seventies chic, illustrated with 15 classic sportswear looks in a variety of juxtaposed materials from poplin paired with suede, to deep-dyed denim and chiffon and perforated leather. The collection starts with dark indigo accented by pops of red, blue and crisp whites. Bold geometric patterns and daisy prints reflect a retro inspiration, further accented by scattered suede fringe detailing, silk handkerchiefs and undone laced-up pieces. The collection transitions into graphic black and white pieces with hints of khaki, tempering the season’s pronounced color palette and brought to life by brocades and bold stripes. Structured jackets, expertly tailored wide-leg cropped pants, and fashionable handbags complete the Blue Les Copains offering with a modern affirmation toward non-conformity and effortless ease of wear.

This NYFW presentation styled by Natalie Joos took place in the lavish penthouse lounge of the Boom Boom Room at the Top of the Standard. Guests including Julia Restoin Roitfeld and Hilary Swank sipped champagne and noshed on light bites while taking in the Italian luxury label's sophomore RTW collection against stunning views of Manhattan. Fresh and minimal hair and makeup by Paul Andrew and MAC Cosmetics respectively were an apt complement to these stylishly laid back looks. I tend to enjoy this type of fashion show format more than formal runway shows because you can really get a good look at the clothes and I definitely marveled at the wearability of these pieces as well as how easily they could be incorporated into one's existing wardrobe. And I might be coveting a denim trench now.

What do you think of this collection? Do any looks stand out to you?

Blue Les Copains SS 2016, NYFW SS2016

3B Beauty Box September Unboxing

September 18, 2015
3B Beauty Box September 2015

I recently signed up for my first beauty subscription box and in August I received my first 3B Beauty Box which I unboxed and reviewed. This is my second box and this month I was chosen to receive a digital product card instead of a physical card. I didn''t mind since I try to be green when possible and I was also able to see what I was getting ahead of my box's arrival.

3B which stands for Beauty Beyond Borders is a beauty subscription box that makes Asian beauty products more accessible overseas. This is a monthly service that costs $12. Each box contains 4 -5 deluxe samples from a range of brands. 3B is currently just a US based subscription service. This box is ideal for anyone interested in trying out Asian beauty products or can't access them easily. They have a waiting list for new subscribers which you can sign up for here.

RiRe Luxe Eye Lash Essence

Introducing Farmacy Beauty Hydrating Coconut Gel Masks

September 16, 2015
Farmacy Soothing Gel Mask

I'm a big fan of using facial masks regularly both for the maintenance of my skin and for addressing specific concerns. My favorite types are sheet masks for their ease and natural masks using ingredients from my kitchen so my interest was piqued when I learned about Farmacy Beauty's line of hydrating coconut gel masks which combine the efficacy of sheet masks with the power of farm-fresh vegetable extracts designed to target different skin needs. I got to try the Soothing mask that is activated by mineral rich kale.

About the Brand: Made with farm grown botanicals, Farmacy Beauty blends age-old wisdom with cutting-edge technologies. The brand has teamed up with local farmers in Upstate New York to create a unique line of irritant-free, bioactive skincare. The scientists and lab behind Farmacy are innovative experts in cosmetic formulation and research, and seek out nature’s most novel yet effective ingredients.

Product Claims: This calming mask provides a supercharged boosting solution for stressed, tired skin, helping to restore radiance, moisture, and tone.

Key Ingredients: This product is formulated with naturally derived ingredients. Kale extract offers a complex blend of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids that help rebalance vulnerable, stressed skin. Vitamin A strengthens the skin, while active minerals help restore the skin's ideal oil and water balance. The formula also contains Echinacea GreenEnvy™, a unique, patent-protected variant of echinacea purpurea that contains the highest known concentration of cichoric acid, which helps protect the skin by supporting natural collagen. The coconut gel provides intensive hydration and restores skin's balance, while the bio-cellulose sheet releases a complex of components to provide the skin's surface layers with a penetrating surge of active ingredients. It is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde and artificial coloring and is not tested on animals.

Packaging: The mask comes in a sealed packaged and the mask itself has two layers of protective film which have to be removed before use.

Price: $24 for a box of 3 masks and they offer mask medleys which contain 3 different masks. 

Farmacy Soothing Gel Mask

BeautyPress Spotlight Day

September 14, 2015
BeautyPress Spotlight Day 2015

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending the final beautypress Spotlight Day of 2015. This media showcase featured a diverse group of skin care, hair care, cosmetics and fragrance brands. The bright and airy Midtown Loft & Terrace provided a perfect setting to discover and connect. Here is a brief introduction of the exhibitors I was introduced to.

Spa Week 2015

Spa Week
Spa Week is a national event from October 12 - 18 that brings affordable spa treatments to the masses at hundreds of health and wellness facilities across the country. Take advantage of signature spa treatments (regularly $100 - $500) at a special rate of $50 at participating spas (day, medical and resort) yoga and pilates studios, fitness and nutrition centers. Appointments can be booked starting September 9th on where you can also see the full list of participating spas. This is the perfect time to treat yourself or give a gift of wellness by purchasing a Spa Wellness Gift Card which may be used during Spa week or any time of the year without expiration.

Currently Coveting

September 11, 2015

A few items currently on my wish list. I'm reluctantly looking towards fall and cooler weather.
What are you coveting lately?

1. & Other Stories Complete Face Palette
{Such an easy way to transition to fall makeup colors.}
2. Chosungah Dual Lip Tint & Gloss
{This longwearing lip tint and gloss in one is a fun way to do vibrant lips.}
3. Sunday Riley Flora Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil
{Cooler weather calls for a moisture boost and this face oil has been on my radar for awhile.}
4. Zero Gravity iPhone Case
A cool mix of marble and gold gives this phone case an elegant look.}
5. Madewell Transport Tote
{Because I refuse to use a real camera bag for my DSLR when I actually carry it, I'm all about nice looking tote bags.}
6. True &Co Fortuna Bralette
{Every girl needs a chic and comfy bralette!}
7. Madewell Tie Waist Skirt
{This just looks like the type of skirt I would wear for many years.}

Through My Lens : Recently on Instagram

September 9, 2015

August in NYC was quite hot this year and at times I almost wished for winter but then the month was gone in a flash and I'm hoping it won't get cold so quickly now. Here are a few highlights from August as seen through my lens and posted on Instagram. I'm not going to overload you with a million pics here so to see more, click over to my Instagram feed and you can also follow if you'd like. 

I shopped a little last month first taking advantage of the Memebox friends and family sale, picking up some Asian skincare products for both myself and my husband and then I hit up Peach and Lily's sample sale in New York for more AB goodness. I went on the first day and ended up arriving much later because of a lunch date which was fine but after waiting almost an hour just to get into the sale, it was a little disappointing that most of the skincare had sold out so I didn't buy all that much. I hope that if they ever do another sample sale, that it will be better organized and they will do something about people hoarding cause it was ridiculous. I will be reviewing the SU:M27 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick here soon.

Peach and Lily

Eye Candy : Vogue China 10th Anniversary Issue

September 7, 2015
Zhao Wei by Mario Testino for Vogue China

Vogue China celebrates it's 10th anniversary issue with a special icons pictorial by famed fashion photographer Mario Testino featuring some of China's top actresses and models including Zhao Wei, Li BingBing, Zhou Xun, Zhang Ziyi, Tang Wei, Liu Wen and Du Juan. The Golden Era of Hollywood themed editorial is lavishly glamorous with a mix of modern and retro touches. The result is unsurprisingly gorgeous and I really like how these images go beyond mere portraits as Testino had his models "perform in character" in front of the camera. My favorite one has to be this first photo of Zhao Wei because it's so playful and beautiful at the same time. Do any of them speak to you?

Publication: Vogue China September 2015 // Photographer: Mario Testino // Fashion Editor: Anastasia Barbieri
Make-Up: Charlotte Tilbury // Hair: Oribe // Nails: Gina Viviano

Li BingBing by Mario Testino for Vogue China

Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator

September 4, 2015
Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator Review

Instead of the NARS lip pencils, I chose a dr. brandt skincare set as my birthday present from Sephora this year. One of the products included was the dr. brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant which turned out to be a product I was really impressed with. When I heard that the brand had released this innovative PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator, I wanted to try it.

About the Brand: dr. brandt skincare is the natural evolution of Dr. Brandt's professional dermatology practice and clinical research. The dr. brandt skincare line represents the fusion of science with active botanicals by combining sophisticated delivery systems with the power of vitamins and botanicals. Their products are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficacy, offering the highest performance available without a doctor’s prescription. They do not test on animals, use artificial fragrances and all packaging is made of recyclable materials.

Product Claims: dr. brandt PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator is a unique professional grade physical and chemical exfoliator and pore perfector in one. It is suitable for all skin types and works instantly to deeply cleanse pores while strengthening and tightening the look of them by removing congestion and impurities.

Key Ingredients: This product employs dual pore exfoliation technology using professional quality micro-crystals that provide optimal physical exfoliation to deep clean pores and improve skin texture and caviar lime extract, a chemical exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin and removes impurities for a smoother, brighter and more even complexion. Salicylic acid works to unclog and refine pores. Lentil seed extract strengthens and tightens pores for a more polished appearance. Tazmanian Pepper Berry soothes and nourishes sensitive skin and reduces discomfort. 

Packaging: A standup glowy blue plastic tube with a flip top cap. 

Price: $58 for 2 fl.oz/ 60 ml.

China Through The Looking Glass

September 2, 2015
Guo Pei Gold Dress at China Through The Looking Glass

I can't believe that it's taken almost four months since I wrote about the fashions at this year's Met Gala to actually make it to see China: Through The Looking Glass at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition which is a collaboration between the Costume Institute and Department of Asian Art opened on May 7 and was originally supposed to run until August 16 but due to popular demand it was extended through September 7. It was just reported in the New York Times that as of last Friday, the show had a record attendance of 735,000 visitors surpassing the record of 661,509 for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (another incredible show!). 

China: Through The Looking Glass showcases the connection between fine art and fashion while exploring the impact of China's influence on Western fashion through history. Influential filmmaker Wong Kar Wai served as the artistic director for this show and his stylistic vision and impeccable eye for detail can be felt throughout. This exquisitely stunning haute couture gold gown by Chinese designer Guo Pei with a lotus flower shaped bodice and skirt was presented in a gallery of 7th to 18th century Buddha statues. Given the importance of the lotus as a symbol in Buddhism, this was the perfect placement.

The collection of over 140 pieces is presented on multi-levels and this staging is meant to be labyrinth-like evoking Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, a nod to the "looking glass" element in the exhibition's title. A cinematic journey is also created as significant moments in Asian film are juxtaposed within the galleries. The entire experience is incredibly captivating on a visual and sensory level. Even though we got lost and doubled back into some of the galleries a few times, it felt like I was seeing something new with each turn. I definitely came away with an appreciation for the pervasive influence of Chinese culture on Western fashion. It was really undeniable especially after seeing the references presented alongside the creations they inspired.

The Met has announced extended hours for Labor Day weekend so if you're in New York and you haven't seen this exhibit yet, I'd highly suggest it. You can learn more about China: Through The Looking Glass through the museum's official website.

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