Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lierac Paris Comfort Peel: 2-in-1 Daily Moisturizer and Face Peel


We've been using the Lierac Paris 2-in-1 Daily Moisturizer and Face Peel for the past month. It's intended to smooth out your complexion and work as an anti-aging moisturizer. Our initial impression was very positive: it has a soft scent, similar to La Prairie's products and the texture of our skin was smooth almost immediately. The face peel treatment is so mild, we haven't experienced any obvious peeling or flaking. After a few weeks, our skin continues to be soft, smooth and blemish-free (always a plus). Our only complaint is that there is no SPF factor, which means an additional step in the morning.

The cream uses Salicylic and Glycolic acids to exfoliate and Urea to moisturize your skin. Details on the ingredients can be found on the Lierac website.

$52 for 1.36 oz. Available at CVS, Duane Reade, Longs Drugs, and beauty.com.




Bobbi Brown's Latest: Perfectly Defined Mascara and the Nautical Collection

Bobbi Brown's Perfectly Defined Mascara is designed to be long wearing and to lengthen each lash individually. We've tried it and think that indeed it wore well throughout the day with no flaking or smudging and at the end of the day it took a few simple splashes of warm water to remove it. We would compare this to Clinique's Lash Power, since its formula wears well, our lashes look similarly thick and long, and the removal process is also easy. The difference we observed was with the wand. The tines of the brush on Clinique's Lash Power mascara are closer together and give a more feathery look. In contrast, Bobbi's Perfectly Defined mascara's wand has tines on the brush that are further apart and spread your lashes (presumable to give you more definition to each lash).
Also new this month is Bobbi Brown's Nautical Collection, which was inspired by the French women that Bobbi saw wearing striped shirts and sporting a flush on their cheeks and lips that looked like they were wearing a stain. * Bobbi tried to recreate that look with her new Sheer Color Gloss and Sheer Color Cheek Tint. We tried the gloss in Popsicle (third from the bottom) and the cheek tint in Sheer Pink (in the middle) and both gave us a healthy glow. We're ready to roll over our winter makeup for a fresher, spring time look. These products would be great to carry with you for touch ups throughout the day, especially when you're feeling tired and washed out.

*Listen to Bobbi Brown talk about the Nautical Collection in her own words and watch her at work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LaLicious Spa Treatments at the Laguna Cliffs Hotel


When one of our favorite body products shows up at the spa of one of our favorite destinations, it's time to book our flight! Laguna Cliffs Resort and Spa is featuring tropical themed treatments using LaLicious body products. We'll take a Passionfruit Lime Body Exfoliation followed by an Island Guava massage, please!
And now that our favorite airline, Virgin America is flying to Orange County's John Wayne Airport with service starting today, it's easier than ever to get there!

Cinco de Mayo

Next week we're spending Cinco de Mayo JSG-style: in the afternoon we're headed to Macy's Pentagon City for a Clinique redo with The Makeup Girl. We'd love for you to join us! Clinique is hosting author Lee Woodruff (May 5th from 12:00 to 2:00). If you sign up for a makeover you can meet her and receive a copy of her new book, Perfectly Imperfect (call 703-418-4418 ext. 2124). Clinique is featuring its Perfectly Real Makeup foundation. Later that evening we'll be listening to Love Muffin and sipping margaritas at the Coyote Grille, likely wearing something like this:

.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cindy Adams' Birthday Trip

birthday cake
Proving that you're never to old to take a girls' getaway, Cindy Adams shared a funny recount of her recent birthday trip with Barbara Walters to the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls in today's New York Post. Apparently Barbara convinced her that they should only carry on their luggage and said absolutely no shopping. What happened? The two shopped like crazy and had to invest in new suitcases to bring their goodies home! Read the full story here. Happy belated birthday, Cindy!

California Road Trips

Thelma and Louise
One tank trips--trips that require only one tank of gas--are predicted to be this year's version of the "Stay-cation." We can dig it--very Thelma and Louise, minus the cliff at the end. If you live in Cali or are planning on traveling there and are roadtripping, order your free California Road Trips Guide. It has maps, suggested road trips and offers fun and sometimes free things to do in many cities around the state. The California Travel and Tourism website also lists Summer Deals around the state. One we want to take advantage of is Santa Monica's Sun, Sea and Save promotion where you get a third night free at many hotels, including the Viceroy, Shutters and the Fairmont.
California Road Trip

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cirque de Soleil: Kooza

We have a theory that your first Cirque de Soleil is always your favorite. We're still partial to Alegria, which we saw at Disney World for our virgin experience with the grown up circus. But three Cirque shows later and Kooza now at NYC's Randall's Island is a close second.

It has the same chills and thrills that has us holding our breath and biting our nails in hopes that the performers make their jump on a highwire or keep their balance on a stack of 20 chairs. Watching the trio of contortionists (above) inspired us to commit to at least two more decades of yoga to work on our flexibility. What the show lacked in sex appeal, it made up for in excitement--we loved the duo on a unicycle and the "wheel of death" that had two acrobacts doing flips and jumping ropes on two wheels that spun simultaneously. We're still haunted by the Sanskrit-inspired tunes sung live.

We could have done without the goofy king and even sillier dog who "peed" on the audience. And the scene where an audience member got pickpocketed of everything from his cellphone to his wallet to his ties on stage would have been more at home on a cruise ship.

That said, Kooza is definitely worthy of a girls' night out or even a hot date. We partook of the Tapis Rouge, a VIP tent that serves appetizers before the show, desserts during intermission and cocktails throughout to make it a complete evening out.

Kooza is playing through June 7.

Sundara Spray Tan Review

Thanks to my Irish/German heritage, I try to embrace my paleness as part of my look. (Much like I try to pass off my lack of using an iron as "my style.") But after the summer-like weekend like the one we just had in NYC, I'm reminded of how good a tan--a fake one that is--can look. When done right, it gives a healthy glow that goes hand in hand with higher hemlines and summer's brighter colors, not to mention it does a decent job of covering up cellulite.

I stopped by the Sundara Airbrush Tanning salon in NYC to test out their much publicized services (Sundara has been featured in Allure, NYMag and on Glamour.com, just to name a few). The salon is smaller than I expected--it's strictly a one-at-a-time-kinda deal. As it turned out a very one-on-one-kinda deal--the receptionist doubled as the spray tan technician and I was given the option of leaving on my bikini or doing it in the buff. Anyone who knows me well knows which state of undress I opted for (Hint: Modesty is not my middle name).

The experience was mercifully quick, given that I was buck naked with a stranger and a spray gun. When she was done, I had to hang out in front of a fan for a few minutes to let the self tanner absorb. That's me, immediately afterwards:


The color was natural, even and the darkest I have been since I was 17 and laid out in my backyard in an effort to get a tan for prom. My boyfriend in particular loved the tan me. The only downside is that my skin was weirdly tough. It was like I had been shellacqued.

It lasted for about 5 days. It faded like most other faux tans--the color on the tops of me feet was the first to go.

I plan on visiting Sundara again before my trip to Mexico (that I hope will still happen!). Sundara is offering a 3 for $160 special if you book before the end of the month--a $35 savings!

Sundara coupon
Prefer to faux tan in the comfort of your own home? Checkout our favorite self tanners.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Vegas Uncork'd


In case the crazy low hotel rates aren't enough to entice you hop a flight to Vegas, perhaps Vegas Uncork'd is. From May 7-10, celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay, Joel Robuchon and Francois Payard are hosting exclusive cooking demos and elaborate multi-course meals at hotels around the city during this Bon Appetit sponsored event. If we were going, we would definitely pony up for the celebrity chef black jack tournament. Playing 21 alongside Daniel Boulud and Laurent Tourondel of BLT fame is a foodie's dream come true.

Those are some of the chefs 180 feet aboe the strip at a "table in the sky" toasting the kick off of this 3rd annual event. Only in Vegas!

On Our Radar: Al Fresco Dining

We're looking forward to the best weather of the year on the east coast this weekend. We'd love to enjoy it over a long drawn out dinner with some girlfriends. Here are few great alfresco dining options we found:

In Boston's Back Bay, sit on the sidewalk cafe at Stephanie's on Newbury and take in some "sophisticated comfort food" like steamed New England mussels and sweet potato ravioli.


We hadn't heard of a seafood brasserie before; but our girlfriend Abby swears by Miami's Maison d'Azur in the Astor Hotel. It's a fitting recommendation from her since it emulates the French Riviera nightlife (she lived there years ago and hosted us a couple of times). Guests choose their fare from displays, watch nightly fashion shows featuring local designers (available for purchase in their boutique of course) and the night finishes with belly dancers.


In D.C., we'd go to Brasserie Beck because it'll satisfy the foodie and the beer lover with its Belgian cuisine and extensive beer selection"

In NYC's Theater District, the Barbetta has opened its garden for the season. It's a classic family owed Italian restaurant featured on Sex and the City.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Gift Card

If you're in New York this weekend, take a break from sunbathing and pop into Bergdorf Goodman to take advantage of its Beauty Gift Card Event. Today through Sunday, you'll get a $25 gift card towards the purchase of $100 or more on beauty products.


We recommend you use it on lipsticks from Edward Bess. He's the 23-year old wunderkid who created the lipstick wardrobe, a collection of lipsticks and glosses that work for every woman. With a subtle hint of wild fig fragrance, these are the best smelling lipsticks we've ever encountered.

Le Metier de Beauté has a cult following for its thickening and defining mascaras and crazy long lasting liquid eyeliners.



If you're in the market for nail polish, pick up some colors from Strange Beautiful. Creator Jane Schub finds inspiration in everything from a cooked lobster to a typewriter to German army uniforms for nails that are a fashionable accent.


If it's your hair that needs some TLC, splurge on the Oribe shampoo and conditioner. Our friend Jamie swears it's worth the price tag. We believe her--Oribe styles J. Lo's hair!

Preggatinis at the Hotel Madera

We're at the point in our lives when we always have at least one friend pregnant and temporarily off the party circuit. With the help of Natalie Bovis-Nelsen's book, Preggatinis™: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be, these friends can still be part of the party and stick to their new diet and drinking restrictions. The book includes 75 delish cocktail recipes and preggatini party ideas (why have a regular baby shower?).

If you're in D.C., meet the author, learn some great party tips and enjoy light fare from the Firefly Restaurant at the Hotel Madera on Saturday, April 25th from 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public; but you must RSVP first. Call (202) 466-1306 or email rsvp_dc@kimptonhotels.com.

Made Her Think Rings


You need to buy these rings, because they won't fit us. But if they did, we would get one in every color. These gorge Made Her Think rings come in a standard size 7 and are a very affordable $30. We're also digging the Rose Button Rings, carved from wood and studded with Swarovski crystals for $35. C'mon! Let us live vicariously through your hands!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mexico Travel Safety


We're counting down the days tip our trip to Cancun at the end of May (38!) when we'll be staying at the Ritz Carlton, shown above. However, when we tell our friends we're headed south of the border, they all express concern about the safety of travel to Mexico. We assure them that resort towns, like Cancun are safe and now we've got more proof. Not only did our friend Julia recently get back from Playa del Carmen (south of Cancun) and reportedly wanted to stay longer, FunJet has handily compiled a list of fact and fiction about the safety of traveling to Mexico. It also links to recent stories in the press, including an article in the WSJ that says as long as you stick with resort towns like Cancun and Cabo and behave smartly, you're likely to stay out of harm's way. The risk of doing too many tequila shots or getting sunburned is another story.

Lindsay Price's Favorite Girls' Trip

On Monday night, we were delighted to get to meet Lindsay Price along with a select group of bloggers at a party to introduce the new Degree Fine Fragrance collection. Degree surveyed women to find out what they couldn't live without: 40 percent said chocolate is non-negotiable, while 35 percent said they wouldn't sacrifice lattes. For JSG it's travel, of course--though we are willing to cut back in other areas to find the funds for our next trip.

That's the idea behind the new Degree Fine Fragrance line--it's a luxury without the spendy price tag. The nose behind the scents is Ann Gottlieb who also helped create SJP's Covet and some of Carolina Herrera's and Calvin Klein's scents, among countless others. In a scent test with our SO, he liked the Sexy Intrigue scent the best--it's a blend of vanilla, jasmine and rose.

Watch the video to see what Lindsay will—and won't cut back on. Hint: She's wearing fab Fendi shoes that all the bloggers were drooling over.



As for her favorite girls' trip--that was to Napa with her friend, Wendy, when "they fell in love. Usually you would think wine country would be a romantic trip, but it's perfect for girls." Linsday liked that she could get drunk, get spa-ed up and come back red and blotchy and it didn't matter to her friend. During the day they biked around to vineyards for wine tasting. We want to go on the next trip!

Earth Day Favorites

Remember when you were a kid and you would ask your mom why there was a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, but not a Kids' Day? And she would inevitably reply that, "Everyday is Kids' Day"? We now realize Mom was being facetious, but we're not, when we say that's how we feel about Earth Day. Our world is a beautiful, irreplaceable resource that we deserves respect 365 days a year. And with these new programs and products, it's easier than ever.




When we met Dan Brestle, president of Estée Lauder North America last fall, we asked him about the company's commitment towards greater eco-consciousness. He told us that it was important to Lauder and that individual brands were making strides. He wasn't kidding. Estée Lauder brand Origins recently announced they are accepting used cosmetics for recycling, including compacts, mascara wands and lipstick tubes for recycling, regardless of the brand. In exchange, you'll get a sample of an Origins product. While you're at the Origins counter, we suggest you pick up A Perfect World Moisturizer. This moisturizer is one of our long time faves and for every jar sold through the rest of April, Origins will plant a tree as part of the Global ReLeaf program.



Kiehl's is another brand with longstanding environmental roots. Starting today, Kiehl's is donating 100% of its net proceeds from the sale of Restorative Argan Body Lotion to the Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to keeping the world's oceans, rivers and lakes free of pollution. The bottle may look a little different that you're used to: Kiehl's had Adrian Grenier, Erykah Badu, Kelly Slater, and a team of students from Parsons The New School for Design each designed a label. Also starting today and running through Friday, Kiehl's is auctioning off items, including an Adrian Grenier Autographed Season 4 - Entourage DVD Set on Kiehl's Gives Back.


Environmentally-conscious fashion brand Loomstate is launching a lower-priced line at Target for a limited time. This owl T-shirt says it all!



We're also fans of Physician's Formula Organic Wear the first cosmetics line to receive the Eco-Cert seal. The products are paraben and synthetic-preservative free and come in packaging that uses 93% less plastic than traditional cosmetics.

Stowe Mountain Lodge

Hotels have been paying attention to the eco-trend for a few years now. The NYPost has a handy checklist to see how green your home away from home is. Want to know what our favorite eco-friendly hotel is (shown above)?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay

video

Girls' trips come in all forms. We wanted to take a trip with our girlfriend ShallowGal and were determined to make it happened one way or another, in this case with our (count 'em) six kids. So it was that we took a mini-vacay to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, which ShallowGal coined our "Baycation."

The Hyatt Regency is on a secluded spot on the Chesapeake Bay and with its beautiful golf course and king-size spa, it makes a good choice for weddings and conventions.

We had adjoining rooms which were recently renovated and plush, including the largest bottles of amenities in the bathrooms we've ever seen. The rooms were spacious, even for our numbers, and bright and looked out onto the pool area and the Bay.

We had our hands full with our crew while we were there; but the hotel offered activities every hour for children: moon bounce, cooking demonstrations, swimming, putt-putt, face painting, crafts, movies and s'mores.

We toured the 18,000 square foot Stillwater Spa with the gorgeous Spa Director, Patti Dail, though we couldn't steal away for a treatment this time. The Stillwater Spa had a large number of treatment rooms and when we were there, they were all taken which was proof to us that they're doing something right. The spa offers treatments ranging from the Raven's view massage at the top of the lighthouse tower, to teeth whitening, to the River Stone massage. The spa will set up group treatments good for bachelorette or bridal parties in either the couple's room or in private suites in the hotel.

The Hyatt would make a fine girls' getaway (perhaps sans children next time), with its three restaurants, three pools, sailing trips, golf and, of course, spa.

On our way home we stopped at the Out of the Fire Restaurant in the super cute town of Easton, Maryland (think boutiques, coffee shops, and antiques). The server was skeptical when he saw our party of eight; but sat us quickly. The wild mushroom pizza and curry chicken salad were delicious.

Win Crest White Strips


We love white teeth (in fact, JSG's Annie is headed to the dentist today). What we don't love is the time it takes to get them. Worse than the waiting around is figuring out when we won't be around other people or drinking water for a period of time. That's why we're fans of the new Crest White Strips Advanced Seal. They form an airtight seal around your teeth so you can talk and even drink water while wearing them! Now that's multi-tasking!

JSG is happy to partner with Crest to giveaway 10 boxes of the new Advanced Seal product. All you have to do to enter is sign up for our soon to be launched newsletter in the box below before Friday:




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Smythson Jewelry Roll WInner

We want to thank everyone who entered our giveaway by sharing the deets on their favorite girls' getaway trip. It made our mornings (when we usually approve your posts) to read about your trips from everywhere to Mystic, CT to Greece to Myrtle Beach. Most of all, we enjoyed reading comments like this one from oosmilesoo about her trip to Vegas with 10 friends:

But we had the most fun in our hotel rooms, just talking, catching up on old times. It was great, finding our friendship again.

That's exactly what the best girls' trips should be like, no matter where you're vacationing.

Read all of the comments for yourself on our girls' getaways message boards!

And now, for the winner: Mineola!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Laptop Sleeves

Going on a girls' getaway, especially when you write about them, means traveling with your laptop. Since we're much more likely to be carrying our favorite tote instead of a computer case, we've been on the lookout for a computer sleeve. We want something that will protect our laptops from spills and drops; but is sleek enough that we can fit it into our bags that aren't designed to carry computers.

This handsome leather laptop sleeve by MacCase is the only one we found that comes with an accessory pouch. The light tan is our pick; but it comes in six other colors too.


The Manhattan Beach Computer Laptop Sleeve by California Leash comes in a handful of super chic patterns. The only problem here is finding the perfect carry-on to go with it.

Looking for something more basic? This pink and brown reversible neoprene cover from Case Logic is on sale for $15.99. The snug fit means it will fit well in your favorite tote.


The Laura Merkin laptop bags are almost too pretty to use for a computer. Bonus: they are on sale at Gilt for $98 or until they're sold out.



In the end, we bought this totally cute neoprene case in a red and pink print from Walmart for only $12. When it's that cheap, you can afford to change it up with the season or your mood.

Key Necklaces

Tiffany keys
We've been crushing on the new Tiffany's key necklaces (above), they're so classic yet sexy in a Tudors kinda of way. Our style icon, Blake Lively, reportedly wore one to her cover shoot for the May issue of Allure. What we don't love is the price--they start at $100 go up to $15K.

We went on the hunt for some lower-priced versions and came up with a few options, like this $48 version from Juicy Couture:

Juicy Couture
A $12 one from Fred Flare:


and this snake skin Just Cavalli one on sale for $66 at eLuxury:


And this handmade Italian necklace on Etsy for $49.12:




Watch your back Jane Seymour!

Check out these other gift ideas from Tiffanys.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Final Weeked to Enter to Win the Smythson Jewelry Roll


Have you entered yet? Simply tell us about your favorite girls' getaway on our message boards before midnight PST on Sunday, April 19 and you'll be eligible to win the gorgeous Smythson jewelry roll shown above, valued st $465!

Note: Only comments on the message boards are considered entries for the contest. Comments on the blog do no count.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On Our Radar: Condé Nast's 2009 Hot List

This year's Condé Nast's Hot List features 43 hotels that cost under $250 per night. Ladies, if you're taking that girls' trip and splittin' a room with your besties, it looks like you've got some great options. Here are two very different getaways that interest us:


First off, our trip to WeHo may not be a sure thing; but cruising through the slideshow of the London West Hollywood makes us want to book our Virgin flight now. According to the glowing Condé Nast review, the London boasts a quality crew, fab rooms and roof top pool full of pretty people. Isn't that what vacations are all about? Book us one of the roomier Crown Suites (shown above)--if we're traveling across country we'll chip in a little extra for a great view. Rooms start at $199.


Also on the CN list and ours: Last year we took a super short (we're talking 24 hours) trip to Charleston, S.C. to check out a city we'd heard great things about and Savannah is another Southern town that's been whispering its welcome to us for years. The recently opened Avia Hotel has a modern bend that contrasts with the traditional spots you'll find elsewhere in Savannah. It's located in the midst of the 20+ public squares, perfect for daytime shopping and nighttime strolls. The Avia was also featured this February in Travel & Leisure's 50 Best Romantic Getaways.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring's Best Cocktail

Even though the weather is still a brisk 50 something degrees here in the Northeast, we like to pretend it's spring--we've started using our new white patent Cole Hahn wallet,


are wearing coral polish. That's Sephora by OPI's Special Request below.


and have traded our red wine for fresh cocktails. Here's one that sounds like a balmy breeze, sundresses and daffodils combined in a glass from mixologist Pablo Moix of STK in Los Angeles: the Maestro Maria Verde.


Here's the recipe so you can make it at home:

3 - 2" slices of celery

Loose handful of cilantro

2 Oz Maestro Dobel tequilla

3/4 Oz fresh squeezed lime juice

3/4 Oz simple syrup

1 Oz ginger ale

In a pint glass muddle celery and cilantro, then add all spirits and mixers. Shake vigorously for 6 seconds, add ginger ale. Strain over fresh ice in Collins glass. Garnish with a celery stalk.
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