Friday, October 30, 2009

Web Snob October 30th

55 Secret Street weighs in on Newsweek’s Zahara Jolie Pitt hair controversy and wants to know, “Are We All Really “Team Zahara?”.

Stiletto Jungle thinks a wrap sweater you can wear 6 ways is perfect for fall.

All Lacquered Up takes you backstage at Carolina Herrera where made its runway debut.

Heidi & Spencer dress as Jon & Kate for Halloween – Allie is Wired has the pictures.

Bag Bliss loves the latest arm candy by Felix Rey.

If you are looking for just one all around great piece for the season or for the year, Bag Snob has it!

There is so much talk about lash enhancers, but what about the brows? Beauty Snob has the product.

The Daily Obsession shares a never published before beauty tip.

Fashion Pulse Daily has teamed up with Manhattanite to give away a Nip & Tuck Hollywood Basket, full of Foot Petals, Miss Oops, and Hollywood products!

The Jet Set Girls pick the best black nail polish for Vegas.

KRISTOPHER DUKES is wanting, wearing, and hating the Salvador Dali “Bird In Hand” compact.

Second City Style takes a look at Where The Wild Things Are on the runway and the real way.

From ankle height to over the knee, SheFinds has all the best flat boots to let you walk, run, and skip through fall in style and comfort.

Shopping and Info found the best black cashmere cowl neck sweater.

The StyleBakery.com editors share their Top 10 Picks for Fall, totaling over 100 must-buys for every budget

Stylehive is thinking the basic little black dress has been a bit too nice lately, and is loving black leather dresses for fall

The Beauty Stop dishes about Reese Witherspoon’s beauty secrets.

The Shoe Goddess has fallen in love with this pair of amazing Azzedine Alaia Buckle Boots!

V-Style Loves Thakoon’s Mirror Mosaic Booties for fall.

On Our Radar: Colorado

Our twitter friends are buzzing about Colorado's first big snow fall of the year. We couldn't be more excited for them. In fact, this week we started planning a ski trip for January. How did we start?

First asked ourselves, do we feel like flying international? We've skied in France, Switzerland and Austria. The major advantages include getting the Euro experience, skiing on slopes that are more natural, less groomed and eating great food. Once when we were in Davos, we stumbled upon a little chalet that served up the best spaghetti bolognese of our lives. How they got supplies to that place is a mystery since the place was literally buried in snow (only the door was dug out). The disadvantage is the jet lag, it is hard to fly east anyhow and in the winter with less light, you have to be particularly diligent to wake up on time or you'll sleep away the day underneath the unbelievably thick down comforters that all the hotels have there. Also, on one trip to Chamonix we traveled all the way over and they were having a drought. Sadly the skiing was slim.

How about Whistler? We've been to the Olympics before and we're not sure we want to deal with the building out and fussing around that comes with the event. We'd like to head up there next year to take advantage of all that they've done to improve the site; but avoid the crowds this go around.

Utah is always a great choice. Easy direct flights to Salt Lake, a short drive to Park City and easy access to many different cool resorts. Park City has great lodging and a super fun strip for night time carousing. Utah also has the best snow, consistently, that we've ever skied. This was definitely in the running.

East coast skiing, a la Vermont? Sadly, as we get older, we get fussier about the cold weather and we swear it's colder (my dad calls it a wet cold) in Vermont than out west. Plus, our past few trips up there have been on icy slopes.

We ended up choosing Vail/Beaver Creek. The deciding factor was the amazing deal we got on plane tickets: $118 round trip, D.C. to Denver! We go each year with a group of friends, and yes we should probably branch out. At least we're staying somewhere new-- literally new, The Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek just opened last season. We're excited that they have a gondola that runs from the hotel up to the slopes, there's an outdoor lap pool (okay, we may not do laps; but we'll definitely hit the hot tubs), and we're looking forward to the new Anjali spa. If you ski Vail/BC you know how good it feels to take the first trip up the mountain, to find your favorite pit stop for chili and beer, to find a path through the trees and sit for a few minutes on the edge of a slope, saying hi to the familiar view, which is always breath taking. January can't come soon enough.

Need more inspiration? Check out this video:

Product Review: Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Care

For a solid month, I've been using Aveeno's Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser. The soft foam does wonders at removing my layers of makeup without drying out my skin. I even use it around my eyes without irritation. The only downside is that the scent is strong for me. I prefer unscented products.



The other Aveeno product I'm impressed with is the Positively Ageless Warming Scrub. I keep it in the shower and use it every few days to help exfoliate and freshen my skin. Now that the weather is turning colder and drier, I like to have a quality scrub nearby to slough off the dry skin, which clogs my pores and causes breakouts even in winter. The unique quality of this scrub is the way in which it heats up when you add water. In fact, if you're scrubbing for about 10 seconds and the warmth fades, add a little more water and it reactivates. Again, the scrub has the same scent as the cleanser, which isn't offensive, just strong for me.
These products are available at drugstores nationwide.
This review was based on free samples.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eau Spa Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach


Not all spas are created the same. In Eau Spa's case, its design is quite different from the norm. Usually we expect to find serenity in quiet Zen-like rooms; but Eau Spa, which opened this March in the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach, uses whimsical design and sunny open spaces to relax its guests.

The Eau Spa offers top end, luxury facials and body treatment from its Bejeweled Collection by incorporating minerals derived from platinum and either diamonds, rubies, or pearls to rejuvenate your complexion and heal your body.

For those of you who'd like to experience Eau Spa on a tighter budget, the Eau Spa also offers day passes for $75, where you can enjoy the bath lounge, ponds, waterfalls and saunas. For an extra charge, you can design your own scrub from the Scrub and Polish Bar. We're partial to their signature scent, Green Tea and Lemongrass; but they also offer vanilla and ginger, citrus and eucalyptus, and lavender and mint. Another option is to sample from their bite sized beauty menu, a sampling of 25 minute mini spa treatments including facials and massages.

Through the end of November, Eau Spa is extending its summer specials. Our favorite is the buddy discount which gives you and your friends a 10% discount if you come together. Find out more information at EauSpa.com.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Advertorial: Get Extra Long Lashes!



COVERGIRL’s new LashBlast Length Mascara creates expertly defined, beautifully separated lashes. The long brush provides more control, plus special product reservoirs at the top of each bristle grasp even the tiniest lashes to lengthen them by up to 80%. The clump-free formula contains nylon fibers, the same material used in expensive lash extensions, to extend your lashes without flaking, smudging or smearing.

You have to see it to believe it! Try on COVERGIRL’s new LashBlast Length Mascara in Daily Makeover’s virtual Makeover Studio now.

Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig Live and On Stage


Last night we went to see A Steady Rain with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. We'll be honest and say we only went to see the show because of their combined hotness. And the stars--who both made People's Sexiest Men Alive 2008 list--did not disappoint. We went in liking them both equally. We left understanding why Hugh was on the cover of last year's issue or People and Daniel was relegated to the inside. Simply put: He's beautiful.

As for the play...meh. It was the two of them, and the two of them only, on stage for 90 minutes in a cop drama. The acting was strong, but the plot was weak and predictable. We could tell what was going to happen about 15 minutes in. What impressed us the most, aside from Hugh's backside, was that neither Hugh nor Daniel required a glass of water throughout the entire play. Now that's endurance!

After the show, Hugh and Daniel remained on stage to do their pitch for Broadway Cares, Equity Fights Aids. To raise money, they auctioned off the sweaty wife beaters they each wore under their shirts throughout the show. (Yes, we were dying inside.) Included in the deal was a backstage tour and they also offered to autograph their tank tops. We tried to convince our friend, Laura, that the wifebeaters would make a perfect wedding gift, but no dice. (She didn't think our fiancé would appreciate them.)

The tanks eventually sold for $3,000 to two lucky bidders who generously agreed to take one wifebeater each. We think Hugh's should have sold for more!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SushiSamba Las Vegas


While in Vegas, we were treated to one of the most amazing meals of our lives at SushiSamba at the Palazzo, courtesy of General Manager Hayes Swope. The food was amazing, filling and healthy, and the sake pairings were perfect. Even better, we didn't feel bloated at all afterwards. SushiSamba isn't just another fusion restaurant it represents the unique culture that developed in South America between Japanese, Peruvians, and Brazilians.

No surprise, Hayes, a self-proclaimed party facilitator, says he books 15-20 bachelor and bachelorette parties every Friday and Saturday night. He also plays matchmaker and strategically seats the parties next to each other. That's our kinda guy!

Hayes told us that compared to their bachelor counterparts, women spend more on liquor than food. Bachelorettes at SushiSamba are partial to strawberry martinis, unfortunately nicknamed "panty droppers." We tried them ourselves and are sticking to sake.

At SushiSamba, waiters will work with their tables to present a perfect meal be they bachelor parties or average diners. That means getting to know their guests preferences, dietary restrictions and budgets.

Our meal started with yellowtail seviche taquitos:



We got a little panicky when the king crab legs disappeared shortly after they were served. Hope and Annie both thought the others had eaten them all. Turns out the chef removed them from the shell for us so they were easier to eat and promptly returned them.

king crab legs
The Kobe, top right, was so delicious--it has ruined Hope for other cuts of beef. We skipped all the sauces in favor of a simple coating of salt and pepper on Hayes's suggestion. He taught us to breathe in through our mouth when we eat it to fully experience the decadence of the meat.

kobe meat

Even though we thought we were too full, we had no problem finishing of this plate of sushi.

sushi

Learn more from Hayes Swope about our favorites: sashimi peruvian style, king crab legs, sake pairing and Kobe beef.


Best Travel Websites

Travel & Leisure 2009 coverOne day, we hope to be included in Travel & Leisure's roundup of the best travel websites. Until then, we'll share our faves off the 2009 list.

The article gives high marks to Bing.com's fare forecasting. The site would have come in handy when we were booking our airline tickets to Vegas. We waited a week to book our tickets in the hopes the prices would come down. They didn't. T&L says Bing.com is right 87 percent of the time, which is a heck of a lot better than a shot in the dark.

We like idea of iFly.com for "Make the Best of a Layover," but think the site must be run by men. Point 1: We found no mention of spas or nail salons, like SeaTac's Butter London. Point 2: The in-town layover ideas give users no idea how long the trip will take. For example, if you want to checkout NYC's Radio City between flights at JFK, you better have at least 3 hours to get there and back with traffic. A woman would never be such a poor planner.

TripKick is another site that could have helped us on our recent trip to Vegas. The site dishes on what rooms to select for size, noise, view and more at various hotels. In Vegas, Hope was the first to arrive and had to change our room at the Palazzo twice! The first one had plumbing problems, then the second was a 3-mile hike from the elevators. As T&L points out, the list of hotels TripKick covers is small, but growing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Beauty Trends for Daily Makeover's Beauty Bloggerati

Hear what the Jet Set Girls and our fellow Daily Makeover Beauty Bloggerati picked out as their favorite fall beauty trends:

Oxygen Bar Las Vegas

oxygen bar breathe las vegasWhen we passed by the Breathe Oxygen Bar in the Venetian after our poker lesson and our epic sushi and sake tasting lunch on the way back to our room, we must have had "sucker" written on our foreheads. The signs promised we would be energized, our hangovers would vanish and jet lag would be a thing of the past. (Basically, the equivalent of drinking Eric or Bill's blood on our favorite vampire show.) And even though the patrons who were there before us said the oxygen treatment did nothing to them, we were desperate enough to give it a shot.

For $22, we were connected to the oxygen machine for 15ish minutes. The oxygen is scented with eucalyptus and lavender. The cute female therapists entertained and kept us occupied with extras like eucalyptus oil in the palms or our hands, battery powered back massagers and more.

About halfway in, Annie's nose started to get stuffy. The therapists claimed it was because the oxygen was working. She had to remove her nose hose early because she started to feel claustrophobic. Hope, on the other hand, enjoyed the entire treatment.

Believe it or not, we did feel a bit rejuvenated after the treatment. Whether that was psychosomatic or a true benefit of the oxygen, we don't know. But at least the American Lung Association says oxygen bars like Breathe aren't likely to do any harm.

oxygen bar breathe vegas

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kim Kardashian's Birthday Party

Kim Kardashian birthday party tao

While in Vegas, JSG helped Kim Kardashian celebrate her 29th birthday at Tao on October 16. The closest we got to Kim was outside of Tao while we were waiting for our table to be ready and she was taking a heavily-guarded breather (above). We love her 6" long lashes, faux hawk ponytail and sequins.

For the rest of the night, Kim danced and surveyed the crowd from her private balcony. (We don't blame her. We spent most of the night at our private table.)

Kim kardashian october 2009 birthday party

Piperlime Jewelry


We love how Piperlime just keeps making it easier for us to get dressed everyday. They started with shoes, then added clothes, now we can find select pieces from our fave jewelry lines on the site. It's only in the sneak peek phase, but you'll find pieces from Betsey Johnson, Juicy Couture, House of Harlow (above) and GS Lillian among others. As always, shipping and returns are free.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Product Review: Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

If ever there was a product perfectly suited for a bachelorette party or a girls' night out, it would be Origins new GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. I used this the morning after a late night of dancing (and yes a couple glasses of champagne) and my eyes felt fresh and awake. It is supposed to improve puffiness and dark circles as well, though that's harder to measure. My puffiness definitely improved; but my dark circles are more hereditary than circumstantial so I didn't see a change in the circles. If only this had anti-aging properties too, then I could turn back the clock and not just erase the night before.

Available at Origins stores, $29 for 0.5 oz.
This review was based on a free sample.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Web Snob Roundup October 23rd

55 Secret Street is high-end, but never above great Drugstore Beauty!

Stiletto Jungle talks fame and fall fashion with The City's Roxy Olin.

All Lacquered Up is raising funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through its Think Pink - Donate & Win Giveaway.

Allie is Wired fashion face off: Leighton Meester vs. Victoria Beckham.

Bag Snob has the Jimmy Choo Ramona Pyramid for those into studded bags.

If you're looking for the perfect moisturizer for combination skin, Beauty Snob has it!

Coquette is stocking up on must-have patterned tights!

Fashion Pulse Daily gives a sneak peak at the soon-to-launch Carlos Falchi for Target Collection!

I'm Not Obsessed wants to know how you feel about Fall's newest trend - the Slouchy Hat?

The Jet Set Girls share a video recap of Anne's bachelorette party in Vegas.

KRISTOPHER DUKES is wanting, wearing, and hating Giuseppe Zanotti mules.

Second City Style says luckily, many designers turned out a selection of Flat Over-the-Knee Boots that boast a more comfortable version of the trend without sacrificing any of the chic.

As the weather cools down, SheFinds is warming up with the best of the best puffy coats and jackets.

Shopping and Info is giving away a $500 Carolina Herrera gift card.

StyleBakery.com has some stylish Halloween costume ideas using items you already have in your closet

Stylehive is finding Amelia Earhart's story and style so inspiring, and has devoted an entire slideshow to the aviatrix.

The Beauty Stop asks, "what are you willing to pay for moisturizer?"

The Shoe Goddess falls in love at the Pierre Hardy Boutique in Paris!

V-Style Has the stunning photos from Eva Longoria and Tony Parker's London Fog Campaign .

eye4style experiences the most stylish tea in London - Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley!

Best Black Nail Polish

dark nail polish
Deciding what nail polish to wear in Vegas was simple: Sephora by OPI's 212-SEPHORA is a party in a bottle. We started out using the dark nail polish on our toes only, but liked it so much we had our manicurist use it on our hands, too.

opi sephora 212 sephoraWe've been rocking the shade for a week now and have received compliments on the color from everyone from Vegas showgirls to the 50+ receptionist at our dentist's office. It gets our award for Best Black Polish 2009!

Available at Sephora.

This review was based on a free sample.

On Our Radar: Tribeca Grand Hotel


For Annie's upcoming nuptials, most of the out of town guests will be staying in style at the Tribeca Grand. She selected the hotel first and foremost for its location (it's within easy walking distance to her reception), but also because it's chic and swank and has a hip New York vibe all without killing her guests' budgets.


The sister property to the Soho Grand, the Tribeca Grand has a soaring lobby, which is sure to wow out of towners. While she was a little nervous about the potential of all-night partying at the hotel's Church Lounge, each room is equipped with a Sony Dream Machine and management did request quieter rooms for Annie's parents and older relatives.

The rooms are modern without being spare and are large by NYC sizes. She loves that the hotel will provide you with a pet goldfish , but is guessing she'll be too busy for a pet, even a low-maintenance one.

The hotel is close to other things besides her reception for guests who want to sight see. Cross Canal Street to hit the shopping in SoHo, head south to get to Ground Zero or hop on one of the nearby subways to zoom up to Times Square and the Theater District. If it's warm enough, her guests can borrow one of the hotel's Electra Townie bikes to ride around NYC. The nearby Westside Highway path is flat and goes along the west perimeter of Manhattan.



She has also been scoping out after-reception options and has her eyes on Macao Trading Company across the street from the Tribeca Grand for tasty cocktails, Warren 77, the bar partly owned by Sean Avery, and Naked Lunch, and oldie but a goodie where she danced away many a night in her past. (Update: We crossed Warren 77 off the list last night when @immaculateinfat tweeted that it smelled of "courgars and doucehbags.") Of course there's always the Tribeca Grand's Church Street Lounge or she could just hit the hay with her new hubby.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Free Wi-Fi for the Holidays

Here's a holiday present for all of you flying home or somewhere exotic for the holidays. Virgin America and Google are offering free WiFi on all flights from November 10- January 15. The service typically costs $5.95 and up.

We have yet to fly WiFi ourselves, but our most recent flight on Continental didn't even have personal TVs, which left us longing for a more tech-friendly plane. Enjoy!

Our New Favorite Cosmetic Travel Bags



When perusing the Target website the other day, we came across these adorable cosmetic travel bags from the Hollywood Intuition line, created by Jaye Hersh owner of L.A.'s Intuition store. We love the brightly colored foursome: we'll stash our lipstick and gloss in the red bag, eyeshadows in the lavender, tinted moisturizer and bronzer in the tan and brushes and mascara in the large one. And at $12.99 for the set, we won't cry too much if our makeup spills in flight.

Poker Lesson Las Vegas


On our recent trip to the Palazzo, we took a poker lesson with the adorable Birgit. Here's what we learned:

1. The poker room is the place where all the guys hang out. While they might not notice you unless you're laying down a pair of aces and they might not be the cutest guys in the casino, the poker room is 99.9% men.

2. Never let the other players see your cards. While this may seem obvious, it's harder to take a peek than you might think while sitting shoulder to shoulder at the table.

3. That even if you're as adorable as Birgit, poker players in the U.S. don't tip as well as they do in Austria. Shocking!

4. As a novice, joining a tournament with at $50 pot is a fun way to learn the game. You won't lose more than the $50, but you'll likely get to play for hours. The downtown Vegas casinos typically have lower limits than those on the strip.


5. That red nails rock in any city. Birgit prefers China Glaze polish.

6. Don't take a poker lesson after a 2 1/2 hour sake-tasting lunch if you really want to learn the game!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

VV Brown

VV Brown on cover of WWD
We're always on the lookout for a new sultry songstress and some of our favorite singers and bands came to us through fashion (like One Night Only and Beth Ditto). When we finally caught up with our October 15 issue of WWD and saw VV Brown on the cover with an write up that compared her to Amy Winehouse, we immediately googled her to hear her tunes. We were instantly hooked and know you'll thank us for the reco. VV told WWD she's a fan of Grace Jones, David Bowie and gospel.

Moreover, VV Brown loves fashion as much as it loves her. She's the founder of VV Vintage, an online store that features 80s'-esque fashion that is so in vogue these days. We would personally like to see more of her own self proclaimed "Fifties glam couture" on the site, but we'll take what we can get!

A Peek Inside Kiki's Carry-On from the Tao Nightclub



Kiki Kuzmirek is the best person we've met in Vegas. Not only did she hook us up on our last visit, she made sure we had the best time ever on Anne's bachelorette party this weekend. Saying goodbye was harder this go-around, since we got to know each other well and found out how much we have in common. Thanks for everything, Kiki!

Kiki Kuzmirek is the Bachelorette Coordinator for the TAO Group's three Las Vegas properties (TAO Asian Bistro & Nightclub, LAVO Italian Restaurant & Nightclub and TAO Beach). Kiki and the TAO Group offer packages and concierge services to Bachelorette guests that include private dinners, VIP Nightclub tables with cake presentation and DJ shout outs, theater tickets, private security and butler service, personal photography, hotel accommodations, and more.

As no stranger to the hospitality industry, Kiki has served in nightlife for over 5 years and has been with the TAO Group for over 3 years. Kuzmirek graduated from the University of Florida in 2003.

What kind of bag do you travel with?

My bag of choice would be my Betsy Johnson roll-aboard. Good ol' Betsy has some amazing front pocket which make for easy access to necessities on the plane. It's also adorably covered in stars which make it simple to spot if I decide to check it. (We couldn't find the stars pattern but this pinky plaid Betsey is great too!)


What books mags and music do you bring?

Us Weekly is my fave airport reading material. The only time I treat myself to juicy gossip mags is when I'm traveling! As far as music, I have a "Fly Away" playlist on my i pod with a lot of Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World, and Pete Yorn (pictured below). They have the perfect tunes to snooze to.


Favorite snacks?

Is it so wrong that I enjoy the fine airplane white wine and pretzels??? I don't typically pack my own snacks when I travel.

Favorite beauty products do you use on plane?

I love love love Smith's Rosebud Salve. And I try not to ever leave the house without my MAC Studio Fix compact.


Do you bring a wrap blanket eye mask?

I usually bring my trusty neck pillow, a pashmina, and a pair of big sunglasses: the perfect combo for hibernation.


Add anything else you think would be helpful for a girls' trip?

I think one sometimes over looked necessity would be the i pod travel speakers. I know my girlfriends and love to turn getting ready into a dance party! I like to make a custom playlist that ends up being the soundtrack to our trip.


We couldn't agree more, Kiki! Hotels are hit or miss as to whether they have an iPod dock and even if they do, we want the speakers in the bathroom where we're drying our hair and putting on makeup. We also make playlists for each of our trips


Ultimate NYC Bag




If you still have not yet heard about or checked out Avelle’s Bag Borrow or Steal (we simply cannot imagine that – it was featured in the Sex and the City movie!) then maybe now you will take our advice and look into it. By using this site, you can wear any bag you’ve ever wanted without paying the hundreds or thousands for it, because you rent them for a fraction of the cost.

Even better, now Avelle is teaming up with the Bryant Park Hotel. If you are guest of the hotel, you can go on Avelle’s website, reserve one of their many beautiful items, and receive 25% off the rental fee. (We picked our favorites – Kooba "Celia" Bag for day and the Chanel 2.55 for night. In the city that never sleeps, two bags per day is simply rational!) The best part – whatever you rent from the website can be shipped to the hotel free of charge. Want to pack light? Just order from the website and when you get there, all of your luxurious items will be waiting for you! We hear Bryant Park and we think fashion week. This partnership will further recognize the hotel as a fashion-forward place to rest your head.




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Palazzo Las Vegas

Last weekend we stayed at the Palazzo in Las Vegas to celebrate Anne's bachelorette party along with our friends Felissa, Jill and Stephanie.

The Palazzo is perfect for a girls' trip to Vegas because it sits in the middle of the Strip next to the Venetian in walking distance or a short cab ride to everything. It has great restaurants: we were blown away by SushiSamba and Cut Steakhouse. The Palazzo has a fun pool scene. Its adult pool was closed for the season, so we had to contend with some extra background noise courtesy of nearby children; but our lush cabana made up for it.

The spacious suites have huge bathrooms and ours had two queen size beds along with a sunken living room. There were three flat screen tv's, which proved useful when Anne needed to watch the Yankees, no matter which room she was was in. Other amenities we took advantage of were the first class Canyon Ranch Spa, top notch shopping and the great nightlife at Tao and Lavo. The only downsides to the Palazzo are its size, walking to your room can be a challenge in heels (just ask Anne) and walking through the smoky casino can be a drag if you're sensitive to cigarette smoke.

We'll be detailing our different adventures over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here's a video that will give you some insight into our trip:

video

Sponsored Post: Shopping in Sydney

We learned the hard way that shopping in Sydney is a bit different than shopping in Europe. We pranced into the Louis Vuitton store, hoping to find prices that were lower than in the states, but—Surprise!—Australia has to import European luxury goods further than any Madison Avenue stores does. Prices reflect that travel time.

That doesn't mean shopping in Sydney is a bust. Just be smart about it and seek out local Sydneyite designers and shops.

Ask any Sydney girl where to buy a killer bikini and Zimmerman is sure to make the list. Known for it's ultra cute for swimwear and going out clothes, Zimmerman is affordable and fun. We bought a bikini and a dress there on our own trip.



Beat out all your fashionista friends and hit Crazy Horse for cult classic Denim and Thread jeans. These are the jeans Robert Pattinson made famous in his GQ spread. They make the organic cotton jeans for women, too.



Another Australian denim line not to be missed is Sass & Bide. Nicole Richie, Cate Blanchett and Miley Ray Cyrus are rumored to be fans of the distressed jeans. The flagship store is in Oxford Street.


Collette Dinigan is perhaps the most famous Australian designer--she recently showed her Spring 2010 collection in Paris. Stop by her Paddington store to pick up one of her signature dresses.

Speaking of frocks, Leona Edminston is not to be missed. She's the Australian version of Nanette Lepore--equal parts flirty and naughty.



Want to learn more about Australia? Become a fan on Facebook and enter to win a trip for two to Sydney.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lani and Lola Tote Couture Women's Laptop Bags



All work and no play makes for a disappointing getaway. But if you must bring your laptop, carry it in style.

We like these Lani and Lola pleated laptop totes because aside from being cute, they are quite functional. You’ll find designated pockets for your cell phone, pens, business cards and more.

Another convenient surprise is a hidden back pocket that unzips, so you can slide it over rolling luggage handles — a great plus when traveling across busy airport terminals.


The bags are built tough from durable canvas, and they are water resistant, so they hold their own while you jet set from place to place. All you have to do is pick your favorite design. Lani is green and brown, while Lola is black and white.

For more information, visit http://www.coolcomputerbags.com/

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sponsored Post: Perfume Diary

JSG's Anne at the Picasso Museum

Paris may be better known as the “City of Lights”, but to me, it’s the “City of Scents”. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the chocolate macarons at Pierre Hermé, the crisp French bread from one of the city’s many bakeries and the irises at Monet’s Giverny home. Like any good perfume, though, the city's scents are layered. The base notes of Paris are a little gritty and masculine: a leather handbag at Longchamp, the distinctive smell of the subway and a glass of full-bodied red wine at the end of a long day exploring the city.

One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to wander the streets and get lost. In Paris, like in life, it’s the things we don’t plan for that are often the most meaningful. You never know what surprises you’ll find: a chic perfumerie, a picturesque lane or a funny new friend (above). Leave plenty of time to people watch, whether you’re sipping Champagne at the ultra-chic George V lobby bar or breakfasting at a sidewalk café on a café crème with a pain au chocolat. (Start your day this way and you’ll understand the adage, “French women don’t get fat”. This seemingly decadent breakfast will keep you full until lunchtime.) Speaking of French women, they’re so impossibly chic, they’re the only women in the world who can get away with head-to-toe vintage Lacroix or Nina Ricci. And they always smell impeccable.


Anne on the grounds at the Musée Rodin

All this is not to say that the traditional tourist-y stuff should be left off your itinerary. Notre Dame, the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower are icons and well worth your time. On your first trip to Paris, you’ll want to hit all three.

Anne with her friend Heidi by the Eiffel Tower

Then, I would suggest heading to one of the smaller museums, like the Picasso or Rodin museum or take a day trip to Versailles or Giverny (below). If you're there in the spring, you'll experience the lushness of the flowers in full bloom--the azaleas, tulips, irises and roses. The memory of the fragrance will stay with you forever.



Wherever you go in the city, the scents of Paris are sure to delight!

Leslie Blodgett's Perfume Diary Contest
Write your own Perfume Diary and you will be entered to win Leslie Blodgett's Perfume Diaries contest. The Grand Prize is a 5 night trip for two to Honolulu, Hawaii and a gift basket of Leslie's Bare Skin collection. Three second place winners will receive a gift basket of Leslie's Bare Skin Collection.

To enter, post a photo and your original Perfume Diary on the Leslie Blodgett's Perfume Diary Facebook Fan Page. The contest runs from October 16-23, 2009. Good luck!

Read on for more about Leslie Blodgett's Perfume Diary fragrance collection.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Our Radar: Las Vegas


We've been busy putting together an itinerary for Anne's bachelorette party in Las Vegas that's full of things great things to do and worthy of sharing with our readers. You can follow us on Twitter (Anne and Hope) over the next few days; but rest assured we'll be back next week to dish about our trip.

Thursday:


Arrive in the afternoon. Check in to our suite at The Palazzo (sure, all the rooms are huge; but it still feels great to say it!).


We usually start our trips at Mon Ami Gabi, otherwise we'll order lunch by the pool. We're excited it's going to be in the 80's since we're coming from cold and dreary weather so expect to find us poolside at some point.


Drinks and appetizers at Koi at Planet Hollywood, and Peepshow afterwards. We'd like to squeeze in CatHouse Lounge at Luxor as well.


Late Dinner at Khotan, Treasure Island. Club hopping from Christian Audigier to XS.


Friday:


Sleep in and recover!


Sushi and sake tasting at SushiSamba at the Venetian.


Poker lesson in The Venetian Poker Room.


Yankees watching at Lagasse's Stadium at the Palazzo on the 9ft x 16ft screen.


Get gorgeous for dinner at Sinatra at Encore. Sephora is right downstairs, so we may brush up on our smoky eye skills.


Table and bottle service at Tao Nightclub at the Venetian. According to her website, the saucy Kim Kardashian is holding her birthday bash at Tao.


Saturday:


Cabana time and recovery by the Palazzo pool.


Hair at The Canyon Ranch Spa.


Makeup at Guerlain in The Shoppes at The Palazzo.


Dinner at CUT, Wolfgang Puck's steak restaurant at Palazzo.


Table and bottle service at Lavo Nightclub at Palazzo.


Flights at 7 am on Sunday!
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