Watch the Money Fly Right Out of Your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus

Image via Apple

Today I am grateful for my behind-the-time iPhone 5S. With the new 6 and 6 plus, beginning today (much earlier than the previously announced holiday season launch), a big handful of major retailers will allow customer to check out via Apple Pay. There are times I leave the house without my wallet, but almost never am I without my iPhone, but now, should it be necessary, an iPhone 6 user can drop by Bloomingdales and drop a chunk of change with just the touch of a fingertip. Come 2015, those with an Apple Watch on his or her wrist can do the same.

The new iPhones have the capability to store credit card info with a simple scan. When purchasing, the phone will be held up to a reader, with your thumb against the touch ID pad; and assuming all goes smoothly, you’ll hear a beep. Apple says it’s safe. We can’t know for sure yet, but it’s certainly easy.

So who’s in so far? Walgreens and Whole Foods are signed up. The aforementioned Bloomingdales too, and more fashion/beauty hotspots including Sephora, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People are coming on soon.

Cara Delevingne Wants to Take a Selfie with YOU


Are you one of Cara Delevingne’s 7,479,151 Instagram followers? Would a selfie with Cara be a lifetime achievement in your book? If so, set your calendar alarm for noon this Saturday and run to Bloomingdales at 59th, (although, let’s be honest, you might wanna get there by 10 am). If you’re one of the first 25 people to pre-purchase a piece from Cara’s about to be released Cara D for DKNY collaboration, then that very selfie is about to be yours. If you don’t make top 25, the first 100 will receive a signed poster and a limited edition #CaraD4DKNY tote bag.

The collaboration was announced back in June and DKNY revealed that it is a 15-piece collection, which is “mostly unisex” and includes beanies, T-shirts and a leather motorcycle jacket with removable sleeves. Each piece has details that give it “a special meaning to Cara”. Delevingne is no stranger to the brand–she’s starred in multiple DKNY campaigns, and used Instagram, her favorite, to cast a select few models to partake in the campaign. Captioning a June instagram of herself holding up a #CARAWANTSYOU sign with: “I’m CASTING for a few lucky fans to come to New York City and model my new #DKNY collection in a special photo shoot with me. To enter, just post a pic of yourself looking fresh to your Instagram and tag #CaraD4DKNY and #CaraWantsYou”

See ya Saturday.


Come one come all @dkny #carawantsyou #carad4dkny #caraxdkny

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Guys! So, I created a sick special-edition collection with @donnakarandkny coming later this year, and I WANT YOU to be in the campaign with me! I’m CASTING for a few lucky fans to come to New York City and model my new #DKNY collection in a special photo shoot with me. To enter, just post a pic of yourself looking fresh to your Instagram and tag #CaraD4DKNY and #CaraWantsYou between now and 16 June. More here Must 18 years or older to enter. One entry per person/Instagram account. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. A purchase does not increase chances of being selected

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Marc By Marc Jacobs Handbags Exclusively for Bloomingdale’s In Time for School

Photos via Bloomingdale’s 

For fall this season, Bloomingdale’s are giving New Yorkers a bit of a treat. Well, a lot of a treat, actually. They have a bunch of exclusive Marc by Marc Jacobs handbags in store.

The collection features an assortment of boxy, fluoro bags with crossbody straps that are aptly named, ‘Top Schooly’. With the acid popping colors and compact size, they are designed to keep a notebook and pen handy and of course, matching handbag lippy.

Below + above are my top five favourites.

Available at Bloomingdale’s online and in-store.

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Garance Doré Gets Vashtie Kola, Yasmin Sewell + More Whistling

Europe has been sending its retail best to us lately; COS came to us via Paris just last week, and now British retailer Whistles arrives stateside. Having set up shop-in-shop at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street, pieces from the Limited Edition collection shown on the London runway will be available to New Yorkers, right at home.

In celebration, Whistles brought in blogger Garance Doré to shoot her best fashion friends bouncing around and whistling, (adorably) in their Whistles picks. Yasmin Sewell, Elle Strauss, Jeanann Williams, Vashtie Kola, Rebecca Dayan, and Cecile Togni star in the mini film titled #bellesandwhistles, styled by La Marque’s Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster. Watch #bellesandwhistles and then jump on the subway — this is a friend whose visit you won’t want to miss.

Ivy League to Nightlife: Nick Kardaras’ Path

We often talk about club exit strategies in the context of how an aging bartender or waitron can get the hell out. Like prostitutes, strippers, and milk, nightlife has an expiration date. Some ignore it and toil on long after it looks good, and some make a real living at it. Some enter the “real world” without a viable means of support. I rarely hired a professional bartender. I hired artists, actors, or students—even an Olympic hopeful or two who would work the night on their way to someplace else.

I myself lingered way too long, but I just couldn’t help it. The night, with all its possibilities, became the second greatest addiction of my adult life. Nick Kardaras was an owner of a highly successful place with an exit strategy that should have been “retire in Hawaii with a great life.” Life, however, carves its own path for all of us, and circumstances took Nick to a new place. I asked him all about it.

Tell me about your club career. You mean my journey from Ivy Leaguer to bouncer to high-profile nightclub owner? I had been a creative middle-class kid from Queens who felt trapped and stifled by the tedious grays of life in the outer-boroughs. It’s so cliché, but I would literally go to Astoria Park, sit by the water and stare across the East River at the seductive Manhattan skyline, dreaming of the excitement that I just knew existed over that damned 59th street bridge! When I attended the Bronx High School of Science in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I was turned on to a whole new and exciting world of the downtown club scene; Danceteria, CBGBs, the Pyramid Club. It was exhilarating. But when I graduated from Cornell in 1986, I was stuck working a job that I hated as an “Executive Trainee” at Bloomingdales. God, I was miserable! So a friend mentioned that the Copa was looking for clean-cut martial artists to work the door on weekends. Bored and looking for a little excitement, I thought “why not?” I had a black belt in Karate and had been a national AAU karate champion; plus the Copa was only two blocks from Bloomies. So that’s where it started: at the Copa where I met John Steel and was hired to run the door. Like Alice going through-the-looking glass, when I walked from Bloomies to the Copa that day back in 1986, I had no idea that I was about to go on a ten-year odyssey in a world full of colorful wiseguys, flamboyant drag queens, self-absorbed glitterati, self-righteous literati, vacuous socialites, never-were wannabes, sleazy promoters, hard-partying musicians, synaptically challenged models, misguided misfits, corrupt lawyers, Haitian hit squads, and, of course, the ever-present drug dealers of all shapes and sizes. Within three years after I started working at the Copa I opened up Horatio 113 in the as yet un-gentrified Meat Packing district. That club took off like a rocket: JFK, Jr., Tom Cruise, Brooke Shields—they all showed up within the first few weeks as we helped usher in the new era of smaller “loungey” clubs that became very popular after mega clubs like Palladium, Mars and the Underground had ruled the scene for so long. Over the next few years my former partner Mark Morgan (God rest his soul) and I went on to open Big City Diner, Big City Southampton, and Mr. Fuji’s Tropicana on lower 5th Avenue. The latter, from what I understand, is a club name that you’re not too fond of! For me, the party as a club owner ended in 1995 when Giuliani’s goose-stepping inspectors revoked our liquor licenses.

What life-lessons did you learn from the experience that perhaps outsiders couldn’t learn easily? That the club business is a rough and tumble business not for the feint of heart. That what seems glamorous and fun is a shark infested and dangerous game. Look, we had one of our clubs robbed on Christmas Eve by machine-gun toting Haitians in the early 90s. I had a contract put out on my life. My best friend and former business partner died from an overdose. My other best friend, my former bartender, also died from his chronic drug use. And addiction almost killed me as well; after my clubs had closed I was left with a horrible, soul-crushing, and life-zapping drug habit. Eventually I also OD’d and was what doctors call asystolic (without a heart beat) for over an hour as I miraculously survived, but was on life support and in a coma for over a week at Cornell Presbyterian. So I guess the lesson to outsiders is one of caution, that the sensitive, creative people who gravitate to the bright light of NY nightlife are also the most vulnerable to addiction. How did you transition out of the nightlife world? When did you know it wasn’t going to be the answer? That probably would be when I opened up my eyes as I emerged from my coma. I think I got the message at that point that I needed to make significant changes in my life. I guess a coma will do that to a person! Since then, I’ve done a lot of research on the transformative potential of Near Death Experiences; it’s not just the white light thing that we read so much about (and, for the record, I didn’t see any white light). But when you come so close to non-existence, you’re forced to re-evaluate things, and also to try and make sense of things—to find the meaning and purpose in your life. So I started reading voraciously. Anything that I could get my hands on about philosophy, comparative religions, psychology, the nature of consciousness, cosmology. I was obsessively driven to better understand nature of things. I also got clean and sober via 12-step programs. Last week I celebrated 10 years of continuous sobriety. And, finally, I had also gone back to school. I had discovered that my life felt more meaningful when I helped people in my 12 step program so it made sense to me to go back to school so that I can train myself in the helping professions. First I got a masters degree in social work, then in 2007 I completed my Ph.D. in psychology. Today I’m “Dr. Kardaras”, a clinical professor at Stony Brook University and an adjunct professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. I’m also a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in the treatment of addiction. Quite the career turnaround for this formerly addicted nightclub owner, no?

Tell me about the writing—your projects and goals. My first book, How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life (Conari Press), just came out last month. One part memoir and three-parts self-help/philosophy primer, I tell my story and describe how living a life informed by the do-right/think-right wisdom of the ancient Greek philosophers can be truly life-changing. I’ve had a great reception for the book and have done interviews on Fox News, NPR, the Gary Null Show, amongst others. I also write a regular blog for Psychology Today which is quite popular (“How Plato Can Save Your Life”). But what I’m working on now that I’m really excited about is a TV series about the 80’s NY club scene. My dear friend Matt DeMAtt and I have collaborated on a dramatic series called “Slaves to the Rhythm” which chronicles the story of how two clean-cut young guys from Queens trip and stumble into the surreal club scene in “pre-Giuliani” NY. We’re in talks with some of the major Hollywood players and hope to be able to make an announcement soon.

Do you still go out once in awhile? What do you see that makes you happy? Sad? I don’t go out clubbing anymore. Very occasionally I might go to an old friend’s venue to say hello. But, I must confess, I still read Page Six every day and keep abreast of the club going-ons. Look, as you know, there’s nothing like NY nightlife; everyone should at least taste it once in their lives. But it can be a very seductive trap that doesn’t call to me anymore.

Why Clothing Prices Feel Like They’re Skyrocketing

If you’ve set foot in a department store this past year you were likely greeted by discount racks and clearance sales a plenty. In hopes of battling the inconspicuous shopping trends set off by the recession, stores from Saks to Bloomingdale’s have been marking down designer goods as far as possible in hopes of unloading a lot of extra weight. “The get-it-cheap party for luxury consumers has ended,” says Bloomberg. Read: now that profits are picking up and retailers are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, red tagged items are set to become fewer and farther between.

Not to mention, “the higher prices are helping retailers improve their profitability after posting losses during the recession,” Bloomberg adds. In fact, “Dallas-based luxury chain Neiman Marcus Group Inc. said margins improved by 7 percentage points in its most recent quarter because markdowns were so much less.” So, if you’re on the lookout for discounted clothing, it’s likely you’ll have to wait as long as July and August to see Spring/Summer ’10 stock go on sale.

But, don’t fret. The raise in prices in some cases still doesn’t hit the exorbitant precedent set pre-economic bubble burst. “The average price of a luxury handbag sold at U.S. department stores is rising to $1,800 this year after falling to $1,600 last year from a pre-recession $2,000,” Bloomberg says. Meaning, while it’s done so within reason, while the recession was all about the sale, the aftermath should see a slightly less exorbitant price tag being attached to luxury goods.

Target To Get Boutique-y; Bloomingdales Adds Outlets

Surely some of the novelty of shopping a designer collaboration like Rodarte for Target is that one can make a stop to get Tom’s toothpaste and a month’s worth of toilet paper in one fell swoop. But, if you’re an inhabitant of a cosmopolitan hub, this might not be the case for long. Over the next five to 10 years, Target plans to introduce a “smaller store format for urban centers [in addition to] expansions into Canada or Latin America,” says WWD. The move isn’t all that surprising given the fact that Target has installed pop-up shops with a curated selection of wares during the past few holiday seasons in NYC, SF and DC; the more boutique-like shopping experience seems to have had quite a bit of success. And, considering the chain retailer is becoming a bona fide destination for designer collaborations (from home wares and clothing to accessories), it seems like an appropriate move in cultivating increasing cachet.

(‘DiggThis’)Meanwhile, Bloomingdale’s, likely looking to compete with the increasingly formidable world of fast fashion, is turning to the outlet approach. The department store is reportedly planning four outlets for debut before this fall, with more to follow in 2011. “The department store’s outlets [simply called Bloomingdales Outlet] will each cover about 25,000 square feet and open this summer or fall in Bergen Town Center, Paramus, N.J.; Dolphin Mall, Miami, Fla.; Potomac Mills, Woodbridge, Va., and Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, Fla.,” says WWD (although details are subject to change based on lease agreements). Stores will stock a range of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, as well as regular store clearance items.

Madonna’s Makeup Artist Spills Madge’s Beauty Secrets

Here in this post I hold the secret to getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of, and the secret to Madonna’s fountain of youth face. First of all, to gain great riches while working at your dream job, complete with prestige and stardom, apparently all you have to do is ask for it. At least, that’s how it happened for Gina Brooke, Madonna’s personal makeup artist and Shu Uemura’s eyelash-obsessed artistic director. On the morning of her big move to Los Angeles, determined to make the big time in Hollywood, Brooke laid out her makeup portfolios on her bed, and in her authoritative, native New Yorker tone, made it explicitly clear they were not to be touched. This was a New York moving company, so naturally the collection of all of her life’s work disappeared. She began desperately reaching out to LA acquaintances for test work, immediately connecting with Caroline Murphy and landing and an agent who helped grant her two initial wishes: to work at the top at Shu Uemura, and to be Madonna’s personal makeup maven.

It may simply be that Brooke has a touch of magic in her fingertips, and if that’s the case, then you’re going to want to book an appointment with her at Bloomingdale’s tomorrow between 11am-7pm for her personalized (magic) makeup tutorial. Until then, learn how she keeps Madonna forever young.

Now mink eyelashes are the big beauty splurge, but Madonna started it all, correct? Yes, I wanted to present Madonna with a gift initially, so I met with Shu Uemura and we created a special set of mink eyelashes for her. I wanted them to be singularly special, not mass produced, so it could still be animal safe. Next thing you know Oprah’s people are calling up begging for a pair. They ordered around 200 of them at $1,000 each.

What is Madonna’s best skin fix — the one thing that keeps her looking so youthful? Madonna is a big fan of masks. We do a lot of the Phyto-Black Lift Lifting Mask, which is a gel-like mask that contains tightening polymers and soybean extract for tightening and smoothing the skin while improving elasticity and fighting against wrinkles. Here’s the trick; she comes straight from the shower so her pores are wide open, then we apply the mask, very detailed. The face contours are instantly and visibly re-defined as if the skin is lifted.

What sets you and what you do for Madonna apart from every other artist? I’d like to think there are no rules to makeup, there’s no formula, and there’s no one or right way to do anything. With Madonna, she and I are very much alike — we are both detailed perfectionists. When I work with her, I use magnifying glasses and a head light. Madonna has an eye — she likes balance and straight lines and perfect proportions. I do as well, and I think we both see the same things.

What are your biggest magic tricks? I’m always improving. I love using calendula oil … I use a lot of Japanese products you can’t get in the states, like Sante FX Neo eye drops. I think one of the most important things to do, that most women don’t get right, is mixing foundation. Nobody’s face is one color, and mixing foundation colors can really add so much, and it looks natural. I mix my foundation with the cleansing oils, which gives them a nice texture, and it goes on smoothly with a foundation brush.


Madonna’s Makeup Bag Cleansing Oils ($35-$72) – They’re so versatile, there really is one for every skin type. Farfallina False Eyelashes ($29) – Eyelashes are so important. You can have a totally bare face, put on some lashes, with a red lip and that can be a totally finished look. Nobara Cream Cover Stick Foundation ($42) – Nobara is perfect; it can be sheer, mixable, or it can be used to cover imperfections. Mascara ($22-$28) – I am an advocate of mascara, there’s a kind of mascara for everyone. Red Lipstick ($23-$45) – I think it’s important for every woman to have a red lipstick that’s their color in their bag. It really pulls a look together quickly. Phyto-Black Lift Lifting Mask ($65) – This mask tones instantly.

To reserve your space for Gina Brooke’s exclusive appearance at Bloomingdale’s, call 212-705-2000.

Folic Acid & Other Vitamin Benefits

Every so often, government-backed associations get on the horn about some health campaign — which surprisingly turns out to be quite effective. This morning a gaggle of gym locker gossip-mongers were chatting up the benefits of folic acid, which I would ordinarily brush off as another one of their faddish tales, except for the fact that my mother asked me about my folic acid intake just a few days before. I knew somebody had to be lapping up some news report, and indeed they were. Apparently the Scottish Spina Bifida Association reported a rise in the number of infants born with the birth defects; the rate doubled in the last year. They advise “all women of child-bearing age to take extra folic acid.” A similar US campaign was initiated in 1998, after which the number of cases declined 31%. The UK Press maintains that long-term use of folic acid prevents the condition, which often leads to paralysis from the waist down and other damage to the infant’s nervous system. At this point, thinking about children isn’t a huge motivator. Keeping up with vitamins that supposedly, invisibly help my body function can be tough. Luckily, folic acid, as well as a slew of other vitamins, often have a visible effect on what you see in the mirror every day.

Obviously too much of a good thing is often bad; in fact, ODing on super-fortified foods will probably have the opposite of the desired effects. The key is balance, and even after years of yoga, I am the last person to tell you how to achieve that. Speak to your physician before you bolt over to Organic Avenue.

Vitamin: Folic Acid Eat: Spinach, asparagus, lettuces, beans and peas, fortified cereal products, sunflower seeds. Health Benefits: Aids the synthesis, repair, and functioning of DNA, prevents depression and anemia, as well as cancer. Beauty Benefits: Those nagging skin discolorations you’ve collected via sun exposure and hormonal changes could see their final days. And since it aids in cell synthesis, you skin benefits in radiance from consistent replenishment. Product: Nivea DNAge Visage Night Cream.

Vitamin: C Eat: Rose hip, red pepper, parsley, guava, broccoli, strawberries, oranges. Health Benefits: Highly effective antioxidant, aiding in overall tissue repair, and reducing the chance of chronic inflammatory diseases and diabetes. Beauty Benefits: Widely accepted as an anti-aging tool, plumps up skin, and prevents hair loss. Product: MD Skincare Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Serum available at Sephora.

Vitamin: E Eat: Asparagus, avocado, egg, milk, nuts. Health Benefits: Prevents prostate cancer, reduces cholesterol, and aids in weight loss. Careful: too much E is bad for your health. Beauty Benefits: The whole “aids in weight loss” thing sounds pretty good, but it also helps to repair stretch marks and scars. When used topically, it helps blemishes and extremely dry skin. Product: Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Scrub available at Bloomingdale’s

Vitamin: B3 Eat: Meat, mushrooms, milk, peanuts and other high-protein foods. Health Benefits: Migraine miracle worker, and is said to help with arthritis as well. Beauty Benefits: Bye-bye red, peely skin! The windburned, between-the-seasons look is remedied when used- especially when used topically. For lotions and skin treatments, look for B3 in products that contain niacinamide — which is also B3. Product: Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer.