Banish Winter Woes and Hydrate Your Skin: This Easy Extra Skin-Care Step is 100% Worth It

Step One: 

If you haven’t added a serum to your skincare regimen yet, a hydrating formula might be the way to go. While the prospect of adding more to your “self-care to-do list” can be daunting–ever feel like you barely have time to shower?–serum shouldn’t be. Not only do these little elixirs deliver major benefits to our skin in 30 seconds, but due to their light, watery textures they also feel really good. Truly, enjoy this micro-spa experience.

Oils, two of which are featured here also pack that little punch of DIY luxury. Rodin Olio Lusso and Caudalie’s are both are luxe as they come. A perfect opportunity to end the day with a little massage.

Check out Step Two here.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 3.56.09 PM

Eve Lom Intense Hydration Serum

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.23.04 PM

Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Hydrating Serum

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.33.13 PM

Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.29.14 PM

OILS

Caudalie Premier Cru The Elixer

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 5.23.51 PM

Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 5.28.32 PM

 

 

Everything You Need to Know to Get Pampered: The Detox Diaries Part 3

The Joanna Vargas oasis, courtesy of Joanna Vargas

How to truly relax? Schedule so many spa appointments that getting to them becomes incredibly stressful.

Read parts one and two of the DETOX DIARIES here and here.

Here are my picks for post-fashion week (or post-anything) bliss:

Joanna Vargas Triple Crown Facial
When it comes to Joanna Vargas, the question is really which A-lister doesn’t entrust her with the care of their pores? It is known that stress wreaks havoc on our skin and when I got to Vargas’s eponymous spa, I was looking like a model for the fact. When Joanna finished her microcurrent magic on just one side of my face, I felt like a chipmunk forced to spit out some nuts. My cheek was literally sculpted, my cheekbone lifted as though I’d gone under a knife. I’d been to JV before, but never to Joanna’s ‘office’ which is like the Versailles of skin care. Though this isn’t a facial where you’re simultaneously having a foot massage, it is 200% effective and somehow still very relaxing. Of course, none of that even matters when afterward, a look in the mirror reveals a newer, better version of you.

joanna sara

Bliss Spa Heel-Lelujah Pedicure
I don’t want to discuss what I looked like in sandals prior to my arrival at Bliss 57. The cheerful spa is one of my favorite spots in all NYC (who could resist those mini-brownies and blondies in the lounges?) but I’d never been to the nail salon. The Heel-lelujah, was, essentially my first fancy-grown-up pedicure ever and I’ve got to say, in spite of my ticklish squirming, my feet emerged softer than any $20 neighborhood place has ever accomplished. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised–but now that I know the truth about fancy-grown-up pedicures, I fear for my wallet in the future.

bliss pedi

After an NYC summers, however, this is a downright necessary indulgence. Can’t make it to Bliss? One of the main products used is Bliss’s 24-Heaven body balm, which, thanks to it’s exfoliating lactic acid and soothing and protective colloidal oatmeal, provides moisture for 24 hours, and helps to treat itchiness, flakiness and generally restore angry skin.

Jin Soon Breath of Milk and Honey Mani
As Joanna Vargas is to facials, Jin Soon Choi is to nails. So it was not even a question that I’d head over to her UES haven to detox my nails. A manicure and green tea is pretty close to perfection for me any day, but Jin Soon’s understated lavender/grey Auspicious was extra-perfect, and thankfully, looked chic even on my short nails.

jin soon mani jin soon
Courtesy of Jin Soon

Caudalie (at the Plaza!) Slimming Treatment
Eloise is my fictional girl crush and Caudalie is one of my very favorite skincare brands (and I am serious about skincare) so my excitement was evident as I elevator-shoefied the shit out of those double P’s while riding to the 4th floor Vinotherapie spa at the storied hotel. This treatment is 50% vigorous massage, followed by you, in a sushi wrap of luxe scrub while the technician does a (thankfully) less vigorous massage on your scalp. After you’re unwrapped, you take a shower about a foot away in the treatment room and emerge feeling refreshed, detoxified, and possibly slimmer. The rooms provide a dark, kinda sexy counterpoint to the cheerful feeling at Bliss and left me feeling like I had in fact, visited Provence, if only for an hour.

plaza

caudalie plaza

The best part though? The upkeep, or, just the start, is available to anyone in the form of a 3-piece kit from Caudalie. I’m not one to embark on regimens but this simple process (2 products + tea) keeps the spa feeling going for twenty-eight days.

caudalieathome
The Slimming Regimen from Caudalie–a spa in two bottles and a cup of tea

I needed this. You need this. We all need this.

 

Mother’s Day Picks: 10 Luxe Candy Combos for the Woman in Your Life

Dean & Deluca’s Tattoo-esque Mother’s Day Cookies (Edible, and Less Permanent)

Mother’s Day is Sunday, have you picked out a gift for mom yet? If you’re drawing a blank, we’ve got you covered. Moms everywhere will be thrilled to get anything in our Mother’s Day guide. From beautiful jewels to sumptuous skincare and beauty goodies to the ultimate sweet treats, you’re good. Click through our picks below.

[promoslider height=”447px”  slider=”blackbooks-mothers-day-gift-guide-2014″]

Photography by Daniel Huskey; Creative direction by Vince Patti

Bright, Shimmering Beauty Hope

Officially, it’s spring. The weather has yet to catch up (though the sun is shining today) but we’re ready, you know? Enough of the doldrums, the winter blues, and seasonal affective disorder. It’s time to shed the shadows (metaphorically and otherwise) and step into the light! Floral fragrances, dewy skin, and hot colors abound.

Byredo — Flowerhead — First things first, we need to get the mood right. And seriously, sometimes nothing helps more than a good whiff of something fantastic. Enter Byredo’s latest fragrance, Flowerhead. Riffing on the major floral power invested in Indian weddings, this is a rich scent with an overwhelming sense of exotic flowers — the kind of thing we like to be overpowered and intoxicated by. It’s hot. It might help keep us warm enough until actual summer, when real flowers can mingle with our eau de parfum.

Screen shot 2014-03-21 at 1.55.11 PM

Coast to Coast — Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water — Next up — that glow. The one that you can only get a few different ways… And also with proper skincare. Step one? Eradicating any sign of dull, dark, sad times. Coast to Coast’s cleanser is tops for this. A no-rinse formula with sweet orange, it purifies our skin, gets rid of makeup, all without wasting a drop of water. (Great in the instance that you should you find yourself in a desert, on the go, or in the company of green enthusiasts.)

Screen shot 2014-03-21 at 2.01.16 PM

Caudalie — Eau de Raisin — And aprés-cleansing? Hydrate yourself back to healthy with the help of Caudalie’s mist. After cleansing, after moisturizing, heck, even after makeup. Mist away, pretty kids.

Screen shot 2014-03-21 at 2.03.45 PM

MAKE UP FOR EVER — HD Blush in 210 — And then there’s makeup, something we’ll need less of when the mercury rises. One of the products sure to make the cut? A super lightweight cream blush. Though it’s a new color, you’ve seen this before, flushing the cheeks of Mad Men‘s gorgeous Christina Hendricks. And if it works for her…

makeupforever

 

Tom Ford — Lip Color Sheer — Sheer is sexy, and it’s new this season for Tom Ford Beauty. Warmer temps mean lighter layers, and the guy who does sex better than anyone has us feeling the need to pare down — but in the right ways. Sheer, shimmering colors will undoubtedly be stunning against the backdrop of a perfect, glowing tan. Soon, soon. Our fave? Pink Dune, a sexy, pink-y buff that will be perfectly matched to our nails…

Tom Ford — Nail Lacquer in Incandescent — Molten, vast, sunlit beaches come to mind. Swipe this on and languor poolside, or at the very least, stare down at your fingernails as you type and imagine doing just that. Spring is just the beginning of the hot fun to come, after all. Might as well get ourselves acquainted.

tomfordsummer

Main image: photograph by Guy Bourdin

Make Your Face Look Like Karlie Kloss’s

New beauty site Into The Gloss recently featured a rundown of model Karlie Kloss’s beauty regimen, from hair to face to toothpaste. Her large-scale success as a model has taken her all over the world, working with some of the best makeup artists in the industry, so she’s accumulated quite a cache of tried-and-true beauty products.

Drugstore favorites include Pond’s Cold Cream and Crest 3D White Advanced Vivid—”I’ve used it for a week and my teeth are blindingly white.” At the other end of the price spectrum, Karlie swears by Caudalie Beauty Elixir and Arbonne Nurturing Day Lotion, stocking up at the discount pharmacy whenever she’s in Paris. As for hair, she’s hooked on a recommendation from friend/model Jessica Stam: Viviscal supplements. “The difference in my hair is like night and day.” You’ll be looking like Karlie in no time!