Freezing? Warm up with an Ultra Luxe, Heated Facial in 5 Glorious Steps

I’ve just come back from a few sunny weeks in California, and even though I love New York, I’m not at all pleased to be greeted by 23 degrees and snow. Are you? I mean, snow is one thing when there’s skiing involved, a fireplace, “adult” hot cocoa, a robe and slippers. Brushing the salt off my boots only seems worth it if I’m headed somewhere very warm, and locally, that would be LING.

Enjoying spa life is not hard, of course, it’s just getting there in this weather. But friends, let me tell you about a treatment devised by the beautiful minds at LING (with locations both in Union Square and on the Upper West Side,) that involves a Tourmaline-powered chi infusion that warms you right up. Wherever you’re coming from, the trek is very, very worth it.

A few things you need to know:

1. Tourmaline: this crystal produces more energy than any other in the world. With the limited sunlight, the more energy we can get elsewhere, the better. This + a heat machine is used in the 20 minute treatment focused on the back, neck, and shoulders at the beginning of this luxurious facial. Consider yourself warmed and prepped.

2. Drainage + Digestion: Doesn’t sound nice, but it is. After the heat treatment enables lymphatic drainage, your LING facialist applies a papaya enzyme peel designed to “digest” any of the icky stuff — impure skin, city grime, what have you. #fresherthanyou

3. Clarity: Who couldn’t use more? Next up is an herbal clarifying mask. Detox those pores, baby!

4. Moisture: It’s the essence of wetness, you know. Given the dry winter air + your punishing radiator, hydration is key for beautiful skin. LING knows. That’s why there’s an herbal moisturizing mask with ginseng in this series of glorious facial treatments.
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5. More Tourmaline: This time, it’s tourmaline for ya face. Far infrared technology + the stone’s healing energy partner to help your now supple skin absorb all the goodness of LING’s anti aging creams: Apple Stem Cell and DNA DoNotAge (ok I won’t!) Cellular Youth Extension Cream. All of this stimulates collagen growth (and keeps you getting carded forever.)

Stay warm, stay beautiful, and get more Treat Yo Self here.

The Energy Lift Facialis available at LING Skin Care Union Square (12 East 16th Street) and LING Skin Care Upper West Side (105 W. 77th Street)

Treat Yo Self: Joanna Vargas’ New Sugar and Spice Facial

Anyone who’s seen my room has noticed the neatly lined up range of Joanna Vargas products that are always within arm’s reach. The celeb-facialist’s line is consistently excellent as are her glowy facials. So I was psyched to hear that her midtown east spa was offering a new one just for the holidays. Ready to get my proverbial pumpkin spice latte on, I headed to JV Skincare, a place I’d like to call home, and had the most relaxing Saturday morning in recent memory.

always a treat to take a selfie @jvskincare

A photo posted by Sara (@sarajanenyc) on

The sugar and spice facial brings together a concoction of potent seasonal ingredients blended together to leave your skin clear, hydrated, and radiant. A cranberry mask and serum are both loaded with antioxidants. A pumpkin enzyme peel from one of Joanna’s favorite lines, Eminance, tingles gently and smells like Thanksgiving (in the best way) and leaves your skin renewed.

JV skincare

jv masks

Any facial is good on any kinda day, but on a cold and rainy day like Saturday morning in December, a seasonally themed, holiday-ready one is the best kind.

Get more Treat Yo Self here

Detox from Your Turkey Coma the Best Possible Way

It’s cold and rainy and bleak. It’s dark at 4:30 p.m. If we’re gonna leave the house, we’re gonna need some good reasons.

Let’s revisit some of our favorite reasons we can find to leave our beds and boyfriends Netflix.

WORK OUT

Let’s eat all the stuffing we want, but only because we promise to go to spin/barre/yoga later. If there’s one thing this city has (false–there are tons) it’s LOTS of workout studios.

And make sure your gym bag game is on point.

DETOX

Another way to combat holiday eating? Do a blended juice cleanse. 

PAMPER

We’ve got a new facial a week, top celebrity facialists, posh spas at The Plaza and more. Pick your poison and indulge.

Or DIY-it vis-a-vis the experts at Jillian Wright’s kale-filled mask-making bar. 

SHOP

And treat yourself to a nice sweater. It’s cold and that’s the solution. Obviously.

 

We Put the GLAM in Glamping, and So Can You

The whole Treat Yo Self experience in NYC can be short-lived one. After all, steps away from any spa are honking taxis, unwelcome gusts of subway wind, and crazy foot traffic.

A few weeks ago we decided to take our passion for luxury relaxation to the woods. Why? Because: Treat Yo Self. We’d long dreamt of “glamping” and when we discovered Firelight Camps we knew it was the perfect location to live out our faux-outdoorsy fantasies. And even though our trip required a 4:00 a.m. bus departure, we were all smiles when we finally arrived because, of course, we deserved this! 

IMG_4910Our sleek and chic Everlane weekender bags.

DAY ONE

Firelight Camps is fresh off its very first season, parked in the woods behind hotel and resort La Tourelle in Ithaca. We had 36 hours and one goal: to live up to the ‘glam’ in glamping.

IMG_4988Our home for a glorious 36 hours.

Upon arrival, we settled into our tent and immediately knew our one night was going to leave us wanting more. The tents at Firelight are exactly what you picture when you think “glamping.” Luxe enough to make you momentarily believe you may have moved into a display at Anthropologie–rustic enough to make you feel just a smidge woodsy badass. Of course, your average tent doesn’t have its own balcony, but whatever.

sara's shoes on balcony

We turned on our small space heater, flicked on our lanterns and took advantage of a rare gift: time to read books.

IMG_4996Serious research going on here c/o Glamping With Mary-Jane.

IMG_4989Sonia Kashuk trunks stuffed with Bliss, Jurlique, and more.

IMG_4998Does it get anymore rustic-chic than our little lantern?

As we believe an opportunity to sight-see should never be wasted, we turned to the Ithaca pros at Experience! The Finger Lakes for a quick Highlights of Ithaca tour, which obviously included the Gorges.

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A surprise detour took us to Six Mile Creek Winery, where Laura Falk gave us a wine tasting for dummies–expert pairings of lots of Rieslings and beyond, with hands-down, the best, local goat cheese ever.

IMG_4958Feeling very sophisticated.

But after the combination of a brisk walk in quickly declining temperatures and quite-a-few mini gulps of wine, we were ready for a hearty meal on the hotel grounds.


steak at campA proper steak and potatoes meal at John Thomas Steakhouse.

DAY TWO

Also conveniently located on the hotel grounds was August Moon Spa, just a couple hundred feet from our tent where we rest our still-tired-from-hiking legs and enjoyed aromatherapy-infused massages.

We camped out at August Moon’s lovely fireplace-lit lounges for warmth and tea and extended the spa experience DIY-style.

facialTravel-ready glow makers.

IMG_4975Applying night-cream by headlamp–a new experience.

IMG_5011Emily snuggled up in the tent in her delicious Eberjey PJs.

eberjey sSeriously not taking these PJs off. 

IMG_5003We didn’t have a car–but we were not about to starve thanks to Olive & Cocoa’s Farmhouse box of snacks.

We finished THE GLAMP with a last-ditch effort to make s’mores, feeling it was the final must on our list. Of course, at Firelight the marshmallows are homemade, the chocolate is from Ithaca’s local candy store, and the graham crackers were chili flavored.

smoresThe perfect treat before a long bus ride.

Seriously — book your tent here and now! 

Get more Treat Yo Self here.

Get Custom Lipstick Made Just for You at Bite Beauty Lab. Treat. Yo. Self.

So many options. Thankfully Brigid, who’s mixing the lipstick, knows what she’s doing

Being that we’re all unique and special snowflakes, we each deserve completely custom lipstick to enhance our gorgeous, individual faces. So where to turn when a gal wants to treat herself to a new, special shade?

Using mostly organic and natural materials, Bite Beauty Lab in Soho lets you choose everything from the color, depth, finish, packaging, to even the scent of the lipstick you’re creating on site. Basically, it’s the Build-a-Bear for beauty loving ladies.

This is the story of how I decided to treat myself to the perfect, custom shade of lipstick:


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Options for the finish


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The Bite-mosphere


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Mixing up the medicine


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The finished product! …Just kidding. The winning color combo.


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Pick a smell, any smell…


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Just chillin — the mixture and mold go on ice to set


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The final product! I call it “Daytime Sorceress” because it’s my lipstick and I can name it whatever I want


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TREAT. YO. SELF.

 Bite Beauty Lab is located at 174 Prince Street, New York, NY

Want more ways to Treat Yo Self? Get your luxury on here.

Luxury Socks. You Definitely Deserve These. Put Your Feet Up, BBs.

I was at home on Sunday evening when the fall chill first began to set in. The familiar crackle and bangs of the heating system rumbled on, and I, having just lit my favorite candle and finding myself several pages into a fresh stack of magazines, was feeling quite cozy. What better addition could there have been than warm socks that performed their own sort of pedicure? (And is there a better time than Sunday evening to treat yo self?)

Firstly, I love a good pedicure. Who doesn’t? And a cozy sock? Absolutely. Now combine the two and you’ll find yourself in absolute bliss — Bliss Softening Socks, actually.

These babies are lined with a special gel just brimming with fabulous ingredients like olive oil and vitamin E. Ultimately hydrating and softening, all you have to do is slip them on and chill. Put your feet up, as they say. To misquote Kanye, “you know you missed these luxury feet!”

Treat your own self and get a pair here.

Want more Treat Yo Self? Try this. And this.

Sexiest Luxe Gift You Can/Should Give Yourself — No Occasion Needed

Image courtesy of Enclosed

There are subscription boxes for everything these days.

I have a feeling that Enclosed — a designer underwear monthly subscription service — gets a lot of business around that special holiday that falls on February 14–but with no disrespect to Valentine’s Day, I need no holiday nor boyfriend to warrant an appropriate occasion for beautiful lingerie.

The BlackBook Treat Yo Self series and I are a match made in heaven for a number of reasons, but one is that I’ve never had a problem with being my own best friend.

Sending yourself flowers is passé. And that’s where Enclosed comes in. A week or two ago I received a sleek black box with a faux-wax seal. Upon tearing the thing open I discovered a gorgeous, classy pair of boy shorts (beige lace with a hot pink accent) by Love Haus. The underwear came on a bed of rose petals. What a way to make a girl swoon!

At $50 a month, enclosed is not cheap, but the butterflies in my stomach lasted way beyond the original opening–which by the way can be repeated since I left the boy shorts in the box for that very reason. I’m saving them for something special-note: I did not say someone.

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I am not, by any means, opposed to Enclosed as a gift from a S/O, but to be honest, lingerie is perceived as a gift for two and sometimes a lady would like a gift for one, thankyouverymuch.

Gorgeous lingerie in over-the-top packaging is the perfect starter for any girl who needs to be her own best friend… and, by the way, that’s every girl, every day.

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How to Reverse the Effects of Aging (+ Candy Consumption) in 90 Min.

“We don’t really do locker rooms here,” Miranda said, leading me into a private treatment suite at the Plaza Athenée. You read that correctly–a treatment suite. My room has a full bathroom and sitting area in addition to the standard spa treatment room, and I’m pretty sure my entire apartment could fit into this space.

I’m at the Spa Valmont at the Plaza Athenée, which is the only spa in New York City to exclusively stock the Swiss beauty treatments. The brand’s forte is in anti-aging products and spa treatments concocted with cellular-level active ingredients in mind.

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Can I live in this lobby?

First I’m instructed to shower off, using a mixture of fresh dew cleanser and cellular refining scrub in my waterfall shower. I take my sweet time here because a) I love waterfall showers and b) I sat next to a particularly pungent middle-aged man on the subway and I worry he rubbed off on me.

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Anyways, once I’m done and cozied up in my fluffy hotel robe, I lay down for the full body treatment, which includes having every inch of my body covered with a body slimming serum and a body firming cream for anti-cellulite purposes. Once the lotion is on, it tingles so much that I become legitimately cold, and need two extra blankets. As someone who shakes like a Chihuahua in any climate below 70 degrees, I tell myself the cold is worth it—and that the particularly lingering frost on my thighs and butt is this lotion’s way of combating the effects of the 10 Reese’s Pumpkins I eat per day in fall.

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How many products does it take to fix my face? This many. 

So, feeling like Anna post heart-zap from Elsa (Frozen reference, people) and wrapped up like a baby in swaddling clothes, Miranda gets to work on my neck and face. Over the course of the next 40 minutes or so, various creams and potions are worked onto my skin. One of which is Valmont’s Time Master–perhaps their most iconic product, which promises visible signs of anti-aging by way of a cocktail of active ingredients. While I don’t feel much younger afterward (I am a baby-faced 22 year old, after all), I can’t help but hope this will lay the groundwork for a graceful aging process for the rest of my days.

By the end of the treatment, 12 mixtures of creams, concentrates, gels, etc. have been worked onto my skin. As with anytime I’m treated to a massage / facial of any sort, I leave feeling like one of those smiling floppy inflatable men outside a car dealership. More than that though, I feel like this treatment legitimately kicked my skin back to where it needed to be over 100 Halloween candies ago. Very, very worth it. Treat Yo Self!

The Spa Valmont is located at the Plaza Athénée, 37 East 64th Street, NYC. To Treat Yo (own) Self, click here.