WHAT I’M LOVING NOW (Spring Edition)

I know it has been a minute (OK…OK…a few months) since my last post; but to say that life has gotten in the way would be an understatement.

Work at QM has picked up quite a bit which has kept me super busy as of late. With the uptake in work  came some crazy moments with my health (as many of you know I have been managing Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which when out of control can really have me out of it along with my migraines). But, after NYFW this past February, I took stock and refocused and got myself back in order. Sometimes as women, we forget how difficult it can be to keep everything in balance if we don’t make a conscious effort to do so. I used the Spring (a time of renewal and rebirth) to make a pledge to myself to literally add the “me time” to the calendar in pen– otherwise know as investing in #TeamMe.

What does that mean?

Well, I have added yoga back to my weekly calendar after a two and a half year hiatus. At least twice a week, you can find me at Yoga Herald Square sweating it out at a 60 or 90 minute hot yoga class– releasing the stress and easing the aches and pains that come taking care of business (and running all over town doing so).

#TeamMe also had really making an effort of getting my thyroid disorder under control as it was affecting everything else in my life (sleep, diet, energy, skin, hair, concentration….just to name a few). I was tired of feel sluggish and tired all the time and looking like I got hit by a MACK truck (yes seriously…..I felt like it too). It didn’t help that I was in the middle of prepping clients for Fashion Week shows/presentations and burning the candle on both ends and along the sides (is that even possible?). After spending the night in the hospital after a really bad migraine right before NYFW  and being told by my doctor (well being screamed at to be more accurate) that I pretty much was deficient in every vitamin and mineral known to man– and being threatened with a hospital stay, I sought the help of a nutritional coach to help me get back on the ball.

Which brings me to the first item on my “What I’m Loving Now” List….

 

HERBALIFE’S FORMULA 1 HEALTHY MEAL NUTRITIONAL SHAKE MIX– ALTERNATIVE PROTEINS

 

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One of the biggest problems I was having was that I was so busy that I did’t have time to eat. I pretty much would spend the entire day working and would get into a flow and not want to stop for lunch and then find myself having unable to eat because either my head would hurt so much from a hunger headache or from being so filled with air that I just wasn’t hungry anymore. It was not a good look. It was wreaking havoc on my thyroid and pretty much just messing me up badly. I ended up meeting Irina (a former member of the Romanian national gymnastics team) over at NYC Health & Nutrition and began a 6 week program to get myself back on track. Irina put me on a schedule that included vitamins and food (among other things) that would help me get back in control.

One of the things she introduced me to was Herbalife’s nutritional shakes. It was a great option to get the much needed nutrients (remember what the doctor said) that I was missing from my lack of eating like a human being. Now Herbalife has a whole bunch of nutritional shakes in a some amazing flavors (dulce de leche, cookies and cream, chocolate, etc). I personally opted for the Alternative Proteins Shake which currently only comes in Vanilla as it doesn’t contain soy and gluten (no-no’s for folks with my issue). But why do I like it so much?  “Formula 1 Alternative Proteins is a delicious healthy meal that satisfies hunger, helps manage weight and gives lasting energy, with balanced amino acids from pea, sesame and rice proteins. Each gluten-free certified shake is packed with 21 vitamins and minerals, herbs and fiber.” I make mine with Almond milk and it taste great or when I want to feel fancy or have more time (like on the weekends) I throw it in the Nutribullet with a banana and some chia and other fruit and make a delicious smoothie. I have the shake twice a day (my second one is either before or after yoga) and keep it moving).

You can meet Irina or one of her partners at NYC Health & Nutrition here in New York or in their office in LA. Just visit their website here for more info.  Tell them Tamara sent you!

 

FITBIT CHARGE

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Maybe it’s in my name or maybe it is just what it is….but I am a walker. I walk everywhere here in New York. To be honest, I think it is more because I don’t have the patience to wait for public transportation or a cab. I just joined the FitBit tribe last month when I got a Charge. I’ve had fitness trackers in the past, but this is by far my favorite.Not the brand’s most fancy one, but for me it does what it needs to do and more  (track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and sleep– and it has caller ID and it tells time– HA).  But why do I love it so much? Well, it syncs to your phone via their own app (Android & iPhone) and your computer. It also has the ability to sync with other apps including MyFitnessPal, UA Record, MapMyFitness and many more. It also allows you to challenge your friends to see who can rack up the most steps during the day, the week or over the weekend. The natural competitor in me loves that and online, they have community forums which can lead to you finding a workout partner or a new friend. I can easily see why this is the most popular of the fitness trackers on the market.

 

DESHELI HYALURONIC CAPSULES

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My skin suffered the most during this whole crazy period when my thyroid was really out of whack. I had breakouts that I hadn’t seen since junior high and that had me running to the dermatologists and to the spa to try and save my face. I started going for regular facials at the Desheli Spa & Rejuvenation Center in Midtown. Desheli, founded in 2008 in Israel, is known worldwide for their innovation in botanical, stem-cell, diamond powder and light therapies. They focus on improving the look and texture of the skin and hair of men women with patented deep hydration and anti-aging products. One of my favorite products are their hyaluronic capsules.

Look, it’s a fact, we are going to get older and our skin changes. Some faster than others and outside factors (pollution, health, etc) also contribute to the acceleration of the aging process. These capsules contain hyaluronic acid that fill cells with moisture and helps them stay hydrated throughout the day. Used morning and night, the capsules help stimulate the  cells regeneration process, helping to minimize lines and wrinkles, increases the tone of the skin, and slows the aging process. Desheli’s Hyaluronic Capsules contain natural oils and extracts that nourish the skin.

 

TROPIC ISLE LIVING LAVENDER JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR OIL

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Another random and unwanted side effect of Hashimoto’s is super dry skin and hair (which causes the hair to thin and break a lot). Having dreadlocks,it’s hard to put some of the products on the market “designed” for natural hair  in my hair as they tend to be heavy and cake and not dissolve totally in my hair due to the nature of the style and also have parabens and other irritants that hurt my scalp. With that said, my new best friend is Tropic Isle Living’s Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I use it for everything! It’s a natural miracle worker. It’s great for treating everything from dry hair and dry scalp to helping to thicken your hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows! It is also great for helping with extremely dry skin and mild acne (did I say it was a miracle worker? For more uses, check out this great article.). By itself, castor oil can smell a little icky, but Tropic Isle Living infuses theirs with some great natural oils including lavender and coconut. I personally like the scent of lavender and it’s calming properties (I tend to do my hair moisturizing at night so it helps to calm me before sleeping).  Mr Socialite has commented on how thick and healthy and long my hair has gotten thanks to this all natural (yep…only ingredients…Castor Oil and Lavender Oil) gem of a product.

 

VANITY PLANET’S SPIN FOR PERFECT SKIN

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Who doesn’t love the feel of a clean face? Between the recent breakouts, my hot yoga workouts and my general obsession with my skin, I am always looking for the perfect product or tool to help achieve the feel and look of gorgeous clear skin. Vanity Planet’s Spin For  Perfect Skin cleansing brush set is definitely a must have for the skin obsessed. This 5 piece system (1 facial cleansing brush, 1 exfoliating facial brush, 1 body cleansing brush, 1 pumice stone and the handheld device) needs to be part of your daily and weekly routine. Let’s face it (pun intended) we live in environments which wreak havoc on our skin. From smog and other air pollutants, the sun, sweat and more….and the fact that we are aging (hello, we aren’t getting any younger), we want our skin to look its best. The Spin For Perfect Skin system pretty much can help you do that from head to toe with brushes (and a pumice stone) for all your needs. What separates this  brush systems from many of the others out there is that it actually spins in gentle circular motions versus a side to side movement. I personally like this because I feel like I am getting a gentle exfoliation with each wash as well as a thorough cleansing. Afterward, I did the astringent test– you know, when you go and follow your cleansing with an astringent. Most times you find yourself still removing a layer of dirt and asking yourself “did I actually wash my face?” But, with the Spin For Perfect Skin, I haven’t had to ask myself this once! Oh and yeah…your misters are going to want to get in on the action too…smdh. Just ask Mr. Socialite who finds this thing pretty cool.

 

GARNIER MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER 

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The French have been raving about Micellar Cleansing Water for over a hundred years. We here in the States are a little tardy to the party on this one. Found at most local drugstores, beauty specialty stores and department stores, (I am found of Garnier’s and I get mine at CVS), there is no longer any excuses ladies to sleep with makeup on. None. Nope. Nada. I don’t care how tired you are coming from work or the club or wherever, you can now clean your face before bed. Why? Because this one product simplifies the nightly cleansing process from 3-4 steps down to just 1– and no rinsing is involved! I know you are looking at the screen all skeptical, but it works and it’s pretty simple (and ingenious) actually. Micellar Cleansing Water features micelle cleansing molecules that pull oil and dirt away from the face (see the images below for the explanation). And because there is no alcohol, fragrance or harsh chemicals in micellar cleansing water, it’s pretty much safe for all skin types (particularly those who suffer with dry and acne prone skin– yay me).

 

 

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TRADITIONAL CLEANSERS work individually to dissolve oil, dirt and makeup so you have to rub your face harshly and rinse with water to clean your face completely (image via Garnier)

 

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MICELLAR CLEANSING MOLECULES cluster together to lift the oil, dirt and makeup on contact. So basically you don’t have to rub or rinse! (image courtesy of Garnier)

 

That’s what I have been coveting so far this spring. All the images (except for the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water) are clickable and will lead you to the brand’s page so you can get one too. Because you can get the Cleansing Water at most major chain drug stores, start there first.

And also….this isn’t a sponsored post. I bought each product mentioned here and reviewed each on my own without any solicitation.

Hope you find these products as great as I have found them.

Until next time my lovelies!

 

#SHOPSMALL—Small Business Saturday

For the past 88 years, the official start for the holiday season was the arrival of Santa Claus at the finale of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York. Whether you watched at home or braved the cold to watch it live in Herald Square, everyone eagerly awaits Jolly Old St. Nick’s hearty chuckle signaling his arrival and ushering in the final countdown to the Big Day—and all the shopping that goes into preparing for it.

Santa Claus waves to the crowd during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2014 in New York City. The annual tradition marks the start of the holiday season. Getty Images/Andrew Burton

Black Friday now actually starts on Thanksgiving Day (seriously there were folks on the news camped out in front of stores having their turkey as they waited in line for the their door buster sales). And for those of us who do not brave the frigid temps, the long lines and sometimes insane shoppers, there is always Cyber Monday (which for some retailers has been going on for over a week). But how many remember to #ShopSmall?

What am I talking about?

Well four years ago American Express launched a “shopping” holiday to encourage the patronage of “brick and mortar” businesses—small and local—within our communities called Small Business Saturday. In all the holiday rush, many of these gems get loss in all the rush and excitement offered by big box retailers and e-commerce stores. Personally this is my favorite shopping day of all.

Shopping locally is a great way to find unique gifts (many small businesses feature the wares of local artisans, specialty items and more) and to give a boost to your local economy. In recent years, Small Business Saturday has gone on to include small e-commerce sites that may get lost among the Amazons and E-bays of the digital world. This year, I want to share the businesses where I #ShopSmall.

THE THRITY HOG & NOIR ET BLANC (NYC)

Located in the chic NoMad neighborhood in Manhattan, the Thrifty HoG is known for upscale vintage apparel and resale store specializing in items for the whole family and the home. Besides scoring some amazing finds (like vintage Louis Vuitton sneakers and super sexy Proenza Schouler booties), you’re not only supporting a local business but you will also be helping the homeless via Hearts of Gold, a charity founded by Deborah Koenigsberger whose mission is to help homeless women and their children build sustainable lives. All of the proceeds from the Thrifty HoG goes to support the various programs (including job training, school supplies and more) provided by Hearts of Gold—celebrating its 20th anniversary– throughout the year. On Small Business Saturday, the Thrifty HoG is offering 30% off your entire purchase.

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Deborah also owns the upscale women’s boutique next door called Noir et Blanc. Noir et Blanc (or NEB for short) features a curated selection of contemporary American and European designers handpicked by the owner herself. With brands including Tracy Reese, Chen Luu, Donna Morgan and Ali Ro, Deborah and her staff will definitely have you bringing the catwalk to the sidewalk with the beautiful collections they have in store. Shop Small with Noir et Blanc which is offering 40-50% off their 2014 winter collections.

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The Thrifty HoG is located at 11 W 25th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue and Noir et Blanc is next door at 7 W 25th Street in Manhattan.

SULA NYC

I have been singing the praises of SULA NYC for a while now. This New York-based luxury spa brand’s entire beauty collection is based around the core ingredient of argan oil. Founded by Patricia Reinders, SULA NYC is sustainably sourced in Morocco, is 100% organic and is never tested on animals (they’re Leaping Bunny certified). The brand has quickly established itself with high quality products with proven results. Shoppers can enjoy three of SULA NYC’s most popular products (including the famed signature scented moisturizer, Fruit of Desire) in a beautifully packaged gift box. Sold in select boutiques and spas worldwide, you can shop SULA NYC’s website for this set and other amazing products. The gift set retails for $55.

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NATURALLY ME (NC)

Founded by a mother who was looking for healthy, all- natural remedies for her children’s different skin care issues, Naturally Me had humble beginnings as a labor of love. Owned and operated by Chaundra Smith, Naturally Me is a North Carolina-based certified vegan body care and candle company. Created on the belief that what goes on the body is as important as what goes in the body, Naturally Me features amazing products including the All Over Butter (an all natural steroid-free body butter that can be used on everything from your scalp to the soles of your feet—it’s my go to moisturizer from my hair and body—especially in the winter) and their deliciously aromatic soy “dessert candles” (seriously there’s one that smells like chocolate chipped cookies)— all still handmade by Chaundra herself. Naturally Me can be found in select boutiques around the country and via their wesite. For the next few days, including Small Business Saturday, everything is 50% off!

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Interesting…as I just finished my last featurette, I just realized that every brand featured today is woman owned and operated. How cool is that? So not only are you supporting small businesses when you shop the stores/sites featured here, you’re also supported 3 womenpreneurs who are also mompreneurs!

So today as you continue your world wind shopping spree, please #ShopSmall and support these and other local businesses today on Small Business Saturday!

ALL ABOUT THAT FACE (The At Home Spa Series…Part 1)

My name is Tamara and I’m a beauty addict.

There I said it. The first step is admission…right?

You see, for me, the love affair with skincare/cosmetics and make up was born more out of necessity than the actual love of playing dress up or desire to look older for a crush. I was a teenager who was plagued with bad skin. Well not really bad skin…more like sensitive skin that just looked really bad.

The teenage years, the 7 to 9 year period in a young person’s life, that parents the world over dread. Raging hormones cause extreme mood swings and wreak havoc on the body—especially the face. For me, when the breakouts started the real lessons in skincare began. Trial by fire—and almost in a literal sense.

Remember the “Noxzema Girl?” Also known as Rebecca Gayheart (I just found out her name the other day), the Noxzema girl had teens around the country (and maybe even the world) believing that slapping on some cold cream every night was the cure all to acne prone skin. Don’t get me wrong…it did work for some. But this chica soon learned she had sensitive skin. And my using the famed product resulted in mild chemical burns on my cheeks (where the breakouts were the worse) and extreme scarring. Hence sensitive skin that just looked really bad.

Over the years, I would experiment with a variety of products– from all natural soaps, glycerin soaps, high end products (my mom was a huge fan of Chanel and Lancôme) , beauty counter staples (like Clinique) and later cocoa and shea butters (which actually over time helped fade the scars). It took a few years, but my skin finally cleared up– just in time for college. By then, I was already a skin care junkie.

Fast forward to present day.

One of the perks I love the most about being a blogger is getting the chance to test some of the newest beauty products to hit the market. From established brands to those just bursting onto the scene, I love trying them all. Lou (my postman), Alex (my FedEx guy), and John (my UPS guy) are the couriers of my addictions. I literally do a happy dance when I hear the doorbell ring. A new product to test!

After Fashion Week my skin needs a chance to recuperate from the 24/7 make-up, lack of sleep, and all the wine and champagne (water? What water?). Add to all the stress of 7 days of nonstop running around the city and partying– the onset of fall and its blustery winds; all of which do a number on one’s visage. For the past month or so I have been all about the face (get it? Thanks Meghan Trainor for the title idea) — testing a number of products. Some were hits and others…not so much. But after a four week trial period I’ve come up with a list of faves that I think my fellow beauty addicts will be adding to their home spa arsenal.

DERMOLOGICA DAILY MICROFOLIANT

Dermologica Daily Microfoliant

Not a new product by any means (it first hit the market in 2001), Dermologica’s Daily Microfoliant is a definite must have as we transition into the fall and winter. A powder exfoliant, this rice-based formula activated with just a little water to gently but effectively lift dead skin cells for smoother, brighter skin. A half to 1 teaspoon’s worth goes along way– releasing active ingredients papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes. I guess that’s why it’s been one of the brand’s best sellers worldwide since its debut. Safe for daily use, I use it every morning after cleansing my face. Afterwards I follow with a serum and a moisturizer with an SPF.

MONAT REJUVENIQUE OIL INTENSIVE

Rejuvenique Oil Intensive by Monat

Speaking about serums…I’m in love with Monat’s Rejuvenique Oil Intensive. Actually a dual purpose product (seriously who doesn’t love a product that multitasks?), the Rejuvenique Oil can be used on both your hair and skin. For the purposes of this trial I focused on its benefits for use on my skin. Utilizing its key ingredient Abyssinian Oil (derived from the crambe seed), Rejuvenique Oil does what its name suggests—rejuvenates the skin by replenishing and repairing the skin by providing nutrients, Omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants that help prevent premature aging. With the late nights (as I write this post at 1am…) and lack of sleep due to stress, work and life in general, why look older than you are? This product is super light and absorbs quickly into the skin. I use it twice a day (in the morning after cleansing and before moisturizing and in the evening as a treatment). A little goes a long way. For those of us who are a little wasteful with oils, Monat has conveniently included a dropper which miraculously supplies the perfect amount to cover your face and neck.

CLAYSPRAY MATTIFYING RED CLAY

ClaySpray Mattifying Red Clay Masque

I have declared time and time again that I have the oiliest skin in New York. But after recent weeks, I am about to relinquish this title. Thank you Clayspray! I am singing the praises of the brand’s Mattifying Red Clay because it literally has changed my T-zone from an oil slick mess to a normal forehead, chin, and nose. Though many an aesthetician has told me I should thankful for oily skin (they claim it “keeps you young”), I can’t stand the shine that takes the sexy dewy look (let’s face it you can achieve that with bronzer) to looking like I just slathered Vaseline on my face. Since using the Mattifying Red Clay masque, it’s like I have a whole new face (I’m close to saying “bye Felicia” to my blotting papers). Why does it work? Well, the masque uses enriched mineral clay which helps regulate oil secretion in the skin, helps combats blemishes and purifies by really giving you a deep cleanse. Added benefit…the Mattifying Red Clay has minerals that have anti-aging capabilities including silica to boost collagen, iron to activate circulation and magnesium to heal the skin. It absorbs impurities while helping regulate the oil in your skin. Used in conjunction with ClaySpray’s H2O Spray (mineral rich mountain spring water), twice a week I use the masque on my t-zone. I let it dry and then rinse off followed the remainder of my facial routine.

ILLUMASK ANTI-AGING MASK

illuMask Anti-Aging Phototherapy Mask

Don’t we all wish we had the latest and greatest beauty products and technologies at our disposals like our favorite celebs? Please…many have an aesthetician on call (or better yet on staff) for their skin care emergencies. Since many of us aren’t that fortunate and daily trips to the spa aren’t in our budgets, we have to opt for the next best thing. Introducing illuMask. Now this is a product that brings the daily spa treatment right into your home. IlluMask uses phototherapy (the process of using “good” light to treat the skin) which has been used by dermatologists, spas and skin clinics forever. With illuMask you can get a top quality high end treatment in the comfort of your own home using a similar technology. I admit, it does look a little space-agey. It uses red light to even the skin and reduce roughness and infrared light to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The other thing—invoking the spa experience) you are forced to be still for 15 minutes (the length of the preset treatment). For a month (each mask is set to give you 30 treatments—yes they advise for optimal results to use this everyday) I carved out 15 minutes where I would put on some relaxing music (thank you Songza for your Yoga activity setting) and let the mask do its thing. Because there is no way for you to see (no eye holes) there’s no checking your email or texting to be done. But it is worth it. It works. Mr. Socialite (like most men…doesn’t really notice much) made a comment about my skin looking really nice. So illuMask is Mr. Socialite approved.

SILK’N REVIT MICRODERM

Silk’n ReVit Microderm

After attending a holiday preview event a little while ago, I was introduced to the brand Silk’n. A boutique brand, the company is known for providing professional aesthetic devices for home use. In a contest at the event, I won a ReVit Microderm Kit. It is everything! ReVit is all about creating beautiful skin—ReVitalizing it by removing dead skin cells using a very soft vacuum like process with a gentle “diamond peeling” tip. Sounds fancy right? Let me get down to the nitty gritty… ReVit literally slough off the dead skin cells helping to improve skin tone, texture and elasticity as well as reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines and acne scarring (yay!). And the best part…it only takes 5 minutes. The other thing I love about it is that you can see the results after each use. What do I mean by that? Well you can literally see the skin flakes (gross but sooo cool—skincare geek) after each treatment. Recommended for use twice a week or as needed, the kit comes with three detachable diamond peeling treatment heads—Precision (for small and hard to reach areas), Fine (for a more gentle treatment) and Coarse for a more powerful exfoliation. Perfect for the face, neck and hands (the places that can show the most damage), the ReVit is definitely another must have for your at home spa. Be careful while letting others in your household try it. They’ll get addicted and you will find out that they are using it twice a week too (yes I’m calling you out Mr. Socialite!).

Alright…now I feel like a pusher (you know, that person who introduces you to the drug—thank you  former First Lady Nancy Reagan and the whole SAY NO TO DRUGS campaign of my youth for instilling that in my head)—talking about how amazing you will look and feel after using these products. You know you want to try ‘em. You know you’ll like ‘em. It’ll be worth it…believe me. You know you can trust me. LOL. Besides it’s the holiday season and between Thanksgiving and the one million parties that will take place between then and New Year’s you skin will need it. Just click on the links in each post…you want regret it!

* To learn more about each featured item, click on each product title to visit the brand’s site.

THE CURVY SOCIALITE’S PICKS FOR FATHER’S DAY 2014

 

 

You forgot it was Father’s Day this weekend…didn’t you?  Let me give you a second to let the panic set in. Are you done? Ok…good. Take a deep breath and fear not. I have a few solutions for you gift dilemma for dear old Dad.

If you’re lucky, you have a father like I do. He sends wish lists (usually after Christmas the year before) of what he would like for the coming year and all the festivities (birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, etc) that it brings. If you aren’t as fortunate as I am or need some ideas aside from the annual tie (have you noticed he has never worn any of the ones you’ve given him in the last decade?) or the power tool (seriously do you want him tinkering around with a table saw?) here are a few ideas that might help you in your hunt for the perfect present.

According to Forbes, like women, there are essential pieces that every man should have in his wardrobe. No I am not suggesting you buy your father a whole new closet but maybe you can work on adding a few key items to it.

A HANDSOME WATCH

It doesn’t matter what line of business your dad is in (or no longer in if he is retired) he needs to tell time. A man doesn’t really have too many options for accessorizing. Aside from a wedding ring (if he’s hitched), the only “jewelry” many men wear is a watch. Though I find a fancy watch appealing, I think a good everyday watch for Daddy dearest is a great gift idea. Each time he puts it on, he’ll remember his favorite child gave him a snazzy timepiece. One of my favorite go to brands for a well made watch for daily wear is INVICTA.

Based in Switzerland (no one does a watch better than the Swiss) and founded in 1837, INVICTA is known for exceptional quality at an affordable price—perfect for a watch you want Dad to use regularly not just for special occasions. Here are my picks for Father’s Day:

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These can be found at your nearest INVICTA retailer (check the site for stockists), online or at the fabulous men’s boutique, St. James & Company in New Jersey.

THE PERFECT SHOE

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the shoes make the man.”  According to AskMen.com, the statement is definitely true and the quality of a man’s shoes reveals how much he respects himself. Match.com (yes the dating site) and author, Donna Sozio  (Never Trust A Man in Alligator Loafers: What His Shoes Really Say About His True Love Potential), went as far to say “The shoes a man wears and the way that he treats them are fail-safe indicators of not only his romantic personality, but also how he’ll treat his woman.” Now at the end of the day we want our dads to look good (for his wife/partner, a blind date or just for us when we take him out). But shoes have to fit your father’s personality. Here are some of my top choices from two of my favorite online retailers:

VIONIC is a footwear brand that marries science/medicine and fashion. I already know what you’re thinking….and no their not your grandpa’s orthopedic shoe. It’s no secret that many men (and women) suffer with foot, joint and back pain from wearing the wrong shoes, worn out shoes or just sacrificing comfort for the sake of fashion (yes men do that too). Vionic puts an end to this with a great men’s collection. With the summer season upon us, I am loving Vionic’s Regatta Deck Shoe (offered in suede and leather) and their Conner Casual Slip On. Both of these casual yet comfortable styles feature Vionic’s breakthrough Orthaheel technology developed by experts in biomechanics and foot health ensure relief from issues including plantar fasciitis, knee, back and foot pain.

 

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PLANET SHOES is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites for shoe shopping. The whole mission of the company is to “help customers make healthy choices for themselves the environment and the community.” Basically they sell great shoes that look good, feel good and do good for the environment. Planet shoes features brands from across the globe including the Spanish based shoe company, Pikolinos and American company, Red Wing. They have so many great shoes for men.  My favorites for Father’s Day choices include:

 

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THE MAN BAG

Everyone has a favorite bag—yes even men. Anytime I hope on the Metro North I see some very worn “favorites” seated next two well-suited gentleman as well as those in casual fare. They may not think they need a new one (hello, the handle of their brief case is holding on by mere threads), but they sure would appreciate a bag for Father’s Day. Here are my picks from my go-to men’s boutique, St. James & Company…

 

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GROOMING

No matter what a man says to you, he cares about how his skin looks. Please, they don’t want razor bumps, acne or wrinkles any more than a woman does. But he’s not about any 4 step cleansing processes either.  Enter MENAJI.

Founded by beauty expert and professional make-up artist, Michele Probst (alongside a team of dermatologists and chemists), Menaji is a line of men’s skincare and grooming products that are all about enhancing his skin. I am a big fan of their Gentleman’s Kit. It gives the father in your life all the core products needed to cleanse, replenish, rejuvenate and maintain their skin. Dad may look at you funny when you give it to him (Mr. Socialite did when I asked him to sample them) but all you have to tell him is that some of the most well-known men in the world (Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon,  Kevin Costner, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw….hell, even President Obama and Regis Philbin) use it.  You can order this set via the Menaji website for $125.

 

The Gentleman’s Kit (Aftershave Hydrator, Face & Body Scrub, Eraser, Lip Agent)

 

These are just a few ideas for Daddy.

With that said, Happy Father’s Day from the Curvy Socialite

STRIKE A “POSE”: A New App for the Fashion Lover

Courtesy of MannersandMoxie.com
Courtesy of MannersandMoxie.com

In the ever-changing medium of social media, there seems to be an endless array of ways that we can share who we are with the world. I feel like every time I browse the tech sites, there is a new app or website that is being mentioned. Admittedly, my favorite apps tend to be more on the traditional side as they tend to lend themselves more to fashion and beauty blogging and my android phone. But recently, I came across a new app that may be the “app of all apps” for fashion bloggers and enthusiasts worldwide. Introducing POSE.

Described by some as the “Instagram of Fashion,” Pose is an online and mobile community where fashionphiles share their style.

Why do I like it? It’s an easy way to find great outfit inspirations, do some trend spotting and shop! What separates it from say Instagram or Pinterest, which are both popular with the fashion and style minded, is that Pose is dedicated solely to fashion. How can you go wrong with that?

Here are a few other benefits to Pose for the fashion lover– one of the things that I like about this app is that it allows “posers” (yep, that’s what users are called) to tag images with not only what it is (I.e., heels, dresses, etc) but with the brand (Michael Kors, Miss Selfridge, etc)—making it easy to find that piece that you know you can’t live without easily. In some cases, you can outright purchase the item through the app. Also, another feature I like– posers can save their favorite looks by creating “collections” (similar to boards on Pinterest). Cool, right?

Pose is still a relatively young app (about a year old or so) but is quickly becoming a favorite with major brands, bloggers and other influencers alike.

Interested in trying out Pose? It’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices as well as on the web and via Facebook. You can download the app at www.pose.com/d.

I just joined Pose myself, you can find me at: http://pose.com/u/curvysocialite/

 

MY STYLE CRUSH: Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington has been on my radar for a few years now with great roles in films like Ray (playing Ray Charles’ wife, Della Bea Robinson) and Last King of Scotland (playing Idi Amin‘s wife, Kay). However,  I think for me — like everyone else– she has been propelled to the forefront of everyone’s mind in her new role as Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal. Who doesn’t love seeing a highly successful, incredibly smart, beautiful (and yet so vulnerable) woman– and woman of color at that– getting it done and doing it looking with a stylish swagger to boot? I have to admit, part of the appeal for me is that Olivia Pope is the ultimate PR maven (as many of you may know, I am a PR Diva myself– I’m the woman behind the integrated communications firm Siena Media Group and the PR incubator, NY PR Diva).  And of course, practically every woman in America covets her style. Kerry Washington’s status has landed her on the cover of this month’s Elle Magazine.

The multi-page feature (comprised of a beautifully shot spread and dynamic interview) gives the readers of Elle a  glimpse into who the woman behind the “gladiators” really is. Kerry Washington dons Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford and more in an ode to denim couture.

Not to give too much of the article away (seriously you should make sure you get a copy for yourself), Elle delved into this native New Yorker’s (she was born in the Bronx) past to show that Washington is much more than a pretty face in movies and on television. A product of one of the city’s most prestigious preparatory academies, the Spence School, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from George Washington University (she gave the commencement address to the Class of 2013), Kerry talks about her journey of self discovery, how she found her happiness and who she is when she’s not on camera.

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Ms. Washington has been making the rounds in the press a lot recently. In addition to  the Elle feature, she also graced the covered and interviewed for the LA Times Magazine.  Recently, she sat down with fellow actor Don Cheadle for a candid interview with Variety Magazine about life in Hollywood, race, gender and activism. Watching the video gave me a renewed respect for both of these amazing people. Both talked about education, how they view race and gender in Hollywood and how they have affected their careers, why activism important and so much more.  Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure.

I can’t wait until the new season of Scandal starts in the fall– more drama, more style. more Kerry!

“DARE” TO BE BOLD: New Plus Magazine Launches with Spring Issue

Okay. Okay. I can here some of you muttering under your breath already with, “not another one.” This isn’t the first nor will it be the last plus magazine that will burst on to the market but I have to say I’m hoping Dare Magazine will be one that will stay.

DARE Magazine

What’s so special about Dare?

Well, it’s founder, Diana Di Poce, a senior at Ryerson University in Canada, is looking do something that her predecessors did not.  She’s NOT trying to change the world or “rally the troops” so to speak like others of her generation and even other magazine before her. Rather she’s trying to provide a source of inspiration for curvy girls throughout Canada and beyond. Geared toward the woman size 12 and above, her purpose of the magazine is to acknowledge and inspire the woman with the fuller figure and all women in general of all shapes and sizes.

In a recent interview, Di Poce said, “I wanted to keep it more general in the way that any woman can look at the magazine and get inspiration from it…just like how I pick up an issue of Elle or Flare…even though I won’t fit these outfits and I won’t look like these models, I still get inspiration from it.”

Born of her final school project, the Fashion Communications major picked the ideal time to launch with the burgeoning acknowledgement plus size women are receiving from the fashion and beauty industry– though there are still some brands that are dead set against anyone over a size 8 wearing their clothing (let’s not even talk about the Abercrombie founder’s comments about not wanting “fat” or “ugly” people wearing his clothes. It’s his prerogative at the end of the day; the public’s choice whether or not to support.If you want to read the story for yourself, click here.)

I’m looking to see more and what the direction the magazine will take. But for now, it is piquing my interest and I am throwing in my support.

To find out more about Dare Magazine, visit www.daremag.ca.

BEAUTY REVIEW: Pump up the Volume with Living Proof’s AMP2

I’ve had another amazing opportunity to guest blog for a fellow New York Blogger Collective member. This time, I reviewed Living Proof‘s newest hair care product, Amp2 for the fabulous Glasgow Skinner of My Life On (and Off) the Guest List

Back in 1987 the British band MARRS was at the top of the charts with “Pump up the Volume” and today every editor, blogger and beauty guru is obsessed with volume—hair volume that is. We’re not talking about the big hair of the 80s where celebrities and girls-next-door alike teased and sprayed their hair to death to reach great heights that for some could be really be considered architectural feats in their own right. Today we’re all about the sexy, full touchable hair the graces the catwalks and red carpets. But how’s a girl to go from flat, boring hair to the sexy bouncy hair worthy of a Victoria’s Secret model without adding all that stiff, heavy product that only lasts about two hours. Enter the scene….Living Proof, the game changing beauty company that is changing the hair industry.

Living Proof recently released Amp2, a multifaceted new styling product that provides major volume while maintaining soft, touchable hair and flexible hold. The best part about it…is that Amp2 can be applied to dry hair for instant body and is “revivable” for up to 2 days!

Want to find out more about this product? See the full review on Glasgow’s blog here.

BEAUTY: FALL INSPIRATION (Essie Fall Colors)

As I watch as New York gets ready for it’s second storm in as many weeks, I attempted to regain some sense of normalcy. Finding myself in midtown, I ventured into one of my favorite nail salons for a mani-pedi.

One of the benefits of being a blogger is that you get a chance to sample some of the newest products on the market.  Essie recently sent me some gorgeous colors from their Fall Collection. So with a beautiful deep wine (Essie’s Skirting the Issue) and glittering gold (Essie’s Good as Gold) nail polishes in hand, I set off for some Fall inspiration.

Thanks for New York Nature Spa (just steps from Bryant Park on 41st Street) for this adorable wine and gold mani (and pedi). (Just a little note, in order to get the burgundy to be as deep as the color on the bottle I had to apply 3 coats.)

What do you think?

Manicure by New York Nature Spa featuring Essie’s Skirting the Issue and Good as Gold.

TIP-TOE THROUGH THE JULEPS WITH ME (Beauty Review)

Every two weeks, I make an effort to treat myself to a mani-pedi at my local nail salon. It’s kind of my own little therapeutic moment when I don’t have to worry about the needs of clients (FYI, for those of who do not know, in addition to being  your favorite blogger, I’m a fashion and beauty publicist) and to have a little me time where I get to be pampered  and feel pretty. So when the opportunity to review a the new line of nail polish from the company,  Julep, I was super excited as it was another chance to enjoy a hot stone manicure and pedicure—but little did I know that Julep was more than just a pretty nail polish brand.

Julep, it turns out, is a new nail polish and beauty product subscription program. You’re probably wondering what that means. Well… it means that every month Julep sends you some of the most fashion forward polishes and high quality beauty products right to your door-step based on your style profile (determined by a short quiz on their site when you sign up to be a “maven”).  There are 5 style profiles (AMERICAN BEAUTY, BOHO GLAM, BOMBSHELL, CLASSIC WITH A TWIST and IT GIRL) that mavens can fall into based on their fashion and beauty likes.  Yours truly was determined to be BOHO GLAM—not surprising with my love of earthy and neutral tones.

Literally two days after signing up, Lou (seriously the best postman ever—gotta give him a plug because he lugs all the magazines, new products and the results of my shopping binges to me with a smile) brought me my introductory Maven Box. From the moment I opened it, I was in love.

So what was in it? Inside the box, carefully wrapped in fuchsia tissue paper was a mini- reusable tote with Julep’s motto: “Beauty is about connection, not competition.” You see, Julep was founded as a tribute to girlfriends—true friends who tell it like it is and share new fashion and beauty secrets so that we can all call look good.

What you get in your introductory Boho Glam Julep Maven Box

Within the tote was the following:

  • Toni –  Greige (what you get when grey marries beige) with a hint of lavender crème
  • Sasha – Fresh cantaloupe melon crème
  • Best Pedi Crème Ever! Exfoliate, hydrate, and nourish your feet (seriously I don’t know how they knew I’ve been hiding some seriously dry cuticles on my tootsies these last few days).

Julep actually names their nail colors after women who inspire them—a testament to the company’s pledge to empower women to be their most beautiful, confident, and happy—all while having fun along the way. Julep takes this mindset to heart and actually donates a portion of its proceeds to organizations that support women through their Powered by Girlfriends program.

The day I got my mani-pedi it was an unseasonably warm day (80 degrees in New York in October—seriously!) which probably persuaded me to opt to try Sasha as it gives you a little bit of summer (which came in handy today as I write this post and the temperature dropped like 30 degrees!).

Both the manicurist and I were impressed by how pretty Sasha was and how true to color it actually was (sometimes what the color looks like in the bottle isn’t what it looks like on your hands and feet). Also, we noticed that that super strong “nail polishy” smell didn’t really exist. That’s another great thing about Julep—they actually make a “Girlfriend’s Oath” to give you en trend beauty without all the toxins. Now though I love getting my nails done, I hate waiting for them to dry. If you’re like me, have no fear! Julep’s nail polish actually dries really fast. I was practically dry before I even got to the dryers. At the end of my therapy time, I had the cutest set of manicured fingers and toes.

Channeling Sasha Fierce!

Later that night before bed, I decided to try the pedicure cream. Julep boasts you can see results in one to two uses. I can attest to that. My feet felt soft and cool after the first use. I’m definitely a fan.

But the thing I love most about Julep best…they’re all about sharing! Julep has been so gracious to offer a discounted rate on their intro box to readers of my blog! The promo code “CURVYSOCIALITE” can be used here to sign up!

BUT WAIT…THERE’S ONE MORE THING!

One lucky reader will get a chance to score a free intro Maven box by entering the giveaway via The Curvy Socialite Facebook page (starting Monday, October 8th).

It’s super easy to enter!