Monday, June 30, 2008

Louis Vuitton Awarded $60 Million

We've softened to Louis Vuitton ever since they invited us to breakfast and later to preview their cruise collection. So we said, "Good for them!" yesterday when French courts awarded Louis Vuitton over $60 million in their lawsuit against eBay for selling both real and counterfeit products out of LV's "desired retail market." We'd never buy a Louis outside of a legit store, there are simply too many fakes out there. We love our Epi wallet and it still looks brand new after years of daily use. Can the buyers of the fakies say the same? Doubt it. Read more at Washington

Swimsuit Sales

Score! We got our tax check today and boy is that money burning a hole in our pockets. Take that extra cash, combine it with the fact that we are most surprisingly and even more happily at our ideal weight (We're on that diet called, S-T-R-E-S-S!) and that now is an excellent time to find swimsuits on sale, and we were off to Saks faster than you can say "Stimulus".

The 10th floor has loads of suits from Juicy, Vix, Shoshana, Milly, Tommy Bahama, Carmen Marc Valvo, just to name a few, most at 30 percent off.

We started with Shoshana--we love that she has different cup sizes. And unlike our well-endowed friend at Fashion Binge, we struggle to fill a B-cup, which presents its own kind of problems. (Click here to read about her swimsuit search.) We tried on the bottom to this suit, but they didn't have the top in our size. Strike 1.

Next we moved on to this suit by Milly, but were forced to admit our bandeau top days are behind us (Small boobs sag, too!) Strike 2.

Next up was this sexy number by Vix, but the knit fabric seemed more appropriate for a sweater than a swimsuit and has the potential to get droopy when wet. Strike 3.

Then we thought we would try a one piece.

Just kidding! That crazy style didn't look good on Kim Kardashian, it's not going to look good us.

We thought long and hard about this Shoshana cover up in navy, but didn't get it and now we're experiencing buyer's remorse.

So--we left empty handed. A decision we will surely regret on our next girls' trips when our friends make fun of us for wearing the same bikini we've had since 1992. But for some reason, we can't justify spending that kind of money (even when the suit's on sale and the cash is a gift from the government) on something that doesn't make us feel like a rock star. The search continues...

Best Summer Moisturizers

It's a sad fact of life for us that our skin tends to be dry (blame our Irish heritage), even in summer. So we were totally able to relate when P&G scientist Lesley Bride shared her dry skin woes over lunch last week: She has a pool at her Ohio home and getting in and out of the water for those cooling dips leaves her shins and calves looking scaly. Ah yes, the crocodile look. We know it well!

Lesley went on to explain that the reason the P&G products are so effective at moisturizing is because they draw the water from your skin's deepest layers (where it is the most moisturized) out to the surface (where it is the driest). Lesley swears by the Olay Ribbons Body Wash, which was recently reformulated. As soon as we make it to the drug store, we'll give it a try.

While the idea of "Aquacurrent Science" is a little challenging to grasp, the products are an undeniable hit with Total Beauty users. The Covergirl Smoothers Pressed Powder scores an average of 9 out of 10 and the Olay Quench Body Lotion earns an 8. Pretty damn good for drugstore brands. Look for the Aquacurrent Science label on products from Olay, Covergirl, Secret and Pantene.

Ananas Pop-Up Store NYC

Ananas Pop Up store
Anne Hathaway may be having boyfriend problems, but at least she has one hot new store to shop at--at least until July 15. The Ananas @ fifty-two pop up store is open from now until Mid-July on 52 Canal Street between Ludlow and Orchard. It showcases Jennifer Lagdameo's gorgeous designs. And, get this, they're actually made in NYC! Many of the fabrics and embellishments are imported from the Philippines by Jennifer herself. One of the fabrics is made with fiber from the abaca plant (a cousin of the banana). How's that for eco-friendly? In addition, for each bag sold, Ananas plants a tree in the Philippines through Trees for the Future. For every bag sold from the eco-collection (including the abaca-fiber bag), 10 trees are planted.

In addition to Anne, Cameron Diaz and Meg White are fans of the line. If you can't make it to the store, you can always shop online.

Ananas Pop Up store

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gwyneth Paltrow, Bazaar and Sensuous Perfume

Bazaar Sensuous
Gwyneth Bazaar July 2008

While Gwyneth does look breathtaking on the cover of the July issue of Bazaar, we agree with this NYTimes article, "A Cover, 4o Pages, 4 Faces and 1 Perfume," that suggests there may be some quid pro quo going on between the magazine and Lauder. In addition to Gwyneth, the 4 Faces the title refers to belong to Elizabeth Hurley, Carolyn Murphy and Hilary Rhoda (shown right), who are featured in a combined 40 pages of editorial and also happen to be the faces of the newest Estee Lauder fragrance, Sensuous. Interestingly, the article points out that the issue has no Lauder advertising (Really? None from Clinique, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Aveda or any of the other hundreds of brands?), though ads for the fragrance are scheduled to run this fall. The magazine denies there is any hanky panky going on, which we would be more inclined to believe if only Gwyn was featured. It's hard to fathom that all four ladies were chosen "just because."

Whatevs! We're just happy that as bloggers, we don't have to worry about keeping advertisers content!

Travel Clothes

Pashminas have long been our wrap of choice for chilly plane flights. We were happy to read in the July issue of W that the options for travel clothes continue to grow, in "I'll Fly Away". We were even happier to see that White + Warren's delicious cashmere travel wraps (shown left) are on sale on their website for $192.50, marked down from $275. The cashmere is so yummy and soft and the wraps come in so many bright gorgeous colors: Trust us, this is a bargain. You'll use it every flight and have it for decades to come.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New York City Waterfalls: Much Hoopla About Nothing

We loved Christo's Gates in Central Park a few years back in '05.

Christo Gates
Damn, we even loved the Cow Parade in 2000, even though NYC wasn't the first city to feature the artistic bovines.
Stuart Weitzman cow
So we were waiting with baited breath to see the much ballyhooed Waterfalls, by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. Our mayor, whom we generally love, estimates they will bring in $55 million in additional tourist dollars. Ummm...not so much, Mayor Mike.

Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall

We went out of our way to see three of them yesterday. From what we read, we were expecting falls on par with Niagara and Iguasu. What we got was essentially water trickling over scaffolding. The same exact thing we can see on just about any city street corner on a rainy day. So, come to NYC, but don't go out of your way to see the falls.

Photo from ABC news

On Our Radar: Music Festivals

The JSGs have been great friends for as long as we can remember, and huge fans of music all the while. Watching live bands is still one of our fave things to do. One great way to see a variety of music is at a festival (bands you never thought you'd never see playing next to each other) and you can find them all over the country this summer. Below is a sampling of what's out there, most last three days and feature upwards of 100 bands!
All Points West in Jersey City (August 8-10) features Jack Johnson (he's at all of these), Kings of Leon, Duffy, and The Roots.

Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore, Md (August 9-10) features Wilco, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco as well as DJs Moby and Soulwax.

Outside Lands in San Francisco (August 22-24) is a new comer to the festival scene. It's held in Golden Gate Park with Grace Potter, Beck, Radiohead, Ben Harper, Tom Petty, and Cold War Kids.

Lollapalooza in Chicago (August 1-3) is the perennial alt-favorite. See bands like Rage Against the Machine, The Raconteurs and Nine Inch Nails.

Austin City Limits (September 26-28), one of the biggest festivals with over 120 bands: this is your best ever excuse to go to Texas and visit one of the coolest towns we know. Headliners include the Foo Fighters, John Fogerty, and Robert Plant; but we'd like to get a back stage pass with Jakob Dylan. While you're there check out the Lake Austin Spa for some R & R.

Then there's the Allgood Festival in West Virginia (July 11-13). One JSG camped on a mountain top and hiked over hills to see bands jamming for crunchy hoards of people and she'll be there this year too. Expect to see Phil Lesh, Widespread Panic, and Dark Star Orchestra.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Advice for Brassy Highlights: Kate Hudson's Great Hair

We haven't hit mid-summer yet; but if you're like us, you've already spent enough time in the sun to overexpose your pricey highlights. We love Kate Hudson's great locks and know she's at the beach and on her bike more than most; so we found some great advice to help our own color look as fresh as Kate's.

Here's a do-it-yourself trick from Shawn La'Yave, hair colorist and stylist at DEX New York: "If you're blonde went brassy, you can create your own at-home violet shampoo to brighten your dull color by adding three tablespoons of grape juice concentrate to your favorite shampoo. It will cancel out any warm dull tones."

Easy enough--we'll be heading to Safeway this morning and will let you know if it works for us!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Celebrity Watch by Scoop

Celebs like Paris Hilton and Jennifer Aniston have been spotted wearing over sized watches. Now one of our favorite boutiques, Scoop, is offering their own watch on for only $40. At that price, how could you go wrong?

Love the watch, Paris, but lose the flowers...

Kenneth Jay Lane's Butterfly Jewelry

Do butterflies ever go out of style? We say no! In fact, we are so obsessed with butterflies, we've planted a garden out our front door to attract them. (Not to mention one BFF that has a lovely tattoo on her back.) Kenneth Jay Lane must feel the same way, since we found these super summery pieces of his at Cusp. Thankfully, they're totally affordable: the earrings are $45 and the necklace is $90. You'll also find a fun interview with him while you're there. A couple of things we learned: he's dressed Audrey Hepburn and Sarah Jessica (two of our fave fashion icons) and he thinks every woman should wear a dozen bangles. We couldn't agree more!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Our Favorite Flip Flops

Whether you're on a girls' trip or taking a stay-cation, a girl can never have too many flip flops. You don't need us to tell you that Havaianas rein supreme--the come in every color in the rainbow and have groovy patterns. Order three pairs online and get free shipping.
We also love the new Bendel's Flip Flops with their signature brown and white stripes and your choice of strap color.

When you need a little extra height, check out these Timberland flips, available at Zappos.
We also buy a new pair of the super comfortable, terribly preppy critter flip flops from JCrew each season. The fruity cocktails on this pair simply make us smile.

Oh, and those Fit Flops you may have read about, word on the street is they don't work--and that comes from an inside source from Bliss. Save your money!

Jet-Setting While You Shower

We love maps. Whenever we travel, looking at the world map in the back of the in-flight magazine can keep us entertained for hours (well, at least a good 20 minutes). We love to picture the places we've been, dream about the places we're going and get a quick geography lesson (Thailand does border Cambodia). Believe it or not, it seriously relaxes us, even at 12,000 feet squeezed in next to an arm rest hog.

No surprise, our very first purchase for our soon-to-be new home, is this World Map Shower curtain from Target. Now we can lather up and shave our legs while we plan our next girls' trip!

Help with a Packing List

We found a site, 50 Things and Beyond, which provides check lists for all sorts of projects like parties, gifts, holidays and travel. Print out their lists and tweak them to suit your needs. For our packing list we added Ipod, travel speakers, phone charger, curling iron and sunscreen. They give you a great start. Besides it's always the obvious things we forget: like a bikini or sunglasses!

Happy travels (and packing)!

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Praise of Pink Miu Miu Shoes

We thought red shoes were hot--we once compared them to wearing Corvettes on our feet. Well, move on over red--there's a new game in town: Our salmon pink Miu Miu high heeled sandals.

We stumbled into the Miu Miu boutique in Soho last week looking for a bright purple shoe to go with the dove gray dress we bought for the Louis Vuitton cruise presentation on Thursday night. When were told they were having a 45 percent off sale, we knew we weren't going home empty handed.

We feel so trendy in our new stilettos and practically tripped on Madison Ave. because we were looking down to admire our own feet so much. You can't help but feel gorgeous and sexy when your feet are sporting such a delightful concoction. They're surprisingly wearable--they go with jeans, neutral colors, all hues of blue, we're even looking forward to wearing them with a rainbow striped DVF dress in the near future.

When we got to the party, we knew we had made the right choice. Those are our Miu Miu shoes next to a bag from the Louis Vuitton cruise collection above. Below, pink stilettos from the Louis Vuitton cruise collection.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jessica Simpson's Eat Meat T-Shirt

Jessica Simpson Meat T-shirt
Jessica, we couldn't agree with you more! As our long time readers know, we like our steak. A lot. You'll find us first in line come Monday a.m. at NYC's Primehouse where the t-shirts will be on sale. You can also buy them online here.

While you're at it, Monday is also the first day to make reservations for restaurant week, July 21-25 and July 28-August 1, when lunch will be $24.08 and dinner $35.08. For more info, click here.

On Our Radar: Palms Place Opens in Vegas

The Palms Place, sister to the Palms, opened a few weekends ago with the usual set of party characters: Jessica Simpson, Luke Wilson, and a bunch of kids from The Hills. This new property boasts condos and hotel rooms. We heard Doc Rivers bought a pad (go, Celtics!), as well as Jessica and Eminem; and Britney might stage her comeback there.

The sleek, modern hotel rooms boast marble bathrooms, hardwood floors, windows that open, and two plazma tv's (yes that's how they spell it). The Palms Place has a fab pool scene, new restaurant by chef Kerry Simon, and the Rojo lobby lounge. We've told you before how much we love a good lobby bar!

There is no casino which would be a welcome change from the places we've stayed- too much noise when you're nursing a hangover. For you gamblers: not to worry it's attached to the Palms which has plenty of gambling. The Drift Spa is new, as is the Hammam (pictured below), a coed Morroccan wet sauna.

We love their current offer: Book in June for $139/night and get a pool cabana for a day (our fave splurge on a girls' trip), access to the gorgeous Drift Spa, $40 food credit (use it at n9ne steakhouse!), and a line pass for ghostbar, RAIN, Playboy, and Moon. Use the code PROMO18.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection 2009

We went to preview the Louis Vuitton Cruise collection tonight and all we can say is "W-O-W!" Marc Jacobs outdid himself. A few of our faves:

Can't wait to see which actress is lucky enough to wear this dress to the Oscars. We picture it on an olive-skinned beauty like J. Lo or a gorgeous blond a la Charlize Theron.

We loved the illos by London-based artist Tanya Ling who collaborated on some of the pieces...

Like these totally hot short shorts!

The ultimate carry on bag...

Proving gladiators are more than a passing trend and those sunglasses are too hot to pass by!

JSG's Annie couldn't help herself!

All pieces will be available starting in November 2008.

L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush Self Tanner

We've tried a number of self tanners this spring. Ultimately, the most important part of any tanning product is the color you get and how realistic it looks. The L'Oreal Sublime has a very realistic bronze (not copper) color. The challenge with any tanning product is learning to use it properly. With this spray it's super important to keep a consistent distance from your skin which isn't always easy to do, especially when you're reaching around your legs or your backside. We found that two light applications (one right after the other) was the best way to avoid streaks and splotches. Also, avoid using straight lines to apply it; instead we used a swirl pattern. Also when you're finished applying, take a cotton ball and rub your elbows, ankles and achilles, these areas always grab too much product. Other good things about Sublime: there's a light scent (can't totally avoid the DHA smell), the mist is refreshing, and the price is affordable.

To read more reviews of the L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist, visit the Total Beauty website.

Myvu: the Personal Media Device

Yeah! Another great way to avoid conversation with your airplane neighbor. Introducing Myvu, a personal viewing device. These space age shades play videos from your iPod, they weigh practically nothing, they have an 8 hour battery life, and they start at $199. We'd say they're easier to tote than a laptop for video, easier to watch than our iPod screen, and you don't have to rely on the airplane for your movie selection. Finally, we'll be able to catch up on all those episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Weeds; not to mention you can rent movies from iTunes for $3.99 (we'll be seeing Will Farrell's Semi-Pro soon). Unfortunately, these may look just cutting edge enough to attract some attention; but we JSGs are used to that.

To experience what wearing Myvu is like at the airport, click here.

Happy travels!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Is A Medicure?

Read Annie's story on about her medicure--the ultimate in pedicures--at the Sally Hershberger Face Place. That's the world's most adorable and nicest manicurist, Erica Marton, above with her trusty drill.

Rooftop Bars

When we read about the new Highbar lounge opening just west of Times Square, we knew the proliferation of rooftop bars was complete. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good view and a nice breeze with our martinis, but location still counts for something. And 8th and 48th, by a double decker tourist bus stop and a Duane Reade, atop a Hilton Garden leaves a bit to be desired.

Here are some more dependably fab rooftop bars where you’ll want to see and be seen this summer:

The grande dame of NYC’s rooftop bars—the bar at the Peninsula (pictured above), got a serious jaw-dropping makeover this spring. We were irritated when we went a month ago to find out the renovation was not yet complete, but boy was it worth the wait. The Pen Top bar complete with Astroturf was made over into the Salon de Ning-a Shanghai-inspired bar with rattan beds and Asian-themed snacks to match. Word of warning: It ain’t cheap. Look your cutest so a hedge-fund boy will offer to buy your drinks.

Visiting Plunge at the Ganesvoort South in Miami is the excuse we're using for our next Miami trip. It's features a 110-foot long swimming pool and stunning views of both the city and the ocean.

Leave it to Vegas to create a rooftop beach bar- Tao Beach at the Venetian. (Actually, there is one other that we know of--at the W in San Diego. We knew SD was the Vegas of the Pacific Coast.) It's worth extending your weekend trip to stay for a Sunday Sunset Sessions!

Our favorite rooftop bar in D.C. is Marvin's on U Street, inspired by Washington native, Marvin Gaye and his time in Belgium. We've been for the restaurant downstairs (the shrimp and grits are to die for!) and the bar with its huge selection of Belgian beers, good lookin crowd, and groovy music. We're regulars at the 9:30 club around the corner, so this makes a perfect before or after spot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Proud to Be an American

We got a kick out of the T&L's story "50 Reasons to Love the U.S." in the July issue. On our wish list: Bette Midler's new show in Vegas, which features the Caesar Salad Girls chorus line and is sure to be a camp classic; Ludacris's new restaurant, Straits, in Hotlanta and Aspen Brewing Company in Colorado, which the editors call the "Napa Valley of Beer".

Effortless Playlists

We’re in an iPod rut! With 3,361 songs, why do we always listen to the same 10? Granted Kate Nash’s “Merry Happy” is a peppy song that will stay in your head all day long, but really, a girl needs to mix it up every once in a while. Plus we haven't forgotten that it was our New Year’s Resolution!

But coming up with a new and varied playlist takes work. Favorite songs are our most listened to for a reason.

A few years ago, when we were traveling back and forth to Cali frequently, we came up with a semi-brainless way to make a new playlist. We created a NY-Cali playlist, which included songs that mentioned New York or California. It ended up being a fun mix of tunes with everything from Wheezer’s “Beverly Hills” to U2’s “New York” to Ben Lee’s “Catch My Disease”--it mentions Pamona. (Come to think of it, with 2 more trips to Cali between now and July, we may need to up the rotation on this playlist.)

We liked this idea so much, we created another themed playlist—this time it’s Boys and Girls and all the songs have a name in the title. With songs like Michael Jackson’s "Billie Jean," ABBA’s "Fernando", The Police’s "Roxanne" and The Killers “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” the mix ends up being a bit random, but isn’t that the beauty of an iPod?

Any other thoughts on creating effortless playlists?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kiehl's Summer Book Exchange

This just in: Kiehl's is hosting a book exchange at its stores. Starting on June 24 through Labor Day, bring in your old summer reads and trade for a different one. Kiehl's is also giving out "Safer Fun in the Sun" bookmarks with a purchase of a SPF product or self tanner in the deal. Sweet! We'll trade you our Jackie Collins for your beach reads!

Be sure to use your SPF the right way!

Our Picks for Best Summer Beach Reads

Last week we got in a heated debate on Twitter with our friends at All About The Pretty, The Beauty of Life and Mischo Beauty over Lauren Weisberger’s literary skills or lack thereof. Suffice it to say, neither we or Beauty of Life will be reading Chasing Harry Winston. (And heated is a bit of an exaggeration. It wasn't quite as passionate as a debate between, say, a Barack and a Hillary supporter.)

What will make our list of summer beach reads?

Married Lovers by Jackie Collins. Lucky is the reason we dated around in our 20s. We’ve read all her books and count a signed copy of last year's Drop Dead Beautiful as one of our most cherished possessions. As Al Roker says every year, "If it's Jackie Collin's, it must be summer!"

Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler. Love the spoof on everyone’s favorite tween read. Her first book My Horizontal Life practically made us pee in our pants (see the chapter on a romance with a cruiseship performer). Speaking of wetting our pants…

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. We break out into hysterical laughter when we picture David picking apples or working as an elf at Macy’s. Our friend Michelle (an author herself!) picked this up when we were with her last weekend. Here’s hoping she’ll loan us her copy when she’s done!

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. Jennifer has such a sweet way of writing—we always end up laughing through our tears with her novels (she also wrote In Her Shoes, among others). Word of warning-she does write a lot about food. Her books always make us hungry!

Celebutante by Amanda Goldberg. We picked it up because we loved the cover (Bubble-holics unite!) and bought it because Michael Kors wrote one of the reviews on the back: “Stylish intrigue, glamorous machinations and such juicy fun. No one but Hollywood insiders like Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Hopper could tell the tale so perfectly.” Love Michael’s shoes so much—he must have good literary taste!

If you’re looking for a more serious read:

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the most beautiful moving books we’ve read in years. It tells the heatbreaking story of two twins and the men that love them throughout the civil wars in Nigeria in the late 1960s.
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