Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vibrating Mascara: Is It Worth It?

vibrating mascaraCall us 16, but we found it hard not to giggle when we first heard about vibrating mascara. Do our lashes really benefit from the extra sensation? Then we remembered we had similar doubts about our Venus Vibrance razor when it first came out, but now we swear by it for the cleanest, closest shaves.

With this in mind, we tested out Estée Lauder Turbolash Motion Mascara. The Estée Lauder website promises: Volume. Length. Curl. Separation. All at once.

Does it live up to the hype? While we would love to tell you no, and that you should save the $30 in favor of your favorite drugstore brand, Estée Lauder Turbo Lash is all that and a bag of chips.

The vibrating motion of the wand really does help separate lashes to coat every single lash individually. The formula volumes and lengthens and is the next best thing to fake eyelashes.

Our only gripes: We wish we could turn the motor off for when we use hold it vertically for our bottom lashes. (Once you take the wand out of the tube, it’s on.) It’s a little tricky to get these shorter hairs without making a mess. Less of an issue is the curling claim—it does help curl lashes, but we’re not giving up our Shu Umera eyelash curler just yet.

As for the price tag, there is hope. We have it from an inside source it will be less expensive in the future. And it is $4 less than the Lancome Oscillation Mascara, which we haven't tried. For now, we’re saving it for nights on the town and our next girls’ getaway.

Budget Travel Tips

With all the upheaval in the stock markets, taking a girlfriends’ getaway may be the last thing on your mind. But as a result from all the stress of watching your 401K funds dwindle, a vacation is exactly what we all need. Now, we’re not suggesting you go and spend two weeks on a bender in Dubai, but a long weekend at a favorite destination is in order. Here are a few of our favorite top budget travel tips:

  1. Shop around for plane tickets. Don’t just look at Orbitz and pick the lowest airfare you see. It pays to look at individual airline websites. In fact, we've bought our tix direct the last couple of trips.
  2. Find a good hotel deal on a site like Travelocity but it’s non refundable? Call the hotel and ask them to match it. 99 times out of 100 they will and you can generally cancel at larger hotels up to 48 hours ahead of time with no penalty.
  3. Always book a car rental directly with the car rental dealer, not through Orbitz. Say no to insurance if you have car insurance or your credit card covers it (our Amex Blue does). If you agree to bring the tank back full; be sure you do. We paid $6.99/gallon this weekend because we were running late to the airport and didn't have time to find a gas station.
  4. Avoid the minibar—go to the drugstore for water, Vitamin Water, Advil, Pringles, Twizzlers, etc. Every time we go to Vegas we have the taxi make this key pit stop on our way to our hotel.
  5. Go with more friends! Four girls to a room keeps costs down.
  6. Go a day less. Hope recently had a fun time in Charleston on an overnight trip
  7. Chill out with wine while you’re getting dressed to save on bar bills when you head out. (Buy the vino at a nearby store—don’t order it from room service.) Our favorite hotel chain, the Kimpton Group, offers a free wine hour at most of their hotels. Drink up!
  8. Don’t drink and shop—it always leads to regrets.
  9. Carry on your luggage. With most airlines charging for even your first bag, it pays to be a smart packer and fit everything in your carry on.
  10. Go now! October is a quiet month for travel in the U.S. Hotel rates go up starting in November and December in resort towns.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

The Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask was just what we needed last night (and not what the SO had in mind). Our face was a little worse for the wear and definitely dehydrated after two days at the beach, a couple of quick plane flights and a couple too many glasses of red at our cousin's wedding.

The Triple Oxygen Mask is the take home version of Bliss' most popular facial, the triple oxygen treatment, which promises to release more oxygen to your skin and is especially important if you're over 30. Apparently something else that slows down (along with metabolism and collagen production) is your skin's oxygen levels. This mask makes your skin "cleaner, brighter, fresher and younger-looking." So, how did it work?

You first apply the mask generously on your face. It's a liquid soap consistency; but moments after you put it on, it becomes the fluffiest foam and then starts fizzling and popping. Remember Pop Rocks when you were a kid? It's like that on your face. It was tingling and refreshing and fun. It also has a great citrus-y smell like other Bliss products. After five minutes rinse off the product and apply toner and moisturizer.

The results: our face definitely felt refreshed and it was smooth, pink and glowing. We'd like to say we looked younger; but that would be a stretch. We would definitely use this again. The only distraction would be the price tag. At $52, it's not cheap but much less than a spa treatment. Available at Sephora (where it was a "Best of Sephora" winner this year) and Bliss.

Chanel in Central Park and Tree Huts in Madison Square Park

We can only hope this tops the major disappointment of David Blaine's non-magic trick over Central Park's Wollman Rink and the semi-lameness of the waterfalls (though we have kinda grown used to them over the past few months in the same way we get used to tacky red and green ornaments every December). Last week on Twitter, the bloggers over at Racked.com let us know it was time to sign up for free tickets to the Chanel Mobile Art Show in Central Park, which starts on October 20. We had no idea what they were talking about, but put "Chanel" and "Free" in the same sentence and we're so there. Who doesn't like something free these days?!

Chanel Hong Kong

We’ve since learned that the pop up museum is celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the 2.55 handbag and features works of art inspired by the bag by 15 artists. The space ship pod has already landed in Hong Kong and Tokyo. While tickets to the NYC exhibit are all snapped up there’s still time to catch it in London, Paris and Moscow early this year and later next. For the official website and making of vid, click here. We'll be going on October 29 and will report back.

Tree Huts in Madison Square Park
A few miles south and open to all, Japanese-born artist Tadashi Kawamata is installing tree huts in Madison Square Park, set to debut on October 2. We find the renderings oddly soothing. There's something so playful about the idea of hiding out in a tree house in the middle of Manhattan--if only we could hide out in one and get Shake Shack to deliver us a Shnack Burger and Rootbeer Float! Follow the blog on the installation of the tree huts on Madison Square Park's website.

tree hut

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pollution Around the World and What We Can Do About It

Luxor Temple
Every once in awhile we take a break form our regularly scheduled programming to get on our soapbox. We were so moved this morning when watching Thomas Kostigen, author of You Are Here talk about how pollution is affecting the world on the Today Show. Not only is pollution is harming the air that we breathe and our waterways (as if that's not important enough), it's also affecting our world monuments like Jerusalem's Western Wall and Dome of the Rock. We remember seeing this type of decay with our own eyes when we saw the deterioration of Luxor Temple in Egypt (above) and were not surprised to hear Kostigen say that monuments like these in Israel and Egypt are decaying at a faster rate than ever before.

You are Here
The book goes on to cover a village in Alaska that may soon be under water, the Eastern Garbage Patch, which we alerted you to earlier this year, the Amazon and other areas at risk.

Have we depressed you? Take heart, there are small everyday actions you can take to help save our beautiful world. You've heard it before, but one of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to stop using plastic bags in favor of a reusable tote.

One of our favorites is the Sephora Project Tote. The bag is made of recycled plastic bottles that have been turned into fiber and $6 from the purchase of each $12 bag goes towards Girls for a Change, a national organization that empowers girls to promote social change.

Sephora Bag

Turn Down Service: Total Beauty Style

Beauty Anonymous reviews La Mer The Hydration Infusion.

"_blank">Enter to win Y.E.S. skincare products valued at $98 from Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog.

Beauty411 shares the best online beauty shopping websites from the NovemberShopSmart by Consumer Reports magazine! Did your favorite site make the list?

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings has tried Kinerase Under Eye Rescue, and is surprised at what she discovers. Find out what she thinks.

Alison of the Advice Sisters is blogging about the hair, makeup and nails backstage at Fashion Week fromVera Wang to Carmen Marc Valvo, and gives readers a birds-eye view of the American Express Skybox.

The Jet Set Girls are giving away Crest Weekly Clean. Stop by and register to win!

MissWhoever YouAre reviews the forgotten Rich & Ripe lipgloss from MAC's Cult of Cherry collection for her Pucker Up Wednesday series!

The Makeup Divas reviews Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation and tells you why they love it.

Boutique Flair's fab finds will help you get fall's decadent dark lips. Is the power pout beautifully romantic or tragically goth? You decide!

Butterfly Diary wonders why the heck Sarah Palin is promoting a lipstick for an environmentally friendly company. Heard of the word "oxymoron"?

What anti-aging skincare brand does Beauty Blogging Junkie swear by these days? Find out here!

Latest Hair Trends Seen at the 2008 Emmy Awards-by Talking Makeup!

Meg Ryan is looking better than ever in the new movie, The Women! Find out what hair products help her create those gorgeous waves on A Mom in Red High Heels!

Jenn from Beauty in Real Life has found a new moisturizer perfect for Fall. Click here to find out what it is.

Glossypink has a hot new look and has an awesome Dita Von Teese photo gallery!

On Our Radar: Stowe Mountain Lodge

Typically hitting the lounges on South Beach’s Ocean Drive or fending off a would-be suitor's advances at Pure in Vegas is more our speed for our girlfriend getaways, but every once in a while, we like to get out there and see the scenery. That’s exactly what we’ll be doing next weekend when we head up to the Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont.

Vermont Changing Leaves
The 139-room resort opened last summer after a decade in the making. With oversized windows in every room; we’ll hardly have to leave our room to see those maple leaves turning that gorgeous crimson and with a bathroom the size of our bedroom at home (below), why would we even want to? We’ll feel like we’re in nature, too, with all the eco-friendly steps the hotel has taken, like using salvaged trees to build tables for the restaurant or lamps designed by Simon Pearce who uses energy from waterfalls to power his glass blowing furnace and potter’s wheel. In addition the Solstice restaurant prides itself on a “farm to table” philosophy and uses local fruits, veggies and, our favorite, cheese as much as possible.


We do plan on leaving the hotel at least once. We’ll be taking part in the River and Spirits tour. This is a canoe ride down the Lamoille River to the Boyden Farm and Winery for wine tasting. That’s our kind of workout!

Our trip also gives us the chance to fly Jet Blue out of JFK and visit the much ballyhooed new Terminal 5 that previewed this week. As our flight leaves at 9 am on Sunday, we won't have time to sip a glass of wine at Piquillo or sample the sushi at Deep Blue (below), but we hope to try it out on our return. Oh, one other thing: our Jet Blue flight to Burlington is an unheard of $150 round trip! When was the last time you flew anywhere roundtrip for under $200? It may cost us more to get to the airport!

Jet Blue Terminal 5
UPDATE: Turns out we won't be getting to see the new Terminal 5, after all. The opening has been pushed back to October 22.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hotels for Girlfriends' Getaways

While we appreciate that hotels are catering towards women business travelers, as reported by National Geographic's Intelligent Travel, why stop at yoga mats, fluffy socks and cookies? If JSG were to plan a hotel for women travelers on vacation, our floor would include eyelash curlers (ours never makes it into our carry on, somehow), Jimmy Choos in our size to borrow for the night, free flowing Veuve or Perrier Jouet, 24-hour on call hair stylists and our elusive fantasy of hot shirtless guys offering us foot massages. Did we miss anything?

American Express Lambertson Truex Limited Edition Bags for the Whitney Museum

We first spied the Lambertson Truex "Index of Happiness" bag in the American Express Sky Box over fashion week. It immediately caught our eye as an attractive bag we would like to own, but little did we know it was so much more than the rhetorical pretty face.

Whitney tote

The canvas and leather trimmed bag is actually a functional piece of art. The mixed media print was created by artist Donal Baechler. Donald is a world traveler who draws inspiration for his art from a collection of slides from his many trips It's signed by Donald, along with Richard Lambertson and John Truex. There are only 200 in the world and 15 percent of the proceeds go towards the Whitney Museum of American Art's Photography Program, Collection and Special Exhibitions in a partnership sponsored with American Express and Vanity Fair. It sells for $1,000.

For those who want to support the Whitney, but have a little less cash to spare, the Gertrude tote is another option. Named after Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the tote is canvas with leather trim. It's $120.
Whitney tote
For more info, check out Vanity Fair Campaign NY.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Diane von Furstenberg's Packing Tips

We realize our obsession with Diane Von Furstenberg is close to bordering on creepy and stalkerish, but we can't help ourselves. We just love 99.9% of everything that she does. So naturally, we were thrilled to read her packing tips in the September issue of Travel & Leisure.

No surprise that the designer picks her own jersey silk dresses for travel. As Diane points out, they never wrinkle, can be dressed up or down and can be worn practically anywhere. No surprise, JSG agrees that it's the perfect travel dress.

Diane von Furstenberg

We like this dress available at Bloomies, because the long sleeves make it warm enough for the plane and the print will hide our figure flaws. We would rock it out with a wide belt, brown tights and some booties.

For the rest of Diane's packing tips click here.

Can You Do a Girls' Trip in 24 Hours?

Yes, you can, if fact we just returned from one. Last week, we flew to Charleston, S.C. with our BFF Heidi for a quickie girls' trip in the middle of a very busy month. Why so short? Well, with a couple jobs and five kids between us (not to mention a continuing ed class and back to school night), there wasn't much time left. Heidi wanted to check out the quaint Southern city that was voted America's friendliest by Travel + Leisure readers. She asked us to give her 24 hours and naturally we couldn't refuse.

To make a 24 hour trip work for you, three things have to happen. First, you have to go somewhere close. Charleston was an hour and a half away by plane. The downtown is only a few minutes away by cab and the shopping was right outside our hotel. We stayed at the Charleston Place Hotel which occupies a big block right in the middle of everything (shopping, restaurants, nightlife) that way we could drop our bags and head out to the boutiques.

Next, you can't expect to accomplish too much. Our main objective was to spy the downtown and hit the shops, have a great dinner, and laugh over a few cocktails. Heidi accomplished the most (no surprise to those that know her well), coming home with a suitcase full of new dresses, tops, and shoes she found on King Street. After a little catnap, we had a lobster dinner at the Peninsula Grill topped off with their fantastic (and mail-order) coconut cake. We finished the night at the rooftop Pavilion Bar with its 360 views of downtown and the harbor.

Finally, a little luck never hurts. On this trip, our flights were on time, even arriving early both ways; our hotel room was ready at 10 a.m.; and the weather was perfect (not too hot and no rain).

While 24 hours seems so short, it was plenty of time to catch up with each other without any distractions. On the plane home, Heidi was setting the stage for our next adventure, "You know, I've never seen Montreal."

Editors' note: Thanks for all the great suggestions from our fab readers. Love to get insider info!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crest Weekly Clean: At-Home Teeth Whitening Made Better

After a combined 5 years of braces and countless dollars of our parents' money (thanks, mom and dad!) we try hard to keep our smiles bright. We've both had in-office teeth bleaching (it works!) but rely on at-home trays and products to keep our pearly whites exactly that. Here's a way to make at-home bleaching more effective: Brush first with Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste. The paste has more silica than regular toothpaste, which gets our teeth extra clean--like we've just been to the dentist or eaten a crunchy apple. That way your teeth can absorb the peroxide in your bleaching product more regularly and evenly for even whiter teeth.

The paste IS safe to use everyday, but it doesn't have fluoride, so you'll still need to brush with a conventional paste.

In a special offer for JSG readers, we're excited to be giving away 10 .85 oz tubes of Crest Weekly Clean. Just email us your name and address to jetsetgirls@gmail.com by Monday September 29 and you'll be entered to win.

Nars Jungle Red and The Women

The Women
We couldn't do a better job of writing up the history of Nars Jungle Red nail polish than the lovely ladies at Sephora's Beauty and the Blog already did. In brief, the color has a starring role in The Women (both the original play, movie and now the remade movie).

We were inspired to try this polish for our change-of-season pedicure and took it over to our local salon. If you looked up True Red in the dictionary, you would find a photo of Nars Jungle Red polish, meaning it's not a berry red we might wear in summer and it's not a burgundy we might wear in winter.

Our original plan was to do our fingernails in Sephora by OPI's Metro Chic, thinking the red/gray combo would be eye-catching, but once we saw Jungle Red on our toes, we knew we had to try it on our hands, too.

The funny part is, just like in The Women, Jungle Red caused quite a stir at our local nail salon. A fellow salon-goer wanted the color for her own mani, but was dismayed to find out the salon didn't offer the color. Not to worry, unlike some of the women in the movie, JSG definitely are not the type about whom you would say: "There's a name for women like that that's rarely used outside a kennel." (If that doesn't make sense, see the movie.) We happily let her borrow our polish.

We checked in with our favorite manicurist, Erica Marton of the Sally Hershberger Face Place. She tells us that the color is a top pick at her salon, too: She only has a small amount of the polish left and it's still September. She recommends using a top coat 2 or 3 days into the mani to keep the color from chipping. And for those looking for a less expensive option (it sells for $16), Erica recommend Essie's Bordeaux (a bargain at $8).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Musings on Fall Fashion

Eighties influences are all over these days from slouchy boots, balloon skirts and shoulder pads to Katie pegging her jeans and Mary Kate wearing leg warmers. This summer Chanel gave us florescent nail polish and Marc Jacobs gave us the perfect purple handbag. Now, we're nervously wondering, who's bringing back paisley? Trust us if you can't remember yourself, there was a time in the late 80's when everyone was wearing what looked like shower curtains and bedspreads. Hell, we had our own pair of Guess jeans with a faded teal paisley print and skinny zippered ankles.

Here's how it could happen: DVF will show a beautiful flowing dress in a just passable light blue paisley, and instead of letting that dress stand alone, everyone is going to copy her, especially Liz Claiborne and Ann Taylor.

Funny thing is we found this top at Banana and, well, it's totally do-able. Who's a slave to fashion?

A Peek Inside Nicole Darmanin's Carry On

JSG has a mutual love affair going on with Nicole Darmanin, publicist for Mario Badescu. We adore the legendary New York facial emporium, their gentle products, which magically fix every skin problem under the sun and the charming Nicole, herself. And we're proud to say, Nicole has been a loyal JSG fan from the beginning!

Nicole has been traveling a lot recently, from glamorous Istanbul to the decidedly less Indianapolis. Here's what we found in Nicole's Carry On:

I purchased 21:Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich on my way back from Turkey but when I got on the plane that’s the movie that was playing! I saved it and am going to read it on my flights to and from Indianapolis this week.

I felt like I was 12 when I asked for then received a Nintendo DS last Christmas, but it totally saves me on the subway, on airplanes and at the laundromat. My favorite games are Brain Age, My Spanish Coach, Professor Layton and the Curious Village and anything Super Mario!

Super Mario
I put on Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum before I fly then again when I freshen up right before I land. It keeps my skin hydrated without clogging it skin. I can sometimes be prone to breakouts. I also love the Mario Badescu Lip Wax SPF 15 with Rose Hip Oil.

I try to fly with no makeup on except concealer. Right before landing I wipe my face with an Anti-Bacterial Wet Ones and reapply Herbal Hydrating Serum and Lip Wax then just a little makeup so that I look as bright and shiny as possible.

I blend a little of Three Custom Color Water Colors in Pink Hyacinth onto the apples of my cheeks. The emollient formula and pretty pink shade brighten and give a dewy highlight.

I love Armour Lipglosses! The Gypsy shade is a sheer and fleshy with the finest gold shimmer and makes my lips look pouty and perfect.

In lieu of eye makeup I throw on an oversized pair of sunglasses. The pair that I wore out this summer, but am still wearing, are Burberry.

Finally, after two horrible ‘flying while sick’ experiences in a row, I’ve begun taking preventative measures. I drink Airborne for 2-3 days before I fly then again while I’m flying. The On-The-Go little packets are easy to carry along.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obagi ZO Skin Health Review: Week 4 and Beyond

We made it through three weeks of our Oabgi ZO Skin Health trial before disaster struck. No, we didn’t have a major breakout, but our luggage that we had packed it in was stolen off the street while we were packing our rental car for a road trip. (We still haven’t quite gotten over the loss of our month old Marc Jacobs bikini.) Thus our trial ended a little earlier and more abruptly than we planned on.

We realize that our experience is unique and that many of our criteria for evaluating skincare products may be different from yours. That said, our feelings on the Obagi ZO Skin Health are decidedly mixed. While we did see a reduction in brown spots, we never got over missing a rich, creamy moisturizer. Throughout our 30s, we’ve tried a wide range of skin care products, probably more than is good for us, truth be told. While we do have some favorites, nothing has ever given us miraculous results. Given that we’re not looking for or expecting anything major, we tend to prefer products that we enjoy applying—they feel good going on and have a light scent. (Right now, we’re really enjoying the Kate Sommerville Nourish products and the Prescriptives Vibrant-C moisturizer.)

Beyond the tactile aspect of the Obagi products, the jury is out on how our skin was actually looking. We went for a B. Kamins Diamond Radiance Facial at the Tribecca Beauty Spa five days after we suddenly stopped using the Obagi products. Our aesthetician was very critical of our skin and told us we had “double skin” on our forehead (we’re not even sure what this means, nor did we understand her explanation) and said our skin was extremely irritated.

The facial started with a Deep Detox Microstimulator with ginger and clove that is supposed to remove impurities and improve circulation. It was very tingly and hot on our face, more so than other chemical peels we’ve used in the past. That was followed by the most painful extractions we’ve ever experienced—and we’ve been getting facials since we were 15.

Next up was a soothing facial massage with cucumber and mango serum, then a second mask: Radiance Rejuvenating masque, which smelled like peppermint and features green tea extract.

We realize that our skin was still getting used to the Retinol in the Obagi products and this may not have been the right facial at the right time. With our skin in the process of rebuilding itself, we should have taken it easy. Our face was red for a few hours after the facial.

A day later, our skin was super soft—and flaky once again. We lived with it for two days, then decided to go back to our tried and true Prescriptives products for an at-home facial. Our skin has been in good shape ever since. Was it the Obagi products? The B. Kamins facial? The Prescriptives regimen? A combo of all three? We're not sure.

In the meantime, the people at Obagi were kind enough to take pity on the theft of our luggage and sent over another starter kit. Hope volunteered to test it out, to give you another opinion on the products. We’ll see how her experiences compare.

Click here for the reviews from week 1, week 2 and week 3.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thanks, Connie and Jamie!

JSG was super-honored to contribute to not only one, but two of our favorite blogs this week!

Check out our best packing secret on The Daily Obsession.

And learn more about Annie on the Beauty of Life's First Look Fridays.

A Peek Inside Robert Verdi's Carry On Bag

One of our highlights of fashion week was visiting the Robert Verdi Luxe Lab. Not only did we get to meet Robert, we had one of our biggest celeb sightings EVER, our red headed idol, Julianne Moore. While there, we took a peek inside Robert's carry on bag.

Robert totes the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Travel set with its travel-ready, FAA-compliant products to keep fresh-faced and fabulous. In the kit are the classic formulations of Ultra Facial Cleanser, Ultra Facial Toner, Ultra Facial Moisturizer and Lip Balm #1.

For pictures and videos, Robert uses his pocket size KODAK Zi6-video camera to capture the moment and easily upload the film to any USB port.

Robert's carry on bag this fall is the Ferragamo Amber Alligator Satchel, which he calls, "this season’s on-the-road it bag."

Between Robert's sprawling roster of clients and his own jet-set schedule, it's imperative that he stay plugged in using the FlyBook laptop. The laptop has a swivel monitor which was designed especially for use on planes, allows for easy Internet connectivity in 230 countries and weighs in at a stylish 3.5 pounds.

As tech savvy as he is, Robert still keeps hard copies of everything in his Coach planner.

Sunglasses are Robert's trademark, so he keeps the season's hottest pair with him at all times. Right now he's rocking Carreras from Safilo.

Robert's secret for getting the low-down on the way to the next hot-spot are the slim, portable Phaidon Wallpaper City Guides.

city guides

Want to know what Madonna's stylist Andy Le Compte travels with? Look inside his carry on bag.

On Our Radar: The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island

The holidays will be here before you know it. We're not normally sweet freaks; but starting with Halloween (we'll just have a couple of these little Snickers), then Thanksgiving (only a small slice of pie please) to our friend Meg's annual Christmas cookie party (can we have some sangria with our Mexican wedding cookies?); this time of year is wicked to our waistline. Wouldn't it be great to indulge in these treats without paying the price on the scale? The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island is offering just that: guilt-free spa treatments using organic seasonal ingredients. In November, their featured treatments include a Pump-skin Latte Hydration Facial (goodbye Starbucks' pumpkin latte!) using pumpkin puree to correct summer's damage. In December, they offer a Cranberry Pomegranate Facial which uses the ruby fruits to sooth your skin followed by a chocolate mousse mask and sugar plum moisturizer. In January, they have Champagne Facial and Body Treatments and February has Chocolate and Cherry Jubilee Manicures and Pedicures. These decadent treatments are available November 1st through February 28th with the offerings changing each month.

We're headed to the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island next weekend and will get back to you on our visit including the spa. We're looking forward to carving out a couple more beach days on this gorgeous oceanfront resort.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Clinique Modern Matte Fall 2008

We've been wearing our Prescriptives Fall 2008 collection for weeks and it's only the middle of September. We were equally impressed with the sophisticated, defined, matte look by Clinique in the Modern Matte collection available for fall.

Our favorites are first, the Defining Liner for Lips in Sugared Fig. We picked ours up at Macy's as soon as we saw it. Not only is it a great color, flattering for light and dark complexions, it has a built-in sharpener in the cap. We are constantly borrowing our girlfriends' sharpeners on vacation. There is something about remembering to pack one that is totally beyond us.

Next we chose the High Impact Lip Color in Plum Nude, not only does it have SPF 15; but it will go with all our purple...

Lastly, the Colour Surge Eye Shadows in Stone Violet and Slate are a great way to wear plums without looking retro 80's purple.

Cities with the Best Shopping

We definitely have our favorite standby by destinations, where we know we'll have a fab time, shopping, partying and spa-ing (no big surprise, they're Miami and Vegas). But we do like to mix it up, diversify and explore new cities from time to time. The question then always becomes where? And how do we know the destination will have what we're looking for?

This is the time of year our favorite cheat sheet is released, courtesy of Travel and Leisure. Their guide to America's Favorite Cities 2008 is a handy breakdown of cities by various key categories. The ones that interest us most are:

Best Shopping
No surprise here that Annie's hometown of NYC ranks first overall. What we didn't know is that New Orleans is tanked top for vintage stores/flea market. One more reason to visit the Big Easy. Charleston, where Hope is today, ranks second overall. We'll expect a full report.

Best Nightlife
Again, no shockers here with Las Vegas taking top honors. What we didn't realize is that Chicago comes in 6th, ahead of Los Angeles and Nashville (shown above). Time to revisit the Windy City? Um..maybe next spring.

Attractive People and Smart People
We're trying not to take it personally that New York ranks 8th in this category and D.C. is 21st (ouch!). Worse, NYC is 9th for intelligent people. At least D.C. comes in at 7th. What cities do rank? No shock that Miami has the most beautiful people (Props to them. That Latin influence does make the city sizzle.) and Seattle has the most intelligent (does nerdy automatically equal intelligent?).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Girlfriend Spa Concierge at the Willow Stream Spa

Arizona SpaHere's an idea we're solidly behind: The Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont in Scottsdale, Arizona has introduced a Girlfriend Spa Concierge. What the heck is that, you may be asking? Well, like regular concierges the Girlfriend Spa Concierge (aka Holly Miller, herself the picture of health. See below.) helps arrange your trip and gives you the inside scoop, it just so happens that her focus happens to be on group spa trips. She'll help select and schedule you and your friends' appointments so they're at the same time, so you can still have lunch together and pool time in the afternoon.

In addition to setting up group trips, the GSC also arranges packages. Some she has already put together for guests include a Glamorous Getaway with an anti-aging facial, mani and pedi and desert purification experience (a detoxifying body treatment) and the Active Spa Excursion which pairs a sports massage and deep cleansing facial with activities like a hike to the Grand Canyon.

She's also there to answer your questions about individual treatments, packing for the destination and spa etiquette. For example, if your therapist is overly chatty, Holly says it is OK to close your eyes and tell her you're searching for inner peace. She also acts as a regular concierge and can help steer you towards the most happening restaurants and chicest shopping.

Rumor has it more Willow Stream Spas will have Girlfriend Spa Concierges soon. Need one in NYC or DC? This sounds like the perfect job for Annie and Hope!

Spa concierge

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who is Veruschka?

When we interviewed Orlando Pita backstage at the Diane Von Furstenberg show, he said Veruschka was his inspiration for the long flowing locks, which he said were "very Bohemian, very natural, fresh, clean and windblown as if she were in the desert." We played along as if we had every idea what or who Veruschka was.

The second we got home, we checked it out on Wikipedia, to remedy our ignorance. For those who are as clueless as JSG, according to the internet's encyclopedia, Veruschka was a top model in the 60s and 70s, a favorite of photographer's Irving Penn, Peter Beard, Francesco Scavullo and Richard Avedon. She was born in Prussia and her father was executed for trying to assassinate Hitler. And judging by the photo, her gorgeousness is worthy of inspiring fashion forty years down the line!

By the time we got to the Milly show and Kevin Ryan said Veruschka was his muse for the hair, we instantly got the reference. Who says fashion and education don't mix?

Charleston Bound

We leave tomorrow for a short trip to Charleston, S.C. at the urging of a fellow JSG. See, she's been hearing what a fab shopping/eating/walking around town Charleston is and she wants to visit before going down the mommy road (for the third time that is...). We're staying at the elegant Charleston Place Hotel and will give you the dish when we get back. Our question to you: is there a restaurant, boutique, or dare-we-say cultural spot (ya know first shots of the Civil War stuff) we can't miss? Let us know! And we'll let you know if we meet any hot Southern gents.

Less Expensive Vibrating Mascara and Other Inside Dish from Estee Lauder

Turbo Lash vibrating mascaraAt the Total Beauty/Estée Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Cocktail party last week, we were SO honored to have the chance to mingle with top execs, especially Dan Brestle, the president of Estée Lauder North America and Canada. He amused JSG and the other bloggers with tales of his days as the head of Clinique and Prescriptives. Turns out that back in the day Dan used to bribe flight attendants with free Clinique lipstick to get upgraded to first class!

And just in case you were wondering, the 29 companies under the Estée Lauder umbrella really are run separately. So much in fact, that when Dan was at Clinique and had to walk by the president of the Estée Lauder brand's office, he would call ahead so she could shut her door!

We also asked about the move towards more eco-friendly products. Dan says that each brand is heading up its own initiatives, with Aveda making the most headway. He did say the company is looking for a way to make more recyclable and reusable packaging (JSG hates that a compact with plastic, metal and glass can't be recycled, so this one is close to our heart).

Our ears really perked up when he started talking about the Estée Lauder Turbolash Motion Mascara. No surprise--the vibrating mascara has been consistently selling out at Saks, the only place where you can currently buy it. What we were delighted to hear is that Dan and his team are hard at work making the $30 mascara more affordable. We love that the company is doing that even while the mascara has been flying off the shelves. We have yet to try it ourselves, but plan to buy a tube ASAP!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spa Week Starts Today in the West Coast...

girls in steam room
...And if you live in New York, Texas, Chicago, D.C. or 10 other regions--book your appointment now for the week of October 13-19. This is the time of year we live for, when spas offer $50 treatments. Participating spas were announced today, so beat the rush and call today!

High on our list: a mani/pedi at NYC's Salon AKS; a spray tan at NYC's Completely Bare (a must for a Miami weekend); a 45 minute massage at the Bliss in Dallas (lucky!); an aromatherapy facial at Chicago's Channings or a Glamour Gal package at D.C.'s Skin Beauty Lounge, which includes an eyelash application, pink Malibu manicure, and eyebrow wax. For a complete listing, check out Spa Week.

We feel more relaxed and beautiful just typing up this list!

Trends from Fashion Week Spring '09

Here are the trends we like from New York's Fashion Week Spring '09. From the shows we saw, it was all about chiffon, organza, lace and glitter. Seen at Diane von Furstenberg:

Erin Fetherston

and Tracy Reese, to name a few.
From the shows we wish we had seen: Marc Jacobs cemented his title as New York's fashion visionnaire.
We'll continue to hope that one day we can afford Vera Wang.

Michael Kors got us excited to wear blue.

Donna Karan is a girl after our own heart with all her metallic.

Is it spring yet?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Flight Attendant

In the New York Times, "Flying the Unfriendly Skies", Michelle Higgins gives us an inside look at being a flight attendant. All we can say is, those folks deserve a raise!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fashion Week Spring '09: JSG's highlights

We survived another fashion week--though as Simon Doonan pointed out in the Daily, it's not exactly war. When asked how he prepares for fashion week, Simon responded, "It seems embarrassing that you would have to prepare for sitting around and getting your picture taken and eating hors' d'oeuvres and going to fashion shows. It's not like you are going to Zimbabwe or Darfur."

With that in mind, here's a recap of a few of our favorite moments.

We kicked off the week on the Brooklyn Bridge for the Fashion Indie sponsored show. It was a fresh venue for an original show. Here the Mandate of Heaven models vogue it up!

Mandate of Heaven
Backstage at Diane Von Furstenberg, we loved witnessing the moment Diane greeted hairstylist Orlando Pita. "O-R-Lando" she cooed out with genuine enthusiasm and sincerity.

Diane von Furstenberg
MAC dinners are always a highlight of our fashion week. This year's held at Suba was no different. Read the recap by Beyond Beauty Basics.

The Estee Lauder-breast cancer awareness cocktail party for bloggers was truly special and made us feel respected and honored as bloggers. We couldn't do a better job of writing it up than Beauty's SPOT.

We were wowed when the Cowboy Junkies played the otherwise lackluster Ports 1961 show. We seem to be in the minority, however. The only other person who was equally impressed was our SO who couldn't believe we didn't video tape the performance for him. (Sorry, honey!)

cowboy junkies
Chatting with designer Joanna Mastroianni at the American Express Skybox before the Milly show was a definite treat.
joanna mastroianni
Munching on Pop Rocks from the W Hotel VIP backstage lounge made us feel like a kid again. Until we followed them up with a glass of bubbly. Bad idea.

W Hotel backstage suite
We enjoyed catching up with fellow bloggers, Yuli from MyItThings and Nitro.licious at the Louis Vuitton party, almost as much as we enjoyed ogling the hot photographers, playing roulette and drinking one more glass of Moet than we should have.
Louis Vuitton party
Check back Monday for our favorite NYC Fashion Week Spring '09 trends.
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