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Beauty…Hollywood Style: My first Valentine’s Day in LA

There’s something about Valentine’s Day that makes me just not care.  But right before the big day rolls around, I always feel the need to make some kind of definitive plan so that I know that I won’t have too much time to think about how I won’t be saying “I love you” to anyone besides my parents and cat that night.  (Woe is me, right?)

Since I’m still relatively new to LA, I decided that I wanted to try out a spa in an uber chic hotel so naturally, I opted for The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie.   As soon as I heard “The Beverly Hills Hotel” I was reminded of one of my favorite childhood movies, Troop Beverly Hills when Shelley Long’s character says “her recommendations for a campsite were totally unsuitable. There were no outlets. And there was dirt, and bugs, and…and it rains there. So anyway, we’ve found a place that’s much more us: the Beverly Hills Hotel.”  Well, just like the famous hotel, there were certainly no bugs at the Spa by La Prairie.

Not only was the hotel very impressive but they also had some really amazing Valentine’s Day specials with packages that included manicures, pedicures and caviar firming facials.  I decided to go with the long standing classic: an old-fashioned 60 minute Deep Tissue Massage.  Located in the legendary Pink Palace, The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie is the place to go for pampering treatments for men and women and impeccable service. The spa upholds a strong commitment to excellence from the moment you walk through the doors and the staff went above and beyond during my visit.  My muscles were already really sore from working out a bit too hard and the Deep Tissue Massage completely loosened me up and I instantly felt better.  I can’t think of a better plan for Valentine’s Day weekend (or any weekend really) in LA!

February 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm 7 comments

Beauty…Hollywood Style: My first visit home to New York

The body’s ability to become accustomed to temperature is quite astonishing.  It’s been four months since I moved to LA from New York and, now, I think 50 degrees is freezing!

As you can imagine, packing was a complete joy (sarcasm is my second language)–and trying to decide which sweaters and pants to pack for my 10 day trip back East was so stressful that I actually broke out in hives at one point!  Mind you, I haven’t worn any of my winter clothes in nearly a year, and so naturally I decided that I need brand new winter clothes, even if I do now live in LA.  But I digress.

Let’s just say it was a loooong 10 day sta y (home, sweet home!).  What surprised me the most was how my skin reacted to the climate change.  Between the dry, cold air and the chlorine-infused shower water, my normally already-dry skin was almost Sahara-like.

LA…I didn’t even realize how much I love you.  Empire State: see you soon.  (In the summer, I hope!)

Here’s a list of my New York trip beauty staples:

  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment: I always carry this stuff with me- it’s the only thing that prevents chapped noses and on this trip, I applied it on my lips, which have never been more dry.
  • Jurlique Love Balm: This is my latest obsession.  It astounds me that one product can be so useful…on this trip, I used the Love Balm on my fingernails, which became super dry and actually really hurt as a result of me not wearing gloves while walking around Manhattan.  I should know better, I know.
  • Mystic Tan: Seriously.  I think part of me wanted to show up to New York with the most glorious California tan imaginable but in all honesty, that could never happen.  I don’t tan.  I turn red.  And even if I could tan, I wouldn’t since I’d rather not get skin cancer.  As a result, I joined my cousin went to she went to Beach Bum Tan to distort her DNA a bit…I mocked all the Jersey Shore-looking ladies in the salon and then, for giggles, decided to just bite the bullet and re-live the days when I too, was also a Long Island resident.  They still had my name and college address in the computer.
  • Jane Iredale Dot the i: It seems so silly but I’ve become completely dependent on these.  I stayed at a friend’s house for New Year’s Eve and when I realized that I forgot to bring some with me, I almost had a melt down.  HOW was I expected to remove the 20lbs. of eye makeup that I had on?!  My friend’s answer: Toilet paper.  They will never understand.
  • Physicians Formula Organic Wear Eye Makeup Remover Pads: See above because, yes, I said toilet paper.  I don’t think I’ve ever wished for my product closet more in my entire life.  I completely took for granted how amazing (and natural!) this product is.  You don’t have to worry about putting any chemicals in your eyes and they’re BIG so you really only need to use one or two pads to get everything off.

January 7, 2010 at 5:00 am 7 comments

Beauty…Hollywood Style: Clear, Radiant Skin

So I’m still trying to get over this freak sickness that I’ve been battling for two weeks and one thing that has actually been really helping me is sleeping at night with a humidifier.  I picked up this fairly inexpensive version at Bed Bath & Beyond last week and not only have I been coughing less but, to my surprise, my skin has never looked better.  I’ve always read how amazing a humidifier is for your complexion, but I have to admit, laziness ensued and I never followed through with getting one.

I’ve also been repping an amazing product called the Wonderbar, and it’s playing a pivotal role in my skin’s freak perfection.  (“Sure, whatever, she has to push it,” you might be thinking.  So not the case.  Believe me, as a publicist, it’s kind of rare to actually adore–and use!–the products you’re handling.)  It looks like a bar of soap, but is actually a compressed skin treatment that you leave on for 5 minutes daily to undergo a “healing crisis” that draws out impurities, restores your skin’s pH, and–eventually–lets you enjoy the kind of glowy, I-don’t-need-to-wear-makeup thing I’ve got going on now.

It’s not cheap per se ($105 for the 80g bar) but it lasts 3-4 months and is a panacea for skin ailments: my rosacea has dramatically improved, my acne and hyperpigmentation are non-existent, and my skin is just glowing.  (My skin!  Glowing!)  Check out more here to read the rest of Wonderbar’s benefits, which, on top of rosacea, also include acne, eczema and ingrown hairs.  Wonder, indeed.

December 10, 2009 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Beauty…Hollywood Style: Being sick in Los Angeles

These last few days mark my very first time being sick in LA!  Pretty exciting stuff, no?  It’s been surprisingly difficult staying in and not enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather, considering the fact that I feel absolutely awful.  From what all of my LA friends have been telling me, something has been “going around” and apparently I’m one of the lucky people to catch it.  What’s also completely not cool about this sickness is that I have NO IDEA what is wrong with me.  My symptoms?  A persistent dry cough, achiness and loss of voice.  Maybe I’m dying!  (Hmm…and also coming down with a case of hypochondria.  Perhaps Hollywood really is rubbing off on me.)

Anyway, while I stay inside my Hollywood apartment, I’ve been entertaining myself by blogging, watching terrible reality TV shows that I’ve never watched before (examples: Tough Love and Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew) and getting plenty of sleep.  I actually slept for 13 hours last night, which is something I haven’t done since my senior year of college when I only had classes after 1PM.

Why am I ok with this?  I’ve been really making an effort to let my body heal itself, which, in the past is something that I would’ve had a difficult time doing while running around Manhattan in the rain and going from event to event.  Not this time, ladies!  (more…)

November 17, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment

Beauty…Hollywood Style: Local skincare

chivas_starter-kit-300x135So I’m still living (and loving) the SoCal lifestyle that I keep raving about, and another delightful aspect of LA that I adore is how eco-chic everyone.  I’ll admit, natural brands have always intrigued me–hell, I’ve even done PR for a few–but when forced to choose between amazing products with chemicals and the eco brand, I choose the chemical version every…single…time.  (You only live once, right?)

This was my theory until I tried an amazing line called Chivas Skincare based right here in Southern California.  I’m a sucker for good packaging and Chivas Skincare definitely has that down pat with their eco-friendly recyclable packaging–and on top of that, everything in the line (and I mean everything) smells divine.

What I love almost as much as the actual product is the story behind the brand.  Mother and daughter team Donna and Lauren own a small farm just outside Los Angeles where they raise French Alpine goats, which is how they get the goat milk for the products…and yes, they hand milk their own goats.  Seriously.  As a New Yorker, I don’t think I’ve ever even touched a goat.  (Well, okay, there’s a slight possibly that I might have touched one as a child while visiting the Catskill Farm in Upstate New York…but I’m 100% positive that I’ve never milked one.  I digress.)

The more I learned about Chivas, the more I fell in love.  They also use fair trade shea butter and hand wrap each bar of soap individually.  Chivas Skincare is a labor of love and there’s something very SoCal about that.

November 4, 2009 at 11:34 pm 1 comment

Beauty…Hollywood Style: A day in Santa Monica

santa-monica-beach-santa-monica-ca400If you’ve been reading my last few stories, you know that since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve not only been learning to relax but I’ve also mastered Lauren Conrad beach waves!  My next quest?  A day of beauty in Santa Monica.  Of course, I love my Hollywood neighborhood–but the one thing that it lacks is the beach, which has always been a peaceful place for me from my childhood summers in Montauk.  It’s no real surprise that I’ve been finding recluse in Santa Monica now that I’m a West coaster. 

I decided to try a Customized Fruit Enzyme Peel Treatment at ARCONA Los Angeles and I’m a total convert.  I’m very particular about what I put on my face due to my previous bout with adult acne but this stuff is the real deal.  My facialist applied an Enzyme complex mask that gently removed dead skin cells and cleansed my pores.  My skin has the tendency to be dry and this mask was super moisturizing and smelled amazing, like a summer fruit salad.  What I loved most about this particular facial is that after the mask, the facialist applies customized serums chosen specifically for your skin type.  The serums are rich in anti-oxidants and promote circulation, helping to dissolve dry, dead skin and restore softness and smoothness.  I left ARCONA feeling like I had a brand new face!  My skin was hydrated, felt amazingly soft and looked more even in tone and texture.  (more…)

October 26, 2009 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Beauty…Hollywood Style: Learning to Relax

massageI’ve spent most of my life being told that I need to relax.  Now that I’ve been an LA resident for a little over a month now, I’m realizing that, for the first time in my life, I am relaxed.  Well, almost.

It must be something about the weather here that just makes people happier than they are in New York.  I mean, waking up to yet another morning with the sun shining into my apartment certainly makes getting up and getting ready for work a little more tolerable…not to mention that every day here is warm and sunny so I know that I’m ultimately going to have a good hair day!  I used to joke that my most miserable days in NYC were days when it would rain–and this summer, it rained QUITE often, to say the least.  (Rainy days = a not-happy Jamie.)

The first proactive step in my new California relaxation quest?  A Swedish massage.

I visited Allure Pilates Spa in Beverly Hills where I was treated to a much-needed pampering session.   (more…)

October 15, 2009 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

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