I love my beauty trunks as there are a number of goodies that are in there for any given situation. Since I'm always receiving mascaras, eyeshadows and more prior to their release, I know that whatever look I'm going for is bound to be in one of cases! With that said, sometimes I go for what speaks to me in theory - it's not even lifestyle specific. Right now I'm definitely loving a few pieces that will be included in future outings from traveling, brunch and just being out and about.
My inspiration comes from this fabulous multi colored cocktail ring which reminds me of a kaleidoscope from Sharon Khazzam who is known for her one of a kind pieces. I love a great ring and many of you know that it's my signature without a doubt. This ring has a number of colors in it which also inspired me when I'm thinking of looking great for whatever the occasion happens to be.
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Last week, I attended HSN's Oz Preview which had a number of brands that had created products for the launch of the movie which is coming out on Friday (so excited). Urban Decay created two kinds of color palettes and I have been loving the one I received which embodies Glinda the Good Witch! The collection comes with eyeshadows, eyeliner and a lip pencil. It's such a great number of hues and I love that everything (minus the lip pencil) can be stored within the case. Another eyeshadow favorite (which is perfect for smoky eyes) of mine is Sue Devitt and although I have the purple version of this, the green Marine Minerals is definitely on trend and a great series of hues to have. Another eyeshadow that I love is YSL's Ombre in Topaz Blue! When I feel that it's a bit bright, I love blending it in with charcoal. Another beauty fave that pulls tones of the ring into this selection is Deborah Lippmann's Ruby Slippers which is a rich garnet with a bit of shimmer.
Obviously great skin is maintained skin! I LOVE cleansing wipes and have a number of brands I use that are amazing in a number of ways. I also carry a to go version with me as there are times where I have to change from one makeup look to another - these Sephora Express Cleansing Wipes are perfect! I think it can never be said enough but SPF regardless of whether the sun is out, regardless of the season and DEFINITELY regardless of your skin tone is an essential. I just started trying out Murad's Age-Proof Suncare Oil Free Sunblock. I love that it has pom in it and is great coverage for the skin.
Hands are a key part for our beauty look as they do some serious double duty as they showcase our rings, we use them to gesture and more! I love getting my manis done at a salon; however, there are times when I do it myself due to a quick change or simply wanting to do it. With that said, here are my must have picks when it comes to have the necessary items whether you're doing it from the beginning or just doing something quickly!
First off, I love making sure that everything has its proper container. I have a been a fan of Stephanie Johnson for years and keep all my nail care items within her cases as it's easy to transport as well as it allows me to see what I have. She has so many styles and fabrics, it's fun to have a number of collections and is a must to keep things organized at home and when you travel.
When it comes to tools, I love the Nail Experts 4-in-1 Salon Manicure Kit which fits easily in the hand by Avon and I always have my Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit as well. When it comes to prepping your nail for a polish change, I am OBSESSED with Crabtree & Evelyn's Nail Polish Remover Wipes which contains one wipe per packet. Each packet has quite a large removal wipe which allows you to clean all 10 nails and it doesn't have that medicinal smell! At first, I thought that the wipes were dry but note that there is plenty of solution on them to do the job. In addition, to ensure that your cuticle and nail are nourished, use Nail Experts Green Tea Cuticle Serum which is also available at Avon. I placed this on the cuticle and rubbed it in and then continued to apply it across my nail.
One of my favorite hues that I'm rocking currently is Crabtree & Evelyn's nail polish in the hue Black Cherry! I love how rich and dark it looks and how it spreads evenly across the nail.
Continuing to take care of your hands is an essential even when you're not updating your mani! Hands stay smooth and amazing when you exfoliate them. I suggest using Project Fig as it has a great smell. I love making sure that my hands stay clean with The Body Shop's Absinthe Purifying Hand Gel has a cooling effect and a slight musk/sage smell that works well for men and women. In addition, I am a huge believer in making sure that my hands are moisturized and why not do it with a bit of SPF (they have 30, 50 and 70)! As today is the last day of January, you may not have known that these past 30 days were actually a part of National Oatmeal Month. Aveeno is an oatmeal based product that many with sensitive skin enjoy using due to its benefits. Although my skin isn't sensitive, I do love the nourishing value that comes from the ingredients and love putting this in my routine!
A few weeks ago I went to Beam Laser Spa. Now, my avid Kitten readers know that I went to Beam Laser Spa a few years ago for hair removal under my arms. Every so many weeks I had to do treatments and after just a few, I was hair free. I know that others had to go the standard amount of times but I was pleased that I felt comfortable at the location (on the Upper West Side - 1844 Broadway Ste #900 NY, NY) and that they had the kind of laser that worked for my skin and would not cause issues such as lightening my skin! So when I was asked to try this out on my bikini line I knew I had to! We all love wearing our bikinis going to the beach and knowing that not having to worry about this portion of my body - it was a no brainer.
As I prepped for going in, I knew that there could be mild pain. I'm not going to lie, I had a shot of vodka before I went in. I also knew that I would have my Rosewater Toner Mist which works well on my brows after I have had them threaded at Shobha. I had also been told that since they needed to understand my hair growth, you had to be able to show them. Once there, the procedure for this area only took 15 minutes and the stress balls they had was a great way to take my mind off the treatment. Half way through, I knew I couldn't go further with the treatment. I think that the combo of a laser being near skin that was over the bone when you got to the pelvic area as well as the areas that got closer to your sensitive areas made it a bit much for me. I was told that I could come back to have the other half done. It was suggested that I should use Lidocaine (the gel is suggested but I had the cream) but only the kind with 5%. Beam offered to order it as they didn't have it in their offices (costs $65) but I happened to have some and I love that you can use it for a number of your treatments. Just know that you will have to come a half hour before your treatment so that they can apply it and then you can let it begin to numb your skin.
Before I left, I was told that you have to keep the lasered areas covered as it is sensitive to light and definitely to use SPF (I love the Anew Avon lotion which has SPF 30 on it). When you do a laser treatment, it's standard that in 2 weeks you'll begin to go through a shedding process and are encouraged to exfoliate over the area to assist the process. I definitely suggest Shobha's exfoliating cloth. I did this about every other day.
Although you have 6 weeks in between you first and second treatment, since I had to come back to finish the bottom half, I was back in 2 weeks. This time with the Lidocaine, I didn't feel anything. It's more the sensation of knowing that you feel a quick zap and then as soon as you feel it it's gone! I will be back in about a week or so but have to say that the results are amazing and if you're someone who has always thought of using it, definitely consider it!
On a rainy afternoon earlier this week, I headed to Milos for a Beauty Brunch that was hosted by my friend and Social Media Director, Michelle Joni Lapidos of Spa Week - also make sure to check out their blog as well. The brunch allowed attendees to sit and chat skincare with Miami Beach based Dermatologist, Dr Loretta who has her own practice, a skincare line in her own name as well as a line that does private label for various spas. For those that follow Kitten Lounge on Facebook, you saw a number of my videos popping up talking about how gum (sugarless free is suggested) is great to keep your neck muscles firm, her skincare's innovation with stem cells that contain lavendar as well as other information regarding African Americans and the types of peels that they should use. The video above shares why we should apply new beauty products to only half of our face as they are done during clinical trials! It's a great way of seeing how well the product works for you and what results you can expect to see - a novel idea and one that we should always remember to do!
In addition to a fabulous lunch, we were able to have many of our skincare issues answered as well as to test a number of products within the Dr Loretta line including Age Change Daily Moisturizer (includes SPF 30+ which is perfect to use day and night), Age Change Body (which is great for all skin types and allows your skin to glow) and Age Change Eye (which lessens dark circles, bags and puffiness and protects the thin skin that is around the eye area). These can be purchased individually OR you can select the Age Change Kit which allows you to receive the Age Change Body for free when you purchase the Age Change Eye as well as the Age Change Face (which is the daily moisturizer).
You know its hot when I passed up the opportunity to go out because I knew there would be a wait to get a cab and I didn't want to stand there sweaty waiting for it. For those fearless women who will brunch regardless and still believe in dressing to the nines - do so while keeping hydrated of course! Today's posts echos the sentiment of looking fabulous while keeping in mind that we are still in the midst of a heat wave that we are all battling in our own way! I imagined sorbet in a dream and it became the inspiration of this morning's post. Free People has a fabulous sleeveless colorblocked swing style dress that I am so loving. It mixes in that classic raspberry sorbet color, a nice peach hue as well as a lavendar. It's whimsical, will help you stay cool and is perfect for allowing you a full range of motion.
Pair it up with your sandals of choice as we have a million gladiators laying around begging to be worn. I'm loving this satin sorbet Cole Haan clutch which is perfect for brunch and finalize the look with additional whimsy from Noir Jewelry with a parakeet! It's all about staying phenomenally cool, making sure you are SPF'd up and that you're having fun while doing so!
I'm not one for one piece bikinis usually; however, Norma Kamali was influenced by Parisian style of the 30's and made the Bill swimsuit in 1976! This bikini has been apart of her collections and was worn by Cynthia Nixon's character, Miranda, on Sex and the City - the movie, has been included in a number of shoots over the past decades and is one of those items that are a must to have in the closet! What I love the most about this look is the ruching and although it is Parisian inspired, I also get a bit of that old Hollywood feel about it as well! With a classic look, whether you're wearing this to the beach or a private pool party, you don't need much to make this look phenomenal. So I wanted to share items that come along with me when I'm out! Last year, Norma Kamali took this classic Bill style and made a $98 version of it which is available exclusively at her flagship store in NYC (love that I live 2 mins from there) and online. To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the suit at this price point (which is available in a number of colors and is shown above in Steel), she is giving away 4 suits this month in July on her Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr and Twitter pages!
We're so all about the sun and protection and each of the four posts today have involved a giveaway component so our last post had to include this as well! As apart of the Eucerin Ambassador program, we're focusing on Eucerin that includes great skin and sun care together with SPF in their lotions for the body as well as the face! We've all known about this brand but it's always nice to be reintroduced! So while you get to know more about them, I wanted to let you know that next month is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month! As many of us are aware, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. So as the temps rise and more of your activities include an outdoor component, make sure that you don't leave the house without SPF on your skin and don't be stingy, continue to reapply every 2 hours especially when you have toweled off, been swimming or have been sweating!
Begin stocking up now and make sure that it's around the house as well as leaving tubes in your bag as well. If you're meeting up with people to hang out, make sure to bring extra - sharing is caring, make sure that your friends are protected as well. SO with that said, how do you ensure that your skin is protected? We will continue to have this giveaway through May 5th so there is plenty of time to share. One winner will receive Eucerin Everyday Protection SPF 15 & 30; Body and Face Lotion plus a Vera Bradley umbrella to help shield you from the sun and a matching cosmetic case to carry your SPF.
Oh when I pack, I pack! Here is it that I will be away for about a week where I will be on a press trip in Miami for Schick, on to Mickey's House in Disney and then continuing on to Ft Lauderdale for some R&R! But before that, it takes me about a day to think about everything that I will be bringing with me. Today is a peek into my carry on bag! The bag is obviously familiar as it was used in my photoshoot for the Coach MYNY Fall campaign that is currently on their site for Fall! I'm loving that this bag will head to the airport with me! Now I had to show you some of the items that will be in my bag as they are my essentials!
In addition to my guilty pleasure of Life & Style, I will have Alphabet City by one of my new friends John Paul Buchmeyer which I am so excited to begin reading and is perfect when you're hanging out in the cabanas poolside! Because this trip is all about R&R I know that I will enjoy some bevvies so just in case I get a bit of a headache, I have some Migralex which is an organic headache medicine! When it get's too hot out there I love having my Dickinson's which keeps me cool and refreshed whether I'm getting out of a plane or turning over in my chair at the Delano! I get super thirsty on the way to the airport so I'm happy to have Drink Neuro with me which I will have Sleep with me as I have definitely been missing that over the past few weeks. I plan to be refreshed when I wake up from my slumber to hit the ground running when I head to Miami as there is much to do! With all the sun that I'll be soaking in, I need to have it in a safe way so Jane Iredale is coming strong with the SPF Translucent puff as well as the Lip Drink that has SPF in it as well! What else is in my bag? Well I'll let you know when I finish packing but I can't wait to finish. It'll have to wait as I'm on my way to Suffren, NY to Avon's R&D plant to learn about #LotusShine which is a new haircare product that will be available soon!
Earlier this week I found myself heading to the Upper East Side to Serafina, almost feeling like one of the fab 4 from Sex and the City, I was on the way to a private dining room to hear from the creator of Jane Iredale, who just so happens to be the lady herself (love when the name of the brand is actually the person) and Dr Katz, a respected dermatologist. This line was the first one that was mineral based and had components that were good for your skin! As many of us celebrated the Summer Solstice (the official kick off to the summer), diners downstairs received full samples of her Jane Iredale Powder Me Up SPF. I love that it comes in a tan tone and a translucent so for those that you're not only protected from the sun but you can apply the tan version as a means to have a little bronze effect. In addition, we were walked through the entire collection such as the Lip Drink which is a lip balm with SPF that as mentioned by Jeannine Morris of Beauty Sweet Spot, it smelled like lemonade! With all the different eyeshadow hues that I finally saw up close, I was very impressed with the varying hues of the foundation! Being someone who is a medium shade, I find that there is a scarcity of hues but Jane Iredale has you covered and there is SPF in this as well!
What I really took away from Jane who is standing up talking with about 20 or so bloggers (loved chatting with Aly Walansky and Kristin Booker who I saw throughout the week and will be included in another post for today), is when I was able to have some one on one time with her! She used to work in entertainment as a casting director in theater and lived here in the city for a number of years. In the day she worked to put this fabulous line together as she came here from England not knowing anyone, having 40 pounds in her pocket and two watches that she wanted to sell when she got here! At night she did her job in the theaters. Here in NYC or anywhere really, we're all multitasking doing what we have to do to make things work while squeezing as much time as possible for our passion. She's definitely someone who finally got to focus on her passion and do that full time! With a passion for the line, as well as updating her blog (she has own blog that she updates as well as one that is about makeup in general), she was very down to earth and it's an amazing way to spend the day!
I also have to say that I have eaten at Serafina on the west side but love the one on the East just as much! Any lunch that is Prosecco filled, has a gorgeous walnut salad and is then followed by a chicken and mashed potato combo that was scrumptious and ends with a berry tart that was the best one I have ever had is definitely a meal worth repeating! I also have to say that I was super pleased to see a Eugenia Kim straw hat in my goodie bag! Beyond thrilled especially since I had planned on going to the sample sale they were running but have been unable due to the hectic schedule this week!
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As an Accessories Expert, Kimmie appears on HSN, designs, is quoted/featured in various publications talking about style from an Accessories Forward perspective! To work with Kimmie or to see project portfolio, visit her site here.
Kimmie is the Co-Founder/Creative Director of Shoe Week which launched during NYFW Sept '12 and is styling a number of shows as well as having evening leading up to our second season of shows during NYFW Sept '13.
Co-Founder, Kimmie, connects brands with bloggers in intimate event settings via Style Tweetup.