Monday, June 30, 2014



I attended the opening of the RITUALS Store in downtown NYC and was pretty blown away by the soothing ambiance and luxurious products. 
Founded in Amsterdam by Raymond Cloosterman RITUALS is internationally know and is a pioneer in the luxury home and body cosmetics industry. They carry over 400 products, from nourishing creams and scented candles to facial skincare and precious mineral makeup.  Their debut products consist of an assortment of bath, body and home cosmetics, as these categories laid the initial foundation for the brand.
Each collection combines authentic Eastern traditions with modern technology and fragrances to bring balance to the mind, body and soul.  For many centuries Japan celebrates the annual falling of the Cherry Blossoms or Sakura. Cherry blossom symbolize that beauty is momentary and life must be enjoyed. It is also a symbol for the annual awakening of nature to make every day feel like a new beginning.  The "Sakura Collection" made me feel so relaxed and rejuvenated.

Zensation: An ultra-caring foam of Rice Milk and Cherry Blossom that has a delicate relaxing fragrance, which cleanses the entire body in a silky-soft way.
 Retail: $15
I LOVED this.  It is a foaming shower gel that made my skin so soft and so smooth.  The texture is super light and airy.  I expected it to kind of like shaving cream, but it is closer to the mouse that you would use in your hair.  Out of sheer curiosity I tried it for shaving.  For me it doubled nicely and didn't cause any irritation, and my skin can be very sensitive.   The scent is so sweet and just puts you at ease. 
Sakura Scrub: A body scrub specially developed to nourish and revitalize even the driest of skins for soft and glowing skin.
 Retail: $25
I am not much into scrubs because they usually feel too harsh on my sensitive skin.  But the exfoliating beads in this sugar scrub were mixed in with other ingredients like avocado oil, so it made them feel gentler on my skin.  My skin felt nourished and moisturized, rather then roughed up like after scrubs.  It is also good to have on hand to prep my skin before my next self tanning session :D

Magic Touch: A rich, whipped body cream of Cherry Blossom and Rice Milk that intensively nourishes and firms the skin.
Retail: $25
The body cream's rich texture was an amazing follow up to the scrub and shower gel.  My skin felt refreshed and smooth.  The whole experience felt like an at home spa treatment between all the lux textures and incredible scents that swirled around my bathroom.  I like that it is considered a luxury brand, but yet doesn't break the bank.  The 6.7 fl oz. tub retails for $25 and will definitely last me a while.      


Rituals Home collection is inspired by ancient Eastern traditions like feng shui and they have a variety of fabulous scents.  Candles like this Sweet Sunrise make for great gift ideas for any summer birthdays or events you have coming up, and smell AH-mazing. 

Sweet Sunrise: Enjoy the fresh aroma of Sweet Orange and the warm, soft undertones of Cedar Wood that create a special atmosphere and fragrance in your home.
Retail: $29

 Check out all the RITUALS new collections here
Available at:
All products are available at Barney’s, and the RITUALS Store at 231 Lafayette Street, NYC




Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kiss Galaxy Effects Nail Kit

The Kiss Galaxy Effects Kit was inspired by all the stars hitting the Spring/Summer 2014 runway, and is designed to create a starry, space-like effect on your nails.  The fourth of July is a fun opportunity to get creative and this festive red, white and blue themed kit is perfect for this year's festivities!  I'll admit that sometimes I get intimidated by these kits because I'm not the best at precision, but this one tuned out to be surprisingly easy and left a really sleek, professional finish.   
Kit Includes: 

Four polishes: A royal blue, white, red glitter, clear/grayish silver/rainbow glitter top coat     
Dotting tool with sponge applicator
The kit guides you with these simple four step instructions:
1.) Start with dark colored base; apply 2 coats
2.) Apply 2nd and 3rd color polishes onto sponge; dab onto nail to create textured design
3.) Use the dotting tool to create the dots; let dry
4.) Lastly, apply glitter top coat for your stars
Step 1:

Step 2:
 (Applying red glitter with sponge)
Step 2:  
(Applying white color using sponge)

 Step 3:
(Adding dot pattern)

Step 4:
(Top coat)
I LOVE the way these came out!  I had so much fun doing them and they look pretty good if I do say so myself ;) And I liked that it was so fast.  Including dry time, it took me about 30 minutes to complete both hands, which wasn't bad.  I've discovered Kiss polishes seem to dry quickly (score!).  I'm so hooked on this set and feel really inspired to try another.  I can't wait to rock these at the fireworks this year.  What kind of look do you have planned??  Do you have a favorite Kiss Nail Kit?    
Available at: Stores
Retail: $7.99

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: TAT2U Extreme Color MakeUp

At a past beautypress event I was introduced to TAT2U Extreme Color Makeup.  The brand produces a huge range of products in vibrant colors and is widely popular for it's heavy pigmentation.  I was fortunate enough to receive some samples and I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites!

TAT2U Tiger Blush was a lovely preachy color that went well with my light skin.  It contained bits of gold glitter, (which I initially thought was just an overlay) but realized it is definitely infused with the color.  I'm not much of a glitter lover, but after application it grew on me.  The sparkles are subtle but just noticeable enough to catch some light in the sun and appears more like a shimmer.  It's a nice look for summer and creates a sun kissed effect.  The texture is smooth and velvety which made blending easy and the coverage was pretty good. This one definitely lives up to its claim of awesome pigmentation. 

As I've mentioned lately, I'm finding myself more and more impressed with the mascaras on the market.  TAT2U TAT2Lash Mascara advertises "longer, fuller, lashes" and it totally rings true.  I LOVE this mascara.  The formula is a little thick, but it didn't feel heavy or weigh down my lashes.  They stayed soft and lifted.  The applicator brush is more or less traditional, but its bristles are spaced closely together so it picks up a lot of product and made the application process pretty effortless.  I loved that this gave both length AND volume.  Many mascaras are great at one but neglect the other.  I personally didn't experience any smudging or flaking and I didn't need a can of oil to remove it.  L.O.V.E. this mascara.      

I'd definitely consider TAT2U Rock Candy Matte Lipstick  one of the creamiest lipsticks I've ever tried.  It's texture is so rich and luxe- and VERY pigmented.  It stayed on, even while eating, and proved wear well for several hours.  Of course, being that it's pink only made it more of a favorite for the season.  The matte finish helps tone down the brightness, making it a safe way to add some color without going too bold.  I've found it to be office appropriate. 

I also fell partial to their Lip Creme Extreme.  The shade I took home was Mucho Calienete, an orangey, red.  Pigmented, pigmented, PIGMENTED!  It was so vibrant that I almost wasn't sure I could pull it off.  I applied the bare minimum and had to blotted a few times to lessen the intensity.  The formula was really unique and so many words came to mind while using it.  It was as light as a feather and had this airy, marshmallow like feel too it.  It glided on during application and felt a bit like using paint.  Because it was so silky, it wasn't at all tacky or sticky.  It's perfect for nights out or summer parties. 

I'm psyched that I discovered TAT2U.  I've never worked with such amazingly pigmented products that all do what they say they going to do.  A truly great brand that I'd definitely recommend checking out.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Palio by Lorenzo Siena

Released in 2008, "Palio by Lorenzo Siena" is a men's fragrance produced by niche fragrance house Lorenzo Siena.  
Retail: $70.00 3.4 oz
As a girl who tends to fall victim to her sweet floral scents, I was surprised to find myself craving more of "Palio by Lorenzo Siena".  Described as a fragrance that "transcends time" it has an intricate combination of notes that immediately draw you in:
Top: Citrus sparkles, Fresh pineapple, Ivy greens, Mint leaf
Mid: Iced lavender, Rose, Muguet, Start Jasmine,
Dry: Sandalwood, Patchouli, White Musk
Designed for the men's market, the interesting news about this fragrance is that it has been widely popular with women.  And as I sit here wearing it, I can see the appeal.  When first applied, the fresh mint was most evident, then quickly I sensed the lavender.  After it settled on my skin, the sharpness of the mint subsided and softened into a sweet, powdery/woodsy musk. The most innovative part is the unique balance of masculinity and femininity.  The citrus sparkles, mint and sandalwood possess the strong, robust feel of a man, but its gentler notes erupt into a more sensual, breezy aroma. 
 Translated into "winner" or "prize" in Italian, "Palio by Lorenzo Siena" is one of those fragrances you can't help but treasure.  I intend to wear this for evenings out or special occasions.  It is a very distinctive scent, one that I imagine will often be associated with special memories.  Overall, a very lovely scent that is clean and not overpowering.  I am excited to say that I have yet to experience anything like it.  
 Available exclusively online at:

Have you tried this scent before?  Are you interested in it?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Beauty Box 5 June Box

Hello dahlings!  For those of you who aren't yet hip to the tune of Beauty Box 5, it is a monthly subscription that delivers five of the industry's most buzzed about items straight to your door.  As part of the official review team, yours truly receives a fab complimentary box each month in exchange for my thoughts.  Before I rave about any of its products, one aspect I really like about this box subscription is that it gives you options.  You can subscribe monthly, quarterly or yearly, which is nice because you can try a few months before deciding whether or not it's for you.  But now for the part you've all been waiting for... the goodies!!      
Retail: $28 2 fl oz., $28 1.7 fl oz., $38 1.7 fl oz., $65 1.7 fl oz.
This was a cool surprise.  I've been trying to keep up with my facials but haven't been as good with them as I'd like.  This is exactly what I need to get me back on the wagon!  The kit includes a Soothing Refiner & Cleanser, Replenishing Scrub, Comforting Mask and Soothing Cream. 

Organix Coconut Water Shampoo & Conditioner
Retail: $7.99 13 oz.
 Brace yourselves because I don't normally do this but, I am going to confess this sample didn't exactly tickle my fancy.  I have tried Ogx (Organix) products in the past and well... it wasn't pretty.  In fact it was horrible.  I had bought one of their shampoos and the experience was so bad, I actually returned the bottle.  After just one use it had successfully stripped my hair of all its moisture and created a massive rat's nest full of knots in the middle of my head.  It was awful.  Considering the yummy scent, the cute packaging and (ahem) the price, I was really disappointed.  I swore I'd never use them again and unfortunately I haven't changed my mind, so I'll pass on these two.  But for those of you who are still curious, they're sulfate-free and are aimed at replenishing dry, thirsty hair.  If you give them a try, let me know how it goes! 

Retail: $7.95 12 fl oz.
Rub a dub dub!  This stuff smells dee-LISH and the packaging is really fun (and pink!).  The flavor is "Dreamy Pink Frosting" and the scent is definitely reflective of it.  It has a very distinct, vanilla cake/frosting scent that literally seeps as soon as you open it.  Personally, vanilla is one of my favorites so now bath time is just that much sweeter!  It is a gentle wash that didn't irritate my skin, and also contains antioxidants.    

Retail: $4.55
Love, love, LOVE this polish!! This is the first time I've tried Nicka K New York and I am wondering how this brand got past me for so long.  Its prices are so affordable, and they have such a wide range of products, from hair to nails, skincare, makeup and even fragrances.  If any of them are as amazing as the nail polish, I fully intend to check them out.
To start with, the color is so perfect for spring/summer, and its color payoff is bright and vivid.  The coverage is so amazing, you could almost get away with one coat.  I applied two to create a really clean, vibrant finish, but the first coat on its own was practically streak free.  
The brush is shorter and kind of wide, which I liked because it allowed for easier control.  Plus, the packaging is adorable and its formula is formaldehyde-free!  

Retail: $28.00 .25 oz.
This is a good choice mascara for those who are sensitive to irritation.  It is a vegan formula that is gluten-free, paraban free and hypoallergenic.  I personally don't experience much eye irritation, but I did like this formula a lot.  For some reason I wasn't expecting too much from this mascara, but was pleasantly surprised with how much length it gave.  After just a couple coats I was pleased with the wide eye effect it created.  I can't say I saw too much added volume, but I liked that it was really lightweight.  My lashes stayed lifted and kept their curl.  I'm always excited when the removal process is quick and painless.  This one proved a winner- just took a few suds and poof!  

Of course I was psyched to see that BB5 gave us the opportunity to send a complimentary box to a few of our besties!  If you have some fellow beauty junkies in your life, or someone you'd like to surprise, this month came with a special promo code to send a free intro box to a friend or save on a monthly subscription.  How nice is that??  TY Beauty Box 5 :)
Do you have a monthly beauty box subscription?  Are you interested in Beauty Box 5?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: Framesi Color Lover Primer 11

FRAMESI COLOR LOVER PRIMER 11  is a great leave- in treatment I discovered at a past beautypress event.  To avoid this becoming a gooey post where I gush and gush about my newest obsession, I'll put it simply: This stuff is awesome. 
It is supposed to maintain color vibrancy and repair damage.  While I don't make routine trips to the salon for color treatments, I do, however, have to deal with a lot of breakage.  Since my hair has grown so long, between the curls (and now humidity) it has become a full time job to maintain it.  The spray contains Quinoa Protein, vitamins and emollients that detangle and penetrate hair with moisture.   I use this on my hair everyday, whether it's dry or wet and the knots slip right out.  It has helped to prevent a lot of breakage, not to mention made it easier to handle.  I can wear my hair down naturally and can get away with just pulling back the top half for control.  It doesn't get as frizzy or "expand" as much as it normally would.   
Usually when products say they mend you hair's ends, I'm usually a little skeptical.  But surprisingly this one has done a pretty good job.  I did a routine check for split ends to determine when to schedule my next trim, but realized I hardly had any.  Another element I'm partial to is the scent.  It is sweet and kind of fruity which is nice for summer.  It's also good for tossing in your bag and taking to the beach because it contains UV protectants.  Final thoughts?  My hair is softer, shinier, and way healthier.  It's a win!   
  • Retain color
  • Damage repair
  • Silky & Shiny
  • Fix Frizz
  • Body
  • Mends Ends
  • Detangle
  • Style support
  • No Static
  • Thermal guard
  • Weightless
All FRAMESI COLOR LOVER  products are 100% vegan, free sulfate FREE, paraben FREE, gluten FREE, DEA FREE, and sodium chloride FREE. The products contain powerful anti-aging properties, have thermal and UV protectants, are weightless, and will not build up.
The brand also offers custom shampoo and conditioner collections such as: Volume Boost , Moisture Rich , Curl Define , and Smooth Shine.  Because I had so much success with the spray, I hope to try either the Moisture Rich or Curl Define products in the future.  

Get more info at Framesi Glamour and Facebook

Have you tried FRAMESI COLOR LOVER?  What did you think?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Violet Files: Wet Hot Summer

This time on The Violet Files...
VIOLET GREY features the gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in this month's online issue.  Read to find out exactly what makes a "Wet Hot Summer" as celebs get the chance to ask Rosie some of their own burning questions.      
British model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is affectionately known as
“Rosebud” to her friends due to her endearing disposition. On the set of VIOLET
GREY’s June Issue cover story shoot, however, a black leather trench coat, red lips
and matching elongated nails radiated a different sort of energy.
Celeb Chat
Q: What is you first thought when you look in the mirror?- Rachel Zoe
A: “Whether or not I look rested and healthy.”- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Q: If you could snap your fingers and be qualified for any other occupation, what would it be?- Jessica Pare
A: I would love to have the patience to be an interior designer, but I also like the idea
of being a physiologist.”- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Q: What beauty product is underrated?- Jessica Alba 
A: “SPF & Blusher.”- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Q: Who is your favorite dancing partner?- Derek Blasberg
A: “My man.”- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Get the Look
The Lush Lash- beauty credits (Makeup by Kate Lee)
Velour Lashes in "Hey Shawty! and Strike a Pose 
Duo Eyelash Glue 
Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadara Eye Shadow in Tisse Venitien 
Make up For Ever Flash Color Pot in Gold 
Chanel Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil 
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra- Light Perfecting Makeup 
Chanel Le Blush De Crème Cream Blush in Destiny 
Chanel Rouge CoCo Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Scenario 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DIY Wedding Style Hair Do's

Summer is almost here and those wedding invites are starting to pile up!  Jenny Balding, Cutler/ Redken Stylist shares her favorite DIY styles that are easy breezy to create, and still look as if you walked out of the salon with the bridal party.  If there are no weddings on your calendar yet, these are still trendy enough for summer parties or any fun events you might have lined up!  

Disheveled Halo Braid


This is the perfect way to have style your hair if your attending a wedding in the heat of summer.  You never have to worry about it all day and night!  This would look best on an open neckline e.g strapless or thin like straps.
  • Create a middle part and split the hair into two sections
  • Braid each section starting just behind the chair 
  • Bring one braid over the top and secure with hair pin behind ear
  • Use the hair hair pin like an anchor and twist it back on itself. This is the perfect to disguise and secure your halo braid.
  • Then secure through the top sections if necessary with a couple of hair pins
  • Repeat on other side

Front view
Sleek Center Braid


This is perfect for summer wedding as it keeps your hair off your face but still allows you to wear your hair down and works with any neckline!
  • Blow dry very straight by using a smoothing, straightening lotion 
  • Section a mohawk section of 2" width coming into a point at the nape
  • Use a dry shampoo on this section to create texture and grip to the hair
  • Reverse braid from the hairline right down to the nape and secure with small band
    If necessary, finish by using straightening irons to the loose hair  to create a sleek, polished feel.

Side view

Do you think you'll try any of these styles?  Which one?  If so, don't be shy, I'd love to see pics!  

Review: Mosaiq

It's hard not to get excited over a yummy new candle.  I was introduced to Mosaiq at a past beautypress event through its partnership with Monthly Express.  Monthly Express is a monthly subscription that delivers high end luxury and beauty items that treat and pamper your senses, and Mosaiq was chosen to be part of their April collection.  Of all the candles I have collected in the past, Mosaiq, is certainly one of the most elegant ones I've owned. 
I light candles because I want to create an ambiance and get swept away in their delicious scents.  Mosaiq captures that desire.  Even as I sit here writing this, I can't help but breathe in the soothing fragrance of Mosaiq's Thai Basil & Sage and admire its graceful shape.  The scent is very light and clean and the beauty of this one, is that the inside looks to have a white lining inside the glass.  So as the wick burns down, it creates a warm glow inside the glass that's incredibly relaxing and very aesthetically pleasing. 

Part of what makes Mosaiq so special is its packaging.  This particular one had a unique, elaborate casing.  The box unfolded and included a section in which to write a personalized message.  Every candle is housed in hand blown glass and beautifully shaped.  As the winner of Best of Show at the New York International Gift Fair in 2013 for best new product line, Mosaiq is one to consider if you're looking for stylish décor.

Mosaiq also carries a range of body products from hand and body lotion and hand soap in an incredible array of scents like Spearmint & Cinnamon, Redcurrant, Tabac and Vanilla Bean.  My mouth waters just thinking about them.  And come August 1st, be ready as they release five brand new products: hand cream, sugar scrub, body polish, bubble bath, and moisturizing custard.  I haven't tried the body products yet, but if they're anything like their candles, expect to give your senses a treat.

Have you tried Mosaiq in the past?  Are you a candle fanatic too?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Launch: Karlie Kloss X Warby Parker

Every summer ensemble needs a killer pair of shades.  I mean, sure your tan looks good against your white sundress and your fresh new highlights are glistening in the sun... but isn't something missing?  I was really psyched to learn that today kicks off the release of Warby Parker's  especially hot, brand new summer collection.  
What makes this collection so insanely hot?  The Karlie Kloss X Warby Parker Collection is a collaboration with Victoria's Secret model Karlie Kloss and hits the style nail right on the head.  The collection features three extremely elegant, feminine style frames inspired by Karlie's energetic and graceful spirit:   
The collection emerged with Julia, whose lenses took on the graceful silhouette of the teardrop.

Heirloom silver with indigo wash lenses
Made of extremely light weight but strong titanium, Clara lenses are rounded with wire detailing atop the outer edges.

Heirloom gold with copper faded lenses
These are, hands down, my must- haves  The unique shape creates a sultry cat eye effect that's sexy but understated.  The wire detailing on the upper corners give a subtle lift that can flatter any face shape.  Their cool, sleek appearance is one I can envision on a lot of celebs this season.     

Heirloom silver with faded slate lenses

     Color selections include: 
Violet Clover
Sepia Wash
Faded Slate
Copper Fade
Indigo Wash
All three frames retail for $145.00
Available: here
Aside from producing amazing fashions, the collection also incorporates the opportunity to give a little something back.  Each sale will benefit a very special organization close to Karlie.  Edible Schoolyard NYC provides kitchens and gardens to low- income schools, and allows students the opportunity to develop healthy habits and learn day to day food preparation.  This donation will even go directly to two community farm stands right here in NYC.
In addition, as they have done in the past, for every pair sold, Warby Parker will distribute a pair to someone in need, using their non-profit partners. 
What do you think of the collection?  Which frame is your favorite?
Photos courtesy of Warby Parker
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