Saturday, December 9, 2017

Gift Guide for the Spa and Wellness Lover

Last spring I attended Organic Spa Magazine's 5th Annual Experience Wellness & Travel Media event and was introduced to a slew of certified organic, all natural, vegan products for spa and beauty lovers alike.  I decided to highlight some of my top picks for the spa and wellness lover on your list this season.

A beauty addict can never pass up a sleek blow out, and Shea Moisture's Argan Oil Almond Milk Smooth & Tame Shampoo is designed to achieve just that.  Made with Argan Oil, Marshmallow Root Extract, Vitamin A, Vitamin E it aims to smooth frizz, and improve your hair's overall manageability.

 J.R. Watkins is a great brand because its products contain high quality, natural ingredients at amazingly low prices.  Plus, they're one of the more unique skincare brands I've seen.  I love that they offer items like their Foaming Hand Soap and don't stop at moisturizers and hand creams.

 But having a go to moisturizer is a must, especially when battling the harsh winter months.

Voted one of Allure's Best of Beauty 2017, Shea Moisture Extra Dry Skin Body Lotion  has gotten hella buzz.  It's thick formula is made with 100% Tamanu Oil, Organic Shea Butter and aloe vera, a perfectly satisfying cocktail that dry, thirsty skin will drink right up.  Plus it smells delicious!  

Not to be out done, the Greek inspired, all natural YASOU Skincare, (meaning "to your health"), combines exotic Greek culture and ingredients with American technology to bring you the ultimate at home spa experience.  Their Hydrating Body Cream is super rich but doesn't weigh heavy on the skin.  It's made with essentials oils, plant derived ingredients, beeswax and honey for ultimate hydration.  You can snag it along with their other top products in one of their holiday gift sets.

Described as a "medium coral pink" Bermuda Truly Natural Lipstick from Honeybee Gardens has become one of my favorite lippies.  It's website puts it perfectly; "You need the protection only a lip balm can provide. But you want the full color coverage of a lipstick.".  It glides on smoothly because of the organic oils, which keeps your lips hydrated, while natural mineral pigments give your lips a rich splash of color.  Definitely a win for any makeup lover.     

Rejuva Minerals' concealer is great for make up addicts with sensitive skin.  Not to mention it's a favorite among Hollywood starlets like Shailene Woodley and Zoey Deschanel.  Its blend of certified organic fruits and botanicals make it gentle on skin, and it's free from common irritants.    

Nyakio's  Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil is part of an African inspired line, created by founder Nyakio Kamoche Grieco.  Hand made with cold pressed, multi functional oils, it works wonders on dry skin.  It's lightly scented with the slightest hint of green coloring, and absorbs quickly.  

I die every time I use SPARITUAL.  I love their polish (above:Slow Beauty) and everything about it.  The coverage is practically flawless and the rubber grip topper makes it so much easier to maneuver during application.  I'm insanely addicted to their Passion Fruit Agave Vegan Nourishing Body Souffle.  It smells like blueberry bubble gum, and I can't get enough of it.  I love that it's a "souffle".  I'm not sure technical difference in consistency between that and a cream.  But it works to nourish skin using 98% nature derived ingredients and I'm definitely a fan.    

Are you interested in one of the above products?  Which one?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Vienna Philharmonic Society Toasts Orchestra's 175th Anniversary and New Historic Book

Last week The Vienna Philharmonic Society toasted the Orchestra’s 175th anniversary and the launch of their new book with a celebration at The Kosciuszko Foundation.  Marife Hernandez, chairman of The Society, and her husband, Joel Bell, welcomed each friend on their arrival.  


Nearly 200 guests ascended the stairs for a private concert by Vienna Philharmonic String Quartet.  In her opening remarks Ms. Hernandez described the Orchestra as “the longest lasting romance of my life” and thanked Sir Clive Gillinson for making Carnegie Hall their second home, as well as partnering with the Vienna Philharmonic Society and the Orchestra to contribute to the cultural life of New York and cities thought our country through educational programs in conjunction with The Weil Music Institute.  Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, the book’s author, made a witty speech alongside John Hargraves, who translated his manuscript from German. The concert commenced with Beethoven, Strauss, and the quintessentially Viennese composer, Joseph Lanner, and was followed by cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Guests included Bill Bernhard, Austrian Consul General Dr. Helmut Böck, Katia Chapin, Carole and John  French, April and Roddy Gow, Ambassador and Mrs. Andreas  Jacovides, the Austrian Ambassador to the United Nations Jan Kickert with his wife Latica, Noel Lateef, Cynthia and Leon Polsky, Ann Nitze, Emily Rafferty, Yolanda Santos, Mr. and Mrs. Sedgwick Ward, Canadian Consul General Pamela Yaffe, as well the vice chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Alexander Steinberger, and board members of The Vienna Philharmonic Society Cynthia Sculco, Theodora Simons, William D. Forster, John Hargraves and Max Jahn.


A Sound Tradition; A Short History of The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, is the first history of the orchestra in English and lavishly illustrated.
Photos courtesy of The Vienna Philharmonic Society

Monday, December 4, 2017

Free Beauty Events December Giveaway is back this month with another amazing giveaway.  For anyone not familiar with FBE, the site is a great tool for all beauty addicts.  It helps you stay up to date on the latest beauty happenings in your area and serves as an awesome way to snag killer free samples. Best of all, each month the site gives away a bundle chalk full of the industry's best must haves.  Let's check them out!
This month's basket includes products from some of my favorite brands including Lumene, CoverGirl, Yes To, Revlon, Milani, J.R. Watkins and more! The contest runs from now through 12/31/17, winners will be chosen on 1/10/18 and notified by 1/15/17.  Entering is simple!  Visit FreeBeautyEvents on Facebook (don't forget to like them!) or enter directly on their website.
Besides the monthly giveaways, the site also offers great beauty advice and product reviews on their blog.  Like any of the products you read about?  Keep your eyes open for your chance to stock up!  Easy as 1-2-3, just enter your zip code into the site's search bar to find out which locations in your area might be handing out samples.  It's a helpful way to keep up to date with the beauty events happening in your town.    
Get more FBE info here
Have you attended a past event listed on the site? 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Elmira Darvarova and Melanie Genin Perform Inspiring French Masterpieces at New York Chamber Music Festival

In October I had the amazing opportunity to see Grammy®-nominated recording artist and concert violinist Elmira Darvarova and popular harpist, Melanie Genin perform a series of French Masterpieces. 

Presented by the New York Chamber Music Festival, the performance was held at Christ & St. Stephen's Church in uptown Manhattan.  The program included timeless classics like "Le cygnet/ The Swan" and Meditation from "Thais".  The pair also gifted the audience with three breathtaking American Premieres including M. Marais' Variations from "Les Folies d'Espagne", Naderman and J. Tulou's "Nocturne, Tyrolienne & Rondoletto", and Messiaen's Praise of Jesus' Immortality". 

The pair had spectacular chemistry and it was as if seeing the music come alive on stage.  Each piece was like pure magic.  The performance had barely begun and yet I found myself at the edge of my seat, entranced by the opening notes of The Swan, one of my favorites.  Having danced ballet since the age of seven, I have long been a fan of classical music, and the duo completely blew me away.   

Watch for future performances at New York Chamber Music Festival and learn more about its director, Elmira Darvarova.
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