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Into the Light: Lancôme DreamTone Dark Spot Corrector

I’ve spent a lot of time in recent days thinking about physical beauty – as I am wont to do – and the assets we’ve been given to help us achieve it. The answer is simple, in my book, though threefold – mental wellbeing, good hair and GREAT skin. Seriously, think of the most beautiful women you know, and I bet you’ll observe the same common ground.

Of that magical trifecta, skin is easily where I, personally, struggle the most. Though wrinkle-free to date (thank you, good genetics!), my face bears both the more-than-occasional blemish and also, the dark spots left by blemishes of days gone by (seriously, guys, let me be a lesson to you: don’t pick!)

I like to think, however, that I live my life in “solutions mode” and that’s where Lancôme DreamTone comes in. This new, customized, skin-tone correcting serum is targeted to dark spot correction. And unlike the vast majority of solutions-based skincare on the market, it’s available in three variations, customized for skin tones from Fair to Dark.  

My fair skin, evidenced above with DreamTone in Shade 1

Since being introduced to Lancôme DreamTone, it’s found a comfortable home in my routine – I apply it twice daily, between my cleanser (or toner, in the evening) and moisturizer.  There’s a lot that I love about the product – notably that the formulation is luxurious and smells like HEAVEN (a fresh take on rose). It’s also, though, efficacious, and after almost six weeks of use, my skin has become visibly brighter – in fact, at a long overdue lunch last week, a friend commented that I was “glowing.” You can’t ask for much more than that! DreamTone’s effects have been cumulative, in my experience, so I definitely recommend being regimented in your approach, and applying twice daily under moisturizer for max impact.
 
Lancôme DreamTone retails for $98 for a 1.3 fl oz – snag a bottle at
Lancôme.com or at department stores nationwide, and share your skin story by baring all with a #bareselfie like mine:

While all opinions expressed are my own, this post was produced in collaboration with Lancôme’s and Style Coalition.

For the Procrastinator: Gifting Destinations that Really Deliver

While I have the majority of my holiday shopping wrapped up, there are a few lingering gifts I've yet to purchase. If you're like me, and take it down to the wire, below is a list of my favorite shopping destinations - offline and online - always guaranteed to deliver goodies perfect for gift giving:

  • MoMA Design Store: Not only do they always have exceptional holiday cards, but they also boast an assortment of design-centric gifts for almost everyone on your list. If you're shopping for me or another art lover, do consider splurging on the Damien Hirst Mixed Anamorphic Cup & Saucer Set seen above, $125.
  • The Fancy and AHAlife are two online favorites, again for high design and often unique or quirky gifts. Fancy recently introduced same day delivery in select cities, including New York, for an added flat fee of $30, while AHALife is currently offering 15% off orders with code AHA2013 and free shipping on all purchases over $100 (among my picks: this Alexandra von Furstenberg Acryclic Tray, $208-$308).
  • Amazon-owned flash sale site MyHabit truly understands your procrastination issues. Order until 2pm on 12/23 and you'll get free express shipping in time for the holiday - BOOM. Tip: Be sure to dig deeply into their Events - you'll find some exceptional designers, at at least 65% off. I've even seen favorites like Rick Owens and Loeffler Randall at 70% off or more - but I'm not shopping for me, right? Right.
  • I shop TJ Maxx and Marshall's irregularly, but when I do, I REALLY get into the thrill of discovery. The trick to shopping off-price (and also outlet, for that matter) is to let yourself be surprised - don't go in with a list or you may be disappointed. My kryptonite in particular at both TJ Maxx and Marshall's are the gourmet food departments. In fact, just this past weekend, I picked up perfect gift add-ons including gourmet hot chocolate and festive coffees. Store locators here and here.
  • Last but not least, for New Yorkers, a visit to Story is a must and yes, worth the trek to West Chelsea. Wholly unique, Story's thematic and product assorment changes completely each season, but it's always flawless. The current 'story' is 'Home for the Holidays', and honestly, what could be more perfect? Visit the store at 144 10th Ave, at 19th Street.

Seasonally Aspirational: Kate Moss for Stuart Weitzman

The nice thing about working in fashion is that the moment winter gets too cold and dismal to bear, spring collections and campaigns begin to break, transporting you, me, us - virtually, at least - to warmer, sweatier, and in many cases, sexier days.

Such is the case with Stuart Weitzman’s Spring 2014 campaign, featuring Kate Moss, and photographed by Mario Testino. Minimal make-up, wet hair and barely-there cover-ups enhance a laid-back and luxe Bohemian look. The styling itself is deliberately and provocatively simple, a complement to "THE NUDIST," a sexy, strappy, sleek and minimal sandal style seen in the campaign.

For more from Stuart Weitzman and Kate Moss, click here.

Holiday Reprieve: The Red Door

My week. It has been stressful. SO, my trip to The Red Door today was all the more appreciated. A fresh, thoroughly modern reinvention of Elizabeth Arden's classic-with-good-reason Red Door Spa, The Red Door offers a fleet of 15-25-Minute Speed Services ($22-$125) - think manis, oxygen blasts, custom foundation (seen above, the high tech mixing machine) and blowouts - on the ground level, designed to take you from 0-Pretty in a New York minute. Meanwhile, down below street level, lies a deceptively enormous, stylish and relaxing reprieve for full signature spa services.

If you're in the Union Square area, you'll be tempted to pop in (I guarantee it); for those of you who are not, The Red Door is worth the trip!

Explore all that is The Red Door here or pop in to say hello to #TheRedDoorGal at 200 Park Avenue South, right on the corner of Union Square and 17th Street.

Tread Carefully: Four "Danger" Gifts to Avoid this Holiday

For every amazing holiday gift I've received over the years, I can name at least two that were decidedly well intentioned, yet decidedly off base. After all, it can be hard to buy gifts for anyone, but when that certain someone has very clearly defined tastes, things get even harder.

There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but one universal truth - ensure that you know the recipient's taste inside and out before gifting any of the following gifts this season:

Perfume - Fruity, floral, aquatic or musk? A loyalist or a dabbler? Mass or niche? If you feel confident in the answers to these questions, by all means, buy away. But just know that fragrance is highly personal and incredibly subjective. A safer bet? A Sephora sampler, (here, here or here) which allow your lucky giftee to sample away to their heart's content and then redeem the enclosed scent certificate for a full sized bottle of their choosing. ($24-$65)

Art - Let me contradict myself for a moment and concede that two of my very favorite gifts of all time fall under the classification of "art" - one a Marilyn Minter print and the other, a painting done just for me. That said, art is again, and obviously, highly subjective and even (as any who've attended a show at the Whitney can attest) dangerously divisive. Consider instead: a gift certificate, perhaps packaged with a frame, to a site like Society6.

Jewelry - Well-intentioned, yet sterile is the best description I can muster for the many uninspired jewelry gifts I've received from (ex) boyfriends throughout the years. Think tiny (read: conservative) diamond hoops or a highly traditional gold heart necklace when my tastes run more to near-weaponry from designers like Eddie Borgo and Dominic Jones. In short, while I appreciated the thought (I did! I swear!), I would have appreciated a piece of jewelry that suited my (very openly expressed) personal style a heck of a lot more. A better idea? If you're not sure on what she (or he!) will love, ask one of her closest friends, or better yet, scour her Pinterest boards (if you're gifting me, behold a little inspiration here!)

The Useful Gift - I hate to continue to throw men under the bus here, but this is again, something men are often guilty of. Unless SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED, no woman wants what could be even remotely construed of as useful- I honestly cannot believe the horror stories I've heard from friends who unwrapped "gifts" ranging from wireless routers to blenders, or worst ever, an AB ROLLER. Please do not make this mistake. If you need a refresher on some universal rules of gift giving, here's a link to my thoughts on the matter.

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