Reviews

Cooking with Color: Sweet Potato Lasagne

sweet potato lasagna


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One of my favorite ways to unwind after a crazy New York City day is to get into the kitchen and cook something delicious. I love to bring my passion for color and good health together by experimenting...often without a recipe!

The video below was shot for Cooking Minute, a site that " Go[es] inside the lives and homes of busy New Yorkers while they demonstrate their favorite recipes".  A very cool concept as we often don't get to see the intimate spaces of NYC kitchens or share the act of cooking with one another.

My recipe was filmed in my tiny east village kitchen. It dissects the process of making (yet another ad hoc dish) Sweet Potato and Kale Lasagne.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a4Sr1KvPlfE

For the full recipe and step by step guide, visit the site.

Image and video credit: AaronFuks

A Diamond in the Rough

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Inspired by Catherine's video, I couldn't wait until my next trip to Vancouver to pamper my skin. The ever tempting offers from Lifebooker in my inbox were finally too hard to pass up; facials for $39 at the Skin Spa lured me in.

After careful review (and a mini phone consult with Cath), I decided to go for a microderm treatment followed by a peel. Catherine's advice was to spread out the treatments by about a week. So I went in for the exfoliation part of the process first.

This wasn't my first micro experience so I wasn't surprised by the raspy wand that was waved over my skin. For those that have not had microdermabrasion, it feels like a super-powered cat with an extremely rough tongue licking your face over and over. In other words, not painful but not relaxing. Little diamond crystals work to deeply exfoliate rough patches and can even smooth wrinkles. My skin was a little bit red after the procedure, but quickly calmed with a little bit of aloe lotion. I was able to put makeup on right away to cover any blotchiness. That night, my skin felt really smooth and the ever deepening line on my forehead seemed to have faded just a little bit. The clarity of my skin increased over the coming days.

The next week I went in for the peel. I was really surprised by how quick the procedure was. After application, which felt like any old mask, the peel was on my skin for a total of 4.5 minutes. After that, it was washed off, followed by a cooling lotion. My skin wasn't too red after this treatment but tingled slightly. The esthetician figured my skin would probably start to peel in two to three days. I never experienced any kind of peeling action. I did however break out more than I was anticipating. I wasn't aware of this side effect so I was a little caught off guard when I woke up with a number of eruptions. After an emergency call to Cath, I was informed that this was in fact a normal reaction to a peel - so be fair warned...!

It's been a week since the peel and my skin has finally calmed down. Overall I think my skin looks like it has a more even tone and my hyper pigmentation has been somewhat reduced.

A series of three micro/peel combo treatments is recommended to see the best results.

At home treatments are also becoming popular. If you have problem skin or are looking to smooth those pesky fine lines and wrinkles (who isn't...!) then a mini peel may be a good option. Glycolic acid pads are gaining popularity in the market and are available at medical spas for home use.

Product to try: Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories (DCL) Glycolic Acid Pads 20%

DCL Glycolic Acid Pads 20


It's me...in my OCC!

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Check out this little feature on yours truly posted on Beautylish. I ran into editor Ning Chao during Fashion's Night Out at Barneys with Linda Rodin. She was really excited about the intensity of my lip color. The hot pink OCC Lip Tar in Anime got a lot of attention that night...definitely a show-stopper for anyone looking to stir things up!

Image Credit: Beautylish

Fragrance Trends at the Elements Showcase

This week I attended the second edition of the Elements Showcase--a fragrance tradeshow in NYC. I was excited to see the expansion from the first show (back in November); from its single floor space, to now spanning two levels. There were lots of new and fantastic vendors ranging from fragrance to skincare. Visiting the booths and speaking to the exhibitors, I started to pick up on some distinct trends.

Wood and Natural Materials: The first trend that I see carries over from last season. The use of wood in packaging has an even stronger presence than we've seen in the past months. Everything from the lids on boxes of candles, soap and perfume to entire wooden bottles (TAY) were on display.

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Profumi Del Forte took the natural materials trend to another level, creating marble lids for their fragrances

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"Box of Chocolates" Packaging There was a definite thread of inspiration derived from the classic beauty and simplicity of chocolate box packaging.

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Fine Art Meets Fragrance Another trend that emerged was the inclusion of fine art in the packaging on fragrance bottles and other products in this category.

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Among the artist/fragrance duo's, jewelry collaborations were another strong trend popping up. Both Joya (known for its porcelain bottles) and Sage released solid perfume in beautiful amulet's. Joya teamed up with jewelry design company Vane to launch their "Shades of Dusk" collection.

In general, it seems that the fragrance and skincare industries continue to be concerned with 'natural' elements--whether or not their products are chemical-free or are made with sustainable materials. The key is to come across as being concerned about the process of the product, in the form of an eco-friendly looking package or by including an artisanal touch.

Braid Bar hits Manhattan

Heidi wannabe's rejoice! The John Barrett Salon in Bergdorf Goodman opens up New York's first Braid Bar.

Great for getting your mane out of your face while looking chic for those humid summer days (the kind that transition into warm evening cocktail parties without time to go home for a change in between).

A good braid can last anywhere from three to five days--perfect for a weekend away!

Any length, shape or style (french, fish or classic) goes for $45 ($60 including a wash) and can be done in approximately 20 minutes.