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.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Theatre Communications Group Hosts 2017 Gala

Photo by NatalieBero/
 Earlier this week I attended Theatre Communications Group's 2017 Gala, which honored Doug Wright, Scott Frankel, Michael Korie and Michael Greif, the amazing creative team of the popular Broadway play War PaintThe celebration featured special performances by actor Samuel E. Wright, the original Mufasa in Broadway's The Lion King, accompanied by Michael Forman.  Original Broadway cast members John Dossett and Chris Hoch performed “Dinosaurs from War Paint, accompanied by Paul Staroba. TCG’s Board Member Marshall Jones III welcomed guests and introduced TCG's Executive Director Teresa Eyring and Deputy Director/COO Adrian Budhu, who gave the benefit’s opening remarks.

Photo by NatalieBero/
“We are celebrating with a truly dynamic representation of our field including artists, trustees, theatre staffs, individual donors, business partners and members of the media. We are thrilled to honor the War Paint creative team, as well as our National Council for the American Theatre while raising crucial funds to support the groundbreaking work of TCG"- Teresa Eyring

Samuel E. Wright
The TCG 2017 Gala celebrated the legacy in our national theatre field and honored the longstanding contributions made by theatre artists and trustees to make a better world for and because of theatre.  Guests were also able to show their support by pledging donations throughout the evening.   
The National Council for the American Theatre received an award which was accepted by Chair Judith O. Rubin. TCG's National Council celebrated 20 years of service to TCG and the field. Comprised of theatre trustees from across the US, NCAT advises and supports TCG in helping to ensure the health and vitality of resident theatres across the US, including New York.

TCG Board Chair, Kevin Moriarty of Dallas Theater Center, gave the closing remarks: “I am moved by the complex and wonderful national theatre ecology we enjoy, with remarkable artists such as Doug, Michael, Scott, and Michael, resident theatres such as the Goodman--that invest in new work and giving it the highest visibility, and volunteer trustees who support the work at every stage."
The arts are such an important and influential part of life, we should try to support and appreciate them whenever we can.  The evening was an incredible success and I felt honored to be a part of it. 


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide for the Beauty Lover

 Are we really almost halfway through November?  Judging by the recent freeze warning, I'd have to say, yes, winter is definitely knocking.  And with winter comes my favorite time of year... the holidays!!  So let's jump right in and check out my picks for the beauty lover on your list this season!        

  Eau de Parfum Fragrance: $12.97
Body Mist: $6.99
Gift set with fragrance, mist and lipstick: $19.99
Hard Candy is one of my favorite cosmetics brands because it's super girly and totally affordable.  Sold exclusively at Walmart, the brand recently launched two new fragrances just in time for the holidays; Pink and Black.  
Pink is described as a floral musk. Made with notes of California Tangerine, Pink Passion fruit, Jasmine and Vanilla, its a light, romantic scent that's great for any season.
Black is an addictive mixture of sweet notes like Kiwi, Mango, Sugared Iris and amber.  It's  packaging is a sleek black and hot pink, with an adorable heart topper.  Perfect vanity candy for the girly girl on your list.

Beauty lovers know grungy teeth will ruin any look, no matter how on point the make up is.  Opalescence Go is a professional teeth whitening system that promises professional results.  And unlike other teeth whiteners, this one is totally pain free.  For people with sensitive gums, like myself, these systems can be hard to tolerate, but I loved this one.  It was fast and easy, ideal for the gal (or guy) on the go.  This might be tricky to track down, but it's currently available on Amazon.         

Watch the skincare addict on your list fall head over heels in love with you as they open your gift of Epionce.  This widely popular brand is advertised as a physician strength skin care line whose products are botanically based, paraban, fragrance, sulfate and gluten free.  Designed to unlock your skin's natural potential, it aims to help reduce signs of aging.  Now is a great time to shop the site because several items are on sale, including one of its best sellers; The Renewal Face Cream.  It is ideal for dry/ sensitive to normal skin, and has a nice silky texture.  Plus its orange, apple and lavender extract make for a yummy scent.  Its normal retail is $94.00 but is currently on sale for $75.00.  

 No make up collection is complete without the latest from eco Tools.  PR kindly sent me their latest 2018 Capsule Collection and this baby had it all.  Inside were four of their newest customizable make up brush kits; 
  Each kit comes with convenient tray organizers that you can either stack or let stand alone.  Also included are several of the latest brushes and blenders, along with three "how- to" look cards that provide useful tips on how to use the products create desired looks.  You can never go wrong by arming a girl with every makeup brush under the sun and built in organizers to boot!  You can shop the kits here.  Don't forget to check out their holiday collection which chalk full of festive colored goodies! 

 Retail: 3.3 FL oz. $100.00
Designed for "the woman who is radiant, lively, spontaneous and full of life", Dolce & Gabbana's The One Eau de Toilette is a beauty lover's must have fragrance.  Inspired by the spirit of Naples, is a combination sweet, yet spicy scent that is perfect for holiday parties and cocktail hours.  It's been my personal favorite as of late, and has a romantic, classy feel.  It starts off with top notes of bergmot, mandarin, velvet lychee and white peach, followed by mdaonna lily, ylang, orange flower and broom, drying down with vetiver oil, vanilla, amber and musk.  I love this scent because it's sultry side makes it perfect for evening parties, and it's sweet side makes it still wearable for daytime.         
 Are you planning to gift someone one of the above items?  Which one?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Free Beauty Events November 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 Maybelline, Rimmel, Vichy, Dove, CeraVe, Carol's Daughter, Essie, Sally Hansen, Organic Doctor and more! The contest runs from now through 11/30/17, winners will be chosen on 12/10/17 and notified by 12/15/17.  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 an event listed on the site? 



Monday, October 30, 2017

Hard Candy Limited Edition Halloween 2017 Collection

Still searching for those last minute make up necessities to complete your look for tomorrow night's Halloween bash?  Look no further because Hard Candy has you covered with their Unicorns & Mermaids themed Limited Edition Halloween Collection 2017, available now at Walmart.  Let's check them out!

Retail: $6.00
Sheer Envy Long Wear Setting Spray is perfect for finishing off your look and keeping it from melting off as you dance the night away.  Plus it has a yummy melon scent!
Sheer Envy Illuminating Setting Spray formula contains coconut oil and pearl to help give you that dewy luminous glow, while locking your make up in place.

Retail: $ 6.00
The Wet Ever Unicorn Lipgloss Top Coats are super fun to experiment with.  When worn over light pastel lipsticks, they create an iridescent glow.  If worn over darker shades, expect a holographic effect.

Retail: $6.00
Just Glow Illuminating Liquid is a convenient brush on liquid that you can apply anywhere that needs brightening.  It's beautifully pigmented and a small dab goes a long way.  


Retail: $6.00
These sets of expertly matched Poppin Pigments are shimmery glitters formulated with extremely fine-textured, tiny pearls of pigment.  Designed for the face and body, a pinch of these will kick your glam look up a notch and have you sparkling in seconds.  
Is your costume all set for tomorrow?  Do you plan to incorporate Hard Candy into your look?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

First Ever Editor Showcase for Total Wellness

 Last month I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever Editor Showcase for Total Wellness.  Press was given an exclusive first look at some of the newest launches in the beauty, lifestyle, and wellness industries.  
The event was held at The Marriott Marquis in New York City, and guests were treated to a buffet of healthy treats while chatting with the brands.
Silk'n is a brand I had worked with in the past, and I was excited to learn about their newest device: the Titan.  The Titan is advertised as using three types of energies; Red Light, RF, and Infared, which are "harmonized to lift and tighten skin naturally from the inside out"- Dr. Michael Kreindel.  It is considered an anti- aging device, whose benefits include the tightening of skin and reduction in wrinkles.  It is also FDA approved.  
Doc Parsley's Sleep Remedy  turned out to be one of my favorite products.  It is supposed to replenish the nutritionally and stress induced deficiencies that interfere with normal physiologic cascades that lead to deep, restful, and restorative sleep.  Used by Navy SEALS, the all natural tea aims to deliver a more restful, quality night's sleep, without the  "hangover" effect in the morning.  Its advertised benefits include decreased jet lag, a more regular sleep cycle and overall maximum sleep.  

Aloha is an all natural food company that produces a variety of healthy snacks, protein shakes and promotes the concept of overall healthy living.  Their products are soy free, dairy free, gluten free, non- GMO, and vegan.  The brand had several samples available for tasting, including shakes and snack bars.  Both were pretty tasty and ideal for either right before or after a hearty workout at the gym.  

Long adored by the farmers of Vermont as far back as the 1700s, Up Mountain Switchel is a mix of fresh ginger, raw organic apple cider vinegar, and pure grade A maple syrup, or "fruit, roots and sap" as they like to put it.  It is designed to balance the body's PH and help you stay healthy.  This brew packs a punch, and no doubt you will feel it working immediately after consumption.  Great for any health nut who loves to feel the burn!

Cranberry juice has long been known to provide health benefits, so I love that Ocean Spray  is still putting innovative twists on the age old flavor.  Ocean Spray is releasing their 100% Organic Blend, Pure Cranberry (unsweetened) 100% Juice, and Pact® Cranberry Infused Water.  Each one is non- GMO, made without artificial flavors and contains real cranberry juice.  My personal favorite is the Pact Cranberry Infused Water.  If you're someone who isn't head over heels for the tart, cranberry flavor, this is a happy medium.  You still get all the health benefits of the berries, but the flavor is light and sweet.      

Spice Islands scours the world to collect the freshest, highest quality tasting spices.  They take special care in their packaging so that their spices deliver the most intense flavor possible.  The brand was debuting their delicious Golden Milk Latte whose delicious aroma hit you as soon as you approached the table.  Made with almond milk, and spices like ground ginger and cayenne pepper, it completely hit the spot.  If you love cooking and creating authentic tasting meals, the brand is definitely up your ally. 
We've all heard how chocolate is healthy, especially dark chocolate, but that is not entirely accurate.  CocoaVia® is described as a daily cocoa extract supplement that promotes healthy blood flow.  Why?  It contains 375 mg of cocoa flavanols in each serving, which promote healthy blood flow, therefore allowing your system to smoothly deliver oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body.  Most chocolate bars do not contain enough cocoa flavanols to make an impact.  That being said, CocoaVia® lets you get a healthy chocolate fix in a variety of yummy shakes and daily capsules.
Are you interested in trying any of these brands?  Which ones?

Monday, October 23, 2017

apArt Private Gallery Hosts Exhibition Opening of ‘Terebintina’

Marcello Serpa
Photo by The Tesla Group
 Earlier this month, apArt Private Gallery proudly debuted its first NY Solo Art Exhibition by the famous Brazilian artist and advertising mogul, Marcello Serpa
The exhibition showcased 15 acrylics on canvas pieces with nearly half being sold before the opening.  Despite being well recognized and highly awarded in the Advertising Industry, Serpa was unknown in the art industry until being introduced by apArt Private Gallery.  The gallery is a known leader in exhibiting works of emerging artists in Brazil and Colombia, making its New York location is a valuable addition for upcoming artists in the area.

The private space was incredibly elegant and chic, with an authentic Brazilian feel.  Guests enjoyed Brazilian inspired cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while browsing the collection.   
 Throughout the night, guests were entertained with playful live paintings by Alex Korolkovas and Sal D’Angelo.  The pair provided samples of miniature turpentine bottles in honor of one of Serpa's fondest memories.
 “I grew up smelling the oils of turpentine, creating paintings while I watched my grandfather, an artist from Pernambuco, Brazil, who had a very colorful soul”- Marcello Serpa. 
Maria Gadú

Certainly some of the highlights were the intimate, breathtaking performances by Latin Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Maria Gadú, and special guest Opera singer Anneke Joy.  It was a special night for all 300 attendees as they celebrated the artistry of Marcello Serpa, and an amazing exhibition.
‘Terebintina’ is now open to view by the public until Dec 5, 2017, by appointment only. To schedule an appointment contact apArt New York plans to hold their next exhibition early 2018.


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