Monday, June 21, 2010

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We've got some AMAZING things coming up so be sure to subscribe! I wouldn't want you to miss a THING!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Beauty Expert: Summer Nail Tips from Celebrity Manicurist, Tracylee Percival

I have to admit that I love to get my nails done and I'm pleased that I can call one of the industry's best, celebrity manicurist Tracylee Percival, among my personal Glam Squad. Tracylee is a formidable force in the manicure industry with a long and impressive resume: a recent stint with Damone Roberts, magazine cover clients like Olivia Wilde, Veronica Webb, and M.I.A (and the models on the cover of Harper's Bazaar above,) and private Manhattan elite clients like major magazine editors and fashion designers like Alice + Olivia’s Stacey Bendet. In between her jam-packed schedule, she also sneaks in expert MINX manicure workshops and teachings around the country and consults with hot up-and-coming brands like Ginger&Liz. Oh, and, well, she also does my nails. :)

I realized that you should be privy to the regular advice and tutelage I receive on a regular basis from this fabulous woman. Here are some hot summer tips from the Mistress of Manicures, my beloved Tracylee:

FSB: So, as a celebrity manicurist, can you tell us what colors you're loving for this season? What's hot for summer?
Tracylee Percival: I'm in love with blue/teal polishes for the summer, like Zoya Nail Lacquer in "Robyn" ($7.) It looks great on every skin tone and it just looks so fresh and clean. I'm also doing a lot of white polished gel nails, which I can't get enough of!

FSB: What are some of the common mistakes people make when they get manicures/pedicures done? Are there some things we should be sure to ask for/avoid?
Tracylee Percival: The biggest mistake that I see daily is that customers allow the nail technician to cut the live tissue at the base of the nail (cuticle area). Cutting into live skin tissue will not only result in uneven, thicker regrowth of the tissue (which will make you want to cut it again, a vicious cycle), but it can also lead to infection. The skin is there to protect the matrix of the nail and prevent bacteria from entering the body. So never have live tissue cut! Your nail technician should only be pushing back the cuticle attached to your nail plate, and gently, sparingly trim any dead tissue.

Another mistake I see is that people allow nail techs to cut the corners of their toe nails.  I've even seen some where they've cut into the side of the toenail, trying to make it look thinner! This will not only lead to ingrown toenails (which are very painful) but it's another action that can also lead to infection. Toenails should be cut or filed straight across, gently softening the corner edges. You should never have anyone cut into the sidewalls of the toenail EVER.

FSB: Do you have any tricks for a good home mani/pedi? Perhaps some tool recommendations to go along with it?
Tracylee Percival: Use an orange wood stick to clean up nail polish along cuticle. You can also keep your  pedicure longer by purchasing a callous smoother/foot file and, here's the trick, only use it on slightly dry skin after a shower or bath (never wet, it's less effective) to keep callouses under control.

FSB: What about fall trends? Are you seeing anything from the runways that you're excited about for the upcoming season?
Tracylee Percival: I think the we will be seeing dark-colored nails this fall in deep burgundy/blood red, eggplant purples and black/white nails.  What I am most excited about this fall is we'll be seeing a lot of texture in nail finishes, whether it be the illusion made by layering techniques or from using textured materials being applied to the nails. Exciting stuff!

FSB: You work on plenty of celebrities. Any fun stories? C'mon, you can tell us. :)
Tracylee Percival: My job is full of fun stories! As someone that is in an industry built on trust,  mum's the word when it comes to all my clients confidentiality :)  Sorry.

I tried, folks, but then again, I wouldn't want her spilling all the girl talk I spew when she's doing my nails! Hope these nail tips help you look your most fabulous and gorgeous best this summer. Remember her advice about what not to do! It might save you a lot of pain and an infection!

Friday Giveaway: Win a FREE Physicians Formula Bronze Booster

I don't like to think of my readers out there looking anything less than fabulous, so here's what we'll do: I'm going to give away THREE Physicians Formula Bronze Boosters on Monday. Let's have some fun with this one: leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite summer memory. It could be summer camp when you were a kid or a fling you had last summer. I'll pick three replies and send out three bronzers next Monday!

Good luck!

NYC Deal: $20 for Five Yoga Classes at Sankalpah, Courtesy of The Luxury Spot

Since we all know I'm a yoga addict, you know if I see an amazing deal on classes or anything gear-related, I'm going to let you know about it. Well, my girls over at The Luxury Spot are running an amazing deal with one of my favorite studios, Sankalpah, here in NYC: $20 for five of their Quick Fix yoga classes. That's 75% of their normal $16 per class rate and you get FIVE of them.

For those not familiar with Quick Fix, it's an Open-level class condensed into 60 minutes that's designed to bring any student to their own personal best. The classes at Sankalpah are nourishing and intelligent (no mind-numbing sun salutation series or robotic commands) and they're intimate: only 25 students per class. Best of all, they're always offered around lunch or after work so it's easier to find time in your super busy schedule to take them.

Oh, and if you're thinking about trying yoga, I would offer a guess that you probably won't find a better introductory deal anywhere. If bodies like Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz won't convince you of yoga's benefits, I'm not sure what will.

Take advantage of the deal by simply heading to Then do your downward-facing dog until your heart is content.

Thanks for the tip, Luxury Spot ladies!

Beauty Must-Have: Physicians Formula Bronze Booster

It's summertime so you're going to need a little color and we all know the safest way to get a safe glow is with the right bronzer. A little gem appeared in my hand that I have to tell you about. Bronzer Beauties: meet natural/organic/mineral cosmetics giant Physicians Formula's new addition to their best-selling bronzers, the Bronze Booster.

Now, why is it called a "booster," you ask? This genius product contains light-reflecting bronzing micropearls that catch the light to give you a warm, glowing complexion (think "dewy" and "glowing" rather than merely "tan.") It's also formulated with a custom blend of vitamins, moisturizers and antioxidants that not only give you a natural-looking tanned glow, but it'll help improve the clarity and radiance of your skin. As in, a tan that's actually good for you. You've got to love that.

The cool thing about this genius little product? The packaging! (I'm a sucker for innovative products in awesome packaging, what can I say?) The bronzer is encased in an ultra-chic compact that includes a luxurious brush that slides out from the top and locks for application, a mirror and a strap! Yes, a strap! Loop this thing around the strap ring of your handbag or beach tote and you'll never lose it again.

Physicians Formula is some of the best quality mineral/organic makeup you can buy at its price point, so head to your local Target now and get yourself a Bronze Booster. Actually, check back in a minute. I might just give you one.

Father's Day Fabulous: The Best Skincare and Grooming Kits for Dear Dad

We all know that men are sometimes a little suspect of skincare (the "girly man" moniker is hard to shake once your buddies find little boxes of moisturizer and masques on the bathroom counter.) However, when it comes to fabulous skin care and shaving kits, they make amazing gifts for men who wouldn't necessarily buy them for themselves. Looking for a fabulous Father's Day gift? Here are some suggestions:

Anthony Logistics For Men The Perfect Shave Kit ($50) - This shaving kit is fabulous for home and for the locker at the gym and comes equipped with a cleanser, pre-shave oil, shave cream and after-shave balm that when used together will help eliminate ingrown hairs, irritation and razor burn. Doesn't his skin deserve a break? Doesn't your CHEEK deserve a break? Help him get rid of rough shaved skin with this fabulous shaving kit.

Anthony Logistics For Men The Tool Kit ($18) - Any woman who's been subjected to an intimate moment ruined by a ragged fingernail can attest to the importance of well-groomed hands. This portable nail kit contains a stainless steel nail file, nail clipper, tweezer and grooming scissors, and comes in a brushed aluminum canister (you know, metal = masculine). It's also quite portable, so, you know, get this for him.

AHAVA Mineral Men’s Collection Gift Set ($47) - I've long been a convert of all things AHAVA and this skincare set is perfect to tame the unique needs of men's skin. Dad will look his absolute best with this set containing Mineral Shower Gel, Foam-Free Silk Shave Cream and Soothing After-Shave Moisturizer. The power of Dead Sea minerals and a proprietary blend of Gingko, Ginger and Ginseng extract will help him cleanse, nourish, and moisturize his gorgeous face. 

Molton Brown Father’s Day Gift Set ($58) - I've never met a man that isn't completely wild about Molton Brown products. This set of the company's most masculine scents brings a whole new experience to bathing for your favorite guy, with their two sizes of their cult favorite re-charge black pepper bodywash,a  re-charge black pepper body hydrator, and the new addition to the brand, buchu bodywash, which gives a cooling boost of energy in the shower. It's kind of a necessity (and feel free to borrow it.)

L’OrĂ©al Paris Men's Expert Hydra-Energetic Ice Cold Eye Roller ($10.99) - It doesn't matter if you're male or female, undereye bags are just not cute. Treat the man in your life to this breakthrough eye treatment applied with a soothing rollerball that glides gently over the puffed area to deliver instant relief. It's ok to have sleepless nights, you just don't have to LOOK like it. Great for Dads on the go, late-night working fathers or, let's all be honest here, fathers of newborns.

Naturopathica Clarifying Facial Wash ($28), Soothing Shave Cream ($26) and Daily Defense Moisturizer For Men ($58) - If you've got an eco-chic dad who's really into botanicals (and even if they aren't), Naturopathica is a great solution for skincare. The face wash contains a sulfate-free foaming cleaner with a refreshing blend of Cypress Oil, Aloe and Lime that will gently remove dirt and grime while maintaining his natural moisture. The shave cream contains Cypress Oil, which acts as an antiseptic to calm razor irritation, and Wild Oat Beta Glucan that lifts the hair shaft for an exceptionally close shave. The moisturizer contains a lightweight blend of Vitamins A, C and E combined with Oats and Aloe to nourish his skin. You'll thank me later.

Any of these fabulous skincare options will make dear Dad a happy camper. I mean, really, another tie? Let's break the mold this year and get him something he'll really love. :)

Obsession of the Day: Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer and Original Aviator Sunglasses

I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to fashion and I'll try or wear just about anything at least once. But with this type of discovery comes the knowledge that when you find something that works for you, stick with it. I'm not saying that you should never change your look, your hair or your wardrobe, but there are some items that become classics for a reason. Which is why I'll be a Forever Fan of Ray-Ban Wayfarer and Aviator sunglasses.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I've cheated on the label more than a few times with some gorgeous eyewear that shall remain nameless. But for my money, there have never been two shapes that work as well with my face and make me look like a total rock star. Hollywood has popularized the shapes to the point where Tom Cruise should own stock in the company since he's made both these styles best-sellers (Wayfarers in Risky Business, Aviators in Top Gun). They look good on men and women, come in a variety of hues and silhouettes (when it comes to the Aviator, girls with round faces should rock a Sharpshooter style - makes your face look longer and leaner) and, let's face it, they look good on EVERYBODY.

Looking for a Father's Day gift, birthday gift or just a new pair of sunglasses for yourself this summer? Check out these gorgeous Ray-Ban styles. Because sometimes you just need to stick with what works.

Ray-Ban Original Aviators ($140) and Classic Wayfarers ($145), available at Saks Fifth Avenue and other fine retailers nationwide
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