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April 16, 2014

Packing tips from my friends at Pretty Impressed…

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Packing For Spring Break? We Love These Travel Size Beauty Products

There’s nothing I love more than getting out of town with the family for a few days. There’s nothing I hate more than packing. Because, of course, I don’t just pack for myself. First, I do the kids. Then I worry about all the stuff we need on the airplane like snacks, iPhone apps, crayons, books and the likes. Then, I’ll finally start packing for myself. By the time I get around to sussing out what I need beauty-wise, there isn’t an inch left in any suitcase and I’m tired and cranky. That’s why I’m in love with these great new travel size beauty products for hair, makeup and skincare. Not only are they the right size—see how I demonstrated that they all fit in the palm of a hand?—but they’re also the right products. How many times have you bought a travel size beauty product just because it was small, but not necessarily because you loved it? This season, a slew of new tiny treats are popping up in the travel size beauty product section. Here’s what I’m packing for spring break.

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Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub, $6
The airplane ecosystem always dries out my skin, so I love to have an exfoliator handy to get back the glow. This one smells amazing and is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner For Beautiful Color, $15 each
Hair takes a beating when you travel, so it’s nice to have an amazing shampoo and conditioner on hand. These are super nourishing and protect your hair from color-damaging UV exposure. I can’t wait to hit the pool…

Coppertone Clearly Sheer Beach & Pool Mini-Spray SPF30 Sunscreen, $10 (in Walmart stores only)
My whole family is about as pale as The Adams Family, so as soon as we get in sunny weather, we’ll fry. This is a really nice, light spray that everyone can wear.

Skin Authority Go-Gorgeous Kit, $58
Many skincare brands offer starter kits that are actually perfect for travel. This one from Skin Authority has a Daily Cleanser, Resurfacing Accelerator, Tri-Power Peptide Hydrator, and Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30 UVA 4-Stars—everything you need to keep up your anti-aging routine when you’re on-the-go.

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Sephora Collection Luxe Combo Travel Brush, $15
This hair brush fits in the palm of my hand, but functions just as well as a full-size paddle brush. I don’t go anywhere without it.

UBU Minnie Me’s Mini Tweezer Set, $10
This tiny tweezer is perfect for plucking the errant brow hair or any rebellious bikini hairs that sprout while you’re out of town. 

Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture 4 Piece Brush Set, $13
Most travel size makeup brushes have really cheap, scratchy bristles. Not so with these lovelies! They’re super soft and blend shadows and blushes extremely well. I just have to hide them from my daughters who can’t stop playing with them.

Gillette Venus Snap Razor, $13
This razor should really win a design award. It has a full-size Venus razor head with a generous moisturizing strip, but the stubby little handle cuts the overall size of the traditional razor by more than half. Brilliant!

March 11, 2014


Our favorite ponytails from New York Fashion Week.



Ponytails used to be the go-to hairstyle for the gym or when you’re on that third-day of stretching out a blowout, but now thanks to the Kate Spade and Band of Outsiders runway shows at Fall/Winter 2014 New York Fashion Week, the ponytail can be a legitimately chic hairstyle for work or even evening—a godsend for when you don’t have the time or energy to wrestle with a your blowdryer. Here are the best ponytails we spotted backstage.



At the Band of Outsiders fashion show, we swooned over this edgy and messy low ponytail that is so easy to do. Lead hairstylist Didier Malige for Rene Furterer called it “glamorous but rebellious.” Didier spilled his five easy steps so we can create the look at home.


1. Starting with clean, damp hair, make a deep side part, then mist sections of hair, focusing on the roots, with Rene Furterer Volumea Volumizing Conditioning Spray, $26.

2. Blowdry hair while tousling with fingers to create volume and texture. (If you have a diffuser attachment, that’ll help prevent frizz.). As you’re blowdrying, spritz a little Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo, $24, as you go, working it through the hair with your fingers. The dry shampoo gives your hair a natural wave and enhances the texture.
3. Tease your hair if you’d like a little bit more volume and height at the crown, but skip if you want a sleeker effect. Then finish off with Rene Furterer Vegetal Finishing Spray, $27, for movement and natural finish.
4. Gather hair in the back to create a low-pony, wrapping it with a thin ponytail holder like Goody’s Black Elastics,$4.
5. Lastly, leave one ear slightly covered an use your your fingers to loosen a few pieces around your face for a messy and roughed-up look.



Want a more polished and sophisticated ponytail? We loved this sleek   style from the Kate Spade fashion show, created by lead hairstylist Tommy Buckett for Garnier. It is a great hairstyle for those super busy days when you need a chic look that’ll stay put. Tommy gave us the low-down on how to re-create the look.

1. Apply Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil 5-Action Hair Elixir, $6, to damp hair, then use a large round brush to create a super sleek and shiny blowout.
2.  Next, spritz hair with Garnier Fructis Style Power Hairspray Disorder, $6, (which is actually a men’s hairspray!) to give you hair added grip and ensure it’ll stay in place.
3. Now brush hair back into a high ponytail, with the base at the crown of your head. Tommy’s key tip:  Lean your chin downward as you fasten the elastic around the ponytail to ensure the bottom of it stays sleek and smooth. Tommy actually used a piece of leather to match leather accent pieces of Kate Spade’s collection. Give it another shot of hairspray, then you’re good to go.

February 5, 2014


WHAT I’M LOVING Dr. Brandt’s revolutionary anti-aging pearl serum, DNA (Do Not Age).  As you’ve probably read, all the beauty editors and gorgeous celebs are buzzing about how it’s literally transformed their skin, reversing signs of aging by adding luminosity and vibrancy within just a few weeks. Dr. B’s legendary cult status following is no joke; even in the midst of a New York blizzard his modern-art-adorned practice is teeming with radiant-skinned clients.









December 30, 2013

On Pretty Impressed: New Year’s Resolutions

Rachel Hayes, founder of Pretty Impressed, Elaine D'Farley, Beauty Director of Self Magazine, Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty, and Jacqui Stafford, fashion expert and author of The Wow! Factor share their New Year's resolution strategies.



Every year, at the end of December, the media bombards us with tips on how to pick and stick to our New Year’s resolutions. But do we even care? Seriously, I find the whole process intimidating, stresfull and that it just sets me up to feel like a total failure come February. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a positive person. I’m constantly taking stock of what could be improved in my life throughout the year, so making such a big fuss about self-improvement seems not only to be redundant, but more pressure than my daily self-imposed load. I asked some other supermoms if they make New Year’s resolutions to see if they feel the same way. Here’s what they said:

Jacqui Stafford, fashion expert and author of The Wow Factor.
“I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do a re-evaluation of where my life is to see if I need to change any aspect of it! I make a list of everything going on and try to make sure it’s all in balance—family, career, relationships. I try to make sure it’s a perfect trifecta every year, but most years I fail miserably. Ha!”

Sonia Kashuk, Makeup Artist and Founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty.
“I generally don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I find that I adjust my life day in and day out. However, I’ve had such a crazy schedule for the last 2½ months that I haven’t worked out regularly, so this year I’m beginning the holiday break with a return to the gym. I know I’ll stick with this resolution as I’ve been an avid gym rat for 30 plus years, so this is the time to refocus and reset.”

Elaine D’Farley, SELF Magazine’s Beauty Director,
“I take New Year’s as a time to reflect and regroup. I do make resolutions, but they’re usually things I know I should be doing, have done, am trying to do but have fallen out of the habit of doing. It’s all about the usual suspects: living in the moment, working out more, eating less carbs and more green vegetables, drinking less wine and more water, saving more and spending less, being grateful for what I have and staying positive. But I also make resolutions throughout the year, like at the end of spring, beginning of summer, and on my birthday—it’s a seasonal thing, rather than a one time of year thing. However, I find New Year’s to be special because everyone is talking about resolutions, which makes it more of formal time to think, plan, reflect, and work on evolving my life.”

OK, OK. I agree with all of the above! I’ll admit January is a special time to kick start some changes. So, in addition to all of the best intentions stated above, I have a new thing to add to my list: to wake up earlier. I’m so impressed by how many supermoms whom I’ve interviewed wake up before 6 a.m. to have time to themselves and get ready to face the day in an organized manner. If I could just start waking up an hour earlier, I think every day would be a little less stressful and time crunched. So, let’s see if I can do this…or if come February, Ill still be hitting the snooze button.

Your turn. Spill it. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

December 4, 2013

The Parisian’s Beauty Secret… Revealed.

For years, all my uber-gorgeous, wildly-chic Parisian friends have sworn that they know the secret to great skin. And then I bribed one who told me what it was: They use Orlane’s B21 Extraordinaire. The fancy science behind it resets cells, slows malfunctions, and restores the positive glow found in youthful skin with the help of 21 essential amino acids. It’s not cheap, but treat yourself to one for the holidays. (B21 retails for $250. or


November 14, 2013


WHAT I’M LOVING TODAY… OK…so with whisper-fine hair, I’m skeptical when people tell me that they have a miracle product that cleanses, conditions AND adds volume. But then I heard whisperings about this amazing new product at Julien Farel’s Madison Avenue salon, so I had to try it for myself.  This stuff works. Brilliantly. My hair looks seriously full, voluminous and bouncy.

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