Monthly Archives

January 2017

Beauty, Pretty Things

The Nose Knows

A spritz here, a spray there and a little dab will do when it comes to perfume and cologne. Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and fragrances are one of the most popular gifts bought for sweethearts around the world. This bit of feminine charm is a great way to showcase your personality and style and can actually be your symbolic trait that people remember you by. In other words, the nose knows.

This past summer I traveled to London. One afternoon when I was browsing around at Harrod’s department store, I accidentally took the wrong set of elevators and wound up in the Salon de Parfum on the 6th floor. There were little perfume boutiques in the salon with exclusive brands that I had never heard of before. Some of these exclusive brands even displayed crystal vats of ancient perfume oils that were hundreds of years old.  It was totally unintentional but this wrong turn ended up being a sensory overload, a sweet smelling secret getaway and an educational experience all in one! The sales team explained to me the difference between perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette and cologne and also explained that fragrances are classified by the concentration of essence oils.

Here is a handy breakdown:

Perfume – between 15 – 25% perfume oil and between 85 – 75% alcohol/water

Eau de Parfum – between 8 – 15% perfume oil and between 92 – 85% alcohol/water

Eau de Toilette  – between 4 – 10% perfume oil and between 96 – 90% alcohol/water

Cologne – between 2 – 5% perfume oil and between 85 – 75% alcohol/water

The quality of the fragrance oils (not the concentrations) determine how strong and how long a fragrance is going to last. Because the formulations differ, an Eau de Parfum of a certain fragrance will not smell exactly like the Eau de Toilette version with the same name. Also, an eau de parfum and perfume will last longer than eau de cologne or eau de toilette. After all these years of wearing perfume, it was thrilling to learn something new about scent. Here are some other tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years:

  1. Rub Vaseline on your pulse points before spraying your perfume and the scent will last longer than if you spray it on dry skin. Your pulse points are behind your ears, on your neck, inside your wrist, inside your elbow and behind your knees.
  2. Don’t rub your wrists together after spraying your perfume. Your fragrance won’t last as long because the top notes disappear faster.
  3. Apply an unscented lotion before spraying on your fragrance. Oily skin retains fragrances longer.
  4. For a lighter scent, spray the fragrance into the air and walk through the mist. When  you don’t want the scent to be quite so strong, this will leave you with just a hint of fragrance evenly distributed around your body.
  5. Lightly spray some perfume on your hairbrush and brush your hair. Be careful though because too much can dry out your hair.
  6. Don’t store your perfume in the bathroom. The humidity will break down the perfume oils. Tip: Store it in your bedroom instead.
  7. After you spray the scent, wait until it dries before you get dressed. Otherwise, it will rub off when you put on your clothes.

If you choose to layer your perfumes just be careful not to layer more than 2 perfumes at a time. You don’t want people to smell you on the other side of town and remember, the nose knows.



The Perfect Workout Legging

It’s 2017 (big yay!) and at the beginning of the new year comes a whole list of popular and trending New Year’s resolutions. Eating healthier and getting in shape are always close to the top of that list and in the past, it has been at the top of mine as well. Come January 1st, after the big holiday food fest, the gyms are all overcrowded and exercise classes are full.

Whether you’re a fan of spinning, jogging, crossfit, pilates or yoga, the right exercise gear for each type of workout is essential. With so many brands and styles out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to invest in. One of the challenges that I always have is trying to find the perfect pair of workout leggings that both look and feel good on my body.

Alo Yoga, Athleta, lululemon and Nike (in alphabetical order) all have stores on the westside of Los Angeles in the neighborhoods that I frequent. They have an online presence which makes it easy, but I like the fact that I can go to the actual stores to to try on the items first. Just like shopping for a new bathing suit, I’d much rather shop in the stores to find the best style with the best fit before I shop for leggings online. Then, when I fall in love with a pair I can reorder another whenever I need to online. I tested all these brands for fashionability, price, comfort and utility. Read on to find your perfect pair!

Fashionability: 5/5 score reserved for trendiest pair; most brunch worthy workout wear.

Comfort: 5/5 score reserved for comfiest pair; most couch worthy on a lazy Sunday.

Utility: 5/5 score reserved for best performing pair; perfect for any marathon workout.

Price: Here I’ll give you the full range the brand charges for leggings.

Alo Yoga – Alo Yoga makes leggings that are super chic and incredibly trendy. The latest styles have slashes and holes that give them an ultra edgy look. Alo makes high fashion exercise wear that will get you from your workout to your brunch out. Alo’s leggings are adorable and flattering – but if comfort is your priority, these are not your best bet.

Fashionability: 5/5

Price: $78 – $125

Comfort: 2/5

Utility: 3/5

– This line is tops when it comes to price. Currently there are coupons on the website for an extra 20% off on all sale items. Since this line is part of the GAP, Banana Republic and Old Navy group, they always have good sales. The prints are cute and some styles feature “Sculptek”, Athleta’s new compression fabric that offers not only great support, but also helps to hold you in in all the right places.

Fashionability: 4/5

Price: $89 – $108

Comfort: 4/5

Utility: 4/5

Nike – For hardcore outdoor sports like jogging and hiking, the Nike leggings are hard to beat! The zip pockets come in handy and the Dri-Fit fabrics help to keep you dry when exercising outdoors as it enhances breathability. There’s a higher percentage of spandex in these leggings as well, which adds more stretch, promotes mobility, and provides better support. Some of the styles have fabric so smooth that it feels like you’re wearing a second skin. Cool and comfy!

Fashionability: 3/5

Price: $60 – $115

Comfort: 4/5

Utility: 5/5

lululemon – For me, lululemon’s leggings are my absolute favorite, and when it comes to comfort, this brand is hard to beat. I love them for pilates, walking, yoga and all other kinds of moderate workouts. These leggings suck me in right where I need it and when it comes to lifting the booty and slimming the thighs, these rock. I like the high rise “Wunder Under” crop style the best because not only is the style flattering but the length is also perfect for my short stature. It just hits me at that perfect spot. Although the lululemon stores offer free hemming it’s pretty great to not have to deal with it.

Fashionability: 3/5

Price: $88 – $128 (with one pair coming in at $298!)

Comfort: 5/5

Utility: 4/5

The other brands to keep a look out for are Sweaty Betty and Rese athletic wear. Currently Sweaty Betty has locations in London, New York and right around the corner from me in Santa Monica. The styles and prints are bright, super cute and have an “uptown” look. The fabrics are comfortable and provide the right amount of stretch as well. The other brand to keep an eye on is Rese which has so many fashionable styles, a great website and plenty of online sales.

In the fitness wear world, it’s “game on.” On your mark. Get set. Go and check these stores out to look and feel your best when you hit the gym in 2017. Happy New Year!