Valentine’s Day gift guide

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I was tasked with finding Valentine’s Day gifts under $100 for men and women that strike that delicate balance of being romantic yet not cheesya tall order, especially when it comes to the former sex. I’m happy to report that I found more than a handful of unique presents for Time Out New York, such as DVF’s lip-print cosmetic pouches from Piperlime (left) and an endearingly possessive decanter set from Uncommon Goods (right).

See what other affordable gifts I discovered for guys and girls, respectively.

Trend watch: Detox beauty products

Detox beauty products

Writing this story on new detoxifying beauty products (and testing all of the products for it) was a great way to start my 2014 with a clean slate, beauty-wise, and that was the whole premise behind it. From clarifying shampoos and nail-rehab kits to a gradual week-long facial peel, I tracked down the latest offerings for Time Out New York that would slough away last year’s sins.

To see all of my top picks, click here.

 

New store: Lush Spa

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I first wrote about natural cosmetics brand Lush’s NYC spa back in August for Time Out New York‘s annual fall preview issue and was so excited for the English-inspired retreat to arrive stateside (they had previously existed only in the U.K.). The opening got pushed back a few months, as most construction projects in the city do, but I finally got to check it out in person this past weekend and was not disappointed.

As I noted in my new store writeup for this week’s issue, music plays a huge role in the treatments—the soundtrack to my Synesthesia massage acoustically captured 24 hours in the English countryside—and there’s a heavy British influence as a nod to the company’s heritage (expect your session to end with a proper cup of tea).

You can read more about the spa’s offerings here.

My style guide to NYC: TheStylisted

My Style Guide- The Stylisted

 

Since at-home beauty-booking site TheStylisted just launched in NYC, founders Julia Carmona and Lauren Katzberg were kind enough to share their favorite lesser-known West Village shops in this week’s Time Out New York. Not only did they divulge where they go for feminine frocks (Darling) and handsome gifts (Leo Design), but they gave insider tips such as checking inside the ottomans at Blessed Peacemakers for hidden stock.

Read all of their neighborhood recommendations here.

Trend watch: Sophisticated beer accessories

Trend watch: Sophisticated beer accessories

 

I’m not a beer drinker, but I put my personal differences with ale aside to round up an assortment of sophisticated beer accessories for this week’s suds-themed Time Out New York. I found grown-up items that will help you graduate from Solo cups and beer pong, such as a galvanized ice bucket, letterpress beer-tasting coasters and a wooden home-brewing game.

To see the full lineup, click on over here.

New store: Rouge New York

Rouge New York

 

I’ve never watched Law & Order: SVU, but it was still thrilling to meet actress Stephanie March and makeup artist Rebecca Perkins, who bonded on the set of the popular television series. The pair recently opened this makeup-only salon that aims to make professional cosmetic applications as accessible as a blowout or manicure. I had the pleasure of getting my face done there on opening day and wrote about it for Time Out New York.

You can read all the details of what they offer here.

Trend watch: Travel jewelry storage

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In the past, I’ve always used jewelry rolls to transport my baubles on trips, but I was pleasantly surprised at the array of other options available while researching this roundup of travel jewelry storage for Time Out New York. Among my finds are Lori Leigh Designs’s filing cabinet–like cases and So Pretty Jewelry’s storage handbags (and yes, the very same Stella & Dot clutch I use myself).

See what else I unearthed here.

In a New York minute: Lady Liperty lip facial

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One of the columns I introduced to Time Out New York‘s Shopping & Style section is “In a New York minute,” which profiles new express beauty services that cater to busy New Yorkers. In this latest installment, I visited the Red Door for a so-called lip facial that exfoliates chapped lips in 15 minutes flat. While the result was temporary, it was a welcome reprieve from a common winter beauty nuisance.

You can read an in-depth rundown of the treatment here.

Trend watch: Watches with whimsical faces

Trend watch: Watches with whimsical faces

 

In honor of New Year’s Eve, when all eyes are on the clock during the countdown, I sought out timepieces with fanciful faces that’ll give you something entertaining to look at for Time Out New York. I especially got a kick out of TKO’s emoji watch when I spotted it a spring preview a few months ago since I routinely have text conversations exclusively using the characters.

Find out what else made the cut here.

Trend watch: Fitness tanks with built-in bras

Trend watch: Fitness tanks with built-in bras

 

I first encountered this genius two-in-one design while on a shoot for my Street fashion with Christine Bibbo Herr piece this past summer; one of the gymgoers we featured had on Lululemon’s No Limits tank and I realized just how popular the garment was while searching for a doppelganger for the story—there are endless online threads dedicated to uncovering more affordable dupes. Turns out there are plenty of them out there: I rounded up a handful of options for Time Out New York just in time for New Year fitness resolutions to kick in.

To see all ten styles, including the original, click here.