If there’s one thing we all want for Valentines’ Day (or every day) it is soft, kissable lips. Who better than to help us hydrate and protect them better than Vaseline? Petroleum jelly has been helping to protect and nurture skin for generations. Every beauty-savvy woman knows that a dab of Vaseline ( to a whole lot of it) will help banish dry and/or irritated skin. Made just for lips, the Original Vaseline Lip Therapy looks cute enough in it’s petite, plastic pot, but a blinged-out version is way better! You will turn heads and earn true lip product envy when you showcase this sparkler on an evening out, or just at the office. Reality TV star and designer Chris March created a bejeweled Vaseline Lip Therapy jar for the holidays, but they went faster than a speeding bullet. Contest: Now, you have a chance to actually win a Valentine’s Day-edition Swarovski Crystal bejeweled Vaseline® Lip Therapy® Original jar! On Valentine’s Day, Vaseline will be offering the limited-edition jars (worth $62.00). Those wishing to win can try logging on to www.VaselineLipTherapy.com on 2/14 at 1pm for a one-day flash giveaway of the special Swarovski jars. There are only 100, so you’ll have to act fast. But you can still treat yourself to the product in the standard Vaseline Lip Therapy pot that’s cute and easy to use. It might not look as sexy, but the Vaseline Lip Therapy inside the pot it will help keep your lips that way! Vaseline is one of the most recognizable skin care products in the world — and I mean, for decades. Petrolatum has moisturizing and skin healing properties because it forms a barrier preventing moisture from escaping the skin. It’s good for all parts of your skin, not just lips. But did you know that you can mix Vaseline Lip Therapy with a favorite lipstick for a custom lip gloss that actually cares for your lips? Pretty neat! The standard little plastic pot is the perfect place to store your custom blend. The standard jars are available at Wal-Mart and Target (SRP $1.79).
You don’t need to be in love, to enjoy a cup of Kusmi’s luxurious tea. One that’s particularly great for this time of year is “Sweet Love,” created to caress your body and soul, with a blend of Black China tea, spices, pink pepper and guarana seeds. The Advice Sisters first reviewed Kusmi Tea last November. You can taste a bit of a tang from the spices, in a warming (not weird) way. You don’t need milk, sugar or lemon — it’s perfectly balanced to tickle your taste buds just as is. I think it would make a great iced tea as well, refreshing and spicy. You might even blend in a bit of your favorite liquor for a drink of love!
Founded in 1867 in St. Petersburg, Kusmi Tea of Paris is has produced both traditional and innovative blends for the last 140 years. Kusmi Tea is known for beautiful packaging, and gorgeous, luxe, colorful labels (not to mention the teas are tee-riffic)! Nicely boxed gift-sets of loose tea and/or tea bags (lovely, muslin fabric, not dinky paper) start at $21.95 24 (for enveloped tea bags of 12 different teas). The Sweet Love tin is just oozing romance! Brew some love on Valentine’s Day! If you’re visiting Manhattan ( the first store in the United States, and it’s right near Bloomingdales) you can personally sniff dozens of deliciously-scented blends. If not, just visit the Kusmi Tea Web Site and order there.
Last Fall The Advice Sisters reviewed a curious little luxury product called Purusa by Sebastian Signs. Since launching the custom fragrance house Sebastian Signs in 2003, perfumer Sherri Sebastian has crafted exquisite little perfumes, bath salts, and goat milk soaps—she developed Purusa to help her sleep. Sebastian Signs believes that a little luxury should be an essential part of everyone’s life. One thing that may be a must-have and not a luxury is a gentle soap to cleanse your body, one with gorgeous scents and good-for-your-skin, ingredients. Whether it’s for Valentines Day, or any day, I need to gush a bit about Sebastian Signs Goat Milk Soaps scented with the company’s most popular fragrances #17, #3r, #44 (and there’s also a sage and lavender). Detergents and other harsh ingredients often in traditional soap can leave skin stripped, but the goat milk and glycerin in these bars combine to draw moisture into your skin, leaving it soft, smooth and scented. As luxury soaps should be, a small batch production ensures high quality. These are definitely luxury soaps, although they’re not crazy-expensive. Soap scented with #17 contains top notes of dark chocolate which dissipate after 20 minutes, leaving you with notes of sandalwood and vanilla absolute and perhaps. A hint of Nag Champa incense. #35 contains top notes of bergamot, coriander, and fresh green notes. A body with florals such as Bulgarian rose absolute and French jasmine, with a dry down of white woods, ambers and a hint of vanilla bean. #44 contains gardenia and wrapped with baby honeysuckle, and black pepper absolute.
The perfume oils that these soaps are scented with, seem amazing—sophisticated and really different and lovely. Alas, the vial I received of #17 perfume oil was so laughably tiny I really couldn’t wear test it. But I did smell the chocolate right away. And I wish I could say that the soaps really smelled strongly of the perfume oils, but even in the zip-top bags the individual soaps arrived in, I could barely discern the delicious notes of #17 (#35 and #44 were slightly stronger). I might have been disappointed if I’d forked over $7.00 for a scented soap and I could barely discern the scent. But, the creamy white bars of luxe soap more than made up for the lack of stronger scents. Studies have shown that this goat milk has restorative and
healing properties. thanks to naturally occurring enzymes that work to (gently) exfoliate skin, leaving it healthier and; smoother and of course, hydrated. Goat milk also has lactose that exfoliates and helps speed cellular turnover. Since it has a very close pH to our own skin, it’s non irritating, too. You can’t go wrong with goat milk–it’s a romantic part of Valentine’s Day! Visit Sebastian Signs and check out the fragrances and the soap at www.sebastiansigns.com
Scent is so central to Valentine’s Day, be it flowers, perfume, or home scents. But it’s one of those “little luxuries” that you don’t have to wait for a special day to enjoy. Scent makes a mood, can change your outlook, and transform your space into something special. One company that makes a particularly elegant and luxurious set of home scents by Alora Ambiance. The company is the creation of two sisters, Annie and Therese Gibbons. Influenced by their travels in Italy, they developed their own trio of signature scents, in 2000, According to their web site they are Barneys New York #1 selling fragrance diffuser. It’s easily to see why. These diffusers look and smell truly beautiful. The outer carton is simple, natural, corrugated cardboard but then the square label is not paper, it’s a piece of beautiful fabric. The same fabric is used on the clear scent bottle within. That’s a luxurious touch I’ve never seen before. It might cost more, but it makes the entire presentation feel more unique. Alora’s diffusers come in 16 different scents, but I tried “Agrume,” an uplifting, unisex blend of energizing Grapefruit, zesty orange and to temper the citrus just a bit, just a hint of eucalyptus. Alora Ambiance offers candles and traditional room sprays as well, but home diffusers are a safer alternative to lit candles, especially if there are “little ones” and/or pets around. The 16 oz. bottle ($90.00) with sticks measures approximately 17 inches tall and lasts 4-6 months. The smaller, 8 oz bottle ($60.00) with sticks measures approximately 14 inches tall and lasts 2-3 months. Yes, these are fairly pricey, but the problem with many reed scent diffusers are that they initially smell great, but the scent wears away very quickly, even if you flip the reed sticks over. But the Alora Ambiance scents are significant and you can smell them from one side of a large room to the other, although they are not obnoxiously in your face. The scent is just lightly reminding you it’s there. You get what you pay for: beauty and quality. Check out Alora Ambiance online and make all your days, special.
Flowers, butterflies, red and pink: these are all symbols of love, romance and of course, Valentine’s Day. One of the ways to be festive, even on a budget, is with hair jewelry. These two items from Elle can be found in your local mass market retailers and drug stores, and online, for under $25.00 (many way under that price), but they’ll pack a fashionable punch on Valentine’s Day, or any day. As Redken’s creative consultant, Guido always tells me (and he’s the star behind runway hair in NYC and Europe), a woman doesn’t have to go for a full out “do” when she’s getting ready to go out. But she should try to show that she’s “made an effort.” By that, Guido means something as simple as a barrette, a strategically-placed bobbi pin (these red and crystal ones will certainly convey “romance”), or maybe this pretty metal butterfly clip ($20.00) festooned with pink crystals, placed in an updo (or helping to actually hold it in place). Barettes, hair bands and bobbi pins were seen in so many runways for Spring 2012 – so get a jump on the trend now.
Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally about love and romance, those who are separated or divorced may feel the sting. One way to soften it, is by listening to a quirky classical music CD called Divorce Music, by the Lumiere String Quartet . It takes traditional music for the “love-lorn” and turns it into mellow sounds that you can enjoy any time. The CD would be a lovely gift for a divorce party, or just someone who has been dumped. The sonorous string selections include:
1. Ode to Sorrow (Based on Beethoven’s Ode To Joy)
2. Canon In D(ivorce) (Based on Pachelbel’s Canon in D)
3. Midsummer Nightmare (Based on Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream)
4. Where Did We Go Wrong?
5. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) 4:34
6. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover 3:37
7. Time to Say Goodbye 3:51
8. You Were Mine 3:33
9. D-I-V-O-R-C-E 3:02
10. These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ 3:07
11. Every Breath You Take 3:38
12. My Heart Will Go On 2:46
13. I Will Survive 2:41 Not Available
14. The Thrill Is Gone 3:32 Not Available
15. Ode to an Ex-Wife (Eat S**t and Die) [Explicit] 3:55 Not Available
16. I’m Still Standing
You can get Divorce Music as a download, or as a CD from Amazon — but not until February 14th!