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The BEST 6 New Obsessions: From Lip Tar to Hoes

By Nora Zelevansky / February 14th, 2013

It’s been ages — ages I tell you! — since I last posted simply about my latest obsessions.  It’s about time, I say!  (Why am I talking weird and old timey?)

I know I actually neglected to post about The Bachelor this week too, but — you know — what was there to say besides Tierra is a pyschopath, who treats others terribly and then somehow manages to feel like a victim, Lesley and Catherine should get a room and Des’ hometown date looks potentially psychotic.  (The operative word is potentially, since the possible confrontation they teased may well have been a red herring, since she seems like the most likely final choice.)

SO!  Moving onto “real” life, here in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the my wee day-to-day pleasures:

1. LIP TAR from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (*pictured above)

I’m not much of a bright lipstick girl because I don’t really have the massive lips to support it.  However, I’m so damn pale from NYC winter that a burst of color seemed like the only solution, so — the other day — I channeled my inner Zooey Deschanel (or okay Jess) slathered on this neon pink stuff and discovered that it’s brilliant.  It’s so opaque and bright that it’s like painting your lips, but it goes on thin and shiny like lip gloss.  I may be walking around looking like a fool — who knows? — but I am loving this stuff because it’s unlike any other lip sitch I’ve tried before.  And at least I don’t look as much like a zombie.

PS Also, I’ve been known to like natural products.  I’ve also been known to like chemicals and lasers.  However, I was happy to learn that this company is totally cruelty-free & vegan.  Now I feel even more virtuous wearing the stuff!  Their store is LES, but their products are sold all over.

2. LA ROSE DANCE WEAR & HOSIERY

Generally, I stick with Spanx tights/stockings.  Actually, that’s a lie: Generally, I stick with the random and sad assortment of stockings that have someone landed in my closet over the years.  Stolen from my mom?  Left by my sister?  Borrowed from a friend?  Gifted at some party?  (That last one refers to a pair of neon green fishnets that blend into my skin and make me look like I have scales from far away.)

But I digress: Yesterday, I picked out a dress for the next day’s Nanette Lepore Fashion Week show and then realized that I had no intact, hole-less stockings left.  It was already evening and I was late for The Gin Lovers book party, where I was meeting my editor and another author.  What to do?  On the advice of one very generous salesperson at a store down the street, I stopped into this old school Park Slope dance shop on 5th Avenue.  It’s really no frills, but the owner was there and let me in, despite the late hour.  She explained to me that I was looking at the wrong size for my proportions (she says the size chart is useless).  And she sold me two pairs of tights.  That are amazing.  And fit perfectly.  And feel like they won’t run.  For $8 each.  I am never spending $40 on stockings again.  The End.  Try a dance store near you!

3. THE SOUP BOWL

Locals will mostly know, but Drewser and I just happened upon this “pop up” spot that serves only soup and bread.  The menu is revolving — the man there said there are about 200 options — and range from Lobster Sweet Potato Bisque to Sausage & Eggplant (like red checkered tablecloth Italian food, as soup).  Bacon & Lima Bean soup AND Turkey Bacon & Vegetable have both been highlights for me.  The people who work there are lovely and you can sample any soups you choose — it’s so cozy and delicious during the cold winter.

Anyway, I am totally obsessed and I’m going as much as possible because they close, most likely, by March 1.  Then, they go back to being an Uncle Louie G. Italian Ices spot.  Which I sort of can’t complain about because I love that too.  Only, couldn’t we have both?  Couldn’t we?  Actually, I think it’s a totally brilliant idea; people should always split their shops by seasonal offerings.  Genius!

*They list what they have for the day on their site, but you should get their early if you have specific desires because they do run out of various kinds, especially if it’s snowy and cold!

4. UNIQLO LOUNGE WEAR

It’s cheap.  It’s super cozy.  It’s thicker and more substantial than you expect.  In need to buy three more pairs.  Need I say more?  Also, have you tried the FLUFFY SOCKS?  OMG.  Don’t get me started.  Let’s just say, it’s surprising that I leave my house.  (And I often do — with them inside my rain boots!  What?  Yup.  Blow.  Your.  Mind.)

5. FINE COLLECTION Sweaters

I have never been so thrilled (well, maybe at some point) than when I discovered that one of my favorite Nolita boutiques, Poppy, was opening up shop just blocks from my house.  I love their stuff, they have great sales.  It’s just reliable and good.  Anywaaay, actually the Manhattan store this week, I happened upon a Fine Collection sweater that was on sale — the price point is reasonable anyway — and just seemed like that item I’d been looking for all fall and winter without success.  It’s a completely simple, long-sleeves, non-itchy, over-sized but not without shape sweater in a color that sometimes looks slate and sometimes looks green.  It’s amazing.  And now I am super curious about the collection in general.  Eyes out!

6. RENOUVE

I honestly can’t say enough about this product.  I am completely obsessed.  This is brilliant: A hand sanitizer that’s the consistency of a serum and acts both as an anti-bacterial agent AND an anti-aging product.  I mean.  If you aren’t intrigued in this flu season, with harsh colder weather, you’ve lost it!  Lost it, I tell you.  Anyway, I am a fan 4-EVA because it doesn’t smell like alcohol or strip your hands of moisture and it dries super quickly.  That’s it!

Anyway … That’s all for now!  More later, as I explore the challenging world of  … I dunno.  Not bare midriffs.

xo – N.

 

Good News & Bad News & Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / January 10th, 2012

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Okay, so the bad news is that I'm a day late with The Bachelor recap.  Sadly, I was out last night and never got to watch the show.  Booo hisss.  But I'll watch later tonight and then write about it.  Promise.  Crossies don't count.

The GOOD news is that I have a bunch of stories to share, including my first Newsweek/Daily Beast story about "Janupause" or the abstinence from drinking for the month of January.

What else?  I spent much of the last week of December writing stories for elle.com about Kate Somerville's new Dermal Quench Liquid Lift, Dionne Phillips' at home eyelash extension kit, touchscreen gloves (for using your iPod in the cold weather), a new line from Burt's Bees, NYE romance tips from author Harlan Cohen and, mostly recently, a DIY (at home!) gel manicure kit.

I also interviewed a YA novelist and all around cool guy Paul Griffin about his new book, Stay With Me.  He's a dog trainer too, so there's a pit bull integrated into the story line.

That's sorta all for now.  I promise to watch The Bachelor and report back, although the inside scoop from another loyal watcher is that this episode was snoozeville.  Only time will tell!  Anyway, boring Bachelor is still better than most things.  Sad, sad statement.

Oh!  And, based on the advice of the social media person at St. Martin's, I created my own Facebook Author page for my book SEMI-CHARMED LIFE that's coming out in July.  If you "LIKE" it, you can get updates on readings and stuff like that.  Also, if you LIKE it, I will LIKE you.  And what could be better than that?

xo – N.

THE BEST TIME FOR A BIG UPDATE (& Shameless Self-Promotion)

By Nora Zelevansky / October 24th, 2011

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Well, the rumors are true.  Oh.  Wait.  You haven't heard buzz in the press about my move to NYC?  (And by "press" I mean on my Facebook page.)

The Drewser & I are headed back to the east coast, where an NYC apartment already awaits.

In the meantime, it's been fashion and beauty central online for me, hitting events and launches all over the place.

Also, I'm not sure if I've even mentioned this on PL before, but I have a novel coming out in the spring!  It's a very big deal for me, so I can't even pretend to be cool about it.  The book is called "SEMI-CHARMED LIFE" and I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that from me in the coming months.

That's monopolized a lot of fun time too (in a great way), along with my good old "Fit Like Us" self.com blog (which, considering my lack of exercise lately, should really be called "Fit Like Anyone Else").

Anyway — a few highlights from the last few eons for your reading pleasure (one hopes):

Geren Ford's new multi-purpose space with boutique The Annex, showroom and event area opened this weekend (pictured above).  elle.com

Warren Tricomi Salon's west coast partner Kaz Amor just launched a new haircare line (mostly au natural) called VoCe.  It's all about the Surf Mist. elle.com

Beckley Boutique (on LA's Melrose) owner Melissa Akkaway launches her inaugural clothing line, Beckley By Melissaelle.com

Veuve Clicquot & Rachel Zoe got together for some polo and some charity fundraising at Will Rogers State Park in the Pacific Palisades. Style.com

Dior Launches Scented Nail Polish (like roses!) and a whole new "Garden Party" cosmetic color palette during a luncheon at The Chateau. Style.com

Beauty happenings in LA: Natura Bisse teamed up with The Beverly Wilshire for a spa dinner fit for The Hunger Games' Capital; The Nail Bar opens at The Beverly Wilshire & Rossano Ferretti opens in Beverly Hills. Style.com

Vosges Chocolate lands in Beverly Hills with some exotic takes on chocolate from curried versions to vegan. Daily Candy

Whetherly t-shirt company launches with an ideal cut and color from a sports wear expert.  Daily Candy

That's all for now.

xo – N.

 

NYC (& BEYOND): Jasmine(!) Lip Glaze You Can’t Live Without

By Nora Zelevansky / September 30th, 2011

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Okay, okay, this time I've been so horribly remiss in posting that I can't even apologize.  How many times can I abuse you poor LINTERS and then try to offer you flowers?  (Metaphorically speaking, of course.  I don't actually HAVE any flowers for any of you.)

That said, I got too obsessed with the above Korres Lip Butter Glaze not to spread the good word.  First of all, who the heck ever heard of a "Jasmine" flavored lip glaze?  Yes, please!  (It does come in other tints/scents, but why would you want that?)

Second, two words: LIP BUTTER.  I mean, you know how I feel about body butter, people, and lipgloss.  Just think of the the level of euphoria!  It goes on like silk, it STAYS on like heaven and it smells divine.  AND — in these po' ass times — it only costs $14, so you can buy it without guilt.

Which is good.  Because with guilt comes flowers.  And that's just an added expense.

xo – N.

ITALY VIA LA (AND BEYOND): 2 NEW CREAMS FROM AN 800-YEAR-OLD APOTHECARY

By Nora Zelevansky / September 1st, 2011

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You think you're ancient?  Santa Maria Novella is just OVER 800.  But look how pretty you can look, even when you're old???  Well, maybe only if you're made by monks.

Anyhoo — I'm on vacay, but took a moment out of my busy beach lolling schedule to write up the launch of these two new toning body creams from the Florentine company for elle.com.

They smell insane and look oh so good on your sink.  Sign me up.  I'll have 800.  One for each glorious year.

xo – N.

 

LA (BEVERLY HILLS & BEYOND): ALL THE ROID RAGE [SONYA DAKAR’S NUTRASPHERE LINE]

By Nora Zelevansky / October 5th, 2010

Appples-and-banooonoos
I know, I've just been the worst blogger lately.  And by that I mean, that I haven't written word one while away in NYC.

Sorry chickadees.  But I've been shoved back into the game from my position of repose by a story today on elle.com, written by moi, about Sonya Dakar's new Nutrasphere line, which employs bio-engineered Human Growth Hormone and Apple Stem Cells.

I haven't tried the products yet, but, as I mentioned before, I am a fan of her new green sunblock.

So, read on, dear LINTERS.  And forgive me my sins.  Just think of how hard it's been to motivate.  How can I not be depressed now that they've cancelled Huge?  I'm emotionally eating just thinking about it.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST HAND & FOOT CREAMS TO USE ALL OVER

By Nora Zelevansky / July 15th, 2010

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I use hand and foot cream as all over moisturizer.  Contrary to popular belief, using lotions other than "as directed" in this particular way does not make you sprout random toes on your shoulders or anything like that.

Actually, a hand or foot-specific lotion is simply more viscous and thicker than the average body stuff and therefore more moisturizing, which is especially useful when it's all dry and desert-like here in L.A.

My two new OBSESSIONS in this department are quite different:

The blue one is a relatively new all natural Liz Earle "Foot Repair Moisturiser," which is made with shea butter (love!), avocado oil, peppermint and rosemary essential oils.  Earle's deeply respected products are made in England and this one is especially lovely, smelling as it does of mint and offering a little bit of that accompanying cooling sensation.  This is the best!

But then Jo Malone's" Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Treatment" is also the best, so that's confusing: We have two bests!  And they' both originate in Britain.  Maybe they have really dry skin there?  Anyway, this smells more perfume-like of "pomelo and cassis."  It's truly the most wonderful scent: A mix of fruitiness and something almost floral, but not too much of either.

I do wonder if the Vitamin E Body Balm might do the trick, as well.  Maybe I'll try that next, as I'm almost out of the Hand version.  Maybe I'll get really crazy and actually use both these products as intended, for my hands and feet alone.  After all, tomorrow is another day.

xo – N.

LA (BEVERLY HILLS): THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE ila

By Nora Zelevansky / May 4th, 2010

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Not that I would ever complain about the myriad spa treatments I experience for work's sake (somebody has to do it), BUT, after careful research and extensive study from here to India and back again, I'm going to go right ahead and say, I'm not a big fan of the scrub.

Part of what bothers me is the occasional sponge bath element, where a massage therapist rubs off the crystals with a damp cloth.  It just sort of feels like it's for old people or something–eeks.  On the more sane side of things, I also just feel like it tends to be a slightly chilly experience, as you're lying wet on a table in open air, and sometimes it just sort of hurts.

What?  I'm a sensitive lady?  CAN YOU NOT TELL?

ANYWAY, this is all to say that I was really pleasantly surprised when I experienced The Spa at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills' Manipura Experience last week.  The hotel is just finishing up a multi, multi-million dollar renovation (which includes a pool with a PADDED bottom BTW) and so I took a tour of the newly redone Presidential Suite (swanky) and also got pampered at the spa.

The 90-minute treatment starts with a scrub, which is just WAY less abrasive than the usual ones.  Also, you're a bit damp, but not too wet during the process, so you're never cold.  Really, is there anything better than a heated massage table?  Like I need one of those mofos at home.  For real.  ANDRE!  Are you listening?

Anyway, then I got to shower off (without help, thank goodness) and then was rewarded with an hot poultice massage.  Gotta love that.  Poultice massages are most certainly the thing at spas across the country, as–in the last four months–I've experienced them at Vegas' Aria Spa, Upstate New York's Mohonk Mountain House and now here.  Basically, they wraps herbs and good things in a soft version of cheese cloth, tie in up like a pouch, heat and wet it and then press it into your body like a tool for kneading.

I think I have a good massage therapist to thank for my lovely treatment.  But I also think the new ila products the spa is using are just awesome.

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First of all, I heart the packaging.  Secondly, the British line is natural and pure and stuff, so you get to feel virtuous about using it.

I do think maybe inside the Four Seasons Spa may in fact be the best way (at least in L.A.) to experience the products, though I really wouldn't mind popping a few candles around my house and some bath salts in my tub to test that theory.  Are you listening?  ANDRE!

xo – N.