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Lara Eurdolian, Pretty Connected Beauty Blog

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REVIEW: BECCA Apres Ski Glow Collection Face Palette Collection

I have a not so secret long time obsession with BECCA Cosmetics. So much so that whenever I’m at the Plaza and hit the food court downstairs (which PS opened 7 years ago), I think of them, since back in the day before the space served food it had a beauty vendor which was one of the few places you could shop the brand. They’ve come so far and are absolutely killing it, especially in the highlight/bronze face category, their latest palettes are no exception!

Cate Blanchett launches Change Destiny Series with SK-II

OMG I met Cate Blanchett! And I somehow managed to not have a heart attack. As many of you know Cate Blanchett is a long time ambassador for SK-II and started using the brand 15 years when her makeup artist introduced her to their legendary Facial Treatment Essence. Considering she doesn’t look like he aged in the past decade+ you can see why many consider this product the fountain of youth.

This week, Cate Blanchett hosted the launch of the new Change Destiny Limited Edition Facial Treatment Essence series in NYC. Same iconic formula available, now available in three limited edition packaging featuring the brands Change Destiny mantras – “Be the Person You DECIDE to be”, “CHANGE is in All of Us” and “DESTINY is a Matter of Choice” – individually emblazoned across all white bottles.

As a huge advocate of change, Cate talked about the campaign as well as her experience with the brand and the importance of sun protection and sleep when it comes to taking care of your skin and body. 

Neil Patrick Harris Want You to Get a Checkup

Cigna Health Insurance is encouraging everyone to get an annual checkup and they are using TV doctors to do it in their amazingly hilarious campaign, Cigna’s TV Doctors of America. The line up includes Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Dempsey, Kate Walsh, Donald Faison and Jane Seymour (where my ER doctors at?), they’ve saved lives on TV and now they are trying to do just the same in real life.

According to the CDC, if everyone in America gets the preventative care they need, more than 100,000 lives would be saved (more on the stats/campaign HERE).

To help spread the message Neil Patrick Harris hosted a fitness class yesterday let by his personal trainer, Alex Dropo at NYSC Lab in Chelsea. Neil opened with some remarks about his family and how important it is for him stay in good health and be a role model and encouraged the furthered Cigna’s message about getting annual check-ups and taking control of your own health. From there the workout class commenced and both Alex and Neil thoroughly kicked my a$$… All I can say is Neil Patrick Harris is in insane shape. I was lucky enough to be in his 4 person group for the second half of the class, which admittedly I tried to back out of because I have zero upper body strength (I’m more of a cycler/runner). I powered through though thanks to Neil and the group that gave me tips, kept our energy up and helped push me through it.

Pretty Sick The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer

I beaming with joy! My friend and someone I can’t begin to put into words how much I admire, launched her first book, Pretty Sick The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer last month. There’s really no way to water it down, cancer is scary, the side effects of chemotherapy… terrifying. Your skins a mess, you get mouth sores, your hair and nails can fall out — OMG. And yet her fixes and her book are anything but depressing, much like her it’s funny, real and filled with expert advice that’s easy to digest and something that anyone who wants to learn from the best should read. Because the advice is from the best of the best in the beauty world.

Virginia is for Wine Lovers

 

Chrysalis Vineyards dog friendly
Photo Credit: Peter Womack

Virginia boasts more than 280 wineries surrounded in plush greenery, mountain views and quaint towns. October is wine month in Virginia, there’s no better time to visit, especially with all the fun promotions and activities planned in anticipation.

Recently, we explored Middleburg, VA, it’s one of DC/VA‘s top wine destinations. Located in Loudoun County, an easy 40 minute easy drive from Dulles airport – you can rent a car or take a Uber/Lyft.

Photo Credit: Peter Womack

It’s the most beautiful time to explore wine country, the leaves are beginning to change and it’s very picturesque with beautiful colonial homes, antique shops and wineries. It’s also exceptionally dog friendly.

There are some really incredible properties you can’t miss, like Greenhill and Stone Tower Winery, which I could easily have spent the day at and many smaller wineries that are worth stopping by. We picked all dog-friendly wineries so we could bring Charlie, but regulations around dogs are always changing so make sure to call first and pick a beautiful day to spend outside with your pup.

How to Plan Your Trip:

There are over 50 wineries in the area, I visited 6 so there’s so much more to see and try. The Virginia Wine Board is a great resource to help plan your trip, check out their site at virginiawine.org.

Hiring a tour company is also an option, we worked with Bruce W. Schutte of Wine Pro Tours, who knows just about everything about Virginia wine, and is an exceptional resource for wineries in the area. His company picks you up from your hotel and drives you to the wineries of your choice for a very fun day of drinking without driving. Here are the wineries we visited:

Alexandria, Virginia is for Dog Lovers

Named one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US, Alexandria, VA did not disappoint. We spent the majority of the time in Old Town, a charming and walkable area filled with museums, restaurants, and great shopping. With dog bowls lining King Street, and dogs at every corner, Charlie could not have felt more at home. There’s also a free trolly that runs along King Street, which features a walkable (or trolly-able…) mile through Old Town with 200+ independently owned restaurants and boutiques.

What to do in Old Town, Alexandria, VA:

For starters, visit VisitAlexandriaVA.com or the Alexandria Visitor Center, located in the heart of Old Town at 221 King Street, they are filled with recommendations and able and willing to help you plan your perfect trip. You can also pick up a Key to the City Museum pass which is $15 ($49 value) and includes free passes to the Alexandria Black History Museum, Carlyle House Historic Park, Friendship Firehouse Museum, George Washington Masonic National Memorial Observation Deck, Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, and The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum, plus a 40% off discount coupon on the George Washinton’s Mount Vernon. Definitely call ahead to the museums for how pet-friendly they are but with Charlie in his bag, we had no problem with any of the ones listed below.

Explore the Waterfront and Founders Park

There are 18 public, off-leash dog parks in Alexandria (not including a bunch of private ones) and while I didn’t visit them all, Founders Park came highly recommended and was on the Alexandria Seaport/waterfront (which is a must visit). With riverside views of the Potomac, it’s a great place to walk the path or run around on the grass with your pup. You can book a boat ride on The Potomac Riverboat Company, which offers a variety of cruises including a 60-minute dog-friendly Canine Cruise on select days from May through September. If you’re in the mood for a picnic in the park, Society Fair and Windmill Hill Park came highly recommended. If you’re looking for a wonderful, pet-friendly seafood dining option on the water, Vola’s Dockside Grill is located in front of the Torpedo Factory Art Center on the Alexandria Seaport and is a great place to sit outside and people watch as the boats leave the marina.

NARS Drops Man Ray Collection For Holiday (and we’re OBSESSED!)

If you watch my unboxings on Instagram Stories, you know I get a million packages a day. While I like to think everything excites me, usually it’s a lot of the same. Leave it to NARS to always make me gasp! The Man Ray for NARS Holiday 2017 Collection is EVERYTHING! Killer packaging, incredible pigments, innovative colors, and so much creative expression. And the sets are all $55 or under, so there are some mega values pushing through.

So let’s start at the top, who is MAN RAY? He’s a visual artist known for some pretty spectacular black and white images, which reflect throughout this incredible collection. First, the sets…

IT Cosmetic’s CEO Seriously Inspires Us

Jamie Kern It CosmeticsI’ve talked about how much of a girl boss the CEO of It Cosmetics is before, but wow does she ever continue to impress. Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder, and CEO of the brand accepted the CEW Achiever Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of women leaders within the beauty industry. Jamie took her acceptance speech as an opportunity to call for change within the beauty industry, challenging the current images of beauty that are being put out in the world today.

 

IT Cosmetics CEO Calls Out the Beauty Industry, Calls for Change.

IT Cosmetics CEO Calls Out the Beauty Industry, Calls for Change. Share this video if you agree!

Posted by It Cosmetics on Saturday, September 16, 2017

“How will these images impact your mothers and your sisters, and how will they impact your daughters?” In closing her speech she asks, “What will you do with the power that is you?” Anyone else have a minor case of chills?!

Innisfree Opens in Union Square

Renowned Korean beauty brand, Innisfree, just opened their first U.S store recently in Union Square and it is beautiful (they also have a US site)! Known for their innovative formulas and responsible green practices, Innisfree skin care products are formulated with an average of 80% naturally derived ingredients responsibly sourced from the Korean island of Jeju. They are under the Amore Pacific umbrella (think Estee Lauder or L’Oreal of Asia), so you know this is one of those K-Beauty brands to have on your radar — especially since the price point is so affordable!!!!! I’m talking beauty products from lips to eyes for under $12, and skincare under $30 reasonable. It’s also organized by skin type, with beauty products down the middle and a cushion compact wall to die for. Cases are sold separately but then you can keep using them and just buying the refills to the product.

Swarovski Remix Soiree with Skai Jackson and Patricia FIeld

Swarovski REMIX Party with Skai Jackson, Patricia Field

Last week, I closed out fashion week with some major sparkle, hosting the Swarovski’s REMIX Collection Launch Party with actress, Skai Jackson at the brand’s Rockefeller Center Store. Skai also served as Teen Vogues Fashion Week ambassador and did a really great recap of her journey and the event on teenvogue.com. For anyone not familiar with the Remix collection, it’s a vast mix of silver and rose gold bracelets with a magnet clasp making it easy to stack, and also hook together to turn bracelets into wrap bracelets, necklaces and beyond.Karlie Kloss Swarovski Remix CampaignWith so many styles and endless mix and match opportunities — just look at all the different ways and personalities Karlie Kloss captures in her above ad campaign. What I love about this collection is its versatility and ability to be styled to your personal style. My style is a mix of edgy and classic, I love mixing metallics and textures. I also loved looping it through my ring finger.Speaking of personal style, I was so honored to have one of my favorite people join me, famed costume stylist and fashion icon, Patricia Field. And of course, my pomeranian and side kick, Charlie, who was rocking some Swarovski of his own.