DC Beauty Tour Photo Album

Girls, I'm back in North Carolina and my 7 year old sister is with me so I don't have much time to talk. Here are some pictures from the DC Beauty Tour to tide you over until I can write again. (How does A Mom in Red High Heels do this?!!)
Spa Patio at The Red Door at the Willard. Amazing
Ted Gibson & Gibson Girl, Anne Hathaway

Phyto Hair Care at Ted Gibson.

The Willard Hotel Lobby

Me, Stylin' & Profilin', and Yummy 411 - these girls know their beauty.

Lindsay Ebbin, National Makeup Artist for The Red Door Spas gives GouldyLox Reviews a seriously fab touch-up!

Enough said.

Me & Bliss

View from the W Hotel

The After Shot: A Ted Gibson Salon Hair Cut.

Me (yesterday) after the best haircut ever. One day later, and (as per my usual Sunday routine) my hair is piled high atop my head. Last Sunday however it was an unimaginable maze of knots, curls and dead ends. Today it is a dainty, sprightly knot befitting a pre-pubescent (read: pre-frizz) school girl. Why the change? Neven at Ted Gibson's DC Hela Spa location is a miracle worker and my new hair boyfriend. Despite living fours hours south in Chapel Hill, NC I intend to be fully committed and see him at least every two months. Neven is pictured below working his magic on @silverlips, the brains behind Silver Lips Beauty.


Check Out the DC Beauty Tour's Hot Ride

Girls, yesterday I went on the most fabulous beauty tour . Having participated in beauty tours of LA and New York I decided (due to the recent openings of Ted Gibson Salon, Hela Spa, Bliss Spa, The Red Door at the Willard, Juara's invasion of Celadon Spa, and the ultra hip new offerings at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown) that it was time to get my DC beauty girls together with my favorite brands and make a day of it.
The first hurdle was transportation. These are some of the most coveted bloggers in the country and they are used to being spoiled. Despite my well intentioned efforts to throw them all in my step-mom's SUV I knew that wouldn't fly. So I started with the connoisseurs of perfection, The Ritz-Carlton. After finding out they preferred US Sedan, I knew we had to have them.

I couldn't have been happier. If Yasser, our driver wasn't a well trained, professional attentive luxury car driver, I could have easily mistaken him for a stalker. Despite our getting lost in product and primping and getting off schedule several times. Yasser always knew where we were and would roll up at the exact moment we exited DC's most fabulous beauty haunts. The ride itself was hot. Part limo, part van, with flat screen TV and leather seats we had the paparazzi stalkin' - or at least several heads turning. Anytime your are staying at the Ritz's ultra hip Georgetown location or simply need to go anywhere in the DC area in style, US Sedan is the way to go. For reals. Tell Yasser I sent you!

Ted Gibson Salon at Hela Spa in Chevy Chase: Don't You Ever Get to Thinkin' He's Replaceable

For the past two weeks my hair has felt like a bad rash. My new job has me more tethered to North Carolina than I'm used to and so, to accommodate the 9 to 5 (or 10:30 depending on the day) life, I've had to abandon my previous hair boyfriends in LA and New York. The results have been much less than satisfactory.

But Ted Gibson, being the patron saint of hair (I say this sincerely as I earnestly believe he was put on earth to help materialize his motto - "Beauty is Individual" - as ultimate truth as well as a chic statement) was two steps a head of me. By opening his DC Salon at The Collection in Chevy Chase he has once again saved my hair and subsequently my self image.

The thing about people like Ted, who are blessed enough to be fulfilling their divine purpose, is that they attract equally talented, beautiful (kind-hearted) people like Neven. Neven began working at Ted's DC outpost before it even opened. Imported from Croatia on the basis that his talent is irreplaceable by an American citizen Neven is a heavenly combination of Gianni Versace and the statue of David. The Ted Gibson Salon at Hela Spa opened on Inauguration day weekend. With in a few hours a Croatian news crew had stumbled upon Neven and the headlines in Croatia were fairly equally weighted - Obama at the White House and Neven at Ted Gibson. Between Croatia's priorities and it's beaches, I'm seriously considering a move or at least an extended vacation.

Neven is a bit of a hair genius and I now have lovelier longer layers than ever before. (Pictures to follow tomorrow.) I realized while watching him artfully shape a style out my tangled brown mop (utilizing nothing more than an expert pair of scissors and massive reserve of natural talent) that no matter how thick your hair is, a master stylist will never need to use thinning sheers. Neven simply cut around the weight in such a way that the hair can move and live on its own volition. Like Michelangelo set the image of David free from that marble slab, so too Neven reveals beauty from whatever medium is lucky enough to find herself in his chair. If feeling like an iconic work of art (which mind you is the only thing that walks out of any Ted Gibson Salon) isn't reason enough for you to part with $150, consider what price you would pay to receive the best scalp massage ever from irreplaceable Croatian talent. Tell Neven I sent you!

Product Rave: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail Plumping Gloss

Remember back in May of '08 when I fell in love with L'Oreal's launch of the infallible lip gloss? (I know I'm so 2000 and eight) Well I know we all thought it was impossible but L'Oreal has gone and improved on this long lasting lip gem by adding a little bee-sting. Sure it tingles a bit but it also eliminates that nasty Muppet mouth. By the way whoever is mixing pigments over there at L'Oreal, I love you. No one makes a pink and red from the same line that look perfect on me except, well, you. XO to you dear VP Makeup Artist. Check out my friend Marta (pictured below) from TalkingMakeup.com sporting this fab new plumping gloss from L'Oreal!

Molton Brown Launches Limited Edition Facial Oils

Luxury British skincare has taught me one critical piece of information. Facial oils are not an item of desire but rather one of necessity. Part aromatherapy, part nectar of the Gods that can deduct decades from your crows feet, a uniquely-packaged highly-potent facial oil is as indispensable as mascara. You heard me. "as mascara!"

Who better to cultivate exotic spices for such facial oils than luxury British brand Molton Brown? This week they introduce a standout line of limited edition facial oils. Already used in the Molton Brown spas, these oils are now available for $58, for a limited time, to consumers at all emporia locations as well as at moltonbrown.com.

Packaged in lavishly decorated glass vessels, each container bursts with potent essential oils. The three different formulas, Tunesian Neroli, Somolian Myrrh and Hungarian Wild Carrot, are designed to be used in place of a moisturizer- they are easily absorbed into the skin to regenerate and repair throughout the night. They can also be integrated into any skincare routine to suit different skin types to rebalance and moisturize. Simply warm a few drops between palms, inhale the aroma and sweep across the face, neck and d├ęcolletage. Enjoy!

The September Issue! (or The Origins of Anna's Eternal Pout)

Girls, will you tune in to see the world's unhappiest looking francophile curating the world's best fashion and torturing well-meaning sophomoric interns? I was at work so I missed the live premier coverage tonight via facebook but Anna's pout has me pondering: Does fashion in New York make people miserable? Now seriously, LA Fashion Week is full of talented dedicated artists: makeup, set design, fashion, hair, pickup and so forth - all artists, happy to be there and happy you are there. No matter who you are. New York fashion week is more: who do you know? why are you here? You won't make it to next season. Yawn.

I think this pervasive snobbery is where Anna's pout comes from. Though she may not be this way herself, she is (perhaps by happenstance) at the epicenter of rudeness. Can't be a fun place. Even if you have access to the last orangina at Conde Nast and everything Thakoon creates.
Whether you're a fan of Anna's pout or not, be sure to check out the FB premiere coverage with guests from the film like director R.J. Cutler, legendary Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Andre Leon Talley, Sienna Miller, and Thakoon Panichgul, and with notables like Renee Zellweger, Sean Combs, Carey Mulligan also making appearances.

Done Out in Deco: A South Beach Shade of Purple by OPI

Girls! I'm getting a million compliments on my newest shade of purple. After claiming OPI's "Parlez-Vous OPI?" as my most favorite ever (very French, very sophisticated, too catching) I tired of it a bit after seeing it on everyone else's toes.

Alas I decided to go for OPI's brighter shade of purple, Done Out in Deco (less breathy sophistication, more Easter egg obvious) and the results are fab. A bit more fun. A bit less grey in the undertone.

Try in on yourself or any other bit of ingeniousness from their South Beach collection with OPI.com's lacquer simulator.

Simplicity of Wellness Retreat at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The last time I visited Kiawah, I was twelve and fell in love with the native wild alligators that roamed about. Word of "Laurie's Alligator Fascination" spread and well you can imagine the Christmas presents that started rolling in. I'm actually still staring at a Steiff Alligator hand puppet. AND...I can't believe I just shared that with you.

When I return to this magical island paradise, I doubt the alligators will hold my attention as much as these ethereal guest bathrooms. Seriously, have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Luckily there's a very special retreat on the horizon.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort will hold a special “Simplicity of Wellness” retreat October 21-25, 2009. This 5-day event will include treatments in the hotel’s Mobil 5-star spa, nightly speakers and workshops, fitness classes including Pilates, yoga and movement therapy, chef presentations on health eating and much, much more. God, I really need to go to this. REALLY.

According to spa director, Missy Hughes, guests will embark on a journey of understanding through a sampling of organic lifestyle choices. “This special event promises to enlighten the senses of its participants and educate them on the various ways to find balance in busy lifestyles.”

Spa personnel will assess their personal interests and customize a program based on their individual preferences. Following arrival, participants of the retreat can enjoy many of the following activities:

Three 60 minute spa services
Nightly keynote speakers highlighting mindfulness, nutrition, and positive living
Creative workshops
Morning beach walks
Marsh and ocean kayaking
Biking exploration
A variety of fitness classes including Mat Pilates, Yoga by the Sea, Movement Therapy
Chef presentations
Spa menu breakfasts, interactive lunches, and banquet style dinners

This package includes accommodations in the oceanfront, Mobil 5-star/AAA 5-diamond Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, meals, spa treatments and all activities listed, and starts at $3199 per person. The number of participants is limited, so early reservations are recommended.

Oatmeal Raisin Tresses and Raising Money for Pediatric Cancer - Beauty All Around

A few days ago, I sat down at the common table in my office which over looks our patio in a vain attempt to sort through my inbox. When I looked up there was an enormous smile strung across a dear little face staring back at me through the window. At first I thought, "What a gift to see such a beautiful smile on this little girl." Then I noticed that small tufts of wispy short hair took the place of what could have a been normal first grader's head of hair. She was suffering from some form of pediatric cancer though "suffering" didn't seem to have anything to do with this jovial spirit as she darted her little hands in and out of the railing in an attempt to catch her mother. Smiles, laughter and a knowing wink put not only my day, but also my life, in perspective and left me wishing there was something I could do to bring her half of the joy she brought me.

Today, sorting through another inbox, I find that there is, actually, something I can do - and something (two somethings, really) that you can do.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an organization created to raise awareness of and funds to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer through the concept of hosting local bake sales, (http://www.cookiesforkidscancer.org/) makes it easy for anyone that wants to get involved in the fight against pediatric cancer by detailing the 4 easy steps to throw a bake sale of your very own (planning, details, bake, sell!)

Alternately, from August 15th to October 15th philosophy will be donating 100% of the net proceeds of their oatmeal raisin high foaming shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer --Enjoy!

A Silver Anniversary Facial at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Girls, I am so in love with the Ritz Carlton these days. So much so that while I lay here sick with a fever, in bed, and bored to death of rest, orange juice, and tiger balm, all I can do is look at these pictures of The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and read about it's 25th Anniversary on August 27, 2009. In honor of this milestone, The Ritz-Carlton Spa has developed a "Silver Facial."

Designed for all skin types, it cleanses, tones and exfoliates for softer and smoother skin while regulating skin temperature, providing natural cooling, improving blood circulation and imparting a luminating glow to the skin.

“We are excited about the resort’s Silver Anniversary and are thrilled to be able to offer this unique facial as a way to celebrate,” says Spa Director Amelia Winfrey. “Like all of our therapies, the Silver Facial is designed to nurture the body and mind and provide a return to balance.”

The silver lining on the silver facial? The resort sits on a 150-foot bluff with panoramic white-water views of the Pacific Ocean and two-miles of sandy beach. The facial is $195 for 60 minutes or $265 for 90 minutes. Enjoy!


Savvy Skincare with Dove and Alba Botanica

Girls, I just got out of the shower and I'm almost certain I've stumbled upon the ultimate combination in eco-friendly, savvy, revitalizing cleansers -Dove's New Body Wash and Alba Botanica's Foaming Rainforest Cleanser.
Dove the sensibly priced, standby (can you believe Dove is 50?), has delivered a new line of body washes with NutriumMoisture™. I chose the unscented version for sensitive skin and my body drank it up like a college girl at her first frat party. I applied this from the neck down.

For the face especially though, I like to stick to organics. Especially if those organics emerge from the intersection of miraculous rainforest anti-agers, heavenly, tropically-scented organics, and sustainably managed forests. Cheers to Abla for delivering my favorite green gel facial cleanser of 2009. (Pictured above with the rest of it's recently birthed brothers and sisters of the Rainforest Skincare line.) Enjoy!


Get the Look: Amy Adams at the New York Premiere of Julie & Julia

For the New York premiere of “Julie & Julia,” Matrix celebrity hairdresser, Mark Townsend, wanted Amy’s hair to be modern and glamorous to match her Carolina Herrera gown. “I've been very inspired lately by hairstyles from the 80s with lots of volume,” said Townsend. Mark started by spraying Biolage volumatherapie Bodifying Spray Gel into Amy’s damp hair and blow dried it with a medium size Spornette Mixed Bristle round brush to get a good deal of volume in her hair. Next, he set her hair with hot rollers, making sure to wrap the hair around the roller from roots to ends to give it a nice wave. Once the hair was cool, he removed the rollers and brushed out her hair with a flat brush, parting it to the side. To add some texture and shine, he sprayed Biolage Shine Endure Spritz into her hair and gave it a scrunch. Lastly, he sprayed down any flyaway hair with Vavoom ShapeMaker hairspray.
Products used:
· Biolage volumatherapie Bodifying Spray Gel
· Biolage Shine Endure Spritz
· Vavoom ShapeMaker
· Vavoom Gold Heat Blow-In Volume Protective Lotion
· Vavoom Loosely Defined Texture Cream

SpaRitual Organic Moisturizing Lotion: Give Your Root Chakra Some Wildcrafted Indonesian Ginger Love

Sometimes love finds you. In fact it has always found me. Lately that love comes in the form of all things Indonesian. SpaRitual is an organic, Chakra-method, skincare line. Though its not readily available everywhere it is available through beautyfix.

The ginger in this luxe, silky, organic (and completely yummy in the metaphorical sense) moisturiser took me right back to my Ibu's house in the mountains of Malang, East Java. I knew immediately that the scent was ginger, but it wasn't until right now, while hunting down a link for you all to enjoy this root-chakra centering moisturizer for yourselves that I discovered the main ingredient is in fact "Wildcrafted Indonesian Ginger essential oil." Enjoy!

Eighteen Year Old Eyes with Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener

Though I regret my adulthood every time my rock-climbing, Yosemite-dwelling cousin rolls through town I have mostly resigned myself to adulthood and the rewarding careers it has thrust upon me. My major hesitation however is the resulting trauma to my eyes. You heard me. My eyes. They are chained to a computer most of my waking hours with the exception of those spent driving or showering and are now aging at a disproportionately advanced rate as compared to the rest of my body. Red, dry, baggy. It's a mess.

With a little bit of luck and a lot of Smashbox (don't you just love Davis Factor?) this mess is completely concealable. Yes the men who make model hangovers vanish have packaged their little beauty secret into this delightful , $18 tube of 18-year old eyes. I haven't gone a day with out it in about six months. Enjoy!

The September Issue: When Largess Was Still Charming

To buy a press pass or not? After watching this the answer is, I think, to buy.

Now Launching Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold for Fall

Girls, I've tested an exclusive preview of Estee Lauder's Sensuous Gold look for fall. There are a few limited edition items you must not miss. The new, Limited Edition Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Black Amethyst is the most perfect matte shade of rich low light purple I've ever seen. Ever. I may even rock this fall color here in still-sweaty, sauna-like, August. It's just that beautiful. The Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Rose Amethyst and Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Plum Amethyst translate well to summer and are in fact to die for. Enjoy!

To get the Sensuous Gold Look pictured on the model above:
New, Limited Edition Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Rose Gold $35.00
Double Wear Eye Pencil in Bronze $19.00
New, Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Cinnamon $19.50
New, Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Plum Terracotta $19.50
New, Limited Edition Pure Color Multi-Shimmer Gloss in Rose Gold $18.00
New, Limited Edition Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Rose Gold $18.00

For the Sensuous Amethyst Look:
New, Limited Edition Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Rose Amethyst $35.00
Double Wear Eye Pencil in Black Plum $19.00
New, Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Rose Amethyst $19.50
New, Limited Edition Signature Lipstick in Plum Amethyst $19.50
New, Limited Edition Pure Color Multi-Shimmer Gloss in Rose Amethyst $18.00
New, Limited Edition Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Black Amethyst $18.00