Kiehl’s Tumeric and Cranberry Seed Masque

Kiehl-Turmeric-Cranberry-Seed-Energizing-Radiance-MasqueI’ve used my fair share of products that claim brightening and radiance-boosting properties. Although I’d love to say that in testing all of these creams, gels, and serums, I’ve found the secret to a glowing, dazzling complexion, alas most of these products left my skin the same pale, blotchy hue I started out with. All of this trying and failing started to leave me feeling drab and disappointed—anything but radiant. I had even become resolve to the fact pale and pasty might just be my skin destiny. But when Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque ($32, hit the shelves, I saw a glimmer of hope. With words like “energizing” and “radiance” right in the name, I felt a surge of optimism for my sad, tired skin.

I was already getting won over from the second I unscrewed the top: It was an old-school, creamy face mask! Upon first application, this turmeric blend was thick and rich and smeared smoothly over my face.

After applying the mask, I made sure to spread out the cranberry seeds evenly—they were a little awkward at first and tended to clump up. Ten minutes later, the mask stiffened and it dried to a yellow-orange hue. After washing the mask off with warm water, the mixture softened and absorbed into my skin, as the tiny cranberry seeds very gently exfoliated.

Although I personally loved the texture and ritual of the entire mask process, it was the formula that really impressed me. It actually made my ruddy pale skin lively and dare I say it, radiant. Not only was my skin smooth and supple after rinsing (a trait that’s rare with the old-school hardening masks I love so much), but it was noticeably brighter and luminous. Thanks to anti-inflammatory turmeric extract paired with cranberry extract and cranberry seeds, which are rich in resveratrol (a top antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient), this mask actually made my skin glow in 10 minutes. I felt so hydrated after washing, I didn’t need to pack on the moisturizer that night, thus allowing me to wake up with non-oily, still nourished skin the next day. Plus, for the first time in my adult life, my skin tone was even, if only for a day. Cue tears of joy now.

Have I found the secret to a glowing, dazzling complexion? I’ll probably always be on the hunt for that. But at least I’m one step closer.


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Mad Men in the Desert: L’Horizon Hotel

If there are two things I like in the same sentence it would be “mid-century modern” and “Palm Springs”. Palm Springs is known for it’s mid-century modern architecture and L’Horizon Hotel is a perfect example of it.

With iconic, mid-century modern architecture and a rich Hollywood history, L’Horizon offers a luxury boutique hotel experience just minutes from downtown Palm Springs. Designed in 1952 by renowned architect William F. Cody, L’Horizon was a favorite celebrity destination spot in the 50s and 60s, and attracted guests from Hollywood’s golden era including Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable as well as several U.S. Presidents.

Architect Steve Hermann purchased the property and completed a multimillion-dollar re-design. The exclusive hotel became Palm Springs’ only luxury boutique hotel.  It opened its doors in June 2015 to much fanfare. L’Horizon boasts twenty-five private bungalows, many with private patios and outdoor showers that overlook the infinity pool and beautifully landscaped 3 acres.

“I designed it as a 25-bedroom house,” Hermann says of his scheme. “No two rooms are the same, and we used residential-grade furnishings, mixing collectible vintage and new modern pieces, then selecting items that are bespoke or from small-batch manufacturers. You end up with a really unique, really artisanal product.”

The rooms—several with fireplaces and all with richly grained, custom-milled tongue-and-groove pine ceilings, lye-treated wood floors, and sweeping walls of glass shielded by motorized curtains—have the flair of a mid-century gentleman’s club. Classic vintage chairs (a Percival Lafer, say, or a George Mulhauser) sit against new pieces by Phase Design, hand-sewn hide-on-hair rugs, lighting by the likes of Brendan Ravenhill, and original artwork.

As for the hotel’s cosseting comforts, Hermann has outfitted every room with Frette robes, towels, slippers, and 600-thread-count bedding, Le Labo bath products, and Dean & DeLuca minibar goodies. There are even complimentary foot and back massages at the pool.

The property is  also home to an innovative restaurant helmed by Michelin Stared Chef, Giacomo Pettinari, who honed his craft at the legendary El Bulli, and went on to helm Valentino in Los Angeles. The restaurant and bar offers an eclectic menu of progressive Southern European and California creations, as well as a predominantly West Coast wine list. Whenever possible, the team is committed to using organic, bio-dynamic and farmer’s produce while sourcing all within a 150 mile radius.

It’s hard to imagine Marilyn and Betty ever would have had it so good.

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Crab Toast with Sriracha Mayonnaise

abc kitchen crab toastIf there is one restaurant that I find my mind wandering to time and time again, it would be Jean-Georges’, ABC Kitchen in New York City. Everything from the interior design, table settings and food are pure perfection.

When I was in the city last, I ordered the crab toast appetizer and I find myself thinking about it whenever I get a pang of hunger. Luckily, Jean-Georges shared his recipe on his website.


  • 4 slices good sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 8 ounces picked lump crabmeat, preferably peekytoe, picked over for bits of shell
  • Crushed red chile flakes, optional
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Sriracha Mayonnaise:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha

For the Sriracha Mayonnaise: Whisk together the yolk, mustard, and salt until well blended. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the mixture. Whisk in the lemon juice and Sriracha until well blended. The mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Toast the bread until golden brown. Cut each slice into 2-inch pieces.
Gently fold the mayonnaise into the crabmeat until well mixed. Spoon the crab mixture into a serving bowl and set inside a larger serving bowl filled with ice to keep cold if desired. Garnish with chile flakes if desired. Serve with the lemon wedges and toasts.

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Don’t Blow It

b&b dont blow itI constantly struggle trying to find the best hair products for my extremely unruly curly hair. Since I bleach it, I try to let it air dry to  cut down on extra damage by heat tools. Oils, mousses, lotions, gels and leave-in’s, I’ve tried them all and usually they leave me feeling frustrated.

I decided to throw caution and a couple bucks to the wind and buy Bumble and Bumble’s “Don’t Blow It”. It’s a smoothing and texturizing styling cream for air-drying all types hair. To truly test its capabilities I let it air dry in both low humidty and high humidity environments. In both cases it worked great.

The milky white cream melts to a liquid-y consistency when you rub it between your fingertips, making it easy to evenly run through hair without any goopy product deposits. Apply this stuff to towel-dried hair post-shower and hair remains soft and smooth, without a hint of coated stickiness, once dry. It has a subtle and pleasant clean scent. The lightweight styling cream manages to smooth all those pesky flyaways that typically frizz up when hair dries naturally, and it does so without weighing hair down and leaving it coated and stiff. If you have waves or curls, scrunch or twist hair after you apply the product, and you’ll be left with pretty, tousled texture that’s supersoft with zero stickiness.

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