Beauty Break: Aesop Travel Kit

Australian beauty brand Aesop, which opened a beautiful boutique on Newbury Street last year, sent me its nifty new travel kit, Boston Jet Set (there’s a London one too). The brown bottles (four plastic and two glass), at 1.7 and .5 fl. oz., comply with international air travel restrictions. There’s pretty much everything you need for face and body, wrapped in a linen-y cloth in a sturdy, structured black nylon zip case.

I’ve already raided the Rind Concentrate Body Balm, which smells amazing, made with orange and lemon rind plus pink grapefruit. The shampoo, made with rosemary and cedarwood bark also smells wonderful, and the lavender stem and bergamot mint conditioner is lovely too. Ok, fine, all of it’s totally great. I’m not sure it’s going to last until my next trip.


Classic Shampoo
Classic Conditioner
Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser
Rind Concentrate Body Balm
Fabulous Face  Cleanser
B & Tea Balancing Toner,
Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream


Boston Jet Set, $75 at AESOP

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Shop Chanel’s new fall makeup at Saks >

Chanel Fall 2013 Color Palette Maekusp

Beauty Break: Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara

I’ve been on the quest for the perfect mascara since I was 15. I wore contact lenses, and most mascaras could not stand up to the saline solutions. Smudgy undereye —not a good look. Despite the decades of hype, the pink and green Maybelline Great Lash Mascara never worked for me. Do you really think supermodels and celebs se drugstore stuff?

Over the years, I’ve used numerous brands with success, including Chanel and Trish McEvoy. For a while I was addicted to a dark burgundy by Make Up For Ever. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been using Bobbi Brown in brown. It had become increasingly difficult to find. Last week what I suspected was confirmed: the salesperson at Neiman’s in Copley said it had been discontinued.

Rather than go through the hassle of trolling department store counters (and spending too many $$$), I did something a little bit crazy. I bought  . . .  drugstore mascara. Namely, CoverGirl LashBlast Water Resistant Mascara. Yes, it’s true. My husband, who was with me, asked, “Who are you?”

Here’s the thing. I liked the ads – those crisp yellow print ads with Drew Barrymore really appealed, and I’m not even a huge fan. I actually used the images in a yellow trends story for The Inside Source. No, they did not send me the mascara (though I wish they had). Each time I saw the package at CVS – it’s been heavily promoted – I was drawn to that yellow, plastic wand. It seemed so wonderfully clean and durable compared to the usual clumpy black ones. And, the product comes in brown.

Guess what? I LOVE it. Seriously love it. The packaging, the wand, the color, the product. And, of course, the price.

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S H O P makeup and fashion at S A K S

Saks Pre-Fall 2013 Shopping

Beauty Break: Rheal Day Spa

When I hear Maine, I think L.L. Bean, clambakes and moose. Foliage if it’s fall, with some outlet shopping thrown in. Or preppy seaside retreats with crisp nautical motifs. Day spas? Not so much. Until I saw photos of Rheal Day Spa in Rockland, Maine, owned by esthetician Rhonda Nordstrom.

I first learned about Rhonda’s Rheal product line, the sunscreen specifically, from Sharon Kitchens at Delicious Musings. (Sharon, a conflicted fashionista dedicated to living the green life, had met Rhonda when she was living up in Maine.) I’m going to be writing an article about Rhonda’s amazing new eco-friendly home later this year. But in the meantime, I wanted to show you pictures of her new spa. Designed by architects Carrie Shores and Josh Larson from the architecture firm Larson + Shores, it’s fresh, clean, airy, and eco-conscious.

Rheal Nail Rm

This is the nail room. Carrie handpainted the design on the wall, after tracing it using a projected image. Rhonda calls the design a sea flower; it’s the spa’s logo. Notice the curtain on the left? It’s an almost perfect match, and from IKEA. The floors are rubber and the textiles from recycled fibers.

RhealexteriorRheal is on Main Street in Rockland, in an old factory building. Rhonda calls Rockland “a pretty urban, hip little town.” (I’ll get back to you on that; I’m visiting next month.) Nevertheless, Rhonda says, “When people walk in, they say it’s like walking into a whole other world. Which is good,” she adds, “since it’s a spa.” Recently, she had a client from Manhattan who said Rheal was like any other spa she would go to. It certainly looks the part. I’m guessing the treatments are heavenly too. After all, Rhonda learned her trade at Grettacole, back in the early days. She says, “Gretta taught me how to shape eyebrows; I will be grateful to her forever.

Rheal front_room

They used a lot of eco-friendly materials. The floor in the reception area (above) and the other rooms without water, are cork.

Rheal ocker_entryThis is the locker room, with the meditation room beyond. The chair is Japanese and rocks gently. Carrie found it in San Francisco. I’ll have to ask her where. The fabrics are made from recycled soda bottles. The sconce shades incorporate grass reeds.

pediDetail of the nail room.

treatment rm1This is one of the very peaceful treatment rooms. You can see her private line of skincare products, which Rhonda describes as “clean, healing, authentic.” The line started as an anti-acne line, but now includes “graceful aging” products. She touts the Lip & Face Serum in particular. The spa also use Dr. Haushka products, which Rhonda loves.

Rheal showerSink and shower in the locker room. The countertops are made from recycled paper, by a company called Paperstone. They’re beautiful and don’t absorb any water.

Rheal dressing roomDetail of sink in locker room.

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