Holiday Gift Guide: Olivia Pope Edition

=&0=&couldn’t get any better–the brand infused the body softening salve with their signature grapefruit an coriander scents. And they. Are. Divine. Even better? 100% of the =&1=&net profits will support the No Kid Hungry campaign’s efforts to end childhood hunger in the United States. Eleven year old Sofie Shore, daughter of Share Our Strength co-founder Debbie Shore its holiday label this year. How cute is it? It’s ideal for the =&2=& in your life–you know, the perfectly primped professional who lives for a low-key yet glowy gladiator look. And the charity aspect? You and I both know Olivia loves to wear her white hats in all aspects of life. It’s available as of tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can check out the rest of Kiehl’s holiday offerings as well. Are you a fan of Kiehl’s Grapefruit and Coriander fragrance? I ADORE it!


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Fictionary: Stresstival

Fictionary is a column showcasing beauty-related words that don’t exist, but should.

Different water can mean the difference between phenomenal hair and Vegas hair. It can also be the final nail in the coffin when it comes to my skin, causing a travel-related blemish. I’ve fine-tuned my travel skin care routine to a science so as to minimize the possibility of flare-ups, opting for a makeup-free flight at all times, and even a little Retin-A so I can exfoliate while I escalate to 40,000 feet. But even that can only do so much. Because travel + different water + packing + squeezing in as much work as I can before leaving = a Stresstival


My new ammunition against it? Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer, a daily hydrator designed to fight the signs of stress. It treats, calms and hydrates with chamomile extract, glycerin and shea butter, so it doesn’t skimp on moisture. It limits the release of stress signals to the skin with  rosa gallica extract, and protects the skin barrier from future reactions, thanks to mannose, squaline and a blend of ceramides. The result? Smooth, soft skin–and it’s not just me, beauty friends. 100% of the participants in Kiehl’s clinical trial showed skin improvement. 


Look, be a damsel in distress anxiously awaiting “Backdraft”‘s Brian
McCaffrey in all other aspects of life if you must, but save your own damn skin with Kiehl’s. 


Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer retails for $40 at kiehl’s.com. Do you experience travel-related skin issues? 

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: ‘The Facts Of Life”s Jo Polniaczek

Jo, with her follicularly blessed foil, Blair Warner.

Welcome to a new BBJ feature, Fictitious Fragrance Fans. Fragrance is one of the most difficult areas of beauty to discuss and I find myself trying to convey a scent to you, more often than not, by the pop culture character it embodies to me. So why not make it a thing? 


Truly, I think this pairing is my Fictitious Fragrance Fan MASTERPIECE. Never have I seen a fragrance suit a fictional character more. The character? The Facts Of Life‘s Jo Polniaczek. The scent of the Bronx native? Kiehl’s Musk Oil. RIGHT? 

The pairing is pretty much the platonic ideal of fictional fragrance fan scents. Kiehl’s Musk Oil is without a doubt THE fragrance that the original badass would choose. I can envision Eastland School for Girls student Jo testing out the scent by chance at the Kiehl’s store in New York City on a shopping trip with Blair (Blair was out of Silk Groom for her epic mane and wanted to snag some from the free-standing flagship instead of at an upstate Bloomingdales) she negotiated in order to get Blair to drive her to pick up fake IDs from a Manhattan-based friend. 

The musk is quite the paradox, starting out hot and earthy with a skin-scent tone. It dries down to the opposite: cool, clean and soft. It blends otherworldly sensuality without trying and contains almost nothing but Galaxolide, a “laundry” musk. The scent, developed in 1921, combines a feral, sharp masculine property tempered by a just-out-of-the-dryer note, which disappears into the skin almost entirely, leaving a subtle, freshly washed scent in its wake. It manages to stay close to the skin in a manner I’ve seen with no other perfume. Its no-frills, apothecary-style amber bottle won’t disrupt the minimalist beauty routine of wash-and-go Jo, nor will it elicit any interest from roommate Blair (who surely spritzes Estee Lauder’s Beautiful by the gallon). The scent is casual, the fragrance equivalent of a black leather jacket and jeans. 

Alas on me, it registers more octogenarian than badass, but it smells DIVINE on my friends Dina and Keri. It’s a beautiful scent if it mixes well with your body chemistry, and I believe that on most people, it does. Somehow this little gem knows I’m far too prissy to pull of the edginess of this cool-girl scent. But I keep my vial of it in the hopes that maybe our chemistry will change. Le sigh.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts

Sparkle, Neely, sparkle: This is the 2012 BBJ Holiday Gift Guide. For more gift ideas, click here

You’re being fed and housed–the least you can do is show up with a gift that’ll pamper your hostess once you leave. Right? Here, a roundup of some of my favorites. 

=&0=& hostess gifts =&1=&($38) Kiehl’s collaboration with New York pop artist Kenny Scharf, who designed the punchy limited edition 4

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Holiday Gift Guide: Ten To The Men

Sparkle, Neely, sparkle: This is the 2012 BBJ Holiday Gift Guide. For more gift ideas, click here

mens products

The title is inspired by everyone’s favorite drinking game, Kings. Remember when you drew a nine, you busted a rhyme and ten was always to the men? Anyway. As I say annually when I post my men’s holiday gift guide, men and math are a mystery. Here’s to hoping in 2013 both become less so for all of us, and here are my ten picks for the gentleman in your lifestyle this holiday season.

This reasonably priced set features a shave regimen hand-picked by the grooming gurus at Anthony Logistics. It includes Glycolic Facial Cleanser, Pre Shave Oil, Shave Cream, After Shave Balm and a luxury dopp kit. The best part? A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of this product will be donated to prostate cancer research.

2. Kiehl’s Men’s Refueling Kit ($42)
Gentlemen uniformly appreciate Kiehl’s dependable products and no-fuss apothecary-style packaging. If he’s ready for a year of great skin, he’ll love this kit, which includes an Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap, Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men, Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash and Facial Fuel Sky Flyin’ Foaming Multi-gel.

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It’s All About Soul (Lee)

Lashes are my thing, and as you know, I go where the lashes go. In 100-degree weather, mascara’s not an option–it’s halfway down my cheek before NOON. You gotta get tough, but that ain’t enough. So because my usual lash guru Courtney Akai‘s been on maternity break, I took a little vaca from my regularly scheduled lash programming to jaunt over to Kiehl’s Spa 1851 to try out a “soul sesh,” That is, a lash extensions session with the eye-conic Soul Lee, formerly of Shu Uemua (a name all but synonymous with cils) to test out her talents. And I am impressed. I also learned a few things. Read on for some tips from Soul!

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Finest Hour Week: Skin Care

Finest Hour Week Skin You guys, it’s been TWO YEARS since I’ve instituted a =&0=&, my favorite week of the year. That’s a shanda for the NEIGHBORS, in the words of my Yiddish-profish 92 year-old grandmother. I LOVE a prom! And why haven’t I been guiding you on what products you need to stockpile for YOUR prom? I can’t ANSWER this. I guess I’ve been busy, which you and I both know is no excuse for anything. So for 2012, Finest Hour Week is BACK. And it’s starting on a Thursday, because when you have your own blog, you can start the week any old day you WISH. If you remember, Finest Hour Week is named in honor of ridiculous song “Finest Hour,” which played as =&1=&‘s Louise (=&2=&–sis of =&3=&) dramatically threw her magical amulet which she THOUGHT was the only reason hunky Brad liked her, but really—it was her enchanting SELF and not her supernaturally enchanting powers. Observe (and read on)… 

Are you ready for prom-worthy skin? I recommend the following as prep for the big day.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Treatment$50 – kiehls.com Mario Badescu Skin Care face cleanser$15 – nordstrom.com Tanda Clear+$195 – nordstrom.com SkinCeuticals | LHA Solution$36 – skinceuticals.com

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Treatment
When it seems like a pimple you had at the start of the Gossip Girl season is STILL aggressively establishing residency on your face like a party guest that won’t go home, you need to bring out the big guns. Kiehl’s = the big guns, in this scenario. This stuff contains Active C, a vitamin C derivative. It’s also silicon-free, which is HUGE for me, as there’s no easier way to clog my pores than stuff them with silicon. I’ve been exclusively rocking s-free cosmetics in 2012 and if you tend to break out, I suggest you do the same. This stuff’s also not made with optical diffusers or pearls to mask discolorations or dark spots. It just does what it’s supposed to, which is why it’s a clear liquid in a clear bottle.


Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
If your skin’s dull and congested, a twice-weekly application of this wash will deep-cleanse pores and even out skin tone quickly. I find a little Gly is perfect for really getting my skin clean, especially before I apply self-tanner.

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Kiehl’s + Jeff Koons Holiday Collaboration

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is one of the most useful luxe indulgences, so it’s perfect for holiday gifting. And in light of the recent Joe Paterno scandal (as a Pennsylvania native with countless PSU alumni as friends, I’ve been consumed with the story), I love that investing in my smooth skin staple benefits missing and exploited children. Side note: Check out Maureen Dowd’s column on the subject here. And? Kiehl’s has extended its collaboration with artist Jeff Koons for a Limited Edition Holiday Creme de Corps Collection. The proceeds of which–up to $200,000–will be donated to The Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). It’s a global non-profit organization to combat child sexual exploitation and abduction. Read on…

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