Shh…Sulwhasoo, The Korean Beauty Secret is Out!

Sulwhasoo - Korean Beauty Secret
Sulwhasoo - Korean Beauty Secret

Can you believe that 60 year-old Korean Skincare Brand Sulwhasoo came out two years before cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, but has yet to be released outside parts of Asia until now? Finally joining the globalization of the cosmetics industry, Sulwhasoo has brought their skincare and cosmetics line to Bergdorf Goodman in the United States.

Jill Blakeway, Steven Snook of Sulwhasoo / Amore Pacific
Jill Blakeway, Steven Snook of Sulwhasoo / Amore Pacific

Herbalist and Acupuncturist Jill Blakeway of The Yinova Acupuncture Center presented the Korean cosmetic leader’s products alongside Steven Snook, Training Manager of Amore Pacific, who translated Blakeway’s spirituality into a more practical language for the mostly American audience.

Down to the bottles shaped like Hanbok, a traditional Korean women’s dress, the essence of Sulwhasoo is its pride in its Korean heritage.

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Cream
Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Cream

Concentrated Ginseng Cream was passed around. When spread on, it smelled like the insides of a fresh plant — the pure white “milk” you could find if you peeled back the skin of a dandelion or plant. The cream, which is intended for night use, gleamed like soft oil and left a natural shimmer behind, the likes of which might resonate with the moonlight.

Sulwhasoo Skincare Products are Produced From the Largest Tea Fields in Korea
Sulwhasoo Skincare Products are Produced From the Largest Tea Fields in Korea

Connecting to Blakeway’s rich education in Asian Medicine and Sprituality was physicist (yes, as in physics!), Marek Stempi of Fusion Yoga. Together they reminisced about famous instructor Mantak Cmia and their obsessive love for the subjects. Blakeway explained to me, “People like us learn something new every day. I find myself in these incredibly profound situations because of my patients, as well.”

Sulwhasoo Beauty Book and Display
Sulwhasoo Beauty Book and Display

Something I learned was how there is little recognition of Korean culture in the United States. When discussing the main purchasers of Sulwhasoo, Blakeway commented, “The fact that [the Hanok dress] allows freedom of movement says a lot… especially in comparison to Japanese and Chinese women.” Stempi then added, “They are not wall flowers. In fact, they are very strong and passionate,” of which Blakeway strongly agreed.

And in case you’re interested, check out my Sulwhasoo Review!

Ouidad Does for Curls What Ensler Did for Vaginas

Ouidad Salon owner Ouidad at Curls Night Out
Ouidad Salon owner Ouidad at Curls Night Out

Vivacious, zealous, or just plain crazy about her curly hair, Ouidad is the spunky Lebanese owner of Ouidad salon and eponymous curl-centric hair care line. Standing in the middle of her Midtown New York salon, Oudiad welcomed girls with and without curls to try her revolutionary products and services at “Curls Night Out.”

Ouidad Salon NYC
Ouidad Salon NYC

For those who don’t get the reference to Eve Ensler’s groudbreaking performance piece “The Vagina Monologues”, both Enzler and Ouidad crusade to address subjects that women may be taught to feel self-concious of. For Ensler it was the word and secrecy embedded within “Vagina,” but Ouidad seeks to reverse irksome attitudes spiraling tendrils often receive.

Ouidad Curl Styling Results
Ouidad Curl Styling Results

Oudad’s belief that curls are beautiful came from her mother, whom Ouidad describes as a “demure femme fatale.” During Ouidad’s sermon at Ouidad Salon, she exorcised the pin-straight hair demons from the audience and preached the freedom of curl — one which her mantra “iron clothes, not curls” is inspired by.

Ouidad Hall of Fame- One of the many Mentions from Magazines
Ouidad Hall of Fame- One of the many Mentions from Magazines

Ouidad stated that 70% of women have curly hair, and most of them straighten it.  “With my products and advice you will be blown away by how beautiful your curls can be,” she assured. Ouidad’s main piece of curly hair styling advice is that “less is more.” And if you’re dealing with naturally straight hair, have no fear, start with a gentle perm-from Ouidad salon of course!

Ladies After a Ouidad Styling at Curls Night Out
Ladies After a Ouidad Styling at Curls Night Out

With my naturally wavy hair I was handed to Ouidad stylist Vincent, whose first piece of advice was to never use hot water on hair. This might be the hardest rule to follow given my heat-seeking ways. He then proceeded to wash my hair twice with Clear and Gentle Essential Daily Shampoo and then worked “>Ouidad Playcurl Volumizing Foam . Careful to use it on solely the hair, Vincent methodically used Ouidad Climate Control® Heat & Humidity Gel; massaging it in from front to front, side to side and back to back.

Ouidad Raffle Winner After her Treatment
Ouidad Raffle Winner After her Treatment

With my hair Vincent advised to rake and shape each product, wiggling the strands to create curls. After ensuring the waves, I put my head back as Vincent brought the towel towards the curls. He was careful to soak up excess water without ruining the curl and then did the same with a hairdryer equipped with a diffuser. I then air dried under those spaceship-like devices and emerged with more like individualized beachy waves rather than stereotypical squiggly curls. But something I’ve learned from Ouidad is that the curl comes in many beautiful forms, and I haven’t washed my hair since!

Curls Night Out was sponsored by Gilt City.

Sneak Peek: Leighton Meester in Vera Wang’s New Frangrance Ad

Vera Wang New Fragrance Photo Shoot
Vera Wang New Fragrance Photo Shoot

This past weekend in NYC Vera Wang put Gossip Girl star Leighten Meester atop a fire escape in the heart of SoHo to shoot an advertisement for her new fragrance. Meester is reported to receive $3 Million for a 2 year contract with Vera Wang Fragrances.

Leighton Meester for Vera Wang's New Fragrance
Leighton Meester for Vera Wang's New Fragrance

A globally recognized Fashion designer and former Vogue Fashion Editor, Wang explained to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) that Leighton’s “beauty, talent and spirit will inspire all the young women that I hope will enjoy this passionate, new young fragrance.”

Leighton Meester for Vera Wang
Leighton Meester for Vera Wang

Filmed on a chilly Saturday afternoon, Meester wore a burgundy floor-length mermaid gown and wrapped herself in a black down coat to keep warm in between takes. Wang was on set in black leggings and boots, but quickly blended in with the crew as security rushed tourists and natives alike away from “hazardous” wires. The new Vera Wang Fragrance Advertisement was being shot by photographer Carter Smith.

Kim Kardashian Sells Out? Fragrance Now at Macy’s

Kim Kardashian Greets a Fan at Macy's
Kim Kardashian Greets a Fan at Macy's

Fragrance salespeople offered a piece of Kim Kardashian last night at Macy’s Herald Square. Standing at the top metal barricades holding back curious tourists, desperate fans, and the media who arrived late; they monotonously announced “Buy the Kim Kardashian Perfume, meet her and take a picture.” Although the pitch was weak and unenthusiastic, the crowd literally bought it. The $119 price of the Kim Kardashian bottle was greeted with a “psh” or two, and even a JAP (Jewish American Princess) who asked if she could return it the next day, in her aloof valley girl accent. Whether the rest were inspired by the idea, or wanted to tell her obviously loaded ass off, the Kardashian momentum never ceased.

Line to Meet Kim Kardashian at Macy's
Line to Meet Kim Kardashian at Macy's

The zoo began once a Kim Kardashian fan screeched wildly from beyond the metal bars. Like a primal call to war, people started pushing for a glimpse of Kardashian and opening their wallets almost instantaneously. Ever since the fragrance launched through Sephora this past February, these seem like natural reactions.

With the luxe beauty retailer carrying the Kim Kardashian name, the NY Post reported earlier this year that there would be a split. Yesterday’s launch at Macy’s is a  manifestation of this foreshadowing.

The Kim Kardashian Perfume itself is strong and makes a heavy statement. Described as a woody floral, Kim Kardashian fragrance highlights crisp top notes of indolic jasmine, tuberose and gardenia, tonka bean, jacaranda wood and sandalwood. The scent also evokes the power Kim Kardashian has over her fans, media, and now; the mass retail fragrance markets.