Saturday, December 14, 2013

Welcome to Nail Heaven

Photo via Julep

On Wednesday evening, I stopped by the launch of Julep's new holiday pop up shop near Union Square.  After tripping over a slippery, silver sparkled, sloping column, I looked up to realize I was standing under the largest bottle of overturned nail polish ever.  The grandness in scale echoes the vast ambitions of Julep, which is well on its way to becoming a giant in the nail and beauty industry.

After a quick chat with Julep's founder, Jane Park, I found myself seriously questioning my personal competence, and reconsidering my life plans.  Park left her job as an executive at Starbucks to launch her own business, which originated as a franchise of four nail salons in Seattle.  Park says she was inspired to create a space for women to congregate with their friends, after being hushed at a beauty parlor for being too rowdy with her girlfriends.  Perhaps most impressively, Park set out with a lofty goal: creating a business that provided health benefits for all of its workers, including all of its nail technicians, who rarely receive them.  This is hardly surprising considering Park's background: the incredibly humble and approachable CEO is both a Princeton and Yale alum, whose studies focused on issues that impact women.

After finding success with the nail salons, the Julep team began developing their own products, which lead to the launch of their high-profile e-commerce website, as well as a monthly nail-polish subscription program.  While I was familiar with Julep as a nail polish brand, and already have a couple of bottles in my arsenal, I was equally impressed by their other beauty products.  The hand creams are lush, the cleansing oil works wonders, and the naturally exfoliating Konjac Cleansing Sponge is addictive to use.

The Julep pop up is located at 102 5th Avenue between 15th and 16th, and is open from 10-8pm every day until December 22nd.

Photo via BFA

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stocking Stuffers

As the holidays approach, I have been trying to wrap up all my Christmas shopping as early as possible.  Here are a few of my favorite items of the moment that may or may not end up in the stockings of my loved ones, if I don't end up hoarding them for myself.

As a rabid scent collector, I'm obsessed with Odin's latest additions to their collection of unisex fragrances.  For winter, they've launched Roam, a deep, woodsy fragrance balanced out with ginger lily and dried coconut to create a fresh aroma, and Semma, an exotic spice-market blend of sweet tobacco, myrrh, clove, and cinnamon. They're both distinctive, addictive, and sharable with my husband--thus the gift that keeps on giving.

I haven't read my own tarot cards in over a decade, but The Wild Unknown's beautifully illustrated set, along with their accompanying Tarot Guidebook make me want to take up the hobby again. The cards are so pretty you don't even need to believe in tarot to enjoy them.

My makeup choices tend to follow strict simple routine, but rainbow-hued makeup palettes still give me a thrill, even if I won't end up using half of the colors.  I love Jane Iredale's Glamour Eye and Lip Palette because it offers a range of my favorite PureMoist Lipsticks in one compact case, alongside a kaleidoscope of eyeshadows.  The perfect gift for a constantly preening pal.

I never keep a datebook anymore, as I put everything directly into my iCal, but I love Frankie's Daily Journal.  Perfect for someone who likes to keep track of their appointments the old fashioned way.  Like my Mom.

I recently discovered the Twig Terrariums shop while wandering through Gowanus.  I bought my terrarium a year ago under the impression that they were low-maintanence, and easy to use.  I nonetheless manage to kill all my plants with the exception of a lone thriving cactus.  While I should avoid continued terrarium consumption, perhaps another of my friends could really make one thrive.


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