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Boutique New York Travel

Three Days in New York – My Packing List, Beauty Shopping Map and Haul

May 9, 2017

Byredo Store Wooster St Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

I’m excited to share my packing list, shopping map and beauty haul for NYC! As mentioned in my previous post I was in NYC for 3 full days. 1 day was for a conference, I had 1 full day of exploring and meetings with my friend Cafe Makeup, and then the following day I had until around 12:30 before I had to head to the airport to catch my flight. On my third day I decided to go to Soho for a quick stop at Away in the morning but most stores did not open until 11:00 AM so my shopping/browsing time was a bit limited. Next time I go to New York I will be staying in Soho – the area is just so charming and I could walk around for hours!

First a look at what I packed. The weather was mild – by Florida standards it was cold, but in comparison to the winter in San Diego it was very similar. I packed three tops, two pairs of jeans, three jackets and then also had the clothes I wore to NY which included a tank, jeans and a cotton cardigan sweater. Being a high maintenance hair girl of course I packed my hair dryer and flat iron. Since I had just come from a quick trip to Dallas I used a lot of the same beauty products and skincare. In hindsight since I only had one day in between trips I could have flown straight to New York but I was getting homesick and really wanted to see the hubby and fur babies.

Luggage, totes and accessories packed included a Louis Vuitton Neverful MM, Away Bigger Carry On (c/o), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches (navy one c/o) , Glossier Pouch, Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case, Tatcha Travel Bag (discontinued) and a Tumi Just In Case Tote. The Tumi actually folds up into a flat compact square – I stuffed it for the photo so you could see the size. I’ve had this for years (and a few older variations) – they’re great to bring with you just in case you need an extra bag to bring home. For this trip I did check my luggage and many of you have asked how the Away luggage holds up. Between Dallas and NYC I checked it 3 times and it held up really well. No deep scratches and only surface scuffs and dark marks. I asked the reps at the store how to remove them and they recommended warm water and a washcloth or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I did a little demo video on my Instagram stories which you should be able to see until around 6:00 PM EST. The magic eraser method really does work! Of course anything you check will get marks and eventually dents.

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

What I packed here ended up being similar to my Dallas trip, but slightly more edited. I wanted to make room in my luggage to bring home some things and hauls. Most everything fit inside the Away Bigger Carry On.

Away Bigger Carry On Packed | The Beauty Look Book

Away Bigger Carry On Packing List via The Beauty Look Book

Clothing pack list:

  • Short Trench from J.Crew (old style, current classic version here)
  • Leather jacket by Joie (old style, similar here)
  • Black woven jacket from Banana Republic (from several years ago)
  • Black raw hem denim by Paige
  • Classic skinny jeans denim by Frame
  • Flats by Chloe
  • Chambray button down by Joie
  • Stripe tank from Rag and Bone
  • Cashmere sweater from Club Monaco (old style)

Clothing Pack List for NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup packing list:

NYC Makeup Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare and haircare packing. I hoard my minis from GWPs as much as I can. Things here that you can buy individually:

NYC Skincare Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Before I met up with Amy we discussed where we wanted to go shopping. I told her I was open to anything she wanted to see as she was taking the train up to see me for the day. I shared a map I had made last year (minus the tourist spots). I’ve done this for almost every trip I’ve gone on – I map out EVERYTHING from coffee shops, photo spots, restaurants, breakfast places, shops etc. This is an edited version with just beauty as my full maps get very cluttered. Thanks to Amy for asking me to publish this. She did an amazing one for Paris which I highly recommend. We didn’t get to everything on the map – in the course of one day we made it to around 6 places including lunch spots. We took our time, on our priority list was Creed and Bergdorfs and then we said we’d just take the day as it came. The map should be clickable/interactive – I’m not sure how it will look or work on mobile though.

This is what I ended up hauling, mainly beauty this trip. First a look inside Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Shopping | The Beauty Look Book

Next stop was Barneys New York – how cool is their Mask Bar?!

Barneys New York Mask Bar | The Beauty Look Book

From Barneys New York I bought two Sheet Masks from Starskin in the Diamond Mask and Close Up options, Cremorlab Silk Pearl, and the Peach and Lily Sheet Mask Set. From Bergdorf Goodman I bought a couple cushions from Sulwhasoo (I also ordered the third option from Nordstrom when I got home). Will be testing and report back soon!

Barneys and Bergdorfs Haul | The Beauty Look Book

At Creed I bought my husband the Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl – he’s been getting more into skincare and shaving and I thought this might be a nice unique gift for him even though it’s about 3x what he normally spends on a shaving soap. They wrapped everything beautifully and even made a couple fragrance samples for him!

Creed Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl | The Beauty Look Book

Some late night shopping at the Sephora in Times Square, they have Tom Ford, Natasha Denona and Pat McGrath. On Instastories a couple days ago I mentioned how many beauty insider points I had. I forgot that I had redeemed A LOT for Drybar and Supergoop goodies. I think I asked for all the sunscreen minis they had lol!

Sephora NYC Times Square Tom Ford | The Beauty Look Book

What I hauled from Sephora was more than I intended. I only was going to get the new Dior mascara but what was I thinking, I always leave the store with more than I had planned on buying:

Mega Sephora Haul | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a quick stop at Byredo. I had looked for the mint Hand Cream Duo at Barneys but they were sold out so I made a trip to the Byredo store on Wooster and it was very minimalist inside. If you’re looking for this you can find it online at Byredo and also online Neiman Marcus. It was beautiful but very sparse. Online and at counters the travel size perfumes come in pre-made sets. Usually you have to buy a set of 3 with the same scents although they occasionally release mixed discover ones. In the store you can make your own 3 piece or 6 piece set but they don’t have all the scents available. I made my own with 2 Mojave Ghost (I’ve had this on my wishlist for over 2 years, I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it earlier) and 1 Flowerhead. They recommend you only carry them inside the leather cases because the glass is fragile. I’m trying to be extra careful with mine as I have broken a couple.

Byredo Soho Wooster NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Byredo Haul | The Beauty Look Book

This is a shot of what I had with me on my way back home:

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my three days in NYC posts! I already can’t wait to go back πŸ™‚ If you have any favorite spots whether it be shops, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels etc please let me know in the comments! I’ll bookmark them for my next trip!

Boutique New York Travel

Springtime Travels – Three Days in NYC

May 8, 2017

NYC Springtime Travels | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday lovelies! As promised I have a NYC post for you from my recent trip last month. I was in NYC for three days at the end of April. One day was for a conference and the other two days were for fun, exploration and a few meet-ups. Now that I’m on the East Coast, travel is a lot easier for me. It’s only a 2 hour flight from Tampa to NYC and I could not be happier! This was a short trip and I wish I could have had more time but I packed in as much as I could. This is Part 1 of 2. In this post I will share about where I stayed, what I saw and where I ate. In Part 2 I’ll share my full packing list and also what I hauled.

I flew into JFK and normally would have taken a taxi to the city, however my husband booked me a NY airport limousine service called Carmel Limousine. It was a bit pricier than a taxi but the fare covered tip and tolls and my husband wanted me to try it out. When it comes to travel and transportation I tend to be on the cheap side when traveling alone, my husband on the other hand always wants the best experience – he’s always really thoughtful when he helps me book my flights etc. When I flew in I was a bit worried about how I would find the car and driver. The way this works is you book your car and provide them your flight information and destination. The cars are usually waiting nearby or in the cell phone lot around the time of your arrival. There’s a number to call as soon as you land and they text you within seconds how soon the car will arrive and what model it is. In the window there will be a sign with your last name so you can tell which car is yours. My total wait time from the time I called was less than 5 minutes.

Cars were very clean, air conditioned and the drive was smooth. NYC taxis can be hit or miss with cleanliness and using this service was definitely a nice experience. If I were traveling with another person I think I would definitely use them again. On my way back my husband was going to book it again for me but since I didn’t know where I would be in the city I told him I’d just take a taxi back to the airport.

I couldn’t resist doing an Eva Chen-inspired shot (minus the fruit lol). Neverfull MM tote with a small Truffle Clarity Clutch mini (c/o) to hold all my travel essentials. Flats by Chloe. Jeans by Frame.

NYC Springtime Travels Carmel Limo Service | The Beauty Look Book

I traveled alone this trip so I decided try a smaller hotel. I had planned everything at the last minute and did not realize that the Tribeca Film Festival was happening the same week I was going to be in NY. In the course of a few days almost every hotel I had on my visit list was booked and almost double in price from their normal rates. Luckily I found one that was affordable with good reviews in Times Square in the theater district called RIU Plaza New York Times Square. I booked a King Size room and was thrilled to find that at check-in they gave me a room on the 26th floor (they have 28 floors). True to NYC style the room was very small, but it was clean, modern and functional. I had a pleasant stay – I would definitely stay here again, the location can’t be beat!

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

During my stay the weather was cloudy with some rain. I had checked the weather beforehand. Since moving to Florida I feel like I’ve been living in shorts and tanks and I knew the rest of the US was most likely not going to be in the high 80s. I packed an umbrella, several sets of layers, a few jackets and one pair of flats. The only thing I would have done differently for packing would have been to also pack some running shoes for easier walking. My flats were comfortable but there was a point where I wanted to walk through Central Park to find all of the cherry blossom trees (it was my first time seeing them in person!). I only made it about 1/2 a mile before I decided my feet and flats would not make the entire 2.5 mile walk in the rain.

Cherry Blossom Trees Spring NYC | The Beauty Look Book

One of the days I spend the entire day attending a conference in Soho. The conference was held by a company called Fohr Card and while I was dying to explore Soho, I was really happy to meet some other bloggers and make a few new friends. I ran into another blogger Kali from In Spades Blog and found out that we were both from San Diego, went to the same college and graduated the same year as me! Such a small world! We grabbed some dinner afterwards at Totto Ramen which I had been dying to try to catch up on life since graduating from business school. It was delicious! A quick snapshot of some other quick eats – on this trip I was on the go most of the day until late evening so relied on places open late. My brother made me promise to try this Indian street food place called Kati Roll and it was pretty close to my hotel so I did. It was also pretty good. One of the nights I grabbed some pizza by the slice near Times Square – I have really high expectations for pizza and even though it had really high ratings on Yelp I thought it was just ok. It hit the spot though – unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it.

NYC Eats - Totto Ramen, Pizza by the slice, Kati Roll

The following day was the highlight of my trip. I met up with long-time blogger friend Amy from Cafe Makeup. We’ve been pen pals for years and I’ve followed her blog for as long as I can remember. We spent the day exploring and shopping and had the best time! A look our stops below. We covered a lot of ground in one day: light breakfast at the Palm Court, a trip to B&H Photo (amazing!), a stop at the Creed Boutique, fun at Bergdorf Goodman, search for By Terry at Barneys New York, lunch and a meet up with Edward Bess, and then another trip back to Bergdorfs because we decided we needed more bronzer in our life.

Palm Court breakfast:

Palm Court NYC with Cafe Makeup

Perfume heaven at Creed:

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC

Shopping heaven at Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Shopping Heaven | The Beauty Look Book

Excited to see the entire line of Christian Louboutin Beauty in person!

Bergdorf Goodman Louboutin Beaute Counter | The beauty look book

Walking into the beauty level at Barneys New York, can you spot the By Terry counter?

Barneys New York beauty level makeup heaven | The beauty look book

Afternoon dessert with Edward Bess, I look so tan next to him! Thanks Cafe Makeup for the snap πŸ™‚

Edward Bess x The Beauty Look Book selfie time

Beauty playtime with Edward:

Lunch with Edward Bess | The Beauty Look Book

Quick snapshots of Soho, Laduree, Repetto, Byredo:

Soho Springtime NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Soho NYC Byredo | The Beauty Look Book

Had to make a stop at the new Away store in Soho. They will deliver anywhere in New York and often have same day delivery which is genius! For those who know they’ll need an extra bag to take home items with them but don’t want to fly into the city with extra luggage this is perfect! They’ll deliver to your hotel πŸ™‚

Away Travel Store in Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Bryant Park at night:

Bryant Park at Night | The Beauty Look Book

Selfie at my happy place Sephora Times Square, short trench by J.Crew (old style, current Icon Style here), denim by Frame, iPhone case by Gray Malin.

Sephora Times Square NYC | The Beauty look Book

I hope you enjoyed this mini travel diary! I had so much fun in the short time I was there. Have you ever been to NYC for a short trip? What recommendations, tips or advice do you have for quick short trips? Give then amount of time I was there I was happy with what I booked in. I did waste some time by getting lost (I did a lot of walking) but sometimes getting lost takes you some fun unexpected places.

Part 2 to follow tomorrow with my packing list and haul!

Boutique Fragrance New York

Creed + High Camp Gardenias for Mother’s Day

May 1, 2017

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

For Mother’s Day this year Creed has partnered with High Camp Gardenias to create a special limited-edition gift set available exclusively online at CreedBoutique.com from May 1st to May 10th. High Camp Supply specializes in fresh gardenia vines and blooms which are cut to order in California and then shipped in a beautiful glossy white box. Together both companies have created a memorable gift with a few options depending on how many flowers and perfume you pick. For this collaboration they have the Vine and Bloom Gift Sets which come with a mix of loose gardenia blooms and gardenias on the vine.

  • Creed x High Camp Supply Vine and Bloom Gift Set (25 to 30 flowers) $479 to $549
  • Creed x High Camp Supply Deluxe Vine and Bloom Gift Set (45 to 50 flowers) $539 to $609
  • Available fragrances for purchase to choose from include Love in White, Royal Princess Oud, Spring Flower, Acqua Fiorentina or Fleurs de Gardenia

I was fortunate to be gifted Spring Flower and the Vine and Bloom Gift Set (bottle is the 2.5 fl oz) and as a lover of flowers and perfumes find this to be unique and simply exquisite. The price of the perfume ($350) and gardenias ($129) individually add up to the same price as the set so there’s no price break.

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

The gardenias arrive in a white glossy cardboard box that’s sturdy. There is a cold pack inside the box to keep everything temperature controlled and fresh while it’s being shipped. The perfume is wrapped with a plastic sleeve so the box is protected from any condensation that occurs while it’s in transit. There are care instructions for how to unbox and care for the flowers. They arrive closed but open up within a few hours with the most exquisite gardenia scent I’ve ever smelled. I love that there is a mix of blooms and vines.

When we moved we didn’t bring all of our dishes with us (we gifted away a lot of things we couldn’t fit in our moving truck). I only had a West Elm round lacquer tray with handles so I tried using it as a bowl by taping the holes. The lacquer won’t hold up water for an extended period of time around the base so we made a quick trip to Crate and Barrel to pick up a Serving Bowl which worked perfectly. For the vines I placed them in a large recycled ceramic Diptyque Candle jar.

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

After a few hours the blooms fully open up and the fragrance from these flowers literally filled our entire home. Care instructions that come with the box:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Blooms straight out of the box placed into a vase and bowl:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Fully opened blooms after a few hours:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Shown above: Lip color is Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in 728 Rose Pulpe over Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink, top by Paige, nail color is Essie Topless and Barefoot

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

While in NYC last week I was able to meet up with a long-time blogger friend Cafe Makeup and we made a stop at the Creed Boutique on Madison Avenue. I had the best experience there. The staff there is very knowledgable and friendly. The boutique experience can be hit or miss in my experience and this visit was one of the best ones I’ve had. Even though I only own a few pieces from Creed, the brand has special meaning to me, in particular the scent Spring Flower. While I was in college I went on a study abroad program in Oxford for a summer. My room mate Laura (who became my bestie) and I arrived in the UK a week before classes started so we would have some time to explore London. She was on a mission to find Spring Flower and took me all over London looking for a store that carried Creed because at that time it was not available near us. At that time I was not into perfume at all and I completely credit her for sparking my interest in fragrance. Onto a quick peek at the boutique. I bought one gift for my husband which I’ll share in my NYC post later this week. I now have Aventus for Men on my wishlist to give to him as it’s probably the hottest male scent in a bottle I’ve ever smelled.

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue New York | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed this roundup and peek into my recent NYC trip. If you can visit the store while in NY I highly recommend it. I did a sneak peek on Instagram last week and was thrilled to find so many other Creed lovers! You gave me some amazing recommendations which I’ve noted and will be taking with me on my next counter visit (there’s a counter near me in Tampa!).

Quick recap on the Mother’s Day set. It will be available exclusively online at CreedBoutique.com from May 1st to May 10th, orders must be placed by 12 pm PST. Available scents with this set include Love in White, Royal Princess Oud, Spring Flower, Acqua Fiorentina and Fleurs de Gardenia. Prices vary depending on the scent you pick and which flower box you choose.

Do you have any Creed favorites? I’ve been spritzing Spring Flower since I got back home to Florida every day and am obsessed although I still really love Virgin Island Water.

Many thanks to Creed for gifting this beautiful set and for allowing me to photograph the inside of their NYC store.

New York Travel

Langham Place New York

July 5, 2016

It’s been over a week since I’ve returned home from New York and I’m still energized to the point of almost glowing from my trip because I had such an amazing time. Today I’m sharing something a bit different than I normally do on The Beauty Look Book because when I have an experience that is out of the ordinary I want everyone to know. During our week in New York my husband and I stayed at Langham Place New York located in Midtown Manhattan and it is the best hotel we have ever stayed at. Prior to our trip it took quite a while for me to research hotels – to date my husband and I plan our trips on our own and my go-to review source for hotels is TripAdvisor which helps me narrow down places by location, ratings, price point etc. I picked out Langham Place New York after much consideration and I am beyond thrilled that I did. The hotel exceeded our expectations in every way. I think it is rare that I can say that something was perfect in every way, but my experience staying here was. The service was top notch right from the time we booked our rooms all the way to the day we checked out. In a city that never sleeps, being able to stay at a place that feels like a relaxing home away from home was priceless.
Langham Place New York is located on 5th Avenue within walking distance from the Empire State Building. We found it to be the perfect location for us even though getting around the city is very easy, we found it central to all the places we wanted to visit. Aside from location, spacious modern rooms, luxurious feel, the best thing about this hotel is the service. Everyone was welcoming, friendly, professional, courteous and each person went out of their way to be helpful in any and every way possible.

The rooms have a residence feel with a very open and spacious feel. A repeated theme on hotel reviews for New York is that hotel rooms are small and expensive. If you read the reviews on Langham Place New York, one thing that will stand out is everyone comments on how spacious the rooms are and most have said the service is phenomenal. I wholeheartedly agree and upon entering our room, both my husband and I were blown away. He did not want to splurge for our trip on the hotel, but this experience changed his mind completely and by the end he agreed that this place is indeed worth the splurge. Our room had a mini kitchen and separate living area near the entrance. Also not shown included a Miele laundry machine + dryer. I did not do laundry on this trip but my husband did as he hates traveling with dirty socks even if he brings extra pairs with him.

A look inside the hotel, mainly our room. After staying here for four nights, I did not want to leave. If you look closely below you will see a Nespresso machine. Heart won! They also leave the most amazing cookies on the nightstands during turn down along with bottled water. Heart won yet again πŸ™‚

View from our room:

A very kind welcome note left by the Managing Director. I’ve never received a welcome note before so this touched my heart to the core!

Can I transport this bathroom to my own home please? 

TV monitor built into the mirror!

Husband’s half of the bathroom:

Travel minis that I brought with me:

Sunset view:

Travel beauty: 

Fully equipped fitness center:

In room breakfast with a view: 

During our stay we had room service for breakfast once which was simple yet refreshing. We wanted to try the restaurant Ai Fiori as it had amazing reviews but we were only in town for a short time and chose to explore the city instead. Everyone on the staff from the doormen to concierge and room service was very helpful – I cannot express in words how impressed I was. Literally everyone greets you in the most welcoming way (this happened throughout our entire stay).  The Langham Place New York hotel takes luxury to a new level and after having such a great experience and I will definitely have this place at the top of my list for the next time I visit New York.

I will have a post tomorrow on packing and how I fit everything into a carry on going to New York, but I wanted to make a quick note that by the end of my trip, I had more than I could carry in a suit case so I decided to ship a large box back home via FedEx. I packed what I wanted to ship in a large bag and was about to hail a cab to a FedEx shipping center when one of the doormen kindly told me the concierge would pack and ship everything for me from the hotel. I was still curious about how much it would cost (and how long it would take) to ship on my own for reference in case some readers are traveling to a hotel or destination that does not offer the same service. He kindly pointed me in the direction of a FedEx that was a lot closer than the one I was headed towards initially. It was within a 5 minute walk and actually inside the Empire State Building (just around the corner from the main entrance). As I was shipping my box I thought was pretty neat to be inside the side walls of the Empire State Building. The shipping process was quick and easy, they measured, boxed and packed everything for me and sat me down at one of the stations to enter my shipping and payment information. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes at most and there was no line when I arrived. It cost me only $40ish to ship a large box about 20 pounds second day which I thought was very reasonable.
Back to a few more thoughts on Langham Place New York. I think there’s nothing that can match a really good hotel experience and if you are able to stay here while in New York, I think you will enjoy it as well. In all the years and places I’ve traveled to there have been very few hotels I’ve stayed at that have made a strong enough impression to be memorable, Langham Place has made the list. You can see more about their rooms and amenities on their website gallery.
If you’re researching New York City hotels for trips I hope you found this review helpful! The number of options are almost overwhelming and it took me hours and days of making lists, checking availability and checking my list again to narrow down which one to stay at. I hands down recommend Langham Place New York. If you have any favorites I would love to hear about where your go-to spots are. It’s been a long time since I’ve last been to New York and after having visited I do think I need to try to go more often. I already cannot wait until my next trip back.
Boutique New York Travel

Birchbox Soho Flagship Store in NYC

July 1, 2016

While in New York I stopped by the Birchbox Flagship Store located at 433 West Broadway in Soho. Most of us know Birchbox for their monthly subscription boxes but if you were able to stop by one of their #Birchboxinmycity Road Trip Destinations last year you were able to catch a glimpse of what their store setup looks like road trip style (Los Angeles covered in this post here). If you’re in NYC I highly recommend giving this store a visit. For the ladies who travel with their husbands, boyfriends or brothers – it’s not just a store for women, there’s an entire floor dedicated to men’s grooming and lifestyle. You can bring your male travel companions with you, send him to men’s floor while you look at makeup, skincare and fragrance and don’t have to worry about him being bored or impatient while you shop πŸ™‚

This store is really a one-stop-shop for beauty and skincare essentials. As mentioned in my last post, between Birchbox and Space NK I found that they carried all the items I would need for a week’s worth of travel. One of the nice things about Birchbox is that they have curated Discovery Sets stocked with minis in addition to travel-sized beauty items you can buy so you don’t have to worry about buying large full size items that you can’t bring put inside a carry-on. I will say though during my trip I ended up picking up quite a few full-sized liquids over the security limit. I ended up shipping items in a large FedEx box home so I didn’t have to check it. (More on this in my packing post soon.)
Onto a look inside the beautiful store. Birchbox organizes their store by product category rather than having brand-dedicated sections. The staff at the store is very helpful and knowledgeable – if you need help picking out items someone is there to guide you and give recommendations. There are two levels, the ground level is for women and there’s a lower level for me.

Sun care, hair care, Oribe Travel Surf Set and Volume Set Trios (both reviewed here) alongside the limited-edition Sunny Side Boxes for summer:

Smith and Cult polishes:

More Hair Care to explore:

Makeup:

Skincare shown on the left, Discovery Sets on the right:

At the end of the store they have a Build Your Own Birchbox station where you can pick out 5 items to build your own box. You pick out 1 item from 5 categories covering skincare, body, fragrance, makeup and hair.

A look at the Men’s Shop with grooming, skincare, fragrance and body care and BYOB stations:

A few last shots of the women’s shop:

I built two Birchboxes in the store, one for husband (he did not go to the store with me) and one for myself. Inside my husband’s are minis of Baxter of California Grooming Lotion (his favorite hair grooming product), Baxter Facial Scrub, Eau Profonde Cologne, Junk Stuff (the name got me lol), Under Eye Patches, and a USB Cable – the men’s boxes have a lifestyle option.

For mine I picked out minis of Coola Sport Sunscreen in Fresh Mango SPF 50, Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo, Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, Comptoir Sud Pacific Vanille Abricot and Mally Shadow Stick in Copper Rose.

 

So happy I was able to stop by the store and that the social team let me take photographs to my heart’s desire. I visited bright and early right when the store opened and had a lot of fun exploring. I think I could have spent an entire day inside – everything is very clean and organized which makes for a great shopping experience.

If you are in the area I highly recommend giving it a visit for a fun yet relaxing beauty shopping experience. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside the store! For those planning a visit, check out their Birchbox Soho page for location, hours and store events.
Boutique New York Travel

Space NK Boutique – 31 Prince Street in Nolita

June 30, 2016

Last week I stopped by a few of my favorite beauty shops in NYC. Living in Southern California I am lucky to have access to most brands but often times don’t have a free standing boutique near me for some stores to get the full experience. I was beyond thrilled to stop by Space NK’s newest New York Boutique on 31 Prince Street in Nolita. This was my first time inside a free standing store and it is a beauty lover’s dream come true. Between Space NK and Birchbox Soho – you literally have all your beauty and grooming (for men) needs covered. Both stock a wide variety of mid to high end beauty brands and from the looks of it, they have everything one could need and in travel sizes too. As I was oohing and aaahing at all the shelves in Space NK, by I thought to myself I should have skipped the stress of trying to hoard minis and pack all my liquids into a quart size bag (since I travel carry-on style) and made this store my first stop in once I arrived in the city.
The store is located on the corner of Prince and Mott – it’s one of the most charming beauty spaces I’ve been inside. There’s a lot stocked in the store covering skincare, hair care, cosmetics and more – at the same time it’s very spacious with a wide open feeling that gives it a luxurious feel. Walking inside is pretty amazing – I could not help but wish that I had a space like this in my home. Displays are organized by brand and product type. Skincare is split into different walls for the natural brands, more techy brands etc. I had just missed a Dr. Lancer appearance and book signing which happened at the store a few days prior. There are decicated areas for Lancer Skincare.

Wall of skincare featuring By Terry, Chantecaille, Sunday Riley, Eve Lom, Tata Harper:

So much love for By Terry, can I have one of everything please?

The Hourglass display complete with Ambient Lighting Powders, Foundations, Brushes and more:

Eve Lom foundations and powders to the left, Smith & Cult to the right:

More beauty from Kevyn Aucoin and Lord and Berry:



Wall of heaven stocked with Oribe minis, Ouai, Sachajuan, Gloss Moderne and more: 

Brow kiosk and Lipstick Queen:

Close up of Oribe heaven, full size wall and then stocked travel size minis:

Overall a must-stop if you visit New York City. There are quite a few Space NK stores located through the city, I was glad I stopped by this one as it’s in a cute neighborhood and Diptyque is just around the corner. It has a similar vibe and feel to the dedicated Space NK sections you may see inside a Bloomingdale’s (which I also love) but being able to visit a separate store is really a must if you can.
Many thanks to Space NK for allowing me to take photos inside their beautiful store. Next time I’m in New York I won’t be packing a lot of items, I know now that I can simply stop by here and purchase what I need as they carry my favorite brands.

Have you been inside a Space NK store before? I know they are all over the US but this is my first time visiting a dedicated store. Hope you enjoyed this peek into their space! Snippets on their social too @spacenkusa – something I live vicariously through since I don’t have a store near me. It’s nice to see snapshots of their stores around the country and new launch sneak peeks.

P.S. There’s a summer sale going on right now, some items are marked up to 50% off πŸ™‚
New York Travel

A Week in New York City

June 29, 2016

I’m back from spending a week in New York and am so excited to share all the details from my summer trip. A trip to NYC has been on my wishlist for many years – it’s been almost 10 years since I was last in the city. I was actually only in New York for 5 days with my husband. Our trip was planned primarily for sight seeing fun and for me trying new food places was high on my list. I mapped out approximately 30 spots prior to leaving knowing I would not be able to make it to most of them, but it was very helpful for planning and narrowing down what to see by location. I had such an amazing time and cannot wait to go back – there’s an energy in New York City that can’t be matched anywhere else. Summer is such a lovely time to visit although it was quite a bit more humid than the mild weather in Southern California. Thank you to everyone who took the time to e-mail me and message me recommendations! Today I’m sharing the highlights of my trip. More details to follow in separate posts on what I packed, a review of the luggage I tested out, where we stayed and special spots I visited. A quick note to those who expressed some serious concern about me wearing white jeans in the city. I made quick adjustments to my packing list before I left and thank you to each and every one of you for warning me πŸ™‚

In this post I’m covering sights we saw, places we ate and some thoughts about getting around the city which might be helpful for first-timers or those who haven’t been to NYC in a while and are looking for an updated guide. This post is a long one so grab a cup of tea or a snack before reading.

We took the red-eye to NYC with Delta (my husband’s preference) and while I do really like flying with them, I will say that we both agreed next time we will not do the red-eye again. Neither of us can sleep on planes. We arrived bright and early at JFK at around 6:00 AM (yes, super early!) and it took us about a 25 minutes to wait in line for a taxi and about 1 hour to get to the city.

During our week in New York we stayed at Langham Place New York on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Much to our surprise our room was ready even though check in wasn’t until afternoon. I spent around 2-3 days researching hotels and online reviews via Trip Advisor – the number of options to pick from in NYC are overwhelming. My husband and I were beyond thrilled with our stay at Langham Place. A dedicated review to follow because this place deserves it – every one was incredibly helpful right from the time we booked our hotel. Upon arrival the service was impeccable –  the concierge, housekeeping, and all the doormen were so amazing. They also leave delicious cookies in the room at turndown – heart won. We found the location was great – although being in NYC it’s very easy to get around the city with the subway and taxis.

Bottom left flats by Chloe, bottom right view from our room

For sightseeing we both had a few places we wanted to see together. Both of us have been to New York before but this was the first time we had been together. It was relatively hot and humid during our week there so we did some leisurely sight seeing and didn’t rush anything. My favorite place was Central Park – we walked about half of the way through from the south end to the middle. Other places we saw included Washington Square Park, the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, Battery Park, Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal. We passed through a lot of areas by walking but those were the highlights. If you’re in NYC during the summer I highly recommend you check out the event calendars – at Bryant Park they have the HBO Summer Film Festival going on and they play films on a large screen. We passed by at the end of the one of the films – it was packed but looked really fun.

Night time in the city is an experience in itself. I’m not a huge fan of bus tours but they are a nice way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. We took the Grayline Double Decker Bus Night Tour which leaves from Times Square and enjoyed it – our tour guide was very entertaining. It was about a 2 hour bus tour and goes from the city to Brooklyn. For the day tours you can hop on and off the bus, but for the night tours it’s a continuous ride. A few snapshots of the city at night – some are from the bus tour, some are from dinners and walking around the city.

For the places to eat, we only made it to a small handful of spots on our list, but every place we stopped by was amazing and well worth the extra walking and travel distance to find. Breakfast, lunch and dinner spots included Jack’s Wife Freda on Carmine Street (beyond obsessed), Buvette (amazing!!), Shake Shack (burgers are better than In-n-Out, although I didn’t really like their french fries), Don Antonio’s (pizza is amazing! just like ones from Naples), Momofuku (went twice for the cookies), Laduree Soho (for macarons and tea to bring home as gifts), Cafe Cluny (one of the cutest cozy dinner spots ever) and the Soho House (great views).
If there are any I would deem must visits – it would be Jack’s Wife Freda, Buvette and Cafe Cluny. On my next trip I hope to have time for afternoon tea somewhere in the city.

My husband had the waffle sandwich at Buvette and I stole a bite, it was amazing!

These were the only pictures I was able to get of Don Antonio’s, the pizza was THAT good and literally gone within minutes. More on them and their menu on Yelp – it can get very crowded, it appeared to be a very popular spot. We were seated right away because we took the spots right by the window instead of the main dining area – but it was cozy and perfect for people watching. Among the top 2 best pizzas I’ve tried since visiting Italy last year with the soft and fluffy crust.

I will have a separate post on shopping spots that I stopped by. This trip I wasn’t able to get much shopping in – there was a lot on my list that I missed this round but there is always next time! Soho is just absolutely adorable – I could spend forever and the rest of my life there. For those who want a sneak peek of what’s coming next, I will be covering Bergdorf Goodman x Edward Bess, Space NK in Soho, Birchbox Soho, Diptyque at Grand Central Station and the Away Travel. A quick peek at some snapshots from walking around Soho – it’s so charming, I wish I could have spent more time here exploring and shopping. Many of the stores did not open until 11, I was in the area early in the morning so most were not yet open to go inside but it was fun to window shop.

A few thoughts to share on getting around the city and budgeting for transportation from a newbie perspective. It’s been a while since I’ve been in New York but I’m familiar with the metro and subway systems of other cities and also outside the US. Since it has been almost 10 years since I’ve been to NYC I reached out to a few friends who are New York locals, friends who travel to NY frequently for work and also looked at reviews online.

There are a number of websites and reviews that help break down the cost of transportation between taxis, Uber, or the subway. I’m one of those people who often gets confused about direction and since WIFI can be spotty in larger cities, it takes me longer to navigate my way through new surroundings so I thought worst case scenario was that I would have to take taxis everywhere. I am happy to report that navigating NYC is indeed relatively easy to figure out. In general both my husband and I found the subway easier and faster. The areas I went to were all very safe (even to and from Brooklyn late at night, late as in past 10:00 pm). I took the advice of friends who assured me the subway was safe and just to make sure to be in areas where there were lots of people versus the isolated areas with nobody around.

On budgeting for transportation, we each bought a $20 metro card that we used up almost all the way. For taxis getting to and from the airport runs at a flat fee and with tip it’s about $75 to $80 each way. For our taxi trips rates ranged from $8.19 to $33.54 (these numbers included 20% tips). I took the taxi from NYC to Brooklyn once which was the most expensive trip. On taxis – it was recommended that I stick with the yellow cabs and I would highly recommend you do so as well. Total spent on taxis for 5 days (excluding airport transportation) was $160 (including tips), the average taxi ride cost $15ish. Now that we know how to navigate the city next time we will probably use the subway more. I have friends who use Uber every time they go to NYC. This trip we did not try it.

One last note on timing for travel leaving the city to get to the airport. My flight left from JFK at 4:55 pm and the airport guidelines said to arrive at the airport 2 hours prior to take off which meant I would have to arrive at the airport by 2:55 pm. Several assured me I would be ok leaving the city at 2:00 pm but I gave myself an extra 45 minutes since I was leaving on a Friday and I’m glad I did. At around 1:15 pm a traffic surge happened and it took 20 minutes for the doormen to find an available cab. They were so nice about it too, one made several calls to try and find one while the other ran around the block trying to find one with working AC. It was really so impressive how much they went out of their way. Once I was on my way to the airport there was traffic – it took 60 minutes. There was a quick line for airport security – all in all, giving myself the extra time was worth it so I did not have to rush or feel anxious about missing my flight.

A few more snapshots:

One final photo because I know beauty lovers will appreciate this. Net-A-Porter has same day delivery in the city which is so cool. If this showed up at my door to deliver a package I think it would the coolest thing ever. I also wanted to mention that Edward Bess is now carried online at Net-A-Porter!

I hope you enjoyed this roundup of my trip highlights! There’s so much to see in New York City and even though there’s so much I didn’t get to, I enjoyed the week there. I can’t wait to go back again. More on the beauty, shops and packing in the upcoming days! I know many of you are eager to see how I packed carry-on style again.

For those who visit NYC either frequently or occasionally, what are you favorite places to go to? We didn’t make it to any museums this round since we had a short trip. It’s definitely on our list for next time along with places like The High Line, Top of the Rock, the One World Trade Center Observatory (we hope to go inside next time) and for me so much more for the beauty spots πŸ™‚

For those who follow me on Instagram @beautylookbook, thanks for following along!