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If getting a well-rested glow naturally (the good ol’ eight-hours trick) isn’t cutting it, give one of these new facial treatments a try to fake a radiant complexion.

Facial Dry Brushing

What it is: On clean, dry skin, use a natural bristle brush in light strokes moving from your neck to your forehead.

Benefits: Exfoliate dead skin cells and improve circulation.

Our take: First, make sure to use a dry brush that is intended for your face—not your body. We tried the Aveda Tulasāra Radiant Facial Dry Brush ($44, aveda.com). Body brushes have thick bristles that would be too tough for the more sensitive skin on your face. I tried it in the morning, before cleansing since I tend to wake up looking puffy. I followed the included tutorial and made upward strokes starting at the bottom of my face and working up then continued with my normal morning routine (cleanse, antioxidant serum, moisturizer). The repetitive motion was almost meditative and kind of made me want to fall back asleep. I felt like it woke my skin up and that I could immediately see a little glow. After a few days of repeated use and consulting my dermatologist, I decided that using the brush every day was too much exfoliation for my sensitive skin type, but have continued to use it once or twice a week and love the results.

A Metal Facial Massager

Benefits: Similar to dry brushing, a metal face massager rolls over skin to help promote lymphatic drainage and in turn, decrease puffiness, cool the skin, and some claim to help skincare products penetrate into the skin.

Our take: I loved how relaxing it was to roll The Body Shop Twin Ball Massager ($9, thebodyshop-usa.com) over my lotion in the morning. It got the blood flowing and left my face feeling more awake. The key is to apply a serum or moisturizer before using the tool so it can easily glide across skin. I like to amp up the cooling benefits by keeping the massager in the refrigerator so the metal is extra cold. This treatment is great for sensitive skin or if you don’t want to disrupt your normal skincare routine since there’s no exfoliating or poking involved.

Dermaplaning

What it is: A small, sterile blade is used to scrape off a very fine layer of dead skin and peach fuzz on the face.

Benefits: Removing dead skin and baby hairs from your face can leave skin looking brighter and feeling smoother. It also clears the way so your skincare products can penetrate more easily. Note: Avoid dermaplaning on areas where you’re having an acne flare-up.

Our take: Dermaplaning first started as an in-office treatment but we tried the new at home version with Dermaflash ($189, sephora.com). The tool comes with a cleanser and moisturizer to prep and soothe before and after the treatment, along with six blades (you use one blade per treatment). After cleansing, you attach one of the exfoliating stainless steel edges to the charged device and turn it on. Then hold skin taut and make upward strokes. The thought of putting a vibrating blade next to my face really scared me at first but once I made the first stroke and realized it didn’t hurt, it was fun to see all the white dust—aka dead skin—piling up. The first thing I noticed after I was done was how soft my skin was. With all of the hair gone, it was completely smooth. I did have a little redness at first but it quickly went away after applying the moisturizer. After one use, I didn’t feel like my skin was brighter but I love how clean it felt and how my much more even my makeup looked thanks to the hair being gone. Being a germaphobe, I also appreciate that you get to use a new blade every time so you don’t have to worry about not cleaning it right and bacteria building up.

All the Hidden Meanings Behind Kate Middleton’s Royal Tour Outfits

We always love to see what Kate Middleton wears when she travels. Her schedule is packed with events that call for her signature polished looks, sometimes three in a day. Her trip to Poland and Germany with the whole family was no different. The Duchess of Cambridge showed off her style in a mix of British, Polish, and German designers for the diplomatic trip. In addition to a little more fashion risk taking, many of her looks have subtle symbolism and hidden meanings as well. Let’s explore her stylish week abroad!

  1. Arriving in Poland in Alexander McQueen: It’s no accident the family (well, besides Prince George, who had pops of red in his patterned shirt) coordinated in red and white looks. The Polish flag and national colors are red and white, and Middleton’s beautiful jewelry and red clutch, Charlotte’s Dress, and Prince William’s tie are all nods to the national hue.

2. A Cocktail Party Honoring Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday in Gosia Baczyńska: Continuing her summer 2017 staple of the LWD, Middleton wore an architectural look by Polish designer Gosia Baczyńska. We don’t often see her in edgy designs (or low necklines!), but here she wears the sign of respect to the host country well.

3. A Day Touring Polish Sights Near Gdansk in Erdem Separates: This day’s agenda mixed solemn visits, like a tour of Sutthof concentration camp, and lighter activities like a liquor tasting. Middleton wore one of her favorite British designers while carrying a clutch by Polish designer Etui, and not for the first time. If you look closely and catch a glimpse of The Duchess’s necklace, you’ll see it’s made of Baltic amber, a material that makes up a big portion of business in the city they were visiting, Gdansk.

4. The Catherine Walker Blue Dress for the Royal Family’s Germany Arrival: Middleton sported another British designer in a symbolic and pretty blue hue. Now for a little history! Before Germany was the country it is today, it was made up of many kingdoms; one of them was Prussia. This blue color was a pigment developed in Berlin in the early 1700s, at the time called Berlin Blue or Prussian Blue. It soon became the color of the Prussian and other German territory Army uniforms, all the way up until WWI. You might know the color better as cornflower blue, which also has German historical significance. The cornflower is the national flower of Germany. The story goes that Queen Louisa of Prussia fled Berlin when Napoleon came to occupy the territory. She hid her children in a field of cornflowers to save them, so it seems appropriate that Prince William and the kids are also dressed in this color. Depending on who you ask, people might say the blue is royal blue, a color with decidedly British roots. We’ll referee and say it’s both.

5. German Celebration for Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday in a Red Alexander McQueen Dress: Middleton made another rare fashion move here and wore a very of-the-moment off-the-shoulder silhouette. She paid tribute to Germany here both in the color — it’s one of the three colors of the German flag — and in its design. The Alexander McQueen dress is British designed but resembles elements of the traditional Bavarian dirndl in its detailing. It’s a subtle nod to the heritage of the host country.

6. A Day Full of Activities in a Yellow Jenny Packham Look: The Duchess wore one of her British favorites for a day seeing sights all around Heidelberg that included visiting a lab, then heading off to pretzel and candy making. Again, it’s no accident that she’s sporting one of the colors of the German flag in this custom look. Although she covered up the dress with a lab coat and apron at times, the marigold color managed to shine through.

7. A Boat Race in Hugo Boss: Even in this casual look, Middleton manages a subtle nod to Germany by wearing Hugo Boss, one of the country’s most famous fashion names.

8. A Creative Industries Reception in Markus Lupfer: Here, Middleton continues to wear more trend-forward cocktail looks, and she’s doing it in a London-based designer who was born in Germany. The look, that has since sold out (big surprise), features an artsy print that is perfect for this reception celebrating creative professionals.

9. Visiting Hamburg and Saying Goodbye to Germany in a Lavender Emilia Wickstead Outfit: The red clutch by British designer Anya Hindmarch is possibly another nod to the German flag. Middleton’s purple dress by the New Zealand-born, London-based designer is thought to be a softer mirror to her husband’s “royal” purple tie. Prince George and Princess Charlotte joined their parents in coordinating outfits to check out some aircrafts and have a family sendoff to the country.


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3 Designers on How They’d Inexpensively Upgrade a Living Room

They share their favorite finds to pull off a high-design look at a wallet-friendly price.

The Designer: Donna Mondi, Chicago, Illinois

Mondi’s style is a mixture of classic and modern, greatly influenced by mid-century modern and European architecture. Donna Mondi Interior Design surprises clients by fusing unlikely styles together to create something that’s never been seen before.

Basket

Whenever you can bring order to chaos, it’s a win. A basket like this makes organizing easy and so stylish.

To buy: Rectangular Basket With ZigZag Design, $30; zarahome.com.

Coffee Table Book

A great coffee table book is not only pretty to look at, but it can also spark interesting conversation, keep you company on a rainy day, and inspire readers with its eye candy-filled pages.

To buy: The Coveteur, $35; anthropologie.com.

Whimsical Pillow

Your guests won’t be able to take their eyes off of this edgy embroidered pillow. Toss it on the sofa alongside more solid throw pillow or on a side chair as an eye-catching accent.

To buy: Magical Thinking Embroidered Eye Pillow, $40; urbanoutfitters.com.

Parisian-Inspired Art

Incorporate a little piece of (affordable) Paris-inspired art onto your walls. Mondi calls that “trés chic”!

To buy: Graffiti Woman Art Print, $15; etsy.com.

The Designer: Lucie Ayres, Los Angeles, California

As the founder of 22 Interiors, Ayres’ goal is to create happy spaces with colorful, California-cool designs.

A Tapestry

A large blanket or tapestry will do wonders: Hang it on a wall as art (Ayres prefers to hang it taut, attaching all four corners to a the wall), drape it over a sofa or chair to soften the space, or even use it as a tablecloth.To buy: Cactus Landscape Tapestry, $49; urbanoutfitters.com.

Temporary Wallpaper

Stripes are a classic, and this removable wall strip is no exception. Bonus: it’s so easy to install and the design options are endless. Consider orienting the stripes diagonally or creating a pattern on the ceiling. To buy: Tempaper Self-Adhesive Removable Wallpaper Stripes, $13; target.com.

Candles

The flicker of a candle really helps to set the mood in a space. Arrange a few of these flameless versions around a room to create instant ambiance. To buy: Lavish Home 3-Piece Led Candle Set, From $18; amazon.com.

The Designer: Christine Markatos Lowe, Santa Monica, California

From Northern California to the East Coast, Lowe’s designs have no boundaries when it comes to location. She uses her art background to curate fresh and elegant interiors.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Houseplants instantly add color and life to a room and an organic shape within the room. A large tree, like a fiddle leaf fig, helps to fill up space in a large living area because of the plant’s wide-stretched leaves. If you’re not such a green thumb, consider a faux version for the same effect. To buy: Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, $180; worldmarket.com.

Modern Weave Storage Bins

One of the quickest ways to make a room look great? Clear up the clutter. These structured, woven storage bins are the perfect organizational tool, and they add a touch of texture to a simple bookcase.To buy: Modern Weave Storage Bin, $50; westelm.com.

Fragrance Reed Diffuser

The sense of smell is one of our strongest senses (and one of the first things we notice), so filling your room with a beautiful aroma is a great way to make a lasting impression. To buy: Be Peaceful Lavender and Eucalyptus Reed Diffuser, $13; target.com.


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5 Things You Must Experience When Visiting Paris

The streets bustle with people from all over the world. The air is filled with a range of smells—from coffee to crepes, to fresh baked goods and at times, cigarette smoke.

Walk around and you’ll discover locals trying to make it work, tourists out sightseeing and perhaps even military officials holding machine guns.

This is Paris.

A city that’s long had its ups and downs, tourism still remains undeterred. Don’t let recent terror attacks prevent you from visiting Paris. Attacks can happen anywhere; We can’t let them stop our desire to travel and see the world and all its beauty.

And Paris, she is beautiful.

The City of Love should be on every traveler’s bucket list to visit at least once. The city is what you make of it, but here are a few things to consider experiencing during your visit.

Eiffel Tower

When in Paris, seeing the Eiffel Tower is a must. And when I say seeing it, I mean more than just walking by. You need to experience it.

Go to the second floor and summit for incredible views of the city, (or at least visit the first floor if scary heights aren’t your thing). You can also take amazing photos of the tower from the grounds around it as well as all over the city. Check out the most photogenic places around Paris in order to get the best pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

If your time is so limited that you only have one thing to do, a stop at the Eiffel Tower is still where you need to be. Few things in the world are greater than seeing this massive structure. I definitely recommend purchasing your ticket online here before going so that you can avoid lines.

Museums

Want easy access to over 50 museums and monuments without paying a fortune? Buy the Paris Museum Pass and you’re set! If you love art and history and were already planning to visit a few museums, this is your best bet.

Purchase either the two, four or six-day pass and you’ll get entry into Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre (you have to see the Mona Lisa!), Château de Versailles and so much more.

Be prepared to walk up a bunch of steps at most of these museums, but the sights all around you are worth it.

Transportation

It’s no secret that Paris is a massive city. You can try walking, but your feet will surely thank you if you spend some time on the metro or a hop-on-hop-off bus. (Drivers in Paris can be pretty wild, so I would advise one of these methods over getting in a taxi or car service.)

With the metro, you’ll get the experience of living like a local, riding the underground train to get to your next destination. If you know you plan to ride this, buy a packet of tickets to save yourself some money.

Personally, I love a good hop-on-hop-off bus, as the guided tour gives you a great overall view of the city. Not only will you learn new things, you can come and go as you please. Paris has multiple buses to choose from, as well as day and night tours. Check out Big Bus Paris or City Sightseeing Paris.

But if you do feel like walking, there are different free tours, as well as specialty tours like the Paris Celebrity Tour, which allows you to discover the history of famous artists and celebs who lived in the city. Additionally, there are several different bike tours for those who enjoy riding around.

Food

From simple eats to fine dining, Paris has it all.

The food can get pricey, so if you’re strolling the city and want to eat at a café, check out the menu beforehand and see if you’re comfortable paying that much.

Paris must haves include: eating outside at a café, trying escargot (who knows, you might come to love it!), devouring a crepe (get one with Nutella, bananas, strawberries and thank me later), feasting on a baguette (or two) and enjoying the macaroons and other sweets at Ladurée.

You also can’t go wrong with grabbing a bottle of wine, a sandwich or wrap from a grocery store and enjoying a peaceful dinner with your loved one by the River Seine. Not only will you save money this way, you’ll also be creating a lasting memory thanks to such stunning views.

The River

Speaking of the River Seine, there are many ways to experience it. If you did a light dinner by the river already or you’d prefer something more elegant and wish to upgrade, you certainly can jump aboard one of the river boats. You’ll need to plan ahead of time if you wish to do one with a meal, though.

The Bateaux-Mouches are terrific for sightseeing. These river boat cruises give travelers a different view of Paris than anyplace on the street can.

Another stellar way to soak in the River Seine? Walking across the many different bridges. Bring your own lock and key or purchase one from a street vendor if you and your significant other want to partake in the love locks featured throughout the city’s bridges over the River Seine.

 


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How to Save on a Trip to Europe

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Time It Right

“Booking plane tickets in advance—three weeks or more from your flight’s departure date—is still the biggest key to saving,” says Sarah Waffle Gavin, a travel expert at Expedia. (Once you’re inside that 21-day period, fares can jump by 50 percent.) Purchasing a ticket that includes a Saturday night stayover at your destination can reduce the price by up to 57 percent. The least expensive time during the summer to visit Europe is August—in particular, August 20-30—whereas June 1-30 and the Fourth of July holiday week top out at the priciest.

Fly International

Foreign airlines tend to have more family-friendly fare policies than their U.S. counterparts. Children up to age 11 can get a 33 percent discount on medium- and long-haul flights and a 15 percent discount on short-haul flights on Air France, for example. (On American, you’d pay full price for the seat regardless of who’s in it.) Purchase directly from the carrier to ensure you’re receiving the correct rate, says Shelly Rivoli, author of Travels with Baby and founder of FamilyTravel411.com.

Take Charge of Money Matters

While abroad, stick to using a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees. (Two to try: Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Capital One Venture Card.) If your home bank has a relationship with a bank overseas—Bank of America and Barclays are sister institutions—you can also avoid getting dinged for withdrawals at ATMs. Whatever you do, don’t exchange money at airports or train stations, where the rates are often notoriously high.

Picky Eaters? Picnic!

Exposing your kiddos to the wonder of new cuisines is part of the travel experience—unless you have a picky eater. When nothing on the menu is speaking to your little ones, don’t force it: Let them fill up on healthy favorites like protein bars and trail mix, says Colleen Lanin, founder of TravelMamas.com. You can also get plenty of low-priced—but still familiar—fare locally. “Purchase bread from a bakery and cheese, meat, and fruits from an open-air market or grocery store, then have a picnic in a park,” says Lanin.

Mind Your Mobile

All those GPS searches you’ll be doing could add up to beaucoup data usage. Keep it in check by switching your mobile to airplane mode and then manually turning on the Wi-Fi—which you may find more plentiful than it is back at home. “It’s amazing how many places in Europe have free Wi-Fi that you can use to connect for email and free texting options like WhatsApp and iMessage,” says Gavin.

 


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7 Things Every Host Should Provide for Overnight Guests

Toiletry Jar

After a long day of travel, there’s nothing more daunting than a trip to the drugstore to pick up forgotten toiletries. And if your guests don’t have a car, it typically feels burdensome asking the host or hostess for a ride. Make it easier on both yourself and your guests by prepping a basket or jar of common travel-size toiletries to have at the ready.

Snack Station

As a guest, you’re probably hesitant about digging into the pantry even if the host tells you to nosh on whatever you please. When you’re hosting, remove the fear that comes with midnight snacking in unknown territory by providing a mixture of sweet and savory snacks, presented in a clear jar or inviting basket, in their room or out on the kitchen counter. Go the extra mile and ask your guests what their favorite treats are before their arrival for extra brownie points.

Wi-Fi Password

“What’s the Wi-Fi password?” is one of the first questions guests will ask, so do everyone (including your guests’ data plan) a favor by having the code written down in a visible place so they can start surfing the net right away.

A Sparkling Bathroom

Did you know that the bathroom is the one room that guests will notice if it’s actually clean? What other room do you spend more time in alone and have time to look around privately? This isn’t an excuse to avoid other rooms (you should tackle those, too), but we suggest giving the guest bathroom some extra TLC so they feel comfortable cleaning up and getting ready.

Reading Materials

Chances are you won’t be able to entertain your guests 24/7, so collect a variety of their favorite magazines, books, or newspapers (check ahead of time!) so that they’re not stuck twiddling their thumbs while you’re showering.

Extra Pillows and Blankets

Some like a super-soft duvet. Others prefer just a sheet. Take the guessing game out of prepping a bed by supplying overnight guests with ample blankets and pillows so they can customize their sleep space to their liking.

Fan

Just like bed linens, temperature is relative. If the guest room doesn’t have a ceiling fan, make sure to have a portable one in there so guests can adjust the temperature as necessary. Since guests often come from different parts of the country or even the world, their temperature preference will most likely vary from yours. So even if it’s in the middle of winter and you’re freezing, consider that your guests might need a breeze to sleep soundly.

 

 


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