King Cake

Snow Day in Georgetown

March 24, 2014

Despite the fact that it is officially spring, it looks like more snow is coming our way on Tuesday. While this thought is somewhat depressing given my longing for sunshine, warmth, and cherry blossoms, I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility of a snow day by thinking about what I will do Tuesday if all of my meetings are cancelled and my office officially closed. Here goes:

Georgetown in the snow, March 2014 (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) Georgetown in the snow, March 2014

1.      Clean out a closet that I have been meaning to clean out for months. And maybe also my junk drawer.

2.      Work on getting all of my tax paperwork together.

3.      Write 5 notes or cards to people I love, just because.

4.      Make some sales calls to customers not located on the East Coast.

5.      Go for a quiet walk in snowy Georgetown, in my ski clothes.

6.      Do laundry.

7.      Have an at-home spa hour: at-home mani/pedi, and facial scrub and mask.

8.      Review the accomplishments of this first quarter and figure out what I am going to focus on during Q2.

9.      Watch The Day After Tomorrow (which I feel like I am living in!).  

10.  Start planning my next beach vacation.

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Plan V

February 13, 2014

Single? Divorced? Away from your honey (given the weather, I am guessing many couples who travel for work may be in this situation)? Or just over the traditional Valentine's day hype? Here are things to do if on Valentine's Day if you want to take the best of this holiday, and ignore the worst - or if you just want to be your own Valentine. After all, shouldn't we love ourselves first?

1. Sign up to become a mentor or volunteer, what could be a more loving act?
2. Send an anonymous hand-written note as a secret admirer to someone elderly you know, a neighbor or relative.
3. Go to a gallery or museum and see that show you have been meaning to see for ages. 
4. Take the night off and watch favorite movies featuring your favorite heroines. Mine would include The Long Kiss Goodnight  and The Thomas  Crown Affair (Full disclosure: No one has ever lauded me for my movie choices) 
5. Take a last minute trip to visit someone you miss (of the opposite sex or not). 
6. Watch the Olympics. Full of dedication, hard work and drama, these incredible athletes are more exciting than even the best of dates.
7. Invite your BFFs to a mani-pedi party at your favorite spa 
8. Call three people you love just to tell them you love them (don't mention Valentine's Day) 
9. Turn off all electronic devices, and read a book you have been meaning to start.

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Hero (Product) Worship: Beauty’s Most Modern Classics

January 30, 2014

Building a cult beauty brand is what my life is about. I think about it, read about it, dream about it, live it. One of the tenets of a cult beauty brand is that it is supported by a hero product. Musing about this topic last night, I made a list of which products I would consider to be true hero products in beauty. Three things surprised me: first, the range of launch dates represented by this list (over a century); second, how many of these hero products are identified by words such as “pioneer,” “classic,” and “the original;” and third, how many from this list I actually own, use, and adore. Which of these modern classics do you have in your bathroom, vanity, toiletry case, or purse?

Nivea Creme: Launched in 1911, this soothing, rich moisturizer in the iconic blue tin remains a top seller for the brand, despite the controversial endorsement deal with Rihanna which was short-lived, as the star was deemed “too sexy” for a brand whose core values are family, trust, and reliability.

Chanel No. 5: Launched in 1921, immortalized by  Marilyn Monroe (Preview) , this fragrance remains one of the most feminine. What do you wear to bed?

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream: Formulated in 1930, this multi-purpose balm remains a favorite today. I use it on lips, cuticles, and more.

Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid: Introduced in 1951, more than 190 million bottles have been sold, a few of them to my grandmother. I remember seeing this in my granmother’s bathroom growing up; the scent still reminds me of her.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil: I read somewhere one of these is sold every seconds … I must try this product, which was launched in 1967.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: Launched in 1991, the brand’s first product and one of the first multi-purpose beauty dry oils on the market, one of these is sold every 6 seconds in the world. I use this on my skin, in my hair, on my face, and love Gold version for a little extra glitter.

Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream: I wasn’t able to find the exact launch date of this amazing cream, but I am guessing sometime in the 2000s … Based on Max Huber’s “Miracle Broth,” this product was a first in the ultra-premium segment of our industry. I can’t help but feel extra special when I use this … And love the fact that local DC celebrity dermatologist (and friend and mentor) Dr. Tina Alster also loves the brand (her go-to product is the La Mer Concentrate)!

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum: Launched in 2005, this serums has won Allure Magazine’s prized Best of Beauty Award three times, and is a key part of the brand’s success.

Finally, Kiehl’s Creme de Corps: Beyond a single product, this is really a hero product family. From the classic formulation, the brand has launched a number of limited edition bottles in partnership with various artists, and collections featuring different fragrances (the original is unscented). I kind of want to start collecting these …

I can’t help but wonder which more recent launches will be added to this list.  Time will tell …

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