Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Contemporary Accessory Designers at Saks Fifth Avenue

Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock
Wallet/Clutch in Blue Violet

Olivia Harris Studded Baby Ball Leather Hobo in Navy

Olivia Harris Embossed-Crocodile Leather Hobo

Foley + Corinna Disco City Bag

Foley + Corinna Cross Body Chain Mail Bag

If you are looking to splurge on yourself (now that holiday gifting has come and gone), no better place to go than Saks Fifth Avenue for the latest accessories, especially handbags. Back in October I had attended a breakfast at Saks, showcasing contemporary accessory collections, including some of my favorites - BCBGMAXAZRIA, Botkier, Foley + Corinna, Kooba, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Olivia Harris and Rebecca Minkoff. I was in handbag heaven. I absolutely loved the assortment of handbags. Whether you are looking for a black leather bag for everyday or a cranberry or blue violet leather bag to add some color to your accessories collection, be sure to go to Saks first.

- Kim Weling

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fashionably Petite Candle Favorites

I'm a little late in sharing my favorite candles - I would have liked to share this before the holiday season, but in case you still owe people gifts, are already looking ahead to Valentine's Day or are just in the market for some amazing, yet affordably-priced candles for yourself, I've narrowed it down to my top picks, most of which I became familiar with at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) back in September.

Godiva Chocolatier's Home Fragrance Collection - if you love Godiva Chocolate, then you'll love Godiva's sweet, decadent candles. The candles launched in October and are available at Neiman Marcus, Belk, Dillard's and online at (unfortunately they are not sold in Bath & Body Works stores). The regular sized 7 oz candles retail at $22.50 and have 50 hours of burn time. The 4.4 oz travel candles retail at $12.50 and have 10 hours of burn time. The regular sized candles come in chocolate brown tinted glasses which hold chocolate colored wax infused with cocoa butter.

The collection includes five different fragrances: Milk Chocolate Truffle, Raspberry Ganache (my favorite Godiva chocolate), Black Almond Truffle, White Chocolate Magnolia and Peppermint Bark. They smell good enough to eat, so it would make perfect sense to gift one of these candles with a box of Godiva chocolates. I most definitely plan on getting the Peppermint Bark scented candle. That one is perfect for the holiday season.

Kat Burki - known for luxury home products including furniture, bedding, lighting, accessories, art and body & bath, I was drawn to the 6.8 oz Hot Toddy candle, a holiday 2009 exclusive priced at $32.00. It is inspired by the Hot Toddy drink, the candle includes a mixture of apple and spice. I think a Hot Toddy drink, blanket and this candle makes for a relaxing night in watching shows on my dvr (I only wish I had a fireplace too!).

Vie Luxe - The Verte candle from Vie Luxe is an eco-luxe candle that blends natural soy and palm wax, beeswax and fragrance oils. The scent is crisp and clean, containing notes of Hyacinth, Narcissus and Green Leaves. All the components of the candle are 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Some of my other favorite Vie Luxe scents include Côte d'Azur (white lily, water hyacinth, friesa, pink rose and French verbana) and St. Moritz (bitter orange peel, moroccan clove and mulling spices). The 8 oz candles have a 60-hour burn time and retail for $45.00 at

Seda France - two of my favorite candle fragrances from Seda France include Japanese Quince (rhubarb, passion fruit and white fleshed peach over a heart of white jasmine petals) and Asian Lychee (Lychee fruit, mango, papaya, cilantro, and green coconut leaves, also two of their best sellers. These full sized 14 oz candles retail for $32.00, with a 60-hour burn time.

Bluewick - My favorite scents from Bluewick are the fresh, fruit inspired ones, like Yuzu and Guavapeel. These 100% soy wax candles come in a generous 15 oz glass, retail at $32.00 and have a 100-hour burn time. Definitely long lasting candles for the price!

Stay tuned....I hope to share more of my favorite candles in time for Valentine's Day.

- Kim Weling

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade - Experience Estee Lauder's iMatch system

I recently visited Nordstrom's Estee Lauder counter at The Mall at Short Hills, to find my perfect foundation shade with Estee lauder's imatch system. The whole experience was part of a Glambassador project which I was happy to participate in, with positive, satisfying results. Finding the perfect foundation shade has always been trial and error for me, but finding my shade this time had a more systematic approach.

The first step in the imatch system is to find your intensity level, which indicates the varying degrees of your skin color, from light to dark. The next step is to use the shade finder to determine what skin tone you have - warm, natural or cool. After determining that I have a warm skin tone with a golden cast, I was asked what my skin concerns were. I wanted a foundation that had a natural look and feel, definitely not thick or oily. After determining what type of foundation worked best for my skin and needs, the shade finder tool was used to match my facial skin tone against the varied shade levels. I ended up with the Lucidity Light-Diffusing Makeup in the Golden Caramel shade. It has a natural, smooth finish and is fragrance free. It has SPF 8 with some light moisturizing benefits, great for my combination skin. I like the fact that it doesn't feel oily.

My beauty advisor, Susan Alexander had applied the foundation using a foundation brush. I must say I've never used a brush to apply foundation, but have been using one ever since. When I asked Susan what the benefits are to using a brush, she had explained the brush allows the foundation to blend evenly, without any streaking. She shared some tips on how to apply the foundation - dab a small amount on different areas of your face and use the brush to blend in a downward motion.

So I left with a 10-day supply of my imatched foundation, along with a sample of Idealist to apply on clean skin before moisturizer. Thank you Susan for being such a helpful, informative beauty advisor! You can go through the imatch steps online at, but I encourage you to go visit your nearest Estee Lauder counter for a full, personalized experience. It's still important to test the shades on your face to find the best match. Taking home a sample of the foundation first is always a good idea, to make sure it's the right coverage and that you don't have any allergic reactions.

- Kim Weling

Shop the Diptyque Madison Avenue Boutique

Earlier this month (December 3rd), I attended the Diptyque boutique opening at 971 Madison Avenue between East 76th and 75th Streets. Diptyque is known for their luxury candles, sprays and fragrances, as well as body care (including lotions and creams, body wash, hand balm and oils). The candles and room sprays include floral, fruity, herbal , woody and spicy scents. Diptyque uses only natural ingredients when composing fragrances.

I was happy to give some Diptyque candles and soap trios (set retails for $38.00) as Christmas gifts. They make great gifts for any occasion, so I will definitely keep them in mind for any future gift-giving.

For the holiday season, check out the special edition 'winter's once-upon-a-time wonders' candle set, including the fresh and earthy Pine, mystic, sweet and woody Benzoin and Roasted chestnuts. Another set available for the 2009 holiday season is the Black Coffret set, including Feu de Bois (warm, familiar, and sophisticated accord of rare woods burned on long winter days), Oranger (lightly spiced citrus notes from the wood, leaves, and fruit of the orange tree) and Pin Sylvestre (fresh smell of Scotch Pine) candles.

As I looked around the store and took in all the different scents, I really liked the woody and floral notes in the Baies, Figuier amd Feuille de Lavande gift set, including a trio of mini candles. The set retails for $84.00 with a 30 hour burn time for each of the candles (2.4 oz each). The larger candles (6.5 oz) retails for $68.00 and have a 60 hour burn time.

Here are some candle tips I picked up from Dyptique, to help your candle burn clean and evenly down to the bottom:
  • After blowing out the flame, if necessary center the wick in the liquid wax.
  • It is essential to cut the wick short before relighting the candle to avoid unnecessary smoke.
  • Do not place the candle in a wind draught or directly on a glass or marble surface.
- Kim Weling

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hailey Logan Launch + Adrianna Papell 30th Anniversary

Hailey Logan and Jaynee Berkman

Models in Hailey Logan dresses

This is one of my favorites

Another favorite of mine

Adrianna Papell dress

I love the Adrianna Papell dress on the right

Last month I attended the launch of the Hailey Logan dress collection and the 30th Anniversary of Adrianna Papell. The Hailey Logan collection is named after Jaynee Berkman's 10-year old daughter and is the junior line to Adrianna Papell. The Hailey Logan line starts at a size 0, and is targeted toward teens to women in their early 20s. You can find the collection in Spring 2010 at retailers where Adrianna Papell is sold. The line is fun and youthful - the short cocktail dresses are actually the perfect length for me or anyone else that's petite. The line is perfect for any occasion - proms, weddings and charity events.

As I looked through all the Adrianna Papell dresses, I reminisced about the Adrianna Papell dresses I wore to my junior and senior proms. I have always been a fan of Adrianna Papell dresses, which are classic and timeless. I was very excited to be there for the 30th Anniversary.

- Kim Weling

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Sample Sales! Catherine Malandrino, Borghese and L’Oréal!

Every time I look there's another sample sale going on! There's just one day left of the Catherine Malandrino sale - get to it!

The Borghese sale is always a good one - last year I scored a small sized jar of Fango Mud and lip balm shimmer for $5 each! This sale requires you to bring your own bag, so be sure to have your foldable tote handy.

Although I definitely don't need any more makeup or skin care, I always look forward to making it to L’Oréal's luxury products sale, including fragrances, cosmetics and body care. I always stock up on Kiehl's lip gloss ($5 at last year's sale), lotions and shower gels (both were $7 at last year's sale). I had also scored a shu uemura brush set, Lancome black eyeliner and Juicy tubes. Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics - how can I not check that out?

- Kim Weling

Friday, December 11, 2009

Target To-Go in NYC with Rachel Bilson

Rachel Bilson photos courtesy of

Target To-Go at night

Clipboard list

Rachel Bilson was the celebrity guest at the grand opening of Target To-Go this morning, at Gansevoort and Washington Streets at the High Line entrance. Bilson was on site to help hand out gifts to The Salvation Army families and the public.

Target placed approximately 500 oversized and easy-to-identify gift tags in Manhattan. Target will give each guest that returns a gift tag at Target To-Go a gift card, worth anywhere from $10 to $500, and in turn Target will donate $100 to The Salvation Army to benefit families in need.
Clues to the gift tag locations were revealed on Twitter, @TargetToGoNY.
Target To-Go is a 3-day walk-up shopping space in NYC, San Francisco and Washington D.C. It's open to the public from Friday, December 11 through Sunday, December 13, from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.

I couldn't make it to the grand opening, but I decided to brave the cold and checked it out tonight right before they closed. There are 50 wrapped and ready to-go gifts to choose from. The order sheet is attached to the clipboard, which shows a tiny image of all 50 items, making it very hard to see the details. The selection wasn't what I anticipated - dvds, memory cards, hair dryer, gingerbread house decorating kit. I was thinking there would have been more trendy and unique gift pieces that wouldn't easily be found online or at other stores. But I guess the more people are familiar with the items, the easier it is for them to shop quickly. There were a few good things on the list including a cashmere scarf and Rodarte dresses and belts, but I prefer being able to touch the fabric and see what you are buying up close.

- Kim Weling

Twinkle by Wenlan's 10th Anniversary and Pop-Up Shop

Wenlan Chia

Twinkle by Wenlan's pop-up shop is open from Thursday, December 10th through Saturday, December 12th. The 3-day shop is located at Cadillac's Closet, at 333East 9th Street. At the pop-up shop you'll find fall and holiday 2009 collections, re-issued, limited edition designs, special anniversary items and Twinkle Living items, including bedding.

I caught the tail end of the opening party last night, in which Twinkle was also celebrating a 10-year anniversary. Chunky sweaters, scarves and hats are definitely appropriate for the blistering cold weather. So be sure to stay warm and fashionable!

- Kim Weling

Celebrating the Holidays with Louis Vuitton and Teen Vogue

Emma Roberts

Satin Moiré Pumps

Tonight I enjoyed a posh, holiday event with Louis Vuitton and Teen Vogue, with Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley, LVNA SVP Northeast & Midwest Geoffroy van Raemdonck and host Alexa Chung, at the Louis Vuitton Fifth Avenue store.

As attendees were taking in the 2009-2010 Collection featuring ready-to-wear, shoes, timepieces, fine jewelry, leather goods and accessories, they also enjoyed champagne, hors d'oeuvres, mini makeovers and manicures compliments of Dior. One lucky attendee will win a 'Perfect Portrait' taken by a Teen Vogue photographer, to be announced in an upcoming issue of Teen Vogue.

As I found some colleagues of mine on the 4th floor, I ran into the lovely Emma Roberts, who looked fabulous in Louis Vuitton platform pumps and hourglass heels.

- Kim Weling