All posts filed under: Published Work

Hôtel Plaza Athénée: A Refuge For Elegance

This story was written in collaboration with and for Hobnob Magazine. Photography by Ellen Swandiak. For full story, click on the link. Hôtel Plaza Athénée is one of the most well-known hotels in the world, but unless you are looking for it or taking a walk on 64th street, you might not be aware of its exact location. The quiet upper east side area allows for the hotel’s privacy and this makes it the ideal hideaway. The remarkable hotel has a rich history, serving visitors since 1984. One of their most frequent and notable guests was Diana, Princess of Wales. Famous for their tasteful interiors and boutique feel, this upscale location has longevity that never goes out of style. Our editors attended an exclusive event that allowed for a tour of all the hotel offerings, including the esteemed Valmont Spa. The event served as a reveal to their hotel rooms and restaurant re-design and upgrades. Arabelle Restaurant’s surreal sky ceiling will have you mesmerized, while bites of food from a menu created by Chef Oliver …

EDITOR-APPROVED SKINCARE TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SKIN’S COMPLEXION

This article was written in collaboration with and for Well Within Beauty. Skincare routines are more than rituals, they are age-old wisdom passed down from generation to generation, culture to culture and from expert to beauty enthusiast. As a beauty editor for a number of years, I have been fortunate enough to pick up essential skincare tips and tricks from aestheticians, dermatologists and veteran beauty gurus. From the correct way to washing your face, to applying your products, get the most out of your skincare ritual with these tried-and-true skincare tips that will improve your complexion. 1. SMART SHOWER HABITS Although I have always had very dry skin, it wasn’t until my 30s that I suffered from itching and dryness on my back and legs. After speaking with a dermatologist, I realized I have been making the mistake of showering for too long, with water that was too hot. Taking a long shower strips your skin of moisture. The older we get the less our skin produces oils needed for moisturize. Long and hot showers …

My Experience at Resorts World Catskills New Crystal Life Spa

The Sullivan Catskills, known as America’s first vacationland, is where, in 1968, my relatives decided to take a nature drive to the mysterious mountains of upstate New York. The trip resulted in a wise purchase: My great-uncle bought a rambling farmhouse and a factory space for wire goods that would employ many upstate wanderers, and he founded an entire bungalow colony nearby that came to be known as the Slovak Country Club. Europeans flocked here because it reminded them of home. As A CHILD IN EUROPE, I felt the peaceful benefits of spending time in nature—meditating to the swaying trees, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. As irony would have it, Dirty Dancing was quite the iconic movie for me and my sisters while living in Europe. Little did we know that we would end up moving to the very same area in which the movie takes place. Seeing upstate New York anew has made me realize that this second home of mine is once again becoming a desired destination and one worthy of …

4 Refreshing Facial Mists for Better Complexion

This story was originally researched and written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. It was in my early days of college, while visiting a relative in Manhattan, that I noticed a bottle of Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist. I tried it, and have been hooked on facial sprays ever since. I liked how it helped soften my skin and even refreshed my newly re-applied makeup. What this mysterious bottle of misting spray did for me is change my view about what skincare should look like. When it comes to skincare routines, some might find facial sprays an unnecessary step, but I think you might be missing out on an important beauty staple. Whenever a brand I love comes out with a facial spray, I am all about trying it. Suffering from dry skin and eczema will do that to you. I find that a good facial spray can freshen up my morning skincare routine, get rid of flakiness, set makeup and most importantly balance and hydrate. I like to use a spray after I apply my serum …

Botanical Beauty, Mullein & Sparrow Story

This story was researched and written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. I traveled to Brooklyn to meet with Anit Hora, a rising star of the luxury botanical skincare world. You might already be a fan of Mullein & Sparrow, or perhaps you’re seeking a new beauty staple to add to your line up of natural active skincare. Either way, Anit’s story will inspire you. I knew the brand was special when I first spotted the beautiful packaging at the very well-attended Cosmoprof Press Preview Event in New York. (HTTP://WWW.INSIDERSGUIDETOSPAS.COM/FEATURES/GROWING-DISCOVER-GREEN) Mullein & Sparrow’s space is in Greenpoint. I entered what looked like part beautiful apothecary shop, part science laboratory. The shelves were perfectly organized, and there was an aura of excitement. You see, she had been photographed most of the morning for Tory Burch. Among other things, Anit has been recognized for her entrepreneurial spirit and has partnered with Tory Burch—who is helping women-owned businesses thrive via the Tory Burch Foundation. They had chosen 10 brands—out of 800-plus—to include in their Tory Burch Foundation Seed Box. …

Finding Solace at The Osthoff Resort’s Aspira Spa

This article was originally published on and written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. It seemed like a perpetual summer, and Elkhart Lake was my liberator. There are some getaways you just know will stay with you forever, and for me getting to experience Elkhart Lake was one of them. I’ll start at the very beginning: Back in the spring I found a lump in my breast. As you can imagine worry set in, but worry took a back seat to the frustration of attempting to find accessible care for women under 40. I can tell you now, that is no easy feat. Someone out there was looking out for me because I did find help, in the form of an organization called PROJECT RENEWAL . Their mammogram Scan Van was parked right in front of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, a patron saint of poets. The universe was speaking in signs, but this did not ease my worry. An elderly woman in the waiting area noticed my nervousness and held my hand while I waited. She touched …

A Healing Bath From Mama Medicine

This story was originally written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. I believe in the great power of nature, creativity, taking time out to work on yourself, being a good and kind person, but mostly I believe in healing with spas and spirituality—which is why I was drawn to Deborah Hanekamp. A self-described “seeress” and owner of Space by Mama Medicine, a wellness center in New York City, Deborah was recently recognized by VOGUE as one of the fashion set’s favorite healers. I first got to know her through her Instagram (yes, social media can have a positive impact), where her commitment to spiritual health and wellness shines through. To me, those special individuals who help others with coaching and healing are the gentlest and most interesting people—and Deborah is one of them. She is living and facilitating spiritual healing and wellness to the many different types of people who seek her out. She provides one-on-one readings in New York, and medicine ceremonies throughout the world. Get ready for some cheesy gushing because I believe that Deborah is the …

The Giving and Natural Creations

This article was originally published in 2009, on the Organic Spa Magazine blog. The Andean Collection is now Faire Collection. There is no better way to spread happiness than providing the opportunity for others to enrich their lives. The Andean jewelry collection, founded by the multi-talented Amanda Judge, is not only eco-conscious but is also a humanitarian effort. Amanda’s story and her collection started in Ecuador. Amanda holds a degree in International Law and Diplomacy, which she has decided to put to use by studying the survival strategies of women in extreme poverty. The study ended up being a path to a new life for both Amanda and the women of Northern Ecuador. The Andean Collection was born. How did you meet the women that you work with? AJ: I met the women of The Andean Collection when I was in Ecuador doing research for my Masters thesis, which was going to be on the survival strategies of rural indigenous women in the face of extreme poverty. To set up the project, I had to go …

Skincare In Your Thirties

This story was originally published for Insider’s Guide to Spas. Every year on my birthday, I inch closer to understanding just how important self-care really is. I always look to add simple, fresh, and modern to my skincare repertoire. I’m a girl from the mountains, and I want to feel the wind on my cheeks and dab on products derived from nature. In my twenties, it was all about makeup. Now in my thirties, what I discovered is that my skin, not my makeup, requires extra TLC. As a pre-teen growing up in Europe, skincare rituals were minimal and proper basics were instilled early on.  I yearn to go back to the basics and simplify the routine with ingredients that work. When what worked in your twenties no longer works in your thirties, what does one do? I asked an expert for advice, reaching out to dermatologist Doctor David Colbert, who shared with me the ingredients I should be incorporating into my skincare. “Elasticity diminishes as our body produces an increasingly lower quantity of elastin …

Cara Marie Piazza, Magic & Sustainability Over Fast Fashion

This story was originally published for Insider’s Guide to Spas. To view all of my contributing articles, visit Insider’s Guide To Spas. I was in the midst of New York Fashion Week, but all I truly cared about was finding time to meet with Cara Marie Piazza. I had long envisioned what her creations and workspace would look like. Mostly, I was curious about the designer herself. A treasure among the chaos of fast fashion, she is succeeding on her own terms. The natural dyer and textile designer launched her brand nearly right out of college. Besides hand-dyeing storytelling creations for her own label, c a l y x, Cara teaches workshops on natural dyeing and continues to join forces with exciting brands. Everything is naturally dyed through alchemical dye sessions, ancient shibori techniques, and bundle dyeing. The designer’s sustainable creations and well-thought-out collaborations are sold at spa resorts, such as Amanyara Turks & Caicos, and cities all over the world. As a fan of carefully curated Parisian shops, I was happy to learn that the …

Interview: One on One with Ralph & Russo’s Tamara Ralph & Michael Russo

This story was originally published on March 3, 2009. It was written for a fashion blog. Ralph & Russo serves up mystery and interest. This is not because of their famous clientele, but because there are not many brands out there who refuse to give up their exclusivity to the masses. Considering today’s state of economy, it is especially intriguing to see an exclusive brand thrive and inspire. Ralph & Russo’s dreamy designs seem so out of reach, yet wonderful to observe and admire. I instantly fell in love with the brand as it represents pure class and glamour. There is no question that it is different. The designs allow you to step back into a time of elegance, reminding us of fashion history and its celebrated fashion icons. I imagine wearing Ralph & Russo gives you a feeling that you can accomplish anything. The one-of-a-kind dresses are both demure and empowering. It is no wonder Ralph & Russo caters to women in high positions and class. The brand has gotten in touch with me because …

A Slavic Beauty Story

When I was a little girl, the winters were white and harsh. Spring meant lending a hand with working the earth. There were potato fields that seemed as long as my wide eyes could see. The first blooming spring flowers were like a breath of fresh air. They were Snow Drops. Summer was always welcomed, for it meant healing your body and soul while visiting the hot thermal spa resort, near the border of Hungary. As kids we looked forward to it all year. The importance of spa was instilled in us early on. Autumn, my personal favorite season, brought great big colorful leaves falling down gently, creating a great big blanket below each tree. My sisters and I would paint them with every color in our watercolor box and make art. We lived in a small village right out of a fairy tale in the heart of Europe. I was born in Slovakia: bordering with Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. At times when I think back to my hometown, the nagging …