Completely unexpected email invite of the year on deck!
It came quietly, with little fanfare. It was simple (Real Simple, lol!) and minimalist in design. It blew my whole head apart for the rest of the day and left me all nervous until the day came for me to attend. Someone actually invited me to a magazine event. This was like that time that someone gave me free sneakers- a whole next level situation.
Let’s all jump up and down squealing, ok?
Real Simple magazine’s site Real Simple Lifestylers decided to have a pop-up at the Andaz Hotel on 41st Street and I was selected to attend the press-preview the day before. Selected guests were going to feel all the feels so we could tell those of you who missed it. I went to an afternoon of pampering for YOU, ok? Yes.
And I took lots of photos…
When I registered for the event, I was sent straight to a link to start signing up for beauty services. I figured I should do everything so that I could give a fair assessment of the experience and the products used, not to mention how I felt about it all. This is a photo of the Aveda Hairstyling Studio, my first stop.
I had actually decided to cut off about two inches of hair the day before, feeling that I had too many lengths going on uptop. I made sure to arrive with clean hair so that I could get the best results from my 30 minute appointment. Luckily for me, I got celebrity hair stylist Tippi Shorter (she has actually done Jennifer Hudson’s hair!!! ) and we had a blast working together.
Tippi asked me how I normally liked to wear my hair, and when I explained that I normally plait and then let it free to curl riotously, she knew exactly what to do. She parted my hair and did two strand twists after working in some Aveda phomollient styling foam, then applied heat via a 5-minute blow dry. After picking out the twists (she left one as an accent on the side) Tippi rubbed in Aveda dry remedy daily moisturizing oil, which left my hair soft and shiny. Even if your hair is natural, that doesn’t mean no maintenance. Products like these leave your strands moisturized and fragrant, always a good thing.
After leaving Tippi’s chair, I headed right over to the Aveda Chakra Balance station, where I had my cards read, and then was misted with the Chakra 3 balancing body mist and given a healing shoulder massage. This treatment catered to inviting a balance in power, motivation, intention and desire in my life.
Loving these gorgeous flower arrangements sprinkled throughout the light-filled treatment rooms…notto mention the copies of Real Simple magazine all over the place!
They weren’t ready for me at my next appointment, so I hung out in the lounge, which was absolutely gorgeous. Ceramic cups for tea, lots of tea bags and different sweeteners and lemon wedges awaited. There wasn’t any food, but there were these elegantly mismatched knives, so hope was alive that something good was coming later.
I started getting bored so I just wandered around taking photos with my Samsung S5 Active cameraphone until the were ready for me…
Once they had an opening I headed over to the Laura Geller Mini-Makeover salon, where I chose to get a refresh on my lipstick.
After that it was time to motorvate to my next appointment, A Pure Barre exercise class. I’ve been working on my weight loss resolution, but I exercise on my own. I was really nervous about taking a class, but also excited about learning new toning and fat burning tricks.
Loving this view from the second floor of the Andaz Hotel. yes- that’s the library where Big stood Carrie up.
I was super tired after getting up at 5am to bake cookies and deliver samples before the event, but with my new Aveda hairstyle, my chakras balanced, and my lips touched up by the Laura Geller team- I was ready to jump in there and do some working out. At least until I saw the pile of sweaty towels and the stuff on the yoga mats. Hello? I thought this was a photo op workout?
Um- not so much. Our instructor, Mish led us into a 45 minute whirl of moves that left me limp, sweaty, and profoundly grateful that I had started working out and walking before this class. And I STILL Had to rest. We used everything on the mat, worked every part of the body, and I think I would do the Pure Barre again. I just need a second to rest and think about it.
I made a beeline back to the refreshment lounge and found all this. Hope rewarded!!! I put together some crusty bread slices with olive tapenade, goat cheese, and roasted peppers, loaded up on brie and crunchy pita slices then remembered something very very important:
Wine and Ghirardelli chocolate tasting on fleek!!!! yes, I took a snack to sustain me on my long walk from the lounge to the kitchen. But this pic is so cool- port wine paired with Sea Salt Soiree was divine.
I so want to try this arrangement under glass. Simple and gorgeous oh hey, copies of Real Simple mag!
Once I got myself settled I had all this. Oh, I forgot to mention the SUJA juices that they handed us after the Pure Barre class. I at my self down, grabbed a copy of Real Simple and loafed for a few minutes- until I remembered that I had a skincare appointment with RoC scheduled. I drank all the wine before I got up and ran down the hall, though. I’m not completely insane.
I ran into the RoC Skincare Lab and was invited to lay down on a white leather divan, as I have always dreamed of doing, and enjoy myself. My skin was cleansed with RoC Daily Resurfacing Discs (a whole tub for $9.99! #bargain!) then she did a lot of stuff that I enjoyed throughly, like massaging my face and putting Deep Wrinkle serum on it. I can’t do eye cream for any reason, it gives me headaches- but RoC does have a good one.
I grabbed some more Ghiradelli chocoloate squares and another SUJA juice on my way out, said my thank yous, then ran across the street to hang out in front of the library and poke through my goodie bag.
Sit down, this is epic goodie bag stuffing.
Yes. This happened. Yogi Tea (gone, drank ’em up), Ghirardelli dark chocolate, the Suja Juice Solution Book, The Real Simple Guide To Life, cute You Are Loved stickers from Pink Olive, Aveda hand lotion, thickening tonic styling spray, and samples of their smooth infusion straightening cream (get your free samples here). The also threw in a fun graph paper notepad, Laura Geller tropical blush-n-brighten compact, full-sized bottle of RoC Skincare Deep Wrinkle Serum (yaaaaassss!!!!), Real Simple 15th Anniversary issue, Pure Barre high-waisted 3-in-1 Gemini capris (invaluable, can’t stop wearing them), and a pack of Aloha Daily Good Greens superfood powders (i already used two of them making smoothies; get 20% off of our using the code SAMAKOU)
I picked up Neutrogena naturals makeup remover wipes and this SUJA green juice after my Pure Barre class. I’ve already started cooking with the Ghirardelli Twilight Delight chocolate– I made an easy mole sauce by adding chopped chocolate and crushed red pepper flakes to a pot of roasting chicken breast (inspired by this Real Simple recipe)
Oh my! A ceramic bee hive with an Aspen Bay bamboo lotus scented candle inside #love. Speaking of love? Check out this heart shaped Konjac cleansing sponge from One Love Organics! I’m really looking forward to playing with it, followed by a moisturizing dose of RoC Skincare Deep Wrinkle serum.
*GIVEAWAY: If you’re interested, I’m giving away the Real Simple Beaute with a copy of the 15th Anniversary issue of Real Simple Magazine and a copy of The Real Simple Guide to Life (lots of good advice for people just starting out on their own). email me at email@example.com one great thing that reading Real Simple has done for you.
Next up: BooHoo Man aw2015 press preview
xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian