Crushing Hard

After a brief European sojourn, I’ve landed back in my (relative) reality of New York City.  When you are a city resident, there are often things you take for granted (expansive public transportation, ANYTHING you want/need delivered 24/7, early movie releases, the list goes on…..), and so often things you never really take advantage of.  For example, I usually go to museums twice a year.  My dad comes to visit twice a year.  See a correlation? But within the past year or so, I’ve definitely made the effort to be more of a tourist in my own city (sans fanny pack, and perplexed look), and I always have my radar up for a fun, insiders guide to my home town.

So, when I stumbled on Crush New York, I knew I’d found the perfect resource.  Founded by Steph Vorhees (some of you may remember her as Kelly Cutrone’s assistant from “Kell on Earth”), Crush New York bills itself as an insiders guide to the island of Manhattan.  And everyone knows the best insider tips come from (former) PR girls.  To be comepletely honest, I’ve developed a bit of a girl crush on Steph just based on her “About Me” page.  Who wouldn’t want to read some thing “written in a unique voice, best described as shameless” by a girl who cops to her failed plans to move to LA by saying “Ew. I know.”

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Crush New York’s Page

Crush provides tips on where dine, booze, flirt and shop in the Big City and even throws in some career and dating advice.  The foodie in me loves her “Food Porn Friday” posts (and I wish they were really every Friday).  This is actually how I found the site in the first place.  A quick stop to my FAVORITE bakery’s Facebook page (if you’re in NYC and you haven’t been to Maison Kayser, do yourself a favor and get there immediately), and I landed on a link to one of Steph’s posts about their UES outpost.  I loved her tone, and clearly would instantly trust anyone who shares my affinity for Maison Kayser.  

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Crush New York covers Maison Kayser

But beyond that, the site really does feature a lot of great tips and insight.  Anyone who could hack it for a week in Ms. Cutrone’s office deserves some kind of props (believe me – I had a friend who eeked out 3 months, and almost lost her sanity in the meantime), which might be what lead Vorhees to include the career section on the site.  Interviews with up-and-coming success stories like Katie Nadler, founder of Top Shelf, or Amanda Hesser, co-founder of one of my other obsessions Food52 are compelling and make me want to get off my ass and become an accomplished entrepreneur.

Overall, the site runs the gamut of NYC-centric info, but if that doesn’t entice you to start reading, the link to her Tumblr account should do the trick:

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Achieving “Je ne sais quoi” status

After the first leg of my trip in London it was time to Chunnel it over to Paris.  Just a quick two hour trip, and I emerged from Gare du Nord in the center of the City of Lights.  Paris is certainly another city in my all-time-favorites list; I lived there while getting my masters, and it will always have a special place in mon cœur.  So, while I was technically a tourist in my old home, I had a list of to-do’s which included things more along the lines of grocery shopping, hole in the wall restaurants, and stops in to my favorite neighborhood patisserie (the last time I was there I came back with 5 bars of chocolate, 4 pieces of quiche, and truffle tagliatelle from one of my favorite restaurants).  So for this trip, I also wanted to make sure I caught up on all the latest in Made-in-France products.  While I have my own faves (I’m obsessed with Garnier’s Ultra DOUX line – especially the au henné et vinaigre de mûre products designed for brunettes), I wanted to do a little bit of research to find the latest and greatest in French cult beauty products.  Enter: beautyeditor, a Canadian beauty blog founded by Michelle Villett, a former ELLE Canada health and beauty editor.

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I stumbled across the blog after googling “french beauty products not in us”, and after landing on my initial results (Paris beauty products! 15 cult faves from the French pharmacy), I was soon sucked into the rest of their site.  Neatly divided by Hair, Makeup, Skin, Nails, and Shop this site is really my own little piece of blog heavy.  As a self professed product junkie (my grandmother lovingly told me at the age of 10 that I needed another lipgloss like I needed a hole in the head), the site (unfortunately for my wallet) opened my eyes to a whole new set of goods I hadn’t even realized were out there (I DO need to try that Aztec secret healing clay.  Right?)

Chock full of great tips and tricks (posts like “How to make your lipstick last a ridiculously long time“, and  “If you need glasses, you probably need these makeup tips“), the posts are written in a totally relatable tone that makes you feel like you’re just chatting with a girl friend.  Couple that with the fact that, while they give you a behind the scenes look at celeb and runway style, they realize it may not be realistic for everyday life (apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought Emily Blunt’s Met Gala makeup looked cool yet crazy all at the same time).

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I totally appreciate that while they’re upfront when they’re reviewing a sponsored item, most of the products they post are actually sent to them free of charge (wait–how do I become a contributor?), but they really do always stick to the latest and greatest.  After loosing myself in the site for a few (ahem) hours, I realized this might just make my daily reads! Sorry Grandma–looks like I’m going to be buying a lot more lipgloss!