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The best beauty products from around the globe

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Travel Beauty Travel Diaries – St. Barths

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone you might be starting to make plans for the holidays. This is a reprint of an article that was recently published on Fathom, Travel Beauty’s go-to resource for everything you’ll need while globetrotting. Fathom’s got it all: From the best places to stay, eat, visit and shop to essentials that you will want to have with you on the road. In October, Fathom devoted a week to the best islands in the Caribbean. Travel Beauty was asked to give a quick and dirty guide to one of our favorite places to visit, St. Barthélemy (otherwise know as St. Barths). Read on for your in-the-know guide to St. Barths.

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travel-diaries-st-barths-caribbean-beachHow Do I Love St. Barths? Let Me Count the Ways

In between drugstore hopping around the world to findthe best global beauty products for her website, Travel Beauty, Alyssa Barrie Weiss makes time for island hopping around the Caribbean. St. Barths is her favorite, for so many reasons.

ST. BARTHS – There are special places that stand out in my mind as magical. Saint Barthélemy, better known as St. Barths, in the French West Indies, is one of them.

This tropical volcanic island offers breathtaking views from its steep peaks and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This is a place where people go to unwind and disconnect from their everyday lives and it’s also where people go to be part of the scene and party with the rich and famous. (If you are one of them, make sure to visit Le Ti St. Barth.) Its lush scenery and old-world European ports and towns converge on one small island to create a one-of-a-kind vacation spot that remains blissfully untouched by towering hotel developments. You’ll never forget where you are: The French accent is very strong around here — in every possible way.

IF YOU ONLY DO ONE THING

If you are in St. Barths for a day trip and short on time, head to Colombier Beach. Drive up the hill along the road parallel to Baie des Anges where you will reach a dead end. Park the car and hike 40 minutes downhill to crystal clear water and a secluded beach surrounded by jagged boulders. The hike through the tropical forest is a great workout, with lush vegetation and wildlife lining the winding path. A word to the wise: Bring sneakers and lunch. There is nothing at the beach. Of course, if it’s an option, you can also have your yacht pull directly into the cove .

WHAT TO DO

Hit as many beaches as you can. As opposed to other Caribbean islands, the beaches on St. Barths have their own personalities. These are my top picks:

Gouverneur Beach: My favorite. Behind you, there’s a view of the hillside, and, in front, it’s all blue skies and calm, clear turquoise water that goes on and on. There are no hotels on this beach, giving it a secluded feel.

Grande Saline Beach: A stunning beach of fine white sand adjacent to what used to be an old salt mine (hence the name). You won’t find any hotels here either (hence the deserted island vibe).

Shell Beach: One of the smaller beaches, named for the tiny shells that cover it. Dõ Brazil, a lunch spot right on the beach, has superb food, cocktails, and music.

Flamands Beach: One of the most tranquil on the island, overlooking the islands beyond St. Barths. There’s a lot here: the newly renovated Hotel Taïwana, villa rentals, and great restaurants.

For more on where to eat, drink, shop, and stay as well as how to plan the logistics of your trip visit Fathom and checkout the original article.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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The Best Global Beauty Products

This article was recently published on Fathom (fathomaway.com), Travel Beauty’s go-to resource for everything you’ll need while globetrotting - from the best places to stay, eat, visit and shop to the essentials you want with you on the road. Fathom is our insider’s guide for everything travel. In September, during its highly anticipated Beauty-in-Travel Week, Travel Beauty was asked to give our baker’s dozen (13, to be exact) of the very best beauty products from around the globe. Hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it…

Global Beauty Finds: The 13 Best Products

We continue beauty-in-travel week with a look at the best beauty products from around the world. There’s no one more qualified to give us a baker’s dozen than a woman who spends her life looking for such potions: frequent flier and product junkie Alyssa Barrie Weiss, the founder of the website Travel Beauty.

best-global-beauty-productsAs a child, I traveled a great deal with my parents, mostly to Europe and the Middle East. When we arrived at our destination, the first thing my mother did was take my brother and me to the local pharmacy or pharmacie. Whether we were in Tel Aviv, Paris, Berlin, or Florence, she always knew which one was the best. These outings felt like an adventure: The pharmacies overseas were different from those in New York City. They were fancy and old-world, and I loved them.

As an adult, I developed a vast interest and knowledge of products, as well as an obsessive compulsion for them, and sought the foremost beauty industry experts to learn more. This led me to Yasmine Djerradine, a veteran skin care expert from Paris and owner of Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. And Ishi, of Salon Ishi, the guru leading the way in high-tech Japanese hair care. Yasmine and Ishi took me under their wings and educated me on the best products and treatments.

My love for travel took me to far-flung destinations, where I was able to feed my product addiction by scouring the places I visited for their best beauty finds. I have curated these products, with the help of our panel of industry experts, on my website,Travel Beauty, an online destination for the very best of all things beauty from around the globe.

There is so much great stuff to try, but Fathom asked me for a baker’s dozen of my favorite global beauty finds of all time:

1. Heaven Skincare Bee Venom Mask

Provenance: United Kingdom

Why I Love It: It multi-tasks as a moisturizer, and you can feel it tightening the skin and brightening the complexion. The bee venom literally paralyzes the muscles beneath the skin. It’s basically an organic alternative to Botox.

2. Lavido Hyaluronic Acid Eye Alert Cream

Provenance: Israel

Why I Love It: Formulated with plant-based hyaluronic acid, it brightens, moisturizes, and relieves puffiness around the eye area, and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bottom line: It shaves years off your eye area.

3. Vine Minus Ion Care Water

Provenance: Japan

Why I Love It: It does everything but walk the dog. Its negatively charged ions enable it to bond to hair and skin so that this multi-tasking miracle water:

- Strengthens fine hair, making it feel and look thicker.

- Boosts the strength of conditioners, treatments, or styling aids, allowing the products to penetrate deeper and work better.

- Enhances the efficacy of your skin care regimen if used before toner, serum, and moisturizer.

- Can be used as a makeup remover on face and eyes.

- Can be used to brush teeth when they feel especially hairy.

Click here to read about the remaining 10 best beauty products from around the globe on Fathom.

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Hot Off The Presses

Though we keep saying we’ve got the best beauty and men’s grooming products from around the globe, you certainly don’t have to take our word for it. Here is some of the recent press Travel Beauty (and our amazing products) has received from all over the world wide web and beyond. And this is just a taste! Visit our press page to see what Huffington Post, Town & Country, Pop Sugar Beauty and others have said about Travel Beauty.

  • We helped Elle compile 10 Editor-Approved Beauty Products To Try Now.

Want to try out some of these amazing products in person? If you’re in the NYC area, be sure to visit our month-long pop-up apothecary at International Playground, 463 Broome Street, from September 22nd through October 23rd.

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Travel Beauty Travel Diaries: Italy

Our travels through Italy took us to some charming places that we thought were worth noting…and sharing! So if you should find yourself in any of these regions, read on for things to do, eat or experience.

Where to Stay in Lake Como

The first stop was Lake Como. Originally built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, Villa d’Este is the quintessential must-experience hotel. The property sits on 25 acres of magnificent gardens overlooking Lake Como. The décor is impeccable; a true icon of old world luxury. It is impossible to be here and not feel like you are on a magical vacation.

Where to Eat in Lake Como

If you are looking for a fabulous place for lunch, make sure to stop at the elegant Ristorante Navedano. This structure is an old windmill converted into a restaurant! It is situated in a lush, tropical setting near Villa d’Este. The authentic local cuisine changes seasonally and is prepared using fresh local produce and ingredients from the region. You must indulge in a glass of wine, even if a liquid lunch is not your norm. The wine list is dynamite and the food is superb.

On The Way to Florence

Next we headed to Asolo where we visited the Palladio Villas in the Veneto.  This site provides a unique glimpse into the lifestyle of 15th century Italy.

We then headed to Tuscany for a couple of days. Fifty minutes from Florence we arrived at the Antinori Vineyard. It is a picturesque place to slow down and relax in the countryside after days of driving and running around. Over 26 generations of The Antinori family have dedicated themselves to the art of winemaking. This vineyard is nothing short of majestic and the vino is spectacular.

What to See in Florence: Art & Culture

On to Firenze! Let’s start with a little culture; this town is rich in that department.

travel-diary-italyThe Palazzo Vecchio

Florence’s majestic town hall. Overlooking Piazza della Signoria, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy, boasting an impressive collection of paintings and sculpture. It was originally the home of the Grand Duke de’ Medici prior to his move to the Pitti Palace. (Another great landmark to visit while you’re in town.)

The Vasari Corridor

This almost kilometer long covered passageway, which crosses the Arno river, originally connected The Pitti Palace with The Uffizi Gallery, the Duke’s office. In 1973 the corridor was reopened to the public and can be visited by appointment only. It houses one of the most unique collections of art, dating from the 16th – 20th centuries. This magnificent collection is continually updated with new additions. Over 1000 paintings completed by master artists call The Vasari Corridor home.

Where to Eat in Florence

While in Florence, book a dinner at The Alle Murate. This is a unique Tuscan restaurant located in The Palazzo Dell’Arte dei Giudici e Notai (the 14th-century seat of the city’s magistrates’ and notaries’ guild) where a series of frescos from the 1300s have been uncovered. The restaurant also boasts a vaulted basement with plexiglas floors suspended over a Roman archeological site. Audio cassettes explaining the archeological site are available to listen to while you dine.

Where to Stay in Florence

The Portrait Hotel: This ultra luxe, 34-suite hotel is owned by The Ferragamo family. While views overlooking The Arno River and The Ponte Vecchio lend an old world feel, the luxurious interiors are modern and sleek.

Hope that this mini-tour of the region gave you some ideas of where you might want to spend time, should you find yourself in Italia. Keep a look out for part II or our Italian travel diary.

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Interview with Ada Polla of Alchimie Forever

TB: Before your family founded the brand, did you know you’d follow your parents into this industry? If so, when and why?

 AP: I started working in my father’s dermatology practice when I was 10 years old – so I really grew up in the family business. It always seemed natural to me, and yes, as far as I can remember, I always wanted to join the family business. Or I should say, “one of” the family businesses. The first business my parents opened together was an art gallery. As an art history major in college, I always thought that would be my path. It wasn’t. Then I thought about opening a Forever Laser Institut in the US, expanding our spa business. That was not my path, either (at least not yet…). Then I thought about bringing the best that my father created to the US through these little jars…and decided that Alchimie Forever was indeed my path to making a difference in the family business!

TB: Alchimie began by developing products that meet the needs of post-procedural skin. What has this research taught you about skin care in general?

AP: The fact that the first Alchimie Forever products were created in our medical spa, Forever Laser Institut, to help heal the skin after the treatments my father would perform on his clients (initially mostly laser treatments) led to a formulation philosophy that is very much based on reducing inflammation, which is a scientific way of saying healing the skin. Indeed, post-procedure, the skin cannot tolerate anything too aggressive. Instead, it needs ingredients that will quell redness, cool heat, calm, and soothe. I have learned throughout the years how much of a pro-ager inflammation is – too much inflammation will lead to more rapid aging – which after all is what we are working against. I think there is confusion in the mind of the consumer, with the idea that if a product doesn’t tingle, make you peel, or induce redness, it is not doing anything. Such products certainly have a place in the market, but they must be balanced by products that reduce inflammation. That is what is at the core of our formulation strategy.

TB: What differences do you see between attitudes towards skin care and regimens in The US vs. those in Switzerland? Is there anything one can learn from the other?

AP: There are definite differences! In Switzerland (and France, and perhaps a few other European countries), skin care is considered as essential as dental care. My grandmother took me for my first facial when I was 15, now that “I was becoming a woman” and told me that bi-annual facials were a must, just like getting your teeth cleaned by a professional twice a year. Really, it is not because you brush your teeth at home (just like you wash your face) that you don’t go to the dentist for a cleaning (the equivalent of a facial). Also, you don’t wait for your teeth to rot (the equivalent of wrinkles) to go see your dentist (i.e., Don’t wait for your skin to look old to go to the aesthetician or dermatologist). I wish American women would spend more time and money on their skin – in particular as opposed to their hair! Look into the vanity of an American woman and it is mostly hair and makeup products. A European woman will have mostly face and body products in her bathroom, with just a bit of hair and makeup.

In contrast, American women seem less patient with their skin care expectations. They want that brown spot fixed yesterday. Even though it took years in the making. They want a miracle in a jar.

TB: In the midst of your busy life, which includes a lot of travel, what are your “must do everyday” beauty essentials?

AP: I love this question. A big part of Alchimie Forever is the true belief in “self care through skin care” – that is, the idea that taking care of one’s skin is as essential is a way of taking care of one’s self. I do travel about 75% of my time, which takes a toll on my skin. Here are my top 6 must dos (travel or not…):

  1. I start my day with a big glass of water and a Super Orange EmergenC. I stopped drinking orange juice many years ago when I started counting my calories, so this is my replacement. Plus I never drink enough water during the day so I feel that at least my day is starting off with water. And the vitamins are essential, especially if I am not able to eat as healthily on the road as I would wish to.
  2. Alchimie Forever Daily Defense SPF 23 every day on face and neck, every morning. No matter the time of year, no matter the weather. I feel like that way I am protected from anything that will come my way.
  3. Alchimie Forever tightening eye contour gel, every morning. This is technically one of our men’s products (although I think I might change that when we redo our packaging) yet I love it – it is like a shot of espresso for my eye contour. As I tell anyone who will listen, if you are old enough to drink, you are old enough for a great eye contour cream!
  4. Trish McEvoy mascara. I won’t leave the house without mascara, let alone meet with anyone without it!
  5. Aveda Stress Fix body lotion. I love the lavender scent, it does melt away my stress. And I have this in travel size too!
  6. Twice a week, I use our Antioxidant refining scrub and Kantic brightening moisture mask. At home or on the road, I feel like these two products remove the “plane” from my skin – my skin is once again bright, hydrated, and glowing.

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