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Tag Archives : International Playground

Beauty Tips for Your New Year’s Eve Party Prep

Big New Year’s Plans? *Now* is the time to prep so you look your absolute best as you ring in 2016. Here’s how Travel Beauty’s Claire McCormack gets ready for a big event.


As a working mom, I spend very little time on my personal upkeep, so when I have an event that I’d like to look good for, I am forced to confront, en masse, all of the beauty appointments I’ve been putting off. As I feared, my pre-event beauty to-do list was soon longer than my waaaay overgrown bangs. To bring some levity to the situation, I decided to document all the beauty appointments I made to ensure I’d look presentable on the big day (and when I say presentable, I mean as Vogue cover-ready as I possibly can look).

Two Weeks Out

  • Highlights & Bang Trim: In theory I could have done this a week before the event, but then I would have had to go about my life for another week with my hair as is, and it was in such a state that waiting even another seven days was not an option. Besides, my bangs always look their best when they’ve had some time to settle and grow a bit post-trim.
  • Research Manicure Designs: I had this idea to do a negative space French manicure, so I took several screenshots of cool ideas. Thanks, Instagram, for the endless inspo!

One Week Out

  • Body Scrub: Though I am always well-exfoliated, I take special care before an event. I did the first scrub one week out, then another a day before my spray tan (see below). This scrubbing includes using my Diamancel Foot File on heels almost every day.
  • Face Scrub: Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads every day on face for the week leading up to the event. They are the best when you can’t get a pro peel!

Four Days Out

  • Waxing: No, I wasn’t planning on wearing a bikini on the big day; this was really in preparation for my spray tan later in the week. Going in naked is your best bet. If you think tan lines are bad, spray tan lines from the disposable panties they will give you to wear are just pitiful! So do what you need to to feel comfortable (as possible) being nekkid for your spray tan.
  • Purchase Outfit: I know, I know…this is down to the wire. I don’t usually procrastinate, though. As much as I love having new clothes, I HATE shopping. I try to buy as much of my wardrobe as possible online. However, a party dress/outfit was something I needed to try – and get feedback – on. Luckily, my bestie John owns International Playground and played stylist for me. We’ve done this many times before for other events and it’s always been a success. I highly recommend International Playground for your special event shopping.

Three Days Out

  • Hair Mask: Doing at least one at-home Philip Kingsley Elasticizer hair treatment is a must, especially if the weather forecast is FRIZZ.
  • Microcurrent Facial at SB Skin: Perfect for dewy, firm, smooth skin. Accentuates my bone structure in a way no blush, bronzer or contouring ever could.

Two Days Out

  • Colonic: Nothing makes my skin glow like colonics and kickboxing. Also, I planned on eating a LOT of delicious red meat at the party, so a pre-party detox was a good idea.

Day Before

  • Another at-home body scrub, in preparation for…
  • Spray Tan: Perhaps this is not a pre-event necessity for everyone. My legs, however, are so pale, however, that people would have called Ghost Hunters on me without it. It is also the healthiest and easiest way to “lose” five pounds in 15 minutes.
  • Nails: A pre-event given, right? What gal doesn’t get a mani/pedi before a party? My daughter and I went together, the night before, for a little girl time.
  • Blowout: Since my whirlwind day started EARLY in the morning, I had to do my and my daughter’s blowouts the night before. Though I kept it simple and straight, I wanted that extra polish that comes from a professional blow dry/flat iron. And as I’ve said before, I don’t even own a hair dryer!
  • Mini Touch Up Facial with SB Skin: The results when you cluster two treatments close together are remarkable! The second facial was half the time – just going over my facial contours.

And…that’s it!

What do you think? Too much? Too little? What is your prep routine for hosting a major party or event?

By: Claire McCormack Twitter & Instagram

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Travel Beauty’s Favorite Fall Shoes At International Playground

Travel Beauty brings you the best beauty and grooming products from around the globe – many of which you may have never heard of. Our friends at International Playground, hosts of our pop-up apothecary, are on a similar mission. They showcase a carefully curated collection of innovative brands from NYC and way beyond. It is the place to discover amazing designers you won’t find anywhere else. Some of our favorites that we’ve discovered are H. Fredriksson and Upstate…not to mention all the menswear we would totally steal from Soulland.

As we’ve set up shop in IP, we couldn’t help but spend some time oogling the fashion goodies. I believe I’ve assembled my perfect fall wardrobe about five times over in my mind!

It’s hard to pick just a few pieces to share here, so we narrowed it down to SHOES. Here are four of our favorite styles from the floor of International Playground. Love them as much as we do? Come grab a pair…and some beauty booty, too! International Playground’s gorgeous Soho store is at 463 Broome Street. Next Thursday, October 16 is our Insider Secrets to Ageless Skin event with NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Dara Liotta and facialist Shamara Bondaroff. This is your chance to get all your burning skinquiries answered. Hope to see you there!

Clockwise from top:

Helen Westbye Easy Derby Zip: Wear anywhere everyday boots with…an edge. $590

Stine Goya Titan Heels in Metallic Blue: The perfect pop of color to elevate any outfit. $398

Miista Cecelia Bootie: Wedges, our favorite way to gain a few inches without losing our balance. $378

Helen Westbye Dare Me Heels: Two Words: METALLIC. STILETTOS. That is all…and we’re all over them. $475

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Hairstyle Advice From Hair Guru, Ishi

Your Hair, Your Style

The difference between fashion and beauty is vast. Trends come and go. The search for new and exciting looks drives fashion. But our real issue is beauty. Looking beautiful, feeling beautiful. What makes you look and feel your best? Trends, if not detailed to fit your features, will not make you look your best. What looks great on someone else is not always what is best for you.  Their face, their hair and their attitude makes the look successful. Your face shape, your type of hair and your lifestyle all have to be kept in mind as you adapt a style for your best look – your individual beauty.  First, you have to accept who you are, what your hair type can do and how much time you can commit (and are willing to commit) to maintaining a style. These different factors dictate what is the best style for you.

Hair Length

Hair length is a good starting point. There are many choices of different lengths to flatter everyone. Never feel locked into only one length, thinking it is the only one for you. Your best personal style can be achieved in many different ways. It’s often the details within the style that either date a style or make it up to date. You could wear a style for years, but by updating the details you can keep it current, fresh and new. For example, if you love having bangs, you can make them longer, shorter, thicker, side-swept, etc., depending on what’s current.

There Are No Rules

Also, there are no rules that need to be followed. Sometimes the things that we are told will not be right are the most flattering on us! I often see people wear long hair as a security, without really thinking about how it makes them look. It’s about having all this hair…yet it’s pulled back most of the time without any thought of style. Why? The right shape would make their hair more than just “hair”…it would transform hair into a self-expression. The hair can still be kept long, but with the addition of the right details designed to fit their features, hair can become a person’s greatest asset (think Jennifer Aniston, whose hair always-impeccable has become a signature).

Take a Risk

Many have followed the trend toward short hair…some more successfully than others. Usually it’s unsuccessful because they followed the trend rather than getting a short cut detailed to perfectly fit them. Why? We see ourselves in our minds eye. We aren’t able to see the full three dimension of ourselves. This is where a great stylist (hair, makeup, clothing, etc.) comes in. You have to be open to allow for greatness; allow yourself to let go of your self-perceived limitations. “I could never go blond/short/long/[fill in the blank].” Everyone has unlimited choices they can make. Finding what is perfect takes time and the skilled eye of someone considering your specific features to bring out your beauty.


Like what Ishi has to say? See this hair guru in action this Wednesday from 6-8pm at the Travel Beauty pop-up apothecary!

International Playground! 463 Broome Street, NYC.

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