La Perla Showcases New Direction at Atlanta Boutique

La Perla Buckhead AtlantaKnown for their edgy style dripping with sexiness, La Perla is bringing femininity to the forefront at their new Buckhead Atlanta location.

The luxury shopping district location is an extension of the brand that showcases the new image of its retail arm, a shift that started with the flagship stores in Milan and London in February 2014 as part of a glocal relaunch after the brand was acquired by holding company Pacific Global Management, headed by Silvio Scaglia.

The 1,870 square feet of space invites shoppers to think of lingerie as a second skin as they browse among the architectural work of Roberto Baciocchi, founder of the internationally renowned architectural studio Baciocchi & Associati from Arezzo, Italy. He also has taken the reins for designs of Prada, Miu Miu and Church’s stores.

The store’s design is clearly inspired by classic Italian architecture. References to the work of Carlo Scarpa from the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona can be found in the soft, dusty coloured walls dressed in painted fabric, and in the display cases within the store.

The ultra-feminine range of colour shades, from pale blue, through dusky pink to daffodil yellow, plays on the luxurious essentiality of the hexagonal Portuguese marble slabs. Severity and softness are also found where the paving meets the rugs and silk tub armchairs in the same pastel tones as the walls, highlighting the brand’s luxe image.

Arches lined in pink onyx are featured inside each window and La Perla creations are displayed in transparent cases with gilded metalhangers or presented to customers on velvet-lined trays.

One of the main features of the new La Perla project is the gateway in front of the fitting rooms: a symbolic element that marks this space devoted to intimacy, creating an exclusive place in which femininity reigns. The fitting rooms, featuring amethyst-coloured walls, are defined by backlit tulle panelling, creating a light, mellow and comfortable space. Another element is the metal grate feature that recalls ancient confessionals, and a “Service” bell for calling a member of the sales staff.

Quite simply, lingerie heaven.

If you can’t make it to Atlanta, don’t worry. The redesign will be unveiled in the main La Perla boutiques, which includes Macau, Hong Kong, New York and Paris, throughout the coming year.

image credit: Ben Rose Photography

5 Things to Love About The Cosmetic Market

The Cosmetic MarketLast week I was invited to experience The Cosmetic Market at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia. The friendly and helpful personnel gave me a tour of the store, filled me up with mimosas and shortcake, and showed me why they aim to be a fun space to shop and explore everything beauty. I was instantly hooked. Here’s why:

1.)  It’s locally owned. Not only is The Cosmetic Market a brand born in the South, it’s a female-owned company.

2.)  It’s not just about make-up. Sure, you think “cosmetic” you think lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow. They have those- and plenty of them. But, they also have waxing, spray tanning, and a wide variety of aesthetic services.

3.)  They’ve teamed with Bliss. If you’re in the know about hot spots to get a massage you’ve probably heard of the Bliss chain of beauty and spa products and services to offer the Bliss Wax Bar to locations of The Cosmetic Market. No appointment is necessary to get facial waxing, brow tinting, or lash tinting though appointments can be made in advance of your visit.

4.)  It’s fun, funky, and not intimidating. Even though I write a beauty blog, I’m still intimidated every time I walk into Sephora. The dark tones, black plastic with no smudges on it, and tight quarters make me want to shop online despite the great products they offer. Avalon’s The Cosmetic Market location offers a fun, funky, and open shopping atmosphere with oranges and blues mixed with whites on the walls while stainless steel fixtures and spacious digs invite browsing. Plus, there’s a circle motif that carries from the store’s exterior to interior that’s just awesome.

5.)  There’s a wide variety of products. It’s not all their line of products like you’ll find at a Bare Minerals store or counters of product like you’ll find at a department store. The Cosmetic Market has hundreds of brands to choose from. If you get your make-up done by a store professional like I did, you’ll probably see them pulling from five or six different sections to achieve the perfect look for your skin tone and occasion.

Another thing I loved about The Cosmetic Market? Everyone was SO friendly! The whole experience made me want to shop there again ASAP- and I will!

Is it Safe to Visit the Spa While You’re Pregnant?

Bliss SpaPregnant? Trying to get pregnant? What spa treatments are safe for you and your baby? Joey Detenber, the Spa Director at Bliss in the W Atlanta – Downtown gave me the answers in a recent interview:

One -> Are there various treatments that should be avoided during certain stages of pregnancy?

We recommend avoiding all forms of massage in the first trimester, as well as prolonged exposure to heat and steam.  Once a soon to be mom is out of the first trimester, massage is very beneficial for sore muscles, swollen limbs and of course relaxation.

Two ->  Pregnancy hormones can cause acne. Are there any spa treatments that would lessen the chances of outbreaks?      Continue reading

15 Stocking Stuffers for Him & Her from VaHi Boutiques

One of the best things about Small Business Saturday is rediscovering neighborhoods you love. One of my favorite shopping spots in Atlanta is Virginia Highland, an area of upscale boutiques and good eats that is perfect for spending an afternoon looking for the perfect gifts for loved ones- which happens to be exactly what I did. Here’s what I found:

Wren Shops Winter 2014

  1. Dual Cable Knit Boot Socks by Hunter at William Wren – These dual-knit micro fleece socks are a must-have for any woman wearing her Hunter boots into winter.
  2. Bradshaw Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Watch by Michael Kors at 310 Rosemont – Does he need a new timepiece? You can’t go wrong with this Michael Kors watch which is equal parts modern and classic.
  3. Labrador Cufflinks by Over & Under at 310 Rosemont- Let him wear his love for man’s best friend on his sleeve.
  4. Sterling Silver Wrap Bracelet on Black Leather by Chaun Luu at 310 Rosemont – Polished sterling silver nuggets hand woven throughout black colored leather make this piece perfectly boho chic.
  5. Classic Nylon Lacey by kate spade new york at 310 Rosemont – A classic pop of holiday color is the perfect addition to her stocking! This case is nylon and leather making for great durability and can hold up to 12 credit cards- perfect for boutique shopping!
  6. 5 Pack Low Rise Thongs by Hanky Panky at 310 Rosemont – Getting sock and underwear is a tradition in my home. Up your giving game by snagging a set of these ultra-comfortable thongs for her.
  7. Bella Large Spiral Notebook by kate spade new york at 310 Rosemont – If she likes to make a list and check it twice and has been just the right amount of naughty and nice, she’ll probably love this chic way to keep track of life’s lists.
  8. Slim Runway Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Watch by Michael Kors at 310 Rosemont- She wants a classic watch this holiday season? Skip the big box stores and see what boutiques offer, like this gold gem by Michael Kors.
  9. Navy Mogador with Green Stripe Bow by Res Ispa at 310 Rosemont – Get him ready for your big New Year’s Eve plans with a new bow tie! This blue and green one from Res Ispa is for classic taste but there are plenty for all personalities- stop by and check them out!
  10. Skipjack Boxers by Southern Tide  at 310 Rosemont – She gets the thongs, he gets a couple of pairs of boxers. It only seems right.
  11. Turquoise Mix Beaded Bracelet on Henna Leather by Chan Luu at 310 Rosemont – Tribal inspired prints are here for another season and with the cool tones in this bracelet, she’ll definitely be wearing your purchase all winter long.
  12. Grey/Purple/Blue/Orange Multi Stripe Socks by Robert Talbott at 310 Rosemont – One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is, “You know where you are with an honest pair of socks.” For a man, a good pair of socks is a timeless gift that will always be appreciated.
  13. Pointelle Tall Sock by Free People at Winter Wren – Add a peek of fun from inside your boots this winter with tall socks. These pointelle ones by Free People give a flirty twist on the usual choices.
  14. Vermeil Silver Mini Tin in Chestnut & Vetiver by Voluspa at Winter Wren – You can go really wrong when gifting a candle, or really right. Choose to go “right” by picking a winter scent to fill your home.
  15. Half-Zip Wallet by Moore & Giles at 310 Rosemont – Moore & Giles have some amazing leather goods and this wallet is the perfect, unexpected addition to his stocking.

10 Tips for Surviving a Day of Drinking

Drinking BeerEvery now and then a class or a workshop pops up that I just have to take. Last month’s Drinking Primer at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was one of those.

Half out of sheer curiosity and half with the thought that I can use this class for an article, I signed up.

Before I even got to the room, I heard about the legend that Eric Crane, the class’s instructor:

“He’s hilarious!”
“Be careful- he’ll make you spit your drink out you’ll be laughing so hard!”
“OMG he’s a fucking riot.”

No one said anything about his instructing abilities. Really, there wasn’t any reason to. Any person whose job it is to drink for a living yet has the liver of a non-drinker according to their doctor (it’s true, we saw the picture), is the perfect teacher. Here are Crane’s tips:

  1. Drink water all day. “Walking around is exercising,” Crane told us.  So, drink water like you’re working out so you stay hydrated.
  2. Find a drinking buddy- preferably before you start drinking. Make it someone you trust and who you’ll listen to when they tell you to stop. Crane also recommends your buddy be, “someone who doesn’t know how to get arrested… Will take your phone away… Has a working credit card.”
  3. Always practice drinking. When you practice, you’ll know your limit better and know what types of alcohol effect you in what ways.
  4. “You don’t have to eat and drink everything in site.” It’s okay to be choosy. Going to a party? BYOBTD (bring your own beverage to drink).
  5. Okay, you don’t have to eat and drink everything in site but do eat. Eating will not only keep your energy up to help you keep drinking all day long, it will also help your body digest the alcohol you’re consuming.
  6. Learn how to properly spit. It’s okay to not drink all of a drink. Sample some, sip from others, swish it around in your mouth. If you don’t like the taste, don’t swallow- spit.
  7.  “If a daiquiri costs $20, you’re probably making a great decision,” says Crane. Stay out of the 30 flavor frozen wonderland tourist traps and head to local haunts. Not only will the quality of the drink be better, you’ll be better able to tell what you’re consuming. Crane wants you to remember, “a $3 piña colada equals a $1,000,000 hangover.”
  8. Stick mostly with aperitifs if you want to survive a full day of drinking. High quality biano vermouth, wines with high acidity, dry sherries, light sparkling wines, ciders, and light beers are your best bets.
  9. Don’t be afraid of sparkling water. It aids in digestion and will keep everything you’re ingesting moving along; just don’t chug it.
  10. Remember what you’re drinking. Use apps like Delectable, BJCP, When Wine, BarNotes, EasyMeme to document your tasting travels. Not only will it help you remember the next day, it can help you keep track of how much you’re taking in that day.

And, perhaps most importantly, Crane told us, despite what Kenny Chesney tell us, “you can drink tequila without going crazy.”

The Beginner’s Guide to Flywheel

Flywheel“Welcome to Flywheel!
Are you signing in for the first time?
Just here to learn a little more about our classes?
Either way, just let us know how we can help!”

Thankfully, I had a friend to guide me through my first Flywheel experience including what to wear, what to expect once I got there, and she made sure my bike was set up for me ahead of time. Not everyone can be that lucky. Here’s what you need to know before you go:

The first time is free. Everyone gets one free Flywheel and FlyBarre class so they can learn more about what to expect from each class before they commit.

Flywheel and FlyBarre are different- very different. Just because they’re under one roof doesn’t mean they’re even closely related. Flywheel is the equivalent of a spin class. Everything you do is on the bike and there is no coasting- none. (It’s even in their tagline.) FlyBarre is a total body sculpting class that blends the best of light weight training, dance, and core strengthening exercises using small, intense interval exercises choreographed to contemporary and inspiring music.      Continue reading

5 Tips For Keeping Your Summer Skin In Check

White Salon & SpaThe cold of winter is hopefully gone for good now and the South’s pollen season is (finally) wrapping up which means it’s time for more fun in the sun. Whether you’re boating, gardening, or just enjoying a drink by the pool, it’s important to remember that there is more to great skin than just keeping sunscreen nearby.

To keep my skin in check, I regularly visit an esthetician and last week, one of Atlanta’s most well-rounded estheticians, Pangie Skrine from White Salon & Spa, passed along a few tips for keeping your skin in healthy in the summertime that I just had to share with you:

One ->

Properly caring for your skin during the summer and early fall months actually starts inside! Eating ample fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants combats free radicals and promotes a clear, healthy complexion. Staying away from dairy products will also aid in keeping your skin clear, no matter the season!

Two -> 

To still attain that healthy glow that’s desired during the summer, opt for a spray tan rather than exposing your skin to damaging UVA and UVB rays for hours on end. Prior to your spray tanning session, be sure to exfoliate for the best results.

Three -> 

Resist the temptation of using bar soap to cleanse your skin – although it may leave you feeling squeaky-clean, it will also over-dry your skin and lead to more oil production rather than less. Instead, opt for a gentle, natural body wash.

Four -> 

Keeping your makeup brushes and other skincare supplies clean is key to reducing those troublesome summer breakouts. Aim to wash your brushes once a month in mild soap and water. Leave them to dry the overnight, and you’ll be ready to go in the morning!

Five -> 

Always remember that your skin is the largest organ of your body – if you take extra care to nourish your complexion through diligent use of SPF in the summer months, your skin will love you back!

Is It Healthy? Deciphering the Designations on Your Wine Bottle

The SpenceSure, you’ve gone organic at the grocery store, but have you gone organic at the package store? Deciphering the labels on wine can be at least as difficult as reading the dry goods ingredient labels. Thankfully, Kayla Cox, the owner of one of my new favorite wine stores, Savor Wine Boutique in Atlanta, Georgia, was willing to break it down for me (and you):

  • Biodynamic – Wine with this designation on the label is organically farmed. Other crops and animals are used so the farm is self-nourishing.
  • Natural Wine – This type of wine avoids additives such as sugar and sulfites, as well as technological processes that manipulate the wine.
  • Organic Wine – Wine that is truly organic has no sulfites added during the wine making process. Grapes grown  to make the wine are cared for using certified organic practices.
  • Organically Farmed – This wine is made from grapes grown in a certified organic vineyard. No chemical fertilizers or artificial pesticides are allowed during their growing, harvesting, or the wine production process.
  • Sustainable Farming – Products with this label have been grown, harvested, and produced using environmentally friendly farming practices.
  • Vegan Wine – This type of wine is processed manually and filtered with minerals instead of animal-derived products or gelatin.

Continue reading

How to Transition Your Workout Wardrobe from Winter to Spring to Summer

Atlanta ActivewearSure, you can buy your activewear from Dick’s or Sports Authority but of you want fashionable, functional activewear for a comparable price point (and undoubtably better service), find an activewear boutique near you like I did.

Last week I visited Danielle and Donna at Atlanta Activewear to talk spring activewear trends, hot selling items, and how to transition my winter weather-friendly workout wardrobe to warmer weather appropriate.

What can’t they keep in stock? The hottest item at Atlanta Activewear is by SPANX and really, that’s not much a surprise. Known for making some of the best shape hugging garments in the clothing industry, SPANX branched into activewear claiming the end of camel toe and with the best-selling Skegging, you have the best of the tennis skirt meets the best of the 3/4 pants.

What are the hot colors for spring? Activewear in cool colors doesn’t sell as well as hot colors so you’ll see plenty of bright pinks and oranges this spring and summer.

What’s trending? Pants and skirts are going back to basics. Danielle told me that after a few years of bright and bold patterns, shoppers are requesting plain colors, especially black, for bottoms.

So, what are your winter to spring to summer layering options? Here are some scenarios:      Continue reading

5 Must-Have Shorts for Spring for Every Body Type

Taking Carrie’s advice to heart, I ventured to 310 Rosemont to try on some of their newest Spring shorts styles. Here are five of my favorites:


Delano Short by Trina Turk


Wide Waistband Scalloped Lace Short by Alice + Olivia


Tersa Combo Shorts by Parker


Butterfly Shorts with Leather Combo by Alice + Olivia


Leather Trim Shorts by Milly