Life Outside the Tents as A NYFW VIP: Lounges, Swag Suites & Dinner Parties

When you think of Fashion Week you may think of the backstage scene that I've been tweeting about all week, or the runway shows themselves, but truth is, there's so much more when you're a NYFW VIP.  Since all editors, bloggers and influencers end up in NYC for the shows with the same goals, brands take full advantage and host dinner parties, pampering lounges and after parties all for a little face time.  Here's some of my fashion week extracurriculars... I know, it looks like a lot of work (wink).

Birchbox Lounge

Set up conveniently across from Milk Studios where a variety of shows took place this season, I popped in before attending Christian Siriano near by on Saturday.  First things first, I got down to business by creating my own Birchbox.  Next, I indulged in a little pampering with a mani (shade: Color Club in Status Update), grabbed a snack from WichCraft and caught up with some friends.

Style Coalition Lounge

I popped in the Style Coalition Lounge at the Empire Hotel before going backstage to Zac Posen on Sunday night to catch up with my friend Yuli, who runs the organization. They partnered with Microsoft and my fave stylist, Ted Gibson.  The best part?  It was exclusive so there weren't a thousand people running around and it really was a break from the hustle and bustle.  While there, I had my hair touched up by Ted Gibson's stylists and left looking glam!

Dinner with NARS

Each season NARS rents out parts of restaurants in the West Village and throws a dinner party.  This is what I was most excited for this season.  Between all the running around and waving hello to friends backstage I got to catch up with my media friends over wine, cheese plates and chocolate covered strawberries in the garden of Palma.

Allure Beauty Lounge

After going backstage to interview Reem Acra before her show (see post here), I headed to the Empire Hotel to stop by a few suites.  Allure had SkinMedica preforming facials, Maybelline giving makeup touch ups and manis and a whole fragrance bar set up with samples from different brands along with Sephora pulled up on iPads for easy purchasing.  Smart.  I would have loved a SkinMedica facial, but my makeup was set for the day and I didn't have the time.

Clarins Lounge

The brand just launched their Beauty Flash Blog so I was eager to see my PR friends and learn more about it.  The Courtin-Clarins girls were there (the granddaughters of the founder of Clarins) so I filmed a video interview with them, which will be live soon!  I'm so glad they're getting involved with the brand.  They're super chic and approchable.  Other editors were getting makeup touch ups and mini massages in the suite as well.

An Exclusive Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes with DKNY Fragrances

Earlier this week I had the honor to spend the day behind the scenes of a DKNY fragrances photo shoot for an upcoming advertisement.  I can't tell you much about it yet, but it comes out next year and if you can wait the year... I'll spill a lot more then!  I'm really excited because I'm working on a project with the brand that you'll be hearing more about very soon!  I know, I know... this post is just one big tease!  Well, here are some really cool snap shots from the day that I can share with you now!  Enjoy!

Circuit Training with Serena Williams is No Joke, Neither is Her Natural Hair

Now this was crazy.  I was invited to work out with Serena Williams last Thursday night and being the fitness junkie that I am I couldn't believe I had the opportunity to train with such an iconic athlete.  It wasn't just a meet and greet, it was a half hour circuit training session and then an interview at 24 Hour Fitness in midtown to try out a new product she's endorsing from her Mission line of athletic products called EnduraCool.  PS: I also scored a video of her kicking butt too! I have to be completely honest, I thought the class was going to be a BS fitness class, because after all it was a beauty editor event and I didn't think we'd be getting down and dirty.  Well I was wrong.  Serena is no joke (obvi) and the class was for fitness beasts!  Could I have kept up?  Yes, but instead I opted to "glisten" instead of sweat and take some pics and video.  I was going straight out afterwards and my dry shampoo would have done my hair no justice if I actually did the entire thing.

The EnduraCool Instant Cooling Towel proved it's magic mid workout.  It's an innovative workout towel that cools once it's wet.  We all soaked it with water and when the water came in contact with the fabric it instantly cooled and stayed cold throughout the rest of the workout. "The hottest I've ever been on the court was in Australia.  It was 142 degrees and we wrapped towels in ice with tape," Williams commented. "The last thing I need is for my dress to be wet and weighed down when I'm running, because it's already is with sweat and it's not a good look."

After Serena sweat it out and I slightly glistened, I got to chat with her for a few minutes.  Check out my interview and the video of her working out below!

What are your gym bag must haves?

"In the Florida sun, where I live, this (EnduraCool) is so important especially in the summer!  I love my wrist bands since I sweat so much and I can't have sweaty hands in my sport, rackets, a hat and SPF.  Mission has a really good SPF that I worked really hard on.  I also always wear a hat so I can avoid wrinkles."

Favorite beauty products?

New eyeliner that my friend gave to me that's supposedly waterproof and it never bleeds.  It's super cheap, from the drugstore but I'm not sure what it is.  My mom introduced me to Lancome mascara.

How do you keep your natural hair tamed and frizz free, especially after a workout?

I don't do anything to my hair.  I just wash it, comb it out and then when I get out of the shower I throw conditioner on it, a Tresemme cream.  It's unbelievable and everyone's always giving me compliments on how good my hair smells and looks.  I've tried all of the stuff, absolutely everything and it's my go-to.

Do you have any rituals before hitting the court?

I have to wash my hands before hitting the court.  I'm always applying SPF a lot, but I don't think that's the reason, but I always have to.  I don't know if it's a superstitious thing, but I have to do it.

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

Apple pie, cherry pie, but I never say no to a peanut butter cookie.  I can say no to anything else, but you rarely see peanut butter cookies.

Nicole Scherzinger Adds Her Edgy Style to imPress

When I walked into the suite at the Dream Hotel downtown to chat with Nicole Scherzinger about her new line of press-on nails for imPress all I could do was stare at her legs!  She was wearing loose, leather shorts and a great pair of stilettos that made her gams look redic.  A dancers legs for sure, they only made me want to hit the gym and do a thousand lunges.  I had to stop before it got creepy and focus my attention onto the reason I was there, the nails.

"In my line of business, appearance is everything and my hands are always next to the mic, which make my nails the final accessory," Scherzinger commented.

As the Celebrity Brand Ambassador for imPress Press-On Manicure, she designed nine styles: three solid neon colors and six patterns that will launch in May at CVS and Walmart.  Her favorite are the ones I ended up trying on at the event, which are a gradation in color from purple to black to midnight blue with black stars on them.  They're rock star chic.

Since she's part Hawaiian, Scherzinger also created a set with Hibiscus flower incorporated into a French manicure to represent her culture and a set with music notes (inspired by last year's Dolce and Gabana collection) to represent her career.

"I need to make sure I'm expressing myself through my nails just like I do with everything else so designing a manicure on-the-go was a perfect fit for my crazy schedule."

When I applied the press-on-nails myself I was impressed that there were enough in the set to find ones that matched my tiny nail beds.  They're easy to apply, literally you just match them up to your cuticles and press down.  However, you should cut them down and file them to the shape you desire.

Best Actor Winner, Jean Dujardin's Groomer Dishes on Oscar Night

A year ago, I (like most) didn't even know who French Actor, Jean Dujardin was, until he starred in The Artist and became an Oscar nominee for 'Best Actor' along with American hotties, George Clooney and Brad Pitt.  Well, after Dujardin took home the title last night I called up his groomer, Louise Moon to get the scoop on how she prepped Hollywood's new star for the battle of the sexy, but the dish went on and I found out so much more.

"Being a groomer you have to be supportive of the actors, but not in their face," Moon states.  "When I got him [Dujardin] ready for the Oscars he was exhausted so I had to be really low key, shut the door and make him relaxed.  Sometimes he’s very talkative, but not this time."

Moon met Dujardin at 1pm to prep his skin and style his hair.  No one else was around – no stylist, assistant or manicurist.  "He's a very simple man and trusts me to do what needs to be done to make him look refreshed," she commented.  She found him exhausted.  He's been traveling and on a whirlwind of press tours and awards shows in the US and Europe so his skin was her main concern.

It was dry from climate changes so after moisturizing, she used Talika’s Eye Therapy Patches, helped to minimize dark circles and puffiness around his eyes and then the Talika Skin Retouch Eye Contour Wand (available Spring) beneath both eyes.

Since he has fine hair, she thickened it up by applying Leonor Greyl Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice (I'm a huge fan of this, too) just to the roots and then blowdrying.  "He likes his hair to look alive, but not not perfect so I like to give it a bit of texture by layering products without having it look like they're layered," states Moon.  She then uses a small dollop of  Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme, which is a gloss to give it a bit of sheen for the red carpet lighting.

I spoke with Moon this morning around 10:30 and it turns out she just left Dujardin.  "I've been with him since 8am," she says.  "I'm just as exhausted as he is now!"  He had a series of interviews this morning and Moon was on call.  A day in the life of a celebrity groomer.

And you have to check out this video Leonor Greyl made... no words.



This is What An Oscars Party in LA Looks Like

As I was live Tweeting and Pinning who was wearing what lipstick shade, the inspiration behind Emma Stone's bun and deets on Tina Fey's extensions and of course, the spray tan company that made all of the actresses glow on the red carpet (St. Tropez), I was sipping champagne and watching the Oscars at the Mercedes Benz party at the Soho House in LA with two of my girls, Jamie Stone and Sydne Summer.  It was quite a scene, maybe better than being at the Oscars themselves... maybe. We got ready giving ourselves DIY manis (thank God for Sally Hansen's Instant Manicure) at Sydne's place while watching the E! red carpet and headed over in time for the Oscars to start.  I have to admit, when in NYC, I normally watch awards shows in my sweats on my computer as I live tweet, but when in LA...

The Casual Chic Setting at the Independent Spirit Awards Blew My Mind, The Backstage Scoop & Video

If you've been following me on Twitter this weekend, you probably saw me freak out at a Michelle Williams and Busy Phillips sighting yesterday backstage at the Independent Spirit Awards.  Yes, I'm in LA!  While here for some business meetings I made sure to schedule some time to take advantage of one of the biggest awards season weekends of the year. Yesterday, I covered backstage at the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica and have never experienced such a scene! The event was held right on the beach with the purple carpet facing the ocean. The awards were held in one big tent and all around that tent were smaller tents of gifting lounges and open bars.  The actors and actresses were in a very laid back fashion walking around in between presenters and everyone was hanging out as if it was one big festival on the beach.  Here were some highlights:

I chatted with Carson Kressley (the guy from Queer Eye) on his idea of beach chic (since that was the dress code for the event and Oscar predictions.  Check out the video here.

In a gifting lounge, celebs like Jeffery Dean Morgan, Penelope Anne Miller and Gabrielle Beauvais were flocking to the Votre Vu table (of course I was hanging out by the beauty stuff) and couldn't wait to get their hands on SnapDragon.  Jeffery Dean Morgan also visited Wella and was joking around about his hair and what he needed while posing with a bottle of styling product.

I ventured into the Piaget gifting suite (yes, the celebs are also gifted with diamonds) with my friend Nola from and ran into Rosario Dawson who was practically being hit on every two seconds.  We sat with her on the couch drinking mimosas and kept laughing as people approached her.  First a fashion stylist wanting to give her a bag she made, then a man who practically proposed and it went on.  She was so accepting to all of them.  Nola and I sat there discussing how hard it must be to really have to put up with that.

Throughout the day, A-listers like Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Penelope Ann Miller and Kate Beckinsale all walked by countless amount of times, but it was Michelle Williams and Busy Phillips who had me at awe.  I'm rarely caught off guard by a celebs presence, but seeing them together as two best friends in such a casual setting was very cool.  Check out the video below!