Get Up Offa That Thang

With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s hard to take a step back and remember what’s really important. During a recent walk around my neighborhood, I noticed an advertisement for a NYC’s government-initiative charity program, NYCService. This, coupled with the Weight Watchers Lose For Good™ campaign, seemed like a sign from above that I need to get off my bum and start helping others.

Once I decided to dedicate some of my free time, I needed to figure out what commitments would work best for me. As an art school grad, I naturally decided to look for creative programs around the city, particularly ones that would let me share my enthusiasm for art with others. Lo and behold, there were plenty of options to choose from! The biggest,, features a massive compilation of many city programs, cross-listed for easy access to different types of service. I attended the mandatory orientation session this weekend, and am looking forward to my first project. Another,, specializes in bringing educational art programs and mentoring to underserved children. I’ll be going to their orientation tonight, and hopefully joining one of the program’s ongoing commitments when they begin in September. Wish me luck!

Beauty Bounty from the Sea

A few new cosmetics came across my desk that are definitely worth sharing in these dog days of summer. The common thread that joins these products together? Each makes use of marine ingredients, which makes me feel a bit like Venus stepping off her clamshell.

My favorite, Sukipure Concentrated Nourishing Toner, has been a godsend these past few days. With temperatures hovering around 90 and humidity so high I feel like I can taste the air, I know my sensitive skin isn’t its cleanest. After my normal face wash, I tried a few sprays of this toner (fortified with organic seaweed extract) directly on my face, followed by a quick cotton ball wipe-down. My skin felt so soft, I was able to forgo my usual night moisturizer! And I’m happy to say I haven’t had any of the breakout problems I usually associate with high thermometer readings. Try it for yourself: it’s $26.50 at Whole Foods nationwide.

Another 2 sea-based products worth mentioning are the Too Faced Magic Wand Illuminating Foundation and Sue Devitt’s Oxygen Infusion Masque. The former mixes sea water, cucumber and Vitamin E to create a silky-smooth semi-matte foundation. Heads up, it may take a while to get used to the brush-on-tube application, but it’s definately worth it for the coverage. Sue Devitt’s masque uses blue algae, orchid and water lily extracts to soothe and hydrate skin. We’ll have to wait until it gets a bit drier to fully tests its claims of retaining moisture. Foundation available now for $40. at Barneys New York ( and Facelogic Spas. Masque available for $32.50 at

No Burnin’ Love Here

This past weekend I went to the beach with some of my closest friends for 3 days of fun in the sun. And we were certainly in the sun! However, even though we’re still in our twenties, we all really made an effort to sun-worship safely. I was really impressed that each of us meticulously applied high SPF sunscreen, and stayed in the shade when the sun got to be too much. Although lots of freckles popped out (and a few tan lines were created) none of us got the kind of blistering burn that used to be a mandatory parting gift after a weekend at the beach.

To read up on staff picks for sunscreen and bronzer, check out the Weight Watchers review.

The Day the Music Almost Died

Last Monday the earbuds on my iPod started to die. I know I’m not the only one who relies on a personal music player to get through the day — so I’m sure you can imagine the dread I felt knowing I’d have to spend a few days sans-music. Fortunately for me, Creative Labs sent over a sample of their new noise-isolation in-ear earphones to test out that same day!

I’ve never been able to comfortably use in-ear earphones before, but these came with 3 different size cushions — and the smallest size fit my ears perfectly. The cushions really did cancel out most ambient noise, which allowed me to listen to my iPod at almost 40% volume — unheard of in NYC! With my old earbuds, I needed the volume set to at least 75% on my subway commute. I was also able to hear faint details that were inaudible before. All in all, I give these little guys two thumbs up!

Creative EP-630 Earphones, $39.99, Available in black, white, blue, red and green.

Listen to this month’s playlist.