Valentine’s Day at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club is a beautiful and luxurious oasis in Philadelphia, complete with an array of spa services. Last year, I was able to feature The Rittenhouse on Sugarpeel and the fabulous talent of Paul Labrecque and team. Check out my hair transformation here.

As Valentine’s Day approaches the Spa has special offers to make your day and night extra romantic- all offers extend through the month of February. The signature Rittenhouse Couples Massage is a 60 minute customized massage utilizing aromatherapy essential oils for maximum relaxation.

Couples Massage The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

Salt and Oil Body Glow. This 30 minute exfoliation treatment leaves skin feeling nourished, soft and silky smooth. Follow this treatment with the ESPA massage. If your skin is sensitive, try the exfoliating body polish instead of the salt and oil scrub.

A gift card is always a perfect Valentine’s idea, especially for those who need a day of pampering. If you purchase a gift card of $300 or more you will receive an additional gift card worth 10% if its value!

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club also suggests the ESPA nourishing lip trio treatment in natural, pink and red for a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift.

ESPA

 

Artur Kirsh Haircare

I have tried out my Artur Kirsh haircare products for the past couple of months and needed to share the beautiful results!

I am not sure which product is most important for your hair, but I love conditioner. I find it a mark of a quality product. Artur Kirsh offers Silk Conditioner with a luxuriously rich texture packed with amino acids, corn and rice protein. Together these ingredients strengthen damaged hair and add incredible shine! Static and tangles are also greatly reduced with this deliciously fragrant product. Remember Artur’s tips for best results. Apply conditioner beginning near your ears; avoid applying to the scalp directly. Rinse with cold water. Precede conditioner with the Artur Kirsh Color Friendly Shampoo, which contains aloe and botanicals. This shampoo has lengthened my color and reduced the time spent in the salon for touch-ups.

Artur Kirsh Silk Conditioner

Photo Credit: Artur Kirsh

Artur Kirsh Color Friendly Shampoo

Photo Credit: Artur Kirsh

Ask Shiny is one of Artur’s fabulous styling products, which protects hair from heat damage, reduces static, and frizzy unruly strands. Hair is left soft, shiny, and healthy looking. For every $1 sold from purchasing an ASK product, Artur donates to various charities. Currently, the proceeds are donated to charities that benefit children.

Artur Kirsh Ask Shiny

Photo Credit: Artur Kirsh

 

 

The Studio CL- Artur Kirsh

 

The Studio CL

Last month, I visited The Studio CL and Owner and Lead Stylist Artur Kirsh. The salon embodies the cool, effortless “steeze” that is Philadelphia. Here is what struck me during my visit; the friendliness of the staff and the loyalty of both clients and staff. The current 19th street salon will be relocating to two fabulous state of the art locations, The Bellevue and Manayunk. As I mingled throughout the salon, I quickly realized that clients and stylists will be following Artur to the newest additions. Some clients have been with Artur for decades; a true testament to his talent, management, and business leadership.

The Studio CL

The Studio CL

The Studio CL

The Studio CL

Artur is trained in dry cutting, a rare art form that makes a world of difference in the final result. He explained to me that cutting wet hair has a disadvantage; the inability to see the entire shape. Hair strands cling together. Cutting dry hair allows the stylist to see every strand and create the perfect shape for the texture and person. In both color and cut, Artur looks at the entire client. Each client’s request can be modified to suit their natural hair texture, skin tone, and lifestyle, which is vital in creating the perfect look.

The Studio CL

Artur shared some helpful tips to keep your hair full and keep the static away this winter:

Be sure to use a bristle brush- avoid plastic, which will only create more static.

Always condition your hair! Apply the conditioning product lower on your head instead of directly on the crown. This will reduce any product build-up that weigh hair down. Rinse with cool water not hot, which will leave hair full and moisturized.

Make sure to massage your scalp every time you wash your hair. This will improve the blood circulation to the scalp and ultimately increase hair growth.

Please stay tuned for my review of the Artur Kirsh hair products and the newest locations where Artur will create something special for my hair!

Holiday Gift Guide

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Even though Halloween just passed, I am already preparing for the holiday season! I find it so much easier to start gift shopping in advance instead of waiting until the last minute. I want to enjoy the season, not feel rushed or burdened. Today, I want to share with you a fabulous holiday gift guide curtesy of The Rittenhouse Spa & Club. The talented senior stylists and estheticians have compiled their favorite gifts for the holiday season sure to please even the most difficult person on your list!

Ettore Mastroddi:

1. The Cortex Professional four-in-one ceramic curling set ($176). This curling set is perfect for traveling and offers different sized wands (1/2, 1, 1.5 and 2 inch) to create gorgeous waves and curls.
2. Paul Labrecque gift set for the ultimate at-home blowout, especially great for fine hair.
Hair Tip: Combine Paul Labrecque root lifting spray, Volume Style ($22) and work his fade protection foam Color Style ($24) into the ends before drying, once dry finish with Paul Labrecque Volume Finish ($26) mist. – $72 total
Irina Kravchenko:
1. The Regenerating Collection from ESPA. This collection provides natural, core essentials for distressed skin with a huge added value. For $145, the set includes ESPA’s signature Nourishing Cleansing Balm (60g), Hydrating Floral SpaFresh (100ml), and the Regenerating Moisture Complex (55ml). Gift givers will save $82 purchasing this as a set instead of buying each item individually.
2. Irina also recommends the “Diamond White Holiday” set from Natura Bisse ($250). These luxurious products will allow guests to experience the same benefits from our signature Diamond White Facial treatment in the comfort of their own home. This gift includes our Diamond White Cleanser ($74), Diamond White Mist ($74) and their Diamond White Oil-Free Brilliant Protection ($102).
Click here for more info on the Diamond White line

Another amazing holiday gift guide is to treat the special person in your life to the pampering spa experience! The Rittenhouse Spa & Club offers numerous packages to treat the people on your holiday gift list.

Holiday Gift Experiences

Tier One: $150 (aka 14K Spa Experience)

30 minute Back, Neck & Shoulders Massage, manicure and pedicure

Tier Two: $300 (aka 18K Spa Experience)

Holiday Sweet Retreat: 30 minute Hydra Facial, 60 minute Rittenhouse Massage and manicure

Tier Three: $500 (aka 24K Spa Experience)

The Ultimate Gift of Relaxation: Quartet Massage, Diamond White Facial, Blow out and styling

Men’s Ultimate Spa Experience ($300)

Indulgent Shave, Haircut, 60 minute Rittenhouse Massage

Make sure to visit The Rittenhouse Spa & Club to shop for the perfect gifts for everyone on your list!

Behind the Scenes- Photo Shoot featuring Naveda Couture and Laini Cosmetics

The Fall and Winter season is my absolute favorite when it comes to fashion and beauty trends. This week I had the privilege of styling a photo shoot featuring the gorgeous designs by Naveda Couture paired with the stunning makeup collection by Laini Cosmetics. Both of these local brands are setting the trends not following them.

Designer and Creative Director of Naveda Couture, Amy Devan modeled three distinct looks from her collection while Laini Bianculli, Chief Creative & Image Director of Laini Cosmetics created three striking makeup looks to complement the fashion pieces. From natural to glamorous, day to night these beautiful fall/winter styles will definitely turn heads this season! Enjoy a sneak peek of the behind the scenes of our fabulous shoot.

behindthescenes

ashley

navedacouture

I’m wearing a Max Mara faux fur vest, Topshop black and white sweater, Velvet turban Etsy Alternate Normality, with faux leather and suede leggings from H&M.

Laini created a custom bespoke foundation for Amy- focusing on radiant, healthy looking skin with defined brows and lips. It can be challenging to find the right shade of foundation. It is not unheard of to need two different shades that need to be blended when purchasing from a store. Laini’s custom foundation matches your skin to perfection without having to combine any other products and for all skin tones and concerns as she infuses skin care with the makeup. As a result, Amy’s skin was flawless and slightly glowing as there is a subtle luminescence in the mixture. To highlight her eyes, Prime Time Eye & Lip Primer was applied to her lids. The Brows Have It palette is a must when defining and filling in the brows. Liquid Shimmer was applied lightly just under the brows to create a highlight effect. Haute Right Now and Nude Ambition palettes were applied as well to add to the youthful and fresh faced look. Cameo liner, Parisienne lipstick, and Love fest lipgloss created a soft nude pink lip.

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

The spectacular apricot Naveda Couture kaftan with gold embellishments around the neckline needed a complimentary color palette without matching perfectly. Laini decided on a peach lip to compliment Amy’s yellow undertone in her skin and golden shadow to bring out the gold in the jeweled detail of the dress. Both Haute Right Now and Nude Ambition palettes were applied along with Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlight by Becca. To finish this look, Laini added M.A.C. creamy lipstick in Shy Girl.

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

For the final look and most glamorous- perfect for a night out or event, Laini decided to add false lashes for extra drama. Laini’s gorgeous Moonlight lashes were applied and accentuated with Black Caviar Gel Liner. Touchy Feely palette, Ballerina Bronze Blush & Bronzer Duet, and Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector by Becca were applied to Amy’s eyes and cheeks. Red Carpet Lip Palette was the finishing touch- a classic bright red lip!

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

Laini Cosmetics

The complete looks will be featured on Stylewithlaini.com tomorrow, please stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

Metallic Lipstick Trend

I know that Halloween is fast approaching and I am not suggesting break out the holiday decorations as seen in many stores around the country… But it is a good idea to start thinking about holiday gift shopping. The mad last minute rush can be stressful. Laini Cosmetics just released brand new lip products that are sure to make the perfect stocking stuffer gift, or a treat for yourself!

Laini Bianculli, Founder of Laini Cosmetics will debut her gorgeous “Wine Not” lip palette with three berry lip shades at an upcoming wine tasting event which you are cordially invited!

wine-not-lip-palette

Her single lipstick collection include an array of striking metallics that are sure to dazzle at any holiday party. Metallics are always on trend for fall and winter. The formula remains the same, rich vitamin E and floral vanilla. Make sure to snap one up or add to your Christmas list!

metallic lipstick

Photo credit: photobucket.com

silver shadow lipstick

silver shadow lipstick

this time baby lipstick

this time baby lipstick

night fever lipstick

night fever lipstick

I want your love lipstick

I want your love lipstick

more than a woman lipstick

more than a woman lipstick

 

Hotel Series Part 3- The Loews Hotel Philadelphia

If you are planing to visit Philly either from out of town or a jaunt from the suburbs, it is very easy to look online for a hotel, scroll the amenities, look through the photo gallery, but you still cannot grasp the culture of the hotel. This is the primary reason why I wanted to include a hotel series on Sugarpeel. I want potential hotel guests to really get the inside scoop. Let’s face it, traveling is costly and the stay needs to be comfortable, exciting, and worth the money spent.

In this third installment of the hotel series, I stayed at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia to really gain inside perspective of this luxury hotel. The biggest differentiator for me, hands down, is the people. Yes, the hotel was stunning, sleek and modern decor- punctuated with black Belgium marble, complete with a fitness center, spa, pool, multiple conference rooms, a ballroom, and guest rooms so clean you could eat off the floor. However, the people is still what stands out to me.

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Bank & Bourbon

Bank & Bourbon

Bank & Bourbon

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Ashley

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Customer service is king. I do not care how wonderful a place from boutiques to attractions- the service must be exceptional. The Loews Hotel has perfected the customer experience. Every employee seems genuinely happy to work at the hotel. Their exuberance is transferred to the guests by making them feel at home, comfortable, in good hands. These little touches may seem like the cherry on the proverbial sundae, but in actuality is the foundation of a great stay.

The Bank & Bourbon restaurant in the Loews hosts an annual Bourbon Bash event- proceeds to DonorsChoose.org. This year $37,000 was raised to benefit teachers in the Philadelphia school district. Teachers choose where the funds are most needed to benefit the students. The Loews Hotel cares about their city, their guests, and their employees…and it shows!

Thank you to Loews Hotel Philadelphia.

Photographer and Videographer Aubrey Basla. Thank you http://www.bensound.com for music.

How to Style a Little White Dress

I am embarrassed to say that until very recently I never shopped at Charming Charlie. I kept passing the store on my way to Wegmans and never went inside. When my grandmother visited Philadelphia last month we decided to do a little shopping. I was completely impressed with the store. If you have not been to Charming Charlie’s, the store is color coordinated. All pink accessories, clothes, jewelry are together, all blue, all orange etc. This makes it convenient if you have a particular outfit that you are trying to match. I am an accessories girl, to say I was in my element is an understatement. At the time of shopping, I had several upcoming events for Sugarpeel and needed to get styled.

This past weekend, I covered the Loews Hotel Philadelphia and wore a little white dress from Charming Charlie. Do not be intimidated by wearing white. It is just as sleek and flattering as a little black dress. Fit is key. In the summertime, try accessorizing a little white dress with a vibrant scarf, especially if you are used to wearing bright colors. Since a scarf is worn so close to your face, be sure that the color complements your skin tone. You may want to avoid earrings and wear a bracelet instead to avoid competing with the scarf.

Tomorrow my article featuring the Loews Hotel Philadelphia will be live.

Ashley Little white dress

Wearing dress, scarf, and purse from Charming Charlie, sandals found at Lulu’s.

Ashley Little white dress

Ashley Little white dress

Paul Labrecque Hair Products

Once you change your hair color dramatically, you need to consider the maintenance. If you want your color to last as long as possible in between trips to the salon, you must have the right products. Last month, I changed my hair color to red at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club by the talented Paul Labrecque and was in need of new products to keep my color vibrant and my hair healthy.

After my fabulous new hair, I purchased the Paul Labrecque Color Shampoo and Color Condition Protection Mud Mask.  Both shampoo and conditioner are completely free of sulfates, parabens, and sodium chloride. It is rich in moisturizing jojoba oils and smells delicious. Paul’s products are made in the U.S.A. and not tested on animals. The Mud Mask contains apricot and sunflower oils, marine mud, seaweed, and jojoba to infuse hair with minerals that restore moisture.

I have been using these products for a month and am amazed by the results. My color is bright and my hair is soft, glossy, and healthy looking. Remember, without the right products, you are wasting your money entirely. Your color will fade quickly and you will be visiting the salon more often than necessary. Invest in these Paul Labrecque products for incredible hair care! The entire collection is wonderful. I recommend the Curly Style Curl Defining Gel for those who want tame, perfect ringlets and the Daily Finish Shea Butter Texture Balm for difficult, frizzy or flyaway hair. All products can be purchased online or at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club.

Paul Labrecque hair products

Paul Labrecque hair products

Paul Labrecque hair products

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club- Hair by Paul Labrecque

Well I did it- after years of watching some of my favorite actresses and a famous Disney Princess, I dyed my hair red! I met Paul Labrecque at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club of which he is the proprietor and Master Celebrity Stylist. On my phone, I saved many photos of styles that I thought would work for my hair. I also, for good measure, favorited a couple of hair colors that were completely out of my comfort zone, but that I loved nonetheless. As I began my consultation, I showed him a photo with the beauty Lily Collins who recently dyed her hair a vibrant red. He laughed softly and agreed that red was an excellent choice. He went on to say that the moment he looked at me he felt I should have red hair. In his creative hands I submitted fully to cut and color, trusting completely that I would love the finished look. Full video below!

Ashley Basla

Ashley Basla

Ashley Basla

Ashley Basla

Ashley Basla

Paul Labrecque and Ashley Basla

Paul applied INOA L’Oreal amonia free hair color

While Paul was applying the color, I was able to speak to him candidly about some of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to hair. Paul believes that one big mistake is trying to move too far from your natural hair. For instance, he hears women complain that they wished their curls were even and beautiful, but the truth is using a straightener damages the hair texture and can alter it entirely. Instead, keep in mind that “simple is sexy” and “less is more.” Your hair should have movement and not be weighed down with excessive product. The right products (including the Paul Labrecque line that I will be featuring) will be just as effective without having to overload the hair.

In the summertime, make sure to wear a hat and avoid chlorine and salt water. This may seem easy, but sometimes unavoidable. In that case make sure to wash your hair immediately following a dive in the swimming pool and on the beach use an oil based product to slick your hair in a ponytail. This will keep the salt water from penetrating your hair strands.

As for his favorite current trend…the undercut. This style is universally cool for both men and women and can include a simple to intricate design, personalized for everybody. Also, remember, “hair is your one renewable resource.” Do not stress over a drastic hair change. It will grow back, return to original color, and can be restyled.

Back to my hair transformation. The entire appointment lasted under two hours. Those who frequent the salon often know that that is quite the feat. More and more salons seem to drag the process by overbooking simultaneously. By the time you leave you are starving after missing one to two meals and exhausted from sitting in the same attitude for hours…just me? Anyway, The Rittenhouse Spa & Club is a pristine environment offering traditional spa services in a tranquil, relaxing environment as well as offering a full array of products, hair and nails services and makeup application. Each artist is more talented than the next and as I sat and waited with baited breath for my “Ariel” hair, I was able to witness their exceptional work.

The results were a bit overwhelming. It seemed like a whirlwind experience; pick color, cut, style, done. I was impressed and elated with the outcome. It’s amazing that such a change did not seem like such a change. In fact, it felt natural. That is the power of an excellent artist. Paul was able to create a look that captured my personality.

Thank you to Paul, Brian and The Rittenhouse!

Ashley Basla

Paul Labrecque and Ashley Basla

Thank you to Videographer, Aubrey Basla and http://www.bensound.com for the music!