Posts filed under beauty

One Chance. Two Weeks. Four Seasons London.

I always feel like I need to explain things that I get to try and do as a blogger. First because I think it's fair and ethical to state what was given from a professional standpoint. When I say I recommend something, I want people to be able to trust that.

The second reason is because I think it's fair for everyone's sanity sake to know that some things are gifts or freebies or whatever. Otherwise, it's easy to think that everyone has buckets of cash sitting around their house to spend all day on fun things... and you might not. (Or is that just me?)

Anyway, all of that to say.... I was invited to get a facial at the Four Seasons London by my friend, Georgie. She is their PR head and a total Queen of coming up with fun, seasonal pop-up concepts in the hotel. If you ever see one that they are doing, it's a must for anyone living in London. They are so different and fun... and just really perfectly done. She's very talented!

Knowing her talents for making these special events, I knew it'd be good, but I didn't expect it to be THIS good. (And the price, too!)


FOUR SEASONS MOTHERS DAY URBAN POP-UP SPA

I'm going to make this post quick. Since this pop-up only runs through April 2, you really can't waste time doing silly things like reading blogs. You've got to get moving to book a space for yourself.

Here's what to expect:

When you get to the hotel, go straight up the elevator to the 10th Floor. Sign in, have a quick drink as you fill out your paperwork overlooking London below, and then head back to change your life... erm, I mean clothes.

unnamed-14.jpg

You'll get a robe and locker in the luxe locker room. From there, you head straight into the pool area for a leisure lounge on their in-water beds or hit the sauna & steam room. Or you be like me and take the worlds longest shower and shave every inch of your legs because you have the time (and a good Italian shave kit) to do so.

Work your way to the relaxation room for a drink and a magazine read for a while before your treatment. It's so relaxing and when else can you perch up somewhere so glam?

When it's time for your facial, you'll be escorted into the special suite. While the view is stunning, the garden-esque feel that the Chelsea Physic Garden has put together will take it to the next level. Fresh flowers and classical music with Hyde Park hundreds of feet below you make approaching that big fluffy warm feel somewhat like a dream.

Now, I have to say... in that environment and for the amazing price, it would be easy to expect a basic facial with mediocre products. I'd probably still be happy with the overall experience, but... the facial was incredible.

The pop-up is hosted between Four Seasons and the Hungarian skincare line, Omorovizca. All of the products used in the 30-minute treatment were from the line and smelled so botanical and fresh. And they weren't just cute.... with items like a rose-scented gold mask,  neck cream with white truffle, you know it's a lush experience.

About half-way through, Nancy (the therapist) brought these two glass ornament looking things out of a bowl of ice water and massaged the cream into my face. It was a crazy feeling.... but I am desperate to have it done again. Incredibly relaxing and refreshing!

At the end of my treatment- about the time you get a list of all the products you need- Nancy told me my skin was nice. ("I love your big cheeks." Hah!) Then she went on to tell me that it wasn't just dry... it was really dehydrated. I agreed- it's miserably dry. She said I was doing too much. I need to let it breathe. I need to stop putting moisturiser on it day and night. It needed to just do its thing for a while.

No products pushed. No treatments recommended. Just honest truth from someone who actually got my skin after thirty minutes. It was incredible.

The experience and the facial will be, undoubtably, a great experience... and for a special price of £50(!!!), you'd really be silly not to grab a space before they are gone!



Looking for other great spas in London? You may be interested in my visits to The Rosewood Hotel and The Baglioni Hotel.



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

*visit gifted. Opinions are my own.

Posted on March 28, 2017 and filed under london, life, love, beauty.

My London | The Wallace Collection

I spend a lot of time in museums. A lot. If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, this won't be much of a surprise. My work puts me in museums regularly, my masters degree focused on the digitisation of cultural heritage, and I am the first to hide out with my kids in the Natural History Museum or V&A with my kids in the dreary cold months of winter.

But, as we do with all things, I get in ruts. So much so that I had never been to the famed Wallace Collection in Central London until last week. Thankfully, an odd gap of time opened up on my way to coffee with a friend and I landed right at the doorstep of the museum with time to kill... without a child on me. I could browse and linger at my leisure!


THE WALLACE COLLECTION 

Many Americans that I first met upon moving to London insisted that I join the AWC- American Women's Club. Since I had friends from Oxford now living in London and a handful of friends I had met through blogging, I never joined, but I still think for many American women are new to London- especially those who have moved here to support the career of their husband- it can be a great way to feel less lonely in those early days.

They do a variety of things each month, but I do feel like I often hear of visits to the Wallace Collection. Which make sense, because it's a bit of a posh museum... and they are a pretty posh collection of ladies.

As I walked through the doors (for free! London museums are the best!), I felt relaxed with the quiet entrance and quiet halls. The mansion is delicately filled with gorgeous treasures- from armour to Dutch paintings and fine French furniture. If I had to compare the Museum to another in London, it would be difficult because it's just so different. However, I did feel a bit like I was back in Le Musée Carnavalet in Paris. 

The halls, on a Thursday afternoon in March- were fairly empty except for a scattering of retirees and well-heeled tourists. 

After a quick spin through the ground floor, I followed the signs upstairs promising Dutch paintings. (An area that I'm not well-versed in, but repeatedly drawn to when in an art gallery.) I'm glad I went upwards... because the first floor is where the visit gets really exceptional, as each room is covered in gorgeously bright silk wall coverings and indulgently scattered paintings.

After you get satisfied from your fill of art and artifacts, head to the airy atrium restaurant in the middle of the property. Whether you're there for coffee or a multi-course lunch- you'll find yourself in good company with fresh salads, hot menu items and yummy cakes arranged temptingly along the bar. 

I definitely hope to come back with more time to spend there. Who knows, maybe next time I'll bring the kids, too. Or you know... maybe not. I may keep this place to myself for a while.

The Wallace Collection | Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN. Open every day, 10am - 5pm.


Looking for more on London? Find my previous posts to London here or check out my Travel Guide.



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on March 7, 2017 and filed under london, beauty, eat.

Bath Bun

The other day while we were in Bath, I posted some pictures on Instagram. Per usual. And per usual, my disgusting mess for a hairstyle seemed to be applauded. It seems that every time I post a picture of myself with a bun, people ask for a how-to. Well... I promise to underwhelm you, but here's is a quick video of what I do.

I'm not sure if this will enlighten anyone, but I thought I would "reveal my secret" to demystify the process a bit. I have a big suspicion the shape and thickness of how top-knots turn out really is more about natural hair length + volume. Then again- I only have my own perspective, so I decided to let you be the judge.



What's your go-to style? Is it based around your hair's natural behavior? Mine can be frizzy and huge, so this is the easiest way I can control it... and attempt to look like a civilized human.



Also, check out my interview with DALLAS CHILD magazine to find some of my how-to-survive-traveling-with-a-baby tips. (And a picture that Noah Darnell took of us in Paris that I'm obsessed with.)

 

 

*images and video original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on October 3, 2014 and filed under beauty.

Making It Up.


I turned 30 on Monday. (Oof.) In light of the monumental birthday, I was given some money to spend at Nordstroms. I made a date of it yesterday afternoon and casually flicked through the racks. I struck out big time. I thought about splurging and buying some cute shirt at full retail price, rather than scouring the sales racks per usual.

Then I realized something really important: I didn't need new clothes. But I did need new makeup. My current makeup bag has dwindled to broken eyeliner pencils and lipgloss tubes so empty that I fear breaking the wand when I swivel it around the edges. I open my compact with a steady hand in hopes that the busted powder within doesn't spill onto my clothes. My beauty routine has evolved into something verging on shameful.

Upon realizing this, I kissed the Marc Jacobs sweater in my hands goodbye and headed downstairs for the beauty department. When I got there, I didn't hold back. I restocked on the makeup that I really love. Instead of patching up my bag with drugstore purchases, I went for it. I used up all of my birthday money in a matter of minutes, but I'm already feeling great about putting my money towards this often neglected area of my life.

So here they are. The pieces that made the cut. The pieces that belong in the makeup bag of a woman in her thirties. (And the pieces that I'm going to be way too poor to replace when they run out.)

LAURA MERCIER TINTED MOISTURIZER | I've been using this for years. The tinted moisturizers blends into skin perfectly and lays the perfect foundation for the rest of your makeup.

LAURA MERCIER MINERAL POWDER SPF 15 | After using Susan Posnick's ColorFLO mineral foundation, I don't think I can ever go back to non-mineral powder. Not only is the coverage perfect, but I love the natural SPF provided by mineral makeup.

CHANEL VITALUMIERE AQUA SPF 15 | This makeup is the lightest and easiest makeup to apply. Forget gunky. Think lightweight. Plus, you get to feel fancy because Chanel cosmetics always have the best packaging.

YVES SAINT LAURENT "VOLUME EFFET FAUX CLIS" MASCARA | This is my favorite mascara. Not only will you eyelashes look great, but the mascara smells fabulous. I also love that it doesn't dry up until you're at the end of the tube. It's more expensive than Maybeline, but you get your money's worth.

CHANEL LEVRES SCINTILLANTES, 164 PLAISIR | Chanel's lipgloss is a great combination of smooth texture + great color. I always opt for their transparent shades. They just add a tint of color and a gloss that doesn't quickly leave.

LAURA MERCIER BROW DEFINER + BRUSH | I'm learning that brows are kind of a big deal. I've tried to ignore them for the first 30 years of my life, but I'm taking the leap into "brow maintenance." Wish me luck. Tips are appreciated.

 


 

What are the "musts" in your beauty bag? What items am I missing- many, I'm sure!

 

 

*image via

Posted on August 14, 2014 and filed under beauty.

A Piece of Work.

 

Our walls are pretty naked.

For as much as I love to collect art pieces and prints along our travels,

I have the hardest time bringing it all together.

 

Will someone please come help me hang them?

I'll pay you back in yummy biscuits and coffee. 

 

Can I add some of these gorgeous photographs

by Lupen Grainne to my frameless collection?

 

I think they are so pretty, and I want them all over our home.

 

lupen_grainne_peonies_aspiring_kennedy

Those peonies are a perfect mixture of soft + strong.

lupen_grainne_aspiring_kennedy_etsy_artwork_collections

I love this apartment building

lupen_grainne_paris_photography_aspiring_kennedy

I love that one,

and this one, too.

lupen_grainne_aspiring_kennedy_paris_cafe_1

You can see more of her work in her etsy shop.


 

Does hanging art totally paralyze anyone else?

I'm just so daunted by it...

maybe it's a renter's thing.

 

I'm not sure I was so (nail)gun shy

when we owned our own house.

 

 

 

 

*images by Lupen Grainne

Posted on June 6, 2014 and filed under beauty, travel.