Starting the Year Off Right: Taking Care from Head to Toe

One of My New Year's Resolutions: Go More to the Pool at The Peaks Resort & Spa

One of My New Year’s Resolutions: Go More to the Pool at The Peaks Resort & Spa

Phew, these have been the busiest mid-winter weeks of any ski season I’ve experienced. As I wrote in my story, January 2017: One of the Snowiest on Record for Colorado, the snow totals from the past month have been ridiculous! The fluffy white stuff just kept coming down.

And Telluride Ski Resort has remained busy–at least by our standards. But don’t worry, lift lines are still a rarity. There were surely a few records broken during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, characteristically our busiest week of the season. I know that private ski lessons sold out during that period and I was grateful to have been blessed with some lovely clients. It was rewarding to see that I helped them to improve their turns and, of course, we had lots of fun and good chats, too. (Take that as a heads up in case you want to book a private lesson in Telluride during the upcoming busy vacation weeks.)

It looks like the days of a January lull are over. In addition to Americans, more and more international skiers have discovered Telluride. I had a Russian lady and a Brazilian in my class the other day and then offered some assistance to Chinese people looking for directions as I left the mountain. No sir, Telluride is no longer a best-kept secret.

As usual, after the holiday rush, resort workers were falling ill like clumps of snow off the pines on a sunny day, however, I have not been slammed with sickness this year. I have been weakened these past weeks but have fortunately been winning the battle. So instead of keeping up with my writer’s life, I’ve been focused on catching up on my rest and taking care of my body when not on the mountain.

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28 Oct 2015, 4:13pm
Beauty New York:
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J. Sisters: A Top New York Hair Salon with Heart

Hair Experience Extraordinaire at J. Sisters NYC

Hair Experience Extraordinaire at J. Sisters NYC

In the more than two and a half decades I’ve been a travel writer I’ve been fortunate to experience some of the world’s top salons and spas from Paris to London to New York to Beverly Hills to Hong Kong. Just like high-end restaurants, these establishments serve up quality products and services within alluring settings meant to wow people with means. And whether glitzy or subdued, the entertainment factor of these posh places always ranks high, which, of course, makes up part of the whole experience.

I have, however, often found the demeanor of staff at many well-reputed hair salons to be off putting, perhaps because many think it’s cool to embody the pouty, woeful look of fashion models in magazines. I don’t like that at all, which is why I rarely look at such publications any more. Or, sometimes the approach is just plain snobby. Who ever thought that was attractive?

So you can imagine my delight when I discovered a super warm and friendly scene at J. Sisters, a renowned hair salon on W57th Street in New York, owned and operated by Brazilian sisters all with first names beginning with J. (But of course.) Whether you’re in for a splurge or you’re rich, famous or full of yourself, this long-established salon caters to all with the same measure of enthusiasm and attention as is required in transforming a brunette to a blond. (No, I didn’t go for that, but I was tempted and if I do, I will have it done here.)

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Hair Salon Magic at Matthew Morris in Denver

The Four-Handed Blow Dry

The Four-Handed Blow Dry at Matthew Morris Salon Denver

I don’t know how I ended up having long hair for so long. Up until the time I moved to Colorado–now over thirteen years ago–I mostly had short hair. I’m talking about super-short, pixie-cut-like hair. My shortest was from a top stylist in Paris who once said, “Very few women look good in long hair.” Mon dieu, tell that to all the American ladies from New York to L.A.

The Very Dapper Alan la Noue

The Very Dapper Alan la Noue

Mom and Alan

Mom and Alan

Alan and Me

Alan and Me

My first short haircut was from Alan la Noue, my Mom’s stylist of the past forty-five years or so and owner of Hair by Alan. Yes, he’s like a member of the family and I’m  thrilled when I’m able to see him and have him do my hair on trips back home to upstate New York. He christened me with a short “do” when I was nine, a cheeky little cut complete with a widow’s peak à la Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret.” I’ve often been told I have a face best-suited for short hair yet in the West, long, almost hippy-like hair takes center stage.

Mom and Me

Mom and Me Meeting Up with Alan for Lunch after Being Coiffed

So here I am a not-so-young lady anymore with locks long enough to donate to Locks for Love, or a similar type of organization. We often have Locks of Love events here in Telluride, so I think the next time one happens, I’ll step up to the chopping block. For now though I struggle with the maintenance required of long hair, the lengthy shampoos and conditionings as well as all the exhausting contortions required when I decide to step it up and smooth my hair with a long, arduous blow dry. No wonder the French call it un brushing.

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19 Apr 2015, 5:40pm
Beauty Colorado Girl Talk Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride:
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Girl Power Extraordinaire: Women from the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, Part One

Marti, Cristina and Me on a Ski Break

Marti, Cristina and Me on a Ski Break

As I ease into off-season mode, I find myself almost sentimental about all the camaraderie I share at Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. Indeed, I’m now shifting into a more solitary existence, left to fend for myself–as a lone freelance writer–instead of being part of the team that helps to make magic at Telluride Ski Resort. Within Ski School, we’re very much like a family; we’re part of a tribe that speaks the same language and shares many of the same passions even though we are a mix of astonishingly unique human beings.

The women at Telluride Ski & Snowboard School feel like sisters to me and over the years I’ve come to love many of them in my own special way. They are strong, beautiful ladies that radiate a sense of well-being that’s surely the envy of many. They’ve chosen a lifestyle that embraces the outdoors and the physical and a profession that focuses on how to share their remarkable love of the mountains with others. These gals are hot–not so much from what they wear (although a new pair of shades is always remarked). But rather their sizzle comes from how they turn their skis and boards; or even better, from the self assuredness that those skills give them, on and off the slopes. They exude a self confidence and authenticity far superior to anything you might see on the runway or red carpet. Solid and grounded, our band of Telluride Ski & Snowboard instructors serve as terrific role models for women of all ages.

There are many gals that standout at Ski School. So I thought it would be fun to start highlighting them in posts here at my blog, a series that I plan to continue next year. This lineup is by no means all-inclusive. The idea is to spotlight some of the girl power in our special club and also perhaps to provide a few beauty tips along the way.

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Win a Fall Foliage Trip to Telluride, Colorado

Fall in Telluride

Fall in Telluride, Colorado

Autumn in Telluride rates as one of my favorite times of the year. Since we’re located in southwestern Colorado, it’s typically sunny and warm during the day and cool and crisp at night. Known as the gold season, the aspens present a dazzling array of sunshine yellow, honey and maize while the brush, which flanks our mountainsides and carpets our valleys, turns into a rich showing of saffron, russet and ruby red.

The foliage typically peaks at the end of September, however, the scenery remains stunning here through mid October, especially if we’re blessed with a fresh dusting of snow on our breathtaking peaks. The big summer and festival crowds have gone home, so you can easily soak up the tranquility of our charming mountain destination and the outlying area whether you’re hiking, biking, fishing, jeeping, shopping, dining or just lolling on a nice deck.

Thanks to Mountain Lodge Telluride, the New Sheridan Chop House Restaurant, Paragon Outdoors/Bootdoctors and Salon 7, you can win a fabulous stay in Telluride, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. (And that’s coming from a gal who lived eleven years in Paris.) Here’s what the trip includes:

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A Happy Ending to My Own Horror Story

A Small Section of My Face: A Gruesome Reality

A Small Section of My Face: A Gruesome Reality

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope it’s a fun one for you and your loved ones.

I’ve been out of touch the past couple of weeks, since I’ve been dealing with my own ghoulish happenings. Truly ghastly and yes, I felt like I was wearing a mask of sorts for a whole week. I looked like a monster and it seemed like I was living a nightmare.

Unlike most Halloween doings, this wasn’t fun at all. The whole dreadful experience did, however, force me to step back and be even more thankful for what I have in my life—my own good health and the people that love and support me every day. It also reinforced my feelings of compassion. I’ve always considered myself a caring and compassionate person yet now I’m even more so because I had a good taste of what it’s like to look like a freak.

By now you might be wondering what happened to me. Well, I had a terrible reaction to some medication that literally fried my face off from the inside out. My whole visage burned and swelled and itched and cracked and peeled like a moist riverbed dried up beneath the mid-day Mojave Desert sun. It hurt like hell; only large and regular doses of self medicating could make me somewhat comfortable. It was so unsightly that it made a child gape at me wide-eyed at the Medical Center and my dermatologist exclaim, “Wow, I’ve never seen such a reaction.” I did, however, feel an overflowing of compassion from folks at the pharmacy and other doctors’ offices which I frequented a lot that week because there was no easy fix. I truly sensed that people poured there heart out to me whether they said anything or not. My attempts at hiding behind the disguise of a pink fleece hoodie proved futile and after my third visit to the pharmacy, I just let it all hang out like a terribly over ripe peach dangling from the limb of a tree. At one point, I had to pop into a market for cat food and perhaps in an effort to reach out to me, the cashier kindly complimented me on my scarf.

I just wanted to lie on my couch and retreat into my own world, generously applying cold compresses and oil to my face every half hour while listening to Mozart and sipping wine.

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3 May 2013, 4:57pm
Beauty Mountain Living Shopping:
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Hydration and More for You and Mom All Year Round

Clarins Total Eye Concentrate

It snowed again this week in Colorado, a not-so-surprising weather occurence that barely disturbed most Coloradans. We need the moisture and here in the Rockies, that typically comes in the form of snow. Even in May.

Hydration. That’s the buzz word out here. Whether we’re talking about what we put into our bodies or what we slather onto our skin, preventing ourselves from being “dried out” is key. Low humidity, bright sun and temperatures that range from frigid cold to blistering heat—often coupled with fierce wind and dust—is how weather in the Rockies may best be described. None of this makes for a particularly hospitable environment for our skin. And to make matters worse (at least for our skin), we love to play outdoors here in the West. I mean really playing hard as in long days of skiing, hiking and for many, even dirt bike riding!

I’m grateful for the many wonderful products that help me affront this often challenging climate year-round. My bathroom boasts glorious creams and oils that allow me to appear radiant throughout the driest of times. Most of these have been sourced through trial and error. Ever put a cream on your skin and then ten minutes later your skin feels taught and barren? Well, those don’t pass muster in my house. No, I need to feel juicy.

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Pick a Spa, Pick a Ski Destination

Outdoor Pool at The Peaks Resort & Spa

You’re missing out on a good chunk of fun and relaxation if you think your whole mountain experience has to be all about hitting the slopes. Sure, there’s nothing like spending day after day in the fresh air, carving perfect turns on buttery snow or picking through exquisite, diamond-shaped moguls. Yet even the most die-hard skiers and boarders need a day off. Or maybe just a half day. Or how about a couple days off? It’s supposed to be a vacation after all. You don’t want to feel like you need a vacation after your vacation, do you? How about après-ski—don’t those moments represent some of the best of your whole ski vacation? Those delicious hours of the day don’t have to be all about drinks at the bar.

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