Beauty Mountain Living Shopping: Beauty Mountain Living Shopping
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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.
I find myself turning to two of my favorite brands: Farmaesthetics and Clarins. Both may be extolled for their quality products that nurture your skin while enveloping you in a delightful aromatherapy experience. Hmmmm, sometimes I just unscrew a top and take a whiff to help me change my perspective on the day. This is definitely the case with Farmaesthetics Nourishing Herbal Cream, a rich moisturizer I especially like applying at night (to ensure sweet dreams). Just before lights out, I also slather on some Farmaesthetics Lip Softener as well as their Hand to Heel Softening Salve. That’s what you call sheer bliss.
We all need an added boost from time to time, especially for our skin. This is when I reach for Farmaesthetics Herbal Hydration Complex-Remedy Reserve Mask and/or one of their Remedy Oils. Deep, penetrating moisturizing only comes with a proper regimen of cleansing, something that you can feel happening during and after the application of this refreshing mask. (For added effect, visualize the dead skin cells sloughing off as you rinse off this luscious concoction.) I swear, too, that my skin feels plumper after each application. For an ultra therapeutic and hydrating experience, apply one of the Farmaesthetics remedy oils to your skin—face and body. As I become older, I have increasingly turned to oil to achieve the full-on plushy sensation my skin deserves, especially at night. I can see how these oils heal my skin while I sleep and in the morning I wake up looking better rested.
There are so many lovely Farmaesthetics products that I encourage you to try them all. Purchasing their On-the-Go Travel Set or their Remedy Oil Cabinet are great ways to sample a bunch at a time. I love their primarily glass packaging, too, and the fact that they produce 100% natural skincare products for the face and body in an environmentally-friendly manner. Farmaesthetics founder Brenda Brock began selling her handmade herbal skincare preparations at an organic farmstand in rural Rhode Island in 1999 and today her company remains committed to sustainable beauty by using natural certified organic herbs, flowers, oils and grains from American family farms.
If you’ve checked out my About page, you know that I’m also a ski instructor. I can tell you that day after day on the mountain can be brutal for my face. Here’s a product that one of my students turned me on to: Kiehl’s Cross-Terrain UV Skin Protector. With an SPF of 50, this water- and sweat-resistant product works great for all kinds of sun, ski and sea adventures. It feels like a thick salve when you put it on, so use it on the days you’re seeking optimal protection. During the super sunny days of March that weren’t so cold and windy, I always reached for Clarins SPF 50+ (also high protection UVB/UVA) Sunscreen Care Milk Lotion Spray. It’s my go-to cream for summer as well. I love its fresh scent and light, silky feel.
Even with all the sun protection, I still tan up in March. (Imagine spending day after day on the ski slopes at an elevation of about 10,000 feet with the bright Colorado sun reflecting off the snow. Here the sun can cast more of an effect than on a Florida beach.) It’s actually considered chic by many to sport a goggle tan, something that I do my best to keep at a minimum. Now, however, my color has faded. I’m back at my desk, so I’ll soon be dipping into one of my favorite beauty confections: Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream. Leave it to the French to make something so luscious and good.
Now that I’m steaming toward (or god forbid, have reached) what the French politely refer to as “une femme d’un certain age” status, a good eye cream is a must. Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate, their #1 selling eye product seems has done wonders for me. Clinical results have indeed proven that over 80% of people (you can bet the men are on to this, too) have experienced a reduction in puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles around their eyes after three weeks of use. Just writing this incentivizes me to hit it hard during the upcoming month. (I actually spread it along my lips throughout much of the winter and noticed reduced cracking as well.) Clearly there’s much to be said for plant-based products.
Now for a little dolling up. For one of the best mascaras I’ve found in years, reach for Clarins Instant Definition Mascara. Their dual tip brush defines lashes from corner to corner, especially the tiniest of them all. And as much as I love to moisturize, I’ve always been a big fan of face powder as long as it’s sparingly applied. (Don’t confuse moist with shine.) The Clarins Odyssey Face Palette is a beautiful addition to your purse and your visage. It’s a lightweight powder that leaves a subtle, sparkly glow on your face, perfect for evenings out.
Thank goodness for Internet shopping. It allows someone like me, who lives in a remote place, to procure these products in a timely manner. It also permits us to send a special gift of beauté to our mamans. No matter the age, no matter where she lives, I can’t imagine a single woman that would not enjoy receiving a luxurious cream at her doorstep. There’s still time for it to arrive by Mother’s Day, so have fun perusing the sites featured in this piece and don’t forget to pick up a little something for yourself.
One more thing: Be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to do so!
Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies: Colorado Mountain Living Outdoor Adventures Telluride The Rockies
Whoa, what a night! I know the year is young, however, last night might well turn out to be the best night of the year for me and perhaps one of the more memorable of my life.
You see I went to the near-famous Lizardhead Igloo. No, it’s not some kind of a fancy restaurant or swanky bar. I’m talking about a real igloo, crafted in the Inuit tradition and situated in the wilderness high above Lizard Head Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Ever since my first winter in Telluride nine years ago, I’d heard about the igloo. And I always wanted to go. It took the visit of Mary Ann, an out-of-town friend, to serve as the catalyst in making this dream a reality. You wouldn’t think I’d need such a nudge, but keep in mind that it’s darn cold out here in the Rockies at night—especially after a day on the slopes. So it takes real motivation to muster up the energy required for such an adventure.
Although you only have to drive about forty minutes outside of Telluride to reach Lizard Head, an impressive pass with an elevation of 10,222 feet, you have to venture into the woods a distance to reach the igloo. What was announced to be a twenty-minute hike turned out to be at least double that, a strenuous ascent that required us to climb more than 500 feet on a snow-packed trail which had only been mildly tamped down by the igloo revelers that passed before us. Mary Ann, Mary Dawn, Neil and I formed our little party of nighttime snowshoers, a small group of plodding souls that I’m sure irked Neil to no end. (Apparently he powers up the mountain in a fraction of the time it took us.)
Colorado Food & Wine French Life Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride: Colorado Food & Wine French Life Mountain Living Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride
As a ski instructor, the holiday period always becomes a bit of a blur. And you thought it felt that way to you? Try working full days on the mountain for as long as a ten- to fourteen-day stint and see how much relaxing you’re able to do during this festive period. We don’t complain though—we love it. What better way to celebrate the holidays than out on the slopes assisting in the fun and merrymaking of travelers from all over the world?
Now that most people have chucked their Christmas trees and resolved to consume far less fattening food and drink, I’m embracing the holiday spirit more than ever. I’m not working on the hill as much, so I can breathe easier and nestle myself into my little apartment that’s still adorned with a smattering of ornaments, winter wonderland knickknacks and an abundance of candles. It’s red and green chez moi year round—the classic colors of the mountains—the rich and heartwarming hues that I very much love. My jolly look is ramped up during the holiday period with the addition of fresh pine cuttings and red bows. I’ll keep most of that up until it stays fresh, likely for another couple of weeks, and then dismantle the bulk of my joyful trimmings by Valentine’s Day. There’s many a chalet in the Alps done up holiday style all the way to the end of ski season, so I’m not as odd as you may be thinking.
Colorado Girl Talk Hotels Mountain Living Restaurants Spas The Rockies Travel: Colorado Girl Talk Hotels Mountain Living Restaurants Spas The Rockies Travel
I love travel. Yes, it can be terribly tiresome but it usually brings about some of the most unexpected and exciting happenings. Case in point: Last week I stayed at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain, one of my favorite properties in Colorado. It was to be a stopover with my friend, Mary Dawn, on our way back from combined promotions (for my new book and her delightful alpine goods) in Denver and Breckenridge as we made our way toward Telluride, Colorado, home base for us both. I was planning to just chill and recover from almost five weeks away, soaking up all the amenities of this first-class resort. But what an adventure it turned out to be!
The stay started out quietly enough. We had both settled into our luxurious digs replete with full kitchen and glorious beds piled high with comfy pillows in a variety of sizes, half of which we wanted to take home. I padded down to The Westin’s newly renovated fitness center the first morning to see how I could begin to restore myself after way too much time at my desk followed by extensive travel. This beehive of fitness fiefdom was still buzzing with activity at 11 a.m.—no wonder since it’s one of the preferred athletic clubs of the Vail Valley. I peeked into their fully-equipped pilates and spinning rooms before opting for the solitude of their yoga studio where I was thankfully in time for a much-needed class. Susan, the yoga director, took special care to address my needs, those of a weary travel writer that hadn’t devoted much time to being fit since last ski season ended. Thanks to her and the calming surroundings of this specially-designated yoga oasis, I felt one step closer to being whole again.
After chitchatting with the staff about all the doings at the hotel, I learned that the resort was in a flurry of activity largely due to the Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup Men’s Race that was taking place at Beaver Creek during that period. “Yes, I saw the gates and skis piled up in the lobby when I checked in last night,” I said. “I had totally overlooked the fact that that was going on. Then someone told me the Austrian team was staying here,” I added.
“Come back later in the afternoon to see the athletes working out,” a couple of the staffers exclaimed practically in unison. “It’s quite the show—with all those good looking guys lifting weights and swirling in their hula hoops,” one chuckled.
Sadly, my afternoon passed all too quickly up in my room at my laptop and by the time I sauntered down to the fitness area at 5:45p.m., all the studly dudes had left. Darn, I thought. There’s nothing like checking out world-class athletes in action and I missed it.
That evening, however, on the tail end of a most enjoyable dinner at Cima, the Westin’s signature restaurant and a Richard Sandoval creation, Mary Dawn wasted no time getting in on the World Cup fun. “Would you please tell those guys over there Grüß Gott?” she kindly asked the waiter. Already it was clear they were part of the Austrian ski team, so why not send the classic Austrian/Bavarian greeting from the Alps over to them? Why miss out on some Euro schmoozing? Three guys bopped over to our table and sidled into the curvilinear booth faster than you can say hooray. We enjoyed trading cross cultural stories and experiences until the wee hours of the morning. Since MD lived in Germany six years and is fluent in German, she particularly enjoyed the exchange. My French experience (eleven years in Paris) brought less to the table yet we were all in a bon vivant mood nonetheless. Fortunately our Austrian ski team companions were comprised of the director, a coach and a technician or else I can’t see how they would have been able to race the next day.
Art & Culture Colorado Food & Wine Mountain Living Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals Writing & Books: Art & Culture Colorado Food & Wine Mountain Living Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals Writing & Books
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Within the span of the last week, you can really feel that summer is winding down here in Telluride. The aspens are beginning to change and within two weeks, we should be nearing peak leaf-peeping season. With the arrival of this golden autumnal season comes the promise that ski season isn’t far off, two not-so negligible happenings that make summer’s end much easier to accept in this part of the country.
In T-ride, as in many mountain towns in Colorado, the end of summer marks the close of a terrific festival season. This weekend, September 14, 15 & 16, you can enjoy one of the best festivals of the West at Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in beautiful Telluride Town Park, one of the world’s most spectacular settings. Tickets have been selling super fast this year due to an exceptionally stellar lineup. The good news is that there are still day passes available for Friday and Sunday. Plus, at this writing, some seats remain at the glorious Sheridan Opera House for Bal de Maison, the Cajun house party that kicks off Blues & Brews festivities this Thursday night. For more on my take of this year’s festival closer in T-ride, read Telluride Blues & Brews Promises More Fun Than Ever This Year. Let’s just call it the last big party of the summer and even better, the forecast is gorgeous for this weekend.
Colorado Hotels Mountain Living The Rockies: Colorado Hotels Mountain Living The Rockies
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Here in the Rockies, we often say that something looks alpine. Craggy peaks, above- tree-line tundra, high mountain meadows and even most forests look alpine. If it looks like the Alps, it’s considered alpine. Architecture can also look alpine. And so can interiors, clothing, table arts and more. Even people can appear alpine.
In Colorado, we have all these alpine looks and influences, not only because many of our mountains resemble the Alps, but also because many alpine people settled here. Yes, natives of the Alps in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France are partly responsible for having made Colorado—and namely our mountain towns—what it is today. They opened ski resorts, ski schools, shops, hotels, restaurants, bakeries, bars—you name it. In so doing, they brought both savoir faire and European quality service and products to these burgeoning ski destinations. They infused our rugged towns, many originally founded on mining and ranching, with bushels of charm and authenticity.
Art & Culture Colorado Mountain Living Music & Dance Shopping Telluride Festivals: Colorado Mountain Living Music & Dance Shopping Telluride Festivals
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Coloradans love to have fun. And many of our good times are had at festivals, a glorious tradition that was started in our most alluring mountain towns some forty years ago. Some of the greatest festivals have been founded in Telluride, Colorado, and I’m sure we’ll always rank as the frontrunner of all the festival towns. I can say with confidence that the biggest and best take place here in T-ride. It’s likely largely due to our spectacular setting. Have I told you that it’s drop-dead gorgeous here?
It didn’t take long for the rest of the country—and countless people across the globe—to catch on to our festivals. Now the calendar year is marked by Telluride locals and fans from afar by our remarkable happenings. Telluride Blues & Brews bookends the summer festival line up for a glorious three-day extravaganza the third weekend of September. This year, due to the calendar, it comes early on September 14th, 15th and 16th. That just means it promises to be extra sunny and warm.
Colorado Mountain Living Shopping The Rockies Travel: Colorado Mountain Living Shopping The Rockies Travel
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There’s a lot of talk about fourteeners in Colorado, especially in the summer when some people make it a goal of hiking a bunch of them. Fourteener refers to a mountain at least 14,000 feet tall. Colorado claims fifty-three of them and yes, there are folks that miraculously manage to climb them all. Some are known to be fiercely challenging, characterized by scree fields and dramatic precipices that have proved to be many mountaineers’ demise, especially on the descent.
I’ve always thought I’d like to climb one some day, however, I think I need to hone my hiking skills more for such an endeavor. (A six-hour climb to the summit of a fourteener is about what’s required for even the easiest.)
So when my hunny expressed his desire to go to Mt.Evans, one of the Rocky Mountain state’s most renowned fourteeners, last weekend, my ears perked up. It didn’t matter that a stop at this Front Range mountain would require a significant detour from the rest of our itinerary. I was mainly happy that he wanted to visit something since he’s the kind of guy that would much rather hike, ski or climb a mountain. Touring in the most touristic sense of the word typically eludes him.