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Hi everyone!! My friends call me Jojo, and I'm a beauty/fashion blogger with a special passion for dresses and skincare products. I love to scour the web for the latest styles and skincare tips. Let's be friends!💕
Don't be surprised if you're overcome to run down the beach slo-mo style when you slip into this high-cut suit with all the hallmarks of retro-'90s style.
Most definitely the best ramen in NYC (for me)! I like the flavorful small plates/appetizers ($7-15) and the Akamaru Modern. The portions are usually enough for me but for those of you with a large appetite, ask for the Kae-Dama (extra noodles) for only $2 more.
The homey little spot in Harlem/Morningside is a jewel by the same owners behind Jin Ramen. The food is creative but unpretentious, and the decor is evocative of a cute cafe/bistro in Carroll Gardens. Love the steak & eggs on the Brunch menu, and the seasonal single origin pour over coffee (by Stumptown). $$
Located at 141st St/Amsterdam in Hamilton Heights, this "urban farmhouse" restaurant by chef Alec Storey serves upscale versions of classic American staples, including foie gras hash browns. The food here is superbly prepared. Enjoy microbrews on tap and other craft cocktails in the chic rustic space.
This gastropub in the heart of the Upper West Side has a fun and energetic vibe. While pickles are popular here, the brunch menu also features a variety of breakfast biscuit sandwiches, egg dishes, salads, poutine and mac & cheese. $$
Daniel Boulud's upscale Mediterranean restaurant at Lincoln Center offers a cushy and classy ambience for the more well-heeled. The Chicken Tagine is a favorite, and the lamb burger is also popular. In addition to an extensive a la carte menu, you could also select one of the prix fixe brunch (2-course for $28 or 3-course for $34) . $$$
First opened in 1963, this Cuban restaurant in Hell's Kitchen serves authentic and consistently good Cuban cuisine in a lively atmosphere with friendly service. The Ropa Vieja is a must try - slowly braised and pulled Prime Black Angus skirt steak in garlic, tomato, onion, pepper sauce. Also, the Camarones Enchilados,
Lechón Asado and Arroz con Pollo are popular too. $$$
A waterproof brow pomade that delivers bold brows with a high-impact, budge-proof look. Available in 16 different shades. It's easy to apply and super long-wearing . Get ready to shape, sculpt, color, and create with the boldest brow product Kat’s ever created. $18.
The full-coverage liquid concealer might seems thin, but that's exactly where it shines. It works well for acne, dark spots and under-eye blemishes without leaving a spackle of glob on your face. I love the pointy applicator for precise spots and more general areas. It's Allure 's 2015 Best of Beauty winner, and judging by the number of reviews on Amazon, Ulta and elsewhere, this is still one of my favorites. $5
This overnight treatment oil contains a retinoid that was engineered to yield the same benefits as Retinol, but without the side effects such as irritation, dryness or flaking. The Blue Tansy and Chamomile helps to calm and sooth the skin. Combined with chia seed oil, cold-pressed avocado oil, and other extracts, the Luna Sleeping Oil helps renew your skin while you sleep. $55 for 0.5 oz/ 15 ml.
Say hello to bright, youthful peepers. The Shaba Complex Eye Serum contains potent doses of black tea ferment and copper peptides that work together to support a firmer looking appearance around the eyes, helping to slow down the signs aging before they appear. $60 for 0.5 oz/ 15 ml. Approved by the experts at Allure.com 👍
Retinol is not for everyone, but if you're a fan of this elixir for your face, then the Murad Youth Renewal Eye Serum is the hero product for you. It combines three different forms of retinol for fast-working action to help rejuvenate your eyes quickly. The marine kelp extract also brightens for a one-two combo action. $85 for 0.5 oz/ 15ml. Allure approved! (July 2018)
It's still not common to find an eye cream that is formulated specifically for daytime use alone or under makeup. Infused with Dual Peptides, Red Algae, and Plant Extracts, the formula hydrates and helps boost the appearance of firmness and diminish the appearance of fine lines for eyes that look smoother, brighter and more youthful. It targets both the upper eyelid and under eye area and primes skin so makeup will not slip or pill. $36 for 0.5 oz/ 15ml. Allure recommended (Jul 2018)!!
A power nap for your eyes, especially with de-puffing and reducing the appearance of dark circles, while moisturizing and firming the eye area. Great for day and night, the cooling treatment also illuminates and revives tired eyes. A proprietary black tea complex helps inhibit damaging free radicals and improve elasticity is further optimized by antioxidant-rich noni fruit juice, known to retain and increase moisture and protect the skin. $68 for 0.5 oz/ 15 ml. Recommended by Allure editors.
La Roche-Posay or LPR is a mainstay of French pharmacies. Luckily for us, their products are widely available in the US, and this eye cream is specially formulated for dark circles. According to LPR, bluish dark circles are due to fatigue and poor micro-circulation, especially when we lie down. Brownish dark circles are due to genetics and sun damage, and this caffeine-infused cream can help. Allure-recommended (July'18). $43 for 0.5 oz/ 15 ml.
You've heard of farm-to-table, where chefs adapt their daily menu for the best locally-grown ingredients. Tata Harper wants to re-invent beauty with farm-t0-face by growing organic botanics at her farm in Vermont. Jam-packed with 26 different botanical extracts like Buckwheat Wax and Date Palm, this eye cream helps to minimize fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. 100% vegan. At $98 for a 0.5 oz bottle, it's pricier than most, but it is one of Allure editors' recommended eye creams of 2018.
This pan-Chinese restaurant in Williamsburg serves an eclectic mix of Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine, such as dan dan noodles, broiler chicken dumplings in cinnamon-red oil, salt-and-pepper pork chop and a smatter of dim sum dishes. Chef/owner Josh Grinker is New York born and bred, and his food is heavily influenced by the Chinese food from his childhood. In June 2018, he opened a branch in Lower East Side that features the same menu (but with a wider selection of cocktails). $$
Egg was founded in 2005 with an ethos: Good food for happy customers, by happy employees and sourced from sustainable local farms (in the Catskills). They serve breakfast all day (and brunch/lunch too), and the inspectors at Michelin love the buttermilk biscuits with gravy and the fried oyster sandwich. Personally, I like the Egg Rothko too. 😋Opens at 7am M-F; 8am Weekends. Closes at 5pm daily (except Tue at 3pm). $$
This hip Williamsburg restaurant is located in an old glass factory (hence "Glasserie"), and the space is a beautiful mashup of rustic charm and colorful industrial modern. Eldad Shem Tov and his crew serves straight-up Middle Eastern delicacies such as the mezze feast (10 small dishes for sharing), sweet griddle bread and the inventive harissa rabbit & kohlrabi tacos. Reservations highly recommended (OpenTable) - there's always a crowd. $$$ Bib Gourmand list since 2017.
If you think Jewish-Japanese fusion sounds like an odd experiment, then you haven't tried Shalom Japan in south Williamsburg. Chefs Aaron Israel (A Voce) and Sawako Okochi (Annisa) teamed up in 2013, and they've been winning accolades ever since. Michelin recommends the house-baked sake kasu challah with raisin butter to start. You can also have it as a toro toast with wasabi cream cheese. Other standout include matzo ball ramen, Okonomiyaki with lamb's tongue and bonito, and the Lox Bowl. $$$
Located in North Williamsburg inside the National Sawdust performance space, Rider is a modern industrial restaurant that serves an exciting American fare with a focus on vegetables. Michelin recommends the gemelli bathed in mushroom ragù and the grilled mortadella on sourdough with ricotta. The fried eggplant and the smoke ricotta are also popular. M-F 3pm-10pm; Sat 9am-3pm; 5-11pm; Sun 9am-3pm. Brunch available. $$
This sunscreen is light with the consistency of a serum or an emulsion and it's formulated to hydrate the skin while protecting it from sun damage. It's not sticky or greasy, and doesn't leave a white cast or shine. Reasonably priced at $21 for 70ml. Yay!
From celebrity stylist Jen Atkin, this ultra-light mist is dubbed the "push-up bra" for your hair. The scent is ohhh so delightful with notes of bergamot, Italian lemon, sandalwood, and white musk so you'll smell like a garden. $26 for 140ml.
This is probably Xi'an Famous Foods' most popular dish, and the one that gets the most attention from food critics like Eater and Infatuation. Yes, the broad noodles are ginormous, and the tender fried lamb is special. The secret sauce is a blend of 30+ secret spices, onions, peppers and chili oil. Yum!
Bon Yagi opened Hasaki in the East Village in the same year that Madonna scored her first chart-topper - "Like A Virgin". This is before sushi was popular, and long before high quality sushi was common in New York. Today, Hasaki is a bona fide New York institution that has been serving diners for over three decades. Yep, since 1984. $$$
Mi-Ne Sushi is an established chain of sushi restaurants from Kyushu, Japan that dates back to 1971. Mi-Ne straddles the sweet spot between the expense-account splurgy omakase sushi spots and the passable neighborhood joints for a quick sushi fix. It is affordable enough that you can still come here regularly without having to skip a payment on your health insurance. $$
Chef Tatsuya Sekiguchi spent 10 years at the legendary Sushi Yasuda before taking over the subterranean space previously occupied by Akami on Christopher street in the West Village. The restaurant has only eight seats, and the traditional omakase ($135) includes 18 pieces of nigiri with top-quality fish sourced locally and from Japan's Tsukiji market. $$$$
Newly opened in late 2017 by the renowned Eiji Ichimura of Brushstroke, this 10-seat omakase showcase is full of uni-stuffed monaka and a wide selection of aged fish. The restaurant also serves kaiseki with seating for eight, and 72 varieties of Japanese whiskey. To experience this one-star Michelin sushi heaven, be prepared to fork over your whole wallet. The omakase runs $300 per head, while the kaiseki is $200 per person.
Derek Wilcox spent 10 years in Kyoto, Japan at the famed kaiseki restaurant Kikunoi before returning to the States to start Shoji at the intimate 8-seater formerly occupied by Ichimura at Brushstroke (after Ichimura decamped to start Uchu in late 2017). The $190-/250 omakases emphasizes extremely fresh seasonal ingredients air-flown from Japan, and most of the seafood he serves at not available anywhere else in New York. $$$$
Three buddies from California and Tijuana dish out casual, authentic Mexican tacos like grilled cactus, carne asada, and quesadillas with homemade aguas frescas (horchata, tamarind) at packed Chelsea Market.
Boucherie is by The Group, the same people behind Akashi and Dominique Bistro. The chef (Jerome Dihui) hails from Pastis, the iconic french bistro in the meatpacking district. This location near Gramercy Park is actually Boucherie's second outpost. The first one opened in late 2016 on 7th Ave South in the West Village. Meat is the specialty here, and unlike the original location, this has a charcuterie bar. Try the Steak Frites Au Poivre, the Filet de Boeuf and the pistachio bombe glacee. $$$
Located on 5th Ave between 29th & 30th St in the NoMad neighborhood, Hortus opened in the summer of 2018 to reinvent modern pan Asian cuisine. Chef Seungjoon Choi hails from Marea and Blanca (one of the top 50 restaurants in the world), while partner/manager Suhum Jang is an alumnus of Per Se and Daniel, but don't expect sky high prices. Expect raw oysters with gochujang & plum mignonette ($27/dozen), hummus with ssamjang ($10), uni on seaweed ($13), and braised pork belly ($30).
This ultra-rich cream mask with nourishing wild mango butter softens, soothes, and renews radiance, leaving skin looking velvety smooth and feeling incredibly comfortable.
*New addition (2019)*. For fans of Sichuan Chinese cuisine, Alley 41 hits all the right spots. The decor is evocative of the alleyways commonly found in the city of Chengdu. The chef is a 30-year veteran of Sichuan cooking. To further ensure that the dishes deliver the full authentic experience, the restaurant sources 80% of the ingredients directly from the Sichuan province. The dan dan noodles is popular and make sure you also try the pork belly sticky rice. $$
First opened in 2012, La Vara finally gets the Michelin Bib Gourmand nod for 2019! This Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Spanish restaurant has been a neighborhood favorite for years. The husband-and-wife culinary team of Alex Raij and Eder Montero are also behind Txikito and El Quinto Pino - both located in Chelsea, Manhattan. To start, don't miss the Alcachofa (fried artichokes), and for the main course, the Fideu (paella noodles) is heavenly. For brunch, the La Vara Burger is a popular choice. $$
Mar's is rustic gastropub in Astoria with a vintage vibe and warm friendly staff. If you didn't know about this little gem, you might be forgiven for walking right past it. The raw bar is popular for the $1.50 oyster happy hour ( 4-7pm M-F), but you should also try the grilled octopus, the fish & chips and the kale salad. And don't forget to get one of their specialty cocktails too. $$
Cervo's in Chinatown (at the east end of Canal St) is opened by the same people behind the popular Hart's in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The casual spot is heavy on Mediterranean-inspired Portugese/Spanish dishes that are delectable and unpretentious. The wine selection is predominantly from Portugal and Spain, so be prepared to try something less familiar. If you stick to the seafood, you won't go wrong. $$
*New to Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019*
Former Nobu chef Toshio Tomita opened this high-end sushi restaurant in 2013, and has collected his one Michelin star every year since 2015. The omakase is priced at $160 for 18 pieces - a relative bargain compared to some other high-end spots that charge $300+. $$$$
Marcus Samuelsson's Harlem restaurant is a long-time favorite among locals since it opened in 2010. The "elevated American comfort food" by the acclaimed chef, like the popular chicken & waffles, is unique and celebrated for being true to its roots. The 3,400 sq ft space is stylish and comfortably roomy for groups. $$$
OMG, this is fried chicken heaven in the Lower East Side. Besides frying up some of the most delicious wings, breasts and drumsticks, they are also using the entire chicken, from livers to gizzards to necks! Yummilicious 😍 And am I the only one in awe of the the automatic trash bins? 😂
This modern Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village opened in January 2017, specializing in homestyle dishes like madame pho, banh xeo and bun bo hue. Started by the husband-and-wife team of Jimmy Ly (chef) and Yen Vo (manager), the duo brings a delightfully authentic and refreshing take on many of the familiar dishes. New York Times calls this a "stand out" for Vietnamese cuisine. My niece calls it "yummy for my tummy". I wholeheartedly agree with both of them! $$😁😋😛
Stress Positive Eye Lift by Dermalogica is a high-performance leave-on eye mask instantly lifts, brightens and de-puffs the delicate eye area. Wild indigo seed extract brightens dark undereye circles, sea water extract counters the look of puffiness and hyaluronic acid firms to lift the skin. Cooling massage applicator energizes the undereye area. Ideal for daily use on all skin types. Allured reviewed and approved! $68 for 0.85 oz.
Head over to this sunny pizzeria owned by brothers Tom and and Anthony Martignetti of Brinkley's and Southside fame and have your fill of such creative pies such as purple kale with butternut squash and Thai coconut curry with rock shrimp, at a easygoing joint decked out with dangling palm ferns and Cuban checkered-tile floors. $$.
A small yet very sophisticated restaurant that will bring you back to the 50's or 60's with their decorations and waiter's look! Their menu covers all of your brunch cravings. Most dishes here are at a steep price, but the taste is undeniably delicious! Try their Sant Ambroeus Eggs Benedict with Norwegian Smoked Salmon — it is very tasty! The salmon is beautifully sliced and the kale salad is so fresh. The atmosphere is really European and, while undoubtedly fancy, is casual and welcoming. $$$
This Persian grill is a go-to spot for skewered meat lovers. The barg kababs (huge chunks of tenderloin) are a big hit here, as well as the jujeh kababs (lemon-saffron-marinated Cornish chicken). Meat dishes are complemented by flame-kissed onions and tomatoes, but it’s recommended to add appetizers like hummus and soups such as the red lentil. Don’t forget the baklava for dessert. Ravagh has 5 locations all over New York, 3 of which can be found on the east side. $$
The former institution of East Village brought its chopped liver, corned beef and pastrami to a second locale on the Upper East Side. The joint remains authentic to the original as it serves the same menu of Jewish standards (pastrami sandwiches, matzoh ball soup) the delicatessan has been delighting customers with since 1954. $$.
Bell's is a specialty coffee shop and a small retail store for living accessories and small gifts. First opened in Nov 2016 by wife and husband Marie-Isabel ("Bell") and Rob who both moved to NYC from Germany that same year. They are designers at heart (architecture and industrial design, respectively). They use coffee beans from Birch Coffee (in Long Island City), and milk from a local creamery in Hudson Valley. All their cups and lids for iced-drinks are compostable/biodegradeable. $$
The 'Opus Dei' of Neapolitan pizza has returned to the Lower East Side. Nine years after decamping to San Francisco, Anthony Mangieri is back, with new partners Fabian von Hauske Valtierra and Jeremiah Stone (co-owners./chefs of Contra and Wildair). The space is more grown-up (perhaps even sterile), and while the master won't be making every single pie himself anymore, he oversees a team that hews closely to his ethos of making the best pizza that "blows away anything made in Naples." $$
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que — a legendary “honky tonk rib joint” established in Syracuse back in 1988 — is a great place with good barbecue that at times, fails to live up to the hype but can also teeter on being great. The place’s atmosphere, service and sides however, are as good as any Manhattan BBQ joint. The 2018 Capital Region's Best list named it the “Best Barbecue.” The sandwiches ($12.25) are the real unsung heroes here. Go for the ribs ($13.50 to $32.50) and baked beans.
This is the west side outpost of the first NYC Hide-chan in Midtown East that originated from Fukuoka . The space is larger and more family friendly than the east side location. It's well-known for its tonkotsu ramen. I personally prefer their no-frills, classic broth with extra egg and firm noodles. Wavy noodles are more popular among the regulars, and each bowl is large enough that you won't have to get a second helping to sate your hunger. $$
Mokum, on 83rd St/Amsterdam, is a new American restaurant that elevates the dining scene on the UWS. Created by residents of the neighborhood Tea Zegarac Pollock and chef Benjamin Vaschetti (alum of Le Cirque and 3-star L’Auberge de l’Ill in France), Mokum ( "safe haven" in Yiddish) is a luxe casual, all-day restaurant that aims to please with a creative but unpretentious menu that includes ratatouille (served all-day), daily brunch, and gnocchi, burgers, steak for dinner. $$$
Newly opened in 2018, Mochii in East Village is one of just a few places in NYC for fresh, hand-made ice cream mochis, and I'm a fan! These are not the kind you eat out of a box from the frozen section of a supermarket. Chef/owner Mimi Lau created these fresh mochi from rice flour with a variety of fruits and flavors, such as lychee, mango, Oreo, Nutella and more. It takes up to 9 hours to make each little pillow from heaven! They also make custom-ordered ice cream cakes wrapped in rice flour. $