Saturday, May 29, 2010

Haute Travel Tips on 11 Alive News!

There is still time to plan a last minute getaway or some simple fun close to home for Memorial Day weekend with tips from Haute Travels Creator Marian Anderson, Valerie Hoff reports.

Click here Memorial Day Travel Deals to view segment

Haute Travels Makes News!

NABJDigital Profiles Marian Anderson of Haute Travels Blog

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bringing Back The Haute Natural!

When it comes to managing natural hair things can get unruly. But taming natural hair may be easier than you think. TAG Concept Salons in Atlanta’s chic Buckhead community introduces a new line of products that promise to do the unthinkable—tame natural hair. Although the definition for “natural” hair has changed to include strands free of relaxers, chemicals and weaves, it still boils down to hair that more often than not has a natural curl pattern that can make styling challenging.

The new TAG Concept Salons’ products include an organic line of sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, leave in protectants and intensive treatment hair masks. “We have products that allow you to easily maintain your own natural hair,” says Gilda Salmon, Co-Owner and Co-Artistic Director of TAG Concept Salons. She also says TAG specializes in transitioning damaged hair into silky, soft curly or straight tresses that are chemical-free. Now, that’s music to a girl’s ears especially if she has extremely course hair. But, the key according to Salmon is intensive hydration. “It all boils down to building the moisture content in the hair,” adds Tracy Robertson, Co-Owner of TAG Concept Salons. Take inventory of your hair care needs… look at products, tools and the stylists that you use to determine the health and integrity of your strands. The focus should be on strengthening and building the state of the hair.

Both Salmon and Robertson say there are many things that we do to keep our hair in an unhealthy state. “I’ve had to correct so many mistakes by other hair stylists where the focus is more on culture and not healthy hair care,” adds Salmon. One of the biggest reasons that many women of color suffer with unruly hair has to do with using too much heat which often causes entire sections of hair to come out. “Many women go to salons where the price point is very low, although they leave with pretty hair, over time all of that heat damages the hair and causes excessive breakage.”

TAG Concept Salons pride itself in leading the way toward natural hair care giving women choices that go far beyond locs and twists. “Today, women are better educated and more aware of their options when it comes to hairstyles,” says Salmon. The girls in New York love to embrace their afros, while the ladies in Atlanta like to keep it straight.” Most of us just want bouncing and behaving hair with movement and shine without the FRIZZ and now it’s achievable naturally.

To learn more about TAG Concept Salons visit

Are you going natural?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Haute Glow!

It may not be summer, but it certainly feels like it in Atlanta. As I spend my time moving from one haute spot to another… the sun can be harsh on my skin. But in order to get the glow that makes my skin look sun-kissed, I get a little help from Clarins. One of my all-time favorite products is the Clarins' After Sun Moisturizer with Self-Tanner. I use it every time I travel to Mexico, the Caribbean or the Bahamas after spending a day on the beach. It locks in my tan to reveal even tone that makes my skin look more radiant. It even adds hydration to the skin. In fact, I don’t even have to wear much makeup… just a little lip gloss and a dusting of mineral or bronzing powder.

After years of being an unofficial "brand advocate" for Clarins... it’s no wonder they asked me to try their new Delectable Self Tanning Mousse with Mirabelle Oil. I was more than happy to help out. When my products arrived at my door, I was ready to pop the top and start using it.

Here's my review of Clarins' Delectable Self Tanning Mousse:

I generally find that many self tanning products are messy and don’t spread or spray on evenly. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new Delectable Self Tanning Mousse is not only luxurious with a whipped creamy texture, but it pampers the skin taking the art of tanning without the sun to an entirely different level. This 3 in 1 product offers self-tanner, moisturizer and sun care with SPF 15. After a few days of using it, my skin gradually took on a bronze-like hue. I can even apply it to my face to get it GLOWING. This product offers the best solution to tanning without the sun. I love it!

Retails $42 To learn more visit
Are you thinking about trying Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse or After Sun Moisturizer Self Tanner?

More Haute Stuff!

The new noise cancelling headphones by Audio-Technica and a window seat are all you need for a pleasant flight. I tried out a complimentary pair of the ATH-ANC27 and found them to actually cut out the ambient noise surrounding me almost to the point of silence. Its battery operated, however, the headphones function pretty well in a passive mode without the battery. But what I love the most… it’s travel-ready. The headphones come in a compact design that fits snug inside my carryon tote. That’s right no more pulling out a few bucks for the cheap headphones on the plane. You can use these headphones with MP3, CD and DVD and in-flight entertainment systems along with your laptop, desktop computers and many other devices. They’re also compatible with the Apple® iPod®, iPhone™ and iPod touch®. It’s good to know Audio-Technica is always listening!

Will you try Audio-Technica’s new noise cancelling headphones?

Haute Luxury Boutique Hotel in Midtown Atlanta

Hotel Palomar in Atlanta’s Midtown is haute! It’s the first hotel from the Kimpton Hotel group in the “A” offering an exciting new level of style and sophistication, plus it is eco-friendly. The 21-story Palomar has 304 guest rooms and allows easy access to restaurants, museums and bars. Its four-star level of service makes this a top pick for those with discriminating taste.

On my visit to Hotel Palomar, I sampled some amazing dishes in the Pacci Ristorante by Chef Keira Moritz, one of the few female chefs in Atlanta. She’s so warm and friendly and her personality shines through in her food. Everything was wonderful from the Warm Bruschetta and grilled Caeser salad (the lettuce is actually grilled) to my spaghetti and meatballs, but it was the amazing Chocolate Strata with pecan, cocoa nib, vanilla gelato that took my breath away. I'm making it my mission to come back for more after all Hotel Palomar is an experience!

If you’re looking for a great new place to escape in Atlanta… try the rooftop for a cocktail and view of the city. And don’t forget the complimentary wine tastings in the lobby from 5-6pm for visitors and guests.

Will you visit Hotel Palomar in Atlanta?

Haute Tip: Hotel Palomar is pet-friendly

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Play Pretty Beauty is Haute Stuff!

Four years ago Danielle Knox and her sister turned their skin care issues into a business. As little girls, they battled eczema, dry itchy patches and blotchiness. To make matters worse there was nothing on the market that helped. As adults, the ladies tried a lot of different products, but still no solution in sight until one day fate intervened. One of the sisters received a natural remedy book containing recipes for homemade hair and body care products. The pair spent hours in the kitchen creating recipes for creams, lotions and potions that they tested on family and friends. In the process, they cooked up a recipe for relief for their troubled skin. After testing their nature-inspired remedies their skin cleared up. They soon realized their creams worked because they were free of harsh, irritating, synthetic ingredients and artificial colors common in commercially made body care products.

The sisters decided to market their products to others who sought similar relief for irritating skin. In 2006, they launched Play Pretty Beauty. The name came from something they remembered their grandmother saying to them as little girls who played like tomboys in her backyard. “When we were thinking of a name for our company, we wanted something that was feminine, yet headstrong, joyful and unforgettable. All the things our grandmother embodied… Play Pretty was perfect,” says Danielle Knox, Co-Owner of Play Pretty Beauty.

To learn more visit

Will you try Play Pretty Beauty?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Haute Spa Trends for 2010!

The dollar maybe weak, but the desire to be pampered is going strong. Although, the spa industry has seen its share of economic woes as a result of the battered economy, everybody wants a little me-time. This year consumers are looking for great customer service and value for their money.

Here are 5 spa trends for 2010:

-Spa sampling menus have become popular… with the shrinking dollar comes mini services at lower price points.

-Spas have embraced social media by tweeting and posting facebook messages about the deal of the day. You can even cancel or reschedule appointments online.

-Spa partnerships make great business sense… spas inside hotels, resorts, airports, and on cruise ships are ideal for travelers.

-No frills instead look for simplified spa menus as a sign of the times… spas are now focusing on core treatment options like massage to manage stress.

-Beauty rest has become a priority in this sleep-deprived society. You can actually book time to sleep at select spas around the world before or after your treatment.

Source: International SPA Association

Where is your favorite spa?

Haute Reading List!

Divanomics by Michelle McKinney Hammond

Sometimes a fashionista has to learn all about money the hard way… trial and error. But with every lesson learned comes an opportunity to grow, at least that’s what I learned reading Michelle McKinney Hammond’s new book, Divanomics.

After her five star lifestyle went south thanks to a bad economy, Hammond, a self proclaimed DIVA (Divine Inspiration for Victorious Attitude), confronted her worst nightmare, a life without designer clothes, expensive meals and high-end luxury goods that turns out were not that essential afterall. Now that the worst is over, Hammonds has responded by going from fabulous and fly to “Fabulously Frugal!”
Divanomics is honest, humorous and helpful for those on a similar course of self-destruction. Hammonds offers tips, practical advice and commonsense money management strategies on how to take control of your finances and your sanity! The book also offers money-saving tips when it comes to fashion, beauty, home décor, entertaining, real estate and so much more.

We can all learn from Hammond’s mistakes and a few of our own. Get your copy of Divanomics today for just $9.35 on

Other Haute Books:

A Walk For Sunshine by Jeff Alt

You may remember Jeff Alt from CNN-Radio, ESPN, the Hallmark Channel and USA Radio Network. He’s also the award-winning author of A Walk For Sunshine. In his new book, he takes us along his 2,160 mile expedition for charity on the Appalachian Trail. His incredible journey is filled with humor, frightening and inspirational stories about his life in the woods for 147 days. Alt’s story has inspired an annual fundraiser, which has raised over $160,000 for Sunshine Home, where his younger brother Aaron, who has cerebral palsy, lives.
Alt’s story about his quest to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail is simply amazing. Get your copy of A Walk for Sunshine today for an inspirational journey about following your dreams!

A Walk For Sunshine is available nationwide in bookstores, libraries and online. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to Sunshine Home.

Retails: $15.95
To learn more visit

The Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Over 200 Delicious Recipes by Judith Finlayson

If you’re looking to reduce your consumption of meat for a diet rich in vegetables… pick up a copy of The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. You’ll find great recipes for food that nourishes the body and soul! I love this book because it allows me to prepare meals with very little attention to the process. When it’s all over… I get to enjoy the fruits or veggies of my labor!
Retails: $24.95

What's on your summer reading list?

10 Haute Summer Travel Tips!

Staycation was so last year… make this year HAUTE with a getaway designed just for you. If you’re dreaming of getting away for summer don’t let the challenging economy keep you home. Here are my 10 money saving travel tips that will get you out of the house for a memorable vacation. Remember it’s a buyer’s market and deals are plentiful!

Haute Travels Tips:

-Be flexible with travel consider leaving midweek to get the best fares

-Check airline fees after Midnight to capture discounted tickets

-Compare rates for airfare, hotel/resorts and cruise lines on their sites before you go to sites like Travelzoo (compare multiple travel sites at once), Travelocity, Cheap or Hotwire

-Ask the properties for discounts and compare competitor’s rates… become a bargain shopper

-Travel to places where the dollar is strong

-When traveling to Europe in the summer consider renting an apartment to save money

-Travel with friends and share the costs or try house swaps… exchange homes with other travelers

-Cut out airfare and drive to a coastal or mountain area near your home

-When booking high-end properties like the Four Seasons, Park Hyatt or Ritz Carlton compare the value-added extras… spa and meal credits, airport transfers and arrival gifts

-Look for properties offering FREE nights with paid nights to stretch your travel dollar and your length of stay

Bonus Tip: Head to Haute spots like Las Vegas where rooms are going for as little as $20 a night!

Will you travel this summer? 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Haute Cashmere Blankets for the Luxury Traveler!

If you’re thinking that airline fees are getting to be ridiculous—you’re not alone. Just when you thought that there’s nothing left to tack a fee onto… think again. Some airlines are now charging for those cheap little blankets they give you to stay warm.

But one French resort in the South of France is handing out cashmere blankets for those booking three nights at The French Riviera’s La Villa Mauresque in St. Raphael, France. That’s right you could be wrapped in luxurious cashmere as you jet off to the French Riviera also known as the Côte d'Azur.

Vacationers staying at the 19th century Mediterranean seafront luxury hotel will receive a sumptuous cashmere and wool blanket, shipped directly to their home doorstep before they leave. The complimentary offer is available for guests booking a minimum stay of three nights, prepaying for one night in advance, for arrivals now through October, 2010. To allow time for blanket delivery, prepayment is required three weeks before arrival. Keep in mind the blankets are shipped only to US addresses.

About La Villa Mauresque
In the charming village of Boulouris, between Cannes and St. Tropez, on a private seafront, this luxury boutique hotel offers peace and serenity with an infinity pool. La Villa Mauresque features 17 luxurious bedrooms housed in two Moorish villas dating from 1860, most with stunning sea views, others with garden views. Ideally located for exploring the French Riviera, La Villa Mauresque is 30 minutes from Cannes, 30 minutes by boat from St. Tropez, 50 minutes from Nice airport and one hour from the port of Monaco.

For reservations, contact your travel agent, call +33 (0) 4 94 83 02 42, email or visit the website

Would you like a cashmere blanket?

Haute Paris Beauty Tip!

Paris, pedicures and pampering are HAUTE! Beauty junkies heading to the city of light know that beauty rituals are a must. So why not indulge in a little shameless pampering with a pedicure—for free? It’s enough to make you say ooOOH la la! You can get a complimentary pedicure by students in their final year of study at the Ecole Superieure de Masseurs-Kinésithérapeutes et Pedicures. Just call in advance and prepare to kick up your feet. A donation of €5 is suggested.

Ecole Superieure de Masseurs-Kinésithérapeutes et Pedicures

17 Rue de Liège, 75009

Tel: 4674 6287
Métro: Liège

Will you get a FREE pedicure in Paris?

Haute Stuff for Your Travel Bag!

June Jacobs Face and Body Travel Kits

I love June Jacobs spa inspired face and body products in travel friendly sizes. It’s perfect for travelistas who love fashionable cases for their must-have beauty and spa products on the go!

All of the products included in these beautiful kits are paraben and preservative free and packaged within a deluxe, zip around leather pouch that’s convenient for storing all of your travel essentials. The luxurious, travel-sized products included in the Face Travel Kit and Body Travel Kit cover everything you need to cleanse, exfoliate, treat and moisture your face, body and hair while you’re away.

Price: Face Travel Kit ($100), Body Travel Kit ($95), Available at and luxury spas worldwide.

Biolage Spring Renewal Gift Sets

You can never go wrong with Biolage’s limited-edition spring gift sets for your hair. Available in hydrathérapie, colorcarethérapie, rejuvathérapie, fortethérapie or colorcarethérapie, the sets include limited-edition size shampoo (10 oz.), conditioner (5 oz.) and free travel size Biolage Body Care products including hand cream and body wash (1 oz. each). And there’s more… the Body Care gift set is also available with a body balm, body wash and hand cream.

Price: $20, Available in fine salons only; for a salon locator please visit

Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum and Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara

I love great looking lashes that are all mine. So I started testing the Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum and Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara to boost the appearance of my lashes. The formula is designed to condition and protect lashes to make them look thicker. I particularly like the idea that it also helps to keep lashes from falling out. Stay tuned for my results!

What do you think about these products?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Haute Summer Travel Hair!

So you’re thinking about summer vacation, but not sure you’re ready for the heat and humidity that makes your hair frizz? The keratin treatment also known by many as the Brazilian Keratin Treatment, designed to relax your natural curl and make your hair more manageable, could be the answer for you.

I visited Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa in Chicago where hair stylist Charles Campbell counseled me on the pros and cons of the treatment. After determining that my hair was chemical-free, he agreed the Coppola Keratin Treatment was safe to tame my unruly curls.

“If you’re considering the keratin treatment, you must consult a professional to get the facts before you move forward with the therapy,” advises Campbell. Although, many professionals agree the keratin treatment can be used over chemically treated hair, it’s all about the individual’s hair type.

There are many versions of the keratin treatment… Coppola and Global Keratin are two of the most popular. Both smooth and straighten hair by infusing natural keratin deep into the hair cuticle, eliminating up to 95% of frizz and curl, leaving the hair smooth, shiny and luxurious.

Once the treatment is applied to the hair, a flat iron heated to 430-450 degrees seals the keratin product. Once bonded to the hair, the keratin promotes healing and blocks the effects of humidity leaving the hair silky and straight.

Although keratin treatments in professional salons are relatively safe… many other types contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that’s not safe to inhale. Neither the Coppola nor Global Keratin Treatments contain harmful chemicals as stated by the brands. Still, others argue the chemical straightening process is not healthy for your hair and scalp. But so far it’s been three weeks and I have not experienced any problems.

The treatment lasts for about three to five months depending on the hair type and after-care maintenance. Once you get the treatment you cannot get the hair wet for 72 hours. You also have to abstain from pulling the hair back or clipping it for three days. Further, you can only use shampoo and conditioner that’s free of sodium chloride and sulfate or else you run the risk of washing the treatment out.

After two weeks, I tested my hair and spent the weekend in 80 degree heat at Walt Disney World in Florida. My hair held up and not a frizzy strand in sight! I love the fact that my hair is easier to manage when I wash and style it at home. My only issue, my hair is a little too straight so I have to curl it to add volume and bounce.

The Coppola Keratin Treatment starts at $350.00 (prices vary depending on length of hair) at Elizabeth Arden Spa in Chicago.

Haute Tip: Keratin Treatment after-care… I love The Global Keratin's Juvexin moisturizing shampoo and conditioner containing organic, bioactive keratin. It keeps my hair haute!

Will you try the keratin treatment this summer?