Beauty notes from the road

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I’m in Philadelphia this week, keeping my boyfriend Paul company while he works on a project here.* Before we left Brooklyn, I did one of my favorite things to do pre-travel, and went to Sephora to stock up on necessities and peruse the travel-sized-items display at checkout. I love a good mini of any kind, but I’m especially on the lookout for mascaras—I like to try and bring along one or two I haven’t tried before. This time, I went for Bad Girl Bang, by Benefit, because that brand seems to do mascara well (people sure seem to love this stuff) so it seemed worth a shot. And I must say, it is really nicely volumizing, and makes my nonexistent lashes look almost dramatic.

This is from Charlotte Tilbury, and it is a good choice for  when you’re looking for a no-makeup look. It goes on blessedly clump-free, and lifts and curls  really nicely.

 

*We started out our stay in an AirB&B so bad (accompanied by horrific AirB&B customer service) that even though I try, as a rule, never to say never, I feel confident stating that I will not, for the rest of my days, employ the services of that company again.  (I know many people have nothing but good experiences with them, and to those people I say, I am happy for you, and wish I was like you in that respect.) After a protracted and annoying battle, we were able to get a partial refund, and decamped to a really perfectly pleasant, dog-friendly hotel. 

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22 Thoughts on Beauty notes from the road
    Ramona
    19 Dec 2021
    7:47pm

    Also have learned the hard way that an Airbnb is going to be a problem unless you book w a Superhost as they are invested in their good rating. Sorry your stay was such a nightmare I get it. Have had unreal noise, meal moths, surprise construction on the property …the list goes on.

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      kara
      20 Dec 2021
      10:53am

      This is great advice–superhost or preferred host (on VRBO) ONLY. As with many life lessons, we learned this the hard way. My husband once spent a night in DC on a lobby sofa thanks to his “host” canceling on him the very hour he arrived (late, I might add). Thankfully the security guard took pity.

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      Kim France
      21 Dec 2021
      11:18am

      The owners of the apartment *were* superhosts.

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    Juliette
    19 Dec 2021
    11:37pm

    I live in Australia. I have travelled a lot domestically and internationally and used a variety of accommodation. I will never use Air bnb again. It’s a much safer bet to stay in a hotel and often cheaper and you don’t have to organise what time you’re going to check in. If something goes wrong, you can get help immediately . There are a lot of quirky hotels and B and bs out there so you can still find places with character. Air bnb is destroying communities and really bumping up rent prices for people looking for housing. And most of the places are way overpriced. Also, you think you are paying $200, then you’ve got to add on the exorbitant cleaning and admin fee and it’s suddenly $300. I think the total price should be the advertised amount.

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    themis
    17 Dec 2021
    11:19am

    So, I’m an AirBnB Superhost and I use them to travel judiciously – like, never the night I arrive, always a night or two at the end of the trip when there is time to fight a good fight if necessary. And I’ve stayed in some really special places. I just went home for the first time in two years and there was a check-in snafu at a place I knew probably would screw it up checking in, but was so lovely I didn’t care and budgeted the time. And, sure enough. Well, I left the dude a very nice review, but he was worried about my review appearing so he didn’t review me-! And that affects my rating as a guest, I’m sure. Dick.
    .
    Anyway, during COVID times I switched my listing to only host front line workers exposed to COVID who needed to self-isolate from their families, or for political refugees. To stay for free, basically. And there was a lot of expense in laundering all the soft furnishings every stay, airing for three days, antimicrobial foggers, etc. I clean my own listing – it’s the guest casita across my courtyard. AirBnB’s lack of infrastructure for this kind of listing meant I was still dealing with general pandemic-spreading yahoos checking out my listing – I had to decline six of those for every legitimate inquiry. And that was affecting my host rating. It became such an immense pain in the ass I have my listing snoozed indefinitely and I only host by word of mouth, now. AirBnB does suck. Tech bros ruin everything, I think.

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      Viajera
      17 Dec 2021
      12:44pm

      That’s very interesting, that there is a way for hosts to block reviews (by not reviewing the guest?) I didn’t know that, thanks. I don’t get out much, or use airbnb when I do, but i like to know stuff like this. There is so much manipulation.

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    JennL
    17 Dec 2021
    11:20am

    Yay! I live in Philly and I’m psyched you’re here. Check out Christmas Village (lots of local vendors selling their handmade wares) and the Rothman Rink at Dillworth Plaza (especially in the evening when the vibe is super romantic). If you have access to a car Longwood Gardens is worth checking out. Their holiday light displays are always beautiful and the vast landscape is a refreshing change from the city. Joan Shepp in Rittenhouse is a fun little clothing store you might find fun to peruse. And I second the AIDS Thrift recommendation (their social media game is quite amusing). Enjoy your time here!

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      kimbersam
      17 Dec 2021
      12:05pm

      Seconding Longwood Gardens. I am originally from Philadelphia and my family would try to visit LG at least twice a year. It’s huge, lovely and amazing.

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    Viajera
    17 Dec 2021
    12:50pm

    Since we’re on the subject … one of my cousins got married in Philly, and the rels who went raced around trying to find the best cheese steaks. They liked one more than the others, but they forgot to write down which one it was (!!) So if I ever go, I’ll have to start from scratch. Still, going around trying sammies is not, like, the worst way to spend one’s time I suppose. I am not shy about being a tourist. I would definitely go look at that bell too, fe. If I had sufficient time, I might put on a grey sweatsuit and run up those steps. I need to get more exercise anyway.

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      kimbersam
      17 Dec 2021
      3:12pm

      Pat’s or Geno’s back in my day. I’m sure there are more now.

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    Eloise
    17 Dec 2021
    5:10pm

    This is my favorite place to stay in Philly: https://www.lareservebandb.com/

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      Eloise
      17 Dec 2021
      6:45pm

      And there are two Kimpton hotels in Philly – both beautiful and super dog friendly.

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    Denise
    17 Dec 2021
    10:01am

    Maybelline’s Sky High mascara lives up to the hype. Its similar to Benefits Better Than Sex, without the flaking. Sorry about your Philly experience. The AKA Rittenhouse is a lovely option for longer stays, if you need it.

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    Emily M.
    17 Dec 2021
    10:07am

    While you are in Philadelphia, check out Philly AIDS Thrift. It is absolutely the best thrift store ever.

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    Mouse
    17 Dec 2021
    10:12am

    Airbnb and services like it have serious costs for their communities. There are certainly responsible hosts, esp. the ones who live there or have a caretaker to contact, but it seems to be pretty much about the money. Small communities, esp. places in vacation-y areas are being hollowed out by the proliferation of short-term rentals. Airbnb might be cheap, but it’s often costly in terms of community and civic life. I’m not saying it’s all bad but I do think we Americans are not good about understanding that there are different kinds of costs and they aren’t only monetary.

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    Meg
    18 Dec 2021
    1:14pm

    I have also had a terrible time with Airbnb customer service. A friend advised me to just complain to the credit card company & let them sort it out lawyer to lawyer. It worked!

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    cw
    17 Dec 2021
    9:59am

    So sorry about that Airbnb experience. Be sure you put up a review. I love to use travel size items for products I don’t often use. Mascara would be one of those products!

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      Kim France
      17 Dec 2021
      10:45am

      Oh, I put up a review, C.W.

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        patty
        17 Dec 2021
        11:11am

        Hoo, boy. I’d love to read it. haha

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          cw
          17 Dec 2021
          1:11pm

          Maybe Kim will discuss her review on the next EIF podcast. 😉

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            y.k.
            17 Dec 2021
            2:28pm

            yes i would be very interested in it! (i have used Airbnb about 6 times, all over the world, have only had good to great experiences, only stay w/ Superhosts).

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    Amy
    20 Dec 2021
    1:39pm

    I just saw a TikTok (!) about a couple who rented a NYC Airbnb, and when they pulled up the window shade, they discovered it looked in on … a restaurant, with a table so close they could have picked food off the couple’s plates!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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