Manhattan is no low maintenance island. By day, Victoria Secret supermodels power along the Hudson and the cast of Gossip girl frolic on street corners. At night, barrages of beauties step their Manolo Blahniks over garbage bags for gallery openings and charity events. They are put together so impeccably that their whole days might have been spent in exclusive salons hidden in those high rises. You can either cower behind your doorman, or start hustling. Here are some cheat notes for oozing New York fabulous.
1. More is more when it comes to hair.
In New York, buildings are tall, bonuses large, voices loud with excitement, sound systems are even louder, and women have beauty queen big hair. Weekly visits to the Dry Bar or Blow ensure super sleek, straightened mains or locks curled to Carrie Bradshaw perfection. Clip-in hair extensions are at the ready, to keeps things competitive. And for at-home re-styling, there is new and improved equipment. We love the Cloud 9 Wand - it's boasts super speedy heating (perfect for time-poor Manhattanites), a finger-protecting glove and a hibernation mode - so you'll never have that 'did I or didn't I switch it off?' moment again.
2. Smiles are blindingly white.
New Yorkers have smiles as broad as Abercrombie and Fitch models playing hookie; with teeth white as the picket fences of the holiday houses in South Hampton. Cutting edge dentistry is key, and there are a plethora of products that can keep up appearances between visits. New Yorkers love Crest WhiteStrips because they can actually be worn while you go about your business - you can talk and even drink water as normal - and you wear them for 30 minutes a day for twenty days.
3. Shower water is drinkable.
New Yorkers aren’t ashamed to act like celebrities. To prepare for posing in animated photo booths, they shower in Evian, well close enough - instead of putting up with water from rusty pipes in downtown tenement buildings, they install filters on their shower heads as well as their kitchen taps. These shower filters remove chlorine from the water. Try the T3 negative ions shower filter, which has patented technology that will leave your hair and skin feeling softer after just one shower.
4. Eyelashes are epic.
There is excess in New York life, from cocktails and dating, to work hours and opportunity. So it is no surprise that women in New York are rarely satisfied with their natural lashes. They opt for mink extensions from BlingLash or they grow their own extensions with Latisse or Revitalash. In Australia, head to Love Those Lashes in Sydney and Melbourne or coax your own lashes into growth with Revitalash.
5. Nail colour doesn’t chip.
New Yorkers flock with their girlfriends to the Dashing Divas nail salon, where each customer is served a cocktail while being pampered. Or you can opt for the Sally Hansen home starter kit, complete with LED lamp. It gives the no chip mirror effect of salon gel color in the comfort of your own, you can have as many cocktails as you like, while watching Sex and the City re-runs.
6. Bodies are primed for denim hot pants
New Yorkers queue up to buy cronuts and cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. The plus sized model, Kate Upton was hailed on the Cover of Vogue as the “American Dream Girl.” But working out is a New York obsession. Inspired by Victoria Secret’s annual parade of angels, they spend bitter winters sweating out Soul Cycle classes, or clinging to ballet bars at Physique 57. So by the 4th July, they are ready to slip on their American flag denim hot pants and run to Fire Island to escape the heat. Ballet “Barre” classes like Physyque 57 have made it to Aus – check out Barre Body and Xtende Barre.
7. Sleep is squeezed in.
In the city that barely rests, women find guerrilla ways of getting their beauty sleep. There are baths of Sabon minerals, earplugs, eye masks and Ambien. Or for the more resistant sleepers, there are Transcendental Meditation classes, massage therapists that come to your apartment, or the prospect of lying in the floating pool at the Aire Ancient Baths. Down under, Australian TM guru Gary Gorrow has a loyal following of New York expats and locals alike. Failing that, a silk eye mask should help.
8. All American is treasured.
New Yorkers worship at the shrine of, Sephora, the makeup and beauty mecca on every New York street corner. But their greatest national treasure is Keihl’s, which they have loved since 1851. With its innocuous packaging and minimal advertising, if you dare to open the bathroom cabinet of any artist in New York city, you will find a shrine to their beloved Kiehl's.
Story by Jessica Burdon.