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tamarindo-style-guide-SJ-co

Alluring ikat in playful hot pink, tropical tangerine and lively lime green cavort against a backdrop of natural raffia, evoking the bohemian chic of the tiny surfer’s haven on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.  Reversible liner in sapphire and ivory ikat and coordinating crosshatch trim team up to inspire dreams of eternal summer.

Here’s what I’d bring along for a boho beach getaway:

1.  Grassland Melange Necklace

2.  Sallins Fringe Trim Linen Poncho

3.  Dip Dye Straw Panama Hat in Denim

4.  Essie Nail Polish in Strut Your Stuff

5.  Denim Shorts

6.  Ocean Breeze Bikini Top and Bottom in Mandarin Red

7.  Georgica Jelly Sandal in Gold

tamarindo style guide packing collage

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I consider myself to be a pretty responsible human, therefore, when a good friend suggested St. Barths in January at the exact moment I should be in Dallas debuting the spring collection, I declined. Clearly, I hadn’t heard her offer to share her room in St. Barths in the freezing new year? Oh yeah, Dallas would have to do without me as a too good to pass up adventure was in the offing.

GETTING THERE

I worked the ENK Accessorie Circuit show ‘outside’ for three days in temperatures in the high teens, causing a chill in my bones that wouldn’t leave even upon arriving in Atlanta for another show, where again temperatures were unseasonably frigid. I started to think I had acute bronchitis or walking pneumonia as I couldn’t get warm for days, and wondered if hopping a flight to the Caribbean was the right thing to do. Well of course it was, as I needed the Vitamin D and the sun to warm my bones and brown my skin, and the warm salt water to heal me, right? When we arrived in St. Maarten, I looked up at the monitors and saw numerous flights scheduled for St. Barths. The only problem was we weren’t on one of them. Why were we taking the ferry? Because my friends don’t take prop planes. We missed the first ferry and ended up waiting two hours for the last boat. Finally, we were headed to paradise on a thirty minute ferry that quickly felt like thirty hours, with workers passing the aisles with paper towels and clear baggies. Within 10 minutes, the hacking and vomiting all around me was enough to have me put my ear buds in and blast ‘Waves’ so loud as to not hear any of my sick fellow passengers. We survived but all agree it ranked up there as one of the all-time worst experiences. In short, take the plane.

STAY

All was quickly forgotten, however, upon arriving in paradise. The Eden Rock is a storied boutique hotel in St. Jean, sandwiched between the runway at Gustavia Airport and the raves at Nikki Beach. Its location only adds to its charm as you swim in turquoise waters and watch the planes fly so close you can see the passengers smile from their window seats. Another plus is the short walk to town where you can shop for pearls and caftans, and to the restaurants Nikki Beach and Kiki-e Mo.

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Le Sereno on the Grand Cul de Sac is a quieter getaway but still offers some local dining options just a short walk away on the beach. A pool located just steps from the sandy beach also gets my vote. Further down the beach, I happened upon Les Ondines, a lesser-known and simpler resort with large efficiencies and couldn’t-be-closer-to-the-water rooms.

EAT

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that St. Barths is ‘tres cher’ (that’s French for crazy expensive.) The restaurants are no exception with a burger costing as much as $36 Euro. I like a gourmet meal in a beautiful setting as much as the next girl, but I also like a more casual and authentic local flavor. We tried Bonito, with great views of the harbor, blue and white batik print cushions and simple wicker hanging lamps, delicious fare, and a giant chess board, and all agreed it was a winner. Cheap it was not. A dinner at L’Esprit left us wanting more food options and better service, although the garden setting is lovely. Try Tamarin for a knock out garden setting and menu. Le Ti is a must, a serious fun night out in an intimate clubby atmosphere where the burlesque, rhinestones and Indian feather headdresses entertain. We tried the black truffle pasta at the buttoned up Le Toiny and marveled at how black the night was looking out from the terrace. Far and away, our decided favorite for dinner was Eddy’s. A favorite among the locals (our Budget rental car guy gave us the tip), nestled in a secret garden behind a fence in Gustavia with a South Pacific vibe, we agreed we could have eaten there every night.

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For lunch we got hooked on walking into St. Jean and getting the most simple and delicious (and well-priced) salads at Kiki-e Mo. Hard to beat fresh avocado salad with red onion, kale and cranberry, local beet, mango, and caprese. Do Brazil was another sunny spot in the sand at Shell Beach with gazpacho and satay. Or reserve a table ‘in’ the water at O’Corail on the Grand Cul de Sac beach. For a sweet afternoon treat go to Barts Gourmet in Gustavia and get one (or two) of the mini tarte tropezienne.

DO

If you must shop (and you can afford it!), I loved Lili Belle in St. Jean and Clic in Gustavia where I bought my daughter a very detailed large format coloring book of all the treasures St. Barths has to offer. The hotel gift shop at Eden Roc is a winner too with Ancient Greek sandals, local espadrilles, caftans and jewels galore.

Absolutely rent a car and explore the beaches. My favorite afternoon was a drive to Flamands Beach where I hiked a short goat path to the beach at Columbie. I saw an iguana the size of a monkey jump from a tree, too many lazy turtles to count, goats (of course), and pelicans dive bombing for their lunch. And oh yeah, I caught a glimpse of the super yacht Venus too (it is St. Barths, after all).

If nude sun bathing is your thing, try the end of the beach at Gouverneur and feel free to go topless on any beach. Saline is yet another gorgeous beach surprise.

Thank you to my sweet friend for bringing me to my senses and taking me to paradise. I am so lucky to have such generous (and sane) friends with whom to share life’s adventures.

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Close Up Madison Ave

Don’t let the petite purse-sized Fiona Dome fool you — she can pack a full face! I use this bag for days I need to carry everything and sometimes just to carry around 10 lipsticks (life of a beauty girl). Right now, I’ve got the sleek and sparkly Madison Ave pattern filled with my favorite complexion brightening beauty products.  With the colder air creeping in, Jouer’s Anti-Aging Moisture Primer is always a first step before I buff on Kjaer Weis Foundation. It’s like a drink of water for the face! For any dark spots or redness, I tap on MAC Matchmaster Concealer which adapts precisely to your skin tone. A sweep of Bobbi Brown mauvey ‘Telluride’ bronzer on cheeks and La Bella Figura Lisette La Coquette lip tint gives me some much needed color.  I have blue eyes and the rosy brown NARS Dolomites eyeshadow duo makes them pop. A swipe of Benefit They’re Real eyeliner and few coats of L’Oreal Butterfly Mascara and I’m ready to take on the day.

Madison Ave

About Laurie:

Laurie Leopold is the founder of 312Beauty.com, a guide to Chicago by way of beauty. Laurie is also the Chicago Beauty Editor for PrettyQuick and a contributor at Clementine Daily. She’s been featured in Refinery29, The Glitter Guide and appeared on Fox 32 Chicago. In addition to sharing her passion for beauty online, Laurie works for Chicago’s Olson Engage, where she specializes in corporate affairs and developing strategic brand initiatives.

Laurie Leopold - 312 Beauty

 

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