The Fashionable Hostess is without a question the go-to blog for hosting events and dinner parties. Creator Amanda Saiontz Gluck never fails to deliver the best lifestyle tips and tricks to help you live as stylishly as possible. But how does she pull it all off while balancing being a being a mom in the Big Apple? I was dying to know more, so I headed straight to Chateau FH to see her wide collection of glassware, beauty essentials, and Baby Reese’s adorable nursery. How cute is this baby?
Annie: How did you get started as a blogger?
Amanda: My mom was in retail, so from a young age I was taking buying trips to New York and assisting in merchandising her store. I always knew I wanted to be in fashion, so right from my starting years at Brown University, I began interning in NYC. After graduation, I moved to New York and the next six years were a blur of fashion jobs. Somewhere in the middle I thought I would become a fashion blogger; hence my blog was born. But around the time I got engaged and started talking about my registry, my blog really started taking off. I realized that there was a bigger niche for me in entertaining – especially someone who could mix high and low-priced items – such as Juliska Crystal with West Elm place mats. As the years have gone by, I have transitioned to being married and then becoming a mom, and my blog has taken the ride with me. I feel like I can actually relate to a wider readership now because the engaged are still reading for essentials, while the new moms are reading to keep their sanity. I love that I have this creative outlet to share on, especially on days the baby is cranky!
My life is all about finding balance (which to be honest I am constantly fine tuning and shifting) because let’s face it, life with a baby is ever changing. I try to have “me” time which is always in the form of working out (yes, even when I am pregnant!). I do Flybarre and Soul Cycle once a week. Classes are always important for me because I have to leave my phone outside and just focus on one thing. At home, I have the baby moving here, my phone buzzing there, and a million things on my mind, so some peace and quiet to myself is a must. I also make an effort to have “adult time”. Whether it’s date night with my husband or girls night with my friends, I think it’s healthy to have a break. I do my best to turn off the baby talk, show minimal pictures, and just hang. Another big thing of course is my blog – which I do mostly between 8 and 10 pm, after I put the baby to bed. I also go to press previews, collaborative meetings, and plan events. It’s so nice to have a passion for something without the stress of “going to the office”. But to look the part when I go places, I get to my next obsession – my beauty regimen.
I knew I was obsessed with Annie and She’s in the Glow, because I felt like I finally could let loose and discuss products, regimens, treatments, you name it, with someone else who is mutually obsessed. While I have no formal training in beauty, I would say I am somewhat of an expert, as I am the highest level rewards customer at Sephora. Yes, I get so many free samples every time I go they practically bring out balloons. I just love changing my foundations and bronzers seasonally, doing weekly face masks and hair masks, getting weekly manicures, and of course I have NO tolerance when it comes to roots – you better believe I am in the salon every 6th week to a T for highlights.
Annie: As a mother, tell me a little about how you care for your skin? How does your skin change after having little ones? And since you are currently pregnant, what skincare products do you swear by when expecting?
Amanda: A Prenatal Vitamin that works for you. I know this sounds weird, but there are a million kinds of prenatals for a reason, so don’t just go with the first one you try. If you are breaking out, have stomach pains or other symptoms (obviously keeping in mind you won’t feel fabulous everyday of pregnancy), it may be worth trying a new one! I started by using some incredibly expensive all-organic one and I felt like crap. I then switched to a $15 generic from my doctors office called VitaMedMd and voila – glowing skin, long hair, and gorgeous nails.
Burt’s Bees Baby Oil, which I rub daily on my belly, boobs, and booty post-shower to avoid stretch marks! I recommend starting before you notice any changes in your body. Knock on wood, but I didn’t get any stretch marks the first time around and am hoping to stay the same my second.
On to my skin – my skin is sensitive and combination so I don’t like to change things around with different products everyday. I found a fabulous regimen at Susan Ciminelli Spa! The Cleansing Milk (also removes makeup), seawater spray and marine spray. I use these three steps twice daily. For daily moisturizer I use Bliss Ex’glow’-sion, for evening I use the Susan Ciminelli Rich Moisturizer. For daytime eyes I use Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, and for nights of a little less sleep I use Sephora Instant Depuffing Roll-on Gel.
Unfortunately, skin changes throughout pregnancy and a lot has to do with the fluctuation of hormones and stress. I found that drinking a lot of water and eating healthy, and a good weekly cleansing mask like CAUDALIE Vinopure Purifying Mask works wonders.
Annie: What makeup products do you swear by, as in what are your ‘stranded on a desert island’ favs?
Amanda: Being a blonde, I could not live without mascara!! And being from Miami, I need bronzer to keep my sun kissed glow. Without those two I look sickly! Even after my water broke, I ran to the bathroom and threw both of those on before heading to the hospital (and hey, my first picture with Reese came out fab!). For mascara, I love MAC ‘In Extreme Dimension’ and L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. For bronzer I love NARS Cream Blush in Orgasm.
Annie: You have my dream hair! I need to know everything. Where do you get your hair cut and colored? Can you color while you are pregnant?
Amanda: By no means do I have dream hair, ha! But thank you above and beyond for the compliment. I try to wash my hair as little as possible, so I go 3-4 days between washes (eek I know, sounds gross), but I don’t have an oily scalp, I use tons of dry shampoo, and I wet and re-dry my front pieces daily, so it always looks fresh! As for hair care, I am a religious Kérastase person and I use Ciment Thermique leave-in cream before any heat. I use my hair mask, Kérastase Masque Elixir Ultime, weekly as well for an hour (or three) outside of the shower. My poor husband walks in the room and I am wearing a green face mask, white hair mask, bathrobe, no shame here!
As for my “people” and yes I say people because I am SO LOYAL to my colorist and hair cutter – I could never go to anyone else. For color I see Danielle Goldbergh at Gemini 14 and Aaron Purcell at Cutler. They are the best – they recommend how I should change my hair each season, and always recommend the newest products. Oh and highlights while pregnant – absolutely!!! You can’t not fit in your jeans AND HAVE ROOTS, that would just be too much for a gal like me to handle.
Annie: Your body is insane. I am beyond jealous. And you are pregnant! Give me the details on your bod and how you stay in shape. Gym vs. class? How do you stay so skinny? Can you diet while being pregnant? After having Reese, how did you get back in shape?
Amanda: (First of all I am dying because I was thinking the same thing of you – except I know you drink juices and I cant! ew!) Ok, so above I talked about my love of working out – I do Flybarre and Soul Cycle once a week and then I do some cardio on my own in between. When not pregnant, I try to run once or twice a week, but since you can’t get your heart rate racing while being pregnant, I prefer the elliptical. Then for diet, I would just say overall I eat pretty healthy. I try to have a salad for lunch with protein every day or a whole wheat wrap, and then I do a fair amount of cooking for dinner – fish, chicken, veggies, quinoa. I love to use spices like red pepper flakes and oregano for flavor rather than salt and bread crumbs. I am starving every few hours so I ALWAYS have snacks on me – like Babybell cheese, Kind Bars, or 100 calorie pack pretzels. I do have a ridiculous sweet tooth though, so for dessert I try to have healthy options around in my freezer like low-fat froyo, fudgesicles, pudding, low-fat graham crackers, and Kashi cookies (which are especially good in the freezer). While being pregnant I definitely am less rigid when it comes to my healthy regimen, but as long as I am working out, I don’t feel bad about it. I must say overall though that I just don’t obsess about food. If I am hungry, I eat, if I am busy, I go about my day. I think the more you think about what you can and cannot have, the hungrier you are. Oh and most importantly of all (and Annie I know you did this too), I am a big advocate of staying hydrated!!! I drink water, Perrier, crystal light or iced tea, all day! (I do drink coffee while pregnant but not really soda!)
Annie: Do you have any beauty secrets that are specific to you that you would like to share?
Amanda: My favorite tip is use PRIMER! I love Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer because it is so silky smooth when it goes on it feels like a second moisturizer and completely evens out your skin. I use primer even for a casual day under my foundation. I hate it when people save products for “special occasions”… why wouldn’t you want to look your best all the time?
Annie: Thoughts on facials? Where do you go?
Amanda: So my much kept secret is I have the best facial spot in NYC, Graceful Spa. Now before Googling, let me warn you to NOT judge a book by its cover here… it’s on the second floor of a walk up building on the corner of 14th street and 7th avenue. It’s NOT FANCY by any means… Literally a hung up sheet is what separates you from the person next to you. But when I tell you it’s a dream – they do all sorts of facial massage, steam, extraction, a mask and a complimentary neck massage for $80! You walk out with a glow even though it feels they have picked your face away! I did this monthly for 6 months before my wedding and people legit thought I had some sort of expensive microdermabrasion done! I started going 5 years ago and no facialist I have been to (at any price) can compare!!
Annie: What are your drugstore essentials?
Amanda: Aquaphor which I apply nightly to my lips, L’Oreal Elnett Strong Hold Hairspray – a great inexpensive hairspray that has fab holding power, Jergens Shea Butter Lotion – my favorite for winter dry skin, and Burt’s Bees Baby Oil – for moisturizer and avoiding stretch marks!
Annie: Favorite nail color?
Amanda: I have very long nail beds so I don’t really go crazy when it comes to nail colors. I would say I spend 75% of the year wearing Essie Ballet Slippers or Waltz. Then the other 25% I wear Essie Really Red or Macks.