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NYC Contact Sports store front

Play Ball

Shops selling sex toys are partial to hubba-hubba, wink-wink names: the Pleasure Chest, Good Vibrations. The latest pun, Contact Sports, plays on the athleticism of the oldest sport in the world. The new store in SoHo looks like an upscale, not-sweaty locker room with vintage Playboy magazines strewn among the vibrators, whips, stylish lubricants, and massage oils. One saleswoman told me customers who might be uncomfortable sidling into a Hustler Hollywood are at ease here, where there are no neon “XXX” signs in the window. The Contact Sports Web site divides products into three categories: Rookie (the minimalist Maude Vibe), Varsity (the Dame Aer Suction Toy), and Pro (the Kiki de Montparnasse black leather paddle). Score! ( —Linda Wells

The Ranch Malibu

Not So Free-Range

If you’re going to deny yourself, you may as well do it in a place with distracting scenery. The Ranch, a Malibu-born deprivation-chic retreat that now has an outpost in Italy, at Palazzo Fiuggi, outside of Rome, is expanding its reach and popping up at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch this fall. Hiking, healthy living, and a handful of nuts (after a four-hour hike) are all on the six-day, five-night program, along with a dry sauna, cold plunge, strength training, and, blessedly, daily massage and afternoon nap time. (There is a god.) East Coasters who hope to experience the Ranch closer to home may want to wait until March 2024, when a permanent Hudson Valley branch will open. (From $6,600 per person for double occupancy and $7,800 for a single room; —Ashley Baker

The Technogym Bench

One-HIT Wonder

A set of Peloton weights may do the job, but is it sexy? Inspiring?
Photogenic? The Technogym Bench is all that. I discovered this sleek, unobtrusive piece of sculpture at the Madame Rêve hotel gym, in Paris. It holds five sets of weights, resistance bands, a foam roller, and even weighted knuckles. (Throw a quilt over it and it makes excellent impromptu seating at a cocktail party.) The Technogym app is full of efficient weight-training workouts, which means that after way too many years of avoidance, I finally have an actual routine. And my core, posterior, and skeletal muscles are grateful. ($1,850; —Ashley Baker

French Bloom


Non-alcoholic cocktails are expected in Los Angeles and accepted in New York, but Paris? France? Mon dieu! That didn’t intimidate model Constance Jablonski or Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger, an executive at the Michelin Guide. They conspired while pregnant, both yearning for a cuvée alternative that was as sophisticated and celebratory as a proper glass of champagne. French Bloom, their baby together, is a collection of sparkling wines made from organic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes blended with rose petals and white peach in a de-alcoholized fizz. Even the sommeliers at Le Rock in New York and Le Ritz Paris approve. Santé! ($44, —Zoe Ruffner

Glossier G-Suite Trio


Three years ago, a bright, silicone phone case sent the Glossier team on an unexpected mission: to create a liquid lipstick with that same bold pigment and velvety feel. While a phone case wasn’t the image that came to mind after applying the new G Suit, it is undeniably bold and, unlike anything at the Apple Store, moisturizing—a welcome change from the usual Sahara-dry liquid lipsticks. Another perk of the buttery G Suit: its nine shades can be layered, mixed, and applied in varying levels of opacity. It’s a whole lot more user-friendly than your 2016 Kylie Lip Kit. ($22, —Clara Molot

Dr.Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Camo Drops S.P.F. 35.

Where’s Spot?

We find multitasking sunscreens almost as exciting as a new episode of Ted Lasso. That explains the giddiness at Dr. Jart+’s new formulations, which provide plenty of mineral S.P.F., while also tackling the complicated matter of redness and irritation that often accompany sensitive skin. Our favorite is the user-friendly Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops S.P.F. 35. Its primary ingredient is an herbal remedy found in the wetlands; for centuries now, wounded tigers have been known to roll around in the stuff. After applying a few drops of this lightweight, greenish fluid at the end of a skin-care routine, the color of my patch red spots (which I have come to accept as a fact of life) was reduced by at least a shade or two. ($48, —Ashley Baker

Issue No. 3
May 5, 2023
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Issue No. 3
May 5, 2023