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Red Carpet Rules of the Road

If your invitation to the Oscars got lost in the mail like ours did, don’t fret! We’ve got everything you need to get red carpet ready for any festive occasion.

First thing’s first: magnify your mane with the Peter Coppola 7-piece hair care system. Including everything from shampoo to thickening structural cream, this kit will add the perfect amount of volume and shine to your look.

Once your locks are primped and primed, create glamorous curls with this $220 curling iron for only $19.99 – that’s 90% off! (Maybe use those savings on post-fete burgers and shakes for you and your entourage?)

Get ready for your close-up with this 5-piece designer make up kit. This Coastal Scents palette includes 20 eye shadow shades to help you achieve any evening look! For an added punch try this photo ready eyeliner + brightener 4 pack — forget the Instagram filter, the camera loves you as is.

For the finale, add a finishing touch with Calvin Klein speakeasy red lipstick. Or pick from any of the other 12 essential make up pieces from Calvin Klein, only $12.99 each.

Pro tip: to plump up your lips add a brighter shade in the middle of both the top and bottom lip for a fuller look. And to make your color last all day, shade in your lips with a similar color lip liner, then top if off with lipstick.

With these tips and savings, you’ll be on the best-dressed list for sure!

Get Naked at the Zoo for Valentine’s Day

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Think outside the chocolate box this Valentine’s Day.

Show your true love with the help of one of the sexiest little beasts residing at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC — the naked mole rat.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, our neighbors at the National Zoo are offering this exclusive deal with LivingSocial. For $10, you can symbolically adopt and gift a naked mole rat to the valentine of your choice. The lucky recipient will be given a certificate of adoption, as well as a heartwarming (and cleverly cheeky) e-card of your choice.

The National Zoo’s Adopt a Species program was established in 1997 to help enrich zoo programs in science, education and animal care. Today, the National Zoo is home to more than 1,800 animals from 300 species, and proceeds from your e-adoption will aid in the conservation and care of animals at the Zoo and around the world.

The naked mole rat has stolen our hearts.

Introducing Escapes Editor’s Picks

In our new monthly Editor’s Picks series, LivingSocial travel expert Nick Stafford brings you the best value-packed vacation experiences.

Q: Hi, Nick. Do us the honor of telling us about yourself.

A: I’m Nick Stafford, armed with 15 years of experience leading travel businesses and a well-stamped passport. I’m responsible for LivingSocial’s travel business ‘Escapes’. Travel has been a personal passion of mine, ever since I traveled to Africa and Asia before college, and I’ve been fortunate to have a professional career in the travel industry. I’ve worked in both leisure and corporate travel in the U.S. and Europe, specifically in the airline, yachting, and hotel industries.

Q: What is LivingSocial Escapes?

A: Escapes provides a marketplace where LivingSocial members can discover, share, and buy great travel experiences. We work with the best travel providers, both near and far. So if you’re looking for that perfect weekend away, a luxury hotel in the Caribbean, or the trip of a lifetime to Europe, Africa or Asia, then LivingSocial is the place for you.

Q: What makes Escapes unique?

A: We focus on inspiring our members to travel, working with only a select and limited list of hotels, airlines, and B&B/inns. Inspiration is key. In fact around 70% of our members who buy tell us that they were not actively looking to travel at that time, until they discovered our travel experiences. Our weekly collection is curated. It’s often exclusive and it’s always tailored for our members based on their location. Our primary focus is those perfect nearcation Escapes.

Q: What is Editor’s Pick?

A: Though all of our partners provide great experiences, some stand out. “Editor’s Pick” allows us to share extraordinary places on a monthly basis. The selection will certainly be more art than science. Travel is all about inspiration so don’t expect cookie cutter experiences.

Q: Tell us about your first pick, Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley. What makes the property stand out?

A: Besides the delicious food, local wines, and excellent service, the resort offers an unheard of rustic elegance. Nestled in the trees, this private luxury retreat inspires total relaxation and fuels the soul.  The outdoor living spaces that each cabin offers is a real breath of fresh air.  It’s an amazing way to connect with nature as you enjoy your private outdoor shower surrounded by the majestic oak trees.

Q: Describe the guest experience travelers can expect.

A: Flawless hospitality. The staff at Calistoga Ranch anticipates each guest’s need before you can even ask. In the heart of wine country, you are close to lots of vineyards, restaurants, art galleries, etc.

Q: Let’s say you had 1 day to spend at the resort. What would you do?

A: Request breakfast and mimosas delivered to my private garden. Go for a hike and soak in the California sun and views of wine country. Go for a dip and enjoy lunch poolside – and of course, a taste of local wine. Soak in a mineral bath, pick a mud treatment, a massage or a facial at the spa. For dinner, order the tasting menu (chef’s choice) with wine pairings at the Lake House restaurant under the stars. That’s how I’d roll – and quite literally. After dinner, I’d roll a little bocce at the Ranch court.

A: Can you give us a clue about next month’s Editor’s Pick?

Calistoga Ranch was the perfect pick for January as the experience focused on rest, rejuvenation, and great food and wine. You can expect February’s selection to fit the season. All I’ll say is that if your happy place involves lifts and a little something called fresh powder, come back for our February reveal!

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Resolutions: Ready, set, go!

It’s been two weeks since you’ve made those New Year’s resolutions, and barely a baby step toward getting them checked off. When it comes to reaching those goals, only about 8% of people are successful in accomplishing what they set out to do.

Never fear. LivingSocial has uncovered great deals to help step up for 2015. “Do more, spend less” doesn’t have to be so daunting. Here are some smart ways you can save money while jumpstarting your resolutions.

If health and fitness are on your radar, check out the Xtreme Xfit Band or Watch, a sleek and wearable technology that lets you track your fitness 24/7. Or if you want to exercise from the comfort of home (we feel those Northeast winters), the barre3 workout DVD package and core ball and non-skid yoga towel make great additions to your training arsenal. And for outdoor enthusiasts who crave challenge, the Sunset Strip Half Marathon lets you flaunt your running game on LA’s rock and roll road. (P.S. we are constantly featuring color runs, 5ks for a cause, and other shorter-distance treks all around the country.)

Perhaps you’ve resolved to hone a hobby or diversify your downtime instead. Grab some friends and head to a local Paint Nite event where you can channel your inner Picasso over a glass of vino. More of an adrenaline junky? Get revved up with a Ferrari or Lamborghini Autocross Experience, available across the country in cities like Portland, Savannah, Richmond, Minneapolis, and St. Petersburg. And for career-minded folks, this online PMP project management certification course may be just the ticket to clinching that coveted corner office.

If travel is front and center on this year’s agenda, then peruse our recent post on where to go when, and bookmark these links to stay in the know about terrific travel offers near and far: inns and bed and breakfasts, family-friendly, luxury, and global escapes.

2015 is your year!

2015 Travel: Where to go when

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Now that the New Year’s confetti has settled, it’s time to jumpstart the “travel more” resolution. Of course, there’s a smarter strategy for choosing your destination than throwing a dart to a map.

Our friends at Travel & Leisure recently wrote about when to cruise where, based on prices, weather, tourism peaks, and more. We’ve taken their expert recommendations to dry land in this roundup of great properties and resorts you can book through LivingSocial in these destinations. Plus, purchase by January 11 for an extra 10% off when you use promo code TRAVEL2015 at checkout.

When: January – April

GO!: Caribbean/Mexico, South/Central America, Southeast Asia, Netherlands/Belgium

Before you hit your breaking point with the frigid temps, head south of the border for some sunshine and olé action. Visit the Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, at 34% savings, and explore the beach, spa, and rain forest, all within walking distance of this magnificent property.

Have the adventure bug? Discover beautiful Chile on this 11-day Patagonian trek (29% off), where you’ll experience everything from serious hiking, to wine tasting, and even a catamaran ride, while soaking up Mother Nature’s most brilliant moments.

Finally, The Four Seasons in Bangkok – need we say more? (Opulence!)

When: May – August

GO!: Mediterranean/Greek Isles, Alaska, Northern Europe/Iceland, Transatlantic Crossing

Explore Athens, Mykonos, and Paros in one fell swoop with this 9-day Greek odyssey (20% off with flights included.) Ancient cities, Mediterranean delicacies, and island hopping await your arrival!

Realize the charm of the Emerald Isle with an 8-day trip to Ireland (50% off). You can pick your own adventures (golf, pubs, riverbank walks, cathedral tours, literally counting sheep) as you tour and explore.

Or, stay stateside. This Alaskan luxury inn and spa offers a woodsy retreat for folks who are looking to let go and disconnect.

When: September – December

GO!: South Pacific/Hawaii, Rhine/Danube Rivers, Antarctica

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (24% off) is the perfect paradise for early birds and night owls alike. You’ll have a full 40 acres of a playground to swim, surf, siesta, and dance the night away (hula preferred.)

Another Four Seasons, Hawaiian style. This Maui resort is rife with world-class amenities and staff, as well as an impeccable beachfront. And, it’s the only AAA 5 Diamond and Mobil 5 Star resort in Hawaii.

TRAVEL2015

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