This past Sunday, I celebrated the end of my birthday week. My friend Trisala cooked a home-made dinner for me, in her apartment in Tribeca. And then let me stay with her for three nights (I am here until tomorrow Wednesday) during my New York City business trip. You may know this about me: I have a love-hate relationship with NYC. I love it in terms of productive work – days here are packed with meetings with beauty editors, beauty buyers, branding experts. A 12 hour day in NYC also feels like a 20 hour day in DC; this city drains me. The speed of everything, the sensorial overload, the people, the driving (in a cab or otherwise)… Yet after a long day I come “home” to Trisala’s and I feel, well, a bit at home. Actually, so much so that I want to have her home-cooked meals every night. She laughs and says I am her only out of town friend who doesn’t want to go out to the newest, greatest, bestest restaurant in The City for dinner. Go figure. Of course, she has Swiss gruyere and Swiss “mayonnaise” in her fridge at all times. And a pile of French literature and philosophy books on her kitchen counter, some of which she lets me borrow. And the best playlist on her Ipod. And an apartment without a TV. And fabulous bath oils in her bathroom (an inspiration should we at Alchimie ever decide to make bath oils).

On Sunday night, we reminisced about when we met – middle school. Scary. I just turned 34, she is turning 35 in a couple of weeks, which means we have known each other for 20 years. Our friendship has survived the test of time, and of absence. She is the kind of friend I can see after 3 years of absence and feel like the last time I saw her was just a couple of days ago. Actually, when I come to think of it, I think of her every day; at least every day that I am in my house in Georgetown. She has given me three of the things I use most often in my life. My wine opener – the best one in the world. My pillows – the most comfortable ones in the world. And my cashmere blanket – a pure luxury that I live with from October through March.

There is nothing like a friend like her to make me feel at home even when I am in the Big Apple. Merci Trisala. And on that note, thank you to all of my dearest girlfriends. You know who you are.

On the importance of girlfriends

I am the eldest of four daughters. I work in the female-dominated beauty industry. And I am surrounded by girlfriends. I had drinks last night with a few of them, and it reminded me about their importance to me, and their role in my life.

In alphabetical order, please meet some of them (and learn about their favorite Alchimie Forever products).

Heidi. The BFF among all BFFs. She makes me feel like I can do anything, anytime. Including run a ½ marathon on my 31st birthday (that was her gift to me), without any training whatsoever other than my biweekly short runs. She also makes me feel like no matter what kind of trouble I get myself in, she will be there for me if I need it. It is an amazing feeling of safety. She is my get out of jail card. Hopefully she knows I am hers. (Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream)

Jen. We met at a beauty tradeshow in Las Vegas, completely randomly, the two beauty people from the greater DC area. She is the CIBU muse. She is the Fresh Lunch enabler. She has taught me about Youtube, Twitter, and more. We share industry stories and discuss the latest WWD articles (and the men in our lives of course). (Kantic calming evening cream)Jilinda.

We went to business school together, but somehow only became friends at the very end – actually at a rooftop pool in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Her, her husband, and their two children (of which my god-daughter Margot) are like my family away from home. When I crave a home-cooked meal, as well as the routine of playing with toddlers and reading bed-time stories, I invite myself over. (Kantic calming evening cream)

Kassie. We launched our businesses around the same time, we are growing our businesses one along side another, and sometimes I just need to have another woman entrepreneur’s perspective. She always listens, offering encouragement and words of wisdom. She also feeds my shoe addiction. And she has taught me that a fight only makes friendship stronger. (Kantic brightening moisture mask)

Maiya. My freshman year roommate. My early morning sister (5 am alarms throughout most of college!). She got me to watch the X files back in 1995 – our Sunday evening tradition. Even if we don’t see each other more than once a year these days, she always remembers my birthday. She always sends a Christmas gift. We email almost daily. She has been a constant in my life for 16 years now (and not many other people or things have!). (Diode 1 + 2 age defying serums)

Megan. Possibly the most gorgeous of my friends. Heads turn when we have cocktails (and those heads are not turning for me). The thing is, she isn’t just gorgeous. She is smart, professional, kind, a little shy – and not a girlie girl. She reminds me to be kind to myself, to take some time off, to work less hard. (Kantic calming evening cream)

Minal. The perfect example of how a business acquaintance becomes a friend. We met through a common industry connection, and stayed in touch. Over the years, through dinners and cocktails, we became friends. From Minal I have learned to network better, to write better, to be more involved in the community. She is the one who got me involved in NFTE. It was at her table that I had the amazing experience at their recent Dare to Dream gala. (Excimer purifying facial cleanser)

All of my girlfriends are an integral part of my life – the ones I described here, and all the others, Lindsey, Lisa, Vikki, Julie, Jen (other Jen), Severine, the list goes on. They are invaluable to me. Their successes are my successes. Their struggles are my struggles. They make my life richer and more fun. Thank you!