Beauty: Achieving the Tantalizing Tilbury Glow...

There's little question that most of us girls covet glowing skin, toned bodies and shiny hair. As if by storm, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has taken the beauty market by storm with her line of dew-inducing, lip-enhancing, glow-achieving products. While I resisted for a moment (no one wants to be a lemming), I have now finally succumbed to the siren call of her eponymous line. And I couldn't be happier about it. 

What do I love? For me it all begins with the canvas: great skin. I've touched upon the wonders of her Magic Cream before, but what about those hours of the day when you're trying to look your best. Can you treat your skin with makeup? These days, yes. And Tilbury's dynamic duo is hailed for bringing a healthy glow to faces of all colors across the globe. What is this combo? Wonderflash & Light Wonder, her collagen-stimulating primer & lightweight foundation that pack a powerful one-two punch. 

Loaded with peptides and wrinkle-combating ingredients, Wonderflash sets the stage for a luminous all-day healthy "lit from within" glow. Topped with her flawless finish Light Wonder foundation, skin takes on that ethereal glow we're all craving. This is a duet worth singing about. 

Next up, a little high/low action helps you achieve the look of enviable cheekbones and under eye areas that convince everyone (even you) that you're sleeping 8+ hours each night. 

blush.jpg
highlighter.jpg

Replacing my staple YSL highlighting pen is Charlottes Retoucher treat & conceal pen (which almost works like a magic eraser over trouble spots). I'm amazed at how well it works to actually TREAT skin, not just camouflage spots & dark areas. 

Check to Chic blush is all over your instagram feed - and for good reason - it's gorgeous! I love the dual color or giving just the right hint of "pop" on your cheeks. BUT... I think Film Star on the Go is totally underrated. Imagine handling lips, cheeks and eyes in one little chic package? That's what this amazing little compact offers. My fave? Some Like it Hot. Finally..  finish with her MIRACLE of a powder (of which I normally am not a fan) Air Brush Flawless Finish Micro Powder. WOW is this amazing. You can't even see it once it's on and it magically helps your look last all day. Hello, closeup! 

Seriously, her line has made a major impact on my daily routine. I've spent the last month experimenting with foundations, CC creams and primers - all of which finally, desperately sent me to the Tilbury counter at Nordstrom. Could not have been more pleased to discover items that treat the skin all day while helping you look more flawless. If you choose ONE product, I suggest the Light Wonder foundation. It delivers a poreless finish with a very natural "you, only much better" look. I just love it. Alice Gloss describes this product perfectly "Imagine Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua had a baby, well this is it. " Enough said.

I've actually been experimenting with those exact two foundations (Armani & Chanel) and am happy to report that Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder never leaves me feeling like I have a mask on. For me it feels like a tinted moisturizer (which I love) but appearing more finished & flawless (which I need). This is presently my holy grail of foundation/tinted moisturizers. All others being kicked to the curb! 

One thing I appreciate about most of the products is their ability to serve double duty. You're hydrating or fighting free-radicals while looking fabulous. How's that for multi-tasking? Also, the prices aren't out of line with what i'd like to pay for beauty. Coming in at less than comparable brands, Charlotte Tilbury is a great value with generous sizing inside smart packaging. I think it's a makeup love story for me. Perhaps you'll feel the same with a little time at the Tilbury counter too. 

More Tilbury gushing to come soon! 

SHOP THE POST



Interview: Discussing Timeless Design with the Illustrious Jan Showers...

landscape_1424731312-edc030115showers08+(1).jpg

Photograph by Eric Piasecki for ELLE DECOR, featured in March 2015 issue.

A recent issue of Elle Decor featured a beautiful project from Jan Showers. As you know from reading, Jan is one of my absolute favorites when it comes to making interiors look positively gorgeous and timeless but still fresh and exciting. It's a delicate dance, but the gorgeous blonde Texas designer seems perfectly suited for creative luminous interiors that balance glamour and sumptuous comfort.

This project, however, posed an unusual challenge: the client was her very own daughter Susanna. Fascinated by the idea of family dynamics and the normal client-designer tango, I reached out to Jan to ask about the project as well as tap into her glorious wisdom on all things beauty, style and design. 

Pull up a tufted velvet chair and ready yourself for Jan's infinite wisdom (and a few lovely tips for you fellow jet-setters):

Jan, first - thank you for your time. You are a shining star in the design landscape and a professional icon for many of us. It is a pleasure to talk with you and glean a bit of insight into your approach to design. With that, a few fun questions…
Thanks for you kind words!
 
I loved the Elle Decor feature about you and your daughter Susanna working together to freshen up her family home in Houston. It’s clear that you both have great appreciation for one another and the collaborative nature of residential design. She really embraced the strong influence of color and you honored her personal attachment to many furnishings and special pieces. How was this dynamic different from the normal give and take process with other clients?
It was actually very similar---we always try to incorporate pieces that have special meaning to clients and certainly colors that are complimentary to the clients or the art.  I suppose that it could have been different in that Susanna and i certainly speak the same design language (at least 95% of the time).
 
Often, spectacular results come from happy accidents. Was there a particular area or feature of the Moldawer redesign that resulted in a “wow moment" due to a mutual compromise where each of you had to “bend” a little? This is a great question!  Because I love happy accidents.  I honestly cannot remember one on this project---we thought everything through so completely---Susanna is very detailed and knows what she wants.
 
Susanna, like you, has a tremendous respect for family heirlooms and antiques. When did you first discover your passion for furnishings with history?  
When I was in my early teens---i most fortunately had a mother and grandmother who both had a great eye and amazing taste.  
 
How has that influenced your work?
I go to Paris once or twice a year to buy antiques and have for the past 20 years.  Before that, I was going to New Orleans, New York and LA to buy with occasional trips to Paris.  I am so inspired by unusual pieces, particularly those with a history.
 
Amazingly, I've never seen a Jan Showers project that looks dated. Your timeless style is nothing short of impressive. And yet you are able to achier a fresh, fun, contemporary feel to your spaces. How would you describe your creative approach to designing timeless interiors?  
Thanks, again!  This is what I strive to do at all times.  I think this happens because i am not fond of trends—i never want to use fabrics, colors, wallcoverings, etc. That are trendy.  This is why I love the work of Billy Baldwin, Mark Hampton, David Hicks, Frances Elkins and Sister Parish----their rooms stand the test of time because they ignored trends.
 
Chic high-rises, sprawling vacation retreats - you master them all. Can you share any favorite projects that you look back on and feel they perfectly captured your vision and aesthetic?
This is a question I never answer---I love all my projects and hope that they fit my client, not me.  Guess i would pick our two houses since they reflect exactly what I like.  Our country house is more traditional and our city townhouse is a bit more modern while still comfortable and inviting---two elements that must be present in any project I do.
 
Your book "Glamorous Retreats" offered us insights into vacation homes and hideaways of some of your clients. Designing in various locations offers exciting challenges. What is it about designing secondary residences that you find rewarding?
In general, they are lots of fun---clients tend to take more chances with their second or third homes---they always want their second residence to be different from their first.  It's fun to have the challenge of making the project appropriate to its environs.
 
How do you recharge and unwind from professional demands?  
I love to read, watch movies and great cable tv shows which i record---i love bbc mysteries if they are well done---foyle's war is a great example.  Writing relaxes and challenges me---i love to write on my mac air on the weekends.  The most important thing for me to unwind is to get to our country house at least every two weeks----every week is even better!
 
Travel is a necessary part of your profession. Often there’s the need to be fresh & fabulous as you step off the plane and into a client meeting. Any “must-have” items in your carry-on you could share for keeping chic on the go?  
I always wear something that will look good when I arrive---in other words, no fabrics that wrinkle easily.  I carry makeup essentials in my carry on so that I can freshen up on the plane.  I also carry a scarf in my handbag to add to pants and a blazer when i arrive---a trick that all french women use.
 
Dream project… what type of challenge would set your heart on fire if the call came to your studio today?  
We just got a job for an apartment in new york and have done 2 projects in London, one in Toronto---i would love to get a project in paris.
 
And finally… what can we expect to see next from jan showers?
I am doing a wonderful lifestyle line for Kravet Couture that will be introduced in the spring of next year. We have been working on it for well over a year---very exciting.  Details to be released later this year.

Isn't she just a jewel? Jan is widely regarded as a Texas favorite and Dallas couldn't be more proud to call her their own. If you haven't yet visited her site, I encourage you to take a closer look at her portfolio and designer collections for serious style inspiration. Next, grab Glamorous Rooms and Glamorous Retreats and consider these two critical design books for your private library. Yes, they are gorgeous, but each volume is also filled with fantastic ideas and solid wisdom from the AD100 designer herself.  While we're a bit spoiled by our ready access to her furnishings at local showrooms, you too may have a Jan Showers Collection showroom near you. If so, I encourage you to step inside and immerse yourself in her beautiful world of effortless glamour.

Now, for a bit more inspiration....

CHANNEL YOUR INNER JAN SHOWERS

DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD
Consider a sinewy curved sofa. It encourages conversation and lends subtle energy to an otherwise linear floor plan.
(Velvet Curved Sofa via Horchow)

LET THE SUN SHINE
I can't help it. When I think of Jan my mind immediately imagines stunning sunburst mirrors. Classic, chic and always visually appealing.
(Gold Mirror via Horchow)

GILDED GOODNESS
Set the tone for functional glamour with gilded tables featuring tapered legs and durable marble tops. Form & function align to create small (and incredibly useful) masterpieces.
(Global Views Table via Horchow)

SHINE ON
A little reflection is good. A little eglomise? Even better. Place a showstopper like this gold leaf-edged chest on a long wall to make a grand statement without saying a word.
(John Richard Mirrored Chest via Horchow)

leopard.jpg

ANIMAL INSTINCTS
Add a bit of verve to shake up a room. This exotic leopard curule seat is a regal as it is feisty. 
(Macayla Bench via Horchow)

EMBRACE THE ABSTRACT
No doubt about it, art sets the tone for a home. Add a cheerful, colorful painting to your walls for an instant mood boost.
("Cherry Nuance" via Horchow

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

What to Wear: Easter Sunday...


Oh, Easter. It sneaks up on me every year much like spring. It's cold & dreary for weeks on end and then suddenly *boom!* tulips are in bloom and the season of pretty pastels and decorated eggs is upon us. So now the question of what to wear. 

As fashion loving women we wake up with two choices every day: to start with the shoes or not. Some days it's all about those pretty pink pumps. Other days the look begins with my outfit. Easter, mind you, is the perfect opportunity to sport pretty lace or eyelet dresses, floral heels or even bubble gum pink peep-toe patent pumps. The world is literally your oyster and you've been given a temporary hall pass to dress as sweetly as you like. It's your brunch-going duty, in fact to look girly and represent the season. With that, here are a few of my favorite pieces (and beauty counter extras) to ring in the season of bouquets with blooming aplomb. 

SHOP THSE EASTER LOOKS




Whether you begin with fab footwear or a dress you've been eager to wear, you'll appreciate that all of the dresses above are less than $200. For me it's all about investing in top quality accessories but saving where possible on less frequently worn pieces. Shoes should be the best money can buy. Handbags, it goes without saying, are investment pieces. But dresses can be loads of fun and don't have to break the bank.

Happy Spring to everyone. May your season be filled with flowers and fun! 

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Musings: On Making it Fabulous...

Have you ever had one of those days - or weeks - where you just felt powerless to make things the way you'd like them to be? I have. And it isn't fun. But that's life, right? it's messy. It's unpredictable. It's marvelous.

When those days arise (and they will) you need to tap into your resource of personal strength and summon the awesomeness within. It's time to pick yourself up, realize YOU are in the driver's seat and you have better things to do than worry or wallow or wonder.

The truth is, your 24 hours are yours to design and yours to enjoy. Make your moments, your days and your life FABULOUS. Please. Because you deserve it.

Extraordinary Journeys: The Life-Affirming African Safari...

Recently the epic conversation starter "what would you do if..." came up. Specifically, we explored how we would spend our last precious weeks here on this water-covered rock if given news that our number was up. I'm talking Queen Latifah in Last Holiday type of trip. Cash it in. Spend it all. No looking back. For me, there's no question exactly what I would do. Travel. In fact, I'd keep on going until... well, until the movie ended if you know what I mean. ;) 

So where would I go? Many places. And I plan to craft many posts featuring each of them. So buckle up, you bucket listers! It's a whirlwind trip around the globe and we've all got first class tickets and generous uncles sympathetic to our globetrotting cause. 

First up: the African safari. Non-negotiable, my very first experience would be amongst the most menacing predators on earth and the most sensational scenery. There is no other travel experience that even comes close to rivaling the thrill of seeing the "big five" from the comfort of a tricked out jeep with skilled (and let's not kid ourselves here: armed) tour guides. One such company offering the most luxurious safari experience is And Beyond. They keep it chic and make camping in the wilderness seem like the most logical thing in the world.

Regardless of your travel partner of choice, my focus is still the same: dinner under a vast sky where the beauty of our galaxy is actually visible. The very real life-threatening thrill of lurking big game nearby the camp (hello, lions!). The juxtaposition of fine white tablecloth dining amongst the tall grass in a remote game reserve. And, if lucky, playing witness to the great migration and some pretty vivid food chain activities (I'm talking about you, crazy hyenas). The idea of seeing cheetah, prides of lions and massive African elephants up close is beyond thrilling to me. And frankly, I think most people perish from pure lack of passion & excitement in their life. A trip of this magnitude would wake up the most tied of souls and (yes, I'll say it) perhaps even cure you. 

Naturally I would want my husband and girls to go, the inner core of my tight posse. Watching big game with my crew is everything this luxe loving babe could hope for. But... the Mr. being the extremely risk-averse person he is, I'm certain he'd put the kibosh on any plans to bring our little ones. Hyenas, wildebeest and some of the world's most potent predators in close proximity to our daughters strikes him as reckless and irresponsible. I disagree. These stunning creatures are some of the most magnificent on the planet. How can we not expose our girls to beautiful animals in their natural habitat? What if we can witness grazing gazelles and those gorgeous giraffes up close and personal. Together. Talk about a life-changing trip for all of us. 

Now, some of you may be asking why I'd spend my last days on earth (in this hypothetical situation) traveling. If you have to ask, you don't suffer from wanderlust. Plain and simple. Those of us with an unquenchable thirst to move about the globe simply won't be sated until we've seen it all. And then we'll want to go BACK to our favorite places. So if you're married to one of us, brace yourself. The trips will be many, they will be awesome. They will be the best investments you ever make. And they will be what you'll be expected to join us in doing for our entire lives. So keep the passports active. 

Can't get away? Enjoy these safari inspired objects...

VIRTUAL LUXE SAFARI

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Beauty: The Eyes Have It...

Periodically I indulge in a reading a good interview of a fashionable female or two. Oh, who I am I kidding. I devour them like dark chocolate covered espresso beans. My favorite questions fall along the lines of style secrets and any beauty wisdom they are willing to impart. One such question is along the lines of must-have-or-she-might-die beauty essentials. Limited to only have three, which items would these street style stars, beauty editors and otherwise fabulous women choose? I'm always amazed when their coveted must-have essentials include a red lipstick or similar choice. Very French, very "now" but very much not my answer.  

For me, it's all about eyes. The windows to the soul. The lens to your inner camera. Likely one of your most amazing features. And, as luck would have it, also one of those areas of your skin care & beauty routine where you can enjoy a little experimentation. 

At my core I'm a lashes & black liner girl. I recently discovered my current shadow palette holy grail (Bobbi Brown Smoky Nudes), but my long-standing fave liner is in full on betrayal mode. To remedy this (and fight those midday smudges that spoil my look and my mood) I did what any savvy girl would do. I googled. And googled. And googled. Which led me to my new liner love by (who else?) Chanel. I should have known it would be flawless, fabulous and lauded by many. 

After spending time with the makeup pro at my neighboring Neimans, I'm convinced this will give me the precise ebony line I've been craving. This elegant black liner won't budge until you remove it with a quality makeup remover (like this perennial favorite).  

So... what would I insist on wearing given only three beauty items? Liner, of course. Mascara, naturally (and lots of it). And a fabulous highlighter pen. These three would not be all I'd want (because Lord knows we all need a little help achieving that "natural" glow), but they'd be all I would need. Skin care being considered separate, of course. 

How about you? What comprises your terrific trio? Your beauty essentials? Your must-have face savers? 

THE EYES HAVE IT

Buon Weekend: Lit from Within...

Your happiness is yours and yours alone to own. No one can steal your joy, your fire or your passion for life. Own it. Happy Friday to you all. May your weekend be filled with purpose, laughter and light. 

FEMININE THINGS I LOVED THIS WEEK

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Personal Style: Shoe Season Has Begun...

Jimmy-Choo-Tweak-2.jpg

It happened! yesterday marked what most of us in town would mark as the official first day of spring. Temperatures fluttered just below 70 degrees and today we're sure to actually bit that mark on the mercury. This means spring shoe season is ON, ladies. For me this means getting my high heel wedge sandal game in check. 

I've learned that I also prefer cork wedges versus espadrilles in terms of durability (although espadrilles are gorgeous to look at) and that there's a certain heel-to-platform ratio that works for me. Jimmy Choo nails it every time, which lands them squarely in my brand of choice category. But Stuart Weitzman and a handful of others (Jessica Simpson included) make terrific wedges as well.  

If you missed the memo, the 70s are back and what could possibly be more funky and fabulous than platform wedges and a jumpsuit. Wait... doesn't that sound like last summer? Yes, it does. But this time we're ushering in culottes and other wide bottom pants which require the silhouette balancing powers of platforms. 

I, for one, consider a shoe wardrobe of these elevated sandals a fashion must. I like a specific mix to get me through the upcoming season. What is this delicious mix? A floral option, a metallic beauty, a safari-inspired leather strappy wedge and - of course - a blush nude beauty. I've also learned to love having a black option on hand an a brightly colored version. And finally, a nude patent platform elongates the legs and adds serious length to my petite frame. Here, then, is my spring/summer shoe playlist: 

MY INDISPENSABLE SPRINGTIME SIX


And you? What fashion element does spring usher in for you? Ruffled dresses? Eyelet blouses? Capris? I love all of those as well. I'd love to hear what's on your shortlist for the season! 

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Perspective: Excellence is Its Own Reward ...

Our personal habits and behaviours are interesting, aren't they? What we do for ourselves often differs from what we do for others. I've been contemplating this lately as I fire up my creative life again. I'm making these for designers in town and have noticed that my attention to detail and perfection of aspects no one will ever see is astonishing.

It is imperative to me that the quality be unsurpassed and exceptional. Small construction and design details that may not matter to the designers or even the end client are wildly important to me through this process. And I must admit I love (LOVE) the feeling of producing with a spirit of excellence. It feels fabulous. It feels right. It feels purposeful. Whether or not anyone else cares about the finer points is irrelevant. The act of making things luxuriously fine is reward enough. I'm quite proud of what I've made and how well crafted the finished pieces are. That in and of itself is incredibly fulfilling. 

Would I invest as much heart and soul into a product for myself? I know the answer. I would strive for perfection but I would not obsess as much over the minor details. Just as you might eat dinner by yourself at your kitchen counter but pull out all the stops to entertain guests. It's using your finest ingredients and pulling out the heirloom stemware. There's a pleasure in doing things well for others. There is a value in striving for excellence for your own benefit. There's a deep sense of satisfaction in doing things well even if know one notices. It develops your inner life and builds incredible self worth. 

I encourage you to try it. Make a concerted effort to be excellent in areas no one will ever notice. Perhaps it is as domestic as perfectly iron sheets even though you'll be sleeping alone. If you are a maker, it's about producing the finest quality. As a chef it might mean whipping up a five course meal that surpasses all expectations. It's picking something up that someone dropped and rushing down the block to ensure they have it. The idea is about doing things exceptionally well and doing them without expectation of anything in return.

What can you do today to serve others (or yourself) with a spirit of excellence? What private acts could you perform right now with an attitude of precision and purpose? Think about that. Try it. I assure you the feeling that flows through your soul wil be all the reward you could possibly need. The acts themselves are in fact the incredible gift you receive in return for doing your best. 

Go... be excellent. You'll quickly find you're happily addicted to it. 

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Beauty: The Sweet Radiance of Roses...

A few weeks ago I referenced this lovely serum in a post about roses invading the beauty & fashion circuit at the moment. Curious about the healing qualities of rose seed oil, I added two Laura Mercier skincare products to my daily beauty routine. They promised to nourish, lock in moisture and heal my tortured winter skin - a pledge I planned to take to task.

Let me back up by offering that I've recently been using Roc Retinol serum for about a month. From time to time I've dabbled in retinol-rich products. Known to tone, plump, shrink pored, buff out fine lines and otherwise make a girl look refreshed, Roc is an easy brand to go to for over the counter fixes. I felt it was time to beef up my nighttime beauty protocol and begin mixing retinol in as a regular ingredient in my battle for beautiful skin. 

The upside: all of the above. Smaller pores, plumper skin, reduction of fine lines and an overall improvement to my visage. The downside? You must wade into the retinol waters slowly lest the skin respond with dryness and peeling. Hoping to avoid these side-effects I added the Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil and Nourishing Cream to my nightly routine. 

My thoughts? The serum is amazing. Not only is it the most delicate shade of pink (fab!), it comes with a very luxe dropper applicator which helps this germ-phobic girl feel great using (and reusing) it. The glass container is an elegant element of the bottle design too. It looks lovely on the counter, which is a nice bonus. Even better? It has babied my skin like few products ever could. Gone are any dry patches. I find I love it morning and night and am so happy to have discovered this decadent treat. Perhaps in summer it would feel too rich - BUT... it is designed to also be used for cuticles and hair. Bonus! 

Now, the cream. Oh, the cream. Like many of Laura Mercier's products it has a featherlight soufflé texture. This counterbalances its richness. I use this very sparingly on my hands and décolletage. It might be a bit too rich for my combination skin during the day, but I do find that I love adding it at night as a rich nourishing treatment. 

These are very delicate, elegant feeling products I'm happy I added to my routine at just the right time. The delicate skin around my eyes drank these concoctions right up. Turns out, roses are indeed a welcome addition to my life.  While I'm using them a bit heavy-handedly on exposed skin during this chilly & dry season, I'll be employing them year round for myriad uses. Those suggestions for healing cuticles & the ends of hair seem like fantastic summertime uses.  

If your skin could use a little recovery from stress (internal or external) and some pampering,  this little duet is just the thing to pull it (and you) out of the winter doldrums and plant you fresh faced into spring. They have combated any dryness I experienced and have aided in fast recovery from my dabbling in retinol serums.

Good luck, my beauties!  

MY FACE SAVING TRIO

I've really enjoyed sharing more and more of my beauty and style favorites here. I'm a brand loyalist, so I very carefully add (or nix) products in my routine. Once I find a serum, a shoe, a jacket or a mascara that works I pretty much marry it until it no longer suits me. 

Hopefully the beauty and hair posts provide solid opinions and tips so you can decide to pass on a product or experiment to see if it works for you. I'll always share my honest opinion about products - otherwise what's the point? We girls have to stick together! 

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Icons: Barbie's Ongoing Legacy...

Trivial fact: today marks Barbie's birthday. Born in 1959, this fair haired beauty has evolved over the years and cemented her place in history. Not convinced? Barbie is killing it on Instagram and posting selfies and street style shots you wish you could mimic. Seriously.

Trust when I tell you her wardrobe rivals Olivia Palermo... and everyone else you follow on social media. Her flowing mane and tailored outfits are perfectly shot outside of every major landmark and fashion show you might imagine. Ahhh, Barbie. To have your passport and your collection of shoes. 

If you're looking for some major fashion inspiration and hoping to up your flat lay game, look no further than the original style icon. I'm happy to say Barbie has definitely changed with the times. As a mom of two huge fans of the blonde bombshell I'm thrilled they've kept her clean cut and fabulous. Also, there seems to be an effort to downplay her epic feminine proportions. She looks flawless, approachable and largely makeup free. But that wardrobe is still dazzlingly aspirational, just the way it should be. Seriously, Barbie is killing it in 2015. Follow her and find yourself inspired every day. 

If your only exposure to the long legged legend is a passing awareness of the dolls, you'll be happy to know that Barbie is more than just pretty clothes & fabulous hair (but can we all admit those are pretty spectacular?). The movies and books are all about good triumphing over evil and staying true to yourself. The message to little girls of all shades of the rainbow is to embrace your unique truth and do the right thing. There's no hint of conforming or selfishness. Instead the stories are about bravery and standing up for what is right. Barbie is a total #girlboss in the best possible way. She takes command of her life in heels, fab clothes and a smile without ever trading in her girl card. That's something we can all applaud. 

Happy birthday, Barbie. We ♥ you! 

SOME OF OUR FAVE BARBIE GOODIES


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Musings: On Daring to Grow...

This week was quietly amazing. Time and again I'm impressing myself with a renewed tenacity and an unshakable belief that if there is a way I will find that way and make it happen. Everything is possible with the right belief system and consistent action. Those goal writing sessions we've discussed? Time to get on it if you haven't before. I promise there is unshakable power in putting your vision for life down on paper. 

Me? I've been sketching new ideas, writing down financial goals and defining (not unlike DVF) the woman I want to be. If I can encourage you to do anything this week it is to step way outside your comfort zone and into the faith zone. Move beyond what you've achieved in the past and decide to do what a better version of yourself would do. By consistently doing this simple process you will blossom into the fabulous human being you truly desire (and deserve) to be. 

ELEMENTS TO UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY


What if this week you sketched a little, journaled a little and put some colorful dreams on paper? Perhaps for no one else to ever see except you (those dreams are the best, I believe). Think of this as your kickstart to spring. Your moment to reawaken your spirit and your inner fire. Put on some pretty new shoes, rock big audacious sunglasses and unleash the creativity that's been on hold during this painfully long winter. 

Need a good book recommendation? I have a few motivational reads you might enjoy. These two will get you started and I'll continue offering more. 

GAME-CHANGING READS

If you want to open your mind and heart to the possibilities of belief, these three books will shake your perception of what's accessible to you. Remember: it is never what you are born with or what you have - it's what you think about yourself and the consistent actions you take in life to build the dream life you desire. GO GET THESE BOOKS and open your eyes. Life is waiting for you. 

Coveted Pieces: The Feminine Trench...

The iconic trench has never been uncool, but this beautiful top layer is enjoying somewhat of a Renaissance at the moment. Lace, floral, belted, leather piped... anything goes with this outfit-making layer. 

SHOP MY FAVORITE TRENCHES



Will you go loose and languid or stick to tradition with a Burberry style belted khaki creation? The world is your oyster this season, as designers are pulling out all the stops on this lightweight coat guaranteed to make you look polished and feminine. My only suggestion is to try them on and make sure it feels fabulous before even looking in the mirror. Petite girls like myself should opt for belted varieties and focus on where the hem hits. I like mine lightweight and fitted, but if you're a London or NY girl a trench that offers more of a barrier from the elements might serve you best. Invest in the very best you can and don't settle for less. xoxo

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Beauty: Charlotte's Magic Potion...

There's "buzz" and then there's a miracle cure for what plagues us. In this case, the would be threat is the passing of time. Much like sunblock and eye cream, it's never too soon to start battling the clock and preserving your skin. 

Popular ingredients come and go, but a few key players are all-stars in the war against aging skin. Retinol: perhaps the leader of all active ingredients. Antioxidants are also proven champions. Hyaluronic acid is yet another team player with credible results, as it temporarily plumps and "fills" the skin. And finally we have peptides. Ahhhh, peptides. These "mini protein" molecules trick the skin into producing more collagen - the substance all of us lose over time. More collagen equals a more taut, plump, lifted appearance. 

Which brings me to this new supposedly superstar product: Charlotte Tilbury's "Magic Cream" which promises a whole lotta fabulous with repeated use. Notice that not only does this pretty jar come packed with product, it arrives with specific application instructions that mimic a mini facial. What does it purport to do? Everything. Plump Define. Relax. Smooth. Lift. Tighten. Tone. Everything a beauty-loving girl could hope for, actually. And... this beautiful jar of hope rings in at $100, so those of us bellying up to the skin care bar will hope it lives up to its promises. 

Do I think it works? Reviews are nothing short of impressive. A study of the ingredients reads like a list of the industry's most favored peptides and other active ingredients. But... that application process is not to be underestimated. Want to see it in action? Watch the video below:

Am I eager to give it a go? Yes, of course. But starting tonight you can bet I'll be applying my nightly serum & moisturizer in the manner shown above. Anytime I am treated to the sublime pleasure of a facial I am reminded of why this ancient practice is so crucial for a healthy, glowing complexion. The very act of working the skin and encouraging blood circulation is a reminder that self-care is essential and - quite possibly - the reason our European sisters age so fabulously. 

Looking for your own magic potion? Aren't we all. Charlotte's "Magic Cream" might just be the one. If you try it and love it please swing back by and let me know as it has my curiosity piqued and my mind dreaming of all those powerful peptides. 

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Luxe Accommodations: A Chic Boutique in Paris's Golden Triangle

A playfully chic Paris hotel between Avenue Montaigne and the Grand Palais for around $200USD per night? Some might say you are dreaming, I say you've stumbled upon the dreamy La Maison Champs Élysées

The opulence of Paris is all there: gilded staircases, marble floors and terrace dining. But La Maison has a bit more fun with the usual visit to the City of Light by featuring trompe-l'œil in lieu of authentic boiserie - just one of many cheeky elements in their classical-meets-avant-garde design.

Frankly, if you can get to Paris and score a room at this fabulous boutique hotel you'd be a fool not to do so. You'll have the option of an opulent suite (part of their Couture Collection) or a more contemporary (read: less pricey) Boutique Collection suites. All of these have been designed by fashion designer Martin Margiela. 

What to expect? Sophisticated details with a twist of irony. Luxe finishes juxtaposed with trendy details. It's the high-low mix of street style applied to an exquisite boutique hotel. Explore this lovely hotel here and enjoy your stay in the center of this magical city. 

Can't get away? I have some fun things for you below.. including wallpaper to give you the illusion of that coveted French paneling. Enjoy! 

PARIS INSPIRED DESIGN ELEMENTS


CHANNEL YOUR INNER FRENCH GIRL


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Trendspotting: Sugary Sweet Spring Style...

The fashion media may be lauding the return of pastels, but I see the color story as a bit more punchy. There's nary a note of the chalky colors I associate with true pastels. These colors are a bit more cheery, a bit less Easter Sunday and clearly more fresh. Think: festive mint green, optimistic Barbie pink and a dreamy sky blue and you're on the right track. 

The best part? These aren't your mamma's pale hues. Our color palette for spring is more bold (witness those grass green lace-up trainers below) and perhaps a bit more fun than expected. It seems we've finally reached "anything goes" nirvana when it comes to getting dressed. Frankly, if you're rocking a handbag the color of a ray of sunshine, feeling happy should be the edict of the day. Don't you agree? 

SHOP THE SUGARY SWEET TREND



YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY