Test Driving the Brit Celeb Makeup Artist’s Line at Selfridges

 

I had a mission in London. The beauty industry had been buzzing about celeb makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s new line. The mascara was said to be next level. The concealer able to camouflage a decadent night of partying. And, the Wonder Glow Primer able to deliver a lit-from-within effect that filled in wrinkles creating an anti-aging optical illusion. With a cadre of celeb clients that range from Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham and the new Mrs. Clooney, I was intrigued. Especially because this makeup is tough to find stateside.

 

I hightailed it over to Selfridges and challenged the talented Oliver Simpson to transform my fatigued complexion into something resembling Sienna Miller. The counter was MOBBED. We found a stool and got to work. Charlotte’s Magic Cream infused my jet-lagged visage with verve,  brightening the complexion and adding a dewy glow. Next, the Wonder Glow Primer evened out my skin tone. The foundation added another level of luminosity. I have a zillion blushes at home. But, I found the Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop Blusher alluring. The effect was sun kissed and natural. Finally, what girl can resist a lip gloss at the end of the day? We finished the look with a moisturizing swipe of Sweet Stiletto Lip Lustre.

 

I may not be Sienna Miller, but, damn, I felt good!

Light Wonder Foundation: $45, Nordstrom + Wonder Glow Primer: $55, Nordstrom
 

Here’s what I bought:

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Magic Cream Moisturizer, $100, Nordstrom + ‘Cheek to Chic’ Swish & Pop Blush: $40, Nordstrom

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‘Lip Lustre’ Lip Lacquer: $22, Nordstrom + ‘The Retoucher’ Conceal & Treat Stick: $35, Nordstrom

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Makeup artist Oliver Simpson & Amy Tara Koch at the Charlotte Tilbury in Selfridges


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The Ka-Pow Brow

Brow Dreamgirl

When you are pregnant, most of the glammy holiday fashions are irrelevant. You have your LBD (wrap, shift or empire) and add drama by adding statement accessories. Not this year! Thanks to the return of the power brow, pregnant women have another weapon in their style arsenal.

Thanks to dozens of brow specific beauty products, anyone can groom caterpillar brows and craft a magnificent look that smacks of Kate Upton.

Here’s what you need:

final products

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stencils, Sephora, $20

Benefit Brow Zing Shaping Kit, Sephora, $32

Pixi by Petra 2-in-1 Natural Brow Duo, Target, $16

Smashbox Brow Tech To Go, Ulta, $27

Sephora Collection Transparent Brow Gel, Sephora, $7

Lorac Take A Brow Kit, Ulta, $22

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HOLIDAY BEAUTY: THE POWER POUT

The moment that you hear Sinatra’s rollicking Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas taking over the airwaves, it is a sign to kick up your style for the season. Yes, you need the requisite statement earrings, embellished sweater and fur accent piece. But, another easy way to add drama to your December look is the power lip. A slash of deep, dark lipstick emits high voltage holiday style. From inexpensive Covergirl to designer brands like Chanel and YSL, colorful lipsticks abound. One of my current favorites is Laura Geller’s lip crayon for $16!

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Best in Glow: My Afternoon With a Target Beauty Concierge

I am a beauty warrior. From anti-aging serums to avante-garde sunscreen potions, I have an unquenchable thirst to hunt and gather products to make women look and feel their best. As every woman knows, the beauty industry is vast encompassing hair care, makeup, skincare, body cleaners/moisturizers and an endless parade of accessories to accompany the products. Even for a beauty editor, it can be overwhelming. Last week, while out hunting in downtown Chicago, I discovered an incredible resource: Target offers complimentary beauty concierges! Strolling the aisles in a chic black apron are hard core beauty enthusiasts employed to help match products to customers’ needs. In contrast to the commissioned-based sales staff manning counters in department stores, these employees are not affiliated with a single brand. They offer unbiased advice. And, they are equipped with mini iPads to easily access the minutiae of product information often requested by shoppers. My concierge –Keisha Taylor — really knew fact from fiction. I asked her a slew of questions. Which conditioner is best for color treated hair? (L’Oreal Sulfate- Free Everpure Moisture Conditioner) How can avoid parabens in sunscreens ?(La Roche Posay/Neutrogena). Is expensive prestige mascara much different from the mass version? (no) Then we got to the hair tools aisle. I needed a new hair dryer to manage my super thick mane. Instead of pointing me towards the most expensive option, she recommended the titanium ceramic Con-air which she uses. Why? This light-as-air version would save me time and energy with each blowout.

In this age of virtual, faceless consumerism, it is nice to experience old school customer service.

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MY PICK WITH KEISHA (ATK+ Keisha Taylor-Target Beauty Concierge)

Beauty Buddies: I was so impressed with Keisha that I asked her to supply me with her 5 top beauty picks at Target.

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Skincare:

VichyLiftActiv Serum 10 – This little product gives you an initial lift and plumpness to your face but it’s even more than surface effects. So while it gives immediate results it also works over time. It’s great for anybody who’s ever wondered if they should be using anti aging products–anywhere from your early 20’s on up.

Laneige BB Cushion – Everyone is loving the 5-1 products these days and this one is very light weight. I can’t use foundation because it makes me break out. From this BB Cushion I get the coverage of a foundation but it’s still very light and hydrating. I use medium but I’ll swap to dark in the summer when I start to get more color.

SPF:

La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Face & Body Melt In Sunscreen – It’s totally lightweight and has a nice, light fragrance that fades away after awhile. It covers UVA and UVB spectrum damage and it’s not sticky, even though it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Cosmetics:

Pixi Large Lash Mascara – It doesn’t clump and it separates the lashes amazingly while giving natural looking volume and length. If you’re looking for natural looking length and volume this is your pick.

Hair Care:

Umberto Repair Treatment Masque – For $12 it’s a complete steal. If you color your hair or heat damage this product does salon quality repair on your hair. It truly does wonders!

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Best in Summer Beauty

Au Revoir Memorial Day, Bonjour Summer! After this bone-chilling winter, I could not be more excited for balmy climes and the beach. First step? A beauty switcheroo. Similar to swapping out one’s seasonal wardrobe, women to need replace the ultra heavy winter potions and lotions with products that jive with summer needs. That means bold nail polishes, lighter weight moisturizers, coral glosses and hair spritzes to prevent hair color from fading.

Here are my go-to products:

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Beauty Post Photo #2

1. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, $54

2. Kerastase Huile Celeste, $40

3. Derma MD sunscreen, $37

4. Kat Burki Beauty Elixir, $42

5. Essie Nail Polish in “Lapiz of Luxury”, $8.50

6. Pixi Beauty Bronzer, $18

7. Chanel Reflets D’ete De Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer, $29.50

8. Pantene Hair Mask, $7.99

9. Olay Micro Sculpting Face Cream, $30

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Mother’s Day With Birchbox

A BEAUTIFUL MOTHER’S DAY SOIREE WITH BIRCHBOX

I am  a huge fan of Birchbox. I love the idea of a curated $10  beauty box showing up at my door each month.  I love the idea of discovering under-the-radar brands from distant lands, And, I absolutely love not shopping for beauty products on line and avoiding a trek to a retailer. So, when Birchbox asked me to host a Mother’s Day event for them in NYC, I jumped at the chance.

Birchbox Invite

A select group of mom bloggers and media were invited to usher in spring weather by partaking  in a morning of pampering at the Gramercy Park Hotel. After dropping off their kids, it was all about talking beauty and getting glam. There were makeup touch ups by Jouer Cosmetics (obsessed with the primer) , manicures by Color Club Nail Lacquer (it’s all about baby blue) and style tips distributed freely by yours truly. Bonus: the lovely and extremely pregnant-with -twins Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp was on hand to get glam and chat with the ladies.

Birchbox Collage

Birchbox Collage 2

Everyone left with perfect nails, a flawless face and a most excellent swag bag.  What can I say? Moms and Birchbox are a match made in primping heaven.

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HOW TO MORPH CATERPILLAR BROWS INTO THE (FACIAL) ACCESSORY DU JOUR

Bushy, bad brows are on par with mom jeans: a facial frumpifier .

I know firsthand the challenges of full, frontal facial hair. Born with brows that are Frieda Kahlo with a side of Eddie Munster, “full” was an understatement.  Some people always have breath mints stashed everywhere. I have tweezers. In the car, I peek in the vanity mirror to remove a gaggle of strays that have reared their wiry heads since breakfast. At work, while stroking my forehead in thought, I discover scary  pube-like patches that have bloomed between my brows. And, then there is the Martini Tweeze; a post cocktail depilation that never ends well. Such evenings I am tempted to call Dr. Drew to implore the addition of a tweezer category to his rehab show.

The upside? Women gaze longingly at my full, well arched brows murmuring something about blessed DNA.   Thick brows are a massive pain in the ass. But, At long last–through hard core plucking and primping – i have transformed my God given caterpillar brows into something resembling professionally groomed models in VOGUE. My wayward thicket of facial hair had been tamed.

Though the glossies have pronounced the thick Charlotte Gainsbourg-esque look au courant, we of the looming Unibrow, spend inordinate amounts of time plucking, trimming and praying that we don’t morph into Dr. Zaius of Planet of the Apes stature while we sleep at night.

So, how to morph Dr. Zaius-esque caterpillar brows into coiffure du jour? I employ the three ‘P’s: patience, product and professional help as needed.

To shellac wayward brows into well arched submission, slather on clear ULTA Brow gel

To keep create two definitive brows from one, invest in REVLON True Precision Tweezer

To maintain a groomed to-the-nines arch, use ANASTASIA brow stencils

To repair bald spots after a Martini Tweeze, keep ANASTASIA Brow Enhancing Serum on hand

Here’s what you need in your eyebrow arsenal:

1. ULTA Brow Gel $6

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Stencils $20

3. Alessandra Brow Pencil $15

4. Revlon True Precision Tweezer $12.99

5. Sally Hansen Beauty Tools, Perfect Arch Brow Set $7.99

6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Enhancing Serum $36

7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes $39.50

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Gift Guide, Part 1: Beauty Babe

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1. MAMA MIO mini kit, $37

Purists like moi (love the pun!) love Mama Mio’s luxe, omega filled skin care. An added bonus is the fact that there are no synthetic colors, parebens or irritating petrochemicals lurking so the products are safe for pregnancy and beyond. The kit offer a mini boob tube, Omega Shower cream, Omega Body Cream, Omega Balm, a candle and Tummy Rub Oil

2. Arcona, Four Your Eyes Only Kit, $85

Want to bid adieu to crows feet? Brighten exhausted eyes?  Arcona’s 4 piece kit targets wrinkles with cosmeceutical-grade ingredients, such as enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids which protect and deeply hydrate problem areas.

3. QVC, Smashbox Studio To Go Limited Edition Mega Palette, $59

Bronzer? Check. Illuminating powder? Check. Gel liner? Berry stain lip glosses a plenty? Check. Get your glam on with this all-in-onekit from Hollywood hotshot beauty brand Smashbox

4. BLISS Spa at Home Oxygen Blast , $84

Want to tap into some just-been to-South Beach radiance? The secret ingredient to glowing skin is oxygen. Bliss has taken its bestselling in-spa treatment and worked it into a kit for home use. $84

5. The Body Deli: Body Kit Set #1, $72

I despise beauty products that smell like a revolting marriage of bug repellant and GLADE. So, the fresh smelling THE BODY DELI, beauty products inspired by “living foods”, was right up my alley. The products incorporate raw, fresh, natural and organic ingredients, like organic yogurt, amino acids, fresh fruit and vegetables, and all-natural plant oils. All of the products are handmade in small batches and are so pure that pregnant women can enjoy them too.

STOCKING STUFFERS:

6. Soap and Paper Factory Perfume Solids, $18

Channel the tropics with this divinely fragrant perfume solids in lavendar, verbena, orange and more

7. MINIMERGENCY Kit for Her, $12

Designed for women by women, I love MS. & MRS’ stash of 16 emergency essentials (from breath mints and dental floss to earring backs) in a chic (can double as coin purse) gold metallic case.

8. Tide To Go, $5

A simple solution fo rlife’s unexpected spills

9. Jemma Kidd air kiss lipgloss duo, $9.99

Proffer a perfect pout with this natural looking duo of glosses

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J’ADORE CHRISTOPHER BAILEY & HIS BURBERRY PRORSUM ACCESSORIES!

Add some fierce fabulosity to your look with BURBERRY studded bracelets.

I am hosting a holiday soiree for Vogue at Burbery Dec 7 in Chicago and had the pleasure of shopping for MOI (versus everyone else on my list) for two hours. An accessories lover, I fell hard for the fantabulous studded bracelets and PLISSE leather bags. This, ladies, is what I call INVESTMENT PIECE

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AN ODE TO THANKSGIVING: GRACIAS ACQUALINA, FOR GIVING ME THE GIFT OF PEACE

Thankfulness comes in many forms: Good health, Prosperity, Great family life. Love. But, on a recent trip to Miami, my gratitude quotient skyrocketed to a dazzling new dimension. For years, I took the term “family vacation” to be a cruel play on words. In my pre-mom life, Vacation→relaxation. Being with my children is hard core work. Therefore, going to a resort with my family was like a juicy carrot dangled before my frazzled face. My fantasy? A hybrid scenario where I—a working mama with maximum responsibilities and minimal downtime- could log in family time with a few hours to read, work out and nap. This meant that I had to unearth a property proffering the crème de la crème of kids programs.

So, with an event in S. Florida looming on the horizon, I tried something new. Instead of parking myself in hedonistic South Beach where children are treated as an unfortunate fashion “don’ts” and the expectation of “service” yields haughty glares, I booked a room at Acqualina in Sunny Isles, FL just north of Bal Harbor. This resort -the only 5 star on Miami Beach-boasted generous rooms, an Espa spa and Il Mulino restaurant. But, it was the Marine Biology based program that held the most cache. Would my daughter willingly oblige me with three hours of free time each day?

The answer was a resounding yes. After swimming for 2 hours and collecting shells, we approached Acquamarine. Every mom knows the rules of engagement. The first five minutes are crucial. Obviously trained in the high art of sharpie’s, glitter and paper plate self expressionism, Brette was immediately sucked into the world of whales .Art projects. Shell hunting. Swimming .Lunch. I scooted out and ran-literally-to the spa. After a massage, I took a nap. I read. And, at 1pm, refreshed, I picked her (and mountains of artwork) up so we could spend the rest of the day together. I was on cloud nine. This divine schedule persisted for the entire four day trip. By 8:30 each night, we retired to our cozy room, juices in hand. She of the Macintosh apple variety. Me, some heady “mommy juice”, a Pinot Noir. Needless to say, I will be returning soon.!

AAA Five Diamond Award 2010; Spa Finder Readers’ Choice Award 2009, Allure Magazine ‘Best Day Spa in Miami’ 2009, Conde Nast Traveller Top Spas in The Americas and Caribbean 2008, Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2008, Sun Post Best Resort in Miami 2008, Robb Report’s Top 100 Exclusive Luxury Resorts 2007

http://www.acqualinaresort.com/

17875 collins avenue, sunny isles beach, fl 33160

305 918 8100 Reservations

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