Thursday, July 30, 2015

My 8 Favorite Cities In The World

 I've been traveling the world for most of my life. I've lived in several different countries, in incredibly interesting places.
When you travel extensively you learn that some places are wonderful to see and you wouldn't miss that experience for anything, but you feel no reason to go back. Other places stick with you.
Here is a list of 8 cities around the world that have stuck with me.

Sydney Harbor shot by Sam Abell for National Geographic

My 8 Favorite Cities In The World.

Auckland, New Zealand.


Auckland is remarkable. It reminds me of Sydney and Seattle for its wow factor. Endless beautiful bays winding around the city, a gorgeous city center, cosmopolitan in its shopping and restaurant options. Walking around the city center and waterfront you are equally stunned by how fabulous this place is, and by how incredibly few people there are. Auckland is the most populated city in New Zealand, with a population of 1.4 to 1.5 million, but it's land mass is large, so after a lifetime living in huge international cities it almost feels empty.
It's hard to imagine that a beautiful oceanfront city can still exist in the world and not be overpopulated.


Where to stay in Auckland ? Try the SkyCity Hotel
If you prefer vacation rentals, check out this fabulous Penthouse on Princes Wharf or this 2 Bedroom Waterfront apartment, also on Princes Wharf

Cairo Egypt

image via

I spent a month in Egypt when I was 22.
Although I now will probably never return, Cairo remains one of my favorite cities. At least the Cairo I went to. It was spicy and exciting, a little scary but completely intriguing. One of the most important cities in the world archeologically and historically, I treasure the memories I built there.
Where to stay in Cairo? Enjoy your morning coffee looking at the pyramids from your window at the 2015 Travelers Choice Awards winning Pyramid View Inn

St Petersburg, Russia


As a child and teen I was obsessed with the Romanovs, and dreamed of going to this, one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and tracing their steps. If you want it badly enough you can make anything happen, so I found myself in Russia and fell in love with this beautiful city, called Leningrad at the time.
Throughout its violent history St Petersburg has always been incredibly chic, populated by the most fashionable crowd, and as such is resplendent with its endless stunning palaces.
The Winter Palace and Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo impacted me so deeply that I can still remember their smell, and minute details of the rooms I walked through.

The Church Of The Resurrection Of Christ, St Petersburg Russia

While in St Petersburg stay at the Pushka Inn Hotel

Paris, France
Paris is always a good idea. Always.


I'm a left bank girl and always have been, although next time I go back I might stay in the Marais just for a change.
Any way you shake it, Paris is amazing.

Where to stay in Paris? Vacation rentals are much more affordable than hotels in the City of Light. On the left bank in St Germaine Des Pres check out this adorable studio with roof terrace. In the Marais this studio on Rue Chanoinesse is lovely.

Rome, Italy.


I love walking cities more than any other, and Rome is one of the greatest cities in the world to walk around.
I feel a deeper connection to Rome than to any other city in the world.
See more about Rome HERE.
Looking for a place to stay in Roma? Try a B&B in the beautiful Trastevere like the B&B Ventisei Scalini, or this 2 bedroom apartment by the Vatican, Michelangelo Sistina

Copenhagen, Denmark


Walk or ride bikes around this picturesque and lovely city during the summer. The people are friendly, there are wonderful restaurants, great shopping, it's super clean and you can breathe in endless pure Scandinavian air.

Stay in Vesterbro in a 2 bedroom vacation rental condo like this one, or go for a big, bright beautiful apartment in central Copenhagen like this one 

Barcelona, Spain.


Barcelona is pure magic. Stroll, eat and shop along La Rambla, take in all the amazing Gaudi, hit the beach, enjoy the nightlife.
Barcelona is so vibrant and exciting!

Where to stay in Barcelona: everyone loves the Hotel The Serras.
The Hotel Brummell is also super popular, and is a 15 minute stroll to La Rambla.

Sydney, Australia

Quite possibly my favorite city in the world, Sydney never loses it's "wow" factor. You can't beat the views flying in over Sydney harbor on a sunny day, even in dreary weather it's beautiful.
Sydney is incredibly cosmopolitan. It's artsy, the food is incredible, there is so much to see and do. One of the most international cities in the world, it is also one of the most chic cities you will ever visit.

Sydney is endless water and gorgeous bays. Just when you think it couldn't possibly get better, you turn the corner into yet another bay, that just takes your breath away.
Even the animals at the Sydney zoo are treated to the most spectacular views, and like the locals they are totally chill.
Sydney-siders know how to live. Lifestyle is everything here, the people are so friendly and happy, no doubt because their absolute essence is quality of life.
I love it.

Where to stay in Sydney? You really are spoiled for choice. Rent an apartment with a view, such as this 3 bedroom in Pyrmont or enjoy the endless sky and beach life near Manly in this beachfront apartment.
You will never want to leave.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Charlotte Tilbury Miss Kensington Look ~ Products And Tutorial

I love this look.
It is definitely a Kensington-girl look. Chelsea-girl too.

This is one of Charlotte Tilbury's new looks from her Norman Parkinson collection, inspired by his 1960's muses. It makes me think of a modern day Jean Shrimpton (check out my post on Iconic Jean Shrimpton HERE). It also is perfect for anyone wanting to channel the vibe from Guy Ritchie's fabulous new movie, 
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (I wrote about going to the movie preview and the stunning fashion in it  HERE)




Miss Kensington is a quintessentially English beauty, inspired by the haughty but naughty girls of the swinging sixties.
The look draws on the dreamy cascading light and pastel hues in Norman Parkinson’s pictures of his muses: Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and his wife Wenda.
Her rose petal lips, perfect cashmere complexion, sultry golden eyes, fresh cheeks and sensational sixties lashes exude youthful innocence.

Norman Parkinson Collection

I have linked all the products Charlotte uses below. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the video tutorial.

To get this look start with Charlotte's world famous Magic Cream ($100) to transform your skin
Build the perfect cheek with Dreamy Glow Highlighter ($65) and
Color Of Youth Cheek Glow ($58)
The eye is created with  Eyes To Mesmerize cream shadows in Marie Antoinette and in Jean ($32)
Rock'n'Kohl eyeliner in Barbarella Brown ($27)
and Charlotte's amazing Full Fat Lashes mascara ($29)

The final touch is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Miss Kensington. ($32). This beyond fabulous color absolutely will sell out in no time, so stock up on it while it's still around.
For those of you getting married this year or next, this is a perfect wedding lipstick, so make sure you get yourself one before they are all gone.

You can also shop the look with the Miss Kensington Gift Box
($270, see below)

The Charlotte Tilbury Miss Kensington Gift Box Set

Charlotte Tilbury Looks Campaign

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Beauty Tip Of The Week #21 Makeup Tips For Humid Days

Mid- summer humidity can be a beauty nightmare - from melting foundation to frizzy hair, keeping the glam on point can be challenging.

Check out these makeup tips for humid days, and please add any tips that work for you in the comments section below.

Kate Moss for St Tropez self tanner

1. Avoid Foundation.

When the humidity rises here I try to avoid wearing foundation. The more you sweat and shine and melt, the worse your foundation sweats and shines and melts. It's a no win situation!
 If you plan ahead you can build up a faux tan with 
St Tropez Every Day Gradual Tan from Nordstrom.
Check out my blogpost for tips on how to use facial self tanners here

2. Prime Time.

Use a really good silicone based primer to even out your skin tone and texture. Koh Gen Do Maifanshi color correcting primers help to both correct imperfections and keep you a little more polished and matte.

3. Define Your Brows.
Giving a little accent to your brows can create the most impact of your entire look. 
Without overdoing it, define your brow with a waterproof brow product like Makeup Forever's Aqua Brow

4. Use A Paint Pot Eye Shadow Base
I swear by a sheer coat of MAC Paint Pot as an eye shadow base plus primer, to help your eye shadow hold all day as well as pump up the color and keep it vibrant.


If you have a cool skin tone try MAC's Paint Pot in Painterly, if you are warm toned check out Soft Ocher, both available at Nordstrom.

5. Waterproof Mascara
It's a  must.

6. Matte Lips

When your face is getting shiny, a glossy lip can make you look even shinier. Neutralize the gooey glow with a soft matte lip.
Try Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Miss Kensington


Friday, July 24, 2015

What To Wear (This Year) On Capri

I have had so many emails asking what I recommend to wear this year on Capri.
Here are 6 items that are on my packing list:


I love this Felicity and Coco Striped Maxi Dress from Nordstrom.
Strapless maxi dresses are so fresh and modern, and the detail in the back paired with the way the stripes curve over your derriere make it extra lovely. The skirt has enough movement in it to give you freedom to wander all over the island while still looking chic.


Rachel Zoe Chain Detail Halter Maxi Dress
Perfect for a dinner date or drinks on a terrace with a view. I love this dress in Marrakesh Blue.


Nic and Zoe Cool Breeze Linen Pants in white. Because white linen pants paired with jewel toned tops or pretty, summery sleeveless items are ideal on Capri. 


Diane Von Furstenburg 'Aubrey'Silk Top
Paired with white linen pants this top is perfect for chic lunches, apres-beach aperitifs, or casual dinners watching the sun hit the water.


Melissa Odabash Yellow Martinique Bikini


Helen Kaminski's Provence 12 Packable Raffia Hat looks lovely, shades you from the hot Capri sun and packs in your suitcase effortlessly.

Where should you stay on Capri? I prefer renting apartments and villas to staying in hotels. Next time I'm in Capri I'm hoping to rent this lovely home, just minutes from the plazetta.


Has Your Sunscreen Stopped Working??

Has your sunscreen stopped working? How are you supposed to know if your sunscreen is still effective, still protecting you, or needs to be thrown out?
story via


3 Signs It's Time To Buy A New Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the ultimate getaway insurance, promising a guilt-free, burn-proof romp on the beach or day by the pool. But your application is futile if the formula in question has stopped working. In fact, there are a number of elements that may inhibit the power of your lotion, cream, or spray to protect your skin from UV rays. Luckily, they’re as easily identifiable as they are entirely preventable.
“It all starts with what’s inside the bottle,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’kita Wilson.“You want the product you’re using to be as fresh as the day you bought it.” Often ignored, a simple guide to the product’s effectiveness is the expiration date provided by the manufacturer, printed right on the bottle. “Sunscreen’s efficacy is tested to up to three years,” says dermatologist Elizabeth Quigley. “Anything that’s past its expiration date belongs in the trash.”
Even if you are technically within that crucial window, poor storage can cause early expiration. For example, placing a bottle on a windowsill can force the sunscreen to absorb UV rays between uses, weakening its potency when it is applied to your body. Exposure to heat can also compromise the stability of a formula, causing it to separate. “If you squeeze the bottle and [a runny] liquid comes out first, toss it. It’s important that the sunscreen is applied uniformly and there are no uncovered gaps on the skin,” says Wilson.
Of course, if you’re using the FDA-recommended dosage, a bottle of sunscreen should almost never last long enough for any of the aforementioned issues to occur. “Two ounces every two hours,” says Quigley, who adds that no matter how high the SPF, sweating, swimming, and friction caused by movement or toweling off can lead to accidental exposure, making reapplication essential. “You shouldn’t have anything left after a full day in the sun.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

6 Ways To get The Best Seat In Coach

I'm kinda stressing right now.
I have an international flight coming up that is part of an insane day of travel, on an airline I don't normally fly.
And I've been reading some icky reviews about the airline and it's seating, which is never fun.

So, I am going to take Johnny Jet's advice and see if I can find my way into the best coach seat on the plane.
I already use Seat Guru on every flight I take, but I am going to try the other 5 options too.
Try them yourself and then tell me about it in the comments section below. Or if you have any cool tips that aren't on this list please do leave a comment!

Six Ways To Get The Best Coach Seat On An Airplane

Six Ways to Get the Best Coach Seat on an Airplane
(Photo: Thinkstock/Digital Vision)
Read more from money-saving expert and Travel Channel host Johnny Jet (aka John DiScala) at or follow him on Twitter @JohnnyJet.
Ooh, the dreaded middle seat. You aren't the only one who hates getting stuck between two strangers. When checking in for a flight the other day, I used some tricks to get the best possible coach seat. And since I've never divulged these tricks in a single post before, here they are: six strategies that will help you get a mini upgrade, too. Just don't use them on the same flight as I do.

Keep Checking
Keep Checking
(Photo: Thinkstock/Creatas Images)
If you book a ticket at the last-minute (like I usually do), chances are that the golden seats will be gone. But don't fret, because the good seats will open up—I can almost guarantee it. The trick is to keep checking your reservation and the flight's seat chart every hour or so. The best seats are usually being reserved by frequent flyers, and they will either be upgraded to business class or at least one of them will cancel at the last minute.

Set An Alert
Set an Alert
(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
If you don't have time to keep checking your reservation, create a seat alert with They don't charge for a single seat alert, but if you want more at once, you can buy additional alerts for only $0.99 each, or sign up for a Basic or Premium account (starting at $4.99 per month).

Pay Extra
Pay Extra
(Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
Most airlines will allow you to upgrade your coach seat. Just make sure you're getting something worthwhile, like more legroom, for your money. Some airlines (ahem, American) will charge you extra just for putting you toward the front of the cabin, with no extra perks included. Don't be fooled.

Be Friendly
Be Friendly
(Photo: Thinkstock/Stockbyte)
One of the best ways to get a great coach seat for free is to be super friendly to the gate agents—I usually bring them a box of chocolates—and kindly request a plush coach seat if they upgrade any frequent flyers to first class. The vacated seats in coach are usually in the exit row or bulkhead.

Get Elite Status
Get Elite Status
(Photo: Thinkstock/Comstock)
Acquiring elite status is by far the easiest way to secure the best coach seat. That's because most airlines only allow their frequent flyers to sit in the most highly sought-after rows. Attaining elite status isn't that difficult for business travelers. Typically you need to fly 25,000 actual air miles in a calendar year on one particular airline or its partners; to maximize your chances for elite status, don't throw out your boarding passes until the miles have posted.

Use SeatGuru
(Photo: Thinkstock/Hemera)
To find out which seats are the best on a particular aircraft, go to SeatGuru (a sister site of SmarterTravel) or SeatExpert. Both highlight the best seats on every plane and list exactly how much legroom and pitch each one has. They also tell you if there are power ports or personal TVs with each seat. Keep in mind that airlines can change aircraft types at the last minute, so there are no guarantees.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7 Tips For Self Tanning Your Face

Have you been avoiding using facial self tanning products because of the fear factor?Are you afraid of having un-repairable, streaky, patchy color on your face?


Kate Moss has perfected the ultimate in faux tans, with a little help from St Tropez. Here are tips to help you achieve the same results:

Seven Tips For Self Tanning Your Face

1. Exfoliate.

Before you get started you need to create a smooth, even surface to work with. Exfoliating will clear away the dead cells sitting on the surface of your skin.
Try Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Exfoliating Treatment, available at

2. Moisturize.

I recommend exfoliating and doing a moisturizing mask the night before, or taking time out to do a moisturizing sheet mask in the morning.
You need your skin to be super hydrated so that your tanning color doesn't grab onto dry patches, but you also need your moisturizer to be all the way soaked in to your skin before you start, with no residue left on the surface.
Try the Moisturizing Recovery Mask sheet mask from Memebox 

3. Protect Your Hairline

Stop the color from bleeding up into your scalp by using a little vasaline at the hairline (at the scalp edge, not along the face), and also in your brows. Don't let the vasaline migrate over onto the skin around your brows.


4. Only Use Products Designed For Your Face.

Don't try to double up by using the same product you use on your body on your face.
Body products are likely to clog your pores and cause you breakouts.
Try St Tropez Luxe Dry Facial Oil or St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion For The Face from


5. Pay Attention To Your Creases.

Go slowly and focus on applying it evenly. Don't forget the creases around your nostrils, any dips or dimples in your chin, and make sure you smooth the product through any fine lines and wrinkles, stretching any areas smooth while you apply. If an area is particularly tricky try using a duo fiber makeup brush.

6. Don't Forget Your Neck.

Your tan mustn't stop at your jawline. Make sure you smooth your self tanner over your throat with an upward motion, starting at your decolletage.


7. Wait It Out.

Once you have applied your facial self tanner be patient and wait for it to completely dry on the surface and absorb into your skin. Don't race to put makeup on, and don't go straight to bed - the last thing you want is pillow case creases tanned into your beautiful face!

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