Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas From Tatcha




Japanese luxury skin care brand Tatcha makes the perfect Mother's Day gift sets!

Tatcha-Gift-Set


Every year I treat myself to a Tatcha gift set for Mother's day, and then that gift set becomes my travel skin care for the summer.

No one knows how to make a gift set feel special quite like Tatcha does. From the exquisite packaging to the stories about each product, printed on vellum, to the beautiful products themselves, every detail is taken into consideration, and everything about these gift sets is honed to perfection.

For me opening my Tatcha set on Mother's Day is a ritual.
I take my time and luxuriate in each step of opening the box, opening the Tatcha seal on their signature purple tissue paper and then unwrapping each item inside. It's fabulous.

This year the Tatcha Mother's Day Gift Set is a beauty set designed to pamper mom from top to toe on her special day.

Tatcha-Mothers-Day-beauty-Set

The Set contains: Indigo Soothing Silk Handcream, and Indigo Soothing Silk Body Butter. Indigo is famous for it's healing and soothing properties. (The ancient samurai would wear a layer of cotton soaked in indigo next to their skin under their uniforms, so that if they were cut with a sword in battle the indigo would immediately initiate the healing process.)
Also included in the set are the Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask, which is a very luxurious sheet mask that makes your skin glow from within, and a travel sized Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream, Tatcha's world famous antioxidant rich deep moisturizing cream. The set is rounded out with a Japanese Kimono stationery set.

Tatcha makes several different gift sets, check them out here

If you want to pad your gift a little with some extra products, or if you want to take advantage of the free shipping and try some Tatcha products for yourself either in full size or travel size, my favorites are:

Luminous dewy Skin Mist

Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist

Gold Camellia Beauty Oil  ( my favorite dry finish facial oil!)



dry-finish-facial-oil



Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum - the holy grail of serums.




Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum

If you don't spoil your mother with this gorgeous Limited Edition gift set, buy it for yourself! After all gorgeous, you deserve to be spoilt...

Tatcha Plump and Protect Set

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Modern Moms Want More Than Flowers

Actually I didn't think that one up. It was the subject line in an email I got from Best Buy, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Best-Buy-Mothers-Day

With Mother's Day right around the corner it makes sense to see what we can order online for mom.
This is a combination of their ideas and mine, with a link to the Best Buy Mother's Day Deal at the bottom of the post.

1. A Smart Watch.

rose-gold-apple-watch

The Apple 38mm Sport Watch in a rose gold aluminum case with a lavender band is super chic, don't you think? One of my makeup assistants has one very similar and it looks gorgeous! This one is only $299

2. An iPad Mini



An iPad Mini is genius because it slips easily into your handbag and doesn't take up any space. They are perfect to travel with, whether it's on a plane or sitting in a car outside school.

3. Mophie Power Reserve 1x Portable Charger


mophie-phone-charger

The Mophie Power Reserve Portable Charger in rose gold and white is lightweight and small, and for Mother's Day is on sale at $19.99 (down from $34). I always have a portable charger in my handbag because I am always burning through my iPhone battery.

4. iRobot Roomba


robot-vacuum-cleaner

I would soooo love an iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot! I can't imagine coming home after a long shoot to a perfectly vacuumed house! 

5. The Fitbit Alta


I'm obsessed with my Fitbit Alta! It is slim enough that it becomes part of the accessory stack on your wrist rather than being the sole focus of your wrist. I'm going to order a pink leather strap for mine too.

Best Buy has loads of Mother's day deals, from discounted Mac Books, cameras, headphones, accessories, TV's - you name it. There's free shipping too. See their Mother's Day deals here

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Get Kule for Spring!


kule-striped-t-shirt

I absolutely love navy and white stripes for spring.
And summer.

Kule-Striped-T-shirt
The Kule Modern T


There's something very Parisienne chic about a navy and white striped T.
navy-and-white-t-shirt
The Kule Classic T

Short sleeve or long sleeve, paired with jeans, white linen pants, a white skirt or a pair of cut offs, a navy and white striped T is just super fresh and super cool.

paris-street-fashion-navy-and-white-stripes

Check out the most fashionable, style-savvy girl ever, Kate Moss, in Paris wearing her navy and white striped T. 
It's perfection! Kate never makes a fashion mis-step.

I have several navy and white T's already,  but I'm always looking for more, always looking for that perfect cut and that perfect cotton.

While searching I stumbled on this brilliant website, Kule.com
At first I thought it was a fun play on cool, but in the "The Story" section of the website I found that the designer's name is Nikki Kule. Her classic Parisian vibe is blended with her years working in Italy and layered with her years working in New York. And it's super cool!
I love The Modern, the short sleeved T pictured above, and the long sleeve version, The Classic. On the website there are other options too, inspired by fashion icons Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, Sofia Coppola and Alexa Chung.

kule-bangle

Kule also has accessories. I love the Brady Two Stripe Resin Bangle, especially with the short sleeved T. 
The pair would make a fabulous Mother's Day gift too. (In my case from me, to me! )

From the top image try pairing a Kule navy and white striped T shirt with a Nic And Zoe Cool Breeze Wide Leg White Linen Pant or a Nic And Zoe white linen Summer Fling Skirt. Super stylish with a Rag and Bone Cutoff Denim Short and a Sam Edelman Camilla Wedge, the perfect finishing touch is a classic true red lip like Charlotte Tilbury
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Korean Skin Care - Where Do You Begin??



I've been getting tons of messages from readers telling me that they want to try Korean skin care, and that they go on the Memebox website but get totally overwhelmed and don't know where to begin.
I hear you!
That's how it was for me too. For me the foray into KBeauty didn't begin with a box of freebies from any company, it started with me stumbling upon the Memebox website by chance, and then trying to figure out what to buy and where to start.


I didn't start with a 10 step regimen either - I just added in bits and pieces along the way. 
I'm not an easy sell with skin care, because if I don't see a near immediate difference to my skin then I don't want your product. And that's where Korean skin care got me. The difference to my skin has been amazing. My skin has never, ever looked better! 
I sometimes take a side-step over to Tatcha for some high end luxury Japanese skin care, but for the most part it's a little too pricey for me to use on a consistent basis. My everyday skin care game is K Beauty.

So for those of you who are as confused as I was in the beginning, here is a mini guide to where to start on the Memebox website, or in trying Korean skin care for the first time.

Korean-Skin-Care
My most recent order from Memebox

Start by identifying your skin care concern. Is your skin oily or dry? Do you have breakouts and blackheads? Are you worried about aging?
When you click the skincare tab on the Memebox site it will offer you those options, so you can dive into products specifically to meet your skincare needs.

Korean skin care technology is vastly superior to the skin care technology here, so the products get very very specific.

Try An Essence


k-beauty-essence

One place to start is by adding in an Essence. Essence is comparable to a serum, targeting specific skin care concerns, but it is much more concentrated and is delivered in a lighter, non greasy formula.
They have an Essence for every skin concern under the sun.
I start my day by rinsing or cleansing my skin, (normally just rinsing, if we are going to be completely honest). I follow that with a skin mist, which softens the skin and has some essence in it.
I have been trying out a different mist each time, and have loved them all. My latest order has the Scinic Aqua EX Jelly Essence Water. I use it after cleaning at night and after rinsing in the morning. Sometimes if my skin is feeling tired I will spritz it on during the day (it's a great product to keep in your desk drawer!) to revive you and make you look fresh again.

I layer my Essences. I normally follow the mist with another formula, in the mornings I use a Vitamin C based Essence so that I can maximize on the antioxidant, skin protecting benefits of Vitamin C, or maybe I go for something lightening and brightening. In the evening I use an Essence that is more about anti aging and extra hydration.
These products are not at all expensive. The It's Skin Essences that I have been using (pictured here) cost between $10 and $13 each. I have yet to see a $100 product here that gives the same kind of result!
Pictured above are It's Skin YE Effector Essence, It's Skin VC Effector Essence and Scinic Aqua Jelly Essence Water.
If any of them are out of stock I just get another one that deals with my specific skin concerns.

Add An Ampoule

Korean-Skin-Care-Ampoule

In the Korean layering system an Ampoule is used after an essence. Ampoules are even more concentrated powerhouses that get the ingredients penetrating even deeper into the skin. Again you can get really specific to your own skin concerns, and layer things. For example if you feel like your skin is dehydrated and dull you can use an essence for lightening and brightening and an Ampoule for extra moisture.
Or maybe your concerns are blackheads and extra oil and dark spots. All you need to do is layer your concerns one over the next. I get my biggest concern in Ampoule form and the others in Essence.
I try a new Ampoule each time, and each time they have been fabulous. With this order I chose the Scinic Propolis Ampoule, because it's full of antioxidants and nutrients. And because I liked the bottle.

Add A Sleeping Pack

Korean-Skin-Care-Sleeping-Pack

This one took me a while to get on board with, largely because the crazy names they use don't translate so well (Snail Slime and  Donkey Milk Yogurt for starters!) and in the description it sounded like a pillow case ruining step. 
But I'm so glad I did add in sleeping packs. What it is is a final step in the night time skin routine. After you have layered on your mist, your essence, your Ampoule and your emulsion (a lightweight but power packed moisturizer) you seal everything in with a sleeping pack.

Korean-Beauty-Sleeping-Pack

The ones I have tried have a slightly gel like texture, but disappear into the skin, creating a fabulous barrier. None of it winds up on your pillowcase!


Try A Peel


I am not a fan of exfoliating scrubs. I always think they scratch up the baby skin underneath and keep you in a perpetual state of rough skin. I prefer to do enzyme peels that gently lift away the dead skin. I dont like peels that feel like fire ants are crawling over your face and I don't want to look like I'm shedding skin either. 
They have peels for every possible skin concern, from oily skin to blackheads, to dry skin, to dull skin - you name it!
I've been using this SNP Peel every other week. It makes my skin look amazing (and feel super fresh), but there is no stinging involved and no flaking. It takes about 10 minutes, and I follow it with a sheet mask.

Add A Sheet Mask

sheet-masks-k-beauty


I'm pretty obsessed with these! They are just so very convenient and your skin loves you for it. And they are perfect for travel! After a long flight a sheet mask restores your skin and makes you feel lovely.
My Sunday night routine when I'm not working is to use the peel if it's the right week, and follow it with a sheet mask. I buy several different ones with each order I place, because they only cost a couple of dollars each. Sometimes I want brightening, or tightening, or collagen or anti aging - I often buy them just because I like the look of the package! Regardless, I always see a big difference to my skin.
Check out all the different sheet masks they offer here

If you want to try K Beauty, but are unsure of where to start, or if you don't want to do a 10 step skin care routine, but still want to find out what all the hype is about, try adding in any one of these items, or more, to you daily skin regimen. You will be blown away by the results!
I haven't looked at the K Beauty items available at Sephora, so don't know their pricing, but one of the great things about Korean skin care is that it is so ridiculously affordable! My last entire order from Memebox, pictured at the beginning of this post, only cost $100, came with free shipping, and because it ships out of California it arrived in 3 days!

Memebox

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Taylor Swift Covers Vogue Magazine May 2016

I am obsessing over Taylor Swift Like You Have Never Seen Her Before. 
Anna Wintour, that whole Kanye and Kim cover fiasco is now redeemed and forgiven.
She. Looks. Amazing.

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

Like crazy amazing.
Photographed by Mert and Marcus for the May 2016 issue of Vogue Magazine, with fresh, vibrant hair that is sooo new and energized by Shay Ashual, and the greatest makeup ever by 
Aaron de Mey. 
I have never seen Swifty look better.

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

That makeup is killing me! In a time where over-contour, over-highlighting, over-browed, makeup overkill is just everywhere, the restraint de Mey has exercised is beyond gorgeous, and makes this entire story spectacular. This is my favorite editorial in forever.

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus

Taylor-Swift-Mert-And-Marcus-Vogue-Cover

All images are from Vogue.com and Fashion Gone Rogue


Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Bikini Girls Of Sicily


Villa Romana Del Casale

I dream about Sicily.
If you have been following this blog then you already know that I am obsessed with this spectacular island.
If I could spend every day for the rest of my life exploring Sicily I still wouldn’t get to see it all.

People are always asking me about things to do in Sicily, so I decided to do some posts about random fascinating things to see and do when you are there.

 One completely intriguing spot to visit away from all the tourists is the incredible Villa Romana del Casale.


Piazza Armerina, Sicily

Located about 5km from a picturesque little town in central Sicily called Piazza Armerina, the villa is not only one of the very best preserved villas from anywhere in the Roman Empire, it also has much of it’s decoration still intact, most famously the extensive mosaics.


aerial view of Villa Romana del Casale

The villa which is assumed to have been a hunting lodge, was built in the early 4th Century AD, at one time it was thought for the emperor Maximian, but now it is thought to have been built for a senatorial aristocrat. 
(At that time marble was the flooring of choice for Roman emperors, and Villa Romana del Casale only has marble for the floor of the basilica, which suggests that the owner did not belong to imperial Roman society.)
It’s hard to believe that the mosaics we value so highly now were at the time considered second rate!

mosaic-sicily


But back to the mosaics. This is the single greatest collection of Roman era mosaics anywhere in the world, and they are essentially completely intact. Covering 38 000 square feet, vibrant and brilliant they depict mythological scenes, scenes of daily life, and the famous “bikini girls”.


bikini-girls-sicily
The famous Bikini Girls

The Bikini Girls are a group of 10 young women dressed in shorts and a bandeau, performing various acts of athleticism such as discus throwing, long jump with weights in their hands, running and playing some form of handball. 
And you thought the bikini was invented in the 20th century? Not quite - it was alive and well in the early 300's AD, and probably long before that.


villa-romana-del-casale-mosaic

There is a girl wearing a transparent golden dress holding a crown over the head of an athlete, presenting her with a victory palm. Creating a dress and making it look transparent by using little stones and pieces of colored glass is nothing short of miraculous.

The Corridor Of The Hunt is a walkway that runs the width of the villa, and is a mosaic explosion of hunting scenes, featuring animals, fruit and flowers, fish and cupids, everyday scenes and mythology.
It takes your breath away.

roman-mosaics-sicily


The floora were probably created by North African craftsmen who were known for their incredible skill with mosaics. The mosaics themselves are still incredibly vivid, especially when you consider the villa was inhabited or in use for 8 centuries (from the 4th century until the 12th century), by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs and the Normans.

sicily-mosaics
A mosaic scene from the master bedroom

A landslide in the 12th Century almost completely covered the villa, and it was only partly discovered in the 19th Century, but it wasn’t until the 20th Century that excavations revealed the magnitude of what lay beneath and the absolute magnificence of the villa.

sicily-mosaics


Villa Romana del Casale is approximately an hour and a half drive from Catania, 2 hours drive from Siracusa, and 45 minutes drive from Enna.

Check out these amazing videos of Villa Romana del Casale.
Remember all 42 of these floors are made of mosaics, hand-laid by artisans somewhere between 310 and 340 AD, with no machines or modern technology to help them to perfection.





Sicily takes my breath away.

Disclaimer: these images are not my own

Booking.com


bikini-girls-sicily


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No. No. Noooooooo!!!

I just read this on The Zoe Report and I am hoping it's not true!

Is Karl Lagerfeld Retiring?

Karl Lagerfeld


According to reports by Page Six, Karl Lagerfeld may draw the curtain on his illustrious career after Chanel’s upcoming Cruise show in Cuba next month. Rumored to be 83 years old, the designer began his work at Chanel in 1983 and Fendi in 1965 and also found time to design for beloved French brand, Chloe. In today’s current climate of designer musical chairs, Lagerfeld remains somewhat of an anomaly, designing multiple collections a year for Chanel, Fendi and his namesake line, while also acting as photographer for all of his campaigns and additional editorials. Insiders claim the powerhouse is getting tired (who can blame him), but Lagerfeld has never hinted at a desire to retire and we wouldn’t be surprised if he followed in the footsteps of Coco Chanel, who remained at the helm of the company until she passed away in 1971. Regardless, all eyes will be on his Cuban fashion show on May 3rd.

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