Sunday, December 21, 2014

How To Buy A Beauty Gift

Need some help choosing a beauty gift? 
( ahem, husbands, boyfriends and significant others!) 
Here's a 6 step road map for you:

How To Buy A Beauty Gift

1. Be careful of the message your gift is sending.
Never buy anything that says "anti-aging" or that addresses a specific problem. It's likely to offend, even if the item matches her needs perfectly. 
Instead opt for something with overtones of luxury. 
Like Creme de la Mer. 


2. Stay Away From Weight Loss Products or Services 
Or anything to do with size reduction. If she's desperate to have Cool Sculpting, buy her a gift card for the Medi Spa she wants to go to. Let her buy her own cellulite cream, and know that weight loss products of any form are a slap in the face, not something lovely to open.

3. Ask for help choosing makeup products.
Rather than guess which color set is right for her, ask the sales clerk for help. With all the makeup gift sets that hit the market for the holiday season there is something for everyone. If you don't know whether she is a cool tone or a warm tone, the sales assistant can help you figure it out.
Check out some eyeshadow gift sets here


4. Spoil Her.
Buy her something luxurious.
There's magic in opening a box of anything from Tatcha. The detail in the packaging alone is completely luxurious, and the product themselves are spectacular.

I've loved everything I've ever received from Tatcha. Check out their gift sets on my Luxe List here

5. You cant go wrong with bath and body products.
Unless she doesn't have a bath. 

via Getty images

But assuming she is a girl who likes to take long soaks at the end of the day you cannot go wrong with bubble bath, beautiful bath oils and bath bombs, and its easy to pair them with matching body washes and body lotions.

6. Buying fragrances or perfumes can be tricky.
Fragrance is such a personal thing, and even if you know that she likes a given perfume on someone else it doesn't mean it will work with her body chemistry.
Rather than trying to pioneer a new fragrance for her, find out what she wears and loves and buy her products to layer with it.
If you are dead set on finding her something new figure out if she is a floral girl, a green scent girl or a woody/spicy/musky girl and go from there.
A good sales associate at a fragrance bar can walk you through it, or better still go to a Jo Malone store or counter and create some layered magic.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

8 Reasons To stay At Aria In Las Vegas

This week I had a fabulous little mid-week get away to Las Vegas
for my birthday, hosted by the gorgeous Aria Resort.

I love Las Vegas in the winter. 
In fact the cold months are my favorite months to go to sin city. The crowds are much more manageable, the resorts aren't full to the point of bursting, you can actually stroll around without getting caught up in the shuffling masses. If you've ever tried to see the Bellagio fountains thru a human curtain during the summer months, in the winter you'll appreciate the freedom of standing front and center with no one rubbing shoulders with you, no strangers at your elbow, and a completely unfettered view of the dancing waters.

Waiting for the Bellagio fountains, draped in (faux) leopard and free of  crowds.

Winter in Vegas is fantastic.

And Aria is my new favorite resort in Las Vegas.

Sleek, modern Aria

Here are eight reasons you should choose to stay at the Aria for your next trip to Las Vegas:

1. The Aria is super modern, sleek and chic.
Unlike the theme resorts with their kitchy take on everything from pirate life to rides up the Eiffel Tower, Aria's facade is smooth and luxe and the interior design is sensational.
You can breathe inside the Aria. There is air and space and a fresh new feel. And it is beautiful.

Christmas decorations in the lobby at Aria

Even the Christmas decorations at Aria are minimalist chic

2. The casino feels secondary.
I know the world goes to Vegas to gamble, and the casino is king,  but not everyone wants to spend their getaway weekend infront of clanging slot machines.
You don't enter Aria through the casino. The main entrance sits to the side of the casino and is part of a vast and spectacular lobby that momentarily takes your breath away. 

There is also a promenade entrance that lets you bypass the slot machines and arrive via the shops.
Either way you feel like you are arriving at a major hotel, somewhere fabulous, rather than yet another casino on the strip.

3. It sounds like a hotel.
As you are walking thru the Aria to get to your restaurant, go to the shops, make a coffee run, or just to enjoy it's beautiful design you are not assaulted by the clanging bells of the casino.
Funnily enough the slot machine bells are the main reason I never spend more than a couple of days in Las Vegas. They drive me mad. And they cheapen everything about the resorts, some of which are otherwise gorgeous.
At the Aria you feel like you are somewhere fabulous. You can enjoy the casino when you feel like it, or completely ignore it - the choice is yours. 

4. The concierge is super helpful, and nice.
I was really taken with how wonderful the concierge was at the Aria. 
Over the years I have pretty much stopped using the concierge at resorts, mostly because they either make you feel like a nuisance or are so supercilious that you'd rather pull out your eyelashes one by one than spent 60 seconds in their domain.
Not so at the Aria. Due to arriving in Las Vegas later than expected, and thus missing some appointments, I was at the mercy of the concierge to make a few things materialize. He was (like everything else about the resort) sensational. Exactly the personality you would hope for. Nothing was a problem, he was helpful, thoughtful, volunteered some great recommendations, and organized unbelievable seats for Cirque Du Soleil's O at the neighboring Bellagio. He even messaged the box office at Bellagio to tell them it was my birthday, which was a lovely surprise when I arrived there!
With that type of leadership I wasn't surprised to find the same friendliness and helpful attitude permeating the staff all over the resort, from the valets to the check in desk, the housekeepers to the dudes who guard the access to the guest elevators. Everyone smiles, everyone makes you feel both welcome and appreciated.

5. The elevators are fast.
With 4004 rooms, Aria is the 11th largest hotel in the world. 
The sheer vastness of the place could mean pure elevator hell. Instead at Aria the elevators are broken up into banks, each of which serves 5 - 10 floors. My room was on the 22nd floor, my average elevator waiting time was 30 seconds, and even when people were getting off on multiple floors before mine, the trip up was speedy. My elevator bank fast tracked to the 16th floor and maybe maxed out at the 26th floor. Sleek and efficient. Less elevator time means more time for fun.

6. The state of the art rooms.

The rooms at Aria are chic and fabulously appointed

The rooms at Aria are amazing. Mine was the most state of the art room I have stayed in anywhere in the world. 
(I'm told Shanghai and Tokyo both have super high tech hotel rooms, but I've not visited either city. Yet.)
Of course the bed was beyond comfortable, the bathroom was luxe, everything was incredibly well appointed, and the ceiling to floor windows offered  sensational view. But what made it all even more brilliant was the ability to control everything - lights, curtains, TV, music, temperature from a control center beside the bed. 

You can program your wakeup so that the curtains open (either just the blackout curtains or the blackout and the sheers) the lights turn on (some or all, at whichever percentage of light you want), television or music come on, and the temperature adjusts to your preferred morning temp. You can also do the reverse at sleep time, and there is even a "goodnight" setting that you can program to close the blackout drapes, turn everything off and confirm that the deadbolt is set.
I loved it.

7. The bathroom was perfect.
Being that I'm all about hair and makeup I'm always looking for hotel bathrooms that have the right mirrors, the right light, and the ideal counter space to cope with (quite literally) an obscene amount of makeup and hair products.
I love love love to soak in a bubble bath at the end of the day, so just adored the separate bath room with its deep deep bath long enough for me to stretch out in, and with room for glasses of wine and whatever else you like on hand at bathtime.

8. There is so much to do.
Aria boasts 16 restaurants, (if you are G-free you will love The Buffet - due to the chef having wheat allergies it has the most gluten free offerings in Vegas), 15 bars and lounges, 12 shops, 3 pools, an 80 000 square foot spa with 62 treatment rooms, and a state of the art gym.
Their in house Cirque Du Soleil show is Zarkana


Aria is part of the city's $8 billion City Center complex, comprising the Aria, Vdara and Mandarin Oriental, 2 condo towers and a
500 000 square foot shopping and entertainment district. You never need to leave the complex, but should you decide to there's the Aria Express tram that zips you thru the sky to the Bellagio and Monte Carlo.

I can't wait to get back to the Aria.

Their Cirque show, Zarkana, was dark when I was there, and barMasa, the restaurant I had wanted to eat at was closed for the season, both of which give me more reason to make another impromtu dash back to Las Vegas sooner rather than later.
Next time hopefully I will get to stay a few days longer.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five Fabulous Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

Need some inspiration for some super fabulous 
last minute stocking stuffers?

Look no further ~ I gotcha covered.

Add caption

End Of Year Wisdom

The year is nearly over.
As you contemplate the year to come and reflect on the one that's ending, here are some words to think about.


The only time you should ever look back
is to see how far you've come


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

3 Signs It Might Be Time To Break Up With Your Makeup

I don't normally blog about myself, but today my inbox was full of magazine pieces I have either done or contributed to, which is fun!

This one is in the Daily Makeover (linked here)and is all about figuring out when it's time to make changes in your beauty regimen: 

3 Signs It Might Be Time to Break Up with Your Makeup

Photo: Milena Boniek/PhotoAlto/Getty Images
Photo: Milena Boniek/PhotoAlto/Getty Images
Take a glance at your phone. Do your last ten selfies all look exactly the same, down to the same lip shade? Go back a little further—do they look the same as they did six months ago? A year ago? Six years ago? We all know the old adage that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and while that’s certainly true in some cases, it’s not always the best way to go when it comes to our makeup. It’s possible for your beauty look to go stale, which means it may very well be high time to freshen it up.
Break out of the rut.
Wearing one particular color can be your signature, like if you’re the type of girl who always wears red lipstick, but if you only wear one particular brand and shade of lipstick, then it’s a beauty rut, not a signature, says celebrity makeup artist and brow expert Ramy Gafni. One sign of a rut is when you overwhelmingly tend to stick to the same colors rather than trying something new. A good way to shake things up is to have your makeup done by a makeup artist, and don’t hinder them by insisting they only use certain colors. You may not like everything they apply, but you may discover a color or product that looks amazing on you that you had never considered. Another good way is to experiment with sheer formulas—for example, if you always wear neutral lipsticks, try applying a sheer bold red gloss on top. It looks bright in the tube, but will add a subtle pop of color when applied. The most important beauty tool is an open mind.
Accept that you may have outgrown your former self.
You’ve definitely purchased new clothes since high school, and it’s pretty likely that your overall style and taste has changed a lot, but some people are wearing the same makeup they did a decade or more ago. “We often ask clients if they are using the same brands of foundation, mascara, and lipstick that they used in high school. If the answer is yes, it’s time to move on. Your skin changes as the telomeres shorten [with age], the skin gets drier, the lips change in color, and the makeup needs a little refresher,” says Nancy Reagan, a master esthetician and makeup artist. In addition to getting older, the formulas for makeup are getting better. There are killer ingredients with botanical extracts, vitamins, liposomes, micronized minerals, and even kosher glycerin. Updating your makeup is not only about updating your look when it’s time—it’s also about getting better quality products that look and feel natural on the skin.
Your makeup has changed, but so have you.
As your skin changes over time, you need to change your makeup, too. These changes can be seasonal, like when skin gets drier in the winter and oilier in the summer, but as you age your skin needs different formulations of foundation, concealer, powder, says makeup artist Corinna Cooke. As you get older, you may want—and even need—to make changes, too. For example, your dark lips may not look as good now as they did ten years ago, and those ultra glossy lips that look fun on a teen look immature on a girl in her twenties. “You need to evolve your look so that it’s always fresh, current, and age appropriate. Think of Madonna—she’s always evolving,” says Cooke. If your complexion starts looking flat or lifeless, or if your eyeshadow now makes your eyes look heavy or lackluster, it’s definitely time to change things up.
If you're on twitter follow Aly @alywalansky and also follow Daily Makeover @dailymakeover. While you're at it make sure you are following me @CorinnaMakeup, and check out all my social media ---->

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Gift List ~ Love Looks Not With The Eyes

Oh how I love Alexander McQueen!
When the runway schedules post each season
I rearrange my life so that I can watch the live feed
of the Alexander McQueen show.

I also love coffee table books, both to have for myself,
and to give as the perfect chic gift, be it for birthdays,
holidays or as a hostess gift.

Love Looks Not With The Eyes ~ 13 Years With Alexander McQueen

Now at the top of my list is this beautiful, beautiful book
that celebrates the sheer brilliance of the designer.

For 13 years, from September 1997 until his final show in 2010,
Alexander McQueen only allowed one photographer, Anne Deniau, backstage at his spectacular and legendary runway shows.

Love Looks Not With The Eyes chronicles the torture, the toughness and the tenderness of Alexander McQueen (quoted from New York Times) as we watch him working behind the scenes with his close circle of collaborators to create his senstational shows.

For those who love McQueen, or for those who love fashion,
this book is a visceral experience. 
The reviews below lend credence to my feelings when slowly, slowly turning the beautiful pages.
I love him still.

Un-Fallen Angel

Alexander McQueen backstage with Kate Moss

Backstage with McQueen

Praise for Love Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years With Lee Alexander McQueen:

The pictures are evocative of the torture, the toughness and, most of all, the tenderness of Mr. McQueen.” —New York Times

“Deniau’s close connection to McQueen and her appreciation for his formidable talent is like many of the pieces he created: breathtaking.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Thekinetic color and black-and-white photographs document the fantastical,shocking spectacle of a McQueen show in action: hairdos trussed up with birdsof prey; hubcaps strapped to foreheads; faces enhanced by extraterrestrialcheek prostheses. The images are sensual, spooky, and whimsical, playing up thedrama of McQueen’s vision; like one of the designer’s fabulous garments, thephotographs transform fashion into high art. The book is both an homage and amemorial; this celebration of McQueen’s vast, unique talent is also a eulogyfor his tragic loss.” — “Haute couture has a reputation for spectacle, but Anne Deniau’s photographs remind us that it’s also the last bastion of craftsmanship in fashion—or it was, as practiced by designer Alexander McQueen (1969–2010).” —Wall Street Journal

“Lush, previously unpublished backstage photographs from many of the late designer’s provocative fashion shows.”—The Los Angeles Times

“The kinetic color and black-and-white photographs document the fantastical, shocking spectacle of a McQueen show in action: hairdos trussed up with birds of prey; hubcaps strapped to foreheads; faces enhanced by extraterrestrial cheek prostheses. The images are sensual, spooky, and whimsical, playing up the drama of McQueen’s vision; like one of the designer’s fabulous garments, the photographs transform fashion into high art. The book is both an homage and a memorial; this celebration of McQueen’s vast, unique talent is also a eulogy for his tragic loss.” —Publishers Weekly

Love Looks Not with the Eyes document[s] the intense work and equally intense emotions that played out behind the scenes of McQueen’s poetic, passionate, and provocative shows. . . . The intimacy is evident in the pictures.” —Vogue

“The haunting images offer a rarefied glimpse into the designer’s inner world.” —Harper’s Bazaar

“Deniau, in the process of documenting 26 McQueen presentations, captured images which, too, transcend photography—matching the decadent and grand world created by the hands of McQueen.” —

“Haute couture has a reputation for spectacle, but Anne Deniau’s photographs remind us that it’s also the last bastion of craftsmanship in fashion—or it was, as practiced by designer Alexander McQueen (1969–2010).” —Wall Street Journal

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Iconic Women ~ Happy Birthday Jane Birkin

Can you imagine being so iconic, having such a timeless style, that Hermes named a handbag after you?
A handbag known worldwide and coveted as the ultimate expression of luxury, the pinnacle of chic??


British actress and singer Jane Birkin came to fame during the swinging 60's in London, before moving to France to star alongside Serge Gainsbourg in the film Slogan, in 1969.

Gainsbourg became the love of her life. They recorded many songs together including "Je t'aime... moi non plus" (I love you... me neither) a song banned in several countries at the time due to sexual explicitness.
The couple had one child together, french singer Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Birkin is frequently cited as being celebrities' style icon, which is somewhat unusual as her personal style has been so laid back. She is known for wearing her jeans until they frayed, often bare foot, carrying a wicker basket, even after Hermes designed perhaps the most expensive handbag in the world for her.


Victoria Beckham is frequently seen with Birkin bags

I love the story:

In 1981, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. Birkin had just placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the floor, leaving her to scramble to replace the contents. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. In 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her: the Birkin bag,[4][5] based on a 1982 design. She used the bag for herself for quite some time until developing tendinitis, switching to other types at that point.[6]

Jane Birkin's Style




Today, December 14th, fellow sagittarian Jane Birkin turns 68.
Happy birthday Jane.





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...