Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Trump Inaugural Ball Fashion And A Little Intrigue

Well now.
Did you watch any of the Inaugural Ball coverage on TV?
Did you check out the fashion?

I've kept my politics off of this blog. I figure 50% of you will see things somewhere along the lines that I see them, and 50% of you will be diametrically opposed to my way of thinking. And you come here for beauty and travel, not politics. But we just had the Inaugural, and there was fashion, and I found something interesting.

With the Trump squad being expensive New Yorkers who live in the fashion realm, we already knew that the fashion would be good.
That was a given.
 The hair and makeup will always be good, the clothes, shoes and jewels will always be good - that's part of the trump brand.


So let's talk Melania.
She was perfection throughout. I thought her Inaugural Ball dress was very chic and stylish for a First Lady. She looked elegant.
I didn't feel any warmth between Melania and her husband, but I don't really think warm is her brand, and I don't think that I have ever picked up any warm vibes from her, although I can't really say that I have paid her that much attention over the years.

Check out the body language - she is pulling away. But doesn't she look exquisite?
My next thought was when the family came out for the first dance. 
Why were they there? It felt as though I blinked and our beloved constitutional republic had morphed into a monarchy and this was it's official debut. It made me think of Imelda Marcos and her televised parties.
The weirdness of the first daughter taking the office of the first lady lingers, but the optics on the first family dance were intriguing.

 trump inauguration ball fashion
Who comes out first? The important one. The princess.

You always have to look to the subtext. You always find the most interesting things tucked away in the subtext. With this regime if they are causing a flap up high with their right hand, look down to the left hand and see what's really going on.

Ivanka-Trump-Jared-Kushner- trump inauguration ball

The dance started out with Trump and Melania, Melania looking impeccable in the First Lady role. 
But then out comes Princess Ivanka. In the image above where does your eye automatically go?
It pulls away from the First Lady, who should be taking priority on this stage, instead traveling over to the first daughter. Her princess dress establishes her as the leader of the Trump women. She takes the spotlight from Melania, and makes sure that the other females on that stage are her backup dancers. It's all her.
God it must be hell being Tiffany.

Image result for trump inauguration ball fashion
Where does your eye go? And who's dress stands out stylistically as being different from all the others??

There are no coincidences here. This was deliberate. And here is our subtext. Princess Ivanka asserting herself, her power, her will.
She is one to be watched. For as long as this administration lasts, keep your eye on her. All other Trumps are secondary to her and I find it fascinating. 

Oddly enough I feel temporary compassion for Melania. 
Do you think she chose to stay in NYC with Barron? Or is she being kept there? You know there is a fascinating story here. There is nothing going on at school for a 10 year old that should keep them from moving to Washington, to the White House. I wonder if she is jumping at the chance to get away from the Donald or if she is being banished so that princess Ivanka can be First Lady.

While we are on the subject of Melania, what is your take on the pussy bow? Was she flipping off the media or was she flipping the Donald the bird?

In a different set of circumstances I would find Melania interesting to follow. I loved Carla Bruni as First Lady of France. Another model, always well dressed and coiffed. But I don't care for the company Melania chooses to keep, and the fact that they are shilling her products on the White House website cheapens the institution. So I won't be watching.

But Princess Ivanka. She is another story altogether.
She is terrifying.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited US

Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Things To Do In San Gimignano


San Gimignano, the magical hilltop Tuscan town famous for its towers is my second home. With all my travels in Italy San Gimi is always home base. Arriving back there heals me, leaving there makes me a bit tearful, every time. Perched on a hill between Florence and Siena, watching over the fields  and vineyards, it is the perfect medieval town.


If you find your way to beautiful San Gimignano, here are 10 things you need to do:

1. Visit the Duomo. 

the view from my apartment window, looking over the Duomo

The fresco cycles are spectacular and date back to the 13th century.
The Duomo is in the heart of town, so you can't miss it.

2. Eat an artisanal gelato. 

Late night gelato in Piazza Cisterna, San Gimignano

The gelato store in the neighboring Piazza Cisterna makes fresh gelato each day in a variety of sensational flavors. Try raspberry with rosemary, or any flavor with lavender. Actually, it's probably impossible to find a flavor that isn't fantastic. Sometimes there are lines across the piazza with locals waiting to get a scoop or two of this delicious homemade gelato.
Wander back through to Piazza Duomo and sit on the steps while you eat your gelato. Look up and you will see my apartment looking right back at you!

3. Walk down to the medieval font.

one of my travelers in June 2016 exploring the font on a rainy day

The history of this idyllic mountain town is just wonderful, and there is just so much to see. Most people don't make it down to the font. Every time I've been we are the only people down there having a look.


4. Take a stroll.


You can walk around San Gimi forever and not get bored. The light hits the walls and the towers differently every minute of the day, so it always looks new. Wander through the medieval arches and alleyways, explore the little piazze, window shop and walk from one end of town to the other. Wander off the main shopping street and explore all the little neighborhoods. This little town is magical!

wander around in the evening for a different view of the town.

Allianz Travel Insurance

5. Walk the wall.

walking along the wall in San Gimignano, summer 2016

The views from the walls of San Gimi are absolutely breathtaking. A glass of local Sangiovese in the late afternoon at one of the little restaurants along the wall, with a view of endless vineyards, olive groves and fields that have been farmed for centuries. The view is so lovely it will haunt you forever...

late afternoon glass of wine along the wall, taking in the view in San Gimignano

6. Visit iSculpture San Gimignano

This one is a fantastic find in a region full of historical sculpture my friends Francesca and Patrick have built a tremendous business and a wonderful gallery featuring only contemporary art created by Italian artists.
The works are fresh and exciting and new, and make for an all encompassing experience housed in an ancient, historical building. The gallery is deceptively huge, and is the perfect showcase for both small and gigantic pieces. It's one of those places that keeps drawing you back in.

7. Climb the rock at sunset.


The highest point of town at the San Matteo end affords you the craziest, most sensational views as the sun goes down.


8. Eat Pizza at Il Trovatore

Summer evenings spent on the patio at Il Trovatore with pizzas cooked in their giant wood burning oven and jugs of local wine just cannot be beaten.
Tuscan pizza is nothing like pizza stateside. It's fresh and light and explodes win flavor. Don't expect it to be drenched in tomato sauce and wallowing in melted cheese like it is here - this is pizza the way it was meant to be eaten.

Allianz Travel Insurance

9. Enjoy Prosecco in the Piazza

late afternoon spritz and prosecco in the Piazza Cisterna, San Gimignano

My favorite time of day is Prosecco o'clock in the piazza. That late afternoon /early evening glass of prosecco siting at one of the outdoor restaurants that line the piazza Cisterna watching the early evening light hit the walls of the palazzi, people watching as the tourists leave for the day and the locals come out.
It's absolute magic.

10. Be there for market day

buying fresh local cheeses and prosciutto at the San Gimignano market

Every Thursday San Gimi wakes up to market day. The market takes up all of the Piazza Duomo and most of Piazza Cisterna. 

the local ladies buying their fruit and vegetables at the weekly market

From local cheeses and meats to fruits and vegetables, from Italian leather handbags and belts to clothes and shoes, from housewares to fabulous Italian tablecloths and napkins, there is so much to look at and buy!


Plan on buying lunch from one of the food trucks and eating it sitting on the Duomo steps.


(The leather handbags are the same as the ones you will find in San Lorenzo market in Florence. I have always found them to be cheaper at the San Gimi market. Expect to pay between 40 and 50 euros for an incredible handbag that will last a lifetime.)


I hope you take time to visit San Gimignano - it is so lovely!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Absolute Perfect Red-crimson Lip

Ever since I saw Jessica Chastain’s amazing lip color in Miss Sloane I have been obsessed with finding the ultimate red-crimson lipstick.


I have searched high and low for a color even close to the Miss Sloane lip, but everything I found was too something. Too red (and not all of us can pull off red lips every day) or not blue enough, or too dull, too dark, too pinky, or too lifeless.

On shoots I will just mix up the color I want or need, but in my daily life I need to have a lipstick I can grab and go.


I got super lucky a couple of weeks back when Tarte
sent me a box of makeup to use on my Luca Magazine Spring 2017shoots. The box contained the entire collection of lip paints, and in there was the absolute perfect red-crimson. For me this is the color of the season, and let me tell you why.

Red is great, but it can be overwhelming. For those of us who aren’t supermodels red isn’t always a win, and isn’t always the perfect shade. Sometimes it just feels too much. Sometimes a red lip feels like too much work.

Red can cross the line between projecting confidence and projecting sex-bomberage. One of the reasons I loved Jessica Chastain’s lip in Miss Sloane was that it at all times made you feel that she was in charge, she was powerful, she was strong, but at the same time it eluded the overtly sexy connotations of a traditional red.

Red-crimson is still a sexy color. It’s just a little more manageable. And it’s also a little unpredictable. It goes with so much more in your closet than a regular red does.

It looks quite pinky here, but Fly is actually deeper and less pink.
(see Jessica Chastain picture above)

It makes your teeth and the whites of your eyes look sparkling white. It compliments cool skin tones exquisitely, and it leaves your lips looking a little bitten, which is quite alluring!

For spring/summer 2017 bold lips are a major makeup trend. Red-crimson gives you a power lip, but it is a power lip that fires up the gorgeous tones in your skin, looks stunning with a tan, and once again – it goes with verything!

The Tarte red-crimson is in their new Lip Paint collection so it has a matte finish and lasts all day. The color is Fly.

Tarte cosmetics are available at Ulta, Sephora, and on the Tarte website.

The best bra is one you never think about.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

There's A Right Way To Burn A Candle...

Did you know that there is a "right" way to burn a candle???
I burn them in my home all the time, but I never thought about there being a right or wrong way to do so.

Tonight, shortly after lighting the candles in my living room, (and not pouring myself a glass of wine because it's dry January) I read this article on and figured maybe some of you would find it interesting too.
That is, if you don't already know the right way to burn a candle...

There’s a Right Way to Burn a Candle: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

by Mackenzie Wagoner for

Malin Goetz Vetivier candle is crisp and clean with notes of fruit and citrus,cloves, cedarwood and vetivier. Available at Space NK

’Tis the season for hibernation. No matter what’s driving you indoors—the recent snow flurries, dipping temperatures, early night falls, or merely disheartening headlines, few things will help you dodge the winter blues like the warm glow of a candle. But whether you crave the inviting fragrance of a fireplace, or the soft, sleep-inducing notes of fresh violets, there’s more to burning a candle than lighting a match. Expert candle burning requires etiquette—a precise art of what, when, and how. According to Alia Raza, cofounder of the conceptual fragrance house R√©gime des Fleurs (which recently debuted its first collection of candles), sloppy candle maintenance can lead to a lopsided wick that burns more glass than wax, while bad scent judgment could ruin a dinner party. From the importance of lids to picking the best fragrance for every room in your house, here, Raza shares the four simple precepts on how to burn a candle like a grown-up.

Diptique Genevrier smells like Juniper berries. Available at Space NK

Before You Burn, Always Trim
Wick length is a kind of goldilocks variable that can swiftly cut the life of your candle short. Especially with larger candles, which provide more surface area for drifting, a curt wick length will ensure a straighter burn. Trim it right before you burn it every time you burn it, says Raza. As far as length is concerned, “I’ve heard that wicks should be a quarter of an inch, but in my experience, that’s too short,” she says, describing how a diminutive wick can drown and extinguish in molten wax. “Eyeball it for a third of an inch. You can use a special wick trimmer, but I just use small scissors that I keep in a drawer.”
House of Harlow candle set .
Each candle is different: Midnight Moon, Flower Child and Saint James.
Available online at

Consider the Setting
The urge to light a beautiful candle is hard to ignore, but restraint is occasionally necessary. For example, scented candles should never be lit at the table. “Unless you’ve designed your entire meal to be enjoyed around that scent, it’s not appropriate during a meal,” says Raza. A candlelit dinner should only occur with the help of fragrance-free pillars or tea lights. Dens become more welcoming with masculine notes like wood, leather, and cashmere. “It’s more of a cozy, old-world smell,” says Raza, who developed her first collection of candles, Artefacts, with specific rooms in mind. Bathrooms and offices share olfactory requirements for cool, bright scents that smell clean and keep you alert. “A mint candle is not going to put you to sleep,” recommends Raza. Meanwhile, bedrooms call for softer notes like iris and iris root, while, “Violet is nice for a more feminine side.” And white florals will send an inviting message in entranceways, “but really, they’re beautiful anywhere.”
Jo Malone Basil and Neroli candle, available online at Nordstrom

Keep It Lit
“In general, when you burn a candle, and especially the first time you burn it, you want to burn it for about two hours or more, depending on the size of the candle,” says Raza. The idea here is that the entire top layer becomes molten before you extinguish it. “That means the whole surface will burn evenly so it won’t create those dips,” which can deepen, creating a cavernous hole for the wick that can, with run off from the surrounding walls of wax, become permanently lost.
Voluspa Japonica Goji Tarocco Orange candle, available online at

Extinguish Gently
Splashes of wax and tilts of wicks are often the result of blowing out a candle with too much force. Sniffers will cut this possibility out of the equation entirely, but Raza recommends gently blowing on the wick and immediately covering the extinguished candle with a lid. “All candles should come with a lid,” says Raza, explaining, “There’s nothing worse than blowing out your candle before you go to sleep to find that your entire room suddenly smells like smoke.” A lid will also keep dust and dirt from settling on your candle wax—just further insurance that you and your candle enjoy a long, beautiful life together.
 Find more articles like this on

The best bra is one you never think about.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Nicole Kidman's Makeup Golden Globes 2017


Nicole Kidman is guaranteed red carpet gold.
She understands the medium, has the panache to pull off any look she wants, whether she is going classic old Hollywood or avant garde nouveau.

I was really disappointed with many of the red carpet makeup looks this golden globes. The looks I liked from a distance looked like un-powdered drag up close. But Nicole's makeup was on point. Probably because of her collaboration with one of my favorite makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury.

I found the breakdown of Nicole's makeup on

Here is an exerpt from the original article, written by Juliann Ruffo

Nicole Kidman's Glam Squad Takes Us Inside Her Globes Prep

At Sunday night’s Golden Globe awardsNicole Kidman continued her reign as a red carpet queen, opting for a metallic, sequin encrusted Alexander McQueen gown with statement sleeves and equally dazzling hair and makeup. And because we needed to know exactly how to re-create her look, we tapped her pros — who shared their secrets.
Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury tells PeopleStyle of the inspiration behind her makeup look, “Her look is dreamy, ethereal, and has a little bit of a rock chick kind of edge to it. She’s wearing a beautiful Alexander McQueen dress that’s tulle and silver, its dreamy.”

Image via

To prep Kidman’s skin, Tilbury applied her new sheet mask, which launches next month, and she describes as an “instant celebrity facial.” Then, she applied her world famous Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, followed by her Magic Foundation.
Next, the pro filled in Kidman’s eyebrows with a brow gel, before moving onto her eye shadow. First up? The champagne shade from her Uptown Girl eye shadow palette, followed by the minky grey shade all over her lids and underneath her lower lash lines.

image via and Charlotte Tilbury
Then, in order to create the metallic sheen on Kidman’s lids, Tilbury used the glittery silver shade from her  Rock Chick palette, applying it all over the lid using her fingers. “It really plays with the light and picks up the light really beautifully,” she says, adding that she then added a wing with a charcoal grey eye liner, and lined her waterlines with a shimmery brown pencil.
To top it all off, Tilbury added a few swipes of Full Fat Lashes mascara, a bit of contour on her cheeks and temples, and blush on the apples of her cheeks. On her lips? “Kidman’s Kiss — a color that I specifically mixed for her. It’s her favorite lipstick,” Tilbury says.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited US

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lily Collins Makeup Golden Globes 2017

Did you just love Lily Collins' makeup at the Golden Globes this year???


It was probably my favorite look of them all. 

In fact there was plenty of makeup on the red carpet this year that I personally thought was ghastly.

What I loved about Lily's was that it looked fresh.


I always love a makeup that focuses on clean skin, accented brows (without them being Instagram brows!) softly rounded cheeks, and a bold lip. In this case a red/crimson bold lip.


I managed to get the scoop on Lily's lipstick. The shade is so sensational! Note how it compliments and works with the pinks in her eye shadow and dress. It is a perfect shade for spring/summer.

Main Image - NARS 'Audacious' Lipstick
She was wearing Nars Audacious Lipstick in Shirley.

You can order it online at Nordstrom

NORDSTROM - Shop Valentine's Day Lingerie

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The 2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet

It's the 74th Golden Globes! This evening's red carpet had a major metallic trend. Metallic black, metallic silvers and golds, we also saw pops of color like the spring yellows on Natalie Portman, Viola Davis and Reese Witherspoon.

Here is a look at the Golden Globes 2017 Red Carpet.

Amy Adams in black metallic Tom Ford

 red carpet golden globes 2017

Kristen Bell in black metallic sequinned Jenny Packham

 kristen bell golden globes red carpet 2017

Mandy Moore in Naeem Kahn

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrivals Mandy Moore, 2017 Golden Globes, Arrivals

Lily Collins all feathered brows and bold red lips in Zuhair Murad Couture. Loved her updo with braids.

Image result for red carpet golden globes 2017

Drew Barrymore in silver metallic Monique Lhiullier.
I wasn't a fan of the hair and makeup.

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrivals Drew Barrymore, 2017 Golden Globes, Arrivals

Very pregnant Natalie Portman refined a la Jackie O in yellow Prada.

Natalie-Portman- red carpet golden globes 2017

Reese Witherspoon in yellow Atelier Versace

Reese Witherspoon in custom Atelier Versace 

Viola Davis in gleaming yellow Michael Kors Collection

Viola Davis in Michael Kors Collection

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton Sleek platinum hair with a black choker that pulled the entire look together.

Michelle-Williams-red carpet golden globes 2017

Jessica Chastain another braid and a soft blue Prada

Jessica Chastain in Prada

Emma Stone in pink Valentino with metallic stars

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrivals Emma Stone, 2017 Golden Globes, Arrivals

Kerry Washington in golden Dolce and Gabbana Moda Couture. As usual her makeup was fiercely on point. Absolute perfection.

golden globes 2017 red carpet kerry washington

Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrivals Priyanka Chopra, 2017 Golden Globes, Arrivals

Sienna Miller in white sequinned Michael Kors

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrivals Sienna Miller, 2017 Golden Globes, Arrivals

Olivia Culpo in Zuhair Murad

2017 Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrivals  Olivia Culpo, 2017 Golden Globes, Arrivals

Emily Ratajkowski in golden Reem Acra

Emily-Ratajkowski- red carpet golden globes 2017


I wasn't that impressed with a lot of the makeup on the red carpet tonight. But I did see some lovely brows (and some hideous ones).
Here are the brows I liked:

Natalie Portman


Lily Collins


Michelle Williams

michelle-williams-makeup- red carpet golden globes 2017

Sienna Miller


Jessica Biel

 jessica biel makeup golden globes 2017

Emily Ratajkowski

 Emily Ratajkowski'-makeup-golden-globes-2017