that holiday glow, in a little jar

posted in: La Beauté, Maquillage | 12
not just an eye shadow...
not just an eye shadow…


I’ve learned to be (very!) wary of frosted makeup products, which often don’t do our mature skin any favors (and can look quite harsh) but products that deliver a little subtle light reflection can be our cosmetic best friends. Especially at this time of year when holiday activities (sugar, alcohol, lack of sleep and/or exercise, the stress of extra demands and commitments) and harsh weather can leave our skin looking a little dull, a little extra radiance never hurts.

Karen shared this product with me a while back, and I’ve pulled this little rabbit out of my hat makeup bag quite often. While it’s sold as an eye shadow (and IMO is too frosty for non-smooth lids), this cream from benefit cosmetics (color “r.s.v.p.”) adds a bit of radiance when applied lightly on the upper cheekbones. I apply by with one or two fingers, allowing the cream to warm up on my fingers for a moment then patting on mostly from below the middle of the eye outward. You can also use anywhere you’d add an illuminator or highlighter and it works well over a powder or cream blush. It’s easily portable, so you can carry in your makeup bag and dab on in between work and social engagements.

Do you have any “quick fix” makeup or skin care tips to perk up holiday-frazzled skin?

I’ll be taking a little blogging break for the next few days, but will back soon with some year-end “best of’s” and favorite finds from 2014. May you enjoy the glow of love and peace this holiday season. Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa!

time to party: LA to Paris

What to wear to holiday party in LA
Left: Necklace | Top | Pants | Clutch | Shoes | Jacket | Right: Necklace | Top | Ring | Bag | Pants | Shoes

Tish (A Femme d’un Certain Age) and I thought it would be fun to cross-post on “holiday party style” in our respective cities (Los Angeles and Paris). Other than the concept we haven’t compared notes at all, so I’m as excited as you are to see what she’s written about Paris party style!

In considering holiday party style in Los Angeles, I found myself struggling to pin down a single representative look. After all, LA is a bastion of rabid individualism. Angelenos don’t even bother to scoff at dress codes; they mostly ignore them. At any given event here you might see people in everything from jeans to sequins to pirate costumes (and sometimes a combination of all three). Parties themselves can range from a neighborhood wear-your-Christmas-sweater-chili-cookoffs to catered sit-down dinners. Our city boasts an incredibly diverse population with many cultural influences. But there are a few style guidelines I’ve observed, and this festive time of year is no exception.

  • Be cool. The principal sartorial sin in LA is to look like you’re trying too hard or care too much. As with Parisiennes, the best dressed Angelenos convey that sense of “just threw it on” (even if “it” is a four-figure designer piece). Anything too stiff of fussy or overdone doesn’t fly here. High-low mixing is not only acceptable, but encouraged and will add to your style cred.
  • Unless you’re 25, layer up. Yes, the Bright Young Things go out in December in slip dresses and strappy high-heeled sandals, but the rest of us often add a jacket or a shrug. Ankle or knee boots are just fine. Yes, it’s Southern California, but this time of year evenings get pretty darn chilly, and unless it’s pouring rain you may find yourself on an outdoor patio vying for the spot nearest the heat lamp.
  • Sparkle, selectively. Don’t do a sequined top AND a blingy statement necklace. One or the other. (See above under “trying too hard.”) Costume jewelry works, especially if it doesn’t pretend to be anything else, or is vintage.
  • Makeup yes, but subtle, (unless it’s red lipstick, then go bright). Nail polish, yes but no nail art unless one is under 25.
  • But if you have a signature style outside of these parameters, go for it and OWN it. We adore an original.

I’ve almost never attended a holiday event in LA that’s a formal, sit-down affair. Even the most glam parties tend to be more fluid in structure. (That doesn’t mean they don’t happen, but in our circles, those kinds of parties tend to be once-per-decade events.) At an LA party you may spend some time on your feet (consider the comfort factor of your footwear) or juggling a plate of canapés in your lap. (Watch out for lettuce wraps…I almost always end up wearing some of that. :-/ ) One balances practicality with frivolity. And don’t take dressing too seriously; it’s a party, relax and have fun!

I can hardly wait to read Tish’s take on posh Paris holiday party style!


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holiday party attire: cocktails

Tuxed up

The second holiday evening event we attended over the weekend was a Swanky Cocktail Party™. I decided to try a “le smoking” inspired outfit instead of a dress and put together the combo above. I felt comfortable and appropriately dressed, and was happy with how it worked out.

Earrings, Ring and Necklace: vintage from Beladora | Jacket: Helmut Lang | Top: Eileen Fisher |
Pants: Vince | Bag: vintage Chanel (similar) | Shoes: Cole Haan

Tuxed up 3
Nail polish: Dior “Nuit 1947″

The party was a blast! The food and drinks were fabulous, but best of all our hosts had invited an eclectic group of intelligent, accomplished and especially congenial folks, and we really enjoyed meeting and conversing with many of them. I also had a chance to see and catch up with some good friends from the bloggy world, which was such a pleasure!

Tuxed up 4
That isn’t white hosiery…that’s my skin! ;-)

What’s your go-to holiday cocktail party attire?

Linked up with Share-in-Style: Christmas at MIS PAPELICOS.


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holiday party attire: casual (ok, very casual)

Peacoat 1
Scarf: Eileen Fisher | Coat: J.Crew | Jeans: Eileen Fisher | Bracelets: Tory Burch and Aurelie Bidermann | Sweater (not visible): Eileen Fisher (similar)  | Boots: Paul Green (similar)

We had two holiday events on the calendar over the weekend, and here’s what I wore to the first. While this might not look like typical Holiday Party Attire™, it was perfect for an event we look forward to annually: our friends’ Boat Parade Party in Long Beach. Because I knew it would be a cool evening, and we’d be watching the parade from the deck of their docked sailboat, casual, warm and comfortable was the way to go. But the scarf adds a little subtle sparkle, as does the jewelry.

More like these:


Peacoat 2
Love this J.Crew pea coat so much!!

Peacoat 3

The weather for the event was as close to perfect as it gets: cool, clear and calm. I decided to bring along my DSLR camera this time to try to get some good low-light shots, and I think these are an improvement over the smart-phone pictures from previous years.

Holiday Cheer 2

LB boat parade 1

The Francophile entry...berets, scarves, champagne and the Eiffel Tower...
The Francophile entry…berets, scarves, champagne and the Eiffel Tower, sparkling comme l’originel!

LB Boat parade 10

LB Boat parade 3
Dragon boat, synchronized paddling
LB Boat parade 4
following close behind, the dragon’s tail?
LB boat parade
only the smaller boats can make it under this bridge…the taller ones stay out in the open part of the marina.

LB Boat parade 8

even a few intrepid kayakers! (that water is COLD.)
even a few intrepid kayakers braved that COLD water to join the fun
King Kamehameha made an appearance...
King Kamehameha made an appearance…
and of course, so did Santa!
and of course, so did Santa!
in a sled pulled by his trusty....dolphins?
in a sled pulled by his trusty….dolphins?

We all thought this was one of the best years for parade entries in quite some time. After the parade, it’s back to the house to eat…

homemade tamales!!
homemade tamales!!

Sadly we had to miss out on those tamales and other goodies as jeune homme was still recovering from an ear infection and tiring fast, so we made our apologies and took him home to bed.

How is your holiday party season shaping up? What’s your favorite kind of holiday event?

Holiday cheer 3

Linked up with Share-in-Style: Christmas at MIS PAPELICOS.


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reds, reads, and random things

Chanel Rouge Allure "Incandescente"
My current red lippie: Chanel Rouge Allure “Incandescente”


My obsession with red lipstick has only gained momentum in recent months. After trying many shades, all of which eventually turned pink on me, I’ve returned to the scene of my last successful ruby heist, Chanel Rouge Allure in “Incandescente.” This one looks absolutely scary in the tube, and if applied full strength is a bit much for daytime.

Googling “how to wear red lipstick,” I turned up this blog post from Garance Doré from last year, wherein she describes using her finger to press the color in.  That works brilliantly with this lipstick (which is highly pigmented), but if you don’t want to get your fingers messy, just pressing right from the tube onto lips (as opposed to swiping) gives a more stain-like effect. I’m not one to employ a four-step application process, but I do need just a tiny bit of gloss on top for moisture. I’ll also use some lip liner for definition on first application of the day, but don’t bother with it after that.

Simply Luxurious Life bookReads.

Shannon Ables of The Simply Luxurious Life blog has written a book! She graciously offered to send me a copy which I received last week. While I’ve only had time to read a couple of chapters and skim a few more, I can say that if you love her blog, you will love this book. Don’t we all need reminders from time to time to slow down, drop some of the multitasking, and just savor life? Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables is available in both paperback (great for gifts) and Kindle versions.

Rebecca Minkoff Love Crossbody bag

Rebecca Minkoff.

If you’ve loved the look of a Chanel “Boy” bag but don’t happen to be an heiress, this “Love” bag from Rebecca Minkoff is a great look-for-less alternative. I examined this bag up close yesterday and was impressed with the style and construction. I also like her version of the bucket bag.


J.Crew – 40% off coats, hats, scarves and 30% off everything else, code GIVETHIS.
Eileen Fisher – 40-60% off select styles.
Ann Taylor – extra 60% off Sale styles
Halsbrook – up to 50% off (if you’re looking for some wardrobe investment pieces that skew more timeless, this is worth checking out)
Net-a-Porter – up to 50% off (also Designer Clobber, some on the trendier side. Someone please buy this Alexander McQueen “Art Nouveau” silk scarf, I need it to quit tempting me!)
Nordstrom – check out the kate spade new york sale items for some great gifty things.


By the time this post goes live, the big storm that’s hit the Northwest should have made its way to LA. Our bathroom cabinets have dried out and have been treated with an anti-mildew paint, so we’re holding a good thought that the smell will not return. In the meantime a monster vent fan has been installed in the ceiling, and the one in the shower replaced.

Do you wear red lipstick? If so do you have a favorite color and method of application?

Bon weekend!
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