art · luxury

A Jewel Lover’s Paradise

I am SWOONING over the pieces in Bonhams’ upcoming jewelry auction. So many gorgeous pieces and a little something for everyone: what more could you want?

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This stunning diamond necklace could fetch up to $7,900

Bonhams Auctions will be selling over 300 jewelry items on July 11 at their London, Knightsbridge location. This sale boasts pieces by luxury brands such as Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany. Also, there are a lot of colorful gemstone pieces in this sale, which is a special treat: from what I’ve seen, many jewelry auctions feature diamond pieces (almost) exclusively, with only a few colored gemstones represented.

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Gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring

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My birthstone, a flawless peridot solitaire

This collection has a wonderful range, from very affordable to truly luxurious. There is a little something for everyone with this auction, and that excites me tremendously. Some of my favorite pieces were expected to sell for less than $1000, though I saw some other pieces expected to fetch over $25,000 once the bidding starts.

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One of my favorite pieces, a diamond clip brooch

You all know how much I love jewelry, and I was in heaven looking at the incredible pieces offered by Bonhams. I registered for an account, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up getting my dream item after all.

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Tiffany Seagull brooch set

The information for the auction is below. If you’re able, you should check out the pieces in the days prior to, and the day of, the sale.

Bonhams, Jewelry Auction, July 11, 2018

London, Knightsbridge location

Montpelier Street
Knightsbridge
London
SW7 1HH
Viewing dates and times (BST):
July 8, 11:00 – 15:00
July 9, 09:30 – 16:30
July 10, 09:30 – 16:30
July 11, 09:00 – 10:00

 

 

beauty · luxury

Fragrance Review: Bulgari Omnia Pink Sapphire

Recently, I ordered a few things from Sephora, and I got a goodie bag chock full of some cool items that I am eager to try and review for you all. I received several fragrance samples in my box, but I was immediately drawn to the pretty pink sample card that stood out from the rest.

As it turns out, this sample was the Bulgari Omnia Pink Sapphire eau de toilette. This is a new fragrance from Bulgari, as in, it was just released earlier this year. As a certified scent addict (you all remember when I did 30 Scents in 30 Days on Instagram, right?), I was all too ready to try this out and see how I liked it.

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(photo courtesy Fragrantica)

As always, I get my information on the scent profile from Fragrantica. I’m pretty good about identifying at least two or three (sometimes more) notes, but I like to guess what’s in it before I double check my guesses against the Fragrantica website. I like testing myself to see if my nose is catching the subtleties. Anyways, I sniffed it and immediately picked up on the citrus and some floral notes, but I couldn’t identify much more than that, until it dried down and I smelled some musk.

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The package that caught my eye

According to Fragrantica, the notes includes pomelo, pink grapefruit, frangipani, tiare, pink pepper, musk, vanilla, and woody notes. It’s starts off bright and heady: it’s flirty and attention-grabbing at first spritz. Then it dries down to a lovely powdery essence that is sweet but keeps those musk notes in the forefront.

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Inside of the Omnia Pink Sapphire sample

Overall, I enjoyed the fragrance, with a few “cons” that I will mention here. I found that the fragrance didn’t last a very long time on my skin (a little under 6 hours) but it’s an eau de toilette, so that is normal. I loved the fruity-floral top notes but found myself disenchanted with the base notes. It felt a bit too sweet, and not the balance of sweet and earthy that I prefer as my fragrance dries down. I asked some “neutral noses” to sniff the perfume, and they approved, so, while the fragrance isn’t cloying, I’m still not completely sold on it yet. At this point, I’m chalking up my distaste for the dried-down fragrance to a persistent sinus headache that has made me dislike a lot of things over the past few days. . . I’ll try it again and if I have a different verdict, I’ll make a follow up post.

 

art · luxury

Get Your Modern Art Fix at Christie’s

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My favorite piece from this auction (Untitled (2/98), I by Charline von Heyl)

I haven’t been monitoring the auctions as closely as I normally do. I’ve been a bit too busy keeping up with my online classes and navigating some big changes at work. So when I had a chance to check out Christie’s website, I was excited to see this Post-War to Present art auction.

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This piece could fetch more than $4 million USD (Peinture 195 x 130 cm, 3 février 1957 by Pierre Soulage)

Generally speaking, I’m more of a fan of global art and European art dating from the pre-World War II era. However, lots of exposure to contemporary art is starting to change my taste (I’m sure that my recent Instagram Artist series has something to do with that). This auction features two paintings by contemporary art darling George Condo, as well as pieces by notable artists like Willem de Kooning, Georg Baselitz, Damien Hirst and Ai Weiwei.

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The Secretary by George Condo

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Untitled by Willem de Kooning

This event will be held on June 28th at 2:30 PM. This is going to be an exciting auction, with prices expected to soar over $4 million USD. If you’re in London, you should check it out!

 

(Photos courtesy Christies.com)

luxury · style

Nude Garments for Brown Skin

I’ve spent the better part of 10 years trying to find undergarments that match my complexion. Traditional “nude” is too light, and black isn’t suitable for some ensembles. Years ago, I searched for companies that offered nude garments for deeper brown skin, and I was highly disappointed.

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Nude options as available through Target (photo from Target.com)

I’m happy to announce that this is no longer the case, and there are several retailers that consistently offer bras in deeper skin-toned hues. Here are a few of them that I’ve found. These range from extremely affordable to luxury, but all of them have inclusive shade ranges that accommodate women all of skin tones!

Savage by Fenty

Unlined Lace Bra in Brown Sugar , Spiced , and Cocoa (photos from Savage X Fenty)

Musical superstar Rihanna recently launched Savage X Fenty, an inclusive lingerie company that seeks to flatter women of all shades and sizes. Much like her Fenty Beauty line, Savage X Fenty is committed to catering to customers that are traditionally overlooked. I was so excited to see this line: I just placed my first order and I’m eager to see how nice the items are. Brava Rihanna!

Naja

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Anais bra in Nude 05, Nude 06 and Nude 07 (photos courtesy of Naja)

Naja goes beyond being inclusive, and jumps headfirst into being ethical and socially responsible, as well. Their bras are made by single mothers and impoverished women, ensuring that these women earn above market wagse and get benefits that make it possible for them to continue to be productive citizens (such as healthcare benefits and childcare assistance). Kudos to Naja!

Nubian Skin

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Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Cinnamon; Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Caramel ; Classic Lace Push-Up Bra and Classic Lace Short in Berry (photos courtesy of Nubian Skin)

Nubian Skin was one of the earliest companies to focus on inclusivity in their designs. Their elegant bras and underwear are flattering to many brown skin shades. This is another line that accommodates women of all sizes, with bras ranging from 30A to 40G. Along with undergarments, the company offers hosiery and shoes in a variety of nude shades. Nubian Skin takes the cake for having such a comprehensive list of nude offerings.

BeingU

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Stick on Solutions Bra in BeingU02

BeingU is a UK-based brand (just like Nubian Skin) offering undergarments in 5 skin-toned shades. What’s unique about this company is that they offer a stick-on bra, a strapless/bandless alternative that gives wearers even more style freedom. The company is currently running low on stock in several items – here’s hoping that they restock soon (fingers crossed!)

Target brands Gilligan & O’Malley and Xhilaration

Women’s Everyday Racerback Bra and Women’s No-Show Laser Cut Hipster in Coffee Bean by Gilligan & O’Malley (photos from Target.com)

Women’s Perfect T-Shirt Convertible Lightly Lined Plunge Bra and Women’s Cheeky Laser Cut with Lace Boyshorts in Cocoa by Xhilaration (photos from Target.com)

Target offers some extremely affordable bras and underwear in varying nude shades. Particularly, Gilligan & O’Malley and Xhilaration offers some fun designs at reasonable prices. For those of us that want to pick up these undergarments in person (as opposed to waiting for an order to arrive), stopping in a local Target is a perfect solution.

Do you know of any other retailers that offer varying nude shades? If so, drop the links in the comments below!

life curation · luxury

Time for an Aston Martin

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My favorite James Bond, Sean Connery (Lot 91, this photo is expected to sell upwards of $470)

You all know that I love a vintage car. So I squealed with delight when I saw that Bonhams is having an Aston Martin auction. Its in the UK, but at least I can view the lots online!

Aston Martins are sporty, luxurious and exclusive – it’s no wonder that I love them! The auction will feature nearly 200 lots. There are all sorts of auto memorabilia, vintage car parts, autographed photos of celebrities posed with Aston Martins, and, of course, a little more than 30 automobiles available.

Here are my favorite offerings from the auction:

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Lot 222 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, expected to sell between $190,000 and $240,000

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Lot 226 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, that’s expected to fetch anywhere between between $200,000 and $240,000

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This chic model of a 1963 Aston Martin is valued as being worth $4,000 (Lot 141)

The Aston Martin sale will occur on June 2, 2018, starting at 10:30 BST in Reading, Englefield House. You can always contact Bonhams if you want more information on this auction. It should be a thrilling one!

art · luxury

A Day At Freeman’s Auction, Part 1

As you all know, I went to Philadelphia a few days ago. I didn’t just go for the sake of having a getaway (though I desperately needed a getaway!). I went to attend an auction at Freeman’s, the oldest auction house in the United States. Freeman’s has been in business over 200 years, and they find new homes for all sorts of treasures.

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The star of the auction, sold for $802,000

I stopped by on May 8th to view the items to be auctioned on May 9th (you have to come at least the day prior to an auction in order to view and inspect items to be sold). The auction I planned to attend was the sale of jewelry and accessories previously owned by billionaire heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. 

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I had my eye on one piece in particular: a platinum and diamond brooch shaped like a bow. I figured I would bid on it if the price was right but I needed to check it out first. The staff in the display room was friendly and professional. I was given information on how to bid and I stopped by Client Services to drop off my bidder registration form. Again, the staff in the Client Services office was friendly and professional.

 

The object of my affection

Freeman’s is a throwback to bygone years (they have an elevator with an actual elevator operator!) but it’s fascinating to see how they’ve managed to blend the past and the current day. The same building with an elevator operator has huge monitors so that bidders can see the items being auctioned as well as online bidding capabilities.

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll discuss the actual auction and the outcome. Talk to you all soon!

festivals · luxury

Are You Derby-Ready?

Can you believe that the Kentucky Derby is only a few days away? I love horses but I’ve never been to the Derby; however, I’m not letting anything get in the way of my Derby Day fun.

horse

For starters, I’m going to see whether I can make my way to a viewing party. But, if I can’t I’m going to create my own Derby fun at home. Here’s the plan for a Derby Day in:

  1. I will wear a pretty spring gown and a complementary fascinator. I will have a ball sticking to the “dress code” as outlined on the Kentucky Derby website.
  2. I will make myself a mint julep and sip it like a genteel lady. The Derby-approved mint julep recipe can be found here: Mint Julep.
  3. I’ll check out social media to see the photos of the Derby fashions.
  4. I’ll tune into NBC to watch the race.

julep

A mint julep

Are you going to the Derby? Or will you be attending a watch party? I’d love to hear your Derby Day plans!