beauty · luxury

New Fenty Beauty Products – Worth a Sephora Trip

Happy Monday, friends! I’m planning a trip to Sephora but I decided to look on their website to get an idea of what goodies I need to check out in person. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All Over Diamond Veil and the Diamond Milk Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.

The products are GORGEOUS and I already know that I want them. However, I need to see them in person because super-shimmers aren’t always kind on my complexion. But I’m hopeful: keep your fingers crossed for me, because these are so pretty and I would hate to pass them up because they don’t flatter me.

Of course, I’ll be checking out some of the other Fenty Beauty products that I haven’t seen in person yet, like the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette. Let’s face it – Fenty Beauty can get all of my coins! Here’s a review of the Diamond Bomb and Diamond Milk products from one of favorite Youtubers, MsRoshPosh. I’m also including a review from Scarce Beauty, who I recently discovered on YouTube and I’m enjoying her reviews.

art · international

My Top Picks from Christie’s Asian Art Auction, Part 1

Happy Monday, friends! Of all of the Asian Art Week auctions being held during the first half of September, no single auction house has as many events as Christie’s. Christie’s is having eight events – far more than I could comfortably put in one post. I will be breaking my top picks into two different posts, as there is no way that I can adequately discuss all of the events without separating them a bit.

Christie’s kicks of Asian Art Week with one auction on September 11 and three on September 12th. The first auction is Fine Chinese paintings, with pieces created during multiple dynasties and previously held in prestigious private collections. This one has 132 lots: a substantial amount for an auction that leads a week of activity. My favorite piece from this collection is Traveling in Autumn by Li Xiongcai (1910 – 2001). Whenever I think of autumn, I think of vividly colored trees and a tinge of warmth in the landscape. However, Xiongcai’s work evokes the feeling of late fall: cooler temperatures, barer tree, and only glimmers of the copper-hued leaves that were in place just weeks prior. This more somber depiction of autumn is unique and refreshing, and, since it could easily sell for over $15,000, it’ll probably be a popular painting among the bidders.

Screenshot 2018-09-09 at 11.00.42 PM - Edited

Li Xiongcai (1910-2001), Traveling in Autumn

After a full night’s rest, bidders can get ready for some whirlwind activity on September 12, when Christies will be hosting three Asian art auctions. The first auction – South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art – starts at 10 AM, and it sure to bring out some unique buyers. With a little less than 100 items up for auction, this sale may be brief but it will no doubt also be impactful, as the items being auctioned reflect a typically underrepresented group of artists and artisans. My favorite piece from this collection is Untitled (Street Scene) by Syed Haider Raza (1922-2016). While Raza was born in India, he spent most of his adulthood in Paris. I saw shades of Post-Impressionism when I looked at the setting and brushstrokes features in this painting. This painting could easily sell for $35,000 or more.

Screenshot 2018-09-09 at 9.18.09 PM - Edited

Syed Haider Raza (1922 – 2016), Untitled (Street Scene)

If contemporary art isn’t your cup of tea, bidders can check out The Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles: Part VI. I’m not a huge fans of snuff bottles but I can appreciate the artistry of them. My favorite is the Molded and Carved Biscuit Snuff Bottle featuring an elaborate dragon carving on the exterior. The dragon is depicted as it catches a flaming pearl in its mouth, and its body and tail are set against a carved background of clouds and fire. It’s quite an eyecatching piece, and is estimated to be auctioned somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000.

Screenshot 2018-09-09 at 11.03.28 PM - Edited

Molded and Carved Biscuit Snuff Bottle (Wang Bingrong, Jingdezhen Kilns, 1820 – 1850)

Finally, the auction activities on September 12th end with the Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art sale starting at 2 PM. The lot that made me swoon was the Gilt and Polychrome Wood Book Cover. I love any and all things book related, so it should be no surprise that this book cover was my favorite item of this auction. The fact that it came from Tibet – a country that isn’t featured as much in the popular auctions – made me love it even more. This 800 year old treasure will be the crown jewel of someone’s Asian art collection – I can feel it!

Screenshot 2018-09-09 at 11.24.56 PM - Edited

Gilt and Polychrome Wood Book Cover (Tibet, 13th Century)

That’s it for the first half of my Christie’s art auction picks. Look out for Part 2 coming soon!

art · international

My Top Picks from Sotheby’s Asian Art Auction

Happy Friday, loves! I’m so glad that the weekend is HERE. For a minute, I thought it wasn’t gonna make it! I’ll be catching up with friends and knocking things off of my to-do list this weekend, so I should have a fun and productive time!

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Sotheby’s and I’m excited that they will be having multiple Asian-themed auctions during Asian Art Auction week. This auction house is having five different Asian art auction during the week of September 12 – 15. The first four auctions feature Chinese art exclusively, ranging from the decorative to the religious, and the fifth auction has art from China, Japan, Korea, India, and other Southeast Asian countries.

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 1.52.16 AM - Edited

The biggest sale will be the Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art auction

Instead of choosing multiple pieces from each auction, I’m going to force myself to choose one piece from each auction to highlight in this post. This isn’t easy, but if I don’t stay focused, this post will have a million photos!

Junkunc: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture is the first auction of Sotheby’s Asian Art event. This auction, occurring on September 12 at 10 AM, features 18 Chinese Buddhist sculptures from the collection of Stephen Junkunc III. My favorite piece is, coincidentally, the priciest. It could easily sell for over $2mil at auction, and I’m sure Sotheby’s will have no problem getting the higher estimated price. The piece is the “Exceptional Large Limestone Figure of the Bodhisattva“. The statue is over 3 feet tall, and the exquisite detailing is impressive, to put it lightly. This is the kind of piece that easily becomes the crown jewel of your Asian art collection.

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 12.07.48 AM - Edited

Exceptional Large Limestone Figure of the Bodhisattva, Tang Dynasty

The Junkunc: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture auction will happen quickly, since there are only 18 pieces to be auctioned. The remainder of the hour, as well as the following hour (or two), will be the Important Chinese Art auction, featuring over 280 pieces from different Chinese periods. I stopped in my tracks when I saw this vibrantly painted lotus bowl. It looks so delicate and elegant: it’s so pretty! It could fetch upwards of $7,000, so it isn’t the priciest piece in the collection but it’s the one that I like the most.

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 12.30.19 AM - Edited

A Famille-Rose “Lotus” Bowl and Cover Daoguang Seal Mark and Period

At 10 AM on September 13, the Tang Hung and Fung Bi-Che Collection of Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy auction will occur. I love calligraphy, so choosing a favorite piece from this auction was a challenge. However, I really liked Dragon in Clouds, a grayscale drawing depicting a fearsome dragon descending from heaven. I was unfamiliar with the artist, Lin Fengmian, but I’ll be making it a point to do my research in the upcoming weeks/months. The drawing could command more than $180,000 at auction, so it’ll be interesting to see what it actually sells for when the auctioneer drops the gavel.

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 8.00.43 PM - Edited

Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), Dragon in Clouds

More calligraphy and paintings follow the 10 AM auction. At 11:30 AM, the Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy auction will commence. This sale features 155 pieces, all exquisite examples of the very best Chinese artwork. My favorite piece from this collection is, hands down, the Crouching Tiger painting. It’s no coincidence that this painting shares a name with a movie that I love, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In thie painting, this majestic cat is looking downward, body lowered but still powerful. This one also came from the Junkunc Collection, but, since it isn’t a Buddhist sculpture, it was appropriately grouped with Thursday’s auctions. This lovely kitty could sell for upwards of $6,000, which, while possible, doesn’t seem likely to me. That is, unless there’s another tiger fan bidding. In that case, who knows how high it will go?

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 7.40.25 PM - Edited

Anonymous, Crouching Tiger

Finally, all of these sales lead up to the biggest one of them all, happening at 10 AM on Saturday, September 15. The Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art auction features a whopping 551 items for sale. The expected sales prices range from $300 on the low end to $50,000, on the high end. With this price range, it is sure to attract a varied group of potential bidders. The piece that I found most captivating was a collection of 30 Chinese art reference books. Of course I love books, and art, so this was a no-brainer! The collection will probably sell between $1,500 and $2,000. Someone is going to be the lucky owner of this collection, and I know they’ll treasure each book.

Screenshot 2018-09-06 at 7.55.18 PM - Edited

A Group of Thirty Chinese Art Reference Books

Those are my top picks for the Sotheby’s auctions. I still have to comb through the offerings at two more auctions, so look out for those posts soon. Have a fabulous Friday!

 

 

luxury · style

My Fantasy Fall Fashion Wish List

Happy Wednesday, beloveds! I’m back into the swing of things at work and daydreaming about my next holiday!

Yes, I’m longing for another day off but I’m also daydreaming about what kind of fashions I’m enjoying this upcoming fall and winter. Despite the fact that I dread the cooler months, I do like most of the fashions that the chillier weather makes possible, like gorgeous coats, snuggly sweaters and stylish boots.

I started compiling a mini-wish list for the fall, and I’m looking squarely at the Duchess of Sussex herself, Meghan Markle, for fall fashion inspiration. We have different body types (she appears to be a Natural, while I’m a Soft Classic, per the Kibbe typing system) but we both favor clean lines and exquisite construction.

The Duchess of Sussex in Black Halo and Goat Fashion (both photos from Elle Magazine)

She’s been spotted wearing several well-crafted pieces from Black Halo, Goat Fashions and Altuzarra. She always looks perfectly groomed and effortlessly stylish – the same effect that I’m going for.

From Black Halo, I’m swooning over the Mindy Sheath, the ¾ Sleeve Jackie O Dress, and the Sambora Sheath. For those that don’t know, Black Halo dresses have a wonderful liner so they are great for the cooler months. I have two Black Halo pieces but both of them are sleeveless, so I’m looking for something a little different for the fall.

The Mindy and Sambora Sheath Dresses

Screenshot 2018-09-04 at 9.28.10 PM - Edited

The ¾ Sleeve Jackie O Dress

Another one of the Duchess’s favorites is Goat Fashions, another British brand. Duchess Meghan favored the Flavia Dress, which is just my speed: soft, feminine, and elegant. I’m also loving the Greta Blouse and Venus Dress.

Screenshot 2018-09-04 at 9.33.58 PM - Edited

The Flavia Dress

Greta Blouse and Venus Dress

While Altuzarra makes to-die-for dresses and separates, I’m loving the coats made by the label. The Higgins Coat and the Elvin Coat both have enough tailoring in the waist to suggest an hourglass silhouette but are fully lined and perfect for chilly days. I’m leaning more toward the design of the Elvin Coat, since I fear that the pinstripe design of the Higgins Coat may be a bit too “boxy” on me, even with the cinched waist.

The Higgins Coat and the Elvin Coat

That’s my fantasy fall fashion wish list! I’ll do another post about fall accessories that I plan to incorporate into my wardrobe.

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipstick

Happy Hump Day, beloveds! It’s time to review some beauty products because, let’s face it, we’re overdue!

Today, I’m reviewing the Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipsticks. Now, I’ve reviewed Fenty Beauty twice before: first when reviewed the Killawatt Highlighter, then when I reviewed the Lil Match Stix Duo.

I’ve enjoyed all of the Fenty Beauty products that I’ve tried so far, so I was excited to give the Mattemoiselle lipsticks a try. I didn’t want to commit to the full-sized lippie (since I already have far too many lipsticks in my collection) so I got the Mini Mattemoiselles.

img_5066

The set includes two mini lipsticks, in the shades Spanked and Griselda. When Fenty Beauty first launched the lipstick line, I was immediately drawn to the intense eggplant-hued Griselda, while I wasn’t as excited about Spanked, described as a “dusty rose” on the Fenty Beauty website.

(L to R) Spanked and Griselda, with flash and without

Swatches – Griselda on top, Spanked on bottom (with flash and without)

However, being a curious soul, I wanted to give both lipsticks a chance. I was impressed with the pigment and the texture: these are matte but not drying. I loved how they glided on and how they didn’t leave my lips feeling dehydrated. My thoughts on the lipsticks are as follows:

  • Spanked is a great everyday shade, but it doesn’t flatter my complexion unless I wear a dark liner with it (blended well, of course). The color is a bit too warm for my taste, but it’s a very classy, elegant shade that works well for the office or casual looks.

Spanked with dark brown liner

  • Griselda is bold and attention grabbing: my kind of lippie! It’s also more neutral (equal amounts of warmth and coolness) so it flatters my complexion more. It can come across a bit harsh during the daytime, so I’d save this one for the evening.

Griselda – no liner needed

I hit pay dirt when I combined the lipsticks. I applied Griselda and blotted off most of the color in the center of my lip, leaving the heaviest concentration of product on the outer edge of my mouth. Then, I liberally applied Spanked in the center of my lips and blended outward, until Spanked faded into Griselda. It created a simply gorgeous, dimensional pout that works from day to night. Score!

Griselda and Spanked combined – my favorite!

All in all, I love these colors and I can’t wait to try more! Fenty Beauty has yet another hit. They always get it right the first time!

Have you all tried any Fenty Beauty products? Let me know in the comments below!

relaxation · travel

Review: TownePlace Suites Hotel in Cary, NC

 

I’ve been to Raleigh numerous times, but when I visit, I stay in Cary, a small incorporated town bordering the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. Every time I visit, I stay at the TownePlace Suites, a cozy aparthotel that meets all of my needs.

Screenshot 2018-08-16 at 9.40.33 PM - Edited

Quiet? Check!

Conveniently located? Check!

Reasonably priced? Check!

Ample amenities? Check!

Eligible for reward points? Check!

I always love my stays here and I’ve raved about it each and every time. However, I wasn’t blogging when I’ve visited previously. So now that I’ve had a recent visit, I can finally share this information with you all!

Instead of adding a bunch of photos, you can check out this video room tour. I stayed in the studio-style suite with an “office” (it had a desk area). If you’re ever in the area, I can’t recommend this hotel enough!

life curation · travel

Why I Have To Get Away . . .

Recently, I had an acquaintance comment on the frequency of my getaways. As you all know, I like to go on short and long trips as much as possible. The gist of what was said was, “It must be nice to get away whenever you want [. . . ] I wish I could do that [. . .] But it’s not like you actually need to travel [. . .]”.

Funny thing is, I do need to travel. I feel a bit bored and uninspired when I spend too much time in my routine. I crave the experience of going new places and seeing new things. I truly feel that traveling has made me a better person: I’m more creative, more educated, and more comfortable within my own skin due to my traveling experiences.

globetrotter

For me, getting away is a necessity. I must have different experiences and see new faces. It’s part of what gives me new things to discuss and new ideas to ponder. My last trip to Raleigh left me buzzing with excitement and clarity regarding what I want to do over the next year. I also felt so much PEACE, as I was enjoying a stay at one of my favorite hotels in the Raleigh/Durham area. It makes such a difference to my state of mind when I can disconnect from the ordinary and spend some time living at the pace that I choose.

I know that I’m not the only one that loves travel, and I realize that there are a lot of people that want to travel but can’t quite figure out how to afford it. I will be remaking a video describing how I can afford to travel. The original video was on my Instagram live feed but I would like to “polish it up” before I add it to YouTube. When that video is finished, I’ll come over here and let you all know. I know you’re going to love it!