beauty

Rest in Peace, Brandon Truaxe

A few days ago, the founder of The Ordinary, Brandon Truaxe, passed away. Truaxe’s brand is brilliant: it finally brought professional grade skin care to the masses at affordable prices. The Ordinary’s powerful, effective serums and solutions have been a staple in my routine for quite some time.

Truaxe experienced a tumultuous year, and was eventually ousted from the company that he started. Aside from the controversy surrounding his company, I suspect that he was deeply troubled and experiencing many personal struggles as well. I hope that he is able to finally rest in peace.

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(Photo courtesy of DetailOrientedBeauty.com)

luxury

Little Bit of Luxury: High Quality Dinnerware

Happy Monday friends! This past few days has been quite chilly, but here’s hoping that getting through this period of cold weather will lead to much warmer day sooner than we think.

Recently I purchased a few things on Amazon that I both needed and wanted. I love to inject luxury into my life and small ways, and one of the ways that I do that is by using the best quality dinnerware and flatware that I can afford. I love eating off of beautiful plates and using lovely knives, forks, and spoons when eating my lunches, so I have a set that I use exclusively in my office.

But,  one of my worst nightmares occurred when I broke one of the pieces to my dinnerware set. I look to see if I could find a replacement piece, but I couldn’t locate the singular item that I needed to complete my set again. I also misplaced one of my spoons that was part of my flatware set. These two things happening within a 2 month timeframe  signaled to me that it was time to upgrade.

So I treated myself to new flatware and new dinnerware for my desk. Behold!

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I saw Mikasa’s “Love Story” design and had to get the set. I got the Mikasa Love Story 5-Piece Place Setting, Service for 1. The set has a salad plate, dinner plate, dessert plate, saucer, and cup.

To flesh out the set, I also bought the Mikasa Love Story Coupe Soup Bowl, 8-Inch. When I purchased it, it was discounted a bit, so I purchased it for a great price.Of course, I couldn’t forget flatware! I also got the Ginkgo Royal Chippendale 5-Piece Place Setting, Service for 1. My original set was Oneida, but I couldn’t find the design that I had previously, so I got a brand new set.

There’s something exhilarating about using your personal best as much as you can. You deserve to feel luxurious, pampered and distinguished at all times, and it can start with something as simple as what you use to eat your meals. Treating yourself includes investing well into things that you use regularly and enjoy. So, maybe dinnerware and flatware isnt’ your thing: whatever makes you feel amazing, make sure that you invest in it. Don’t save it for a “special day”: use it now!

I hope you all stay warm and cozy! I’ll be back tomorow with a VERY special post: I’m so excited! Talk to you all soon.

beauty · luxury

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation

Happy Friday, friends! We’ve made it through the week and now we have a reward of Saturday and Sunday ahead. It’s been a while since I’ve done a beauty review, so I was excited to prepare this one for you. I think it’s about time, don’t you?

Though I love luxury beauty products, I can’t believe that I’ve never tried Lancome. I’ve had a few perfume samples before, but never have I tried the company’s cosmetics.  I was excited to finally try the Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation when I got a sample over the summer in a Sephora order.

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Initially, I was concerned about the shade. I received shade 500, which I suspect it would be a little too light for me. Based on the beauty vloggers I’ve seen on YouTube, I suspected that I probably wore a 510 or 520. But 500 was the closest shade to my complexion, so I decided to try it. I got it when I still had a bit of my summer tan, so I figured it might be a little too light. To my surprise, it was a perfect match then, and still a pretty great match now.

Both sides of my face with the foundation applied

You can see for yourself how flattering the finish is. I love this foundation. It felt light on the face and, while I use a primer underneath it, I didn’t use powder over it, so I got to see just how the foundation performed without any products topping it. I got a little oily throughout the day, but that’s fairly standard for me with any foundation. I didn’t feel that this formulation made my skin any  oilier than normal. just a dad was enough to give me a good medium coverage. I experimented with it on a different day and I found that it’s very buildable: this coverage could easily go from medium to full without weighing the face down. I don’t have many facial lines, but I also found that this foundation doesn’t exaggerate the lines that I have. Win!

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My adorable foundation sample

I’m so excited to have another  foundation in my arsenal! This foundaton performs just as well as I would expect it to, since it retails for $47. I’m going to experiment with a few other shades in the Teint Idole Ultra Wear line just to see if there’s a better match than this one, but if I can’t find anything that matches more perfectly, this will be just fine. I love it and can’t wait to try more!

That’s it for this week.  I’ll be back Monday with more posts for you. Take care, and enjoy your weekend!

luxury · style

My Top Three Tips for Finding Luxury Fashion Bargains

Hi friends! The roads are being cleared in the Mid-Atlantic region, only for more snow to fall in the next few days! I’m still staying warm and dry, and I hope the same for you all.

A few weeks ago, I went to one of my favorite thrift stores and just decided to check out what new finds they had. I walked out with two large bags of clothing and spent only $40. The bags contained several designer suits and some beautiful vintage blouses. I had gone to the same thrift store several weeks prior and gotten two lovely winter coats.

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Now, as you all may recall, I like to shop selectively. I don’t enjoy spending my money on items that won’t last very long. I like high quality pieces for great prices. This is part of the reason why I’ve distanced myself from some of the bargain retailers that I used to enjoy . . . I need clothes that will give me the best bang for my buck.

I also don’t like to clutter my wardrobe with a bunch of items that won’t last beyond the season. When I shop, I prefer to purchase investment pieces. This applies even when I’m at thrift stores. Just because the item has been pre-owned does it mean that I don’t hold it to a high standard! My family and friends are always amazed at some of the incredible buys that I can find, especially since these items are usually designer pieces. Their questions led me to creating this post just for you all to describe how I can find amazing luxury item for great prices. Enjoy!

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  • Do your research

What good is saving your money, picking an item, and purchasing it if you find out later that you invested poorly? It’s important to do research before investing in any luxury item. Remember that cost does not equal high quality: there are many items that label themselves “luxurious” but are in actuality overpriced, low quality goods. So do your research before purchasing any luxury item. Learn about the items best features and why it’s superior to its competitors. Compare it with similar items. If you find an item that’s being presented as a bargain, it helps to know the average selling price so that you can determine for yourself whether the price that it’s being offered for is a true bargain or if it’s too good to be true. There are a lot of high-quality knock-offs on the market, that are being sold for a pittance. If you are interested in buying true luxury goods, knowing the regular retail prices can help you avoid purchasing a good-looking fake.

  • Never be in a rush

When buying a luxury item, it’s crucial to take your time. Some of the best items can be purchased for  a steal if you time it right. Timing is not only about waiting for Black Friday sales; Actually, when it comes to most luxury goods, Black Friday is not the day that you can expect to find your best prices. Some retailers have seasons, or certain times of the year, when they clear out their overstocked  items. Patiently waiting for discounts can save a savvy consumer quite a bit of money when purchasing luxury goods.

  • There’s no shame in buying used luxury items

The beauty of pre-owned luxury items is that many of the previous owners have taken excellent care of their possessions.  if you don’t disclose when and how you bought an item, no one will know that you purchased it used. Also, depending on the luxury item, having previous owners may be unavoidable. Think of fashions from the 1920s and 1930s: surely you wouldn’t be the first person to own those items! So when purchasing used luxury items, just make sure that the items are in excellent condition or, at very minimum, in a condition that is suitable to you. Some items, such as furniture or home other home goods, may not need to be in pristine condition for what you’re intending. In fact, depending on the item, a slightly used, worn-in look maybe preferred.

Since this conversation is about luxury fashion, you would want to make sure that the clothing is in great condition before purchasing. Even vintage items should be scrutinized for signs of wear that can detract from the attractiveness of the garment.

Those are my top three tips for finding luxury fashion bargains! Do you all have any other tips? If so, please let me know in the comments below!

art

Americana Week – Best of Doyle Auctions

Happy Wednesday, friends! For Americana Week, many US auction houses will be presenting incredible items that highlight the craftsmanship and decorating aesthetic of Americans. One of my favorite auction houses, Freeman’s, doesn’t have any auctions scheduled during Americana week this year. So, the last auction house that I will be considering is Doyle Auctions.

Doyle auctions will have only one live, in-person auction event during Americana Week. Doyle at Home won’t have any items that are distinctly Americana-themed, but the luxurious items that are being offered may be of interest to a variety of collectors, including those that specialize in collecting Americana. The sale occurs on January 16, 2019 at 10 a.m. EST.

With nearly 500 lots for sale, selecting just one item out of the group was challenging. But I found myself irresistibly drawn to this painting by Porfirio DiDonna. The untitled painting comes from later in DiDonna’s career. It has more curvature, less symmetry, and less precision than his earlier works. I love how the neutral colors appear to dance against the cool grey background. I may bid on this painting, considering how affordably priced it is. This one has an estimated value between $150 – $250.

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Untitled, 1984, Porfirio Di Donna (1942-1986)

Instead of planning all of the Americana events to occur during the week of January 13th through the 19, Doyle has wisely opened an Americana-themed, online-only auction to start on January 18th. This allows them to keep the Americana theme going even after the week has concluded.

Americana from the Library of Arnold ‘Jake’ Johnson should be an interesting sale but, unfortunately, I can only view one lot from this collection. For that reason, I can’t recommend my favorite item. However, this sale will still be worth checking out:  after all, it’s the last Americana-themed sale for the month.

That concludes my review of Americana week at some of the most popular auction houses in the US. Did you see any items from the previous auctions that you found interesting? Let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear about it!

 

Talk to you all tomorrow!

art · luxury

Americana Week – Best of Bonhams Auction

As part of Americana Week, I will be taking a look at each of the major auction houses that will be featuring Americana-themed sales. Today’s auction house is Bonhams , an auction house that has more luxury auto auctions than any of the others. This particular auction, still aligned with the Americana theme, will be in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 17th 2019, starting at 11 MST. Bonhams will be showcasing luxury cars from the early 1900’s through to the modern day

Americans have a long-standing love affair with automobiles, so it makes sense that cars would factor into Americana Week. As a side note, only two of the auction houses that I am profiling will be selling luxury vehicles this week. Bonhams, of course is one of them; however, Sotheby’s will also be getting in on the luxury automobile action. Despite still being Americana-themed, many of the cars at the Scottsdale sales, will be foreign-made cars such as Mercedes, Maserati, Lamborghinis, Porsches and so on. The truth is, Americans love all cars – including foreign ones!

My favorite lot in this auction is the 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce, a sleek, stylish car that looks like it was made for me. The plush red interior, clean lines, and, as Bonhams puts it, “nimble handling”, all sound like the perfect features for my future sports car.  This beauty could fetch up to $130,000 at auction though, as lovely as this restored vehicle is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s sold for more. However, if any of you are wondering whether you should get this for me, the answer is yes and thank you in advance!

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My future car

I kid, I kid. However if you are interested in this car or some of the other beauties that will be at the Scottsdale auction, make sure to check out Bonhams. They have wonderful offerings for this auction: so many gorgeous sport cars, so little time to enjoy them all! 

Have a happy Friday, friends! I’ll be back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

 

beauty · style

8 Easy Ways to Look Luxurious

Happy Tuesday, folks! Despite some unseasonably warm weather yesterday, I’m still fully aware that winter is upon us and we’d do well to not let our beauty routines lapse. Sometimes, a little warm weather will make us less diligent when it comes to our cold-weather routines – don’t fall for the trap! After all, we only get one body: we have to take care of ourselves.

Along with caring for our bodies internally (diet, exercise, caring for our mental, spiritual and emotional health), we must care for them externally, too. And after we care for our external selves, we may find that basic care just isn’t enough to put a little pep in our steps. Let’s face it: usually, the basics aren’t enough to make us feel luxurious. It doesn’t matter if your face cream costs hundreds of dollars or if you’re using SPF2000: basic care isn’t always enough to make you “sparkle”.

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However, enhancing your sparkle is easy! Here are 8 simple ways you can look more luxurious on a daily basis. Keep up with these, and you’ll be glistening effortlessly in no time!

  1. Groomed brows – I selected this as the top item because it’s so easy to neglect our brows in favor of other body parts. However, well-groomed brows create a gorgeous frame for your eyes, and can instantly make your whole face look more polished and refined. Groom your brows to instantly see a more luxurious you.
  2. Moisturized skin – Dry skin will never be luxurious. Using a good moisturizer that leaves your skin soft, supple and non-greasy instantly enhances your look. Walking the fine line between glowing and greasy is tough, so you may have to sample a few different formulations to find a good one. It’s worth the effort, so start looking now so that you can be well on your way to a more luxurious appearance.
  3. Freshly manicured/painted nails (on hands and feet) – Polished, cared-for nails and feet make a world of difference when it comes to cultivating a luxurious look. Nails that are even, polish that has no chips, lumps or gashes, and cuticles that are trimmed and moisturized quickly give hands and feet the appearance of luxury. This takes a bit more time than some of the other luxurious enhancements mentioned, but it’s worth the investment.
  4. Clothing made from all natural fibers – This can be challenging, since we live in a world full of polyester, spandex and other unnatural fibers. Natural fibers require more maintenance but look infinitely more luxurious. All within reason, though – everyone must consider their personal budget and level of investment when deciding what kind of fibers to purchase. However, cotton is inexpensive and feels great next to the skin, and more expensive fabrics (like leathers, silks and cashmere) can be purchased at a discount if you are a wise shopper. For a truly luxurious look, keep in mind your personal ethics (leather isn’t for everyone!) while shopping for all natural fibers for your wardrobe.
  5. Red lipstick – Perfectly applied red lipstick can immediately make a face look more luxurious and polished. Red lipstick in the perfect shade for your undertones and complexion is a powerful tool to make any ensemble look more glamorous. Red lipsticks are available at all price points, so this luxe accessory is truly available to anyone!
  6. Whitened teeth – A bright, white smile can do wonders for enhancing your overall appeal. And, whitened teeth are very luxurious looking. Whitening formulas can be as simple as baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide, or as elaborate as a few rounds at the dentist’s office. Whatever it takes, make sure to remove as many surface stains as you can from your teeth, so that you can have your brightest smile.
  7. Large sunglasses – Give a nod to Jackie O, one of the most elegant women ever, by throwing on a large pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are practical – who ?doesn’t want to protect their precious eyesight from the suns’s harmful rays – and mysterious. They shield your eyes in the most stylish way. The right sunglasses add a level of polish to any look. Try on a few pair and see for yourself!
  8. Gloves – An oft-forgotten accessory, gloves are another one that is truly practical and still adds a stylish, luxurious touch. Most people won’t reach for their gloves until the cold months, but lightweight cotton gloves are great for protecting hands from the sun when you’re out and about during the warmer seasons.

Can you think of anything else that makes you look or feel luxurious? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!