A crisp white shirt, a great pair of denim, a simple dress. When this is your canvas, often the perfect balance is found with a single accessory that packs a punch. Based in Sydney, Valet Studio produces vintage inspired earrings, hair clips, bracelets, and bags that play with colors and shapes to create sculptural accessories that make a simple outfit into a stunning look. Each piece is carefully handmade with unique colored resin and 18k gold-filled hardware. All are well priced objects of art, around $150. The Noemi, Oceane, and Tamara earrings are a few of my favorites.
Winter can turn great skin into a frenzy with just a little redness. Whether it’s due to dry freezing temps, wind-chapped cheeks, or runny noses – skin can turn varying shades of red. But for me – it’s a year round issue. I was born with Angel’s Kisses on my eyelids and forehead. These red birthmarks usually fade away, but with skin so thin my sister calls it translucent, I still have remnants. I’ve learned the best way to tackle is a great skincare routine and green color correctors. It may not be easy to be green, but it is definitely effective. Here are my favorite redness reducing products whenever redness flares up.
There are a lot of green color correctors on the market, but Clarins Base SOS Green Primer and Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid win every time. These two products are complementary, effective, and simple. Clarins Base SOS has a soft texture and coverage of BB Cream. Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Corrector is thick like a concealer, but blends beautifully and makes redness disappear. I follow this with setting powder and carry on with my makeup. Alternatively, if you have naturally oily skin – you might like the Flesh Foundation Stick. My assistant has tried everything under the sun, and loves Flesh’s Foundation Stick because it is the only thing she has found to cover her redness and keeps her from being too shiny. Happy Holidays!
At first glance, you may think these are not at ALL for you. But I argue, these are for everyone. This perfectly cut black waxed jean in a straight, slightly cropped leg shows off a great ankle boot is less aggressive than a leather pant, but more cool than a trouser. Works well with a flat or pump too. Enjoy!
With all there is to do at the end of the year, I often think about my Aunt Mary. She used to do all her Christmas shopping in one day, on Christmas Eve. She would would take the train into downtown Chicago, walk over to the Marshall Field’s on Michigan Avenue and buy something for everyone in the family. When she was finished my uncle would pick her up and the next day she handed out gifts still in the bag. Everyone loved the fuss of it all and despite the wild level of efficiency she employed buying dozens of gifts – each was so thoughtful. Marshall Fields has been replaced by Macy’s on Michigan Avenue and my beautiful Aunt Mary passed away just last year, but in the spirit of it’s never too late to get a thoughtful gift – I hope this holiday newsletter arrives just in time for gifting inspiration.
Stores do come and go, but I still miss Marshall Fields and in the same vein I bid a heartfelt farewell to Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. After more than 100 years, Lord & Taylor will close its flagship store on Fifth Avenue after the holidays. Lord & Taylor was the first to create holiday displays for entertainment- rather than selling merchandise, and pioneered animated windows in 1938. Lord & Taylor was also the first major retail establishment in the U.S. to have a woman at the helm, when Dorothy Shaver after starting at the store as a comparison shopper became the president in 1945. Hudson Bay who owns Lord & Taylor, will close up to ten more stores in 2019. Their store, their holiday windows, and their entire floor of dresses, and more will be missed dearly in NYC.
As another year comes to an end, thank you to those of you who have spent time sharing your life with me this year! Thank you for trusting me with your stories, your wardrobe, and your money. I’m grateful and humbled I get to work with such incredible people doing so many amazing things. May the joy and peace of the holiday season be with you now and throughout the new year!
In the 8th grade my history teacher, Ms. Blackwell, told the class it’s important to wear fragrance. It makes you feel professional, ready for the day, and is a welcome respite when you come across a miasma. “A whiff of your wrist can sustain you,” she told us somewhat secretly. Despite the not-so subliminal message to a group of twenty five 13-year-olds, I really think she was just passing on a great life hack. To this day I think of her nearly every time I put on perfume.
When a wardrobe is complete, beautiful, and organized – I’m truly thrilled. For the moment, my work is complete. So for those who find themselves enjoying this feeling, consider fragrance to be the next level of dressing. Like wardrobe, it’s intensely personal, a great conversation starter, and a subtle yet strong indicator of mood. A fragrance can help set the tone of the day and leave a lingering impression- if you like that sort of thing. For these and other reasons, I prefer having a few different scents at the ready and choose depending on my vibe, purpose, or destination. A few of my current favorites are Byredo’s Mojave Ghost and Gypsy Water (I can never decide which I like better), a whopper of a scent Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (the extrait, not the eau, is where it’s at), and the previously featured, and still very loved Veil from Sarah Horowitz. One I haven’t yet tried in earnest, but have noticed more than once in passing and it really took me is Le Labo Another 13. I won’t begin to describe these scents as it won’t do any of them justice, but this group encompasses a great range of scents and have been created by world renowned perfumers. So there will definitely be something for everyone!
As Black Friday weekend comes to a close, I am astounded by the wild flurry people give themselves over to for these sales. I’m not trying to take away thrill or satisfaction from anything you might have scored because I’m all for a deal, but savings are debatable if the purchase is unnecessary. If something doesn’t get used or worn, it quickly turns into clutter and just gets moved around a lot while it languishes, unloved. Certainly, if you are checking people off your shopping list or it’s been on your list for a while, by all means snap it up on sale. But remember, you never have to worry that you missed a sale, because there will be another one. So this holiday season just keep your list handy, your head on straight, and if it’s something for yourself and you can wait – the prices at the end of December are usually even better.
One place that does deserve your attention and dollars are those affected by the California wildfires. This beautiful state was my home for nearly 7 years and it’s heartbreaking to watch the most destructive wildfire season in California history rip through it. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones or homes, been displaced, and the brave first responders who are fighting the blazes. While you might have already donated to the relief efforts (thank you), those looking for another way to help should look at California Fire Help. A collection of pieces donated by artists and designers with 100% of sales to California wildfire relief charities. Beautiful treasures including jewelry, clothes, candles, hats, paintings, housewares, and more showcase the best of what California is about. You can nearly do all your holiday shopping on this site. Truly something for everyone! New pieces are added daily, so check it out, buy, bookmark it, and return often – because these communities will need support for years to come.
As fall becomes winter, I’m fine tuning things in the new apartment and my husband is in Ireland finally awaiting his green card. Any day now! In the meantime, I still get to wake up to the ducks in Central Park, lately a newcomer made quite a splash, and I’m considering joining a gym. Not so fast, some might say. And they would be correct. Being quite the opposite of a gym person, “not so fast” is practically my motto – does not apply to shopping – but definitely applies to working out. For years, my favorite “sport” has been Iyengar Yoga which is all about detail, precision, and alignment – decidedly not speed. But! I’d like to take up swimming and so for me, that means a gym. Ask me how it’s going when you see me.
Outside of all that excitement, we are still on the hunt to hire a new team member! If you know anyone interested in styling and would make a great right hand here in NYC, send them my way or direct them here. Finally, I hope you enjoyed relaxing with your loved ones this Thanksgiving and hope it’s great start to a wonderful holiday season!
I went to Portugal for my honeymoon in August, and discovered I love that country! It was pure magic and I can’t wait to go back. But as in all my travel, shopping is one way I get know a place, it’s culture, and people. Browsing gives me the opportunity to discover their way of life, their crafts, resources, and their stories. Wandering through Lisbon’s design district, I came across a remarkable store called A Vida Portuguesa. Founded by Catarina Portas in 2007 from “the desire to inventory the surviving brands of time, the intention to revalue the quality of Portuguese manufactured production, and to reveal Portugal in a surprising way.” Needless to say, the store is exquisitely curated with products and brands that touches people’s hearts. Portas wanted brands that kept to the Portuguese culture and didn’t change throughout time. Classicpieces alongside unique items that hopefully be passed down from generation to generation inspiring others to come back to decades later. Like, me.
It was so hard to choose one thing to showcase from this store, I loved everything. BAG NOT BIG ENOUGH. But my chosen item is Tomelo Natura Soap also known as Donkey’s Milk Soap. This soap was suggested to me with the kind of knowing look I often give my clients when they need to listen. I didn’t hesitate and chose one with honey. This 100% natural soap did not disappoint. It creates the most luxurious creamy lather and leaves my skin feeling so smooth and moisturized. Donkey’s milk contains vitamins, proteins, and fatty acids which aid the production of collagen, promotes cell regeneration, and delays aging – Cleopatra was a known devotee. These soaps have even been found to reduce and control dermatological diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
But the best thing about this soap is the milk comes from the company’s mission to help preserve and protect the indigenous breed of Miranda Donkey. These donkeys from the northeastern corner of Portugal are at risk of extinction, and the money made from the products promote the donkey sanctuary and the region’s ecosystem, people, and heritage. The company seek the animal’s well-being first, is environmentally and human sustainable, eco-conscious, and fair trade. Recently, the donkeys have also put to graze in meadows and marshes – thus helping to clear pastures and creating buffer areas to prevent forest fires.
These donkeys are udderly amazing and so is the soap!