< Beauty How to >
Dewy / Glowing Skin

We all see it on TV and movies and wonder, "How can I get dewy glowing skin?" Light radiates off the skin, making you look luminous, refreshed and flawless. Who wouldn't want it? We understand celebrities have makeup teams meticulously working on them, however there is a way to get that glow at home. We have been around the block, done the legwork and got our hands dirty from testers at Sephora, and we're bringing you the know-how for dewy, glowing skin:

Makeup Forever Uplight Face Luminizer Gel

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Makeup Forever (remember this?).  The line is geared for  a flawless finish for photos, film and TV. Uplight is an oil-free luminizer gel that gives an ultra-natural glow that will last all day.  They have various shades, so pick the one that matches your skin tone. I use #22.
Since I literally have my own make up counter in my bathroom (the mornings are a blast), I have a slew of illuminizing products that I will recommend in this area. I usually use one or the other, but test each out, and go with one that suits you best.  
My second pick would be a relatively new one by Josie Maran.  It's called Argan Illuminizer made with Argan oil which is rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids which have anti-aging benefits.  This product is 100% organic and healthy for skin.  I am currently obsessed with this product.
MAC Fix Plus
And lastly, when all makeup is complete, gently spray some of MAC Fix +. This refreshing spray will set your makeup into the skin while allowing any illuminizer to shine through.  As the spray sets, it gets rid of any powdery finish and keeps the skin hydrated all day. Another plus, its packed with vitamins and is infused with Green-tea, chamomile and cucumber.  
Here's how to apply:
  1. Apply moisturizer on clean skin and allow skin to soak it up.
  2. Apply tinted moisturizer or foundation.  Feel free to apply one pump of either the Uplight or Argan Illuminizer into the moisturizer or foundation if you want an all around glow.
  3. For a more concentrated glow, apply your tinted moisturizer or foundation and blend.
  4. Take one pump of either Uplight or the Argan illuminizer and apply to upper cheekbones lightly dabbing as you move up around the sides of the eyes, and very lightly apply remnants above eyebrows for full effect. 
  5. Lastly, dab a tiny smudge down your nose, on the top of your lips where they curve into each other, and in the curve of your chin.
  6. Dust on Makeup Forever's HD loose powder.
  7. Proceed to Bronzer and blush, and apply rest of your make up normally.
  8. Final touch after all makeup is complete, a few spritzes of MAC's Fix + and you will see the glow coming through as your make up sets.
Tell us, how did it all turn out?  Leave a comment below to share.  We hope you love the results.  More extensive "how-to's" are coming soon!



At a recent gathering, my friend had the most beautiful shiny, sparkly nails I had ever seen. I immediately had to know where she got them done since they were unlike any gel polish I had seen before. She turned me on to Chi Nail Bar, and I immediately made an appointment for the very next day. Since I couldn't pick exactly what color to do, I did five different versions of gold, silver and rose gold; one color on each nail for an ombre effect. I was absolutely in love with the results.  The reason they looked so different is because the nail techs use actual glitter and not glitter gel. They have every color imaginable too. I would definitely go back for a unique design or special occasion. There are only a few more months of winter left, but glitter will be a trend that will come with us to Spring showcasing some of the more on-trend pastel colors for the warmer months. 
What colors are you drawn to?
The large selection at Chi Nail Bar
Gifted glitter polish from our friends at OPI
Colors: from left to right: Gonzo; Frog; Getting Piggy With It; Divine Swine; Metallic 4 Life; Rainbow Connection; Save Me  
Look out for our upcoming give away with OPI; we got a sneak peek at the Spring Holland collection, and trust us, you want it!


{ Wine Wednesday }
Napa Style Part I

A few months ago, in early Fall, we took a trip to Wine Country Napa Valley.  Calling the trip merely "amazing" would have to be an understatement. From the breathtaking scenery, to the mouth watering restaurants and astounding wine selection, the trip was stimulating to all the senses. We checked into the beautiful, Calistoga Ranch Resort and the adventures began…

Calistoga Ranch
We only had a few days to take in all of Napa Valley so we decided to go to the top five wineries and immerse ourselves in as much as we could. Here is our list of the Fab 5: Domaine Carneros, Miner, Rombauer, San Clement, and Frank Family…{the last three to come next week}.

Winery # 1: Domaine Carneros
Domaine Carneros has built an exceptional reputation on sparkling wines, their Brut Vintage and luxury cuvee Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs in particular. So take a seat on the gorgeous terrace overlooking their organic certified Estate vineyard, order yourself the Grande Tasting along with the Sparkling Cheese Plate and voila...bon apetit! 
{ Also, here’s a good little tip to know before heading to Napa… unless the Champagne we know and love comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France, it may only be referred to as sparkling wine… }

Winery # 2: Miner
Miner was hands down the best winery experience of our weekend! It is important to note that the Miner Family Vineyard is well known for a powerhouse collection of red wines.  So, I don’t care if you prefer whites, it is a must to sample the reds! The Red Superstars are: The Oracle and the Miner Cabernet Sauvignon. With our glasses filled we headed to the Miner Cave for a private tour. As we walked through the aged, iron clad, wooden doors we stepped into a room that housed a massive wooden table. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I’m pretty set on spending my next Thanksgiving dinner in that room! Anyway, we then made our way down the stairs into the massive cave. Imagine row after row of wine stained barrels cradling the delicious aging wines. Our tour guide let us sample several wines straight from the barrel and pointed out the differences between new, old, cabernet and Shiraz. Sadly the tour came to an end… but it was finally time to eat { our favorite part }.

Oxbow Market for some snacks
The second we stepped into this market it was love at first sight! Imagine a food court, but instead of your typical Chinese food and sandwich stands, it’s filled with various epicure food shops, gourmet street food, small restaurants, a wine bar, artisan cheese bar, Hog Island oysters, coffee, tea, gelato, and the list goes on! And for all you gluten-free foodies, they have a gluten free selection also.  If your in the area, we hope you try these gems of Napa. 

There are many more wineries, delicious restaurants, and shopping spots that we will fill you in on ... so stay tuned for next week's Wine Wednesday post! We would love to know your thoughts and favorites of Napa, so let us know your suggestions, cheese pairings, and fave wines!!  Cheers. x


The Beauty Book

My friend Darren Tieste is an extremely talented and sought after celebrity photographer, and a few years ago he lost one of his best friends to brain cancer. He reached out to many of his celebrity friends and asked them to pose for a portrait where he would photograph them, then turn the pictures into a “beauty book.” The beautiful thing about this book is not only the gorgeous photos inside but knowing that the proceeds would go to helping fund brain cancer research. Three years later his dream became a reality and his book is complete! The Beauty Book features celebrities like Scarlet Johansson, Kim Kardashian, Leighton Meester, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Alba, Gerald Butler and Miranda Kerr among many. I just got my copy and it has already been a great conversation piece amongst my friends. His work is truly beautiful and we applaud him for his philanthropic efforts which were a labor of love.

Click HERE to purchase this amazing book.

Here's a sneak peek...


:: Faves ::

Happy Friday! Here are our favorite things this week.  Hope your work day buzzes by and the weekend sprinkles you with glamour, spice and everything nice. xo.
Delish Kahlua Banana French Toast @ Jeanines
Adorable pleated glass jewelry holder beside my bed, the new home to my wedding/dainty rings:: Vintage inspired headband from Anthropologie
One word: Sugarfish sushi
Baroque inspired Prada glasses for a Saturday brunch
{ Pink Peonies }
{ Cheers }
Very rough sketches of a start to something fab 


{ Wine Wednesday }
Weekend Tasting

This past weekend we got together with our significant others and decided to go wine tasting and try the Urban Wine Trail in Santa Barbara.  We originally had planned to tackle the drive to wine country (Santa Ynez or Los Olivos), but instead, we decided to stay local since we heard great things about SB's local wineries. The UWT is a set of roughly 15 wineries right off State street that are all walking distance apart.  There was a stylish yet indie industrial vibe to the tasting rooms, and some new wines quickly rose to the top of our favorites list (such as the Spanish Chardonnay pictured below). With four hours left till closing, we only made it to three of the 15 wineries: Corks n' Crowns, Kunin Tasting Room, and Municipal Wineries.  We loved the vibe of Corks n' Crowns along with the unique tastings: us girls did a delicious white wine tasting with very generous pours, and the guys did a unique craft beer tasting...chocolate banana bread beer anyone? We went crazy for Municipal's urban chic feel with warehouse decor, vintage registers and file cabinets for storage. We had our only red wine at Municipal...The MCS Red, a light bodied, earthy blend of Mourvedre, Carignane, and Syrah which went perfectly with their  fab cheese platter from C’est Cheese that we gobbled quickly.  It was a great weekend and we can’t wait to go back and check out more of the Urban Wine Trails tasting rooms.

For more information check out their website, here
Chivite Wine from Spain ... our fave at Corks n' Crowns Tasting Room
Vintage register and industrial cabinets at Municipal Wineries
Wine Mug from Municipal Wineries
Cheers from us <3


Golden Fashions on The Red Carpet

We love Awards season, but just like most women out there, we watch them mainly for the red carpet fashions.  This year, stars clung onto the phrase: "simple elegance," with muted colors, classic makeup, and nude hues.
Here are some of our best dressed pics:
Our top pick goes to Charlize Theron in Dior Haute Couture.  She simply looked like a goddess and her hair and makeup combo = Perfection.  It really pulled the whole look together.

Angelina Jolie looked classic in Atelier Versace.  The nude satin with the thigh high slit and pop of red was stunning and complimenting on her skin tone.

We loved Kim Kardashian in Bruce Oldfield.  This designer used to design for Princess Diana. Kim truly looked like a movie star and outshone many “actresses.” Her makeup was clean and soft; loved the berry lip.

Wow! Salma Hayek in Gucci.  Extremely stylish without being overdone. Such a refreshing take on the typical black. We are loving her Ombre loose curls.

Reese Witherspoon— vava voom in Zac Posen. Marriage has done her well. She looked sexy and voluptuous; a step away from her clean good girl image. Hair was sexy and undone with such a formal gown.  Nice combo.


::: Diptyque Paris :::

I think I may have candles and various fragrance bottles in every corner of our home. On a recent trip to San Francisco, I was determined to pop into this world renowned store and see what aromas I could bring home. On my favorite quaint street in SF, Maiden Lane, right in the heart of Union Square, nestled near the Chanel store, was this adorable little boutique. Of course, as soon as the sales person uttered the word, Tuberose, I had it ready for purchase.  We decided to pair the Tuberose with a musky yet complimenting scent called Baies.  It has hints of Bulgarian rose, black currants and currant leaves.  The combination is seriously, intoxicating.  And, in the end, these adorable little candle holders will be the new home to my makeup brushes.
The amazing selection
A snapshot of the SF store
My purchases


{ take time to thank }

Now that the holidays are behind us and the gift giving is long gone I always like to take the first few weeks in January to send personalized thank you notes to those whom I received holiday gifts from. I always think a personal touch is an easy and classy way to show your appreciation.  You can get cute note cards almost anywhere; cute boutiques, discount stores or even personalized ones online. I picked up this adorable package of 16 for $4.99 at TJ Maxx! Perfect for me because I’m known to say O-M-G. Here are some tips for writing a proper thank you card:

  1. Greet the Gifter... "Dear Uncle John..."
  2. Express Your Thanks... "Thank you so much for the coffee maker."
  3. Discuss Usefulness..."This will definitely help me get my caffeine fix in the mornings."
  4. Mention the Past, Allude to the Future..."It was great to see you on Christmas Eve, and I hope to see you in the New Year."
  5. Repeat Gratitude..."Thanks again for the lovely present."
  6. Regards..."Love, XXX"
Here are some of our favorite websites for your own personalized stationary:

 Damask stationary at The Stationary Studio
Zebra Chic Stationary from Minted  
Simple + elegant stationary from Minted
 ... and of course, don't forget your personalized stamp from Three Designing Women:


< Rolo-Pecan Turtles >

I got the recipe for these Rolo Pecan Turtles a few weeks ago from one of my friends and decided to make them for the many holiday gatherings I attended.  They were such a hit that I wanted to share them. The salty yet sweet kicks really makes it worth the 50 calories (each). ;)

Supplies: Mini pretzels, bag of Rolos, and pecans
Place the Rolo on top of the pretzels, bake for 5 minutes at 250 degrees
As Rolo cools, push the pecan down on the Rolo


{ Two Thousand Eleven }

What an amazing year 2011 was!  Exactly one year ago this time, I was happily overwhelmed with wedding planning and consumed with picking the perfect "ivory white" wedding dress, deciding which photographer and videographer to select, and being mesmerizing by peonies, white roses, hydrangeas and lots and lots of orchids.  Over the weekend, we received a surprise package of our wedding video.  Yesterday, on the eve of our 6 month anniversary, we sat together and reminisced our wedding day.  It was a perfect way to spend the first day of a brand new year. x