Monday, March 28, 2011

Hey Doll Face

Photos: Callies Portrait Photography

Natural beauty products in cute packaging are hard to come by. Especially in cute pink retro packaging. But thanks to Doll Face I can have the best of both worlds in skin care. Doll Face makes completely organic natural beauty cocktails for your skin in glass bottles that can be reused or recycled. Each product has a real cocktail recipe that comes with it on the box. So cute. You can also order these travel cases to keep it in. Shown here are the mini travel set in the round case and a full size train case with a couple of other essential travel products as well. Saving cream, toothpaste, mini blowdryer and flat iron.

The Art of Shaving makes a women's line of shaving products with natuaral rose water to heal and moisturize the skin. The cream is so luxurious with no harsh chemicals to dry out the skin.

Rose flavored toothpaste from Breath Pallette was developed by a Japanese doctor to heal gums and preserve tastebuds.

Mini blowdryer and flat iron from Babyliss are quiet and handy and come in a pale pearlized pink to match. Love it! Now all I need is a cosmo and a ticket to Paris.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Little Pink Handbags

Photos: Callies Portrait Photography

Last year I fell in love with Christian Louboutin's pink tulle cluch featured in Elle and several bridal magazines. Unfortunately the price tag was $875.00 What's a girl to do? So I drove to TJ Maxx and bought a silver Jessica McClintock cluch and set about transforming it with some old jewelry and a little pink tulle. I gathered yards and yards of pink tulle on the sewing machine and carfully hand stiched it onto my handbag until all the silver satin was completley covered. Then I added rows of rhinestones by taking apart a bracelet. I glued on a vintage bow pin with a pearl center on one side of the top and a peice of an old rhinstone ring on the other side. The effect was similar and will have to do for a girl on a budget.

The next handbag I converted is made of pink ostrich feather. I added some additional ostrich in a paler shade from an old boa and pinned a vintage rhinestone brooch to the top for a touch of glamour. This is the perfect size for a credit card and a tube of lipgloss but not much more. I always get lots of compliments on this bag and love to swing it from my wrist and watch the feathers flutter in the wind. This bag looks great with a pair of jeans and my pink stilletos for a casual date with my hubby.

The little satin makeup bag was a pretty pink color but nothing special. To jazz it up a bit I added a large slubbed silk bow and stiched a rhinestone tiara on the center. Then I added a large pearl on a ribbon to the zipper pull to make it princess worthy.

Hope this has inspired you to get out your glue guns girls. Don't be limited by your wallets, where there's a will there's a way! Live beautifully.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jill Stuart Makeup Fit For A Queen

Photos: Callies Portrait Photography

Jill Stuart makeup is my favorite discovery lately. It's really all about the packaging but the product is excellent quality as well. I would love nothing more than to fly to Japan and spend an afternoon playing in makeup at her boutique. For now I just order off the internet and wait anxiously for my packages to arrive. It gives me something to look forward to in the mail instead of bills. Her makeup is generally sheer and sparkly. Lots and lots of glitter for the princess in all of us. Even the nail polish is quite sheer but multi dimensional with sparkles galore. The compacts are plastic although they look silver. They are adorned with pink diamonds, ribbons, tassels and charms. Even the eyelash curler is pink metal with a diamond charm. My favorite product is the Blush Blossom cheek powder. I ordered it in Sweetpea and love the pearly pink glow it adds to the apples of my cheeks and the subtle fruity fragrance. The glosses are a bit too sheer so I add a little color with her charming lip liners complete with jewel shaped caps. I admit I am a makeup junkie and have drawers full of tubes and compacts used once or twice. But Jill Stuart is different. It offers an experiece when you put it on. Just for a moment I can almost identify with Marie Antoinette sitting at her vanity blushing her cheeks with beautiful puffs and silver jars. The packaging transports you to the realm of fantasy where everything is lovely for a few moments.
My Jill Stuart makeup routine for pale Norwegian skin:
1. Prime face with Pure Lasting Makup Base
1. Cover pores on nose with Pore Solid Essence
3. Brush on Moist Silk Powder Foundation in 101 Linen
4. Apply eyeshadow- usually three colors depending on what I'm wearing
5. Apply liquid eyeliner in black..I like to turn up at the ends like old hollywood glamour
6. Curl lashes and apply mascara and if it's a really special date, glue on false eyelashes
7. Highlight cheek bones with a shimmer highlighter in color 101 Marshmellow Puffy
8. Apply Blush Blossom in 01 Romantic Sweet Pea
9. Put on lipliner and a gloss to match outfit
10. If I have time for nail polish I file my nails and brush on a base coat, two coats of nail lacquer color and a top coat

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Photos: Callies Portrait Photography

Branche Pillow Case photo from

When it comes to bedtime, there are a few essentials for insuring sweet dreams. I usually begin by taking off my rings and putting on a nice hand cream such as Gianna Rose Hand and Body Cream. I can't seem to fall asleep when my hands feel dry. This cream is very moisturizing without feeling greasy at all. Nothing seems to quench thirsty skin quite like it. Lighting a candle to set a dreamy mood while I go through my nitetime rituals seems to slow down my racing thoughts. I especially love this Pink Pepper candle by D. L. and Co. It burns clean with soy wax and essential oils instead of sythentic fragrance. The glass bowl it is poured in is frosted pink and has a lovely glow. Finally, when it's lights out, I can't sleep without an eyemask to block out the street lamps that seem to penetrate my curtains. Mary Green makes these lovely silk charmeuse eyemasks that are so comfy to wear. Silk will not wick moisture out of your skin like cotton and therefore makes it the perfect fabric to wear next to the delicate skin around your eyes. I also purchased this pink silk charmeuse pillowcase from to protect my hair from split ends and my face from moisture loss. It's a gorgeous heavy silk satin pillowcase that looks and feels luxurous. To care for silk, wash by hand in cool water with a mild detergent. Lay wet silk on a towel and roll it up to press out the excess water. Then put your silk in a plastic bag and cool it in the freezer before ironing it on low. This will help keep silk shiny and supple. Sweet Dreams my Beauties!

Laduree Paris Pastries

Photos: Callies Portrait Photography and personal photos

Last year in Paris my husband and I ate at Laduree as many times as possible. Laduree is a French bakery with exquisite pastries and chocolates. I think I spent the majority of my cash eating rose creampuffs (rose religieuses) and Lily of the Valley macarons on a daily basis. Truly it's a bit of heaven on earth. I brought home as many goodies from Laduree as I could cram into my suitcase. Mostly chocolates and teas. Flavors like Marie Antoinette, Almond, Earl Grey, Laduree's own blend, Violette, Herbal Infusion, and some Cocoa. I pray that someday Laduree will open in the USA. Fortunately they have published a cookbookthat gives an easy version of some of their most popular sweets. I've made the rose creampuffs a couple of times and they do taste similar but not as good as the real thing. The recipe calls for rose water, rose syrup, and rose essence that can usually be found at Indian grocery stores.

Tea and Roses

Photos: Callies Portrait Photography

Tea and roses...nothing is quite so lovely on a rainy March afternoon as a delicious cup of tea to warm your soul. Especially when everything has a sentimental memory attached. Drinking from tea cups lovingly collected on vacations bring back happy memories of sunny carefree days. Tea puchased at Laduree in Paris called Marie Antoinette made of roses, jasmine, orange, grapefruit, honey, nuts in a black china tea reminds me of my wedding anniversary spent there. And my very favorite teapot, a child sized pink and gold rose teapot was given to me by my husband for Christmas. I've never seen another like it and wonder if there are a cream and sugar bowl that match. I've searched the internet looking for more information about it to no avail. If you know anything about this tiny rose shaped teapot please leave a comment.
Here are my tips for a perfect cup of tea:

1. Begin by running your tap water for a while to get cold oxygenated water, even better if you have a filter on your faucet.

2. Bring water to a rolling boil for black tea but not quite boiling for an herbal infusion

3. Never pour boiling water into a delicate antique teapot. If it has small fractures, you will shatter the pot. Before you add your tea slowly warm your pot under the tap, starting at cold water and moving toward the hottest water in your tap.

4. Add a sufficient amout of tea, loose or bags, depending on the size of your pot, not the number of people being served as many books suggest. For a small rose teapot like mine above, a heaping teaspoon will do just fine. I usually add about a teaspoon per cup of water for strong flavored teas and a tablespoon per cup of water for mild flavored teas or herbal infusions.

5. Let the tea steep for three to five minutes, pour and enjoy. Add cream, sugar or lemon to taste. Although the French would gasp at the thought of ruining the perfume of the tea by adding cream, I really love the addition of half and half or real cream in a strong black tea.

The Hope of Spring

Photos by Callies Portrait Photography

Dreaming of Spring. I was so excited that Restoration Hardware carried a few of the Burgon and Ball garden tools from Scheffield England this Christmas.
They seem to be so hard to come by in the States. I picked up the cute seed starter kit that came with a few of the hand tools and the garden tote. A few of my other favorite products are the Guy Wolffe pottery, Nut Scene Garden Twine and Foxgloves garden gloves which are so soft and luxurious. This year I am going to plant a vegetable and herb garden. Can't wait to get started.