La Fascination …

A month ago I attended a luncheon hosted by a women’s organization to which I belong. Held on a gorgeous spring morning, many of the women donned beautiful hats; and many were sporting the latest accessory ~ Fascinators. My fabulous mentor, FT, and I got into a discussion about the trend and decided that we weren’t Fascinator type of dolls.

Fast forward three weeks. I was invited to attend an afternoon tea being hosted by one of the alumnae chapters of my sorority. I was to be the guest of one of my favorite, über stylish aunts, who insisted that I wear a hat. Now, I’m not a hat kind of doll. For “dressier” occasions I usually have my hair in a high bun; and for the tea, I fully intended to wear it the same way, so a traditional hat would not do. Would that mean that I would have to don a Fascinator? And if I did, it couldn’t be just any Fascinator. It would have to have some flair for the dramatic. I certainly didn’t want to end up looking like Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at the Royal Wedding.

As luck would have it, the day before the tea I attended a second event; and as I walked into the lobby there was a woman selling all types of chapeaus. I hesitantly asked if she had any Fascinators. “Of course I do,” she said. And there it was, the perfect Fascinator (for me)!

Yesterday came, and off I went Fascinator in place. I loved it; the plumes, the veil; all of it! My most stylish dolls thought it worked well with my dress. I’m sold! I am officially a Fascinator lover. Are you a lover of the Fascinator?

The Fascinator The Fascinator_2

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Pretty Face: Hello Gorgeous!

I am addicted to beauty products ~ makeup, skin care products, nail polish, hair treatments, body creams, fragrances ~ you name it, I’m always in search of something new. In preparation for my spring and summer “look,” my latest purchases are these absolutely adorably packaged eye shadow collections from Two Faced Cosmetics. [HINT: They are also available at Sephora if you wish to use your Beauty Insider Reward Points.]

Natural Eye/Neutral Eye Shadow Collection

Natural Eye

Naked Eye Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection

Naked Eye_1

I’ve also started experimenting with the cat eye. I love the vintage ‘60s look! But a little note of warning; if you are moved to attempt the cat eye, start early, lest you’ll surely be late to your event, office, etc. It takes time and practice to get it just right!

Cat Eyes

Anyway, no matter the time of year you’ll see a reoccurring theme with me around my makeup ~ one, I’m very monochromatic, and two, whatever I purchase is usually in the brown or neutral family.

Now I recognize that not everyone has the same aesthetic sense as I. Nor is everyone attracted to the same color palettes or style of makeup. So I decided to sit down with my longtime friend, sorority sister and certified makeup artist, Karen Nikki, for a “Q & A” on what spring and summer makeup trends she’s seeing. Check out our conversation.

Karen Nikki

Karen Nikki with a flawless spring face!

Q. How long have you been interested in make-up? A. I’ve had a love affair with makeup ever since I was 17 or 18 years old! I even had my makeup professionally done for my senior portraits.

Q. Do you have any formal training in makeup artistry? A. I attended the Von Lee International School of Aesthetics in 2008, where I became a certified makeup artist. However, most of my training came from my time as an artist with MAC Cosmetics.

Q. How long were you with MAC Cosmetics? Have you worked for any other cosmetic companies? A. I signed on with MAC as a Freelancer in December 2008 and resigned as a permanent artist in June 2010. MAC is the only cosmetics company I’ve worked for. Working for MAC was an amazing experience, but working EVERY weekend began to take a toll on me. I was also beginning to lose my love for the art of makeup because it started feeling like a job. As a freelance artist, I pick my own jobs, my own hours and most importantly, makeup is fun again!

Q. On to what’s hot for spring and summer. I’m seeing a lot of pastels and neon colors, particularly oranges, in makeup palettes this season. Are those the “go to” colors for nails and makeup this season? What else are you seeing? A. Absolutely! Fashion directly influences the season’s makeup trends. Color blocking and neons are hot right now! It gets me so excited to see women (especially women of color) wearing bold, bright hues of color! Coral cheeks and lips are very on trend at the moment. While the classic red lip is trendy, yet timeless, embracing orangey reds will be hot for the summer. My favorite is MAC’s Lady Danger.

Bronzer has become the new blush! My fave bronzer is by Covergirl Queen by Queen Latifah. It comes in 3 shades and can be found in your local drug store. Metallic eye shadows have also made their way to the forefront of makeup for the upcoming seasons.

Q. What’s the one secret for keeping makeup looking dewy and fresh, and not heavy and caked during the warmer months? A. For many women, there is a very fine line between dewy and oily. I’ve never been a fan of adding powder when the skin gets too oily because this can make the face look very cakey. Rather, I prefer to remove the oil by using blot paper. This removes the excess oil without disturbing the makeup. You can also separate a 2~ply tissue into 2 thin sheets and use one to soak up any extra oil.

Q. What are the one or two items every doll on the go must have in her bag to look her best this spring and summer? And how do we take it from day to evening? A. I always find this question kind of difficult to answer because a woman’s makeup bag reflects the features she likes to accentuate. If you’re a person who loves to feature your lips, I would say, a good lip conditioner and lip gloss/lipstick are essentials. If you like to play up your eyes, liner and mascara are must haves! Some women prefer to stay pretty “clean~faced” and show off their beautiful skin. If this is you, keeping a nice tinted moisturizer and bronzer on hand are key. Transforming makeup from day to night can be as simple as adding a dark liner to the inner rim of the eye or switching that natural colored lip gloss to a bold color.

Q. And for our more natural dolls, who are in to little or no makeup, what are the musts for beautiful skin? A. Beautiful skin starts from the inside out, so water intake and a healthy diet are essential! Again, tinted moisturizer is my top recommendation for the woman who needs very little coverage, yet wants a finished, even complexion. Laura Mercier makes an excellent tinted moisturizer. To add a little color to the face, cheeks stains are great. A cheek stain is just a cream blush, but these are awesome because they can almost always be used on the lips as well. Two for the price of one! Can’t beat that!

Check out some the very animated Karen Nikki’s YouTube posts at http://www.youtube.com/user/ameritrini.

Thanks Karen Nikki!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sundays

In my home, like any other busy home, time is a commodity. Many weeks, work, volunteer organizations, and family commitments keep me and my significant other from carving out quality time. To use a cliché, “We’re like passing ships in the night.”

Last year, a girlfriend visited and gifted a bottle of champagne. The bottle remained unopened for quite a while. One rare Sunday, with nothing on the calendar, we decided to uncork the bottle of bubbly. We sat on the couch, sipped champagne and chatted for a couple of hours. It was the perfect way to spend some quality time. Later on that week we reminisced how much fun we had and committed to making “Champagne Sundays” a tradition.

“Champagne Sundays” doesn’t always mean a bottle of champagne. Sometimes we opt for a Prosecco or Cava Spanish Sparkling Wine. There are also numerous champagne recipes to try. Here’s a favorite:

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Image: Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 3 drops Bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • 4 ounces chilled Champagne

Directions. Drop bitters onto sugar cube; let soak in. Place sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Add Cognac, and top with Champagne and serve. This recipe can be easily multiplied.

We invite you to join us for “Champagne Sundays.” Check back next week for a new “Champagne Sundays” recipe! Cheers!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

What Does a Girl Look Like Who Can’t Cook or Clean?

Several years ago, I attended a much-anticipated reunion of college girlfriends. As I assisted in the kitchen, one of the women in attendance looked at me and said “What are you doing in here? You don’t look like you can cook or clean.” Without going into detail, we proceeded to engage in a very spirited discussion about what she meant by her question and comment. She called it “pretty girl syndrome,” meaning in her mind pretty girls don’t know how to cook or clean. Mind you, “pretty girl” were her words, not mine; and that’s not what this post is about. In the end my retort was, “Actually, I’m pretty domestic!”

Her comment has stuck with me, and since that time I’ve often wondered, “What does a girl look like who can’t cook or clean?” I think that this is a very unfortunate stereotype. Women of different ethnicities, shapes, education levels, and socio-economic backgrounds are equipped with an equally diverse set of domestic skills. Anyway, I digress.

As I’ve grown, I’ve learned that I love all things domestic ~ cooking, cleaning, organizing, decorating, and entertaining. Yes in fact, I am “pretty domestic.” While I have a career I love, that keeps me extremely busy, it doesn’t afford an opportunity for creativity. And wanting to try my hand at blogging, I figured why not merge the two. That said …

Welcome to “Pretty Domestic!”

Pretty Domestic is not just a blog about cooking, cleaning, organizing, decorating and entertaining. I plan to post under several different topics ~ “Pretty Is ….” “Pretty Active,” “Pretty Pleasing,” “Pretty Face,” and so on, and so on. You get the idea.

So again, welcome! I look forward to chatting with you again very soon!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic