Monday, April 11, 2016

What's New in 2016 with Clarins

Today, I’m thrilled to announce some beautiful news from Clarins. The French luxury skincare brand, which was started by Jacques Courtin in 1954, is partnering with FEED once again to launch the National Million Meal Mission. Staying loyal to its humanitarian principles, Clarins is aiming to provide 1,200,000 meals to children around the world in only 17 days. Nine retailers across the country will participate in this 'gift with purpose' initiative, so when you spend $75 on your favorite Clarins products, you'll receive a FEED 10 pouch filled with many luxurious goodies. Each FEED 10 bag represents ten school meals that will be provided to children in need globally. The moto: Feed your Skin, FEED your soul.

In February, Clarins introduced a truly amazing moisturizer duo: Multi-Active Jour and Multi-Active Nuit. The experts behind the brand say they have developed a technology so advances that it targets the first signs of skin-aging. And you know what?! I’m pleased to say that after a 2-month trial, I now have a winning skincare combination. Can I get an Amen, ladies? In just eight weeks, my skin’s texture has dramatically improved (even Mr. Chat has commented on its smoothness) and my stubborn hyper-pigmentation spots have faded considerably. Think of it as the fountain of youth in a beautiful glass jar.

Clarins’ new generation capsules deliver powerful teasel extract which is highly-sought after for its antioxidant and revitalizing benefits. It also protects from the harmful effects of a stressful lifestyle and promotes a youthful-looking face for longer. Stressful (multi-tasking) lifestyle is my middle name, so often times I feel like Clarins made these floral-scented elixirs just for me.

Multi-Active Jour // DAYTIME INNOVATION 
The extract of the South African myrothamnus plant helps absorb the harmful effects of daily stress. Available in: cream for all skin types, cream-gel for normal to combination skin, cream for dry skin, and cream SPF20 for $53.

The extract of organic California poppy, which closes at night to regenerate itself, helps compensate for the harmful effects of late nights and interrupted sleep. Available in: cream for normal to combination skin and cream for normal to dry skin for $56.

I love a bold, bright lip for spring, so it was truly love at first sight when I was introduced to Clarins’ new Rouge Eclat lipsticks for the spring season. Not only are the new shades a mesmerizing color palette of pinks in the likes of rose and cheery, but they’re also made from an age-defying formula containing mimosa, jojoba and sunflower. Available in (top to bottom): hot rose, pink cherry, pink blossom and rose praline for $27.
Products and images courtesy of Clarins. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fashion Group International of Boston: The Role of Representation

(L to R) Nash Yacoub, Avra Myers Jo Swan, and Emmanuelle Accad

Fashion Group International of Boston welcomed Avra Myers of A Ruby, Jo Swani of The Moxie Agency, and Emmanuelle Accad of Neiman Marcus to discuss the Role of Representation. Moderated by Nash Yacoub of SUCCARRA, this panel of seasoned fashion and public relations professionals focused on the importance of building a solid brand and maintaining a positive public presence for your product.

"You have to know who you are and who you want to be," said Myers about launching a clothing line. "I had a brand designer before I began designing clothes. She motivated and inspired me because her branding was so strong."

"The product has to live up to what it's claiming," echoed Swani. "Your product has to be top notch so you and your publicist can succeed."

Accad, who leads the public relations efforts for Neiman's Boston location, emphasized the value of hosting grassroots in-store events and securing the appropriate media coverage. She manages a number of corporate and local events per year that include high-end designer labels and luxury cosmetic lines.

Fashion Group International dates back to 1928 when Edna Woolman Chase, editor-in-chief of Vogue, gathered 17 women for lunch at a midtown Manhattan restaurant. The group had three things in common: each woman worked in the fashion industry, each held all the others in high regard and collectively they believed fashion was in need of a grand stage to increase public awareness about American fashion and women's role in the business.

Within two years, The Fashion Group® became an organization with a place, a purpose, by-laws, officers and women eager to become members. Click here to learn more about joining Fashion Group International of Boston.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Chic of the Week :: Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé and Tiffany

All hail two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett who left me breathless when she sashayed along the red carpet in a show-stopping Armani Privé gown at the 88th Annual Academy Awards Sunday evening. Blanchett's seafoam stunner, with its flattering mermaid silhouette and elegant train, featured romantic floral detailing, intricate feathers and brilliant crystals. And, can we please talk about that plunging neckline?! Meow.

The Oscar nominee (for her role in the film Carol) polished off the exquisite look with beautiful pieces from the new 2016 Tiffany Blue Book collection including platinum drop earrings with marquise and round diamonds, a brilliant platinum starfish cuff with round diamonds and a 2.30-carat platinum and round diamond ring. I need that gorgeous starfish cuff in my life. Mr. Chat, are you reading, listening, paying attention??? Blanchett also balanced the boldness of her pastel gown with a nude lip and soft smokey eyes. She rarely (if ever) disappoints on the red carpet or big screen and is a true style icon.

Images // Tiffany & Co.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Behind the Costumes at Boston Ballet's Onegin

Raw, romantic and riveting are the choice words I would use to describe Boston Ballet's Onegin. Just like when I was a little girl, my mother and I made our way to the theater Saturday afternoon to nourish our souls in art and history. Although attending Boston Ballet has been a mother-daughter tradition for nearly three decades, this was our first time experiencing the artistic grace and spellbinding emotion that is this tragic Russian love story.

The ballet follows Tatiana, a demure country girl infatuated with romantic novels, who falls madly in love with Eugene Onegin, an elusive aristocrat from St. Petersburg. Consumed by her wild fantasies with the debonair gentleman dressed in black, Tatiana declares her love for Onegin in an impassioned letter that he tears apart and mocks as an naïve outburst.

In the early 1960s, South African-born ballet dancer and choreographer John Cranko transformed Alexander Pushkin's verse-novel, Eugene Onegin, into a mesmerizing three act production and pitched it to the Royal Ballet in London. When the acclaimed British ballet company denied his proposal, Cranko took his masterpiece to the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany where it premiered on April 13, 1965. The Royal Ballet would later debut the ballet, but not until 2001. In 1994, Boston Ballet became the first American ballet company to perform the work with subsequent performances in 1997 and 2002.

With fashion and style from decade's past always top of mind, I couldn't help but wonder about the origin of Onegin's costumes. How and where were the fluid, pastel-colored dresses and aristocratic high-collared jackets created, I asked myself. To learn more about how Boston Ballet worked to emulate the grandeur that was imperial Russia in the early 19th century, I spoke with Charles Heightchew, manager of costume and design.

Heightchew, who learned to sew at a young age, has been overseeing Boston Ballet's costume and design department for 16 years. This veteran couturier leads a team of nearly a dozen costuming professionals and admits what he loves best about his job is the visual beauty he and his team create on stage.

Boston Ballet's production of Onegin is leased from Dutch National Ballet. From time to time, the Company will rent existing productions (which includes costumes and sets) from other ballet companies provided they're in exceptional condition. Alternatively, Boston Ballet creates productions from scratch (Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake are both Company originals) and loanthem to other ballet companies. "It is a long term decision on whether we rent or create a production," Heightchew said.

The dazzling set and elegant costume design audiences will savor on stage at the Boston Opera House is the work of the late Elisabeth Dalton, a visionary in the world of ballet and opera design. Onegin's original set and costuming was created by acclaimed German designer, Jürgen Rose who collaborated with Cranko on numerous ballets including Romeo and Juliet.

With Act I and II set in the early 1820s, audiences will see men wearing slim waist jackets with enhanced lapels and collars while women bear clothing evocative of the long, loose fitting empire style of the Romantic era. "Women are in very light dresses. You will see very slim silhouettes without obvious corseting. The empire just falls from under the bust," Heightchew explained.

Act III opens a few years later when the Biedermeier style is quite prominent. During this period of economic impoverishment that lasted until approximately 1835, audiences will notice women are clad in corsets and full skirts that are dropped low on the waist while men's clothing remains practically the same. Personally, this is my favorite act in terms of style because gowns are lavished with detail. The striking red dress Tatiana wears to a grand ball at the palace she shares with her husband, Prince Gremin, is a testament to Biedermeier.

Boston Ballet's Onegin runs until Sunday, March 6. 
For tickets, click here and experience the art, history and style for yourself.

Photos // Gene Schiavone

My tickets were courtesy of Boston Ballet

Monday, February 8, 2016

Classic Valentine Gifts for Him

He is one of the most important men (if not the most important man) in your life. For me, it's that dapper advertising executive with a taste for fine cigars and an appetite for stirred Manhattans named Mr. Chat. He dons a shawl collar tuxedo like nobody's business and sports a classic fedora straight out of 1942. Call him old fashioned if you will, but his charming personality and "ladies first" approach has gotten him this far and that's why I love him. Who isn't attracted to the Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra type?! It's so classic.

Whether your Mr. Right is your husband, fiance, boyfriend or lover be sure to pamper him this Valentine's Day with a gift that radiates finesse and channels a bit of that old world charm. If he's anything like Mr. Chat, he'll love you for life. Here's a look at three of my favorites for men this year.

Launched in 2015, BOSS THE SCENT is the newest men's fragrance from German luxury brand, Hugo Boss (Mr. Chat's go-to for classic tuxedos). The evocative scent boasts the aphrodisiac Maninka fruit, an exclusive ingredient from Africa resembling passion fruit and rum, while the captivating aromas of lavender, leather and spicy ginger make for a magnetic ménage à trois. BOSS THE SCENT is available exclusively at Macy's for $85 (3.3 oz). 

The Art of Shaving Lexington Power Collection includes the must-have razor of the year. I love, love, love when Mr. Chat is freshly shaven. I'll admit, I kiss him for hours. The Lexington is the perfect tool to sustain that smoothness. The exclusive New York inspired design emits gentle micro-pulses to deliver a clean shave and embraces a Flexball technology to pivot along the contours of a man's face. The set, complete with badger brush and versatile stand, is available for $400 at The Art of Shaving stores.

The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave Kit is one of my favorite all-inclusive grooming kits for men because it includes these product and accessory essentials: pre-shave oil, shave cream, after-save balm and a badger shaving brush. The full-size collection is available for $120 at The Art of Shaving stores.

Happy Valentine's Day!
This post was sponsored by Nike Communications

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bienvenue 2016

With 2016 in full swing now that February has arrived, I'm etching my ambitions and fostering my dreams for the forthcoming 11-month stretch. What does the new and unknown horizon hold for me, is a question I ask myself every December 31 when the bell tolls twelve to usher in anew.

This year looks to be filled with major change in my personal life and some beautiful assignments in the world of lifestyle writing. This month, you'll find me in the glossy pages of South Shore Living magazine - uncovering a resurgence in the comedy scene south of Boston. In March, I'll profile two entrepreneurs who are making a splash on the local and national fashion scene. I'll admit, my piece for next month's issue about influential women has been one of the most enriching assignments I've had the pleasure of writing.

I'm infatuated with writing about individuals who have their pulse on what's au courant. When I have the opportunity to speak with like-minded ladies who are noteworthy in their field and skilled at their craft, that's when I, too, excel at mine. Connecting with women who pursue their passion full-time and without regret is truly a driving force and constant reminder that I can take my own leap of faith. Speaking of leap, 2016 is a leap year so maybe, just maybe "I have arrived." You''ll have to keep up with me to see what unfolds.

I've been hungry to take my writing career to the next level for what seems like an eternity at this point. With the connections I've made through the years, I'm confident 2016 is the time to "really get my name out there" within the right networks and circles. I started the year off by joining two networking groups: Boston Women in Media & Entertainment (founded by Candy O’Terry and Dayla Arabella Santurri as a members-only network of accomplished women working in the media space) and Boston Business Women (a network of more than 2,000 savvy entrepreneurs doing big things in Boston - founders Kristina Tsipouras and Megan Marini will host their first annual conference on May 9 with keynote speaker Arianna Huffington - this is not to be missed!).

This year, I hope to bolster my portfolio to include some of the many publications I so admire. Yankee has been a treasured regional magazine for years and who wouldn't love to pen a piece for Town & Country?! The Huffington Post has been high on my list, as well. In 2015, I had the pleasure of writing my first online piece for Boston Common and this year, I look forward to collaborating with them again. But my creative appetite doesn't cease where the glossy pages begin. Writing a novel or children's book has longed reigned deep within my dreams. I'll leave you with this - if you've never read The Story of Mademoiselle Oiseau by Andrea de La Barre de Nanteuil,
you must. Talk about an introspective look into the realm of deep imagination.
photos // Carol Evans

Monday, November 30, 2015

Boston's 9th Annual North End Holiday Stroll

Boston’s historically rich North End is one of my favorite areas in the city. Synonymous for its authentic cuisine that literally dances on your palate, the once predominantly Italian and Jewish neighborhood with a storied past is, today, home to stylish boutiques, darling confectionary shops, a swank wine emporium and so much more.

If you haven’t experienced the shopping, savoring and sipping that is the North End, then you truly haven’t devoured Boston properly and you’ll certainly want to join me this Friday, December 4 as I kickoff the North End Holiday Stroll. In its ninth consecutive year, the celebrated event invites you to stroll through the spiraling streets and brick walkways of this enchanting Boston neighborhood and support participating merchants including Ensemble, Shake the Tree, Cocoanuts, LIT Boutique, The Wine Bottega and many more.

If you haven't begun your holiday shopping, forget the crowded malls and shop small. Merchants will extend their hours, offer special promotions and host generous giveaways in an effort to entice consumers. And don’t forget to snap a picture with Santa Claus, he'll be at the corner of Hanover and Cross Street, and share it on social media by tagging #NorthEndHolidayStroll. 

Last week, I had the pleasure of working with three North End businesses. I met the shop owners, learned about their distinct merchandise and plucked a few things that caught my eye. Here’s a peek at some of my favorites...

Ensemble // 62 Salem Street 
Wendy Lepore is a gem (you just have to meet her) and her Salem Street shop is truly an ensemble of everything your heart desires – think on-trend clothing, unique accessories and rare finds for your home. This seasoned business owner, who ran a much larger operation in a Boston suburb for 17 years, opened Ensemble five years ago and adores life in this close-knit community. 

I chose a plush multi-color faux fur vest handmade in Seattle. It’s so incredibly soft and luscious. One touch and you’ll definitely want one in your wardrobe this season. The vest pairs perfectly with leather leggings and a fitted turtleneck (as I have shown) or slip it over a sheath dress in a deep hue like hunter green or eggplant. Lepore carries the vest exclusively in Boston, so consider this piece a rare find in New England. I was completely obsessed with my arm candy. The beaded bracelet with tassel charm is handmade from Bourbon and Bowties, and the crystal fox with leather band and expandable bangle both hail from a jewelry house in New York. Lastly, when I spotted the gold filigree earrings fresh from Italy, I knew I had to have them - without a doubt the perfect statement earrings.

For an eclectic selection of contemporary clothing, leather handbags, ribbon-wrapped soaps, and even beloved baby items, you must visit Shake the Tree. Marian Klausner’s intimate and brightly-lit boutique is where you’ll find racks of modern designers including the likes of Ella Moss, Splendid, Sanctuary and Velvet. This is also a hidden gem for jewelry designed by local artisans and New England-made housewares. I was given a sleek wallet-style bag with a chain strap that's perfect for strolling and shopping. 

Cocoanuts is a North End playground for your sweet tooth. Since opening her doors in 2012, proprietor and local resident Tara Shea has welcomed visitors with airy shelves of savory sweets and beautifully curated gift baskets. She also carries an assortment of roasted nuts and chocolate truffles as far as the eye can see. And, don’t pass up an ultra-fresh macaroon from Somerville-based Northlight Baking Co. or a caramel sampling from McCrea’s Candies in Boston (try the black lava and sea salt!).

I look forward to seeing you this Friday, December 4 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the streets of the North End. This is a free event, but attendees may RSVP here.

Photos // Lindsay Ahern // Instagram // Twitter

This post was sponsored by the North End Holiday Stroll, Ensemble, Shake the Tree and Cocoanuts. A special thank you goes out to these small businesses, Lindsay Ahern and lifestyle event designer and producer Amy Fischer.