Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fall Fashion Week Beauty

Fall Fashion Week is well on its way (or done by now?) and I have to say there were some amazing designs as well as some amazing beauty trends. Bella Sugar always has the beauty 411 so it's great fun to look through the slide shows and see what's the haps. Check this link for the first half, and this link for the second. My faves are: Venexiana, Richard Chai, Jill Stuart, TIBI (the hair!), and Vera Wang.

I saw this video from Tanya, who worked at the London Fashion Week. I love, love the look and I think it will inspire you as well. The bright orange is super fun, and there a millions of ways to make it wearable. Check it out.

What Are You Up These Days?

Work, work and more work. But other than that...

Book: Irish Born - a very light summer read. Frivolous and fun.

Drink: Marriage Frères teas - they are heaven!

Makeup: I am loving Shiseido's Dual Balancing Foundation. It works well in summer and winter. It's almost like it knows where it needs to add more moisture and where to reduce shine. It's a medium coverage foundation and buffs beautifully into the skin, leaving it flawless and luminous, healthy and natural. No caking or flaking. Very, very nice indeed. I use it with my Louise Young foundation brush - so fancy!

Perfume: Hermes Eau des Marveilles and Hiris. I've also been wearing Chanel 19 and Diorella. (I can never stick to one perfume, I always end up wearing more).

Series: I've been watching Stargate Atlantis - when I was first recommended this series I was skeptical, but it's really very fun. I've been watching it with Thing 1 and Thing 2 and we've been having a great time.

Food: The other day HRH asked me to make a mushroom risotto, even though it's summer here right now, just because he was craving it. It was amazing. I added a fun twist to my regular recipe by adding dedo-de-moça (translates as "girl's finger", creepy), which is a local chilli that's not very hot, but very flavorful. I'm going to come up with some new summer risottos, really fun ones, and start making them on weekends again.

Tata for now!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Partying it up like a 20yr old: surprisingly, not that bad

This last weekend we partied like 20yr olds. I'm not sure it's advisable for someone of my age and "delicate" disposition to do that anymore. Thankfully I was able to emerge from the weekend's alcohol induced haze victorious, with all my faculties intact and my frontal lobe still active - barely.

It all started with a rather innocent invitation from our friends, James and Greti, to join them at their place for drinks and laughs. We arrived early and since it's rude to have people over and not offer them anything to drink, they promptly made sure our cups never ever reached the halfway mark. We had tons of fun but it was tough to open my eyes the following morning - not to mention get out of bed. I felt like I had eaten all the cotton in the world sprinkled with a little salt. Not cool. Thankfully my head didn't hurt. I guess that's just one of the many benefits of drinking expensive liquor - the main one of course being that it tastes like a Heavenly elixir and makes the week's slavery somehow seem like it's far, far away.

Saturday night we went to a night club (that sounds so bizarre coming from me). It is so far removed from my normal social agenda that it felt a bit like stepping into a time warp to a different time, a different me, a different crowd - and very different music. I have to confess I was kind of dreading it. The "hip" night club scene in all its glory is not my scene. Fish out of frikkin' water. But, I'll have you know that thanks to Lady Gaga and other super wonders of the partying crowd, I had a very good time. I even stepped out of my rut and tried a new and different drink, Red Bull and vodka. It's what the kids are drinking, and definitely what all the kids were drinking there, in industrial quantities I might add, so I went along with it. When in Rome. It was actually good. Not better than my faithful and reliable gin & tonic or Johnny Walker, but good nontheless.

After a while I got bored and left. By then I felt like I had properly represented at my dear brother-in-law's birthday bash, so I left while I still had my dignity and feet (heels are poo). The youngsters were going strong and I imagine kept going for many hours after. Me, I was just thankful to be in my wonderful bed and comfy pillows. The nice thing about Red Bull and Vodka is that it gives you just enough energy to take off all your makeup and apply moisturizer before crashing. Nice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Carnaval Weekend

Our friends paraded with this school - Beija-Flor.

This weekend was full of fun. Friday we went out with friends for sushi and had a blast. On Saturday I went to lunch with my friends and we had the most amazing salmon cesar salad and then we got frozen yogurt for dessert. We walked around and tried on makeup and perfume. I discovered that I'm in love with Chanel 5 Eau Premiere. I painted my nails a beautiful purple color and then took it easy at night with a bit of wine and a lot of Idol and SNL.

Sunday I had my friends over for a simple lunch. A couple of interesting things turned a regular dish into something fantastic. I made a fresh cesar salad as a starter and served it with crispy parmesan chips* I made myself! The I made tagliarini pasta with a tomato sauce (canned tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, black olives and capers), served with fresh grated parmesan cheese. It was amazing! Dessert was pears pached in simple syrup with rose water and served with rum raisin ice-cream. Heaven! The delicate scent of the rose water added a touch of class and an element of sophistication that elevetated the whole dish to spectacular. After lunch we sat around and watched the 1933 classic "Lady for a Day" - so fun!

Later in the evening we went out with some friends who are visiting during Carnaval and we had the best meat in the universe. I had forgotten just how good this restaurant was - Churrascaria Oasis - and I had forgotten how amazing picanha nobre is (a cut of meat only found in some high end churrascarias - Brazilian steak houses). Our friends had never been to a Brazilian steak house, and as expected were blown away. Picanha nobre really is the best, most amazing cut of meat, and the way they prepare it there is unequaled anywhere in our galaxy. A memorable experience and a great time with friends! After dinner they went to pick up their costumes and join the parade with the Samba School Beija-Flor. Can't wait to post their pictures!

Well, that's that. It was a great weekend full of good friends, good eats, and temperate weather. Who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Colors of the Rainbow

The summer collection that changed my life. I bought 3 of them, but I'm going back for the rest. The colors I bought are Coral Chic, Noite Quente and Garota Verão.

Recently I've been more obsessed than normal about nail polish. When I sat down and pondered it, I realized that it's because there are so many beautiful colors around right now. I normally stick to red, red, and more red - with the occasional slip into burgundy or black. There are few occasions when I break from that and because I use 3Free nail polishes, I try to stick to OPI.

Rio right now is wicked hot and disgusting, but I finally found something I love about summer here: the amazing summer polish collections. Most of the brands here are 2Free, and then there's Colorama that's 3Free, so all in all, we're good. I wandered into my fave beauty supply store the other day and right before my eyes stretched an endless array of all the colors you could possibly imagine. I was a kid in a candy store. Have you ever taken different skittles like: regular, smoothy, berry, etc, and mixed them all together? Well, that's what it looked like. Bright, pastel, creamy, sparkly, shiny, transparent, full coverage, not full coverage, everything!

This is a lovely pastel, creamy lilac from Impala called Zaz I bought. I am in deep, deep love.

Seems silly but, then as I walked around running errands I noticed that all the women, girls, tweens, you name it, were wearing super colorful, fun, bright, fantastic nail polish colors. One of the employees at the supermarket was wearing pastel green, another one orange. The lady at the bank was wearing a fun summer pink, another woman standing in line next to me was wearing a very pretty coral (which I bought).

This week I'm wearing a bright orange red, I mixed 2 colors to get the shade I wanted, and I'm loving it! I guess all of you out there in the winter reading this can bookmark some of these colors for your coming summer - we're doing the same with winter colors. I saw some pretty spectacular winter collections online that I can't wait to get my paws on.

Tata for now!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dave Barry's Superbowl Review

Photo from the Telegraph

Check out Dave Barry's Superbowl review. It's classic.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lancome Mineral Makeup Brush

Lancome Minerale Foundation Brush

These days I've been going for my easy-breezy look to compliment the universe of freckles all over my face. My normal routine includes, Avon Magix primer, SPF powder or light Shiseido foundation, Lancome Tropiques Minerale Bronzer, Benefit BadGal mascara, and gloss (shades of fun pink or nude). I make sure my eyebrows are defined and perfect with my Dior eyebrow powder pencil and spooli. There were a couple of days when I wore eye pencil, but it was a burgundy pencil and I smoked it out really well with my smudge brush.

One thing that has made my entire experience a real joy has been my amazing Lancome mineral bronzer brush. It is heaven on my face. I feel special when I use it and I take my time putting on my bronzer because I like the feel of the brush on my skin so much. Now, I think this particular short handle one was a limited edition, however, if I'm not mistaken, the mineral foundation brush is the same as the mineral bronzer brush, just has a longer handle and is silver, not brown.

Lancome Mineral Bronzer Brush

Maybe I'm crazy, but the price seems reasonable to me, especially considering how awesome it is. I think it's $36, a total steal when you take into consideration how many cheap brushes you bought that were total rubbish and you had to toss them and buy a different one. This is the brush. Basically, after you buy this one you can stop looking. It wouldn't be a very good blush brush, because you want to keep blush in a smaller area, but for bronzer or loose powder, you won't find a brush that beats it.

Another thing that's super cool is that I heard about a super brush manufacturer in Japan, Hakuhodo, so I contacted them and they will ship anywhere in the world. How awesome is that? I'm going to start a super elite brush collection as according to Samantha, they are the best brushes she's ever used. That's serious. I've already made a list of the brushes I want and I'm going to start buying them little by little, a couple of brushes at a time. They also have Geisha brushes, and they look incredible! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know what my new brush obsession/real-need-no-one-understands-but-me is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Saquarema and Arraial do Cabo Weekend Adventure

All images were taken with a blackberry so you'll have to excuse the poor quality.

Last weekend we went to a beach town about 90min from where we live. It's not a fancy place full of pricey hotels, there's no Club Med there, it's just simple people enjoying the most spectacular beaches known to man. This particular place (above) is called Pontal da Atalaia, in Arraial do Cabo. It's paradise. You have to drive up this steep hill, park at the top, then walk down a precarious path to get to the beach. The water is crystal clear and no matter how deep you go, you can still see your feet. There were schools of fish swimming where we were, fishing boats that had been used earlier to catch fish and shrimp and bring in supplies to the small kiosks that prepare the most amazing fresh seafood and tropical drinks. The sand is perfectly white and super fluffy.

Here's the table we were at when we weren't in the water. The cup with the white milk looking liquid is actually a delicious elixir called Batida de Coco and it's made of coconut milk and cachaça (Brazilian fire water). They were so good we almost lost count of how many we drank.

There's a guy that passes by every half hour or so with fresh shrimp. It's just simply grilled with lemon and salt. So good! Those are my son's fingers in the shot. He couldn't get enough.

We finally left when the sun started going down. The climb back up the hill to get to the car is a bit rough. It's like you're paying a toll for having enjoyed such a terrific beach, but what can you do? This is the shot from the road heading down the mountain back towards the town. It's so beautiful, but it doesn't translate very well in this picture. You had to be there.

Every night we would go into the little town and walk around with the locals and get stuff to eat. The first night we were there Gui (my sister's boyfriend) took us to this very simple, fantastic place to eat Pastel. Pastel is a salty pastry dough that is filled with goodness (shrimp, cheese, bananas, anything you want) and then deep fried so that it puffs up and is very crispy and not at all greasy (the temperature of the oil has to be very high). These things were enormous and so scrumptulescent (that's a made-up word). This is a picture of my oldest son eating a Bobó de Camarão (shrimp and other delicious stuff) one. Yummy!

Sometimes we forget where we live and how great it is. The heat kind of poaches our brain and we have to take a step back, maybe take a 90min trip in order to gain some perspective and remind ourselves of why we live in Rio.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grammy Beauty

What a great look. No one can pull it off like she does, but man, can she pull it off. Hair is fantastic, dress, and makeup too. She has a great beauty team!

I was traveling over the weekend (post to come) so I missed the Grammys. I love the Grammys and I love to see what everyone's wearing. It's always out there and it's always surprising, and wonderful. I was dying to see what Lady Gaga would come up with and I was not disappointed. She wore many different looks throughout the evening and they were all out there - way out there - and glorious. After skimming through pictures online, I chose a couple that stood out to me. By the way, all the pics I got are from JustJared. Go there and look through all the Grammy shots. Awesome!

Lea Michelle. I love her and I love, love, love her dress, jewelry, hair and OMG the makeup! She looks amazing!! I would kill for cheekbones like hers.

JLo looks so, so gorgeous here! The 70's inspired hair is beautiful in its simplicity and paired with the most amazing eye makeup it is perfection. Her dress was also fantastic! While I think she may be a bit tacky herself, and for the most part quite "Jenny from the block", I give her, her stylist and hair and makeup team serious props for this ensemble. Bravo!

I hate, hate, hate Beyonce's look. Her new super blond hair and black brows look trashy and quite honestly, stupid. Her earrings are ridiculous, and I have no love for her dress. This was a hit and miss for me.