Tips from Real Life 101

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March Madness Shopping

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by Andrea Lara

While my husband is completely engrossed in March Madness and “bracketology” (which I somehow manage to misspeak and always call “bracketeering,” followed by much ridicule), I become enthralled with all of the new spring fashion and beauty products: this is what I call a “win/win” situation! My list was extremely difficult to narrow down as the Spring 2011 collections are FAB-U-LOUS! Not to mention the never ending accessories, shoes, and color, color, color! I hope that all of you have more self control than I seem to have lately.

I have always been a fan of the NARS Duo Eyeshadow, it is well pigmented, has interesting and flattering color combinations, and wears extremely well. That being said, their new Spring 2011 Duo Eyeshadow in color: “Nouveau Monde” is absolutely to die for. It is a color combo that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as an everyday “go-to” pairing but if you give it a try you will discover the most beautiful, flattering, fashion forward look that can be worn with just about any day or evening look. It is a combination of a periwinkle purple and an olive gold and truly, truly stunning. I have one in my kit for clients and shoots and another one just for my own personal wardrobe. Gorgeous!

I adore scarves, all scarves, cashmere, cotton, silk, linen…. you get the idea. Usually a good quality scarf is going to run you a pretty penny, or so has been my experience until I found the Nordstrom Oversized Tonal Stripe Wrap; it is a mouthful but for a scarf like this priced at $28, they can call it whatever the heck they want! What I love about this scarf is its versatility, color variety, and the fact that it keeps its shape even after it has been shoved in my handbag for two days. It is light weight making it perfect for spring and summer; speaking of summer, I am planning on making it my new sarong come June – and as my husband (who is as corny as Kansas in August) would say, “What’s sarong with that?”

Since Tom Pecheux has become Estee Lauder’s new creative director, we have seen this tried and true American brand turn in to a company that is designing and executing the makeup for Derek Lam’s show during New York Fashion Week. With edgy new colors, the reformulation of almost all of the color in this line, including 30-some new lipstick and gloss shades, the product that grabbed my attention the most was the new Pure Color Nail Polish in Purple Passion. Perfect for spring toes or in my case fingers! I truly can’t get enough of this color, and the added bonus is that I have not had any chipping yet and it has been on for about four days – that is pretty darn good considering I am constantly washing my hands, using eye makeup remover and makeup brush cleaner.


With Spring upon us comes warmth, beautiful blooms and scents. Here in Boston it is still a bit chilly to have the windows open, but I still want that Spring aroma. Well folks, I have found the answer to that problem – the Bellini Candle from Calypso St. Barthe. The notes that jump out to me are grapefruit, white peach, coconut and sandelwood – a.k.a heaven. It is subtle but manages to fill my home with it’s sublime scent. Not to mention the fact that it is hot pink! It also makes me want to throw a few Bellinis back – which I may or may not be known to do.

Keeping with the theme of great scents, I’m sure you are all acquainted with fragrance maven Jo Malone. Well, this scent genius has teamed with celebrity hair colorist Beth Minardi to bring us Luxury Color Care Products. As you can imagine the scent alone makes picking up a few of these babies worthwhile, but the kicker is that they actually do what they say they are going to do! Whether you have hair that is treated with permanent or semi-permanent hair color, highlighted, bleached, or hair that is basically a brillow pad, Minardi has something for you.

My final spring love affair is with the most flattering, comfortable, versatile skirt I have ever had the pleasure of putting on. Designed by Bailey 44 this amazing creature looks fabulous (if I do say so myself) on me, (I am 5’9 and have a curvy/athletic build), a client who is 5’1 (and smack dab in the middle of menopause and fighting the extra weight that comes along with it), and another client who is 5’4 and has a classic boyish shape. It comes in black and taupe, sizes extra-small through large (I have the medium), and although it is $108 it has already paid for itself with the amount of compliments and “please tell me where you got that skirt” – I always share.  My clients…not so much (and that’s okay too). This may be the only skirt that I buy all season – I love it that much.

Enjoy the Spring sunshine (while wearing your favorite sunblock of course) and as always, Happy Shopping!

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