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A childhood interest for art and design grew into a passion for all things beauty. Currently, I’m still smitten.


The Minimergency Kit for Her (and Him Too!)

Good things come in small packages. In this case, minis. THE MINIMERGENCY KIT is a neat little cube that houses all you need to refresh yourself in the nick of time -- must have items for any beauty or life-emergency.

For Her:
Contents include hair spray, clear nail polish, polish remover, emery board, lip balm, earring backs, sewing kit, double sided-tape, stain remover, deodorant towelette, pain reliever, tampon, breath freshener, dental floss and bandages. Choose from seven metallic cases: pewter, gold, silver, red, turquoise, pink and purple/$13.

For Him:
Contents include shoe shine towelette, nail clipper, hand sanitizing towelette, pain reliever, lip balm, dental floss, breath freshener, stain remover, mending kit, safety pin, buttons, bandages and a deodorant towelette. Comes in a case the size of a deck of cards/$12.

There's something for wedding parties, new mommies and cheerleaders plus you can order refills on some items directly from the site

(Photos via


MAC Metal X Cream Eyeshadow Collection with Swatches

Super blendable metallic shadows with a velvety smooth texture can be yours: the MAC Metal X Cream Eyeshadow Collection/$20 US - $24 CDN. The limited edition collection comes in nine shades. Each is a powdery cream heavily pigmented for staying power and a serious dose of color. A little goes a long way so if you prefer a subtle approach to the metallic craze, the product can be sheered down for a softer effect. For those who want a bolder look, you can build on the color to present brilliance and shine without a heavily frosted look.

I always use shadow primer to avoid creasing (specifically with metallic/cream shadows). To improve upon staying power, I dusted my lids with a powder eye shadow in a similar shade after application. Worked like a charm. Some shades even work as a pretty highlighter on cheeks depending on your skin tone. My favorite shade is Vintage Coin (pictured first from left).

Swatches from left to right:
Vintage Coin/Metallic olive green
Venetian Tarnish/Golden tarnished bronze
Gold Carbon/Metallic taupe
Cyber/Metallic silver with silver pearl
Fusion Gold/Pinky beige with gold pearl
Virgin Silver/White with silver pearl
Red Hot Copper/Warm copper
Palladium/Metallic ash
Rusty/Dirty peach gold


ELEMIS Grooming On-The-Go Kit

Friday is for the Fellas

If you find yourself always on the trip this week? Weekend getaway the next? Then the ELEMIS Grooming On-The-Go Kit is for you.

Encased in a handsome black zippered bag, the trio contains essential skincare items:

* ELEMIS Deep Cleanse Facial Wash - removes impurities and replenishes moisture plus it's great for all skin types. More importantly, the oak bark, peppermint and spearmint blend combat ingrown hairs!

* ELEMIS Ice-Cool Foaming Face Gel -- preps your face for a clean close shave without drying it. English Oak and witch hazel ward off irritation and razor burn.

* ELEMIS Daily Moisture Boost -- lightweight moisturizer that recharges and hydrates skin with a Citrus Oil blend which offers all day protection against pollutants.

This collection is uniquely designed for men's skin. Plant extract and essential oils leave skin refreshed and smooth every time. Available at$40.

The Prada Tartan Print Leather Card Case

Friday is for the Fellas

You already know how I feel about textures, prints and plaids. I LOVE! But guys this one is for you.

The PRADA Tartan Print Leather Card Case adds a modern personalized touch to your accessories game. Saffiano leather finished with a classic tartan print. Sleek and small, only 4"W x 2.75"H but big enough to hold credit cards, business cards and some cash/$180 at Saks.

Perfect for even the most conservative gentleman.

2012 Pantone Preview...Tangerine

The 2012 fashion forecast is out...Tangerine Tango is the "it" color of the new year. Formerly thought of as brazen and loud, this orange hue is now seen as bold and rich. Be prepared for bright splashes of the vivid color to take over every trend from wardrobe to home decor.

Too much for you to take on right now?

Ladies, take a subtle approach by updating your winter mani with Jaffa from BUTTER LONDON. Jaffa is a show-stopping juicy orange color without formaldehyde, DBP or toluene/$14.

Gents, allow your wardrobe to take on an orange flush as well. Perhaps with a bold tie, briefcase or pocketsquare?

Will you welcome in 2012 with Tangerine Tango or any shade of orange?
I will, that's for sure!


Beauty by L'Oreal at the Real Simple Pop-Up Shop

Food tastings, gift ideas and makeovers! Once again, L'OREAL teamed with Real Simple for this anticipated annual event. Consumers gathered to try AND buy products from various vendors and the beauty brand.

As one of L'OREAL's Pro Team makeup artists, I was happy to provide mini makeovers. Guests had a choice of services: a foundation match, skin consultation or eye/lip application. With each consult, shoppers received a L'OREAL Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara, in black of course, and a sample of Youth Code Serum Intense, a must have to combat fatigued and dull skin. They also enjoyed hair styling with sample gifts from the EverSleek Sulfate Free Smoothing System hair care line.

Most wanted to focus on eyes and lips for everyday or holiday looks. Throughout the event, I used Studio Secrets One Sweep Eyeshadow, HiP Studio Secrets Shadow Duos, True Match Concealer and Extra Intense Liquid Eye Pencil. For lips, I used Color Riche LeGloss and long-wearing Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick.

Favorites for mature skin included Visible Lift Serum Absolue Advanced Aged Reversing Makeup (lightweight foundation with medium coverage to minimize lines with a luminous finish) and new skincare, Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Golden Balm for Face, Neck and Chest. This soft creamy balm seals in moisture and improves elasticity.

If you stopped by our booth at the pop-up shop in Bryant Park, send a picture of your makeover to me at by 12/21/11 -- 6pm EST. I will post pictures on my FaceBook page (The BLACKswan at Beyond Beauty). The first one to send a photo will receive a free Studio Secrets One Sweep Eyeshadow (open to U.S. residents only please).

Charming Gifts from Michael Kors

Give something glitzy from the MICHAEL KORS. Jewelry in gold or silver tone metal with sparkly crystal accents.

The Charm Bracelet: This chunky link hosts the MK pave logo lock, MICHAEL KORS luggage tag, MK logo key, the signature heart, pave tassel, pave pyramid and a clear crystal/$195. Features a toggle closure and fits up to an 8" wrist.

Prefer something more dainty? Then go for The Pave Heart Bangle. A delicate bracelet with a heart charm adorned with clear pave insets/$55 -- one size fits all.

Each pairs nicely with The Pave Dog Tag. Solid dog tag pendant with the MICHAEL KORS logo and a pave dog tag pendant with clear crystal insets dangle from an 18" ball chain with 1/2" extender. The toggle closure features a MK logo lock charm detail/$55.

Available at, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. stores.



There's something special about a man in a suit. His shoes. His accessories. His stance. There's something extra special about a man who steps it up a notch...adding character to his look. Fellow blogger and friend at is that man. He inquired about a leopard suit jacket. I found a few items but came across something grand. The PAUL SMITH Autumn/Winter 11 Mainline Collection has a jacket that makes quite the statement. The PAUL SMITH Leopard Print Formal Jacket is all about confidence. This single-breasted one button jacket has a sleek classic fit and is fully lined. The leopard print silk lapel captures your attention while subtly contrasting with the rich elephant gray color. Additional tailoring includes working four button cuffs and double back vent. Orders placed after 12 pm ship the next day/$1670. Let me know what you think Martin.


Wild Child Revisted

Animal prints. Even pin-up legend, Bettie Page, knew it was hot look. Seems to be the one trend that keeps resurfacing. Venturing on the wild side can be fun, sexy and stylish. While some prefer to steer clear of this fad, I, for one, embrace it...Gently.

Ready to bring out your wild side?
Here's a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep everything simple and neutral...that means accessories, hair, and makeup.

  • Ensure you have the proper fit. If it's too tight, it's too much!

  • Invest in a piece you like and store's sure to be "popular" all over again.

  • Shoes and scarves are the easiest ways to keep this style current.

  • Tighter prints like leopard and cheetah are universally flattering for clothing. Zebra and giraffe patterns (lots of light space) are a bit more difficult to wear.

  • Avoid a fashion faux pas...head to toe leopard print is a "DON'T"!

  • Pair with basic black, classic white or a neutral beige.

  • Most importantly, one pattern at a time.

P.S. This look commands attention. Most important accessory is CONFIDENCE.


COACH Essex Herringbone Scarf

Friday is for the Fellas!

Top designer brands are making luxury items at affordable prices.

Watching the Today Show segment on Haute Gifts Under $100, I fell in love with an item for men -- the COACH Essex Herringbone Scarf /$98. It's 100% soft wool accented with contrasting stripes and fringe. I especially like that the brand's logo -- it's subtly stitched in so it doesn't overpower the design. Available in gray with cobalt stripes or a soft brown with red stripes. Either would be perfect for the special man in your life.

LUSH Chili Tingle Lip Tint

The rich orange-red color comes from dried chilis (unexpected) and annatto tree seeds. The plumping ingredients create an irresistible fuller pout. The organic jojoba oil and Fair Trade cocoa butter soften lips and seal in moisture. All of this in the new LUSH Chili Tingle Lip Tint -- glides on with a bit of warmth and tingle/$8.95 at LUSH stores (out of stock on line). A spicy alternative to the classic red lip.

Note: This is not your typical tint -- it's highly pigmented so layer it. And be sure to gently exfoliate lips prior to application.