End of Summer Chat: Ten-Item Wardrobe, NYC Trip & More

It's time to assess your ten-item wardrobe as we head into the changing season. Go through your clothes. Is anything looking shabby? Were there any mistake purchases that you've learned from? Any outfits you loved that you'll hold on to for next year? Can you challenge yourself to part with clothes you know you need to donate?

This is the fun part! I love the end of season edit. Join me in this video as I share a peek into my own process and help me say goodbye to a very beloved garment.

This week I also talk about my upcoming New York trip as well as blog plans for the coming months. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of my blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Lessons from Madame Chic is featured on Off The Shelf blog with Kaitlin Olson's article called, Living Like a Parisian at Work and At Home.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Many people put a lot of thought into the rituals at dinnertime but what about breakfast? The importance of ritual at breakfast is not to be scoffed at. Here's a charming article on 9 Breakfast Tips and Tricks from 19th Century Etiquette Books that I know you'll get a kick out of. My favorite tip is #9. What's yours? (Thank you to my friend, Cynthia, for sharing this article with me).

Comment of the Week
I'm starting a new feature on the blog called the "comment of the week". Each and every day you give such amazing feedback and contribute to the high quality of this blog community with your comments and input whether on this blog, the YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I want to honor you by posting my favorite comment of the week on the blog for all to see.

This week's comment comes from Marianne from the post, Cultivating Poise. Marianne says:

"Here is my take on poise… not only is it free it's a bankable asset. The better jobs offered in the corporate world require poise. Working on your poise can help get you the added responsibility, the promotion and more money in your bank account."

This week I would love to know... what are the plans for your Fall/ Winter ten-item wardrobe (spring/ summer for our southern hemisphere friends)? Where are you in the process? Have you done a wardrobe purge yet? Do you need help or are you finding the process easy and fun (and liberating!)? #TenItemWardrobe

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Cultivating Poise

Those of you who follow me on facebook are occasionally privy to my vents and frustrations. This past week I saw a new music video that disturbed me greatly. It is by one of the most famous young pop stars in the world right now. Her video disturbed me because it is pure vulgarity from start to finish with the sole intent of providing a high shock value. Yesterday I read that this video broke records in the amount of YouTube views. Children are watching this kind of thing, thinking that it's normal. Pop culture like this, which seems to get more and more extreme, is the very reason why this week's video of mine on cultivating poise is more relevant than ever. If we turn the other cheek and are not careful, we can completely lose any traces of dignity and self-respect our society has ever had. Let's practice cultivating poise on a daily basis and lead by example to be the powerful role models we were meant to be.

Poise is defined in the dictionary as a "graceful and elegant bearing in a person". Don't you love that definition?

Poise is free. It is something anyone can have, yet so many people today lack it. This video is meant to be a motivational message to continue to cultivate poise on a daily basis, no matter what opposing forces you face. I also share the story of a recent confrontation I had with a young woman and my hope for her future. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

I'd like to make the cultivating of poise an on-going discussion on The Daily Connoisseur. I love to hear from you! What is your experience with poise? Do you know people in your family or community who could benefit from cultivating poise? What does poise mean to you?

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
I love independent foreign films because they offer a glimpse into a different way of life and expand our horizons. This weekend I watched an excellent film that I highly recommend to all of my readers. It's an Indian film called The Lunchbox and features a marvelous directorial debut by Ritesh Batra. What a beautiful, moving and quietly thought-provoking film. It's available to rent now. You can learn more about it here.

See you soon!

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My Everyday Makeup Routine

Thank you for your powerful response to last week's video on self-discipline and instant gratification. This topic has clearly hit a nerve! I will be continuing this series with all of your requests and you can look forward to those videos in on-going future discussions on The Daily Connoisseur.

Le no makeup look
Le no makeup look (first introduced in Lessons from Madame Chic) is something I practice nearly every day. On days when I'm rushed, it could just include eyebrow powder, under eye concealer and mascara. If I have a few more minutes I can create a natural, yet polished look. On a daily basis I always do something and it never takes more than a few minutes.

This week's video shows you my typical daily makeup routine in a few variations. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

I will repeat, as I do in all of my makeup posts, that you do not need to purchase anything that I use in this video to create your own no makeup look. Most likely you already have makeup in your own collection that will work just fine. For reference sake, I am listing the makeup used below.

YSL Top Secrets BB Cream

Beauty Blender

Benefit Fake Up under eye concealer in 02 medium

Benefit Boi-ing concealer in 03

MAC blog powder pressed in medium

Urban Decay primer potion

L'Oreal Voluminous mascara

Sephora eyebrow editor in honey blonde

Tarte matte eyeshadow palette (no longer available) Every single makeup line available (both high-end and low) carry neutral eyeshadow shades in putty, taupe and nude colors... have fun finding your favorite!

Urban Decay Glide-On Double Ended eyeliner in venus/ crave

Bobbi Brown blush in Tawny

Hourglass femme nude lip stylo no. 6

NYX butter gloss in “tiramisu”

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Don't be discouraged by sloppy people in your community. Let them inspire you to look presentable on a daily basis. Challenge yourself to put your best foot forward regularly. Just do your best (whatever that is for you). Enjoy getting ready in the morning! Express your positive anticipation for the new day with how you present yourself.

This week I would love to know... what is your everyday makeup routine? Do you have any favorite makeup products to share?

Snap a selfie of your everyday natural makeup and use the hashtag #lenomakeuplook

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Self-Discipline Series: Instant Gratification

I am starting a new on-going series on the Daily Connoisseur on the subject of self-discipline. A while back I wrote a post on Facebook that discussed the subject of self-discipline and spending. For many of us (myself included!) there is a lack of self-discipline, particularly in this area of our lives. We justify purchases even though they are unnecessary. Many times we do this to fill a void. Well, the facebook post really hit a nerve because so many people responded and said they struggled with this very thing.

I am no different from you. I lack self-discipline in certain areas of my life too. But as I always say, awareness is the first step toward change. If we become aware of our shortcomings, this awareness leads to action. The action steps we take often prove challenging. But who doesn't love a good old-fashioned challenge?

In this week's video, I tell you the story of my old, but trusty, blender. I've had this blender for ages and it works fine (a little slow... but fine). Suddenly when I see a picture of a really expensive, high-end blender in the glossy pages of a kitchen catalogue, I find myself considering a major purchase that I wouldn't normally have considered.

Listen to how the voice in your head tries to talk you into things. The justifications are hilarious. Now I'm not suggesting we never upgrade or go shopping. The economy would grind to a halt! But I am suggesting that we don't give in to instant gratification. I state in my video, Investment Shopping 101, we tend to not appreciate the things we buy and instantly set our sites to what we can acquire next. What does it hurt to sit with what we have and then make a responsible decision before making a high-quality purchase?

When my little blender that could eventually dies, I most likely will upgrade and get a fancy, high-end blender. But until that day happens I will cultivate self-discipline and just wait a little longer for my smoothies to be blended. After all... patience is a virtue.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Take time today to appreciate the things you already own. Cultivate gratitude for everything from your toaster to the pillow on your bed. Notice your need for instant gratification and how often it shows up. Take the time to cultivate the art of patience.

At Home with Madame Chic is coming out one month early! The new publication date is October 7, 2014.

Check out my newly revamped author website at www.jenniferlscott.com

I have emailed all of the winners of the book giveaways this summer. Nearly everyone has responded but some have not. If you see your name listed as one of the winners on the rafflecopter widgets but have not had correspondence with me, please email me so you can receive your prize. Please state your name and email and the book which you won. Only 2 have not responded. Cathy C. from the Secrets of the Lighthouse giveaway, your email has bounced back. Thank you all for your participation in the book giveaway series! There will be many more to come.

This week I would love to know... what are your struggles with self-discipline? Do you have any requests for future posts in this series?

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Beautyblender Review + My Napa Valley Trip

In last week's video, A Midsummer Night's Makeup Tutorial, you saw me use a new way to apply foundation, with the Beautyblender. I've seen many YouTubers use the beauty blender and rave about it so I decided to try it myself and give you my thoughts. The Beautyblender sells for just under $20 and can be found at Sephora, Amazon, and many other beauty stores.

The beauty blender is a revolutionary makeup sponge applicator that has no sharp edges (like a traditional triangle sponge). When used properly, I find it blends your foundation flawlessly and seamlessly into your skin, so much better than a foundation brush or your fingers can. I've had my makeup airbrushed by makeup artists in the past for various events and the beauty blender is the closest thing to achieving that same professional finish. So, as you can tell, I love it!

How to apply

It's very important that you use the proper application when using the Beautyblender. Many people don't know this but the beauty blender should be damp before you apply your makeup. This allows the product to sit on the edge of the blender and not get soaked (and subsequently wasted) by being absorbed into the sponge.

Place the foundation or bb cream on the back of your hand and dab the damp Beautyblender in the product. Then bounce the product lightly on your skin and you'll be amazed at how it blends in.

You can clean your Beautyblender with soap and water (no need to buy the formal cleanser unless you want to) after every application or at the minimum, once a week.

There are many Beautyblender-esque products on the market and I have heard mixed reviews on them. I can fully recommend the original. (And P.S. I have no affiliation with Beautyblender... just sharing my honest opinion).

For a full review and to see the application process, check out this week's video. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

If you've tried the Beautyblender or a similar products let us know your feedback in the comment section below.

For more on the Beautyblender, check out the informative page on their website here.

Napa Valley Trip
This weekend my sister and I hopped on a plane to northern California to visit our Aunts, Uncles and cousins who live up there. We spent two days with them and on Saturday had a lovely afternoon in Napa Valley. It was my first time ever away from my girls so two days, though short, was perfect because I already missed them after the first hour away!

Here I am at the airport. I was channeling the mysterious traveling woman I wrote about in Lessons from Madame Chic. Can you tell?

Saturday's trip to Napa Valley was so much fun. We sought out the arts by visiting the Hess Winery's fine art gallery. Here I am standing in front of a larger than life piece by artist Frank Stella called Silverstone II...

Here were two other pieces from the fine art collection. The untitled piece on the left is by Danish artist Per Kirkeby, and the upside down portrait on the right is by Georg Baselitz aptly titled, Self Portrait Disaster.

After our art gallery experience we visited the charming, old-fashioned grocery store Oakville Grocery Co., where we bought some artisan treats and ended the afternoon with a picnic at the Rutherford Hill winery in Napa. What an adventure! It was great catching up with family again, but now, of course, I'm very happy to be back with my own.

Here's a picture of the stocked shelves at the Oakville Grocery Co.

Simon & Schuster editorial assistant, Kaitlin Olson, has written a very touching piece on Madame Chic books 1 and 2 on her blog, Adventures in Crazytown.

At Home With Madame Chic is coming out one month early! The new publication date is October 7, 2014. Not long to wait now...

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Take advantage of these last days of summer by enjoying a picnic in a beautiful spot. Block out a few hours, put the cell phones away and languish outside with some delicious food. Purchase everything at a nice deli or grocery store if you don't feel like preparing food in your hot kitchen. Sometimes all you need is a baguette, a high-quality cheese, olives, meats and a nice refreshing lemonade or a glass of wine. As my aunt Deb says, "Everything tastes better outside." I couldn't agree more!

This week I would love to know... what are your thoughts on the Beautyblender?

Have you ever visited Napa Valley? What did you do while there? What were your favorite wineries?

See you next time!

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A Midsummer Night's Makeup Tutorial + Secrets of the Lighthouse Giveaway

Special Announcement

Simon & Schuster have moved up the publication date for my upcoming book! At Home With Madame Chic will be published now on October 7th, 2014 (previously November 4th). Not long to wait now...

A Midsummer Night's Makeup Tutorial

This week I have for you an enchanting le no makeup look tutorial, set to Chopin's Raindrop Prelude, fit for a midsummer night's eve. This makeup look utilizes soft pinks and violet shades, and with a little creativity, can be achieved with the makeup you already have on hand. For a list of the makeup used in this video, please see the links below.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

**Video note: For vibrancy, I shoot my videos on the "food and fashion" setting. Because of this, the eyeshadow, in particular, looks darker on camera than it does in person. Rest assured, this is still a le no makeup look!

Makeup list:

Becca radiant skin satin finish foundation in “noisette”

Beauty Blender (stay tuned for an in-depth review of this next week)

Benefit Fake Up under eye concealer in 02 medium (this concealer is really hydrating and is my new favorite for the under eye area)

Benefit Boi-ing concealer in 03 (And this is my current favorite spot concealer. It does an excellent job and blends in naturally)

MAC blot powder pressed in medium

Urban Decay primer potion (I can't do without this... love it.)

Laura Mercier artist palette (this palette is no longer available but the individual shades can be found on the Laura Mercier website)
Shades used: Primrose, African Violet, Plum Smoke, Sparkly Dew

MAC mineralize blush in warm soul

MAC mineralize skin finish in soft and gentle (I love this highlighter... it's excellent)

Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara in 003 extreme black (A wonderful and affordable drug store mascara)

Sephora eyebrow editor in honey blonde

CHANEL le crayon levres nude lip pencil

NYX butter gloss in “tiramisu” (Affordable and effective... love this lip gloss)

Bobbi Brown long wear gel liner in caviar ink (My favorite eyeliner... dare I say Holy Grail?)

Secrets of the Lighthouse Giveaway

Our summer of book giveaways continues with another book by Santa Montefiore called Secrets of the Lighthouse, which will be released on August 5th.

Set in Ireland on the wild coast of Connemara, this hauntingly romantic novel tells the story of a young woman who goes in search of her family’s past and ends up discovering her future.

Ellen Trawton is running away from it all. She hates her job, she doesn’t love the aristocratic man to whom she is engaged, and her relationship with her controlling mother is becoming increasingly strained. So Ellen leaves London, fleeing to the one place she knows her mother won’t find her, her aunt’s cottage in Connemara. Cutting all her ties with chic London society, Ellen gives in to Ireland’s charm and warmth, thinking her future may lie where so much of her past has been hidden. Her imagination is soon captured by the compelling ruins of a lighthouse where, five years earlier, a young mother died in a fire.

The ghost of the young wife, Caitlin, haunts the nearby castle, mourning the future she can never have there. Unable to move on, she watches her husband and children, hoping they might see her and feel her love once more. But she doesn’t anticipate her husband falling in love again. Can she prevent it? Or can she let go and find a way to freedom and happiness?

The ruggedly beautiful Connemara coastline with its tightknit community of unforgettable characters provides the backdrop for this poignant story of two women seeking the peace and love they desperately need. For each, the key will be found in the secrets of the past, illuminated by the lighthouse.

Simon & Schuster are offering to give away 5 copies of The Summer House to readers of the Daily Connoisseur! This giveaway is open to US residents only (terms set by Simon & Schuster). Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Birthday Ellen C!

I would like to wish a very happy 50th birthday to Ellen C. of Hendersonville, TN. Ellen's daughter, Emily, reached out to me to let me know that her mom is a big fan of Madame Chic and the Daily Connoisseur and that her special day is coming up.

Ellen, I am wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous year. It's clear that you are a fantastic role model for your adoring daughters. Happy Birthday! Thank you for your long-time support of the Daily Connoisseur.

For all of you mystery/ thriller fans, check out my blogging friend, Kristi Belcamino's, debut thriller, Blessed Are the Dead, which is only 99cents on Amazon kindle. Congratulations Kristi!

Next week stay tuned for a more in depth review of the beauty blender.

This week I would love to know: do you have any fun makeup discoveries to share with us?

Music in this week's video:
Chopin Raindrop Prelude ROYALTY FREE MUSIC

Royalty Free Music by

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Investment Shopping 101 + Delancey Giveaway

My eldest daughter and I both celebrated birthdays last week. Thank you for all of your kind messages on social media! We had a really fun week, which also explains why this blog post is a little late... Thank you for your patience!

Ah, another year older...

Investment Shopping 101

Yes, I'm another year older. This, combined with our recent discussions on the blog, all got me thinking about investment pieces in our wardrobe. As we grow older we are becoming more mature and sophisticated. Is our wardrobe keeping up? Or are we still purchasing low-quality, practically disposable pieces of clothing that are nowhere near as dignified as we are?

So many people have posed questions to me about investment shopping and I'm giving you my answers in this week's video: Investment Shopping 101. I made the commitment in my 20s to stop buying junk clothes and to put some thought into my purchases for long-term satisfaction. If I can do it, you can too!

To get started with investment shopping you need three things:

Commitment- You must commit to a new lifestyle of seeking out higher quality clothes and accessories. This commitment will be tested regularly! You must commit to stop the cycle of compulsive shopping in order to save for the larger purchases.

Discipline- Oh, we need discipline for so many things... It takes discipline to break old habits (like compulsive spending). It takes discipline to save money for your investment piece. Once you buy your high-quality item, it takes discipline to learn to be content with what you have and not immediately set your sights on the next shopping conquest.

Vision- If you're going to invest in your wardrobe you need a vision of what is right for you and your style. A high-quality piece could last several years, if not a lifetime, so you can't make hasty purchases. Think about the entirety of your wardrobe and think long and hard (and save!) before making any purchases.

Check out this week's video to hear the entire discussion and a tale of the first time I decided to go for quality over quantity. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Delancey Giveaway

Our summer of book giveaways continues as we explore Delancey by Molly Wizenberg.

In this funny, frank, tender memoir and New York Times bestseller, the author of A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a restaurant sparked the first crisis of her young marriage.

When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream–making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive—not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn’t think he would. Before she knew it, he’d signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly’s assumptions about her marriage were about to change.

Together they built Delancey: gutting and renovating the space on a cobbled-together budget, developing a menu, hiring staff, and passing inspections. Delancey became a success, and Molly tried to convince herself that she was happy in their new life until—in the heat and pressure of the restaurant kitchen—she realized that she hadn’t been honest with herself or Brandon.

With evocative photos by Molly and twenty new recipes for the kind of simple, delicious food that chefs eat at home, Delancey is a moving and honest account of two young people learning to give in and let go in order to grow together.

Simon & Schuster are kindly offering to give away 5 copies of Delancey to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur. Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to US residents only (terms set by Simon & Schuster). The winners will be announced on the widget and contacted once the giveaway is over. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and be sure to visit Molly's award winning blog, Orangette here.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Just like one can be addicted to junk food, you can also be addicted to junk clothes. When you make the commitment to eat healthful foods and cut out the junk food, you are aiming to better your life. The same can be said for clothes. This doesn't mean that we never eat junk food (or buy low-quality clothes) again, but it does mean that we no longer exist on only junk food, because that is a recipe for disaster! Break the cycle today and start to make thoughtful purchases. You'll find you save money this way and have much more long-term satisfaction.

This week I would love to know... What was the first investment purchase you ever made? What investment purchases do you plan to make for the future? Are you tired of disposable clothes that only last one season? What are your thoughts on investment shopping?

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