A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True 1907-1940 Giveaway

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had a marvelous day yesterday. I am thankful for my family, my friends and for you dear readers. I feel as though we are all family. Thank you for showing up and for being a part of our beautiful community.

I am happy to come to you today with a very special giveaway. But first, a backstory...

A few weeks ago, Erica Silverman, my dear friend and literary agent, told me that her sister, Victoria Wilson, was about to publish a book on the life of Barbara Stanwyck. I was so thrilled to hear this because, as you know, I just love the golden age of Hollywood and Barbara Stanwyck is one of the most iconic screen actresses from the era.

Here's what Janet Maslin of the New York Times had to say about Victoria's book:

“860 glittering pages… it ends with a cliffhanger, creating eager anticipation for Ms. Wilson’s concluding volume… ‘A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True, 1907-1940’ is not about the actress alone. It’s bigger and splashier. Stanwyck knew the most notable directors, writers, actors, studio chiefs and Broadway impresarios of her day, and Ms. Wilson is interested in all of them. A remarkable array of still photographs present
supporting characters like Florenz Ziegfeld, Annie Oakley, Clark Gable and Zeppo Marx, all of whom have their places in this account. An even more startling collection of movie ads and posters tells a riveting tale of sexism (about ‘Baby Face’: ‘You’ve never seen anything like this frank,
man-to-man story of a man-to-man girl!’), even as they chronicle Stanwyck’s career… The book describes how she evolved from an emotion-wringing actress into a sullen, bad-girl bombshell into Stella Dallas, arguably the most soapily self-sacrificing mother ever seen on camera… Regarding Ms. Wilson’s follow-up, no studio’s publicity department could offer a better set of coming attractions.”

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True 1907 - 1940 is published by Simon & Schuster (behold the synergy!) and they were kind enough to send me a copy of this glorious volume and offered to do a giveaway to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur.

But before we get to the giveaway, check out these beautiful images S&S sent me of Ms. Stanwyck:

And here is a video of Victoria Wilson discussing the book:

This book would make the perfect holiday present for anyone who loves those classic old Hollywood movies...

Simon & Schuster are giving away one copy of A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True 1907-1940 to a lucky reader of the Daily Connoisseur. Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to US residents only (the guidelines of this giveaway are set by the publisher, not by me). The winner will be announced on the widget one week from today. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more on Victoria Wilson, visit her at: http://www.victoriawilsonbooks.com/

See you next week for three very fun hair tutorials. Have a great weekend. xx

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Modern Smoky Eye Tutorial

Last week I visited BYUTI salon in Brentwood, California and shot some hair and makeup tutorials that are perfect for the holiday season. This week kicks off those videos with BYUTI makeup artist, Georgette, and a modern smoky eye tutorial.

Georgette teaches us three essential tips to creating a dramatic, but modern smoky eye:

♥︎ Intensify the color in the crease of the eye
♥︎ Define the color in the outer "v" of the eye (think sideways v)
♥︎ Create a contrast of color with a lighter shade on the direct lid of the eye

Another new technique she used for this look is to only apply eyeliner to the waterline of the bottom lid. Because the crease is darkened, the eyeliner on the lower lid allows the eye to look bright, open and uplifted.

Georgette recommends finishing off this look with a bronzer and a neutral lip, to keep the focus on the eyes.

Thank you Georgette and BYUTI Salon! 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

For more on BYUTI salon visit: www.byutiluxe.com

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week. Come back to the blog on Friday for a very special giveaway of A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True by Victoria Wilson (including some amazing pictures and a great YouTube video of the author).

See you then!

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Skincare Updates

This week we are talking about skincare updates. My skin has been "acting out" recently due to stress. Whenever this happens, I push the pause button and know that my body is trying to tell me to relax! Can you relate?

This video shares some tips I recently gleaned from my esthetician, Juliana, at Petite Spa. She recommended I use an oil for my skin. To which I replied, "An oil? Are you serious?"

She was, in fact, serious and I'm so glad I listened to her! I show you my calendula oil by Eminence in the video, but you can also use a coconut oil, sweet almond oil or even an olive oil (I hear this is one of Sofia Loren's beauty secrets), all of which can be purchased at your local grocery or health food store.

Many people have also asked me if I remove my makeup before using the Clarisonic. My answer is, I do now! I share how I remove my makeup in the video and show you what I am currently using for eye and face makeup removal.

Finally, many of you have written to me telling me you'd love to try the Clarisonic, but it is not in your budget. I am trying out the Spa Sonic, which retails at around 1/3 of the price of the Clarisonic. I'll do a more comprehensive review of the spa sonic, as well as a giveaway, in a few weeks.

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

I urge you to become a connoisseur of your own skin... learn to read it and more important, to listen to it. Listen to your skin when it is trying to tell you something. Never give up your curiosity about how to best care for it and don't make assumptions (like me, assuming that oil is detrimental to the skin!) about new ideas. The most expensive products don't always equal what's best for you. Look at the beautiful Sofia Loren... olive oil sure worked for her :)

This week I would love to know... what are your skincare updates?

See you soon! xx

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Budget Wardrobe Qs & Looking Presentable Always

How do I not get distracted by a bargain?

Should I have a budget in mind when I choose my ten-item wardrobe?

How do you look presentable when you are in the nursing phase of motherhood?

I answer all of these questions in this week's video and share insights from a male admirer of Lessons from Madame Chic.

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

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on any or all of the subjects discussed in this week's video.

What are your answers to these questions?

We took the girls to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles this weekend. Looking at real dinosaur fossils never ceases to amaze me. Check out these two guys:


Expressing deep gratitude to our veterans today. Happy Veterans Day. Thank you for all you have done for us ♥︎

See you next week! xx

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Weekly Chat: GRAVITY, New Book, Halloween & More

Can you believe it is November already? I've been visiting my family the past few days and have noticed that the Christmas decorations in the stores are already out. Retailers seem to put them out earlier and earlier every year. I went to pick up a mocha for my dad at Starbucks yesterday and they already have their gingerbread and peppermint lattes on offer. Do you ever wish you could just slow things down and stop the marketing madness? I know that resisting change can be futile but I would like to take the month of November to still revel in fall and prepare for another favorite holiday of mine, Thanksgiving. Ah well, these are just observations.

I didn't have an official video scheduled for today because this past week was so busy, but I still wanted to connect with you, so I filmed an informal chat about my week. You can watch the video, or read the thread below, or both! 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

Did you have a fun Halloween? I dressed up as a sorceress. The girls loved it.

I also went to Palm Springs this past weekend to visit my grandmother, who turned 91 on Friday. She was cheerful and goodnatured as ever. My grandma has always subscribed to the "look presentable always" philosophy and even at 91 was rocking the most gorgeous red manicure. I feel so fortunate to still be able to see her. She kept telling me how lucky we all are to have such a beautiful family.

So it has been a week of spending time with family and working on the book. I've spent every creative minute of my week working on the new book. I'm so excited for you to read it. Simon & Schuster's aim is to have it published by the next holiday season in 2014, so we don't have too long to wait.

My husband and I saw Gravity in 3D this weekend. What an incredibly moving and powerful film. I know I'll be rooting for Sandra Bullock for best actress this year at the Oscars. The movie is directed by Mexican film director, Alfonso Cuarón, who also directed one of my favorite films, Y Tu Mamá También. Gravity is masterful and unlike any other film I have ever seen. If you have a chance to catch it in the theater I highly recommend doing this. If you've seen Gravity and leave a comment on the blog about the film, be sure to write SPOILER before your comment so we don't giveaway any details of the film. :)

Thank you for all of your comments, sharing your signature scent journey! I love to hear what perfumes other people wear. I read about many that I now want to try myself!

The Modern Tokyo Times names Lessons from Madame Chic as one of the Top 10 Books on Beauty, Fashion and Grooming

Rayli Magazine in China has featured me and my ten-item wardrobe in their most recent issue. What an honor to be included in such a prestigious fashion magazine. Here is just a partial shot of the article. Thank you Rayli!

I will most likely have an "official" video for you next week. I have wonderful plans and, as always, am inspired by you!

See you soon...

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