12.23.2013

Merry Christmas Message, Presentable Pajamas & More



'Tis the week of Christmas... can you believe it? I've been having so much fun catching up with visiting family members that this blog is a little bit late.

Last night I attended the LA Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker with the girls at London Sole.



It was a brilliant performance, as ever. I especially enjoyed seeing principal dancer, Allyssa Bross, as the Rose during the dance of the flowers. I got to meet Allyssa at the Santa Monica Art Walk several months ago. She charmed the audience with her beautiful dancing.

This week's video message gives you my good tidings for the season and also shows you my houseguest appropriate presentable pajamas: the Victoria's Secret Sleepover pajama. It is very common this time of year to either be a houseguest yourself or to have people staying over in your home, and it's nice to have pajamas that you'd be happy to be seen in!



I will be taking a short break from the blog in the next two weeks. I hope you have a magnificent holiday break as well.

If you'd like to join us for our next book club, don't forget to pick up The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. We will be starting the book club discussion in late February, so there is plenty of time to read it.

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

In case you missed my three holiday hair tutorials filmed at BYUTI salon, you can find them all in my article on Huffington Post Style.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2014!

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12.15.2013

Holiday Chat 2013 Decorations & Gift Book Guide


I had all of these grand plans to do a number of holiday-themed videos on the Daily Connoisseur this year and then, lo and behold, the holidays crept up quicker than I anticipated! I must have been distracted working on the second book, which I am happy to report, was just turned in to my editor, Trish Todd, at Simon & Schuster. Woo hoo!

So this week's video, Holiday Chat, discusses two topics to make up for lost time. First we talk about high and low budget decorating. I show you my citrus fruit ornaments that I did a tutorial on last year, and introduce you to my favorite decoration, my Kay Burkart Santa Claus... a true work of art!



**Update- Many people have asked where I purchased my Kay Burkart Santa. I purchased him locally from Stephanie Grace Designs in Santa Monica.

The video also gives you my top gift book recommendations. I love receiving books as presents and you are sure to find something for everyone on my list.

Books mentioned in the video are:

♦︎Downton Tabby by Chris Kelly (This book is SO FUNNY. It would make a perfect stocking stuffer.)

♦︎The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman (and illustrated by Lessons from Madame Chic artist, Virginia Johnson.)

♦︎A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel True: 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson (Perfect for anyone who loves the Golden Age of Hollywood.)

♦︎The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (One of the most delightful series of books ever written, in my humble opinion.)

♦︎The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer (This is the next book club selection for the Daily Connoisseur, so I want you to read this too!)

♦︎Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott (C'mon, you know I had to include this in the gift guide.)

♦︎Taste of Home Christmas 465 recipes for a merry holiday (Fabulous holiday recipes... would make a great gift!)

Check out this week's video for the full chat. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Book News

Lessons from Madame Chic makes Martine Holston's 2013 book list as her top French lifestyle book of the year (and she read 5 in the same genre). Thank you Martine! Check out the list here.

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12.08.2013

Spa Sonic vs. Clarisonic review and Giveaway



You all know how much I love my Clarisonic Mia. I've been using it for years and it's one of those tools that I think is really invaluable for preserving beautiful skin. Many of you have written to me saying you'd love to own a Clarisonic, but it's not in your price range.

I contacted the people from Spa Sonic and they gladly sent a kit to review and kindly offered to give one away to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur! (More on that later.)


But first, what everyone wants to know: how does the Spa Sonic hold up to the Clarisonic?

This week's video gives you my in depth review and allows you to see both skincare brushes up close.

A few notable differences:

✦ The Spa Sonic is battery operated, whereas the Clarisonic requires a charger.
✦ The Spa Sonic brush head physically rotates in a circle, whereas the Clarisonic brush head vibrates.
✦ The Clarisonic is programmed to run for one minute. There is no timer on the Spa Sonic.
✦ The Spa Sonic includes four different attachments including: face brush, body brush, pumice stone and facial sponge.The Clarisonic Mia is only a facial brush.

There are pros and cons to each brush and my bottom line is this:

The Clarisonic is still the Rolls Royce of skincare brushes because of all of the technology behind it, but the Spa Sonic is an excellent runner up and is a great choice for people who cannot afford the Clarisonic. The Spa Sonic normally retails at around $60 (It's often on sale. As I write this it's available for $32 at Target, etc.).

The Spa Sonic is available at Costco, Target, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. For more information visit www.myspasonic.com

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

Giveaway


Spa Sonic is kindly offering to give away one Spa Sonic skincare brush to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur! This giveaway is open to US residents only (Spa Sonic's guidelines, not mine). Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. I will announce the winner one week from today. Best of luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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12.06.2013

Top Knot Hair Tutorial



Is it me? Or does this hairstyle remind you of Samantha from Bewitched? This modern take on the popular top knot has a very decided vintage feel to it... and I love it! Natasha Sunshine, founder of BYUTI Brentwood, shows us how.


Check out this week's video for the tutorial. Apologies for the sound quality! The salon was busy when we shot this. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Thank you to Natasha Sunshine and the entire team at BYUTI for collaborating with me on this fabulous hair tutorials!

For more on BYUTI Brentwood, visit them at www.byutiluxe.com

See you on Monday for the Spa Sonic vs. Clarisonic video (and giveaway) xx

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12.03.2013

The Ten-Second Updo



I know the title is scintillating. A Ten-Second Updo? Well, we take a little more than ten seconds in this video because of the demonstration, but once you practice this easy updo, you'll be able to master it in ten seconds flat. Natasha Sunshine, founder of BYUTI Salon in Brentwood, shows us how.

First, secure your hair into a low side ponytail with a hair elastic. Then secure the bottom of the hair on the ponytail with an elastic, being sure to grasp on to a few strands of hair that are sticking out. Then gently push the bottom elastic until it meets with the top elastic. Wrap the long strand of hair that you have held onto around the updo. Secure with four or five bobby pins. Set with hairspray.

This is a messy, but controlled updo that is easy to do and has very pretty results...


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

There is background noise in these videos. A viewer said she was annoyed by it in the comment section of the last video. We started shooting early in the morning when the salon was empty, and as the day went on, it filled up with customers. Pretend you are watching one of those fabulous backstage fashion show hair tutorials, which always have ambient background noise. Focus on the good, not the "bad". You could watch it on mute and still understand the tutorial. Don't be annoyed, be happy!

:)

Many people are asking where my dress is from. It's the Tory Burch dress featured in this year's fall/ winter ten-item wardrobe.

Many people also ask where the music is from. It is royalty-free music I have purchased from pond5.com. On YouTube you must use royalty free music. It's expensive! But you guys are worth it.

For more on BYUTI Brentwood, visit them at www.byutiluxe.com

Book News

♥︎ The manuscript for my second book is finished! My agent and I turned it into my editor this week. I love this book so much and I can't wait for you to read it. So far it is scheduled to come out around Christmas 2014. I will keep you updated.

♥︎ Lessons from Madame Chic is now going into its 4th printing! Also, Marshalls and TJ Maxx are now carrying our book. Thank you so much for keeping it going. It truly is the little book that could.


See you on Friday for another hair tutorial: a twist on the traditional top knot xx

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12.01.2013

Voluminous Waves Hair Tutorial



A few weeks ago, as you know, I visited BYUTI Salon in Brentwood, where I go to get my hair done, to shoot hair and makeup tutorials. Last week you saw me with makeup artist, Georgette, and we learned a take on the modern smoky eye. Today you are going to meet my hairstylist and the founder of BYUTI Brentwood, Natasha Sunshine.

Natasha and her entire staff are incredibly talented. Every six weeks when I go to get my haircut I know I'm in for a treat!

Today Natasha is going to show us how to create glamorous and voluminous waves, perfect for the upcoming season.


To create these voluminous waves, Natasha recommends using a curling iron with a small barrel. Create curls in alternating directions as you go around the head, being sure to spray the hair with hairspray before curling. When the hair has cooled off, gently brush out the curls. VoilĂ !

The hairspray Natasha uses in the video is Pureology Strengthening Control Hairspray.

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

As a celebration to kick off the month of December, I'm going to be posting three videos this week! Look for the other two hair tutorials I shot on Wednesday and Friday of this week.

Thank you Natasha and everyone at BYUTI Brentwood

For more on BYUTI Brentwood, visit them at www.byutiluxe.com

See you Wednesday for a tutorial on a 10 second updo (!) xx

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