Where Have You Been, Linda?

“I’ve simply been in a state of reflection.”

-Linda Jamison

If I’m not mistaken it’s been two years since I stepped away from my blog. Naughty me. I have no fancy excuses — no exuberant stories to tell about my absence. I’ve simply been in a state of reflection. Everyone does it. And I guess I’m no different. I took some time off to work on some other things one of which was my screenplay, Dear Manolo that I re-adapted into a novel. I took some time off to support my sons  in school. And it’s been two exciting years — one of my sons graduated from high school and has already completed one year of college and I had another son graduate from eighth grade; he has already completed his freshman year of high school and the third is in his senior year of high school. All of this time I’ve been writing just not contributing to my blog. I have been feeding my writing bug through another outlet. During my hiatus from Love and Luxury I was using my talent to write for another online publication, The Style Station is an online publication founded by celebrity stylist Melissa Meister. Melissa and I connected via Instagram and we bonded right away. I have been collaborating with her since May 2018 and my official title is Beauty Content Contributor and that’s exactly what I do. Using my knowledge and insight as a former makeup artist I investigate and research current makeup, skincare products and services.  I interview the experts and the stylists who have their finger on the pulse and report of the moment tips and trends for the publication.  It’s a somewhat different vibe than what I was doing for Vigore’ in that the articles are shorter. But they are still fulfilling. They also allow me the time that I need to work on my main focus, which is the book. It is in it’s final stage and I am ready to start promoting it. I hope to start spending more time reaching out to you on my blog and my newly conceived author website as I report with more information on the upcoming events and developments. Stay tuned. 

Wishing you Love and Luxury,
Linda

Find my new author website here http://www.lindajamison.com/home.html

I Took a Pilates Plus Class for two weeks and Here’s What Happened

I’m the type of gal who loves a challenge. I never take anything at face value and I always look beyond the obvious to see what I could possibly change about a situation or what I may have missed. Having said that my weight and fitness goals haven’t yielded me the best results I desire even though I consider myself a fairly healthy eater (low carbs, healthy fats, and mostly organic) and a moderate exerciser (I bought a Peloton five months ago) that I used to use more frequently. Still, I haven’t seen quite the transformation I had hoped for.

What I had hoped for was a stunning change that would knock my socks off! Now I’m not saying that buying this fabulous piece of equipment was a total fail; what I am saying is that I think the results come a little slower from using it unless you’re putting in an extreme cardiovascular effort. My effort came in the form of 20-30 minute sessions twice a week. And then quite honestly I slacked off because of writing constraints. It’s much more trying on you physically than Pilates, mostly because unlike Pilates you can really only count on your lower body the entire time. Pilates Plus or the Lagree method founded by Sebastien Lagree combines strength and flexibility in movements performed slowly to engage the slow-twitch muscles but overlaps the exercises right behind one another with no rests so you still reap the benefits and intensity of cardio. The workout is performed on a re-vamped version of the original Reformer machine designed by Joseph Pilates that Lagree perfected called the Megaformer. In all, there are six models each with slightly different modifications and upgrades.

My first step was to research, up until this point all I knew was what I had seen on the various episodes of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and the famed Pilates Plus studio they frequented in Studio City. Well since I live in the South Bay which is a cool 20 miles south of there I had to be a little more creative; my next alternative was either Rancho Palos Verdes or Long Beach. And to be fair the Lagree Method is only taught on the Megaformer machine; if you find a class taught on the Reformer it’s not Pilates Plus. So this made my search even more restrictive. Not only was I looking for something close but I had to find something specific to my needs and it had to offer a high energy yet welcoming atmosphere. Would I find that?  Read on and find out.

I started with Groupon because, why not? It’s the perfect place to get a sampling of what’s out there without a long time commitment. After all, who wants to be stuck in a contract or pay for a month or two of classes only to find that the classes suck or the teachers aren’t motivating or any other number of disappointing factors that could potentially present themselves? I know I didn’t and neither did my Amex. So it came down to this really cool downtown Long Beach studio called KP Pilates Plus, it is still within the Pilates Plus franchise but the owner Kelli Parsley added her initials for a little flair. The good thing was it was located less than 10 miles away; literally, a hop, skip and a jump from the Vincent Thomas Bridge (so is my house) and boasts vast meter parking or two-hour lot parking. But first I had to get set up with my Groupon. After my initial purchase, I didn’t realize that I couldn’t proceed straight to “GO”. “No ma’am do not pass “GO”, do not collect $200″. I tried to redeem my coupon only to be emailed by the owner (very politely I might add) that I needed to set up my credit card (in case of canceling a class outside of their 12-hour window so they can bill you). Although my classes are pre-paid it is standard practice in the event that you need to purchase future class packages, single classes, and merchandise in the studio and so on. I then had to send her my Groupon redemption code that she would insert and activate my trial, although the clock doesn’t really start ticking until you book your first class. My coupon in and of itself would have however expired within (60) sixty days if I hadn’t used it at all. *Different deals have different restrictions.

Once I had all of the particulars out of the way it was time to brave the wild, take a chance, be bold, embrace my inner fighting spirit…..okay you get the picture! Two days later…I booked my first class! I wasn’t sure I had the right workout gear but everything I knew to be acceptable seemed about right, leggings and a fitted tank and flip flops. And every class requires Toe-sox or some kind of fitted grippy socks so that you don’t slip and fall. Most of the moves will require you to move your feet across the carriage which is the center part of the machine. Even holding on the curved bars you could lose your balance. Trust me you don’t want to try Teaser, Catfish or Elevator Lunges without them.

 

My first class was a late evening one that I was actually late for due to construction and my unfortunate driving mishap. And by that, I mean I accidentally took the wrong exit (yes, Maps you’re not the best at direction giving) onto a highway instead of a side street. But I recovered and made it a few minutes into the session, got my socks on and quickly started off with the Wheel Barrow. The next time I vowed to come at least 15 minutes early just to get my bearings, re-familiarize myself with the equipment and to discuss my limitations and fitness goals (i.e what you expect to achieve from the class) with the instructor. I have scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) and I have had four abdominal surgeries including C-sections. It’s important that your instructor be aware of any injuries (recent or otherwise) or limitations so that they can show you modifications until you’re ready to do the full movements, eventually, you will. I was happy to take this particular class called Form and Technique as it was specifically geared to teach better form and alignment. It’s a great class for beginners and an awesome Segway to get me acquainted with the practice.

 

 

On the Megaformer, getting into plank position. At home with none other than a smooth glass of pinot, sweat-shirt $56 by Private Party shop Carbon 38.  

When that next time arrived I came in early at 8 am, well that was early enough for me. They have classes that start as early as 5 am…no thank you. My next class was standard Pilates Plus which was an awesome one. This time the moves were more familiar and I remembered where to position the springs and how to move the front But don’t be misled that doesn’t mean it was easy in any shape or form. But because I had grown accustomed to sitting in one position, working mainly my lower half of my body, boy was I in for a surprise! We worked every muscle in my body, I felt like I had awakened parts of my physique I hadn’t even known existed and yet they were such slow and concentrated moves; in fact in Pilates slow and steady wins the race. And how else do you know if you’re doing it right? When your muscles start to shake, that’s when. My legs were a-quiverin’ like crazy! That implies muscle failure and the inherent breakdown of muscle fibers that will eventually rebuild stronger and leaner. That’s what we came for people. That’s why we show up! Now I’m not going to sit here and say that I performed every move with perfect form or held every count for as long as my instructor, Jean asked of me, but that first day I DID give it everything I had! And it has given me something in return, my posture has improved; I seem to sit up straighter, I walk taller and my abs, yes my abs are starting to feel tighter and more compact and my arms and thighs are definitely getting much more definition. And I kept going back for a total of seven classes which I think equated to one class every other day or every two days. I tried to fit them in when I could. The important thing is that I feel good about myself; I’m imparting a positive sense of accomplishment to my psyche. That does wonders in and of itself.This week I’m devoting myself to a one-month unlimited package which is a huge (financial) and personal commitment. But I’ll tell you something, when my trial ended just yesterday I felt like a crucial piece was missing. I seriously felt this gut wrenching emptiness; I have gotten know a few of those gals and I like their “little shop of torture”, I say it with the utmost respect. Could this be love? We’ll see.

What chances have you taken lately? What new adventures have you opened yourself up for?

Wishing you Love and Luxury,

Linda

What I’m Loving These Last Days of Summer

I know that summer is nearing the end and that it’s almost time to put our espadrilles, cut off shorts, sun dresses, and floppy hats back in the closet. Soon we’ll pack them away in a box, store them on a shelf and rotate them out for Fall’s new “finds” but before we do, here are some things I’m still coveting just before the last couple of weeks and Labor Day sneak up and force us to say adiós to the hot sunny season.
I really got hooked on bright colors like corals, deep and bright oranges and hot pinks; they really helped offset my mainstays of tan, white, black and gray that I often gravitate to. I chose them for my nail colors lip colors and even shoes. Here are some more interesting treasures that I’m thinking of snatching up; some are even at end of season sale prices. Tell me what you think.
CHANEL Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour
This   Chanel Le Vernis Nail Lacquer   in Espadrilles is SO HOT! I haven’t made the rounds to purchase it as of yet but it’s on the list! $28
Diane von Furstenberg Red Cigarette Pants
These tomato red trousers can actually go from summer into fall quite honestly.  $278           DVF Cigarette Pants

These fun and functional bags by Marc Jacobs are so right and “right now”! The burnt orange one could play into your casual fall wardrobe; if you wanted.   $117 (40% off) for the Lilac tote and $195 for the Orange, respectively.

And Marc Jacobs Beauty Hi-Shine Lacquers in French Tickler (on the right) was my summer go-to; it was just the right amount of sheer peachy shine without the gloppy-ness and now I want to try Forbidden Fruit.  $28

 

The Free People Dress  on the right is called the “Perfectly Victorian” Minidress $168 and it’s actually a new one launched for the end of summer. Nordstrom offered it at a 30% off discount during their Anniversary sale last week. I grabbed it in the Ivory one pictured above but it also comes in two more variations of black and red. The dress on the left is a beautiful slip dress being offered at Revolve; $128 $63 by Free People.

 

 

And these are such lovely shoes; I’m so enamored with the velvety smoothness of the suede and the peachy tone just took my breath away! If I don’t become the owner of a pair of these I’m really going to miss them. Also on sale at Revolve the Dahlia Espadrille Wedge by RAYE $190 $90…that’s over half off! So, so, so cute!!!!

 

 

I was wearing these all summer long; the forest green on my toes and the poppy red on my fingers. I know it bears some resemblance to the Chanel one above but I can assure you they’re different. The Chanel is a tad bit brighter and has way more of an orangey melon hue.  NARS Iconic Nail Polish Night Porter (L) Hunger (R).  Coincidentally, Night Porter is also an  eyeshadow  single and I have that too! These colors looked so good with my summer tan; even though I spent very little time at all trying to get color, I still wound up with some. And remember transitioning into fall they will work equally as well with deeper palettes; you just have to know how to pair them. I see myself partnering them with a lot of black, gray, cream and white.

Well, I hope everyone is having a great summer so far; mine has been busy! So many projects going on. It’s part of the reason I’ve neglected the blog for nearly 5 months! So realizing this I decided to check in and write a post. I hope you enjoy it and keep up with my current projects by following me on Twitter and Instagram!

Wishing You Love and Luxury,

Linda

 

 

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

 

 

MARC JACOBS:ENAMORED WITH A TWIST

Hey all I’ve been away for awhile working on some great content for the return of Vigore’! Magazine. If you follow my INSTAGRAM or TWITTER you know that I recently went back to writing for the magazine and the new issue or rather our re-launch is due out any time now so keep a look out for it..it’s going to blow your mind! But even with all the business of writing I still have to reward myself with goodies and I’ve been doing so religiously..unfortunately I haven’t had the time to write it all down but I do share on social media.

However, my newest treat that I welcomed to my collection deserved a special shout out. Awhile back Marc Jacobs formed a collaboration with artist and illustrator Julie Verhoeven and the result to come of it were some pretty unique items. I got a hold of his makeup pouch filled with three luscious hi-shine lip glosses one of which is a new color to make it into the collection!

I’m especially excited because this is my first time out with Marc Jacobs Beauty-you’d think I would have hit his line by now. Having said that, I love the texture and the scent…they are scented like peppermint which is so invigorating! But don’t get them confused with plumpers they’re not meant to plump the lips just give a high shine, which they do…effortlessly. And although the colors were meant to be a lead-in for spring they’ll still transition well into summertime, especially the peachy nude (French Tickler). The other two are (Pink Steam) more lilac and the newest is a beige rose (Want Me?) although it comes off really pale on me, almost a creamy nude. As far as color payoff I found the French Tickler to be a little on the sheer side…at least on me. The other two I would liken more true to the lip lacquer title in their name as they had a little more opacity. And they are tiny little tubes..each only contains 0.16 fl oz. But they are the perfect dainty size for tossing in your pouch along with a few other essentials when you’re on the go.

Above: Marc Jacobs $49 Enamored With a Twist 3-Piece Hi-shine Lipgloss Collection  Photo:LJ

 

This Enamored With a Twist set is a limited edition and I fell head over heels for the art designed makeup pouch alone…the glosses were an add on bonus! Oh and the purple metallic envelope was gift packaging I requested…hey, I like to open pretty things..lol. Thanks Marc and Julie!

Wishing you Love and Luxury,

Linda

 

 

Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

The Ride of My Life:PELOTON

This past Sunday was the beginning of the start of a brand-new relationship with my present self and my renewed self to come. My husband and I took a trip to PELOTON in Santa Monica, California a beautiful loft-like studio situated in the mall area of the 3rd St. Promenade. When we first arrived we had trouble finding the location although GPS assured us it was located on Broadway. Not exactly. To be sure I called the store and spoke with a gentleman who gave us specific directions. Before I knew it we were walking in.
Immediately upon entering we were greeted with a smile by Pearce, the friendly voice on the phone who had given us the directions to find the store when we were standing on Broadway looking like hopeless tourists. We had been spinning our wheels for quite some time and had been going around in circles and I guess Pearce took notice of how flustered I looked so he offered my husband and myself a water. My husband declined but I definitely needed the H2O. After some well-deserved hydration we started talking “cycle”.
How had I heard of Peloton? How long have I wanted a bike? Did I know anyone else who owned one? What did I know about it? And all that I didn’t know he was sure to fill me in. I was so in awe just to be in the studio I had to take it all in before I could fully comprehend everything that was going on. As I said before the studio is spacious with an open floor plan . It has that modern refined look with a neutral color palette of grays and cream. I took special notice of the dark ebony in the hardwood floors. Probably because I long to have similar ones gracing my own home.This place is SO inviting; I would say that they design it that way intentionally to give you the feeling of what it would be like to have it in your own humble abode. Looking back I should’ve taken more photos. Thank goodness for the internet. Full disclosure: these pictures are somewhat outdated in that upon our visit they have moved the furniture around and obviously changed some fixtures. But overall the mood and the setting was pretty consistent with what you are viewing here.
Above:Photos, Peloton studio in Santa Monica Credit: Peloton
Peloton Bike
Above Photo Credit:LindaJamison
Pearce is an exceptional product specialist (I don’t like to say sales person because he does more than sell) his personality is really striking. Not overzealous, just confident. And I can tell that he really takes pride in showing the product and giving information and it gives him satisfaction to see his customers take in the knowledge and appreciate his expertise.
Now about the bike; this is an extraordinary piece of equipment. And having an absolute state of the art piece of machinery combined with live and on-demand classes at my fingertips is a perfect combination. The touch-screen is a generous 21 inches and accommodates enough RAM and CPU power so there will be no slowing down. The Peloton cycle is pretty cutting-edge, it’s a sturdy carbon steel frame but still lightweight;it’s easy to use and it’s just small enough. It’s solid but it’s also compact so it pretty much fits seamlessly into any home; even my tiny little 2 level town-home. We’ve decided to carve out a little space in the living room. We were going to use the bedroom, but I think in the summertime although we don’t have air conditioning, (it’s very breezy where we live closer to the ocean) it’ll be even cooler on the lower level. (Remember it takes electricity to power the monitor so put it in close range to an available outlet.) Plus it’ll put it in more proximity for the whole family to use whenever they want. We want to make it accessible for everyone. The only thing that we’ll have to get are our own separate shoes.
And here’s some information that I didn’t know existed; not only are there classes that I can take but if you’re not in the mood for classes they also stream an option to ride with your own music and use their scenic views. So let’s say you want to ride through a country mountain path or take a trail ride, you can do that!
Now, the other fun part:accessories! I went with The Works accessories package just because I felt like it supported everything I needed; the floor mat,the weights,shoes, earbuds, heart rate monitor and came at a better value. Purchasing the set at once costs $229 vs. buying them all separately at a total of $287 over time. Then I opted for their cool Urbanears Hellas headphones with Bluetooth technology. They feature 14 hours of playtime per charge and they have sweat resistant washable cushions. That alone made it worth it. Who wants sweaty gross headphones? Not I. And the buds with the wires always seem to get twisted up around me. I’ll save those for when I take my short walks. The only thing I didn’t opt for at that moment was a cool Peloton outfit. But something tells me I’ll be ordering that soon. No rush for now. My cycle won’t be delivered until April 11- so I still have plenty of time. Besides, no one’s going to see me at my “home gym“. Unless I invite some of my girlfriends over and it turns into “Lin’s Gym“. Hey ladies anyone up for a Peloton ride? BYOS (Bring Your Own Shoes).

Wishing you Love and Luxury,

Linda

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

About a Bag:Givenchy Goals

Have you ever had a hankering for that ultimate luxury ticket item that you just know is miles out of your reach but still it haunts you all the while? Well, that’s the exact place I’m standing in right now..I’m going crazy over the Givenchy Antigona Medium Satchel which is probably one of the most coveted bags to date. While most women are still head over heels over the Louis Vuitton and Gucci staples (and believe me these are no small feats to attain depending on the model) my heart is in play for this iconic lady bag that is both classic and street stylish all at once. Since being first introduced in 2011 it has become a cult favorite among the fashion darlings and the celebrity crowd. And even if not for it’s star tagged notoriety I’d still have my heart set on it because it’s just a well designed piece of art to me.  I think the allure for this bag is strikingly exceptional because unlike the others I mentioned it’s presence isn’t as pronounced on the street as much as the others. It’s sort of an obscure fashion statement and I like the fact that (in my circles at least) I’ll stand out from the pack.

I fancy mine in basic black with the high gloss finish or the “sugar” finish which is more of a textured matte finish. But either way I’d be happy to have one become part of my handbag collection. About two years ago my husband surprised me with a Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 and it was kind of a big deal, since then I’ve made a few handbag purchases but none as substantial as the one I’m considering here. And hence, the hesitation..as I mentioned once before in a previous blog post I was supposed to cut the spending down some. We are in the process of saving for a house and are trying to make that our first priority and I won’t lie it’s been extremely difficult for me.

Top to Bottom:Street Style Givenchy Antigona,Medium Duffel in Taupe, Medium Duffel in Black Smooth withWoven Texture, Rachel Zoe in her suede Givenchy Antigona, Kate Moss and Miranda Kerr showing their love for the brand, Kylie Jenner sports her smaller version but still has punch and one more of Miranda Kerr carrying it in black.
(Photo Credits:Rachel Zoe/Miranda Kerr/Kate Moss/Kylie Jenner-Supperphilly.com, Girl in Street Style-SurvivalRules.com, Black Woven Bag-SpottedFashion.com, Taupe bag-BarneysNew York.com, Grey bag Instagram)

I’m lucky to have a husband who has a practical side and sees the “big picture” ahead. I can see it too but that vision is always short-lived; inevitably I see something that’s within reach and I always want that first. It’s bad! Most times he can keep me in check and helps me keep my focus but this time the yearning is really strong! I’ve had a hopeless power struggle going on for almost a year now. I know that the timing isn’t really appropriate but it haunts me.

Since Christmas of last year my hubby has worked every day with no days off and to add to that, because of the constant rain we were getting on the West Coast his job was offering a consistent abundance of overtime. My husband works for a telecommunications company so when there’s inclement weather they see a lot of service calls. This has made for an excellent saving opportunity for us…the house dream really looks like a reality. And I’m ever so grateful to him and the rain Gods…lol.

And I still continue to look for creative ways to reignite my artistry career and supplement my work as a  freelance makeup artist as well as a writer. I signed on to write for Vigore‘! Magazine again which I’m really excited about! It’s been almost three years since the US version has been published and we are looking at a Spring re-launch so I’m really pumped to have been asked to come back on board. I guess where I’m going with this is that there are a few things that I should be more attentive to and I am but this one unresolved thing is still vying for my attention and I don’t know why. Okay that’s only a half-truth;it’s common knowledge that the desire for something only deepens when our ability to attain it is far out of our grasp. With the medium starting at a whopping $2435 you can probably see my point.

But here’s the compromise my husband made with me, as sweet of a man as he is, he never let’s any of us go without and so he asked of me, if I could just let our savings get to a certain point, where he felt comfortable that our house dream wouldn’t be sacrificed he would buy the bag for me. To be clear he wants me to have it; he truly feels that I deserve it but he asked this one thing of me first. And so for now that’s where it stands, we’re working together as we always have, we’ve met in the middle so to speak. I know that my lucky day is coming. I just have to be patient and the payoff will be well worth it because I won’t just be carrying around a pretty bag that I rushed out and bought on a whim;I’ll being carrying the pride and ownership of stability, practicality and style. Boy, I never thought I could learn fashion tips from my husband…who knew?

Wishing you Love and Luxury,

Linda

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

Mall Haul: Break the Moody Blues

Friday January 20,2017…what a day! Too much drama for me.In the wake of all the political doldrums I had to shake myself loose and find a peaceful escape. For most it probably means a long drive down a country road, a run on your favorite path, maybe just chilling out and getting lost in a sea of re-runs but for me it means a drive (even in a torrential downpour) to my nearest shopping mall to Sephora. Okay so perhaps that doesn’t constitute itself as “peaceful” ( but I did go around 10 am and the mall was practically empty) per se but it certainly counts as enjoyable.Nothing soothes anxiety like the stroke of a brand new fiery red lipstick or the emotional connectivity you feel when your eyes meet that new eye-cheek palette, and even still no matter how many ways to strobe there are we still want another. Every time you’ll find a reason to say, “I need to try that new so-and-so and such-and-such”. I guarantee it, every time.

So on that inaugural Friday I wasn’t sitting in front of my television; I was passing through the MAC  cosmetics store on my way to Sephora. After I’d braved the rain I stopped in to pick up some basics starting with Spice Lip Pencil , Stripdown Lip Pencil, and a Spiked Brow Definer. Now those were the staples that I initially came in for but you know the party doesn’t end there, not with me anyway. Before long I was eyeing the Spring/Summer Collection put out by MAC SENIOR ARTISTS simply called MakeupArt Cosmetics. MAC recognizes that all of their artists are devoted to their craft and as innate as their gift of giving beauty might be they are just as passionate about sustaining the progression of their creative process as well. So it was probably inevitable that at some point they would consult with their very own brilliant minds (and talent) on a collection. I think it was a wonderful idea! There are three artists who contributed to the launch Diane Kendal, James Kaliardos and Kabuki. I fell for the pastel hues of the dazzle shadows from Kabuki’s Kabuki Magic The Shining Hour eye palette.  Check out the entire collection here

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Finally making my way to Sephora, I immediately dove into destination shopper mode. This time I was going back for my mom and I knew I needed a clear gloss, a plum berry lip color and her skin treatment. I needed to pick up Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector for her to help with some hyper-pigmentation issues. Well, I came away with most things on my list checked off, (they didn’t have the size of the Dark Spot Corrector I came in for so I had them order it and ship it to her) but I found the prettiest berry hybrid liquid lipstick by Clinique called  Pop Lacquer Lip Colour+Primer in Peace Pop . This will be excellent for mom when she wants that dash of color, which is actually quite often for my mom. She loves color!
I also brought home some more nail polish from Formula X, again they had some really cool shades that I just couldn’t live without.  And Sephora still had them on sale for five dollars each.Just like the last time, I couldn’t walk away from that. So I picked up another three, this time opting for a dark gunmetal called Vivacious, a shimmering pearlescant ruby called Blazing and a smoky violet in Atomic.

And that’s just what happened Friday, but prior to that excursion a couple of days before, I headed out to the same Del Amo Mall and did some damage then as  well.I hit Sephora as well as Urban Decay where I found the t-shirt that spoke for a makeup artist without ever having said a word.If there’s an Urban Decay store near you I highly recommend stopping in, if not get the Eyeliner Muscle Tee here. At Sephora I picked up OUAI (pronounced- “way”) hair oil a from new product line created by celebrity stylist Jen Atkin whose line brings a beachy aesthetic. Atkin styles just about everyone from the Kardashian’s to Jessica Alba to Sofia Vergara and lots more. Her line carries the basics like shampoos and conditioners but also specialty products like a dry shampoo foam and a really cool wave spray to give naturally wavy hair an extra boost right after a shampoo for air drying and what I came home with; her hair oil which my poor strands desperately need.This product which comes from her treatment category is jam packed with three nourishing oils, African Galanga, Ama and Asian Borage.  And this spring she’s launching a fragrance! Can’t wait! Read about that on Byrdie here . Now to be perfectly honest the hair oil is a bit light for my thick and coarse hair. I’m not trying to “throw shade” at Ms. Atkin but I might need to add the Treatment Mask into my system every wash to achieve optimum benefits.

Since I was stopping in for some skin care essentials I had to get my teen boys their Clarifying Lotion 3 . They don’t do the whole 3-step system but at least they incorporate this along with the Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System which prompted me to replenish the brush heads. I get the Replacement Brushhead Twin-pack . Only two brushes in the family, between me and the two boys that I can get to use new technology. Dad and the other son prefer “old school”. At least we all have our own brush heads.

 

 

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And with liquid lipsticks getting so much attention how could I possibly go into Sephora without picking up a couple of those as well. Coincidentally, the artist who was helping me out was wearing a color that was oddly similar to the Nosefuratu that I really want from Kat Von D but always seems to be out of stock whenever I come in. Enter the convenient dupe. Believe it or not, but it was a Sephora brand, they call it the Sephora Collection  Cream Lip Stain. It’s a color called Rose Wood, in the basket it went. I also picked up a nice dusty rose nude called Pink Tea.
I also happened upon a display for Lancome’; they had launched a collection of new lip lacquers called Le Metallique Metallic Lip Lacquer. I thought it was something I should try; but I was wrong. However, I brought one home in the shade Iron Nude and so you’ll see it in the photograph above but I later returned it. It seems that it’s a little too close to my Pat McGrath. See, I can be practical. I had also decided to pick out a brown nude lip color for my mom, since she often delves into bolder colors I thought she might want to experiment with something out of the ordinary.I ended up choosing what I would describe as a soft nutty brown with just the slightest hint of pink called Crushed Pecan from Laura Mercier. Passing my way back to the checkout aisle I noticed the Formula X nail polish kiosk and I couldn’t help but notice that they were all on sale. I picked out a deep oxblood red called Obsession (Sorry no link available. Can only be purchased in store.) that I fell in love with, probably because it reminds me of the Chanel Rouge Noir I still need in my arsenal. And yet still on my way home I had to make a Target run for home supplies, where I couldn’t help but stop in the beauty section…what? The “bug” bite was still fresh.That’s where I happened upon those three lovely NYX  Lip Lingerie Lipstick colors, Bedtime Flirt (a rusty apricot) in the photo it looks more like a dusty pink, Bustier (a medium plum brown) and Teddy (a true medium brown). I took swatches of them on the inside of my wrist in the photo. The texture going on has a lot more slip than most liquid lipsticks that I’ve tried, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But afterwards I didn’t feel much of the product on my lip, although it did have a somewhat sticky after-feel. It does have a true matte finish which is true to it’s claim but I’m not loving the color of Teddy (on me). I’m thinking I need a pinch more red/orange or yellow hues in my tones. This one seemed flat. Oh well.

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NYX LIP LINGERIE LIPSTICK Colors from Top-Bottom Teddy,Bustier and Bedtime Flirt. Photo Credit Linda Jamison.

After all of that I felt pretty good and then once at home I looked through the rest of my bags of goodies, spilled them out over the bed, took pictures, tried some more things on and then I relished in the fun day I had given myself away from all of the nonsense, because in the grand scheme of things this world is going to keep on rolling no matter who’s in charge, this I know. And you know what else is going to be a constant? Makeup!

Wishing you Love and Luxury,

Linda

 

 

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

 

 

 

My New Thing: The Nail Bar and Beauty Lounge

I’ve decided that what a woman needs is more pampering and less stress..oh is that already a “thing“?  Well apparently with three sons and a husband it’s not enough of “a thing” in my lifeSo I utilized my GILT app and purchased a gift certificate to the Nail Bar and Beauty Lounge  in Beverly Hills. I have these two young ladies to thank for opening the nail bar in 2014, Limor Rad and Jennifer Poura who fulfilled their dream of a boutique salon with the feel of luxury while keeping it in range of affordability. Needless to say I found a great opportunity for a manicure and a pedicure for $25, yes mani and pedi; $25 for both. In Beverly Hills, atmosphere without the price tag. Score.

And then I did with any smart overworked, over-stressed and at the moment slightly underappreciated mom would do, I grabbed a friend and I headed out for a girls spa day.
My good friend Katina, who I haven’t seen in a good while, although we were neighbors and used to live just next-door to each other though she’s recently moved a little further away agreed to go with me. We keep in contact through social media but it’s not the same thing as hanging out. In my opinion almost anyone would agree with that.
About a week before we were scheduled to go on our beauty rendezvous, Katina and I spent the day together on a secret mission. I’m planning to break back into the beauty business:read makeup artist, and so we had an appointment to keep that she assisted me with. (Top Secret).
During our ladies day at the mall we stepped into SEPHORA where we were perusing all of the beauty wares and such and while we were chatting she mentioned that her birthday was coming up which is how we got on to talking about the Nail Bar and Beauty Lounge when I suggested that she come along.
I thought it would make a wonderful impromptu birthday gift since I had the tickets laying around. Actually, I previously purchased them for for myself and another friend to go. When she couldn’t make it after several attempts I finally gave up. I suggested that Katina go with me. She had heard of the boutique salon and was reeling at the chance to go! She’d read about it, scoped pictures and saw what an awesome place it was, and was all out excited by the whole adventure to come. Not a hard sell and I could tell by Katina’s genuine enthusiasm that it was written in the cards this is how it was meant to be anyway.
Now unfortunately the day that our drive in arrived wasn’t the most inspiring one of all, in fact it started off pretty much gray, overcast and dreary. But that didn’t stop us, we were in high spirits, the trade off was we were getting out of San Pedro. Not that San Pedro is bad, I’m just painting a picture of a change in scenery; something different..another experience. We were taking a long drive hopefully free of bad traffic into Beverly Hills. And we had some good tunes coming in via my Apple Music and Bluetooth, and hey two friends catching up, yeah!
So we arrive and this place is everything you thought it would be, bright, airy, it even smells good for a nail salon/skin and hair bar. It’s an elective blend of all these things. Everyone’s busying about, uptempo yet not overwhelming music playing, and just an overall friendly atmosphere. We were pleasantly greeted soon as we walked in and asked to choose our polishes. We decided that although we had certificates for mani-pedi’s we were going to do upgrades. Hey, it’s not every day you come into Beverly Hills. Katina opted to do gel nails since she works in a profession where her nails have to withstand something durable and I decided I wanted nail art designs; rhinestones and a silver tipped French mani. I chose a really subtle mauve nude that I paired with the silver stripe on the tip and then I saw that the manicurist had a really cool accent nail that was encrusted with rhinestones, well you know I had to have that! Hers were gold but to complement my silver strip I went with white crystals. It was a great match. For my toes I chose a glittering turquoise blue. Deep like the pools of the ocean but with a shimmering of a mermaids scales. I need that color on everything!
When I was shown to my seat I thought I was going to pass out! Was this thrown/chair really for pedicures? It looks like a chair that you should have in your parlor at home. But when you look down and see the foot basin you know it’s time for you to sit down and have your tootsies pampered. In other words… its time for business to begin. But before they do, first things first, instead of picking up the same utensils they used on “Sally-Sue” they pull out brand spanking new ones from a sealed plastic wrap. Everything is sanitary down to the water and basin your hands and feet are soaking in. Kudos!
And with two people working on you at once time goes by so fast! I love the way they cut down on time constraints by combining two services at the same time. But just as much you’re thinking  how can I conjure up the slow-mo juju? I know I was already making plans for my next trip in  my head.
Katina and I tried to keep tabs on each other but with the two of us blissfully being cared for we were in our own little world, respectfully. We were so busy enjoying the process and taking in the opulent surroundings; there was a striking contrast from the black glistening chandeliers and the bright white leather sofas that were adorned with their own crystal embedded studs and the way we were constantly being catered to was unbelievable. They offered us tea,champagne and their very own bottled water!
                         Above Photos Credit Linda Jamison
Above Photo Credit Katina Midori-Kaliterna           Above: Katina Midor-Kaliterna smiling for the camera, her beautiful gel nails and up front as we took turns posing in the chairs.
All and all this was an exceptional experience and a great way to take us into the holidays. I’m glad we had a chance to get here before the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and busyness set in.
What kind of special things did you get a chance to do before during and after Christmas? This won’t be the last time that I step foot (you see what I just did there) into the Nail Bar and Beauty Lounge. When you find a good thing you stick with it. Next time I might bring my husband. Hey, I  like to share the love.

Wishing you Love and Luxury and Happy Holidays!!

Linda 

 

To Chicago and Back

Friday, November 11,2016

The wild,wild week!

Last Wednesday I took a 10:30 am flight from LAX to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to spend what I hoped would be a few precious and spontaneous days with friends and family. It started out with a bang as I arrived to my mother’s home to find my two older brothers also visiting. We caught up quickly as we enjoyed Lou Malnotti’s  deep dish pizza (a true Chicago favorite) and watched the Cubs make history! That night the Northside of Wrigleyville shook all over as the Cubs (who were playing an away game in Cleveland) took home the championship! I would have to say that it was worth it enough just to be there in the city, in the presence of all of the excitement and heart pounding adrenaline rushing fervor. The city that I had abandoned (well sometimes I feel guilty about leaving it for the the easy breezy California climate) was giving me a gift of treasured memories to hold dear for years to come. And to make sure of it I stood in two extremely long lines at two different Dick’s Sporting Goods stores just to find the exact Cub’s gear I wanted to bring back with me. Totally worth it!!

Above, showing off my Cub’s pride at my mom’s house and my mom who is still here at 85 yrs young! The picturesque view from Lake Barrington and one of two lines I was able to withstand.

The next few days would also be special as I met up with a few friends I hadn’t seen in awhile and spent my stay with my sister, Marsha who had opened her lovely home to me for my time there. My sister’s suburban home is quietly tucked away in the far Northern suburban forest plains of Chicago which is a wonderful contrast from a long day in the city. It’s tranquility gives one a settling of sorts, when in the evening you are craving  a winddown and a peaceful atmosphere in which to accomplish it. However, during the day I bustled about downtown Chicago. I accompanied my sister to a hair stylist appointment in the River North area (coincidentally in the building adjacent to Trump Tower) where I found not only a quick bite of lunch at an in-house restaurant situated inside the luxury condominium building, Bongiorno’s  pizza hit the spot after along stroll along the River Walk and wouldn’t you know it, they had a wide array of gelato! I tried the pistachio, yum! Later in the week I would sample a tasty Sunday brunch complete with endless mimosas (full disclosure, they do a $25 brunch every Sunday, but I found a Gilt City certificate (using the app) that offered the endless sippies) at a trendy spot called the Highline Bar and Lounge whose food is to die for! The entire lay out is surely impressive with a full bar and a menu to make your eyes and mouth do tail spins! As a part of the Four Corners Tavern Group this is their first River North location that caters to a lunch crowd as well as dinner and a regular happy hour. While in the Chi it’s a must!

Above and below, scenes from the River North area and downtown Chicago. Trump Tower stands along the Chicago River, a delicious pizza I tried from Bongiorno’s along the River Walk, and landscapes and perspectives of architecture and angles I caught on film. (Dress by Zara, shoes Alberta Ferretti and jeans Zara) Highline Bar and their waffle station, a mini- waffle on a plate before it’s demise. Highline Bar Photo credits/ Empty bar scene, outside frame and sliders taken from internet,all others my own.

 

 

And no trip to any metro area is complete without some retail therapy am I right, or am I right, or am I right? So to get things started becacuse of course I forgot my body wash I had to head to Sephora at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. I was reluctant to find exactly what I was looking for (which was a typical foaming body wash) but actually found something new, at the suggestion of a very helpful Sephora representative I left with a L’Occitane Almond Delights Shower Oil which I love! It just barely lathers enough and has the most intoxicating almond aroma; you’ll want to lick yourself,yeah it’s like that. And as an added benefit leaves your skin pretty smooth as opposed to feeling stripped and dry. Next stop was the MAC store because hey it’s my alma mater and I had to go and see if my peeps were still there. Well I didn’t see any familiar faces but what I did see were new Holiday sets and boy was I tempted! I had to restrain myself…I’m trying to keep my focus on PAT McGRATH:METALMORPHOSIS 005 November 15,2016 is literally days away! So I just came in for the basics, Spiked Brow Definer  and  Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Layin’ Low .

Above: Some scenes from my Woodfield and Oakbrook trip… me with Rose at Oakbrook Nordstrom where she is Counter Manager for Chanel. MAC Holiday Nutcracker Sweet Photo credit MAC website. All other photos my own.

Several days into my trip I decided I needed that Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette , it was my birthday week afterall! So I headed off to Nordstrom in Oakbrook Center Mall where that most incredible thing happened…yes the Charlotte Tilbury palette happened too…but I was re-connected with someone so special that I hadn’t seen in along time. Just as I was admiring the lovely palette I heard a voice, asking me if I needed any assistance, I knew this voice and just as I swung around to lock eyes with the face I was greeted with my old manager from my Bloomingdale’s Estee Lauder days! Can you say, double -take! Let me start by saying, Rose was more than just a manager, she was more like a friend and a mentor, a guide and a teacher, so upon seeing her it wasn’t just a “hi”, I reached out and we both embraced at length! It was clear we both had missed each other so much! We made plans to get together before I left no matter what! In between this time my friend Kelly, who coincidentally moved to L.A. several years ago and then moved back to Chicago, was meeting me for dinner at an upscale Italian establishment Di Pescara in Northbrook. Now this place really sets the tone for “classy”, and while you don’t have to don a suit and tie or heels to make the cut; the fare, atmosphere and service make you feel like you’re the center of a five star dining experience.* Tip:get a bar seat, you’ll be closer to the bartender and they’ll have no choice but to service you faster.  Two days later (Election Day by the way) we had breakfast on the morning I was to depart back to Los Angeles and did some really great catching up! She suggested an eatery I hadn’t heard of in Woodfield, (somehow I keep ending up here, is it a sign?) called Wildberry Cafe , now I’m not knocking IHop…there will always be a place in my heart for you but this place is kind of a game changer! Everything from the decor to the menu has been carefully well thought out. I had a really hard time deciding what I wanted and I was actually pretty hungry, you would think I would’ve eaten anything. Eventually, I opted for a platter of Fresh Glazed Bluberry Belgium Waffles and their signature Napa Valley Fig omelette, yes! Okay, so my eyes were bigger than my stomach, I ended up taking most of it home, or rather to my mom’s as I had to see her one last time before I left.

Above, Kelly and I and a delicious shrimp Caesar salad from DiPescara, breakfast from Wildberry Cafe in Schaumburg, my new Charlotte Tilbury palette, a birthday treat from Sephora and Marc Jacobs, MAC goodies and film from dinner (and abstract structures I always capture) at the Saddle Room in Hoffman Estates.

It was a good visit…I’ll be back again in July for a wedding and once more in September for yet another, (must be something in the water). Until then, I’ll keep my memories close and my future expectations on the horizon.

 

Wishing you all Love and Luxury,

Linda

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items or services that are no longer in stock or available at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

PAT McGRATH:METALMORPHOSIS 005

Mother McGrath

is about to ROCK your world again! If you follow my INSTAGRAM then you’ve seen me post the video of Pat McGrath and the inspiration that led her and Team McGrath to Metalmorphosis 005 a quartet of metal shadows in gold,copper, silver and bronze, a mixing liquid for creating spectacular eye candy along with a black dual-ended eye marker for making the most of a cat eye or something entirely different if your that kind of girl(or guy). Hey I don’t judge, at all! And if it bears a resemblance to Gold 001 that’s precisely because it is (of sorts) a reincarnation of the the original blockbuster, but this time with added punch and power and always…options! As Ms. McGrath says, “The family that slays together stays together!” See for yourself…And so that there is no online snafoo you have been warned EARLY…….this becomes available on PATMCGRATH.COM November 15,2016 and ALL are appropriated with free domestic shipping.

The sets are designed in three different packages the everything kit $165, a dual shadow kit/dual marker $60, and black dual-ended marker $24 .

Get LOCKED and LOADED!

 

Left to right and top to bottom, Bronze, Copper, Gold and Silver Kits. $60

 

 

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The Everything Kit $165

 

 

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Black Dual-ended Marker $24

All PHOTO CREDITS Pat McGrath.com

This time I’m not messing around, and I suggest you all get signed up at PATMCGRATH.COM for alerts! You don’t want to be left out on this one!

Wishing you all Love and Luxury,

Linda

 

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

VICTORIA BECKHAM X TARGET

TARGET

just can’t get enough of partnering up with major labels and thank goodness for the rest of us because it only makes getting close to their products that much more accessible! Today it was announced in Vanity Fair and various other media outlets across the web that Victoria Beckham, who just rounded up a collection of cosmetics for EsteeLauder a month ago, will be launching a capsule collection of clothing for Target next Spring. I swear this woman is a fashion dynamo and she shows no signs of slowing down! And not only will her line consist of pieces for women but this time she will include for the first time, a collection of children’s wear as well. Which is perfectly fitting seeing that she was probably inspired by her own wonderful brood of little angels. The whole collection debuts on April 9, 2017. Read more here  and here  and here  Refinery 29 captured a really cool scoop-read all about that here .

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Victoria Beckham X Target

See you in April! Wishing you all Love and Luxury,

Linda

Wear What You Want

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who asked me if I felt odd wearing items that were old. She was giving reference to certain items that I purchased online at a discount price from past seasons. I replied to her “no” and I was a little taken aback by her question. It gave me pause. But then as I thought for a moment, I further went on to explain that the cost of an item did not determine it’s worth or its value. Only quality and craftsmanship or in the case of a gift or a gift to yourself, sentimental affection does. It’s all in how it makes you feel. And always your individual attraction to its aesthetic and purpose. If you like something whether it’s past season or current, buy it. If it costs an extreme amount of dollars and you can afford it buy it. If it’s on sale and that more easily fits into your budget buy it then.

I am not at all deterred or necessarily influenced by an item’s standing in the current fashion season nor do I feel ashamed for wearing a piece that has already had it’s “moment”. And I certainly have no guilt whatsoever waiting until I can afford said item, if it’s currently not in my price range then I wait until it becomes so. And I guess I come from the old school of thought- which is wearing what you want whenever it suits you. Let your mood be your guide. Not someone else’s opinion of you and what you should be wearing. It also comes from the idea that you make up your own mind and follow your own fashion sense. It’s always great to be inspired by current trends or your current environment or even past environments and events but always follow your heart first.

When we look at the current trends displayed in the fashion shows,magazines,digital or social media we should always keep in mind that the looks are there for inspiration; most often they were never intended to be taken at face value or for a full interpretation. In my opinion designers don’t expect you to mimic the looks entirely but to take the pieces and create looks and styles that reflect your own personal character. Every piece will have the personality of its own depending on the person wearing it. And depending on the era in which it’s worn it might have a different effect and appeal on the wearer. Hence, the reason why retro and vintage is a big thing. You can bring a piece back to life that has a history a quarter of a century years old or older.Which is why no matter the season, past or present, beautiful clothing is just that; it’s beautiful, collectible clothing and it’s always a work of art whether it’s past season or current. That element never changes.

So when my friend asked me if I mind wearing something that wasn’t current I told her no. I don’t see any difference. As far as I’m concerned if the designer created that immaculate piece of work he/she created art to be worn and he/she created it to be worn no matter when. Why should that piece of work sit on a shelf, in the jewelry box, on a hanger or in a shoe box? And most of all why should it sit in some retailers distribution center? I say bring it home to be loved.

Some interesting pieces I might want for myself. From left to right 8 Bracelet  $49, at this price I can save it for summer or with the climate in my region it might just have a place year-round and then this Alexander McQueen 4 Pin Set $785  to give a basic black blazer or LBD an extra lift and I’m loving the texture on this Trademark Loop Small Tote Bag $795 and it’s earthy burnt eggplant color is a true Fall essential.marco-bologna-shirt

I am just head over heels for this Marco Bologna Multi Print Shirt , and I can see endless possibilities with it’s multiple colorscape.

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And could your shoe collection really stand to be without these darlings, especially with this incredible price? I think not!  So cute…I think the blue and gold would be an interesting contrast to a rich berry silk shirt dress.Or palazzo pants…yes! $490 (sale priceLanvin Studded Slingback Sandal

So I guess the takeaway is this, no matter what you love (current season, past season) if it steals your heart away and you know it will make you happy get it. Provided you don’t spend the mortgage of course!

Wishing you Love and Luxury,

Linda

*Due to circumstances beyond my control some links may point to items that are no longer in stock at the time you are ready to purchase. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience. The items depicted on my page are in no way shape or form gratis or compensation for advertisement but simply items of interest to me personally that I have chosen to share on my site. All photo credits (except where noted) are the property of the retail sites from which the products are derived.

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