Hey Friends: Brand Makeup for Less

5 Mar

Friends who love friends share makeup. Just ask founders and friends Vivian Wang (right) and Jackie Xu of the internet site gofriendshop.com

It’s a buy more, save more concept. The more items you choose, the more you save. The best part is you can purchase the makeup & skincare with a friend and both save, because the items you tally up together count for the discount. (Buy 2–5% off, Buy 4–15% off, Buy 8–30% off)

Gofriendshop.com offers all brand names. They purchase close-outs and department store excess. But the brands are all authentic like Urban Decay, Nars, Laura Mercier, Benefit, Clinique, Lancome and more.

Wang and Xu are two savvy entrepreneurs. Wang was a former senior strategist at Gap, while Xu was an engineer at Stripe.

It’s a start-up that began four months ago, and right now it’s in the soft launch phase. But it’s destined to do well, with some powerful Silicon Valley financial backing and a site founded by and run by women.

Motownsavvy hopes to partner and review products.

What woman doesn’t want makeup at a discount price? Get 20% off your first purchase at gofriendshop.com with code “MOTOWN” here: http://bit.ly/MOTOWN2

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Book Launch: The Secret of Clouds

26 Feb

Last week I met the author Alyson Richman on the day her novel, The Secret of Clouds, was launched. She spoke at the JCC in Palm Beach Gardens and is currently on a book tour.

Since no one read the book, she spoke about her background and how she gathers her ideas. The Secret of Clouds is about a the special bond that can develop between and a teacher and a student. At the book talk, Richman related the story of how one third grade teacher has each student write a letter to their eighteen-year-old self and mails it upon graduation. You can hear this inspirational story  here.

Richman also related some facts about her book The Lost Wife, which will made into a movie. Richman overheard the story while at the hairdressers about star-crossed lovers who marry during World War II. They become separated during the Nazi invasion, and they believed their partner was dead.  They see each other again, decades later, at their grandchildren’s wedding. That true, powerful story became the basis of her novel.

I also learned that Richman’s father is an electrical engineer and her mother is an artist. From what I see by glancing through the book, she has the precision of her father and the gift of painting with words– not on a canvas but in a book.

I can’t wait to read The Secret of Clouds and The Lost Wife.

 

Take a Tour

4 Feb

 

Forget the pink and green chintz that conjure visions of Palm Beach. Think elegant, European vintage and classy. That sums up the new retail atelier the Grand Tour located in the Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach. I went to the grand opening the other day and was wowed by the custom fabrics and wallpapers, unique gifts and furniture. There’s even a spot for some children’s games and books.

The mother daughter duo of interior designer Caroline Rafferty (top left) and her mom, Julie Fisher Cummings, curated an elegant mix of home furnishings. Before the opening, they stopped in Paris to add to the mix.

Architectural Digest recently wrote up the store and the photographs here are far more professional than mine.

Take the tour!

8 Quick Makeup Steps

30 Jan

I recently attended an event at Saks Fifth Avenue hosted by Trish McEvoy makeup artists. The title was “Makeup of a Confident Woman.” Makeup artist Nick Capezza chose someone from the audience to participate. (Her name was Carla!)

Here’s a photo of Carla (above). It literally took him less than 10 minutes to apply this effortless, natural look. Of course, there are 8 easy steps — 5 steps for skincare, 8 steps for makeup application. Hmm. I guess that adds up to 13. But, 8 steps are makeup!

Nick has outlined them below. Of course, all the products are by Trish. But, of course, you can go to your makeup bag or bags and use what you have.

The power of skincare steps:
1)cleanse: am and pm with Cleansing Water or Gentle Cleansing Wash
2)exfoliate: Beta Hydroxy Daily Exfoliator Pads, or the Correct and Brighten Professional Strength  Multi-Acid Weekly Peel
3)treat: Beauty Booster Face and Beauty Booster Eye Serums
4)protect: Beauty Booster Cream SPF 30
5)correct: Beauty Booster Advanced Retinol Eye Cream, and (pm)Even Skin Vitamin C Cream

 

The 8 step makeup lesson:
1)Brighten the eyelid: using Trish’s Eye Base Essential
2)Define the lash line: using Trish’s Intense Gel Eyeliner,  using the tight-line technique and apply your eyeshadows
3)Enhance your lashes: with Trish’s Tubular High Volume, or Lash Curling Mascaras
4)Brighten Under Your Eyes: with Trish’s Triangle of Light Technique using Instant Eye Lift.
5)Even the skin: Use your favorite Trish foundation and concealer to perfect and even the skin with your favorite foundation brush. Set with translucent set powder.
6)Face Color: apply Bronzer, Highlight and Blush. Blend with a whisper of translucent set powder.
7)Enhance Your Brow: define your brow with Trish’s brow enhancers.
8)Enhance your lips: Apply Flawless Lip Primer and press into the lip line. Follow with  your lip liner, color and gloss.

 

Some extra makeup tips:
With the eye liner, taper and blender like windshield wiper
The fan brush works wonders for blending.
Eyebrow maintenance is a must.

 

Are we ready to look beautiful?

 

Remembrance of Stores Past

17 Jan

One of my favorite scenes in the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon is the recreation (above) of the department store B. Altman in New York. The stellar production team transformed an old bank into the bustling department store of the 1950s.

It reminded me of visiting the J. L. Hudson department store in Detroit as a child — complete with beautiful chandeliers, ornate drinking fountains, an elevator operator and a beautiful dining room.

So, it was nostalgic to read this piece in the New York Times, “New York’s Lost Department Store,” by Vanessa Friedman. Henri Bendel and Lord & Taylor are closing their Manhattan flagship stores.

What stores do you miss? Anyone remember Bonwit Teller?

Reverse Hometown Visits

12 Jan

 

There’s something special when your hometown visits you in another state. Many universities visit alumni that moved away, and even hospitals host programs for patients with second homes.

Well, Detroit is coming to the Sunshine State with a fun-filled historical program at Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach, 2 p.m., February 25.

The Jewish Historical Society will share a presentation, “From Hastings to Home,” with interesting historical facts. Refreshments will be served, and expect some Motown treats like Faygo pop (yep, we call it pop not soda!), Vernor’s, Better Made Potato Chips and of course, Sander’s. (I hope they bring the hot fudge!)

Register here.

Is your hometown visiting you?

 

Birthday Marketing

2 Jan

Guess who remembered my birthday? Bloomingdales! They obviously know I’m a fashionista, because they sent me a sharp gift. It’s stylish, black pencils with the cutest sayings.

The marketing is very clever in a black box, and oh if I spend $200, I get a $50 gift card.  Not bad. . .

Yes, this marketing ploy worked. I’m going to Bloomies and I posted about it!

So, who else is remembering my birthday?

 

 

 

Investing in Women

14 Dec

 

Want to make a social impact with your everyday purchases? Then, read the book Buy the Change you Want to See, by Jane Mosbacher Morris. (The book will be published at the end of January by Penguin Random House.) Morris is the CEO of To the Market that sells products from women artisans in vulnerable communities. She works with 100 suppliers from more than 20 countries.

Morris educates consumers on how thoughtful purchases can transform lives. She explains the second largest industry in the developing world is the artisan arena — sewers, beaders, leather makers, etc. To the Market connects artisans to factories to buyers. The ripple effect of purchasing a product from a country like Haiti can create positive change and economically empower several people.

 

I had the opportunity to hear Jane speak at the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches (JWF) event Imagine the Possibilities in West Palm Beach. (Disclosure: I was the co-chair)

The event theme was Investing in Women as the mission of the Foundation and the book align perfectly. The Jewish Women’s Foundation mission advances the status of women through strategic grantmaking, education and leadership development. It’s an inclusive organization that seeks to improve the lives of all women and girls regardless of background, religion or socioeconomic status.

In the photo, Jane Mosbacher Morris is in the middle, while I’m on the left and my daughter-in-law Jessica Rocher Schwartz is on the right.

Brutalist Style in Motown

20 Nov

Shane Pliska lives in a glass house. He wakes at dawn and spends hours gazing out of his windows at a forest and a pond. Snapping turtles lay eggs on his yard, and fawns sleep right below his deck. But this isn’t Walden Pond. It’s a suburban cul-de-sac in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“It’s changed my life,” says Mr. Pliska, 38, president of a family-owned plant and interior-landscaping company. “It gives me clarity of mind.”

The house, which was built in 1956, wasn’t for sale. So he asked a real-estate agent to keep a close watch. When the home was listed—and marketed as a teardown—Mr. Pliska immediately offered $5,000 over the asking price and bought it in 2012 for $230,000.

The home, a 1,890-square-foot glass-and-wood rectangular box on 1.3 acres, was designed by Edwin William de Cossy, a former instructor at Yale University who had studied under Paul Rudolph, known for his Brutalist style. The cost of construction at the time: $30,000.

To better understand the architect’s vision, Mr. Pliska traveled by train to Connecticut to meet Mr. de Cossy, who was wearing a tie and white racing gloves when he picked him up at the New Canaan train station in a vintage black Mercedes. Over lunch, Mr. de Cossy explained that the style of the house was partly influenced by his work on modern homes in Florida in the 1950s and partly by the time he’d spent hanging out with Philip Johnson at his Glass House in New Canaan. “It’s a dream site,” says Mr. de Cossy, 89, adding that he built it originally for his brother-in-law, Leo Calhoun, who owned a Ford dealership outside Detroit.

Mr. Pliska lived in the house without changing anything for about two years. Then one stormy night, he heard a loud boom and felt shaking as a giant oak tree punctured his flat roof. The redwood roof beams saved the house from complete collapse.


 A modern Italian Scavalini kitchen inside Shane Pliska’s home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
PHOTOS: BRIAN KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 Mr. Pliska bought the 1,890-square-foot glass-and-wood rectangular box on 1.3 acres in 2012 for $230,000.
“It was in a pretty sad state,” says Roman Bonislawski, the co-owner of Birmingham, Mich.-based architectural firm Ron & Roman who led the $300,000 renovation, which took two years to complete. The project includes new windows, replacing the cork flooring with slate in the living-room conversation pit, redoing the bathrooms and bumping out the master bedroom to add a small balcony. Mr. Pliska picked a modern Italian Scavalini kitchen (paying a discounted $35,000 because it was a floor model) with reflective avocado-green glass cabinets and put in new decks made of composite materials in front and out back.

What didn’t change was Mr. de Cossy’s fundamental design. The house is raised on a pedestal with redwood beams that cantilever out from below on all four sides and on top to hold up the roof, giving it a floating illusion. All the rooms are visible from the exterior except the bathrooms, one of which is enclosed by the kitchen wall and the other by the fireplace chimney.

The younger Mr. Pliska oversaw the building of a new glass-enclosed headquarters with a plant-adorned courtyard that doubles as a wedding-venue business. “He really changed things,” says Larry Pliska, 72, who still works there.

Shane Pliska’s neighborhood has also changed: It was once a laboratory for modern design, inspired by the nearby art academy Cranbrook, which owns the Eliel Saarinen Art Deco-style Saarinen House. Now, existing houses are torn down to make way for large new structures that Mr. Pliska calls “Barbie castles.”

Still, some Midcentury Modern homeowners there have tried to preserve an element of the past, gathering regularly for cocktails to admire each other’s architecture and discuss design. Neighbor Nancy Lockhart says one thing about Mr. Pliska’s house remains unchanged: A feral tabby cat cared for by the former owner, an artist named Fern Tate, still sleeps under the house and roams the neighborhood. They take turns feeding the cat, which they named Fern.

In the early 1950s, fresh out of the army with no college education, Edwin William de Cossy started designing modern homes in St. Petersburg, Fla. His work caught the eye of Paul Rudolph, who became one of the central figures of postwar American architecture, and the two began collaborating.

Mr. de Cossy earned a degree in architecture from Yale University in 1957, where he later became an instructor. As a principal with Douglas Orr, de Cossy, Winder & Associates, Mr. de Cossy designed a number of significant buildings, including the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven.

Mr. de Cossy’s career lagged until 1975, when he resurfaced as a builder of wooden sailboats. He had a comeback five years ago, designing several homes, and is now retired, currently building a 20-foot cruising sailboat with his daughter in North Branford, Conn.

 

Treasured Shopping

1 Nov

This website is truly a jewel — www.usejewel.com

It’s an e-commerce site where you shop for luxury goods and receive cash back. Detroiter Andrew Landau is the website founder. The offices are based in Detroit, but the shopping spans the globe. Jewel partners with 350 brands from high-end department stores to indie labels. Some of the partners include: Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, Lululemon, Tumi, Tory Burch, Charlotte Tilbury.

The blogger the luxe strategist, explains the process simply here:

  1. Make sure you’re on the Jewel website and signed in.
  2. Find the store you want to shop at, then click the blue ‘Shop Now’ button. This will kick you over to the actually retailer site now.
  3. Complete your purchase in one session, and make sure you’re not paying with points or gift cards (these will not qualify for cash back, as I learned).
  4. Within 72 hours, your shopping trip and cash back amount should appear in Jewel.

Your check arrives quarterly.

Landau, a former Google employee, is a bona fide entrepreneur as he founded Chalkfly.com and sold it in 2014. This site is his latest venture.

Landau knows his customer base. “Every one, no matter what their wealth is, wants a good deal.”

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