Pretty Things


“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

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After weeks – more like months – of travel, I am home.  And so happy to be where I belong.  What a beautiful weekend it has been… weddings, photo shoots, many reflective walks on the beach and the gathering of my dearest friends – over red roses, candles, drinks, hilarious costumes and most importantly, the celebration of my beautiful friend’s birthday. Today is church and brunch with close friends, and on this beautiful and bright Sunday, nothing could be more fitting or more evocative of the day’s mood . . .

Side note: We fall often, for the striking and extremely beautiful sights of flowers in photos. I want to encourage you to go out and buy some for your home, wether that’s romantic roses or bright colored orchids! I recently read an article about a study done at Harvard, showing that people with fresh flowers in their home are more empathetic, happier and positive.  I was having a hard day yesterday, so I went out and bought some flowers.  Now, every time I look at the bouquet by my bed, my mood lifts and I smile. Guess it’s true! Though… I knew it all along 😉

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“Make today count, you’ll never get it back”

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Some designs are so uniquely pretty, they cause your imagination to stir, taking you to a time and place of tranquil beauty and gorgeous inspiration.  These rich shades of blue — turquoise, navy, dusk and even white — reminded me of the vibrant swirling mixtures of colors found in the breaking waves of the ocean . . .  And so, I was inspired, to design a post that captured the uniqueness of the beautiful and intricate fashions designed and inspired by the colors, creatures and life of the ocean.

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It was easy, at first, to see how many of these delicate handmade dresses seemed inspired by the ocean. The ones above by Elle Saab were especially beautiful, they seemed to be directly inspired by sea coral. Each feminine gown — a medley of satin, organza and delicate beading — was designed using the most intricate details and textures. These dresses were made to float down runways — whether that be the catwalk of fashion week, an Oscar or Emmy red carpet, perhaps even the most important aisle – the wedding aisle, where true love awaits.  Let your imagination carry you away.  The couture beauty of each piece is truly a work of art, infused with all of the whimsy and romance of the sea.

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This last dress, covered in stunning blue fringe, started it all — sashaying effortlessly, as if the ocean itself was floating down the catwalk —  left me awestruck and inspired to write this post.  I saw the ocean in it, I saw nature and art together . . . I saw truly breathtaking fashion.

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You select lipstick shades basically the same way you choose your outfit. After all, it’s your own personal sense of style.

But what do your lipstick shades really say about you? You’ll find that the personality traits associated with lipstick colors will closely resemble your own personal fashion sense. Below is a wealth of knowledge and knowledge is power.  Remember this article when dressing for a specific occasion in which you wish to convey a certain feeling or emotion. Ahhh . . . the joy of makeup! Have fun! 🙂

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Purple/Mauve Shades – The darker the shade the more regal the personality. Purple lipstick shades symbolize power, luxury and magic but also a little mystery. These colors are feminine and romantic, yet strong and confident. The lighter shades suggest a more restrained sophistication.

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Orange/Peach Shades – Deeper orange shades represent fire, the sun, warmth and an individual who is just plain fun. Visually, the color orange is said to increase oxygen supply to the brain and to stimulate mental activity. As your shade transitions to a paler peach, you are perceived as cheerful and warm but more understated than the deeper orange lipstick shade. This balmy color also suggests your genuine warmth toward others.

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Nude/Taupe Shades – These shades are the traditional colors of the earth. They suggest you are an orderly individual. You are viewed as warm, comfortable and wholesome. You also appear to others as genuine, natural and dependable. You are not overly outgoing and don’t get ruffled too easily. You generally look to find what is good in everything.  Side note:  very few people can pull off a straight nude and have it look stunning, true nudes wash out fair complexions, so choose one with just a hint of pink in it and  you will get a beautiful nude look.

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Red Shades – This almost needs no description because the word itself stirs hot, sexy, or passionate emotions. If you wear red lipstick, you are outgoing and confident, and you’re not easily intimidated. You go after what you want and are passionate in your moods…both good and bad.

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Pink Shades – Beautiful pillowy pink lips represent a kind of universal of love. Pink lipstick, a quieter version of red, suggests undertones of a little spunkiness just below the surface. Pink wearers are generally younger and lovers of all things beautiful. They project to others feeling of tenderness, self-worth and acceptance, yet a little innocence.

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“I live by a man’s code, designed to fit a man’s world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman’s first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick.”

-Carole Lombard

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In an age in which the fashion world embraces art, and art embraces fashion, the question posed at the vibrant Chanel show might not be “Is fashion art?” but “Is art fashion?” After the breathtakingly spectacular environments that Karl Lagerfeld has conceived for Chanel Couture in recent years, this season’s set was a palate cleanser. All the focus was on the superb clothes, each one a miracle of construction, workmanship, and colorful embellishment. The show was set in a vast “art gallery” created under the dome of the Grand Palais.

The clothes themselves seemed more real-life than rarefied. “Life is not a red carpet,” Karl explained. “This is for daily life. I wanted color, and a fraîcheur. It’s a very happy mood.”

Each model commanded presence and attention as they floated down the catwalk.  Makeup and hair were equally colorful, bright hues and deep saturations of color that complimented each look as well as the show’s artistic and joyous mood!

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The bags alone were one of my favorite touches to the show. All very colorful and unique. I am utterly and completely obsessed with the orange and pink neon clutch pictured below!

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Chanel never fails to deliver, and this collection is sure to make fashionistas everywhere satisfied and hungry for more. . .

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These bathrooms are retreats of beauty and peace, let them inspire you to decorate your home with little touches that can turn a room from plain to pretty. Notice all the small details — the glass jars that hold everyday items while making the space look polished and glamorous, fresh florals, candles, oversized mirrors, folded towels and glittering chandeliers — all creating beautiful ambiance and style.  Albert Hadley once said, “Decorating is not making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.” Fresh flowers, candlelight, bits of gold and a lovely lingering scent are daily inspirations that make life a little sweeter.

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We all need our beauty sleep.  A well rested face is the first key to looking fabulous, so anything you can do to make your nights more restful is a great start.   A self-proclaimed sheet snob, I have done a lot of research on what makes sheets quality and luxurious.  Diving into the sheet world was rather complicated at first, long-staple vs short staple, cross weave, fabric mixtures, etc… It was overwhelming.  As I began to understand it better, I was able to start buying the best quality sheets at great values because I now understood what made a sheet set truly luxurious.  Below are the basics in a very easy to understand language so that you too, can understand what to look for when shopping for quality sheets.

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Is thread count that important?

Yes and no. Thread count is often used as the barometer of a sheets smoothness and durability.  However, this measurement– which should refer to the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric– isn’t always reliable.  High thread count is a factor, but the type of fabric is much more significant.

What is the best fabric?

Cotton Cotton Cotton!!!! Any other fabric or mixture of fabrics aren’t breathable. Top of the line is 100 percent Egyptian cotton.  Second best is 100 percent pima cotton, also known by the trade supima cotton.  If a label says simply “100 percent cotton,” assume that it’s American upland cotton, a rough and less expensive variety (no good.)  Egyptian cotton’s long fibers produce sheets that are thin and sumptuous yet extremely strong and long-lasting. (The shorter fibers in upland cotton, by contrast, can poke out of the weave, leading to coarse and weaker fabric.)  Pima cotton is also soft and less likely to pill than upland cotton.  You can find a good queen set of pima sheets for less than $200.  If you want the best, you’ll invest about $200-500 in an Egyptian cotton set in percale or sateen — both clean, classic weaves.

What is the difference between percale and sateen? Which is better?

Neither.  It’s a matter of taste.  Percale is a plain matte weave that has a crisp cool feel, so it may be sensible for people who tend to get overheated when they sleep.  Sateen is slightly heavier and very soft, with a lustrous, smooth finish that’s almost satiny — hence the name.  If you’re not sure which fabric you prefer, look for fabric swatches on display for a touch test.

In conclusion:

— Egyptian cotton is the best, and cotton is the only fabric that you should consider when buying sheets.  Fabric mixtures such as cotton and polyester or any other fabric besides cotton (no matter how soft it might feel) is going to be hot and unbreathable, a great example, satin sheets.

— Long staple weave is the best.  Short staple is going to be rough to the touch.

— If you have 100 percent Egyptian or Supima cotton, then thread count can be as low as 400 and still be very luxurious, obviously the higher the count the softer the sheet.  But remember, those 1000 thread count sheets that are American upland cotton are going to be rougher and less durable than a pair of 200 thread count long-staple cotton sheets.

I hope this makes the sheet buying process easier to understand and that you can wrap yourself in luxury, giving you the best beauty sleep possible.

Wishing you the sweetest dreams. xo

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* When you find lingerie that you love and fits well, buy it in multiples!! It’s harder than you might think to find that perfect fit.

* Boy shorts are my favorite thing to sleep in and can be very sexy, but please do not wear them under clothes. You will inevitably get the dreaded underwear line under your clothes and nothing is less sexy!

* Wear what makes you feel sexy. Confidence is the most important part of this whole experience — and is the key ingredient in feeling beautiful and desirable. If you feel supremely confident, you’re doing it right.

* When it comes to matching your bra with your panties, there are no rules. I like to buy multiple pairs that match certain bras so that I’m able to mix and match without much thought or effort. Besides, you are usually the only one who knows what’s on underneath, have fun with your choices.

* Experiment with colors that compliment your skin tone. I have porcelain skin, so anything bright or black tends to compliment my coloring. But again, I encourage you to have fun! Whatever makes you feel pretty, feminine or sexy is what you should buy. When in doubt, buy black. It looks good on everyone and is easy to find.

* This is about having fun. If anyone makes you feel like you’re doing the wrong thing or you aren’t completely gorgeous in your lingerie, there is something wrong with them, not you. And if you’re wearing lingerie because you felt pressured into it, that’s a problem too. Only do what makes you feel comfortable, amazing and special- whether that includes lingerie or not.

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www.publicimg.com.au | +61409968209 | mark@publicimg.com.au

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