Bicycles at the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale

from the spectacular Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale. It’s a bright and happy place, so full of color and life and well, what better way for me to burst back onto the blog in 2014 ?

First on my list of New Year’s resolutions is branching out from the fashion world a little, experiencing and sharing more of this beautiful place in which I live: Scottsdale.

Purple cactus, Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale

While others suffer through the “polar vortex” – really, I don’t even know what that means – we are surrounded by amazing sights and desert sunshine that bathes us in its warm, gentle glow.

Entrance to the spa at the Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

I should haiku right now, huh ? OK, maybe not… back to the warm, gentle glow…

Distrito restaurant, Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

Have you been to the Saguaro Hotel ? If you’re inspired by bright colors, it’s someplace you should see.

Lobby, Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale

Poolside, Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale

Outdoor patio, Districto restaurant, Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

If you are an art lover, you’ll find artwork on display from lots of local artists… it’s everywhere !

Artwork on display in the Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

You can get all up close and personal with it too.

Detail, Artwork at the Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

I wish this was hanging in my living room, even though I forgot to get the artist’s name. If anyone knows, send it along to me, ok ?

You can find me poolside in my bikini.

At the pool, Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale, Arizona

Just kidding – I haven’t worn a bikini since the 80′s when I had a hairsprayed 4-inch Wall of Bangs to go with it.

Crap, now I gotta get that stunning visual out of my head… channel me some lavender or somethin.’

Lavendar walls at the Saguaro Hotel

YES ! Give me lavender or give me death.

As usual, this post has gone downhill quick. I guess it’s my way of saying I’m back, for better or worse. Try to concentrate on the insanely colorful photos and not the gibberish that bubbles forth from my brain, k ?

Imma let you finish with this.

Pool fountain, Saguaro Hotel, Scottsdale

The Saguaro Hotel is located at 4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd. in Scottsdale. It’s a cool place to go for some colorful inspiration and is a polar vortex free zone.


Attention beauty junkies…The only Tom Ford Beauty Shop in Arizona is now open at Neiman Marcus in Scottsdale ! The newly remodeled space takes Tom Ford beauty to a whole new level; it’s no longer a counter where you can find lipsticks, nail polish and those heavenly Ford fragrances. Nope, now it’s a full-fledged Beauty Boutique where you can try all the cosmetics in this luxury line for yourself.

Tom Ford beauty shop, Scottsdale Neiman Marcus

Bring on the luxury !

Tom Ford lipsticks

Tom Ford launched his highly-acclaimed cosmetics collection in 2011, but up until now, there was no place in town you could actually try it in person. So when I was invited to have a full-fledged makeover by an artist from the newly appointed Tom Ford team, I couldn’t get there fast enough !

And seriously, who would not want to be pampered, contoured and illuminated by this charming young man ? (aka Christopher Valenzuela.)

Christopher Valenzuela, Tom Ford makeup artist

I love when makeup artists ask me what I like and what look I’m going for, because it’s so easy to answer. “I’d like to look ten years younger… twenty, if you’re feeling up to the challenge.”

He didn’t bat an eye.

He went to work, gathering all the necessary ingredients including skin care, magic potions, brushes and a slew of carefully considered color choices for my eyes, cheeks and lips.

Tom Ford makeup table

I like to have the pros choose the colors and products they want to use on me; it helps you step out of your comfort zone a little and discover new color combinations that you might not typically choose. For instance, I would probably never have chosen this lipstick, Pink Dusk, thinking “too pale, too pink” for me. But it was actually quite pretty, especially with the smokey eye Christopher created with the Silver Topaz Eye Quad.

Silvered topaz eye quad, Tom Ford makeup

Gorgeous, isn’t it ? I like my Topaz, silvered. Duh.

Since this was the first time I’ve tried any of the Tom Ford makeup -besides one fantastic impulse purchase of an amazing dark plum lipstick, Black Orchid – I had no preconceived idea of what would emerge at the top of my favorites list. And of course, sitting across from me, was the doyenne of Phoenix makeup artists, Diane Aiello.

She told me her favorite thing is the Illuminating Primer, which she uses all the time on her clients and loves, loves, loves. If it’s recommended by Diane, who expertly applies makeup for a living, it’s obviously passed the test of worthy products and should clearly be in your beauty arsenal.

Aside from that, my top 5 were these.

1- Traceless foundation, (in Bisque.) An ultra creamy foundation, light enough to apply in layers, for the coverage you like. It works wonderfully with…

2-Traceless foundation stick, (in Fawn), which Christopher lightly brushed on after the cream foundation. This  comes in stick form and is also used as a concealer to take care of any areas that needed a little more attention. I like this rather than applying a heavy coat of foundation all over and feeling like I’m wearing a mask.

3-Illuminating powder. A word about this: I never use powder. Ever. Because I’m older, it has a tendency to look cakey and sits in my wrinklies, making my skin look and feel dry, and well, more wrinkly. But this powder is so light and so finely milled that it just gave me a more natural, finished look. I highly recommend it.

4- Ravish blush. Ravishing. Also, the largest blush compact I’ve ever seen. (Christopher is holding it in the picture above.) So while, it’s definitely not inexpensive ($56), you do get a lot, a lot, of product for your money.

5- But my very favorite was the Shade/Illuminate. This is a super sheer contouring and highlighting cream combination, which takes all the guesswork out of what shade to use to contour and highlight where you need it. You have two choices here. #1 or #2 -#1 works for light or medium skin tone, #2 is for darker tones. Seriously genius.

What impressed me most about Tom Ford Beauty is that this is a tightly edited makeup/skin care collection. The philosophy behind it is creating radiant and luminous skin. While there are plenty of beautiful colors and product choices, there’s not so much that it’s overwhelming. Who says basics can’t be luxurious ?

You can choose the products that work best for you, because let’s face it, we all have individual needs, ladies. There’s a killer angled Brow Sculptor, which I didn’t mention because it’s not something I use, but it was definitely notable in its design and comes in different colors.

Tom Ford brow sculptor

And as for price ? As I was going down the list asking Christopher for specific prices, it was pretty much $75. Some things are more, some things a little less. Those creamy Tom Ford lipsticks in colors to die for ? Probably the best $49 you can ever spend on yourself. Also, best stocking stuffer ever on the face of the earth, in case you need to drop a few subtle hints.

If you specialize in not-so-subtle-this better-be-in-my-stocking, like me, go for the 4 piece Lip Color Lipstick Set. It’s available in a few different color combinations.

4 piece liip color set, Tom FordLove you, Santa. I’ll bake you cookies-not-from-a-mix, pinky swear.

So go. Try. Luxuriate. Be serenaded and pampered.

Christmas carolers at Neiman Marcus

 Only at Scottsdale Neiman Marcus, right ?

Here’s the number to set up your appointment with Christopher or any of the other Tom Ford specialists: 480-990-2100, ext. 2118.

p.s. You can check also check out the just released Ken Downing Holiday Gift Collection and squeeze in a little holiday shopping in case you’re feeling guilty about that $49 lipstick !

Ken Downing gift collection



Today’s little bit of lovely: Jimmy Choo for Spring !

November 11, 2013

How beautiful are these ? New from Jimmy Choo for Spring, sent to me from my friend Stephan Moody in Salon Shoes at Nordstrom, Scottsdale Fashion Square. He likes to torture me… Tweet

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Thrilla from Manila: Phoenix Fashion Week’s grande finale was out of this world !

October 8, 2013

It’s hard to describe what designer Rocky Gathercole sent down the runway for Phoenix Fashion Week’s final show on Saturday night – but it was definitely a dramatic close to the 3-day event. Mr. Gathercole, based in Manila, describes himself as avant garde and it’s clear there were pieces from different collections showcased in this [...]

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Phoenix Fashion Week: Robert Black serves up some Southwestern attitude and a cape with fashion superpowers !

October 4, 2013

Local fashion icon Robert Black gave the Phoenix Fashion Week crowd an ample serving of attitude last night with his lively collection of western attire. Lots of swing and bling – just how we like it here in Scottsdale – with desert-inspired colors and imagery that took this western collection to a whole ‘nother level. [...]

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Photo Gallery: Fashionably Pink Fashion Show celebrates life !

October 2, 2013

The Fashionably Pink Fashion Show always kicks off Phoenix Fashion Week with a show that celebrates life. I love this show because it’s energetic and happy – the real stars are breast cancer survivors and the most important thing they’re wearing is their joy to be alive ! This year, Phoenix Fashion Week partnered with [...]

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Party in the shoe department ! Saks hosts AWEE’s Shoes in the City

September 29, 2013

Hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue, this AWEE fundraiser was held in the only shoe department with its own zip code: that is, Saks’ infamous 10022. What fashionable woman could resist the setting of this stylish event ? I mean, surrounded by Manolos and Louboutins, Zanottis and Choos ? It’s like our natural shopping habitat. And [...]

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A touch of elegance for Fall: Three stunning looks from Escada at Neiman Marcus !

September 26, 2013

Styled by the Scottsdale Neiman Marcus team, each of the elegant looks shown here feature pieces from Escada. I was invited to preview the looks and choose my favorites, modeled by the lovely Lauren from Agency Arizona. This is why I love my job ! I was supposed to pick one, but that proved impossible [...]

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5 easy pieces: Rocker Chic from Karen Kane !

September 20, 2013

Karen Kane’s annual fashion show will showcase fall’s newest trends this Saturday, Sept. 21 at Dillard’s in Scottsdale Fashion Square. There are some great pieces in this collection, but I’ll admit, my favorites are the rocker chic pieces. Like this fab moto jacket… This faux leather vest is a great piece for warm weather climates; [...]

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Today’s little bit of lovely: Terri Camberlango of The Agency Arizona

September 17, 2013

The very lovely Terri Camberlango is a former model and now heads top modeling agency, The Agency Arizona. I interviewed her last week and will be publishing her story shortly. Terrie shares her approach to developing talent and her advice for aspiring models. She’s as lovely inside as out and you’ll be inspired by her [...]

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