News & Trends

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



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 presentation. Showgirls, Bridal Couture and Battlestar Gallactica ? It’s beyond words, which is why we have cameras…

Rocky Gathercole, 13e

Rocky Gathercole, 12e

Rocky Gathercole, 6e

Rocky Gathercole, 5e

Rocky Gathercole, 3e

The craftsmanship and detail on these pieces was astounding. Beads and embellishments, feathers and ribbons… nothing was off limits. The models wore sequins, paillettes and pearls on their eyes !

Rocky Gathercole, 4e

Rocky Gathercole, 8e

 Rocky Gathercole, 7e

Rocky Gathercole, 11e

There was so much creativity in this designer’s work. When I asked Phoenix Fashion Week Director Brian Hill how he was going to top last year’s astounding finale from designer Furne One, he said, “You just wait. Rocky Gathercole will have the crowd on its feet.”

They were.

And at the end of the show, the models lined up on the runway while the photographers made a mad dash to shoot these clothes up close. No animals were harmed…

Rocky Gathercole, 14e

although I must admit, a little part of me died inside…

Rocky Gathercole, 1e

when I saw the sleeves on this…

Rocky Gathercole, 15e

And so, as I struggled to find the words to describe this show to you, my dear readers, all I could come up with was this…

Rocky Gathercole, 2e

The thrilla from Manila was killa !

Rocky Gathercole, ladies and gents. Take note.

p.s. Would love to hear what you think below. Don’t be shy.


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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Five new Fall fashion launches you’ll love !

September 1, 2013

From customized Manolos to Marchesa’s 3-D nails, we’ve got the scoop on fall fashion’s best new launches…ladies, prepare for lift-off ! 1- Made-To-Order Manolo Blahniks from Neiman Marcus If you’ve always wanted your very own pair of Manolos, now’s the time to take the plunge. You can order the classic BB pump in the color [...]

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You can’t be pretty and smart: the absurd controversy over Marissa Mayer in Vogue

August 25, 2013

Did you know that some women are upset because Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo CEO, had the audacity to pose in Vogue and she looks stylish and even worse, pretty ? They’re offended that a woman who is so smart, so accomplished, so successful – has admitted to liking fashion (gasp!) and then brazenly dares to [...]

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