Open Book with Amber Brock

Today I am absolutely judging a book by its cover.  I mean, how can I not?  Amber Brock’s latest, Lady Be Good is out and all you will need is a look at this poolside cover and be sold.  This cover screams glamorous summer read.  If you are looking for 1950’s glitz and glamour from Miami to Cuba then this is the book.  I am thrilled to have Amber as my latest “Open Book”!  We are talking all things from books to beauty to the Muppets 🙂  P.S. Her book to lipstick name may go down in history as one of the best ❤

Lady Be Good

via Amazon ~

Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good marks Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.

Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement; Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiancé, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.
Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father’s Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami–and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty–and the injustice–of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.



1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, and Stephen Fry. Apparently, I want conversation I can’t keep up with!

2. Current binge series?

Fresh Off the Boat. I’m admittedly late to the game on this one.

3. Last favorite book?

I love the Crazy Rich Asians series by Kevin Kwan, particularly China Rich Girlfriend.

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Good walking shoes, a guide to historic castles, and my RailPass. I’m going to the UK!

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

I read the NYT articles that my beloved coworker sends me, but I definitely pick up US Weekly at the salon.

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband.

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb or Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. Two of my all-time favorites.

8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Mrs. Rutledge, who was my teacher and mentor and is now my friend. I owe her so much, and I’m forever grateful she’s a part of my life.

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

I listen while I’m planning but not while drafting (too distracting). My husband makes me playlists to inspire me—sometimes with era-appropriate music, sometimes to match the tone of whatever I’m working on. The playlists have had everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to Rhianna on them. Like my reading preferences, my tastes in music are eclectic.

10. Describe your writing space?

I have an office with ocean-blue walls and windows that look out on the trees and birds in my backyard.

11. Coffee or tea?

Mostly coffee, but I like a cup of tea on a cold afternoon.

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I love passing along the Harry Potter series, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma.

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Until recently, I would have said Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett, but the mini-series is coming soon on Amazon. I got my wish!

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

“Rainbow Connection” (yes, by Kermit the Frog). It’s such a lovely song about the power of dreams and hope, and it’s been a favorite of mine for a long time.

15. What/Who inspires you?

My husband and my mother.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Not for me. I prefer my drama fictional.

17. Favorite Instagram account?

Chrissy Teigen.

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

I’d call it Sangria and Sensibility, and it would be a deep wine-red. More of a Marianne color than Elinor.

19. Current #TBR pile?

Mostly 10th grade essays. When I finish those, I’m looking forward to getting back to an ARC of Not Our Kind by Kitty Zeldis. I also got myself I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon that’s waiting on my coffee table.

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Wherever you go, there you are.” I take it as a reminder that you bring your baggage with you, so no change of situation will ever be enough to bring joy. Joy has to come from within.


Follow Amber:





Books and Looks: Vintage Icons and 2018 picks

Aside from books and beauty I am obsessed and fascinated by old hollywood- actresses, icons, socialites and so on.  I have a huge collection of coffee table books on the subject and love a good non-fiction book about some of these amazing women.  I paired up some of my most anticipated 2018 picks with a few, just a few, of my favorite vintage glamour gals 😉  Happy reading!


Coming June 26, 2018

via ~ Penguin Random House

In the new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, a woman is forced to choose between her family and her most deeply held values.

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. Her husband’s tech business is booming, and her adored son, Finch, is bound for Princeton.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs. His adored daughter, Lyla, attends Nashville’s most prestigious private high school on a scholarship. But amid the wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in.

Then one devastating photo changes everything. Finch snaps a picture of Lyla passed out at a party, adds a provocative caption, and sends it to a few friends. The photo spreads like wildfire, and before long an already divided community is buzzing with scandal and assigning blame. In the middle of it all, Nina finds herself relating more to Tom’s reaction than to her own husband’s—and facing an impossible choice.


Jackie and Lee- as classic and chic as an Emily Giffin novel.



Coming March 13, 2018

via~ Penguin Random House


Angelica Huston- strong, stunning and mysterious-. Bohjalian’s novels through and through.



Coming June 5, 2018

via~ Simon and Schuster

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.

Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.


Natalie Wood- charming and bright- all things encompassing Weisberger’s books.



Coming July 3, 2018

via~ Penguin Random House


Marilyn Monroe- smart, game changing and naturally perfect- Cristina Alger’s collection of books.



Coming July 3, 2018

via~ Penguin Random House 

Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn’t tell anyone, not even the person who shares your bed? Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know–and how much should we want to know–about the people we love the most?


Katharine Hepburn- spirited and unique, the excitement I have for The Intermission!




Coming May 1, 2018

via ~ Harper Collins


An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.

A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.

They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow moms insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

Thirteen days. An unexpected twist. The Perfect Mother is a “true page turner.” —B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors

Babe Paley Avedon portrait

Babe Paley- classic and rich- the highest praise for Molloy’s debut novel!



Coming May 15, 2018

via ~ Simon and Schuster

From Jessica Knoll—author of Luckiest Girl Alive, the instant New York Times bestseller and the bestselling debut novel of 2015—comes a blisteringly paced thriller starring two sisters who join the cast of a reality TV series. One won’t make it out alive. So…who did it?

When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her castmates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

The Favorite Sister explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a scathing take on the oft-lionized bonds of sisterhood, and the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.


Twiggy- Iconic.  The name Jess Knoll is building for herself with her writing.

BLISS and BEAUTY giveaway! featuring Bliss by Shay Mitchell and Michaela Blaney


I am a HUGE Pretty Little Liars fan so of course I was thrilled to see one of the stars, Shay Mitchell, write a book.  Not only that but it was titled Bliss, I am a little partial to that word 😉  Shay co-wrote the book with her bestie Michaela Blaney,which when writing with a friend always makes for a dishy read.  I am so thrilled to be able to giveaway two copies of the book, now out in paperback, one for you and one for YOUR bestie as well as a beauty treat for you both!  Just comment below on this post- tell me what you love about your bestie 🙂 AND follow me on Facebook or Instagram!  Winner will be picked next week and is open to US residents only. Happy, bliss-filled reading and good luck! xo

About the book via Goodreads ~

Sophia Marcus, 21, has already mapped out every aspect of her glamorous life as a Hollywood actor on her vision board. But her life right now in Toronto is anything but exciting. Attending fruitless auditions during the day and working at a douche-y club at night, Sophia is starting to feel like she’s going nowhere…slowly.

Demi Michaels, Sophia’s best friend, didn’t go to college after high school. Short of ideas for her own future, she puts her energy into building the perfect relationship with an older man. And when that relationship crashes and burns, Demi is left to pick up the pieces.

Sophia’s friend (and Demi’s frenemy) Leandra Hunting doesn’t give a crap about hard work or a loving relationship. She has other plans for her future. After college graduation, Leandra sets out to travel the world in the yachts, planes and limos of ridiculously wealthy men. Will any of them be able to show her what love really means–if she can take off her Chanel sunglasses long enough to see it?

Set in the exotic, intoxicating worlds of Hollywood, Thailand, and London, Bliss paints a relatable portrait of life in your early twenties with equal parts optimism and fear, hope and disappointment, expectation and reality. It’s the Age of Uncertainty when you can count on nothing, but, if you’re lucky enough to have one truly great friend, you can survive just about anything.


Shay Mitchell (right):

SHAY MITCHELL, 28, is a Canadian actress and star of the ABC family drama Pretty Little Liars. In addition to acting and running her lifestyle blog, Shay works with the Free the Children Foundation, an organization that fights exploitation of children around the world; The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization, and the NOH8 Campaign for marriage and gender equality.

Michaela Blaney (left):

MICHAELA BLANEY, 28, is an American and Canadian marketing professional. She is the co-founder of, a lifestyle blog with 75,000+ subscribers.

Shay and Michaela both live in LA. Bliss is their first novel.



*Thanks to St.Martin’s Press for providing copies for the giveaway!

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis


The cover alone of The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis sold me.  It’s stunning.  But not only was the cover amazing the story was even better!  This was a wonderful debut book by Davis.  It had some glitz and glamour with a dash of mystery and murder.  Hello perfect read.  If you are looking for a cozy read this fall this book is IT!  Read on below for my thoughts as well as my “Bliss Chat” with Fiona.  She was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions about this wonderful book and fabulous setting of the Barbizon Hotel!

The book centers around Darby who is a new NYC resident in the 1950’s wanting to make a life for herself and lives at the Barbizon Hotel.  A women’s only residence, where the girls are trying to make a living and stand on their own two feet.  Starting off on the wrong foot, Darby befriends Esme, a risky maid who is a jazz singer by night.  Engulfed in the beauty and excitement of the city Darby is influenced by Esme to take chances she normally wouldn’t take.  Fast forward to Rose, prest day, who now lives in what was the Barbizon.  Fascinated by a woman whose face is covered and scarred she decides to investigate who she is and what her story is.  The woman is not one to talk so Rose has to piece together the puzzle by talking with other residents of the Barbizon.  The mystery starts to unfold and Davis captures the essence of this magical hotel all the while hooking the reader in a murder-mystery.

Fiona Davis high res.jpg

Bliss Chat with Fiona Davis

1.The Barbizon is so glamorous and magical.  What drew you to this location for the book?

For decades, the Barbizon Hotel for Women was the go-to residence for cultured young ladies to live while they worked or studied in New York City. Many ex-guests went on to great fame, including Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, Sylvia Plath, and Liza Minnelli, as well as writers like Eudora Welty and Joan Didion. When it went condo in 2005, a dozen or so of the long-time residents of the hotel still living there were moved into rent-controlled apartments on the fourth floor. It occurred to me that the building would make a great setting for a novel, with an interesting mix of old-school glamour and modern luxury.

 2. What did you do in terms of research for the book?  Did you talk with anyone that resided there or worked there?

I read through old issues of women’s magazines from the early 1950s to get an idea of what life was like back then, and was drawn into the fashions, the expectations, and the political climate. I also interviewed a number of women who’d live in the hotel in the 50s and 60s to find out what it was like. I learned all kinds of gems, including the fact that although men weren’t allowed beyond the public areas (even the elevator operators were female), the guests snuck them up all the time.

3. I love that it was a murder mystery mixed with fabulous female characters.  What drew you to this idea?

I adore a great mystery – Agatha Christie hooked me as a kid and today I’m drawn to the suspenseful plots of authors like Clare Mackintosh and Tana French. So I made the modern-day heroine a journalist, who starts digging into a tragedy that involved one of the fourth-floor residents back in 1952. The interweaving of the clues and red herrings made my head spin at times, but I enjoyed every minute.

 4. I know you were an actress which is so fabulous!  Can you tell us a little more about that and did that life have a little inspiration in your book as so many actresses frequented The Barbizon?

I had a wonderful time in my twenties acting in New York City, as I was lucky enough to get involved with a theater company that put on masterful shows by playwrights like Jean Genet and Shakespeare. For the book, I wanted to describe what it’s like to step out on a stage in front of an audience. Instead of acting, I used the setting of a downtown jazz club and made my 1952 heroine, Darby, get up and sing. I think that was one of my favorite scenes to write and edit.

 5. As a writer, where is your favorite place to write?

I have a great home office, but when I need to avoid distractions, I head to the New York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. There’s something about the long walk across the plaza, past the Henry Moore sculpture, that settles my head and puts me in the right frame of mind to crank out a scene or two.

 6. Name 3 blissful things that you can’t live without.

A massage once a month, a glass of Chardonnay after a long day of writing, and a morning run in the park with my best friend.

 7. What is the first thing you do when you complete a book?

Road trip! I’m wrapping up the first draft of my next book, and plan on heading to Cape Cod for a fall weekend with friends. Can’t wait.

 8. What was the last book that you read?

I mentor a sixth-grader who introduced me to Newbery Medal-winner The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis. It describes a fictional family in 1963, when a bomb in the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church killed four girls, and is an uncanny depiction of family dynamics, as well as heartbreaking.

 9. While on tour what is a must-have beauty product in your make-up bag?

Violets are Blue Facial Serum, which is great for transitioning from summer to fall; Fresh Sugar lip gloss in petal; and Kerastase V.I.P. Volume in Powder, which makes my baby-fine hair look way thicker than it actually is.

 10. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016/17?

You bet: Zadie Smith’s Swing Time (out in November), Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (December) Jamie Brenner’s The Forever Summer (April 2017)



GIVEAWAY ~ A Sparking Novel and Dazzling Manicure


Hi book beauties!  I am back with another amazing novel and beauty giveaway.  This week I am so excited to be able to feature Hazel Gaynor’s new book The Girl From Savoy as well as the perfect kit to a flawless summer manicure from Julep.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Head over to my Instagram page to see how to enter!  Good luck 🙂


The Girl From Savoy by Hazel Gaynor via Goodreads

Presenting a dazzling new historical novel … The Girl From The Savoy is as sparkling as champagne and as thrilling as the era itself.

Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …

Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.

When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.

But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.

Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?



I have 3 beautiful polish shades as well as some tools to perfect the most amazing manicure thanks to Julep!


Welcome to Julep

We believe everyday looks and trying new trends should be easy, effortless, and inspiring—reinforcing founder Jane Park’s philosophy that beauty should do more than make you look good, it should make you feel good, too.

Beauty and the (2016) Book Release

With the upcoming 2016 Spring/Summer book release schedule I can’t hide my excitement for a few favorite titles.  (See previous post for two of my top favorites)  One of my favorite things about a fabulous release is a stunning cover.  I took a few covers and books that I am personally thrilled about and paired them up with a few of my favorite beauty products.  I mean who does’t love it when their lipgloss matches their latest book!  I personally believe  a book is a hot accessory to go along with all your beauty favorites.


The After Party by Anton DiSclafani ~May 17, 2016

Scarlet Lip Sheer



in twenty years by Allison Winn Scotch ~ July 1, 2016

Lustro Face Oil #2 Jasmine



Here’s to Us by Elin Hildebrand ~  June 14, 2016

Color Contour Matte Bronzer



First Comes Love by Emily Giffin ~ June 28, 2016

Peony Lip Gloss 



island in the sea by Anita Hughes ~ April 12, 2016

Lustro Shimmer Oil



Some Women by Emily Liebert ~ April 5, 2016

Hibiscus Color Pinch Cream Blusher



Results May Vary by Bethany Chase ~ August 9, 2016

Oyster/Amethyst Color Shade Eye Duo



The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger (cover TBD) ~ July 12, 2016

Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer ~ Even though we do not know the cover which I am sure will be fabulous, its important to wear your SPF while out on the tennis courts 😉




The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke ~ April 26, 2016

Black Color Outline Eye Pencil



One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid ~ June 7, 2016

Flamingo/Apricot Color Sweep Blush



Those Secrets We Keep by Emily Liebert PLUS Emily’s “Beauty Secrets”

TSWK and IT products

I discovered Emily Liebert when I first read You Knew Me When which had me hooked from the first page. This is something I now find true of all her novels.  When I heard she had a new book coming out I knew I had to review plus I found out she was partnering up with It Cosmetics so it was a win-win, I mean I am blogging all things beauty and books here.  I was lucky enough to have to opportunity to not only receive an advance copy of her book but get the chance to ask Emily herself what her “Beauty Secrets” and “Author Beauty Bag” must-haves are !  I am over celeb make-up tips 🙂  Let’s learn what these stunning authors do to stay gorgeous!


In her newest novel, Those Secrets We Keep,  Liebert centers around 3 women- Sloane, Hillary and Georgina.  Each battling their own secrets they all decide to take a girls getaway to Lake George.  Sloane who is struggling in her marriage, decides a little time away from home is just what she needs.  Hillary, a close friend of Sloane, is at a crossroads in her life where she is wondering if she is cut out for motherhood.  And then there is Georgina who is a free spirit and ready to bring the fun to Lake George but yet running from something bigger than herself.  What starts out as a way for all of them to unwind turns into a visit with a past love for Sloane which begins all kinds of problems that began so many visits ago.  What they all thought they could leave behind follows each of them leading them to rely on one another.

Those Secrets We Keep is my second pick for my “Blissful Beach Bag” picks!  It is the perfect summer read and a must for your beach bag.  Liebert once again depicts the bonds between woman and the value of true friends.  Her voice is so distinct throughout all of her novels which makes her feel like an old friend herself.  It is clear she knows the ingredients to create a sold sisterhood.  This book had twists to keep the reader guessing page by page, I did not want to put it down.  Besides the ebbs and flow of friendships, Liebert brings marriage and the importance of communication between one another.  She shows you that once these lines are blocked we all are susceptible to keeping secrets.  Liebert is a strong female author and her books are not to be missed.  I can’t wait for her next novel and hope to meet her on her next tour if she stops in Boston!

* Bonus:  Emily is sending her readers an amazing gift once you purchase the book.  As mentioned before she has partnered up with It Cosmetics. If you order “Those Secrets We Keep”, Facebook message her your receipt and she will mail you a fabulous make-up bag with a few amazing eye products!  Visit and ‘LIKE’ her page here!

Emily Liebert

Emily’s Top 5 Beauty “Secrets”


  • At least eight hours of sleep. I swear by it. My husband makes fun of me for going to bed so early, but I never have dark circles under my eyes!
  • Pure Barre. It’s a mixture of yoga, Pilates, and ballet. I was hooked after my first class. About a year later I became a teacher! It makes me physically toned and strong, which helps me feel beautiful.
  • Tinted moisturizer. My makeup artist Emily Rosnick introduced me to it. She said to never leave home without applying a thin layer. It evens out your complexion and affords you a hint color.
  • Tan Towels. One of my closest friends recommended these to me. They’re easy-application towelettes that produce a streak-free, sunless tan within hours. The result is glowing skin that looks natural.
  • Tweezerman’s Point Tweezer. This is my go-to instrument. I kid you not, I’ve performed small “surgeries” with these. (They’re amazing for extracting splinters) I’m also a bit eyebrow obsessed. I like to get every last microscopic hair. But do use them at your own risk. They’re sharp!

Author on Tour: Make-up Bag Musts


When I’m on book tour and can’t always stick to my exercise routine or get at least eight hours of sleep, it’s important to have my beauty arsenal close at hand. In order to ensure that I’m event and camera ready, these are my must-haves in the way of skincare and makeup:



  • SkinMedica Facial Cleanser
  • SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
  • SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair
  • SkinMedica Ultimate Daily Moisturizer (for daytime, with SPF 20!)
  • SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream (for nighttime)



  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
  • Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
  • Chanel Correcteur Perfection Concealer
  • Smashbox Hydrating Perfecting Powder
  • Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer
  • Nars blush and eye shadow
  • Laura Mercier eyeliner
  • Great Lash “Blackest Black” Mascara

*Those Secrets We Keep was sent to Bliss, Beauty and Books for review purposes.

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

The Pocket Wife

I am a huge fan of suspense and mystery and couldn’t wait to receive a copy of The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford.  This was Crawford’s debut novel and what a ride she takes the reader on.  The story centers on Dana Cantrell who is bipolar and suffers manic episodes.  Her neighbor and friend, Celia, has been murdered and the police are at odds as to who the killer is.  Dana is convinced it is her due to her illness and the fact that she was the last person to see Celia alive.  As she starts to reveal different clues about her husband, Peter, and constant interrogation from the lead cop on the case, Jack, she slowly starts to question her sanity.

This book grips you from the first page thanks to Crawford’s thrilling and descriptive narrative.  Just like Dana, I was questioning every character, their alibi and motive right until the last pages.  It was fast paced read with a deep plot.  The perfect read as long as you have a few hours to spare as you won’t want to put it down.  This being Crawford’s debut, I would say she is just getting started.  Can’t wait for her next book!

Author Susan Crawford

“The Pocket Wife” Red Lip ~ inspired but the chic cover

Scarlet Beautycounter Lip Sheer– The perfect universal red lipstick.

*I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman

I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan so I was delighted when I received a copy of Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman from St. Martins Press.  Kriegman was also the creator of a favorite childhood television show Clarissa Explains it All.  If you are a fan of Audrey or love a story with a fun, strong female at the heart of it then you will love this book!

The book centers around Lizzie aka Lisbeth who is fresh out of high school and thinking about where to go next.  One night she has a chance encounter with a piece of Hollywood history and her life is forever changed.  The story takes you from the working streets of New Jersey to the glamorous nightlife of New York city.  With a cast full of colorful characters and Audrey fact sprinkled without, Being Audrey Hepburn is much more than a glossy, fashion read.  It depicts real family relationships and the struggles we face when we are put into the real world and searching for our true self.


A few of my favorite Audrey quotes:

The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!


Red Carpet Beauty…it’s easy!

I set my 2015 intention and I am back to beauty blogging.  It’s been a while and I may be a little rusty in the grammar department but this is meant to be an easy read with helpful beauty tips!  As I sit here watching the Patriots game I can’t help but think back to last Sunday when my “playoff game” was happening- the Golden Globes.  Yes I watched 3 hours of red carpet interviews, my Sports Center if you will, taking in all the red carpet beauty and fashion.  As a new mom, make-up junkie and lover of all things fabulous I thought to myself these looks are actually easy and achievable for everyone.  You do not need a “glam squad” to make yourself red carpet ready.   I decided I would take my 5 favorite looks from the night and share tips and products to achieve these looks.  I am using my favorite Beautycounter products from start to finish and keeping it simple so that its something every gal can do!  

1. Reese Witherspoon- dress: Calvin Klein

  • Start with Beautycounter Tint Skin in a shade of your coloring all over your face, making sure to blend down at your jawline.  
  • Next apply Beautycounter Touch Up concealer to your under eye area and any blemishes you may have.  I also like to apply a little to the tip of my nose and under my brow to brighten.
  • Define your brows.  Take Beautycounter Color Define Brow Pencil and with a light hand make small strokes with your pencil and then setting with the brush end.  Think of a brow like a picture frame for your eye, they set the whole look of the picture.
  • Grab your eyeshadow- for Reese’s look I would choose Beautycounter Color Shade Eye Duo in Shell and Malt (soft pink and taupe).  Take the Shell shade and cover whole eyelid then take the Malt shade and layer onto the crease.  Line upper eyelid and corner of lower eye lid with Color Outline Eye pencil in Black for a chic and classic look.
  • Next take your bronzer, a staple for a “Hollywood” glow- Beautycounter has made it easy with two shades 1 or 2, and apply onto forehead, top of cheekbones and a quick swipe over nose and chin.  The best thing about these bronzers are they are matte which means no end of the day shine.
  • Grab your blush.  Blush is one of my favorite things and if applied correctly can really can tie your whole look together.  For Reese’s look try Beautycounter Color Sweep Blush in Bloom/Tulip.  Take your brush and gently apply to apple of your cheek, swipe up towards your hairline blending down once you hit your hairline.  
  • Take your eyelash curler and curl for 25 seconds and apply 2-3 coats of mascara.  This will help to achieve the “false” lash look that lots of celebs have.  Choose a mascara of your choice as this is something Beautycounter hopes to have in the future.  If you want to stay safe and non toxic some of my faves are: Physicians Formula and Jane Iredale.
  • Last finish off with Beautycounter Rose Lip sheer and top with Beautycounter Lip Shine.
2. Jennifer Lopez- dress: Zuhair Murad
  • Follow first 3 steps from above for all looks.
  • For Jennifer’s eye look take Eye duo in Oyster and Amethyst and Night and Fawn.  Take Oyster and Fawn and layer over whole lid.  Then take Amethyst and place in crease as well as corner of under eye and softly along lower lid for a smokey plum look.  Take Night and line along top lid and lower lid to line eye.  Grab your eye pencil in Violet and line upper and lower lid, smudge in with Night shadow.
  • Continue with Bronzer and application steps above and add Tawny/Whisper Blush duo to cheeks and cheekbones.
  • Apply masacara.
  • Finish with Nude Lip sheer and 2 coats of Lip Shine.
3. Kate Hudson- dress: Atelier Versace
  • For Kate’s eye look use Pearl/Champagne Eye Shadow.  Pearl over whole lid and Champagne in crease and lightly under brow bone to highlight.  Take Black pencil and line on both top and bottom lid.  Do not smudge as its a precise line to get her look.
  • Choose Bloom/Tulip Blush duo on apples of cheeks.
  • Finish with Twig Lip sheer, a soft peachy-nude and Lip Shine.
4. Naomi Watts- dress: Gucci
  • For Naomi’s eye look use Pearl/Champagne Duo. Use the Champagne ONLY over whole lid to keep it golden and simple.  Line with black along top lid and Color Define Brown, a soft brown along lower lid.  Amplify the eye with a blackest black mascara as this is a focal point for her look.
  • Use the Apricot/Flamingo Blush duo, ONLY using the Apricot side to keep with a soft peach cheek.
  • Top off with the new Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Scarlet, a universal red, for that timeless red lip.  
5. Jennifer Aniston- dress: Saint Laurent
  • Eye: Pearl/Champagne and Shell/Fawn.  Use Pearl/Champagne all over lid using both shades together.  Take Fawn and highlight crease.  Take Brown AND Black eyeliner and line top with Black and lightly with the Brown on bottom.  I say lightly because unless you are going for a dramatic look, lining the lower lash line can create the appearance of a smaller eye.
  • Apply Tawny/Whisper blush, a golden tan-peach combination.
  • Finish with Twig lip sheer and Lip shine.
My last step for all the looks is a quick spritz of Beautycounter Rosewater Uplifting spray which helps to “set” your makeup as well as keep the skin hydrated and create that dewy glow.  I hope these steps and tips are easy to follow.  We all have that red carpet look within us.  Have fun, keep it simple and stay gorgeous.

~ Courtney
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