31 Jan 2013

My Day with InStyle & Manhattan Cosmetics

I recently was invited by Manhattan Cosmetics to attend their Style Day Make-Over Event that they were hosting in partnership with InStyle Magazine. Twelve InStyle readers had won a make-over through the magazine, and I was invited to attend and document the event as a blogger journalist, so to speak.

It was so exciting not only to get a tour of the InStyle offices and interview the Editor-in-Chief Annette Weber personally (video coming on that soon), but also to see how much fun the winners had at their make-overs! They were so excited, and the stylists did an absolutely wonderful job on their hair and makeup.

Watch my video documenting the whole day including a room tour of the fancy Sofitel hotel I stayed at, a tour of InStyle's Fashion and Beauty closets, the make-overs, and an evening of fine dining and partying it up at the exclusive Heart restaurant and lounge in Munich.

Some more pictures from the event...

Inside the InStyle Fashion & Shoe Closet...a fashionista's dream!!
And the shoes are all my size - torture!

I don't have enough makeup yet, so I picked up the supersize versions. Hah!

I stayed at the luxurious and extremely comfortable 5-Star Sofitel in the heart of Munich, which was absolutely beautiful and utterly decadent. I would have loved to try out their Spa but alas, there wasn't enough time. Boo hoo :(

The breakfast buffet was jaw-dropping and utterly mouth watering. These are only a few of the things that were available, I didn't even photograph the warm buffet section. Everything from home made smoothies, fresh squeezed juices of a dozen varieties, fresh exotic fruit, tons of breads and cakes and buns, eggs, salmon, caviar, a tea samovar and many tea varities... Basically I wish I hadn't eaten in three days so I could have consumed a lot more! I love breakfasts but I usually am not very hungry in the morning yet.

Thank you to Manhattan & InStyle - it was a ball!

30 Jan 2013

Recipe: Cheese Fondue

Ahhh winter! Cold nights, snowy landscapes (at least here in Switzerland), and long nights with friends gathered around a cheese fondue and white wine. What could be better?

Here's how to make a traditional and authentic Swiss cheese fondue! Watch the video for all the steps...

Here's what you need for two people. Adjust the recipe for larger parties (duhh!)

200-250g of Swiss cheese per person (for strong eaters, I'd go for 500g for 2 people)

  • This can be a combination of Gruyeres, Vacherin Fribourgeois, Appenzeller, Emmentaler and Tilsiter. The most common is moité-moité which means half-half in French, which is half Gruyeres and half Vacherin. I personally prefer a mix of different cheeses.
Fondue Set (such as these on Amazon): Fondue Set (You will need to buy the correct Fire Gel with it, which is also available on Amazon.)

Other ingredients:
1 medium sized loaf of crusty, country bread
150-200ml of dry white wine
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons corn starch
1-2 teaspoons cherry or pear schnapps
Dash of nutmeg

1. Combine the white wine with the schnapps, then add the corn starch and stir until there are no clumps left. The liquid should be an even, milky liquid.

2. Cut the bread into bite sized cubes.

3. Rub the garlic all over the fondue dish. Then over medium heat*, heat up the liquid mixture until it is hot but not boiling. Add the entire lot of shredded cheese to the dish, then stir frequently as the cheese starts to melt and combine with the liquid.

4. Season with a dash of nutmeg and black pepper (optional) at the end. Serve immediately on your lit fondue set. Serve with bread cubes. (Other great side dishes are gherkins, mini pickled onions, cherry tomatoes and pears in juice.)

*If you use a gas flame cooker, make sure to use a cast iron fondue dish, as cheaper models will probably burst from the direct heat.

Let me know if you try it out!! You can also make delicious fondue variations. Here are some of my favorites.

Tomato fondue: Add chunks of tomatoes to the cheese while it's cooking

Herb fondue: Add finely chopped basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley leaves

Bacon-mushroom: Fry up some bacon and mushrooms in a separate pan. Drain excess fats, then add the bacon and mushrooms to the fondue

Goat Cheese fondue: Use a portion of goat cheese with the other cheeses for a slightly different taste

21 Jan 2013

Get Ready With Me!

I really like those "Get Ready With Me" type of videos on Youtube so I thought I'd make one of my own. This was getting ready for a semi-casual night out with friends. I didn't want to get dressed to the nines, but still look put together and like I put in a bit of effort. Watch the video to watch me get ready from start to finish, including makeup, hair, and outfit!

Everything I used and wore is listed below...

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, Clinique All About Eyes Rich, Blistex lipbalm,

Bourjois Healthy Mix & Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation, Smashbox Artificial Light, Kryolan Eye Shadow Primer, Catrice shadows in Grey's Philisophy & Swimming With Dolphins, L'Oreal Infallible eye shadow in Endless Pearl, MAC Brows in Lingering, Urban Decay eyelash curler, L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes, Lancome Maquicomplet concealer, Smashbox Idolize Me blush, Smashbox Tempt Me lipstick

Sebastian Molding Mud, GHD straightening iron

Aldo Accessories

Thierry Mugler Alien Essence Absolue

Clothing etc.
River Island blouse, faux leather pants by H&M, Wool coat by ASOS, Shoes by Tamaris, Purse by handbagheaven.com, faux fur collar by H&M

Nail Polish
Anny Ready To Go

9 Jan 2013

Style Steal: Hanna from Pretty Little Liars

Have you ever seen a picture of a celebrity in a TV show or magazine, and wanted to recreate the entire look from head to toe? That's exactly what I'm going to do in this project I'm starting called "Style Steal". The idea is to make a video where I show a celebrity look, and include a hair, makeup, nails, fashion and styling segment so you can recreate the entire look at home. Since most of us can't afford the designer duds that many celebrities wear, I want to show you that you can easily capture the feel of a look with affordable brands and products.

For this Style Steal I'm going to recreate the look worn by the character Hanna Marin from the TV show Pretty Little Liars. I took these picture straight from the new cast photos on the show's website.

Check out my video to recreate Hanna's edgy and chic look, from going shopping for the clothing, to makeup, hair, nails, and styling. Her hair is obviously quite different in cut and color to my own, so I improvised! I guess this is more her style when she had longer hair.

Here's a look at the makeup from the video...

Let me know whose Star Style you want me to Steal next! You can also post your picture suggestions on my Facebook Wall here.

Here's a low-down on everything I used, and what I'm wearing:

Grey T-shirt: H&M
Faux leather jacket: H&M
Black denims: H&M
Belts: H&M
Armor ring: Asos.com
Black ring: H&M
Necklace: Forever 21
Cuff bracelet: was a gift, don't know where it's from
Earrings: Asos.com
Shoes: Graceland by Deichmann (or Dosenbach)

Nail polish
Anny Ready To Go

Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, L'Oreal Infallible Endless Pearl e/s, MUA eyeshadow palettes in Heaven and Earth, and Undressed, Margaret Astor eyeliner in Brown, Laura Geller black eyeliner, Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara, Kryolan Eye Brow Powder in Medium, Smashbox Blush in Bare, Revlon Colorburst Lipbutter in Berry Smoothie, L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Rose Elixir

Enzo Milano 1" clipless curling iron, Schwarzkopf Got2b Powderful volumizing powder, Balea Trend It Up Mattifying styling paste, L'Oreal Elnett hairspray

Is this a look that you might recreate? Where would you wear it?