Beauty – the tool kit.


Let’s Talk “Tools of the Trade.” Not only makeup artists require these.                    

How many of you have most or all of the items listed below? 

“The Art of Makeup”

1:  Tweezers – fine edge and slightly pointed tip work best. “Tweezerman” made in Germany is my favorite.

2:  Sponges – good for blending foundation and getting into tiny creases around the nose and eyes.

3:  Eyelash Comb – the fine tooth comb prevents lashes from turning into a clumpy mess.

4:  Eyebrow Brush – one of the most underused makeup tools. Simply brushing the eyebrows upward can open up the eye area and reveal hairs that need tweezing.

5:  Huge Powder Brush – buffing the face after powdering or bronzing removes any excess powder.

6:  Blush Brush – bristles should be soft.  The ones that usually come with the compact are too small and too hard.

7:  Lip Brush – applying straight from the tube doesn’t always allow for control over application.

8:  Sponge-tip Applicator – for applying eye makeup, evening out eyeliner and under browbone.

9:  Eyelash Curler – an essential for me.  Shu Uemura from Japan or Chanel precision curlers are my favorites.  Begin by applying the curler as close to the base of the lashes as possible.  Softly squeeze the curler and then gently walk it outwards.  Apply mascara as needed.  Currently loving “DIORSHOW” electric blue mascara,  Hard Candy Ginormous Lash in Purple Haze and for black it’s still MicaBella mineral mascara.

MicaBella 100% mineral makeup on eyes and face

10/11/12:  Eye Shadow Brushes – different kinds for applying eye makeup to lids and browbone. Slanted is great for dipping into powder when slightly damp for eyeliner.

13:  Contour Brush – this may seem a rather peripheral tool but many women use it for blending and to shape the face.  I never use this but if you have a wider face you can use a darker shade of powder foundation or bronzer and apply it directly to the outer part of cheeks to create the illusion of a slimmer face.

14:  Scissors – cuticle scissors with slightly curved points are good for trimming false eyelashes and brows.

Cleaning your brushes: I dip them in a solution from “MAC” mixed with warm water then rinse in regular water & leave on paper towels to dry completely.  Best done every couple of weeks.

Did I miss anything?


INtrigue INsider – Skin Repair Serum


They contain a high concentration of active ingredients that are used to target wrinkles, dark spots and many other concerns.  Plus in general they smooth your skin and feel like silk.  Do you use one?

MicaBella Skin Repair Serum.  You  can use it alone or under your regular or MicaBella moisturizer.

Mica Bella’s Skin Repair Serum is an ultra-moisturizing serum, formulated with a unique blend, including Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins, Botanicals and *Proline.

Our unique formula is designed to promote the natural elasticity of the skin, help reduce skin damage caused by the environment, and help minimize the visible signs of wrinkles – providing a healthy glow and younger looking skin.

*Proline is an amino acid that helps maintain healthy skin and connective tissue.

available at

20% discount will be applied when mentioning this blog.  Offer ends October 5th, 2012       Regular price $65.00

AWay with Words – beautiful quotes!


MicaBella Face

The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think ~anonymous~

BEAUTY is only skin deep, but it’s a valuable asset if you’re poor or haven’t any sense.   – Kin Hubbard

Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts – Serge Gainsbourg

The problem with beauty is that it’s like being born rich and getting poorer – Joan Collins

I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep.  That’s deep enough.     What do you want, an adorable pancreas? – Jean Kerr

One man’s POV: Beauty is all very well at first sight, but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days? – George Bernard Shaw

Do you love me because i’m beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me? – Oscar Hammerstein, II

Home décor – tacTile ideas

Armenian hand painted tile from the old city in Jerusalem

Tiles as Art?  Why Not?

Sometimes you want to bring a souvenir art piece back from certain travels but they’re too cumbersome.

Mexican tiles imbedded outside front door to resemble a decorative door mat





Consider nice hand painted tiles that are little pieces of artwork that represent a country you’ve visited instead.

Tile over fireplace





They’re easier to pack and will adhere to the wall with tile cement quite easily.  Granted, if you move it will be harder to take them off but at least you didn’t invest much in the first place.



Also it’s another excuse to go back and get more.

To decorate a door
From Jamaica – ackee  is the national fruit of Jamaica – over stove top cooking elements
Petroglyph from trip to Utah
Italian tiles up staircase
Tile on upper deck bought at Home Sense
Framed Mexican tile on upper deck
Live one day at a time – outside
Pretty & Useful – on tumbled Italian marble kitchen countertop.

*TIP: Tiles travel well and can double as trivets for hotplates or cooking utensils while cooking.

Simple and Satisfying – Pork and Pasta dish

Pan Fried Pork Chop with Crispy Sage & Shitake Mushrooms                                  Served with Orecchiette tossed in olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, basil and asiago.

nothing beats a cast iron pan

Start with frying the shitake mushrooms in a little olive oil preferably using a cast iron pan.      (if using dried mushrooms then rinse first, put them in some boiling water and try to remove all excess water by squeezing dry with paper towels as best you can).

Add a tiny bit of salt and crushed red pepper or chilli oil to pan.  When done set the mushrooms aside.

Using same pan melt some butter and add the sage.  When browned and crispy set aside with the mushrooms.  Again, in same pan you can then fry your pork chops (centre cut loin, bone-in is best) with a little salt & pepper.  Top with sage and shitake mushrooms and keep warm in low oven until the side is ready.

Side: boil water and add pasta; drain.  In another fry pan put a generous amount of olive oil and cook garlic until fragrant with salt and spices (like tuscan salt & red chilli pepper).

Add sliced cherry tomatoes and fresh torn basil to mix and cook until done.  Add pasta to sauce in pan , re-heat for a minute and serve topped with asiago cheese and a bit more olive oil.

Dinner is ready so Bon Appetit!

Scene in the City – Only “Butter” tastes Better


On a recent visit to the Dunbar neighborhood I re-discovered the nostalgia of fine home-baked goods.

Then I found out that they’ll be moving to a new home as it was getting a bit crowded in the kitchen.

Looking in from the outside

At Butter you will find yummy baked goods you remember from your childhood or from your mothers.

Tough Choices – how about all?
Nothing like a good old fashioned cookie
Pretty display
Morning Glory Indeed!

Everything is made from scratch every day using the finest ingredients.

Their butter location will be at 4902 Mackenzie street (at the corner of 33rd) on September 25th opening at 8:00 a.m. SHARP! Shall I see you there?

AWay with Words – life and advice from Joan Rivers

Oldies but goodies on dating, sex, love & marriage.

On dating:

  • I’m going out with these old guys. One guy gave me a hickey and left his teeth in my neck. Another man, we were having a perfectly lovely dinner; he looked up at me and went, ‘You’re not my wife!’ Another guy DIED during dinner. I had to go in his pocket to get the American Express card. Then you wonder—what would he tip? Another guy said, ‘I want you to meet my family,’ and took me to the cemetery.

On sex:

  • I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was, ‘The man goes on top and the woman underneath.’ For three years, my husband and I slept in bunk beds.
  • I have no sex appeal, which kills me. The only way I can ever hear heavy breathing from my husband’s side of the bed is when he’s having an asthma attack.
  • My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on.
  • The nice thing about Viagra is that they are proving men can go blind on it, so you can gain weight and have a great sex life.

On love:

  • My love life is like a piece of Swiss cheese. Most of it’s missing, and what’s there stinks.
  • Don’t talk to me about Valentine’s Day. At my age, an affair of the heart is a bypass!

On marriage:

  • Trust your husband, adore your husband, and get as much as you can in your own name.
  • Every woman in this room tonight: Think like a second wife. You grab and you take. You grab and you take. And when you die, whatever you got out of him you have buried on you. If the next bitch wants it, make her dig for it.
  • When you first get married, they open the car door for you. Eighteen years now…once he opened the car door for me in the last four years—we were on the freeway at the time.

On gay marriage:

  • Gay marriage—I am so against it because all my gay friends are out. And if they get married, it will cost me a fortune in gifts.

The End

B Well – little healthful tidbits that go a long way

I love sugar so why won’t it love me back?

Try avoiding sugar and good luck to you!

SUGAR (even the natural kind) is currently getting a bad rap from best-selling books, diet gurus and even mainstream doctors.  Experts share what the real problems are and the smartest ways to cut back.

Take the following quiz below to find out if you’re hooked.  Answer True or False for each question.




1)      I crave something sweet after nearly every meal.                                                   2)      I have at least one soft drink (diet or regular) a day.                                                 3)      When I see something sweet, I have trouble passing it up.                                      4)      I almost always have some sort of chocolate or candy every day.                           5)      I sometimes feel out of control when eating sweets.

If you answered TRUE TO THREE OR MORE questions, you’re under sugar’s spell and it might be time to start curbing your intake.

Guilty to numbers 1, 3 and 4.  My correct score should really be 2 ½.  I struggled with answering yes to #1 because I don’t always eat sweets after breakfast or lunch.


It can add belly bulge. Ab fat anyone? What you eat matters – counting calories are not the only thing that counts.  Sugary foods are rapidly absorbed, precipitating insulin spikes that cause rebound hunger and elevated triglyceride levels (increasing your risk of heart disease).  Scarier still, surplus fructose can build fat deep in the abdomen, which is the worst place in terms of health risks.


Excess suger in your diet can trigger the formation of advanced glycation end-products, which can cause premature lines and wrinkles.  WAIT: you can use sugar based products for your skin?  Sugar actually works well as a topical exfoliant, gently sloughing off dead layers to reveal smoother, brighter skin.  That’s great and all but will it still satisfy my craving for something sweet while it’s on my skin?  I don’t think so!  My question is can you eat sugar and then use wrinkle reducing products to wipe off the accumulated line damage after? – probably not!  We’ll do skincare in another post then.


Satisfying your cravings with artificial substitutes isn’t a smart swap.  People who drink diet sodas are more likely to gain extra pounds.  One possible explanation?  The faux stuff primes your palate to crave sweets, making it harder to scale back.  Plus the fake stuff is even worse for you in general.


Since it’s publication in February, the “Blood Sugar Solution” has been generating a buzz and landing on the best-seller list for at least 12 weeks.  Followers of Dr. Mark Hyman’s no-added-sugers edict are staving off what he calls “diabesity,” a cluster of symptoms that can lead to serious health issues.  (Little Brown, $28;

Slashing Sugar Made Simple:  some strategies to slowly step away from sweets without sacrificing taste or satiety.

Pick the finest fruit – few dietitians advise cutting out fruit entirely since it has fiber along with the natural sugars.  Focus on low-sugar, high-fiber, and phytonutrient-rich choices like blueberries and peaches over super-sweet fruits like pineapple.

Beware of breakfast cereals – even the seemingly wholesome varieties can be laden with the white stuff.  A serving of Kashi Go Lean Crunch has a  whopping 13 grams of sugar.  That is the main reason why I make my own granola.  The only additional sugars is with added dried fruit.

Avoid Hidden Sugar – sweeteners go by many names and can be lurking where you least expect them.  Common sources include breads, ketchup, pasta sauce, peanut butter, salad dressings and soups.  Read the labels carefully.  Bone up on the aliases you may find on labels, such as brown rice syrup, corn syrup, solids, dexrin, galactose, and malt syrup.

Sip Smarter – be wary of drinking too much juice.  Juice might seem health savvy -witness the juice-cleanse craze.  But most are high in sugar too.  Eating the whole fruit is more filling for fewer calories or dilute your juice with some water.  I love juicing but will add veggies like carrots, kale and cucumber to balance out the fruit intake.  Watch out for the sugar intake in energy shakes too. 

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.”

*TIP:  It may not be chocolate but for a healthy take on something sweet try baked sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon.

**If you can’t CUT OUT then at least CUT DOWN.  Eating sugar in desserts, ice cream, etc. is my guilty pleasure but I vow to cut down…..bit by bit (or bite by bite).

You might also be interested in:                                                                                          How YOU can become almost totally resistant to colds, influenza, and other infections with the bestselling author of SUPER IMMUNITY on Transforming Health with Brad King.   – #1 internet radio station in North America.  Listen to this and other health related issues with Brad King every Wednesday live at noon (pacific standard time) and 3:00 p.m. (EST).

Personal Pinboard – Perfume Passion

I love collecting dainty perfume bottles which sit as little pieces of art deco on a glass shelf in my bathroom.  They are enjoyed as I’m getting ready to go out.

Aren’t these lovely?  They have crystal inserts.  Gift from Angie – a friend who knows me well.
These ones are from Egypt. Unfortunately several broke with the perfume inside.
Dragonfly with peridot crystals
Hand blown glass from a friend and Amber scented room spray from L’Occitane.
Sui “Dreams” by Anna Sui.  A gift from my sister Lisa- now my signature scent. They discontinued it so after this bottle and with any luck I can find it online.
Shown with Hermes glittering fragrant  powder – a nice fresh scent for body.

INtrigue INsider – the return of the pajama

What’s old is new again!  I keep hearing this statement but when did the pajama ever go away?

What is it about pajamas we love so much? Maybe not for actually sleeping in but for lounging around before bedtime they’re the best thingWe get tired “in” them, not “of” them. They can feel somewhat glamour-girl like sometimes.

After seeing Sofia Coppola in a recent issue of Vogue sporting pajama-like lounge wear from the Louis Vuitton resort collection, I suppose the lounge wear look has made a bit of a comeback.

Greta Garbo with Adrien

This trend dates as far back as the 1920s, when American costume designer Adrian Greenberg (simply known as Adrian) popularized the sophistication of pajamas and the acceptability of it as appropriate formal wear when he dressed Greta Garbo in gorgeous striped pajamas in 1929’s The Single Standard.

left: Costume designer Adrian and silver screen icon Greta Garbo in his design, on the set of The Single Standard.

Midnight Kiss – pajamas by blush

Back in the late 1930s every working glamour girl like Carole Lombard or Ginger Rogers had at least one pair of party pajamas.

Let the pajama party begin!

MIDNIGHT KISS long gown by blush

Midnight Kiss – stretch satin and banded stretch lace pj set in deep indigo by blush and elegant matching long kimono  in stretch satin and banded stretch lace.  In sizes XS-S-M-L-XL.

Decadence stretch satin short kimono in wild khaki by blush

Available at