Get your glamour on

download (19)The party season is here and it is time to get your glamour on! Forget what you may have heard about choosing between a red lip and a smoky eye. This season the look is old Hollywood style and sizzle. So get ready to sparkle and shimmer at your winter fetes. 

Burnish your lids with shades of gold copper and bronze. Line and define your eyes with a bronze or mink liner.  Tarte SmolderEYES Amazonian clay waterproof liner is easy to blend and comes in shades including golden black, bronze, and charcoal.                                                               

Contour and shadow your eyes with shadows of that look like antique gold and bronze. There are b_25301wtwo to try. Smashbox Full Exposure eye palette contains 14 eye shadows that range from nude to black. There are long-wearing shimmers and well as matte shadows.  There are six shimmery shades and well as dark download (20)tones that can be used to line your eyes. MAC Makeup’s Amber Lights and Goldmine flatter most skin tones and easy to blend. 

For your lips think bombshell red or starlet shimmer. For Grace Kelly’s sexy ice princess look choose a classic red lip colour with a creamy finish.  A soft shimmery pink on your lips will give you a soft sexy, glamour like a young Brigitte Bardot.  

Two to try:  Lancôme Rouge in Love lipstick in Rouge Grenadine or Rosemantic; Rouge in Love is a six-hour long-wear lips that leaves lips moist.                             Mac Amber Lights

To avoid the weird look you get when lip liner shows through your lipstick, try a nude liner under red lipstick. It will define your lips and help keep the colour in place. We like Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Nude. Lip liner is a great place to choose a less-expensive product as most of them are exactly like the pricier brands. Top a pink or peach lipstick with Fake Bake’s Prissy lipgloss. This gloss has the perfect 

If you want to look especially radiant before a special occasion try a collagen masks. This exactly what many celebrities do to get that dewy glow you see on the red carpet?  One of my favourites is the LAC Collagen Infusion Mask. It is impregnated with hydrolyzed marine collagen that has been broken down into tiny Nano-sized molecules so that they can be easily absorbed.  It also contains squalene and hyaluronic acid. Squalene is an excellent natural moisturizer that protects skin from damage. Hyaluronic acid attracts and seals moisture into the skin.  The mask also contains alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) in the form of citric acid. Just ten minutes leaves your face looking dewy, smooth and pore less as well.  The masks come in a box of five for $50, which makes them $10 each. 

Finish your look with a fancy jeweled hair clip or headband. Or if you have styled your hair in perfect sexy waves or smooth blow out – tuck the clip or headband in your bag for later if you have planned a late night out. A pretty clip or band is perfect way to revive hair that has gone flat.  

Give your hair the Hollywood treatment with hair ornaments like these:

 Tasha Crystal Feather Hair Clip  $38

L. Erickson Casablanca Lily Headband radiates chic sophistication. Its shimmering petals of beads, pearls, and crystals is very “old Hollywood” $58







Hot accessories for men and women


OG Original Grain is a line of trendy watches out of Oregon. The natural wood and clean lines of OG’s watches appeal to young fashion-conscious professionals as well as more avant-garde creative types. The wood and steel watches look sharp with both casual and business clothes. OG watches for men and women are just under $200. 

OG holiday promotion – when you buy a watch you also get an OG signature beanie. 

High-tech, slim and ultralight down jackets are this winter’s must have items. UniQlo is a value-priced high-tech line from Japan. The line is a favourite with models, fashion editors, and the international set. Uniqlo’s UL or ultralight jackets are feather-light, warm, and chic. For men and women, they come in many colours and patterns. 


Special promotion: UL jackets start $59.90 instead of $69.90 uggsjpg.jpg

Uggs are a still popular with celebrities and are great in cold climates or for après ski. Ugg’s Dandelion Nubuck is a short cuffed boot. It looks chic with its stacked heel but it grips ice and its cushy Ugg lining makes it a practical choice. 

For men we like UGG’s classic short boot in black. Black gives the casual boot a little fashion edge.

 Around $200 each.



For your best friend, the “beauty junkie”

USE_low_res (1).jpgYou can’t give anti-aging lotions and potions to just anyone; it is just too personal. But if your best friend or sister is a beauty junkie she will be thrilled to get a great new beauty treatment. (One of my friends just told me how much she loved the last bag of beauty treats I gave her!) JF Aesthetic R•nol  20 Serum delivers skin-rejuvenating benefits by enhancing cell turnover with less irritation than prescription retinoids. Its key ingredients are Retinol, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and green tea polyphenols –a potent anti-oxidant. Suitable for all skin types, it is soft on skin but tough on the signs of aging.  It costs $99


Beauty bargains and stocking stuffers!


Winter can be rough on a body. Cold harsh weather and hot, dry heat can chap, dry, and crack a person from head to toe. Here are some of favourite beauty bargains that soften and soothe like products that cost many times more.  Our beauty bargains are also fabulous stocking stuffers! 

Yardley London’s sweet seasonal Limited Edition Bath Bars in Honey Vanilla Crème and Sugar Plum Blossom are full of moisturizing ingredients so they won’t dry your skin.  These bars look and smell great in a guest bathroom or stacked in your linen closet. At only 99 cents, you can buy bowl-full. 

LypSyl Lip Balm is formulated with pure Swedish beeswax, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and vitamins to heal and moisturize lips. In Honey-Berry and Vanilla-Plum.  These make great stocking stuffers for men too! Only $2.99.NLP

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Sticks give lips a sexy bittlpsen look. They will delight makeup minimalists as well as beauty mavens.  The pencils contain fruit extracts along with mango and Shea butter to leave lips smoother after only three days, even when they are bare.


The twist-up pencils never need to be sharpened. There are eight shades from natural pinks and peaches to rich raisin. Less than $10 each.


Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E with its recognizable sweet vanilla scent is still our go-to fix for dry skin.  Some people complain that it feels a little greasy going on, but few things work as well in a cold dry weather. It sinks into skin after a few minutes and provides a long lasting moisture barrier. For body butter lovers, try Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Cocoa Body Butter Ultra Moisturizing Cream. This new formula contains Palmer’s Natural Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. It feels lighter going on, but is still very moisturizing. Under $10 at many big box and drug stores.




A hot novel for a cold night

JetJet is the second novel in Jay Crownover’s popular new Marked Men series. Crownover has reinvented the sexy romance novel in the hip world of Denver’s tattoo artists and Indie rock bands.  Jet is a passionate and tortured love story that will keep readers on edge to the very last page. 

When Jet and Aydan met they felt an instant attraction. A tipsy Aydan was ready to toss aside her “good girl” reputation and spend the night with the sexy heavy metal singer. But Jet walked away from the stunning young student. He didn’t want to take advantage of her intoxication, but he also feared rejection from the bright young woman on her way up in the world. 

Jet and Aydan both carry secrets from their childhoods that almost ruin their chance for happiness. 

In the Marked Men series Crownover creates a vibrant and intriguing subculture populated by tattoo artists, musicians, and students. Her characters are passionate, contemporary, and sexy.  The characters in Jet are the same that Crownover used in her first Marked Man novel, Rule, but the book stands on its own.


Spiked cocoa

makersRecently, Maker’s Mark invited me to a virtual tasting event. It was an “Ugly Holiday Sweater” party. I have never gone in for holiday sweaters – ugly or not – but the idea sounded like fun.  The virtual tasting was full of entertaining ideas, great cocktail recipes (featuring Maker’s Mark Bourbon of course), and creative suggestions for making your own ugly holiday sweater. It was definitely an amusing hour. 

I can’t see my friends spending an afternoon crafting while sipping cocktails and nibbling canapés, but making ugly sweaters is a fun idea if you have house full of kids to amuse. Gather a big box of festive trim, needles, thread, glue and glitter and ask everyone to bring an old sweater. But adults, especially if they have been out in the cold, will love the hot cocoa recipe that celebrity bartender Pam Wiznitzer shared.  

Maker’s Mark spiked cocoa

 6 ounces Hot Cocoa (your favourite brand or recipe)

1½ ounces of Makers Mark bourbon

½ ounce of Combier Orange Liqueur



Top with softly-whipped cream or marshmallows and add edible glitter. Edible glitter is available from baking supply stores.




Happy Holidays! from all of us -Gracey

Happy Holidays! from all of us -Gracey

Darlings, celebrating at the Winter Solstice feast is traditional in most cultures. It provides a break in the long dark winter and lightens the heart.  The mid-winter festivity was said to strengthen the will to survive to see another spring. What better reason to celebrate?! So my darlings, if the demands of the season flay your nerves, focus on celebrating a few days of light and music in the long dark winter and wonderful cycles of life. (Besides, the solstice is when the daylight hours start to get longer!)

Thank you to all our wonderful readers. We appreciate you and look forward to sharing 2014 with you.

And many thanks to all of our talented contributors and the fabulous professionals who collaborate with us on so many items and interviews. We couldn’t do it without you!

 To all of you we wish all the joys of holiday season and a very sweet New Year!

 DolceDolce will be on our Winter Solstice break to celebrate the holidays for the next few weeks.

We will return in the new year on Thursday January 9, 2014!


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The dos and don’ts of giving


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Do know who you are buying for and focus on what they like and where they like to shop.  Think about their hobbies and interests. If the person is a close friend this should be a no-brainer. If the person is your business associate, boss, or employee do some detective work and use common sense.  

Do include a gift receipt for easy returns. 

Do give cash. You might be surprised how many hair stylists, dog walkers, and other helpers love cash. So take whatever money you spend on hand lotion etc…and stick in card. It doesn’t need to be a fortune to be appreciated. Younger relatives will love cash too. 

Do listen! People tell you all year long what they love. If they go to the movies think about giving movie gift cards. If they are never without their iPod then iTunes gift cards are a good gift. Actually good iTunes gift cards are available everywhere and a good bet for anyone under 30.  _Money-donation

Do be careful about scents. Give someone their favourite scent – not yours! If you know a close friend loves a nice body product then standards from Body Shop, L’Occitane or Jo Malone are usually good choices.  But giving perfume or cologne if don’t know the person’s fragrance is not a good idea.  A younger trendy friend might enjoy a sampler of the latest new fragrances, but be sure you know that it is someone who enjoys that type of thing. 

Do give edible gifts, but be aware of allergies and preferences. Don’t give a ham to a vegan!

Don’t give gifts of “self-improvement” unless they have been specifically requested! This includes books, DVDs, or memberships related to weight loss or exercise. Nowadays, many people on your list may love yoga DVDs, clothes, or other health-related items, but be sufragrancesephorare they are wanted. A gift shouldn’t make anyone feel badly about themselves. This rule includes anything related to self- improvement or self-help. 

Don’t feel guilty about regifting if the gift is new, unused, and perfect for the person you are giving it to. Also do not give away gifts from close friends and family. But regifting corporate gifts and other really fabulous brand new swag is fine. Some of my favourite gifts have been regifts and some have even been vintage items.  

Don’t feel you need to overspend or go crazy. It is the thought that counts so aim for a thoughtfully-chosen gift within your budget.

Don’t give gifts with scent or nuts for secret Santa games or at schools where you can check on allergy situations. Stick to neutral gifts such as unscented lip balms and hand cream, or nut-free creations. Better safe than sorry!