s

Inspirations

A HALLOWEEKEND IN

Pumpkins in a row

It’s getting colder, and with the change of weather comes an increased inclination on my part to stay indoors. With my pajamas selected and my pillows fluffed, here are 7 things I’ll be doing to elevate my Halloweekend in:

  • THANKFUL for this list of not-so-scary movies.
  • Impressing my guests (and myself) with these Martha-approved bones
  • and relying on Ina for the best truffled popcorn recipe to devour while watching the not-so-scary movies.
  • Pretending I have time to make my own candy corn (and just generally fascinated by the process).
  • I can’t think of a more appropriate beverage than Phantom wine.
  • Adding to the coziness with a decadent cup of Oaxacan hot chocolate.
  • Snuggling up with this luscious cashmere blanket.

Wishing you a spooktacularly cozy Halloween!

xo,

AM

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SUMMER CHILLZ

Summertime Sunset

Aaaaaand it's already July 4th weekend.  The summer is flying by!  That's why we put together this Summer Chill mix.  We guarantee you will enjoy the sunshine and summertime while listening.  It's pretty much perfect.  

Happy Listening.  And Happy Fourth of July!

xx

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KAWAII KYOTO

During our trip to Japan, my family and I took the exceedingly efficient train from Tokyo up to Kyoto, and spent a couple of days exploring the city.  Kyoto was much quieter, with a more traditional Japanese culture than the modern, tech-y Tokyo.  

Samurai lessons and visiting the Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) were among the highlights, but we also just loved experiencing this beautiful and special town.

Hotel Entrance

The amazingly beautiful and serene hotel entrance

My brother and I during our Samurai lesson

My brother and I getting schooled in Samurai (and got to dress the part, #pajamainspo)

Japanese Wood Block Prints

Loved these traditional Japanese woodblock prints

 Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) - one of the most beautiful and serene places I've been lucky enough to visit

Heart-shaped Kyoto Taxi Topper

I couldn't resist sharing the heart-shaped toppers on the Kyoto taxi cabs!

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TOKYO DREAM

Christmastime in Tokyo.  I strongly recommend it.  It was such a treat to visit this incredible city with my family and explore it together.  Despite the cold, the city was festive and buzzing with hopes for the New Year. 

The Japanese culture places emphasis on ritual and respect, which effectively made each experience special, no matter how small, and reminded me of what AM is all about.

I did my best to narrow down hundreds of images to the ones below to give you a taste of Tokyo and, hopefully, inspire you a bit.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the New Year! xx

Tokyo Skyline Day

Tokyo!

Hello Kitty Traffic Cones

Hello Kitty traffic "cones" - amazing

Sake Barrels

Collection of Sake Barrels for New Year's celebrations at the Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine

The Meiji Shrine

New Years wishes

New Year's wishes are written on these wooden plaques at the Meiji Shrine

Entrance to Imperial Palace Tokyo

Me and the fam in front of the first gate to the Imperial Palace

Tiny Bar Street

One of the only surviving streets from the Edo period, houses dozens of tiny bars

Sensō-ji

Sensō-ji (Asakusa Kannon) Temple entrance

Asakusa Temple Market

The market surrounding Sensō-ji

Kawaii Santas

Kawaii (cool) Santas in Shibuya

Murakami at Mori Art Museum

Taking in some Murakami at the Mori Art Museum

 

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WEDDING SERIES, PART I: HAIR & MAKEUP

Bride getting ready in AM

I genuinely love weddings.  There is something so optimistic and hopeful about participating in the celebration of true love.  I also look forward to the dancing...  The amount of dancing I do surely makes up for the many pieces of cake* I consume.  At least, that's what I tell myself.

For our first series, I interviewed several experts on the subjects of hair, make up, photography, nutrition, and travel to ensure I dole out some good advice.  I learned quite a bit from this interviews, and I hope you do, too!

We start this week with hair and make up tips.  Whether you're planning a wedding or just a weekend at the beach, you'll find this to be useful advice that should make your life a little bit easier.

Enjoy!

xAM

*You have to at least taste the wedding cake.  My mother told me it was bad luck for the couple if I didn't.  Since there is a good bit of Italian superstition in me, I take her words to heart. 

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WEDDING HAIR

Matt at work

Matt Fugate is a stylist at Sally Hershberger in NYC.  He’s our go-to-guy for photo shoots (usually the one, lone, dude), and we couldn’t think of a better guy to help us get ready on our big day! He’s know for his height, his humor – he is very entertaining on set – oh, and his amazing talent as a hairdresser ;) 

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Q: 
 
What hair styles would you pair with the following bridal looks?
 
A:
 
Classic Bride
 
Classic Bridal Updo
 

For a classic bride, I like a smooth and shiny up do – chignons have a glamorous effect. Styling the hair down and to one side in falling curls also adds a soft romance to the look. Either of these styles should be accompanied with a classic veil.

Modern Bride

Modern Bridal Hair Examples

To me, modern brides are all about extremes.  Hair should be texturized and wild with a matte finish to lend a romantic, whimsical, and touchable look, or very straight and glassy, with an almost reflective finish. Hair accessories in addition to the veil make a modern statement.

Bohemian Bride

Bohemian Bridal Braid

The beauty of this style is imperfection of it. I like loose waves, braids, and hair extensions to help create a mermaid effect. A wave spray helps hair to look lived in, emphasizing the relaxed and carefree nature.  

For any bridal style, the beauty lies in allowing the bride’s personality to shine through.

 

Q: 
 
What types of products do you recommend when creating these hairstyles, especially in humid and/or windy conditions?
 
A:
 

Resist hairspray! It gets sticky and can look crunchy in pictures. Instead, use an anti-humidity spray or a dry texturizing spray. Oribe makes great versions of both.  For the classic looks described above, use a shine spray, like Sally Hershberger Smooth Fix. For the modern bride, it can really depend on the look, but dry shampoos are great for matte finish and volume. Dove Dry Shampoo is awesome.

 

Q: 
 
Is there any product a bride should carry with her for touchups throughout the night?
 
A:
 

Dry shampoo is the one product she should carry with her.  The best version for this purpose is Shu Uemura Volume Maker – it’s as small as a lipstick and applies with a brush applicator so you’re not spraying it all over your dress and makeup.

 

Q: 
 
How can she refresh her hair the following morning for a post-wedding brunch?
 
A:
 

A side-braid or elegant hairline braid is always an easy way to get away with not washing your hair and still look chic. It also looks effortless because of all the messy texture your hair will have from the night before.

 

Q: 
 
Any other tips that can help the bride feel and look her best?
 

A:

Yes - bring your hairdresser! Having someone you trust with you is not only going to ensure your hair looks great, but will ensure your big day starts out with someone you know. It’s always special because I’m usually familiar with all of the fun times she’s had with her man (most clients spill in my chair about “this new guy they are dating” and ask for my dating advice, etc), and so I’m a part of the journey she’s taken to get to this day. Then it isn’t weird to have me stay through the ceremony and change up her hair for the reception… and then again for the after-party…

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WEDDING MAKE UP

Elaine Madelon is the most fabulous makeup artist, based in New York.  A regular collaborator with Annie Leibowitz, Arthur Elgort (and Alessandra Mackenzie, of course), she is known for the fresh, unabashedly gorgeous looks she creates for models, celebrities and real women alike.  Who better to get bridal makeup tips from than her?______________________________________________________________________________________________

Q: 

We’ll start with the different bridal styles.  How can the following looks be achieved with makeup?

A:

Classic Bride

Images of Classic Bride Makeup

My version of a classic bride would be a twist on the fairytale, a bride who personifies romantic, feminine and timeless themes. Lip colors would be natural - roses and pinks - and her makeup wouldn’t pull focus from the overall look. Instead, it would work to enhance and elevate the occasion.  

Modern Bride

Modern Bride Makeup Look

This is a woman who takes risks.  She is an individualist and will do whatever makes her feel the most comfortable. A version of this look could be a bold brow and a signature bright or dark lip with no eye makeup at all. It could also be a more carefree or simple hairstyle and overall makeup look. 

Bohemian Bride

Bohemian Bride Makeup Looks

This look to me is a bit undone. She takes cues from the classic look, but might add a smoky or bronzed eye. Her skin would be slightly dewy, created with products that are sheerer (allowing freckles to show through, for example).

 

Q: 
 
What types of products should she use when creating these looks, especially in hot and/or humid conditions?
 
A:
 

There are a few products that really make the difference particularly in muggy weather, and the first is moisturizer. You need moist skin to have your foundation apply properly, but using too much in humidity will make you sweat (as will sunblock). In hot climates try a gel or serum moisturizer before your foundation (in a normal or dry climate, don’t be afraid of moisture - it’s what makes skin look youthful). 

There are also some serious makeup primers that help with hot and muggy conditions, but these can pill easily so need some practice beforehand. I prefer to layer powder colors over cream, with a layer of powder in between, for example: apply cream blush and bronzer, then a dusting of face powder, then powder versions of blush and bronzer. This builds depth, dimension and staying power. The final step when you want your makeup to last is a makeup finishing spray. These seal in your look and are a good investment. I like the ones from Makeup Forever or Urban Decay.

 

Q: 
 
What products (if any) should the bride carry with her for touchups throughout the night?
 
A:
 

I’m of the “set it and forget it” school of makeup, I don’t love touching up too much in general because her focus should be on her party. One thing to think about is the photography, as camera flashes in particular (which are necessary) can make you look like a sweaty mess.  Ask your photographer to “soften” or “gel” the flash so that everyone looks better in the end - there is only so much makeup can do. 

That being said, I would keep a lip gloss or balm that is kissable, and for touch ups, the makeup sponge that you used to apply your makeup wrapped in tissue for dabbing and blending. A powder puff or compact is okay before pictures, but don’t bother at the reception. Using these on top of dance sweat will just make a mess and have little to no impact. Embrace the glow!

 

Q: 
 
Now that the wedding is over, it’s time for the honeymoon… What are the products a new bride (or anyone on any vacation) should bring with her so that she can look fabulous without spending hours in the hotel bathroom?
 
A:
 
For everyday makeup, I prefer to not use anything that requires a brush, because those need to be washed constantly in order for makeup to lay properly on the face. 
A vacation makeup bag should include a sheer lip, cream blush, concealer, brow gel, tinted moisturizer, eyeliner, and, my personal favorite, tubing mascara. Blinc and L'Oreal both make beauty tube mascaras that come off entirely with just water. For me there is nothing worse than residual mascara or the battle to take it off.

When listed out it sounds like a lot, but taking 3-5 minutes to put on a light coating of the basics will help with vacation photos. If you’re blessed with dark brows and lashes or perfect skin you can customize for your own needs.

 

Q: 

Any other tips that can help the bride feel and look her best?

A:

A bride should feel like herself above all else, so focus on amplifying what you typically do versus a full makeover. I am all for hiring beauty professionals if that is what makes you the most comfortable, but I also suggest investing in a lesson and new products before the big day (especially for destination weddings).

Whatever beauty decisions you make, it always helps to get ready in a relaxing environment - music, natural light, comfortable Alessandra Mackenzie PJ’s, a candle and some refreshments always help - and remember to enjoy the process! 

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A Treat for Dad

Father's Day is the best - school's out, work slows, and summer has officially begun.  Honoring Dad is always about fun activities, and - if your Dad is anything like mine - ice cream.

My Dad and I in Nantucket.

My father loves ice cream, a love he passed on to us.  And when I say "love," I mean L-O-V-E, which makes it a perfect Father's Day gift.  His childhood favorite is Graeter's - literally one of the best ice creams you will ever taste.  Seriously.  I wouldn't steer you wrong, not when it comes to something as important as ice cream.  Lucky for those of us who don't reside in Cincinnati, OH, you can order pints of Graeter's online...!  You're all in for a treat (because he shares the ice cream with you), and it will be a gift he never forgets.

Grater's Black Raspberry Chocolate ChipGraeter's Chocolate ChipGraeter's Caramel Truffle Gelato

YUM. Scoops of Graeter's Ice Cream...

Of course, you don't have to get the fathers in your life ice cream. Ties, sweaters and swim trunks are all nice and useful gifts (ties especially), but a treat that he doesn't have often is a wonderful way to thank him for being awesome, and shows how much you love him.

xo,

AM

Father's Day is June 21st

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