The Decadence Palette is the 4th release of Pat McGrath’s series of Mothership palettes. It is limited edition (at least, for now!) and retails for $125. It can purchased either from Sephora here or directly from Pat McGrath Labs’s website here.

I’m the proud owner of the first 3 Pat McGrath palettes she released, as well as a handful of other previous limited releases – most notably both very limited Skinfetish Kits – The nude/pink is an incredible pink duo chrome and the MUA who did my wedding makeup would not stop fawning over it, and used it for my Wedding Day Look. In summary, Pat McGrath makes some really amazing products – incredible pigmentation and textures, that are really hard to find consistently in other brands.

All that being said, I wasn’t sure that I would pick up the Decadence palette, as the colors are mostly more saturated deeper that I usually feel comfortable wearing. My curiosity was still piqued as I knew from the previous palettes that the pigmentation and texture should be extremely high quality. So, I wandered over to my local Sephora to do some swatching…for science.

Of course, the swatching led to a purchase – these shadows were like butta!

Left to Right:

Gold Standard: A metallic, yellow gold
Sterling: True metallic lighter silver
Inferno: Metallic copper – like a shiny new penny
Lapis Luxury: Metallic blue leaning teal
Blue Blood: Deep, shimmery Burgundy
Divine Mink: Shimmery, slightly purpley gunmetal
Sinful: Metallic champagne – leans slightly olive in the pan
Hedonistic: Metallic Pink-Red-Orange-Gold duo chrome (quadra chrome?) Like a sunset on the lid – see below.
Underworld: Blackened base with dark blue and deep teal shimmer
Enigma: Metallic Bronze, but when mixed with cooler colors, like Divine Mink – looks more grey. Like an enigma!

So as you can see, this palette is full of shimmers and metallics – even a duo chrome.

Even so, it is possible to do something more for day. I tend to prefer a matte nude base when using intense shimmers, but challenged myself yesterday to do a quick look using only the palette before running out the door:

I started with Inferno as an all over base on the lid, and then used Enigma for the outer V, Hedonistic for the center lid, and a hint of Gold Standard on the inner corner. Applied over a NARS primer, this lasted about 10 hours on me. That is, until I forgot I was wearing eyeshadow, and rubbed one eye real hard. Oops.

Obviously, this palette was created for fun looks as well…

Used Divine Mink all over the lid, with Lapis Luxury on the outer third, Enigma over the center third, and Sterling on inner third.

My favorite! Hedonistic all over the lid (see! Like a sunset on the lid), Lapis luxury as liner, and Underworld on the inner corner.

I’m convinced that someone even more talented than me could make something really neat with Lapis Luxury or Underworld as a base and Hedonistic on top.

For me, Hedonistic and the true metals (Gold Standard, Sterling, and Inferno) make this palette worth it alone. Lapis Luxury is also stunningly beautiful, though it may be slightly more difficult to incorporate in more of a day-to-day look.


While I’m an avid tea drinker who does not discriminate by type – I find that I most enjoy red teas, bonus points if they’re French 😉.

I discovered Rouge Provence by Mariage Frères during my last trip to Paris a few years ago. I’d gone with my mother (Pre-S days) , and we ended up spending a very cold and rainy week in April fighting off some godawful version of The Crud™. My mom certainly had it worse than I did, but one day I was able to convince her to venture out from our hotel in search of tea. After encountering a big miss on the Rue Saint Honoré, we hailed a taxi and headed to Le Marais for The Good Stuff™, destination: Salon de Thé de Mariage Freres.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what tea I ordered that day – I just remembered enjoying a marble green tea (and violet?) cake, and admittedly – the eye candy (again, this was Pre-S!) – the waiters dress in full white suits with bowties. BUT, I do remember trying the tea my mother ordered – Rouge Provence, a red Rooibos. Mariage Frères officially describes it as

“The aroma of red and black berries is wed to the sweet, mild flavour of the tea leaves, underscored by wild lavender and enlivened by rose petals.”

I’ve been drinking this for years, and am surprised to see the presence of rose – for me, this is a beautiful berry with well balanced lavender. Some floral teas can be overwhelming (I think that was the aforementioned issue on the rue Saint-Honoré. Well, that and the tea was terrible quality), but not here. Even with the presence of lavender, it is something that I enjoy year round.

Rouge Provence can be purchased from La Maison de Marriage Freres directly. Shipping to the U.S. is a bit hefty at 25 euros, but that fee remained flat until I surpassed 100 euros, and then the rate increased to 30 euros. It is definitely worth it if you purchase a handful of different teas to try! Otherwise, if you’re in the U.S. – Luckyscent carries quite a lot of Marriages Freres teas on their website (just no Rouge Provence!), and Williams-Sonoma stores carry a limited selection as well.

 

I’m kind of a nail polish addict collector. I always have been, actually. By the time I was in middle school, I’d collected 100+ nail polish bottles. I ended up tossing them all in high school, thinking I was over it – but slowly started rebuilding it in college when I developed a Chanel nail polish habit (totally normal college behavior 🙄) 🤷🏻‍♀️.

All that to say – I’ve seen and owned a lot of polish, and I have to say – this one is a seriously special and gorgeous snowflake. It is a polish-o-holic’s dream!


The base is a beautiful emerald green, but even I question this because the oil slick effect is so strong that the base flat out changes to purple – with flashes of pink and orange when the light hits it just right. In its green state it flashes blue and purple. It’s quite incredible.

If the iridescence wasn’t special enough, it has a holographic shimmer. I normally shy away from holographic polishes (it just isn’t my thing), but here it is so subtle, it looks like stars in a night sky.



In these photos, I’m wearing 2 coats, but in a previous manicure had 3 coats. What’s fun about this is at 3 coats, it is dark and rich for Fall and Winter. But at 2 coats it was lighter in color, making it a great option for Spring (or even Summer).

Magical Mystery Machine is, at the time of this writing, available directly from Enchanted Polish here. If it happens to sell out, do not despair – the store is updated and restocked regularly.

See it in full technicolor action below:


Plate: Anthropologie (old) | Glass: Schott Zweisel, Williams Sonoma | Fork: Almoco Flatware in Copper, Design Within Reach
A few months ago, S took me out to dinner at one of our favorite local places, Theodore Rex, for my birthday dinner. They’d just undergone a reinvention of sorts – new name, decor, menu and pricing structure. But they kept the same staff, and the type of the food remained the same. We always enjoy chatting up their resident sommelier, who delivers her pairings with a lot of knowledge, humor, and wit.

During this particular dinner, we decided to pick her brain about Madeiras. We weren’t necessarily unfamiliar with dessert wines (S’s dad is a Port fan), but neither one of us had ever tried a Madeira. After a brief lesson, we sampled 2 of their 3 offerings with our last two courses, and our interest was piqued.

Things kind of got busy – we got married, had family in town, followed by the holidays… but we found ourselves back at T-Rex a few weeks ago, this time for S’s birthday. Remembering our mini Madeira tasting from the previous visit, we opted to split 2 pours of two different Madeiras again. 1 we had tried on the previous visit, but we were told was leaving the menu (we may have even been tapping the last bottle), and 1 that had been recommended to pair perfectly with our Paris-Brest – D’Oliveira 5 Years Medium Sweet Madeira.

The recommendation was perfectly on point, and we are slightly hooked now. Their version of the Paris-Brest is filled with a “sweet” Swiss cheese cream, unlike the traditional hazelnut cream filling (one of my favorites), and the D’Oliveira Medium Sweet complimented the tartness nicely. The Madeira has a beautiful nuttiness to it, as well as notes of toffee and dried fruits. Honestly, to my tastebuds – the combination tasted like an otherworldly tiramisu.

We’ve since been able to purchase a bottle locally to enjoy at home. This Madeira pairs super well with not too sweet desserts – cobblers and cheesecake for sure, but it is also nice to just sip alone or as an aperitif with some savory nibbles.

 

The D’Oliveira 5 Years Medium Sweet Madeira can be purchased online here or here, if you live in one of the states they can ship to. Otherwise, it should be pretty each to procure through your local wine merchant!

 

 

Happy Sunday!

Tom Ford beauty products are a relatively new addiction (yes – *ADDICTION*) for me – I started trying and purchasing his products in early April of this year, starting innocently enough I suppose. I was on the hunt for 2 great lipsticks: 1) something solid that I could wear every day, whether to my office day job or just on the weekend. 2) A great (blue based) red. With the help of a very friendly (and honest) sales associate, I settled on Pussycat for my everyday color, and Ruby Rush for my Red. She also set me up with some fragrance samples and I have been tumbling down the rabbit hole ever since.

For anyone who is a good little addict like me, and follows beauty news and message boards, the new Illuminating Duo in Moonlight – is a must have! As of this writing, the duo is still Limited Edition, but word is being spread that it will become a permanent fixture in the Tom Ford beauty line. I pre-ordered online through TF direct, but it never shipped out, so I wandered over to my local counter  and they had it in stock. The SA (who was *extremely* friendly, by the way), excitedly put it on me (I was wearing makeup already, which included bronzer but no highlighter) – it is definitely subtle and beautiful. However, as I began to play with it, I realized it is very buildable as well.

Swatches first on my (very white) skin – lighter color (Daylight) on the right, darker (Candlelight) on the left.

 

Daylight is extremely light and soft, making it difficult to capture on camera (even my DSLR). Candlelight is definitely a nice bronze shade if you have fairer skin, but is a the perfect highlighting shade for anyone who is darker. On me, Daylight gets applied to the very apples of my cheeks, bridge on my nose, and central forehead and chin. Candlelight is applied under my cheekbones and along the edges of my face.

Tom Ford, in my mind, has pretty much mastered the “adult” version of shimmer – and I absolutely LOVE shimmer! It’s visible in his lipstick and eyeshadows (<3 his Celestials), and it is most definitely visible in Moodlight. Previously, my go-to highligher was always Benefit’s Watt’s Up. As I have drier skin, the creamy formula was always preferred, and I enjoyed the blending/buffing tool attached to it. It is still a great option for me, and I still wear it, but I’ve been finding myself reaching for Moodlight most days the past couple of weeks! So much so that I opted to purchase a back up, just in case it didn’t make it to Permanent status.

Below, I’m wearing it with my “full” makeup.

 



Makeup Details:

Face:
Lancome Teint Visionnaire Foundation (plus concealer) / Stila Custom Color Blush in Self Adjusting Bronze / Tom Ford Illuminating Duo in Moodlight

Eyes:
Georgio Armani Eye Tint in Rose Ashes / Urban Decay Blitz (super gold from UD Vice Ltd palette) / MUFE ME-302 for liner (green from artist’s palette)

Lips:

Tom Ford Stavros (not available online, but will be re-released in November/December) / NARS Pasiphae layered on top / UD Blitz on top of that (just a smidgen)