What’s beautiful and delicious lately:
Great news! BATF is going to the 28th American Wine & Food Festival at the Universal Studios Backlot this weekend. Why are we so excited? We live to sample the talents of world-renowned chefs like Nobu Matsuhisa, Wolfgang Puck, and, Thomas Keller! Not to mention Francois Payard. If this sounds like something you don’t want to miss either, check out the festival’s website for your own tickets and more information.
One thing I really think Victoria’s Secret Beauty does perpetually well are their fragrances. You might already know my infatuation with them already, but their latest one, Bombshell, is my current obsession.
Ok, this is going to sound weird but before I continue, do any of you (ladies) just love the smell of the men’s cologne? I mean, to the point that you kind of have this strange urge to buy one for yourself? Well, that’s me (for the record, I haven’t). This perfume is a medley of purple passion fruit, shangri-la peony, and vanilla orchid. So I know now you’re thinking, where am I going with this?
Well, while I think it’s the vanilla notes that attracts me to the smell in the first place (I love vanilla! I once had a little vial of just pure vanilla oil made for me from Memoire Liquide), when I was trying to describe the smell, the only thing I could come up with at first is that it sort of smells like cologne…with a floral twist. I know that sounds super weird, but it’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s not a manly or unisex smell either (I mean, just look at the dainty, pink packaging) but it just has this, “If you were going to make cologne for women, this is what it would smell like.”
Now you think I’m crazy. Great.
It kept reminding me of something else but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Now I’m starting to think it has a little bit of a flowery take on Cool Water. There’s something slight, maybe a common note in the two, but I definitely smell it. Anyway, I just love that it’s doesn’t smell like your typical rosey perfume, but still has a very unique and pleasant scent.
Bombshell eau de parfum is available on victoriassecret.com for $45 (1.7 oz).
Anyone else smell this one yet? Do you have any other favorite Victoria’s Secret fragrances?
Thanks to everyone for entering the last giveaway! This week’s winner of Thierry Mugler’s newest Womanity perfume and body cream is Erica Sung! Please email me your address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New giveaway will be posted next week so keep an eye out…
I guess I’ve been spending a lot more time in Greenwich/West Village. It’s not my fault they have such cute brunch spots! The Cornelia Street Café is no exception in terms of aesthetic — it’s an inviting, chatty cafe with a very neighborhood feel and outdoor seating for sunny days. They change up the artwork monthly (when we went, it was lined with Martin Silverstein paintings). I found out later the cafe has a pretty interesting history — it was opened by three artists in 1977 and doubled as a restaurant and performing theater. People come by to read poetry, play jazz, or even cabaret. It’s now considered an NYC cultural landmark with about 700 shows a year. Unfortunately, I didn’t really feel like the food we ordered lived up to the ambiance.
My friend Shahla and I wanted to split something savory and something sweet, so we went for the Huevos Rancheros (fried eggs with black beans, cheddar cheese, salsa cruda, creme fraiche and corn tortillas, $10). I just didn’t feel like it had a lot of taste…we did order it with egg whites though, so that may be part of the reason. But it was a small portion as well. The buttermilk pancakes were a little better.
They served it with fresh fruits and maple syrup. But again, nothing special. Maybe because NY has so many great brunch options, it’s a matter of comparison for me. Like Cafe Orlin on St. Mark’s — I think their brunch is not only delicious, it’s unique and not something I necessarily feel like I can make at home by myself for a third of the price. That said, I didn’t know about all the performances and have a new itch to go back to Cornelia just to catch one. They have a whole schedule of their shows on their website you can check out.
BUT! This has a happy ending. We were directed to a pretty amazing gelato place right after which more than made up for the underwhelming meal: L’Arte del Gelato.
So, another story — a few days previous to this we went to the Milanese gelato place, Grom around the corner from here which I found to be pretty…gross. Even their hazelnut sucked — how can you go wrong with hazelnut?? Well this place is around the corner, so don’t waste your time with the lines at Grom and come straight here. They have a brilliant arsenal of rotating flavors all written in Italian (and even some you wouldn’t find in Italy, like caramel or licorice). The owners, Francesco Realmuto and Salvatore Potestio, were actually diamond cutters interestingly enough, who missed the sweet treats from back home and decided to open shop (first in Chelsea Market, and soon to other locations like this one).
But you might as well be in Italy — when we went, the whole staff was speaking Italian (even to some fancy customers). And it probably costs just as much as you would pay there, if you’re converting from Euros maybe: $5 for a small cup.
So worth it though.
PS. I know Mohsin’s going to read this and be like, “Who told you about the gelato place, huh? ninininini” or definitely something like that…so yeah, Mohsin, here’s your credit line.
Fashion’s Night Out was a major production this year. Retailers, large and small, offered up some seriously exciting events–from a ferris wheel on Rodeo Drive to Justin Timberlake‘s meet-and-greet for his William Rast clothing line at Nordstrom in the new Santa Monica Place (more like palace) mall. There were tons of events to choose from, but the one that excited me most was happening five feet away from William Rast. Sorry JT, but I wanted to meet the man behind the makeup line Smashbox–Davis Factor! The grandson of Max Factor and brother of Smashbox co-founder Dean Factor, Davis offered an impressive gift to FNO customers–the accomplished photographer (he’s shot Angelina Jolie, Robert Downey, Jr., and so on) gave a mini photo shoot to any customer who spent $150 or more on Smashbox goodies. The minimum purchase was not hard to reach, seeing as their photo-friendly line has added a new collection: Masquerade. This bevy of shimmering, jewel-toned products offers up the company’s trademark blendable textures in a multicolored eye palette, lip glosses, eyeliners, and more.
Somewhere between my Masquerade makeover and pseudo-celeb photo shoot, I chatted with Factor about FNO, the new collection, and his latest beauty obsession:
BATF: As a photographer who captures some of the most beautiful faces in the world, what do you believe is the key to looking amazing in a picture?
Davis Factor: There are so many different elements. I always think a great makeup artist is going to make a big difference. Sometimes, the models do their makeup better than the artists do because they’re so used to it. It starts out with a great primer, I believe, and that’s one of [Smashbox’s] best products. The camera sees everything and we make products that help hide some of that. For example, Photo Finish Foundation, Photo Op for under the eyes, and our Lid primer are fantastic. Those are good products to put on before your makeup–they fill in lines, help makeup stay on your face, and make colors pop.
BATF: What Fall beauty trend do you think is most beautiful?
DF: I’m so all about red lipstick right now. I can’t help it. I’m just feeling a little bit of the holiday spirit.
BATF: What was the inspiration behind Smashbox’s new Masquerade collection?
DF: The inspiration was taken from a masquerade ball. I thought we should come out with colors that were deep and saturated–moody purples, etc. I thought that was a pretty and fun fall look. We were adding some color to the collection. It’s a little different than what we saw from last fall. You have some choices of going lighter or darker with [the palette]. There are two different looks that you can create with it–one has a lighter lip and one has a darker lip. But it’s about using a lot of deep colors.
BATF: You are offering such a unique gift to customers tonight. What gave you the idea to do this?
DF: We’ve been doing the photo event for 15 years, but I haven’t really done too many of them lately. Vogue’s Fashion Night Out was a good opportunity to do the photo event again. It’s a unique experience to be able to bring the studio to the makeup counter. I used to do them all over the world, actually, when we first opened the company. It’s great to be back in Nordstrom and to be part of FNO. It’s also great to let the customer experience what the celebrity experiences at the studio.
Though I don’t look anything like Angelina Jolie, here is one of my Davis Factor photo shoot frames. In my defense, I was not prepared to take part in the shoot. I should have run a few miles, and then actually done something to my hair. Oops. Try to focus on the expert camera work and makeup application!