DESIGNING WITH PASSION :: THE COLORS OF VALENTINE’S DAY


I love the colors associated with Valentine’s Day.  Red, garnet, blush, pink, plum — they’re all so delicious and sexy.  This is a palette that seduces in design, fashion, and even nature.   I suggest that you soak in the gorgeous inspiration of our post today, especially if you are spending the holiday sans sig-other.  There is no balm for the soul like beauty.  Well, that and a really good bottle of pinot noir and dark chocolate. 

Huntley & Co. Interior Design Washington DC

Valentine's Day color interior design inspiration

Huntley & Co. Interior Design Washington DC

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

tricia huntley

 

** Sources/links for the photos above can be found on our Pinterest page … along with other Valentine’s Day inspiration.

THE AD DESIGN SHOW :: TRICIA’S 10


 I spent the day at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York on Friday.  It’s always good to see what’s new, talk with vendors and “kick the tires” so to speak.  Seeing the finish/scale/construction of products in person is integral to quality control and intelligent design.  And, of course, it’s fun.  I’ve shared ten best picks — whether it be a specific piece or an entire collection — and why each was worth a closer look.

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#1  Van Cronenburg

I am passionate about hardware and this company is stellar.  Substance and exquisite detail in every piece.

 

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#2  A Space Wall Sconce

All of the products from A Space – lighting, furniture, vases – are beautiful, but the Falling Star lamp was a show-stopper.  It will undoubtedly make a lot of “it lists”.

 

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#3  Archetypal

In a perfect world, Archetypal’s work would be on the floors of every home in America.  A designer can dream.

 

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#4  Jennifer Schinzing

Jennifer’s love for the natural world inspired her to learn taxidermy.  She preserves small animals (many of them road kill casualties) and transforms them into art installations.  The thoughtfulness and beauty of each “memorial” was remarkable.  Take note world, SHE IS ONE TO WATCH.

 

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#5  Visilek

This cabinet was perfection.  The veneers, the joints, the mechanics, the proportions were all flawless.  Filipe Rodrigues’ work is masterful.

 

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 #6  Brizio Faucet

The Brizio Solna faucet.  It’s black, it’s functional, it’s sexy … and it’s plumbing.  Gotta’ love it.

 

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#7  Jefferson Hayman Photography

I never jumped on the gallery-style art installation bandwagon in design.  Perhaps because often times it’s just a bunch of crap thrown up on the wall (yes, I just wrote that).  But Jefferson Hayman’s installation at the AD Design Show was simply lovely.  The collection was intimate, multi-faceted and beautifully framed.  Purchasing the entire installation crossed my mind … and I think that of the gentleman in the photo (yes, I was eaves-dropping).

 

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#8  Coral & Tusk

I’m a sucker for animal motifs, so naturally I was drawn to Coral & Tusk’s display.  But what’s lovely about these goods is that the patterns are cute without being saccharine.  The imagery is grounded by the quality and authenticity of the textiles.  Moreover, Stephanie Housley was delightful; her enthusiasm and love for her work was evident.

 

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  #9   Joya’s F vs. S Candles

These candles may seem simple, but something about them caught my eye.  They whispered [vs. shouted] sexy and luxurious — my personal sweet spot without a doubt.  I inquired about an order at the show and pretty much want to purchase the whole collection of fragrances upon seeing the website.

 

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#10   C&B at Dining by Design

Believe it or not, I am including Crate & Barrell in this list.  Their dining room for DIFFA included a brilliant wall “art” installation.  How many plates were broken to create this I don’t know.  But what fun and how tongue-in-cheek.  Kudos C&B.

 

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*All photos are my own save the two that are hyperlinked.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful images with our readers.

Dark and Inky


Halloween always inspires me.  I relish the drama and suspense of the holiday, not to mention the excuse to go a little goth and watch scary movies.  It’s always good to embrace one’s darker side, especially if you lean a little type A.  So with all my clean and tailored design tendencies comes a need for what I call “dark and inky”.  If you’ve worked with me or for me, you’ve heard me use this term.  I am always on the quest for the perfect murky green, garnet or ebonized-blue (and of course black).  Whether it’s a lacquered leather chair, a kick-ass pair of aubergine boots or a smokey eye for evening  – it just doesn’t get any sexier than dark and inky.

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Links and sources for these images and others can be found on the Luxe & Lucid Pinterest board.  Happy Halloween!

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Girl Power


I’ve had too many conversations recently with female friends and colleagues wherein I sensed a lack of self-worth from the smart, beautiful, successful woman across the table (phoneline, email).  I am sure anyone who sees these women on the street would think, “Wow, she’s got it made”.  So what exactly is going on?  There seems to be a confidence crisis among our gender these days — it boggles my mind and breaks my heart.  I am dedicating this post to the women and girls out there who are struggling, sad, lost or just not feeling good enough.  Girlfriends, you are fabulous!

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– 10 REASONS WOMEN ARE AWESOME –

1.   Love.  It’s not whether you have it, lost it, want it, whatever.  It doesn’t need attachment to exist.  Your capacity for it is worth honoring.

2.   Grace.  Countless women I know have endured tragedies, disease, heartbreak and more, yet continue to face (and embrace) the world with an open heart.

3.   Beauty.  You don’t have to be a supermodel to be in awe of your own self.  All women have features they can show off and celebrate – a great smile, elegant hands, lustrous hair, strong legs, an ample bosom, beautiful skin or a sexy voice.  The female form is pretty incredible.  Celebrate your assets and forget the rest.

4.   Capacity for pain.  We are statistically smaller and weaker than men, yet we bear the brunt of cramps, fatigue and straight-out misery one week of every month for approximately 4o years of our lives.  Do the math.  That’s living with pain for nearly 3500 days.

5.   Strength.  Despite the inconvenience of #4, we climb mountains, pull all-nighters, run businesses, raise children and keep on going’.

6.  The ability to create.  Um, just a reminder — That pregnant woman over there? She is growing a freakin’ human inside of her.

7.   Honesty.  The women I admire are those who are more than happy to tell you that they locked their keys in the car, tripped on the sidewalk or owe their smooth skin to Botox.  Perfection is so overrated.  I love a woman who can laugh at her flaws and share the wealth with her friends.

8.   Independence.  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Many of those pulled-together, do-it-all women you know probably break down in tears every now and then when no one is looking.  Plenty of women are self-sufficient.  That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

9.   Empowerment.  Women want their loved ones to be happy.  We want them to be successful, to live full lives, to feel rewarded.  So when we see our friends, colleagues or family members struggle, we try to help … “Behind every great (fill in the blank) there is a great woman.”

10.   Joy.  If there is one thing at which women excel, it’s delighting in things.  We have been know to squeal over a fabulous pair of shoes, a delicious dessert and pretty much any and every cute animal that crosses our paths. This is a girl thing and the essence of what makes a woman magical.

Girls, stop being so hard on yourselves.  As you approach the Thanksgiving holiday, start by being thankful for all the unique qualities that make you the remarkable, powerful, one-of-a-kind woman you are!

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We_Can_Do_It!

#girlpower!  xo Tricia

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Broken


Breaking Bread, Breaking News, Breaking Ground, Breaking Bad. 

Breakthrough, Breakup, Breakdown, Breakaway. 

Tough Break, Flat Broke, Broken Hearted, Goin’ for Broke.

I thought I would have a little fun exploring all the ways we use the word “break” and its derivatives in our daily speak.  This because I took a bit of a spill and broke my arm two weeks ago.  I was mountain biking in Virginia and had a pretty nasty wreck – flying over the handlebars of a bike was never on my bucket list.  However, what I clearly lacked in skills, I made up for in fortitude.  I’m proud to say I finished the ride and made it all the way down the mountain, break and all.  I’ve hung up my helmet for now (and possibly forever) to refocus my attention on safer and surer things.  However, in honor of my epic tumble, I’ve decided to find the beauty in broken.

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Sea Breeze sculpture 2, DeborahThomas   the 6th sense

Sea Breeze light sculpture, Deborah Thomas 2013   |  still from The Sixth Sense

kraut and crystals   broken bouldes new zealand

a geode split open reveals the magic inside  broken boulders in New Zealand

eva van oosten via flickr   mathias kiss mirror   Decay by Esther Watson

abandoned villa by Eva van Oosten  |  modern faceted mirror  |  glamorous rubble by Esther Watson

wall in pompeii   vangelis photography_greek wedding

Pompeiian wall crumbling in 2014  |  a Greek wedding tradition

japanese vessel

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by

filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered

damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.” Billie Mobayed

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Tricia xo

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The Alchemy of Opposites


I mentioned in my last post that I like a little “rock-n-roll with my ladylike”.  That statement describes more than just my fashion sense – it’s a personal credo, a balancing act and the foundation for how I design.  Contrasting modern with traditional, sexy with conventional and subtle with provocative allows me to enjoy all the world has to offer.  More importantly, it’s the incongruity and tension that makes a room or collection [and even a relationship] sing.

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Huntley & Co. interiors.

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Mixing pieces that seem incompatible gives an ensemble just the right edge.

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(L) Dries Van Noten, (M) unknown (R) Christopher Kane

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It’s not easy to find a car when one’s style is epitomized by dichotomy. But this weekend, I actually spotted my dream ride.

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I had never seen the Volvo 1800ES; it’s from the early 70s.  Part roadster, part wagon.  Stylized yet practical.  Sexy and a little weird.  I AM IN LOVE!

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Dynamic duos – Opposites attract and are, truthfully, more interesting.

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(L) “Portland, Oregon” blends Jack White’s tinny, rockabilly melody with Loretta Lynn’s old-school country style.

(M) Even more intriguing than Jesse and Walt’s differences on Breaking Bad are their internal dichotomies – troubled yet innocent heroine addict and conservative yet calculating high school teacher.

(R) Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller – the love story of a fragile seductress and brilliant playwright.

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Food may be the most tangible way to enjoy nature’s complex and complementary offerings.

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(L) Apricot stuffed pork shoulder with soy/honey glaze. (M) Figs and blue cheese wrapped in prosciutto. (R) Cannelini bean, salmon and caviar canapes.

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Another one of nature’s delicious offerings – MEN!

fassbender  clint  bowie  bateman

 Polished/scruffy, strong/approachable, sexy/odd, clever/intelligent.  Mmmmm, one of each please.

Tricia xo

* You can find these photos and links on my Pinterest page *

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Garnet & Goats


Hmmm, January.  This can be a challenging month.  The holiday sparkle has worn off, a little too much winter lies ahead and we’re all a whiter shade of pale.  I agree it’s tough to feel motivated when it’s cold and dreary outside and happiness is Haagen-Dazs and a Snuggie on Friday night.  However, I’m a January baby and a Capricorn which means I believe from problems come opportunities and there is still reason to celebrate a month as gloomy as this.  January can actually offer inspiration.  Not in an obvious way, but beneath the surface and outside the box.  As with so many things worthwhile, in January you have to dig a little deeper and work a little harder to get to the good stuff.

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GARNET

January’s birthstone is like no other. The deep crimson is at once sophisticated and sultry. It has undeniable glamour, yet totally lacks pretention.

   

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 Garnet jewelry is always dramatic.

Modern earrings by Caprichosa, antique Victorian brooch, Islamic ring,

  

  

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 This look from Gucci is all about the lips. I have been saving this photo since fall with the intentions of replicating it for a glamorous night.

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 My current garnet pedicure.

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A stunning garnet velvet I used alongside pastel fabrics in a Virginia living room.

 And speaking of fabric …

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 The gorgeous drape of Zac Posen on Naomi Watts at the Golden Globes. She is always red carpet perfection.

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JANUS

 January is the month of Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways.  As a designer and architecture buff, I photograph a lot of gates and doorways … actually more than I realized once I began combing through my files.

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 IMG_3123   Dubuque church door - Copy   dumbarton oaks_p. philip

 – all photos from my life and travels except central image –

row 1:  Munich, Los Angeles, Hempel Hotel

row 2:  Georgetown, Melbourne residence (via est Magazine), Italy

row 3:  Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Dubuque church, Dumbarton Oaks

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THE GOAT

 Although January 19 ended Capricorn’s (i.e. the goat’s) reign, it’s never too late to have fun with die ziege.

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 We found these darling little guys in Montreux.

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       If there’s one thing most of us like to do in January, it’s eat.  And Lord knows, I love me my cheese … thank you goats!  Clearly a girl who takes photos of cheese and cheese shops (as seen here) has a thing for chevre.

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Goatskin (often referred to as vellum or parchment) is a preferred material of designers and furniture makers both contemporary and past.  I gravitate to it myself and have selected several furniture pieces for projects over the years.  Like wood or marble, its beauty is innate and born from nature; it can’t be faked.

 Furnishings for DC, Switzerland and London Huntley & Co. projects respectively.

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WHITES, GREYS & PALES

The colors of winter may seem a bit solemn, but they translate beautifully.

 white on white bedroom  Puro Hotel Mallorca

White, grey and pale works in a stark, ethereal European bedroom or in a bar/restaurant on Mallorca.

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Moonstone and black onyx rings by Mathilde Danglade.

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The concept of black and white in art stretches beyond the medium of photography.

A painting by Picasso, a photo study of a golf swing and a neon installation by Glenn Ligon.

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sled dogs

 Perhaps the only thing that could entice me to spend an afternoon in subzero temperatures – beautiful, beguiling and utterly happy sled dogs.

Happy January.  Hopefully your new year is off to a good start!

Tricia xo

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Scenes from a Vacation – Part II (finally!)


 

As mentioned in my last post, I added an extra day to my northern California vacation so I could spend some time in San Francisco before heading back east. I hadn’t been to the bay area in years and had honestly forgotten what all the fuss was about. But I figured why not make a pit stop in an old stomping ground and segue a bit more gently back into life in DC. I was more than taken with the heavenly weather (68 degrees in August) and the lively urban atmosphere – crowded cafes, locals out walking their dogs and great shopping – in Pacific Heights where we spent the day. And although the word “hip” could be used to describe the area’s watering holes, shops and fashions, it didn’t smack of trends like some cities. San Francisco is like the popular kid in high school: confident and cool without even trying. And a vibe like that may as well be crack to someone like me. I couldn’t get enough. Shopping I did – and successful I was. 

 Thanks San Fran for sharing your mojo with me!

 

 

 

 

CIELO   A store full of gorgeous, high-end European brands.

 

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I picked up an Ann Demeulemeester blazer with chic, refined detailing …

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… a scrumptious orchid-colored puffy jacket with cropped sleeves and sweet yet almost "goth" kitten-princess necklace.

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NEST   The perfect name for a boutique with a homespun yet vagabond flair.

 

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New and vintage toys (check out the gorilla!), artwork, jewelry, furnishings and accessories.

I purchased this silkscreened tiger tote, printed cotton robe and wood handle purse … and love them all.

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HEIDI SAYS SHOE SALON   The sole-ful sister store of the Heidi Says fashion trifecta.

 

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 I found these flattering and totally versatile nude, patent leather wedges from Vera Wang Lavender.

 

 

 

 

ELIZABETH CHARLES   A uniquely curated collection of fashions and accessories.

 

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This boutique was uh-MA-zing!  I fell in love with everything.

 

 

 

 

JONATHAN ADLER   Ebullient, over-the-top fun from this eponymous shop’s designer.

 

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CROSSROADS    Vintage and consignment clothing, shoes, etc.

 

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My [sporty, crunchy, anti-fashion] friend Lori nearly died of heart failure when I walked out of the dressing room in this get-up.  Yes I bought a pair of gold lamé, parachute pants and a cropped grey hoodie. I think they’re fabulous, comfortable and totally hot.  

 

 

 

 

JURLIQUE   Skincare, bath and body products.

 

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My masseuse in Sonoma recommended that I pick up a bottle of essential eucalyptus oil and add it to my morning shower to help relieve my nagging cough.

 

 

 

 

OTD   Out-The-Door Vietnamese restaurant.

 

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We recharged at Out-The-Door with noodles, dumplings and wine.  Yummm!

 

 

 

 

SWIG   Last stop … cocktails of course!

 

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 With a sexy vibe, live music and bar stocked to the hilt - this club was the perfect finish to a perfect day!

 

 

Tricia xosf

 

 

Tricia’s 10: Before & Afters


 

 Everyone loves a makeover.  It’s no wonder shows like What Not to Wear, The

Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover – Home Edition are so popular … “bettering”

and “beautifying” are America’s favorite pastimes.  That’s probably why interior design

has such a following these days.  It’s certainly the main reason I became a designer

myself.  There is nothing more satisfying than transforming an ugly duckling into a

swan and I do it for a living.  I’m a pretty lucky girl.  And with this fortuitous career

comes a bevy of photos recording my redesigns over the years.  You can’t always

get that perfect before-and-after shot, but when you do, what fun it is to see!

 

 

 

 

1.  Powder Room | Washington Design Center Showhouse

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 2.  Foyer | Arizona Retreat

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3.  Den | Arizona Retreat

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4.  Foyer | Georgetown Pied-à-Terre

 walls orig walls new

 

 

 

5.  Kitchen | Georgetown Pied-à-Terre

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6.  Living & Dining | Penn Quarter

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7.  Dressing Room | Harbor Penthouse

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8.  Dining Room | Virginia Manor

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9.  Foyer | Maryland Countryside

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 10.  Family Room | Maryland Countryside

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Tricia xo

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* photos by Kevin Allen and Tricia Huntley

Tricia’s 10: Skincare


  

Lately I have been giving a lot of skincare advice to friends.  Most of it has been

by request – which I take as a huge compliment – but I do admit to the occasional

unsolicited tip as well.  I really just want to be of service.  I’ve spent a lifetime (and I do

mean from my grammar school days) reading articles about skincare, testing products

and seeking my own advice from professionals.  I’m by no means a guru and I certainly

don’t understand the science behind most of the products on the market, but I do know

what works*.  It’s taken a long time for me to find the right skincare regimen and heaven

knows that the trial and errors along the way have been expensive at times.  So why not

 share my knowledge and save all my girls the effort.  Enjoy … and take care of that skin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

1.  Cleanser

   

lemon oil cleansing balm

 

Lemon Oil Cleansing Balm – Fresh

 Cleans but doesn’t strip and leaves skin wonderfully soft.

This is the product for anyone with combination skin.

 

 

 

    

  

2.  Serum

  

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C E Ferulic Serum – SkinCeuticals

Skincare professionals always recommend that you exfoliate.  The acids

in this serum do so in a gentle way while providing antioxidants.  I alternate

throughout the year between this formula and the Hydrating B-5 Gel.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

3.  Eye Cream

  

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The Eye Balm Intense – LaMer

 If you have to splurge on one item, this is it.  The skin around my eyes

takes a beating because I wear concealer everyday (dark circles are a

true curse!).  This cream is a lifesaver and subtracts years from my face.

 

 

 

    

  

  

4.  Skin Cream 

 

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Flawless Repair Day Crème with SPF 15 – Laura Mercier

A newer product and recent discovery.  It’s pricey, so I can’t always

 fork over the dough for this moisturizer.  But when I do, I see an

 immediate difference and receive compliments galore a la “Your

skin absolutely glows.”  What could be better than that?!

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

5.  Facial Scrub 

 

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Sweep – Remède

 This super fine exfoliant won’t scratch delicate skin.

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

  

  6.  Mask

 

 brightening-moisture-mask

  

Kanitc Mask – Alchimie Forever

 Besides softening skin, this mask also calms redness with luscious

blueberry.  It smells good enough to eat!  If you live in DC, schedule a

facial appointment at the Alchimie Forever spa.  My beautiful friend Ada

is the brains behind this brand, so it’s worth the wait for an appointment.

 

 

   

 

 

  

  

7.  Blemish Treatment 

  

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Baume Purifiant – Darphin

 This balm (a consistency that’s not for everyone) is effective

in that it gets to the root of the problem vs. drying out the surface.

 

 

  

   

 

  

  

8.  Sunscreen – chest & hands 

  

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Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection SPF 55 – Neutrogena

 It’s easy to forget the skin on my chest and hands.  Plus I don’t

like to apply heavy cream on these areas.  This sunscreen is

strong but lightweight enough that I don’t even know I’m wearing it.

 

 

 

 

  

  

  

9.  Sunscreen – body

 

aveeno-active-naturals-daily-moisturizing-lotion,-spf-15

 

Daily Mosturizing Lotion with SPF 15 – Aveeno

I’m a big fan of Aveeno; I use a lot of their products.  This one

is a no-brainer.  I just slather it on after toweling off at the end of

every shower and I’m protected and moisturized for the day.

 

 

  

   

  

  

  

10.  Hand Cream

 

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Hand Relief – Aveda

 The skin on my hands is significantly drier than any other part of my

body.  I give it extra care with a rich hand cream morning and night. 

 I like this formula because it’s not greasy and has a nice light scent. 

Plus, it’s a Minnesota brand  ; )

 

  

   

 

 

 

 

 

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Tricia xo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Caveat:  I’m not a skincare professional!

All recommendations are based on personal use and my own specific skin type.  Always

take your personal skin and medical history into consideration when selecting products.