4.13.2015

Ten-Item Wardrobe Spring/Summer 2015



The Spring/Summer 2015 ten-item wardrobe is here! I had a lot of fun creating this wardrobe, which is (as usual) heavy on the dresses. In this video and blog, I show you what is in the wardrobe (you will recognize many returning pieces) and in next week's "talk-through" video, I will share my inspiration and process as well as discuss new vs. old items.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur (and don't forget to subscribe!)

Ten Core Items



Boden Cate dress (please note this has tailored sleeves, which I will discuss in a future video)
A.P.C. blue shirt dress*
A.P.C. blue linen dress*
Tory Burch silk print dress*
Boden green tank dress
Garnet Hill black knit dress (no longer available in black)
Talbots denim dress (tailored)*
Spanx skinny jeans
Talbots a-line skirt in Chino
Rebecca Taylor dress

Tee shirts



These are a few of my tee shirts, all from Boden

Shoes



Here are a few of my day shoes: London Sole beige ballet flat, Sam Edelman black Gigi sandal (I also have this in nude patent), Trotters Mickey wedge

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
If you are interested in the ten-item wardrobe but hesitate to get started, make this be the season you take the plunge! Get radical and donate all of the clothes that don't suit you and that are creating confusion in your wardrobe. If you still need more convincing, check out my TEDx talk on the ten-item wardrobe here.

News
Next week I will be in Japan! I am looking forward to meeting all of the Madame Chic fans in Tokyo.

The Spirited Thrifter writes about creating a sustainable ten-item wardrobe.

Bonjour Emily embarks on her own ten-item wardrobe.

Melissa55 takes on my 5-minute Makeup Challenge to very successful, hilarious and charming results!

Comment of the Week
ChlsBird writes:

Your message has inspired me so much this past year, Jennifer. I have made subtle but significant changes to my wardrobe and strive to find joy in routine tasks daily. Your post about Swan Lake has inspired me to purchase tickets to see an opera for the first time. I'm taking my mother to see The Magic Flute for mother's day (she has read your book and now seeking the arts is a family affair!). We plan to study the Libretto to get a full understanding of the storyline before the show to further enhance the experience. Thank you for the ongoing inspiration!

ChlsBird, This is so wonderful! I am thrilled that you are seeking out the arts to further enrich your life. Have a wonderful time at The Magic Flute and let us know how it goes!


Thanks everyone, See you next week for the ten-item wardrobe talk-through...




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4.06.2015

Get Ready With Me: A Night At the Ballet The Sleeping Beauty



Last week I attended the Los Angeles Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty at Royce Hall. Before attending the ballet I had a rather full day and in this week's video I show you how to go from day to evening makeup. Come get ready with me as I refresh my day makeup and choose a dress from my extras. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and subscribe!): www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur



Makeup used in the video:

CHANEL Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation

Benefit Fake Up under eye concealer

Benefit Boi-ing concealer

Laura Mercier loose setting powder

Urban Decay Primer Potion

YSL faux cils mascara in burgundy


MAC eyebrow powder

Tarte BeMATTEnificent palette (I thought this palette was discontinued but I see it is available on Amazon but for a much higher price. Please let us know if you find it elsewhere for less) shades used: sand out from the crowd across entire lid, rose to the occasion in the crease and two plums up in the outer crease and blush in elevated.

Bobbi Brown longwear gel eyeliner in caviar ink

MAC bronzer along the hollows of the cheeks

Hourglass femme nude lip stilo no. 6

Urban Decay lip gloss Naked in deep pink/ mauve



Outfit in the video:
The DVF cocktail dress from my extras. You will recognize this as I wore it to many speaking engagements last spring. You will see this in my extras again this year for the ten-item wardrobe. The shoes are nude patent Ferragamo heels and the trench coat is from A.P.C., another mainstay in my extras.

The ballet was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I especially loved principal dancer Allyssa Bross in the role of the Lilac Fairy.

I hope this video inspires you to have a fun evening out by seeking out the arts in your neighborhood. Supporting the arts is one of the most important things we can do to salvage the dignity of our culture.

Click here for more on the Los Angeles Ballet

News

The Glamorous Housewife took my 5-Minute Makeup Challenge! Check out her fun video here.

The Spirited Thrifter creates a sustainable ten-item wardrobe.

I'm coming to Japan the week of April 20th! Stay tuned for more details.

Artistic Recommendation
Marija writes:

Since you so kindly share your videos with us, I would like to share with you a book series which I believe you will enjoy. The series is by Kerry Greenwood, an Australian author. The books are based around an ultra-glamorous, yet very down-to-earth female sleuth, the beautifully named Phryne (Fry-nee) Fisher during 1920's Melbourne. The books have also been recently televised, fairly successfully, though not with the full supporting cast of characters.
A delightful read with a cup of tea, and a slice of blueberry cake! :-)
Warm regards, Marija


Thank you Marija! I have enjoyed watching Mrs. Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix but will also check out the books!


This week I would love to know... what arts will you seek out this season?


*Music in video: Tchaikovsky The New Doll

Music from Audio Micro


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4.02.2015

I'm Coming to JAPAN



Dear Readers,

I am so happy to announce that I will be coming to Tokyo, Japan this April! Thank you to the Japanese readers for making Lessons from Madame Chic a bestseller! I will be there the week of April 20th and while there will appear on a very popular television show and do a major speaking event and book signing. All details will be announced as they unfold, so please check back with this blog, or the events page on my author website, which will have the latest updates.



Check out my video announcement above for more details. If you are unable to see the video, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

I can't wait to meet all of the Madame Chic fans in Japan!

Happy Easter and I will see you all next week!

Love,

Jennifer x



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3.30.2015

5-Minute Makeup Challenge



This week's video is a fun challenge that has been circulating around YouTube: a 5-Minute Makeup Challenge. I set the timer for 5 minutes and in real time attempt to do my complete makeup routine. I got a little ambitious and decided to add eyeshadow (you know my 5-minute le no makeup look does not include eyeshadow) and the results are quite funny. I hope you enjoy this video!

I am also tagging three of my favorite YouTubers: The Glamorous Housewife, TeriGigi and Melissa55. They all have really fun YouTube channels and you should check them out. Ladies, I hope you're up for the challenge!

Even if you don't have a YouTube channel, it's quite fun to time yourself. See how much you can get done in 5 minutes. Then you can streamline a routine in that time and be well on your way to looking presentable always.



Check out this week's video for all of the 5-minute makeup hijinks. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur (and be sure to subscribe!)

Makeup used in the video:

CHANEL Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation

Benefit Fake Up under eye concealer

Benefit Boi-ing concealer

Laura Mercier loose setting powder

Urban Decay Primer Potion http://www.sephora.com/eyeshadow-primer-potion-tube-original-P284716?skuId=1515733

Laura Mercier Vanilla eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Fresco eyeshadow

MAC eyeliner in Costa Riche

YSL faux cils mascara in burgundy

Bobbi Brown blush in tawny

Hourglass lipstick

News
I am featured in Bankrate in an article called, Gain More by Spending Less.

There will be a very exciting announcement this week so be sure to check back on the blog!


This blog post is shorter because I am in the throes of my book 3 deadline...


Let me know what you think of this week's video in the comment section. And let us know if you have a 5-minute makeup routine.


I look forward to seeing you later this week!


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3.23.2015

Living with LESS



For the past two weeks we have tried a radical experiment chez nous to see how we get along living with less. I'm talking a lot less. This wasn't necessarily by choice. It all started when we refinished the hardwood floors in our apartment. We had to take all of our furniture out. We removed everything from our home save the beds, side tables and dining room table. We even boxed up most of our clothing and saved just a few pieces in a suitcase (more on this interesting observation in a moment).

A while back, I recommended Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Ms. Kondo writes about radically getting rid of your possessions to understand the freedom of living with less. I was so happy I had read her book before doing this because I was quite excited to see how we would fare. It turns out (save for a few files and my beloved piano)... We didn't miss anything!



What a surprising verdict! We are quite minimal with our belongings anyway compared to the average family, but over the years with two little ones, we did acquire quite the collection of this and that.

One of the most surprising results is that the children didn't miss their toys! Their little playroom (which was really a play corner) was filled with bins of blocks, legos, dolls and art supplies among many other things. This space frustrated me because I felt it offered too much choice for them. They would play with one thing, get distracted and them move on to the next without putting anything away. Now with the toys all stored away, we bring out one puzzle, or get an art project going or keep out a rotation of around 5 books and they are still as happy as they were with all of their toys. In fact, they have been prompted to use their imagination more and have created things to do (like making a "midnight soup" from old food in the refrigerator). And what about those clutter hot spots and stagnant spaces as discussed in At Home With Madame Chic? With less possessions to begin with, the cleanup of these areas has been dramatically reduced.

The clothing experiment is also quite telling. It has been the ten-item wardrobe on a diet. We are all wearing the same three or four pieces over and over again. There is less laundry, we still look great and there is no question about what to wear in the morning. Now, don't worry, I'm not going down to a three-item wardrobe (!), this is only temporary, but this radical experiment has really opened my eyes to the fact that we can not only live comfortably with less belongings, we can thrive.

Living with less encourages me to only bring items into my home that I adore and to constantly reassess what I have.

Check out this week's video for the full discussion. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel (and subscribe!): www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur **

News
I am quoted in Bankrate this week in an article called, Living Luxuriously for Less.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Take one room in your home this week and get radical with it. Take out excess furniture, any clutter and all items that don't belong in that room. See what living in that room is like after you remake it. Enjoy its simplicity and use that room as a springboard to enjoy the same process to other rooms in your home.

Comment(s) of the Week
On Life at Home: Get Some Sleep, Alexa writes:

Naps, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee after a good night's sleep. I love thee after a bad night's sleep.

Naps seem to smooth out all the rough edges. Even a short one can be so refreshing. Naps or siestas used to be traditional in many cultures. It's another unfortunate aspect of modern life that schedules and routines no longer accommodate an afternoon rest. After all, who can guarantee a good sleep every night? Even when I was working, I used to nap during my commute on the bus. What does "nap" spell backwards, if you add a few letters? panacea!
I wish everyone a good rest!


Alexa, I have never been able to nap, but people who can swear by it! I'll never forget my time in Spain where the families would leave work for two hours to go home for a siesta. I like your thinking!

Madeleine writes:

Hi Jennifer,

in Beethoven's day the average amount of sleep people got was ten hours - TEN hours! No doubt lack of electric lighting and gadgets made this possible. But I think it tells us most of us are probably sleep deprived most of the time. Seven to eight hours is not for me!

I have to admit that the biggest habit I am trying to break this year is that of staying up late because i do just want some time to myself. I'm aiming to reverse the trend by going to bed earlier and doing yoga in the morning - which definitely makes my life a whole lot better.

I am a bedtime reader, but usually cannot stay awake for a full hour!


Great comment Madeleine... modern convenience has surely changed the way we live, particularly with regard to sleep. I would love to know what time Beethoven himself went to bed! :)


Testimonial
On my author website Guestbook, Lise B. writes:

Dear Jennifer,
Thank you for your belief and promotion of a quality life style. Your “Lessons from Madame Chic” has had a profound effect on my life.
I have and continue purging, going from 3 full closets to only 1 small one. I have purged everything else in my house and I am constantly thinking about what else I am no longer using which can be sold/donated or simply dumped.
Because of this book, I now only wear my best clothes whether to go to work, to teach or go grocery shopping on the week-end. I have gotten rid of everything that does not promote a quality lifestyle and that includes acquaintances. Thank you!


Thank you Lise and to everyone who has signed the guestbook. I love reading about your evolving journeys!

**This video was shot in my mother-in-law, Jane's Santa Monica flat in front of her lovely painting, "The Dancers" by British artist, Ashley Luff.

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3.18.2015

At Home With Madame Chic in Poland



I am so happy to announce that my second book, At Home With Madame Chic, is now available in Poland from my Polish publisher Wydawnictwo Literackie. I have so enjoyed connecting with my Polish readers who loved Lessons from Madame Chic and can't wait to continue the discussion with you for this next book, as we journey into the intricacies of living well at home.


Please check out my special video message to the Polish readers above. And to learn more about Wydawnictwo Literackie be sure to check them out on facebook. If you are unable to see my video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Here are some of the fun promotional illustrations from the publisher:



The illustrations highlight the importance of delegating work in the home, show the aroma pot recipes mentioned in the book and encourage women to tackle their clutter hot spots.



I thought it fitting to set this week's video to Chopin's Nocturne Opus 9, No. 1 because not only is Chopin my favorite composer of all time, but he is also Poland's most renowned composer.

Thank you to all of my Polish readers for your warm reception! I'll see you all on Monday back on The Daily Connoisseur.



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3.16.2015

Life at Home: Get Some Sleep



Our Life at Home series continues today as we discuss our very important beauty sleep! So many of us are sleep deprived for one reason or another (usually that reason is our children!) that it is important to put thought into how much sleep we are getting and make adjustments when necessary. This week's video shares my top three tips on how I unwind at the end of the day to prepare for sleep:

Make sure you are not overstimulating yourself with media before you go to bed. In general, I like to read for up to an hour before I go to sleep as I find this really helps me calm my mind and settle into a satisfying sleep (that is until I am awoken by one of the little ones!).

Adjust your bedtime if needed (yes, even if it feels painfully early) to get as much sleep as you need to operate well the next day. It could be that in your college years you could easily stay up until midnight or even 1am, but now you're in your 30s with a full time job, more stress and young children. It's time to push up the bedtime (this is my story, by the way).

On those days when you are completely exhausted, go to bed as early as you can. There have been so many nights that I go to sleep at 7:30pm, right after I put the children to bed. These early nights are so necessary every now and then to recharge and wake up energized the next day.

Check out this week's video for more on the subject. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News
Bonjour Emily shares her Ten-Item Wardrobe journey in her latest blog post.

Arushi Nayar from The Water Bakery references my ten-item wardrobe TEDx talk in her article on Minimalism.

Mama's VIB lists Lessons from Madame Chic among her favorite Parisian style books.

The Madame Chic books are recommended reading for those who also loved New York Times Bestseller The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (a book I highly recommend!)

At Home With Madame Chic comes out this Thursday, March 19th in Poland from Wydawnictwo Literackie. Special blog post announcement to come! Here is one of their charming promotional illustrations for the book. It encourages you to keep in control of your clutter hot spots:



Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
We live in a fast-paced, wired world where we are always connected... always "on". Feel empowered to disconnect from the shows, the screens and the social media and get some good old-fashioned rest. Make your bedroom a relaxing haven, free from devices and clutter. Make rest and sleep a priority in your life.

Comment of the Week
On YouTube, Me HereToday writes:

I watched your vlog yesterday morning and had planned to spend the day slouching around (have the flu). After watching the vlog I put on a pretty cardigan to make the dress I was wearing, just look that bit nicer, I blow dried my wet freshly washed hair and put a small amount of powder makeup and mascara. Within minutes I received a phone call that I was about to get visitors. Not only did I have time to check the house was presentable I knew I looked good and there was no stress.
Thank you for this timely advice. Today I needed no prompting to look presentable regardless of how I feel.


Thank you for your inspiring comment!



Be sure to enter the Christy luxury bed linen giveaway here.

This week I would love to know... what is your sleep story? Are there adjustments you can make to get a better night's sleep?

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