With Valentine’s Day around the corner, a group of talented and creative Sonoma women decided to put together Valentine’s Day looks and include fashion and beauty ideas. Kelly Dolata of A Savvy Lifestyle asked me to join in the styling fun and of course I said yes, please!

A Savvy Lifestyle is a Wine Country lifestyle site, chock full of beautiful styling ideas, recommendations for local food, DIY projects, wine and travel, an events calendar and much more. Be sure to visit this beautiful blog. You are sure to be inspired!

Once the date was set for the shoot, I went right to work, carefully picking out my Valentine’s Day outfits. I chose outfits that I would wear on a date – day or night – and that fit my Wine Country lifestyle.

The morning of the shoot, I packed up my clothes and headed to the studio of Sonoma makeup artist, Beautycounter consultant and hairstylist Jenna Maze, who did my hair and makeup for the shoot.

We started by going through my outfits so Jenna could strategize my makeup and hair styles. Our friend and professional photographer Sarah Deragon of Sarah Deragon Photography took photos of the day from start to finish.

Jenna got right to work with my first look, which included a bright red tunic. Jenna decided this first makeup look would be my lightest. She would build from there, eventually ending up with a smokey eye and dark lip by the time we got to the final outfit.

Jenna used products from Beautycounter. This was my first experience with this well-known brand. I was excited to try it as I have heard so many great things about this makeup and skincare line, namely that it is verified by EWG which means I can feel good about using it.

For foundation, Jenna used two different shades of Tint Skin Foundation to match my skin tone: Linen and Sand. For my brown spots and under-eye circles, she applied the Touchup Skin Concealer Pen in Medium – 1. This concealer has a click brush, making application a breeze. I love the coverage both products gave me.

Jenna used the new Desert Sunrise Palatte on my cheeks and eyes, along with a navy blue liner and medium Brow Pencil. For my first outfit, she went with a red lip and applied Lip Sheer in Scarlet and Lip Gloss in Ruby. I loved my makeup look!

Once my hair and makeup were photo ready, we headed to Cornerstone Sonoma. We had a little cottage where I could change outfits, Jenna could freshen up and re-style my hair and makeup, and we could style gorgeous jewelry from BLACK & BROMSTAD to go with my looks. Lucky me!

BLACK & BROMSTAD, a personal jewelry concierge offering a high-level of customer service for luxury jewelry from high-end designers, brought a selection of pieces I could use to style my outfits. Kirsty Black and Nicole Bromstad have many years in the luxury jewelry and styling businesses. They teamed up to provide a specialized jewelry buying experience for their customers, offering personal consultations to help you find the pieces perfect for you or someone you love. To schedule an appointment, email Nicole at [email protected]. All the jewelry I am wearing is from BLACK & BROMSTAD.

Now for my Valentine’s Day outfits!

For my first look, I wore the most popular Valentine’s Day color, red!

I made my red high-low tunic the star of the show and styled it simply with black ponte leggings.

I wore black suede block-heel pumps with two delicate ankle straps (same shoe but in patent leather for spring) and carried my Louis Vuitton clutch.

Kirsty and Nicole suggested I wear a long gold necklace with a variety of gold, rose gold and diamond pendants along with some gorgeous diamond and gold earrings.

For my second look, we stopped by Chateau Sonoma at Cornerstone for a few photos. Chateau Sonoma is one of my very favorite Wine Country boutiques and has the most beautiful home decor, furniture, French antiques, home accessories and more. It’s my go-to when shopping for a special gift.

In this Valentine’s Day look, I bared a little bit of shoulder in a navy blue dress with shoulder cut-outs. I hope this trend sticks around for awhile because it’s an easy way to feel daring and playful without showing too much skin.

My Ralph Lauren Cold Shoulder dress is no longer available but I found one similar.

BLACK & BROMSTAD styled me with a Tahitian pearl necklace with a diamond-crusted closure. Such a gorgeous necklace!

For my third look, we stopped by Prohibition Spirits, a hip and fun distillery tasting room in Cornerstone Sonoma, to take some photos. I chose lace this time. Incorporating lace into your look for Valentine’s Day – for a casual daytime look or for a night time outfit – will add romance and femininity. I wore a black Lace top with bell sleeves with wide-legged jeans and black pumps.

BLACK & BROMSTAD chose large diamond hoops for me to wear so Jenna gave me a loose up-do to show them off. I also wore a delicate single diamond pendant necklace.

Jenna darkened my eye makeup a bit and added Lip Sheer in Twig, Lip Gloss in Fig.

My last look works for a romantic Valentine’s day picnic or a day spent exploring with my sweetheart. I wore a white Easy Going Sweater with a white camisole underneath and girlfriend jeans. For footwear, I went for flat and comfortable, yet stylish in a pair of gray suede booties. A playful ponytail styled by Jenna made my look fun and flirty.

My sweater had a swath of silver on it so I wore smaller diamond and platinum hoops with this final look.

Valentine’s Day is in winter after all, so a little extra layering is a must in Wine Country this time of year. This luxurious Peruvian Alpaca wool coat, with a shorter inside jacket and high neck, was just what I needed to stay warm.

With the high neck, Jenna thought a bun would be the best look. And who doesn’t love a good bun?

What a fun and fashionable day!

Thank you to Kelly and Emily of A Savvy Lifestyle, Sarah Deragon of Portraits to the People, Jenna Maze and Kirsty and Nicole of BLACK & BROMSTAD.

What a treat and an honor to collaborate with all of you!

What will you be wearing on Valentine’s Day?


When I find a beauty product I love, I stick with it. Often it takes many years to find the ideal beauty product for you and sometimes you never find it. In fact I’ve been looking for the perfect mascara and hair spray since the late 1980s. Still searching!

It’s a good thing I also love to try new beauty products. I always enjoy getting my hands on samples of beauty products I’ve not tried before or, even better, getting a recommendation from a friend.

Today I’m the recommending friend, telling you about my very favorite beauty products that I use on a regular basis.

These are my 11 Favorite Beauty Products:



Dry Shampoo: I prefer to keep my hair quite long and pay special attention to products that help me abuse my hair less.  As I am sure you already know, blow-drying and styling your hair with heat tools can dry out and damage it. I try to wash and style my hair as little as possible and will even avoid blow drying in favor of a natural dry when I have the time.

Dry shampoo has kept me from many extra washings and stylings over the years. One advantage of being in my late 40s is my hair doesn’t need to be washed daily anymore as my sebaceous glands don’t produce as much oil. These days, I can go up to three days without washing my hair but I still need help from dry shampoo to keep it fresh looking.

This Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-powder Shampoo is my very favorite. I use it every day. It’s not a spray but rather a fine powder you shake onto your scalp. I started using it right after I dry and styled my hair instead of waiting until the second or third day.

Here is a dry shampoo tip from my hairdresser, Kimberly of Dolce Vita Salon: shake (or spray) dry shampoo onto your roots then wait about a minute. Let the powder settle into your roots before brushing or fluffing your hair. Try using a blow dryer on a low setting to spread the powder around rather than a brush. 


Scalp Exfoliant: I read an article about scalp exfoliation and thought I might be someone who would benefit from a good scalp scrub. With all the stuff I put on my head – dry shampoos, hairspray, mousse, gel, plus the residual shampoo that doesn’t always get rinsed off thoroughly – it made sense that an exfoliation now and then would be a good idea.

I decided to try Caviar Clinical Exfoliating Scalp Facial by Alterna. Not only did it feel great to scrub my scalp, but I love the results. It made my hair shinier and softer and it was so clean and fresh.

I use it about once every three weeks. I apply it while in the tub so I can be precise. I section my hair off with clips and rub the exfoliant into my scalp one area at a time, using its brush tip in circular motions. When I am done I rinse it out, then shampoo and condition like normal.


Texturizing Spray: My hairdresser introduced me to Rene Furtherer Style Vegetal Texture Spray during my last visit and I am hooked! It gives me the added lift, volume and texture I want – the way dry shampoo does – but it’s an invisible spray so no powdery residue to brush out. It goes on quickly without any fuss and it smells nice too!



Face oil: I try a lot of skin care samples and rarely come across one that motivates me to track it down in a full-size and buy it. That is just what happened when I received a sample of Bobbie Brown EXTRA Face Oil which showed up with a Macys order several weeks ago.

I was wary at first to try the oil. Wouldn’t oil make my face greasy and cause me to breakout even more than I already was? I was curious enough to give it a try and after using it for four days, I was sold.

Several weeks in and I have had no breakouts whatsoever and my skin feels smooth, soft and hydrated. I apply it an hour or so before bed so it will soak in before I put my face on my pillow. During the day, I wear Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Moisturizing Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 25.

I can’t say enough good stuff about the face oil. I haven’t come across a product my skin has been happy with in a very long time. And a little goes a long way so it’s not a huge expense.


Toner: I love these simple Witch Hazel Pads by Thayers and swipe them across my face before I apply face oil or moisturizer. Gentle and refreshing, they also remove traces of makeup and dirt leftover after I wash my face. These pads contain aloe vera as well, which makes my skin feel soft and supple.

I will be using these often during hot summer months when I want to feel refreshed. I may even store them in the fridge!


Makeup Remover: I bought this bottle of Simple cleanser at Target in Seattle last fall after my luggage disappeared and I lost most of my toiletries. It’s a great makeup remover. I mostly use it to take off my eye makeup before, and sometimes after, I wash my face.

It’s also handy to have around when I occasionally just can’t get it together to wash my face at night. It does the job without leaving a greasy film and it doesn’t cause me to breakout.



Eyebrow FillerBobbi Brown Brow Kit helps my thinning brows look soft and natural while still filling in where needed. It comes with a small angled brush for application and mini-tweezers, making it ideal for travel or carrying in your handbag. It’s really easy to use too and there is much more room for error than using a gooey brow gel, which is what I used to use.


Lipstick and Lip Gloss: I discovered Pretty Girl Makeup, created by Northern California makeup artist to the stars, Christina Flach, at La Brocante in Sonoma.


I was drawn to the Rich Husband lipstick, first for its name and then for the color. It’s just about perfect for my coloring. I’ve never been one to wear red lipstick so when I want to wear a darker, more dramatic color, this is the one I reach for. In fact it’s what I wore for my B.R. Cohn Winery photoshoot.


Soul Mates is their sheer light pink lip gloss and my everyday, throw-on-and-go gloss. I also use it over dark lipsticks to soften the color and shine up my lips.

Baby Love, in the photo below, is a hot pink gloss and my new spring favorite. There is something about adding the right pink hue to your lips that makes you look more vibrant and youthful. It brightens up my entire face.


Blush: I used to wear cream blush all the time in my 20’s and forgot all about it until about a year ago when I came across Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush in No. 21.

This cream blush stays on so much longer than my powdered blushes and it deposits more color on my cheeks. It’s also convenient for carrying in my bag for touchups should I need one.



Nail Vitamins: I have learned the hard way not to mess with my thin and flimsy nails too much.  My nails were destroyed a couple of years ago because I was too impatient to have my gel polish taken off by a professional. I peeled the polish off myself, more than once, causing damage that took at least a year to fully recover from. No more gel manicures for me!

I was introduced to Rainbow Light’s Nail, Hair & Skin at the Whole Foods event last summer. A bottle was in the swag bag and I decided to give it a try.

With my soft and wimpy nails, I am happy just to have healthy looking nails let alone long ones. So when, after a few months of taking these vitamins, I started to see some length I was thrilled!


Nail Polish: As far as polish goes I am favoring the natural look these days, even on my toes, and will either wear nothing on my nails or a coat or two of this clear Perfect Formula polish. I love this brand because their line has none of the toxic TPHP found in many polishes and it’s a woman-owned small business.



What favorite beauty products do you recommend to friends?

A reminder that the deadline for How I Wear My: Tote Bag submissions is this coming Monday, February 29th. Send a photo of you in your tote bag look to [email protected] to be featured. Please include a description of your outfit too! For more information, visit the How I Wear My page.

How I Wear My Badge


Make it a rich day!