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Boston: MiniLuxe

Above: Elizabeth in OPI's "Big Apple Red"

You've heard me rave about MiniLuxe before, but this time it was even more EPIC because I was with a group of lovely ladies organized by Janee, who I recently met and adore!

As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing better than spending a chilly winter evening in the warmth of MiniLuxe's spa-like atmosphere with a group of wonderful, smart and funny women, getting our nails did! Forget "selfie" as the word for 2013, I think it should be LADY DATE.

It was terrific to hang out with Janee, Elizabeth, Ana, Alaina, Molly and Emily. The proof is in the iPhone photos (this one below is from Alaina):

Of course we all selected varying shades of RED...'tis the season, afterall!

Above: Ana in OPI's Malaga Wine

Thank you once again to MiniLuxe for hosting all of us and for my lovely manicure.

For amazing recaps, check out Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard, So Alaina, Scavengenius, Wicked Cheap and Seagrass Studio.


Boston Ballet: The Nutcracker

It was an absolute dream to visit The Boston Ballet for a behind the scenes look at the new costumes and production opening on November 23.

What a marvel to view the craft and intricate handiwork of the costumes in the costume shop and speak to costume shop manager Charles Heightchew. 2,000 yards of net and tulle along with cottons, silks and linens were some of the materials used, with extensive hand painting (award-winning costume designer Robert Perdziola hand tipped every Sugar Plum and Snow Queen tutu with metallic paint) and jewels (as many as 200,000) individually sewn on with 3,600 jewels alone for the Sugar Plum's and Dew Drop's costumes.

The creative team wanted to keep the dancers' silhouettes streamlined and control the color palette in Act I in an early 19th century inspired way. Act II showcases a burst of color as we saw during the dress rehearsal, where the costumes were tested for the very first time.

Creative Director Mikko Nissinen tells us that the set design was inspired by "18th century Prague with the use of flats with everything hand-painted to incredible detail and resembling a puppet theatre". As the play goes on, layers of of the story unfold, irising out of one another.

Robert Perdziola on Mikko Nissinen:

"We needed a strong Captain and needed to abide by that. Mikko is the Captain!"

It was a magical day at the ballet; very Degas-esque for me! I can't wait for what promises to be an extravanganza of a production, the biggest show the Boston Ballet has built in over a decade!

The Nutcracker runs from November 23 - December 30 at the Boston Opera House. For tickets visit BostonBallet.org


Boston: Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing Gift Collection

This time of the year with Thanksgiving and Christmas, not only is it the perfect time for celebration and gift-giving, it's absolutely the occasion for all that jazz.

Neiman Marcus and Camp Harbor View together hosted a reception to preview a selection of Ken Downing holiday gifts, with 10% of the sales benefiting the HeART of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which supports art experiences for youth. Copley Place has selected the Arts Program at Camp Harbor View which is committed to sharing the art of drama, music and literature to youth from Boston's at-risk neighborhoods.

Boston's own Roberta and Stephen Weiner were the honored guests of the elegant evening filled with jazz, delectable treats, bubbly and of course, some of the most beautiful holiday gifts of the season..

Happy Thanksgiving!


Boston: Neiman Marcus, Project Beauty

We can ALWAYS use a few beauty tips, non? And what better way, than from the beauty experts of Chanel, La Mer and Trish McEvoy at Neiman Marcus?

Add to that champagne decorated with candied lips and fun beauty make-overs? That's exactly what the evening was all about...

Maggie Models, Abba, Genevieve, Lauren and Melissa


Boston: Neiman Marcus, Forevermark

I'm always honored to photograph the fashion and beauty events at Neiman Marcus and at this time of the year it's especially nice to capture a little bling, or in this case A LOT of bling. I mean, what's more captivating than diamonds?

Forevermark knows how to do diamonds, and does it well.

This year, the most talked about diamond is a 25-carat rough diamond, which is part of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book fantasty gift. At 1.85 million the fantasy gift includes a trip to De Beers' headquarters in London, a trip off Namibia's coast where the diamond was discovered, and the design of the diamond into a ring by award-winning jewelry designer Maria Canale.

The evening was hosted by Boston's own philanthropist Corinne Grousbeck, who was wearing the incredible L'Wren Scott necklace and whose birthday was celebrated with, what else, "diamond" encrusted cupcakes!

Here's how Neiman Marcus does it, a glittery evening with the lovely Maria Canale and her exquisite diamond creations...



Jeweler Maria Canale is bringing her exclusive collection of pieces to Neiman Marcus in Boston tonight in the hope that the spotlight piece — a necklace of raw and cut diamonds worn by actress Nicole Kidman and worth $1.6 million — will find a local buyer.

The Boston fantasy gift (if sold, $75,000 will be donated to the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown) is an extension of the upscale department store’s famed Christmas Book. In the 2013 edition, shoppers with money to burn can drop $344,500 for a 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante or $1.5 million for an outdoor entertainment system featuring a 201-inch screen and a state-of-the-art speaker system.

Canale plays a part in Neiman’s most expensive fantasy gift — a rare 25-carat Forevermark diamond, which she will design into a ring. The buyer of this $1.85 million gem also gets a trip to De Beers headquarters in London and a boat trip along the Namibian coast where the diamond was found.

“The (fantasy gift) diamond itself is the amount of the gift. It’s going to be pretty awesome,” said the New York-based designer. “We’re taking inquiries now, and we’ll see.”

Whether the diamond experience sells is almost beside the point for Canale, who enjoys its journey on the pop culture conversation circuit. On last week’s “Saturday Night Live,” Seth Meyers cracked a joke about Neiman’s luxury prize.“Give her the gift that says, ‘My wife can never know about us,’ ” he said.

Tonight’s visit to Neiman, hosted by philanthropist Corinne Grousbeck, promised to be glittering — even for women who could never imagine owning something so over-the-top luxe.

“It is a selling event, but it’s also inspiring people,” said Canale. “We take photos of them. We put the jewelry on them. For clothes, you can just try on a dress. But jewelry is a little more intimidating.”

Grousbeck thinks Canale’s necklace can sell tonight.

“It’s so simple,” she said. “I love when important jewelry is dressed down. So wearable and not in your face.”

- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/style_fashion/2013/11/maria_canale_brings_her_sparkling_collection_to_boston#sthash.CG5nXwxU.dpuf