Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Gucci Beauty Audacious Color-Intense Lipstick in Iconic Red


I was on the hunt for a new red lipstick. I wanted it to be beautiful, highly pigmented, moisturizing, and look good coming out of my pocketbook. It was going to replace one of my favorite reds, but you ladies know how it is. You just need something new. I give you Gucci Beauty Audacious Color-Intense Lipstick in Iconic Red. All I can say is thank you Pat McGrath. She has created some of the best  beauty products on the market and she hasn’t disappointed with this red. It’s everything Gucci represents – glamour and sexy. When I wear this I only wear mascara and a very neutral blush. That’s it. The color doesn’t need anything else.  Get it in your lifestyle.

Look Out That Window Girl and Live


I’m in Louisiana, but not for the reason I planned. On Thursday, January 8, I lost my dear brother Jamie. Needless to say the pain is so hard that I am in a fog. My heart feels like it’s about to break open. I didn’t expect. None of us did. We thought he was on the mend. He was getting better. That’s what the doctors told us. It’s going to take time. Lots of time. Be patient. On September 25 my brother had a massive stroke. I was on a plane the next day. I’ve been flying back and forth trying to maintain a business and a life. It’s been rough.

His birthday is tomorrow which makes this even more heart wrenching. On the flight down I was a mess. I couldn’t have made it without my husband and two amazing flight attendants on United. Those ladies mothered me for three hours on a plane until I could walk into my mother’s arms. I don’t know how she is so strong. She has had to bury a husband and now two sons. I’m looking to her for strength, because I’m so weak. Jamie was not just my brother, but my best friend. He’s one of the reasons I travel. He supported me while I studied in Paris, maintained my car and house when I lived in Houston, and listened to every complaint, frustration, and accolade. He called me every single day. There was no dream I had that he didn’t support. When I told him my ideas he encouraged every single one. Not one hesitation. Not one doubt. He believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

No matter where in the world I was I got a text, voicemail, and email from him. Every Monday we analyzed each NFL game. It’s been hard trying to watch the games without hearing his voice. The last time I talked to him was on September 24. My wedding anniversary when he called to wish me “happy anniversary.” He kept laughing and saying I can’t believe you found someone to put up with you. That was our running joke. Every phone call or voicemail started the same – “Julia, it’s your brother Jamie …” When I called him back I said “Jamie, it’s your sister Julia. Your only sister.”

To not hear is voice is hard. I’ve been playing his last few voicemails to me over and over. Just to hear him say it. He’s taken care of me since I was little. I remember him washing and combing my hair, taking me to school, and always being there even with a family of his own. He came to the house as I got ready for prom, going off to college, taking me to the airport to go study in Paris, helping pack my car to move to DC, telling me “have fun in DC, but come back now, you here!,” go to Spain with that guy because you know what you are doing, and much more.

Yesterday I did something I have never done. I requested a window seat on the plane in his honor. He knew I hate to fly and would never sit by the window or ever look out the window on a plane. But he always told me “look out that window girl and live.”That’s what I did.

I know he’s no longer in pain, but it just sucks. I talked to my family and asked could I write something. My mom said that’s what you do. Write it out. It will help. I’ve received so many calls, emails, and texts in support. Thank you. Life is so short and it’s so precious. I just wish heaven could have waited one more day, one more week, one more month, one more year to make him an angel. I guess they needed him more than me.


Reading Pretty: Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. by Lara Casey



I devoured Lara Casey’s book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose in two day. It was a particular gloomy Saturday and I wanted something to break the fiction books I was reading. I received a preview copy of the e-book, but I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to support her and purchased a “real” book.

Lara is a major proponent of looking at your life and making the necessary changes you need to make without blaming someone else for your happiness. She goes deep into her unhappy marriage and work and how she turned it around without making any excuses. I know there are a lot of self-help books out there, but what makes Laura’s book great is her desire to discuss the art of not “being perfect.” I’m still trying to figure out when perfect became the ideal. Life is messy, thank goodness. We need stories to tell and perfect doesn’t make good story telling.

I always say Instagram is the highlight real of your life and not the real dirty work. Yes, I consider what a photo will look like before I post, but actually my bed isn’t made, my office is a hot mess, I’m tired, and the past few days made me realize I need to make some shifts. She has a yearly conference and I’m seriously considering going.

Lara thanks for a great book. Keep making it happen.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Net Galley. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty. 

Voya Seaweed Soak



It’s National Bubble Bath Day. Can I get an Amen! So, I decided that I needed more bath products in my life. I take a lot of baths, but I tend to keep using the same products over and over. I decided to use the weekends for the true luxury products. The ones that I will not be using during the week because they deserve time. Time to enjoy, engage, and to take me away. I’ve come along way from Calgon and thanks to these interwebs I am able to get my needs delivered right to my door.

I give you the Voya Lazy Days Seaweed Bath. Don’t you need more lazy days? I sure do and this product is all that and a bag of chips. First it’s seaweed so it’s going to be messy. Deal with it because it’s worth it. Voya is an Irish coming and uses the seaweed to create beauty products. This bath is a detoxifying product. It draws out any impurities and perfect at the end of a long week. It’s going to feel weird when you first get into the water. Since the seaweed is in a pouch I get two uses out of it. Seriously, it’s slimy. Just grab a book and a cup of tea, keep it moving, and make sure you have a good bath cleaner.

I’m Glossy Thanks to Oribe Curl Gloss



My hair stylist Q turned me on this curling creme. Every time I get my haircut I bring my trusty Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Paul Mitchell, but one day she said let’s mix them together. I decided to trust her even though I really didn’t want to. Whoa! My curls were shiny, hydrating and smelled so good. Oribe Curl Gloss Hydration & Hold should be on any curly girl’s hair list. My hair is short and I plan to always have this one in the arsenal.

Thanks Q.

Travel Diary: Sofitel Biarritz le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa

Travel Diary Sofitel

I wanted to start your new year with one of my favorite travel diaries from the Sofitel Biarritz. After the Paris Beauty 2014, we headed to Biarritz via Rail Europe, in the South of France to experience true thalassotherapy. Thalassotherapy is the use of sea water as therapy. Since the Sofitel Biarritz le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa is located on the sea it was a great place to start the journey.

In France spas are considered a part of wellness. It’s not just for a birthday or mother’s day present. It is as essential as going to the doctor for a regular checkup. It helps lower blood pressure, rejuvenate and reinvigorate. The hotel is located on the cusp of Basque country. It’s only a 30 minute drive to Spain. The hotel is one of the luxury hotels in the area with sea views from every room. It boasts a spa obviously, salon, fitness center, bar and restaurants. The property is small and intimate and it is a getaway. This hotel is luxury personified.

The luxury hotel by the sea was a great introduction in the world of thalassotherapy. Stay tuned for posts on my fabulous spa treatments.

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Sofitel Biarritz
13 rue Louison Bobet
64200 Biarritz

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency and Sofitel Biarritz. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty and Luxe Beauty Journeys.


Omorovicza Gold Hydralifting Mask

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It’s that time again. Time to get back to the business of beauty. I’m so excited because I have tested out some amazing products over the past few months and I can’t wait to share them. First up is Omorovicza Gold Hydralifting Mask. I’ve noticed I need more hydration on my skin. I need to do masks a lot more frequently than I did when I was younger. I’m pulling out the big guns and this is one of them. It puts into my skin the TLC that this winter is taking out of it. It smells divine and I pretend I’m on a beach when in the sun when it’s on my face. I have taken to applying all my masks with a fan brush like they do in the spas. It adds a little something, something.

2015 Paris Beauty Tour Registration Opens Monday, January 12

Paris Beauty Tour 2015 Registration Sign

Ladies, it’s that time. I’ve received countless emails, Facebook messages, private Tweets, and texts about the Paris Beauty Tour. From the website and the support of Atout France, 2014 tour was amazing. Well, I’m doing it again and the registration opens up on Monday, January 12 at 11:00am EST here.

If you are curious, here’s the website with photos to show all the beauty-full fun time we had. I can’t wait for #ParisBeauty15.


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