Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sassi visits Washington, DC!

The White House, Washington D.C.
My friend Minx came to visit me from London, and we took a 2 day road trip to Washington, DC. At least I was able to video that (and not lose the footage to faulty equipment!).

We took a 2 day hop on, hop off bus tour for around $38, and visited all the usual suspects - The White House, The Washington Monument, Lincoln Monument, etc. We shopped at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. All of this during a heat wave! Thankfully, I packed sunscreen, otherwise we would have been scorched by the relentless sun. We did forget to take hats though!

We visited Arlington National Cemetery and watched the Changing of the Guard, which was very moving.
That night we dined at The Hamburger Hamlet in Bethesda, Maryland, where the food was fresh and delicious, the portions were huge and the waiters were friendly.  The Hamburger Hamlet has a Hollywood connection.  In 1950, actor Harry Lewis and dress designer Marilyn, opened the first Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Boulevard.  The fresh, tasty food was so popular that they expanded their restaurant chain over the years, and they now have locations throughout Southern California and in the Washington, D.C. area.  They have a really good website with lots of pictures of their superb food.  Check them out hereHamburger Hamlet

We stayed overnight at the Hyatt Place in Sterling, Virginia, near Dulles International Airport. It was clean and safe (great for women traveling alone!), and they had a delicious complimentary breakfast selection.  It is also close to the infamous Tysons I and II Shopping Malls, Old Dominion Brewery, the National Air and Space Museum and the Potomac Lake Sportsplex.  If you are in the Dulles area, check out their site here: Hyatt Place Sterling/Dulles Airport-North

The next morning, we visited Gunston Hall Plantation whose original owner, George Mason IV (1725-1792), was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Gunston Hall Plantation was breathtakingly beautiful, and a must-see.
Gunston Hall Plantation, Virginia.

Gunston Hall Plantation

10709 Gunston Road
Mason Neck, VA 22079
Phone: 703-550-9220

So if you ever find yourself in Virginia, be sure to check out Gunston Hall Plantation.  It is seeped in history.

All in all, we had a fabulous weekend!  Good food, interesting and exciting places to visit, and we met more than a few very nice people.  It's everything you would expect to get out of a jam-packed weekend away!

- The Sassi Wench

Review: The Stila Breathtaking Beauty Palette

Watch my review and see me use the step by step guide included with the palette, here:

Having been a devout Stila girl for around 10 years now, I was excited to check out their new range of E! Red Carpet Palettes.

Considering the fact that a Stila Lip Glaze alone is $22 - $24, I thought that $25 for this palette was an almost too-good-to-be-true deal.  The Lip Glaze, the colors, the price, and the fact that this particular palette included an All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten sold me! Kitten is my all time favorite (and most versatile) eye shadow color, and it should be a staple in any Stila makeup collection.  I didn't have a Kitten powder, so this combination was just too good to resist!

I promptly ordered the Breathtaking Beauty Palette!
Stila Breathtaking Beauty Palette.
Stila Lip Glaze in Guava is included!
When I got the palette, I was concerned, because the palette is made in China!  After my disastrous experience with the China-made Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Palette I have vowed to never purchase Smashbox again.  EVER.

At least the Stila Lip Glaze is made in Belgium.  I really thought that this palette would be made in the USA. The last Stila palette I purchased was a Stila Kitten It Girl Trio palette, and it was made in the USA.

At first glance - The Stila Breathtaking Beauty Palette.
The Palette is on the small side.
The eye shadows are silky.
Kitten is gorgeous, as usual, and Breathtaking compliments the guava pink in the Lip Glaze.
Close-up of the Stila Eye Shadow Base colors.
Close-up of the Stila Eye Shadow Lid colors.
Close-up of the Stila Eye Shadow Liner colors.
I found Academy to be my favorite pick from this palette.  It is a simply irresistible gold shade, perfect for highlighting the brow bone area.  

Stila Breathtaking Palette Academy swatch.
Cinema and Theater and the lip colors are matte and the rest of the palette is shimmer.  But bear in mind that this is supposed to be a "Red Carpet" inspired palette.  I experienced a noticeable amount of fall-out from the darker eye shadow colors.  

The colors are easily blend-able, and even though I didn't use an eyelid primer, both the base colors and the lid colors lasted all day.  Academy on the brow bone could have been touched up a little if I had been planning to continue to wear the look after around 7 o'clock.

In addition, I was surprised by the Convertible Color in Breathtaking.  I love the Convertible Color formulas, and when I first got a look at this palette I was a bit surprised at how pinky/orangey it appears.  But once you apply it, it's a pretty guava-pink that compliments the Guava Lip Glaze perfectly.
Stila Convertible Color in Breathtaking

I do think that Guava and Breathtaking were strange choices to combine with the rest of the colors in this palette.  To me, the eye shadow shades here beg for bold red lips, or, nude lips.  Guava and Breathtaking are perfect for a fresh summer look, and I couldn't imagine anyone really wearing these colors on the "Red Carpet".

Eye Shadow: 
  • Cinema - pale nude, base shade
  • Best Picture - shimmery lavender, lid shade
  • Film - black with shimmer, liner shade
  • Academy - pale gold, base shade
  • Theater - shimmery brown, lid shade
  • Drama - rich purple, liner shade
Powders and Lip Colors:
  • All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten
  • Convertible Color in Breathtaking
  • Lip Glaze in Guava.  Guava is a deluxe travel size.
  • Unbeatable Value for Money at $25!
  • Blend-able, silky eye shadow that is Stila's trademark.
  • Staying power.
  • Compact.  Will easily fit into even the tiniest of purses.
  • Mirror.
  • Makeup instructions inside.
  • Strange (but beautiful!) summery lip/cheek color choice to pair with the more dramatic eye shadow shades in the palette. 
  • A little fall-out from the darker shades.
  • Small amount of actual eye shadow product.  The 6 eye shadows combined is only .23 oz./6.45 g.

I absolutely love this palette!  After I got over the small size, I realized how practical and compact it is.  It was easy to throw in my purse and very easy to use, especially with the built-in mirror.  Also, if I continue to use the palette regularly, it should last several months before it's finished (I have a thing about using up all of my makeup!), and by then I'll be bored with it anyway, and it will be time to move on to the next collection.

I'll save the gorgeous guava-pink lip and cheek colors for summer.

Simply put, the value for money is extraordinary for the number of looks you can create with this palette. 

There are two other palettes in this collection - the Stunning Starlet Palette, and the Glamour Goddess Palette, also at $25 each.

You can find them online here.

- The Sassi Wench