Latest Posts

Mani(cure) Monday: A Bright, Summery Mani

Hello, friend!

I’ve missed my Mani(cure) Monday posts!! Its been way too long since the last one. I’ve been enjoying my new MoYou London Doodles Plate Collection 03 (which is out of stock at the moment…), and was feeling inspired to create a bright, summery manicure along the lines of Van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night or a colorful lehenga.

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Here’s what I came up with…


I used Zoya’s Arizona for the orange, JulieG’s Canary Islands for the yellow, and MoYou London’s stamping polish Turquoise Mint for the blue. It was a bright and cheery mani that was a conversation starter for sure. I say you’ve got to fit in fun where you can, right?!

I hope that you have a great week! I’m currently in Los Angeles with my husband and brother-in-law soaking up the last days of summer fun (and eating plenty of good food for all of us!).



ColourPop + Coffee Break With Dani: Metamorphosis

Hi, friend!

As you know, I’m a huge Coffee-Break-With-Dani fan. Dani’s YouTube channel is just plain fun. Her big heart, constant smile and sense of humor, in addition to her devotion to kindness are just a few attributes that make her YouTube channel a must-watch for me. Having said this, I wasn’t sold on her latest collaboration with ColourPop — a set of four, seemingly neutral, Super Shock shadows called Metamorphosis — until I tried them, that is.

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I had been debating whether or not to purchase the set, because, like I wrote above, I just wasn’t crazy about the color range. And, to boot, the examples people were sharing on Instagram were a bit dramatic for me. The set just wasn’t doing it for me… But then ColourPop sent me a coupon for $5 off my next purchase. I’m a little ashamed to say that this is what pushed me over the edge to finally trust Dani with her latest creation and purchase the $20 set.

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Like Frida, Dani’s Lippie Stix collaboration with ColourPop, she put a lot of thought into her Metamorphosis Super Shock Shadow set. Metamorphosis is meant to be taken both literally and figuratively in that Dani wants to encourage her viewers to grow and be the best that they can be — “be the change” as the mint packaging states (Dani’s favorite color), and to quote beautiful words once spoken by Mahatma Ghandi, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Additionally, she designed the shadows to be metamorphic (or changeable) when worn over other shades. Think about what Hope (the glimmering unicorn-fairy-dust shade from the set) or Kindness (a gorgeous, complicated burnt mauve with a story to tell) would do over a black shadow. Dani has filmed multiple videos illustrating this feature, so I decided to keep my EOTD simple and confined to the four shades in the set.


In the end, simple is just the way I prefer the Metamorphosis Super Shock Shadows. This photo really doesn’t do the set justice. It’s actually brilliant — a “unicorn and baby-tears, fairy-dust” (as Dani would say) version of a neutral set. Hey, we couldn’t expect anything less from Dani right?


The ColourPop website describes the colors, from left to right, as:

Kindness– Warm red brown undertone with a gold, green and blue duo chrome in a Sheer Opal finish

Strength– Soft peachy caramel in a Satin finish

Hope– Radiant opal with pink, violet, blue and silver duo chrome in a Sheer Opal finish

Bravery– True medium brown in a Matte finish

Once again Dani created a product that was well thought out and enjoyable to use. If you’ve got $20 and want a fresh, fun take on a neutral eyeshadow set with plenty of opportunities to transform into the dramatic, then go ahead and splurge on Metamorphosis!

Thanks for checking out the post! I hope you have a vibrant day.



Six Days in Paris: Day Four

Hi, friend!

I apologize for my long absence. We’ve been getting in lots of last minute summer fun before school starts for everyone. I’m back today with a quick post to share day four of our June Paris vacation.

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Day four began with Andy rushing off for the final day of his conference, leaving me with a busy schedule of completing the same tasks you see the park goers above doing. ;o) In all honesty though, I have to say that spending so much leisure time in the Luxembourg Gardens during this trip left a strong impression on me. I walked away from my hours in the sun and greenery learning that a) slowing down and enjoying life on a park bench is amazingly good for my wellbeing and b) allowing myself to recharge in this way put my mind in the perfect place to tackle the challenges of floor nursing and to increase my efficiency (without picking up the pace). Brilliant! Sign me up for more park time.


After Andy and I met back up, we took the Métro (this one, to my surprise and enjoyment, arose out of the ground to glide upon tracks set above street level) to the Etoile station to purchase our tickets to the happiest place in Europe (check out next week’s post for all the details!).


And then we tucked into The Auberge de Venise in our Montparnasse neighborhood for some of the most delicious French-style Italian food ever!

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll see you next week to share all the fun from Day Five. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!




The Year of Charlotte Tilbury: Tilbury’s Collaboration with Norman Parkinson

Hi, friend!

Welcome to the July installment of The Year of Charlotte Tilbury! If you follow the Tilbury hype at all, then you’ve been seeing and hearing lots about her new collaboration with the famous British fashion photographer, Norman Parkinson.

The collaboration sprung from Tilbury’s love of Parkinson’s photography. After frequently seeing Parkinson’s photography featured on Tilbury’s Instagram account, Parkinson’s grandson, Jake Parkinson, the current director of the Norman Parkinson Archive, approached Tilbury about a collaboration, and voilà, a match made in heaven was born!

Although I would have loved to have everything, I purchased four items from the limited-edition release. They’re even more glorious than I had imagined, inspiring me to keep them in a prominent place on the vanity… and of course to use and enjoy them as well!

The Haul


I selected the two compacts from the Charlotte Tilbury / Norman Parkinson collection, as well as the two newest Matte Revolution lipsticks. You know how big of a fan I am of her mattes!

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Dreamy Glow Highlighter

This is a lovely, subtle highlighter, and the experience of luxury is definitely boosted by the gorgeous case it comes in. Tilbury has said that the powder “creates ‘peaches and cream,’ dreamy skin” and that it’s the “perfect blend of pearl and pigment to enhance your complexion, scattering light and opalescence across the features, transitioning skin from winter to golden summer in one easy swipe.” Carmen Dell’Orefice is the chic woman gracing the lid of this rose-gold, old-hollywood glamour compact. My flimsy cheekbones need all the help they can get, and, although subtle, this powder does pack a highlighting punch!

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Colour of Youth

This cream blusher is easy to use and, in my opinion, a universally flattering pinky coral. Wenda Parkinson, the famed photographer’s wife and greatest muse, is the beautiful woman on the lid of Tilbury’s Colour of Youth Happy, Healthy Lip & Cheek Glow. Tilbury has said that, feeling inspired by the enduring love between this couple, she created this color while thinking about the “blush of love and happiness that keeps you youthful forever.” What I love most about this product, besides its lovely shade, is that it’s easy to apply and blends flawlessly, while also adding an undeniable flush to the cheeks.

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Matte Revolution Lipstick in Miss Kensington and 1975 Red

Miss Kensington is far from the pale, lip fading shade that I had imagined. You know, that paler-than-lips 1960’s bubblegum pink that only three percent of the population can pull off. Being a Tilbury fan, though, I had to try out this Matte Revolution, as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while it is the rose-petal hue that Tilbury promises, it could also be considered part of the nude family — something much more up my alley (Look below in the Miss Kensington section to see for yourself.)

I’m fairly cautious about making blanket statements, but 1975 Red has to be the most stunning red I’ve ever seen. It’s not just that it’s a *gorgeous,* highly pigmented and concentrated persimmon red, but that it also blends seamlessly with the lips while wearing for *hours* like a dream. When you do finally sit down for a meal, this red wears naturally, leaving you looking like a natural beauty instead of a beauty blunder, like so many long-lasting lipsticks can.


“My Matte Revolution lipstick is designed to create the illusion of fuller, wider lips that look lit from within. It’s a trick I use all the time on photo shoots, using lighting trickery, pigments and powders, and I have been working for years to re-create this effect in the slick of one lipstick. Matte Revolution’s formula soothes and hydrates the lips for a soft, buildable cashmere finish.”

— Charlotte Tilbury

The Art of the Vanity With a Little Help From Charlotte Tilbury

As with all of Tilbury’s products, and not just this heavenly collaboration with Parkinson, these beautiful compacts scream to be displayed. They inspire me to care for my space, as well as for myself — by picking them up to apply a brush stroke of highlight to my cheeks or a dash of crimson to my lips before slipping out the door for a day of work or play.

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The Miss 1975 Look

One of Tilbury's official images of her Miss 1975 look.

One of Tilbury’s official images of her Miss 1975 look.

“Sun-kissed and sexy, as if she were lit from within, Miss 1975 is a homage to Jerry Hall’s first Vogue cover shot by Norman Parkinson. This gorgeous look creates a flawlessly dewy complexion, bright sunset red lips and mesmerising eyes. Ooze 1970’s glamour everyday with a fresh, modern update.”

— Charlotte Tilbury

Highlights from Tilbury's Miss 1975 look including her cream Suntan & Sunlight Filmstar Bronze & Glow and 1975 Red Matte Revolution Lipstick. Image from

Highlights from Tilbury’s Miss 1975 look including her cream Suntan & Sunlight Filmstar Bronze & Glow and 1975 Red Matte Revolution Lipstick. Image from


Besides the lipstick and cream blush, I didn’t have much in the way of the makeup that Tilbury used to create her Miss 1975 look, so I improvised using similar shades. Do you see what I mean about this red!? It’s incredible!


The Miss Kensington Look

One of Tilbury's official images of her Miss Kensington look.

One of Tilbury’s official images of her Miss Kensington look.

“Flushed with the glow of youth, Miss Kensington channels the soft focus sensuality and dreamy diffused light of Norman Parkinson’s photos of his 1960’s muses: Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy and his wife Wenda. Recreate the look with rose petal lips, a perfect cashmere complexion and sensational sixties lashes.”

— Charlotte Tilbury



Unlike my experience creating Tilbury’s Miss 1975, I did have most of the makeup items used to create the Miss Kensington look. I wore this for an evening out with my husband, but it’s a subtle enough look that I would have felt comfortable wearing this during the day, as well. Do you see what I mean about the Miss Kensington Matte Revolution being a creamy, rose-petal nude?


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Swatches in natural light.

Swatches in natural light.

Swatches under indoor light.

Swatches under indoor light.

So what do you think of the collaboration? Will you be picking up any of the items? What are the standouts from the collection for you?

I hope you enjoyed this (epically long) post, and that your week is off to a great start!

Thanks for visiting A Vibrant Day!



P.S. Here are my previous The-Year-of-Charlotte-Tilbury posts if you’re still interested in checking out more.

The Year of Charlotte Tilbury:

January — Filmstar Bronze & Glow

February — PillowTalk Lip Cheat

March — Luxury Palette

April — The Matte Revolution Luxury Lipstick Wardrobe

May — Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow

June — Colour Chameleons

Six Days in Paris: Day Three

Day three of our Parisian vacation was pure magic for me.

Have you read the book or seen the TV movie called Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris? It’s a sweet little novel by Paul Gallico which was published in 1958 in the UK, about a London house maid (charwoman) who, after seeing a client’s Dior haute-couture dresses, becomes determined to own a Dior dress of her own. I empathized with the passion that springs up in Mrs. Harris after seeing Mr. Dior’s handmade confections. I’ve had a life-long love (this word doesn’t seem adequate for the fiery emotion) for fashion and often feel transported to some other exciting, ethereal world when watching the videos of fashion’s reigning kings and queens, such as Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino and Raf Simons for Dior. I’m a modest girl from Utah, though. I was raised by practical, hardworking parents, and the thought of owning Chanel of my own is not a thought I entertained… until I became infected by the Mrs.-‘Arris bug! Mrs. Harris’ determination to own Dior ignited something in me. If a determined charwoman who was far more strapped for cash than me could put her mind to saving for a great dream, then so could I. And, that’s just what I did for over a year, in preparation for our trip to Paris.


Something that I thought about often leading up to day three of our trip, just as Mrs. Harris had, was what does one wear when visiting the house of one of fashion’s greatest? Don’t laugh (too hard), but yes, I did google, “What should one wear when shopping at Chanel?” Interestingly, I learned that a Harvard study had found that women who dressed casually in, say, exercise wear, were treated better than those who arrived dressed to the nines in the best designer goods that their closets had to offer. This caused me more distress than relief. I don’t wear workout apparel to the grocery store… why in the world would I wear it to Chanel? So, I trusted my own fashion instincts and selected a favorite silk blouse I had purchased in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, a pair of placeless (read inexpensive) black jeggings, and a pair of pristine second-hand Valentino pumps that I purchased from thredUP. Not wanting to tromp in Valentinos all the way to the 1st arrondissement from our 14th neighborhood, we hopped onto the subway — and our adventure began!

Our Invader sighting for the day.

Our Invader sighting for the day.

I’ll be honest. This Chanel-loving little gal from Utah was *nervous* entering the legendary doors of 31 Rue Cambon. Mademoiselle Chanel’s history is dear to me, and the idea of being in her shop was exhilarating, but this excitement was simultaneously paired with a fear of being out-classed by the wealthy and more experienced Chanel shoppers. This unease was put to rest by the sweet Anne Louise (who I highly recommend if you find yourself shopping at Chanel’s flagship), who helped me to select my treasures.

A snapshot my husband took of me and Anne Louise.

A snapshot my husband took of me and Anne Louise.

I was pleased to learn that I had saved more than enough for the iconic 2.55 — Mademoiselle Chanel’s own creation and the handbag she carried herself. As I’ve said before, the history behind the brand is important to me and this item is brimming with Chanel nostalgia. The 2.55 is named as such because it was created by Chanel in February 1955. She was a lifelong lover of horses, and selected a leather that was similar to her saddle blanket (quilted, aged calfskin). The handbag honors all of the details Mademoiselle Chanel selected when creating her own flap bag, including a pocket on the back she could easily slip her hand into to find a few francs for tipping, a zippered sleeve in which she kept letters, a thin compartment for her theater tickets, and a separate maroon-leather lined interior section (because in her later years her eyes began to fail and the lighter leather made it easier to find objects). I selected gold metal (as it’s the original), but the 2.55 is also available in white metal. And… I had enough left over that I picked up another work of art. This one from the newest Métiers d’Art collection, but still a classic in my eyes. I’ll show it to you below in an unboxing!

Standing on her stairs.

Standing on her stairs.

I had so much fun talking shop and browsing the rooms with Anne Louise that when it was finally time to go and she asked if I would like to stand on *her* stairs (the stairs that Mademoiselle used to sit on, just out of sight, to watch her shows), my heart skipped a beat. Wow. Just, wow. This was the ultimate Mrs.-Harris-finally-made-it-to-Paris moment (!), and I couldn’t have been more grateful for the kind reception Anne Louise gave me.


We wandered up to the Place Vendôme, the area where Mademoiselle Chanel had her first shop — a millinery store. On a high, and with the courage that only holding two Chanel shopping bags can bring, we mustered our courage and entered the doors of CHANEL Fine Jewellery. Words fail me in trying to describe the originality of design and creative use of all sorts of the finest and most beautiful baubles one can imagine. These truly are treasures. If you’re curious to see them in action, many of Chanel’s original fine-jewelry designs are worn by celebrities who gather around roulette tables for pantomime fun while models show off Lagerfeld’s latest masterpiece of a show (click here).

View from one of our favorite cafés, The Grand Corona.

View from one of our favorite cafés, The Grand Corona.


I then slipped on walking shoes and we headed off to the bottom of the Champs-Élysées where we love to eat at a fantastic café called The Grand Corona. Yum! Our journey from here is a circuitous route that eventually led us back to our cozy room in Montparnasse.


Yes, with Chanel shopping bags in hand, we also paid a visit to the shop on Avenue Montaigne.

Yes, with Chanel shopping bags in hand, we also paid a visit to the shop on Avenue Montaigne.

And, yes, we did lots of window shopping.

And, yes, we did lots of window shopping.


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The light on the clouds in the Tuileries Gardens was unbelievably beautiful.

The light on the clouds in the Tuileries Gardens was unbelievably beautiful.



Only the "love locks" lining the walk up to the Pont des Arts remain. The walls of the bridge crossing the river have been removed and replaced by paintings by Parisian graffiti artists.

Only the “love locks” lining the walk up to the Pont des Arts remain. The walls of the bridge crossing the river have been removed and replaced by paintings by Parisian graffiti artists.

Once we were back in our hotel room, it was time to dive into my shopping bags and admire my new treasures.

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And that was Mrs. Marvick’s magical day in Paris!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!



Six Days in Paris: Day Two

Day two, our first full day in Paris, was the day that Andy presented a paper at his conference (at the Sorbonne!). He was busy with last-minute fine tuning of his work in the morning, so it wasn’t until just before lunch that we set off on our pre-conference adventures.


We began by taking a stroll through the Montparnasse cemetery. Although famous folks like Charles Baudelaire and Jean-Paul Sartre occupy plots at the cemetery, a stroll through the Montparnasse cemetery for me — unlike the more famous Père Lachaise cemetery on the north side of the city — is less about who rests within the walls and more about the quiet atmosphere. I got the feeling that our friend the crow (above) feels the same.

Andy guided me through the streets of the Montparnasse neighborhood, showing me places he used to frequent as a child during the year his family lived in Paris (his dad was a political scientist who was invited to teach at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes). We eventually ended up at the pedestrian shopping area of the Rue Daguerre, which houses many drool-worthy charcuterie, bakery, cheese, veggie, floral, etc. shops. In fact, it’s where we finally succumbed to our hunger and picked out sandwiches to carry with us until we found a perfect park bench for a picnic.

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Look at that brioche! Why can’t someone in southern Utah bake brioche like this?! Perhaps it’s a good thing that scrumptious bread like this isn’t available in my neck of the woods.

After lunch we decided that it was time to head toward the inevitable… It was nearing the time for Andy to deliver his paper, so we decided to stop dragging our feet and march (or rather stroll) down through the Luxembourg Gardens toward the Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne.

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Just before we stumbled upon this 17th-century statue that had been retrofitted with a modern-art installation, Andy spoke up to mention that we should keep our eyes out for something of the like. This robe (??) which encases the statue is made of looped rubber. What do you think? I thought it was kind of neat. From farther away the texture looked almost like feathers. It seemed like most onlookers were less impressed though.

Andy’s session went well. I was a proud wife (and also completely lost, as I speak next to no French). With the pressure behind him, Andy was eager to set off on more Parisian-street adventures. Along the way we spotted three more Invaders. Do you see them?


For me, the icing on the cake came late in the day when we wound our way toward the fashion mecca 31 Rue Cambon — the location of Mademoiselle Chanel’s first all-around fashion boutique. We arrived after hours when the stores on the street were closed and the crowds had departed. It was so quiet standing in front of the windows of her shop. I took my time eyeing all of the intricate details of Karl Lagerfeld’s designs and soaking up the fact that I was standing in the famous spot. It was quite the experience.

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It was getting late by this point, so we decided to turn around and head back across the river toward the 6th arrondissement. Andy needed to get to bed early so that he could make the early session of his conference, and I wanted to rest up for some much more selfish business I had planned for day three of the trip. Check back next week and I’ll share all the juicy details :o)

Lots of love,


Gorgeous geraniums in the Montparnasse neighborhood.

Gorgeous geraniums in the Montparnasse neighborhood.

Jouer Summer 2015 Le Matchbox Unboxing

Hi, friend!

I’m back with a new unboxing video to share Jouer’s Summer Le Matchbox. Le Matchbox is a quarterly subscription that costs $45. The summer collection is valued at just over $100. I’m still loving the items that I received in my spring box, and my first impressions of the summer box are great!

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

I hope that your weekend is going well! XO


P.S. I’ll be back later today with day two of our Parisian vacation.

The Year of Charlotte Tilbury: Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencils

Hi, friend-

I couldn’t let a month go by without adding a new post to my monthly series — The Year of Charlotte Tilbury!

This month I’ll be showing you two of Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencils. One that I purchased during an infamous shopping trip in Selfridges, and the other that I bought after the fact. The one that I picked up in Selfridges (Champagne Diamonds) was based solely on my color preference, before I understood that Tilbury had designed the pencils to enhance *specific* eye colors. The second I purchased (Golden Quartz) later to test out the eye-shade specific pencil that Tilbury recommended for hazel eyes. Below you’ll see photos of me wearing both. You’ll have to let me know if Tilbury’s hypothesis is true. Does her Golden Quartz really make my hazel eyes pop more than Champagne Diamonds?

What are Colour Chameleons? (I’m sorry, but I have to ask if anyone else’s brain spontaneously starts playing Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon upon reading Colour Chameleon? ;o) Colour Chameleons are Tibury’s answer to the eyeshadow pencil trend. But, Tilbury always has a trick up her sleeve, and these are no exception. Yes, they’re long wearing, but the real trick is that she has taken the guess work out of picking which pencil will most enhance and “transform” your eye color.

Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleons in Golden Quartz (left) and Champagne Diamonds (right).

Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleons in Golden Quartz (left) and Champagne Diamonds (right).

“Cheat your way to intense, bedazzling eye color in the stroke of a pencil! Bring out your eyes’ natural gemstone sparkle with my COLOUR CHAMELEON eyeshadow pencils, infused with synthetic sapphire.”

— The Charlotte Tilbury website

How do they work? Easy. Run the eyeshadow pencil along the lower portion of the lid and smudge the shadow up and out toward the outer V of the eye. Easy peasy as that. Tilbury’s website claims these are long lasting, and I will give her that, but do they stand up to the nursing-shift test? No. Even with my trusty Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion underneath, Colour Chameleons are significantly creased by the end of a 13-hour nursing shift. Do I recommend them for ease and long-lasting wear under normal circumstances… Yes! They’re terrific!

Champagne Diamonds

Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon in Champagne Diamonds.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon in Champagne Diamonds.

Tilbury's official image of Champagne Diamonds.

Tilbury’s official image of Champagne Diamonds.

Like I mentioned earlier in the post, Champagne Diamonds was the first Colour Chameleon that I purchased. At the time I wasn’t aware that Tilbury had designed her eyeshadow pencils to pair with specific eye colors. I’m sure my sweet (and patient) MUA tried to explain to me that Golden Quartz may be a better selection for my eye color, but I had a lot of ground to cover and not a lot of time, LOL. But, despite Champagne Diamonds being designed for blue eyes, I think that it’s really a universal shade that would look beautiful on anyone. What do you think?

Golden Quartz

Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon in Golden Quartz.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon in Golden Quartz.

Tilbury's official image of Golden Quartz.

Tilbury’s official image of Golden Quartz.

Once I became a tried-and-true Charlotte-Tilbury fan, I decided I needed to give her selection of Colour Chameleon for my eye shade a try. I selected Golden Quartz for hazel eyes, though she also has the alternative Smokey Emerald for hazel eyes. I love Golden Quartz, and I do think that it enhances the color of my eyes. After seeing her model’s hazel eyes, however, I see that I have more green in my eyes and I *really* want to try her Bronzed Garnet for green eyes. Do you see how this is fun and just as addicting as her other (goodies, oops, I mean) products?


So what do you think? Are you itching to try Tilbury’s Colour Chameleons now? Are you curious to see if your eyes will pop under her guidance? What do you think about her selection for my hazel eyes? Do you think they pop more under the influence of Golden Quartz than when compared to Champagne Diamonds?

Thanks for checking out June’s The-Year-of-Charlotte-Tilbury post. If you’re still curious about her products check out the following links to learn more, and come back next month for some Charlotte Tilbury X Norman Parkinson fun!!

Lots of love,


The Year of Charlotte Tilbury:

January — Filmstar Bronze & Glow

February — PillowTalk Lip Cheat

March — Luxury Palette

April — The Matte Revolution Luxury Lipstick Wardrobe

May — Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow

Six Days in Paris: Day One

After my longest blogging hiatus to date,  I’m back. Whew! Its been a marathon since touching down on American soil after six wonderful and full days in Paris, France. I’ve worked nine 13-hour shifts in the 13 days we’ve been home, so I apologize for my lengthy absence (no, I didn’t quit the blog). I’ve thought long and hard about how to share my Parisian travels, and I’ve decided the best way to document the fun would be to break up the trip into six posts — one for each of the lovely days we were in the City of Lights. So, let’s do this!


After a lengthy journey — including a three-hour early-morning drive to the airport (plus the pre-flight to airline-gate rigamarole that follows), a five-hour flight from Las Vegas to Montreal (followed by a two-hour layover), and then a five-hour flight to Paris — we arrived at 9 am. Despite speeding forward into time, and effectively skipping a night’s sleep, we were pumped and ready to go.

We made a misstep and opted for the bus from the Charles de Gaulle airport into the city. The traffic was heavy and what should have been more like a 70-minute train trip ended up being a two-and-a-half hour drive! But, all was good and we were able to drop our luggage at our quaint hotel in the Montparnasse neighborhood. Then we dashed off for important business (!) — to enjoy steak and pommes frites for lunch at the Relais de l’Entrecôte. Yum!

Lunch at Relais de la Entr'acte is always a treat!


The delicious and relaxing lunch recharged our batteries enough that we decided to take a scenic walk from Montparnasse through the Luxembourg Gardens and wind our way through the streets, with the Marais’ Place des Vosges being our destination.

Beekeepers busy at work was among our first sights upon entering the Luxembourg Gardens.

Beekeepers busy at work were among our first sights upon entering the Luxembourg Gardens.


Feeling full and relaxed from lunch, I'm ready to take on the streets of Paris!

Feeling full and relaxed from lunch, I’m ready to take on the streets of Paris!

I could watch the kids playing in and around the pond in front of the Luxembourg Palace for hours.

I could watch the kids playing in and around the pond in front of the Luxembourg Palace for hours.

And, the Fountaine di Medicis just off the palace is always a tranquil stop along our walks.

And, the Fontaine Medicis next to the palace is always a tranquil stop along our walks.

After exiting the Luxembourg Gardens, we walked through the Latin Quarter down toward the river, looking in shop windows and soaking up the gorgeous architecture surrounding us from every angle. We made our way across the Ile Saint Louis and the hordes of tourists waiting in line for their taste of Berthillon’s famous ice-cream.

Look at the amazing gargoyles of Notre Dame de Paris.

Look at the amazing gargoyles of Notre Dame de Paris.

We took a couple of cheesy selfies in front of Notre Dame cathedral, but I couldn’t bring myself to publish them (sorry!). Our travel-weary feet continued to carry us all the way to our destination in the Marais. When there are sights like this to be seen, it really doesn’t matter how far you’ve traveled, or how tired you are… It seems like the energy of the city and the promise of what’s around the corner are enough to keep feet moving.


Our first Invader was camouflaged on a 12th-century wall (Wall of Philip Augustus), and we nearly walked right past it.

Our first Invader was camouflaged on a 12th-century wall (Wall of Philip Augustus), and we nearly walked right past it.

Why were we hoofin’ it to the Place des Vosges? I’ll give you two good reasons:


#1) To enjoy a kir at Andy's mom's favorite place for the apéritif.

#1) To enjoy a kir at Andy’s mom’s favorite place for the apéritif.

and #2) to enjoy some Berthillon ice cream (without the lines).

and #2) to enjoy some Berthillon ice cream (without the lines).

With the afternoon wearing on and our spirit of adventure about worn out, we made our way back to our cozy room in Montparnasse much the same way as we came. After a refreshing shower, sleep came quickly and lasted until morning…. And, that’s how we tricked jet lag!

Check back next week for Day Two of our Parisian adventures.



A Vibrant Day Is One Year Old!

****Update: The winner of my one-year anniversary giveaway is…. Lena (from!!! Thanks to all the new followers and to those who commented below. I really appreciate your feedback. XO****

Hello, friend!

I know that earlier this week I promised a couple of unboxing posts, but travel preparations have taken a front seat. I did not, however, want to let AVD’s one-year anniversary go by without mention. And, to celebrate, I have a giveaway!!

To qualify for an entry:

  • Please be a follower of A Vibrant Day
  • Comment below and tell me what is your favorite thing about AVD (I’m always trying to improve :o)
  • Feel free to (but don’t feel obligated to) share this post either on your blog or on social media

The giveaway is open internationally and will close June 30th. Please be patient with my responses to your comments, as I work Sunday and Monday and then we’re off to Paris for a little over a week (!!) (and then the work catch-up game begins).

Thank you so much for your support and friendship! I had no idea when I created this blog that so many friendships would develop as a result.

Lots of love!!