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Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Stila…Kirsten Brusse has worked with them all. A beauty expert and licensed makeup artist with more than 17 years’ experience in the industry, Kirsten brings her makeup magic to Newport Vineyards tonight at the highly anticipated Sips & Style NEWPORT. I sat down with Kirsten to get a sneak peek at what to expect and to chat about summer trends:
What sets Sips & Style apart? It was really important to Jill and I to make this event fun, casual and approachable. Admittedly, the beauty industry can have a snooty vibe and people are often intimidated by it. I will never forget, after our first event, a woman approached me afterwards full of smiles and said: “Honestly, I was nervous coming here by myself and I thought people would look me up and down and judge me, but this was the most fun I have had in ages!” I knew we had achieved our goal. Since then, the event has grown and we have a lot of people coming again and again and bringing their friends. It seems, we are doing something right.
What can guests expect at Sips & Style? I always try to find products that are a good value, or at least worth the money if they are expensive, and have changed my life in some way. My goal is to make your life easier by helping you discover products that work, and my philosophy is, “beauty and makeup advice for real women with real budgets.” With us, it is like chatting with your girlfriends – we drink wine, we tell our war stories and laugh and have a really great time. And you will learn a lot along the way that will help you look more put together. During our presentation, we try to cover real topics for busy women.
Last fall, we talked about “How to get ready fast,” and shared time-saving strategies as well as product recommendations. I can’t think of a woman who wouldn’t benefit from that. And let’s not forget our great prizes and giveaways. You are automatically entered, if you buy your ticket in advance. Last time we gave away some amazing gift cards for local services and to local boutiques, as well as some great beauty loot, including entire skin care sets and cosmetics from high end brands such as, Benefit Cosmetics, Patchology and Dermalogica, just to name a few.
What trends are you seeing in spring and summer makeup? It is all about causal and easy makeup. I love multi-tasking products you can toss into your beach or pool bag to help protect from the sun and make you look put together without too much effort. For example, a CC cream with an SPF 50, a cream blush and highlighter, waterproof mascara and a tinted lip balm with sunscreen. For hair, a sun protection spray and a few clear rubber-bands and a brush – off you go.
How would you define “Newport style?” To me, Newport exemplifies laid back elegance. It is a resort town and women here definitely take a more casual approach to clothes and makeup, yet still manage to look refined and elegant. For evening, they simply add some accessories to their summer dresses or white jeans and tunic tops, add a swipe of bronzer and gloss and they are ready to go. I love that!
SOME TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR TONIGHT!
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Venue: Newport Vineyards
Tickets: Email email@example.com
And if you’re busy on April 26, the Providence event will take place Thursday, April 27 at Gasbarro’s Wines
Kirsten Brusse has an extensive portfolio of weddings, magazine, runway and television work. Her artistry and advice have been published on The Knot, Style Me Pretty,The Providence Journal and Rhode Island PBS, among others and is a contributor to WPRI’s The Rhode Show as well as WUSA9’ Great Day Washington. Kirsten also has a popular beauty and lifestyle blog that shares her knowledge and expertise accessible in a fun and approachable way.
On Wednesday, April 26, personal stylist Jill Marinelli and beauty expert Kirsten Brusse brings Sips & Style, their fashion, beauty and skin care event to our neck of the woods. With a passion that lives at the intersection of personal development and image, Jill (pictured at top, right) helps women find beauty in the bodies they inhabit as well as the clothes that will reflect that beauty. Clients call the experience “life-changing, exhilarating, and uplifting.” I sat down with Jill to get a sneak peek at what to expect and to chat about upcoming summer trends:
Sips & Style has earned a reputation for being a fun girls’ night out, but also a helpful session for women of all ages. Why do you think it’s been such a hit in Providence?
I love this event because it’s casual and relaxed – it has always felt like we are just hanging out with our girlfriends, sharing our secrets. And we are! We give it to our audiences straight – we’ll tell you our favorites for the season, what’s worth a splurge (or not!), and where to find it.
And now you’re headed to our area?
Yes! We are now in our 6th season and so excited to have expanded into Newport. Newport Vineyards is hosting us in their gorgeous new space, and we have also partnered with one of the City by the Sea’s best boutiques, Pink Pineapple, who will be providing some of our fabulous giveaways!
It’s safe to say Newporters are excited for the warmer weather. What are some trends you see headed our way this summer?
Pom poms, tassels, beads, and stones! The more colorful, the better. The trend is colorful and playful; almost childlike, which is why I recommend wearing it in small doses. A necklace here, a top there, but not head to toe whimsy. These sandals are a perfect visual example of this trend.
Also, off the shoulder and “cold shoulder” tops are huge and everywhere this summer and I’m seeing a lot of patchwork denim and “step-hem” denim (shorter in front, longer in back).
Here’s the Sips & Style scoop:
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Venue: Newport Vineyards
Tickets: CLICK HERE
And if you’re booked on April 26, the Providence event will take place Thursday, April 27 at Gasbarro’s Wines.
Jill is a personal stylist and style correspondent for CBS Providence’s The Rhode Show. Focusing on body image, the power of personal style, and social science research, she teaches her audiences and clients how to look great, project confidence, and ultimately change their lives through their look.
She has created workshops for organizations including Lifespan, Swarovski, Fidelity, General Growth Properties and the Bryant University Women’s Summit. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Psychology Today, Lucky, CBS Providence’s The Rhode Show and FOX Boston’s Morning News, among others. Jill has styled the wardrobe for NBC’s The Biggest Loser finalist Elizabeth Ruiz, Alex and Ani print ads, Rhode Island Monthly and more.
Since 2014, personal stylist Jill Marinelli and beauty expert Kirsten Brusse have partnered to present Sips & Style, their fashion, beauty and skin care program in a relaxed, fun-filled atmosphere. The event has become a highly-anticipated, bi-annual girls night out in Providence, and this month, the pair are bringing their time-tested tips for looking great to our neck of the woods—or should I say vines. Sips & Shop will take place at Newport Vineyards on April 26. The terrific twosome will present expert advice, spring and summer trends in fashion and beauty and a Q&A session with a wine tasting.
“In both our lines of work, we find that women can be sometimes intimidated. Finding what to wear in an age of ever-changing trends can be overwhelming, and there are more beauty products on the market than any time in history,” says Jill Marinelli. “Kirsten and I feel strongly that fashion and beauty should be fun and uplifting, so we partnered years ago to create a casual, comfortable event that is welcoming, and fun but also educational and empowering.”
Here’s the Sips & Style scoop:
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Venue: Newport Vineyards
Tickets: CLICK HERE
And if you’re booked on April 26, the Providence event will take place Thursday, April 27 at Gasbarro’s Wines
Get your tickets today!
The coveted historic home plaque outside Joe and Alana Hearn’s nearly 150-year-old Newport home looks stately and dignified, until you take a closer look and realize the elegant font reads: “HHR House, c. 1876, America’s First Discotheque.” It tells you just about everything you need to know about the family that made this place a home.
“It was wreck, badly in need of attention,” is how Joe describes the condition of the home when he bought it 12 years ago. “None of this was the house that I bought,” he says, looking around at the playful-meets-polished, but positively unpretentious surroundings.
Despite being “a dump,” Joe, single at the time, saw the home’s great potential. Nestled in the core of Newport’s sought-after Historic Hill neighborhood, the 1600-square-foot diamond in the rough was a two-family abode just steps from shops, restaurants and legendary landmarks including the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (the oldest lending library in America still in circulation), the Newport Art Museum and the bustling waterfront.
“At the time, there was no sense of occupying the whole thing… I only needed the downstairs,” explains Joe. A few years later, he and Alana started dating and eventually, the relationship grew more serious. Still, the two lived just fine on the cozy but comfortable first floor. Plus, they were spending much of their time in New York City, where Alana, a third generation Newporter, still works today.
But there’s nothing like an impending life-changing milestone to motivate a person. “After we were engaged we were like, ‘Why don’t we live in the whole space?’” They turned to friend and Newport-based architect Spencer McCombe of Cordtsen Design Architecture for some advice, and to Joe Carey of Carey Floors, also in Newport, to breathe new life into the floors throughout.
Though he had already reconfigured much of the downstairs, including the kitchen and bathroom, Joe says much more needed to be done, starting with the ceilings. “The demo of the old ceiling was just me just grabbing it with one hand and pulling down – the whole thing came down,” he says. “It was a total, total gut job.” Most of the ceilings throughout were opened, replaced or reconfigured. The result was metamorphic. “The biggest difference in the house now is volume,” Joe explains.
The contemporary kitchen, where the removal of the original ceiling offered an entire new vibe, features white cabinetry that is juxtaposed with punchy Merlot-hued walls. Sleek, stainless steel appliances, including a chef’s grade six-burner gas range, hints at the couple’s passion for dishing up savory meals – and it’s not just the oven that gets hot in the kitchen.
“We both love to cook, but we both are used to getting our own way professionally, and as our relationship started, the kitchen was a battleground,” jokes Joe.
“We love to have people over; we love dinner parties,” adds Alana. “And of course, in every house, people gather in the kitchen.” Because of the kitchen’s magnetic force, the couple ensured the space had an open layout and visual dimension, punctuated best by ceramic tiles designed by South African born, Sausalito-based artist Ruan Hoffman. “We have some other pottery in the house by him,” says Alana. “I’m just a really big fan of his work. I think it’s really cool.”
“Cool” seems to be a theme throughout, though understated in the dining room. The most traditional room in the house, the space is furnished with a decades-old dining room table, chairs and sideboard that belonged to Alana’s grandparents. “It was our wedding gift from my aunt,” she says fondly. “It’s really special.” The couple continues the set’s legacy by hosting their own gatherings of food, family, friends and fun here, even hosting up to 14 guests around the table one time. Though classically furnished, the place stops short of stuffy as a colorful tea set (another Ruan Hoffman creation) graces the sideboard, a contemporary piece by RISD artist John Hung Ha hangs on one wall and an oil on canvas piece by Newport’s Sue McNally on the other, and a collage of just a few snapshots from the couple’s global adventures building homes for Habitat for Humanity all draw you in. A bubble glass orb chandelier illuminates the room – and reminds diners that even in this space, expect the unexpected.
In the bathroom, a funky, metallic interpretation of the iconic Great Wave Off Kanagawa print by Japanese artist Hokusai takes up most of the wall. It’s actually wallpaper by Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper that has been subtly mounted on a separate core piece that attaches to the wall. “We were so afraid if we ever move we couldn’t take it with us,” says Alana.
The same out of the box thinking is what prompted the reinvention of the only downstairs bedroom into a funky den. Joe’s former closet was transformed into Alana’s compactable home office. Opposite is a wall of built-ins Joe built and a window seat that serves as a comfortable reading nook. An apropos weathered sign that says “Read” was one of those rare treasures only old homes seem to offer up. “When we demoed the ceiling, we realized the structure of the ceiling was actually a sign that was split and cut into boards. We took the pieces out into the backyard and laid them out. It said, ‘Goff’s Reading Room.’” From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, reading rooms were indeed reading spaces, but also served as social clubs, gentlemen’s clubs and, in some instances, speakeasies. The Hearns looked for any history on “Goff’s Reading Room” with the Newport Historical Society but it was a fruitless endeavor. Regardless, the reclaimed sign makes a fitting, artful piece of the past.
While Joe is the builder, Alana is the eye. After he taught her how to use a spray gun, Alana went on a tear, salvaging long forgotten pieces from the basement and other sources. More than a dozen colorful finds are peppered throughout the home. “The gun was really a game changer,” she says.
But the biggest transformation may be the upstairs, where they converted the one-time apartment into a spare bedroom and master suite. And there was one other tiny room up there they needed to address. Today, it is the nursery for their newest addition: baby Josephine. “She loves it here,” says Joe of her charmingly whimsy nursery. It’s safe to say she’s not the only one.
Enclothed cognition is impressive sounding name “to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes.” In other words, your clothing can impact your attitude, mood and behavior, and is there any better time to get the right gear to encourage a confidence builder and performance booster than during your workout? Balance on Thames is a women’s active lifestyle boutique dedicated to providing fun, trendy, performance apparel designed with the modern athlete, in mind. The lower
Thames Street shop also stocks swimwear and accessories. “Our goal is to stock quality active fitness gear and stylish everyday sportswear that supports a comfortable, fashionable, and efficient lifestyle,” said owner Jackie Hopkins.
Enjoy active/yoga apparel from: Alo Yoga / Onzie / Spiritual Gangster / Maaji / Electric & Rose / WITH (Wear It To Heart) / Hard Tail
Lifestyle apparel and swimwear from: Billabong / RVCA / Amuse Society / Maaji
Accessories from: Stance Socks / Tavi Noir socks / Toe Socks
Yoga Accessories and mats from: Alo Yoga and Jade Yoga Mats.
Plus you’ll find cool jewelry, gifts, headwear and wood mosaic art.
Check out Balance on Thames at 429 Thames Street in Newport. www.balanceonthames.com
I admit it: I’m a sucker for classics. Classic silhouettes, classic film, classic accessories, classic shoes, classic bags, classic sunglasses and yes, a classic cocktail.
Gimlets date back as early as 1852- perhaps because of it’s (literally) refreshing simplicity. A basic gimlet only requires gin, water, ice and lime juice. Today, craft cocktail culture has produced numerous renditions of the gimlet, and I’ve partnered with Nautical Gin to bring you my twist on this perennial classic. May be you’ve noticed how Nautical Gin has been making it’s way to local Newport hotspots (Salvation Cafe!) and package stores (like Vicker’s Liquors), quickly becoming a City by the Sea staple—and it’s no wonder. Newport is the epicenter of all things nautical and fabulous. So without further ado, may I present the Pink Sky At Night, Sailor’s Delight Newport Gimlet
Pink Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight Newport Gimlet
- 2 oz. Nautical Gin
- 4 oz. grapefruit seltzer or grapefruit sparking water (My recommendations: Polar Seltzer Ruby Red Grapefruit Seltzer or Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
- 1 lime, quartered
- 1 tbsp Rosemary simple syrup
- 1-2 tbsp sugar (to taste)
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 cup of ice
Add Nautical Gin, rosemary simple syrup, sugar and ice to cocktail shaker. Squeeze juice of all four lime wedges into shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a glass. Add grapefruit seltzer or grapefruit sparking water and garnish with rosemary sprig.
Jackie is the postmortem exploration into the mind of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following the assassination of her husband, the 35th President of the United States. Playing at the Jane Pickens Theater now through Feb. 2 and directed by filmmaker Pablo Larraín, Jackie has been called “…a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of ‘Camelot’ that they created and loved so well.” Yesterday, we learned it has been nominated for three Academy Awards.
Of course, the Kennedy legacy and Camelot—and all it entails—is inextricably tied to Newport. The City by the Sea is where Jackie spent much of her childhood, and ultimately where she exchanged vows with the then-junior Senator from Massachusetts. The film doesn’t address those earliest days as man and wife, but in flashbacks, we see moments that reflect Jackie’s legendary style. Among them:
The recreation of Jackie’s globally-viewed 1962 televised tour of the White House (the First Lady won an Emmy for the CBS special) where she dons a memorable red suit by Chez Nixon inspired by a Christian Dior design (top). Her now-iconic three strand pearl necklace peeks through the bateau neckline and her brunette bouffant coif is perfectly styled. This look is seen on the film’s official promos.
The pink Chanel* double-breasted suit worn in Fort Worth, then Dallas, on that fateful November day. Featuring navy blue lapels and paired with a coordinating pillbox hat (said to be a favorite of the President) was technically made by Chez Ninon with Chanel boucle wool with permission from the esteemed French fashion house. For this film, costume designer Madeline Fontaine worked directly with Chanel, hand-dying the fabric until it imitated the perfect shade of pink.
Recital of cellist Pablo Casals at the White House, November 13, 1961. I can’t say for certain the film is portraying this specific legendary recital, but the First Lady was known for her passion for arts and culture which included regularly welcoming famed musicians at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In the scene, Jackie is captivating in a soft yellow ivory silk sating evening gown with cap sleeves and cowl neckline paired with elbow length gloves. The gown is emblematic of the many (more than 300) designs she wore by designer Oleg Cassini (above left). The silhouette is reminiscent of the light blue silk shantung evening dress by Chez Ninon during a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Notably, she wore the same shade here in Newport to a dinner during the 1962 America’s Cup (designed by Oleg Cassini) hosted by Ambassador Howard Beale. I wrote about it here a few years ago.
Lastly, we see Jackie in mourning, donning black ensembles through the White House and the surrounding funeral events and ceremonies. Jackie wore a black Givenchy suit with traditional Spanish mantilla veil to escort the flag-draped casket to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. The next and final day, she led President John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession on foot to St. Matthews Cathedral donning a long sheer black veil.
Photos: top, © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;