Sunday, November 24, 2013

Harper's Bazaar Dec 2013/Jan 2014

I'm hardly a Kate Hudson fan, but the gorgeous cover had me excited. Is it telling how embarrassingly short her interview is? Maybe not a lot going on in that gorgeous head? Certainly not a single quote even worth the ink. Thankfully, the Murakami interview is much longer (with more photos?).

Murakami and In N Out

Clogs! I have been dreaming of them for a few years, but can never seem to pull the trigger. These Chloe ones are the perfect shade, but I think I would prefer a mushroom suede with maybe no studs?

It's a nice pink, but my first thought was Beadazzled Gunshot Wound.

Oh, Victoria Beckham, everything I own for that Tuxedo/Cape!

Will write more soon. Life has been a little upside down - ripping apart a new house, picking out tile, paints, cabinets. I'll share some of that soon too.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

$2000 Handbags

Saw a regular looking mom with this amazingly, drool-inducing, gorgeous thing on the metro and I just need to know two things:
what's your job?

why are you on the metro?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spring 2014 RTW - London

L'Wren Scott
Most posted pictures from the shows on Twitter are blurry and pointless, but all posted of this show just captured Spring to me. I picture this woman (the designer and the woman she designs for) as the perfectly put-together sophisticate. She doesnt think too hard about her clothing, but demands the each piece and each thing in her life is precise. This is what each of these cameraphone pictures were able to capture. Pristine white tables with lacquered bento boxes and subdued vases of white flowers, achingly beautiful dresses and jackets with a Japanese foundation.

Mary Katrantzou
Part of me thinks this is the most ridiculous collection, bordering on costumey and unwearable, but the other part of me needs to own every single piece here. There is something magical about her prints, the colors, the flowers (that are nowhere near grandmotherly), the ruffles.  The beginning part of the show with enlarged prints of wingtips and other leather goods are unexpectedly gorgeous. The photorealism is so attractive to me, with the flashes of light.  These clothes also look so comfortable, just dresses to put on and not think twice. You dont even have to try hard because the dresses do so much speaking.

Tom Ford
What's my most reference rule of thumb? If the model looks frumpy and cheap in a particular piece of clothing, then it will not look magically better on you. I like a luscious, buttery leather as much as anyone, but the amount of leather in this show was a bit off-putting. It seemed like overkill (har) and I will still never understand, till the day I die, who decided that anyone wants to wear leather in Spring and Summer. This leather dress is just perfect (for Fall?). She looks so soft, I want to hug her.  The cobwebby head to toe looks are sexy. I like that you cant tell where the pants end and the boots begin.

Ipsy Again

I cant believe I havent tried out the Skyn Cooling Eye Firming Gels. It's that whole waiting for the right occasion.
The NYX shadow was nice - a smoky, navy blue that actually stayed really well. I'm pretty impressed with the NYX stuff - cheap but with good texture and wearability.
The Starlooks Obsidian Kohl was pretty great, as well. The black liner I usually use (Urban Decay) is nice, but not as inky and smudgy. Two different looks.
I was excited to try Cailyn tinted lip balm. It's a hideous packaging, but there's a hidden brush in the upper part.  Unfortunately, the brush is too small and too stiff to actually use for anything more than lining. Lip balm makes me think that it should be applied with a finger, but the base containing the balm is actually hard to get your finger into.
Lastly, more mascara. Blah blah blah.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spring 2014 RTW - New York - Part 3

Trying to watch shows on while blowdrying one's hair is an exercise in futility. Holy shit, that's a shitty site. For what screen size/resolution did they build it?  It looks like shit on a mobile and even shittier (and longer to load) on a desktop. You cannot have an autoplay slideshow with an dynamic ad on each slide. That is just a shitty thing to do to your readers.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I will head back over to NYMag and look at shows the way we were meant to.

My twitter was abuzz with Chola SoCal flavor over the Rodarte show. I'm thinking 90s Gwen and that time I saw Morrissey in LA and I was one of maybe 5 non-Hispanic fans in attendance (thinks girls with high poufs, big thick gold hoops, Smiths shirts fashioned into corsets, painted on eyebrows, teardrop tattoos on cheeks, like extras in "Mi Vida Loca").  Sadly, this show is not that.  Ruffles on skirts and hotpants and halters.  Meh.

Oscar de la Renta
My spring workin' girl wardrobe, plus gowns for the occasional ball! Sign me up for every single print here: gingham, polka dots with flowers.  Oscar truly, truly, truly has the most amazing laces. I never dream of lace except when looking at Oscar.  Classic 50s WASPy goodness, when you're dressing like a good girl.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Spring 2014 RTW - New York - Part 2

Donna Karan
I always like the idea of Donna Karan, especially the thought of her stretch jerseys and uniforms - on the fence about the bodysuit thing, does she still do those?  But the reality is I'm not crunchy or zenny or yoga-y enough.  I would feel like a big faker phony in these clothes.  Like Ralph Lauren in his cowboy gear. I like costumes as much as anyone, but I guess not quite so literal.  I do like this skirt and the crisp white blouses. I wish I could be trusted with white clothes.

I hadnt thought of Carolina Herrera in a while, but the cover photo of the show on NYMag has me intrigued.  Ahhhh, the 60s makeup, that updo! Oh, this is what I want.  Oooooh, but dramatic Victorian skirts, I can do this too.  Geometric prints, sheer shoulders, clearly the Carolina woman doesnt have an office job, but I'm ok with it. I can quit.
Since I'm stuck on the concept of office dressing, I will only judge collections by my ability to wear it to work. (Ignoring the fact that I'd need a few extra non-office jobs to cushion my clothing allowance). Perhaps I just dont understand fashion enough to get the Celine aesthetic, but I felt Victoria Beckham was a bit too minimalist Celine for my tastes.  Victoria is still minimal in style, but with some excitement with pleats and patterns. Sweet without looking too young. Ooooh and perfect hair.  

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Vague Sketch of a Fantasy

I feel like things are so good right now.  I'm scared to even say it out loud. How long will this feeling last? My home life is so very good, but that's my constant.  It's when I'm out in the world being me, all by myself, that things are hard.  I didnt remember how to be proud of myself or what it felt like to be confident and happy professionally. I didnt know that I could enjoy going to work.  I'm certain I'll revert to my usual miserabilism eventually, but oh I want this good feeling to stay so very badly.

Spring 2014 RTW - New York

Can you believe it's only Sunday and this many shows have already happened?  How do people who actually attend shows for their job actually fit them in? Or select which to see?  Just sitting in my own home, with little free time to indulge in show watching anymore, I can barely fit in the time to quickly skim through just a handful of slideshows.

While I know that history shows that VB shows are heavy on the minimalism, clean, edited, classic, elegant looks, I'm a bit at a loss for anything to say.  There's nothing *wrong*, but not anything I crave or envision as my Spring look.  I love the flounce of the skirts and I love that a person with such a sexualized image sent some seriously girlish and unsexy looks down the runway.  In ways, this seems a little less polished and more casual, like her lower-priced Victoria line. 
This is what I'm dreaming of. Starting a new job with a seriously corporate edge after two years of working from home, I've been on the hunt for new pieces to make it through each week.  I've found a blouse here, a trouser there, but nothing that gets me excited. I'm buying clothes just to have something to wear, not as part of a vision.  This is like having to eat McDonalds when you're starving. Eating just so you wont die.  
I realize I'm dramatic, but I hate nothing more than eating just to eat. I love food too much to waste a meal on something that doesnt excite me.  I'm not saying I need minibar each meal, just something to get my tastebuds tickled. I dont need a Valentino jacket and Stella McCartney trousers each day, but I do need to be true to my love of fashion, I need to feel confidant, I need to feel like a success. 
Skinny trousers with a rock vibe, mid-calf pencil skirt with a sexy slit and a little undone to give edge and remove inhibitions, perfectly cut tuxedo jackets that bring so much cool.  The stripes are fresh and elegant, could be perfectly corporate and perfectly fashion. This is the bridge I've been looking forward. Now to find my trust fund.

Prabal Gurung
I have to talk about this show simply for the *makeup* (Oprah voice).  Holy crap. That pink will haunt me forever. I have dreamt of this pink for years, but I do not have the skintone to pull it off. Oh, so very cartoony.  [Oooh, North by Northwest is on. The dreamy grey suiting of Cary Grant (a bluish silver that I have never found in real life) would be so wonderful with this pink. Imagine.  Oh, now I'm picturing the perfect suit. Cropped, skinny, flared trousers. Boxy 60s style jacket with 3/4 sleeves. Everything a bit shrunken. A bit vintage.  A strand of costume pearls worn as a bracelet. Maybe some Catherine Deneuve hair, black headband.]  Oooh, ask and ye shall receive. Boxy jackets, love pink prints, I think I even love this purple satin. I cant abide by the back slit skirts, as the model looks frumpy in them. I have a hard and fast rule that if the model looks frumpy in a piece of clothing, then no human should ever wear it. Oh man, cropped trousers!  It's amazing the power of makeup. I saw this one lip. ONE face in the show and it conjured so many fantasies. I must say this is the best showing of makeup as related to the clothing that I've seen.
As I skim the slideshow of each show, I open my favorite looks in a new browser tab(so that I can insert the picture here). I currently have 12 tabs open. Now how to choose my favorite handful?
This isnt perfect, but you know how I detest perfection. I love the colors and the fantasy and the bit of the coolest inflections of retro. Plus, the eveningwear is perhaps the sexiest neckline I've ever seen. I cant even imagine the underpinnings I might need now, but oh my 25 year old self would have rocked that.

Diane von Furstenberg
Of course, DVF is always quite wearable and cute and safely in the realm of fashionable-but-not-too-daring.  It's like a downtown Tori Burch. No one would ever criticize and of course you will be beautiful and sexy-but-not-too-sexy.  None of this is bad, of course, just I dont have much to say. I will say, I adore these moody-islandy-tribal prints, front-zipped dresses, and Naomi (though I do not agree with the choice to cover her body this much and *so loosely*. Also, who the hell did(nt do) her makeup?).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's been awhile

But in the meantime, I received my next Ipsy!

And this time, I had tried none of the items! I swooped in on that hot pink Urban Decay lipstick (Anarchy is the color.  While not fullsize, it's a suuuuper nice sized lipstick trial).  I have been dying to order Nars Yu for ages, so this is a great opportunity to get the shocking pink out of my system. I live for Urban Decay eyeliners and eyeshadows, but have not tried a lipstick in ages (back when they looked like actual bullets, anyone? I had the most lovely frosted purple, that I swear was amazing. I paired it with a white-silver eye for a snow bunny look.  Much more successful at age 22, perhaps).  This formula is creamy and amazingly long lasting. Very thick, smooth, expensive. It's quite nice.  I will definitely be rechecking them out (even though I swore never to buy lipstick in a tube again).

The second product that has been in heavy rotation is this amazing NYX cream blush.  It's an orange creamsicle shimmer (Tickled) that is surprisingly light and happiness in a compact.  I normally stay away from cream blush, as I feel it makes me even greasier. This formula added no grease and actually dries pretty quickly and matte.  It's so easy to apply (fingers) and just smudges around into a natural, sunkissed look.  I think I'm converted. I will still use my Nars powder blushes, but -if I'm honest- mainly because I'm cheap and they're almost full compacts.  Oh, but how I recommend this NYX. AND IT'S ONLY SIX DOLLARS.

I just tried out the Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub and it's got a lovely spa feel and scent. It's a scrub, but very gentle. However, as I sit here, my face feels a bit oily.  If I use this again (and I probably will, as it's a fairly large tube - like a travel size), I will make sure to only use it at night.

The last two items will probably be tested tomorrow. One is a BB cream with color match technology, which sounds pretty foolproof.  We shall see. The other is Pixi mascara. How good/bad can it be?  I'll let you know.

Two months in, I'm loving Ipsy. I really look forward to that pink bubble envelope and I really feel it's been a good value.  I havent loved every item, but that's sort of the point. I didnt have to spend $25 to realize I hate a color or a formula.  And I love those makeup bags!

UPDATE - I have to tell you how much I love that Pacifica BB cream. I was completely impressed by how effortlessly it absorbed into my skin and color matched as it claimed.  It feels a bit glue-y when you first apply, but soaks in quickly and feels like nothing.  If you like tinted moisturizer levels of coverage, this is a nice option. Especially as it's only $16. Not too much of a risk.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Shopping Spree

Being between jobs, it's been hard to indulge in my makeup obsession, but with a new job on the horizon, I decided to burn some money I dont yet have. Oh, the justification of it all.

I am still working my way through my experiment with drugstore foundation, so I decided to concentrate my money on some investment pieces. First up is primer. In recent years, I have discovered the absolute necessity of primer. The difference in staying power and concealment is instantly recognizable when using a good primer. Without primer, my makeup flakes and seems to settle in each and every pore and fine line. With primer, I get a good approximation of smooth skin.  I've tried out numerous samples in the last year, various Mac formulas, Benefit Porefessional, Laura Mercier.  I've really liked each of these, but I decided to commit to one I've been reading rave reviews of and in a formula that seems will speed up my morning routine: Benefit's Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer. Though reviews are such a mixed bag - reading the latest ones, I'm a little worried.  Ugh, commitment to $30+ products is so very hard!

Next up is highlighter/concealer. For years, we've been hearing the hype of YSL Touche Éclat, but this recent article convinced me that I need to take the plunge.  In the store, I loved the blurring effect it creates, so I'm excited to try this in real life.  I tried really hard to buy the Clinique version, but none of the three shades were remotely close to my skintone.

Finally, I've finally committing to a brow pencil. I'm dipping a toe into focusing on my brows (I've finally noticed that my brows appear to stop around mid-eye - not a good luck).  As a first step, I went with a simple pencil with brush and will work my way up to powders.  I settled on DiorShow Brow Styler. It's a universal brown (literally the name), so I'm hoping that I wont be too far off on color (I fear the Groucho Marx effect).

With a checkout moment of weakness for a three pack of Urban Decay liners, that's $127.  Ouch. I snuck over to Lush for some Rockstar soap (ahhh, that smell), and I've officially burned up all my soon-to-be spending money.

I'll report back next week with some real world test results. And some more of my award-winning photography. Eesh!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


With an addiction to trashy tv comes a curiosity about the skyscraper levels of confidence on display. Perhaps I'm a bit more jaded, beaten down by life, but I honestly do not understand from what depths these egos are unearthed. Especially when it's not readily apparent what they have to be cocky about.

In an article about the Weiner scandal, Jennifer Senior quotes from The Heidi Chronicles:
[Heidi]'s being hectored and lectured (if also aggressively charmed) by the man who will one day be her boyfriend, Scoop Rosenbaum. After several minutes of listening to him bluster and name-drop and hold forth on subjects he doesn’t necessarily know a thing about, her facial expression visibly changes:Scoop: You’re thinking something.Heidi: Actually, I was wondering what mothers teach their sons that they never bother to tell their daughters.Scoop: What do you mean?Heidi: I mean, why the fuck are you so confident?
Which makes me think 1. I need to read this and 2. Which of us is normal - Heidi/me or Scoop/Deludedly confident people. (And 3. What jr high did these people go to? Mine was a bit more self-esteem crippling, I guess.)

As a corollary, I'm fascinated by people who feel their parents' money is somehow a positive reflection on themselves. First of all, it's not your money (yet), so it has nothing to do with you. And secondly, because your parents choose to spend money conspicuously on certain things does not make you as rich as you think. Once you move out of your little town, you learn that there is always someone richer (and smarter and prettier and younger), so this is not really what you should choose as a defining characteristic for yourself. I want to say, don't sell yourself short, but in many cases, this is all these people have. Like the pretty girl who never cultivated a personality or sense of humor, there is a certain type of "rich" person that never developed perspective or empathy or life skills. These people suck, but I do like to watch them, like a nature show on some pathetic sort of insect.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Color Rut

Do you ever find yourself poring over colors - be it lipsticks, eyeshadows, paint chips - hours and days of dreaming, painting on, trying out before deciding on one to invest in and commit to?

I seem to do most of my makeup shopping online, so I find myself searching for colors, finding uploaded photos of a specific color on various skin tones or in varied lightings to determine how it will look on me. Hours and hours of daydreaming and picturing the tint, opacity, complementary colors before ordering.  Invariably, the color arrives, I put it on, and realize I already own the exact shade in another brand or formula.  I'm drawn to fuschias, purples, reds. I swear to you, before many of these purchases, I actually had a fear that the color was too different, too shocking.  This is why I think I should now be allowed to only purchase Nars lip pencils. I recognize the names and probably would not re-purchase (unless it was to replace a lost or used up pencil).  Or if they could just install a Nars counter (just the lip products to start?) in my bathroom?  I just redid my bathroom in black and white, so I must say, it would complement most swimmingly.

I spent months and months drooling over the YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstains. Months of debating the price, the formula, reading reviews, comparing swatches, TRYING IT ON IN THE STORE, and finally taking the plunge with a Sephora Gift Card. I decided on Encre Rose. Felt confident. Felt edgy. Felt right. A few weeks later it dawned on me that it is exactly my Mac Up the Amp lipstick.

This is example one of 900. Why is my makeup memory so short? Why am I always drawn to the same shades? What shades do you find yourself buying multiple versions of?  Is it because I havent found the right one and I'm constantly searching for the perfect purple? The perfect red, the perfect nude? If you have found it, what are your perfect shades (and brands!)?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LV Brows

Unless you were under a rock today, you have seen the Michelle Williams Louis Vuitton ads. I can't stop staring at them - I want to be and have every single part of this. The bag, well that goes without saying, that red lip, that blonde hair, that messy short hair, those dark vampy nails, and those BROWS.

I've been trying to workshop my brows for a while now. Inadvertently ending up in the front row of a yoga class, I realized how nonexistent my brows appear. Or, rather, that my brows seem to disappear at the peak of the arch.  I'm experimenting with various shadows, but worry about smudging and appearing like Groucho Marx. [Some SallyBunny trivia, I actually had a Groucho Marx impersonation in my repertoire as a very small, very weird child. My costume involved my bathrobe, those gag Groucho glasses, and a silver cigar holder. I have no idea how or why. Let's just accept it and move on.]

So the real question: pencil or shadow? Do I need some sort of setting gel or is smudging not a real concern? Can I pull off these dramatically dark brows? Only for evening? What colors for day?  It's all about me today, as you can see, but tell me about your brows too!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I've never thought of myself as much of a stylist. I like to dress myself and dream up hair and makeup schemes, but generally just about myself.

Recently, though, I'm noticing that I'm enjoying brainstorming and consulting on looks for others. Even if it's just The Chenbot and her awesomely misguided hair, makeup, and wardrobe decisions (she could look sooooooo much prettier) (also, do not judge me for my shitty taste in tv) (it gets much worse than this).

Give me a scenario and I'll be happy to create a makeup concept for you (that's for you, Susan!), ransack our closets to cobble together a look, criticize your clothes as you text me from a dressing room at Target. I'm here for you.