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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ipsy - Beach Beauty

I just received my first Ipsy shipment - in a hot pink bubble wrap envelope, no less.  I'm pleasantly surprised by the size of the samples, and the plastic hot pink makeup bag is very fun.  My makeup is always spread across multiple purses, buried under gum wrappers, hair ties, and quarters, and every so often I resolve to keep it all organized and edited within a cute makeup bag. I officially resolve to do so, until I stop.  And then, I guess, next month I can re-resolve with the next Ipsy shipment makeup bag.

Based on a card of products and discounts, I'm assuming that each month there are eight products of which five products are chosen for your shipment.  I cant remember if I indicated skintone when I signed up, but I do remember ranking which beauty products are most important to me (makeup vs hair products vs skin care, for example).  The Beach Beauty card indicates Benefit, Coola, Demeter, Dermale, bh Cosmetics, Nailtini, Pop, and Sexy Hair as bands for this shipment.

I received:
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray (I already own)
Coola Mineral Sunscreen
Pop Pouty Pop Crayon in Rose Romance
Benefit Benetint (I have owned)
bh Cosmetics California Collection eye shadows

I was a bit bummed to find products that I've already tried, but a travel size of the Beach Spray is useful (and generous for a sample).  I love the smell of this spray, which I also use as a dry shampoo.  It's perfect for the day you should have washed your hair, but just couldnt work up the energy.  And, again, it just smells like vacation.  I have tried Benetint a few times over the years and it's just not the right product for me. It's doesnt work on my skintone as a blush, as it makes me look *actual* sunburned. Not sunkissed or any other positive adjective.  It's too delicate for a lipcolor for me. I like full-on obnoxious or JLo nude for my lips.  I will do another test drive shortly to see if I've changed my mind.  Though I do find the brush extremely tickle-y.

I love trying out new sunscreens and I'm excited to try this mineral and organic one. I'm currently using Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense, which I love for its lightness.  I'll report back on the Coola, as the mineral sunscreens sometimes are difficult to rub in. My Kiehl's is SPF 50 and the Coola is SPF 20. As these ratings are being overhauled, it's hard to compare if these numbers even matter.

The bh eyeshadows look gorgeous. Hollywood is a dark eggplant, San Francisco is a shimmery taupe, and Malibu is a shimmery gold. You know that I'm partial to Urban Decay, so I will report back on creasing and longevity.

I am addicted to the Nars lip pencils and do not see how I will ever go back to a traditional tube of lipstick or gloss, so I am excited to try out another brand of lip pencils. The Pop crayon does not need to be sharpened, as it's a twistup (a pro over Nars) and glides on smoothly.  My particular shade is not as saturated as my Nars pencils and felt more like a tinted lipbalm.  The rose color is just slightly wrong for my skintone, but I will continue to experiment with lightening and darkening (either over another color or with a gloss on top).

Sorry for all the report backs, but I wanted to get this up fast and havent had a day to experiment (interviewing, ugh!).

In short, I'm truly impressed with Ipsy for the size of the samples, the mix of makeup and other products, and the quality of the brands. I cant wait for next month!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All Business

Speaking of shoes and comfort, I do need to plug Cole Haan. I just spent a morning interviewing downtown, meeting my husband for lunch, walking all over downtown in these.

While I cant say it was just like wearing a pair of sneakers, I will say at no point did I fantasize about throwing them in the trash and hoofing it barefoot.  It was not so long ago that I lived in heels, never thinking twice about walking from Midtown to Chelsea, to the Garment District, walking all over Soho and down to the Financial District to meet my best friend for oysters and champagne.  However, age is hell on your feet. Even at age 30, I started to feel a difference in the soles of my feet. Maybe I ruined them with the aforementioned carelessness, but I now think very carefully about the types of shoes I invest. Key word being invest. I'm cheap and find it very hard to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes, but I will definitely keep an eye out for final sales of certain brands.  I hate sacrificing my look for comfort, but if I'm careful, I can find both.  What are your go-to brands for style and comfort?

Can you go back home (to huaraches) again?

As a poor, disaffected high school student, I tried very hard to balance a desire to fit in and a desire to be my own person. I knew that I couldnt afford (in both senses) to look like the perfect rich girls at my school, in their Express outfits and Dooney & Bourke purses.

My sister and I pooled our money (ok, mainly it was her money) and started in early on the Gap clearance bins. Gap was not really on the radar of coolness then, and bargains could be found for $3.99, $7.99, and the real splurge of $9.99 and $12.99. I'm sure things cost more there, but I would never have seen them, being so laser-focused on the final sale items.  This led to some ridiculous items in our closets, like garish table cloth prints on pants, button-downs, backpacks.  I pray I never wore them at the same time, but I cant be certain. Army green denim suits (matching jean jacket, jeans, and jorts). Picture lots of braided leather belts.  I never said I was cool, just different - at least at that moment in time and location.

For shoes and special occasion dresses, I scoured the clearance bins of Pier One. That sounds ludicrous, but in the early 90s, they had a nice selection of "ethnic" clothing. I lived in their $4 espadrilles - black, hot pink, yellow.  When I could splurge, I'd snag the $10 huaraches.  Always white, as the natural leather never looked right to me.  For especially nice things, I loved Sam and Libby black ballet slippers with the big leather bow, never the more authentic string bow.

Lately, in need of more simple shoe options - the kinds that dont require pre-planning and gauging distances to be walked, whether rain is likely, how much standing involved, etc. - I'm dreaming of my tried and true silhouettes.  I just came across the perfect little white huarache at Urban Outfitters (of all places). I just cant decide if it's best to move forward to new styles, new looks, or if it's possible to re-adopt an old look.

But no denim suits, I swear.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Christian Dior Fall 2013 Couture

I understand this collection was meant to be a global fusion, but it felt like a mad jumble of styles and ideas and directions.  That said, I'm swooning over this silhouette - a little classic Dior, a little 90s, a little now.

These perfectly classic Dior looks that could easily have been worn by Tippi Hedren and Grace Kelly, respectively.  The Grace Kelly dresses have a distinctly all-American debutant vibe to me, reminiscent of Oscar de la Renta or Carolina Herrera.

I'm unsure of many of the fabrics though. Ignoring the sheerness, I dont like the nubby skirts, the tissue paper-looking stripes, and the fringed stripes.

While I love perler beads, I cant get past how beautiful this dress would be without them.

I love this dress (which actually feels very Versace to me), but I cant figure out where it fits with the rest of this show.  An anomaly that actually works though.

(images via NYMag)
This show just has so many twists and turns. In addition to the above, there were brief Japanese avant-garde moments, tribal punk moments, and some sheer gowns that defy explanation. I'm not sure if that matters, especially when there are so many inspiring pieces here. I dont like my wardrobe to paint me into a corner and this collection would clearly allow a woman the freedom to venture outside of a specific look.

I'm sorry for the lateness in my Couture dispatches. I trust you have not put in your Couture orders just yet, so we're safe, right ?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ennui or Just Plain Old Sad

From Merriam-Webster (I double-check spelling obsessively and die when I discover misspellings in my published posts, so please feel free to alert me), the perfect description of my general state:
the kind of ennui that comes from having too much time on one's hands and too little will to find something productive to do
But the last few days I'm feeling more than just weary. I'm anxious. My life is in total flux right now, with more conflict than I care for (I prefer none). I dont know what to do with my life, I dont know where I should work, if I should work, where we should be, what I should do, if I'm qualified for any sort of paycheck.  I feel worthless and wasted. At these moments, I'm thankful that I have my children in my life, because it is far too easy to move to dark places. I'm disappointed in myself, I'm disappointed in the choices that people in my life have made.

There's nothing serious here and nothing more or less than any other human on earth, but sometimes it's just hard to shake this feeling and to remember that it's worth it.

I just wish that we could all collectively agree to just ignore any conflict. What good does it bring, really, to face things head on and make pronouncements that change the course of all of our lives, forever?

[PS- Re my last post's question about showing personality in an interview? I decided on some pink and brown high heeled wingtips, my vintage navy clutch, and a tiny smudge of silver eyeshadow I swear. Random? yes. Did I feel confident? yes. Did I get an offer? unknown.]

Monday, July 08, 2013

Working Girl

I have a difficult time dressing for work. Of course I know how to buy virtually anything at Banana Republic or JCrew and be presentable (and I do when necessary), but in the work week doldrums I can't help myself but to inject a little personality. Some obnoxious eye makeup, a vampy lipstick, notice-me accessories, and (once, unsuccessfully) a sequined miniskirt, as you know from my manifesto, I cannot be happy being neutral and safe.
The Couture Week street style is giving me so much inspiration.

Perfect outfit, though maybe the shirt is a little low cut. In most of my life, I'm pretty much against anything overtly sexy. Not that I have a problem with sexy on other people, it's just not how I feel confidant or comfortable.
Ok, this is just fun.
Picture a camisole rather than a bra under this.

Slightly longer and less sheer, devastatingly beautiful.
Now the real question: at what point in the interview process do I reveal I'm not an engineer in the sartorial sense?