Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Honey, Plum, Raspberry, Raisin

Just like everyone in the known universe, I love Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. It has that perfect sheerness and makes you look like you've spent the afternoon stuffing yourself on the ripest of blackberries.

Since I like to pump up my eyes but have pretty fair skin I need some color to my lips. If I do a nude lip color I look like the lower half of my face fell off.

So I was excited to see that Clinique was doing a line of three limited edition (my favorite words!!!) Black Honey-related colors: Black Plum, Black Raspberry, and Black Raisin. I needed a fresh tube of the Black Honey anyway and it was Clinique Bonus Time, I just ran down to the mall at got them all!

I can't wait to wear them and see which is my favorites and how well they work layered.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

See ya later, Alligator!

In my humble opinion, the more bold and colorful an item is, the better you can pull off a either a high end look with an affordable option. I doubt anyone would think that this purple alligator clutch is work thousands of dollars, but it does have a punchy color and, because it has a very streamlined shape (the wrist loop can be tucked in) it can be dressed up or down.

Target Xhilaration Clutch - $13

Or you can go very very high end. Again, it's "out there" but the classic lines and material will ensure this is never out of style.

Gucci Couture

Just as long as you are bold enough to wear it!

Cat Eyes

Since I started wearing make-up I've always loved a really smokey cat's eye look. I probably have about fifteen different articles from different magazine the show how to do the perfect smudgy eye look ripped out and stuffed in my bathroom closet.

To date, I've had little success with the whole eyeliner deal because I just don't do well with the lower lid eyeliner. Especially when it's on the inner rim of the lower eye. I've tried it and I either have to re-apply it all night or it makes my eyes look all squinty. Not gorgeous like this.

So I rarely wear eyeliner of any sort. If I'm going out at night I sometimes use my Chanel Catwalk Kit to do an upper eye liner at the base of my lashes. I like it because it makes my lashes look really thick.

But I've been inspired to wear eyeliner more because of these inspirational photos from some of my favorite bloggers - The Coveted...

and, of course, Miss Gala.

Doesn't that look great on them. What's also helped is that I've found a new eyeliner that I'm just loving. It's Cover Girl's Line Exact in Brown. LOVE IT!

It's so easy to use. I actually had someone ask why I was looking good, etc., etc., and I think it was because I started using this eye liner!

So I'm all inspired to wear it more often. I was reading my Lucky magazine and they were talking about "Major Rocker Eyes" in their Fall Make-up Update (I know another magazine article for my collection!) and they featured this Clinique brush on liner cream. Since I was going to go get some lipstick anyways, I got some and am going to give it a try.

I got it in Black but I just saw there was a limited edition Grey. I may have to go back and get that if the black works out okay.

Yeah! Make-up!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The smell of Apathy

I think perfume makers have finally reached the bottom of the barrel for names. Is it just me or does calling a perfume Insolence seem a little, well, odd to you? For all of those vocabulary lovers out there, the definition is:

1. contemptuously rude or impertinent behavior or speech

I would think of smells like old cheese, body odor or teenagers as being insolent, not a pricey perfume from Guerlain.

It's described as: "In a break away from the traditional pyramid structure, Insolence is constructed around the first olfactive spiral. Rather than a slow progression from head to base, the notes spiral and continue to circulate so that your favourite notes remain prominent from flight to finish. The notes include violet, raspberry, red fruit pulp, rose, orange blossom, iris, tonka bean, musk and sandalwood.

Sound okay, but it was also described by a reviewer as "Après L’Ondée with nail polish remover". Sooooo, maybe not so okay.

I think when I have my perfume created, I'm going to name it "Apathy". Seriously, when did the Despair, Inc. posters become fashion inspiration? (By the way, I love Despair Inc. When I worked at my majorly huge perpetually cheerful-or-else former company, a few of us wanted to put these posters around to be subversive. Their delicious negativity makes me happy.)

And am I missing something here? Hillary Swank just doesn't do it for me as a perfume-hawker. And she's supposed to broaden the audience and appeal to a younger consumer for Guerlain. The price tag of $100+ doesn't seem to be available to a broad audience and do more "established" women want to go around responding to compliments by saying "Thank you. I'm wearing Insolence." Or maybe in keeping with the name they'll just ignore you.

The bottle's pretty, however, you have to give them that.

P.S. If you would like to by a limited (only 30 made) 1 liter collectible bottle of Insolence Eau de Toilette signed by Hillary Swank for £2500 you can visit the Guerlain counter at Selfridges or call: 020 7318 1358. Plus, you can meet Miss Insolence Swank herself at the Beauty Hall, Selfridges, Oxford Street, London on Thursday 27 September at 12.30pm.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gothic Lolita - 3 ways

I love the whole "Gothic Lolita" trend created by the ever-trendy Japanese schoolgirls and fueled by Avril Lavigne. With its sweet-edgy vibe, there are tons of cute looks and accessories. As a big Hello Kitty fan, I totally could get into the layers of pretty/crazy/morbid/pink-skulls-with-tiaras look.

Tarina Tarantino is one of the innovators of this look and her jewelry and accessories are popular with tons of celebrities, plus fun Miss Gala. She has a great back-story and personal style that I admire even while I know I cannot emulate. However, I do find her pieces a bit pricey. And when you want to layer, as in this picture, that could get darn expensive!

Betsey Johnson is now doing a line of jewelry for Nordstroms, which I think, has a similar feel. But while a single one of Tarina's pieces is $100 or more, this layered necklace just around $100. I might get this to wear with some of the black and grey dresses I got for Fall/Winter.

On the least expensive end of the spectrum is the Dominque Cohen line for Target. This is not a cheap line of jewelry by Target standards. This necklace is about $50. I like how they show the pieces layered and I love the little bow earrings and cameo necklaces and bracelets, but this is a bit high for what I expect to pay at Target. I think that is going to be the case and we'll see these go on sale.

I'll probably snatch some up then to create my layered look The problem is it looks like their "fun" fashion jewelry but the prices are a bit high for the Target shopper. Plus they have these pieces in the locked jewelry cases. I know I hate to try and get someone to actually wait on me there, so I'm not sure how well these are selling.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm crying

I discovered this amazing vintage piece on eBay and I am crying and sick sick SICK that I didn't win it. And it is my own stupid fault because I forgot to bid at the last minute!!!! UGH!

This is so cool. It is a pin made of African flamingo feathers and is from the 50's/60's (naturally shed, of course. Or so they said).

Look at the amazing colors on the feathers. Deep coral pink. How gorgeous would this have been with the charcoals and blacks for Fall.

I want this to the point of obsession.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wit and Whimsy

I've expressed my love for vintage jewelry many times before. And recently I've been seeing new jewelry inspired by the wit and whimsy of "grandma" jewelry. This is the jewelry that you would see your grandmother wearing all the time or saving for special occasions. When you are younger you would think the pieces would be a little crazy but now they look totally cool.

I'm so happy that companies are embracing and reinventing these styles. Anthropologie has always has unique vintage-y pieces, but I was surprised to see the following pieces in the JCrew catalog.

My favorite piece is this elephant charm bracelet.

This is so "Palm Beach socialite" with the over-sized twisted chain and "ivory" enameled graduated elephants. This would be great with navy and white stripes or pink and green Lilly Pulitzer colors.

A lot of long necklaces have been out since the Spring, but I also like these long beaded necklaces with really fun clasps. JCrew has done this really will with an enameled frog clasp.

Look at that froggie!

Now if you want a similar look go to the stand-by eBay. I love going to eBay, even more than going to thrift stores and antique shows. I tend to get overwhelmed visually and eBay lets me search for what I am looking for. You do lose some of the "thrill of the hunt" but, for someone like me, you get to see a whole lot more. And you do never know what you will find.

I searched out charm bracelets and wanted to see what I could find to mimic the JCrew pieces. Theirs are kind of pricey ($125 each) and I hoped to find something more in my price range. This one is more costume jewelry but just as fun.

I also looked up beaded necklaces and thought this was a great option too. The closure isn't the great frog but it is very pretty. A little more formal than the JCrew option.

So if your Grammy has fun jewelry and she asks if you want to have anything or borrow a piece - go for it! These pieces will be a perfect accent to jeans and sweaters, something to make you stand out.

If you've got 'em, wear 'em!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Moo Roo on the move

Moo Roo, along with Moyna, were unique bags that came on the scene about 6 years ago. I remember seeing their bags and being entranced with them. Other than Leibers, there were not a lot of other fancy evening bags that hat whimsy and wit. At the time they came out and I first heard about them, they were a little out of my price range being in the $300 range. But they inspired me because they were started in the founder, Mary Norton's home. They soon became adopted by celebrities (this is pre-big bag craziness) and just stood out. I appreciated their artisan details and attention to quality.

I was glad Mary did well with her bags and felt they were worth their price. They were high-end but not inaccessible. I'm sad to say that this is about to change. From what I've heard, Moo Roo has been bought out and a new company under the Mary Norton name will be the sole company. I've looked at the new site and product line and all I have to say is "yawn".

They are beautiful and glamorous but they are safe and soul-less. They are also twice as expensive. I'm all for a company doing well but this almost seems like gouging to me. You can tell when an artisan company becomes corporate. It's kind of sad to me really.

They also have a line shoes. I'm not sure if I will be shopping with Ms. Norton however. I'd feel like any other chick buying a pair of expensive shoes, not patronizing a craftsman.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Vintage ≠ Crap

I had someone once say to me, "Vintage? What is that another word for crap?"

I'm serious.

I was completely appalled! And offended because I love vintage - clothes, shoes, furniture, books and, especially, jewelry. I've collected vintage jewelry since high school and found some amazing pieces. But if I ever needed an argument just take a look at these amazing vintage pieces:

This necklace is made of vintage broaches strung on a crystal necklace. So gorgeous.

The following two brooches I found on eBay. They are very Art Nouveau and are amazingly detailed

This is the back of the second brooch. Look at the workmanship.

Vintage is a great way to get a unique look and great quality, often at an affordable price. Plus, sifting through eBay or going to antique shows is fun and a great way to hone your eye and find what the market is charging. Plus you can see what is hot or getting popular.

Branch out with your choices. I think it's better to have something unique than some generic piece that anyone could buy off of QVC or in the mall.