Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I love any type of beauty product or service that makes my daily "getting ready" routine a bit easier. While I enjoy spending hours getting all glammed up for a night on the town, I prefer my regular day-to-day process be as quick and easy as possible.
Here are three things that I've added to my beauty routine over the last few years. I would guesstimate that these procedures save me an average of 30 minutes each day. Do the math. That's a lot of time saved!
1. Eyelash extensions from Wink
I'm not wearing any mascara in the photo to the left. In fact, I haven't worn mascara in over 3 years. Every two weeks, I escape to Wink Eyelash Extension NY and for one hour, I lay there while a skilled lash artist applies individual extensions to each one of my lashes. The effect is quite dramatic (I get the "Hollywood" set) and they last through swimming, showering, crying and sweaty workouts without any smearing or running like traditional mascara. The entire process is so relaxing that I usually fall asleep. Added bonus: they will also do a manicure for you while you are having your "lashing" done...which leads me to Item #2.
2. OPI gel manicures
Gel manicures last almost three times as long as regular manicures without any fading or chipping. The process takes a little longer because you have to dry your nails after each application under the UV light, but given the fact that your manicure will stay perfect and shiny for about three weeks, it's worth the extra time. My signature color has been OPI's "Black Onyx" for several years. It goes with everything and, like my lashes, is quite dramatic.
3. Liquid Keratin hair treatment
My hair is naturally wavy, but I want it to be stick straight. Since my genetics haven't caught up with my desire, I use the Liquid Keratin at home treatment once a month. It's safe, effective and it makes my hair absolutely perfect. I still have to blow dry and flat iron a bit, but what used to take me about 15 minutes now takes me about five. And if I add weekly treatments of my favorite conditioner, Kerastase Masque Nutri-Thermique, you can't even tell that back in the 80's I bleached AND permed my hair. (It was a Southern thing. And it was the 80's.)
So there you go. Three little procedures that can help make your daily beauty routine easy like Sunday morning.
Do you have any beauty routines or time-saving tips that make your life a little easier? If so, please share.
Monday, February 13, 2012
"Did someone eat an onion bagel?"
Since it's Fashion Week in New York, I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage to one of the best movies ever made about the industry. The Devil Wears Prada is one of those movies that I actually liked even better than the book. I happen to think that Anna Wintour is brilliant (aside from her view that fur is still fashionable. It's not. Never was. Never will be.)
I could watch this movie every single day. I love the opening scene contrasting all the fashionistas' morning rituals to the character of Andie as she haphazardly selects mismatched underwear and applies chapstick to finish off her "look." (Confession #1 - I'm one of those people who matches my underwear to my outfit. Confession #2 - Sometimes I dance around in the morning as I'm getting dressed to KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See.")
All it really took to pull this look together was just a simple black sleeveless sequin tunic with a long cardigan thrown over it. What makes the outfit sync with one worn by Anne Hathaway in the movie is the gold accessories. I purchased this gold pendant necklace years ago at New York & Company. The chain necklaces are from Macy's.
While I would love to own the La Rue messenger bag that she's carrying in the photo, I can't seem to find it available for purchase anywhere! Luckily I had a similar looking messenger bag from Newport News that worked for the outfit.
My favorite scene of course is when Andie gets the glamazon makeover and walks back into the office (in oh so called for slow motion) in head-to-toe Chanel. It makes me giddy. The montage that follows of her in all those perfectly put together looks has served as the inspiration for so many outfits that I thought it worthy of a blog post.
What was your favorite outfit from The Devil Wears Prada? Feel free to share along with any morning routine rituals.
"I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight."
Sunday, January 1, 2012
We all start the new year with a renewed sense of hope and determination. "This is the year I'm going to (fill in the blank)." What is it about January 1st that motivates us to make positive changes in our lives that we should be making on a daily basis? You know those people who say they wish every day could be like Christmas? Well, my plan this year is to think of every day as New Year's Day and transform my life on an ongoing daily basis.
In 2011, I found myself more and more fascinated with women in Hollywood who have literally transformed themselves. Jennifer Lopez is at the top of my list. Not only did she transform herself from a "Fly Girl" back in the 90's to an absolute Glamazon and worldwide brand today, but the way she handled her very public split from Marc Anthony (come on, what the hell was she doing with him anyway?) has me in awe. This woman never looks less than flawless. She knows her body and knows what works for her, and work it she does. She's become my new style icon.
And this year, Jennifer Lopez is my inspiration to always look glamourous and hold my head high no matter what is going on in my personal life.
Another Jennifer also made my "Best Transformation" list. Let's face it. Jennifer Aniston just keeps getting better. I'm sure she's had plenty of work done, but it's been good work and it doesn't show. What does show is her relentless dedication to pilates and yoga as well as The Zone Diet. She looks better than any young starlet in Hollywood. I could care less about her new perfume or Smart Water campaigns, but if she could bottle her determination and discipline, I'd drink it by the gallons.
Jennifer Aniston inspires me to take incredible care of myself in 2012 and commit myself to a daily exercise routine so that I can age like a fine wine.
I love everything about Sarah Jessica Parker. I remember watching Square Pegs in the 80s and loving her as the quirky Patty Greene. I could relate to her. I was a bit of a quirk in high school. Well, quirky Patty Greene is now the ultimate fashionista. She IS Carrie Bradshaw. Not only do I love SJP for her immaculate style and never-boring choices, but she (and Darren Star and Michael Patrick King) gave me Sex & the City. That television show has been more influential to me and my girlfriends than The Godfather has been to Italians. When I'm sad, I watch an episode and laugh. When I'm happy, I watch an episode and laugh even louder. And when I'm having fashion block, I watch an episode and feel inspired.
So, thank you SJP, for inspiring me to know that in 2012, I don't have to be a six-foot tall perfect supermodel to have fabulous style.
I guess you could say I've already had somewhat of a transformation myself. So just to prove to you that all of us "average girls" can change our look dramatically, I'll include my before and after photos as well. Yes, it was the 80's and I grew up in the south, so big frizzy blonde hair was somewhat of a fashion statement. (It said, "wrong.") But, as we can all look back on the 80's and laugh, I'm going to choose to look back on 2011, a year that was really tough for me, and laugh also, and say, in my best Leslie Chow from The Hangover voice, "Toodleloo, motherfu!*@#er!"
With that, let's all make a resolution to transform ourselves in the new year.
Welcome 2012. I own you.
Monday, December 5, 2011
There are a few items on my wish list this year that are so outlandish, they're just plain "naughty."
Even if I had been a saint all year long (I wasn't), there's probably not a magical snowball's chance in hell that these things will show up under my tree Christmas morning.
But tis the season for dreaming, right? A girl can always dream. So here it is, my "naughty list."
1. A Net-A-Porter "shoe of the month subscription" - for a brief moment, my favorite online shopping site was actually offering a monthly shoe subscription. Not sure what happened to the offer, but I would be happy just to receive a new pair of stilettos each month from Net-A-Porter. Sorry Cousin Eddie, but this beats the shitter's full out of the "jelly of the month" club and would definitely be the gift that keeps on giving.
2. Christian Louboutin Torero Pumps - They haven't even hit the stores yet, and I'm sure they'll cost more than a thousand bucks, but if I were to get Item #1 on my naughty list, then I would hope that these exquisite beauties would be the first to arrive as part of my monthly shoe delivery.
3. Chanel Ultra Ring - I've had this particular item on my accessories "wish board" for the last three years. Maybe if I stopped buying so many shoes and actually saved my money, I could invest in this "ultra" beautiful and classic ring. I could also sell one of my kidneys.
4. An Hermes Birkin bag - What girl doesn't dream of the day she will own an authentic Birkin? Given the fact that you have to get on a wait list for years just to order one, most of us would settle for a pre-owned bundle of Birkin joy. Head to the online shopping site Portero Luxury and you can purchase a used Pink Crocodile Limited Edition Birkin for $124,750.00. Yes, I said "used." And yes, I said one hundred twenty four thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars.
5. A bathtub fit for a shoe queen - If you've followed my blog at all, I really don't have to explain why I NEED this. As a matter of fact, if I bust down one of the walls in my current dressing room (that used to be a guest room), I could utilize the OTHER guest room to make room for this. What the hell? Nobody ever visits me anyway. I can literally grow into the old woman who died in her shoe (tub).
Tell me, what's on your "naughty list" this year?
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Back in August, I started a series entitled "Influence: Sex & The City," where I post wardrobe inspirations along with my favorite dialogue from each episode. Sad to say, I'm only on Episode 2 of Season One. I promise to do better, given the fact that I've got six seasons' worth of inspiration to blog about.
Episode 2 is entitled "Models and Mortals." If you live in New York like I do, or have ever visited New York during Fashion Week, you'll understand why I love this episode so much.
I've always wanted to be taller. I'm 5' 6" but I want to be 5' 10". My friends who are 5' tell me to STFU. But when you live in a city full of professional glamazons, each and every insecurity you have is going to bubble up to the surface. As Carrie says in this episode, "I felt like I was wearing Patchouli in a room full of Chanel."
Insecurities aside, Carrie certainly looks runway ready in her strapless LBD, which is my fashion inspiration from this episode. The strapless little taupe dress that I'm wearing in the photo on the right is from Newport News. I've had it for almost 10 years. I don't think they still have this exact style in stock, but they always have an amazing selection of dresses and their clothes fit me extremely well. They also have the most fabulous shoes, boots and accessories, all of which are very affordable.
The necklace is an original glass blown piece that I picked up at a shop near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. It's hand painted and has an adjustable fabric cord so it can be worn as a choker or longer length. I can also switch out the color & type of the cord, so it's a very versatile piece and was a wise investment.
And of course, what would a mention of Sex & the City be without the shoes? The ones I chose for this particular outfit are these sheer fabric open toe ankle boots by Chinese Laundry. They no longer carry this particular pair, but here are some that are similar. The best thing about these boots? The platform gives me that additional 4" to make me - yep, you guessed it - 5' 10"! Who's your Glamazon now?
Best dialogue from Episode 2:
Charlotte: "Models have that distant, sexy look in their eyes."
Miranda: "That's not sex. That's starvation."
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Last week I took a "dare" by one of my Twitter blogger buddies (@foxinflats - she's fabulous, follow her) to show the world, or at least her followers, the inside of my closet.
As you can tell from the photo on the left, I am quite anal when it comes to closet organization. When I was a kid, my parents would always marvel at how my room could be such a mess, but my closet was always immaculate. I guess I was born with a desire for complete organization when it comes to my wardrobe.
When I bought a home in the Hudson Valley, one of the biggest thrills for me was that I would finally have the space to build my "dream closet." I took one of the guest rooms and transformed it into a full dressing room, with lots of shelving to display my vast collection of shoes. Sometimes I just sit in a chair and stare at them. It makes me happy.
Although I have spent a ton of money on shoes in my lifetime, I really didn't have to spend that much to build out my dream closet.
Here's how I pulled the entire room together on a small budget:
3. DRAWER DIVIDERS TO ORGANIZER YOUR "DRAWERS"
The shelving for my shoe collection was already installed in a media room in the basement. I wasn't using it down there, so I took it out, painted it, and re-installed it in my dressing room. Completely recycled. The room size leopard print rug is from Domestications and was a steal at $129.99!
2. IKEA IS YOUR FRIEND
The gorgeous dresser and mirror were purchased at a second hand furniture store for $160 if you can believe that! It's in perfect condition and has plenty of storage space. I have two IKEA bookcases that I use to store items that need to be folded (jeans, sweaters, my collection of Juicy Couture velour track pants). I also purchased the stainless steel rod that I store my necklaces on at IKEA. It's a great way to be able to see the different lengths and styles.
3. DRAWER DIVIDERS TO ORGANIZER YOUR "DRAWERS"
The oh-so-cute black & white rolling cart was purchased from The Container Store. I have two of them and I use them to store lingerie. I also purchased drawer dividers from The Container Store to keep everything nice and neat, especially my makeup drawer and my bracelets and earrings. I like having everything completely visible.
4. NO WIRE HANGERS EVER!
The one thing I refuse to go cheap on is hangers. I turn into Joan Crawford when it comes to wire (or plastic) hangers. Quality wood hangers are the key to making a closet look organized. And they're better for your clothes. Wire hangers make your clothes sad. As you can see, I even hang some of my purses on wood hangers. Again, I like to have everything visible, and this is a great way to sort through your bags without messing up the order.
And yes, in addition to shoes, I also have a purse fetish. But that's a whole 'nother Stylaphile story.