Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To a T

You may find this hard to believe (if you don't regularly receive catalogs from them), but Victoria's Secret doesn't just make pretty underthings. Their clothing line, which features everything from casual clothes to dresses fit for a night on the town, features a few key pieces that are worth the money. One of those items is the v-neck henley tee from their Daily Tees line:

They appeal to me because, in addition to being comfortable and easy to care for, they're available in a range of colors to suit any girl. My v-neck is my go-to shirt for traveling now, as it's breathable cotton, and it can be part of your plane-to-dinner outfit if you're on a tight schedule. It's the best money you'll ever spend on a tee!

Image via Victoria's Secret.


Monday, August 29, 2011

When the Heat Spikes

Fashion statements are not my strong suit in the summertime, as I spend most of my days indoors hiding from the blinding sunshine and humidity of North Carolina. But there's always room for one great piece of jewelry when I do go out, since a single piece is just about all I can handle when everything sticks to me. As summer comes to an end, I wish I could make this cuff my statement piece:

And it's completely North Carolina: the spikes call to mind both the beach (they look like shark teeth, after all) and the mountains (they also look like pine needles). I'd pair it with a soft, feminine dress for a great juxtaposition. How would you wear this?

Image via Pink Mascara.


Friday, August 26, 2011

People I Do Not Covet: Andrej Pejic

It is rare for me to publicly criticize any individual, because more than anything I hate confrontation, and expressing discontent outright is the surest path to a showdown. But from time to time, I feel the need to speak out, and this is one of those occasions. So.

Let it be known that I am sick of Andrej Pejic. Here we have a man modeling fashion meant for women, thereby further perpetuating a disgustingly narrow beauty ideal that has damaged many women, including female fashion models and average ladies.

Let me clarify: it is absolutely NOT Pejic's androgyny that bothers me. Hell, I'm practically in love with David Bowie, who is the very definition of androgyny. And I will even defend Pejic's cover of Dossier, which was censored by both Barnes and Noble AND Borders because he was topless--and (I feel) obviously male--but was also wearing curlers in his long blond hair. He has the right to live his own life any way he chooses, and I am not opposed to him as a person (I'm sure he's a wonderful young man).

However, what I CANNOT accept is a man who is lauded as a paragon of female beauty. Women have enough trouble because of the fashion industry without a man coming along with his extremely small frame and strutting in women’s clothing. This only strengthens the idea that women should be unhealthily thin and without curves, an idea which has been promoted by the fashion industry for far too long. In other words, it's not really Andrej Pejic who bothers me; it's what he represents.

So this is my plea (I hope you’re listening, fashion insiders): PLEASE continue to support Pejic as a human being; he deserves to be recognized as a unique entity. But we must open the fashion field up to women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and identities—transgendered and transexual women included. Otherwise, the consequences will continue to pile up.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

People We Covet: Michael Kors (A Duet with Maureen)

Although we work on this blog together, Maureen and I rarely join forces to write a post. Today, things are different, because our covetousness has coincided. Enjoy!


Everything I know about Michael Kors comes from two sources: Project Runway and Cate.

Cate says he does good fashion design stuff. So does Project Runway. Sometimes Cate points out his purses and things, and I say, "I'm sure that's wonderful." I really am sure. I don't know these things, but I trust people who do.

However, I can for myself recognize a little of Michael Kors' genius when I watch Project Runway. In fact, I'm only here right now because of that show. Michael Kors makes the best faces when the worst looks come down the runway, and it is a real shame there is no Michael Kors Tumblr to record these things, because I know I can't.

He also has some of the best lines when it comes time to tell the designers why they're so bad at what they do. I haven't written them down over the course of the show's run, but my friend the Internet sure has. Let's have a look:

"She looks like Barefoot Appalachian Lil' Abner Barbie" (2.3).

"Scarlett O'Hara ripped drapes down and made a couture dress...this, she ripped the sheets off the bed and ran out the door (4.8).

I just want to stuff him in my closet and have him tell me how to dress. Or, perhaps, how not to.

Kors with his Project Runway cohort Heidi Klum

You may or may not remember my post of almost a year ago, "What's Up, Doc?" in which I wrote, "Eventually, I'd like to look like I stepped out of a Michael Kors ad." I meant it then, and I mean it even more now. Throughout my time as a blogger, I've progressively become even more obsessed with Kors' work, and those are just the things I blog about; this doesn't even cover the depths of my devotion. Hell, Carmen Kass has become one of my favorite models just through her many appearances in Kors' advertising. (I mean, come on: just LOOK at this campaign!)

Of course, it's one thing to love the man's accessories, but it's something else altogether to adore his clothing. And believe me, I adore it. There's this LBD Angelina Jolie sported at a movie premiere, this gorgeous eyelet shirtdress from a few years ago, this goddess-style dress Rachel McAdams wore, and this bold pink look from Resort 2012, just to name a few.

I also enjoy learning about Kors' life and process. He gives great interviews, such as the one from last month's Harper's Bazaar, in which Bette Middler calls him "a perfect delight" and Kors himself says, "You can be chic but have a sense of humor, you can be sexy but comfortable, you can be timeless but fresh." Those are words to live by, spoken by a man who knows all about chic, sexy, timeless things.

Kors and his longtime love (and new husband!) Lance LePere

Visit the Michael Kors website here.

Images via here and here.

-Cate and Maureen-

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Le Métier de Beauté Adventure, Part 2: Eyes

On Monday, I told you about my experience with some lip color from Le Métier de Beauté. Today I'm  going to focus on two of their eye products.


When I went to see Kim, she asked me what I needed the most, and I decided that it was a good everyday look for my eyes--something I could wear to work and didn't take eighteen years to apply. She hopped right to it and pulled out three eye shadows in the neutral range and one that had more color to it. The line is called True Colour Eye Shadow, and while you can buy the shadows individually, Kim put them into a kit called a Kaleidoscope for me. At its heart, a Kaleidoscope kit is just an eyeshadow quad, but it's really so much better than your average quad: not only are the shadows full-sized and replaceable if you run out of one color, but you can customize them for yourself. This is what mine looks like:

Colors, from top to bottom: Rose Champagne, Milan, Tuscan Sunset, and Canvas.

There is also a mirror in the top of this compact so you can touch up your eyes while you're out and about.

Sure, you're thinking, that's all fine and well, but how does the color hold up? Answer: it holds up very well, indeed. In addition to being so featherweight that you can't feel it on your lids, this shadow is very rich, so it doesn't take much product to get an intense look, and it's also long-wearing, even in the heat. And because it's super-conducive to layering, you can combine the colors any way you want. What could be better than that?

Even as much as the shadows impressed me, there was something else that I fell for in the most hardcore of ways: the Precision Liquid Eyeliner. Let it be known that liquid eyeliner generally scares the hell out of me, both because I don't have a very steady hand and because I find most such products to be very wet and messy. But weep no more, my ladies; this is a liquid eyeliner that is so user-friendly even I don't have problems with it. Here's a picture (next to a highlighter for size reference):

I have literally never loved another eyeliner as much as I love this one. The tip is tapered, so you can either use it on its side to make a thick line or use the end to make a thin line. I've been using the Noir, which is a thick, true color; it's also available in Bleu and Aqua (teal green). Bonus? In addition to wearing well (it's water-resistant!), it comes off so easily that I almost jumped for joy.

All told, my Le Métier de Beauté experience was a fabulous one. Kim explained each product and shared tips for using them, and if you live in the area, you should definitely go visit her at the Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan. You won't regret it!

True Color Eye Shadow retails for $30.00 per 0.13-ounce pan; personalized Kaleidoscopes are $120.00 each and pre-packaged eye Kaleidoscopes are $95.00. Precision Liquid Eyeliner retails for $42.00 per 0.02-ounce tube. You can visit the Le Métier de Beauté website here for more information.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Look! Hey! Listen!

I want a Nintendo 3DS.

I think 3D is a gimmick. I think it's ridiculous. I don't like 3D movies. I know people who will never be able to experience this 3D stuff. I don't want to pay an extra five bucks for my movie ticket, and I don't want them to pay an extra five bucks for a feature they won't be able to use.

But by golly, I want a 3DS. I want it for one reason only.

Yes, I have already played this one. But whatever it is that lets me want to play it again on a different system must be the same thing that convinces people that remaking movies over and over is a great idea.

The first Zelda game I played was Wind Waker, but as a bonus, we got a GameCube port of Ocarina of Time with it. I loved it all. I still do. And I want to take Link and Epona with me on airplanes and trains. Even if 3D is a gimmick.

Buy a bundle of the black 3DS and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D through GameStop for $209.98.

Image via GameStop.

Watch out!


Monday, August 22, 2011

My Le Métier de Beauté Adventure, Part 1: Lips

Recently, I had an opportunity to meet with Kim McFadden, a makeup artist for the cosmetics brand Le Métier de Beauté. In this two-part post, I'm going to share with you some of the products she showed me, starting with two lip colors. On Wednesday, I will write about eye color.


Back in the day--also known as my sophomore year of college--I was a lip gloss junkie. I had a little Caboodle full of tubes ranging from reasonably-priced drug store brands to impulsively purchased designer tubes. I tended toward nudes and light pinks. I thought the spell would never break. But then something changed: I became (gulp) an adult.

My life being what it is now, my attachment to high-maintenance cosmetics has fallen by the wayside. I swear by eye color more now, partly because I have to line my eyes or they disappear and partly because eye color doesn't require repeated applications throughout the day. However, I have met two lip colors to lure me back to my old ways.

First, there's the aptly-named Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss. This line boasts eleven colors; Kim used Uma Paro for me. On first sight, it looks to be a burgundy purple, but, as Kim said when she first showed me the tube, "Don't panic." Because when you put it on, it turns into a lovely berry shade that works even with my pale skin (I almost always have to get the lightest, or next-to-lightest shade of foundation). Since it has a sparkle to it, this gloss makes your lips shine more than an ordinary gloss.

Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss is formulated with Vitamin E--like several other Le Métier products--so your lips will not dry out quickly. The down side is that, for me, it didn't wear as long as I would have liked, but on the other hand, it is non-sticky and comfortable to wear, so reapplication is a cinch.

Kim also used, on my cheeks, the Creme Fresh Tint in Poppy. Strictly speaking, this is a creme blush; however, the label also indicates that it can be used for lips. Since my skin is so sensitive, I shy away from blushes and bronzers, no matter how good they look, but I knew I had to give Poppy a go on my lips.

Turns out that this is the pink lip I've been looking for all my (cosmetics) life: like Malibu Barbie had a kid with Madonna circa "Material Girl." Yet it's not an overbearing color--rather, the coverage is the perfect balance between a lipstick and a lip gloss. However, I do recommend putting a clear gloss over the Creme Fresh, as the texture is a bit dry when you wear it alone. The Creme Fresh Tint comes in four other colors, each one suited to a different skin tone.

Here are swatches, with Uma Paro on the left, Poppy on the right:

Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss retails for $32.00 per 0.22-ounce tube; Creme Fresh Tint retails for $28.00 per 0.17-ounce pot. You can visit the Le Métier de Beauté website here for more information.

Don't forget to come back on Wednesday for Part 2: Eyes!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Hot Croc

Spend enough time online and I guarantee you'll find the most interesting things. For example, you might come across, say, kitschy cartoon plates or, if you're Maureen, inexplicably popular games. If you're lucky, you'll find cool things to showcase on your blog, like this clutch from Finnish shoe designer Minna Parikka:

In this case, it's not the clutch that grabbed my attention so much as the color: that awesome, raspberry-pink hue that would stand out perfectly against a little black dress at a cocktail party. And even though I'm not usually a fan of croc embossing, it works for me here, probably because a color like that demands an exotic touch, am I right?

Image via Minna Parikka.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Send Some Laughs

How many of us only read the comics section of the newspaper for the first reading years of our lives? "Give me the funnies!" we cried, and our little hands wrestled with paper that was almost as big as we were so we could read the latest adventures of Garfield and Snoopy. Eventually we started to read the rest of the paper, and boy did we long for the days when only the comics mattered.

The United States Postal Service has now released a set of stamps to commemorate our favorite (and perhaps some of our least favorite) Sunday comics:

My personal favorite is Calvin and Hobbes, of course, but the rest full of memories, too. I have already purchased and used these stamps. I placed my very last one a couple of weeks ago on a smugly hand-written letter to a friend, and now I need more. Gregory Peck for my letters to Cate, and comics for everyone else. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Buy through the Postal Store for $2.20 - $8.80 for a strip, block, or pane.

Image via the Postal Store.

Yours faithfully,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance

Today, we are participating in the ninth 20 Something Bloggers blog swap; the theme of this exercise is summer. Our blog swap partner is Katie of Struggling Single Twenty-Something. Below is her pick for best summer television!

So you think you hate all reality shows? So you think they’re all full of talentless famewhores? So you think they’re all rigged and the hosts are all obnoxious and you’ll be seeing the winners seeking that sixteenth minute for as long as they can swing it? So you’ve never seen So You Think You Can Dance?

It seems a bit pointless to be talking about my love for the show right now, when the eighth season just ended. But next summer, when all your scripted shows have ended and you’re looking for something to fill your free nights, check this show out.

Like American Idol, they spend the first few weeks showing us the auditions, but unlike AI, they focus on the good auditions. Watch this one from this season’s ultimate winner, Melanie Moore: 

The best auditioners are sent to Vegas Week, where they are tested on several different types of dance: hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom, Broadway. At the end of the week, ten girls and ten guys become the show’s contestants. For the first five weeks, boy-girl couples dance different types of routines together: contemporary, jazz, several different kinds of ballroom dancing, hip-hop, Broadway, Bollywood, and occasionally a more obscure dance type. The audience then votes for the couples they want to stay. The results show the next day starts with an awesome group dance, like this one:

After they reveal the bottom three couples, those dancers perform solos, and the judges choose one girl and one guy to go home.

Season 7 was the All-Star season, where dancers were partnered not with each other but with “All-Stars” from previous seasons. This season, they decided to combine the two formats by having the top 10 partner with all-stars. When they get down to the top 10, the audience votes for individual dancers rather than couples.

The winner gets $250,000 and the top ten go out on tour, but even for the contestants who don’t win, appearing on this show is a huge career boost for them. Several of them have gone onto high-profile dance gigs, like performing with Lady Gaga and Beyonce, appearing on Glee or the Oscars, or, in the case of some ballroom dancers, Dancing With the Stars. You just don’t hear about these gigs as much—these people aren’t in it for the money, but because they are talented and love to dance. The only time I’ve ever seen a SYTYCD winner use their win for anything other than a dance career is this message from Russell Ferguson, a krumper from Boston who won Season 6: 

Also, if we’re talking about people we covet? Let’s talk about the gorgeous, fashionable host, Cat Deeley, who is either a very warm, funny, genuine person or an extremely good actress. She finally got a long-overdue Emmy nomination this year, and I really hope she wins.  

Speaking of Emmys, this show has been nominated for and won several for best choreography. Brilliant choreographers like Mia Michaels, Sonya Tayeh, former contestant Travis Wall, Mandy Moore (not the singer), Stacey Tookey, Dave Scott, husband and wife duo Nappytabs, and Tyce DiOrio (I wonder if his parents realized before or after he was born that his name makes him sound like a delicious sandwich cookie) give us wonderful work each week. I usually don’t even care so much about who wins—I just like watching the dances each week. Here are some of my favorites from various seasons: 

Katie lives in the Boston area, rides the T, bitches about the T, writes in her spare time, works as an editor in textbook publishing, never leaves home without a book in her purse, watches good TV, watches bad TV, cheers for the Red Sox, misses her alma mater (Boston College), makes playlists, sings, swims, runs, sleeps late, takes bubble baths, drinks hot chocolate, reads newspapers, paints her nails, wants to marry Michael Phelps, searches for the love of her life on dating websites, and blogs about it all at Struggling Single Twenty-Something.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sealed with a Fit of the Vapors

Every so often I like to pull out my fountain pen and write a letter. I write to my family, my friends, people who don't exist, and people who do exist who aren't my friends yet. My favorite part of sending letters is the smug feeling I get when I do it, but my second-favorite is sticking on the stamp.

The United States Postal Service offers a wide variety of stamps, and I want most of them. Today, however, I will discuss just the one that I mentioned briefly last week.

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is on a postage stamp.

Not only is Gregory Peck extremely attractive, but Atticus Finch is one of the greatest heroes of American film. I don't know if there are any lists of heroes of American literature, but if there are, he's probably on there, too. They just couldn't really put Atticus Finch on a postage stamp until Gregory Peck portrayed him.

Image via the Postal Store.

Yours faithfully,


Monday, August 15, 2011

Bootie Call

Last year, all I really wanted was a pair of gray booties. Because I couldn't afford these (which I still find to be incredibly beautiful and awesome) and couldn't seem to find a reasonably-priced alternative, I called off the search. But this year, I might have found a match for myself:

No, they are not gray. However, they do have a great shape, and the faux wood heel and platform contrast nicely with the material. And because they're available at a price point that doesn't scare me, I'm even considering picking up both colors. (Will I? It's unlikely. But a girl can dream.)

Buy through Alloy for $39.90.

Image via Alloy.


PS On Wednesday, Maureen and I will be participating in a blog swap facilitated by 20 Something Bloggers! Our blog swap partner is Katie of Struggling Single Twenty-Something. We hope you enjoy it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Out of the Bottle

In the Venn diagram of my life, vases would fall in the shared area between Things I Like and Things I Don't Really Need. A girl can only use so many vases, after all, and so I have only one in the house. From time to time, however, I come across one I'm desperate to buy, such as this Transglass Long Stem Vase from Re:modern:

Made from recycled wine bottles, this vase has a certain comforting familiarity as well as an alien grace. And since they're made according to whatever bottles the manufacturer has on hand, the colors vary, allowing for a unique home item. Check it out today.

Image via Re:modern.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Awww, You Guys Made Me Ink!

I have found my new love, everyone. This weekend I went to Staples (oh, so low-class) because my fountain pen needed ink.

After discovering that the low-class Staples stocks low-class opened and Scotch taped packages of Parker black ink cartridges, I wrinkled my nose and looked a little harder.

I found a very fine bottle of Parker's Quink. I am not a great knowledgeable pen and ink connoisseur, but I do know that the bottled ink was closed and that in the long run it will be cheaper than the cartridges. I snapped it up and snooted my way out of that store.

Now I have gotten a little more ink than is necessary on my hands, but I feel fancy for using my pen's converter, and I'm getting back into the habit of writing letters. Next up: I need to get Gregory Peck stamps so I can send mail to Cate.

You can by your own bottle of Quink for the fountain pen that I'm sure you own for about ten dollars at Staples, or you can go to the Parker web site and find a boutique (it's the only way to buy pen supplies, really).

Then you can go to the Post Office and get Gregory Peck stamps.

Yours faithfully,


P.S. It should be noted that fountain pen ink is not tax-free on tax-free weekend in North Carolina. And people wonder why kids vandalize bridges.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Belting It Out

I love a good studded belt. Maybe it's a holdover from my days hanging out with baby punks in high school, or maybe it's an aversion to plain belts; I can't be sure. But whenever I see a really spectacular one, I go a little nuts. So when I stumbled across the Vintage Skinny Perf and Stud Belt from Linea Pelle, I knew I was meant to write about it.

Just look at how fun that is. You could wrap it around a prairie dress for an old-timey look, add it to a suit for an unexpected edge, or match it with jeans for that punk rock vibe. And because it's from Linea Pelle, the leather is guaranteed to be high-quality stuff.

Image via Linea Pelle.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

They See Me Bolin, They Hatin'

About a year ago, I told you about my love for a certain cartoon.

Now I must let you know about my premature love for its sequel.

The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra is about the next avatar in the avatar cycle. Earlier in its development it was Avatar: The Legend of Korra, but that changed. Most people think it is because of James Cameron, that guy who stole the word "avatar" from everyone.

Korra is a Southern Water Tribe kid who rides around on a polar bear dog--


--and has adventures with her friends Mako and Bolin. We don't know much about them yet, except that they are brothers. The adventures are sure to be sometimes wacky, often action-y, and mostly involving a faction normal people who are anti magic martial arts.

It comes out next year. I cannot wait.

Every so often I pick up a dog and spin around just from the excitement.

Image via the Avatar Wiki.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Bang, Bang

There are two things I've learned about myself in recent months thanks to all this blogging I've been doing. The first is that I'm a total sucker for the things Patricia Field sells on her website. The second is that, apparently, I enjoy a touch of the morbid. Combine these two things, and you get this pair of earrings:


All right, well, maybe this isn't a touch of the morbid, exactly. Maybe this is actually the net result of a lifetime lived in close proximity to hunters and loving all sorts of violent movies (remember, I'm the girl who swears by Pulp Fiction). If I had a job that was more conducive to such fashion statements, I would snap these up immediately. As it is, I'll leave this particular statement for someone else, but there's no guarantee you won't see me walking around with them in the future.

Image via Patricia Field.


Friday, August 5, 2011

How Much Is that Doggy in the Window?

As the proud owner of two dachshunds, it thrills me to no end to see them immortalized, such as in a Judith Leiber minaudiere:

Although my dogs are short-haired, and while they are somewhat less than poised most of the time, I think that this minaudiere captures the spirit of dachshunds: loyal and inquisitive. It's a nice touch for a fun night out at the opera (somewhere I never go, but if I did, believe me--this is the clutch I would choose), don't you agree?

Image via Neiman Marcus.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


In these extremely hot days of summer, I am craving something summery that's not too complicated because, let's face it: the sun fries my brain to the point where I need the most streamlined items possible. So here we have the yellow Eva mule from Diane von Furstenburg:

This shoe calls to mind classic Candies, such as the ones seen here. And the color calls to mind the best thing about summer: fun! Can't you just see yourself wearing these to a pool party or family picnic?

Buy through Couture Candy for $152.00 (on sale!).

Image via Couture Candy.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Nesting in the Kitchen

Faithful readers will remember that I have a minor obsession with matryoshka, those awesome Russian nesting dolls. Now that's spilling over into my culinary life, as well, with my discovery of the Russian Doll Measuring Spoons available at Plasticland:

They're cute and functional, and because they're white, they'll coordinate with many different types of kitchen decor! It's a bit of culinary whimsy that brings a smile to my face.

Image via Plasticland.


PS Chris Crutcher blogged on HuffPo. And it was awesome.