Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Can you think of anything worse?"- Charlotte, "Stone washed jeans and a matching jacket!" - Anthony, Sex and the City

At the airport last week I saw a mess...and I can't even classify it as a hot mess, but more like a disaster of a mess. When boarding my plane I saw a woman wearing a long, flared jean skirt, a jean vest (both stonewashed) and a frilly white button down underneath the vest. I was unable to look at the shoes...which is probably in my best interest. I wasn't sure whether to feel bad for Ms Dolly Parton wannabe or to run up to her and shake some sense into her. To avoid being tackled by airport security, I decided to feel sorry for her. She took the term "Canadian Tuxedo" to a "Canadian Gown," since she had on a skirt. Do they even still make long jean skirts?

So on my way home from San Diego I was reading a magazine and it says that jean on jean is acceptable...yeah, maybe for models on the runway, but in the real world, I don't think it's ok. There is a time an a place for jean on jean and that is at the Dixie Stampede or at the County Fair...NOT for going out to a fabulous party or to board a plane!

I own a great jean jacket from J. Crew, but there is the right time to wear it- like with a floral or linen skirt or dress. You can also pair the jean jacket with a sequins mini and it would look fab! Just use a feminine piece to pair the jacket with- the contrast of the feminine and denim is fierce. Take Rachel Bilson for example below. Since it's winter, add tights and your golden!

A few tips for jean jackets:
1. I personally prefer darker denim, but if wearing it with linen or floral you can use a lighter denim as well.
2. Make sure it's FITTED. There is nothing worse than a boxy jean jacket. NO NO NO. It MUST be fitted.
3. Look at places like J. Crew, GAP, Banana Republic who specialize in items like this. Usually their styles are timeless. My J. Crew jacket is from 2002- I guess I can call it vintage now ;)
4. NO cropped jean jackets. You want it to be snug and hit right at your waist.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where the Water Runs DRY

So much for having a smart phone....I tried to blog while I was on my work trip to San Diego, I really did, but trying to blog on my phone was a little aggravating- first I couldn't edit something without deleting everything since the cursor was non existent and second, I couldn't spell check...and I NEED spell check. Hello, I use Microsoft Outlook like everyday and it corrects words FOR you. Needless to say, I NEED spell check in my life.

So I've decided I LOVE LA, but don't like San Diego...well, maybe not all of San Diego since I haven't been to the good spots- like Imperial Beach and La Jolla, but I must say the Gaslamp Quarter is like a higher quality Bourbon Street....which isn't saying much. Not to mention it rained the whole time, it and was cold AND the water in my hotel room made my hair dry and made my face break out. I CAN'T handle that. I was ready to leave after one night.

Since I couldn't up and leave because the water was making my hair dry and my skin break out (I work will all men- they just wouldn't understand) I had to deal with it and decided as soon as I got home I was going to buy a new face mask to fix my poor skin that was hating me. That and a new hair conditioner since a bird decided to poo in my front of all my coworkers and foreign VIPs....INSIDE a restaurant. Needless to say I was mortified. And then I got lectured later by my boss about being "too dramatic" about a bird taking a dump on my head. And I even toned down the "drama." Trust me, with how dramatic I could have been A LOT worse. And I wish I could say "Hey, now I have a beauty cure for if a bird thinks your hair is a toilet," but I don't....other than to go home immediately and wash your hair....thrice (Yes, Tabby- that was just for you).

So anyways, yesterday I went to Sephora to find a new face mask. I have had my eye on the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask by Bliss ($52) so I decided to buy it....along with some new makeup primer (Make Up For Ever in 1), nail polish and hand cream. When I got home and washed my face to put on the mask, I was expecting something totally different than what it was. It pumps out and is a very light peach color, you rub it onto your face and it starts to foam so it looks like you have bubble bath all over your face. It gives a tingling/popping sensation which I couldn't decide whether I liked or not (I decided after I washed my face I liked it). You leave the mask on for 5 minutes until the foam dissolves into your face and then you rinse it off. It's AMAZING. I swear. I did a mini dance in my bathroom with how awesome my skin looked after I rinsed it off. And today, my skin is glowing and I have no more red bumps from the nasty San Diego water. Seriously. BUY THIS. And it would make a great Christmas gift for all you last minute shoppers (I'm not judging...I STILL have gifts to buy).

This mask has not only won my admiration, but it won InStyle's Best Beauty Buys for 2009 and 2010....and I ALWAYS listen to InStyle...except when they said jean on jean was back in style. But, I'll save the thought and rave about that in tomorrow's blog.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"When in doubt, wear red." -Bill Blass

This weekend will be filled with Holiday parties- work, friends, family, neighbors- and every year there always seems to be that unfortunate person who either over- dresses, under-dresses, or worse...wears something that they think is appropriate, but definitely isn't (ahem, tacky sweaters for one...). Read and heed the below....these are just my thoughts, but I'd listen to me if I were you. I'd hate to say "I told you so!"

The DONT'S of Holiday Parties:
1. Know your audience. If you are going to a work, family, or boyfriend's family holiday party, you MUST look classy. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT think dressing like a hoochie mama will be in your best interest. You want something classic and something that doesn't scream "Look at me!"- it's not the place or the time for the mini dress that you can barely breathe or sit in. Anything with a short hemline, low-cut chest, or is back-less is off limits. Save that for New Years Eve.

2. DO NOT wear a casual jacket with party attire. I cannot STAND this look. How terrible is it getting all dressing up in a fabulous sequins dress and then throwing on a North Face fleece as the jacket? Never do this- no one can pull off this look. If you are dressing up, wear a nice jacket, shawl or cape.

3. Remember why "Tacky Sweater Parties" exist...because they are a JOKE. Unless you are a 3rd grade teacher, circa 1995, holiday sweaters are a NO-NO. I even avoid tacky sweater parties so I don't have to be seen in public with one. Ouch, what an eye sore.

4. Holiday accessories- Santa hats, Reindeer antlers, jingle bell necklaces. All a NO. You don't want to look like you are working at the local mall as Santa or one of his elves. This look cannot be pulled off....unless you are under then age of 10.

5. Season appropriate shoes. It is DECEMBER. When I think of December I think of snow, cold, fireplaces and hot chocolate. No where in my thoughts are flip-flops, open toed shoes/sandals with tights (barf!), white shoes (unless they are winter white), or wedges with cork bottoms- I could go on and on about this. Point is, unless you live somewhere along the Tropic of Cancer, summer shoes are out of the question. A pair of classic black, red or metallic pumps are perfect. Another option is booties- I have been living in a black suede pair I bought about a month ago. They are very in style and chic. If you do plan to wear open toed shoes...make sure your toenails are maintained and nicely painted, we all know winter is not the typical time for pedicures, and no one wants to see nasty feet before they eat!

The DO'S of Holiday Parties:
1. Color and Metallics. Like Bill Blass says, when in doubt wear red. Red, Gold, or Silver can make a gorgeous holiday dress that is not the typical black. I LOVE sequins too. INC at Macy's has some great silver and gold sequins dresses for under $100.00!! Just don't over-do it on the sequins and look like a wannabe Vegas show girl. If you decide on a sequins dress, keep your shoes, accessories and clutch very simple (and NOT sequins) since the dress is the main attraction.

2. Accessories. If you decide to recycle a dress or wear something black, spice it up with a big necklace, bangles, shiny, dangle earrings, or a big cocktail ring. This is the season of SPARKLE- so wear some! Just be smart about it- if you wear a statement necklace, wear small earrings. No reason to blind everyone with TOO much sparkle! Aldo Accessories are some of my fav!

3. Mix and match. If you do find the perfect red dress, don't go out and buy red shoes and a red clutch. Mix it with some metallic pumps and a fun studded or print clutch. Again, Aldo has some great shoes and clutches. Nine West is another great option.

4. Fur (and before PETA comes after me w/a burning torch- no, it doesn't have to be real). When else can you get away with wearing fur? Find a fur stole, scarf or gloves with fur at the cuffs to dress up your holiday attire! I've seen some really pretty ones at J. Crew and Ann Taylor.

5. Makeup and nails! Try a smokey eye, gold eye shadow or red lips. If you go with smokey eyes, wear a light gloss or nude shade on your lips. Stila has a Smokey Eye Palette that's fab ($40 at Sephora or Ulta). If you decide to be bold and wear red lipstick, keep the eyes very simple- you do not want to look like a clown. A thin line of eyeliner and some mascara is all you'll need for that look. Also, have a fresh coat of nail polish on...chips are best to be left for dip on the appetizer table.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"All I want for Christmas is YOU." -Mariah Carey's infamous Christmas song...that's played 23897394874578 times between Black Friday and Christmas Day

So it's been awhile since I've blogged. I know, it's terrible, really. But I'll tell you whats even more terrible is that I have been dying to blog and my crazy schedule with work has left me not much personal time, except to sleep...when I can!

I've decided to branch out and start talking about every day things too- however beauty/makeup will still be the MAIN topic, as it is my LIFE. I got the idea for today's blog when a boy that I'm seeing said something about giving me a watch for Christmas. I replied with "NO NO NO! Giving watches as gifts are VERY bad luck!" It is- maybe it's because I'm so superstitious, but it made me think of other gifts that are bad luck to give. With Christmas right around the corner, whens a better time to share my insight on gift-giving....

Bad luck gifts:
1. Watches. I know, I know, one would think watches can make great gifts, but giving a watch can be considered very bad luck. It symbolizes time running out- so it puts a time on your relationship with the person you give it to. My Aunt never gives watches for this reason.

2. Knives- or any other pointy, dangerous object. These symbolize the severing of a relationship. Not to mention, they are safety hazards!

3. Handkerchief. What do you do with a handkerchief? DRY your tears, WIPE your nose, or clean SWEAT from your face. Do any of those sound appealing? NO.

4. Empty wallet or purse. You can give a wallet/purse- in fact, those are my favorite gifts to receive! But, if you give this as a gift, you MUST put at least a dollar in it. Giving a wallet/purse with money in it is granting them wealth. Without money in it is granting them nothing but being broke. Yikes!

5. RE-GIFTING. Unless you are involved in some kind of joke White Elephant gift exchange, DO NOT re-gift. Could you imagine how embarrassed you'd be if the person found out you were too cheap to buy them a gift? Save your embarrassment. There's a story that I always think of when I think of re-gifting. My great-grandma once re-gifted a present, and on the bag it STILL had the "TO:/FROM:" on it, obviously to her. Now how do you play off that one?? Needless to say, none of the women in my family re-gift!

GREAT Gifts:
1. Any Apple product- iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes gift cards, etc. Let's face it, Apple products are top of the line and make great gifts. You can find something for your 10 year old nephew/niece to your Dad in this store.

2. Gift Cards- obviously my fav gift card to receive is from SEPHORA, but not everyone spends a small fortune a month there either, so- if you are lost on what to buy for someone, go the gift card route. You can never go wrong with these. Find out their favorite store, restaurant, movie theatre, Spa- and buy a gift card so you know they will truly like the gift.

3. A gift for something going on in your city- like a food/wine tour, cooking class, dance lessons, photography tour, art class, etc. If you are in the DC area, this is a great link for some pretty awesome ideas and has affordable prices:

4. A cook book. I know, maybe it seems a little lame- but even people like me who barely cook/bake can use a cook book. Or if you have a friend/relative that likes to cook, buy them one in a specialized topic- like Mediterranean, Grilling or Baking. Or, if YOU love to cook/grill/bake- buy a few journals w/spirals or insertable (is that a word?) pages and print off some of your favorite recipes and put them in the first few pages. This way, they can start to keep track of their favorites, as well as have some new ones from you! Write a personalized note on the inside of the journal/booklet to tie the gift together. Sometimes personalized gifts are the best ones to give.

5. A magazine subscription. For those who are into fashion and beauty, get them a subscription to InStyle (my fav), Vogue, Glamour, or Cosmopolitan. For those who love to travel, Travel & Leisure; Time Magazine for those who like to stay up on current events and politics; and National Geographic for those interested in global issues, photography and the earth! And it's the gift that keeps on giving- they'll get it the entire year!

Random Tip: with the Holidays around the corner, this is the time for stress, emotional breakdowns, family drama, fights in the mall parking lots/toy stores and headaches from too much egg nog the morning after. But it is also the time of giving, love, joy, peace and to be thankful for what we have. Try to remember this all the time, and end each negative with something positive, like I did with the gifts above- I listed the bad luck gifts first and the GREAT gifts last. This way, the thought or conversation is always left on a positive note.