Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Aerin beach cream

In the summer time I'm all about easy and minimal. Easy as in a streamlined beauty routine, and minimal as in not much clothing.  Simple makeup, simple hair, simple outfits.  Your skin and hair are front and center when everything else is low key.  You want to look fresh and glowy, with a hint of color.

Enter Aerin beach cream, a multipurpose product that works equally well on skin and hair.  It's not greasy, it has a light scent and it makes your legs look terrific.  Put it on the ends of your damp hair and hit it with the blow dryer, it will have body with a golden sparkle. 

While it can be used for everyday, it's called beach cream for a reason.  Take it with you on your next vacation to keep your skin soft and create beachy sunkissed hair. Available here and lots of other online retailers, $45.    

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: Ilia lipstick crayon

I love a good lippie.  Lipstick, lip gloss, lip stain - you name it, it lives in my bathroom waiting it's turn to be the lip color of the day in my makeup bag.  I demand a lot of a lip product. I needs to be creamy, long lasting, not stick to my teeth or not wear off easily, stand up to some eating and drinking, and not change color during the day.  I've tried and abandoned more lip stuff than you can imagine. 

For summer I decided I need something coral.  What looks better with some blonde highlights and a little tan than coral lips?  Googling coral lipstick brought up a brand I'd never heard of, Ilia.  Natural products made with ethical and sustainable ingredients.  Green beauty is very popular and a good idea, but to be honest I'd wear pure arsenic if it made me look good.  My limited experience with green products has been that they don't have rich color and they don't last.  The Ilia lipstick crayons changed my mind.

I ordered the gorgeous coral, Karma Chameleon.  It goes on smooth and creamy, slightly sheer yet richly pigmented.  I made it from 7:00 a.m. to lunch time with no touch up.  After eating lunch, blotting and reapplying did the trick for the afternoon.  The color stays true, it doesn't get dry and flaky, and it feels good on the lips. 

Ilia also makes other lip products, mascara, illuminator and multipurpose sticks.  I found them online on their own site, as well as a favorite site of mine,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fall trends

If you're like me and get emails from your favorite retailers, you know they are pushing fall and pushing it hard.  It's still officially spring, the first day of summer is a week away, yet we're being inundated with images of coats and wool skirts.  The designers have shown their fall lines at fashion weeks around the globe, we all know what we have to look forward to.  The preordering and retailing has begun in earnest.

Each season seems to have a color or two that show up across fashion houses.  This year we're going to see a lot of grey, a lot of violet, together with black and white combinations.  The grey ranges from light dove to dark charcoal on everything from sweaters to boots.  Violet showed up in small but potent doses, appearing in dresses, bags and shoes, like this pair from Alexander McQueen.

Speaking of shoes, the single soled pointy toed shoe continues the charge it started in the spring.  Showing up in everything from flats to classic pumps to booties, in every color and heel height, with and without embellishment, there is much to choose from.
Each season there are trends that make it to the retail floor and onto unsuspecting fashion bloggers but are unwearable by most of us and unlikely to last until the credit card statement is paid.  Ostrich feathers and thigh high boots anyone?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Boob pockets

I could have found a more graceful way to describe them.  They're the pockets on women's shirts and blouses that land right on the girls. 

Some of them are pretty low key.  Just a patch sewn on, almost blending in with the background.

Others are bolder, with more presence and a pocket flap.

Do these additions cause unwanted attention at the chest level, or do they serve a purpose?  Those with a smaller bust like the way pockets add some volume.  When the top is light colored or sheer, pockets provide a bit of coverage.  They can have the opposite effect, changing the look from sleek to sloppy. 
Every so often the boob pocket is just distracting and confusing, like the slanted partial pocket on this striped top.
Then there are the clean lines of a shirt without pockets. 

As with all garments, fit is key and trying on with and without pockets will help you decide what works best for you. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Line to Love - Rag and Bone

Most of us have favorites.  Favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite clothing lines or designers.  Sometimes it's good to get out of your comfort zone.  Try caramel on your sundae instead of chocolate.  Shake up your perspective and seek out something different. 

Although Rag and Bone has been around for a few years, I haven't paid it much attention. Then I viewed the spring ready to wear show on 

So much cooooooool.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When a sale isn't a sale

Sale shopping is a big part of my shopping strategy.  When a new season starts, I scan websites, identify what speaks to me and write a list.  Sometimes I buy an item immediately for full price.  It could be something very popular or only available on one site, and the sell out danger is high.  The rest goes on the sale list.  I try to buy those things with gift cards (from credit card points), on sale, or ideally, both.  The plan works almost all of the time saving me money and getting more bang for my buck.  Unless . . .

The dreaded words no seasoned shopper ever wants to hear.  The surest way to lose money and end up regretting a purchase is to buy final sale.  The risk is great even when buying brands you're knowledgeable about.  Even when buying another of an item you already own. With mass production methods, sizing can vary greatly for the same size of the identical garment.  If you're trying a new designer or a style you don't have, the risk increases.  It's a gamble that doesn't pay off the majority of the time. 

The only good final sale is, well, there is no good final sale.

This philosophy is much more appealing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To a Tee

I love a good tee shirt.  Dating back from high school when my mom bought me three packs of men's size small Fruit of the Loom tees, I've had a love affair with the humble tee shirt. 

The current object of my affection, Everlane.

Soft cotton, available in all the basic colors and a few others offered seasonally, comfortable, washable, perfect with jeans. Everlane also makes a stylish rayon tee with a scoop neckline, the Ryan.  Between the two styles, I have a total of seven. 

The next one on my hit list is the Vince little boy tee.  It's fitted without being too tight.  Paired with boyfriend jeans, it would create just the right proportions.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Denim gone wild

I didn't always wear jeans.  I had many pairs in high school, like most people. I'm sure they came from Sears or JC Penney.  Back then denim hadn't become a thing.  When I got back into the denim market, it had become a thing.  After years of buying not much other than work clothes, I once again had a need for some weekend wear. I'm not sure when jeans wandered into premium territory and the prices along with them.  While there are bargains to be had, like these fabulous $29 Forever 21 boyfriend jeans (no longer available), designer denim is the norm.

The name brand jeans - Citizens of Humanity, Current Elliott, Hudson - to name just a few, generally start in the $200 range.  
I had just become used to the high price of jeans, and adept at finding them on sale, when suddenly I came across the mother of all prices.  How can a pair of denim pants, originally created as workwear for laborers, become a garment people are willing to pay over $500 for?!
Behold the Chimala jean line.  I first stumbled across them on the Madewell site, a retailer known for reasonably priced casual clothes.  These denim ankle pants are $506.
Prefer a more traditional cut?  You could get that look with these Chimala jeans, for a mere $356. 
So what is it about Chimala that makes them worth half a thousand dollars?  A NYC based brand, Chimala uses selvedge denim that is woven on pre-war vintage shuttle looms.  This means that the jeans are created in pieces with finished edges, rather than cut out of a larger piece of cloth.  The denim itself is apparently soft and immediately comfortable. 
Luckily for those of us unable to spend the mortgage payment on jeans, there are other options in the selvedge line besides Chimala.  These by good old Levi and Strauss are $78 (currently on sale for $46.99).


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Musings - Altuzarra printed pencil skirt

I'm trying not to do any aspirational shopping.  I have pledged to stop buying things that fit the life that I don't lead.  That doesn't stop me from window shopping. 

This hit the Net A Porter sale.  The perfect summer skirt, a beautiful ikat print silk with a charming tie front and sequin trim on the front and pockets.  Can't you picture yourself going to lunch in this lovely skirt and a black silk cami, or out to a dinner with something in filmy chiffon on top?  At the current sale price, that's approximately $450 per wear.  Back to real life.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

What's under there?

Let's talk about it.  What kind of underwear do you wear?  It's a serious topic.  After all, what is underneath can often make or break an outfit.  There are different undergarments for different needs.  There's no all purpose panty.  If there is, I haven't found it. 

Let's say you're wearing boyfriend jeans or some chinos. You don't have to worry about VPL.  You can go for comfort.  Something like these Barely There boy shorts.  No seams, no tags, perfect under denim.

Office attire requires something a little more, shall we say, slimming.  Something that looks good under pants or skirts.  The best choice disappears under clothes.  You want to be held in without having to work up a sweat stuffing yourself into a pair of undies labeled superhold. Behold the Skinny Britches.

Every so often a girl gets a chance to get all dressed up and go out. Cocktail dresses and evening outfits are often revealing and formfitting.  Here you have two options.  Go minimal, like a thong, or smooth yourself out top to bottom.  The big sister of the Skinny Britches, the High Waisted Short, removes every flaw.  The tummy disappears, and they don't make going to the bathroom difficult like the super duper slimmers.


To keep all these pretties looking good, wash them in cold and lay or hang to dry.