Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Look of the Day

“Wow, oh wow, oh wow!” is all I could think about today’s ‘Look of the Day’. It’s a deceptively simple turtleneck dress that can be worn so many different ways that it’s a must have for every woman’s closet. I’ve seen more than a few women walking around in this cute lil’ number and it’s easy to see why; this piece is classic, cute, versatile, and above all other things, affordable! In five minutes alone I found FIVE different online stores that had a version of this dress available in prices ranging from cheap, $21.99 on sale at Kohls to pricey at $298.00 for a cashmere version at Banana Republic. There is simply no reason you should not own one.

I’ve chosen to picture the outfit I found at Old Navy because I especially adore this combo; simple, yet chic. I love (and would wear) the other versions I’ve seen though; like pairing a burgundy dress with black leggings and black knee high boots, even vary that look by swapping out the boots for some adorable patent leather Mary Jane heels from Tar-zhay. How ‘bout taking a heather grey version of this dress and making it pop with a bold colored legging, such as yellow or purple and really rock it with a pair of brown heals or colorful flats. Oh, the possibilities are endless!!

Goodness, I hope y’all enjoy this outfit as much as I am!

A good smelling house is next to godliness

I'm a clean freak; I always have been. I have memories as a little girl begging my mother to teach me how to do the dishes so that I could do them myself. There are few things that can fill my heart with feelings of warmth and contentment like a freshly vacuumed floor, or a newly mopped kitchen. If the sinks are shiny and the mirrors streak free then Heidi is a happy woman.

Though I am a stickler for cleanliness, I am even more sensitive about how my house smells; to me, if my house is clean but it smells stale or stinky, then I've failed at my j-o-b. Have you ever walked into a house and the first thing you noticed was the way it smelled; good or bad? I have vivid memories of visiting friend's houses or even the houses of my extended family members, and whether their houses were clean or not, the first thing I always noticed was how it smelled. If their houses smelled good and were clean, then most likely I adored their house and never wanted to leave. (However, even at a very young age I seemed to be aware of the beauty or lack thereof of home decor and as such, I would also judge by how cute I thought their houses to be. But that's a whole other post entirely.) Back to my original point: Every morning shortly after I wake, rain or shine, heat or cold, I throw open all the windows in my house as to air it out. Naturally, I am obsessed with candles and air fresheners. I am very picky about how my house smells though as I don't want it to smell as if I'm trying to mask any odors. I have two lovely kitties whose cat box is a constant challenge to keep fresh and scentless so I always try to buy air fresheners that give off a clean scent (my personal favorite being clean linen, such as is made by Febreze) or no scent at all, like the Oust air sanitizer candles.

However, if I am to have a scent in my house I always choose something like Apple, or Apple Cinnamon. Bath and Body Works makes an excellent line of candles and plug-in 'wallflowers' that I think are really worth their cost. They last for a long time and aren't overpowering at all.

Another option for keeping ones house smelling home-y is to make a homemade potpourri soup and boil it through out the day. I found a really great recipe for such a thing on Martha Stewart's website. Basically, it's just star of anise, cinnamon, lemons and water, although I am sure you could substitute apple cider or juice for the water. When I first tried this, my husband loved it so much, I found him replenishing the pot with more water when he thought it was boiling low. (You know you've made it when your significant other likes how you make the house smell; men are notorious for hating scented anything.)

I live in an apartment so I don't have the option of tearing up the carpets and putting in hardwood floors, but if I could I would. Carpet has a bad reputation for holding in odors, especially when one owns animals such as myself, and can prove difficult to keep fresh. I found though that vacuuming once a day (excessive for some people I know, but remember, I L-O-V-E the way it looks and makes me feel...) and sometimes using baking soda sprinkled on the carpet before you vacuum can freshener it up a bit.

Obviously one can only go so far in making their house smell nice, but why not go off your rocker like I have and hide your gently used dryer sheets in your underwear drawers and under your pillows so that you get an extra burst of freshness every time you're near it? I've also been known to use the body sprays (also found at Bath and Body Works) as bed sprays; while I'm in the process of making my bed, I do as follows: I spray the bottom sheet, pull up and spray the top sheet, pull up and spray both of my blankets and then finally, I lightly mist my pillows. My favorite scent for this is 'Juniper Breeze' as it is the least overpowering of all the scents offered at B&BW. I'm telling you, there is nothing more comforting or luxurious than laying one's head down on a fresh, crisp, lightly scented pillow at night.(Also, you should know, I iron and starch my pillowcases, yes, I am that crazy) It's really quite lovely. :-)

If any of y'all happen to share in my obsession with scent, then let me know, otherwise, happy housecleaning!

Me Likey: My favorite kind of Look

While I was surfing one of my favorite fashion blogs ‘Kingdom of Style’, I came upon this post of Adam + Eve’s new line called ADAM. Me likey everything I see. It’s all beautifully understated; the clothes really hold there own and speak for themselves. This is my favorite kind of look!

You can click here to read the rest of the article and see even more lovely pics. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Look of the Day

I got the idea for today’s look from Banana Republic. I really love BR because their style is so refined and classic; exactly what Heidi loves to wear! I especially like today’s look because, like other looks I’ve shown here, this one can be worn in so many different ways. Of course one could wear it as pictured here; beautiful puffed sleeve turtleneck, sumptuous (BR’s word, not mine) green sweater shrug, long pendant necklace, dark denim pencil skirt and either black or brown leggings and boots. (Notice at least two of the items used in this outfit are from my essentials list; I told you they come in handy!)

Another variation on this look would be to pair the sweater and turtleneck with a pair of trouser jeans and flats. Or one could certainly rock this look by tucking the turtleneck into a high-waist black pencil skirt and wear it with classic black pumps. (Love it!) If one were inclined to buy the lovely puffed sleeved turtleneck several different colored, like say, cream, one could pair it with brown cords (like I saw on BR) and wear it as is. Simple, but chic. I really, really love outfits like this, this look is exactly what one would see me in any day of the week.


Neiman Marcus turns 100!

This month, Neiman Marcus, the luxury department store originally founded in Dallas, turns 100; my how it makes Texas proud! Earlier this year, a Neiman Marcus opened in Austin and for the first time in my life, I got to see in person, all the designer goods I'd been drooling over in my Vogue. It was like a sensory overload, and when for the first time, I slipped my foot into a Malono Blahnik, all I could seem to muster was, "It's like my Vogue has come alive!" Indeed it had!
As I was researching for this post, I found that even the one time editor of Vogue, Mrs. Edna Woolman Chase, couldn't contain her feelings for Neiman Marcus and said this:

"I dreamed all my life of the perfect store for women. Then I saw Neiman-Marcus,
and my dream came true."

I couldn't agree more! (That's me standing next to the amazing art work that hangs over the escalators at my local NM). I don't know what it is about fashion, beauty and design that gets me going, but it was like I was created to love it. It's just part of who I am, and I couldn't be more blessed to live in an area of the state where fashion and beauty are embraced and celebrated as if its a necessary part of life. Neiman Marcus seems to think that it's a necessity and for that reason, it will always have my pledge of undying love.

Pictured below is the "clearance" shoe rack at Neiman Marcus. Oh, to one day look in my own closet and see something very similar. If you look closely you can see a Chanel cork wedge, Fendi flat sling backs and many other straight out of Vogue goodies.

Not only does NM house all of the designer shoes I love and dream about owning, but it also has its very own Chanel Boutique in which I was able to actually touch an authentic Chanel black quilted lambs skin purse with signature gold chain handle... Yes friends, it was an almost out of body experience. The very sweet young girl who was working there answered all my questions and even disclosed how much one of those purses would set me back... I've determined now that though more than a grand is a lot for a purse, especially on my budget, I will save and put away until I am able to walk into that lovely Chanel Boutique, cash in hand and buy myself my very first piece of Chanel. It's like a piece of heirloom furniture, it'll never go out of style -EVER- and I can certainly pass it down to my stylish lineage when the time comes.

The Texas historic plague that hangs on the flagship Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Interestingly enough, about a year after the first store was opened, it burned to the ground; likewise, in the building process of Austin's store, it too burned, though not to the ground.
I have yet to go to the Dallas Neiman Marcus, (I have a blogger friend who works as an assistant buyer for the lingerie department -I know, I'm jealous too-) but one day I'll make a trip up there to see the store in all it's glory myself.

Malono Blahnik himself pictured at the 100 birthday bash that was thrown earlier this month in Dallas. Among the other famous faces of fashion in attendance were Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Glenda Bailey the Editor in Chief of Harper's Bazaar, Hilary Swank and many, many more. This event was covered by many notable newspapers and magazines. Here are some very interesting articles and picture slides for all to look at: Enjoy! New York Times, Dallas News, Style and Neiman Marcus.

What to do?! What to do?!

Okay, for those of you who know me, y’all know that I LOVE coats. I collect them, I dream about them, they are what makes my world go ‘round. So you can imagine the thrill that went through me when I saw this jacket at Net-a-Porter; it’s gorgeous! It’s so elegant and ladylike and it’s so me!! It’s also 795.00… that’s like half a mortgage payment for some people and it’s certainly way outside my price range. Then I remembered a shift coat I’d seen at Target some months ago from their Go International line and I was on a mad search to find it. I could not be stopped; I would find that coat if it was the last thing that I ever did!

Of course I was successful in finding it, but I’ll be honest with you, I was mighty disappointed when I finally found it! Why you ask? Well, it wasn’t that the beauty of the coat had diminished in the months since I'd last seen it; it was still as lovely and chic as ever; to be sure, the root of my frustration lie in the price! I distinctly remember this coat being no more than about $40 at Target and now whoever was trying to resell it was asking a whopping $69.99. Now, I know this price is a steal compare to the steep price tag of the other coat, but seventy bucks for one item is still quite a lot for a girl on a budget! Nevertheless, I am torn; should I splurge a little and invest in this timeless gem, or should I let it go and put it out of my mind? I really don’t know what I should do!

( left)Beautiful designer coat with a scary price tag (right) Lovely Target coat with hateful price increase.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A lesson in the usefulness and relevance of Photoshop

A friend and I were on Banana Republic’s site looking at sweaters when we decided to see a close up of this one, and this is the that picture came up:

It actually frightened my friend and me because the picture was greatly zoomed in and the first thing we saw was this honkin’ mole! It looks like the girl in the photo is pulling her turtleneck down just so she can show her mole! It’s actually a little funny when one thinks about it like that. One would think the Graphic Artists of BR could have photoshopped that mole out as not to make it the focal point of the picture; I mean I think that they would want to draw attention to the fabric of the sweater, not the big brown growth on the model’s neck. This is a random post I know, but I thought maybe some of you would agree with me about the usefulness and relevance of photoshop in this case. Yes?

Look of the Day

For today's look I'm posting an outfit that would be very appropriate for ladies who live in the South, are from California, or who just love the look of these chic shorts so much that they will brave the icy weather in the North to sport these.

I actually saw a woman wearing an outfit very similar to this last November; she was walking out of my local Target (hooray for Tar-zhay!), and she stopped me in my tracks. I observed her closely (I know, a little creepy, but I'll stare if I think an outfit is cute) as to make a mental image of exactly what she was wearing so I could go and immediately buy all that I needed to copy her.

Thankfully for all of us, shorts are, "This seasons version of the mini-skirt", and thank God because I could never pull of a mini and I wanted to wear this outfit again this year. Actually, this outfit is a tad different than the one I sported last year, but both could be worn. (The outfit I wore last year was simply a black turtle neck paired with a matching pair of black and white herringbone print shorts, black leggings and flats to match. I would typically accessorize with a pair of silver hoop earrings and nothing else. Simple is chic in my book.)

This year I think I'll wear my shorts in brown paired with a cute pair of slouchy boots and a preppy sweater. I'll most likely accessorize with a pearl necklace and earrings since that's my thing this year.

Hope y'all enjoy this outfit, rain or shine, sleet or snow!!

Shorts & Sweater: Forever21

Boots: Target

I spy: An unexpected trend

I have a confession to make: I am a celebrity news junkie. It’s true that with every free moment I have for myself, my first thoughts of how I’ll spend it always go to checking the latest news on X17online, or I honestly can’t tell you how this habit developed or why it became such an obsession, but it takes great effort on my part to not check those sites more than a few times a day. I don’t like anyone that I read about (with the except of Reese Witherspoon who is seldom featured),I hate what they do (DUI’s, drug use, ect) and I get annoyed that all the “new” news isn’t really news at all, it’s more just an update on where Britney Spears ate lunch, yet for some reason, I cannot seem to get enough.

All that to say, perhaps one of the only useful things that come from my wasting time on those sites is that it gives me a good idea of what the latest trends are and I appreciate it for that. Thus the subject of this blog: Black Nail Polish (or varnish as it is referred to in Europe).

Now, I don’t know about you, but all the memories I have of black nail polish are from middle school when all those who were sporting it were Goths, Punk’s and Rebel’s; certainly not the fashionable people. (Not to say that Goth’s, Punk’s and Rebel’s cannot be fashionable, they can; it just wasn’t trendy to be that way at the time. In Austin there many a Goth and rebel in its midst and most all have been trendy in my opinion.) Anyway, it’s been a long while since I’ve really seen anyone wearing black nail polish and I was surprised when I first spotted it on a very non-Goth celebrity, Lauren Conrad of MTV’s ‘The Hills’. I was a tad confused by Lauren’s choice in polish color, but then, she did tend to wear a lot of darker colored clothing so I figured she’d just decided to incorporate it into her beauty as well. Very soon after this, I started to see almost all celebrities sporting black on their nails and it was then that I started to first suspect a trend. In fact, as I later found out, black varnish has become such a big deal that the polish Chanel created now has a waiting list and some bottles are being sold for 100 dollars!

Of course, I am aware that black is a very trendy color for fashion right now; pair it with a beautiful jeweled colored piece of clothing or accessory and you’ve got yourself an of-the-now look. It would make sense then that black would become a trend for beauty, it’s just unexpected that black nails would become the beauty trend as opposed to a really dark eye for instances.

I’m actually really thrilled about this latest trend as I think black is a naturally chic color when worn properly. It’s always interesting and exciting when fashion (or beauty in this case) does something unexpected; I feel it pushes me to be more creative and think outside the box. When I was doing research for this post, I Googled black nail polish and found there to be many interesting articles on the subject. I even found that New York Magazine did a timeline of the history of black nail polish; y'all should really check it out.

How to Be a Budget Fashionista: Every woman's new best friend

In ‘How to be a Budget Fashionista’, Kathryn Finney manages to tackle the daunting task of being both stylish and frugal. This book boasts that in three easy steps, you too can learn to become an “Ultimate Budget Fashionista” and I found that it really lives up to what it says. With every turn of the page I learned something new while being entertained by Kathryn’s clever tips and stories.

I am big believer in low-to-no-debt, and I was honestly surprised to find that this was a belief that the Budget Fashionista herself held near and dear. Kathryn shares candidly about her journey down the (sometimes rocky) road to financial peace. In step one, ‘Know Your Budget’ I was delighted to find a complete guide to creating a budget and pointers on beginning to manage one’s debt. There are also pages full of tips on how to make a little extra spending money, how to host a clothing swap with your friends and even how to turn shopping into a profession by becoming a personal and/or mystery shopper.

Step two, ‘Know Your Style’ was a comprehensive guide jam packed with information on everything from determining one’s style, to knowing the basics of every wardrobe, to the importance of buying the right underwear, to being an accessories Diva, to becoming a beauty Queen (complete with tips and homemade recipes) and so on and so forth! I’m telling you, it was FULL of new and essential tips on looking one’s best! For instance, Kathryn wrote an entire chapter on knowing when, where and how to get in on the latest trends without breaking the bank or lookin’ like a fool. Also, I never knew that tomato paste could help tighten my pores or that I could remake my widowed earrings into rings or pendants or sell them to jewelers for some quick cash! Another plus within this section are funny stories and tips on how to attend (or at least attempt to) fashion week in New York; an event that I am now adding to my “Must do before I die” list. Possibly one of the most helpful chapters in this step was ‘The Shopping List’. Very much like a grocery list, “the shopping list” is what Kathryn says will help keep every Budget Fashionista within her spending limit.

In the final step, ‘Know your Bargains’ Kathryn covers subjects such as creating a bargain shopping strategy, department stores, outlet malls, my personal favorites second hand stores (I honestly didn’t know that Buffalo Exchange was a chain store until I read this chapter!) and many more shopping institutes. She also divulges 7 of her Fashionista secrets that will come in handy next time I’m out shopping. She ends the book by answering several questions from real women which are very relevant and to the point, showing that Kathryn really does have her finger firmly planted on the pulse of America’s budget minded Fashionista’s.

In all, How to Be a Budget Fashionista is a down to earth, easy to read, always relevant reference book that every woman should read. I learned so much and am now what I hope Kathryn herself would consider, a Budget Fashionista! (Note: I’m also adding, ‘Meet Kathryn Finney’ to my “Must do before I die” list.) In my opinion this book is excellent for those who are just starting out in life’s never ending quest for style, those who may already be fashion savvy but need a refresher course in bargain hunting and those seeking an all around reference guide to keep them at the top of their stylish, yet cash flow managed game.

Y’all can check out Kathryn on her popular website and don’t forget to get yourself a copy of this wonderful book!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Maybe, maybe not?

Recently, I ventured into Neiman Marcus and got a makeover from my favorite cosmetics line, Clinique. It was a lot of fun because I found out that I knew the woman who was doing my makeover from church, I learned a lot about makeup and skin care, and well, I just love Clinique so much that even being within 50 feet of the counter makes me happy.
One of the nifty new products I became aware of was the foundation brush. Now for those of you who already knew about this tool long ago, *shush*, everyone learns something new everyday. Anyway, my makeup artist was of course raving about the brush and telling me how she always uses it and how it never fails her. She really convinced me that it was the one key tool missing from my brush collection and that I simply couldn’t go on without one. Now, though I love Clinique with all my heart and would write glowing post after post about it, I cannot afford most of it’s products and am therefore left to seek out cheaper alternatives elsewhere. Where you ask? Why Target of course! Naturally!

So I made a beeline to my faithful Tar-zhay and snatched up this Sonia Kushuk brush for a fraction of the price of Clinique’s. I went home and tried it right away expecting to feel the same warmhearted way I’d felt at Neiman Marcus… but honestly, I was surprised that I was a tad let down by its performance. Now don’t get me wrong, the problem lay not in the quality of the product, I prefer Sonia Kushuk products above most other brushes I’ve used; the problem lay in the actual usefulness of the foundation brush.

Maybe it’s just the foundation I use, or maybe it’s my technique in applying it, but to me, when applied with the brush, my foundation feels heavier and less evenly applied. I feel like I have less control over how much foundation I put on and often my face feels wet and the makeup unblended. I sometimes resort to just using the good ol’ fingers to get the job done and that’s downright disappointing because I really wanted this foundation brush to work! Through all my trials with it though, I have yet to give up on it… I refuse to believe that the worth of such a cute foundation brush is lost because it doesn’t perform well, though it’s looking like it’s going to end up that way.

I’d love to know what you think dear Readers. Is there a technique I missing here, or are our faithful finger friends really the best way?

It's like the cherry on top!

Man, I love stuff like this: Urban Outfitter’s, one of my favorite stores for home d├ęcor and the occasional item of clothing, is having a sale on its sale!! Y’all can get an additional 15% off already reduced items until midnight on October 28th. I found this adorable vanity tray marked down to $14.99; love it!

Credit is due where credit is earned; I thank The Budget Fashionista for putting my bargain seeking self on high alert. I would have never thought to draw attention to this sale had Budget Fashionista not originally led the way! Y’all go check her out on her site, you’re bound to benefit from her wisdom!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When bad outfits happen to good people

Okay people, I had to post this picture of Sarah Jessica Parker apparently dressed in character as Carrie on the set of the Sex and the City movie because I really cannot understand what’s going on with her outfit. Seriously, Heidi loves her some SJP as much as the next Sex and the City fanatic, but what on earth is she wearing? I count Sarah Jessica’s character on SATC as one of my favorite Fashion Icons; sure some of Carrie’s outfit’s are really out there and almost none of them really fit into the classics category, but I still love them and learn from them all the same. I honestly always try and have an open mind to whatever outfit I see, especially if worn by a Fashion Icon, but common, what is this?
First of all, it’s not really age appropriate, it’s more 80’s gone bad (if that can even happen). Secondly, and most definitely worst of all, this outfit is NOTHING like Carrie’s character;this has actually kept me up at night thinking about it!! I own all but Season Six of SATC and I know for a fact that in the first episode of season five, Carrie was somewhat lamenting but nonetheless stating to Samantha that it was true that they were now “older” women and could neither wear nor act as they once did… I ask you then, what is this? Eh. I’m really flustered about this and frankly, from some of the other pictures I’ve seen from the filming of the SATC movie, I may be so distracted by how horrid Carrie’s outfits are that I won’t be able to enjoy the movie… and what a sad thing that would be!!

Buff and Shine

I thought I should write a post about face wash as a follow up to the ‘Be a Queen, a makeup Queen’ because keeping ones face clean is more important to real beauty than any kind of makeup application you could do.

I want to say right now that I am not going to pretend that I have always taken very good care of my face; the truth is that I’ve struggled over the years to maintain a good regimen but have eventually grown into a routine that I like and that works for me. It’s really important to keep in mind that you need to do what’s best for you when you’re thinking about the upkeep of your face; there are so many different skin types and issues out there, that surely there cannot be a one size fits all routine or product. And that’s another thing, there are so many products out there, some expense, some cheap, that it’s hard to say really if spending more money will buy you a better cleanser. However, I’ll share what I use as an example because I think my face wash is a good example of a cleanser that could be used by all. If you’re anything like me, and if you’re really interested in this, then you can go and obsess about it by reading the articles that this link will take you to. There are much more extensive writings and info on this subject than I would ever care to write about here.

For starters, there is so info about whether one should wash her face twice a day, just at night, every time she feels dirty, that a girl hardly knows what to do! Personally, I’ve experienced a very dry face if I wash my face more than just once a day, so I stick to washing my face just at night. I know that some people feel really icky when they wake up in the morning, but I’ve never understood that… I don’t sweat a lot at night, nor do I sleep on a dirt floor, so I’ve never felt the need to wash my face first thing. I have done it, but like I said, it dried my face. The best cleanser I’ve ever, ever used is Johnson’s & Johnson’s Purpose. Its soap free and hypoallergenic and it makes my face smooth and super soft. I’ve never seen my face glow like it did after about a week of using this cleaner. I highly, highly recommend it.

I do use moisturizer in the mornings as this is when I feel it’s most needed. Sometimes I’ll put it on at night, but my skin often feels a little irritated when I do this. I’ve heard some people say that they moisturize all that time and all I can say to them is, “More power to ya!” I live in an insanely humid climate (Yes, Texas is humid) and if I were to slather on moisturizer all the day long then I’d be greasier than a stick of butter!! My favorite moisturizer is Neutrogena Healthy Defense with SPF 30. It’s light and I’ve never experienced problems with excess oil or break outs from using it.

There is a lot that one could use in between just these two products, but I kind of feel like its unnecessary. Call me a purist or a cheapskate, but I’m not one to spend oodles, and oodles of money and time on products that may or may not reduce the signs of aging…

If you want to share what routine works for you or tell me about an awesome cleanser or moisturizer you’re using, drop a note. I’d love to hear from you!

Look of the Day

This morning I made my weekly trek to Target and spotted this cute lil’ number. It’s a silky shirtdress and in my opinion, it’s a dream! This is a lovely example of a classic and timeless piece of clothing that will go anywhere with you. It’s also a steal at just 19.99.

I’ve decided it would be fun to start posting what I’ll call, “Look of the Day”. This beauty of a dress and these black flats, which by the way, can also be found at Target, will have the honor of being my first ‘look’. Pair these two together and you'll always have a winning combination.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Me Likey

A black and white Lumberjack’s jacket.(Say that three times fast ;-)) Cute huh? I thought so. It’s a twist on the more classic kind of clothing I like (also, I’m obsessed with jackets, I have at least six or seven, which is a lot for someone who lives in Texas.)

Somehow I can see Kathryn Hepburn sporting this cute lil’ number. That in itself makes it rather attractive to me and black and white are so versatile and can go with any primary color; imagine this jacket paired with this red dress for First Thursday on SoCo,

or with a yellow scoop neck and a chunky bright red necklace with black skinny jeans tucked into knee high boots…. Ohhh, me likey a lot. :-)

This jacket is a steal at only 29.80. Pick it up at Forever21-

This is the beauty In Life

Though I have a passion for the aesthetic beauty in this world, it simply pails in comparison to the beauty of the message of this man: Randy Pausch. He is a husband, he is a father and he is a man dying from cancer. He has just 3-6 months left to live and this is the last lecture he gave as a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. It’s a truly refreshing message; like taking the first breath after you almost drown. Listen carefully friends, this is beauty for your soul.

Be a Queen, a cosmetics Queen!

This season is all about glam, and oh how that thrills my soul! I love glam, especially 40’s glam. I am also a great lover of classics, and glam my friends, is very classic.

Glam is all about the eyes and I’m all about playing up the eyes. What makes the eyes so special and keeps the rest of ones face from veering dangerously close to “hooker-y” as a dear friend of mine puts it, is to tone it down with the lips and cheeks. In this article, I will post some of my favorite products with which to accomplish this look.

The truth is I’ve been obsessed with makeup since I was 13. That was when I was finally allowed to wear it, though before that I’d snuck to the store and bought my first ever makeup items: A way too dark for me Cover Girl pressed powder, and a tube of sparkle purple lip stick. Oh yes, I was rockin’ the purple lip stick!

Since then, I’ve honed my cosmetic skills a little more and I’ve been careful to not only develop a signature look, (Heidi does love her natural colored lip gloss ever so much) but also to follow the beauty trends within reason; meaning, though hypothetically, lots-o-sparkles may be in next season, I most likely will find a way of making it my own as to avoid looking like a teeny bopper again.

It’s important to change up ones look every few decades (I’m kidding) so that one doesn’t end up looking stale or horrors of all horrors become known as the lady who never changes her makeup lo
ok!! This is really what in my opinion makes a well rounded cosmetic Queen; someone who knows when to change it up while maintaining a signature look.

A lovely liquid eyeliner will help to accomplish the 'Glam' look. Apply it very close to the lash in a thin line at first and then you may work to thicken the line from there by going back over it several times. (Or if you're like me, you just push down really hard as you drag the wand across your lash line to create a nice, fat line.) I do not recommend lining your bottom lashes with liquid eyeliner for two reasons: 1.) It's difficult to create a "natural" look under the bottom lashes with liquid eyeliner as liquid can't really be smudged thus leaving you with a harsh line. 2.) 40's glam is all about a thick coating of liner on the top lashes only. It's also known as the doe look. It's attractive on everyone I've seen.

Maybelline has a wonderful line of eye shadows that come in a triple pack like this one. As you can see, the eye shadow is ever so shiny as to really play up the glam. These are three lovely colors, or you can go more classic like me and buy their 'Impeccable Greys' pack. To apply:Always start with the lightest color first and apply that all over the eyelid from lash line to brow line. Then go in with the next darkest shade and working from the corner of your outer eye, create a 'c' with it, smudging the color into crease of your eyelid and going no higher than that. Lastly, and this is an option, you can take the darkest color and lightly draw out a thin line under your bottom eyelashes to define them and create a smoky look.

Great lashes are any woman's best friend whether trying to go glam or not and Rimmel has an awesome mascara that really does make ones lashes look thicker and longer. I believe this mascara also curls ones lashes as well. Apply mascara one layer at a time. As a rule of thumb, I like to apply a layer to one eye first, do the other eye, then go back to the first eye and reapply and then go and do the same for the second eye.

Last, but certainly not least especially for me, is the blush. I simply couldn't live without my blush, and yes, I do use the Cover Girl 'Cheekers' brand. I've used other more expensive brands, but with the exception of Clinique's gel blush (which they've discontinued) I've never noticed a real difference in quality. To apply, start from about the middle of your cheek bone (if you don't know where that is, make a fishy face and they will pop out) and work back up towards your hairline with the brush. Then come down and add blush to the apples of your cheeks and finally brush over all of your blush in a downward stroke as to blend the blush in. I always, always, always apply my blush to my temples, down my nose and under my jawline. The shape of my face literally changes when I do this and I love it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Essentials: Part One

And so, it begins: This is my first of a few posts about what I believe to be the essentials of every woman's wardrobe. It's very important to keep in mind that these are the very basics and therefore may seem pretty boring, but I can testify that owning these very items has gotten me stylishly through many a day.


These trouser jeans are simply a must. They are dressy enough for work or evening but can easily be dressed down and worn out for a lunch with the girls!
I cannot say enough about this item of clothing: the basic white button down is good on any day; hot or cold, professional or casual, by itself or layered.

I Love It.

A lovely twist on the plain white tee. Who doesn't own five of those? I love this one because it's got a little sparkle around the neck which kills two birds with one stone:

A too plain white tee, and no need for accessories!

Ah, the beautiful black knee high boot. It goes with so many things. So versatile. So chic.
In Texas, where the weather is hot, one cannot often wear cute lil' numbers like this tailored denim jacket, but I wear it whenever I can anyway. It simply works with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

Oh, an important note about this jacket: Tailored. Look into it.

Another fine essential: The denim pencil skirt. I have honestly sometimes worn mine more than once a week just because it's awesome like that. I recommend getting it in a darker wash first and then once you've established your 'robe with more of these other essentials, you should look into getting it in a light wash. A light wash can work better for a more casual look and for summer.
Oh. It's beautiful. It's wonderful. It's the little black dress.

'Nuff said.

Observe: The stripped tee:

A somewhat unexpected addition to the 'Essentials List', but a must have nonetheless. I personally have one that's white and navy and cut in a boat neck style that I got from Target and that was featured in Vogue... But that's not what's important; what's important is that you get one and get one fast. (Oh, and you can get any style or color you'd like.)

Basic black pants. They come off as a little stuffy I know, but trust me with this one; you'll discover that you wear these with everything. Careful though, if you pair them with the wrong thing you might end up looking like a caterer or something of the like...
This button down is exactly the same as its counter part, the white button down. It can be worn in the same way as the white button down, and yes, you will look just as cute in it.
Black Flat is spelled C-H-I-C

We've finally come to my own personal favorite: the black flat. I actually have like five or six pairs of these in different styles, no joke. That's how much I love black flats. They may look at tad grandma-ish on their own, but pair them with ANYTHING, and they are chic, chic, chic.

Ah yes, the black pencil skirt aka the sexy skirt. Or at least that's my opinion on this item of clothing.

And last but certainly not least, the black turtleneck. Though it seems like a mundane piece of clothing, it's actually very stylish and dare I say sexy when worn right. I happen to own just one of these little goodies, and I've received several complements on mine.

Goodness, it's just occurred to me how much black I've featured in this first edition of 'Essentials'. But it must be said that black really lives up to it's reputation and it does go with everything! That said, other than these few items of black that I've posted here, I really don't have very many other pieces of black clothing. I much prefer color. However, black (and white) seem to be the main colors of what I consider to be the first real building blocks to an awesome wardrobe. I hope all have enjoyed this little tutorial in wardrobe design, I certainly enjoyed writing it. I look forward to posting more on this subject and I hope you do too!!