Thursday, December 22, 2011

Current Obsession: Stains

I hate lip gloss. **Pauses for reaction** I know, I know. I used to be a junkie (I have the box full of tubes and pots to prove it), but lately the necessary reapplication, the nauseatingly sticky feeling, and the prerequisite feathering have all but put me off my glossy lunch. Enter: Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks. This product is fantastic for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, for you low-maintenance ladies, the stain simplifies your morning routine by shrinking the number of products you need and allowing you to quickly create a polished look. The tiny pot fits into any size bag, and you can reapply if necessary during the day without using a mirror. Reapplication will probably be unnecessary, as the color has truly fantastic staying power, especially if you take your time to work in and build up the color. No need to start with a pile of product- simply dab your finger into the color and then dab onto your lips and cheeks. Honestly, it's that goof-proof. Lastly, this product will last you past its expiration date. I have had my stain in Pink Truffle (I prefer a darker color for a stain, because it is more versatile as you can dab lightly for a soft finish or build the color to an intense lip) for about a month, and there is barely a dent. This type of product tends to look more natural than powders, as it blends more easily into your skin, rather than sitting on top of the skin. Translation: You will look effortlessly beautiful and put-together throughout your day!
What you pay-$24
What you get-0.38 ounces of love that will last you forever
Where you buy-Sephora, most department stores
What you do-Dab, dab, dab on lips and cheeks! And work quickly, using the warmth of your fingers or a soft brush to blend.
Other stuff you should know- Only comes in 5 colors, but they are widely flattering. Other options include Laura Mercier's Lip Stain (Mulberry is my current favorite, and while it may look frightening in the pot it is exceedingly wearable and easily buildable) and Benefit's famous Benetint
Zest Official Rating-5/5! This is holy grail status for me, both in terms of a lip and cheek product.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I SPY: Miranda Kerr

I SPY: Miranda Kerr

Winter can get, well, BORING. There are only so many times you can wear your black trousers from J.Crew before your co-workers start to notice your slovenly appearance. When faced with such a dire situation, look no further than Miranda Kerr's edgy street style. The model can be seen stomping down the pavement in fabulous looks that include strong blazers, rich leather accessories, and retro sunglasses- looks that could snap anyone out of their winter slump. The exact look pictured above is definitely more suited for taller gals (cuffed jeans AND ankle boots? yeah, you need to be about ten feet tall to wear her outfit and still  have legs that look a mile long), but with some adjustments (either stick to full length skinnies, or wear a more classic heeled pump) petite ladies could sport the ensemble as well. And while Kerr is strutting in head to toe designer, this look is SO simple to recreate with cheaper pieces. Head over to Forever21 for an enormous selection of blazers, or to ASOS for chic booties that won't break the bank. Remember, celebrity style can serve as inspiration for any outfit- don't feel like you have to copy the look exactly. Each person has a slightly different body, so adapt the outfit to a version that looks best on YOU!

Items pictured above: 
Hollister Co. destroyed jeans, $50
TopShop black booties, $124
Banana republic handbag, $90
Mulberry zebra print scarve, $150
House of Harlow 1960 Chelsea Sunglasses in Black, $139
Wilfred satin jacket, $195

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Beauty Aid: Smudged and Dangerous

Beauty Aid: Smudged and Dangerous

Traveling eye liner is SO not cute- who wants to look like a raccoon come 3 p.m.?! With the right tools and techniques, your eyeliner can stay put through the work day...or through a hurricane...or through a marathon...or whatever else you may be tackling  on that particular day.

First, create a line using either a pencil, gel or liquid liner. I really love Mac pencil in Teddy, a bronze color that is a nice alternative to standard brown or black. In the drugstore, I am obsessed with Prestige Total Intensity Pencils- they stay all day and are ridiculously inexpensive at around $3. I have them in several colors, and they are all fabulous and easily compare to Urban Decay's more famous 24/7 pencils. If gel is more your thing, Physician's Formula, Bobbi Brown, and Maybelline all make fantastic versions. Liquid liner normally takes the most skill and time, but if you have mastered the steady-hand method, my favorite is Maybelline Line Stiletto. Once you have a thin layer of liner, which by no means needs to be perfect (I actually prefer a more smudged, natural look), take a similar color shadow on a flat or angled liner brush and gently press (don't rub or you will move around your base line!) onto the original line you created. And that's it! Just as you would set foundation or concealer with a powder, or as you would finish an up-do with hairspray, the shadow sets your line and intensifies the color and the defining power of any product! I almost always do a brown liner, and so would chose a complimentary brown or bronze shadow. Some of my favorites include NYX in Deep Bronzer, Urban Decay in Smog, and Bobbi Brown in Espresso. To amp up the look for night, take a little of the same shadow onto your bottom lash line with a smudge brush or simple q-tip! This will keep you looking glam all through your day and well into your Friday night.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pre-Fall 2012 Inspired

Runway trends can look frightening, and this year's pre-Fall 2012 shows were no different. With shocking brights and a clear 1950's couture vibe, these looks may seem better suited for razor-thin models in the world's hottest fashion houses. But each piece can find a home in your closet once you learn how to translate the runway!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



I can't seem to get enough of Jonathan Adler's designs- the bold prints, bright colors, and unexpected animal shapes bring such a fun element to potentially stuffy housewares. Though overall not a brand for the faint of heart, the ubiquitous collections (Adler even partnered with Barnes and Nobles for a range of office supplies) guarantee something for everyone. My favorite piece is the elephant salt and pepper shakers- I love those little porcelain gems!

Squirrel Match Strike, $38
Elephant Salt & Pepper Shakers, $48
 Throw Blanket Zig Zag Grey, $295
Bargello Jamaica Lane Pillow by Jonathan Adler, $110
'Mr. & Mrs. Muse' Bottle Stoppers, $48
Acapulco Candle, $28
Whale Butter Dish, $68
Elephant Bowl, $88
On the Go Coffee Mug, $14
Menorah, $165
Utopia Cowboy Candleholders, $48
iPhone 4 & 4S Case, $28
Links Photo Book, $10

Friday, December 9, 2011

First Impressions

First Impressions

As I was perusing the aisles of Fairway the other day, I noticed an abundant amount of UK imports. Teas, candies, Digestive biscuits- the works. Americans are obsessed with all things English, and that does not stop at edible goodies. We love a Brit it-girl (I'm talking to you Carey Mulligan, Kiera Knightley, and Adele) almost as much as watching rich and obnoxiously thin women fighting on Bravo. Enter: Felicity Jones, the new sweetheart of the indie scene. On her press tour for "Like Crazy" (which I NEED to see IMMEDIATELY- watch the trailer here and prepare to be captivated), the 27-year-old actress showed she has a flair for the dramatic beyond her film career. Her style is classic and girly, with a vintage feel that fits well with her very old-Paris facial features. Jones exudes an effortlessness that only comes with a firm self-assurance, both in personal style and in personality. With a few bold pieces (will you look at that striped leather skirt!) mixed in with her mostly black ensembles, Jones has proven she is one to watch!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Run, Don't Walk: HauteLook Sales

Pour La Victoire and BB Dakota Sales on HauteLook today! I know I will be picking up these...

...and probably this...

...and maybe this too... hurry over now before your faves sell out!

Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

Men like to act low-key, but in reality they can be the hardest people to shop for during the holiday season. Each of these ten items will simplify your search and delight the man in your life, whether that is a boyfriend, father, best friend, etc. And if none of these gifts fits your guy's personality, resort to food or sports tickets and you will be a star in his eyes.
1. iPhone Lens Dial, $240
2. The Art of Shaving The 4 Elements Starter Kit Lavender, $100
3. Beats by Dr dre, $275
The Spoon Sisters Moustache Cufflinks, $50

5. Michael Kors Dress Shirt, $125
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Gift Set, $73
LRG 47 Seasons Mens Hoodie, $98
Mougin & Piquard™ for J.Crew Grande Seconde watch, $425
Makr Bottle Key, $11

10. Bass suede boots, $70

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Whole Lotta POP

A Whole Lotta POP

ASOS is my go-to shopping website for trendy pieces. This UK-based brand has beautiful basics, but the site is absolutely brimming with neon, animal prints, leather and sparkles. Many items are runway-ready at an affordable price (see the structured shift dress above, which could have easily rocked any of the Fall 2011 collection runways). Want harem pants? No problem. Want a wool and leather capelet? Sure thing. Want a leather bib necklace? Done. Want it all under $200? Go to ASOS. And now that US shipping (including returns!) is free, I just might need to add a couple more items to my wish list. 

ASOS Black mini cocktail dress, $129
ASOS a line dress, $82
ASOS pleated pants, $64
ASOS platform heels, $68
ASOS platform heels, $155
ASOS flat, $45
ASOS leopard print handbag, $36
ASOS chunky ring, $16
ASOS statement necklace, $27
Pilgrim jewelry, $36

Monday, December 5, 2011

Head to Toe: Leopard

Head to Toe: Leopard

Winter in NYC involves a verging-on-depressing sea of black pants, black coats, black gloves (you see where I'm going with this). I can, shamefully, include myself in the all-noir clad mass of city dwellers. Something about the chilly months from October to February forces my hand towards my staple charcoal skinnies and black wool Elie Tahari coat almost every morning (similarly to how my feet seem to walk me into Starbucks every morning). When I see myself in head to toe sable for weeks on end, I have one sure-fire cure. Nothing pumps up a dull cold-weather outfit better than leopard accessories, but because of the gradients of color in the print, it can successfully be utilized as a neutral in your wardrobe. 

Jessica Alba showcases this trend de jour with her Tolani leopard infinity scarf, that easily adds punch to her lazy day jeans and tank top look. A nice alternative to the Tolani is this Michael Kors version, which adds a unique red tone to the ubiquitous print. Banana Republic makes a fantastic pair of leather gloves that also highlight the print without sacrificing toasty fingers.

When all else fails, I look to shoes. You can't walk for a second down Park Avenue without catching a fleeting glimpse of leopard hitting the pavement. These on-trend Aldo slippers are perfect with skinny jeans and a sleek white blouse, while these vertiginous booties by House of Harlow and Fergie can spruce up your favorite LBD in no time. An animal-print purse provides the same subtle pop- Badgley Mischka and ASOS make great options which are surprisingly affordable and definite cocktail-time musts!

Style maven Joanna Hillman shows spots don't have to be contained to accessories. Just check out her neatly tailored leopard coat from Zara, which she expertly paired with a nautical-inspired striped shirt. What could have been an over-the-top look seems exceedingly wearable, as Hillman pairs her outerwear with classic navy trousers and luxe brown leather accessories. The classic and sophisticated separates keep her ensemble from looking too trendy- I think the coat would also pair nicely with the pieces from my Olivia Palermo-inspired post.

If leopard still has you running scared, pick up Too-Faced's series of printed bronzers that will have you looking sunkissed in seconds. Whichever way you decide to wear this style, leopard print will have you looking simply prrrfect this winter. 

See my polyvore set here for the full list of products. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

This is the first part of my gift guide series! These 8 goodies are perfect holiday presents for the beauty-obsessed lady in your life. All are under $100, so snatch them up today. 

1. Betsey Johnson Too Too Perfume, $62
2. Nars Blush Bronzer Trio, $55
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Nylon Cosmetic Bag, $77.90
4. Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, $27
5. Butter London 3 Free Lacquer in Big Smoke, $14
6. Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color, $48
7. Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Rose Rendevous, $42 
8. Chanel Precision Eyelash Curler, $34

Friday, December 2, 2011

Poinsettia Fizz

Poinsettia Fizz

Recipe here.

I SPY: Blair Waldorf

I SPY: Blair Waldorf

Last Monday's Gossip Girl had a major W-O-W factor, and I am not talking about the wedding shower debacle. With Leighton Meester's punchy orange lip, ultra-glam sheen and bold liner, I hardly had a chance to notice anything else. This look screams "I HAVE ARRIVED!", and in the middle of a blistering NYC winter we all need some pop in our lives. 

Lip- Mac lip pencil in Redd
       YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Orange
       Nars Lipstick in Heat Wave
       NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam

Cheeks-Dior Ultra Shimmering Face Powder in Amber Diamond
             Benefit Watt's Up!
             Milani Baked Bronzer

Eyes- Lancome Artliner in Noir
          Physician's Formula Gel CreamLiner

Celebrity Inspired: Olivia Palermo in Masculine Meets Feminine

How to: Olivia Palermo's Masculine Meets Feminine

The masculine trend always seems to make an appearance in the hottest runway shows, whether in the form of meticulously tailored trousers, a strong tuxedo blazer or leather loafers. But many women are afraid they will wind up looking frumpy and boring in a stuffy and very un-sexy suit. Take a note from Olivia Palermo, in head to toe MANGO, who uses luscious fabrics to transform a look that could have been harsh into something soft, feminine and classically elegant. To start, she wears a wide-leg, high-waisted trouser with a slightly loose fit. Any color trouser would work here, but the classic chino style works to play up the conventional masculinity of her look. Try these high-waisted trousers from BB Dakota, Rachel Zoe, and Desire Clothing. Palermo makes plain trousers red-carpet ready by tucking in a silk pussybow blouse (try   these from Robert Rodriguez, River Island, and Miss Selfrige), using a belt to create a defined waist (ASOS and Modcloth make good options for less), and throwing on rich gold and brown leather accessories (Trina Turk ring, Forzieri cuff, Fossil and Radley cross-body bags).

To top off her enviable ensemble, Palermo smolders in a super-shiny bob, classic red nails, and lashes to die for. Replicate her look with Kiehl's Silk Groom Serum, Essie's Turning Heads Red, and Eylure Feathery Lashes. The finished look is polished, sophisticated, and undeniably sexy! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Current Obsession: Cleansing Oils

OIL??!? ON MY FACE?!?!?! You heard me. It may sound crazy, but I am a complete facial oil convert.While making my vinaigrette the other day, I even found my gaze wandering longingly towards my bottle of Extra Virgin. Consider me obsessed! My current fave is the Lancôme 'Huile Douceur' Remove-All Deep Cleansing Oil, which claims to "instantly dissolve even waterproof face and eye makeup". It literally is a miracle worker for removing the last traces of my daily smokey eye. I take two pumps onto my fingertips and gently massage over dry (this is important!) skin, concentrating on my eyes to remove my intensely stubborn L'Oreal Voluminous Millions mascara and Bobbi Brown gel liner. Be gentle though- you never want to rub or scrub around your eye area. Just by softly running your fingertips over your lashes, your mascara should flake off. Honestly, that step is almost alarming- it looked like black soot had fallen all over my face. There was no oily residue or sticky sensation after-the-fact, but there was an "ICK" reaction in my brain that forced me to follow-up with another face wash (I used a gentle Aveeno foaming cleanser). At $35 the price tag is steep for a cleanser, but I would repurchase based on the hours (well it feels like hours) it saves in mascara removing time. And when I have a full night of CW television, every minute counts!

For your face, not your salad.

What you pay- $35
What you get- 6.8 oz
Where you buy- Nordstrom, Macys, Bloomingdales, Sephora
What you do- Apply 1-2 pumps to fingertips and massage onto dry skin. Close eyes and spread over lashes to dissolve mascara. Emulsify by adding lukewarm water, then rinse thoroughly.
Other stuff you should know- Noncomedogenic, scented
Zest Official Rating- 4/5. Beautiful product that lasts forever and works perfectly at dissolving even the most stubborn mascara, but is it is fairly expensive and often requires a follow-up step with a regular cleanser.

Disclaimer: I have combination skin. My forehead and cheeks are usually really dry, while my nose and chin can get oily throughout the day.

Bows and Sparkles

Bows and Sparkles

You know the feeling when you kiss a boy for the first time? Or when you wake up to six inches of snow on the ground and no work? That's the feeling I get when I walk into a Kate Spade store. It's a brand with a little humor, lots of whimsy, and TONS of sparkle. What's not to love?