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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strange, irrational desire to wear horizontal stripes

(See how much more flattering a solid is when compared to a stripe?)


Horizontal stripes accentuate curves and make you appear shorter. So if you are tall, flat chested and thin, then horizontal stripes are great to wear. However, if you are short and curvy, the last thing you need is to look shorter and, well, curvier.

With this knowledge in mind, I have successfully avoided the dreaded stripes for years, seeking out their counterpart, vertical stripes, and constantly buying them on pants to grant myself the illusion of extra height.

I have snubbed horizontals, and all who wear them, especially those who do so in ignorance.

But last time I went into a store I found myself drawn to them again and again. Navy and white cammi with lacy top, pale yellow and cream v-neck cardigan, on shoes, on bags, on underwear!

I wanted them bad. So I tried some on.
Here are my conclusions: the more pronounced the stripes, the worse they look. Really thin or pale stripes aren't so bad, and on a shoe, they are downright cute!

So I indulged a little, and got the cammi - everything in moderation, right?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stormy Weather Ahead

It’s the first decent day in what feels like the summer of eternal rain; but I can’t get my hopes up – the outlook for this evening and the rest of the week seems dismal at best.

So, MacBook and iced coffee in hand, I’ve spent the better part of the day on the porch, perusing ebay for some essential rain gear I’ve been lacking.

The past few weeks I’ve witnessed many people donning wildly printed “go with anything, because they go with nothing” rain boots. The worst offender was wearing a pair with a full on cow face.
I can understand how easy it would be to fall into the rain boot trap, all those fun patterns making siren calls, and who wants to wear plain boring black anyway?

But keeping my sensible mindset, I scrutinized the 207 results of size 8 boots on ebay, and found a few standout pairs that should keep my dignity and my wallet intact.

The first pair, navy blue booties with a starting bid of $5 and $8 shipping. I think the idea of short rain boot is both practical, and fashionable. No worries about overpowering an outfit, simple snaps at the side.

Turquoise is a weakness of mine, and I don’t consider a solid color to constitute a rain boot style nightmare. Yes, the orange accent color does cost it some points, but they could be a cute weekend look. The buy it now price is $20 with $10 shipping, but there is a best offer option, to be taken advantage of.

Lastly, this pair of black and white striped knee highs with bright pink accents. I know, the sirens, but black and white is pretty basic, stripes are a respectable print, and a little pink never destroyed my self respect before. Opening bid is $15, with $10 shipping.

Also worth noting are these Banana Republic pointy toed booties, with a kitten heel. Black patent leather, stylish enough to wear even when not in the rain. Just under $30 shipped.
Ahh decisions, what boots are best? I know no matter what I choose I’m going to have to want to wear them again, and again, and again, and hope that some bright shiny new boots will help me to enjoy this endlessly rainy summer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review of Magix Face Perfector

Avon’s new(ish) face cream promises to keep faces shine free for ten hours, leave skin so soft, and put the shrink ray to pours. SPF 20 also included. For $10, that seems like a great deal, and as someone with oily skin I’m willing to try anything to get me out of the six blotting papers a day habit.

My first impression of the cream was the smell – I did not like it at all. Fortunately it dissipated fairly quickly. Second, the texture was quite odd, almost as if I were rubbing a piece of spandex fabric on my face.

It rubbed in very easily and left no residue and absolutely no shine; something I’ve always had to deal with when applying face creams with SPF in the past.

Seven hours later my face is feeling a bit oily, but almost no shine is detectable. This is a notable improvement for me, and I would imagine on someone with only moderately oily skin, this would work even better.

As for my pours, they seem about the same, and as long as I stay far away from a magnifying mirror, I can usually make my peace with them.

Overall, I’m pleased with the cream and will continue to use it – if the one ounce tube* lasts through the summer, I will consider it an excellent purchase.

*I really dislike the design of the tube – the oddly tapered cap prevents it from standing up on its own, which translates to having to lay it down and consuming more surface area than necessary in a crowed bathroom.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

But Then God Said No, Use a Water Bottle Instead


I feel like I never drink as much water as I should, sometimes realizing that it’s 10:37 pm and I haven’t had a single glass of water yet.

So the bottle of Poland Spring water was eventually adopted as the goal for the day. Perfect in both its ability to travel as well as sit out on my desk all day (I have no aversion to room temp water) my mind was soon at peace knowing I’d had my 20 oz of water each day.

But then I started to think about all the plastic bottles – about the hazards of BPA and if it really is leaking out of the plastic – about the environment and harm of plastic – about the oil it took to make it – and this gets to be a bit much.

Feeling frustrated and choosing ignorance, I went to go get a bottle of water from the basement. I flicked on the light and went down a few steps – but then I stopped dead in my tracks. There, like an evil gatekeeper, was one of the bugs I fear most, about an inch and a half in length, more legs than I could ever possible count, incredible speed coupled with the ability to climb walls and ceilings. I don’t know what this bug is, but I ran back up the stairs, slammed the door, and got my water in a glass instead.

While it’s probably just a coincidence that a malicious bug was on my basement stairs while I happened to be pondering the universe and the plastic bottle – but perhaps I’ll buy a stainless steel refillable bottle anyway. They have some really cute ones, and it will be great until they realize that stainless steel is killing everyone and everything too.

My favorite is the personalized bottle from Sigg. Pick a design, add your words, for just under $30, it’s not too bad.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fiona Glenanne: Bringing Sexy to the Fanny Pack


This past week there was a three day long Burn Notice marathon. After watching one episode, I was unable to tear myself away, and subsequently spent ** hours indulging in one episode after the next.

I think what makes me like Burn Notice is that Michael, (the ex-spy, stuck in Miami and solving problems for the local color) is very smart. When I’m listing to his narration about how to wire a cell phone to become a bug or a remote detonator or how to trick the bad guys into thinking you’ve got something they need, I feel more than entertained, I feel satisfyingly educated.

I’m also enamored with Fiona, with her ability to hold her own, and pull off that effortlessly chic wardrobe. It typically consists of a barely there dress, oversized sunglasses, some bracelets, and a pair of sky high wedges. (Wedges of course being the practical choice considering all the fighting and running she constantly engages in.)

Another star accessory on many occasions is a brown leather waist bag, or if you prefer, fanny pack. I know, the name alone makes me shudder, and conjure up images of bright nylon bulging from a waist line.

But the slightly worn leather bag on the impossibly thin Gabrielle Anwar, especially with the short white dress, I really kind of love. Best I can find to make it your own – this bag on Etsy for $70.

So, for Fiona look on the cheap, Forever 21 is the place. Woven dress, 22.80 and oversized sunglasses, 5.80. Some really nice leather bangles can be found on Etsy for $24, or an even cheaper set with charms for $12 at Aldo. Throw in these copper bangles from Khols for $20. For shoes, why not try these 4 1/4 heels by Nine West. I love the vertically stacked heel with the dark brown leather.

My own Fiona inspired outfit


**not willing to divulge just how much time I spent watching

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Discount Diving

pencil skirt, black satin button down, bone t-straps

I believe that there are two kinds of shoppers: those who shop in the front of the store, and those who shop in the back.

Front store shoppers have more choices, and a better chance at getting what they want in their size. They don’t worry that something might go on sale next week if they want/need it at the moment. Also, if something doesn’t workout, they’ve generally got a better chance at returning it and getting their money back.

Those of us in the back sometimes get more enjoyment out of the idea of saving money than getting pieces that work well and fit well and will be good additions to our wardrobe.
There is always that though – if it’s on sale, it is because no one else wanted it.

But I am a back shopper, and I don’t mind sifting through the piles of dirt to find the gold. Generally, I do quite well, I find things that work. But every so often, I happen upon what I believe is too great a discount to pass up, and I buy it, determined to make it work.

There is only one rule: no additional money can be spent to make the piece wearable. If it needs a cammi, or a special bra or an alteration, I must already own it or be able do it myself.


My first item was simple fix, a high waisted pencil skirt about 6 inches too long for me. The tags stated that the original value was $220, and I paid $30.

Love the skirt, makes me feel put together, sexy, and important.

More of my crazy* discount purchases to come.

*are the prices so low that it’s crazy, or am I crazy for buying them?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brazil Beat: Avon's New Summer Sent


I've never reviewed a perfume before - I'm probably the least qualified person to do so, as I've been pretty dedicated to Gap's Dream since middle school. But I am completely in love with Brazil Beat which, in a word, is yummy.

I've never been to Brazil, but if this sent is anything like what it really smells like there, I will pack my bags!

It is fruity, and floral and not heavy and overpowering; my number one complaint for 90% of the perfumes I've tried. It does not smell like coconut, pineapple, or the beach - but it defiantly smells like summer.

I can't seem to get enough of it - so be sure and snatch up a bottle at the intro price of $9.99!
There also seems to be some Brazil Beat shimmering body lotion on ebay, which I did not know existed, and subsequently will now have to buy. There is just something about the idea of being all shimmery and glowing that I truly love. (and no, it's not just because Edward shimmers!)