Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Return Policy


It's been a year and a half since I last posted. I'm so sorry. 2013 was a rough one. I can sum up my absence in a few words: Work. Liver. Brussels sprouts. Surgery. Tears. Vogue. Newport. Lipstick. Umami. MRI. Needles. Santa Monica. Craft beer. Onion rings.

I made just one very belated New Year's Resolution for 2014, and that was to be less boring. I currently struggle to stay awake beyond 11 PM. I vacuum my apartment three times a week. I own upholstery cleaner. I'm living the life of a 62-year old divorcée whose kids have flown the nest.

Maybe, at some point, you'll find me choking down more vegetables and swearing off glucose; in the meantime, I want to pop open each of the twelve bottles of extra-fancy champagne that I've been collecting for the past three years, having stashed them away for a "special occasion." Maybe the special occasion is that I'm not dead or hooked up to an IV. Maybe the special occasion is Tuesday. Maybe the special occasion is that I did my laundry. I don't care. CHEERS.

Please join me.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bottle-Green Bottoms

Things we know: colored pants are still in, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married and I STILL can't find any pictures of it, and oxblood is the big color for fall. I don't know who decided to call the hue "oxblood" over "sultry maroon" (or something to that effect), but I wish luck to all of the advertising agencies who have to deal with it. My vegan best friend is probably in tears right now just thinking about all of those oxen. Personally, I just can't bring myself to invest in it, especially seeing as any girl with a magazine subscription will be wearing the same exact pair of fitted oxblood trousers.

The verdict: bottle-green is where it's at.

The color is fall-appropriate but versatile: pair it with lavender, white, or cobalt. Plus, it's subdued enough that you can treat it like a neutral, meaning it works in any number of styles, from legging to skinny jean to high-waisted to ankle-length. I may be as anti-legging as they come, but I love the slim lines of the Sandro. The Opening Ceremony have a retro feel to them, and the J.Crew, a subtle East-meets-West vibe that I want to take to tea and dinner and then drinks.

Which pair would you wear?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A New Workspace

I just found my way into a new cubicle twice the size of my old desk, which was perpetually piled high with binders and papers and perfumes and pencils and lip balm and dust and more papers. I had minimal drawer space, so spillover was inevitable. However, my new workspace is spacious, clean, and a startling bright white—and I'd like to keep it that way despite my hoarding habit. Seeing as I spend eight hours a day there, I'm open to investing a little bit of time and love and money into it. How? With a little help from my friends:

1. This Diane Von Furstenberg tray, on which to keep my millions upon millions of lipsticks and nail lacquers organized (or, at the very least, not strewn across my keyboard). Playing with products helps me write about them, and I need them there to look at and smell and, uh, wear. I've even started a new trend called Painting Over Whatever the Hell Nail Color I Have On at Any Given Moment.

2. Giant Sticky Notes from Poppin, because I'm just not the sort of person who can cover her desk in a sea of little Post-Its. I have a lot to say and just one measly 3"x3" note is not going to cut it.

3. A West Elm task lamp, because there's nothing that can make a workday feel longer than harsh, unflattering florescent light. But let's be real, I mostly want this because it resembles that sassy, hopping Pixar desk lamp.

Photo: Danielle Moss, Breakfast at Toast

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Short Cuts and Red Lips

Surprise: I cut my hair short again!

My hair is curly and thick, and, in the summer, often feels like I've wrapped my head in a mohair throw. I couldn't take it any longer. I showed up at the salon for a trim, threw my eight pounds of hair over my shoulder, and eyed the scissors longingly. My stylist (Julien Farel, if you're wondering) promised me he could cut a bob that, despite my hair's texture, would be wash-and-go.

I'm not dumb. I've had bobs before, and I've devoted hundreds of hours to disciplining them all with straightening irons because, left to its own accord, my short hair ends up resembling a yield sign. But I decided to take a leap of faith: A) Julien has done magical things with my hair; B) The combination of heat and humidity was starting to give me impromptu dreadlocks; and C) Dreadlocks can work on some people...but are mostly gross.

So I got this cut, below:

It actually almost kind of looks like the style in the photo, so long as I apply a healthy handful of Fekkai Glossing Cream to it every three hours. It also helps if you, like I, are legally blind in one eye. Nevertheless, success! I just have to keep hair products in my purse and maintain a 10' berth around all hoses and sprinklers and, um, rain. But give me credit: I'm not showing up to work with a topknot. (Don't even get me started on topknots. Nubby little topknots are the sweatpants of the hair world.)

However, I was nervous that, besides a triangular head of hair, a bob would put me in the "matronly" zone. (I'm turning 23 on Friday. Therefore, this is a legitimate fear.) Long hair is more feminine—so feminine, in fact, that my grandmother once said I looked like a "sexy hussy," which she meant as an well-intended insult. Insult or not, I was afraid I'd lose that along with the six inches of split ends. The fix? I took a cue from the same photo above and am now married to a dark red lip; my favorite, for both color and wear, is Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color in Inimitable. I layer it with balm to dilute the intensity and take the Gaga look down a notch. Note: Don't use lipliner unless you do like the matronly vibe.

Next up: Growing in my eyebrows. Also, posing. And the possibility of rompers. (All inspired by the above photo.)

Photo credit: UFOs Over Baghdad

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dress Up

True confession: I showed up to a spring break trip in Puerto Rico with a suitcase full of pretty sundresses...none of which were suitable for a spring break club scene. I actually don't own anything that qualifies as a party dress, save an American Apparel number-turned-Jigglypuff costume. If you weren't aware, a Pokemon-themed outfit is less welcome at a club than a full-length muumuu.

My birthday is in a week and, in my frenzy to find something besides a drop-waist dress that I've worn for three previous birthdays (...I'm a girl of habit), I've come across the perfect style for Girls Who Only Rage on Rare Occasions—a party dress, not too short and not at all tight, that can nevertheless hold its own on a dance floor. Do you know what's sexier than an up-to-there hemline? An exposed back. Proof:

Is this not the most clever way to get a cheeky look without having to wriggle your dress down every five steps? (Seeing as we're on the topic of cheeky, anyway). An open-back dress is unexpected, and the sexy factor doesn't hit you over the head so much as whisper in your ear. It's gamine, not garish; think Audrey, not Marilyn (modern day translation: Marion Cotillard, not Kim Kardashian). I could go all day with this. The electric-blue hue of the Free People dress ($118; freepeople.com), bottom right, keeps the lace from looking too saccharine.

In this case, less is not more, but just enough.

Photo credits: Blair Edie/Atlantic-Pacific and La Lune

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Classic Twist on Colorblock

There's Eastern Standard Time and then there's the little-known Magazine Standard Time, which is four months plus whatever the hell time it is in New York. This means that lately, I've been swilling peppermint drinks and celebrating fake New Year's Eve countdowns and listening to Bing Crosby.

Naturally, I've been going through my drawers to look at my neatly-stacked jeans and weep as I sweat in the sticky, relentless heat. I can't even LOOK at my sweaters (but only because the last time I did, I found a cockroach hanging on one. Is that gross? Sorry. New York and stuff). But whatever, I'm going to start early. My thoughts are halfway through November, and if Boy Scouts can prepare, why can't I?

Colorblock is big. Bright colors, try pairing hot pink and red like Sarah Jessica Parker did that one time (you know which outfit I'm talking about), blah blah blah yawn sneeze yawn. While splashes of fuchsia and coral and Kelly green will fly in the summer, fall is a different story. You just don't want to wrap yourself up in a cozy neon-orange sweater. (Trust me.) The fix? Take a note from Stella McCartney's Fall 2012 RTW show and try colorblock with a twist: neutrals.

Black and white. Camel. Maybe navy, if you really feel like pushing the envelope. I love how a simpler palette emphasizes the geometric foundation of colorblock; instead of focusing on the colors and how they work together, these pieces show off the shapes and illusions that can be so flattering. I'd wear the Rag & Bone blouse (top, click to buy) with skinny jeans and boots (boots!), or tuck it into a pleated skirt for an unexpected pairing. The Trina Turk dress (bottom, click to buy) would be perfect for the office and for happy hour afterwards. Plus, when the weather gets chilly, a cropped leather jacket would give it a little kick.

Neutral colorblock? Wear it now. Wear it later. Scout's honor, it'll work.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hi There

I accidentally took a month-long hiatus from blogging. In between working and baking countless loaves of zucchini bread and attempting to revive my social life, my reasons for blogging slipped through the cracks. I only realized this last week; an intern asked me about the edit test I took for my job at More. I explained that I'd felt overwhelmed when I first received the test, and then realized that it wasn't entirely different from the writing I did every day (okay, every few days) here on the blog. Then I remembered that I had a semi-defunct blog.

I've been struggling to find a balance. I love to write, clearly, but I don't have the time for a long-form sort of blog that goes on for pages and pages; plus, as reader, I find that that's a lot of text to wade through when I only have a few minutes here and there to spare. This is my long-winded way of saying that I'll be trying to figure out a good, satisfying routine in the new few weeks, one that gives fair effort to each bit of my life, from my social interactions to my job to vacuuming my apartment. Maybe I'll even post Instagram photos of my baking endeavors on here!

Just kidding. This isn't going to turn into a baking-slash-feelings-slash-photos-of-myself blog. I'm just going to write about shoes and how much I like polka dots and why I can't wait for peplum to get off the racks and out of my life.

Good talk? Good talk.

Photo courtesy of: Leslie M K


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