Friday, August 29, 2008

Candy Corn Craving

It may be a little too early for a Halloween-inspired beauty post, but when I went to Gristedes today I was surprised to find that they were already selling candy corn. I debated whether or not to buy some, and deciding that it was still too early I settled on Limited Edition Banana Split Oreos instead. So, I'm forced to satisfy my craving for Halloween candy with a beauty blog post instead. Philosophy's Haunted House gift set comes with three multi-tasking body washes (that function equally well as shampoos and conditioners) in black licorice, caramel apple, and pumpkin spice muffin scents. I love anything by Philosophy, and I can't wait to smell this trio! I'm sure that I'll love the first two scents, since caramel apples are my favorite treat, and I'm also a big fan of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte. The licorice scent definitely sounds intriguing as well. All three scents are so perfect for fall, and the cardboard haunted house that they come packaged in is adorable. Plus, it reminds me of the haunted house I used to go to every year on Halloween when I was a little girl. Now I'm really craving some candy corn!

photo credit philosophy trio:
photo credit candy corn:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Scents of Autumn: Apple, Pear, and Pumpkin

I am in the process of moving apartments, and subsequently I have been going through my beauty products recently and weeding out the empty bottles and jars that I no longer use. Some of these items are destined for the recycling bin, others will be given to friends and relatives, and the items that I won't need until next summer will go into storage, so that I can welcome new acquisitions for fall. CB I Hate Perfume's Gathering Apples Perfume is the perfect autumnal scent. It smells exactly like a crisp Mackintosh Apple straight from the orchard. I like to buy the travel-sized vial and tote it around in my purse. Next on my list are Vanilla Pear Drawer Liners by Gianna Rose. They smell incredibly like a poached pear with vanilla ice cream, and the patterns are beautiful. I especially like to line my sweater drawers with them. Last on my list is Peter Thomas Roth's Pumpkin Enzyme Peel, which is packed with Vitamin A, banishes breakouts, and smells like freshly baked pumpkin pie.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everyone's Wearing One, and Now I Want One.

First my friend wore a red one to the Barney's Warehouse Sale and looked stunning. Then I saw two statuesque gallerinas wearing it in heather and navy while waiting online at Bottino. It's versatile and chic, and at this price ($30) I can definitely afford to follow the trend.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Fall Fashion Staples Under $50

I decided to check out the Urban Outfitters website last night, and I came across 3 indispensable fashion staples that I already know I will be wearing constantly this fall. All of these pieces are less than $50 each, yet they look and feel like expensive designer pieces. Be prepared for the inevitable question: "Where did you get that?"

Basket Weave Oblong Scarf ($24): This long and comfy fringed shawl in shades of gray has a roughly textured knit look that's right on trend for the season. It's perfect to drape over a cardigan for mid-afternoon Starbucks runs, and so chic and soft that you'll never want to take it off.

2.) Lux Striped Sailor Cardigan ($48): This delicate and gauzy layering piece is thin enough to wear under a blazer, and the red stripes instantly transform your uniform of skinny jeans and a white tee into an effortlessly pulled-together and grown-up look.

Silence & Noise Ballet Leggings ($34): I am completely smitten with these ballerina-chic leggings and can't wait to layer them under high-waisted plaid skirts and belted oxford shirt-dresses this fall.

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The Perfect Gift for Senator John McCain

Recently John McCain has been criticized by the news media for forgetting how many houses he has. Regardless of your political leanings, it is safe to say that having 8 or 9 homes requires diligent orderliness and household management of many different rooms. To this end, I have found the perfect gift for Senator McCain that would enable him to maximize the organizational capacity of his residence (and write important things down so as not to forget them). This selection of Encyclopedic House Tablets from the pantry of Mrs. John L. Strong features writing tablets with gilded embossed icons corresponding to each room in your abode. The rooms featured on the tablets range from the universal: bedroom, office, and kitchen, to those more specific to the luxury residence: pool house, butler's pantry, and guest cottage. You don't have to have multiple residences or even multiple rooms to enjoy these luxe writing pads, as they will help you keep track of important phone calls, to-do lists, and appointments, regardless of the size of your nest.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bronzer Blast From the Past

In high school I would always take hours putting on makeup before going out for a night on the town (which basically resulted in going to an upper east side sushi bar and then waiting on the corner of Lexington Avenue with my girlfriends for the boy I had a crush on to call). Pretty lame. Anyway, in those days my painted-lady makeup ritual included blush, three coats of mascara, lipstick, and oodles of bronzer. My favorite bronzer was Agnes B.'s Apricot Complexion Enhancer. This was a gel cream that I purchased at the Agnes B. department store and immediately fell in love with. Though it came out of the tube a bright and offensive orange color, when it was applied to the skin it resulted in a luminous tan glow that would last all evening. Recently I got nostalgic for the Complexion Enhancer when I was trying to find a gel bronzer in Saks to even out some facial blotchiness. Nuxe's Teint Ultra Prodigieux is a grown-up verison of my beloved bronzer from the past. While it reminds me of the Agnes B. version with it's smooth gel-like texture that glides on seamlessly, the color is decidedly more subtle and natural. Plus, it comes in a special formula for fair skin, which is perfect for me. I think I've found my new favorite gel bronzer.

photo credit Nuxe:
photo credit Agnes B.:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brigitte-Bardot-Hair for a Drugstore Price

The hairstylist that I go to at Serge Normant is capable of transforming my lackluster locks into glossy and voluminous tresses. The woman who leaves his chair is endowed with a new-found self confidence, swingy layers a-la-Kate-Beckinsale, and incredible volume. Though I wish that I could recreate the appearance of his blowout at home, even after watching him at work, as well as being given some insider tips, I am still unable to duplicate the look. I have gotten a bit closer to follicular perfection however, with the acquisition of the right product and a determined approach. Follow the steps below to get Brigitte Bardot hair for a drugstore price.

1.) After shampooing and conditioning hair, squeeze out excess water and towel dry hair well, getting as much moisture out as possible. Then comb through hair with a wide-toothed comb.

2.) turn your head upside-down, and apply a very generous dollop of John Frieda Luxurious Volume Bountiful Body Mousse (you can find this at your local Eckerd, CVS, or Rite Aid) to the roots of your hair, concentrating on the scalp and then working it through to the ends.

3.) Flip your head right side up, and begin to blow-dry your hair in 1 inch sections with any large round boar bristle brush (I like the Marilyn) using the highest heat setting. For a voluminous effect at the crown, when hair is completely dry roll 1 inch sections of hair up in the brush as close to the scalp as possible. Holding the brush at a 45 degree angle to your head, blast hot air underneath the rolled section (diffuser nozzle facing up). Continue doing this with each section of hair until you have done your whole head.

4.) Using a curling iron on the highest setting, take 1 inch sections of hair, and only wrap the bottom half of the sections in the iron. Hold the section in the iron for 10-12 seconds.

5.) After you have curled all the sections, gently finger comb through curls to create loose waves.

6.) Finish with a spritz of your favorite hairspray!

The whole process takes about 20-25 minutes, and when you're through it looks like you've been to the salon.

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photo credit mousse:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Native-American-Inspired Trend

Another trend emerging for fall is Native-American-inspired
detailing on items ranging from
shoes to handbags. These pieces have a hand-crafted look that makes them feel unique and one-of-a-kind. Though they are pricey, once acquired they will become staples in your wardrobe, and the excellent construction of each piece ensures that you will be able to pass them down as heirlooms. Here are the three piec
es that I am coveting for fall and beyond from

1.) Belle by Sigerson Morrison Moccasin Boot: This supple snow-colored leather boot has elegantly crafted details such as moccasin whip-stitching, a cut-out at the top, and gathering at the base. The leather molds to the foot for comfort and fits snuggly over skinny jeans.

2.) Paul & Joe Oversized Blanket Sweater: Woven from 100% cashmere, this eye-catching sweater has a fashionable drape and hood that will keep you cozy on windy fall days. The black and tan stripe is simple, modern, and chic, especially when paired with over-sized Jackie-O-style black sunglasses.

3.) Michael by Michael Kors Dakota Large Zip Top Hobo Bag: Rust-colored suede, a myriad of fringe, and sturdy gold hardware, make this luxe bag a must-have for the boho-chic urbanite. Large enough to carry all of your essentials, this utilitarian hobo will take you straight from running errands after work to dinner at Tartine in the West Village.

photo credit accessories:
photo credit Navajo sand painting: Darrell Ben, Whirling Female Yeis, no date given (

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monet-Inspired Color Palette

It seems that designers have drawn inspiration straight from the brightly-hued impressionistic canvases of Claude Monet, utilizing a brilliant color palette of greens and purples that is as uplifting as it is chic. These decidedly bold color choices are most striking when implemented in moderation, so choose one or at most two boldly colored articles of clothing or accessories to be the focal point of your outfit. Clashing is all the rage, so don't be afraid to mix a green jacket with a black dress and lavender tights. Here are a few easy ways to implement the trend for under $200:

1.) J.Crew's Donegal Tweed Ecole Jacket in sea green: This impeccably tailored traditional blazer takes on a whole new look in this striking green hue and becomes extremely modern and luxe.

2.) Melissa's Happy ballet flats in purple: These affordably-priced grape-colored flats combine velvet and patent-leatherish (Melflex) for a totally chic Breakfast-at-Tiffany's style elegance. The detachable bow is icing on the cake.

3.) Eugenia Kim's Daniella Watercolor Reversible Headband: This multi-colored silk headband is so easy and comfortable to wear for an effortlessly pulled-together look. The watercolor pattern is so beautiful, I wish that they made a cocktail dress in this print.

Burn one of Jo Malone's Lotus Blossom and Water Lily Candles to really get into the Monet frame of mind.

photo credit blazer:
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photo credit painting: Claude Monet, Nympheas, 1904 (

Summer Nostalgia

As the end of August draws near and the last days of summer fly by, I've realized there hasn't been enough time to do all the things I had planned to do this summer. There were some novels that I never got around to reading, some art shows I forgot to see, and to my shock I discovered that I haven't actually been to a beach all summer! Well, I still have time to remedy that last regret, and I'll bring a few of those unread novels along with me. These Summer Love Earrings by Cut + Paste are a perfect match for my impending seasonal nostalgia, since they feature a pair of seventies-era lovers holding hands on a beach. The scene totally reminds me of the film Dirty Dancing, one of the most poignant summer love flicks. I plan to wear these earrings with blazers and jeans in the fall to remind me of all the great memories I'll have of this summer.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gidget Glow

The beach bunny Gidget always had the perfect ten tan. To replicate her sun-kissed skin minus the damaging UV rays, I turn to two faux-glow products that deliver flawless results for my fair skin. First I exfoliate, and then I apply a thin layer of Clarins' Delicious Self-Tanning Cream to my face and body. This moisturizing cafe-au-lait-colored tanner is the consistency of chocolate pudding and contains real cocoa extracts to nourish and hydrate the skin. The colored formula allows for a goof-proof application, and it is literally the only tanner I've ever tried which doesn't leave a single streak!! It blends so perfectly that it looks completely natural, like you've spent the day surfing and soaking up some rays. The only drawback is that it takes a good 40 minutes to air-dry. However, I've found that a hair dryer can drastically speed up the drying process. I apply the tanner before going to bed and wake up the next morning with a caramel-colored tan. I then apply a pea-sized amount of YSL's Voile de Soleil Tinted Veil Tan Booster to cheeks and the bridge of my nose to complete the look.

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photo credit YSL:
photo credit Gidget:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sephora Shopping List

I received my Sephora catalogue in the mail yesterday, and I've already marked down all my must-haves for fall. Here are a few of my picks:

1.) Sephora by OPI Nail Color in Metro Chic: This purplish-gray hue, described on the website as "dark smoke," will look fantastic with rich jewel-toned fall fabrics. I plan to paint this color on short round-tipped nails, so that it won't look overly dramatic and will still be appropriate for work.

2.) Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes in Black: According to all the beauty bloggers this spiky round sea urchin-ish brush gives definition to even the tiniest corner lashes. I'm dying to try it for a glam night out.

3.) Fresh Twilight FreshFace Glow: A primer with pearlescent pigments, vitamins, cucumber extract, and rose water, sounds like it will be perfect for creating a flawless canvas for the "no-makeup" look.

4.) Lancome Juicy Tubes in Rose Fishnets: Not only is this the perfect pink-nude shade, like your own lips but prettier, but it also comes in the most fantastic Cabaret-esque tube.

5.) Carol's Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie: I love anything by this brand because of the wonderful natural ingredients and the amazing results I get from their products. This Hair Smoothie sounds divinely moisturizing, and with ingredients like guava, mango, and passion fruit it will surely smell delicious as well.

What makeup and beauty products are on your radar for fall? Let me know in the comments section!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Hoffmann Design Aesthetic: Estee Lauder's Collectible Perfume Bottle

In 1903 the Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshops) were established with the intention of creating decorative objects whose designs were initially rendered by fine artists and then carried to fruition by master craftsmen. Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser were instrumental in founding the workshops and designed many of the pieces that were executed there. Currently on view at the Neue Gallery on the Upper East Side, the exhibition Wiener Werkstatte Jewelry spotlights the exquisite geometric metalwork and elaborate precious stone and pearl inlays that characterized the keepsakes produced in the Vienna Workshops. The painter Gustav Klimt's lover and renowned fashionista, Emile Floge, was the proud owner of many of these pieces, and photographs of her draped in the long necklaces and adorned with square brooches decorate the walls of the gallery, bringing the jewelry to life. While I would love to be the owner of one of the precious pieces in the exhibit, for now I will content myself with my Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia perfume bottle, whose top is inlaid with jade, citrine, and aventurine in a manner strikingly similar to Hoffman's design pieces. In addition, the scent is vibrant and sensual without taking itself too seriously, like something I imagine the elegant, playful, and statuesque Emile Floge would have worn while posing in Klimt's garden as he sketched her.

photo credit brooch: Brooch, Josef Hoffmann, 1907, Private Collection.
photo credit perfume:
photo credit Emile Floge: Emile Floge, Gustav Klimt, 1902. (

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Minerals & Gems For Your Bathroom

Recently I went to the Metropolitan Museum to see the show Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe. This show organized around the Italian-originated art of Pietre Dure (hardstone carving), presented a vast array of Renaissance-era furniture and objects inlaid with precious gems and minerals or fashioned directly from these organic materials. Under the patronage of the Medici family in Florence, the art form flourished and proliferated throughout Europe. I was really mesmerized by the beauty of the collection and immediately became intrigued by the idea of doing a post on a gem and mineral beauty product. While there are many familiar beauty brands that utilize minerals in their lines, i.e. Bare Minerals and L'Oreal among others, I wanted to find a product that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is good for your skin. These Gemstone Soaps by T.S. Pink come in a variety of exquisite forms including Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst (shown), Malachite (shown), and Fire Opal (shown), with delicious scents like cucumber, almond, and peach. These will look gorgeous in your bathroom and are wonderfully moisturizing for your skin. Indulge in some precious gemstones for yourself or someone special, and don't forget to go see the show at the Met.

photo credit soaps:
photo credit tabletop: Console Tabletop with Allegory of Air, 1766, Galleria dei Lavori, Florence, design by Giuseppe Zocchi, Hardstones in an alabaster ground, Louvre, Paris (

Monday, August 11, 2008

International Beauty Products

If you're like me, then you love stumbling upon great beauty products that you've never tried before. The website is no shrinking violet. It contains a wealth of expertly curated beauty items from all over the world at wildy affordable prices. Standouts include French brand Blanc Lila's Lilac Body Mousse with the airy consistency of whipped pudding and the most incredible wildflower scent, USA made Nature's Gate's Persimmon & Rose Geranium Deodorant which is free of aluminum and paraben, Germany's cult brand Labello's Star Fruits Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm that serves as an elegant European alternative to Chapstick, German brand Fa's Yogurt Coconut Shower Gel, and Indian manufactured Dabur's Special Hair Oil with lemon and hibiscus oil for a dazzling sheen. Smallflower is also the perfect source for hostess and birthday gifts that won't break the bank.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Just Like Magic

Recently I ran out of my trusty tag team of beauty products I had been religiously using on my forehead wrinkle, and because I'm fickle and like to try new things I decided not to repurchase them even though they had been working very well. I reasoned maybe there was something out there that would give me even better more transformative results, so I headed over to my local Ricky's. I think that I have found what may be categorized as my favorite beauty product ever: Frownies. Now, I love Frownies for many reasons, the top three being that: 1.) They are easy to use, 2.) You get results overnight that continue to improve over time, and 3.) They WORK! Plus, they are under $20. Frownies are brown triangles which you moisten with water and then affix to the wrinkle that you want to get rid of. You wear them overnight and awaken to NO WRINKLE! I don't know how they do it, but just like magic your wrinkle disappears (no magician, magic wand, or white rabbit needed).

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cabaret Coquette: Louise Brooks Meets Dita Von Teese

Cabaret Coquette's
Necessary Objects: The List

1.) Cacharel's Mini Dress: This shiny black lurex mini combines a goth sensibility with refined details and a 1920's era drop-waisted silhouette. A loose fit and pockets provide a comfort factor that you don't often get with elegant dresses.

2.) Pluma's Kit Headband: Crafted of pheasant feathers, this eye-catching hair ornament will look gorgeous when paired with a low bun. The feathered headband is also reminiscent of the sumptuous feather boas worn by Cabaret performers in the Weimar Republic, with the same brand of decadent Vanitas-ish elegance.

3.) Agent Provocateur Europa Hold Up: These sheer lipstick red stockings have a visible seam that was a popular sartorial detail during the Weimar era. They are emblematic of the eroticism and titillation inherent in the Cabaret act.

4.) Lipstick Queen lipstick in Rouge Sinner: A matte raspberry stain, this lipstick works in concert with a powdered complexion to create a striking contrast a la Louise Brooks. Wear this lipstick without any blush and just a smidgen of black eyeliner to really draw attention to the lip.

5.) Glitter and Doom: German Portraits From the 1920's: This exhibition catalogue from the Metropolitan Museum of art features essays by Sabine Rewald, Ian Buruma, and Matthias Eberle, discussing various portraits from the decadent era between the wars. Look for standout works by Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) artists such as Otto Dix and Christian Schad, who investigate themes of transvestism, sexuality, and heroin addiction.

photo credit book:
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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bohemian Luxe: Talitha Getty Meets Margherita Missoni

Bohemian Babe's Necessary Objects: The List

Corduroy Dress: The Stunning embroidery on this LBD gives it a Marrakesh vibe and an eye-catching hand-stitched quality. It will look great with black stockings and a cardigan on brisk fall days.

2.) Isabel Marant Suede Boots: The slouchy boot is the must-have shoe for fall to wear with dark woolen tights or skinny jeans! Not only is this soft and stylish shoe incredibly comfortable for walking around the city, but the supple suede gives it a luxe feel. You will literally end up wearing them constantly.

3.) J. Crew's Wood-Acorn Charm Bracelet: There's something totally charming about this wooden and gold piece that looks one of a kind, as though it came straight out of some funky designer's wood shop.

4.) Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir Shower Gel: Pomegranate is the scent for fall, and Jo Malone's interpretation of the fragrance is spot on. I received it as a birthday gift recently and have truly fallen in love with it. For the most luxurious lather, this sensual shower gel scented with pomegranate, frankincense, and pink pepper leaves a lingering spicy-fruity fragrance on skin that is totally addictive.

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