Friday, January 30, 2009

Major Beauty Sale

Take advantage of Space NK's 50% off sale, and snap up Beauty in Chelsea favorites like Christophe Robin Creme Lavante au Citron (a lemon and chamomile cleanser for color-treated hair), By Terry's elegant Loose Powder, and famed Varick Street salon Arrojo's Curl Creme and Shine Spray (that is absolutely amazing). Happy shopping ladies!

photo credits: http://www.spacenk.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Artistry of Packaging: Tokyo Milk Soaps

When I was a little girl my mother and I used to make collages together in the summer. She makes art in addition to her other profession and works primarily in collage and decoupage. Subsequently, she's always had a small set of oak drawers filled with antique papers, cut outs, stenciled lettering, reproductions of paintings, and photographs collected over the course of many years. As a little girl going through her collage drawer was an unparalleled treat, an exercise in restraint (because I had to choose which images we would incorporate from a variety of hundreds), as well as a catalyst for the endless possibility of my childish imagination. When I first saw these soaps from Tokyo Milk wrapped in exquisite antique papers (perfect for collage), I was immediately reminded of this childhood art activity. The rich triple-milled soaps themselves smell terrific and unique, but it is the packaging that has really captured my fancy (the bird's nest, white flower, and waltz papers are my personal favorites). Save the wrapper, and perhaps you'll even be inspired to start a collage drawer of your own.

photo credit soap wrappers: http://www.beautyhabit.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Perfect Nude Lip

While I was flipping through the pages of Allure recently, in a section devoted to blue eye makeup, I spotted a photograph of a model wearing the most gorgeous shade of nude pink lipstick. I checked the credits and found out that it was a shade made by L'Oreal called Pink Tranquilo. The next day I went on a hunt to find it in my local drugstore and determine if it would look as naturally beautiful in person as it did in the photograph. I found it at my local Rite Aid on the first try, and when I applied it infront of the mirror at home, I was beyond impressed. It is essentially the color of my lips but dialed up just a notch. You won't really look like you're wearing any makeup when you apply it, but rather that you just have a naturally healthy and gorgeously full pout. It will give you lips like those voluptuous models Renoir was fond of painting with the long sun-kissed locks and peachy complexions. Also, it has great lasting power and keeps your lips feeling moisturized throughout the day. I would imagine that it would be a great primer under other lipsticks as well, especially if you're going for a more dramatic evening look.

photo credit Renoir painting: http://www.dl.ket.org/webmuseum/wm/paint/auth/renoir/bath/seated-bather.jpg. Renoir, Pierre-Auguste, Seated Bather, 1883-84, oil on canvas, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
photo credit lipstick: http://www.drugstore.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

Product Review: Maybelline Lash Stiletto

You know that pair of sky-high jet-black Christian Louboutin's that go with every dress in your closet and instantly chic-ify any outfit, well Maybelline's new Lash Stiletto is the mascara equivalent. I've realized after test-driving numerous tubes of inky-black lash builders, that with mascara it's less about the formula itself and more about the construction of the brush. Though I'm devoted to my double-ended golden Guerlain wand (with one wand for baby lashes and a bigger wand on the opposite end to lengthen longer lashes), I decided that the name Lash Stiletto was enticing enough to warrant a drugstore purchase. This mascara does not disappoint, precisely because it looks like your own lashes but sexier, longer, and decidedly more Audrey-Hepburn like. The precisely-bristled wand separates and lengthens with zero clumping. It's natural enough that you can wear one coat of it to work during the day, yet it's dramatic enough that when 2 coats are applied after a lash curler, it is perfect for evening cocktails at the Carlyle. If versatility and definition are what you seek (not to mention Louboutin-like sexiness), then look no further than Lash Stiletto (available for purchase at most drugstores).

photo credit mascara: http://www.maybelline.com
photo credit Christian Louboutin Anemone Stiletto Pumps: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/25573

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pop-Up Shops: Gimmick or Goldmine?

It seems that this past year especially there have been a wealth of pop-up shops cropping up around the city. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the trend, the pop-up shop is a short-term kiosk (if you will) containing choice items that are generally indicative of a brand collaboration (ie: Colette and The Gap), or artist-in-residence type showcases (ie: John Derian designing decoupaged trays sold at Target pop-up "Bodegas"), and most importantly they are meant to inject (in my opinion) a shot of trendiness into big name brands that usually specialize in low and moderately priced wares. The pop-ups comment on the ephemeral nature of fashion and trend-setting, due to their limited lifespan, and also promote the consumerist aspect of the industry by showcasing and marketing "must-have-it" limited-edition items that you can only purchase here and now. This serves to create a healthy sense of competition among buyers (such as waiting in a line around the block on a scorchingly hot day in August to get a Colette candle at The Gap's pop-up shop). I recently read this article on The Moment Blog, and I was left wondering how the concept of the pop-up shop fits in with the economic crisis. Is it a surefire method of increasing sales and getting people excited about fashion again, or is it ultimately an unnecessarily risky venture when consumer-interest is at an all time low? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Signs of Spring: Jill Stuart Dresses

I know that it's 25 degrees outside, but I just came across these Jill Stuart dresses on chickdowntown.com and couldn't resist posting about them. They have an exquisite hand-painted quality, and the shapes are so feminine in a delightfully old-fashioned way. I picture an elegant lady wearing one as she lunches at the Boat House on a sunny spring day in Central Park or at a country club picnic in Greenwich.

photo credits: http://www.chickdowntown.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Channeling Yves Klein

Design team Boudicca's new creation Wode Paint, a heady animalistic scent comprised of notes of earthy sage, spicy cardamom, black hemlock, leather, tree sap, and a touch of tuberose, is housed in a spray-paint-can-esque bottle, and is emblematic of a revolution in the art of perfumery. When sprayed on clothing or the body the fine mist released from the bottle dyes skin and fabric a vibrant yet ephemeral 'International Klein Blue.' Touted as an "art fragrance" on the Lucky Scent website, this innovative creation is meant to invoke the war paint donned by the ancient Queen Boadicea as she advanced into battle. However, when I watched the video on Boudicca's website, I was instantly reminded of the French artist Yves Klein's Anthropometry series, in which female models were covered in blue paint and then rolled upon the canvas, leaving an indelible imprint of their naked bodies. This was done in front of an audience, and the performance was captured in photographs. The concept behind Boudicca's Wode fragrance seems to propose a Kleinean idea of the female body as living canvas, and interestingly, just as the Anthropometry series was an ephemeral happening whose trace is captured on the canvas, when Wode is sprayed onto the skin the color eventually fades to obsolescence leaving a trace of lasting scent in its wake.

photo credit perfume:http://www.luckyscent.com
photo credit performance: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/sub/jcooper/artmaths/images/Klein_performance.jpg

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Summer Camp Chic

When I was starting junior high school I went to a hippie "arts" camp upstate for the summer. All in all it was a very enlightening experience. At this camp not only did you not have to participate in anything unless you wanted to, but the counselors were constantly on "magic mushrooms," and the choices of activities included glass-blowing, DJing, and interpretive dance. There were no sports offered, and the most popular guy at camp was an obese cellist who dressed in all black. During that summer I accomplished a number of things: I made a sculpture of a turtle, I learned how to weld metal, and I realized that I absolutely hate camp. Most importantly though, I learned how to make lanyard jewelry (specifically ankle bracelets and key chains). I was especially proud of this skill, and when I returned to school in the fall I proudly displayed my creations to my envious classmates. These neon Unification Bracelets by Sabrina Dehoff remind me of my summer camp crafts (a really elegant version that is), they are totally apropos for spring's nautical-chic looks, and they're fun and whimsical in a hippie "arts" camp kind of way.