Friday, June 18, 2010

the cats meow


My friend Caroline and I have a good laugh every year around this time when the fall look books, magazine forecasts and runway shows all announce "animal prints are in for fall"! Every year. I guess my point is, has they ever been out? The July VOGUE has just previewed fall with lots of chic beige and camel with leopard accessories. Not new, but totally modern and fresh looking.
Animal prints have been in the fashion world for a very long time, if you count back to caveman times, and I am not counting that at all. From being a symbol of royalty, wealth and status in days gone by to a chic addition to your wardrobe, I have always been in love with all the different beautiful animal prints--zebra, giraffe, and my favorite, leopard. A little goes a long way, I am not one for head to toe leopard land, and let me also add that I am speaking of animal PRINTS, not actually animal skins. That is another blog. Lets just stick to the joy of jazzing up your wardrobe!
A couple of years ago I was tempted to buy a pari of Tory Burch leopard knee high boots but never did quite make the purchase. It was too much leopard, even for me. I may change my mind again but at that time I chose a slightly edgier, but less in your face pair of leopard ankle wedge boot, that peeks out of your jeans and winks but doesn't scream at you. I also have a faux leopard coat, a vintage box handbag in a zebra print, giraffe round toe pumps, and several animal print clutches. Choose one piece, a lovely bag, a scarf, belt, or some great shoes--and use it as the accent to your everyday wardrobe--like your fav jeans or a neutral coat. I love animal prints with denim, black or camel and I also love them with a pop of red or bright yellow accent to accompany them, like a bag or scarf. Just make sure its one carefully thought out piece--I still cringe at the thought of my leopard pants I loved 15 years ago and wore quite a bit--yiiiiiikes.
So now that you know animal prints are back (ha ha) for fall, you can have fun this summer hunting around for the perfect piece to add to your fall wardrobe. Check out eBay for some great vintage finds if you like (just make sure they come from a smoke free home) or use ShopStyle.com to guide you through the jungle of websites to find a little something on the wild side.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

mentioning unmentionables


If you are a male friend or relative of mine who is kind enough to check in on my blog and be supportive, you might want to skip this one. It is about underwear. And may fall under the category of TMI for you. For the rest of you, I just have to share a find I had a couple of months ago that is going to cause me to make the following statement--I have found the best underwear in the world. It not a new line, but it is new to me. There are so many brands of undergarments out these days that you may be confused in the lingerie department to the point where you will pine for the cotton "3 for $10" packs of days gone by. Take heart, ladies, because it is so worth it to find something that you don't have to think about, and neither does the person walking behind you. I am talking about the Commando underwear line, a whisper thin seamless undergarment that is both comfy and invisible. There are styles for everyone, from boy shorts, girl shorts, thongs, in stay put fabrics, flat lace and a zillion colors. Being a Cosabella and Hanky Panky fan for years, I can honestly say I am a total convert. Pick up a pair and give them a try. I promise you will thank me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

clip clop


I'm in love. Its true. After months of deliberating about my latest shoe obsession, the clog, I have committed to a pair. I watched many designers trot out this "love it or hate it" shoe this spring--Chanel had a sky high version I coveted but at $1795 they were a little out of my range, Michael Kors camel version of the clog mule was fabulous as well, but I knew I wanted a lower heel for everyday wear and still a funky personality to make it work. One of favorite stops in Fremont, Show Pony, carries the Swedish Sven clog, and it was there that I made my first, but not my last, clog purchase. You custom design your own pair (how fun is that?) and choose from three shoe heights, several styles, and a whole rainbow of colors--from blue patent to sunflower yellow leather. I went for the medium height t-strap in a fun silver metallic--something that will go with shorts, a sundress, or cropped denim. Lest you think clogs are meant for chefs, the Dansko clog being a staple shoe among the culinary set, let me tell you this--these shoes might be comfortable but they are anything but frumpy. (Even the Dansko clog can be ordered in a funky "python" patent design).
This fabulous 70's shoe is going to evolve into a must have for fall in my opinion, and scouting around websites to check out what to buy next, I found a AMAZING and super fun Hasbeen lace up boot in a range of crayola colors (and black) -- a ankle Jodhpur boot, and a knee high version. There are a million choices, and I not talking about garden clogs or Crocs, people. I am going for the lace up boot in a crazy look at me color--and you can find your perfect clog at Show Pony, online at Hasbeen, or take a field trip to the Clog Factory on 1st Ave in Pioneer Square. Sandals now, boots in a couple of months--channel your inner flower child and add these awesome shoes to your closet. You may not be able to sneak up on anyone, but you'll make a statement when you get there! Happy shopping!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

color your world


I am a bit of a nail polish junkie. I once became obsessed with owning the Chanel Nail Colour Blue Satin when it came out in limited edition and hunted it down at a Nordstrom not near my home, paid for it in advance and drove half an hour to pick it up. A little over the top? Maybe. But its a classic deep blue that no one can duplicate and it is gorgeous--I always get a ton of compliments. For my birthday I received a delicious Chanel Imperial, a beautiful chocolate color from a friend who knows me well. I love it--and think of all the time she saved me. ;)
A great manicure and pedicure is something that I consider to be not just lovely, but plain old good grooming. Whether your a do it yourself girl or have your favorite neighborhood place, its something that is a must, in my book, especially come summer. I think nails look best kept short, and I like it to be quick, no massages or anything, I'm in and I'm out. I know some people like to bask in the luxury of time at the salon-- I want instant gratification and then I'm not using up any one's precious time, including my own. I am sure this has something to do with the inability to not be able to "do nothing". Anyway, its such a great way to express yourself, perk up your outfit, and just feel pulled together.
How can one not love OPI and their fun names for their polishes--I think that would be a great job--getting to come up with all those awesome color names. I currently a few OPI favorites, including "Chick Flick Cherry", "I'm Not Really A Waitress", "Lincoln Park After Dark:, "International Date Line", and my obsession for over a year now, "You Don't Know Jacques!" And although I love both Chanel and Butter colors, OPI is my favorite for many reasons--they go on and stay on great and they constantly introduce a new collection that keeps on trend for the season and what is going on in fashion. The "Shrek" series, for instance, sounds sort of out there, but you can go to the OPI website at http://www.opi.com and try on any of their colors on a pretend hand and check it out for yourself. While this isn't quite the same as looking at your own hand, it gives you an idea before you buy. The Alice In Wonderland series, inspired by Tim Burton's latest movie, is so beautiful you might be tempted to step out of your peach polish comfort zone and go for a "Mad As A Hatter" sparkling lavender.
If $12-$24 for nail polish is also not in your comfort zone there is always the drugstore classic, Sally Hansen. Their Instant Dry Fast Dry Nail Polish is exactly what it says, it dries within seconds and becomes mess up proof in half the time of regular polish. And you can go all pink and subtle or Juniper Jade, if you must, your choice.
Get your paws and tootsies ready for summer with a splash of color--and if you must go classic, remember, French manicures are lovely, French pedicures.....not so much!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

40 winks

A couple of years ago my friend Caroline showed up at school pickup with the most gorgeous set of lashes I had ever seen. She had lash extensions put on, individual lashes attached to each real lash, and had the most perfect set of peepers--glam and lush and natural all at the same time. These are not those stiff false lashes from days gone by. Caroline had had some lash loss after having her babies, and these extensions really made her eyes look amazing. While I loved them, they seemed like one more appointment in a long line of them I already had to keep myself a "natural beauty". I resisted the temptation, which for me, is major. Then, my friend Kari got them and WOW--they really made her already pretty eyes really fabulous. Finally, I could resist no longer. I decided to get a set put on for my upcoming trip to Paris, where I figured, I would love to be 24/7 glam and not have to worry about eye makeup at all for the trip. I made an appointment at Dina S. Good Salon in Belltown, known in our fair city as the best place in the business. An hour and a half later and $150.00 lighter in the wallet, I too was a lash lady. I couldn't stop looking at them! Woohoo!
On the third day of our time in Paris I figured my husband would have awoke from his jet lag fog and noticed. Did he think I just wasn't washing off my makeup? That my suddenly enhanced eyes were not mentioned at all the whole trip was a little odd, but he is a guy after all. I am still not sure of his opinion, all I know is a year later, when I wake up for the gym at 6 am I no longer look like I am dead, it takes me half the time it used to to get ready in the morning, I don't have to wear mascara, ever, and I love the way they look. And every two to three weeks, I pop back over to the little brownstone in Belltown, and while I get my extensions "filled" (they are actually lighter than mascara, and naturally shed a few over time), I have the most fabulous chats with Dina, the owner, who is charming and funny and knows a little bit (and alot) about everything. And she doesn't care if you take a 45 minute nap either, although I love our chats best.
Anyway, I have had so many compliments, from everyone, strangers in the grocery store, people at school--everyone except my Mom. She told me they were "too long"--is that even possible? Sorry, Mom, I am pretty sure you think I look like a drag queen, but I love them. xo
Here are some tips about getting lash extensions: Find a properly trained person or you could seriously damage your lashes--Dina and her staff know what they are doing--I am sure there are others out there--but do your homework. Don't go too long between fills or you will have to start all over. Two weeks works for me and its not a big deal time wise. Don't "pet" them--believe me, you won't even realize you are doing it--but it wrecks them. Tears also can cause them to suffer if you rub your eyes during your meltdown. Getting your 40 winks won't wreck them, so don't be paranoid about sleeping!
Now that I have probably weeded out all the people who think its too much effort with that last paragraph, let me just say that for all you girls that welcome a little effort for a lot of fab--this is my number one favorite beauty find--and I am in for the long haul--until they come up with the next great thing!
Details: Dina S. Good Salon, 2604 - 3rd Avenue, Seattle, 98121, 206-462-2268.