Month: October 2013

Les Cinq Petites Choses #2

It’s time again for 5 things that I’m loving lately.

#1 – My hair is curly, but it’s also very fine, so achieving any volume is always a challenge. I’ve tried a million different volumizing products that usually just manage to make my hair oily within a day and nothing much more. Kate of gh0sparties is always recommending products for this purpose, but being unemployed, I’ve only been able to add them to my shopping list for when I’m working again.

Fortunately for me, I received a replacement September Birchbox because of a damaged item, and this time around, it contained a travel size of Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray. I actually use Davines shampoo and conditioner (I switch between Love Smoothing and Love Curl Enhancing), and I’ve been waiting very impatiently for their fabled OI All In One Milk to become available for purchase (and now to have money). So I was really excited to try this.

I like my curls to look more styled, so I didn’t use it for the beach wave effect, but instead for the promised volumizing action. And, guess what? My hair looked AMAZING after. With plenty of body. And it lasted for a couple of days, with no oiliness.

DSC_0971You’ve gotta love the name of this thing as much as the packaging.

#2 – A brand new knitting project with winter in mind. There is nothing I like more than a long, chunky scarf when the weather makes it so that you want to bundle up with one. And I’m a super slow knitter, so bulky scarves that knit up quickly are right up my alley. Plus, finding the perfect pattern to pair with the perfect colorway of yarn is like finding balance in the universe.

That’s where the Panda Scarf pattern by Kelly McClure comes in, combined with Plucky Bulky in Vintage Icebox by the Plucky Knitter.

DSC_0977It’s going to look like icicles!!

DSC_0975It’s so fluffy!!

#3 – A little splurge I allowed myself was to purchase one of my coveted fall nail polishes, Peace, Love & OPI by OPI (as pictured here with Illamasqua Stance). I saw it in and ad, and I just had to have it. I love the duochrome colors. I love the color combination possibilities.

And another great find in my September Birchbox was my Ruffian nail polish in Delirium. As I mentioned in my video, I was delighted to receive that color, because it’s the one I wanted the most. It’s an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple (as seen here), and purple IS my favorite color.

DSC_0978Technically these are 2 things, but I’m just filing them under “nail polish.” 😉

#4 – One of the things I have been doing to try and improve my French is to read a lot of blogs written in French (salut à tous!), as well as to watch a lot of French-speaking YouTubers. It has definitely helped my listening comprehension, and I’m so glad at how much more I’m understanding (IF ANY FRENCH SPEAKERS ARE READING THIS—I had never heard of the verb “craquer” before and now EVERYONE is using it. Is this a new popular word or was it always used?). Sadly, my speaking still is pretty abysmal, as you might have heard if you watched my last video.

One particular tutorial I loved was this Autumn look by Julielovesmac07. The weather in New York hasn’t seemed to be able to settle on Autumn yet, weaving back and forth between Indiam summer and fall, but this makeup tutorial by Julie just SCREAMS apple cider and pumpkin picking. And luckily, I had all the eye shadow colors and similar blush. I’ve just got to work on the lip color! Even if you don’t speak a word of French, you’ll be able to follow along with her. And she has a ton of other great video tutorials.

Julie Look how pretty she looks!

#5 – My friend Amielle has done more by her age than I ever knew was possible to do at 21. Previously an au pair in the French Alps, she is now looking after the children for a family in Madrid (lucky bitch ;)), learning a new language, and documenting all of it, diligently, on her blog (since December 2010! THAT is dedication I, as a failed blogger, cannot conceive of!).

She studied as a photojournalist, so her posts are full of beautiful photography of her travels. But it’s the entries populated with her wry humor and thoughtful introspection (and, sometimes, amazing gifs) that blow me away. And if you don’t like any of that, her “Things I’m Loving” at the end of each entry has introduced me to so many cool, useful, entertaining, and educational things. It’s basically a post like this in every single one of her posts. You should go read them.

Amielle My fake little sister is adorable, no?

What things are you loving lately? I’d love to hear!

Music Monday #4

Oh, hey, it’s another Scottish band, what a shocker. 😉

Chvrches (luckily, just pronounced “churches”) is definitely the latest buzz band, but with good reason. They perform killer electro pop, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t normally like electro pop. But I definitely have liked them since I first heard their song “Recover” from the Recover EP. Their full-length album, The Bones of What You Believe, just came out, and it fulfills the promise of the EP. Have a listen to one of the songs on the album, “The Mother We Share.”

It’s so sad, because I keep missing them playing in NYC. Every time I check, they’ve already announced it and it’s sold out. (I’m afraid next time around they’ll play some horrible venue like Terminal 5.) So don’t make the same mistake as me!

October 2013 Birchbox Unboxing

Hello everyone! I decided to keep up the unboxing videos of my monthly Birchbox, even though my video editing skills have not improved, and I received my Birchbox later than everyone else I know. I also threw in some of the very little French I can speak (I’m so much better at understanding and reading 🙁 ).

In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own here.

As you can tell, I’m pretty disappointed with this month’s box. First of all, I didn’t get mine till Saturday the 12th, way later than everyone else I know. I received a broken item, and did not receive the one thing I really wanted. I have emailed them about the broken eye shadows already, so we’ll see what happens. (I’ve received a succession of damaged items from them, so it’s extra disappointing.)

As always, If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. If you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

What did you get in your box?

Review: Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream – Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks Part III

The subject: Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre

So we’ve covered both Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar as well as  MAC Lipmix. Now it’s time for Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream,

I feel like my blog has become an Ode to Bite Beauty. But it’s with good reason! (And, no, they’re not paying me, I swear!) All the lip products from the Toronto-based company are made from food-grade ingredients, and each lipstick contains the amount of Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine, found in five glasses of wine. So they’re good for you, as well. And I pretty much wear their Line and Define Lip Primer under everything. Including this!

Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream Sancerre Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in Sancerre

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Review: MAC Lipmix – Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks Part II

The subject: MAC Lipmix in Orange

The previous installment of the Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks saw me reviewing Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar. It’s being pitted against Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream and today’s entrant, MAC Lipmix.

I’ve been slightly obsessed with orange lipstick since September of last year when I bought Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Orange. Then I bought YSL Rouge Volupté Perle in Incandescent Orange. It’s a slippery slope. This summer I purchased MAC Lipstick in So Chaud. But then it happened.

Rose and I were sitting outside in the cold watching the Metropolitan Opera opening night telecast, looking up on her phone which celebrities were nice and cozy inside (and what they were wearing!), when we saw this.

Coco-Rocha-in-Greta-Constantine-Metropolitan-Opera-Season-Opening-5-600x810 Bow before the glory of Coco Rocha.

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Celebrity fashion lust #1

Review: OCC Lip Tar – Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks Part I

Happy Thursday!! I hope you’re ready to rumble!

The subject: OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet

I’ve recently added to my lipstick collection 3 different kinds of lipstick that come in a liquid form: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar, Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream, and MAC Lipmix. Since I’ve already gone on in depth about Bite Beauty and also mentioned MAC, I thought I would start with the OCC Lip Tar.

DSC_0866OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet

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Wishlist Wednesday #4

Number 4 already?! Time really does fly!

As I mentioned, on Friday, during our day of fun in the West Village, I was struck dumb and unable to move on, captivated by a hat in the window of Goorin Bros. I knew that if I went in and tried it on, I would fall in love. But I could not make myself walk away.

So, in I walked. Meet my new spirit animal hat, Jessica Rogers:

105-5587-RED-L01 I took a photo in it, but it came out hideous, so this is courtesy of the Goorin Bros. site.

Have you ever seen anything so divine?! I’m obviously a fan of most things retro, but this hat is just perfection. Look at that gorgeous cherry red. LOOK AT THE POLKA DOTS. And it’s only $65, which is actually really affordable for a hat like this, if you’re not unemployed.  (I’m a huge fan of milliners, but they are usually waaaaaay pricey.)

I tried it on and I felt like this:

105-5587-RED-MF01Again, photo courtesy of the Goorin Bros. site.

The shop is actually stacked from top to bottom with amazing hats, so if a cloche isn’t your thing, you have plenty to choose from. (Rose tried this one on. And for the record, I also totally want this one. That teal is to die for! ) They have locations in several states and a couple in Canada, but obviously there is always their handy dandy (really beautifully designed) web site (where I am creating my wishlist as soon as I finish typing this!)

But if I see you walking down the street in my Jessica Rogers, this is WAR.

What are your favorite hats? What are you wishing for this week?

Switching keys to low

My day yesterday was a lot more chill. I met Ashley (my lovely model) in the city for coffee, knitting, and boy scoping.

20131007_153032_1Me en route. (Look out for my forthcoming review of the lipstick I’m wearing!)

Ashley and I are both on budgets, so one of our favorite places to meet up is at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, especially now that they’ve introduced their app card—buy 6 drinks, get the 7th free! take that Starbucks!—but only at the Broadway location. (I just don’t want you going into another location and thinking I lied. 😉 )

20131007_172013_1So many of the best things in life on one table.

We both brought along some knitting. And by the time we were finished, I had negative progress. (I had forgotten to bring some supplies with me, tried to make it work, and then had to undo everything I had done that day. Go me!) But we were sitting right next to these people who came in and seemed to give some kind of seminar on business management, so maybe I subconsciously absorbed some of it and now I can go out and make my fortune! (Or not. I’d spend it all, anyway.)

Lots of caffeine and giggles were had all around.

Where are your favorite places to just chill with friends? And what’s the strangest thing you’ve overheard while there?

Allongé (West Village Adventure part II)

Continuing the tale of our day in the West Village (and the fitting ballet terms), we finally made it to Aedes de Venustas. But not before being accosted by the beauty sales equivalent of a used-car salesman. Okay, that’s being harsh, because this guy was actually quite good at what he did.

We were walking down Christopher Street, on our way, and we passed by this man generously handing out samples in front of his skin care store, Shalva. (That’s how he reels you in!!) He promised us a treat (I swear, it wasn’t candy), so we came inside and were treated to a demonstration of the products. Our hands were scrubbed with a Dead Sea salt scrub, and then slathered in a really luscious body cream he promised we’d only have to apply once a day. (I told him I use hand cream about 4 times a day.) There was some special deal going on, but since I’m broke, I had to pass. (Which may have been lucky, if you read the reviews. I think they’re a little harsh; my hands felt soft hours later, but I can understand. As I said, he was really good at his job: trying to sell this stuff.)

With our hands feeling soft as a baby’s bottom, we made our way to Aedes. Sadly, they don’t allow photographs in the store, but I highly recommend you visit to see for yourself. It is a boudoir of visual and olfactory delights. Literally. There is carpeting and drapery and vanities and cabinets. It is dimly lit. But populated with the most high-end and obscure perfume brands you could hope to find. It really is special. If you’re looking for a scent that you won’t smell on everyone else, you know where to go. And they even will give you a sample of any one fragrance you choose. (For more samples, see their web site.)

DSC_0933The fantastical Aedes window, the only thing you’re allowed to photograph.

Once we finally made it out of there (trust me, you’ll never want to leave, either), we were trying to find a specific pharmacy, but wound up getting a little lost, having not yet resorted to using Google maps.

DSC_0934With intersections like this, can you blame us for getting lost?! How does this even work?!

DSC_0935But we just considered it as taking the scenic route. 🙂

DSC_0936I was inordinately pleased with my inspired nail color combination choices.

DSC_0944A moment’s rest, an excuse for more posing.

Ironically, in order to get where we had to go, we had to get back onto Bleecker Street. This time around, we passed by Goorin Bros., and I was so enamored of a hat in the window, I stood outside for five good minutes knowing it would break my heart if I walked in, tried it on, and then walked away. But I went in anyway. And it was as gorgeous as I feared. It is now at the top of my wishlist. But more on that on Wednesday. 😉

DSC_0949I also tried on this beauty. Believe it or not, I would actually totally wear this. (Sadly, I can’t find it on their site.)

I tore myself away, nearly in tears. But I consoled myself at Bisous Ciao with a couple of macarons. Feed the sadness, right?! And at least those I could afford.

DSC_0951Honey Lavender and Rose. Macarons make EVERYTHING better.

After all that meandering and getting lost, we finally made it to Avignone pharmacy (yup, still hate the misspelling), only to find out they didn’t carry what I was looking for, either. In the absence of this mythical Bioderma Sensibio H2O, I settled for Klorane eye makeup remover. (Of course it had to be French.)

Walking around all day in 80+ degree (Fahrenheit) weather, we definitely worked up a thirst, and so a nice cold beer was definitely in order. We stopped off at one of the best beer bars in New York, Blind Tiger, and indulged. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

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Outfit details here.
Nail polish: Peace, Love & OPI – OPI, Stance – Illamasqua
Ring: Shirley Dom