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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Let's kick off July right!

Man, I don't know about everyone else, but this June was a supremely weird month. Not one of the worst months of my life, but a very weird one.

And now that it's just about July, which is a super-busy time for me (holla, Chicago), I'm ready for something fresh, something new, something cool. I'm ready to bring more good things back into my life.

So tell me something good, folks. Share what's rocking your world, what's new and exciting, what you're looking forward to this summer. What do you recommend, what's awesome, that sort of thing. I'm always curious to find out what people love, and that's why I'm here in this scene, you know? Everyone always has something to talk about. I don't today, so it's your turn to show me!

While you're letting me know, here's one of my favorite summer songs so far:

Share away!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Need a little more of your help!

So I've taken your advice and your votes, and I've decided on my outfit for this Saturday. (Thank you muchly!) I believe Karen would still like your votes, so please do chip in!

Now comes another fun part: picking out the make-up and the nail polish! The make-up is all set and clear; I'd determined out the "looks" in my head paired with each outfit before I came to my final conclusion. The turquoise dress would have a brown-and-gold eye (using the UD "Get Baked" palette), the red top and jeans would be a pewter grey cream shadow (my beloved Benefit "Skinny Jeans"), and the Stormy Weather dress would pair with a indigo-blue-lined eye (the shiny and new NARS "Demon Lover" duo).

That said, I picked out my outfit, and now I need your help picking out the nail polish! I've written up my ten (!!) options at BeautyHacks... and that's where the outfit reveal is, too!

Let me know what you think, either here or at BeautyHacks -- I might be painting my toes tonight! Thanks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's wedding season already?

Seriously, you guys. Next week's picnic-banquet-karaoke celebration will be only the fourth wedding I've ever been to in my whole life. Who doesn't have huge quibbles over what to wear to a casual-yet-important event? We don't want to look too fancy for a picnic in the park, but being ragged and slovenly at a banquet with parents and "adults" (yes yes, we are also adults, but you know...our elders) could be embarrassing. There will be no time to change, so the outfit has to stay looking fresh and comfortable throughout the day. I'll probably end up bringing a change of shoes, just in case.

That's the challenge, then: take one part afternoon picnic, one part Chinese wedding banquet, one part friends' reunion, and a big dollop of good times. Mix together and what do you get?

Casual wedding options

What do you think? I do believe flats are in order across the board, for ease of driving, carrying dishes, general running about, etc. etc.

From the left, choice 1: vintage purple and green plaid belted cotton house-dress with light purple flats. This is a close approximation of my dress, purchased at a smoke-filled closet of a vintage resale shop in Pacific Grove, California, for a pittance. The neckline is a funny pleated keyhole that is just a bit too low sans camisole underneath--I'll have to sew it closed so it is less indecent. The Frye sandals I just picked up in deep green at TJ Maxx, I think it makes the vintage silhouette dress rather more bohemian in character. Too hippie-crunchy?

Choice 2: More of a business casual outfit--this is, in fact, similar to what I wear at the office on a daily basis. I am big into scarves for summer, the particular silk scarf I'm thinking of is a green and purple paisley number with wide purple border. My poor office-mates have seen it more than a few times this past week, I can't get enough of it! These would be new linen-cotton slacks with a tanktop and light cardigan. Too formal or stuffy? Would sneakers be too casual?

Choice 3: Rather darker in palette, a big ol' black and white plaid skirt with black flats and a plain black shirt. The skirt makes me look wide in the hips, but I'll be damned if it isn't the most comfortable, coolest skirt I own! Too morose?

Like with Jeanne's post on the same subject, I'm sure at least S. and Miss Sabrina will have something to say--bring it on, ladies! Can't wait to see you next week!

Science Fair for June 15th-21st

You guys, I have had a tough week. With a bit of family time, indulging (finally) in Jeanne's Gossip Girl DVDs, and just a liiiittle bit of shopping with Grandma, I'm ready for another slog through. I'm sure this will change, but I am somewhat in love with that Dan Humphries, mostly because he is a young Mark Ruffalo lookalike. How does that catty little Blair Waldorf pull off styles, like the pearls+brooch over fully buttoned-up blouse, that would look absolutely frumpalicious on me? These are my quandaries, people!

-After a childhood of Sega videogames with my older brother, being game system-less as an adult has left a gaping hole where gameplay entertainment is concerned. Sometimes, when I get bored, I'll do a little point and click adventure game. This weekend, I gave up on finishing all of the Warbears missions to become completely distracted by Japanese point and click game creator Minoto's little vignettes. The list of cute little game is endless, starting with Snow Festival, covering Japanese holidays, Christmas, and traditional fairy tales. Alice in Wonderland, Red Hood, and Hansel and Gretel are particularly cute/weird/awesome.

-Here's a vaguely offensive poll for you, from Glamour: Would you rather be average looking but have a but have a smoking hot boyfriend, or be drop-dead gorgeous but have an average-looking boyfriend? Per my observations, either way people will have an opinion about the relationship. "Why is she with him? He must have money," or "that poor guy couldn't do any better than that?" as if everything is money or looks. After Jeanne sent me that link, I showed her the news story about the woman who shot and skinned her Jack Russell terrier, so I deserve anything I get.

-If you are a fan of drinking in the SF Bay Area, the sticky-floored, bamboo-walled Tiki Crawl 2009 is coming up! Yum yum yum. We made it to the Tonga Room with my friend Courtney, a great tiki enthusiast, before it's about to be demolished to become condos and more hotel. There are still a few tiki holdouts in the Bay Area to enjoy, people, let's keep them in business--it's fake, kitschy American history!

-CMJ's Michael Tenner covers this year's Bonnaroo Festival so you don't get dirty and sunburned for the great music. Apparently Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog and Neko Case has a duet/incident? What?

-Princess Poochie of the lovely Shoe Daydreams blog is initiating a boycott/protest against Manolo Blahnik shoes for their use of ocelot fur! I am a subscriber to the practice of no fur-buying, not even fake fur. However, I do have a "grandfathered" vintage 1950s boucle swing jacket with a fur collar, that I was given as a gift/freebie by a family friend. That I will wear only for special occasions--I would never buy those cuckoo ocelot boots, and it is despicable that a massive international brand like Manolo Blahnik would use fur of an endangered animal to pull of some sort of misguided appearance of classiness. You know what's classy? Not looking like someone from Clan of the Cave Bear while contributing to species endangerment.

-Now that I've gotten all indignant on your asses, time for my favorite bit, food-related miscellany. Cooking Light has a quick true or false quiz on fat for those of you who need a little nutritional brain-teaser. A great waitress at the cafe we took my father to for an early Father's Day dinner tipped us off to Foodie Fight: A Trivia Game with Gameboard and Cards. Is it bad that I kind of want it, if only because I would totally beat EVERYONE?

Ahh, sweet ambition. Coming up in a minute, my three outfit choices for S.'s wedding next weekend! Have a great week, everyone!

Quick update: Holy CRAPOLA, Lady Gaga, why do you have to ruin everything? Please don't do what Gwen Stefani did and misappropriate Japanese fashion...I just couldn't take it!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wedding's the word!

We are quickly becoming ladies of a certain age where our friends and close relatives are starting to get married. Kati was just the maid of honor for her sister a few weeks ago, and Karen and I are going to a wedding picnic/dinner next Saturday for one of our high school friends.

The couple has requested that we don't dress up, but what can I say -- we still want to look nice! And so the debate of "what are you wearing? what should I wear?" has been zipping through IM and email and iPhone-d photos ("tell me what you think!"). Part of the issue for me is that the event is a picnic during the day, then a big banquet dinner at a Chinese restaurant, which includes the couples' families. What flies at a park might not go over so well at a fancier dinner with parents and relatives.

I've put together a close approximation of three of the outfits I could wear next Saturday, using Polyvore to try and find close enough matches:

what to wear?!

1. I have a turquoise spaghetti-strap dress with white embroidery that is super-cute, and when I wear it, I tend to pair it with brown sandals. I have a pair of strappy studded flat sandals that I'd wear with them to make it a little more casual and sundress-y. I'd also bring a white cardigan (although I think the only white cardigan I have has silver sequins -- I will have to think this over, and maybe have to purchase a non-sequined one from Old Navy or something) to cover up for the dinner or in case the picnic is chilly.

2. I have a very cute red spaghetti-strap top with a ribbon under the bust, and I would pair it with either dark denim jeans or denim shorts (but I don't really want to be known as "the girl who wore shorts to S.'s wedding dinner", so the shorts are likely out). I could go with a pair of red wedges I got in Paris, or I could wear the pink wedges I bought from Laia. I'd bring the white and silver-sequin cardigan for dinner/chilliness. (In this case, the sequins are okay.)

3. I do have the Stormy Weather Dress from ModCloth, and I have shiny gold flats (but not these ones). I would also bring a deep blue (but not navy) cardigan.

For all three, jewelry would be at a minimum -- stud earrings (sparkly silver stars, silver plumeria, ivory cabochon flowers) and my typical silver necklaces.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! What do you think I should pick -- 1, 2, or 3?

image from polyvore.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

OMG! What's your polish?

I recently painted my toes the awesomely holographic "OMG" from China Glaze's 2008 OMG collection, and it was a hit at the San Francisco Bay Area BlogHer Meet Up:

(Those are my toes on the left. On the right, a custom blended silver on my boss. Two makes it a trend!)

Anyway, since it's a beautiful silver with rainbow-holographicness, I've been thinking about going back and getting more of the colors ("DV8", "2NITE", "FYI", "QT"...). Karen expressed her interest in the purple, which is appropriately named "LOL".

And that, of course, leads me to the classic Dude, Where's My Car scene. You know which one I'm talking about (Don't even pretend you haven't seen Dude, Where's My Car. I know you have, but in case you've "conveniently forgotten", it's at the end of the trailer:)

Karen: I love your nail polish! What is it?
Jeanne: OMG! What's yours?
Karen: LOL! What's yours?
Jeanne: ...OMG. What's yours.
Karen: LOL. What's yours.
(And then there's a slapfight.)

Head2Toe Beauty just restocked their OMG collection, and of course, you can check out swatches at All Lacquered Up. (There's also swatches for the warmer half of the collection, too.)

So -- what's making you say "OMG" this summer so far?

image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhenry/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Science Fair for June 8th - 14th

Today's a special Science Fair -- all videos!

But before we get into the videos, don't forget that you have until 4 pm Pacific Tuesday the 16th to enter the Max Factor giveaway at Periodic Beauty!

- Watch this one first, just in case it gets taken down:

- I have a sudden desire to learn this dance.

- Also, to belt out this song. A lot.

- Finally, this is to celebrate L.'s success at the Schulz Museum this weekend!

Have a great week, and don't forget to enter the Max Factor giveaway!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Roadtesting Urban Decay Primer Potion in "Sin"

Everyone here knows that Urban Decay Primer Potion is one of our staples, right? I tell everyone I know about it, from Kati to the blog to whoever I'm wandering around Sephora with. (It happens!) It's lasted me all day through running around and not-sleeping and is, generally, a great product that does what it does really, really well.

So I was excited when Urban Decay announced they were releasing a new version of UDPP called "Sin", this time with champagne shimmer! I almost couldn't wait until it showed up to Sephora, even asking the salesgirls if they knew when it was coming out. I didn't buy a full-sized one, but I was definitely anxious to try it out, especially since it could be worn on its own.

Luckily, I reallyreally wanted the Get Baked palette, which came with a 24/7 eye pencil and a mini-size of the Sin UDPP. Yay! I would get to try it out without having to buy a full-size! So I ordered it, it arrived, and I got to playing with it.

Here's where things get a little slippery (literally). I'm used to dabbing a little bit of UDPP on my eyelid, then blending (read: smearing) it with the tip of my finger. This works fine with the regular sheer/nude UDPP, but with Sin, it's so shimmery and light on the skin that you really have to be careful with the application. I wound up getting it all over the place, including my tear duct, my lower lid, everywhere. Not a good look. So I tried again, gently painting my eyelid with the wand in a smooth half-moon.

They say it can be used in lieu of eyeshadow, but it's so pale and shimmery that it was way too much so for my liking, especially since I was wearing it to work. Because of that, both times (the smeary and the delicate) I had to layer eyeshadow over it. It could just be me and my skintone, as well as my dark'n'tired eyes, but I just didn't really like the look of it on its own.

But really, here is the killer, especially when compared to the original Primer Potion: Today I did my eyeshadow no later than 8:15 am. I checked my eyeshadow at 4:45 or so -- eight and a half hours later, about -- and it was majorly, majorly creasy. Gasp! How could this be? I know my eyelids are the creaseless-shadow-killers (Benefit and Shiseido cream eyeshadows, I love you but I am talking about you here), but the original has always held up really well with only minor creases after, say, sixteen hours.

So despite my hope for Sin, I found it ultimately didn't live up to the expectations that I had based on my adoration of its older sister product. I wonder if the formula's changed (or if my original is so old that it's not as thin as the brand-new Sin, so it's stickier, which is certainly possible), or if adding pigment to the mix does something to the primer itself to make it less effective. Sigh! I really wanted it to work! (The rest of the palette is great, by the way.)

Have you had high hopes for a product, based on something else in the line's performance? How did it ultimately turn out for you?

image from sephora.com

Monday, June 08, 2009

NARS at Nordstrom!

This past Saturday, Karen and I went to the NARS event at the San Francisco Nordstrom -- the only place where you can buy the NARS Loves San Francisco set, and the setting for the first public appearance of Francois Nars in ten years!

It was actually a book signing, but unfortunately they had sold out of his book (which is marvelous and I want it -- I spotted it at Borders yesterday, of course), which meant that I wouldn't get a chance to meet him up close and personal like Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog, who is awesome and adorable).

That said, I did get to see Mr. Nars upon his arrival. I was already seated in my makeover chair, about halfway through the contouring stage, when my artist said, "He's here! Do you want to go see him?" and I said of COURSE. So off we scurried to snap some pictures, me with half of my make-up done:

I was surprised at how young he is (especially since he "came out of retirement" at the last Fashion Week), but I suppose it was coming out of retirement from being a working make-up artist, as once you've moved up to the level of having your own namesake brand, you probably don't have to work the backstage magic anymore if you don't want to. (Also, love the glasses!)

We finished up my face, using the San Francisco colors (more on that shortly), and while PS-Karen was taking her turn in the seat, I caught up with MBB-Karen in line!

After PS-Karen was done, we headed downstairs to Out the Door and took pictures of our new summer looks before our lipstick disappeared in delicious food! (Click for bigger!)

On my eyes, I've got the Haight-Ashbury eyeshadow duo (light teal-blues) on the lid and lower liner, Angel Island single eyeshadow (lavender) in the crease, Demon Lover eyeshadow duo (dark purples) for upper liner and outer corner, Hungry Heart cheek duo (light gold/pale pink) on the browbone. Cheeks are the Multiple in CapVert, Hungry Heart, and Orgasm blush. Lips are Bettina pencil and Belize lipgloss -- normally I don't do such neutral/nude lip looks, but because the eyes were so awesomely intense, we had to go neutral. And I actually really like the pairing, so I might have to go and get it eventually.

Karen's got Angel Island eyeshadow paired with Golden Gate Bridge (gold), which is actually a cheek highlight used as eyeshadow. Her cheeks are Luster (sheer apricot), and her lips are another pencil/gloss duo -- I've forgotten the pencil (I want to say Cruella?) (Edit: Karen has informed me that the pencil color is Damned, not Cruella), but the gloss is Stolen Kisses.

The NARS Loves San Francisco set is exclusive to Nordstrom San Francisco, so if you're not in the area (or even if you are!), you can call and order it from the NARS counter at (415) 243-8500 X 1098 .

We polished off our day with ice cream from Humphry Slocombe, where I had a double-scoop of Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee (yum!) and Secret Breakfast (delicious!) and Karen had Cinnamon Brittle ("like a snickerdoodle") and Tahitian Vanilla. It was a sweet end to a fun day in the city!

(P.S. Don't forget, the MAX Factor giveaway at Periodic Beauty is still open for another week!)

images from periodicstyle.blogspot.com and narscosmetics.com

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

You otter know!

I am finding inspiration in the weirdest of places.

I went to the grocery store last weekend and, right there by the frozen dessert aisle, I saw a familiar blue-and-red striped box. Yes: an Otter Pops box.

Otter Pops! Otter Pops! Delicious treat of my youth!

And so I bought them, they are in my freezer, and I am so happy. Little Orphan Orange and Strawberry Short Kook! (Alas, poor Alexander the Grape always languished in the back of the freezer until the next summer, if not beyond.)

Now I'm thinking about bright fruit-flavored make-up, from the classic cherry popsicle mouth to electric this-color-is-not-natural-flavor blue eyeshadow. I've been wearing China Glaze nail polish in the juicy red "Raspberry Festival on my toes, I've been buying bright blue and pink and green tops to wear with shorts and skirts, and I should be taking out my tropical eyeshadows to wear as liner... I really do love summer fashion and beauty!

So! If Otter Pops are my favorite summer treat, what's yours? What brings you back to the good ol' days of summer vacation?

image from jelsert.com

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