Thursday, September 30, 2010

Halloween Costume Ideas

Since I have some very persuasive roommates, I'm probably going to be Kate Beckinsale in the advert below.  Vampy, red, etc.  However, in an ideal (non-college) world, I'd have a few other ideas.  Read on, gals.

I have always wanted to be Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge for Halloween.  I have reddish hair, and a serious love of corsets.  It's a match made in heaven.

Denim & Diamonds Corsets, $234.99 at, and $199.99 at I know it sounds like a lot of work, but all you really need are some stripper heels, some fierce makeup, a pair of boyshorts (or you could do opaque tights) and one of these corset/bustle combos.  I know they're expensive, but one, they're so cute I could totally justify them, and two, wouldn't you want to wear these more than once?  I'd totally be the girl wearing something like this to do laundry.  No joke there.  I just love this look because it's still sexy, but it's really original, well-thought out, and it just looks expensive (well, because it is).  The peacock feather ensemble is a little darker and more sultry, whereas the pink and black number is a bit more sassy Parisian chic.  AND JUST LOOK AT ALL THOSE FEATHERS.  They would be so fun to flounce around int.

Joan Holloway from Mad Men: The slightly more PG costume I'd go for would be Joan Holloway from Mad Men.  It's not super original, but it's very classy, and you could totally repurpose whatever dress you got for real life.

Learning Curve Dress, $248 at, Zibo Midnight Shift, $258 at The key here is to get a wiggle dress (a fitted sheath) with sleeves that's about knee length, preferably in a wool or a jewel tone.  Add a pendant necklace, a pair of sheer tights, and a retro pair of heels and you're good to go.  This first option is a bit more vintage-girly, with the oversized bow on the bodice.  Very sweet and refined and just overall adorable.  The second option is a bit more Joan, a little more sultry and nighttime.  I love the subtle pattern and slight variations in texture--it just makes the overall look feel so rich.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Current Makeup Loves

I've gotten a lot of new makeup lately (okay, not THAT lately, but within the last two months), so I thought I'd do an updated makeup I'm loving post.  This is just stuff that I find myself reaching for in the mornings before anything else (I do my makeup in bed now, it's basically the best thing ever).

Alright, so the giant palette is obviously Coastal Scents (the Metal Mania palette), the boxed blush is Benefit's Sugarbomb, the black tin is Make Up For Ever's Aqua Eye cream liner, the little pots are Fyrinnae shadows (Species 8472, Samhain Spirits, and Rapunzel Had Extensions from top to bottom), the pigment is MAC Vanilla, the glass pot is MAC Paintely, and the last one is MAC Cream Color Base in Root.

So what I've been doing lately is a soft, neutral but contoured eye with black gel liner, contoured cheek bones, and just a bit of blush.  I do Painterly across the lid (it's been so humid here, and without Painterly I would be a giant hot mess), and then I'll do one of the pale, cream-gold shadows from the Coastal Scents palette (like the top row/third from the left) across the inner third of the lid.  I'll do either Species 8472, which is a warm taupe with red shimmer, or Rapunzel had extensions, a peachy-pink with a gold duochrome, on the rest of the lid.  I'll put Samhain Spirits, which is a medium plummy brown, in the crease and on the lower lashline.  I love this look because it's all shimmery, soft neutrals, so the overall effect is subtle, but still fun.  I'll dab some Vanilla on my browbone and in my inner corners, and then apply the gel liner in my usual cat-eye shape.  I tried to give up the cat eye and save it for special occassions...but I like it too much.  It's been toned down a bit, though.  Like a teensy, little bit.  Sugarbomb is my new favorite blush.  It's been almost a month, and I still love it.  It makes me look healthy and glowy, but never flushed.  My newest addition is contouring with Root.  I used to use it as a shadow base, but I'm not so into the dark lids at the moment.  It works wonderfully as a contour with my 187 brush, because it's matte, and actually dark enough to work as a contour if used sparingly.

Here's the overall eye look.  This is 13 hours after I applied it, so it's a little faded and severely washed out from the camera, but look how well the gel liner lasts!  It was 80 degrees and humid today, and it still has a precise line.  That's a winner.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rainy Day Cozy Dressing

Today, Boston ain't so pretty.  First off, I'm sick.  And not even like normal cold sick, but I've just lost my voice for the last three days.  It's so obnoxious.  But second off, it's humid and foggy and rainy but not actually cold?  So it's this odd hybrid weather that's hard to dress for, and at a time when I really want to be comfy.  So in the world where I have a Narnia-sized magical closet of awesome designer pieces, this is what I'd be wearing today.

Rag & Bone Knit Pocket Dress, $185 at, Sandro Mohair-blend Sequin Sweater, $260 at When I want to be warm and cozy, and look cute without putting too much effort into my ensemble, I'll go for a sweater dress.  They're an outfit in themselves.  I picked two different dresses for two different looks here.  Both of them are grey, a nice neutral that's easy to spice up with colorful accessories but can also stand alone.  For a classic, preppier look, this striped Rag & Bone dress is fab.  It has a polished, French girl vibe, and the pockets are both convenient and ingenue-cute.  For a slightly more rock and roll glam feel, this sequined Sandro dress is a great option.  The slightly retro silhouette is tempered by the short hemline, and the subtle sparkle of the sequins takes the oversized shape from boring to insouciantly sexy.

Rag & Bone Alpine Belt, $140 at, Commando Matte Opaque Tights, $34 at With both of these dresses, I'd go for a dress to keep the inherent bulkiness of the sweater dress from being unflattering (especially with a roomier cut like the second dress).  I like this Rag & Bone belt because it's sturdy enough to contain all of the fabric of a sweater dress, and the warm brown is a nice contrast to the cooler grey tones.  Now, sweater dresses can ride up easily, so tights are essential.  Also, wearing a sweater dress with bare legs is just silly (are you hot?  are you cold?  make up your mind).  These black tights are great because they're very opaque, so they prevent any accidental exposure.

Hunter Festival Tall Boots, $225 at, Madewell Crystal & Chain Fringe Cuff, $58 at Now, rainboots are clearly an essential for rainy weather, and I find that when you're feeling a bit blah, a good way to cheer yourself up is with fun statement pieces like these boots.  They're Hunters, so they're quality rainboots, but the textured strips and the studs give these a total rock and roll vibe.  There's no way that any girl would feel boring and under the weather in those boots.  For a final bit of sparkle, I'd go for a cuff bracelet.  When you're just doing one piece of jewelry, you can do a really strong, statement piece like this cuff.  The mixture of rhinestones and chain adds a lot of visual interest, and keeps up the rock and roll feel of the rainboots nicely.

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Backstage at Roberto Cavalli

There's no runway coverage today, gals!  I think we all need a bit of a breather, and time to stare at mindlessly pretty things.  Like the hair and makeup from the Roberto Cavalli show a few days ago.  Roberto Cavalli clothing-wise isn't really my style, but I'm totally falling for this offbeat beauty styling.

So the makeup featured a navy blue liner on the waterline, a pale, warm matte beige on the lid, and a medium matte brown blended up from the crease all the way to the brow, and even used to define the brow.  The same matte brown shadow is smudged into the lower lashline.  What's interesting here is that the only real definition here is on the lower waterline, but the overall look is still so fierce and piercing.  The brown on the lid gives the eyes a bit of a hooded look, which is unexpectedly sexy.  I usually waterline the lower lashline, but I do most of my liner on the upper lashline.  I may have to try this look.  It's just so refreshing.  For a navy liner, I'd try MAC's Blooz, and for a matte brown shadow I'd go for MAC's Wedge or Cork.

Clearly these are extensions, but there's something so fun about this long, straight but roughed up hair.  The overall look is very sleek, but the slightly matte/wavy texture keeps it from being boring, straight '90s hair.  I even like the center parts here!  I think the combination of slightly offbeat hair and makeup that looks a little more conventional from far away really works here.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Milan Fashion Week Round-up #3

Ok, so, Milan Fashion Week, yay, awesomeness, etc, read on for that.  BUT the big news is the Venomous Villains is up on the MAC site and that I ordered what I wanted!  So those should be here on Friday.  I'm keeping y'all in suspense until I get them. :)

Marco de Vincenzo, Dolce & Gabbana: In all honesty, 95% of the time I strongly dislike fringe.  It always seems so cheap and '80s or campy and cowgirl-ish.  But on this Marco de Vincenzo look it transcends tacky embellishment to become gorgeous and tactile and organic.  It looks like a giant, furry flower growing on a tee dress, which sounds odd but looks kind of awesome, no?  So the Dolce & Gabbana show this season was themed on a bride's trousseau, almost all different luxe white fabrics.  From far away this dress looks like just another white maxi dress, but up close you can see all the intricate details and the sheer skirt, which takes it to a totally different level.

Dolce & Gabbana, Aquilano.Rimondi: I feel like this little white dress shouldn't be sexy, but somehow Dolce & Gabbana make it pretty darn hot.  There's something so alluring about how simple the silhouette is against how subtly ornate the fabric and detailing are.  The way that the red skirt on the right moves as the model walks is just so perfect.  It's almost converted me to floor long skirts.

DSquared, Iceberg: DSquared went surprising low on the camp factor this year, and instead went for refined, boy meets girl '50s inspired looks.  A croc-embossed leather skirt would be a lot on its own, but paired with a long-sleeved button up and a slouchy cardigan, it's the perfect mix of sexy and demure.  Hemlines this season are a bit longer, but all those floor-length and knee length skirts are being vamped up with thigh-high slits.  I adore this look from Iceberg--the slouchy parka over the skin-baring skirt.  It's so unexpectedly sexy.

Versus, Moschino Cheap & Chic: Versus has had a serious theme going for the past two seasons: mini-dresses with odd cutouts, in a variety of colors and patterns. This season it was plaids and florals, lots and lots of them.  I love that the skirt on this dress looks so much like a kilt, but a slightly naughty kilt, and the top is so subtly sexy, with just a hint of cleavage peeking out.  Moschino Cheap & Chic was a total hit this year--quirky, nerd chic at its best.  A fun floral top with a basic, safari-esque skirt?  Easygoing, flattering '70s chic in a nutshell.

Pucci: Pucci this season was all about sexy, Greek inspired party wear, and in the best possible way.  There were the seasonal stables of long, flowing sheer dresses, but at Pucci they were sexed up with thigh-high slits and geometric cutouts.  This first dress is so beachy and light, with just the right amount of contrast from the harness top, and the orange dress taps into the '70s movement nicely.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Rant: L'Oreal Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

This L'Oreal Oil-Free Refreshing Eye Makeup Remover is $5.85 at  I got it instead of my usual oil-free Neutrogena remover because CVS was out of stock.  Boo.

It is also the worst makeup remover I've ever used in my entire life.  Which, granted, consists of 3 separate removers, but I can't imagine anything being worse than this.  I know that sounds harsh, and I hate to give excessively negative reviews, but I can't stress enough how much I disliked this product.  Let me break it down.

The packaging: I have no issues with the packaging.  It's a curvy little blue bottle.  It's not amazing, it's not ugly, it's fine and easy to use, and it feels sturdy.  There's really not much else to say.

The price: You get 4 ounces of product for just under $6, which is decent.  With my favorite Neutrogena Oil-Free Remover, it's 5.5 ounces for just under $7, which is a better deal. 

The product: Ugh.  Just ugh.  Well.  It smells like white flowers and magnolias and old makeup, which doesn't bother me per-say, but I don't necessarily like it.  It wouldn't put me off of the remover entirely, but it doesn't make me like it any better.  If you're extremely sensitive to that sort of smell, you probably won't like this.  As for it's removal properties, let me give you a little context.  I tend to wear a good amount of waterproof eye makeup--waterproof mascara, liner, and gel liner.  That's a tall order for any remover.  If I soak a cotton pad with this remover and swipe it across my eye, almost nothing comes off.  Maybe a layer of shadow, but none of the waterproof products.  Which is interesting, seeing as it says that it removes waterproof makeup.  I have to basically scrub my eyelids to get anything off, and even if I scrub for an entire minute, I can't get everything off.  The texture of this remover causes the cotton pad to grab at my eyes, which only makes the rubbing worse.  And on top of all that, it really irritates my eyes.  My eyes are used to being poked and prodded with contacts, so if it irritates my eyes, it's bad.

Awkward Chic rating: C.  This doesn't function as a remover for me at all.  It irritates my eyes, and it's more expensive than my usual Neutrogena remover.  I think if you wear very minimal eye makeup (just a dash of liner and shadow) and don't have sensitive eyes, you might like this.

Image from

Milan Fashion Week Round-up #2

Milan Fashion Week.  It's awesome.  There's not really much else to say.  I hope y'all like pastoral romances, neutrals, and the '70s, because they'll be sticking around for a while.

D&G: It's official.  Pastoral romance is a big trend for Spring 2011.  That means florals, sheers, ruffles, chiffon, lace, long sundresses, lace up shoes, flowing hair, you know--fairy tale-fit dresses.  Here are two takes on that trend.  The lace dress is a little more ballerina, a little more delicate.  The layers keep the sheerness of the lace from being too scandalous, and the pattern adds a bit of spice to the otherwise monochromatic dress.  For a bolder take, this bright, rose-printed dress is a good option.  The full, tiered skirt is still very peasant girl chic, but the oversized flowers add a hint of savage whimsy.  The leather belts give just the right amount of hardness to both these looks.

Luisa Beccaria, Maurizio Pecoraro: And here's a little more soft, pastoral romance for y'all.  This empire-waisted dress is so flowy and simple, very country chic, and the subtle floral print keeps it all from being too simple.  This second dress has a bit more of a luxe vibe, especially with that oversized ruffle at the hem and the sheen of the satiny fabric.  With either of these, you could play up the romantic vibe with a pair of girly heels and some sparkly jewelry, or balance it out with some fierce heels and some statement jewelry.

Prada: Miuccia Prada's ability to both trend set and forecast is basically legendary.  The fifties silhouettes last season?  Huge.  This season she pushed vibrant stripes, baroque patterns, and tropical prints in clean, often ruffled silhouettes.  I think the key here is the combination of simple and bold--the simple shape of the white dress against the sensual, vibrant print and the clean stripes of the first look with the drop-waist, ruffled silhouette.  It's all about balance, while maintaining a forceful, not at all shy femininity.  

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Milan Fashion Week Round-up #1

Welcome to Italia, girls!  It's Milan Fashion Week.  Woohoo!  I love Milan Fashion Week.  You get Prada and Gucci and Fendi and all that Italian fabulousness.  Alright, on to round-up #1.

Sportmax, No. 21: This first dress is very Gucci, no?  The sporty, minimalist lines with the modern, sexy cut.  It seems like white is still going to be a big trend for Spring, and sexy but minimalist white an even bigger trend.  It's hard to see with this second dress, but it has an adorable cutout in the back and slits up the sides.  At first glance it's very stark and almost oversized, but when you look a little closer you see all the subtle details that make it young and on-trend.

Alberta Ferretti: This season Alberta Ferretti went pastoral fairy tale chic, and it was, in a word, gorgeous.  There were standout gowns and polished separates, all in a lovely, muted but whimsical color palette.  There was the perfect balance between sheerness and substance.  I love this first gown.  The fabric is so light and airy, and the nude hue only contributes to that, but the bands across the skirt give it a visual weight that makes it more than just another floaty dress.  How beautiful is the skirt in this second look?  The pattern on the skirt is very heavy and earthy, but the lightness of the fabric and how sheer it is makes the overall effect almost magical.  Pairing it with a simple, but unique top like that one creates the ideal balance between structured and soft.

Gucci: Ah, Gucci.  What I love about Gucci is that it's always reliable for bad ass, rock and roll chic.  Different incarnations on rock and roll, sure, but always rock and roll.  Take these two looks for example.  The first look is pretty obvious, with the textured leather skirt and the sheer top.  The monochromatic color palette and somewhat modest lines keep it from being too over the top sexy, and the textured leather gives it a fashion forward twist.  This second dress has the interesting wrapping and lines of Lanvin a few seasons ago (tres chic) but the vibrant color palette and metallic belt to it from Parisian chic to modern and sensual.

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Gossip Girl Fashion Sneek Peak

Alright y'all, I don't know the context of these two looks or when they'll be airing, but I do know the designers.  Leighton Meester is wearing Ralph Lauren and Blake Lively is in Zuhair Murad.

 I'm not a huge fan of the Ralph Lauren look.  It doesn't seem very flattering, and the baby blue is killing me.  The Zuhair Murad look, on the other hand, is fab.  I love the play on sheerness, but purple-grey hue, and how it manages to be both dramatic and formal, and yet very sexy.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Flatiron with Built-in Treatment?

So I picked up the October issue of Allure today (verdict: Blake Lively is much less annoying than I expected), and there was a whole section on beauty breakthroughs.  This little flat iron was featured, and it totally caught my eye. 

The Remington Style Therapy Frizz-Resistant 1" Flat Iron is $49.99 at  Now, I'm sure you're thinking that it just looks like a regular iron, what's the big deal?  Well.

It has built-in silicone-based conditioner that disperses itself (in small amounts) onto your hair as you straighten it.  It's also a ceramic iron.  So, you have an iron that one, since it's ceramic it straightens quickly and for a long time, and two, actually makes your hair healthier as you straighten.  And it's less than $50.  I've been a devoted T3 fan for the last few years, but this...this intrigues me.  I was thinking of investing in a GHD, but this is so much cheaper and the reviews so far have been stellar.  Hm....

What do y'all think of the idea of putting hair treatments INSIDE the straightener?

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Hello, London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week, I have failed you.  I don't really know what to do with London Fashion Week.  It's really more like a three day marathon of shows, blink and you'll miss it.  Well, I sorta blinked, but here's my good college try at a LFW round-up.

Jaeger London, Clements Ribeiro: This is such a jaunty take on menswear, no?  The slightly oversized tuxedo vest, the white shirt, the slimmed, cropped trousers.  The pants are very flattering, and that flash of ankle is unexpectedly sexy.  The all neutral color palette is quite on trend, as well.  Now, I love this second dress.  It's such a unique take on floral print, with the gradation of color and pattern, and juxtaposed against that simple cut it all makes perfect sense.  I just wish that they hadn't thrown on that plastic lei-esque necklace.

Burberry, Peter Pilotto: I hate to say this, but the Burberry show this season disappointed me.  Bailey has played with the brand's heritage, tweaked it and modernized it for the last few seasons, but this year it felt like he pushed it too far, into cheap and derivative territory.  There were a few interesting takes on the classic trench that are worth note, like this one with a military twist.  With the buttons concentrated on the bodice and the neon belt, it felt fresh and unique.  This Peter Pilotto dress intrigues me.  If you ignore the white bits it's a simple patterned shift, but with the white fabric woven in it takes on an odd, slightly Rodarte-esque twist (but a bit more wearable).

Christopher Kane, Matthew Williamson: Oh, Christopher Kane.  He always has something eccentric up his sleeve.  This season it was British royals on acid, conservative little suits and shifts done in laser-cut neon leather.  I highly recommend checking out the entire show, it was fascinating to look at.  This dress in particular caught my eye.  The cut is very simple and modest, a bit old fashioned, but the pink patterned leather takes all that and throws it for a loop.  How interesting would this be on a red carpet?  I adore this Matthew Williamson dress.  At first the print is very English rose, sweet and vintagey, but if you look a little closer it takes on a savage quality, especially when you notice the bustier top and the black detailing.  You could dress this to emphasize the wildness of it, with a little black leather jacket and some crazy platforms, or you could take it the quirky-cute route with a fitted cardigan and a statement necklace.

Antonio Berardi, Basso & Brooke: The lines on this graphic little LBD are just so darn flattering.  The shape itself, body-hugging but not too tight, already does great things for any body, but the way that the center is black and the white panels curve up the side is a great optical illusion.  It tricks the eye into thinking that you're as wide as the black only, and the white panels just fall away.  It you have hips, this is the dress for you.  I love the combination of cut and print on this last dress.  The cut is very classic and slightly retro, with a bit of a sci-fi twist from the cutout at the bodice and the slightly twisted, post-apocalyptic postcard print.

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