Thursday, May 30, 2013

Zulily picks

Zulily is one of the many bargain sites out there where you subscribe and get exclusive deals.
Please use my link to join if you want to, because then I get credit!

Here are my picks from their current offerings:

 $75 Spanx one piece swimsuit (was $178)
I like the double straps and the slimming white lines down the front. Did you know Spanx made swimwear? I didn't.

$33 Spanx steely gray tank (was $62)
Looks like a normal top and you can wear it under a cardigan, but also can do double duty as a smoother under dresses or tight shirts where you don't want your bra straps or bulges in back showing.

$30 Spanx racerback sports bra (was $62)
A nicer shape than most sports bras, and can also be used under halter dresses.

$50 Spanx Haute Couture Vintage high waisted briefs (was $118)
The mesh stripes make this kind of cute, especially compared to most slimming underwear.

Today I also learned that Spanx makes men's compression tops and women's pregancy panty hose, both of which are also for sale at Zulily. Huh.

$11 Frigoverre refrigerator jug (was $29)
This is made to fit in the door of the fridge, which seems like a good idea to me.

$7.50 Frosted Frigoverre 25.5oz container (was $10)
Square shapes fit and stack best in the fridge and cabinets, so this is a great piece for storage. It comes in a bunch of other sizes too.

$38 Indoor Outdoor rug ]smallest size (was $100)
If you are lucky enough to have a large outdoor space or patio, please decorate it well!
I like outdoor rugs and how homey and room-like they make things feel. A folding chair and end table are one thing, but a folding chair, end table and an outdoor rug is a designed space!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review of Fergie for Wet n WIld nail polish

A friend of mine just gave me some of the new line that Fergie did for Wet n Wild, and I have to say I am not very impressed so far.

The first item I tried was the Hollywood Walk of Fame nail polish.
It is a clear polish with tons of star confetti in it. The stars are gold, silver, red, light blue, and light purple.
There are also some little strips of silver glitter as well.

I applied this polish over the light purple coat of Essie's French Affair that I was already wearing.
Application was ROUGH.
Most flakies and larger glitters can be uneven and difficult to apply, but this was worse than most.
I had a terrible time trying to get the stars off the brush (and out of the brush--the points embedded themselves into the hairs and a star would just get buried in the middle).
The clear polish matrix was an ok thickness, but I ended up having to put a ton of polish on in the attempts to get the stars on my nails.

The technique I use with this type of polish is to:
  1. For the first few strokes, don't worry about the glitter, just get a good polish base on your nail so the glitter will adhere later
  2. Isolate some stars and try to maneuver them to the tip or side of the brush
  3. Place the star on the nail by gently touching it down and then lightly rolling the brush off of it
But the stars were really uncooperative and didn't like coming off the brush. I had to really work to get them onto my nail, and then once they were on I had to try to remove some of the gross pools of excess polish that were getting everywhere.

I did eventually get a star or two on each nail, but it was not a fun process.

On the plus side, the clear polish did dry more quickly than I was expecting it to.
Also, the colors of the stars are nice.

Now I've had the polish on for a day and the stars are already coming up at the points and flaking off.
My nails are unpleasant to touch because of the little pointy star tips sticking out.

In this picture you can see the points of some stars coming up.

I think the main problem with this nailpolish is that the stars are just too big. If they were smaller, maybe they could be covered better by polish and not stick out.
They might also be easier to get off the brush in the first place.

I'm so annoyed with this polish that it is going in my pile of giveaways.
I won't be using it again.

Verdict? DON'T BUY

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Random things I don't own and don't want

I was thinking recently about all the random crap I own and that most people own, which made me want to get rid of everything.
But then I started thinking about the "normal" household items that I don't own and that started making me feel a little better. Especially because I've been seeing all this stuff on registry suggestion lists.

Note for all you very nice people who might be looking for gift ideas: I still don't want these things!

My life has been perfectly fine without:

A Rolling Pin
Who am I, a baker? Sometimes I bake and very rarely that baking involves rolling dough out, but it is really rare. And when I need to do it, I can just use a wine bottle.
I can't think of a situation where I have ever wished I had a rolling pin.

13 inch Wooden Rolling Pin

An Iron
I make it a point to buy clothing that either doesn't need to be ironed after washing, or can be dry cleaned where they iron that shit for me.
I am not a washer woman from the middle ages. I don't have the time or energy to be hunching over a shirt trying to get it totally flat just so I can wear it and wrinkle the elbows in 5 seconds flat.

Sometimes I have been known to use my flatiron for straightening my hair on my shirt collars. It's just such a good shape to get those little spaces and you don't even have to take your shirt off.
NOTE: Don't do this. You'll probably burn yourself and it only slightly works.

I do have a steamer which does the job of an iron but even better since it also freshens your clothes with the hot steam. The smoothing and uncreasing functionality of a steamer isn't as good as an iron, but clearly I don't really care about that.


This also by the way means I don't have to have an ironing board. Space saver!

A Shovel
I live in NYC, why would I need a shovel? If only you could shovel away the scent of the sidewalks in the summer, then maybe I'd get a shovel.


Napkin Rings
When I was young, I remember being frustrated at how napkin rings were almost the right size to be bracelets for my little wrists, but I couldn't quite get them on over my hand.
So, even then they were useless.
Cloth napkins are rare these days but we do have some. And guess what: they look just fine without rings on them. You can fold them next to a plate and it's ok.
You don't need to give the thing you wipe your germy mouth on any jewelery. Unless that's your wife. HEYYY-OHH


Gravy Boat
As a vegetarian, I am mostly lacking in things to both put gravy on and to make gravy from. I guess I could make a mushroom gravy and put it on.... other mushrooms?
I can't imagine anyone makes gravy frequently enough to need a special boat for it. A bowl is sufficient, people!


Ice Cream Scoop
Same idea as the gravy boat- a unitasker that does not apply to me. Ice cream should not be such a regular occasion that you need a giant clunky spoon just for getting at it.


I do have some things that other people might put in this list.
I finally broke down and got a pizza cutter when I realized that a lot of the places that deliver don't cut, and that I was making pizza from store-bought dough relatively often.

In general though, there are so many things people have and buy for each other that are really just not worth the space they take up.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Birdcage veils under $100

The tradition of wearing a bridal veil at a wedding is kind of weird and hearkens back to ancient times when

Nowadays, people wear more symbolic than actual face covering veils, and the modern style is trending towards shorter veils or just headbands or fascinators instead of full length long veils.

I think I am going to make my own veil out of extra pieces from my dress that we cut off in fittings. But I need inspiration and maybe a base to start with.

One thing to think about when choosing your veil is what kind of hair style you want to have. The veil should accent it and work with it, instead of against it. You wouldn't want to cover a complicated hairstyle with a long veil or have nothing to clip the veil in to with straight hair worn down.
I have no idea how I am going to wear my hair at the wedding but I think it will be up somehow so it is out of my face and not too hot. I'm taking suggestions if anyone has them!

I like the birdcage or blusher style of veil with netting and a little embellishment, here are a few examples of that:

Everything But The Wedding Dress,
$28.75 Birdcage veil with flower VS 7021
This is reasonably priced and not too huge. The veil comes down to the cheekbones but doesn't cover the nose or mouth.

French Netting Bandeau Bridal Veil with Vintage Lace
$99 Handmade bandeau veil with french lace
A bandeau veil is a variation on a birdcage that is more like a very wide headband that covers some of your face too. Terrible description. You're welcome.

Everything But The Wedding Dress,
$19 plain Birdcage veil with beaded bottom VS 7038
This has a smaller mesh than what is normally seen in a birdcage veil. It also has a scalloped bottom edge with beading on it, which I think is nice.
It would probably be a good base for adding your own decorations if you wanted to DIY a little and make it match your colors or dress without starting totally from scratch.

You can get as crazy as you want to with veils, in terms of both style and price.
I saw some outrageously expensive ones on Etsy that I won't link to, and found some good options too:

Bridal ivory birdcage veil with Swarovski pearls and crystals, beaded wedding veil, bridal birdcage headband
$45 Birdcage veil headband with pearls
This is a nice understated and minimalist take on a veil.

Champagne Birdcage Veil-Gold and Champagne Bridal Fascinator-Wedding Headpiece-Plum and Red Also Available
$68 Chamnpagne birdcage veil with flowers
I love how the flowers match this model's hair color. The mix of flowers and sparkle is well done and not over the top.

Birdcage Veil and a Bridal Hair Comb (2 Items)  Rhinestone Bridal Hair Comb, Weddings, Silver, Rinestone
$69 Veil and rhinestone comb
This is a nice example of how easy it can be to put two pieces together (the comb and the veil) to make a finished look. You don't really have to buy something that is pre-made or all one unit.

Wedding Day Bridal Scalloped Rhinestone Beaded Birdcage Veil
$50 Scalloped lace birdcage veil
Let's not look at the trashy makeup and hair on this model and instead focus on the veil and how interesting it can be to have lace on your face (RHYME)

Lace BIRDCAGE VEIL, Vintage Style Birdcage Veil. Bridal FASCINATOR.
$72 Vintage lace bridal veil
I like the little floral ribbons on this bandeau style veil. I think it looks casual and relaxed and a little hippie-ish.

Bandeau Birdcage Blusher Veil with Lace, Bridal Birdcage Veil by VelvetTeacup
$36 Bandeau birdcage veil with lace
This wide netting paired with one lace embellishment is simple and pretty.

Bridal Veil--Blusher in Tulle and Vintage Lace
$55 Bridal blusher with lace
You have to be careful in your lace placement though otherwise it can look like you sneezed it out.

Gatsby Style Bridal Wedding Veil French Net Cage Blusher with Lace Accent
$49 Bridal lace and birdcage veil
This one is very nicely positioned and the lace is really pretty.

BRIDAL VEIL  flower Beaded Lace Wedding Veil, Tulle Birdcage Veil, veil tulle, Short Veil ,Blusher Veil,Blusher Birdcage Veil
$100 Bridal veil flower blusher
This is a good design too. I guess I like the ones with one prominent lace piece on the veil.

Lace Birdcage Veil / Vintage Inspired Veil. Eloise
$58 Eloise Vintage inspired lace birdcage veil
On this veil, the lace travels back beyond the veil into the hair which I think is a nice effect and I might try to copy if I can.

Bridal Birdcage Veil Blusher with Alencon Lace, Bead, and Sequin Fascinator - "Marcia"
$60 Marcia Alencon lace veil
Similar to the one above, but with a different style of lace.

Vintage-inspired double layered birdcage veil with lace, pearl beading, french veiling and tulle
$70 Double layer lace blusher veil
I like the mesh over the birdcage fabric on this veil, it gives a nice hazy effect.

White Wedding Flower Headband with Birdcage Veil (Detachable), Hair Accessory, Fascinator, feathers and crystals
$66 White flower headband with detachable veil
I like the flowers and the pearl spray that the seller has attached to the lace and veil.

Birdcage Veil, Bird Cage Veil, Lace Bandeau Veil with pearls, French Netting Veil, Retro, Vintage Style Veil, ivory, white
$86 French netting and pearls bandeau veil
A good example of how nice and clean looking it can be if you cut around your lace embellishment instead of keeping the tulle.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birthday presents from Sephora

My birthday is coming up (June 13th!) so I was just looking around Sephora to see what some nice presents to buy myself might be.

$75 Sephora Favorites make up kit ($179 value)
This kit comes with 10 products that look full size or almost full size.
The only one I've tried so far is the Nars blush, which I love. I could use the second in my travel makeup bag, or I could be generous and give it to someone.
 I'm most curious about the Josie Maran oil, the Benefit mascara and the Stila liner.
Here is what the kit includes:
- 0.035 oz Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
- 0.06 oz Sephora Collection Microsmooth Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Black Light
- 0.16 oz NARS Blush in Orgasm
- 0.5 oz Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
- 0.5 oz Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
- 0.33 oz Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
- 0.3 oz Benefit They're Real! Mascara
- 0.15 oz BUXOM Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Sandy
- 0.016 oz Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
- 0.33 oz Kat Von D Saint Eau de Parfum Rollerball

$72 for 2.5oz AnnaSui Flight of Fancy eau de toilette
I tried this perfume about 4 years ago when it was at Urban Outfitters and I really loved it but couldn't commit.
Since then I've been stalking it and thinking I might one day buy it.
I can even forgive that the name of the perfume is written in Papyrus, the most overused of fonts. 
It smells very light and floral but complex.
Sephora says it has notes of: Lychee, Java Lemon, Yuzu, Rose Blossom, Star Magnolia, Purple Rain Freesia, Amber Crystals, Skin Musk, White Woods.

$30 Sun Safety Kit ($210 value)
This comes with so much stuff! Mostly in travel sizes, and mostly sunblock, but also some makeup and bb creams. It's sold out now, but you can sign up to be notified when it comes back in stock to get it.
The set comes with:
- 0.03 oz bareMinerals® Original Mineral Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 25
- bareMinerals® Mini Flawless Application Brush
- 0.5 oz Boscia® Self-Defense Antioxidant Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- 0.3 oz Clarins UV Plus HP Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 40
- 0.25 oz Dr. Brandt® Signature Flexitone® BB Cream SPF 30
- 1 Towelette Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare™ Alpha Beta® Glow Pad™
- 0.5 oz Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40
- 0.5 oz LancĂ´me Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream
- 0.5 oz L'Occitane Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 20
- 0.16 oz Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF 20
- 0.5 oz Ole Henriksen Protect the Truth SPF 50+
- 0.5 oz Origins A Perfect World™ SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea
- 0.5 oz Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skincare Max Sheer Day Moisture Defense® Lotion SPF 30
- 0.169 oz Sephora Collection Age Defy Moisture Cream SPF 15 Sunscreen
- 0.64 oz Ultimate Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
- 0.25 oz Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20 with Dermaxyl™ Complex
- 1.69 oz St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion
- 0.5 oz Tarte Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Self Tanner
- 0.14 oz Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder with Real Cocoa
- Cosmetic bag

E's bday is also coming up and I am looking at this for him (surprise ruined).

$45 Sephora Favorites Leading Man Fragrance collection ($105 value)
This comes with 4 colognes and a face wash for men.
E already likes the John Varvatos cologne, so I'm thinking he would probably like the others in this set.
The Varvatos one is nice and woodsy but isn't one of the scents that make me swoon. Maybe one of the others will be?
I know I really like Issey Miyake for men, but I think E doesn't like how floral it is.
This set has:
- 0.17 oz Bvlgari Man Extreme
- 0.16 oz Gucci Guilty Pour Homme
- 0.25 oz John Varvatos John Varvatos
- 0.17 oz Paco Rabanne 1 Million
- Bonus 0.5 oz Clinique Skin Supplies For Men Face Scrub

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rent the Runway dresses under $100 to wear to a wedding

Shout out to Kate for this idea!
My wedding is coming up in July and people have been asking me what to wear.
Instead of giving general guidelines like no white and semi-formal, I can just pick out what I want everyone to wear instead.

Let's imagine that no one wants to spend more than $100 on renting a dress for my wedding.

And let's stick to the no white (and no champagne or silver or close to white) and no black rules, and rule out most patterns as well since I like solids better.
My dream is that my guests will look like a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Remember, July = HOT so lets go with short but not mini, and nothing too heavy.

Here are my picks:

$75 ML Monique Lhullier Even After Dress rental
It's a pretty summer yellow and a deep V neck that manages not to be too revealing and lets you wear a bra. The scalloped lace on the bottom is sweet.

$65 Trina Turk Kelly to my Green dress rental
The sleek lines of this dress would look great on a sporty figure or someone with wider shoulders. The A line skirt hides hips too. The keyhole neck is a cute detail that allows your chest to breathe a little but doesn't interfere with bra lines.

$65 Badgley Mischka Green Royal Standard dress rentalThis dress is a universally flattering shape, with the gathered waist and V neck. The color is a pretty teal that would look good on any skin tone, too.

$50 Lilly Pulitzer Flowers of Venice dress rental
I am usually not a fan of floral prints OR strapless dresses, but this dress somehow combines both and remains totally cute.

$50 Tibi Coral Paradise dress rental
This dress is fluttery and light looking, perfect for a hot day. The light coral color looks good on both blondes and brunettes.

$90 Theia Hybrid Rose Tea dress rental
The wide portrait collar is great for ladies with larger busts, and creates a very nice hourglass shape with the nipped in waist and the full skirt.

$75 David Meister Lady in Red dress rental
The right kind of sexy!

$50 Trina Turk Purple Bow Shoulder dress rental
This pretty one shoulder dress is nice because one whole arm and armpit are free to sweat away in the heat. Actually this dress would look great on Kate so let's forget I was talking about armpits.

$75 Badgley Mischka Midnight Glamour dress rental
The navy blue and sequins on this dress are very elegant. I think this dress could be a winner for a ton of different occasions.

$75 Nicole Miller Do the Dance dress rental
Lacy and swingy, with cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline. Cute and pretty.

And now lets look at some dresses that I DO NOT want you to wear to my wedding:

It's like you barfed ruffles down the front and then threw in a heinous pattern to boot.

No, this is not a funeral where you are trying to pick up the son of the deceased.
Take your mourning sexy style elsewhere.

Similarly, this will not be a street corner event, even though the ceremony will be outdoors. It will be by a lake, not the freeway.

This just makes me want to see that other leg. Whatchya hiding under there, Heather Mills?

Thanks, but I'll wear the wedding dress please.
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