Today I carved out some time to attend the Sephora’s Spring VIB Rouge private sopping event. Basically, they opened the store early for VIB Rouge members + a friend to shop the whole store at 15% off. There were treats, free makeup bags, tons of samples, and amazing service.
Discounts on most Sephora products are pretty rare, so I was ready to stock up on staples and explore. My friend Beth came with me and we walked up and down every aisle.
The highlight of the trip was when we spent a good 20 minutes talking with Kvan, the master perfume guy. He showed us some amazing fragrances we would not have found on our own. And since fragrance can be a big purchase ($100+ in many cases), he sent us home with samples to make sure we like them. My plan is to wear the perfume samples for a few days then go back and buy while they’re still on sale.
If you’re a VIB, the 15% off coupon is good as many times as you want until April 11.
New Years is a good time to refresh your lingerie collection. Elastic wears out so if you’re on the tightest hooks or your straps fall down, it’s probably time to get a new bra.
I’m planning a series of posts on some great, new bras you’ve got to try.
First up, IT’S SEMI ANNUAL SALE AT JOURNELLE!!! My absolutely favorite online source for luxury lingerie just began their twice yearly clearance. Buy early to get the best selection of sizes from brands like Stella McCartney, Huit, Marlies Dekkers and more. Or roll the dice; usually the longer the sale goes on the lower the prices drop.
Today I met one of my longtime fashion icons: Ms. Dita Von Teese!
There’s an amazing custom corset store here in San Francisco called Dark Garden. Dita has been a longtime customer of theirs (she was on the cover of Playboy wearing one of their corsets!), and today she did an appearance at the store to launch the availability of her perfumes and Von Follies lingerie line.
Everyone who was there to see her was dressed up. Many wore 1940s outfits and hair, red lips as far as the eye could see, plus a few goths and at least one woman in electrical tape pasties and a bondage rope bustier. There were models wearing Von Follies ensembles, and the staff at the store always wear corsets. All of the men in the photo below were part of Dita’s staff as photographers or bouncers.
I arrived a healthy 45 minutes before the start time to try on my “mandatory” purchase, making me 12th in line to meet the “Queen of Burlesque.” About an hour later, I got to introduce myself to Ms. Dita, shake her hand, get her autograph, and take a few pictures. It was over really quickly.
I’ve seen Dita perform live, but meeting her in person, I really got a sense for how small she is. She is allegedly 5′ 5″ but that’s impossible. Even in her sky-high Louboutins, I towered over her. I’m 5′ 6″, and to be fair I was wearing some serious heels too, but she cannot be 5′ 5″. I was surprised by how thin she was and that her skin was fair and flawless, aside from her beauty mark.
I’m a big fan of Dita because she always looks gorgeous and classy. She’s confident, sexy, and a total BOSS. I wish I could have actually talked to her to see what she’s like as a person, but perhaps I’ll get the chance for that some other time.
I only wish I had reapplied my lip gloss before the photos!
PS: Yes, she was wearing her nails like this.
This may shock you to know, but I have too many clothes. As in, three large closets’ worth and spilling into a fourth. When I became pregnant last year, I couldn’t stand the constant state of discovering my clothes were too tight, so I whisked everything fitted or clingy down to the basement closet. The bigger I got, the more I whisked, and the more I bought, all the way up to 9 months and and all the way back down, which led me to my multiple-closet predicament. Finally, a few weeks ago, with the baby nearing his first birthday, I decided my body was “close enough” to venture back through the annuls of my personal fashion history. I am now down to two closets (reasonable, right? right?!) and ready to advise you on how to edit, edit, edit to achieve closet perfection.
The weekend after Christmas is a perfect time to tackle this chore. Work is slow, you have new stuff you want to make room for, and you can donate just in time to get a tax deduction for this year. The first step is understanding the goal: you want to be able to walk into your closet and know that anything you put on will work. Think how much time and energy this will save! How much clawing of walls and gnashing of teeth you will avoid!
In order to achieve such closet nirvana, clothes that stay in must meet the following criteria: 1) it must fit (not “in 5 pounds” fit, really fit), 2) it must be seasonally appropriate, 3) it must be age and life-stage appropriate, and 4) you must feel comfortable, or at least fabulous, when wearing it. You do not have to immediately get rid of everything else, but it does have to move OUT of the bedroom closet. You are allowed to keep the following items in storage: 1) things that are going to fit in 5 pounds IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY LOSING WEIGHT, 2) things that meet all the other criteria but are not seasonally or location appropriate (it is totally cool to maintain a few “only in Vegas frocks”). As for what MUST GO: 1) anything you’ve had for longer than 5 years, unless you actually wear it regularly or it has some type of major sentimental value, 2) anything that is no longer age- or stage-appropriate (see: you’ve had it for longer than 5 years), 3) anything that still has the tag on it that you haven’t worn in a year (we all have our delusional moments), 4) anything that is torn, stained, or otherwise not reflective of your obvious fabulousity, and 5) anything that is a size “for one brief shining moment in my adult life, I got down to this size and celebrated by buying a fuckload of cute clothes that I haven’t fit into since”….let’s just call that a size 4 (hypothetically speaking, of course). If you have the time and energy to allocate to it, make a separate “consignment” pile for things that are designer labels and still in nice condition – might as well make some money back for those. Everything else goes to Goodwill.
Now I know you, and I know that even after applying all of the rules I’ve just laid out, you will still be standing there, holding up each thing on it’s hanger, hemming and hawing about whether you can really let it go, because after all, it will be perfect if you ever get invited to a 3 pm beach wedding in Fiji during the autumn. NO. You are never going to get invited to that exact event, and if you do, you will be perfectly happy to go and buy something new. If you find yourself going down this mental path and justifying holding on to things that break the rules, and you will, just follow the sage closet-cleaning and life advice of my Aunt Joyce, and repeat to yourself the following mantra: “be generous”. Be generous, jerk. You think the people poppin’ tags at Goodwill only want your torn-up, stained, worn-within-an-inch-of-its-life refuge? Trade secret: that stuff gets thrown away, straight away, as soon as you donate it. Be generous. That sweater that you haven’t worn for the past 3 years might make somebody very happy, and warm. Think about that happy warm person, and let it go. And if even that fails, close your eyes and imagine yourself starring in an episode of Hoarders. That oughtta do it.
Happy Closet Cleaning!
For our second gift guide, the midi ring! Midi rings are one knuckle higher than a traditional ring and they make for a really cool look (especially if you’re wearing fab nail art). This trend is so hot that there are quite a few options at different price points.
Under $5 – Forever21
Looking for a stocking stuffer version? Forever 21 has several midi rings under $5. This one is 3 bucks. It’s a great way to give the style a try before you upgrade to something that will last a bit longer.
Under $25 – Baublebar
For more choices and a slightly more longevity, look at Baublebar. They have many styles under $25, like this chevron design. More choices here.
Under $50 – Erica Weiner
Looking for a midi ring that won’t turn your finger green? I love these sterling silver ($35) and rose or yellow gold fill ($50) infinity midi rings from my favorite jewelry store Erica Weiner. Bonus: this tether ring for $95 is sexy in a bondage kind of way.
I sometimes do a little personal shopping for friends, and this year I’m publishing my recommendations to you, dear reader, as gift guides.
In our first edition, the indie designer work bag! Each of these works with a 15″ laptop, and all bring tons of style without obnoxious labels. Also, this is a backpack free zone.
Under $100: Herschel Supply Co. Harvest Tote $79.99
This is a simple bag with a casual, hipster look. Great for commuting to your start up job.
Under $300: Dagne Dover Tote $245
Good sized bag with tons of pockets to organize everything you need to carry. It’s even got a dedicated lipgloss pocket, perfect for that Haughty Perfect Finish lip gloss you want to get in your stocking. Some colors are selling out, so move quickly!
Under $1000: Time’s Arrow Jo $765
I cannot stop salivating over this bag. It’s glamorous and refined without looking stuffy because it has a hint of hipster appeal. The designer is new and this is what I would buy for myself if given an unlimited budget. Love the printed version too!
Loving these more natural feeling nails. Just a thin, flexible gel coating and lots of art. I put the full size image in the post this time because the details on today’s nails are awesome.
- Gold foil or studs over “Bella’s Vampire” gel polish
- Tortoise shell: nude gel + gold and brown foil, coated with a thin layer of black gel polish, followed by bits of brown gel polish, followed by dots of clear gel top coat. Still incredibly thin and oh so fabulous
- Zig-zags in gold, bronzy-brown, Bella’s Vampire, and nude
- Awesome spikey bracelet from ASOS
Ooh, a new reoccurring feature! Ashley and I both travel a bunch, so when we go somewhere, we’ll share our secrets to fitting in…or standing out.
First up: Sin City.
Vegas is all about excess and hedonism. I love to go there mainly because I get to wear clothes that I can’t wear anywhere else (especially in conservative DC). You can wear anything and nobody will bat an eye in Vegas. And I mean AN.Y.THING. Looks range from t-shirts and flip-flops to full-on showgirl. The only common theme: do you.
The first thing I always do when I get to wherever I’m staying is to go get my hair blown out in the salon. Not only does this provide a foundation for all of the trip’s future fabulousity, but it’s a great way to kill an hour while you’re waiting for them to let you into your room. Then, I take a nap. It’s best to try to make yourself as nocturnal as possible for the duration of your trip, and the ensuing bedhead only makes the blowout that much more amazing. Upon waking, I bedeck myself and my friend(s) with fake eyelashes – the individual ones last through a long weekend (unless you’re Ashley and insist on scrubbing your eye sockets during every shower). From there, I throw on something I would NEVER wear in real life. This is generally some combination of very short, very tight, sparkly, revealing, completely age inappropriate, and preferably all of the above. The goal is to go 3 to 4 days without having anyone refer to me as or even remember that I am “a mom”. My girls and I like to maximize our assets. Once we are out and about, the name of the game is “make new friends”. I’m not a big gambler (the odds are not ever in your favor), but if you are, try to remember to walk away up. I’d rather hand over all of my hard-earned money to the casinos in a more transparent and transactional way: bottle service at da club.
I always keep my wedding ring on. Taking off your wedding ring is shady. Don’t be shady. Oh, the stories I could tell you from 10 years of trips to Vegas. But of course I won’t, because that breaks the cardinal rule and oh-so-clever tourism slogan: What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas. Keep this rule whether you are traveling with your girlfriends or your man, and you will maintain frequent travel companions. Oh, and please, for the love of God, never, ever bring your kids to Vegas. A) the whole place is one giant smoke cloud. What kind of parent are you? B) There are signs on the street in broad daylight that say “GIRLS DIRECT TO YOU! 24 HOURS!”. What kind of parent are you? C) I have come to Vegas to escape my kids. I don’t want to see yours everywhere. What kind of fellow parent are you? Lastly, there are no diets in Vegas. Do not count calories until the day after you’ve landed at home, because if you quantified how much you actually just drank, you’d lose your mind. Oh yeah, and never stay on the strip for more than 5 days (including travel days). You might die.
What are your favorite things to do, places to go, food to eat, and outfits to rock in Las Vegas? Leave us some comment love!
Sorry ladies (and gents), but I’ve gone and gotten myself a real job, which means that I can no longer find an hour in the middle of every Tuesday to make a fool of myself on camera for your viewing pleasure.
Tell you what, though…if you have any special requests, let me know, and I will do my best to make it happen (on the weekend).
This week I got pair of the most wonderful ballet flats in the world. They are lined with faux fur and feel like house slippers when you put them on. But they are adorable suede ballet flats and therefore socially acceptable to wear in public! Bloch (pronounced like “block”) are the same people who made almost every pair of dance shoes I owned back in the day. They package them like real ballet shoes too. Be prepared to see me in them all fall/winter.
Need a pair too? Gilt still has the Bloch Mischa flat in two colors for $99.