Monday, July 25, 2011

Poppy King for J. Crew!

via J Crew

So excited to see the geniuses at J. Crew have teamed with Poppy King to produce a version of the super-covetable orange red lipstick we've all lusted after on their models!  I ordered a tube as soon as I heard about it.  Even got on the phone after my computer wasn't being fast enough!  Poor order guy must have thought I was insane.  It's making its way to me right now.  I even dig the chic black tube.
 P.S. Have you heard about her awesome sounding collaboration with Kate Spade, called Supercalifragilipstick? (no lie). It's a little collection of four seemingly perfect lip colors.  Can't wait to check that out as well.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Summer always brings with it a desire for new sandals, and I haven't found any, other than my trusty Birkenstocks, that I really like.  Is real leather too much to ask for? But I'm kinda feeling these old school Bass Sunjuns.  So uncool they're cool. Or something.

Reading Room

Reading Room at the British Museum

  I haven't been feeling inspired to write about anything lately, the heat of summer is here, making me very lazy.  But a of couple well-used coupons (thanks, Borders!) have brought some much needed inspiration my way.
Two great books or rather, memoirs, that I would recommend to anyone are Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg and Just Kids by Patti Smith.

Homemade Life is a collection of heartfelt stories with recipes from the blogger behind the gorgeous food blog Orangette, and I have to confess to reading bits and pieces of it on my lunch break (a broke girl's gotta do what a broke girl's gotta do) before finding it on the $3.99 table last week and greedily snatching it up before anyone else could get to it.  I was hoping to find some good recipes like she features on her blog, and she delivered that and so much more.  Each chapter is a little vignette from her life, followed up with a recipe from that period, from growing up in Oklahoma  to when she lived on her own in Paris after college, and  meeting her husband. I found myself crying actual tears in public at some parts of it, but it's also quite funny at times.   I loved how she connects food with her loved ones, and how she tells the story of coming into her own through her relationship with cooking.  It's so well-written and original, all the food sounds delicious, and you come out of it feeliing like you've made a new friend.  A new friend who's a really great cook, and aren't those the best kind of friends to have? I was so excited to read that she has a new book, Delancey, coming out in 2013.

So much praise has been heaped on Patti Smith's book Just Kids, all of it totally deserved.  It is just a gorgeous book. I'd been dying to read it for ages and I finally cracked and bought the paperback.  Best move I've made in quite some time.  Devoured the book in a couple days, then went back and read it all over again.  Anyone who ever felt like an outsider, anyone who's a fan of her music, anyone who loves that whole New York in the Sixties and Seventies era, anyone who is trying to find an outlet for their creativity, anyone for that matter, should read this book.  It's a much a love story to youth and the struggle to find oneself as it is the story of her relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe.  The way they found themselves in the middle of such an amazing, creative time surrounded by such great artists is so magical you find yourself agreeing with Patti when she describes it as the universe providing for them.  I can't stop thinking about their story and how bravely she puts it all on the page.

While Patti and Molly couldn't be more different in their approaches, their books are both great inspiration for me in the whole, young(-ish) woman coming of age arena.  Definitely worth checking out.  Read any good books lately?  Always on the lookout for something great to read.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jamie Magazine


During my regular lunchtime perusal of the magazine aisle at Borders, I found myself glued to a copy of Jamie Magazine, the food magazine from British chef Jamie Oliver.  I was really impressed with the magazine, which has an interesting layout, great pictures, cool graphics and fonts, and is printed on that good thick matte paper.  It had a bunch of entertaining foodie articles on a variety of topics, from Italian produce to English ciders, and is just really well done.  Not at all what you'd expect from a "celebrity chef."

I really admire what Jamie Oliver has done to bring awareness to the sorry state of school lunches in England and now America, and I once saw him rather gallantly fend off a paparazzo in Primrose Hill while holding one of his adorable daughters (the guy was awful, anyone would have lost their cool), but having lived in England for a while I'm still not sold on the idea of a Brit telling me how to cook.  In fairness, I haven't brought myself to try any of the recipes, so I should reserve judgment.  I think I'll finally give Jamie a try.  It's definitely worth checking out for a hip, un-stuffy approach to food.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Infinte Variety

via Martha Stewart
There are always a million reasons I can think of that make me want to be in New York at any given time, but the biggest one right now is an exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory by the American Folk Art Museum called Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.  Private collector Joanna Rose has amassed an amazing collection of red and white quilts, and as an 80th birthday gift, her husband arranged for them to be exhibited at the Armory, for six days, going on right now.  The exhibition was featured on the Martha Stewart Show today, and it's amazing.

  There are over 650 quilts, unbelievably with no repeats, exhibited in an ingenious way by a company called Thinc Design.  The way in which they've displayed the hanging spirals of quilts manages to rid them of the stuffy, Grandma-ish air I usually associate with them, and makes them feel strikingly fresh and modern, even though some date from the 1800s.  The vibrant red cloth is made from something called Turkey red dye, which was prized for its colorfastness, and the  unique designs really stand out in the red and white color scheme. 

Some of the quilts are totally op-art and some are totally folksy. They've completely changed my mind about quilts.  I can't get over the creativity and labor that the women who made them put in.  I am incredibly jealous of those in NYC who get to check out such an inspiring collection firsthand.  The rest of us will have to click over to Martha's blog for a better look.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

California Girls

Malibu Beach, via Creative Commons
I've never been to L.A., but decided I would hate it.  I could never be a California Girl.  I'm almost translucently pale, I can't stand the sun, drive as little as humanly possible, and I'm not that big a fan of the beach.  But I do love the smell of the seaside, so this weekend I tested two different perfumes that were both created to represent the same California, beachy lifestyle.  Jennifer Aniston perfume and Royal Apothic City of Angels.

via Sephora
Jennifer Aniston Perfume, obviously Jennifer Aniston's foray into the overcrowded world of celebrity fragrance, is now carried by Sephora and finally made it to my local store.  From hearing about this perfume, I was expecting a really beach-y scent with maybe some hint of suntan oil, something tropical like monoi, and maybe a whiff of salt air, Malibu in a bottle, if you will. What I got was a vaguely familiar hit of white floral, with a jasmine overtone, and a drydown of the Egyptian musk you get in those exotic looking bottles at Whole Foods for six dollars.  Now, I love night-blooming jasmine more than most people, and I actually think that little cheap bottle of Egyptian musk smells really good, but really Jen?  I got none of the beach notes I was hoping for, especially not the promised "smell of wood fires from Jennifer's friend's houses on summer evenings", and I had a nagging supsicion the top notes smelled exactly like something I already owned.

When I got home, I dug up a bottle of Tatiana by Diane Von Furstenberg that I purchased a while ago on a whim off of a sale table at Perfumania for less than $10.  The box says it's a "fresh bouquet of jasmine, gardenia and honeysuckle." They sold me right there. I gave it a spray.  Yup.  There it was, that familiar white floral I smelled in the Jennifer Aniston. but lacking the bottom notes. Tatiana was created in 1975, so maybe Jennifer Aniston liked it when she was younger?  So, in my humble opinion, you could save yourself the money and just get a super-cheap bottle of Tatiana and a bottle of that musk from Whole Foods, layer them, and when someone ask what you're wearing, you can say, "oh, this is just a little something I threw together" and not have the embarrassing experience of having to say you're wearing Jennifer Aniston.

Sephora lists the notes for Jennifer Aniston Perfume as:
Citrus Grove Accord, Rose Water, Jasmine, Violet, Amazon Lily, Musk, Amber, Sandalwood.  A 1.7 oz bottle will set you back $55

via Anthropologie

Royal Apothic City of Angels is carried by Anthropologie, and describes it online as "a seaside breeze of eucalyptus and night-blooming jasmine"  To my nose, this was a much nicer riff on the California beachy jasmine theme.  At first sniff, it's a very natural smelling jasmine solifiore, but then the sharp greenness of the eucalyptus kicks in, tempering the sweet, floral jasmine. It's fairly straightforward, but nicely done.  City of Angels is a must-try for jasmine lovers. The scent is very feminine, but unexpected.

City of Angels is part of Royal Apothic's line of fragrance inspired by urban gardens.  Anthropologie also carries the company's line of room sprays and candles; they're all well done and worth a sniff.  It's a great find for perfume lovers, at $32.  The box is adorable, with the map of London, picture of the Queen, and the little floral bow, and that atomizer is a nice touch.

I'm still looking for my favorite "beachy" perfume, and for my jasmine fix I'll stick to L'Orientaliste Jasmin, which is a heady, true to life night-blooming jasmine with a slightly citrus kick.  It's always great to satisfy some perfume curiousity, though.

Friday, March 25, 2011

DIY Lipcolor

Vogue Daily had a piece on Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila, making lipsticks and glosses in the kitchen with her daughter and friends.  She used mineral pigments, a vitamin E stick, and castor oil, and melted them down in the microwave.  Looks like, good, not-so-clean fun.  Great activity to do at home with a bunch of girls, and you get to customize your own lip product.

The post didn't give many details, but it looks pretty easy.  If the kids can do it, I guess I can.  (Meanwhile, I don't have a cool enough name to hang out with this bunch: Poppy, Wallis, Gray, Esme, Jasper, oh my.)  I was happy to read the little bit of info that she has some upcoming projects, including a collaboration with Opening Ceremony (!)  Will definitely be keeping my eyes open for that one.

I have a bunch of little baggies of mineral color sitting around; samples from ordering mineral makeup.  I just need some little pots and my microwave is going to be very busy. I'm thinking about all sorts of possibilities.  You could add your own essential oils, like mint or lavender, different moisturizers, like jojoba or coconut oil, and mix until you got exactly what your little obsessive heart desired. And think of all the crazy things you could name your finished product.  You could give Mr. Nars  a run for his money in the obscure names department.   I'm getting so excited just thinking about it.  Now, if Jeanine would cough up the secret formula for my dearly departed Stila Natalie lipstick, my happiness would be complete.