Monday, March 22, 2010

Prison fashion

Who said inmates can't rock pearl studs and golden handbags?! The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Center at Nassau County Correctional Facility just got a little bit more ritzy!

More jail talk right here. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I am back - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Maybe.

So... my last post back in January was about the tragical loss (and much less tragical regrowth) of a couple of my eyelashes. Well, how's almost knocking out a couple of your teeth, as a comparison?! That's what's been the main item on my agenda with lately, not to mention NYFW a couple of weeks ago, which was also keeping me busy to some extent. This is not an entirely bad coincidence, though, as this is for sure the time when you want to be as skinny as possible - not exactly a problem, given the foods I am currently limited to eating.

I am on my way out to Brooklyn Heights to do yet another day on Gossip Girl, so this post will be nothing but a brief announcement that I have now returned to blogging on a more regular basis, in between visiting my dentist, popping painkillers and working, working, working. Not to mention eyeing some goodies on Madison Ave, that I plan to acquire as soon as the more substantial paychecks start rolling in again....

Last but not least: like my fuzzy vest in the picture? Support rural craftsmen of Himalaya, Nepal, and get your own at Nirvanna. :)

... and "see" all of you soon - if anyone's still reading, that is.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't try this at home!

I am as far from being a makeup junkie as one could possibly be. I am all about slathering on moisturizer and eye lotion after my AM shower, running a comb through my damp hair and moving on to something I find much more interesting and am willing to spend hours on, if need be - that would be picking out my wardrobe, shoes and accessories for the day. Because really, if you have good skin and look decent overall without artificial help, then why bother with shadows, foundation, powder and all that jazz?

I'm sure you all can hear that I am not very self-critical... let's just leave it at that! However, as much as I prefer the au naturel look, I do have one guilty pleasure: eyelashes. The darker, the thicker and the longer, the better in my book. Hence, there should be no surprise that Twiggy (collage below), Jean Shrimpton (pictured above: for Bazaar in the 60s), Edie Sedgwick and their likes are my lash icons forever and ever... and that I consume mascara like a fat kid scarves down McDonald's.

I have favorites for every price segment and know exactly what to pick up regardless of whether I'm shopping at Bloomingdale's, Sephora or Duane Reade - I usually reach for the FiberWig or DiorShow, but I have tried a good couple of budget options with decent results too. However, I don't care much for what seems to be everyone else's cheapo favorite: Maybelline Great Lash. I feel like most of it always ends up underneath my eyes before the day is even half-way over... not exactly the look I am going for. Eventually, though, a makeup artist delivered the painful explanation as to why this under-eye smudging kept happening: my lashes are too short and hence the mascara comes off gradually every time I blink. Really....? And I thought it was because Great Lash is a cheap-ass drug store mascara that should not be expected to last throughout the day without a sufficient amount of clean-ups and touch-ups? My bad!

Either way, short lashes are better than no lashes, right? Imagine the trauma I experienced back in October, when I was dumb and lazy enough to make an attempt at waxing my eyebrows at home (it was raining and I didn't want to walk half a block to the nearest spa!).... and some of the wax accidentally dripped down on guess what. Never mind that basically all of my left brow mistakenly came off (I used those idiotic strips that you put on top of the brow to get your desired shape, and the wax kept running down on the inside of the strip) - what really made me freak out was losing half a row of eyelashes! Can you spell p-a-n-i-c?

Needless to say, during the weeks that followed, I was hiding 24/7 behind my bangs and sunglasses, and did absolutely no other work than movie/TV background: no castings/auditions are required for those jobs, and very often you can get away with doing your own makeup. Also, I was obsessively applying one of those Latisse knock-offs that you can get online for cheap... and to my surprise, it turned out to be money and effort well spent. By Thanksgiving most of my lashes were back to an acceptable length, and way before Christmas, they had grown into a fringe that was putting Bambi as well as Mary Quant to shame. Now, about two months later, I can't even sit down in a makeup chair without having the artist compliment me on my long, dark lashes - kind of a big change from a couple of months ago, when they used to pull the falsies out of their kits first thing as they saw me walk in. Who would have thought?! Let alone this new, lashy look of mine is all contingent on my addiction to a scary growth serum, the ingredients of which will probably kill me or at least make me blind long before retirement. Oh well... until then, I will enjoy the benefits of achieving a perfectly doe-eyed Twiggy look using not much more than a couple of coats of Maybelline Great Lash - no more smudging, and no more pricey FiberWig!

To conclude, you would think all this suffering should have taught me the hard way that DIY beautification is not for amateurs like myself. Well, not at all - I just took a stab at dyeing my hair at home in the sink last weekend.... with disastrous results that required a professional color cleanse, a new single-process dye job and a set of highlights to somewhat recreate the color I had in the first place. No further comments! Also, by the way, I still keep that jar of microwaveable eyebrow wax in the bathroom cabinet. You never know....

Everyone, do tell me about your DIY hair/skin/eyebrow screw-ups.... I can't be the only one who's guilty of doing them once in a while, right?

Other pictures in this post: Anja Rubik for Vogue Paris 11/2009; Gina Brooke mink diamond-adorned falsies; Vogue Australia spread 10/2009.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Birthday blog

I hate not to write a proper blog after having been slacking for almost a week - but it's my birthday today (thanks so much for all the congratulations on the last post!), so I believe I deserve to cheat. :) Also, I am going to be naughty and make an exception from my self-imposed rule to never, ever post modeling pictures of myself on my blog. Sorry!

These edits from a recent shoot came back today (great gift, right?!) and I figured it's been a while since I featured gloves, statement jewelry, cage heels and shredded tights on here, all in the same entry... so I could not resist grabbing the opportunity. New regular post tomorrow or Friday, depending on my work situation. Until then - enjoy!

Photography, hair and makeup by Stephanie Sevilla.
Wardrobe, shoes and accessories by Lee Stalcup.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Accessory Craze

Everyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about accessories. You might not believe it, but not even on a lazy Sunday spent indoors with my boyfriend and puppy will I ever skip the opportunity to pick out the perfect earrings, scarf and bracelet to go with my otherwise plain skinny jeans, cashmere sweater and riding boots (yes, I wear shoes indoors.... my argument is that the dog brings in so much dirt anyway that it does not matter). I don't know how many times I've seen my BF roll his eyes at me as we're on the way out, sort-of-remarking: "you're wearing your diamonds to the DINER?".

Oh yes, I certainly am - why?

Splurging on accessories is a phenomenal way of spoiling yourself with a nice purchase if you're on a budget, or (as in my case) if your significant other has put a shopping ban on you (!). Not only does a given amount of money often give you a little more bang for the buck when spent on accessories rather than fashion (at least if you're willing to scour Etsy and local designer markets, as I often do myself), but it is also so much easier to hide a little jewelry box in your purse when you get back home to your hubby, as opposed to a big showy shopping bag with a Chanel or Malandrino logo.... enough said.

I would like to take the opportunity to share some of my recent jewelry crushes! Please note that I have not accepted money, gifts or any kind of bribes to endorse any of the designers below... I just adore their work and felt like spreading some love.

Last week I went to Raleigh (more about my trip here) to work on a fashion shoot, and our stylist had borrowed tons and tons of jewelry from local designer Kerry Catherine. Now I realize it does not make sense at all to plug a boutique that I cannot even find the website for, but I was so blown away with her beautiful pieces, not to mention grateful that we got to use them for our shoot, that I just had to give her a shout-out. Kerry Catherine Jewelry is located on 1809 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC.... if you're ever around (storefront to the left)! You won't be disappointed.

Another designer whom I'm a big fan of is Alex Keller. Alex recycles vintage jewelry into unique one-of-a-kind pieces and she does it extremely well. The necklace in the image to the right has quickly become one of my signature pieces and I would probably purchase Alex's whole collection if I could find a sneaky way to hide it from my ever-suspicious boyfriend. :)

Furthermore, as some of you might know, I am a die-hard equestrian. My parents gave me my first (due to a few "incidents", it had one or two successors throughout the years) golden horse-pendant necklace on my ninth birthday, and needless to say it was one of my most loved belongings for many, many years. Sadly however, I have no idea of its whereabouts these days - I might have left it back home overseas when I moved to New York a couple of years ago (in 2003, more exactly). So what gives? A horse loving girl without a proper piece of horsie jewelry is a sad girl - but fortunately, my birthday is coming up next week, so I simply took things in my own hands and ordered these cute little white gold horseshoe studs (left) from LuShae. Let's hope they'll bring me lots of good luck in 2010!

Last but not least, speaking of my birthday, I got an email from Soixante Neuf the other day, that made me open my eyes a little wider. Apparently, us January birthday girls get 25 % off all of their jewelry! Now, I'm thinking this message should rather have been sent to my family and friends, especially since I am not supposed to spend a single dime on fashion or accessories until I have proven to my boyfriend that I know how to be financially responsible and not behave like a recklessly spoiled, rich bitch.... but what to do, what to do? If any of you need my home address for shipping (cough, cough), please by all means, let me know! I like the Lion Ring, the Peace Necklace and the Wavy Two-Tone Cuff, in case you need "inspiration".... ;)

Also, be sure to check out my other blog, New York City Snippets! No fashion, but lots of candid NYC footage - and, not to mention, daily updates!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Vanity inches?

One thing I have a hard time wrapping my head around is certain women's obsession with clothing sizes. Being able to announce to the whole world that you are "a size 2" seems to be the ultimate proof of success in terms of beauty, fitness and self-control among those for whom a random number on a tag carries more weight (no pun intended) than actual measurements.... not to mention than your mirror image.

Let me get this straight. There is:

1. Size 2, height 5 ft.
2. Size 2, height 6 ft.
3. Designer garment size 2.
4. GAP / Old Navy / Strawberry etc size 2.
5. Athletic size 2.
6. Muffin top size 2.
7. Swimsuit model size 2.
8. Cellulite size 2.
9. Pear-shaped size 2.
10. Bean pole size 2.
11. Hourglass size 2.
12. Sturdy size 2.

See my point?! Height, shape, body composition and the actual fit of a garment are what matters, not a number on a tag that no-one ever sees anyway! This goes for all clothing sizes, by the way! Nevertheless, women seem to be continuously fascinated with being a size 0, 2, 4, 6... take your pick. And never missing out on a chance to capitalize on customers' insecurity, retailers have adapted (as we all know) by simply increasing the dimensions of nominal clothing sizes, thus providing instant gratification to ladies who want to appear slimmer but won't lay off the cupcakes.

This is the main reason why shopping online sucks so bad - I always factor in a couple of trips back and forth to UPS (which is all the way in no man's land on the Hudson, north of TriBeCa, west of SoHo and south of the West Village... not exactly a dream location for those of us who live crosstown) to receive and return, and receive and return until I finally get the size of my purchase right. Fortunately, most respectable online boutiques provide sizing charts, meaning your order is fail-proof as long as you know your bust, waist and hip (that would be seat, and not hip bone) measurements... and do I know mine, or what? Thanks to my job, I could probably recite them in my sleep.

Hence, I figured ordering my latest Lilly Pulitzer sale find would be painless and easy (right: Lilly Pulitzer Rawley beaded linen dress with scalloped hem). According to the size chart, a 2 corresponded to measurements 32-25-35 and a 4 to 33.5-26-36. Realizing the smaller size would probably make me look like a stuffed sausage (my numbers are 33.5-25.5-35.5), I went ahead and ordered a 4. Big mistake! When said garment arrived, I found myself literally swimming in it. In fact, after I'd suffered through a couple of returns back and forth as well as a lot of yapping on the phone with customer service, my boyfriend now says even the 2 looks too roomy for my frame (and remember I am 5'9"... if the frock is big on me, it must fit a shorter girl with my measurements like a tent!). Well, I suppose that was bound to happen, considering all the crosstown walking I was forced to do, in order to ship and receive from UPS - it probably made me shed enough weight to fit into a 0! Too bad that size was sold out... and now I can definitely see why.

But seriously? I am familiar with vanity sizes.... but vanity inches? Is this a new sneaky trick used by clothing manufacturers to flatter us and make us believe we are skinnier than the scale and measuring tape are telling us? Inflation of inches rather than clothing sizes?! If so, I hope they stop their experiment ASAP because I found it mad annoying!

To wrap up before this gets too long: on another note, if anyone who's been following my blog for a while is wondering what a less-is-more maniac like yours truly was thinking buying a crazy hot pink, covered-in-beads dress like this one... well, let's just say it's not exactly Lady Gaga garb, so I think I'll be fine! I'm planning to wear it with an old South Sea pearl bracelet, this cute vintage purse from Tillery (left) and some sort of preppy footwear that I will decide on once it gets warmer outside. The Coral Me Crazy flat in oyster by Lilly Pulitzer (right) is indeed a hot candidate... but then, of course, I would have to make my purchase in an actual boutique, rather than online. Or else, the UPS guys will start thinking I have a serious crush on them.

P.S. 1) Let's not make the comment field into an "I'm a size this and that" contest... I was just bringing up my measurements to illustrate how retarded the size hysteria has become, and how little this particular store's sizing chart did for me. Thanks and love you all, xoxoxo.

P.S. 2) A certain female celebrity inspired this post... but I'm going to behave like a lady and not mention her name. :)
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