August 22, 2008
Hannah Montana It Ain't
Now Playing: Towelhead: A Novel by Alicia Erian
Topic: Book Reviews
Towelhead: A Novel
by Alicia Erian
My review *sigh*
I picked up the book Towelhead: A novel
because I was intrigued by the New York Times' review of the movie directed by Alan Ball (of Six Feet Under
and American Beauty
). I also picked it up, because I'm always interested in how authors' portray the burgeoning sexuality of preteen and teen girls especially now that teenagers seem more sexualized than ever. Towelhead did a good job of exploring 13-year-old Jasria's sexuality. The proof is by how uncomfortable I felt reading this book.
In order to truly understand Jasira's reasoning, one has to remember what it was like to be a teenager. As an adult, I can see the faulty decisions of my adolescence with 20/20 hindsight. Back then, the decisions seemed okay. Towelhead was so uncomfortable because so much of the confused sexual feelings and experimentation was familiar to me.
I couldn't stop reading this book, and completed it in just one day. I wanted to rush to the end to see if this girl would ever get her head on straight. (To say yea or nay would spoil the ending.) Although I could relate to Jasira's sexual naïveté, I did become disgusted by it. Even at 13-years-old, I knew the difference between a "good" touch and a "bad touch" even though I was taught, like Jasira, to be ashamed of even the good touches. But that was probably supposed to be a reflection on Jasira's parents’ lack of parenting. *SIGH*
With all that said, I can't say whether or not I liked the book. It was just too disturbing. Once I get over the shock of it, I'll come back and rate it. View all my reviews.
August 15, 2008
Kate Meet Kiki; Kiki Meet Kate
Now Playing: Katherine Hepburn
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Yesterday, I spent a quiet 15-minutes before work hanging out in the Art, Media, Music and Sports division of my library branch. I came across a book called Looking for Jackie: American Fashion Icons. The oversized analysis of American female icons was published in 1999 and written by Kathleen Craughwell-Varda. Aside from the usual suspects—Jackie Kennedy Onasis, Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, the author also profiles a relatively unknown set of icons like first lady Dolley Madison, the Duchess of Windsor (Bessie Wallis), and Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. It was a fascinating perusal, but I focused mainly on the chapter about Katherine Hepburn. While looking at pictures of the young Ms. Hepburn, I came to a personal fashion realization. I have been trying to emulate the wrong Hepburn!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love Audrey Hepburn. I love her grace, her wit, her beauty, her talent, and her humanitarian efforts. (I also admire her hard-fought journey to become a mother. Like me, she had also suffered multiple miscarriages.) But I will never be able to fill the iconic LBD or white shirt and Capri pants like Audrey. I’m heavy set, a bit short, and without a definable waist. I look (and feel) uncomfortable in dresses, close-fitting tops, and figure-skimming clothes. I prefer outfits that are simple, uncomplicated, loose, and don’t require pantyhose. I lust after heels and ballerina flats, but tend to err on the side of the more supportive oxfords. Although both my husband and I would prefer if I dressed with a bit more flair, I am too set in my ways to do it with confidence. Finally, I’m a child of the 80s. I reminisce fondly of blazers with blue jeans, argyle sweater vests, and men’s neckties as adornments. Take all of those factors, blend them together, and will you come to the realization that I did. Katherine Hepburn should be my style role model.
I saw pictures of her in denim trousers, blouses with ascots, and round-toe flats with ribbon laces the wrapped around her ankles. She wore pretty blouses and flannel slacks, but looked strong and feminine. She was butch, but you never thought she was anything but a woman. Strong, smart, witty, urbane: one of the boys but still all girl. I’m closer to Katherine Hepburn than I previously thought, and I’m not ashamed. I can be fem and never wear a heel again. I can be sexy and not show an inch of leg. I can be me and love it.
Hugs and kisses,
August 9, 2008
Now Playing: Closet Review
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I am complete. Wardrobe-wise, anyway. After my shopping spree at Marshall’s last week, I took mental stock of my fall clothes. (I was going to say my fall professional clothes, but, let’s face it, all I have are middle-of-the-road clothes meant for both my professional and casual life.) There’s no article of clothing, except for the perfect little black shift dress (like the little Dolce & Gabbana to the right), that I need. When the temperature starts to dip, I will not be able to utter the phrase “I have nothing to wear.”
I took stock and here are the numbers.
2-pairs of tan print slacks
2-pairs of black slacks
1-short black skirt
1-long black skirt
1-pair of grey slacks
2-pairs of jeans
1-pair of denim dress slacks
3- white blouses
2- V-neck tunics
2- pullover sweaters (or, as they say in England, jumpers)
2-button up blouses in another color besides white
4-camis, 3 black and 1 pink.
Green tweed Chanel-esque blazer
Standard black blazer, single breasted
Cropped navy blue trench
Cropped-sleeve black swing jacket
I am embarrassed by my bounty of riches. Even my accessories overflow (although they’re rather cheap). I’ve reached a closet nirvana yet I’m sad.
Now that the journey is near its end, I feel a certain sense of loss. Hmmm…. I’m sure there’s something else I could aspire to buy. The fall issues of the fashion mags are coming out as we speak. Fashion gods, I have faith in you! (This orange shift dress might be a hoot to own.)
Brokeback part deux
Now Playing: Brokeback Mountain...again
Topic: Movie Reviews
Today I re-watched Brokeback Mountain today for the first time since my initial viewing nearly two and half years ago. It was refreshing to watch the movie so far removed from the hype of being the “gay cowboy movie.” Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Heath Ledger’s performances all hold up very well. Their best acting moments occur in the movie when they’re not speaking, but portraying their characters’ inner thoughts through facial expressions and body language. The movie takes place during an era where homosexuality, infidelity, or dysfunctional marriages were not talked about openly thus a language for public discourse didn’t exist. Alma Del Mar (Williams), Jack Twist (Gyllenhall) and Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) have no words to express themselves. (If they did, this movie might have become very talkative and lose some of its quiet charm.)
There was some confusion from audiences and critics about the depth of sheep herders’ Ennis and Jack’s love relationship. Their love is never verbalized, and their acts of sex can only be classified as violent, at best. Once you get past the shock/disgust/arousal from the sex scenes and focus on the tender moments between the men, you will see the deep emotional connection they have. There is a scene where the older men realize that their relationship is unraveling and Ennis drives away with Jack staring at the departing truck with longing. While driving away, Ennis remembers a particular affectionate moment on Brokeback Mountain during the beginning of their relationship.
Jack is swaying gently from side-to-side trying to shrug off exhaustion. Ennis comes up behind him, and nuzzles Jack’s ear. Ennis shares a sweet nothing his mother used to say to him when he was sleepy, and proceeds to sing Jack a lullaby. Their bodies relax against each others. End scene. This is an important moment for it is how a tight-lipped Ennis tells Jack he loves him. Ennis doesn’t talk nor does he initiate conversation. It pains him just to say his name, so to reveal such an intimate memory speaks loud volumes. A second and a far removed viewing make these nuances easier to recognize.
The movie is a solid film where the acting raises the quality of the film. I wish there was more physical passion that was less violent and a few more tender peeks into Jack and Ennis’ relationship. It would have made the 20+-year grip they had on each seem more believable.
July 29, 2008
Shopping at Marshall's Makes Me Feel Thin & Rich
Now Playing: Fashion at Marshall's
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I went shopping today with my mother-in-law, and it was not a wholly unpleasant experience. Mom-in-law and I spent some three plus hours perusing the clearance aisles of Marshall's in my husband's Indiana hometown.
It was a truly freeing experience to discount shop for plus-size clothing by brand name designers. I also discovered two pleasant things: My new favorite designer line is Lauren by Ralph Lauren, and that your size can vary widely depending on the designer
I slowly went through the pickings of plus-size clothing, while my mom-in-law power-shopped through the aisles picking out blouses, shorts, dresses and pants for me in record time. (Not to mention, nearly all on sale below $15.) It was like having a personal shopper without the pressure to buy.
For a woman nearly twice my age and at least 40-lbs lighter, she did an excellent job.
One of my favorite pieces included a raw-silk, 3/4-sleeve, shirt-jacket in ruby red by Ralph Lauren
for $20. It was a size 18W and fit the width of my back and the girth of my belly with no problem at all. It is very beautiful. (ed. Because of financial constraints, I had to return beloved shirt.)
There were actually several Ralph Lauren designs I wanted. There was column-neck white sweater with 3/4-sleeves, leather buckles closings on the pocket as well as wooden buttons. I was marked to a clearance price of $40. The 2x was too tight but the the 3X fight perfectly. There was also a beautiful 3/4-sleeve oxford blouses in a royal blue and a lime green color. The coloring was absolutely vibrant. I would have bought them both if it weren't for the obnoxious logo over the left breast. *sigh* I hate logos on clothing. They're so tacky.
My second favorite item was a pair of dark indigo dressy denim slacks with a slight sheen too it.
It is perfect for daytime or nighttime. Very sexy and lengthening. Skims the shape. (I can't wait to wear it with the ruby red shirt and heels.) It was a size 18W (so says the tag on the inside but the tag on the outside says 16W), and it fit like a glove. I tried on a pair of black size 22W pants and they were too tight! (I hate vanity sizing or inconsistent sizing. I envy men whose clothing are sized in inches.) The flat front denim slacks with a bit of spandex was made by Sandro
Finally, my most favorite purchase was a pair of sleeveless geometric print tops by Olivia Paige Woman. When I slipped on the first top by her, I looked at myself in the full-length mirror and said "Wow! This top makes me look great." I was no longer feeling bad about my very pouchy tummy, my white & very unsexy grandma panties, or my unshaved bikini line. This yellow and black, V-neck top was slenderizing and framed my face. I couldn't stop checking myself out. The other top was turquoise blue and lime green with a royal blue collar decorated with matching stones. Very, very sassy! I didn't want to take it off. I wanted to wear it home.
(That shirt matched perfectly to two pairs of walking shorts my mom-in-law picked out but were too tight for me. They barely fit but I wouldn't be able to work all day with that too-tight waistband crushing my belly. My mom-in-law said that it would be an incentive for me to exercise and lose weight. She was very positive that I could do it. I acquiesced and took the shorts to the counter, but I had the cashier take them away while my MIL paid for her purchases. I'd rather buy clothes I can fit now, and buy new clothing when I lose weight rather than staring at two pieces of clothing I can't wear comfortably right now.)So, my trip to Marshall's today taught me some very valuable lessons I want to share:
1. I have no idea how to dress myself prettily or stylishly;
2. I'm still kind of wimpy around my mom-in-law after 13 years;
3. Vanity sizes suck and you have to try on EVERYTHING (No more catalogs for me);
4. Brand names for less is better than shopping at the no-name $10 store;
and 5. I REALLY LOVE SHOPPING!!!
On a side note, Shirley MacLaine is starring as Coco Chanel in a Lifetime miniseries this September. I'm very excited about it. Also, is it me or has Lifetime gotten less cheesy?
July 20, 2008
Ask Me How I Got This Smile on My Face
Now Playing: The Dark Knight
Topic: Movie Reviews
The Dark Knight was a brilliant movie despite being about 15-minutes too long. (I’m not going to complain about the length, because all movies are at least 20-minutes too long nowadays and to complain about it would be a redundant criticism.) The movie was dark, philosophical, fast paced and action packed. Some critics will state that The Dark Knight was too dark or too philosophical for a “funny book” movie. People who say that are not too familiar with the world of comic books, and the alternate realities in which superheroes live. Never confuse a comic book with the bright bang-pow, drink-your-milk and say-your-prayers type of heroes in the Sunday papers’ comic strips. Comic book heroes (and villains) who are brought to life on the big screen come with much depth and baggage that is ripe for exploring.
The Dark Knight explores the yin and yang relationship of the Batman and the Joker. Good versus Evil. Order versus Anarchy. Without the existence (even the theoretical existence) of one, the other cannot exist. The Joker, with his scarred mouth and whacked-out make-up, points this out with glee to Batman. Batman as the vigilante hero has created a villain who elicits as much fear as Batman does hope. The Joker, with his guns and bombs, has thrown the Gotham City into a tailspin. The police, the mobsters, and the everyday folks don’t know how to capture him. Batman and District Attorney Harvey Dent (a scene-stealing Aaron Eckhart) fight to control the chaos through the rules and laws they’ve privately and publicly promised to uphold.
To say anymore would give away too many of the surprising and excellent plot twists. As Heath Ledger’s more-than-excellent Joker keeps pushing the envelope of evil deeds, the audience stays riveted to their chairs and their eyes to the screen. Each time the Joker appears, the audience whoops in disbelief at his mayhem. Oh, shit! Did the Joker just do that? The audience struggles with Christian Bale’s Batman and Harvey Dent’s dilemma of stepping outside the boundaries of their laws to bring down the Joker. (Dent nearly shoots one of the Joker’s goons to get his whereabouts, and the Batman has to restrain himself from killing the Joker with his bare hands.)
The actors all do a very fine job in their roles. Bale is an excellent Bruce Wayne, hamming it up as the millionaire playboy in order to keep is true identity a secret. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a sexy and fiery A.D.A and love interest of both Dent and Wayne. Aaron Eckhart, with his strong jaw and a cartoon superhero’s chin, brings depth to his character’s arc. And of course, there is the late Heath Ledger who is unrecognizable as he is so steeped in his character. He fully embodies the insanity of the Joker making him scarier than Jack Nicholson’s over-the-top cartoonish performance from nearly 20-years-ago. You never look at this Joker and say “Heath does a good Joker.”
Christopher Nolan has made some very fine character movies, Memento and The Prestige, and he does great with the characters in this new Batman franchise. Unfortunately, it is hard to follow the action sequences. You get the idea in theory of what is happening, but you don’t understand what you’re seeing. That is the main flaw of The Dark Knight. Well, that, and the fact that you won’t see anymore face-offs between the Joker and the Batman that is hinted near the climax of the movie.
See this movie. I wouldn't bring any child younger than 12 to this movie.
June 6, 2008
Reading is Fundamental, You Suckas
Now Playing: Tyrell by Coe Booth
Topic: Book Reviews
by Coe Booth
rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a Young Adult librarian, I inwardly (barely) frown upon any teenager's craving for the so-called street/hip-hop/urban fiction that has become a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. These books glorify an opportunisitic, materialistic, sexist, violent, and sometimes criminal world that teens live or wish to live. Lest you think me some suburb-rised cultural elitest, let me set you straight. I'm straight up 'hood born and 'hood raised. I've seen some of these stories close up in real life and there's nothing good about them, so I'm baffled by the embrace of them.
Tyrell, Coe Booth's debut novel, is urban/street/ghetto fiction taken to a higher level. It exposes the ugly side of project-life, hustling, and using sex as a tool. The protagonist, 15-year-old Tyrell, is trying to keep his family and life together as he is trying to escape homelessness. But he is constantly angered and frustrated by a trifling mom, an incarcerated dad, a mistrustful girlfriend, and a needy female pal. Yet, by the end of the story, Tyrell finds light at the end of the tunnel.
The ending doesn't pretend that the rest of Tyrell's life (or his little brother's, mother's, father's or friends') won't be a hard struggle, but it does give hope that Tyrell won't succumb to the vices (emotional and physical) that traps everyone around him. Tyrell is both sad and uplifting without being preachy. It is the perfect realistic fiction for today's teens. View all my reviews.
June 4, 2008
My President Gives Dap
Now Playing: Go Obama
Two Words: CRUSH McCAIN!!!
May 28, 2008
The Joy of Summer Reading
Now Playing: The Wallflower
Topic: Book Reviews
The Wallflower 1: Yamatonadeshiko Shichihenge
by Tomoko Hayakawa
rating: 4 of 5 stars
Blood. Ghosts. Creatures of light! No, this isn’t a vampire-horror graphic novel. This is a wacky story about 4 hot guys with a mission to turn their landlady’s homely neice into a stunner, so they can get free rent. But when the poor thing looks like the girl from the movie The Ring, do the boys even have a chance? You’ll have to read the rest to find out. You’ll be laughing and cheering through out the whole series. Naptime Is the New Happy Hour: And Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down
by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
rating: 4 of 5 stars
This laugh outloud book on how to survive toddlerhood needs to be read by every parent. The advice and anecdotes in this book will have you shelving your mommy-guilt, and feeling good about your parenting skills. It is a quick read, and you can start at any chapter. Warning there is a lot of cursing, but I don't mind it because my cursing quotient has gone up now that I have two little ones.
View all my reviews.
May 11, 2008
On Second Thought
Now Playing: Payless Shoes
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Lately, yours truly had been ragging on Payless Shoe Source quite a bit because they've been featuring so many "upscale" and "specialty" designers that I was unable to find any of my fav traditional Payless designs to fit my feet. I apologize Payless. You still have my heart. With thoughts of economic stimulus and Mother's Day gifts dancing in my head, I spent a full hour trying on sandals and pumps at my local Payless last Wednesday. As cute and as fashion forward as the Abaete, Lela Rose, and Alice + Olivia designed shoes were, I didn't gravitate toward them. I don't know, I'm just not a fan of slippery-soled flats or or patent leather stripper wedges. I was looking for classic, comfy, and cute.
The first pair of shoes that caught my attention was a pair of peep-toe, B&W spectator pumps with a curved and slightly-conical heel that was very reminiscent of what a 40s Hollywood vixen would wear. If I had the opportunity to wear pumps, I would have definitely bought these stunners. (They're on sale at $13! I should have just bought them to wear around the house. Who knows, I still might.)
The second pair of shoes that I found myself bouncing around the store in wear a pair of strappy, wedge black sandals that would carry me through the entire summer. It also came in the less-severe color of navy. I found the navy to be more summery, but I'll probably buy the black because I'm a New York City girl who can never have too many shoes/boots/sandals in the color black. (I know, I know! Black sandals weigh down wispy summer outfits)
(To the left are the sandals in navy.)
The final pair of Payless shoes that I fell in love with was a pair of canvas, sling-back, red wedges with white polka dots. They were very comfortable and I imagined that I could wear them both to work and on the weekends without hurting my feet. The only downside is that I think these American Eagle shoes might be a bit too young for my 35-years. What do you think?
Btw, wasn't Patricia Field supposed to be coming out with a line of shoes with Payless? What happened with that?
Ed Note: Apparently it came and went without me knowing during the Holiday season. http://www.payless.com/PatriciaField/
April 30, 2008
It Can't Hurt Us Any Further, Can It?
I never thought much about recessions, depressions or economic slow downs until I became a working mother, and it became more important to save and keep a full pantry. Within the last six months, the staples on my grocery list have gone up dramatically in price--Milk, bread, frozen vegetables and pasta. Luckily, our semi-vegetarian diet has kept us from being too hurt by the cost of meat. The cost of mass transit has gone up in New York City. The cost of electricity and water has also gone up, which has reflected in my rising rent. Everythiing is on the rise except my paycheck. *sigh* Can we get a new president and stimulate the economy right now, please?
The following was e-mailed to me.
How to get GAS back down to $1.30 per gallon
THIS IS NOT THE 'DON'T BUY' GAS FOR ONE DAY, BUT IT WILL SHOW YOU HOW WE CAN GET GAS BACK DOWN TO $1.30 PER GALLON.
I hear we are going to hit close to $ 4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. The oil companies just laughed at us when we tried to unite to not buy gas for a day because they knew we wouldn't continue to 'hurt' ourselves by continuing it any longer.
Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea, and this idea make much more sense than the 'don't buy gas on a certain day' campaign that was going around last April or May!
It's worth your consideration.
The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, WE CAN DO IT WITHOUT HURTING OURSELVES.
How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas.
But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL.
If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do! Now, don't wimp out on me at this point...keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!
If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $2.00 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.
April 27, 2008
Leave the Girls Alone
Now Playing: Miley Cyrus demi-scandal
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts
The problem with making world-wide super celebrities out of children is that there never is any room for them to make mistakes, and their parental guidance doesn’t come from a place of love place but from a place promoting the brand. It is the companies’, like Disney, fault when child-teen celebrities fall from grace in the eyes of their fans, because they were acting out like all children & teens who transitioning into adulthood do.
If media giants weren’t so busy trying to capture the dollar of every living being within their grasp, there wouldn’t be a market of children and tweens to cater to. There wouldn’t be an audience or consumer-market group to have their innocence or naiveté torn from them when their larger-than-life and age-equivalent hero/heroine makes a huge and public blunder. I’m thinking specifically of High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens’ nude photos; Jamie Lynn Spears pregnancy; and most recently Miley Cyrus’ racy photos in Vanity Fair (shame on Vanity Fair for even proposing what-could-be-perceived as nude photos of a minor) and on her Myspace page.
I think back to some of my own high school follies and cringe. Imagine what it would be like if I were teen celebrity and it was revealed that I once drank beer at 8 a.m. or made out with my best friend’s boyfriend or that once I let my boyfriend fondle my breasts while another guy watched? I would be mortified and probably on my way to the unemployment line or surreptitiously freed from my multi-million contract. I’m embarrassed to reveal these things now and I’m 20-years removed from them. Just imagine how these teen stars must feel when everything they’ve been working hard for is put in jeopardy, because their youthful fallible deeds. I say leave these girls (and it’s always mostly celebrity teen girls who are publicly ridiculed, isn’t it?) alone, and stop forcing them to issue public apologies at every turn for making the irresponsible decisions that only teenagers can make.
April 26, 2008
In Bite Size Bits
Now Playing: Random Fashion Thoughs
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
These 3-inch, lightweight platform shoes are called Dr Scholls Orig. Women's Harmony. All of the women who reviewed it at Famous Footwear site gave these shoes rave reviews for being fashionable and very comfortable. As I look at them, the first words that come into my mind are Crocs for Strippers. Yet, I find them oddly compelling and sexy. Is there actually something comfortable, sexy and slightly slutty that I could wear to work? Maybe I should pony up the $40 to find out.
These shoes were on sale at my local Aerosoles store for the wonderful price of $30. I tried on and fell in love with the blue patent leather pair. These 2"-heel dreams are called Kitty Kap. If it weren't for the fact that I'm on my feet so much during the day, I would definitely buy these. Maybe I should just get a pair to look at and wear around the house while I wash dishes. Unlike all my other experiences with Aerosole, these were stylish and comfortable with arch support.
My final rave of the day is a website I stumbled upon called Splendora. This is my favorite fashion, beauty, and celebrity gossip site that I've come along in awhile. It is up to date and has very kewl slide shows. It is a bitch to sign up to even though it is free. Give it a look, though.
April 22, 2008
Rainbow Bright Lite
Now Playing: Spring 2008 Trend Reviews
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
According to all of the April and May fashion magazines I subscribe to, beauty and fashion trends are all about bright, pop art colors.
I, for one, am all for wearing bright and/or striking colors on my eyes, nails or body. I’ve already come across some treasures. Some are already in my possession, but some I’m seriously coveting. Here are my top 5 bright color picks: 1. Sally Hansen Quick Color Nail Pen in Orange.
It looks dark in the package but comes out a beautifully bright coral orange. Great for pedicures! I decided to splurge and try the nail polish pen. It costs about $8. I was able to do one hand very quickly at my desk at work. (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone.) My nail color runner-up is Sinful Colors nail enamel
in Show Me the Way (833)
which is a wonderful mid-green color with a warm undertone. It is dark in the bottle by quite bright on the nails. 2. The brightest lipstick in my spring collection is the pigment rich Black Radiance Perfect Tone lip color in Purple Passion (5004).
It is more of a bright, iridescent fuchsia
than purple. It is not a color to be worn by the faint of heart. (Black Radiance, Milani, Black Opal and Tropez are low cost beauty products geared towards Black, Latin, and Asian women of color, and are available at nearly every drugstore. If you want high intensity color without paying L’Oreal High Intensity Pigment prices, grab a nail polish, lip gloss, or lipstick from one of these brands.)
3. Now, I haven’t splurged on a pair of new summer shoes yet but I will be visiting Payless soon. (Since they’ve dramatically changed their sizing and I fall in between a size 7 and 7.5, I’ve been hard pressed to buy shoes from
Payless recently.) On my wish list is a pair of peep toe, patent leather, yellow mini-wedge shoes as well as a pair of a metallic silver peep toe sling back on 1” cork wedge.
How cool does that sound? (Ed. Note: Upon further research, those shoes only come in children’s sizes. How embarrassing! Also, how too grown for a little girl?)
3a. Although I love the color yellow and think it would work with my skin tone, I’ve never been brave enough to buy anything in that color.
that I might be willing to carry if the bright canary color doesn’t frighten me. (The same goes for the Isaac Mizrahi patent yellow gladiator sandals.
Well, I’m more inclined to go with the sandals. I don’t mind bringing attention to my toes.)4. While reading the British publication, Eve,
I came across a wonderfully bright eye shadow brand called Barry M. Barry M
carries an array of the most brightly candy-colored cosmetics I have ever seen--Everything from liquid eyeliner to soft eye pencils to the wonderful eye shadow known as Dazzle Dust. I’m personally longing for the Dazzle Dust in Mint Green, Saphire (sic), Purple, and Bright Blue. (At the risk at looking like I’m trying to be 20 years my junior, I wouldn’t mind trying the nail colors in Neon Pink, Bright Red, Electric Blue Glitter, Coral and Cobalt Blue.)
You can purchase products from the website, but it will probably cost you an arm and leg in shipping to the United States. Not to mention, the American dollar is incredibly weak. $1 US = .50 Great Britain Pound (GBP).5. Finally, I’d like to grab a few pairs of bright tights
to pair with a navy or black shift dress from the Avenue
or Jessica London
. I think this trend
could work in the spring before we all go hose-less and again in the fall before we go to a monochromatic gray color palette.
April 20, 2008
If The Bra Fits, Wear It Out the Store
Now Playing: Town Shop
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Every now and then, yours truly, working mom moi, gets sprung from her daily life to go shopping in Manhattan. Just two short weeks ago, moi stimulated the economy of New York City but dropping a Benjamin for two brand new bras. The best thing about getting the new bras was that I finally had a professional bra fitting. Over the last two years, my body has gone through a lot of changes. I dropped thirty-five pounds, got pregnant, gave birth, and regained twenty-five of my lost pounds. Needless to say that yours truly's breasts have been up and down more than Britney Spears' moods. So, after spending the last year cramming and squeezing into ill fitting bras and trying to measure myself to no avail, I decided to splurge on a professional bra fitting.
You can get bra fittings at Victoria's Secret, JC Penney, Macy's or any department store, but the results are iffy. Taking a cue from TLC's What Not to Wear and Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, I took a trip to the world famous Town Shop on the Upper West Side. The bra and shaper boutique was no bigger than my apartment, but was much more stylish and better organized. After standing in the middle of the floor like a deer caught in the headlights, a young fitter came up to me and offered assistance. She led me to a fitting room, told me to take off my top, and asked me what type of bra I wanted. "Under wire and nude," I replied. (A sister needs lift!) She took a peek at the tag of the bra I was wearing, tugged a little on the straps and band, and left.
I was left in the fitting room staring at a floor to ceiling mirror under gentle fluorescent lights. Under those conditions, staring at your body seems like a lifetime rather than five minutes. I cringed then poked, sucked in, and pinched my torso in every possible contortion to appear thinner under the lights. Finally, I sighed, exhaled, and said "This is my body now, and I need to accept it." It helped that I had a nice fitting pair of dark indigo jeans from Target.
The fitter came in with a handful of bras, helped me into most of them, and showed me how to adjust them. She pointed out that I was indeed wearing the wrong size by 2 full band sizes and 1 cup size. She showed me where the under wire should fit me underneath my breast and arm pit. She also advised me not that the adjusters on the strap of the bra should never be higher than my shoulder blades. (If it is up near the curves of my shoulders, it's too high.) After nearly 40 minutes of asking questions and trying on bras, the fitter told me that I fell in between two sizes. Depending on the manufacturer, I'm a 38D/38DD or a 40D. Wow! I have porn star breasts. Who knew?
I purchased two black lace numbers by Grenier bras (so much for the plain nude ones I originally requested). I wore one out feeling both physically and mentally uplifted since I no longer had the uni-tummy-boob. My annual gift to myself for every year I get a tax refund will be to go to Town Shop, get a bra fitting, and buy 2 new pretty well-fitting bras.
During my day out, I also stumbled onto some other great places on Broadway bewteen W. 82nd and W. 86th Street. I am a sucker for costume jewelry, and I found another one of those awesome costume jewelry stores that seem to be popping up all over Manhattan. Temptation (2285 Broadway @ 82nd Street; 212-579-4887) featured great plastic, wood, and metal fashion earrings and spring scarves. I was tempted to pull out the plastic and purchase away, but I resisted. However, the next time I walk into one of these stores I'm just going to say "f**k it." The choices are overwhelming and I can't stay in there long enough to make up my mind and stay within my budget.
(On similar note, try an accessory store called Brookwood inside the subway station at W. 42nd Street/Port Authority. It is selling the most beautiful, awesome, and unique ethnic inspired jewelry and scarves. Nearly everything in the store is $5-$10. My favorite items were the oversized colored-lucite bracelets and the cooper-colored metal bracelets. There were some very pretty over-size gemstone rings that would be perfect worn on the thumb, pinky or fore finger--my new favorite places to sport rings.)
For reasonably price desserts and teas, try Edgar's Cafe at 255 W. 84th Street between Broadway and W. End Avenue. All the desserts were delectable and under $7! The service was a little slow, but the edibles all but made up for it. It is in the first floor of a building where author Edgar Allen Poe used to live. When you sit down to it, there's a huge oil painting of Edgar staring out at you while you sip your coffee. Is that a heart I hear pounding in the floor?
Next time, my pictures of New York City's biggest geekfest--NY's Comic Con! I loved it and was in my element.
Newer | Latest | Older