new beauty faves

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. Here are a few quick reviews of beauty products that I received as Christmas gifts, all of which are fantastic. I had to share the beauty goodness with you.

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Clinique Cleansing by Clinique Value Set. The sonic cleansing brush is amazing since it leaves my skin smooth and polished. I use it in the mornings and it really primes my skin for my serum and moisturizer. It also got rid of my dry skin flakes on my cheeks (noticeable when I wore foundation and blush despite my liberal application of lotion). It’s so easy to use and clean (just rinse away the facial cleanser with water). It’s waterproof, so you can use it in the shower too. The green tip of the brush gets in the nooks around my nose, which is great since my pores are large there. The value set includes a cute metallic makeup bag which holds the cleanser, toner and lotion inside. These will come in handy for my upcoming vacations. If you just want the sonic cleansing brush or if the value set sells out, click here.

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Benefit Gimme Brow brow-volumizing fiber gel. This is a quick and foolproof way to fill in your brows. I got the medium/deep shade and it matches my brows without it looking unnatural (like an Angry Bird character). I skipped using my usual eyebrow pencil and just applied the fiber gel with the tiny brush applicator (brushing each brow outward, towards my temple). As women age, their hair typically thins out. I was no exception so I love this product.

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T3 Featherweight 2 Hairdryer + Living Proof bonus. I needed a new hairdryer that you could use with a diffuser attachment. It’s a must for keeping lush digital perm waves and preventing the frizzed out hair. The drying time is very quick, love this. I’ve yet to use the Living Proof shampoo, conditioner and thickening cream but I will pack these travel size tubes for my next trip.

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T3 hair dryer diffuser. It goes with the T3 dryer. You really need a diffuser if you have curls or waves, trust. It pumps up the volume and then some.

Any recent beauty faves that you’d like to share?

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advanced style

Happy Christmas Eve! I think I’m finally seeing the end of the tunnel of this neverending cold (going on 2+ weeks). I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix while recuperating and I wanted to share a great documentary in the hopes that you will enjoy watching it as much as I did.

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94 year-old Ilona Royce Smithkin graces the movie poster.

It’s Advanced Style, which is made by blogger Ari Seth Cohen and director Lina Plioplyte and profiles some of the NYC women Ari photographs. You should also check out his blog of the same name. I loved this documentary because I drew inspiration and aspiration from these amazing ladies and their lives. They have fun with fashion and their outfits reflect their creative energy, which seems boundless. I really love how the women are direct and very candid about themselves, it’s refreshing and a great reminder that with age comes comes experience and self-examination.

I’ve seen this pin on Pinterest from Cohen’s blog and Joyce Carpati, 80 years old, perfectly expresses how I feel when I’m happy with my outfit (and my Chanel bag):

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I was blown away by this 2012 Lanvin advertisement that features 84 year-old Jacquie “Tajah” Murdoch:

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I’ll leave you with the movie trailer, enjoy!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! xx

moto friday

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Forever 21 chambray shirt (old, similar); Madewell faux fur zip vest & Arrowstack necklace; Zara camo pants (old, similar); Burberry Wingfield moto boots (old, similar at 50% off); Diamond stud earrings; Cara spike hinge cuff (old); MAC lipstick in Pink Nouveau.

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Forever 21 chambray shirt (old, similar); Madewell faux fur zip vest & Arrowstack necklace; Zara camo pants (old, similar); Burberry Wingfield moto boots (old, similar at 50% off); Diamond stud earrings; Cara spike hinge cuff (old); MAC lipstick in Pink Nouveau.

Finally it’s Friday! I’ve been fighting a nasty cold that’s been keeping me up at night. I hope it clears out by Christmas next week.

I’m wearing my new faux shearling vest from Madewell. It’s so fluffy warm, which is great for this chest cold. The deep zipped pockets are the best for holding stuff like cough drops and my iPhone. You know, the essentials. I’m giving my chambray shirt some love, I haven’t worn chambray in awhile. Bright pink lipstick adds some cheer, which is always a good thing.

TGIF! xx

furry scarf

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LOFT striped top (old, similar); Madewell Barrow trousers; Alexander McQueen ankle boots (old, similar); Pins and Needles faux fur scarf (old, similar); Cara spike bracelet (old) & studded leather bracelet (old); BCBG dome ring (old); Cartier tank watch; MAC lipstick in Angel.

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LOFT striped top (old, similar); Madewell Barrow trousers; Alexander McQueen ankle boots (old, similar); Pins and Needles faux fur scarf (old, similar); Cara spike bracelet (old) & studded leather bracelet (old); BCBG dome ring (old); Cartier tank watch; MAC lipstick in Angel.

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LOFT striped top (old, similar); Madewell Barrow trousers; Alexander McQueen ankle boots (old, similar); Pins and Needles faux fur scarf (old, similar); Cara spike bracelet (old) & studded leather bracelet (old); BCBG dome ring (old); Cartier tank watch; MAC lipstick in Angel.

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LOFT striped top (old, similar); Madewell Barrow trousers; Alexander McQueen ankle boots (old, similar); Pins and Needles faux fur scarf (old, similar); Cara spike bracelet (old) & studded leather bracelet (old); BCBG dome ring (old); Cartier tank watch; MAC lipstick in Angel.

I’m wearing my new Barrow trousers from Madewell. They are so comfortable and they make me look skinny and my legs longer, especially from the side (hence the pic). Anything that makes me appear thin and leggy is aces in my book. I love the asymmetrical front closure, I feel left of center (which is a good thing).

The faux fur scarf is something different from your typical scarf and it’s cozy warm. You can jazz up a coat or blazer with this scarf, but I think it adds just the right amount to drama to a simple striped tee.

Stay warm!

buffalo gals

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C. Wonder buffalo check tie cape (sold out, similar here); H&M sweater (old, similar here); Current/Elliott Stiletto cropped skinny jeans in Alumni (similar) Burberry Wingfield moto boots (old, similar here); Madewell coliseum necklace (similar) & bow ring (similar); Cara studded leather bracelet (similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy rose gold watch; Shiseido lacquer rouge in RD501/Drama.

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C. Wonder buffalo check tie cape (sold out, similar here); H&M sweater (old, similar here); Current/Elliott Stiletto cropped skinny jeans in Alumni (similar) Burberry Wingfield moto boots (old, similar here); Madewell coliseum necklace (similar) & bow ring (similar); Cara studded leather bracelet (similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy rose gold watch; Shiseido lacquer rouge in RD501/Drama.

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H&M sweater (old, similar here); Current/Elliott Stiletto cropped skinny jeans in Alumni (similar) Burberry Wingfield moto boots (old, similar here); Madewell coliseum necklace (similar) & bow ring (similar); Cara studded leather bracelet (similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy rose gold watch; Shiseido lacquer rouge in RD501/Drama.

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C. Wonder buffalo check tie cape (sold out, similar here); H&M sweater (old, similar here); Current/Elliott Stiletto cropped skinny jeans in Alumni (similar) Burberry Wingfield moto boots (old, similar here); Madewell coliseum necklace (similar) & bow ring (similar); Cara studded leather bracelet (similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy rose gold watch; Shiseido lacquer rouge in RD501/Drama.

This buffalo check cape brings out my nostalgia for the 1980’s. If you get the reference from the post title (and my Instagram caption), then you know about early hip hop-new wave single by Malcolm McLaren.

Here’s the Buffalo Gals video (circa 1982!):

Did you recognize the big hat? Same hat style that Pharrell is sporting these days. Courtesy of the incomparable Vivienne Westwood, whose clothes are featured in the Buffalo Gals video.

Another music video that came to mind showed much love for buffalo checks, thanks to Norma Kamali, 1984’s Chaka Khan’s I Feel For You. Take a look:

I am so glad I got this cape when it was still available online. I knew it was something special. It’s intended for cool but milder temps (say upper 40’s through the 50’s), but I could totally wear it cab to curb (limited winter outdoor exposure) or maybe even indoors over a lighter layer underneath.

Are you sporting capes or buffalo checks? I’d love to hear about it. Enjoy your Tuesday! xx

p.s. Please check out Alice’s link-up on Happiness at Mid-Life for the latest blogger styles, the last link-up for 2014!

scenes from a madewell dressing room

I returned some Black Friday/Cyber Monday online purchases today at a couple of shopping malls. Now I remember why I do most of my shopping online, the holiday shopping crowds were out in full force. There will be a bunch of pics (some blurry, sorry!) because I had a long-ish detour at Madewell. They were doing a discount promo: 20% off a $100 or more purchase or 30% off a $200 or more purchase (online code is GOFORIT if you can’t get to the store).

This is what I wore for my online returns mission:

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Asos cable knit sweater (old, similar here); 7 For All Mankind Gwenevere jeans (old, similar here); Banana Republic Factory Store metallic belt (old, similar here); Steve Madden Hilight wedge sneakers (old, similar here).

What stayed at the store:

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Cable-front sweater in midnight green & Cape scarf in stripe. I really loved the dark inky green color of the sweater, but the fit was too big in my usual medium size. I needed a small but none were in the store. The cape scarf was intriguing, but I passed on it. It felt too mature for me. You could just wear it as a blanket scarf as well.

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Silk courier shirt in true black. This shirt is $98, so I plan on buying it when it’s on sale. Love the slouchy fit and drape. The small size fit me perfectly (so possibly go down one size from your usual).

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Silk courier shirt in lavender ice. Same silk shirt as above, but not sure if the dusty lavender color complements my skin tone.

What came home with me:

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Introduction sweaterdress in hthr blacktop. I ordered this online in a medium, but it was way too big (the reason for my Madewell return run). The small size fit me so much better, so I bought it. By the way, the dress was $98 in the store, so it’s cheaper than the online price.

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Faux fur zip vest. I saw this vest on the store mannequin, worn over a simple white button-down shirt. It’s faux shearling but it looks and feels like a teddy bear. I bought the small size, I want to layer it over a sweater but not too bulky so I can wear this under a winter coat or jacket. I love the double zip, the pockets and the unfussy neckline. I can’t stop touching the material, it’s so soft!

Both the sweaterdress and vest were 30% off, what a sweet deal. What do you think of the various items from Madewell? Care to share any recent discoveries?

The weekend is almost here, thankfully! xx

3 new faves

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Madewell Barrow trousers. I first spied these on another blogger, Gigi’s Gone Shopping (on my blog roll), and I was immediately intrigued. I love these cross-front pants because they are a little different from the norm and they are comfortable as hell. I ordered these in my normal jean size (28) and they fit perfectly with just the right amount of slouch. The sateen fabric is silky soft, it feels so nice against your skin. I swore off pants (with the exception for more casual styles such as jeans, leggings, chinos/khakis, slouchy/soft pants) several years ago and this is my first pair since then. They’re that fantastic.

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Snowpiercer. It’s available on Netfix stream and On Demand. We watched this movie this past weekend and I’m still thinking about it. It’s not my usual genre, but I was hooked as soon as this movie started. Great characters (Tilda Swinton is again killing it here, love her) and storyline, it had a unique feel to it. It was directed by Bong Joon-ho, a renowned Korean director (he also wrote the screenplay, based on the French novel Le Transperceneige). Now I want to see more of Bong’s movies, I just added them my Netflix.

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Magic Bullet Dessert Bullet. I’m asking for this kitchen gadget for Xmas. My sister has it and I need this in my life! We have been eating really healthy this year and this transforms your favorite frozen fruit (& nonfat Greek yogurt to taste, if you like) into frozen yogurt. No sugar, milk or cream needed. You can play around with all kinds of ingredients. If you’re looking for a guilt-free solution to your dessert cravings, the Dessert Bullet is it.

Any new favorite finds you’d like to share?

the dude abides

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Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren intarsia cardigan (old, this year’s version here & here); Madewell muscle tank (similar), Arrowstack necklace, cocktail ring, leather cuff bracelet; Cara studded leather bracelet; Zara red skinny jeans (similar); Chloe grey riding boots (similar).

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Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren intarsia cardigan (old, this year’s version here & here); Madewell muscle tank (similar), Arrowstack necklace, cocktail ring, leather cuff bracelet; Cara studded leather bracelet; Zara red skinny jeans (similar).

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Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren intarsia cardigan (old, this year’s version here & here); Madewell muscle tank (similar), Arrowstack necklace, cocktail ring, leather cuff bracelet; Cara studded leather bracelet; Zara red skinny jeans (similar); Chloe grey riding boots (similar).

The (awesome) inspiration:

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The Big Lebowski is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love all the characters: The Dude, Walter, Jesus, Maude, the nihilists, Donny, and The Stranger. If you haven’t watched this, remedy this. My cardigan is my version of The Dude sweater. It’s comfy, warm and ready to take on the strikes and gutters of life. The Dude Abides.

Stay warm, man.

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