11.20.12 Homage to Makeup: The First
I had to subtitle this post “The First” because makeup has basically been part of my daily life for nearly 20 years, and I can’t imagine that I will only write about it once. Even wearing a “minimalist” or “natural” look can require a fair amount of product, not because I need to change or camouflage my face, but because it’s fun and I love to experiment and create new looks. For instance, my current “natural” routine has evolved from what it was a year ago, or even a month ago. And if I am in a rush, and just do a two-minute powder, blush, mascara, bronzer out the door combo, I reach for a different blush, or different bronzer etc depending on my mood. I know that the makeup industry often gets a bad rap for promoting impossible standards and feeding on insecurities, and there definitely is an ugly side of the beauty industry, but there are many ways to enjoy makeup without falling victim to false advertising, or hating what you see in the mirror every day. I think coming of age in the 90s, reading Sassy Magazine, and swapping Manic Panic Vampire Red eye shadow with my friends taught me a lot about having fun with makeup and clothes. In Making Faces, Kevyn Aucoin writes about eschewing “rigid beauty thoughts.” He tells his readers to avoid “beauty bullies,” and strict beauty rules or guidelines like being a “Winter” or a “Summer,” and he encourages “the process of mixing ideas, ignoring those that don’t apply, and using those that do as a springboard for your own creativity.” It’s been a long time since I wore Vampire Red eye shadow, but I still think I have just as much fun with my makeup now as I did then.
I’ve made some great makeup purchases lately. After much coveting and in the spirit of not wearing red eye shadow and embracing the new, I finally purchased the Urban Decay “Naked 2” eye shadow palette. It’s the cool-toned version of their original neutral palette “Naked” and it’s like taupe heaven.
I’m also wearing two of my other favorite recent purchases, MAC “Whole Lotta Love” Pro Longwear Blush, a light blue pink from their Office Hours Collection for Fall 2012, and Tarte Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer in Park Ave Princess.
I used the “Whole Lotta Love” on the apples of the cheeks and “Park Ave Princess” as contour. The “Park Ave Princess” is a cool-toned bronzer and works well for contour on fair skin. I really want to try the matte version and I will probably cave in and buy it soon. The “Whole Lotta Love” has a velvety matte finish and it does last all day. I am a sucker for bright blushes. When applied correctly, a bright sheer blush gives a pretty and natural looking rosy flush.
I am writing this wearing only powder and blush by the way. I look a little washed out without my eyebrow pencil or any eye makeup, but all I did today, besides writing this, was go to the doctor’s office. This weekend I am going to see No Doubt! Time to start planning my outfit and makeup!
♥♥♥ Alice Marie Lolita ♥♥♥
11.13.12 My DIY Manicure
I have basically given up on professional manicures. Acrylic nails are crippling, and I always end up feeling “Jersey Shore” no matter how much I emphasize that I want them to be short, thin, and natural looking. Plus, I once read an article in some beauty magazine about all the bacteria acrylic nails can harbor, and how nurses in neonatal intensive care units were making babies sick with their fake nails. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it basically ruined fake nails for me.
As for the gel manicure, I do like the shine and durability, but the UV light they use to set the nails is a deal breaker for me. The first time I had it done, I told the manicurist that the light was burning my hands, but he scoffed at me and said it was impossible. Sure enough, later that night my fingers and hands swelled and I broke out in a rash. I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, which is basically an overlap of systemic lupus, systemic scleroderma, and polymyositis, and photosensitivity is a common symptom. I tried the gel manicure once more after that, and the manicurist had me wear fingerless gloves during the curing process, but my fingers were still itchy and swollen later that night, though less so than after my first experience. So I have resigned myself to home manicures. Lately, I have been obsessed with glitter polishes, the shinier the better!
First, I shape and file my nails, and then apply Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. It keeps my cuticles from looking ragged, and if they need to be trimmed, it softens them and makes the job easier.
After my nails are shaped and my cuticles are looking good, I apply the Orly “Nailtrition” Base Coat. Next, I use the OPI “I Don’t Give a Rotterdam” Nail Lacquer. It is a pale blue gray with a slight silvery shimmer.
Then I use the essie luxeffects glitter top coats. This time, I put the “set in stones” on my left hand, and the “stroke of brilliance” on my right hand. The essie “set in stones” is described on essie’s website as “disco mirror ball chaos,” which it nearly is. The shine and dimension is pretty good, but I feel that “stroke of brilliance” is shinier, with a truly multi-dimensional look. The “bling” effect it gives is equivalent to a piece of jewelry, so if you skip throwing on that extra ring or bangle, the sparkle from “stroke of brilliance” is quite enough compensation. I top it off with the Orly “Won’t Chip” to smooth over the rough edges of the glitter and keep it from snagging on my clothes.
When my nails chip, as they inevitably always do, it’s really easy to fill in the chips with the essie glitter top coats. I can just daub it over the chipped area, and then apply another layer to the whole nail. Actually, the shine and multi-dimensional look increases with each layer, and after about a week of fixing chips, I notice that I start to get more compliments on my polish.
♥♥♥ Alice Marie Lolita ♥♥♥
11.07.12 Homage to Retail Therapy
Nordstrom’s half-yearly sale = online retail therapy. More specifically, a MARC BY MARC JACOBS “Revolution” beige leather hobo bag.
I also got a MARC BY MARC JACOBS “Metallic Stardust” silver iPhone case.
I like the inside too. It closes with one of those covered magnetic closures, has logo print lining, an interior zip pocket, and a couple of cell phone pockets. If I could change one thing, it would be the closure. I feel like my stuff is safer with a zipper closure, but the magnetic snap on this does seem to be fairly secure.
At first I was disappointed because the strap drop was really short and the bag felt kind of tight on my shoulder. But then I realized that the strap is adjustable. Using these push-studs on either side of the strap, I let it out as far as it would go, and the drop increased by a good five inches! It’s slouchier and more comfy now, all ready to be broken in.
I just recently bought a purse, the neon pink MARC BY MARC JACOBS (I know, predictable), and I really shouldn’t have, but I wanted something larger. This bag isn’t very wide, but it measures 16” by 14” so it is quite roomy, and is nearly twice as large as the neon pink bag. Plus, I have always wanted a beige leather bag. I’m all ready for fall. Now, if only the weather would cooperate!
PS Yesterday was Election Day, and I just couldn’t resist wearing my Nixon shirt!
♥♥♥ Alice Marie Lolita ♥♥♥
11.03.12 Wigs are Rad. Oh, and Fuck Cancer. Also in Which I Provide Photographic Evidence of How Ugly I Look with Black Hair
Home, exhausted, and ready for some serious rest and relaxation this weekend. Just now, I sat down at my computer, and almost started writing, “one good thing about cancer is wigs,” but it felt like an asinine statement to make, and I just couldn’t do it. So scratch that, because I am in no position to assert whether or not there are good things about cancer. And “fuck cancer” seems to be a rather appropriate sentiment. It’s no wonder so many cancer advocacy groups and support organizations started by people in their 20s and 30s have adopted “fuck cancer” as their slogan. Not fuck it as in forget about it, but fuck it as in find it, find it early, attack it with evidenced based cancer treatment, recover, walk through all the shit and come out smelling like roses, go into remission, and live cancer free. Basically, FUCK THE CANCER!
Despite the severity of her current situation, while I was staying with Marz intermittently this past week, I not only enjoyed the pleasure of her company, she is amazingly lucid and pleasant given the circumstances, I also thoroughly entertained myself with her extensive collection of wigs.
They are displayed on a shelf in her guest room, so I got to sleep with them every night. Even tough I dyed my hair almost every one of these colors in high school, that was ages ago, and I just couldn’t resist seeing how I would look without my blonde hair.
This is what my hair looked like before I started trying on Marz’s wigs. I had to shove and tuck a lot. I’m surprised they even fit!
See? I TOLD you I had photographic evidence of how ugly I am with black hair. I’m sure that having this knowledge makes you feel like a more complete human being. I am ALL about education people.
Like the upturned collar? Totally trying to glam up my pink flannel “I Love Lucy” Pajamas. Classy, right?
If I could be as adventurous as I used to be, I would go with the lavender hair. I follow a lot of Harajuku fashion sites, and I see photos of so many cute Harajuku girls with lavender hair. But I worry about being too old for “punky” hair color, and a lot of time, money, and effort has gone into achieving my current shade of blonde, and I do love it!
And it must have been getting late at this point. Look how dazed I look, like Winona Ryder on the red carpet! I used to love the burgundy hair, and I know burgundy and merlot are having a fashion resurgence, but if I play with this trend, it will be with some article of clothing or possibly even shoes, but not my hair!
On a side note, I ordered one of those monthly beauty sample kits from Glossy Box. It’s like a wine of the month club for product junkies. You get a box full of deluxe size samples, and even some full size products. They have you fill out a beauty profile so that they can send products tailored to your needs. Can’t wait for the first delivery! Will share any good discoveries of course!
♥♥♥ Alice Marie Lolita ♥♥♥
10.29.12 Homage to Marz
So if all two, or three of my readers (Hi Mom!) are wondering where I have been this past week, I have been helping my best friend prepare for, undergo, and now recover from a bilateral radical mastectomy. She is 33 years old, has stage III breast cancer, and has the BRCA1 gene mutation, hence the bilateral mastectomy rather than just removal of the breast with the cancer. This also means that she will have to undergo a hysterectomy sometime in the next 10 years, because the BRCA1 gene means that ovarian cancer is not a possibility, but is inevitable.
We met when we were still in high school. I was 16 and she was 15, and it was the kind of love at first sight friendship that happens to teenage girls. We were together 24/7, shared clothes and makeup, and even shaved our heads together. Little did we know back then that this rebellious act would better prepare her for losing her hair during chemotherapy a mere 16 years later. Over the last six to seven months, I have watched her face heartbreaking adversity with integrity, bravery, and dignity. She had chemotherapy for three months, lost all of her hair, suffered through a lot of adverse side effects, and had to take a leave of absence from her job.
She underwent surgery on Wednesday October 24th. She was discharged yesterday evening and I brought her home and stayed the night with her. I am staying tonight through tomorrow evening, at which time another dear friend will be coming to stay a few nights with her as well. I was so nervous when the nurse came in to change the dressing, and show me how to empty the drains that will remain in place for the next week. But it wasn’t scary, gross, or even upsetting. I didn’t see disfigurement; I just saw my best friend, a beautiful woman, with a couple of new scars. I told her later, I said, “Oh I was so nervous to see you without your dressing, but I just saw you, and you’re just as beautiful as ever.”
So remember a few posts ago when I wrote about my Alice and Olivia silver glitter and sequined platforms? I believe I hinted that they have a great story, and they really do. Back in June, I was taking my friend to Cedars Sinai to the cancer center to get a shot to help boost her white blood cell count as part of her chemotherapy regimen. Many chemo patients feel mentally “foggy” while going through chemo and have problems remembering things. It’s an actual medical phenomenon, called “chemo brain.” We were almost to Cedars when she realized that she had forgotten her shoes, and her wallet. I failed to notice too because she was wearing thick black socks and at a glance, it looked sort of like she was wearing some kind of slipper. We knew the people at the cancer center would still treat her without shoes, but we had some errands we wanted to run afterwards, including going to the pet store and grocery store. So we decided to stop by some store and pick her up a pair of shoes really quick. I was thinking some kind of slip on shoes from Target. But we ended up at Nordstrom Rack across from the Beverly Center. And that’s when we saw the Alice and Olivia platforms, two pairs left, one in her size, and one in my size. We attempted to find something cheaper and more practical but the Alice and Olivia platforms kept beckoning us.
Then we decided that we needed to create a new fashion rule:
If you forget to wear shoes to one of your chemo appointments, you must buy the most fabulous and over-the-top shoe you can find. AND, if your friend is there, she should buy a matching pair also.
Needless to say, I sort of went over my budget buying not one, but two pairs of silver glitter and sequined platforms, but the laughing antics that ensued while in Nordstrom Rack, and into that night, made it completely worth every penny. And someday soon, there will be a fashion shoot of us in our matching shoes!
10.22.12 Homage to Retail Therapy (and the Men who Make it Happen!)
I have been in a funk, like the funk of all funks! I vouched to get out of my pajamas today and I succeeded! I started the day in vintage 501s and a Russian Navy shirt I stole from an old boyfriend, and I was feeling pretty okay.
But that wasn’t enough for Tom, so he dragged me out of the house, bought me silly clothes and chocolate, and made jokes about ponchos and Clint Eastwood with the salesgirl, all because he knew it would make me feel better. Then he even wrote this entry for me. He said this is all you need to write for your blog, Scaglione:
“Felt blue, went shopping, feel new.”
He even wrote the caption for the following two pictures:
Oh, and in case anyone cares, hat by Halogen, poncho Nordstrom brand, scarf from The Daisy Shoppe.
10.17.12 Homage to my New Free People Faux Leather Dress
Sometimes when you wake up, and there’s hate mail in your inbox, and it feels like your autoimmune diseases are kicking your ass, it’s best to put on a really cute outfit, eat a Tootsie Roll Pop, hug your boyfriend, and be thankful for the good people, and wonderful clothes in your life.
This is my new faux leather Free People dress, which I initially bought to wear to my cousin’s wedding, but I ended up wearing a different dress that day because it was SUPER hot, and I went for a more natural fabric instead. Today I paired the dress with a blue bebe blazer, opaque black tights, AMAZING silver Alice and Olivia platforms, my favorite cameo necklace, and headband with a large black grosgrain bow. I think it’s a fun play on two new trends this season: leather and romantic.
The dress has a cute, but sexy bustier top, so I went inside for some shots without the jacket.
And the shoes truly are amazing!
For my makeup, I used MAC Diva lipstick, NARS blush in Sin, and the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette for my eyes. I wanted a dramatic, yet soft feel. NARS Sin is one of my new favorite blushes. It’s fairly cool toned, which goes well with my complexion, and it gives a subtle berry flush to the cheek. The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette is also a great product for people who prefer cool tones. It’s like taupe heaven, and there is such a large range of colors, that you can do everything from a really soft and natural eye, to a very dark and dramatic look. It’s also great for contouring the eye. ♥♥♥
10.15.12 Homage to my Marc by Marc Jacobs Bag and Jeffrey Campbell Boots: Picking and Choosing Fall Fashion Trends
I am a big believer in retail therapy, and there is probably nothing more therapeutic than choosing two or three of Fall Fashion’s latest must-haves to bring home. Though I dress very uniquely, and have a style that is very much my own, following trends can be a fun and inspiring part of being a fashionista. However, I NEVER follow all trends, I ALWAYS make a trendy item my own, and on any given day, I am wearing something that is either “out of style,” “doesn’t match,” or, as people often like to point out, “looks good on me but would look horrible on anyone else,” which is the most frequent backhanded compliment I receive from girls who are “by the book” trend followers.
Some big things this fall are velvet, leather, metallics, heavy brocade, patterned pants, equestrian, restraint (high collars, long sleeves, knee length), military, the statement bag, voluminous coats, embellishment, fur collars, and craftwork. Velvet, embellishment, restraint, and craftwork are pretty much always in as far as I’m concerned. I have a very romantic sense of style: velvet, bows, lace, high necklines, beads, pearls, and rhinestones are a large part of my wardrobe. This season, I can stock up on some new romantic pieces and bust out some of my tried and true romantic looks. Burgundy and military are fun also. I am, after all, a product of the 90s, and am still drawn to burgundy makeup and clothes from time to time.
Voluminous coats, um no. I live in Southern California first of all so I just don’t need that much wool. Second of all, a “blanket” coat is going to look like a blanket on anyone who isn’t built like a model. Heavy brocade? Patterned pants? Yeah, looking like I made a wrong turn and either lost my way to the Renaissance Faire or Atlantic City is not going to happen. Leather jackets I do like, but anything too biker or punk is a trend that will pass me by yet again. Metallic can be fun, as an accent thread or small piece, but no gold metallic pants for this girl. I would look like a tragic slave to a fashion trend or a disco era reject. And fur is really unnecessary for the climate I live in and totally out of my price range, although I do have a fabulous vintage faux leopard fur coat I bought when I was sixteen, and still wear when I feel like rocking a mod Edie Sedgwick kind of look.
I love statement bags, already have a ton, and had been lusting for a new one. I found a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag in a Schiaparelli/hot pink. It’s the Mini-Natasha nylon bag in pop pink with an adjustable cross-body strap and front flap closure. It’s roomy, lightweight, and totally goes with my Alice Marie Lolita look.
I also purchased a pair of Jeffrey Campbell Mattie boots in black. They remind me of a much chicer version of a 90s combat boot. They are daintier, with a Victorian feel, oxford stitching, almost reminiscent of menswear, and they lace up with brass colored grommets. They are extremely versatile and I have worn them with jeans, vintage dresses and tights, and a ballet skirt with leggings. They may be a “trend” this season, but just like velvet, they are more of a staple item for me.
10.12.12 Homage to Pearls
This doesn’t make me a fashion genius or anything, but I love pearls. Coco Chanel once said, “a woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.” I think I heard this at some point in my life and decided to try and one up it. I need “ropes and ropes AND ropes of pearls.” Take that Coco! I put on all of my pearls yesterday. They were cool and heavy and kind of comforting. Then I put my pajamas back on and snuggled with my sick kitty.
10.12.12 Homage to my Clubmaster® Sunglasses, Instagram, and Farah Fawcett Hair
Today I am moving on from the vitriol of my last post. I have never instituted such a calculated move of “fashion revenge,” dramatic I know, but I must admit, bitchiness can be rather cathartic…
So my web designer, creative consultant, and all-around artistic and technical guru advised me to explore some social media sites to link with this blog. Many late nights have been spent this week creating profiles, navigating interfaces, and making “friends.” And I know this statement will belie how completely stunted I am when when it comes to social media, but Instagram basically rules. I went through the camera roll on my iPhone, played with filters, and my previously boring self-snapshots became suddenly hip.
There was obviously some beginner’s luck going on because my very first Instagram attempt is my favorite.
Here I am cruising around Orange County in my Mercedes Sedan. It’s no Cadillac, but I’ve decided that it’s kind of the perfect Italian Princess car and this image is encapsulates me, feeling fabulous behind the wheel.The Clubmaster® sunglasses really “make” the look.
I want to bring the Farah feather back in style. All you need is a round brush, tons of hairspray, and lots of patience! xoxo
I had initially planned on an homage to pearls today, but I have to rain check it because I am caring for a sick kitty and it’s left me a bit teary and puffy. Well wishes to my kitty! She’s no Choupette, Karl Lagerfeld’s über pampered haute couture feline, but Calico cats are natural born fashion geniuses!
My Girl ♥♥♥