Beauty Announcement + Grab-Bag

So, the good news is, I got a new job! The bad news is, I definitely will not have as much time to blog anymore. But never fear, I am still committed to posting and I’m especially hoping I’ll be able to continue Beauty in the Movies on a pretty regular basis.

Moving on to more fun things, last week I picked up one of the new polishes from OPI’s Pirates of the Caribbean collaboration, plus I also got my hands on a bottle of the new Silver Shatter polish.

This color is called “Planks A Lot” and it’s a lovely purple creme that appears slightly bluer on the nails than it does in the bottle, almost periwinkle in certain light.

Here it is with the Silver Shatter polish on top. The cosmetics world is acting like shatter polish is a new thing, but way back in the 90s it was called “crackle” polish released by Cover Girl and it was all the rage for a few months. The silver is pretty, and I think it would look even better with a darker shade underneath.

Here is a beautiful black iris that just blossomed in my front yard, isn’t the color gorgeous? I’d like a nail polish that looked like this.

So, I threw caution to the wind and my sister and I battled our way through the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale a couple of weeks ago. It was worth the scary crowds and the long line because I came away with this baby. The style is called the “Dear Tote” and this one is in a taupe glazed leather.

I will be paying it off for a while, but it’s a perfect work bag (great for starting a new job!) and it can fit a lot. This bag also has a whole bunch of pockets, can be worn across the body, and the color is really versatile. Money well spent I think!

Also, I started this blog one year ago today! Time really flies. I really hope I can keep this thing going, and thank you so much to all of you who’ve been reading, you’re the best!!

Ok, that’s it for now, but don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Beauty in the Movies!

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Beauty in the Movies: Party Girl

The past few films I’ve featured have been naturalistic, English, and decidedly rural, so this week I thought it would be fun to swing in the opposite direction and highlight an indie classic set in ’90s Manhattan—Party Girl.

Mary (Parker Posey) makes a living throwing wild parties (or what in the ’90s we called “raves”), unfortunately she always forgets to obtain a liquor license. When her unorthodox profession finally lands her in jail, she looks to her godmother Judy (Sasha von Scherler) to bail her out. Judy is a librarian who makes a habit of reminding Mary she’s just like her mother who was “a woman with no common sense”. In order to prove Judy wrong, and avoid eviction, Mary takes a position as a library clerk and finds she might have a surprise talent for the job.

While Mary is in the midst of starting a new career she finds herself infatuated with Mustafa, (Omar Townsend) the hunky, Lebanese, proprietor of a street falafel cart. Unfortunately Mary’s self-centeredness is a big obstacle in the way of her happiness in every aspect of her life, especially where romance is concerned. Mustafa introduces Mary to the myth of Sisyphus which parallels Mary’s own struggle and is made reference to in many different ways throughout the film—like a guy who always seems to be carrying a box up the stairs.

There are a bunch of great secondary characters like Mary’s flamboyant friend Derrick (Anthony DeSando), who has one of the most lovely Jersey accents ever, Liev Schreiber as her cockney jerk of an ex-boyfriend, and her roommate aspiring DJ, Leo (Guillermo Díaz). Really though, this is Parker Posey’s movie. She is so charmingly obnoxious and straight-up weird that you can’t take your eyes off her, not to mention her outfits. Colored tights and shorts are all over the place at the moment and I like to think it all started right here.

Party Girl is from the era where an “indie” film actually meant it was independently funded rather than just a label to acknowledge it was somewhat outside the mainstream or quirky. According to IMDB.com this film was made for $150,000 dollars which seems totally insane by today’s standards. I mean, I know, inflation and all that but still, wow, that’s really cheap for a movie. Consider that “independent”  films of the last few years like 500 days of Summer or Little Miss Sunshine were both made for around $8 million—which is still super cheap by Hollywood standards.

The editing and music in Party Girl are sort of strange (the music really sounds like a made-for-ABC-family movie at times). You get the feeling a lot of the costumes and set decorations were thrown together from what people had on hand or could acquire with a meager budget. These things make the film so much more interesting though. It feels unique, it feels like New York, and it captures the feeling of a specific moment in the 1990s.

Figuring out what you want to do with your life is a huge decision, and so often in movies everyone already seems to have that worked out, especially in films for women. “Chick-flicks” or romantic comedies always seem to feature ladies with perfect careers who are just trying to find the right guy. As most of us know, finding the perfect career can be much more of a struggle. While I’m pretty confident most women could get along just fine without a guy, the same can’t be said for a job—we all need one of those (unless you have a trust fund or a wealthy spouse or something).

This movie is a cult classic because it gets funnier the more you watch it and the clothes and style are still appealing over 15 years later. In a way Party Girl is a coming-of-age story, at 24 Mary doesn’t know how to be a grown-up mostly because she has no idea what she wants to do. She keeps screwing everything up, and the boulder rolls back down the hill on top of her over and over again. It isn’t until she embraces what she actually likes doing, despite its lack of glamour, that she finds fulfillment. Party Girl also teaches us the important lesson that librarians can be hot and fashionable—you really can’t judge a book by its cover.

Miu Miu leopard print coat
2,170 GBP – net-a-porter.com

Fur jacket
79 GBP – aubinandwills.com

Clemens en August slim fit blazer
177 GBP – theoutnet.com

TopShop opaque tight
$12 – topshop.com

MondayMarch red short
60 EUR – welikefashion.com

Jane Norman short short
18 GBP – janenorman.co.uk

Padded bra
$7.99 – tillys.com

High heels
67 EUR – modekungen.se

Pierre Hardy stiletto high heels
$1,020 – net-a-porter.com

Diana Warner cocktail ring
$95 – maxandchloe.com

Cross jewelry
625 EUR – stylebop.com

D G heart chain necklace
$93 – zappos.com

Red glove
$12 – unique-vintage.com

LESCA Round framed glasses
$249 – farfetch.com

Miss Grant Junior Girls Navy Blue Sequin Shorts
73 GBP – childsplayclothing.co.uk

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Zoya Earth Day Promo Polishes

Last week I was positively giddy when my Zoya earth day promo polishes were delivered a whole day before they were supposed to! I got eight polishes for the promo, and they arrived in these cute little boxes:

Here are my ladies all lined up:

Charisma, Maura, Ali, Jolene, Happi, Adina, and Faye.

Poor Kara missed this photo shoot because she was still in my purse after I brought her to the nail salon for my first pedicure of the season. Here’s a pic so she won’t feel neglected (yes, I know I’m anthropomorphizing nail polish, but with these polishes it’s hard not to!):

Here are some swatches (not my best, sorry I was rushed!) in both sun and shade:

Happi (thumb): This color is really different, it’s a light shimmery pink duochrome with a golden undertone that really makes it pop in sunlight.

Kara (pointer): While I really love this color and think it’s a great summer shade, it’s not all that different from others I’ve owned, but it’s a nice bright coral.

Faye (middle): This is another really unusual color, in the shade Faye might just look like a standard gold polish, but in the sun it explodes with a sparkling purple/bronze shine!

Maura (ring): I’m always on the lookout for a really bright red, basically something that looks like what a character on Mad Men would wear, so Maura is perfect, she is a straight-up, classic, tomato-y red cream.

Ali (pinky): Ali is super bright! It’s the hot pink polish I’ve always wanted, she will be perfect for scorching summer days.

Adina (ring): Adina has an “oil-slick” finish. It’s hard to get a good shot of this color because it’s almost a trichrome (probably not a word). It has shades of green, purple, and pink with an overall metallic sometimes gray looking finish. This is a very different shade, definitely unique.

Charisma (middle): Ok, so I was more excited about this shade than any other, and of course it was the biggest disappointment. I LOVE the color, but unfortunately both the application and the chip-age (also not a real word) were really bad. I’m surprised this is one of Zoya’s top sellers because I’ve tried to wear it at least four times and it always chips within the first day of wear. It also goes on very streaky, which I wouldn’t mind if the polish were stronger. I’ve tried a few different top coats but it fails every-time which makes me very sad.

Jolene (pointer): In the bottle I wasn’t so thrilled with Jolene, but on the nails she is actually a really pretty, girlie pink. It’s a very feminine shade, maybe not the most unique, but overall very nice.

All these polishes (aside from Charisma!) went on easily and stayed on for a long time without chipping—and I’m really tough on my nails. Zoya’s polishes are lovely and made even lovelier by their earth-friendliness. If you haven’t tried Zoya polish yet I highly recommended testing it out for yourself. Rumor has it if they reach 50,000 “likes” on facebook they will have another totally free polish giveaway, so if you’re on facebook head over to their page now!

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Beauty in the Movies: Sense and Sensibility

A few weeks ago I featured the film Clueless an update of Jane Austen’s Emma, only to realize that I’ve never featured a direct adaptation of an Austen novel into film. So this week I feature Ang Lee’s beautiful Sense and Sensibility which may not be as true to the novel as some Austen fans would like, but no doubt makes up for it with stunning visuals and amazing acting.

As Mr. Dashwood passes away, his last request is that his only son, John, will promise to take care of his step-mother and sisters who will inherit virtually nothing due to England’s Primogeniture laws which stipulate that land is passed down to only male heirs. Unfortunately, John’s greedy wife Fanny convinces him his sisters will do perfectly fine on their own. As a result Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her three daughters, Elinor (Emma Thompson), Marianne (Kate Winslet), and Margaret (Emilie François) become strangers in their own home and must seek a new place to live.

Fanny’s brother Edward comes to visit while the Dashwoods prepare to abandon their home. Edward is nothing like his shallow, cruel sister and soon he and Elinor form a close friendship. Fanny, or course, disapproves and fearing the friendship will blossom into love makes sure Edward leaves before any such thing can happen. When Mrs. Dashwood’s wealthy cousin, Sir John Middleton, offers the women a cottage on his estate they are finally out of danger. Like most Austen, there are way to many characters and way too many plot twists to cover any more of the plot here, you’ll just have to check it out yourself, it’s worth it.

Sense and Sensibility was Jane Austen’s first published novel, in 1811, and was written under the pseudonym of “A Lady”. She was just 19 when she began what would become her first full length work, and some believe it is partially based on her relationship with her own sister Cassandra. While Elinor represents “sense” or a restrained and courteous disposition, Marianne’s character is representative of “sensibility” what we today would think of as sensitivity, or an overly emotional personality.

Both sister’s traits have their positive and negative aspects, but it does seem that Elinor’s restraint and patience win out while Marianne’s impulsive, sometimes inappropriate, behavior results in heartbreak and distress. Many Austen Biographers have argued over which of the two traits Austen saw as superior, or if she was ever sure of that answer herself. It is generally believed that Austen saw herself as free-spirited Marianne, and her sister as the more practical Elinor whom she looked up to greatly.

During this period in history, as well as many others, a woman’s search for a husband wasn’t what we think of it as today, it was an essential part of life. A woman being a spinster wasn’t awful because it meant she would be sad and lonely, but because she would be poor and most likely spend the rest of her life living off her relation’s generosity. Austen’s novels, though they deal heavily in romance, are also about the struggle to persevere.

If you were a woman born into the middle or upper classes you couldn’t simply go out and get a job, you had no options. The bechdel test fails in Austen, and in other places too, because the need for a husband was so much more than simply romance, it was in many ways a woman’s only hope and therefore a major part of the conversation among women at the time.

To think Austen reveled in the predicament women were in during her time is to completely miss the point, her characters are often in complete turmoil over their own fate, and Emma Thompson does a wonderful job of highlighting this aspect of female life in her adaptation (and in her performance as well). No one could read the novel, or watch the film, and believe that Elinor wouldn’t choose to go out and support her family if she could, but she is utterly repressed by the futility of her position.

Ang Lee’s naturalistic scenery, Jenny Beavan’s gorgeous costumes, and Emma Thompson’s insightful, funny, writing make this adaptation standout from others. There may be few of Jane Austen’s original words in the script, but the spirit of her characters and the cleverness of her storytelling are unmistakable and charming as ever.

Burberry Prorsum sleeveless dress
$1,006 – theoutnet.com

Proenza Schouler short sleeve dress
$1,150 – lagarconne.com

See by Chloe pleated dress
334 GBP – farfetch.com

TopShop cotton tank
$45 – topshop.com

DAY Birger et Mikkelsen cropped jacket
149 GBP – my-wardrobe.com

Lace jacket
23 GBP – republic.co.uk

Thierry Colson robe
400 EUR – colette.fr

Alaïa flat shoes
$283 – theoutnet.com

All Black flat shoes
$66 – endless.com

LK Designs metal necklace
101 EUR – pret-a-beaute.com

Fedora hat
$195 – barneys.com

Modstrom blue scarve
30 EUR – welikefashion.com

Gold hair accessory
$28 – nordstrom.com

John Lewis Women satin glove
15 GBP – johnlewis.com

Pashmina wrap shawl
$5.99 – amazon.com

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Beauty Mish-Mash

I can’t even call this  post a grab-bag as I usually do because it’s lacking in any organization whatsoever, so please excuse my haphazardness, it’s been a hectic week!

The royal wedding was almost a week ago now so I’m a little late to the party, but how pretty was Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, huh? I wasn’t really in to all the royal wedding buzz, but it was fun to look at the pictures and I thought she looked really beautiful and classic in her Alexander McQueen gown.

I read that the lace on her dress was hand-appliqued by the Royal School of Needlework and held representations of symbols from the British Isles including rose (England), thistle (Scotland), daffodil (Wales) and shamrock (Ireland). I read that the craftspeople who prepared the lace had to wash their hands like every 30 minutes to keep it as white as possible—sheesh, I hope they were paid well!


I loved the cute angora sweater Kate—excuse me, Catherine wore over her second dress which she changed into for the dinner/reception celebration. Even though these dresses are both fairly simple, it’s the way they fit her so well that make them exceptional. Fit is so important, it can make a beautiful dress look awful and a mediocre dress look fantastic.

Some good news and bad news for you today. The good news is that the NYC Rebecca Minkoff sample sale is here again! The bad news is that it comes at a time when I am completely broke—but maybe you’re not, so it’s double good news for you! In that case you should definitely check it out because her bags are unique and beautiful. At this sale most of her bags will be up to half-off their list price and you can’t beat that.

Here is a pic of the cherry tree that sits in my window, I’m so glad it has finally blossomed. It took forever this year but it is a sign I always wait for to confirm that spring has arrived. Aren’t they the prettiest trees?

It’s Cinco de Mayo, celebrate Mexican culture with tasty food like guacamole and get out an enjoy this beautiful day!

Don’t forget to check out Beauty in the Movies tomorrow!

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Polyvore Sucks Sometimes

So Polyvore can be a total asshole sometimes, they’ve lost my fashion collage for this week’s film. It might not seem like those collages take that long to throw together but trust me, they really do. Anyway, it’s poof, gone. Even though it was saved multiple times, I hate them. Sad face.

Anyway, enough complaining about Polyvore’s flaws, Beauty in the Movies is on hold this week until further notice, please don’t cry.

Go look at pictures of the royal wedding and frolic outside instead!

xo

Justine

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Random Pretties

First of all, hooray, it’s finally spring!! I’m not freezing at the moment and I even have a window open, it’s a miracle! I haven’t done a grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d share some fun products I’m liking right now.

I haven’t bought a nail polish for more than $8 in years, but when I was at Ulta over the weekend they were having a promotion where if you bought a butter London nail-polish you would receive a free mini bottle of their powder polish remover, so I decided to indulge and purchase the color “Macbeth”. The powder polish remover is nice, it leaves behind a sort of baby-powder smell on your skin rather than a strong nail polish remover smell.

Butter London polish is $14 at Ulta, and despite the name it’s actually an American company. I really like the bright reddish-orange shade I bought and even on the third day there is minimal chippage, but when it comes down to it I’m still cheap and I’ll have to be impressed by an unusual color for me to purchase this brand again.

I fell and skinned my knees in front of Penn station last week both hurting and embarrassing myself while also ripping a new pair of $15 tights to shreds—so what did I do after that? I dusted myself off and went to Sephora where I bought this Hello Kitty eyeliner for $16 to cheer myself up. When you fall down, pick yourself up and buy some makeup—trust me.

It’s an olive-green color called “picnic basket” and it’s a nice alternative to my usual black winged liner. I’m a little worried it might dry out fast, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m very happy with this liner and thinking I might buy the purple the next time I find myself in Sephora (or the next time I take a spill).

This Pangea Organics lip balm came in my March Birchbox and at first I was like “whatever, sure, another lip balm”, but then it slowly won me over. It has a relaxing jasmine-y smell and goes on very smooth and moisturizes well. I haven’t decided if I can bring myself to buy another for $12 but I’m thinking about it.

This is the biggest problem with birchbox, they make you fall in love with expensive products and then you feel compelled to by them—I guess that’s kind of the point though right?

Last but not least, I’ve written before about my disappointment in the totally wasteful and annoying packaging of Urban Decay’s primer potion, they’ve finally listened to their fans and Sephora has changed the packaging for more efficient use. It’s always nice when a brand actually listens to their customers, isn’t it?

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