Tag Archives: beauty

Beauty in the Movies: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead is one of the best movies ever, please don’t be misled by the title. Sure, if you like super serious movies where you get knocked over the head by meaning and intense emotion and all that, then fine, you might not agree, but if you were a girl who was growing up in the 90s, you probably love this film—and there’s no shame in that, only pride!

DTMTBD is like Working Girl for the 90s teen set, only kind of better because the fashion is way more fun. When Sue Ellen (or “Swell” for short) Crandell’s mom decides to jet off to Australia with her new boyfriend leaving her five children alone for the summer, at first they think they’re going to have the time of their lives. So it comes as quite a surprise when an old woman shows up at the door proclaiming to be their babysitter. It’s even more of a surprise when she drops dead leaving the kids with no money.

Sue Ellen soon realizes that, being the oldest, she’s in charge of her ramshackle gang of siblings for the rest of the summer. She and her burn-out brother Kenny (Keith Coogan) toss a frozen pizza to decide who will get a job and who will stay home with the kids. Sue Ellen loses the pizza toss, and soon finds herself cleaning fat vats at fast food joint Clown Dog. She quits pretty quickly, but not before meeting Brian (Josh Charles), a cute delivery-guy.

As a result of copying her resume straight from a book, Sue Ellen lands a coveted position as Executive Administrative Assistant at General Apparel West, making an enemy of the original candidate for the position, bitchy receptionist Carolyn (Jayne Brook).

Swell’s killer interview outfit and fake resume may have won her the job, but now Carolyn and her boyfriend (a greasy pre-X-Files David Duchovny) are determined to take her down.

Luckily Sue Ellen has the best boss ever, Rose (Joanna Cassidy) who not only can’t stand Carolyn but also gives us viewers the delightful phrase “I’m right on top of that Rose”, which to this day I still hear in my head when given an important task at work. Unfortunately 17-year-old Sue Ellen is in a bit over her head and things soon unravel, but not before an amazing work montage, beach romance, and some truly amazing 90s fashion.

DTMTBD has stuck around and remained in our hearts because it’s atypical for a teen movie. I love that Sue Ellen has a power-suit wearing female boss who is awesome and supportive instead of evil. It’s also great that while she gives herself her own “business” makeover, her younger brother is really the one who ends up going through a typical physical transformation—haircut, clean clothes, etc.

Swell was a fashion icon for me in my formative years, I still marvel at how she made harem pants and over-sized blazers look so effortlessly hip. Her awesome early 90s friends are also an inspiration, they remind me of the babysitters I had as a kid who I though were just the coolest. girls. ever. Side ponytails, teased hair, chunky jewelry, as far as I’m concerned they still look damn amazing.

Don’t be betrayed by the name, if for some reason you’ve never had the delight of watching DTMTBD, give it a try. It’s great this time of year if you’re working your butt off in business wear and feeling bitter about the tourists and day-trippers that surround you on your commute (I speak from very strong personal experience). It’s worth it alone to watch for the fashion show at the end, but really, whether she is wearing doc martens or shoulder-pads, Christina Applegate is just so damn wonderful. So crank up the AC, microwave some popcorn, and revisit a teen movie with style and charm that far exceed its title.

Beauty in the Movies: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Maxi dress
$38 – topshop.com

Diane von Furstenberg sheer blouse
250 – net-a-porter.com

Off the shoulder shirt
$15 – alloy.com

Viktor Rolf slim fit blazer
$698 – lagarconne.com

Freda blue jacket
144 – matchesfashion.com

River Island long jacket
50 – riverisland.com

French Connection harem pants
women.fashionbeans.com

Forzieri black leather briefcase
$659 – forzieri.com

Dannijo silver cuff bracelet
238 – net-a-porter.com

Black earrings
$7.99 – amazon.com

NERIDA FRAIMAN vintage hat
259 – harrods.com

Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses
€71 – my-wardrobe.com

Calvin Klein wide leather belt
$38 – zappos.com

Cuteberry floral scarve
$16 – yesstyle.com

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Zoya Earth Day Polish Promo Funtime!!

Do you have a box of old, separating, nasty, nail polish that you just haven’t gotten around to throwing out either because you feel guilty for buying them in the first place or you don’t know how to dispose of them safely? Well if you do, it’s your lucky day! From today until April 27th when you buy 6 Zoya polishes you only pay a shipping charge ($4 each) and can choose from over 300 lovely shades! Just enter the code EARTHZOYA at checkout.

If you haven’t tried Zoya polish yet, I can tell you that it’s awesome. Zoya is formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, which makes it one of the earth-friendliest, healthiest polish brands out there, plus it is long-lasting and has some truly amazing, unusual colors. Today I’m wearing the color “Kieko”—cats love it too!

Here’s the deal, choose your 6+ polishes (max 24) and you pay $4 shipping per bottle, you have to order at least 6 bottles—which means spending a minimum of $24. Then once you get them, you ship your nasty, crusty, old polishes back to Zoya and they promise to dispose of them in the proper manner (rather than them seeping into a landfill somewhere). You can think of it as paying half price for each bottle and getting free shipping, plus you’re doing something nice for mother Earth.

It might not be for everyone, but if you’re a polish fanatic and haven’t tried Zoya yet, now might be a good time to give it a whirl. They only do this promo once a year, so start choosing those polishes! If you don’t send back your old polishes, they won’t hold it against you either, you can use the promo code anyway, but if you’re like me, you’ll feel guilty about it. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my order, and when I get it I’ll be sure to share my pics with you! Happy polishing!

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Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

Last week I finally tried out Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips. Since they’re kind of pricey I’ve been waiting for a special occasion to use them (this past weekend was my sister’s 30th b-day party, a worthy event). There are two sets of 8 strips in each package, I’m totally confused as to why they don’t just give you an even 20 to assure that you get two uses out of each purchase—I mean most of us have 10 fingers right? Am I missing something?

If you have relatively short nails you should easily be able to get all 10 fingers covered with the 8 strips, using a scissor just cut off the top part of the strips you place on your thumbs and apply them to your pinkys. If you do that you can set aside the other 8 strips for another use. Once you’ve opened the vacuum sealed package, these will dry out and won’t stick to your nails as easily.

I followed the directions on the insert, but I added a top coat which makes for a shinier finish and adds extra protection. The hardest part of application is fitting the strip on to the cuticle line. If, like me, you have small nails you might have to trim off some of the excess around your nail bed, but for the most part I was surprised at how easily these fit on my nails. Just remember to press down and smooth out any air bubbles. Also note that application can be a bit messy due to the discarded bits of polish getting everywhere, as you can see here:

…but it’s worth it because they’re really f-ing cute!! I couldn’t stop looking at my nails and have received many compliments. I especially like this pattern (Check it Out), because the black and white make it sort of (a crazy) neutral as compared to some of the other patterns available.


I don’t see why you would buy these in the solid colors, you might as well just use regular polish, the patterns are pretty awesome if you love nail art though. Apparently they can last up to 10 days, but I may be harder on my nails than anyone on the planet so as you can see from this picture by Tuesday morning (I applied them Thursday night) they’ve started cracking and chipping.

I will be buying these in more patterns, especially when there is a promo like buy one get one half off at CVS. They sell out quick though, so when you see them be sure to snap them up, they’re definitely worth a try!

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A Moment For Elizabeth Taylor

We suffered a sad loss yesterday with the death of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, but I have no doubt the enormous life she lived will be remembered for generations to come. Not just for the films she made and the men she married, but for her activism and her vivacious spirit which failed to diminish through sickness and old age. More than anyone I can think of, Liz Taylor was a born star. With striking features including violet eyes and a mutation that gave her an extra set of eyelashes, she could have easily ended up just another pretty face, but instead she became a legend.

My favorite Liz Taylor story is this; Princess Margaret spotted the 39-carat Krupp diamond (given to her by husband Richard Burton) on Elizabeth Taylor’s finger and exclaimed, “That’s the most vulgar thing I’ve ever seen!”. Taylor offered to let her try the “vulgar” jewel on, and watched as the Princess admired the enormous diamond. The quick-witted Taylor then famously quipped: “See? It’s not so vulgar now, is it?”.

It’s a perfect example of what was so lovable about Elizabeth Taylor. She was elegant, graceful and praised for her acting abilities, but she didn’t pretend to be something she wasn’t. She didn’t care if she was considered vulgar, in fact she enjoyed it. So many stars today are trying so hard to appear “classy” by painting themselves as humble and relate-able, but they aren’t, we all know they’re making millions and living a lavish life. Elizabeth Taylor had a forthrightness that couldn’t help but be charming. She was passionate, talented, tough, and always appeared to have a magnificent sense of humor. This is a woman who pulled a tooth from actor, and close friend, Montgomery Clift’s throat as he choked after a car accident. She survived alcoholism, spousal abuse, tabloid insults, 8 marriages, a husband’s sudden death, 5 broken backs, 2 hip replacements, a brain tumor, skin cancer, and an emergency tracheotomy. She was a matriarch, a survivor, a force to be reckoned with, and an inspiration for all women to be who they are and live their lives without apology. Here’s to you Ms. Taylor.

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A Review: Tarte 8th World Wonder Collection from QVC

One day I will do a full post on the ridiculous yet mesmerizing phenomenon that is QVC, but for today I’m just going to review this Tarte collection that I took a gamble and splurged on since I needed a new powder brush anyway. QVC actually has some awesome makeup deals in case you didn’t know. This whole collection was available for pre-order at $48.36, the blush is $25 at Sephora and the mascara is $19, so that’s almost the whole cost right there. Now the price is up to $52.74, I’m not sure how much the cost will go up and when they’ll get in more stock, but even at $60 this collection is a great value.

Amazonian clay balancing foundation SPF 15 with brush

I haven’t worn real foundation in years, I use MACs studio finish concealer and blend it with moisturizer instead. The reason for this is I’m really pale and everything looks orange on me (even tinted moisturizers with names like “extra light”) so I was surprised this foundation actually matches my skin. Maybe because Maureen Kelly is as pale as I am, but that also means all these shades of foundation run light. Hopefully they’ll add more shades, because even the darkest doesn’t look very dark. Also the brush is really soft and fluffy.

Amazonian clay 12-hour wear powder blush in Glisten

I’m very happy with this blush, it’s kind of like Nars Orgasm but smoother. It’s not cakey like powder blushes can be sometimes. It is very pigmented so try not to layer it on. It also has shimmer, so if you prefer a matte look, it might not be for you.

Pure Maracuja oil sample

I’m loving this oil, and not just because I like saying the name “Maracuja”. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and it makes skin look hydrated and healthy without looking greasy.

Amazonian clay long-wear eyeshadow palette

This eyeshadow quad is a little flimsy, I kept trying to pull the plastic off the mirror until I realized it’s just a really crappy mirror. The shadows are nice and smooth, but definitely need to be blended with attention. Some of the reviews on QVC complain that these shadows (and the blush) are too pigmented, but you can’t blame the product if you don’t use it right. Blend, my friends—that is the most overlooked makeup “secret” of all and it’s very easy to do. The more pigment a product has the more use you can get out of it in the long run, just use it in moderation.

Lights, Camera, Lashes! volumizing mascara in Black

While I think this mascara is very nice and was happy to get it with this set, I think my trusty drugstore brands (Covergirl, Maybelline) get the job done just as well.

Amazonian clay automatic waterproof eyeliner in Golden Plum

I was surprised that this liner went on smoothly, stayed put all day, and still came off easily at night. It’s a plummy, brownish-gold color, and it doesn’t have glitter flecks or anything.

Pure Optic moisturizing lip gloss in Golden Pink

This gloss on the other hand is very glittery. In fact it’s mostly just glitter with a teensy bit of a pink hue. I’m not a gloss person, but this one isn’t as sticky as others and also has a fresh minty scent.

And it all comes in this purple woven bag!

Here’s the whole look:

Can I just say, taking pictures of yourself without looking like an ass is really hard. There are so many women out there who do this for their makeup blogs all the time and god bless them, but I don’t know how they do it. I always have to crop out my messy house and sometimes I end up with some really scary wide-angle shots. Anyway, I do it for you readers, I want you to see what the makeup looks like on a real person. If I could use my cats, I would, but they’re kind of busy.

While I’m on the subject of embarrassing pictures of myself and also cats…guess who got to meet Hello Kitty at Sephora last week? Yeah, It was me and she totally grabbed me in a bear hug and I loved every second of it!

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Summer Cravings

Some say January is the worst month of the year, with the post holiday letdown and freezing temperatures. February is just as bad, but at least has the decency to be shorter than other months. Then we have March, which I find the cruelest of all. March teases you into believing it’s spring. the sun sets later, the stores are full of pastel candy, and you keep getting e-mails about sandals and bathing suit sales. And then, just when you’re thinking winter is done, the assault of cold air outside snaps you out of your warm weather delusions.

Recently, I’ve been fantasizing past the spring and have jumped full force into daydreams of summer. You can probably expect more posts in which I complain about the weather and long for the joys of springtime. Also, once it’s summer you can bet I’ll be whining that it’s too hot. Anyway, just for now, here’s what I’ve been pining for these last few weeks:

I am so sick of dry cracking skin, every time I wash my hands all the moisturize seems to disappear leaving me with scary mummy hands and the need to slather on gloppy expensive creams. The same goes for my face, I can’t use soaps or scrubs at all, they reduce me to an ugly flaking mess. I long for the humid days of July when I can once again be lazy and achieve a dewy glow without having to spend time and money dosing myself in products. Sure, I’ll complain about my hair frizzing up constantly, but right now, unruly hair seems like a reasonable trade-off for glowing skin.

There are people who always wear shoes, even in the house, they wake up in the morning and even if they’re not going anywhere they put on shoes—it amazes me! My husband is one of those people, he thinks I’m the crazy one because I never wear shoes inside. As soon as I walk in the door I have to get those things off my feet immediately. If it weren’t considered taboo by society I would walk around barefoot all the time (and yes, I’ve stepped in glass enough to know this is not a good idea). I hate having my poor feet trapped inside heavy socks and constricting footwear all winter long, toes want to be free!

When it’s finally warm enough to liberate my trotters, the first place they’ll be going is into the sand. It’s not a far walk, just a block away actually, I could go right now. Unfortunately I would have to wear my parka and would probably catch frostbite and then be sad about it. Boo March.

Don’t get me wrong, I love apples, they might just be the most versatile of fruits. Apple pie, apple crisp, apple butter, apple strudel, apples with peanut butter—dear god please someone give me some strawberries! It’s so much easier to eat healthy fruit in the summer when it’s in season and delicious. I bought strawberries the other day and half of them were mushy and rotten after a day, then I felt guilty for buying fruit out-of-season and killing the environment all because I’m impatient. I’ll go back to apples for another couple of months and continue to daydream about strawberries, watermelons and avocados (especially when they’ve been smashed into a delicious bowl of guacamole).

Come to think of it, I’ve been craving summer food in general. Not only fruit, but BBQ, hamburgers, chicken wings, salads and being able to eat outdoors. I’m sick of soups and stews, and being too cold all the time to eat anything that isn’t piping hot. I can’t even tell you about the lustful cravings I’ve been having for ice cream recently. I have to remind myself that enjoying a bowl of creamy cold goodness will just force me to add yet another layer of fleece to my already bundled, freezing body.

Obviously you can wear bright nail polish anytime of year, but for some reason it just feels better to wear it in warm weather. Somehow whenever I wear bright pink polish in the winter I feel like I’m lying to myself. This season the beauty world is telling us that darker polishes are in for spring—like Chanel’s black pearl, but I’m not buying it. Give me brights (especially on my toes at the beach) and I’m a happy girl. Save the black pearls for Fall, or for Liz Taylor—since they’ve always brought her luck.

I’m not only craving flowers, but green grass and budding branches. The other day in the supermarket I found myself staring longingly at the flower section, which was kind of embarrassing. I was literally stopped in my tracks by a bouquet of zinnias. This time of year I find myself trying to remember what the trees look like with leaves and what it feels like to go outside without being wrapped in down. I can’t wait for the first crocuses and daffodils to poke their heads out of the dirt. They’ll be a true sign that winter is over and summer, dewy skin tasty food and all, is finally on its way.

Anyone else having summer cravings? Let’s hear ’em.

 

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My First Birchbox Has Arrived!

My first Birchbox couldn’t have chosen a better day to appear. I was feeling cold and annoyed at the icy, cold, disgusting, weather outside, so that fuchsia box in the mail was like a little bit of sunshine for me.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of the Birchbox you can get more information at their website. Basically you pay $10 a month (or $110 a year) and each month you receive a cute box of deluxe samples. Obviously if you’re not into products, it seems silly to spend over $100 a year on boxes full of stuff you might never use, but if you’re a product junkie, this might be perfect for you. I signed up in December and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first Birchbox for the last week, so let’s take a look at what I found.

The box itself is packaged very cute, when you receive it, you don’t feel like you’re getting a throwaway box full of cheap samples, it feels like a well thought-out gift. It comes with a card explaining all the featured products and why each was chosen for the box. This specific package has a sort of “new year, new you” theme, the products inside are meant to be rejuvenating and refreshing. Here’s the breakdown:

Blow Up Daily Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

I have a lot of hair, so it took almost the full bottles of each of these samples to get my head properly washed and conditioned. That being said, my hair does feel nice and smooth and the smell is also pleasing. Is there an increase in volume? Not noticeably.

Ahava, Dermud Intensive Nourishing Hand Cream

I have to say this hand cream is really nice, it dissolves very quickly, really moisturizes and a little goes a long way. It also has an interesting but unobtrusive natural smell that I personally like.

myfaceworks, Sheet Mask

This mask is a piece of cloth drenched in nourishing liquid. You’re supposed to lay down for 15-20 minutes when you wear it since it might drip, and also because the people you live with might run screaming from the house particularly if they’re scared of Michael Meyers or Leatherface—I’m serious, I scared myself in the mirror several times—yikes!

It does feel refreshing, but these are pretty pricey so I don’t know if I would ever buy them.  It’ nice that you just put it on and then pull the whole thing off in once piece without having to deal with crumbling mud or anything.

Serge Lutens, L’Eau

I really don’t like this perfume, but I think all women have very different tastes in scents, so it depends on the individual. This is a “fresh” scent that reminds me a lot of Clinique’s Lucky, but it’s just not for me.

Zhenea’s Gypsy Tea

I’m usually not a tea drinker, but this light and spicy Chai is really lovely, as is the tin it comes in. Perfect on a cold January day, the sample tin contains 5 tea bags.

And that’s it!

My main concern when I joined Birchbox was that the size of the samples wasn’t going to be worth it, but I’m not disappointed. I was worried they would be like the samples they give you in department stores that come in paper sleeves and can’t be resealed for multiple use, but aside from the face mask all these products can be used more than once. Since the one face mask alone retails for 9$ the whole thing seems like a pretty decent value.

I’m hoping that in the coming months there are more makeup products to play with. I have a feeling there will be some months that are amazing and others that fall short, but you can’t please everyone all the time right? So far I think that for the price, and the fun of getting the cute package delivered to your door, Birchbox is worth it if you love cosmetics.

Anyone else trying Birchbox? Let me know what you think!

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