Tag Archives: standards

Beauty in the Movies: She-Devil

I can’t believe this movie isn’t on DVD, it’s really a shame because it’s totally underrated and deserves to be viewed by a new generation. Thank goodness it is now streaming on Netflix for your enjoyment, so don’t miss out!

Loosely based on the novel by Fay Weldon, She-Devil gives us the story of Ruth Patchett (Roseanne) a clueless, frumpy, housewife in 1980s suburbia. She is verbally abused and neglected by her husband Bob (Ed Begley Jr.), and finally snaps when she can no longer ignore his blatant affair with romance novelist Mary Fisher (Meryl Streep). In a rage, Ruth vows to destroy all of her husband’s “assets” as he calls them. She burns down their house, drops the kids off with Bob at his mistress’s pink mansion, and heads off to start a new life driven by revenge.

As Ruth’s plans succeed, Mary’s life begins to crumble. Mary wanted Bob, and now she has him—and his children, and his infidelity, and thanks to Ruth, Mary’s loud-mouthed, elderly mother (who Mary had been keeping sedated at Golden Twilight Nursing home for years) shows up on her door step as well.

As Mary’s life falls apart, Ruth’s life blossoms, she renames herself Vesta Rose and opens a women’s employment agency with her friend Hooper (Linda Hunt). The Vesta Rose agency helps “women who the world threw away” by turning them into successful, strong, working women. At the same time, these women provide Ruth with an army that aids her in achieving vengeance over those who’ve wronged her, so she is doing good while doing bad.

She-Devil is, more than anything else, a film about fantasy. Mary writes bodice ripping romance novels and delivers her own fantasy to a legion of women who need the escape. Ruth herself once bought into Mary’s novels, but when her reality comes into sharp focus she brings Mary’s world crashing down to Earth along with her, bursting her pink bubble of fantasy by delivering Mary the responsibilities and stresses most of her readers are all too familiar with.

I honestly don’t think this film would work without Meryl Streep, you have to respect a woman who after winning a couple of Oscars, decides to do a movie like this one. I’m sure there are tons of critics who think it’s ridiculous, but there is no way you can watch this movie and not think Meryl is having a ball playing the ridiculous, vain, selfish, Mary Fisher. She gives a flamboyantly funny performance and when you’re as good an actress as she is, you can choose the roles you want to play without worrying that you won’t be taken seriously—and besides, being funny is a whole heck of a lot harder than being serious any day.


In essence, She-Devil is the ultimate revenge fantasy of every wronged woman. Ruth not only gives back what she got and them some, but she embraces her freedom and starts a new life by helping other women who’ve been abused and beaten down. Ruth’s wrath doesn’t burn her up, it renews her, she rises up from the ashes of her old life, and finds a new purpose. She doesn’t find a prince charming, and she does use other people to serve herself, but it’s almost refreshing to see that in a film, especially since nowadays every comedy seems so moralistic. All the characters do despicable things, they’re cliches—but sometimes we all are, so why not have a laugh about it?

She-Devil

She-Devil by justinez featuring a bodice dress

Preen dresses PINK
418 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Pink evening dress »

kirigami craft dress
$40 – shopruche.com
Vintage style dresses »

Silk-satin blouse
$139 – theoutnet.com
Long sleeve tops »

White Linen Jacket
39 GBP – debenhams.com
Windsmoor »

Vanishing Floral Wide Pant
$420 – zimmermannstore.com
Floral pants »

Shantung skirt Pink
20 GBP – houseoffraser.co.uk
Pink skirt »

Pointy Pumps
$42 – yesstyle.com
Pumps »

PARIS
89 GBP – kurtgeiger.com
Evening bags clutches »

Oval Pearl Clip Earring
$50 – amritasingh.com
Oval jewelry »

Pink Chiffon Rose Ring
3 GBP – talullahtu.co.uk
Pink jewelry »

Rawnie Hat in Blanco
$295 – simplysoles.com
Summer hats »

Classic Silk Ladies Gloves
$85 – aspinaloflondon.com
Silk gloves »

Silk Scarf with Polka Dot
$80 – aspinaloflondon.com
Wrap scarves »

Estee Lauder All Day Lipstick
$18 – nordstrom.com


Charm Pen
$360 – louisvuitton.com


Christine fleurs –
data0.eklablog.com


5 Comments

Filed under Beauty in the movies

Beauty in the Movies: Heathers

This week I present to you one of the best teen comedies ever, and by far one of the darkest. Heathers is one of those movies that just keeps getting better as the years go by, and you discover something new each time you watch it.

There are four girls who rule Westerberg High, Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) and Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder). They spend their days torturing geeks like Martha Dunnstock (Carrie Lynn), who they call Martha Dump-truck, doling out witty dialogue, and playing croquet. When new guy JD (Christian Slater) arrives at school, he shakes up Veronica’s world and forces her to confront how awful the Heathers really are.

When we first meet JD, he’s the epitome of the cool, mysterious new kid, he comes on the scene to save Veronica from a world of Heathers and expose the popular crowd as the self-centered assholes they are. It’s set up like other teen movies; two characters meet and seem to be a perfect match, but things go off in a very different direction from there. It’s Veronica’s story, but instead of spending the film mooning over a crush, she spends it frantically scribbling in her diary while wearing her monocle and cursing the idiocy of her peers.

The American high school is a nasty place, and Heathers was the first movie that exposed it as such. In high school everyone is labeled, every dark secret is fair game, and even death is a way to up your social standing.

Heathers came out in 1989, at the end of an era dominated by John Hughes movies where teenagers are fun, sweet, and adorable—the most bad-ass things they do involve dancing at parades and skipping out on their detention homework. The Heathers teens range from vapid to down right evil, a sharp contrast to the charming geeks and lovable jocks of the Hughes Cannon. In Heathers, house parties are replaced by funerals, and instead of the cute male lead turning out to be surprisingly sensitive, he turns out to be a murderous psychopath. Sadly, in some ways it’s a much more realistic portrayal of what high school is really like.

Heathers established its own vernacular, it gave us phrases you still hear in modern high schools, even if those kids have no idea where they came from—like “what’s your damage?”, “I gotta motor”, or “How very”. Virtually every other line is a memorable quote, who could forget “F*ck me gently with a chainsaw” or “I love my dead gay son!”?

Teen suicide has been making headlines again recently, which means it’s time to start re-running Heathers on cable, because this film actually makes a great case against suicide. It demonstrates how killing yourself just makes your hateful classmates pretend they liked you, and that they will use your death as a means to garner attention for themselves. High school is a war zone, and sometimes it spills over into college, but life does get better. There are still jerks in the world after high school, but you get to choose if you want to be around them or not. Sure, offices can sometimes recall a bit too much of that old high school cruelty, but for the most part people mature and realize life is too short to be so worried what everyone else thinks.

Heathers held up the mirror and forced us to look at the way we treat tragedy, the sensationalized accounts of death and suicide have only grown with the internet age. Teen suicides provoked (at least in part) by bullying are in the news every other week these days. The cavalier attitude and lack of responsibility from peers is always a major focus of disgust—more than twenty years later and Heathers is truer than ever, yet we still act surprised by the actions of empathy-free teens and their victims, showing that we would rather run a “shocking” news story than try to solve the problem. All I can say is, in the words of Big Fun, “Teenage suicide—don’t do it”.

Off Shoulder Stripe Top
$47 – metroparkusa.com
Off shoulder tops »

DOUBLE BREASTED LAPEL VEST
164 GBP – mytheresa.com
3.1 Phillip Lim vests »

Double-Breasted Long Vest
$70 – yesstyle.com
T shirt vest »

Fall Remy Skirt
$188 – stevenalan.com
Steven Alan skirts »

bow & ruffles mustard skirt
$23 – shopruche.com
Rayon skirt »

Silk Bubble Hem Skirt
$18 – forever21.com
Silk skirt »

Monalisa
299 DKK – shopfriiscompany.com
Ballet shoes »

Leather penny loafers
$119 – talbots.com
Leather shoes »

Large Red Fabric Rose Brooch
7 GBP – avalaya.com
Red brooch »

Red Plastic Hoop Earrings
3.65 GBP – avalaya.com
Red earrings »

OPI Off With Her Red
$2.97 – amazon.com

Gap Tiered tulle skirt
$13 – gap.com

red scrunchie
ehow.com

Smilart Fan Studio Фоторедактор Онлайн
fanstudio.ru

9 Comments

Filed under Beauty in the movies

The Going Away Outfit, and The Trouble With Dress Shopping

Ok, so it’s not really a going away outfit for me as much as it is a brunch the next day/going away outfit, but I’m calling it my “going away outfit” anyway. I like the idea of it, it’s a bit of a throw back, a little retro, a bit traditional, but practical too. Years ago brides would buy their outfit as part of their wedding trousseau and change into it before they left for their honeymoon while the wedding was still going on. Maybe I just like the idea of buying a new outfit, but I keep thinking about Shelby’s little pink suit in Steel Magnolias, and Cameron Diaz’s character wears one at the end of My Best Friend’s Wedding too—maybe it’s Julia Robert’s who’s responsible, but either way, I like the idea.

My wedding ends at 1:30 in the morning so I won’t be changing into anything but pajamas afterward, the next morning there will be brunch though, and then the fiancé and I are going away for the weekend, so as far as I’m concerned, the occasion calls for a cute outfit.

The going away outfit is usually a suit, but the problem is, it’s hard to find suits that are cute and feminine, and if I did find a cute suit I would probably either never wear it again (and I already have an expensive dress I’ll never wear again) or if I did ever wear it again it would be to an interview, and that would just take all the fun out of it. So I thought I’d look for a going away dress instead.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been having any luck, sometimes finding dresses can be exceptionally hard. It seems that everything is either a party dress, a work dress, or a sun dress, anything else is really hard to find. My mother says it’s because in your twenties you end up in-between the juniors section and the ladies section—that theory is reserved for mall department stores, and is also completely true. All the stuff in the juniors department seems flimsy and ill-fitting, and most of the stuff in the ladies department is best suited for the office or the MOTB (that’s mother of the bride in wedding speak). So what’s a girl to do? Not shop at department stores I guess.

I checked out Anthropologie too, and maybe it’s just me, but it seems like their clothes (especially dresses) just keep getting more expensive and less wearable. Everyone knows that Anthropologie has a tendency to take a perfectly lovely article of clothing and stick a weird flower or pom-pom on it and ruin the whole thing, I’ll do a whole post on it one day, but right now all I can say is they have a lot of weird expensive dresses. When you need to find something it’s impossible to find it, but finding cute dresses seems harder than usual recently.

I only have 29 days more to look, and I’m generally sick of the state of available dresses. That seems like a crazy complaint, but the more I trek around to stores and click through pages online, the more I’m convinced that dresses only come in three categories.  You could draw the conclusion that the fashion industry only sees women as one of these three archetypes—business woman, party girl, or cutesy teen, but maybe it’s a supply and demand thing. So what I’m wondering is, do other people have this problem when searching for dresses? Is it just me who hates spaghetti straps or low backs because I have to think about what bra to wear with it? Or who feels like every dress is either too short or too frumpy? Anyone else who longs for tailoring and fit without sacrificing personality and femininity? Maybe I’m just crazy, but I’m also a lady who loves dresses, and I’m fed up with my lack of options.

Anyone have suggestions—perhaps a favorite store I haven’t thought of? I’d also appreciate any insight into why dresses have to be sleeveless, because that’s something I’ve never understood, who wants to have to search for a sweater after all that dress shopping?

7 Comments

Filed under shopping

American Apparel: A Moral Dilemma

Years ago, all I knew about American Apparel was that it made nice blank T-shirts, and I had no qualms about it, I liked the product, and that was that. As AA went from being a wholesaler to a retailer, complete with controversial ad campaigns and accusations of sexual harassment, it became hard to separate the product from the scandals. So, what do you do when you like the products a store makes, but disagree with its marketing and think the CEO is a sexist jerk?

Dov Charney sounds like an über sleaze, he has an obsession with 70s pornography, likes doing inappropriate things in the presence of both his employees and interviewers, and is generally a creep who is too deluded to realize his actions are both offensive and unacceptable. If you want to know more specifics about Charney’s escapades, simply go to Jezebel, or any sites in the Gawker universe, and type in his name. There has also been lots of speculation on the state of American Apparel’s finances. They’ve been late on reporting their quarterly reports, stocks are plunging, and sales are down, Charney of course, denies most of this.

I can’t help but think that the old adage “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” isn’t exactly true when your horrible personality and numerous scandals keep a public from wanting to give you money, even when they like your products. On top of all that, I also have the issue that when I walk into American Apparel I instantly feel old, lame, and frumpy—and I’m 26. A store that purposely employs workers who look hip, (I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes at the sales clerk in her over-sized eyeglasses, hugely baggy sweater and jeggings, it’s kinda old at this point, no?) rather than workers who offer assistance, pay attention to customers, and make you feel welcome, shouldn’t really be surprised when nobody wants to shop there.

The problem is, I like American Apparel—not Dov Charney, but some of the products his company makes. I mean, I’ not buying a $50 lace bodysuit anytime in the near future, but I could literally live in the tri-blend t-shirts and pullovers. I have a bunch of sundresses and skirts that are versatile and devoid of the ruffles and beads so often found on everything at stores like Antropologie. There is something nice about the simplicity of many AA products. Unfortunately Dov and his company have further alienated people by refusing to offer any of its women’s products in plus sizes despite offering up to 3XL in unisex and men’s styles. It’s truly upsetting to see a company that has some great products shoot itself in the foot over and over again. I haven’t even mentioned the nail polish, which comes in some really nice colors and costs only $6.

If you’re thinking, “is there anything redeeming about this company aside from soft t-shirts and nail polish?” check out this quote from the AA wikipedia page:

“American Apparel bases its manufacturing in an 800,000-square-foot factory in downtown Los Angeles, California. The company also owns and operates its own fabric dye house, garment dye house, and knitting facility, all based in Los Angeles. American Apparel has decided not to outsource its labor, paying factory workers an average of over $12 dollars an hour. Garment workers for similar American companies in China earn approximately 40 cents per hour. It claims to have the ‘highest earning apparel workers in the world’.”

I’m a huge advocate for promoting manufacturing in the US, I’m repeatedly appalled by how few things are produced in this country, and how much of what we buy is made by grossly underpaid and often abused factory workers in foreign countries. So, here is where the dilemma comes in, give your money to a sexist, skeezoid who gives his workers a fair wage and produces American made products —or give it to a company that has no problem outsourcing its labor and charging you ten times the manufacturing cost (and probably has some questionable CEOs too, only with better publicists and more common sense)? As someone who has lost work due to outsourcing, feels deeply passionate about resurrecting the production of American made goods, and also considers herself an avid feminist, it’s quite the conundrum.

Every time I go into American Apparel I get pissed off, mostly because I like a lot of their products and believe in there manufacturing policies, so I get real ticked when I go in there and feel like an uncool alien intruding on the conversations of the staff, and bombarded by trashy advertisements. But then, I go home and I put on my tri-blend pullover or my black pencil skirt and I’m both comfortable and proud to wear something made in the USA, so what’s a girl to do?

I know that American Apparel is a bit of a hot button issue, perhaps it’s your favorite place, or maybe you wouldn’t step foot in a store with those porn-inspired ads, either way, I’d love to hear what the rest of you think, and if anyone else has the same moral dilemma about shopping at AA.

9 Comments

Filed under shopping

Beauty in the Movies: Working Girl

When I first decided to start Beauty in the Movies, one of the films I had in mind was Working Girl, it’s one of the most iconic examples of female empowerment in cinema, and it’s got an awesome 80’s wardrobe to go with it.

(click to enlarge)

When we were little (way too little to understand most of it) my sister and I watched this movie over and over again. I think mostly it had to do with Joan Cusack’s insanely fabulous hair and make-up, seeing Han Solo as a business man, and also the song “Let the River Run” by Carly Simon which we sang loudly and repeatedly to the intense annoyance of my mother.

Working Girl is the story of Tess McGill, a Wall Street secretary from Staten Island with the brains of a high-powered executive, and as she puts it—”a bod for sin”. Unfortunately, since she is lacking the breeding and ivy league education, all she gets out of her bosses is sexual harassment in the form of set-ups with jerks (including Kevin Spacey) who treat her like a prostitute. Tess thinks it’s a blessing when she ends up the secretary to powerful businesswoman Catherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) who promises to help her and listen to her ideas, but as many of us with office experience have learned, for some awful reason female bosses can sometimes be far crueler than their male counterparts. When Catherine breaks her leg during a ski trip, Tess discovers that Catherine has been so impressed with her ideas that she is planning to pass them off as her own. In her mentoring of Tess, Catherine gave her secretary the excellent advice that only you alone can make things happen for yourself—and that’s exactly what Tess resolves to do.

Since Catherine already started the ball rolling on Tess’s business proposition, all Tess has to do is contact Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford), the broker Catherine was planning to work with, and give herself a makeover in time for their meeting. I won’t go farther than that, you’ll just have to see it for yourself if you haven’t already. Some other reasons to see this film; Joan Cusack as Tess’s best friend Cyn, a brief appearance by Ricki Lake, and even better—David Duchovny as an extra, or as he is referred to in the credits a “Party Friend”, the slicked back hair is not a good look for him.

Working Girl is a Cinderella story of sorts, and though Harrison Ford does make a particularly charming prince, Tess is really the one who saves herself. She could have just accepted her place, she could have been discouraged by listening to her bosses, or her sleazy boyfriend (Alec Baldwin), or even the other secretaries, but she doesn’t, she goes after what she wants.

This movie is loaded with great performances, all three ladies scored Oscar noms for their performances—Melanie, Sigourney and Joan, and Mike Nichols was nominated for best director as well. It’s a rare film that manages to fall into the category of romantic comedy while also being taken quite seriously. It’s Melanie Griffith’s performance that keeps this film from being a typical rom-com, she portrays a mix of vulnerability, ambition, and pride that make her character both believable and sympathetic. While Harrison Ford is adorable and captivating (there is a great scene where he changes his shirt in the office to the delight of the secretarial pool), it’s the ladies that give the film depth. Even the villainous Catherine, played so impeccably by Ms.Weaver, manages to avoid being one-dimensional. Catherine doesn’t purposely want to hurt Tess—but she doesn’t believe it’s her fault if she has to step on people to get to the top.

As I was watching this last night I couldn’t help but think of Mad Men, one of my (and everyone’s) favorite shows. Just as Mad Men is a peek into office life in the 1960’s, Working Girl is the 1980’s equivalent. Obviously Mad Men is far more serious and stylized, but the hierarchy and the struggle for women remains the same. A major issue on Mad Men is whether women are better off trying to behave like men in the office, or if they should embrace their sexuality rather than stifle it. Catherine Parker is a perfect example of a businesswoman who refuses to dress in boxy suits and dull shades to put the men at ease. Besides, if a confident women puts her male colleagues on guard, and draws attention to the fact that she is something different—all the better. For Mad Men fans it’s easy to draw parallels between Tess McGill and Peggy Olson, too bad we don’t get to see the way Tess’s career plays out over the years as we get to see with Peggy. 

Tess McGill has become an icon for working women, she represents the struggle to be taken seriously, to go after your goals, and to achieve anything you put your mind to (even in an unconventional way). This film still resonates because women are still second-rate citizens in the business world. As of 2009 only 1.5% of the 2,000 top performing companies worldwide were women. Sadly, that is a huge jump from the 1980’s when there were virtually no female heads of major companies. There is still a huge pay gap for women both in and out of the business world. Even as CEOs of major companies women tend to make less than half the pay of their male counterparts. I wish this film could be looked at as a lighthearted romantic comedy, but the issues that made it powerful at the time still remain more than twenty years later. Sorry to bum you out, but it’s the truth, and a very important one to remember. The gender wage gap exists, and the only way we can ever change that is by admitting that it’s there, I don’t think Tess McGill would have stood for it, so why the hell should we right?

When my sister and I watched Working Girl as kids, I think we both related to it because it’s New York, and as strange as the big hair and blue eyeshadow seem now, at the time that felt familiar, it was what my babysitters and my aunts were wearing. I think my sister took away more from the film than rainbow eyeshadow and shoulder padded suits. We were raised in an apartment in Queens and never had much money, but what we did have was parents who told us we could be absolutely anything we put our mind to (and who let us watch this movie!), so she ended up a high-powered attorney in Manhattan, I consider her a Tess McGill of her own making, and we’re very proud of her. I hope this film continues to inspire young women for a long time to come and I hope it teaches them that they truly are the ones who make it happen, male or female, nobody is going to achieve your goals for you, and that’s a fact.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Velvet dresses BLACK
128 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Velvet dress »

Sheer silk-chiffon blouse
$384 – theoutnet.com
High neck blouse »

SATIN CAMISOLE
139 GBP – mytheresa.com
Camisole tops »

Surface to Air Amy Blouse
$240 – shoplesnouvelles.com
Surface To Air blouses »

Double Button Blazer
$345 – lagarconne.com
Double breasted blazer »

Shawl Collar Blazer
$135 – topshop.com
TopShop blazers »

150 ALL NUDE Tights
29 EUR – pret-a-beaute.com
Sheer hosiery »

Grey textured wrap suit skirt
25 GBP – dorothyperkins.com
Wrap around skirt »

CLASSIC PUMPS
337 GBP – mytheresa.com
Rupert Sanderson pumps »

teasing comb
purespadirect.com


7 Comments

Filed under Beauty in the movies

Body Hair: To Wax or Not To Wax?

Alright, so I have this dilemma—that’s probably a bad way to start a post about body hair, but stick with me, the problem is I’m wearing a tea length dress at my wedding and my legs will be visible. So, for the first time in my life I’ve been thinking of getting my legs waxed, which I find terrifying. Being forced to think about this dilemma has really gotten me thinking about body hair in general, and all the painful, expensive, decisions that go with it.

I’ve only ever had my eyebrows waxed and I can’t say that I loved it, with the lasting redness and localized breakouts it caused, I’ve mainly stuck to tweezing. I can only imagine that waxing large areas of skin is far more painful, and also pricey, but for my wedding it does seem somewhat appropriate. My main goal for my wedding day is to not have to think about too much, low-stress is the goal, so even something stupid like shaving my legs could become a disaster.

I know there are people out there who wax on a regular basis, some who wax everything all the time, and I have to say I find the subject both fascinating and unnerving. What it makes me wonder about specifically, is why our culture feels so strongly about ripping all hair out from the root in what can be a sometimes excruciating procedure.

I totally understand that we have hair in places we might not want it, and that eliminating it, or shaping it, can lend to the attractiveness of our appearance, but I think when all body hair (and other people’s body hair) becomes cause for ridicule, things have gone too far. I shave my armpits, maybe not as thoroughly in the winter, but I prefer it. I’m not sure if it’s due to a real personal preference, or a result of habit. From the time I’ve had hair under my arms I’ve been shaving it off. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to let it grow in all the way, but frankly, when it gets past an inch, I feel compelled to shave it down again. Women who don’t shave their pits usually get some absurdly generic label slapped on them, like “hippie”, or “feminist”, or “European”, but why should shaving your armpits (or your legs) be any different from filing your nails, it’s simply a personal choice.

For most women, the act of hair removal is as commonplace as shampooing, it’s expected to the point of annoyance. I completely understand women who have laser treatments and electrolysis to remove hair so that they don’t have to worry about it anymore. Because that’s my main issue with hair removal—having to worry about it at all. I have a beauty routine, I moisturize, I exfoliate, I deep condition my hair, and I don’t really mind any of those things, I actually enjoy them, but for me, excessive hair removal has always been where I draw the line. It’s not just the pain, I can handle the burning wax, the awful sneezing that results from eyebrow plucking, and the inflamed skin, it’s the upkeep that makes me crazy. It’s the fact that the hair grows back, sometimes so quickly it’s shocking that nature could be so cruel.

When a celebrity dares to neglect the removal of visible body hair, they’re not only ridiculed, but added to photo galleries to be remembered for their foolish transgression for all internet history. For this reason, it’s become quite clear that body hair is disgusting. To show body hair is to demonstrate a flagrant disregard for your own hygiene, despite the fact that it naturally, and persistently, sprouts from all of our bodies. While looking for images for this post I was shocked at how offended some were at a celebrity’s follicular “neglect”.

Not shaving your legs or pits isn’t like deciding not to brush your teeth or wash your hands, there isn’t anything un-hygienic about having body hair. In fact the removal of hair is far likelier to result in “un-hygienic” results—such as rashes and infections, so why all the hatred?  When I saw Mo’Nique at the golden globes instead of thinking it was disgusting I thought it was awesome that she could stand there looking gorgeous, happy, and confident, hairy legs and all. It wasn’t one of those “Celebrity Oops” moments where they catch a starlet in pimple cream, this is a woman who just doesn’t like to shave her legs, and says “so what?”, pretty admirable if you ask me.

Despite my admiration of Mo’Nique, I don’t think I’ll be going the hairy legged route on my wedding day, call me a conformist, but I’m not there yet, maybe one day though. For now, I need to decide whether a leg wax is in my future.

I’m curious to know how other women feel about hair removal. I’m not condemning or condoning either practice, but it seems important to understand why we do it, why we suffer the pain or choose to avoid it, and why either choice should be the business of anyone else but you. So share your opinions—oh, and if you have any advice or experience on the leg waxing dilemma, I’d love to hear that too!

9 Comments

Filed under acceptance

Beauty in the Movies: Whip It

I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. I’ve had moments where I’ve found Drew Barrymore incredibly annoying, but recently I’ve been liking her. It could be that she is one of the few people in Hollywood who has the pull, and the desire, to make more films about women.

Whip It is the story of Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), a high school outcast in her Texas town of Bodeen. Her beauty pageant obsessed mother (Marcia Gay Harden) keeps Bliss on a tight leash and is mortified when Bliss seems less than thrilled about the world of pageants. Bliss and her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) dream of escaping their “hick town” while working at local eatery—”The Oink Joint” where they wear aprons with pigs on them. After discovering a Roller Derby flier while shopping with her mom in Austin, Bliss and Pash trick their parents into letting them attend. By the end of the night Bliss has a new dream, and despite being only 17 (the league’s only requirement is that you be 21) she sneaks out to the auditions for the team and makes the cut.

Bliss joins the Hurl Scouts, the league’s underdog team who have never won a game. The team also includes Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore), Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig), Rosa Sparks (Eve), and Bloody Holly (Zoe Bell), their frustrated coach is played by Andrew Wilson (he’s the third Wilson Brother, as in Luke and Owen). As you can imagine there are some great sports montages and team bonding. There is also a boy, (Landon Pigg) and a great soundtrack. Juliette Lewis captains the league champions, and the Scouts biggest competition, the Holy Rollers, she is pitch perfect as the bitchy, mean, cool-girl you love to hate, but can’t actually hate at all because it’s Juliette Lewis and she’s awesome. There is also a charming performance by Daniel Stern, looking much changed from his Home Alone days, as Bliss’s dopey, but sweet dad.

What’s really freaking great about this movie is that it portrays female relationships with honesty, in a completely un-sappy way. Pash and Bliss have a relationship that reminded me of the ones I had with my close friends in high school. You do stupid things to each other, and then it hurts really bad, but you know you messed up—and then you cry a lot. In this film you understand the characters motivations, you care about them and they feel convincing too, which is a triumph because Ellen Page as a Rolly Derby girl could easily be hard to believe.

This film handles the mother daughter relationship in a way I haven’t seen in too many movies. In a lot of films there are moments where a mother and daughter who fail to see eye to eye have a moment of understanding, but you never really believe they love and care about each other in a profound way. Often, the mother especially, is a cardboard cut-out of an overbearing mother. In this film, you feel the pain on both ends of the conflict, and you see how a mother and daughter can be completely different, and yet need and love one another even when it’s hard to. This isn’t Gordon Bombay dealing with his daddy issues as it relates to the sports competition at hand (I had to get a Mighty Ducks reference in there). This isn’t just a sports movie, it’s also a coming of age story, and it’s about family, friends, and the search to find what you love.

There is also a pretty cool underwater make-out scene.

While my Fiancé and I were watching this movie he turned to me and said “You know, Drew Barrymore makes movies about girls having fun”, and as Cyndi Lauper taught us, that’s really all we want isn’t it? There are a lot of movies where women are trying to find love, or trying to be sexy, but there aren’t too many where they’re trying to find themselves and having a whole lot of fun while doing it. You can tell everyone involved in this movie had a good time, and it really shows through and gives it a great energy. I hope Drew Barrymore continues to make films like this, whether she produces them or directs them, because there is a sad lack of fun female movies available, and us girls really do just want to have fun don’t we?

Put this film on your Netflix queue people, it’s a good time—if you don’t like it, I give you full permission to send me angry e-mails.

Have a GREAT Labor day weekend everyone!! Have some fun, hang out with good people and eat some tasty food, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Tiger Tiger Tee
$5.99 – delias.com
Tiger t shirt »

Green stabstitch plain collar top
14 GBP – debenhams.com
Green tops »

(3-Pack) Full Woven Skirt
$114 – americanapparel.net
American Apparel skirts »

Star Pleat Skirt
$335 – lagarconne.com
Print skirt »

Burton Boot in Black
$250 – blackbirdballard.com
Wolverine boots »

Funky Bangle (Stars)
4.99 GBP – phixclothing.com
Bracelets »

CLOSED 100032 GREEN COTTON M.JACKET
249 GBP – farfetch.com


MAC ‘Greasepaint’ Stick
$18 – nordstrom.com



6 Comments

Filed under Beauty in the movies

The Unemployed Bride

I just spent my morning on the phone with unemployment. It turns out that you have to re-file your claim after a year, even though the unemployment homepage and help-line both imply otherwise. What you actually have to do is sit on the phone talking to an automated system for hours screaming “yes” or “no” into the phone until it eventually cuts out on you and you have to start the whole thing over again. If you’ve never collected unemployment, this probably seems pretty confusing—well, it is. Thankfully, after a whole morning on the phone I’ve been assured I’ll still have money to pay my rent and buy some food soon, so that’s good.

Yes, I’m unemployed and I’m getting married in two months. My parents are paying for most of our wedding (which makes me incredibly lucky and eternally grateful), but I’d always planned to be able to contribute something, and to pay for all the little details for myself too, but that’s become nearly impossible. I’m not saying “oh poor little unemployed me”, what I’m saying is that in this economy everyone is learning that you can’t just put your life on hold until things get better. Getting married while unemployed, might seem irresponsible to some, but spending your life saying “I’ll just wait until I get a job before I (insert life event here)” gets old fast. I personally think we have way too little time on this planet to keep putting things off like that, especially when the job market doesn’t seem to be getting better—especially if you’re in a creative field like me.

(I’m interspersing this somewhat depressing post with images of kittens to cheer you up)

I’m not alone in being an unemployed bride, I’ve heard of dozens of others, and I’m sure people might think we’re crazy or impractical. I wasn’t unemployed when I got engaged, but you know, life has a funny sense of humor sometimes. Being unemployed has given me more time to focus on wedding plans, but it has also given me far less dispensable income to spend on it—leading to many panic attacks. We’re not having a crazy expensive wedding, we’re cutting costs wherever we can, and it’s hard. It makes thing far more stressful, I’m sure of it. I can’t help but believe that brides with more money have less sleepless nights worrying over things, not just bills, but also stresses that could be cut out by throwing cash in the right places.

Being unemployed means feeling guilty all the time. Guilty for not having a job, guilty for not having money, guilty for spending any money, guilty for feeling sorry for yourself, and right now I’m feeling guilty for even writing about this, because I know how many millions of people are so much worse off than me. I worked for three years at a large company, I haven’t found work anywhere else. I rarely ever go out to eat or go shopping anymore. If I do it’s at Costco, or Target, or the drugstore. Being unemployed isn’t a ticket for fun, nor is it a free pass to slack, it’s limbo, and trying to plan one of the biggest events in your life while you have no idea what’s going to happen in your financial future, can be pretty damn stressful. I haven’t spent my summer being carefree and living it up, I’ve spent it trying to stay as busy as possible to keep my mind off the worry that plagues me, which includes writing this blog, and maintaining my etsy shop, but more on that tomorrow.

We all have events that haunt us from the future, teeming with uncertainty. Maybe it’s a job interview, or going away to college, or moving, but it’s a constant. For most of my life (especially the last year while I’ve been living in permanent panic) there is always something brewing stress. I keep waiting for the calm, thinking, “once I just get past this” but one thing I’ve learned is that it never stops. It seems silly to put so much pressure on this one day, this one day that will fly by just as fast as all the others in my life, it’s illogical to put that much weight on anything. We strive for perfection on a daily basis in this country, so much so that sometimes we miss true perfection along the way. I’ve barely been to the beach all summer, obviously that’s no tragedy, but with labor day weekend signaling the end of the season this weekend, I realize how much I regret not allowing any time to relax. This is a time in my life where I should be endlessly and unabashedly happy. I’m a “bride-to-be”, it should be all magical perfection and cooing sweetness. That’s what the movies and magazines tell me, but for me, and I’m sure countless other men and women, it’s a time of intense pressure, stress, and self-reproach for being so bold as to enjoy your life while jobless.

I want to enjoy these last two months before my wedding. I want to push past the guilt and stress and go for a walk on the beach with my fiancé without panicking that I should be doing something “more important”. Because really what’s the point of living if spending time with the people you love ends up on the bottom of the pile? I may be unemployed, but I’m still a person, I may be in limbo, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to live, and I may be unsure of the future, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy my present.

15 Comments

Filed under acceptance

Beauty in the Movies: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Sadly summer is coming to a close. This is the last Friday in August, so I thought (although it’s long since midsummer) featuring A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be a nice way to close out the past few months.

(click any image to enlarge)

I’m not going to get into the specific plot, because as with most Shakespeare, it’s complicated. Basically four mortals and a band of actors end up in the woods on a summer evening and have their loves lives unknowingly played with by fairies. If you want to know more specifics about it, read the play, or go here.

The two couples are played by Calista Flockhart (Helena), Anna Friel (Hermia), Christian Bale (Demetrius), and Dominic West (Lysander). The queen of Fairies, Titania, is played by Michelle Pfeiffer, and the king, Oberon, by Rupert Everett.  I personally think Oberon should be a bit more masculine and intimidating despite the title “king of fairies”, but Mr. Everett certainly doesn’t achieve either of those things in this role, so to each his own.  Playing his tricksy sidekick, Puck, is Stanley Tucci. And rounding out the cast supremely well as Bottom the ass, is Kevin Kline. Oh and if all those actors aren’t enough, the dad from Alf (Max Wright) is also in it.

All the performances are decent, some stand-out more than others, but honestly, I saw a production of this by Gorilla Shakespeare in Washington Square park in the 90s and those actors blew all these guys out of the water. Maybe seeing Shakespeare live is just always better. I don’t love this movie for the outstanding performances though, I love it because it’s effing gorgeous and I never get sick of the beautiful sets, costumes, lighting, and music. This is one of those movies I put on just for background noise, because it’s makes me happy and it’s beautiful.

This adaptation is set in Edwardian Tuscany, a bit strange, but it works in its own way. Some die-hard Shakespeare devotees were surely annoyed by it, but it actually suits the story pretty well. The plot involves escaping into the woods, outside the rules of the city, where there are no laws and no propriety, just nature and mischief. The Edwardian and Victorian eras were incredibly repressed and obsessed with decency and modesty, so juxtaposing the refined life of the characters with the wild world of the fairies works nicely. Why Tuscany? I guess because it’s pretty. The original play is set in Athens, Greece.

This adaptation also works because the play itself was incredibly popular during this era. The play was acted out as a major spectacle and the music, written by Mendelssohn, became wildly popular as well. In fact The Wedding March, used in most western weddings is from Mendelssohn’s overture for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It makes sense, because Shakespeare wrote this play as a wedding gift for a close friend of Queen Elizabeth I, and it was during the turn of the century that much of what we consider western wedding traditions came into practice, like the white dress.

I know this movie only kinda sorta passes the Bechdel test—but whatever. The test has flaws, and when a movie is completely about relationships and all anyone talks about is love, the whole test falls apart. There are many movies that should pass the test in spirit, but don’t technically pass it. The real purpose for the test is to get us thinking, not to limit the movies we watch and enjoy. It’s god-damn Shakespeare for cripes-sakes, even if the parts were originally played by men impersonating women, they still stand up as good female characters, far better spoken and developed then some of the cardboard cutouts we see in romantic comedies today.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, like most of Shakespeare’s plays, is overflowing with beautiful quotations, but I’ll just choose one and leave you with that. May you all have weekends (and lives) filled with fairy magic!

Studded Slip Dress
$50 – topshop.com
Slip dress »

Sleeveless Tiered Dress
$42 – yesstyle.com
Summer dresses »

Sheerlock Holmes Top
$36 – modcloth.com
Short sleeve blouse »

Victorianna Lace Insert Blouse
15 GBP – oasis-stores.com
Lace blouse »

Vanilla Skies Parasol
$50 – modcloth.com
Umbrellas »

Victorian Bloomers – White
$45 – ladiesemporium.com


Miniature Victorian Oil lamp
riverjunction.com


hair comb
luscious-locks.co.uk


5 Comments

Filed under Beauty in the movies

Beauty Grab-Bag: Lush, Sparkle, & Kittens

So for this week’s Grab-Bag I have a few fun things to share. Firstly, my parents were recently in Quebec and my wonderful mother brought me back some Lush goodies (they’re cheaper up there because you don’t have to pay the import tax), including a new cleansing lotion called 9 to 5, and I love it.

It’s made with almond oil and dove orchid extract so it makes your skin really soft. It’s also supposed to be a make-up remover, but if you wear a lot of eye make-up it’s not strong enough to get all of it off. As a cleanser it’s really nice. I usually use a cleanser you have to rinse off with soap, but this one just needs to be wiped away with a face towel—and I tell you, it’s gentler on the skin. So far I’m really liking it.

Another great recent Lush product (recommended by my sister) is this Coconut deodorant powder. I’m a bit powder crazed, so when I saw this was a deodorant I was a little disappointed, but when I found out you can use it like a powder, and it has smell stopping deodorant-like properties, I got excited about it. It smells really nice and coco-nutty, similar to Lush’s trichomania solid shampoo. For the summer, just to be safe, I’ve still be using a real deodorant along with this powder, but I think in the cooler weather I’ll be able to use it alone. Also, as much as we like to pretend it’s not true, we sweat in other places but our underarms—and for the particularly dreaded boob-sweat, this stuff really works wonders!

In a post last week I discussed my search for purple wedding flats, well I found a pair, but they’re not purple. I was at DSW, and I came upon these. They were the most comfortable pair I tried on. Obviously if they were in purple it would be ideal, but silver kind of works too, I just can’t decide if I should keep looking for something similar in purple, or just stick with these.

They were $60, they’re gray suede, and they’re a perfect mix of cute (with the bows) and dress-up (with the sparkle). These pictures don’t do them justice, the sparkle is really nice, and since my dress is tea length and fifties inspired, the pointed style works too.

What say you readers? Keep looking or keep these?

Another recent purchase is this MAC eyeshadow, the color is ‘filament’, it’s very shimmery. It’s the first real eyeshadow I’ve bought at MAC since I stopped working there. I used to only buy the palette size, but for everyday use the palettes get unwieldy and it’s nice to have some that are stand alone. It’s not a new color and it sort of looks like fairy dust, which is appropriate since tomorrow for Beauty in the Movies we’re saying farewell to Summer with a bit of Shakespearean magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Oh right, I promised kittens, my sister recently adopted a couple, and they’re excessively cute, one of them is a Maine Coon named Thora and I think she’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Her paws are enormous, which only add to the cuteness. I didn’t get a good pic of the other guy, so I’ll save him for another day.

She’s pretty darn cute isn’t she?

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Beauty in the Movies, and also don’t forget to tell me about your best beauty buys!!

5 Comments

Filed under shopping