Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nail Files - Some More Pales & The Earth Day Exchange

First of all, I've been meaning to try out the new Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish (on sale this week at Target for $6.49, btw).  Per their website, it has all the steps of a professional manicure in the bottle.  Translation for us laymen - you don't need base or top coat.  I tried Pink Slip, a very pretty and clean looking pale pink.  I've heard raves from some about this polish but I just didn't get it.  I used 3 thin coats, and there were still streaks. I would take it off tonight, but I'm just too tired to re-do the nails.

Then again, the streakiness happens a lot with Essie's pale cremes, too, like Ballet Slippers.  (Hmmmm, pink slip and ballet slippers....are we supposed to divine a resemblance????)

Bottom line...like the color, but oh, how I wish I could return it...I don't think I'll even use this on my toes because it's so streaky!  Maybe the mid-tone or dark colors work better.  Would love to hear from those of you who have tried it.

Next up...Chanel Vernis in Trapeze.  From the Holiday 2009 Collection, it's described as a "silver beige".  Now the story on this is that I've shied away from Chanel polish lately.  I just so strongly prefer the OPI formula and brush, and the Chanel polishes don't always stand up to the use that OPI does.   Availability in store is limited since it is, after all, a limited edition shade.  As of now, Nordstrom still has it online.

I saw the Trapeze polish at Bloomingdales at White Flint back in February when snaphappy and I were on a "get the kids out of the house before we lose our minds because of the blizzard" outing.  And I've been pondering it ever since.  So a few weeks ago, when snaphappy and I were again bopping through White Flint (sans bebes this time), I hit the Chanel counter at Bloomies, and sure enough, there were still 3 or 4 bottles sitting there.  It was a sign, and it came home with me. 

And I love it.  Although, I admit to being a bit perplexed about its inclusion in a holiday collection, especially if that collection was inspired by the plumage of exotic birds (not making this up here).  But I will say it would stand out in a sea of vampy manis & pedis over the holiday season...including mine, hehe.

I think it's a great spring color - reminds me of a pale metallic khaki.  Much better than the Sephora OPI Under My Trenchcoat, which was ghastly on me when I tried it last fall.  I also think it would be a perfect summer color...on toes buried in the sand....  Ok, pretty much, it could work year round.  This one is a definite keeper.

So I cleaned out my polish bins yesterday.  And separated out E's polish. Ah I love cleaning out.  It's a good think to do when you can't sleep at 3 am.  And I think I may even send the old polishes into Zoya.  I read about this on my usual sources for important nail news, All Lacquered Up.  The 2010 Zoya Nail Polish Exchange, in honor of Earth Day.  From now until June 30, you can send them a minimum of 6 bottles (no max) and for $3.50 each to cover shipping & processing, they will send you however many colors your request (I think that you are maxed out to the number of polishes you are sending in).  So good for the environment, as you aren't supposed to throw old polish in the trash, and you are trying out Zoya polish for half price.  How cool is that?  btw, USPS will not ship nail polish, but UPS & FedEx will. 

I have not tried Zoya polish before, but I am going to send in a bunch of my old polish and try out a few of their colors.  Will post as I do, of course.  The one bit of important Zoya wisdom that I picked up (from All Lacquered Up, natch) is that you can't use fast-dry top coats with this polish because it affects the wear.  Good to know.

Anything new in the polish world for you all?  Me, I'm waiting for the OPI Shrek Forever collection release. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

J Crew Alice Ruffled Tank

J Crew Alice Ruffled Tank (#26725, orig $79.50, curr $49.99 online).  I got this in PEA (pearl) in an 8 and LOVE it.  I hear it's been spotted in store for as low as $29.99.  I paid $49.99, plus 10% off for giving them my email (again), and don't mind.  And I ended up returning the Ruthie shell in ivory because I liked this one so much more.

So let's break it down.  First of all, what are all those gewgaws down the front?  Let's see..some ruffles, some strips of the silk, some tonal grosgrain ribbon, some clear paillettes, and big old rhinestones.  But it all works.  I love that it's symmetrical and it's all right there front and center.  So it's GREAT under a cardi. Or a jacket.

But it's not one of those wacky tanks where you need a topper to tone down the wackiness (come on...we've been there...). The Alice is perfectly lovely all on its own.  All that "stuff" on the front - it all works together - probably because it's so tonal, it just looks textural.  And it has a bit of shape to it as well, unlike MANY camis we've seen.  So it's flattering without a topper.

I love the length - not too short at all (thank you, J Crew!!!) - works great on my long torso.  Got a short torso?  You're in luck...it comes in petites, too.

I have said before that I love the Pearl color, and it works so well with this cami.  In fact, I think the subdued colors (also available in faded black, fig, and hyacinth) really play up the textural element.  And the pearl Alice matches my pearl Jackie for when I want some more tonal texture going on.  But really, the pearl color works with so much in my wardrobe already, without being just a white tank. 

The cotton/silk fabric feels great.  And...should have mentioned this earlier, and this is a key point...the Alice tank is not, I repeat, NOT see-through.  I'm guessing it's because the tank has a double layer of fabric.  Not that I care why, I'm just thrilled to be able to wear it solo, sans cami.  It is dry clean only, but with all the gewgaws, I don't want to be responsible anyway.  (and at least it's not white)

I wore it last Tuesday for a client meeting downtown with my black Loft suit from a few years ago.  But as I was playing around on Polyvore last week with it, I threw together 3 other looks for different times of the year using the Alice. It should be quite a versatile piece.  For the meeting on Tuesday, I just added diamond studs and black patent heels.  the ruffle front made it interesting enough.

The kids were very funny that morning, because unlike my usual WAHM wear, I was wearing the suit as they got ready for school since I headed to the metro right after they got on the bus.  M said to me "Mom, you look really nice...I think that's the nicest I've ever seen you look...You look like you're about to go into a meeting with a lot of people."  Well, sweetie, I am.  Isn't he sweet?

Then there was my very truthful daughter.  About 5 minutes later..."Mommy, I really wish you'd wear your hair not in a ponytail or not in curls."  You mean like I used to?  "Yes."  Well honey, that's not really happening, but I'll try.  (ps - when I wore my hair straighter another day by just blowdrying it, she agreed it really did not look good.)

Ugh, let's talk hair another time.  To cut to the chase - layers & bangs - ok, I've made peace, plus the bangs have grown out enough in a week and a half that they are fine.  The texturizing - oh no, it's even worse than I thought...because the rain & humidity came. 

But let's go back to the very pretty Alice....
Polyvore from last Tuesday:
4/20/10 by HeidiGblog featuring J Crew

And then some other looks featuring the Alice tank, all of which I plan on wearing as weather permits:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

J Crew Cashmere Tie-Front Cardigan and well, a Crappy Cut

Quick outfit and review...J Crew Cashmere Tie-Front Cardigan (#18248, orig $198, curr $129.99, purchased with % off for just under $100, I believe).  Still available in black, heather nickel, heather natural, and heather gray.

I got this a month ago on one of the %-off sales, in an M, and in navy (duh).  I admit that I hadn't thought much about it, until dinagideon talked it up so much.  (Check her out rocking it most recently here. I believe she has it in the heather natural and black, and goodness knows what other colors.) And I don't really have any v-style cashmere cardis, so I got it on a whim just to see and figured I may end up returning it.  (Dina and I have very different figures even though we are close to the same height so things just fit us very differently - I'm a brick and she's a pear.)

But, lo and behold, I absolutely loved it, as she swore I would.  To me the biggest downside is that with the tie, you can't really go with a tie belt type coat.  So when I wore it today with my trench coat, I just left the coat open.  Hey, I was wearing cashmere...it kept me warm.

No pilling so far, and I've worn it about 3 times in the past month since I got it.  For cashmere in the spring with some of these super hot days we've had, I think that's pretty good (esp considering that it sat on a shelf for 2 weeks while I decided whether or not to keep it).  It's a great cashmere piece to have for fall or spring because the nature of the tie front is more open, so it's not as potentially hot as a full cashmere pullover would be. 

And because it's so open in the front, it is quite nice for showcasing a fab necklace, as I did today with my Anthropologie yellow beaded necklace from 2 summers ago.  I forget the name, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it on Polyvore when I started the PV habit last spring, 9 months after it came out.  It's also great for showing off some pretty detail on a cute tank or tee underneath. And I bet it will be great with my classic stripe tissue tee.

There have been differing opinions online about the sweater.  The always-fab Post-Fab Princess got in the light ginger, maybe?, and got a major bathrobe vibe.  Well, shoot, once you get that, there's no going back and you're gonna feel shlumpy every time you wear it.  I totally understand her viewpoint...but I actually felt the opposite of shlumpy.  You all know I love my big oversized sweaters, and I like that this did define my waist with the tie.  Plus, I think doing the tie in a bow makes it less bathrobesque...plus when it's just knotted, I feel like the ties are too long. 

To finish off the outfit, yellow Born Lovely flats (love me some yellow, navy, and white).  Matchy matchy with the shoes?  Meh, whatever, worked for me today.  And then a plain white perfect fit crewneck tee and some white jeans.  Springy for me.

Now...about the hair.  I know...it's rather wackadoodle.  Try to be kind.  I thought of cropping my head out, but didn't want to do that for the next 2 months.  Well see what happened was... 

Ok, the last person who cut my hair, I loved.  And I had been going to her for several years.  But when I showed up with E for our appointment this past December, she had completely blanked and wasn't home. No problem, I understand, she had a lot going on.  Happens to all of us.  A friend gave both of us a trim and I figured I'd call the next time.  Then when I tried calling twice this month to make an appointment, the first time she was closed through Easter, and then last week, she was closed for the next 10 days.  And I just couldn't wait any longer....  (serves me right)

So I got a referral from a friend and went to a new guy.  (Looking back, I realize that the 2 people I know who go to him have either mega-thick hair with a wave, or really curly hair.)  Note, when someone new cutting your hair says about 5 or 6 times, "wow, your hair really is straight" after convincing you to do layers to get more volume at the top and then starts texturizing it, that's a bad sign.  Plus he didn't really listen to my direction on my bangs - which I was REALLY happy with and I've been trimming for the past 4 months - they were perfect - keep them long and graduate from the middle outward so it's not a line straight across.  Well, they are just barely long enough and much straighter across than they should be.  Ok, that's not so bad - I need to be much more insistent on the bangs next time - and within a week, they'll be totally fine. 

But the texturizing!!!  Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!  It looked really cute after he spent 30 minutes blowdrying it and making all the ends bend the exact right way.  I actually was ok with the cut for the most part the day of (which was Friday). 

Then Saturday morning when I went to style it, I spent my usual 3 minutes with the round brush to bend under the bangs so they don't stick out and give the top few pieces a bit of lift and shape.  And oh it was tragic.  I know this hair style.  Mega shag.  And shaggy.  I had this hair style when I was 8.  That was back in 1979, and it was stylish then.  Not so much now, esp on a 38-year old woman.  Up into a ponytail it went.  (I will say that it looked really good in the ponytail with the layers.)  Did I mention I was doing this before an 8:00 am soccer game?  Yep, that's how the day started. 

Today, I tried out the hot rollers.  Darned if I'm going to spend 20 minutes with a frickin round brush and blowdryer - I don't have that much time in the morning.  At least with the hot rollers, you put them in and can do other things.  I think I left them in too long.  Crazy curl today.  Although E loved it and asked me to hot-roll her hair, too (which looked gorgeous on her).  I think my hair worked fine today IRL, when it could moved. But I really don't think it photographed well at all.

I am so utterly disappointed in this hair cut.  Clearly this guy is not good with uber-straight hair like mine.  It wasn't the layers so much as the texturizing.  You don't do that on superfine hair.  It's never a good idea.  And he was doing it before I could even stop it.  Plus, he did cut the layers shorter than he said he would. 

What do you do when you hate your hair cut?  You can cry...but that just gives you red, puffy eyes and makes you look worse - and you don't need that when you are starting out with bad hair anyway.  So, you suck it up and deal...try to find a way to make it work...and wait for it to grow.  That is, after all, the great thing about hair...it does grow back.  So you may see lots of ponytails or other experiments.

Question - with such a bad cut, do I even try it out again with a stronger mandate?  Or just cut my losses and go somewhere else?  And go ahead, tell me your awful hair cut stories...I know most of you have them, so that I can at least feel in good company. 

Oh yeah, by the way...Polyvore from today:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And I'm back...and sitting pretty in pink, no less

Yep, prodigal blogger finally back.  I was sorta taking a Spring Break break - trying to trim the electronics especially over the long Easter weekend when we went away to the River for a few days.  Wonderful time, didn't have to work too much, and the weather was fantastic.  And things have just been so busy between work, sick kids, sick me.  I've kept a semi-conscious state on Polyvore, but that's really about it.

I did have to kick my own butt to get back on here (with some help from a little nudge from Anon & casual-crew - thanks!) because I think I've just been kinda in the blahs lately.  Honestly, the holidays didn't do me in - it was the 2 back to back blizzards and 7 pounds.  Thanks, Mother Nature.  Yes, I know, it really is my fault - declining activity, increasing amounts of (let's be honest) crap eaten and where does that get us?  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize it's going to add a few pounds.  Maybe I should be grateful it was only 7 accumulated over the past couple of months?

And then my Lenten plan. First of all, the distracted driving part - getting rid of that - was fantastic.  A true eye-opener.  And I'm so glad I did it. The reigning in clutter part?  Just didn't happen - work was just way too crazy.  And to go back to the previous thought yeah, wellness just did not figure into the equation as I'd planned.

But spring is a time for rebirth and renewal, right?  It's funny - while we were at the river, I helped my mom go through her closets - which I LOVE to do (always easier to go through someone else's, right?).  And it made me realize that I just really really REALLY need to go through mine.  With what time?  Oh yeah, that...  well the upside to the crazy hours is that there are only so many hours in a contract and it has to slow down sometime...which is now.  Leaving me a bit more time for the things that I really need and want to do.  Like blog.  Like go through my closets.  Like get back to walking Lucy as much as I should.  Speaking of Lucy, here's the latest photo from Spring Break:

Is that a happy dog or what?

So the pink part...I need to get into a whole discussion on foundation later, but I was at the Nordstrom Bobbi Brown counter on Friday, and what did I spy with my little eye?  New lip product...Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15.  I got Pink Glisten 4.

No link there because it's not even out on the Bobbi Brown website or the Nordstrom website, but they had gotten it in the day before.  Gorgeous colors.  SPF 15 - always important in the summer.  Feels great - perfect texture for me (not matte, not goopy).  And a bit sheer so the color isn't too crazy on the lips.  Below I have some on my hand next to the lippie.

It's so pretty.  Just so so so pretty.  Not sure when the official release will be.  I haven't gotten it in my regular BB emails.  And the SA told me it's flying off the shelves.  They only got 6 of each color to start, and I got the 5th tube of my shade.  So if you must have it now, get thee to Nordies.  Or wait for the full release...I'm sure Bobbi will have some kind of fun offer.

And I must have really been in a pink mood because after the mall, I hit Target to get a few birthday presents and other odds & ends. I just happened to be strolling down the cosmetic aisle, and just had to pick up some polish.  It started when the BB SA and I were talking about the polish on her thumb which was the new Chanel Riviera color - a warm peony pink.  Trouble is that it's really pretty sheer.  So with my new bright pink lippie in hand, I really was craving a fun pink polish.  I've been wanting to try the new Sally Hansen all in one salon treatment polish, but they didn't have the right kind of pink. (You know I'm not a brights girl when it comes to polish, so I'm kinda picky about my pinks.)  Then I saw this lovely little shade..for about $2.  It's by NYC or New York Color - In a New York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish, in 242B - Uptown.  Not sure how the wear will be, but I'm never in the mood to keep on pinks for too long so it doesn't really matter.  I will say that the brush is somewhat similar to the regular OPI brush and is kinda flat - love that - it's so much easier to control.  And it really is a perfect match for my new lippie.

In other pink polish news...below are pics of OPI's Panda-monium Pink polish from this Spring's Hong Kong collection.  It really is a dead ringer for Essie Neo-Whimsical - and being OPI, is SO much easier to apply.  So if you're craving a lavender-pink for spring, I highly recommend the OPI.  

Lots more to discuss in upcoming posts, but hubby's out for hockey game watching/beer drinking/maybe some poker playing....kids are headed to bed...and I'm trying to decide whether to color my hair, go through my closet, or just chill out and catch up Glee & Project Runway from this week. Blogging's not the only thing I've lapsed on.  And to all my dear blogging friends, I'll be trying to catch up on my blog reading - I've missed you and can't wait to see what you all have been up to!!

Toodles for now...