Monday, August 31, 2009

Padma Lakshmi's Earings and More

Last week I got a mailer in my inbox from Bergdorf Goodman announcing Padma Lakshmi's jewelry line. There were these gorgeous earrings featured on the front image (later, when browsing the site I discovered they were upwards of around $1000). The above image is a snippit from the emailer for reference.

Gorgeous and overpriced, right?

I didn't get to watch Top Chef the night of this week, but I watched it on Friday. Which was the same day the mailer arrived in my inbox. So imagine my shock when I actually recognized Gail Simmons' accessories at the Bachelor/Bachelorette pool party:

Look closely. You'll see they are the same earrings. I can't see the bracelet clearly in this picture, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was from this collection as well. Interestingly enough, the most prominent accessory on Padma herself is a Chanel belt.

That made me wonder: Is it tacky to wear your own stuff if you're a designer? What do you think?

Incidentally, the earrings in question are now gone from Bergdorf Goodman's site. I guess the product placement worked. Check out the remaining items of Padma's collection.

By the way, here's a bit of a funny thing my husband chose to share with me:

Yowza. And I thought it was super sexy just seeing her holding the burger.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lashes On My Mind - Funny Story, Some Tips, and a How-To from MAC

It seems today I'm surrounded my lashes!

Funny Story:
I was awakened this morning by a phone call from a friend (who will remain anonymous). She had been curling her lashes and, I kid you not, her lash curler had closed shut around her lashes and it wouldn't reopen. Sounds like a prank, right? Groggy, I asked her what type of eyelash curler she had. It was a plastic one with a button you pressed to open and close them. Huh?

Ok, I was pretty much under the assumption that most eyelash curlers operated manually - why mess with a classic that works, right? I've seen heated eyelash curlers, and plastic curlers, and curlers that close when you press two sides of the handle together, as well as the traditional metal joint-operated curlers. But this was something new to me. I hoped on MUA for advice.

Before I could finish typing a question to the Makeup board, my friend had gotten herself free of her curler by pressing on the rubber strip in the curler. Thank goodness, because I could find no way to phrase this question that wouldn't have labeled me some kind of wacko on the Makeup board. I haven't bee hanging there for a while, so I doubt any of the current people would remember me. Anyway, crisis averted, right? Good.

My Advice to My Friend:
Go get a Shu Uemura curler like everyone else. Or if cheaper is necessary, get MAC's. It's decent. But avoid Revlon's - that always snapped my lashes in half after a while.

MAC's Eyelash Video with Victor:
Immediately after the call from my friend, I went into my email box and found a mailing from MAC Cosmetics talking about their Artistry video with Victor on False Eyelashes. "Eye-yaye-yaye!" More lashes??? Well I watched the view. It's pretty good and straight forward. Victor gives some nice tips about blending the lash into the lash line (which I am not good at, by the way), and about timig. Timing and Duo Adhesive always was tricky for me. Wait to long, no more stick. Put it on too soon (or use too much) and your lashes slide all over the place. So if you're looking for a very quick tutorial, this one isn't bad.

Additional False Eyelash Tips:
I did have some tips that I've picked up from MAC sales associates at my local counters that Artist Victor didn't mention.
  • Trim your false lashes to the correct length for your eye - one size does not fit all, but they give you enough to play with trimming.
  • Save the Extra Lash - after you trim your false lash, you can save the extra for use once the lash is applied. You can glue that little bit just above the larger false lash strip right on the corner to give that outer edge a little extra oomph. This works REALLY well.
  • Curl your lashes a second time - Once your lashes are dry, if your lashes don't seem to be meshing well with the false ones, take your curler and curl them together a second time. I don't like to do this, but sometimes I have found it necessary. Occasionally I'll work with the mascara again too.
Anyway, that's all I have for you today. If you are looking for more lash tutorials, there are PLENTY out there. YouTube can be a wealth of knowledge for stuff like this.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Polish - Claire's Cosmetics Rockstar

You know I don't normally stray from my regular brands, but I was impressed by this one:

As always, clean up looks better until I see the picture. But anyway, Claire's Rockstar was pretty amazing. The price was just shy of $5. I honestly thought it was going to be an overpriced piece of crap - much like Claire's accessories. Everything I buy there breaks the first time I use it. Earrings are notorious for breaking. The only reason I touch their eye shadows is to scrape them out to reuse the palettes for pressing pigments. Why should I expect their nail polish to be any different? Well this one certainly was.

The Color: Beautiful purple-brown glitter with a slight floil finish. Very unique and worth owning if you like unique colors. One look and I thought "I absolutely want a pair of metallic jeans this color - if I ever get skinny again." And you know that means love.

The Wear: Three days with barely any tip wear using Orly Bonder and Lippmann Addicted to Speed.

The Formula: Two coats, Three if you really want to be safe.

The Bottom Line: Two nicely polished thumbs way up!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pretty In Dayton Meets Steph's Closet and All Lacquered Up

On Saturday, August 15 I had the honor of shopping and lunch with two of my favorite nail polish bloggers: Steph from Steph's Closet and Michelle from All Lacquered Up. For someone like me, that's getting to hang with blogging royalty! I was so honored when Steph contacted me on Twitter about the idea of the three of us getting together - sort of a mini Ohio Beauty Blogger's gathering. Me? Really? Cool!

My Proof: Steph, Me, and Michelle at The Cheesecake Factory

We converged on the Sephora (where else?) at Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus. I was first to arrive (no-thanks to my first ever speeding ticket - I still can't believe that happened). I had a few minutes to calm myself down with a book. I was nervous. Why wouldn't I be? I mean, my blog is small potatoes compared to these to polish blogging power houses. But when Michelle arrived she came right up to me and gave me a nice big hug and put me right at ease. And Steph arrived shortly there after with the warmest smile on her face. Even as a blogging newbie I was welcome.

We shopped - I was introduced to polishes from Icing and Claire's. I also made Michelle choose a Sephora by OPI polish ($OPI) for me since I have not tried their brand either. We talked shop over lunch at the Cheese Cake Factory. Steph and Michelle were so open about their experiences blogging - it's amazing the amount of information the two of them have stored in their noodles. And really, due to the size and fame of their blogs they have so much more stuff to deal with than I do. I hope to be where they are some day, but it was good to hear about the glamorous (and not so glamorous) things to look forward to in the world of blogging.

I really hope we do this again soon. It was so much fun, speeding ticket aside.

And a pretty crappy picture of my weekend haul:

Weekend Haul From Left to Right: Ulta exclsuive Opi Pretty Little Pinks (Princesses Rule!, I'm Indi-a Mood for Love, You're a Pisa Work), OPI DS Treasure, OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow, OPI Suzi Skis In the Pyrenees, Icing My Blue Heaven, Icing Blue Goose, Icing Roger That, Icing Hot Pants, $OPI Run With It, Claire's Rockstar

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Project Runway All Stars Challenge - My Thoughts

One of the biggest treats about Project Runway returning to air was the All Stars Challenge. I can't tell you how excited I was to see this. I enjoyed it far more than the 6th season premier, partially because they had a lot of people on here that I just love. The All-Star Challenge: Create three looks that show how you've grown as a designer. One of them has to be red carpet. Oh and there's more - a fourth look made from the material in some restaurant in the Meat Packing District. Yeah, typical Project Runway. Love!

Let's start at the most obvious place: The Winner.

Daniel Vosovic

I began watching Project Runway at the very tail end of the Second Season. My friend Tara had begged me to watch it, saying I would love it. I remember Daniel's final runway show. I remember thinking he was dull. I also remember thinking that he had no idea what to do with women's boobs - that he kept trying to make women look like little boys. That has changed - he seems to realize that you have to allow room for the girls, that you have to put them on display. Thank goodness. But I still hated his collection for the All Stars Challenge and disagree with the judges.

Take this dress. This was Daniel's "Restaurant Challenge Dress". I realize he's pushing the envelope here, but the pieces of tubing he plastered around this woman's chest reminded me so much of images of suicide bombers I just could not stomach the design. I don't understand how the judges couldn't bring this fairly obvious comparison up. It doesn't look like a waist cincher - it looks like dynamite. In a bad way. In the "You're all going to die when I press this button" sort of way.

I think I may have to buy his book, however.

Now, on to who I think should have won...

Korto Momolu

I have never seen a woman design more clothing that just has to, no, NEEDS to be worn from this show before. I think everything she makes is just gorgeous. Yes, some of it is expected, but she knows how to do good clothing. Still I can see why the Project Runway judges chose Daniel instead of Korto (or anyone else). Her clothing may be beautiful but there's not much that's new or different here. But it's all just so gorgeous!

Incidentally, Korto mentioned that the day after the finale of Project Runway "Korto Momolu" was the most Googled name in th world. Think about this a minute - that's quite an amazing accomplishment! I would have never in a million years though that a Project Runway designer could have been a number 1 Googled name on ANY day. You could say that she made the world stand up and pay attention to fashion for a few short hours. Good for you Korto! I'd love to see the stats on what else was Googled that day.

Korto is also making her own jewery now. And yes, she has a website where she sells it. It even includes the pronunciation of her name on the front page. Hee hee.

Uli Herzner

The judges panned her designs, saying they didn't look much like the Uli they've come to love. I applaud her for changing. During the season Uli was a contestant they complained that she stuck to prints so much they wondered if she could do anything else. Well, guess what - she proved she can. I think quite well. Yes, the dress I chose to show here does remind me a little bit of sea anemones or the graphics of the baby egg falling toward the uterus in Look Who's Talking, but I still think it's quite pretty. It had this way it moved as the model walked down the runway which I found appealing. When they showed her making this dress in the workroom I knew I was going to like it.

Also by Uli, this top which I could totally see myself trying to rock in some universe where I'm thin:

You can tell that this was Uli's "Restaurant Challenge" but how cool?!? I love this metallic tunic. It's very interesting visually.

Sweet P

I have to admit when I first saw Sweet P's designs I didn't like them. But when I went back and took a second look, I realized she impressed me a lot more than I had though. Her aesthetic sense is a little different than what I like but holy cow - can this lady sew or what? Just take a look at her "Restaurant Challenge" piece:

I don't think the judges gave her enough credit for pumping this out. Yes, it's a little wacky but it's a heck of a lot more pleasing than Daniel's Terrorist-Chic dress.

Santino Rice

Wow! I could probably watch the Santino Show all day long. This guy is so obnoxiously silly. I can see why people loved him (and loved to hate him). Back during Season 2, Tara used to talk about Santino all the time. "Santino - this, Santino - that, oh you should have seen what Santino did this week..." When I saw the Season 2 Finale I was disappointed - he was a shadow of the crazy-villain I had heard so much about. He looked like a sad little puppy during his Bryant Park critique, not the devil who would probably step on sad little puppies I had come to expect. Well, I was happy to see the larger-than-life personality that is Santino Rice back for this challenge.

Sadly, I wasn't that enamored of his clothing. The designs were not bad. In fact, I loved the sequined leggings (yes, those are sequined leggings under that white coat) and I thought his designs matched his personality - a little dark, very silly, a little unexpected. But you could tell next to the other designers that his would probably be considered in the "also ran" category if you were thinking in terms of voting.

By the way, I absolutely think Santino Rice and Chris March should go into creating some type of fashion workroom sitcom together. I would watch it.

Chris March

Poor Chris! He's one of my favorite Project Runway contestants ever, but he never seems to win! Based on what we saw from the clips for this All-Star Challenge, though, I keep wondering what Chris would be capable of if he didn't spend half his time sleeping. Take a look at this little plaid jacket. I love it...

His collection was good enough to get him in to the Top Four, but he was first out of that group. I think his "Restaurant Challenge" piece was what did it. This is where Chris really shines - using strange materials, and making costumes. Heidi was right to point out that while this piece is beautiful there was quite a bit of humor involved.

The humor, of course, being the Madonna-like Cone Boobs he stuck on the top of this dress as decoration. The result was actually quite beautiful. Look at the shape. It's a great shape!

Now the two who were "Also Rans' in my mind were Mychael Knight and Jeffrey Sebelia. During their run on Project Runway I was fans of both. But Mychael really dissapointed me when it came to his collections. In the end, I ended up deciding he went very far based on that coffee filter dress he created in the beginning - that was stunning. Jeffrey by contrast had an awesome collection, and I think really deserved the title (I went back and forth on that for a while but I've grown to appreciate what he did in the time since).

I have nothing of Mychael's to show you - his were really forgetable, in my opinion. Jeffrey - well, I sort of liked this:

I loved the shape of this dress. I'm not a huge fan of the asymmetrical neckline - It didn't seem to fit. But those are killer shoes she's wearing here and maybe that helps with my admiration of this piece.

I really hope Project Runway continues to do All-Star Challenges in the future. I do hope they bring back both Chris March and Santino over and over. They are just way too much fun. And I think Korto deserves another chance to win. I fear she's doomed to be second place forever. Third time's the charm, right? Well, Korto - I'd buy your clothing. And I'd gladly watch you return.

And yes, these images are captures from MyLifetime. I didn't want their larger images so I cropped them. Hopefully they don't mind.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Runway Season 6, Episode 1

I had so much fun watching the return of Project Runway last night on Bravo I decided maybe I'd post a few thoughts around the episode.

Let's start with the loser:

Ari's Crazy Whatever

Ari's design was funky. I don't think it was really red carpet but she could have defended it better. Instead of trying to project it into the future (I think she said it was made for the VMAs in 2040) she could have just said it was VMAs. She also could have talked a little bit about the type of celebrity she had in mind. Honestly, I thought in maybe some strange version of this universe I could picture Fergie in it. But lets be honest - it was a really frakking weird outfit. I was just surprised she got kicked off and not poor Mitchel who had issues with fitting his model. In the history of this show, as long as I've been watching, the first person kicked is usually someone who didn't finish, not the person with the crazy design.

On to a few others... Do you think Shirin's dress looks like what would happen of Anthropologie tried to do the red carpet?

Shirin's Old Hollywood Glamour

I think it's the caplet that gives me the Anthro vibe. How many times have I seen that little shoulder covering piece of fabric on that site? Granted it's usually knitted out of a wook-acryllic mix, but same concept. Shirin said she was going to go for old Hollywood glamour. I wasn't picturing this.

And the winner...

Christopher... Like this wasn't going to win.

I don't know about you but when I saw Christopher's dress turn the corner I knew this would be the dress that won. Honestly, I think it was the fingerless mitt accessory on the right hand that really set off the dress. And look at those shoes! Macy's accessory wall... too bad this was filmed so long ago. I'd be hinting those shoes down!

On a surprising note, designer Althea is from Dayton! How much would I love to take her to lunch and ask her about her experience! When I heard she was from Dayton I immediately started to dismiss her. But I suspect she'll be around for a little bit longer. Here's what she made:

Althea's Design

This reminds me a little more of Old Hollywood Glamour than Shirin's dress but I don't really like this. I'm curious to see what Althea does in the future, but I found this particular dress to be a little forgetable. Plus, I think it's making her model look a little larger than she actually is - which I don't think Althea really wanted to do.

Overall, I was happy with the Red Carpet Challenge. I was a little dissapointed they didn't start the designers out with a wacky challenge. This was almost dull. After so long of a wait to see it, I felt a little let down. Then again, I might not have felt that way if this season had aired on it's normal schedule. Yes, I realize I just contradicted myself, but I was happy and disappointed.

Did you watch? What you did you think?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Behold! The lovely Zoya Pinta!

Now, this is what Chanel Vendetta should have been...

(I swear I thought I had better clean up than this the night before I took the pic)

Notice how cream the color is, how the shade teases you by being a very juicy combination of purple and blue. She doesn't bother to taint her loveliness with shimmer that doesn't show up unless under the power of a camera flash (I'm looking at you Vendetta, though you're gorgeous as well). Oh how lovely is little Pinta! What a perfect fall shade! I received Pinta in Zoya's 5000 Twitter followers celebration gift. I choose to believe that Pinta was not one of my free polishes in that order because I gladly would pay every penny for this lovely lady!

The Color: Remember that shade that Violet turned in Charley in the Chocolate Factory when she was eating that blueberry gum? Now, picture that but juicier! Best of all, I don't think it would be all that easy to mistake Pinta for black, like other dark purples can.

The Wear: Zoya's creams are always nice on me. This one I had barely any tip wear or chips after three days.

The Bottom Line: Pinta's a hot chick and she's my pick out of the Dare collection for Fall, though I suspect I'll pick up a couple of her sisters as well sometime soon.

By the way... word is Zoya's hiking their price to $7 a bottle in October. Caught that little tid bit on Twitter. Not that they wouldn't still be worth it. Zoya's quality is some of the best, particiluarly for the price, in my opinion.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Project Runway Starts Tomorrow! I'm so excited...

I have been so busy I nearly forgot that Project Runway begins on Lifetime tomorrow. I'm not even sure what channel Lifetime actually is on my television, but I'm sure I'll learn it fast. I've been having withdrawal!

As you know, I spoiled myself rotten when the finale pictures appeared on Ghetty Images way in advance of the show being aired. But I am dying to know if that much pink on Heidi came off on television as bad as I thought it did in pictures. Don't get me wrong - Heidi looks great in just about anything. But I've got a while before I find out the answer to that pink pickle.

Needless to say, I'm probably most excited about seeing one of my favorite television personalities again: Tim Gunn. Yes, sometimes his tastes can be a little stuffy (read his book) but every now and then I think everyone needs a little Gunn in their life.

Have any of you looked up the designers? Who do you think the front runners are going to be? Let me know in comments...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Anthropologie: Boots With Bravado Email

Imagine my disappointment when I see an Anthropologie email that says "Boots With Bravado" and I see this upon opening it:

That's more like a bootie with mild sass, but not bravado. So not bravado...

I need to find some awesome affordable knee high boots with sassy laces before I scream! I'm going on three years now searching. Come on, shoe makers!

Urban Decay on Hautelook - up to 50% off

I just saw that Hautelook is having an Urban Decay sale. Some items I saw at first glance are 50% off - a better deal than the Friends and Family sale that Urban Decay has going on right now. You might want to take a look and see if you can get some items cheaper before using the F&F code. There's a limited selection, so if you don't find much you want you may want to way the discount against what it would cost in shipping vs. ordering a few more items in the F&F sale.

Not a Hautelook member? Use my Inviation Link.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update: What have I been up to?

Hi everyone.

I just wanted to drop in here a bit and say that I'm sorry I have not been posting much as of late. In all honesty I've been buried under work - which I don't mind. It just means I have to put my blog on hold a bit. So, unless there's something really great going on that I feel I need to shout to the world - I'm going to take a little break here. But I'll be back. I just wanted to make sure you knew I hadn't forgotten about you.

Love always,

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

I know I haven't been posting much. Please forgive me. Things have been rather hectic at work. Not sure when it's going to lighten up, but I will do my best. I value my readers - I don't want to lose you!

Anyway, I think my scale lied to me this week. I think possibly I should start all this over with a new scale, and on a plan. Turn over a new leaf and start form scratch. Good idea? Does stress help you lose weight?

Weight: 190 (-2) Unless the weight loss comes from working a 54 hour + work week, I didn't do anything to deserve the loss. Therefore I think the scale is not telling the truth.

What I did right this week: I did better on the veggies. I really need to get back to this. I think substituting veggies in place of some things where I would be eating carbs helps so much.

What I want to improve on next week: Everything.

Goals in Progress

Monday, August 10, 2009

Urban Decay Friends and Family 30% off

I love getting messages like this in my inbox:

Just enter FNFF1 at checkout!

I plan on getting more Primer Potion and a couple of those new Ink for Eyes liners that I haven't been able to find in any Sephora I've been to. Maybe their Liquid Eye Liner in Roach as well - I've been wanting that for a a good long while.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

I am late getting this up. Forgive me. And it's bad. I've been stressed. I'm stress eating and drinking too.

Weight: 192 (+2) It caught up to me

What I did right this week: Just didn't worry about it. I don't have time. This may also be what I did wrong.
What I want to improve on next week: Find time to pay attention to exercise. I need to.

Goals in Progress

Old Goals

Abandoned Goals

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Zoya has a Sweet Tweet for you! 3 free polishes August 4th and 5th

In honor of Zoya receiving 5000 followers they now have a tweet offer to reward their followers. They only passed the code out to their followers specifically, therefore I'm a little hesitant to post it here without urging you to Follow Zoya.

Enter code the code (found on Twitter) at checkout to get three free bottles. They say no purchase necessary, but you know me - I will purchase anyway.