Colors of the Year

The St. Patrick's day miracle boots have arrived and they are so much more beautiful than expected! As I mentioned on my Polyvore postings, these boots were purchased after I found some old, unused Macy's gift cards. As it turned out, I paid a mere $25 total for these boots. How insane is that? I was floored. And I had been checking the tracking number awaiting my Macy's treasure daily till they arrived today while I was studying for my exam tomorrow. A lovely surprise!

I had seen the oxford version of these on Alexa Chung a little over two weeks ago online (pictured above on the left). The oxfords in this particular color (Pewter) have sold out in US sizes 6, 7 and 8 online at Macy's probably due to the exposure they gained while the gorgeous Alexa Chung was being a hipster gamine in LA. They look really fantastic as a transitional staple for this time of year. I love how she paired them (at Left) with tights, a boyfriend sweater and denim cutoffs.


While I couldn't find those oxfords in my own size, I did find the boots and I am so happy I went with them instead. Aren't the gorgeous? They are so reflective I had to try to hide while I took photos in our somewhat messy (Symposium week for me, Test week for Drew), always homey apartment. 

You can even see my super pale arms at the bottom left boot there. Anyway, I am in love with these. I can see myself pairing them with jeans in a more casual way, with high-waisted shorts or with a cute flare skirt. I am so happy that I'll probably have these for many years to come.

Not only did I have great luck at Macy's, but I used my VIB discount and a few dollars leftover on a card to make some purchases from the beauty store par-excellance, Sephora. Drew and I saw Oz the Great and Powerful last weekend and were very disappointed- it was quite the bombastic failure. But the sets, costumes, Rachel Weisz and the color emerald have been a constant source of inspiration ever since.

Sephora's "Color of the Year" line has been reviewed here and here and on many other fashion blogs. I made sure to check these reviews before purchasing as I had seen some poor product reviews from this line on Musings of a Muse and on the Sephora website itself. Specifically, these reviews reacted negatively to the Colorbyte Lip Wands and the Color Code Prismatic Eye shadow Block. As you can see, I did not purchase either of those and went with something that is generally considered to be the best piece in the line: the Color Cube Lid Stain. Now I have not opened this product yet, I will in the next couple of days, but I am enjoying how it looks in the packaging right now. VanityRouge has great swatches of this product so I would definitely have a look at those. This is a gorgeous emerald hue with a metallic sheen and is extremely creamy. If you've already purchased it, but like me have not tried it out, be very careful dipping fingers or liner brushes in as this formula is extremely soft, water resistant and just a tiny pinch of it goes a long way. I look forward to lining my eyes with it in the upcoming weeks and I will post those photos!



My sister and I had a long conversation about this line this afternoon. My sister was very curious why so many of the products have not been reviewed well. I think it could be the fact that this line was over-marketed and raised customers' hopes higher than was necessary to sell the line. The fact of the matter is that there are some knock-out products but there are also quite a few big misses due to quality issues. The packaging and product descriptions seem to suggest that these products were targeted at young women living in large metropolitan areas. Yet the colors in the lipgloss set have been universally touted by young reviewers as unflattering and difficult to use because of their design. And the cream eye shadow has one critical flaw that women have known about for years: creasing! Well, here is my two cents. The Lipglosses are indeed a bust and were really a missed opportunity to create memorable yet wearable lipcolors yet again by Pantone. 

Finally, the cream shadow block needs to be used with a primer or as a base shadow primer. If you aren't using an eye shadow primer already in your make up routine I highly suggest it. They bolster the staying power of your eye shadow and some even have anti-aging properties. Primer for face and eyes is a must!! I would only use the cream shadow as a primer if my top colors were dark greens as well. 

Now onto something I did actually swatch...

 Yes, my obsession with a range of corals and peach lip color continues! I also purchased OCC Cosmetics' Lip Tar in "Divine". 



As you can see it is a gorgeous opaque shade of light coral similar to MAC's "Betty Bright". I've been noticing how drying OCC's products are and I cannot recommend enough that you put chapstick on before applying these. That said, what you exchange for moisture you get back in color payoff and staying power. The colors from this line are truly sensational and will stay on your lips for at least one hour before wearing off.

I cannot wait till the sun comes out and the snow melts away so that I can wear "Divine" as my new summer shade of choice.


Cheap Thrills

 The one day of the week I have had open so far for me time was yesterday morning. By "me-time" I mean early morning grocery shopping. I love getting groceries when stores aren't crowded and I can listen to music while I rush around checking items off of my list. I "accidentally" waltzed down the magazine aisle after grabbing some fresh milk and discovered that our Kroger carried my two favorite magazines in the entire world. So much for my grad student budget!! (jk... but seriously) "W" and "Nylon" are my choice reads whenever I get the chance to snag something to read about the latest trends and I really like that both of them have a more artistic focus than other style magazines. As you can see, Mags weren't the only treat for me yesterday, I bought a new nail polish from Maybelline's Color Show line in "Lustrous Lime". 

Unfortunately, I'm just starting to grow my nails out again after I had a bout with nail biting last week over all the things on my to-do list this month, so I won't be swatching the color in this post. I was asked by a friend today to talk a little about the staying power of the new Color Show line because Essie has collaborated with Maybelline to create the formula. From what I have seen already from Maybelline's line, the polishes last far longer than Revlon's Nail Enamels but shorter than most of the basic polishes in Essie's Nail Color collection. The amazing thing about Maybelline's line however, is just how brilliant these colors are. Even a short glance at the nail section at your local Target should tell you that no other brand has created a range of colors like this. And that is what will make the Color Show line a lasting choice for many nail polish addicts like myself. 

As you can see, I was having a little fun mixing and matching Lustrous Lime with some adorable, affordable bracelets from Forever21. I love the idea of mixing the jewel tones in the middle bracelet with the neon chartreuse colors of the outer two. The Deborah Lippmann polish at the right is a color my sister bought me for Christmas and it's named after my favorite Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" (here)

I just had to take three shots of this color so that you can see how dynamic and truly amazing it is. Let's Go Crazy is a deep, glossy purple with silver, red, blue, green and yellow glitter. It literally looks like a party inside Prince's house. I only have one swatched picture of this color right now and it isn't super great but I am going to post it anyway:

As you can see from my (hilariously bad) photo this color's depth is further enhanced by the glitter. After only one coat, my nail was glossy and had just the right amount of glitter distributed throughout the polish. As always, Deborah Lippmann hits it out of the park. This is a color I will treasure for a long time, as a present from my amazing sis and as a really exciting, yet feminine dark polish. If you are curious about the neon pink shade I am wearing, it is "Tip Your Waitress" by Spoiled by Wet n' Wild and can be found here.


Monday, Monday

March Birthdays are the Best Birthdays...

      So last week it was my birthday and it was an interesting week indeed! My department has been interviewing new potential professors, so that has been a really exciting process to watch. There were three candidates who were present last week to give their talks and have lunch with us grad students. In addition to that, I was also doing research for a professor and coming up with a thesis for a paper I will be writing this up coming week. Woo hoo! All this being said, I really didn't have time for any kind of celebrations on the day of my birthday. Luckily, my husband and family came to my rescue, so last Friday night we headed up to see my family and just hang out for a while. For me, birthdays are all about people and not presents (I do like those too though...) so it was a great time. I thought I would post some fun memories from this past week of going out to eat and playing games, and just being chill in general.

     I had not really had a rum and coke before this past year and I am finding that this is probably one of my favorite drinks other than a Metropolitan. It looks so aesthetically pleasing in that glass and it almost tasted like Hawaiian sunshine and sand. Needless to say, I may make Mai Tai's this weekend for St. Patrick's day as a treat!

    This is my Drew, who had just bitten into a Beignet at the FABULOUS TokioPub in Schaumberg, IL (Get on your bike, hop into your car, fire up your Vespa and go over there for some amazing food and sweet music). Drew got chocolate all over his hand much to his family's surprise and hilarity ensued. I love the wily look he got as I took this photo- I think he will be wary of molten gooey goodness from now on.

    At TokioPub here are some great dishes to try: of course, Beignets, Pork Nachos, Dragon Roll, Fish Tacos, Pork belly and rice. It's a small plate restaurant but they do have entrees like the Pork Belly and rice plate. I am now wishing that I had taken a photo of it as it was the BEST pork I have had in such a long time. This place also has amazing cocktails like the Ginger Mojito and the In Bloom. If you love indie music, good food and a cool ambiance, this is the place for you. 

      My mother in law made this and both Drew and I nearly died of deliciousness. It's called "Monkey Bread" and it is super easy to make. You just place rolls in a round pan and sprinkle them with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla pudding mix and leave it over night with a towel covering. I'm sure there are probably lots of recipes out there- try Smitten Kitchen, she has to have one. 

    This photo does not do these justice! My sis bought these for me so naturally I love them. But these are truly gorgeous. They were purchased at Nordstrom in the newly opened TopShop section. Hooray! TopShop is now accessible to suburbanites! I wish we had that here... But I digress, I've been really getting into metals and jewelry that reflect a kind of mechanical aesthetic in a feminine way. These earrings really do that well. My favorite detail? The inlaid shock of orange in the transparent plastic.

     I am so pleased with this super-lame Instagram photo that I took at TokioPub (yes, I am that weird hipster that takes pictures of food and Instagrams them... I know...). It's just their plates stacked up before we got our food and that image really struck me for some reason. They reminded me of Donald Judd's pieces, so simple, so geometric.

  It was a very happy birthday for me. : )