Fashion & Beauty

Pink hair, don’t care.

I realize I’ve been delinquent in my duties here. Like, really bad. Maybe worse than ever before. So it’s probably not the best time to congratulate myself on the fact that this blog came into existence almost exactly two years ago! Despite the fact that I’ve done a less-than-stellar job in recent months, my malformed brainchild maintains a pulse.

So on that note, I’ll get down to business. A few months ago, my lovely stylist Lauren updated my ombre with some vibrant pink and red. The result was beautiful, as expected, but as soon as I left the salon I was hit with the melancholy realization that I’d be unable to maintain the color on my own. I’d fly back to San Francisco and it would likely fade in a matter of weeks, even with the most delicate care and attention. I’d watch the fruits of her labor (and my time and money) circle the drain while crying into my loofah. The world would end and everything would be terrible, etc.

We all know that color-treated hair demands a little extra finesse– more time between washes (cold water only), extra hydration, touch-ups and more frequent trims… You know, the basics.

Well, it turns out there are some things that even Cosmo (or Harvard Law) can’t teach you. Enter oVertone Haircare, a relatively newish line of color-depositing conditioners that help to preserve your existing color or tint your hair gradually with consistent usage. The conditioners don’t bleach or lighten hair, they simply infuse it with a dose of semi-permanent dye each time you condition.

photo 1 (1)

Miserable face, messy desk, sub-par under-eye concealer.

If you’re a true Cosmo Girl, you know that color-depositing conditioners aren’t novel. What makes the oVertone line different is the fact that it’s actually good for your hair. Their conditioners lack the heavy alcohol content of regular dyes, so they won’t dry things out. They’re made of all plant-based ingredients and are gentle enough to use every time you condition. And, you can even use HOT WATER to rinse. Anyone with color-treated hair knows the pains of hunching over the bathroom sink to avoid a frigid shower.

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 6.47.20 PM

Another thing that I love about the line is the ability it gives you to customize your color. Each hue comes in different tones– pastel, vibrant or “extreme,” (the deepest of the three). You can also mix colors or use more than one conditioner at a time on different pieces of hair. Sounds like a lot of effort to me, personally, but if you’re an overachiever, be my guest.

Ultimately, I feel like the fact that I’ve used this stuff for the past three months with highly favorable results is a testament to its staying power. My hair feels as healthy as it ever had before dyeing, which is equal parts shocking and awesome. (I hate Halloween wig syndrome.) (You know what I mean.) And if you’re looking for a gradual, low-risk, semi-permanent way to try out a new look, this is it. So try out that lavender hair I know you’ve been coveting, y’all. Life is too short.

Advertisements
Standard
Fashion & Beauty

Current Obsession: Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black

I’m on an unending quest for the perfect fragrance, and seriously, there are so many good ones to choose from. But when fall rolls around I find myself distancing myself from floral scents in favor of fragrances that are a little richer and more sophisticated. It would be great to be richer and more sophisticated, as a general rule.

You know who does that really well? The damn Olsen twins. The success of their fashion/beauty empire has actually managed to completely eclipse any memory of their acting career[s], at least in my eyes. I’m not even getting paid to say that. I’ve always loved Elizabeth & James clothing, so when I received samples of their new Nirvana Black & White dual fragrance exclusive from Sephora, I was intrigued. Real talk: both of these scents are to-die-for.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.24.28 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.24.56 PM

I opted for Nirvana Black, which is deep and earthy with notes of sandalwood, violet and vanilla. I wanted something woody with a slight hint of sweetness; a counterpoint to the fresh, green notes I’m usually drawn to during the summer. If I had named this scent, I would have called it “wealthy former hippie.” Basically, this perfume smells like the Bay Area. Like when you’re barefoot in your Calypso St. Barths tunic tending the herbs in the community garden, organic fair-trade soil between your toes, and it starts to get chilly so you run inside and grab that that trusty old Alpaca throw you bought with your last ten pesos the third time you quit your job to go backpacking in South America. Those days are long gone now; you made it big at a tech startup and could buy all the Alpaca throws you’d ever want, but that’s not the point. When you breathe in the smell of Nirvana Black, you’re bound to reminisce about life’s adventures… so many adventures. That’s what it is for me, anyway– an olfactory scrapbook of all the awesome shit that I haven’t done, but possibly could have done if I were that kind of person. The kind of person with stories to tell.

Nirvana White, on the other hand, is floral (peony and muguet, which is a fancy French way of saying Lily of the Valley) with a hint of musk (there’s that rich sophistication factor again). That description is probably a little reductive, but I liked it a teeny tiny bit less than Nirvana Black and therefore my brain is having trouble finding more words. Motivation is a fickle thing.

The Sephora salesgirl I spoke to did have an interesting suggestion: layering the two fragrances. I haven’t tried it yet, but gosh am I excited about the prospect. Like yin and yang or Mary-Kate and Ashley, the marriage of these scents just seems right. Who knows, it may even bring me to a state of enlightenment.

I’ll let you know if I get there.

Standard
More

Marcia & Suzanne

Since moving to the West Coast, I’ve made a wealth of new connections for whom I’m truly grateful. I’ve even been lucky enough to acquire some brand new family out here: my self-appointed adoptive aunts, Marcia and Suzanne. After three months, I feel like I’ve known them forever– and I hope to.

DSCF1081

On Suzanne: Calypso tunic. On Marcia: Anthropologie top and pants.

Suzanne and Marcia have been together for nearly 25 years, and after the long-awaited repeal of DOMA they decided to make their union official. Surprisingly, their decision to marry wasn’t a given. After being together for so long, they wondered if they really needed the pomp and circumstance of a wedding. They felt married already, having shared a life together (complete with a dog, three cats and four chickens) for more than two decades. After some thought and gentle prodding, though, they realized that they did want to honor their commitment to each other with a celebration– not just for themselves, but for the family and friends who had supported them throughout the years.

They settled on a gorgeous estate in Lagunitas for their venue. Marin County is such an impossibly majestic place that it almost feels like human intervention could shatter it to pieces at any moment. As such, it was fitting that there was nothing showy or frivolous about this event. The raw beauty of the place was complemented by delicate and understated decor– a perfect reflection of the couple themselves.

DSCF1071 DSCF1073 DSCF1135DSCF1149DSCF1047IMG_1190

Suzanne and Marcia are very close to their gaggle of adult nieces and nephews, and decided to have the group serve as the wedding party as well as the officiants of the ceremony. It was such a unique and touching gesture, there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the house/forest.

DSCF1058DSCF1110 DSCF1113 DSCF1115

So much of wedding culture these days revolves around the material, and it’s always heartening to see a pure and joyous celebration of love bereft of any of the bizarre, contrived trappings I usually associate with modern marriage. (Sorry for getting weird and deep, guys. Maybe I’m just a little jaded.) I mean this as a compliment to the brides: two people who would have heartily consented to spending the rest of their lives together without a party or a marriage license or the recognition of the outside world.

DSCF1160DSCF1139 DSCF1210 DSCF1224

Despite the fact that it’s only recently become official, they’re perhaps the most quintessential example I’ve ever known of a marriage done right. Endless love to you both.

DSCF1191

Congrats, Suzanne & Marcia!

Standard
Fashion & Beauty

Malibu

Anyone notice my new header photo? Apparently I’m the last person in the free world to figure out how to take a panorama photo on an iPhone! How cute and endearing!

You can stop guessing about the location; I spent a lovely 4th of July weekend with my family in Malibu. It was perfect because I’m one of those incredibly lucky people that has family members who would be cool enough to hang out with even if we weren’t related. I’m pretty sure this is a rarity.

In all seriousness, the women in my extended family– on both sides– are really cool, and have fantastic style. Each of them has such a unique and inimitable aesthetic that when I’m around them, I find myself feeling a lot like I did when I was young and clueless and still wearing Talbots. My outfits are like stirrup leggings and Keds compared to their effortless, eclectic chic.

Dana outfit

On Dana: J Brand tee, BB Dakota overalls, Converse shoes, vintage Coach bucket bag and bracelet, Madewell bracelet.

megan outfit

On Megan: Le Specs sunglasses, “cheap Asian store” Marilyn Monroe crop top and maxi skirt, BC shoes.

We spent a gluttonous weekend lounging on the beach and hunting for celebrities (well, I did, because I’m declasse and also not accustomed to being around people who are on TV). Ladies, Brody Jenner ain’t all that. His bro, though.

And of course, there was a little bit of shopping. I got a couple of new cosmetics that I’m really excited about: Santigold for Smashbox’s Limitless Double-ended Liner in Azurite/El Dorado, and Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint and Sun Beam Highlighter. How beachy is this look?! (Ignore my unkempt eyebrows, please. Or don’t, ’cause summer is for letting loose, and I just can’t be tamed.)

photo1 (18)

Benefit’s stains can double as lip & cheek color.

But anyway, here are some pics of my gorgeous fam.

photo1 (18)

On Megan: Daughters of the Revolution caftan. On me: Tom Ford sunglasses, Rachel Roy caftan, stolen hat from my aunt and uncle’s beach house.

danabeach1

On Dana: Prada sunglasses, Planet Blue bikini top, Zara shorts.

photo1 (18)

On Tina: Old Navy Dress, Vix swimsuit, Tom Ford sunglasses, Wanawake hat, Stella and Dot tote.

And of course, Snackers, the unrequited love of my life.

photo6 (1)

Hates me.

Standard
More

Lately

A picture is worth a thousand words.

photo1 (7)

Ocean Beach, SF at sunset.

photo3 (3)

Ran from my apartment to the coast after work. Still kind of in awe that this is a real thing that I can do now. Unbelievable.

photo3 (2)

ROGA (running+yoga) event on the Santa Monica Pier with celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska. Sponsored by Vionic. Working on a Saturday has never been so painless.

photo1 (4)

ROGA is over for the summer, but picks up again in the fall. Check out http://santamonicapier.org/roga/ for more information.

photo4 (1)

My neighborhood. The Richmond, SF.

photo5

This weekend’s hike. Sea Cliff, SF.

photo1 (10)

Rad Theory sweater that I scored for $20 at Wasteland (more on that obsession later). H&M necklace, Tahari pants, Vionic sandals (on sale now!).

photo2 (6)

New nose stud and ragged hair. Passed the two month mark without a cut before conceding that something had to be done. Miss you, Lauren!

photo1 (8)

Awkward face, double chin, fresh layers via The Cutlery SF. Highly recommended!

That’s all I got for now.

Standard
Fashion & Beauty

Say Happy Valentine’s Day to yourself with awesome nail charms.

Oh, hey! How’s your Valentine’s Day going? Are you sick with a bacterial infection, alternately sweating and shivering under four layers of blankets? Are you out with your beau right now drinking a nice Merlot or at home with a tall, refreshing glass of Emergen-C? (I wonder if Emergen-C mixes well with vodka. Will report back.) Do your eyeballs burn so badly that you’ve had to turn your Kindle’s brightness setting down to the lowest level to read that escape from the FLDS cult memoir you’ve been meaning to finish?

That’s been my evening thus far. But you know what, I’m far from bitter. I spent a lovely day working from home, then took a nice little jaunt to CVS for some more cold medicine, and now I’m settling in to watch the highly anticipated second season of House of Cards. Not all bad. And the cherry on top? Doing my nails, of course!

Ok, I love the look of nail art as much as the next girl, so it might surprise you to learn that I also find it to be a pain in the ass. While I routinely gawk at the Pinterest tutorials on how to turn your nails into tiny Mondrian paintings, I do so more as an observer than someone who actually cares to learn. I’ll leave the works of art to the masters.

There’s a recent development that has managed to sway me, though, and that’s nail jewelry. Yeah. HEX’s nail charms are gold-plated and reusable, and come in a variety of designs ranging from words to symbols and animals. They range from $.75 to $1.75 each, depending on style. Application is simple: just stick them on your nails after applying your topcoat and let dry! You can also use nail glue after drying (which is great if you usually go the gel-manicure route). To remove, simply pop them off and clean them up, and they’re ready to go again.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

China Glaze in “Seduce Me.” Appropriate.

Who needs a Valentine when you can have a gold-plated serpent stuck to your finger? Psh, not this girl. Nope.

Standard
Fashion & Beauty

Five pick-me-ups for days when you feel like this:

There’s a phrase I’ve coined for my own occasional bout of crippling insecurity: “having a moment.” Like my personal heroine above, we all experience this phenomenon at one point or another. It’s natural. But here’s the thing: these feelings should last only a moment. They should be only temporary; nothing but a blip in your day. Acknowledge them– indulge them, even. But then pick yourself up, slap some spackle on your face and go to happy hour. Here are five fool-proof ways to make yourself feel at least 50% better in a time of need.

1. Fresh Coat of Mascara
This might be obvious, but it doesn’t make it any less true. There are days when I slum it at work– throw on leggings and a long sweater and call it a day. There are days when I don’t even accessorize. But I don’t ever go anywhere without mascara. If you’re drooping and find yourself looking haggard in the fluorescently lit ladies’ room mirror, throw on another coat. Mascara instantly brightens your eyes and makes your whole look appear more polished. I recommend Eyeko London’s Black Magic Mascara. It layers well and doesn’t clump, smudge or flake.

2. Under-Eye Concealer
My dark circles are probably the biggest culprits when it comes to having a bad face day. And, oh God, if anyone dares approach me and inform me that I “look a little tired,” forget it. Can we all just agree to never utter those words? In my mind, you’re basically telling me I look like a refugee of the Carnival Cruise disaster or something.

My favorite concealer is Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer— it’s oil free, light, and doesn’t crease.

3. Add Some Color to Your Cheeks
This is one that my mom likes to advocate. Swiping some blush or bronzer on your cheeks will instantly make you look healthier, and you know, less pallid, sickly and/or near dead. I am absolutely addicted to Josie Maran’s Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Honeymoon Honey, a warm brownish tone that makes it look like you’ve been sitting out in the sun. (Ha! Fat chance.) Because it’s a gel, it gives you more of a natural glow than a powder would.

4. Dry Shampoo
If you haven’t yet discovered the wonders of dry shampoo, you need to do so, and quickly. Dry shampoo doesn’t just work on dirty hair– it’s a great tool for creating volume. If your hair is looking flat at the crown or dull after not having been washed for a day, you can easily resurrect it by flipping your head over and spraying away. One of my favorite tricks for the days when I’m too lazy to wash my hair: dry shampoo at the roots, and a spritz of water on the ends to tame any wonkiness. Then I pull all of my hair up in Princess Leia buns while I apply my face. When I’m on my way out the door, I pull out the buns and tousle my hair. Easy loose waves.

My fave, as I have mentioned before, is Klorane’s Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract.

5. Add a Coat of Nail Polish
This may not be an option if you’re really on the go, but if you have ten minutes to spare, add a coat of sheer, shimmery polish like Butter London’s Knackered to that boring shade you’re already wearing. Earlier this week I had on some blah mauvey color for a meeting, because that’s what my imitation of professionalism looks like. I got sick of that pretty quickly. Now I feel much more like a unicorn/princess, which is always the objective.

If you’re worried about not having time to fix your nails, say, when you’re about to head out on a date after work, you’ve got to grab Seche Vite’s topcoat. Your nails will be hard as… nails… in less than five minutes. Real talk.

Happy Thursday!

Standard