Beauty: My Makeup Essentials

I love makeup. I’ve loved it for so long, in fact, that I have a series of photographs of me wearing it to my third birthday party, taken by my mother after I had emerged from her bathroom midway through the afternoon’s festivities with nearly every product in her entire makeup kit piled on my face. I can remember spending so many nights watching my mother ready herself to go out with my father, peering over the edge of her vanity as she applied powder and lipstick and mascara so effortlessly, positively mesmerized by her beauty. And, she was always incredibly patient with me, with my unending questions as to what she was doing and why and my absolute begging for her to let me wear just the tiniest touch of eyeshadow. Sometimes she’d even oblige me. Those were, I suppose, my first fashionable moments, the beginning to an ever-bourgeoning interest in all matters of style.

This is the first post to an entire series on beauty. I thought to start simply, with a quick list of my absolute, must-have makeup essentials, those products and items that I use daily to create a simple, classic beauty look. Of course, I’m always so interested to hear what’s in others’ cosmetics bags, too, so please do share a little bit about your own makeup routine in the comments.

Make Up For Ever Liquid Lift Foundation

Make Up For Ever Lift Foundation

Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer

Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer

Make Up For Ever Uplight Face Luminizer Gel

Make Up For Ever Uplight Gel

Make Up For Ever is a staple in my makeup bag. Among my favorites, their Liquid Lift Foundation, of which I use the tiniest amount to even out my skin tone, and their Lift Concealer, which not only disguises under eye circles to awaken tired eyes, but is specially formulated with tensine and vitamins to prevent the formation of fine lines. I also love their Uplight Face Luminizer Gel, a cream highlighter that blends beautifully to create a gorgeous, subtle glow.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

As mentioned in my previous post on “Date Night Essentials,” Smoky Lash, also by Make Up Forever, is the ultimate in mascara. And, I prefer Shiseido’s eyelash curler to any other. The two in combination deliver the most gorgeous, full, lush lashes.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay “Naked” Palette

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay “Naked” Palette

For day, I use a simple swipe of nude-toned eyeshadow. In the evening, I often contour using shimmery, warm brown eyeshadows; even with my dark, near-black hair, I find kohl, smoky eyes far too aggressive for my features. My go-to palette, both day and night: Urban Decay’s “Naked.” And, rather than a sharp pencil liner, I use an angled brush to create a soft, slightly smudged line only on the outer half of my eyes, at the base of both my top and bottom lashes.

Tweezerman Slant Tweezers

Tweezerman Slant Tweezers

Avon Perfect Eyebrow Pencil

Avon Perfect Eyebrow Pencil

I’ve been a proponent of the full brow for almost a decade now, and, I’m so obsessive about eyebrows that I won’t even let a professional touch mine, for fear that they might alter their shape even the slightest. Instead, I tweeze stray hairs, and fill in any sparse areas with Avon’s Perfect Eyebrow Pencil. The trick to using pencil is to always brush through to soften and blend the color, for really realistic results.

Chantecaille Cheek Creme

Chantecaille Cheek Creme

Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick

Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick

For dewy, fresh-faced cheeks, cream blush provides unbeatable results. Chantecaille’s Cheek Creme in “Shy” is the perfect rosy pink hue for my fair complexion. And, although I own a lot of red lipsticks in a myriad of hues and from a variety of brands, I most often wear Avon, which has always been my mother’s favorite lipstick brand.

Vintage Favorites: Women’s Suffrage

Below, a short lesson on the history of voting rights for women, with accompanying photographs, in honor of the United States presidential election being held tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Women Hold Posters to Announce a Suffrage Meeting

Susan B. Anthony and
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

American Woman Suffrage
Association Flier

Women’s suffrage as an organized movement truly began in July of 1841 at Seneca Falls Women’s Right’s Convention, the first gathering of its kind. The convention was arranged by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, who, with the aid of the convention’s attendants, worked to compose a “Declaration of Sentiments,” in which was included the radical assertion, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” A decade later, in 1851, Stanton met Susan B. Anthony and the two then began an extraordinary friendship characterized by a mutual commitment to suffrage activism. Together, they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. Later, Susan B. Anthony would find herself arrested, arraigned, and convicted for illegally casting a ballot in the 1872 general election. Unfortunately, both woman died well before their incredible efforts came to fruition.

Marching in New York, 1913

Caravan in New York, 1913

Photographs from suffrage events in New York City in 1913. In the first, women march with signs, amongst a crowd of onlookers. In the second, a caravan prepares to drive northeast towards Boston, to spread the suffrage message. Notice the mention of equal pay for equal work, a labor right which we have yet to achieve, nearly a century later. Even today, working women still only earn a mere seventy-seven cents to every man’s dollar.

Alice Paul

Lucy Burns

Like Susan B. Anthony before them, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns employed radical efforts in support of suffrage that, too, resulted in their imprisonment. The pair began picketing the White House in protest in 1917, and both were arrested that year. While enduring imprisonment, Paul and Burns organized hunger strikes in a show of resistance, and women continued to picket in Washington D.C. almost every day for two years, until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment through Congress in June of 1919. The amendment was ratified, finally, by the requisite number of states in August of 1920, to affirm voting rights for all female citizens of legal age.

Woman’s Suffrage Party Float

We can best celebrate the tireless efforts of our feminist foremothers by casting our votes with careful attention to and deliberate consideration for the future we hope to create not only for ourselves, but for our daughters, as well. Because, always, “Woman’s cause is man’s cause. They rise or fall together.”

Photos courtesy Google Image Search, the Shmoop Women’s Movements Gallery, and the Shorpy Historical Photo Archive.

Fashion Must-Have: Pleated Skirts

Pleated skirts are a fall fashion favorite, with good reason: they’re irresistibly flirtatious, undeniably feminine, and, best of all, incredibly forgiving. Specifically, the strong structure of wide pleats, especially when met with high waistlines, serves to skim a fuller hip while simultaneously elongating and slimming the leg. Below, my figure-flattering suggestions, with bonus styling tips.

Carry Parry Check-Print Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Check-Print Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Check-Print Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Check-Print Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Purple Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Purple Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Purple Pleated Skirt

Carry Parry Purple Pleated Skirt

I own this Carry Parry pleated skirt in check-print, handwoven silk, and it is really remarkably beautiful. The knife-pleats provide the perfect amount of volume, the length is flirty but age-appropriate, and the pockets are such a brilliant, functional touch. It is so versatile and so easy to style that I’ve found myself wearing it nearly everywhere – on dinner dates, for drinks with friends, even to a few of the shows that I covered during fashion week – and its elicited compliments every time. Both the check-print, and this gorgeous purple version which I’m planning to purchase shortly, are available at discount in her online shop.

Halston Heritage Pleated Skirt

Halston Heritage Printed Pleated Skirt

Halston Heritage Pleated Skirt

Halston Heritage Printed Pleated Skirt

This Halston Heritage skirt, which its rich hues and subtle, abstract pattern, is very fall/winter appropriate. Style with a slim-fitting black turtleneck, as shown in these photographs from the Neiman Marcus website, and a pair of classic, pointed-toe black booties.

Dice Kayek Pleated Skirt

Dice Kayek Bow Panel Skirt

Dice Kayek Bow Panel Skirt

Dice Kayek Bow Panel Skirt

Go for the gold this holiday season in Dice Kayek’s gorgeous pleated skirt with bold bow panel. Wear with a black, long-sleeved top, a pair of delicate, strappy sandals, and a structure handbag with gold chain strap, for a look that’s fashionably festive.

Milly Pleated Skirt

Milly “Naomi” Pleated Skirt

Milly Pleated Skirt

Milly “Naomi” Pleated Skirt

With its metallic thread detail and ribbon waist accent, this Milly skirt is certainly holiday-appropriate. But, it’ll just as easy dress down with aid from a fitted jean jacket and simple white silk blouse. Add brown, animal-skin pumps, an aged, brown leather envelope clutch, and you’ll be darling for day.

Whit Leather Pleated Skirt

Whit “Maddie” Leather Pleated Skirt

Whit Leather Pleated Skirt

Whit “Maddie” Leather Pleated Skirt

I love the idea of a pleated leather skirt for day. This version is daringly short, but conservative styling should help to offset its length. I’d pair it with pointed-toe flats, a sharp, structured blazer and white button-up blouse, and a wide-cuff gold watch.

Vintage Favorites: Fall Fashion

Recently, while thumbing through vintage issues of Vogue at the FIT archives, I discovered an editorial series focusing on “A Day in The Life” of select women. For October of 1954, Mrs. A was profiled, whose preference for effortless, elegant separates style best reflects the quiet calm of the city suburbs. Below, Mrs. A models everything I’d want to wear while enjoying the gorgeous fall foliage during a weekend with family in Connecticut.

Vogue October 1954

Vogue October 1954

At left, Mrs. A is suburban-perfect while unpacking her station wagon with her Dalmatian in tow, in slim-cut pants, a wool turtleneck, and a relaxed leather jacket featuring a fun, striped lining. At right, though she owns a stationwagon, she takes public transportation to run her afternoon errands in town, for which she wears a brown tweed skirt suit, accessorizes with a waist-cinching belt and bold, button earrings, and carries a classic, structured handbag. Later, finishing her day’s activities at the supermarket, in an impossibly elegant, blond wool chinchilla coat, with her driving gloves in hand.

Vogue October 1954

Vogue October 1954

Mrs. A prefer to host her own soirees. When preparing a dinner party for her closest friends, she favors relaxed separates, including an exquisite full skirt over matching, tailored capri pants. For a black tie event at her own home, she selects a blouse and skirt combination, to which she adds a chiffon waist sash and hair tie.

Vogue October 1954

Finally, Mrs. A and Mr. A enjoy a quiet Sunday morning in, with Mrs. A wearing a gorgeous, fur-collared cardigan and comfortable, tapered slacks.

Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Style

For the past twenty-five years, October has been nationally-recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in an effort to promote education, encourage dialogue, and further research on methods of prevention of and cure for the disease. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women, according to the World Health Organization, and the second leading cause of our death; one in eight of us will be diagnosed in our lifetime, and over two-hundred thousand will be diagnosed this year alone. And, breast cancer is not exclusively a female illness, for over two-thousand men, too, are diagnosed each year. For all these reasons, I’ve decided to compile a list of apparel, accessories, and beauty items whose proceeds benefit various cancer foundations. Below, you’ll find a gorgeous selection of merchandise from some of my favorite retailers and brands, with information and links to purchase.

Gorjana Modern Heart Bracelet

Gorjana “Modern Heart Bracelet”

Gorjana Heartbeat Necklace

Gorjana “Heartbeat Necklace”

Gorjana Taner Shimmer Necklace

Gorjana “Taner Shimmer Necklace”

Gorjana Aubrey Ring

Gorjana “Aubrey Ring”

Until this Sunday, October 7th, one-hundred percent of the proceeds from Gorjana’s gorgeous rose gold “Heartbeat Necklace” and “Modern Heart Bracelet” will benefit Breast Cancer Connections. And, fifty percent of the proceeds from other select items will also be donated, as the “Taner Shimmer Necklace” and “Aubrey Ring,” both delicate, simple rose-gold designs, with classic crystal detail.

Estee Lauder Powder Compact

Estee Lauder Powder Compact

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer

The Estée Lauder “Dream by Evelyn Lauder” compact, with its heart shape and enamel ribbon design, is not only beautiful, but it also comes filled with their popular “Lucidity” translucent pressed powder, and one-hundred percent of your purchase benefits the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Ten dollars from every sale of Bobbi Brown’s “Pink Peony” illuminating bronzer is also donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Essie Good Morning Hope

Essie “Good Morning Hope”

Orly Pretty in Pink Collection

Orly “Pretty in Pink” Collection

A portion of the proceeds from each bottle of Essie’s “Raise Awareness” nail polish will be donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer. At left, “Good Morning Hope,” which is a sheer, light pink. All four colors are available for purchase online at Ulta. On the right, Orly’s Pretty in Pink Collection, including “You Are Not Alone,” “Embrace,” and “Be Brave,” from which twenty percent of sales benefits Cancer Schmancer.

Rebecca Taylor Solid Silk Blouse

Rebecca Taylor Solid Silk Blouse

Rebecca Taylor Solid Silk Blouse

Rebecca Taylor Solid Silk Blouse

Rebecca Taylor specially designed her “Solid Silk Blouse” for breast cancer awareness, and is donating fifty percent of the proceeds to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Wear for a workday, wear to a date night; this top will pair easily with any item in your wardrobe to add effortless chic for all occasions. Also available in black.

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Tee

Ralph Lauren “Big Pony Tee”

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Tee

Ralph Lauren’s “Big Pony Tee”

Ralph Lauren launched its Pink Pony Fund for cancer care and prevention twelve years prior, and ten percent of all Pink Pony apparel has since benefited the foundation. The “Big Pony Tee” is perfect for a casual weekend lunch and an afternoon shopping trip with friends; simply style with your favorite pair of boot-cut denim jeans and simple, black, pointed-toe heels. As a bonus, Ralph Lauren is donating one-hundred thousand dollars to the fund this Fall season in a show of support for the global fight against all cancers.

For more information on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit the official website at NBCAM.org.
Learn how to administer a breast self-examination here.
Statistics courtesy of National Breast Cancer Foundation.

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