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· The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
· The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
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· Beauty Notes: Sharon Bolton Scents
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· May 30, 2008 9:47 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 27, 2008 4:06 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 27, 2008 4:28 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 27, 2008 11:21 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 24, 2008 1:31 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 24, 2008 4:11 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 25, 2008 5:45 PM by Blogger Joy Rothke
· May 26, 2008 3:42 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 26, 2008 3:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 26, 2008 2:46 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 15, 2008 9:59 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 15, 2008 10:37 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 12, 2008 8:59 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 12, 2008 10:15 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 10:23 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 13, 2008 12:00 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 14, 2008 8:20 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 10, 2008 3:45 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 10, 2008 8:56 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 11, 2008 12:27 PM by Blogger Joy Rothke
· May 11, 2008 2:09 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: May 2008

The Weekend Blogger: This, that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:51 PM (Eastern)

I'm here at home, playing Simon and Garfunkel for my daughter. Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me... Subtly, their songs have entwined my memories more than, say, those of The Beatles (as much as I was crazy about John Lennon when I was a kid). Likely it's the American-ness of their music. Unlike many of my fellow citizens, who swim within the sheer breadth of our country, I've always had the ability to see the U.S. from the outside in. It's never been perfect, but the music is to die for.

I finally placed an order for Foot Petals. Didn't get the black ones; one of the Foot Petals reviews stated Foot Petals had turned the reviewer's pantyhose black. I don't know if it was the black Foot Petals what did it (she didn't say), but why take the chance? I got one set each of Tip Toes, Heavenly Heelz, and Haute Heelz. They look as if you could trim them to fit, so I'm endeavoring to find the most economical way to do it.

Still tinkering around with this piece:

chalcedony necklace

Most of my jewelry has, admittedly a bit surprisingly, worked, at work. This doesn't; the back chalcedony stones are too high to show enough, and the front might lie better with the wire component here:

turquoise and labradorite necklace

Planning to do the "tinkering around" part of the weekend today and the laundry part tomorrow (the weather should be sunny on Sunday).

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Fashion Notes: FitFlop Review
Posted by Joy Rothke, Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:05 PM (Eastern)

I admit I was skeptical--more than skeptical. How can flip-flops [excuse me, "FitFlops"] "tone and trim my legs while reducing strain on my feet, knees and back"? They look like conventional flip-flops. Can they be worth a rather steep $49.99 to $59.99?

I had to test these for myself, and received a pair from Fit Flop's PR rep a couple of weeks ago. I read all the enclosed data about how they were "biomechanically engineered" by a team of scientists at South Bank University in London. I reviewed the chart showing twice the duration in muscle activity in the gluteus maximus and rectus femoris of women who wore FitFlops versus conventional shoes, and that the cushioned FitFlop sole apparently extends by ten percent the time the slow twitch muscles are engaged during each step. (Slow twitch muscle fibers produce energy by converting fats to energy aerobically.)

But how do they feel--and would they work for me?

Except for a thicker than normal sole, they felt just like the flip-flops I'd been wearing all my life. I slipped on my new FitFlops and took my dog for an hour-long walk. They felt a bit stiff, and the thong between my toes rubbed a bit. FitFlops aficionados suggest you start slow, but I began wearing them all day, every day.

In the words of my 16-year-old niece, they are like, awesome. Are my calves and ass firmer? A bit, perhaps, but the best result for me is in my knees and hamstrings. I've had tight, aching hamstrings as long as I can remember, and nothing--including exercise, stretching, massage and various types of bodywork--has helped. My knees are almost 56 years old and creaky from osteoarthritis and loss of cartilage. I was used to them aching.

After a couple of weeks as a FitFlop wearer, my hamstrings don't ache any more and my knees ache a whole lot less. This result is enough for me to love these shoes.

According to podiatrists, FitFlops are not appropriate for people with flat feet or those who use orthotics. If you don't fall into either of those categories, give them a try. You'll be strengthening and toning your core muscles without even knowing it. FitFlops just may be the perfect summer shoe.

Currently, FitFlops are available for women only, but reportedly a men's version is in the works. Available in a variety of colors at Bath and Body Works, Amazon, FootSmart and Bliss.

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May 30, 2008 9:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I was skeptical about these...because I remember back when Dr. Scholl made a similar claim about their sandals...the kind with a wooden sole? They were supposed to tone your legs. All I remember was how uncomfortable they were, and they didn't seem to tone anything.

Glad the FitFlops worked out!

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The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, May 27, 2008 12:34 AM (Eastern)

hauschka lip products
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum, Novum LipGloss, and lipstick

Being an eternal cheapskate, I went shopping today to replace...a lipstick, Dr. Hauschka #09 Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley. It's not an inexpensive lipstick, but my old one is now the sheerest sliver, too slight to even apply much of much. (I don't do lip brushes, otherwise I'd dig.) So the price of the lipstick--same as Chanel--didn't faze me.

The most expensive lipstick is typically the one which you don't use up. Not that it's always possible to use up a lipstick. A specialty lipstick, perfect for the occasion, may pay for itself in impact rather than in actual wear. But an everyday lipstick has no such excuse.

While I was there, I swatched TerraNova of Berkeley Pikake lotion. Hm. As much as I like their Pikake cologne, the lotion is only eh to me; my ten-years-old-plus Giò lotion smells quite a bit better.

When did Elephant Pharmacy's customer service deteriorate? I remember when they first opened. And for quite a while, it was cool...the cosmetics section still is cool, but somehow the rest of it makes me feel like ordering online, in the same fashion as our local MAC counter.

Next I replaced my L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner, at Sallys Beauty Supply. And I got some flip flops for my daughter at a shoe store; these were decorated in front with small monkey faces.

Now I'm home, pondering--should I iron, mend, or finish the necklace my daughter designed for me? I don't have enough items to iron this week, only three casual tops and a spare dress. I've tried to engineer my part-new, part-old work wardrobe around not having to iron each week...indeed, I'm still tweaking it to include items which can be dryer-dried rather than line-dried. (Not a problem in spring or summer, but we do get a rainy season.) Drycleaning is out of the question. I asked at a local "green" drycleaners and they quoted me ten dollars for one dress.

The mending is more valuable--one of my dresses shrank when I washed it. I hate shopping online? The measurements should have fit, but ended up just fitting, and washing shrank the dress just enough to make the bust gap. So I hatched a plan to sew a hook and eye to it, rather than opt for the more time-consuming "tiny safety pin solution."

But I'm tired, so I'll probably finish the necklace; it's short only two stones (it's a simple row of small tourmalines).

I never did find Foot Petals Heavenly Heelz locally, so those are slated to be bought online. I may throw in some Tip Toes, but the Killer Kushionz seem, ah, like overkill. It would be a matter of one or the other at any rate. I can admit it's fun tinkering around with shoes, but I am also experimenting, on less expensive shoes, to find potential solutions for more expensive future models.

Until next weekend then.

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3 comment(s)  
May 27, 2008 4:06 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I like what you say about "he most expensive lipstick is typically the one which you don't use up".That's very true. Even if a lippie is $6, if you don't touch it, it's wasted money, and even if you spend $22, it's worth it if you get use out of it, even if you use it for special occasions.

In my experience, most "dry-clean only" can be washed by hand. In fact, that's really what wears down clothing, machine-washing, and the tag's there to discourage machine-washing more than anything else. I've found a good compromise is to use a cold cycle and air-dry as much as I can.

May 27, 2008 4:28 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said... of the less-talked-about budgeting tactics, "cost per wear." I read about it when I was a kid, in a book called Cheap Chic. (There was a Cheap Chic II at one point, I think, which I haven't read, but the original has been out of print for a long time.)

There they actually calculated the cost per wear of two dresses; one was $20, the other $80, but the $80 one got worn a whole lot more, and ended up "cheaper." (In those days, an extravagant price for a dress.)

There is a kind of rayon fabric which shrinks, when washed in water rather than drycleaned. It's happened to me a few's matte in texture. For whatever nutty reason, smooth rayon doesn't seem to shrink nearly as much.

Hence, the precaution could be to buy clothes made from this rayon, in one size up, on the notion it's gonna shrink one size anyway. :D

I do mine in the washing machine, it's too many to hand wash. At the end of the week I have a full size load...cold water, Woolite, delicate cycle.

May 27, 2008 11:21 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'm still dithering about the Foot Petals. You can't find the dimensions for them...they sell something called Haute Heelz, which look more practical than Heavenly Heelz, for some of my shoes--if the Haute Heelz are as big as they look. You could cut them in half and stick them into the backs of the shoes.

Thinking of trying several kinds out...the price per pair is all the same.

I remember now, it was Insolia that people said worked better for high heels, not Foot Petals. Insolia is a gel insole supposedly engineered to transfer more weight from the ball of the foot to the heel--where Foot Petals are basically just pads, from what I can tell.

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The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:08 AM (Eastern)

heavenly heelz

Do these things work? I still don't know, it being impossible to find a single package of Heavenly Heelz around here. I've given up buying them locally; I'm doomed to order online.

I have seen Tip Toes--the flower-shaped ball-of-foot pads--aplenty...and now, I'm beginning to recall the initial buzz about Foot Petals was for the Tip Toes. The claim was that these would make high-heeled shoes comfortable. Most Net reviews for these concede that was a bit of an exaggeration; the consensus appears they make high-heeled shoes wearable longer, say two to three hours.

Great, but my issue is with the backs of my heels. I did make it out to Berkeley today to try the toe-of-shoe pads...the lady was nice enough to give them to me to try out. They do help, but the heels are still an issue.

Oh, for the days of frantic Internet product reviews! Have you noticed there are fewer and fewer detailed reviews of things online? There's no money in it, granted, but now we're almost back at square one. I did find a review stating Heavenly Heelz made someone's pantyhose turn black. I'm assuming, or hoping, these were the Black Iris Heavenly Heelz only, so I'm planning to try the Buttercup shade myself.

And what about the Killer Kushionz? Someone said she tried the Killer Kushionz (I'm not making these names up, see for yourself) and didn't even need the Heavenly Heelz, which speaks well for the Killer Kushionz I suppose, but only adds to the confusion. None of these products is outright cheap, if you think about it. Killer Kushionz run $12.95 a pair, which certainly puts a bit of a dent in the price of your shoes.

Oh well, I will have worked out something before the (blessedly long) weekend is through. I will have sat down and ordered at least a pair of Buttercup Heavenly Heelz, even having to buy them online, which still seems wasteful, a delivery van trekking all the way out to my home, bearing a pair of U.S.-made pads to stick inside my shoes. Yet--what if they work? What if the shoes, which had felt fine in the shop, transform into the same wearing perfection as the other pair I'd bought? The same effortlessness as my old Cole Haans?

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Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)

shoesContemplating trying my hand at a regular feature, titled--surprise!--"The Weekend Blogger." But let's see if I can produce something intelligible on a weekly basis, in the first place.

Shoes. I finally got some shoes, having no choice in the matter: my beloved Cole Haan woven shoes, which I've worn for...ten years? more, no doubt...finally commenced to spring a leak. The uppers are entirely woven, so it would be possible to mend them with E-6000 (or GS Hypo Cement, haven't worked out which would be better), and I haven't actually thrown them away. It would require time and patience to do the repair, and the shoes would need to dry the full 24 hours...I didn't have another pair of shoes on hand, so elected to shelve the project for now and just get some new shoes.

It's impossible to replace the Cole Haans. New Cole Haans, which don't seem nearly as nice as old Cole Haans, are in the nefarious $300 range, at which decent shoes begin these days. I realize our economy is a comedy, and our dollar is in the toilet, but if I wanted to pay $300 for shoes, I would buy U.S. made Cydwoqs--which I am still planning to do, as my next shoe purchase, along with Joy perfume and a Nars eyeshadow (single or duo); something quite neutral.

I ended up with the working-girl's kit--you get some reasonably priced leather shoes, and you stretch them with one of those wooden shoe forms. You don't need a specific stretching device; you can use a plain old wooden form (doesn't have to be your size either). You just have to be careful not to damage the shoes or over-stretch them.

Along with this, Foot Petals...I don't need them for one of the pairs I bought, but the other pair definitely need padding in the heel. I turned down numerous Dr. Scholls made-in-China heel pads because I wanted to try Foot Petals, but they're absurdly hard to find, particularly the heel pads. I found some of the ball-of-foot pads at Shoe Pavilion...on a side note, our local Shoe Pavilion has became a small Indian market, with inexpensive Indian tops and dresses...interesting...hmmm...I'm determined to try authentic Foot Petals, but I'm hoping to find them locally.

So I've been wearing these pre-stretched shoes, and looking for Foot Petals so I can wear the other pair. I'll have to admit they don't have the same pizazz as my old Cole Haans, but they'll do for now, and I've made at least the first pair ridiculously comfortable (they have a small wedge heel).

Skincare. Thinking of ditching Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream once it's used up. Its chief attraction was its exfoliating property, but the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth I've been employing is far superior at that. The Cleansing Cream is yet great as a moisturizing cleanser for oily skin, but then their Cleansing Milk is fine for that, and more economical. What sucks is the Cleansing Milk is bottled in glass, rendering it useless for the shower. I suppose I'll think of something when the time comes.

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May 24, 2008 1:31 PM, Blogger Dain said...

That's a very sensible plan. I take a very long time to make any expensive purchases myself, and you can get a cheap pair for the mean time. I've had good luck with Banana Republic. They're nicely styled and sturdily made for the price. I have a pair of espadrilles that I got for $68 that are still going very strong, and I've worn them everywhere.

Err... or if I misunderstood you, perhaps you got some shoes already.

I've been curious about Foot Petals too. If you get them, please let us know how they work out. I have a couple pairs of shoes that might need them.

Yeah, I definitely agree, you probably don't need both exfoliators. The appeal of the Dr. Hauschka is that it exfoliates without abrading, but if you don't mind rubbing away at your skin, then it doesn't really matter, right? I think it's a good plan. And you could also always move the cleansing milk into a plastic bottle. I wonder how you'd feel about the Eve Lom balm cleanser phenomenon (obviously, there are cheaper options): just one product to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize?

May 24, 2008 4:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hehe, this gets more interesting...I did some calling around about Foot Petals. One place in Berkeley told me they don't recommend back-of-the-heel pads...what they do, is give you a pad to put in the toe of your shoe. The idea is if the heel is loose, it's because the shoe is big, and the toe-pad should push your foot back far enough to make the heel fit.

So, I'm going to check that out today. Yup, I got some shoes. They are the ones in the pic, I just photoshopped some commercial shoe images together.

I've seen the ball-of-foot 'Petals around a lot, wondering how good they are for high heels. The shoes I got don't need padding there...they had some nice-looking flats, but I turned them down for that reason. Now I'm wondering how good the 'Petals technology is...some people swear by them, as a means of turning a cheap shoe into an expensive one. lol

That Salux cloth is interesting, from an engineering point of view. You don't feel as if you're scrubbing...and you're not scrubbing...yet, it lifts off what feels like years' worth of dead skin. It's eerie. I'm not sure I need a cleanser at all...thinking of trying the cloth with a mild body wash, like the Jason one.

May 25, 2008 5:45 PM, Blogger Joy Rothke said...

I'm staying loyal to Dr. H! I think the cleansing cream does more than exfoliate, and is exceptionally good at gently drawing gunk out of one's pores. I'm also having good luck with rhassoul clay soap, which I'll be writing about. [Colleen: I can send you a sample.]

Some of the ingredients in Eve Lom cleanser:

paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cetearyl alcohol, peg-30 lanolin, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, aluminum stearate, theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), peg-75 lanolin, chamomilla recutita (chamomile oil), eugenia caryophyllus (clove oil), eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus oil), humulus lupulus (hops oil), phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, p-chloro-m-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol

are almost as appalling as its price [GBP 48 for 100 ml]. I wouldn't touch this stuff with a 10-foot pole.

May 26, 2008 3:42 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I don't mean Eve Lom exactly, I just thought Colleen may like the idea because it's got a similar feel to the cleansing milk and may work well in conjunction with her Salux cloth. I was really thinking of the LUSH Ultrabland, which I think is a great product, except for the dreaded peanut oil that clogs my pores.

May 26, 2008 3:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Dain: Right now I'm using soap with the Salux cloth. I got some Canus goat milk soap on sale, so I've been using that. (It smells really good btw, it's the marigold extract one.)

After I do that, I use the Cleansing Cream...mostly because I feel I should use it up, and also because it is handily moisturizing. That's why I was thinking the Cleansing Milk would do just as well, but I haven't thought of using it with the cloth, which actually makes more sense.

Joy: Thanks for the offer. Not sure what I'm going to do yet... I'll look forward to your writing about rhassoul clay soap (which admittedly I've never heard of). It sounds Arabic?

I've found the Hauschka Cleansing Milk good...I use it at night, and it seems to last well. I might just port some to a plastic bottle and see how that flies.

Their lipstick is good too, it is up there with Chanel.

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Beauty Notes: Sharon Bolton Scents
Posted by Joy Rothke, Monday, May 19, 2008 11:49 PM (Eastern)

I encountered Sharon Bolton's scents a year or so ago, while perusing the Perfume of Life boards. I lurk there frequently but never say much. To be honest, I frequently don't know what the hell perfumistas are talking about. Maybe I'm a fragrance Philistine, but I tend towards the experiential with scent, rather than the abstract or intellectual. I approach perfume the same way I approach music or flowers or most any art form. It's how it makes me feel; whether it touches me.

My LP colleagues Dain and Colleen write eloquently about perfume history, chypres and aldehydes, Lutens and Malle. Confession: I have never sniffed a Malle or a Lutens, a CB I Hate Perfume or Andy Tauer. None of the niche darlings. Unless I spring for a decant or get a gift, I probably never will. Hanging around the perfume department of Barney's or Bergdorf's or--even worse--one of those tiny posh shops, fills me with dread.

I'm not stuck in a fragrance rut. Except for a few old favorites, especially my lovely Fracas, I've left mainstream perfumes. In the last few years, I've worn all sorts of musks, and even patchouli and a spicy, cinnamony scent called "Voodoo Love." But I always return to my true fragrance loves: big white florals like gardenia, jasmine and tuberose. I love their deep scent, their softness, their richness. I like the way they stay close to the body, and smell so rich and womanly. Soft and round--that's how the white florals smell to me. Many scents seem to disappear quickly on my skin, but Bolton's lingers.

Bolton lives and works in Santa Barbara, California, and her fragrances are influenced by that beautiful beach town. I've been using my sample of Luv for several months, and Sharon was kind enough to send me bottles of Truth and Soul to try. Luv remains my number one favorite, but I like Truth and Soul as well, and all three scents layer beautifully.

Coconut and papaya and musk and vanilla and citrus and white flowers make up the Bolton scents. There are only three:

Luv: Pink gardenia, lush Hawaiian white flowers, and a bit of creamy vanilla and white musk.
Soul: Papaya, pineapple, and creamy coconut with undertones of clean musk.
Truth: A clean citrus. Lemon-lime softened by florals and sheer musk.

They're sold in one form: perfume oils. ($42 for 1/8 oz.) Bolton's scents are also available in body lotions ($27), shower cream ($24) and natural soy and palm wax candles ($28).

You can order Sharon Bolton's products at her site.

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May 26, 2008 2:46 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

lololol! I'm afraid I don't fit in with the perfumistas, either. There was a brief period when Montale was the "it" brand, on another board, and I was interested in it at the same time--so for five minutes, I had something to talk about. But on that same board, hardly anyone mentions Montale anymore. I don't know if they all swapped their Montales...I bought some, it's a nice brand. It has a strong Middle Eastern vibe, which is nice in perfumery.

Thanks so much for posting about the Bolton line. I'm jealous of much of the American artisan movement is based in Southern Cal. We have TerraNova of Berkeley here...they make a Pikake scent I swatch every time I see it. It's pretty much pure pikake, maybe a little musk. It's been on my wish list for years. I'm slow to buy new scents.

Don't be afraid to bump up a new post to the date/time it's being published. :)

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Culture Notes: A Bit of a Rant
Posted by Joy Rothke, Thursday, May 15, 2008 8:15 PM (Eastern)

I've been reading "women's magazines" since JFK was in office. I worked my way through long-gone titles like American Girl and Ingenue; Teen, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, Glamour; their big sisters Vogue and Harper's Bazaar (and their British and Canadian counterparts); Marie-Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Lear's, Mirabella, More and Allure. I've probably forgotten several, but no matter. Page for page, issue for issue, they publish the same stuff month in and month out, year after year.

One of the Jezebel bloggers called them "insecurity factories." I wish I'd said that. Because they are--for all the surface feminism, empowerment, hipness, sexual freedom and 50 is the new 30--giant insecurity factories. Advertising-driven insecurity factories masquerading in journalism. Decade after decade, generations of females buy into it, then spend years trying to recover.

And I know this because they're already congratulating each other over the amazing achievement of a "plus- sized" model winning the cheezefest called "America's Next Top Model." If Whitney Thompson is plus-sized at size 10, what does that make me or you?


Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
2 comment(s)  
May 15, 2008 9:59 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Well, I look at it this way. Women are trained to be insecure, starting from childhood. Even if you know you're good, you're somehow not supposed to be as competitive as a boy, it's frowned upon.

So that's the thing. If you're not an insecure person, you're not going to be intimidated by airbrushed photos of models. You'll feel strong in your own right.

But if you are insecure, then you're going to be insecure in almost any given situation, magazines or no magazines.

I went back to work recently, I can tell you that most of the women in my office are way younger and better-looking than I am. But that's okay. I'm too old to care, I feel it's a phase you have to grow out of.

May 15, 2008 10:37 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Most magazines are catalogues with clever captions, in my opinion. They are selling you stuff, an entire lifestyle, which includes a body type.

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Fashion Looks: Indie Jewelry
Posted by Joy Rothke, Tuesday, May 13, 2008 1:06 AM (Eastern)

I don't like my jewelry to look like everyone else's. I want it to be unique, but not like the kind of stuff I used to call "UNICEF store"--i.e., thick, heavy, graceless, folkloric. I prefer more delicate pieces, but I can be a bit of a klutz, and have been known to snag delicate chains on my collar or drop brittle stones on tile floors. (A beautiful turquoise pendant I received as a birthday present met its end that way.)

Other than liking delicacy, I don't have too many jewelry rules. I mix gold and silver and platinum, precious and semi-precious stones, with abandon. Actually, I don't own any precious stones, unless you count the tiny sapphire on the stem of Baume et Mercier watch I bought about 20 years ago, and haven't worn for at least a decade. (It's one of a number of purchases I've filed under "WTF Was I Thinking?")

Usually, I'm slow to make a purchase. I've been thinking about buying one of Andrea Sher's Superhero necklaces for about five years There's a model named "Joy", but I've always favored the blue and green "Grass & Sky" necklace ($99).

I encountered Esther Winter's three-tier silver disc earrings (CDN $32) on my first visit to the Klondike last year. I admired them in the tiny Dawson City gift shop, but couldn't decide. When I returned five months later for the annual music festival, I snatched them up. They're available in 32 Canadian images, such as a howling wolf (my choice), as well as the Aurora Borealis, buffalo, harvest moon, Inukshuk, loon, and a maple leaf. I don't wear them very often, but when I do, they remind me of the Yukon, my favorite place on earth.

I also love Scotland and all things Celtic, and happened upon this ring ($92.00) from the Orkney Islands via the Stones list (Paleolithic piles, not the Rolling). It comes from Aurora Jewellery, where they handcraft a variety of pieces using traditional Orkney symbols; my ring is from the Ring of Brodgar collection--an Orkney stone circle. It includes a small moonstone, a stone reputed to provide safety to travelers.

I'm really not in the market for anything else--except for, perhaps, a scarab bracelet. I got one in college and worn it for decades, then lost it about six or seven years ago. I'm willing to wait to find just the right one.

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Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, May 12, 2008 12:00 AM (Eastern)

So...I had an interesting weekend, and I hope you did too.

I got this killer dress from a consignment shop. Quintessential late 80's/early 90's, new with tags, and fitted out with linebacker shoulder pads and little elastic "belt" in the back. A cool Indian design; this type of clothing had always been made in India before the apparel market began to drown in Chinese-made goods. The dress was fashioned entirely of a creamy ivory lace, with a built-in sheer dress underneath it.

Went home, snipped out the shoulder pads...the built-in sheer dress was attached to the lace overlay by the same stitching, so of course it came out. I'm sewing-challenged but have never minded mending, so I sewed it back together, and discovered a hole in the lace overlay (don't ask me how a new dress already had a hole in it). At first I wanted to do a fancy darning thing with ivory thread but ended up simply sewing the hole shut, as it showed less that way. With the genius of the dress design, the hole barely showed even when it was open (the bottom of the dress is an intricate design of pieces of lace sewn together to create a small froth).

While I was doing that, I found a hole in the built-in sheer dress, near the bottom in the side seam. It looked as if someone had cut a tag out using pinking shears. Jeesh! What's wrong with people. I sewed that one shut as well, and though the dress was clearly marked "dry clean only," I washed it in the machine (cold water, delicate cycle, Woolite). I can hardly wait to wear it, though I am pondering whether it's too ornate to wear to work.

Shoes...I trekked out to one of the shops around here that carries Cydwoqs, Rabat in Berkeley.

Hm. This was the first time I'd been to Rabat, and I'll have to admit I was disappointed. Instead of a wide selection of Cydwoqs, they had something like three kinds of the shoes, and maybe three or four kinds of the sandals. I wasn't interested in sandals; of the minute choice of shoes, they had Sprint, Force, and another which I don't recognize on the Cydwoq site.

Force was kind of neat. The model they had on the floor was the exact color I wanted...a brown so dark it looked black at first, so could be worn as a black shoe, or as a brown one.

But...if you expect someone to pay upward of $300 for shoes, you really should have more of a selection on hand. However you look at it, it's a lot of money. So I didn't buy.

The only other standout there was Salpy, another American-made shoe even spendier than the Cydwoqs, but with two amazing leathers...dark shoes with designs traced in gold.

I'll probably get out to Nordstrom next weekend, since I need the shoes now. I'm fairly sure Cydwoqs go on sale seasonally (I've seen their boots on sale online now), so it might be a matter of waiting for a better price.

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May 12, 2008 8:59 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Maybe if you wore a boyish, oversize blazer like this one you'd bring it down a notch. I know this is a rather expensive example, but I imagine you can find one for cheap easily, maybe even in the boys' department of some store.

May 12, 2008 10:15 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I may have to wear it for work! There's talk we're going to have a small heat wave. The nice factors are the lace and the white color. A good part of dealing with hot weather is psychological, after all, like wearing green, blue or white.

I'll have to look at it more closely to see if it's long enough to get away with wearing knee-high stockings, another hot-weather trick.

May 12, 2008 10:23 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I'm all for it. If it looks good, it looks good. : )

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It's Quite Easy Being Green
Posted by Joy Rothke, Saturday, May 10, 2008 11:26 PM (Eastern)

I just got back from a walk wearing my FitFlops. On my hair is Ayurvedic oil; on my legs an essential oil-infused body oil from Bali. Up one arm and down the other is a series of perfumes, "love potions" [some infused with pheromones], and scented oils from Santa Barbara, Hollywood, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and several cities in Canada. There's LUSH, Dr. Hauschka and Grateful Body on my face. I'll be exfoliating soon with some stuff from Australia, and after my shower will walk around the house in my Yoga Toes. I'm alternating between five different lip balms and awaiting the arrival of a system that may rejuvenate my lips and get rid of my upper lip lines. And I'm considering using henna on my hair for the first time since 1983.

I'm not vain, but admit I'm powerless over new and interesting and green personal care products. I like to try new things, and I'm lucky to have skin that responds well to all manner of things. I used to stick to a couple of fragrances, but now I’m willing to try scents I used to eschew, like musks, patchouli, amber, green tea, black tea, smoky tea, attars and ouds.

My only criteria are that a product falls under my broad rubric of green/natural/cruelty-free/organic. Anything tested on animals is an absolute no-go, and I'm uninterested in anything with 'cones, parabens, and glycols. Most of the things I'm using come from smaller, independent companies, who don't try to please all of the consumers all of the time, or produce products that will sit for months on the shelves of CVS, Rite-Aid or Shopper's Drug Mart. Once the company sells itself to a giant conglomerate, they invariably change, and not for the better. (I'm talking to you Burt's Bees, Tom's of Maine, and The Body Shop!)

I'm not a crank or a health nut (I still eat frozen burritos, drink coffee with sugar, and take prescription and OTC meds.) I'm just a particular consumer. Anyway, it's not rocket science, just makeup and skincare and perfume. It should be fun, it should work, and make you smell good.

I've got dozens of reviews coming up this spring and summer, and I'd love to hear what you're interested in, and suggestions of things for me to eat, drink, wear, smell and apply.


Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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May 13, 2008 12:00 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'm greenish, I suppose. :) I prefer more natural products, because they tend to work better. At one point I noticed, the mainstream products I'd always used had become harsher. I really think there was a change in ingredients at one point.

I use some Dr. Hauschka products, health food store shampoos and conditioners...usually have a few in the shower and switch them around to avoid build-up.

May 14, 2008 8:20 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Me too! I'm not green out of any design, I'm all for synthetics when they make the products better and safer (such as perfumes), but my skin only seems to grow more sensitive, while products grow ever harsher. It doesn't seem that way, because they load them with silicones so they feel luxurious, but my skin complains.

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Just Notes: This, that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:17 AM (Eastern)

cydwoq horn shoe
Cydwoq's Horn shoe

I've decided against Jean Patou's Sublime. I tested it out's odd. I've found, with perfumes, that you can seldom turn back the clock. A scent with which you were once so in love, can be like an old boyfriend where it was right at the time, but things have changed.

On the other hand, I still want Joy. And that's not a perfume I really liked that much, before, particularly. In my youth, it was the scent of a grown woman's pocketbook (they don't call them "pocketbooks" on the West Coast btw), the kind of woman whose hair was always done.

I'm still in search of shoes. Willing to give "cheap" shoes another shot, even though cheap is no longer, well, cheap. I mean shoes less than the $300 of my beloved Cydwoqs. Bleh. I know they're worth it, in the sense of not having to shop for shoes in the next ten years, in the sense they are, beyond doubt, well-made and comfortable. And, you could step on them, or your kids could step on them, and it would be fine. They could be rained on. (I don't wear suede shoes.) And they would be...marvellous.

Since I've never been a shoe gal, I never looked at other women's shoes until now, and realized how few shoes stand out. I never craved a lot of shoes, don't need variety (where I so do with jewelry), but it would be nice to somehow own these American-made, unusual shoes with--according to the blogs--excellent arch support. Cydwoq will custom-make shoes if you so desire (apparently they have something along the lines of 250 leathers to choose from). So color wouldn't be a problem.

Oh, I know, I'll end up at Nordstrom or some other dreary department store, and find a pump made in Spain or Italy, and end up buying that. My shoes are starting to fall apart now, after so many years of good service, so putting off shoe-shopping indefinitely is out of the picture. I know I should be glad I can afford a decent, if not shoe-gasmic, shoe, so I don't wish to end this post on a "Paris Hilton can't buy the Titanic" snivelling note. lol I'll let you guys know if I find anything.

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May 10, 2008 3:45 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I'm a spender, not a saver, as you well know, but--I'm all for deliberation before buying, especially for anything $100 and above. Is there any way to try them on before you make a decision?

May 10, 2008 8:56 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

That's just the problem. There are several stores around here that retail them. It's a case of, "I'm afraid to try them because I might like them."

I have yet to try the Nordies route, which would likely be half the price if not less. Cydwoqs do go on sale online, and I've seen some on Ebay, but the sale ones tend to be either odd sizes or styles I don't like.

May 11, 2008 12:27 PM, Blogger Joy Rothke said...

They're interesting...but the soles don't look very sturdy.

May 11, 2008 2:09 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'd have to see them in person, no doubt. I'm hoping to do that today, since I have to get shoes one way or the other (my beloved Cole Haan's have "vintaged" to the point of developing a hole in one side). I'm going to try Nordies first, but there is a shop in that mall that carries Cydwoqs.

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