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· The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
· Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
· Beauty Notes: Sharon Bolton Scents
· Culture Notes: A Bit of a Rant
· Fashion Looks: Indie Jewelry
· Just Notes: This, that and the other 1
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· May 30, 2008 9:47 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 27, 2008 4:06 AM by Dain
· May 27, 2008 4:28 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 27, 2008 11:21 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 24, 2008 1:31 PM by Dain
· May 24, 2008 4:11 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 25, 2008 5:45 PM by Joy Rothke
· May 26, 2008 3:42 AM by Dain
· May 26, 2008 3:57 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 26, 2008 2:46 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 15, 2008 9:59 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 15, 2008 10:37 PM by Dain
· May 12, 2008 8:59 PM by Dain
· May 12, 2008 10:15 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 12, 2008 10:23 PM by Dain
· May 13, 2008 12:00 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 14, 2008 8:20 PM by Dain
· May 10, 2008 3:45 AM by Dain
· May 10, 2008 8:56 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· May 11, 2008 12:27 PM by Joy Rothke
· May 11, 2008 2:09 PM by Colleen Shirazi
Recent blog posts:
The Powder Group
Dain's Literary Attempts
Colleen's Beading Blog
Colleen's Adult Acne Blog
Eponym Blog Directory.
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:
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:
Planning to do the "tinkering around" part of the weekend today and the laundry part tomorrow (the weather should be sunny on Sunday).
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
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.
The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, May 27, 2008 12:34 AM (Eastern)
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum, Novum LipGloss, and lipstick
Being an eternal cheapskate, I went shopping today to replace...a lipstick, Dr. Hauschka #09 Dolce...at 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.
The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:08 AM (Eastern)
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?
Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)
Contemplating 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Labels: natural beauty
Just Notes: This, that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:17 AM (Eastern)
Cydwoq's Horn shoe
I've decided against Jean Patou's Sublime. I tested it out again...it'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.