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Life of Colleen: September 2008



Posts This Month
·· Internet: A natural skincare blog
·· Wardrobe: Price v. cost
·· The sexiest scene in film history...?
·· Wardrobe: Supima redux
·· Happy Friday!: R.E.M.
·· More on Patou's Ma Collection
·· Wardrobe: Supima cotton overload
·· Jean Patou Wiki-ness
·· Cydwoq "Carry" shoe
·· October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Annick Goutal's Rose Absolue
·· Made in the U.S.A. shoes
·· Sundance shoes made in the U.S.A.
·· Wardrobe: outfit composition
·· Happy Friday!: Dance, dance, dance!
·· The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Bath and Shower Gel review
·· What I've been into, lately
·· Crystal Body Deodorant review part 3
·· Wardrobe development, continued
·· Nars eyeshadow thoughts
·· Perfume split/decant wiki
·· Happy Friday!: Music on tv
·· Wardrobe ponderings
·· I'm feeling Kinky!
·· What I've been into, lately
·· Does Dr. Hauschka skincare ever go on sale?
·· Office clothes for hot weather
·· Crystal Body Deodorant review part 2
·· Crystal Body Deodorant review part 1
·· Happy Labor Day!

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Internet: A natural skincare blog
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-30 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


dr. hauschka lip colors

Skin Rhythm

I stumbled across this while idly googling for pics of Dr. Hauschka lipstick "on." Didn't expect to find many...but this author had one up (for #06 Fortissimo). The blog itself consists of various natural skincare and cosmetic reviews, a lipbalm-making series, many professional skincare and makeup posts, and the odd page from the author's life, all presented in a pleasant, narrative style.

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Wardrobe: Price v. cost
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-29 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


camisole

I went shopping the other day, because I needed a camisole. I maintain camisoles are fundamental to a good wardrobe, and are generally underrated. It's not easy finding good camisoles, either, though it's way too easy finding mediocre ones.

Got the camisole pictured above, in an ivory color. While I was at it, I tried on some odd sale items which came to hand. I'm a firm believer in trying things on whenever possible (was very slow to start buying clothes online).

It occurred to me anew just how much clothing there is out there. Much of it is thanks to China, which I don't mean as a put-down. Every country that starts out as a junk-meister ends up producing better stuff later on: Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Brazil, Taiwan and so forth. China is already producing nicer clothes. And they're adding their own touch, in the silk blends being made.

It's...a glut. And so, when I tried on two really nice sweaters, which so worked on me, and were but $25 apiece...I turned them both down. I have sweaters. I don't need sweaters. What I need are shoes (one or two pairs), boots (one pair), and a fall/winter skirt. And a camisole, which I bought.

The prices are painfully low right now, and the supply is bounteous, by anyone's measure, some of the stores were packed...that's the best time to shop, when it's something you need, and simultaneously the best time to say no. Because there are better items out there, perhaps with a higher price tag, but definitely better. You could end up with tons and tons of so-so clothes, otherwise.

My guide is as follows:
  1. The cost per wear should be factored into the cost of the item. Where are you going to wear it? How often? What does it go with? In short--what are you going to do with it?

  2. The cost of cleaning should be factored into the cost of the item. Must you dryclean it? Must you hand-wash it? Your time has a monetary value too. If it can be machine-washed, that's easily worth $40-$50, conservatively. If it can be tumble-dried, so much the better (I prefer line-drying myself, but we get a rainy season). Ironing is a factor. I try to keep a balance between clothes which need ironing and those which don't.

  3. If it's a cheap piece of crap that falls apart before the earth can make it around the sun, the cost of replacing it is a factor: gas, time, wear and tear on your car, et cetera.

  4. If it's trendy, don't buy it. I mean styles do change...say, there are lots of 3/4-sleeved shirts and sweaters on the market now. I happen to like them, since they're great for bracelets, and there is a cheapskate factor of stretching the seasonal wearability...you can don them when long sleeves would be too hot, or short sleeves too cold...but if you hate them, don't buy them. If you're one of those people who won't wear them when the "fashion" changes, don't buy many. I could give a hang, myself, so I'm planning to buy some for bracelet days.

  5. And, finally, don't give yourself a headache over it. Sometimes, something will fly in the face of all rules, yet will be perfect for you. So buy it, and enjoy it without qualm.

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The sexiest scene in film history...?
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-28 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)



Blow Up

Blowup was released in 1966. I've never seen the film in its entirety; it was one of those reruns shown over and over again on our three-channels-plus-public-tv-plus-CBN television. (CBN, or Christian Broadcasting Network, was a tinny affair in those days, specializing in Bonanza, Petticoat Junction and the like.)

But I stumbled across a reference to Veruschka somewhere...oh yeah, it was on Youtube, where fruitlessly I sought something along the lines of a good makeup video. The name had a familiar ring, so I looked her up, and discovered this scene.

Apparently Veruschka was not Russian. She was German, and a countess, and the daughter of a man hanged for participating in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. She changed her name from Vera to Veruschka in order to get modelling jobs.

I fully expected this scene to be prim by our modern standard, but it's not. Removing it from its context probably doesn't help; it jumps out at you. Bear in mind that what passed for a swingin' decade likely wasn't--it swung only in comparison to prior decades. What I recall personally from the 1970's (supposedly an even more liberated period) was a lot of talk, with a prevailing 1950's mentality toward sex. So you get the shyness here...all that's missing is him lighting a cigarette after finishing the shoot...but it's nice. It's still nice.

As much as people like to gripe now about a too-thin ideal for women, it was worse before. If she put on ten or fifteen pounds or so, this scene would stand today as among the sexiest scenes in film history.

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Wardrobe: Supima redux
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-27 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


ll bean tee shirts

Jeesh, where have I been? There is Supima cotton aplenty.

The above are from LL Bean; actually they don't make it that easy to find their Supima items (I searched for pima and opened each one). They don't seem to carry Supima sweaters, but do feature a wider variety of tee shirt styles than Land's End, with a broader range of colors.

The Supima organization has been around for quite a while (founded 1954), and I can't help wondering whether items I'd bought long ago, and had marvelled at their ability to withstand wash after wash, hadn't been made of this stuff, or fiber of a comparable grade. I knew it was the fiber itself--not brand, nor workmanship, nor weave. Hence the quest to identify the fiber.

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Happy Friday!: R.E.M.
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-26 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)



R.E.M. - So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)

When I heard R.E.M for the first time, on the radio, I hated them. I forget the exact song, it just struck me as a mess. This would have been in the early 1980's.

And then, shortly afterward, I adored them. There was a period...where the songs I listened to became blended with one another, and were intimately woven into my life. If I had to go back and put a finger on it, it was when I left Virginia, drove across the country in my Toyota, ended up in California, worked as a delivery driver, yadda yadda...


REM Driver 8 Video

I still have a sentimentality for songs about the radio itself. They don't make them anymore, because the radio sucks now; it's hard to believe it was ever anything better than a Clear Channel sludge of elevator tunes. But once it was magic, one of only two conduits (the other being books) between the real world and wherever you happened to be from.



R.E.M. - Radio Song


From www.absolutelyrics.com

(Lyrics source: Quoted by Michael Stipe in a letter to Rolling Stone in Dec 1988)

Did you never call? I waited for your call
These rivers of suggestion are driving me away
The trees will bend, the cities wash away
The city on the river there is a girl without a dream

I'm sorry

Eastern to Mountain, third party call, the lines are down
The wise man built his words upon the rocks
But I'm not bound to follow suit
The trees will bend, the conversation's dimmed
Go build yourself another home, this choice isn't mine

Did you never call? I waited for your call
These rivers of suggestion are driving me away
The ocean sang, the conversation's dimmed
Go build yourself another dream, this choice isn't mine

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More on Patou's Ma Collection
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-25 at 12:15 PM (Pacific)


patou colony perfumepatou caline perfumepatou cocktail perfume

Check it out! Perfume Shrine: Ma Collection

images courtesy Frances Ann Ade from basenotes.net

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Wardrobe: Supima cotton overload
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


lands end supima cotton

I hesitated somewhat before selecting the topic of this post. After all, what could be more commonplace than a plain cotton tee shirt? Any point in blogging about one?

It's well to recall such a creature was once almost absurdly difficult to find. There was even a passage in Cheap Chic--a 1970's wardrobe bible, the first place I read about such concepts as Cost Per Wear--detailing exactly such a quest. The author went shopping in a major city for a plain, long-sleeved, solid-colored, 100% cotton tee shirt.

She ended up discovering a lone model at a store called Jax (Jaxx?). The shirt cost $12, which would be akin to paying $30 now for a plain tee shirt. Not through the roof, exactly, but high for what it is.

The author concluded, given the shirt was what she was looking for and came in a rainbow of colors, and given she couldn't find it anywhere else at a better price, $12 for the shirt was acceptable.

Tee shirts in those days...and for a long time, were synthetic or at best a blend. Typically they had a design or slogan printed on them. You could find plain ones, but those tended to be boxy men's tee shirts, where you had to snip out the neck or roll up the sleeves to feminize the look.

Now, of course, if you throw a rock, you'll hit a fitted, 100% cotton, non-embellished, decent-enough tee shirt. So now the challenge is rather finding one that won't fall apart after a year, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and doesn't look hopelessly conservative.

For sheer spectral color selection, I defer to American Apparel (American-made shirts rather than American-grown cotton). Yet, apart from their unisex pieces, American Apparel is a juniors' sizing store. Not the place I'd go for basic pieces, in the main.

I stumbled across a cache of Supima cotton items on the Land's End site. Okay, I was searching specifically for Supima cotton on the Land's End site. I'm intrigued by the claim it wears better than non-licensed cotton.

At first everything looked...way square. Land's End used to have much nicer things, and now it's rather a J.C. Penney-looking site. Yet, what if there is something to it? I'll be interested to try some Supima from them.

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Jean Patou Wiki-ness
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-24 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


jean patou sublime

From the Jean Patou wiki. (I've taken the liberty of breaking the paragraph into smaller ones.)

... The best known of Patou's perfumes is "Joy," a heavy floral scent, based on the most precious rose and jasmine, that remained the costliest perfume in the world, until the House of Patou introduced "1000" (a heavy, earthy floral perfume, based on a rare osmanthus) in the late 1970s.

Before Joy, the House of Patou released many other perfumes, many which were to celebrate particular events. For example, Normandie (an oriental forerunner to perfumes such as Yves Saint Laurent's Opium) celebrated the French ocean liner of the same name, and Vacances (a mixture of green and lilac notes) celebrated the first French paid national holidays.

Other Patou perfumes of the same time were Amour Amour (the forerunner of Joy, using the same rose notes, but without the jasmine), Adieu Sagesse, Que Sais Je (these three were released at the same time; Patou's idea was that the light floral Que Sais Je was suitable for blondes; the tart, spicy Adieu Sagesse for redheads, and the heavy floral Amour Amour for brunettes), L'Heure Attendue (a wonderful, unique oriental perfume), Divine Folie (a floral vanilla), Caline (a wonderful chypre perfume, similar to the much later Diorling by Christian Dior), Moment Supreme (a perfume based on lavender), Colony (which had a strong pineapple note), Chaldee (Patou's Huile de Chaldee sun oil had become so popular, many customers were buying it purely for its smell, therefore, Chaldee the perfume (a dry musk) was produced), Le Sien (one of the first perfumes for men and women), and Cocktail (literally a floral cocktail).

All these, with the exception of Le Sien, were re-released during the 1980s (under the name Ma Collection), and were available until recently, all in a 50ml Eau de Toilette Spray, 75ml Eau de Toilette bottle, and 30ml pure perfume bottle, each with a unique art deco box. A Jean Patou silk scarf, printed in the same pattern as the box was included with the pure perfume.

Joy remains the world's second best-selling scent (the first is Chanel No. 5), Joy was created by Henri Alméras for Patou at the height of the Great Depression (1935) for Patou's former clients who could no longer afford his haute couture clothes.


Well dang...I don't remember any of this happening in the 1980's. What a fantasy! Loads o' Patou perfumes, boxed with silk scarves yet.

I've smelled only Sublime and Joy, of this group (where the heck was I in the 1980's? still can't fathom this). They're both...warm, friendly scents. Along with the trendier Montale, I can say--based on two scents alone--that I like Patou the perfume house. There's something personal about the creations, in the manner good software is personal, or good shoes.

image courtesy www.passionforperfume.com

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Cydwoq "Carry" shoe
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-23 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


cydwoq carry shoe

I got to try this on, and would have bought it, had they had it in my size (Rabat Shoes in Berkeley).

The pic above layers Ped's olive-on-dark-green version with Gravity Pope's more prosaic black and brown...the Rabat Carry was better than either: black, with a dark green "tear." Black shoes go with just about anything, and the green tear added a dash of warmth, making the shoe more compatible with brown-based outfits. Of course the Gravity Pope black-and-brown would accomplish the same thing, but the green was more unexpected.

This shoe runs large. Usually I wear an 8, or 8-1/2 for narrower shoes (I have wide feet). But the 37-1/2 on hand was a bit too large for me. This shoe is ideal for wide feet and might not suit narrower ones.

Wearing it...very, very different from other shoes. The thing popping into my mind was a pair of genuine Dutch wooden shoes my sister and I used to play with...in terms of support...yet, lightweight and crisp rather than heavy.

The look of the shoe was entirely apart from anything I'd ever put on my feet. I knew I'd found my brand of shoes. I just...don't want to wear another incarnation of the same old shoe. I'd rather wear something distinctly American, something which sprang forth from someone's mind.

I still haven't settled 100% on the Carry, exactly...oh yeah, Rabat had an adorable grey-green Cydwoq "Command" boot on hand too, which I could have gotten in my size, but I really need an office shoe first, so decided to pass. I just wish there were more places carrying a wider range of Cydwoqs to try.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Annick Goutal's Rose Absolue
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-22 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


annick goutal rose absolue

In October, Annick Goutal perfumery honors Annick Goutal who passed away from breast cancer with Rose Absolue perfume. Pure, elegant, unassuming and feminine; Rose Absolue is the absolute essence of a rose. A single-flower fragrance that brings together the rarest roses from East and West; the Bulgarian, Turkish, Damask, May, Egyptian and Moroccan rose. During the month of October, Annick Goutal will donate 30% of Rose Absolue sales to Breast Cancer research.

Price: $140 for 1.7oz Eau de Parfum Spray, Available at Saks

It's not yet October, but I thought I'd go ahead and post this, since it is almost there. And I've tried Rose Absolue. It's pure rose, which isn't my thing, personally, no matter how sumptuous the rose (I turned down Montale's Roses Petals too, and hesitate to buy Patou's Joy over his Sublime). For rose lovers, however, this will be something to investigate.

On a side note, is it wrong to use breast cancer research contributions as a marketing device? Actually I think it's a stroke of genius. People shop; it's something they do anyway. Research centers partnering with private sector businesses, is perhaps the most intelligent way to bring the money where it's needed. It's a chick thing. :)

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Made in the U.S.A. shoes
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-21 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


american made shoes

Here are some shoes I've been looking at, all made here in the U.S.

I already decided on Cydwoqs, pretty much since my Shoegasm! post back in April. They're not cheap...okay, they're hella expensive*, so it's been a matter of distilling which shoes to try and where to buy them.

The Cydwoq site itself, naturally, has the widest selection, but shoes bought there are made to order, a sword cutting both ways.

On the one hand, you can choose exactly which colors and leathers you want for your shoes. On the other, returns are difficult; I think they'll try to get your shoes to work for you, but unless you've managed to try on the shoes in a b & m shop first, it's a bit hit or miss.

So, lacking the opportunity to try before buying, an etailer would appear to be the best bet. Of the ones I've found, Ped has the largest range of Cydwoqs (correct me if I'm wrong) outside of Canada's Gravity Pope.

I do check Ebay periodically, but the odds of them carrying the exact shoe I want in my size...meh...and Ebay isn't that cheap, and most of the sales are final.

Which Cydwoqs to get? Oh, that's not written in stone (hence the idea of PSD'ing them). And I am planning to head out to the few stores around here that carry them, first. Still I fancy "Carry" (top left, in two shades of dark green) and "Gate" (top center and right, in dark brown and crocodile-textured brown).

* Still they don't fall under "luxury pricing."

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Sundance shoes made in the U.S.A.
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-20 at 11:22 AM (Pacific)


Sundance

This was originally a "sale" post, but the sale's over with...

I'm going to pass on this myself, after rabidly combing through the site; I've decided to save some money for shoes. Plus, the three skirts I really like...are not "it" exactly (and for these prices I feel what you buy should be "it" exactly).

On a side note, I counted no less than three brands of American-made footwear: Cydwoq, Calleen Cordero and US Artisan. And, I think, some Frye boots. The Sundance site doesn't bother telling you what's what, so you're stuck squinting at the pictures.

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Wardrobe: outfit composition
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


sundance duende skirt

Here's, ah, why I never "shop by outfit." I wouldn't care to buy either the top or the skirt (the shoes, maybe, even though I need warmer shoes than that now).

It's not that I have anything against the outfit per se. In fact it's one of the nicest outfits I've seen in a long time--on the model, and in the context of it being a photo shoot.

The sweater is one of those lambswool/angora/nylon blends that calls for hand washing and drying flat--not practical for me (on the site it says to dryclean it). Likewise, the skirt is silk--dryclean only, with a spate of ruffles which would make cleaning it any other way time-consuming (if not disastrous).

Yet...I love this picture, because the composition of the outfit is perfect. A light yellow top is ideal for blonde hair; one of the best colors. The top is sufficiently pale to pair with black and not get a bumblebee look. A black skirt with nude legs and black shoes: simple, classic, terrific.

Outfit composition imo cannot be over-emphasized. Individual items are great, but it's the total package that makes the impression. If you plugged in some way more expensive shoes here, would the outfit look better? Probably not, except to the few people who know the price of the shoes. Most people don't. It's art. If every element in the painting works, who cares how much that Prussian blue pigment cost down at the art store?

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Happy Friday!: Dance, dance, dance!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-19 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)



Az kudumi safar (fan version) - Shabnami Surayyo



Haddaway-What is Love?



she's a maniac - Flashdance extended version

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The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Bath and Shower Gel review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-18 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


the body shop shower gel
$13 for 8.5 fl oz

My daughter turned me on to this...or I should say, she persuaded me to enter The Body Shop to begin with. I'm not inclined toward such stores, tending to find much of my bath and body products in health food stores. And she looked around summarily, before settling on this.

May I say, I actually dislike Bath & Body Works in the main, which is why it didn't occur to me to visit The Body Shop. The two had become entwined in my mind, places of strongly, even harshly and chemically, scented stuffs.

But it's hardly true of this product. In fact I was pleasantly surprised. (You can hear my wallet groan in the distance.) This has a delicate, natural-smelling fragrance, faintly flowery, with the slightest inclination toward cherry. A decidedly feminine smell.

The product itself isn't moisturizing particularly, nor is it drying. It's on a par with other mild shower gels I've tried, perhaps a tad more drying than my usual Jason Satin Shower Body Wash. It lathers handily; you don't need much.

The image above looks, well, horrible and plastic-y; in reality, the transparent bottle with its clear pink gel is nice to look upon.

All in all...would I repurchase? Oh, no, I'd go into The Body Shop with my daughter and look at what has to be a bazillion scented items and probably walk out with something else. But I am pleased with TBS on the basis of this product.

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What I've been into, lately
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-17 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


Made this:

sundance aquamarine bracelet

I stumbled across it on the Sundance site, and realized I actually had all the components handy to make it. Of course mine is not the same grade as the Sundance one. Theirs is solid karat gold, which adds a lot, while mine is goldfilled; theirs uses a somewhat higher grade of aquamarine. Since I'm going to wear it, not sell it, I didn't feel too guilty about copying, even down to the little white pearl (I used one that had a flat side to be a bit different). It's a charming design.

It felt good making jewelry again. My daughter cleared off a space in her room so I could make it there. Aren't daughters great!

Found this:


Dariush - Dastaye To

I've heard this song many, many times; it's one of my favorites. But I never knew what it was called until now.

Well crap!:

red lasso

I was going to add something amusing here, but I see Red Lasso has been sued by a couple of networks. sighs

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Crystal Body Deodorant review part 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-16 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


crystal body deodorant

see part 1 and part 2

I take back the idea that this doesn't control odor quite as well as a traditional deodorant/antiperspirant. Been fiddling around with this for days now...and I think it's actually a bit superior at the odor thing.

If only someone would make something similar, but with some wetness control aspect.

I've been using this first, and applying (less of) my regular Right Guard after it's dried. It's a case of adding yet another step to your morning routine trying to at least reduce the amount of traditional aluminum salts usage.

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Wardrobe development, continued
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-15 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


May I firstly declare, in writing, upon this day of September 15, 2008, that I am, have always been, and will always be, a confirmed cheapskate.

That does not mean I'm averse to spending money, and sometimes large amounts of it. A low price does not mean a better bargain. Please do not confuse these terms.

A minor example would be the Nars eyeshadow duos previously mentioned. They're $32 a pop now, I think. You can buy eyeshadow duos at Target or drugstores for far less than that.

The thing is this. The Nars duos work. I don't need to shop for eyeshadow; I haven't for years. Other shadows, including MAC and Urban Decay, can turn hard in the pan after a year, to the point they must be discarded.

But it's more than that. The Nars shadows look good...better than Dior or Lancome. So I need not look at other brands of shadow, wondering what I'm missing.

Time has a monetary value, along with gas and wear and tear on your car. The key is to find your brand of eyeshadow, whatever that may be. I decided up front I'd be willing to pay Dior prices if Dior did what I wanted it to do. Dior is okay. Nars is better.

Ah...so I'm pretty much finished with my current wardrobe development. At my job we don't wear suits, so it's more involved than buying a set of suits. Still, for any job which doesn't require a uniform, you need to develop your work clothes, and it should be individual. Oftentimes individual costs money.

The only things left on my to-buy list are a fall/winter skirt, and better shoes (I'm hoping to fit one pair into this category) and a pair of boots. These are all going to be expensive, but I've planned it out so I don't need to buy any of them right away.

The skirt is surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on the depth of your cynicism) hard to find. I have a plethora of summer skirts--these should be inexpensive, being only lightweight cotton or linen--but the fall skirt, I don't want tons of those, but it has to be good.

I started out looking at this one, from the Sundance catalog:

sundance carnegie skirt

It has most of the specs--machine wash, cotton velveteen (likely nice and cushy), good length--sisters, I'm almost 43 years old. I don't wear short skirts. This looks as if it wouldn't wrinkle easily, and the design seems flattering and easy to wear. It's also in no way trendy. This skirt could have been made twenty years ago, or could be done twenty years from now.

The sole bugger here is the color. It comes in a lovely red, and this brown. Plugging either into a swatch of my Photoshop wardrobe:

photoshop wardrobe

...shows that a nice brown or red skirt is not going to be the most useful color.

They have a green twill skirt:

sundance twill skirt

...where the color is more compatible, but twill is not the material I want.

Leafing through the other skirts on the site, I rejected them all, even though most of them would totally work on me. The object is not whether the piece will work on you. Is this piece going to work on you ten years from now? How many times will you have worn it in that decade?

That's strictly from perusing the website, of course. They are going to open a b & m Sundance locally :D and trying on is believing.

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Nars eyeshadow thoughts
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-14 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


nars eyeshadow duos

So I was bored, and put together this collage of the Nars eyeshadows I use.

The odd one is the duo at the bottom, Jezebel. I've thought for months, if not years, of buying a "neutral" Nars eyeshadow duo. Doesn't everyone need neutral eyeshadows? Aren't you supposed to own them?

Yet Jezebel is quite neutral. I darkened the pic a bit to make it stand out more, but it's basically a matte lilac shade (more to the pink than to the blue), paired with a deep copper. The coppery shade already sort of qualifies as a neutral, and the lilac one is sheer (not invisible like so many other lilacs, but you don't get bright pastel purple eyelids).

I suspect my plans for neutral Nars will remain on the back burner for now.

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Perfume split/decant wiki
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-13 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


diptyque do son

Scent Splits

Apparently this is a project amongst some posters from MakeupAlley.com. I'm not affiliated with either site, but it looks to be a way to buy samples or bottles of some of the more obscure perfumes (as well as mainstream fragrances).

image courtesy aedes.com

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Happy Friday!: Music on tv
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-12 at 9:17 PM (Pacific)



LOVE TRAIN / THE O'JAYS

We're very spoiled now. If I hanker for this song, I need only visit Youtube. I can even capture this scintillating version and keep it for myself. But in the era in which this song was released, I had to wait all week to watch Soul Train and Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

Later on there was The Midnight Special:


Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze

This last song is, well, totally irrelevant to this theme. I stumbled across it while searching for videos from Saturday Night Live, which was another musical font, the show which introduced me to The Talking Heads, The B-52's, Rickie Lee Jones, et cetera.


Green Day-Holiday

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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-11 at 6:37 AM (Pacific)


twin towers
photograph courtesy Ross Taylor

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Wardrobe ponderings
posted by Colleen Shirazi at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


I realize I opine far more about wardrobe than fashion. (Hence the wardrobe label of this blog.)

Fashion is for the young. Sure, I skim fashion articles, finding them harmless and sometimes interesting, but I seldom consider buying anything I see written up as such. I already know what I like. And I feel the strength of fashion lies in crystallizing images, spinning dreams into cloth, for people who haven't yet completely defined what they like.

Does that make sense? In my youth, I adored magazines, and can still recall exact photographs I saw when I was that age. Oh, they had this spread in Seventeen, with this gorgeous brunette wearing a series of black cotton clothes--very unusual and hard to find back then (most likely in the late 70's). I pined for those clothes (or to look like that brunette for that matter).

Now, should I read the same type of feature now, I'd think...hm, where would I wear such clothes? Could I wear them to work? How about the weekend? Would the pieces mix and match with what I already own? How colorfast are these clothes? It's worse than that actually; the truth is, I'd never even get that far. I would think straight off: nice, but not my style.

Well, I finally got two Supima cotton sweaters. (Wrote earlier about Supima cotton here.) So far...they're fabulous. Of course that doesn't mean a whole lot, since I haven't washed them yet, but I feel rather positive about them.

supima cotton sweaters

The "cream heather" one (left) I got for my daughter, while the dark navy (right) was for me. (The latter is a men's sweater; thought I'd give it a shot.) These weren't in stock at the b & m stores yet, so we were stuck ordering online, since I had a points certificate with Eddie Bauer.

The ladies' Supima v-neck runs a tad small, and the men's sweater runs large (I had a medium of it originally, based on the site measurements, but I was swimming in it.) So we ended up switching. My daughter looks best in clothes which aren't skintight (she's still growing), and I can always use another incarnation of the White Shirt (it fits more like a shirt than a sweater).

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I'm feeling Kinky!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-08 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


Not that kind of kinky, mate.



The Kinks - Better Things


Kinks - State Of Confusion


COME DANCING-THE KINKS

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What I've been into, lately
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-07 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


montale perfumes
Montale eau de parfums

These are still going strong; plenty in the bottles, still smelling divine. I got them October of last year. Knock wood; they've been keeping well.

What I really like is having two of them. I don't wear them exactly the same way, any given consecutive days.

The residual question is how well they'll keep beyond the first year. I've read elsewhere the Montale Aoud line lasts for years, while the (less expensive) regular line doesn't. I'll post back here, ah, a year from now.

salux beauty skin cloth
Salux Beauty Skin cloth

I picked this up on a whim, almost five months ago, at our local Japanese dollar shop. It seems to have lost just a touch of its scratchiness, but I'm planning to soldier on with it, at least until I detect ingrown hairs on legs or keratosis pilaris on arms (this product excels at prevention of both).

clothing collage

Okay...STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!!!!! Here is a collage of screenshots from a certain well-known clothing company, whose demographic, apparently, is me.

Everything, from its affable, tea-drinking models, to its weird pricing...they've got decent, yet ordinary shirts for $70, and outstanding chunky cotton sweaters for exactly the same price? to its sheer breadth of design...conservative suits dwell alongside funky-looking prints...to the comfy chairs in the b & m stores for patient daughters and newspaper-reading husbands to sit on, so the wives can go ballistic amongst the neatly-laid-out aisles...everything screams, "This store is just for you!"

Ugh! it's the cheapskate's dilemma. Spend money or... shudders Yet, it's a decent shop. I selected some of their more commercial-looking pictures, because the clothes in real life bear scant resemblance to their online images. Something totally fug on the Net turns out to be...gowns for angels. Something looks great online, is next to a shmatte in actuality. You really have to be there.

I tried on the two sweaters...the ivory-colored one has an interesting sheerness unusual in a sweater. I passed, but barely. It struck me as a skosh too delicate for my needs. The red sweater looks horrible online, as if a madman had assembled it; yet, once I tried it on, I knew I had to have it.

As far as customer service...meh. They don't have the nifty points system other merchants do, and they're parsimonious with coupon codes. I did try their online concierge, and she recommended I sign up for email updates, so I did. Let's see if these guys cut their customers a break once in a while.

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Does Dr. Hauschka skincare ever go on sale?
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-06 at 12:25 AM (Pacific)


dr. hauschka skincare trial kit

The short answer is yes, I do believe it does, but the only place I've ever heard of discounting Hauschka is Whole Foods. Once in a while they'll put it on sale.

I've found the far better solution is to use less of the stuff. lol Seriously--who says you have to use every item in the regimen? that each item works only when used with all the other items? It's well to pick it apart and see which items you really need.

Take the Cleansing Cream. I use this myself. If I did it the way they say to do it...take half an inch of the stuff at a pop...I'd go through the tube in a New York minute. This amount is not necessary imo. I use a pea-sized blob and massage it using one hand.

The Cleansing Milk is the other Hauschka product I use--only at night. Again I use just enough to work...one pump will do it, or a bit more...and one hand. I don't need to clean my hands with this stuff, just my face!

All of that said, I've been more than happy with Hauschka. Typically I'm the last person to contemplate spendy skincare. I've calculated the cost for Cleansing Cream and Cleansing Milk--used in this stingy fashion--to be $60 every five months, or $12 per month.

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Office clothes for hot weather
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-04 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


sun
Perhaps a slight exaggeration.

It's a bit tricky, figuring out what to wear to work when it's hot. You can't just show up in shorts, right? So you have to be more tactical.

It's well to have a few items on hand specifically for really hot days. You can still use the items when it's cool; just layer a cardigan or shirt on top, or the like. But these hot-weather items are key; they have to be able to work alone, and they can't look too casual--which can be a problem with many otherwise perfectly good summer garments.

I have this and it has served me well:

sleeveless white top

It's just a sleeveless, thin rayon, cream-colored top. Without the lace detail, it would look too casual for an office setting. I wear a camisole underneath it, but it's so lightweight it hardly matters.

I have a white linen 3/4 sleeve shirt that also works. It has a nifty picot detail which amounts to strategic rows of tiny holes. Again, with a camisole beneath it, you need not worry about the holes being "NSFW."

Airy cotton or linen skirts are pretty easy to find. The cotton ones can be wash-and-wear, particularly those made of gauze, or with a crinkled texture. Skirts or dresses featuring a sheer or lace layer connote coolness as well.

Lessee...I have a light-colored cotton cardigan. It's the color that's key. Anything deeper in color would appear hot, would make me feel hot, yet the light color works psychologically. A longer-sleeved, light-colored garment can feel cooler than a shorter-sleeved dark-colored one.

But I do have a sleeveless black linen dress...the sleeveless-ness, thin linen, and relatively short length make it practical, but the black color makes it seem more formal and office-friendly.

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Crystal Body Deodorant review part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-03 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


crystal body deodorant

see part 1 and part 3

Hm. I wore this through an average work day today. As far as odor control, this really is not bad. Not quite as good as a conventional deodorant/antiperspirant, in my opinion. Your satisfaction with it, odor-wise, may well depend on the amount of stress you have.

As far as wetness, this product doesn't claim to be an antiperspirant, only a deodorant. So if you're the kind of person who gets sweaty, this is not for you.

Using it is kind of weird. Not unpleasant, just different. You are to moisten the crystal with water prior to applying it. I read elsewhere on the Net you could forego drying your armpits after showering, and just use the residual moisture to moisten the crystal for you, so that's what I did.

It does sting a tiny bit if you've just shaven. Otherwise, it's similar to using a roll-on, i.e., the product combined with water takes a minute to dry. I don't particularly care for that, but would put up with it, had this product equaled my regular deodorant in performance.

It's not a great quest for me, finding a non-aluminum underarm product, yet it would be nice to find one that manages wetness, and has comparable odor protection. For me, this is not it.

P.S. They do sell this in sample form, I believe it's $2 and change.

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Crystal Body Deodorant review part 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-02 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)


crystal body deodorant

Forgot to mention, I'm trying this out too ($6.99 at my local health food store).

Normally I'm way too nervous to contemplate rubbing a plain old stick o' crystal under my arms and leaving it at that. Yet the (several) people I've known who have tried this, smell pretty darn good at the end of the day.

It's gorgeous today, in the manner the San Francisco East Bay is supposed to be, and wasn't, the better part of summer. So, it's hot. Dry heat, mind you, and nothing excessive. Still, if this thing didn't work, I would know by now. It seems to work even better than my conventional Right Guard Xtreme Sport solid.

If this crystal can stand up to a long day of stress at work, and not leave yellow marks on white shirts, I'll already be sold. But--cheapskate alert--they say it lasts for years.

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Happy Labor Day!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-01 at 12:33 PM (Pacific)


Apparently we're the only nation in the world that celebrates Labor Day in September. Everyone else does so on May 1st. Why the change? International Workers' Day commemorates an incident which happened in the U.S. It's all quite strange, yet I didn't know about it until I was an adult.

I work an eight hour day, so it's well to mention where the eight hour work day came from.

Lessee...I repurchased Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk:

dr. hauschka cleansing milk

And I'm doing my hair today:


This video was primarily a test of converting analog data to digital. I didn't have a mini DV cassette handy, so I made one with my kids. It's unscripted, unrehearsed, unplanned, and my segment of the video simply included the fact that I'd just done my hair. I still use the same hair stuff in the video.

That's about all I'm doing today, except some random ironing.

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