Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fresh Faced

There's no denying that winter completely kicked our ass this year in NY & I think we are all dying for some much deserved sunshine & warmer weather.  With spring finally here, I am giddy with a renewed sense of hope & optimism & most importantly- a wardrobe change & new makeup!  Truth be told I'm not the best at the in between seasons when it comes to clothes.  I love winter getups- luxurious coats paired with dresses or jeans & boots (I *LOVE* boots).  Summer is the easiest with a sun or maxi dress paired with metallic or bejeweled sandals & a great pair of sunglasses.  Spring & fall are weird.  I never know if I'm going to be too cold or hot & I'm stumped by the shoes.  I'm not a big ballet flats fan & I can't wear heels all day so I usually wind up wearing suede boots as early & as late as possible!  If you have any suggestions for me in the shoe department I'm all ears.   But makeup?  Now this is much less complicated & the possibilities are endless!  I may not be a kid anymore but nothing makes make happier than playing with fabric, clothes & makeup.  If I wasn't an interior designer I'd definitely work in fashion or as a makeup artist.  The face is a blank canvas & it's astonishing how the right makeup can highlight a woman's best features & totally transform her look.  I'm thinking fresh, fresh, fresh for this long awaited & well deserved spring.  Here's what I've been up to at the makeup counter....(did I mention FRESH??  Sorry I'm a bit delirious from this never ending, mind-numbing winter...)

Chanel, as usual, does not disappoint.  I am always incredibly inspired by their interesting & fashion forward palettes....  

I have so many pretty eyeliners but unfortunately half way through the day they've smudged & I look like a mess.  Chanel's Stylo Yeux Waterproof  eyeliner has been one of my best makeup discoveries, it's a workhorse & absolutely does not budge.  My winter staple has been Cassis, a dark plum that brings out the green in my hazel eyes & I was thrilled to discover this Violine above for spring & summer, a really fresh & fun electric violet.

Violine pairs perfectly with Chanel's Rouge Allure lipstick in Gracile , a neutral soft shell pink & worth it alone for the tube.  It's the James Bond of lipsticks & to get the lipstick out of the tube you depress the gold end with the CC's & with a little click it pops out.  I can't resist a solid & smooth sound & function.  Kind of like hearing a door shut on a BMW vs. a Hyundai, except this is only $34.
As the final finishing touch for a little sparkle & shine, I dab on a bit of Chanel's Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer in Amour.  I mean what girl wouldn't want a little "amour" on her lips for spring?!

Finally, lest we forget the all important nails.  My niece was over last weekend & we had so much fun painting her tiny little nails.  After showing her my large assortment of nail polish I realized that a lot of them were way too grown up & frankly a little goth & depressing looking, certainly nothing suitable for a five year old.  Don't get me wrong, Chanel's Paradoxal Vendetta have been my winter go to's but we have moved on to FRESH now, remember?!  She chose Essie's Boat House, a popular favorite for my toenails but heck, who said it can't go on my fingernails?  Sometimes it takes a five year old to open your mind so I took her lead & feel like I have bright little pink-y coral tulips on my that is fresh and brings a big smile to my face, and a smile really is the best makeup of all :)

photos: 1/2/3/4/me

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Love vs. Fear

"Livin' life without fear, puttin' 5 carats in my baby girl's ears." - Christopher Wallace (aka Notorious B.I.G.)
At around age 26 I had a major quarter life crisis.  On paper I had achieved everything I'd struggled & worked so hard for-  a prestigious job on Wall Street, my own apartment in NYC, a shiny black BMW & enough financial stability to go shopping, take a few nice vacations every year & pay down my student loans.  The problem was that I was completely & utterly miserable.  The plum job I had worked so hard to get did not suit me anymore & my dream of becoming an interior designer had turned from a whisper to a raging scream.  It was scary because I knew I had to start taking steps to make it does one enter a creative field from the corporate world?  Would I be good enough?  Would anyone hire me?  Would I make enough money? 

I also had some personal issues that were just too heavy to continue to carry around & I knew I needed to start working on them if I wanted to achieve all of my dreams & create the best life possible for myself.  I made myself my biggest project & went on a full on tear to start fixing myself & my life & come up with a plan to exit the corporate world & enter the world of interior design.  After years of telling myself I was strong enough to fix my problems on my own I manned up & realized it was stronger to admit I needed professional help & went & got it.  It was one of the best decisions of my life & I would not be where I am today without it.

I also started reading every personal growth & career change book I could get my hands on (I have read many life-changing books & if you ever need any recommendations I'm your woman!)  This is when I was first introduced to the concept of love vs. fear & it was a total game changer.  It really is everything & my bottom line guiding principle in life.  I committed from then on to always be true to myself & live a life out of love & not fear.  I'm not gonna lie, it was scary as shit (& still sometimes is, although it gets much better with practice :) but once I made that decision I never looked back.

I completely broke down my life & the choices I had made & was making & asked myself for each one, 'Is this a love choice or a fear choice?'  Somehow this very simple question cuts through all the crap, excuses, etc. & makes everything crystal clear...'Am I staying in this job because I love it or am I afraid of pursuing my dream career & the financial instability & other fears that may come with it?'...'Am I in this relationship because this person makes me happy or am I afraid of being alone & having to put myself out there again?'...'Should I go to this party/event where I know no one but could meet someone interesting or a new client?'  You can really apply it to any question you're struggling with in life, big or small, & I guarantee you that the love answer is ALWAYS the right answer.   I'm not saying it's always going to be easy & sometimes we are just not ready to take the steps we know we need to but the clarity you receive will instantly make you feel better.  You can start taking whatever step you're ready for at that moment, even if that means doing nothing except entertaining the idea of a better & truer life for yourself. 

My love answers propelled me forward & I enrolled myself in design school part-time & stayed at my corporate job for another six years but it became so much more bearable knowing I was working towards my goal & there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  In due time, I had not only made the transition from the financial world to the world of interior design but also realized my lifelong dream of owning my own company.  It certainly didn't happen overnight but with blood, sweat, tears, triumphs, setbacks, relentless determination & LOTS OF LOVE - it happened :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In Case You Forgot....

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cheap Thrills III

One of my favorite cheap thrills places to shop is Forever 21.  I am nowhere near 21 but hey, the name is Forever 21 so I think it's acceptable to shop there forever.  I am chomping at the bit to wear some spring dresses & picked up BOTH of these for $50(!). 

You can't quite tell from the picture but there are pretty gold & black buttons on the shoulder...
I suspect I may have been influenced by The Carrie Diaries on this one.  Have you been watching?  I had low expectations for the show but it's actually pretty cute & reminds me of being a teenager dreaming of the glamour & excitement of NYC...
These are not cheap thrills but loving these selections from J. Crew....

Not sure that I'm crazy about the whole peplum trend but this is beautiful...very subtle & tailored & love the cap sleeves...
These suede sandals would work with almost all of my summer dresses & the heel is manageable for hours on your feet & getting down subway stairs...
photos: 1/2/3/4