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clinique happy heart

Do you remember this Clinique Happy campaign from so many years ago? It's one of my all-time favorite advertisements. It reminds me a little of Jenna Rink's revamp for Poise in 13 Going On 30. I'm cheating a bit by using an image from a Clinique Happy Campaign because I'm really here to talk about Clinique's Happy Heart. I smelled it a few days ago in a department store absolutely fell in love. It's a beautiful fresh floral with a hint of warmth. wearing it makes me feel so feminine. My friend who lived in Europe for several years told me that it smelled like Florence. I can't think of anything better! Spritz it on during your next department store run -- I'd love to know what you think.

(photo un, photo deux)


spring hair essentials

When it comes to hair, I am extremely low maintenance. I schedule cuts + highlights way less than I should and when I do, I never change a thing: same length (just past the base of my shoulder blades), same color (a cool dark blonde, close to my natural hair color). I don't ever blow dry it and I rarely take the time to curl or straighten it. In fact, I'm pretty untalented when it comes to hair. Knowing this, you won't be surprised to find that I own very few hair products. But the few that I do own, I couldn't do without. 

I swear by Kerastase's Elixer Ultime. I've tried other products but my hair always ends up looking dirty... Not cute. This product is lightweight, smells amazing and works wonders for my dry ends. I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive! 

Like most busy girls, I always keep dry shampoo on hand. I don't have a particular brand that I favor and I'm always down to try new products. Stila's Hair Refresher looks yummy and is supposedly wonderful, so I think I'll pick it up once I'm finished with my Lulu Organics hair powder. Dry shampoo saves me. 

I'm fairly certain that I've written about my Mason Pearson brush before (I have the XL Boar Bristle), but it's only because I can't live without it. I'm not a huge hair-brusher, but I do it when I must (post wake-up, post shower). The Mason Pearson effortlessly detangles and teases like nothing else. If I temporarily misplace my brush (which I'm prone to doing...), my hair is a complete nightmare. Yes, it's very expensive but think of it as an investment. I've had mine for almost nine years and plan to have it for many, many more. 

Not everyone is a hair accessories person, but I've always love them. When I was younger, I used to spend my entire allowance on France Luxe headbands at Nordstrom's. Truth be told, not much has changed - France Luxe/L. Erickson is still my favorite line of hair goodies. I picked out a few of my favorite pieces from their website that I think are adorable: L. Erickson Daisy Pearl BarretteL. Erickson Pearl Bobby PinsL. Erickson Wide Couture Bow, L. Erickson Dog Clips
L. Erickson Oblong Barrette (I wear this one all the time!).

Wishing you and yours a great hair day :) 


alexa chung on... 

I love reading about the favorite beauty products of It Girls, especially when they dish about the singular product that defines their look. For Alexa Chung, that product is eyeliner. Famous for always sporting a cat eye, Ms. Chung notes that she used to use gel liner but ditched it in favor of the felt-tipped pen. I, too, did the same years ago. There was a point in my life when I swore by Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner... and then I discovered YSL's Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils. Pure magic. When I ran out of my first tube, I took a chance on a drug store variety in a suspicially similar container and I liked it just the same - in fact, I'm wearing it right now. If you're in the market for some great eyeliner, check out L'oreal Paris' Lineur Intense liner in Carbon Black. C'est Fantastique!


on this day in history... 

Josephine Esther Mentzer, also known as Estée Lauder,
was born in Queens, New York.



When I discovered Elizabeth Winder’s first book, Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953, I felt as if I had discovered a soul mate. Here is a woman who not only cares to know her literary heroine’s preferred shade of lipstick and favorite shoe, but writes a book on the subject! Of course, the dialogue in Pain, Parties, Work is more than skin deep. The summer of 1953, during which Sylvia interned for the glamourous Mademoiselle Magazine, preluded her mental breakdown and laid the groundwork for The Bell Jar.

Dear readers, Pain, Parties, Work will remain front and center on my bookshelf for the rest of my life. Elizabeth’s beautiful way with words and meticulous attention to detail renders this biography an absolute delight; I’m set to read it once more before summer ends. Despite her busy schedule, Elizabeth kindly agreed to a short interview with me where we discussed red lipstick and what Sylvia might wear today, among other things. I hope you enjoy!

What was the most interesting and/or surprising thing you learned about Sylvia in your research?  
I was surprised that Sylvia was so impulsive, even a bit of a risk-taker!  Like hopping into cabs with strange men—and in college she hitchhiked quite a bit—of course hitchhiking was pretty normal back then.  Basically all of my research confirmed what electrical energy she had—staying up all night dancing in the Village or stalking Dylan Thomas, then staggering to work and doing it all over again.
Is it safe to assume that you have a strong interest in fashion and beauty?
Yes!  And over the past few years I’ve been especially interested in beauty—the history of it, the artistry behind it—everything!  I have a gorgeous book on the history of makeup in the 20th century [Face of the Century] by Kate de Castelbajac.  It might be out of print.  I also collect books about perfume—my grand passion is perfume!  

You speak often of Sylvia’s signature splashes of red. Has this sparked an urge to develop a signature shade of your own? Do you wear red lipstick more often? I have to admit that I purchased Revlon’s "Cherries in the Snow" after reading that Sylvia wore it! Did you try it?
Oh that’s great, I should have tried it! Red lipstick gives me anxiety—I end up feeling like Dracula.  I can’t think of anyone who looks worse in red lipstick than me.  Mid sixties makeup tends to look better on me—heavy lashes strong liner and paler lips. So I use this clear balm by Maybelline called Baby Lips.  Then I go all over it with lipliner—filling in the lips and everything—usually Rimmel's East End Snob.

In your opinion, what would Sylvia wear today if she were 20 and interning? Which brands would she admire? Where would she shop? Who would make her lipstick? Do you think about her when you are out shopping, I.E. “Oh, Sylvia would totally wear this”?
I LOVE this question.  Sylvia would wear Lolita Lempicka perfume.  I just know she would— it’s hysterically feminine—something sweet and resinous with leaves and licorice underneath.  Plus she’d go crazy over the bottle.  And since lipstick was her signature look in terms of beauty, I think she’d splurge in that department—definitely YSL Rouge Volupte in Red Muse (she’d also love the name!)  I think she’d buy her clothes at Zara, and her shoes at Bloomingdale's.  I actually think about Sylvia all the time when I shop—like so many of us, she was a stress shopper!  Oh, and for the summer, she would switch to a beachy, suntan-oil sort of perfume, like Macau trực tuyến BaccaratEstee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess.

What was it like discussing Sylvia with those who knew her? I read that you corresponded through writing and phone conversations. I’m so curious… Did you snail mail or email?
I started by writing them letters—and I was so excited when I began to get responses!  I met a few of them in person, but mostly it was a mix of written letters, email, and long talks on the telephone. 

I know you took a bit of a risk with the magazine-like format of the book. What prompted this leap of faith?
You know, it didn’t even seem like a choice.  The pastiche/magazine format was obviously the best way to present the information!  I didn’t want to force all of those lovely little facts into a straight narrative when they so obviously wanted to shine on their own!

If Sylvia were alive today, where would she be interning this summer?
I’d like to think she’d be at French Vogue! 

I read that you’re interested in fashion history. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to learn more about this subject?
I never took a class on fashion history—I’m completely self taught on that subject.  And luckily there are so many fabulous books out there!  All of Macau trực tuyến BaccaratValerie Steele’s books.  Taschen’s fabulous fat volume called Macau trực tuyến BaccaratFashion.  Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible is a visual gem and so much fun to read—he takes each garment and talks about the history of it.  Assouline has stunning visual fashion books.  Oh, and Caroline Weber’s wonderful book on Marie Antoinette, The Queen of Fashion.  I’d also recommend watching Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette on repeat for days.  I think it’s fun to watch movies and pretend that you’re the costume director.  I always think things like “Why does Woody Allen put his women in button down shirts?”  Women’s costume in Woody Allen films is endlessly fascinating.   Someone should teach a class on it.

The language you use in the book is gorgeous. Do you have a favorite word or words?
Thank you!  My favorite words might be fawn, glossy, milk, stalk, Bakelite, beast, and fable.

What are your favorite books? Which writers, in your opinion, have influenced you the most?
My favorite book of all time is Anna Karenina.  I read it every September, as a birthday present for myself!  Unfortunately, I think that one has influenced the way I live, not the way I write.  In terms of influences:  Gertrude Stein, Anne Carson, Susan Howe, and of course, Sylvia Plath.

Finally… could you recommend a few summer reads to my readers?
Yes!  Cory MacLauchlin’s Butterfly in the TypewriterThe Astor Orphan by Alexandra Aldrich.  And (though this one isn’t new) Dangerous Muse by Nancy Schoenberger.  It’s about Lady Caroline Blackwood—and my favorite biography of all time!

Be sure to visit Elizabeth on twitter.
If you haven't already, pick up, Pain Parties, Work
at a bookstore today!