Thursday, April 30, 2020

I don't know where to start, so I'm taking a deep breath and I'll go on by saying that I sincerely hope that you're all safe and sound.

Please note that there are affiliate links in this post but I'm not deliberately trying to be a jerk by shilling things.

You don't need to buy anymore STUFF, especially if you don't need anymore stuff

I'm trying to make do with what I have except for a subscription to Boxycharm. It's time for us to  you do with what we have UNLESS it's old and gross mascara. You might want to go ahead and toss that and get another one, especially if you have no idea how old it is!

I've been home for the last month or so, having taken a leave of absence from my job on the front lines. It's too risky for the moment and I keep wishing that things would die down, even just a little.

We have mandatory shelter-in-place orders in OR yet that doesn't seem to stop some of my neighbors from having what look suspiciously like block parties. Eeeeek.

I do my best to stay away from them and have been doing my best to have a routine, with mixed results.

This uncertainty seems to be a new normal now. Rather than dwelling on what I can't control, I've noticed that I have a lot more time to clean and organize, which haven't always been my strongest suits. There's a first time for everything!

I've been evaluating all of my beauty products and conclude (yet again!) that I'm high maintenance. But do I *really* need all of these palettes? I'm shopping in my house, so to speak, and am condensing and getting rid of old and useless products while I do so.

Here's a view into some of my collection.

One of the only subscriptions I have kept is for Boxycharm. Chances are that you're aware of this awesome subscription service. For only $25 per month (cheaper than gyms, well, when they were open), you receive six FULL-SIZE beauty and makeup products worth over $200.

They haven't disappointed me yet!

Although I've only been a member for a few months, I know that there's no way that I would have gone out and discovered most these products on my own. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to score some now favorite products like the Pro-Collagen Rose Oil from Elemis. I use this every other night and my skin feels softer and almost luxuriant in the morning. There's no way I would have paid $72 (wtf) for this, so thanks so much, Boxycharm!

Another product I love from my subscription is the Celestial Thunder palette from Domonique Cosmetics. You can see which colors I've been dipping into, below. I use the three orange tones to create a sunset eye that I love! No fall out and the shadow lasts a long time. Hooray!

My current favorite new mascara is the Maybelline Falsies Lashlift. I'm out of my L'oreal Lash Paradise (which is a pretty darn good dupe for Too Faced's Better Than Sex, IMHO), It's got a plastic wand and reaches all of the tiny lashes on the bottom and in the corner. Easy to remove and doesn't flake.

As for the lipsticks below, I'm trying to use up what I have. I find that the Kat Von D. Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks are now too drying for my lips and only look ok during the first two hours after application. And come on, it's the only liquid lip that gets all OVER my teeth.

The only MAC lipsticks I wear anymore are Ruby Woo, Russian Red, and Diva. After my last order of ColourPop lipsticks, I was a little disappointed with the wear of them. The colors are beautiful and the brand is very affordable but truthfully, I do need to look at lipsticks that are more moisturizing. Less matte.

Oh wait, so I guess I lied. Truthfully I forgot that I have a one-month trial subscription to Curology. It's an on-demand prescription skincare service that's great if you don't already have a dermatologist. My skin is currently peeling due to the Tretinoin and Azaleic Acid combo, but so far so good. As a lifelong acne sufferer, I'm no stranger to prescription medications.

It's as if my skin is a teenager all over again, as I've been breaking out so I'm blaming this pandemic. Again, I guess I'm working on the little things that I can control. Outside life, not so much. Inside the house, sure, somewhat. So what if no one sees me. I have to live in this skin!

Seems that I'm either in one of two modes lately. Super glam or super casual.

I'm also going to be organizing other collections and will post them here. What should I post next??

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Edited to add: updated Quarantine edition.

Most of the pics below were taken before we went into the official shelter in place orders. I'm in the Portland, OR area and have been making the best of a difficult situation.

I also took a leave of absence at my day job for the personal safety of me and my family, as I was considered a first responder. Savings is dwindling though and I have no idea when it will be "safe" to go back to work.

Happy 2020! It's been awhile. (this was originally posted at the beginning of March).

Yes, I had so much that I wanted to post about life, the universe, and everything.

However, after seeing Kailey of Mermaidens post her answers yesterday (originally from this questionnaire), I was inspired and motivated enough to answer these for my own blog post here.

Quoted from Kailey's post:

I used Google Translate to translate the questions, and edited it myself to sound more natural. If any of the questions don't quite line up with the original ones in Swedish, thats why! I did my best with my limited resources :')

I'll always have a place in my wardrobe for the beloved Peter Pan collar dress a la Wednesday Addams.

This is my favorite little black dress style as it's so utterly versatile. Dress it up or down with shoes and accessories. The below pic was taken after work, and I had just added more makeup and put on contacts. Again, versatile.

I can't believe that I can fit into this outfit again! My body has changed a lot after having two kids but 90's fashion is back, right? Maybe I'll find the right occasion to wear it again, it's been a while since I've been to a proper rave.

If I remember correctly, I think I got those JNCOs at the Ross Dress for Less on Sunset and La Brea (is it still there?) The fuzzy blue halter top was thrifted, probably from the Goodwill on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz.

Ok, without further adieu, here's the Q + A!

What are clothes to you?

I think clothes are your ultimate statement. Whether you want to express a particular mood or vibe, or go incognito, clothes allow you to ultimately be who you want to do be, or not. What's that saying? Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?

I've always been aware of the power of clothes to make a statement. I grew up in an immediate family of very fashionable bonafide clothes horses, so I think I had no other choice but to pay attention.

My parents had a store on the east side of Melrose Avenue and between their store and the other stores on Melrose like Flip, Cowboys and Poodles, Aardvark's, and more, I couldn't resist the call of fashion!

What is your "I don't know WHAT to wear" outfit?

I'd say a longer bodycon or ruched dress or the Peter Pan collar dress I mentioned above. Tights are a no-brainer, definitely heavier ones for winter, although I've been known to dress them up with fishnets. I'd probably wear fishnets all the time if I could!

What are you sleeping in?
It depends on my mood, then the weather! My go-to pjs are a pair of heavy cotton in the perfect leopard print by Betsey Johnson. I guess they're practically vintage if they're from 2000?

I love my velvet chemise by Intimately Free People. In addition to being warm, comfy, AND sexy, it's also one of the few pieces in recent memory that I purchased brand new, at Nordstrom. Whenever I can, I thrift (not for a long time now since everything it shut down for the meantime), but that has its limits when it comes to undergarments and intimates.

I also have two pairs of men's boxers that I love to wear when I sleep, one pair by Calvin Klein and one pair by Hugo Boss. I love to pair them with a thin cotton t-shirt, usually my Blondie (with too many holes!) or a light cotton cami.

What is your favorite store?

The Goodwill Outlets, unanimously. I've been so fortunate to have found so many priceless and amazing things in my travels.

It would take wayyyy too long to list some of the astounding finds I've unearthed from "the bins" in every city I've lived.

The Los Angeles and Seattle outlets were the most fruitful overall, in my experience.

One of the best flips I ever did was of a gorgeous lilac kimono blouse by Stella McCartney. It cost $1 from the bins in L.A. and I sold it for something closer to $200! That outlet store is among the most gnarly, though, as in cutthroat, there's security there for good reason. The last time I was there, another thrifter threatened to "cut a bitch!" Yikes. Be careful out there!

I've also found Jean Paul Gaultier, almost every brand of super fancy denim, John Galliano, and my most recent couture find was of this Rick Owens Lilies dress at the Portland Goodwill outlet. Pictured below.

So what if it has a teeny tiny hole?

It's imperfect, like me, and that's just the way I like it.

What do you prefer when you dress up?

Anything slinky, think bodycon (body conscious), ruched, faux fur, or large print, whether floral or graphic. Some of the outfits that I've received the most compliments on were basic tube dresses, thrifted from the bins from the likes of Forever 21 or H&M or Zara or Asos.

They're so easy to dress up or down with accessories. I love high heels but my feet and body have been worse for the wear with them, especially after wearing platform Pleasers for a couple of years.

Irregular Choice, Jeffrey Campbell, and John Fluevog are part of my "sensible heels" collection and I try to wear them whenever possible.

No tag in the dress ($3.50) and these are $5 Pleasers that I'm going to use for their rhinestones!

What are your best life hacks when it comes to clothes?

The saying "don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't just apply to books!

With clothes, looks can be deceiving so it's imperative that you try things on before you buy. No matter what size you think that you fit into, you'll find many things are mislabeled. Sizing isn't universal and if i would have listened to what tags say, then I'd have missed out on a lot.

Find an awesome tailor or seamstress, as well as a shoe cobbler, in your neighborhood. Sometimes a simple tweak will change a garment forever. The so-so and donate piles can become fabulous. For me personally, I'm short waisted and have bigger boobs and a small band size.

What do you feel best in?

It depends on my mood. I wear what I like, when I like, occasion appropriate, but I always make an effort to look put together, even at one of my "day jobs".

I usually wear all black and I like to layer with textures. You can't go wrong with an accent piece or two in a different color, whether shoes, contrasting shoe laces if you have to wear athletic shoes, or a huge red belt.

How do you sort your wardrobe?

Ooof. This is getting a little easier to answer because I have my wardrobe in different places! ;)

The huge faux fur coats are in the actual closet, but I have a garment rack as well as storage, multiple rooms for storage. The items that I keep for nostalgia that I can resell and/or pass along to my kids are in storage bins, although I want to figure out a decent DIY upgrade. 

(Note, I've got some DIY projects in the works).

Which garments do you find difficult to find?

Vintage lingerie that fits!! I'm a 32D-DD so it's tricky to find things that fit. It's also trickier to find garments that aren't trashed. I'm also short waisted so it's tricky to find pants that properly fit my waist to hip ratio.

What do you avoid in clothing?

Baggy anything, "boyfriend" cut anything (WILDLY unflattering on my short waist), acid wash, "mom jeans", and basically all the ugly 90's fashion that seems to be all the rage right now. 

Yikes! It's not flattering to my body type and besides, I would feel ridiculous in it, even though I didn't feel THAT ridiculous in my raver outfit.

I also try to avoid most fast fashion, unless second hand.

What do you wear when you're just "at home"?

Vintage slips that I hand dye, work clothes if I haven't had a chance to change, or just my bra and panties if I'm all alone, which is rarer than ever. 

I just got some fabulous Betsey Johnson leopard floofy slippers that I need to wear more often around the house!

How do you dress seasonally?

Since I'm from L.A., what are these seasons that you refer to? Seriously though, I do my best to compromise when the weather is dreadful and so I layer, layer, layer. You won't find traditional winter wear in my wardrobe though as I am not fond of North Face, Patagonia, REI, or any of that stuff that's so prevalent in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. It's just not right for me and my style.

I layer long-sleeved shirts under dresses and still bring umbrellas with me. I love hoodies and practically live in my Betsey Johnson puffer coat that I got at the Goodwill bins, of course.

What garments do you never wear?

See above with the "what do I avoid" question. I love jewelry but rarely wear it. I love hats too but rarely wear them. I have a huge head, size XL in Kangol and get self-conscious about my head size. Bigger brain, though? *wink

What have you worn that people didn't like?

My vintage raver clothes, for sure. I'm not for everyone, though, and that's fine.

Vintage 70's tennis dress and 90's El Dantes boots, both thrifted!
One of my first boyfriends absolutely despised fishnet hosiery and blue nail polish. I didn't let that stop me though and that was but one of the reasons that we broke up. 

I'm an acquired taste, if you don't like me, acquire some taste, haha.

I love writing prompts like these and I'd love to know what your answers would be to these questions!


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