beauty confidential

beauty confidential

LUST

The shoe of summer is clearly flat. Tevas, Birkenstocks, and d’orsay flats will be everywhere, and I’m sure I’ll step in line for comfort and currency’s sake. But I’m still a fashion girl who’s less than enthralled by shoes previously reserved for backpacking, granola-wielding undergrads.

This pair of Isabel Marant thongs elevates the quintessential summer sandal. Bows and fringe, suede and soft pink- they’re neutral enough to go with anything and special enough to be the main event.

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I MUST have.

Even though they’re currently sold out most places, a knockoff similar pair from Zara is readily available and about $400 less.

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May 20
Summer is Coming
Feb 20

How to feel like a CEO


Pair a heavy, structured wool skirt (like this one from 3.1 Phillip Lim) with minimal accoutrements.

Skirt: 3.1 Phillip Lim (on major sale here) Sweater: Ann Taylor Necklace: Studio Silver Bracelet: Saks Fifth Avenue Collection

Manicure: YSL La Laque in Rose Renaissance + Spa Ritual Lighthouse Top Effect in Glitter (out in March)

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Model at Tadashi Shoji’s Fall 2014 show

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Me

Per usual, the model wins. Hands down.

Katie Jane Hughes, lead manicurist for butter LONDON, applied butter LONDON Nail Foundation to the nails followed by Nail Lacquer in Marbs to create the gold half-moon and tip. She completed the look with P.D. Quick Topcoat.

Feb 12
who wore it better?

"Backstage at New York Fashion Week"

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Outside, a frozen river encompasses Chelsea Piers

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Inside, MORE representation hits the mark

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This way to TIBI

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Style savant (and former cast member of The City) Olivia Palermo backstage

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Palermo’s perfectly-coiffed pony

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The lineup of “Modern Amish”-inspired beauty looks

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Bobbi Brown makeup: bare skin and moody mouth (the deep “Port” lipstick out this fall)

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Always a model, Josephine Skriver pouts for me



Aveda mastermind Antoinette tightly winds the center-part braid

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Vamp

Feb 9

♫♪Kim Carnes, Bette Davis Eyes

My polar vortex philosophy: fresh powder calls for a crisp white coat.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
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Trench: Rebecca Minkoff Infinity scarf: Sperry Texting gloves: Portolano Earmuffs: Ugg Clutch: Kestrel Bag: McQ by Alexander McQueen

Jan 31
pure as New York snow

After nine years in New York, my roommate Tina has a profile on a dating website where shares photos, a fleshed out bio, and stats about herself (like she’s 5’9” and emigrated from Minsk.)

Last week, she received a message from a guy, asking about her impending trip to Brazil. They began talking back and forth, until eventually she mused, “You haven’t changed much.” He replied, “Wait I’m sorry, have we met?” “Yes, we have,” Tina said. “I’m sorry, can you please me give a hint?,” the guy asked.

“We dated exclusively four years ago,” was her hint.

They spent a few months together, she hung out in his apartment, she met his friends. The time it takes to receive a college education passes and this guy doesn’t know her from Adam. This is what Tina, an auditor by profession, looks like:
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(So in case you’re not in New York, and you’re thinking these are crazy, guy-hungry, lacking, vapid, deplete women that aren’t that cute: No. You’re wrong. I’ve had this discussion with a menagerie of gorgeous alpha women who are perpetually single despite going through men like seasonal caffeinated beverages. It’s not us. It’s New York.)

Naturally, I found myself curious. How many people do you have to date to start forgetting them? By my own estimation, this guy must have “dated” around 70 women to not remember a veritable Russian model on sight. It’s ironic to think how in my current situation, I only wish I could forget about dating someone, and yet others can’t recall when staring at their pictures and engaging in repartee.

It spurred me to immediately make a list of everyone I’ve dated since age 16. Then I thought, this is boring, because these names mean nothing without celebrating the men and experiences behind them. When I’m old and wrinkly (which will never happen cause I’m an antiaging cognoscenti), I won’t care about the name Mikey, I’ll treasure the guy who attempted to shave my legs with a fork under the table at the General. So without further adieu, my dating history by the numbers:


32      age of the woman my 23 year-old ex rebounded with
19     age you should tell me I look if you want to date me
7     exes I’ve had who eat/drink protein powder
2     exes who currently practice hot yoga
100     percentage of exes I’ve bragged about my biceps to
3     exes I questioned the sexuality of on first dates
2     exes who resemble American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman in appearance and personality
at least 10     people I know who can corroborate the above statement
2     times my heart has been, and remained, broken
1      ex who told me to show more cleavage because "it’s a pride thing among guys"
1     week later I dumped him
1     time I emailed my exes mother to tell her how badly he treated me
0     number of dates I can reasonably expect after publishing that
?      exes that have forgotten they dated me

Jan 28
dating by numbers
Jan 24

♫♪Slim Thug, Like A Boss


man-repelling* fashion

I wore snug tops with words like BLONDE emblazoned across the bosom from ages 12-16. As a high school junior (after reading Reviving Ophelia, feeling emboldened, and getting a clue) I completely rejected and refuted that style, in favor of boasting t-shirts, leggings and nothing conspicuous. I wasn’t inspired by fashion until I came to New York as a bright-eyed intern that first glorious summer. In the hallways of Hearst, I learned that dressing can be fun, colorful, evocative—and have zero to do with pleasing the opposite sex. Hats? Sure. Chunky wedges? How many pairs can I own? Everything from bright hues to modern silhouettes became possible.

Now I dress for myself, and I love sporting the female equivalent of a colored leisure suit. My style oscillates between ladylike and Annie Hall, but it’s always elevated and earnest. And from dawn to dusk, I don’t care what guys think, because they’re decidedly not fashion editors.

This outfit embodies my work wardrobe: a classic print (argyle) and primary colors (faves in descending order: white, red, and royal blue.)

Sweater: Gap Pants: Robert Rodriguez (similar here) Bag: Zac Zac Posen (similar here) Pouch: Comme des Garçons Ankle boots: Forever 21 Texas pendant: Dogeared Bow ring: Henri Bendel Silver ring: Henri Bendel Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs Nail polish: Butter London in Keen Photos by Marina Zarya

*If you’ve walked the streets of New York, you know there’s simply no stopping the men

♫♪ The Echo Friendly, Same Mistakes


I met him at Inoteca in the lower East over a bottle of Friulano. He looks uncannily like the love child of Aaron Rodgers and Seth Meyers, his voice the exact inflection of the SNL star. I called him Seth and Aaron all night. I referred to him as Steve once too…that one I can’t justify or even explain. His name was Dan.


Due to my current state of emotional unavailability, a heightened version of my proverbial condition bolstered by the recent heart evisceration, I behaved boorishly. I imbibed indulgently, told Seth/Aaron/Dan to call me Kanye, exerted less than a scintilla of genuine effort, texted another guy that went to the same college*, and committed other garden variety forms of date terrorism.


Until he revealed that his friend’s girlfriend oversees the studio audience for Saturday Night Live, and that Drake was the host/musical guest for Saturday.


I made a slapstick effort to undo everything and “seduce” him into taking me, by talking in sexy cadence and getting close. When he resisted and bogarted the tickets, I ran to a cab without thanking him or properly saying bye (I remembered to thank him on the ride home though.) Thirty minutes later, he texted to tell me I’m hilarious. I responded with the standard “Stop.” The second guy I’ve met this week to call me hilarious, I’m wondering if it’s me—or my man-repelling fashion—that’s not so adorable. I’m going to go with the garb. After Mucus, I just can’t bring myself to brandish skirts and boots, my go-to man-attracting mien.


But on Saturday, (Live from New York) Dan asked what I was up to. He then asked if I wanted to after-party with Drake. And that’s how I partied until 6 AM with Drake and the real Seth Meyers.



As if, but I did reconfigure my entire outfit in preparation. After extending the altogether enticing offer, I didn’t hear from Dan again that night.


I’ll be bringing back the boots.


* I first asked for his permission to text

Jan 21
weekend update
There is something so chic and calming about neatly organized cosmetics. When everything has its place, it gives me a sense of control in a world of chaos. Here, the latest batch of goodies I always want within reach. 


Sonia Kashuk’s covetable gold brush set inspires me to use more than just my fingers


By Terry’s rose balm because lips should smell and feel like roses 


Tory Burch’s cheery, subdued scent smells of tangerine and is elegant enough for the office


Josie Maran’s high-coverage concealer crayon hides and hydrates dark circles


Chanel’s  lip stain is so everlasting, I can eat, drink and not make trips to the bathroom for touch-ups 


Make Up For Ever’s new HD cream blush in 225 imbues an innocent pink flush that looks God-given  (out in February)  


Kate Spade’s Supercalifragilipstick in Sweet Blush  the perfect neutral shade and creamy finish ensure I never look dead (and the tube’s instructions to PUCKER UP are indubiously charming)
Jan 13

There is something so chic and calming about neatly organized cosmetics. When everything has its place, it gives me a sense of control in a world of chaos. Here, the latest batch of goodies I always want within reach. 



Sonia Kashuk’s covetable gold brush set inspires me to use more than just my fingers



By Terry’s rose balm because lips should smell and feel like roses 



Tory Burch’s cheery, subdued scent smells of tangerine and is elegant enough for the office



Josie Maran’s high-coverage concealer crayon hides and hydrates dark circles



Chanel’s  lip stain is so everlasting, I can eat, drink and not make trips to the bathroom for touch-ups 



Make Up For Ever’s new HD cream blush in 225 imbues an innocent pink flush that looks God-given  (out in February)  



Kate Spade’s Supercalifragilipstick in Sweet Blush  the perfect neutral shade and creamy finish ensure I never look dead (and the tube’s instructions to PUCKER UP are indubiously charming)



Jan 8


Holiday season in New York endures until January 31st. In honor of the still-decorated trees on my walk home from work, here’s how I’m relishing the gaiety.  

Fiona Kotur’s metallic animal print minaudiere, the last few weeks of my holiday phone case from Kate Spade, and Chanel rosettes 

 

If you thought the Hubris saga ended there, join the club. 

 

Lucas asked to see me the next day and talk through everything. We would be exclusive, he said—or we’d be nothing. Since I knew he had feelings for another girl and hadn’t seen me in a month, it felt crazy to agree. But I did. Because I roll the dice, and despite mounting evidence to do the contrary, I bet on myself. He ended that conversation with, and I quote, “Libations on the morrow. Looking forward to it.” Twelve hours later, a true corporate attorney eviscerated my heart.

 

“I don’t think it’s productive to see each other at this point.”

 

It sucked the air right out of my lungs. I had been prepping to fire from every cylinder; suddenly drinking myself to sleep seemed like the only recourse. Instead, I went out to Coop at the Rivington Hotel with my friend and the guy she’s been seeing. Early in the evening, one of his friends approached me. We spoke easily. Vodka seltzer. We carried on until six, and it was exactly what I needed. Besides stealing a few sweet kisses, he simply listened to me talk all night.

 

The next day over brunch at Café Orlin, then cider and January football at Cooper’s, I told my guy friends the entire tale of Mucus. (Retroactive yet irresistible nickname credit goes to Graham.)         

 

Graham has been married to my best friend for a few years now, and they have a love that makes too-busy-for-it types like me not only believe, but crave the concept. He typically pokes fun at the guys I date, but remains quiet to advise. When he spoke up, I paid attention.

 

[Pointing to his wife]

"I would have never put any restrictions on Ash like that. If you really like someone, you want to see them and you take what you can get. Once a week, five minutes a day. I could have never told her exclusive or nothing.”


As soon as this was said aloud, a synapse fired in my brain. This was at least partially  my fault. When I left him at the bar on our fourth date, as I retreated with my pride because he had been on other dates when we had never even spoke about being exclusive, I was protecting myself. I wanted to talk to him all the time, see him and know him—so naturally, I self-destructed.

 

I have to learn to let go of control. I need to be capable of vulnerability. I place too much stock in being unsmoteable, when it’s the opposite of what I truly desire. I cannot allow my discomfort with clamoring over someone cloud my longing.

 

This responsibility epiphany doesn’t change that I lost him, but it makes me feel a lot better about the reason why. As does the fact that his decision was all-business—made without seeing me, as his wolfier side had interrupted, argued, and asked me for a mere moon earlier. When he texted his final adieu that morning, I realized what he was in the market for: something affordable, something comfortable; solid even.

It stands in stark contrast to the chat we had at Picholine on our third date:


"Are you capable of having a serious conversation?" he asked, clearly frustrated with my irreverent bullshit.

"I’m difficult," I looked at him earnestly, "but I’m worth it."

He marveled."That’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever said."


So here I lie, at the cerebral crux of my love life. Does the guy I will love, madly, get landed through brains and reigns? Will I be tamed?  It’s not like my mind didn’t realize I should play coy with Lucas; I just didn’t care.  Should I act strategic and smart and bridled and ladylike?

 

 Or do I keep rolling the dice? 


♫♪ Ellie Goulding, Anything Could Happen



Jan 6
anything could happen

beauty resolution image

"Happy New Year. Here’s to living deliberately. To sucking all the marrow out. To knowing we’ve taken all life has to offer.”

 

On New Years Eve, my friend Neel spontaneously gave a toast in which he referenced Thoreau, knocking my socks off. Whenever I feel like I’m not fully present or appreciating my life, I try to recall Thoreau’s transcendentalist theory: “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify.”


My resolution for 2014 is just that, to simplify and focus on an inside-out approach. To take better care of myself, to be braver and bolder, to work smarter and to leave no stone unturned. 


Bracelets from top: Kate Spade, Margot Elizabeth, Chanel


Jan 2
resolutions

I made a last-ditch effort to reconcile. I had mulled and I couldn’t get this guy out from under my skin. The exception to the rule, I never dubbed him with a nickname like I always do—but he is the one I wrote about in “Hubris.”

 

It was New York, and it was New Years Eve. It also happened to be his birthday. I texted him with the intent to see and snog him. We had texted a week before (I would fall over if a guy picked up the phone and called me), and he told me he’d love to see me. He called me solarian, as in radiant. We agreed we both want someone nerdy who thinks we’re dazzling.  The magical reunion was palpable.  

 

But when he responded, I got a surprise. He wouldn’t agree to see me, even for a kiss. Trying to pull the wool over my eyes, he repeatedly insisted it was a bad idea, so sternly I knew that wasn’t the real reason. So I asked explicitly, and he said he had another date—that he would not leave for any amount of time. We then spent the next two hours quarreling, the pace and span of which exceeding two people who just liked each other and hadn’t seen each other in a month. Even during our fights, our worst moments, we were kind of great. I’d spar with him anytime.

 

He wielded different arguments and tried to outsmart me; I identified and swiftly rebuffed. He put the focus on me, accusing me of rigidity.  He contended that it was simple human decency; that he absolutely could not be away from her for politeness’ sake. He refused to simply admit the truth I promptly understood: “I like her, and I won’t hurt or end things with her.”

 

He could use every technique in the book. Every time he had cancelled or delayed because of work, I was patient and placid—lax, even. And politeness? Love takes no prisoners. When it’s New Year’s Eve and your birthday and your life, you want to be with your tribe. He was asking me to be okay with him looking at, laughing with, holding someone else on his day. How could I be? Who even wants to be with someone who would be okay with that?

 

I’ve never enjoyed ending a tryst before this, and I still adore the person who chose someone else. Who knows why she trounced me. Maybe she better suits his tastes. Maybe I burned and blinded him.

 

Perhaps my rose-colored gaze can be attributed to idealism.  We hadn’t spent much time together but I’m certain we were special. I’m young and wide-eyed—he either fooled me or didn’t feel the same fervor.

 

It ended due to a lack of passion. He played the coquette. He liked me but wasn’t sure. He cried infatuation and never followed through. And I know he had to care slightly, because he kept squabbling with me. But in his eyes, it was a laissez-faire affair.

 

I’m a wildcard.

 

 She’s probably never left.


♫♪ John Mayer, Edge of Desire


Jan 1
an 11th hour hail mary
Dec 29

Nothing feels more indulgent than a manicure that completely snubs the season. At Jin Soon. With citrus tea. 

YSL La Laque in No 48 Rose Scabiosa (out in February) + Essie in Hors D’Oeuvres 

"It was the wolfier, lustier side of my psyche stirring again"

- Amely Greeven 

Dec 26