Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Smell (In a Good Way).

Perfume is a problem. It smells, and a lot of it gives me a headache (ages ago a rather nice sales-woman at a counter somewhere suggested I might have an allergy to 'white amber', whatever that is, and I don't know how true that could be). Despite this, I am fascinated by it. I love hemming and hawing over the little bottles. I'm fascinated by solid perfume, and the more cute, whimsical, or twee and charming the container the more smitten with something I am (although if it doesn't smell good there is no saving a delectable bottle).

I tried Vera Wang's Princess for a while, but I think it's just a tad too sweet for me. My mother wears Chanel No. 22, which is not easy to find (especially since we do not have a Nordstrom here, which I heard carried it) although she has been making do with all kinds of versions of it ordered via ebay. I once had a strange green vial of perfume that was supposed to smell like tea (it did not, but it smelled good anyway) but once it was used up that was it.

These days I'm yet another wear-er of Coco Mademoiselle. I'm not sick of it, it doesn't give me a headache, and sometimes when people smell me I get compliments. It's not too sweet, which I like, and it has the kind of iconic what-have-you lurking behind it that makes me feel like a grown up. Like when you finally figure out what your haircut is (I have yet to do this).

This has become slightly tangential. The point is I have grabbed another perfume that I can't stop loving all day. I picked it up because I liked the product's packaging (I don't care. I do judge books by their cover, I like packaging and prints and lettering and all of that) and the little moisturizers, tiny bottles and pastels. Plus, testers! Testers are really gross because everyone touches them, and I am sure they fomites of the highest degree but I love smelling and smoothing.

I bought the smallest bottle of Lollia's Wish because it had bees on it.

Alright, the bees were not the only reason. I love things in miniature (especially tiny farm animals, but small dice or elephants or impossible small containers are also delightful), and it smelled just divine. Sweet, certainly, but not overly so and sort of spicy. I keep smelling it all day, at random moments on my hand or wrist, or in my hair (on my scarf) and being thrilled by it. I recommend it (I also don't mean for so many of my recent posts to be focusing on products, but you know. Sharing the four-one-one of favorite cosmetic items is nice, and helpful, and I like stuff).

Apparently they are carried at Anthropologie, a store which my humble little city does not have (much to my dismay/disappointment/heartbreak), but they're being carried in a funny little boutique type place in a shopping center in my area. I will eventually have to go back to get the larger size, instead of the miniature one even if the tiny little bottle endears itself to me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Little Red.

I have very strong feelings about the color red. To be general--I don't like it. I am fond of it in food (strawberries, raspberries, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, candy) and lipstick (occasionally I find it acceptable to add a red accessory, such as a bow or the tiniest of patterns). In general I cannot wear red in large doses, dresses, blouses, etc. I try but it just feels so wrong! Also, I don't mind other things that are red, like couches (if they are velvet), walls, or the covers of books.

This is why it's really kind of funny that I have piles and piles and piles of red lipstick. Especially since I don't wear it all that often--I tend to eat it off my lips--but I can't stop buying it.

I mentioned last week, or whenever that was, that I'm trying to wear red lipstick more often. I am rarely happy with my eye makeup and so have reduced that regime back to concealer, a paint pot, and mascara. A few years ago I bought MAC's Russian Red because I read about it somewhere, and I wore it occasionally when I wanted to make a splash or just felt like it (I really like applying lipstick. Sometimes I put piles of it on at night before I wash my face and walk around looking totally insane in floral PJs and red lipstick).

I really like MAC's matter lipsticks. They stay in place with minimal liner, don't end up smudging to high heaven, have great saturated colors, and don't over-dry my lips. This week I went and snagged myself some Ruby Woo because I wanted to feel really awkward walking up to the slick salesperson and saying the name (or not), and because I'd heard good things about it. I like it. It's like a cartoon red, a scary splash. I have tiny lips so I feel a bit self conscious about it sometimes, like there is too much fleshy face, but I've decided it doesn't matter.

However, I'm relatively low maintenance with makeup. If you can't apply it with your fingers, mascara aside, I could care less. Because of this, I'm a dedicated lover of Stila's convertible color in Poppy--I'm wearing it two posts down in the picture with the mustard sweater--even if it doesn't give the same stark look of a stick. I like it though, it's got that pressed-on, edge-fading look that's kind of romantic and debauched.

I have a tenuous relationship with red. On the one hand, I can't stand it. It needs so much attention. On the other, it's kind of right sometimes. And despite my grumblings towards it, my dastardly glasses are red.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cinematic Fashion: Part One.

In the list of things that dictate--or at least lead in the general direction--my sense of dress, the literary clearly sits in one of the top spots. To proclaim that movies also influence this is terribly basic--I fear it couldn't be any more obvious, I mean, honestly. Everyone is inspired by movies, and I'm afraid I haven't got anything more useful to toss into the discussion on the matter. It hardly seems worthwhile to note that we're all inflected by it, that Mad Men makes certain kinds of vintage just that much more trendy and all that sort of thing. Because I mean, really, who cares?

That said, I'm still going to post about it. I guess because it's not so much inspiration I'm interested in at the moment as a kind of blatant desire to dress up in a secret costume. You know, the kind if inspiration that reminds one of the childhood and adolescent obsessions--as in, I actually won't wear XY or Z kind of make up because so-and-so in such-and-such doesn't or wouldn't (my goodness, I hate the tone of this post, but one must get back into the swing of things somehow).

Clever Nettle made a post about this back in the day, and I have to admit that from the moment I saw the movie I had many of the same fashionable fixations. First, I think it's safe to say that I'm almost totally obsessed with Inglourious Basterds. I know, lots of people liked this movie, but seriously. I think it's probably one of te best things to happen in a number of years. It made me sad, because I felt upon leaving the theater that I spend an awful lot of time watching movies that are okay, that are clever in one way or another be it a few funny moments or some prettiness that manages to seduce the magpie in me, but very rarely does an exceptionally well written and then, after all of that, well made movie come our way. It has everything, and not in the way that The Princess Bride has everything. It also had the unprecedented advantage of allowing me to be lost in the world of the film while not depressing me upon its end (what I mean here is that some movies, many in fact, make me quite sad because life is not like those movies--Marie Antoinette oddly was one of these, because it made me so sad that my world was not swathed in ridiculous pastel and insane hairdos and all of that. It is not even always so much an effect of story as it is images).

I get away from my point. Despite all the fantastic manifestations of storytelling, a pretentious statement if I ever heard one, I love nothing more than Melanie Laurent's costumes as Shoshanna Dreyfus. Little pleated cropped pants, fitted sweaters with that embroidered blouse, belts, hats, trench coats, red lipstick only sometimes! So terribly functional and feminine. I suppose it might be one of the things that triggered my intense ache for a more tomboy, masculine, bookish and tailored kind of style. I even just love the little way she pins her hair back and up!

I've been trying to keep my eye out for vintage pieces that fit the bill, and thankfully this cropped trouser look is popping up in a few places I also noted a few of these funny over-all type things from some vintage sellers, although they do tend to be pricey. If I ever feel like venturing out into the frozen wilderness that is my neighborhood, I suppose I'll be combing the trouser sections of both the men's and women's sections of local thrift stores.

I suppose the bottom line is that even as a grown-up (shudder), I cannot help but mimic my favorite movies, dress with what I have to best emulate and dress up as my favorite characters even if my own wardrobe items match in no recognizable way. I suppose it's a habit I'll never abandon completely, which is really alright anyway.