Friday, January 23, 2015

The Rick Owens F/W 2015 Paris Menswear Penis kerfuffle (yes, you read that right)

So, Rick Owens Fall-Winter 2015 show "Sphinx" featured (and I do mean featured) exposed male genitalia.

I guess Owens is a bit more of a classicist, as the OG answer is, of course, Man.

And boy howdy does this show celebrate manhood. I know this is going to be a polarizing show, but personally this makes me want to jump up and down and cheer a little bit!

The Man Himself (he is wearing pants in this shot I assure you)
Photo: Yannis Vlamos
I have no issue with the exposure of bodies in high fashion as clothing is MEANT to accentuate the human body and high fashion is MEANT to push boundaries, EXCEPT in that there is a clear double standard when it comes to exposing men's and women's bodies in fashion.

I'm all for celebrating the female form through fashion and art, so it only stands that the male form should be celebrated too! This sort of show levels the playing field without feeling exploitative.

Note: I consider body image and exploitation questions separately from those of pure nudity but I think that deserves its own post so I'm not going to even try to address it here.

Owens has shown a trend of bucking runway expectations with notable moves such as using a lineup of forty step dancers from Washington, D.C., and New York City-based crews (Momentum, Soul Steps, Zetas, Washington Divas) in place of the usual models in his Spring 2014 show and it's nice to see that he's keeping it going.

It is however a bit sad that either move is even remotely notable in the first place. Celebration of the variability and beauty of the human form and how it looks in a designer's clothing should be the norm in fashion. The focus on a small range of looks and approaches limits creativity and is frankly pretty lazy.

Rick Owens Paris Spring 2014 - "Viscious" Full Show

As for the clothes...

Well there I'm pretty mixed. I like a lot of the coats (mmm double breasted structure in leather and tweed) and I DO appreciate how hard it is to showcase the male form without dipping into the International Male/Romance novel cover side of things, but in general he runs far too oversized/asymmetrical/slouchy for my taste and there's a distinct flavor of slightly rumpled Shaolin Monk (both in the drapey and the lighter structural pieces) and/or "naked guy who had to jump out of bed to answer the door".

image from NewNowNext - original source unknown
I'm still working on finding a video but for now here's a link to the full slideshow.
They have managed to source their pictures from comparatively modest angles so there's nothing other than chest and legs showing there.

Make no mistake however, this show was CLEARLY not supposed to be "suggestive" of nudity as this NewNowNext article more clearly... ahem... demonstrates. (link is exactly as worksafe as one could expect out of any WOMEN's fashion show, which is to say not even a little bit).

This was not a question of wardrobe malfunction, penis showing portholes are carefully placed, drapes are carefully arranged and on a whole the effect seems fairly playful.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jan 2015 Ipsy Glambag

My Ipsy Glam Bag for this month came the other day and I have to say I'm not terribly thrilled.
(once again I get points if you sign up via the link - this is a standard Ipsy user situation)

I received
Astrida Naturals Orange Mint Lip Balm with Shea Oil
(MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm
LashFood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancer
Probelle Into The Blue Nail Lacquer
Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow in Treasure
a sort of plasticy nautical flat zip top bag - the opposite side is white

My thoughts in brief - all products untested
I don't like mint so I suspect both lip balms are out. The ingredients on the Orange Mint one look okay but I don't like that "perfume" is practically the only recognizable ingredient in the Mojito one.

The eyelash enhancer is intriguing but I'm going to have to research it a bit before I'm willing to put it near my eyes.I hate removing mascara so a product that gives me more lash with less grindy rubbing at the end of the day is okay by me.

The polish looks nice and I like that it's 3free, but it's pretty blah as shades of blue go. Just sort of an enh greyish sky blue. It really wouldn't stand out against my skin tone very well at all and in fact I think the pedi I got for my wedding was almost exactly the same shade because that's all they had (I painted over it with a better blue when I got home).
I don't see myself ever reaching for it to wear on its own, but it may get some use in nail art.

The shadow is a pretty enough shade, but I am BEYOND set on coppery sand toned shadows, thanks.

The bag is a good size and seems sturdy, thought I do generally prefer the fabric ones,

So yeah, mostly more stuff for the trade pile... not that I ever get around to trading stuff out anyway! Though I do think that contemplating my Ipsy stuff has given me an idea as far as nail polish goes. I think I may have just solved the "what sort of flakie mani do I want" question.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cheese plate update

I'm trying this "occasional blogging about cheese" thing out because frankly, I love cheese. I think I eat more cheese than anyone else I know, which might very well be saying something.

I'm not an expert, just a REALLY REALLY REALLY enthusiastic amateur.

Wallace And Gromit know where it's at
Ironically, I'm also lactose intolerant. Thankfully my supply of Lactase enzyme is usually prodigious enough to keep up with my adventurous palate, though there was that time I had Lactaid overnighted to my hotel at Disney because I didn't pack enough and they apparently don't sell it on site?!?

Anyway, it's one of my great loves and I'm sharing it because this is my blog and that's my life!

I'm going to try to make this a semi regular round-up post though I'm not sure what kind of time frame I will leave between posts.

I bought some cheese for myself to have a nice snack for my holiday week staycation. Then I got an ASTOUNDING amount of cheese from my In-Laws for Christmas (left side of the pic above was my fridge on Christmas night).THEN I got a C'est Cheese Cheese of the month club subscription from my Husband for my birthday the week after (right side of the pic above was January's picks)  so there's a bit more than usual to talk about right at this moment! Due to the sheer volume of cheese I ended up eating a lot of the fresher cheeses first and leaving the aged cheeses for later.

I'm not really going to talk about what I use as a vehicle for the cheese because honestly I eat it with what I have around. If I happen to use something interesting I'll mention it.

After the jump I'm going to start off with some particularly notable ones I've had in the last several weeks and fill in the gaps from there in future posts.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Jan 2015 Birchbox

I got this box from Birchbox on Friday and figured I'd go over the items.

My January 2015 Birchbox
My pick so far:
Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Body Lotion

A little light textured for my taste but I prefer an unusually heavy lotion. It does sink in very well. Not a scent I would pick but I don't mind it at all. I find many lotions overwhelmingly strong smelling and end up washing them off more often than not, but this is very clean and herbal. I would have liked a squeezable tube rather than a stiff bottle, but I like that this bottle will travel well.

The ohHELLno item:
Harvey Prince - Sincerely perfume

This smells like a college bookstore.
No, not in the good way.

The rest of the items:
Number 4™ Non-Aerosol Hairspray

I haven't tried this yet. I like that it's non aerosol but I'm dubious about the smell. I sprayed a bit on my hand and it smells somehow soapy, powdery, and Oriental at the same time?!? I have a feeling that's going to drive me nuts surrounding my head all day long. Once it dried on my hand I could see where I sprayed it but it didn't feel heavy or crunchy, so it seems like it would have a nice light flexible hold.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain

I received the colour Sugar which is pictured below against my hand. Normally I would pass on such a mauvey colour. It looks okay on me but I have a very similar creme lipstick. I'm curious how it will work as a stain though so I may keep it. However if I can find a way to swap for Valentine, Tulip, or Dahlia I will definitely do so.

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face

I'm pretty dubious about this one, because I have a somewhat unusual skin tone, so "One Tint Fits All" facial products rarely work for me. That said I really should wear more skin protection. I get lazy because I'm naturally tan but I'm sure that will catch up with me someday.

"Mineral" products tend to make my skin itch though so I guess it's good this sample is so skimpy. I won't feel like I'm wasting much if I end up tossing it. :/ I wouldn't even blink if I had just gotten a smaller tube in the first place, but to make a sample size tube and than not even half fill it is pretty weird.

Seriously, could you spare a bit more product?
I should be getting my Glambag within the next week or so and I'll comment on that haul once I get it.

Mail order surprise pretties

Have you ever considered a beauty subscription box? If you're the kind of person who can't even pick up cough drops without spending an hour and way too much money on random stuff in the beauty aisle (guilty) it may be just the thing for you.

Subscription boxes are a FANTASTIC way to try brands, colours, and formulations you may not have heard of much less bought full size or price. Makeup gets expensive FAST so it can be hard to invest in things you are not so sure about.

I get two beauty subscriptions every month, Birchbox and Ipsy Glam Bag. Both average about five samples per shipment and are a little more than $10 per month with shipping. I can usually expect to find one thing I really like and one thing of no use whatsoever per shipment, beyond that it varies month to month. Offerings are chosen based on a survey you fill out at joining (which can be updated any time) and as you review the things you get your orders get a bit more personalized.

FULL DISCLOSURE: both links above are my referral links and it would earn points for me if you signed up through those links. This is a feature of ALL memberships to both sites. I have no affiliation with either company and am not being compensated for this post.

On left, my January 15 Birchbox. On right my April 14 Glambag
I received my Birchbox subscription Friday and should be expecting my Glambag subscription within the next week or so, so I figured I'd talk about them generally here and then post with my shipment specifics.

I had gotten several months subscription to Birchbox as a gift a few years ago and liked it but was not impressed enough to renew on my own. Later I joined GlamBag and realised that as my interest in beauty products grew some of those previously untouched Birchbox items in the back of my makeup stash had now become my favorite products. I've had a number of moments where I just needed *one particular thing* to finish off a look and it ended up being some item I had totally dismissed when I first received it. I decided to poke around at their site again and was so impressed with the recent offerings I restarted the subscription.

Ipsy seems to lean more toward makeup products and Birchbox seems to lean more skin/haircare, but that may be the way I have my own preferences set.

One of the neat things about the Ipsy Glambag is that it comes with a unique makeup bag every month. At first this was kind of annoying as they seemed to be everywhere, but as my collection grows these bags have become essential for sorting my makeup. Off the top of my head I have separate lipstick bags for pinks, purples, reds, and copper/golds, and separate bags for eyeliners, moisturizer samples, my go-to five minute face products.

I particularly like getting lotions, masques, scrubs, nail polishes, lip products, and makeup products outside of the usual "five minute face" products (for example highlighters, shading powders, setting sprays).

I'm not interested in perfumes, pencils for the eye area (I prefer liquid liners, and powder products for both brow and shadow), and rarely get useful colours in the concealers, foundations, and eye shadows.

A friend of mine gets GlossyBox (not a referral link) and has been very happy with that subscription, but it is about twice the price of the ones I already receive so I have not yet taken the plunge. The items do however seem to be VERY nice quality and come in surprisingly large sizes so it seems like she always gets her money's worth.

I have thought about a few of the nail art boxes out there, but what I would really kill for is a hair product specific service! I had very long hair for decades which I completely babied and now have very short hair which I beat the crap out of and as a result I have bought more expensive and completely useless hair styling products than I like to think on!

How I feel every time I consider buying a new hair product
I'm tired of collecting $30 tubs of product I end up using maybe twice, so I make do with the same things over and over. I'm sure there are a lot of products I would buy in full size if I just got to try them first!

Anyone else get a beauty based subscription service? Is there anything you particularly like or dislike about them? Do you have a good swap community you can recommend for off-base products?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mini Update

These are very very tall heels.
Yep, very tall.

It's a pretty good colour for me now, but these will look *amazing* on me when I am tan. Maybe I'll toss a pic up here when I'm not wearing the sad remains of a two month old pedicure.

I probably could wear them mismatched as is, but I think I'd be better off in the smaller size. I will update here again when I hear back from Fashion Project.

I showed the bag to a friend who has a bit of a *thing* about designer bags and he says the bag is vintage (1975 in fact) and agrees that it has probably never been used, which explains why the leather is a touch dry, but otherwise perfect.

Boston, we have a problem.

Shoes and bag arrived today from Fashion Project and they ARE quite lovely and in good repair.

The shoes are a lovely rosy pink with a decided iridescent golden sheen and NO sole wear (even on the heel) and while the bag could use some leather conditioner and some time with padding in it, I'm pretty sure that it has never been used. The inside is pristine.


The shoes are two different sizes and show different amounts of (extremely light) wear (closet aging maybe? Mostly I noticed the leather on the sole is different colours).

One of these things is not like the otherOne of these things just doesn't belong.

Now admittedly I wear either a six and a half or seven depending on the shoe, and the size difference DOES match up side-wise with the slight size difference in my feet, so I wouldn't be terribly surprised if I could just wear them as is... but this is just silly.

On the plus side it gives me the opportunity to try on both of my usual sizes and see which works better! The shoes are so open I suspect it will be the six and a half (i.e. the size I actually ordered), but you never know. I'm just glad I didn't get these *for* anything so the time delay with whatever shipping I'll have to do won't mess me up.

I'm actually looking at a Tadashi Shoji dress on the site for an event in the Spring but I think we'll see how it goes talking with customer service before I buy anything else.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It's alive, it's alive!

I'm sorry, it's been pretty quiet around here as I continue to recover from the whirlwind of my wedding. 

I've been at an interesting point beauty-wise for the intervening couple of months which definitely deserves its own post, but for now I'll say I'm starting to feel like doing the pretty thing again.

It also occurred to me today that I really like talking about cheese, and I have this handy blog thing here that I neglect, so I should totally like... do something with that. I'm not an expert by any means but I am QUITE a fan and I have been trying some pretty fun stuff lately.

My actual fridge the day after Christmas.
TL:DR - You may occasionally see posts about cheese. 

Hopefully my random-person opinions on cheese (rather than the words of some fancy frommagier*) will pique your interest.  

(*I made that up).

So, on to the usual "the Itsy Bitsy" thing...

I actually did a BUNCH of beauty related retail therapy yesterday.

I've mentioned Fashion Project here before, they re-sell higher end donated clothing at problematically good prices with a significant (listed) portion of each sale benefiting the charity of the donator's choice. It's catch as catch can of course, but they have a fair amount of product on a BEAUTIFULLY navigable site so finding something good tends to be a bit TOO easy.

They have "Personal Invite Links" which give the original linker a $20 credit if a person ends up buying through that link.
I'm not saying you should definitely use my link, but it would be pretty cool if you did!

I ended up picking up a very frivolous pair of Brian Atwood "Consort" heels in pink yesterday which benefited Breast Intentions and a very functional Dooney and Bourke black pleated leather clutch which benefited Canine Assistants Inc. They pull the listing once the sale is made so I can't get to the pics to link them here, but I'll post pics once they arrive. I spent less than 30% of the list prices on the two items so I consider it good hunting rather than poor decision making.

I had a haircut after work (as always props to Fran at Cactus Salon in Holbrook) and I finally went for it and cut off the last of the hair I grew out for the wedding. I'm now back in my super short pixie happy place, though the sides are buzzed, as is the style of the time (if Instagram is to be believed anyway). I shied away from short sides for a while because it can be harsh, but I love what it does for my cheekbones so I'm playing with it.

From there I went to Ulta and got my eyebrows done at the Benefit Brow Bar at the Patchogue store. This is the fourth time I've gotten my brows done there and I've been quite happy every time.

My brows are pretty sparse so I usually have a terrible time getting someone to do them so that it comes out evenly. Sadly I'm terrible with names and I can't find the card I got, but I'm pretty sure the woman I've seen every time is named Tanya, and I like how decisive she is. I went for a higher arch than usual this time and I'm not sure if I want to stick with that, but it does look quite nice.

While I was there I also picked up some Freeman face masques as I have become rather enamored of cleansing my face with anything but soap.  I picked up the Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask and the Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask because both seemed pretty straightforward in the ingredients and low on the eye stabbing perfume.

On the nail front I got
two discounted China Glaze Pop Top sets for $10 each.
Full size China Glaze for $2.50 a bottle? Yeeeeeaaaaaah, couldn't resist that. So I got those in "Glisten Up" (the four colo
urs on the left) and "Feeling Sparkly"(the four right).

I feel a bit indecisive about what to do with my nails next but I've had naked nails for two days now so I'll probably get on that soon. I keep thinking about going for a professional pedicure and then... not. Mostly because I've spent so many afternoons at the vet lately, but that's a whole other story.

I still have approximately 1/4 of the pedicure from my wedding remaining! Sexy!