Sunday, April 28, 2013

Red Sole Society

Anyone who has even a remote interest in the fashion industry knows of all the big-name shoe designers including Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman and the great granddaddy of them all, Christian Louboutin (pronounced LOO-bi-Tawn).

Christian Louboutin has only been in business since the early 1990s, yet his signature red sole has become an iconic symbol recognized and coveted by shoe lovers everywhere.  Pay close attention the next time you see a Hollywood starlet on the big screen.  When she walks away, if you know what to look for, you'll most likely get a glimpse of red tapping against the pavement.  If you listen carefully, you may even hear it whisper, "I'm too good for you."

That's exactly the way I feel whenever I see someone authoritatively strutting by in a pair of Louboutins as though she owns the room--(and if you know how much a typical pair costs, it's a safe bet to say she probably does own the room!)  It's as though that woman is a member of an exclusive, high-society club that is extremely scrutinizing about its members.  I can almost imagine the salesperson who sold them to her sealing the deal with a secret handshake.  I sooooo want to be in that club, yet at the same time, I could never justify dropping a couple months' rent for a pair of shoes.  I would rather have a closet full of reasonably priced shoes than a single pair that costs in the four digits.

Maybe someday if I win the lottery, I'll be able to join the Louboutin club, but in the meantime, I'll just stick with my trusty, favorite brands that won't (entirely) break my bank. Don't get me wrong--I'd absolutely LOVE to own a pair of Louboutins, and I wouldn't even turn up my nose in exclusivity as a member of the club--but I'm not about to sell my soul for the famous red sole.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gladiator, Begone!

There are few fashion trends that I look upon with utter contempt, but as I flipped through the glossy pages of People Style Watch the other day, I was reminded of one of them: the gladiator sandal.  The phrase "Long live the gladiator!" springs to mind as this strappy eye sore of a sandal simply refuses to die.  With the passing of each spring and summer season, the hideous sandals make a reappearance on the pages of (gasp) fashion magazines.

In my mind, gladiator sandals are right up there with Ugg boots.  I mean, come on people, they're called Uggs for crying out loud!  Coincidence?  I think not.  With the exception of young girls--and when I say young, I mean toddlers--no grown woman should sport these awful boots.  They give off the vibe that you're not even trying.  It's like rolling out of bed and going to college classes in your pajamas.

Another trend I can't seem to wrap my head around is Crocs.  I get the whole idea of comfort, but seriously--that's why God invented the flip flop!  Crocs sandals are the equivalent of wearing elastic-waistband pants on your feet, and that is just completely unacceptable for people under the age of 70. 

If you're of the school that gladiator sandals are cute, then I regret offending you; however, I am willing to take you shoe shopping.  Same goes for Ugg boots, but I'm sorry, if you stand behind Crocs, then you're already beyond help. 

Death to the gladiator---for the love of fashion, please go away!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013



I want to be Don Draper. No, really.  I want to be Don Draper in a dress.  More specifically, a floral-print, fit 'n flare number sported by the likes of Mrs. Betty (ex) Draper or a brightly colored, mod shift dress frequently worn by the current Mrs. Draper, the lovely Megan.

As you can see, I'm in love with Mad Men.  In fact, with each episode I catch on Netflix, I'm becoming more and more obsessed with life at an advertising agency in the 1960s. Hey, what can I say?  I was an advertising major in my former life, and the show combines my love for creativity and fashion.  What more could I ask for in a TV drama series?

The only thing (well, one of the things) that bugs me about the show is the way women were treated back in that era.  (The other is all the infidelity!  Geez, was every married man sleeping with his secretary?!)  Like I was saying, either you were a housewife, or if you worked, a secretary.  Even Peggy overcame the odds when Don promoted her to a junior copywriting position.  I don't mean to get up on my women's lib soapbox--in fact, I'm far from what you'd call a "feminist"; however, I do believe women should be given equal rights in the workplace.

Thankfully, things have changed since the 60s--although, it's still difficult as hell to land any job at an agency--much less, a creative job.  Believe me, I'd settle for a starting position as a secretary at an ad agency any day of the week just to get my foot in the door.  Little did I know how cutthroat an industry I'd chosen.  Imagine my naivety as a college student with big dreams of a becoming a copywriter at a well-established ad agency in a fancy corner office with a view.  To this day, I can't tell you the number of times I've scolded my mother for allowing me to choose advertising as my major.  Even knowing what I know now, though, I still don't believe I would have gone any other way.  I truly have a passion for all things creative.

I'm sure the TV show glamorizes life at an agency.  I mean, who really drinks bourbon at 9:30 a.m.?!  Ad men in that era drank on the job, smoked a couple packs a day, took long lunches to wine and dine clients, and then left the office early on occasion with no one to answer to for doing so.  What a life!  No wonder they could crank out amazing creative for account after account.  Of course, they probably all have lung cancer and saddlebags for faces by now.

In reality, or at least today's reality, (from what I hear) agency life is some serious hard work.  It's all about deadlines, writing and then re-writing (and re-writing again) to please the client.  It's many late nights and lots of weekends.  You practically sell your soul when you commit your life to an agency.  But how exciting to do something everyday that you love and that you're truly good at.

While I'm thankful to have a current position as a copywriter for a large retail company, I still long for a creative, agency job.  I guess I need someone like Roger Sterling to give me a chance to prove myself.  So if anyone reading this blog has connections (wink wink), hook a girl up!  In the meantime, I'll just continue to dress in vintage-style clothing and head off to my office job in a 6x6' cubicle everyday with dreams of someday making it to the big leagues as a MAD WoMAN.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The "Blinc" of an Eye

I don't typically write many beauty product reviews, although I have used my fair share of products in my lifetime.  I'm a self-proclaimed product junkie, so I've actually used many people's fair share.  Since my last blog post was about the backwoods brothers of Duck Dynasty, I felt the need to return to my fashion and beauty roots for my next article...thus, a review of my new fave mascara, Blinc.

Not only have I tried almost every mascara on the market, I've researched and sold many as well.  I know every drugstore favorite and higher-end prestige brand and their reputations from fellow junkies.  Until a few weeks ago, my long-standing favorite mascara was Definicils by Lancome--despite its hefty price tag of $27.

I recently asked a girlfriend to share with me her favorite brand of mascara, and I was disappointed to learn it was Benefit's Bad Gal Lash, which I had already tried and soon after regarded as simply "eh."  She asked if I'd ever heard of the kind that tubes your lashes.  What's this?  A new product I've not yet heard of?  How is this possible?  I was shocked.  Please tell me more about this tubing mascara called Blinc!

Apparently, it's a big seller on QVC, which I don't make a habit of watching very often.  It's not as though I need further encouragement to shop.  Well, I looked up information and product reviews on Blinc mascara's web site and was interested to learn it's not like your typical waterproof mascara.  While it is, in fact, waterproof--it easily washes off with only warm water.  You see, it actually creates a "tube" around each individual lash.  In order to remove it, all you have to do is hold a warm, wet rag on your lash line for a few seconds and then wipe the tubes off.  Each tube actually slips off.  In fact, had I not read about the removal process, I may have mistaken the tubes for my actual lashes and freaked out over the immense hair loss.

Since I wasn't blessed with the natural lashes of a diva, I must rely on my Shu Uemura lash curler and some hard-core mascara.  While Blinc mascara truly separates and defines each lash, it doesn't help enhance the curl.  I find myself curling my lashes, coating them with a single application of Blinc mascara and then recurling once the mascara has had time to dry.  My only complaint with Blinc is how wet it goes on, so you really have to be careful not to smudge it onto your eyelids.  Other than that, it makes my lashes look better than they've ever looked before, and it doesn't rub off or run.

Not surprisingly, Blinc mascara doesn't come cheap, but I also am a firm believer that you get what you pay for.  It's not absurdly expensive at $26 a pop, and the site offers free shipping in the U.S.  I've searched near and far, high and low, for my holy grail mascara, and I think I've finally found it in Blinc.  I feel like shedding a tear of joy--but it's okay, my mascara is waterproof.   ; )