Monday, January 29, 2007

Just Right!

I have sort of an issue with variety. I'm not really into it. Or, I should really say, I only like variety when it comes in a very narrow range.

I have about seven black skirts, fifty-three pink lipglosses, fourteen brown get the picture.

But all of these slight variations either serve different purposes or was a part of a quest to find something mythically perfect. Like Mr. Right or an ethical lobbyist.

just kidding! please don't stop taking me to lunch.

In my ongoing quest for the perfect neutral nail polish, there have been many casualties.

Bubble Bath by OPI: Giada's fave is a little too white on me to be perfect.

Ballet Slippers by Essie: Ditto.

Mademoiselle by Essie: Too pink.

Ador-a-ball by Essie: Too sheer.

Pinking of You by OPI: One coat is too sheer, two coats are too pink.

Please note that I do like all of these, they just aren't PERFECT.

However, I think I have a contender for "just right." Deborah Lippman's Sarah Smile.

I was given a bottle as a Christmas present and I think it has just the right about of opaquity (opaqueness? I am just making up my own language here, just call me e.e., or c. h. barbie) and the right amount of pinky whiteness. It sets off my skintone well and looks sophisticated and girly at the same time.

I just wish that I coordinated enough to have applied it and not ruined my manicure in the span of an hour.

Tiny Dancer

When I was younger, I took ballet lessons and loved it. From the moment my mom stitched the elastic to my first pair of tiny Capezios, I was hooked. I went faithfully to The Nutcracker every Christmas season and I pranced around on my tippy toes as often as possible.

However, there came a point at which my parents sat me down and we had a frank discussion about how I simply wasn't good enough at ballet to get into Julliard or make a career out of it and I stopped taking dance lessons.

I started first grade with a heavy heart.

Seriously, I can't even touch my toes, there was no way in hell I was going to actually be a good dancer.

And it's all too bad, because I am obsessed with the fashions of ballet. I love the look of knotted buns in my hair, those filmy little skirts, footless tights, the rocking combination of baby pink and black, the fact that leg warmers can be worn without irony...everything.

And I have to say that I think Vera Wang did the trend right this spring...

Love the volume tempered with airyness to create a look without adding bulk.

Here, I love the sheerness of the layers and the cut of the tank, over a grownup version of footless tights.

How cool does the haphazard looking, yet strategically placed sweater look over a lightweight dress?

The more I see, the more I can't wait until spring gets here. I'm planning on picking up some lightweight tops and trying to stalk the dancers from Washington School of Ballet on my bus to ask them where they picked up their duds.

Maybe I'll even enroll in an adult you think my mom would be willing to break out the sewing kit one more time?

photos of Vera Wang Spring 2007 Runway show courtesy of

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Better Late then Never...right?

Hey, remember how about...hmmm...I don't know...A THOUSAND YEARS AGO I told you that I was interested in scooping up the famed Cle de Peau concealer at it's budget-busting price tag? Remember how I hemmed and hawed and whined about how expensive it was? Remember how most of you told me to suck it up and stop being a baby and just buy it?


Well, here's deja vu all over again.

So I decided to take all of your advice and bite the bullet. I eventually did trek up to Barney's and staked out the counter while a sales associate dutifully ignored me. When I finally got her attention and explained that I was interested in the concealer, she spackled a little on, took a step back and pronounced it "all wrong for me."

This is a first, dear readers.

A makeup artist telling you NOT to buy their product.

She dragged me over to the YSL counter and ordered the artist there to show me the Touche Eclat. Which he did. And I bought it. But the thing about the Touche is that it's not really a concealer. It's a highlighter. It is very similar to the Benefit Eye Bright, in that it brightens, and will cover small circles, but on it's own can do very little for my gigundo dark bags.

No joke, the YSL guy actually said, "well, you must be very stressed out!" To which I replied, "actually, this is baseline for me sweetie." Insert shocked and uncomfortable silence here.

So, while I enjoy my Touche (not tush, Touche, stop giggling!) it left me wanting for a new true concealing option.

I took a mosey down to M.A.C., since a commenter had sworn by their line, and fell hard for the Select MoistureCover, a creamy liquid concealer with a lipgloss-esque applicator. The thing I liked best about M.A.C. was that they have a really wide variety of formulas, applicator types and shades.

But I was left a little unfulfilled by the whole set up. Then on a recent stroll through Sephora, I started playing around with the Delux products and their Concealer. Housed in a little lucite box, the drier cake formula gives me a little better undereye coverage. I also noticed that they were all half off. Sold!

Unfortunately, the fact that the Delux products were on sale probably means that they are being discontinued, so if you are so inclined, run out now and snap these up. If not, I happen to know that a great heavy duty drier concealer to try is Dermablend's Cover Creme. Recommended by plastic surgeons and dermatologists for patients, the product is best used when warmed on your fingertips and tapped under eyes gently. You can even mix it with a little eye cream to make your own little creamy formula.

You little Betty Crocker, you!

As for me, I think I'm satisfied with my current tools to hide the evidence of my long sleepless nights (or just my everyday life) but you never know when the urge to find something better will come along.

Until then...

photos courtesy of,,, and Dermablend is also available at Ulta.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

DCentric Media Alert: Mary hates your outfit

Today's New York Times coverage was shockingly DC focused. And I'm certainly not talking about their coverage of real political issues, hard hitting news or current events.

I mean the fluffy style sections!

Puh-lease, you know that is totally what I flip to first.

First up, a huge article about the fashions of women in the Capitol. The main gist of the article is that paying attention to what your wearing while you stalk the halls of Congress is no longer makes you a moron. Close up on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's sharp suits (apparently she favors Armani and pearls the size of my head) and I have to say I do love that eggplant suit that she wore to the swearing in.

Other highlights: Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA) hates St. John suits and the women who wear them (no word on how she feels about Angelina Jolie's Golden Globe dress though)...Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) splurges on Ferragamo pumps...Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) got flack from constituents for highlighting her hair...Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) shops for St. John suits on eBay (and probably gets nasty looks from Mary).

My take? I appreciate the acknowledgement from women of power that it's okay to care about how you look and know that I don't have to dress like Mamie Eisenhower to come to work, but I have to say, I once saw Mary Bono in Rayburn and thought she was a staffer up until the moment she swung her Crystal Gale hair away and I saw her member's pin. True story.

Second on the agenda: a laugh out loud piece in the Home section about bunkmates Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) who crash with Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and William Delahunt (D-MA) at Miller's crib on Capitol Hill. Apparently, these guys pay less in rent than I do to share a house with three other members of Congress.

Notable discoveries: They have no food in the house (not the House) and live among vermin. The shocker? Chuck Schumer's dirty habits! Allegedly, he never makes the bed and bogarts the cereal. What up with that, Chuck?

My take? Boys living together is gross anyways. Add power to the mix and its like Lord of the Flies meets All Politics is Local. If Schumer picks his nose and puts his finger in the peanut butter, the whole government might come crashing down around us.

my gym buddy

Third, G-Steph is moving up in the world, finishing second in whatever TV sweeps race he is in. Must be all those early morning sessions at WSC next to me on the elliptical.

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Someone get GAO on this STAT!

Holy weather whiplash, Batman!

It was 70 degrees over the weekend and now the high is barely scraping the 40s?

Does anyone else feel as though this might be the sign of the coming apocalypse?

Damn you Al Gore and your knowledge dropping movies!! But thanks for the internet, it's swell.

I have finally found it necessary to break out all manner of cashmere and wool and commenced with bundling. You can now throw me into walls and I bounce. I look like that kid in A Christmas Story in the snowsuit.

I have also found that, much like a reptile, I am perpetually scaly and dry. I have begun a regimen whereby I slather on Kiehl's Creme de Corps at night and the Creme de Corps Lightweight in the morning. Then, I Rosebud up for the walk to my office where I apply the Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve all day.

I singlehandedly keep Kiehl's in business it would seem.

this is what is takes to make me not look like Voldemort even a little.

But nothing seems to work!! I'm so depressed, I need advice from the North and West! Post your best advice on how to keep the moisture inside of me (as opposed to the evil air, whcih totally doesn't deserve it!) in the comments below!

photos courtesy of

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Makeup by Crayola

Once...when I was little...I received the 64 pack of Crayola crayons. With the sharpener on the box. It was pretty much the highlight of my existence (and still is).

every child's dream come true

I'm sure most of you had a similar experience of getting a brand new set of crayons or paints when you were younger and just stared at all the perfect array of brilliant dazzling colors. I came really close to never using any of them just to keep them in perfect condition and I remember hoping that I could come up with something interesting enough to draw to live up to the glory of all those pretty crayons.

I get a similar feeling sometimes when I stand at a makeup counter. In particular at a MAC counter.

For some reason, MAC always scares me off just a touch. The sales people are often in very bright, expertly done makeup with dyed hair and tattoos. It makes me feel very preppy and vanilla. But they have the most fantastic selection of colors.

I recently sucked it up braved a trip to the MAC store in Georgetown where I discovered Shadesticks. A cross between a Crayola and those mechanical twist-up pencils, the creamy shadow is in a stick that you just swipe over your eye.

I was originally attracted to the bright eggplant color, but balked a little when I thought about how it would look to the LD when I flounce in on Monday with eyeshadow that made me look like I had been in a barfight. My salesperson saw the fear in my eyes and steered me towards to more neutral colors, Beige-ing and Fresh Cement. The former is a shimmery taupe color while the latter has more of a slate grey tone to it. Alone, the Beige-ing gives me a subtle, more innocent look, but layered together makes for a sophisticated daytime eye.

The best thing is that they seem particularly crease resistant. I know because I sat there yesterday in back to back boring briefings blinking (again with the alliteration! I know, it must stop) rapidly in an effort to stay awake with nary a crease.

I'm like them so much that I'm considering trying out the fearsome purple. Or maybe MAC would sell them in a set like Crayola. Or maybe I could stop snoozing during briefings. could happen.

photos courtesy of and

Monday, January 08, 2007

Going the Distance

So this is going to be my first full week of work in a MONTH.

Shoot me now.

Anyhoo, I've got to come up with something to keep me plugging away here until Friday, when I mercifully get another three-day-weekend.

I think it's ok to hate people in the government just a little bit. I would if I didn't work here.

Over the holidays I did take a quick spin out to Tyson's corner to brave the holiday crowds and check out the Cusp store.

By way of background (love those constituent letter writing skillz!), Cusp is an offshoot boutique of Neiman Marcus that caters to a younger, hipper clientele. They carry mostly lines like 3.1 Philip Lim, Theory, Diane Von Furstenberg, trendy jeans, etc. which are carried at the larger stores. However, they also create a "lifestyle boutique" feel, similar to Colette in Paris by adding a few select jewelry pieces and beauty products.

The first think I noticed was that they had the much coveted Tom Ford Black Orchid Scent. People have been raving about this all over the Internet, but, much like "Snakes on a Plane", the Internet hype did not translate for me and I ended up just gagging.

I have major smell issues. And major issues with Samuel L. Jackson's project choices.

They also carry the Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat, the Shu Uemera eyelash curler and other such greatest hits. But the best part about the whole store?

Jemma Kidd Makeup School products!!

As this is the only place in the DC area where I have seen this sold, this totally made my year (c'mon, it's only the 8th! I reserve the right to revise my remarks). They don't have the full line, but they do have an ample supply of her Semi-Permanent Lasting Tint.

Look at the cute hot pink packaging!!!

I snatched up a tube and ran home.

During the first few days of the 110th Congress I have tried it out and I can report that it is a keeper, although perhaps not a substitute for my current fave Tarte mascara. It is very thin, and goes on very dark, but doesn't provide quite the oomph and fattening that I prefer when going out on the town.

But holy poo, is it waterproof! Stayed on during a spin class (the first in like three weeks, I was sweating like a subpoenaed witness on CSPAN), stayed on during post workout shower, stayed on through the next morning, just curled and went. Seemed to disappear after about 48 hours, with no telltale dark circles.

Basically, I find this perfect for lazier weekends when makeup is a huge hassle or on workdays when you are actually working, not roaming the halls trying to find someone to flirt with.

Not that I ever do that.

photo courtesy of