Monday, April 30, 2007

Smooth Sailing

Holy Hearing Hell.

That's basically all I have to say about what's been going on with my life. Well, that and scotch.

My schedule has actually gotten so bad that I have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to get to the gym. Otherwise, my daily exercise will consist soley of running from office building to Starbucks at Federal Center SW to office building to Starbucks on Pennsylvania Avenue to office building. While that may sound like it burns a lot of calories, I more than make up for it in sugary milky caffeine tainted goodness.

So my daily routine now consists of waking up from dreams where I am forced to enter a hearing and tell the Chairman that I am going to take over the gavel and put the government on strike, getting to the gym and sleep-ellipticizing through a workout, showering and finally dashing out the door to get to work on time.

You'll notice that this leaves exactly zero time for hair styling. However, since the weather finally decided to act its season, I can face the elements without worry that I will end up with icicles for locks. But it certainly doesn't mean that my hair won't be frizzy, fluffy and all kinds of whacked out wavy.

Biolage smootherapie Smoothing Gel to the rescue! A tiny dab of this worked into the ends of my hair before I bolt from my apartment and by the time I get there I have smooth, shiny waves. No blow drying, no irons, no nothing. Which looks much better on C-SPAN in my dreams when I burst into a hearing room screaming "Stop the madness!!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007


The white shirt is a classic piece in any woman's wardrobe. Button-ups (or downs, depending on where you grew up) are also a staple in a starched town like DC. But so many of them leave you wanting for something a little more out there, a little unique, and a little special.

One of my most favorite places for a shirt with a little zip is Anne Fontaine. I'm also a little mad for anything French. While the woman behind the label is actually Brazilian, the style is classic French. The entire store is nothing but black and white shirts in the coolest, chicest styles imagineable.

The problem is that most of them are way beyond my staffer's budget. Even when they are on sale. Let's face it, even if I sold my soul to the Devil, they would still be out of my price range.

But I love the idea of a crisp white shirt with a little bit of a twist. Which is why I was super excited when I heard that Gap was partnering with three up-and-coming designers to do limited edition white shirts.

Seriously, I ditched work 15 minutes early yesterday to hightail it to a Gap.

Each designer; Doo.Ri, Thakoon, and Rodarte; took a basic white shirt and put three different spins on it. This sounds so much like a Project Runway challenge. The results are awesome, and quite affordable.

I tried on all of them, and, while the Thakoon ones look great on the models and the hangers, they looked ridiculous on me. The puffed sleeves were just too silly, but I could see them looking better on someone taller and more broad shouldered. The Doo.Ri shirts were very cute, much more angular, but the real winners for me were the Rodarte shirts.

I've been a fan of Rodarte for a few seasons, especially their work with big fabric rosettes. I snagged all three of their shirts, a little sleeveless trapeze top with a pleated mock turtle, a dress in a similar shape with pockets in the front, and the tank top adorned with what look like farfalle pasta bows.

All in all, I really think it's nice for Gap to jump on the designer bandwagon and put out something more interesting than a ribbed tank top, but given their history with fashion-fowardness (cough...SJP and Lenny one wears their Gap jeans with Louboutins...cough) it might not fly.

So, until I actually sell my soul (know any lobbying groups hiring?) and can afford Anne Fontaine, I certainly plan on wearing my shirts...just as soon as the sun decides to ever shine again...

Also, next up from the Target Go International line...Paco Rabanne designer Patrick Robinson. I loved his revival at Perry Ellis and am eager to see what he turns out for Target.
P.S. Mom, despite the way the shirts look, I SWEAR they are not maternity clothes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

10 Things I Hate

People who listen to their voicemail on speakerphone;

Men who have shoes that make more noise than mine when they walk;

That I can never seem to really clean my coffeemaker;

That the perfect pair of shoes on sale for next to nothing is always a full size too small;

People who can not figure out how to use their SmartCard properly;

Anyone who says "knock, knock" outside my office instead of actually just knocking;

Girls who think it's cute to wear dresses that barely covers their asses, get sloppy drunk, and dance around slamming into people, saying crude things and touching other people's boyfriends (yes, table full of drunk girls at Blue Gin last weekend, I mean you);

That the shadows in the NARS duos are not available individually;

People who ask and answer their own questions as a form of conversation;

That the storm of the century totally derailed my plans to spend a leisurely afternoon in the Barney's beauty department this weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jumbo Jet Liners

Eyeliners are awesome.

Okay, fine, I say this about just about every beauty product, but I really mean it this time!

Seriously though, they can define your eyes, enhance your lashes, wake up a look, and what other product, when applied with the hand of a third-grader with the shakes can be smudged and then called a look?

I'm not even going to try to say that I'm good at putting on eyeliner. But I've got Q-tips, and, contrary to what Paul McCartney says, that is all you need.

Lately I've been intrigued by brightly colored eyeliners. Since my "going out makeup" has recently look a whole lot like my "work makeup" and my "waking up having forgotten to take off my makeup because I was working on a briefing book last night makeup" I decided it was time to branch out.

While I wandered, weak and weary, through Sephora, nothing was really grabbing my eye and was about to give up and check out the Sephora brand nail polishes, when I noticed their Jumbo Eyeliner pencils. They come in a multitude of hot metallic shades and cost a jaw dropping five dollars.

No, really, I think my jaw dropped, which was unfortunate because I think I was inhaling a latte at the time. Those little cotton pads are not quite as good as Bounty for mopping up spills, let me tell you.

I picked up an emerald green and a dark violet pencil, both of which I have worn out on the town to great effect. least I felt more dressed up than when I go to work.

They aren't the softest of pencils, so I might recommending warming the tip with a hair dryer (ON LOW!!) for a second or rolling between your fingers to aid in application. But for trying out a color that you are not so sure of, this is the way to go.

Next up...I might try a blue mascara. I know! I know! I'm such a trend whore. I'm like the sucker kid in an afterschool special on peer pressure where Rachel Zoe is playing the pusher.

Also, a killer idea, DuWop has a pencil sharpener with an antibacterial blade! Yes! Cooties begone! No pink-eye for this girl.

photos courtesy of

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ask CapHillBarbie: Cutting the Losses

That's right! After an absurdly long hiatus, here another edition of "Ask CapHillBarbie!" But this time I need all the locals in the house to pipe up to help out Delia who writes:

Being a Washingtonian for most of my life, I've borne witness to the trials and tribulations of the hairstyles of politicians, their wives, and other transplants while laughing to myself. The joke was thus: I already had a stylist. A stylist to end all other stylists. Colorist to color all others jealous. Then, three years ago, the joke was on me and he packed up and moved to Arizona under cover of night, and I have been lost ever since. Do you have any recommendations, or could you poll your beauty colleagues of DC to help me find one?

I totally understand the pain of losing a stylist. I used to trek up to NY for the most fabulous hair cuts until my stylist decided to pack it in and move to Iowa. Seriously? Iowa? What is going on here? Is there something in the corn there that makes people want to leave a place like New York? Can't we have it shipped? I mean, my strawberries probably come from Mars, what is so great about Iowa?

Wow, I was seriously bitter about that.

However, through lots of deep breathing, soul searching and alcohol, I have finally come to peace with it. I have fallen in love with my current stylist, Paul at Serenity Day Spa in Tenleytown. He gives a great cut, fantastic color and he's an awesome gossip. I have referred many a friend to him and no one has come away disappointed.

But I believe that there are many other talented stylists who have loyal clientele out there, so speak up! Help out a sister in need and let us know if you have a hair stylist who you can bear to part with, for even one open appointment...

question was heavily edited as I am a little punchy this early in the morning. And yes, I mean 10:30 a.m.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cake Walk

I've honestly never really been a fan of cake. Love icing, just not the stuff underneath it.

I was always the weird kid at birthday parties who begged for the slice with the frosting rose, then ate all the icing and left soggy cake wedges behind and ran off in a sugar induced frenzy. While I'm a decent cook (with a kicking manicure, thanks Giada!) I've never been a good baker. And I really only got into the cupcake craze for the cute accessories and the high icing to cake ratio.

So I was totally psyched when I got a moisturizer that sounded like it was made from icing! Buttercream, from DuWop promised to be dessert for my body. Yum. Who isn't into that?

But when I smelled it I noticed it didn't quite smell like icing. It actually smells exactly like cake batter. Coffee cake batter, to be exact. Which is good, because my one big exception to the cake-hating rule is for a really good coffee cake.

The lotion goes on smoothly and sinks in really fast. While the smells lingers, it's not over powering, and given the cold snap, I only notice the smell occasionally and I don't have hungry co-workers following me around waiting to pounce.

Little known fact: government workers are vultures when it comes to cake, especially free cake. It turns into Shaun of the Dead around here when it's someone's birthday. Actually, that's probably pretty widely known.

So I'm soft and pretty, smell nice, and am safely protected from cake-eating zombies. The only problem is that I sometimes get a hankering for a slice of cake...

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stop It! I'm Blushing!

I've never been one of those people who ever thought I would wear blush. I would turn fuschia when I got called on in law school classes, I have been asked by numerous spin teachers if I have a medical condition since I turn purple after 10 minutes on a bike, and I get sunburned by the light of the moon.

Well, let's just say that none of those looks are particularly attractive. So, in lieu of Mother Nature, I rely on that other goddess of the Earth, Sephora.

I have always stuck to powder blushes, namely NARS in Sin and Orgasm.

But lately, I have been drawn to alternative forms of blushing. I haven't discarded my beloved powders yet, but I'm certainly becoming a fan of something fast and dirty that I can apply with my fingers. Is that weird?

First up, I broke down after my Peter Som lip induced craze and bought the Lancome Magique Blushes in Pink Softness and Feminine Rose. The former is a hot pink, more suitable to going out on the town and deserves to be the center of attention on your face, but the latter is a pale pink with gold sparkles which plays well with others. The texture is kind of like chocolate mousse, it melts onto your fingers and can also be applied with a blush brush. However, sometimes it can be hard to control how much you pick up when you dip into the jar, leaving you open to drastic over-blushing.

Second, I had picked up a tube of Delux Beauty's Flush Stick on sale when Sephora was phasing it out. I was worried I would have to tell you that it was no longer available, but it seems to be all good on their own website. Which is nice, because it's one of my favorites. I wear Fuschia, which isn't nearly as bright as it sounds. It goes on sheerly and gives me a nice natural flush. Not like I sprinted to catch a Metro or anything, more like a brisk walk in the tunnels between House Office Buildings.

Third, the most recent option to enter my life is the DuWop Blush Therapy. It smells like aromatherapy and looks like a Push Pop. What's not to love? It comes in some great pretty shades and goes on lightly and blends easily. I've been using Elixir, which is an almost bricky red, which gives me a sunkissed look, but I've got my eye on Retreat, a soft berry color.

So...I hope I've inspired you to look beyond the compact and get all alterna on your blush's ass. I just wouldn't suggest walking around with your skirt tucked into your tights to acheive that oh-so-cute-aren't-I-embarrassed natural glow.

photos courtesy of,, and

Happy Birthday to Me!!


Yup, that's right. One year ago today, my little baby blog was born.

Honestly, I'm kind of astounded that I have lasted this long, what with my gnat-like attention span, minor idiocy and ridonculous working schedule. Also, I'm still flabbergasted that anyone actually wants to read anything I write. But I have loved writing every post (by the way, this is also post number 150) and loved being able to try so many beauty products and learn so much from all of you.

Ok, I'm done being sappy...I think as a birthday present to myself, I might go pick up a new mascara, maybe even pre-order Tim Gunn's new book (seriously, I'm buying whatever he is selling) and kick back tonight with my mini bottle of Cava and celebrate.
Love you all!

photo courtesy of

Monday, April 02, 2007

It's a Lash-Off!

About a week ago, while perusing my local CVS, I noticed a fire sale on mascaras. I instantly snagged a tube of the Cover Girl Volume Exact as I thoroughly enjoyed the tube of the Lash Exact that I reviewed last year, and the endless takes of the Top Model girls flubbing their lines.

But the more time I spent in the cosmetic aisle, the more I wanted a competitor. The new plastic porcupine applicators are all the rage, and I wanted to see if they were all the same. After checking out the Maybelline version (and seeing that it wasn't on sale) I picked up L'Oreal's Telescopic. Perhaps I was just intrigued by Penelope Cruz's accent.

And the Cosmetics Deathmatch was born.

First up, the Volume Exact. And let's just say I was unimpressed. Clumps, clumps, some smearing on my eyelid, and barely noticeable lashes. That sums up the experience. I threw it back in the makeup bag.

Next, the Telescopic. Better darkening, but again with the clumping! I ended up having like three big lashes. I looked like a knock-off anime character. But, it seemed better than the Volume Exact, so I kept using it.

A day or so later, my annoyance with the Telescopic reached a fever pitch. Much like my annoyance with Penelope Cruz's dismal acting in American movies. The mascara is so wet. Although I heard once that wetness is the essence of beauty. And clump-inducing. And difficult to wash off.

I reached again for the Volume Exact. This time, I was careful when applying so as not to smear and ended up with decent lashes. Not that voluminous, but I could actually tell that I had more than four lashes between my two eyes. As I continued to use the Volume Exact, I found that my lashes looked natural and pretty, but lacked something at night.

With that in mind, I tried out the Telescopic again. For the last time. I just don't like it. This time, my lashes were actually spiky, instead of soft and flexible.

And we have a winner! Kind-of.

I can't really recommend either, so I would advise everyone to keep moving, and pick a more traditional time-tested variety, like L'Oreal's Voluminous or Cover Girl's Lash Exact (for some reason better than the Volume Exact. Go figure.)

I'm still searching for a new mascara to love, so if you know of a good candidate, let me know! Also, has anyone tried the Maybelline version?

photos courtesy of and