Wednesday, November 26, 2008


In my line of work, we try to think of ways to make people do things that they wouldn't ordinarily do without being forced.

Yeah, I work in the wonderful world of government policy.

Most of the time, that boils down to somehow rewarding people for good behavior.

Read: paying them.

Sneaky. But effective.

Which I why I totally respect Kiehl's for their new "Recycle and be Rewarded" program.

Here's the deal:

You bring back your Kiehl's recyclable empties and they stamp your card. The more you bring back, the more rewards you reap!

3 empties gets you one of their famous Lip Balm #1.

5 empties gets you a 2.5 oz travel collection product (perfect for styming TSA or for gym-goers)

10 empties gets you a full-sized product worth up to $25 and a new card.

Since I am a devotee of many, many Kiehl's products, I plan on getting some free stuff! I used to just include my packaging in the recycling in my house, but I think it's worth the trip to take them back to the store.

Color me incentivized.

(yup, it's a term of art)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Open Letter to Department Store Cosmetics Salespeople

Dear Salespeople in Nordstrom, Neimans, Bendels, Bergdorf's, Barneys, etc.

So...times are pretty tough, huh?

Sales are down, I know.

I know sometimes when you work in an industry that thrives on commissions and people spending money on frivolous things an economic downturn is pretty deadly. I understand the panic that I see in your eyes when I walk into the overly perfumed air near your counters.

And believe me, I am sympathetic.

I want to buy lipglosses I don't need and mascara that promises to make me stop traffic like like a five car pile-up on the Jersey Turnpike on a holiday weekend.

However, when you come swooping down with your crazy eyes and pleas of "CAN-I-INTEREST-YOU-IN-ANYTHING-NEED-ANY-HELP-CAN-I-SHOW-YOU-THIS" I just want to run away. And then I do in fact, run away. To be perfectly frank, I actually have credit to several major stores and have entered on multiple occasions intent on buying, only to be driven away by the Marrakesh bazaar-like atmosphere.

While I do love the DIY charms of my neighborhood Sephora, I've always enjoyed picking the brain of an expert at the department store. I like getting a makeover and picking my favorite product then walking out of the store feeling pretty. I like having someone show me something that I hadn't thought to try on my own.

But lately it's gotten out of hand. I think I even had a nightmare recently where the monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark was running after me with a bottle of L'Air du Temps and the latest Juicy Tube and tries to force me into buying both.

So, this has been pretty disturbing to me as well. I'd like to broker a cease-fire.

If you stop trying to harass me into trying your stuff and let me peruse the counters at my leisure, I promise to buy some stuff. In fact, be a little aloof. Read "The Rules" or something. But be there when I need something. And all will be well.

If I get wind of any attempts to slather unwanted creams on my skin or get screechy about limited offers, I swear I will take all my disposable income to the nearest Sephora and never come back.

So please. Stop the madness. Back off a little. And I promise I will start spending.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

World Gone Mad

Some days I feel like the whole world is officially on sale.

Everyone and their roommate are renting out available square footage in the DC area for the inauguration.  

(Seriously, if you want to pay me $100 bucks a night, you can crash in my tub.  It will be just like An American Tail.)

And my inbox is flooded with desperate emails from retailers all but paying us to take merchandise off their hands.

I've been ignoring most of these, just like I ignore friends who have "suddenly" gotten back in touch through Facebook, but one caught my eye.

Starting November 21st at Cusp, basically the whole store will be 40% off.

The sale will be in stores and online, so feel free to do a little browsing at work.

Just tell your boss I said it was ok.   In this topsy turvy universe, that just might fly.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gossip Girl: Bonfire of the Vanity



On Blair, at least.

Looking gorge in an Alice and Olivia dress....

Mixing it up in a Bill Blass top (available online in the Queen's currency and altered to be backless)...
Continuing her love affair with Marc Jacobs Scribble fabric (looks like it was only on the runway)...

And with the other love of her life, Milly, but this one seems to only be available in Canada.

Damned Canucks.

My favorite ID?

Gossip Girl: There Might Be Blood

Sorry for the delay!  This will be a quick double header, mostly because Serena has decided to display her chest instead of actually wearing clothes and Jenny has forsaken pants altogether.

Exhibit A in pants-less-ness.

Tights are not pants people!

Live it.

Alas, only Blair shows brilliance in actually wearing clothes, as shown by her gorgeous red silk Catherine Malandrino dress.

Tune in for the next episode where hopefully the stylist earned his paycheck but putting together whole outfits, not just halvsies.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Gossip Girl: Pret-a-Poor-J

Sorry for the belated recap, election stuff, blah blah....

This episode was chock full o ugly, what with Jenny chopping her hair and going buck wild with a black eyeliner.

Serena's handbag is my favorite here...not her uber-skintight outfit.  The Devi Kroell hobo bag is fantastic, I've long coveted one of these bags.  But alas, even if I sold my soul to the Devil, it wouldn't cover the cost of that bag.

A more affordable luxury would be Blair's Marc by Marc Jacobs plaid skirt, a nice twist from the standard black watch.  It was available in the Chicago store when I visited, but be warned...skirts are shorter than they appear on TV.

The only thing worth looking at at that RISD post-student show was Blair's Temperley London dress.  Certainly not that doofy guest star artist.  Blech.

Lastly, and I can't find a good picture, Blair wears a green Rachel Comey blouse that would be perfect with a pencil skirt for a day at the office.  I'll race you to Barney's in Georgetown...