Maven pick: It's all a blur when it comes to perfect looking skin

Good morning, Wednesday. New York, I love you, but this weather...oy. Enough, already. Let's see some sunshine for the love of the Lord. I'm listening to the "Flashdance" soundtrack to try and get through it. That's how bad it is. 

So as someone who writes for beauty brands from time to time, I'm attuned to the buzzwords and buzzed about launches that help create trends. From BB to CC cream to "glowtion" there's always something new happening to keep beauty big spenders reaching for their wallets.

And the notion of "blur" is not new when it comes to beauty, but lately, I find myself LOVING it. It's been a hot summer in the city and too much makeup can feel like an oil slick on your face. I'm loving all the great "makeup/no makeup" options out there that just blur out the skin and smooth it out vs. going into heavy coverage territory. And in this age of Instagram filters, who doesn't want to look selfie ready in real life? 

Currently in my personal rotation?

StriVectin's Line BlurFector™ is all that and a bag of chip. Sure, I wrote for them for a while so this may seem shameless, but truly- it is a wonderful primer that will completely change the way you look at makeup. You can wear this line smoothing product all alone, or you can use it to provide a smooth yet non greasy base to makeup. Either way, it makes your skin look flawless. Big thumbs up. Not just because I helped launch it. ;) Truly great for women who don't love to wear makeup, and also perfect for those who do as a base for foundation, tinted moisturizer, or anything else.

Also it's no secret I've been fan girling over Kiehl's newest products of late- and their Micro-Blur Skin Perfector™ is just the most. I also love to use it as both primer and tinted moisturizer- it's not a lot of coverage but is a great canvas for a cream blush and a bit of highlighter. I'm so onboard.

One more to help blur the lines between makeup and skincare is Benefit's POREfessional. It's more for gals who have large pores and are prone to oily skin- it gives skin that airbrushed look and tones down shine.

So if you can't see your way out of the fog this morning, why not just blur it?

Cause that's what's up this perfect finish of a Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in being ready for that close up. XO

Maven recommends: Go bold or go home with this new hue

Good late morning/noonish, Tuesday. It's a shite day in New York today and I for one could use a bit of color. I know- weird, right?

Sure I'm as much an all black everything kinda chick like most New York gals, but I am prone to wacky prints and occasionally, I'll connect to a color that I want to wear all the time. That color happens to be Pantone's color of 2018, Ultraviolet aka purple. I LURV this shade. As a coppery redhead, it's a great color for me, and ever since I saw this No. 21 dress in the window of a fav shop in my neighborhood, I wanted this hue in my life. And I'm coveting it in a big way. Right now, the big designers like No. 21 and Gucci are doing it best, but to beam back down to Earth with some affordable options, I'm open to suggestions. I haven't found a ton I love but I need something in this color stat.

So thought I'd offer some inspirational pics of this beautiful, rich, royal color. I think it's provocative in just the right way. As soon as I find something great in this piece that won't break el piggo bank, I'll let you know. Lest this purple trend is a bit too reminiscent of Prince, look how chic it can look paired with maroon for a fresh take on it. Or the tonality of the look right above this is anything but Purple Rain. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

But for now, on this gloomy day, I leave you with some beautiful takes on this shade. And that No. 21 dress in the window? Divine.

Cause that's what's up this flying purple people eater of a Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in Barney has never looked cooler. XO

Update: Just spotted this purple dress on yesterday's Gucci runway for next Spring. Yes, please. Sans the model who looks to be in the throes of a bad trip, man.

On girl gangs

Good morning, Monday. I spent the weekend relaxing and it was nice to dial it all down a notch or two. 

So much fun stuff coming up in the next few weeks- a long overdue girls weekend with all of my best friends from childhood. I was lucky enough to have that girl group vibe all of my life until college when we all went our separate ways- sure more female friendships ensued that I treasure, but I never had that clique thing again. We bonded over the fact that we were a bit off kilter as compared to the very metalhead/guido vibe of my suburban Philadelphia high school. We loved new wave, Duran Duran, and Esprit de corps. I suppose we were pretty textbook Gen X teens, but my high school was far from a John Hughes movie. If I'm being honest, there was not a lot of room for someone like me- an art school kid who worshipped Siouxsie Sioux and read the "Village Voice" on a regular basis.

So my girls and I really became friends long before high school- there was the set of twins from around the corner who were truly my sisters from about the age of 5, and then along came three more girls who took very prominent roles in my female development. Thank goodness for all of them.

We were all fairly good girls (some better than others wink wink) and we had the absolute best time. I never felt right growing up in Philly as many of you know, but these girls probably saved me from a hormonal, existential crisis almost every single day. Without them, I would not know the value of female friendship from such a young age. From memorizing all the words to our favorite songs and screaming them at the top of our lungs to being completely boy crazy for guys who drove Jettas and wore Vuarnets and had side swept bangs to sneaking Kahlua from our parent's liquor cabinets or stealing cigs from my dad, we were there for each other. We saw each other through every crazy haircut, every crush, every first we ever had. And these girls arguably know me better than anyone else.

If we cut to now, the evolution of our friendship is unique. I'm the only one of six girls that did not have children, we are all married, and we are scattered throughout the country. One friend lives in Toronto, another in Philly, her sister in Atlanta, and two Californians to round it out- one in LA and one in SF. And then of course there's me here in NY. I worry sometimes if my lack of kid cred will ever make me feel left out, but because we all love each other so much, it never does. Because we knew each other way back when, and when we see each other, it's like we never left each other's sides, which is a great blessing. I sense I may be the wackiest, but true fact- I always was. ;) They have all grown up to be such beautiful, smart, amazing creatures, by the way. I'm proud to call each of them a friend for life. And most of all, they always accept me for exactly who I am, or for the many iterations of who I came to be and may still become. 

If you're reading this and thinking about your special female friendships, I'm glad. There's simply nothing better than a girl gang- and I can't wait to see mine when we reunite at the scene of the crime this weekend in Philly. There will most likely be lots of laughs, lots of shopping, and lots of wine. Now if only I could decide what to wear. Oh and I guarantee you we will be singing some choice 80s songs at the top of our lungs. 

Cause that's what's up this girls rule kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in lady gangs and friends forever. XO

(Don't you just love that pic above ps? It's by Ken Russell, from his Teddy boy series in postwar London. Brills.)

And the award goes Emmys fashion round up

Good morning, Tuesday. Happy Yom Kippur to my Jewish meshpucha- may you have a healthy and safe fast, or something like that. I'm not well versed on the high holidays at this point in my life, but still appreciate the observance of this most solemn of eves.

So about last night in Hollywood, which was anything but solemn. The Emmys were on and I have to say- they were entertaining because the acceptance speeches were wacky- from the marriage proposal from the director of the Oscars to the wacky as wacky gets creator of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". (And yes, I do wish Alex Borstein wore a bra, though hats off for rewearing her wedding dress).

And in terms of fashion- it was one of the biggest home runs I've ever seen. Almost everybody looked ah-mazing. There must be something in the water in Hollywood. Oh yea, it's called money and fame and access to the best designers, trainers, glam squads, and surgeons.

Regardless, there were MAJOR looks. Above is Angela Sarafyan of "Westworld" in Christian Siriano. Major.

My favorites? Thandie Newton in this gorgeous pink dress from Brandon Maxwell, whose collection I really loved during Fashion Week. This one took my breath away. She is so beautiful.

Mrs. Maisel aka Rachel Brosnahan was marvelous in this red De La Renta. And her speech was great- I applaud her effort to get people to get out and vote. 

Claire Foy in pristine Calvin Klein with slicked back hair and a red slick of lip looked positively royal. 

Keri Russell in Zuhair Murad. And that hair and makeup look was probably my favorite of then night. Just gorgeous, relaxed glamour. 

Sarah Paulson is a fashion fanatic in the best of ways and this De La Renta was good, good, good.

Millie Bobby Brown- not the least bit strange in Calvin Klein. Stunning, youthful, and super fun.

Mandy Moore in Rodarte. The end. Bye.

Ellie Kempner looked beautiful in this J. Mendel which complimented her hair and skin so well.

Samirah Wiley in Jenny Packham. That body though. Woah.

And I loved this modern take on formality on Issa Rae, wearing Vera Wang. Gorgeous color too.

Oh and shout out to Elisabeth Moss- loved the dress by Vera Wang- so sexy and va voomy. But the hair? Go back to the dark side, girl.

Yea and I know I should have loved Jessica Biel's Ralph and Russo dress- she's gorgeous and all but the dress looked like bubble wrap to me and her girls looked super smushed. 

As for the hosts, meh. Stick to SNL- I don't believe it was  the very best gig for Colin or Michael.  It's a tough one, for sure. And that opening number was hokey as hokey gets.  And I liked how they announced the nominees and then bought out the presenters. Much better flow that way. 

My favorite moment? The Aussie comedian Hannah Gadsby's hilarious monologue which was a bit of cheeky man bashing. Funny. Oh and the Fonz won. Which pleased me. Very much. Well done, Fonz.

Oh and Maya Rudolph who I live for wore two dresses by Simone Rocha, whom I also live for and clocked straight away the second I saw those looks. Love her and Rocha- just not for an awards show like this. Did not feel right at all. 

Cause that's what's up this fabulously fashionable Tuesday in New Yawk City. Yours, in Hollywood glam. XO

Fashion week round up: Free to be you and me hits the Spring '19 shows

Good morning, Thursday. I was up and at 'em super early today to go vote. Always feels good to exercise my right. Hope you get out there and vote today too, my fellow NYers.

So I promised a bit of a fashion week round up, and here's the thing- it was a wacky, wild week on the runways of New York. There's a palpable sort of schizophrenia happening- if you're the type looking for trends to sum up the collections, good luck. Because they were simply all over the place. Sure there were the ubiquitous pastels, the use of chino khaki as a basic, and lots of denim (best example at Proenza Schouler, whose return to the runway did not disappoint). But truly- there's only one real trend that I saw, and it had very little to do with clothes. Because the biggest trend of the week was in the casting, and a true focus on diversity. Oh and big shout out to my new fav model, Kiki Willems, posted above at Michael Kors shiny, happy show this week. Love a redhead on the runway. I saw you too, Karen Elson. Don't worry. But I digress. Because there's more to unpack than mere tresses alone.

Designers like Christian Siriano and MIchael Kors broke with the stick figure tradition and showed women with more realistic bodies on the runway. There was a ton of diversity in terms of ethnicity across the board, and designer Marco Marco showed all transgender models on the catwalk. Check it out here. 

 And in terms of age, we saw Amber Valletta, Karen Elson, Yasmin Le Bon, and my queen Stella Tennant, who closed the show at Calvin Klein, return to the runway and give some much needed gravitas to the industry at large.  Above are some snaps from Zero & Maria Cornejo- bravo on the casting. And as for the fashion overall? There were short dresses, maxi dresses, and everything in between. Perhaps our current fervor for inclusion is finally catching up to the garment industry? How sweet it is.

Yes there were standout style moments for me. Proenza. Rodarte. Tibi. MARC FUCKING JACOBS OMG. Marc's show on the last day made me believe. The hair, the makeup, the outrageous fashion for fashion's sake. Fabulous beyond belief. And I loved how Proenza sourced some fabrics from overseas, but made the entire collection right here. And since I'm working in Soho these days, it was hard not to hate on the hordes of posing, preening, selfie obsessed lunatics on every corner. But fashion seemed to tune them out this year, even if they were still seated in the front row. Because these shows truly had something for just about everyone. And these here are some very confusing times- so it's no surprise the designers picked up on that. 

From the overly austere at the Row to the good vibrations at Michael Kors, the messages were mixed beyond belief but it bothered me not one bit.

I for one was happy to see all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages strut this past week. It's as if fashion took all the huddled masses and gabe them all something to believe in. And for that, I was tickled.

The big message was clear:

Because that's what's up this celebrating diversity kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in liberty, justice, and fashion for all. XO

My New York story (we all have one).

Good morning, Wednesday. It is mad gloomy outside as well as super soupy and bad hair producing. Yikes.

So yesterday in New York was a tough day- you can't help but feel shivery walking around the city on 9/11- remembering where you were and what you did and thinking about the horror you experienced in the town you loved the very most. On my way to the office this am, I was thinking about what it is that got me here, to New York, and why I always wanted to live here. Everybody has a New York story. Why they moved here, how they got here, that kinda thing. Here's mine.

It's no secret I've had a lifelong obsession with fashion. It is probably the one red thread. I have loved since I could first match my purse to my outfit. Which was at about 3 or 4, for those keeping score.

And as I reached my teens and possibly a year or two before, I fantasized about a life in New York. A life surrounded by fashionable people doing fashionable things. Now everyone's reason for wanting to be here is different, but I realize my raison d'etre when it comes to New York always comes back to fashion. And I suppose it's strange that I didn't really end up working in that world. I tried, mind you. But as you know, it was not for me early in my career. No skin was thick enough to tolerate that crap back in the day. 

But maybe what I love most about New York besides my friends and the excitement and the lifestyle is the fact that this is the fashion capital of the country, if not the world.  And even though we don't make a ton of clothes here anymore, I still get a bit of a thrill walking around the Garment Center. I love all the trim shops. I love the racks being pushed down the street. I love the wackiness of it all. And since it's been fashion week, all the fashion people are about. And though Instagram has created far too many of them (many without any true style), it's still so much fun to just watch it- there's a very real energy in the air depending on where you are in town.  To watch those Celine trucks go by in Soho to sell a new designer. I'm not sure many realize just how in love I am with all of it. Still. Even in these crazy times. Possibly even more so. Because it still gives me joy. Many of you say "fashion is irrelevant" or "who bloody cares" but meh. I still care. And I most likely always will.

I guess my point is that even though I occasionally dabble in the fashion world, I just feel lucky to be in a city that supports that industry. And even though the shows are a bit pointless now with the seasonal cycles being sped up to meet consumer demand, I just love that they're here. That's enough to keep me here for as long as I can take it. 

I just think it's so cool that people come here because they connect with something special, something they want, something they want to achieve. I know we all want that in life, but New York has more special sauce in that regard. Of this I'm certain. That's why it's so damn hard to live here. And as I stroll through Soho to take a walk at lunchtime today, it won't be hard to remember what I'm doing here. And though I'd love to get back involved with fashion, I'm just happy to be around it. And to live in a city where I can walk down the street and see past the Instagram street style dorks and spot somebody or something truly fabulous. And that's really all I need. That and another latte. And some George Michael. It's that kind of day.

Cause that's what's up this I STILL love New York kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in big city girls. XO

(PS- that photo above is by Peter Lindbergh of Linda Evangelista in the early 90s- amazing, right?)

Maven recommends: Five for Fall

Good morning, Tuesday. It's been 17 years since 9/11 and watching the ceremony this morning really got me. I don't know if I'm hormonal or emotional or everything in between, but the mascara needed a reapply. Such a tough day in New York- and of course, we'll never forget that watershed moment in American culture and beyond. I'm not sure what else I can say besides I'm still here, you're still here, we're still here, but we must never, ever forget those that lost their lives that day and beyond. We bitch and moan about new New York vs. old New York, and with so much interest happening in that sacred part of town, we've moved on, but again- we never forget. I love you New York- today, tomorrow, and forever. And that's that.

So moving on- I know it's Fashion Week and I have inevitable thoughts and musings to share but going to wait until it's officially over. For now, we got a taste of Fall weather yesterday and if you're like me- you're ready for a new season to begin. Here's five must have moments for Fall if you're keeping score and taking names. Get ready for the new season with some of my favorite things.

Leopard print- Oh, yea. We've talked this one through. My closet is quickly becoming Cat Woman/Mrs. Robinson like because I can't stop buying leopard print. I'm obsessed with it. Do it in anything like this dress from Ganni, or this faux fur coat from J. Crew, or this very hot undie set from Stella McCartney, in case you just want some leopard love close to your skin. Don't be scared of the cat. it looks beautiful against the skin and it's hot. Seriously. Huge trend for Fall.

A red bootie- I was taking a lunchtime spin around Soho the other day and found these cute boots from Schutz. Western/prairie is hot this Fall and if you're not up for a Laura Ingalls moment, get involved with the trend by succumbing to an accent or two. I love this bootie's Western appeal without being too yee hah. Looks great with the above mentioned leopard too.

A camel coat- Ooh. This is a classic and I still find it insanely appealing. I love camel with a black turtleneck and jeans. So chic and classic. This one in alpaca rom Eileen Fisher is soft as soft gets and is super sophisto. Highly recommend. Pricey, but timeless.

A brown dress- I get down with brown. It's a great color on me for some reason and I'm seeing more of it around. Love this piece from H&M collection that feels kind of mod. Good stuff.

A knit "suit"- I spotted this Smythe set at a boutique in my Cobble hill neighborhood and felt all the feels. I love the puffed sleeve on the top, the seam down the front of the cropped pants- so good. So so good. Rodebjer often does knit suiting but this take is super hot and could take you absolutely anywhere- great office to dinner dressing. Such a gorgeous look. Very 70s in the best of ways. It's true you need a pilates bod to perfection for this look. Take heed. Also Smythe's site is deadly good. 

This suit? Holy amazing Marianne Faithfull vibes.

Cause that's what's up this feeling Fall kind of Tuesday in the best city on Earth. Yours, in fashion and respect. XO

When somber was sexy (ps- it still is).

Good morning, Thursday. Apparently it's farshion week (said in my best Candy Pratts Price dialect)  in New York and I'm seeing all the modely models and various jaunty looks all over Soho. It still gives me a kick. I can't help it.

But since it's Thursday, I thought a throwback was in order. And also since Tom Ford opened the week (check out the opener of the pot pic and these above) with a show that gave me the 90s feels all over the place, then to the 90s we must go. 

I'm speaking specifically about Balenciaga's Spring 1998 collection, which quite simply, was perfection. Nicolas Ghesquière was at the helm and man oh man those clothes. I would give more than one vital organ to own anything from that collection. Piece after piece is just so outstandingly simple/somber/sexy- I would still wear mostly everything and it's a full 20 years after the fact. I can't. But I could. Couldn't you? These are not clothes for shouting. And with all the noise and finger pointing and insanity these days, a little quiet is just what I want and need. And yes- Gucci's "let get loud" bit is charming as all get out, but these type of clothes are just on another playing field for me. One I want to play on mostly every day.

Anyhoo, enjoy this transcendent look at runways past. It's divine. I can only hope for half an iota's worth of amazingness at this week's shows. Nothing compares though. And I'm a 90s fashion addict through and through. Second only the 70s of course...

Cause that's what's up this looking back on a legendary collection kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in dreaming of fashion weeks past. XO

Make some space for Eileen Fisher. (Yea, you read that right).

Good morning, Tuesday. Hope you had a lovely weekend. It was nice to just hang, do some window shopping, and visit family. I had big hopes of going to the movies but never quite made it.

Instead, I went to the gym yesterday and got my mani/pedi on. ON the way back, I spotted a new store in my neighborhood that piqued my curiosity. It's a new concept from Eileen Fisher called Making Space, and it's all about beautiful fabrics and the art of creation/community- they're offering classes in things like knitting and hope to encourage workshops and neighborhood events. Now let me be clear- my relationship with Eileen Fisher is complicated. Just imagining wearing most of her clothes gives me a midlife crisis.  

I have always felt entirely too rock and roll/edgy to even think about a wardrobe of well matched separates. I know it's ridiculous but I always have associated her designs with a more mature person. And now that I'm kinda that person, I must admit I'm coming around. The last few years had me buying a few pairs of her pants- the crepe ones that are trouser like but super comfortable. What I have come to love about these looks is they represent that kind of moment when Donna first started doing DKNY- cool pieces with a creative appeal that absolutely would never wear you, you'd simply shine wearing them. That's the goal, isn't it?  

And the opening of this store has opened my eyes. Because these are clothes meant to be worn over and over again. Timeless, effortless, soft. I love the fabrics they use- everything is comfy and soft and like wearing pajamas. I can see anyone from a kindergarten teacher to a mom to a woman in pursuit of her first big job looking great in a lot of these looks. I tried on a few pieces and fell in love with everything. And because I wondered if, as my husband has noted, I was "getting caught up" with the shine of something new, I walked out of the store without anything. But I will be back. Because everything there was worth a second look- menopausal or not. Truly ageless pieces for women comfortable in their own skin. And I love the notion of making space- whether it's for a new wardrobe, new projects, or new experiences. It's never too late to make space. And at 68 years old, Eileen Fisher is doing just that (applause).

I also loved the dignified sizing- everything is S,M,L,XL (from what I could tell) and nothing is meant to be skintight, which I love. Everything flows and all the looks could flatter a majority of body types. And having seen these clothes firsthand, they actually look better than they do in the pictures here. Some of my favorite pieces below:

The fuzzy cardigan- Love this cardigan because it's cotton so has that fuzzy jumper look without any of the itch. The color is perfect for Fall and I love it with everything from jeans to a slipdress. Endlessly wearable. 

The slip dress- Love a slip dress. Always have. Always will. Nothing better for an effortless, sexy appeal. Layer with everything from a turtleneck to a denim jacket to a cardigan and you're always in business. This one is in tencel and is so lovely without being overly clingy. 

The jumpsuit- A fully washable jumpsuit in stretch crepe feels just right. Love the wrap effect and the color is super good. Dress it up with heels or down with booties.

The wool pant- A lightweight boiled wool pant is a great cold weather staple. This pair in person reminds me so much of something Rei Kawakubo might wear or make, so it's not surprising this fabric was sourced in Japan. Sold.

The denim apron dress- This dress is just so cute and is a nice little transitional piece for Fall. Love the dark denim/selvedge feel- super cute with a tee as shown or with tights and a tank. Great little throw on piece. Bonus points for gals who rock it with a stovepipe, cropped trouser and sneakers for a bit of a nod to the 90s.

Oh and bonus points for this patent oxford with a wedge- great with the aforementioned wool trousers and a crisp, white shirt and a slick of red lipstick. Perfection. 

So yea, I can't believe I'm pushing Eileen Fisher, but I'm also pushing a new decade in a few years so there. I'm sure to buy a few pieces from this lovely retail experiment. Needless to say, everyone working there was friendly and eager to help in a non-pushy way. Cause that's what mature women do.

And that's what's up this taking another look kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in making space for some new pieces. XO