A Maven Christmas Update

Good morning, Friday. It truly 'tis the season isn't it?

To be honest, Christmas can go either way for me. Yes I know I'm Jewish ha. But depending on my mind and mood, I either totally Scrooge it or go full Christmas. This year, thank goodness, it's the latter.

There's a couple reasons for my embrace of all things Claus.

First, we need Christmas more than ever. And by we I mean all of us. There's no sugar cookie coating it- this year has been an absolute beast when it comes to the zeitgeist and DNA of the USA. Whatever side you swing on, it's been a never a dull moment, natural disaster, terrorist attack,  #metoo, cuckoo crazy kind of year. A year of volatility, instability, and me constantly asking to nobody in particular "how is that legal?" Needless to say, a Christmas tree and some thoughtful gifts has set me straight. I needed that giving spirit of joy so very badly. And I was so happy to attend so many fun parties and celebrate with all of my near and dear.

Second, besides the state of the union in Washington, my own state has been, well, volatile to say the least. This year was one of the most challenging of my entire working life. Like so many of you, I put a great deal of heart and soul into my career, and this was a year to assess and think about making some major changes. I'm pleased to say I've been super focused on my writing and have been loving my time writing for a fantastic group of people and a wonderful brand. I love writing about skincare and beauty and have been having a sensational time. I'm looking forward to more of the same for the new year. And for the first time in a long time, I feel at home at work. That is a wonderful thing. Almost pinching myself. I'm at a point in my life and career where I felt an "adapt or die" moment happening and hopefully, it's the former. It's tough out there. We all know this. But I'm finally feeling stable and good about where I'm headed.

Third, with all of this insanity in the world, I'm super impressed by the spirit of giving to others less fortunate this season. I've found myself wanting to contribute more and more and as much as I can because at some points of the year, I did not feel able to give as much as I would have liked and that made me sad. Everywhere you look, there's Gofundme campaigns for incredible causes, and of course, my staples like the Humane Society, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. You may not love working with millenials, but they are a charitable bunch and I love how their generous spirit has trickled down to all of us. I encourage you to give whatever you can- from your time to your money to however you can help those in need. We all have to do what we can and when we can.

Fourth, there's no place like New York for Christmas, my beautiful babies. This town is magical during the holidays. I'm working by Grand Central again and walking through that gorgeous building during the holidays is the loveliest. I haven't even minded the gridlock. The city truly comes alive during the holidays, and since it's been reasonably mild, it's been great to browse all the holiday markets around town. So many amazing makers selling unique things. I love to support small business so look forward to this every year. One big trend I've noticed- customizable luxury aka bring in your Louis Vuitton bag and have it painted with your initials, your pup's face, or whatever. I've seen this EVERYWHERE in the city- from sweatshirts to purses to army jackets. It's a lot of fun.

Fifth, the holidays are a time to enjoy, but also a time to reflect. I have drank and ate my way through the season and had a ball, but now it's time to treat my body less like Chernobyl and more like a temple.  I am looking forward to less splurge and more purge come January. And this applies to all areas of my life- less shopping, less imbibing, and more mindful indulging with more meaningful purchases like travel. That's just where I'm at. Today anyway. ;)

Just wanted to update you on the holidays and since everyone sends cards with updates on family, this is my version. I'm so in love with the holidays and hope you are all feeling the relief of 2017 ending. I feel it was a time of hitting bottom and correction and praying we will all feel some relief and peace in 2018. Buh bye 2017. Don't let the door hit ya...

Cause that's what's up this almost Christmas kind of Friday in the 212. Good vibes to all, and to all a good night. Yours, in jingling bells and red, shiny noses.  It's the most wonderful time of the year. XO

Maven muse: Cate Blanchett in Ocean's 8 is pretty much everything and then some.

Good morning, Wednesday. Only a few days left till Christmas, y'all. May your days be merry and bright.

So I've been asked from time to time how I define my sense of style (really I have which is weird). 

I have a few settings- I go from 70s boho glam to 90s inspired minimal to rock and rollish. Those are my settings. And that's about it.I will say that my favorite of those and my most likely to default is the latter rock and roll setting. Because it allows one to always feel sexy, a bit tough, and definitely tomboyish. I'm a strong yes on all of those things.

And I'm also a strong yes (think Meg Ryan in 'When Harry Met Sally' type of yes) on Cate Blanchett's amazing look for "Ocean's 8", which releases in June and features an all female cast including Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, and all the cool chicks like Rihanna. The movie will most likely entertain but not be awesome but I care not. Because Cate Blanchett's style is so on point in this film. It's everything I like- from the hair to the rock tees to the menswear inspired silhouettes. Oh and leather. Lots of leather. And leopard. This is all I want for Christmas. And New Year's. And Valentine's Day. Well. you get my point.

Pick any one of these looks and you've got a winner for coolest kid in the class. It feels very Kate Moss/Marianne Faithful/Anita Pallenberg to me in the best of ways. British girls really do this look so very well. I do believe this is my new movie muse. How fab is she?

If you want to attempt this look on your own, purchase the following:

  • A leopard coat
  • Leather trousers
  • Rock tees (preferably vintage)
  • Keith Richards style arm party jewelry and chains for the neck, oh and thin scarves knotted at the neck of course
  • A well cut men's suit situation, preferably in velvet (emphasis on well cut- can't look mannish must be tailored PERFECTLY)

I kind of can't bear it. Plus that HAIR IS EVERYTHING. Choppy grown out bob vibes. Must be blonde too. So good.

I'm super inspired by these looks and they affirm everything I know about my own style DNA.  My genetic code skews highly rock and roll when it comes to all things fashion. And that's that.

Cause that's what's up this inspired Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in getting over the hump in style. 

You need this loose powder. Full stop.

Good afternoon, Wednesday. Have I got your attention? You really should read this.

If you are like me, pressed powder or powder at all can be a confounding step when it comes to sealing in your makeup. For me, powder can be drying and make my pores somehow look like moon craters, even though my pores are not huge in any way. It just usually cakes and doesn't work on me, and I've taken to using a finishing spray over powder because I never like the way it looks or feels.

Enter Kevyn Aucoin's Gossamer Loose Powder  into my life. I have to thank my girl Rahsan Memik over at Barney's in Brooklyn who turned me on to it when she was doing my makeup for an event.  If you ever need makeup for any kind of anything and you live close to or in Brooklyn, you must have her do your makeup. It's you but a little bit better. Never drag queeny. Never overdone. Just perfect skin and then some.

So she used this powder on me and I loved the glow it gave me and my makeup did not move all night (she mentioned it's a makeup artist fav so I always trust the pros). It's true I prep my skin with primer (Hourglass Veil Mineral  is still probably my favorite in that regard), but this loose powder is fluffy and light and absolutely lovely. I love the application- it's idiot proof and you'll never end up looking like a white walker. No chalky finish whatsoever. No weird pores. Just gorgeous, finished skin. Subtle. I live for it and most likely will never use another. Apparently it's got secret Japanese ingredients that are more veil than mask. And it's kind of silky smooth too. Ooh I love it THAT much.

Is it cheap? Nope. Most of the good stuff isn't as we all know. But I think it's going to last a while and I'm loving it to pieces. So if you're looking for some next level finished face time, go for this. You won't be sorry. And go buy it from my friend Rahsan at Barney's. She's the coolest Dutch woman you'll ever meet and she's funny as could be. I try not to laugh as she puts on my makeup but it's hard.

I know I've been a shite blogger of late but with all this workflow in my "work" life, I've been remiss in inspiring you, let alone myself. But I adore this product and thought you may be looking to treat yourself this season. So have it.

Cause that's what's up this Maven pick of a Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in powdery well pressed goodness and finished faces. XO

For the time strapped and 70s obsessed: A great dress to throw on from desk to dusk (well priced as well)

Hey friends. Admittedly this week is going by in warp speed and I can't believe how close we are to the holidays. I need to take a breath and enjoy the season- I think there may be some window gazing along 5th Avenue in my future. I like to go at night when all the stores are closed but that's just me.

And because I'm so time challenged, I thought I'd share just one item I'm really crushing on today from a new fav, & Other Stories. I actually own this dress and am really enjoying it. It can be casual with a thin turtleneck layer and some high boots or you can glam it up with sky high platforms and lots of necklaces and bracelets and maybe even a faux fur vest.

To me, it screams 70s YSL, and that's my vibe this whole holiday season- think the Ballets Russes collection- some of those looks here. I love a luxe boho holiday moment. Feeling like I'm going back to my roots with this one but has that gold dust woman vibe I crave. I've been so into my 70s glam thing of late, but only if it has that slightly witchy, hippie edge. I know. It's weird. But that's what I'm digging on.

So there you have it. A candidate for best dress. Bonus points for being able to wear it to work and then gussy it up with accessories if you've got a party to jam to just after dark. Besos on this one. I love it. And it's super comfy too.

Cause that's what's up this just a little dress kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in gold thread and holiday cheer. XO

Some things I miss

Good morning, Tuesday. I'm feeling something I don't often feel. As in really ever. But that feeling is nostalgia and though I tend to idealize a more forward motion always moving paradigm, today I'm feeling a pull toward the past.

Here's why.

I miss things.

I miss having real American heroes. Outlaws. Like Jimi Hendrix. Steve Jobs. Amelia Earhart. Rebels. Where are the rebels and thinkers that make this country great? Where is the lunatic fringe (and don't tell me they're now white supremacists. I can't bare that)? Where are the easy riders, the beautiful dreamers, the merry pranksters? Yea, hippies. I know. But I need some countercultural movement to transcend what's happening. And it needs to be uniquely American in the best of ways. Like Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner best of ways. Think different and such. Come on out to play. And give us some hope while you're at it.

I miss not being social. Yes the irony is not lost on me I'm sharing this with you on my blog. But sometimes, well many times of late, I'm finding social media completely exhausting. I love looking at people's lives, I hate looking at people's lives. I love to know what's happening, I hate to know what's happening. It's a toss up most days, really. And sometimes, I want to retreat in my little crab shell (I am a Cancer after all) and turn it all off. I know that's an option, ps. But FOMO. Sigh. What's a little crab to do?

I miss subtlety. Of language. Of thought. Of messaging. Everything is for dummies now. Hit me over the head with your BIG SALE. Bludgeon me to death with your BEST DEAL EVER. Tell me how OBSESSED you are with that lipstick. I can't. I do it. I know I do it. Remember how it felt when you were young and you kinda flirted with someone in the quietest of ways and they knew it and you knew it and nobody else did? Yea, that. I want that. More of that. Less of THIS!!!!!!!

I miss off the beaten path. Everything seems so mass to me now and if it's not it's still too much "a thing". I know I need to travel more but truly everything and everyone is so exposed and I'm always on the lookout for a diamond in the rough. Lately everything's a bit too glimmered and sparkled.  Give me some grit off the grid.

I miss decency. This one's real for most of us. I would hope. I truly and deeply and madly miss decency. With all the news of late, it's hard to wrap one's head around so much terrible behavior. Not to mention our Diablo in Chief. I can't take much more. We were once a fair, decent country who treated insiders and outsiders with respect. We treated our land with respect. We treated our allies with respect, and in some cases, our enemies. But damn. Did we ever? It's hard to remember if we ever did. But I feel like everything is so very off. I know. Thanks, Captain Obvious. I'm just pointing out that I want a return to basic human respect and decency. This seems too tall an order to summon but I want it. 

So I guess that explains why I've been listening to a lot of music from my youth and reconnecting with some old friends and thinking back to sitting around the kitchen table with my parents and feeling a good bit of teenage angst, but nothing quite like this. Make it stop. Maybe it's not so much I want things to be the way they were, I just don't like the way they are now. Can we find our way out of all of this chaos? I'm ready are you?  I'm still gonna listen to the Cure all day though. Just because.

And that's what's up this kinda sorta nostalgic but not really kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in wanting something new, or at least a return to some good old fashioned 'merican values. XO

A part of my past is closing their doors (and I'm ferklempt)

Good afternoon, Friday. TGIFF.

So yesterday I heard the news that my former workplace, CP+B was closing their Miami office in March 2018. And man, did I get the feels. I wasn't expecting to have such a strong reaction, but apparently I wasn't the only one. I'm not alone in the realization that in the ad world, if you worked at CP+B at a certain period in time, it was truly game changing. Let me explain.

I chose a path in advertising and that path led me to Miami. Miami? Me? Ha. I know.

As many of you know, I spent a long chunk of time at CP+B Miami, where I had the pleasure to work with some of the most talented, hilarious, wonderful humans I have ever known, and for 7 years. I can't think of a work experience (with the exception of my time working in trends) that felt more transformative and important to my growth. For those who don't work in adland,  CP+B was THE PLACE to be for a good long stretch and I was so very lucky to have been there. Serendipitous to say the very least.  I'm class of 2004-2011 ps. What a bunch of misfit toys we were.

I learned a tremendous amount- about myself, about when to push, about fighting to protect great ideas. I have never seen so many badass people come together and make things together. We were all in on it and I'll tell you- it was hard as hard gets. I'm not going to pretend every minute was magic, because there were many straws that broke my back and I just walked around hunched over. But the pros far outweighed the cons and I will never, ever forget my time there. It was important. Exciting. And ultimately, the most fun I've ever had at work. And work we did. Constantly. But we loved it and it challenged every fiber of my being in the best of ways. So so thankful for those years.

Many of those who worked with me then are now lifelong friends. I was able to enjoy a healthy freelance career because of all the people i met there. We got each other. Spoke each other's unspoken languages. We laughed, cried, and everything in between. And damn- we could PARTY. It was an endless party really. Because we all needed the release. Some unforgettable moments there. I could write a book and so could many of you. And the fact that they're closing that office (keeping all others open of course) is so intense to me. A huge part of my history, and really pop culture history, is closing their doors. I know CP+B is still open and very much still standing, but it's more representational. It's a tough one. 

I hope some of you have had the opportunity to work for your heroes. There's truly nothing like that. To strive for better and better every day. To walk into a place feeling your heart race a bit because you had no idea what the day would bring. To pinch yourself from time to time because the work was that good. And that's what drives me and has always driven me- I admire and respect and worship great ideas and creativity. It has always been what moves and shakes me. And trust me, there was a whole lotta shakin' going on at that place. I'll never, ever forget it and am eternally grateful for it. My first week there involved standing on a rooftop on LA's skid row with Common. Stuff like that happened. And shooting the Burger King king in a heart shaped tub at Caesar's Pocono Palace. That happened too. As did the most challenging project of my career- transforming an entire city block in Philadelphia to a gigantic canvas for artists to live paint for HIV awareness. Amazing.

Now if anyone in leadership from CP+B happens to read this, PLEASE I BEG YOU. Throw a huge party and go out with the bang you deserve. I'll buy my plane ticket right now. As will so many of you out there. They have to invite Manny. From Jackass. Remember when he showed up? Yea, you do. And the empanada lady. And the Cuban coffee lady. And everyone who lived that life. 

Just another love letter to CP+B. Surely days that tried our souls but enriched them and enlivened them beyond belief. Got nothin' but love for ya. Cause that's what's up this reflective Friday in the 212. Yours, with love to the 305. Mad love. XO

Breaking up is hard to do...

Good afternoon, Thursday. 

I have a few words. About one of my favorite stores. Which is about to become one of my least favorites. It pains me to say but COS- I have to break up with you. And I'm not sure it's me. I think it's you. 

In the past, we had fun on many minimalist adventures. I discovered your wares when I was in Paris and continued to visit you every time I was across the pond. I am still wearing a blazer I got in London pretty much into the ground. I loved you that much. I belllowed your praises from many a rooftop. 

But that was then.

I think Rebekka Bay leaving was a turning point for you, and a bad one at that (she's at Uniqlo now). And moving to the States. I prefer you all exotic and cool and in Europe. Now that you're here in New York, let's face it- you're not as cute as you used to be. In fact, you kind of look like an Orthodox Jewish woman now. And not in a good way. Though I am a fan of modest fashion, some of your looks are straight up dumpy. And I don't do dumpy.  Or truly, just plain weird. Don't get weird on me, babe.

A word about some of the weird shapes you've been putting on the floor. I tried on a few pieces today in midtown and man. I felt like a Mummenschanz (see the green things above). I'm not sure what the weird volume at the hips is about, or the sheer weight of some of the dresses that just don't lay right when they are made out of horse blanket. I tried and I tried and I tried, tried, tried. And no satisfaction. None at all. In fact, I got stuck in one dress for a minute and completely panicked. You're literally suffocating me. What in the f'ing f? 

Can you take it back to something a bit more classic and minimal and spare? Although I admire the architectural shapes, I'm not sure mere mortals can pull them off. So for that reason, I'm hanging out with your somewhat sexier, more trend focused sister. Oh, heyyyy & Other Stories. I'm talking to you. I'm even willing to hang with your much younger sib, H&M. I can find fun trendy pieces in there and score big time. Plus that Erdem collection was my jam. But you? Until you return to any semblance of your former self, I just gotta quit  you. Au revoir, COS. I may drunk dial you up from time to time. But for now, I gotta move on. You've become a tricky business. And for that, I'm OUT.

Cause that's what's up this breaking up is hard to do kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in moving on. XO

Maven pick: Try a coppery eyeshadow for a bit of Christmas cheer

Hello and good morning, Wednesday.  We're officially in holiday full tilt and with many back to back parties and happenings, it's hard to keep up. When it comes to party dressing for 2017, it's all about velvet this season as well as star or galaxy printed dresses and mules. But since you probably already knew all that, how about when it comes to makeup?  I'm seeing red. Rust. Copper. Let me explain.

I'm a redhead again and have been for some time (more of the copper variety). I find myself drawn to colors that compliment red hair- from my bronze/coppery nail color to makeup. That's why I was drawn to the latest Nakeds palette, called "Naked Heat". It's full of colors that feel new to me- warm browns, burnt siennas, coppery hues that give a new read on the smoky eye. Match that with some deep red pencils to line the top lid and you're all kinds of set. I know, it's definitely a departure and there is the risk of looking completely nuts or look a guinea pig, but trust me- it works. Love it on Hazel eyes but would work well on all eye colors and skin tones. You can go heavy and smoky or light and fresh. Both looks are great.

I took two shades this am to play with- a lighter base shade and then used the copper for all around the crease and boom. It's pretty and fresh and new. I like it loaded up with black mascara for some volume and definition. You can keep the rest of your face fairly neutral and clean with a bit of gloss or you could even do a sheer red lip or something darker. Love this look and perfect for the holidays for a bit of a change. 

Get it here and enjoy. Oh and grab these two liners- this one called Torch and this one called Alkaline. So perfect with the whole look. (Alkaline a bit deeper but both would work well to line the top of the eye).

Just a little tip from me to you. Enjoy your holiday season and play with makeup for a bit of a change. Cause that's what's up this coppery Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in heating things up. XO

Five trends for retail/online shopping this Cyber Monday

Good morning and Happy Cyber Monday to you. I don't know if you got the menu or not- BUT EVERYTHING IS ON SALE. 


I'm not going to pretend I hate to shop, or that I don't enjoy a great deal. But seriously? The barrage. The superstorm. The desperation. I can't be the only person feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of things on sale can I? I am craving an experience where I can look at 10-15 things. Tops.  I am so fatigued from looking at sites offering endless discounts. I'm bored to death and completely over it.

So for me, this must be indicative of a trend we'll spot in the next year or so- a return to a more civilized shopping experience. Here's what I can picture happening:

Microsites- Think big retailers like the Gap and Best Buy doing smaller, more well curated (sorry about that word) sites that cater to people who want a) special things and b) less things. That's why I also think shopping direct from Instagram is so big and will continue to be so- it's a buy this one item right now kind of vibe. I like that. I want to look at less, and think this will be something to look for in the years to come.  I do love what Garmentory is doing of course- love all the indie boutiques on one site, but again- even that is overwhelming.

A return to retail- I think many of us are feeling like it's almost more stressful sometimes to shop from home where our eyeballs are about to explode from screen fatigue. Sure Amazon is a great destination for all things mass and quick, but do think there's a huge chance in retail to stand apart and be special. From stores opening more local items and smaller batched things to creating "experiences" in store, I think retailers have a big chance to offer a reprieve from all things online.  Think private appointments and special rewards for great customers.  Also gyms and boutique will see a big uptick in retail sales - think shop and sweat moments where friends who spin together shop together too.

A focus on small- Sure this has been happening forever with the whole shop local thing. But I can imagine bigger brands getting in on the action by producing smaller, more capsule like collections of things for those with more discerning tastes that don't want what everybody else has got. Look for a new kind of pathos where smaller feels better. Think next step of brand collaborations where the smaller quantities offered feel more special, premium, and exclusive.

Destination shopping- Yes, we have online destinations where I love to shop for particular things but look for cities to make shopping a huge part of their "brands" as we look for ways to consume in new ways. Take the Ace Hotel in New Orleans opening up a pop up of very indie and small Freda, a great shop I found in Marfa and fell in love with while I was there. I can see this continuing- with more and more small businesses that help promote a city's brand DNA. Shinola in Detroit is another great example and I imagine there will be more- El Cosmico in Marfa also a great example, where the destination is very much the brand, with great merchandise to go with it.

Next gen curators as shopkeepers- Since we are all searching for the best stuff but feeling bored or overwhelmed by looking for it, the next generation of cultural curators will offer shopping services- whether it's by the hour research or sites built out of a collection of favorite pieces, curators will be the new shopkeepers of cool, particularly online but also in pop ups around town. Also think of Garance Dore's collection around her recent retreat offered in Morocco. Love the idea of collections around travel, experiences, etc. 

So that's where my head is when it comes to shopping 2.0. What do you see as a result of all of these crazy sales and Cyber deals and steals? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Cause that's what's up this Cyber Monday in New York City. Just as we were talking, a Balenciaga Moto boot disappeared from my Barneys Warehouse cart. Yours, in missed opportunities whilst trendspotting. XO

Ubiquitous Thankful post

Good morning, Wednesday. A Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family. May you enjoy this holiday and surround yourself with all you are grateful for. Oh, and eat lots of pie. That too.

I guess I'm grateful for not having the time to write on this blog. Let me explain.

For the past month and a half I've been writing full time freelance. It has been wonderful. I'm working with a beauty brand on some of their holiday efforts as well as a ton of editorial for a website relaunch early next year. I am amazed. Because finally I am happy at work. Something I have longed to say for many, many years.

Is it perfect? Nope. But I am so thrilled to be writing for a living that the pros far outweigh the cons. For years, I've been a producer, and a decent one at that.  But with the world changing and some family stuff happening, I've been rethinking what I want (really forever now) and production is not necessarily it. I am so loving being creative for a living my heart is full.

I've spent a lifetime hustling, obsessing about success, and trying to figure out how to have all the stuff I thought I wanted- nice stuff. But stuff nonetheless. It's true I may not be rolling in the dough any time soon, but I'm happy. I stress about money. But I'm happy.  I've felt something missing my entire career. Though I have loved production many times over (the people, the places, the thrill of problem solving), I've grown a bit tired of saving the day. Every day. And since my true soul has always yearned a creative path, here I am. I honestly can't believe it's taken so bloody long to get here. But I'm here. And I'm grateful.

I'm not sure how long this gig will last (I hope a while). But what I have learned is that no matter what, I need to focus on writing and creativity- more in 2018 than ever. It doesn't mean I'll never produce again, but for now this is my focus. And I'm eternally grateful for a focus. In the New Year I plan to mix up my offer a bit to include some personal styling services- more on that soon. I'm revamping some things but look for that in the new year- and if you want to get started now with some fun finds, call me. Write me. Smoke signal me. I'm here to help you get dressed. I'll even help you with makeup and skin if that's your need. I'm here for you. I'm up for that kind of save the day, ps. That's just fine with me.

So really as this year is ending and I think of the future, I'm giving in to my desires and shifting gears to go from sometimes writer to most of the time writer. Oh and as for this blog- I've been shite at keeping it up lately. But that's probably because I've been writing steadily every day at work, which leaves little time for this. I'm not abandoning ship, I'm just making a few less stops along the way.  Let me try to fix that as the year comes to a close.

Cause that's what's up this T Day eve kind of Wednesday in the 212. I'm grateful for my beautiful family and for all of you. And of course, for little dogs called Khan. Hoping you see some light and gratitude at this somewhat dark juncture in the good old US of A. I'm glad I can still find things to be thankful for. Yours, in finding the light as I write. XO