Maven Pick: Bobbi Brown's new venture, Jones Road

Good morning, Tuesday. It's a gloomy one in the ghost town.

So just to put on your radar because it's on mine- Bobbi Brown, who has not been part of her namesake line for several years, is getting back in the beauty game with the launch of Jones Road. According to the site:

"Jones Road was founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown on the philosophy that the world doesn’t need more beauty products. It needs better beauty products. Clean, strategic, high-grade formulations that work on every skin type and tone—and that are as simple to use as they are to master. Jones Road is a lifetime of beauty knowledge, distilled". 

I love her aesthetic and minimal approach and I just ordered a few products to try (I'll review them for you next week) but thought if you were interested in spicing up your next Zoom call, you might want to perk up with these products. Plus, clean beauty is becoming the norm and all of her products are formulated sans phthalates, sulfates, petrolatum, PEGs, cyclic silicones, EDTA, or BPA. 

I ordered the balm in rose (balms are big in the makeup and skincare world these days) as well as two glosses, the boysenberry and the nude. I've given up on bright lips for me at this stage in the game- just not the look I'm after of late but do like a deeper vibe as long as I can blot it and make it look barely there. I love the models she used too- beautiful and natural and very right now.

I'm curious about the mascara,  but didn't order that because I still have a few I need to get through before I get a new one. Point is- I'm seeing a big trend and push towards a more minimal approach to beauty, and life in general, really. I know many of you out there have given up on makeup for the moment but not this maven. I enjoy the ritual of it too much and I find it gives me a little energy to go about my day. Needless to say, I'm not piling it on, it's all rather spare but still totally there.

Let me know what you think and if you decide to purchase a few things and I'll do the same. Cause that's what up this made up Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in saying little prayers for you, with product love too. XO


Maven recommends: 6 robes you'll want to live/work in right now

Good morning, Wednesday. The sun is finally out and I'm out of my two day gloomy weather funk. I'm a girl who needs sunshine, this much I know. Cold temps are fine as long as there's sun.

So we're all working from home and most likely hunkering down for round two of a virus that just won't quit us. It looks like we're going to have an infinite snow day moment this winter, and many of us won't leave the house except for the essentials. I'm not psyched about any of this ps, but this is what life looks like of late and there's no point in fighting it.

So with that, I give you one of my favorite work from home attire when you have a Zoom free day- the robe. Robes always make me think of Marilyn Monroe

There is nothing quite as luxurious and comfortable as padding around one's home in a robe. It's a lovely piece when you get out of the shower, but I also love wearing it with a rock tee and my beloved Splendid leggings when I'm feeling like being undone and effortless.

Here are a few of my favs:

I'm pretty obsessed with my new cloud cotton robe from Parachute.  I got it in this gorgeous mulberry color and it's the perfect robe for those of us who don't like big fluffy numbers. I find them suffocating and far too hot and don't enjoy them for the most part. This robe is super light but warm at the same time. And it looks cool. Love.

My all time favorite robe is the Shangri La from Natori. It's a modal blend and is ridiculously soft and delicious. I love the length and it's the absolute perfect robe for hanging at home.  I have bought one every few years since I'm about 30 and I literally live in it. In black of course.

If you're looking for something a little sexy, this robe from Free People is fuego. I love the velvet panther print and the sheer vibe. Good stuff. Meow.
This silk charmeuse number from sleepwear favorite Sleepy Jones is pure fun and though they don't have a ton of sizes left, it's on sale on their site. I am a fan of polka dots as they are great for pick me up moments. Great over all black for a bit of zing.

And I adore this classic silk robe from Lunya. First, it's totally washable. Second, it comes in green. I love green as you know and this sweet number is going on my wish list for the holidays. So beautiful, and incidentally, perfect for the holidays at home in this festive green hue.
And here's a major league splurge alert- this smoking robe from Fleur Du Mal is so darn perfect. All silk with that piping. I'm obsessed. Super timeless and elegant and chic. It's like a YSL Le Smoking in robe form.

So if you're craving a bit of a wrap-up go for a robe. I know I've written on pjs of late but that's where I'm at. Cause that's what's up this comfy/cozy Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in cocooning. XO




Maven pick: 90s and early 2000s fashion on the fast track

Good afternoon, Thursday.  Late breaking and hot off my feed- the almighty Zara is releasing an archive collection this Throwback Thursday from the 90s and early aughts and it's a blessing for fashion nerds everywhere. I'm seeing a trend across the fashion universe of archive collections being rereleased- I guess we're all craving a bit of a yesteryear moment? Buy it all here. Those leather pants...omg.

In any event, I want every single piece. Here are some photos from the original campaign, and link to buy here. I die. My love for 90s style will never leave me. I can't quit it, and Zara knows this. Smart cookies.

Cause that's what's up this TBT fashion moment in the 718. Yours, in hit it and quit it and happy shopping. XO

RIP Eddie Van Halen, Gen X icon and huge part of my youth

Good morning, Wednesday as the world burns.  The weirdness permeates the deepest depths of my mind. I can’t process any of it. And then Eddie Van Halen died.

 For some of you, this will be a mere blip. For others such as myself, this is a huge and very odd loss. If you were ever a fan of Van Halen (and I don’t truly trust you if you weren’t) this one hurts. My fellow Gen X brothers and sisters were raised on a steady diet of Doritos and Van Halen.  And though my first truly dirty thought about a man was about David Lee Roth and his magically thick thighs, Eddie was the best. Boyishly cute and beyond talented.

 A virtuoso. Always with an adorable smirk. A California kid that was a rock star but somehow all American in the best of ways. His guitar playing was next level epic. And though I was more of a new wave chick and then an out and out Deadhead, I fucking loved Van Halen. Because they rocked. So. Hard. Pre-Sammy Hagar, people.  Pre-Hagar. An obvious caveat.

 I said above this is an odd loss because Eddie Van Halen was a dude you thought would live forever.  He had transcendent appeal and for those of a certain age, he is a legend. I have so many memories associated with the music of Van Halen. My ninth-grade teen tour recreated the song “Panama” in honor of the name of our bus and sang it to the same tune. Not surprisingly, “Ninth Grade B” was not a tremendous hit, but we loved it just the same.

 I also remember loving all the incredible videos for songs like “Jump” and “California Girls” and who could forget “Hot for Teacher”? My crush on Diamond Dave was real, and I always loved Eddie’s party vibe. Don’t even get me started on anything from Diver Down, which includes my favorite cover of all time, “Dancin’ in the Street”. It’s so good. That wavy/weird guitar intro is one of my favs. Van Halen is irresistible for those of us who love a steady diet of classic rock.

 Eddie was also married to Valerie Bertinelli for a time, and though you may know her from weight loss commercials, she was very much America’s sweetheart for a time. And they named their kid Wolfgang. Wolfgang Van Halen. Epic.

In any event, you all know I’m in my feelings these days and this didn’t help. Jamie’s cryin’ and I’m cryin’ and RIP Eddie Van Halen. A part of my childhood is gone. Cause that's what's up this running with the devil kind of Wednesday in the 718. For the unindoctrinated, check out this list of Eddie's greatest hits. Yours, in rock and roll forever. XO


Some somber chic to suit my mood.

Good morning, Friday. I'm still feeling a little funky today but looking so forward to the weekend. Safe and healthy fast for those observing Yom Kippur. For those non-tribe types, Yom Kippur is the most solemn holiday of the entire Jewish calendar. It is a time to forgive, forget, apologize, and reflect, and of course, fast. It's a fairly somber situation, so feels particularly suited to this very strange year.

And speaking of somber, mass retail is feeling a bit maudlin these days as well, and not just because retail needs to be completely reconfigured to meet the needs of the pandemic era. A Facebook friend of mine jokingly posted a pic of some dresses at H&M and asked if we were going back to the 1800s and who would want to wear such funeral-like attire? Um, hi. Have you met me? 

I am loving the gothic, sister-wife vibes of fashion the past few years. I'm aware this look is not for everyone, but brands like Batsheva, Simone Rocha, Cecilia Bahnsen, and the Vampires Wife (and many others) have shown us a world where giant puffed sleeves and modesty have the makings for a great dress. I for one find modesty very sexy, even if I'm well aware that sexiness is very far from the point. I'm also a woman who wears a ton of black and always have. I'm not particularly goth but do dabble a bit in the dark arts from time to time. Who doesn't love a good Gene Loves Jezebel moment? (Stay with me non Gen X types- you may not know from 80s new wave goth vibes but you can still get involved).

With that in mind, here's a few dresses from H&M I'm loving right now. They bring to mind a Sarah Moon photograph, shown at the top of this post and here. I just love the dark vibe (and amazing price) of these frocks. And who's wearing poppy colors right now anyway? Doesn't quite feel right but maybe that's just me.

This all-over lace dress with ruffles is really great in person and a steal at under 50 bucks. 

This lace trimmed dress is a slam dunk and it's under 20 dollars. It's made from recycled polyester and presents as taffeta. I was shocked how great it looks on and how inexpensive it is. I'll wear it with my snakeskin knee high boots or even with a pair of Gazelles. It's so good. Truly.

This a-line girl is so lovely and love the mini length and silhouette.  Great with tights and over the knee suede boots. Oh and it's just shy of 50 dollars so there you have it.

I have seen this trend for a few years now and find it fascinating- maybe we want to dress in clothes that suit the times- maybe just maybe 2021 will have us all craving something altogether brighter and sunnier. But for now, keeping it goth feels right. Cause that's what's up this freaky Friday in the 718. Yours, in going dark and black celebrations. XO


Let's get real.

Good morning, Thursday. I've been waking up so early lately to greet the day and just get going. Either that, or I'm just too worried all the time to sleep.

Here's the thing- I've become a later in life optimist for the most part. I certainly wasn't raised that way and it's not particularly present in my DNA. But I've been through a lot and come through a lot and I made the decision to try and live in the light as much as I possibly could. But times like these challenge even the most sunny amongst us, so what to do what to do?

The news is all so distressing and horrible and absolutely relentless with negativity and darkness. I just found out one of my favorite neighborhood haunts is shuttering for good and it triggered me deeply.  It's absolutely true that often you don't know what you've got till it's gone. And I'm going to miss this special little bar called Robert that spun Brit Pop on Thursdays and had that special sauce that made it the perfect neighborhood bar that could easily be at home in any city around the world. I loved it there and will miss it terribly. Argh. 

And though Fall is my favorite time of year, I find myself feeling some dread about winter. I'm not ready. For early darkness and freezing cold. I realize my complaint about a bar closing and weather could be seen as entitled- after all, I'm working thank goodness and I have my health and people and a pet I love and all the things. But the thing about the bar is not as much about me, but about the fact that the person who owns it was not expecting any of this and deserves far better, and the idea that a community gathering spot has vanished is totally sad.

I'm not trying to bring anybody down here- we are all feeling it together and going through it together and it's not just the fact we have such a polarizing president, it's the fact that he is beyond toxic and a complete danger to our democracy (duh). Can you even think of a more important election than this one? Staged during a global pandemic and with implications for women and everyone else for the rest of our time on this planet? It's a wonder any of us are sleeping at all. Not to mention just about everything else coming across my news feed from COVID spikes to Breonna Taylor to oh, just about every damn thing. Just last night, a report of a dumpster fire in Park Slope came up on my Citizen app, and man- could there be a more apt malcontent moment to sum up 2020?

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I could use a bit of good news. Any good news. I got the best responses. From reports on good doggie behavior to a friend from high school getting a job after being unemployed for a while to cherishing a sunset, it lifted my spirits slightly, and I sensed that sharing good news felt great for them too. What struck me about the news people shared were their simplicity- and how grateful all of us are for any victorious moments we are feeling right now. It truly is all about the little things sometimes. And it's beautiful to find those things that bring joy amidst so much discord.

As for me, I'm coping by overexercising and generally working my butt off. I find myself appreciating evenings more than ever and try to set some boundaries around working after 6ish. I'm currently loving two very different shows about islands- the new Jude Law thriller/scary as f show on HBO called "The Third Day" and the deliciously vapid American version of "Love Island".  Never has winding down felt more important. What else what else? I'm tremendously grateful for all that I've got going on- not a day goes by where I don't count the little things and blessings that are part of my everyday existence. But still, it's a hard time to be a human being, particularly a sensitive, empathic one. I do pray that some balance prevails after all of this manic energy. This too shall pass? Here's hoping.

My next post will most likely be about fashion or some such. I write those not because I'm a superficial woman but because fashion and style and personal expression bring me joy. I hope that my writing sparks a chord with you and brings you joy too. I feel lucky to write and share and so glad so many of you reach out to tell me you appreciate it. Cause that's what's up this trying to see the bright side kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in keeping it real. XO





 


Maven recommends: Homebody style to lift the spirits.


Lately I've been thinking about how to be a better homebody. Not for myself, mind you. I'm great at it. Almost too good. But for many, the whole cocooning/nesting thing is anything but cozy, so I'm here to give you a bit of an assist, particularly in the wardrobe and product departments. 

Although the world is on fire and everything feels politicized, weaponized, and destabilized, I am finding great comfort in my Cancerian tendencies and am grateful for spending time at home (Crabs love to be at home, so they can be sensitive in their own shells). On that accord, here's a few of my favorite things for going big and staying home. Consider them homebody heroes, and because some of them are spendy, think aspiration/inspiration:

A beautiful body oil. I adore a good body oil straight out of the shower.  Nurturing, nourishing, and feels so nice. I'm super chuffed to try this one by Maison Louis Marie in my favorite scent of Number 4 Bois de Balincourt, which is a less expensive take on Santal by Le Labo. Warm and yummy.

A can do jumpsuit. By now you all know I live for a one piece wonder. This Alex Mill jumpsuit is so so cute and love that it's in chilly weather corduroy. So good. I love it in navy.
An oversized luxe cardigan. Now this piece from Naked Cashmere s aspirational but tell me you wouldn't live in this if you could? I adore a sweater that feels more him than her and this one is just perfect with ripped jeans, leather leggings, or whatever you have going on at your casa.
A layering piece. On the other end of the fiscal spectrum, how's about a 9 dollar turtleneck? I adore this one from H&M- tissue soft and great on its own with some joggers or layered with whatever you want.  The leopard print is a no brainer but so are all the other colors/patterns. Put it under a slip dress an pad around the house. Go ahead. I'm not mad at you.

A lovely slipper. I am obsessed with my alpaca Baboosha slippers (those are my feet at the top of this post)created by an old ad world colleague of mine and have written about them before, but here we are again. They're getting better with age and I literally live in them as I shuttle between my living room and bedroom for conference calls.

An easygoing jean. I dream of Jeannie, not the one with the ponytail. The one that's denim and has an oversized fit and goes with everything. That one. I love these from Imogene and Willie out of Nashville so much- pricey but perfect. 

Self-care skincare. You all know I love skincare and my latest favorite thing is an essence. An essence is applied after cleansing and toning and sets your skin up for serums and moisturizers for maximum penetration and a bit of an efficacy boost. I'm currently digging this one from Kiehl's, but also dig this Eve Lom take for a radiance moment.  It may seem like more work, but adding it to your routine has an almost meditative quality and sets up your skincare intentions for success. A little goes a very long way ps so you'll have one bottle for a long while.
Oversized pjs. I know, these are expensive but they are a wow. Silky giant pjs. I want 'em bad.  The sleepy version of David Byrne's suit in "Stop Making Sense". Love. Naturally I love them in black so what else is new?
A sketchbook. Having a sketchbook nearby is good stuff. I love this one because I draw with markers and love the binding for easy pag turning. Heavy duty for all that scribbly goodness. Good for the mind and body and soul.
A new candle. A new season calls for a new candle. I die for this one that is packed with crystals to keep everything calm at home and "ward off evil spirits".  Who doesn't need this? We all do. Fragrance is fab too- Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Musk, Patchouli, and Tonka Bean. Good vibes only.

That'll do for now. I hope you are all appreciating your stay at home vibe and keeping your sanity and faith. Strange days are these. Cause that's what's up this homeward bound kind of Thursday in beautiful Brooklyn. Yours, in big Cancerian energy. XO




Oh, New York.

Good morning, Friday. Today is that day most New Yorkers and Americans everywhere dread. 19 years. Very hard to believe. I will never, ever forget that day and the gorgeous sunny Fall morning that accompanied it. It's particularly poignant this year as New York is facing yet again a crisis in terms of a sense of uncertainty and mourning lives and livelihoods lost during the pandemic. One thing's for sure, if you're counting New York out, you better get a calculator. We are nowhere near done. Know that.

Last weekend I did a ton of stuff in the city from walking over the Brooklyn Bridge (as a commitment phobe not my favorite) to visiting the newly reopened Whitney and the always magical Met. I dined outside both days and had a sensational lunch uptown with my dear pal Irma that felt like we were enjoying a meal in Paris. I strolled my beloved city for miles and fell back in love all over again. There are endless reasons to love New York City, and despite what our President (who made most of his money here) says about the scary democrat cities, we are resilient, strong, and awaiting what's next with all of our street smarts, grit, and creativity. 

If you read my blog on the regular, you know how I feel about this beautiful city that has given me everything and more. I'm not mad at the people who left, they needed to do what they needed to do. I had moments of wanting to go but only for a few days or a week- there is just something about this city in crisis that makes me want to dig in even harder. I do love a challenge. I can't help it, it's in my nature.

Before New York, I was a young woman out of sorts. My love for fashion and all things cool and forward was not a great fit for me in Philadelphia. I had trouble connecting to people and my last year there was one of the worst of my life. I was at a deadbeat job, crushing on a guy who was emotionally unavailable and far too preppy, and eating microwave baked potatoes for lunch. I was far too full of life to be on that path. So I answered an ad and got a gig in Manhattan. 

I will never, ever forget that feeling of moving here and being here and immediately feeling life begin and unfurl in all its glory. Even though I was working a few jobs and sleeping on a futon in a shared one bedroom, I felt I had made it. And I did. Because all I ever wanted from a very young age was to live in New York City. I've accomplished so much here, and I will for sure know when I'm done with it, though I may never be. It's simply part of my DNA to live here and laugh here and love here. And I take it very seriously.

Today I will take a few moments of solitude and reflect on that horrible day 19 years ago. The city came back then and it will also renew itself now. It's going to take more than a pandemic to have me fleeing for the burbs. I love my city and my beloved borough and that, my friends, is that. Looking forward to.a beautiful weekend in the best city in the whole wide world. Cause that's what's up this salute to the city kind of Friday in old New York. Yours, in never forgetting, because this ain't no ordinary love. XO

Industrial strength style for "unprecedented" times

Good afternoon- well Labor Day weekend is upon us and I just can't believe the Summer is coming to an end. Needless to say, it was a weird one. But as the days get shorter, I feel a bit of sadness- because even though this was a stressful season, I was loving the warmth and the ocean and wearing easy clothes. I know many out there are still sitting in their gym clothes from this am, but that's not really my thing. I still love clothes and I still very much wear clothes so there.

As for Fall, I've got a bit of the industrial look on my mind.  A new workwear vibe for the new way we work. Hardworking clothes for hardworking women. You feel me?

I adore this look from the Gap and ordered this Mac from their workforce collection. It's so chic and I love how it instantly refreshes pieces we all own- a denim jacket and jeans and some high tops and just like that- instant, effortless appeal.

I also am obsessed with this Bill Cunningham blue. Particularly in this little canvas Chore jacket from Everlane. It's so cute and I love it with everything from pants to a dress to give it a bit of balance and softness.

Then of course my beloved Alex Mill jumpsuits. If you haven't made the jump for a jumpsuit, get one of these. I adore it, and here is their standard version in that great blue. I am also in love with it in pink. 

Next up, an industrial pant. These from Universal Standard are so chic in cotton twill. Love the slim fit, the elastic waist, and the cargo pockets. Fabulous.

Next, a functional shoe. These have that Blundstone vibe I dig but are weather proof for rainy days. Love these and also love the high take on them that have that Hunter vibe but somehow more industrial. I'd wear the heck out of these in the Fall and quick jaunts upstate to leaf peep.

Needless to say, I like the idea of making these feel as tomboy or femme as you want. Keep it simple or add a slick of red lipstick to give the look a bit of lady love.  Also think about incorporating a strand of pearls into looks that feel very masculine. It's a great juxtaposition.

Oh and as for that army jacket look at the top of this post, a military inspired jacket is one of my all time favorite layering pieces. This one from Nordstrom is on sale (only small sizes left) but it's such a great take on the classic.  Madewell has it on their site but it's not on sale.

So there you have it- a few Fall things I'm falling for. What's your vibe with pumpkin spice season around the corner?  I'm all about practical clothes that are altogether cool. Cause that's what's up this hardworking Thursday in the 718. Yours, in industrial revolutions. XO

The shoptimist returns (my pick me up picks for the week).

Good morning, Thursday. It'a pandemic, revolution, catastrophic weather event kind of week, and not in that order. I don't even know where or how to begin but it's a lot to unpack and process and I'd be lying if I didn't feel deflated. Add in the RNC and well, you've got a recipe for some serious down and outs. The above photo sums it up for me. I'm trying to stay positive but first I need more coffee and some good news of any kind. 

That's why I'm bringing you another edition of the Shoptimist, my picks for some items that may provide a bit of pick me up. They are in no way a substitute for say, justice, sanity, and peace. But they are a fun way to distract yourself for a moment or two. PS- don't get too distracted, because there has never, ever been a more important time to keep your eye on what matters in this crazy world.

But I propose a respite. So here you go:
It's almost Fall. And I'm craving a new pair of kicks to wear with my beloved pleather leggings. I spotted these Diodora (remember them?) high tops and knew they needed to be mine. They are such a great sneaker- streamlined somehow and even though they are white high tops, they're not at all clown like. I adore them. Slightly narrow in the footbed, but extremely street smart and chic.

I'm also loving these Marfa themed pjs. Pajamas are a thing right now for obvious reasons and these pay homage to one of my favorite places and are a super cute way to go from bed to desk. And you can get them monogrammed.

On that note, an oversized cotton button down shirt has a real appeal right now. I love the crisp comfort of it, paired with leggings or shorts or nothing at all. Who cares, nobody can see your legs. It's a good look, and lots of well priced options like this one from H&M.

And since a girl needs to have a little fun, why not try a leopard print bra? I love this one from Cuup- it's chic and sophisticated and gives a nice little pop of party underneath a button down like the one above. It comes in a nice swath of sizes too so bonus points for however you're blessed.

In terms of beauty, I must recommend this well priced argan oil for all of you out there dealing with frizz. I discovered this product in a CVS by the beach this summer, and I'm never going without it again. It's great for taming the tresses and smells nice too.
And this nail color from Essie is giving me life and fits well with that Pantone color I posted last week. It's a pretty hue and sunny enough to lift my spirits. I adore it. And the name. Sunny Business? Come on. So good.

As the work week comes to a close, I'm looking forward to the weekend and regrouping a bit. I hope you are all healthy and safe and sending you lots of love and a small distraction from this thing called life. Don't you miss "precedented" times though?

Cause that's what's up this thick and thin kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in peace, love, and shoptimism. XO