Flawless Framing

My parents, being good, loving parents, keep embarrassing pictures of my brother and me on prominent display in their house.  Whenever I visit them, I am faced with my 17-year-old face framed in soft-focus ruffles from my white pirate shirt.  It is not the pained smile or my big hair that hits me the hardest, it’s my ungroomed, wild brows.

I didn’t pluck my brows all through high school or college.  I found it unbearably painful, and I couldn’t seem to care enough to pluck regularly.  So I just let them go wild instead.

In my 20’s, I began to pluck my unibrow away, and in my 30’s I started to ramp it up even more, but I never did much more than shape the brow lightly and pluck the strays.  This has actually paid off, as I don’t have the sparse, overworked brows so many women my age have.  However, I realized that the end of my left brow was much thinner than the right, and that I have some white hairs now.  I decided to use a brow shaping gel.  I started with Benefit’s Gimme Brow!, but I was never satisfied with the color.  It was a little dark and a little grey.

Then on an epic Sephora trip, I found Chosungah 22’s Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker.  Aside from the fact that I’m already hooked on Korean products, this one turned out to be the perfect shade, with the perfect applicator.  Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker comes in four shades to Gimme Brow!’s two, and one of those shades (Light Blonde) is perfect for lighter eyebrows.


Most brow products have a spoolie brush, like mascara, to brush on the product.  This has a spoolie combined with a triangular sponge tip.  I brush the product through my eyebrows, then use the tip to fill out my sparse ends.  It sticks to the tiniest hairs and stays all day.  Once it dries, it doesn’t come off, and it’s never stiff or clumpy.  If it does clump a little on initial application, the spoolie can brush it right out. The product is still there when I take off my makeup at night, which is pretty amazing.


Chosungah 22 Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker sells for $22 at Sephora.



Swing Drama

The weather these days has me bewildered.  I feel like it’s kind of spring, but I also think that it could turn back to winter at any moment.  Snow last week, totally melted off now.  Today I went out without a coat, and last week I was in my heavy winter jacket.

In these in-between weather days, I find myself reaching more for my swingy capelet to top off my outfits.  I have a red plaid capelet perfect for days that are not too cold.  It’s easy to wear, yet keeps the wind out. It’s a great “in-between” option while I wait for whatever February decides to do next.



Snow has been accumulating…yay!..and I have felt like hibernating as a direct result.  As I have few options for actual hibernation (pesky work!), I have adopted a bit of a hideout within the most chunky, delicious scarf I own.   I received a Christmas gift of a cream scarf with light grey and beige stripes that basically covers my neck and the lower half of my face.  It’s lovely.

Highest recommendations to the chunky scarf or snood in a neutral.  I’ve even portmanteau’d it: snoodtral.  Try not to be overwhelmed by my cleverness.


Snoodtral. It’s now a thing.

Face Saver

Note to self: blog regularly.  It’s taking me a little time to get back into the habit.

There are plenty of things to talk about, after all.  Like Colourpop, since I’ve only talked about the eyeshadows.  I also bought lipstick in my aforementioned lipstick blitz of December/January.

A lot of the Colourpop Lippie Stix shades I bought were mattes, and I’ve had varying results.  In general, I would rate them mid-high.  Not “wow, amaze” like Buxom, but much better than most which tend to be very drying.  I found that a couple of the colors slide around a bit, which is the big drawback.  But the colors are fantastic, and I have one that’s gotten a place in my regular rotation: Colourpop’s Bichette, a deep red wine matte.


I love this color.  It’s a perfect winter tone, and the formula goes on smooth.  I don’t know if there are slight formulation differences in colors, but I haven’t had much problem with this one straying.  I suppose I should just give in and buy the lip liners that Colourpop sells if I want a really great outcome, but I’m disinclined to use liner, especially since it seems like I put my lipstick on in a rush at red lights during my morning commute.


Bichette (like all the Lippie Stix) costs $5 at colourpop.com.

Strange Magic

Luxe + Cheap.

Not a natural pairing. In fact, it’s pretty rare to find that combo–especially in makeup. I’ve avoided drugstore makeup for years because I feel that the price is higher than the quality–in other words, I’d rather pay more for excellent products than pay a moderate price for cheap quality products.

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My friend and soulmate since we were 18, Rebecca from The Lipstick Gal, shares my love for great makeup.  When she texted me that I needed to check out Colourpop Cosmetics while they were having a sale, I didn’t hesitate.  I just took her word that this cheap (super cheap, comparatively, especially during their sale) cosmetic line would meet standards.  She knows her stuff.  (Check out her Colourpop vlog, if you don’t believe me.  Also, she’s so gorgeous, inside and out.  Love her.)


Colourpop exceeded my expectations.  Especially the Super Shock Shadows. Five dollars a pop (at full price), they are bright, pigmented, and long-lasting.  They can be applied with fingers or a brush.  There’s a bigger color payoff if you use your fingers; I’ve been using a brush for everyday wear.  The texture is between a cream and a powder, if that makes sense.  (Pro tip: close the lid TIGHTLY, so it doesn’t lose it’s “magic” texture.)  They blend so easily and beautifully–the shades meld into each other as if a professional was in charge of the brush.  Plus the shades are fun.

I’ve already collected 11 different shades of the Super Shock Shadow.  Currently I’m obsessed with Lace (below left) and Porter (below right).  Lace is described as a “deep rich blue violet with a pearlized finish” and Porter is described as “warm burgundy with multi-dimensional gold glitter in a metallic finish.”  I contrasted the finger application (left) and the brush application (right) for each shade.  Porter is pretty accurate in the picture, but Lace is a little washed out–it’s richer in real life.

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Rebecca always keeps me up on the trends, thank goodness. Anyone else find a product that mixes luxe payoff with a bargain price?

Cozy, Cuddly Cashmere

I have severe snow envy. Everyone’s been posting blizzard pictures with rosy-cheeked children romping in the snow, but I’m fated to have no snow days. Despite that, it’s still cold! Retailers are pushing spring, but the weather isn’t cooperating.

Which is pretty much perfect, because it’s time to buy sweaters! That cashmere sweater you wanted for Christmas (but didn’t get because it was over $100) is now on deep discount. Time to snap up some sale sweaters! I’ve rounded up a selection of cashmere and cashmere-blend sweaters, all under $50 right now. Get to getting. They’ll be on your doorstep in no time…if the mailman can get through your snowbanks.

Cashmere Under $50

More Cashmere Under $50

Turning Towards Autumn

For the teacher, when school starts, summer is officially over. The calendar may still acknowledge additional days of summer, and the weather may still be balmy (I’m fanning myself on a humid evening as I write this), but it’s fall. That’s all there is to it.

When I shop for work clothes, I don’t shop for summer clothes. I have a much larger wardrobe for winter than for summer. The best pieces I have are transitional, and I find myself looking for pieces that will go from summer to fall with a few tweaks.

Skater/Fit and Flare dresses

Last year I bought a skater dress in grass green, and now I have one in teal as well. I’m kind of obsessed with this as a transition piece, since you can wear it on its own or with a small shrug in summertime, or with a sweater or blazer in fall. A bright solid is perfect for late summer and fall, as it doesn’t seem too frivolous or summer-y. You can wear this dress with sandals in summer, knee-high boots as the weather gets colder, or flats in a bright (not necessarily matching) color anytime.

When it comes to skater dresses (or fit and flare dresses, or a-line dresses–whatever you want to call them), you really can’t beat ModCloth for selection. I love that site so much.

Case Closed

Have you ever gone shopping for an item, and you weren’t sure exactly what you wanted, but once you saw it, your reaction was “that’s THE THING. I DON’T KNOW HOW I COULD WANT ANYTHING ELSE BUT THE THING NOW.”

That just happened to me.

I need a new iPad case, because mine is falling apart. The corners are pulling apart, and it slips and slides around. I generally have a hard time finding what I want because I like something practical and stylish. I went to Amazon.com, because it has a wide selection. And then I saw this:

Lego Case

And the search was over.

First of all, it’s LEGO. My brother and I were obsessed with Lego as a child. We are Danish-American, after all; we visited Legoland in Denmark, and let me tell you, there were Legos for girls in Europe. I had a set that was a tiny Bavarian cottage, complete with a lady with a tiny Lego rug beater. I wish I still had it, it was that awesome.

Pink Legos

The stand is called a “DIY” stand–you can move the pieces around and adjust it. I honestly don’t care that this is marketed as a kid’s iPad case. I like it!

One concern–I didn’t read the reviews until after I ordered it. The reviews are mixed. I’m hoping it won’t be flimsy, but I’m also not hard on my cases. I’m crossing my fingers that I didn’t make a mistake, because I really want this! I’ll keep you updated once I get it.


I awkwardly Googled today. You know how sometimes you type something dumb into Google because you can’t think of the smart way to say it? Well, up until I decided to write this post, I never stopped to think about what you would call those rings that go above your knuckles. Not knuckle rings, because those are different dastardly jewelry pieces. Forefinger rings? That makes no sense. Top rings? I couldn’t figure it out. So I awkwardly Googled “those rings that go above your knuckle” and cringingly hit enter.

Turns out they’re called midi rings. I’ve been intrigued by them ever since I saw Gong Hyo Jin in The Master’s Sun drama wearing large bands around every finger; some below the knuckle and some above. I really like the look, but I don’t know if they would be comfortable or not. I own one ring that comes up above the knuckle, but it’s a sectioned armor ring that starts at the base of my finger and comes up to the nail. It bends with my finger, but it’s not very comfortable. I think they’d have to fit well, too, because I wouldn’t want my rings flying off during the day.

Midi Rings

I created a set for this, with some stand-alone midi rings and some sets. I personally wouldn’t spend a lot of money on a midi ring, because I do think that they won’t be around forever, fashion-wise, but it would be fun to have a set incorporating midi rings. The question mark is so alluring to me. I know most people would think of the Joker or some such person, but I think of George Emerson in A Room With A View, and Lucy Honeychurch’s coming across the giant question mark that he drew on the back of the painting in his room. One of my favorite literary couples. Who probably would never wear a midi ring, despite their progressiveness in the Edwardian age. (Also, who remembers Helena Bonham Carter before she was “quirky”? Nobody does it better, but please, she’s a gorgeous English rose here!)