2007 – New Year Favorites

This is going to be one of those femme posts. Seven years ago, I swore off make-up, cut my hair short (well, my friend Allida actually did the honors) dyed it aqua and declared my independence. Now my hair is an unnatural red, to my shoulders (with bangs!) and during work days, I do not go out without make-up. Not only that, but after starting out my adulthood with a chain-wallet, I now carry a designer purse. In this post, I will tell you what a few of my favorite femme things are!

Dr. Feelgood – this is a handy balm product made by benefit that comes in a small round tin with turn-of-the-twentieth-century-inspired graphic design. You put it on your face before you put on your make-up. According to the package, your fine lines will be filled in and you’ll just look wonderful. I really just like the way it makes my skin feel. Not the most enviro-friendly, but I’m on my third tin of the product.

Dansko clogs – I have no idea why it took me so long to finally purchase my first pair of Dansko clogs. They’re sturdy, with a decent tred (so far, no slippage in the ice!), comfortable and just over-all dreamy. I have many pairs of shoes, and until I bought these clogs, I would cycle through them rapidly througout the week. I truly just want to wear my Danskos every day. They are worth the $125 price tag.

Coach bags – Here I get to be a little sheepish. I’ve grown an affection for the “C” signature of Coach. They are the lowest price luxury purse (a decent sized purse coming in at $300), but truly, when it comes to design and manufacturing, they’re pretty much the best I’ve found. There is rarely a time I don’t go into a Coach store and say ME WANT NOW! The designs are often simple, elegant, refined and solid. They go with the basic colors of brown, tan, white and black and sprinkle in an occasional seasonal color for accent. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for a hand bag line that I like nearly as much. If you plan on buying a purse to last you a few years (and you plan on taking care of it) I just adore Coach, despite the fact that they’re manufactured in China. Note: DO NOT GO TO A COACH OUTLET IF YOU WANT THE SAME QUALITY AS THE STORES – I found this out last weekend. They manufacture stuff especially for the outlet and only rarely sell disco’d items or irregulars. I was shocked at the poor quality – though there is a lower price tag.

Un Air de Paris – Nasreen from Parfumerie Nasreen in Seattle’s Alexis Hotel introduced me to this fragrance. As far as I can tell, it’s still an exclusive to her shop in the US. There is no fragrance quite like it, and it’s just marvelous. Of course, it reminds me of the day of my wedding, because that’s when we met Nasreen. We haven’t been back since that day, but it was just such stunning service and attention that the perfume (and Nasreen) will hold a special place in my memory for years to come.*

Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment – I’m once again a little embarassed to admit that I like a product that’s made by a huge corporation with a bunch of unnatural, probably petroleum derived ingredients. However, in the Health and Beauty industry, finding a truly clean product that lives up to the “natural” and “organic” labeling they use is nearly impossible. (A biased, yet thought provoking site is EWG, which would honestly have you believe that everything is toxic, which is kind of true, but can lead to some over-reacting.) Anyhow, enough apologetics . My skin was in bad shape this past week. I’ve had my run-ins with acne, and hormones + stress + not enough water = acne. I finally stopped bothering with my excellent natural alternative (Desert Essence Tea Tree Blemish Touch Stick) and broke down with the Clean and Clear. I used the brand as a teenager, and I have to say that while it didn’t cure my acne, it did keep my face from being so inflamed. Additionally, I like Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. My blackheads on my nose and chin have been reduced, and it really does remove the shine. A big thanks to Sarah B. from work who recommended these babies to me. (There seems to also be a generic version available at some drug stores.)

Let’s see — what else can I not live without? This is getting pretty long already! Yesterday, I made a great purchase of a new bag, NOT from Coach, but from Macy’s. I really can’t afford the Coach bags all the time, so I looked at the sales tables and found a B. Makowsky Hobo for 60% off (full price, $198). I had never heard of B. Makowsky , but I’m totally in love with this bag. The black leather is soft, and the inner lining is this outrageous paisley. As far as my other daily staples – I’m still using Aveda for my basic skin care, and have found that the Tourmaline Charged line of Aveda skin care to be a little bit much for me. I will be happily going back to basics when I’m done with this line. I like the mask and the SPF 15 moisturizer of the Tourmaline Charged line, but that’s it. I’m also a fan of the Color Conserve Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In treatment. To keep my hair the red that it is, I mix a bit of Special Effects Blood Red with my conditioner and use it every-other day. It doesn’t take care of the roots, but it keeps my hair stop sign red.

And that will be it for this post – sorry, nothing substantial or political. 🙂 Have a happy new year!

*PS. While searching for a link for Un Air de Paris, I found Double Click, which is another perfume made by the same company. The English translation goes, “Surf through Windows to a virtual sensation where Men and Women communicate in a perfumed cyber space!”