Treat Yourself and Save... with Shu Uemura

As Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals finally come to a close, I have a last minute one for you.  This one could be for you or a friend, but either way it is one to take advantage of asap.

As we get busy with the holidays, we don't spend much time on the beauty aspect of our ensembles (or, at least I don't).  I am always worried about what I will wear to an event, and then I run out of time when it comes to trying new makeup or replacing brushes, etc.  Which is why it is so important to take a minute to think about your eye shadow, lipstick, blush and even mascara.  This might be the perfect time to update with a new color or a little shimmer.  You might not even need a new dress - a change in your beauty products might be all that you need to shake things up this season.

You may have already guessed... I have the perfect brand for you to try this season.  Shu Uemura Cosmetics.  Shu Uemura was a Japanese makeup artist who gained worldwide fame after transforming Shirley MacLaine into a Japanese woman in 1962 film, My Geisha.  Eventually he started a makeup boutique in Japan and really became an international player in the eighties.

“Creating something that is universally beautiful. That is art.”
-Mr. Shu Uemura

I love that his philosophy was that the health of the customer's skin was the most important aspect of cosmetics.  He also promoted enhancing natural beauty as opposed to creating a false face with his cosmetics products.  If there is one brand to try this season, this just might be the one...

You must first start with a beautiful face.  Uemura's first product was his cleansing oil.  Not only does it leave your skin cleaner than soap, it moisturizes too.

High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil - Advanced Formula

Tis the season for red lips...

Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine

A brown shimmery eye shadow, might be just what the doctor ordered...

Pressed Eye Shadow - Pearl Golden Brown

Or, maybe a curl of the lashes is all you need.

The Famous Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler
Even more exciting, Karl Lagerfeld has recently collaborated with Shu Uemura on a Holiday Collection.  He has said that "the entire collection is a touching homage to Shu Uemura with color selection and package design entirely directed by Karl Lagerfeld."  Lagerfeld even photographed the visual campaign, and sketched the mon shu girl himself.  A very special collection indeed.  

“I design with Shu Uemura make-up because other manufacturers do not offer such beautiful colors.”
-Karl Lagerfeld

 A little taste of the Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura products available now...

Now, for the great news - use promotion code WISH2012 for 20% off your entire purchase.  And, there is free shipping on any order over $50.  Do not delay.  This offer expires on Tuesday, November 27th.

For a complete product selection, check out the Shu Uemura website.

Happy Shopping!!

                                                                                                                         - Allison


All You Really Need is... Plaid

Isn't it funny how life changes... I am not getting all philosophical on you, I promise.  Just musing...

As a result of my big closet purge, I did a lot of reflecting on my wardrobe and life.  First, I realized that as much as I live and breathe fashion, the reality is that I spend the vast majority of my time rotating between a very limited amount of exercise clothing (I am dead serious!).  While I would prefer to look my best everyday, it just doesn't work that way right now.  Some days are glamourous and exciting, and the rest... I  am just a glorified housekeeper and taxi service.  Welcome to mommyhood!

Anywho, this led me to start thinking about how, as women, each phase of our lives has a direct impact on our closets. Think about it... there is your first foray into the working world.  It's all about ditching your pj pants and looking professional.  Then there is becoming a mommy.  If this happens to be your life path, you will learn that you don't want to wear anything nice for a long while.  Next up - stay at home mommy, working mommy or possibly changing your job and work environment.  This calls for the need to clean out, pare down and rebuild the basics - the basics needed depend on your stage in life.    Then the kids get older, your career progresses and you turn 40.  Now, it is time to reassess again - are you too trendy?  Eventually the kids go to college, you might start working part-time, or possibly even retire... this will call for a whole new look.  Are you prepared??

I am not writing this to cause an anxiety attack, but really just to help you set your sights on the end game.  I have realized that I don't really "need" that much right now (except for a several different pairs of exercise pants), but that doesn't mean we can't update our wardrobe each season.  We just have to stay focused...

So, moving on, a trend that I looove right now (perfect for any age) is the plaid shirt.  It can be dressed down (jeans and flats) or dressed up (with a pencil skirt).  It is perfect for everyday or a night out... it has a loads of versatility.  So, buy one and instantly create many new looks - perfect!

Plaid can be worn with jeans, leather or even animal print.  Just remember to get the right fit.  Oversize is great for casual days and skinny pants, but for nights out and dressier occasions, a fitted shirt is best.  I am a sucker for any plaid with navy (it is my signature color)... favoring bright plaids with animal prints, while darker versions seem to work better with black and leather.

A few examples of what I am trying to describe...

This is a great shot of the Man Repeller, Leandra Medine, for Barney's...  I need this look.

 On another note, I just bought this buffalo check shirt from who else... J.Crew.  

I felt like it was screaming to be worn with winter white.  This tuxedo skirt might just be the one...

On the other hand, a bright plaid looks fab with a leopard print.

I prefer a clutch, belt or bracelet...

Clare Vivier's Oversized Clutch... love!
J. Crew Calf Hair Wide Belt
J. Crew Wild Side Wide Bangle

And then on those casual days, plaid works well with skinnies and flats or a skirt and boots.  So many options... Enjoy!

                                                                                                                               - Allison

*Photos courtesy of jcrew.com, rugby.com, shoplesnouvelles.com, google.com, barneys.com.


Cleaning Out for a Cause

A personal goal of mine has been to post as consistently as I possibly can while trying to juggle the duties of my day job.  I haven't done a great job at that, but I will work on it... scout's honor.  

During the past two weeks though, I haven't really had the heart and/or ability to consistently post due to a little storm named Sandy.  Unfortunately this storm hit too close to home.   The last two weeks have been put on hold, while we prepared, endured and attempted to recover from the "Frankenstorm".  

In my neck of the woods (northern NJ), we got hit pretty hard.  We don't live along the shore, but still experienced very strong winds that have led to no power, limited gas and groceries, no school and a vast amount of tree damage.  This insanity has led us all to resort to survival mode... keeping generators running, traveling from grocery to grocery to find milk and produce, finding enough firewood to heat your home, etc.  What I was wearing was obviously not much of a priority.  Especially since I needed a candle to dig my way through my closet.  So, I have spent most of my time in wellies, leggings and sweaters, which is all you really need in colder, wet weather.  My friends and I even started to liken ourselves to the characters on Revolution... I am telling you, things have been crazy.  (And it sounds much more believable over a glass of wine!)

Most importantly, we are resilient.  We laughed, cried and drank our way through the last two weeks, and now things are slowly getting back to normal.  While we have struggled through this experience, we do realize that we all are all still very lucky - we did not lose our homes.

A private group on Facebook of over 1,000 moms was my inspiration today.  This group kept my spirits up during the storm, was my source of information the days after and has made me realize how lucky we truly are.  Now, they are doing what they can to help those have not been as fortunate.

Rather than writing about what to wear today, I would like everyone to go into their closets and pull out several items that you will never miss... sweaters you haven't touched in ages, the jeans that are never going to fit again or that coat that is pushed so far back in your closet, you forgot you owned it.  Do this in your husband/boyfriend's closet as well as your kids' closets too.  Pack up these items and donate them to the Hurricane Sandy victims.  

Locally (Wyckoff area), clothing donations can be dropped off at Coldwell Banker at 372 Franklin Ave in Wyckoff (parking in the rear).  For those living somewhat near the areas affected most by Sandy, check out your area on Patch.com.  This lists organizations that are collecting donations locally.  For those further away, you can send the clothing to one of these organizations or drop off at your nearest Salvation Army.  

Clothing is not the only thing needed - tools, cleaning supplies, blankets, toiletries, etc.  These can also be donated or simply a monetary donation is appreciated - Salvation Army Hurricane Sandy Relief.  Take a minute to appreciate how lucky you are, and then spend a few more to help those in need.  

                                                                                                                            - Allison

*Photos courtesy of google.com.