Cheap Jeans vs. Expensive Jeans

Posted 24 September 2015 at 8:44 PM | Comments (0)

Refinery29 published this infographic, illustrated by Isabel Castillo Guijarro, to explain the difference between a $200 pair of jeans and a $20 pair. I have never been proud of my fast fashion purchases and this only affirms, well, partly, my guilt, and mostly: how much things need to change. (Click the image to enlarge.)

How a $200 Jean Becomes a $20 Pair, Illustrated by Isabel Castillo Guijarro

Anthropologie’s Adira Beaded Hoops

Posted 31 August 2015 at 9:44 PM | Comments (0)

Earlier this month I mentioned looking for a pair of beaded, teardrop-hoop earrings. Well, I found them. The perfect pair was at and on sale for $29.99, plus 30% off all sale items and free shipping.

Anthropologie Adira Beaded Hoops

Behold, the Adira Beaded Hoops. I can’t wait for them to arrive in my mailbox.

Teardrop Earrings

Posted 3 August 2015 at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

Bohemia always rises again in the fashion world, and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t ready for its return this time around. I had been enjoying the mod, the minimalism, and the normcore of recent seasons; they felt fresh to me. For the new Bohemia, it felt too soon.

Then, last spring, I bought a pair of black flared jeans and a rust-colored peasant blouse and never wanted to take them off. I came around. Really came around. I have now spent the entire summer in sweeping, glamorous, printed maxi dresses and am already planning my Bohemian purchases for the fall.

And how to accessorize all of those new purchases? With a pair of teardrop earrings. Time to put away my minimalist studs and go all out with my Bohemian look. For fall 2015, my favorites are beaded.

Polyvore: Bohemian Teardrop Earrings

Ferm Living’s Marble Wallpaper

Posted 13 August 2014 at 3:04 PM | Comments (0)

In our Chicago condo, we had installed a faux-marble tile in our bathroom. We were doing a quick renovation to sell, and I honestly thought that, with our budget, we would end up with the same 4×4″ white tiles that everyone else had. A trip to the local tile store proved differently. The shop owner showed us a faux, gray and white marble from American Standard that was cheaper than the white squares and looked much richer.

Once installed, the faux marble looked so good that even our realtor thought it was real. We had to correct her when we noticed the listing read: “marble tile in bathroom.” Surprisingly, the faux marble won everyone over, even me.

Which is why I am not at all surprised that I love this marble wallpaper from Ferm Living.

Ferm Living Marble Wallpaper

No, No Kimono

Posted 9 July 2014 at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)

Advertising is creepily powerful. Even though I have zero interest in flowing kimono jackets, super-cropped tops, and wide-brimmed hats, the styling of this photo is so good that I feel like I need this outfit, now. I’m not even doing a good job of talking myself out of it—every time I look at the model’s smooth skin and perfect eyebrows, I have to ask myself, “Wait, why don’t I want a kimono?”

Urban Outfitters Ecote Crinkle Square Kimono Jacket 2014

Well played, Urban Outfitters.

Chicago : Mexico City Wallpaper

Posted 7 July 2014 at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

I only recently discovered Grow House Grow, a Brooklyn-based company that designs wallpaper and more. For their Chicago : Mexico City wallpaper, they combined notable design motifs from these two sister cities—Midwestern Prairie School meets geometric Aztec. The result is stellar and would look awesome in an Art Deco-inspired bathroom or entryway.

Chicago : Mexico City Wallpaper from Grow House Grow

Skincare in Your 50s

Posted 8 November 2013 at 7:45 PM | Comments (0)

Funny that I claimed I “never post on beauty,” yet here I am, day three, posting about skincare. It’s the last section in the skincare series I swiped from the May 2013 issue of Lucky magazine and it’s just too good not to share.

So for those of you in your 50s and beyond, read on.


As oil production drops off, your skin’s protective barrier starts to weaken, making it less able to hold moisture, so build hydration into every step of your routine.

Switch to a creamy cleanser, and use face oils, hydrating serums and lotions or balms that sink right in. Together, they’ll strengthen the lipid barrier so your skin feels smoother and calmer.

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, $10

You may need a more moisturizing form of topical retinoid like Renova. If you’re still super-dry, layer on a ceramide moisturizer before the retinoid. “They’re terrifically hydrating, lightweight and anti-inflammatory,” says Brandt. “If you apply a ceramide cream before your retinoid, you’ll get less irritation, and it won’t interfere with the treatment.”

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM, $14

Crepiness starts to be a problem because of lost collagen. A first step might be a lift-and-tighten peptide cream smoothed in with a Clarisonic Opal—the sonic waves help the cream sink in and create a temporary plumping effect that lasts for hours. Dermatologists have more drastic—and more lasting—solutions: Thermage, Fraxel and Ulthera treatments kick up collagen production for long-term repair. Over three months, skin gets firmer and smoother.

Philosophy Full of Promise Treatment Duo for Uplifting Days and Volumizing Nights, $75

Skincare in Your 40s

Posted 7 November 2013 at 7:20 PM | Comments (0)

Yesterday I posted an article from the May 2013 issue of Lucky magazine about skincare in your 30s. Today I got an e-mail from a friend saying, “Too bad there’s no ‘skincare in your 40s,’” to which I replied, “Actually… there is.”

So for those of you in your 40s, here’s the section.


This is when your past sun damage comes back to haunt you—in the form of wrinkling, redness, uneven skin tone and brown spots. You might see some volume loss in your face, too.

Take vitamin D to improve skin and hair (plus bones and immune system). “I recommend 3,000 international units a day for women who stay out of the sun,” says Brandt. “Women with darker skin may need more, because they have some built-in sun protection. If you find your hair or nails are getting thinner, I also find biotin can make a big difference.”

Lasers (like Clear and Brilliant, Fraxel and IPL) can supercharge your at-home efforts, brightening skin and obliterating lines, broken capillaries and hyperpigmentation.

Add a peptide cream to your routine. Peptides generally don’t cause irritation, so they’re easy to incorporate morning or evening, and they treat practically every sign of aging.

SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream, $350

Switch to a richer moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, ceramides or glycerin—all brilliant for plumping and smoothing. To lock in moisture, apply while your skin is still damp.

Weleda Skin Food, $19

In addition to your regular eye cream, carry a cooling roller-tip gel with caffeine (to reduce puffiness) in your bag. Antihistamines like Claritin can also help with undereye bags if the problem turns out to be allergies.

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, $40

Lashes grow skimpier and shorter over the years. Latisse, the prescription lash grower, really works. “It’s good for thinning eyebrows too, although it’s not FDA-approved for that,” says Brandt.

Latisse, $76 to $120

Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm) not only restore lost volume but also spur collagen growth. Botox injections iron out wrinkles and, in the right hands, even create a subtle brow-lift.

Skincare in Your 30s

Posted 6 November 2013 at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Since I’m clueless about, and generally disinterested in, beauty, I don’t share beauty information here.

Until today.

I came across this article in the May 2013 issue of Lucky and found it so relevant that I not only have to share it, I have to hang onto it. For myself. Weird.


Wechsler points out that 54 percent of 35-year-old women have adult acne. Brandt agrees: “The biggest complaint is pimples and wrinkles at the same time.”

Maintain a healthy weight. Yo-yo dieting, with fluctuations of 10 pounds or more, can lead to facial sagging. Your skin gets less elastic with age, so as with sleep, it’s harder for it to snap back. “I’m a big believer in the anti-aging effects of a healthy diet, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin supplements,” says Brandt. “I recommend taking an omega-3 to decrease inflammation, plus high doses of vitamin C to boost collagen production and overall health.”

Retinoids treat both acne and wrinkles, as can salicylic acid. If these don’t work for the acne, dermatologists have more powerful solutions, from bacteria-zapping laser treatments, oral antibiotics, birth control pills and prescription androgen blockers to (for persistent cystic acne) Accutane.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner, $45

Add antioxidant serum to shield your skin from free radicals better than sunscreen alone. “Look for ingredients like green tea, white tea or blue ginger,” says Wechsler. “You want a high concentration, so make sure the antioxidant is listed in the top five ingredients.”

Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate, $85

“Exercising four or five days a week increases blood flow to your skin and boosts endorphins to help with healing,” says Wechsler.

Start using eye cream, preferably one with retinol, peptides or both, plus a humectant like hyaluronic acid. If you use a prescription retinoid, use a smidge of it around your eyes, as long as it doesn’t irritate.

Dior Capture XP Ultimate Wrinkle Correction Eye Cream, $85

RéVive Intensité Volumizing Eye Serum Targeted Skin Filler, $350

Manage stress. “Chronic anxiety speeds up aging—I wrote a whole book about it,” says Wechsler, who holds degrees in both psychiatry and dermatology. “It can cause wrinkles, pimples, dryness, redness and irritation.”

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator, $40

Alphabet Wooden Bookend

Posted 2 November 2013 at 12:31 AM | Comments (0)

We’ve been back in the U.S. for four months now. We’re not settled in by any means—we’re living in my parents’ house and job hunting—but despite that, I’m in house mode. I’m always in house mode.

I love this wooden alphabet bookend from It makes me want to fill shelves again.

Alphabet Wooden Bookend from