Thursday, January 18, 2018

Let's Faux Fur It Today

Urbancode Faux Faur Oversized Stole Scarf
I embrace the robust fake fur craze wholeheartedly. If you live in Siberia or Antarctica, few humans should judge you for dressing in head-to-toe animal furs in order to keep from freezing to death, but the truth is: technology has moved forward with synthetic fabrics to the point where wearing real fur is probably unnecessary. Some of the new synthetics are developed with the ability to keep bodies warm in severe sub-zero temperatures. And they cost much less too!

I favor fake fur for a number of reasons. Lots of style is available for less moola, there's no animal cruelty involved, and it fills the need efficiently. Faux fur also warms bare arms and shoulders in breezy-yet-milder temperatures, whereas real fur might be too warm.

Let's do a faux fur roundup. While "liberated" fur adorns many articles of clothing from sweaters to shoes, below I'll limit my selection to coats, jackets and stoles ... which tend to have the dual function of providing fashion and warmth:

Moss Copenhagen Coat

Adrianna Papell Wrap
Unreal Fur Abracadabra Jacket
Unreal Fur Abracadabra Jacket
Say What? Junior Bomber Jacket
Jayley Luxurious Stripe Faux Fur Jacket
ASOS 80's Statement Shoulder Jacket
INC International Concepts Vest Created For Macy's
Boohoo Faux Fur Coat

Real fur is no longer the status symbol of decades ago, and clothing manufacturers have gotten so good at faking it. Faux fur looks as fashionable as animal fur; and at a fraction of the cost, you can take a few style risks with "liberated" furs, such as buying wilder colors along with a goes-with-everything basic: black, gray or brown piece.  Less costly means having more fun ... with perhaps an extra! Do you have a favorite?

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Monday, January 15, 2018

A Humble Pear

A pear makes a delicious snack. Crisp and juicy with some sweetness, it stabilizes your blood sugar in-between meals. There's enough fiber and bulk to stave off hunger. I can't stand being hungry either after I eat a meal ... or a couple of hours before dinner. How annoying! When I need a little extra lunch or something to tide me over until dinner, I like to grab a pear. I don't worry about consuming extra calories as long as I stick to fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks. Often a big pear is enough, but a smear of peanut butter or brie is tasty with it.
Photo: Stylegaze

Pears are 84% water, 15% carbohydrates and about 1% protein/fats. They don't contain as many vitamins or minerals as apples, bananas or oranges ... only a trace. Mostly pears are healthy due to their high fiber content, which is very good for your digestive tract, and doctors speculate keep diseases like cancer away. Pears are believed to have hidden benefits that science has yet to understand.

Humans have eaten pears [known as Genus Pyrus, family Rosaceae] since antiquity, and they grow all over the globe. The 5 top growers (in order) include China, Argentina, the United States, Italy and Turkey.

Another benefit of eating pears is, people tend not to be allergic to them. Pears are sometimes given to patients to eat who have lots of other food allergies.

Free iStock photos
In the fall and winter, I buy pears from street vendors: 2 big pears for $1.00. I buy 6, as they have a long refrigerator crisper drawer life. They last for weeks. Pears will ripen at room temperature and faster if you store them next to a banana. Pears are ripe when the flesh around the stem gives with gentle pressure. I once read that a soft pear has more nutrition, but frankly, I prefer it crisp. I will eat any variety of pears but often get Anjou pears. They are plump!

Here is a link to more pear facts and recipes. I'd love to make a rustic pear tart, but I eat my pears up before thought becomes action. Just like apples, I hear that pears make good cider, which I'm also eager to try!

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Skirted Swimsuit

From Lands End, a swimsuit style I tend to select for myself.
Wish the body and tan were included! Now let's add a skirt.
Brrrr, it's been very cold here for a stretch of days. Let's take our minds off of shivering and return to the balmy days of summer for a moment.

Last July I spent the night with New Jersey friends who have a swimming pool. The wife lent me a swimsuit. Funny, I would not have picked the style off of a clothing rack. A one-piece with an adorable skirted bottom, it was very comfortable in-and-out of the water. Now I want one too!

Look at some of these cute possibilities. It goes to show that sexy can come in a one-piece or a tankini (which is like a one-piece) with a skirted bottom. We don't have to walk around nearly naked to be sexy, and in public it's often better if we don't.😊

Enlarged the images with a click.
 Anne Cole Solid Sarong
Profile by Gottex Serendipity Cinch-Tie Slit
Miraclesuit Cheetah Love Knot 

Sophisticated is the new sexy, no? These are far from a grandmother's bloomers. How do you feel about a skirted swimsuit? Do you have a favorite?

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Eye Shadow Launches: Chanel & NARS

Eyeshadow palettes are so chic and pretty, it's impossible not to take notice when beauty companies launch new ones. Designed with colors to mix and match to create a variety of looks, you can go from subtle to dramatic by layering the shades.

Chanel just launched the above Les 9 Ombres palette, which it calls multi-effects shadows. Created by Lucia Pica, the combination of bold and neutral tones are inspired by the frescoes of Pompeii. The 9 long-lasting shades are a medium intensity pigment to make them ultra blendable. Cost: $70
NARSissist Wanted (above↑) is another new high-end eyeshadow palette from retailer NARS. Launched in December, it is also formulated to be very blendable and have staying power. The 12 lovely shades come in 4 textures: mats, shimmers, statins and glitters. Featured are seductive nudes, shimmering rose golds and a versatile range of pale pinks. Cost: $59.
Certainly, the quality is top-notch coming from Chanel and NARS, but if you'd rather spend much less on your eyeshadow palettes, you would not be disappointed with the many choices of Maybelline palettes. The prices may be less, but the quality, selection of colors and rich pigments are high-end. Previously, I reviewed Maybelline's larger (4 palettes of 12 shades) known as The Nudes. The last one here. Cost: About $10 each.
3 of the 7 Maybelline City Minis
Furthermore, last year Maybelline launched 7 City Mini palettes, which are equally stunning, blendable and wearable. Cost: $6-$8, depending on where you buy it.
Joining the 7 other Maybelline City Mini palettes is the newest, The City Mini Palette Shayla with 6 new dramatic hues. Just like the luxe brands, the shimmers are not stark or overwhelming, yet appear polished and natural. Plus, there is no annoying fallout. The Maybelline shadow stays put.

It's always worth knowing what the high-end brands are bringing out. Occasionally you may wish to splurge, but Maybelline (and lately L'Oreal) have truly stepped up their game. For a bit of glamour, customers can't go wrong with any of the eyeshadow palettes. They are all gorgeous!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Ordinary Skincare Is Exceptional

In looking for photos, I stumbled upon the BeautyFrenyBlog, so you can also read what another blogger has to say about the line.
As THE SAVVY SHOPPER, I'm always in search of the best skincare (that works according to science) for less. The more choices, the better for consumers. 

In my ongoing research, I've hit upon another excellent skincare line, called The Ordinary, a brand from parent company Deciem. Their beauty team specializes in chemistry and biochemistry to make effective skin products, with a focus on the latest innovations and keeping prices affordable. 

Moreover, the skincare is free of the usual undesirable suspects, such as "parabens, sulfates, mineral oil,  methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone." The line is sold in Europe, Canada and on Amazon, as well as, various online retailers like ASOS. No animal testing is involved in developing the products.

By taking the time to read about the treatments via the Ordinary website, you can figure out what your skin needs and build your custom skincare routine. But instead of paying $40+ for designer brands, you pay $10-$20 or less and receive six times the amount. Is that not savvy shopping?

Here are two products from The Ordinary I recommend starting with: 
1) Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane - Fights multiple signs of aging with quicker cell turnover without irritating the skin.
2) Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - Hyaluronic acid attracts up to 1,000 times its weight in water and helps the skin retain moisture. Vitamine B5 supports the formula.

Add other skin care essentials as needed, including direct acids, antioxidants and sunscreen. The offerings include a face foundation in 12 shades with sunscreen as an ingredient.

Customers and their wallets💸 love💘 The Ordinary beauty! So popular, distributors have difficulty keeping the brand in stock.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year From Manhattan

Photo: from Times Square
I hear people say: the months of 2017 have passed in what feels like dog years. It has been a year of turmoil and divisiveness. Our Congress seems out of step with regular people. High profile men fell from grace, and we worry about our executive branch of government daily. The year has been exhausting for many Americans and the world.

Cloak at Grand Central Sation - right photo:; left photo: 
But at the stroke of midnight, we began a New Year. And, I am an optimist. The pendulum swings back and forth. I'm happy to be here. Aren't you? Let's celebrate 2018!
Nobody knows how to ring in a New Year like New York City. From neighborhood parties to the huge one in Times Square. Uptown, downtown  ... corks are popping in bars, restaurants and homes.
Photo: Kelly Hulme via TimeOut
In New York's harbor there are sometimes fireworks, but they are not announced. You just have to catch them. Watch the ball drop on TV if you wish ... while making trips into the kitchen for snacks and champaign. The couch is cozy and an easy commute to bed.😊 

It's the perfect time to join together and move forward. Happy New Year, friends!🎉 


Extra Photos: Ahh, sooo New York City. And yes, we have light snow.
Photo: By Belinda Luscombe of The Flatiron Building on West 23rd Street

The snow from my window ....

Uptdate on January 1, 2018: The temperature in Times Square on New Year's Eve was 9 degrees F. This morning, it fell to 8 degrees F. That's cold! Stop falling!!!

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Greetings To Everyone

The 1st-9-photos taken by Margareta Kessler
Here are recent photos of the elegant Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. The Vanderbilt estate was built during the Gilded Age and is still privately owned by the Vanderbilt family. Luckily, it is open for public tours so we can see an earlier age of American history and great wealth. What beautiful, elaborate Christmas decorations! 

A look into the past informs us of how the world changes and yet manages to stay the same, doesn't it? Once again we turn to a low-born, humble child to remind us of what is truly important.
From the perennial carol: O Holy Night ...
"O holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night 
Of the dear Savior's birth''
''Long lay the world                
In sin and darkness pining
'Til he appeared 
And the soul felt its worth"
''A thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and joyous mourning''
''Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angels' voices
Oh night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine ..."
The world is a magnificent, challenging, complicated, changing and static place. Always was, always will be! During Christmas, we recall that hope is eternal, and it matters that we keep striving. Never. Stop. Striving.
Thank you, Margareta, for your lovely photography!

Meanwhile from Manhattan, warm wishes for peace, love and harmony. A Merry Christmas ... and goodwill to all! As members of the human family, be kind to one another.

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