i love my new scarf thiiiiiiis much

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Scarf: Zara (gift)

One of the things I really wanted to learn how to do well is layer. It's the easiest and hardest thing to do in my opinion, but has the best impact on one's sense of style. When the former roomie gave me the perfect leopard scarf for Christmas I just couldn't wait to put it in an outfit!

Top: Ann Taylor Factory ~ Sweater: The Limited ~ Pants: Forever21+ 

These pants aren't perfect (bunching around the crotch) but I loved the color too much argue. I'm just going to keep drying the heck out of them and see if the upper half shrinks the way I want it to. F21 why must your quality hold up the ONE time I need it to not?

This sweater is one of my newest wardrobe additions and one of the first that I bought to specifically be a bit big. It's comfy and cozy but actually on the thinner side, which means I can layer it without dying of heat stroke.

Trench: Michael Kors (Filene's Basement)




Booties: DSW

I tried to take some half decent shoe shots but found myself completely defeated by what things I had around to balance my camera on. I love this shoes almost as much as the scarf so don't be surprised when  you see them more often. They're pretty high but the rubber sole and thicker heel means I wore them all day and nothing hurt!

Awkward and Awesome (12/29)

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The last one of 2011! I can't believe it; somehow time has continued to march on to its own beat and allow 2012 to enter the picture. I am both amazed and frightened.

Which I know sounds incredibly depressing but I assure you it isn't! While I still have no idea what I want to do with my life I know things could be much much worse. I'm blessed with a job that allows me to pay my bills and have fun, friends to hang out with in good times and bad, and time to figure what I want to do (if anything) with my interest in makeup and fashion. I still miss my mom, I don't think that will ever go away, and with all the life changes lately it's probably not surprising that I wish she was around to talk to. Even if it was just for one of our 'I'm waiting for the bus what are you doing?' talks.

I don't know what to hope for in 2012. Probably more life vision. I should manage my money better, buy less and use what I have more. Organization is another big one, mixed with a bit of donate or throw away. I've already schedule doctor's and dentist's appointments. One more of that sort of thing is still on the list, but it's in the works for early 2012 because why spread the pain? All in one go I say.

I hope that I've learned some and am in the place to learn more. I'm never quite sure about that one though, so I'm just gonna keep my fingers crossed. Thank you for reading my blog and sticking through even when I disappear or have less than stellar posts - it's cliche I know, but it means a lot.

Here's to 2012!

Awkward:
-Being OCD. The only thing in life I'm OCD about are my book shelves and the fact that I currently don't have enough to complete my 'alphabetical by author's last name and in order by series' goal irks me to no end.
-Randos on the street who STILL tell me to smile! AUGH!
-Wanting to cram everything that's left into boxes in my closet because it's a more attractive alternative than finding a place to put it.
-Having tendonitis and wearing a wrist brace in an office where everyone has a comment. Everyday.
-Picking at my face even though I know it's not really helping the 'purging' part of the Clarisonic process.
-Christmas claymation movies. I have all the ones worth having on DVD and I love them something serious.
-Missing my new apartment and the cute baseball diamond that just opened up near the elementary school.
-Realizing that if and when it finally snows in DC I will not be living in a place with a hill down the road.
-Agreeing to do a makeup seminar/talk/thing when I'm pretty sure I have no idea what I'm doing.
-Life has shown me that I do not say no very well. Something to work on for 2012 I think. 

Awesome:
-Having friends who will take you to H-Mart to stock up on Asian goodies!
-Bike rides in December where I get to feel like an extra in a Korean drama because I'm wearing a dress, sweater tights, and teal ballet flats.
-Getting to use extra Christmas cash on some much needed wardrobe additions. Or at least I'm going to tell myself they were much needed.
-LEOPARD PRINT SCARF! Former roomie for the win on this one, I love it and will be showing it off soon.
-My Clarisonic. It may - may - just be worth its astronomical price.
-Being able to get to work in 20min from my new apartment.
-Finding a new place to shop for great flats. Two pairs and counting from Nine West!
-Really new shoes in general. Lately the world has not done me wrong in the shoe department.

And as it is the end of year, why not celebrate with some photos? According to my phone, this is some of the hilarity that went on. Personally, I don't think there are enough pictures of books.




xmas @ work

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**I'm testing new places around my office to take makeup pics, sorry it's washed out! **

If you could see this in its full color glory, it's actually very festive :). I used a combination of Inglot and MAC eyeshadows. It's not that hard to do yourself either!
1) Put a gold eyeshadow all over your lid and use a fluffy brush to fade the edges
2) Use that same fluffy brush and a matte eyeshadow close to your own skin tone to fade out the edges of the gold even further, using windshield wiper motions in the crease area.
3) Take a dense blending eyeshadow brush and pick a dark plum eyeshadow to deepen the look and add color. Start slowly building the color at the outer 'V' and gradually move inwards. Periodically use the fluffy blender brush (with no more product!) to keep everything soft and blended.
4) Line the bottom lash line with an emerald green eyeliner pencil.
5) Seal the liner by plashing a dark green eyeshadow on top.
6) Smoke out the bottom lash line by adding the plum eyeshadow just along the outer third.
7) Add liner and Mascara and THAT'S IT!


I've got another fun eye look coming, a sparkly number I wore out Christmas Eve, and an OOTD! Stay tuned for more :D.

Movie Review - Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room...until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty - and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade, points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder-a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction.


~~

Let's be real with each other - this isn't a movie review blog for a reason. Mostly because I just don't want to pay the exorbitant fees necessary for the big screen. Still in keeping with my friend's Jewish traditions, Christmas Eve seemed as good a time as any for a movie/Chinese food adventure. I wanted to see Arthur Christmas, but it wasn't in theaters any more (cause somehow that makes sense for a CHRISTMAS movie)! Instead the former roomie chose Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and I can happily say that even without seeing the first movie it was loads of fun.

Robert Downey Jr. rightfully steals the show as Holmes, with all the wit, combat skills, and 'urban camouflage' you could ask for. While I'm not the biggest Jude Law fan he also did a great job as Watson, the long suffering side-kick who's only goal really is to somehow get back to (or on at all) his honeymoon.  Sometimes I felt like the movie was overusing the trick of slow mo-ing the action beforehand, but it never got too annoying. There were plenty of laugh out load moments and I definitely want to go back and see the first.

Recommended, holiday or not :).

**I'm cross posting this on Reading Amidst the Chaos. Sorry for the not-so-newness, but I'm recovering from the holidays!

Merry Christmas!

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I hope you're all enjoying fun and family and friends, even if you're not technically celebrating Christmas. But hey - there's nothing wrong with a few extra wishes of good will right ;)?

easy smokey eye

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Products Used:
~~NYX Eye Pencil in 911 Emerald City
~~Sephora kohl liner in 01 keep black
~~MAC eyeshadow in Oomph
~~MAC eyeshadow in Soft Brown
~~Mascara
(excuse the dry flakies - I didn't notice them until after I cropped the pictures)

I wanted to post this because it's proof that with very little effort you can still get a pretty good result. I whipped this up a few nights ago when I was feeling uber lazy but needed to put something on my face. Using the green liner all across the lid emphasized the color of Oomph and I used Soft Brown to soften any harsh lines around the edges. Smudging a black liner along the upper lash line and then on both water lines helped up the drama without too much work. The best part? You can do this with any color!

shoes! shoes! shoes!

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Apparently when I mentally prepared myself not to add to my wardrobe without good reason it didn't extend to shoes. Over the last few weeks I've stalked and happened upon a few pairs that were unique and awesome enough that I just had to have them. Case 1:



I saw these for the first time at Filene's Basement (RIP) but the 8.5 pair they had was just a bit tight and let's be real - I'm going to wear socks with these so tight was not going to cut it. The other issue I had was the price because I didn't want to pay $60 for these :-/. I waited and stalked them on DSW, in fact it was one of the tabs automatically opened on Firefox, until the magically day came and they went on sale! Score! This coincided with a fantastic $10 off coupon and an online code for free shipping.

I got them in the mail yesterday and already love them. I can't wait to show them off in a future OOTD.

Case 2:


Lela Rose for Payless Tassel Shootie

This were a happened upon find. The Payless in Columbia Heights is going out of business and these just happened to catch my eye. They're surprisingly comfortable (though obviously I'm not going to make the mistake of walking marathons in them) and are very cute. I'm not sure how much I love them on myself barelegged, but with black or grey sweater tights? Done!

Case 3:

picture via

This I owe completely to the numerous fashion blogs I follow. Jean from Extra Petite tweeted and in fact did a whole blog post about these shoes, because they were $18 with free shipping (to a local store). Amazing ya'll, though I couldn't decide which colors I wanted so for now I'm waiting on both. They haven't come in yet but I'll make sure to keep you updated!

And the feud evolves....

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Damn straight.

all's well that ends well

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How do you like the brows? I sat and chatted a moment with the woman who threads them and after explaining that I wanted them thicker we came out with this. While they're not quite as defined as they usually are, I LOVE the bushier feel to them. Rare for me I know, but it's good to mix things up a bit.

And this eye look.....it was not I wanted it to be but since it's really not bad per se I decided to put it up regardless. It kind of turned out to be a slightly natural cut crease with a smokey lash line. It was supposed to look like this. Oh well - maybe next time!

Monochromatic and lovin' it

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Turtleneck & Pants: H&M

A little boring I know, but sometimes all I need is a nice pair of wide legged pants and a well fitting top to feel put together. There were also some cool earrings that went with this but I made a funny face and we all know what happened then - CROP!

the box

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And lo, on the 9th day of December Dana spent a bunch of money on herself for Christmas.

(not that she was going to wait until Christmas to open it)

But what could it have been, to need such a big and impressive box? Well....

It's a CLARISONIC!!

A Clarisonic Mia2 to be precise. If you haven't heard of it, it's a slightly expensive uber spiffy face washing device and according to Sephora.com: 

"Clarisonic's patented sonic technology gently removes the impurities traditional cleaning methods leave behind, cleansing six times better than your hands alone. In just 60 seconds, its sonic action removes impurities from pores so that creams, serums, and moisturizers are more effective. And with regular daily use you'll notice a reduction in dry patches, oily areas, and blemishes."


The Clarisonic is one of those things that you hear a lot about in the beauty blogger world or on YouTube because so many people consider it the holy grail item of their face cleansing routine. I'm still in the midst of perfecting mine but the bumps on my forehead and the acne are definitely getting to me. It just seems as if no matter what I do nothing changes and that is incredibly frustrating. Now if you know me you know I'm willing to spend a bit of money on these types of things but only if they WORK. I have no problem with returning something that demonstrates a subpar performance and I plan to hold the Clarisonic to similar standards.

I'll definitely keep you guys updated, though I'm so-so on including pictures. My skin is probably the thing I am most self-conscious about so we'll see how it goes. Especially since there's supposed to be a 'purging' phase....

Buffy, quick - we need you to save Geekdom!

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want > need

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Did I need Stila's In the Light Palette? Absolutely not. But after swatching it in Sephora did I want it with all my little heart? Absolutely yes. And it fulfilled all my hopes and dreams because it is awesome and pigmented and I get to do cool looks like this that transition so well from day to evening (for me anyway).

*Sorry for the lack of makeup posts. I've bought new makeup that I in no way needed, but for a while there I wasn't doing anything new. Also my eyebrows are more than a bit jacked at the moment, so pictures were a big great big HELL no.

**As that implies I'm going to get my eyebrows done today and have been playing around with all that new makeup and I hope to have some different looks up soon!

prep(y)

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Oh the classic question of a woman who uses public transportation to get to work - heels or no heels? On this particular day I went with no heels and while I know the outfit would have looked better if I'd thrown some on, I like to try at least to keep these shots realistic.

Besides, the actual point of this outfit was the cool button down + sweater + pearls combo that I fell in love with.


Sweater: GAP ~ Shirt: Express ~ Skirt: Forever21+ ~ Tights: Target ~ Necklace: Forever21 ~ Shoes: Nine West

**And HALLELUJAH I have managed to finish moving into a new apartment. With that done (though let's not talk about unpacking, ok?) and Comcast having finally installed cable and internet, expect postings to be more regular. Thanks for sticking with me!

Thankful

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I am so thankful for my health, my friends, the roof over my head and the job that pays my bills. It's no simple thing, living your life without stress, but right now I can definitely say things could be worse.

*Yes I cooked this. It was totally worth the long - long - time it took.
**If I wasn't moving I'd probably cook again. Because (in all honesty) my turkey is the bomb diggity.

Shopping in someone else's closet

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Moving has become the band of my existence this past few weeks. Going through and organizing 2+ years in one spot has been really overwhelming, especially when at the same time I'm not really allowing myself to buy new stuff. Don't get me wrong, I did just pick up the cape and dress from F21, but there's SO much more that I want. The reality of the situation though is that 1) I'm about to have a LOT less space and 2) moving is expensive (and my new rent is expensive!)!

Still I am who I am and I can't help but look, so why not spend some time on a few of my favorite style blogs?? i am Khatu and Wendy's Lookbook are incredible sources of inspiration and shopping lust for me, and right now these are a few of the things that call to me from their closets:

 Comfy Sweater/Fur Vest (left, right)

Leopard Print Scarf (left, right)

 Leather Jacket (left, right)

 Layering 
(I know - I know! It's not a specific item but D*MN do I wish I could layer like these two women! Though I do also want a layerable sweater vest.; 

Fall/Winter Accessories (top, middle, bottom)

If there was a magic wishlist fairy I'd say in the realms of actually possibility would be these two pairs of shoes:

Elara by Calvin Klein (Piperlime)

 R2 Lori Bootie (DSW)

I'll let you know if any of these turn out to be more than just pipe dreams! Hopefully no one's disappointed in me 'phoning it in' today but forgive me? I'm moving!

rebel in gray

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Cape: Forever21 ~ Jeans: Forever21+ ~ Boots: Steve Madden

Rebel in that I said screw it and wore jeans to work. Not that amazing I know, but I was the epitome of comfort that day.

a little bit country

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goldy

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When it's someone else's birthday I figure it's time for fun but nothing too dramatic - it's their time to shine not mine :). This was a super easy look I put together and I loved the effect!



(The gold Milani pencil was used as a base for the e.l.f pigment but it ended up being mostly unnecessary as the pigment was almost the exact same color.)

fallen in love with fall

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Shirt: J.crew ~ Skirt: ASOS ~ Belt: Torrid ~ Boots: DSW (last year, don't remember the brand) ~ Bracelet: Gift ~ Necklace: Eastern Market

Savings BONANZA!

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I feel like every store and their mom has sent me emails today telling me what's on sale. I guess they didn't get the memo that I'm moving and not supposed to spend money! If you're luckier than me and in the market for a deal, here's what I've been reading:

40% off all brushes at e.l.f - use code BRUSH40 ($15 min)


20% off ONE item at Ulta - use code 65600 (valid through 11/5)


Free shipping at Figleaves - use code SHIPPING (valid through 11/7)


15% off ONE item at Barnes & Noble - in-store coupon or use code E9A4D3D (valid through 11/6)



Save $70 off $150 - use code 2686; save $30 off $75 - use code 2698 (valid through TODAY (11/3))