Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Exhibition @ The Morgan Library 6/26-10/11/15

"The enchanting tale of Wonderland was first told 'one golden afternoon' to Alice Liddell and her two sisters, and it was published in 1865 with the iconic illustrations of Sir John Tenniel." - from the Morgan calendar of events.

First off, this exhibit is spectacular! If at all possible - Don't Miss It!!!  Here is the New York Times write up that gives a good idea of how truly amazing this event is. 

This storybook with it's profoundly evocative illustrations has influenced and inspired for 150 years in a way that is quite astonishing.  Rather than talk about the details of the books original publishing and popularity, I would like to focus on the art.  The artwork of Sir John Tenniel has clearly imprinted itself on the psyche of so many and has  inspired sooooo many artists to create their own images based , I would say , on his interpretation.

This is the photo Lewis Carroll gave to Tenniel to use as his 'muse' for Alice. ( this isn't Alice Liddel, it's another family  friend)

I just want to post a ton of artwork done by many, many talented artist all paying tribute to this charming, wonderful tale of a somewhat know-it-all little girl who is proud and curious and polite and bossy and bright and absolutely lovable in a very 19th century way...

This is but a smattering...
How amazing that one story told in an afternoon while lazily boating on the Thames could inspire such creativity and obvious affection.

And last but not least:

American McGee's Alice.  A very good game but more importantly, visually stunning and more importantly still an original soundtrack that is hauntingly gorgeous and does everything all of these artists have done which is to thank, congratulate and admire the genius that is Alice in Wonderland.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Athena, goddess of wisdom. Fierce and brave in battle.

It just happened that I came across a beautiful edition of Homer's Odyssey a few weeks ago and read it with much joy.  Last time I read it was in high school ...
At any rate with the last weeks of current events in Greece, I couldn't help but make some comparisons.  The entire country of Greece needs to see itself in epic terms.  This is pretty much an epic moment for them so why not decide to be the Hero!

According to this chart, Greece would seem to be somewhere in the Abyss ( death & rebirth) phase.  It is indeed a tricky phase.  They seem to have already failed quite a few of the "challenges and temptations" and my guess is that they failed to call upon the appropriate helper/mentor/helper.
This is where their ancient past is a serious bonus.  They have an extraordinary wealth of mentors and helpers in their gods, goddesses, philosophers, mythologies, etc...

Odysseus winning back his kingdom

They need look no further than Homer's Odyssey.  It's truly all there.  He, like modern Greece, spent a few too many years whiling away the days on a tropical island crying himself to sleep fearing he would never regain his former awesome life.  But the wise and concerned Athena, lit a proverbial fire up under his ass and got him started for home.  And as the chart clearly shows, part of the journey home involves going down into Hell and conversing with the dead to gain some insight.  Greeks, are you listening?  I think you know what this means.  The sh*t just got real.  But, Athena cares.  She cares a lot and she goes the distance to help.  Which in normal language means wisdom, clarity and a sound plan are crucial.

And learn from past mistakes!!!  Pissing off Poseidon costs way too much.  Come up with an alternate plan...

This bizarre escape plan just doesn't fly in the modern world.  Don't even try it.

And you have definitely already lost too many men to the siren song.  Take an alternate route.  It's obvious that it's going to suck.  Odysseus continually refers to himself as the most unlucky man alive.  But, he is brave as Hell and feverishly devoted to his home of Ithaca.  The gods love him for these qualities.  And so do the readers of Homer.  So, Greece, find your inner hero and win the day... which according to mythology (and the above chart) is possibly 20 years away, but worth every challenge and sacrifice when the home you are trying to preserve looks like this:
Odysseus' own sweet Ithaca
You can do it Greece!

Sunday, May 10, 2015



 I started out wanting to review celebrity frags with an optimistic outlook and a slight hope that I might find, to my surprise , that I actually bonded with and decided to purchase one.  I had an open mind... Sort of.  I have had a closed mind towards celebrity perfumes since around - forever.  Based mostly on the ad campaigns and the occasional whiff of a magazine fold over.
So... this smells like armpit?

So with my generous attitude I ventured out to sample some of these scents.  I went first to Bloomingdales.  I have a dread of department stores almost equal to my dread of celebrity fragrances so I was really giving it my all... Only to find that Bloomingdales can't be bothered with such things.  I had to respect that choice even though I was now faced with having to try another unpleasant venue - Macy's.  I smiled at my mistake. Of course Bloomingdales had try to keep some snob appeal alive even though they lost all snob appeal by 1980 something.  Anyway, off to the everyman store.
Wow, part pirate costume, part fruit salad

Alas, even the Everyman store was too busy trying to look fancy to be bothered with Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian.  Hmm.  Now I'm more than frazzled from having to walk through the ground level of not one but two department stores!  But, I am super curious. Where the Hell does one go to purchase some Katy Perry or Taylor Swift essence?  I had read that people were finding Gloria by Gloria Vanderbilt at Walgreens.  It was getting a lot of buzz because it's an older classic scent and people were finding it for $10 !  I was def into that kind of treasure hunt so I made a beeline for the nearest Walgreens.
"Catch the Fever" from what? The STD causing her to air out her crotch?

The perfumes at Walgreens are kept locked up in a glass case and obviously no sample bottles and scent cards available. Also no Gloria.  Now I was going from generous  and upbeat, to mystified, to just plain pissed off.
What the Hell is even going on here!?

On my way home I passed another Walgreens that looked newer and bigger and I thought I would just peak in and see if Gloria might be there.  No.  No Gloria, but there was a strange vending machine like apparatus for spritzing  a sample of most of the fragrances. And they had Britney Spears Fantasy which I had read quite a few positive reviews about.  So after much fiddling with this bizarre machine and even collaborating with some other customers who gave up and walked away, I finally got a huge blob of Fantasy dumped into the palm of my hand. And , yes, it was atrocious.
This bottle is already giving me nightmares...

 So I am going to let this entire experience validate my original contempt for the currently tanking arm of the perfume industry known as the Celebrity Fragrance.
Why is this an ad?

It's really not that hard...

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Krispy Kreme

I just had my birthday.   Thank you, yes I had a very nice day.
I had planned this a few months ago - birthday freebies.  Like Starbucks free birthday drink, Sephora VIB birthday gift etc.  I looked into a few new ones and signed up for the 'fan club' just for an experiment.  The first failure was Krispy Kreme.  It was really bizarre because they did send me an email for a donut and coffee on my birthday, specifying the location, about a week before the glorious day.  On my birthday that email was no where to be found... nowhere.  I ended up going to the Krispy Kreme site to sign in and find out they didn't recognize my email.  I had received approx one email per week for three months and now they didn't have me on record.  And I couldn't find a single one of the emails they had sent me.  I decided the universe was trying to save me from some catastrophe like a new donut based ebola outbreak or something equally bad so I just moved along.

This is probably the fourth year I have taken advantage of the Starbucks offer.  Simple and to the point.  No craziness here just a major caffeine/sugar rush.

This is my third Sprinkles birthday cupcake - I got in on the ground floor (they now have a location in Atlanta as well as New York and Los Angeles).  I got chai flavor!


Second disappointment - Aveda.  A travel size hand lotion with a $30 order...?! Bogus.  They offer better deals than that all the time. They really need to step it up.  The other beauty insiders clubs are way more fun...

Sephora sent a post card as well as email and packaged these two Nars lipsticks in a cute 'Happy Birthday' box.  And did not specify a minimum order.

Club Clio

Club Clio was the hands down winner.  They know how to celebrate!  A make up case with 3 sheet masks, a lipstick that I got to choose myself, a hand lotion (yeah Aveda...) and three Goodal skin care samples.  Party time at Club Clio!!!

So, my birthday is over, and it's back to the real world another year older, but armed with some awesome beauty supplies.  Maybe I will have an extra beautiful year!

Monday, March 30, 2015

K-Beauty Part III: My Korean Product Faves

From a recent trip to Club Clio

#1 Fave - Peripera cushion blusher.  I can't live without this and there is NO stand in or duplicate. It's this exact product or nothing.

(All other faves I will not number because I love them all and I don't want to have to pick 'teachers pet'.)
Club Clio "Kill Cover" - excellent coverage, several options, all good.

Fairly recent Tony Moly repurchase

Tony Moly tony tint Delight in deep red and cherry red are kind of tied for #1 fave.  I stock up to make sure I am never without one.

I also repurchase the Pandas Dream white sleeping pack.  It is so light and comfortable and you wake up well hydrated.

Not your typical sheet mask

These Sun Clamue collagen masks are a cut above the regular sheet masks.  Pricier, but really effective. (the other two sample products were also high quality)

From The Face Shop

The Face Shop has my favorite eyebrow pencil.  Mostly just because they have the color that most perfectly goes with my complexion.
I also love this Mini Pet Sweet perfumed hand cream.  It's very lightly scented and of couse the little jar makes me smile!

These three Mizon products are an essential part of my morning and evening ritual.  Snail Recovery, HA drops and S-Venom Wrinkle Tox.  I have  pretty long list of other products that revolve in and out but these three are always there.

Everyone has different skin care needs and issues etc. and you really can't know if something is for you until you try it.  One bonus with the Korean brands is that they make samples of everything and also have testers in store etc. and you can figure out pretty quickly what direction to go in. 
Same with the make up.  I didn't even mention BB or CC creams because there are so many and it's really hard to recommend because of the difference in skin type and the kind of coverage preference differs from person to person.  But I will say that I have four different ones that I love and have tested several others that I also loved...
The bottom line for me is that I have not been disappointed with any product I have tried.  Some have not given me exactly what I was looking for but the product itself was fine.  The standards are very high and they don't normally perfume things or add very much that isn't essential to the efficacy of the product.
I hope I have inspired a few of you to get started on a Korean Beauty routine. I can only hope the more we show interest here stateside the more products will be available!