Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Ring!

I so rarely actually get the things I Love. Want. Need. so I wanted to share this one with you. I know you thought my phone photography couldn't get any worse, but you were wrong (bear with me):

And now I have no idea where to put this ginormous accessory because my jewelry box is full; read more about that Sunday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My First Bikini Wax

Last week, on Tuesday to be exact, I had my very first bikini wax -- and yes, it was a Brazilian. You’d think that someone endeavoring on this very special experience for the first time would need some kind of good reason, right? Am I seeing someone special or about to book a cruise to the Bahamas? Nope. In fact, it’s been so chilly lately that I’m still in tights, hardly baring my legs much less -- well, anything else. But Completely Bare offered me the opportunity to try out their hair removal methods for free, in exchange for an accurate assessment of what I thought. At first I was slightly incredulous. We’ve all heard some pretty terrible things about getting a first bikini wax. Were they really so confident about what they had to offer that they trusted me to write an unbiased review?

Well, luckily for them, I happened to like it. Not that it wasn’t also...memorable. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The night before, as I enjoyed Mexican seder at Toloache in Midtown (...yes, you read that right), my girlfriend was telling me all about the time she tried a bikini wax -- once. She said that I was crazy. She said that I’d better drink up, indicating my full margarita glass. She said that getting a bikini wax was a rite of passage that every woman should do once, but that I should be prepared for the fact that I would probably only ever do it...once. I would not put myself through that again.

That morning, I managed to be running very late. Waiting in line at the post office and then getting lost as I headed to their downtown location (of six in NYC) added up to a very breathless, hectic arrival. But that actually worked in my favor, I think. I didn’t have time to dwell on what I was about to do, nor did I have to wait long in the chic but stark reception area:

Once I got into my private room, I met with the exact stereotype you'd expect: a foreign, curt, no-nonsense wax woman. I told her it was my first time, so I'd like it if she communicated with me about what she was doing as we went along. In short, she essentially said, "Look, I'm not going to lie to you. It's going to hurt. If anyone said different, they are lying. It's probably also going to bleed. I just want you to know. Don't say I didn't tell you. Now open your legs."

When waxing, it's both more and less violating than you might expect. For me, I was mostly wary of the all-white room I was in, which was sterile like a hospital. Forget the idea of Enya playing and pictures of beaches and mountains and bamboo. It was just all bare white. Over the table, which itself was draped in sanitary paper, was a magnifying lamp that would light me up and amplify me down there so the lady could have a clear sight. That was all highly intimidating to me.

On the other hand, I found it sort of easy to pull off my panties and hike up my dress and climb on the table. I figured if she was going to be stoic and professional, than I could put on a brave face and act all business, too. I was told to put the soles of my feet togather, knees apart, like a butterfly position. I surprised myself that I wasn't too out of shape to do this. This position sort of gives the woman access to the surface without exposing more; your legs are basically as closed as possible. She started patting on some preparatory lotions to sink in while she stirred and heated up a batch of wax. She stood by my head. We made chitchat.

The actual heart of the matter wasn't so bad. Really. Did it hurt? Yup. Each strip, especially in certain areas, hurts right when she rips it, like a bandaid. But right when it's done, it doesn't keep hurting. Or it didn't for me, anyway. The strips kind of blurred together; she let me know before she did most of them and she let me know which ones might be worse so I could brace myself. She showed me the two kinds of wax she used, telling me which was used on more sensitive areas in a very clinical and informative way. She asked if I was all right throughout. She told me I was a good sport.

The last part was the part that makes the Brazilian the Brazilian -- the back. For this, I had to change position. I put my knees together -- still with a manner of decorum -- and held those up against me as I rested on my back. She went to work. The worst part, all in all, was the cleanup. The woman peers right down there and finishes everything up with a tweezer. The individual plucks made me more impatient than one fast pull. Having her face closer felt more mortifying for me. And this is going to sound really strange -- at least, judging my the look on my specialist's face when I told her -- but when she plucked in certain places close to the pelvic bone it actually tickled. That was driving me nuts. Apparently this is just me, although I'd love to know if anyone else has ever experienced that??

And then, we were done. She left, I got dressed and paid. (Normally, a Brazilian runs about $75; a tip of 20% makes the total a round $90.) I wasn't uncomfortable walking out nor was I the rest of the day in my chair at work. And since then, I've really been enjoying being bare down there. I really don't think I'll mind doing it again when I have an excuse and the cash. I'm just worried that knowing what to expect will actually make me more nervous than I was just going in with no expectations and assuming the worst.

All in all, I recommend that before you go to your first bikini wax, you have a friend terrify you about it. That way, no matter what it’s like, you probably won’t suffer as much as you expected. Then, you should not arrive early and give yourself too much time to think about things. On the flip side, don’t arrive too late and have a hurried, bitter woman waxing you; that can’t be good.

And then, maybe you’ll be like my friend and never, ever go back. Or you might be like me and feel slightly addicted. But either way, there’s only one way to find out.

Completely Bare offers complimentary consultations if you’re interested to learn more. Honestly, I recommend just biting the bullet and making an appointment. In my experience, that's the way to get your first bikini wax.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly Update: Style Bard Shoes

Check out the shoe sales posted this week on Style Bard Shoes:


Last Day - 15% Off Shoes at Old Navy - Expired


Free Shipping on Steve Madden Shoes - Limited Time Only


Spring Sale at Piperlime - Limited Time Only


BOGO on Isotoner Slippers - Expires April 30, 2011


15% Off Shiekh Shoes for Easter - Expiring This Week - April 24, 2011


*Deal of the Week* Save the Planet, Get 15% Off Shoes - Expired

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nautical & Nice

So I know 70s-style is supposed to be the big thing happening this spring, and it may be because I just saw "Anything Goes" this week, but I'm really feeling stripes instead of floral. I anticipate an unexpected deluge of nautical-themed outfits and accessories this spring, actually--so mark it, NYC. If it happens, Style Bard prophesied it here first.

Here are a few striped pieces I love:

ASOS Long Sleeved Simple Striped Top - $32.27
You can't argue with how effortless the model makes this look...well, look.

Shopbop Marc Jacobs 10th Anniversary Bow Wow Striped Dress - $328
Apparently this dress was reissued as a shopper favorite, and I can see why.

Gap Denim Micro Stripe Capri - $52.95
I tend to love a good, thick railroad stripe -- but these tiny micro-stripes are really speaking to me in a print-as-a-solid-neutral way.

Topshop Stripe Suntop - $50
I think this is just too cute for words; sadly $50 plus shipping for a breezy sleeveless top is probably not justifiable in my life right now.

Bergdorf Goodman Diane Von Furstenburg Maryelle Striped Bikini - $125
Of course this post couldn't be complete without the retro striped bikini.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekly Update: Style Bard Shoes

Don't forget to check out what shoes went on sale last week at Style Bard Shoes:


The Great Shoe Sale at Macy's - Expiring This Week - April 16, 2011


Last Day - Aldo Clearance Shoes On Sale - Expired


$10 Off FootSmart Shoes + Free Shipping - Expires May 2, 2011


$15 Off $75 Willow St. Shoes - Expiring This Week - April 17, 2011


15% Off Dress Shoes at Planet Shoes - Expiring This Week - April 20, 2011


*Deal of the Week* Ash Shoes On Sale at Bluefly - While Supplies Last

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love. Want. Need. ~Elephant Ring~

Okay, well this one is kind of a cheat since I already pre-ordered it! And I can't wait until it gets here. My only concern is that it didn't ever ask me for a size, hmmm. I hope my fingers are somewhat average in width, if there is such a thing?

What is it with me and animal jewelry lately? I already have one elephant ring in gold, so I can't wait to add this one to my collection.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beauty Product Reviews - In Brief

I got a ton of new beauty products to play with recently! Instead of giving each one its own post, I thought it might be fun to do a sort of drive-by overview (you know your attention span is as short as mine is, anyway):

1. Miracle Skin(TM) Transformer - This lightweight product with antioxidents and SPF 20 acts as a base for your foundation or, if you like light coverage, could act as foundation itself. It's less moist than some of my other bases (which cost a third of the price), but seems to coat evenly and provide good coverage, so I still like it better than primer. Which leads me to...

2. Sephora Perfecting Eye Primer - I've never bought primer before, so you can just imagine how convincing this Sephora sales lady was. I took home a sample of expensive primer years ago, tried it out, saw no difference and forgot about it. This is pretty much the same experience; I put this on my eyes before applying either compact or loose shadow (see below) for long- or short-term wear, and I'm not entirely sure what the point is. Anyone have input about eye primer? Am I missing something?

3. MAC Pigment Colour Powder "Violet" - Now this beauty product, I can get behind. I thought the color might be a little too bright for nighttime wear, but it's the perfect mix of vibrancy and pop for a night on the town, rather than daytime office lighting. I'm pretty much in love, so glad I got a big pot of it.

4. Jane Carter Nourish & Shine - This product reminds me of Burt's Bees; I love the scent but the texture is a little grainy and oily, so I don't want to rub it on my skin and hair as instructed. I can see how it would add shine, but I'm not sure if it's worth the consistency, personally. Maybe for that beach-hair look? However, I love this as a cuticle cream, so it's still a win.

5. Baronessa Cali's Oliva Corpo Body Emulsion - Love this! The scent is pleasant and light, but fades fast before you get sick of it. Perfect combination of lingering moisture but blends into the skin without residue. I really do want to smooth it all over my entire body, as the bottle suggests. I could see it competing with my current favorite, L'Occitane hand cream.

6. MAC Cremeblend Blush "Ladyblush" - I'll stick to my powders for blush, thanks. My skin sort of absorbed the color and I kept putting on more and more but finally gave up. Plus, it doesn't come with an applicator, so I just used my fingers and I'd rather have not. I guess I'd try the product once more in another color to see if it's a matter of function or form.

Next up: Sally Hanson's Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, whenever I have to time and occasion to apply them!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Weekly Update: Style Bard Shoes

Check out the shoe sales posted this week to Style Bard Shoes:


Last Day for Free Shipping on PacSun Shoes - Expired


Last Day for 30% Off Aldo Boots - Expired


20% Off Gina Shoes - Expires April 20, 2011


It's Here: The Payless Easter Sale - April 24, 2011


Free Shipping at Sakes Fifth Avenue - Expiring This Week April 13, 2011


*Deal of the Week* Adidas Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto - While Supplies Last

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Love. Want. Need. ~Serpenti~

At 2011's BASELWORLD convention (each spring in Switzerland), Bvlgari debuted a new range of luscious I-can-never-afford-these watches; but the star of the show, in Style Bard's humble opinion, is the "Serpenti" - behold:

But this watch isn't all hiss and no bite. Each coil is meticulously handcrafted to sit perfectly on the forearm, set in pink-gold with over 200 diamonds.

Bvlgari notes the importance of its symbolism as well:

"The reptile figure [is] the incarnation of eternal youth and immortality. [...] The snake archetype, a symbol of earth and water, knowledge and fertility, immortality and rebirth [...] runs through human history."

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Where Fashion Meets Royalty

I won an amazing giveaway from Zuburbia, and was able to attend the Afingo Fashion Forum at the Fashion Institute of Technology on Friday. I asked a girlfriend who happens to be a designer to come along as my guest, and since the panels went all day (9-5), we decided to just go to the second half.

1. Iconic Wisdom

Who spoke: Nick Axelrod of ELLE interviewed top designer Cynthia Rowley.
Takeaway quote: "What's that saying? Every wall is a door?" - Cynthia Rowley, on optimistism, opportunities and her proclivity for malapropisms.

2. Ready to Launch Your Line?

Who spoke: Fern Mallis led a panel including Steven Cox and Daniel Silver (Duckie Brown), Miguelina Gambaccini (Miguelina), Adam Lippes (Adam), Bibhu Mohapatra (Bibhu) and Randi Packard (Real Simple).
Takeaway quote: "Remember, they need you as much as you need them. They want you to be the one. Believe in yourself, and they'll believe in you." - Steven Cox, on the relationship between designers and buyers or editors.

3. Social Media and Publicity

Who spoke: Christene Barberich of Refinery29 led a panel of Patrick Bradbury (Bradbury Lewis), Keith Pollock (, Michelle Cerwin (HL Group) Pam Bristow (consultant) and Izzy Grinspan (Racked NY).
Takeaway message: When communicating via social media, think personality not promotion.

Afterward, we dropped by the quintessentially cute and fem offices of Bella PR for a princess party inspired by the upcoming nuptials of Prince William to Kate Middleton; all of the lovely ladies of Bella were dressed as Disney princesses and invited us to sip tea (okay, it was red wine) and nibble petits fours (okayokay, mini cupcakes), then let us sample some beauty products--hopefully I'll get to review some of these for you! It was one of the most friendly and effortless such marketing gatherings I've attended. Perfect to round off a fun, informative day.

Saturday, April 02, 2011