To keep or not to keep…that is the question!

Stuart Weitzman "Alex" Wedges

So I am in a bit of a pickle…perhaps you can help me out?

I have had my eyes on these beautiful shoes for a couple of years now since I first saw Jennifer Aniston wearing them in an US magazine.  She was wearing them with khaki shorts, a basic white tank top and these Stuart Weitzman “Alex” wedges–I thought she looked stunning even though the description I’m sure sounds boring and dull to you.  The shoes seemed to take her rather dressed down look and turned it up a notch by taking her simple outfit and “wowing” everyone with her statement wedges!

I didn’t think much else of it back then, but when I saw these shoes again this year in another celebrity magazine being worn by Jennifer Aniston (again, even after a couple of years!), Rachel McAdams, and Emmy Rossum, these Stuart Weitzman “Alex” wedges were giving me that same butterflies in my stomach feeling that I had when I first had seen them.  This time around I started researching online where these shoes were available since Seattle doesn’t have a Stuart Weitzman boutique and it turned out that all the shoe websites I came across were all out of stock!  So to my disappointment, I shoved the thought of these shoes into the back of my mind along with all the other “lustworthy” items I’ve been craving.

Yet, amazingly enough when my husband and I went down to Los Angeles this summer to visit his brother and wife, fate would have other plans for me.  Every trip to L.A. my husband allows me to indulge in my L.A. lifestyle envy by having lunch at The Ivy (we always see someone “famous”–usually B-list actors, but who cares, they’re still famous!), shop on Robertson Boulevard (or “window shop”), and then stroll down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to “window shop” once more, although I really have no business of even looking down there since the only items I might be able to afford are a pair of socks or something of that nature!  So here I am with my husband taking a leisurely walk along Rodeo Drive “ooooohing” and “ahhhhhing” over the various articles of clothing or accessories that I have recently seen on the E! Channel and to my surprise we come to, of all things, a STUART WEITZMAN boutique!  It must be fate I tell my husband and demand that we go inside.  Once inside I quickly take a scan of the store and finally see the ever so breathtaking “Alex” wedges in person finally!  I casually ask the sales associate if they happen to have size 6.5 in stock…in my head I was hoping yes they would have them in stock just to try them on and at the same time also hoping that they wouldn’t because I already knew I was in love with them and had to have them!

So you guessed it…they had my size!  I slipped them on and paraded around the store for about fifteen minutes trying to convince myself that they just weren’t worth the ~$400 (this may not sound like a lot to some of you and indeed I do own two pairs of Cole Haan boots that cost roughly the same but were on sale for ~$200 each which was of course justifiable, BUT this is a bit outrageously overpriced for a pair of wedges), but to my sorrow–actually my husband’s sorrow–I couldn’t leave the store without them instead!  Destiny and fate must have willed me into getting these shoes!

I’ve got these beautiful wedges now in my possession–what could be the problem?  MAJOR BUYER’S REMORSE!!  I live in Seattle, WA let me remind you; therefore, these shoes which I have decided to wear in only dry weather is now limited to roughly about 75 days a year or so.  Shoes of this nature must be shown off with shorts or at least capri length pants–the climate in the Pacific NW does not always facilitate shorts attire!  And again the cost, which my husband likes to remind me, is likely to be equivalent to some people’s monthly income (which I find hard to believe??).

With all things considered, can I really justify this purchase?  Let me know your thoughts!

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These are a few of my favorite things (or at least today they are) :

Although I have probably hundreds of beauty products that on any given day might be an absolute must have, the following products are ones that I really do believe that I could not live without EVER and am usually wearing and/or using every single day!  In no particular order:

1. Eyecurl II Heated Eyelash Curler

This is an heated eyelash curler usually sold in Asian cosmetics boutiques and can also be found online. Unlike traditional eyelash curlers, there is no clamp as you can see in the picture. The curl is produced when the user has first applied their choice of mascara and then afterwards (YES, after the mascara is applied!) the user will then place the heated end of the Eyecurl II and place the heating element up against their lashes to “set” their lashed into a curl. I have been using this heated eyelash curler for about ten years now and always have an extra one on hand just in case something happens to it. Friends of mine freak out thinking that the heating element can burn their eyelid skin, but do not worry, the heat is quite gentle and I have never “burned” myself. The heat source for those of you wondering is a single double AA battery. Being lash challenged I have found this type of eyelash curler to actually hold a curl in my lashes all day, where as using a typical clamp type of lash curler which is used before putting on mascara never quite keeps the curl intact.

eyelash curler

2. Latisse-

Keeping on the theme of lashes, this miracle product that many of you have probably already heard of through the heavy marketing both on t.v. and in magazines by celebrities such as Brooke Shields and Claire Danes, truly does work and it is AMAZING! One little drop of the Latisse solution applied nightly to each lash line has over the course of two months or so changed my sparse, wimpy, and pathetic lashes into the longest, thickest, and easy to curl lashes that many of my friends and family have commented on! Yes, Latisse is definitely pricey, but so worth it if you are not so blessed in the lash region like myself. The eyes are a major focal point on your face and with lush lashes framing your eyes, how could anyone resist?!?!

Latisse

3.  Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX08–

When I first got this product I immediately had buyer’s remorse and was upset with how pricey this tiny jar (0.63 oz/18 g) of foundation and/or concealer cost me, but boy was I ever so pleasantly surprised to find the contents of this tiny jar to be incredibly saturated with pigment and thus justifying the cost!  The high concentration of pigment in this product has allowed me to cover blemishes and imperfections so well that not even products from the Dermablend line can compete!  FYI:  Dermablend Cosmetics is a line specifically targeting those who have significant areas on their skin that needs highly concentrated and lasting coverage for scars, birthmarks, etc.  I don’t have any major skin imperfections or anything of that nature, but I do get an occasional pimple or the mark an old pimple leaves behind that does need some concealing and this product does it so well by matching my skin tone, great lasting power, it appears natural on the skin, and does not feel like heavy traditional concealer.  I’m embarrassed to say this because I know better, but even with having this product for over three or so years now, I’ve barely made a dent in the surface because of how concentrated it is–I use maybe a pin point size amount to cover up blemishes.  With that said, I must mention that this foundation and/or concealer should be used very SPARINGLY.  I haven’t tried it as an all-over face foundation because I just don’t have the need for that much coverage, but I know that this product is also marketed as a foundation as well.

4.  Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base–

Alright, back to lashes again…can you tell that I’m a bit obssessed with my eyelashes yet?  My biggest issue with my eyelashes is the ability to hold in a curl.  As I mentioned above, using my Eyecurl II Heated Eyelash Curler after already applying mascara does definitely help to lock in and set the curl of my lashes, but in addition to using the heated eyelash curler, I do also use a traditional metal clamp style curler by Shu Umera as the very first step in doing my lashes.  After using the Shu Umera lash curler, I then swipe on a few coats of the Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base to again lock and set the curl before applying my mascara (which is always waterproof–why?–it sets the curl better of course!) and finally using the heated curler as a last step.  The mascara base is a clear thick gel that goes on just like traditional mascara, but really helps to give your lashes that extra oomph (thickness and volume) and it never makes your freshly curled lashes droop!  Instead the base holds your curl in place so that when you apply your mascara, your lashes never get weighed down and lose their curl.  Truly amazing!  There are great reviews for this product on http://www.makeupalley.com as well!

5.  Models Prefer Automatic Eyebrow Pencil–

Do you ever wonder what crazy women are actually purchasing cosmetics from those t.v. shopping networks like HSN or QVC?!?!  Guess what, I have!  One of my favorite purchases is a great eyebrow pencil from a line that used to be called Models Prefer, but is currently renamed YBF I believe.  This eyebrow pencil comes in only one universal medium taupe shade that gives  perfect, yet natural definition to the brows and has really good texture for being an eyebrow pencil–not too dense, not too soft either, not too waxy, and not too hard.  Other eyebrow pencils I’ve tried in the past look way too unnatural and harsh, but this pencil allows for sparse and thin eyebrows like mine to look fuller and more defined in a way that does not remind you of women who clearly use black eyeliner pencil to “draw” on their brows.  I love these pencils so much I ordered a dozen of them off of eBay just in case they’re discontinued!

6.  Styli-Style Line & Seal 24 Twist–

A long-wearing eyeliner pencil that is self-sharpening, easy to apply because of its smooth texture (no pulling or tugging of the eyelid!), doesn’t rub off onto my eyelash curler whike I’m curling my lashes, and it’s incredibly affordable price makes this product one of my favorite eyeliners in the world!  I used to be quite partial to my Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners since I used to work for them, but I got tired of having to clean my eyeliner brushes all the time so I switched over to these pencils and haven’t looked back!  I use these pencils to line both the top of my lash lines and also the inner rim or waterline underneath.  They always go on super smooth with no skipping like other pencils sometimes do because of their hard texture.  The color seems concentrated (I own them in several black and brown tones) and wears all day long without any smearing or smudging to be seen.

7.  Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Powder Pink and Calypso Coral–

Hands down, these are a couple of my favorite cream blushes!  The intense colors in the pot apply very softly once your fingers warm up the product and are applied onto your cheeks.  The flush of color looks like it is really coming from within your skin as opposed to color just sitting on the top layer of your skin like traditional blushes often do.  I must mention that I mostly apply these pot rouges on top of just freshly moisturized skin and/or on skin that has very little foundation on it or at least very little powder since this product can be a bit dense and will not rub out into natural looking cheek color on skin that is not moist and hydrated enough.  Even though this product is meant to be used on the lips as well, I very rarely use them for lip colors because the two shades I own are a bit too bright and too light for what I like on my lips, but I have used them on other people in the past when I worked for Bobbi Brown and they do make excellent lip colors as well!

8.   mark Gloss Gorgeous Stay On Lip Stain in Bare–

A beautiful sheer nudey-pink gloss at first that dries to a very light nudey-pink stain on your lips as the gloss wears off!  Lip stains seem to be all the rage right now and of course I got sucked in.  Other lip stains by Revlon, CoverGirl, and Maybelline seem to be supersaturated with color that never look quite natural on my lips even though I always purchase the shades that seem to have the word “nude” in them or at least look very nude and natural on the cap.  Instead I usually get a bright fuschia pink shade or an ugly orangish-brown shade on my lips that just makes me look horrid!  mark by Avon got it absolutely right with their glossy lip stain!  The color “bare” is absolutely gorgeous and gives off the most perfect bit of natural rosey-nudey-pink stain on my lips once the gloss has worn off.  I can’t wait to try some of the other shades!  One more added bonus is the pleasant minty flavor/scent of this product–not some annoying fruity teenager flavor/scent I would have expected from this line.

Now I want to know what are some of your favorite things (or at least today they are) and why?

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