Lipstick, Lunch and Louboutins

Focus? Fuggedaboudit!

Saturday I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Karen for some lunch and Retail Therapy.

First, for those of you who don’t know Karen, she’s an image consultant who for a while penned the very entertaining and informative blog, Of A Certain Age.  Karen unfortunately (like many of us) had many demands on her time, and couldn’t keep up with the blog. Our loss, certainly.

In recent months, Karen has become a stylist for Stella and Dot jewelry, and has been having a blast and doing quite well with it. So of course, the first order of business on Saturday was to check out some of the pieces from the new fall collection that she’d brought along.

I love leather wrap bracelets and after looking at the collection online knew I’d want a closer look at this one:

I love the pyramid studs and the olive green color. It looks great layered with other bracelets too.

Karen was wearing several pieces herself, including this “After the Rain” bracelet which I fell instantly in love with.

This is SUCH a cool piece and looks even better in person than in the picture. It’s a stretchy bracelet, which work well with my small hands and wrists. (Bangle type bracelets tend to slide off me.)

Karen was also wearing the “Chantilly Lace” cuff, which is absolutely *stunning* and garnered compliments from strangers all day. This piece may look delicate, but feels very solid and substantial.

(And there are earrings in this pattern, too!)

And she had on these cool hoop earrings in the Hematite finish,

and says, “don’t be afraid to mix your metals!”

We’d decided it would be fun to swing over to Beverly Hills and visit the Big 3 department stores along Wilshire Boulevard, Neimans, Saks and Barneys. (Guys have Fantasy Football, this is our equivalent!)

I knew that my purchases on this trip were going to be limited to makeup, and found a new lippie from Dior (top pic).  Well, actually it found me, via the makeup artist who recommended something that I was sure was too pink and too bright. But after he applied it, I had to admit that it was pretty. OK, so I did freak out a few times, not used to seeing that much color on myself. But it’s totally grown on me and now I love it.

Even though we examined and tried on a few pieces, I went home with just my lipstick and a blush, and Karen picked up a really cool pair of retro-looking sunglasses. I know I mentioned Louboutins in the title, and though we didn’t try or buy any, we did seriously ogle several pair, including these, with Sparkly Party Heels:

Gratuitous Louboutin pic

I consider it a worthwhile exercise to periodically shop in the high rent district, even if most of the clothing doesn’t fit my budget or lifestyle. Especially if one is trying to develop a more discriminating eye, handling superior fabrics and checking out those construction details that come with the price tag is good inspiration and training.

But there was one more thing that came out of our afternoon of talking and shopping, and it’s probably the most exciting part of all: Karen has agreed to contribute the occasional guest post here!!!  For those of you who remember her blog, and for those who have not yet made Karen’s acquaintance, you’re in for a real treat. She has such a fun, upbeat approach to style and an enthusiasm that’s infectious. Her blog motto was “Dump the Frump!” and she practices what she preaches. I’m so looking forward to sharing her unique voice and outlook here, and hope to have something up soon.

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  1. Sounds like a great day doing some serious research with a good friend — fun!
    Can’t wait to read Karen’s posts — I’ve missed her and am so pleased you’ll be bringing her back to us.

  2. I can’t decide which bracelet I prefer–they’re all fantastic!

    Good news about the guest posting, too. I’m looking forward to reading Karen again.

  3. The lipstick looks very natural and such a flattering shade. I am in love with both the gold lace cuff and the leather wrap bracelet – two very different looks and both are “my style”. What a fun day you had!

  4. I have been following your blog for a while and I really enjoyed this post. The pink lipstick is perfect for you and the gold cuff is gorgeous. Looking forward to the guest posts – “dump the frump” is an excellent motto!

  5. Your glasses look good too.

    Saks et al carry many of the lines you buy at Nordstroms–Eileen Fisher, for instance. But only Nordstroms has that great guarantee–I’ve never used it, but I’m glad to know it’s there.

  6. I think your skin radiates and glows with good health and obviously a dedication to your skin care regime.
    I must compliment you on your choice of frames, I find glasses are so difficult to shop for.

    Good news too about the dump the frump guest blogger…sounds like the shopping and lunching was fun.

  7. Three of my favorite L’s! Though still Luxuriating in the L.A. Fitness Best Bod Award to the Luscious Ms. Mirren.

    (And I’m for Louboutin anything, gratuitous or otherwise…)

  8. What a day you had! Beautiful lipstick and a wonderful guest contributor. I feel as though you have given me (and all of your readers, of course) a huge gift by hosting posts from Karen. I do miss her blog.

    On the shopping note I completely agree that perusing the high rent district can pay big dividends. Either by the education on fabrics, styling, garment construction what have you that we can look to translate in our own price comfort zone; or from the expert help that one can sometimes find in a knowledgeable staff person.
    Also, every so often I find the rare sale piece in m size and price range that become a wardrobe staple. It doesn’t happen often but when it does I know I’ve found a treasure that pays off handsomely in the cost-per-wear ratio.

  9. Karen sounds like someone I would really enjoy!! This is a shopping trip I would love to tag along on…I really like the leather bracelet and the lace cuff…I just might have to swing over to their website! Tell her that we are looking forward to her first guest post and DUMP THE FRUMP should be a bumper sticker!!

  10. Hello:
    A serious business all this retail therapy! The two of you certainly covered some ground, both physically and mentally in your meeting and we look forward to seeing the results of your plans right here.

    The lipstick colour looks very good on you, it adds another dash, we feel, to your already edgy style.

  11. I miss Neiman’s, Nordies and Loehmann’s. Those were my go-to stores in CA. Sax too but usually when I lived on the East Coast. None of the above in northern New England. But, reading your blog keeps me in the loop.

  12. You look wonderful in that lipstick color. Sounds like a great day together. I miss Karen’s blog also and you must have been extra charming to get her to do some guest posts. Yes, I’m due to do some snoop shopping soon so thanks for the reminder to book some girlfriend time.

  13. Love the lace cuff and am also a fan of leather wrap bracelets and am wearing one at the moment discovered in the St. Tropez market, not quite as nice as the one above, but useful as they cut the leather to fit my small wrist.

  14. That lipstick color looks beautiful on you!

    And I completely agree that it’s good to get out and window shop in a higher end store, even if it doesn’t fit your budget or lifestyle. It does tend to make one more discriminating when shopping within their budget or lifestyle, and usually leads to a smaller but well thought out wardrobe (at least in my experience).

  15. cbroome – me too!!

    Pam – oh, you’d love Karen. She’s so much fun! Do go check out the Stella and Dot pieces; they’re really fun and reasonably priced.

    Jane and Lance Hattatt – a serious business indeed, and thank you!

    Tabitha – that lace cuff is really an outstanding piece. And thank you!

  16. materfamilias – we really had a great time, and I’m so thrilled that she’s agreed to do this!

    Poppy Buxom – they really are all fantastic. It IS hard to decide! And I’m just delighted about Karen too.

    Sonia – me too, and yes that gold cuff is really amazing.

    LPC – thank you, and yes, it’s a treat!

  17. Patti – thank you! They really do have some fantastic pieces.

    Louise – thanks so much, and I agree, “dump the frump” is a great rallying cry.

    ilona – thank you, and I’m so excited about this!

    frugalscholar – thanks! Here and online, Saks and Neimans don’t have much for me clothing wise (neither carries Petites in the stores). You have to love that Nordstroms guarantee.

    hostess – thanks so much! I do credit the Clarisonic to a great extent. And some of the skincare tips I’ve learned from Tish at A Femme d’un Certain Age. I think you’ll really enjoy Karen’s posts!

  18. California Girl – I have to admit, I’d miss the shopping here if we ever moved away.

    BigLittleWolf – ha ha! Yes, we must give Dame Mirren her due. Brava to her!

    laurieann – thank you. It’s true what you say too about sometimes stumbling across a great piece on deep discount. Those are great finds when they happen.

    Chicatanyage – the bracelet above is adjustable. I have small wrists myself, and can wear these on the smallest setting.

    Joni – thank you very much!

    cigalechanta – I think you’ll be pleased with this one!

    Kate – thank you! I agree that familiarizing ourselves with quality often leads to better choices.

    metscan – thanks so much! Those Louboutins were really quite special.

  19. Miss Cavendish – I worry too when someone seems to drop off the radar.

    WendyB – me too!!! I’m so looking forward to reading her again.

    Adrienne – thank you so much. I can only credit genetics and never having smoked. The Stella and Dot collection for fall is really gorgeous. I had a hard time not buying everything! We saw a lot of Louboutins (and Choos and Manolos and Chanels) in lower heels. It’s an encouraging development!

    Leah – thank you and I will!

    Jane M – thanks so much! We did have a good time, and I do think Karen misses the blog community too, so I didn’t have to twist her arm too much.

    SheWhoAccessorizesWell – we are very lucky to live where we do. The nice thing about the S&D pieces is that they are made very well at that price point.

  20. First, your skin! It’s so beautiful and creamy and taut! You lucky girl.

    Second, I think that gold cuff is just gorgeous. I have a silver cuff from Stella and Dot and I wear it often.

    Last, I think that is the first pair of Louboutins that I would consider wearing because of the sturdy lower heels. I love looking at his shoes, but I can’t do 4″+ heels.

  21. Lucky lady to go to such wonderful stores. I like the lipstick and don’t think it bright at all.
    The leather bracelet is one I would love. I have found some inexpensive ones, but they looked inexpensive. That one looks luxe.
    Thanks for sharing.

  22. Your skin looks super so well hydrated…please tell me your secret my skin is so dry!!…the lipstick is so right for you,and I normally do not like louboutin’s but these are so elegant. Ida

  23. The new lipstick looks lovely – I’ve migrated to slightly brighter hues as I’ve reached “a certain age.” But your skin is what’s really stunning – so beautiful! What is your skin care routine?

  24. The first thing I noticed when I clicked on your blog, was how pretty you looked in the photo, and what a lovely shade of lipstick you were wearing. It looks just like the color I’ve been searching for: can you tell me which color it is?

  25. I believe you *have* that stunning Hermes studded bracelet from Beladora? I much prefer it, though costume has its place. Elastic bracelets, not so much.

  26. ida – if you read A Femme (Tish’s blog) she recommends a moisturizing mask and leaving on overnight. I do think it helps!

    LunaStitches – Thank you! I’ll do a post soon on skincare. I try new product periodically, but I think what makes the biggest difference is the Clarisonic, and using twice a day.

    Terri – isn’t it pretty?

    Anonymous – thank you so much. The lipstick is from the Dior Rouge Serum line, #645 “Sweet Pink Crystal.”

    cigalechanta – yes, they do ship and deliver very quickly. It’s a thinner bracelet, yes, but looks great layered with other bracelets.

    Duchesse – yes, I do have that one and adore it, but it’s a substantial piece, and sometimes I want to wear something a bit smaller and lighter. I do like the stretchy bracelets, as I find they usually work well for my small hands and wrists.

  27. Sounds like you girls had a fun afternoon! Wish I was there.

    So glad you’ve convinced her to write a post or two for you. I miss her blog and so do so many others. I tried to convince her to start a new one when I was staying with her in LA in May!