Tuesday, April 08, 2008

London Sole

I love heels. Of course I do. I've gone on ad nauseum about the many charms of Christian Louboutins.



I admire those girls who sprint across the main floor of Penn Station in their skyscraper heels. It's like a charming tampon commercial about modern women making it in the big city. What's not to like?

But heels (and this is not profound) usually hurt like HELL. Either your toes are crumpled into a ball or your heel gets those gross and painful jellyfish-looking blisters. Yeeuck. Also they constantly get caught in grates when you walk down the street (I once got both of my stiletto heels caught in a grate outside of Sardi's while I running to a matinee of "Take Me Out". (If you think I am going to resist punning that my heels nearly "Took Me Out", you are sorely mistaken. My heels nearly took ME out, you guys!)). Anyway, while I was stuck there, a handsome/nebbish Jonathan Safran Foer type helped me out of the grate and we talked for a block and a half until he got into the TKTS line. So, that was kind of an awesome New York romantic comedy moment I owe to heels.

Flats don't usually lead to these kind of romantic situations. However, they CAN lead to long walks in cool cities where you aren't in a constant state of pain, and comfort at work.



I own four pairs of London Soles, and they are the best flats ever. Weirdly, flats can be very, very uncomfortable too, if you're not careful. You should always check that they have enough support so they don't hurt your arches. Also, flats get dirtier than heels because they're closer to the ground, so you need to get a sturdy leather that can be cleaned.



They're pricey, from $125 to $245, but honestly you will wear them everyday, with any kind of outfit. Remember those old ads on TV for those heels that they said were as comfortable as a pair of sneakers? And then you went to the store and they were a)not as comfortable as sneakers and b) resembled old ugly nun shoes? Well, London soles are actually as comfortable as sneakers and ugly nun shoes but come in the best, most fashionable styles.

I urge all women to own at least their basic black ballet flat. Do it! People will be so envious when they see you take off your shoes for airport security. They'll be all: Now I have airport INSECURITY about MY OWN SHOES.
Also, the online sale section is sick.

Good for: Girls and women who need weekday shoes but hate anything practical.

www.londonsoles.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sour Candies

I wish I had a chocolate addiction. People I know who have strong chocolate addictions have managed to find healthy ways to stifle this craving; "All I need to satisfy me is one small square of dark chocolate in the afternoon and another at night." I hear them say. Low in calories and high in anti-oxidants, the littlest taste of cocoa and butterfat can sustain my friends all day.

This is the "Big Daddy" bar from the amazing Jacques Torres.



Over 2 lbs is $22 and you can break it up into guilt-free little pieces.

Those of us addicted to sour candies are not so lucky. When I finish eating a regular sized bar of chocolate, I'm like: "Oh, that tasted good. That satiated me. I don't need to eat another one for 6-8 months." But when I finish a regular sized bag of Sour Patch Kids, my eyes gleam red and I'm like: "WHY HAS THIS BAG EMPTIED!! SOMEONE GIVE ME FIVE MORE BAGS OR EVERYONE'S DEAD!!!". Even the monster sized bags at the movies seem small. (For this reason it is a joy to go to the movies with Helers - he never finishes anything he eats, strange Ascetic that he is. (He in turn would probably tell me a "lady never completes a bag of sweets" because Steve is from the pre-Great Fire 1900's)).

Get on with the sour candies, you are saying about now, enough with the vaguely interesting anecdotes. Fine, fine.

1. Haribo Gummi Candy, Sour Cherries



When the concept of Sour met Sweet, it was like when Paul McCartney met John Lennon. Then when Sour and Sweet met Chewy, it was like they ran into Mick Jagger at the post office and had one long jam session. When Sour and Sweet and Chewy met Cherry, it was like the cops came to break up the jam session and the sheriff was Michael Jackson in 1981 and he like moonwalked all over the place.

Price: $14.99 for a 5lb bag. At amazon.com

2. When you're not eating candy and being healthful, you can still have a little sour candy kick, guiltlessly.



Sour Altoids are a great crunchy little mouth explosion. You can pop three at a time and know you're not consuming more than about 15 calories. (And don't you burn that by crunching them anyway?). They come in five flavors but I like tangerine the best.

Price: $19.90 for 8 tins at candywarehouse.com

3. Sour Bright Crawlers in Dylan's Candy Bar Paint Can

I don't NEED my sour candy to be in the shape of vermin, but boy do I like it.



Oh Dylan Lauren and Jeff Rubin. Thank you for taking your combined clout and good taste (Ralph Lauren's daughter and CEO of FAO Schwartz) and making the amazing Dylan's Candy Bar. Talk about instantly creating a magical New York institution that children hear about from across the country beg their parents to see. As a fat child, I would've been more interested in Dylan's Candy Bar than Disneyland. Actually, as a chubby 20-something when it opened, I was still pretty psyched. DCB deserves more of a shout-out than this mere mention, so I'll curtail further description until a later date.

You can buy these great Sour Bright Crawlers online though for $13 at dylanscandybar.com.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Posso Spat

So much of why dressing up is fun is embellishing boring old basics I own so I'm excited about them again. I believe this is the main psychological thrust behind "The Bedazzler", which transforms anything by covering it in rhinestones (and for the record, I would have KILLED for as a child). It's also why I would turn cashmere socks into arm warmers.

I'm like a lot of girls; I admire craftsy do-it-yourself couture. It's like that girl in the unconventional cool dress at the party and you ask: "Oh my god, I love that dress! Who designed it?" And she - with faint smugness - responds "Oh, I made this, actually." I totally hate and am jealous of that awesome girl!!!

Certain things I blog about will be controversial. I recall a pair of gold polka-dotted panties I raved about that Danny disliked. The Posso Spat is bound to be one of those controversial blog entries. Guys probably will think these are strange, but as I blogged about earlier this week, guys can be too timid about foot fanciness. Screw 'em!

Spats you guys. Check it out:



I love these. At first you think: "What interesting shoes that girl is wearing." And then you realize the tops are detachable fashion pieces and you're like "Whoa, where is this girl from that she can get these fucking strange accesories?!".

I mean, this is a straight up doo-hickey. Isn't it? I love them so much. They can be worn over any type of heel and make it look like a completely different kind of shoe.

And they're on sale now for $61 at revolveclothing.com, which is quickly becoming my favorite online boutique because of their sick sales and awesome customer feedback section.

For: Awesome girls who like slightly weird fashion-y things.

Price: $61

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Carol's Daughter Candy Paint

I don't care what the magazines say. The #1 way to age yourself is to wear lipstick. Matte, Shiny, it just doesn't matter. Lipstick is the worst. I can rail against lipstick forever. And even though it's supposed to accentuate the your pouty, feminine lips, I actually think lipstick can have a trying-too-hard or tranny-ish effect (ie. Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, both lovely ladies...undone by lipstick!).

Lip gloss on the other hand, merveilleux!! Lip glosses make you look like a dewy princess who needs to be kissed. In this great era of no-fuss makeup, a cheerful blush and lip gloss are really all you need to look great.



I love Carol's Daughter, a line of body care and beauty products started by the very cool Lisa Price. Carol's Daughter is boutique line, but it's a huge celeb favorite, especially celebrities of color. If you go to her site, it's like all Tyra Banks and Mary J. Blige all glistening and naked and raving about their products. Awesome.



The candy paint is the best consistency. It's gel-y but not thick, and doesn't come off immediately if you drink a soda. It will probably need a re-application or two during the day, because lipgloss isn't spackle, you guys. Get a grip. (Honestly, would you really LIKE it if your lip gloss didn't EVER come off during the day? Weird chemical glueyness! Yuck). There's lots of choices for lipglosses out there, but Candy Paint is great because of the colors.

Ever wonder how Beyonce or J.Lo have perfect pink-and-gold sparkle Aztec Goddess lips? I swear it's because of Bossy, the all-over gold gloss that looks great over a pink shade of lipliner or amazing just by itself. And the basic pinks are fantastic too, not that wimpy stuff you get at Sephora which looks all cool in the tube but comes out like clear nothingness. My other favorites are Park Avenue Pink and Purple Reign.

Also: Check out Carol's Daughter's body butters.
They're scented, so for me, I don't use them every day, but on weekends, it's a good ritual to butter up your elbows and knees, and the skin on your knuckles and stuff. It has lasting effects, even if you only do it once a week.



Your boyfriend can do it too! In fact he should. He's the one who gets to handle your soft little joints, he owes it to you to have soft ones too. I like their "Love" Body Butter, which is technically unisex, which is a funny notion to me, because if Ben were to buy "Love Body Butter" of his own volition, I'd assume he was secretly gay or cheating on me with Jada Pinkett Smith.

Price:
Candy Paints: $13.50
Body Butters: $18.00

available at www.carolsdaughter.com

Or go visit her store in Fort Greene, Brooklyn! It's down the street from Spike Lee's Forty Acres and A Mule Production Company front. Cool.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Valentines Day Lingerie

The great thing about Valentines Day is that, if you're a girl, you get to do nothing. Well, nothing official. Picking a place to have dinner, making reservations, planning other romantic date stuff, that's all out of our hands. This makes the day excruciatingly suspenseful, at least for me.

Unofficially, there's tons to do. All varieties of body waxing and nail-grooming going on. For me, the most fun thing is picking out a Valentines Day lingerie.

About now, my male readers probably have a gun to their heads. But wait! Don't shoot! This is helpful for you too. I think your ladies will be ultra-delighted if you were to present them with these gifts on Valentines Day. Nothing is a better scenario than this:

INT. OUR HERO'S ONE BEDROOM IN EAST HOLLYWOOD/PARK SLOPE
Hero: Hope you like this.
(Girl opens package)
Girl: Oh my god, adorable lingerie in a size small!
Hero: Well, I just figured you seem so tiny to me, so...
Girl: Oh my god, I do??
Hero: Oh hell yeah. You're like a little dab of butter. Or a beautiful rose.
Girl: Really?
Hero: Yeah, now stop yappin' and go put that on. (nb. It's okay to order girls around once you've covered them with compliments).

Here are my choices:

1. I'm very literal minded about holidays. I like wearing Christmas tree earrings at Christmas parties. It's the old lady-tchotchke side of me. That's why I love lingerie with hearts on it for Valentines Day. It's super cute, and shows a charming adherence to holiday themes.

I love these Fredericks of Hollywood bra set and garter set. Too cute.





Embroidered heart bra: $32
Embroidered heart thong: $18
Embrodered heart garter $22

2. For a sophisticated look, or if you're worried about color, I love this Panache bra set. Everyone looks good in sheer black, and it's sexy cuz it doesn't look like you dressed up for Valentines Day, you just always wear dope underwear.




Panache Eliza balconet bra: $62

available at www.figleaves.com

3. Dude, it's Valentines Day. When else are you going to wear a freakin corset?




Commitment at this Dita von Teese level is so admirable and hot, your guy is gonna freak. This is the Honeymoon Suite corset at my favorite L.A. lingerie haunt, Trashy Lingerie.

Price: $200

Available at Trashy Lingerie at www.trashy.com, but it's worth it to hit the store on La Cienega. The salespeople are so helpful and cool there.

4. Do you love sparkle and glitz? You will look like Beyonce in this bra and panty set by Kiki Montparnasse, which happens to be the glammiest, funniest girl-sex-shop line ever.




Demi padded bra: $247
Open back bikini: $122

Available at kikidm.com

5. Are you a little shy, but want to be fashion-y? This Simon Perele bustier and boyshort combo should do the trick!




A very cool and unusual mix of lace and houndstooth pattern make this a must-have. Also, bustiers both a)cover your midsection up a bit and b) make you ass look super round and juicy.

Price:
Bustier: 73.70
Boyshort: $42

available at bluefly.com

6. And last but not least, the naughtiest of my Valentine's faves, some ridiculously slutty and provocative panties and cuffs by Spoylt.





You are just a terrible, poorly-raised girl, aren't you?

Price: from $100 - $150
available at www.spoylt.com

Hue by Tracy Reese

One problem with winter is that all your cute tiny going-out dresses seem ridiculously unwearable. I have a closet full of mini dresses that are perfect for the winter season (deep reds and metallics and velvets) but it's too cold, man! Even in Los Angeles.

I am going to New York for the week of Valentines Day, and I hear it's a mausoleum of ice and wind. I'm terrified.How am I going to wear my adorable little Nave dress and walk down Grand Avenue?



Those cruel Brooklyn hipsters will make fun of me for shivering. And what if the wind knocks my skirt up? Unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I won't be wearing Jeffersonian pink knickers. Probably I'll be wearing brown Target super-panties, which are great in their own way but dreadful to look at.

The answer (did any of you actually think I didn't have an answer?) is Hue by Tracy Reese tights.

Tracy Reese is my favorite designer now.



Her clothes are ultra feminine and playful, the kind of clothes that make you want to make sure to get a mani-pedi. These are some of her clothes from last season.


Tracy Reese paired up with the venerable stocking company Hue to make some absolutely awesome tights this year. They are so wearable and so inexpensive (compare to $50 and up Wolford tights), you should go out and buy a bunch and treasure them for when they inevitably discontinue this line.




Just look at them. Drama!! (Cue "Legs" by ZZ Top.)

Good for: Women with gams in cold climates. A perfect stocking stuffer for next Christmas.

Price: $17 (on sale) at nordstrom.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mysterary

I love a good mystery. This is a common thing among comedy writers I know, I think. There's a narcissism of small differences/jealousy thing going on that keeps me from enjoying a lot of comedy books (with some notable exceptions: anything George Saunders and "Confederacy of Dunces" -- these are not original, please don't make fun of me). My co-worker Michael Schur and boss Greg Daniels love Terry Southern a great deal, whom I have not read. Danny likes the writings of his Simpsons's great John Schwartzwelder, and since he basically doesn't like anything, I bet he's good, too.

Reading good mystery books is one of the great joys of my life. But finding them is very difficult. The genre is bloated with poorly written and formulaic crap. I found a similar thing with the chick-lit genre. For every one "Bridget Jones' Diary" there are 100 terrible, terrible books, like "Babysitting for the Barney's Blonde" or "Thirty-Nine, Single, and Manolo" or whatever.

But Mysterary, the genre of mystery books that are written with substance, is probably the best type of book written. When a writer can weave a compelling, suspenseful story and the prose is inventive and smart, I'm like, damn.

Here are a few I highly recommend:

1. Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley



Jane Smiley, beautiful genius I adore. "A Thousand Acres" is one of my favorite books ever, and I was surprised she had written this great little mystery novel. The characters are amazing and the twists and turns of the story are delicious. Jane Smiley is amazing because she jumps genres so much and masters them so fast. I love this book.

2. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman



This is amazing book I read over Christmas break. I read it in like three days, then re-read it because the first time I was focused on the brilliant plotline unfolding and the second time I focused on Ms. Lippman's crisp, unusual writing.

Both available at Amazon.com for under $15

Monday, January 21, 2008

All Things Peppermint

Sometimes I will have guest bloggers. Usually they are good-looking acquaintances. Dave Waghalter meets both criteria, plus he likes candy, so extra cute. Let's hear what he has to say.*

*David sent me this before my month-long holiday sabbatical. This is a timely piece, posted late by vacationing, derelict me. Take it away, David!

----------------------------------------------------------

I like candy canes.



Especially when they're crushed to bits and swirled into other sugared-up treats. Candy Canes Joe-Joes are the latest example of this sublime December trend. Joe-Joe's are Trader Joe's answer to Oreo cookies - but without the death-hastening high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. They are delicious and come in a variety of flavors - chocolate, vanilla, ginger... and now, Candy Cane. What you got is a regular chocolate cookie sandwich, with pulverized peppermint candy mixed into the creamy vanilla middle. It is chocolately delicious and mintily refreshing.

To up the mint ante, take a box into your local Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf establishment and order a Peppermint Ice Blended. You can choose vanilla or mocha base (we purists stick with the vanilla), which tastes great even when you ask for the "light" version. If you go early in the morning where temperatures can approach freezing even in Southern California, you might want to go with the latte version
(careful - the delicious beverage you are about to enjoy is very hot!).

For those of you unfortunate rabble who live near neither Trader Joe's nor Coffee Bean, why not jazz up your favorite mug of hot cocoa with a splash of Peppermint Schnapps? And your local grocery store is sure to carry Ghiradelli's Peppermint Squares and/or Peppermint Bark Bars. No matter where you live, there is plenty of sweet peppermint goodness to go around this time of year.

Candy Cane Joe-Joes $2.99
Peppermint Ice Blended $4.50
Peppermint Schnapps $10.99
Peppermint Squares (bag) $8.99
Peppermint Bark Bar $2.99

So Low Fold-over Ruffle Yoga Pants

Let's just get one thing straight. Little girls and pre-teens should not wear So Low.

This is seriously their icon. For those of you who haven't been to a mall when junior high gets out, that icon is the universal symbol for "I'm wearing a thong and my pants are so low you can see the t-shaped swatch of underwear on my lower back".

It's just so racy! Like I've said on numerous occasions, girls should wear Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls until they're 16 years old, and not be allowed to date until sophomore year in college (freshman year is for figuring out who you really are).

That being said, women in their 20's should totally embrace this brand. I recently forgot to pack a change of pants at my gym, so after my workout I had nothing to wear. I hate when I do this, because I have oodles of Target gym pants I buy at the end of the season when they get marked down from $29.99 to $9.99. (For the record, no one has ever accused me of looking good when I work out. This has actually been a point of contention with some ex-boyfriends. It's just it's so much more comfortable to work out in baggy tshirts. Nothing is more gratifying on a long run than to wipe my forehead on my Dartmouth Outdoor Clubs Freshman Trips '97 size XXL tshirt.



I simply don't know how Eva Longoria or Ali Larter or whomever work out in their spray on BeBe gymwear or whatever.)

So anyway, I was about to buy some generic black yoga pants when I saw these adorable motherfuckers.



I bought them immediately and they weren't even on sale. When I put them on I couldn't believe exercise pants could be so comfortable and cute. I didn't even KNOW that everyone's favorite Charlie's Angel wearing them too.



The great thing about the So Low foldover pants is that you can wear them as low (Heidi Montag) or as high (me) as you want to. They're pricey, but there's a reason. Unlike foldover gym pants from cheaper brands, So Low's don't stretch and lose their shape, inevitably causing you pants to fall down as you walk.

Good for: Low-maintenance girls who want to look cute when they work out.

Price: $75 at www.solowstyle.com