Category Archives: Fashion Smashion

Essie. Nail. Polish.

I. freaking. LOVE. essie. nail polish.

I should just end my sentiments right there. Because, really, I. freaking. LOVE. essie. nail polish.

There’s little more to say than that I. freaking. LOVE. essie. nail polish. because essie nail polish is freaking loveably perfect.

bobbing for baubles, of the winter 2011 collection

I came across the polish in my youthful years at nail salons, but had never really encountered it in its true, beautifully wholesome form until college. My roommate freshman year had a thing for the feeling of her clean hands post-manicure and needed always-polished fingernails, so she had two bottles of essie always on hand. I didn’t understand her sentiments. Now I do. I really do.

Any girl who has seen Legally Blonde the non-negotiable eighteen times a year knows that a manicure is the solution to all of life’s problems. Not to get too biddie here, but Elle Woods knows what she’s preachin’ about.

Elle knows that a manicure is the ultimate mood-booster.

Freshly polished hands look better, and make you feel better. Every gesture you make is suddenly beaming with the glistening shine off newly lacquered nails. You want to touch everything. Texting is instantly more enjoyable. You find yourself completing the “mandatory” reading for that philosophy elective you took on a whim solely to drool over your fingers flipping the page. It’s amazing, and the masculinity-conscious men are missing out BIG TIME.

I had always thought that it was the manicurist’s magical skill that sculpted my nails and painted so delicately that made the manicure what it was. And then I borrowed my roommate’s nail polish. I’ll never forget the moment when I first whipped out the essie brush and the wicked color dripped onto my right pinky. It’s not the stereotypical and condescending salon ladies that make the manicure what it is. It’s all in the polish.

This ground-breaking revelation hit me harder than the time I realized the remarkable outfit-shifting capabilities of a pair of faboosh high heels. (I mean, they change everything.)

The essie polish and brush makes the manicure look glossy and lacquered and wonderful. My life was forever changed. I tried looking into other options, O.P.I. and Sally Hansen were certainly at a salon price point, but they just didn’t offer the same things that essie did. The names. The wonderfully quirky names that vary thematically each season. The options to change my whole week whether I go dark with licorice, or pop with geranium, or remain neutral and professional with limo-scene. All the girls know the new collections when they come out. It’s like this wonderfully culty club that I could now be part of! Yes, the first sign of summer means to slop on the fiji. No, there is occasion where waltz or ballet slippers is inappropriate. And YES, wicked is always the right choice.

Four years and 8 (yes, eight.) bottles of wicked later, my love remains true. I’ll certainly change my style with my mood and experiment or dabble with trends like the neons of bright tights and funky limelight, or that one fall where everyone was wearing mint candy apple, that is really more of a Tiffany’s robin’s egg blue than it was a part of that mint green nail trend. More than anything, it’s the emotional connection I have with essie that makes me love it so very, very much. Other nail polishes just don’t make me feel the same. Though O.P.I. certainly has very clever names (Ski Teal We Drop? Absolutely adorable), there is something about that teeny white cap and crisp clear bottle that just makes me so, so happy. It all comes down to the basic premise that I. freaking. LOVE. everything about essie. nail polish. Comment with your top go-to hues!


Touched by Alyssa

Fellow NYC-interning-ADPi, Vanessa Misciagna, for some bizarre reason thought of me when she needed “models” for a segment on the PIX11 morning news broadcast.

Alyssa Milano was on the show to chat about her new clothing line, “touch,” which is sportswear for women that can be purchased online or in major ballparks, stadiums, etc. I’m not necessarily a Mets fan, but I am a fan of supporting Vanessa and Who’s the Boss Alyssa, and the very attractive morning co-anchor, John Muller.

It was lots of fun! We dressed up in the clothing (which we got to keep- thanks Alyssa!), and did a quick mock-modeling on the green screen stadium.

Alyssa’s really sweet, and SHE TWEETED US! Which is a huge honor, since this all came immediately after this summer’s Wieden + Kennedy Old Spice hullaballoo. Active tweep? She wins in my book.


This Tea Party’s Gone Mad

I know, I know: the whole “going MAD,” “mad” world, “mad about Mad Men!” concept has been incredibly overdone, especially lately, but I couldn’t help but draw the Mad Hatter/ Mad Men comparison. As a student majoring in advertising, Mad Men is to the department as Samantha Jones was to PR, or Elle Woods to law schools. Everyone suddenly finds the field sexy and wonderful now that Don Draper lights up a Lucky Strike and makes it so. (and MY GOD does he make it so.) Mad Men has become uncomfortably integrated into my studies, and I know my peers can say much the same. My personal Intro to Advertising notes are riddled with references to the show. Surely I passed the class because rather than “account management” I wrote “Pete Campbell,” and where “art director” would be, my notes instead say “Salvatore Romano,” while the entire “copywriter” portion of the course is entitled “Peggy Olson.” I’m not completely naive, and obviously don’t expect that all agencies in this day and age down Maker’s Mark between meetings. Still, I’ve seen the offices at Y&R, and though there is no “secretarial pool,” there were certainly the ping-pong tables and Rock Band setups to prove that advertising is at least crazy fun, if it isn’t oozing sex.

After a grueling eight months, with only New York Magazine coverage to ease the longing for Roger Sterling’s silver locks, Mad Men is FINALLY BACK this Sunday! AMC is pulling out all the stops, including an updated MadMenYourself, Monday night “Best of” Marathons, the genius Banana Republic Casting Call Contest, and a Times Square Premiere Party that would delight the pants off any secretary. The PR and planning leading up to this season has been so brilliantly crafted, you’d thing only Don Draper himself could concoct this stuff. To honor Mad Men’s return to television, and America’s return to time-traveling, disbelief-suspending bliss (CAUSE I’M SORRY- NO WIFE WOULD EVER LEAVE A HUSBAND AT THIS TIME. I JUST DON”T BUY IT. ESPECIALLY NOT GUTLESS AND MINDLESS BETTY DRAPER, I DON’T CARE HOW CHARMING THIS HENRY FRANCIS MAY BE…), enjoy some of my favorite bits, spoofs, and aspects of arguably the smartest show on television that can appeal to a college student!


God– I mean Don Draper

Cooking & Laundry for Dummies Women

Mad Men in 60 Seconds

Betty Draper, Mother of the Year

Vanity Fair Explains Mad Men


Great Scene

Epitome of Why Don is An Epic Ad Man Scene: The Kodak Carousel

Another great Don pitch: Lipstick

and Roger.

Rawther Enchanting

Eloise has always been my favorite New Yorker.

Eloise is quintessential New York epic, running around The Plaza and participating in general awesomeness all the livelong day.

I got the original children’s book as a gift when I was leeeedle, and have idolized her ever since. The reasons why are pretty self-explanatory. The girl has a Nanny, orders room service, and attends custom fittings with Christian Dior.

Strolling through the newly renovated Plaza to grab some quick air conditioning exposure, I had some time and thought I should finally check out the Eloise shop I’d heard about. As it turns out, this shop is JUST LIKE that time when the first American Girl Place opened in Chicago in 1998, and didn’t come to New York until 2003 when my Samantha doll and Bitty Baby were already in a box beneath my bed. THIS MAGICAL SHOP IS ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS TOO LATE.

Where was this glory when I needed someplace for the greatest seventh birthday party of all time?! I was quivering. It was a bit too pink for my personal preference, but they did such a wonderful job of bringing to life the world of Eloise!

All the paraphernalia was too much to take, and I will most certainly have my next birthday party here, and I suggest you do too. We owe it to our seven-year-old selves.

C is NOT for “Chick Lit”

But it IS for Cecily, Candace, and Commencement! (hehe, and CHUCK) Last week, the Union Square Barnes & Noble AGAIN made my literary dreams come true by hosting a book signing with Cecily von Ziegesar, Candace Bushnell, and that other girly book author  (J. Courtney Sullivan).

What better way to celebrate Serena van der Woodsen’s Bastille Day Birthday, than WITH HER CREATOR?!?! I read the Gossip Girl books (yes, all of them) during my senior year of high school. Okay, I was only 4 years older than I should have been, reading a girly teen fiction series… don’t hate. I loved that I was applying for schools at the same time as the characters, and living senior year right as S & B were. I remember reading Gossip Girl to put off a Hamlet paper, and I’d open the book… and Serena was PUTTING OFF A HAMLET PAPER! Yes, yes I DID apply to Boston University because Nate did. Yes I DID buy Gauloise cigarettes while in France because Serena smoked them chimneyily. Yes I DID have my mother use natural oils to concoct a real-life replica of the “Serena’s Tears” perfume. YES I DID bring the first book with me to my freshman year of college like some girls bring their bible. OKAY?!?!?!! I have a problem, and I’m aware of it. Yet, Cecily is one of the many people on my “dream dinner party” guest list, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to drool at her brilliance. I mean, she’s…like…THE CREATOR OF BLAIR. The books were so great…. and then season 3 of the show and Vanessa’s HAIRY HAIRY HEAD ruined them! Except not really cause nothing EVER could, but still, Josh Schwartz: you always come just SO close to brilliance and then invite Hilary Duff… I mean kill Marissa… I mean jump the shark. UGH.

The beautiful ladies were at Barnes & Noble to promote their latest novels and not address the enormous elephant in the room that was my main question: “Cecily, how is it that you’ve allowed for the television series to be so CRAPTASTIC in comparison to your books, and yet Candace has done just the opposite in that the show is just as wondrous as her original novel, if not slightly better?” Oh. Maybe I was the only one thinking this.

Candace was very sweet when I met her, and she behaved like a charmingly inappropriate Carrie Bradshaw, explaining the changes in the workplace for women today (less cocaine in the office, safer city streets, etc. etc.). The ladies also discussed their novels, writing, “the process,” and each offered wise gems such as Candace’s  “…When you’re in your twenties, you feel like, ‘I have to get everything done. Right. Now!’ and… you really don’t,” and “If you don’t feel that if you’re not a writer [or whatever career it may be], you’ll DIE, then DON’T do it.” Candace’s friendship with the GREAT SIR BRET EASTON ELLIS was clear with her explanation about the “idealism that a teenager has… [and the] break between the fantasy of adult life and the reality of adult life…[there is an] inherent tension in it, which goes back to girl versus society.” Thus began Cecily’s eloquent dismissal of “chick lit” as a defining category of literature, and asking “is there a ‘DUDE LIT’?!” I knew as soon as the rando in the audience mentioned “CHICK LIT” in the same sentence as one of their names that heads would roll. CECILY IS NO LAUREN CONRAD!

It should also be noted that Cecily chatted with me and Annie (the Serena to my Blair) for so long after signing all three books I’d brought (including the copy of the first novel which I purchased in French, in France), and J. Courtney Sullivan is so sweet and adorable and… Candace Bushnell created the novel that led to a very well-written show? All in all: GREAT evening of female-driven books and CCCChit CCCCChat!

Stumbling Upon the Jersey Shore

Heading uptown after one of our adorable boy/girlfauxriend dates, Greg and I saw some NYPD, a tent or two, and a decently-sized hullabaloo. We decided we may as well cross the street to check it out, and I expected to find maybe a release party with your average c-list “big in New York” crowd. Then I saw a faint mist in the air… ’twas hairspray. Then I realized that the flickering lights were not just camera flashes, but the glimmering of rhinestone-encrusted ribbed tank tops and trucker hats. It was undeniable. The eastern shore of the Hudson had been transformed into JERSEY SHORE TERRITORY.

Apparently we had stumbled on The Jersey Shore Soundtrack Release Party. Golly were we at THE PLACE TO BE. Ignoring the fact that every aspect of this moment was embodying the downfall of society and all that trite, tired nonsense, WE WITNESSED SNOOKI DEBUTING HER NEW RED-ACCENTED HAIR! (aka FIREBALL!) SHE WAS BUMP-LESS!

The cast seemed to be happily answering questions, and generally very warm and amicable. I have always defended the show. Though it can be labeled “stereotyping trash,” fact of the matter is, you can tell that they are all genuine, that they KNOW that they’re acting RIDICULOUS, and they have legitimate values. The cast cherishes family, and they sit down for wholesomely extravagant meals every night, which is more than most American families can say for themselves today.

Cheers, Jersey Shore, cheers!

One day I will certainly tell my grandchildren about the time GrandMaMa wished she was dressed appropriately enough to pretend she was with some really important blog to crash the party that APPARENTLY Danielle Crazy Staub was also attending. In retrospect I don’t think I could have handled that much Jersey in one room. Still, it was very surreal (seeing them, and also the fact that they drew a decent crowd of paps), and it was another very cool happenstance moment!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Fabulous is a GROSS understatement.

I have no remote sense of how to begin to express my experience in words, for the English language is trop petite, je pense. I spent last weekend visiting friends from school in the Hamptons. I already felt tooooo swanky Serena/ Carrie as I boarded a Southampton-bound Jitney across from Bloomingdale’s.

On board, I swore that this really Jewish-looking woman sitting diagonally across from me looked familiar, but thought “Okay, Valentina, not EVERYONE you see is a celebrity spotting.” I kept picturing her in the type of show that runs on ABC, where she’s wearing a plum suit jacket proving a feminist point. I thought about Ally McBeal, West Wing, etc. I tried to listen for her last name when she gave her credit card to pay for the Jitney, but I simply wrote off an “Edelstein,” as another Jewish New Yorker going to stay with her girlfriends in the Hamptons.

I turned on Bravo yesterday, House was on. Lisa Edelstein is actually Dr. Lisa Cuddy, and HOLY I KEEP RUNNING INTO CELEBRITIES! I’m not going to question it, but my god I wish I could’ve placed her at the time/ watched House. She seemed very genuine,  had very pretty hands, was wearing an awesome ENORMOUS octopus ring on her pointer finger, and judging by her awkwardly leather-less shoes and her wikipedia page, she really is a vegan.

My host, the delightful Miss Stephanie, and her other guest, Karina, picked me up from the bus station, and we proceeded to binge on seafood at Le Chef in Southampton. SO YUMMY. We walked around window shopping, while I controlled my urge to quote the Hamptons Gossip Girl episodes: “Mother Chucker!”

I had come for the weekend to attend a benefit that Stephanie’s mother was throwing for a museum in Southampton. Stephanie’s mother, (who is so stereotypically FABULOUS in the most wonderful event-hosting way HUMANLY possible) was essentially the host for The Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Party. Sounds like a nice, sweet, event. Yea. When Stephanie invited me to the event, I assumed it’d be a charming evening on Long Island. I DID NOT, HOWEVER, THINK THAT I WOULD BE AT WHAT MAJOR NEWS SOURCES EXPLAINED AS “THE MOST ANTICIPATED” OF ALL HAMPTONS SUMMER EVENTS. ALDSGKJAOIRGAJFKLGHAJLKFGH



We helped with the check-in, and to call the experience surreal, is again, a GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT. My tweets were out of control, as we were sitting there, the guests arriving got more and more unbelievable. They weren’t even celebrities. They were A-LIST. LIKE THESE PEOPLE COULD PURCHASE ME IF THEY FELT LIKE IT. They were quintessential A-list FABULOUS. Proximity to them that evening was the highlight of… MY LIFE. so sad. but so unashamed to admit.

My celeb-spotting, face-placing skills came in handy, I could spot them before they gave their name! I was real proud.

Darren Star


I can’t even get into the freak-out that happened once I saw THE JAY MCINERNEY ACTUALLY STUMBLE INTO THE TENTS.

I finished “Bright Lights, Big City” mere days before.  AND HERE WE BOTH WERE, SWEATING UNDER THE SAME TENT!

This was especially cool, because McInerney is actually a guest on the episode of Gossip Girl where they go to the Hamptons, so really the weekend only further perpetuated my delusion that I AM BLAIR WALDORF, BLAIR WALDORF IS ME.

The high from the night had barely worn off, when we headed for Sunday Morning brunch at the grandparents’. Bagels and lox. The night after dancing with Ramona. PINCH. ME. I could die. I could die.

The view from the back yard. OH NBD. THE HAMPTONS ARE HEAVENLY!!!! It was an INCREDIBLE weekend, I’m still freaking out from it, and have begun planning my outfit for next summer. 😉 I LOVED MEETING THE MADISON FAMILY AND FOR THE WONDROUS GLORY THAT WAS LAWNG ISLAND! THANK YOU THANK YOU! Still pinching myself.


Here’s the rando video from the crazy lady who looked like a 78-year-old Lady GaGa.

Click the links for more coverage!!!



New York Social Diary

Guest of a Guest

Guest of a Guest Pictures of After Ten Party

The Parrish Art Museum