My birthday was Sunday, and although the day itself turned out to be a delight, I spent most of the week directly preceding it in an ugly funk, engaging in endless rounds of particularly ruthless self-evaluation. A little self-awareness is good, but it’s deathly to sit around wondering how you might have ended up—and where, and with whom—had everything gone down differently. Deathly and pointless. And yet also—unfortunately—completely irresistible. So I stewed, and I pouted, and I hated my life, until I remembered all the reasons why I liked it. And when I was done, I shopped.
My first stop was Sephora, as I was running perilously low on Josie Maran Argan Bronzing Oil, which is the magic elixir of life. I’m going through a big Josie Maran moment in general—her line is small and carefully chosen, and you get the feeling they’re not pushing anything they don’t believe in. I’ve also become quite attached to the Argan Color Stick, which provides a nice rosy flush without looking all fake and blush-y. This time out, I bought a compact—my first ever, actually. Two years ago, I didn’t even know how to apply eyeshadow; now I can actually blend. This feels very grown-up lady to me. So does the fact that these colors have tiny hint of glimmer to them. Normally that’d be a big red flag, but in the spirit if Nashville‘s Raina Jaymes, a sexy-ass lady in her 40s who never met a sparkly shadow she didn’t like, I’m all in.
Also very Raina Jaymes, and definitely better suited for Connie Britton’s coloring than my own: this pinkish-coral lip stain that I came home with frankly by accident, as I meant to grab the cherry-red, but which is providing a nice little pop when I apply it underneath my regular color.
Then it was off to Steven Alan’s newish boutique on Tenth Avenue—a store that I find myself rather improbably loving, as I feel like I outgrew Steven Alan some time ago. I respect the guy’s vision, and he certainly has become a force, but the designers Steven Alan stocks in his shops, and his own line (especially his own line) all have this sort of half tomboyish, half twee, almost intentionally unsexy vibe that only works for those who are very young, very stylish, and very sexy. If you’re not at least two of those things and you attempt to pull these clothes off, you wind up looking like a pilgrim, or the head of the PTA circa 1973, or a naughty schoolgirl, minus the naughty.
This store feels different, though. There are new-to-this-universe designers (more, alas, in store than online) and the space is huge and bright and lively and somehow more grown-up, and I find much to want every time I go. This cobalt blue Acne pump, for instance, is the lazy girl’s best friend. Just put it on with a black dress and tights and, and poof! That bold dash of color instantly telegraphs style genius.
I love when an ethnic print is used on a really clean shape like it is here—plus, this green is fantastic.
Another lazy girl style tip: get yourself an extra-thin chain that you can just leave on and forget about, so that you’ve got at least one piece of jewelry on at all times. This initial necklace is exactly delicate enough, and the fact that it hangs off-kilter is all kinds of (very subtle) cool.
It’s a shame that R-13 is my new favorite denim line, because they make some pricey, pricey jeans. Still, there aren’t many brands out there manufacturing jeans that feel like jeans anymore—everything’s got so much damned stretch. (There need to be alternatives for the lady who doesn’t want to look all Jenny From The Block, but still isn’t ready to default to mom jeans, right? I feel a post coming on). This pair is a great boyfriend shape that’s still on the skinnier side, so you have comfort and volume without feeling like you’re big as a house.
Again with the blue, I know. But it really is a fantastic blue. Still, if it’s not for you, this fabulously proportioned—and reasonably priced— canvas Baggu tote also comes in black and natural.
It is nice to know that somewhere in this world exists a wee little black diamond ring with a rose gold band that can be yours for under $200.