Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Look I Love: Cat Eye Liner

Hi, I'm Haley, and I'm addicted to eyeliner. 

Perhaps it's because my eyes are so dark, or shaped in a way that shadow isn't as apparent as on others, but it's the step in my makeup routine that makes me look polished and I've mastered the thin black line that's just slightly thicker at the corners. (17 year old me practiced a lot!) 

However, I love any opportunity to kick it up a notch and emulate the queen of the cat-eye liner, Ms. Bardot:


Although, Taylor Swift is holding her own too!


To get this look, the liquid eyeliner pen is your best friend.  Don't be scared of it!  Just practice in front of the mirror with some eye makeup remover at your side and figure out just how thick and far you can take the wing without looking like you're in a music video.

As far as brands go, I've long been devoted to the MAC Penultimate Liner, but this past weekend I decided to try something new and my allegiance has changed!  Y'all, the Stila Stay All Day liner is amazing.  The tip stays rigid, allowing for a perfect cat-eye and lots more control.  Plus, it stays put all day and doesn't end up in the crease of your eyelid, which is a risk when you do a thicker line. 

What's your favorite brand?  I've not found a drugstore brand that doesn't bleed into my eye crease, even with primers, but I'm sure others would love to know!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reader Request: Casually In Charge (and Warm!)

Good morning! I hope all of you had a great weekend topped off by Oscars viewing (or whatever you preferred to see).  I am watching the awards as I type, and am loving so many of the gowns this year!  I can't wait to read all the recap posts by bloggers with the patience to gather photos and compile them.  (Sorry, not happening here!)

Today I'm excited to offer some help to Mellissa, a reader from snowy Canada who is looking for some outfit inspiration as she overhauls her work wardrobe.  Mellissa's situation is a little unique in that she works in a male-dominated field in an active job where dressing up is definitely not a requirement (or practical, for that matter), and in a climate where is snows 6+ months per year.  Definitely a challenge! 

Hopefully these ideas will be of help:

Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Things Friday

Good morning! I hope all of you have had a great (short) week thus far.  I'm looking forward to a friend's wedding, and lots of down time with my husband and friends.  Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. You may recall a while back that I posted about being nervous about wearing ankle boots with anything besides boot leg jeans.  Well, I took some of the advice I received and got super brave on Wednesday!  Here's what I wore:


The print on my cardigan was more subtle, but you get the idea.


2. Isn't this the prettiest room?  I'd make the bed a king and change nothing else.



3.   Eating this cookie ice box cake would pretty much make my entire month.



4. Doesn't this make you want to walk around in the sunshine with bright colored pants and a cute peplum top?  If that cut didn't make me look like the number 8, I would wear it myself.



5.  I know I'm not the first to ask, but after leaving several comments on other blogs, I too would like to know...
If you have a moment, please leave a comment and tell me a little bit about yourself.  Where do you live?  Are you married?  Do you have a cool job?  What kind of posts are your favorite?  Are you a blogger?  Do you have pets (or kids)?  Got any post ideas?

There are over 1,000 of you here each day and I'd love to know more about you if you're willing to share!
***** Downton Spoiler Alert*****

Bonus 6th Thing:  How upset are you about the end of Downton Abbey Season 3?!  I am pissed.  Poor Lady Mary and nameless baby.  And, to make it worse, we Americans must wait until January 2014 for season 4!  Oh, the humanity!!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DIY: Shelf Styling & Grosgrain Trimmed Roman Shade

When I get bored, I suddenly notice things that I don't like about my house and embark on a whirlwind effort to fix them.  This weekend, I decided that I was bored with my built-in shelves and since I'd been meaning to replace the awful mini-blinds anyway, I did a little re-styling.  Here's the end result:
Excuse the photo quality - I don't know what I'm doing yet.

I started by raiding my bookshelves and taking the dust jackets off of a bunch of hardback books and then picking what frames and small things I wanted to keep out.  Then, I pulled up my interiors inspiration board on Pinterest and went to town stacking things and rearranging until I didn't hate it.  (Working in the records my husband insisted on keeping in the room was really hard.)

Then, I went to Lowe's and bought a plain white roman shade to replace the blinds.  I cut about 2 feet off the end below one of seams and re-jigged the cords so that the bottom panel doesn't gather when you raise and lower it.  I bought 4.5 yards of pewter grosgrain ribbon from JoAnn's and used fabric glue to attach it to the freshly-ironed shade, and then yelled expletives and cursed Messrs. Allen & Roth for designing weird hardware that I eventually succeeded at installing.

Check out that handiwork:


Then, while I was at it, I switched up the mantel a little bit too.  It's nothing award winning, but it will do for now.


Now that you see my stuff, please feel free to share any ideas for improvement on the mantel, or help me in my search for someone I can work with for some e-design.  Or teach me how to take good interior photos?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reader Request: Sightseeing Shoes

Good morning!  I hope all of you had a great weekend, or like me, are still enjoying it.  I'm planning to have a nice workout, do a little shopping, and try a new recipe for dinner.  Pretty wild!

Today I'm also excited to help Leanna, a reader who is planning a trip with New York City with her family and is looking for a good shoe to wear that has a bit of style, but is still comfortable.  I faced this same problem when I was planning my own vacation last year, and learned a very valuable lesson:  there is no magical stylish, all-day walking shoe, and you have to preserve your feet or your days will be ruined by blisters and complaining.  Seriously.

I stubbornly refused to accept that a day full of walking from morning to night required a substantial shoe, and spent lots of money on Italian band-aids and many hours in pain because of it.  And so, it is with a bit of defeat that I admit that if you're going to be doing touristy activities, you can't wear the same shoe as a local person who's doing a bit of shopping and then heading to the cafe.   However, this doesn't mean that you have to wear bulky cross trainers, either (but you should pack some, for safety!)

Here's what I will consider for my next trip:



All of the shoes above will look perfectly fine with slim, straight-leg dark jeans or cords, and should hold up well for active days.  However, I do not recommend Sperry boat shoes for a 4 hour walking tour (how dumb could I be?!).  Here's a quick outfit idea, if I were about to spend a long weekend in the city:


And, here are more packing lists from previous posts:

Friday, February 15, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, ladies!  I hope all of you had a lovely day yesterday.  I'm excited to facilitate a style seminar tonight, and then spend some time with friends and my sweet husband.  There may or may not be wine involved.

Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. I have decided that I'm going to engage a decorator for an e-design project to help me select some artwork and tables for my living room and dining area.  I have some pieces that will need to stay, and I'm looking for someone who can give me some ideas on what will go best in the room.  I think I'm capable of making a good choice on my own, but I am very fickle and change my mind constantly, so I want someone to present me with an idea that I can fall in love with and be done with it.  However, I'm totally overwhelmed with choice at this point since so many design bloggers offer this service in one form or another.  I don't want a board featuring the same trends you see all over Pinterest, and I'm hoping all of you may have a recommendation (or five?).  Please leave a comment or send me a note if you have a suggestion! 

Here's an idea of what I like:




2. I love and hate when a discount brand blatantly copies a popular style.  If I have the original, I hate it, but in this case Target has knocked off a pair of Seychelles wedges that I almost spent $80 on at the Last Call outlet.  Instead, I'll be spending $30 on these babies.  I am aware of the hypocrisy at play here.



3. This week's recipe to try is peach frozen yogurt, and I can't wait to try it!  There are only three ingredients: peaches, honey, and Fage greek yogurt. 



4. I have a really bad haircut right now.  I've cried, but nothing I do can restore the shortest layer of my hair to its former length.  My new stylist offered to re-cut the layers in my hair that had grown out, and I was so worried about my bangs that I didn't notice that she cut a layer at about chin length that looks absolutely terrible on thick, straight hair unless it's professionally blown out or curled.  That means there are a lot of ponytails and half-up styles in my future.   That said, I want a cheap version of this.



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Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LOVE-ly words

We typically do not celebrate Valentine's Day here at Casa Cardigan, but today I couldn't resist sharing a few declarations of (or about) love... courtesy of some of my favorite characters.

Happy Valentine's Day, Internet!



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Refresher Course: Accessories Make the Outfit

Hello!  I don't have time for much of a post today, thanks to an impromptu dinner with clients who are in town without anyone to entertain them.  As I rushed to convert my usual casual outfit into something more befitting the occasion, I was reminded of just how important accessories can be in the business world.

If, like me, your company sells your time and expertise then looking nice and fitting in is super important.  However, nobody needs to run out and buy all new outfits for every meeting because you can completely change the tone of your look with shoes, jewelry and a purse.

Don't believe me?  Look:


The look on the left screams "business time", while the other suggests that you're a bit more creative and relaxed without being dressed down.  Even if you're not dressing for clients, the same philosophy also helps you get lots of wear out of your staple pieces.

What's your favorite way to jazz up an outfit?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The One That Got Away: Black Flared Dresses

It's not often that I pass up a great, wear-it-forever item when I see it.  However, I often declare that I can probably find a great deal on something similar or that I'll pick it up when it goes on sale.  Usually, I can (eventually), but this winter I decided not to buy this perfect flared dress from J.Crew and have regretted it ever since.

Look at how pretty:

Source: jcrew.com via Haley on Pinterest

There are few cuts more flattering than a fitted waist and full skirt, regardless of your shape.  Victoria Beckham and Adele couldn't be more different, figure-wise, but the same type of dress looks amazing on them both:


Source: instyle.com via Maria on Pinterest

And since I keep seeing the dress and styling it in my mind, I'm taking it as a sign that I should keep looking for my own.  Here are some of the best affordable options I've found:

Friday, February 8, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday!  I hope all of you had a great week.  I did, and am looking forward to a haircut over the weekend and lots of down time.  Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. I'm so glad all of y'all are here to help me justify my purchases.  I decided to keep my new leather jacket, and am already making outfits I love.  Here are a few of the first!



2. This recipe looks really similar, and equally simple, to the veggie swirl recipe I shared last week.  I can't wait to make it since I'm all about minimal effort!



3. This room is good inspiration for people like me who can't necessarily afford to buy their dream table and chairs at the same time.  A set of Craigslist chairs (like mine!) could look as chic as these with a coat of paint, and contrast nicely with a great table.  I think I decided what we're buying first.



4. I was super excited to win this amazing Danielle Nicole purse thanks to a giveaway over at The Everygirl last week!  I'd never heard of the line, but they make some amazing bags and the prices are low enough that you can justify springing for a pop of color when you'd normally only invest in neutrals.  Check them out, and if you don't already, be sure to check out all the great content curated by the ladies at The Everygirl every day!


5. If you grew up watching Nickelodeon in the 90s, you remember The Adventures of Pete & Pete.  Well, they reunited and made a (NSFW) video for Funny or Die!  Pete looks old.

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