Perfect summer outfit

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Perfect summer outfit

A great ensemble for the sizzling summer days ahead! Take it from day to night by changing your shoes and bag.

Helmut Lang short dress
$385 – jades24.com

KOTUR snake print sandals
marissacollections.com

Antik Batik flat sandals
calypsostbarth.com

Prada purse
saksfifthavenue.com

Givenchy clutch
$1,260 – harveynichols.com

Cast of vices jewelry
revolveclothing.com

Tai feather bracelet
neimanmarcus.com

Christian Dior lip care
lordandtaylor.com

Tom Ford nail polish
neimanmarcus.com

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Things I want right now:

1. Coffee

2. One of those million dollar Kashmir scarves from Charisma Crafts in San Francisco that come in their own, crazy-ornate lacquered boxes.

3. A shadow box for my black and white print Givenchy mini skirt that I had to own, because it’s insane, but can never wear because I am too tall and curvy. It deserves a place of honor on my wall, and I deserve closure.

4. An assistant (read: unpaid intern) to run around and do all the boring crap I should be doing today when all I want to do is stay home and purge my closet.

5. Another week in Hawaii.

6. Someone to tell me I’m a spoiled little princess, but then secretly arrange to surprise me with all of it.

Is that too much to ask?

Birthday ideas!

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Birthday ideas!

Valentine’s day ensembles

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Valentine's day ensembles

Present perfect: how to tie the perfect bow

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Quite a few people have asked me to do a tutorial on tying the perfect bow. I can’t figure out how to post videos on my blog, so I’ll do my best with pictures and directions. You might ask, what’s the big deal about this bow? Well, besides looking pretty, you can untie it and remove it from the present with one hand, in one motion. Also, my method of tying the bow leaves both tails on the same side, which is much more visually appealing. It might seem silly, but multiple people have been bugging me for years to do these instructions.

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Lay the ribbon across the package length-wise, leaving enough of a tail for you to be able to tie a bow when you’re finished.

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Run the ribbon all the way around the package, taking care not to twist it.

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Fold the ribbon over like this and wrap it around the middle of the box.

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When you’re done wrapping the ribbon around, it should look like this. It is helpful to hold the ribbon in place with one hand while running it under the box with the other.

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This is the bit that most people mess up. Run the ribbon under the others diagonally, leaving enough extra to tie a bow, and cut the end from the spool.

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After you cut the ribbon and pull it through, it should look like this.

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Grab both of the ends and pull the slack tight like this.

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Now make two loops (or bunny ears) like this.

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And now the bunny runs around the tree…

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… And through the hole…

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… And out the other side!

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Now pull the loops to your desired length.

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And finally, trim the ends so that they are the same length and matching angles.

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Holiday Nail Art Challenge: Week 3

This is the last week of nail polish Canada’s holiday nail art challenge. This week’s theme is “holiday memories,” which have me a bit of trouble at first. I don’t know about you, but my favorite holiday memories tend to begin (and often end) with alcohol. So instead of trying to manufacture some sort of heartwarming manicure, I decided to go with my first instinct and make it all about booze. Et voila!

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What would the holidays be without our friends Veuve Clicquot, Absolut vodka, Bombay sapphire gin, and Bailey’s Irish cream?  If you like this, please take a moment and vote for me! Here’s a closer look at how I created this manicure:

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I started with a couple of coats of plain white.

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Then I took ciaté’s sugar plum and thinned some down on a plate to create a purple wash, which I applied with a paintbrush.

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Then I took pillow fight by ciaté, thinned it out and used a fine pointed dotting tool to create the outline of the liquor bottles. I would like to state for the record that I did not do this from memory, I had pictures to work from.

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Here I started to fill in the colors a bit. I had to custom mix the colors on the champagne bottle, they are so specific and I just didn’t have anything quite right.

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While the bottles were drying, I started the glass outlines for the cocktails on my thumb. Unfortunately, I only had room for three glasses, but I think they turned out well. Then I added some detail to the labels of the bottles.

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Here I adjusted some of the bottles and filled the glasses with various drinks. I also filled the empty spaces in the glasses with white and edited down the outlines on the bottles and glasses.

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Putting a topcoat on this sort of manicure is always a challenge. Start by waiting for everything to be absolutely dry. Really, wait a ridiculous amount of time. Then dab topcoat on the detailed bits. Brushing it on can lead to streaking and distortion, so dab on generous amounts and wait for that to dry before sweeping on another coat all over.

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me!