Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kimberly McDonald Jewelry

Recently I became aware of the gorgeous jewelry by designer Kimberly McDonald. I really love her use of geodes, matrix opals, and diamonds in her rather organic yet ordered designs. Apparently the celebs do as well - her jewelry has been worn on the red carpet by Amy Adams and Sarah Jessica Parker, and by First Lady Michelle Obama. I'll have to make a point to check it out in person next time I'm at Bergdorf Goodman.



Posted by theminx on Opalescentminx.com
Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Royals Need Stylists, Too

Nobody could ever confuse the Dutchess of Cornwall, Camilla Shand Parker Bowles Mountbatten-Windsor  with a fashionable lady. The Prince of Wales, however, looks pretty natty.

Photocredit: Wireimage

Posted by theminx on Opalescentminx.com
Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Spring Handbags 2011

I am a handbag fiend, but have a limited budget and can never afford the fantastic designer purses I lust after. Here are some of my favorites of the coming season.

Alexander McQueen
Britania Python Skull Clutch
Price: $2,595.00 @ Bergdorf Goodman

Elie Tahari
Emmy Straw Handbag
Price: $398.00 @ Bergdorf Goodman

Diane von Furstenberg
Leni Burlap-Croc Tote
Price: $395.00 @ Bergdorf Goodman

Diane von Furstenberg
Stephanie Metallic Hobo, Medium
Price: $875.00 @ Bergdorf Goodman

Valentino
Large Petale Tote
Price: $1,795.00 @ Bergdorf Goodman

3.1 Phillip Lim
Edie Bow Leather Bag
Price: $750.00 at Saks

Chloé
Marcie Small Braided Hobo
Price $1560.00 at Saks


Rebecca Minkoff
Tryst Large Weekender Tote
Price $550.00 at Saks


Salvatore Ferragamo
Maia Gancio Rafia Tote
Price $990.00 at Saks

Posted by theminx on Opalescentminx.com
Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, March 25, 2011

All on the Line

This looks interesting.

All on the Line with Elle's Joe Zee premieres March 29th at 10 on Sundance.


Posted by theminx on Opalescentminx.com
Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blog Content Stolen Again

Allfashions.info moved to a new blog provider - this time Wordpress - and took my content along for the ride once again. Unfortunately, Wordpress doesn't seem to be as user friendly as OnSugar, so I'll have to take matters into my own hands this time.

I don't really need the stress at the moment. Please think good thoughts for me. :)

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY has organized Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, an exhibition to celebrate the designer's contributions to fashion. Approximately one hundred examples of his work will be on view, from May 4, 2011–July 31, 2011, at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, 2nd floor.

Sounds like a must-attend event for any fashionista.


Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Royal Craziness

Can you imagine paying £125,000 for a dress worn in a student fashion show? Particularly this one?

Some nutball fan of Britain's Royal family shelled out that much for this bit of nothing just because it was worn by future princess Kate Middleton. Insane.

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Mini Sniffing Tour of Bergdorf Goodman

If you are a bit of a fragrance aficionado but have never experienced the beauty floor at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, make sure you get yourself there next time you are in the Big Apple. BG is always one of my favorite places to visit, not only because of the great selection of beauty and fragrance brands, but also because the people who work there are so darn nice. If you're lucky enough to meet Tom Crutchfield at the Annick Goutal booth, get him to take you around the department and show you what's new.  Not only does he have a breadth of knowledge on the subject of fragrance, but he is also a fan who gets as swoony over his favorite scents as you and I.

On a recent trip to NY, I made my usual pilgrimage to Bergie's and after a quick trip to the Paul & Joe counter to pick up a tube of my favorite under-eye cream (which was discontinued and replaced by a day gel/night cream duo - grrr), I wandered into the small room near the up escalator to do some serious sniffing. There I met Tom who graciously gave me a tour of the new fragrances that had come out since my last trip to NY in April of 2010.

Out of the several scents I tested, some of my favorites included the Rose Oud and Incense Oud by Kilian - gorgeous, deep, and long-lasting scents sold at the ridiculously high price of $395 per 50ml. Honestly, a good $100 of that is paying for the fancy lacquered box, and who needs yet another dust collector on his or her dresser? I never have (and probably never will) buy a Kilian scent because of this unnecessary extravagance.

Anyhoo...other fragrances of note were the lovely new Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau, a fun toast-and-apricot-jam scent that is on the top of my "must buy" list at the moment. I had already tested Maison Francis Kurkdjian Cologne Pour Le Matin via Luckyscent.com sample, and I wanted to compare the Cologne to the Absolue version. They are similar yet different, and after trying both at BG, I think I do prefer the Cologne. Another striking cologne is the new Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee, a very light, yet still very vanilla scent. I initially thought it was a bit too fleeting on my skin, but I noticed that it was the only sample that I could still detect on my skin after several hours of walking around during an unseasonably warm day of putting my jacket on and taking it off several times.

After a quick make-up application by the very talented David Aikman and a chat with the lovely Donna Muzio at the Estee Lauder counter (and of course a purchase of the new Bronze Goddess Soleil fragrance, plus some foundation), I headed over to the Jo Malone counter to re-sniff their new tea scents before heading back out onto Fifth Avenue. (My favorite is the Assam Grapefruit, followed closely by Sweet Milk, both also on the "must buy" list.)

A visit to Bergdorf's is dangerous to my wallet, but for someone like me, who thrills at inhaling fine fragrances, it's a couple of hours well-spent.

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? Finale Tonight

Joan decides to update her will using a video camera. Meanwhile, Melissa gets terrible stomach pains – that lead everyone to believe she may be pregnant. And Joan reveals that she’s bought a house, BUT she wants to give it to Jason and Melissa, because she’d rather stay in Melissa’s house…leaving Melissa less than thrilled. AND Jason lets everyone know he has a big announcement! Will he finally pop the question?

Tune in tonight @ 9pm | 8c on WE TV.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2011

Designer Alexander McQueen may no longer be with us, but his spirit lives in through Sarah Burton, the firm's current designer. This season, her theme was "the Ice Queen and her court" which borrowed heavily from the "heritage silhouettes" that McQueen himself was fond of using.

A little bit of princess plus a little bit of bondage makes for quite a fab collection.


Photo credit: Style.com
Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thinking About Fragrance: Fragrance Organization

I have always been more mentally-organized than physically-organized, which is not a plus when it comes to storing my ever-changing perfume collection. Generally, come Fall, I rotate out the fragrances that I consider to be best worn in warm weather, and bring them out again once I feel completely tired of Winter and the spicy, woodsy scents I wear in cold weather. The scents in rotation live in a basket in the linen closet. Unfortunately, not all of them fit at any given time, so some of them are left in the big cardboard box in the storage room. When I do my seasonal swap, I always find a bottle that makes me think, "damn! I would have worn this had I remembered I had it!" (The perfumista equivalent of "I could had a V-8!")

Some scents, of course, are suitable for wearing all-year-round, and I keep them - in their original packaging - on a shelf in the linen closet. All are unisex, so I encourage Mr Minx to wear them as well. He's got a number of fragrances, but for the most part, he sticks to wearing Obsession for Men in cold weather, and Bath & Body Works Woodland in the Spring and Summer. (The latter has been discontinued, but I bought up a ton of it as soon as the news came out.)

I know some people store their fragrance collection in refrigerators, or in curio cabinets. I'd love to do that, but don't have the space. How do you store your fragrances?

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thinking About Fragrance: Taste Evolution

I'm not sure exactly when I became a perfume aficionado. When I was a child, I knew which fragrances I did *not* like: Estée Lauder Youth Dew, Coty Emeraude, Prince Matchabelli Wind Song, Jean Naté, and just about anything else my mother wore; any of the Tinkerbell floral fragrances I received as a Christmas gift from a cousin; anything Avon except Sweet Honesty. None of those fragrances were "right" to my nose, and I still feel the same way about Youth Dew, a fragrance that I would call an "acquired taste." (I haven't smelled any of the others in decades).

At some point, a cousin gave me a bottle of Anne Klein Blazer, packaged with an address book. Looking back, I realize it was probably a gift-with-purchase item that she had no use for, but to me then it was something special: a real, grown-up perfume. It was somewhat sweet and fruity, if I remember correctly, and nothing like the scents I did not like. Blazer was probably too much for a kid to wear, but I wore it anyway, on "special occasions," and when I felt especially ballsy, to school.

Eventually I put together a small collection of typically safe and boring teenage scents that I wore through high school: Sweet Honesty. Heaven Scent. Love's Baby Soft. Chantilly. In those days, my mom and I were big fans of mail-order catalogs and one of our favorites was from a company that sold heavily-discounted beauty products and fragrances. Once in a while, the description of some perfume or another would intrigue us, and if it was cheap enough, we'd order it. Once I hit college age, my fragrance collection included Bakir and Cinnabar (both spicy orientals) and Maxims de Paris, a heady floral, all quite a bit different and far more sophisticated than my high school favorites.

So what happened? My tastes evolved. And they continue to evolve.

In my 20s and 30s, I was largely attracted to sweet scents, either gourmands--preferably with tons of vanilla--or ambers (Calvin Klein ObsessionCasmir, Thymes Filigree), with occasional forays into something spicy (Lagerfeld KL, Donna Karan Chaos). I was pretty sure I hated florals, particularly shrill old-fashioned ones like Chanel No. 5, and anything with rose. And then I discovered the Perfume of Life forum and a whole world of fragrances beyond the couple dozen available at the local department store.

After that came attendance at Sniffapalooza, a two-day, nose-exhausting, perfume-smelling extravaganza held twice a year in Manhattan. I knew there were lots of interesting things to smell in New York, but before Sniffa, I had only quickly visited the (admittedly quite large) fragrance department at Saks Fifth Avenue. I had no experience with niche fragrances until I visited Bergdorf Goodman, Takashimaya, Bendel's, Barney's, and the fabulous perfume boutique, Aedes de Venustas. Online, I found what I think of as the the mac daddy of niche fragrance purveyors, Lucky Scent.

Over the past four years, after sampling hundreds and hundreds of scents, my tastes have started to change. While I still appreciate a good vanilla (Guerlain's smoky Spiritueuse Double Vanille is my current favorite), I've realized that I do like floral scents, particularly those with osmanthus, peony, gardenia, and tuberose. And that there are many types of rose scents, some of which I like very much (Stella McCartney Stella, Lancome Mille et une Rose, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania). I'll even wear Chanel No. 5, as long as it's the less-aldehydic Eau Premiere. I've also found the joys of salty and savory dry scents (as long as they do not contain the aromachemical calone, which smells like artificial seaweed), like Hermes Eau de Merveilles, Santa Maria Novella Citta di Kyoto, and Hermes Hiris.

Now my collection of fragrances varies in number between 60 and 100, depending on my changing tastes and my most recent purge. Right now, I'm looking forward to an upcoming trip to New York where I plan to spend at least a couple of hours trying out the new fragrances from the past year or so. Maybe I'll add something old and familiar to my collection, or maybe I'll be struck by a completely new scent sensation that I simply must buy. In any case, I'll certainly enjoy the sensory overload.

Are you a fragrance aficionado? What types of fragrances do you favor - today?

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?

Joan and Melissa shop for houses and lingerie together (an obvious combo!). And Joan finally gets some alone time with her grandson, Cooper, while Melissa and Jason take off for a romantic weekend. Cooper invites friends for a sleepover, and things get crazy when Brad Garret calls and wants Joan to sub-in for him for a last-minute comedy gig, leaving Conrad and Lynne in charge…and leaving Melissa angry. Joan insists the sleepover went off without a hitch. Melissa says that’s not the point. Will mother and daughter make nice?

Tune in tonight at 9pm | 8c, on WE!

Monday, March 7, 2011

London 2011 Fall Fashion Week - Basso & Brooke

Let's forget the ugliness of recent days and look to the gorgeous digital prints of Brazilian/British designers Basso & Brooke, shall we? The clothes are fairly minimalist, and the prints say it all. My favorites are the landscape-like ones that remind me of close-ups of the Grand Canyon, or tree bark.


Photo credit: Style.com

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Extreme Plagiarism

Recently I was advised that the contents of this blog had been stolen and were being used on the OnSugar blog, http://allfashions.info. After a quick look at the blog, I was able to confirm that many, if not all, of my Opalescent posts had been stolen.

I sent an email to OnSugar requesting that the offending blog be removed. (OnSugar is a part of Sugar, Inc., parent company of the PopSugar Network.) As of this post, I have not heard from OnSugar.

While compiling this post, I noticed that the thief's blog is using Google AdSense to monetize their crime. If OnSugar does not respond, I will be filing a copyright infringement report with Google so at least nobody will be making money off of me.

In case anyone doubts my claim that the content of allfashions.info has been stolen from me, here are some examples.

My "Showing Off" post from 9/12/2007, features a gold pendant with boulder opal, diamond, green sapphire, tanzanite, and freshwater pearl. I designed it and had local goldsmiths assemble the piece. I don't wear it very often, but I still have it, which can prove that this post was stolen from me.

Another post of mine from 9/2007 features a custom-made necklace that I was commissioned to create for the sister of my friend, Fara. And look where else my post can be found: http://www.allfashions.info/home?page=887.

If you go to the thief's blog and click on "her" name, Kazarapes, you'll find a photo of a rather innocent-looking Muslim girl in a head scarf. Well, if she's such a devout Muslim, why on earth does she have a Christmas list post? Because she stole it from me.

Here's an instance when I mention my husband, whom I call "Mr Minx" on my blogs. And here's the stolen post, reproduced on the thief's blog: http://www.allfashions.info/search/tom+jones. I doubt he or she even knows who Tom Jones is.

During the fourth season of Project Runway, I composed a little ditty for designer Christian Siriano to the tune of Night Ranger's "Sister Christian." Siriano's fellow designer, Jack Mackenroth liked it so much, he used it on his blog (with a credit to me). And look where else it ended up, without a credit: http://www.allfashions.info/search/sister+christian

Enough of 2007...suffice it to say that all of my posts from that year were stolen. On to 2008!

I'm a rather boring dresser, and I made no bones about it in this post. And looky - the thief apparently likes to wear the same things! And she refers to herself as theminx, too!

MTV's Jim Cantiello appreciated my predictions of what Project Runway might be like when it moved to Lifetime: "For an especially hilarious Lifetime/"Runway" prediction, check out Opalescent's take on the story." And look where else my work can be found: http://www.allfashions.info/search/buh-bye. All of my other Project Runway and Shear Genius recaps can be found on the thief's site as well.

In 2009, I posted for the first time about my Etsy store. Guess who else claims to have an Etsy store at the address theminx.etsy.com? Of course "Kazarapes" has no such thing - he/she took my post!

In 2010, I blogged about my husband's site. Wouldn't you know it, but "Kazarapes'" husband has the same site!

Honestly, need I go on? Is this enough proof that this person brazenly stole the contents of this blog and used them for his/her own? Why do people do this? It's not like I make any money at all from this blog (none, to be exact) so why does someone feel the need to cash in on my lack of fortune?

It'll be interesting to see if this post is eventually copied by the thief. :)

ETA: On March 4th, I received this message from OnSugar:
After careful review, we’ve removed all content and blocked this member’s account, kazarapes, for breaking our Terms of Service, http://www.onsugar.com/tos. We take copyright infringement/trademark laws very seriously and will take the necessary action when reported.
Nice going! Thanks, OnSugar!

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tonight, on Joan & Melissa

Joan returns back to L.A. and patches it up with Melissa, who convinces Joan that it’s time to return to the dating world. Joan’s friends set her up a series of hilarious blind dates that include motorcycles, squid fishing and gun clubs. Joan, in turn, encourages Melissa to get engaged to Jason by offering an heirloom ring. Will Jason pop the question? Can Joan ride a motorcycle?

Tune in tonight at 9pm | 8c on WE TV!


Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

83rd Annual Academy Awards

Was that a snoozefest or what? I know they were trying to appeal to the younger demographic with hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, but she's just a squealy fangirl and he needs to allow himself to sleep sometimes. Boring and uninteresting. Bring back Billy Crystal, please! Or Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Even Bob Hope would be an improvement.

Hathaway did at least look pretty in her umpty-three wardrobe changes, but honestly, fashion is not a substitute for personality.

A preggers Natalie Portman in Rodarte. She won the award for Best Actress, and honestly, I don't get it. I didn't see Black Swan so maybe she's learned to act since the Star Wars presequels. She looked nice, and her earrings were gorgeous, although they looked like they weighed a ton.

Mila Kunis wore a gorgeous lavender Elie Saab that worked perfectly with her coloring. Kudos to her gays.

Jennifer Lawrence in a custom-made gown from Calvin Klein Collection. Love that this young lady chose something low-key and age-appropriate, yet elegant.

Anne Hathaway in Valentino. In most cases, one cannot go wrong with a red Valentino gown.

I'm not all that crazy about blush or "nude" gowns, but Halle Berry looks amazing in Marchesa. She'd look amazing in a burlap sack.

Michelle Williams wore a simple and understated Chanel that actually made her look tall.

Hailee Steinfeld in a tea-length Marchesa dress that she helped to design. The girl's got taste, and she's smart enough to dress age-appropriately.

Helena Bonham Carter wore a dress by Alice in Wonderland costume designer Colleen Atwood. Compared to past wackadoodle red-carpet looks, Ms Carter looks positively staid.

Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang. Gorgeous.

I like Reese Witherspoon's simple black and white Armani Privé, but I'm torn on the 60s Barbie ponytail.

Jennifer Hudson in Versace. Gorgeous dress, tasteful for Versace. But the girl is too skinny now.

Gwyneth Paltrow in a sleek, modern, Calvin Klein. Perfection.

Helen Mirren, in Vivienne Westwood, rarely looks bad.

Penelope Cruz looks seriously boobaceous in her L'Wren Scott. She also looks very happy - and why not, with husband Javier Bardem at her side.

Ok, I've been too nice, and I need to savage someone. How about Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Couture? I don't care that it's Givenchy, the gown looks like a first grader's macaroni-and-paper plate project, accented with bits of yellow and pink deco icing. She looks washed out, and those stiff sleeve things look silly.

I think Scarlett Johansson is a lovely young woman with a fabulous figure, but somehow this Dolce & Gabbana is just not working. I think it's the cut of the neckline and sleeve holes - they look a bit chewed-on. As does her hair, which is a bit too sloppy.

Annette Bening's Naeem Khan is doing her no favors. Her boobs look smashed, and she has no waist. Suprising, because recently she's looked amazing on the red carpet.

Nicole Kidman in Christian Dior. I don't love it, but I don't hate it, either. It's kinda bridal.

For the most part, I  love Amy Adams' L'Wren Scott gown, and that she paired it with emeralds, but her upper arms look distractingly thick, which I think is an illusion caused by the contrast of her skin with the dress and the snug cap sleeves.

Marisa Tomei in vintage Charles James. I think it's lovely, but it would have worked better on a gal with bigger boobs. Or maybe it's that the sweetheart neckline seems a bit too high on her.

Melissa Leo said  Marc Bouwer "built" this dress for her, which is a bit of costume-designer language. It's...ok. In a still picture it's fine, but when she was moving, she appeared to be wearing an oversized and over-starched crocheted doily like the ones my grandmother used to put on her coffee table. That said, congratulations to Ms Leo on her Best Supporting Actress win. Because she was on Homicide, filmed in Baltimore, I can't help but think of her as a homegirl.

Photo Credit: Wireimage.

Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

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