Monday, December 12, 2016

Pushes open, peeks through a crack at first. Pauses. Listens for any sound. Takes a deep breath and begins to feel full, and "okay". A bit nervous, begins to push it open, enters through...

Hello world, it has been a while. Sometimes I feel like a shadow of myself. I'm here, I'm alive. But I'm not fully there. I think that for the past few years, this has been especially the case for me. And, For whatever reason, I have been afraid to "pick up the pen". I haven't felt inspired to write. That being said, while not writing - it didn't feel good inside. Hence, feeling like a shadow of myself. Its like, a part of me inside knows that when I'm not actively writing my thoughts down and exclaiming my perspective with the world - sharing my voice, I don't feel 100% myself. I've been hunched over. Over here, in the corner. Observing and worrying, haha. Don't worry - nothing is wrong. I just need to be honest. And from that, I don't even quite know what I want to say at the moment - except I'm here! I'm alive. I matter. I care. I try. I do. And I love. A lot.

I've been going through what I would describe as a "transition phase" for the last 4-5 years of my life. It was prefaced with a particularly tough time for me and deep battles within myself that I had to face. This has led to a new and fresh horizon/perspective for me, but still exists much confusion and angst. I kept busy, and have been scraping by - just tryin' to survive. It has put me into a place of hopelessness, frustration, and many of my thoughts driven by fear. I'm describing the worst of the worst and granted, it has not been like this on the daily, for the entirety of the last 4-5 years. However, these thoughts are what has taken up my being about half the time. 50/50. I'm 50% darkness and 50% light. I have a lot of hope. In myself. I am working hard to hone in on my skills, along with flaws and problematic thinking. In an effort to truly understand myself. And get my voice back. Redefining myself, in a way. Understanding myself differently.

But overall, I just want to proclaim... I'm alive and I'm happy. I say that with sincerity. I am more happy than unhappy, truthfully.

I strive to be better, constantly - while struggling with insecurity and laziness - which tends to put me in a constantly stressed out state. lol. No more! I need to be open with the world and my struggles within, I think. It helps me cope. I think that's why I've loved blogging so much. It helps, to talk to people. To have a voice. Its a big deal. And for a long time, I totally forgot that. I could feel something was missing but I couldn't put my finger on what it was, exactly.

I am getting myself out of the cycle. It feels good to take steps for myself. And to stop procrastinating! Part of this journey, to me, represents re-entering the world. I feel like I've been gone for a while. And that's OK. I'm grateful for a lot.

And, I'm happy to be back. I feel grateful. Empowered. Humble. Shy. But coming out of my shell. Hello, world. Its good to be back.

Monday, May 27, 2013

For the Ballers: Four Pieces a Man Should Invest In

For The Ballers: Four Things to Indulge In

The Gucci Carryall: A Bag You Won't Mind Carrying Around

Since I can remember, Gucci has boasted their signature red and–green three–stripe panel, found on everything from their horse–bit loafers to sunglasses. 
But today, many “brand heavy” companies are finding themselves in somewhat of a bind — after over a decade spent pushing their brand affiliations through artfully placed logos, along with mainstream media pop culture icons taking it to the extreme extreme - many customers now prefer their luxury goods to be vaguely anonymous looking now, and rightfully so.  
The Rule of Thumb: ONE piece of your ensemble may whisper a good brand, not scream it.  It is no longer all about branding - in fact, it’s looked down on.  Modesty has never gone out of style, gentlemen.

A Brioni (or Loro Piana) Overcoat: The Finishing Touch

Recommended for men who live in the chillier regions of Italy ( ;-) ) or aged 40 and above (generally), the overcoat of a well–dressed man isn't an afterthought, a throw–on, or a thing he should consider later. The overcoat is serious business, and those who know what they are doing and/or can afford the absolute best have turned to Brioni or Loro Piana to deliver overcoats worthy of the rest of their outfits.
Take this double–faced, double–breasted cashmere overcoat: with an impossibly soft hand, (I’ve seen this coat in person) and no interior support or lining whatsoever, it delivers unbelievable warmth with an expertly tailored fit. It also projects an authority that even the most confident among them could use. After dropping a pretty penny on this puppy, let yourself enjoy the added layer of warmth, style, and attitude.  You deserve it.

The New, Updated Moncler V Coat

Moncler has found happy medium between tradition and technology: down–filled jackets with simple wind–resistant shells historically worn by upper elite members of both the fashion world and the sporting world as well. Today, the brand has teamed with Japanese designer Hiroki Nakamura with its heritage–inspired Moncler V line. This jacket brings a shell that has three times as much cotton in it as nylon — which makes it look like a blast from the past with it’s vintage patina, but delivers all the wind and water resistance you need.

On the flip side, look for something like this in puff vest form as well.  Great for cities such as San Francisco (with climates known to shift dramatically during the day, depending on what neighborhood you may be in or what microclimate you’re dealing with), and for blustery spring and fall days in other cities that aren’t yet fully freezing.

Loro Piana Cashmere Pants: The Ultimate in True Style with Endless Comfort

This is a piece that you could definitely live without, but for any special occasion - these wonderful pants offer a welcome variation from suit pants.  They are soft, lightweight, refined, sophisticated and effortless. Every man needs a pair of these at some point in his life.  
Go for taupe, camel, cream, dark brown or grey.


Spring Sunglasses Guide - 2013

Hello Readers - 

Take a look at my Spring '13 Sunglasses Guide.  Yes it's that time of year again, It's time to shell out on a new pair!

Every single one of these shades can go for Men or Women, in my opinion!



So cheap you can buy them in bulk, then scratch or lose them as you enjoy your best summer yet!

Sunglasses ($20) by Neff Headwear,


All-black, with a versatile square shape, ideal for a morning spent dealing with basic business.

Sunglasses ($260) by Burberry,

Oliver Peoples

The frames are titanium and the lenses are polarized sand-quartz, so they'll fit right in with the rest of your nice clothes.
Sunglasses ($535) by Oliver Peoples,

Oliver Goldsmith

A for-sure investment pair of sunglasses - these are Excellent: A double-bridged aviator, with noticeable contrast from top to bottom. Not for the frugal spender.
Sunglasses ($380) by Oliver Goldsmith,


Persol's to me are almost like a fresh, yet grown-up and sophisticated version of Ray Bans. It's time you graduated, my friends. With Persols, everything from the silver arrow to the temple tip reflects the impeccable, effortless Italian design behind these. Many pairs fold in half for convenience, but even if the pair you fall for don't, you'll still find yourself springing for the purchase.  
Not only to be worn just on vacation - I URGE you (men and women) to bring a little bit of Italy into your everyday look.  The ones that matter will notice. 
Genevieve’s personal pick.
Sunglasses ($360) by Persol,


A brand known for it’s use of sleek chrome detailing, application of color and use of wood, it’s hard to go wrong with a pair of Toms. Not only do they typically bring a whimsical note -  but a good deed, too. For every pair bought a portion goes to charity.
Sunglasses ($139) by Tom's,

Warby Parker

I couldn’t author a sunglasses reccommendation guide without mentioning Warby Parker.  For both readers and sunglasses, this brand continues to wow me.  Their use of unusual and rare materials continues to improve with each season, and I believe they're one of the frontrunners in the optics industry. 

Almost every style they produce is one I’d recommend, and they come in at an extremely reasonable price point. Cheap and versatile? Take them to work, sailing, swimming. Just don't lose 'em, because they will probably sell out.

Sunglasses ($95) by Warby Parker,


These Zanerobe "Bowie" shades are unisex (as are most good pairs of sunglasses). Your girlfriend will have no idea though, until she decides to steal them.

Sunglasses ($180) by Zanerobe,


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sensational at 67!

Now this is the way to do 67 right!  I can only hope to look as elegant, youthful and sophisticated as Helen Mirren consistently does when I reach my sixties.  The only thing about this that I don't like is that unfortunately her dress got wet at the hemline! :-(

Her choice in attire is always *slightly* forward and edgy & usually out of the realm of what women in their sixties tend to wear.......but this shade of soft pink in her hair brings it to another level.  BRAVO, Helen!

Helen Mirren in Nicholas Oakwood Couture

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We Shall See: Oscars Prediction 2013

So, here are my hopes in some dresses that will be worn at this year's Oscar ceremony:

This one below I'm slightly lukewarm on, but on the right person it could look fantastic:

 Show us the gown!  This one could have some REAL potential, if that black sheath was removed!

Now these, I have less hope for...but I can see someone wearing one of these styles and it not being so fabulous in translation on the red carpet:

All Marchesa, all fabulous.  We shall see....

Product Reccommendation - Winter

Over the years throughout my endless trials and tribulations in the world of beauty products, when it comes to my body and facial routine, I've increasingly leaned towards the use of various oils.  I use many different oils for my body, in fact - I haven't used actual body lotion in years.  I find that lotion is really just a weakened version of skin moisturizer ... the active moisturizing element of lotions are the oils inside them.  In addition, lotions tend to be either non-effective or they leave a waxy feeling on my skin and never fully absorb.  Body oils leave me soft and silky, although the trick is applying them just after shower/bath, or the absorption isn't the same.

This rule also applies to facial oils - to be applied immediately after your face comes into contact with water. Continuing on this note, today I want to write about this particularly unexplored concept in skincare - facial oils.  I know, I know....scary thought, slathering AN OIL on your face. Most people tend to be hesitant towards putting an oil on their face.  Many people with acne prone skin have been miseducated and taught that they can't use oil on their face, that it will surely cause pimples and breakouts.  After speaking with numerous estheticians and a few dermatologists, it turns out that oils are not the kryptonite to acne prone skin as we previously thought.  In fact, oils can bring the essential moisture your skin needs without all of the irritating added ingredients (perfumes, preservatives, additives) that lotions typically contain, and actually cause less breakouts overall.  The trick is finding the right oil for you, and many people don't like to mess around with the annoying process of testing numerous products, all while enduring breakout after breakout on the seemingly endless journey to find just the right product.  Which is why.....I wanted to recommend this one to you all!

All-organic Evanhealy produces many products that I've found myself enjoying.  However, this serum in particular is one that I have returned back to many times, and I've been successfully using it for about 6 months now.  My small white bumps and large angry bumps historically are incredibly stubborn.  NOTHING made a difference - prescription creams all the way into every existing department store product as well as anything Walgreens carries.  This Rosehip Facial Serum actually evened my skintone out and seems to have calmed my skin.  It's labeled as a "serum", but it's really an oil.  Truthfully, had it been labeled an "oil" and not a "serum",  I probably would have been a bit hesitant to buy it.  Evanhealy probably realizes this about their consumer base, which is why they avoided the word "oil" on the label.  It soaks in fast, does not leave an oily feeling, and doesn't cause breakouts for me.  I did some research into rosehip oil (the main ingredient) which is widely regarded as an aid in anti-aging, scar healing and photo aging. It's also high in vitamin A (Retinol, Retin-A, used in MANY skin products) and vitamin C.  Take note: this is the "blue" rosehip facial serum - they also make a "rose" version, which is just slightly more viscous and takes a little bit longer to soak in.  I'd recommend the rose version for people with truly dry skin.

Give it a try! Its available at Whole Foods, Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco in addition to their website, it's reasonably priced at $25 and lasts me about a month and a half. By the time I found this, I had pretty much come to expect nothing from any product I if the eternal skincare-cynic is giving it a thumbs up, you might just have some success with it too.  I slather this on immediately after thoroughly washing my face and swiping a toner pad over it to ensure ALL makeup is removed, and I follow it with a light moisturizer (Weleda Iris Hydrating Facial Fluid...I'll save another blog post for that :-)


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

If Only

Ok, THIS is what Bey should have worn to the Grammy's.  This would have earned her a spot on the best dressed list.  That geometric disaster wasn't even worthy of Sunday brunch. Her sleek hair compliments the nude shade perfectly.   THIS is the best nude dress all season - it's better than all 3 of the near-identical nude dresses worn to the golden globes, because with all the rhinestones it really stands out.  The mesh detailing makes it risque, yet it's still elegant and it compliments her skin tone perfectly.  Now only if she could act not so into her damn self.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fashion Awards 2013: Grammys

Bonnie McKee - Designer Unknown

Let's start out with a bang.  I think this look is going to be misunderstood by non-fashion industry types, but this was actually my favorite grammy look.  This is crazy, wild - yet still attractive and classy.  The dress is actually chic, but the hair is just so over the top "Grammy's" wild.  Raise your hand if you googled "Bonnie McKee" after seeing her half-Koolaid half Cream hairdo?  I absolutely LOVE this look the more I look at it!  The bodice fits correctly (which is uncommon), the white and chrome theme of the dress is a standout attention grabbing feature, yet is neutral enough to support that neon braid and actually compliment it, the length of the dress is correct, and - the silver backdrop keeps everything clutter free and fresh.  It's an A in my book - for the Grammy's only.

 In Paule Ka

Mmmm kkkkkk.  Kelly I have a bone to pick with you.  If you're going to be on a show called "Fashion Police", where you and your cohorts criticize everyone on their choices in fashion every week, motherfucking STEP IT UP.  Nothing you've been wearing is beyond decent.  It's either too quirky, or safe.  You're making it hard for me to consider your taste advanced, letalone an expert.  This dress is boring as hell.  And, I think its time to switch up your hair color....? Just a suggestion.

Wiz in Tom Ford, Amber Rose in Donna Karan

How sweet is this picture.  The main reason I included it is because it's nice to see a rapper treating his woman with respect.  He seems like a stand up guy, and they both look pretty good.  Considering the load she's about to hernia out of her, she is looking fab, and I appreciate how she's still keeping it sexy at 9 months IN heels.  Pay attention, "my feet hurt after 12am", ladies.  If you're going to walk out of the house in them, woman up and bear it!

In Roberto Cavalli 

"I can't find a single flaw, but I'm still SO BORED" - Joan Rivers on this dress

Can't agree more, Joan!  I'm kind of lukewarm on this one.  She looks elegant, but this dress isn't right for this event. It's a bit overdressed and a bit safe.  Her necklace on - up is great...but she left me wanting more with the dress. A bit stiff throughout the bodice.  That's a common problem with bodices - they should be pretty tight to look hot, but they're usually too loose and look bleh...I'm guessing it's because most women can't take the feeling of how tight they need to be...almost like a gurdle. Trust me on this one; you'd be surprised how much a difference it makes.  If you can't hang, go with another style.

Nicole Kidman in Vera Wang

I've said it before and I'll say it again: F mullet dresses.  The end.  Oh, PS: this one makes her look elderly.

Kat Von D in Derek Lam

GOD those leg tats are not flattering.  They're clashing with the bold pattern of the dress!  Ruins the whole look for me.  Let's say the tattoos weren't there....who would look at this frock and think it's Grammy worthy?  It's a dress that can be worn to work in an office environment.  Pass.

Ashanti, designer unknown

I can't explain why, but this dress would have worked better on someone else.  It's not jiving with her for some reason, but I feel like it would look great on someone with a really pale complexion. It's a weird hunch, but I'd bet I'm right!  I do like the fact that there is some sheer fabric over that slit - because it's too high to be without a screen.

Katy Perry, Gucci

I'm having trouble formulating an opinion on this one because I can't stop staring at Katy's never-before-seen five head.  Who knew?  Her rack looks great too, btw.

I had to add this one in here after the fact:

Ciara looks amazing. I love this dress.  The neutral taupe shade keeps the risque-ness of it in check.  The short short length, mesh works together especially with her flattering hairstyle.  Her golden highlights pick up on the shade of the dress and brings out her glowing complexion.  This dress is sexy, upscale yet risky.  I dig it, and would totally rock it!  Love the turtleneck detail as well - it also keeps it in line.

Rihanna in Alaia

Alright now HE'RE is a dress.  As much as she bothers me this past year (wearing mesh tops with her titties hanging all over the damn place....can't believe she went back to him and is so flagrantly flaunting it - ugh), she looks fantastic.  The cut is right, the fit is right, the fabric is draping beautifully and the train makes a fantastic impression.  Her hair looks beautiful as well.  I'm really glad the lesbian haircut look is gone.  Women are sexier with long hair, sorry.  Lesbians are awesome, btw.  Here's a closer up view of Rihanna's great look:

Karlie Kloss in Michael Kors

Leave it to Karlie Kloss to stroll through, flaunting that PERFECT body leaving all the other celebs in the dust, whilst making it look soooooo easy.... ha!  Does her body look incredible, or what?  Ok, focus focus.  This dress is something that's work-appropriate....ok I just took another peek up there, maybe not WORK appropriate, but it's pretty damn conservative for the Grammy's.  She looks lovely, but this is an "off to lunch at the Beverly Peninsula  kind of dress.  Good thing she's the literal perfect looking woman, which makes up for it.  Oh, did you know she's only 20, too?  I feel depressed now.

In Oscar de la Renta

One of the major mistakes that non celebrity commonfolk make when wearing long evening gowns?  They are usually a couple inches off the ground, too short - which totally ruins the entire look.  It might seem opposite of your instinct, but you want your dress to actually be touching/skimming/lightly draggin on the floor.  It's much more flattering.  Start looking, you will see what I mean, as with this dress above.  It's lengthening when its so long.  So what if it gets a little dirty, how many times are you actually going to wear a dress like this - unless it's your wedding dress, I think letting it drag a bit is worth it, and you'll dry clean it after each wear.  Don't be a part of the flood group. NONE of the celebrities have dresses that are too short - something their stylists have prevented.  Well, I'm your stylist and I'm letting you in on one of many tips that will bring you from good to great wardrobewise. As for above, she looks damn good for her age.  The dress isn't a memory maker, but it does look good on her and her new lighter hair suits her well.

 In Valentino

You know, it's hard to find flattering things when you're this size.  Not trying to be insensitive - just exactly whats scrolling through my mind. I'm sure as a bigger girl, finding dresses for these kind of events with pin-thin girls running all around you can be a stressful experience.  At first I thought I wasn't liking this, but actually this doesn't bother me.  It is the grammy's, so the casual feel it gives isn't inappropriate.  Imagine if this was a lunchtime function - she would look just divine.  She looks good, healthy and bright.  It was kind of a risk, especially because prints can be dangerous for heavyset women, but this works.

All Around Douche in Lanvin

Horrible person with a horrible attitude and a horrific role model, but he does look fly tonight.  That's the only nice thing I'm going to say.  

Ughhhhhhhhhhh.....(Frank Ocean accepts his award, whatshisface sulks in back)

Moving on....

Beyonce in Osman

It's bad of me, but I looooove the fact that she chose this ugly hipster slash lesbiano suit, to contrast everyone being so hard on her jock lately.  I'm not that much of a fan of hers because of how egotistical and lavish her behavior seems.  She seems so into herself.  Anyways, this is so wannabe Gwen Stefani.  You're not pullin' it off, can't rock it like Queen Gwen. Next.

Very dapper and he looks sexier than stupid ass Chris Brown.

Kelly Rowland in Georges Chackra 

Best dressed at the Grammy's. Great selection for the Grammy's.  Worn at any of the other award shows, and this probably would have been a little too risque.  This is sexy, hugging all the right places, on the right woman, and is even a bit sexually suggestive with the diagonal lines.  I like.

Taylor Swift in J. Mendel

Okay, before I critique this....Lets revisit Amanda Seifred just a few weeks ago:

Slumpy slump slumpety slump slump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ok back to dress at hand:

Same ethereal look as Amandas, but BETTER overall, better fit throughout and she's standing up STRAIGHT!!!!!!!!  It's not my favorite look of the night, but I wanted to point out how much better you can carry a look by improving & owning your body language.  Don't slump.  It makes you look classless and sloppy.  Not slumping also flatters your body way better.  I think Taylor needs to ditch those bangs.  Moving on...

Florence Welch in Givenchy

I wish those damn horns weren't there.  If they were gone, this would be another winner for me.  I love sequin dresses in obscure colors.  I think the green works really well with her hair, the snug fit is very good too, its long long long which equals long, lean and leggy.  I like the exact match clutch, but her hair is messy and her facial expression reads "kill me now".  And the horns are an eyesore.

Kaley Cuoco in Amen

I just want to say that I am liking her more and more. Moving on.....her face and hair look gorgeous, but I'm overall I'm disappointed in this look.  This is a "going out to dinner on a Wednesday night" outfit.  It's cute, but this is nothing special and won't be memorable for any reason   When you dress up for something, you want to dress to make an impression in people's minds.  Anything otherwise is a waste of an opportunity!  You might think I'm cray cray for saying that, but why wouldn't you want to leave a good, lasting memory in someone's mind over how fantastic you look?  These are your prime years, ladies....don't let them go by without utilizing looking your best!

Jennifer Lopez in Anthony Vaccarello

And she was on such a roll lately too.  Angelina Jolie must be rolling on the floor laughing.  Seriously how many copycats are going to mimic her (stupid ass) one-leg out look from that one event??!  This is not only radiating "trying too hard", but IMO it's unsuitable for a woman of her status and age.  It seems a desperate.  

This slit is unreasonably high.  It's coming way too close to her vaginal area and is almost inappropriate, esp for a 40+ year old woman.  I didn't think she had thunder thighs until tonight - if I'm saying that, this alone is proof someone made a poor choice in this dress. Also, the fit of the dress within her torso is falling too loosely widened, and as a result makes her look BIG. It's a dangerous gamble when you're not stick thin to go with a flowy cut!  Her body was just bangin' in that white lace gown that was my favorite 2 blogs ago, so we know she's not fat, but she sure did succeed in choosing a bad fit to make her look like she gained 10lbs.  Go put some underwear on for Christ's sake.  And that tight as hell top knot hairdo?  My baby hairs around my hairline are hurting just looking at how tight that is.  Too harsh.

xoxo viva