Last summer I fell in love with Ranna Gill's "Back View Dress" for Anthropologie. I saw it in the catalog and thought it was colorful, funky, and unique. Plus, it had sleeves! Most dresses that I like are sleeveless or strapless and then I just end up wearing a cardigan over the dress, so to find a dress that I could wear as-is, sans cardigan, peaked my interest. And so I fantasized about it for weeks: flipping open to its page in the catalog, visiting the anthro site obsessively to read the reviews and see pictures of different women wearing it to see how I might look in it... And when I finally committed to buying it, it sold out in my size. Of course. But popular items on anthro sometimes get a second or third shipment, and that was exactly the case with this dress. Nearly two months after first seeing it, it came back in my size on the site, and I ordered it immediately.
I didn't love it at first when it arrived. It was shorter than most things I wear. The cape top was really different from anything I've ever worn. There's yellow in the print, and I never wear yellow. But I loved that it was so interesting and fun, and I'm not one to shy away from color and prints, so I kept it. And boy-oh-boy has it grown on me. It's become a staple for parties, dinners out, a day out shopping, etc. I wear it with or without a belt, with sandals, with heels, with knee-high boots and tights in cold weather, with a cardigan (even though it doesn't need one!) for a different look, with or without a cami underneath, etc. etc. Now I wish Ranna Gill would make a similar style just in a different print. I'd snatch it up immediately!
Last fall I started having allergic reactions that do really lovely things to my face. Swelling, redness, and bruising around my eyes that make me look like a mutant. My allergist couldn't identify the source of the attacks since my allergies to horses and cats didn't seem to make sense given that I hadn't been around any horses or cats. In my paranoia, I threw out all of my makeup and replaced it with a limited stash of items. The attacks continued. So I stopped wearing makeup for months with the exception of my trusty and well-loved Size Queen mascara. The few times I did wear makeup for special occasions, I would sometimes have reactions. And then I wondered if it wasn't the brushes. I've always used Bare Escentuals brushes. I have several, and they run a pretty penny apiece. And they're made from animal hair, I believe. So I just pitched my costly stash of brushes and bought a kit of synthetic brushes from Shany Cosmetics for $18 off of amazon.com. I didn't have high expectations. I expected cheapo brushes with coarse hair to arrive in plastic sheeting. Pleasantly surprised! They're the brushes shown in the picture above to the left. They came in a roll-up case, their handles are made from bamboo, and I would never guess that the brushes are synthetic. They feel as soft and the application is as smooth as with the BE brushes. For a fraction of the cost. And perhaps...most importantly...they won't give me an allergy attack! So makeup is back in my life again! Until........well, we'll see.