new year's eve: night of a thousand cocktail dresses

It's (almost) New Year's Eve! That means, for many people, parties, champagne, and disappointment! Not to be a downer, but have you ever noticed that NYE never seems to live up to being the amazing night you planned on? (Obviously I'm not the only one, since How I Met Your Mother did a whole episode on the phenomenon.) Of course, that could also have to do with my plans...I've never gone out on NYE. I usually hang out at home with my family, play a board game, eat some snacks, and watch the ball drop in New York. There's not a lot to go wrong, but it's not actually that different from most weekend nights at my house. Still, ringing in the New Year is always sort of profound; it's another step in your life, and a kind of fresh start.

I sort of already did the schmoopy "my life" thing, but these are my goals for the new year:

  • Be a little bit fabulous every day (and very fabulous as many days as possible)
  • Read more for pleasure
  • Do something creative every day (blog/draw/write/craft/create)
  • Submit a story for publication

  • And, by this time next year, I hope to:

  • Have a job (even if it's retail)
  • Have an apartment
  • Have great new friends (both online and off) to share NYE with ♥

  • Okay, enough of that, how about some dresses?

    a very neon new year's eve

    Zowie! NYE is a night that people really go all out to have a good time. Unlike a lot of holidays, this is one you're just as likely to be spending with friends as family, which might give you some more freedom in your color choices. Go bright, go bold, go big, and pair your peacocky dress with a pair of matching or contrasting pumps--just make sure you can walk in them even after a full night of celebrating!

    a classy affair

    If you're attending a more staid event, there's nothing that can beat an elegant dress in black, gray, or nude. These dresses bring the glamor and a little bit of the glitz without bringing the noise. Jazz up an understated frock with some statement jewelry; when your dress is understated, you have a lot of freedom in the bling department.

    only on nye...

    NYE is a little bit kooky, so embrace it! Take the chance to pick up an accessory that you don't think you could pull off in "real life" -- and spend the night absolutely bringing it. I obviously have an eye for crazy hats, but it could be anything. That peacock thing in the set is a pair of false eyelashes. How cool is that?

    What kind of goals/resolutions are you setting for the new year? Are you going to be rocking it in neon or going more classic this NYE? I'm dressing up even though I'm not even leaving my house! Any excuse works for me!

    It's been awesome meeting all of you this year, and I hope I'll get to see more of you in the year to come! Have a safe and happy NYE -- see you in 2011!

    ready, aim, fire: shopping goals for smarter shopping

    I finally got the new winter coat I've been daydreaming about since the earliest days of my blog, way back in the summer.

    Seen here: WORKIN' IT

    Ain't she a beaut? My coat shopping experience was really quite excellent, due in equal parts (I'd like to think) to serendipity and to my planning. Now, shopping is fun (or is it a sport?), but it never hurts and usually is very helpful to have a least a few goals in mind when you go shopping. Having an idea of what you want to buy is great, but the more specifics you have, the easier it will be to avoid buyer's remorse and spending fruitless hours searching through things you don't really want.

    I'm going to use my coat as an example, but these goals/thinking points can apply to any other clothes, and the principles within might even help you shop smarter when you're looking for books or furniture!

    Material I knew I wanted a wool coat. Anything lighter wouldn't keep me warm during the winter, and I'm not really into the shiny/slick/poofy styles. The specifics of the material might not seem as important in your everyday shopping, but the weight and appearance of a piece of clothing can really affect its appropriateness in a physical and presentational way.

    Color I did not want anything black. Black is a bit of a safety color for me, as it is for many people, and I've been wearing a black peacoat for seven years. I'm done when black coats. It was tempting to look through the racks and racks of black, but I just remembered how much I envied and enjoyed the pink, green, and yellow winter coats I'd seen other students wearing on campus. (Sidenote: Paying attention to what other people are wearing can be very inspiring! Make sure you remember cute combos/ideas, and remember that an "I love that, where did you get it?" is very seldom unwelcome.)

    Fit Ah, fit. That devilbeast that has doomed so many of us to curse the heavens when the piece we desperately want is either out of stock in our size or was never in it to begin with. We are often tempted (at least I am) to go with something almost right. It's just barely too small, right? (Or just barely too large, and you know you won't get it tailored.) Unfortunately, no matter how cute it is, the likelihood of you feeling comfortable wearing it out are slim when it doesn't actually fit properly (and therefore look right), which leaves it to sulk and smolder in the closet, a hateful reminder. With this coat, fit was even more nonnegotiable than ever. I would have to wear this coat over any number of other pieces, so mostly fitting wasn't going to cut it.

    Style This one can be sort of a no-brainer, because yeah, duh, you want to buy something you like. But if you're moving in a direction where you're trying to create a wardrobe or a style, you might need to have other qualifications besides just liking it. As an example, though there are tons of great cuts of coats, I was fairly sure I was going to be getting a peacoat. It wasn't a hard and fast rule, but I've always found peacoats very classic and malleable style-wise, so I didn't have to worry about having a totally RAWKIN coat that wouldn't go with a more professional dress or an unltra conservative coat that I couldn't have any fun with. In this case, I ended up combining two of my favorite coats: the peacoat and the trench. Plus, I got tons of the stuff I like: studs, belt, buttons, zippers, fancy collar, hurrah!

    Price Depending on your situation, the negotiability of this one will vary. However, even if you had all the money in the world, it's worthwhile to consider how much you're willing to spend on any specific piece. (Although if you had all the money in the world, you would probably be willing to spend a bit more than the average student!) As much as you might like any piece, you need to consider how much you can spend as well as how much said piece is worth. Even if I had a thousand dollars to throw around, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy a fifty dollar tanktop because...what? I can't imagine it being worth that to me. This sometimes means making sacrifices. In my case, I got my coat in a super post-Christmas clearance that brought it down to a quarter of the original price. If it had been half or a third of the original price, I wouldn't have bought it, even though I would have loved it just as much. I actually almost put it back on the rack entirely when I glimpsed the price tag, before I saw that it was on a rack that offered additional discounts.

    My opinion probably differs from other fashion types, but to me, if the price isn't right for you, neither is the piece. Paying more than you can/want to for anything you don't have to buy will probably lead to buyer's remorse. There are definitely things in my closet that I resent somewhat because I know that I paid too much for them. I don't get nearly as much enjoyment out of them as I do from pieces that I hunted down/waited for/discovered serendipitously at just the right price range. Of course, the other side of the coin is non-buyer's remorse, another painful thing I've felt. It's a fine line, and you're the only one who knows it. And, if you've set up your goals regarding price beforehand, you can feel a little more comfortable either sticking to them or fudging them (just this once).

    ...obviously I get wordier as I go! I hope some of these tips will help you shop smarter, avoid buyer's remorse, and find exactly what you want! Obviously, whatever "rules" you make about what you're looking for are your rules. You can change them or break them whenever you like. But I find that having the rules/goals/guidelines in place helps me really consider if I want to break them. I buy less impulsively now, and I think that the quality of my wardrobe has improved for it.

    Coat is Miss Sixty brand from Boston Store, but it doesn't appear to be in stock anymore.

    craft book round-up: alternacrafts and rubbish

    I have been bitten by the DIY bug and am coming down with a terrible fever for crafting that I don't want to cure! There are thousands of amazing resources for DIY tutorials on the internet (and I'll share a few of my favorite links if there's interest!), but while I was home with pretty much unlimited free time and easy access to a great system of libraries, I figured I should take advantage of the craft books.

    One of my favorite things about the indie/DIY scene is that crafting isn't just for ladies doing needlepoint or knitting Kleenex box cover anymore. Not that it ever really was, but these days I find it much easier to find books about making things that are aimed towards people of my style and aesthetics. So I placed a ton of holds, got my sister to pick up some from her school library for me, and set to readin'.

    The first book I got was Alternacrafts: 20+ Hi-Style Lo-Budget Projects to Make.

    It had excellent reviews on Amazon and I'd seen it recommended on other blogs, so it seemed like a good place to start. And it...probably would be a good start. I'm not that much of a crafter, but this book felt very done to me. There were a couple projects that I liked (the chopstick place mat is coming to mind), but most of them were too obvious for my taste. It's probably due to being spoiled by DIY websites, but if you're also an online project hunter, this book is probably going to be a bit too repetitive to be useful. The bulk of the projects (bottle cap jewelry, make a collage, glue buttons to things) can be found in more exciting forms online. However, if you're a true beginner to anything indie-crafty, there are some good directions and some interesting projects. (Available here)

    The next book was Rubbish! Reuse your refuse.

    There were some nifty ideas in here that I hadn't seen before, as well as a few recycled (har har) ones. I wanted to try them out, but I was pretty surprised by the amount of specialty supplies a lot of the crafts called for. I don't have a lot of crafty things, so I do expect to buy special products to assemble them, but for a book that purports to be about reusing/recycling things you already have, a lot of the crafts required another purchase. I'd never heard of this book--my sister picked it up for me from the school library--so it's possible my lack expectations played a role. A lot of the crafts are fairly elementary (put magnets on bottlecaps) and simple, but I was definitely intrigued by a few (the one coming to mind is a cuff made of spam credit cards). (Available here)

    Overall, I wouldn't 100% recommend either book for purchase. If you can get them from a library, I definitely think they're both worth checking out, but there's so many awesome projects available for free, I'm not willing to pay for a few good crafts buried in with so-so ones.

    I have more craft books incoming and a few decor/DIY books already waiting for me, so I'll make sure to share once I've explored! I'm also always looking for more, so if you have a craft or decor book that you love, please let me know! And, my twitter feed is so sad and empty lately--I'd love to meet some new tweeps, so please follow me for updates and chitchat. I'd love to follow you back!

    merry merry

    Check out those awesome striped leggings! Nothing like candy cane legs to make the season bright. Gotta make sure Santa knows what exactly baby!bloggers want! I admire my little self's commitment to Christmas excellence.

    Merry Christmas, everybody ♥

    the right stuff: gold for the holidays

    So I said I wouldn't post again until after Christmas, but I lied again. I actually managed to get my shopping done at a reasonable pace this year, so I had the time and wanted to get this post out.

    For most of the year, I am all about the silver. It feels clean and elegant, goes well with pretty much any color. But once the weather starts turning cooler, I see a sweeter side of gold.

    Gold is awesome for cooler weather because it goes so well with the rich jewel tones that are also awesome in cooler weather. I'm not really a person to go sparkly all over, so gold dresses aren't my thing, but I love a little touch of shine.

    gold for the holidays

    Polyvore had some great gold accessories for me to snoop, but to be honest, my favorite use of gold in the winter is in my make-up. I am in love with golden eyeshadow, and I don't care who knows it. It really brightens up a look instead of seeming too on the nose or matchy matchy with either red/green or whatever color you're wearing (usually purple for me, this year. I've been buying a lot of purple.) I like to put a slightly shimmery neutral in the crease of my eye, then apply gold to the lid and blend into the neutral.

    For my everyday/grandparent-appropriate holiday looks, I've been using Nylon and Half-Baked from Urban Decay's Book of Shadows Vol. II (which is out of production now, but I believe both shades are available in other palettes).

    They work really well together, though if I were going out and tearing up the town, I would definitely go with a more intense gold. I usually leave off the eyeliner with the gold; it lets the color stand bright on it's own, and it keeps the look a bit softer. I've been doing nude lips for the most part, but I'm excited to rock a red lip with the gold eye this Christmas. It'll be like Gryffindor all over my face!

    Hope everybody celebrating something has a safe and happy one, and everybody not enjoys some time off!

    living beautiful

    In my note, I mentioned thinking about life/Fickle Kitsch, and this is the product of that. I will say now that it's a bit (very) self-indulgent and doesn't have any pictures, so if that's what you're most interested in, check back after Christmas and I should have something for you! But I'd love to hear some thoughts from those of you who might have the same feelings.

    I've always loved reading fashion/lifestyle blogs; the outfits and decorations are great, of course, but the real attraction has always been one of a slightly voyeuristic nature. I love seeing other people's lives, what they do all day, where they go, the things they see. It's a desire that both feeds from and deepens my sense of envy; I've always wanted to live a "beautiful" life.

    Trouble is, I've also always been a waiter. Not the kind with a menu pad (though I will admit that another secret desire I've harbored is to be a rollerskating drive-in waitress), but the kind who's willing to sit and wait for things to get "better." When I was in high school, I was waiting for college. College would be better. And hey, it was better! But by now, I'm waiting for college to end. Because after college comes apartments, jobs, new clothes. I'm convinced that will be better, and, hey, it probably will be. It's totally legitimate to be excited about things coming. But what my problem has always been is letting the things coming (maybe) eclipse what I could do now.

    You (and by you, I mean me) can't just wait for something fabulous to fall into your lap. Maybe it will one day, and maybe not. You have to chase after the things that you want in your life and find the things you already have that are pretty damn fabulous. I've always had a fantasy of a beautiful life, great clothes and places that would need time and money that I don't have right now. I was reading one of my favorite retro style/life blogs, The Freelancer's Fashionblog, and in response to a question about whether she looks "vintage" all the time, she said that although her inspiration comes from older days, she doesn't aim to look "anything except than just good." That really stuck with me and made me smile when I read it. I don't have to have a great camera or the perfect dresses or figure out how to transform my life into a "beautiful" one. I don't have to aim for anything besides looking and feeling good.

    If you (actually you this time) read all that (and good on ya!), you're probably wondering why I said this related to Fickle Kitsch. Well, I feel that, because of a perceived lack of awesomeness in my real life, I've kept the blog at arm's length. I've shared my opinions, but not much of my self. Everything somehow got slotted into "themes" or "series" without much space for organic writing/discovering/thinking. Don't worry, this isn't going to become a "what I ate for lunch" today type of blog. But I would like to share more of myself, be that through pictures of outfits I've seen and enjoyed in real life (I'll try to borrow Sparrow's camera if I do that), or just a bit more embracing of what I personally can contribute to you. Who knows, maybe somebody out there would be gleefully envious of my beautiful life.

    Okay, I lied, if you made it this far, you deserve a picture:

    Via Caps-and-Pics

    I want to be that girl. Gorgeous dress, fierce shoes, staring down at the whole wide world.

    note: trees and thoughts

    I wrote up a post about my new purse (as I mentioned on twitter), and when I went to post it, Blogger glitched on me. Looking back on it, it turns out website failure did me a solid because that post was boring as all get out. Really, really boring.

    Instead, I've been thinking about things I want out of life (always a good/scary thing to do). And, y'know, doing the Christmas thing.

    Webcam quality -- yikes!

    So I have trimmed the tree, and thought the thoughts. More on one of those this week (you'll never guess which!), and possibly some bloggy change-ups.

    and just because I love my kitschens and my new purse is pretty sassy, here it is:

    PS you should try this nifty Etsy taste test thing. It's pretty much the most magical thing I've seen in my whole life.

    fashionably artistic: sparrow

    My semester is officially over! I survived my finals, I survived the snow, and I survived about 48 full (nonconsecutive though just barely) hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I might have to post about it, just because it's so at the forefront of my mind--there are a lot of hilariously 90s outfits on that show.

    But today, I'm relaxing at home and introducing a fun new blog feature. fashionably artistic celebrates the combination of two different kinds of pretty things: clothes and art. (Art, of course, is not necessarily pretty, but my favorite kind usually is!) There are gorgeous outfits throughout art, but art is also an awesome way to fantasize. You can create an outfit you're wishing for, unrestrained by what you've seen or what's actually possible. I enjoy doodling cute things, exploring the sort of styles and shapes that I might like to try out.

    Though I plan to show the works of professional artists (and maybe even famous ones) in the future, today I have a lovely piece done by my very own friend, roomie, fellow Buffy watcher, and tights-provider, Sparrow.

    Click to enlarge

    She asked me to design an outfit for her to draw from, but in drawing it, she really made it her own. It makes me want a skirt like that more than looking at one in a picture ever did. That's my other favorite part of art fashion (fashion art?): the inspiration. I see this foxy illustrated lady, and I want to be as sassy (and holiday appropriate!) as she is!

    Thank you to Sparrow for kicking us off--if you enjoy her art, she and I will be launching a web comic in the spring. It's called Faire Play, and will be about the adventures of a renaissance faire troupe.

    If you'd like to draw some pretty clothes for me, please e-mail (or tweet) me and we'll figure something out. I'd love to have you!

    my five: random passions

    I've been asked to describe my personal style more often this week than in the past...forever, I think. I still don't have a very good answer, but it got me thinking about things I love in clothes. I haven't done a my five list in a while, and thus the post was born! Here are five random things that I love to have in my clothes.

    One: puffy sleeves

    Not like, Snow White level of poor, but I adore the feminine/romantic touch of a little puff at the sleeve. My favorite coat does this, as do two of my favorite tops. It makes me feel just a tiny bit like a Victorian heroine, which is pretty much my constant goal.

    Two: STAFF shirts

    T-shirts don't generally come into the conversation in fashion blogs, but here's a true confession: t-shirts still make up most of my wardrobe. (Gasp! Horror!) Now, I love a sassy Threadless tee as much as the next sassy college student (although trying to find one that you won't see coming and going on campus is a hassle, let me tell you) but my real passion is for STAFF shirts. You know what I at a summer camp, a school program, pretty much anything that requires immediate recognition of people who know what they're doing, and a great gift will be bestowed upon you: a t-shirt that says "STAFF" on the back. Never in my life have I felt more official then while wearing a STAFF shirt. In fact, I'm wearing one right now and feel like I could probably take down the school's administration without anyone saying "boo." That's right, University of Cyber Challenge Staff memeber coming atcha!

    Three: Buttons

    I really love buttons. I love buttons going down the fronts of shirts, I love buttons on sleeves, I love buttons on boots, I love buttons on pants (but preferably not on backpockets because ow). Just sew a button on it and I'll be good to go. It doesn't necessarily have to open, though that would be nice. Mysteriously, I have a shirt that has buttons that open but...don't actually do anything. That seems like an odd intersection of buttondom but it's cool. I love them all the same.

    Four: Outdated patterns

    So the patterns that your grandma used to rock are actually starting to come back now, glory be. But I gotta say, I was kickin' it with houndstooth, plaid, windowpane, and argyle before they were cool kids again. There's just something that's undeniably fun about a pattern, but I've never had much fondness for florals or random swirls. The geometric fierceness of the previously mentioned patterns sets something in my loosey-goosey English major heart aflutter. Also: polka dots, but those never go out of style.

    Five: Interesting backs

    The front of a piece of clothing is usually going to be pretty nifty. That's the part that people spend the most amount of time looking at, the part you see in a mirror or peering balefully at you from a rack calling buy me!. Which just makes having interesting back details all the more fun. Because people do see the back of your outfit, and while a simple expected back is nothing to scoff at, it always makes me feel especially stylish to have a little something extra. I have a shirt I love which has a gorgeous scoop back; whenever I wear it, I feel like it's a secret. I'm all, "Oh, this? Just your average dusty rose shirt but...oh snap! Actually it's totally sassy!" I also love gathers in the backs of vests/coats, especially ones that make a lovely little origami-esque fan.

    What about you, kitschens? What do you love to see in clothes?

    Semi-related, but I've been considering getting a third-party commenting system running so that we can actually reply to each other. What do you think? Suggestions, fellow bloggers?

    fictional fashion icons: hogwarts houses

    I haven't done the fictional fashion icon feature in forever (actually, I only did it once!) because looking up screencaps and going "ooooh" just wasn't that much fun. So I decided to twist it up a little.

    As you all surely know, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was recently released. Dear readers, I was there are midnight, Slytherin scarf wrapped around my neck, baring my Sharpie'd Dark Mark for all to see. I considered doing a costumes post for the movie, but the school uniform is pretty basic, so I wanted to get a bit more creative with it...


    For the stylish Gryffindor out on the town. You know that she doesn't think twice before pulling on a red dress and some killer shoes--it's all about bravery! Little bit of bling, but nothing too loud...a Gryffindor knows how to be the center of attention without having to flash the rhinestones too heavily (though there are some, lions just want to have fun!)


    For the Ravenclaw in your life, an outfit to wear when you're headed down to spend the day working on a paper in the local coffee shop. Mostly comfortable, but with some classically lovely accessories--you may be understated, but there's no doubt that a Ravenclaw is well put together.


    For a Hufflepuff, a lot of fun and a little bit of quirk. Since Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders, I think they'd be able to find some cute thrifty finds...and they're so loyal, they'd probably even share! (If you don't get this reference, you should be watching A Very Potter Musical Right Now. Actually, you can wait until you finish the post, but after that, go!)


    For the Slytherin side, a fierce professional who knows how to get what she wants. There's no reason to compromise when you look this good (and can I just say that I want this coat?), with some serpent touches to make sure you never forget the house you come from.

    Which stylish house do you want to be sorted into?

    the right stuff: winter adventurewear

    Fickle Kitsch is on Facebook! If you enjoy the blog, please "like" it to get updates and other exclusive info! You can use the "likebox" in the sidebar or go directly to the new page. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...

    It is well and truly winter! The beginning of November is usually the entrance of honest-to-goodness biting cold where I live, but it's the beginning of December that tells us winter wasn't just some dark and chilly dream of last year. Poetic, right? But seriously, it's dark by 4:30 these days, and even ice queens like me know it's time to break out some winter gear. I featured some awesome boots last week, so I thought I'd hunt down some other nice accessories to keep you warm and fierce all season.

    hats off

    Hats are awesome. I got a cute cloche hat for Christmas last year, and even under all the layers of my winter gear, I always feel like a stylish screen siren when I wear it. It also covers the tips of my ears (the most delicate part of the human body we ever subject to the wind, I contend) without making it impossible to hear anything or giving me a headache like earmuffs tend to. And, because the material is fairly soft, it even fits my giant head. Hats and headbands have always been a struggle for me, because my head is large. As I told my aunt, "It was a problem even when I was a small-headed person. Actually, I was just a small person. My head was never small." So I understand your woes, my fellows, but do not despair. There is a hat for you! And the knit ones are usually stretchy enough that it doesn't matter! Score!

    gimme some glove

    This set was actually weirdly hard to make. Apparently I'm really picky about gloves--who knew! As cliche as they are, I've always wanted a pair of skeleton gloves; they're just cool! I also have a love/hate relationship with the "mittens/fingerless gloves" that are so popular these days; part of me likes them, but part of me hates the idea of being constrained by a mitten. I don't like mittens; I need my fingers, thanks. I actually end up forgoing gloves and just shoving my hands into my pockets more often than not. Because I am hardcore.

    How do you suit up for winter? Or are you a lucky duck who lives somewhere that doesn't require Defcon 4 levels of insulation every time you leave the house?

    my style: the art of sassy crossdressing

    I mentioned previously that stylish ladies should rock ties more often, and I stand firmly behind that declaration. There are few things sassier than menswear inspired pieces, and I think everyone deserves to rock it out drag king style once in a while. It doesn't have to be a full cross, but stealing portions of menswear for ladywearing can be so much fun and add an interesting flair to your outfit. (Sidenote: the same totally goes for the reverse, but since I don't think there are a lot of gents reading my blog, I'll hold off on my testament to the awesomeness of crossdressing dudes.)

    For example, today I was the bartender at the speakeasy my kitchen became for my lovely sister's murder mystery party. As a dapper 1920s gent, I got my cross on:

    I wore this with black jeans because that was all I had at home, but a button-up, vest, and tie would look amazing with a pencil skirt for business wear. Or even with plain jeans for casual chic. A fedora is also an excellent addition to many outfits.

    If you're dubious, or need a better example than me, I offer up that most sultry of screen sirens, Marlene Dietrich.

    Image courtesy of Life magazine

    Dietrich rocked a tux in every conceivable way. I don't know if I've ever seen a man who looks as stylish in a suit than she did (maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

    The most important thing to remember when you look into menswear styles is your own shape. Some bodies will fit well into actual menswear and more direct inspirations, while others might need a bit more tailoring and shaping to make a blazer, for example, fit like a dream. Personally, I'm mostly hourglass shaped, so a men's blazer that fits my bust will be very baggy around my waist, which I'm not a huge fan of. I need darting and structure for it to look how I want it to. It's one of those things that needs some trial-and-error or, as I like to call it, try-on-and-error!

    Have any of you rocked it boy-style? Tips for anyone who wants to get her dapper on?

    Don't forget that you can always ask questions and make suggestions in the comments or my askbox! And, if you like what you read, don't be shy about sharing it! E-mail/tweet/facebook/shout it out!

    mix it up: thankful


    If you're going to be cooking this Thanksgiving, or just want to get into the food-related mood, nothing makes cooking more fun (or keeps your adorable holiday outfit safer) than a cute apron. I'm just going to be eating this year (score!) which brings me to my important Thanksgiving fashion tip: leave some room! I fretted over all of the dresses in my closet, until I realized that they were all (as I like them to be) well-fitted and curve-hugging. On Thanksgiving, you don't always want your clothes to be hugging you--they need to give you some room to, ah, expand your horizons (rimshot!).

    In the Thanksgiving spirit, I also offer up a recipe I made this past weekend and was really pleased with. It's not necessarily Thanksgiving food, though it would definitely fit in on the table.

    Potatoes au Gratin! So delicious...I combined the Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes and Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin recipes when I made them, due to ingenuity and lack of ingredients. Potatoes au gratin is a great dish because of its versatility and the likelihood that you have everything you really need for it.

    I took 3 baking potatoes and washed them thoroughly, chopped into half inch slices, then quartered them. I also diced half of a large onion (it wasn't quite as much onion as I like, so I would probably put the whole thing in next time, but I really like onion, so tread carefully.) As per Pioneer Woman, I put half of the potatoes/onions into my buttered casserole dish and salted and peppered them mercilessly.

    I then, taking my cues from AllRecipes, melted three (it may have been more like four--I was finishing off a stick!) tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, then whisked (or forked, as it were) in a half-teaspoon of salt and three tablespoons of flour. Once that was combined, I added two cups of milk and stirred until the sauce thickened. I poured half of my sauce over the potatoes in the dish, then added the rest of the potatoes/onions and covered those in the rest of the sauce.

    I salted and peppered some more, then covered the entire top in shredded cheddar cheese (I love me some cheese). Cover the dish in foil and bake for 90 minutes at 400F, removing the foil when there's 20 minutes left. Results: buttery, creamy, cheesy, amazing potatoes that go well with anything! They're amazing alone, awesome with bacon bits, but my personal favorite is to heat them with some ham. I had a pre-cooked and pre-sliced one from the store, so I just had to layer a few slices over the top of my potatoes, and the ham juice would run through them and it would all be so astoundingly good together.

    ...yikes, I think I'm going to have to make those again before the holiday weekend is over! Have a happy thanksgiving, and be safe on Black Friday!

    the right stuff: accesories for writers

    It's hard not to be in a writing mood in November! Actually, scratch that. It's hard not to feel the writing atmosphere in November. I think many of us (myself included) have proved how very easy it is to totally fall off the bandwagon as soon as the pressure is on. For anyone failing NaNoWriMo for the first time: don't sweat it. I've been doing this for years. But I can't say that I'm free from writing all together. I'm still critiquing stories for my fiction class, reading ridiculous amounts of submissions for the literary magazine I'm on the board for, and tonight I have a flash fiction reading with the aforementioned class. So today, as I take a break from trying to cobble together something I'm not ashamed to read in front of a crowd, I thought I would bring some fun writing-related accessories from Etsy.

    Floating Shift Antique Typewriter Oak Leaf Ring by qacreate

    Let me tell you, I almost just threw this post out the window and made an i heart etsy spotlight post for QA Create. Typewriter key jewelry is always fabulous, but I've never fallen quite so deeply and unrepentantly in love with it as I did when I clicked on this shop. In addition to typewriter keys, they also offer pieces made from vintage comics, baseballs, scrabble tiles as well as wedding and steampunk jewelry -- it's a real cornucopia of lovely things, and I'm planning to snoop a bit more thoroughly and pick myself a Christmas present from there.

    Sir William Shakespeare Book Locket Necklace by heartworksbylori

    Ah, the lovely and talented Sir Will, always a welcome addition to any party/library/shindig/adventure/jewelry box. Seriously, I adore Shakespeare, and I would love to display my allegiance to him in locket form. Always close to my heart, Bill, always.

    Underwood Typewriter Narrow by toybreaker

    If you weren't already aware, toybreaker makes the absolute coolest ties in the whole wide world (FACT). I love the vibrancy of this blue, as well as the nifty typewriter print. A great accessory for the gentlemen in your life or for the ladies who look positively dashing in a tie (hint: that's all of them. Ties on women don't have to look all Sk8r Boi, I promise! Especially when they're gorgeous funky ones like this.)

    Keep Calm and Blog On and Keep Calm and Write On by KeepCalmShop

    Posters are accessories for your house, right? I know a lot of people are tired of the "Keep Calm" trend, but I'm not burnt out yet! This is possibly because I don't own one yet, tragedy of tragedies.

    Jane Austen Sterling Silhouette Necklace by celula

    Another specific-writer-themed accessory, but who wouldn't want a tiny silver Jane Austen silhouette to take everywhere? Maybe on a very special night, she would come alive and tell you all sorts of lovely stories about Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Colonel Brandon, or another Austenian hunk of your choosing! (I will admit that my hunkish leanings are definitely swayed by the film portrayals by Mark Strong and Alan Rickman respectively, two real life hunks I would absolutely swoon for. No corset necessary!)

    the right stuff: boots (omg boots)

    I don't know if it's the winter, but I am having ferocious boot love lately. The previous sentence is a complete shameless lie; I love boots all the time! Even in the summer, when there are few occasions to wear boots without making your feet (and sometimes your calves) sweat ridiculously, I adore them.

    I love tall boots:

    tall glass of leather

    Check out all those straps and buckles! Fact: there is no boot that is not improved by at least one strap and buckle.

    And I love short boots:

    short (not sweet)

    Little bows! Hints of fur! More buckles and straps and studs and sassy laces and tiny buttons, oh my!

    The thing I love best about boots is how versatile they are. You can wear them with a skirt, tucked into pants, done up over pants (I would only advise this with specific pants though, jean-bulge is no fun!), however you like! They can make an outfit feel wintery, give it a bit of an edge, or make an outfit look more dressed-up without (necessarily) murdering your feet. And, of course, they can keep your feet warm! That's a success story all around!

    I love wearing boots best of all because they make me feel fierce. I don't usually have a ton of edge in my clothes, and an awesome pair of boots can make anything feel rockin'. I actually love the look of a flowy dress/skirt with a pair of boots; it weighs the outfit in a totally different way.

    stop the madness: why we wear

    I have not posted in a very long time! There is a perfectly logical and trifold explanation for this, which is this: School (agh), Nanowrimo (AGH), and my struggle with how "serious" I want to get in this blog. If you haven't noticed, I've tried to keep Fickle Kitsch a pretty fun and frothy part of this grand old internet, but sometimes there are relevant things that aren't quite so fun. And I think that they're more important than keeping a "tone" to the blog. I read an article last week that really struck me as a woman, a feminist, and a fashion blogger. I don't want to link to it, because articles like these don't deserve hits/attention and because it was the same kind of nasty sexist drivel that I (and most of you, probably) have seen a million times before.

    So I just want to say: You are not obligated to be attractive. Not in any way, shape, or form, not on alternating Tuesdays, not when another human might glimpse you, not ever. I like pretty clothes, and looking nice, and I write about those things because I like them. For whatever reason (and I don't pretend to be unaffected by social pressures), I like to get dressed up. I like to shop, I like wearing makeup, I like doing my hair. But if I didn't like any of those things, I wouldn't do them. And on days that I just don't feel like it...I don't.

    I know this sounds ridiculously simplistic and like a serious "no, duh" moment, but I really feel that it's important to say. There are so many cultural stigmas and pressures that basically add up to "Here is the ideal. You'll never be able to achieve it, but you have to spend your entire life trying to and feeling like a failure when you physically can't." And that's awful. The worst part is that a lot of people who don't mean to, fashion-related people in particular, just feed into it without knowing. It feels kind of silly to continually hedge a post with "for me!" or "when you feel like it!", so I'm going to say it now: do what makes you happy.

    Sometimes I hesitate to call myself a fashion blogger, because while pretty clothes definitely are a huge part of my blog, I don't really care about runways or trends (which is another post entirely) or any of the things that people think of as Fashion. What I care about is style, because everyone has their own. I can share mine with you, and share ideas I might have about developing your own, but your style is singularly you. Magazines tell you what looks good and what doesn't, what's in and what's not, but that's all based on advertising, a bottom line, and the need to convince you to keep buying. If you see something in a magazine that you like, that's awesome, but not everything in magazines is awesome, and not everything is awesome for you--your style, your needs, your budget, whatever. That's the part that really matters.

    Finally, I want to touch on that lovely (ugh) old piece of advice, "Dress like you're going to meet your husband today!" Actually, I want to dig the heel of my combat boots into it. I do understand the point behind it, but the idea that all girls just want husbands is incredibly irritating on many levels, as well as the basic principle that the person I am meant to fall madly in love with wouldn't love me if I was wearing, say, sweatpants. Any man who doesn't find me just as loveable in sweatpants as in the frothy ensembles of my dreams is definitely not the right one. I don't think any reasonable woman or man would disagree.

    Now that I have that off my chest (phew), I hope to have you back to our regularly scheduled programming posthaste. As always, please feel free to comment with any ideas/questions, or drop by my askbox (I do continuously update my tumblr with new images, so it's always there if you need a fickle fix *rimshot*)

    my style: writer wear

    NaNoWriMo is here! As this most stressful yet amazing month starts, I find myself contemplating what writers wear. You see, writing always feels like it ought to be glamorous. I'm sitting and pouring out my heart, crafting the most tear-jerkingly beautiful prose on an ancient typewriter with an ashtray full of half-smoked cigarettes still filling my tiny Parisian apartment with a haze of blue-gray smoke. As you can see, I generally imagine that I'm Christian in the frame story portions of Moulin Rouge, since in real life, I don't smoke, I hate typewriters, and I've never even been to Paris, TX. But the movies do give us this image of a beautiful tortured writer (as well as Ewan Macgregor in an undershirt and suspenders, hello) that I have the urge to aspire to.

    writer wear

    I'd like to be stylish, wearing pretty clothes worthy of my words. But Nanowrimo is about speed, sweat, and desperation, and I spend a good portion of it in t-shirts and sweatpants. Comfort is key for me when I want to write; if I'm worrying about my feet or trying to wriggle around getting comfortable, I'm not putting words on the screen. That's what's really important. So I'll have to save the outfits for the movie version of my life, or maybe my fantasy book tour.

    Nanowrimo isn't even a day old right now--there's plenty of time to sign up and get started! If you're a writer, I definitely recommend it. There's nothing quite like gathering with your friends, the caffeinated substance of your choice, a big pile of candy, and just writing. The sound of fingers on keys fills the air, and you feel like you're really doing something. It never hurts to try!

    friday fix: spooktacular edition

    It's time for that most spooky of holidays! I love Halloween, even though it never quite lives up to what I imagine. This is probably because my favorite part is making my costume and getting all dressed up...once I'm in costume, the glory kind of fades. I'm not really into scary things (and have been carried out of two haunted houses in my lifetime), but I absolutely adore dressing up (for anything really, but on Halloween everyone else dresses up too!) I'm having a bit of a costume meltdown at the moment, but I have faith that I'll get everything squared away in time for epic photoshoots and dancing tomorrow night. Meanwhile, have a few fun things to get into the spooky spirit!

    via ilikemakeup

    A great dark glam look for Halloween or for any nighttime adventure when you feel a bit...vampy?

    Halloween Bento Boxes via The Kitchn

    How disgustingly cute is that? I have a huge (and random) fondness for bento boxes--I often get lost in communities dedicated to the delicious art, just scrolling through. I wonder if it things taste better when they're that adorable?

    Winston as snail, via fourfour

    Animals in costume will never not be funny. The more disgruntled they are, the better. We all get to look ridiculous on Halloween; why should our furry friends be left out? If you go to the bottom of the linked post, you'll get to see many of Winston's stylish outfits. He is an extremely malleable cat. (And fourfour is my very favorite site for ANTM recaps, in case any of you were not aware and/or needed a good resource for those. There are gifs aplenty!)

    Via Gothic Charm School

    Striped socks are amazing all year, but particularly so at Halloween! I've got pair of green-and-white and red-and-white myself, but I'm always looking to expand my collection.

    Via i have a lot of feelings

    Have a fun and safe Halloween, and stay fickle!

    the right stuff: a bag for all seasons

    My beloved Sparrow gave me a look when I declared "I really need a new purse" while adjusting the strap of my adorable little purse. But she understood when I amended my statement: "I really need a fall purse." Those of you who are non purse-carriers are probably mystified, but it's really just common sense; you wouldn't wear snowboots in the summer or a windbreaker in the winter (if you live where I live, at least), and you need a bag that suits the season.

    As it happens, I have a bag for all seasons, but since you read the beginning of this post, you know that it's not so simple. My bag for all seasons is adorable and classy, a huge step up from the "Dubble Bubble" vinyl bag from Goodwill I'd been using for years. This bag is also big.

    The Bean Bag by TTPeasandcarrots via Etsy (shop now closed)

    I can fit a 5-subject spiral notebook, a hardcover book, and a bag lunch inside it, in addition to the various breath fresheners, medications, papers, gadgets, and chapsticks that accumulate in my bags. This is pretty darn awesome when I need to transport a lot of stuff around. Unfortunately, on days that I don't need to bring half of my earthly possessions along with me, the bag is just too big. I know comically oversized handbags are "in" now (I think? Are they still in?), but I'm not much for trends. And I find that carrying a big bag around just encourages me to bring along more things that I don't need.

    My summer purse problem was neatly solved by my mom's purchase of a bag that she eventually deemed "too cute" for her. I was, of course, more than happy to take it off her hands. This purse is the perfect size for my day-to-day maneuvering, but it is indeed cute: artsy flowers all done up in bright sunny colors. This was great when it was tagging along to summer festivals, but I'm already starting to feel weird carrying it in the chilly late-October weather. I need a bag that can serve me through the fall and winter, just like my trusty wool peacoat.

    fall bags

    Obviously, I respond well to red plaid for the cooler months. But in general, I like either darker colors or really rich colors (deep reds, blues, purples, greens) in autumnal/winter wear. The muted colors are popular for obvious reasons, but so are the rich ones--they make a great statement against a dark coat (and the muted landscape). When shopping, don't forget to consider, as I neglected to, the size that you really need for day-to-day use. You might want to use your current purse as a guide, or, if you're unsure, bring along the biggest item you'd want to carry in your bag with you shopping. If it fits, success! You've found yourself a bag!

    friday fix

    Oh dear, is it Friday? Folks, I will tell you right now (though I'm sure you could tell), this week got away from me. The first week back to class is always runs one a bit ragged, but I really have no such excuse. I was just distracted by friends, my kitchen, figuring out when classes were canceled and what readings I was meant to attend. Let's put that in the past, because it is, and look to a stunning new future, starting with the weekend.

    Perhaps we'll even look...Back to the Future!

    Haha, yes, that was silly, but the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future is coming up! Some friends and I will be going to see a special one-night-only showing of BttF in a theater! I'm excited for some sweet 80s fashion mixed with some sweet 50s style. I have a huge amount of fondness for the 50s (style wise) and for the 80s (hilarity wise) and for proms (it's prom!), so what could be better than a 50s-as-done-by-the-80s prom? Nothing, that's what!

    The Eloise 1960s Mod Scooter Dress, via Red Dress Shoppe

    There is a reason this is called a "scooter" dress, and that reason is because I want desperately to wear it while riding on the Vespa I don't yet own. Someday, I'll have a Vespa and wear nothing but adorable dresses and kicky pumps and a sweet round mod helmet and tool around the city. Wouldn't that be adorable?

    Via makeupftw@tumblr

    Halloween makeup! So exciting, I can't wait to get my intense green on. I'm a big fan of crazy makeup, and my Poison Ivy look is going to have green out the wazoo. Tonight I'll be attending a Monsters Ball party and will finally have the chance to rock my purple lipstick. Depending on how the look turns out, I might have to share it with you!

    That's the return of the Kitsch. Don't let me stay away so long dearies, I miss you when I'm away. Have a great weekend, and stay fickle!

    my style: rockin' the staples

    Staples are a very important part of our lives. They hold together so many disparate (yet related) pieces of paper that would otherwise be scattered to the wind! And in the same way, those of us without humorously (and deliciously) large closets and/or budgets need staple outfits.

    I have a confession: I've worn the same exact (mostly) outfit three times this week. Now, before you close the tab on my blog forever, it should be stated that there are extenuating circumstances: I've been home the whole week living out of a medium-sized suitcase that was packed when I had no idea what I would be doing. I usually spend most of break in sweatpants, but things pop up: trips to the mall, trips to my grandparents, lunch dates. I usually try to grab a couple of nice pieces that will travel well, so I can be stylish at the drop of a hat if necessary. This time I had a bit of a mishap--I brought home two skirts only for the unseasonable heat to disappear as soon as I got home. I hadn't brought any tights. So, I had this:

    my staple

    Apt 9 tunic and Vera Wang jeans from Kohl's (the jeans in the picture are just representative!)

    My tunic is purple, which makes the outfit less monochromatic than it seems there, but yep, that's pretty much it. It's what I had to work with, and work it I did. I wore this to my grandparent's house with kitten heels, I wore it to a ladies lunch at Olive Garden with sneakers, and I am wearing it as I write this very post because I'll be wearing it barefooted/with socks when my godparents come visit. That's three times in seven days, and that's almost every time I left the house. It's kind of embarrassing to admit and to look at it like that, but honestly? This is one of my staple outfits. The pieces pair great together, I have a lot of accessorizing options, and it's comfortable. The only people who know I wore the same thing two days ago are my family, and they'd never tell!

    When creating a staple outfit, consider these things: you don't really "create" a staple outfit. To me, at least, your staple outfits kind of come to you. It's that one that you find yourself wearing when you don't know what to wear. It works for multiple levels of formality with some accessorizing, probably isn't too difficult to get yourself ready in, and the pieces in it can be fabulously paired with other things in your closet. A staple outfit, in my estimation, is what happens when two staple pieces (a tunic and a pair of black jeans, for example) come together in an awesome way. The one other time I had to get myself prettified this week was when I went to the mall to get my sister's ears pierced; I wore the same black jeans, with a purple top and my vest. Both of these outfits can be paired with my fabulous black chunky necklace. It's like a staple party! This wasn't a post about travel, but it follows logically that these pieces that are extremely wearable, mix-and-matchable, and adjustable are the things you should be packing.

    What's your never fail staple outfit?

    friday fix

    I almost forgot today was Friday! Being off for a week will do that to you--days don't matter so much when you're spending your time watching HGTV and Food Network. But all good things much come to an end, and I'll be heading back to school this weekend to resume the real world.

    Belted Wool Blend Coat by Miss Sixty, via

    I'm still in the market for winter coats (you may remember my epic coat woe), especially now as it's getting chillier. Loving the collar and back-pleats on this one.

    Supermask by columbina, via Etsy

    So feeling the masks these days. I wish I could just wear one around (I hear they're terribly comfortable). I suspect it would make my life sassy times infinity. Part of it is definitely the Halloween fever, because the lead-up to Halloween is always much more exciting than the actual day. I have some Halloween posts in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

    #8483 by Justin Alexander, via Justin Alexander Bridal

    Oh god, wedding dresses. Wedding dresses. You know that I loooove weddings in all ways (I even posted about working a bridal inspiration in your everyday life)! There is nothing I enjoy looking at more than wedding dresses! Except for this Pnina Tornai ones that keep popping up on Say Yes to the Dress. Call me a traditionalist, but I don't think your $11k gown should look like a bustier you bought on the clearance rack at Spencer's.

    What are you folks thinking about this lovely fall Friday? Have a great weekend, and stay fickle!

    fickle tips: avoiding allergens whilst accessorizing

    I'm allergic to nickel, so I can't wear costume jewelry without risking a horribly itchy reaction. Cold weather is great because I can wear a cute scarf all day, but that's only one season out of the year. How can I accessorize year round without going broke on fine metals, and without driving my skin crazy?

    Losing out on costume jewelry is a bummer, so much kitschy cheapness! But avoiding nickel doesn't necessarily mean that costume jewelry is out the window.

    allergic accesories

    I must have been feeling the red/white when I made this

    Plastics and acrylics are always a good choice, and often provide a splash of brightness that metal jewelry might not. There are plenty of non-metal bangles and chunky beaded necklaces to go around! But if chunky/kitschy isn't your style all the time, there's always wood and leather, depending on your personal style.

    A lot of mostly-not-metal necklaces still have metal portions or clasps. If you can, attempt a little jewelry surgery! You might try restringing beads on fishing line or ribbon to avoid the problem. If it's charms you're after (like the "Hello!" one in the collage), it would probably be a good idea to splurge on one nice chain of a metal that won't irritate your skin. Usually it's fairly easy to slip a charm off of the chain and switch it onto the nicer one. With one nice chain, you could show off any number of pretty charms as well as create your own unique combos.

    I'm not sure of the severity of your allergy, but if you can handle nickel for brief periods of time, you may find a world of accessorizing delight in brooches. They have no prolonged contact with your skin, so should (presumably) be wearable if you don't get a rash putting them on. Plus, brooches are totally fabulous and can land anywhere from classic to obnoxiously rhinestoned on the style-o-meter.

    Finally: it usually manages to pop up, but Etsy really is almost always an excellent style resource. There are sellers there who craft jewelry from antique silver, stainless steel (according to the mighty Google, although this is a nickel alloy, it's bound tightly enough that the nickel shouldn't affect the skin), acrylics, wood, leather, cloth, and all sorts of interesting things often for far less money than asked by jewelry companies. I did a quick search for "nickel free" and found lots of adorable and inexpensive things. The sellers there are also usually very communicative and happy to talk about their work, allowing you reassurance that there isn't some secret nickel in those snazzy accessories. There are also many Etsy sellers who deal in supplies, so you can get gorgeous charms and pieces for a fraction of the cost if you're willing to put in a little bit of work on your own.

    Good luck, and happy accessorizing!

    I don't know a lot about metal allergies, so I apologize if any of this is inaccurate or unhelpful. Do any of you have a tip for our allergic readerfriend?

    kiss and makeup: my superstars

    There are so many great ideas for makeup posts, and I want to do them all. But I have to go one at a time, so I thought that since I'm starting my posts, maybe I should do a post that would be good for people just starting out with makeup. I wanted to share some of my makeup essentials. These are the things that I wouldn't go without when I'm just taking the little purple pouch I got as a free gift with purchase. It's my bare minimums in one sense, but also my favorites. Since it's from my own makeup bag, built up over time, there's a mix of brand products and drugstore products, with makeup and tools.

    bareMinerals SPF Foundation in "Fair" by BareEscentuals

    I started out my makeup-wearing life with a Starter Kit from BareEscentuals, which I definitely recommend. But when I just need my own bare essentials (rimshot!), I stick with just the foundation powder. It gives me a nice light coverage, reduces redness and covers up flaws without making me look or feel caked. I don't really have skin problems, so I've never really felt the need for anything with more coverage than this. And I apply it with:

    Handy Buki Brush by BareEscentuals

    The DVD that came with the kit (this is obviously very intense foundation) demonstrated how to use all three brushes in stages to give yourself perfect coverage. But some of us (hi!) are way too lazy to apply two coats of foundation and then do more direct concealing of the trouble spots. So I just use this brush for fuller coverage. (Their concealer brush is A+ and I adore its magic powers, but I only have room for one in my bag, so I need the one for all-over application)

    Ammo Shadow Box by Urban Decay

    Ammo was the first brand palette I ever bought, and it's still an invaluable part of my kit. It fits perfectly in my little travel pouch, so it comes with me pretty much everywhere. There's enough of a variety in it between the interesting neutrals and rich colors to be ready for any look. My favorites from this palette are Chopper, Smog, and Mildew, with some Sin for a highlight. I just use a generic angled brush for application, so no pictures. Your favorite angled brush will do!

    Lash Blast Volume by CoverGirl

    I'd seen this mascara's praises sung on numerous blogs, so I had to try it for myself. And I dig it. It hasn't changed my life, exactly, but I've never had a problem with clumps and I definitely get some intense volume from it. I switched over to it from UD's Big Fatty Mascara, and I don't have any intention to shop for a new brand. There's a lot of stuff that I really prefer brands for (eyeshadows in particular), so it's nice to have products I can pick up at Walgreens for half the cost.

    TruCheeks Blush by CoverGirl

    Despite the slightly snicker-worthy name (heh heh cheeks), I've been using this blush since high school. I'm definitely willing to look for a new one (I've heard excellent thing about Nars), but I don't really wear a lot of blush; I have fairly ruddy cheeks in general and am prone to actually blushing. But when I want to add a bit of color, I brush a bit of the middle tone onto the apples of my cheeks then blend out with my fingers. Blush Tip: you always want to apply your blush at least two fingerswidth away from your nose, because you blush from your nose out when you're physically exerted. You want to have a healthy pink glow, not look like you ran all the way there!

    Painted Love Lipstick in "Lolita" by Kat Von D

    I bought the three pack of Kat Von D's Painted Love lipsticks Sephora was offering a little while ago, including Hellbent, Homegirl, and Lolita. Lolita was the real standout for me. It's described as "dusty rose" on the Sephora website and it's a perfect neutralish pink for my day-to-day wear. You can tell I'm wearing lipstick, but it isn't distracting. I wear it for everyday with my neutral eyes, but it also looks sophisticated and understated for more formal occasions. If I can only have one lipstick with me, that's the one I'm going for. (As far as the other lipsticks go, for the curious: Homegirl is way darker than anything I would wear day-to-day, but I'm keeping it for costume purposes and in case I ever get brave and vampy. Hellbent is nice, but I already have a red that I like a lot more, so I'm giving it to my little sister.)

    I hope this was useful! There's a lot of things in my kit that I adore, but these are my absolute must-haves for creating a look for whatever I might be going to. They're all pretty flexible products that are basic enough to give you a nice look for an everyday look or something you might want to dress up a little more for. If you're a makeup beginner, the idea is not to get these products, necessarily, but things that will fulfill these needs for you and your makeup-wearing life.


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