Tag Archives: jewelry

Define: “Steampunk”…

24 Jun

SteampunkCartoonSteampunk is…a joyous fantasy of the past, allowing us to revel in a nostalgia for what never was. It is a literary playground for adventure, spectacle, drama, escapism and exploration. But most of all it is fun!” ― George Mann

From the Oxford dictionary:
steampunk
Pronunciation: /ˈstēmˌpəNGk/

1.1 A style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction:
the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist.

I don’t think without a proper dictionary definition, the steampunk style could be understood. Even with the definition? It’s hard to process. Anyone directly in the alternative world of fashion and design may get it. But many on the outside looking in may be baffled. I tend to think of it like this: take a Harry Potter style, give it a punk edge with some designer style and you are on your way to a steampunk look.

Steampunk is definitely not front and center in the glamour & fashion world. In fact, it’s a little underground which makes it that much more eclectic and romantic. It is definitely built around the individual and each look is unique. No one goes into Macy’s and asks for the steampunk section of the store. But that doesn’t mean you can get a look there either.

As my fire-spinning evolves, so does my look. I find myself looking at things that I like, with an edgy flair, and a mystical aura. Do I still love my Manolos? Hell yeah. But you might find them next to a pair of worn black suede combat boots with wired taffeta laces. What can I say? Style is about individuality. That’s why I love this industry.

So you want to look at some steampunk inspired items? I happen to like these items when I’ve got the S-punk urge:

Makeup: Because steampunk is a genre which embraces individuality, no makeup look is right or wrong. There are a few things that can give your look more of an edge than a general look.
**Dark lips are always a plus. Heavy outlined lips, true red lip colors or black matte lipsticks or glosses are a nice look.
**Stenciled designs such as gears, feathers and scrolls around the eye/temple area is cool. You can also find temporary tattoos to give you this look. Enhance them with black or metallic liner for an extra pop.
**Dark gold or copper eyeshadow is a MUST! And the more sparkle and glitter, the better. Add a touch of glittery black liner for a deep look. A touch of the shadow in the middle of your bottom lip looks awesome too.
Sassy Likes: Eye Kandy Cosmetics Eye Kandy Glitter in Taffy (Copper Penny), $7.50; Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw”, $20.00 – Sephora

Clothes: Take a mixture of the Victorian era romance, elements from the Industrial Revolution from the 1800’s and a hint of the post-apocalyptic era and you may have an idea of what the general steampunk look is like. The key is individualism–wear what you feel comfortable in and feel it represents the style that reflects you. Key pieces to look for are long, flowing dresses, regal jackets and bodices, ruffled and/or lacy tops, unleveled hemmed skirts and more. I advise people to look at what other steampunk lovers wear and see what jumps out at them. Remember to try before you buy. What is good for some may not be good for you. Looking at styles presently in your closet may give you an idea of what types of s’punk clothes might interest you… if any! It may not be for you, but if it is, there are lots of places to shop. Start with your local thrift and consignment shops. You’d be surprised what treasures you may find there. You can even find a base and embellish it the way you want. If you are looking for something specific, there are several online stores that offer options such as SteampunkEmporium.com, pyramidcollection.com or my favorite rebelsmarket.com
Sassy Likes: Rebel’s Market Black Corset & Buckles Halter Top, $32.40; Belladonna Corset, $44.95 – goodgoth.com

 

Accessories: Your steampunk look most likely will never be ordinary but accessories can help take it to another level. These items can fall into categories that range from head to toe. They include hats, boots, jewelry and everything in between. When it comes to jewelry, the key thing to look for is bronze. Not necessarily the metal but the color! Necklaces and bracelets with old keys, buckles and chains are a perfect add-on. Chokers made of lace, velvet or leather accented with gems, gears, keys and locks are a pretty pick as well. Boots are a popular choice for footwear. All boot heights including knee high lace up, mid-calf with buckles or low Mary Janes are always popular. When it comes to shoes, dark colors of lace, velvet or leather look fab. And those cute mini hats are always cool if you can pull them off!
Sassy Likes: Necklaces from @Fishscalecreations on Etsy; UGG “Simmens” leather boots, $169.95 – Nordstrom; Steampunk Velvet Top Hat, $19.95 -yandy.com; Black leather metal studded fingerless gloves, $22.00 – rebelsmarket.com

Row

If punk is a little extreme for you ladies but still want to stand out from the crowd, see if the individuality of the steampunk genre is your cup of tea (or poison). If you would like to know more about the why’s, who’s and what’s, check out the links below to give you more information. And as always…. keep me posted on your finds, looks, styles and so on. I’d love to see and share!!

www.steamfashion.livejournal.com: This link gives you a LOT of information. What steampunk is, your individual style, plus it’s history. A great start.

www.pennlive.com: If you want to master a steampunk look or costume, this is a great tool. I love how it talks about the recycling aspect of the look. It doesn’t have to be new, especially since the theme is Victorian based anyways.

thesteampunkempire.com: I love the fact that this is a discussion group that addresses questions you might have. The contributors are people just like you and me that need answers too!

Enjoy and be Steamsavvy, Sassinistas!!
Stopwatch Fierce

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What Should I Wear? (A Routine Posting Now and Then…)

1 Aug

ClosetOn Sundays, I always take out my datebook and iPhone calendar to go over what I need to do for the week. Not just appointments either–I mean everything. Coffee dates, shopping, doctor visits, trips to the dry cleaner, shopping excursions, bottle returns, washing the car, even tattoo appointments! I have a closet full of clothes and sometimes its abundance can be overwhelming. And no matter what or how much we have, we all–at some point–will babble “God, I have nothing to wear!” Oh yeah, you’ll say it. And you should kick yourself right then and there because you KNOW you do.

Here is how I tackle the task of selecting or planning outfits. Remember anything can change on a moment’s notice, so choose wisely but also be flexible. First, I try to check the weather the night before to see what I’m facing temperature and precipitation-wise. Those two things alone can potentially eliminate 75% of my wardrobe. With that in mind I start at the bottom and work up. I try to select footwear first, followed by bottoms, tops, bracelets, necklace, earrings and finally a matching purse. Believe me, if you can have this in mind–or better yet set out–before bed?…the morning can go very smooth.

Let’s take my day tomorrow:

1. Head to repair shop to get punctured tire fixed. (Ugh–dread.)
2. Pick up a prescription.
3. Quick coffee with a friend at work.
4. Grab dry cleaning.

Okay, so it’s not a high profile day where I will be rubbing elbows with la dee da’s, and the chance of having to discuss my work with anyone new would be a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. My agenda will be a lot of go here-go there’s, so I will want to look fashionable but not über high end. I still want be comfortable since I will be in and out of the car a few times. Walking won’t be extensive. Mingling will be minimal. But the bottom line is… I will be out and I want to look approachable. And that’s why I need to be be a classy yet comfy fashionista for the day.

Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be cloudy, chance of storms, with temperatures around 77 degrees. With this in mind, I have now selected three outfits that I can choose from:

*** Black, leather flats w/gold chains; dark-washed skinny jeans; designer graphic tee.

*** Brown low-wedge pumps; light blue boot-cut jeans; short-sleeved, dark blue flowered sheer tee.

*** Leopard espadrilles; medium blue skinny jeans; neutral-colored sequined/ruffled tank top; black shrug.

The selected outfit will determine the jewelry chosen. If it is a more laid-back outfit, like the first, the jewelry will be bolder and busier. Shoe color ultimately determines the purse. The black flats will put me into the black purse department. A large, embellished bag might be a perfect choice. The brown pumps might lean me towards a brown/tan shoulder bag. And those killer espadrilles scream gold or bronze mini metallic purse. Sad to say, I’m not lacking in the purse department. At all. I admit…bags are one of my weaknesses.

So, I will post this tonight with an update tomorrow (and hopefully a picture!) with what I chose and whether it was the right choice for the daily agenda. We all know things can change and nothing is written in stone. And if the weatherman is even remotely close here in Upstate NY, that in itself, would be amazing. So, we shall see!

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To The Email Box….

17 Mar


First, let me start off by saying Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of my readers and followers, near and far. I hope your day was filled with tasty meals of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, Irish soda bread, shots of Irish whiskey and more Guinness than you can imagine. Okay, well I don’t wish EVERYONE that, but if it’s your thing then more power to you. If it’s not, like the French Sassy Auburn girl, then just put on a nice green shirt like I did and call it a day. Erin Go Bra-less…. or something like that.

Second…. WTF? Okay, here’s my deal when it comes to my blog. I review things, and I admit I tend to review the things I really like more than things that I don’t. Just because something doesn’t jazz me 100% doesn’t mean someone else isn’t going to like it. But if someone comes right out and ASKS ME what I thought about a product? Oh I’m gonna tell them. You are going to get the redhead, sassy review–and probably not in 100 words or less either. You get my drift.

So yesterday, a company that I had recently purchased some makeup products from (and have many times in the past) sent me an email because of my blogging reputation and purchasing frequency with them. They wanted me to review the latest products I had gotten from them for their website. Okay, cool. I think customer reviews are a fabulous thing. Not everyone knows they can come to a website like mine or other bloggers to get information on what is good, what is better, what is great… and what is not! Sometimes you have to take the reviews that are on the company’s website with a grain of salt because they can be slightly tainted. I mean, if you are there making a purchase, there is a good chance you already like the item and aren’t going to dish any dirt on it. Sites such as totalbeauty.com and makeuptalk.com are good to get true, honest opinions on just about anything. I respect them for that.

This company asked for my opinion on six products: a new necklace, a new lipstick formula they recently released, a bath product, a perfume, a sensitive skin face wash, and a anti-aging facial moisturizer. Sounds easy enough, right? I wrote a “blurb” saying I loved the necklace (so gorgeous and versatile); the lipstick which is excellent for moisture, gloss and a hint of color; the bath product which smells like yummy fresh baked goods; the perfume which was just meh–kinda so-so as it was really strong and just not my style; the face wash was hellacious as it burned my face and eyes terrible and honestly could NOT believe it could be for sensitive skin with that much chemical fragrance in it; and the facial moisturizer that made my face itch, burn and actually caused it to break out and get flaming red. I handed out three 5-star ratings, one 3-star rating and two 1-star ratings. I submitted them to their online product review “committee” and went about my business.

Today, a funny thing happened on my way to the email box. As I checked the emails for Sassy, I saw six responses regarding the reviews I had done yesterday for those products. They were happy, thrilled, couldn’t be more excited with the reviews I gave 5-stars to. They were so happy to tell me they would be putting them up on their website immediately and were ecstatic to put my name and opinion with their product. Yeay Sassy! Love you Sassy! Then…. the 3-star product’s rating , however, was still being “reviewed” and they informed me they would get back to me with a decision as to when (and if) the review would be used. Hmmmm. Kind of made me scrunch up my face and tap my toe a little bit. Just a tad suspicious if you ask me.

Then, the corker. The shock of all shockers. The “You’ve got to be %#@&’ing kidding me!” of all “You’ve got to be…” You get my drift. This company–a company whom I have done business with on and off with over several years–sent me an email saying they would not be using my 1-star reviews on their product review site because they “didn’t meet their expectations.” EXCUSE ME? Didn’t meet your expectations? Oh, so let me get this straight: if I love your stuff, you’ll whistle Dixie, shower me with kindness, and praise the ground I walk on. But if I tell you how I REALLY feel which doesn’t float your boat, you’ll take my honest review and toss it out with yesterday’s bad lettuce. Keep what works for you, ditch what doesn’t. You know there, dillweed, if you didn’t want HONESTY about your products, why did you give me the option of either a 1-2-3-4-or 5 star rating? Hmmmmmmm?.

Yeah–well–that don’t fly with me. If THEY aren’t going to let the public know the facts, I will. So take notice people. Here’s a quicker than quick review about the latest items I just purchased from this company….. AVON:

SHINE ATTRACT LIPSTICK (in Nude Love and Passionate Red): Nice sheer colors, not bold, tons of shine, very moisturizing. Somewhat long lasting. Love ’em.

STYLISTA “Y” NECKLACE GIFT SET: Gorgeous “Y” styled necklace with black crystal gemstones. Comes with matching earrings. Looks great with everything–day and night!

BUBBLE DELIGHT BUBBLE BATH: I actually bought this to use in my hand soap dispenser in my bathroom and it works great. The Vanilla Cream scent smells just like a cupcake, lathers nice, and keeps hands soft!

FAR AWAY EAU de PARFUM PURSE SPRAY: The scent is “nice” but really isn’t my style. A little too heavy on the amber and musk for my liking. It does last and lightens up after wearing it for a while. All in all, not completely for me though.

 

mark CALMING EFFECT COMFORTING MILK CLEANSER: Holy smokes, this was a product from hell for me. It might be for sensitive skin but its scent and formula burned my eyes terrible, even when I didn’t get it NEAR my eyes. Very drying on my face, made my skin feel way too tight. Just not all it was cracked up to be. Won’t use it again, and won’t recommend it either.

 

mark FOR GOODNESS FACE ANTIOXIDANT SKIN MOISTURIZING LOTION SPF 30: All the hype behind the product sounded great–oil free, natural ingredients, high SPF. Good stuff, yes? NO! It burned my face, causing me to get red and break out! Way too irritating for my skin… and it didn’t smell all the great either. No way, no how. Buh-bye!


 

There ya go Fashionistas… you want REAL reviews? Ask me. I’ll give it to you straight up. And if a company only wants you to see the good stuff, I seriously suggest asking your friends, checking blogs like mine, and looking into those great makeup sites for reviews–both good and bad–before you decide on a product. You want REAL opinions from REAL people when looking for something, right? I mean….I would want my friends to tell me honestly if I looked like a ruffled banana in a tiered yellow tank top (yeah, been there–almost did that). Sorry…. that was kind of a random flashback.

So, I’m sorry to have to give you a little dig today Avon but it’s the consumer’s decision to choose to buy a product with ALL the facts… not just the ones you see fit. You don’t want that kind of rep, do you? Hopefully you’ll reconsider how you “choose” you reviews in the future. It might just be better for your business than you think.

My Foolproof Outfit….

5 Feb

When I wake up each morning, I check my humongous magnet calendar on my fridge to see what my day will consist of. Because of my laid back appointments and informal business endeavors, my daily style can be classified as “feminine casual” at best. I no longer have to don the pleated black pinstripe skirted suit, thank the heavens. Bye bye, I’ll be seein’ ya… glad to say I’ll no long be wearin’ya. I will say, though, that even when I am just home for the day working on odds and ends around the house, I always look presentable. I’m not saying I diva-tize myself from head to toe, but I do put on my face and look decent not just for the UPS man delivering my package of the day, moreso for myself.

So what does Sassy Auburn consider her foolproof outfit? An ensemble that is comfortable enough to allow me to comfortably move about, look approachable and easygoing and still enable me to look and feel current, sexy and feminine. And with the fashions available nowadays—at all price ranges—this is very easy to do.

Tomorrow I have what I would consider a “typical” day: I have dry cleaning to pick up and drop off, a visit to the market, a medical appointment in my big city, visit a former client, and depending on my son’s band practice schedule possibly a chauffeur roll to finish up the day. With the weather calm and seasonably cool, this is a perfect day for my foolproof outfit:

Jeans

Z. Co. Stretch Skinny Jeans (indigo blue) – Saying it is hard to find a pair of jeans that fit me perfect is an understatement. If I get them to fit in the hips, then they are too big in the waist. If they fit in the waist, they are either too tight in the hips or too short in the crotch. I found these jeans in Macy’s about a month ago and fell in love with the fit immediately. I loved them so much, I bought three pairs: one in indigo, one in faded blue and one in black. I will say the indigo jeans fit more true to size with the others being a bit big, but they aren’t baggy big. Plus, it gives me a bit of “cheesecake space”, if you know what I mean. The dark color enables you to be totally casual with them or really dressy chic if you like. (Macy’s, $35)

Top

Stargazer Knit Tunic – Nothing goes better with skinny jeans than a nicely fitted tunic, and there tunicdefinitely is a tunic for all seasons. During the cold months, sweaters with poet sleeves or belted waists make the cozy very jazzy. As the warmer weather soon approaches, the Spring will bring with it bright, flower colors and lightweight fabrics. This tunic is a bit of both worlds. The long sleeves, scoop neck and empire waist still gives this top flare during the cool months but the light stretchy fabric allows for comfort as well as style as the temps rise. The go-with-anything pattern and colors makes this a style-statement must have!  (BostonProper.com, $79)

Shoes

Bandolino Smiley Shoe Booties – When it comes to choosing shoes to accompany skinny jeans, you are pretty much safe with everything EXCEPT sneakers. (Don’t do it, don’t do it, just don’t do it). Pumps of all sorts (peep toed or closed), boots, sandals, ballerina flats or shoe booties can really give your outfit personality. My Smiley’s are smooth black leather oxford with a soft insole, a rounded toe and a medium height (2 ½“) stacked heel. Walking in these is easy and comfortable, even on slightly slippery walkways. Plus they lace up which allows you put on heavier socks when it’s really cold out. And these aren’t just for jeans anymore. They look sharp as heck with wool skirts and tights too! (Zappos.com, $62)

Purse

Guess? Gold Coast Satchel – I have to be honest, this isn’t the exact bag that I carry when I’m out handbag1gallivanting during my day, but it is pretty darn close. I love my black Guess handbag. The single, drop-down handle is the perfect length for me. It is long enough where I can toss it over my shoulder when my hands are full, but small enough to carry by hand so as not to break my arms. The size is big enough to keep just the necessities without turning it into a suitcase. Plus there are just the right number of compartments inside to hold my makeup, cell phone, etc. keep The big “G” on the front shows people that you know style, the price tag shows you know how to shop! (Boscovs, $56)

Jewelry

Daisy Fuentes Silver-Tone Hammered Necklace – I love love love this necklace. If I’m not sure what necklace to grab with my outfit for the day, this is my go-to bauble. The large hammered circles look casual yet stylish with any type of open-neck top or dress. This necklace doesn’t just draw attention, but is also expensive looking! (Kohl’s, $18 )

Fragrance

Marc Jacobs Daisy – This is the newest “make me feel pretty” fragrance in my collection. It’s soft, daisyfeminine and playful with a slight vintage edge. Notes of strawberry, violet leaves, grapefruit, gardenia and vanilla all intertwine to make you feel elegant but not too serious. And the bottle? How can you not love the whimsical design! What is great about Daisy is it doesn’t just come in the typical large spray bottle. It is also available in a purse-size spray with refill, a solid fragrance ring, a sparkle roll on, a rich body cream and a silky, shimmery body lotion. A little something for everyone. (available at most major department stores, beginning at $30)

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John Fairchild once said, “‘Style’ is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma.” Orson Welles also wrote, “Create your own visual style…let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” You don’t have to be wearing any specific designer or drop a house payment to feel great about yourself. Look on line or grab a few fashion magazines and see what looks are hot right now. Then pretend you are five-years old some day and just play dress up… either at home, the mall or a thrift store. Mix, match, try, play, discover. Find out what gives you the WOW factor, then turn that discovery into something that is uniquely your own. That’s the kind of style that will make you feel like a million bucks every single day!!