Category Archives: events

fashion’s night out (and a few steals)!

Fashion’s Night Out tote, $50

Welcome to Fashion’s Night Out, friends! As usual, I’m blue as a pair of overdyed jeans about not being in NYC to celebrate, but luckily most major cities (and even a fair share of minor ones) are hosting great FNO events these days.

To find out what’s going on in your neck of the woods, check out the official FNO website, which links to all of the cities participating. In Portland, for example, most of the downtown retail shops are hosting special in-store events (free booze is often involved) and the Downtown Business Alliance is teaming up with all of the most fashion-forward stores in town to put on a fashion show in Director’s Park, which is always stellar. Also, swag bags! A minimum purchase gets you free parking and loads of awesome goodies – I got a sneak peek, and it’s pretty fab (think free eats, discounts at some of my favorite shops and free parking for the night!). If you see me out and about tonight, come say hi!

Or, if you’re a lazy homebody, fret not – plenty of Fashion’s Night In awesomeness happening too. The one-night-only discount codes are starting to roll into my inbox already, so check back here periodically today and I’ll update the list with all of the best! And of course, if you find a goodie, share it in the comments – shopping should always be a team sport.

  • London Sole: Finally splurge on those ballet flats you’ve been coveting. Use code FNO from 4-8 pm (EST) for a very rare 15% discount.
  • LAMade: One of my all-time favorite tee brands is offering 30% off, plus a free tee & free shipping with orders over $150. Use code FNOLA.
  • Kate Spade: Extra markdowns in a “Surprise Sale” happening today only.

So, tell me…are you headed out to partake of the FNO excitement tonight?


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so much to do… (and happy mother’s day!)

Wow, this weekend is hoppin’, friends! So many fantastic things happening, I have a feeling I’ll be a pile of mush by Sunday night. If you’re in Portland, come join me at any or all of the following:

  • Tim Gunn (!) will be at Nordstrom in Washington Square on Saturday, hosting a summer trends fashion show for Lucky Brand Jeans (owned, apparently, by Liz Claiborne). And, um, HE ASKED TO MEET ME!!!! I may need to take a sedative. In other words, this will be an event worth seeing on many levels.
  • West Elm has a pretty fun Mother’s Day event going: head over on Saturday from 10-3 and meet up with the floral experts from Solabee to design a perfect bouquet for Mom (or just nab some arranging tips from the pros). This one’s not even Portland-only – West Elm is hosting the same event in 7 cities, so check the list to see if you’re a lucky winner!
  • Manor Fine Wares is hosting that fantastic Heather B. Moore trunk show I told you about recently on Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm. Take Mom over and check it out…between the free champagne and the couldn’t-be-more-perfect gift options, it’s a Mother’s Day slam dunk.
  • Believe it or not, I’m participating in a fundraising walk for the Oregon Humane Society. Which means I’ll be wearing tennis shoes. In public. Feel free to come cheer me on…or, you know, be a little less self-absorbed than I am and just participate to raise money for needy furballs.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope it involves your mom somehow. Mine is jetting off to points unknown (aka, Virginia) for the weekend, so I’ll have to celebrate long-distance style by publicly embarrassing her. Love you, Mom!

{My awesome mom, being adorable in her leather trench, chunky knits and some pretty fantastic boots back in the ’70s.
None of which she saved for me.}

However you spend it, have a great weekend, friends…see you next week!

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eye candy: the met gala

Wow, it is just way too beautiful outside to be cooped up in my living room in front of a computer. So, pardon me for being brief. Fortunately, these gorgeous pics from last night’s Met Gala speak for themselves. The Gala is often referred to as the “Fashion Oscars”, and you’re about to see why:

All images via WhoWhatWear, except as noted

{From left: January Jones in Atelier Versace / Kate Bosworth in Prada (image c/o Just Jared) / Beyonce in Givenchy}

And just in case you thought the night might be short on sequins…

{From left: Nina Dobrev in Donna Karan / Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe / Bianca Brandolini D’Adda in Dolce & Gabbana}

Nina Dobrev’s train was the talk of Twitter last night…apparently, it was so long, she had to have a “train handler” for the evening. After the snoozefest that was the 2012 Oscars red carpet, I was so happy to see all of these bold, risk-taking, drop-dead-amazing looks walk the runway for the Met. Sure, there were a few to hate (Kirsten Dunst: seriously?), but that’s all part of the fun.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind being a celebrity just long enough to have a place to wear one of these gorgeous beauties (and a designer to give me one, for that matter).

So, who did you love? Who did you hate? Who did you love to hate? Dish in the comments…

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SMC interviews: bobbi brown

Prepare yourselves, friends…I got to meet the Queen of Beauty! That’s right, the one and only Bobbi Brown stopped by Portland yesterday to give a Master Class at my friendly neighborhood Nordstrom. And, since I’m the luckiest girl in town, they let me sit in…and ask a few questions along the way! It was a fantastic event, packed with great tips and info (if you follow me on Twitter, you got the full scoop – I live-tweeted the whole thing!), and the cherry on top of the sundae was this little moment:

{Note me squatting down like an idiot, because Bobbi is a petite little thing!}

Oh, what? Yep, that’s just me, chatting away with Bobbi Brown. No big deal.


The Master Class was an incredibly informative event – I learned tons of tips and tricks. For example:

  • After you apply lip gloss, dab the excess off with your finger and rub onto the tops of your cheeks, along the line at the base of your eye socket. The result is a beautiful glowing sheen, and your lips don’t look goopy!
  • Bobbi is an evangelist when it comes to concealer – or, more specifically, a concealer/corrector combo. You’ll hear more about that below, but her best tip was not to be stingy with the concealer. Apply generously with a brush, then dab with your finger to blend. I tried it this morning – totally works!

I could go on. But instead, I’ll tell you about Miracle No. 2 – in which I got to interview the Queen herself! I asked so many of you for questions in advance, and you delivered (big time!). But I snuck in a few of my own as well. Here we go!

Shopping’s My Cardio: Hi, Bobbi! During the spring and summer, I think most women want to try a cleaner look with their makeup. We’re all hoping to achieve that dewy, make-up free look, but of course, few of us can go makeup-free. What products should we be using, and how should we apply them to get that look?

Bobbi Brown: Tinted Moisturizers are great for the spring and summer because they are lightweight and hydrating, but still provide a sheer veil of coverage, which many of us need. Use one that contains an SPF so that you are protecting your skin from the sun. I also suggest using bronzer in the spring and summer to even out your skin tone and achieve a natural ‘glow’. Lastly, try using a sheer color lip gloss. It’s the perfect way to polish off your look by making the lips look fuller and imparting just the right amount of color without looking too heavy.

SMC: Now that I’m in my 30s, my skin has officially started its aging process, and I’m buying products I never thought I’d need. What do you think changes about a makeup routine when your skin starts to age – or at least, what should change?

BB: First off, great makeup starts with great skincare. Make sure you are using a hydrating face and eye cream. When you get into your thirties, you are working, raising kids, running errands, etc. You’re busy, but a few simple steps can instantly freshen up  your look. Don’t forget to apply corrector and concealer. Corrector is pink or peach based and will instantly lighten up any darkness under the eyes. Concealer is yellow-toned (and should be one to two shades lighter than your foundation) and will brighten up the under eye area making you look instantly refreshed.

Also, be sure to apply blush. Nothing makes a woman look prettier than a pop of blush—it gives the face an instant lift. I suggest layering two, one that is your natural color (the color of your cheeks after exercising) and a second brighter color applied only to the apples of the cheek for a pop of color.

SMC: A few of my readers have asked about your recommendations for skin care. What should women be doing for their skin every day, and in what order? I’m an unrelenting advocate of sunscreen, but beyond that, there are so many mixed messages and contradictory advice out there! Can you give us a definitive routine?

BB: In the morning, gently wash your face and then apply a repair serum.  Over time, serums work to help improve skin’s texture and moisture barrier. Look for one infused with anti-aging ingredients like Vitamin C and peptides. It will help  smooth the look of lines and wrinkles while giving skin a firmer, more lifted appearance. Follow that with a hydrating moisturizer that contains SPF and a hydrating eye cream.

At night, make sure to wash your face well to rinse off all the days impurities. Exfoliating your face 2-3 times a week will help slough off any dead skin you have. Apply the repair serum again and top with a heavier, denser balm that will sooth and repair your skin overnight.

SMC: Dark circles. They’re my cosmetic Achilles Heel, and I know I’m not alone. I can never seem to get the concealer perfectly blended, nor can I get them completely covered. Can you help? I’d also love any tips for covering up dark spots or moles on the face – is there a way to do it without ending up with a face caked with foundation, or must we make peace with our dark spots?

BB: One of the biggest mistakes women make when applying makeup is to use concealer on their face. Concealer should always be one to two shades lighter than your foundation, as its purpose is to brighten under your eyes. You don’t want to use a product that is too light on your face or the coverage will look unnatural. Also, concealer is creamier in texture and therefore is too thick to use on the face. I suggest using a skin tone correct tinted moisturizer/foundation (one that disappears seamlessly into the skin) and then using a blemish cover stick on any area that is particularly dark or discolored for  flawless coverage.

SMC: I have to ask – are you a person who will run to the grocery store without makeup?

BB: While I admit I do leave the house without makeup sometimes, I try not to leave without at least applying concealer, blush, mascara and lip gloss to look polished. If I have a couple minutes more, I will apply eyeliner. Eyeliner is the best way to make your eyes stand out. It makes them look bigger and more defined, which are things you want as you get older!

A huge thanks to Bobbi for taking the time to chat with me, and to all of her peeps (and the truly fantastic folks at Nordstrom) for bringing all this magic together!

Next up – I’m going to test out all of the products Bobbi suggested for me, and report back. Stay tuned!

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plus one: nordstrom designer preview

Much as I love to fantasize about attending every fashion show during Fashion Week (New York and Paris, thank you), it’s definitely more dream than reality right now. Runway samples, models and a bevy of beautiful people sipping champagne are a coast (or a continent) away, and I’m forced to live the experience vicariously through photos, videos, and the musings of others. Until now!

It turns out that Nordstrom hosts a fundraiser every year in Portland to benefit the Women’s Health Center at Oregon Health & Science University. And not just any fundraiser. It’s called the Designer Preview, and it goes a little something like this: the store works with all of the major designers to pull runway samples from the season’s shows, then stages a massive fashion show highlighting all the biggest design houses. You’re picturing one of those lame mall-grade fashion shows, but it wasn’t that at all. This was serious business. Want to come along? I knew it.

{Click through the arrows to see all of the images}

Best of all, attendees get to shop the samples right after the show, in an exclusive designer boutique set up just for the event. In other words, you get to see, touch and try on samples fresh from the show, in all their couture glory…and, if you have the means, plunk down that Nordstrom card to special order your favorites. Try doing that at Fashion Week! A few of my favorite finds…

{Click through the arrows to see all of the images}

Sounds like a dream, right? If you can imagine, it’s even better than it sounds – and that’s not just the champagne cocktails talking. For the first time in my fledgling fashion career, I got to see a Chanel runway sample up close – to check out all of the intricate stitching, the gossamer-light linings crumpled in the sleeves to create volume, the luxe iridescence of the fabrics. I got to manhandle a silver laser-cut lace evening jacket from Marc Jacobs, that looked as if it should weigh 100 lbs, but was light as air. And to see that the beautiful striped cocktail dress that came down the runway from Gucci was actually made up of rows of intricately trimmed leather fringe.

Friends, if you get the chance, this is a ticket worth saving for (never mind the fact that the proceeds go to charity). In addition to the Portland event, Nordstrom hosts similar shows in Seattle, San Diego, Washington DC, San Francisco, southern California and Minneapolis every year. Just check with your local store to get all the details, and be sure to save the date. I’m already blocking my calendar for next year’s festivities!

A huge thanks to Nordstrom for inviting me, and to our lovely Trends columnist, Kimberly Brandt, for shooting all of these amazing photos. That is one multi-talented lady!

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