ArtBig Love for Lisa Swerling’s Tiny People

If only my Polly Pocket collection had inspired me to do something like this….
 I’ve always been a firm believer that tiny makes everything cuter, but Lisa Swerling’s Glass Cathedrals go way beyond cute. Try: touching, silly, thought-provoking, whimsical; but most of all, they’ll make you smile. What Swerling has managed to capture with a shadow box and some miniature figurines (from architect’s models and railway toys) is a breathtaking collection of artwork that is both accessibly simple, yet strikingly complex.
In a recent interview with Sabotage Times, Swerling opened up about her path to Glass Catherals, and where she finds inspiration for her tiny worlds. My favorite snippets:
“Like a lot of people,” she says, “I have moments of inspiration, my own particular realisations about what it is to be a funny little human traveling around this big planet. Now what do you do with all these little thoughts? Well, I started putting mine in boxes.”

“But what I like about the artworks is that there is an intrinsic sympathy one feels with the figures which softens the ridiculousness of their pursuits. So whilst I am saying ‘Check out that poor woman, spending her whole life cleaning an infinite floor — is she mad?’ you also feel what she is attempting is in her way heroic, soothing to her soul, and maybe as good a way to pass time as any. One becomes a benevolent, merciful god, looking into the boxes.”

“My inspiration for this series was the collision between the seriousness with which we take our lives, and the limitations of our understanding. In Glass Cathedrals the heros are the tiny figures, my boxes the space where they struggle, aspire, dance, dream.”
Swerling will even customize many of her creations, (like “Evergreen” above), to look like you and whoever you choose to bring into your own mini world. Glass Cathedrals are available for purchase on her website, and range in price from $350 for the smaller guys to larger limited editions at $1450. I want one!

BeautyBeauty Alert: OPI Shatter Nail Polish!

Some of you gals may remember us featuring the amazing OPI Black Shatter polish last fall, and today we are excited to inform you that OPI has introduced five more shatter colors. You heard me, five!
The new Shatter additions include White Shatter, Turquoise Shatter, Silver Shatter, Red Shatter, Navy Shatter, and Blue Shatter, in addition to the original Black Shatter.
Never heard of shatter? OPI explains it:
Here’s what it looks like:
With the Silver Shatter released to coincide with the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, this awesome color, as well as the rest of the new shatter colors, were released in May 2011. Here’s what Suzi Weissman, OPI’s Executive VP & Artistic Director, had to say about the collection:

“Black Shatter was received with great fanfare, showing that women are looking for new ways to express themselves and are excited to try different textures on their nails . . . By adding a variety of colors to the line, there are more options for every woman, whether she is looking for a funky aquamarine or elegant deep blue. Unlike traditional nail art which can be complicated and difficult to replicate, Shatter is easy to use and allows everyone to experiment with this new trend.” 
(Read the rest of the press release here.)

In addition to the new colors, OPI is also offering instructional videos with each bottle of polish; simply scan the code on the bottle with your smart phone or camera phone, and you will be directly linked to the how-to application video.

If you’re not sure which Shatter color you want, or if you want to see what the various Shatters look like paired with different base colors, check out the “Try on This Color” feature on the OPI website.


Want some Shatter of your own? Head to and click “Where to Buy” in the upper right hand corner. Enter your zip code and the site will populate a list of salons that sell them in your area.
What cool Shatter combinations have you come up with? Post your favorite picture below!

FashionRetromat: Behind the Scenes of the New Lookbook

As most of you may have seen already, we just launched our new lookbook Retromat. In honor of it being such an adorable shoot, and because I think you guys deserve it, I decided to let you in on some behind the scenes pics from the shoot. 
Above you can see makeup artist Lernik Grikorian and hair stylist Carlos Fernandez prepping our model before the shoot. 
One of my favorite pictures from the shoot was this gem above, where photographer Jiro Schneider snapped this pic of his photo assistant, Josh Spencer, outside the laundromat. 

Above, our lovely and talented art director, Kristen, prepping our model before a shot. 
 Hope you love ’em!

MusicNew Album to Love: Arctic Monkeys

 I don’t know what planet I’ve been orbiting around to not swoop down on this one the second it came out, but that’s why I have Pandora in my life to keep me in check. The Arctic Monkeys, one of my very favorite bands, dropped a new album on June 7th, titled Suck It and See.
 The English indie rock band’s fourth studio album does not disappoint, just about living up to their quick success from albums past (their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history, according to these guys). The critics have been pretty darn positive, though it is hard to impress everybody after achieving such huge and immediate success, while still in their teen years, I might add. I’ll just say, I’ve been listening all week, and I won’t be stopping any time soon.
 Their most recent video release, “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala”, from their YouTube channel.
Arctic Monkeys is: Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar/lead songwriter), Jamie Cook (lead guitar), Nick O’Malley (bass), and Matt Helders (drums, percussion).
If you aren’t yet familiar with these guys (or don’t think you are) check out two of the oldies that made me fall for them in the first place: Fake Tales of San Francisco and I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. (You’ll notice that they have a pretty fabulous YouTube channel… check it out!)

BeautyHair Flair: How to Do a Waterfall French Braid

 If you’re tired of the boring old French braid, or if you’re just looking for something to spice up your summer ‘do, well then boy do I have a new hairstyle for you to try!
 Check it out:
 Waterfall French Braid

Thanks to my beautiful roomie for posing through my numerous practice attempts! 
Now, in order to do this hairstyle, you’re going to need to be very comfortable doing a basic French braid. If you’re not quite there yet, then check out this video and this picture tutorial until you feel like you’ve got a grip on it.
Feeling confident? Okay, here we go.
Now, after watching approximately four bajillion tutorials on how to do this style, I came across three different ways to do the Waterfall French Braid. The style you see Kelsey sporting above can be found using this method by Evelina Barry, a fantastic hair and makeup artist.

I found Evelina’s method to be the easiest to follow for me; however, I really enjoyed the tutorials by Maegan of loveMaegan and Kaley of LetsMakeitUp, both of whom used slightly different variations to create similar, equally awesome results. 
Watch their videos below:
Here’s Maegan’s tutorial. She uses a really interesting half-strand technique that might be really helpful for those of you having a hard time with dropping pieces.
Kaley’s tutorial is the perfect idea for a prom or other formal event! (I love this idea for a wedding!)
 In addition to the fact that it’s just plain awesome, there are four main things I love about this style:
  • It allows you to keep your hair down and girly 
  • It adds a really summery, boho vibe to pretty much any outfit you’re wearing 
  • It makes people think you’re really awesome at doing hair (which, if you can pull this off, you are) 
  • It works on literally every cut and kind of hair (the exception being a buzz…for which really, with this heat, I wouldn’t blame you)

    My suggestion would be to try all three different tutorials and see which ones works best for you. Experiment on your whole head and on just the sides. Once you find a method you like, practice, practice, practice!
    If you get a braid you like, I’d love to see you post a picture of your result!