About Nuala

The sartorial Hermione Granger.

Autumn Accessories

For my upcoming trip to California, I wanted to get a pair of sunglasses that were A) chic B) didn’t break the bank and C) ones I wouldn’t panic about losing (not that I lose things very often!)

lespecs_quatro

I found these frames by Le Specs. Called ‘Quatro’, they are super stylish and have a subtle cat-eye style that I love. The smoky purple lenses make them stand out as well. They retail for $79.95 but are currently on sale for $59.95 at Amazon.com.

I’m also looking forward to when fall turns dark, cold and wintery. That usually means I have an excuse to add a new pair of boots to my collection. To survive the winter in style and comfort I always like to have a good pair of boots I can dress up or down, depending on the occasion. I’m particularly taken with two different motorcycle boot styles from Frye at the moment.  The Veronica Biker Zip and the Jenna Skull Stud Short.

FRYE Women's Veronica Biker Zipjennastudskull01

Unlike the Le Specs, these lovelies aren’t what you’d call bargain prices but the quality is second-to-none. Either pair of these fabulous boots would be a staple in your closet for years to come. Deciding which pair will be the hard part!

If you’d prefer something a little more refined, perhaps the Frye Lucinda Scrunch or the Sperry Top-Sider Saville is more your speed? Happy hunting!

lucinda saville

Review: Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum

hourglass28_review

Product: Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum.

Place: Sephora.

Price: $22 for 0.33oz / $65 for 1oz.

The Deal: It’s billed as a primer serum. Can be used under makeup as a skin primer, or as a deep moisturizer serum.

My previous go-to primer was always Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer. I’d been pretty happy with it for the last few years. Lately, however, I’ve been having some dry-skin issues, and had found it was a little more silicone-y than I’d like. To the rescue came a sample of Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum I received with a Sephora order. I was quite nervous to try it out the first time, as it described itself as an “oil-blend serum”. Usually for my very pale, sensitive, combination skin, oil-based products are a big no-no.

I used it the first time…and was totally hooked. It moisturizes my skin in a way not even the really crazy expensive skin creams can. I don’t primarily use it as an under-makeup primer, but rather as an intensive moisturizer. It’s an extra tool in the “Keep-My-Skin-Properly-Hydrated-During-The-Cold-Months” toolbox. One or two drops is all you’ll need to cover your face. It’s light and non-greasy, and sinks into my skin effortlessly.

On the downside, it is expensive. I don’t mind this so much, as I’d rather find one expensive product that works than go through half a dozen or more mid-priced products and find none of them work. This may be a bold claim, but I’ve found it to be the greatest skin care product I’ve used in the past five years.  This is a solid-gold winner and earns automatic HG status.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m Going To Disneyland!

disneyland-00-full

I’m going to Disneyland for the first time in three weeks. I’ve wanted to go since I was four years old, so needless to say I’m pretty excited. I admit it – I jumped up and down, did a little dance and yelled, “I’m going to Disneyland!” with my husband after we booked the trip. (Hey, it’s tradition!)  Anything where I get to ride roller-coasters, meet Disney princesses, have my photo taken with Mickey Mouse and just get to be a kid again gets my stamp of approval.

I can’t wait.

Elliott Smith: 10 Years Gone

Ten years ago today, Elliott Smith died. He was and continues to be one of the single biggest influences not only in my music, but my life.  I would not have pursued being a musician without his music and influence. I met my husband – and moved halfway around the world – due to our mutual love of Elliott’s music.

I often wonder what else he would have created had he lived, but mostly I’m just thankful that his music exists. It has been a source of joy and inspiration since I was 17 years old. I don’t think that will ever change, and I am grateful for all the ways in which his music has shaped my life.

Video: Quasi – You Can Stay But You Gotta Go

Tonight, Quasi is playing their first Chicago show since 2010. Here’s a little something to get you in the concert-going mood. It’s the music video for their single “You Can Stay But You Gotta Go.” It’s off their new album, ‘Mole City’. You can buy it here.

 

Oh, Snap!

d3200stock

I’ve loved photography from a young age and I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a SLR camera. I took a few photography electives in high school and got to learn the basics…and then never took any more lessons.

This year I wanted to do something fun, something that would challenge me a little bit creatively. I decided to take the plunge and learn how to use a DSLR camera. After a lot of research – literally months – I settled on a camera from Nikon. I’ve had Nikon point and shoot cameras in the past, and I like their products. My new DSLR is a Nikon D3200. From the moment I took it out of the box, I was in love! The D3200 comes in two colors, black and red. I chose the red because A) it’s gorgeous and B) it makes me happy. If you’re thinking about getting one of the red DSLR cameras from Nikon and are worried it’ll look cheap or plastic-y – don’t! I was worried about it too, but once I saw the camera in person I was so pleased with the color. It’s a deep red/wine shade and it looks amazing. Definitely an eye-catcher!

I’ve seen self-professed DSLR pros snark about how a colored camera “could never look professional”. It seems silly to me. If it’s the same camera and takes the exact same photos – save for some different paint – who gives a hoot if it looks “professional”? I’d imagine the proof would be in your pictures, not the color of your camera!

Anyway, I love my new camera. It’s been my constant companion for the last week and on days when I couldn’t take it out I definitely had some separation anxiety!  It did ship with a basic (and rather ugly) camera bag. Free is free, right? But that camera bag wasn’t “me”, andI knew I had to remedy this. I was on a mission to find a stylish replacement. After some searching (and help from Pinterest) I’m waiting on the arrival of my new ONA Bowery leather camera bag. I chose the antique cognac color – it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to get it so I can tote my new digital BFF everywhere. I’m looking forward to taking lots of awesome photos during my upcoming trip to Los Angeles and in the years to come.

The only real downside to being a DSLR newbie? Patience. I want to know everything I  need to know right now! Watching how-to videos over on the Fro Knows Photo YouTube channel is helping me a lot with building up my basic DSLR knowledge.  I just have to keep reminding myself to be patient and work on building that solid foundation of knowledge!

//

The Nikon D3200 retails for $546.95 at Amazon.