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The BEST 6 New Obsessions: From Lip Tar to Hoes

By Nora Zelevansky / February 14th, 2013

It’s been ages — ages I tell you! — since I last posted simply about my latest obsessions.  It’s about time, I say!  (Why am I talking weird and old timey?)

I know I actually neglected to post about The Bachelor this week too, but — you know — what was there to say besides Tierra is a pyschopath, who treats others terribly and then somehow manages to feel like a victim, Lesley and Catherine should get a room and Des’ hometown date looks potentially psychotic.  (The operative word is potentially, since the possible confrontation they teased may well have been a red herring, since she seems like the most likely final choice.)

SO!  Moving onto “real” life, here in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the my wee day-to-day pleasures:

1. LIP TAR from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (*pictured above)

I’m not much of a bright lipstick girl because I don’t really have the massive lips to support it.  However, I’m so damn pale from NYC winter that a burst of color seemed like the only solution, so — the other day — I channeled my inner Zooey Deschanel (or okay Jess) slathered on this neon pink stuff and discovered that it’s brilliant.  It’s so opaque and bright that it’s like painting your lips, but it goes on thin and shiny like lip gloss.  I may be walking around looking like a fool — who knows? — but I am loving this stuff because it’s unlike any other lip sitch I’ve tried before.  And at least I don’t look as much like a zombie.

PS Also, I’ve been known to like natural products.  I’ve also been known to like chemicals and lasers.  However, I was happy to learn that this company is totally cruelty-free & vegan.  Now I feel even more virtuous wearing the stuff!  Their store is LES, but their products are sold all over.

2. LA ROSE DANCE WEAR & HOSIERY

Generally, I stick with Spanx tights/stockings.  Actually, that’s a lie: Generally, I stick with the random and sad assortment of stockings that have someone landed in my closet over the years.  Stolen from my mom?  Left by my sister?  Borrowed from a friend?  Gifted at some party?  (That last one refers to a pair of neon green fishnets that blend into my skin and make me look like I have scales from far away.)

But I digress: Yesterday, I picked out a dress for the next day’s Nanette Lepore Fashion Week show and then realized that I had no intact, hole-less stockings left.  It was already evening and I was late for The Gin Lovers book party, where I was meeting my editor and another author.  What to do?  On the advice of one very generous salesperson at a store down the street, I stopped into this old school Park Slope dance shop on 5th Avenue.  It’s really no frills, but the owner was there and let me in, despite the late hour.  She explained to me that I was looking at the wrong size for my proportions (she says the size chart is useless).  And she sold me two pairs of tights.  That are amazing.  And fit perfectly.  And feel like they won’t run.  For $8 each.  I am never spending $40 on stockings again.  The End.  Try a dance store near you!

3. THE SOUP BOWL

Locals will mostly know, but Drewser and I just happened upon this “pop up” spot that serves only soup and bread.  The menu is revolving — the man there said there are about 200 options — and range from Lobster Sweet Potato Bisque to Sausage & Eggplant (like red checkered tablecloth Italian food, as soup).  Bacon & Lima Bean soup AND Turkey Bacon & Vegetable have both been highlights for me.  The people who work there are lovely and you can sample any soups you choose — it’s so cozy and delicious during the cold winter.

Anyway, I am totally obsessed and I’m going as much as possible because they close, most likely, by March 1.  Then, they go back to being an Uncle Louie G. Italian Ices spot.  Which I sort of can’t complain about because I love that too.  Only, couldn’t we have both?  Couldn’t we?  Actually, I think it’s a totally brilliant idea; people should always split their shops by seasonal offerings.  Genius!

*They list what they have for the day on their site, but you should get their early if you have specific desires because they do run out of various kinds, especially if it’s snowy and cold!

4. UNIQLO LOUNGE WEAR

It’s cheap.  It’s super cozy.  It’s thicker and more substantial than you expect.  In need to buy three more pairs.  Need I say more?  Also, have you tried the FLUFFY SOCKS?  OMG.  Don’t get me started.  Let’s just say, it’s surprising that I leave my house.  (And I often do — with them inside my rain boots!  What?  Yup.  Blow.  Your.  Mind.)

5. FINE COLLECTION Sweaters

I have never been so thrilled (well, maybe at some point) than when I discovered that one of my favorite Nolita boutiques, Poppy, was opening up shop just blocks from my house.  I love their stuff, they have great sales.  It’s just reliable and good.  Anywaaay, actually the Manhattan store this week, I happened upon a Fine Collection sweater that was on sale — the price point is reasonable anyway — and just seemed like that item I’d been looking for all fall and winter without success.  It’s a completely simple, long-sleeves, non-itchy, over-sized but not without shape sweater in a color that sometimes looks slate and sometimes looks green.  It’s amazing.  And now I am super curious about the collection in general.  Eyes out!

6. RENOUVE

I honestly can’t say enough about this product.  I am completely obsessed.  This is brilliant: A hand sanitizer that’s the consistency of a serum and acts both as an anti-bacterial agent AND an anti-aging product.  I mean.  If you aren’t intrigued in this flu season, with harsh colder weather, you’ve lost it!  Lost it, I tell you.  Anyway, I am a fan 4-EVA because it doesn’t smell like alcohol or strip your hands of moisture and it dries super quickly.  That’s it!

Anyway … That’s all for now!  More later, as I explore the challenging world of  … I dunno.  Not bare midriffs.

xo – N.

 

Shameless Self-Promotion: My Latest Articles

By Nora Zelevansky / January 17th, 2013

Well, folks, it’s been a while since I shared a slew of articles, so I guess I’ll just get down to it.  New Year.  Same me (and you!).  Yay!

But, seriously, it’s either this or ramble on for hours about The Bachelor and, honestly, it’s too early in the season for that.  Sean is the “Most Sincere Bachelor Ever.”  He’s falling for a trick who he thinks has a good heart.  She’s not there for the right reasons!  Whatever will he do?  (I mean, besides keep her until there are five girls left and then finally see her true colors.)  Why don’t the Bachelors and Bachelorettes ever believe the other contestants when they try to forewarn, when they themselves have seen, during their respective past seasons, that the other contestants have unique incite and are probably telling the truth?  But I digress.

Anywaaaaay … back to the articles.  Because we’re highbrow.  And we like to read.

1. In January’s Town & Country, I wrote a personal essay about the trials and tribulations of developing a big chest for their LOOKING GLASS section called: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT.  (The story may or may not still be available on newsstands, as the February issue has likely already dropped.)  You may also want to check out the magazine’s new website, as it just launched in earnest and it looks fantastic.

BTW the personal essay includes snippets about growing up on the Upper West Side, which is partially what inspired parts of my still new novel, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE.  Not to be pushy (ahem, ahem), but if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, now is the time!

2. In this month’s ELLE (that’s the February issue), I offer a sneak peek into Once Upon a Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s lifestyle and Hollywood Hills home.  (Hint: She loves tea!)  It’s both a profile and a design piece, so check it out.  It’s currently on newsstands.

3. For this past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times “Image” section, I wrote a story called Beckley Joins The Cool Kids about new shop Beckley opening on LA’s Third Street.  (The area is a local favorite, cool strip of independent boutiques and restaurants near West Hollywood and also where I used to live.)  The store’s owner Melissa Akkaway also launched her own clothing line last year, Beckley By Melissa, and those pieces are worth ogling online too.  I believe there’s a sale happening as we speak?  Also, look out for spring’s Beetle-Print Party Dress.  It’s on my “MUST HAVE” list.

4. Lastly, it hasn’t come out yet, but this Sunday’s “Image” section will likely include another story by me about a new cool, artsy store opening, helmed by a fabulous and interesting chick.  I can’t say more, but keep your eyes peeled!

xo – N.

A Couple of Firsts: My First Book Event & My First Sighting of SEMI-CHARMED LIFE in Stores!

By Nora Zelevansky / June 28th, 2012

The above left is a picture taken by my sister-in-law K. at my first ever book event this past week (along with a pic of the beautiful Georgetown Cupcakes — fitting because my hubby Drewser is from DC — on hand next to stacks of MY BOOKS)!  And that’s just the beginning of what’s been up, as I’ve gotten closer and closer to the book actually launching on July 3rd!

As you guys know, I’ve never done this whole novel thing before: So far, I know that it takes quite a while and that it’s a lot of hard work.  Now, I am just so grateful and excited to reap the benefits of all that effort (on my part and on the part of my agent and editor etc.)!

First of all, the SEMI-CHARMED LIFE reading, signing & shopping fest (at boutique 143 Ludlow owned by Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller, who I’ve known since my curfew was 11:30pm) was incredibly fun, at least for me.  It was organized in part by Gilt City, who not only created the below beautiful online invitation (which is blurry because I am a technologically challenged, which is code for “a dinosaur”), but also were incredible on the day of the event:

Anyway, I wore this Aryn K. dress that fits like a glove with a new Rag & Bone belt I got for not so much at their recent sample sale (which has changed my wardrobe, but that is really not the point of this post).  The people who attended the book event were beyond lovely, the reading seemed to go smoothly and the signing was probably my favorite part because I got to meet all these interesting and interested people.  And then about 70 of them walked away with my book, taking it out into the world for the first time for the public to actually read.  And that made everything feel amazingly real.

The wine at the party, donated by Suncé out of Sonoma County’s bucolic Russian River area, was not only really good, but they actually surprised me by putting the cover of the book ON the actual bottle labels.  I mean, how amazing is that?  It’s the little things.  And the big thing too (at least when it comes to presents).  I mean you, Drewser!  Aveda, Liz Earle and Stila donated beauty products for the gift bags and that included Stila’s soon to be discontinued (sad!) “Purple Tang” eyeliner that is featured in SEMI-CHARMED LIFE as a prop for marking the main character Beatrice’s way home.

ANYWAY, that was my only preview event.  The book comes out on July 3rd and since that’s a holiday weekend/week (when people will hopefully grab the book as a beach read!), the readings start on July 9th.  I’m traveling all over the country, so definitely do check the “Events” tab on my website for all the info!  Also, join my Facebook Author Page for updates of all kinds on readings, reviews and general book happenings!

So, here I am waiting for the book to show up on July 3rd, when I was surprised to discover my book ALREADY ON SHELVES!!!!!!! at Book Court in Cobble Hill, when I stopped in.  I actually surprised myself, as I literally almost starting crying right there in the store.  (I held it together because I didn’t want to scare the nice staff there.)  I snapped some photos (including the above) and then wandered home impervious to the heat, listening to music on my iPod and feeling … I don’t know … proud of myself.  And that’s a weirdly rare feeling, no?  Too rare, if you ask me.

Anyway, I will stop blathering on now!  More to come, when there’s … well, more to come!

xo – N.

Good News & Bad News & Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / January 10th, 2012

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Okay, so the bad news is that I'm a day late with The Bachelor recap.  Sadly, I was out last night and never got to watch the show.  Booo hisss.  But I'll watch later tonight and then write about it.  Promise.  Crossies don't count.

The GOOD news is that I have a bunch of stories to share, including my first Newsweek/Daily Beast story about "Janupause" or the abstinence from drinking for the month of January.

What else?  I spent much of the last week of December writing stories for elle.com about Kate Somerville's new Dermal Quench Liquid Lift, Dionne Phillips' at home eyelash extension kit, touchscreen gloves (for using your iPod in the cold weather), a new line from Burt's Bees, NYE romance tips from author Harlan Cohen and, mostly recently, a DIY (at home!) gel manicure kit.

I also interviewed a YA novelist and all around cool guy Paul Griffin about his new book, Stay With Me.  He's a dog trainer too, so there's a pit bull integrated into the story line.

That's sorta all for now.  I promise to watch The Bachelor and report back, although the inside scoop from another loyal watcher is that this episode was snoozeville.  Only time will tell!  Anyway, boring Bachelor is still better than most things.  Sad, sad statement.

Oh!  And, based on the advice of the social media person at St. Martin's, I created my own Facebook Author page for my book SEMI-CHARMED LIFE that's coming out in July.  If you "LIKE" it, you can get updates on readings and stuff like that.  Also, if you LIKE it, I will LIKE you.  And what could be better than that?

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (& BEYOND): Shameless Self-Promotion & a New Type of Sushi Roll

By Nora Zelevansky / December 17th, 2011

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This is very exciting for me.  This isn't just some regular old shamless self-promotion.  This is my book … on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles!  And the cover above!  SEMI-CHARMED LIFE actually doesn't come out until this summer when I'll be doing all sorts of readings and such (July!), but it's available for pre-order as of last week.

Also, I learned via a Google Alert yesterday that it's up on Good Reads too!  I have no clue at all how that happens, which is the case for me with most of what goes on in publishing, but I'm totally pysched.  This might seem silly, all these small details, but each public announcement or step makes the whole thing seem a little more real.

Anywaaaay, what else is happening?

Well, during my first month back in NYC (Park Slope to be exact), I've discovered a new ingenius sushi roll invention: The Tempura Sweet Potato Roll.  Yup.  It's become a regular thing for me.  Well, as regular as something can be after 28 days.  Or, actually, more like 21.  Time flies when you're  … unpacking boxes.  Whatever.  The roll is amazing.  What else can I say?

Also, I went without TV for four weeks and then wrote a story about it called "In Defense of The Boob Tube" for Huffington Post's new HuffPost TV section.  If you love TV like I do (and you all know I do), then I think you'll be nodding along with this one.

Some other highlights over the last few weeks?  An interview with my favorite pair of designer sisters from ELKIN on elle.com and a write-up of new antioxidant-rich line of beauty products, Radical Skincare, for Vital Juice.

Otherwise, I've mostly been on the road and all that implies (a.k.a. slightly broken out skin and a few extra fast food pounds).  Oh, and also the freedom of the open road.  That too.

Happy happy holidays to you all!  May the New Year bring you happiness, health, money and YES! a new season of THE BACHELOR.  It's baaaaaaaaack.

xo – N.

THE BEST TIME FOR A BIG UPDATE (& Shameless Self-Promotion)

By Nora Zelevansky / October 24th, 2011

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Well, the rumors are true.  Oh.  Wait.  You haven't heard buzz in the press about my move to NYC?  (And by "press" I mean on my Facebook page.)

The Drewser & I are headed back to the east coast, where an NYC apartment already awaits.

In the meantime, it's been fashion and beauty central online for me, hitting events and launches all over the place.

Also, I'm not sure if I've even mentioned this on PL before, but I have a novel coming out in the spring!  It's a very big deal for me, so I can't even pretend to be cool about it.  The book is called "SEMI-CHARMED LIFE" and I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that from me in the coming months.

That's monopolized a lot of fun time too (in a great way), along with my good old "Fit Like Us" self.com blog (which, considering my lack of exercise lately, should really be called "Fit Like Anyone Else").

Anyway — a few highlights from the last few eons for your reading pleasure (one hopes):

Geren Ford's new multi-purpose space with boutique The Annex, showroom and event area opened this weekend (pictured above).  elle.com

Warren Tricomi Salon's west coast partner Kaz Amor just launched a new haircare line (mostly au natural) called VoCe.  It's all about the Surf Mist. elle.com

Beckley Boutique (on LA's Melrose) owner Melissa Akkaway launches her inaugural clothing line, Beckley By Melissaelle.com

Veuve Clicquot & Rachel Zoe got together for some polo and some charity fundraising at Will Rogers State Park in the Pacific Palisades. Style.com

Dior Launches Scented Nail Polish (like roses!) and a whole new "Garden Party" cosmetic color palette during a luncheon at The Chateau. Style.com

Beauty happenings in LA: Natura Bisse teamed up with The Beverly Wilshire for a spa dinner fit for The Hunger Games' Capital; The Nail Bar opens at The Beverly Wilshire & Rossano Ferretti opens in Beverly Hills. Style.com

Vosges Chocolate lands in Beverly Hills with some exotic takes on chocolate from curried versions to vegan. Daily Candy

Whetherly t-shirt company launches with an ideal cut and color from a sports wear expert.  Daily Candy

That's all for now.

xo – N.

 

NYC (& BEYOND): Jasmine(!) Lip Glaze You Can’t Live Without

By Nora Zelevansky / September 30th, 2011

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Okay, okay, this time I've been so horribly remiss in posting that I can't even apologize.  How many times can I abuse you poor LINTERS and then try to offer you flowers?  (Metaphorically speaking, of course.  I don't actually HAVE any flowers for any of you.)

That said, I got too obsessed with the above Korres Lip Butter Glaze not to spread the good word.  First of all, who the heck ever heard of a "Jasmine" flavored lip glaze?  Yes, please!  (It does come in other tints/scents, but why would you want that?)

Second, two words: LIP BUTTER.  I mean, you know how I feel about body butter, people, and lipgloss.  Just think of the the level of euphoria!  It goes on like silk, it STAYS on like heaven and it smells divine.  AND — in these po' ass times — it only costs $14, so you can buy it without guilt.

Which is good.  Because with guilt comes flowers.  And that's just an added expense.

xo – N.

ITALY VIA LA (AND BEYOND): 2 NEW CREAMS FROM AN 800-YEAR-OLD APOTHECARY

By Nora Zelevansky / September 1st, 2011

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You think you're ancient?  Santa Maria Novella is just OVER 800.  But look how pretty you can look, even when you're old???  Well, maybe only if you're made by monks.

Anyhoo — I'm on vacay, but took a moment out of my busy beach lolling schedule to write up the launch of these two new toning body creams from the Florentine company for elle.com.

They smell insane and look oh so good on your sink.  Sign me up.  I'll have 800.  One for each glorious year.

xo – N.

 

LA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [Biggest Loser/Natural Haircare]

By Nora Zelevansky / May 19th, 2011

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Most of you know me as a die hard Bachelor/Bachelorette fan (starting next week BTW).  What you may not realize is that I'm also obsessed with The Biggest Loser.  Yup.

Well, this week for my SELF blog "Fit Like Us", I test drove special ergonomically designed kettlebells by "BL" trainer Bob Harper.

First of all, I still can't walk and may never master stairs again.  Second of all, don't you just love the above picture, where sweet Bob looks all tough guy?  Third, I now have new found sympathy for the contestants on "The Ranch."

Also, check out this elle.com story about new haircare line Free Your Mane.  It's all natural, but it's actually result-oriented and designed to hydrate.  Magnifique!

Bye, chickadees!

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [Supermodels/Angels]

By Nora Zelevansky / May 13th, 2011

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Rumor has it that "talking to an angel is like trying to catch a falling star.”  Still, I didn’t find the task quite so challenging at the exclusive Victoria’s Secret “Bombshell Summer” kick-off event on Wednesday afternoon.

Standing next to a supermodel?  Now, that’s daunting.  In fact, a picture exists of Miranda Kerr above and me, but I'm hoping it will never see the light of day (for the love of all things good!).

Anyway, I took the self-esteem lumps for Style.com, chatting up the fresh-faced, Balenciaga-clad VS “Angel” (a.k.a. Mrs. Orlando Bloom) between manicures, hand massages and makeovers at LA’s notorious SkyBar.

Read all about it and Victoria's Secret events – that you can attend – all over the country in the next few weeks!

xo – N.