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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.

 

What’s The (Fashion) Story? “Sisterhoods of Style” in The LA Times

By Nora Zelevansky / August 12th, 2012

Meet the Smith sisters, the impossibly cool kats behind the clothing line you’re about to start hearing about constantly and seeing everywhere nonstop, Elkin.  Don’t they look like dolls here or some inexplicably updated Renaissance painting?  You might recognize their stuff from the recent cover of New York Magazine, featuring the cast of GIRLS largely dressed up in Elkin frocks.

This duo is just one of the sister designer teams—also including the Malakpour sisters behind coveted accessory line NewbarK and the Thornhill sisters-in-law behind drool-worthy new jewelry line Liv Haley—I wrote about for yesterday’s SISTERHOODS OF STYLE story in the Los Angeles Times “Image” section.

My editor gave me a heads up late last week that the story would be getting the cover, which is always amazing news, but I still get excited for the reveal of what it looks like; it’s a surprise.  I think it ended up looking beautiful!  Also, with all the book craziness lately, it’s kinda nice to focus on journalism for a sec!

Anyway, I may be in Brooklyn right now, but in spirit I’m still in LA too … only with a smaller apartment, better bagels and less Earth Bar nearby.

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.

SEMI-CHARMED LIFE (AND BEYOND): The Best (and, Okay, Only) First Review

By Nora Zelevansky / May 9th, 2012

 

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Here ye!  Here ye!  (Or whatever.)  Yesterday I opened what I thought was a run-of-the-mill Google Alert and found the first review of my book, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE (coming to a store near you or on the World Wide Web on July 3rd, 2012, but available for pre-order now) in Publisher's Weekly!

Throughout my years as a freelance writer, I've certainly heard the (sometimes not so censored, forgiving or sane) complaints of Internet audiences.  As many of us have experienced in different capacities even when simply reading the "Comments" section of an online article, constructive criticism notwithstanding, people are in a word, brutal.

But this is the first time that I have merited a formal review.  (I totally got snubbed when I played Morgan le Fay in that 5th grade production of King Arthur, but that's another story.)

Anyway, when I read this very first book review I was essentially vibrating with anticipation and I cannot tell you how happy and high I was that it was not downright mean.  Who knows what I imagined, but all I can tell you is that I am very appreciative of this response to the book, which feels fair and direct.  Not at all below the belt.

So, I guess, danka.  A million times, Danka.  And now I must say adieu.  Or as Morgan le Fay would say, "I bid thee goodnight!"  And then she'd cackle.  You know she would.

Okay.  I have officially lost it.

xo – N.

PS Did I mention that THE BACHELORETTE is starting?????  I mean, SIGN.ME.UP.

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.

NYC (& BEYOND): The Best Things To Pine Over As 2011 Comes To a Close

By Nora Zelevansky / December 27th, 2011

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I know that right now I should be waxing poetic about a holiday season in the city.  And, since I relocated back to NYC about a month ago, I have been romanced by the crisp weather, the smell of pine wafting from Christmas trees for sale in bushels on the sidewalk, meandering walks with hot apple cider through Prospect Park and a close proximity to Bergen Bagels.  But here's what I'm really obsessed with: boots!

What??  You can take the girl out of LA or NY, but you can't take LA, NYC and 30+ years of fashion grooming out of the girl!

Here are the boots I want badly right now and yet may have to forgo in exchange for … a couch:

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These Isabel Marant Dicker Boots (above!) are AMAZING and the taller version is beautiful too.  My pal Z. says they're comfy too.  So comfy I could slip them off her feet and steal them maybe?  I wonder.  But she's kind of quick.

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These Rag & Bone Newbury mofos are must-have (only for me they're S.O.L.) and I know they'll still be perfect come springtime.  And there are even versions on sale right now.  Boo hoo.  Where is Santa when you need him and you're a JEW?  I could steal them off the tootsies of my friend C.C.R., but we don't wear the same size.

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But, hey.  I'm an artist (ahem), right?  My suffering sans these boots is only fodder for my deeply introspective writing about … more boots.  And beauty products.

Still, I can at least drown my sorrows in vegan brownies from 'sNice nearby and the adorable monogrammed Lucky Bee cards by sent to me (sweetly) by one of my editors for the holidays, pictured above.  You know how you're supposed to write letters to people you're upset with and then never send them?  Maybe I should use my new cards to write notes to the boots about how I feel abandoned.

Dear boots. How could you?  Sigh.

Anyhoo, happy holidays!  May you get all the boots (and love and other truly good stuff!) that your heart desires.  And may you then send them to me.

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.

 

EVERYWHERE: THE BEST SALE!!!!

By Nora Zelevansky / June 30th, 2011

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Since I'm a HUGE Vince fan and I recommended the Natalie bathing suit from Anthropologie and it was (gasp!) all sold out (boo hissssss!), I needed to tell you guys about this HUGE Vince summer sale for BOYS and GIRLS that's happening.

It's crazy!  You can get this leather jacket for $300-ish instead of $800-ish:

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Shut up.  Shut up.

xo – N.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF TUESDAY [THE BEST BATHING SUIT]

By Nora Zelevansky / June 28th, 2011

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Okay, I'm truly sorry not to be posting a Bachelorette recap today, but I'm off on a trip – first to San Diego and then to Vancouver and Victoria – and will be watching it late.

I'll report back on all that when I return, BUT, in the meantime, I thought I at least owed you some kind of nugget.  Above, behold the Natalie One-Piece from Anthropologie, which I KID YOU NOT is the best fitting, most flattering bathing suit that I have ever encountered in my entire life.

Seriously.

It comes in multiple colors (I have the polkadots!) and it's all old Hollywood and stuff, but best of all, it seems to be on sale right now.  I feel like I should buy 10 to wear over the next decade.  That's how good this thing looks on.

I'm sure you'll get on swimmingly! (Couldn't resist.)

xo – N.