J. Mendel, a five-generation French atelier has evolved into a global luxury fashion house. Continuing in the couture tradition and fur savoir-faire of his ancestors, designer Gilles Mendel is known for combining the highest quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship with a modern, award-winning design sensibility. Based in New York since the 1980s, J. Mendel’s signature luxe-femininity and effortless elegance has become a red-carpet favorite among international royalty and Hollywood stars alike.
In a world where luxury seems to be going away, Neiman Marcus is one of the few companies that still does luxury right – especially with brands like J. Mendel. Blending together great sales and high-end fashion, shopping at Neiman Marcus, even if it is just online, is an experience. You’ll have access to some of the highest end designers and with J. Mendel, there is nowhere else you’ll want to shop. Even better, you’ll find something for everyone – from a teenager to your mom to a newborn baby. They have one of the widest selections on the internet for J. Mendel and other well-known names. Of course, you can also expect some surprises.
Most importantly, Neiman Marcus sometimes gets exclusives from J. Mendel where you can’t find the item anywhere but either in a Neiman Marcus or online. You have to be quick, however.
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Nothing quite beats a drop-dead-sexy pair of stilettos, not only in terms of what they can do for an outfit, but also what they can do for your confidence! But, if you’ve ever tried to walk in a pair for any length of time, you also know they can be equal parts beauty and medieval torture device. The good news is, there are a few simple things you can do to make any high heels more comfortable.
- Gel insoles – Yes, those little gel inserts you’ve used in flats, boots, maybe even in sneakers can work wonders in a pair of heels. You can either cut down and shape an ordinary insert, or find those made especially for high heels. There full-shoe inserts, those made only for the heel area, or those made for the toe area, depending on where you feel the most pressure when you walk. If your shoes allow for that extra bit of room to add a comfy gel insert, do it!
- Opt for heels with straps or ties – It seems a small thing, but even well-fitting stilettos can annoy you with a bit of slip in the heel area, causing you to drag your feet while walking just to keep them on. And that on-and-off friction can also lead to blisters and chafing. Straps or ties help the heels to not only stay on, but are adjustable to add to your comfort throughout the day.
- Stretch ‘em – Even if you bought them in your correct size, even if they are of the highest quality, some heels just need to be stretched out a bit. There are wooden forms you can insert into them yourself, turning a dial to spread the form, which then stretches your shoe over a short period of time. You can also take them to a cobbler (yes, there are such people in your area), who can stretch them out for you.
- Tape ‘em – Okay…this is going to sound a bit odd…but it is said to work wonders. Tape your 3rd and 4th toes together (counting from your big toe). There is a nerve that runs the length of the leg and ends there, which can contribute to foot pain if it’s pinched in shoes. By taping those toes together, it alleviates the stress on the nerve.
- Shoe shop at the end of the day – As you walk through the day, your feel swell. That’s a fact. If you shoe shop at the beginning of the day, your feet are obviously not as “big” as they are going to get. Any shoe you buy, even if it’s in your correct size, will not feel or fit as they will after walking all day.
- Pick a shape that’s easier – No, this doesn’t mean you have to give up stilettos. However, you might find that platform stilettos will feel loads better on your feet. It’s a bonus that the platform pump is hugely popular now, and will no doubt be so for many years to come (some classics just never go out of style). Platforms cut down on the angle and pressure coming down on the ball of your feet, while still managing to give you height. A slightly rounder toe, or a toe that ends in a longer point, will also give you some wiggle room…literally…which will add to your comfort.
As women, we like choices (we pretty much demand them). And in terms of makeup choices, there are literally thousands of makeup products on the market. One of the most popular today is cream eyeshadow. I’m sure you’re more than familiar with its predecessor, powder eyeshadow, and cream shadow is not meant as a replacement for it. But they are obviously very different formulations, and best suited for different individuals and occasions. So what is it and how is it different?
Not only is cream shadow obviously a different formulation from powder eye shadow, it is more versatile. Cream shadow can actually sometimes double as a shadow base or lid primer, as long as you check the label (it will specify use as a base). This is perfect, especially if you are attempting makeup for hooded eyes. Since the hooded eye has a slight overlap of skin onto the lid, ordinary powder shadow and regular kohl liner can often be rubbed off within a matter of minutes after applying. Talk about frustrating! The best way to utilize cream shadow as a base is to pick a color complimentary to the powder shade you will be using. For instance, if you’re going for a simple smokey eye in browns, start with a shimmery taupe cream eye shadow (some excellent picks would be Clinique Touch Base for Eyes in Uplighting, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 15 Taupe, and Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe. But if you really want to pop your eyeshadow color, choose a white cream base for the lid. Any color will look bold and vibrant over that.
Cream shadows also come in very matte colors that mimic various skin tones (such as Laura Mercier Eye Canvas, Lancome Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base, and L’Oreal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer). Such creams are mainly used as eyelid “primers,” which act to smooth out the eye area, and provide an even canvas on which to create your eye makeup masterpiece. These matte skin tone finishes can be used to anchor any color powder eyeshadow to make the powder shadow “read true,” as opposed to the bolder or vibrant examples with colored primer bases above.
Cream eye shadow in a darker color can also be used alone to create wonderful smokey eye looks. They are easy to blend, easy to drag down under the lower lash line, and easy to smudge, for the ultimate in smoked-out sexiness. And as long as the formulation is long-wear, your smoky eye should last all night!
Powder eye shadow, on the other hand, is like a comfy pair of jeans. The ones you could never do without. You know just how they will fit, and just how to work them. You also know their limitations. Matte, shimmer, glitter, holographic, baked, loose, and pigment…powder eye shadow has come a long way, in the past 10 years alone. But basically, it is what it is. You know how you can use it, and you also know how long it usually lasts on your lids (All through the work day? What about a humid summer afternoon? A party night of dancing?). So yes, powder shadow, when worn alone, does have its limits. But one thing powder shadow can do is double as some of the best brow powder around! MAC shadows, in particular, have dozens of suitable “brow shades” of eye shadow (such as MAC Charcoal Brown, MAC Omega, and MAC Brun).
Basically, what you’ll find is that it’s impossible to say that one is better than the other when comparing powder to cream eye shadow. They are both amazing and useful in their own ways. And when used together…they create an unstoppable, unyielding, undeniable eye makeup tour de force! In the end, you’re the one who wins, since you get to use them both!
It’s finally Fall. Time for layering and bundling up, and that includes your head! Not only are hats a practical way to keep warm (they prevent heat from leaving your body through the top of your head), but they are one of the most effortless ways to add flair to your outfit. But, in case your chapeau-topped ensemble isn’t quite working, there are some tips that can take it from drab to fab in no time.
- Think Seasonal – First and foremost, Fall and Winter hats should be wool, cloth, or felt-type material. Save the straw hats for Spring and Summer, since the open weave of those materials can allow heat to escape your head.
- Find the Fit – Hats come in so many sizes and fits, it can literally make your head spin. Just because a hat looks cute, doesn’t mean that it will fit your head properly. Make sure when choosing a hat that you can actually try it on…that means if you’re buying online, you need to either A) make sure the sizes are listed and you know your hat size, or B) you are buying from a site you are familiar with, and you are familiar with their sizing. If it’s too big, it will do nothing but slide down into your eyes, or blow off in a gust of wind. If it’s too tight…well…it will just look plain silly.
- Consider Hair Length – Wearing a hat can change the whole look of your face, especially when taking into account your hair length. You will often find that close-fitting hats with less material compliment shorter hair, while larger, wide-brimmed hats look great on longer-length hair… but as with most things, you’ve got to experiment to see what works.
- Consider Hair Style – If your hair is long enough to style, you have more options than long-and-loose. You can opt for a messy low bun at the back or side, or a loose braid, also at the back or side. Again, get in there and experiment!
- Consider Your Outfit – Sometimes a hat can clash with what you’re wearing, so it’s important to take into consideration the style of your outfit. A loose beret or knit hat looks sharp with a body con shirt and skinny jeans or trousers. Boho styles are really complimented by floppy, wide-brimmed hats. And something sleek and tailored would be well suited to a close-fitting cloche style.
- Color – Since it is Fall, with Winter on the way, you might as well try to embrace and incorporate some of the colors of the season. Yes, black is a classic, as is grey, and they can usually go with anything, but be bold and look for berries, rust colored, and dusky-hued varieties.
- Give it Your Style – As with so many points above, it all comes down to experimentation. If you feel like adding a brooch or feather to a hat…do it. Make it yours. You will ultimately (hopefully) own whatever look you rock, so rock it with confidence!