Thursday, October 6, 2011

Absences Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

It's been quite some time since I posted a blog. Between summer activities, family vacation, kids starting school, NY Fashion Week and the Westfield Style Tour with Style For Hire, I've been one busy (absent) blogger! I'm currently working on several pieces, but somehow having a bounty of info to talk about, I've been blocked! Just to whet your appetite, here's a few pics of what I've been up to!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Skin Emergency

I've been mostly makeup free for several weeks now. That's pretty significant. If you were to ask me the two items I could not live without in my beauty routine, I would say mascara and eyeliner...not the heavy black kind, just a soft plum or navy liner to highlight my eyes and make up for my light colored lashes. I wasn't blessed with big, bold eyes so I've felt that they need emphasis.

For most of my makeup wearing decades, I've had no trouble with allergies until a few weeks ago when my eyelids began to itchy, raw and painful. Not fun and definitely not pretty. As I had not purchased any new brands, there was no easy way to determine the culprit. I had bought several new bottles of my reliable products, so no easy fix again. I went through the process of elimination with eyeliner and mascara. (Red dyes are usually the first culprit when developing an eye problem.) It would get better then I'd try a different liner in brownish black or black. Same issue.

After that, I'm thinking it has to be my eye makeup and I'm doomed to having a nude face forever. But the problem didn't completely subside. Could it be my moisturizer? My eye serum? My cleanser? While I don't need heavy moisturizer, I do need a little something. Everything had to go except the cleansing bar by Mary Kay (that had not been replaced) and my Renee Rouleau Sheer Moisture with A,C and E.

I"m of the belief that my makeup remover or cleanser is the culprits. So after a sudden revelation, I thought why not try the age-old, tried and true Pond's Cold Cream? The store was out of the product but they had the cleansing wipes which I've been using for 4 days with no problem. Success! I knew there had to be something inexpensive and fabulous lurking on the shelves of Target!

When If you develop a reaction to makeup, it's incredibly tough to figure out the culprit. A dermatologist will give you a steroid cream to heal the problem, but you can only use it a few days since it shouldn't be used around your eyes. If the problem persists, they will want to do uncomfortable and expensive skin prick testing. These least expensive method is to eliminate everything and start adding one product at a time. Today is the first day I'm testing out eyeliner. Wish me luck!

Here are some products that I truly love. You can tell by the cracked lids and low volume that they are actually mine and well-used.

My quad of Renee Rouleau: Sheer Moisture with Vitamins A,C & E for normal to oily skin. The perfect lightweight mosture. Intensive Firming Serum for skin that is starting to lose it's tone (turkeyneck!) Vitamin C Eye Serum is a great refresher for the eyes and Anti-Cyst Treatment that was amazing for reducing & eliminating a few bumps that had developed on temples.

Origins Spot Remover is absolutely the best for random pimples that pop up now and then.

My saviour. Pond's Cleansing Wipes!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Future Fashion Museum of Dallas?

PHOTO 1: Ms. Dillon studying a model.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by @heididillon of Dallas, Tx to attend an architectural presentation by the students at the University of Kansas. The purpose for them was their final grade. My purpose was to witness their presentations for a Fashion Museum & Institute to be developed in Dallas, Tx.

Heidi is the founder and CEO of the Fashionistas, , artist, teacher and philanthropist. The organization is partnered with Couture Snob, Beauty Snob, Black Lab Creative and many others. The Advisory Board includes Michael Kors, Russell Simmons, Hamish Bowles, Vogue Living, and so many other illustrious names to mention. Of course Dallas, is the birthplace of ultra-luxury department store, Neiman Marcus. And if you've shopped in Dallas at the Galleria, NorthPark and Highland Park Village, you'll realize how strength of the fashion element.

It has been a dream and passion of Ms. Dillon's to develop a Fashion Museum. I have to admit I was blown away by the creativity and detail these students displayed. The project included a small model to placed in a full-site model, a cross-section model of some of the construction detail, graphic plans, etc. WOW! Amazing.

The event started off fantastic as one of the students displayed awesome style! The shoes blew me away. I was immediately biased towards her ideas!! :) It was an total PR hit to play to her audience.

PHOTO 2: Love the shoes!

It was a full day of presentations for Miss Dillon. I only attended the afternoon, so I'd be remiss to choose a favorite, but there were many great features and thoughtful ideas. Runways that could be split down the middle for simultaneous displays or alongside exterior windows so that the public could view, wrapping buildings in fabric effects, opaque walls for the public to get a hint at the events happening inside. Fabulous ideas and an amazing job by the University of Kansas students! I sincerely hope the Museum becomes a reality someday!

PHOTO 3: Presentation

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Happy Lena Erziak Owner

Happy Lenza Erziak Bag Winner and Boutique Owner: Ann O'Bryan

I have been involved with the charity event: Couture for Cancer supporting the American Cancer Society for five years. I've been the chair a few times, co-chair, as well as responsible for runway shows and procurement. Needless to say, I spend a great deal of time working on this important event. One of my greatest pleasures is talking with designers about their bags and excitedly opening their packages to see what unique treasure they have graciously sent to our event. One of these designers is Lena Erziak who has sent a stunning bag to us for the past two events. This season, we were fortunate to receive the Leopard ponyhair John bag.

On the runway, we paired it with a striking Shoshanna black dress that said classic sophistication. Purrfect for the Executive or Ladies Who Lunch look. This versatile bag easily goes with our winning bidders trendy/casualdenim and black look too!

Ann O'Bryan has been a long time supporter of the event by donating from her women's fashionable / trendy clothing store Boutque Ten47, providing models and bidding liberally on items in our auction. She is the happy owner of Hayden Harnett, Be and D and now Lena Erziak as a result. Ann's style if fashion forward and she really loves big and bold accessories. The John bag absolutely fits with her style. She loves it's easy shape, gold chains and stunning leopard print. But her favorite features is the over-sized black leather tassle featured on the bag. It makes her feel "sassy"! She also doesn't mind the non-stop compliments she receives on the bag.

It's great to see so many benefit from the event, from winners, donors and of course, the cancer patients and family members that benefit from the services provided by the American Cancer Society!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Fun with Tory Burch

There is something about a big straw bag that says Summer. This example by Tory Burch not only screams Summer, but it also says chic too! I'm loving the bold graphic design printed on the bag. The shape is more modern and the leather finishing details add a perfect pop of sophistication. It's big size will allow you to carry everything you need for the beach. I love it because it's the perfect prop to hide behind if your not feeling so confident in your beach attire!

Step into one of Tory Burch's boutiques and you'll be transported away by details. Although usually small in floor space, they are big on details. Everywhere you look, the space is beautifully designed and utilized. Take a look at the little glass vase full of darling leather bracelets perfect for an impulse buy for you or a special friend!

Who wears Tory Burch? The beauty of the brand is it's versatility. Whether you are a Socialite or Soccer Mom with a Kick, you can find something special to highlight your own personal style!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I found this striking Prada knit strapless sheath at Jeffrey in NYC on a recent trip. I love the play of light blue stripes against the darker blue body. The stripes are placed perfectly to create a waist that appears smaller. Typically, I shy away from stripes because they create width, but this is an example of how you can use stripes to help create that hourglass shape. The only drawback? It's strapless. And unless you are extra perky, I don't recommend wearing this with more than a C cup. But, one can dream! This dress is definitely a Pra-DO for most!

You can create this look by adding a constrasting belt to a darker colored sheath dress.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On my recent trip to New York, I did not get to do as much shopping as I would have liked. How on earth, I could have become so busy that I couldn't indulge in my favorite past time of shopping for handbags I can't imaging, but I did manage to see a few incredible ones!

Loewe is fast become a hot label in the U.S. When I stopped into Jeffrey in the Meatpacking District, I found a large selection of Loewe handbags. These Spanish beauties come in several different shapes and sizes. I love their classic styling with fashion forward vivid colors!

I love this turquoise shade for spring and summer. Since turquoise is a univesally flattering color, any woman can carry this bag! Keep an eye out for more stores to begin carrying this brand. It's one to watch!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Modern Goddess

Clean modern silhouettes keep catching my attention like the Michael Kors Fitted Tee, and Belted Sarong combo in white. The camel belt is the perfect accent. Pairing with camel espadrilles and bag will create a head turner. Sophisticated, easy and fresh. Quite possibly perfection.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Can I Walk In Those Heels?

As heel heights climb higher and higher, you have to wonder how we'll be able to manage walking in them. And with price points upwards of $2k and more, shouldn't we expect a little comfort, relatively speaking? If I can't wear it, then no one can see their beauty.

All eyes will be on the Oscars today and what the nominees will be wearing. Shoe cams will be available to record it all. According to Stuart Weitzman, many of the celebrities will be wearing shoes with a heel height up to 7". "The red carpet is a 200-meter walk. Sure, they’re on it for longer than the three minutes that it would take to walk 300 meters. But they’re in their seats the rest of the evening." Obviously, these women are not worried about wearing their incredibly towering high heels for a lengthy stroll. And once they've worn it to the Oscars, it's doubtful they are worried about wearing those works of art again.

But what about the rest of us? Do you gaze longingly at your computer screen at an amazing pair of heels and wonder if you'll be able to wear it for a day or even a cocktail party? And if you aren't a ballerina who spent plenty of time in pointe shoes, this is a real concern. For those who are not in a major city like New York, we often rely on what we see on the screen. As I've tried to do recently, reviews tend not to discuss the comfort level or wearability of the heel, but rather the style details and whether or not it's Glam or Sham.

I'm a realist, I'm not expecting the comfort level of a Bjorn in my high heels. When I say "comfy", I'm referring to tolerance. I do expect that I need to be able to tolerate being able to stand for 3 hours at an event or walking a few blocks if it's day time. Additionally, my years in sports activities took their toll and my ankle and only can bend so far.

Personally, I find flats uncomfortable. Too many years of heels have most likely shortened my achilles. The most comfortable shoe height based on my experience and what I read once upon a time is between 2" and 3". But let's face it, we love extra height and I for one need to make my legs as long as I possibly can!

I learned a long time ago that the materials play a large role in comfort level. Less expensive shoes utilize man made plastic soles or fake leather that offer no absorption of impact. Leather soles are a must. Rubber, cork and wood offer a better choice than mad-made plastic as well. The material of the upper is relevant in your comfort choice too. The cut of the upper matters. For instance, if the back of the heel cuts in too far, it can irritate your achilles and cause rubbing leading to blisters. Shoes shouldn't be too loose or too tight.

The most important issue I see related to today's towering heights is the pitch of the shoe bed. This is the steepness of the angle your foot must accommodate. Or more simply put, the height difference between the heel and the foot bed.

The stunning Casedei heel pictured above features a 5.9" heel and 1.6" platform. That leaves a 4.3" height difference. That is on the tall end of the spectrum and I would personally question whether I could wear it for any length of the time. The pluses to this shoe that might make it tolerable is the thick heel which enables the wearer to put some weight on their heel rather than an ultra-thin stiletto. The thick platform offers more stability as well. Therefore, I might take a risk on this one. It's simply gorgeous and one of the most striking shoes of the season.

Are there brands that you find more comfortable than others? In my closet, I go to my Tod's 5" boots with 1" platform constantly. I can wear them all day and then some. Unfortunately, Tod's doesn't make a lot of heels. My Prada shoes have served me well as have the Manolo Blahnik's I purchased. Sadly, my first pair of Louboutin's could not be tolerated more than a walk across the room and had to go. Bye, bye $800. So sad. Hubby bought them for me on our first trip to NYC together.

My advice is to take the opportunity when you travel is to try on as many of the brands you crave as possible. Test varying heel heights to find your comfort range. A good tip is to take a pocket tape measure so you can get accurate information. Use that experience as a guideline when you shop online. It's also good to make sure the site has a good return policy. You are spending a great deal of money on beautiful shoes, it's worth the time investment to do your research.

Follow my blog for future comfort reviews!

Monday, February 21, 2011


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Fashion Nautilus?

What's in a Name?

The biggest delay and mistake anyone in marketing can make is wasting a lot of time trying to craft a clever name for their product. I know this! I've seen people do it time after time. Guess what? I did it too. I've struggled for some time now trying to craft a cute and clever name just so I can reach out to you and talk about my favorite topic. Fashion, style and more fashion.

I've certainly been busy on Twitter @KMarney66 and write for but for some time I've wanted to do more. I want to reach out and provide help to women (who want it) to be their better self! I'm a little different from other fashion bloggers in that I'm a model type (5'3"), I'm from the Midwest (though most people here think otherwise) and I'm not as young as most bloggers I see.

I work with women to build their wardrobes in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and on up. Each group has their own issues that I help them with. I understand that not every woman looks great or should wear something that is runway worthy. For me, it's about finding the right style for each woman and her body type and life style. So, how on earth did I get to Fashion Nautilus?

Pure desperation. As I researched, all the worthwhile and clever names seem taken. Yes, Please! and More, Please! were my favorites but already in use by more than one blog. Red Velvet simply because I love it, it's rich and creamy and more complex than simple chocolate cake. Some names were too generic and didn't say enough. So, I thought about about my second great love (other than family) and it's the ocean. For years, my business was Bluewater Research. I named it that simply because I love that intense blue that you can find in the Gulf Stream. The Nautilus is my favorite shell and I love how you have this intensely beautiful inside and a circular path to get to the inside, the core of the shell. If I think about it, that's what I do to help my clients find their beauty, you have to explore layer by layer to get to the heart of what she really wants to be.

I haven't posted Fashion Nautilus as my name at this point. It sounds a little too austere, like I'm some kind of all-seeing, all-knowing fashion being. After all, there can only be one of those and her name is Anna.

So, this is a work in progress. Follow me as I evolve and develop an appropriate identity and hopefully help you a little bit to be your better self!