The Fashion Magpie Dawn in Manhattan

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 101: The One on My Favorite Part of the Day.

My Latest Snag: Belif True Cream.

I have been using La Mer face cream since my accident and I swear it is THE BEST moisturizer on the market. It is the only product that actually changes the quality of my skin while I use it — my skin feels more elastic, youthful, and hydrated. Overall, I just look healthier. However, it is very spendy. And during this dry, cold time of year, I find myself applying face cream at least two or three times a day — once in the morning, once when touching up in the afternoon, and once before bed/after the shower. It feels borderline unseemly to use that much La Mer in a given day. (“OK, up and at ’em, time to spend $5 rubbing this cream into my face.”) I decided to supplement with a less expensive, super-hydrating face cream and had been hearing good things about the “moisturizing bomb” from Korean skincare line Belif (over 3,000 4.5 star reviews?) I’m pleased with the results so far — it glides on like a gel and delivers serious hydration. Excited to use this in tandem with my miracle-working La Mer.

Next on my skincare inquiry list: are there any self-tanners that people actually like? I hate the smell of self-tanner so much that I’d rather look translucent and sickly than use it, but am curious if the art has evolved any since I last looked into this circa 2010, when I would occasionally get full-body spray tans for big events. (Have since dropped that indulgence like a bad habit — the smell! AHHH!) I am especially intrigued by “drops” like these that can be mixed in with your daily moisturizer to yield a gradual glow. Do tell!

You’re Sooooo Popular: Stylish Everyday China.

+Absolutely love this timeless everyday pattern for china.

+A great option for a reasonably priced non-diaper-bag-diaper-bag. Or gym bag. Or travel bag.

+My dream jeans. (Maternity jeans be damned!)

+Had lots of Magpies write in to endorse this hair product.

+A perennial favorite for infinite uses across infinite home decor styles.

+Who knew drying your dishes could be stylish?

+My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE lipstick. I am so excited to have discovered this product — it is semi-sheer, so easy to apply sans mirror, and it applies just the right amount of pigment for that “bitten/flushed” lip look.

+My new favorite tinted moisturizer. THIS STUFF WORKS. It is thicker/offers more coverage than Laura Mercier’s classic and a little goes a long way. I love the way it sits on my skin!

+My favorite maternity tee.

#Turbothot: What Is Your Favorite Time of Day?

I have long loved mornings, especially early mornings, before anyone else is awake. On the now-rare occasion that I am willing to cede an extra hour of sleep to productivity, it feels like stolen time: an extra hour I’ve earned to do with as I wish, a sequestered parcel of sacred solitude to read, or write, or lay in bed and think. Words come easily in the morning (especially ones of rich emotional timbre, like the ones captured in this aubade) and often I find myself scrambling to find a pen or flip open my laptop to capture the spillage before it evaporates into the repetitive but not altogether unpleasant morning menage: pour bottle, change diaper, tidy crib, open blinds, turn on hot water kettle, flip on news, make bed, prepare breakfast, and so forth.

There’s an unearned kind of virtuousness to activity at an early hour. “What have you been doing? Sleeping? Oh, I’ve been working.” And I don’t mind admitting that this fleeting sense of superiority contributes to the overall elevation of the dawn hour in my book. But beyond that superfice, I am always at my creative best in the morning: fresh-minded, optimistic, blissfully free of the consternations that occasionally plague me in the evenings, when I tend toward fretfulness. I like the feel of dawn, too, when the world appears quiet and exposed, sleepily opening itself up to the day, before it has assumed its more characteristic elbows-out posture. The streets are spottily populated, the park void of tourists, and I observe an unlikely kind of peace in the streets of Manhattan. There is nothing but the pile of trash bags on the curb of 63rd street to remind me of the throngs of fellow city-dwellers in such close proximity to me and my thoughts. Sunrise is uncommonly hopeful in New York City in particular, I think. As an epicenter of business and culture, I always feel close to the precipice of greatness here in the mornings. Someone is going to do something unbelievable and important not far from me today.

The sky is streaked with hopefulness, too: everything in ascent, coated in bleary and romantic pastel that will eventually give way to the strident blue of midday.

Even bad days start well.

I read an interesting little book on the daily rituals of celebrated artists, entrepreneurs, and geniuses a few years ago — incidentally, a great gift for creative types. Aside from making great #shelfie material, it offered interesting insight into the habits of the artistic set, and I was struck by how many of them, despite battling horrible addictions and mental illnesses, clung to an ascetic kind of schedule when it came to producing. So many of them rose early to paint or write or think, unencumbered and quiet, in their own studios. I aspire one day to develop the discipline to regularly rise early and write, as I have found a personal Mount Helicon at the hour of six a.m. In my graduate school days, I would wake early and read and write until 10 a.m. on an empty stomach and never have I been more lucid. But parenthood has made such personal devotions jarringly difficult to come by: I need the sleep.

So in the meantime, I’ll cherish those rare mornings of wakefulness at six a.m. and the meaningful output they yield, and will continue to romanticize that dawn hour.

What is your favorite time of day?

#Shopaholic: Throw-N-Go Dress.

+This is such an easy dress for a trip to the beach — pair with Birks (gonna pull the trigger this week) and a big straw tote and throw on over a swimsuit and head out for the day.

+If Birks aren’t your thang, try this slightly more feminine style.

+I want to try all of these new rose scents from Diptyque!

+Only one of these left, on super sale, and it is gooooood.

+I’m into the scrunchie. Are you? Here’s a solid one.

+LOVE this little sweater. Looks so old school!

+A chic everyday jacket for the early spring thaw.

+Very into Ulla J. right now — love this floral print jumpsuit!

+Finally ordered a pair of these after featuring them about 34 times. Stay tuned for full review!

+If you’re an #extra mom and do things like inflate balloons for holidays, these are super cute.

+One of my favorite books of all time has a fantastic new cover. Would look beautiful at the top of your tsundoku.

Shop Le Post.

22 Comments

  1. Dying to know what your new favorite tinted moisturizer is.. the link didn’t work for me 🙂 I keep hearing things about the LM one too, but haven’t pulled the trigger!

  2. Dying to know your favorite tinted moisturizer — the link won’t work for me! I am on the market and keep hearing about the LM one but haven’t pulled the trigger. Thank you!!

  3. I’m sorry about your accident. That sounds rough. I hope you’ve been healing alright.

    My favourite time of the day is early evening. I’m home for the day and ready to take in some TV, read, or surf the net.

    1. Thanks, Iris! I am 🙂 Early evening is another golden time. Love the feeling of winding down after a day 🙂 xo

  4. I feel like everyone I know is absolutely raving about these tanning drops https://www.sephora.com/product/self-tanning-drops-P431180?icid2=products%20grid:p431180:product&skuId=2078335 I’m anxiously waiting for the restock!!

    Also- total morning person. Although once I read a meme (sorry…….I’m rolling my eyes at myself too) that said “A dad’s favorite part of vacation is acting like he’s better than everyone else because he woke up the earliest.” LOL! Totally my dad. Silly but it did make me think that there’s nothing necessarily heroic about waking up early (I am guilty of boastfully heralding my natural earlybird tendencies- ‘oh, want to know much I got done before you even woke up?!’) Now I try to think of it as a secret little gift I give to myself. It’s my time and I keep it to myself. I don’t want to become my father after all hehe

    Happy weekending!

    1. Thanks for the tip! Had not heard of those before!! Will keep my eyes peeled, too.

      Love how you phrased your thoughts on keeping the early morning just for you — “a secret little gift to myself.” 🙂 Beautiful!

  5. Conversely, can good days start bad? I tend to jump on the “bad day train” and let it barrel through the day if it makes a stop in the morning via a grumpy child or disorganized routine. Perhaps I need to not frame my entire day “bad” or “good” based upon one event?

    1. Hi! Oof, I know what you mean. If I get into that “nothing’s going right” headspace, it can be hard to dig my way back out. I agree that it’s probably best to avoid categorizing days one way or the other but sometimes it can’t be helped…xo

    2. I have a favorite quote that’s a bit crude but perfect for this comment so I thought I would share.

      “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.”

  6. Yes, “hopeful” and “optimistic” are exactly how I’d describe early mornings! I love it when the baby sleeps in and I can prep both of our breakfasts and sit down and eat mine in solitude. I’ve come to have an appreciation for evenings too, lately, as it feels like one big sigh of relief when I finally sit down after dinner and baby bedtime.

    Re: mornings tho…it is a pet peeve of mine that tv (commercials mostly, but also shows) portray morning with sunshine pouring through the windows. As someone who used to get up at 5:30 for work, and now gets up not much later for baby, I find this highly unrealistic! Even on midwestern June mornings, it is juuuust barely light when I get up and start the coffee. This time of year – forget it! I also laugh at articles about morning routines that suggest throwing open the curtains “to let the light in” as soon as you wake up to help keep you from falling back asleep. Ha – eye roll. This makes me sound super bitter about being an early riser, which is not really true…just easily annoyed I guess 😉 And longing for daylight savings so I can spring forward!

    1. Ha! That’s such a funny observation — but I totally get where it’s coming from. You’re like, “Hey! Wait a minute! I do that every day and it is NOT like that and it is also NOT always joyous.” I have felt that way — in a totally different realm — when it comes to the presentation of children and parenting in certain TV shows. I find myself (irritatingly) demanding, “Where are the kids in this scene? With some undisclosed nanny? A grandparent?” I can’t help myself! Even when I know it’s not germane to the plot at all, I’m like, “BUT TELL ME WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE.” Haha! So, I get it. I think it’s a reflection of where we are in life and our priorities. While down in DC without mini this past weekend, I was chatting with my parents and at least twice I almost hushed them to say: “Wait, I think I heard my daughter on the monitor!” Only…my daughter was in New York, and there was no monitor. We’re just hard-wired to notice (or think we notice) these things at this lifestage!

      xx

    2. I really like Marvelous Mrs. Maisel but cannot get past her children’s constant absence! Just like you I’m always wondering where they are and who is taking care of them.

    3. I know — right! It’s such an “oversight” that it feels intentional / as though they’re making a point about parenting back then and how wildly different it is from today’s standards. But it still drives me crazy! xo

  7. That Belif cream is intriguing! My skin is more oily than dry, so I haven’t really taken a dive into the world of rich moisturizers, but this one is on my list to test.

    Re: self-tanners: I am suuuper pale and have never really cottoned to self-tanning because of (1) the smell (ugh!) and (2) I’m afraid it’ll look unnatural on my alabaster skin. HOWEVER. My sister gave me Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops as part of my Christmas gift, and I LOVE. I mix a half-pump with my moisturizer and it gives me juuuust enough glow. I find that I have to use it sparingly as a pale person — my sister warned me not to use it on its own as it’s super pigmented —but I really like the effect it gives!

    I’m with you on the love of early mornings. I, too, prize my sleep (though I am spoiled, as I’m not contending with young kids and I realize that it’s a totally different ball game) — but there’s nothing like a productive early-morning writing session! It’s my favorite time of day by far and when I do find it in me to get up before/around dawn, I never regret having the chance to get a jump-start on the day.

    That Ulla jumpsuit is the stuff of dreeeeams!

    P.S. I arrived in NYC yesterday and have spotted my first Orolay coat. Hahaha! Pulling the trigger on it this week, I think 🙂

    1. Belif is sort of a hybrid product — it’s super moisturizing but it glides on like a lightweight gel, so it doesn’t have that thick emollience of a lot of other “heavy moisturizers.” It might work for your skin, too!

      Thanks for the Drunk Elephant tip!! Between Clarins and Isle of Paradise (mentioned in another reader’s comment), I have got to do some homework, or maybe I’ll swing by Sephora and ask for samples of a few to test…

      xxx

  8. Love Clarins drops. It is the only self tanning product that gives me a natural looking sun kissed glow. I mix it with my moisturizer to apply. I’m a big fan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *