Links à la Mode


What Makes You Beautiful?

They say “Beauty comes from within,” but then, why are we constantly trying to perfect our outsides? Beauty issues have been making waves on the internet the past few weeks. What makes us beautiful? What is beautiful? Well, those are some pretty heavy questions and perhaps the answer cliche as it is, you know, coming from within… That “within” also encompasses self-care and self love. This week we have some wonderful beauty posts, along with posts that share the love.


Links à la Mode: April 17th

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jennineLinks à la Mode

Motherhood…World’s Toughest Job?

Viral video hits the internet. 24 people apply for the “World’s Toughest Job” and had their minds blown. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. The interviewer asks the candidates questions revealing the job’s requirements…

List via AdWeek

  • Standing up almost all the time
  • Constantly exerting yourself
  • Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
  • No vacations
  • The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
  • No time to sleep
  • Salary = $0

Now, the candidates were confused, thought the requirements were “cruel,” a “sick twisted joke,” and possibly illegal, but when they found out that billions of people have this “job,” they were overcome with gratitude.

Because the “job” description is that of a mom.

The viral video, made to sell Mother’s Day cards, missed the mark on what sacrifices women make when they become mothers. For instance, the damage to a career from leaving the workforce, how mothers earn even less money than childless women for the same work,  how since 2000, the cost of childcare has increased twice as fast as median incomes, how parents need more support while their babies are young (Canadians get up to 52 weeks maternity leave as opposed to 12 weeks stateside), how single women sometimes have to work multiple jobs to care for their families, and to top it off, how women still do most of the housework. There are certainly issues at hand that make being a parent difficult today. It’s not easy, especially if  parents do not have the resources to make things easier. But do the issues that make things difficult for parents equate to the the actual parenting?

Now, I am a mom, and I’ve had lots of jobs. I’ve been a strawberry picker, a dishwasher, a retail sales associate, a fast-food worker, a cigarette girl,  one of those people who passes out fliers on the street, a hostess, a barista, briefly a waitress and a bartender, a nanny, a babysitter, a daycare worker, a real estate agent’s assistant,  a teacher’s assistant, an English as a foreign language teacher, a receptionist, an office manager, a graphic designer and a blogger.

From that experience, I can tell you, that:

  • Standing up all the time? I had to stand for 8 hour shifts while working at Wendy’s, Starbucks and the Gap, and as a mom I have never once stood for any prolonged amount of time.
  • Constantly exerting yourself? That’s a demand for everyone, child or no child.
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts? Um, no. Unless you count kind of knowing how to operate the microwave a degree in Culinary Arts.
  • The work load goes up for the holidays? I’ve worked on the holidays and in seasonal industries, it was nothing like the fun of making things festive for the little guy
  • No time to sleep? I haven’t slept an 8 hour stretch in about a year. Still 100% less stressful than say, organizing the IFB Conference.
  • Working from 135 hours to “unlimited?” There are 168 hours in a week. Any more hours would be more than one week.

I can also tell you that:

While there there are a lot of aspects of parenthood that are undervalued. Being a parent is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. Heck, I get to hang out with this guy all day:

For me, being a parent is a privilege and gift of the most absolute love I’ve ever felt. While I’m very fortunate to have a loving husband and the resources to be able to work at home and spend time with my son. Maybe I just have an easy baby. I do not feel like actual motherhood part is this grueling battle that I have to face every day.  Even when I’m changing the poopiest of diapers, motherhood is certainly not like the work I have done for money, even the jobs I love (like blogging).

All I’m saying is don’t confuse the act of mothering with the issues that make being a parent in today’s world difficult.

jennineMotherhood…World’s Toughest Job?

Most Days I Wear…


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Most days I just throw on a button down and a pair of pants. I’ll wear heels most days (although most days 3″ heels tops). And a nice bag. Even to go to the super market. I’m the overdressed one at the baby singing class. Who am I trying to impress? That’s a good question.

I suppose that having a personal style blog with just pants and button downs would be boring. Which was part of my issue with bringing back this blog. I’ve been working developing my style which is a lot more boring than it sounds. It’s not about indulging in every whim that passes by, it’s more about selecting the pieces and wearing them in a way that iconically true. Figuring out the types of clothes that I continually wear and feel confident in hasn’t been the easiest, because I rarely feel confident. But I’ve been finding that indulging in timeless and simple is a lot easier to feel good in.

So here, in this outfit I’ve gone with a high-waisted cropped trouser which has a very vintage feel to them. The blouse, I picked up at H&M because while I wear a lot of denim, this particular blue, while hot this season, seems a bit officey. How do you wear it in a way that doesn’t seem so buttoned up? Try tying it at the waist. That’s my solution since I’m so bad at tucking in my shirts!


Oh and here are the Proenza Schouler shoes I bought off TheRealReal… they’re very high and very naked feeling. Definitely a pair of shoes you have to get a pedicure before wearing.


Wearing: Sunglasses: Super • Blouse: H&M • Trousers: 3.1 Philip Lim • Sandals: Proenza Schouler • Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim (gift from Saks Fifth Avenue).

What do you wear most days?


jennineMost Days I Wear…

Why Do You Wear Makeup?


Over the weekend I joked what life would be like without makeup…

Of course, I leave the house all the time without makeup. People ask, “What happened?” most of those times. But whatevs. I could chalk that up to getting older, but they asked, “What happened?” in my teens as well. What do I look like without makeup? This:

photo (4)

That’s me in the morning, sometime after my first cup of coffee and before my morning shower. So there you have it. An unfiltered, non-photoshopped 39-year-old me, pores and all.

I’m confused when it comes to makeup. On one hand I want to say, “Accept yourself the way you are!” And with the other hand, I’m Googling Fraxel laser treatment and researching if tattooed eyebrows can ever look natural (because I HATE when my brow pencil smudges or wears away). Part of me hates the endless spiral of fixes my insecurities throw me on. The other part of me knows that without my superficial insecurities I would have to obsesses over something other than shoes and makeup, and  and perhaps shoes and makeup are easier to look at than fixes for some of my deeper, less visible flaws.

 In my mind I thought ‘if only I could be like someone else,’ but in that desire, I failed to see the gifts I had to offer. Sure there are lots of tricks I can use to look ‘beautiful’, like wearing nice clothes, styling my hair, wearing makeup, and exercising, but those are all just extras.  I’ve tried them all to feel beautiful, and they help,  but it’s a slippery slope, because no matter how many shoes you have, not one of them is going to fix what’s going on in your mind. Believe me, I have tried, and tried. ~Everyone Is Beautiful, The Coveted 2009

In the last five years, I’d like to say I’ve grown. That I obsess less about superficial crap. But I don’t. I still get that feeling of hope every time I buy a new beauty product:

“Will THIS mascara give me beautiful lashes?”

“Will THIS primer erase my pores?”

Because you know, once I’m beautiful, then people will like me.

This idea of beauty=happiness cuts down to the core of many insecurities. So much so, when Elsy Anthonijsz aka Glam_Her_Booth posted  her contouring tutorials on Instagram, it made waves on the internet.  Who needs plastic surgery and photoshop now that we have contouring? Look at what contouring can do… it can make a plain girl into a knockout!

Even Into the Gloss, has now become Into the Foundation with all their contouring tutorials and “instant nose jobs.” It’s pretty apparent that many of us would love to look like someone else.

This week, the Man RepellerLeandra Medine talked about why she didn’t wear makeup in response to a man who had called her ugly. She discussed in her eloquent post, not the political nature of makeup, but the underlying reasoning we feel the need for it. Feeling comfortable in one’s skin. Coming to terms with one’s looks, something that she has done… which is wonderful, as at her age I was so far from even thinking about coming to terms with my own looks. Then again, at her age (and even my age) I was far from many things she has been able to accomplish.

Makeup doesn’t make a person more beautiful any more than it makes a person feel like they can make a difference with themselves. I feel part of my makeup wearing is rooted in feeling like I have some kind of control over what I look like. That a tiny bottle can stop time, or a pencil can give me Brooke Shields brows. I can choose my looks, not the DNA that was given to me. Maybe my transformation isn’t so much like the girl in the Glam_Her_Booth, nor is it in my attitude like the Man Repeller. It’s somewhere in between. Makeup makes me feel like I can make myself beautiful.

Maybe that feeling of being able to change… maybe that’s all we really need.

 Why do you wear makeup? And if not, why?

jennineWhy Do You Wear Makeup?

The Real Deal I Scored on TheRealReal


Do you know the real reason I started The Coveted back again? Well.. it was because when I look at shoes (and clothes and jewelry and accessories and beauty products) on the internet all the time. All. The. Time. Shoes I can afford, shoes I can’t. A lot of shoes I can’t.

I had heard that one of the boutique owners I interviewed on The Coveted long ago had moved on to TheRealReal. After initially checking it out, it had become one of the stops I obsessively check out when I’m cruising the ‘net. As it’s a consignment shop with all the benefits of online luxury shopping. Clean photos, flash sales, curated shopping experiences… and also, I noticed a lot of the prices are really good. Sometimes consignment isn’t always a good deal (especially when you can find the same/cheaper price/more current collections  at end of season sales) but TheRealReal actually seems to be really amazing with it’s price points. Luxury goods at high street prices. You just have to be a bit creative and knowledgeable in what you are looking for.

There was this pair of Proenza Schouler strappy sandals from their AW11 collection, the one collection that I happened to be able to see on the runway (ok, the only time I tried to get into)… also, one of my favorite collections of the duo. Anyway, I’ve wanted to buy Proenza Schouler shoes for years, and years but it just never worked out. Too high of a heel, too expensive, too much an object ‘art, but I happened to be in the market for a pair of minimally stappy heels, and when I found these heels pictured above on TheRealReal for $125, I decided to go for it. Luckily, since I live in San Francisco, where they are head quartered, the “ground shipping” was more like overnight shipping and I got them the next day.

I’m so in love with these shoes… and can’t wait to wear them. Will have to think of a fancy thing to do where strappy heels are necessary. After all, isn’t that why we love fashion? It forces us to live fancier lives? Just a thought.

Anyway… it was a looong time ago that I posted the Proenza Schoulder AW11 runway show, apparently even back then I was smitten with the shoes:

ps17 ps4 ps3    

jennineThe Real Deal I Scored on TheRealReal

Bag Lust: Reece Hudson


Bags have always been the one piece I have always loved on OTHER people, but when it came to the bag I would like for myself… they’ve always perplexed me. Is it too big, too boxy, to boring? Or is it too small, too floppy, too crazy? OR there’s that thing where the bag I love just cost $2,600. Now we’re just talking crazy.

It’s not often I run into a bag designer that’s in the contemporary spectrum of fashion designers that creates collection after collection of cool-as-fuck handbags. You know, that bag with a certain bad-assery that gives you a little bit of confidence (how much can you really get from a bag after all?) that you don’t see on the arm of everyone, that’s not cliche? Those bags are hard to find! Reece Hudson, a brand designed by Reece Solomon, particularly looks to bridge the gap between luxury and street style. I love how each of the bags has an iconic nature to the design, even the black bags are interesting with the clean lines and structured silhouettes.




Reece_Hudson_Bowery_Oversized_Clutch_Blue_Jean_1 Reece_Hudson_Bondage_Minaudiere_Gold_2 Reece_Hudson_Stendhal_Minaudiere_Gunmetal_1 Reece_Hudson_Stendhal_Minaudiere_Clear_2 Reece_Hudson_Stendhal_Minaudiere_Clear_Acrylic_Model Reece_Hudson_Siren_Backpack_Black_Model Reece_Hudson_Siren_Mini_Bag_Pearl_Model Reece_Hudson_Rider_Mini_Bag_New_Gold_Model Reece_Hudson_Bowery_Oversized_Clutch_Pearl_Model  Reece_Hudson_Siren_Mini_Bag_Black_1 Reece_Hudson_Siren_Backpack_Black_1

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jennineBag Lust: Reece Hudson

Leather Shorts Makes Everything Fancy


Leather shorts. They’re one of those things you think you can’t possibly pull off. Their image lies somewhere between lederhosen and dominatrix… and maybe a little bit of both for that matter. I’ve had my go at leather shorts over the years, I had this pair of brown leather shorts from Topshop that I just had the hardest time making work. Even though I loved the idea of them, after having them for years I just gave them to charity.

And like how nature abhors a vacuum, as does my wardrobe. As one pair of leather shorts came out, I spotted a pair of faux leather shorts at Zara. The price was right, and without even trying them on, I just bought them (it’s something I do nowadays, trying on clothes with a baby in tow doesn’t always work). And wouldn’t you know it? They are perfect!

Which led me to the next point. Where do you wear leather shorts? I’ve dressed them down with Converse and a flannel, or dressed them up like, you know to go to the flea market. Funnily enough people actually dress up to this Flea Market. It’s totally a thing. So there were a lot of people WAY more decked out than me. (I even saw a woman wearing a leather dress!)

Anyway. Where there’s a will, there’s a way… so there’s always a reason to wear leather shorts. Besides, they’re way more fancy than regular shorts.


black_leather_denim_givenchy4 black_leather_denim_givenchy3
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Wearing: Shorts: Zara  Sunglasses: Wildfox • Bag: Givenchy • Shoes: Clarks • Denim Top: Current/Elliott • Cuff: Nordstrom

jennineLeather Shorts Makes Everything Fancy