Get the Classic Look: Casual Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn Sitting by River

Today I’m kicking off a new series called Get the Classic Look where I’ll share how to get a classic look. And what better way to start it off than with Audrey Hepburn? I adore Audrey’s style because it’s casual, elegant and simple all at the same time. I’ve always loved this photo of Audrey sitting by the river with the city in the background. In true Audrey fashion, it’s classic and comfortable.

Get the Casual Audrey Hepburn Look

Get the Classic Look: Audrey Hepburn | ThoseGraces.com
Forever 21 Faux Suede Moto Jacket, Citizens of Humanity Rocket High Rise Skinny Jeans, Coclico Shoes Roux Suede Flat Booties

This look is fairly simple to recreate and involves just three key pieces:

  • A shortshearling trim jacket like this one or this one.
  • High waisted skinny jeans. Though the waistline isn’t visible in this photo, given that it was the 1960s, the jeans were most likely high waisted ones. I recommend going high waisted skinny jeans like this pair or these.
  • Flat simple booties. You’ll want to get a pair of flat ones that are fairly simple or plain looking like this pair or this pair.

Happy Audrey-ing!

Erin Condren Life Planner Review (18 Months Later)

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.com

Oh, the Erin Condren Life Planner! Where to begin? I purchased this planner in October 2013 in a flurry to get organized. I watched reviews and did my research before dropping about $60. I went back and forth on how I felt about the planner, which is why I waited to review it. I’ll just cut to the chase: I fell into the hype of this planner. For me the Life Planner wasn’t functional with my lifestyle and I felt restricted by its layout.  Overall, this isn’t a bad planner, it just didn’t work well for me.

The Pros of the Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.comThe biggest thing the Life Planner has going is its design and durability. This planner is legit indestructible. I usually treat my notebooks roughly, and this planner was no exception. The metal binding is in the same condition as the day I got it, with no bends or pulls. The laminated cover is also  in near-perfect condition. The thing I liked most about the cover is that it’s cleanable, which meant I could just wipe it down if it got wet or sticky.

I’m a bit of a stationery and paper snob, so it’s also worth mentioning that the pages in this planner have a very nice texture. They’re not too thick and not too thin. I used multiple types of pens in this planner and never experienced any bleed through.

The planner came with stickers for labeling things within the planner as well as gift stickers with my name on them. Some stickers were blank, which came in handy for labeling containers in the pantry. However, the ones I ended up using the least were the appointment and event stickers. For example, there were 6 stickers for mani/pedi.  Since I’ve gotten a mani/pedi maybe three times in my entire life, the likelihood of going six times in 15 months was slim to none. In fact, it was none.

The Cons of the Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.com

The biggest issue I had with this planner is that I think horizontally, or in rows, and this planner is setup vertically, or in columns. This my biggest challenge with the design. Generally  I like a lot of space to write, and I constantly felt restricted by the tiny little boxes. I have fairly drawn out (read: sloppy) handwriting so staying in the little space was annoying.

Another thing I disliked about the layout was the break up of the columns by times of the day (morning, day, night). With planners, I prefer to write down whatever needs to get done at the top of the space for that day, not chronologically. Honestly, my days really weren’t so busy that I need to break tasks down by periods. I can see this working for someone with kids or a lot of hobbies, but for a fairly regular person, it’s overkill.

My biggest gripe was with the metal binding. As a righty, the binding made writing things down in Wednesday’s column near impossible. It. Drove. Me. Crazy.  The way I had to hold my hand just felt so unnatural and uncomfortable. This problem wouldn’t exist if there was an option to have dates horizontally.

My last issue with the planner is the size and the weight. I knew going in that the Life Planner wasn’t exactly great for someone on the go all the time. It’s heavy. It’s cumbersome. It probably won’t fit in your purse, and even if it does, your shoulder will probably hurt. I can see this being great for a student who carries a backpack or someone who wants a true desk planner.

What I Learned From 15 Months With the Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review | ThoseGraces.com

My biggest takeaway from the Erin Condren Life Planner is I’m probably never spending $60 on a planner again unless it’s a Filofax. I don’t exactly regret the purchase, but I can’t claim that I got my money’s worth. For me, the layout didn’t work. I realized I’m the type of person where I need to either have a simple planner or one I can customize entirely, which I couldn’t do with the Life Planner.

Overall, I would recommend the Erin Condren Life Planner to people who think and plan vertically and don’t mind a small space to work in. I think it would be really great for those who are really busy and want to break down specific parts of their day within a planner. Also maybe lefties.

If you’re interested in purchasing an Erin Condren Life Planner, you can do so here. Prices start at $50.

ACL 2014 Style Icon: Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches

I’ll admit that I failed to keep up with all the Austin City Limits (ACL) news in the lead up to the festival, but now that it’s underway, I’m all in. Still being new to Austin, I had no clue it was coming up. I know, so bad. I have since committed myself to reading the Austin subreddit on a somewhat regular basis to prevent this from happening again.

One of the acts I was most excited to see watch later on YouTube was Chvrches (pronounced “Churches”). I started listening the Scottish synthpop about a year ago and became utterly obsessed with their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe. At this point, I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to “Recover.” They’re just that good!

Chvrches is performing both weekends at ACL, and lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s style caught my eye last weekend. To me, her style was perfection.

Lauren Mayberry at ACL | CourtneyMirenzi.com

image credits: Sarah Frankie Linder and Tim Griffin

The Outfit

Lauren wore the perfect outfit because it had a casual and classic feel to it. I loved that she rocked all black with simple yet striking silver jewelry. The plain chain necklace with perfect piece to tie in everything. Oddly enough, I spent a good bit of time looking for photos from Chvrches at ACL, but didn’t find one that showed what shoes Lauren wore, but I’m sure they were great. From the side, you can see Lauren rocking an adorable black lace bralette, which put a feminine stamp on her entire look.

Get the Look: Lauren Mayberry | CourtneyMIrenzi.com

image credit: Daniel DeSlover
ROMWE High Waist Black Leather Shorts, Lizzie Panelled Arm Cuff, Hanky Panky Lace Bralette, Indian Roulette Chain Necklace, T By Alexander Wang Oversized Tank Top

The Makeup

Lauren has been known to wear exaggerated eye makeup, and her ACL look was no different. Lauren wore some serious glittery under eye makeup with a cat eye and I. LOVED. IT. On Twitter, someone asked her how she did the look, and she replied, “Liquid eyeliner, make up glitter and Vaseline to make it stick.”

Based on the various YouTube videos I watched to figure out exactly how she did this ( this tutorial by My Eyeshadow is Odd was particularly helpful), here are the steps you should take:

  • Line your top lid with black liquid liner. Create the classic cat eye. Need help with how to do this? Watch this Goss video.
  • Curl your lashes
  • Apply mascara
  • Apply glitter liquid eyeliner under your eye. Slowly build up the glitter. Exaggerate as much or as little as you like.
  • With a small eyeshadow brush, apply makeup glitter over the liquid eyeliner while it’s still wet.
  • Pat Vaseline on top to set it.

acl-weekend-one-lauren-mayberry-make-up

image credit: Johnny Firecloud

MAC Glitter, Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner, Vaseline, Prestige Liquid Eye Liner, Nyx Doll Eye Mascara

(Originally posted to CourtneyMirenzi.com. Reposted here because I’m sure a lot of people didn’t see it. At least according to analytics.)

My Favorite Winter Nail Colors from OPI

Now that I live somewhere that’s relatively warm most of the time, I find I change my wardrobe less when seasons change. Sure I pull out the boots, the leggings, the long sleeve dressed, but long gone are the heavy down coats and scarves. Well, I do have one scarf, but I haven’t worn it yet. Part of me misses winter, but l don’t miss being freezing cold or running to my car because I might get frostbite.

Instead of changing up my wardrobe dramatically, I change the colors on my nails. This little change gives me the chance to sit back and say, “Ah . . . winter is here indeed.”

Lately I’ve been really into OPI Nail Lacquer. And by “into,” I mean borderline obsessed. I can’t help myself, they just go on so beautifully and last awhile without chipping. Add in their cute and quirky (though kind of annoying) names, and I’m sold. SOLD. All I can say is I hope this doesn’t get out of hand like my Essie obsession a few years back. They’re both great brands, but if Essie is Kate Middleton, OPI is Ginger Spice circa 1997. Looooooove.

OPI Holiday Nail Polish | Courtney Mirenzi

Onto my current favorites! I finally bought Lincoln Park After Dark after years of pining for it. A few weeks ago while at Target, I found myself standing in front of the OPI section and thought, “Fine, I’ll just buy it already!” No regrets whatsoever. This black polish has unique undertones of red and purple. It’s literally unlike any color I’ve ever seen. Since it’s part of the permanent collection, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding it except if it’s sold out because it’s everyone’s favorite black. It goes on opaque and needs about two coats to make it look good.

Care to Danse is a very sheer lilac color that comes off nude on my nails. It’s my go-to polish for when I want to take a break from wearing the darker colors I typically favor in the winter. This color is part of the New York Ballet Soft Shades Collection, which is limited edition so you may not find it everywhere. It’s fairly sheer and needs an application of two or three coats.

Viking in a Vinter Vonderland is your classic so-dark-it-might-be-black-but-it’s-purple color. Not sure if that’s actually a classic color, but hey, it is to me. This shade is part of the limited edition Nordic Collection, which also features many beautiful shades. It takes two coats to completely opaque.

The final shade is Got the Blues for Red, which is, you guessed it, a traditional red polish with blue undertones. The winter is just about the only time of year that I actually wear red polish. The rest of the year, I’m like, “Oh . . . red.” To me there’s just something about the cold weather that makes it fitting. This one takes two or three coats to opaque.

(Originally posted to CourtneyMirenzi.com. Reposted here because I’m sure a lot of people didn’t see it. At least according to analytics.)

Let’s Start Again

I don’t know where to start with this post. Since shutting down this blog in September, I struggled to find a way to replace the void the closure left in my life. Frankly, I found it impossible, which is why I’m back.

I spent four years posting here, in the good times and the bad and when it was gone, I struggled with moving away from seeing myself as a blogger. Prior to this blog, I had a LiveJournal. I’ve been writing online since I was 13, that’s fifteen years. Not doing it felt weird. Starting over felt weird.

A lot of people might think, “Goddammit, girl, make up your mind!” And that’s fine, but guess what? There’s no rules to blogging. No one can tell anyone what to do or what not to do. Sometimes things just need to metaphorically be burnt to the ground to rise again.

The reason I decided to come back to Those Graces was one I considered for more than a month. I tried to write on my portfolio site. I also channeled a lot of energy into my Overdressed Me, my eBay shop. Last month was my most successful month since starting it in August. I also accidentally got obsessed with Reddit. Nothing filled the void I felt.

I thought about starting other blogs, but invariably found myself wanting to come back here. It just felt like home. Oh god, that sounds so cheesy. BUT it’s true.

So, I’m back in 2015. What does that hold for Those Graces? Well. A lot has changed in the past four years. I’m a very different person than who I was when I started this blog, and that’s OK. I mostly want to use this as a space to share about the random things I’m interested in. Some of this site will be a bit wonky until I can rebuild some of the pages, which I accidentally deleted. Woops.

Stay tuned!