Capitol Hill Style

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Belle

Belle’s Weekly Reading: February 26, 2015



I have two midterms and a very big job interview in my immediate future, so today is the blog’s Friday.  Ya’ know, priorities and all.  Have a safe and fun weekend.


1) With the recent announcement that Harper Lee will publish a new-old novel, some are speculating about the plot and asking if Ms. Lee is being used by profiteers.  Also, Mental Floss has a piece on nine famous authors who regretted the popularity of their work.

2) An evening on the town out West usually means wearing denim, so I’ve decided to up my shoe game.  These $30 coral heels with a bold shape are a good place to start.

3) Beyonce’s fans didn’t like when a fan site published un-retouched photos of the singer.  The Washington Post addresses how 25 years of Photoshop has altered our perception of reality.

4) ASOS has such wonderful dresses. This black dress with an embellished collar is really unique.  And if there’s anyone searching for a beautiful, short wedding dress, I found it (also with short sleeves).  Truly gorgeous.

5) Double-baked Chocolate Meringue Brownie?  You have my attention.

6) Rebecca Taylor has a pretty good sale happening right now.  I love this gorgeous pink lace dress and this floral-printed frock for spring.  This inset jacket is a unique work option.  I’m positively smitten with this ombre, beaded top for evening and this geo-print blouse for day.

7) Are you applying your hair products incorrectly?  Cosmopolitan has the answer.

8) Freida Rothman’s beautiful baubles are my new obsession.  This gorgeous mixed metal ring has way more than $90 worth of style.  I also love this coordinating stackable bracelet.  Looking for something softer?  These rose gold and silver stack rings are perfect.

9) LAWeekly has a longform piece on the secret life of Hollywood extras.  You’ll never believe what a union extra can earn for just a few hours work.  No wonder it’s so hard to break into SAG.

10) After January’s post on alternative cleansing methods, I picked up the $10 size of Boscia’s Cool Cleansing Oil.  My skin is a bit softer and calmer, but I want to try Ole Henriksen’s Melting Cleanser and Josie Maran’s Argan Cleansing Oil before I commit.

11) Remember the movie Titanic?  A new theory about the plot has emerged; be sure to scroll to the end to get the full picture.

12) J.Crew Factory has a number of new arrivals in stock.  I really like the look of this short-sleeve, crepe dress in a bright emerald-green.

*image found here, at Brewed Together.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Belle

Morning Line: February 26


Corner Office


Rebecca Taylor Leather Trim Jacket ($425)

This would make a great suit, except that instead of making a pencil skirt for it, the designer is offering a too-short, flared dress.  When will they learn?

Middle Cubicle


The Limited Peplum Jacket ($168, also in petite and tall)

Intern Desk


Grey H&M Peplum Jacket ($35)

Plus-size: Torrid Peplum Blazer ($58)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Bringing Back Your Brows



I over plucked my brows when I was younger and I want to grow them back.  Every time I try to let them grow in I get frustrated by the slow progress and take the tweezer to them.  Do you have any tips for growing them back fast or at least better?  

Sincerely, Desperate

Ah, growing back your eyebrows…what fun!  Reinvigorating your brows is possible, but the key ingredient is patience.  If you keep reaching for the tweezer, throw.the.thing.away.  Commit to letting a professional shape them in the interim.

What does the perfect brow look like?  That’s a matter of preference.  Thick brows, like Hilary Rhoda’s, are great if you keep them trim.  I like more of a Camilla Belle look, medium thickness, well-groomed.  But if you want them a bit thinner, Charlize Theron is a good example.  Just don’t push them too far.

As for how to regrow them, I would suggest starting with a vitamin.  You’d be surprised what a multi-vitamin will do for your hair and nails.  If you already take a multi, some women have great luck taking pre-natal vitamins.  Though, if you go that route, you may want to give your boyfriend/husband a heads up.  It can be awkward if they’re found sitting in the cupboard.

Also, you can grow them back in stages.  Allow the hairs nearest the eyebrow to grow in first, tweezing the stragglers.  Once those hairs are grown in enough to define the area, repeat with the next layer, and so on.

I grew mine in this way, and it really helped avoid that mangey look.  Though it definitely took patience.


Talika Lipocils Eyelash Conditioner ($44)

If you really want to speed things up, you can try an eyelash condition like this one from Talika.  Unlike most of the lash/brow re-grow products on the market, this one isn’t packed with chemicals.  The product contains plant-derived ingredients that don’t irritate the skin.

Looking for something cheaper?  Good old Vitamin E oil is always an option, as is olive oil from your kitchen.  But these tend to make my skin breakout.

Whether you’re growing your brows back in or not, you should fill them in to give them more oomph.  I like the YBF eyebrow pencil in ‘universal taupe.’  Or you can go all in with the Anastasia brow kit.  For a tutorial on filling them in, this YouTube video is the best one I’ve found.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Belle’s Makeup Touch Up Kit


Can you do a post on what you put in your gym makeup bag?


Whether you’re touching up throughout the day or refreshing your makeup post-workout, the process begins with your morning makeup application.

Using a primer will keep your makeup from wilting as the day goes on.  I use NARS Pro Prime Oil-Free Primer, but many budget-savvy women substitute Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel (no, really).  If your eyeshadow creases throughout the day, the Urban Decay eye primer is a great product.

Need a makeup bag? I love the one below from River Island.  H&M also has this lovely buff-colored bag and this tribal print pouch.  And these laminated pouches from Orla Kiely are good for frequent, heavy use.


Bag: River Island Snake Print Bag ($20)

From Left, Anastasia Brow Pencil ($22) // Makeup Remover Swabs ($9) // Sigma Beauty Brush ($28) // Makeup Forever HD Powder ($36) // Swisspers Makeup Sponges ($4) // Kevyn Aucoin Volume Mascara ($28)

From Right, NYX Blotting Papers ($4) // Stila Oasis Shadow ($18) // Almay Smart Shade Blush ($12) // Maybelline Age Reqind Concealer ($7) // Stila Stay-All-Day Liner ($20)

When you start a post-workout/end-of-day touch-up, the first thing you need to do is remove excess oil.  The NYX blotting papers are great for that.  Once your skin is mattified, it’s time to re-apply.

First, I use swabs filled with makeup remover to clean up smudged mascara, etc.  Then, I reapply concealer to any uncovered blemishes, the under-eye area, etc. and set everything with powder.  Because this is a re-application, you don’t want to overdo it on the powder or you’ll end up looking cakey.  The HD Powder from Makeup Forever is so fine, that when you apply it with a soft, fluffy brush you can apply just the right amount.

My cheek makeup always needs a touch-up by end of day, but again, I don’t want to over apply.  This Almay blush blends well with my morning shade, and perks up without overwhelming.  No need to look like Bozo the Clown post-gym.

To touch up my eye makeup, I trace the original line of my eyeliner and apply a bit more shadow.  I like a slightly pearlescent shadow, because if you apply matte shadow at the end of the day, it tends to look piled on.  Then, I use the Anastasia brow pencil to highlight the hollow of my eye and the area under the eyebrow.  If I need it, I add a bit more mascara.

Finally, I use a clean makeup sponge to blend everything.  Blending is critical.  This is the step that ensures that you don’t look overdone after your touch-up.

If you need to touch up your hair as well, I recommend a travel size Psssst dry shampoo.  I also carry a travel-size hairbrush, a hair tie, and some bobby pins.  If you find dry-shampoo drying, a texturizing spray can lift fallen roots and absorb a bit of the oil as well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Blush Handbags Bring Color Softly


Hi Belle!

My tax refund arrived today and I want to treat myself to a little splurge.  Can you help me find a blush or pale pink purse?  I don’t know if I want a tote or a satchel so maybe you can give me a few options?  I want to spend less than $200.

Thank you, W

Blush is so hot right now.  (Say it in a Valley Girl voice; it makes it more fun.)  It’s a versatile choice because it adds color in a subtle way.  Below, I’ve pulled together a selection of bags in your price range and some more affordable suggestions.


Sole Society Large Vegan Weekender ($89)

Want an inexpensive, smaller version?  This Forever21 woven, dome satchel is very similar.


Steve Madden Blagoon Tote ($88)

I like the tassels.  They make the bag a little more fun.


H&M Handbag with Shoulder Strap ($39)


Rebecca Minkoff Mini-MAC ($195)

I own this bag in another color.  It’s a great weekend bag that’s neither too big, nor too small.


Banana Republic Larkin Tote ($168)

Looking for a similar bag for less?  This Street Level tote is a great choice and also comes with a little wristlet.

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