Capitol Hill Style

Friday, November 21, 2014 by Belle

Belle’s Weekly Reading: November 21, 2014




1) Wills & Kate are headed stateside for a two-day trip to New York and D.C..  The press corps is understandably atwitter, but Buckingham Palace felt the need to remind poorly dressed reporters that they better suit up.

2) I usually post under-$50 bags, but this $85 Kenneth Cole bag is sweet.  I love the green, but the basic black and the orange are also good choices.

3) The New York Times has a longer follow-up piece on the N.F.L’s domestic abuse scandal.  The article discusses how the player’s wives and girlfriends were ostracized for reporting allegations.

4) I love Deborah Lippmann polishes, and for $55, Sephora has a set 10 of Lippmann’s best shades.  The set contains several of my favorites including Good Girl, Gone Bad, Whatever Lola Wants, and It’s Raining Men.

5) The Glossarie has a review of First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery.  I need a sample.

6) Gilt is really on this week.  I spent too much time window shopping the Susanna Monaco and Cynthia Rowley sales.  But the must-have item I spotted, these black DvF wedges.  They’re 3″ high and perfect for wearing under trousers or with skirts.

7) Nikolay Lamm made headlines this year when he created “Normal Barbie,” a doll with the proportions of the average American 19-year-old.  Now, he’s selling a sticker kit that allows his doll to have tattoos, acne, stretch marks, etc.

8) I’m so in love with this Trina Turk Popover dress; I can barely stand it.

9) Nordstrom is ending their half-yearly sales.  Their new sale schedule will follow holidays like Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

10) Now that H&M has an online store, I find so many unique, inexpensive pieces that I want.  This ribbed jersey dress is the perfect bridge between casual Saturday and dinner Friday night.  They’re channeling Olivia Pope with this white, wide-collar coat.  And this pale pink biker jacket is not to be missed.

11) Looking for Turkey Day recipes?  This crispy sweet potato roast from Smitten Kitchen looks amazing.

12) I’ve been scoping out new rings to add to my collection.  This mixed-metal barrel ring from Michael Kors has a great mix of sparkle and texture.  Madewell also has some great, inexpensive rings.  I love this wide glider ring, and this helix ring.  Also, these stack rings in a mix of black enamel with a hint of shine, awesome.

Friday, November 21, 2014 by Belle

Morning Line: November 21



BP Moveover Flat ($50)

When I need to give my basic separates a boost, I reach for my leopard-print shoes.  They add a little something extra to an outfit.  Color is important with leopard.  You don’t want too much leopard, and you want the hues to fall into a neutral palette.

These Ivanka Trump flats have a larger print that gives them a bolder look.  If you want a little lift, Steve Madden has a leopard wedge.  Or if you want a different color palette, this black and grey Oasis flat is a nice choice.  All of these flats are pointed toe; I think they’re a bit more versatile than round-toe flats.

Prefer leopard pumps? These Calvin Klein pumps have a softer taupe hue.  These Audrey Brooke ankle strap pumps are a modern take on leopard.  And if you prefer round-toe pumps, these Ivanka Trump Sophia heels are the way to go.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Is Ebates for Real?


Dear Belle,

I just found your blog last weekend and I am obsessed! I noticed that you mention Ebates in a few of your posts.  I’ve seen their commercials, but I thought it was a scam.  Do you really use it?


Yes, I really use Ebates.  I know it feels a little like a Nigerian prince is hosting an online auction for 26-cent iPads, but the site’s legit.

If I can earn 4% or 6% cash back at retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Sephora, and Nordstrom, I’ll take it.  I also take advantage of 40% cash back on my favorite magazines using  If you wear contacts, the 1-800-Contacts cash back is a nice boost.  And whenever I send my Nana flowers, I make sure to take advantage of double-digit cash back.

If you’re planning to do your holiday shopping online, I would take a minute to sign up for Ebates.  It takes a little time to build up your savings, but it’s worth it.  I also recommend signing up for their e-mail alerts so you find out about sales at your favorite retailers and boosts in cash back.

Disclaimer: First, I want to apologize for not having this disclaimer on the original post.  If you use the link above to sign up for Ebates, their tell-a-friend program pays me $5 for the referral.  This program is open to any Ebates member.  I love Ebates, I would promote it regardless, but I erred by not posting this disclaimer sooner.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 by Belle

Five Belle-Approved Pieces from Old Navy


Old Navy is the website I cruise when I want an inexpensive piece that doesn’t look like it.  Choose, but choose wisely, and all of that.  Here are a few of the pieces that caught my eye while I was window shopping.


Cowl Neck Sweater Dress ($45)

This dress is perfect for a relaxed holiday party or casual Friday.  It also comes in a gorgeous charcoal grey.


Studded Grey Pumps ($29)

These pumps are a knock-off of a J.Crew pair from last winter.  Good grey pumps are hard to find, so I’d leap on these if you like them.  The 3.5″ heel keeps them work appropriate, and the embellishments give them a little something extra.


Open Front Fair Isle Cardi ($59)

Need a cozy sweater to wear with jeans or to keep at the office for chilly indoor temps?  This one is an awesome choice.  I love the black and white color palette and the relaxed vibe.


Two-Tone Shift Dress ($35)

With a pair of tights, boots, and a long necklace, I’d rock this dress on casual work days.  Then, I’d switch out for an ankle strap heel and some stack bangles for a relaxed cocktail hour.


Long Tweed Blazer ($50)

I saved my favorite piece for last.  I love this jacket because it could be outerwear or indoor-wear depending on your preference.  I’d wear it with a white tee, skinny jeans, and ankle boots.  I’d also wear it over a sheer black blouse and a black pencil skirt.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 by Belle

BPGP: Kevyn Aucoin The Mascara Volume


_6811884The perfect mascara is as coveted, as it is elusive.  For years, I’ve searched in vain for the perfect mascara.  MaxFactor’s 2000 Calorie formula came closer than most, but it still left me searching for something more.

Kevyn Aucoin was a makeup magician.  When I was in college, I would spend Sunday afternoons reading his books and trying to recreate the looks.  So when Emily Schuman raved about his The Mascara Volume, I decided to try it.

Kevyn Aucoin The Mascara Volume ($28) has a lot going for it.  The brush is unbelievably tiny, but it doesn’t miss a single lash.  Even the tiny ones in the corners cannot hide from the slender wand.

The formula is interesting, but in a good way.  It’s pitch black with a slight sheen to it.  It defines, lengthens a bit, and volumizes well.  It’s not the most volumizing formula that I’ve used, but my lashes are darker, thicker, and bolder.  But the quality that lured me away from MaxFactor is that, unlike so many mascaras, the Aucoin doesn’t rub off onto my lower lids.  Sayonara, raccoon eyes.

Another great benefit?  It washes off easily.  The formula sort of peels off like thread.  No rubbing, no irritation.

Aucoin also makes a curling mascara, but I have an eyelash curler for that.  So I’ll stick with the volumizing formula.

Bottom line?  To get rid of the raccoon eyes that give me the lovely look of exhaustion, I’m willing to sacrifice a little volume.  This mascara may not be everything I hoped for in the intensity department, it’s definitely my new go-to mascara.

Copyright © 2006, Capitol Hill Style. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed on Capitol Hill Style by Belle, a guest blogger
or those providing comments are theirs alone. They do not reflect the opinions of Belle's current employer, Belle's
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Updated for 2014