Category Archives: lighten up it’s just fashion

Go Big: The Hottest Trend in Clutch Bags


(Note: this is a guest post by a Ms. Barbie, because I figured we could use a little more fashion on this blog.)

When you think of a clutch, you may imagine a perfect little handbag just the right size to carry all your daily essentials such as keys, credit cards, and smartphones, but 2015 is turning the familiar image of the clutch on its head.

Inspired by the portfolios long carried by creative spirits, larger clutches take advantage of the naturally minimalistic profile of the clutch bag to add exciting new dimensions to the platform as well as affording clutch chasers with some sorely-needed space for bigger items such as books, a tablet or a laptop.

Some of the industry’s most well-known designer retailers are at the forefront of the focus on more spacious clutches, and the fruits of their imaginations for spring and summer 2015 are sure to inspire new perspectives on just what role a clutch bag can play in your wardrobe.

Envelope Clutches

The envelope clutch is getting more than its share of attention in early 2015, presenting a dressed-down and approachable alternative to the more formal pieces popular in past seasons. DKNY, Sally LaPointe and Chanel are just a few of the names making prominent use of the envelope and folding clutch profiles in their early 2015 collections, making it a sure bet as a core component of this season’s hottest looks.

Oversized Fringed Clutches

Additions such as tassels and fringe can add free-spirited flair to otherwise unremarkable profiles, and a variety of spring exhibitions, including the imaginative procession of Anya Hindmarch, serve to highlight how much visual interest such a simple touch can add. The oversized clutch’s origins as the artist’s suitcase makes it a natural pairing for the whimsical aesthetic that fringe detailing can bring, and the oversized clutch in particular is an outstanding showcase for this retro-chic element.


Color-blocking is another popular retro-chic technique used to jazz up pieces in 2015, and the bold styling of the oversized clutch makes it a highly visible canvas for some of the most interesting color combinations offered by design houses in years.

Color-Blocked Bags

The spring/ summer 2015 handbag trends include almost all the colors of rainbow, however, there is one trend we are particularly excited about. Color-blocking continues to be an interesting technique of creating not only smashing looks, but also stylish bags, and this is what Valentino and Burberry Prorsum prove.


Photo by RomitaGirl67 via Flickr.


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Last Minute Gifts For Bloggers


Word up: this post was inspired by Tipsy Elves, whose delightful Hanukkah sweater I am wearing above. Tipsy Elves make fantastic, comfy, and quintessential ugly/tacky (their words!) Holiday Sweaters. If you really want to make a blogger’s holiday a happy one, get thee to Tipsy Elves.

So anyway, the holidays are here. I am typing this from an airplane. The future is here! And so is Hanukkah, and soon, Christmas. If you’re reading this blog, then you likely have someone in your life who is a blogger or writer of sorts. And you may be stumped as to what to get them. I have some ideas. Most of these gifts are free to give. Just keep an open mind. Here are last minute gifts for bloggers.

Offer to do their social media for a week.

Sometimes, doing our own social media can be fun as all getout, but other times, it can be tedious. If you’re a good, trustworthy friend to this blogger, offer to do their social media for a week. Post their articles on their social media on their behalf. Run their media the way you would as if they were a legit company. The idea of someone doing my social media for me makes me want to swoon. They’ll love it. Cost: just your patience and wit.

Buy them a premium subscription to Spotify.

A lot of writers and bloggers listen to music while they work. Spotify is free and great, but with that freedom comes ads. And with those ads, you can break out of your writing groove. So get them a premium subscription to Spotify. Ad free, plus they can listen on their phone as well. Cost: 3 months for only $0.99, then $9.99 per month.

Introduce them to your connections – agents, managers, etc.

No one really just wants to blog forever — there’s usually some kind of end goal here. Maybe they want to write for television. Mybe they want to write novels. Maybe they want to be a staff writer for their favorite site. Do you have connections to make this happen? Do you know any talent agents, lit agents, or editors at major sites? Hook them up. It’s up to them to provide they glory; all you have to do is provide the contact. Cost: one quick email to your contact introducing everyone and that’s it.

Offer to be their mentor or set them up with one.

Now that I have an awesome mentor, I couldn’t imagine not having one. Are you in a place of wisdom? Do you have some idea of your path in life, and do you see your path and yourself in your blogging budy? Offer to be their mentor. Sure, it may sound awkward as hel (“Hello, Dave, it’s your older friend, Jack, and I would like to mentor you, child”) but it’s really rewarding for both parties. The mentee gets someone they can look to for advice and leadership; the mentor gets someone who delivers instant and loving ego boosts. No but really, it’s a great team to have. If you or your uncle or aunt or someone is a writer and can share and guide another writer, do it. It’s free, but it’s going to cost as much or as little of your time as youre willing to provide. Cost: your time, your patience, and your open mind and heart.

Offer them a work space.

Sometimes, writers have to write in the worst conditions; a cramped apartment, a house full of barking dogs, Jack White’s basement (hey, I don’t know your life) and it would be really nice if someone could offer their luxurious home for a work space for about a week. Oh, is that someone you? Groovy! Lay out the parameters with the writer/blogger; tell them what’s off-limits and what isn’t, and then, invite them in with open arms. Sometimes the hardest thing about writing is just sitting down and actually doing it. A clean, bright, quiet space can do wonders. Cost: nothing. Just your liquor, because upon finding it, the writer will lap it up.


Writers and bloggers: what gift would you most like to receive?


Photo: Instagram via @Apocalypstick.


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~~Fashion Post~~ Necessary Clothing Edition

almie rose necessary clothing

It’s been a long time since I did a fashion post, so here we go! This post is brought to you by Necessary Clothing. I picked one of their dresses (the leather fringe dress) and made two looks out of it. I want to thank Bradley Meinz for his photography skills and Eddie Funkhouser for the makeup!

I’m not a fashion blogger, and I don’t have a typical fashion blogger figure, which is why I’m excited and nervous to share this with you. But I think it’s important that we see bodies of all shapes and sizes in sexy little black dresses, AM I RITE??

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What Men Really Think About Makeup


Makeup and the women who use it have had a long history of love and hate. Some women love experimenting with makeup and won’t leave the house without it; others hate it and would rather go barefaced as the day they were born. But what do men think about makeup, really? Do they like when we wear it? How much is too much? What do they think “natural makeup” is? I asked some men of varying ages to try to get some answers. Of course, every man is different. But if you’re curious about what men really think about makeup, this is for you.

Men in their 20’s.

“Do I like when women wear makeup? My gut response is no. I always tell my girlfriend she doesn’t need it and looks beautiful without it, which I really mean. That being said I did see the Mila Kunis picture without her wearing makeup and was blown away by how different she looked. I guess I’ve always underestimated the transformative powers of makeup.” — Nick, 26.

“Sure [I like when women wear makeup]. I’m a little old-fashioned. But that’s like asking, ‘Do you like it when women wear clothes?’ It’s all a question of what, and how much. It’s good when there’s a clear difference between everyday makeup and special occasion makeup. It’s a nice gesture to have a girl make for you, albeit not a hugely important one. That said, some girls can totally rock huge eyelashes and eyeshadow 24/7. I’d just avoid a full Dee Snider whenever possible. I feel like I’m failing a critical gender theory class just be answering these questions.” — Jesse, 29.

“I’m not a big fan of makeup. I think it takes away from a person’s natural beauty. I understand it’s practical at times, but I prefer the less-is-more approach. Caked-on foundation, no thank you. ‘Natural makeup’ would probably be things like lipstick and eyeliner. They accentuate features, but don’t necessarily cover up blemishes and what not. Blemishes are what make people attractive, at least in my opinion.” — Matt, 27.

“Certain girls look good with makeup, and some look good ‘natural’. Though I’m not too disappointed in a well done smokey eye. Now, ‘too much makeup’ is something that really depends on the occasion. Obviously costume parties and the like have to be excluded from this. Day-to-day, ‘too much’ makeup is hard to define, as it’s really about what’s comfortable for the person wearing it, and however they feel they look best. I suppose I would define ‘natural makeup’ as light, merely highlighting facial features as opposed to drawing attention to them particularly.” — Shaun, 23.

“I like when make up goes unnoticed. I dislike when it becomes the main character of the face. It gives me the creeps seeing baroque art imitation on girls faces. I think less is more with this kind of stuff.” — Ivan, 28.

“I really like the way a bit of eyeliner and mascara can accentuate a whole look. It serves as a spotlight on her beauty rather than a concealer of her ‘flaws’. I had a girlfriend that I knew for quite a while before I ever saw her completely devoid of any foundation or concealer. When I did finally see her face untouched by makeup, adorable freckles were revealed on the tops of her cheeks. She never looked more beautiful to me.” — James, 29.

“I don’t mind a little makeup if we’re going out, but if we’re just hanging in I don’t think any is necessary. You’re wearing too much makeup if I can’t kiss you or touch your face because it’ll smear. [I have] no clue what ‘natural makeup’ is. Ummmm, chapstick and moisturizing lotion?” — Cliff, 27.

Men in their 30’s.

“[Makeup] can certainly look nice, but it is not appealing in and of itself. Wearing makeup badly, meaning ‘too much’, is far worse than wearing none at all. Anything more than the faintest highlight can be too much.  I’m not sure [what ‘natural makeup’ is]. I guess if makeup smooths over blemishes but isn’t recognizable as makeup, then it’s ‘natural’.  That seems fine by me.” — “Nick”, 38.

“I’m not into the drag queen layers some girls wear. If you look like Mimi from the Drew Carey show, you’re doing it wrong. Makeup should enhance your good features, not create them.” — Doug, 31.

“[‘Too much’ makeup] is pretty much subjective. However, if a woman’s wearing so much foundation and concealer that I can’t see the texture of her skin, I’m left wondering what the hell she’s covering up. Frankly, there’s no such thing [as ‘natural makeup’].” — Allen, 36.

“I guess ‘too much’ makeup is when a woman literally is covered in a mask of makeup. Basically, I would like her to look essentially the same whether we’re at the gym or at a cocktail party. Some makeup is fine, but I’m partial to the ‘natural look’ of rouge and maybe mascara and eyeliner.” — Keith, 38.

Men in their 40’s.

“A little [makeup] is alright. A little blush, a little eyeshadow. Enhancement of your natural color, not something that will look like a watercolor painting in a rainstorm if you sweat or cry a little. If you look like Tammy Faye Bakker doing her impression of the Joker you’ve gone too far.” — Joe, 42.

“Although a natural look is great, makeup that accentuates a woman’s finer points can be very appealing and even seductive. That’s not to say it’s necessary, just a nice accompaniment. The ’70s disco scene or ’80s hair band or Boy George looks were examples of too much makeup. While red lipstick and nails can be very attractive and sexy some of the time, and other colorful applications can be terrific once in awhile as accents, painting oneself like a clown has never appealed to me. I’d rather see the real person than the mask. Sheryl Crow comes to mind as someone who, even when wearing a lot of makeup, usually appears relatively natural because of the makeup styles and colors that blend in with her look and accentuate her natural features rather than hiding them.” — Paul, 46.

“I like when women wear makeup for an occasion — like going out to dinner — when they dress up, so it’s part of the ensemble. Glamorous times! For just hanging out or whatever, I’m always baffled that women feel the need to put on makeup. If you have to ask ‘Is this too much makeup?’, the answer is yes. ‘Natural makeup’ to me is when it’s very similar to the woman’s real face — skin tone, eyelash and eyebrow color. It’s using makeup to just take care of a few imperfections and make things a little more even. If you do it right, most people won’t even be sure you have makeup on.” — “Scott”, 42

So what have we learned?

There’s been a lot of talk of covering “blemishes.” What do men consider “blemishes”? Some consider them “zits” while others think blemishes are exclusively something like “sun damage”. It seems the majority of men do not know what ‘natural makeup’ is. Nick, 26, asked if it was “subtle make up that is barely visible or is it makeup made from natural products?” Some men thought it meant no makeup at all while others thought it meant just chapstick and maybe some mascara. Basically, they all agreed that if your face is a different color from your neck, that’s not good, and if they can see foundation (“caked-on” was used a lot), that’s also not good.


Photo: Nina Leen via LIFE photo archives for Google. Originally posted from The Gaggle.


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Interview With Melissa Of Little Pancakes Jewelry + 20% Off Coupon Code!

photo (34)

Little Pancakes jewelry has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. Melissa is the fab lady behind the fun line that’s given me such joys as a necklace with a little harmonica attached (boy did that annoy the hell out of everyone on karaoke night) and my new favorite, a little “A” pendant (more on this later!). I’m talking with Melissa about her success and what other Etsy sellers and buyers can learn from her. ALSO, A COUPON CODE FOR 20% OFF ANYTHING IN HER SHOP (not including shipping)! WOW! Code is APOCALYPSTICK and it’s good until SATURDAY (10/140). Simply type in APOCALYPSTICK at checkout! Now onto the interview.

Tell me a little about Little Pancakes. You’ve been going since 2009, correct? How long does it take you to make each piece? Why the name Little Pancakes? Why Etsy?
Yes, in 2009 Little Pancakes was just a hobby to distract myself from a stressful day job. My friends liked what I made and people encouraged me to sell on Etsy because it was gaining popularity. Last year I started running Little Pancakes full time. It was kinda scary taking the plunge but it’s been great making my own schedule, being my own boss, and of course doing what I love.

It varies, but the stamped triangle necklaces take me the most time because i’m so much of a perfectionist. I sometimes have to re-do it a few times to get it right! It drives me crazy but people love them.

"Treat Yo Self" necklace, $38.

“Treat Yo Self” necklace, $38.

As for the name Little Pancakes, I just like pancakes! I never intended for it to be my business name but it ended up sticking and it’s a great attention getter.

Do you have any advice for an Etsy seller on how to grow their brand/business?
For those that are already on Etsy, my advice would be to grow your brand off the site, to not put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Do craft shows and try and get local shops to carry your stuff. You might get turned down on the first try, (I’ve gotten used to the rejections over the years but they still sting a bit) but eventually something will happen if you stick with it. It helps to have great packaging and business cards — and a good brand image in general so you’re recognizable. If you’re just getting started, I think it’s just best to take some photos, write really clear and enticing descriptions, and dive right in. Put up what you have and see what sells! There is some great advice on the Etsy forums about titles, tags, and photos. You just have to dig through the posts.

What about advice for Etsy buyers? How do they find the best stuff out there?
One thing I look for on Etsy is if something is too great of a deal, it may not be handmade. Sometimes it’s just a seller who hasn’t quite figured out their pricing but other times it’s mass produced. It can be hard to tell sometimes but look at their about page and sold items and use your best judgement — most handmade sellers can’t make 100 bracelets a day at $3 a pop. There is so much good handmade on Etsy that it’s worth sorting through everything! I find good stuff on the Etsy blog pretty often. I do buy frequently on Etsy but I love buying from my fellow artists at shows. The in-person connection is really special.

What (or who) inspires your designs?
I love the symmetry and repetitiveness of Art Deco. Lately i’ve been into moons and more curvy shapes. I get my best ideas from just playing around and making stuff I want to wear. Then I wear a sample around to test drive, to see how it hangs and what kind of responses I get.

What’s your favorite piece in your store?
My favorite piece lately is my moon earrings, I wear them all the time.

Little Pancakes

Brass Moon Earrings, $30

I love turning a sheet of metal  into something beautiful, it’s really exciting!

What/who are some of your favorite Etsy stores/sellers?
My friend Silke makes great cosmetic pouches/bags. I have a few for storing makeup and whatnot. The quality is great and they’re super reasonably priced! The fusion salts from Gneiss Spice are amazing, I put the habanero one on everything. I have a couple of glitter banners from Unicorn Parade that I use for my craft show display and I always get tons of compliments.

Thanks, Melissa! As I mentioned above, my current favorite of yours is the “A” pendant necklace:

Little Pancakes

Here I am modeling my fave necklace with my fave striped tee. Personalized Initial Necklace with Vintage Shield Charm, $25

Now everyone go crazy and do all your holiday shopping at Little Pancakes, using the coupon code APOCALYPSTICK for 20% off anything (shipping not included) till Saturday (10/14)!


~~lighten up it’s just faaaaaashion~~


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~Fashion Post~ Ariat Boots Edition

Almie Rose

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ariat.

FASHION IS HERE! I asked you guys what you would like to see more of on my blog, and some of you answered fashion posts, so here you go: a ~~fashion post~~ featuring Ariat boots! Here I am being ~~casual~~ in my York Ariat boots with a BCBGeneration coat, SideOne Dummy records tee, and black jeans that I think are from the GAP and who cares anyway, because black jeans are black jeans. And jeans with boots is as classic a combination as Ringo Starr and a Mexican accent (see the 1969 film Candy.) Ariat does both really well, by the way (the jeans and the boots, guys, not the Ringo thing). They’re a classic American company with innovative, stylish riding wear, like if Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was a person.

Almie Rose

I like to play Who’s Next for a good old fashioned cabinet boot stomping.

I freaking love these boots, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t accept the sponsored post, so let’s all just know that. That goes with all sponsored posts. So I saw these boots and thought, awesome, love. But what I didn’t know is that Ariat has deep Equestrian roots. Thus, these boots are super comfy and light and have that Equestrian edge. When I wear them, they make me feel like Betty Draper when she goes riding. If I had her wardrobe, I would also wear the boots with something like this:

Equestrian Betty Draper
Equestrian Betty Draper by apocalypstick featuring Ariat riding boots
J Crew cashmere sweater / J Crew wool coat / Acne Studios black pants / Ariat riding boots / Pearl jewelry, $23 / Hermès triangle shawl / Hermès silk scarve / J.Crew Girls’ stadium-cloth marquee coat / J.Crew Girls’ stadium-cloth bow coat

Until I have Betty Draper (Francis)’s figure and money, I usually pair my boots with black skinny jeans (SUPER skinny, because you want them to tuck into the booths smoothly; my favorite jeans have zippers on the side for maximum sleekness. And they’re just GAP) and a comfy graphic tee, like my SideOne Dummy Records shirt or a David Bowie tee — or my favorite concert tee in the world, the 1985 Phil Collins No Jacket Required Tour that I bought at Cheap Jack’s in NYC in 2005. And over that, I wear a fake fur coat. Or my “BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE” sweatshirt from London Loves LA Girls, for my casual look.

Almie Rose

Oh hey guys, it’s just me being totally casual, blogging on a typewriter, like casual people do.

And guess what? Ariat has a giveaway going on over on their Facebook page. You could win your very own boots! Check it out here. Ends November 27.

How do YOU wear boots? I’m always trying to pair tall boots with dresses but, like Ringo Starr and a Mexican accent, it just doesn’t work.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ariat. To learn more about Ariat and enter their fabulous giveaway on Facebook, please visit:

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Almie Rose

The winner of my first ever Shabby Apple dress giveaway is…


WREN!!! Congratulations, Wren! Please email me and I’ll send you a FABULOUS LIST OF DRESSES FOR YOU TO CHOOSE FROM!

Thanks to everyone who participated! (Sorry, Canadians. Sad face.) Winner was chosen at random, using a random list generator.

I’m having another giveaway coming up soon — jewelery this time! So keep an eye out. More chances to win stuff! Woohoo!


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