Fondly, Effeigh: 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Look Out, Lush

Now occupying slot #342 in the Inc. 5000 list (an annual ranking of the fastest growing, privately owned, American companies) is Urban Fresh Cosmetics - a family-run, farm-to-tub line of products ranging from an all natural skincare collection to luscious scented candles, and even pet shampoo. The company leapt to this coveted position from slot #603, which they earned just one year prior.

Keith West-Harrington and his partner André erected their urban farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after Hurricane Katrina claimed their promising hybrid hotel-spa-and-coffeehouse in New Orleans. The couple now sources the herbs used in their luxurious products directly from the farm they have reared, which also fuels their green day spa, Great Face & Body. They use only eco-friendly packaging, and even give back to the cosmetics community by heading a consulting firm in their free time that coaches salon and spa owners on methods of increasing their profitability. If that wasn't impressive enough, they also host classes for their customers, covering a vast array of topics including solar energy, vertical gardening, beekeeping, and more.

Urban Fresh Cosmetics' "Sensitive Acne Bar," looking more like a tempting pile of brownies than a skin treatment.

"The Ashley: Gin & Tonic With Juniper Berries Soap." Nuff said. *drooling*

Pop culture fanatics will also be tickled to learn that Urban Fresh's founders capitalized on the popularity of the totally addictive (no pun intended) series Breaking Bad, which filmed in Abuquerque, not far from their brand's HQ. And - here's the best part - they called their line of products that were inspired by the show "Bathing Bad."

"Smooth Operator Sugar Bar." Bears a slight resemblance to Walter White's blue meth, don'tcha think?

Find out more about this wholesome and ambitious operation at

xoxo Effeigh

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Olympia Le-Tan

Living in this city can wear on one's sense of individuality. We're constantly embedded in a crowd, within which we often spot - inexplicably and to our dismay - other harried women sporting the same [insert hairstyle or item of clothing here]. Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, and other mass-market retail powerhouses pump out irresistibly cheap and trendy pieces that we, with our busy schedules and love of bargains, can binge-buy without a second thought. Our wardrobes are packed, but uninspired, and seldom do we stumble upon a designer or boutique that produces pieces that can shake us from our ennui long enough to appreciate their craftsmanship.

Enter Olympia Le-Tan. Not only does the London-born Parisian designer have a name reminiscent of a superhero's secret identity, but her claim to fame has been her equally clever conception of handbag creations inspired by everything from novels to food items to vinyl records. Whimsical and colorfully embroidered, these designs take us back to a time when comfort and pattern clashing were celebrated, and when we announced proudly to our mothers a proclamation they surely dreaded: "I am dressing MYSELF today!" The result was always some outrageous costume-sleepwear hybrid, but we were expressing ourselves, and were overjoyed to be marching into school thinking "this is my special creation." Our friends would agree that our neon pink tutu or polka dot nightgown was "so pretty!" and we would float through our lessons and play sessions without a hint of self-consciousness.

War and Peace Book Clutch by Olympia Le-Tan

Natalie Portman with an original Olympia Le-tan clutch

Of course, we aren't going to sneeze at the contact cool we might catch off these trendy treasures. Le-Tan's designs are gaining a lot of attention amongst the Hollywood It-Girl cliques, but are still widely unknown amongst your average New York fashionista. Consult your inner 6-year old on this - you have our blessing - because girly geek chic has never been so covetable!

xoxo Effeigh

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Glam Slime

I would like to publically apologize for the deplorable crimes I have committed... against my skin.

Dear Skin, I am so ashamed of how I have treated you in all our years together. I haven't cleansed you completely each evening, often falling asleep with caked-on makeup only to awake to eyeliner flaking from your eyelids and burning my unsuspecting eyes. I have forgotten to moisturize you for days at a time. You have suffered most in the summer, when I take to the brutally hot city streets after neglecting to slather on the sunscreen you so desperately depend on. You have tolerated this abuse, and bounced back, miraculously. You have yet to punish my insolence with the consequences of skin cancer, and I thank you for your clemency. I can change. I swear. Please, be patient with me. We can work this out!

I'm open to your ideas. What must I do to gain your trust again? I've been reading up on some possible courses of action, and one skincare method stands out, in particular.

Two words: "snail slime."

*Pause for dramatic effect*

Okay, hear me out. People have been using mud and bee venom to treat their various skin inconsistencies for ages. And apparently, snail mucin treatments have been popular for years now, gaining stratospheric popularity recently in Korea. According to my research, even the Ancient Greeks experimented with the stuff.

Snail mucin is touted as being capable of fading acne scars, reducing the signs of aging, smoothing the complexion, eliminating dryness, and providing an all-over healthy glow. Listen, Skin, companies have been infusing this gunk into everything from creams to balms to masks, so it isn't like I'll be subjecting you to a direct mollusk-to-face application. Established named like Mizon, Organic Doctor, and Tony Moly have all embraced the trend, and what's good enough for them should be good enough for us, no?

Oh... "No," it is. I'll just get you some cocoa butter, then. Good talk.

xoxo Effeigh

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Trend Watch: Viking Braids

I often catch myself brimming with envy as I take my seasonal hairstyle census: the oppressive NYC heat is already distributing its usual calling cards of humidity induced frizz and neck-clinging flyaways, and bold young women everywhere are lopping off their locks, side stepping the styling struggles.

I, on the other hand, due to a great many years of consecutive, ill-advised hair don'ts (mohawks, faux hawks, mullets - you name it, I'm ashamed of it) am completely unwilling at this stage in my life to part with the limp strands still recovering from so many botched color processes, which have finally made their way down to my clavicle. So what's a girl to do with her sloppy mop when summer's unforgiving conditions set up camp in the muggy Big Apple?

Ladies, I submit to you THE VIKING BRAID. This more ornate cousin of the bohemian styles that have permeated the summer festival subculture for a handful of years now is an attractive alternative to messy buns and *shudder* ponytails that scream, respectively "I don't have my shit together" and "I just came from the gym." For a small investment of time (enlist a gal pal and make an event of it) you can rock these intricate hair sculptures straight on till shampoo day, and fancy yourself an elegant warrior-goddess who is not to be crossed. 

Source: Bustle

Pinterest has oodles of inspo and -thankfully- tutorials with which to experiment. Go forth and impress with your tresses!

xoxo Effeigh

Friday, May 22, 2015

House of Holland

I've had my web-obsessed eye (that's the one that never strays too far from one screen or another) on the brilliantly blinding and always evolving plethora of patterns from emerging fashion brand House of Holland for a handful of years now. Since my discovery of brand in 2011, a mere three years after the label's official launch in 2008 by mastermind Henry Holland, the collections have broadened to include an eyewear line (made famous by a collaboration with Le Specs and a promotional campaign with Iggy Azalea), and other accessories, but as early on as 2009, the Holland was attracting attention from household names like Levi Strauss & Co., superstar supermodel Agyness Deyn, and dance floor diva MIA. House of Holland's designs appeal to the anglophile in us all, bringing an edgy London-look to the fashion scene that has been sorely missed since Jean Paul Gaultier first adapted Trafalgar Square's punk styles for the runway.

The latest collection, not to be out-shined by its predecessors, boasts prismatic plaids, illustration-inspired prints, and structured, asymmetrical silhouettes. Not only can you view the Autumn-Winter 2015 catwalk show via their website, but you can try on the collection with a virtual version of yourself, constructed from your measurements, thanks to a handy widget called "memodel." You can also shop the current ready to wear collection via their UK-based online store, or via ASOS in the US.

xoxo Effeigh