Sublimefemme Tells All, No. 36

A femme can be happy without many things, but lipstick is not one of them.

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Favorite Makeup Palettes

Happy holidays, kittens!  What’s your favorite palette?  The one you actually use?  Van is waiting for my Christmas wish list, so please share your recommendations!

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Sublimefemme Tells All, No. 35

The key to the perfect summer is the perfect swimsuit.  This one from last month’s VF Italy could be it, no?

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Keeping Up Appearances

I’ve missed you, my darlings!  I’ve been swamped with work and have a mountain of papers to grade but, thanks to Jane Iredale, at least my makeup looks good.  Have I mentioned that Iredale’s D2O hydration spray is the sweet elixir of life?  Well, now you know.  Go forth and spritz!

Elizabeth Taylor: In Memoriam

I wrote this post to honor the legendary Liz Taylor, my femme style icon.

I think the first time I “got” femme was when I saw Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   Looking drop-dead gorgeous in her clingy slip, Maggie fights with Brick about their living arrangements and hisses, “I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage that’s all!”   Me-YOW!   La Liz could deliver a line like nobody’s business.

When I was in my twenties I couldn’t imagine ever being as sexy and femme as Elizabeth Taylor–or even on the same planet as her.  (If Kitty Kelley is right that ET is “the last star,” then actually no one is on the same planet as Liz.)   Watching her old films, I was intrigued by her seductive combination of vulnerability and strength–and those legendary violet eyes. (I want violet eyes!!!)   Taylor is iconic for me not only because of her beauty and style, but also because of her resilience and willingness to admit her imperfections. My favorite Elizabeth Taylor quote? “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”

Without a doubt, the actress’s most inspiring virtue was her passionate AIDS advocacy, which began in the early days of the pandemic when public figures (including President Reagan) failed to speak out or act to help people who were infected and desperately needed treatments.  (Actually, Reagan did ultimately give one speech about AIDS in 1987, prompted in part by Taylor’s personal plea.)  Deeply compassionate, Taylor fought against discrimination and for the lives and dignity of people with HIV and AIDS.  She was a champion for AIDS research and prevention, becoming the national chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and leading a global fundraising effort that has raised more than $233 million.

Here are two great ways to honor Taylor’s legacy of activism and continue the fight against HIV and AIDS:

  • Support the Scientists Fighting HIV: amfAR is one of the world’s largest organizations dedicated to funding the “foot soldiers” on the frontlines of HIV and AIDS research, putting money into finding new and innovative treatments—and an eventual cure—for HIV and AIDS.
  • Help People Living With HIV and AIDS: The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has donated more than $12 million to organizations helping prevent the spread of the disease. Its grants go to groups working directly to help patients and to those living with HIV and AIDS.

Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23 of congestive heart failure.  She was 79.

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Shoe Swoon

As soon as I find the right outfits to go with these beauties, my fall wardrobe will be complete!

Iconic shoe designs by Roger Vivier.

“Beauty is shoe, shoe beauty.”  –Andy Warhol

Hats Off

“I may have to confiscate that brim,” said the stud airport security guard to Van as we traversed the Houston airport.  We were on our way to our vacation spot on the west coast and Van was wearing a very sharp Panama hat that always attracts the attention of hat lovers.  Van is never afraid to wear a hat, a quality I think she gets from her mother, who’s a true hat aficionado.

While I have appreciated Van’s hats (not all of them, I admit), I’ve never been a hat person myself.  That is, until I fell head over heals in love with a large black and white sun hat that I bought on vacation, simply because I could not resist its movie star glamour.  I wore the hat on the beach, where it looked great with my black and white bikini, and out to a very fancy dinner Van planned to celebrate our 15th anniversary. Truthfully, I’ve never felt so transformed by an accessory before.  It was, in a word, sublime!