Make-Up at the Gym..like a lot of it

Bela. Marin County. May 2017.

I love Bela, she’s so real and doesn’t hide who she is. Ask any woman if they wear make-up to the gym, most will lie. Here’s my mini-interview with Bela, mom, make-up artist & a whole lot more:

Mara: “In your opinion, what’s the most essential item of make-up you need?”

Bela: “So I can’t just pick one, I feel every girl needs concealer, a touch of blush, defined brows, a little bit of eyeliner (although I cake it on) mascara and powder. My favorite translucent powder is Beauty Counter’s loose powder, it’s great for oily skin.”

Mara: “I’m crying of laughter, this is make-up you would use on a film set, or on Broadway!  And this is your normal, every day routine -So What about BB cream, oils, stuff that you can wear to the gym?”

Bela: “Mara, I mean let me be clear, I do FULL face all day, everyday, gym, no-gym, school drop-off or no school drop-off, EVERYDAY”

Mara: “Can I quote you verbatim on Haute Drop-Off”

Bela: “Hell yea”

Bela and I volunteered together, our job was to put make-up on women in a charity fashion show. The women who sat in my chair, came out looking like they were on serious drugs or they lost in a street fight.  Obviously, I tried to convince them of my theory that, “black and blue makes the eyes appear 20 years younger”, horrified because my lie wasn’t sinking in, I gave Bela the ‘save me’ look, and so she did. Bela dove in and fixed my terrible make-up job.  From then on, I knew she had my back -and we became quick friends.

A row of lower back stars.. and how about this delicious kid? Bela grew up in Southern California, and visits her brother in West Hollywood frequently – apparently, he also is head to toe G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S.

Sexy shoulders.

Loooong legs..and this gorgeous child was so fun and delicious.

I love Bela’s pop of tattoos  – you don’t know she has them – and then they just appear

yum.

Bela knows how to look good for the camera, and I think I should be her agent :).

Those low ankle boots are a 90’s throw back.. love them, flattering and make short cut-off’s look rock-n-roll…(do people still say that?)

When your mama has legs as long as a super model, you hold on to those things for support.

I always had friends much taller than me, it’s always a funny combination. It’s helpful to have tall friends for so many things, especially if you are trying to get the attention of a bartender. They ALWAYS see the tall people first, weird.

And as mothers, we can’t always pose for photographs – I mean, these kids want to do things, they want to climb  – I love how Bela’s holding her daughter’s faux fur jacket, so she can climb the play structure.

 

 

 

 

These $130 Sweats make my Butt look Weird…

Marin County. May 2017.

So, I’m going to show you how I wear sweatpants.  I style them in a way that represents my style: imperfect, funky & disheveled . When I wear them, I use a lot of accessories to balance out how unflattering they are to a women’s body.

You guys have heard me wonder out loud, “how the hell did I pay $130 for these sweats?” – but considering they serve as sleep wear and day wear, I got a pretty good deal on these bad boys..

I have so much going on here, let’s begin with the labels

Leg Warmers: Target, Flats: Chanel, Sweats: Free City https://freecitysupershop.com, Bag: Urban Zen https://www.urbanzen.com (Donna Karan’s Urban Zen), Denim shirt (cut unevenly by me): Holding Horses, Personalized Door Knockers: https://melodyehsani.com Top: Adidas, Sunglasses: Made Well (they already broke!)

Donna Karan’s Urban Zen is the designers website bringing together her favorite things – The items are carefully sourced, made ethically and usually go toward supporting a worthwhile cause. This bag is enormous  – it fits my laptop, camera etc.. it was a gift for my mother, but after someone nearly tripped on the fringe, she mailed it back to me.

So let’s talk. I’m always half way between just working out and going to get my kids from school. Often, I question the point of showering and getting dressed at all, when the people I see are usually sitting at a coffee shop staring into their laptops. Sometimes, I miss the challenge of living someplace where everyones style game is on point – because then I want to step it up.

I love being comfortable. Believe me, I wear these sweats to sleep and in public. Here’s how I make them look less doubty.. I wear this to spinning class, I just throw my flats in the locker and switch to the spinning shoes. Yoga and spinning are perfect workouts for people who hate ugly sneakers…. like me!!

My butt looks terrible in these sweats. I’m posting this angle to explain that for me, at least, comfort is sometimes more important.. I know, shocking.

Told you the bag is huge!! Good thing about being short, is you can get away with wearing ridiculously big bags- It wasn’t the Olsen twins who started that trend – but I’ll make the reference.

Leg warmers are accessories for your feet and legs, they can take a simple look, and make it funky or make you feel like you are ready to dance on stage.

And that’s my dorky face..

 

 

Haute Equestrian Mama.

Marin County. May 2017. Equestrian Mama.

When I see someone in full on riding gear, I think Town & Country, I think Palm Beach, Hamptons Polo matches – I think, this person is seriously FANCY..

My mom used to take me riding, I’m still not sure if it was for some special therapy or because my strong legs indicated I may possibly thrive at riding. My fear of jumps, ended my short entree into the world of horses, horse trainers and what I really wanted, an HERMÈS Saddle and knee high riding boots…

As an older teenager, I lead the equestrian, riding group at sleep-a-way camp in the deep South.  My short cut off shorts and slight heels would take a weekly van ride to a real ranch, where men in cowboy hats would chew tobacco and listen to old country music.  I would hang out with them, as we exchanged stories of our very different lives, with Waylon Jennings as the background noise.

Riding in the mountains, and getting to know these incredible animals – that was my favorite part. But fear took over, when my horse would get close to the mountain’s edge – “trust the horse”, these country boys would say – “I’m NEUROTIC, I can’t” – and then a cowboy and his horse would stay close to the neurotic one, and that’s when I could feel free…..

This mama rides and has the style to match—she walked into school and we all stopped to check out her gorgeous look.

Royal blue…

Well, I’m always a fan of a bun with waves…

Black and blue  -always is right… my mama taught me that fashion rule

Haute Equestrian Mom…

Haute Drop-Off, Carpool lane edition…

Jen. Mom. Dancer. Business Consultant. San Rafael, California. May 2017.

I acted like a paparazzi here, because most kids don’t want me to annoy them with my non-stop chatter and clicking camera. Jen is an amazing mom, business executive and Brazilian dancer.. she can MOVE!!

We do so much in the morning to get our kids ready – it’s hard to look put together, especially at 8:00 in the morning. These photographs are a true example of what it’s like for us glamorous mothers at school drop-off….. 🙂

Stylin’ @ Safeway. Met Gala. Tokyo Style.

Maka. San Rafael, California. April 2017.

I approached Maka in the check out line at Safeway. I was late, as usual and already had the store manager helping me find random ingredients to make a Greek soda for a school pot luck – What’s lime grind?

This jacket, denim, blinged out, made me have to ask this mom to take her photo. She asked to see some proof of an actual website, and that maybe I do have kids. During this photo shoot, we were getting a lot of attention from the population of homeless who hang out at this particular Safeway. It’s not funny at all, it’s sad – but what I learned is these people, were quite helpful in calling out photographic directions.

Maka moved here from Tokyo recently. We became fast friends, as she worked in fashion and wants to go vintage shopping with me. It’s hard adjusting to a new culture, so I immediately connected Maka with my friend Yuriko, who is another Japanese transplant. I admit it makes me feel good to bring people together. Having kids can be lonely – you need support, especially when you are so far from home.

REI KAWAKUBO: But let’s talk Japanese fashion.  The 2017 theme of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala is Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons. Opening on May 4, the show will be the first monograph exhibition at the museum featuring a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983.

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: In June, I’ll be at The Met, checking out the exhibit. But most of all it’s the people viewing the exhibit that will be most fascinating. The style at fashion exhibits in NYC, or any major city is so stimulating, I just people watch for hours- and hope that I’m cool enough to be style checked as well.

So we can’t all go to the Met Gala, but thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, some of us can have a little peak into the world of high style/art/celebrity/design….For more information, http://www.metmuseum.org

YUP. 1980’s perfection. and it was only $35 – my kinda woman.

Just remember even if you are shorter, you can pull off long jackets – with NO HEELS!

Shoulder pad action.

 

I Keep on Truckin’ in Door Knockers & Chanel

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April 2017. Somewhere in California…..Keep on Truckin’

Love the patches, especially since I now live in Grateful Dead country, and that’s an original patch – little did anyone know, it would be worn with stilettos and a large classic Chanel bag.

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This 70’s jean jacket was hiding in between two vintage hawaiian shirts at the vintage flea market in Oakland. You would think I won the lottery, I was so excited – – -and for $70.00, it was mine. Oversized, original patches, perfect color and rips in all the right places – I landed on vintage denim perfection. Sunglass are from Madewell, www.madewell.com

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These amazing door knockers are personalized with my name – from Melody Ehsani, https://melodyehsani.com and my chandelier earrings are from Neiman Marcus by Oscar de la Renta

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My heels are from the Off Fifth, the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store – they were maybe $20. The sun dress was also a random and very inexpensive find. Most people, would say it’s really a top!! The bag, Chanel – not inexpensive, but I like to think of it as an “investment” piece, investment in my style 🙂

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The oversized jean jacket, makes a mini-dress seem more comfortable. I can wear it open or hide behind the bagginess.

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Seeeeee I can hide under this huge jacket!

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Photos: T. Palmer, Styling: Me..

 

 

 

 

I Only Buy Trail Mix for the M&M’s.

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Ferry Building. San Francisco. February 2017.

I love Patagonia, on kids. Neal had the cutest little Patagonia vest. The vest was a hand me down, it reminded me of Vermont, and rich hippies from liberal colleges in the Northeast. I had a Patagonia jacket in College, a friend from Rhode Island gave it to her Miami friend, to maybe fit in a little more in preppy Boston. I used to wear it on all my plane rides, it kept me warm and I felt like a boarding school kid, who hiked on the weekends, and kept trail mix in my back pack. But the thing is, we all know I’m the person who buys trail mix purely for the M&M’s, it’s not as embarrassing to buy trail mix as it is to buy king size M&M’s.

Currently, I love seeing Patagonia on guys with a John F. Kennedy Jr./Ben Harper style sensibility, who know when to wear a Patagonia jacket and when to opt for a jacket that would look weird on an outdoor trek. You get my point. And If you are going to go with an outdoor brand, Patagonia is a company with integrity and a cool factor.

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This mom’s style is casual and functional. It’s not always about looking like you are prancing down a runway. She’s running after a toddler, and he’s fast.

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Flannels are everywhere, thank you Kurt Cobain..90’s style is everywhere.

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She’s wearing highlighter are the apples of her cheeks and eyes, this is a hot make-up trend now – I’ve been using RMS Beauty Master Mixer, www.rmsbeauty.com – this product is all natural, created by a veteran make-up artist. You’ll glow!!

 

Women’s March Oakland. Haute Drop-Off.

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I had to take a selfie before taking off to Oakland. If you know me well, you have free reign to poke fun; It seems like I’m attempting to morph into a contrived character out of a Free People catalog, I can see them advertising ‘free spirit protest clothing on sale after January 22′. And what my look says most likely is, “hey, I’m going to a protest, so let me draw a piece sign on my stomach, and wear something bohemian, but still stylish” I get it guys, and I admit it.  BUT when am I ever going to get a chance to draw a peace sign on my stomach and not get punched for it?

The issue is peace signs are so contrived, even if I still love them.  But there is a new symbol taking over, the VULVA. The vulva was the official symbol of the Women’s March. Women dressed as Vulvas, drew them and wore clothing with vulvas as the main theme. I am not great at drawing, so a last minute vulva sketch on my stomach was an impossible task – but know that I will be prepared at the next march.

FASHION NOTES: Plaid top: Zara, Denim, distressed tank: Intermix, Jeans: MOTHER, Moccasins: Minnetonka, Socks: Urban Outfitters

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I ran to CVS in a creepy area near my house, I kept thinking how I’m buying posters to protest for Women’s rights, and I’m nervous that a man is going to attack me in the dark, desolate parking lot. I also thought it very sorority like to buy poster board and sharpees at CVS, it’s good I have terrible handwriting, which always makes me seem legit!!  IMG_0779

My friends Willa and Eric, who happen to be with my family when Trump was elected. We were all horrified, and figured we should march together.

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This is en route to the Oakland march, tons of Police cars and traffic. My friend Eric brought a gorgeous Leica film camera to document the march, he didn’t want to waste any photos on us – – -bastard!!

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This march was filled with mothers and kids, families  – as a mother, I know how hard it is to stand/walk in a crowded place with kids for hours – this is so important for younger generations to participate and witness.

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My favorite sign, it had such a fashion angle. The signs were exceptional.

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Here I am, holding my sign high and proud – I make so many jokes, but the reality is serious here. I’ve struggled as a woman, like all of us  – but my basic rights have not personally been threatened. I thank the generations of women before me who stood up for equality  -we’re still not there yet – and the President elect has threatened our basic rights, and I’m not going to stand still and be silent. This is not a political issue – this is a human issue. Proud to stand with so many vocal Americans, who refuse to be muted. May we continue to be vocal, fight back and refuse to accept mistreatment, lack of human rights and inequality for all people.

Miami can be Low Key & Haute

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LaToya. Miami. December 2016.

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Spotted LaToya after her son’s foot got caught in a door, didn’t stop me from asking for a photo – — see the tears 🙁

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LaToya’s adorable ballet slippers in bright red are from PAYLESS!!! Love them. www.payless.com

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LaToya has no make-up on and looks gorgeous –

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I love her low key style on a slightly “cold” Miami day – ya know, it was 77 degrees out!

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Posing..

 

Top Holiday Toys via eBay/Huffpost

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eBay.com & Thehuffingtonpost.com asked for my top kid gift this holiday season, I sound like a total capitalist, to which I’m not – but most of all, I feel like a true success when I watch my boys play a board game – they focus, read directions and have fun without technology – it’s so validating. I know you moms get it, and dads!!

“Haute Drop-Off blogger Mara Menachem plans to prepare her kids for the business world with the assistance of a classic board game.” Click on the link to read about my holiday toy pick, and other top mom bloggers…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/8-bloggers-reveal-the-holiday-seasons-trendiest-toys-to-thrill-your-kids_us_582621e2e4b02d21bbc89bf4