More APMU on New Blog!

My darling APMU readers,

I know it has been some time since I’ve written… I’ve been keeping busy 🙂 But I’m happy to announce I have a new blog where you can find more travel, fashion, lifestyle and career tips, with a swanky new design and name to boot!

Check out the recently launched In Tote Blog here, here, here, and here!

in tote screen shot



Hot on the Web: What You Need to Know Today


Dior Haute Couture 2013

There’s so much already going on this week, and it’s only Tuesday. 

With the holiday yesterday, I missed my Monday morning hot-news update, and returned to an influx of emails today that put me on content-overload.  Since I know my readers are busy peeps (all 5 of you :)), I scoured the web and found the best tidbits that you might actually be interested to know.  Here’s the scoop: Continue reading

5 Simple Ways to Reboot Your Style for 2013

We are just two weeks into 2013, and already your New Years’ resolutions (or shall we call them good intentions) are a distant memory.  Not to worry!  You can still start this year off on the right stiletto with a … Continue reading

Lash Out!

Eyelash extensions are all the rage on the beauty market! No doubt you have heard a thing or two about them already. I decided to get the skinny on the whole process while I was in New York for Fashion Week (perfect time for a make-over on my barely-there stubs).

I arranged an appointment with my lash expert, Cheri, after attending my shows for the day, accounting for the 120 or so minutes it would take to assemble each little bugger before meeting a friend at Mari Venna for dinner. Cheri took one look at the shape and length of my short lashes and said, “Oh, you are going to love this.” We decided a size 10 lash would be a good way to ease me into a longer lash (as opposed to going straight for the spider-leg-long-17 size lashes).

I laid down and shut my eyes for the long haul while my lash stylist giddily combed my lashes, assembling the synthetics while I fired away with all of my questions. No doubt some of you are wondering about the process as well, so I have put together a concise — and truthful– question and answer portion here for you:

Q: How many fake lashes do you use?
A: Anywhere from 60-120, I try to get every lash I can.

Q. What is used to assemble the fake lashes to your real lashes?
A. The lashes are attached to your eyelashes near the root with the same adhesive used in the medical field to stitch up small cuts and what not — totally safe and comfortable for your eyes.

Q: Is there a certain brand of lashes recommended?
A. Cheri only uses Xtreme Lashes. They are one of the few companies that requires professional training and specialized certifications of all lash experts who use their products.

Q: Why are eyelash extensions better than fake lashes that you can buy at the store?
A: The Xtreme lashes last longer (up to 3-5 weeks) and create a fuller, more natural look than fake disposable lashes. They are also safer for your eyelashes — fake eyelashes can pull out your real lashes when you remove them.

Q: Can I still wear makeup with the lash extensions?
A: After getting the lash extensions, you won’t want to wear eye-makeup for the first 24-48 hours. After that, it is completely safe for you to wear shadow, primer, liner, etc. With your new lashes, you won’t need mascara, however Cheri says some of her clients still like to wear it, so she would recommend the Xtreme Lash Mascara, specially made so it is safe for your synthetic lashes.

Q: Let’s talk turkey. How much does it cost?
A: A full set runs around $350 big ones…. but but, that includes one refill, and additional refills are only $60-$80, which let’s be honest is getting close to the price of your mascara. All in all, if you have tiny stubby eyelashes, it’s a totally justifiable beauty expense.

MB Fashion Week: Herve Leger

It would seem there are only so many ways you can do body-con bandage dresses yet, somehow, Max Azria’s 3rd leg of the BCBG lifestyle empire presented 30 something unique variations. Texture is added through perforated materials, metal clasps, and vertical prints. The collection had an ethereal feel like something you would see in a modern space flick, metallics on skin tight black materials and prints and buckles placed on a grid create a Matrix-chic style. Zippers follow the vertical line down the back of fitted dresses and skirts and straps cut through patterns create sharp angles at the neckline, connecting material wrapped all the way around the neck. The evening wear is, of course, breathtaking, and there were a few rich coats and cropped jackets added to break up the array of dresses. The Herve Leger woman is strong and sexy, a modern warrior who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants and looks great while doing it.

MB Fashion Week: Alexandre Herchcovitch

Though this collection was wrought with delicate overlapping of lace and soft symmetrical wool pieces and a knit coat/cropped jacket combo made with small silver beads inset in the crevices that looked like polka dots from afar, Alexandre Herchcovitch says his inspiration came from the violent forces of nature. Volcanic rocks, magma, and rock sediment are recreated through the juxtaposition of neon yellow lace inset in the cracks of black wool dresses and coats resembling magma exploding through black stone. Contrasting fabrics and surface treatments used in the collection further explore this creative union of natural elements. Silk chiffon and aged silk satin are paired with rich cashmere and lace. Sumptuous chiffon fabrics are transformed with ink stains resembling the cloud of ashes from an active volcano. Black lace insets on the hips of a cropped pant that allude to 19th century bustles and bondage strips used over the arms of a coat indicate a restraint or controlling of nature. Accessories complete the theme, using black pearl necklaces and bracelets with magnet stone closings, textured crocodile skin belts, heavy suede boots, and a clutch made to look like a cut stone made of resin.

MB Fashion Week: Vera Wang Fall 2011 Collection

It’s a rare occasion indeed to have ALL of the main Vogue editors at a show together (especially with the Elle clan one row over). Vera Wang brought the top names in fashion publishing– Anna Wintour, Tonne Goodman, Grace Coddington, Andre Leon Tally, Joe Zee, Roberta Meyers (celebrities that make us bloggers woo with excitement)– together in one room to view her collection. And for good reason too. The highly anticipated show opened to the beginning score from Atonement, setting the mood for a modernized 1920s allure. Models came through an iron clad fence on the runway dripped in rustic and edgy fashions. Vera’s moody all black/charcoal collection still feels chic even with all the color shown by different designers this week– starting with the darkest pieces and working eventually to some creams, blushes and earthy tones. Pleated half skirts layered over skin tight pants and leggings and under voluminous cropped coats with fox lining around the hoods. The structure and silhouettes (especially in the eveningwear) felt very ’30s– flat on top, gathering at the lower hips and flowing outward to the ground, elongating frail figures and rejecting female curves. Thirty some odd bare backs dresses with only thin delicate racer back straps to hold them up were paired with thick rustic leather gloves. Each variation had elaborate detail and craftsmanship while retaining VW’s edgy vibe.

MB Fashion Week: Jenny Packham

UK designer Jenny Packham has long been a favorite of mine for editorial photo shoots so, naturally, I was interested to see what she was presenting this season. Though Packham may have provided her luxurious threads to young Hollywood Grammy-goers last night, the Central St. Martin’s grad had old Hollywood glamour on the brain for this collection. The program for the show had this quote listed by iconic bombshell Marlene Dietrich– “Men cluster to me like moths around a flame and if their wings burn I know I’m not to blame.” Appropriately, several of the pieces used moth tulle affixed with silver, gold and copper beads. The collection echoes Dietrich’s soft yet forward style too. Creativity in the texture of the jackets, cocktail wear, and leggings is what makes Packham a sought after designer. This collection upholds her strengths with a few new risks– lots of sheer silk chiffon, lace, and of course beading were used, and also a kind of disco inspired gold lame but done in a much less tacky way than the late ’60s Studio 54 style. Gold lame used for a full length halter gown that draped gracefully all the way around and metallics playing with sheer mothy materials gave way to peek-a-boo sex appeal. Though the designer failed to make an appearance after the show, she managed to thoroughly our attention and demonstrated her capability to keep a fresh approach to her signature style.

Photos provided by Joey Bettencourt.

Fashion Insiders’ Christmas List: Boucheron Vertu Cobra Cell Phone

“The Boucheron Vertu cell phone speaks for itself.  It is overly luxurious.  The jeweled cobra is beautiful and a little dangerous, is that not what every woman wants to feel like??  I have been a fan of Boucheron for a long time as well as a fan of Vertu, so when they combined to create this luxury cell phone, it seemed like a match made in heaven.”

-Jessica McMahon, designer of Lilah Gabriel

Boucheron Cobra Cellular Phone by Vertu, $310,000.00