Our end of 2017 round-up of staff favorites was so much fun to do, and was so well received, that we thought we might make a semi-regular feature out of it! Read for an eclectic assortment of odds and ends that the Haute Macabre writers are digging on lately, and be sure to share some of your “whatever favorites” with us in the comments!
Fluevog Canopy When I first tried these gorgeous platform Mary Janes on, I thought I was going to die, both from disappointment and agony. The upper portion of the shoe dug into my foot so intensely, that after having worn for a period of less than five minutes, I thought my foot was being sliced in half. I returned them for half a size larger, and tried them with a pair of tights, and not only did they look amazing–they were amazingly comfortable. Almost like an entirely different shoe. If you grab a pair for yourself, definitely size up a bit. (Pictured with leggings from Black Milk.)
Rue Morgue Magazine Rue Morgue is the only magazine I have ever consistently subscribed to in my life, and for well over a decade now I’ve been looking forward to the arrival of each and every issue in my mailbox. I am a huge lover of horror across all mediums, not just movies, and Rue Morgue scratches all of my weird itches with their fantastic interviews, features and reviews on film, literature, music, even video games. Most other horror magazines have always felt…well…kind of sleazy to me. It may sound weird to say that I have never felt weird or gross reading Rue Morgue (even though they often cover weird and gross things!) I’ve been a fan of this marvelously macabre periodical professional coverage of the horror genrethrough several editorial changes and it’s so exciting to see all of the changes and additions they’ve implemented lately, and the new directions they take. Thanks for the great work, Andrea & co! (Both rings pictured in this photo are made by Arcana Obscura, and Maika talks more about this marvelous jeweler, below!)
Spanx Shapewear So you know how when you eat like garbage but you have to get your fancy dress to zip up so you don’t shame and humiliate your dear friend on their wedding day (because all eyes are on you at your friend’s wedding, right?) And then you have to suck it up and drink the pooping teas and exercise like those Instagram people who have the crazy tiny waists but also wonderfully enormous butts? No, of course not. That’s insane. Don’t do those things! You buy some Spanx. I initially had my doubts regarding the efficacy of these contraptions, and I also worried about the disaster that might potentially ensue when I inevitably had to pee whilst wearing skintight, full body, shapewear, under a dress that might not actually “fit”, in the truest sense of the word, but—friends. Oh, friends. I don’t suppose you honestly could describe the wearing of Spanx as a “lovely experience”, but you know what? I am. Because it was. I chose the full torso kind with straps over your shoulders that left room for you to wear your own bra, and once I struggled into it, pulled it it up and over my lumps, and it was properly on… it was like a marvelous, flub-squishing Gravity Blanket. There’s something intensely soothing about compression, about being physically held together, especially when you’re so anxious you might fly apart at any second. It actually felt good to wear, which is weird to say, but it is true. Also, and this is some hilarious TMI for you: it has a “tinkle slot”: an opening in the crotch so that you don’t have to contort yourself out of your dress and shapewear and stockings, etc, in the cramped confines of a bathroom stall when you have to pee Nope, you just lift your skirts and tilt your hips a little (you’ll get the hang of it) and before you know it, you’re whizzing through a tinkle slot like an old pro. And by now, I assure you, I am a pro. Weddings are filled with people I don’t know and with whom I may have to converse, and so, Sarah may have fortified herself with several cocktails throughout the evening. And you know how it is once the seal has broken: from that point on, you are stepping away every fifteen minutes in search of a toilet. That tinkle slot is immensely liberating! A+++, 5 stars, would squish and tinkle again.
Dorco Tinkle eyebrow shaper Speaking of tinkles, right? Just kidding, sort of. I come from a long and respected tradition of women with luxurious mustaches and sometimes I get a little self conscious about my own. Although sometimes I don’t! And both are okay ways to feel about it. I’m not a fancy enough person to do electrolysis or waxing, so I picked up a few of these small, angled razors to scrape away my facial fuzz. They’re great! I only use them twice a week at most, and it only takes a second or two. You could use them for your eyebrows, as advertised, but I plucked mine away in the 90s and they never really grew back, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore, I guess.
Benefit Gimme Brow As I mentioned, my poor wee brows need help. I’m not hugely enamored with what I think of as “Instagram eyebrows”, and anyway, wow, that’s a lot of work. I can’t commit to what ultimate looks like two caterpillars having a staring contest with each other, over top my eyeballs. At least that’s how they look when I do it. I’m probably doing it wrong. The Gimme Brow product, however, adds a little bit of volume, a little bit of tint, and it doesn’t look wiggly larvae. That’s good enough for me!
Birds Adored Do you lose yourself in imaginative reveries wherein you design a S/S couture collection inspired by the exotic plumage of unusually beautiful birds? No? Follow Birds Adored on instagram and you’ll soon find yourself doing exactly that. These birds would have given everyone a run for their money at the recent Met Gala.
ILNP MEGA (S) Scattered Holographic Nail Polish My love affair with ILNP Boutique Nail Lacquer began a few years ago and I still can’t get enough of their vivid colors with their shimmering, shiny, sparkling, and holographic finishes. I tend to have a different favorite of theirs every couple months or so and right now I’m hooked on this ridonkulously holographic and sparkly pale silver polish. Every time I manage to switch to a different color, I soon miss the way this one looks on my nails and end up switching back a few days later. ILNP MEGA (S), I can’t quit you!
La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye Cream As someone who frequently sleeps poorly or simply not enough for various reasons, the contents of this little tube do wonders for puffiness and shadows under my eyes on mornings when I wake up looking more undead than usual.
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask This is the second lip mask I’ve tried (the first was the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask) and I really like it. The formula is very thick – a little goes a long way – and, unlike the Laneige Mask, in the morning when I wash my face there’s still some left on my lips to be washed off as well (unlike the Laneige lip mask). While I also use lip balms and glosses and such, I credit this product with getting my lips through the latter half of winter without any chapping of note.
FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer Credit goes to my lovely friend Jo for recommending this lip gloss to me. Although it might not look like it in the container, it’s a nude lip gloss, which makes it perfect for everyday use. It lasts much longer than any other lip gloss I’ve tried previously and just generally feels…luscious. I’ve worn plenty of lip glosses that are simply glossy, but this one is actually moisturizing in addition to being plenty glossy. Before using this it hadn’t even occurred to me that a lip gloss could feel decadent, but this one really does.
Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop Credit goes to Jo once again for turning me on to these monstrously wonderful bath and body products. This two-woman business in Massachusetts slays at creating quality products (I can’t say enough good things about their corpse creams and body scrubs) and bestowing them all with scents that are as pleasant to the nose as they are wickedly well named. Because this is a very small operation, everything is made in limited batches, roughly every two weeks or so. Be forewarned, they always seem to sell out very quickly. So be sure to follow Ghoulish Delights on Instagram or Facebook or sign up for their newsletter on their website so you don’t miss out on their next re-stocking.
Mini Vampira Earrings by Arcana Obscura I’d been wearing the same boring round black studs in my conch piercings for, well, decades when magical Kate Hockstein of Arcana Obscura released these exquisite little bats. Now I have tiny sterling silver batlets living in the shells of my ears and I couldn’t be happier about it.
VAVA Lingerie I know I recommended VAVA Lingerie in my 2017 round-up, but I just got a brand new set of undies, the Ella Plunge Back Bralette and Ella High Rise Panties, so I would like to reiterate how much I love this Portland, OR-based, one-woman business. Alyssa uses deadstock, surplus lace to make her operation as sustainable as possible and creates a wonderfully inclusive range of sizes for all of her gorgeous designs. And, I mean, just look at this lace:
And now for something completely different….
Wildsong Wildlife on Instagram Sometimes you need to be reminded that there are impossibly tiny and beautiful creatures living right alongside us in this world and also infinitely compassionate people dedicated to caring for them when they need help. Wildsong Wildlife is a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitation clinic that specializes in caring for hummingbirds (but they take in other wild birbs in need of help too). They care for their charges with the specific goal of eventually releasing them back in to the wild where they belong. This is a fantastic account to follow if ever you need something to distract you from your worries, big or small, or simply want to take a moment to delight in something unbearably cute, such as a pair of hummingbird chicks living in a crocheted nest that sits in a measuring shot glass because they’re just that small: