Sunday, March 6, 2011

DVF, Nike Air and Niacin

What have these things to do with one another you say?  Well, I was sitting here contemplating my stack of folders holding all the information necessary to get started on preparing my 2010 taxes for my accountant, when I found my mind wandering all over the place.

One of those places happened to be my feet,  presently clad in my fairly new, ***custom gray Nikes with  LIVE NOW, one word emblazoned on each of the little leather ovals at the top of the tongues of the light weight running shoes and the signature I had decided on, instead of my initials, to personalize them.

LIVE NOW sounds like a silly thing to put on one's shoes, doesn't it?   But it is a part of my mantra, and a goal to reach each day because,  after all,  if we don't live NOW... then when,  since now is the only moment we are sure we have?  We have no guarantees of a tomorrow.   In truth, that "now" is soon replaced by "another" now and another now ... and so it is that we must endeavor  to live each of those  "now" moments to the fullest measure we know how.   Part of that, for me, is to stay fit and vibrant and young, both in mind and body....and here is where these three topics intersect for the purposes of this post.

When one contemplates one's feet, if one loves fashion,  the next jump goes to shoes.  When I think of shoes, I think of stylish.    The next jump from stylish is comfort....and looking at stylish women's shoes in any of the last decades....comfort is probably the last thing that comes to mind (especially the designer's minds)  and that is a very woeful state of affairs as far as I am concerned.

Do shoe designers really hate women that much?  I have to think so.

Used to be my favorite shoes were either  Bruno Magli or Ferragamo, with the occasional Yves St. Laurant and the "dependable for dressy " Stuart Weitzmans thrown in the mix.   Today, brands like Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin and the "Sex and the City made famous," Manolo Blahnik rule the runways and what used to be 2 1/2 to 3 inch heels have been replaced with 3 1/2  to 5 inch heels,  making wearing fashionable shoes a "health hazard."  Ask any of the runway models who have taken painful tumbles due to the "lets make a statement here" torture of these most  "necessary to be hip" fashion must haves.

Well "fashion must haves" have no place in my closet, thank you.   I draw the line at anything over 3 inches...and even big platforms I used to wear years ago,  are signs of danger to be avoided in favor of the classic lines and comfort of a "sensible" shoe.   That is why I found myself shopping the internet for a pair of 3 inch, plain black, comfortable pumps.   A while back I had found just such a creature in a pair of Marc Jacobs I'd tried on in a store.   The first time I wore them out during the day, I discovered my new, sleek, beautiful "Ink" pumps were really a very dark Navy!  Ink should have been the clue...

Style and Nike Air Technology
Deciding on something with a small platform and  soft "kid" leather, I started looking.   My most comfortable skinny heel,  knee length boots were Cole Haan, so perhaps I could find something in a plain pump on their website.  After all, a lot of Cole Haan shoes use Nike Air technology and that was a good thing.   And so it was that I found these perfect 3 1/2 in., small platform, calf skin the person of  the Violet Air OT pump to the right.

Keeping youthful feet is very important as you age.  No "great looking" or torturous pair of shoes is worth a fall or an awkward, ungraceful gait in my world.   I have a lot more expensive shoes than these, but after a few hours of walking around in them, my metatarsal starts to scream and the celebrity "worn for one night shoes" that pop off the moment no one is looking, are not for least not for every day wear, thank you.  Cole Haan and Nike Air I thank you.  Not a bad shoe, is it?

While on the Cole Haan website, I saw they were having a sale and found a wonderful, stylish little nylon travel coat, with snap out liner, marked half off.
 It is a cute, light and functional piece that goes well over jeans and pants.  It is also water repellent, so with all the rain we've been having, will do double duty.

Speaking of coats reminds me of the short, black wool, fitted, large collar, asymetrical zip coat I was wearing the other day while browsing the jeans at Helmut Lang.   The fellow that was helping me asked who designed my stylish coat.   I started laughing and told him I'd had it for years and it was made by Guess.   I showed him the label to prove it.   He was incredulous.   At the time, I was wearing  Helmut Lang legging jeans, a James Pearse soft,  long, skinny sweatshirt, with black heel ankle boots and David Yurman gold and silver hoop earrings.   He says to me:  "Honey,  cut the label out of that sucker and never tell a soul because  that looks like something Dolce and Gabbana showed last fall."  This little tidbit bolstered my belief that good design never goes out of style, no matter what and that practicality and style can go together and no one has to know.

And speaking of practicality, that is where DVF comes in and where my last week's trip to the Melrose store saw me come out with three great dresses for spring.   Her dresses are always a good fit and won't break the bank at an average cost of around *$350 each,...or less,  if you can find a sale.

Flirty and light Damiana
Cyrani fits me like a glove.
The most expensive,  the Damiana to the right, is a gauzy and flirty silk chiffon geometric print.  The size 4 is a perfect fit and very flattering.

The Cyrani, bottom left, with the wave pattern, fits me like a glove and is a silk stretch jersey.  Since I am 5'8 in heels, it's a little longer fit on me, but still above the knee.

Below right is the
practical,  soft drape boatneck vintage print known as Chloris.  It is a silk jersey and will look good with the black open toe pumps above and my single strand, long rope of onyx beads with two perfect crystal beads on either side and earrings (courtesy of my late, generous mother in law) or,  for a more flirty daytime look... great gold hoop earrings and some bangle bracelets (no necklace).  I usually pull up long sleeves to just cover the elbows.

Fitted vintage print Chloris

I can hardly wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear these new additions to my wardrobe.

The Miracle B?

Now for the **Niacin.  I take it four or five days a week  (250 mg) to keep my HDL (good cholesterol)  high and my skin in good shape.  After taking the niacin and getting the customary flush, I notice my skin looks wonderful when it fades back to normal, plumped up and clear.   Lately I have noticed that more and more of the touted,  anti-aging miracle skin creams contain niacin.  With this in mind, I decided to experiment with adding a little crushed niacin to Emu oil (a rich emollient that penetrates the skin quite well) and using  under my eyes to see if it would provide some micro-circulation to an area that gets very little.  To my surprise, it worked quite well.  The trick is to use a mortar and pestle or a rolling pen over parchment paper to get it down to a very fine powder before mixing it with the oil.

This little experiment has me looking for a liquid substitute and wondering if it would work as well on a larger area, such as the gluteus muscle as adjutant to the requisite 50 squats and the dry brushing.    I need to get more Emu oil to try it out.  I'll let you know if it works.

Another wonderful benefit of Niacin (taken internally) is that if you take it with natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric, ginger, bromelain and even omega 3 fish oils, which usually thin your blood, it gets the blood flowing to a lot of areas where it is desirable (if you get my drift),   including your brain.

I call it the miracle worker, this B vitamin...and, if you don't mind the flush, I highly recommend it.  I would suggest you start with small doses.  In mega doses Niacin can cause build up of uric acid and give you gout.  Also your liver has problems metabolizing large doses, even though some physicians do prescribe it for people with high triglycerides and low HDL's.  

My HDL is up to my 20 year old levels (90) and that is a very good thing.

I love to experiment with things that keep you young in both mind and body and for those interested in staying fit and healthy, I am passing it on here.

Songs out of tune, the words always a little wrong...Canzoni Stonate

*I know that paying an average of $350 (DVF) a dress sounds like a lot of money to some people, but if you can get them on sale and add one good piece to your wardrobe every six months instead of a bunch of cheaper pieces,  you will find yourself wearing them often and for a longer time.   Find a designer or brand that fits well on your particular figure and you will find that saving for that one good dress or piece, will be worth it in the long run.    Quality trumps quantity every almost everything.

**Tonight, while restocking my everyday eye cream, I noticed that it has a new formulation.  I clicked on the product (I buy a lot though  It is cheaper and delivered to my door.) and noticed that niacin had been added to the formula and it is the first ingredient in the  new formula.  This proves my point and shows me I am on the right track.  I use StriVectin SD Eye Cream over a layer of Cellex C Advanced C Serum  on the sensitive orbital area under my moisturizer for day and before night cream at night.  I swear by the Cellex C Advance C Serum.   The wizard (dermatologist) says vitamin C (along with Retin A) are the only topical products that helps build collagen.

***Nike's can be ordered online and customized as to color of every part of the shoe.  It is called custom build and is shipped to you.  You can try the style on in a store and customize it online.

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