Coffee Break: Possessed Lipstick

possessed-lipstickLadies, how much is too much for a lipstick? This lipstick may look dark and dramatic, but for some reason I picked up the “sheer” version of it while out shopping recently, tried it on, and fell in love — it’s the perfect purpley plum for fall. No brainer, I thought, and decided to circle back to pick it up near the end of the trip. I came back and noticed the price for the first time: $40! Yipes. That’s a lot more than my usual Clinique/MAC lipsticks — and even more than my NARS/Bite/YSL lipsticks. Did I really need a new lipstick, I asked myself, answered no, and left the store without it.  But it’s been weeks now and I find myself still thinking about it — and since there are always fall beauty sales around now, I thought I’d ask: how much is too much for a lipstick? Which favorites are worth the price? (I mean, I guess $40 is downright reasonable when compared to lipsticks from Tom Ford, Sisley, or Louboutin ($90!!).  ‘Bête Noire’ Lipstick from Lipstick Queen

Psst: If you don’t happen to be trick or treating tonight, don’t forget: we’re discussing Working Girl tomorrow! I just rewatched it on Saturday; what a great movie. It’s available for streaming on Netflix and on Amazon Video. If you are going out tonight, be safe, ladies! (Did you see this SNL skit re: “a girls’ Halloween”? Hilarious.)



  1. My husband and I are going to Argentina in December/January and I am looking for travel tips for our time in Mendoza. Any favorite vineyards, restaurants or day trips that you recommend?

    • Anonymous :

      Do tours with Wine and Trout- I loved them, pricey but worth it (I did the Lujan tour and Uco one, on two separate days).

      I also did a tasting at Wine Not in Mendoza city, I liked it.

      Also, I believe the Mendoza airport was closing for renos, so I’d check on transportation sooner rather than later.

    • I had fun horseback riding in Mendoza. The scenery is of course beautiful, and it was a nice thing to do in between wine tastings and meals.

    • Fizzy Dranks :

      I really liked Louis Gascon and the Mallmann restaurant 1884 next door is a must.

  2. Case of the Mondays :

    First day wearing a new pair of stockings and they ripped before lunch.

    • anon a mouse :

      Same here. And served as my seasonal reminder to keep a backup pair of black tights in my desk.

      • Anonymous :

        This is why I hide a package of new nylons inside a file folder in my computer bag.

        • Anonymous :

          Wow, great idea.

          • I usually keep a pair of nude and black nylons (my usual shades) in my desk. More than a few times, I’ve bailed out a co-worker who’s had a hosiery malfunction – once to a very grateful Sr. VP before going into a meeting.

  3. Unlucky Lucy :

    My best friend is newly single and I’ve been single for a while so we decided to sign up for a couple of dating sites together. This past Thursday, she went on her first date with the first guy she connected with and they have seemed to really hit it off…they’re texting all the time and talking about meeting his friends. I can’t help but feel a little confused (and honestly jealous) that she seems to have had instant success whereas I’ve been single for years and have been on and off these sites for a while now… Not to mention my first date last Wednesday was just ok. I really am happy for her. But I can’t help but wonder am I doing something wrong?

    • Oh man, I’m sorry. I have no advice, but it’s definitely not you.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s probably just dumb luck. You’ve been single for a while, but you just signed up for the dating s!tes, right? It’s no surprise that your first online date wouldn’t be amazing. She either got incredibly lucky or is just jumping at the chance to get coupled up again. I can see why you’re frustrated, but I’m sure it’s not you.

      • Unlucky Lucy :

        I’ve been on and off the sites. I try to take breaks every now and then so that’s why I “signed up” with her. But really I’ve had an account for over a year.

      • “jumping at the chance to get coupled again”. I had a friend like this – she really disliked being single, and is also cute and incredibly personable. As a result, she would date the first guy who came along. It was frustrating at the time because I was single for years and she seemed to attract men like honey attracts bees. But when I met the right guy I was single, not involved in a semi-happy relationship. You only need one!

        • Unlucky Lucy :

          Thank you for sharing this. I think this is her… She absolutely hates being single.

        • +1 – She may be willing to overlook things you are not for the sake of being in a relationship. It’s hard, but stick it out and do things your way.

    • It’s luck. Just like dating offline. Hang in there!

    • Nothing you’re doing wrong. Dumb luck for them, and/or they both *really* want to be in a relationship right now and thus are *really* pleased to have found someone they click with. I know it sounds obvious, but that factor goes a long way in determining whether that first date turns out to be “the one” or not. Many dudes on The Apps are interested in dating but not necessarily a serious relationship. Plus who knows, it’s been one date. I can’t even count the number of deal breakers I’ve found out about on dates 2-8.

      I’m in your position. Every time I hear one of my friends cheerfully exclaim that “he was the first person I went out with and now we’re getting married!” I want to scream. Wow not only are you getting married but you didn’t have to slog through the horrors of dating!!??!?! How nice for you.

      • Here’s a little vignette that might put the envy in perspective: I met my husband within the first few days of joining a dating site, and I had never done online dating before. After about 3 years of marriage, he has left me and says he never actually was sure about me. Relationships are a long game and a wedding is not a finish line.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It’s likely just luck, but I’d consider having her or someone else look over your profile. A friend’s opinion can be really helpful for sprucing up your profile and presenting yourself in the best light.

      • Unlucky Lucy :

        I think my problem may be the actual dates I go on. I’m connecting with guys who I like. But the first dates just always go flat for me.

        • How so? Can we help?

          That said, chemistry is elusive, IMO.

        • If I can sense promise, I’ll typically go on a second date, even if the first wasn’t super great. Some people are just shy or awkward and I’ve found that second dates allow me to draw better conclusions.

        • Unlucky Lucy :

          Yeah, I just never feel a lot of chemistry on the first date. I usually feel a little awkward and overwhelmed. If there really was chemistry, wouldn’t I feel it regardless?

          • Also – I responded before I saw this, but nah. I’ve experienced chemistry for the first time on second or third dates.

            That said, if the first date was truly awkward city and the guy seems to think it went really well, proceed with caution.

          • Unlucky Lucy :

            I’ll also add, I haven’t felt attracted to most guys I met online on the first date. I like them in their pictures and they do look like their pictures but I just don’t feel the “oh my goodness, I really want to kiss them, etc.”

          • Nancy Raygun :

            Not necessarily. I’ve dated people where I didn’t really get a sense of who they were on the first meeting. Maybe try different types of activities to see if you can interact with the person’s real personality a little more. Or go on a second date and see if you start to like them.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            My method was to be open to a second date if I found the other person interesting. I’m not sure chemistry is always instant, especially if you already feel overwhelmed and awkward. If I at least found the other person interesting after the first date, I didn’t consider it a waste of time to go out again.

          • I think there needs to be SOMETHING. Maybe not over the moon, but I should find the person interesting at least. Good grief, the VAST majority of dates I go on are with boring men whose names I forget before I’m out of the restaurant. (#DCproblems? lol) I’ve only had 2 dates in the last year where I was actually into the guy – one guy turned out crazy after a month and the other wasn’t into me so no second date. Que sera sera. The search continues.

            My girlfriend and I have talked about this too – the idea that people get stale. On Match, Tinder, Bumble, it’s all the same people. So if you’ve been on these sites for a while with the same photos and username, maybe take a holiday break and try in the new year with fresh new photos.

          • Not in my experience. I felt “chemistry” with a ton of guys I dated casually but never seriously. With my husband, there was zero initial chemistry on my part, but lots of everything else — good conversation, he was thoughtful, intelligent, well-read, polite, caring, etc. Chemistry came with time. Eight years in, I’m over the moon for him and more in love all the time.

    • Just the luck of the draw. When we met, DBF had been on match for eight years (off and on) and hadn’t met anyone special. He was thinking of dropping it. On the other hand, he was the second guy I met for coffee after joining. You never know. We’ve been together eight years now.

    • They’ve also gone on one (apparently really good) date. It’s possible this is it for both of them, but it’s also possible this will flame out in a month or less. Or anything in between. I know it’s super-frustrating if you feel like you’ve been doing this for a while without much to show for it (I’m right there with you!), but it doesn’t really mean anything either way.

    • Always the Bridesmaid :

      I can’t even get dates. I’m lucky if I get a message that I don’t want to submit to the Bye Felipe instagram.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I’m sorry. I don’t think it’s you. I’m in the same boat actually… not with a friend, but I feel like I’ve been on so many bad dates lately and I’m getting super frustrated. I know how much this really sucks… I have no real advice but know I (and many others on this site) are right there with ya…

    • I feel you! I encouraged a recently divorced friend of mine to get on Tinder, she went on a date with the first guy she matched with and they got married this year.

      I have been through three boyfriends since they met. It is what it is! I am happy with my current FWB situation after my last ugly relationship.

      It really is luck, but of course that doesn’t make you feel any better. :/

  4. I’m not a huge fan of lipstick, so I don’t mind spending more on a great lip product that I’m actually going to wear. A $40 lipstick that I wear everyday is a much better investment than all of those $20 lipsticks that I told myself I’d wear but I only really break out for special occasions. I think I’d have trouble getting on board with a $90 lipstick though. Not sure I can justify spending more on my lipstick than I (probably) did on my dress.

  5. I’ve been asked to speak to a group of employees (presumably mostly women) as a woman executive. Following up on the thread last week that discussed how these panels can be depressing or not helpful, I wanted to ask the hive: what do you want to hear from a (relatively young) female executive? What would be most interesting and helpful to you? What are the questions you want to ask but don’t in these type of forums?

    • BabyAssociate :

      I can tell you what I DON’T want to hear: how to balance work and having a family. I feel like that was the sole focus of every “women in the profession” panel in school. I’d rather hear about things like handling sexism in the workplace and how to negotiate a pay raise.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Keep it focused on the workplace challenges you’ve overcome and advice for younger women navigating the same field, and stay away from work life balance. That was the gist of the discussion last week.

      • Yup! I nearly hyperventilated as a law student in my late 20s from all the “YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT WORK” panels I went to. Seriously, enough of work-life balance. It’s important to everybody. I don’t know that scaring young women is necessarily advancing the cause. How about you tell me how you got to where you are today? What decisions/coursework/mentors made a difference in your trajectory? How can I replicate your success?

        • Anonymous :

          My experience has been “If you do what we tell you you can absolutely make it work!” and then my inability to make it all work just felt like one more giant failure to add to the list.

          Either way, the prioritizing of “You can have it all” in these discussions feels so counter-productive.

          • Anonymous :

            oh absolutely, +1000 to making me feel like a giant failure slash not good enough because I’d prefer to get to see loved ones during the week than be at the top of the ladder

      • Agree. Work-life balance is hugely important to me as a 40-something with family responsibilities. As a 20-something I was very focused on my career. I think the advice that would have helped me most would have been in areas where work and social norms differ. E.g. when and how to say ‘no’ to certain projects.

    • Anonymous :

      Exactly. I don’t want to hear about your work life balance, I just don’t.

      Frankly I prefer panels that aren’t run any different regardless of whether it is a male or female audience. Talk about your current job. Talk about the path that led you to your job and/or industry. Talk about any career switches you’ve made. If you want to get candid – talk about career mistakes/missteps and how you recovered. Talk about how to negotiate salaries/promotions when they aren’t readily being offered – that can be a more female centric issue. Talk about mentorship and how it has/hasn’t been helpful and advise them on how to seek it out.

    • I heard a woman executive speak recently about how to be a good manager and good mentor, as well as how to manage up/be a good mentee. She discussed both what she had learned from women mentors and what she tried to do to help mentor younger women in her field. She gave concrete tips for younger/junior women, and did not discuss family or work/life balance at all.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’d love to hear something like this. So many people say that mentorship is super important, but only in generalities. Specifics on what good memtorship looks like from both perspectives would be extremely helpful. It doesn’t need to be specifically women-related in my opinion.

        • anon associate :


          I wish that as young lawyer I’d understood how necessary it is to have a sponsor/actually useful mentors/powerful people in your corner. And how to develop those relationships. I thought you could just work hard and people would see your talent and you’d be successful, because that’s how my academic life had gone and I’d never stepped foot in a law firm. Hahaha. I think this issue is gender neutral, but can be especially difficult for women to navigate because old boys club/male partners being super awkward around young women/lack of women who will be candid.

          The last “work/life balance” panel advice I heard was “I keep my wardrobe to mostly black so I don’t have to spend time matching clothes.” JFC.

          • TorontoNewbie :

            … any tips on developing those relationships in my first year at a firm? I’m focusing on working hard and learning but also want to branch out of my office occasionally.

      • THIS! Tell me where I find this on a panel!
        Not to be harped at about managing the school run and hitting deadlines. I have no kids and can feel preached at (you don’t understand xyz until you have kids). I want useful actionable tips.

    • New Tampanian :

      Maybe discuss the differences you’ve noticed between how men and women get to the executive level and what advice you have for navigating. Any mistakes you see other women constantly making and how to avoid them.

      • I like this idea, but I would probably limit it to personal experience – mistakes I made, how my mentors helped me avoid pitfalls, and maybe a little bit of how I mentored other women to avoid pitfalls. If you start talking about mistakes women make, generally, you risk coming off a bit negative and condescending.

    • Anonymous :

      How did you get your job? How did you build those relationships to get there? I always want to know how people became successful. I do not want to hear about how to present myself physically or be urged to join toastmasters.

    • You are all great — thank you for the feedback.

    • Late to the party but hope you still see this–Best advice I ever received was during peak sports season, all you have to do is watch one inning/quarter/period of the game and then you can say you were doing other things during the rest of the game but still participate in the conversation.

  6. Two Cents :

    I tried this and promptly returned it. The color barely showed up on my lips.

    As an aside, I’m looking for comfortable tops to sleep in at night. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but ideally something that can be shipped through Amazon Prime or Nordstrom. Looking for something that is tailored (not slouchy), thick material, and not too short. Short sleeved. Thanks!

  7. Joint 40th Birthday ideas? :

    My husband and I both turn 40 soon and are having a joint party. It’s going to be a big open-house type party, with as many kids as adults coming.

    I’m terrible with birthday parties, does anyone have any great suggestions for fun ways to celebrate 40th birthdays? It will be in December, but we’re trying to avoid a “holiday” party theme. I was wondering if it would be fun or just cheesy to do an 80s theme, since we’re jointly turning 80.

    I’m trying to think of (1) a way to keep the kids busy/corralled (we’ll have a bounce house and some movies); (2) something fun our friends could bring/do instead of gifts, maybe a fun memory or picture of us?

    Party planners, please help!

    • Anonymous :

      I think asking friends to bring memories/photos for a scrapbook is standard and a great idea. On the theme, I think 70s (the decade you were born) would make a lot more sense than 80s. I find the “1980s-because-we’re-jointly-turning-80” thing kind of confusing. Of course if you love the 80s and really want that theme, go for it, but if you just came up with because you were looking for a theme, 70s makes more sense to me.

      • 70s themed party would be so fun! Especially with that new show “This is Us” (late 70s/early 80s but still), there’s tons of inspiration from Mandy Moore’s outfits!

        • Babyweight :

          Get a couple Instax cameras ($60ish each) and a ton of film. Just like Polaroids from the old days. Add in some markers and folks can decorate the pics and then you put them in a scrapbook. No one has to bring anything and you get some great memories captured. And it’s 70s/80s themed. Who didn’t love Polaroid camera pics in the 70s/80s?

          P.S. I did 80s theme for my 30th birthday that was nearly a decade ago. Born in the 70s, but my childhood was the 80s. I wouldn’t sweat the “why” of the theme so much.

          • Babyweight :

            And we did 80s food. Cool Ranch Doritos. B&J Wine Coolers. Pop rocks. Pizza. The “retro” food was a hit.

            We also dug up a friend’s original Nintendo and set it up in the living room with a couple of games. Playing the first Super Mario Brothers was super popular. People were trying to remember “cheats.”

          • I agree. My friend did a sweet 16 x 2 party when she turned 32. Another did a roaring 20s party to say goodbye to her 20s. I think people will be thrilled with whatever theme you choose.

        • Anonymous :

          love the retro food idea! LOL

    • I agree that a 70s theme is less confusing than 80s theme. For my dad’s 50th birthday party, my mom and I decorated the tables with toys that were popular the decade he was born. Something similar from the 70s would be fun for both adults and kids. FWIW, I don’t usually enjoy organized activities at parties, so I suggest serving food and beverages, interacting with your guests, serving cake, and calling it a night.

    • I think I’m the only person on earth who is sick of 80s parties. I was born in 1982 and I just don’t get it.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      On the keeping-kids-occupied front, maybe add some coloring books to the mix as a quieter option for kids who aren’t into the bounce house or movies – I feel like every party I’ve gone to lately has coloring for the kids, and it always seems to be a big hit.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      I went to a 35th birthday where the couple hired a pizza oven food truck and had that going the whole night in the driveway, and then they had a ton of different (sweet) pies from a local bakery in their kitchen for dessert. It’s not 40th birthday themed, but I thought the “double pies” for a double birthday was fun and delicious. And kid friendly.

  8. Anonymous :

    Are people saying that 40 dollar lipsticks are better? How are the better?

    • The ingredient’s are better, and natureal, generally. I remember that Sheketovits alway’s wanted me to wear lipstick and he got all mad when I told him I did NOT want to waste it JUST on him. FOOEY on men that fantasize about us weareing lipstick just for them. We do it for US, and how we look, not just for our boyfreind’s.

  9. Headshots :

    Seeking recs for a photographer for headshots in DC. I went to a suburban mall and got them done a couple years ago (think JCP type studio) and they turned out pretty poorly. I have GOT to get something updated and presentable!

    • I used Philip Kent Studio in Tysons Corner and was pleased with the result. I’d recommend him if you just want a traditional headshot. If you’re looking for something a little more creative (I’ve seen a lot of angles/different poses on LinkedIn lately) then I’d go elsewhere. I think I paid $250 for the session and photo – he gave me 15-20 to choose from.

  10. I’m car shopping now, anticipating that I’m going to have to do something in the next 1-2 months (current car is going to be bought back by VW as part of the settlement program). I am so sick of cars and I keep going back and forth between what I want to buy. Here’s what I’m down to:

    Budget ~$25-27,000
    Option 1: New Honda Civic, probably the top trim level so I get all the features I want.
    Option 2: Used luxury car (probably Audi or BMW), 2014 or newer, less than 50,000

    Help me decide!

    • ETA: that should be “less than 50,000 miles”. Obviously, the lower the better.

      • Babyweight :

        Think about maintenance costs. Hubs and I both drive 10 year old BMWs. They are great (family handmedowns), but when they need repairs, they are pricey.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. I have an Audi with 100,000 miles on it and just spent $8k on repairs. (why, yes, I should have just bought a new car, but I love it so…)

        • Good point. The (diesel) VW wasn’t cheap on repairs/maintenance either, and that was annoying.

          • Anonymous :

            My Jetta is not cheap on repairs ($80 for new headlights?!) and it’s the primary reason I wouldn’t get another European car.

          • I liked driving my Jetta TDI, but not owning it. Fancy radio (that I liked when it worked) went out twice – $900 each time (I don’t like the way aftermarket ones look so wanted to stick with the original style). The AC messed up pretty bad a couple times and had pricy fixes. Routine appointments where the filters had to be changed and cost $1000. Yeah, no thanks.

    • We just bought exactly your option 2 – Audi A4. We freaking love it. Things to consider: (1) insurance is (slightly) higher than our previous budget-friendly car; (2) Audi is generally an expensive car to maintain – they have all Audi-branded products/parts that you have to use to keep the car in warranty – not atypical of cars that fall into this bucket; (3) Use mid level gas, so slightly more expensive.

      All that being said, I can’t say enough about how much we love the car! If you can (and want to) afford it, #2 has my vote!

      • help me i am cold :

        Some Audi A4 models chug oil too – ours does and we have to fill that up every 3 weeks.

        • anon a mouse :

          Every 3 weeks?! Seriously?

          OP, if you are really sick of dealing with car things as you say, get the Civic. It won’t be the shiniest car on the block but you WILL NOT have to think about it. At all, outside of getting scheduled maintenance.

          And then in a few years if you are ready for something else, it will have good resale value.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I bought a new Civic in 2005 and it was great. I sold it about 4.5 years later for somewhere between $4-5000 less than I paid for it. I was really happy with that.

        • Say what? What year? That’s ridiculous, and there must be something wrong with the car. We’ve had ours since March and have had it serviced……. once?

      • Senior Attorney :

        I have an Audi A3 and I love it. You should be able to get a brand new one for well under $50,000 and it will be about a million times nicer than a Honda Civic.

        • Budget is $25-27,000.

          I think maybe you read the 50,000 and missed that I was looking for a used car with less than 50,000 miles.

          I’m positive that a new Audi A3 is a million times nicer than a Honda Civic. :)

      • Thanks for the perspective on the other costs of the Audi. We could totally afford it right now, but next year we’re looking to make some bigger changes (new jobs, new city) and it might be nice to not have the pricer maintenance/insurance/gas then.

      • My husband has suddenly caught an “I must trade in my Tacoma for an Audi 4” bug. I seriously hate the truck and we bought it only because he came from a truck family. He now realizes that driving a truck daily in the city is a major PITA. Fine. But I’m having trouble wrapping my head around why this has to be an Audi 4 (I have talked him out of the TT…for now…I suspect 50 yo, post-kids me will be Audi TT shopping with him). But then my favorite car I’ve ever owned was a Honda Fit, which I pine for daily (traded it for a minivan when we found out we were expecting twins, but I still miss it). Why is the Audi 4 so great? We can technically afford it but it means giving up other stuff and I’m just not sure why we need to spend this money.

    • You’ll get the maximum factory warranty with the new car.

    • How important is the driving “feel” to you? If you’re just optimizing on reliability and maintenance costs, go with option 1 no question. But…you’ll have a much nicer feel with Option 2 with much pricier maintenance and possibly less reliability.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree with A4 and BB. My husband has had Audi’s for more than 10 years. They are extremely expensive to maintain!!!!! but yes, they drive like a dream (not that relevant for us since his commute is 6 miles). I would go with the Honda. I don’t have one now, but my last one went 8 years before it needed any real service (other than tires/brakes)-and that was just a water pump, which was cheap to repair. My mechanic says you cannot beat the reliability of Honda and Toyota.

        • Oh, that’s a good selling point. My diesel Jetta was SO EXPENSIVE to maintain; it’d be glorious to have something that is reliable and cheap to maintain.

          Perhaps I’m finding my answer.

      • Is it annoying to say that they’re basically equal importance? Although probably reliability and maintenance costs wins out some…

    • Anonymous :

      New Civic is a really fantastic car. It would be my choice. I like to keep my cars for a long time and want to drive those first 50,000 maintenance free miles myself.

      • “Want to drive those first 50,000 maintenance free miles myself” – this is my husband! He really doesn’t want to buy used, but I could probably talk him into buying a luxury vehicle. Nothing else used though.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there any difference in safety features between the two cars? I don’t know anything about Audis, but a Honda Civic once saved my life. I now prioritize safety features and have owned several Hondas since.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Civic is actually safer than an A4 – i used to drive an A4 and in my new car searches both Civics and my current car (Jetta) came up higher in the safety rankings

    • Audis and BMWs are objectively nicer cars. No question. But I just filled up my 2016 Honda Civic’s gas tank for $18. I love that. (I get about 400 miles per fill up).

      • (ETA – doing the math I recognize the tank wasn’t completely empty, but still! It’s very cheap.)

    • Anonymous :

      BMW/MINI NA has fantastic warranties, even on the “certified pre-owned” cars. Like, the base covers everything up to 4 years/50k miles, and if you pay for the extended, up to 6 years/100k I think. I had a 2007 Mini, and pretty much paid for nothing but tires for the first 100k miles – this was a big factor in helping me decide to get another Mini this year (it was that or a 2-series, and I went with the Mini in part because I street park daily, and in part because it’s so much fun to drive). I’d go with BMW over other the luxury options, personally, between the maintenance and the fact that they’re great cars.

      • I bought a two year old 3-series with the 6 year/100k warranty and haven’t had any problems to date. It had less than 25k miles when I bought it. Love it.

    • Anonymous :

      How about a pretty new Lexus? A little bit of luxury, with the reliability of Toyota? Not as expensive to maintain.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Lexus drives better than BMW/Mercedes. I’ve never driven an Audi, but they are owned by VW, so ick.

    • Not that fancy :

      This is kind of random and might not help at all, but I’ll share. I had a well loved Honda CR-V that was 14 years old when I finally got rid of it and replaced it with a Lexus (I posted at the time agonizing about this decision). I realize that a Lexus is not that nice of a car to some people, but coming from a family that only buys Hondas and Toyotas, it feels kind of fancy. The Lexus is wonderful and one of the most reliable “nicer” vehicle brands and I love it, but it also stresses me out. I can afford nice things without a problem, but I’m just not a fancy person, if that makes sense. Being fancy is a hassle. Maintaining fancy is a hassle. I feel the need to get this car washed and vacuumed all the time, whereas I probably washed my Honda twice a year at best. My first major service is coming up and I’m already a little bit stressed thinking about how much more it’ll cost. I think next time I’ll just get a Toyota or a Honda.

    • Anonymous :

      This maybe isn’t what you were asking, but if you want the feel of an Audi with also being able to get in brand new, get a Mazda 3 or 6. If you haven’t driven a Mazda you don’t know what you are missing out on. They are just so fun to drive, even around town. Mazda has become increasingly popular driving down repair costs, and they have some of the best add-ons on the market. I will never again buy a car without blind-spot detection because of how good Mazda’s is. It has literally save my life on multiple occasions when it caught people I completely missed.

      Not what you were asking, but I was unhappily walking my way towards buying a Civic because of how reliable they are when my grandfather told me to go test drive a Mazda because of really good reviews Consumer Reports gave the redesigned 3. It has a really luxury feel compared to the Civic, and when I bought my Mazda it had something like 10% more horsepower with the same gas efficiency. However, it is my understanding they might have redone the Civic in the last couple of years.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 for the Mazda 3. My SO bought a Mazda 6 last year after feeling unexcited about buying another Honda. He got a higher trim level and loves the car!

        I still miss my 2003 Mazda Protege and the Mazda 626 I had before that. But alas, my Accord is paid off and I have no reason to buy a new car.

        • Anon @3:55 :

          Honestly this is one of the reasons I bought my Mazda. I started asking around to all the “car” people I knew, and every single one of them says something to the effect of “I love my Mazda” or “I miss my Mazda terribly”.

      • I test drove a Mazda 3 a couple months ago and was just whatever about it. I thought my Jetta TDI was more fun to drive – I think I missed the turbo. Also, the placement of the touchscreen was weird to me. :) I have not test drove the Civic, yet, but the 2017 have turbos so that intrigues me. If the Honda leaves me wanting, I might try out a Mazda 3 with a bigger engine.

      • My mom is on her second Audi and she still pines for her old Mazda 6.

      • Shenandoah :

        +1 to Mazda. I got a Mazda 6 recently and am completely in love. My family has generally always gone Honda or Toyota for dependability/reliability. But Mazda has really upped its game, and I think makes a superior car now. I went to the dealership interested in the Mazda 3 but thought it felt too cramped, so went with the 6. For your budget, you could get either the Touring or Grand Touring.

      • My first new car was a 1997 Mazda Protege. I drove it for ten years (the last three as my “winter” car only) and the only non-routine maintenance I had to do was replacing the cylinders on my power windows when they both failed out of warranty (grand total =$160 for both doors). I sold it to a grad student in my neighbor’s lab in 2007 for a couple grand. He still is driving it at over 195K miles. He did have to replace a timing belt a couple years ago out of the regular routine, but otherwise it has been a very reliable car.

        I am seriously considering a Mazda 6 when I am finished with the SUV phase of my life.

    • I got my Acura for that price range. It was 1 year old, under 6k mi.

      • Anonymous :

        The OP’s dilemma was similar to mine when I was looking for a car, and it’s why I ended up with an Acura. It drives like a dream, has all the features I could want, and is extremely reliable and relatively inexpensive to maintain. Win-win!

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have done option 2 twice (a Mercedes and a BMW). I don’t find the maintenance expensive at all, despite that stereotype, but maybe I have gotten lucky.

      If you are OK driving a honda etc., why not consider getting a used one of those as well? Would save money and you’d be under budget.

      • JuniorMinion :

        The biggest things I found with my pre-owned low mileage A4 were 1) I unwittingly bought one with the “sport package” so my insurance company classified it as a sports car as opposed to a commuter vehicle meaning $$$ 2) If you are in a city with crappy roads (I am in Houston), I went through 5 low profile $275 each tires inside of a year as well as the hassle of having that many tire problems.

      • I would 100% get a used honda – that would actually be my ideal – but DH is totally opposed to going that route. The only used vehicle he will consider is a luxury vehicle that we wouldn’t otherwise buy right now (and that theoretically have been owned by more well off people who took care of them/babied them).

        • … or well-off people who were not personally invested in the longevity of their car? They’re still selling it.

          I wouldn’t buy used unless it was certified pre-0wned.

    • OP--vegan party planner :

      I would go with a new Honda. But I love Hondas.

    • get the honda :

      I always think of the Audi A4 as a “kid car” because growing up, a lot of the parents in the town I lived in would buy them, and then starting around 50-70k miles they’d start having ridiculous maintenance issues. So, they all got passed to the kids who only had to drive to and from school (seriously, our student parking lot was half ten-year old subarus/hondas, and half 2-3 year old A4s). It’s been 10 years, but I still have a lasting impression of them being a super unreliable option.

      for what it’s worth, I have a honda civic and love it. Not sure how an automatic to automatic would compare, but I find my Honda manual transmission way more of a driver’s car than the BMW/Audi automatics I’ve driven.

      • Anonymous :

        Honda is known for its manual transmissions. My Acura has a 6-speed and it’s great to drive.

    • Have you through about a VW Gold? The 2016 model is excellent. Drives well, has all the great features of more expensive car.

      One big thing you should note, gas prices are cheap now but will not always be cheap. Those luxury cars all use premium gas, and right now are affordable but may be a biggest share of you wallet down the road.

    • get a bmw235i+2015-2016-in your price range-rated the second best car out there next to the Tesla-consumer reports-Jd power-car and driver-$38-$45.000.look it up

  11. Speaking of lipsticks, I just cashed in my 500 point reward for a Clinique pack with a very bright red lipstick. My normal colors are shades of dusty rose (so basically lip colored), but thought I might try to branch out. For those of you who wear bright red…what’s a good time / outfit to try it out? I’m a bit shy about rocking it at work…

    • Try it with a black (and white, if you want) outfit and add some black eyeliner. You’ll feel classic and it’ll go with the look.

      • Meg March :

        Or wear this outfit (or any “classic” outfit in neutrals) to work with your regular lipstick, then put on the red for happy hour with friends. Trying it out in a social setting (where people are still dressed for work) might help you get slightly more comfortable with it before wearing it all day at work.

    • Weird, but I wear bold lip colours around the house first. Usually it’s more a shock to myself when I see my reflection – so getting used to that normally makes me more comfortable with it!
      I also have a personal thing where I can only wear red lipstick when I’m having a good hair day. For some reason I personally feel like a crazy woman with bad hair and red lipstick.

      • I also wear it around the house first! It takes getting used to for me, I think.

        Less on the issue of hairdays, but I am not someone who can wear a bold lip with no other makeup. It just draws attention to any red mark or irritation, dark circles, stray brows, etc. It can still be a light, natural makeup look, but still makeup.

      • Me three. DH thinks I’m super weird for it too. I get home, jump into comfy clothes, and slap on some bold lipstick.

    • I do bold red lips all the time with whatever clothing. Not usually to work, but red lip + moderate smoky eye is my default special occasion or going-out look, or even with jeans to brunch if I want to look like I put in some effort. It’s a classic look and it really goes with everything.

    • bakedbeans :

      Any lazy day. Every work day I put on eye liner, concealer, mascara, powder, etc…. Last week I was running late and just put on a strong lip color. My husband asked why I was so dressed up.

    • lawsuited :

      Don’t be shy! Red is a totally normal lipstick colour – I wear red, fushcia and burgundy lipstick to work all the time. Wearing some eye makeup with a bold lip is important or the lip colour looks too stark and washes one out. My go to is buffing some matte brown eye shadow into the crease and adding a few healthy coats mascara to both top and bottom lashes.

  12. Delta Dawn :

    Any recommendations for a pressed powder that lasts all day? I wear a drugstore powder (Covergirl) over my sunscreen but no foundation. When I leave the house, I like the look– sheer coverage but not too makeup-y, but I find that it’s mostly worn off by lunchtime. Is there something better I could try?

    • Seattle Freeze :

      If you don’t want to reapply, you could try using a setting spray after applying it in the morning. I’ve been pretty happy with the NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray – there are other more expensive options, of course, but this helps a lot with makeup staying power.

    • anonjrassociate :

      Might be a bit more coverage than you’re looking for, but I really like the CoverFX pressed mineral foundation. I wear it over my tinted combo sunscreen/moisturizer and concealer for everyday, and it has great staying power.

    • Try using a primer.

      I like Too Faced’s powder foundation and I find it wears well, but that might be too heavy for your preference.

    • Young lookin' :

      I hate makeup and usually break out at everything but the Sephora brand powder has been working well for me and does what you said. It also somehow works better than concealer for my genetic dark circles and makes me look like an adult/not like the living dead when traveling for work.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have way better luck with loose powders. Particularly like Laura Mercier.

    • Anonymous :

      Try a BB cream instead of powder. It is sheer and doesn’t wear off.

    • Anonymous :

      Bare Minerals

    • Mac StudioFix powder. It has medium coverage, doesn’t look cakey (if you get the right color) and lasts all day. Some people break out from it though. Check reviews on makeup alley.

      Also, BareMinerals are the devil. They are a pain to transport, are messy, and only work if you want to wear lotion under your powder, and there are times of year when I do not.

  13. Pumpkin pie :

    Trick or treaters are driving me crazy, the porch lights are off, no decorations, and only one light on in the house. Kids keep pounding on the door… Do I really have to sit in the dark for the next hour or two? I have no candy but my veggie patch has an over abundance of cress, will that do?

  14. Pumpkin pie :

    Hmm…in my neighbourhood, I suspect I’m better off sitting in the dark and pretending I’m not home. Not entirely convinced they wouldn’t trash the garden in response. I normally would do candy but didn’t expect to be home tonight so didn’t have anything in.

  15. In-House in Houston :

    Can anyone recommend a good travel hair dryer? I tried to search this site and didn’t really find anything. Thanks!!

  16. Anonymous :

    I am a maid of honor for one of my friends, who told me today that she is going dress shopping on November 12th. This is her first round of appointments and her mom and I are the only ones that would go with her. I desperately want to go, but the kicker is that she lives a 9 hour drive away in a remote area so flights are insanely expensive. Luckily my parents live between where I am and where she is so I can break up the driving a little, but it would still be 18 hours of driving.

    I started a new job at the beginning of September. It is a 35 hour a week, no crazy deadlines sort of positions. At my other jobs, it was no big deal if I took off two weeks at a time as work would just pile up while I was gone, and then get done when I was back. My dad said I would have been working here two and a half months by the time I take the day, so I should just take the day and make my life easier. I don’t mind taking the day of vacation, but I do worry about the impression I would give my new boss. Would you take a day off on Friday? I don’t plan on taking time around Thanksgiving but I do plan on taking 2-3 days at Christmas FWIW.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I took a Friday off my second week of work for a wedding, it wasn’t a big deal.

    • After two months in a fairly laid back (35-hour week, no crazy deadline) type of job, I think it’s fine to take a Friday off. If this job is as chill as it sounds, other people will definitely take time for Thanksgiving and probably more than 2-3 days at Christmas, so I think you’re fine to take a Friday in earlier November.

    • I probably wouldn’t, but I just don’t think going dress shopping is that important. If it’s super important to you, though, then take the day if you can. Just don’t tell them what you’re doing.

      Alternatively, are you going to be near her over Christmas? Could she bring you to a dress shop then?

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t hesitate to take a Friday off but I also absolutely would not go to this much effort for dress shopping.

  17. Dating.... :

    I’m very, very tentatively attempting to go on dates again. The last date I went on was more than 15 months ago, and I ended up sexually assaulted on the first date. I already hate dating- I’ve realized I’m (and saying this still makes me cringe) “graysexual.” I want to date, but I don’t really have romantic feelings for guys until after I develop an emotional connection to them. And that doesn’t happen on first dates. And I’m also terrified that what happened will happen again. I’ve also got an abusive ex in my past.

    I have a Bumble profile, and I message guys I match and get messages back once in awhile, but I’m so uncomfortable with these conversations- I cannot flirt to save my life.

    I guess I’m just wondering if anyone has any advice about “getting back out there,” ugh, after being assaulted while also being naturally very, very averse to the typical dating scene. I don’t hit on guys in bars. I don’t get hit on in bars. I might strike up a conversation with a guy I find attractive, but never for more than a moment or two and I do not give off the “I’m looking for something” vibe. More the “I’m so uncomfortable I could die right now” vibe.

    Please be nice. I know I need to be more outgoing, but it terrifies me. I’m seeing a therapist. She’s great. I could really just use some support.

    • Anonymous :

      No advice specifically but you sound really hard on yourself! Dating apps exist because most people hate finding people at bars. Re: Bumble I’m not very flirty- more interested in them, asking questions than anything romantic. If you don’t develop romantic feelings right away, another avenue is taking steps to expand your social activities in ways that involve platonically interacting with men- joining a climbing gym, volunteering, meetups, etc.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m so sorry that happened to you.

      Could you ask friends to set you up? Maybe even set you up and go on a double date with you? That way the date would have been v3tted already so you might feel more comfortable.

    • New Tampanian :

      Just hugs for you.

  18. I have two Tom Ford lipsticks and they’re my fav. I tried on one in-store at Nordstroms, and then I had coffee and Chipotle, and I still had a dark red on my lips afterwards. Sold. That lipstick works.

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