For vanity's sake.

Okay ladies, have you ever looked in the mirror midday and thought (out loud on occasion), “God, why do I look so tired?” The obvious answer is the five hours of sleep you got last night and the minimal time spent decompressing. But, if you are like me, at this point in your life, time spent sleeping is time wasted; and I don’t have time for that. Fully aware that I am a marketer's dream, near to capable of turning the economy around by my own spending in consumerville, I have made it one of my charges in life to perfect my personal beauty regiment. I just can’t not buy into what they tell me. Literally.

Earlier this year my cosmetic product spending jumped to new heights when, for the first time in my 27 years of existence, my usually clear skin decided to try acne on for size. Much to my horror, no zit zap, face mask, sonic scrubbing, cleansing cream, rub or wash was ridding my pores of the ghastly blisters that had taken residence. Perhaps a tad dramatic, but adult acne is not for the faint of heart and never having to do more than wash and moisturize to avoid more than the occasional outbreak, my self esteem plummeted quickly. And my search for makeup that would mask, what I felt like was alligator skin, became a near obsession.

Suddenly my usually powder, blush, eye shadow and mascara routine was thirty plus minutes of priming, blending, covering, swirling, tapping, covering again, dusting, dabbing here and smudging there just to pray to God that it wouldn’t rain that day. During this time I swear to you I tried ten different foundation products and I’d hate to guess how many concealers. Do you think I get a tax break?

A few months of moping went by before I finally sucked up my pride and faced reality that I needed medical intervention. The dermatologist fixed me right up and returned my skin back to somewhere near its beginning state. That is not to say I have ended my quest to find the best combination of products for a beauty regiment of minimal time and maximum effect. Now I'm back on track to rid the tired eyes.

And once again, the Today Show has done it—captured my attention, I’m guessing my hard earned money and now airtime on Attempted Domestication. So for all you fellow seekers of quality cosmetics, check out their segment from this morning, featuring Shape Magazine’s top beauty award winners that are brand new for this year. All of the products were voted on by readers and tested by their task force to bring us certified awesomeness.

Yes, you are welcome.

Here is a short list, provided by, of some of the fabulous products dubbed the best of all. To see all of the award winners visit

Primer winner: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance
Think celebs and movie stars are the only people who can benefit from a primer? Think again! Primers help give everyday makeup major staying power. Plus, some of the best primers out on the market smooth out the skin and create an even surface so makeup can be applied and blended more easily. This primer from Laura Mercier has a pearl tint that adds luminosity and helps minimize the appearance of fine lines. It comes in one universally-appealing shade.

BB cream winner: Dior Hydra Life BB Crème
BB creams (aka: beauty balms) have made a big splash in the beauty world this year. The main reason? They pack a lot of punch in one small bottle, often providing the benefit of hydration, wrinkle-protection, and SPF protection all in one step. This tinted beauty balm from Dior conceals imperfections, softens skin, controls oil, and protects with SPF 30.

Powder winner: Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder
$14, drugstores
A great powder is essential for setting makeup and preventing oil build-up and shine in the T-Zone area. Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral Finishing powder minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines and leaves a translucent finish. Best of all? It contains hydrating coconut water and feels cool upon application.

Concealer winner: Sephora Smoothing & Brightening Concealer
A good concealer can do everything from hide unsightly blemishes to brighten the undereye area. Hyaluronic acid in this creamy cover-up plumps fine lines and prevents it from caking, while light-reflecting pigments camouflage dark circles. Its tapered brush makes hiding pimples a cinch and its small size makes it super portable for on-the-go touch-ups.

Eyeliner winner: Yves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils Shocking Felt-Tip Eyeliner Pen
Most eyeliners smudge, flake, or create imperfect lines. The extra-fine tip of this easy-to-wield, marker-like liner combines the precision of a pencil with the intensity of a liquid liner. It's ideal for women who want to wear a wing-tipped cat eye look, but is also great for everyday usage.

Lipstick winner: Lancôme Rouge in Love Lipcolor
Dread lipstick that imparts bold color at the expense of drying out your lips? Lancome's Rouge in Love Lipcolor has a lightweight, silky feeling and provides a bold dose of color with just the right amount of shine. It's available in 21 chic shades.

Me and You.

Enjoy a recording of my dad and hubby’s rendition of Kenny Chesney’s “Me and You,” they performed at my cousin’s perfecto wedding over the weekend. Quite fabulous if you ask me. And quite possibly the reason I will never sing outside of the shower and not get behind a karaoke mic even when dead and rotting. When my family is so musically gifted and my five years of piano lessons got me as far as “Heart and Soul,” I have taken a personal vow to keep my talents to myself. The world just isn’t ready for these pipes yet. And, I’m not capable of handling the fame that will surely ensue.

Oh Wisconsin -- hail thee, good and great.

Wisconsin is often overlooked as one of the finest states in the union; a tragedy, I say. It really is not given enough credit for the value it adds to our country. After spending the past weekend in Madison and visiting my beloved boarding school in Beaver Dam, I was reminded of the love I have for the Badger state. With that, I am here to provide you with the top ten reasons you should reevaluate your personal list of favorites and consider adding Wisco into the running.

10. Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famed and innovative architects of all time, was born in Wisconsin and many of his projects can be visited here.

9. The state motto is “Forward,” and it has been since 1851. Just one simple word, reflecting Wisconsin’s “continuous drive to be a national leader.” Who doesn’t admire that?

8.  UW Madison. If you have never attended a Badger football game, strolled through the fabulous campus on the lake or even just heard of their infamous Halloween party, look into it immediately. These kids are fearless and live their four (sometime plus) years to the fullest. Seriously, they know how to do college right. Which brings me to…

7. Madison. Madison is such a fantastic city, sort of the San Francisco of the Midwest. And as I recently discovered, DC offers nonstop flights from DCA to MSN, so now fellow Washingtonians, you have no excuse not to check it out for yourself.

6. Then there is Minocqua, the “Hamptons of the Midwest.” I may be a bit partial to this Northern lake town, utilized mainly for summer residences because one of my best friends hails from its pine tree lanes, but it really is spectacular. The North Woods is an experience unlike any other ;) This segments into…

5. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ummmm, hello – what would our youth have been without the Little House series written by this Wisconsinite novelist? Big House in the Woods may still be in my top ten favorite books. In fact, I may start rereading the series tomorrow.

4. If there is another place in the world that loves polka as much as Wisconsin, I’m not aware its existence. There are polka church services, polka classes and most of my friends who grew up in this great state are well practiced in the dancing art form. The list could just about end here, because what more do you need?

3. Bubbler (and all other words that exist only in the Wisconsin dictionary) is the more commonly used term for water fountain. When I first began school in Wisconsin I had no idea what my coach meant by, “run to the bubbler and be back on the court in two minutes.” Run to the what?!

2. Wayland Academy. My alma mater and where I spent a few of the best years of my life. Since coed boarding schools are few and far between in the middle part of the country, it speaks to the state’s forward thinking that Wayland has been educating high school students for over 150 years.

Now, a drum roll for the number one reason Wisconsin is one of the most fabulous states in America...

Keep drumming for dramatic emphasis…

1. BEER AND CHEESE. Okay, so the number one spot is shared , but how is a person supposed to choose between these two? I’ll say it again, just to make sure y’all got it. Beer and cheese. These folks have perfected the aging of dairy and fermenting of hops. And they even combine them into the goodness of beer cheese soup. I mean, cheese curds alone could elevate Wisconsin to your favorite state. Proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

If you have any arguments against me or want to play devil’s advocate, take your dirty mouth elsewhere, because that sort of attitude is not welcome here. I may not bleed green and gold—I could never betray the Bears like that—but come as close as it gets without donning a foam cheese wedge as a hat.

It's here!

The new Attempted Domestication has arrived! Thank you to Courtney at Designer Blogs for her fabulous design and quick work. I am absolutely smitten with the new layout. There are a few kinks to work out, but there is time for that.

What a great way to start the weekend!

The best month of the year.

Ahhhhh, August in the District. For those of you outside of the Beltway, you have no idea the beauty that is this month. Even when it is busy, which Augusts pasts have proven to be, the atmosphere and the attitudes in this city take on an air nostalgic of summer break from school. Think middle school. Everyone is relaxed, ties are loosened, denim becomes more prevalent and lighter moods set in.

There just isn’t anything like it anywhere else in the world. And in true neurotic style, I look forward to this month and tending to the projects that have been put on the back burner, then taken away from the heat and put in Tupperware to be stored in the freezer. My file drawers look amazing, if I do say so myself, and I keep opening them just to revisit the bliss the sight of organization brings.

To the tune of turning seasons, I am also ripping the skin off Attempted Domestication and lifting it up for a fresher look and new tone. In the coming weeks a new design will be unveiled, crafted by the ladies at Designer Blogs, and some of my fabulous friends will lend their thoughts to spice up the content. Because, let’s face it, we are all attempting domestication in our own way, so how better to bring in diversity, then well, bring it in! Even the charming Crap Bag Cawley (yes, my dear husband has embraced this nickname—check out the old episode of F*R*I*E*N*D*S and you won’t think I’m so heinous) has agreed to grace this space with his wit.

In the meantime, I’ll try my best to contain my excitement and pretend that I’m not obsessively checking my email to know when the design is complete. As a distraction, I leave y’all with one of the best discoveries to come out of August thus far: Chuck from the Bronx. Just try not to laugh until you cry. Just try.


Gweneth Paltrow is fabulous and so is her newsletter-turned-blog-turned-full fledged website, GOOP. Granted a lot of the featured items are [temporarily] out of my price point, the styles are easily emulated by more pocket book friendly alternatives. Her advice runs the gamut from music, travel, faith, cooking, education, attire and relationships; and she offers great personal discoveries. The website offers a subscription to Gweneth’s weekly email, which is a gold nugget in the masses of daily deal and “congratulations on being the heir to the fortune of a long lost relative” emails. Check it out—if you haven’t already, you’ll be glad you did!

Beautiful Turkish towels featured on GOOP
Recessionista alternative bath towels
available for purchase on Etsy