Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Stylish options for Laptop cases

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Tired of the basic black laptop case? Looking for more stylish options? Browse the Bags and Luggage page for sites such as ACME Made, Gyms Pacific, Jalda, jzmo, KaraB, Melissa Beth, Mobile Edge, and Tumi, which offer livelier options.

Lapdog from Shaun Jackson Designs

Although it's black, take a look at the Lapdog from Shaun Jackson Designs - the design is anything but boring-boring, but admittedly a bit of a nuisance when going through airport security.

FASHION pages now updated

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Today, I completed updating pages on fashion and uploading them to The Style Page web site.

While most links on the Accessories page have been for scarves and shawls, I've now added Eugenia Kim (who studied millinery at FIT) for hats and Sermoneta for gloves.

STRA by Maria Paula AguilarThe Shoes page includes many new links, but I would like to highlight STRA by Maria Paula Aguilar. Maria Paula is a shoe designer who learned her craft in Italy, but works out of South America. She wrote to The Style Page requesting that we link to her site. I was impressed by both the site and her footwear. Certainly she deserves to become known around the world.

The Bags and Luggage page features 20 new links, including Bag Borrow or Steal, which allows women to pay a monthly membership fee and borrow handbags from our virtual online closet. There are no late fees and members can keep a bag for a week, a month or a year. This site has received notice in InStyle magazine, the Wall Stret Journal, and The Economist, among many others.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Treating Chapped Lips


Good advice from Paula Begoun, but I do prefer lip balm in a wax base, as long as it contains sunscreens and emollients such as petrolatum and mineral oil. I use a SPF 30 lip balm stick from Stop'n'Shop. The wax seems to create a barrier between the lips and the elements. At night, I use Aquaphor Healing Ointment ointment or a store brand equivalent. Don't forget the corners of your mouth when applying balm - cracking often begins there.

If cracking begins, apply Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Ointment or a store brand equivalent, labeled as a "triple antiobiotic ointment." Band-Aid Liquid Bandage Skin Crack Gel may be used to seal cracks. BTW Liquid Bandage contains 2-Octyl Cyanoacrylate - cyanoacrylates are the same ingredient in Krazy Glue, but I wouldn't advise substituting Krazy Glue for Liquid Bandage!

I have tried BeautiControl's LipApeel and it works well, but my criticism is that the waxy cream used to peel off chapped skin dries out and becomes unworkable. BeautiControl is a direct sales company, like Mary Kay, and is not my preferred way to shop for cosmetics. However, you can shop online and bypass the sales pressure if you state that you do not have a consultant.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

BOOKSTAND pages on The Style Page now updated

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I have just completed an update of the Bookstand pages on The Style Page.

There's less than 2 weeks to Christmas, and if you still haven't bought gifts for everyone on your list, consider buying books, magazine subscriptions, CDs, or DVDs from Amazon.com.

Perhaps it's because the end of the year is near and I'm taking a look back to see how I could have done better, several of the new links - Day-Timer, Filofax, FranklinCovey - on the Bookstand - Stationery page are for planners and organizers. I still rely on a small 6-ring organizer binder to record appointments, deadlines, etc., especially when I'm away from the computer. At the end of the year, I move the pages to an archive binder. While I do use Web-based calendars and reminders and lately have started using text messaging for reminders via my mobile phone, I just haven't seen the benefit of using a Palm Pilot or Blackberry or other PDA.

Pro-Con pads from Knock-Knock

While Knock Knock has been listed on the Bookstand - Stationery page for some time, I'd like to direct readers to their products. I bought Pro-Con pads as a gag for my co-workers to help assess the pros and cons associated with various options. There's even a place at the bottom to list the total number of "pros" and "cons" - as if we could make decisions based on simple counts! Knock Knock also offers a Resolution Tracking System with sections for Resolutions, Rewards, and yes - Relapses: I bought one for myself for New Year's.

Knock Knock's products are gimmicky and alternately serious and silly. But then, what can one expect from a company that says "We concoct, manufacture, and distribute witty objects of cosmopolitan panache from our shamelessly sunny perch on the lefthand coast" (they are based in Venice, CA) on their corporate philosophy page?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Canada now requires truth-in-labeling for cosmetics

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OTTAWA - Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh announced today amendments to the Cosmetic Regulations which will require all cosmetic products sold in Canada to list the ingredients on the label. A two-year implementation period has been allowed for industry to comply with the new requirements. These regulations were published in Canada Gazette, Part II, on December 1, 2004. They will come into force on November 16, 2006.

"Mandatory labelling of cosmetic ingredients will increase consumer safety by allowing the public to make more informed choices when selecting cosmetic products," said Minister Dosanjh. "This will enable medical professionals to refer to a common chemical name for the purpose of treatment and incidence reporting, and will also enable the public to easily identify ingredients to which they may have sensitivities. This initiative will also harmonize our cosmetic labelling with many of our trading partners."

Cosmetics are defined as "any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth and includes deodorants and perfumes." Estimated sales of cosmetics in Canada total over $5.3 billion annually. All of these products, including both beauty preparations (make-up, perfume, skin cream, nail polish) and grooming aids (soap, shampoo, deodorant) will be required to meet the new regulations.

Under the proposed amendments, ingredients must be disclosed on the cosmetic labels using recognized names from the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) system (as found in the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, Tenth Edition). INCI is used in the United States, the European Union, Japan, and many other countries.

Health Canada has consulted a broad spectrum of Canadians over several years, including industry, consumer groups, and medical professionals. Medical professionals, such as dermatologists, and consumer groups strongly support ingredient disclosure. The industry is similarly supportive of the regulatory amendment because it will result in more uniform international labelling requirements.

The new regulations can be found on the Canada Gazette Web site.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Review of Jouer Cosmetics

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It seems that every cosmetics company, from prestige brands to Markwins International's The Color Workshop, have released special edition gift sets or palettes for the holidays. The problem with gift sets or palettes is that while one might find a few shades she really likes, the rest of the shades go unused. That's why The Style Page prefers singles, and come to think about it, that's why she wasn't smittened with American Beauty cosmetics, as it offers eyeshadow duos only - see the posting on Beauty from Kohl's Department Stores.

Creme eyeshadows from Jouer

Jouer (pronounced "zhoo-ay", French for "to play") is a cosmetics line from film producer Christine Zilber and makeup artist Kerry Malouf. It features singles for face, lips, and eyes that can be attached together to create individualized palettes.

I took advantage of the 3-for-2 offer from the Lucky Breaks section of November 2004 issue of Lucky to try Jouer cosmetics. I selected lip gloss in Monsoon (a deep wine) and cream eye color in Cashmere, described as "khaki brown with shimmer" but really a shimmery taupe. As the freebie, I received lip gloss in Starfish, described as "luminous buff with shimmer" but it's so sheer, it's like applying clear shimmer.

Performance-wise, I liked all the Jouer products I received. The textures are indeed sheer but layerable, as the Jouer website says. The customized palette system is smart, but the white packaging would get dirty in a makeup kit. I would consider buying Jouer products again, even though the price ($18) for an individual color is too steep for my liking.

Jouer may be purchased directly from their website. The 3-for-2 offer from Lucky might still be valid - check the November issue to be sure. Also, Jouer is offering free shipping for purchases over $70 to registered users - you would have to buy a minimum of four colors to qualify.

Alternatively, Jouer may be purchased through Sephora.com. Sephora offers free shipping for purchases over $75, free gift packaging, and 3 free samples with purchase. Its web site offers an extensive selection of brands, and you can mix and match from its many brands to qualify for free shipping. You may also visit Sephora.com by clicking on the Sephora banners on any of the Beauty pages on The Style Page web site.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Major updates to the BEAUTY pages

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This week (actually the day before Thanksgiving), I completed a major update of the Beauty pages. I am always surprised by the number of cosmetics brands I discovered. The Cosmetics page has many new additions, particularly brands that I discovered during a trip to Italy (Lake Maggiore) last month. As always, I want to recognize those brands about which people sent me information through the Contact Us page or email: Cherriflip, Ava Aromatics, and Melis. After I had published the latest updates, I received information about Beloved Body Care and My Vanity Case, a beauty and perfumery website with a presence at London's venerable Fortnum & Mason department store.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Paula Begoun questions sources and methodology of cosmetics ingredient report


The Beauty > Consumer page of The Style Page provides links to product reviews, sites on cosmetics safety, and animal testing. This page links to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep report, "a safety assessment of ingredients in personal care products." Paula Begoun questions the sources and methodology used by the EWG in her Beauty Bulletin in response to an inquiry about the safety of titanium dioxide, which is used as a white pigment in cosmetics and also as a sunscreen ingredient.

Paula notes,

"Much of what the EWG reported was confusing or hard to interpret as their sources either didn’t include the actual substance being evaluated or they used animal and inhalation studies ... Rats being fed or injected with substances doesn’t relate to how it is used (or what effect it might have) when mixed in a cosmetic and applied on the skin."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Home and Design pages now updated

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I've just completed updating the Home and Design pages on The Style Page, with new additions to the ACCESSORIES, BATH, BEDROOM, CARPETS AND FLOORS, CERAMICS, CLOSETS, FURNITURE, KITCHEN, TABLETOP, TEXTILES, and YOUTH pages.

It's been great to get notice for the Home and Design pages. Karen from Switzerland found The Style Page while searching for Judy Ross Textiles. She recommended nonchalantmom, a web site offering modern (not cutesy) clothing for children, playthings, and "nesting materials" - pillows, blankets, etc. Karen also directed me to designaddict.com, a major resource on modern design. As you browse the Home and Design pages, you will find several links to designaddict.com.

Nick wrote to inform The Style Page about his website Miam Miam (meaning "yum-yum" in French), which sells French products including quilts and home accessories. Miam Miam is also a "bricks-and-mortar" store in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Textiles from Creative Women

I was in Cleveland, Ohio, where I visited the Cleveland Museum of Art and of course, its museum shop. Whoever selects merchandise for the museum shop is doing a fabulous job! It's not just reproductions of art on T-shirts and other accessories. The museum shop also features pillows from Maharam, but the discovery for me were the shawls and other textiles from Creative Women, which is opening markets for textiles based on traditional designs, colors, and materials from Ethiopia and promoting women's economic independence in that African country.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Major updates to Fashion pages

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Many new links have been added to the Fashion pages of The Style Page.

pinkmascara.com notified The Style Page that they have expanded into apparel.

The Style Page also received a request from Emma Gordon Handbags, which is based in London, to list their website. Check out their collection of fabric handbags. Below is the Grace handbag:

Friday, October 29, 2004

Mascara reviews - Rimmel, Physicians Formula

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It’s been said that once women find a mascara they like, they stick to it. The Style Page is no exception. Several years ago, I discovered Maybelline’s Volum’Express mascara and stuck to it. I take advantage of sales to stock up. I like the way it thickens my eyelashes and doesn't clump. However, I am a sucker for new ways of packaging cosmetics.

Volum’Eyes Instant Full Volume Comb Mascara from Rimmel

Rimmel Volum’Eyes Instant Full Volume Comb Mascara features a comb rather a mascara brush. One would think that the comb would separate lashes and prevent clumping, but it doesn’t. After applying this mascara, my lashes looked like the spiky eyelashes that Cher had in her Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour heydey. In that way, the store displays featuring Kate Moss with a curiously clean mascara wand are misleading. Shop Rimmel at Wal-Mart.

Lash-in-a-Tube® Full Coverage Cream Mascara from Physicians' Formula

Physicians Formula Lash-in-a-Tube Mascara is also billed as a volumizing mascara. While this mascara doesn’t clump like the Rimmel mascara, it doesn’t build volume. Shop Physicians Formula at major drugstores and discount chains.

After applying mascara, I brush my lashes with a mascara wand salvaged from a tube that I discarded. But if you like a good gimmick (as I do), you can also use Paula Dorf’s Mascara Fan ($16). Shop Paula Dorf at Sephora.

Beauty from Kohl's Department Stores

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The marketing of cosmetics is a strange business. Sears rolled out its Circle of Beauty concept comprising fragrance, skin care, and color cosmetics with much fanfare, and then decided to exit the beauty business only a few years later. JC Penney announced it too was getting out of the beauty business and stopped carrying Iman, Color Me Beautiful, and Ultima II at its stores. The decisions of Sears and JC Penney to get out of selling cosmetics was a blow to Avon, which expected to market its beComing line through these retail outlets. Avon therefore had to rely on its traditional means of selling (sales representatives, carts at the mall) to market beComing.

Discount stores have sought to distinguish themselves by selling products its competitors don't have. Wal-Mart sells Coty's Rimmel, while Target sells a cosmetics line from makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. The beleaguered KMart Corporation is not selling an exclusive line of cosmetics, but given the energy it's put into advertising its new clothing lines (including ads in Vogue), I wouldn't be surprised if KMart rolled out its own line of cosmetics.

I have already written about Walgreen's selling IsaDora cosmetics from Sweden and CVS's selling Lumene Cosmetics .

Mid-priced stores such as Caldor and Upton's have gone out of business altogether, and the market leader in this category is clearly Kohl's. Kohl's has entered into marketing cosmetics in a most audacious way. It has partnered with the Beauty Bank division of Estee Lauder Companies to establish three cosmetics lines in its stores. The three lines are good skin, American Beauty, and Flirt!

good skin offers skin care products, of course. The packages are color-coded according to complexion. Good skin care also offers foundation and concealers.

American Beauty features a real American beauty – Ashley Judd – as its “face.” I have been in love with Ashley Judd ever since seeing her in the movie Simon Birch and linger over magazines on which she’s featured on the cover, but even she can’t excite me in this cosmetics line.

Flirt! is the most captivating of the three cosmetics lines. It’s targeted to younger consumers and features a wide range of colors (and of course, shimmer). The Style Page judges a cosmetics line by its selection of eye shadows, and Flirt! offers a wide variety of both matte and shimmery colors. The boxes are color-coded and the eye shadow container slides open and a mirror pop ups (great packaging, but needless). The Style Page bought Dreamy Eyes Eyeshadow ($10) in Mellowtini, a shimmery olive that would be appropriate for the crease or the wedge (the outer third of the eyelid).

Thursday, October 28, 2004

UK retailer Marks & Spencer launches new cosmetics line

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Telegraph | Fashion | Form a queue for Per Una's unmissable make-up

Per Una Cream Cheek Colour from Marks & Spencer

I've been writing a lot lately about cosmetics lines exclusive to a particular chain of stores. Now comes news that UK retailer Marks & Spencer will launch a new cosmetics line Per Una to join its other exclusive lines Autograph, Enhance, and Mien.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

NYT and WSJ recognize benefit of lifestyle coverage

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When I visited my folks in St. Louis in early September, I began each morning reading the Wall Street Journal (IMO the only journal of record in the U.S.) Maybe it was because of New York Fashion Week, but I was surprised by the amount of coverage given to fashion in the WSJ: for example, there were articles on how to wear the new retro styles (tweeds, brooches) without looking dowdy and the importance of patternmakers to fashion designers. The WSJ has greatly increased its lifestyle coverage and plans to launch a weekend edition in Fall 2005 to compete for advertising dollars. Meanwhile, the WSJ has launched a television show The Wall Street Journal Weekend on the Fine Living TV network.

T: The New York Times Style Magazine

The New York Times has revamped its fashion and interior design coverage into a new Sunday magazine simply called T: The New York Times Style Magazine. To learn more about T, read this press release from the New York Times Company.

Where to buy Jordana cosmetics

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Site statistics are a valuable means of feedback on The Style Page. Lately, I noticed that users found the Beauty > Cosmetics page by searching on "where can i buy jordana cosmetics" and "buy jordana cosmetics."

Jordana cosmetics are very affordable, but not that easy to find. The Style Page has spotted Jordana eye pencils and lip pencils at Walgreen's and the fuller range of Jordana cosmetics at dollar stores, but not at the large chains such as Big Lots!, Dollar Tree, or Dollar General, which are listed on the Beauty > Shopping page.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Women in #India get more #cosmetics choices: 2004

From 2004: agencyfaqs! > news & features > K.K. Modi Group forays into cosmetics (no longer available)

ColorBar Cosmetics (2004)
"THE Rs 2,500-crore K.K. Modi Group on Tuesday announced its foray into cosmetics with the launch of the ColorBar range of lipsticks, nail polish, kajal and compact.

While the formulations for most of these products will be imported, they will be manufactured through a third-party arrangement in Mumbai and marketed through a new group company, Serendipity Cosmetics."

Find ColorBar online:

Web site: http://www.colorbarcosmetics.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colorbarcosmetics
Twitter: @lovecolorbar

Monday, September 13, 2004

Walgreen's IsaDora, CVS's Lumene

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I live in the Mid-Atlantic States, where the dominant drugstore chain is CVS. I visited Walgreen's while I was in St. Louis, and checked out the IsaDora cosmetics line, which is carried exclusively at Walgreen's. There's a growing trend for chain stores to carry lines exclusive to that chain. While IsaDora, a cosmetics line from Sweden, is exclusive to Walgreen's, Lumene, a cosmetics line from Finland, is exclusive to CVS. (Interestingly, I found eyeliner pencils from CVS's Essence of Beauty line at Big Lots!)

I found IsaDora unappealing and dated in its displays featuring overly made-up models and its packaging. Lumene, on the other hand, strives for an image of Nordic freshness and coolness through its use of cool blonde Nordic models and dark blue packaging (think Noxzema or Nivea).

The Style Page has tried Lumene's Vitamin+ Energy Cocktail serum, a two-phase formula that needs to be shaken for application, and it does impart a nice glow to the skin. It also likes Lumene's Delight Solo eyeshadow in Never Alone (a subdued pink) from its Skin Couture collection.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Yahoo News - Cheaper Chic Spills Into Vogue

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Yahoo News - Cheaper Chic Spills Into Wintour'sVogue

"[The] 832-page September issue hitting newsstands this week is the magazine's biggest ever, with 647 ad pages and weighing around 4 pounds."

This article notes that shopping titles such as Lucky are much cheaper to produce than Vogue and Harper's BAZAAR. What it didn't mention that Lucky is much more honest than other fashion magazines in that women's magazines are about delivering the audience to its advertisers and Lucky is unabashed about its purpose. Magazines such as Vogue and Marie Claire feature both fashion and social commentary witihin its pages. For example, the September 2004 issue of Vogue had articles about John Kerry's daughters (photographed in couture gowns) and a former punk rock singer now with the leftist MoveOn.org and a review of a book on India that perpetuates the image of that country as poor, dysfunctional, and corrupt.

This article first brought to my attention SHOP Etc., a new magazine from the Hearst Corporation (which also publishes Harper's BAZAAR, Cosmo, and Oprah's O), designed to compete with Lucky. SHOP Etc. uses the metaphor of a store with departments for fashion, home, and beauty and includes bifold pages to demarcate each department. While Lucky has its Lucky Breaks and stickers page, SHOP Etc. has coupon inserts.

Overall, I am not excited about SHOP Etc., because it's nowhere as visually appealing as Lucky. This magazine will probably go the way of HotDots, another shopping title that tried to integrate a print format and web shopping, which discontinued publication after only a few issues.

CNN.com - Models queens of covers again - Aug 18 2004

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Nine up-and-coming models grace the cover of the huge and weighty September 2004 issue of Vogue, displacing actresses and singers.

Note further on that Lucky (also published by Conde Nast) had to renounce its pledge not to use celebrities on the cover, due to poor newstand sales.

Friday, July 30, 2004

The Style Page | Updates for August 2004

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The Style Page has been updated for August 2004. In July 2004, we received requests for inquiries from Pink Confection, Arboretum Skin Care, Star Hitched Wagon, Treat Beauty, Coleena Bobeena, FotoSearch, and Soleberry Modern Stationers. Please check out their web sites through the The Style Page. In addition, we have collected many other links for August 2004.

Happy browsing, and enjoy what remains of the summer!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Style Page updated for July 2004

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The Style Page is now updated for July 2004. This past month, we received requests for links from:

Beauty Works
Ahiva Skin Care
Savons de Provence, Ltd.
Azalea Bath & Body
Postmodern Pets
Beautiel International Co., Ltd.
Ariane Poole London

Please check out their web sites through The Style Page. We have added many other sites to The Style Page for July 2004. Happy browsing!

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Celebrate summer - The Style Page now updated for June 2004

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The Style Page is now updated for June 2004.

This past month, we received requests for listings from Thomasin Countey jewelry, rapp and posavek handbags, and Reviva Labs natural skin care. Please check out their web sites through The Style Page.

The Style Page now features online shopping via Amazon.com's new Beauty Store.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Kosher Cosmetics

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Shaindee Cosmetics

Passover, or Pesach, begins on April 6, and Jewish homes are cleaned to remove leavened bread products. Some cosmetics may contain wheat or oat products and, according to some interpretations of the Torah, have to removed. To meet those requirements, esthetician Shaindy Kalman has developed Shaindee Cosmetics, a kosher-for-Passover which comprises two lines: Long-Lasting Everyday Cosmetics for application before the Shabbat (Sabbath) and Yom Tov (festive holidays), and another line of powder-based Shabbat Cosmetics for application during Shabbat and Yom Tov, according to specific halachic guidelines (Halacha pertains to "Talmudic literature that deals with law and with the interpretation of the laws on the Hebrew Scriptures")

The Style Page, of course, should not be taken as an authoritative source on Jewish traditions; however, it would like to note that another interpretation suggests that cosmetics are not intended for eating, and therefore, do not have to be removed from the home.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

A passion for cardamom

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Cardamom is a spice that people in the area of the world from the Middle East to South Asia use to flavor coffee and tea. It is also popular in Scandinavian baking.

Badger Lip & Body Balm, Chai Rose

This aromatic spice may be found in Badger Lip and Body Balm in Chai Rose, "an exotic mélange of Cardamom, Rose and Vanilla"

Speaking of chai, here is my recipe for Indian chai (adapted from the More-With-Less Cookbook):

Boil 1 Tablespoon loose black Tea in 1 cup (250 ml) to 1-1/2 cup (375 ml) water (depending on strength) in a saucepan for 5-10 min

Add 1 cup (250 ml) to 1-1/2 cup (375 ml) warm milk (you can preheat milk in the microwave). Toss in a cinnamon stick (break in half), a few whole cloves, and a few cracked cardamom pods. Heat to nearly boiling.

Pour everything - including the loose tea, cinammon stick, cloves, and cardamom pods - into a teapot. This will allow for extra time to steep the chai. You may warm the teapot beforehand by adding a small amount of boiling water to the pot and then draining the pot.

Pour and strain tea into tea cups. Add sugar or honey, if desired.

Serve with cookies or crystallized ginger.

Hint: you're paying for the packaging when you purchase tiny bottles of spices at the supermarket. Go instead to an Asian market where they sell spices in cellophane bags.

Hint: Do not use cardamon powder. As Andrew Dalby notes in his book Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, the seeds soon lose their aroma when they are removed from the pod.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

AlterNet: Women Deserve "More"

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Women Deserve More, by Sheila Gibbons of Media Report to Women is an interesting article about the ambivalence of MORE, "the one magazine that celebrates women over 40," towards its target audience. The host web site AlterNet describes itself as "a project of the Independent Media Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism" and is liberal-to-leftist in its orientation.

Kudos to Marlene Eskin, who identified this article through the 2004-03-18 update (select What's New) of CosmeticIndustry.com.

I plan to read Spin Sisters : How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness --- and Liberalism --- to the Women of America, written by Myrna Blyth, founding editor-in-chief and publishing director of MORE magazine. As you can see, views expressed on amazon.com about Spin Sisters are strongly divided, with some thinking that Ms. Blyth is reinventing herself as a conservative pundit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

What Guys Want

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I picked up a copy of the premiere issue of CARGO, the men's version of Lucky magazine.


I've been a fan of Lucky from the beginning. The main purpose of women's magazines is to deliver their audiences to the advertisers. Magazines such as Vogue often have a disconnect between articles on social and political issues on one hand and opulent fashion spreads on the other. (Yes, I know that I'm writing this after sending two messages to The Style Page e-group about the terrorist attacks in Madrid - a member from Malaysia unsuscribed that day. Coincidence?) Lucky, I think, is much more honest in that it dispenses with everything except delivering the audience to its advertisers.

But anyway, back to Cargo. Whereas Lucky focuses on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, Cargo focuses on "Tech" (consumer electronics), Style, Cars, and Culture. "Culture" here is a catchall that encompasses interior decoration and food & drink, as "culture" on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is a catchall that includes etiquette and nice manners. Another difference is that Cargo is much more wordy than Lucky - are guys really more concerned with how things perform, while women are more concerned with how things look, or is that just a myth?

I was rather turned off by the blatant approach to sex in Cargo. There is a short feature on the Trovata clothing design team, whose T-shirts and cargo pants feature "nudie" graphics, another feature on buying roses that says that peach-colored roses mean "Sheer lust, Baby," and lastly, a feature on what to wear on a third date, as many women say that they'd go to bed with a man by the third date.

I can't resist bringing up Queer Eye again. The thing that I like about Queer Eye, and what I suspect that many other women like, is that it's about pleasing the woman in one's life and romance. Cargo, on the other hand, is more about getting laid.

BTW Cargo's interior design feature was done by Thom Filicia, Queer Eye's "Design Doctor," who just signed a contact to serve as a spokesman for Pier 1.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Cosmetics Settlement Could Mean Free Makeup

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High-end cosmetics brands and retailers were defendants in a class action suit alleging that they were involved in keeping the price of cosmetics artificially. They decided to settle rather than risk going to court. The final hearing for the approval of the settlement is scheduled for June 8.

For more information, see Cosmetics Settlement Could Mean Free Makeup

Telegraph | Fashion | Return of the shops that time forgot

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An article on "bijou beauty boutiques" from The Telegraph(UK):

All brands mentioned in this article, with the exceptions of Scent Systems and Zarvis, are already listed on The Style Page. Scent Systems and Zarvis will be included in the April 2004 update of The Style Page.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A passion for sandalwood

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Sandalwood is my favorite fragrance. It is typically used as a base note in a perfume blend.

Sandalwood is a slow-growing tree. The June/July 2003 issue of Real Simple featured the story of Michelle Rose, a former flight attendant who is trying to bring back sandalwood to Hawaii. The first partial sandalwood harvest won't be until 2028, and the first full sandalwood harvest won't be until 2053.

I'm not big on wearing perfume, but my first "signature" scent was the single-note Sandalwood perfume from Floris of London. Now I like Annick Goutal's Heure Exquise, a blend of "Turkish rose, a gentle powdery base of iris from Florence and Mysore sandalwood."

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise Eau de Toilette

Here are other sandalwood-fragranced products worth noting:

Mysore Sandal soap- the original. A guest size bar will fragrance the entire bathroom.

Splash Bath & Body Gold Rush soap - a unique blend of lemon, cinammon, and sandalwood. Regrettably, I don't see it among Splash's current products.

Ohm by Olay Sandalwood & Chamomile Body Wash - this is a mildly fragranced moisturizing body wash, which comes in a light blue color.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

How to Clean the Bathroom

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I took a bath using the ME! Bath Ice Cream bomb in Vanilla Purity, which turned my bathtub into an oil slick. It was time to clean the bath tub and the whole bathroom, in which case I decided to offer some tips on cleaning bathrooms.

I like using Marla ("FlyLady") Cilley's (search "FlyLady" on The Style Page) approach to cleaning tubs and sinks: fill the tub or sink with hot water, add chlorine bleach, and let sit for one hour. Afterwards, scrub the tub or sink with scouring powder (I like Bon Ami). If you wish, you can wipe down the tub or sink with a window cleaner like Windex. Be careful if you decide to subscribe to her e-group! I did, setting the option to "individual mails" and my Email box was flooded!
Swiffer starter kit

One hour gives you a lot of time to do other things - set the kitchen timer for one hour and find out. Clean the toilet - 3M has come out with the Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Bowl Scrubbericon with built-in cleaner. Freshen your bath mat by running it in the dryer - I prefer terry cloth bath mats to bath rugs because they're easier to wash and dry. Clean the floor - I use the Swiffer dry mopicon to lift up hair. Empty the trash can and install a new roll of toilet tissue if necessary. I use Lysol disinfectant wipes to clean the interior of the trash can. Housecleaning experts like Don Aslett recommend that you clean top down, but with Marla Cilly's shiny sink, you can't use this approach. At the end, I clean the bathroom mirrors and any chrome fixtures with window cleaner.