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.