Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Home and Design pages updated January 31, 2006


Just before the end of January, we finished updating our Home and Design pages.

Visit our many new additions to the Home and Design pages on The Style Page website. Also check out the list from TheThingsIWant in the right column of the index page.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Belen Echandia

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In 2001, Jackie Cawthra returned to London after a year in Spain, where she discovered stylish handbags in fine leathers and a variety of colors. Although Jackie was trained as a lawyer and had no prior design experience, she debuted her first handbag collection in 2003 and reimagined the handbags that she loved in Spain. To reflect that Spanish influence, she named her line Belen Echandia, after a Spanish girl's name. ("Belen" means "Bethlehem" in Spanish.)

Stroke Me handbag from Belen Echandia in Smoky Gray

Belen Echandia handbags feature traditional styles and offer the customers fine soft leathers in a choice of colors and textures. Each handbag comes with a signature fuschia lining, stamped zipper pulls, and oodles of compartments and pockets to stash your stuff.

At a time when luxury products are being outsourced to the Far East, notably to China, Jackie has her handbags crafted by a family-owned business in Spain. To see Belen Echandia handbags in other styles and colors, visit their website or browse the Bags and Luggage page on The Style Page for "Belen Echandia." Belen Echandia handbags are also available from Bag Borrow or Steal.

Friday, January 13, 2006

L'Oreal HIP High Intensity Pigments

L'Oreal has a new makeup line called HIP High Intensity Pigments now available at drugstores and mass-market retailers. I was struck by the outre makeup on the models that looks like something to be found on a MAC display. Even the typeface for HIP looks like MAC's.

The collection comprises 61 shades of creme blush, base, eyeshadow, lipcolor, lip gloss, bronzer, and eye color.

L'Oreal Hip High Intensity Pigments Flawless Liquid Makeup, Sand 802

In her article on determining your skintone, Paula Begoun noted that "The goal is to use foundation to neutralize whatever overtones are present with a neutral- to slightly yellow-toned foundation, thus matching the skin's natural undertone. ... There are a few exceptions to this guideline: Native North American or South American women, a tiny percentage of African-American women, and some Polynesian women do indeed have a red cast to their skin." L'Oreal Hip High Intensity Pigments Flawless Liquid Makeup comes in a variety of shades appropriate for women of color with reddish casts to their skin (select the link to find other shades other than that pictured). The HIP Cosmetics website states that there are "violet perles" in these bases, but I don't know how they affect the shade or the shininess of the makeup.

L'Oreal Hip High Intensity Pigments Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss, Tempting 378

L'Oreal Hip High Intensity Pigments Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss are packaged in the same tubes used for L'Oreal Colour Juice Sheer Lip Gloss (a favorite of The Style Page BTW). They come in both pearlized and non-pearlized shades.

Overall, this is an impressive debut. L'Oreal is the leader among drugstore brands when comes to innovative product offerings - by comparison, Revlon's recent product offerings are uninspired.

Friday, January 06, 2006

How to organize bills and receipts

Now that the holidays are behind us, we've been jolted back to reality credit card bills for holiday shopping coming due. Before too long, we'll be getting tax forms from the IRS and state revenue departments. It's a good time to think about organizing bills and receipts.

The best advice that I've found for organizing bills and receipts came from the book Confessions of an Organized Homemaker by Deniece Schofield. Ms. Schofield recommends getting twelve file folders, one for each month of the year, and putting receipts and bills for a given month in the proper folder.

This system has served me well for many years. I've extended this idea to set up four hanging file folders, one for each quarter of the year:

Quarter 1: January-February-March
Quarter 2: April-May-June
Quarter 3: July-August-September
Quarter 4: October-November-December

I use a different color file folder for each quarter: for example, the three file folders for Quarter 1 might be red, while those for Quarter 2 are blue, those for Quarter 3 are yellow, and those for Quarter 4 are maroon.

For 2006, however, I've discovered something new: the File-it Calendar from Avalanche Publishing. Each calendar page is actually a file folder pocket in which you can store your receipts and bills. Each pocker has a fold-over tab closure to keep contents secure space on the back to record contents.

Once I've received the monthly bank or credit card statement, I check the receipts against the statement and shred those receipts that I won't need anymore. To prevent identity theft, I also shred mailing labels from catalogues and magazines that I'm going to pitch. I recommmend that everyone have a heavy-duty paper shredder.

At the end of the year, the folders can be moved to a twelve-pocket accordion folder.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Good advice from Paula Begoun on determining your skin tone

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Ever been frustrated by advice to determine your "undertones" by looking at the veins in your wrist to see if they were more blue than green or vice versa? Paula Begoun, the consumer expert whose web site now describes her as "the creator and innovative force behind Paula's Choice skin care and cosmetics," offers sensible, easy-to-follow advice on determining skin tone to find your best shade of foundation.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year 2006


to all our readers!