Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Special offers on cosmetics

IsaDora Lip Treat Color
IsaDora Lip Treat Color

I have an assortment of IsaDora cosmetics to give away:
  • Bronzing Powder in Dark Tan
  • Eye Shadow Quartet in Gold
  • Light & Shade Eye Shadow in Lime Rose
  • 2 Brush-on Gloss (one in Glacier, the other in Sorbet)
  • 2 Lip Treat Color (one in Apple Blossom, the other in Sheer Apricot)
  • 2 Express Star Gloss (one in Reflecting Oyster, the other in Reflecting Peach)
  • 2 Sun Protecting Pearly Gloss (one in Pearly Nougat, the other in Bubble Gum)
Please submit your name and postal address to me at thestylepage@yahoo.com, and I will mail the products to you. U.S. and Canadian residents only. Again, I request that you write a review of products for posting on this blog.

Be assured that The Style Page will not share your address with anyone and will not subscribe you to my lists or blog.

Monday, August 28, 2006

ThisNext by thestylepage

I was privileged to be invited to participate in the private beta release of ThisNext, a network where you can discover, recommend and "shopcast," or share, things you love.

ThisNext had already picked up on some of my posts:
I am pleased to announce that ThisNext has been taken out of private beta, and is now public. I've created a "best of the best" on my shopcast. While some of these items have already been covered in this blog, a couple have not, so you'll want to check on these, and vote if my recommendation is smart, funny, or useful.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bonne Bell VitaGloss2O® Moisture Stick

For many girls, Bonne Bell is their first cosmetic. Years ago, my friend invited me to a makeup application from Bonne Bell at Stix Baer & Fuller, a department store in St. Louis that was later bought out by Dillard's. I can still remember how the salesgirl applied a triangle of dots of cheek tint on my cheekbone (just below the temples) and stroked it on my cheeks. As it happened, I didn't wear makeup during my teens (despite my mother's urging for me to wear lipcolor), as I thought that makeup would detract from the intellectual, serious side (!) that I was so desparately trying to cultivate. I didn't start wearing makeup seriously until I was 27, and clearly had a lot of catch-up to do. You can be sure that I wasn't looking at Bonne Bell at that time.

I'm like a kid, however, when it comes to lip balm. I like fruity flavors (in lip balm, that is) and Bonne Bell's new VitaGloss2O Flavored Moisture Stick Lip Gloss fits the bill nicely. This is a clear, twist-up stick, much like Chapstick: remove the black cap and twist the stick up at the other end. While Bonne Bell compares it to sponge-on liquid gloss, I like this better. It also is formulated with Vitamin E, which is great as an emollient. And of course, it comes in the fruity flavors that girls (and the kid inside grown women) like: watermelon, strawberry, raspberry, mango, pineapple, and kiwi.

BTW There was a real Bonne Bell. She died in November 2005, at the age of 82.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Coral motifs

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Red coral motifs have become so commonplace that they are a design cliché. However, when pillows with red coral motifs are mixed with these pillows in brown silk with white beading, the result is a fresh and dramatic combination.

Silk Beaded Pillow - Brown, 20" x 20" from Uno Alla Volta.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Philippe Starck for Baccarat

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Is Philippe Starck a genius or a poseur? Sometimes I wonder about this, as I do with other high-profile designers, including Karim Rashid.
Interestingly, The Financial Times had an article about Starck's rocket-shaped lemon juicer, in which Starck was referred to a "genius/charlatan."
But I love this candlestick that Starck designed for Baccarat, the manufacturer of fine crystal. It features a traditional candlestick stem with a Starck twist - a black shade and bowled candleholder, much like the Miss K Table Lamp that Starck designed for Flos, the lighting manufacturer.

This candlestick is featured in the September 2006 issue of Shop ETC, and costs a mere $850.00 (OK, I'm being sardonic). The immensely popular blog design*sponge out-scooped Shop ETC back in May. For other great candlesticks, visit TheThingsIWant.com : Style Page: Tag: Candles

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sad news

I was invited by Jill to participate as a donor in Blogathon 2006, a 24-hour marathon blogging session to raise money for charity. Jill's charity of choice was the The Marrow Foundation, which supports the National Marrow Donor Program®, as a tribute to her friend Jennifer Baker, who had been treated for acute leukemia.

Jennifer K. Baker

Sadly, Jennifer passed away on Thursday, August 10, 2006. I extend condolences to Jennifer's husband, her family, and her friends, including Jill.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Clothes Shopping in India

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I have twice (1, 2) made reference to our layover at Heathrow Airport. My husband and I were en route from India, where we visited his family.

While the sari is the dress most commonly associated with India, younger women are opting for the salwar kameez, which allows for greater mobility. A salwar kameez outfit consists of the kameez, a tunic; the salwar, a pair of loose pants (almost like a harem pant); and a dupatta, a long scarf or shawl. Sometimes, a tight-fitting pant called a churidar is substituted for the salwar.

Salwar kameez

More recently, young women in India have taken to wearing a kurta or short kameez over jeans or other western-style pants. As my niece noted, this outfit has become the working woman's uniform.

Salwar kameez are typically sold as an entire outfit; however, department stores in India such as Pantaloons and Westside sell the individual pieces as separates. As I was frustrated in my search for simple cotton kurtas in the U.S., I picked up a couple of kurtas at Westside.

According to my niece, tailors can sew custom kurtas at a nominal price. At the upper end of the price scale is Fabindia, which does ship outside of India.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

shu uemura eye shadow

Eye ♥ shadow - just read my recent posts on IsaDora Eye Shadow Quartets and Stila Fall in Love Eye Shadow Trios. During my recent layover at Heathrow Airport (before the current terrorist threat), I visited the shu uemura counter, and was captivated by the selection of eye shadows.

These eye shadows have a silky texture and are identified by color family (Pink, Gold, Green, Blue, Purple, Beige, Brown, White, Grey, and Black) and finish (matte, pearl, metallic, or irridescent), rather than by meaningless attributes such as Tempting, Coy, Shy, Audacious (add your own). It's a practice I'd like to see other makeup brands emulate.

After Shiseido, shu uemura is probably the best known makeup brand to come out of Japan, although it's now owned by L'Oreal Group. U.S. customers may shop the U.S. site shuuemura-usa.com.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Penguin Mug

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Starbucks will be selling the novel For One More Day by Mitch Albom, author of Tuesday with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. It's a natural progression (more natural than Starbucks getting into music or the movies), for who doesn't enjoy reading and hanging out while lingering over a cup of coffee or tea?

Here's where these mugs with designs based on the original series of Penguin Classics are a nice adjunct to your reading and coffee-drinking ritual. I selected Wuthering Heights as I'm boggled how Emily Brontë, with her erratic education, could have produced such a masterpiece (read it again, and notice how the multi-generational saga of Heathcliff, the Earnshaws, and the Lintons is related over the course of a night by two servants).

Also clever is this pair of demi-tasse cups - "Sweet Danger" and "Black Mischief."

From Art Meets Matter, the same people who brought us the Christine Keeler chair.

Intentional irony

How's this for intentional irony? This chair, made of recycled paperboard, features the famous photograph of a nude Christine Keeler straddling a chair. Christine Keeler was the call girl whose brief affair with UK Secretary of State for War John Profumo (while she also slept with a Soviet spy) led to the collapse of the goverment of PM Harold Macmillian in the 1960s.

For more information about this famous photograph, visit Wikipedia. This picture has been much imitated: see the picture of the Spice Girls (one phenomenon of the 1990s that many would like to forget) on Wikipedia. Also, Joanne Whalley recreated this image when she played Keeler in Scandal (1989). More recently, Sharon Stone copied the pose for her flopperoo Basic Instinct II:

Treehugger used other styles to illustrate its post Flat-Pack for the Flat. Apparently, the irony was lost on them.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Cool Hunting: Kshocolât


Here's an example of packaging being better than the contents: after reading the review of Kshocolât in Cool Hunting, I was excited to find Kshocolât at a shop at Heathrow Airport during a layover from a recent overseas trip (more about that later). I bought four tins - Chilli Almonds in Milk Chocolate, Hazelnut in Dark Chocolate, and Candied Oranges in Dark Chocolate - and one bar of Dark Chocolate with Orange and Cardamon.

All were disappointing - the chocolate is dry (despite that the fact that I ate the chocolate well in advance of the expiry date on the pakcage) and has no mouth feel. True, the Chilli Almonds in Milk Chocolate have a nice after-burn from the pepper, but I was expecting a blend of flavors such as that found in the Mexican specialty mole (pronounced mo-lay). I could detect no orange or cardamon seeds in the bar of Dark Chocolate with Orange and Cardamon.
The best stuff from Kshocolât wasn't chocolate at all, but Turkish delight flavored with rose and lemon essences.
Far better were the discs of marzipan and marmalade coated in chocolate from Danish chocolatier Anthon Berg. I tried the varieties with apricot brandy marmalade and cherry rum marmalade, and yes, you can taste the liquor. These chocolates remind me of Pim's, the soft cookies with fruit filling coated in chocolate.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Gritty reality of the Brontes

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Portrait of the Brontë sisters, as painted by brother Branwell. Look center right to see that Branwell has been painted out of the portrait.

I don't keep up with the latest movies, but the film Brontë, which is about the writing Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne - will be a must-see for me (the film is in pre-production). Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are among my favorite books. In fact, I'm so obsessed that I've read three biographies about the Brontës.

For more about Brontë, visit The Brontes as You've Never Seen Them Before... and click on Comments to see my feedback.

Update on mass-market brands: 2007

This past spring brought several new launches of mass market brands. The Max Factor (owned by P&G) and Almay (owned by Revlon) cosmetics lines were completed revamped, while L'Oreal launched its HIP line and Revlon launched its Vital Radiance line for women over 50. The Style Page wondered how supermarkets, drugstores, and "big box" retailers (Wal-Mart, KMart, Target) were going to accomodate these new brands.
See The Beauty Newsletter for a critique of Almay's dated eyeshadow concept.
HIP appears to have been a success - L'Oreal has recently expanded the line with two new products: Pure Pigment Shadow Stick and Shocking Shadow Pigments, in addition to new colors for its eye shadow duos(another indicator is that searches on "L'Oreal HIP" are a major driver of traffic to this blog).

Max Factor, however, has been a disappointment: many of the main drugstore chains (CVS, Walgreen's, Rite-Aid) do not carry the line, and it is found only at Wal-Mart and KMart. Maybe the problem was the ads that featured Carmen Electra wearing scary makeup.

Revlon's much-hyped launch of Vital Radiance has been a disappointment. Due to lackluster sales of the brand, Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS plan to cut back drastically on the number of stores carrying the brand, while Revlon believes that consumers need more time to know the brand better.

According to WWD, "Market reports indicate that Wal-Mart will trim the line [Vital Radiance] from 2,500 doors to 500, while Target will cut it from 1,500 to 500."

My take is that consumers were turned off by the prices of Vital Radiance products, which are higher than those for other mass-market brands. Vital Radiance's target audience of women over 50 are probably value-conscious and rejected the higher prices.
I am not the only one who thinks this way - see comments on my post Vital Radiance UPDATED 2006-02-22.
Revlon should have priced Vital Radiance lower, or issued discount coupons to entice first-time buyers. Then there's always the dicey proposition of marketing to older women without making them feel ... old. An introduction of skin care products planned for 2007 might change Vital Radiance's fortunes.

Revlon sees a $40 million loss from Vital Radiance. Things haven't been so great on the personal front either: Revlon Chairman Ron Perelman's marriage to actress Ellen Barkin ended in February 2006, after five years of marriage.