Friday, April 20, 2007

Massacre at Virginia Tech

Northern Virginia, where I live, has been deeply and personally affected by the Virginia Tech massacre. Below is a list of those residents of Northern Virginia who died in the massacre:

Daniel Perez Cueva. Age 21. Junior, International Studies.
Erin Peterson. Age 18. Freshman.
Mary Read. Age 19. Freshman.
Reema Samaha. Age 18. Freshman.
Leslie Sherman. Age 20. Sophomore, History and International Studies.
Maxine Turner. Age 22. Senior, Chemical Engineering.

The lives of these young women and young man were senselessly cut short. I extend my sympathy and condolences to family and friends of all victims, whether from Northern Virginia or elsewhere.

The killer, Cho Seung-Hui, also came from Northern Virginia. I am saddened for his family, who will have to carry this stigma for the rest of their lives.

I encourage readers of The Style Page to honor the memory of the victims by giving to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Great drugstore finds

As the interview with Aunt Beep for ThisNext showed, I'm an inveterate roamer at CVS, particularly its cosmetics aisles, which not only have the usual mass-market brands, but also Lumene, a cosmetics brand from Finland exclusive to CVS and the French skin care brands Avene and LaRoche-Posay.

Here are some drugstore finds that I'd like to share with my readers:

Maybelline Dream Mousse Shadows in Rose Kiss and Black Spice from their limited edition Sugar and Spice collection for Valentine's Day (the collection even featured nail polish with heart-shaped sparkles!) . Rose Kiss is a beatiful shade for the lid, while Black Spice is great for the outer corner of the eye for the class smoky eye look. If only Maybelline would add these shades to its regular collection!

L'Oreal has now added liquid bronzer to its popular True Match™ collection of foundations, powders, concealers, and blushes designed to flatter a wide variety of skin tones. I am very fond of True Match™ liquid makeup in N3 - see my review at ThisNext, so I picked up the liquid bronzer in N1-2-3. This liquid bronzer may be blended with your foundation or be used alone.
UPDATE: The May 2007 of Lucky has a good tip: apply liquid bronzer before foundation to even skin tones. It worked for my skin, which has a tendency towards ruddiness

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear™ Talc-Free Mineral Eye Shadow Quad

Finally, Physicians Formula has released six different talc-free Mineral Eye Shadow Quads, all in beautiful shades. My complaint is about the packaging - you have to flip the compact over to use the mirror, so it's a clumsy way of applying the eyesahdow.

You can find Maybelline, L'Oreal, and Physicians Formula at major drugstores, mass-market retailers, supermarkets, and Lumene is exclusive to CVS, and you can also find Avene and LaRoche-Posay at select CVS stores. Stores carrying Vital Radiance are now trying clear their inventory, so now is the time to snap up these products (which were good, although the line was badly marketed) at the right price - I was fond of Vital Radiance's Smoothing Eye Primer mousse, so I bought two at half-price. Paula's Choice may be purchased through the web site for Paula Begoun.
UPDATE: I have since found out that and carry a wide variety of Vital Radiance products.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I am Starbucks

Every Saturday and Sunday, I go to Starbucks for coffee (double tall latte) and breakfast breads. Starbucks very cleverly places the CD stand near the cashier as a point-of-purchase (POP). Starbucks CD compilations such as Jazz Impressionists, Prestige Jazz, and Blistering Licks! has exposed me to music I might otherwise not hear. The cashiers say that the CDs don't sell particularly well, which was surprising, given that Starbucks has become a force in the music industry.

Starbucks' current campaign has features about their coffee suppliers and artists from the Americas, whose items are available for purchase at Starbucks stores. For stationery lovers (like myself), there are notepads and notebooks featuring the bright and bold designs of self-taught artist Yamileth “Yami” Luna Arias. There are also coffee drinks flavored with dulce de leche, banana coffee cake with dulce de leche swirl, and mango and pineapple empanada.

However, the slogan
I am Starbucks for this campaign is maladroit, especially for a company as marketing-savvy as Starbucks. It sound more like one of those damage control campaigns where a company bring out its employees to say what a great company it is (think Wal-Mart), when the company is facing a lot of bad press.

Let's set the record straight!

The April 23, 2007 issue of People has a cover story about Marcia Cross and her two infant girls - "The Desparate Housewives star opens up about fertility, her difficult pregnancy, and her 'yummy' baby girls."

While Cross admitted to undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), it was treated very casually: all that was said about her IVF was "Let's stay put and if we can't give this baby a chance."

Here are facts about IVF that women should know:

Five years ago, IVF cost $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle - I do not know the cost today. Certainly, money is no object for Cross as an actress on a top-rated TV show. For the ordinary woman, meeting these expenses would means taking out loans or taking out a second mortgage on their home. Nothing was said about - not even in the sidebar - about the time that processes such as egg harvesting requires. For the working woman, it might require that she take leave from her job or even force her to quit her job.

Cross is lucky that she conceived on her first try. If I remember correctly, Brooke Shields underwent 5 cycles before she conceived her first daughter. Other women go bankrupt in repeated tries to realize their dream of having a baby.

Fertility clinics are required by law to report pregnancy success rates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); to find reports for the years 1995-2004, visit Assisted Reproductive Technology from the CDC.

In fairness to People, the article did mention that Cross suffered from pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, a condition that afflicts many women, especially those who are pregnant past 40. Articles about celebrities (not only Cross, but also Jane Seymour and Geena Davis) having children at advanced ages betray women into thinking that they can postpone having children to well into their 40s.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The longest corporate legal battle

... or so it seems.

I am no fan of direct selling or multi-tier marketing (examples: Amway, Mary Kay). I don't like the aggressive selling or recruitment of customers to be salespeople, with the benefits accruing to those above them. Moreover, I don't like how many of these companies often conflate religion with selling a product.

Probably the most egregious example to conflate religion with selling products was the rumours spread by Amway distributors to tie Procter & Gamble to satanic worship because of P & G's (former) use of a logo featuring a man in the moon and 13 stars. I suspect that the distributors thought that this would play well among conservative Christian customers. For more background, see Logo controversy on Wikipedia. I regarded this effort to be defamation of P & G.

Now Amway is challenging the decision that they pay P & G nearly $20 million in legal expenses:
Amway claims P&G Satanic damages to be improper

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Updates to The Style Page website

I've been having a lot of fun inserting add-ins on The Style Page website to enhance users' experience. New features include Google Search on the front, About us, What's New, and Contact us pages, where search results are featured on the same page. Also, I've added links from Yahoo! My Web that are customized for many (but not all) pages on the website. Finally, I've inserted a widget that enables display of thumbnails of linked pages with mouse-over on the Cosmetics page, in which case you might want to look at the page "below the fold."

Have fun searching or browsing our companion website, and share your comments with me via the Contact us page or here on this blog.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Demystifying eye makeup

Perhaps I was a bit critical of Stila's Smoky Eye Palette - I'm not adverse to pricey brands (particularly if they provide something I can't find in less pricier brands) and some folks seem to like the palette. Still, I think it was nervy to insert an audio commercial advertising other Stila products on a $40 item.

That said, eye makeup is the trickiest part of makeup application, and it's to a makeup company's advntage to provide guidance on applying makeup to sell product. Here's a rundown on products with accompanying guidance:

Bare Escentuals Get Started Eyes

Bare Escentuals Get Started Eyes and Bare Escentuals Tutorials - Lesson 1: Smoky Eye provide guidance with the set. I think that the lid and eyeliner shades on the model are great, but I'm not smitten with the pale pink highlighter, especially with deep-set eyes like mine (and the model's). I wish the Chocolate Raisin liner was sold individually - it sounds like the dark-dark brown-plum I love (see also Constant Color Gel Eyeliner)

Jemma Kid Eye Wardrobe Eye Shadow Quartet
Jemma Kidd is a London-based makeup artist. She's also the sister of model, champion polo player, and race car driver Jodie Kidd; great-granddaughter of press magnate Lord Beaverbrook; and wife of the grandson of the current Duke of Wellington - whew! Advice on application may be downloaded from Jemma Kidd's website, as well as her columns for The Mail on Sunday (UK).

Mally Beauty City Chick Smokey Eye Kit

Mally Beauty is a makeup line from celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal (she's the one who makes Beyoncé always look fabulous). Originally available through QVC, Mally Beauty is available at Mally Beauty City Chick Smokey Eye Kit comes in five different color themes: Brownstone (browns), Skyscraper (slate/gray), Central Park (greens), Nolita Navy (blues), and Plum Chelsea (guess). Each palette comes with eye shadow base and eye liner pencil.

Pop Beauty Eye Class - Smokey Eyes is the most diversified palette of the lot, and features these shades: jet black, smokey steel gray, sapphire blue, silver, deep plum, deep violet, burnished bronze, emerald green, olive gold, nude glow, opal gold, and sparkling white. Examples of application are provided with the palette.