Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Naomi Makes Nice

Continuing my fascination with prima donna Naomi Campbell, here's the latest via OMG!

The caption reads:

While departing Heathrow Airport last weekend, Naomi Campbell stopped to apologize to the two officers that arrested her earlier this month. We're not sure if the supermodel's words were sincere, but we are sure she didn't fly British Airways; the carrier has banned her from all flights.

Bed Bath and Beauty

Beauty at Bed Bath and Beyond? Hair appliances - check. "As Seen on TV" stuff - check. Now, however, Bed Bath and Beyond has partnered with Harmon Discount Health and Beauty and has devoted considerable floor space to products that one might find at the drugstore, including enduring brands such as L'Oreal, Revlon, Almay, Maybelline, and Max Factor.

In this post, I would like to mention some of the more unusual beauty products that Bed Bath and Beyond carries:

Rubiglo Powder Blush
Rubiglo (along with Indian Earth) was one of the original all-purpose loose powder cosmetics. As with Indian Earth, Rubiglo comes in urns reminescent of pottery that are plugged with corks. If you're a purist, however, you won't appreciate that Rubiglo contains talc (which IMO gets a bad rap) and parabens.

Wonder Cloth
The Wonder Cloth is a face cloth made of cotton and plant pulps that you can use with water and your favorite cleanser to remove makeup and provide gentle (mechanical) exfoliation.

Beauty Strokes brushes
Beauty Strokes is an inexpensive line of full-size natural hair cosmetics brushes (eye brushes cost less than six dollars). If you're like me and don't know which end of a brush is up, Beauty Strokes features application tips in the package inserts - French and Spanish also provided. You may also find Beauty Strokes at Amazon.com.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Curious about specialty and indie boutiques? Then check out StoreAdore.com, which provides information about boutiques, including products carried, "vibe," and user reviews. You may register on StoreAdore.com to create your custom profile.

Hadn't I seen something like this at Michael's?

A bag that you can embellish. Only it's a Fendi Artist Baguette. This Fendi clutch, which is shown in its box, is made of white canvas and comes with 10 Pantone permanent markers.

Bring your fabric glue, sequins and beads, stencils, etc. to embellish it. Only $1,300.00 :-) Found through Needless Markup.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Standards-setting and certification for organic personal care products

In several posts (here, here, and here) on The Style Page blog, I've highlighted various activities to set standards and certification rules for what constitutes "natural" or "organic" personal care products (note that "natural" and "organic" are not necessarily synonyms). Vendor participation in these programs is voluntary.

Mischo Beauty posted an article about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program, or NOP. According to the USDA,

The National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents (foreign and domestic) who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards.

In another article, Mischo Beauty highlights another voluntary program to certify products as "biodynamic."

Bottom line: Given the plethora of standards-setting and certification activities, an international voluntary standard that specifies what constitutes organic personal care products should be established through ISO.

Eco-friendy housecleaning tips

When something gets overhyped, I tend to tune it out. So it is with Earth Day.

Nonetheless, here are some personal tips from Rachel Lane of Barcelona Bath & Body (via her email list) on eco-friendly housecleaning that are worth passing on:

~ Sweet Orange Essential Oil is an awesome adhesive remover. My husband gave it the ultimate test recently by using it on a soft cloth to remove the residue from all the dealership stickers he'd taken off his new car. Passed with flying colors!

~ Hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle has taken the place of bleach sprays for kitchen surfaces. I even clean my cutting boards with it before running them through the dishwasher.

~ Vinegar is my glass, surface and faucet cleaner of choice. It works well in the dishwasher additive reservoir to leave your glasses sparkling. It also makes a great tile floor cleaner that leaves no sticky residue behind to attract dirt. My husband hates the smell, so I just finish up with a spritz of Room Refresh!

~ Baking soda and salt take the place of scouring powder. For example, if there's still discoloration on my cutting board after I use hydrogen peroxide on it, I use baking soda and salt to scour out any remaining residue food may have left behind. Then I put it in the dishwasher and give it a final spritz of hydrogen peroxide.

~ Water in a spray bottle and a soft rag have taken the place of aerosol dusting sprays and dusting wipes. Let's face it. Dry dusting doesn't work! But spritzing a soft rag with a little water works well and is safe to breathe.

Bonus tip~~Conventional wisdom tells us to sort laundry first by color, then by soil level. Washing heavily soiled items with lightly soiled items causes unwanted soil transfer. I save my rags for a separate load from my regular laundry. When my husband comes in from mowing the yard, I take the dirty yardwork laundry and toss it in the wash with my rags to make a fuller load. This would also work great for sports uniforms or work uniforms if you happen to have those in your household.

I like Bon Ami scouring powder, as it's not chlorinated. Vinegar and salt is also great for removing tarnish from pots and pans, but you need "elbow grease."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by the beautiful Monique of beauty girl musings!


My 6 unspectacular quirks:

* I watch the O'Reilly Factor every night, even though there are ??? about the settlement on that sexual harassment suit filed against Bill O'Reilly. He's entertaining, and I tune out when someone is filling in for him.

* When I go to a room, I forget why I went there and have to take a few moments to recollect

* I tend to scatter things across the top of my desk or the top of the vanity

* I buy cute stationery that would help me organize my life and time better ... but only if I'd use the stationery regularly!

* I buy the exclusive CD compilations at Starbucks, even though cashiers tell me that the CDs don't sell well

* I look at foreign women's magazines, even those in scripts I can't read, like Arabic (Sayidati) or Korean. I pretend to understand Arabic by reading back to front (at least by our orientation).

To play tag, here are the rules:

1. link the person who tagged you.
2. mention the rules in your blog.
3. tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. tag 6 random bloggers by linking them at the end of your post.
5. leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.
6. once your post is up, notify the person who tagged you.

I'm tagging Soul-Piercing Reflections, Ondo Lady, Marcando Estilo, Shop with a Vengeance!, Mischo Beauty (although jennifer beat me to it), and slacker chic!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Diane von Furstenburg Gazara Foil-Print Silk Dress

I love ethnic prints. This Diane von Fustenburg strapless dress features gold tribal designs printed over a dip-dyed skirt in black and green. The jackard bodice features ruffles and gold beading. Great details that make a whole.

I definitely prefer the Giuseppe Zanotti sandals (top) to the flip-flops (bottom). Flip-flops are too casual.

Natural Beauty inspired by Carmindy

Carmindy - love her hair, love her earrings, love her eyes, love this photo!

If I tune in to TLC's What Not to Wear, it's for the last half hour when Nick Arrojo and Carmindy work their magic. I find Clinton Kelly bland, and quite frankly, Stacy London irritates me. I don't sense compassion and caring on Clinton and Stacy's part for their subjects. In one espisode, the subject wept because she couldn't believe that she could look this good. Stacy's reaction was so feigned and smarmy that I've tuned her out. The "Fab Five" of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy or Trinny and Susannah, for that matter, would not have been that insincere.

Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy

Carmindy has now teamed up with Sally Hansen, best known for its nail products, for a complete line of colour cosmetics called Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy. First, a caveat: "Natural Beauty" more accurately refers to the look favored by Carmindy, rather than to the cosmetics, which contain synthetic ingredients in addition to natural ingredients. Regardless, I was pleased with the two products from Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy I sampled:

Color Comfort Lipcolor in Adobe - A cream lipstick with a soft, not slick, finish.

Sheerest Cream Bronzer in Miami Glow - this feels more slick than the Suki Pure Natural Creme Stain. It indeed is sheer and as with cream blushes and bronzers, melds with the skin. Even my husband sees something different when I wear cream blushes and bronzers. He says that I look great, although he can't pinpoint what makes me look so good.

Does this brand have legs? Sally Hansen had a color cosmetics line called Healing Beauty that was discontinued 2 years ago. By and large, users didn't like Healing Beauty products. From what I've read on MakeupAlley, Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy has had good user reviews. I suspect, however, that Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy will last only as long as TLC's What Not to Wear is shown on TV.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Women With Hats: 2008

Madonna on the cover of Elle (UK), May 2008
What makes women in men's hats with lots of leg look so sexy? I ask this after seeing Beauty Addict's article Madonna Madness: May 2008, on three magazines that feature Madonna on the cover of the May 2008 issues.

Madonna is the latest incarnation of this archetype:

Marlene Dietrich as Lola Lola in  Der blaue Engel (1930; The Blue Angel)
Judy Garland in Summer Stock (1950)
Lisa Minelli in Cabaret (1972)
Keira Knightley for Coco Mademoiselle fragrance by Chanel (2007)

Cosmetics bags

I collect cosmetics bags. I haven't used them yet; the bags are lined up in my closet. Here are some selections from World of Good, which promotes fair trade handicrafts from around the world. You might have seen World of Good kiosks at Whole Foods Market or Wegman's.

silk Come Full Circle Cosmetic Bag from Cambodia

silk Udder Joy Pouch from India

The trim on this pouch is characteristic of the Indian decorative art of kalamkari, where artisans sketch designs with burnt tamarind twigs and then paint the designs with natural dyes.

Hipper Zipper Pouch from Brazil

This pouch is actually made out of leftover zippers! While I wouldn't put the silk pouches in my handbag for fear of getting them dirty, this bag is rugged enough for my handbag.

Here's one self-help book that I'd like to read

I always enjoy Ondo Lady's reviews on her blog. From her review, here's a self-help book I'd like to read: Beautiful Within: Finding Happiness and Confidence in Your Own Skin. Ondo Lady indicates that it's more down to earth than other self-help books on the market.

The book is by Mica (pronounced mee-sha) Paris, who is now a presenter on BBC UK's What Not to Wear (the new What Not to Wear sans Trinny and Susannah doesn't seem to be available on BBC America). Unfortunately, this book has not been marketed in the U.S.

Some twenty years ago, Glamour singled out Mica as one to watch as a singer. The video of her song "My One Temptation" received play on VH1, but she never broke out as an artist in the U.S.

Check out Mica channeling Dionne Warwick in the video My One Tempation on YouTube. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cocoon Wrap

It's been an uncommonly cool day here in the DC area, with a high in the low fifties (Fahrenheit) and overcast skies. A kind of day where you'd want to wrap yourself in something warm and take a nap.

I rely on blankets, but this cocoon wrap from Italy's Loro Piana in cashmere/silk would be a luxe ($790.00!) option, but as SWAV notes, "too rich for my blood."

I particularly like the free form style with open sleeves. Found through Bergdorf Goodman.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Soul Piercing Reflections: TG!!!

The blogger for Soul Piercing Reflections has been one of my biggest supporters. I've been tracking the progress of her graduate thesis, and was sorry to learn that she wouldn't be able to graduate at the end of this semester. She wrote,

... It's likely we can finish by the beginning of the summer, though. Of course, that means I have to see if my two readers are willing to continue over the summer, which is a big if. After all, the summer is when they're supposed to be free from we [us?] students.

Graduate advisors really have a habit of yanking students around. Today, I learn that the readers will be available: TG!!!

Congrats to Retainer Girl!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Fear of flying

Hi all,

Everyone who flies knows what a pain flying has become. The number of complaints about lost luggage, bumped passengers, late or canceled flights, etc. have significantly risen in 2007 from levels in 2006. In addition, we face the hassles of security: removing your shoes, removing your outerwear (even the scarf around my neck), removing your laptop, to say nothing about limiting carry-on liquids and gels to less than 3 oz apiece, putting these into a 1-quart clear plastic bag, and removing it from your carry-on bags. This has also created a market for "travel-size" personal care products that are both economically and environmentally wasteful.

Thanks to Richard Reid, a marginal, alienated criminal who tried to detonate an explosive hidden in his sneaker, we are now obliged to remove our shoes at the security checkpoint. Lost among current news is the trial in the UK of eight men on conspiracy for murder through a plan to detonate explosives assembled from from liquids that would pass security on several transatlantic flights. According to this report, "Their explosive of choice had been nitrocglycerin mixed with contact lens solution. On board the aircraft, these would be assembled, using a battery powered detonator which would be hidden inside a shoe."

You can thank these eight accused for obliging you to remove your personal care items for security and making your flying experience more difficult.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

slacker chic.: Naomi Campbell in Vogue Brazil

Friend of The Style Page (and prolific blogger) slacker chic notes that Naomi Campbell appears on the cover of Vogue Brazil this month:

slacker chic writes, "The little jaibird Naomi is on the cover of this month's Brazil Vogue. If only she act as beautful and graceful and she looks..."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Products I'm excited about

Generally, I am pleased with the cosmetics I try and use. However, here are three products that genuinely excited me:

Illuminare All Day Eye Color in Espresso and Cafe Americano. I've already raved about Illuminare All Day Eye Color as an eyeliner. I'm always on the lookout for products to tint my eyebrows that provide full coverage, as the color applied at the salon when I get my hair colored doesn't last. I've tried various solutions, such as eye shadow or eyeliner, LORAC Brow Wax, and Laura Mercier Brown Definer, but Illuminare All Day Eye Color in Espresso or Cafe Americano is the best solution I've found to date.

Beautyblender- see my February 6, 2008 review.

Suki Pure Cream Stain in Clay

Suki Pure Natural Creme Stain in Clay. I've always relied on powder blushes, but it's true that creme blush seems to meld with one's skin better. Here is one example where a "natural" cosmetic functions as well as conventional cosmetics. The Suki Pure Natural Creme Stain is described as a "[very] versatile chocolaty pink rose neutral with brown undertones," but I think that this description overemphasizes the brown in this creme. It's better described as a pink subdued by brown undertones.

All the shades of Suki Pure Natural Creme Stain look beautiful. You may find Suki Pure Natural Creme Stain and other Suki products at Futurenatural.

Even better Re: Bio-fond makeup

After trying Bio-fond makeup, I found a creme makeup that I like even more. It is Goddessy Rx 4-in One Smart Makeup.

Goddessy Rx 4-in-1 Smart Makeup

Why do I like Goddessy Rx 4-in One Smart Makeup better?

It lacks fragrance. The packaging is very functional, with a large mirror, a cover for the makeup itself, and a perforated well for the sponge.

Plus, I found a better shade match. I initially tried three different shades of Goddessy Rx 4-in One Smart Makeup on my fingertips:

#2 - light shade, nearly the same intensity as #4, more pinky than #4
#4 - light shade, with yellow undertones
#3 - deeper than #2 and #4, appeared orangish

#4 was the best match for me. I err on the side of yellow undertones. On the other hand, the Bio-Fond makeup shade had pinkish undertones. To say nothing about the fragrance!

Thanks to Jennifer for giving me the chance to sample this product. You may shop Goddessy Rx at Amazon.com.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Paint Me Gorgeous: Green eyeshadow with nude lips

I'm fascinated with "ethnic" beauty. Some might accuse me of being a patronizing, romanticizing "orientalist." When I had the makeup application at the BellaPierre kiosk, the girl who did my makeup was of eastern Asian origin. She had a very pretty wash of green eye shadow.

Paint Me Gorgeous is a blog from Malaysia. Here's a picture of the blogger with green eyeshadow and nude lips, which reminded me of the BellaPierre girl's makeup:

So perfect. The look was created with Shu Uemura products - Shu Uemura eye shadows are the silkiest I've tried.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Terracotta Tajine Eye Shadow from Guerlain

'Terracotta' Tajine Eyeshadow from Guerlain

This 'Terracotta' Tajine Eyeshadow from Guerlain was featured in the April 2008 issue of Lucky. While Lucky said that it was available through Sephora.com, I couldn't find it there. However, it's now available through Nordstrom. I also found it at Dillards in St. Louis.

While the packaging is great, I wouldn't pay $35.00 for this eye shadow. Don't be misled by the shade names: Blonde Metal is pinkish, Brown Metal is golden, and Dark Metal is purplish.

'Omi at it again

I'm fascinated by Naomi Campbell, but I feel embarassed about it, given her record of assault and battery.

Now comes news that she was arrested for spitting at a security officer at Heathrow Airport's newly opened Terminal 5. Poor Naomi. Her suitcases and bags must have been among the 28,000 bags that were mislaid at Terminal 5 when the automated baggage handling system ground to a halt. :-)

Bio-fond makeup

I shopped MakeupMania.com to buy the World Girl eye shadow palette that I coveted, only to find it out of stock. The lovely Eva volunteered put together a package of products for me to try, the centerpiece of it being Bio-Fond Cream Make-Up from the Swiss brand Gerda Spillman.

Bio-Fond Cream Makeup from Gerda Spillman

I had not tried cream makeup before, so I agreed to try Bio-Fond. Simply apply the makeup with a dampened sponge. For additional coverage, apply the makeup with the pads of your (clean!) fingers. I was impressed by the finish of the makeup - Eva describes it as "a foundation that is like skincare," and she's right. This makeup is particularly appropriate for maturing skin. My face did feel smoother and softer. My one objection to Bio-Fond is the fragrance - I don't want fragrance in my color cosmetics or skin care.

The pinkish shade shown above might dissuade women from trying Bio-Fond. Bio-Fond comes in 15 different shades. I'm sure that Eva will help you to identify which shade is right for you if you describe your complexion to her.

Eva tells me that MakeupMania.com will be completely revamped later this spring. The current site is quaint, but it's also kind of appealing. I hope that the revamped site won't be too sexy, with lots of Flash. The New York bricks-and-mortar store for Makeup Mania is being expanded as well.