Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm a maven!

I've been named a maven on the ThisNext social shopping network! Was I surprised!

What is a ThisNext maven?

"Mavens are the leading and most influential members of the ThisNext community. They are the tastemakers and trendspotters that make ThisNext such an awesome place to be. They find the most unique products from the coolest stores, find them first, and write informative and interesting recommendations."

See my picks at or click on the ThisNext badge on the left-hand bar.

Friday, August 29, 2008

LongerThickerBetter Part IV

This article Mad for Mascara: Latest and Greatest from Fashion Wire Daily (via Yahoo!) critiques some of the mascara innovations already discussed on this blog (LongerThickerBetter Part I, Part II, and Part III) such as the oscillating mascaras from Estee Lauder and Lancome.

Also reviewed are Imju's FiberWig, tube mascaras such as Kevyn Aucoin Volume mascara and Too Faced's new Lash Injection Pinpoint, and Givenchy Phenomen'eyes with its spherical wand (supposedly for coating each eyelash).

Givenchy Phenomen'eyes mascara

Most intriguing is the advice about Maybelline's Great Lash mascara. Although Allure has put Great Lash mascara in its cosmetics Hall of Fame, I find Great Lash a terrible mascara, as it smears. Makeup artist Craig Jessup recommends "aging" Great Lash by waiting two or three weeks after opening to let it dry some.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Give 'em the boot


As I promise myself every summer that I'll get a pedicure, every fall/winter season, I promise that I'll get a pair of boots to wear with my below-the-knee length skirts. Here's a selection of favorites that I posted to ThisNext.

Alas, the Prada degradé riding boot is out of my budget.

Any of these boots would provide a counterbalance to the heft of Utilikilts!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

butter LONDON pedi

Every summer, I promise myself that I'll get a pedicure, but the summer goes by and no pedicure. Until this summer. I was in Seattle, boarding the Monorail at Westlake Center, where I noticed a butter LONDON salon. Sensing a beauty story, I decided to go in and get that pedicure while I was in Seattle.

The butter London pedi doesn't involve soaking the feet. Instead, the technician wiped my feet clean with a spray and disposable cloth. More hygienic, she said. She then applied Rock Off callous remover on my heels, and then wrapped my heels in Saran wrap. No shaving of calloused skin. She also applied Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator to my toes. After those treatments were complete, she removed the Saran wrap and wiped my feet clean.

butter LONDON 3 Free Lacquer in The Full Monty

I was now ready to have my toenails painted. First, the technician applied the beige-y Nail Foundation Base Coat. I eschewed the faddish blue nail polishes and instead went for a shimmery opaque antique-y gold shade (it goes beautifully with my bronze leather NAOT sandals). Finally, the technician applied Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat.

I was so smitten, I bought Rock Off, Melt Away, Stiletto Stick, and Lemongrass Sage Hand & Nail Cream. butter London has nail salons in the U.S., including at SeaTac airport in Seattle and Dulles Airport near Washington, DC. You may also shop butter London at

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great Face

Lucy Liu

I love that Lucy Liu didn't cover her freckles. From today's InStyle Daily Beauty Flash.


Beauty411 scooped this item:

Jemma Kidd, Napoleon Perdis & Pixi Cosmetics now at Target!
You can now shop for the new cosmetics lines online at Apparently, the products are already available at some Target stores (another tribute to Target's erratic stocking). I checked yesterday at the Target store in Reston, VA where I shop and found that two shelves were cleared, presumably making way for the new lines.

The Makeup Divas published this item before I had a chance to blog on it:

CVS To Open Beauty 360 stores
These stores will feature high-end brands. The first is due to open later this year. I'll wait and see if this concept is a success. Boots had a similar concept in the UK called Pure Beauty and it crashed and burned.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

UTILIKILTS! How would you style your outfit?

Last week, when I was in Seattle, I visited the UTILIKILTS store near Pioneer Square. Utilikilts have gotten a lot of media attention. These are kilts for men, but instead of plaid tartan kilts, these kilts come in utilitarian fabrics such as cotton twill, denim, and heavy canvas, such as that used by Carhartt. Utilikilts also feature a lot of cargo pockets and other features.

Workman's Utilikilt

Utilikilts aren't designed for women, although women do buy them and wear them. Utilikilts are cut straight, so you have to wear them low on your hips. What would you style around a Utilikilt?

Oh, and BTW the Utilikilts store doesn't have any dressing rooms. The salesman (OK, I can use gender-specific language) told me to wrap and fasten the Utilikilt over my jeans and then "drop trou"! Hoot mon!

Staying young

Ernest Borgnine reveals the secret to staying young at 91.

In case you couldn't make out what he whispered to Steve Doocy, he said, "I masturbate a lot."

You mean it's not Tova's beauty line??? :-)

Thanks to Lollie Shopping via Twitter!

Friday, August 22, 2008

LORAC Double Feature

Concealers are the most frustrating cosmetics product for me. I've been on a quest to find a concealer that both covers dark circles around my eyes and blends easily so that I have that bright-eyed bushy-tailed look. Am I asking too much? Are these requirements mutually exclusive?

I've already reported on wet n wild Color CorRx Eye Brightening Concealer and using beautyblender to blend L'Oreal True Match Concealer. Here's the latest product that I've tried:

LORAC Double Feature Concealer/Highlighter

The concept of LORAC Double Feature is ingenious. It contains a stick concealer with a unique rollerball for blending. It also contains a liquid highlighter using a lip gloss type of wand. All this in one tube.

So how does it perform? The stick concealer is good, but the stick can't get into the nooks and crannies: for example, the bluish skin between my nose and the inner corner of my eye. I end up dabbing some on the concealer with my ring finger around that location. The rollerball is a novel way of blending concealers that works.

I'm not smitten with the highlighter. I've sooner have the control of a powder (either pressed or loose) with a tiny brush or the control of a pencil (for example, the Lightwand Eyebrightener from Mally Beauty) for the inner corner of the eye. A powder and large angle brush are great to highlight the cheekbones, as is NARS The Multiple in Orgasm stick, blended with the fingertips. As a rule, I avoid highlighter on my browbrone, as my eyes are somewhat deep-set.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New line from infomercial queen

She pioneered the informercial format (in fact, she's married to Bill Guthy of Guthy-Renker), thus leading the way for the likes of Leslie Blodgett (Bare Escentuals). Then she started a retail line Lola Cosmetics. Now she's back with a third line, this time sold through direct sales (a la Mary Kay).
Victoria Jackson
She's Victoria Jackson. So help me, the kits from her latest line remind me of those Pupa sets one sometimes finds at duty-free.
Victoria Jackson Survival Kit
Victoria Jackson Vanity Set
I'll pass on these.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jouer relaunched ... for real!

Jouer relaunched

As followers of The Style Page blog know, I'm a fan of Jouer and its unique interlocking compacts. For months, I've been eagerly anticipating its relaunch. Now, finally, the wait is over. You can almost hear me breathe a sigh of relief.

Jouer has changed its packaging from white to a more glam black. Moreover, it has greatly expanded its product range to include lipstick, face products, and brushes.

Jouer's website still has the interactive makeovers featuring women of various ethnicities, for which it was nominated for a Webby Award. Visit to play with the makeovers and view Jouer's new product range.

Black Cherry

While many beauty bloggers are MAC fanatics (Temptalia is the foremost example), I am not. Frankly, the outré presentations for its frequent collections are a turnoff.

That said, I think that MAC's lipsticks are some of the best on the market. I'm craving a few lip colors in MAC's latest collection Cult of Cherry: lipstick in Crème Cerise (sheer yellow taupe) and Mattene lipstick in Kirsch (blackened cranberry), Bing (blackened eggplant), and Chock-ful (blackened brown). The descriptions sound scary, but the shades, as represented on the web site, look beautiful.

Cherries Noir collection from Laura Mercier

UPDATE Laura Mercier has come out with her own collection Cherries Noir.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Organizing paper files

Here are some tips on organizing paper files:

* On the file folder label, put the date first, where appropriate, and then the subject. I use the yyyy-mm-dd format, where yyyy is the four-digit calendar year; mm is the two-digit representation for the month, with leading zero for January thru September; and dd is the two-digit date, with leading zero.

* You can then organize the folders in chronological order or reverse chronological order. Arrange the files vertically. I love the brightly patterned hanging files from the recent collection that Mexican designer Sami Hayek (he's also Salma Hayek's brother) did for Target.

* I occasionally use color folders, but not for color-coding. Inserting a few color folders among plain manila folders helps break up the visual monotony.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Messy, but worth it

I'm not big on black eyeliner, as it's too harsh. I'm hooked on black brown eyeliner and now on eyeliner that are described as bronze black.

For pencils, two of my favorites are Physicians Formula Eye Definer Flat Automatic Eyeliner Pencil in Black Bronze and Velvet Touch Eyeliner in Metallic Brass from Denmark's GOSH Cosmetics.

Lately, I've discovered L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Eyeliner in Bronze. It's messy because it's a loose powder, but the look is smudgier than what you get with a pencil and the results are worth the extra care in handling this product.

L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Eyeliner in Bronze

Here are some tips to minimize the mess:

* Cover your (preferably non-porous) countertop with facial tissue or wax paper to catch powder. Fold the tissue or wax paper to save the spilt powder for later use. Put some sort of weight on top - I use the container itself.

* Tap the dispenser right side up vertically - not at an angle. This minimizes spills. Unfortunately, the container does not come with a sifter.

* Get a damp cloth to wipe the the countertop clean in case of spills.

I apply L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Eyeliner with the self-contained slant-edged brush to my upper lash line and to the outer corner of the lower lash line. Then I dot the lower lash line with a pressed powder eyeshadow in a softer color, using the pointed end of the Line & Define Brush from Beauty Strokes. This helps fill in sparse lower eyelashes.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Tips for handling postal mail

Despite my past articles on organization, I still was drowning in clutter. For nearly 14 years, my husband has been ragging me about clutter (in our home, the gender roles have been switched: he's the neat freak, I'm the messy one).

These tips might seem self-evident, but handling mail as it comes in prevents clutter:

* Throw away junk mail, but remove mailing labels with personal information and shred or tear up the labels before you toss junk mail in the trash.

* If you have online bill pay, schedule payments for bills as they arrive in the mail. Once you've paid the bill, stamp it as "PAID" and note the date paid.

* Throw away previous issues of any magazine to which you subscribe as the new one arrives, unless you are sure that you will go back and look at the old issues.

When I subscribed to Real Simple, I held onto the issues, as the matte pages and covers were too nice to throw out; also, I thought that I'd go back to older issues for any tips and other advice. Once I realized that I didn't go back to those previous issues, I threw out my collection of Real Simple. Now I'm holding onto issues of Domino. I don't always follow my own advice.

* The same principle applies to mail order catalogues. Too often, the content from one issue to another is the same; it's just been reorganized. When you receive the latest issue, throw out the previous issue.

In a subsequent article, I'll provide tips that I've found helpful on organizing paper files.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

At last ...

Beauty companies have us salivating about products long before those products actually hit the stores.

Kaleidoscope Eye Kit from Le Metier de Beaute
The Style Page is obsessed with eye shadow palettes!

I've written about Le Metier de Beaute several times, after its lip glosses were featured in InStyle. The full line became available from Needless Markup in May of this year.

I've raved about Jouer even more times: in fact, I'm wearing its Peridot cream eyeshadow today. After Jouer's fire sale (60% off) on, I began to question if it was still in business. For months now, Jouer's website has had a placeholder for an upcoming "Custom Luxury Collection." Now, at last, the Custom Luxury Collection will debut at NYC's Henri Bendel store on Fifth Avenue on August 7. I hope that online shopping will be available in the very near future - the tease has gone on too long!

Monday, August 04, 2008

New "masstige" beauty at Target

I received the September 2008 issue of Lucky, with the beautiful blue-eyed Milla Jovovich on the cover. It is the thickest issue of Lucky ever (I know, I'm a charter subscriber), chock full of ads. One ad that surprised me was the introduction of a line of cosmetics by UK makeup artist Jemma Kidd at Target.

JK Jemma Kidd for Target via Nylon

The URL on Target's web site for JK Jemma Kidd given in the ad isn't operational. A quick search on "JK Jemma Kidd" revealed that JK Jemma Kidd is only one of three cosmetics lines that will debut at Target at the end of the month. The other two are from Australian makeup Napoleon Perdis (his cosmetics line is being discontinued at Sephora) and Petra Strand of Pixi. The three Strand sisters - Petra, Sara, and Sofia - are also the brains behind Pop Beauty.

The Fashion Spot article quotes retail and beauty industry consultant Allan Mottus, who is skeptical about Target's new beauty venture. On recent visits to Target, he saw that the only brands that were well-stocked were those that are exclusive to Target such as Sonia Kashuk and its European bath and body collections.

I don't know what Mottus is talking about. My experience has been that these lines aren't well-stocked. Since the debut of Sonia Kashuk's line, there have been complaints about the erratic stock of her products. It is hard to come by her blending sponge, and there have been placeholders for kits for face and eyes, but no kits.

The amount of shelf space devoted to its European bath and body products has diminished considerably. This suggests that these products have sold poorly. There is intense competition for placement and the amount of shelf space among mass-market brands. Real-time reporting of sales gauge how well a product sells, which is why stores cut back on stocking Revlon's Vital Radiance brand for mature women, leading to the brand's collapse within a year.

I'm anticipating the launch of JK Jemma Kidd, Napoleon Perdis, and Pixi at Target, and I'll be sure to report on it. The prices of JK Jemma Kidd are comparable to those for brands carried at department stores and Sephora - I wonder if Target's customers will buy products at these prices.