Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kitty on a pier


My first efforts with a digital camera (!) This photo was taken during my just-concluded trip to Norway. I'm told that this cat is a Norwegian Forest Cat.

Want to see more? Visit me on Flickr or Facebook!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How to wear bright eyeshadow

Who doesn't like makeovers and before and afters? Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to wear bright eyeshadow:
Real-Woman Tutorial: How to Wear Bright Eyeshadow

Yes, you can wear teal shadow without looking garish -- just follow these steps

Real-Woman Tutorial: How to Wear Bright Eyeshadow

This tutorial is designed to show you step-by-step how to wear bright colored eyeshadow (which is doable even if you have small or Asian eyes). Brightly colored eyes can dress up a look when paired with a neutral or nude face, or accessorize an entire outfit. Just make sure you know how to wear it before rocking it in the office.

See how-to

For my part, I think that Asians and women with deeper skintones wear bright eyeshadows better than their lighter complexioned sisters.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Living Proof No Frizz hair care

The Washington, DC metro area is infamous for its humid weather: I'm surprised that TotalBeauty didn't name Washington, DC among its 13 Worst Hair Cities.

In humid weather, my hair frizzes and becomes unmanageable. I've tried traditional silicone-based products, such as John Frieda's Frizz Ease® serum, but silicone-based products weigh down my hair and don't provide significant relief from frizz.

I received some LivingProof NoFrizz hair care products, which are silicone-free. NoFrizz did the trick where silicone-based products failed. My hair stays smooth in humid weather.

LivingProof NoFrizz hair products

How do No Frizz products work? The Beauty Brains (my favorite source for evaluating beauty claims, along with Paula Begoun) write,

Living Proof uses a type of chemical known as a PolyfluoroEster (or PFE for short) to smooth the hair shaft and prevent moisture from being absorbed. ... But PFEs (which are Teflon-like compounds) are VERY good at lowering surface tension, and so in theory they could provide the three main benefits [frizz prevention, dirt repellancy, and shine and color enhancement] that Living Proof claims on their website ...

Read more from The Beauty Brains article Are Living Proof No Frizz Products Good For Curly Hair? Also read the review Living Proof NO-FRIZZ Keeps Frizz From Frazzling You! (love that title) by Advice Sister Alison.

You may find Living Proof No Frizz hair products at Sephora stores and

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Belegenza Extraordinary Hair Care

Belegenza Extraordinary Hair Care
advertises its products as silicone-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, petrolatum-free, and urea-free. Its web site focuses on silicone, particularly its occlusive properties, in conventional hair products. Belegenza argues that silicone “suffocates” the scalp and has published testimonials from customers who claimed that their hair began growing out by using its products. See my article on silicones.

When I try products described as natural and organic, I want to find out if they work as well as conventional products. To compare, I checked the labels of shampoos and conditioners from L’Oreal and Joico. L’Oreal and Joico had some silicones and parabens, and if there were oils, the oils were plant oils.

Styling products, particularly pomades, often contain petrolatum. I don’t use styling products. My hairdresser is obsessive about the hair cut and eschews styling products, which he calls “glue.”

Ingredient lists aside, how well do Belegenza products perform? I tried GrowOut Shampoo and Strengthener, EnCore Leave-in Conditioner, and RoMANce Deep Conditioning Treatment. The shampoo is milder than conventional shampoos, so I do “rinse and repeat.” I apply RoMANce Deep Conditioning Treatment and cover my hair with a shower cap while I’m shaving or soaking in the tub. I use the EnCore Leave-in Conditioner, when I’m pressed for time.

Am I dreaming, or is it real, that my hair is bouncier and looks more voluminous after using Belegenza? Whatever, I like the results and I’ll continue using Belegenza products.

Sunday, May 10, 2009
Get Your Best Lashes and Lips

Readers and Bloggers share their favorite tricks for playing up our flirtiest features

Get Your Best Lashes and Lips

Oh, those eyes! Those lips! Keep all eyes fixed on your gorgeous face with these alluring tips and tricks from's glam-savvy readers and bloggers.

See tricks

TotalBeauty bloggers provide tips on lips and eyes in conjunction with "sneak peak" reviews of MAX Factor Vivid Impact Lipcolor and MAX Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper Mascara.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Total Beauty Web Tour

The Informed Makeup Maven raves about Stila's #5 brush, Covergirl Smoothers Pressed Powder and Bobbi Brown's Custom Palettes.

Visit The Beauty Couch to enter the Softlips PURE Giveaway for a chance to win one of four Softlips PURE organic lip balms. Contest expires May 12th at 12am EST.

Beauty Anonymous takes a look at Lavshuca's new Lip Gloss.

Beauty Strokes was so pleased with the success of the previous giveaway of its brush collection at More Than a Pretty Face that it's provided a complete set of its Mineral Optics brushes for a new giveaway! Mineral Optics brushes are great for applying loose mineral powders. The prize consists of six brushes, including three optic brushes with natural and synthetic bristles, and a nylon brush roll. Enter now!

Meilily reviews and swatches Gabriel Cosmetics Lipstick with 100% natural ingredients.

Monique at Beauty Girl Musings is giving away 15 (yes, fifteen) Beautyfix 2 kits! Click here to enter!

Hurry on over to The Makeup Divas blog and enter to win Barielle Sugar Rush Nail Polish Collection.

Fabulous Over Forty talks with dermatologist Dr. Doris Day about what we really need for skincare.

Check out Beauty in Real Life for a fabulous neuLash and Anastasia giveaway!

Head on Over to A Little More Beautiful to check out the Great Skin for Spring/Summer series as well as Tips to Prevent and reduce the signs of aging!

Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog has the answers to your Mother's Day Gift dilemma.

Beauty Banter teaches you how to get Kate Hudson, Katie Holmes and Beyonce hair!

Boutique Flair reviews the Sunsilk Captivating Curls line.

Alex McCord, Luanne Delesseps, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin from the Real Houseives of NYC, Mario Cantone, Simon Doonan, and Allure's Linda Wells are all in the Advice Sisters Post of the Cosmetics Executive Women (CEW) Awards with links to all the winning products.

eye4style is giving away a gorgeous pair of Current Elliott Boyfriend Jeans. Enter now to win!

Daily Dose of Coffee is giving away five copies of the tip-filled anti-aging book How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp. Enter now for your chance to win!

Beautè Noire Blog gives Halle Berry’s new haircut two thumbs up!

image and style news dishes on all the 2009 summer makeup collection

Addicted to Lipstick Shows us swatches from the Mac A Rose Romance Collection.

Beauty Junkies Unite shares supermodel Alek Wek's look by Lancome from the Met Ball!

Beauty411 shares the details on the new Guerlain Terracotta Mineral Collection for summer bronze beauty!

LA Pretty is giving away a pair of lucy activewear short shorts. Pants are so 2008!

Beauty Blogging Junkie scored an exclusive interview with Star Trek Makeup Department Head Mindy Hall. Click hereto read it!

Spoiled Pretty is partnering with Bath & Body Works for a giveaway - to protect you from Swine Flu. Three winners will receive Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Soap, Foaming Sanitizer, and PocketBac Deep Cleansing Hand Gel.

Butterflydiary is giving away a bottle of Lancome's Genifique and Charla Krupp's book "How Not to Look Old" to one incredibly lucky winner.

Hot Beauty Health is sharing the best beauty products from Self Magazine's Healthy Beauty Awards.

Friday, May 08, 2009


In planning stories about Belegenza Extraordinary Hair Care and LivingProof No Frizz hair products, it became evident that I should address the use of silicones in hair and cosmetics products.

What are the characteristics of silicones?

In her ingredient dictionary, Paula Begoun describes silicone in this way:

... The unique fluid properties of silicone give it a great deal of slip, and in its various forms it can feel like silk on the skin, impart emolliency, and be a water-binding agent that holds up well, even when skin becomes wet.

Silicones 101, an article from the Coarse Hair Diary blog, notes that silicones build up on the hair and prevent moisture from entering. Dimethicone, an article from Christopher Drummond's blog, notes the occlusive (barrier-forming) properties of dimethicone, which is a type of silicone. Essortment, in its article, How to control frizz in curly hair, notes that silicone seals hair.

Silicones give face primers their slip, and I've become a believer in face primers. Unlike Christopher and some people who have commented on his article, I have not have problems with breakouts. I suspect that's because I apply primer to my cheeks, which are not prone to breakouts.

On the other hand, silicones have not worked for me in preventing frizz, which is a problem for me in DC's humid climate. In addition, silicones weigh my hair down, no matter how little I use. Some say that using silicones leads to hair loss. I've been experiencing hair loss, but I don't know if silicones are to blame: maybe it's "The Change." (I don't know whether to laugh or cry)

Both Belegenza and LivingProof No Frizz are formulated without silicones. In articles planned for next week, I'll review products from these brands.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Beauty Strokes Mineral Optics brush collection giveaway

Beauty Strokes was so pleased by the success of our previous giveaway that it has donated a complete Mineral Optics brush collection for another giveaway.

Mineral Optics Beauty Brushes

There are six brushes in the Mineral Optics collection. Three are optic brushes, two are finishing eye brushes and the last, a brow groomer. The optic brushes have two types of bristles: natural goat hair (black) and synthetic (white). They include an all-over brush, a face brush, and an eye brush. These optic brushes are great for applying loose mineral powders.

The prize consists of the six brushes and a nylon travel roll. The six brushes are individually packaged with application tips. is a leading supplier of Beauty Strokes and Mineral Optic cosmetic brushes. offers professional cosmetic brushes, makeup, and gifts for the most discerning of shoppers. Beauty Strokes cosmetic brushes are the finest quality professional cosmetic brushes, with detail techniques to help you look your very best. Beauty Strokes provides professional techniques for professional results.

Purchase the complete Beauty Strokes brush line or try the individual brushes. All Beauty Strokes brushes are offered at 30% off MSRP! Beauty Strokes brushes can be found on and Shop now and save today!

You can help yourself to an extra 5% off Beauty Strokes brushes for a 35% discount off retail prices at Use coupon code STYLEPAGES. Good through the end of 2009.

For more information visit: