Saturday, October 31, 2009

Donna Karan black and white Color Block tights

Patterned and/or textured tights are big this winter. This pair of black and white color blocked tights from Donna Karan takes the cake:

Donna Karan Color Block Tights

Who remembers the black and white unitard that Freddie Mercury of Queen wore back in the 1970s? These tights remind me of Freddie's unitard!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leslie Blodgett debuts Bare Skin fragrance

After leading the Mineral Makeup Revolution, Leslie Blodgett has now ventured into fragrance. She debuted her first fragrance Bare Skin earlier this month with a online blitz, including a website Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries, a microsite on, a fan page on Facebook, a Twitter account, and a blogging program. When it comes to promoting her products, this woman doesn't do anything small!

Watch Leslie Blodgett discuss Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries

Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries is a limited edition fragrance collection created exclusively for Sephora. Here is Leslie's concept for Bare Skin: “Bare Skin is the way you feel when the sun is beating down on you during the day, but then you go out at night and you’re still sizzling from the warmth of the day which mingles with night air and music.”

It was up to perfumeur Stephen Nilsen of the Franch fragrance house Givaudan to translate Leslie's concept into fragrance. Nilsen imagined "creamy sensuality, caressing florals, and uninhibited musk" to formulate Bare Skin. The olfactory notes are:

Top: Black Pepper, Freesia, Anise

Middle: Iris, Vanilla Orchid, Plumeria, Patchouli

Bottom: Sandalwood, Labdanum, Musk

I'm not a fan of light fragrances: maybe it's because I'm a Taurus, which is an Earth sign :-) I prefer heavier fragrances, and Bare Skin, with its notes of Patchouli, Sandalwood, Labdanum, and Musk, suits me.

Bare Skin Eau de Parfum from Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries

Bare Skin is available as an Eau de Parfum, a Solid Perfume Compact, and a Perfumed Body Cream. You may shop for Bare Skin at Sephora stores and

NOTE to readers: My access to the Internet in the last month has been erratic, to say the least. I regret to tell you that I was too late to share the news about the contest to win a trip to Hawai’i in conjunction with the launch of Bare Skin. The contest closed October 23, 2009.

FTC regs note: I received 5 sample vials of Bare Skin from a representative for Leslie Blodgett Perfume Diaries for participating in the blogging program. I am planning a giveaway, in which I'll add a sample of Bare Skin as a bonus. The giveaway should go live in the next two weeks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Promotions for November 2009

Here are promotions for November 2009 that I'd like to pass onto readers:

All The Looks is an interactive website that allows celebrity style fans to customize searches by celebrity name, event, hair, and dress; view and rate celebrity photos; and create “lookbooks” that they can caption and share with friends. Fashion designers Anna Sui, Tracy Reese, Pamella Roland and David Meister, hair stylists Garren, Ted Gibson, and Sally Hersberger, and makeup artist Pat McGrath will weigh in on celebrity images, style trends and beauty.

For the month of November 2009, All The Looks will award the most active site user of each day $250, which means that a total of $7,500 is available for prizes for the 30 days of the month.

Readers in the know are aware of private sales offered by sites such as Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa, HauteLook, and ideeli. The Skinny operates similarly to those sites, except that it's focused exclusively on skin care products and services. Members will be able to shop high-end skin care products and spa treatments at up to 75% off.

The Skinny will feature products from brands like Perricone MD, Lisa Hoffman Beauty, 100% Pure, International Orange, and Organic Apoteke, and cosmetic services like Botox from renowned dermatologists. It will also feature videos and personalized recommendations to help users find products that meet their needs.

The Skinny's first shopping event is Wednesday, Nov. 4, but if you sign up early, you'll be entered to win Perricone MD's Skin and Total Body Dietary Supplements ($140 value).

NOTE so that I won't run afoul of FTC regs, representatives for these firms shared these promotions with me. I receive no compensation for sharing these promotions with my readers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Worst recent magazine covers

Fashion magazine covers. You can't avoid them. You see them at the supermarket and drugstore checkouts: the placement is called "point of purchase."

Here are my selections as the worst magazine covers of recent months:

Victoria Beckham on the cover of the October 2009 issue of Elle.
From Red Carpet Fashion Awards.

Victoria Beckham in Hussein Chalayan for the October 2009 issue of Elle. It looks like she has Mickey Mouse ears on her boobs!

Elle didn't post this picture on its cover shoot story: wonder why?

Scarlett Johannson on the cover of the November 2009 issue of Glamour

Scarlett Johannson is beautiful, and her new red hair suits her. I like her red hair better than the platinum blonde that she wears in the ads for Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics.

So what's wrong with this cover? It's more suitable for the cover of Playboy, as Scarlett looks like she's pulling down her tee to cover her nether regions (for all I know, she might be wearing a thong underneath). Playboy covers are often hidden from view, but anyone can see the Glamour cover as they go through checkout!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hair and skin issues solved

Who knew that Neosporin could trigger rashes in some people? Experts recommend at-home treatments, and if those treatments don't solve the problem, then office treatments are recommended.
12 Major Hair and Skin Issues -- Solved!

Get help for everything from cystic acne, hair breakage, psoriasis and more

12 Major Hair and Skin Issues -- Solved!

Sure, we all get the occasional breakout or dry patch of skin, but if you're suffering from a more serious hair or skin issue then you need serious help. That's why we asked Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Arielle N. B. Kauvar, M.D., director of New York Laser & Skin Care, Jerry Teuschler, Principal Scientist for Proctor and Gamble Beauty and Grooming Science, and Head & Shoulders hairstylist Ryan Trygstad to weigh in. They gave advice for the big issues facing readers, so read on for relief from your hair and skin woes.

See issues

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Francis Kurkdjian

Parfumeur Francis Kurkdjian has taken fragrance to where it’s never been taken before. He’s made fragrance conceptual art, through staging a light, sound, and scent show and other spectacles at Versailles. More prosaically, he’s created many fragrances for leading fashion houses.

The sound, light, and fragrance installation at Versailles

Now Francis Kurkdjian has launched his own fragrance line Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Maison Francis Kurkdjian is as innovative as his conceptual art. Not only does it comprise personal fragrance and home fragrances (room spray and candles), but it also comprises laundry detergent and fabric softener, incense paper, Tour Atour the perfumed bracelet, and even blowing bubbles.

Tour Atour the perfumed bracelet

The fragrances in the Maison Francis Kurkdjian line and their olfactory notes are:

Aqua Universalis: Bergamot and lemon from Sicily – White Bouquet (lily of the valley and sweet mock orange) – light and musky wood. This light fragrance is used for the laundry detergent and fabric softener.

Lumière Noire pour femme: spiced rose (cumin, hot pepper) – Patchouli - Narcissus

Lumière Noire pour homme: spiced rose (cumin, hot pepper) – Patchouli – Mugwort herb

APOM (“A Piece of Me”) pour femme: orange flower – cedar wood – ylang-ylang flower

APOM (“A Piece of Me”) pour homme: orange flower – cedar wood – amber

Cologne pour le Matin/Cologne pour le Soir (a concept not unlike Lisa Hoffman’s fragrance variations) – Infusion of Benzoin from Siam – Bulgarian and Iranian Rose Honey – Incense absolute

Les Bulles d’Agathe (Agathe’s bubbles) in Pear, Cold mint, or Cut herbs

I'm coveting Lumière Noire pour femme, because the notes are evocative of Indian cooking and fragrance, for myself and Les Bulles d’Agathe to share with my young nieces.

To find out more about Francis Kurkdjian and his art, visit his website Francis Kurkdjian - crèateur parfumeur.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What if concealer isn't enough?
Ditch Dark Circles and Puffiness for Good

Use these expert tips to treat and camouflage your annoying eye issues the right way

Ditch Dark Circles and Puffiness for Good

When eye cream or concealer alone won't do the trick, you may need to look into other options when it comes to treating and masking dark circles and puffiness. Whether they're a result of genetics or lack of sleep, too much sun or alcohol, these tricks -- courtesy of dermatologist Dr. Heidi Waldorf and New York City-based makeup artist Tina Turnbow -- will help you zap them for good, and disguise them like a pro until they're gone.

See tips

Friday, October 16, 2009

An interview with makeup artist Robert Jones

Lately, I've been taking advice from Robert Jones's book Makeup Makeovers, after purchasing lip glosses from the Robert Jones Signature Collection from 3 Custom Color Specialists.

Makeup Makeovers

In Makeup Makeovers, you won't find jaw-dropping makeovers of celebrities and famous models that show off the talent, or in the case of the late Kevyn Aucoin, genius, of the makeup artist. What you'll find is great advice about selecting shades and applying makeup. You'll find out why Jones recommends that women with dark skin tones swatch foundation shades on their cheek, as opposed to their jawline. You'll see his carefully edited collection of 13 eye shadows, from which you can select shades suitable for any skin tone.

Robert Jones
I do my homework before I interview makeup artists and entrepreneurs. After reading Makeup Makeovers, I worked with Tess of 3CC to arrange an interview with Robert Jones, and here are his replies to questions I posed to him.

1. Let’s review your biography. You’re from Texas. You demonstrated talent for art, and then moved on to theater. It was a logical move to get involved in makeup. Growing up in a family of women also fostered your interest in makeup. I find it interesting that two other makeup artists [Sam Fine and Matin Maulawizada] whom I’ve interviewed also said that growing up in a family of women fostered their interest in makeup. What more would you like to share with our readers about your background and career as a makeup artist?

I have worked with so many beautiful women in my career (celebrities, model, the girl next door) and am always inspired by how makeup can boost their confidence and bring out their true beauty. Let’s face it, it is a lot of fun!!!!!
2. How did you enter into partnership with Three Custom Color Specialists (3CC) to create the Robert Jones Signature Collection of blushers and lip glosses? Trae said that either people approach them with an idea, or that 3CC might approach someone with an idea that they’d like to work on.

I felt there was a lack in what I was wanting in glosses and blushes, having heard of 3CC and what they can do, I went to them for help in realizing my vision. Trae liked what we created and asked if they could launch a small collection.
3. Your book Makeup Makeovers presents a well-edited collection of 13 eye shadows that serves the gamut of skin tones. You already have a line of makeup brushes sold through robert jones beauty. Would you launch this eye shadow collection, perhaps in partnership with 3CC?

Yes would love to!

4. Makeup Makeovers states that you split your time between Dallas (The Big D) and New York City (The Big Apple). Are you still commuting between the two cities?

Yes I am still commuting, trying to travel less and less, but it is just part of my job!
5. Texas, and The Big D in particular, had been known for beauty queens and big hair. Are Texan ideals of fashion and beauty becoming more like those in New York?

No Dallas is definitely [its] own world! If I were to compare it style wise I would compare it to LA more than NY! But Dallas (Texas) definitely has some of the most beautiful women because they definitely love glamour!
[I asked this question as many Texan retailers have been absorbed into larger companies or have gone out of business altogether. Dillard’s acquired Joske’s over 20 years ago. Macy’s ultimately absorbed Foley’s. Frost Bros. has gone out of business, as has Sakowitz.]

6. What differences in fashion and beauty ideals might still remain between Texas and New York?

The biggest difference is in Texas women glam up to go to the grocery store and in NY they are not as concerned about it daily. But I can tell you from living in NY city it is hard to get from one place to the next looking good, where in Texas you just get in a car and go!
7. In Makeup Makeovers, the oval face is the aesthetic ideal. Creating the semblance of an oval face is the objective in the makeovers in the book. Some might object to singling out one face shape as the aesthetic ideal. To them, all face shapes are fine. How do you respond to these objections?

I am not trying to say every face shape is not beautiful! My favorite face shape is square! BUT the human eye is drawn to certain proportions (oval) so every face shape can look its most beautiful by softening certain areas.

8. While highlighting and contouring are great for the photographs in your books, is the sculpted look viable for daytime?

Definitely it looks completely natural and works for daytime when done correctly.
9. Your process for contouring is involved. It involves a true shade foundation, a foundation one shade lighter, and a foundation one shade deeper. For a woman heading out the door to work in the morning, this is too much effort. Later in the book, you state that bronzer can be used for contouring. What should a woman look for in a bronzer so that it doesn’t look muddy or orangey?

It should be matte, absolutely no shimmer! If you are ivory look for one more flesh toned, beige should be more brown tanned toned.
10. What are your upcoming projects?

Possibly a new book and some exciting new collaborations.

11. Are there any parting thoughts about makeup and beauty that you would like to share with our readers?

Just remember all women are beautiful, the right makeup shades and techniques just bring out that beauty!!!! Love who you are today and every day!!!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

The search for the best mascara goes on

Fortunately, there are several inexpensive options here. The woman who styles my eyebrows says that she thought that I particularly looked nice wearing Givenchy's Phenomen'eyes mascara, the one with the round spiky brush, which you can find in Sephora stores or at
The Best Mascaras. Ever.

From drugstore to high-end, waterproof to washable, we found the best of the best

The Best Mascaras. Ever.

It's time for the ultimate mascara countdown. These are the best of the best, according to our readers. The list includes everything from a $30 wonder to a $1.50 delight. Whether you're looking for length, volume, curl (or all of the above), we've got a product for you. Drum roll, please …

See mascaras

No. 18: Aveda Mascara Plus Rose, $12 average reader rating: 9

No. 18: Aveda Mascara Plus Rose, $12

Readers love "the light scent of roses," and call it "a lovely change from the usual chemical smell of other brands ..."

No. 17: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara, $18 average reader rating: 9

No. 17: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara, $18

"You want those thick, feathery, movie star-quality flutters like you see in magazines, well, this stuff delivers!”

No. 16: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!, $18 average reader rating: 9

No. 16: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!, $18

"The brush is a mix of very short and long bristles, making application a breeze while lashes are coated and clump-free in [one] easy swoop ..."

Want to see what's no. 1? Click here!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Keep that candle burning

In keeping with Soho500's comment "Keep your candle burning" on my post September 11, 2001, I've decided to keep the candle and ribbon on my sidebar. Scroll down to find it.