Sunday, November 30, 2008
There has been a lot of chatter about, The New Reality", as of late. It is a stone cold fact, that most of us are about 40% poorer, on paper anyway. OUCH!!!. Holiday parties have been cancelled or scaled back, along with gift lists, (O.K., who else is secretly delighted about not having to buy another whimsical nightie for their sister in law)? I have the perfect solution for beating back the blues...
Stop hibernating and stop obsessing. Start making thoughtful purchases, that make sense for your household and loved ones. Get together with your friends and family. No one cares what's being served or poured, or if your floors need refinishing, pot luck is more than acceptable...It feels good to be out, it feels great to laugh, it is amazing to have the chance to get to know someone better and add new friends to your circle. Crank up the music and dance!!!
We are all in this together...times are challenging, but if you are here and healthy, appreciate it. I am buoyed by the fact, that everyone I have talked to, has put aside their political preferences and is supporting President elect Obama and his team, with a true heart. That unity, is in and of itself, a great step forward.
I am getting ready to do my part...Though I have never exited the same way I entered, and will break out in hives looking for my parking ticket while a dozen cars, pile up behind me, I will go to the Westchester Mall today. And purchase. Shopping is not just my hobby. It's my duty...Who's with me???
P.S. Don't forget to contribute to your favorite non-profit
organizations...they will be needing help, now more than ever.
Monday, November 24, 2008
My sister Loren called me recently, from the ubiquitous Duane Reade, N.Y.C.'s equivalent of our suburban CVS. Her body was parched and flaky, what could I recommend for a moisturizer???
I did a mental inventory of some of my past staples, Olay's Quench, Dove's Cream Body Oil, and both Jergen's and Vaseline for Intensive Care's offerings with Alpha Hydroxy infusions; all solid and dependable...But the most effective product I ever used, was one I discovered years ago, when I was a student in Boston. Being from N.Y., it never occurred to me that Boston would be substantially colder...until I caught my first gust, whipping off the Charles River. Within weeks, my skin was scaled, like a striped bass.
I had a posse of "interesting" roommates, Bonnie, my first, was on the Women's Basketball team and grew up on a potato farm in Maine. She studied me the way a Marine Biologist might, a Mermaid...The second was a Militant Millicent, who made it quite clear, that our tenure as roommates, was going to be very short lived. The last was Leesa, who had me totally snookered. Leesa dressed exclusively in Ralph Lauren and wore her waist length hair in a single braid, despite my pleas. She possessed the air of a Long Island, Gold Coast heiress, and dated both sexes from both races. It was my turn to study the Mermaid...
Though I later found out that Leesa, grew up in a modest colonial and dated the usual assortment of jocks in High School, her saving legacy, was to introduce me to a spectacular product, Neutrogena's Sesame Oil. It has it's own heavenly smell, and its surprisingly, sheer formula, glides on the body and instantly absorbs on damp skin.
This, was just the product for my Sis, so she purchased it and promised to report back...Rave reviews, were texted, the next day, so of course, I had to buy it and re live this slice of my youth---(Isn't it interesting how a scent can completely transform you back to another time, place and old boyfriend)???
I am so happy to have this back in my beauty repetoire, particularly with this pre winter, Bean Town snap of cold, we are experiencing. Leesa may have been a phony, but Neutrogena Sesame Oil is the real deal.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
My friend Laurie came to shop with me the other day...She was performing a familiar marital ritual, selecting and having her own Birthday present wrapped. Been there, done that. I am much happier about actually loving my gift, than pretending to love my gift. No awkward dancing around a possible exchange, followed by mopey, hard feelings, or worse, having to wear something, better suited to your Aunt Esther and having to feign joy, in the process.
Smart girl that Laurie and a doe eyed beauty too. Laurie and I have been sharing beauty tips since she joined out book group, 3 years ago. I have always noticed her perfectly applied, never smudged eyeliner. I asked her what she was using three years ago and got the same answer when I posed it again, "Trish McEvoy's Finish Line Shadow Transformer". Laurie swears by it, "I applied it at 7 a.m. and I am going out tonight. I won't even have to think about touching it up. It won't budge".
Alright already...I'm in.
It is a very cool little product. It comes in a small glass vial with a dropper. The clear drops are applied to a damp eyeliner brush. You can then, "transform" any powder shadow, to a waterproof eyeliner. (Of course Trish is recommending Trish, duh, but it worked beautifully, with a charcoal grey Nars shadow, for me this morning). It required a less steady hand, than my beloved Bobbi Brown eye liner gel, and I have scads of shadows in plums, browns and navy's that could make terrific liners. Sure enough, it lasted all day, without any tell tale kanoodling, with my under eye concealer.
So my lovelies, don't wait three years to try this Trish treasure. Laur, you picked a winner...and I loved the Transformer, too.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In times of economic woe, three pearls of fashion wisdom always crop up sooner or later. The first, is that hem lines will drop, precipitously, the second, is that clothes will be offered in somber shades of black and grey and the third, is that lipstick sales will skyrocket.
The Spring 2009 fashion shows, were held in September before the world imploded, so the offerings early next year won't reflect this. Depending upon what happens in the next few months, (can't they figure out a way for President elect Obama to squeak into office a little earlier...like tomorrow)???, we will find out if, collectively, the Designers will be dressing us like Eleanor Roosevelt, come Fall.
Last Sunday's New York Time's Style Section, reported that lipstick sales recently spiked, 40%!!!. Ping...that struck a nerve bundle. I have always been a new lipstick a week kind of girl, but YIKES, I may have single handily, inflated that number.
There were the three Bobbi Brown Lip Crayons, in Warm Rose, Naked Pink and Red Plum. The Clinique High Impact Very Currant and Plush Pink Lip liner, (a perfect, nearly impossible to find pinkie brown, I might add). There was the Revlon Creme Gloss in Raisin the Roof and the MAC classic Lustre. There was the purchase (and return) of Bare Escentual's Bronze trio, of lipstick, line and gloss. (LOVED the gloss, which unfortunately cannot be purchased separately. The bronze liner and lipstick looked vaguely Nancy Pelosi-ish on me). The Beauty God's rewarded me, with a freebie, as a Sephora Insider, a new plumping gloss called Buxom, that is a keeper. That's about it for now...
Oh, except for YSL's Rouche #8. Too my great joy, Sephora has finally added YSL to their mix. Though the new fixturing is up, only the tester's have arrived. I have already checked in twice, but they are still running on empty. Mia and Sal, both have me on speed dial when it arrives. Those infamous Hermes Birkin bag, customer waiting lists are probably a lot trimmer these days...I hope things don't trade down that quickly...I was first on that list. The lipstick list, that is.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I am a habitual crammer. I was as a student and I am as a Book Group member...I work best under pressure. When I heard from my fellow associate, Judy Brooks, that Dr. Amy Wechsler, was going to be doing a book signing at Richards, (Saturday, November 22 at 11:00 a.m.). I knew I wanted to read her book, The Mind-Beauty Connection beforehand. My Beauty expertise is self taught, trial and error, dabbling. Dr. Wechsler, is Board Certified, not just in Dermatology, but Psychiatry, as well. Now those are some impressive credentials! In person, she is known to be warm and nurturing, with a devoted patient following. It will be fun for our clients to have a chance to meet her in person and share a few moments together.
Dr. Wechsler's frame of reference with her patients and readers, is to, "treat the body, as intrinsically connected to the mind". She believes that stress, creates a chain of chemical reactions in our bloodstream, causing negative effects on the skin, that is as damaging as too much sun exposure. Though there are medical explanations included through out it was explained simply and succinctly.
Refreshingly, she is not a huge fan of expensive creams and cosmeceuticals, preferring products like Cetaphil, Eucerin and Neutrogena, for cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection. She is a fan however, of better quality foundations and concealers, like Laura Mercier and MAC. For proven results, increased collagen and fine line and age spot reduction, she prefers, proven prescription medications like Renova, Retin-A and 4% Hydroquinone. For those who are looking for more dramatic results, she is not opposed to Botox, fillers, like Restylane and Sculptra, lasers, and moderate to mild chemical peels.
Her starting point for healthier skin, is not topical but internal. Lifestyle, stress, sleep deprivation and diet are areas that she recommends taking a good hard look at. She then suggests a 9 day plan to help balance these areas and believes rewards can be reaped quickly and more permanently, if long term changes are made. I think 9 days, for most people, is a doable number. As well, none of Dr. Wechsler's suggestions are so drastic, that one would be led to standing in the kitchen at 4 a.m., inhaling Almond Joys.
I am looking forward to meeting Dr. Wechsler and having her sign my copy. It is the type of book that you would reference back to. As a trained Psychiatrist, she is adept at picking up on non verbal cues based on appearance...I will let you know if she suggests, that I lie down on a nearby chaise, so she can take a stab at breaking my Sephora addiction.
Put it in your Blackberry right now!!! I promise to save you place on line!
Monday, November 10, 2008
I have been using the same, Roux Tween-Time Temporary Hair Color Touch-Up Stick, for quite some time...22 years to be exact. There is still, an inch and a half a remaining. A thousand years from now, Archaeologists will happen upon them, and if it matches their roots, they can still, moisten and apply.
I was visiting with my friend Mia, at Sephora in Greenwich. Mia is a stunning brunette, with gorgeous dimples. I am a regular, regular, so we always enjoy a nice chat and I count her to help me navigate the rafters. I am on the prowl for a particular, Bumble and Bumble hair masque, when Mia informs me they don't carry the line. Remarkably, with a store full of thousands of products, I am always in search of something they don't stock, (Trish, Lauder, MAC). How can this be???
But I digress... I happen upon Oscar Biandi's, Pronto Colore, Root Touch-Up and Highlighting Pen. It's sleek and portable. The product dispenses after a few dozen twists, onto a nylon tip brush. I first try the Dark Brown/ Black pen, because my Roux bullet is a lovely shade of chocolate Ex-Lax brown. I ratchet up my locks and find a snowy patch that would be perfect for a test run. I don't think there would have been any difference, if I took a black Sharpie to my scalp...it looks inky and severe. I move on to the Natural Brown. Though it has an odd, baby poop brown cast in the tube, it blended into my hairline seamlessly. I can't deny its effectiveness.
I tell Mia all about my two decade plus, bullet shaped Roux stick. She is both aghast and fascinated, and I promise to bring said specimen in a doggy bag, on my next visit. What to do??? Mia assures me, that they cannot keep the Oscar Biandi pen in stock. Customers are always asking for a product that performed this particular girl task and Oscar B., alone, filled the need, (that's what she thinks)...
It is pricey. I am not a bit hopeful, that it will beat the Bullet, giving me 23 years out of my $23 dollar purchase. I look forward to being able to discreetly carry it in my make up bag, (the Bullet has long lost its case and stands next to my dental floss). Time to toss???...Ya think?
No can do. Not until I show it to Mia, anyway. Maybe I will get a little plexi glass stand and store it under my sink...it just may come in handy, when I am in my eighties.
Hey girls, this is my 100th Blog!!! Thanks for reading and all your feedback and support. I love my Blog!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Background and Experience: 25 years experience as a Personal Shopper and Fashion Consultant. Lifelong Democrat and optimist. High profile clientele. Impeccable taste, unerring sense of appropriate attire. Ruthless editor. Discreet. Diplomatic. Funny. Will be the first person to tell you to, "take that shma'-teh off". (Last night's Narciso Rodriguez dress, would have been a good start)...Likes children. Love puppies. Will travel.
Side note to C.: Hope you had an amazing time at the victory celebration, in the Grant Park tents!!! Did Michelle admire your head-to-toe perfection??? If so, please put in a good word... Sometimes our future First Lady, absolutely, nails it. Other times...not so good.
Hope, change, and good health to all,