The Clock Stops Here...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Hit List

One of the the things we Bloggers do, is track our readership. I know an awful lot about who is reading Divadebbi. In February alone, I have somehow found my way, into the eyeballs, of people in 31 countries and 36 states... You like me, in India, Qatar, (excuse me while I reference my world Atlas), Wisconsin and Arkansas. I also know that over the last 11 months, since I started Blogging, well over 10,000 of you have read my Blog!!! May I say a heartfelt, thank you!!!. Please keep reading, sharing and subscribing.

Yesterday, I had an enormous influx of "hits". Why the spike? The analytical tools available can tell you, exactly why. My immensely clever friend Nancy, is one of the founders of a new "Lifestyle" website, called, "A Sharp Eye". Nancy, who is also a wonderful, loyal client, referenced, in an article, recommending the merits of owning a handheld steamer., (saves on dry cleaning bill, cuts down on ironing time and freshens clothes and curtains). Thanks Nanc!

Nancy, is my moral compass. She advises me, on delicate matters regarding guidance counselors, coaches, bosses, committee co-chairs and how best to navigate friendly tiffs. Commonsense, humor and worldliness are great attributes to have and share with your friends and I am lucky to count her amongst mine...With A Sharp Eye, Nancy gleans and dispenses useful information on a myriad of topics including, gifts, philanthropy, "green" issues, entertaining, travel, thrift, health and technology. It is concise and entertaining.

So, you too, can get to know Nancy and hopefully, we can reciprocate hits.
Check out and add your name to the free subscriber list. You will be amazed to find out all the stuff you didn't know, like how much you need to own a handheld steamer and which are the best ones to purchase.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Toto, Jessica, (and Penelope) Too???

Last night, my book club gathered to discuss Molakai, a novel, historically based, on life on a Leper colony in the early 1900's. Are you surprised that we segued early, onto our Oscar dress loves and hates??? Though our opinions varied, one thing we all agreed upon, is that despite the handling of stylists, the best of the design world and the industries best make up and hair people, somebody, always, blows it, (and don't we just love it)?

Who rocked it??? Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman, Frieda Pinto, Anne Hathaway, Marisa Tomei, Alicia Keyes, Tina Fey, Amy Adams and Robin Wright Penn.

Who blew it??? Jessica Biel, Reese Witherspoon, Angelina, Goldie, Beyonce, SJP, (Darling, no matter what Garnier is paying you, blond , is not optional), Jennifer Aniston, (I don't know why it didn't look more special. It had the right pedigree and was the right color, but it somehow looked like something you would find in the Back Room, at Loehmann's), Meryl Streep and her daughter, looked like a pair of clay pidgeons in their matte grey and brown jersey gowns, Queen Latifah, Miley Cirus, Heidi Klum, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Tilda Swinton, (as usual), Shirley McClaine (as usual).

I would love to see the whole show whittled down by an hour or two...NO technical awards, NO male presenters---nobody cares about either, really. A sea of gowns and gaffes, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Picture...Goodnight all. See you at the Emmies...


Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Life on the F(ashion) List

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week ended on Friday at the Tents. What a difference a few months can makes!!! Less frenzy, fewer stars dotting the front row landscape and some designers forgoing the runway altogether. Where was the Full Frontal Fashion team??? I spent 20 minutes channeling surfing to 875 and back, before I realized, they too, were the latest victims of the recession. How fabulous was it, that in the last few years, you could catch up on all of the shows, practically in real time, ponytail clad in your pj's, while munching on a salad bowl full of popcorn for dinner??? Miss you!!!

I still had a wonderful time...It was great lunching with the Sr. Management Team and meeting fellow Beauty and Fashion Bloggers from Glam Media...always nice to put a face to an email...Ditto for cocktails, with the wild and crazy, TotalBeauty girls. I chatted with Kevin Ryan, CEO of the upscale, invitation only, online sample sale, Gilt Groupe, at a W. gathering, in the Tents. Hats off to anyone blazing new retail trails in this environment. (Ditto too, to Mr. Armani, who opened his new store on 56th and 5th Avenue this week).

My fabulous friends Peter and Linda Levy, again extended their hospitality, welcoming me to the IMG suite and providing me access backstage, where all of the pre and post show excitement takes place. Let me go on record by saying, that being, whisked, does not suck!!!

I met Jill Zarin, of The Real Housewives of New York City, (but you knew that)!, skinny and adorable, in person. When I introduced myself as Beauty Blogger Divadebbi, she thrilled me by recounting my latest Blog, which she had just read! Season 2, premiered on Tuesday night...Loved it!!! Tune in to Bravo, Tuesday's at 10, for all the latest fun. I am working on trying to get an interview with Jill...I will keep you posted. It's a fine line between being assertive and stalking, ya know???

The Barbie Fashion show, celebrating Barbie's 50th Birthday, in past, present and future outfits, was the most coveted of the week and by all accounts, FANBULOUS.

Chambord, hosted an entertaining, interactive event. Guests could have computerized fashion sketches of themselves, done live, while onlookers watched them being created. Milkko, who did mine, is a fashion illustrator and Professor at Parsons. He also does illustrations for Tory Burch, whose dress I am wearing, (above right). I like it so well, I am going to use it for my Divadebbi logo. (check out others at

There was some amazing live music performed on the runways this year, which added a upbeat and original element. The highlight for me, was seeing the 5 Browns at the elegant, notoriously coveted, Zac Posen show. Dramatically, the room was rendered in black, with a wide runway that housed 5 magnificent Steinway's. The 5 Browns are classically trained pianists, who happen to be siblings. Zac sent beautifully original clothes down the runway, that somehow managed to make Victorian inspirations modern, (note the gown, pictured above left). Truly beautiful and for me, an uplifting way to end the week.

Which brings me to the Oscars tonight! I don't think I can stomach Ryan Seacrest on E. interviewing Kate Winslet's manicurist at 6:15, but I am all over Barbara Wa Wa at 7:00 and the pre-show at 8:00. Three guesses what I am having for dinner???


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring Awakening

This has been a particularly cold and dreary winter in the East. Between the freeze Mother Nature and Wall Street have heaped on our bodies and bank accounts, things are off to a slow start, as we catch our collective breath and look for small signs of improvement.

For the clotheshorse in most of us, it's been doable...most closets were healthily replenished long before the world changed in October and those winter woollies have been put to great use.

One thing to keep in mind
, stores have cut back on their buys, which means, (no fooling), if you love it, buy it, because there is little chance that it will be there when you come back for it.

You can't stay away forever and I promise you, your loyalty to your favorite shopping Mecca, will be rewarded with amazing service and some great incentives. So, at the first sign of spring fever, (I always know its time, when I fantasize about cleaning out my closet with kerosene and a match), have at it. Yes, "need", makes perfect sense, but "love" and "if I don't have it, I am going to die", has it's place, too.

At Richards, where I am the Personal Shopper, I will do everything in my power, to make your shopping count and usually, we have a few howls along the way! It is hard to believe, but I am so blessed to have fantastically loyal clients...many whom have stuck with me for over 15 years! I love and appreciate you all so much!!!

Here are the key trends 101, for Spring 2009:

Geometry- Graphic and abstract plaids, grids, brush strokes, dots, and color blocking were evident in collections from Armani, Rachel Roy, Michael Kors, Akris and Hanni Y.

Architecture- Sculpted necklines, blouses that twist and fold, pleated skirts and ruffled hemlines were championed by Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Brunello Cucinelli, Lela Rose, Escada and Phillip Lim.

Global Studies-Ethnic printed tunics, caftans, dresses, harem pants, touches of orientalism, are available from Etro, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Rachel Roy, Pucci, Tory Burch and Naeem Khan. Accessorized best, with sandals, wedges and flats with glints of copper,gold and pewter, from everyone.

Greek Mythology- Grecian Goddesses abound for evening, in beautiful chiffon gowns, some one shouldered, from Marchesa, Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka, Douglas Hannant and Monique Lhullier.

Botany-- Lemon, lime,orange, pink grapefruit, and blueberry, juicy, vibrant color was seen in ready-to-wear from Cavalli, Moschino, Lela Rose, Agnona, and in handbags and shoes from Valentino, Tods, Prada, Nancy Gonzalez, Lambertson Truex, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, and Manolo Blahnik.

Electives- Clean and simple or solid, but embellished, white, nude and black dresses held their own from Chloe, Valentino, Dolce and Gabanna, Michael Kors and Akris. They look spectacular paired with a great statement necklace, bold cuffs or over sized earrings.

As I am writing this, we are in the midst of Fashion Week for Fall 2009. I was quite relieved to see, that the Designers, have not, been sending dark, somber, joyless clothes, down the runway...There is color and whimsy, thoughtfulness and hope.

They are doing their best and so should we.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

I am not a particular fan of visiting the Dentist...Doesn't everyone request nitrous oxide for their cleanings??? I endure my biannual appointments, with the hopes of preventing future painful, costly trips. I leave with a too soft, undersized toothbrush, that I will use to clean jewelry, or store, in case a small child or "Little Person", arrives at my door, without toiletries, for an overnight stay.

A few years back, I had permanent molds made of my uppers and lowers, to create exact fitting trays, for home whitening. I have used, (and abused) them, over the years with moderate success. Yes, the directions recommend 2 hour use, but if 2 is good, isn't 10 better??? Besides, nowhere is it printed, that they must be removed before bed.

During this period, OTC home whitening treatments, rinses, trays and dissolving strips, have become hugely popular. Could anything available at Target, beat what I am paying a premium for from the Dentist? Doesn't that qualify for an uptick in results???

Time to see what all the hoopla is about. What makes most sense to me, are the dissolving strips. But which ones??? 3 Days? 7 Days? Spearmint? Vanilla mint? Crest for $34.99 or CVS, on sale for $17.99? These days, I am all about a bahgin...a tisket a tasket, CVS White Strips, in my basket.

All of these claims are true: Easy to use, pleasant tasting, freshens breath, fights tartar and lo and behold, REALLY DOES, whiten your teeth.
Oh, and it completely dissolves, leaving no messy residue...YA.

A few minutes into your whitening experience, things get a little gooey and gelatinous. I guess if they were upfront about the phlegmy, spitball, phase of the process, it might, deter sales...Besides, I am a Beauty Trooper and the stuff works.

All they had to do was add a little nitrous oxide and I would have forgotten to complain about it. Final verdict? I am trashing my trays...


Sunday, February 8, 2009

In the Nick of Time

There must be, a handful of beauty advantages to getting older, (do chime in, girls). Right now, the only one that distinctly comes to mind, is the need to shave, wax, thread, bleach or use depilatories, decreases, significantly, as time marches on.

In my twenties and thirties, I sprouted dark, coarse hair overnight and in between shaving swipes, wondered if I was somehow, part Terrier. Though my allegiance to a heavily muscled, waxer named Margie, was so long established it required Birthday and Christmas remembrances, when it came to razors, I have always been cheap. My daily encounters with Bic disposables, looked straight out of the shower scene in Psycho. Nicked and maimed, I would sport tufts of toilet paper all over my legs, until the bleeding subsided. Reluctantly, I upgraded to Daisy disposables, better by just a hair, but, at least, they were prettier. I have no explanation for my penury, when it comes to shavers, since in the pursuit of Beauty, I have no problema spending mucho dinero...Beats me, my Bic tic.

I am always delighted to receive, "Sneak Peeks", from TotalBeauty. Some products have not been rolled out yet, some are just hitting the shelves and others, like the Gillette Venus Embrace Razor, has been somebodies, shower staple, for at least 6 months. I couldn't wait to try it...

It is packaged in a pod, that houses a change of blade, and can be affixed to your shower wall with tiny suction cups. Inexplicably, the directions are printed in both English and French. Right off the bat, I noticed that it was both light weight and easy to hold. The Embrace has 5 blades, and a, "protective ribbon of moisture", to ensure a smooth glide. It truly hugs every curve, I clocked in at 30 seconds per leg. Remarkable!!! Since there isn't much to take off these days, I wasn't even sure it had removed anything, so I dutiful did a test run on my forearm--Yup...sleek as a Chiwawa. Se magnifique!!!

So, when it's time to replace the blades on my own dime, will I do it??? You bet. It was definitely the closest, smoothest, shave I ever had and in the long run, I will end up saving a bundle on Band-Aids.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wooly Willy

I know I have blogged about my undying devotion to YSL's, "Volume Effet Faux Cils" Mascara, but, when I recently saw Linda Evangelista, hawking Loreal's new, "Double Extend" Mascara, (with Beauty Tubes Technology), I knew, I had to try it.

What intrigued me, besides the promise of lashes, that were 80% longer, was how that gets achieved...The tips of lashes, allegedly, get engorged with tiny tubes, that, "wash off easily". I am all over the concept...

The first step, (as with traditional Double Extend), is a white ceramide formula, that preps the lashes. I like any lash prep phase, because it really acts like a first coat, and since it is white, you can apply it recklessly, without having to do Q-tip duty. The "tube" phase was hugely disappointing. My lashes looked thin and spidery, nothing like the little bird beaks I had conjured up in my head...good thing I dutifully saved the packaging, as well, as my CVS receipt.

The real shock game at removal time...One of my favorite make up removers, is Dermalogica's Pre Cleanse. This unusual oil based cleanser, foams slightly, and on it's own, will gently remove 98% of makeup, including mascara and liner. What I was not prepared for, was what happened to the tubes...rather than ending up on my cotton balls, large black flecks, like iron filings were scattered all over, my face!!! Too add insult to injury, they weren't easy to remove, and I contemplated plucking them off with my Tweezerman...HOW BIZARRE...

Who, exactly was this stranger staring back at me in the mirror??? It was on the tip of my childhood, when suddenly it came back to me...I looked like Wooly Willy. Do you remember Willy??? He had a bald head and a red bulbous nose. He came tucked under a seal of plastic, that was pre loaded with black filings. Willy was available widely and was inexpensive, so if he had to be replaced, along your car trip to the Grand Tetons, it was no big whoop. With the red magic magnetic wand, that was supplied, you could render Willy with a goatee, nose hair and a unibrow. It never ceased to amuse!!!

So here I was, a human version, Wooly Wilma---now if only, I still had that red wand, I probably would be giving Double Extend another try. Oh well, Maybelline's "Stilletto" is waiting in the wings anyhow...


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Feeling Flushed

I have never, particularly, thought of myself as prudish. Recently, however, I have seen some shows on "network" television, that make Carrie and Samantha's, "cable" antics, look like Cagney and Lacey. When, exactly, did this happen???

If you don't know what I am talking about, tune in for an hour of Gossip Girl or Friday Night Lights. Just make sure you and your teenager are in separate rooms, volume down. Suffice to say, the "double entendre", has been slyly replaced, by the "menage a trois".

Like a moth to a flame, I can only stay away from Sephora for so long. Upon entering, the first thing that greeted me was a boxed Valentine's Day, Nars display, called, "The LOVE Set", (cue Barry White). The Love Set, includes a Lip Gloss, Matte Lip Pencil and Powder Blush, aptly named, "Pillow Talk", "Sex Machine" and "Orgasm".

O.K. Mom, you can check your email now...

One of the cleverest, cutesy, pieces of cosmetic marketing, I can recall, is Nars, "Orgasm". Orgasm is a sheer, peachy hued, slightly iridescent powder blush, that became an instant, bestselling cult classic, (because Mary Kay, "forgot" to try their hand at Peach). Beauty Editors, loved to wax poetically, about the powers of the powder, to mimic, "the flush".

I never tried Orgasm for two reasons; though it is billed to flatter, "all skin types", I rarely buy into that line and never thought it would suit me. I also, prudishly, did not want to discuss its merits with a "Beauty Advisor". But here, in Sephoraland, on a quiet Sunday, I could paint and powder with reckless abandon, to see if I could achieve the desired effect.

So, can "the flush" be faked???. Absolutely!!! And the rest, is up to you...


P.S. Did I buy, "The Love Set"??? What do you think???


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