Monday, August 31, 2009
In my last Blog, I invited you to register with mySkin.com, to find the best skin products, "Just For You", (enter code "Divadebbi"). I ended up buying and trying a great one that is "Just For Me", Bobbi Brown's Soothing Face Tonic..
Writing this Blog, often awakens memories from my youth...as I perused the mySkin product suggestions by category, I had to ask myself, "why wasn't I using a toner"?
When we were growing up, we spent lots of summer weekends on the east end of Long Island, with my Aunt Dee Dee. I have written about her before...she is our Auntie Mame, glamorous and hilarious and we couldn't get enough of her, including tailing her, while she applied or removed her makeup. The idea of a toner brought me back to Dee Dee's attachment, to Bonne Bell's 10-0-6 lotion. This whiskey colored potion had a distinct camphor smell, and she would use it to remove the last vestiges of the day's make up. Oddly, I couldn't wait to examine the used cotton balls. If this was the end game, why bother with soap at all???.
Had 10-0-6, (recently relaunched as Ten O Six), popped up on the list of toners recommended for me, I would have tracked it down like a bill collector. Instead, Bobbi Brown's Soothing FaceTonic caught my eye. I liked the fact that it was alcohol free and I was curious to see if my first mySkin pick was a winner.
Soothing Face Tonic comes in a handsome, glass bottle, and is made with cucumber and natural lavender extract, giving it a lovely, fresh scent. I wash my face at night, with Cetaphil's Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar, for dry, sensitive skin. I love the smell and silky lather. I never imagined any make up could remain, since I scrub like a neurosurgeon, but low and behold, there was plenty of my morning handiwork on that cotton ball. Oooooooooh.
My skin, felt clean and toned, not stripped. Why had I not thought about using a toner all these years??? In addition, I am using just a bit in the morning, (after I cleanse and resurface with my beloved Reversital 3 in 1 MicrodermaStick), to give me a perfectly toned canvas to apply moisturizer and makeup to. Luh-Oving it!!!
I owe Dee Dee a phone call and naturally my first question is going to be if she is still using Ten 0 Six lotion...either way, I know just what I bringing with me next time I visit---and it doesn't have camphor in it either.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Do you remember Cosmo Quizzes? I looked forward to taking them every month, to find out things like: What Type of Flirt Are You? Are You A Bitch? and How Honest Are You?. Naturally, they would attempt some trick questions and naturally, I would cheat, so I could fit into whatever category I perceived as most desirable. (For the record, Quite effective after a cocktail, On occasion and apparently, Not very).
I receive a lot of interesting invitations to partner with different websites and sample esoteric products. When I was contacted by mySkin.com, I was immediately intrigued...a website whose mission, "is to scientifically bring clarity to the world of skin care", while providing, "FREE information and tools to make better purchasing decisions"??? Bring it... I am all ears (eyes, nose, cheeks, lips and NECK).
Sans the pencil and pad of my youth, I logged onto mySkin.com and truthfully filled out their online questionnaire, about my skin, genetics, medical and family history, diet, lifestyle and body mass index, (does shaving off 3lbs. still count as cheating)? I also provided a list, of all the skin care items I use and rated their effectiveness. It was fun, quick and easy.
The concept, is that people with similar profiles,("Just Like Me") will respond well to each others highly rated products. It's not Match.com for skin...you won't be having a cyber meeting with Lilly from Long Island, to discuss the merits of Neutrogena's Healthy Defense...What it does provide you with suggested products to Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize, Treat etc... that are just for you. The goal is to virtually help you "stock your shelf" with the best products for your skin. It is continuously updated, as other "yous" log on and share.
There is no advertising on mySkin.com, nor do they make or sell products. There is no bias or slant. I still haven't figured out how they are going to make a dime, (just like my Blog), but I'm not going to worry my pretty little head over it...I am doing busy poring over my lists and taking notes. I've already made my first purchase, Bobbi Brown's Soothing Face Tonic and I love it!!! Thanks gang!!!
Don't feel left out!!! mySkin.com is a "by invitation" website, but readers and subscribers of Divadebbi, are invited to join too. Simply visit www.mySkin.com and say you were invited by "Divadebbi". Nicely, they have asked me to be one of their featured Bloggers, so you can always visit me there too. Please let know if you join and if you think it will be helpful to you.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I am rarely in the pimple aisle at CVS. At the first whiff of a blackhead, I whisked
my son to the Dermatologist, bypassing weaker medicines, available over the counter. (Are you surprised)? Believe me, it was the better alterative to my hovering at 3 a.m. with a steamy wash cloth.
In my youth, my skin was slightly oily, more so around the t-zone. Though I was never happy about it, I did have an inkling that this might bode well for my skin in the future...and I was right. (I was never happy about my overly long, flat feet either, but sadly there was no silver lining here, just hammer toes).
Last week, was the first really humid and oppressive week of this New York summer. The last thing I wanted to do, was add another layer of make up, so powder was out as an option. I remembered Blogging about an oil absorbing product that was on CVS's 10 under $10 list in July. I searched my own archives and found it, in "Home Economics"...Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets..
"How did I live without these"?, I commented. After finding them in the pimple aisle, (nicely price at $5.49 for 50 sheets), I couldn't wait to try them, (in the car, natch). "How did I live without these"?????? They are fantastic!
First of all, they had to have been designed by a woman. Clean & Clear comes in small, slim, sturdy, cardboard package. Each sheet about the size of a credit card. They could easily slip into an evening clutch or pocket. Perfection. A man no doubt, would have designed each sheet to rival a Brawny. Secondly, Clean & Clear is powder free. Oil is instantly removed and it doesn't smudge existing make up.
Is it too much to put this in the same continuem as food, water and shelter? I guarantee, you will love them as much as I do and I already know just what your first thought will be...and you may quote me.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
What a difference a year makes!!! The last glimmer of summer, always includes two of my favorite rituals; Digesting bicep building September fashion issues, while relaxing on the beautiful beaches, in the Hampton's...sheer bliss!
This year, with the exception of In Style (celebrating their 15 year anniversary), all the major books were significantly lighter, due to steep declines in ad revenue. While I don't exactly miss them, (let's face it, the only way Dillard's was gracing the pages of Vogue was due to a hefty advertising budget. Even lithe Anna, turned a blind eye, in the race to be the fattest September book on the newsstands), I am sobered. I know just how hard the fashion industry has been hit by "the new reality".
There is plenty of good news though...Despite a dizzying array of trends, the designers did not disappoint us with maudlin basics. Some trends, however, are not for everyone---over the knee boots for example, are divine and I promise you, will be worn by the chicest girl in the room. Ask yourself this question. Do I strut? If the answer is no, do not attempt.
Here's what I am loving and why:
Color Me Beautiful Black and grey are the anchors. They look great paired back to pops of peacock, sapphire, red and pink, in coats, quilted vests, jackets, and clutches and T-Strap, peep toes shoes. White shirts are everywhere and look good on everyone, paired with everything...stock up. Rich plum is delicious, as a stand alone color. Cool camel and taupe look luxe, in a multitude of capes and coats. I love that this is not just another redux of typical autumnal tones. It looks fresh and edgy.
Bottoms Up- Lots of great pant choices. Skinny- If you have long legs and narrow hips, have at it, in black leather, suede, baby corduroy and stretch wool. Cropped- Love this on a more petite frame paired with a strong shoe. Pleated- Pears rejoice! Pears tend to carry their weight in their tush and thighs, but are usually blessed with great shoulders, small waists and flat stomachs. Pair them with a sleeveless, draped jersey top, a belt. a sculptured cuff and a platform shoe.
Hey Lady- Terrific dresses with 40's flair. Sleeveless sheaths with origami pleating, stark architectural shapes in dresses and pencil skirts. One shouldered, draped cocktail dresses, belted or worn with ornamented necklaces and a 90 mm pump. Elegant. On a casual note, printed long sleeve dresses, worn short, with a weighty boot looks new. Dark hose looks right with all.
My Boyfriend's Back- It's been ages since jackets were important, but they have reemerged with a vengeance. Long, strong shouldered, one button boyfriend jackets, will hide a multitude of sins with skinny pants. They also work well over evening shorts, if you have the legs of a thoroughbred and were born after 1980. Shrunken Biker Jackets, in leather and wool, zippered or studded, look right with everything, including dresses, as do collarless jackets and those with strong upturned shoulders.
1984- Many of the dominant looks...the skinny pants, leather jackets, padded shoulders, pleated pants, studs and platforms as well as sequin tee-shirts and mini dresses, pay homage to Mugler, Alaia and Charles Jordan and Mr. Armani. Wear one or two together, tops. Anything else and you risk channeling Grace Jones.
So there you have it! Many of us caught our breath over the Spring and took a breather from shopping. Good timing! It's a lot easier to resist Spring offerings than Fall, but I hope you are inspired to go visit your favorite store, (preferably Richards/Mitchells/Marshes)!, and treat yourself to the things you find irresistible...it's time.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
One last hair story, as my email proves that you, my dear readers, think there is definitely a curler loose in my brain. I promise after this last fiasco, I will be going back to basics...pinkie swear.
When I can't sleep, I turn on the T.V. and troll for informercials or a good gangster film...not gratuitously violent dumb ones, but the classics. Films like the Godfather I and II, Goodfellas, Casino, and The Usual Suspects come to mind.
A few weeks ago, I had the great, good fortune of catching Bonnie and Clyde at 3 a.m. Bonnie and Clyde, starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, at the peak of their beauty. After the release of the film, Faye Dunaway's glamorous Bonnie, influenced fashion with a trend towards berets and slim, languorous, mid-calf skirts. My favorite scenes, featured Bonnie, sans beret, with her gleaming blond page boy, deeply side parted, long bangs and a bump of height at the crown. This is my idea of film hair heaven.
Two nights later, another mid slumber bout of insomnia hit and this time I caught the infomercial for Bump-It's, the easy, revolutionary way, to achieve volume at the crown, with self gripping inserts. Simply choose the color that matches your own, tease, insert the half moon, spiked dog collar to your crown and voila, you too can be Miss Bonnie Jean Parker. I always keep a pen and note paper next on my bedside table, for just such instances as needing to jot down a toll free number, before dawn. I dutifully ordered my Brunette Bump-It kit, the next morning.
It arrived this week. Though I had read several tepid reviews on line, I figured they were all written by one cranky, wispy haired klutz, who couldn't achieve the desired result. Certainly my thick tresses would show no trace of a plastic parenthesis soldered to the top of my head...
Wrong!!! I really had to laugh at my own mad, wishful thinking... A Bump-It, couldn't be covered without detection on a string mop. It hurts, gripping initially and unearthing bits of scalp, but falls out immediately. I next tried to anchor it with bobby pins, achieving my own film moment...Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein.
Alas, there is only one thing to do with my Bump-It. Dump-It. With any luck, I'll check my bedside notes...maybe there is a money back guarantee.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I had a very good hair day yesterday... though after taking stock of what it took to get there, it should have been aspectacular hair day. After trying to commit and entire In Style, devoted to "hair" to memory, in the course of a manicure, I began to reflect on all of the products and tools I already use...and I am still trolling for more???
Part one- 7 minute application of Medium Ash Brown Clairol Root Touch up Kit, to tame a few greys at the hairline and temper a few highlights that were looking like creme brulee. Slapped on some Garnier Fructis Fortifying Deep Conditioner on the ends of my hair, after microwaving it for 15 seconds. Rinsed thoroughly and than shampooed and conditioned with Loreal's Everpure.
Part Two- Towel dried and applied Nexxus Dualiste Leave-in Conditioning Spray, all over from mid hair shaft down. Sectioned hair for blow drying. Applied, John Frieda Collection Lavish Lift Root Buster to aforementioned roots. Coated bangs with Warren Tricomi Frizz Protection Calming Serum and got to work with my ceramic ionic blow dryer and three round brushes, one that is pineapple sized.
Part Three- Flat ironed stubborn curly cowlicks. Strategically placed 6 microwavable curlers, for added bounce. Finished with an all over cool shot of air from my blow dryer, followed by a light dousing of TRESemme 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray, and a light tipping of Garnier Water Based Shine-Wax, to my bangs and fly aways.
10 products, 3 appliances, 3 brushes, 2 combs. Normal or not??? Girls, somebody better chime in and let me know if I am within bounds or if it's time to stage and intervention. Oh, and if you can suggest a product that conditions, adds volume, root lift and shine, will you please text me... now???
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Have you heard of Lauren Luke? Lauren, is a self taught make up guru and You Tube sensation! Her videos, shown under the name Panacea81, have received over 40,000,000 views and she has over 230,000 subscribers, including me!
Lauren is a 26 year old single mom, who hails from South Shields England. Most of her videos have been shot in her frilly bedroom, without any pretense of glamour. When I first decided to explore You Tube as a medium to promote Divadebbi (and I plan to be doing it more so, by delivering fashion tutorials, stay tuned), I was immediately charmed by her warm, sweet demeanor and impressed by her tremendous skill.
Single handily, Lauren has shaken up the beauty industry. With ad pages tanking in all of the major magazines, due to the recession, Lauren has changed the way women are learning about beauty and from whom they are willing to take lessons, neither of which, has gone unnoticed by the major cosmetic companies either. Rest assured, we will be seeing many more average Annies, being primed to engage us, the way Lauren does, (though I think she will be one tough act to imitate).
Lauren, was recently featured in Thursdays New York Times Style Section, promoting her 5 new beauty pallettes, (which include eyeshadow, liners, primers and coordinating lip and cheek colors), that she developed in partnership with Sephora. Nicely priced at $32, each pallette of course comes with its own, By Lauren Luke tutorial. I have checked them out on line and I am already eyeballing the "Smokey Classics" pallette, though I am hoping it will be available in Greenwich to scratch and sniff first.
It's been quite a year for the pluff English Roses...first, Susan Boyle, then Lauren Luke---Who's next??? The Queen Mum touting Top Shop??? Stranger things have happened.
Monday, August 3, 2009
To Whom it May Concern:
Thank you!!! I have been inundated with emails from well wishers, encouraging me to halt my Latisse trial, after I complained on my latest Divadebbi You Tube video, of experiencing extreme red, itchy eyes..."It's not worth it, your eyelashes look fine"! "You are headed towards corneal abrasion"! "Please stop"...all this before my Mother weighs in.
I decided it might be a good idea to re-read the patient instructions that come with Latisse...so much for my previously ignoring the boldly printed, "DO NOT APPLY TO LOWER EYELASHES". Oh.
In doing my research, I watched a You Tube video that was allegedly produced by Allergan. The woman in the video clearly states that Latisse can be applied to both upper and lower lashes simultaneously...clearly not.
What you are trying to avoid at all costs, (unless you have glaucoma), is to get Latisse in your eyes. By applying it to my upper and lower eyelids before bed, Latisse was resting in my eyeballs for 8 hours each night.
I am now only applying Latisse to my upper lids and have now gone 3 days without redness or discomfort. Needless to say, I am soldiering on and will keep you updated.
Recently, I visited my Aunt Dee, who lives in the City. Upon opening the door, I immediately noticed her lashes, (since the tips had never previously met her eyebrows) and inquired what she was doing differently. "I am using neu Lash". Wow! Neu Lash is available online, without a prescription. It's as pricey as Latisse, but is guarenteed to work in just 4 weeks and the ingredients are infused with "polypeptides, vitamins and minerals". Hmmmmm. That does have a slightly more gentle ring than, "Benzalkonium Chloride". Well, at least now, I have "plan B" in place.
So my dear readers, have faith. My beauty pursuits do have bounds, blindness being one of them. Side bar to my Mother: Deep breaths and no lectures, please. You will only elicit the same time worn response, "pish posh and don't worry".