The Clock Stops Here...

Monday, March 31, 2008

What's the Poop?

I am already looking forward to tonight...I am having dinner in the city and a "sleep over date" with my best pal from High School! I hope you have a friend like this can finish each other's sentences, howl like hyena's and know each other's darkest secrets...all judgements reserved. "B" (which is what I really call her), is a power house in the advertising world. The fact that she loves my blog really thrills me, because B. is an amazing writer.

I asked her what she was working on lately, and she tells me she has been hired to work on a new ad campaign for "Alli". Have you heard of it? It is an FDA over-the-counter drug to "boost" weight loss...of course I want the skinny on it. Here are the good parts; they do have an "Alli" plan, but you don't have to be on it. No calorie counting, insane food combinations or starvation. You must eat healthy and limit yourself to less than 15 grams of fat per meal. Alli does it's part by not letting 25% of the fat from the food you eat get absorbed. This is sounding just fine!

Drug ads amuse me to no end...They always show happy, peppy, people enjoying a sunset clambake, while quietly reading off a litany of life threatening side effects. I am non plussed by most things...blah, blah, blah, blindness or death. Blah, blah, blah, rare incidences of liver failure...But the stuff like "4 hour erections" and "mild to moderate oily flatulence", always make my ears perk up. So I must ask her, "B... did the hire you to shuzz over oily flatulence? "Yup". So, they were bringing in the A team. "Have you tried it? "Yes and here's the deal, you are so terrified of eating more fat than your supposed to, that you just don't (I think this may the literal translation of scared -hitless). "It simply forces you to eat properly. Now, if you are dining at the Russian Tea Room or invited to a Texas BBQ, you just wouldn't take it at that meal. Other than that, it's a brilliant secret weapon".

So, there you have it. If anyone can take the sheer terror out of this campaign, it will be B. Stay tuned...


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bliss Blessings

I woke up this morning in a fog, with a killer headache...hard to tell if it was my usual sinus stuff or too much wine and not enough food syndrome. (I attended a black tie benefit last night for a great cause, Juvenile Diabetes. Note to all food committee's past and present; please don't ever under stock the bread basket, particularly for themed occasions). Too tired to whip up a grilled cheese when I got home, I did my usual cleanse, tone, glycolic swipe, serum, eye creme, night creme, lip balm routine and hop into bed.

I promised an update on the bounty of Bliss products I was given and have an epiphany that the "hot salt scrub", with rosemary and eucalyptus may actually provide relief for my head. It is described as an "oil-free heat as you rub", scrub. It is applied to dry skin before showering and will "dissolve instantly on contact with water". I don't know about the rosemary, but the Vick's Vaporub of my youth is wafting around my bathroom. I actually don't mind Vicks, I just could never stand it's oily slickness, sticking to my flannel nighties (thanks Mom, I know your intentions were pure). Yes, the eucalyptus is doing great things for my head and as promised and it is rinsing off easily. But am I clean? I have no idea...if I now use my beloved Dove Pro Age creme body oil wash, will I not turn out "buffed, de-roughed, soft and sloughed"? Or will I be so viscous, that one false step and I risk slipping and cracking my skull like a honeydew? One thing is for don't have these issues.

And what is slowing down the drain?...(I never discussed the drain with my fabulous housekeeper. She is so much more meticulous than I am, that I just assumed it's maintenance was her purview). Let's just stop at uh-oh... Suffice to say, there is a reason these things are best done at a spa. "hot salt scrub" may have clogged up my drain, but at least it did wonderful things for unclogging my brain.

There is plenty of Bliss from Bliss... The "daily detoxifying facial toner" is mild, pleasant smelling and effective. I love the "pore-perfecting facial polish". The texture is lovely, it rinses off well and leaves a visible glow. The "manicure's best friend", has done a nice job of keeping my cuticles soft between manicures. I have already replaced my Kiehl's bedside version with their "superbalm lip conditioner" (though the spf 15 will surely go wasted as I sleep). Both the naked and vanilla+bergamot "body butter maximum moisture cremes" are decidedly delicious, particularly the latter. Though some what solid at first dab, it spreads easily, absorbs quickly and I do feel, "seriously soft", in fact, like buttah.
I still have a half a dozen or more yet to try...let's keep eachother posted on our picks and pans...


Friday, March 28, 2008

Breast Assured

I wish I didn't have to write about this, but I feel compelled to reach as many people as I can on this subject. With this Blog, I am first, publicly outing myself as a hereditary breast cancer survivor. It's not that I felt any shame, just a strong sense of privacy. I know this is the first time many who know me are hearing about it. I am definitely one of the lucky ones...13 years and counting (knock wood, spit, spit, pinch pinch) but make no mistake, I am one of the smart ones as well.

The issue I would like to address is "watching it". I don't understand it. What pray tell are they watching??? I have heard too many painful stories of the "it" turning into cancer. Just yesterday, a woman I know of was diagnosed with a 5cm., stage 3 tumor, with much lymph node involvement. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A mother of 3. They were "watching" this mass for two years. At one point she had a core needle biopsy that revealed benign cells. They now believe she was misdiagnosed and she will begin the battle for her young life.

I too had a lump. Not one to muck around, I immediately went to a brilliant, well recommended breast surgeon. Naturally, I was hoping it was a simple cyst, as was he. First step, was a fine needle aspiration. I was thinking, "pop" and I am out of here. No such luck, a solid mass, but the cells that could be extracted were benign. Not hugely concerned, but always conservative, the breast surgeon strongly advised a surgical biopsy. He just didn't feel good about leaving a solid mass in my body and I was in full agreement. Well thank God for his wisdom and my instincts, because lo and behold, it was a stage one malignancy. (The toughest call I had to make was to my Mom, many hours after she had expected to hear from me. I gave her the news and she replied, "well...I am so glad it is stage one and out of your body", "I am going to hang up now, and go have a nervous breakdown"...even in the worst of times, we find our laughs).

So, while I am not offering medical advice, I will offer some common sense information, for you to consider and pass along:

* Do a monthly breast self exam. At the very least, be in touch in the shower daily. (I can't be sure how long I missed my own lump, because at the time I used a shower sponge)

* Have a digital mammography annually, preferably at a facility where a radiologist will perform a thorough manual exam, afterwards

* If your breasts are dense, get a prescription for an ultra sound to be performed after your digital mammography

* If you or your Dr. find a lump, it may be a simple cyst, but please don't take chances. Explain the situation to the facility that does your mammograms. You will be seen and tested as a priority. Don't panic and do not ignore it. It is not going away, no matter how hard you wish for it

* If you are at high risk for breast cancer due to family history, speak with a Certified Genetics Counselor to assess your risk and possible testing for genetic mutations. You can inherit a mutation from your mother or father, so don't dismiss cancer history on your paternal side. It is also prudent to be under the care of a breast surgeon, who may prescribe an MRI, instead of digital mammography and ultra sound.

* If you do get a phone call or letter telling you that they have found something that needs further investigation, try not to panic. Most breast lumps are benign, but you must follow up asap. Core needle biopsies are often recommended, as it is a less invasive procedure than a surgical biopsy. When performed by a top notch breast specialist, it is quite reliable (often done in conjunction with scans)

My words of caution are to those of you, who are then told you have a mass that they are going to "watch". Get a second opinion. Listen to your gut. Be smart. Be proactive. Be here.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


You are stranded on a desert island and can only salvage two beauty products...what would they be? I've heard versions of this question asked of the Hollywood set (you know, last page People round-up) with replies like, "Elizabeth Arden 8 hr. Creme", "Kiehl's Silk Groom", "Shiseido Sun Protection Creme S.P.F. 55"...Nonsense!!! Who are they kidding??? Do they think we pass up the "Stars Without Makeup" pictorials on the check out line?

This is a tough, multifaceted question (first and foremost, who will I be stranded with)? Just contemplating this, I am overwhelmed. If I had to break it down, I would be thinking of my products that could pull double duty. I have an old Bobbi Brown eye shadow trio that would fit the bill (too bad it is discontinued). It has a light base, medium sienna brown shadow and a dark espresso brown shadow that can be used either wet or dry for lining and contour...In a pinch, I could probably improvise some brow coverage out of it. Between liner and mascara, I will fake (I mean take) liner any day. So that's one down.

The next would be a some type of stain that can be used on the cheeks and lips...I love the concept of Benefit's Benetint lip and cheek stain, one color fits all, it just begs to take the mind numbing, decision making out of which shade to buy. (There is also something delightfully old fashioned about it, like something Abigail Adams might have had on her dressing table, next to the laudanum). Alas, I have tried it and find it to be sheer, messy and too berry red for my complexion. Of course, that didn't stop me from trying it again, when they introduced it in a "pocket pal" version, still not berry good. I've recently read about Stila's take on this, Cherry Crush Lip Stain. It is supposed to be made from cherries and pomegranates and have some moisturizing properties to it...

Sounds both promising and nutritious, so I pop into Sephora to give it a test run.It is packaged adorably and would fit nicely into my newly edited make up bag. I am a twitter in anticipation as I am lead the way to the Stila section...(I love the Sephora associates, in fact, I look up to them. They have a scholars knowledge of their products and are always at the ready with an alcohol swab). OH MY!!! Can I spit, in Sephora? My lips are afire and I am distinctly tasting Dimetapp...Thank goodness it looks as bad as it tastes. Definitely not a desert island pick.
So, back to the original question, I guess I would settle for taking my Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks, but would it be the Pink Raspberry or the Pink Truffle? Too much decide. E tu two???


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March Madness

I hate's my least favorite month of the year. Such a tease!!! Spring beckons, but really, not. The minute I start thinking about switching my closet (or should I say torching it), a 'Nor Easter is sure to touch down.

At least I am surrounded by luscious spring color and clothes, it helps! I always send my clients a Trend Report of the looks for each season as I have interpreted them from the runways and magazine editorials. Here is a round up for Spring 2008:

Globalization- Gorgeous African and Asian inspired geometrical prints can be found on dresses, skirts, tunics and tops. Also look for wood bead trims on necklines and hems. Designers leading the pack are Etro, Chloe, Lanvin, Diane Von Furtenberg, Naeem Khan, Giambattista Valli and Tory Burch.
I won't live without- Something new from Pucci...always looks fresh and never dated and a little goes a long way (there is a knee length, 3/4 sleeve coat that I would happily swap a major organ for).

Ultra Bright- Great pops of yellow, orange, sapphire blue, fuscia, coral and chartreuse found in collections from Valentino, Dolce, Michael Kors, Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Ralph Lauren, Theory and Majestic. Brights work best either mixed boldly or foiled against white and taupe.
Gotta have- a lightweight cashmere tee or tank in a few of these colors to give me a lift and punch up the remnants of my winter wardrobe with more additions to follow.

Sheer Madness- Diaphanous layers of gauzy chiffon in blouses and camisoles, and as inserts on skirts and dresses. Looks fresh from Malandrino, Bamford and Lanvin.
I will wear it- as a sleeveless stock tie blouse, with wide leg trousers and a gladiator sandal.

Flower Power- Poppies, roses, hydrangeas and lilacs bloom on everything and from everyone, including slightly fuller dresses at Dolce and Carolina Herrera to full length gowns from Michael Kors.
Make mine-a small bouquet. This may be something I will enjoy more on someone else... Florals can be a little sweet, and we know that I am not. I can see, wearing a drop waisted softly pleated floral skirt and a simple tank on a hot day.

Plum Delicious-Gorgeous hues of purple in lilac, plum and eggplant abound in collections from Strenesse, Malandrino, Pucci, Etro and Carolina Herrera.
It's a strong trend and continues right through to fall, as shown on many runways.
I love it and will wear it- but it is tricky... Certain shades of purple and lavender are universally flattering to blondes, brunettes and red heads. There is one hue, however, that is best left for your Aunt Bea and certain ladies working west of 9th Avenue. Did you guess it? It's...MAGENTA. Nevah evah, OK???

Shoes & Handbags-You can play it safe with nude neutrals, or black patent, which always work with strong color, but the real excitement is in bold color. All the ready-to-wear shades are available in patents and skins as well as burnished metallics. In shoes look for heavier, gladiator style sandals, peep toes, as well as jeweled and embellished flats. In handbags, soft structure, totes and clutches all continue.
I am desperate for something yellow-but it will certainly sour my complexion to a shade of light pistachio. I will get my fix, probably from a new bag since this is obviously a hot trend with short shelf life, mine will be a "cheap and cheerful", as I like to call it. All joy, no remorse. (My friend Randi has an impeccable eye. She sources bags both domestically and abroad. Always spot on trends, lovely quality and just what you want to spend to freshen up your handbag wardrobe seasonally. I think there will be a stampede at her Spring show at Julie's on April 3rd and 4th).

Jewelry- Bangles and dangles, rich shades of gold, colored stones, ginormous cocktail rings bright bands on wrist watches...another easy way to pop in some color.
I am bedazzled- love my jewels, real and faux. If you do too, pile 'em on now, honey...cause anytime the fashion pendulum swings one way, it comes back just as strongly the other...

Gee, I am actually feeling better just imagining how cheerful we are all going to be looking. Another boost, one of my most favorites, a tall, beautiful, but slightly, conservative client bought the Pucci coat... She can't resist it's joyfulness either! This is something that will live happily in her closet for years. She's is a lucky lady...3 sons, so the only person she has to worry about swiping it from her, is me.

Happy Spring!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Color Me Beautiful

I spent the lion's share of today getting my hair colored and highlighted at the newly renovated Warren Tricomi Salon in Greenwich. WT came to town a few years back, setting the record straight, that truly talented, colorists and stylists do exist outside of the 10021 zip code. No one has done it better. Frederic Fekkai is opening an outpost in April, maybe motivating the spruce up. The salon looks fantastic, sparkling clean, crisp and elegant. (I also truly appreciate their tidy, self-blow dry area, stocked with brushes, Solis hairdryers and great product. They have broken the mold on making those who dry their own hair feel like second class citizens. How does your salon treat D.Y.I.B.'s)?

I always look forward to seeing my colorist, Christopher. Christopher is an oasis of calm, even when every chair is filled with aluminum foiled heads trussed like Thanksgiving turkeys. He makes you feel like you are his only priority, and when you are in his chair, you have his undivided attention. He is the Barack Obama of hair. In addition to his fabulous skills, he is smart, witty and a little silly...he totally gets me and the only way he will lose me as a client, is with a restraining order...

How do you find a great colorist? When you see someone who's color looks great, simply approach and ask. That's how I found Christopher...3 endorsements and I knew I had to meet him. Strangers have stopped me to ask the same question and it is always flattering. What if their services are bigger than your budget? Here's where you have to make some choices, but first and foremost, remember you wear you hair, everyday, and might only slip on the Chloe coat you couldn't live without, once a week... Know your priorities.

I learned something new today...Erika, Chris's assistant asked me if I was in a rush...not sure if this was a trick question and where my yes or no would lead, I answer honestly, "no, no rush today". "O.K.", she said, "then we are going to skip the steam". She sets the timer until dusk and leaves me with two magazines. I pull out a note pad, and troll the table of contents for the beauty columns, furiously scrawling like a 50's stenographer....35 minutes later, I am ready for my rinse, shampoo and glaze.

Two lovely surprises are in store; first they have replaced the old shampoo chairs (I suspect they have been appropriately donated to Kiddie Kuts). I am reclined with my legs fully supported and my head comfortably cradled. This is the chair is providing a very gentle kneading massage that is actually pleasant. (This is the polar opposite of the massage chairs in your run of the mill nail salon. I only fell for the pedicure mugging once. How could I have known that the red vinyl barcolounger I was sitting in, was going to start peppering my kidneys with rabbit punches? I will never be lured again into this trap again. They are always stunned with disbelief, when I beg, "NO MASSAGE, PLEASE")! Next, Erika gives me a delightful head massage with my shampoo. I am braced for what is coming next, the steel wool and the Roux dye remover. I know that my forehead is about to be riced like and Idaho potato, and take some comfort in the fact that I remembered to pack a tiny first aid kit in my handbag. But it is not to be!!! Dab, dab, wipe, swipe and I am clean. I ask Erika to explain my good fortune and she obliges. "The steamer cuts the processing time in half, but it runs and stains. That's why I asked if you had some extra time today". Is this a strictly brunette problem??? I am not sure, you tell me. I do know at my next appointment I will hold the steam and leave the first aid kit in the medicine chest.

So, was it worth it? Of course. I am the virgin brunette of my youth, but with yummy, gutsy caramel highlights. Christopher is a wonderful talent and he never, ever chastises me for all the touch ups I am going to do before my next visit. And that, is a whole other story...


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Too, Cheated...

It seems you can't pick up the morning paper anymore, without reading more than you ever wanted to, about our politicians infidelities, thus prompting my own confession.

I like to think of myself as a loyal person. If you provide me with top notch, courteous, service, I am pretty much a vested lifer. My favorites know that and I shower them with referrals. I genuinely love them and want to share their talents...but every now and then, even the most loyal of us get the urge to cheat and it is usually on our Hairdressers or Colorists (and some, on their Personal Shoppers, you know who you are)...

Yesterday, I cheated on my Hairdresser. There, I said it... Some elements feel like a first date. That buzz of excitement... looking forward to seeing someone new for the first time... that reckless feeling of the unknown...but than the doubt creeps in...What if things don't go well? What if a trim in your book means shorn in theirs? You calm yourself with the, "Oh, it's only hair and will grow back" fable...Let's pray it doesn't come to that...But what if it does? Tearful confessions and recriminations, promises never to stray again...Shame, remorse and bad hair... Was this my fate???

Nope, not this time...dodged a bullet here. A great experience... Lovely salon, gracious people, an amazing Haircutter, haircut and blow out (not a given, as well you know). Raves from my co-workers, minimal touch up this morning (despite having to rework the night sweat waves undulating around my neck, yeah, you know who you are). Just need to get over that last hurdle, washing and drying it myself...that's the real litmus test and I will know in a day or two where my real fate lies.

Just a word about cheating...I tease my clients when they do. It is usually after they have given me ample notice to find something specific and despite best efforts, I haven't nailed it. I truly want them to look fabulous. I don't even mind when they ask for my opinion of their swag before removing the tags. Nine times out of 10, I love it and I am genuinely thrilled if their fashion dilemma has been resolved. We get it, sometimes there are really good reasons to stray. Sometimes you just feel like a change and sometimes you want to try someone else within the same establishment, but are too embarrassed to hurt feelings. The truth is, we are human, but professional. Honesty or white lies are just fine...we really just want you to continue to "shop" where we work and not lose a client to a competitor. And if we do, no hard feelings...we just look forward to that time in the future when you are crawling, errr, I mean coming, back...


Monday, March 17, 2008

Are you Looking a Little Plump?

I wish I was... around my lashes... Finding a great mascara is almost equal to the task of finding the perfect lipstick, moist, long wearing and a perfect rosy, natural, bitten hue...good luck (and I am all lips if you have any suggestions).
Love my late Sunday afternoon routine. My beloved Go Figure exercise studio in Greenwich has permanently added a 4:00 p.m. class to the weekend schedule. For those of us who like to sleep in, this is Nirvana. (I am not morning girl, never was, and racked up oodles of absences from my first period classes in my youth. With my diploma hanging in the balance, I spent 3 days straight, in a robin's egg blue gym uniform, making up missed classes), but I digress... After a perfect hour of combined strength training, yoga and ballet stretches, I dash off to Tiffany nails, where I am ecstatic to be whisked through a manicure, so they can dead bolt the door at 5:30. They give a fabulous complimentary massage, and my bliss is not a bit marred by the buzzing vacuums, swirling like locusts.

5:40 pm and I zoom up to Sephora, determined to try the much touted Shu Uemura Fiber Xtension Lengthening Mascara. They too, must dead bolt at 5:30. Pressing my nose against the front door, I retreat, weepy. Plan B it is. CVS, as always, is open.(If they employed a Greeter, they would be escorting me in with enthusiasm, chatting about my work and family, while popping open a cold Diet Coke...As I check out, "Extra Care" coupons routinely spew, serpentine fashion, around the cashiers neck. I am family).

Over the years I have tried all of the Clinque, Lauder and Lancome mascaras (you know, the freebies) and I am still a free agent (though legions swear by Lancome Definicils). In the past 6 monthes, I have tried the much hyped Dior Show Black Out mascara... next. YSL's mascara in a gold tube was pricey but otherwise perfect,and I would recommend and purchase it again. Loreal's HIP volume mascara,rated a solid B. Next came Cover Girl's Lash Out Volume mascara, loved the plain Jane original, but not this one and definitely not Lash Blast, the even bigger Kahuna version. Revlon's 3D Extreme was not and I needed Goo Gone to remove it. Loreal's Telescopic Lengthening mascara had an odd thin wand that just didn't get the job done. I am looking to replace Maybelline's Define-A-Lash volume mascara. The product is fine, but the flexible curvy wand doesn't like to go back in the tube. I simply don't have the skill set or desire to continue this struggle. I can now imagine how tough it must be to do a colonoscopy.

I decide on and purchase Maybelline's Intense XXL Volume + Length microfiber mascara. It is a two headed fella, with white primer on one end and mascara on the other. The first thing I am loving is the the white primer. Coat one, goes on slap dash, which suits my morning persona well. The second coat deposits enough product for a nice, clean, full, long lash. The brushes are straight and neither fat nor thin. I am heady with success. If this comes off as well as it goes on, it has blue ribbon potential...

I will keep you posted...Where's the love girls??? Tell me your favorites...


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Is Bliss, bliss???

Fortune smiled on me today...My sweetly, generous in-laws won an enormous basket of Bliss products and decided to bequeath the bounty to me. Yipee!!! In my book, this is one peg down from winning the state lottery. Some are dupes of similar products that I already have open, so I will store these for awhile, and give side bar updates as I work my way though this bounty.
The first thing I tried was Glamour Glove Gel. It purports to "help lighten up those loathsome "liver" spots", ummm, this could be right up there with penicillin... The key ingredients are lemon, parsley and mulberry root. It sounds vaguely like something one would glaze chicken picata with, but I am naturally game...
Oh my...I don't know how to describe this any other way, but the smell is distinctly that of cat piss. Can I endure this? I will suffer for fashion any day, but what about beauty???
No can do. 5 minutes in and I am out. One down and 19 to go...


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pears and Squares; Botany and Geometry 101

I have been an Fashion Consultant and Personal Shopper for quite some time and have racked up countless hours with clients in their skivvies.

Here are a couple of irrefutable facts: No matter how perfectly, beautiful someone appears to be, everyone, has their flaws. Flat tushes and chests, too broad shoulders and busts, thick tummies, middles and too much junk in the trunk are more common than not. Even my tiniest, nearly perfects, can be hilariously overwhelmed by too much fabric or print and we howl not just at their reflection, but from misconception that they can wear anything.

So what is to be done??? First and foremost, the shape of your body rules what silhouettes you can and can't wear. For example, last year's baby doll dresses, empire and flowing, were best worn by long legged, narrow hipped, short torsoed, thicker waisted, "squares". This style was fun and moderately flattering on this type of body. Strictly a "trend", this is where I recommend only buying something cheap and cheerful, because it surely better be in the Goodwill bin this season. A "pear" has two fabulous assets, a long torso that includes a flat tummy and a small waist. No matter how much they wanted to be part of this trend, once we looked in the mirror, it was bye bye baby... with no accent on the torso and an extra foof of fabric around the fanny, it just wasn't a pretty sight.
Conversely, a sleeveless dress that emphasizes the shoulder area, with a long, tight fitting torso ending in an A line or modified bubble, suits the pear perfectly. The long torso, and tiny waist get all the attention, and the trunk is gently camouflaged by the fuller skirt. The square in this dress will look bulky though the middle and heavier on bottom than necessary. A square's best silhouette is a straight, classic sheath, preferably with a tighter band of fabric in the upper rib cage (to give the illusion of a waist) and no excess fabric around the hips. The only straight dress that leaves room for a little extra tush is Dolce. At the same time, they cut their upper torso extraordinarily narrow. I cannot recall a time when I didn't need a seamstress to release it a hair. (Those crazy Americans with their fat rib cages). One day I will get my friend S. to prove me right and try on a few Dolces. She is a pear, but a perfect pear... Think Angelina Jolie with a smidgen of J. Lo's butt. Throw on a pair of Jimmy Choos and she will be good to go, without a single stitch being touched. This is the fashion equivalent of a weeping Madonna statue...

As life would have it, if you are a pear you probably wish you were a square and vice verse, (just as I coveted my sister's silky straight hair and she my waves. Why do we always want what we don't have)? The most important thing to remember, is to dress to emphasize your best assets, even if it means missing out on a trend or three. If you are wearing the right silhouettes you are on you way to be well dressed.

So what are you? A pear or a square???


Friday, March 14, 2008

Pale and Pasty

I've got 13 minutes to the Friday installment of In Treatment, when my (boyfriend), Gabriele Byrne visits with his shrink. I will make it snappy.
Super cranky, need to carve out a few days away in the sun...nothing specific until May, which may as well be November.
I am newly in love with Olay of Olay's Touch of Sun Overnight Bronzer (medium/dark), which I of course use in the morning. No way am I risking staining my sheets or (again) freezing buck naked while the stuff dries for 15 minutes. No, this gets applied after my morning shower in a well heated bathroom. Not streaky, doesn't make my existing freckles look like Lincoln pennies, good golden color. It has (for now) replaced my long time favorite, Loreal Sublime, though I am missing the pretty sheen that the Sublime left on my skin.
The challenge is my face!!! I want bronze, I want dark and I want it now!!!
I need your tried and trues asap... Money is no object, class, mass, whatever works, bring it on!!!

Dd (aka Pale and Pasty)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

In Treatment - The Results

First I just want to send xox's to all my pals and family for wishing me well with the blog...I am having fun with this. Last night was a gathering of our monthly book club (a brainy, beautiful bunch) and as always, we moved on to beauty scoop and great remembrances of things past...all fodder for the future...thanks much!

This morning I was trying out the Neutrogena hair mask. First thing I noticed is that the consistency pretty much stays the same after microwaving, didn't exactly glide through my hair, which I prefer. Warmed the towel, checked my emails, devoured the NYT's coverage of the Spitzer mess and hopped in the shower. Next observation, was that my hair was a bit resistant to suds. Decided to skip a second round of shampoo, since it felt like the consistency it normally would after conditioning.

My hair is now at least 6 weeks out from color, and I forgot I would also need a healthy dollop of the messy (but effective), John Frieda Color Glaze for Brunettes. Towel dried gently. Decided to skip any product but some root lift to see how effective the NHM was on it's own...

In the meantime, while my hair is airing dry a bit, I start to moisturize and begin my makeup. I notice a dark, eraser head, shaped freckle has sprouted on my left nostril. Defeated that things like this can happen, literally, overnight, I slap on some hydroquinine bleaching creme and a large dollop of concealer... I start drying the product less back of my head and quickly recognize good things are not afoot. Re wet the whole head, and apply the Neutrogena Anti Frizz creme.

Now the phrase "eraser head shaped freckle" pops back in my head, as I am remembering it from a top signs of Melanoma list. As a BC survivor, I am a little hypersensitive and I am super cranky at the prospect of having developed cancer in an 8 hour span. The hair is looking OK, not great. Back to the EHSF... I have a thought...burrow under the sink for some hydrogen peroxide, grab a Q-Tip and scrub! Voila!!! It is disappearing, just as I hoped. Said EHSF was nothing more than a walnut colored stain from the John Frieda Color Glaze. Phew!!!

I finish up my hair and I am disappointed. On the mass side, aforementioned Garnier Nutrisse Hair Mask is far superior.Oh well, the Neutrogena was only $6.99... unless of course I can find my CVS receipt...


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In Treatment

It's time for my once a week deep conditioning, and I will be trying out my new Neutrogena Triple Recovery Mask and reporting back...
Now I don't know about you, but the directions on how to deep condition, as described on countless jars and tubes,is somewhat inhumane... Washing your hair, towelling it dry, standing butt naked, bored and freezing for 10 minutes, while the conditioner penetrates, is simply too much to ask...
This is how I cheat the system: Throw on an old tee shirt. Microwave the conditioner for 18 seconds, distribute generously and clip (depending on how it is packaged, you may want to put a separate generous glob in a microwave safe dish). Take a medium size towel and nuke for 30 seconds or so. Wrap your head in the towel and go about your business for 10-20 minutes. Wash your hair and skip the conditioner. I don't have a clue if my tactic is any better or worse than the suggested directions, but I promise it's a lot warmer and it is definitely effective.
My other all time favorite place to deep condition in in a steam room, so if you will be visiting a spa, don't forget to bring some a pinch, use whatever conditioner they have in the shower. I promise you will not go bald...

My idol, Kristen Kelly, the Beauty Addict, likes to deep condition before she runs or exercises. That sounds clever, but knowing what I look like in dip and clip mode, I don't see it happening... What's your routine???


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Perfect Storm; Diva meets the Glamazon

Today was pretty perfect! Love when my business takes me to NYC...there is something fabulously energizing about going into NY, that never fails to thrill me (as long as it isn't hailing or 900 degrees).

First I took one of my lovely, loyal clients to her favorite designer's showroom, to order her spring and fall wardrobe. The designer, a truly elegant lady, was on hand to help. In addition, we dished deeply about Hilary (whom she knows)thighs and ankles (OY)! and our soon to be ex Governor, Eliot Spitzer. The Spitzer thing is a festering boil that needs to be lanced, quickly... I have the feeling we will be bombarded with all things #9. I am both breathless in anticipation and repulsed...(Elegant Silda and the people of NY deserve better).
Have a quick bite with my sister Loren, a lovely lunatic, who makes me laugh like crazy. She gleefully reports spotting a well tended Bee Hive across the room, that me, without glasses , insists is nothing more than a tall brown hat. (I know Amy Winehouse is having a moment with this thing...but isn't their something glorious about a woman who has the confidence to stick with the same do for 45 years)? Loren sees my eyes alight and assumes someone is walking by with a large tray of creme brulee and towering chocolates... She turns to see that yes, I am now confirming the hive siting, in all its well crafted, Aquanet glory. She leaves her seat to join me on the banquet so we can enjoy it together. We delight in our insanity...
The highlight of the day is the end, when I have the opportunity to meet Laura Bennett, my most favorite, ever, Project Runway finalist at her Studio. Talk about Glama Girls! It is 4pm and Laura is perfectly coiffed in an off the shoulder black stretch wool crepe cocktail dress and 90mm black suede MB's. This is my idea of a Goddess! Laura has a guest column on parenting and fashion on Ivillage and will soon be appearing regularly on the Today show (starting March 18th at 9am) to bring these segments to the air. Not only are her designs to die for (think Audrey in BAT), but she has 6 kids afoot and this is her everyday attire... I am in awed! Best of all she is delightful, funny and approachable. I think wonderful things are ahead for Miss Laura, and looking forward to some great future collaborations...
Hope you had a fab day too!!! What were your highlights???


Monday, March 10, 2008

The Root of the Problem....

As I scraped the last of my Garnier Nutrisse deep conditioning hair mask out of the jar, I contemplated my next purchase...high brow, Keratase or She Umera from Salon O, where I get my hair cut or low brow, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask from my beloved CVS?
Now, a girl has got to love CVS, stocked to the rafters with ooodles of perfectly good product and they accept returns (It all equals out....have you ever left there without spending 50 bucks)? Nuetrogena it was. If only I could find their credit, lots of more upscale product, Matrix, Biolage, Bumble and Bumble, Nexxus, Paul Mitchell abounds....ohh there it was on the third tier side with the Pantene and the Loreal, one shelf above the Suave. Now I am glazing and pick up the first thing that says "Triple Moisture". That plus another 5 items and I am out of there.
Unload my haul at home only to find that this is not the Triple Moisture Recovery Mask, but the Triple Moisture Anti Frizz and Shine Creme. Crap! What to do? The straight up swap or knowing that I have spent as much at CVS in the last 10 years as I have on my mortgage, sample the stuff, knowing I have my receipt??? The latter, natch (despite 3 fully loaded other anti frizz/shine cremes already in residence under my sink)
Well, this long story has a happy ending...this product is FAB!!!! Not only was my hair manageable, but glowing and bouncy....No afghan head for me...
It's a keeper and back I went for the Recovery Mask...which brings us to the whole untidy routine of deep conditioning, but that will be another day...


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just Getting Started....

O.K., I have no idea what I am doing yet, not even sure how I will find my own blog again, but gotta give this a whirl...I have been consistently obsessed with all things beauty and fashion related for the last 30 years or so. Happily I have dear friends who can attest to it and fabulous new friends and clients over the years who have all been on the receiving end of my blast emails about my latest discovery that must be purchased pronto. If you will read, I will write...

My first wrinkle creme was Dorothy Grey Night Creme. It came in a lavender jar and I purchased it at age 12. I think even then, it was marketed towards mature skin, but in the spirit of sooner than later, I slathered.

I googled Dorothy Grey and would you believe there are still some 5000 products out there??? I imagine they all have an inch or two of dust on them...scary.

I soon graduated onto pilfering my sister's Clinique 3 Step System nightly (which she will learn about first right here)....ooohhh that fabulous cucumber colored sliding soap dish....As I contemplated taking this on, I mentally went way back and remembered many of my early obsessions...

Yardley Lipsticks, in those adorable orange and pink striped tubes with black scrolls ( I actually found one on ebay)!, Love's Baby Soft and Fresh Lemon Perfumes, Misty Mocha and Misty Lilac Revlon nail polish, Karen Graham of Estee Lauder ad fame, Psssst dry shampoo, Sun In Highlighting spray, Calgon take me away....

So, if any of this rings a bell, I am the girl who thankfully gave up suntanning with Reynolds wrapped double album covers long before I hit my 20's and has learned a thing or two along the way.  I will share all that I try and scour reading, with you, my readers.

My business is fashion, so if you think I will resist writing about Stars on the Red Carpet, I couldn't possibly, not. I am nearly in hives waiting in anticipation of Stars who blow it, despite having the best designer offerings and stylists at their disposal...think Tilda Swinton accepting this year's Academy Award in a Hefty trash bag....

Tilda Swinton

So, I hope you will check in and if you like my blog, share it, put me in your favorites (I would, if I knew how)...

Dish with the Diva anytime....what were some of your earliest, fondest beauty memories and products???



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