The Clock Stops Here...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reader Reacts

Over the years, I have edited down my magazine subscriptions. At my peak, I was getting 6 per month. Rather than being elated at their arrival, I started feeling more thing to do, one more thing to recycle, one more article, I would, "read later", and never did.

What would really make me happy is one, perfect book, that incorporated all the things that interest me...and none of the things that don't. There are whole chunks of magazines that do not resonate with me...I love, W's Beauty, Social and Hollywood coverage, but abhor their passion for bondage and nipples in their Fashion pages. I love hearing from Allure's charming Linda Wells each month, but have no interest in the progress of their editorial assistants, who have trimmed down from 234 lbs. to 186 lbs, and counting. I admire Glenda Bailey of Harper's Bazaar, for her success. An import from the U.K., Glenda is mostly kept under wraps, no glossy head shop to accompany her take on the month's events. Suffice to say, Glenda might look more at home editing the Old Farmers Almanac, (see photo at left). I like their Fashion and Beauty coverage, but am driven batty by their, "Fabulous At Any Age" column, which features "age appropriate" clothes on women, by decade. The mature muses rotate between Barbara Walters and Carolina Herrera, (can't they find anybody else over 70, who still cuts and attractive figure)? I have never figured out if this is meant to be taken literally, since there is stuff from every decade, 20's to 70's, that I will purchase in a nano second, after my next Lotto win. I love how Pamela Fiori, has reinvigorated Town and Country. Their Beauty reporting is always a must read. Their Fashion spreads are just how I like 'em...Straight up, beautiful clothes on beautiful models. Whether or not any of it is affordable, is besides the point. If you could, you would. Their Society photos and articles on modern Etiquette and Travel are timely and elegant. If they, "Just Said No", to the dozens of hideous jewelry advertisers, who take up a lot of space and feel substandard, I'd have zero complaints.

All of this brings me to the big Kahuna, Vogue. Now let's be clear here. I haven't missed a September Vogue since I was 15. First of all, it symbolically marks the end of summer, my favorite season. Eyes blurry with tears, I purchase it and hoist this 6 lb. tome with me, everywhere, on vacation, for the next 10 days. It's advertising growth each year, is the yard stick by which all other fashion publications are measured. It is magnificent. Fashion, Beauty, Culture, plus Fashion and Beauty...what more could I want??? Well, maybe a little love.

I have never been intimidated, by people in position of power. I am not sure why that is, but I feel confident that I could hold my own, at least for a few minutes, with anyone... Anyone except Anna Wintour. Her power, intelligence, impeccable taste could never be questioned. She is, all that and more, but the one thing she is not, is approachable. And I sense that, in her Editor's letter to her readers each month. It's kind of like a party...would you really want to be there if your hostesses invitation was half hearted? Am I missing out on my dream magazine because I am looking for a little warm and fuzzy with my Balenciaga?

You tell me Vogue subscription is just a click away.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eggs Over Easy

Linen 'n Things, has never been one of my, "go to" has a slightly, downtrodden, feel to it. If it was a sweater, it would be lint color, with suede elbow patches (I was sorry to hear about their Chapter 11 filing, but not surprised).

With 16 minutes of spare time and consumer confidence at a 16 year low, I thought I might find, very high thread count sheets at 1992 such luck. I moved on to household cleaning products and proceeded to the check out area, which is merchandised to set your impulse neurons, afire. And there, I spotted it, the Jewel in the Crown. "The Ped Egg", as, "Advertised on T.V.". There has been a ripple of buzz surrounding this puppy, have you heard about it? A razor sharp, cheese grater is nestled in a palm sized egg, which, when rubbed on the bottom of your feet, "eliminates calluses and dry skin". The beauty of the design, is that all the nasty, pulverized, dermis, gets neatly collected, in the bottom of the egg. You don't think I could possibly take a pass on this, do you?

Though I manage to drive all the way home without using it, it occurs to me, that I don't even know, if I have calluses or dry feet. I detest dirt, so I am rarely barefoot, I am a uber regular on the summer pedicure circuit and I regularly, slather my feet in moisturizer. I honestly didn't know what I would find down there. How would they stack up, to say a waitress or a traffic cop??? I haven't a clue, but I am game. I ramp up my egg for duty and get to work...Though the instructions call for firm, but gentle pressure, I am approaching this more tentatively. This is after all, me, I am mutilating. Now I better understand the facial expression on the cartoon muse on the package. Wrapped in a terry turban and towel, she looks like a raven haired Ann Boleyn, morning of.

There is some excitement to be had...I am as eager to see what is inside that egg, as I would be unwrapping a perfectly bowed gift from Hermes or Tiffany. Hmmmmm...that's it??? Oh, well. I follow through to the next step, attaching an emery board to the bottom of the egg for, "further smoothing and maintenance". This I do with a little more zeal, as the emery portion will probably not sever an artery. Next I finished with my own home spun routine; soap, water, a washcloth, some Bliss foot balm and a pair of fluffy cotton socks.

After all of that, I think my old fashioned unfancy footwork, was just as effective...Sometimes there's no place like home, Auntie Em. You go looking for your foot's desire and end up just as happy in a pair of tube socks...go figure.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Loving Laura

I have been holding out on you... On one of my many pilgrimages to Sephora, I noticed a tidy display of pretty, neutral, products by "Laura Geller". I remembered reading that her "Crease-less" under eye concealer, was grabbing accolades for its glide on texture and light weight coverage. I also heard about "Spackle", a gel primer that is supposed to keep your make up flawless, even under the most trying weather conditions, (how trying? Weekend in the Rain Forest trying)? I felt the vortex of curiosity sucking me in like a Dyson...I liked her catchy product names and wondered what else could be on the horizon, Brown Bag? Pasty? Help!?...we'll see. The other thing I appreciated, was that the collection was tightly edited. Though I can hone in on my best one or two lip shades, like a turkey vulture, I am happiest selecting from 8 offerings, not 80...Too many choices and I simply shut down, control, alt, delete, parking lot.

So what have I tried??? The "Spackle", of course. It came perfectly packaged, with a bonus flip top, that contains a lip and eye primer. All three are terrific and held my face on through our recent heatwave. "Tint Hint", a liquid lip and cheek stain that dries to a natural, rosy, flush, minus the toxic taste and smell of some other stains I have tried, (Stila, Benefit). "Phenomenal Foundation", a lightweight silicone infused foundation, that I blend with bronzing gel, for a little more color and depth. "Creaseless", which is two notches up from my recent Maybelline "Rewind" find, and requires a needle's eye amount of product...I may go into a nursing home, with this one in my cosmetic bag. I am also loving the Pink Grapefruit blush from her "baked" collection, which combines several tones on one palette and finally her cream lipstick in Wild Rose, lovely, even coverage, in a lovely shade.

I had lamented awhile back, that there seemed to be a dearth of cosmetics in the "Tory Burch" price point,...meaning a really good product, of fair value. Is it really necessary to spend over $60.00 to get a quality foundation? I don't think so. For now and for the foreseeable future, I am sticking with my girl crush... Laura Geller may not look like your typical Beauty owner, but she is an incredible talent, which is absolutely beautiful.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tant Pis (What a Shame)

I am nearing the end of my 30 day free trial of Cindy Crawford's, "Meaningful Beauty" skin care. I was cheating by the third day...2 of the products, the neck and decollete creme and the beauty serum were activating my gag reflex, literally. The "story" behind the science is a French melon extract, , that took 10 year to stabilize for distribution. That should have been my first clue, as the products have a rancid smell. That being said, if they stabilized botox for topical use, I would be using it, even if it smelled like manure.

The cleanser was effective, but average. The day creme, left a zinc like film on my face. The only product that had a nice texture and inoffensive smell, was the night creme, so I gave it a test drive on my knees and elbows, (perhaps a slight improvement)?

All in all, disappointing, to say the much for french fruit. I'm a softie for a little old fashioned, chemical zing, anyway. Still, I better hurry and send my "no where near" the bottom of the jars, back...I'm not sure if I will get an actual refund, or if this just releases me from a Faustian pact with Guthy Renker, to ding my credit card each month.

For the moment, no more kits... I like my hodge podge approach. I would prefer not to live without Olays Daily Cleansing Cloths, which remove, nearly every spec, of make up, Dr. Denese's Glycolic Pads, Nutrimin C's daily moisturizer and Dove Pro-Age Beauty Serum for Neck and Chest (which I use on my face). By the way, I hate the "Pro-Age" assumption. I am not "Pro-Age", I am, "Have No Choice" and "It Beats the Alternative" about aging, thank you. I think that Dove may be phasing this product line out, but using the formulas in newly repackaged items, like their "new" creme oil body lotion, which feels like the "old" Pro-Age one to me. Good move. I am also using something new... Olay's Regenerist Micro Sculpting Creme. It has won several beauty editor awards and I actually needed a night creme. I am only at the three day mark, but so far, I'm loving it and if I change my mind and decide to return it, at least it won't require a trip to the Post Office.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Michelle O.

Much is being made of the purple sheath dress, that Michelle Obama wore the night her husband Barack Obama, claimed victory as the 2008 Democratic candidate. The much frenzied frock was designed by Maria Pinto, a former assistant to the formidable Geoffery Beene. (Amazing that no one tried to keep the Beene name alive after the Beene died). First and foremost, why is no one discussing the bigger picture here...How 'bout those arms??? Buff, baby, buff...Frankly I am little awed and a tad envious. I love what she has going on here...The bold choice of strong, flattering color, the v-neckline, cut in shoulder and wide belt highlighting all of her figure assets, the modern nod of going commando without hose, as "reported". (anything else only Senator B. knows for sure). Yes, there are the obvious comparisons to Jackie O., the brunette flip and the Jawbreaker size, faux pearls, but I think she owned it, looking chic and confident.

I was invited to hear Michelle speak at the Harvard Club in N.Y. last year, by friends who were early inside supporters. I arrived with an open mind and left smitten by her commanding message and good looks. I enjoyed hearing about her childhood, family and schooling. How she met Barack Obama. The choices they have made together about their careers and their dedication to their children, community and country.

I'm looking forward to the months ahead. Both Senators Obama and Clinton fought a knockdown, to win the nomination and forever changed the landscape of what is possible, in American politics. I think being a candidates spouse, is quite a bout in the ring, with each other's opponents, willing them to weave and stumble. For Mrs. McCain, I have only one word of advice, "Buff up, Babe", because Michelle, is looking like a KO.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Straight Up

One of the things I like most about belonging to a club, is that no matter what the Holiday, there will be a dinner, that someone with far greater skill than me, has prepared. You dine amongst friends, in a familiar atmosphere where you are known. It might not be home, but it is much more personal than a restaurant. If we are entertaining, my husband is the chef. My job is to set a lovely table and fluff the flowers. We both handle our roles well.

Since it would not be appropriate for Father's Day to be a working Holiday, we dined al fresco, at our club, with my in-laws as our guests. All Father's should have a least a one day reprieve, from tending to a smoking grill...somehow I have managed a lifelong pass, (I know my limitations and like my eyebrows).

Anyway, though I planned to wash my hair later that night, my bangs were feeling a tad grimy, so I decided to section them out, and freshen them up in the sink. I have purchased some Garnier products in the past and think for mass market hair care, they are somewhere at the top of the pack. On my last CVS trek, I picked up Garnier's, "Sleek n Shine" shampoo, which is meant to tame frizz. (It's companion conditioner was already living in my shower, scolding me about using it without the prerequisite shampoo).

It was a lovely evening, with the sun finally coming out and the humidity slowly dropping. My trip to the ladies room brought an unexpected surprise...despite the swollen do, that was the rest of my head, my bangs were hanging vertically. Wowza!!! Bangs are normally the first thing to implode outdoors...this was groundbreaking. I couldn't wait to wash my whole head and check out the results. My hair dried to a silky finish and remained nearly frizz free through out yesterdays humidity.

So, in addition to my post shampoo, mid crown to tips straightening balm, I will now be adding frizz free shampoos and conditioners to my summer hair repetoire. Anyone who doesn't need to follow suit is on my short list...and that includes you, Sis.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm A Little Rusty

Just a head's up for you self tanner's...gradually tinting moisturizers, must be alternated with the plain stuff, which I quite remarkably was out of, (including the better hotel mini's that I hide from the housekeeping staff in the drawer I have designated for panties). I am usually loyal to Loreal's "Sublime", because I actually don't mind the smell and do like the hint of shimmer it leaves behind. Somewhere in my travels, I picked up Vaseline for Intensive Care's new gradual self tanner, lured by the sale price. After one week of using it, I have encountered a glitch...In daylight, I look like the Tin Man's sister... my toe joints, palms and elbow crooks are stained with deep, pollen colored streaks. It aint pretty. Thus, a trip to CVS was on my to do list, pronto.

I recently took inventory of lipstick cache...28, not including the 4 in my makeup bag. All but one, Nar's Spanish Red, (purchased in my wannabe Anne Hathaway's Godmother phase) are a variation of plummy nude. My goal is to achieve a lip that is natural, but not too washed out, but still light enough so that my eyes remain the focal point... Every four year old knows, you can't do a strong eye and a strong lip.

So with this newly minted statistic on the back burner of my brain, could I pass the cosmetic aisle entirely??? Not on your life. I have dabbled in various products in the Revlon, "Colorstay" repertoire, and have liked them well enough. What lured me to the Colorstay Mineral Lipglaze display, was an army of pretty, neutral glazes, lined up like rosy toy soldiers. Promising 6 hours, of long lasting wear and passing my inspection for only one applicator (beware the permanent products that require 2 minutes of drying time and a separate clear gloss overcoat, end result, lips that feel like cork), I'm in. My Id is telling me to purchase the (reliable) "Raisin", while my Superego is pushing for the paler, "Eternal Blossom", the latter winning's summer after all, gotta live a little.

With the car idling, I am deftly using my teeth to open the dotted seal on my Lipglaze. Do I like it??? No. I love it!!! It has a pleasant, fruity smell, and a comfortable, narrow sponge applicator. It is not sticky, glassy or tacky. It adds moisture and a glimmer of shine, reviving the 5 layers underneath. As for staying power, it also lived up to it's billing. I have spent far more on Bobbi Brown, Chanel and Mac Lip "Glass", feeling no love for any of them.

For $8.99, I am heady with triumph. Run right out and give Revlon's Colorstay Mineral Lipglaze a whirl. It's a winner. How about some quid pro quo??? Anybody have any tips for me on rust removal? Hydrogen Peroxide, alcohol and nail polish remover, didn't make a dent. I am listening...


Friday, June 13, 2008

Swan Song?

O.K., I am the first to admit thumbing my nose at network television, in favor of the off beat fare offered on cable, however, I have my exceptions...Two shows captured my attention like a roadside pile up, "Extreme Makeover", (Beauty, not Home. Is it just me, or does Ty Pennington look like he needs a few weeks at Betty Ford)? and "The Swan". Both had similar premises, taking hopelessly, unattractive, unfashionable, overweight women and re tooling them so they could pass for a reasonably attractive Hostess at a Las Vegas eatery. It was smashing!!!

I never had much patience for the stuff in the middle, but the first and last 10 minutes were riveting. Typically, a contestant would in one surgical session, receive the equivalent of all the reconstruction Cher has endured in a 25 year span.

"Missy's" makeover will include: A brow lift, upper and lower eye lift, rhinoplasty, chin and cheek implants, 14 porcelain veneers, Botox, Restylane, a chemical peel, Lasik eye surgery, hair extensions, a breast lift and silicone implants, a tummy tuck and upper and lower body liposuction. Really??? On "Missy", or a cadaver??? Painfully, swollen and still bandaged like the English Patient, "Missy" would then be put on a rigorous diet and exercise regime. The end game, was to appear in a plunging full length Nolan Miller gown, to the gasping applause of family and friends.

So, wha happind??? Both of these shows, virtually, vanished, despite banner ratings...Did some vocal society form an Ethical Treatment of the Sad and Hopeless, and start a movement? Did the medical profession take umbrage at their peers, for trampling the Hippocratic Oath, "First Do No Harm"? Or, were the networks simply overrun by thousands of hopefuls wishing to be made into completely, different human beings? John becomes Jane??? Sounds like a Holiday special to me.

What do you say girls, should we start a grass roots effort, to lobby the networks for another go? I know a fine spot to do some recruiting...a little slice of Americana called Disney World. They could fill that dance card in fifteen minutes flat. Oh stop tsk tsking...the image of bad perms, bad skin, and 60 oz. soda's is permanently etched in my consciousness and yours too.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Brun Moyen

Que habla Espanol? My "Marc Anthony", True Professional Root Touch-Up kit, does. Just Tournez (twist), Agitez shake), and Appliquez (apply)...If only it was that simple. The instructions drove me loca.

Root Touch-Up, is positioning itself as the first, permanent root touch up kit, in a single application unit. NOT TRUE. My sister Loren, turned me on to Revlon's Root Perfect, a few months back. It was perfect too, and now it has vanished. At $3.99 a box, it was also a bahgin. When I started having a hard time finding it, I began hoarding it, ("Madam, there is a 10 per customer limit", alright, the clerk didn't say it, but she thought it). Marc Anthony's version weighs in at a hefty $10.99, nearly 3 times the price. For this much of a gouge, it better banish all signs of grey until after Labor Day.

The RT-U assembly instructions require holding the (short) bottle on a counter, with one hand, while removing the cap clockwise, continuing to hold with one hand, adding the developer, counter clock wise. Finish by twisting on the upper applicator, at a 90 degree angle...and this was the English version. If I wasn't trying to cover my roots, I would have been pulling them out...

In all fairness, I am aware that the hemisphere of my brain, that processes maps, blueprints and instructions, is not all that snappy. I found out the depth of my limitations in the third grade. Periodically, we were administered I.Q. tests...I would be cruising along, until I hit the wall at the word problem section; "Tommy has two dimes and a nickel, Liz has and quarter and four pennies. What time will the Super Chief be arriving at the Cleveland station"? Huh???? No matter how many times I re read those suckers, they never made sense. My solution, with my number 2 pencil, was to craft hidden pictures on the answer sheet, X's, Christmas tree's, etc... My matriculation to Elementary School came as a welcome surprise...No doubt, some blind spot in the system.

So, how did my hair come out? Was I happy with the results??? Not particularly. Though I only left the product on for 10 minutes, my hair came out dense and a shade darker than "Brun Moyen". It also covered more of my highlights, than I would like to sacrifice. Marc Anthony, adios.

What's left for touch up alternatives? For now, I am back to Clairol's Root Kit, Medium Brown...but I promise you, if the price creeps up to $10.99, I am shopping in the men's aisle for "Just for Men, Beards and Moustaches". The instructions are idiot proof. After all... they were written "Just for Men".


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Meet the Mets

My son is a very cool customer. His calm demeanor, concrete logic and lack of vanity have nothing to do with my gene pool, (though his love of sleeping late, certainly does). He is an athlete, and life revolves around a ball. He observes my hairmakeupclothes obsession with a bemused detachment, but for the life of him, can't fathom why I need to reapply lipstick, to sit on a set of bleachers.

Nothing I have ever accomplished, has ever made a dent on his view of me as anything but a sandwich making chauffeur...until the other day. Tonight, Richards is hosting a fundraiser with the N.Y. Mets, to raise money for the various foundations, their star athlete's support. And I will be there!!! "Really"??? "Yup", I replied coolly. A small smile, a begrudging look of respect...finally, I have arrived, his measure of me, rising a notch.

The whole issue of his being a Met fan has always amused me. His father is a die hard Yankee fan. Most kids simply follow along with their Dad's sport team allegiance. (Yankee fans, tend to be from Westchester, NYC, Brooklyn and the Bronx, Met fans, from Long Island and Queens). His insistence at age 6, to declare undying loyalty to his father's nemesis, was to me adorably independent and to his father, maddening. My bemusement, will no doubt, come back to haunt me, when the kid decides to wed a female Canadian Mountie.

So, I will be attending with a half a dozen Rawling balls to be signed on the "sweet spot". "Do you know where the sweet spot is Mom? "Of course I know where the sweet spot is" I replied indignantly. (Alright, someone will point it out). He is mildly annoyed that I don't know one Carlos from the other and wouldn't have a clue if I was chatting with Johan Santana or David Wright. Jeez, ya think these guys would be in uniform..."Well, polish me up on some stats, so I can talk intelligently with them". My son is visibly paling and wincing at the thought. "Mom, don't even bother talking, just get the balls signed please". Thanks, for the vote of confidence. Anyway, once I pull the crib notes out of my cleavage, the Mets and me will be speaking the universal language...

Here's to a great event and successful fundraiser.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Barbi Visits the Barber

Last night was fabulous! One of my favorite clients hosted the Family Centers of Greenwich benefit at their waterside home. The theme was "Fiesta Cuba" and we were truly transported to Havana circa 1940. Frank and Ava would have felt right at home. Best of all, over $800,000 was raised by this hard working committee, for a truly special place. We were honored to be at our host's table and enjoyed every minute.

Getting dressed for events is never a problem, I love it and look forward to it. The challenge is, since I haven't left the house without my hair and make up done since I was in a white lace Maidenform training bra, I don't feel particularly special. Basically, I look the same sniffing a honeydew at Stop 'n Shop as I do at a Black Tie event.

There are only three ways I can notch it up; cleavage, false eyelashes and a good blow out (see Dd photo at right). Check, check for the first two, but the truth is, I am never happy with my hair after someone else blows it dry. I am not disputing that it looks shinier and more finished, if you will, but I end up looking either like Florence Henderson or Jenny McCarthy, too poofed or too straight. Hairdressers love my hair, because it is thick and wavy, they fall into a rapture, but barely notice that their is a face attached to that hank of hair. They are delighted with their handiwork and I pretend to be too, tipping nicely (I think I do, do we ever really know???? Oy!!! The pressure...In my opinion, gratuities should be built in or eliminated). In the meanwhile, I can't wait to get home to tackle it on my own. (I have also gone the updo route twice, with no success either... Bobbie Pins, flying like bullets, out my car window, as I screeched on two wheels out of the parking lot).

Which brings me to tonight's event. We are having a heat wave, so why bother with a blow out? I did my hair this morning and realized that I crossed that threshold when it is too long and has that dated, "Farah" look. I had a zillion errands to do and getting into see my regular hairdresser on a Saturday, short notice was not even worth a phone call. Here's where it gets crazy and I do think the heat had something to do with it...I decided to pop in on Rinaldo...Who is Rinaldo? Rinaldo is my son's barber. In 10 years, the kid has never had a bad haircut. How much could he botch it? "Follow the line and take and inch and half off, please". "While your at it, do you think you can smooth the ends and give me a little height at the crown"? "Sure I can"...and he did.

So how does it look??? Well, I don't exactly know yet. A little short, I am pretty sure. At least I didn't bolt straight to the bathroom. I will let you know...gotta get ready and put those lashes on, fluff the boobs and get dressed. Who knows? Maybe I will look special.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

All About Yves

Well, I was shocked and saddened to read about Yves St. Laurent's passing this week at age 71...particularly since I thought he already did that. I think I must have confused it with his retirement in 2002. I am la moron.

The extraordinary Yves, took over the House of Dior in 1957, (after Dior's death), at the tender age of 21. For the next 40 plus years, he had a remarkable career, with his partner Pierre Berge. His ideas were true firsts, lovingly remembered by many designers in their collections; Yves made the pea coat and blazer a wardrobe standard, introduced pantsuits and his famous "Le Smoking", women dressed for evening in Tuxedo's. He made safari looks seem tame enough for lunch with the girls and was a master colorist, mixing saffron, purple and teal in exotic satin gowns and beaded confections. Yves globe trotted, and created fantasy clothes inspired by the Russian Ballet and African tribal wear. He translated his love of stark cubism, into chic sheaths worn by his muses, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. Yves was the first designer to use a black runway model, the marvelous Pat Cleveland graced the catwalk for many collections, breaking trendsetting new ground. Yves and Pierre Berge changed the direction of french couture forever, by opening their Rive Gauche boutique in Paris in the seventies. This was gorgeous, luxe fashion, made slightly more affordable, because it was "ready-to-wear", versus fit to an individual client. Though fragile, physically and emotionally, Yves St. Laurent was a genius, and his contribution to fashion and business is a memorable legacy.

My first recollections of YSL were though my Auntie Dee. Dee Dee is my Mom's glamorous sister, who wore Pucci, YSL, false eyelashes and Estee Lauder's Youth Dew. She was and still is hilarious, silly, and drop dead chic. She is our version of Auntie Mame and we adore her.

When we were kids, she spoiled us rotten, (in fact, thankfully, she still does). She and my uncle often used to take long cruises. Back in the day, people dressed on ships, and I loved to watch her pack the formal ensembles that she would be wearing to dinner. (Oppose this tragically, to today's shipmate dining companions. All gussied up, might include Gold Toe, over the calf, black ribbed socks, worn with open toed Birkenstock's, walking shorts and a short sleeved "dress shirt". The world is going to hell in a hand basket, whatever the hell this means).

Dee Dee is petite. I wasn't, which for once, was an advantage in my youth. Tall and skinny, somehow her clothes fit me. I remember borrowing a silk patchwork YSL peasant skirt, with a wide belt and off the shoulder blouse, to a black tie Bar Mitzvah at the Pierre. The fact that I was dressed more elegantly than half the women in the room was not lost on me...or them. I was 13 and felt like a million bucks.

Thus began my love affair with Yves. I remember studying his work in Vogue and the Fashion of the Time's magazine, unable to take my eyes off of his beautiful, colorful creations. They mesmerized me...(Too bad I didn't study my algebra as intently).

Recently, I blogged about visiting the Met's Costume Exhibit, Blog.Mode:Addressing Fashion, (April 2nd, "Ambien, Don't Leave Home Without It"). I wrote that of all the fashions exhibited, my hands down favorite, was the daffodil yellow, full length silk evening coat, with a train, designed by Yves and owned by the divine Nan Kempner...It bears asking again, (gosh, I am quoting me)!!! "Who else besides Yves and Nan, could make an exit more breathtaking than an entrance"?

And now I will answer...Absolutely, no one. Yves and Dee Dee, je t'adore.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tried and True

Sometimes you just have to slow down and reflect on the important things in life...good health, first and foremost, a good laugh and a great bronzer...

I am so busy pursuing new products, that things that have served me perfectly well, get shoved down the rabbit hole. I recently revisited four favorites and I am going to do my best to fight my fickle gene and stick with them, (for awhile, anyway). They are as follows:

1) Cover Girl's Lash Exact, (in the purple tube). This product came out nearly two years ago and was heralded because its new, tidy little wand, deposits product neatly and evenly on the lashes. Do not confuse this with their second entrant, Lash Blast, (in the orange tube), with a beefy wand like a turkey drumstick. Lash Exact was and still is a terrific mascara. I am glad we reunited.

2) Clinique's Quickliner for Lips. This liner, stays put, applies smoothly, self sharpens to a nice point and is available in a wide range of natural tones. Unfortunately, I believe, my beloved "pink truffle", was part of a limited promotion and will be out of production. (Anyone want to start petitioning Congress to outlaw this ugly practice)? A gorgeous, nudey-brown-pink that is harder to find than white jeans in the summer. (I am all ears for suggestions)...

3) Bobbi Brown Eye Liner Gel, in Ink. It defines beautifully, doesn't smear, removes handily and you will need new undies before you need to buy more.. This may not be for you if you don't have the steady hands of a neurosurgeon and don't think for a moment, that any 'ol brush in your repertoire will do. Anything short of the proper implement, (Bobbi's $20 fine eyeliner brush), will yield Uncle Fester like results...otherwise, it's perfect.

4) An oldie but a goodie, frequently sited as an editor and user favorite, Guerlain's Terracotta Moisturizing Bronzing Powder. I am an 02 girl, but there are 4 other options, so finding your best match is definitely possible. Nothing comes close to the even, silkiness and rich color this bronzer imparts. I have a zillion limitations (cooking, map reading, remembering Birthday's), but, "Fake Bake", I know and this stuff is da bomb.

Tell me your fave's, but not right away...I might be too tempted to run out and buy them...


Monday, June 2, 2008

Brown Eyed Girls

When I was growing up, models, not celebrities, graced the covers of monthly fashion magazines. The lovelies staring back off those pages, set the standard for American beauty; Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Lauren Hutton, Kim Alexis, Lisa Taylor, Shelley Hack, all looked like blond haired, blue eyed, California Girls. I hated them. Month after month, I secretly yearned for a new "it" girl to emerge, but in my image, brunette and brown eyed. Anyone to make me feel less ordinary...a role model, whose eyeliner I could copy...

Fortunately, my sister Loren did not inherit, any of the random sets of blue eyes that exists on both sides of the family. (Sororicide, would certainly have blemished my adolescence). We spent so much time perfecting our eye makeup routines, that our mother nick named and referred to us as the "Westmore's", Bud and Perc. After a time, she finally revealed that the Westmore's, were two well known Hollywood make up artists, renown for their skills. We accepted our new names, with a certain pride.

In those days, I was blessed to have a friend with no curfew and an unlimited house charge at Gilliar's Drug Store, (yes Mother, now you know why I slept out every weekend for 6 years). Gilliar's was a wonderful, old style apothecary, dark burnished woods, wreaking of linseed oil and highly polished brass and glass. In my book, Gilliar's was a slice of heaven. There we wiled away countless hours, trying products from Ultima II, Alexandra de Markoff, Germain Monteil, Borghese, Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden. Despite the fact that we were grubby fingered teens, we were treated more like the Mom's, cause we were grubby fingered teens, but we purchased plenty. If Gilliar's was Miss Porter's, I was it's valedictorian.

Along came the 80's and advent of the "Super Models", Christie, Linda, Naomi, (black and still blue eyed) and alas Cindy...Finally, a Brown Eyed Girl!!! So now I know why I ordered her "Meaningful Beauty" skin care kit...sheer loyalty. My kit arrived on Saturday. The 30 day supply. looks like something I would pack for a long way could this possibly last a month (you say, "dab" and I say, "douse"). Some of the products smell like day old shitaki oatmeal, but so far, my skin is looking fine and if it wasn't, I might not tell you...Us Brown Eyed Girls, need to stick together...



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