The Clock Stops Here...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Better than Candy

It is the last official day of October, Breast Cancer Awareness month...but you knew that!

Yesterday, I attended the Breast Cancer Alliance of Greenwich's annual luncheon, and spectacular fashion show, provided by Richards. Over 900 (!!!), gorgeous women, joined together, in support of the BCA's mission, to support the best and the brightest researchers with over one million dollars in research grants annually. WOW!. The show finale, featured a group of survivors, who had participated in the photographic exhibition, "Faces of Light". It was an honor to see them well and celebrating their health and beauty. I am very proud to have been on the benefit committee, working with an amazing group of volunteers, who work tirelessly, all year long, to create this day of magic.

This month, my fellow Beauty Bloggers at Total Beauty, have joined forces to raise money in support of the Breast Cancer Research Fund. Several cosmetics companies have participated in raffle giveaways, to readers who made donations. It has been quite amazing to see women from all over the country, band together, via the Internet, to make this happen.

We particularly wanted to honor Kristen Nelson, a friend to all, and the dynamic Vice President of Development for Total Beauty Media, Inc. Kristen was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In true Kristen style, she scheduled her surgery between N.Y. and Paris Fashion week, so she wouldn't miss a nano second of what's new for spring. In true Kirsten style, she succeeded!

So, in my usual better late than never fashion, I am hoping that you will support me, by donating any amount of your choosing, by clicking on the Pay Pal donation button at the top of this blog. I will of course also be donating.

For every dollar you donate, I will enter your name in a beauty give away raffle, (simply email me at The goodie giveaway includes:

1) Tommy Hilfiger's Dreaming Perfume (3.4 oz)
2) Michael Kor's Island Fiji Perfume Spray (1.7 oz)
3) 2 Estee Lauder Lipsticks ("Candy" and "Bali Rose)"
4) 3 Estee Lauder Lipglosses in a bright pink zipped leather box (perfect for travel)
5) Classic, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, (yes,of your youth)!, in a special gigunda size
6) Ojon's, Revitalizing Mist for Hair, a 5 oz., alcohol free, pre blow dry lotion

Every 3 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer. What really needs to happen, is that, every month, becomes Breast Cancer Awareness month, until we find a cure for the sucker.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hands Off

Christopher, (my darling colorist), if you are starting this particular blog, STOP!!! You have been gracious about my other antics, but this one might forever sever us.

I have blogged about Christopher before, when I wrote about the newly refurbished Warren Tricomi salon in Greenwich. Christopher is an oasis of calm. Despite the fact that I have come in with sun bleached, root dyed hair, that has turned paprika, under the pin lights), he masks his horror dutifully.

On my first post summer visit, he politely inquired about, "what particular Root Perfect shade are you using, in between visits"? "Medium brown". "Ummmmmm, long pause. Alrighty then". Right then and there I pledged to myself, to get my bootie back sooner, so Christopher would not have to be overly taxed about fixing my handiwork. (I have visions of him in the back room, frantically leafing through thick Color Textbooks, and jotting down reverse formulas, after reviewing the entire Periodic Table of Elements).

In a master stroke of genius, Christopher has resurrected my head to a rich, glossy brunette, with a smattering of caramel highlights. As usual, carpool duty beckons and Chris never gets to do a final inspection.

I am all about the tweak...I am fastidious about fit, and always ask my clients to try on their alterations, just in case we need a little pinch in, out, up or down. Same goes with hair, but the process is a lot more time consuming. I notice that the hair that frames my face underneath was looking a little, "solid", (Christopher's word), and schedule a revisit.

Chris, if you really are reading this, really, please stop. I cannot be responsible, for your resuming your nicotine habit.

I was in Target, yes Target, (God, do I love this place), to pick up generic Claritan (120 tabs for $13.97, unbeatable), and as usual leave with a trunk full of junk.

In my travels, I spy Garnier's "Color Breaks", an at home highlighting kit, to, "break-up your solid, color-treated hair". Ummmmmmmm. Alrighty then.... Into the cart, goes the kit for medium to dark brown hair. My revisit is already scheduled, and I already know that I probably can't bring Christopher anything worse to fix, than I already have, over the last 9 years.

This morning, I was the chemist, easily mixing the powder and activator, and I applying the mixture, as directed to damp hair. The directions call for 20 minutes, but I know I am pushing this whole project and hop in the shower after just 7.

Sooooo, what the verdict??? Did I keep my revisit or cancel??? Christopher, if you are still reading this, you already know...cancelled. I done, done it, and it looks fab...Beginners luck, I am certain. To me this is the equivalent of doing a home appendectomy...better left to the pros.

Christopher darling, see you in six, unless of course, I am fired.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Covering New Turf

I received my Smashbox, (Volume 3), Master Class, "Complexion Perfection" kit from Sephora, promptly after ordering it on line, (some proceeds to Breast Cancer research, thank you).

The kit comes with an instructional dvd, (which I will never watch) and a step by step, easy to follow plan, on how to best use the products.

Hands down, my favorite is the Photo Op Illuminating Primer...If I was the kind of gal, who could scoot out to the grocery store, with no make up and a ponytail, I would cheat with this product and slip it on over moisturizer. Instant glow!!!

The foundation, comes with a, "foundation brush". I have tried this gizmo before. I like it in theory, but I never feel like I see any coverage, so, I always go back to finger painting. Nonetheless, the instructions called for, "warming" the foundation on the top of my hand and then using the brush to apply it in outward strokes. The one time, I will absolutely do what I am told, is the first time trying a new product, (after that, all bets are off), after all, wouldn't the sweat in my palm be a better heat source)???

I saw no difference in application and as usual, saw no foundation on my face. What I did see, was something quite remarkable...less fine lines, no visible age spots and a fading of the hunter green veins, on my hands!! Why hadn't this occurred to me on my own??? I spend nearly as much time obsessing about my aging hands, as I do my face and neck. Why not, give my hands the same benefits???

This morning, I took it one step further...serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation. Yes...on my hands!!! Oh, stop tsk know you can't wait to have at it, tomorrow morning. Would love your feedback. Worth it? Or whacky? I already know which camp I fall in.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Aging Wisely

I had a wonderful early Birthday brunch, with an old roommate. I cherish my long time friends, since in many ways, we, "grew up" together. 5 years in a one bedroom apartment, in N.Y.C. is nearly a lifetime.

L. and I were polar opposites, she was uber Felix, to my, "sorry I left some crumbs in the toaster". L. was fiscally responsible and content in jeans and sneakers, while I mortgaged my soul to buy my first fur coat, barely meeting my end of 6 months rent.

We knew we were in it for the long haul, when our bathtub/shower stall backed up one morning...plunger less, we had to make do. I can't remember which one of us entered each others 6 inches of scummy, grey, still muck, but I think I may still have crust on my ankles.

To our astonishment, we did, find husbands, have children and moved to the burbs. We have both changed in many ways, all of them for the better.

I love that she enjoys my blog, and thought to purchase a gift that would enhance it;, an 1167 page beauty tome, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" (7th edition), by Paula Begoun. It is chock full of no nonsense product reviews, definitions and comparisons. She also debunks many of the myths behind the marketing rhetoric, I want to believe in, as much as the Easter Bunny.

Interestingly, she does not mention the new industry of Beauty Bloggers and websites, like Totalbeauty, that are also wearing her shoes as a, "Cosmetic Cop".

Naturally, I couldn't wait to see what she thought of my faves...Paula is a stickler for alcohol and SPF 15+, that must also block UVA rays. If you have it or don't, you are on her short list. I checked her take on my night cream, day cream, glycolic pads, make up remover cloths, neck serum, face serum and current mascara...frowny faces on all!!! What are the odds???

If I love her lesser list, am I in store for a whole new me, with her picks??? Time will tell. If this book is as reliable as my friend L., the best is yet to come.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I.C.E. call Divadebbi

I have been fielding some interesting phone calls lately...panicked pals, calling me from their cell phones, from CVS. In a blur of sensory overload, they are trying to navigate the Olay emporium, that has sprouted on the shelves.

My first remembrance of a "special" face cream, was the bottle of Oil Olay Beauty Fluid, on my grandmother's dressing table. A clever marketing feat, Oil of Olay was never described as a moisturizer or creme...but a, "beauty fluid". The original formula was pink and lightweight with a gentle scent. "Share the Secret of a Younger Looking You". My grandmother, Constance, was nearly lineless, (even until her death at age 89), and I remember thinking, "gee... this stuff must work".

If only it was that easy today!!!...Olay has not one product, but 5 complete lines, Definity, Regenerist, Total Effects, Complete and Quench, that all fall in their, "anti-aging" stable. I don't have the vaguest clue, how any consumer could figure out which of these brands, would benefit them most. I am not sure why they are competing with themselves, because in addition consumers are also sorting through CVS's private label Olay knockoffs, Loreal's multi brands, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Roc and Garnier's youth potions.

So, girls, I feel your pain, because I too, need to focus, focus, focus to find my tried and trues: Olay Total Effects Age Defying Cleansing Cloths, for normal to dry skin, (packaged in a black box). These babies, remove 98% of your make up, including waterproof liner and mascara and travel beautifully, in a zip lock Baggie. Follow, with, Regenerist Daily Mini Peel, (large black tube, cap on the bottom). Infused with glycolic acid and gentle exfoliating grains, this lavender cleanser warms to your touch, removes the dregs of any leftover make up and will leave you beaming. Next, apply some type of serum to prep your skin and bind to Regenerist Micro- Sculpting Cream ,(burgundy jar, look for it on sale, for $24.99). This the cherry on your post cleansing nightly routine, repeated in the a.m. along your jaw line. Please print this blog for future reference.

In a pinch, In Case of Emergency, it's still O.K. to speed dial me. Oh, the things we do in the name of friendship.


Friday, October 3, 2008

In the Pink

Well, it's October already and Breast Cancer Awareness month is in full swing.
On Tuesday, members of my Force group (Facing Our Risk Against Cancer Empowered), were invited to be members of the Good Morning America audience, have a studio tour and face time with Diane and Robin.

Under normal circumstances, the only thing that could get be out of bed in still darkness, is a town car headed for the airport. But, it sounded like fun and a great opportunity to see some of my Force pals and meet new ones. I would rally...Big disappointment.

First of all, where was my seat??? If I knew I was expected to stand and watch, it would have been an automatic deal breaker. Second, why were we asked to be here? The content of the show had nothing to do with breast cancer. Third, do I look like I am from Peoria??? Do I care about what goes on in the control room and green room??? I think not. Fourth, where was our face time with our hosts? Smile, nod and a quick, perfunctory group shot and in a nano, we were kicked to the curb. Wha happin??? We were duped.

At 4:00, Christina Applegate was appearing on Oprah to discuss her decision to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis and testing positively, for a Braca 1, mutation.

My Force pals, have dreamed of our Oprah moment for years...Bravely, a very public figure, was putting a face (or bust) on the challenges of being at familial high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Oprah would lay bare, all the misconceptions what the media loves to call a, "radical approach" that has women, "mutilating themselves" and "chopping off their breasts".

It was not to be...Oprah was in a fog, not prepared and definitely, not, someone who has experienced any of this, in any first hand way. Christina, struck me like a deer in the headlights, shell shocked and not truly informed. Her oncologist left out many important points and gave, incorrect, numbers, instead of risk ranges for those with BRCA 1 & 2 mutations. No plastic surgeons were featured, to explain the fantastic improvements and beautiful reconstruction results, that are now possible. Insensitively, they had a former guest who was losing her battle with breast cancer, in deep recurrence with brain, liver and lung metastasis, SKYPED in from her living room, to discuss how little progress has been made. I am sure Christina was shaken to her core. Duped again...

Fortunately, my week brightened considerably! Wednesday, Joanna Rudnick's film, "In the Family", (which I saw at a Force Conference in May), was being aired nationally, on PBS. This is Joanna's deeply moving, personal journey, about finding out about her Braca 1 mutation, and the stresses and challenges she faces while undergoing surveillance and contemplating prophylactic surgeries. It is available for viewing all month on Her brave, funny, sad, informative film is a must see for any woman at high risk. Don't miss it, either way. This is the real deal.

On Thursday, a lovely thank you lunch, for Breast Cancer Alliance committee members, was held at the Belle Haven Club, where Ellen Matloff, M.S. was the speaker. Ellen Matloff is the Director of Cancer Genetics at Yale. She is preeminent in her field. How I wished, she was on Oprah, clearly and specifically explaining who was at high risk and would benefit from Genetics Counseling. In a nutshell:

*Anyone diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 45
*Any diagnosed with ovarian cancer, at any age
*Multiple cases of breast or ovarian cancer on either the maternal
or paternal side
*Male breast cancer
*Multiple breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancers in a family or individual
*Jewish ancestry, with even one case of breast or ovarian cancer
*Tumor pathology that indicates medullary or "triple negative" breast cancer.

Individuals with Braca mutations have a 55-87% breast cancer risk, before the age of 70, and a 15-60% chance of developing ovarian cancer.

Conversely, the general population has a 12-13% chance of developing bc by age 70 and a 1-2% chance of developing ovarian cancer.

, is the information that needs an "Oprah" forum. This is the real deal.

Thursday evening, was a joy. My original Breast Oncologist, world re known breast surgeon, Dr. Roy Ashikari, was honored at a fundraiser for the Ashikari Breast Center, at the Ritz Carlton in White Plains. His partners, colleagues and patients came out to pay their respects and kick off a fundraising effort to continue to make the Ashikari Breast Center a top U.S. destination, for first class, caring, breast health and cutting edge reconstruction. I was extremely proud to be featured in the patient testimonial video. As well, to be acknowledged by Dr. Ashikari, as the person who started the brigade, (of high risk patients from all over the country), to choose their brilliant, nipple sparing, "one step" prophylactic mastectomy, with Dr. Andrew Ashikari and Dr. Andrew Salzberg. I am so pleased to call many of these women my dear friends, and to have been a small part in helping them reduce their breast cancer risk to less then the general population (about 2%) and have gorgeous, natural looking reconstruction, that leaves them feeling whole, and safe.
This is the real deal.

Lastly, Totalbeauty Bloggers are joining forces this month, to raise money toward a breast cancer cure. I hope this weekend, to figure out how to post this information and put up the features for sponsor giveaways and donation opportunities. This too, is the real deal...

And we have a whole month to go...




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