The Clock Stops Here...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chemical Dependencies

I hope everyone has been enjoying their Holidays! December is a busy month in retail, (though I've been busier), so I had less time to devote to my Blogging.

Christmas Day was a fabulous family gathering at our home, with guests from Geneva, California and Toronto. I know I must be doing something right, when my younger brother Steven, pulled me aside to find out some skin care tips...,"What's the routine"? "Way too complicated, you wouldn't have the patience". "Okay, then just tell me the one thing, I can't do without".

Easy. Get yourself a prescription for Retin-A. Despite terrific advances, in over the counter creams and "cosmeceuticals", as designed by well known Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons, nothing, has proven more effective, in over 25 years of study.

In my book, this is the key to jump starting any skin care routine. Retin-A and it's cream based cousin Renova, are clinically proven to increase cellular turnover, reduce fine lines and lighten age spots. I like mine in a micro gel formulation. Retin-A works best in moderation, and the stronger strengths should be worked up to over time. You can avoid redness and peeling, by using a pea sized amount every other night, then applying your night cream over it.

"That's it"? "Yup, it's the MVP in my arsenal". "But I would be embarrassed to ask for a prescription"..."Gee Bud, that's your problem. You could always confess to "adult acne", intstead".

For the record, nothing zaps zits better than something cooked up at the pharmacy. Sometimes, a little dab, will do you, as long as there is a little chemical zing to it.


Monday, December 22, 2008

The Simple Life

I recently had a watershed moment...The reason that I continue to shop for new beauty products, is not born out of boredom or wastefulness. It is the quest to find, "the One".

When I finally find "the One" best, mascara, foundation, lipstick, shampoo, deep conditioner or hairbrush, than in the truest sense, I am simplifying, honing, and creating mental and physical space. Literally, one less thing to think about, (and a little more shelf space).

I recently purged my linen closet of 11 hairbrushes...One of them was a flat paddle brush that could have been a Jr. in high school. Round brushes, in every diameter, including one the size of a bowling pin, vent brushes, Goodies, Mason Pearson's, and 2, that were styled after flat irons, Warren Tricomi's version was an upgrade from it's step sister from CVS.

Why??? Because I found "the One"...The perfect hairbrush. I noticed my hair cutter Billy, (who owns the eponymous Billy's of Mount Kisco), always uses this type of brush, when he blows out my hair. It is unusual, because it is neither round nor is triangular. It is it's own eighth wonder of the world...Watch it straighten, flip, smooth, curl, and create height at the roots and crown. This time, I wasn't leaving the salon without one. (Sidebar: You know you have found a hairstylist, who is "the One", when you don't drive into the curb, restyling it on the ride home, and then bee line it to the bathroom to continue the do-over, neglecting the dog and the mail).

So, with the the help of my Google tool bar, I found the One, for you. Go to Scroll to the "Triangle Collection" and there you will find the Triage Triangle Natural Bristle Brush, (top picture, CR100C1- Med. Pro). The company describes it as unique and universal for all types of hair. The round edge creates, "bend" and the flat edge, creates, "tension", so there is less, "spinning" and therefore less, "work". You can purchase it for $16.90, which is less than the salon price.
WOW!!! A bahgin to boot...

Underneath it all, I am just a simple girl, striving to lead a simple life, one great product at a time..."Simplify". It's my new has an nicer ring to it than "Recessionista", don't ya think???


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Modern Miracles

Two to report: I woke up yesterday, with a tell tale scratchy throat. Translation, a cold will be in full bloom within the next 12 hours. I was at work, scrounging around for some Advil, when my friend Linda said, "no, no. Let's go to your office. We have to swab your nostrils with "Zicam". Huh? "Just come on, this stuff is incredible"...

Zicam, is a homeopathic medicine, that when taken at the onset of symptoms, clinically, reduces a colds duration, by 75%. Linda swears by it and goes as far as carrying it in her handbag and leaving some packets, in her car. She popped a swab out of a sealed foil, that is presoaked with Zincum Gluconium. It has no unpleasant smell and does not require you to access your brain cavity, just the inside of your nostrils. "Swab on one side, than the other and inhale deeply. Do both sides again and repeat in two hours". You are going to thank me.

Linda, thank you!!! My first sneeze occurred three hours later, followed by two more. Today, barely a sniffle!!! Zicam, in my opinion, is right up there with Penicillin. Why aren't more people talking about it??? I am going to start carry them to parties and will administer it personally, if necessary, to get the word out. This is a momentous contribution to the evolution of man kind. Git going to CVS, pronto.

Revelation number two: My friend Angela, who is a knock out, (picture a blond Anne Hathaway), had a sample of Diorskin Forever Foundation. She never uses foundation. Did I want it? Naturally! .

The following morning, I put a small amount in my palm, and applied it with my fingers. The next day I used a synthetic foundation brush...either way, I was flawless!!! It is almost hard to explain the difference between Diorskin Forever and any other foundation I have used...rather than feeling like something else is being applied to your skin, it seamlessly vanishes, yet the comfortable, silky, gel like consistency covers every pore, freckle and capillary. The icing on the cake, is that it is extraordinarily, long wearing (yet washes off easily). All day perfection!

I immediately called my sister Loren to report an off the charts, cosmetic score. She hightailed it to Sephora, and called my cell. "Which Dior foundation is it"? "You didn't write it down"? "No". Like a separate species, Dior of course, has several foundation offerings. As I continued steering with my thighs, I rummaged through my handbag, to rummage through my make up case, to find the sample. "It's Diorskin Forever".

Verdict??? "Forever" is forever. She loved it, as much as I did and you will too. Git going to Sephora.

So there you have it. Two giant steps forward in the world of Health and Beauty. Here's to miracles and the women who share them. The world is a better place because of them.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Members Only

Wednesday night was my book club's annual Holiday Dinner. I can honestly say, I look forward to this night, every year. Traditionally, we eat at Lusardi's, a fabulous, slightly old school, Italian restaurant in Larchmont. They have a terrific private room, that features an enormous square table, so everyone can at least see, if not hear, each other. One of these days, I will eat something other than the amazing Parmesan crusted, "Veal Martini". It is simply delicious and was ordered by at least 75% of the table, everyone else, feeling exactly the same way. The annual gift swap, is formatted so that gift "stealing" is encouraged, and usually includes, a goody or two, that could have been purchased at a West Village sex shop, for laughs.

The front page of this Sunday's New York Times Style Section, featured a story on women who fired their book groups. They complained about pedestrian book choices, bickering over politics and too much time spent socializing...For sure, they would have fired us too!!!

We talked about the article last night, and reminisced about some of our reads, favorites included: The Pavillion of Women, The Nazi Officer's Wife, The Kite Runner, Interpreter Of Maladies, American Pastoral, Drowning Ruth and Water for Elephants. Mixed consensus: The Corrections, We Were the Mulvaney's and a few of the joyless Pulitzer Prize winners and Oprah picks, that left us uninspired and depressed.

I read this article and sensed that the complainers, felt that the groups taste, was simply too low brow for them. What they missed entirely, I am certain, is the opportunity to bond, with some fantastic women. When we take turns hosting, there is no "competition", just some tasty bites and a few good bottles of Merlot and Chardonnay,(alright... many). Eventually, we do discuss the book. Sometimes at length, sometimes not. But we always laugh, catch up with one another and discuss local (and occasionally, national), politics. We gossip, congratulate, commiserate and swap beauty tips, (this blog was partly inspired by our musings).

I wouldn't care if we decided to pursue the Classics via Dr. Suess...I would never opt out of my treasured seat. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I doubt we would have invited these cranky souls to have joined us in the first place...To those who would have missed out on Veal Martini, or the chance to go home with a red velvet bralette attached to a matching thong, I say, "Bah Humbug" and lighten up. You don't know what your are missing...


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Nose Knows

I have a longstanding relationship with three fragrances: Calandre by Paco Rabanne, (spring, 30 years). Christalle by Chanel (summer, 25 years) and First by Van Cleef and Arpels,(winter, 20 years). Newer additions include, Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, (summer) and Bond #9 Bryant Park, (fall). Everything else I have tried, may smell divine on a friend, or at the fragrance counter, but will end up smelling like muskrat, on me, in a matter of hours.

My bedroom dresser is dressed with far more than five flacons, and hosts many of my failed attempts at finding a new "signature" scent. What do you do with the orphan rejects? Some of the contents look like Johnnie Walker Blue Label at this point, but they remain, dusted weekly, on a mirrored tray.

Fragrance is a touchy thing...I dumped a guy I was dating because he refused to give up his penchant for Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel, which had a way of triggering my gag reflex. Come to think of it, maybe he used the olfactory offense, as a ruse to dump me.

I recently opened a scent strip in a magazine for a new fragrance launch by Van Cleef and Arpels, called Feerie. Because of my devotion to First, I opened it and was intrigued... In the weeks to follow, I found it was not available at Sephora and not available at Saks. I did some on line research, and discovered, it is being launched exclusively, with Neiman's and Bergdorf's for the Holidays. Shoot me. Another trip to the Mall.

Feerie means "Fairy" and the perfume stopper hosts an elegant nymph, that looks like a silver Tinkerbell. I have now been burned, way too many times, not to spritz first and leave with a sample. When I was in London last year, Elle, by YSL, had not yet launched in the States. I spritzed it a Harrod's and thought I had found a winner. I picked it up at Duty Free shop at the airport and opened it on board. Maybe the freesia picked up steam in an air compressed cabin, but for the next five hours, me and my fellow passengers,were trapped in a cloud of lychee and jasmine,...Good thing airplanes are equipped with special paper goods, for travel ills, even if they are self inflicted. Now I know, I need at least a 24 hour test period, before handing over my plastic.

The stores are filled with Holiday gift sets. Beautifully boxed, perfume, soap and body lotions trios, that offer a clear value. It's a wonderful gift, providing you know exactly what the recipient actually wears. I'm in my ninth hour of my Feerie test drive and there is no Fairy magic... Another one bites the dust, but at least it is not on my dresser.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Simply the Best...Better Than All the Rest

My intention, was to write only about my renewed loyalty to YSL cosmetics...I have long been a fan, (and have Blogged about) Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils. Translation? "Luxurious Mascara for a False Lash Effect". Yes, it's pricey, but Effet is effing perfect. The same holds true for Rouge Pure Shine Sheer Lipstick, SPF 15. The consistency of this lipstick is lightweight and comfortable and the finish has a subtle, glossy sheen. Where it stands apart from it's drug store brethren, is that it also imparts a nice amount of pigment, and does not require frequent touch ups. Then there is the infamous Touche Eclat concealer, another product, that I return to again and again obsessively, like a spurned lover.

My crush doesn't end with the products, I am also obsessed with the packaging...Of course I know I am paying extra for the substantial metal containers and glossy golden boxes. What would you rather discreetly pull out of your evening bag between courses? A run of the mill tube of plastic, or an elegant gold rectangle with a YSL cut out logo??? I rest my case...

Sloppy segue way to my latest epiphany...Last night, my friend Jini, the Rock Queen, got us amazing seats to see Tina Turner in concert. (Jini has earned that title. How many people do you know who have seen the Rolling Stones perform at a private concert and on several continents)?

I am still in awe!!! Her luminous skin, voluptuous curves, shimmering costumes, gorgeous legs, powerhouse vocals and ability to shake her booty in 6" Christian Laboutin's, would be a tour de Force, for a woman half her age. At 69, Tina is one gorgeous Goddess and I want lessons...

Throughout the night, Tina radiated pure joy, performing for a diverse audience, who couldn't get enough of her. Tina also enjoyed sharing the credit for this incredible show, with her band, back up singers, dancers and production crew. What a lady!!!

So, I got to thinking...I guarantee you, that every woman, would buy any anti-aging product that Tina chose to become the face of. She is literally, more beautiful than ever. How many women over 50 can say that?

I think Tina should team up with YSL, (two golden beauties), and become their celebrity endorser. I would have so much more leisure time, if I could be loyal to both a cosmetics and skin care line and I swear, I would only accept a microscopique commission, for brokering the deal.



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