Musings on beauty and fashion, then and now, for women of substance, style, laughter and love.
The Clock Stops Here...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Deja vu is such an interesting phenom...Because I do have a shallow, unsubstantial streak, I adore reading the Post's, Page Six every day. Yesterday's edition, featured a shot of Madonna, exiting a restaurant. Her twenty something boyfriend, Jesus Luz is a lovely truffle. Her arms???...Not so much.
As a Psychology major at the University of Maryland, I was required to take certain science courses. It was a coin flip, between Entomology and Anatomy. Always, thinking of a way to tweak the system, I took a gamble, that a summer session in Anatomy, at Nassau Community College, would probably be less rigorous. Dissection, I imagined would probably be confined to earth worms and bull frogs...Not so much.
You would know if you have ever smelled formaldehyde. It packs a sickening, cloying wallop to the senses. After adjusting my gas mask, I was rewarded with my own version of Garfield, stiff and matted in a Zip Lock freezer bag. So much for tweaking the system. (I will spare you the details, but that fur coat does not come with a zipper).
The reason that cat's are studied, is because of the similarities to humans skeletal and nervous systems. We all have, a humerus, tendons, deltoids, triceps brachii, and biceps brachii, amongst other things. Normally however, they are covered with skin or fur.
And thus, I was both mesmerized and transported back to my Anatomy class, by this shot of Madonna's arms. I try not to judge, but really, can she possibly think this is attractive??? I love a defined arm and work on mine, with a reasonably healthy dose of fanaticism. MObama's???...Purrrfection!!! Madonna's???...Not so much.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Are you a gadget girl??? I am clearly not. Why would I need the latest gizmo, when my heart palpitates, just thinking about learning to operate it???
One of the great things about our (previously) "gotta have it" society, is that, when an expensive, high tech gadget catches our fancy, (right before the Holiday season, naturally), someone, will figure out how to bring it to the masses, at half price, within 6 months. Call me Ms. July.
In December, when Lancome launched their Oscillating Mascara for $34, and Estee Lauder followed shortly with Turbo Lash for $30, I didn't motor a muscle to try them. The whole concept of vibrating mascara struck me as a pricey gimmick, I mean, is this necessary? Are we so sluggish, that we really need to speed up the process of applying mascara???
Not me, not until now...Right on schedule, like a $700 flat screen, Maybelline New York, just launched their version of vibrating mascara called, Pulse Perfection by Define-A-Lash. Granted, $14.99 for a Maybelline Mascara, is a premium price, but for me, one that is no longer resistible.
Needless, to say I couldn't wait to give it a test drive...I didn't expect to have an on/off option and I am not sure why. I just imagined it would come charging out of the tube, perhaps doing the Meringue in my makeup case, while not in use. To activate it, you must hold the button at the top of the wand down, and keep holding it, for it to stay on. Maybelline's product information claims that the brush vibrates, "7000 times per stroke". Oh. I guess that might be an advantage. It promises to build volume and length and add clump-free curl, (but don't they all)???
I think I wanted to poo poo this, as a ridiculous, unnecessary gizmo, for those too unindustrious to put their face on, one eyeball at a time, like everyone else...The truth is, I LOVE IT!!!. Pulse Perfection lived up to all of it's vows and it is safe for contact users too.
Geez, so what do you think is next on the horizon, quivering lipsticks and
flickering nail polish? We shall see. One thing for sure...6 months later, I am sure to give them a whirl.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Those of you who regularly read Divadebbi, know that I am a serious devotee of CVS, (who else would insist on having their photo snapped in front of one?...But seriously, a well landscaped CVS deserves documenting).
I did a Blog in April of 2009, called $10 and Under, that caught the eye of Kaplow Communications, whose Account Executives manage the CVS account. Apparently, they also produce a similar list each month and now forward me their "10 Picks Under $10"! "Great minds think alike", I was told...Agreed!!!
With Kaplow's permission, here is their latest Top Ten suggestions:
1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $7.99
From oily to dry and sensitive skin, this gentle yet balanced formula leaves any-skin type feeling squeaky clean. (I also adore Cetaphil's facial soap for $4.99 and use it nightly).
2. Burt's Bees Peach And Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub, $8.99
Clean your pores the natural way with this gentle exfoliating scrub, enriched with ginger and seaweed extracts. (Sounds smashing...I will buy this immediately)
3. CVS/pharmacy All Day Moisture Lotion SPF 15, $6.49
It’s important to get UV protection year round. Make it easy with this ultra light and non-greasy face moisturizer that provides UVA/UVB coverage all day. (Never tried it, but I will. Love the price point and this is would be great for my hands as well).
4. Olay Daily Facials Express Wet Cleansing Cloths All Skin Types, $5.99
For a woman on the go, these towelettes are perfect to help keep your face clean and free of impurities. (Like it...particularly if I am going out directly from work)
5. St. Ives Mineral Therapy Advanced Body Moisturizer, $4.99
This rich moisturizer provides your skin with a burst of moisture without leaving a greasy finish. (Check. I am all about a non-greasy finish).
6. Clearasil Ultra Pimple Blocker Pen, $9.99
Unsightly pimples can pop-up anywhere, anytime. With this travel-size pen you can stop them before they are even visible. (Fortunately, I'm home free on this one, but it sounds brilliant for those who suffer from occasional break-outs).
7. Essence of Beauty Loofah Body Buff, $2.99.
With a drop of your favorite body wash and a splash of water, the sponge immediately fills with a thick lather of fragrant suds to help exfoliate and nourish your skin all over. (Done).
8. Essence of Beauty Flawless Pedicure Complete Pedicure System, $9.99
This dream tool provides you with all of the essentials needed to reveal smooth, beautiful feet without making a trip to the nail-salon. (I lack fine motor skills, but if this bought me an extra week or two between pedicures, I'm in).
9. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, $5.49
For a quick touch-up anywhere, these small treasures help remove unwanted oil from your face without smudging makeup, zapping shine and leaving skin feeling fresh. (How have I lived without these)???
10. Aquaphor Healing Ointment, $5.99
This miracle product can be used to repair dry skin from your lips to your hands to your feet. (It's a classic...should be in every medicine chest, mine included).
All products are available nationwide at your local CVS/pharmacy or online at www.cvs.com
Oh, and one more for good measure, my latest purchase:
11. Sally Hansen's Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit, $6.29
Amazingly simple and effective. Results last up to 8 weeks. (Genius).
Do you think it's possible to be an economical spendthrift??? Just asking...
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's not often, that I apply common sense to my beauty and youth pursuits and when it comes to my comfort and safety, I am probably less adventurous, than the average soul.
The last time I hiked, was on a 3 day nature retreat, that the entire 6th grade class went on together. My idea of "hiking boots", were my new knee length, chocolate brown leather boots, with a perforated toe and a three inch heel. My teacher, Mr. Barton, was so exasperated with my slowing the downward descent of 75 students, that he literally, chased me down a mountain, poking me with a large stick.
I would definitely have reported this abuse to my parents, (particularly after my right heel snapped off), had it not been for our silent, tacit agreement:
Mr. Barton would not call my parents at 2:00 a.m., for masterminding the raid on the boys bunks and I would keep mum about being prodded like a billy goat, by a branch wielding mad man.
But, I digress. When I first heard about Latisse, the new eyelash growing treatment from Allergan, I was immediately intrigued. Latisse, was a happy accident for the Allergan folks, who first created "Lumigan", not for vain glorious women, but for glaucoma patients. Like the "Fountain of Youth", swilling Seniors In Cocoon, Lumigan was not only treating glaucoma, but causing eyelashes to grow longer, thicker and darker. In a turn of good sportsmanship, the FDA approved Lumigan for cosmetic use and a star was born!
Here are seven things you should know about Latisse:
1) It must be prescribed my a Dr.
2) It has permanently darkened the irises of glaucoma patients with hazel
and green eyes.
3) You can use it on your lower lash line, as well.
4) The too fat brushes in the Latisse kit, can be used more than once
(and could benefit from a haircut).
5) Results are evident after 3 weeks, with maximum results at 16 weeks.
6) It's expensive.
7) It works, but requires maintenance.
So, 6 and 7 were where the common sense kicked in...If it were a one shot deal, I would already be grooming my lashes nightly with a Mason Pearson brush, but lifetime maintenance??? Not so fast--- I am already the equivalent of a rare Bugatti.
Fast forward to a call from my Latisse using friend, Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson.
"You've got to come see my eyelashes". "Their insane"!
"Really"??? "I will be there in 20 minutes".
Dr. Thompson is a natural beauty and would be so without eyelashes, but these surpassed all my expectations. Caterpillars came to mind.
"What about the upkeep"?, I whined.
"To maintain them, you do need to continue using Latisse, but I am only doing it once or twice a week, instead of nightly".
Math was never by strong suit, but I quickly calculated, if there are 80 drops in a bottle and I only need 2-4 drops per week for maintenance, one bottle could maintain my lashes for 6 months. Entirely doable!
I am three days in and documenting my results on You Tube...
come watch my progress. I am hoping to be batting my lashes like Miss Scarlett in 6 weeks and those maintenance costs??? Fiddle Dee-Dee.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I did an informal poll today...I asked 5 of gal pals, if they could name the one brand name beauty product, that they all use every day. I then asked everyone to pull out their mascara, lipstick and blush to see if there was any product consensus---None. Zilch. Nada.
So, what is the one beauty product everyone uses everyday??? Q-Tips Cotton Swabs. Has there ever been a better gizmo for gently cleaning up make up misfires? I think not.
A while back Revlon came out with an, "eye makeup remover pen".
Of course I had to try it, immediately. It made sense that it was pre moistened with something liquid...I just didn't imagine it to be Crisco. Well, it seemed like a good idea, at the time.
I recently received another "Sneak Peak" from TotalBeauty. 4 decorative boxes, whose contents were not immediately obvious. What were we peeking at??? Q-Tips new launch, of pretty, tidy boxes, that are designed to be left on your bathroom vanity.
How was I going to Blog about Q-Tips??? Ultimately, with respect.. From babes in our mother's arms, to babes in our Dolce and Gabanna dresses, has any product been more consistently reliable? Have you ever purchased the anemic, generic offerings, with 50% less cotton at the tip? They should come with a warning label, that includes puncture statistics.
Yes, Q-Tips, are Bloggable. The boxes are attractive, the downy cotton tip is effective for eye makeup application and clean up and in a pinch, they are marvelous for cleaning your ears.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Not Fade Away
Do you remember the shampoo's of your youth??? I can remember competing for shower stall space, with half empty bottles of Breck, Flex, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Wella Balsam and the first Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo, (which was dark emerald green and had an intoxicating floral smell). Ultimately, they all did the same fine job---rinse, lather and repeat, repeat repeat.
In my teens and twenties, I graduated to the modestly more expensive Pantene line, though I never once came close, to replicating the glossy, silken manes of their commercial lore. All in all, no better, no worse.
My first upwardly mobile salon style shampoo, was Nexxus Humectress. It's rich texture and coconut essence, deeply hydrated my hair, leaving it lush and bouncy. I was and easy convert, but I am also notoriously fickle, so I only periodically reunited with Humectress.
If you color your hair, (and who doesn't)?, your hair care needs change too. Particularly in the summer months, when the sun and more frequent washings suck color from your hair, like a medicinal leech.
I jumped on the opportunity to try the Nexxus Dualiste Color Protection and Intense Hydration system. At 5 weeks into my color cycle, it couldn't have arrived at a better time. Nexxus Dualiste, promises 40% better color protection, (over 10 washes), and employs a new technology that minimizes fading, (specifically, preventing water molecules from entering and dye molecules from escaping the hair shaft). In addition to Hydration, Dualiste is also available in Volumizing and Anti-Breakage formulas.
Dualiste shampoo and conditioner, has a unique, 2-sided pump, that delivers equal parts of the moisture and protection. At first whiff, I was transported back to my Humectress days, since it is also infused with coconut, honey and Vitamin E. Aural deja vu!!! I love it.
Step 3 was the Dualiste Leave-In Spray, which aides in the color protection and hydration as well as protecting against heat damage. Results??? Luscious to the touch and easy to style. If it can keep me in the color game for the next two weeks, it will be worth every penny.
I know there is a whole, next tier of up market shampoo's and conditioner's waiting for me to try, but I have never been able to make that leap. With results this convincing, what's the point??? I feel good about spending a little more on Nexxus, because I can see and feel the value...A year ago?...maybe. But today, I am not going to risk literally, pouring money down the drain. E tu???
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Spin Baby Spin
You've got to love modern dentistry...Between sealants, fluoride treatments, white fillings and drilless technology, today's kids are oblivious to the previous generations suffering---alright mine.
"Drill Baby Drill", was not coined by Sarah Palin. No, it was the mantra of Dr. Lawrence Kuhn, of Bayside, Queens. Long before I reached chronological double digits, I already hit that milestone in cavities. My trophy year was 18...he must have counted some that were developing in my wisdom teeth, though they did not make their debut for another 12 years.
The only silver lining to my oral trauma, was that Dr. Kuhn was a thoughtful provider of nitrous oxide. (Thankfully, there was a "no smoking" policy in the waiting room, lest the office would go up like a flame broiler). While Dr. Kuhn was busy grinding my enamel to parchment paper, I was happily floating out the window, with a pool of saliva on my chin.
The result of my childhood maiming, was countless adult visits to the Endodontist and their friends that specialized in crowns and bridges. Had my husband realized that my mouth and its maintenance, was the financial equivalent of a condominium, he would have rightly demanded a pre-nup.
All of this brings me to the present day. I am on a bi-annual cleaning schedule, that was conceived with "prevention" in mind. Unfortunately, I rescheduled my appointment so many times, I was 4 months overdue. The Hygienist at my Dentist's office, is disarmingly sweet and perky. In reality, she is a Cavitron wielding warrior.
My normally friendly dentist, came in to review the triage...Maybe it was the blood splattered wall, maybe it was her request for a sling, but for some reason, I wasn't feeling any love. Clearly, he was peeved that I fell off the prevention wagon.
My penance, was to up my commitment to three cleanings a year and a promise to fill my prescriptions for enamel building toothpaste and a gum rejuvenating rinse...and use them.
While I was getting my prescriptions filled, I perused the oral care aisle and spied the Crest Spin Brush Swirl. Why not upgrade my manual toothbrush with a little more ooomph??? It promised 20 x the cleaning power of a traditional hand held toothbrush and cost only marginally more. $50 bucks later, I left the drugstore with new resolve and couldn't wait to give it a swirl.
Well, I loved how it gently massaged my gums and my teeth actually did feel cleaner. The only glitch??? Neither the head nor the batteries are replaceable and it is only recommended for 3 months use. This has got to be the least green product on the market.
What can I tell you? 100 years from now they will find a few million of these gizmos in a land fill, intact, lying next to bricks of silver amalgam fillings. Yes. I am feeling a little guilty about it, but really...haven't I suffered enough???
Friday, July 3, 2009
Sometimes Less Is More
I have been holding out on you...I actually discovered this marvelous eye liner several CVS runs ago. Awhile back, I Blogged about Benefit's BAD Gal Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. It had everything I wanted---a glossy, rich black color, a gel like consistency, that was budge less by day, but remover friendly. I also didn't want to have to tug, unnecessarily around my uppers or lowers...you know how we are always being cautioned about caring for our "delicate" eyelid areas. I wasn't mad for the $20 price tag, but I had never found anything at the mass level that met all my fussy demands.
Sometimes, (as in the case of a good foundation) you really are paying for a better product, not just sleek packaging and marketing. Sometimes, not.
I am so enamored, with N.Y.C.'s New York Color Union Square Eyeshadow quad, that I didn't think twice about picking up their N.Y.C. Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil...I'm a pushover for product under $4.00 bucks...can you blame me??? While I was splurging, I also bought the Dual Pencil Sharpener for 99 CENTS!!! This thing sharpens the end of any type of pencil, (lip, brow, eye), slim or chubby, to a point as sharp as a Marmot's tooth. Love that!!!...and for $3.99, who cares if you hone it like a Ginsu knife everyday??? The Eyeliner is also available in 5 shades besides black, and you might actually wear 3 of them.
So--- What's the verdict??? After 4 weeks of highly satisfied use, a return trip to pick up another for a spare, and recommending it and receiving great feedback from colleagues, friends and my sister Loren, I couldn't hold out on y'all for another nano.
Sometimes less is more. Next time I will tell you what I bought with the $16.00 I saved.
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