Musings on beauty and fashion, then and now, for women of substance, style, laughter and love.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Daring...better than most of her celebrity peers. She shocked the world by posing very pregnant and very naked for Vanity Fair. She rocked the world by defying convention and marrying the delicious, much younger Ashton Kutcher. This is one confident woman.
This week, Vanity Fair and Loreal celebrated the launch of Demi's first fragrance All You've Ever WANTED with Ashton, Zac Posen and a posse of VIP's at the Monkey Bar in N.Y. (I had to take a pass because I couldn't possibly miss the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion show)...kidding. It will be available exclusively at Macys on November 5th.
The inspiration is described as, "a contemporary expression of her daring appeal". The scent is described as an, "intense potion", with notes of magnolia, iris-cream and cedar extract and is being brought to the market by Helena Rubinstein.
Not long ago, I saw a fabulous PBS documentary, called, The Powder and the Glory". It described the intense rivalry between the two cosmetic visionaries, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. Make no mistake, Helena Rubinstein was a confident and contemporary woman. I think she would have hand picked Demi to be the muse behind WANTED...and they probably would have become fast friends
I haven't the vaguest clue what magnolia, iris-cream or cedar extract smell like, but this is one celeb fragrance I would be intrigued enough to seek out...I think I will be in good company...don't you???
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Well...I'm in Love
Again. I fell in love with Paris, in New York, in my twenties. It intoxicated me, even though I wasn't usually drawn to fragrance with rose, as a dominant top note. It was powdery and utterly feminine. I wore it day and night, through a romance that ultimately left me broken hearted. I got left behind and so, in retaliation, did Paris...never to be sniffed again.
When I had the opportunity to receive YSL's updated version Parisienne to review, I hesitated for a split second before deciding to bury the hatchet and I am delighted that I did.
Every product has a story and this is Parisienne's:
"The essence of a woman who is incredibly free—she is not from Paris, but Paris adopts her. She knows how to love, how to live. Parisienne is the fragrance of ultra-femininity and sensuality, built with notes of blackberry, damask rose, and sandalwood. The grand floral with a woody structure is luminous even in its mystery".
I couldn't have said it better! Parisienne is a delicious update...not nearly as rosy or sweet, it is rich and crisp at the same time, (if that is even possible). I also love the clean, elegant flacon it come in.
Fragrance is so incredibly individual. I am literally, head over heels over Parisienne. Will you be??? It's hard to say...you know how those little perfume elves love to tinker with our body chemistry.
I checked the TotalBeauty ratings for Parisienne and was startled to see a paltry 6.5 for a rating, (moi gave it a "dix") Undeterred, I hopped over to Sephora's website where it was top rated with 5 stars, by 23 reviewers, ranging in age from 18-54.
What could account for the difference??? I haven't the vaguest clue--- for that, you will have to ask the perfume elves. In the meanwhile, I recommend sampling it for yourself.
As for me, fortunately, love was better...the second time around.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This Weeks Glam Slams from the Glamour Squad
ClumpsofMascara may not be dressing up for Halloween but her nails are in total costume!
Aly gets up close and personal with her favorite style icon.
The Beauty Alchemist find you can be tres chic while fighting acne and oil.
Butterflydiary views the world through Victoria’s Secret PINK holiday collection glasses.
ThinkThruFashion shows how to incorporate traditional garb you get on vacay into your everyday ensembles.
The Product Pasha shows how you can embrace the season's blue and greens with a little help from Illamasqua Nail Varnishes.
DivaDebbi turns back the clock, with ZO Skin Health's Oraser for Daily Hand Repair.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
"Chickens get plucked, people get tweezed", or so I was told by Danielle Sampieri, the aesthetician at The Benefit Brow Bar at Bloomingdale's. Geez! You learn something new everyday.
I recently became obsessed with eyebrows, after I started watching the wonderful Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife. It's a fine show, but it might as well be on mute, because I cannot take my eyes off her eyebrows. Could a fetish be developing? Yup. I am bonkers over the arch in her left brow and the way it frames her face. Mine look like a pair of parenthesis.
Dashing in on a separate mission, the Benefit Brow Bar has its own adorable window display and in store set up, smartly capitalizing on the brow craze that is sweeping the beauty world. Danielle sweetly approached me for a consultation and I promised to visit on the way out---No doubt, she hears this all day long, because she look surprised when I returned.
"I'm archless and I'm obsessed with Julianna Margulies eyebrows...is it hopeless"???, I whined.
"Challenging, but not hopeless".
"What can be done"?
"Tweezing will help, but you will have to learn how to fake it".
"No problem, get plucking please uh, I mean tweezing".
I watched with a hand mirror, as Danielle showed that a brow should arch, right where the outside of the eyeball ends. Her implement of choice is a slanted Tweezerman, that would not have looked out of place in an O.R. She showed me what needed to go and what needed to grow.
Next she taught me how to use a slanted brush to apply brow wax, and to fake some additional length, thus creating the framework for my coveted arch. She then tapped on brow powder and brushed it gently, to achieve a natural look. The final touch was the addition of a pink hued highlighting powder, under the brow following the arch.
Voila!!! "Groomed and gorgeous", just as Jean and Jane Ford, the Co-creators of Benefit promised! The full service Brow Bar offers professional, reasonably priced waxing, tweezing and lash services, all without an appointment necessary. I was impressed with Danielle's skill and loved her self-confidence, that she will find fame in the brow world .
Until then, I'm glad she has found a home at Bloomingdale's in White Plains. I purchased the Brows a-go-go kit and did a reasonably good job of replicating her handiwork this morning.
All in all, I'm feeling preetay, preetay good about my brows, or I will at least until next Tuesday at 10, on CBS.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Our First Priority: Wardrobe Reform
Mother knows best...and mine knows that I am chomping at the bit, to style our First Lady Michelle Obama. My mother just forwarded me a link from NBC's New York website. It is a slide show of Michelle Obama's Style Guide. I am, at the moment, hyperventilating. Style "Icon" to whom???
Since I will probably never have the opportunity to utter my signature line, "Take that schmatta OFF"!!! to our First Lady, I will offer up my advice anyway. I need the catharsis.
Ditch those waist length cardigans already: We all know her best asset is those arms. They should be shown, nekid at all times, even at the risk of culture clash, in places like Saudi Arabia.
Lose some of those belts- Sometimes they work and sometimes, they don't. M0 is not short waisted...MO is NO waisted. As a result, many of those too wide belts end up encircling her lungs. (Do ya think she belts her p.j.s too)???
Dressing in Bavarian waitress costumes must end- MO has a penchant for Thakoon, Junya Watanabe and Jason Wu bright, flocked, trimmed, ribboned, bric-a-brac skirts and dresses. I haven't even mentioned that she is bedecking this on to size "12" hips. Respectfully I ask, WTF???
Keep it solid (and dark)- Overblown plaids, checks, brushstrokes, polka dots, spots, florals and stripes usually look better on the seven or eight fellas, ringside, hopping out of a clown car.
Stick to an A-Line silhouette and invest in a good full length, 3-way mirror- Accentuate the positive, strictly waist-up Missy. Dirndls, crinolines and box pleats are dowdy and unflattering, not just to MO but to MOST.
Narciso is a skinny girl Designer- Think the Jessica's. Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Seinfeld...lithe, hipless wonders. I appreciate that she appreciates, his clean lines and sleek silhouettes. Please worship from afar.
Ballet Flats and Skirts-should only be worn by 6 year old girls at their ballet recitals. I get it...BO is slight and not all that tall. Please wear a minimum 50mm kitten heel while representing the U.S. Carla Bruni Sarkozy is just barely pulling this off.
Stand by your man- Michael Kors. The picture at the top left, is MO's offical White House portrait. She looks slim, elegant, sophisticated, powerful, and appropriate.
MO is bare armed, in a dress that is slightly cut in at the shoulder, emphasizing her best features, her shoulders and arms. It is solid and A-Line so it is not distracting or adding fabric and width to her hips. Her waist is nipped, not by a belt for a change, but by good design and tailoring.
My advice? (not that your asking), order one in every color...except daffodil and hire yourself a good Personal Shopper--- you know, one that isn't afraid to say, "TAKE THAT SCHMATTA OFF"!!!
Today is my Birthday, so I am cashing in on my snarky chit. If I made any of you cranky, well, indulge me... I will do my best to hold my tongue on this subject, until next year...maybe, (and for the record, I voted for BO).
Best Blogs of the Week
I love my GlamourSquad...Hope you will too!
Fashionistas Rejoice: Do not miss Sydne Summer's perfect summation of the Spring 2010 international trends. Be sure to click on the link for ThinkThruFashion.com below:
DivaDebbi is heady over PurMinerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation.
ThinkThruFashion rounds up all the spring trends from Fashion Week in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Butterflydiary gets all Parisienne with her review of the new YSL fragrance.
Clumps of Mascara is loving Illamasqua! Especially their blushes.
The Beauty Alchemist enters the EOSphere with EOS lip balm.
Aly Walanksy knows that big brows are back in style - are you ready?
Friday, October 16, 2009
The Hands of Time
I was having lunch with one of my Beauty Best Friends, Linda, the other day. Our friendship spans for so long, that we both routinely shave a few years off, if anyone inquires how long we've known each other. We also speak in beauty shorthand.
"Need a new cleanser. Whaddya liking"?, Linda asked, between bites.
"Easy. I've been wanting to add something Burt's Bee's into my repertoire for some time. Loving Burt's Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser with royal jelly. It's a 99% all natural plant based cleanser. It feels good going on, whisks off my makeup and leaves me glowing".
"Great. I'll try it. Where did you get it, CVS"?
Linda is adorable, insanely stylish, wildly energetic and looks a good 10 years younger than her chronological age...as long as she is wearing gloves.
"Girlfriend...can we tawk about your hands"???
"They are aging you".
"I agree". "I was noticing that recently".
"You know I love you and I never would have opened my yap if I didn't have a potion to recommend".
"I know". "Spill it."
"I'll go one better. LOOK".
With the pride of a new mother, showing off Babies first tooth, I showed Linda my firmer, plumper, smoother hands, devoid of freckles or age spots. Her eyes lit up with prideful approval.
For the last 10 days, I have been using Zein Obagi's ZO Skin Health Oraser for Daily Hand Repairwith SPF 20, every morning. It is packed with retinols and SPF to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. Daily Hand Repair, is part of a trio that Dr. Obagi created to revitalize thinning skin on our hands, as we age. I would skip the microdermabrasion cream, because I already love and use Reversital's 3 in 1 MicrodermaStick on my hands. (Nothing can best this). I would however, extract that Babies tooth, for the chance to try his night repair cream in conjunction with the day...That's the downside. It's 'spensive, Lucy.
The upside, is that using only one third of the protocol, I have achieved amazing results, in record time. BBF's and turning back the hands of time???
P.S. In the spirit of maintaining my friendships, I texted Linda for approval about giving you the blow by blow of our chat. Ever the great sport, she suggested "before" and "after" pix...See why I love her???!!! Keep you posted, Dahlings.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I am a late comer to mineral foundations. My early attempts made me look like a Geisha, well passed her prime... Not a good look. Trial and error, has taught me that it is far better to err on choosing a darker shade, than you might think you need.
The next hurdle to overcome is the mineral makeup mess. Since most mineral foundations are loose pigmented powders, it might not seep into your pores, but you may find traces of it everywhere else. Uggghhh!
When I had the opportunity to try Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup, I jumped at it. First of all, I adore multi-taskers. Pur is foundation, concealer, SPF 15 and powder, all in one. It provides flawless coverage, without appearing cakey or dry and it is tidy widy. Oh joy!
Today, I dropped it on my bathroom floor. So much for tidy widy, but to my delight, not only was it intact, but I discovered the bottom of the compact, opens separately to reveal a sponge and mirror. Was I spared the mess, only to be shackled with 7 years of bad luck???
Nope. Like I said Pur-fection. Find your starter kit for $35 at PurMinerals.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Weekly Treats From Your Glamour Squad
DivaDebbi interviews Dr. Elizabeth Thompson who gives us the latest advances in Botox, Juvederm and SmartLipo.
ThinkThruFashion finds Halloween costume inspiration from the runways at Fashion Week.
BeautyAlchemist reviews the Kenzoki Chilly Foaming Cleanser.
Butterflydiary is all over the immune system-enhancing, gold-flecked lipgloss by Purple Lab for BCA.
Clumps of Mascara wants your support in her 50 million pound challenge! .
Saturday, October 10, 2009
A Pink Post
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.. but of course you already knew that. On December 26th, I will be a 14 year hereditary breast cancer survivor, as such, my awareness will continue, throughout the calendar year.
I am enormously grateful, however, that this has become an international effort, with dozens of beauty companies donating proceeds to research and support. Keep your your eyes peeled for some fabulous offers from Estee Lauder, Bobbie Brown, Prescriptives, Aveda, Philosophy, Elemis, Korres, Dial Soap and many others.
In addition Bright Pink, an organization devoted to high risk young women, has some very chic fashion sponsors. My own choice, will be to support FORCE, founded by Sue Friedman. FORCE was the first Internet support group devoted to the breast and ovarian cancer high risk community. It is my daily touchstone.
I was asked this week, to speak to the Jr. Committee of the Breast Cancer Alliance of Greenwich, Ct. This amazing group of young women (and men)!, has raised over $130,000 in just a few short years! They wanted to meet a "survivor" and I struggled with what I could share, that might interest them.
When you have a health crisis that causes you to face your mortality, it forever changes you. While you would never wish adversity on anyone, you do wish you could teach the world a little bit of what you have learned. Here are a few of the things that I shared with my young audience:
Family and Friends- You will learn quickly, who can be strong for you and who you need to be strong for. It is a defining moment, which will be enlightening. You will come away knowing just who your good friends are and who you will be leaving behind.
Be Your Own Advocate-- As a patient and in life. Do not be afraid to calmly and constructively tell (or write) someone who has hurt or offended you about how that experience has impacted you. There is little downside and amends and closure can be healing. Conversely, if someone has helped you immensely, do express your gratitude in a heartfelt note...you will both feel good.
Support- Don't go it alone! Bring a loved one with you to appointments and tests. Find a support group that you can relate to online or in person. There is tremendous relief and camaraderie in finding people who really know exactly what you are going through.
Follow Your Gut Instincts- They will rarely fail you. Ask yourself, when confronted with difficult decisions, if your inaction will lead to regrets and act accordingly.
My Two Favorite Cliches- "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and "Stop and Smell the Roses". Don't waste time fretting, coveting, gossiping or obsessing over NONSENSE!!! Drop all that baggage and you will be a kinder, happier, healthier person. Slow down and appreciate nature and the beauty of the seasons changing. Indulge your senses by taking the time to really see, smell and taste the things you are fortunate enough to be here to enjoy.
As I looked at all of those young, beautiful faces, I had no idea if any of my words resonated. If I could sprinkle some fairy dust and get my wish, it would be that they would glean from what I learned, without ever having to hear the words, "your tumor is malignant".
Love and good health to all.
Friday, October 9, 2009
FTC Regulations Regarding Bloggers
There has been a lot of buzz this week about the FTC's efforts to disclose Blogger compensation, as it may relate to truthfulness in product reviews.
I have touched on this subject before but I will reiterate a few points about how I review products on Divadebbi... Scout's honor.
1) If I purchase the product, (and I purchase plenty) you will hear the good, the bad and the ugly.
2) If I am participating in a TotalBeauty Sneak Peek, where I have received a product, you will hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Despite the relationship between cosmetics companies and TotalBeauty, we are always encouraged to report honestly, even if it is negative.(I have written some scathing reviews, ie. Loreal's Double Extend and Hip Kohl Liner, even though I generally like their products).
3) I do have relationships with Public Relations executives and associates, who may ask me to sample a product or whom I might ask to receive one from. Receipt of such, does not guarantee a review. Under these terms, if I receive a product and don't like it, I will not review it.
Below is the official document disclosing the nitty gritty of my (wished for) compensation:
This document is valid as of 09 October, 2009
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views, reviews and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own, based on personal experience. Individual readers results may vary. I will only endorse products or services that I believe are worthy of such endorsement.
All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements. Any links provided, as part of a review, are only for the benefit of the reader and are not advertorial.
The owner of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. I do receive some free products and samples and I do not return them after use.
Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.
This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
Please contact me at www.Debbio@richardsonline.com, with any questions or concerns.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
O.K. all you no makeup types...I know you would rather stick knitting needles up your nose, than use a foundation primer, but I have found one so good, you might get to skip using any makeup at all.
For the rest of you, who can spare 20 seconds, Rimmel London's Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer is my new beauty fix.
The peachy pink hue, (reminiscent of Calamine Lotion), brightens and smooths, minimizing pores and blurring fine lines...and that's not all. It keeps foundation fresh all day while absorbing excess oils. The cherry on my sundae??? The price---$7.50. Do I like it more than my Laura Mercier and Smash Box Primers? I believe I do and its a bah-gin, to boot!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Introducing The GlamourSquad
I am really excited to now be part of an elite group of Bloggers, aptly named, the GlamourSquad!!! Each week, we will bring you the best of our Beauty and Fashion Blogs, for your enlightenment and entertainment. Please click on the links to visit some of the best in the biz:
Butterfly Diary gives you all sorts of pink beauty coolness by dishing on Breast Cancer Awareness friendly buys.
Beauty Junkies Unite shares the fab new Fall colors from Essie's "Cuddle With Color" nail polish collection.
Clumps of Mascaraheads to the Artist Summit in Miami and dishes on her fave products.
The Beauty Alchemist tells you if CoverGirl's Outlast Lip Stains are all that -- and then some.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Let's face some face facts: There is only so far a topical tub of cream can take you. I decided to ask my beautiful and brilliant friend, Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, (at left), if I could do an interview series with her about the latest advances in injectibles like Botox and Juvaderm and surgical techniques like SmartLipo.
Happily, she agreed! Here's part one.
DD: Many people wonder if Botox or Dysport (the FDA approved competitor), Botulinum Toxin-A (BTX) could be right for them. They fear the dreaded newscaster face, yet desperately want to look younger. Most importantly, people worry about safety.
ECT: Botulinum Toxin-A(BTX) has been used safely for cosmetic use since the 1990's. It received FDA approval for use in the Glabellar area-- those "11" lines or the coin-slot, between the eyebrows, even when your face is not animated. When injected by a trained, aesthetically-minded physician, BTX leads to a lifting of the forehead and opening of the eyes with a natural result. There have been no reported cases of BTX causing brain damage or long term side effects.
DD: Walk us through the process.
ECT: The entire consultation and treatment takes about 15 minutes. My preference, is to talk to patients first, explaining exactly how BTX works, before starting the injection, so I can observe the muscles of their face and their animation. BTX is injected using thin, virtually painless needles in to the muscles of the face, resulting in a smoother, more well rested, youthful appearance. I take extreme care, to avoid bruising or injecting the wrong muscle group. So many people do fear looking "over done" but a fresh, relaxed, result can easily be achieved, (though some patients do prefer a smooth, motionless look). Treatment, is customized-- so the number of units needed will vary as will the cost.
DD: What other parts of the face can BTX be used on effectively?
ECT: Technically, this is an "off label" use. However, BTX can be used successfully to improve "crows feet" around the eyes, erase the "writing table" from the forehead, smooth the "bunny lines" around the nose, improve "smokers lines" around the mouth and some wrinkling of the bands in the neck area.
DD: I would imagine once women start and love the results, they will want to maintain it. How long can results be expected to last and what are the side effects?
ECT: BTX typically lasts about 3-4 months. It gradually wears off and people notice that they have more movement of a certain muscle group and the wrinkles come back. Women with fast metabolism may require more frequent injections. Some patients find that the effect on certain areas of the face last longer than others. I charge patients by the number of units of BTX injected to achieve the desired result. Some physicians charge "by the area." This always works to the physician's benefit and patients pay more. The evolution of the use of BTX has been rapid. Antiquated dilution techniques, swelling, bruising and droopy eyelids all point toward a physician trained in the "early days" before the more up-to-date injection techniques.
DD: Tell us about Dysport. The buzz is good!!!
ECT: Dysport now competes with Botox for a market share. Dysport has a more rapid time to effect, usually 1-2 days versus 3-5 days for Botox. Both BTX products last approximately the same amount of time. Dysport is about 15% less expensive. Treatment of the area between the eyes (the glabellar region) costs an average patient between $250-400 depending on muscle mass-- both the bulk and the width of the muscle.
DD: As a Personal Shopper, I know how terrific people feel when they look their best in beautifully fitted garment. Is it gratifying to help people look more youthful?
ECT: The positive feedback and relationships I have developed with my patients is so rewarding! Often the first time we meet is before an important milestone, like a reunion or a wedding. They love their results and are kind of enough to share me with their friends are relatives. I do like to remind people that an occasional bruise is possible, so it is a good idea to come in about 2 weeks before an event.
DD: Is it true you are generously offering readers of my Blog DivaDebbi a 10% discount off all treatments performed on their first visit?
ECT: Yes, I am! It's my pleasure. I always enjoy meeting your clients. Now I would love to meet your readers!
DD: Thanks Elizabeth!!! Next time, let's talk about hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvaderm. I think there is equal interest in how they work.
So, whether you wish to revisit your youth for the first time or consult with Dr. Chabner Thompson and save yourself a fortune by not continuing with expensive Manhattan doctors, put your face in the hands of the best!!!
Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH
The New York Group for Plastic Surgery
155 White Plains Road, Suite 109
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Get On The Ball
Do you remember your first kiss??? I don't, but naturally I remember my first mascara... Maybelline's Great Lash. It is still a bestseller, and often lives in the makeup kits of top artists, but for me, a sweet memory.
Do you think it is odd that I have a mascara wardrobe? I do, but I still have one! YSL's Faux Cils, for nights out, Maybelline's Pulse Perfection for work and Cover Girl's Lash Exact, (in the purple tube), for weekends. On what occasion to I use a fourth???...all of them.
After a hugely, successful test drive in Europe, Loreal's Telescopic Explosion Mascara, has hit the states. Why is it garnering so much beauty buzz? Because the applicator looks like a ball tipped weed whacker and functions like one too, magically pulling out never before seen lashes from the inner and outer corners and growing the middle fringes to telescopic proportions. I am in love.
It's the perfect top coat for all of my mascaras and it's fun to use too. Telescopic Explosion is so good, I bet it could even make Great Lash, great.