Musings on beauty and fashion, then and now, for women of substance, style, laughter and love.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The N.Y. Times recently ran an article about a fairly remarkable shift in the way Fashion Bloggers are now being received...namely, with respect. (Bloggers Crash The Front Row). Not long ago, well known Bloggers were lucky to get press credentials and standing room only "seating" at the Fall and Spring fashion shows.
Now a 13 year old upstart, named Tavi Gevinson, is sitting front row with Ms. Wintour and her Vogue posse at coveted shows like Rodarte and Marc Jacobs. Come to think of it, this is not just fairly remarkable it is completely remarkable.
So what has changed??? In my view, the frequency and immediacy of how quickly we devour information from a gamut of sources. Magazines edicts are yesterday's news. Back in the day, I would look forward to receiving my monthly fashion and beauty magazines. They were the experts, who were privy to preview the latest. They would sort and sift and come up with pithy names for seasonal trends and dictate the do's and dont's, haves and have nots. Not anymore. We be infiltrating sacred turf. I used to look forward to seeing the Allure Editors Favorites, now I look forward to telling you mine.
Do I still read them??? Naturally...while I am having a manicure or a pedicure. Every magazine now has an online version of itself. I should do some research and see if their editorial staffs are now wearing two hats and creating "Blog" style stories.
Geez, don't they realize I'm available???
I still like to touch, feel and on occassion copy the looks that inspire from old fashioned print. J. Lo's clean yet smoldering coppery orbs, on the cover of January Allure caught my orbs. How was the look created and with what???
Apparently, I am on a Rimmel roll. J. Lo was wearing Rimmel London's newest eyeshadow offering, Color Rush Trio in Lynx, rimmed by Special Eyes Precision Eye Line Pencil in Black Magic, and I had to try it... so much for cutting and pasting. Step by step, I tried to recreate Scott Barnes makeup lesson onto my face and hoped for the best... I was delighted with the silky texture of the Trio and the way it glided on seamlessly. (For $5.17, I am marveling at the quality). I always use a light shadow on my lid and was surprised to see how different the effect was switching it up with the copper shade. Did I look like J. Lo??? Not exactly.
But to Allures credit, at least J. Lo did... and that's a whole other Blog.
Happy, Healthy New Year to all my readers!!! I love sharing my experiences with you and I appreciate you.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Fringe Benefits and Deterrents
Oy!!! I goofed and I am hearing it from y'all big time. RevitaLash is NOT available at mass retailers for $49.99. What I was seeing out of the corner of my eye, (which frequently neglects glasses, except for night driving), was RapidLash.
I found RevitaLash readily available on Amazon.com for an average of $69.99. RapidLash can also be found on Amazon for considerably less. I read many of the product reviews which were mostly positive. I checked in with one of my GlamourSquad buddies, Charu Sari of Butterfly Diary, who participated in a group trial of RapidLash with other Bloggers. She had a terrible reaction and had to discontinue use. She did however, whole heartily endorse neuLash, which is availble online and at Saks Fifth Avenue.
I first Blogged about neuLash in August, when I went to visit my Aunt Dee in the city. I squealed when she opened the door, remembering her days in Pucci mini dresses, pale lipstick and Twiggy lashes. Her lashes, after 4 weeks were insane! I was just in the beginning of my Latisse masochist phase, but made a mental note of neuLash, since she achieved great results with zero irritation.
One of my great joys on Holidays, is comparing notes with my equally beauty and youth obsessed cousin Karyn. Karyn is a top executive with a luxury retailer in N.Y. and always has her finger on the pulse of the best and latest offerings in the beauty and fashion world. Like two 6 year olds playing with our new Barbies, we sat in my Aunt Dee's foyer, with our 6 lb. makeup cases, comparing "must haves", (I have a list now stored in my Blackberry and which I will report on after purchasing...scouts honor). Most importantly, circling back, I couldn't take my eyes off her Bambi lashes, courtesy of you guessed it- neuLash!!!
Soooo, where do I stand??? It's a bit of a jumble. Latisse, clearly grew my lashes, but at a cost. RevitaLash is maintaining them nicely, but I can't verify they would have grown as long as my Latisse lashes. RapidLash is a less expensive, readily available alternative, which I have not used. NeuLash is expensive, ($150), but based on my DNA, grows piano shawl fringes with no redness, dryness, discomfort or a prescription.
If I had it all to do over again, I would start with neuLash. One thing to keep in mind, you must maintain your growth with some application a few times a week. Only you can decide if this works within your beauty budget.
Maybe by next Christmas, all these products will go the way of the flat screen T.V. and will be able to pick them up for a song...Here's hoping.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Best and Worst OTC Facial Peels
I was just thinking about buying an at home peel kit, when I stumbled across these worthy TotalBeauty Bits on the exact topic!!! One of the things I appreciate most was reading about which products produced disappointing results as well as stellar ones and the results were surprising...
Good one TB!!!
TotalBeauty.com readers have tested a ton and are sharing which ones are worth the money
No time or cash to head to the spa for a facial? No worries, we found the best at-home products that will give you real results (we also found a few that didn't quite live up to their claims so you don't waste your money). Check them out and say hello to softer, clearer skin now!
Worst: No. 4: Patricia Wexler M.D. Exfoliating Glyco Peel System, $60
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 6.5
It burned readers' skin and "didn't do much" for acne either â€¦
The Best: No. 10: DERMAdoctor Physical Chemistry Facial Microdermabrasion + Multiacid Chemical Peel, $75
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8.9
It "brightens," "smooths" and makes skin look "clear and younger" after the first use â€¦
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 9.1
This facial kit will give you "fabulous skin just like a celebrity for half the price â€¦"
Monday, December 21, 2009
Weekly Reads from the GlamourSquad
Here's what my Glam Squad Gal Pal's were up to this week. In addition, here's a link to another Blog that I was included in. Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis queried a few of us TotalBeauty Bloggers, about which beauty extravaganza each of us would LOVE to receive this Holiday season...Here's a group that knows all about the good stuff too! Now I don't just want what I wanted, I want what they wanted!!!
The Beauty Alchemist gets smokin' with Cover Girl's New Smoky ShadowBlast
Adina of Krasey Beauty takes you to the future with a detailed review of the Chanel Spring 2010 collection.
Butterflydiary finds that acne can be cured at a touch with Zeno Hot Spot.
Clumps of Mascara find that water intake is beautiful!
The Product Pasha helps you find the perfect fragrant gift for the scent-snob in your life.
DivaDebbigives you Part One of her favorites for 2009.
Enjoy!!! Happy, Healthy Holidays to all!!!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
My Top Ten Beauty Faves for 2009 (Part 2)
Ready for round two? Just a couple of qualifiers: This list is not in any particular order. Despite, having tried dozens of terrific products this year, these made the cut, because they are in some way life altering and something that I will use indefinitely in the foreseeable future. This post is longer and more detailed than the last because I am spending the day in my jammies and have more time to devote to it.
6) Oraser- ZO Skin Health Daily Hand Repair- Daily Hand Repair is part of a trio of hand repair products produced by ZO Skin Health. Despite the wasting the SPF 20 while I sleep, the day version is richer and more emollient than the night, so I use this one twice a day. Packed with retinol, vitamins and anti-oxidants, this hand cream truly lifts away dark spots, plumps wrinkles, improves elasticity and softens cuticles. Nothing gives your age away faster than old looking hands. Worth every cent of the 6500 pennies it costs...and yes, I've contemplated using it on my face...many times. I'll keep you posted.
7) RevitaLash- It's hard to know exactly which came first, because I did use Latisse for a full four months, which did grow my eyelashes to permanent false lash proportions. Unfortunately, I endured severe irritation as well as garnet colored eyeballs in the process. I followed up with Revitalash, because like Cinderella's big night out, my new lashes were not permanent. My lashes with RevitaLash are full, soft, lush and if possible, LONGER, with zero irritation. It is also available on line and at mass retailers for $49.99, a fraction of Latisse's prescription only cost.
8) Christi Harris Brow Kit and Benefit Brows A-Go-Go - I wish I could pick one over the other but they both have their strong suits. Ever since I became obsessed with Juliana Margulies eyebrows on the Good Wife, I became aware of how much a well defined eyebrow and arch can enhance your looks. (sidebar to friends, if you think I am staring at your eyebrows when we're talking, I am). I recently Blogged about my experience with the Christi Harris Brow Planing System. It gives step by step instructions on how to achieve brows that suit your face, plus a "planing" tool, that removes hair without pain, irritation or redness. The other plus is the "diffusing" powder, which softens the overall look as a finisher. The kit is available on her website for $39.99. You will save a fortune on waxing and threading. What didn't work for me are the shades of the brow powder in this kit ...thus the necessity of Benefit's Brows A-Go-Go. In addition to the perfect shades to blend for natural looking brows, this kit also includes a liner, a mini tweezer (which I no longer need, thanks to my planer) and a pretty pearly pink shadow to make your arches pop, all for $38.00. Can you guys tawk??? I'd love to only have to lug one of these around.
9) Rimmel Natural Bronzer- Another cheap and cheerful winner from Rimmel London! I am a relative late comer to mineral make up, leaving me torn and guilty as several expensive liquid foundations languish, unfinished. I had a recent epiphany. Why use a lighter shade mineral foundation and finish it with bronzing powder in two steps. What if a mineral bronzer could multi-task for me??? I decided to try the lightest of the Rimmel Natural Bronzer collection, 027 Sun Dance. For $5.99 and a money back guarantee from my beloved CVS, I had nothing to lose. Do I love it??? Naturally. It made the list.
10) My Smokey Classics by Lauren Luke- Lauren Luke debuted her make up collection at Sephora this summer, to great fan fare, (mine too), I Blogged about her remarkable triumph from an unknown, to a You Tube star, to a recently named Women's Wear Daily Award winning make up sensation. I recently met Sam Dark, whose agency manages Lauren Luke's P.R. at a mutual friends party. Though I had been meaning to order one of Lauren Luke's Complete Makeup Palette's for Eyes, Cheeks and Lips, I had not gotten around to it yet. Sam offered to send me one to try and I already knew I liked "My Smokey Classics". I love when my stars align like this and we happily exchanged contacts. The kit is a winner! It is sleek, compact and generously includes two tones of eye shadow primer (Lauren is ALL about eyes, and she strongly believes in laying the proper foundation, 3 Eye Shadows, 2 Lip Colors, Eye Liner and a Blush. The colors are rich and sultry and make me feel glam and special when I use them at night. I do however, use the shadow primers every day (and will continue to use them for the rest of my life), because my eye makeup stays fresh and put all day long. At $38.00, this kit offers tremendous value and for more of Lauren's know how, visit her website or You Tube. I do!!!
So---there you have it. Unless of course something extraordinary crosses my path in the next 11 days. Lots of you have emailed me your faves too! Please share them with others by posting them as comments.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
My Top 10 Beauty Faves for 2009 (Part 1)
As much as I enjoy writing DivaDebbi it doesn't even pay the Verizon bill each month. Thus my "day job" as a Personal Shoppper guarantees that every December, I will be a wee nuts. In my next life, I will be my own client.
I was reflecting on my favorite Beauty discoveries of 2009 and thought it would make for a fun Blog. Since I am crunched for time, I will do this in two installments.
1) Rimmel London's Fix and Perfect Primer- This is what you wish your skin looked like, when you first crawl out of bed. The gel formula comes in one "universally flattering" shade of pinky-apricot. Smooth it on and your skin is instantly brighter, more even toned and will keep your makeup in place indefinitely. For $7.99, I find myself picking one up every time I am in CVS, in a hoarder's hysteria. One word...GENIUS.
2) ReVersital 3 in 1 MicrodermaStick- This three in one multi tasker does it all! Exfoliates, cleanses and moisturizes. I use it daily in the shower on my face, throat and decollete. (It is a bit gritty, so your really need more than just the tap to remove all of those hard working aluminum oxide crystals). I am all about the glow and I am convinced that using this product daily, is every bit as effective as having a professional treatment monthly. Well worth the $95.00, it lasts for months and cost less than a single microdermabrasion session. LOVE.
3) Loreal's Telescopic Explosion Mascara- An innovative breakthrough! The unique spiked ball applicator, truly lets you go where no mascara has gone before. (Sounds like a Dyson's vacuum). It finds lashes you didn't know existed and lengthens the ones you do have to gastronomic proportions and at $9.99, the price is right. I will buy this again and again. BRAVO.
4) Living Proof's No Frizz Styling Cream- Singularly, the best product I have ever used in my hair. It completely eliminates frizz, makes styling a breeze, leaves my hair thick and glossy for days, and repels dirt. The cost is $24.00 for four ounces, but you need less product than the size of a quarter, with each shampoo. This is the George Clooney of beauty products...it's in a class by itself.
5) Clairol's Shimmer Lights Shampoo- Like some fabulous old friendships I have rekindled on Facebook, Shimmer Lights is back in my life and I am wondering why I let so much time pass in between. Shimmer Lights keeps my highlights toned and fresh instead of brassy between visits. Even Christopher my colorist, noticed the change for the better. $12.99 at Beauty Supply Stores...Oh, and I checked you can become a Fan of Shimmer Lights on Facebook--who knew???
Stay tuned and if you have some of your own new faves, do share them...that way we can exchange gifts.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Weekly Blogs from your GlamourSquad
Clumps of Mascara loves red lipstick and challenges you to wear your favorite red lippy during the holiday season.
DivaDebbi is in search of the lost (eyebrow) arch.
Butterflydiary gives you the Screen Siren Lipstick Guide and tips to achieve stars’ pouts.
Adina of Krasey Beauty has 3 Ecotools Overnight makeup bags to give away!
The Beauty Alchemist gets in the holiday spirit with the Annick Goutal Noel Candle
The Product Pasha lets out her inner holiday diva with a little help from Orly Femme Fatale.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The Skinny on The Skinny
Have you heard about The Skinny??? The Skinny is a fabulous new shopping website, much like The Gilt Group, Ideeli and Rue La La. While these sites primarily stick to fashion, they occasionally veer astray into skin care. The Skinny is 100% dedicated to bringing you only the freshest products at considerable discounts. Skin care, is there only focus.
I may be the only skin care junkie on the planet, who has not yet tried Lisa Hoffman's Vitamin A & C Serum.. When I received this personal email from The Skinny's Founder, Lauren Fornes, about an amazing opportunity to purchase it for myself at a hefty discount, I was thrilled! I immediately wrote back and asked if I might be able to share this offer with DivaDebbi readers and Lauren was thrilled! Please read below and do considering treating yourself, (this offer is valid through December 15th):
Here at The Skinny, we've noticed that lots of you are concerned about the effects of aging on your skin. I know it's the holiday and finances are tight, but I feel obligated to tell you that we have one of the best anti-aging treatments on the market for sale on The Skinny today.
It's Lisa Hoffman’s Vitamin A & C Serum. It's a truly amazing product with really impressive clinical results. It usually retails around $60, but we're featuring it for $28.50. Honestly, it's a great deal on a great product.
To make the deal even sweeter, here is a promo code you can use at checkout: ACS10. This will give you an additional 10% off your entire order The Skinny.
Just thought you may be looking for a little holiday pick-me-up! Feel free to pass along to friends. :)
Nice!!!. I think you will be thrilled...let me know-K?
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Do you recognize these??? Nope, they are not something I have tried for cellulite reduction and you haven't mistakenly logged onto Heloise's Helpful Hints...
They are Dryer Balls as seen on T.V..
I am the person marketers and store managers channel, when setting up all those irresistible tzchakes along the check out aisles. This how I happened upon a set of Dryer Balls, on a recent visit to Bed Bath & Beyond.
We had recently purchased a new energy efficient dryer. Personally, I have my doubts, since it now took 4 hours to dry a load of towels. Dryer Balls claim to cut down on drying time by a third and soften clothes as effectively as fabric softeners or those toxic dryer sheets. They also are indestructible and will no doubt endure into the next century. But, do they work???
Yes they do!!! In fact, they are remarkable!!! Certainly a better impulse purchase than my last one...The Ped Egg. In the meanwhile, if I decide to give them a romp on the back of my thighs and have any luck, I'll keep you posted. Y'all know how much I love a good multi-tasker.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Weekly Reads from the GlamourSquad
Please help me welcome our newest GlamourSquad member, Blogger Adina who writes KraseyBeauty. LOVE her take on the world of beauty and fashion!!!
ThinkThruFashion gets lucky with Steve Madden's Scratch & Shop cards.
DivaDebbi tells you how to keep whiteness off your clothes and on your teeth.
Butterflydiary thinks this scent is just spritz perfect for the season!
The Beauty Alchemist does a Holiday Gift Guide.
Get a sneak peek, and meet the newest addition to the Zoya Nail Polish Spring 2010 Reverie line- Adina!
The Product Pasha talks to the folks at Bold PR and finds out why they love bloggers.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Nope, not a tale about my recent trauma of having to stay in a seedy motel near an Atlanta airport because of missed connection, (hi to Vicki from Buffalo, my new friend and fellow flea bag survivor)! This is about eyebrow planing.
I recently received an email from one of my P.R. contacts, who had read my Blog about having my brows professionally shaped, in search of my long lost arch. She wanted to know if I might be interested in try the Christi Harris brow kit, that would teach me how, with practice, to do precision brows at home. Of course I would!!!
Christi Harris hails from Texas, where she was once a model and has made a career, out of teaching women how to look their best. Christi believes the one feature on our face that we have the power to change is our brows. She also believes that over tweezing, waxing and threading can result in damaged, sparse eyebrows.
The lynch pin of the Christi Harris Brow Kit, is a device that looks like a cross between a pocket knife and a box cutter. Christi developed this "planing" tool because she believes that it is a more effective shaper and does less damage to the roots. It's also quick and pain free to use. I love this little sucker!!! (Don't think for a second that I haven't successfully de-planed other areas...I will leave where to your imagination).
The kit also come with a brow filler gel, brow shadow, (in a range of three shades) and brow diffusing powder, and appropriate applicators. The diffusing powder is whisked on, as the last step, to soften the look. It does the job nicely, particularly if you start channeling Joan Crawford.
One of the interesting features, is a step by step explanation of how to measure exactly where your brows should start, arch and end. She also does not agree with other "experts", who claim the top of the brow should never be touched, in fact, she thinks its one of the keys to creating a perfect arch..
Am I now a brow expert??? Getting there!!! I am sure my skills will improve over time. The best part? One less beauty professional on my payroll.
One suggestion-- don't try to board a plane with your de-planer. That little sucker could shut down an airport and you might end up having to spend the night in a flea bag motel...Believe me. I'm still recovering.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
White Out White In
Love my Gal Pals! They are never shy to call, text or email, (often while perusing the aisles) for beauty product advice. Most recently, "can you recommend a deodorant that won't leave white residue on my clothes? I've tried everything"
Coincidentally, I received a sample of Dove's Clinical Protection and was about a week into using it. Clinical Protection, is an over the counter product that claims to be as effective as prescription strength products for wetness protection. The scent name, "original clean", sums it up nicely. It has a lovely, sheer texture and dries invisibly and TA-DAH has left nary a trace on clothes.
I looked for it at CVS, on a recent trip and was surprised to see the hefty $10.99 price. I don't have a wetness problem, but I do have a whiteness one. Will I be shelling out $10.99 when my sample runs out??? You bet. Susan B. this ones for you!
Speaking of whiteness, I was intrigued, when I saw Listerine Whitening Plus Restoring Fluoride Rinse. My dentist had prescribed a rinse to strengthen my teeth, but I soon learned that one of the possible side effects would be darkening them...uh I don't think so. This sounded like a more palatable alternative.
It is white, pleasantly foamy and formulated to freshen breath and restore enamel, when used twice daily. It certainly does a great job of keeping ahead of coffee, tea and wine stains. It would be also be lovely, if it is strengthening my teeth.
Fade in, fade out...two more beauty dilemmas solved.