Musings on beauty and fashion, then and now, for women of substance, style, laughter and love.
Friday, March 26, 2010
DivaDebbi Turn's Two
I woke up to a lovely surprise yesterday! It's been 2 years since I started my Blog DivaDebbi and some wonderful reader was my 25,000!
I will be on vacation next week. Hopefully, with a little tech help from my husband, I can figure out the I.P.O. to send them my thanks and with permission, some beauty goodies.
It's been so much fun for me to do be a Beauty and Fashion Blogger. I have met some incredible people that I would never have had the opportunity to know. My brain gets a little exercise and best of all, I get to share my picks and pans with all of you, just like I always have, with my gal pal posse!
I know it's a bit of chore to leave comments on Blogger, but I do love hearing from you! There is also an email on my home page if you want to contact me personally. Please subscribe, if you want to receive updates automatically and continue sharing me with your friends...I so appreciate it!
I will be undoing an entire years worth of anti-aging efforts next week! I just finished my month on Filextra. I can't really see a difference in "mid-face sink", but then again, I don't think I had it in the first place. I hugely enjoyed the texture and instant glow, Filextra provides. I used it happily, night and day. If I ever get to the end of my anti-aging rope trials, I will buy this on my own.
I'm on to the next...RoC's new day, night and eye treatments, with, "E pulse" technology. I have used anti-aging products from the French skin care company before and I think they are quite effective. Naturally, you will be the first (of 25,000) to know my results.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The I's Have It
When it comes to cosmetics, I am a mass of contradictions. Is there really a difference between luxury brand cosmetics and the stuff that lines the Duane Reade aisle??? You bet there is...The question is how much of a difference, and does it justify the considerable poll vault in price.
I own eyeshadow from at least a dozen brands. Do I love my Chanel Quadra Eye Shadows??? Yes I do. Have I ever received one compliment about my eyes or shadow when wearing them??? No. Nada. Not a one.
I do however, always seem to make an impression, when I am wearing Almay's Intense i-color, specifically, for brown eyes. Who'd have thunk it???
I like the concept. Shadows, liners and mascaras formulated to enhance your eyes based on their color. Intuitively, it makes sense. What makes my brown eyes pop may make your blue eyes recede and vice verse. Do they have the same silky milled texture of my Nars or Trish McEvoy shadows? No. The same staying power? No. But, with the help of Lauren Luke's great eye shadow base, intense-i color shadows is on a level playing field with the big guns.
i-intense can't turn my brown eyes blue, (the burning wish of my youth), but it does make my brown eyes prettier, without paying a premium and that is certainly a good thing...Now of course I am curious about the added benefit the liner and mascara may bring to the party.
Any feedback girls??? Let me know!
GlamourSquad Weekly Reads
Here's what my GlamourSquad posse was up to this week:
The Beauty Alchemist tries MAKE UP FOR EVER's new HD Blushes.
Butterflydiary rocks MAC's Liberty of London's new eyeshadows.
Krasey Beauty shows you the La Metier de Beaute Red Lips Kaleidoscope, the only red lip palette you will ever need.
Clumps of Mascara loves Urban Decay's Ink for Eyes.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
It would be dreamy, if they just presented the information in a list format, but the purpose of having to "click" through the whole list, is to add "page views", so TB can rack them up to show their advertisers...Just business, I know, but still a chore...for both of us.
This week TotalBeauty presented the highest and lowest rated "skin brighteners". These products are formulated to even skin tone, improve radiance and the real reason anyone uses them...to fade dark spots.
I am always surprised to see a well regarded skin care line like Peter Thomas Roth's Potent Botanical Skin Brightening Complex take a drubbing, since his Un-Wrinkle Pads are a phenomenon I endorse. Oh well, nobodies perfect and it gives credibility to the whole concept of having unbiased readers rate products.
My goal, is always to find the highest rated product at the lowest cost!
There were two that made the list, one easily accessible at your local drugstore.
Forgive me for not telling you up front...DivaDebbi needs her page views too!
See which reader-tested products will help you get the radiant skin you crave
Want luminous skin? Check out the best skin lightening/brightening products and avoid the worst ones, and you'll be um, good to glow.
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 6.8*
"I put on my first application as instructed and hours later my face starting burning ..."
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 5.8*
"I have been using this product for at least 6 months to give it a fair chance, but ..."
Best: No. 6: Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Cream, $59
TotalBeauty.com average reader rating: 8*
"This is my miracle in a jar â€¦"
Friday, March 19, 2010
Let's Hear if for New York
It's been quite a week! Last Saturday's 'Nor Easter, mustered up a lot of damage! 5 long days and nights without heat and electricity. Don't ask!!!
I did have a lovely break on Wednesday, when I met my Mom and sister in N.Y. to see Twyla Tharp's magnificent choreography to a book of song's from Frank Sinatra's repertoire. Some love, lots of lust and a little loss. Just beautiful!
Speaking of Broadway, I received this media alert from Maybelline and CVS about a promotion that includes a "walk-on part" in Chicago on Broadway, with Michelle Williams starring as Roxie Hart. Here's the scoop for all you budding hoofers:
Be Sensational And Win
Maybelline New York
in partnership with CVS/pharmacy
Grand prize winner appears in CHICAGO, the musical
With Lines and Likely Singing and/or Dancing
The Ambassador Theatre
219 W 49 Street
9am-11am & Noon-1:00pm
First 100 people guaranteed to be seen*
Or via the Internet at
Between March 15 and April 15
Look like a Star Mini-Makeovers, Discount tickets
To CHICAGO, the Musical and ProductCoupons
150 E 42 Street
To learn more about entering the contest
and razzle dazzle auditioning tips from
Michelle Williams, Broadway's newest Roxie
* Those auditioning in person, MUST bring a photo of themselves
Good luck to all you budding thespians! Let's hear it for New York...
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Do's For Your Do
Celebrity Hair Stylist and Nexxus Creative Director Kevin Mancuso is often sought out for his expert advice in the Media. His How-To's always catch my eye and ear...they just make sense. This is the guy after all who taught me how to trim my own bangs! I recently shared a TotalBeauty Bit about how to take a good photograph. Kevin takes this one step further by sharing his insights on how to style your hair, particularly for a portrait session.
“In my experience, I’ve noticed that women either over do it or don’t do enough to prepare for a photo shoot. Try to go for a more natural look when preparing for your headshot to ensure the photograph captures the best and most beautiful version of you.” – Kevin Mancuso, Nexxus Creative Director
Prepping Hair for the Shoot:
· Try to get a trim or haircut a week or so before the shoot, so hair looks healthy.
· If you color your hair, make sure your roots are done. You should also use a color protecting shampoo and conditioner, like Nexxus Dualiste, before the shoot to maintain the color and keep hair looking vibrant.
Styling the Day of the Shoot:
· Try pulling hair in front of shoulders for close shots to help elongate your face and instantly make you look thinner.
· Avoid tightly pulled back hair since it can make you look harsh and unapproachable.
· A flattering amount of body will always make hair look healthy and natural. Try using a volumizing mousse, like Nexxus Thermal Volume, before blow-drying to protect hair from heat damage and help build bounce.
What to Wear:
· Pick clothes that are flattering to not only your body type, but also your hairstyle. Big collars are a major “don’t” with down hairstyles, and low-cut shirts should be avoided when working an updo.
Like I said, great advice, good common sense. Thank you!!!
I am ready for my close up Mr. DeMille, I mean Mancuso.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Foundation so Perfect You Can Apply it in the Dark
This morning I had to move my caravan of brushes, blushes, shadows, primers, moisturizers, self tanners and foundation to a bathroom with a scooch more daylight...we have been without power since Saturday. I had visions of emerging like Bette Davis in Sweet Baby Jane. Miraculously, I actually look good, despite the tremors, since my house is now the same temperature as a meat locker.
I must say, I can only attribute this to my new Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation. I finally took the plunge and purchased a foundation for normal to dry skin with anti-aging ingredients like Milk Thistle...I'm pretty sure anti-aging is code for mature. Oy!
Deep breath girls, the big leagues never looked so good! Bobbi's philosophy, that all foundations should have a yellow base, to achieve the most natural match, surely works for me. 4.5 Warm Natural gives me the most flawless, dewy, natural coverage I have ever experienced. It lasts without touch-ups from the moment you put it on, till the moment you take it off. It doesn't settle into or emphasize fine lines and my skin feels continuously hydrated. Jeez, I'm gushing!
I went on to Bobbi's website to see how others who tried it liked their experience. It's officially a love fest! Almost all of those who left reviews gave it the max, 5 stars.
I haven't left my feedback yet, but I will. Maybe they will even pick up my tag-line; Foundation so Perfect, You can Apply in in the Dark...Here's hoping you won't have to.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I think we are all tough critics, of our own photographs. I liked this round of TotalBeauty Bits. I learned a few things! I hope you will too...
These tricks will make you look pretty in every shot, from every angle
If your Facebook picture is of your bad side, your backside or is SO two years ago, it's time to put up a new one -- stat! Get the perfect profile pic using these expert tips.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Hail to the Queen
I was doing a CVS run the other night for the stuff you actually might need from the drug store...of course I had to peruse the cosmetic aisles first. I wanted to revisit gel eyeliner, after hearing great buzz about Maybelline's new version...good luck with that. Apparently, they can't keep it in stock anywhere. NEXT!.
I have whined before, about the dearth of lip liners available in a natural looking nude rose, that might blend into my lip line. Mass or class, it's nearly impossible to find. Believe me, I have swatched every one's repertoire...it's the Hope Diamond of beauty. I, for one, never understood the whole MAC Spice hysteria...why would I want pecan colored lips?
Lo and behold, I found myself in front of CoverGirl's Queen Collection. It makes perfect sense, to market Queen Latifah's radiant beauty to African Americans and it made me wonder why CG hadn't thought of it sooner, (I also wonder what QL's friends call her...anyone)???
I would have thought a display featuring Queen's (?), collection would be vibrant and hip, but it looked dour and muddy and could easily have been missed. I still couldn't resist checking out the lip liners. Who woulda thunk it??? Q135/Plum lasting lip pencil was looking spot on. $6.99???... I'm in.
The next morning, I tested Q135 on my hand with the last remnant of Clinique's Plush Pink, (which maddeningly, still has a few inches left, but will have to be trashed, because the ill fitting sharpener no longer fits on the end).
Ohhhhh happy face! I can barely tell one from the other, can you??? If I ever have the opportunity to see QL, I love to tell her how happy I am that she solved this beauty conundrum for me. I still have no idea how I would address her...so maybe I will just curtsy.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Weekly Reads from the GlamourSquad
We've been Oscar crazed! Here' what we have been up to other than discussing the best and worst face, hair and gowns on the RC:
The Beauty Alchemist steps into an Italian garden with Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio.
Clumps of Mascara is having weight frustrations.
Butterflydiary hosts a red carpet Oscar party sponsored by Dove!
The Product Pasha has a frank chat with DeVries President Stephanie Smirnov about blogging, PR, and everything in between.
Krasey Beauty spotlights the brand new Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette.
Monday, March 8, 2010
All About Oscar
Net net, it forced me to tune into the E Channel at 6pm, when the bathroom attendants normally arrive. Ryan Seacrest is NOT who I want getting my fashion poop from, mostly because he can't even remember to ask the Jane, Sally, Dick of runway q's...who are you wearing?
I have fallen in love, with Alec Baldwin's comedic charms since It's Complicated and thought he would make a terrific host with Steve Martin. I don't know how they opened the show, since channel 7 did not deem us worthy until 17 minutes into the show. I would love to have seen more of them, because I found the AA's to be the dullest ever...be careful what you wish for.
Anyway, enough of my rant. Let's move on the good the bad and the ugly. Whole lotta strapless going on, most of it with unadorned necks...when it was worn by Mariska Hargitay and Kate Winslet, it looked Oscah worthy and bling appropriate. The men, all tidied up, in classic formal wear with onyx studs and black bow ties, looked elegant...please repeat. Improvised black tie is a bore.
A+- The Trifecta:Perfect gown hair and makeup;
Demi was divine, in a Versace stunner, Rachel McAdam's in Elie Saab, Penelope Cruz in Donna Karan, Helen Mirren in Badgley Mischka, Maggie Gyllenhal in Dries Van Noten, one of the only prints of the night. Mariska Hargitay in a midnight navy Vera Wang.
A- Great but flawed;
Sandra Bullock. LOVED the Marchesa gown, didn't love the hair and makeup, though many did. Kate Winslet in YSL, quietly pretty, no snap. Kristen Stewart in a navy Monique L'hullier, a little old and a little Goth. SJP. I may be the only one on the planet who liked this Chanel Couture gown, which looked vaguely modern day Breakfast at Tiffany's to me. The two tone unicorn horn hairstyle, was puzzling, but suited the gown. Elizabeth Banks (who is she btw)???, had on a lovely lavender chiffon Versace, marred by a sleek helmet of overly peroxfried, blonde hair, that looked tangerine tinged . Adorable Carey Mulligan, looked age appropriate in Prada, but anemic with too blonde hair, that detracted from her fresh faced beauty.
Mo'nique, Queen Latifah, Amanda Seyfried, Nicole Richie, and Gabourey Sidibe who was exuberant in Marchesa.
C+ (Most Improved);
D for "Do Over";
Charlize Theron in a Dior with lilac Pillsbury Cinnamon buns over her breasts and train to match with jarring tomato lipstick. J. Lo in Armani Prive with a train wreck of a train, that looked liked the twins were hiding under it, Diane Kruger in a Chanel Little Bo Peep number, that will be adored. Sigourney Weaver in a Statue of Liberty frock, Vera Farmiga looking overwhelmed, in a red ruffled Marchesa, (which reminded me of Christina Hendricks frothy misstep, in Christian Siriano at the Globes, but without all those gorgeous fleshy curves, which nearly redeemed it), Zoe Saldana look quite pretty from the bust up but OY, the bottom looked like a Chita Rivera dance costume from West Side Story. Tina Fey in a black one shouldered, leopard print dress, that looked like something Betty Rubble would have worn on New Year's Eve, to the Water Buffalo Lodge. Last but not least, Meryl. I love her, but she always looks like she just rummaged in her closet. This old thing??? YES!!!...that old thing. 3 suggestions: hire the Costume Designer from It's Complicated, hire Dame Helen's stylist, hire me (I will donate my services).
Snarkfest, over and out. E tu???
Friday, March 5, 2010
Leaving it to the Pros
I was light on writing this week, my apologies...evenings after work were consumed by two board meetings, book club and the Greenwich Library Dinner at the Hyatt Wednesday night, honoring the very special Peter Grauer Chairman of Bloomberg, with the Peterson Award, (congrats Pete!!! Well deserved).
Sometimes you have to bring in the big guns...Wednesday was dreary and raw and I wasn't sure how I was going to rally. I had heard wonderful things about Lucas Magnum from Becker Salon in Greenwich. I've also seen some of his amazing work. I didn't have time to have my hair washed (though his luxurious 10 minute shampoo/massage in their luxurious body massage chairs is suppose to be other worldly). Could he just make my limp locks look lush? Absolutely! Warm, attentive and sweet, Lucas asked me tell him exactly how I wanted my hair to look. No one ever asks, though I often try and say how I would like my hair styled. I like fullness!!! Pin straight in my book, looks best on a twenty something or an Afghan.
We chatted about Fashion Week, where we both had our first back stage beauty experiences. Lucas was asked to style hair for L'Oreal, under the direction of the legendary Odile Gilbert for the Zac Posen show. Hugely impressive for a young stylist! Lucas didn't just revive my hair he gave me my ssshhhhush back!
Love you Lucas!!! I will be back and I will share you.
Next stop, a visit to see Andy Jablow, at Sak's, where she has been Bobbi Brown's lead makeup artist for the last 15 years. Andy is always in demand and I can tell you why; She is highly skilled, she oozes calm, she is a great teacher and a good listener. I could leave Andy's chair without bothering to look in the mirror and have full confidence that I would never look clownish, just a better me.
Love you Andy!!! I will be back, of course and I will share you, as I always do.
I left feeling so much prettier and than I did just an hour before. It was still raw and rainy, but I know longer gave a rat's patootie. I remained calm when the zipper on my dress broke and I had to cut myself out of it...I was looking, "fierce" as Lucas intoned, and neither the weather nor a wardrobe malfunction could put a chink in my confidence armor.
Confidence is the most beautiful accessory--sometimes you've got it, sometimes you need a little help getting it. Here's to the Pros and the fairy tails they create and the fairy dust they sprinkle.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Weekly Blogs from your GlamourSquad
Here's what my GlamSquad lovelies have been writing about:
Clumps of Mascara does a neutral eye and poppin' lip video tutorial.
The Product Pasha teaches you how to reproduce the unique looks Tarte and Tina Turnbow created for New York Fashion Week.
Butterflydiary is already in love with Givenchy’s Summer 2010 Frangipani collection.
Krasey Beauty shows you her fashion week makeup looks. Which one is your favorite?
The Beauty Alchemist tests Ellis Faas cosmetics.
DivaDebbi tries the newest from Cover Girl’s Simply Ageless collection.