The Clock Stops Here...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

I have been on the hunt for a really good mascara. I know it's a lot to hope for; massive length and volume, a glossy rich black hue, no clumps or flakes and the ability to remove it without removing my existing lashes.
Oh.  And can it please be less than $25?

I nearly caved, and repurchased Benefit's They're REAL Mascara after trying and returning Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara (a gloppy mess), and Dior Addict-It Lash Mascara (which lived up to none of it's promises.)

I love everything about They're REAL Mascara, probably the best product Benefit has ever produced. except when it's time to take it off.  Even with expensive removers, specifically formulated for waterproof mascara, (which They're REAL is not), it's hard work. I just knew I was damaging my lashes, so the love fest did end and after many purchases,  I quit cold.

Sephora has a display of mascara's from different brands that allows you to compare them by promise and applicator. One of their associates saw me pondering them and offered help.  I in turn, asked what her absolute favorite mascara was, whether displayed or not.  "That's easy", she replied...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower

St.Tropez Gradual Tan in Shower

When  it comes to self tanning, St. Tropez products are beloved. I recently selected a sample of St. Tropez's Gradual Tanner, with my my VIB beauty points.  I literally gagged from the scent. It did not make it on to my body.

This week I posted Allure Magazine's 2016 Beauty Award Winners. One of the categories that always piques my interest is the "beauty innovations".

Here I spotted St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower. They gave a rather lengthy scientific explanation, of how, when combined with water, the properties that cause tanning get released immediately and somehow, evenly.


Get The Look: London FW Street Style

Get The Look: London FW Street Style

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Here: Allure's Best of Beauty 2016

I love Best of Beauty lists. I find them irresistible.  I'm always curious if the things I love or discovered have made the grade, particularly when Allure is giving the stamp of approval...after all their editors are solely focused on beauty. One can only imagine what they get to scratch and sniff.

I always peek first at the beauty innovations, (I found my beloved JeNu Ultrasonic Infuser System on Vogue's Best Beauty Breakthrough's of 2015 list) and the beauty bargains.. Click Here to see the full link with all the thumbnail slides.

Oh, and grab a pen....


A DIY Beauty Miracle: removing blackheads simply at home

I know via my blog, that many of you feel you know me and I love that, but truly when it comes to my beauty whims, I must satisfy them instantly.

Case in point; a few weeks ago on a Monday, I noticed how straggly my ends were looking. With Becker Salon closed, I knew I was about an inch too close to taking matters into my own hands. 

Here's where I ended up instead:

Classic Barbershop Greenwich Ct.


Yup. I'm A little nutty, but that much I think you do know...

Which brings me to Sunday and the insane way my beauty axis aligns with the world. As we all do, I receive tons of alerts and emails. Suffice to say, delete, delete, delete. 

Today however, an aberrant thing occurred... I actually opened my "Popular on Pinterest This Week" email and began to scroll. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

DivaDebbi's 2015 Emmy's Report Card

Well, as always, it was a long night. I've never been enamored with host Andy Samberg and found his mostly juvenile humor, on par with that other one time Emmy wonder Seth McFarland.  The combination of network, cable and live streaming shows makes it all feel like a jumble with variety and news shows somehow garnering too much attention and dozens of feet on stage accepting awards.

I sooo loved that Jon Hamm slithered up to the stage on his belly. YES, in Mad Men's last season, they finally threw Hamm the Best Actor bone he has long deserved.  I swear, had he not won, I would have stayed in bed all day with the covers over my head in protest. I am bitterly disappointed that Elizabeth Moss did not win in the Best Actress Category.  I'm sure Viola Davis, who is an incredible talent, does a fine job on How To Get Away With Murder, but I have invested all of 20 minutes into watching this overwrought Shondra Rhimes drama, vs. 8 seasons with the magnificent Moss and I think she was utterly deserving.

Oh Well.

But let's face it...we are in for the clothes and if your reading this, you like my award show postmortems, so let's get to it, shall we?

Trends soon become apparent on the Red Carpet and last night we saw no shortage of every color in the rainbow, some to great effect others, not so much. Personally, I prefered the deeper hued, more fall like dresses.  So what if it was 106 degrees. Cut outs, Asymetric necklines and chains also made an appearance.

Overall, I was underwhelmed, to say the least. For me there were only 5 A list standouts.  Much was made of Kerry Washington's ripped from Marc Jacobs runway chain mail dress.  It was sexy, but somehow didn't feel like an Emmy dress to me, and it's going to take me a bit to warm up to those 80's shoulders.  Still and all, she made the grade with my gratitude, for finally giving up on wearing Prada or Miu Miu, several of which have landed her on the Worst Dressed lists from seasons past and getting her Red Carpet mojo back. Thank you Lord.

The good was good and the bad was atrocious...Let's roll:

The A Team:

Ellie Kemper, sunny and charming in Naeem Khan

Lena Headey, breathtaking in Zuhair Murad

Jamie Alexander looking fierce and beautiful in Armani Prive

Sarah Hyland looking sleek and sophisticated in Zac Posen

Kerry Washington in Marc Jacobs though I still think it would
 have been more appropriate at a festive party, rather than the Emmy's

The B Team: 
Pretty but not extraordinary included: Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Emma Roberts, a much improved Sarah Paulson, the gorgeous, but oh so predictable Sophia Vergara, in yet another skin tight, strapless gown, Laverne Cox in Calvin Klein, Lady Gaga in a divine Brandon Maxwell, marred, IMO by that fact that she is a human ink blot. Taraji P. Henson in Alexander Wang. Tina Fey, looking sleek in Antonio Berardi and the always tasteful Christine Baranski.

The C Team:
Both Maggie Gyllenhaal and Elizabeth Moss chose Peter Copping for Oscar de La Renta. I thought they looked prom-y and deja vu.

I was also not on board with Elizabeth's platinum Adele Hair
Click here to see the Polyvore set I styled of Lizzie for the Emmy's. I vote for me. You?

The D Team:
Doesn't it just astound how many dresses miss the mark, despite having all the designer talent and top stylists vying to dress them?

Trainwrecks. Bed head had no place on the Red Carpet.
Besides Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer both looking wildly unkempt, let's add, Natasia Lyon and Taryn Manning to this list. I am very particular who I think looks well in strapless dresses.  For the most part, I think they look best on the Natalie Portman's and Cate Blanchett's of the world. This Zac Posen would never have been my choice for Amy Schumer, though the color is lovely on her.

The wtF Team:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lizzie's Night

Lizzie's Night

Givenchy vintage black dress / Gianvito Rossi khaki shoes, $505 / Chanel special occasion clutch / Kimberly McDonald 18k white gold jewelry / Christian Louboutin lips lipstick, $93 / Marc Jacobs flower fragrance

I am an enormous fan of Elizabeth Moss, particularly her extraordinary work on Matt Weiner's Mad Men. 

Since its inception, I have been a rabid fan of the series. It is amazing that in 7 years, neither Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, or Christina Hendricks have  never received an Emmy and even less probable that the spectacular John Slattery was never even nominated. 

Thank God our Breaking Bad days are behind us. For sure, it's Jon's night.  My fingers are crossed for Lizzie's too...

Polyvore ran a contest on how we would style our favorite Emmy pick.  I imagined Lizzie in this very "modern" vintage Givenchy gown, with classic Gianvito Rossi shoes and this limited edition Chanel Clutch. Who wouldn't want to discreetly or not slip out Christian Louboutin's gorgeous lipstick for a quick touch up?

I'm saving up my energy for my DivaDebbi Loves and Loathes blog. Even when I'm not quite in the mood, I find I can't resist, so do peek back and see if picked yours.


P.S.  Well, I'm doubly disappointed! Elizabeth Moss did not win and I really disliked her prom-y Oscar de la Renta gown and platinum "Adele" bob. The off shade of blonde robs Elizabeth of all of her beauty. I much prefered the way I styled her...How about you???

Elizabeth Moss in Oscar de la Renta

Review: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
12 Shades $39

I'll admit that when I here the words Medium-Full Coverage describing a foundation, I immediately think, "not for me!" It conjures up a combination images of bad skin and newscasters, who unfortunately, are left with no pore unviewed, courtesy of HD TV.

What do I need this for?

The buzz on Too Faced Born This Way foundation is phenomenal.

I am a huge fan, and liberally take advantage of Sephora's sampling program. No matter what is written, the only thing that matters is how a product performs for us individually. Having the ability to test a product on freshly washed and prepped skin, not layered over other makeup while playing in store, is a world of difference. I also love trying things out for several days so I can see how it wears and washes off, before pulling the trigger on a purchase.  I was happy to sample Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in "Golden" and as always, hoped for the best.

For starters, I've never seen a foundation that so closely matched my skin tone, which is the big push behind this foundation. Despite the fact that it is a medium to full coverage foundation, it is meant to be virtually undetectable, your skin, but literally perfected:

What it is:
An oil-free foundation for natural-looking, full coverage and a beautiful, radiant finish. 

What it does:
Born This Way is an oil-free foundation that masterfully diffuses the line between makeup and skin. For coverage so undetectable, you can’t see the makeup or the imperfections—just a natural-looking, luminous, flawless complexion. The revolutionary formula is infused with a potent combination of coconut water to naturally replenish moisture levels; nature’s resilient alpine rose to brighten the skin’s appearance and promote elasticity; and hyaluronic acid for a smoother, more youthful appearance. 

Only the tiniest bit is needed, and it is best applied as suggested by putting a dot in the center of the face and then fanning out with fingertips or a brush. For those who would prefer a hair less coverage, I would recommend combining it with a spritz of a hydrating mist if you have one, or, in a pinch, I'm sure good old H2O would suffice.

So, can I get past my own bias of thinking, who me? "needing" a medium to full coverage foundation.  Well, I guess that depends on how you define "need".

Can I get used to looking radiant, spotless and flawless everyday? Can I appreciate a product that stays put and doesn't fade or change color even during one of the busiest times of my work year? One that lets me layer blush over it seamlessly?

Ya.  I can.  Afterall what's in a word???


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Are All Lash Primers Created Equally?

Clinique Lash Building Primer

In a word, NO.

Why do you even need to use a  lash primer? For starters, a good one, is a great first coat for top and bottom lashes.  You can't mess it up, so I apply it with abandon. It's all about what it does for the second coat, your actual mascara. Basically, it amps up your lashes, making them appear thicker and longer. Actually, they will be, thicker and longer.  One coat will usually suffice.

My friend Suzanne had told me how incredible her lashes looked using Lancomes Cil Booster XL Lash Primer. The beauty Gods must have been smiling down on me, because I was able to pick up a sample of it, with my VIB points at Sephora on my very next visit.

In a word, WOWZA.

Since then, I have gone through two tubes. Though I wasn't mad for the price, $26, I was mad for the result.

On a Sephora run recently, I noticed that Clinique sold a "lash building" primer for over $10 less. Considering we are talking about lash primers, it's not an inconsiderable sum.  Too bad they were sold out, as was Nordstrom's and Bloomingdales. Finally, this past Saturday, Sephora was restocked.

Naturally, I was only more curious about a primer that flies off the shelves.  I asked Roy, one of my favorite Beauty Advisors, at Sephora in Greenwich, for his input on Clinique's Lash Building Primer vs. Lancome's  "I think you are going to be disappointed, ultimately, it's thinner, the coverage isn't as good and the result doesn't have as much impact."

Well, if you asked me my opinion, having used it for two days, I would say re-read the above.  Roy nailed it.

If you are going to spend the time on a two step approach, you might as well go with the one that gives the best result; Lancome Cils Booster XL Lash, despite the additional cost.

I went to return it yesterday to purchase the above, when I made another lash discovery...a mascara and primer kit.


P.S. False Alarm!  I thought Too Faced's lash primer and mascara kit was the answer to all my dreams. After three days of using it, I can see the primer is going to run out way before the mascara. Back it goes! This time, I will stick with Lancome Cils Booster XL Primer and keep searching for my HG mascara. And the beat goes on...

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Sharp Eye; a feature on Polyvore and Moi!

A Polyvore tutorial from the Lifestyle website A Sharp Eye

A few weeks ago, my friend Nancy Ireland, co-creator of one of my must read websites A Sharp Eye emailed me for a bit of help with an article she was writing on Polyvore. Nancy knows I am a self described, "Polyvore addict". You have all seen my Polyvore fashion sets, because whenever I create one, I post it to my blog as well as Instagram.

Nancy's website, A Sharp Eye, is a fun. informative daily read that gives you the 411 on all things cutting edge on topics such as travel, entertaining, fashion, events and happenings, gifts, technology, health, family and philanthropy.

I love love love websites that synthesize the world for me. A Sharp Eye, like my other daily read Need 2 Know, a news summary. are essentially my Cliff Notes on life. If you feel inundated with information, here are two places that take the toil out of keeping pace and I am ever grateful.

Nancy is also a wonderful client of mine at Richards. As her Personal Shopper, I have joyfully, attended to her and her families wardrobing needs for the last 15+ years. I also hope, I return the favor of simplifying her life, by taking the toil out of shopping; pairing down the trends, keeping my eye open for things that she will love and building on past purchases with new items to freshen them up. (For your complimentary appointment, please call me at 203 622 0551).

Imagine how pleased I was that Nancy decided to personalize her informative Polyvore piece, by siting DivaDebbi  as an example of how the site resonates professionally and personally for its users. You can read the entire article here.

Once again, she takes this oft misunderstood website, gives a synopsis of it's backstory and explains to the lay person, how you to can bring the shopping world to your finger tips in just a few strokes.

Case in point;  when I was one of the keynote speakers for the Breast Cancer Alliance luncheon in 2012, peplums were having a moment. I got it in my head that in October, I wanted to wear a pink peplum dress. Good luck finding it...

But find it I did! I was able to use Polyvore's shopping site to find something in minutes, that I could have fruitlessly shopped for, for weeks.  5 minutes later, a pink peplum dress was ordered and on it's way to me from Matches in London.

DivaDebbi and friends
Breast Cancer Alliance Luncheon 2012

So here's to friends and all the tips we share to make every day of our fast paced lives, just a little bit easier.

Happy reading, happy shopping and my thanks, Nancy...


Friday, September 11, 2015

Review: Maybelline's The Falsies Push-Up Drama Mascara

Maybelline's The Falsies Push-Up Drama Mascara
$7.49 anywhere on the planet...$9.49 in Greenwich, Ct.

I know I'm like the proverbial dog chasing it's tail...I just keep hoping, upon hope, that one day, very soon,I will find my Holy Grail mascara. Not only will it add volume and length and neither flake nor smudge, but it will also be a cheap and cheerful find.

Thus, I couldn't resist picking up Maybelline's newest entry The Falsies Push-Up Drama Mascara whilst on my latest CVS run...

Monday, September 7, 2015

TotalBeauty's 9 Best Cream Blushes...and Mine!

TotalBeauty is one of my happy places.  Their beauty editors and writers are top notch, they publish DivaDebbi on their website and they compile results based on thousands of loyal readers detailed product reviews. As a result, they often put together Best and Worst Of slide shows, based on the aggregate ratings. I always end up taking notes.

This weekend they featured their 9 most highly rated cream blushes. While I was surprised that my HG cream blush, Makeup Forever High Definition Blush did not make the cut, I was delighted to see two cheap and cheerful entries; Revlon and NYX Cream Blush. I'm on the tail end of my third Makeup Forever HD Blush and I will definitely be trying one or the other based on their shade offerings.

Did your blush make the cut???

Transition to Fall

Transition to Fall

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Flashback Friday: Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes

$36 1 oz.
I recently bumped into my colleague Joe and his beautiful wife Lucille at Serafina's in East Hampton. It is always gratifying when people tell me, this product or that which, I reviewed, became a game changing favorite for them.

Lucille said, "I can't thank you enough for turning me on to Vichy Liftactiv Serum.  Just look at my lashes!!!" True enough, they were lovely, long and lush...

I originally ran out and purchased Vichy Liftactiv Serum, after reading that my blogger friend Jane Daly of Daly Beauty had such great success with it, she was forgoing mascara! (click here for the original post).

I too, had fantastic results without any of the habitual redness I inevitably develop with prolonged use of any lash enhancer I have ever used.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Little Liv

A Little Liv

Micellar Water; What is it? And do you need it?

Bioderma Micellar Water
Europe's Leader in the Category
$19 USD

Simple' Micellar Water

Two years ago, when I was in London visiting my dear childhood friend Nancy, she treated me to a magnificent whirlwind of cultural and culinary events, castle tours in the country side and of course our requisite shopping.

There we got down to recommending our absolute beauty must haves for each other to purchase.  I had never heard of Bioderma Micellar Water, but Nancy insisted it was one of those products that lives in the vanity of every self respecting woman in Europe and I needed it STAT. Oh-Kaaaaay...but can you tell me what it is and why I have to have it???


Of course I bought it anyway.

 By definition:  
  1. Micellar water is a skincare product that removes makeup and cleanses the skin, without the need for rinsing.
It took me nearly two years to use the entire bottle, partly because I still didn't completely understand how I was supposed to be using it.. Micellar water is far too gentle to be the only thing I use to remove my make up. As a toner, it doesn't have the requisite "ping" that makes me feel like another step actually happened. Mostly, I use it on a Q-tip to correct eye make up gaffes, or to gently refresh my skin if I am reapplying makeup from day to night.

So, as I hit the tail end of my bottle, was I going to replace it?  If Bioderma was my only option, at 3 times the price, probably not.  But I was doing an Ulta run,  (I can't believe I'm stalking yet another beauty emporium besides Sephora and CVS,) and spotted Simple's Micellar Water on sale for $6. 

Too good to pass up...

Can I tell the difference between the two??? Not a chance and  I use them exactly the same way. 

How about you?  Do you use Micellar Water?  Do you need it? Is it a case of the Emperor's new clothes? Is there any there, there???

Still not a clue.

I will be visiting Nancy again at the end of October.  I'm looking forward to spending time in the country house she and her husband have lovingly built, sheep and all, but if I know my Girl, there will be a tiny "Chemist's shop", somewhere, with something, " I absolutely, must have".

And have I will...and so may you.


P.S.  Nancy's marching orders:
You are wayyyy to funny!  Soak a cotton pad with the damm stuff!  Put it on your eye.  All the eye makeup.....  Every single bit of it.  Let the soaked cotton pad do the work.  Let it sit on the eye for a minute.  Then wipe.  It will handle anything you through at it! Oh. And don't rinsing! Ditto, the face makeup. 

I love you. 


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