The Clock Stops Here...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year and a Great Dupe to Kick Off 2016!

First and foremost Lovelies, I am wishing you a wonderful New Year, filled with joy, good health, safe travels and lots of new beauty finds! I treasure your loyalty and love the feedback that I get from you. 

Alas...if I only had a nickel for every product you ran out and bought upon my recommendation over the years! Big sigh...but believe me, I enjoy writing DivaDebbi and I'm thrilled to have amassed an audience the globe over, who enjoys reading it and trusts my recommendations. Thank you!

I will be doing a DivaDebbi Best of Beauty 2015 Roundup over the next few days and an updated list of my DivaDebbi Holy Grails, so do check back. In the interim, I continue to be on a roll, finding great drugstore brands for a fraction of my previous higher priced selections.  Let's add this to the pile of good wishes for the New Year too!

My Anastastia Brow Wiz Pencil was working just fine, until it wasn't...I wish it buzzed or had a flashing light to announce it was fini on the morning I needed it. I like a very fine tipped brow pencil. It may take a few more seconds to apply it, but I do so without fear of ending up looking like Joan Crawford. Medium Brown was a perfect hue for me. Nice stuff.

Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
$21.99 nine shades

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mary Jane Denzer April 11 1932- December 16, 2015

DivaDebbi and Mary Jane Denzer

Just before Christmas, the retail world lost a legend. Mary Jane Denzer, the doyenne of the eponymous women's luxury store that bore her name for 35 years in White Plains, N.Y., died of pancreatic cancer. Sadly, she was diagnosed last year, 2 months after opening a new, magnificent 5,000 square foot location that bore her imprimatur of modern elegance.

Mary Jane and I have enjoyed a professional friendship for many years. She always greeted me with warmth and cheer, even if, technically, we were competitors.  Every time I walked into her store, it was a visual feast; her impeccable eye and stunning displays never failed to delight me. Mary Jane had flawless taste and would cherry pick only the cream from the best designers, from the world over. The result was a dazzling array of the prettiest frocks, ever assembled under one roof! As such, Mary Jane Denzer became a tri-state destination for women who love beautiful clothes, particularly, when they need them for events and memorable occasions.

Mary Jane Denzer, White Plains NY
Renaissance Square adjacent to the Ritz Carlton

Over the years, I have recommended many clients to Mary Jane Denzer and often accompanied them, where Mary Jane or her right hand Anastasia Cucinella would graciously assist us. Mary Jane also came to my rescue on several occasions, when I had "fashion emergencies", generously allowing me take merchandise out on approval to help solve my client dilemma's, (one day to be revealed when I pen my memoirs from the fashion trenches.)

When I last visited, Mary Jane was hosting an evening to benefit the Red Cross Ball,  which will be held in the Spring of 2016.  Committee members and guests had the opportunity to try on beautiful gowns for the event, with a percentage of any purchases going directly to the charity.

I also couldn't help but be enchanted by the gorgeous display of Diana Vreeland Fragrances. Inspired to continue his grandmother's legacy of style, her grandson Alexander and a small coterie of top noses from the International Flavors & Fragrances have created 8 mysterious and romantic fragrances. Not surprisingly,  Mary Jane Denzer was one of a handful of elite U.S. retailers chosen to offer it. I had a ball sampling and sniffing my way through all of them. 

Long lasting and intoxicating, I think I have finally found my signature fragrance in, "Devastatingly Chic". Hallelujah! I have only been searching for one, for most of my adult life.

As we said our goodbye's and I thanked Mary Jane for hosting a lovely evening, I recognized a whiff of "Simply Divine".  And believe me, she was...

My condolences to her 4 children, her 3 step children, her 8 grandchildren, her numerous friends, many clients and devoted staff. Mary Jane lead a well lived and accomplished life. She will be remembered and she will be missed. Rest in Peace my friend.


I feel pretty...

I feel pretty...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Crayon

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Crayon
$8.99 at Drug stores Nationwide

Oh this has been a brilliant week! Two amazing drug store finds in one week! First, Maybelline's Better Skin Super Stay Concealer and now Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Crayon.

Last month, I had received a well researched, exhaustive review of the best eyeliners by Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner Crayon did not make the top 6, but their liquid eyeliner did. I went with their number one choice, Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide on Pencil.

My first outing was on a red eye to London and will attest to it's staying power, no question. What I quibble with, is the "glide" factor...that, not so much...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Christmas Miracle; Maybelline Better Skin Super Stay Concealer

Maybelline Better Skin Super Stay Concealer
$8.99 (ish) available in 6 shades

If you eyeballed my concealer stash, you couldn't possibly think I needed another, but the truth is, my Tarte Maracula Creaseless Concealer, Cover FX, Amazing Concealer, Revlon Superstay and Garnier BB Cream for Eyes are all past their prime and have grown puttyish in texture. A purge was an order, but I needed a replacement stat.

What I hoped to find was something with a consistency lighter and more blendable than numbers 1,2, and 3, a better match for my skintone than 4 and more coverage then 5. Not to much to ask....donchathink???

For no particular reason, I selected Maybelline Better Skin Super Stay Concealer on a recent CVS run. The Light/Medium shade looked ideal for me; lighter than my foundation, but not so light as to create dreaded "raccoon eyes".  (For the record, I love "twofer" products, but the new trend that combines concealer and foundation in one makes no sense to me, whatsoevah.)

OMG this flawless concealer is fantastic! Let me count the way's I love Better Skin Super Stay Concealer:
  1. Lightweight
  2. Glides on
  3. Perfect color
  4. Doesn't crease
  5. Doesn't budge
  6. Remained clean; didn't attract a bit of liner or mascara
It also contains a somewhat toxic sounding "anti-oxidant" ACTYL C, that is supposed to "lighten dark circles, spots and imperfections in just 3 weeks."

We shall see....even if those claims can't be added to my list of loves I'm already enamored. 

Oh, and did I forget to mention it's a bargain??? Apparently, Christmas miracles really do happen...Merry Merry and you are very welcome :)


Friday, December 18, 2015

Flashback Friday: Exuviance Age Reverse Toning Neck Cream

I am a "VIB" at both Sephora and Ulta. I'm not even sure exactly what this acronym stands for; suffice to say it translates into, "spends way too much annually on beauty products".  Sephora, by far, makes their VIB's feel special, offering special bonuses, perks and discounts.  Ulta, occasionally throw you a bone, and then frustratingly, things never seem to apply, as promised.

I was finally rewarded with an 8x10 glossy, that arrived in the mail, promising 20% off my entire Ulta purchase.  Hallelujah.  I like to give beauty gifts to colleagues, friends and the special people who provide me with great service all year long, so the timing was perfect.

While there, (as I selected one for you and two for me,) I knew I would treat myself to another mega tub of one of the faves in my anti-aging beauty arsenal,  Exuviance Age Reverse Toning Neck Cream.  I first wrote about it in August of 2014 after two of my colleagues asked me confidentially if, "I had done something to my neck".

I'm not sure what it says about me, that I was a little thrilled that they thought my neck looked so good, that I had it surgically tightened.  How nice to be able to report that instead, the reason my neck looked so toned was from the great results I achieved using Exuviance Age Reverse Toning Night Cream.

Truly, it's a wonder and I assure you, it will do nothing to harm your upper arms either...


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara

L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara

Longtime Lovelies, know I am always on the hunt for a spectacular drugstore mascara.   With so many launch spawns each year; Rimmel, Maybelline, CoverGirl as well as L'Oreal, all have at least 8 iterations of bump and plump to their lash brands, ya think it would be a no brainer.

I am currently a double devotee; Lancome Cils Booster XL Lash Primer followed by Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara it doesn't come cheaply.

We all know that L'oreal is Lancome's little stepsister, so I'm always hoping to find some remnant of the best of Lancome's product development in L'Oreals latest offerings. I purchased this thinking maybe I would luck out and find a twofer that would cost a quarter of the price.

So, did L'Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara, a two step mascara with a built in primer, meet or surpass my expectations???

Sort of...The primer is a winner, boosting lashes almost as perfectly as Lancome's Cil's Booster XL Lash Primer.  I was totally stoked...until I tried the mascara. I didn't mind that the brush is slimmer than Too Faced's, I find fat brushes difficult to maneuver, particularly in lash corners and on the bottoms.

What I did object to, was the thinner consistency and less than stellar results. Where was the lovely fan of lashes I had come to expect? Nowhere to be found, even with an extra coat.


My Lancome primer is no longer prime (it does have a somewhat short shelf life,)  so I have been using the L'Oreal  Voluminous Superstar "step 1" primer with my new tube of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and will continue to,until it runs out.

So, for less than half the price, will I purchase it again as my new primer, even though "step 2" will never even get cracked open??? It feels oddly wasteful, even though it's more cost effective.

TBD and of course, the search continues...(do chime in with any suggestions!) I'm all eyes...and ears.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: Josie Maran Argan Illuminzer

Josie Maran Argan Illuminzer
.05 oz

I do believe the Kardashian clan started the "contouring" craze, which is now being followed by the "highlighting" craze.

One of Sephora's cleverest marketing ruse, is the double lined alley of mini products dotting the lane to the checkout...with any luck, for them it's a long line. They are enough sweetly packaged goodies, to distract even the most die hard smart phone addict.

Consider me one...and they get me everytime. Hence my introduction to Josie Maran Argan Illuminzer.

Highlighters are best used sparingly; tops of cheekbones, corners of eyes,  in the cupids bow, under the brow. I've never understood the stripe down the center of the nose suggestion...why would I want to highlight the middle of my nose? I do, however, like to add a touch above my brow as well, well blended, which adds a nice visual lift to the forehead area.  A little goes a long way, and reviewers and users love the newly revamped pump bottle, as being neater and dispensing just the right amount of product.

If you are going to try a highlighter, Josie Maran's Illuminzer is a great one. The silky consistency melts into the skin, leaving a true glow: nothing harsh or frosty here. You might also want to try adding just a drop to your tinted moisturizer, BB cream or foundation for a lit-from-within, all over glow.

Here are the dets:

What it is:
A concentrated radiance liquid for the face, with high-performance crystals that are infused with multicolored luster pigments to capture and reflect light. 

What it does:
Bring a glowing look to the skin with Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer. Enriched with Argan oil, which provides nourishment to the skin, its champagne hue mirrors the natural, radiant look of healthy skin. It’s infused with madonna lily, a pure white blossom, and poet’s narcissus, an ancient daffodil, which work together to brighten and even your skintone. Skin looks instantly radiant when you use this versatile liquid illuminizer alone, or mix it with foundation, moisturizer, or oil for a lit-from-within glow. 

A worthwhile tool for your beauty arsenal, certainly for festive nights if nothing else. Thanks Kim.  And I can't believe I just said that...


Friday, December 11, 2015

DivaDebbi Flashback Friday: Dr. Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightener

Dr. Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightener
1 oz. $60

Is there anything good you can possibly think of to say age spots and freckles?  I can't. They are a source of skincare frustration to millions of women, (and men).

Fading is possible, but requires patience and persistence. Lasers are effective, but expensive, and require a week of walking around like a dalmation. The other rub??? Unless you are committed to staying out of the sun, essentially for the rest of your life, chances are good,  they are all coming back...I know. Been there, done that. Twice...

Prescription creams, like 4% Hydroquinone, are effective, but when overused, may be toxic to the liver. OTC products, that contain much less, are not particularly effective. What's a Girl to do???

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

TotalBeauty's 12 Best In Home Peels

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel

I am a big fan of in home peels  They are quick, simple to use and deliver radiant skin, in the comfy confines of your bathroom, at a fraction of the price of a professional peel.

I swallowed hard before spending $72 on Philosophy's Dual Phase Microdelivery Peel, but it's a fantastic product and I have literally used it over a dozen times, so it has amortized to the point of being an absolute bargain.

TotalBeauty did a roundup of their 12 most highly rated peels. Not surprisingly, Philosophy's The Microdelivery Peel was on the list and came in at #5 I couldn't resist scanning through them, hoping there might be something better rated and lower priced than Philosophy's, since I have finally used the last drop and swipe of the dual system.

The least expensive product was $44, not the bargain I hoped for...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Big Savings from Stila and Tarte

Fashion sites aren't the only ones clawing for our Holiday hauls; the beauty peeps are stepping it up, by offering steep discounts on their independent sites.

I am a Stila fan.  Their One Step Bronzer, a gorgeous bronzing gel, light as mousse, is a DivaDebbi Holy Grail.  In need of a new one, I jumped onto their site, thinking finally, DD is getting a bargain...Nope! Not included in the warehouse sale, (big surprise,) but plenty of other temptations abound.  Click here to check them out.

Tarte's sale generously provides 30% off of all products.  Their gifts sets are gorgeous and I am a fan of their lipsticks, lip glazes and pretty wearable eye shadow palettes. Click here to view their site.  The sales ends December 10th.

Happy shopping!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Review: Nuance by Salma Hayek Mineral Eyeshadow Duo

Nuance by Salma Hayek Mineral Duo Eyeshadow
$8.99 at CVS 

I'm fairly certain our second largest expense, besides our mortgage, is my monthly CVS bill.  I appreciate the nice perks, all those seemingly random 25% coupons, that I can send quickly to my loyalty card from my iphone, but half the time when I need a haul, they are not active.

Oh well...So one arrived 3 days too late, and I had to pick up a prescription anyway.  The chances of my buying nothing, with this additional 25% probably set to expire within the hour, was exactly nil.

On a whim, I picked up Nuance by Salma Hayek's Mineral Eyeshadow Duo for two reasons; the Dusty Rose/Sheer Champagne combo, was exactly the two shades I wear most and I was intrigued that the display was picked nearly clean....

Was I on to something???

Thursday, December 3, 2015

10 Top Derms Share Their Own Tips for Beautiful Skin

I honestly can't remember the last time I have seen a copy of Self in print. I do, however, enjoy some of their online articles, particular ones related to beauty. Everyday I eyeball at least a dozen beauty articles. This one caught my attention for a full read.

Self asked 10 top Dermatologist's to reveal some of the personal things they do, to ensure their own healthy skin.  They asked some of the most respected and renown names in the business.  Their tips are simple, but smart. Easy things we can all incorporate into our daily routines.

My fave was #6, courtesy of Yelena Yeretsky of NYC. Turns out upon a third reading, that she is not a dermatologist, but an anti-aging aesthetician that they quoted and included, (hence my lopping of their list from 11 to 10.) Food for thought... nonetheless, her tip sounds a lot more palatable then using Preparation H on your face and if used sparingly, 'probably' could do no harm. I await Self's correction...

Too see the complete list, click here.  What's your fave???


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Today Show and People Magazine's Best of Beauty 2015: Hair

The Best Hair Tools of 2015

The Today Show and People Magazine teamed up with Hoda and Kathie Lee and 40 happy staffers from both organizations, to test hundreds of drugstore products, so they could create a joint list of the Best in Beauty for 2015. Each day this week, they will air the best of hair, makeup, skin and beauty on air, the total list of 44 products will  be featured in People Magazine as well.

For sure, I'm going to try Salma Hayak's Nuance Color Protect Hair Masque made with raw honey for $9.99 and Pantene's Pro V Volumizing Spray Gel for $3.99  God help me, I might even purchase the Kardashian Blow dryer.

To see the complete list of hair products revealed today Click here. Nicely, they all can be found for under $20, (save for the appliances.).

Thanks Hoda and Kathie Lee!



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