Oct 28, 2011

Favorite Eye Makeup Palettes

Eye makeup palettes are simply divine and an awesome way to get your hands on a bunch of shades from your favorite brands. Here are a few of my latest favorites:

Oct 20, 2011

A True Blood Halloween

Hey there, Halloween Buffs!

Have you figured out what you're dressing up as this year? Every year I attempt to plan ahead and concoct the perfect outfit, but my costume selection always ends up feeling rushed and last minute. 

However, if you're also looking to feel inspired this season then look no further. Tarte Cosmetics has an amazing collection of products inspired by the show that feels like it's always Halloween: True Blood. True Blood, is of course, the racy, campy and wildly popular HBO series that focuses on the mystical, magical creatures, vampires and humans that are always up to no good in Bon Temps, LA.   If you haven't already seen this show, I suggest you carve out some serious sofa time. It's pretty addictive. 

Tarte for True Blood Limited-Edition Palette ($52.00) Just in time for the ghoulish holiday, Tarte has created a limited-edition palette with 17 new eyeshadows, an Aqua-Gel eyeliner, mascara and eye primer to help you complete the look. The shadows are infused with Amazonian clay which makes them rich, silky and long lasting. The shimmering, matte and smoky shades are all gorgeous and provide a great range in color. The mix of light and dark hues will help transform you into an innocent fairy (i.e. Suki) or a blood sucking vampy vixen (i.e. Jessica)  depending on your mood. The palette even comes with instructions by True Blood makeup artist Brigette Myre-Ellis on how to create and achieve four different True Blood looks. Um.. yes please. 

Tarte for True Blood Limited-Edition Natural Cheek Stain
 ($30.00) Unfortunately you can't do a True Blood collection without some serious crimson-blood red shades. Tarte and True Blood have also created a limited-edition cheek stain to give you that flushed, just-bitten look. Tarte is known for their amazing cheek stains that last all day and compliment a variety of skintones and types. This extra sparkly, sheer shade  contains natural mineral pigments and fruit extracts and seriously gives you a gorge. glow. 

Tarte for True Blood Limited-Edition LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint ($24.00) To complete the "just-bitten" look, you need to look like you've just bitten something! Try Tarte's limited-edition LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint. This yummy chubby lip shade is moisturizing, softening and has a delish. mint-infused flavor. The True Blood shade is seriously pretty on everyone and will be perfect to swipe during one of the many Halloween festivities I'm sure you'll be attending. The color draws attention straight to the lips, which could be quite useful on this extra saucy occasion. 

I love Tarte. They're an amazing paraben-free line that always delivers rich pigmented shades in beautiful universally-flattering tones. Get inspired by True Blood characters and their gorgeous vampy looks this Halloween!

Looking for more True Blood Halloween inspiration? Check out vampire Pam's favorite lip shade. I love it too!

Need some more Halloween makeup inspiration? Check out my favorite Halloween accessories.

Oct 19, 2011

Hair Share: Favorite Products Right Now!

In my latest vblog, I share some of my favorite hair care products and brands. There are countless products out there that do a magnificent job treating and nourishing your hair, but these are the products that I've been loving lately. Good hair is essential for a great fall wardrobe and these treatments and cleansers are gonna make your hair your best accessory this season. Each product makes my hair look and feel healthy, silky and frizz-free. I hope you get to try out these products on your own! Enjoy!

Here are the products I mentioned:

Oct 17, 2011

Suitable Serums for Combination Skin

Skinceuticals is one of my favorite skincare brands. They have a slew of amazing products and are known for their lightweight, makeup-friendly sunscreens and potent, effective serums.

Their serums address all skin issues including dry, oily skin, hyperpigmentation, age spots, acne and rosacea.

I love their B5 Hydrating Gel which replenishes moisture to the skin and their CE Ferulic serum which fights against free radicals and provides antioxident protection. I also adore their Pigment Regulator which effectively treats skin discoloration and scars. Unlike other brightening serums, the regulator protects without using harsh bleaching ingredients.

While the CE Ferulic and B5 Hydrating Gel are perfect for people with dry skin, fan favorites like Phloretin CF and C+AHA are perfect for those with oily skin.

Now that the weather is getting colder and your skin is going through changes to cope with the drier weather, you might need products that work well for more combination skin. If you have oily skin in the summer, you'll probably need something that addresses dry and oily skin issues for the winter. Skinceuticals now has great new options for people with those exact skin concerns. Phloretin CF Gel and the corresponding AOX+ Eye Gel brighten, firm and protect the skin from environmental damages. These little bottles also combat oily skin without making your face feel tight or dry.

Both formulas work well to rejuvenate and protect the skin and are a great addition to your skincare regiment. If you're skin is both oily and dry in the colder months, this duo is a perfect for you. It increases cell turnover (getting rid of flaky, dead skin cells that can clog your pores and cause breakouts) and instantly brightens and firms your face.

Use these amaze new finds in conjunction with the brand's Simply Clean face wash, Equalizing Toner and Daily Moisture cream and you'll be boasting new, fresh skin in no time.

Until October 31st, anyone can “like” SkinCeuticals and take a four-question quiz testing their knowledge on topical antioxidants.

Participants are automatically entered to win a trip for 2 to NYC for an exclusive consultation with a top NYC derm. Additionally, 10 fans per week will be entered to win the brand’s newest antioxidant product – Phloretin CF Gel.
Below is more info on the challenge and a link to take the challenge.

ANTOXIDANT CHALLENGE – How you can participate:
Prize details include:
  • Airfare for two to NYC
  • Three night stay in a Manhattan hotel
  • Two complimentary dinners at NYC's hottest restaurants
  • Exclusive skincare consultation with one of NYC's top dermatologists for winner and guest
  • A customized SkinCeuticals skincare regimen for winner and guest

Check out my reviews on their B5 Hydrating Gel and Sunscreens.

Oct 13, 2011

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012-Tibi

Nakima Benjamin is a New York based fashion stylist and creative consultant. She has a knack for describing the look and feel of the slinky clothes that saunter down the runway. Ms. Benjamin was on hand at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and lent me her expert eye while attending several fab. shows. Check out Nakima's reviews on Tibi's Spring 2012 collection! 


Ever wonder:  if Tibi had an older, slightly more mature sister, what would she look like?  Well, this season's collection gives you a glimpse.  Tibi did some growing up this season by delivering the coveted easy elegance and sophisticated styles commonly associated with designers such as Phoebe Philo of Celine and Narciso Rodriguez.  Look after look embodied an unfussy approach to dressing.  Think long, breezy dresses or billowing wide leg, slouchy pants paired with simple tops.  When working with such simple designs, sometimes it's difficult to keep them interesting but Tibi accomplished this by working with an AH-MAAAAAZING color palette - seafoam, mustard, royal blue, and kelly green were mixed in with heather gray, black, and white - and luxurious fabrics that elevated the looks.  Makeup was kept simple and clean.  Except for a light sweep of eyeshadow, it was hard to even detect makeup on most of the girls.  Though Tibi's signature party dresses and bold prints were de-emphasized this season, it stayed true to itself by presenting feminine pieces in great fabrics.  After all, this collection is the older sister to past collections not a distant 3rd cousin.  There are winds of change at Tibi (think more of a light breeze than a strong gust), and I predict longtime Tibi fans and newcomers alike will appreciate the direction in which this brand is headed.
For further information on Nakima's fashion editorials and advertising campaigns and to view samples of her work, go to her website - www.nakimabenjamin.viewbook.com.

Oct 6, 2011

Do Good Looks Influence A Jury?

Much like the Casey Anthony murder trial, there has been a media frenzy surrounding the Amanda Knox case. 

Amanda Knox
On Monday, the appeals court overturned the 26-year sentencing given to Knox in her original trial, allowing the young American to return home after the first time in four years.

Meredith Kercher
Knox was convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting her 21-year-old roommate Meredith Kercher after the young student’s body was found in the Perugia, Italy home they shared. Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA was apparently found in the room and on a bloody knife that also contained Kercher’s DNA. After the initial ruling, a judge allowed an independent investigation to take place allowing the defense to show discrepancies in how the DNA evidence was handled in the original case.

The truth about what actually happened the night Kercher was murdered remains a mystery. In the end, a poor, innocent girl was brutally murdered and many of the specifics of the case have been left unanswered. 

 It does get me thinking about how the relative attractiveness of both Knox and Casey Anthony played into the outcome of both of these sensational, media-obsessed trials.

Both women’s physical appearance was heavily scrutinized and commented on by the press. Knox had been painted as a vixen and given the nickname "Foxy Knoxy" by the Italian press. While, her cherubic features convinced many others that there was no way someone who looked like her could have committed such a crime. 

Although, Casey Anthony's appearance wasn't quite as innocent (jurors saw her in skimpy outfits partying the night away while her daughter had been reported missing), her big, doe eyes and relative attractiveness certainly could have played into the eventual outcome of 
the Caylee Anthony murder trial. She too was acquitted of the most serious crimes against her despite what seemed like a slam-dunk case for the prosecution.

In a recent Forbes article, contributor Kiri Blakeley discusses how the looks of an accused female play into the coverage and outcome of a trial. In the article, former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole is quoted as saying, “Attractive people-women in particular-face several dilemmas when accused of a crime. The focus of the case quickly goes to the woman’s physical appearance, only to underscore the belief that really pretty women—for whatever reason—cannot also be criminals. Or, if a very attractive woman is in fact guilty, she must be evil.”

Caylee Anthony
In the article O’Toole also is quoted as saying “good looks can either help or hinder a defendant. The jury may simply be unable to reconcile a beautiful face with a horrific crime, and therefore more likely to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the opposite can also happen: If it is shown or implied that the woman “used” her good looks to get what she wanted, a judge or jury can be more likely to convict.”
Casey Anthony

In the end, Amanda Knox and Casey Anthony were cleared of their most serious charges and set free-seemingly based on the evidence presented to the jury. These cases were certainly sensationalized by what the defendants looked like and by the media’s obsession with crimes related to sex, family drama and of course murder.  It’s doubtful we’ll ever know the truth with either case but it’s certain that those closest to the victims will mourn their loss forever. 

No matter what, these two women will never be able to live down the reputation that has been created of them. Whether it's justified or not, their looks and demeanor played a part in how they will forever be perceived by the public and for these crimes, despite the outcomes.

Steve Jobs: The Loss of An American Icon

Although Steve Jobs has been sick for a long time with pancreatic cancer, it was still a shock to hear of his passing last night.  The Apple Co-Founder and former head of Pixar Animation died at the age of 56.

He certainly holds a key place in the history for his visionary ideas and implementations. He truly changed how we communicate and live our lives. 

If you haven't had the chance to watch the commencement speech he gave at Stanford in 2005, I urge you to check it out. It's incredibly inspiring and a great reminder to live your life fully and on your own terms. 

He was a brilliant man and his legacy will not be forgotten. 


Oct 5, 2011

Get Your Flu Shots!

Hey friends!

October means fall is fully underway. WEIRD. It was a hot, sticky summer day just a second ago.

Although you're probably focusing all your attention on creating your most fabulous fall wardrobe and scheming on the perfect Halloween costume, you might also want to get a seasonal health plan in place as well. Tis the season for sniffling, coughing and the flu.

Don't forget to schedule a flu shot with your doctor or at your local clinic or pharmacy. If your employer offers them at work, even better! It's so important to get them and not overly analyze whether or not they actually work. Trust me, in the past, I've had a pretty spotty record of getting them but always felt better when I did.

The fact of the matter is these shots do really prevent the flu which really is the name of the game.

So, take some time to schedule a flu shot and keep you and those around you healthy. You're office will thank you!

Most importantly, if you're in close contact with a newborn or new parent or the family of a newborn, it's crucial you get a flu shot. Newborns are too young to get flu shots for themselves and catching the flu from someone around them can actually be extremely dangerous for their health, even fatal. So don't hesitate to get shot!

As a new aunt, I'm extra paranoid, but it does remind me how important it is to provide the babies and people around us with a safe and healthy environment-as much as is in our control.

So, I hope you all stay healthy this season and avoid the flu and everything nasty that goes along with it.

Happy fall!

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012-Rachel Roy

Nakima Benjamin is a New York based fashion stylist and creative consultant. She has a knack for describing the look and feel of the slinky clothes that saunter down the runway. Ms. Benjamin was on hand at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and lent me her expert eye while attending several fab. shows. Check out Nakima's reviews on Rachel Roy's Spring 2012 collection! 

It's clear that Rachel Roy was inspired by Asia this season.  Her collection featured looks with Far East details such as obi belts, Chinese porcelain prints, Mandarin collars, and kimono sleeves.  But Roy integrated Asia's influence in a very subtle way, which managed to keep the collection feeling modern and not too costumey.  More importantly, Roy delivered what so many women are seeking nowadays: looking effortlessly chic.  How do you look pulled together, modern, and stylish without having to put in too much energy and time (two things we never to seem to have enough of)?  Turn to Rachel Roy.  With a collection comprised of unfussy pieces in beautiful fabrics and comfortable shapes, it doesn't take much effort to look chic.  Look 17 - the dusted mint long vest, white crepe shell, and dusted mint elongated pencil skirt - with its clean lines and easy elegance is the perfect example.  I also loved Look 11 - the taupe tape-yarn knit dress - because it has a more raw, edgy, and unfinished feel than Roy's signature style, though she still keeps it classy.  This slight departure from Roy's typically very refined pieces demonstrates her ability to break from her usual mold successfully.  Roy kept the makeup natural and pretty with clean, luminous skin and slight color added to cheeks.  The hair, pulled back in a chignon with a soft side part, was equally as pretty.  For any woman seeking chic in 30 minutes or less, Roy should be your go-to.

For further information on Nakima's fashion editorials and advertising campaigns and to view samples of her work, go to her website - www.nakimabenjamin.viewbook.com.

Photo Credit: Style.com

Oct 4, 2011

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012-Nanette Lepore

While this year's fashion week took a slight backseat to the city's commemoration and remembrance of the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the shows still went on and were in full fashion week force. 

My favorite fashion stylist and creative consultant, Nakima Benjamin, took to the tents and got the skinny on all the latest spring styles.

Here's her review of the Nanette Lepore Spring 2012 Fashion Show:

You know how some fashion shows are so solemn, moody, dark, and serious?  Gaunt, angry looking models?  Check.  Low lights and bleak music?  Check.  A navy, gray, and black colorway?  Check.  Well, Nanette Lepore made sure her show was the antithesis of serious fashion.  The live band that supplied the entire show's soundtrack were outfitted fittingly in looks ranging from electric blue to neon pink.  Then the first model glided onto the runway in a neon orange skirt and acid yellow crop top (in the show's official program, described as "tangerine" and "citron", respectively, but in my opinion that does not to capture just how saturated and electrified the colors actually are).  The bursts of color continued with more looks incorporating bright pinks and oranges.  The knee length dresses with cap sleeves and the sleeveless sundress with a sweetheart neckline were among my favorites.  When dealing with such bright colors, I prefer to keep the silhouette simple, the lines clean, and the details minimal.  For the more daring, the textured jackets with ruffle details or the dresses with bright stripes may be more appealing.  The neon colored slip dresses with lace overlay were a nice mix of delicate and feminine with bold and daring.  Makeup was just as colorful.  Each girl had a not-so-subtle colored lip ranging from frosted purple to hot pink to coral.  When it came to hair, Lepore kept it simple: slightly slicked back hair with a bit of teasing at the top.  So, the show was a far cry from solemn, moody, dark and serious.  But that is not to say Lepore does not have some serious talent when it comes to clothing design.

For further information on Nakima's fashion editorials and advertising campaigns and to view samples of her work, go to her website - www.nakimabenjamin.viewbook.com.

Photo Credit: NanetteLepore.com