Archives for category: Beauty

After last year’s recession-reserved red carpet styles, the 2010 awards season is showing us a crop of much more daring choices.

The colors covered the range and included whites, neutrals, bold brights and blacks coupled with romantic details like beading, dramatic drapes, pretty ruffles and delicate flounces.

Everyone was a lot more comfortable taking a risk. Most of those risks paid off.

Here are’s top 10 best dressed and a couple of honorable mentions.

The Top 10

Drew Barrymore’s champagne Atelier Versace  gown:

67th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

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Now it’s been days since the end of New York Fashion Week.  In fact, London Fashion Week has come and gone, and Milan Fashion Week is two days in.

However, people are still talking about the Spring Summer 2010 Rodarte show.

Here is the video from The video includes Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sister duo designers themselves, talking about how they “destroyed” the fabrics and only then were they beautiful.

It’s not conventional beauty but beauty created from torn and scarred things, which, honestly, is a bit more beautiful because it’s been distressed.  I think of it as the beauty you see in the eyes of a woman who has suffered through something horrible, but the photographer catches something about her that makes her radiant.  Think of a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi who is being held under house arrest in Burma aka Myanmar.  She is pretty, but there is a tortured beauty about her that’s moving.

Image courtesy of the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit website

Image courtesy of the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit website

It’s a beauty you have to reflect upon a bit to appreciate.

The New York Times’ fashion blog The Moment put together all the rave reviews for the show:

  • “The ravens rose at Rodarte. With a smoke-filled runway beneath them, models wore outfits resembling the contradictory symbol of darkness and survival.” (Associated Press)
  • “A spectacular and the original display.” (Fashion Week Daily)
  • “Urban warrior princesses, patchworks Amazons whose ragged finish and spaghetti-like entanglement of materials was shockingly new.” (Fashion Wire Daily)
  • “The most dramatic, intense and striking craft work came from Rodarte, where the sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy create clothes with a story literally woven in.” (International Herald Tribune)
  • “The Mulleavys, Kate and Laura, know a little something about playing dress-up.” (Los Angeles Times)
  • “A glimpse of devastation with a shot of futuristic glamour that we can only hope to adorn ourselves in once the world ends as we know it.” (Refinery 29)
  • “Married primitivism to the sisters’ ongoing interest in futurism.” (
  • “Filled with ripped and wrapped dresses made of fabric distressed in a half-dozen ways, this dramatic collection wowed.” (StyleList)
  • “Somewhat bizarre thought-processes resulted in some bizarrely beautiful clothes.” (The Daily Telegraph)
  • “Some wonderful pieces with a daring that would scorn a reality-TV style show.” (The New York Times)
  • “True to form, there was little — let’s be honest, nothing — in the collection that could be worn to most offices. These are clothes for artists, special events and collections. It’s hard to imagine that they could even be dry cleaned. Yet they get you thinking.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • “Those Rodarte girls sure know how to work a theme.” ( UK)
  • “If spring was another feather in the caps of Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy — and it was, no question — the plumes would be black.” (Women’s Wear Daily)

The pictures and video from the show has great designs with intricate craftsmanship.

These sisters are on a roll! In just they won the women’s wear designer of the year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. They’ve also announced an upcoming line for Target and, let me say, the Target designer lines always seem to work well. They will also work with William Morris Endevor to develop collaborations and publishing products. It’s going to be interesting to see how they’ll leverage the cult following that they have now. However, I’ve no doubt that they will.

Here is the complete show from Swarovski TV in two parts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

You can watch the full video of the show on their website: Rodarte (it’s a few clicks to get to it – basically video and then Spring 2010).

Here are pictures of every look in the show from Rodarte Spring 2010 – Complete Collection

More links:

So who do you think rocked the red carpet at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards?

I’ve always been a fan of simple and sleek lines, bright colors and great accessories.  I’m all about “less is more”. That seemed to be the theme a lot of designers and celebrities liked too.

Maybe the classic lines and understated details are reaction to these tough economic times. Whatever the reason, this was a very well-dressed group!

I decided to use video instead of pictures, so I’ve linked to a bunch of TV Guide video interviews from last night’s red carpet. You can see them all on TV Guide’s YouTube channel.

Check them out.  Yes, there are some stars and great looks that are missing.

However, if your favorite isn’t here. Let me know who it is!

Chandra Wilson:

Glenn Close, Holly Hunter and Marcia Gay Harden:

Padma Lakshmi:

Seal and Heidi Klum:

Hayden Panettiere:

Christina Applegate:

Leighton Meester:

Kristin Chenoweth:

Jane Krakowski:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus:

Dana Delany:

Cobie Smulders:

Vanessa Williams:

Mariska Hargitay:

Kate Walsh:

Rose Byrne:

My favorite? Blake Lively’s Versache low cut red dress.

Pick yanked from Bonnie Fuller's Twitter Stream

Pic yanked from Bonnie Fuller's Twitter stream - click to read Bonnie's tweet!

It was simple yet just stunning.

Thanks to TV Guide for such a great YouTube channel!

More links:

In honor of the summer’s most beloved tradition–basking in the sun–here are four sunscreens that will cover your needs from head to toe.  (And take heed of our friendly advice:  double up on facial protection by wearing a hat, and remember that everyone, regardless of skin tone, needs to slather up before heading outdoors.)

bullfrog-kids-sunblock-marathon-mist-continuous-spray1.  Bull Frog Kids Sunblock Marathon Mist Continuous Spray SPF 36

If I only had to purchase one kind of sunscreen for the rest of my life, this would be it.  I use it on my daughter religiously, and for good reason:  it sprays on evenly, dries immediately, and smells watermelony fantastic.  Translation:  the continuous spray allows you to do an entire little body all at once without stopping to rub the sunscreen in, so it takes about 2 minutes to coat wriggly toddlers.  Plus, it lasts for at least 3 hours in the water, which by my calculations (I live in FL, so that makes me a sun expert) is far longer than other “waterproof” brands.

aveeno-sunblock-spray-continuous-protection2.  Aveeno Sunblock Spray Continuous Protection SPF 70

This stuff is gentle and lightweight, yet seems to protect forever.  (Don’t let that fool you into forgetting to reapply.)  Like the Bullfrog, but for grown-ups that don’t want to smell like a daiquiri.

alba-hawaiian-sunscreen3.  Alba Hawaiian Sunscreen Green Tea SPF 30+

If you’re not into the sunscreen-in-a-spray-bottle routine, my recommendation is Alba’s non-greasy lotion.  This organic sunscreen has an unusual finish:  it goes on thick, but dries down almost to a powder.  As a bonus, it smells fresh, and is free of most of the chemical ingredients that cause breakouts and skin irritation.

neutrogena-ultra-sheer-sunblock4.  Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock SPF 85

Need a sunscreen that will work under your makeup?  Look no further than Neutrogena:  this super-light lotion mattifies the skin much like a primer, so that your foundation goes on smoothly.  Provides good peace of mind, whether your top makeup layer is SPF 15 or SPF 50.

Whether you’re worried about saving the planet or saving your face, green beauty products are the way to go. After all, If you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want it on your skin. (Phthalates, anyone?) These green beauty buys will keep you looking pretty.


1. Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lip Gloss

Non-sticky, easy-to-apply gloss in twelve colors ranging from Iced Coffee (a warm, mocha brown) to Sugar Cookie (barely-there pink.) Quoth one user on “Really hydrates the lips and smells like a glazed donut!” $15 for .14 oz.


2. Beauty Without Cruelty Waterproof Mascara

Glamorous vegans rejoice: No need to get raccoon eyes merely to spare the rabbits. This mascara contains no animal ingredients and goes on smoothly – no clumps. $14.95 for .27 oz.


3. Cargo Blu-Ray Polishing Cloths

Exfoliating cloths to remove makeup and smooth your skin. Reduces the look of fine lines and helps moisturizer penetrate and bronzers go on more easily. Cloths are reusable and surprisingly effective: Word on the interwebs is that you want to use a gentle hand while you’re figuring out how much polishing your skin will take. $15 for 20 cloths.


4. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Body Soap

The great granddaddy of natural and organic beauty products. Dr. B famously claims that all you need are his soaps and enough sleep, and you can forgo all other beauty products. Even if that’s a little too granola for you, you can start your beauty routine and know you’re getting squeaky clean while being kind to critters and the planet. Comes in a variety of different scents; lavender is our favorite and the one pictured. $14.99 for 24 oz.


5. Yu – Be Moisturizing Skin Cream to Go

Free of dyes and fragrances, these pocket-sized tubes will moisten the roughest dry skin. Some people we know even use it on their face, although personally we prefer a moisturizer with sunscreen for that. Will definitely smooth out those cracked heels though. $15 for 1.25 oz.

I spent years looking for a decent, not-too-expensive sunblock I could wear on my face without breaking out or looking too greasy. It was my holy grail of products, and proved so elusive, I nearly despaired of ever finding it.

I scanned my favorite sites, pored over magazines, and hit up all my best fashion-forward friends. No one had any great suggestions for me, other than to double up on my moisturizer or buy foundation with SPF in it and hope for the best.


None of this was helpful. I’m a pale lady. There is SPF in everything I own – moisturizer, tinted moisturizer, even my powder. Trouble is, even if I wear every product I own everyday (which I don’t, because I’m not the prom queen) I’m still unlikely to use enough on every exposed part of my face to really protect myself from the sun.

Then, during a normal spending spree at Sephora, I stumbled across Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector and my days of risking either pizza-face or skin cancer came to an end.

This stuff is magic. I’ve worn it for a year now and it does exactly what it says: Totally blocks the sun’s wrinklefying rays and doesn’t leave your punim looking like an oil slick. It comes in both SPF 25 and SPF 40. (I use the latter.) It also doesn’t smell especially “sunscreeny,” which is nice.

Cons? At $17.50, it’s not the cheapest thing you’ll ever put on your face, and as for Clinique’s claim that it makes a good primer for makeup, well, I can’t say I’ve noticed a big difference with this (or any) primer.

One tube will last you at least three months, though, so it’ll get you through the summer. If you like it as much I did, you might find yourself wearing it all year round.

Good, cheap shampoo is like the holy grail of beauty products.  Unlike, say, mascara or nail polish, it’s pretty much an essential, even if you only wash your hair a few times a week.  Based on a completely unscientific survey of consumer reviews, Twitter, and the recommendations of friends, here are my picks:

1.  Pantene Pro-V Always Smooth Shampoo–Mention that you’re in the market for an inexpensive shampoo, and Pantene is usually the first name that pops up.  Some people complain about the slightly waxy feeling it leaves behind, but to me, Pantene’s formula almost eliminates the need for styling products altogether.

2.  Suave Clarifying Shampoo.  Not for daily use unless you have an uber-oily scalp (despite what Suave might claim on the bottle), this deep-cleansing shampoo removes all manner of gunky product, leaving behind glowing, more manageable hair.  Works as well as clarifying shampoos triple the price.

3.  Sunsilk Hydra TLC–summer hair, beware.  This stuff will knock out pesky flyaways and help restore your chlorine-parched locks to top condition.

4.  Johnson’s Baby Shampoo–yeah, it’s supposed to be for your 6-month-old, but the super-gentle formula is the frugal girl’s secret weapon against fading hair color.

5.  Dove Advanced Care Pro Age Shampoo–the best for plumping thin (and thinning) hair.  Almost always sold out, and for good reason.

6.  Aussie Moist–I used this in high school, so I’m transported by its violet bottle and utterly original smell; but beyond Aussie’s sentimental value, this is a solid pick for long, unprocessed hair that needs daily moisture.

7.  Earth Science Shampoo for Sensitive Hair & Scalp–for families that struggle with chemical sensitivities (like mine), this stuff is manna from heaven.  It’s fragrance-free and actually lathers, unlike many other natural, alcohol-free shampoos.