Friday, August 19, 2005

The "Being Bobby Brown" of beauty products

Hey y'all,
Before launching into the muy complicado explanation of today's title, I'd like you to join me in congratulating Schanina, Shake Your Beauty's August Product of the Month winner! She quickly and correctly identified Bermuda-born Vida's college alter ego as "DJ Tri" (for the Bermuda Triangle). Further proving her photographic memory, she noted that the MC-wanna-be settled on that moniker only after "V8" failed to stick with the public...impressive, no? Thanks for reading, doll, and enjoy your Stila Fiber Optic mascara!

Now, onto more pressing biz-nass. I have a confession. I'm hell-and-gone addicted to "Being Bobby Brown." I'm not sure what got me—Bobbi Kristina's Tina-Yothers-style matter-of-factness, Bobby's eerily endearing new crackhead underbite (a recent development, as his jaw structure was relatively normal during the Tenderoni era), or the moment Whitney warbled "I'm Not Doing This With Him To-daaaaay" during a small breakdown in Harrod's—all I know is that the reality show has become essential to my life. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. The Houston-Browns' behavior is at once giddily mortifying and, ahem, familiar (please, every black family KNOWS they have an uncle in Detroit or somewhere who'd announce at a 4-star restaurant that he's going to the bathroom to tear himself a new asshole). Anyway, this is a roundabout way of saying that even though "Being Bobby Brown's" existence is arguably meaningless--the show makes me a happier person, dammit.

And so do the following products. See, they're all kind of unecessary, but incredibly fun. For example, no one really NEEDS a makeup eraser pen for smudges (hello, a damp cloth?), or a mid-day mascara refresher gel (whose ever been scarred by dull lashes?)...but these products are just FUN! Just like watching Bobby and Whitney do the cabbage patch to an impromptu ditty called "They Work For Me" while trying on gift shop sunglasses, this stuff make me unreasonably happy. And honestly, what else matters?

So here's to the Bobby Brown's digestive tract, and these six sorta random but TRULY FABULOUS products!!

a big mwah on all four cheeks,

PS: The fact that they're all somehow eye-enhancing is not coincidental. I recently read Jane Fonda' autobiography, "My Life So Far," and I'm now obsessed with those great big, expressive 60s eyes she had back in the day (all killer brows, cat-eye liner and lashes). Watch "Barbarella," you'll know what I mean.

Tia's Top Six Unecessary-But-Fun Products
1.) BENEFIT HIGHBROW BROW LIFTING PENCIL: I just discovered this brand-new eye addition to the brilliant Benefit familia, and I'm all about it.. We're talking a simple, matte, translucent pinky-white pencil--but when you dot it along your arches and blend with a finger, it magically lifts brows and makes your eyes pop like crazy (sometimes I wear it alone with blush and lipgloss, and I look totally "finished"). And if you haven't plucked in a bit, the highlighty hue somehow masks grown-in hairs. Of course, this effect can be created with any pale pencil, but I think its cooler to have a product invented SPECIFICALLY for arch-beautification, don't you?
2.) YVES SAINT LAURENT GLOSSY TOUCH MULTI-PURPOSE GLOSS : Makeup artists don't leave home without this multi-purpose gem in their kits, and its easy to see why. The light, unsticky, seriously-shiny gloss is perfect for smoothing out curly brows (it gives natural hold that lasts all day), blended over lids for a radiant sheen, or over lipstick. You may be thinking, "won't Vaseline do the same thing?" Well, no it won't. A face full of Vaseline is a very greasy, sweaty-looking prospect, indeed.
3.) RAMY TRIUMPH! MASCARA REVITALIZER : I've known celebrity makeup artist Ramy was a genius ever since my days as a fresh-faced beauty assistant at YM magazine. We used him for a feature where he made over my baby sis Lauren's entire high school dance team using the same five products (guess who's the best big sis ever). Who but the brilliant innovative Ramy would've come up with a clear gel that, when swiped over flaky, faded mascara, immediately adds shine and luster to lashes? Perfect for end-of-workday touch ups before going out.
4.) SMASHBOX ARCHED EYELINER BRUSH #21 : As you know, I'm deeply into working a 60's cat eye right now. Not in a huge, too-made-up way--just a skinny, SLIGHTLY winged-out-at-the-corners line. I've always had trouble making this happen with liquid eyeliners (if you don't have the precision of a surgeon, forget it). Somehow, Smashbox's new ultra-skinny, angled brush does the work for me! I dip it into a sparkly black cream eyeshadow like REVLON ILLUMINANCE CREME SHADOW IN VINTAGE CHIC, look downwards, and drag along lash line. Very ooh-la-la.
5.) CLINIQUE KOHL SHAPER FOR EYES IN BLACK KOHL: Upon first glance, you'll wonder what makes this new eye pencil so special. It has the perfect, ridiculously creamy, liquid-looking consistency of all Clinique's fabulous pencils but, hold onto your hats--a sharpener is built into the cap!! No more searching around in the bottom of your purse or makeup drawer, or having to throw away blunt pencils because you've lost the damned thing. Holla!
6.) SEPHORA MAKEUP ERASER PEN: Seriously, I've never seen anything like this pen. Wipe it over mascara smudges, travelling eyeshadow, or smeared lipstick, and the boo-boo magically disappears. No tugging, pulling or anything! If you've ever found yourself with cheeks full of sifted-down shadow particles after applying smoky eyeshadow, you'll get why this this is such a brilliant invention.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

NEWSFLASH: Enter to win August's Product of the Month!!

Hey folks,
Don't know if you've noticed, but we have a brand-new product of the month (scroll all the way down on the right column)—and anyone who hearts Diana-Ross-in-Mahogany-lush lashes will DIE. To win your own, be the first to correctly answer this ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question!! As usual, former winners and BFF'S are exempt, so don't even try it. Put on your thinking berets, ladies, here goes:


May the baddest b&*(^% win!!!

Miss Tia if You're Nasty

Oh, I'd like to give a HUGE SHOUT to my devastatingly gorgeous middle sister, Devon, who's equally stunning boyfriend popped The Question this past weekend! Oh, they'll just be the picture-perfect bride and groom--black love, sooo yummy. Engagement soiree pictures to come.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The doctor is in

Hey guys...I forgot to holler back to a couple comments you sent while I was away:

Dear Depressed over Discontinued Product,
So your favorite Lancome foundation is no longer for the world, huh? As I'm one of the few people who can understand this pain, you've come to the right person. There's a wonderful makeup company called Three Custom Color Specialists (3C) that can reproduce any and all of your favorite defunct shades. The geniuses at 3C can also custom-blend makeup--lipsticks, foundations, concealers, blush, glosses, everything--to perfectly match your exact skin tone. Hot, huh?

Dear Should I Beat Down or Have my GIrls Beat Down the Chick that Stepped to Me,
Honey. No matter what Brooke Valentine says, a true lady never, ever participates in girlfights. Who cares if your so-called girls think you're a wimp? Feel bad for them for thinking the only way to solve a disagreement is to behave like Foxy Brown (who wants that kind of bad press?). "Acting hood" is not cool, cute, or smart...its ignorant. I know this point seems "whatever" when you're in the face of peer pressure and a neck-rolling b&*#h, but remember this: Our ancestors spent centuries fighting against oppressors so we could do simple things like, well, enjoy a public restroom without fearing a lynching. Turning against each other is the wackest payback, ever.

Got it? Now go get your custom-blended foundation and peaceful problem-solving on.

Some gems I found digging thru Euro-trash...

Bonjour, Hola, and What it is Y'all!!!
Ladies, mama's back from her glamorous, sexy, heady European vacay!! I missed all of you terribly...for about five minutes. No, I'm kidding. As I Dior'ed and Chanel'ed down Paris' glitzy Rue Honore and bared boob on the balmy beaches of Barcelona (say it fast, three times)--I thought often of my fellow makeup mamas, hoping against hope that you were Shaking Your Beauty in my absence. I missed my frothy little blog! Seriously, I love finding hot stuff for you and reading your fab comments--and that you allow me to jabber on about, lets face it, nothing much. Thats why during my travels, I stayed on top of my game for you, keeping an eye out for interesting, uniquely European products you might find fascinating. I just don't understand why Adam, who had to buy an extra duffle bag to schlep my loot around from city to city, wasn't moved by my dedication.

But about the trip! We spent three days each in Paris, Cannes, Barcelona, and finally, Seville--and it was BEYOND, yo. Each city had its own special, wonderful thing happening. A quick breakdown:

PARIS: First of all, thanks to Lauren, my expatriate baby sister and Le Cordon Bleu (world-famous culinary institute) student, for putting us up in her adorably "FRANSH" studio apartment. Since you were such a gracious host, I won't mention your kooky school uniform--is your cooking somehow enhanced by the special hat? Anyway, Paris is all about great shopping, insane bread, the extremely literate ghosts of Hemmingway/Fitzgerald/Baldwin looming over chic cafe's, moody-sexy rain, and waiters so inattentive one must practically erect a flag to get their attention.

CANNES: Major jetsetting ritziness. Think yachts the size of the Lincoln Center; ancient, portly millionaires in Speedos and the siliconed twelve-year-olds who love them; sunbathing in nothing but fully contoured, smoky eyes; lots of gold jewelry; and the famous restaurant Foucets (yes, pronounced Fuck It's) whose steak with homeade frites should be bronzed.

BARCELONA: Oh, Barcelona! Your standard bustling, dynamic major European city--but with 19th century architect Gaudi's woozy, curvy "Alice in Wonderland" architecture, and beaches featuring golden-skinned, black-eyed men who boldly stare and mumble things like "Ah que linda, morenita!" despite the seething man holding your hand. Oh, and gazpacho!!

SEVILLE: My home for six months in 2001! I got to show my Adam where I lived, the exact spot on my bed where I wrote THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA, my favorite restaurants, the club where I won "Miss International" (that's a different post), and everything. The highlight was a heart-thumpingly passionate flamenco show where this time, Adam was object of affection—oh, the fiery eyes that slithering, stomping, clapping male dancer threw at my mortified hubbie!

One of my favorite things about Europe is how things are similar--but just different enough to be exotic. The grocery stores sell shriimp, but with heads and feet and tails. McDonalds still carries the yummy fried apple pies from the 80's, before the current soggy baked ones. Likewise, Europe has many of the same beauty brands, but the lines are tweaked to specifically target each country's market--so, say, Revlon's packaging might be a tad different or Loreal hair products might carry stuff that hasn't launched in the US, yet. (for example, Loreal's Kerastase line was sold in Europe years before coming here). And then there are specifically Spanish, French, Italian, etc. brands that you can only get there. So everytime I visit Europe, the first thing I do is take inventory of new, different beauty stuff. I was devastated to find that some of my must-haves weren't available here--but these six were!

Enjoy your souveniers and a big "MWAH" on both cheeks,

1.) ROGERS & GALLET GINGER LONG-LASTING FRAGRANT DEODORANT IN GINGER: Can I just tell you, it was like 108 degrees in Paris? I usually don't like to say I perspire--"I'm glowing" is so much nicer--but whatever, I was SWEATING. I popped into the cutest drugstore one morning and was immediately struck by what I thought was an insanely glamorous eau de toilette. It wasn't until I'd sprayed my entire body with this spicy, musky, sparkling ginger scent that I realized it was a deoderant spray. Even better. Not only did it keep me dry the rest of the trip, I smelled exactly the way I imagine Anais Nin would've. Sadly, the deodorant isn't sold Stateside, but try the rest of the Ginger collection!
2.) YVES ROCHER PURE AROMATICS RELAXING AROMATHERAPY STICK: I love my husband so much I could stick him in a blender and slurp him up in smoothie-form, but we have different, well, travel styles. I'm of the vacation-means-poolside-chilling, Adam's of the we're-on-a-schedule-hurry-we-have-three-more-cathedrals-left-to-see school. In a word, he ran me ragged. Blended with lavander, vetiver, and something called petitgrain paraguay, this pocket-size aromatherapy roll-on stick releases tension like nobody's business when rubbed onto temples.
3.) YSL PALETTE JAIPUR COLLECTOR POWDER FOR EYES AND COMPLEXION: I bought this in Paris, but when I got home I found that you guys can buy it exclusively at Saks! Good thing, because this chic, paisley-printed powder sexifies eyes like you wouldn't believe. Just swipe with a finger, blending the shimmering swirl of golds, roses, silvers, and bronzes into a luminous sheen—add mascara and go.
4.) GIVENCHY POP GLOSS LIP GLOSS IN TONIC BROWN: I've never seen this shade until vacay, and discovering it changed my life. Oh, its so light, so luscious--just a simple coat of sparkly, sheer honey glaze that makes lips look ridiculously pump. Very "come heah, my deah."
5.) COMODYNES BEAUTY FLASH RADIANT EFFECT: Ohhh, girls. Everyone woman should own this. I bought it in Barcelona to combat jet-lag (i.e., droopy eyes, sallow skin, bags), but its perfect if you've overslept, or whenever you need to look awake in two seconds. One spritz of this invigorating serum allover your face somehow wakes up your skin, revives dead eyes, and gives a general radiant suppleness. And you can skip moisturizer. Lots of adjectives, but it WORKS.
6.) FRUITS & PASSION CUCINA FRAGRANT BOTTLES IN CORIANDER & OLIVE TREE: I saw this very rustic-chic set of three kitchen fragrances in Barcelona, thinking they'd be just the thing for my sister the budding chef. Modeled after Mediterranean olive oil bottles (and containing sweetly festive berries and herbs), the lightly fragrant oils mix with cooking aromas to freshen the kitchen or dining room. So, so glamorous--great for a hostess gift, or your own decor. In fact, I suspect I'll be keeping these for myself.