Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Jammin' on the one

America's Next Top Model Quote of the Week, #1:
"I'm smart and I have a good head on my shoulder." --Bottle blonde with eyeshadow issues
"Shoulder? Or shoulders?" --Tyra
"What? Oh yeah, both." --BB

Hi girls,
Can I just tell you, I'm having a HUGE mid-80's cult music movie moment. Oh, there's just something so tough, so tarty, so...well, funky-fresh about the chicks in those films! Remember Brenda K. Starr auditioning for the New Years Eve show at the Roxy ("Vicious beat, vicious beat...") in Beat Street? Sheila E rocking lace leggings and the crowd (yes, girl, we do want a love bazaar) in Krush Groove? Madonna as street urchin Susan, doing a mean two-step to her own jam ("I'm tired of dancin' here all by myse-elf") in Desperately Seeking Susan? And screechy-voiced Vanity seducing Taimak with the "Seventh Heaven" theme song ("oh no, we don't burn angels on the fi-yah!") in The Last Dragon? Call me crazy, but I've been totally obsessed with the way these girls looked. Even though their makeup appeared to be applied with a butter knife, there's something inspiring about not being afraid to vamp-out. On a Tuesday. It was all about huge, wavy hair crimpled within an inch of its life, flourescent socks, fiery fuschia gloss, kohl-rimmed eyes, and a well-placed beauty mark. And you'd definitely get that B-girl pass revoked without blood-red nails poking out of your fingerless black lace gloves. Just in time for my 80's obsession, the sexiest red polish EVER has just hit the shelves: Chanel Nail Colour in Shanghai Red. Instead of rocking this deep, crimson-wine shade on Brenda K. Star-style claws, make sure you keep things '05 fabulous by painting it onto short, rounded nails. Word up!

News flash, news flash!! I just got my copy of THE BEAUTY OF COLOR, the new beauty book I co-wrote for Iman? It's absolutely BREATHTAKING and you must jump on it when it debuts next month! In the meantime, in lieu of the book launch, click here to enter Iman's exclusive "NYC in Color" sweepstakes: You can win a trip for two to Manhattan, VIP passes to the book launch party (I already have my dress--okay, who's kidding who, I bought it the second she asked me to work on the book), dinner for two at a hot restaurant, and an exclusive makeover with celebrity makeup artist Byron Barnes! Good luck, muchachitas!!

a big "mwah" on both cheeks,

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Out in the streets, they call it makeup

Hey Pretty Ladies,
Hello, hello, hello! First of all, big congrats to Karmen Yvette White, the winner of September’s ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question! It was a toughie, but because Ms. White instantly and brilliantly answered “Fannie Merrick,” she’s now enjoying her prize, Stila’s Clutch & Go palette, as we speak (sweetie, write in and tell us what you think of your prize)! I also want to give a quick shout to Miss Quel, who wrote in that she thinks Nia Long and Larenz Tate would be a fine Billie and Jay. I love it, so retro!

Fashion Week is finally over, and I must say, I had more fun giggling at that Veronica Mars chick searching for the beat during her “Fame” performance during Sunday’s Emmys (yikes, could you BELIEVE?). Everyone was likening last week's shows to the ones right after 9/11--you know, the shadow of unimaginable tragedy sort of dampens the usual giddiness of Fashion Week. So that, combined with the circus-like, celeb-obsessed atmosphere that’s recently taken over (it kicked off last season when Marc Jacobs kept a tent of high powered fashion editors waiting TWO HOURS for Beyonce’s arrival, and climaxed at Friday’s L.A.M.B. show when designer Gwen Stefani forced the same dizzyingly important editors to give up their front row seats to make room for the Us Weekly glitterati—nice), made for a pretty “eh?” week.

The fashion may not have moved mountains, but the hair and makeup was truly inspirational! Every designer seemed to be in a sixties mood—not Beach Blanket Bingo-bad, but glamorous Supremes-Lite—and it worked, every time. Here, I picked my four favorite looks from the Spring shows. The best part is, each are so season-less that they look just as good today as they will in April (I know this, because at my friend Lola’s birthday/engagement party on Saturday I successfully rocked looks 1 thru 3).

Love ya mean it,

1.) THE BLACK HEADBAND: One of the hottest trends at fashion week was teased, tousled, my-night-was-better-than-yours hair (think Gabrielle Union or Giselle). But at Betsey Johnson, Vivienne Tam and Marc by Marc Jacobs, the messiness was tamed by a chic black headband placed right before the teased bit at the crown—I can’t even tell you how Brigitte Bardot-sexy this was. And so easy! After blowing out your hair, hold the section of your hair at the crown straight up in the air, and back-comb the roots with a fine-tooth comb. Smooth down with a bristle brush (but GENTLY, so you don’t smush that sexy 60s volume) and slide on your skinny black headband. I love
They're soft, painless, and only $4.50. Holla!

2.) PALER-THAN-PALE EYESHADOW: At Monique Lhullier and Michael Kors, models were sent down the catwalk in the most divine wash of sixties white eyeshadow. Now, this is sort of an age-old makeup artist trick, chalky-white shadow—makeup artists have been using it for years to make models’ eyes appear Twiggy-enormous. Now, if you’re brown, you shouldn’t interpret this look literally, as white makes us look ashy. What you should do is choose a very, very pale gold, instead. I’m a huge fan of PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA EYE BRIGHTENER MULTI-COLORED EYELIGHTER IN HINT OF GOLD: This gorgeous mosaic of yellow, silver, frosty rose and sheer emerald magically turns into a luminous, icy-gold sheen when blended. Simply sweep from lash to crease, swipe on two coats of black mascara and behold, the hugest eyes ever.

3.) BRIGHT FUSCHIA LIPS: Oh, ladies! Wait till you see pick-up of shows like Carolina Hererra, Zac Posen, and Anna Sui in the magazines—those juicy, fruit-punchy strawberry-stained lips, oh, you’ll die! I know what you’re thinking, ‘how in hell does anyone outside of the blue-eyed blondes rock such a harsh color?” and sweetie, I understand. I mean, the makeup artists at Anna Sui couldn’t even figure it out, since they literally gave up on Naomi (they painted her legendary lips a horrible matte nude shade instead of the revelatory raspberry). I was furious! Any makeup professional worth their weight in eyelash glue should know that brown girls can wear vivid pink, too—as long as the shade’s infused with gold shimmer (this warms it up) and is worn over a brown liner (MAC’s Mahogany, most likely)! And no one, I mean no one, does a gold-flecked pink like CARGO LIP GLOSS--my favorite shades are Bora Bora, Ipanema, and Hong Kong and Machu Picchu. These big, fat, luscious pots are not only drop-dead sexy, they last forever! Just remember, with this lips this vivid, leave the rest of your face relatively nude—just a hint of blush and mascara, no mas.

4.) DEWY SKIN: Tommy Hillfiger and Calvin Klein were all about the folksy, flower child sixties with the innocent, glowing cheeks and softly dewy skin—so gorgeous! And so perfect for the low-maintenance chick who wants to look “done” without spending more than two seconds in front of the mirror in the morning. Here’s the trick. Lightly dust a sheer, luminous face powder like CLINIQUE GENTLE LIGHT POWDER over a bare face or foundation, and go! This fine, light-reflecting powder is absolutely genius—its see-through, so each shade can be worn on a wide range of skin tones (FYI: I’m sort of a caramel-bronze complexion, and I wear Glow 4). Get it, NOW!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hi my name is Tia and I'm a shameles self-promoter

Hey Y'all,

How's everyone? First off, thank you for your concern about my New Orleans family--they're all safe in Houston and doing well. I just found out that my brilliant cousin Max, a 16-year-old jazz musician/child prodigy (who was attending a school of the arts in New Orleans) was able to start the school year at Houston's performing arts high school. I'd been so worried about him, but luckily, Houston area schools have been so welcoming during this horrible time (go 'head, H-town!). And guess what? My brave, brave, SPECIAL mommy is volunteering in either Louisiana, Georgia or Mississippi for a month, starting this Friday. She'll find out where's she's placed when she goes for training in Orlando. I couldn't be more proud. Everybody, pray for her!!

And now, on to the business of beauty. This week your intrepid beauty boss is nosing around backstage at the New York Spring 2006 fashion shows, collecting all the hottest and haute-est trends (and gossip) for you straight from the source! Isnt' that exciting? So, be expecting a full report next Monday.

In the meantime, scroll down on the right side to check out my updated "Obsessions" list for Fall, and while you're down there, check out September's new Stila Product of the Month (you'll just die). To win one of your own, be the first to correctly answer this easy bit of ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia:


By the way, guess who's having the greatest publicity week ever? Clues are available in the new October issue of Glamour, where me, my apartment, and my doggie appear in an article called "I WANT HER HOUSE!" Cute, right? Oh, and as a result of his newfound fame, Chappie the Dog is currently interviewing publicists, if anyone's interested. Also, you must check out GLAM.COM, a fabulous new fashion shopping site. Not only is the editing pitch-perfect, but I'm profiled on their "Stylemakers" page, along with my fall fashion and beauty favorites! To check it out, click on PEOPLE, then STYLEMAKERS, then BEAUTY--first, you have to register, though, but its SO worth it!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The "Fall" Girl

Dear Senoritas Mias (and my humble straight male following),
Okay, okay, I haven’t written since roughly 1971. But believe me, I’d much rather be yakking it up with you foxy ladies than struggling with writer’s block and characters that don’t want to do what I tell them to do. But see, a number of you have described to me how you’ve read THE ACCDIENTAL DIVA over an over, which I understand to be your polite way of saying “okay enough is enough, but put a fire under your ass, bee-yatch, and finish the next one.” Hence, I’ve been writing around the clock to get my second novel out to you in a timely fashion (PSHAW, yeah right, timely would’ve been, oh, about six months ago?

Anyway, I’m back! And before I launch into my usual beauty blathering, I want to call your attention to a more life-and-death situation: Hurricane Katrina (what a lovely name for a hideous tragedy). The images on tv and the testimonials in the papers would be enough to make me want to help, but I”ve been particularly disturbed because my mother’s entire side is from Louisiana. A number of my New Orleans family members are stranded in Houston and out of work with nothing on them but a few sets of clothes. It's an absolutely devastating prospect. Sometimes in the face of a tragedy this big, its easy to feel useless—but I know of two very reputable charities that are accepting donations on their websites—MERCY CORPS and HURRICANE HOUSING . If you haven’t already, please help out. You never know when you’ll be the one needing a hand, right?

It may seem like an inappropriate time to blab on about something as frivolous as makeup, but in my opinion, when times are tough anything that brings a smile to your face (illegal narcotics, notwithstanding) is game! Beauty products make me happy, dammit, and if loving them is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!

So, onto this week’s post! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for fall. Enough already with the frizz-inducing humidity and the sweat. So over it. I already have my eye on certain Fall pieces I MUST own—a Catherine Malandrino’s lacy Victoriana blouse, Anna Sui’s bronze velvet empire-waist mini-dress, Christian Dior’s crocodile-embossed flat boots (yeah right, I’d have to mortgage my apartment)…and I can’t WAIT to start rocking them. However, “forcing the season” is one of my hugest pet peeves. You know, when it’s September but still 800 degrees outside, and you’re so pressed to wear your new Michael Kors shearling wedge boots that you do, but end up breaking out in athletes foot from sweating so profusely? That’s the only thing that sucks about buying clothes early for a new season. But beauty’s different! When you shop for a new season of beauty products, you can start wearing them right away without looking like you’re trying too hard (the rules about, say, wearing springy pinks in February, or wearing warm, autumny rusts in August or far more lenient for beauty than fashion). Because I love you, I’ve scouted out five of the most coveted new fall beauty products that just hit the shelves. And what have we learned today? Even though its still blazing outside, wearing this stuff prematurely is well within your beauty rights! Why? Because I said so, silly :-)

xoxoxo forever,


Say hello to the Big Mama of fall beauty. Words cannot capture the luxuriousness, the special-ness, the searing chicness of this fancy little compact. Imprinted with an exotic design inspired by the hand-painted, 17th century floor-to-ceiling Chinese screens Miss Coco if You’re Nasty used as decorative tapestries in her Paris apartment, the powder is separated into three bands of silky-pure color: A gold-sprinkled black powder shadow (smudge around the eye for a smoky moment), a metallic, sheeny gold (use as highlighter in the inner corners of eye, or allover lid for a sunny look), and a warm cinnamon shade (a perfect blush on anyone). Of course, it’s such a work of art, you might just leave it open somewhere on your vanity for a splash of vintage-y decadence.

Forget what you heard about all the other long-wearing lipsticks out there, this double-sided doozy (one side is the last-till-the-lights-come-on lipcolor, and the other side is a clear, shimmery gloss) truly makes the Earth move for me. I usually am not a fan of stay-put lip products, as they leave that gross, sticky, dehydrated-in-the-Sahara feeling. But leave it to the MAC magicians to develop a formula that’s not only light-as-a-feather soft, but actually MOISTURIZING. Added bonus: It comes in, like, four hundred shades.

I am head-over-heels CRAZY about Grassroots, a new bath and body line sold exclusively at Kohls stores. Now, before you think, “Kohls, how downmarket,” let me assure you that these good-for-you, lush-smelling products are so decadent, they could be sold at Henri Bendel’s for TRIPLE the price (maybe the fact that Estee Lauder’s research and development team created the collection has something to do with it). I’m particularly into the bath infusions: Pour a capful of this white tea and chamomile-spiked soak into a hot bath, and the heady, just-brewed exotic tea scent relaxes the hell out of you, while sunflower oil leaves your skin seriously soft. It’s the perfect cold-weather treat, but it aint bad right now, either.

If you have relaxed, naturally very curly hair like mine, you’ll get this. My always-blown-out hair is quick to frizz, and my whole life I’ve been searching for a spray that will preserve my style without making it sticky, dry-looking, or flaky (when you only wash your hair on Sundays, flakes suck). Well, folks, this is it. Kiehls dreamed up this ultra-fine, light hold hairspray that keeps things together, shields hair from humidity that causes frizz, AND gives great shine. Good thinking.

This is a very smart product. If you’re a do-your-makeup-in-the-subway/car/office bathroom kinda chick, you’ll be thrilled with Aveda’s new dewy, sheer, double-ended pencils for eyes, cheeks, and lips. Each pencil has a different combo, but my hands-down fave is Topaz Taupe/Heather—one end is a highlight-y champagne shade that’s devastating on lids, while the other is a coppery-rose that gives the sexiest flush on cheeks and lips.