Monday, February 27, 2006

Who’s that girl?

Hola Chicas,
Many of you seemed to be hair-over-heels in love with my number five favorite look from New York Fashion Week--the center-parted, flatironed-within-an-inch-of-its-life, sleeker-than-sleek ‘do seen at shows like Carolina Hererra. Well, I might just be the biggest fan yet. For your viewing pleasure, behold a pic of yours truly rocking my version of the Babe Blowout. Ladies, is this a sexy thirty-year-old, or what (assuming you’re ignoring the tacky sunglasses-tan leftover from my Turks & Caicos vacay)? Truth be told, in an attempt to remind myself that I used to be cute, I’ve gazed at this picture often over the past two weeks because I had my wisdom teeth taken out and currently look like I’m storing walnuts in my cheeks. That’s why I’ve been missing for the past week or so. I’m still on an assortment of drugs, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m coming back at the end of the week with some beauty stuff that’ll truly light your fire, burn your stick, fan your flame.

I also wanted to give a very special shout-out to your friend and mine, Shanina, one of the most devoted Shake Your Beauty regulars. Would you believe what this crazy, impetuous girl did? I went to my mailbox the other day to find a mysterious package from the most unlikely of places...Peculiar, MO! Turns out, as a thank-you for bringing you guys the best in beauty (and as a much-needed jolt of energy for late-night writing sessions), Precious Shanina had sent me one of the most scrumptious-smelling candles, evah—Beanpod Soy Wax Candle in Vanilla Coffee. Not only do I literally want to INHALE the scent, the wax is made of soy, which makes for a much cleaner burn—none of that soot buildup on the side of the candle, and on your walls and ceilings. Fabulous! Thank you from the bottom of my corazon, Lovely Shanina. You couldn’t imagine how much your gift and delightful thank-you note moved me. Seriously, one of my favorite things about Shake Your Beauty is the community of brilliant, beautiful, dynamic, and infinitely clever young ladies it’s created. I’m so lucky to know you all. So, keep writing in and I’ll keep reporting on the sexiest, best and brightest beauty stuff out there. That is, when the Percodan wears off.

See you later this week!

Numb McNumby

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Either you're in or you're out

Hola everybody,
I'm back from a fabulous vacation in Turks & Caicos and have the most inspiring tan, you have no idea. A vacay was deeply necessary, as my backstage beauty investigating duties during New York's Fashion Week thoroughly wore me out. The things I do for you! Girls, it was an extremely eventful week. As usual, most of the shows were hours off-schedule due to the whims of a group of fashionably late It-girls I've christened "The Lollipop Guild." You know who I mean, those teeny-tiny Us Weekly-ettes with bodies that resemble anorexic pencils and heads the size of watermelons. Speaking of...I spotted Nicole at Oscar de la Renta and there is definitely truth to the rumor that her once-chic Bonnie & Clyde bob is looking quite sparse (a tell-tale sign of an eating disorder). Honey, eat! And my mouth dropped at the site of her BFF, Lindsay, as she modeled in the celeb-studded Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Benefit show. While Fergie, Amerie and Christina Milian looked fetching in their scarlet-colored ensembles, LL resembled a wizened forty-five year old former Vegas showgirl addicted to nicotine and appetite supressants. Someone smack her mother for letting her nineteen year old child "Bungalow 8" herself into the ground! Tsk, tsk. But not all of the week's celeb sightings were so traumatic: J. Lo was working a major goddess moment in a low-cut white (surprise) Versace number at the re-opening of the designer's Fifth Avenue boutique. And her ex, Diddy, was looking very Steve MacQueen in a cream turtleneck and matching blazer backstage at his protegee's Zac Posen's show. Oh, and Damon Dash's absolutely stunning designer-wife, Rachel Roy, was making the rounds at all the parties with the most devastating shade of crimson lipstick--she looked like Dorothy Dandridge. SO inspired by her chicness, my newest obsession is now rocking redder-than-red-lips (my sister Lauren turned me on to the best-ever red for brown girls: TARTE DUAL-SIDED LIP GLOSS IN BONNIE & CLYDE. Blended together, somehow the deep maroon and sheer shimmery red just works). On the lip flip side, I suffered numerous bruises trying to squeeze past Viveka Fox's silicone-swollen trouth pout backstage at BCBG. Hmm, what else? Oh, everyone and their step-mother is dipping their pedicured toes in the beauty pool. Both Christina Milian and Kimora Lee Simmons are debuting makeup collections in the spring, and Serena Williams has just come out with the cutest little accessory for Flirt Cosmetics (Kohl's surprisingly fantastic makeup brand). She created for them a LIMITED EDITION "EXOTIC JEWELS" LIP GLOSS PENDANT (it looks like a funky gemstone, but encases a lovely sheer lip shade), which she was spotted rocking around her neck front-row at all the shows. Good for her!

In the middle of all this star-gazing, however, mama was actually doing some work! In an attempt to bring you the sexiest upcoming trends of Fall 2006, I spent the last nine days observing the hair and makeup geniuses behind the shows as they worked their magic.
But before we get into my favorite looks of the week, allow me to get all insidery on you for a second. I asked the hair and makeup folks to let me in on their secret weapons, the beauty products they use to help make the models look their radiant, catwalk-stalking best. This Fashion Week, these were the top three items stashed in all the pro’s makeup cases.

ELIZABETH ARDEN EIGHT HOUR CREAM SKIN PROTECTANT ($15): This super-rich hydrating salve has long been a cult favorite of makeup artists, because you can use it to moisturize your face, dry elbows and knees, and chapped lips. Backstage at BCBG, makeup legend Linda Cantello was using it on models’ lips in place of lipstick for a sheeny, supple finish.

SHISEIDO THE SKINCARE EYE REVITALIZER ($34): Super-fab designer, Marc Jacobs, sent an assistant to the Shiseido counter to load up on this velvety-smooth undereye cream before his show. Formulated to reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark circles and puffiness, this miracle worker was only thing that made his hungover models look perky and well-rested.

CREATIVE NAIL DESIGN SOLAR OIL ($9.99): Even though you don’t really notice fingernails on the runway, the nail business is MAJOR backstage. Manicurists receive very precise direction from the designer on the polish shades they want, the nail length, etc (my favorite was RESCUE NAIL SALON’S NAIL POLISH IN KILLA RED the rich-girl, blood-red shade I spotted at Tuleh). Anyway, at almost every show I went to, manicurists were slathering this rich, sweet almond oil and vitamin E-blend on models’ cuticles. They all say it’s, hands down, the best thing for nourishing dry cuticles and preventing hang-nails. And its light enough to double as a hand conditioner, too.

And now, on to the really good stuff. After some careful consideration, I've come up with my five favorite looks of Fashion Week. Hey, if you're anything like me--and I have a feeling you are--you find yourself in a major beauty rut during this time of the year. Girls, all it takes to bring back your sexy is a little makeup update, whether its switching your lip color or getting saucier with your eyeliner. Here's hoping you find these looks as inspiring as I do! Oh, did I tell you that I figured out how to upload photos, too? Yep, it was a big week for many reasons :-)


1.) THE CUTE-AS-A-BUTTON PALE PINK LIP (left, at Anna Sui): If you’re a Shake Your Beauty regular, you’ve probably caught on by now that I favor sheer, bronzy-red-brown lip gloss. My mind has officially changed. Not only was I rocked to my very core by designer Rachel Roy’s red mouth (see my ravings, above), I was also deeply enamored of the new baby-pink lip I was seeing at shows like Anna Sui, Oscar de la Renta, and Monique Lhullier. I’ve never really been into this moment, as I could never find a pale pink that looked right on brown skin—it always comes out looking ashy and corpse-like. But when I saw the likes of Naomi and Liyah Kebede (the gorgeous Ethiopian Estee Lauder spokesmodel) working the shade, I was immediately empowered! And I figured out how to make it happen—first line and fill in lips with a nude lip liner like ALMAY IDEAL LIPLINER IN COFFEE, and layer on a sheer pink gloss with lots of gold shimmer (this warms up the shade for brown skin) like CHANEL GLOSSIMER IN ZANZIBAR. So good.

2.) THE “DON’T YOU FIND MY EMERALD EYES BEWITCHING” THING (left, at Narciso Rodriguez): I was so into this criminally sexy eyes at Narciso Rodriguez—the models had black liner on top, and a slightly smudged line of deep, deep green pencil on the bottom (it was dark enough not to look teenagery, but still different enough to be special). MAC FLUIDLINE IN SHADE is a long-wearing, ultra-dark teal cream liner that goes on like satin--just dip a skinny liner brush in the pot and go. If you want to take things a step further, go the Baby Phat route and blend a wash of glittery emerald all over lids. So much fun for a night out, right?

3.) THE ARE-THOSE-FAKE-OR-WHAT LASHES (left, at Tuleh): At Bill Blass, Luella and Tuleh, it was all about that seriously glamorous, 1960’s Brigitte Bardot eye—zero shadow, just a skinny line of black liquid liner topped with tons of black mascara. No matter what your style, this moment always looks right. And getting it is easy with BENEFIT BAD GAL GEAR, a kit that comes with black liquid liner, excellent black mascara—and get this, self-adhesive false lashes! Seriously, its like these people read my mind.

4.) THE MADONNA IN THE “LIKE A VIRGIN” VIDEO MEETS ALI MACGRAW IN “LOVE STORY” BROW (left, at Zac Posen): Believe it or not, brows are making a MAJOR comeback. Gone are the days of the super-skinny, plucked-to-death arches (so tacky). Instead of the usual last-minute tweezing backstage, makeup artists at Zac Posen, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors were actually enhancing brows. Using short, feather-like strokes, they filled in the hairs with a brow pencil—sometime extending it slightly beyond the end for drama--and then smoothed it out with a brow brush. Famed makeup artist Pat MacGrath says the way to do it at home is to start by tweezing one row less. I say, start by immediately purchasing the new GOLDIE BROW KIT, which comes with universally-flattering brow shadows, clear brow gel, a brow brush, a highlighting/shading pencil, a magnifying mirror, a regular mirror and tweezers—all in a chic little zippered case. More than worth the $39.

5.) THE “I WOKE UP WITH HAIR THIS GLAMOROUSLY STRAIGHT” LOOK (left, at Carolina Herrera): For the past bunch of seasons, its been all about waves, waves, waves. I think Giselle and Jessica Simpson had something to do with it. But this season saw a huge return to the mid-nineties, Gwyneth-meets-Carolyn Bisette stick-straight blowout. I’m talking flatironed within an inch of its life. But instead of being lifeless and blah, the models at Carolina Herrera, Jill Stuart and Ralph Lauren had bouncy, shiny, Pantene-commercial hair that was so sexy no one noticed the clothes. It was flatironed hair that actually MOVED! To get the look, make sure you coat hair with PAUL MITCHELL HEAT SEAL SPRAY, before using heated appliances. Not only does this thermal setting spray absorb the heat so it doesn’t damage your hair, it magically builds body and leaves a glossy sheen. And its humidity resistant, so you need not fear a rainy day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Calling all internship junkies...

Hey Girls,
This just in! A lot of you write in and ask me how to find magazine internships, and I just got wind of a few. Check them out and good luck, doll!

BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine seeks talented and motivated college Juniors, Seniors and Graduate students to participate in our 2006 Summer Internship Program.
Interested students are expected to have demonstrated an interest in publishing and have a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Internships are normally available in any department in the Company, however students interested in internships in the Editorial department should provide published writing samples as part of their application materials. Our 2006 Summer Internship Program begins on June 5, 2006 and continues through August 11, 2006. Interested students should forward their resumes, cover letters and writing samples (if applicable). The deadline for internship application materials is Tuesday, January 31, 2006. Please visit

Resumes with cover letters and writing samples (if applicable) should be mailed to:
Ms. Natalie M. Hibbert
Director of Human Resources
130 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10011

Company: NYLON Magazine
Location: New York City
Duration: Internship
Description of job: NYLON Magazine is looking for interns for the spring semester. NYLON is a trend-setting fashion and pop culture magazine,focused on the new and innovative. Internships are available in both the editorial and fashion departments. Unpaid, but academic credit NOT required. Applicants must be available at least two days a week for a minimum of a semester. Prior experience is preferred but not required. All candidates must be hard working, responsible, dedicated, organized and have a positive attitude. Basic computer skills, Word and Excel are required, more advanced skills are a plus.

Please send a resume and a cover letter stating a bit about yourself and specifying which department you wish to work in and which days a week you can offer. Please no phone calls or faxes. Apply via e-mail to:
Phebe Hunnicutt
Assistant to the Editor in Chief

BREAK Magazine is seeking individuals interested in or involved in media arts and independent music to work with BREAK Magazine. We offer interns flexible scheduling, hands-on learning experience and prime exposure to a progressive independent hip hop music culture. If you are looking to move into an editorial position involving journalism, graphic arts or photography, BREAK Magazine will introduce you to a variety of resources and connections to develop your career.
The writer will be assigned 2 articles per issue, be responsible for researching full AP style articles. Articles assigned to interns will typically less than 500 words. Most assigned articles will be features and profiles. Responsible for fact checking, compiling calendars and photographing event highlights. Good interns get longer, more exciting assignments. Experience writing and reporting for printing is a must. Please send FOUR published clips and a cover letter to:
Graphic Editors will assist Editor and Chief throughout the entire production process. He or she will assist in the preparation of art and photography of each issue of the magazine and will be active in the editorial post production of BREAK Magazine. This individual should have a superior understanding of design concepts, typography, and software knowledge is a must. From time to time this intern may be given additional tasks of Art Director. Software: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, In Design, Acrobat (CS)
BREAK Magazine's photography interns get an exciting opportunity to shoot and assist with a variety of images for the magazine: promotional/ad shots, articles, features, assisting with cover shoots and more. We are seeking motivated and energetic people with an artistic sensibility, but can understand the needs of a bi-monthly independent publication. FREELANCE WRITERS
We are seeking freelance writers. Contact us now! If you are interested in freelancing for BREAK Magazine, please email to receive a copy of our writer's guidelines. You may pitch story ideas with your message. To facilitate your request, please provide us with a cover letter; resume and three to five published writing samples. No phone calls, please.

Mall for one, and one for mall

Hola Muchachitas,
Its Fashion Week! Yes, and your intrepid beauty babe has been flitting about backstage at the shows, sniffing out the sexiest of the sexy new trends for my Beauty-Shakers--that is, when I'm not stealing donuts off the refreshment tables; losing my backstage pass and having to administer smackdowns to the power-mad, be-clipboarded PR chicas; or narrowly escaping being mowed down by a gargantuan, fur cape-swathed Andre Leon Talley. Yep, it hasn't been all stilettoes and air-kisses, let me tell you. But as the shockingly odd-looking designer, Santino, warbles on Project Runway, "lighten up, its just fashion!" Anyway, I'll get into all that in next week's Fabulous Fashion Week Wrap-up post. Stay tuned, miladies.

For now, though, I'd like to tell you something about New Yorkers. Not only do we think we're the center of the universe, we have a dim feeling that the rest of the country is just a tad bit behind us...and I'm just as stridently guilty as the rest of the vintage-wearing, Nolita-shopping, Barneys Warehouse Sale-worshipping flock. We pride ourselves on having access to the hottest boutiques, museums, nightlife...the whole thing. Even something as inconsequential as a bakery (ie, the world-famous Magnolia Bakery that Carrie Bradshaw turned into a mecca for fashionistas with a yen for buttercream frosting) can turn us into snootier-than-thou, “eww-you-buy-cupcakes-from-Entenmanns?” elitists. Its all about exclusivity here, stuff you can get in New York, and nowhere else—you know, the antithesis of mall culture, where you think everyone’s walking around in the same outfit and shopping at the same stores and pretending that a Mini-bon is healthier than the regular size Cinnabon. But you wanna know what the funny thing is? Most die-hard New Yorkers hail from cities named Springfield or Arlington and got their first taste of fashion while working the register at Contempo Casuals. It's true.

Most New Yorkers aren’t even FROM New York. Take me, for example. I've worked at and been fired from so many Gaps and Body Shops throughout the various malls of Northern Virginia, I couldn’t possibly count. I still painstakingly fold my sweaters “the Gap way,” lest the pimple-faced floor manager in my subconscious yank me into the stock room for a talking-to. In ninth grade, me and four of my girlfriends from dance team curled and sprayed our bangs into shellaqued, croissant-shaped puffs and had our portraits taken at Glamour Shots. My second ear-hole was pierced in secret at Claire’s Boutique—the hole has since closed, but whatever. And I’ve always had a small addiction to that insanely tasty bourbon chicken they sell at the Food Court staple to end all Food Court Staples, Manchu Wok (though I’ve always found it suspect that a Chinese fast-food joint would specialize in New Orleans cuisine). All of this is to say that I grew up a mall girl and I’m proud of it. And all it takes is a trip to my hometown, or in this case, my husband’s hometown, to remind myself from whence I came. Last weekend, Chappie the Dog, Adam and I hopped on the Long Island Railroad to visit his family out on Long Island (pronounced Lawn Guyland). And girls, we went to the mall. Smith Haven Mall, to be exact. And mama had an epiphany! Malls are FABULOUS! It doesn't have to be an extravaganza of "sameness." If you approach mall-shopping in the same way you do sample sale or vintage shopping—you know, combing the racks for that one special piece, that totally unique, delicious bargain in the most unassuming of places—it becomes the stuff a true snobby shopper’s dreams are made of. Suffice it to say, I skipped out of Smith Haven with some truly inspiring stuff...from some truly surprising stores. Yay me!

1.) CARVED IVORY EARRINGS, Express ($22.50): I am determined to wear these dangly, bohemian-yummy earrings (check them out on page 3 of "accessories") every single day of my life. With their intricately swirling design and gleaming, bone-white finish, they look like folk art from some outdoor artesan market in Marrakech. Which is precisely where I'll pretend I found them.

2.) READY FRAGRANCE, Abercrombie & Fitch ($24.50): Okay, as a beauty editor, I've smelled every single designer fragrance that's launched over the past seven years. And I swear to you, this Abercrombie & Fitch (I know, can you believe it?) scent is just as good, if not better, than some of the topselling perfumes out there. The second I tried on this lush, tropical, cha-cha-cha-spicy scent, Adam practically swooned. Which is the most important thing, isn't it?

3.) DREAMBOAT MILK BATH, The Body Shop ($16): When I was at Lucky, the Bahamas' wildly exclusive, celebrity-frequented Ocean Club Resort invited a bunch of beauty editors down for a spa weekend. I'm not sure I've yet recovered. All I know is, I had the most deluxe massage, ever. First of all, it all goes down in a Balinese-style private treatment cabana with its own open air garden, so you're basically being pampered in a tropical, outdoor paradise situation. And to top things off, after my full-body aromatherapy massage and body wrap, I soaked in an essential-oil-scented milk bath chock full of floating hyacinth and frangiapani petals. Literally, it was the most deluxe moment of my life (and at this moment I'm cursing myself for quitting the magazine racket--such perks!). Anyway, one whiff of this oh-so-heady Body Shop milk bath took me back. Its scented with lotus flower, frangipani and something called "organic community traded honey"--and if you can't get to the Ocean Club, baby, it's the next best thing.

4.) SO SEXY SMOOTHING SHINE SERUM, Victoria's Secret ($12.50): If you're anything like me (extremely curly-haired, relaxed, Dominican-salon-blowout-addicted), you get your hair washed and blownout only once a week, on Sundays. And if you happen to do things like frequent Thai restaurants, or go to a dinner party at a cigarette-smoking friend's house, your hair may begin to build up a, well, scent. Since the last thing you're going to do is WASH IT, its all about Victoria's Secret's fragranced shine serum. Not only does it give your hair a sheeny, healthy gleam when rubbed onto dry also magically infuses your hair with a fresh, slightly floral scent. No one will guess that your hair is Dirt MacGirt-dirty.

5.) STUDDED HALF MOON SHOULDER BAG , Forever 21 ($45.80): I'm still in total shock that this bag isn't, like, three hundred dollars! So very cool in the Sienna Miller/Kate Moss-tradition, this chocolately brown REAL leather hobo has the funkiest gold-studded design on the front...and its big enough for day, but sassy enough for night. It comes in black, too, but alas, brown is the new black.

6.) VALENTINE PAISLEY SCARF, Guess ($24): Right now, I'm head-over-heels into headbands. You know, the wide, 1960's kind (paired with big gold hoops, it just screams "jetsetter," even if the farthest you're jetting is to Starbucks). I've already worn this stunning, brightly colored paisley scarf twice--and compliments have abounded both times! Wear a wide headband with a ponytail, a messy high bun..or my favorite, with big, loose hair. H&M has some great ones too, for like $6, but they aren't sold online so I don't have a link. Get thee to the mall!