Thursday, May 25, 2006

Share your beauty

Hello Hello Hellooo!
I'm officially back from the crazy-insane Romantic Times Convention...and WOW. Why isn't there an SNL sketch or maybe an improv-satire-ish movie like "Best in Show" about this phenomenon? For the uninitiated, the RT Convention is the Oscars of the shockingly multi-gazillion dollar romance novel industry. It's the heaving-bosoms-and-throbbing-manhood version of a Star Trek Convention. The truly dedicated romance readers literally WAIT ALL YEAR for this convention, where they can mingle with their favorite writers and like-minded romancistas, have their picture taken before an enormous magical forest backdrop, and participate in the annual costume competition at the "Faery Ball" (a sweetnatured, be-corseted green elf, after noticing that I was the only guest out of thousands not wearing a set of silk wings, shot me a sympathetic look and told me not to feel bad—her first year she was too self-conscious to fully give herself over to The Experience, too). And wait, you don't even know how many GENRES of romance there are! I mean, historical/bodice-ripper romance, vampire romance, erotic romance, sci-fi romance (picture two robots thrashing against each other in ecstasy), fantasy romance...its truly amazing. Oh, and capping off the whole thing was the Mr. Romantic Times Pageant, where the Bodice-Ripperettes elect their favorite oiled-up, Fabio-esque cover model--all of which had been parading around the convention all week long in pirate outfits, bringing many a corseted babe to her knees. Seriously, the sexual tension was epic. Why was I, a Chick Lit writer, there? Well, apparently the powers that be were trying to make the Convention a tad more modern. Um, I don't think they're ready--mama was virtually INVISIBLE (I was so ignored at the Book Fair, it was hilarious...I swear I saw glitter-flecked tumbleweed float by my table). But I was so entertained by the festivities, how could I mind?

Anyway, so here I am!! I totally missed you guys. And, as promised, here's the "Share Your Beauty" post, where you became the beauty editors!! I'm terribly flattered that so many of you wrote in with your all-time favorite beauty obsession. After serious deliberation, I managed to narrow them down to six standout products...enjoy!! WAIT, totally off-topic, but GUESS WHO STOPPED BY COSMO RADIO TODAY?!! Vito, The Sopranos' recently whacked homo-thug!! And girls, that I-use-to-be-morbidly-obese waddle he has on the show is very, very real! I'm hardly ever star-struck, but Vito threw me. And, just so you know, he shakes his beauty as hard as we do. The man's haircolor, a sort of flawlessly shiny indigo-black, was staight out of a Loreal Feria haircoloring kit.

PS...before I get into your product obsessions, it's time for TIA'S WEEKLY....WHY?? OKay, I'm deeply irritated with Frangela, that loud-mouthed, "sassy-talking" comedy duo that's always on VH1's The Best Week Ever. I get that it's an act and all--and I don't want to be That Girl, the one hating on brown girls doing their thing--but aren't we over that whole "mmm-hmm, girl, we some angry black bitches" moment? It's just so tired and old-school and GRATING, a modern version of the shuck-and-jive. Gross. Make the neck-swiveling stop!


PRODUCT PICK: NYX 3 Color Eyeshadow Trio #1 White/Grey/Black ($5.95)
Chloe recommends that we all "use NYX black shadow to line your eyes with an angled brush. I've done away with my beloved black pencil for this!" I'm with you, Sugar. I love using black shadow as liner--somehow the line looks so much cleaner, richer. Just remember to wet the brush a little, first.

SEXY GIRL: Mz Jamaya
PRODUCT PICK: L'Oreal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara ($6.99)
Mz Jamaya says that this is her "favorite eye poppin,' lashes-for-days-and-weeks mascara!" Sweetie, I have to agree. After only one swipe your lashes'll end up so thick and full and looong, it'll be impossible to not bat them constantly. People will think you have some sort of facial tick, or something. By the way, congrats on your beautiful baby Asha, Mz Jamaya--oh, how my uterus aches in jealousy!

PRODUCT PICK: Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Mineral Powder Foundation, Sheer Bronzer ($9.99)
According to fabulous Bklyn AKA, "you have to try this bronzer...for ten dollars, it's a steal. Not to mention, the brush and powder packaging are all in one! I love it almost as much as my Hoola by Benefit." I'm also a huge fan...the mineral powder is so good for acne-prone skin, and the shade is sheer enough to look sunkissed-sexy on all skintones.

PRODUCT PICK: Miss Oops Pedicure in a Bottle ($18)
Viv is all over this spa-worthy, all-in-one foot treatment, and for good reason. The super-rich lotion is blended with dry-skin-sloughing salicylic acid, peppermint, menthol and yummy lavender, a combo that manages to exfoliate, smooth AND moisturize Hammertime toes. The best part is, it leaves your feet insanely soft and smooth without doing that horrible greasy thing. And how good is that name?

PRODUCT PICK: Frederic Fekkai Summer Hair Wash Wear ($20)
Adige loves, loves, loves "this instant shampoo spray that provides UV protection and refreshes your style without shampooing." Okay, I wash my hair once a week--and by the fourth day it's a tad oily at the roots and smells faintly of bacon--so anything that'll give it a just-shampoo'ed feel and smell is GENIUS, just GENIUS! The added summetime benefit is that spritzing this ultra-light mist on dry hair blocks the damaging effects of sun, salt, and chlorine. Genius, I tell you.

SEXY GIRL: Schanina
PRODUCT PICK: DERMADoctor's Picture Porefect Pore Minimizing Solution ($40)
Lovely Schanina swears by this blackhead-busting serum, raving "this stuff works wonders! It dries up blackheads, reduces the appearance of pores, and prevents future blockage. I put it on day and night after using an exfoliating cleanser! I can't believe this stuff is made in Kansas City--it makes me so proud! Schanina, YOU make me proud. You couldn't be more dead-on about this complexion-perfecting miracle's blended with retinol, green tea, and special "sebum sequestering micro-particles" that soak up gross excess sebum that clogs your pores, creating blackheads. So good!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Model behavior

Hola sweeties,
I'll be back with a full post later this week, but I wanted to let my gorgeous girls know about a sexy modeling opportunity for Mizani Haircare! The fabulous line is planning a product launch for beauty editors on June 20th, and they're looking for models to participate in the demonstrations at the event. My friend Tiffani Carter at Tractenberg P.R. (a major beauty public relations agency) is handling the event, and she's looking for black women, preferrably between the ages of 18-35 with either relaxed shoulder-length or naturally curly/afro hair (must be real, no pieces or weaves). You don't have to be a working model, just cute...and I KNOW you are. So if you live in the New York area, or can make it to NYC by June 20th, send your information and a jpeg photo of yourself to Tiffani at Good luck, muchachitas!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Spray you, spray me

Hey Muchachitas,
This was NOT a good week for your trusty beauty adventuress. Mama was in the hospital for four days over the weekend for, what else, epic migraines (sooo unsexy...and my roommate SMOKED in our hosptial room, have you ever?). So I'm a little behind, but I'll be back next week with the promised "Share Your Beauty" post...and thanks so much for all of your fabulous product suggestions! Can I just say, very quickly though, YAY FOR DANIELLE tonight!! Finally, an America's Next Top Model winner who could actually kick some real ass on somebody's runway--though if there was an award for the Most Insanely Perfect Pictures Taken by a Shockingly Ordinary-Looking Girl, Joanie would win. And omigod, did you guys see my commerical during the show!! I started really feeling myself, and then I tripped over nothing on the way to the kitchen to make an ice-cream soda. Yep, I'm still just Tia from the Block.

Okay ladies, so until next week! First, though, I wanna leave you with one beauty nugget before I race off to the Romantic Times Convention this weekend. Yesterday--on New York City's rainiest day of the year--I was photographed for a Marie Claire fashion story (it'll be in the August issue...yay!). I was so worried that my Farrah flip wouldn't have a CHANCE of surviving in the humidity, but then the wildly sexy Italian stylist whipped out SEBASTIAN LAMINATES HAIR SPRAY--and OH! Clearly, brown girls are not into hairspray, as it just makes our hair sticky and it gets all flaky and dull-looking. But this one not only has frizz-fighting ingredients, its chock full of silicone shine enhancers--so it gives great hold WHILE boosting shine AND keeping your 'do frizz-free during torrential downpours. And you know what? It really did all that. Now if it could only finish writing my teen book for me.

love ya mean it,

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tom Cruise thinks we're beautiful

Girls, I'd like to debut a new feature on SHAKE YOUR BEAUTY! To be honest, I feel that "TIA'S WEEKLY...WHYYY?" is long overdue. Every week, someone does something so deeply asinine in the media that I find myself questioning if all is right with the world (my mind is cluttered with all these random facts because I have to research crazy pop culture stuff for our daily celeb gossip segment on Cosmo Radio…that’s the only reason, I swear). So I've created a forum where I can ponder these deeply philosophical questions, if you don't mind. Here’s this week's question:

WHY IS TOM CRUISE SO OBSESSED WITH BLACK PEOPLE? If you managed to get past his crazy-old-man-on-the-front-porch musings about curing heroin addiction with, like, a multi-vitamin…you’ll notice that, as of late, TC's been steadily surrounding himself with a merry band of cullid entertainers. To be specific, the man has asked Kanye West and Jamie Foxx to be his baby's "Uncles." Reportedly, he refuses to miss a performance by Jada Pinkett Smith's rock band, Wicked Wisdom...and he's been orchestrating play dates between Katie and Jada, with the hope that she'll be asking Jada to be a bridesmaid. He’s referred to Will Smith as “his boy.” He and Katie were seen whoopin' it up at Oprah's Legends Ball, which was a fancy prom for BLACK FEMALE ICONS. And please tell me someone emailed you guys the little QuickTime thingie of TC getting krunk on 106th & Park??!! I’m talking about knees bent, arms in the air, shoulders shaking hard enough to recall the Bankhead Bounce (and, oh, the looks on the faces of his Mission Impossible co-stars, Laurence Fishburne and Ving Rhames were priceless). TC, you’re wearing me out! He’s not the first to have a black fetish, and he won’t be the last (hello, Bill Maher) but come on...Wicked Wisdom?

Dear Ladies,
Hiii! As promised, this week is all about me answering your beauty questions…oh, and I got some FABULOUS ones this week. Oh, and I noticed something else happening. You guys are starting to actually answer each other’s questions with your own beauty recommendations. I LOVE THIS! Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and squishy and community-like? So, this is what I propose. Next week’s post will be called “SHARE YOUR BEAUTY,” and it’ll be a roundup of all of your fabulous product suggestions! I’m so in love with the idea that I’ve decided to do it once a month! Anyway, keep your brilliant recommendations coming because, as beauty obsessed as I am, I must admit that I don’t have all the answers (ooh that was hard. I’m sending you my therapist bill). Have a fabulous week girls, and keep shakin’ it for mama.



Dear Stephanie,
I found you the perfect thing to wear to your wedding in St Lucia. PRAIRIE NEW YORK'S JADE DRESS ($221) manages to be seriously sexy while also working that beachy-easy, “oh I just threw this on with some gold flip-flops” thing that’s so scorching-hot for summer. It’s really all about the deep-V neckline adorned with those chunky, vibrant stones. Yum.

Dear Kimberly,
The oily-eyelids thing is an extremely common problem, and it makes it impossible to keep your eyeshadow from creasing and/or sliding down your face. Thank God for TOO FACED EYESHADOW BASE IN SECOND BASE! Simply blend this botanical-based matte primer over your lid before applying shadow, and it magically holds it in place all day long. Second Base also works wonders on your undereye bags: If you dot and blend it on your dark circles before applying concealer, it prevents concealer from settling into those fine lines while brightening the hell out of the entire area! You’ll look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (even if you’re hungover and grumpy).

Dear Porsche,
How many of us have had this problem? Days after Porsche gets a fresh perm, her edges are already standing at attention! Here’s how to tame your unruly hairline—without getting that overly slick, gelled-up grossness. Pull hair into a ponytail, damp your edges a bit and apply a smidgeon of REDKEN LUSH WHIP, a super-lightweight, shine-enhancing styling lotion with fabulous hold. While smoothing back the edges with a comb, blast the area with a blowdryer. The whole thing takes about ten minutes, and your hairline will stay flat all day, I swear!

Dear DDNice,
Now, this is an interesting question! Usually, I wouldn’t recommend a fuchsia lip gloss for Mary J. Blige-complected girlies (hot pink has a lot of blue in it, which is generally too harsh for warm undertones). But because I adore you to death, I figured out a fabulous way for you to go fuchsia! Since an opaque, highly pigmented shade would be too bright, it’s all about a soft, sheer hot pink. First, line and fill-in lips with a brown lipliner, and then layer on a sheer, hot pink gloss—I’m obsessed with BOURJOIS' brilliant new EFFET 3D COCKTAILS LIPGLOSS IN ROUGE SUNSET—for a subtly sexy, strawberry-ish glaze.

Dear Gina,
Looking for THREE CUSTOM COLOR'S LIP GLOSS IN "BILLIE" (yep, the very one inspired the confused-but-cute heroine of THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA)? You can find this universally flattering, bronzy-red gloss on It's my personal belief that Billie would look tres adorable in this color.

Dear LuxeDivaSoulSistaHoneyChile,
Yay!!! I’m so excited your man’s coming back safe and sound from Iraq in two months!!! Girl, you better PUT IT ON HIM the second he lands. And here’s how:

FOR SWEET-SMELLING DREADS: Spritz them with CLEAN SHAMPOO FRESH HAIR FRAGRANCE. At $39, it’s kinda pricey, but this sweet lime/grapefruit/passion lily scent is so incredibly fresh and seductive that you’ll buy TWO.

FOR “WELCOME HOME, SAILOR” LINGERIE: It’s all about This new lingerie and swimwear website is a cult-favorite among celebs, especially their racy-without-being-hoochie CARMEN COLLECTION (I’m equally as booty-impaired, so my favorite are the boyshorts—the low cut, which exposes just enough juice in the back, is sooo flattering).

FOR A SKIN-SOFTENING LOTION MINUS STRONG FRAGRANCE: Definitely go for ORIGINS GINGER GLOSS SMOOTHING BODY OIL. Spray on this slightly citrusy, non-greasy dry oil when your skin’s wet, towel off and voila! You’ll have the silkiest, most touchable skin, ever.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lotsa talk radio

George Wayne: You look like the Queen of Sheba.
Furonda: I've never been to Sheba.
George Wayne: I'm sure you're a lioness.
Furonda: Rroaarr!!
--Bizarre encounter between Furonda and Vanity Fair columnist, George Wayne. It's unclear whether Furonda was being facetious with that Queen of Sheba crack.

Hey Ladies,
Hiii! Oh, you don't know how I miss my pretty girls all week long! Thank God I have your sweet words and hilarious running commentary to keep me giggling, engaged, and sane. As the July 18th deadline for the first book in my teen series approaches, I'd be tempted to run screaming out of the house, naked and crazy-faced, if it wasn't for you encouragement (wait--have I told you about my teen book? Hyperion/Disney approached me to write an updated Fame-ish story about a group of kids at Manhattan's Performing Arts High School! it'll hit shelves in June '07). Speaking of your darling comments, it seems like everyday I get a shout-out from a long-lost person from my childhood who's seen my commercial! What a thrill to hear from the long-ago likes of Jenny Tollus, Kanani Miranda, Mark Shields, Jim, Carrie, and Brandi Kirskey (omigod, you're so taking me back to Bremerhaven, Germany circa in coke bottle glasses and mint green Reeboks, you with your Moonlighting fetish)--but SWEETHEARTS, you must leave me your email addresses, or I'll never be able to hit you back and tell you how eternally blessed I feel to have rediscovered you in my feeble old age!! Oh, and do keep the beauty questions coming because next week'll be dedicated to solving todos tus problemas (so hold on just seven more days, Sunges, DD-Nice, Porsche and Stargalcarla!).

Girls. It's almost unnatural, the amount of fun I've been having as co-host of "Wake up with Cosmo" on Cosmo Radio (Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 111)! No jobby-job should be this entertaining, but it is! I mean, can you imagine getting PAID to discuss America's Next Top Model contestant Jade's embarassing and obvious lack of education, the outrageous number of icliterate men out there (and no, I did not mean "illiterate"), Britney Spears' curious lack of maternal instincts, your worst and best "walk of shame" stories, why "Grey's Anatomy's" Meredith is such a slutty neurotic, the least charlie-horse-inducing Kama Sutra positions, the delights of "My Super-Sweet Sixteen," and the various ways to cajole your man into doing exactly what you want in bed (or on the kitchen counter, or in the bathroom at Bungalow 8--however you roll)??? It's good times. And you wouldn't believe the amount of exquisitely juicy beauty nuggets that've popped up during our on-air chats with celebrity stylists, makeup artist, manicurists, Cosmo's own beauty and fashion editors, and on and on. Which leads me to today. Because I think you're so cute (and I realize so few of you actually own Sirius Satellite Radio), I've been keeping a mental note of all the cult-favorite products that've popped up during "Wake up With Cosmo!" conversations, both on-air and behind-the-scenes. Ooh, this stuff is good (wait, that reminded me of the old Al B. Sure song, "Ooh, This Love is So"). Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!


P.S....please join me in a round of applause for Chloe, the winner of the "How can Tia Lose Ten Pounds Without Breaking a Sweat?" contest from SHAKE YOUR BEAUTY'S first anniversary post! Miss Genius explained that, in order to lose one pound, you must burn 3500 more calories than you consume, so I have to cut down on calories. She suggested replacing one carb serving per day with a fruit or veggie, drinking a ton of water...and WHOA, I already notice a difference. Chloe, drop me a comment with your email address--can't wait to send you your custom-made, special edition "Billie" lipgloss inspired by the plucky heroine you know so well from "THE ACCIDENTAL DIVA!


1.) CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY ESSENTIAL OIL ($7.50 for 4 ounces): Okay, I'm usually not one for foodie-scented beauty products. But something deeply transformative came over me when we invited Marie Scologna, owner of Spa Chicks on the Go (a "mobile" spa company! Meaning, Marie and her gang can meet you anywhere--work, vacation, your house--to give you manis, pedis, reflexology massage, whatevah. Brilliant!) on the air to chitchat. Marie was TO DIE--there's a reason her company was asked to set up a treatment room at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and starlets like Kelis and Kelly Clarkson are obsessed with her otherworldly fingers. But the added bonus of her visit was that Marie actually gave me and Taylor foot massages while we talked. As soon as she started with all that blissful toe-kneading, I became overwhelmed with a scent so luxurious, so rich and yummily sensuous, I began to stutter. "What it that wondrous fragrance?" I asked her, ever-so-breathily. Turns out, she's been whipping up her own lotion for years, using the following recipe: She adds six to eight drops of this chocolate-raspberry essential oil into a lavender body lotion, shakes the bottle, and voila! The results are so delicious smelling--and not in a teenagery chocolatey way, more in a deeply decadent, sexy-grownup way, if you can dig it--that Marie ended up leaving her prized lotion with me (resulting in my obsession with slathering it on every exposed inch of skin as I ramble on-air). And now, you can make this addictive lotion, yourself!

2.) TED GIBSON HAIRSHEET TREATMENT ($35): Today on the show, we had the pleasure of dishing with Ally, the famed celeb haircolorist from Fifth Avenue's super-fancy Ted Gibson Salon (A-list devotees include the delicious Joy Bryant, Kiera Knightley, Ashanti, and Eva Longoria). When I asked Miss Ally how to protect one's relaxed-plus-highlighted hair from the ravages of summer--ie, sun overexposure, salt water, chlorine--she whipped out an adorable silver packet and slid it over to me. I'm like, what? Turns out, the mysteriously chic little packet contains five absolutely genius, single-treatment sheets, each infused with an amino complex, wild orchid extract and natural botanicals to add moisture, strength and elasticity to even the most overprocessed hair. Here's how it works: In place of a weekly deep-conditioner, simply massage the hair sheet over dry hair once a week, at bedtime. I'm on it like Big Boi's on Kryptonite, ya heard?

3.) ANASTASIA FIVE-PART BROW KIT ($65): Have you guys heard of Anastasia? This woman practically created eyebrow grooming as an art form, okay? From her Beverly Hills salon headquarters, Miss Anastasia has perfected the arches of goddesses like Madonna, Jenny from the Block, Naomi from Anger Management, Sharon Stone, Penelope Cruz, and Jada Pinkett Smith--basically every hottie in Hollywood. And now us normal folk can benefit from her expertise with her top-selling product line! Here's the story: Taylor Streck, my lovely-but-virgin-brow'ed co-host on "Wake up With Cosmo," is terrified to pluck, so I enlisted the help of Cosmo's darling Associate Beauty Editor Andrea Lavinthal to help me convince TayTay to finally go there. She suggested Anastasia's amazing brow kit, which is in the beauty bag of every top makeup artists for a reason--it comes with tweezers, four brow stencils, one duo brush, clear brow gel, and brow powder (choose between ash blonde, brunette, strawburn, and medium ash). The kit is a tad expensive, but its so thorough, so incredibly goofproof, that you'll save millions in salon appointments! At least, that's how I justify it.

4.) LAURA MERCIER TRANSLUCENT LOOSE SHIMMER POWDER IN SUN DUST ($34): Last week, Kate White, the illustrious editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, threw an almost unbearably glamorous dinner party for the May cover girl, Mandy Moore. The dinner was at La Esquina, the hottest, most impossible-to-get-into restaurant in Manhattan (after you basically show your BIRTH CERTIFICATE to the bouncer, he clicks his fingers and some chick takes you through a secret door, down thru a huge kitchen--very Goodfellas!--and then, whoa! You're in a dark, cavernous, sexy palace...and if you look closely, you can see Sienna Miller and Lindsay Lohan lounging ever-so-chicly in a distant banquette. Not together, of course). Of course, the Beauty Ho was seated next to Mandy's makeup artist (he's also Angelina Jolie's personal beautyfier--he only had GLOWING things to say about her, by the way. Apparently all that I-believe-the-children-are-our-future ish is real), and we proceeded to have a torrid affair over the next three hours, all of it based on a mutual love of bronzer. He raved and raved about Laura Mercier's Sun Dust shimmer, a translucent setting powder with a hint of bronze sparkle that he uses on all his fancy clients, no matter their skin color, for a very subtle radiance. And guess what? The next day, I had my very own Sun Dust waiting for me by my front door--the darling man had sent it to me! I wear it every day now, just a light dusting allover my face after I've applied concealer, and EVERYONE asks me if I've just had a facial or some particularly enthusiastic sex. Good times.

5.) NEUTROGENA MOISTURESHINE LIP SOOTHER COOLING HYDRAGEL IN SHINE ($6.99): Taylor and I just got our pictures taken for the Cosmo Radio website, and being a total control freak, I did my own makeup. But then my lipstick fell in the toilet. I'm serious. So the makeup artist lined and filled in my lips with some lovely nudey-brown pencil, and then layered an insanely juicy, fruity-smelling clear lip gloss on top. By this point, I was asleep (I wake up at 4:30am to be at the studio by 6am, folks), but the amazing fruity goodness of the gloss jolted me awake. I begged to know the name of this Vaseline-slippery, tasty-delicious gloss, and would you believe it was NEUTROGENA?! It's a brand-new collection of sheer moisturizing lip balms that come in fun colors and are infused with real, natural fruit juices. Fabulous layered over your favorite lipstick for a hint of yummy shine.