Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't you go changin'

Hello Hello Hello,
Join me in congratulating Miss Mika, the winner of the Oct./Nov. ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question! She was first to give the correct answer, which was that Billie's mom, Ms. Marie-Therese LeSeur, was from New Orleans, Louisiana. Contrary to what many of you lovelies believed, she WAS NOT from Shreveport...that's where the dance contest took place, the one where she met Billie's dad. My first trick question! So, yay to you, Miss Mika--and make sure you leave a comment with your email address, so I can contact you about sending out your prize, the Stila Product of the Month!

And now, for this week's topic. I've been thinking a lot about something. At the beginning of every new season, I'm always excited about figuring out my new look. I inhale the September and October issues of all the fashion magazines, absorbing as much "right-now" hotness as I can, totally prepared to apply it to my wardrobe. But no matter what, after I do all my shopping, I end up looking precisely the way I always look. For example, I've come to understand that this fall/winter season's all about masochistically high platforms (seriously, is Balenciaga on crack?), high-waisted wide-leg trousers, boxy cropped jackets and a moment called "haute grunge." I tried girls, really I did, but my fall closet looks the way it has since I was seven--cowl-necked sweaters, slinky jeans and tailored skirts, a good trench, a shot of bohemia here and there, and tons of brown. Isn't that funny? No matter how hard you try to change, I'm inclined to believe that the style you had as a little girl is the style you have as an adult. Don't agree? Check out this pic of me at seven years old, in my FAVORITE outfit (please ignore my ashy knees...I was years from discovering Kiehls Creme de Corps body lotion).

And now, dig if you will the picture of moi at Brownie's engagement party last year. Practically THE SAME Tia, no? It's almost eerie. The point is that we shouldn't fight our first insticts. I believe that as sophisticated, chic women of the world, we have the right not to wear "haute grunge" simply because Marc Jacobs believes it's a good idea. And so what if Adam thinks purses are a waste of money, I'm HELPLESS TO MY OBSESSION--I've loved bags since I was a toddler. So much so, that I began naming them at a very young age. My mom has in her possession a home video of me at thrteen, Christmas day, declaring with glee through my retainer that I'm naming my new Coach bag "Howie." Sounds a lot like me a couple of months ago, naming my new Isabella Fiore clutch "Freddie Brooks."

In honor of Freddie Brooks, I've rounded up some of the most divine purse-sized products you should be carrying in your bag. Not only will these portable goodies make your life so much easier, they're absolutely darling (isn't everything cuter in miniature?). Enjoy!



1.)BREATHE PALETTE WATER KIT MOUTHWASH-TO-GO IN SWEET TOOTH ($7): Two weeks ago, I had my wisdom teeth taken out. And, well, I was suffering from a mild case of dragon breath. So, so gross. Thank heaven for these adorable little single-dose mouthwash packets (they're made with all-natural ingredients, so they're easier on teeth!) Each kit comes with five packets in the kookiest favorite is the Sweet Tooth kit, which includes caramel, pumpkin pudding, coffee, sweet almond, and bitter chocolate. Delish.

2.)THE BODY SHOP CRANBERRY ATOMIZER ($6): Why did it take so long for this teeny-tiny perfume atomizer to be invented? Yeah, every popular fragrance line eventually comes out with a so-called "portable" travel-sized version, but they're always lunky and cumbersome. That's why this Body Shop thingie is so genius--just pour your favorite scent into the itty little spritzer, and you can take it with you everywhere. Love.

3.) MARK HOOKUPS ($5 for each compartment, the connector's free): Mark's fabulous hookup is the holy grail for the girl-on-the-go: You choose from a zillion tiny, interlocking gloss, lipstick, shadow, blush, liner, and mascara options to create your own custom dual-ended makeup stick. My favorite combo is the Glow Baby Glow Luxe Lipgloss in Sugar Luxe, a minty, sheer bronze, with the Winkstick Eyecolor in Demure, an iridescent taupe shadow stick. Really, what more do you need?

4.) LANCOME PRECISE MATCH WEIGHTLESS PORTABLE POWDER ($29): This powder-in-a-brush is SUCH a good idea--a silky, super-sheer finishing powder to whip out before that big meeting, or after-work date, or lunch with your ex. All that, and it fits in the palm of your hand. Plus it has special pigments that adjust to your natural complexion, so the last two shades (Dark NW and Dark NC) manage to magically flatter ALL brown skin tones. Yay, Lancome.

5.) TRUE BLUE SPA DISAPPEARING ACT INSTANT CUTICLE REMOVER ($8): I'm obsessed with pushing back my stubbornly awful cuticles. I don't know how, but hours after I've gone to work on them, they'll creep halfway up my nail bed--it's the worst. This itsy-bitsy piece of heaven totally saves the day! I don't know what's in it, but you just dab a bit onto your cuticles, wait 20 seconds, and then push them back with the special slanted applicator tip. Just the thing to whip out of your bag during mid-day work procrastination, or while you're waiting in line somewhere.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

No fair, mon frere

Hey Sweeties,
Okay, good work on the Oct/Nov ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question, but hello? You know I have a "no family members or previous winners" rule, right? Caliprynses, you're FABULOUS and GORGEOUS, but you won the last trivia question, so I'm gonna have to throw out a different one (and by the way, you never hit me back with your address so I could send you your prize, baby!)

So here's the new question. As always, the first reader to answer correctly wins their very own Stila Product of the Month (to read all about it, scroll down on the right). Think hard, and good luck.



Saturday, October 21, 2006

Quick fashion babble

Hey Girlies,
Hiii! So, what did we think of Runway de Projecto? Contrary to popular opinion, I DIDN'T think all four designers choked. I really didn't. In fact, I loved Laura's peach turtlenck minidress, and EVERYTHING Uli did...and even Jeffrey showed a bit of genius with that green-and-white zipper situation (though I'd never wear that dress--too Mad Hatter--I can appreciate his innovation). I was, however, slightly dissapointed with Michael. I was expecting flawless, beautifully tailored sportswear--you know, super-cute stuff for day--but instead, he gave me Baby Phat crossed with Sweetface. Which is fine, if you'd go somewhere in a skin-tight, metallic fuschia, lace-up, sleeveless minidress. I just think maybe there was too much street in his safari. But I must say, he did bring it with his final gown--that slinky, floor-length, animal print number. Oh Michael, I still adore you, sugar!

Speaking of fashion, a delicious opportunity has just been brought to my attention! Ever heard of June Ambrose? She's a top celebrity stylist, designer, and bonafide fashion diva who's dressed the likes of Mariah, Jay Z, Diddy, and Kelly Ripa. And her new how-to-be-fabulous book, Effortless Style, is now flying off the shelves at bookstores everywhere. And now, the fab Ms. Ambrose is offering a chance to win a makeover with her in New York City! To enter, log onto Black Planet thru November 2nd and in 500 words or less, describe why you need to get "Little Black Dress Ready" with June Ambrose. Essays will be judged based on relevance to theme, originality, and quality of writing. The winner and a guest will be flown out to New York City to experience the ULTIMATE star treatment:
* Ambrose will offer her style expertise to help the winner find the perfect little black dress
* Professional hair and make-up artists will pamper the winner and create a stylish look for her night on the town
* Winner and a guest will be treated to two nights of deluxe hotel accommodations and receive $500 for her big night out

Good luck, girls! You'll also need it to win the Oct/Nov ACCIDENTAL DIVA trivia question. As always, the first reader to correctly answer the question will win their own Stila Product of the Month...which happens to be the Perfectly Kitten kit, a deluxe, limited edition makeup set that will set you world on fire (scroll down on right to read all about it). Here goes...


Come on, people, this is so easy. Have a sexy weekend, and I'll holler in a couple days :-)

Mokentia (seriously, whatever happened to Mokenstef?)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Always a bridesmaid

Hi Girls,
My sister Devon’s (aka Brownie’s) wedding was breathtakingly divine!! The ceremony was a total tear-jerker, her husband was uncomfortably good-looking in his tux, and everyone danced till their hair “went home.” But more than any other detail, I’m still in awe, plain awe, of the gorgeousness of Brownie. I swear, she was Vogue-should’ve-covered-the-wedding gorgeous. She really went there with this Monique Lhuillier- number—it was all ivory lace, with the chicest little cap sleeves and a graceful, totally bare back. And Brownie’s friend Veronica lent her an uber-glamorous ivory mink stole that pushed her whole 1930s, Harlem Rennaissance, James Van der Zee-portrait thing over the edge. Honestly, it was like she’d gotten lost on her way to the Oscars.

And here’s my favorite part—were it not for my lightening-quick reflexes, Brownie’s bridal perfection was almost not to be! Okay, here’s the story. When I showed up at her hotel room the morning of her wedding day, the first thing she did, of course, was try on her wedding dress for her big sis. And, to our unending horror—it was almost TWO SIZES too big (she had lost quite a bit of weight, but still, her tailor should’ve caught that!!) On the day of her wedding! Anyway, Brownie began to hyperventilate, but out of nowhere materialized a never-seen-before, fabulous-in-a-crisis version of Tia! I instantly called the concierge (shout out to the incredibly efficient staff at DC’s ritziest boutique hotel, The Hay Adams) and demanded he find us a capable tailor in the area. In mere minutes, we found ourselves at a swanky shop called Georges de Paris (we knew it was swanky because the walls were covered with autographed pictures of several US presidents and First Ladies). Suddenly, a roly-poly, opaque-accented man wearing a three-piece suit and a grey-haired, chin-length bob (Georges?) swept us inside. Brownie tried on the dress, and in a flurry of pins and French-sounding grunts, the Keebler Elf-looking man announced the gown would be ready in an hour. And guess what? He finished in LESS than an hour…and Gorgeous Brownie swanned down the aisle in a couture-perfect gown!!

Ah, my shining moment. You have to understand, I’m usually prone to bouts of shrill hysteria in stressful situations, so this was a very big deal. I’d like my epitaph to read: “She saved her sister’s wedding dress and wrote a couple books.”

And how about those bridesmaids? All that sexiness in one place just isn’t fair! I had the distinct pleasure of doing their makeup (as I’d gently point out to anyone who’d listen), but these girls—all Brownie’s friends from UNC Chapel Hill, except for me and Lauren, of course—are legendarily beautiful, chic, and stylish on their own. So much so, that I stole some beauty tips from them on the Big Day…and here they are!


BRIDESMAID: Erin, a long-limbed, Harvard Law-trained attorney
BEAUTY FAVE: Alterna Classic Styling & Nutritive Crème Gel, ($16): At 8am, famed Washington DC hairstylist Bogard applied this miracle cream to her hair before curling it—and he swore her curls would keep all day. She raves, “He was completely right. I never had to touch-up with a curling iron, or even cover my hair with a scarf in the rain!” I was there, it’s true—her hair was bouncy and frizz-free long after mine had exploded into a fuzzy, danced-out mess.

BRIDESMAID: Lauren, a pin-up-girl-gorgeous editor for (and our baby sister)
BEAUTY FAVE: Stila Eyeshadow in Wheat, ($14): She’s been wearing this insanely flattering, shimmery beigey-tan shade for years, and it’s obvious why. It’s the quintessential day-to-night shade—it’s neutral enough to wear to work or school, but add a little more and the pearly tones make eyes pop in a sultry, party-time way.

BRIDESMAID: Shay, a green-eyed wine distributor and dancing queen
BEAUTY FAVE: L’oreal Volume Shocking Mascara in Black ($12.95): When I was doing Shay’s eyes, she totally intercepted me. “Omigod girl, use my mascara—it’s The Business!” she announced in her sing-songy voice. I did, and the whole room gasped. It’s all about the dual-ended formula—first, you apply the fiber-rich base coat that bulks up lashes, and then layer on the volumizing mascara. Why even wear false lashes anymore when this stuff exists?

BRIDESMAID: Jennifer, a sultry real-estate agent with cheekbones for days
BEAUTY FAVE: MAC Powder Blush in Format ($17.50): You know I’m all about either Nars Blush in Taos or Tarte Cheek Stain in Sunkissed, but after Saturday, I think I have a new blush obsession. I was looking through Jennifer’s makeup bag because, well, that’s what I do—and my breath stopped short at the sight of this shimmery, reddish-pinky-bronze blush. I tried it on, and oh, it’s so toasty and summery on my rapidly-getting-paler skin! A seasonless suntan.

THE BRIDE, HERSELF: Devon/Brownie, our queeeen-to-beeee
BEAUTY FAVE: L’Occitane en Provence Candle in Honey Harvest ($22): Okay, she’s not a bridesmaid, but I had to include Brownie in the roundup—because when I stepped into her bridal suit at the Hay Adams, I was met with the most intoxicating, lovely scent ever. She was burning L’Occitane’s delicious honey candles…and they managed to gently sweeten up the atmosphere without knocking us all out. Mmm, it smelled like some ridiculously chic boutique in the Left Bank. A must during a sexy dinner party for two.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Trends are stupid!

"When they mess with a child of God, they've got trouble on their hands. You tell them, 'I am a Princess of the Throne.'"
--Wack Monique’s mom

Hey Pretty Girls,
Okay, who’s THRILLED that Monique got kicked off ANTM? I’m sorry, but she’s such a jerk—and in such an astoundingly unimaginative, tacky way. I mean, there are many girls I don’t love, but I’d never rub my dirty panties allover their bed. Or pretend to pee all over someone else’s property because, dammit, I want it. I do kind of love how, after she commits these deeply dumb acts of terror, Princess of the Throne curls up with her Bible for some alone time. Kind of like our president, no?

Hey, guess what? The lovely ladies of Heart & Soul magazine profiled me in their current Oct/Nov. issue (that’s me, left). As usual, I’m running my mouth about trends and things…oh, that reminds me! After my Fashion Week post, I received a very thought-provoking comment from Glib Gurl. She said: “I wear whatever looks good on me without paying attention to "trends." Don’t get me wrong - you won't see me rockin' 80s blue eyeliner, but when it comes to these new trends -- baby pink lips, bronzed skin, etc. – I’m more apprehensive. What about just sticking with "what works" for you?”

Guess what, GiGi? We’re totally on the same page! Trend reporting is all about keeping you in the loop about what’s hot and new and sexy…so you’ll have the tools to help figure out what works for you. You know? You certainly don’t have to follow every trend (or ANY trend, for that matter). If there’s one thing I’m totally against, it’s the Beauty Victim, i.e. the girl who wears every single trend all at once, whether it’s cute on her, or not. For example, Beyonce’s blonde hair is yummy, but it would totally wash me out. And I adore Nicole Ritchie’s swoosh of black liquid liner, but it invariably makes me look very “I vant to suck your blood.” So, GiGi, my advice is to ALWAYS stick with what makes you look your best, pink lipgloss be damned.

Of course, a little bronzer never hurt nobody.

And now, it’s time for mama’s going to solve some of your most baffling beauty conundrums! Listen closely, and take notes. You know I love you and would never steer you wrong. I’ll be back next week, with tales from my beautiful sister Devon/Brownie’s fabulous Washington DC wedding!



“Congrats on your write-up in Allure! I looked at the Philosophy concealer kit [which was mentioned in the article], and how on earth do you blend the colors to get your shade? It looks so advanced, but it seems like it would be great once you get it down.”
ANSWER: You girls were obsessed with concealer this week (Toni, Gina, and J. Lenoir all begged me for coverup answers)! Well, as I’m constantly saying, PHILOSOPHY COLOR CORRECTOR KIT IN DARK ($25) is my favorite, favorite, favorite. It comes with three brilliant, yellow-based shades that somehow manage to compliment the fairest to the deepest brown complexions. And finding the right shade is actually insanely easy: Just dip the tiny brush into the colors and mix on the back of your hand until it disappears (add more of the palest hue if you’re lighter-skinned, and more of the deepest shade if you’re dark-skinned)…then apply on dark spots. Flawless!

"Does anyone know of any good products for scars?"
Okay, here’s the thing about acne scars. They’re really not going to disappear without laser surgery or a gross process called punch excision, which involves suturing the edges of the scar together (eww). But there ARE topical products that reduce the appearance of scars, like PERFEKT SKIN PERFECTION GEL ($57.50). It ain’t cheap, but it’s totally worth it—it’s blended with Alpha Lipoic acid, which magically fills-in scars and uneven skin textures, making skin look ridiculously smooth. The super-lightweight, non-pore-clogging gel also has vitamins A and E, which help prevent future skin damage. You can’t go wrong!!

“Do you know if there are any good, effective products out there to get rid of blemishes on the body?”
What sucks harder than pimples on your back, chest, arms, and stuff? Luckily, there are some great body washes out there containing salicylic acid, the zit zapper found in facial acne meds--but sometimes it takes Cirque du Soleil-level flexibility to scrub some of those hard-to-reach places, like between your shoulderblades. Which is why I’m wild about NATURE’S CURE BODY ACNE TREATMENT SPRAY ($5.99)!! It comes with a special pump that sprays from any angle (even upside down), to treat zits practically anywhere on your bod. Use after every shower, and Tiffani, I swear you’ll see a difference in a week.

“What would you recommend for a mascara for sensitive eyes that isn't Kiss Me? It just doesn't give me that "oomph!"
Oh Jocelyn, that’s SO the problem with sensitive mascara. Too often, while they don’t irritate eyes, they also don’t provide much in the way of lash drama, either. Thank heaven for DU WOP LASH LACQUER ($18)!! Even though it’s totally resin-free and contains no harsh chemicals, it’s a volumizing, lash-lengthening formula. And that’s not all—the dual-ended mascara comes with a water-resistant topcoat that’s fabulous if, as is the case with most sensitive eyes, you tear up easily. And yes, I realize I seem to rave about a DuWop product in every post, but I can’t help it if they’re on the cutting edge of all that is fabulous!

“My hands and feet are extremely dry and ashy. I would prefer not to use oily lotions that make it impossible to grip anything. Any suggestions?”
--Jo Avis D. Green, aka “FoxyHustle”
If ashiness is un-foxy, greasiness is even worse. And while most hardcore body butters leave you all Vaseline-y slippery, CLINIQUE DEEP COMFORT BODY BUTTER ($23.50) disappears faster than one-night-stand the morning after. I use this super-rich, utterly luscious body cream all over—on knees, elbows, hands, feet, wherever. And it comes in this enormous tub that lasts forever. I’ve had mine since 2003…is that wrong?