Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sugarplum Fairies & Jennifer Hudson...

Hola Mis Muchachitas,
Heeeyy! Happy holidays! I have absolutely no beauty wisdom to impart on you this week…I just quickly want to wish you all an eye-battingly gorgeous Christmas and an even sexier New Year. But first, can I please gush a little? Okay, so our super-swanky friends, Matty and Sarita, invited us to one of Cinema Society’s legendarily posh film screenings last Thursday night…and yes, the soon-to-be-blockbustah in question was Dreamgirls. Squeal! Oh, I was in heaven!!! And I can’t EVEN with the crowd, which included the very A-list likes of Jennifer Hudson, herself (there she is in Badgley Mischka with a Louis Vuitton-stoled Andre Leon Talley, Vogue's very own Sugarplum Fairy…oh, and if you look closely, you’ll see our shiny-domed friend Matty in the background), Sex & the City scribe Candace Bushnell, Martha Stewart, Bianca Jagger, Michael Kors, Liya Kibede (you know, the gorgeous Ethiopian supermodel--and the first black woman to land an Estee Lauder contract, FYI), and LEE RADZIWILL (if you’re a Kennedy fanatic like moi, you’ll get why sitting two rows behind Jackie O’s glitzy sis was the buttercream icing on my Christmas cupcake). Yeah, the company was divine, but watching Dreamgirls, me and Sunshine really felt like we were witnessing history. The standing-room-only crowd burst into goosepimply, teary-eyed applause after every single number—and there were lots. And I now fully cosign every single syllable of the Jennifer Hudson hype. She was so powerful, so “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” that I totally forgot that, hello, Beyonce is the superstar! I mean, J-Huds snatched those scenes away from Sasha like an ill-mannered toddler. That is, of course, until the 70’s. When Dreamgirls entered the disco era, B emerged swathed in layers of sequins, afro-falls and turquoise eyeshadow…and sugar, it worked. I predict that in 2007, we’ll all be walking around in high-waisted tuxedo pants and floppy, wide-brimmed Mahogany hats and all will be right with the world. Anyway, so after the fabulous screening, it was on to the Soho Grand Hotel after-party where I almost flattened Janice Combs on my way to sampling a truly luminous mushroom risotto (why is it impossible to attend a party in Manhattan without bumping into Mama Diddy?). Oh, it was a delicious, delicious night--and an even better movie. If it’s the last thing you do in 2006, ladies, go see Dreamgirls when it premieres on Christmas day!

Quickly, I just want to share a very on-the-hush piece of holiday shopping wisdom with my favorite girls. Last weekend, I went to a holiday party at my seriously chic, deeply fashionable friend Selene’s house (we met years ago at Elle, when I was a beauty assistant and she was a fashion assistant, working with the now-notorious Nina Garcia). I emphasize her stylishness to explain to you why I was so shocked when, after I gushed over her ivory patent-leather pumps, she told me they were from Payless!! PAYLESS? What? I was certain they were Christian Louboutins! Tickled to death, I hustled over to Payless the next day to totally bite her style. Sadly, they were out of my size, but I actually found an adorable pair of black, gold-trimmed pumps, instead…for only $25 (they come in emerald, too)!! I’ve found that they’re too cute paired with skinny jeans and a romantic, lacy Catherine Malandrino blouse. And that’s the key to smart shopping, isn’t it? Pairing high with low? Girls, get thee to Payless…mama won’t tell. And have a healthy, happy, full-of-friends-and-family Christmas. Can’t wait to love you up in the New Year!!

your tia

PS...If you're at all a fan of updated-every-second, rapid-fire celebrity dish, then you must DROP EVERYTHING and bookmark Damn I'm Cute (, the hottest new gossip blog. Oh, and if you find that the "Celebrity Pictures Blog" posts are especially entertaining, it's 'cause my sister Lauren wrote them. She's the real writer in the family, I'm just a poser.


Can you believe someone nominated SYB for a award? Voting begins on January 2nd so if you have some time in the new year, don't forget to stop by and support your favorite pusher :-)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Yuletide blog

Hello Pretty Girls,
How do I feel about holidays? Well, I can take or leave Easter. I'm not really big on birthdays...and I'm even kind of suspicious of grown people who make theirs a big deal (is that bitchy?). And I don't know, 4th of July doesn't really move me. But Christmas, oh CHRISTMAS!! What Christmas does to me! It's my favorite, favorite holiday. Always has been, though you can't tell from the surly expression on my face in this very vintage photo. I guess, even then I wasn't into strangers touching me. Another thing, that was the second of three years in a row that my mom dressed me in a Regal Beagle leisure suit to sit on Santa's lap (why, Mommy, whyyyy?!!). In any event, despite the violently vile song "Smack That" sending me into a blind rage everytime it assaults me from Hot97, I'm currently bubbling over with Christmas excitement!! Woo-hoo! The fever really kicked in around October, when I first noticed Cargo's genius Holiday Glossie Greeting Tags (5 for $7.50). Each of these adorable, retro-fifties-ish gift tags have a little button of Cargo's bestselling Bora Bora lipgloss in the middle. So cute! They're making Holiday Glossie Greeting Cards (5 for $12), too, and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to St. Jude's Research Hospital. Cute and charitable! Speaking of gloss, tons o' beauty brands have finally figured out that lipgloss makes a damn fabulous stocking stuffer: Bourjois' Effet 3D Mobile High Shine Lip Gloss Cell Charm Accessories ($9, each) are the tiniest, most adorable mini-lipglosses that you can attach to your cell phone, keychain, or wherever. And if there's a lip balm addict in your life, you must gift her with C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine's new Soda Fountain Collection (3 for $15)...the super-tingly, ultra-glossy balms come in Vanilla Cola, Orange Soda, and Root Beer. They're like grown-up Bonne Bell LipSmackers.

Before I get all carried away with stocking stuffers, let's do what we came to do. Girls, I give to you my ultimate Christmas 2006 beauty gift guide. I tried to be as exhaustive as possible, but let's make this a group thing...if I left something out that you absolutely think is the best gift evah, then by all means, share with your SYB'ers! In the meantime, I'm going to watch reruns of Heroes.

love ya, mean it,


WHO: Mom
WHAT: Marc Jacobs Gardenia, $65
WHY: Your mom'll feel so glamorous A.) because you thought enough of her "taste level" (hello Nina Garcia) and chicness to get her downtown-hip Marc Jacobs instead of deadly-predictable Chanel No. 5, and B.) because the lush, musky, ginger-spiked gardenia scent is almost too sexy to bear. If you're really sweet to her and tell her she's pretty, she'll let you borrow it.

WHO: Boyfriend/Dad/Bro
WHAT: Kiehl's Ultimate Man Collection, $49
WHY: How butch will the main man in your life feel to be receiving a gift targeting the "Ultimate Man?" Upon opening Kiehls' unapologetically masculine bath and body kit, his voice is guaranteed to drop six octaves. The kit includes: body scrub soap (a bestseller for three decades), shave cream, special post-shave moisturizer, face wash, the famous lip balm SPF 15, and a deluxe hand cream for Ashy Andy's.

WHO: Sassy Tween
WHAT: Too Faced The Beauty Brooch in Cameo Avant Guarde, $28.50
WHY: Where was this cutie-patootie brooch when I was twelve? The almost-teenager in your life will adore this baubly's dripping with retro charms and a faux onyx cameo filled with sheer, sparkly pink lipgloss. For an instant glam upgrade, she can pin it onto everything from a romantic, Victoriana blouse to her backpack. Do kids still wear backpacks?

WHO: Pregnant Friend
WHAT: Not Soap Radio "You're a Gorgeous Mom-To-Be" Body Lotion, $14
WHY: At the moment, every girl I know is pregnant. And I'm giving them all this coconut-vanilla body lotion formulated specifically for moms-to-be. It's mild enough for fluctuating hormones and the lush formula is said to be fab for stretch marks. But what really got me was the sweet affirmation on the bottle: "Relax & take time to pamper yourself. You’ll be the best mommy in the world!" FYI: This kitchily clever bath and body line also make personalized gift products for your BFF, dad, mom, grandma, roommate, dog...basically, anyone you've ever met in your life.

WHO: Hostess
WHAT: Archipelago Botanicals Holiday 3-Piece Votive Set, $20
WHY: Come on, bringing a bottle of wine (or Hypnotiq, depending) to a holiday fete is so cliche. So expected. Instead, impress everyone by gifting your hostess with this delicously chic set of three pomegranate spice-scented votive candles. They come in a darling red velvet carrying case; no gift-wrap required. Feeling extra-broke? Spring for a single, red-velvet-wrapped votive for $10. Also makes a great table centerpiece if you're the one throwing the soiree!

WHO: Your ganja-crazed crush
WHAT: Fresh Cannabis Santal Gift Set (includes an eau de parfum and soap), $78
WHY: Do I really need to explain why? No, but seriously...Fresh's Cannabis Santal fragrance positively oozes MALENESS. It's a smoky, throw-you-up-against-a-wall blend of patchouli and rose that, believe me, you really want to be smelling on the object of your affection. Even if he doesn't subscribe to High Times.

WHO: BFF/Sister/Girlfriend
WHAT: Tarte All That Glitters set, $38 ($102 value!)
WHY: If your favorite girl is anything like us SYB'ers, she'll go crazy for Tarte's genius ode to the shameless beauty junkie. The kit comes with a dual-ended sheer shimmery lip gloss, one of their cult-classic cheek stains, a gold eye pencil (so radiant blended onto the inner corners of the eyes), a palm-sized compact of eight dazzling shadows...and, drumroll please, an insanely cute gold quilted clutch that's perfect for New Years Eve, Prom, cocktail hour, wherever! Honestly, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

WHO: Diva Dog
WHAT: OPI Nail Pawlish, $10
WHY: Because my doggy is a boy and I have to live through you. At once spectacularly unecessesary and oh-so-happening, these quick-dry polishes come in the following shades: Fire Hydrant Red, Yuppy Puppy Silver, Doghouse Blues, Mutts New? Purple, Bow Wow! Mint Green, or Poodle Pink. I mean, really..."Mutts New?" I dare you to resist!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sam I am

Wassup chicas? This is me in the illustrious, generous, fergilicious (couldn't resist) Sam Fine's house, minutes after he made me over something fierce for my new author photo! This is also me calling Adam to inform him his wife was somewhere out in the world looking quite DANGEROUS. But back to Sam. This man, as they say in the industry totally BEAT MY FACE. For those of you in the dark, Sam Fine is one of the most beloved and famous makeup artists in the game--and certainly the most beloved among black supervixens like Tyra, Naomi, Iman, Vanessa, Brandi, Mary (he did the Real Love video, okay? Yep, it's that deep)...and, ahem, me. He also wrote the black beauty classic, Fine Beauty. Look into it. Anyway, Mr. Fine was sweet enough to fit me in his jetsetting schedule...and do you see the brilliance, here? I quickly just want to share with you some of tips I picked up from the beauty Buddha:

1.) To ensure that your look lasts till the wee hours, blot down foundation with a tissue before applying powder. Sam finished me around noon, and I was amazed to find that my situation was flawless 8 hours later. Too bad I had nowhere good to go that night.

2.) Don't be scared of brown shadow. I never, ever use brown shadow, or anything in that family. I mistakenly believed it was muddy and drab. Well, Sam blessed my crease with a stunning deep coffee-reddish-rust color, and I was shocked! The smokiness was a less slutty than when I apply black or khol shadow to the crease...and it really made my eyes pop.

3.) I always thought I did a yummy job of plucking my own brows, but when Sam saw me he almost kicked me out of his apartment. The problem? My arch was super-skinny, and my front piece was too thick. Ladies, keep things balanced. If you favor a thin brow, make sure the whole thing is on the thin side. And the reverse for a fuller look. Sor-ree, Sam.

4.) If you're going to be taking pictures, give your skin some ooh-la-la love by lightly dusting a deep bronzer—a shade or two darker than your skin—all around the perimeter of your face (i.e., along hairline, jaw and chin). Not sure why, but it helps to give your face dimension and brightens the hell out of your complexion.

But enough about me and my get-gorgeous guru. This week, it's all about you and the beauty products that get you through the night. Take notes, ladies...I'm beginning to believe that my SYB'ers know more about this stuff than I do, dammit.

Love ya, mean it,

SEXY LADY: Economista (love the name, babe)
BEAUTY SHARE: Bare Minerals Foundation, $25
WHY: "I used to be a MAC devotee, but now I can't see myself using anything else. The key is to find a color that's as close as possible to your original color, and the let it sit for 5-10 minutes. It does tend to look a little powdery when you first put it on, but once it mixes with the oil in your skin, it looks like an airbrushed glow."
MY 2 CENTS: Lots of you ask me about Bare Minerals...FYI: its a preservative/fragrance/oil/talc/wax-free powder foundation that's perfect for super-sensitive, easily irritated skin. And it really does goes on like silk...believe the hype.

SEXY LADY: Anonymous
BEAUTY SHARE: Sebastian Colourshine Cellophane, $21.50
WHY: If you're looking to punch up your haircolor without commiting to hardcore dye, Miss Anonymous suggests using Cellophane, a protein-rich, super-conditioning color rinse. "You can just do a clear one if you don't want to add color to your hair. I find that when I use cellophanes my hair comes out better and last longer.
MY 2 CENTS: The delicious thing about this see-through rinse is that it leaves a sheer wash of super-glossy color on hair--nothing harsh or crazy. Oh, and it fades away naturally, too, so there's no gross rootage. The treatment's usually only available in salons, but I found a really bootleg website that sells it. You know you love me.

SEXY LADY: Ashley Smith
BEAUTY SHARE: MD Skincare Face & Body Peel, $78
WHY: "Not only is it the best exfoliator ever for ashy legs and feet, but it is also helping to get rid of the scar that i have on my knee!"
MY 2 CENTS: Yeah, it's expensive, but ritzy dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross' skincare line is GENIUS, especially if you've got body scars you're dying to get rid of. Storytime: When I worked at Glamour, a good part of my job description involved booking Dr. Gross appointments for the then-editrix-in-chief, Bonnie Fuller. His MD Formulation stuff worked miracles on her acne scars, but did absolutely nothing to mask her claws and fangs.

SEXY LADY: Christie
BEAUTY SHARE: L'Occitane Sweet Honey Lip Gloss, $12
WHY: "Honey child, this gloss is the business. It is hands down the best lip gloss I have ever bought. You must try it. It has a wonderful honey scent and it also has shea butter in it. Too too much!"
MY 2 CENTS: In a pinch, this lush lipbalm also doubles as a kick-ass cuticle moisturizer.

BEAUTY SHARE: Chi Flatiron, $89.95
WHY: "I'm growing out my relaxer right now and I'm not really ready to cut my hair short again. My newgrowth/relaxed ratio is about 40/60, which could be scary. But my Chi flat iron has saved my life."
MY 2 CENTS: It's a known fact in the beauty world that Chi makes the Muhammed Ali of flatirons. Think glass-straight, weave-glossy swinginess. It usually retails at around $200, but look, I found it for more than half off at! Gently forward the website to your man or your mom, and ask for it as an Xmas gift.