Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shootin' love in your direction...

Hey scary girls,
Happy Halloween! Oh, I'm a mess of indecision today. I'm torn between two deeply different costumes: My time-honored, she-does-it-every-year flamenco girl situation and, ahem, Appollonia. Here's the thing. There's no way in hell Adam would go as Prince, and Zorro and Appollonia just don't go together. Plus, the molded boobs in my "Sex Shooter" black lace bustier are way too zaftig for my 32A's. So I'm thinking mama won't be shooting much sex tonite. No matter, though! Despite my costume condundrum, I'm SO in the spirit! Because I was raised by a mom who completely threw herself into holiday decorating, I feel that it's not really Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas until I'm surrounded by celebratory miscellanea. Clearly not tacky dimestore plastic, just tasteful little reminders that it's Halloween. Here, two of my favorite things.

Gianna Rose Attelier Pumpkin and Squash Soaps ($22.50): The second the temp dropped below 50 degrees, I whipped out my fabulous, Halloweeny-cum-autumny decorative soaps. Not only do they look incredibly festive propped up in my bathroom, the brown sugar, pumpkin and fig scents are positively divine. And with that gorgeous, rustic slider box, the set also make a PERFECT dinner party hostess gift--so much chic-er than a bottle of wine, don't you think?

If $22 is a tad too steep for you, try my other festive fall favorite, Slatkin & Co The Perfect Autumn Scented Candle in Pumpkin ($10). And when Slatkin says "The Perfect Autumn," they mean it. This subtle, totally uncheesy scent--a blend of fresh pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla (mooaaaan)--will give your house that warm, cozy, let's-cuddle-up-and-sip-spiked-Baileys-spiked-hot-cocoa feel, like, everyday. Yay, autumn!

PS...Upon my mommy's suggestion, I'd love to extol the virtues of
Ole Henriksen Purifying Makeup Remover ($25 for 75 pads), since I'm sure you people will be removing tons of Halloween makeup around 2AM tonite. Soaked in an oil-free, skin-soothing formula, the pads are super-gentle on your skin, yet powerful enough that you'll only need ONE to swipe makeup away from both eyes. And we love that it doesn't leave a gross, greasy residue. There's a reason Ole Henriksen's Los Angeles skin clinic has more celeb disciples than you can shake a stick at (I've never understood that expression).

PPS...Chappie's costume. Watchdog, get it?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Montreal's Finest

Hi sugarplums,
Why did I have to go all the way to Montreal to discover the untold wonders of MAC's new eyeshadow palettes? It was like one of those cartoons when Daffy Duck suddenly begins floating along, trailing a cloud of something delicious. I instinctively, without even LOOKING, ended up at the most divine MAC counter in Montreal (FYI, it was in The Baie Center department store on Rue St. Catherine and Union...mmm, shopping nirvana). Adam was so disgusted. Anyway, being a fan of big, dramatic, Diana-in-Mahogany eyes, I was knocked to the floor by MAC Smoking Eyes Palette in Quad 2 ($36). Oh, oh, ohhh! This shadow quad has everything you need to create the perfect smoky eye, which is so darling at holiday parties (they'll be here before you know it). The best thing is, the shades aren't harsh greys and silvery blacks, which can look ashy on brown skin. No, it's a collection of warm taupe-y neutrals...just the thing to give us that sparkly, Beyonce-as-Sasha look that we all aspire to! Let me walk you through it:

Step 1.) Blend the shimmery cafe au lait shade allover your lid.
Step 2.) Apply the matte cocoa shadow in the crease (to find your crease, tilt your head back and look in the mirror. It's the hollow curve just under your browbone. Know it, love it).
Step 3.) Blend the fabulous pearly champagne along the browbone--that area just under your brow arch. To make your eyes truly pop, dot the shade in the inner corners of your eyes, by your nose. Instant radiance.
Step 4.) ONLY FOR THE DRAMA-BRINGERS: Apply a layer of gold-flecked black shadow over the matte cocoa shade in your crease. Then, blend it into the outer corners of your lids in a V-shape. Finish with black eyeliner and tons of mascara. Watch out, now!


PS...By the way, Megha, thanks so much for the L'Epicier restaurant suggestion! It was EXQUISITE, just exquisite. I had to take out a second mortgage on my home to pay the bill, but it was worth it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spanx on the Cheap

Hey pumpkins,
Sunshine and I are going on a short-but-SO-necessary jaunt to Montreal today! We'll be jaunting until Sunday nite, so I won't be posting on Friday. However, I'd love to tide you over with this little Spanx nugget, courtesy of Miss Johnica Garrett. Enjoy!

Now through October 31, you can save 25% off all purchases using the unique code WASHINGTON. When you're ready to place your order, enter WASHINGTON into the promotion code box found on the last page of checkout, and the discount will be applied! Also, for every order placed, Spanx will donate $5 back to the Junior League of Washington and it's literacy focused programs. Great shapewear and an even greater cause...not bad.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Tight Stuff!

Hi pumpkins,
I'm a little traumatized. This morning, my life flashed before my eyes when my tiny Miniature Pinscher, Chappie, wiggled out of his harness and went flying into oncoming traffic. I KNEW I should've taken him to doggy school when he was a mere pup, but Adam was all "nooo, I don't want to kill his spirit!" Well, spirit almost sent him straight to metrosexual heaven (where he'd be so lonely waiting for Tinkerbelle to show up). Anyway, it was totally horrid. And I tripped and fell on my knees, which made me run my opaque black tights. Truly tragic, since I was planning to wear them to a fancy luncheon today. Someone please tell me I'm cute and smart so this day starts looking up?!

Speaking of tights, I've been SO into them, lately. They just somehow really complete a fall outfit, you know? Tights, flats, and miniskirts...tights, boots, and tent's all good.

And I've noticed tons of Bold Face Names like Joy Bryant (left) rocking black ones with white party dresses (I'd like to point out that I correctly forecasted this trend a few posts ago). Such a cute way to get a couple more months out of your favorite summer frock. Anyway, I'm assuming tights have been on your brain, too, since I got this timely question from Miss Shadow:

SYB BABE: Shadow
QUESTION: "Oh Tia I love tights myself. Those really thick shaping tights look so cute like in the picture with the A-line bow dress. Any tips on finding the perfect pair or brand? Thanks!"
TIA'S 2 CENTS: My favorite, favorite pair of tights--and the ones that I so clumsily ripped today--are Spanx Reversible Tight End Tights ($32). Have you seen these? Not only are these opaque tights insanely soft and silky-thick, they--and hold your screams--they're truly, revolutionar-ily REVERSIBLE! Meaning black on one side, brown on the other. So handy, so smart, so useful. Plus, they have a perfectly Spanxian control top that reins in unweildy tummies, hips and thighs like no other (oh, and there's some special moisture-wicking technology at the feet...hark). I love these tights. I plan to be buried in them. Here's hoping tights are still all the rage that year.


PS...Check out October's Stila Product of the Month (scroll down at right)! Sooo scrumptious.
PPS..Don't forget to enter your email to sign up for fancy updates and things (scroll down at right, yet again). Love ya, mean it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pore Me

Hey ladies,
So, it's been a good minute since I've done an SYB Share post (ie, when I highlight one of your favorite products), and I thought this oily skin gem from Jennifer was particularly appropo. See, the weather change is making my muy delicado complexion pimplier than ever...wail. I'd also like to gently suggest that Jennifer look into a career in beauty, since her two recommendations are CLASSIC beauty editor faves. Try 'em and you'll get why.

SYB BABE: Jennifer
SHARE: "I have oily skin and large pores so I use Dr. Brandt Pore No More ($45) which gives my face a matte finish and makes my pores appear smaller (yay!). It doesn't keep oil away the entire day so I sometimes reapply in the middle of the day or use Boscia Lavender Blotting Papers ($10). They smell great and remove any excess oil so I'm shine free!"

TIA'S 2 CENTS: Dr. Brandt's Pore No More is a cult favorite for good reason. The handy little mattifyer is packed with light-diffusing microspheres that render your skin totally poreless-looking. Plus, it has special zit-zapping ingredients that help clear up AND prevent nasty breakouts. And I've carried Boscia Lavender Blotting Papers for years...the scent makes the unsexy business of grease-blotting so much more glamorous.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Charlize, please

Hey girls,
Welcome to my most recent obsession, Charlize Theron's vampy, blood-red lips at the "Valley of Elah" premiere. So luxe! So rich-looking! So spot-on spectacular for fall! Oh, I can't get enough. In fact, I've spent the past month on a feverish search for the perfect match. And it hasn't been easy. This shade of red is so damn particular! It's deeper-than-deep, almost goth, with just enough brown to give it a warm, wearable finish. And it can't be too pink or too sheer...ugh, I could go on and on.

Anyway, as I live and breathe, I finally found the right red at Sephora (of course). Vincent Longo Perfect Shine Lipgloss in Costa Fiore ($22) is totally perfect and gorgeous, and you'll see me wearing it at every holiday party this season. It makes me feel very "don't eff with me, fella," and that's not a bad thing. Go buy it!!

PS...I cannot stop giggling. You wouldn't believe the volume of emails I received regarding Joanne's whereabouts in the Prescriptives photos! Shame on me for not bringing my girls up to speed! The truth is, my Colorprinting experience happened way before Le Bangs came on the scene. Ah, life pre-Joanne. Such a shadowy blur.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Viva La Prescriptives

Hi girls,
HUGE moment last week. As many of you know, I'm In Touch Weekly's "talking head" girl (meaning, when the celebrity ish hits the fan--ie, Lindsay gets another DUI or Britney loses her kids--I offer my two cents on a zillion networks like MSNBC, ABC, or VH1). So, I was THRILLED to get an invite to their third year anniversary party at hotspot Tenjune (sorry I missed you, Yannize!). Now, there were many bold-face names in the house--Janet and Jermaine, Swizz Beats, Kanyizzle, the Simmons adorablettes, L.L.--but, of course, I was most impressed by America's Next Top Model's "noted" fashion photographer, Nigel Barker. So impressed, mind you, that I sat down next to him and proceeded to strike up the most mumble-mouthed, embarassing conversation, ever. My intention was to get him to reveal his top beauty tips a woman should consider when taking a picture (see, it was all for you!!), but somehow it didn't come out. The darling man indulged me, though, and even gave me his card...which I plan to have bronzed.

Now, I have to wonder why this fabulous man didn't swat me away like a pesky fruit fly. Was it my new Prescriptives Custom Blend Lipgloss? Sorry, I've been DYING to gush about my Prescriptives custom-blending experience for weeks, and this was the perfect opening. Here's the whole story, complete with thrilling, reportage-style photographs.

What's the biggest brown girl beauty issue, ever? Clearly, it's that we can't find lipglosses, foundations, concealers and powders to flatter our skin tone. Which is exactly why Prescriptives Custom Blend Makeup is a total godsend!! At participating Prescriptives counters nationwide, you can have an entire makeup collection whipped up FROM SCRATCH that perfectly matches your exact complexion, alone. And they keep the recipes forever, so when you run out, all you have to do is call up your trusty Prescriptives lady to blend another batch. Here's how they do it. First, they have you "colorprinted" to determine your exact undertones and what shades work with your complexion (that's me and a trusty skintone swatch, getting "colorprinted"). Then, all you have to do is choose which products you want! Here are the downright amazing Custom Blend Makeup products that Prescriptives offers:

FOUNDATION: Before you even get to the custom-blend action, this foundation is already a winner--it's oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-acnegenic, plus it's blended with skintone-evening illuminating pigments. Now, here's the best part: Not only can you pick the coverage you want (barely-there to very heavy), but you can also choose between oil-control, moisturizing, brightening, or firming ingredients, depending on the needs of your skin. AND you get a tiny travel size to tote about in your purse!

POWDER: This beyond silky, super-fine powder is available in loose or pressed, and you can add the same skin-saving ingredients as the foundation. There's my powder, in the early blending stages. So fascinating.

CONCEALER: Absolutely the HEIGHT of luxury...can you imagine, finally having a concealer custom-blended for you, in the exact perfect shade that you've dreamt about? Oh, it also contains light-reflecting particles that help mask dark circles. Yum.

LIPGLOSS/LIPSTICK: Always wanted the perfect red? Or the most divine, angel-soft pink? Prescriptives has about 300 blendable base shades, so they can whip up practically any color under the sun. Plus, you can decide the finish (high-shine, sparkly, sheer, pearly, etc.) AND pick from a zillion delicious flavors (everything from merengue to mint) to create the gloss of your dreams. I'm THRILLED with mine! It stays on forever and smells divine--basically, it's the wear-with-everything neutral shade I've been searching for since 1989. And guess what? If you don't have a participating Prescriptives counter in your area, you can order up your own Custom Blend Lipgloss ($26) online! Click here to go through the steps.

Girls, I walked away with the whole set. Here I am, showing it all off!! Viva la Prescriptives!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gratuitous Goodies

Hey darlings,
My, my, my, but the beauty gods are feeling mighty generous this week! My inbox has recently been bombarded with news of thrilling giveaways, contests and sweepstakes--and each one's designed to knock the false lashes off even the most jaded beauty bombshell. Clearly, I'd be The Worst if I didn't share the goodies with my girls, so here you go! I feel bullets coming on...

* For those SYB Babes obsessed with Project Runway's steel-jawed style guru, Tim Gunn, you must check out the Project Style Sweepstakes he's hosting with Liz Claiborne! Click here to enter. Fabulous fashiony prizes will be awarded DAILY, but there can only be one Grand Prize Winner, of course. And here's what the lucky b*&^h gets:

1.) New York City getaway with airfare and hotel for two (4 days/3 nights)
2.) $1,000 to spend in style--at a Broadway show, a 5-star restaurant, and Fifth Avenue shopping
3.) 1-hour style consultation with Tim Gunn
4.) $500 Liz Claiborne wardrobe

* Gonna be in NYC on Tuesday, October 23rd? Do you harbor a major girl-crush on Mariah? Then you must stop by Macy's Herald Square at 5pm sharp, since the buxom belter will be showcasing her flirty new perfume, M by Mariah Carey ($52.50)!! Some extra goodies available to only her most rabid fans: The first 200 ladies to purchase the fragrance will receive a special pass to meet Ms. Mariah and get her autograph. The first 50 customers to purchase the special VIP fragrance set ($305) get to enjoy a special Mariah photo opp, an exclusive M by Mariah Carey "crystal accented tee shirt " (I can only imagine), and a special pure parfum.

* In honor of Allure's annual "Best of Beauty" issue, the magazine is giving away a suitcase stuffed with more than $3,500 worth of BOB winners! The loot includes cult-favorites like Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Nars The Multiple, Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel, a Shu Uemura eyelash curler, a CHI flatiron...and the list goes on and on. Click here to get lucky, sugar.

* Gotta love, man. With a cosmetic or fragrance purchase of $100 or more, they're giving away a chic Stephanie Johnson tote chock full of oh-so-coveted samples from Annick Goutal, Bond No. 9 New York, Elizabeth Arden, Dolce & Gabbana and more. Just enter the promo code REELBEAUTY at checkout.


Big nepotistic (not a word) PS: Clearly, I'd be obsessed with Stereohyped even if its writer and I didn't share the same parents. But I can't help but be over-the-moon proud of Lauren for her fascinating new hair series!! Check out today's entry (a profile of a traveling hair show) and find out why I'm naming my first child Weavin' Steven.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The glossy glossy

Hey girls,
Guess what? Yours truly is the recipient of a Johnnie Walker Blue Label "35 Under 35" award for being a particularly inspiring 32-year old! The best part is that me and the other 34 recipients--a glittering crew of hotshot filmmakers, record label executives, fashion designers, non-profit geniuses, artists and technology gurus--were profiled in a sleek little coffee table book, too! The celebration went down last Thursday at the shriekingly chic Gramercy Park Hotel...there I am, grinning from ear to ear because I'd just seen the BEST picture I'd ever taken in my life. I am not kidding. Seriously, I'm the girl who looks crazy in non-smiling pictures, so I was floored at my fetchingly pensive pose (pre-Joanne, of course). Anyway, I soo wish you could see it, but the book's strictly a promotional situation that they're sending to their fancy investors and stuff. Dammit.

Okay, so the other great thing about the party was it was the first day I debuted my brand-new, super-shiny hair courtesy of Clairol Herbal Essences All That Shine ($9.99). You can't really tell here, but my hair has NEVER looked so glossy...which is a feat, since, as I've mentioned before, my hair is dryer than David Letterman's wit. It's really, really long, which means that the bottom half is MANY years old. Practically a living history of every relaxer and dye job I've ever received. Anyway, I used to get in-salon shine treatments, which coat the hair in a clear, semi-permanent gloss that lasts for weeks and weeks. Clearly, that gets expensive, so I couldn't WAIT to try Clairol's genius at-home shine kit...and believe me, it was so worth it. Not only is it so easy--you just slap it in, leave in for ten minutes, then rinse--but the Barbie-hair shine lasts for two months and it's perfectly safe for natural, color-treated, highlighted, permed, and relaxed hair. And you'll smell like Fruit Stripes gum for days (for me, a good thing)!! Unfortunately, I couldn't find it online, but it's sold at drugstores and Walmarts everywhere. Happy glossing!


Friday, October 05, 2007

FUBU Skincare....

Hey girls,
I feel like a brand-new woman. I'm over the flu, I just got a long-overdue relaxer, and Hung won Top Chef. All is officially right in the world! Now, it's with a rejuvinated mind and body that I bring you THE most important beauty development of the fall—perhaps even the decade. Hold onto your hats...

SKINCARE: Dr. Susan Taylor's RX For Brown Skin ($18-$36)

First, an introduction. Dr. Susan Taylor is not only one of the top dermatologists in the industry, she's also the end-all/be-all expert on pigmented skin (ie, black, Asian, Latina, Middle-Eastern...all brown girls!), and she wrote the bestselling skincare bible, BROWN SKIN: DR. SUSAN TAYLOR'S PRESCRIPTION FOR FLAWLESS SKIN, HAIR & NAILS ($18.96). Also, she looks like a supermodel, but that's neither here nor there. What's important is that, after years and years of research, Dr. Taylor just came out with the first and only skincare line formulated specifically for brown skin! See, she knows what we've known forever--that brown skin comes with a full list of issues separate from our pink sisters. Even the teensiest zit will leave us scarred for life. We have hyperpigmentation drama (you know, random dark or light spots). If our skin's dry, we tend to look dull or ashy. And my favorite, "Mama, why is my nose a different color than my cheeks?" Dr. Taylor's new line targets all these issues, and more, by separating her line into these three different complexion-perfecting categories:

A.) The fragrance, alcohol and dye-free Bright and Healthy Collection, which is perfect for normal, dry, or sensitive skin that irritates easily.
B.) The Bright and Clear Collection, which is just the thing for brown girls with oily, combination or acne-prone skin. This line is spiked with zit-fighting salicylic acid and sulfur, both of which are brilliant for preventing and clearing up acne.
C.) The Bright and Even Collection, which is formulated for dull, uneven, hyperpigmented or scarred skin. It's all about the special exfoliants that slough off dead skin cells and even-out your skintone.

Basically, Dr. Taylor's created a product to suit every skin problem under the sun! And somehow, she found the time to make them SMELL incredible, too (who doesn't love a fresh, citrusy scent?). I've already started using the Bright and Even Collection, and my complexion has never been happier. Try it out and let me know what you think...drop me a line at


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Countdown starting now...

Hey girls,
I looove October. It's not freezing yet, but it's breezy enough to wear your new booties and maybe your favorite H&M trench? Squeal! So ready for a change, my goodness. I went thru my closet yesterday and realized that I have more summer clothes than winter ones. Silly, I know, as summer is only 1/4 of the year. Must go shopping, must go shopping. I think I have more summer clothes because I think I'm prettier in the summer, which makes me more excited to look fly. Here's the thing, though...I think we ALL look better in the summer, don't you? It's because our skin looks so damn good...toasty, luminous, glowy. In the winter, my very-yellow-undertoned skin turns green. So depressing. Drumroll for the good's Fall Product Favorite is a chic-as-hell compact that'll help bring the toasty--in a SUBTLE way, not in an obvious, fake-tan way--even when it's 2 degrees outside. But that's not the only reason it's fabulous. Read on, you'll see.

PS...I just had to clue you in on two totally addictive new magazine blogs--Lucky Beauty Blog, written by Lucky's illustrious beauty gals; and Essence Style Diary, penned by Essence's gorgeous Fashion & Beauty Features Editor, Ms. Pamela Edwards. In the interest of full disclosure, yeah, yeah, yeah, they're mis amigas. But even if I didn't know these beauty editor bombshells from a can of Ready Whip, I'd still be trumpeting their genius.

COMPACT: Yves Saint Laurent Palette Esprit Couture #2 ($57)
The beauty world is going insane for this compact right now. Yes, it's a little pricey, but it's ART. It'll look so gorgeous on your vanity, you'll make all the money back in fabulous ambience, alone. Okay, so I love this compact for three reasons:

1.) It's inspired by an impossibly glamorous YSL gown from his legendary Fall 1983 collection (click here to see it!).
2.) The colors are to die. You can either use the deep plum, pearly white, golden-pink, and mocha-bronze shades separately, on eyes, cheeks, and skin--or, you can blend the whole thing together with a soft blush brush, and lightly dust it over your face as a complexion-boosting highlighter (try to hit your forehead, cheeksbones and chin). It's exactly the delicate touch-of-radiance your skin wil need as your tan starts to fade (countdown starting now).
3.) The woman in the compact is BROWN! Woo-hoo!

Now, if the price is just too ridiculous for you, try Physicians Formula Bordeaux Bronze ($10.99). It has the same shade combinations. What it doesn't have is a glamorous fashion backstory, but you can't have everything.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You, me and Carrie B.

Hey girls,
Super-exciting job opportunity fer ya! A new women's sex and relationship website is looking for their very own Carrie Bradshaw (cute article, by the way...I know it's way outdated, but the jury's really still out on the whole Aidan vs. Big debate). Anyway, I know that quite a few of my SYB Babes are aspiring writer-ettes, so I couldn't wait to tell you. Check out the details, below...

BellaNoir for president,

Title: Editor for a New Women's Sex and Relationship Site
Client: Major Media Network
Location: Flexible -- completely dependent on you and your laptop
Type: Long-term contract

According to HBO, "No one captures the lives of the lovelorn and the love-seeking better than columnist Carrie Bradshaw." That is, until now...

The Hired Guns have been tapped to discover a live and in-the-flesh Carrie to serve as the feisty Editor for a hot and exciting new sex and relationships blog-on-overdrive for our client, a major media company.

As assignments go, this one couldn't be juicier. We're looking for a fresh and sassy writer whose sharp tongue and a quick wit will keep readers (target demo women age 18 - 34) engaged and inspired to tap into their inner vixens. Given the properties this media giant has in its stable (TV, Mobile, Web, Print), we're talking about a fantastic opportunity to push the envelope and develop some serious brand equity and buzz as today's most relevant Sexpert.

If you land this gig, you'll need to wear a lot of hats. First, you need to be experienced at whipping out quality copy at breakneck speed. You should be a news junkie who has the kind of brain that can take in tons of dish, gossip and current events and distill them into compelling and relevant sex and relationship commentary. But putting digits to your keyboard is only one facet of this gig ... you must also have the discipline and organization of a managing editor, as you'll need to drive the editorial calendar, recruit and manage contributors and keep the ideas flowing. You should also possess a strong visual sense, as you'll own the look and feel of the site, and you need to have a proven track record of embracing web-based technology. Last but not least, you need a blogger's sensibility and style plus a real flair for the subject matter.

We're not looking for a one-night stand here -- you need to deliver day in and day out. And if you do, then opportunity abounds. So, if you're ready to channel your inner diva and deliver a refreshing viewpoint, then this gig's for you.

Establish unique site editorial vision, voice, tone
Collaborate with Art Director to establish overall site look/feel
Bring strong visual sense and creativity to daily coverage
Write and produce original content (e.g. text, images, video)
Recruit and manage freelancer contributors
Identify and manage content from licensed sources
Participate in site PR and marketing via the blogosphere as well as more traditional media outlets
Manage site communities and user-generated content
Institute and manage editorial standards and processes that ensure quality
Oversee your budget
Monitor site traffic and adjust approach as needed to increase it

Email a cover letter (required) with your most recent resume attached to The cover letter should detail your experience relevant to this opportunity and include the reasons for your interest in the position.