Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Organic, Schmorganic

Hi girls,
The fact that I live in crunchy Park Slope and don't subscribe to the whole organic movement makes me something of an outcast at the local market. I'm sorry, but organic stuff just seems totally overpriced...and it never tastes as good as the bad-for-you alternatives!! But, in a totally predictable move, I recently abandoned my "yeah whatever" beliefs when I discovered a GORGEOUS new crop of organic hair products (leave it to me to get crunchy only when it involves my hair). The great thing is, these products contain amazingly good-for-you ingredients without skimping on the glamour! What's not to love? Here are my two favorite additions to the organic hair movement:

1.) ORIGINS 98% ORGANIC CONDITIONING HAIR OIL ($22.50): Origins' new organic line is sick, sick, smells incredible, feels incredible, and the apothecary-chic bottles look oh-so-dashing on my vanity! But my absolute favorite product in the new line is this brilliant hair oil. It's chock full of 98% organic ingredients like Sesame Seed, Sunflower and Olive Oils--each of which nourish and moisturize your hair like you wouldn't believe, leaving it shiny and glossy and totally stunning. Just rub a couple drops between your palms and apply it to your ends. I like to use it before flatironing. Oh, and FYI? I poured a little bit into one of those travel-size Container Store bottles and carry it in my's wonderful for smoothing out unpredictable frizzy moments.

2.) CREME OF NATURE NOURISHING RELAXER WITH ORGANIC COCONUT & SUNFLOWER OILS ($9.29): An organic relaxer? Who knew?! Leave it to the Creme of Nature hair geniuses to whip up a deeply hydrating relaxer spiked with only the most nourishing organic ingredients, including Coconut and Sunflower Oil. I had my Dominican hairstylist slap this in my hair, and I don't think I've ever had a better relaxer. My hair came out so silky-soft and straight, even I wondered if it was a wig. The best part, though, is the Organic Lemongrass & Rosemary Leave-In Conditioner that comes in the box. Swoon! It smells like heaven! They really need to sell that stuff separately. Maybe I'll write a letter.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Smooth it out now

Hi ladies,
Did you have a fabulous Thanksgiving? Or, more importantly, did you have a fabulous time tearing through the Thanksgiving weekend sales? Ha ha, yes, I know my girls. Oh, guess what? Adam and I went to a wedding the day after Turkey Day (I was so mad at the festive little tummy pooch sticking out from my dainty minidress), and I made a brilliant discovery! Rory, one of the girls sitting at our table, revealed that her sister is Jillian on Project Runway! You know, the Ralph Lauren illustrator with those darling black ringlets? I badgered her for details all night long (who makes it to Bryant Park? Is Christian one of Santa's elves in disguise?), but lo, she'd signed some fussy contracting swearing her to seven kinds of secrecy. I haven't given up yet...more to come.

So, I haven't done a Q&A in months and months, right? Today, I'm remedying that problem with a very apropo question from my girl, Hollis. I met Haute Hollis when I was Teen People's beauty director, and I was so impressed by her lanky teenage beauty that we shot her for a fashion story. And then, when I discovered she attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts (the school Fame was inspired by), I proceeded to mine her personal history for all kinds of details I could use in IT CHICKS! Suffice it to say, Hollis is Shake Your Beauty V.I.P. And here's her question:

"My lips are incredibly dry, and the moisturizing products that are out are usually so greasy that excess product gathers at the corners of my mouth (GROSS!!) Do you know a product that exfoliates and moisturizes with a nice scent?"

DO I? I don't go to sleep without first coating my always-incredibly-chapped lips with Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant ($18). This stuff is so major. It contains sugar granules and poppy seeds that gently slough off gross flakes, while hydrating ingredients like shea butter and jojoba keep your lips deliciously baby-soft. And it's chock full of tingly, cooling peppermint (my favorite part). Here's how it works. Using a circular motion, you gently work the emulsion all over your lips. Let it sit there until your lips start tingling, and then wipe it off with a damp cotton ball or tissue. You will not BELIEVE how soft and smooth your lips are!! And they'll taste incredible, too. Great for kissing.

PS...Guess what? My dear friend and legendary makeup artist Sam Fine has FINALLY debuted a blog (check it out!! Girls, it's so good. If you ever wanted to get an inside peak into the makeup habits of the stars, then Sam's blog is required reading. You must check out his brilliant recap of the Ebony cover shoot featuring supermodels Iman, Alek, Tyra and Kimora. Go Sam!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Feliz Thanksgiving (well duh...!)

Hi girls,
HELLO? I totally forgot to wish you all a happy, cozy, healthy, scintillating, DELICIOUS Thanksgiving! I was so caught up in mourning the inevitable loss of my bangs, that the truly important stuff slipped my mind. Seriously, even though I have yet to meet many of you in person (by the way, loved squealing with Yannize at the Fashion Forum last weekend!), I feel like we're all sisters. Sisters in Beauty. And I'm damn thankful for that.

So eat lots of turkey and stuffing and don't forget to reapply your lipgloss after dessert!

Love you, mean it!

RIP Joanne

Hi ladies,
I've reached a very grave decision about Joanne (for SYB newcomers, I'm referring to my three-month-old Marianne Faithfull bangs). So, yesterday, a gross rainstorm tore through Manhattan. And in the five minutes it took for me to walk from the subway to lunch with my book editor, the wet wind had whipped Joanne into a frothy, cotton-candy-like tumbleweed situation atop my forehead. And that's when I decided that I'd had it. I'm the beauty lady, and even I'm out of answers. Joanne is adorable, yes, but she demands way too much maintenance (which is why I suspect Jessica Simpson is single, yet again). The other day, I actually whipped out a little black old-man comb to smooth her down after I came in from the cold, and Adam howled with laughter. "Is that the comb they handed out on school picture day in third grade?" I didn't think it was so funny. Anyway, long story short, I now am beginning the long, agonizing process of growing out Le Bangs. Forgive me if I'm testy for the next couple of months.

In other, non-testy news, you would not BELIEVE the fabulous deal I found. Okay, I've been searching for a yummy holiday party dress, and I've decided I'm really into blue-and-white. I landed on this Mint Jodi Arnold Ruffle Front Dress ($429), which is cute as a button, but who can afford it? That's when, after a more extensive search, I found an even cuter blue-and-white number. With adorable gold embellishment at the sleeves and hem. And it's so inexpensive, it's practically free.

Yes, this Sophia Dress ($44.50) is from DELIAS, but I am defiantly not ashamed. It's effin' adorable, and you'll see me in it at every holiday fete this season. Sigh. There's nothing like a hard-won good bargain to help a girl get over the loss of her bangs.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Such a queen

Hi Girls,
So sorry you barely heard from me last week! I was having MAJOR server issues, and as a result, I spent most of the week in a near-hysterical, highly agitated state (which I believe spawned the surly new patch of grey hair to the left of Joanne). But I'm back now! And I have a fabulous suggestion for you. After my post about Prescriptives color-matching foundations and powders, I got a slew of emails saying that the line sounds divine, but that it's a tad too pricey for college student/entry-level lady/budgeting new mom wallets. Well, miladies, I have a fanatastic alternative for you. Yes, please believe the hype about Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Compact Foundations ($8.99, each). I've searched far and wide, hither and yon, and I've NEVER found a drugstore foundation that A.) didn't break me out, B.) wasn't cakey-gross, C.) didn't have horrible pink or ashy undertones, and D.) comes in enough shades to cover all the various complexions that fall under the "brown girl" umbrella (in fact, the darkest shade in most "extension" lines is a Halle Berry-bronze, and in what world is she the darkest person anyone knows?). Cover Girl Queen's compact foundations come in twelve shades, from Rich Sand to True Ebony (I'm Golden Honey, if that helps), and the texture is simply to die for. It goes on super-silky, yet provides amazing coverage and manages to last all damn day. And it's so natural-looking, no one would ever guess you were even wearing makeup! Try it, you'll love it.

PS...Huge applause is in order! Vixenchick was the first SYB Babe to answer October's Stila Product of the Month trivia question correctly! The song playing when Tangie spies on Trey dancing in IT CHICKS is Busta Rhymes' "Touch It." You're a smart girl, Vixenchick. Now make sure you shoot me an email ( with your address so I can send you you're fabulous Stila prize!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lip Service

Hi Ladies,
I'm so, so excited about this darling little find o'mine! Obviously I live for lipgloss, but if it doesn't come in an easy-application squeezy tube or a wand, I usually can't even deal. I just LOATHE sticking my finger in a gooey pot of gloss (which really sucks because Nars Lip Lacquer ($23) is probably the best, and messiest, gloss on the planet). Finally, the beauty gods have delivered the most irresistable lip brush I've ever seen in my life. BeautyAddicts LipClick Retractable Lip Brush ($18) is at once wildly practical and devilishly chic. It's super-sleek, dainty design is beyond portable (seriously, it's no bigger than a cigarette), and I get an irrational amount of pleasure at the little "click!" that happens when you pop it open. When I demonstrated for Adam, he actually said, "That's amazing." Listen to the man.

PS..I'm a little late, but it's time for October's trivia question! The first chica to answer correctly wins the Stila Product of the Month (scroll down on the right to check it out). Good luck...


Monday, November 12, 2007

You Better Work

Hi ladies,
Well. Last night was my dear friend Malcolm's "Breaking Into Fashion" forum at Runway...and it was GORGEOUS! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. So many aspiring designers, models, fashion/beauty editors and buyers showed up, I wanted to break out in a celebratory verse of George Michael's "Too Funky." I was so flattered to be on a panel (above) that included the brilliant designer Malcolm Harris, Vibe Fashion Director Memsor Kamarake, French Vogue cover model Andre J (who doesn't love the turban?), Stylist Tyson P., model Jaizen Homiller (yum...and that's his girlfriend's hat), and the illustrious Ms. J Alexander showed up later. I ended up learning SO much about these people. DId you know Ms Jay spoke five languages and lived in Paris for twenty years? And none other than a pre-"Like a Virgin" Madonna gave Malcolm his start? So much valuable information was flying around that room, girls. Here are just a few tips for aspiring fashionistas:

MODELS: Before your go-see, make sure your weave's tight, your nails are done and your va-jay-jay is approriately tame (seriously, a bikini moment can happen at any moment). Also, no hoochie pictures or polaroids from your sister's wedding. And learn to edit your look! When Diana Vreeland said "elegance is refusal," I believe she was talking to us. Before you walk out the door, check yourself out in the mirror and remove an accessory or two. Models should look clean, not junky--you're a hanger, girl, so keep it simple!

DESIGNERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS: Always, always, always have your portfolio with you. If it's too big and bulky, just keep a couple of sketches or photos of your work in your bag. You never know who you'll run into, especially if you live in a city like New York, L.A. or ATL. I told a story about a designer friend of mine who ran into Puffy on Broadway (back when he was starring in "Raisin in the Sun"). He showed the flossy mogul his work, and had a job the next week. TRUE STORY. Also, take advantage of the internet! Start a blog broadcasting your looks or sell your stuff on myspace. The web thing has gotten so legit that you almost don't even need magazine or TV exposure to get word-of-mouth publicity.

MAGAZINE EDITORS: It's all about interning--and the more publications you intern for, the better. That way, when an entry level position opens up, the executive editors will think of you first, since they already know you! If you're a little past the intern stage, try getting experience writing for your local paper or a style magazine in your area. If you're a recent graduate, I TOTALLY recommend applying to NYU's Summer Publishing Course (this is what I did!). The seminars are taught by real-live magazine editors, so you're networking as you're learning. And by the end of the summer, everyone in the course has a job.

I so wish that all my non-New Yorker SYB Babes could've attended, but here's the good news. Malcolm has set up a myspace page,, for you to ask questions, make comments or throw shade (hey, it's fashion)! It's all about sticking together and helping each other out whever we can, right? As Reverend Run says, "Teamwork makes the dream work."

That little Diggy is just so cute!

Until next time,

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Answer

Hey girls,
Okay, I'm SO into my new fall outfit. Walk with me, it's really cute. I've been wearing J. Crew Sparkle Plaid Margaret Shirt ($78) (if you're on a budget, try Old Navy Belted Flannel Shirt, $29) tucked into kinda high-waisted, trouser-style jeans. With a skinny gold belt I got at Urban Outfitters. Sounds crazy, but it's soooo cute. I do have a problem, though. Every button-down shirt I've ever owned seems to gap at the boobs. Which makes no sense, as my chest is roughly the size of Haley Joel Osment (wait, is he still 12?). Anyway, if this is a problem for me, I can only imagine what my 34C sisters are going thru.

But girls, I found the answer. No See 'Ems ($12.95) adhesive fasteners keep your buttoned shirts from gaping! You just place the sticky strip by your buttons, and the ridiculously strong glue holds the shirt together ALL DAY LONG. It's a miracle. Don't you wish you thought of it first?

PS...Check me out tonite on Extra! I'll be chatting all about celebrity anti-aging creams and stuff. Serious world news. And no comments re: the fact that I wore the very same blouse on MSNBC this weekend (it just reads well on-camera, o-kaaay?)

PPS...Hope I see you girls at the panel on Sunday! For more info, check out my Sahara Skin Savior post, pumpkins.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sahara Skin Savior

Hi girls,
It's sooo cooold! I LOATHE it. I'm such a summer creature, I can't even tell you. When the weather drops below 45-ish degrees, my skin becomes so scaly and parched--not my face skin, my body skin. No one wants to rub up against an alligator wearing too much lip gloss, least of all my mysteriously supple-skinned man (I figured it out...Adam uses a lavender body oil scrub every night after the gym. When I met this man, he was shampooing with Irish Spring bar soap). Anyway, being me, I've tried every lotion, body butter, and shower gel on the market, and yet I've never really found the thing to quench my skin's constant Sahara-aridness. And then, lo, Vaseline sent me their new line of body moisturizers (cue angels trilling from above).

Vaseline Cocoa Butter Vitalizing Gel Body Oil ($6.99) has all the moisturizing benefits of a body oil, but it comes in GEL form, so it's not all greasy and slippery. Here's the trick: You apply the gel all over (a little goes a loong way) while you're soaking wet in the shower or bath--the gel locks in the moisture from the water, keeping you hydrated that much longer. When you towel off, you're skin will be so gloriously dewy and soft, you won't even need body cream, I SWEAR. It's the best feeling, hopping out of the tub and knowing you can skip that step! Plus, you'll smell terrific--the gel is infused with Brazil nut oil and tons of cocoa butter, which leaves you smelling faintly, lusciously sweet. And you can't beat the price, right?

****Huge PS, to all you budding fashionistas in the New York area: My friend Malcolm Harris, designer of the wildly chic fashion line, Mal Sirrah (check out his website and blog--brilliant!), is hosting a Fashion Industry Forum this Sunday. The star-studded panel (ahem, myself included) will answer all your questions about how to break into the notoriously bitchy fashion industry! Here's all the information, my sweets:

WHAT: Fashion Industry Forum
WHO: The panelists include: Jay Alexander (America's Next Top Model), Chanel Iman (Le Model Du Jour), Selita Ebanks (Victoria's Secret), Memsor Kamarake (Vibe's Fashion Director), and Alexander Allen (Celebrity Fashion Stylist), and Tia Williams (Shake Your Beauty)
WHEN: Sunday, November 11th, 5-7PM
WHERE: Runway Lounge, 4 East 28th Street, btwn 5th & Madison
TICKETS: $25 in advance at or $30 at the door

Friday, November 02, 2007

Ham that I am

Hey girls,
How was Halloween? Mine was absolutely the most RANDOM October 31st I've ever experienced in all my 18 years. Okay, so I was at home, getting all done-up in my Flamenco Girl costume (Apollonia, bless her heart, just didn't come together at the last year, I swear) in preparation for a glamorous night of party-hopping with my friend Malcom. Out of the clear blue, I get an urgent call from the New York Post, asking me if I'd like to cover the famous New York City Village Halloween Parade for their online video series. Ham that I am, I was out the door in less time than it takes for LiLo to fall off the wagon. Long story short, I met up with their cameraman, a darling young man named Barnaby, and proceeded to lose my mind. For those of you who've never been to The Parade, let me walk you through it. Imagine pure New York City bedlam, complete with all varieties of Inappropriate Britneys, Bloodied Amy Winehouses, Smoking & Pregnant Nicoles, and an onslought of giddy, half-naked drag boys spray painted in day-glo colors. It was insane, and I had a ball. Check out the deeply embarrassing results on New York Post Online (or click SEARCH and type in Tia Williams). And if you notice a lot of shimmying on my part, just be happy they didn't include the part when I jumped in front of the Carribbean float and did Dutty Wine with all the carnival gyals. Somebody stop me!

No, I'm serious. Somebody stop me.

My night didn't end there, of course. I did end up meeting fabulous Malcolm, and we did proceed to party-hop throughout the Meatpacking District. And as the night wore on, my hair got frizzier and frizzier (it was humid and there was tons of dancing to an unutterably divine Prince medley). Luckily, in the club bathroom there were tons of amenities for this very problem. Being me, I immediately honed in on Redken All Soft Gold Glimmer Shine Treatment ($12.05)--and I instantly rubbed the silky gel over my cracked-out ponytail. And girls, you would not believe the difference. I'd always heard murmurs about how miraculous this stuff is...and in fact, I remember going to the event when it launched. Not only is the Glimmer Shine Treatment chock full of frizz-fighting, hair-softening ingredients like avocado and olive oil, it has actual gold sparkles in it! Of course, they don't really show up in your hair, but there is a certain mirror-like gloss effect that's not to be denied. Long story short (too late), I'm now obsessed with it, and am ordering at least two bottles.