Friday, February 29, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, or....

Hey ladies,
I cannot tell you how many SYB Babes have emailed me questions about mineral makeup. This week, alone, I got two:

"How do you feel about Bare Minerals? I always see the commercial and want to try it!" --Anonymous

"Can you comment on all these new mineral powders? I don't quite understand them, why they work, what's so great, its just a powder, right?"
--Lisa Bowles Racek (we were on dance team together!!)

Well, Anonymous and Lisa, here's the story. Bare Escentuals kicked off the mineral makeup trend years ago with their Bare Minerals line, a makeup collection entirely made up of all-natural crushed minerals including zinc oxide, iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and mica. The line is actually more significant for what it DOESN'T contain; yucky ingredients like artificial fragrances, preservatives, talc, oil, and waxes--all skin irritants that makes acne-prone skin break out, and sensitive skin have allergic reactions. The gentle, zit-preventing factor is one of the reasons the line has garnered such a rabid cult following. The other reason? Bare Minerals' collection of powder foundations are, in a word, genius. They make skin look luminous, buffed, and impossibly glowy. And in the most natural, no-makeup kind of way! Think "afterglow." It's that remarkable. Which is why mass-market favorites like Revlon, Neutrogena, La Bella Donna, and Physicians Formula have jumped on Bare Minerals' bandwagon, launching their own mineral lines.

I've been a fan for years. So much so, that Bare Minerals asked me to give my own testimonial in an upcoming commercial (I'm flying out to San Fran in a couple weeks...squeal!). Now, I am not a foundation girl. Never have been. But whenever I'm going on TV, or to a fancy party, or anything special, I whip out Bare Minerals SPF 15 Foundation in Tan ($25), which looks like a powder, has the coverage of a foundation, and blends like a DREAM. It's so easy to apply--just dip in a fluffy brush, tap off excess powder, and swirl all over your face. I barely even need concealer with this stuff!! Gorgeous. The foundation comes in twelve pitch-perfect shades (and to give you an idea of how exhaustive the color range is, I wear Tan, which is smack in the middle!).

Lately, I've added the Bare Minerals "A Little Sun" All-Over Face Color ($28) to my regimen, because I'm so damned pasty. The subtle, twinkly bronzer comes with it's own fan brush, which helps you hit all the right spots...forehead, bridge of nose, cheekbones, and chin. I wore my Bare Minerals Foundation/A Little Sun combo on Fox News' "Red Eye" last night, and the in-house makeup artist was crushing on my complexion something scandalous.

In short, Bare Minerals makeup is totally worth it. They have eyeshadow, blush, gloss and all kinds of other beauty yummies, but honestly, it's all about the skin makeup. Truly divine. If you have problem skin, or are just looking for a natural everyday look, this is the answer. Thank me later, pumpkins.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Flat-Out Fab

Hey girls,
PLEASE keep an open mind, finance-wise, because I really need to gush about my new favorite flatiron. Really quickly: I haven't had a relaxer in 79 years (not growing it out, just too lazy to make it happen). So I have roots galore, and I'm over headbands. Searching for answers, I talked to my girl at famed Warren Tricomi salon, who recommended the Warren Tricomi Miniature Professional Flat Iron ($90), a lighter-than-air, 6-inch miracle (it fits into my purse!) that's the PERFECT size to straighten-out pesky roots and kitchen issues in two seconds. And this thing has no problem getting as hot as it's bigger counterparts. It gets so hot, in fact, that it comes with an adorable "heat mitt" you wear while handling the flatiron (it's so tiny that the whole thing blazes, not just the panels). Anyway, for the past two weeks my hair has looked freshly touched up. Like you wouldn't believe. Seriously, whether you're growing out your perm or just lazy, and you want your hair texture to look consistent, this little moment is a MUST. $90 well spent.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Big Night Beauty!

Hi ladies,
MARION, MARION, MARION! That's all I have to say. The girl is too gorgeous. Her be-scaled, ivory Gaultier number was magic, and the Veronica Lake waves were
perfection (just found out her hair was styled by Frederic Fekkai's Robert Vetica, who kept her curls in place with Frederic Fekkai Coiff Shape & Set Mist, $28). Oh, and PS? I'm carrying Javier Bardem's blatino twins.

Beauty note: It was all about shimmery, dewy, pastel-colored eyes, wasn't it? I'm loving that! Mlle. Cotillard was sporting a sparkly, pale-blue hue, Jennifer Hudson rocked a metallic vanilla shadow, and Jessica Alba wore a shimmery plum shade. It's like spring rode into town on the lids of Hollywood's hottest! The whole time I was watching, I was itching to gush to you ladies about Shiseido The Makeup Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow ($23), which is, without a doubt (ask any beauty editor or makeup artist worth her Bendels' discount), the best dewy cream eye shadow on the market. It's totally crease-proof, and the colors are soft, subtly shimmery pastel shades are infinitely wearable. I'm addicted to Goldlights, the delicate gold shade, but for the purposes of copying Marion, Jennifer and Jessica, respectively, I'd recommend Clover Dew (a soft powder blue), White Lights (a cream shimmer), and Spring Plum (exactly what it sounds like).

While we're talking Alba, I was also so charmed by her darling braided 'do! It's kind of complicated, so I'm letting you in on a secret tip I used at a benefit a couple years ago. I whipped my hair into a high, messy bun, and then held the whole thing in place with a braided faux-hair headband (try Braidies Thick Braided Headband in Dark, $7.99). It was so deliciously Grecian!

PS...Had to give a shout to my own icon-ette, Keisha Whitaker. She kept it simple with fresh, rosy lips and cheeks, a look that's always, always pretty. Get the look with Flirt! Cosmetics Lip and Cheek Tint in Berry Flair ($10), a fabulous, gel-based tint that gives you a flawless, outdoorsy flush in seconds. I carry it around in my purse for mid-day pickups (better than a Starbucks run).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Facebook, Facebook!

Hey pumpkins,
I refuse to toss my Disc-Man, I loathe texting, and I JUST learned how to take pictures with my cell phone. Mama's hopelessly analog. But in a wild attempt to seem cool to my collegiate cousins, I've joined Facebook! It's actually really cute. I even created a "Shake Your Beauty" Group! I'm not completely sure what this means, but I suspect it'll be our own chatty, gossipy little forum. Fun, yes? Join, join, join!! And spread the love to your beauty-minded friends.

No Blackberry for me, though.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hallelujah, Nina!

Hi Ladies,
More SYB Black History Month trivia! As many of you know, I'm a total film geek (seriously, I can recall who won the major Oscars in 1934 faster than I can remember my social security number). As such, I can tell you that Dorothy Dandridge was not the first black movie star. Neither was Lena Horne. The actress with that distinction was actually Nina Mae McKinney, a staggeringly gorgeous and talented Triple Threat from South Carolina.

As a teen in the Roaring 1920's, she sang and danced her way through Harlem's chicest nightclubs, eventually landing a role in the Broadway musical, "Blackbirds." Legendary Hollywood director King Vidor happened to be in the audience one night, and quickly cast her in his groundbreaking 1929 film,Hallelujah!" --which was the first all-black sound musical in cinema history (making 17-year-old Nina the very first black actress to perform in a talkie!). She played "Chick," the honky-tonk vixen who lures a sweet sharecropper into a tawdry life of sin! Miss MicKinney was so fab that MGM offered her a 5-year contract, hailing her as the "Black Garbo" and the "Sepia Stunner," but sadly, The Suits had no idea what do do with her (too sexy, too black, too TOO). She ended up playing domestics and wild jungle women in crazy racist Tarzan-esque B movies. So, in the '40s, she pulled a Josephine and hightailed it to Europe, where she promptly became a hit in fancy Parisian cafes (surprise!). She died in 1967, at only 54--but a decade later, she was inducted into the Black Filmakers Hall of Fame.

Ladies, I think it's truly a tragedy that this wildly charismatic, talented-to-death performer has disappeared into obscurity, don't you? I think we should make it a point to spread the word about Nina, and make sure her legacy lives on! Don't laugh, but I SO joined her Myspace page, which has rare footage of Nina Mae performing!

I believe Nina would want us to get to the beauty, so here we go. Lately, my highlights have been feeling quite brassy, dull and uninspired. Stylists are always raving about color conditioners, but in all my beauty years I've never really believed the hype (slash, I've never noticed a difference from the ones I've tried). Desperate, I buckled down and tried Aveda Clove Color Conditioner ($16), which is formulated to coax out all the original shine and twinkle from faded, brunette-toned highlights. I don't know if it's the coffee extract or the organically-grown cloves that made my honey-ish streaks pop, but I don't really care--it actually WORKED! Don't get me wrong, the effect is definitely subtle...but I know the difference. Not only is my color totally regenerated, my hair feels softer than ever. And the conditioner somehow warmed up the old-dye-job brassiness that I find so unattractive. Aveda rocks.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Iman, Louise, and Beverly, Oh My!

Hello ladies,
In lieu of Black History Month, I thought I'd introduce you to my thirteen-year-old self's favorite beauty ad. Seriously, can you believe that, back in '88, the fashion world was more progressive than we are now? Three black models, excuse me, black SUPERMODELS, anchoring a major Revlon campaign? Just a little backstory: The Revlon Unforgettable Women campaign was doing major things in the late 80's. Only the toppest of the top girls got to pose in these--girls like Patti Hansen, Christy Turlington, Jerry Hall, and La Linda. So, again, the fact that Beverly Johnson, Iman, and the Lovely and Underrated Louise Vyent starred in their very own ad...well, it's kind of spectacular (a little aside about Louise Vyent: This Dutch-born Surinamese supermodel was major in the 80s and early 90s, racking up Glamour, Bazaar, Elle, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and Vogue covers, galore. Check out some of her best at! I'd like to say that this famous and fabulous ad came about because, back then, the suits understood the power of the black dollar, but that's not really it. To hear vampy veterans like Iman and Bethanne Hardison tell it, designers, fashion editors and casting agents were truly inspired by breathtaking black beauty--and that's just not happening anymore (pre-pubescent East European catwalk stalkers, anyone?). Also, Bethanne has said on many occasions that back then, the black models were so damned GENIUS that when they were booked, it was because they were the best, not because they were black. I love that.

Don't laugh. I loved this campaign so much, that at a seventh grade slumber party, I recruited my two best friends, Catherine and Caroline, to pose for our very own Revlon Unforgettable Women ad. Yes, I did the makeup and hair. Please check out the blush. How could I not go into beauty after this? By the way, Catherine, the seductress on the far left, is now doing marketing at Bare Escentuals. Do we think that my enforced night o'beauty helped her find her calling?

Speaking of beauty, you ladies are going to adore MAC's new Fafi collection! Fafi, a famed French graffiti artist known for her cutie-pie anime characters, has designed the packaging for MAC's super-bright, springy new line. Not only is it the cutest packaging I've ever seen--Fafi's created a beyond-adorable, sexy little BROWN GIRL that's adorning the hot new Lip Glasses! When I saw this, I almost burst into tears. For our teen girls to be able to whip out a lipgloss with their image emblazoned on the cap...well, it's just really a nice thing. FYI, my favorite is MAC "Fafi" Lipglass in Squeeze It ($14), a brassy plum. Go MAC!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fashion Week, Finis!

Hi ladies,
How was your Valentine's Day? Was it full of flowers, and chocolates, and dinners featuring flattering candlelight? Or, perhaps it involved a "we don't care about the mens!" night out with your saucy girlfriends? Or, you could've stayed home, watched Lost (Sayid!!) and eaten delicious pizza leftovers with your cuddly plus-one. Whatever you did, hope it was heaven. I'm in heaven, actually, because this is the final installment of SYB's Fashion Week Favorites (not that I don't love recapping, I'm just itching to get to my Black History Month tribute...!). Anyway, today's post is all about my two favorite skin moments of Fashion Week. Dying to know your thoughts, bellas!
Big Kiss,

PS...I LOVE that you ladies went all-the-way hard with me about my slipshod cramps contraption. Yes, it was ghetto, and I am ashamed. Yesterday, I ran right out and got the ThermaCare patches, and HELLO? Where have I been? Delightful!!


This is an interesting category because, in terms of beauty, the makeup overpowers everything else at most shows. It was only at Calvin Klein, Jonathon Saunders, and Ralph Lauren (seen here, on Lovely Liyah) that actual good, fresh, radiant skin took precedence over vampy lips and eyes! Simply put? Liyah and her glowy-faced Lauren counterparts looked like their night (and morning, perhaps?) was FAR sexier than mine. Here's the thing. In the mad dash to get the hottest new eyeliner, gloss, or blush, we sometimes forget that if your skin isn't on point, your makeup won't be, either. Enter Prescriptives Instant Gratification Skin Renewal Peel ($45). It's an all-in-one dermabrasion peel treatment that sloughs off dull, dry, dead skin cells and reveals the stunningly radiant skin underneath. Once a week, apply a layer to damp skin, leave on for five minutes, and then massage into your face to release the self-heating properties (so cool). Rinse with lukewarm water, and you're done! Your complexion will thank you. Of course, if you'd rather get glowing using a quicker fix, try Sephora Luminizer in Golden ($6), a sheer, luminous liquid highlighter you can mix into foundation, moisturizer, or blend onto clean, bare skin. It's an old makeup artist trick used to create instant radiance, and it works!

Kind of an odd choice, I know--I was supposed to be picking the best skin from the collections--but I'm sorry! I was totally blinded by the supple glowiness radiating from RiRi and Joy as they held court in Williamson's front row. Seriously, they looked like they'd just returned from a month-long jaunt in the Seychelles (which made me instantly, irrationally jealous). The second I got home, I ran into my beauty room, rummaged around in a bin labeled "Faux Sunkissedness," and whipped out my favorite body oil spray, Tarte Moisturizing Dry Oil Shimmer Spray in Celebutante ($28). One spritz of this utterly non-greasy shimmer spray gives your body the sexiest, most natural-looking toasty sheen! Plus, it's scented with coconut oil, so it smells like the beach. Swoon. I don't care if it's the dead of winter and no one but me, Sunshine, and my gyno (must schedule that pap) will be seeing my arms and legs. It'll give me a secret thrill knowing that, underneath my chunky knit sweaters and Wellies, I'm a Tahitian bronze goddess!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fashion Week Parte Dos

Hi girls,
Ugh, I have CRAAAMPS. The worst. I've created this whole contraption situation where I wrap my hot water bottle around my tummy with a faux-Pucci scarf and then connect it to my UVA sweatshirt with a claw hairclip. A wildly sexy thing for my husband to come home to. Listen to me getting off, I'm all about bringing you the second installment of my Fashion Week favorites! This one's all about my two standout hair moments. Hope you like!


Fabulous, embellished headbands were all over the fall 2008 runways, at shows like
Erin Fetherston, Herve Leger, and Anna Sui, where models like the glorious Jessica Stam (love! she's so FELINE!) stalked the catwalk in this feathered number. There's something about rocking a headband across the forehead, Latoya Jackson-in-We-Are-the-World-style, that's so funky, so chic, so hot gypsy girl! Especially when you wear it with a center part and straight, flatironed hair (the length doesn't matter, FYI). It's such an easy way to sex it up on a bad hair day!

I searched far and wide for an affordable alternative, and found this Double-Braided Headwrap ($10) at Urban's missing the feathers, but I think the simplicity makes it oh-so-wearable for everyday (it'll look more like Mary Kate, left). Sign me up, yo.

FAVORITE HAIR, ALL-AROUND: 1940'S CURLS (Diane Von Furstenburg)
I was surprised to see big, bouncy, glossy curls making a major comeback this season, everything from 70s Breck Girl at DKNY to my hands-down favorite, the World War 2-era, film noir-ish 'dos at DVF (that's new face Joan Smalls rocking the look...isn't she pretty?). I just love the volume and the studied sexiness of it all. This is not a rumpled, just-rolled-out-of bed look. No, it looks like you had it set, old-school style, and there's something so glamorous about the effort, don't you think? Here's how you make it happen. First, apply a dollop of heat protecting cream allover your hair, from roots to tip (I heart Farouk Chi Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream ($16)--my Dominican stylist, Adelina, uses it and it makes my hair soo soft and shiny!). Separate your hair into one-inch sections and curl each with a curling iron. Then, using a scrunchie so you won't get a crease, pile your hair on top of your head and create four pin curls (ie, wrap each of the four sections around your finger and bobbie-pin it just outside the'll look like a bun). Hang out for about twenty minutes, then undo the bun and shake out your curls. Create a side-part, finger-style, and spritz with a frizz-fighting, glossifying hairspray like
Kiehls Climate-Proof Shine-Enhancing Hairspray ($14.50). Voila! You're gorgeous, honey!


I got several emails from my SYB Babes begging me to find out the name of the hot pink lipstick Alicia Keys wore at the Grammy's. Girls, I got on it, and I can tell you with the utmost authority that the shade was Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Fuchsia Poplin ($24.50 ). Huge thanks to the Dior girls for tipping me off!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fashion Week, Parte Uno

Hi ladies,
Mama's back! Wow. Fall 2008 Fashion Week was such a whirlwind, you have no idea. I was seriously working so hard that I gave up shaving my legs, plucking my brows and watching The View on DVR for eight days straight (has le dingbat du jour, Sherri Shepherd, been fired yet?). I heard that a twee white boy warbled Akon's "I Wanna Love You" on American Idol...I was so sorry to miss that. Anyway, la semana de fashion shenanigans is now over, but I'm thrilled to present my fabulous girls with Shake Your Beauty's annual FW favorites! I'll be giving you my six favorite beauty trends--along with some random observations--in three installments over the next week. Can't wait for you to walk with me through the beauty bonanza that was the New York Fashion Week! Oh, ignore that lump of tafetta to the's the discarded remains of the zillions of C-list actresses who descended upon NYC for the shows, desperate for media attention due to the lack of awards season red carpet photo ops. The first and last time you'll ever see Sophia Bush seated next to a troupe of Voguettes.


BEST EYES: TIGER EYE SHADOW (Badgley Mischka, left)
I have zero recollection of the clothes Badgley Mischka sent down the runway, because that gold and reddish-bronze eye with a hint of emerald was SO spectacular. The look, which showed up also at Herve Leger and Halston, was sort of a throwback to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" video (hello, aging myself), but in such a fresh, fab way. And the good news is, the neutral, Sahara-chic tones looked excellent on ALL the Badgley Mischka models, from East Euro blondes like Tanya D. to the exquisite Asian up-and-comer, Han Jin...but I kind of think Chanel Iman looked the best. Duh. And this tiger eye-ish look is so everyday friendly! Here's how I plan on rocking it: First, skip the emerald at the inner corners--too mid-80's Time Square hooker. Second, you must invest in Bare Escentuals Wearable Eye Kit in Meet the Nuts ($32), which includes a shimmery beige, copper, and reddish-brown shadows. Apply the copper to your lid, and blend the rust-brown in the crease. Follow up with the beige on your browbone and, if you're feeling saucy, dip a liner brush in the copper and drag it along your bottom lashline. Finish up with tons of mascara. So hot!

Rust-bronze is the new red! I've decided to call this shade "brust," if you don't mind. It kept popping up everywhere, at shows like Rodarte, Philosophy di Alberta Ferreti, and Peter Som, where my new model obsession, Jourdan Dunn, incited a small riot with her perfect pucker. I love it. And I believe that a great brust is FAR easier to find than the perfect red. And darlings, I've found it. MAC describes their new Tinted Lipglass in 4N ($14) as a "chocolatey brown with red pearl, but we know what that means, don't we? The shade is gorgeous, totally wearable, and can be worn very sheer or uber-dramatic. Plus, MAC's thrown in jojoba oil to help condition chapped, winter lips (and it really does, I've been wearing it for a week). You cannot lose. Brust for everyone!


* I don't like Zoe Kravitz's new hair. And I'm a HUGE fan of hers...I think she's incredibly chic and cool. Plus, the blood of Denise Huxtable and Sex Walking runs in her veins (I mean, what else do you want?). But when she debuted her new look at Madonna and Gucci's star-studded benefit/bash for Malawi, I felt that she just looked...tired. Not everyone can sport the shaggy pixie.

* Rihanna told The Daily that she's shooting a cover for Elle! How delicious will that be?! Speaking of someone who can rock a pixie successfully...

* I loved this ensemble at Ruffian. It's all about a floaty, tied-at-the-neck blouse with tight, tight, tight jeans, don't you think? I found a great, lesser-priced version, Free People Smocked Tie-Neck Blouse ($39.99). Throw on a blazer and you're good!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Nothing in Particular

Miss you guys! Am thinking about you as I try to find something nice to write about the bleaker-than-bleak Halston show!
Feroche Couture-a

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Until Next Monday, darling...

Hey girls,
Just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about you...I'm up to my brows in Fashion Week reporting for The Daily, and my time is not my own! I don't want to post some ill-thought-out nonsense, so THE SECOND this week is over, I'm going to return to my regularly scheduled, sassy little tri-weekly beauty nuggeting (Tia + No Sleep = Made-up Words). In the meantime, check out Stereohyped's Black Model Watch! So brilliant, that sister o'mine.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Who's Better Than You?

Hey girls,
When that tabloidy, badly reported NYTimes article came out, I felt nauseous the entire day. I can think of few worse things than being publicly insulted--and one of them is having a picture of you, your dog, and your house illustrating a story about swag-hungry opportunists, above a caption reading "Mascara Made Me Do It." All the bloggers mentioned in the piece were mortified, Lancome was furious, but you know what? Your flurry of supportive, pom-pom waving, we-love-you-anyway emails truly made me feel 100% better. Who's better than my SYB Babes? NO ONE! I really adore you gals, and I thank you. Which is why I wanted to call your attention to Philosophy Thank You Fragranced Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel Duo ($24)! When someone really wows you with their thoughtfulness, get creative! Flowers die, thank-you notes are cliche, darling...but in my experience, everyone LOVES bath stuff. And the "Thank You" gift box really drives your sentiment home, don't you think?

FYI, Philosophy Congratulations Bubbly 3-in-1 Shampoo, Body wash, and Bubble Bath($24) is super-adorable, too. Perfect for new moms, graduates, your BFF that landed the job you really wanted...

In other news, it's Fashion Week! And, as many of you know, I'm now the Senior Writer for The Daily, the insidery mag chronicling each day of Fashion Week (it's exclusive to the Bryant Park tents, or I'd suggest a subscription!). It has a wildly popular website counterpart,, and my job is to write reviews for the website AND the mag. My first stabs at legit fashion writing have been hilar. It's basically beauty writing, except for I'm challenged to figure out twelve different ways to say "modern!" Check out my super-haute fashion show reviews here!

As usual, I'm reserving my grande statements about Fashion Week beauty until it's all over, but I'd love to introduce you to one of the week's hottest new faces. Jourdan Dunn. It's only the third day of FW, and this elegant Brit's already walked in a bunch of hot shows (there she is, slinking away at Costello Tagliapetra). Do your thing, pumpkin!!

PS: I keep forgetting to say this, but I'm nominated for a Fabbie for me on the right!!! Only if you think I should win, of course :-)