Sunday, March 30, 2008

An Oscar for you, this Monday Morning!

Hey girls,
The timing for this Q&A couldn't be more spot-on, especially since on Friday, I got a haircut at the wildly posh, star-studded Oscar Blandi none other than Oscar's dangerously attractive brother, Luca (couldn't even be mad at him when he cut an inch off Joanne, who I could finally tuck behind my ears!). Read on to find out why Oscar Blandi's got the answer to ALL your blowout-freshness issues...

SYB BABE: Lana Pipkins

QUESTION: "I wash my hair every five to six days...but without fail, my hair starts to smell just two days after a fresh shampoo! My hair is dry, but it does accumulate a lot of oil. Are there any products that can help my problem?"

TIA'S 2 CENTS: Yes, lambs, I've gushed about this product before...but I still get emails, like, every day asking how my girls can get their fourth-day or sixth-day blowout smelling like a rose. Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo ($11) is LE ANSWER! This magical dry shampoo is blended with natural rice, oat and tapioca starches, which work to completely cleanse your hair--sans water--while somehow magically giving it sexy volume! Plus, it contains tea tree oil to treat dry scalp, while the delicious lemon verbena fragrance keeps your hair smelling super-fresh and yummy. Totally perfect apres-workout, or the morning after a particularly energetic roll in the proverbial hay...or just on those mid-week days, when your blowout looks and feels as tired as you are.

Okay, now here's my other blowout-maintenance issue...and I know if I'm experiencing it, you are. For some reason, the front of my hair (um, Joanne), gets oily before everything else. I mean, like in a really unsightly way. So sometimes, I actually wet those front layers, throw in a little conditioner, and re-blow them out. It's kind of tedious, to be honest. Lovely Luca told me all about Oscar Blandi Proteine di Jasmine Protein Mist for Restyling Hair ($18), and I swear the lightbulb above my head was visible to all. Instead of the water-conditioner moment, just use this moisturizing, jasmine-scented protein spray to wet hair if you need to re-style. It also contains tons of heat-protectors, to keep your hair from suffering hairdryer/curling iron/flatiron damage.

Oscar Blandi's brilliance is staggering, no?

Big kiss,

PS...I really try to supress the constant urge to yodel from the mountaintops how proud I am of my sisters (tacky and tiresome for everyone but the sisters), but I couldn't resist a little bragging this AM. If you haven't already, check out Stereohyped for Lauren's personal essay on being black in these United States, called "Am I Black Enough For Ya?" It's brilliant, funny, and so, so there's fun pictures of us as kids.

PPS...Don't forget to vote for moi for a Beauty award (click the button on the above right)! Well, only if you want to...

PPPS...I updated my Current Obsessions! To check them out, scroll down on the right.

Okay, that's enough. I'm out!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring's Most Wanted, Part 3

Hey girls,
I've been waiting since Spring '08 Fashion Week back in September to tell my ladies about this! Tracy Reese--aka designer of all things flirty and delectable/Marc Jacobs BFF (they were students at Parsons together, can you stand it?)/patron saint of design-minded brown girls everywhere--showed, like, the most spectacular Spring collection. Each little cocktail number was more delectable than the last, and oh, the color palette! The most luscious lavenders, plums, electric reds, and pinks you've ever seen.

Anyway, Lady Reese was so into the shades, that she teamed up with nail superpower, Sally Hansen, to create a polish line inspired by the colors in her collection! The fabulous nail lacquers were in our goody bags at the show, but finally, FINALLY, they've hit the shelves, so you can love them up, too (you can't buy them online, but they're $6 in drugstores everywhere). I've been wearing these vivid shades all winter long--whatever, I know it's off-season, but they make me happy--and I have to tell you, the super-vivid colors are so vivid, so tropical, that they actually make me feel TAN, somehow. They're that good. Collect them all: Arabian Night, Sumptuous Petal, Spicy Scarlet, Cherry Glaze, Feverish Rose (seriously?), Sultry Fuchsia, and Tunisian Sand, the shade worn by the models in the show. Enjoy, girls!

Big kiss,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

For your Mom, but Really for You

Hey Girls,
I'm a little bit early with this one, but I wanted to make sure my pumpkins knew about this delicious promotion! It involves two things dear to me--SJP's shockingly-chic-for-a-celeb-fragrance Lovely, and Sex and the City! I'm so not having a good week (flaky fingernails, the no longer ignorable fakery of The Hills, Elizabeth Hasselbeck's blistering stupidity, split ends, Donnie's sad squeak-fest on Making The Band 4's finale...), so I'm kind of excited about this.

Starting on April 1st, department stores everywhere are launching the Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker Mother's Day Gift Set ($69.50), which comes with the heady-fab fragrance, body lotion, and a sweet surprise! Included on the sleeve of each set is a unique code that grants you two FREE tickets to "Sex and the City: The Movie" in your area (you download the tickets on the listed website). But here's the money shot--if you redeem your tickets before May 1st, you'll automatically be entered for a chance to win two tickets to the movie's red carpet premiere in New York City. Loving it! Honestly, you can't go wrong. Your mom thinks your the sweetest daughter since Zahara, and you're indulging your S&TC addiction. Twofer!

PS...I totally forget to announce this, but KimePoo was the first SYB Babe to answer my movie trivia question correctly. "When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong," was indeed from Dirty Dancing! Miss Kimepoo, drop me an email ( with your address so I can send you your prize!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring's Most Wanted, Part 2

Hola ladies,
How was your Easter?! Happy Spring! I have lovely news for you people. Some quick backstory: I've coveted C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shine ($7.50) since it launched (me and every other beauty insider with lips). Aside from being thrillingly tingly, the balm is deeply moisturizing, as shiny as a gloss, and contains such an intense dose of mint that it actually helps freshen your breath, too (not kidding). The product was such a rollicking success that C.O. Bigelow extended the line to include Mentha body washes, foot creams, body buffers, and--squeal--a collection of tinted Lip Shines that infuse lips with a hint of "you, but better" color. So fantastic for perfecting your off-duty look (you know, running around shopping, at the beach, or on lazy Saturdays with your new boyfriend when you want him to think you're naturally stunning). Here's the rub, though. Until recently, they only offered the tints in pink, coral and beige...clearly not showing up on my lips, mister. Finally, FINALLY, the powers that be answered my prayers, because they've just launched one for darker lips...C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint #1139 ($5), a sheer, deep, reddish-brown. If you didn't know I was wearing it, you'd just assume I had naturally luscious lips with sexy flush of Victorian, just-bitten color. I'm shamelessly addicted. Happy Easter to me!!

PS...I'm endlessly proud of my enterprising, fashion-savant cousin Allyson, who I knew would be a success back when she was eleven (she and Lauren stole me and Devon's Easter eggs and sold them for exorbitant amounts in my parents driveway). Anyway, the former Word Up editor has just launched a buzzy new accessories line,
Ally Marie Couture Jewelry! Such a cute collection of adorably boho necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I especially like the Harmony Earrings ($54), made out of wood, jade, and silver. So "artsy girl" cute, no? Congrats, Ally!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring's Most Wanted, Part 1

Hi girls,
Over the next couple weeks, I'm delighted to be giving you my favorite new spring products. There's sooo many, I'll tots still be raving about them well into fall, but whatevs (I just learned how to G-chat, so I'm exploring the charms of text lingo). Anyway, my first obsession of the season is YSL Pop Stick Blush in Vanilla/Chocolate ($42). Oh, this stuff! Now, you know I'm very exclusive about my blush (it's always Nars Blush in Taos, $25), but when I apply this swirly, champagne/bronze highlighter along my cheekbones ONTOP of my regularly scheduled blush, it gives my complexion such a healthy, natural-looking radiance! If you didn't know me, you'd think I'd actually spent some time frolicking about outdoors. It's just SO the perfect thing for my sallow, sunless skin right now. Pop Stick also comes in Peach/Blackcurrant (a deep coral) and Strawberry/Raspberry (for a rosier finish). It's spring in a tube!

Happy Easter lovelies,

PS...Almost forgot! There's a fabulous DVF contest happening right now, that I must share with you. Here are the deets:

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8th, Diane von Furstenberg is sponsoring the "Women You Love" contest! All you have to do is share a story about a fabulous, strong, intelligent woman who has inspired you. Log onto and submit a photo with a description of your fabulous woman. The winner will land a trip for two to NYC, a $5,000 shopping spree at DVF's flagship boutique, and two tickets to the DVF Spring 2009 fashion show! The contest ends on April 19th, so start writing, muchachitas.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Like Black, but Better

Hi girls,
Various celebrity makeup artists have tried for years to get me to believe the hype about blue mascara. It's always been a whole thing about how the color blue instantly brightens your eyes, making you look wide-awake, radiant, and not at all wasted from the night before. It's not that I didn't believe said fancy makeup geniuses, it's just that I've always believed that black lashes call for black mascara (I actually believe that, unless you're as towheaded as Shiloh or Spencer, EVERYONE needs black mascara). Well...when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.

[That was a movie quote! What late-Eighties classic is it from, girls? First one to get it right gets a beauty surprise de mi.]

Recently, I discovered Chanel Inimitable Multi-Dimensional Mascara in Noir Indigo ($27.50), and my whole philosophy changed. So sexy! See, one of my biggest worries was that blue wouldn't even register on my lashes...but this deep, dark navy somehow manages to darken and accentuate them to the 12th power, while still being blue enough to make my eyes pop. It's like black, but better (I'm imagining Hilary using that line for a late campaign slogan). My lashes are inky, sooty, ridiculously sultry...I feel like a movie star from the days of silent films--you know, back when they had nothing but their huge, expressive eyes to convey grand passion and amour? I'M OBSESSED. I've gotten all my friends and everyone in The Daily office hooked--now it's your turn! Hurry up, though, because the shade is limited edition, and it's already selling out at department stores. Embrace the genius!


PS: SHAKE YOUR BEAUTY is up for another award! If you love me like I love you, vote for me by clicking the box above. Big kiss.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Overnight Love

Hi girls,
How was your weekend? Mine was DIVINE--not because I finally mastered the at-home bikini wax and caught up on "Lost," but because of my recent haircare discovery. See, my hair is beat down within an inch of it's life (relaxer, color, weekly blowouts, flatiron, abuse, abuse, abuse). My Dominican hairstylist always gives me a deep conditioner, but lately it's not really doing the thing. So, when I heard tell of the new
John Frieda Frizz Ease Overnight Repair Serum ($9.99), I jumped all over that ass. A little background: I love John Frieda in a major way...especially the Brilliant Brunette shampoo/conditioner line (softness like you wouldn't believe). Anyway, the Overnight Repair Serum is a super-moisturizing cream that you apply to ends and super-damaged areas at night. And, after about a week of this luscious treatment, the stuff actually smooths out frizz and damaged, fried ends! I've been using it since the week before Rome, and my hair is so glossy I feel like I'm floating around in my own slow-mo shampoo commercial. Try it! So epic.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Me & Jessica White!

Hey girls,
Ever since the days of Linda, Christy and Naomi, mama's harbored quite a few many model obsessions. But Jessica White? Swoon. In a sea of blank-faced, concave-boobed, Eastern Bloc tween queens, Lady Jess stands out as a stunning, womanly, sex-bomb. Loves her. She's signed with IMG, where, over the last decade, she's landed campaigns for CoverGirl, Chloe, Gap and Maybelline, and stalked the catwalks of every top designer from Oscar de la Renta to Ralph Lauren. In between all this modeliciousness, Jessica's also posed as a Victoria's Secret Angel, and starred in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue for the past four years (check her out in full Joanne Gair body painting, above). Somehow, news of my love reached her team and, after a flurry of over-excited emails on my part, I landed an exclusive "Shake Your Beauty" interview with the supermodel! Squeal. Here's what Mademoiselle White has to say about mineral makeup, skinny arms, and Halle Berry.

Me: You must've picked up a zillion tips backstage at shows and shoots. What's your favorite?

JW: I'VE picked up tons of beauty tips in the 10 years I've been modeling, but I'm a simple girl. I'm not really into face wash and moisturizers. I wash my face with whatever is in the bathroom.

Me: You're, like, perfection...but there has to be something you don't love about yourself. Share.

JW: I've always hated my skinny arms. Since I was a child I've had chicken arms. [ME TOO, JESS!]

Me: What's in your makeup bag right now?

JW: I'm using Maybelline's Mineral Collection, from the foundation to concealer. It’s really natural and amazing for women of color.

ME: When were you discovered?

JW: I was only 15! I entered a modeling and talent competition in New York, called IMTA. An agent discovered me and a week later I was working for Vogue. I couldn't believe it!

ME: What's one of your most memorable modeling experiences, ever?

JW: I've so many fun experiences, but to choose a couple I'd say doing the 2007 Victoria's Secret fashion show--I'd waited for that experience for 10 years! And also my Maybelline contract, which allowed me to be the first women of color to ever have two beauty contracts. [MAJOR!!] That's been my greatest blessing so far.

ME: What's your beauty pet peeve?

JW: I can't stand to see exotic hair colors and make up that doesn't match a person’s complexion.

ME: What beauty look are you rocking for spring?

JW: I have long hair, but for the spring I'm cutting it short! It's about being simple and chic.

ME: I've gotten emails from many of my SYB Babes, asking me how to break into modeling. Any advice?

JW: For any young girl who wants to be in this business, I'd tell them to PLEASE finish school first so you have something to fall back on! In case it doesn't work out or you grow tired of it, get a strong support team around you because you can't do this job without love and support.

ME: It's no secret that the modeling world is sorely lacking for black models. What's it like being so successful in this environment? And what's your take on the "blackout" situation?

JW: I feel because we live in a world of celebrity, designers don't really feel the void of black models on their runways. Sure, celebrities aren't doing runway shows, but there's no real void because designers can always get Beyonce or Halle Berry to do their campaigns. The only way this can change is if the casting directors and designers stop being afraid of real black beauty and start taking a stand. That said, I do feel that some companies are taking steps to make a change. I was in this year's Victoria's Secret show with three other black models, which was a first for me. It was empowering!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Roman Holiday

Hi ladies,
I'm back! Rome was positively transcendental! Le Sisters Williams ate and bonded and Sistine Chapeled and gelatoed until our Uggs begged us for mercy (there we are at one of the city's fanciest restaurants, Il Pagliacco!). The weather was cloudy, cold and generally tragic, but it didn't matter. We packed our days with sightseeing and good times, and after dinner, we'd crawl into bed and watch episodes of The Wire on Lauren's laptop. Heaven. Uh-oh, I feel bullets coming on. It's the only way to adequately describe my thoughts re:Rome. Here goes:

* Roman men are FAR chicer than the women. While the ladies wore a lot of accessories and prints, the boys strutted around town in snug little blazers, ties, artfully rumpled hair and impeccable denim. And they all had pouty red lips.

* Michaelangelo is unbearably sexy. I came to understand this while touring the Sistine Chapel. Any man that can manipulate his body in such a way that he's able to paint the hell out of an unimaginably vast CEILING gets my vote. Though I suspect he'd be more interested in Adam.

* The whole world is obsessed with Obama vs. Hillary. On a tour of the Colosseum (there I am, posing in front!), a sixty-something Irish couple drilled us for inside info on the campaign--and you wouldn't BELIEVE how much they knew about the race, the issues, and the drama. I mean, if someone asked me to name the Irish president (prime minister?), I'd be tempted to say Bono.

* Roman women embrace their curls! I saw nary a blowout during the entire vacay. It was so liberating.

* Rome has very few black people, so we were movie stars. At every turn, it was, "Scusi, are you related to Vanessa?" Um no, sir, but I got the right stuff.

* If you ever find yourself in Rome, visit Dar Poeta for pizza, and San Crispino for the best gelato in Italy, by all accounts (witness me and Devon/Brownie, trying to find it). And stay at the Hotel Lodi! It was off the beaten path, but very inexpensive...and quite cozy, if you wouldn't mind the lack of a proper shower (to be clear, there was a "washing station" in the bathroom, composed of a bidet with a showerhead stuck to the wall above it. We used a lot of
Mustela Baby Wipes ($10), if you get what I'm saying.

* I'd be reckless and wrong if I didn't share with you my favorite travel beauty products. Actually, my favorite part of vacay prep is assembling a product arsenal to keep in my bag! I love whipping out these fabulous little treats as I'm trekking around a strange city--they make me feel so pampered and jet-setty. Here are five of my favorites:


1.) B Fresh Deodorant Towelettes ($6.85 for 15): These disposable moist towelettes came in so handy, because I was wearing tons of layers (it was FREEZING), but then when we'd go inside, the artificial heat caused a bit of unsexy perspiration. They cleanse, they deodorize, and they come individually wrapped. Loves it.

2.) Stella McCartney Eau de Parfum Roll On ($15): I've said it a zillion times, yo. Stella is my absolute, hands-down favorite fragrance in the world. The blend of rose, mandarin and amber is just so sultry, clean, and feminine...and it smells different on everyone. Anyway, I carried this adorably portable roll-on tube (the size of a Sharpie) around in my bag, touching myself up on the wrists and behind my ears all day long. Rome will always smell like Stella to me. A wonderful thing!

3.) No Cooties Travel Spray ($9, good for 75 sprays): Loving this! I was NOT trying to catch a cold on this trip, and both of my sistresses were getting over a bug. So, on the plane to and fro, I constantly spritzed the air around my face with this incredible-smelling, air-purifying spray. Blended with essential oils, it somehow cleanses your immediate environment and protects against the transmission of airborne bacteria when sprayed in the air.

4.) EO Organic Hand Sanitizer ($4): This beauty editor favorite always comes in handy on vacay. EO's Organic Santizer seems much more glamorous than your standard drugstore variety. It's blended with essential oils (especially lavender, which is a natural cleanser) so it smells like a spa, and unlike the drugstore versions, it's seriously moisturizing. Great for an ancient city like Rome, which is covered in two-thousand-year-old germs that are crankier and more aggro than the strains found Stateside.

5.) Boscia Jujube Salve Stick ($16): My lips get so dry on the plane, so I LOVE this multi-tasking lip salve. It's blended with jujube fruit, macadamia nut oil, and licorice to smooth and soothe chapped, irritated skin. And you know how, during the day, your concealer starts to settle into your fine lines? Gently massage this stuff over the area, and your concealer is refreshed in an instant. Magical, no?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Shower Suspicion, Cured

Hey girls,
I hate showers. HATE. I take baths instead. Stop looking at me like that! Look, I spend good money on my blowouts, and I'm certainly not trying to risk a frizz-out by exposing my hair to concentrated humidity in an enclosed space! And whatever to shower caps (in my experience, a wee bit of steam always seems to creep in...about as effective as a condom covertly pin-pricked by a basketball groupie). And besides, I just really love baths...they're so relaxing, so "Calgon take me away!" Imagine my nervousness when my plumber told me that our drain troubles were such that I'd need to take SHOWERS ONLY until further notice. Distressed, I immediately began searching for shower gels, scrubs, loofahs and other accoutrements that might make the experience more delightful (that's moi, always looking for a beauty angle!). Girls, I've found it. In all my days in beauty, I've never heard of a "shower scent," and if I had, I might've quit baths much earlier. H2O Plus Shower Scent in Mint ($15) is a fabulous aromatherapy spray you spritz into the air while you're taking a shower. It mingles with the steam and envelopes you in this utterly divine scent and, oh, it's just heaven. Honestly, if I close my eyes and breathe deeply, it's like I'm transported to some lush spa in, like, Bali. Or whichever Hawaiian island Lost is filmed on. My scent of choice is Mint, because it's so invigorating and totally wakes my ass up in the morning--but Eucalyptus is lovely as well, especially if you have a cold or allergies. Try it, girls. Our lives are so stressful and hectic...we DESERVE the little indulgences!


PS...I finally found an airtight shower cap, by the way. Benefit Bathina Shower Cap ($16) totally keeps the steam out. And it's pink!

PPS...Girls, me and the Sisters Williams are jetting off to Rome for vacay on Wednesday! DYING of excitement. I won't be posting while I'm away, but SYB will be up and running when I return on the 11th. Viva gelato!! Kisses!