Thursday, July 31, 2008

Viva la Vibrator

Hey girls,
Clearly I've been quite lash-obsessed these days. I think it's because, when I have a tan, all I wear is gloss, blush, undereye concealer, and major, MAJOR mascara. I don't know, I just feel like everyone looks a zillion times sexier, oomphier, more rraaoor with out-to-there lashes. Don't you think? Even women traditionally deemed "unattractive," like, say, Eleanor Roosevelt...I think she would've benefited greatly by a couple of well-placed individuals at the outside corners. Yesterday, just in time for my lash obsession, Lancome invited a couple of key bloggers to witness the luanch of their newest mascara. Since five of the top ten bestselling department store mascaras are by Lancome, I was naturally titillated. Turns out, I had no idea what I was in for. Girls, Lancome has created the most groundbreaking, revolutionary mascara EVER to hit the market. It's the Iphone of mascaras. Lancome Oscillation ($34, but I'd pay twice as much) is a vibrating mascara that, with just a push of a button, provides 7,000 micro-oscillations per minute...while coating each lash up to 360 degrees. The point? Well, the oscillation action quite literally makes lashes look insanely extended, separated, and multiplied...think faux in a Diana/Twiggy way, not Cher/Tammy Faye. And because you're wielding so much lash-extending power in one mascara, you must throw your usually technique out the window. Instead of quick, short strokes, it's key that you apply Oscillation veerrry slooowwly. You hold the wand at the base of your lashes, and steadily run it through to the tips (no jiggling,'s jiggling already!). You can do this as many times as you want...without re-dipping! Lancome had models demonstrating the technique at the event, and we all sat there, transfixed, as we watched them literally stretching their lashes upwards and outwards in slow-motion. One of the girls was Asian with short, uber-straight lashes, and I swear, by the end of her application she looked ready to join the chorus of Cabaret. Totally amazing. Oh, and if you want even more length, you can go over just the tips the lashes, steadily pulling them upwards. And did I mention that this mascara has rendered the lash curler totally obsolete? That's right, THERE'S NO NEED TO CURL, whatsoever! The results are insane enough, on their own.

Here's the exciting part. Oscillation doesn't launch until the fall, but today--ONLY TODAY--it's being sold at select counters nationwide!!! I've listed all the cities and counters below. Good luck catching it before it sells out! Seriously, friends, this is the future of mascara. You heard it here, first.


Online: Lancô and

Atlanta: Macy’s at the Lenox Square Mall

Brea: The Lancôme Boutique at the Brea Mall

Costa Mesa: Nordstrom at South Coast Plaza

Chicago: Macy’s on State Street and Bon-Ton at the Yorktown Mall

Dallas: Dillard’s and the Lancôme Boutique at NorthPark Center

Houston: Neiman Marcus at the Galleria

Miami: Macy’s at the Dadeland Mall

Manhattan: Bloomingdale’s 59th Street, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s Herald Square and the Lancôme boutique on Columbus Avenue

San Francisco: Macy’s Union Square

Santa Clara: The Lancôme Boutique at the Valley Fair Mall

Short Hills: The Lancôme Boutique at the Short Hills Mall

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Keep on Keepin' On...

Hi girls,
I'm in such a good mood today. Why? Because late last night, my DVR picked up the "Gladys Knight Comes to Hillman" episode of A Different World (they rerun at 2am on BET). "I really got-TA yoo-OOSE..." Genius. Raise your hand if you can do the entire Gladys/Whitley/Jaleesa routine from the finale!! Now, raise your hand if you can't make it two feet from the nail spa before you've smudged your Essie Mademoiselle polish. Me too. Enter an extraordinary new nail invention, Borghese Perfetto Smudge Smoother ($12). I'm not really sure HOW it works, but it does (for 12 bucks it better work)! With just one swipe of this vitamin E, safflower seed oil and olive leaf extract-infused serum, your unsightly smudge or weird fingerprint is magically smoothed. Perfect for clutzes and impatient girls like me who can't resist the urge to go rummaging around in their bags immediately apres-manicure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fine Lashes

Hi girls,
Today, I don't have a specific product to gush over. Instead, it's all about an EXTRAORDINARY bit of beauty advice I learned from my dear friend/legendary makeup artist Sam Fine. Over a delicious gourmet pizza at Franny's last night (if you're anywhere near Brooklyn, look into it...and please ignore the girl-I-am-so-over-you hostesses), Monsieur Fine illuminated my entire world with one single, casually dropped, mascara tip. Now, I've always applied mascara AFTER curling my lashes. Huge mistake. See, according to the genius, adding coats of mascara to just-curled lashes only succeeds in straightening them out. Turns out, you need a pre-curling "primer coat" to provide hold, and ensure that your curl will stay. You know, like how you use setting spray before you using the curling iron. Makes so much sense, I'm furious I never put it together, myself. Anyway, here's how to do it. Whip out your mascara wand, blot it with a tissue (you want the thinnest coat possible), and quickly swipe it through lashes. Now, use your favorite lash curler. While your lashes are "setting," work on the rest of your makeup. When your face is finis, apply two coats of mascara to your lashes. Sam ALWAYS applies his final mascara coats last! I tried it this morning, and it honestly made all the difference. My lashes are popping something crazy. Viva la Fine!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coiffure Cocktails!

Dear ladies,
It's come to my attention that I'm sort of relaxer-centric when it comes to SYB's hair coverage. I knew it had gotten bad when SYB Babe Tabitha left a comment begging my sister Lauren, she of the perfect au natural curls, for advice. Anyway, I decided it was high time for a natural hair momentito! I turned to my good friend Kimberly Lyons, who's chemical-free hair is positively iconic in my little circle (there she is...isn't she cute?). A few facts about Ms. Kimberly:

* As a VP at MediaVest, one of the country's largest communications agencies, our girl plans media strategies for fancy clients like Wendys, Coke, P&G, and Mattel.

* She's from Dallas, but has no opinion on the Simpson/Romo affair.

* Her flyness is such that, at age 10, she won a major national pageant.

* A couple of years ago, she embarked on the always-traumatic, growing-out-the-perm adventure...and she doesn't regret it for a minute. "I will never go back to chemicals," insists Ms. Lyons. "What made my transition successful was finding the right mix of hair cocktails! For a year, I put sooo much energy into trying every product imaginable for kinky, wavy, and curly hair...and now my mix is foolproof."

Girls, Kimberly has been generous enough to share with us her top secret hair cocktail mix! Here are the recipes. Happy hairstyling!

1.) First shampoo, and then condition with Kiehls Extra-Strength Conditioning Rinse with Coconut ($13).

2.) Massage a palm-size amount of Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding ($22) throughout soaking wet hair (for the uninitiated, this is the Holy Grail of curly magically stretches out tight curls). Your hair should be saturated in the stuff.

3.) For an easy, defined look, "finger-shingle" your curls. Here's how: Starting at nape of neck, grab sections of hair between your index and middle fingers, and smooth from root to tip. Once done, diffuse or air-dry. This process helps loosen your curls while adding gorgeous, frizz-free shine.

1.) After shampooing, condition with Nexxus Humectress Conditioner ($24.99)--it's super-moisturizing and excellent for natural hair.

2.) To soften hair and prevent that 80's crunch, apply a nickle-sized dollop of Miss Jessie's Curly Buttercream ($32) to wet hair.

3.) Massage in a palm-full of Jane Carter Solution Condition & Sculpt ($9.99), an excellent, liquidy gel that's awesome for wet-styling (tons of hold without weird stiffness). Make sure your hair's really coated.

4.) Now for the "twist-out!" Using a fine-tooth comb, grab a medium-sized section at the nape of your neck. Split it in two, and then twist the sections around each other. Repeat until your whole head is twisted (that sounds funny). No need to make the twists perfect! Honestly, this should take no more than fifteen minutes or so.

5.) Allow your hair to air-dry for a little bit before bed (this decreases frizz). At bedtime, wrap your head in a silk scarf. In the AM, gently undo the twists and finger-style. Voila! Haute hair on a platter!

Gracias Kimberly!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweatin' like I'm Keith

Hi girls,
Feeling MUCH better! Question. Do pregnant women sweat more? I understand that it was like 100 degrees and horrifically humid in NYC over the weekend, but I was a puddle of perspiration like I've never seen. It was humiliating. I was at my friend's baby shower, wanting to seem as serene as buddha while everyone rubbed my five-month-bump...and yet I was sweating like poor Joshua after a particularly vigorous rhumba (So You Think You Can Dance? Watch it!!). Of course, I'd forgotten my new midsummer obsession at home in my other bag. Philosophy Never Let Them See You Shine Primer ($20) isn't a primer, really--it's more like a magical mattifying lotion you rub on your T-zone and chin to soak up excess oil and shine. And it leaves your skin with the most velvety, silky finish. It's divine! So much quicker and longer-lasting than oil-absorbing sheets...and, if you can't part with your foundation, you can simply mix a quarter-size amount with a drop of Never Let Them See You Shine to make it more mattifying. Absolutely KEY if you're planning on looking at all presentable in this clima muy mal.
Love you,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Head case

Hi pumpkins,
I'm so sorry for neglecting you...I've been migraining pretty hard for the past couple of days. I'll be back the MILLISECOND it passes, I swear! Love you to death,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Got milk? Why yes, I do.

Hi sugarplums,
Lately I've come to the decision that it's too hot in NYC to continue with this Dominican blowout business. I will resume the straight n'swingy when the temp falls below 80 degrees. But until then, it's all about embracing the wash-and-go curls. Now, obviously, it's bad news when I even ATTEMPT to go au natural without a moisturizing leave-in to control the frizz and help define the curls. I won't tell you what I usually use, because I don't want to hurt it's feelings, but this weekend I tried Carol's Daughter Hair Milk ($12) for the very first time--and I've permanently converted! You would not believe how SOFT it made my hair! No gross, hard, crunchiness at all...just smooth, shiny, silkiness, and perfectly twirled curls. And yet, it's super-light. And smells like lily of the valley! Just run a quarter-sized amount through freshly washed and conditioned wet hair, scrunch, and diffuse. Honestly, I can't say enough about this essential oil-packed hair lotion. Just get it.

PS...Give P.Y.T. a round of applause for winning the "Cuz-I-Love-You Contest!" She was the first to answer the SIXTEEN CANDLES trivia question correctly (it was PS 431). P.Y.T, shoot me an email with your address at so I can send you your Motions Marula prize!!

PPS...And thanks so much--still--for all your fabulous congrats and mama-to-be advice! Especially Simone Jackson's Mom. You have much knowledge, my friend.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cuz-I-Love-You Contest

Hola ladies,
AWWW! Your seriously sweet comments burned into my soul with the heat of a thousand suns. Thank you SO much for your fabulous advice and well-wishes! I want to invite you all to my shower! And since I can't do that, I've decided to offer you a little gift. It's crazy...every single day I get an email about the Motions Marula Natural Therapy Collection, which I posted about last month. It's an incredibly nourishing new line for damaged, heat-tortured, chemically-treated hair? Anyway, I've talked to the folks at Motions, and they've agreed to let me give away an entire set of the Marula collection, which includes the Hair & Scalp Oil, the Hair Strengthening Moisturizer, and the Treatment Balm! Here's how it works. I'm going to ask you a question about SIXTEEN CANDLES, the second book in my IT CHICKS series, and the first SYB Babe to answer correctly wins! Le question:

At the end of SIXTEEN CANDLES, CJ gets expelled from Louis B. Armstrong Performing Arts School. What high school will he transfer to?

Good luck, chickies!
Big kiss,

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Own Lil' Accidental Diva!

Hey girls,
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you guessed it the second I started making noises about a "weird stomach thing." I'm totally pregnant!!! Yep, exactly 4 months pregnant with my very own miniature SYB Babe (saw the most recent ultrasound pic on Monday and she's just the most sophisticated, brilliant little thing, ever!!). Me and Sunshine have been trying for yeeeaaars, so you can't imagine the joy! It was HELL trying to keep it a secret until I was comfortably past the scary first trimester, but now I'm happy to shout it out into the blogosphere. I'M WITH CHILD AND LOVING IT! I really didn't care which sex I was having, but I have to admit I'm tickled to death that I'm having a girl who can appreciate my unique beauty talents (having said that, I'm sure Little Cabezitas will shun blush application lessons in favor of a playing street basketball with the homies). Do any of my mommy readers have any advice for moi? Obviously, I'm terrified by every little new thing that's happening to me...swollen ankles, hair popping up in interesting places, sprinting to the ladies' loo at every commercial break. And when do I get Halle's rack?

Oh, and about the controversial Saks dress. For all of you so quick to jump all over my "character"...I never said I actually PAID for it, did I? I have a high-up friend at the store who lent me the gorgeous dress for the event. I'd lost ten pounds from first trimester nausea and was a size 0 (I'm usually a 4), I thought it was silly to buy a dress that I'd never be able to wear again. Voila, le story in a nutshell.

Now, back to me and my bump. Being me, I've already started testing out all the maternity/baby beauty products on the market...and believe me, some of them are too damned good to be relegated solely to PG ladies and little ones. They're usually formulated for sensitive skin and contain lots of natural, mild ingredients--so they're perfect if you've had it up to here with harsh chemicals and fragrances. Here, I've rounded up the top five maternity/baby products that ANYONE can use. Enjoy, because I certainly am!!!


1.) Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Lotion in Lavender & Vanilla ($5.29): What's better than the lavender/vanilla combo? Aveeno's super-gentle lotion is lightly scented with this uber-relaxing essential oil blend, plus it's loaded with colloidal oatmeal, which helps your skin retain moisture for hours.

2.) Kiehls Baby Lip Balm ($7.50): I have a girlfriend who, bizarrely enough, is allergic to most lip balms (her lips swell to Jimmie Walker proportions if a Carmex is in the vicinity). I introduced this soothing balm to her, and she recently bought five of her own. It's actually mild enough to use on dry nose and cheeks during the winter. And yeah, it's a baby lip balm, but somehow the Kiehls factor makes it so glamorous!

3.) Susan Brown's Baby Just for Mom Stretch Therapy Warming Masque ($40): I'd never heard of Susan Brown's Baby before my baby product quest, but now I'm obsessed. This warming mask is formulated for pregnant bellies and boobs, but anyone with stretch marks can benefit from it's genius! Blended with jojoba, peppermint shea butter and dead sea salts, this treatment is designed to help fade stretch marks anywhere you have them. To use, massage onto the marks, and when the mask changes colors, spritz water over the area. Continue massaging for three minutes, and feel the mask actually heat up on your skin! Then, shower off. It's the coolest thing.

4.) Burts Bees Baby Bee Pint-Size Buttermilk Bath Soak ($16.49): You know I'm a girl that loves baths. Well, this HUGE buttermilk bath soak totally enhances the experience (and I love the old-school pint o'milk bottle). Ninety-seven percent all-natural, the only ingredients are nonfat dry milk, whole dry milk, and light fragrance...and if you add just a couple of tablespoons under the faucet, it turns the water into a milky, moisturizing spa bath. So nice right before bed.

5.) Weleda Baby Calendula Soap ($16): Weleda is a high-grade European organic beauty line that makes exquisite bath products...and their baby line is no different. This non-drying, calendula oil-infused soap is IDEAL for sensitive skin. It's so gentle you can even use it on your face! And the clean, fabulously non-synthetic scent is addictive, addictive, addictive.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Creole Hootinany Rx!

Hey muchachitas,
Tomorrow morning, I'm off to celebrate July 4th at a family reunion in Natchitoches, Louisiana! I'm so excited. It's le creole side of my family, the Chevalier's, and I plan to eat lots of crawfish etoufee, meatpies, and various marinated things. Oh, the food! I actually have a distant cousin who's won the great Southwestern Gumbo Cook-off many times over. You can imagine my delight. It's going to be fabulous, but also very, very HOT. And HUMID. And MOSQUITO-y. Think ever cliche about Louisiana wweather--sultry, soggy, searing--and that's Natchitoches (it's also the proud town where Steel Magnolias was filmed! In fact, practically all my ancestors were wedded in the church where Julia Roberts got married in the movie!). The point is, I wouldn't dare step off the plane without a serious sunscreen and an even more serious bug spray. Good thing the darling all-natural beauty brand, Kiss My Face, makes a combo situation! Kiss My Face Sunswat Waterproof Sunscreen & Natural Insect Repellent SPF 15 ($7.89) somehow manages to protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays AND shoo away gross critters...all without artificial colors, animal ingredients, and the nasty-smelling DEET chemical that's found in harsh bug sprays like OFF. In fact, Sunswat smells like aromatherapy heaven because it contains lavender, citronella and cedar--three ingredients that apparently terrify mosquitos. Definitely a must for all your July 4th BBQ's, picnics and things. Have a fabulous weekend, miladies! I'll be thinking of you as I inhale an entire pecan cake. In the meantime, check me out on The Fashion Bomb, where I give tips on breaking into blogging. Don't you just love The Fashion Bomb? Gracias Clare!

PS...Speaking of Louisiana, if anyone's going to be at this weekend's Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, you must stop by Carol Daughter's third annual Pop-Up store! New Orleans has named July 2nd "Carol's Daughter Day," and from the 3rd to the 6th, you'll be able to shop for all your favorite products in a temporary store in the French Quarter (Mary J Blige and Chris Brown are expected to make in-store appearances!). Here are the deets:

What: Carol’s Daughter Pop-Up Store

When: July 3rd-July 6th, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Where: 622 Conti Street, New Orleans