Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pat McGrath is a Genius

Hi ladies,
Our winner for week five of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza is the fabulously named Ms. Porkchopanonomus! Go 'head, girl. Okay, so shoot me an email at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your address, and I'll send you le prize...the Redken Color Extend Sun Collection! Girls, make sure you come back next Monday for week six of "Free at Last," and compete to win a mountain of must-haves from Bare Minerals! Until then, two things:

1.) I love you to death. If you heart me, too, then help me win a 2009 Glam Network Award, dammit! Sorry, did I come on to strong? I'm just saying...thanks to you, I won the Best Voice/Creative Writing Award back in 2006, and I know we can make the magic happen again. Click HERE to vote, sweet thangs!

2.) Guess who I had lunch with today? None other than the Lady Maquillage herself, the supernaturally talented makeup artist, Pat McGrath (quick bio: London-born Ms. McGrath has not only worked with every top designer, photographer, and supermodel that ever drew a breath, she's also the creative design director for Max Factor and Cover Girl. Oh, and Vogue called her the most influential makeup artist on the planet. Plus, she's brown. Not that it matters, but we love that). Anyway, a bunch of my blogger pals and I met with her at Robert Verdi's Luxe Laboratory to discuss a matter of international importance: Spring '09 makeup trends. Here's what mama discovered:

* For years I've been trying to find the perfect nude lip, to no avail. Well, according to Pat, the it's been sitting in my makeup kit, all along. When I asked the beauty maestro to name her favorite nude lipcolor for brown girls, she gave me a brilliant trick. Simply apply your favorite foundation all over your lips, and top it off with a shimmery, sheer gloss for depth and shine. I mean, DUH.

* Speaking of lips, she announced in no uncertain terms that Max Factor Vivid Impact Lipcolor in Wine Not ($8.49) was amazing-mazing. I tried it on, and surprise! She's right. The deeep, beet-red crimson is glorious.

* One of her favorite beauty looks at the Spring shows was the turquoise eye at Gucci (there's Chanel Iman, flaunting the moment). Pat told us how she created it: Using her finger, she applied Cover Girl Eye Enhancers in Turquoise Tempest ($3.49) along the lid, and then lined the entire eye with black pencil. So, so pretty and fresh for spring! And, as she said, "at this price, you won't feel guilty for taking a risk with color. Anyone can have a go!" Love Britspeak.

* Last but certainly not least, Pat gave a great tip for filling in brows. DON'T use only one pencil--it can make your arches look harsh and unnatural (she says that brows are made of up several different haircolors. Who knew?). She recommends using two shades--one lighter and one darker than your brows--and lightly filling in with short, feather-like strokes. I'm all over it.

Okay, that's it for now! Talk to you ladies later,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Right here is where you start paying...IN SWEAT

Hey girls,
Wanted to let my SYB Babes with gorgeous kids know about an open casting call at Wilhelmina (please ignore if you and your child have appeared on "Toddlers and Tiaras" and/or "Little Miss Perfect"). Here's the info:

WHAT: Wilhelmina Models open casting call

WHO: Boys and girls, ages 4 to 16

WHEN: Friday, April 3rd, 10:30-1:00 PM and 2:00-4:00 PM

Wilhelmina Models & Talent Agency
300 Park Ave. South, 2nd Floor
(between 22nd and 23rd St)
New York, NY

Kids must be legally 4 to 16 years old. Only one parent may accompany the child or children to the open call.

Please bring at least 2 non-returnable snapshots with your contact information on the back of the photos (include NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, PHONE NUMBER, and SIZES).

Giveaway #5: Redken Color Extend Sun Collection

Hello ladies,
Welcome to week five of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! Quick catch-up: Every Monday, I'll ask a trivia question from SYB's archives, and the first reader to answer correctly wins that week's free product giveaway. Oh, and remember...don't email me your answer, leave it in the "comments" section!

THE PRIZE: Redken Color Extend Sun Collection ($45 value)

THE DETAILS: This fabulous, brand-new haircare collection protects highlights, replenishes moisture and nourishes chemically-damaged hair in the sun! Super-conditioning and chock full of UV filters, the line includes the After-Sun Shampoo, After-Sun Conditioner, and Sparkling Shield (a leave-in serum that shields hair from the absorption of chlorine and imparts a dazzling shine). Don't you dare book your Spring Break vacay without stocking up on this stuff, woman!

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: In an August '05 post, I write about "unnecessary-but-fun" products. What was the sixth product I named?

big kiss,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You've got nail!

Hi ladies,
Our winner for week four of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza is...drumroll...Deanna! Yay, DEANNA! Miss Deanna, shoot me an email at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your address, so I can send you a stack of Jessica Kagan Cushman Printed Resin Bangles from Ravinstyle.com. Girls, make sure you come back next Monday for week five of "Free at Last," and compete to win a bunch of haircare essentials from Redken! And now, my newest obsession...

Like everyone else, I've been trying to save money wherever I can. You know, decide what I can and can't live with. I absolute cannot live without my blowouts, so I'm continuing to visit Adelina's every Sunday. What I AM cutting back on, though, is nail salon visits...and it's all because I have a huge crush on my Tweezerman Petite Manicure Set ($20). The darling, itty-bitty nail kit comes with a totally revolutionary Cuticle & Hangnail Trimmer (it handles like a tweezer, giving you more control...loves it); a Pushy & Nail Cleaner (it's a two-in-one cuticle pusher and nail cleaner); and a mini Nail File. I never realized how freeing it is to tend to one's own nails! And these little tools are so effective, I've taken to whipping them out whenever I have a moment. In fact, hangnail-snipping and cuticle-pushing has replaced brow-tweezing as my chief insomniac activity. The kit is super-chic, too.

Now, if you happen to be a Demi Lovato and Twilight-obsessed sixteen-year-old, I'd recommend the Juicy Loves Sephora Manicure Set ($25...$54 value!), which comes with a crown-kissed nail file, royal nail scissors and clippers, and a pink cuticle pusher. Sweet!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Giveaway #4: Jessica Kagan Cushman Resin Bangles from Ravinstyle.com

Hello my darling nikkis,
Yep, today kicks off week four of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! Quick catch-up: I'm doing ONE super-fabulous product giveaway a week 'till the end of May! Every Monday, I'll ask a trivia question from SYB's archives, and the first reader to answer correctly wins that week's prize. Without further adieu (I had a friend in high school who pronounced it "ah-dee-oh" while reading aloud in AP English, which I found hilarious), let's get into le contest, shall we?

THE PRIZE: Jessica Kagan Cushman Printed Resin Bangles, in Ivory and Black ($125 each) from Ravinstyle.com

THE DETAILS: Okay, so not only are these these kitschy new bracelets the height of cult-chic in NYC right now, they're total conversation-starters. Each piece is printed with a different pop culture-ish saying; things like "I'm ready for my closeup" and "Well, yes and no..." (my personal favorite). They usually run for $125 each, but the winner will get a stack of FIVE for free!

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: In a Mother's Day post back in '07, I list a bunch of my mom's favorite beauty things. Where does she put the "fancy, expensive-looking, limited edition items" I give her?

Good luck, pretty girls!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Curly Hair Savior

Hi girls,
This is my friend Pamela Edwards, Essence's beyond-gorgeous and elegant beauty editor, at the Root Ball during Inauguration weekend in DC. She's getting married in April, yay! So excited for her. Alas, that's not why I bring her up. I bring her up because she just introduced me to some haircare gems that I had to share with you.
Hair Rules is a new line of haircare products designed by curly hair expert, Anthony Dickey. The genius? The products are separated into three categories: kinky, curly, and wavy. But why don't I let Miss Pamela tell you all about them, in her own words? Here's what she says:

"All curls are NOT created equal and Dickey gets that. His specific style products are formulated to compliment your curl type––wavy, curly or kinky––and they actually work! My hair will be blown-out and in an updo for the big day, but I need the curl control for working out, when I sport a wash-and-go. Love!"

I can't wait to try them, myself. Sigh. Why does this stuff continue to make me so happy?

Have you ladies checked out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly? My dear friend Margeaux Watson just wrote a BRILLIANT piece on Tyler Perry, called "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Madea?" It's about damn time, right! My girlfriends, sisters and I have been having this "Tyler Perry...um, really?" convo for years, so I'm thrilled it's made it's way to print. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Hi ladies,
Come on girls, let's give Mintybee68 a hearty round of applause--she won the third installment of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! Ms. Mintybee68, email me at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your address, so I can send you your prize...the fabulous and earth-friendly Tarte Be Good to Your Mother (Earth) Reusable Cotton Tote Set ($62 value). Lucky girl.

For the past couple of months, my skin has been reallly dry. It's my personal belief that La Lina's cradle cap hopped off her scalp and landed on my arms and legs. Anyway, after auditioning several body scrubs, I recently settled on Lalicious Sugar Souffle Scrubs ($34, each). J'ADOOORE. Ladies, these super-delicious, totally decadent body scrubs are not only worth every penny, they do everything short of plunging my sink drain. Hand-whipped and fluffy, the scrubs manage to exfoliate dry skin while ALSO leaving skin so hydrated you won't even need body lotion. Seriously. Plus, you can use the moisture-rich scrubs as shaving creams! The scents come in Sugar Kiss, Brown Sugar Vanilla, Coffee Bean, Passionfruit Lime, Peppermint, Island Guava, Tahitian Flower, Coconut Cream, and Lily Mango...but my favorite is Peppermint, because ontop of all the skin-nourishing benefits, the zingy tingle wakes me up in the morning. I simply refuse to step out onto a beach or poolside without first scrubbing every inch of my body with this stuff. Cannot gush enough.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wherefore art thou, Joi?

Hey girls,
Okay, Victoria, you had a week to email me your info so I could send you your "Free at Last" Giveaway #2 prize...What Comes Around Goes Around's Vintage Boyfriend Jeans ($180) from Chickdowntown.com. Alas, the sexy-as-all-get-out jeans are now going to my second runner-up, Joi! Miss Joi, please email moi at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your address and jeans size. Congrats, missy!

PS...Some of you have been emailing me your answers to the weekly SYB trivia questions. Just a reminder: Please leave your answers in the COMMENTS section! Gracias, miladies.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Giveaway #3: Tarte Be Good to Your Mother (Earth) Reusable Cotton Tote Set

Hey hot thangs,
Okay, first things first. I joined Twitter! I know, I know. Totally confusing, but my bloggerista baby sis, Lauren, said I had to do it. Can someone tweet me so I don't feel so lame? I'm at http://twitter.com/shakeyourbeauty.

Now, about the free stuff. Today kicks off the third week of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! In case you're new to my recessionista moment, mama's doing ONE super-fabulous product giveaway a week until the end of May! Every Monday, I'll ask a trivia question from SYB's archives, and the first reader to answer correctly wins that week's prize! Speaking of prizes...Victoria, the SYB Babe who won last week's contest? I have a pair of What Comes Around Goes Around's Vintage Boyfriend Jeans with your name on them. You've got exactly ONE MORE DAY to email me at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your mailing address and jeans size, before le prize goes to the second runner up. Okay, moving on to the third "Free at Last" contest...

THE PRIZE: Tarte's new Be Good to Your Mother (Earth) Reusable Cotton Tote Set, $62 value

THE DETAILS: In honor of Earth Day, the makers of the best cheek and lip stains on earth are launching a must-have kit of nice-to-the-earth products. Specifically, the reusable cotton grocery tote comes with three Natural Lip Sheers--each paraben, mineral oil, and pthalates-free; and each encased in recycled aluminum tubes. Plus, they're super-moisturizing and leave just the barest hint of tint, so the shades look fab on practically every skintone. You'll get Reduce, a sheer peach; Reuse, a poppy pink; and Recycle, a pinky-beige. Cute names!

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: Whose picture illustrated the "cute-as-a-button pale pink lip" in a February '06 post? Um, sorry, I have to make these questions harder because everyone's getting the answers, like, right away!

Good luck, lovelies!!

Did you guys check out the May Vogue cover? Beyonce, finalmente! I mean, two black Vogue covers in a row? That's major. That's overdue. That's...Obama. Lauren broke the news on AOL Black Voices.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Essence! Cargo Lipgloss! Jourdan!

Hi ladies,
Wheee! BIG NEWS!! After eleven years in the biz, I've published my very first cover story! Check out the new, April 09 issue of Essence magazine...I wrote the cover piece on Iman, Taraji P. Henson and Serena Williams! It was so much fun interviewing them (since it was way before Benjamin Button even opened, I didn't ask Taraji any Brad-centric questions. You know, things like...is he as gorgeous in person? Did he try to adopt you?). I'd tell you all about my experiences with the ladies, but then you wouldn't pick up the issue. Go get it, girls! Sigh. Mama's proud.

Okay, enough bragging. Onto what you came here for. Muchachitas, it takes a lot to get me all hot and bothered over a lip gloss. As you well know, I'm happy enough rocking my ages-old Revlon Lustrous Lipgloss in Raisin Glaze. But I recently stumbled across the magic that is Cargo's new blu_ray High Definition Lip Gloss in Montego ($24), and now have a new obsession. First of all, this is probably THE shiniest gloss I've ever encountered (and without shimmer, so it doesn't make you look like a Bratz doll. Or Fergie. Redundant?). Secondly, it moisturizes as deeply and consistently as Carmex or something...which is great, since my lips are constantly chapped. Thirdly, the shades are so pretty on brown skin; my favorite is Montego, a lush, rose-bronze. And finally, the cap features a sassy little "timestrip," that remembers when you first opened the gloss, and tells you when it's time to get rid of it! I mean, are NASA engineers now formulating lipgloss? Here's how it works: The "timestrip" window gradually turns red as months go by, and when it's fully red, it's time to get a new one. The coolest!


Any Jourdan Dunn fans out there (by the way, this pic is from the March 09 issue of Japanese Vogue)? You must check out New York Times' Style section blog, The Moment Blog for their latest installment of their "Model-Morphosis" photo gallery. Today, The Moment Blog follows our Jourdan on her travels backstage at Paris Fashion Week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do u Dowop?

Hi ladies,
We have a winner for the second week of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! It's Victoria, who was the first reader to give the correct answer (for the record, the answer was Lakrishia!). Miss Victoria, send me an email at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your address and jeans size. You're going to love your What Comes Around Goes Around's Vintage Boyfriend Jeans from Chickdowntown.com. Girls, make sure you come back next Monday for week 3 of "Free at Last, and compete to win some fabulous goodies from Tarte Cosmetics!"

Onto le beaute...

Mama has a new obsession. As you know, I have huge, genetic undereye circles, so concealer is VERY important to me. But no matter how fabulous the concealer is, it always starts settling in my fine lines by around 3pm. Well, kooky-brilliant beauty brand Duwop has just launched the solution to my issues: DuWop Circle Block in Dark, $28 (note to the naming fairies...waaayyy too close to "circle jerk"). The two-part system comes with a concealer AND a water-resistant treatment shield that acts as a primer, smoothing out fine lines and helping the concealer last longer. And it works. Try it ladies; it's totally enhanced my mornings.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Giveaway #2: What Comes Around Goes Around's Vintage Boyfriend Jeans from Chickdowntown.com

Hey muchachitas,
Holla! Today kicks off the second week of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! Here are the deets, my loves...

THE PRIZE: What Comes Around Goes Around's Vintage Boyfriend Jeans, ($180, at Chickdowntown.com

THE DETAILS: At the moment, very few things are as achingly chic as boyfriend jeans (in fact, I can think of exactly one thing: Sawyer on Lost). Somehow, the slouchy, lived-in silhouette makes everyone look insanely cool--from shortie SJP to hourglass Halle. And one of THE coolest denim brands right now, What Goes Around Comes Around, happens to make a faaabulous pair. Good thing mama knows some folks at cult-favorite fashion destination, Chickdowntown.com! The addictive shopping site is giving away one pair of What Comes Around Goes Around's Vintage Boyfriend Jeans, to the first reader to correctly answer this week's trivia question (the winner will email me her size, obvio)!

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: In a May '07 post, I answered some reader questions. What was the name of the SYB Babe wondering what to wear to the NABJ convention?

Good luck, lovelies!!

Special thanks again to Chickdowntown.com!!! Be sure to check them out, since they're the largest online retailer of Black Halo...plus, their impressive list of designers includes CC Skye, Elizabeth and James, Rory Beca, Rachel Pally, and See by Chloe (just to name a few)!

Want to stay up-to-date on what's new at Chickdowntown?  Read up on your favorite designers on their revamped fashion blog and follow them on Twitter,
YouTube, MySpace, and ChickDowntown TV.

Mirror Face Contest at BeautyBloggingJunkie!

Hey ladies,
Wanted to let you know about a new giveaway my friend Amber at BeautyBloggingJunkie is doing! She's giving away five products to the person who sends the best picture/explanation of their "mirror face"--the face you make when you're applying makeup and no one is watching. To enter, email Amber at beautybloggingjunkie@gmail.com (subject line: Mirror Face Giveaway) with a photo of your "mirror face" and a short explanation of why you do it and how you realized you make it. The deadline is Friday, March 13th, and she's posting the winner's name on Monday, March 15th.

Here is a list of the products for the giveaway:
Olay PRO-X Deep Wrinkle Treatment
Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Plus Smoothing Essentials Fast Absorbing Lotion
Yes to Tomatoes Terrific Day Shower Gel
Sally Hershberger Finishing Cream for Wavy Hair
Philosophy Candy Hearts Pink Bubbly and Angel Food Cake Flavored Lip Shines

Good luck, ladies!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clean Queen

Hi girls,
These days, I'm really into, like, paring everything down. Streamlining. You know, making things uncomplicated. Por ejemplo, I'm uncluttering my DVR (wait, what? You mean I can't keep the episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8 when "Hannah poops in Hannah's unnapants?"). I've exfoliated extraneous magazines from my vintage publications box (no pre-'88 issues of Seventeen were allowed to live). I'm doing a concealer/lipgloss/blush/mascara moment--no eyeliner! And, when it comes to fragrance, I'm suddenly into smelling really cleaaan. Not flowery, not spicy, not perfume-y, just clean. I think there's something so chic, so FRENCH, about smelling shower-fresh. You, but better. Obviously, I don't mean that I leave the house smelling like Irish Spring. No, I spritz on my new obsession, Bobbi Brown Bath Fragrance ($40). A decidedly Sixties-ish blend of neroli, orange flower, white lily and sage, this scent is the very personification of "so fresh so clean." I've taken to spraying it into my closet, it's so divine. And I also kind of love the subtle, naughty implications of a fragrance called "Bath." Very "Wendy?/Yes, Lisa/Is the water warm enough?/Yes, Lisa/Shall we begin?/Yes, Lisa." And if you don't know what I'm talking about, ask your big sister.
Big kiss,

PS...Two nights ago, Sunshine and I had our first post-La Lina date (there I am, on the red carpet)! AMBI invited us to the Apollo for the premiere of BET's new show, "Harlem Heights," an every-which-way-but-scripted reality show about gorgeous black 20-somethings in Manhattan (AMBI sponsored the event). Cannot WAIT to hear your thoughts after it debuts! Keep a lookout for Brooke, the all-drama fly girl who used to date Kanye. Fine, I'm already hooked. And speaking of hooked, will someone please hold me back from "Toddlers and Tiaras," for the love of all that's good and holy?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Q&A Wednesday

Dear girlies,
Congratulations are in order, my lovelies!! Ms. Astacia Shari was the first SYB Babe to answer the first "Free at Last" trivia question correctly (for the record, in June '06, Sam Fine's fifth favorite makeup product was L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara, $6.99)! Lady Shari, you are going to love Pantene’s new Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality collection...send me an email at beauty@tiawilliams.net with your mailing address, asap! And ladies, come back next Monday for the second "Free at Last" product giveaway contest--and compete to win an achingly chic piece from ChickDowntown.com!

Okay, onto the beauty. I recently got an email from an SYB Babe having a beauty crisis that I thought we all could relate to. Toast to Q&A Wednesday!

SYB BABE: Clarissa

ISSUE: "Every winter, I got these gross little bumps on my elbows, arms, and legs. And they're itchy and dry, too. What can I do? I've heard that creams with glycolic or alpha hydroxy acid get rid of the rash, but I'm not about to spend upwards of $50 on one of those medicated lotions. Any suggestions?"

TIA'S 2 CENTS: Clarissa, you're absolutely right about two things--A.) that glycolic and alpha hydroxy acid body lotions smooth out dry winter rashes (they're brilliant at sloughing off all that flaky, bumpy stuff, and revealing the pretty skin underneath), and B.) that they cost a fortune. Here's my little secret. Instead of wasting $$ on said fancy products, I use a drugstore-brand cream, Alpha Hydrox AHA Exfoliating Cream ($8.29). It's a face cream, so it's smaller and less expensive (and who needs a huge body lotion when you're just spot-treating, right?). Just massage it into your problem areas, and it'll take care of the rash in about a week. So brilliant. Good luck, 'Rissa!


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Giveaway #1: Pantene Nature Fusion Collection

Hey muchachitas,
Yayyy! Today kicks off the first week of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! In case you missed my last post, allow me to explain. Because the economy is kicking all of our behinds, I'm doing ONE super-fabulous product giveaway a week until the end of May! Every Monday, I'll ask you a trivia question from SYB's archives, and the first reader to answer correctly wins that week's prize (I convinced all my FAVORITE BRANDS to participate, so trust me, these giveaways are SICK!). Without further ado, here's my first "Free at Last" contest!

THE PRIZE: Pantene’s new Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality collection

THE DETAILS: Every savvy beauty chick I know is obsessed with Pantene, because A.) it honestly gives you the glossiest, most expensive-looking hair, and B.) the products cost, like, nothing. Two qualities I love in a haircare line. And now, the Pantene smarties have truly outdone themselves with their new Nature Fusion collection of shampoos and conditioners. They contain all kinds of good-for-you botanicals that deeply condition and nourish your hair while protecting it from damage--but in the gentlest possible way (ie, no gross product buildup). Here's what you'll get: Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Shampoo ($2.99), a grapeseed and bamboo-infused cleanser that obliterates frizz; Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Moisture Balance Conditioner ($2.99), which hydrates fried hair with aloe vera; Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Conditioner ($2.99), which tames flyaways with nourishing avocado; and Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Moisture Balance Shampoo ($2.99), a cassia and calendula-blended formula that protects wet hair from the damage caused by brushes and combs.

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: In a July '06 post, I persuaded legendary celeb makeup artist Sam Fine to reveal his favorite products. What was the fifth product?

Good luck, lovelies!!


For my SYB Babes who asked me to upload a La Lina pic with every post, Merry Christmas! I can't promise you EVERY post, but you will be seeing more of my peanut because, well, I have no self-control. This is La Lina's 3-month-old sitting with her BFFs, Lucy and Teddy (I take one every month!).

PPS...If you don't notice your comments being posted immediately, it's because we had to turn on some moderating features to keep the blog from being inundated by comment spam. Please know that the comments will appear in order that they were received once all the spam is filtered out on a routine basis.