Thursday, April 30, 2009

Get your hot lips & hips right here!

Hi girls,
Well! Today is the launch of a groundbreaking new beauty brand that's already setting the industry on FYEH, child. My lovely friend, Karen Robinovitz, has created Purple Lab: Double Duty Beauty, a brand devoted to wickedly chic products spiked with cutting-edge science (follow her blog, PurpleBlab). The company's first offering? A collection of witty-as-hell, delicious-tasting glosses called Huge Lips Skinny Hips ($20, each). So cute! And Karen knows from cute. This real-life It-girl started her career covering haute happenings in Women's Wear Daily; moved on to freelancing for Harper's Bazaar, New York Times, and InStyle; shared her pop culture two-cents on VH1, MTV, and E!; became an in-demand brand consultant; and wrote three bestselling books: HOW TO BECOME FAMOUS IN TWO WEEKS OR LESS, THE FASHIONISTA FILES: ADVENTURES IN FOUR-INCH HEELS AND FAUX PAS, and FETE ACCOMPLI! THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CREATIVE ENTERTAINING. Here, we chatted about the lip-plumping/hip-slimming glosses, her pole-dancing fetish, and curly hair products!

TIA: Okay, Karen, how exactly do your "Huge Lips Skinny Hips" glosses work?

KROB: The formula contains Vitamin B3, which stimulates blood flow and creates a plumping effect. Then there's the Hoodia, a botanical extract that's been used for centuries as an appetite suppressant. Since we're always licking our lips, I figured why not add an ingredient to curb carb cravings?

TIA: Who were your muses when you were developing the glosses?

KROB: Kate Moss, Dita von Teese, Bridget Bardot,
French Vogue's Carine Roitfeld,, Studio 54-era Bianca Jagger (left), Warhol "Superstars" Edie Sedgwick and Baby Jane Holzer, Jane Birkin, vintage Little Edie of Grey Gardens (pre-cat/raccoon manifestation), and pioneering funk-rock diva Betty Davis.

TIA: Okay, your muses rock. And so do your shade names! Explain.

KROB: They're all my favorite things! "Kitty Poledancer," a nude pink, is what my gay husband calls me (I have pole in living room). "Worship Kate" is a mauve shimmer dedicated to my style icon; "Lychee Martini" is a sheer peach and my fave cocktail; "Love Your Thighs," a springy coral, is my personal mantra; Red Sole salutes Louboutin soles; and the clear gloss, "No Panty Lines," is self explanatory!

TIA: You know I had to ask...what hair products do you use to maintain your glorious curlage?

KROB: All my products are from Devachan, the curly girl salon I go to in New York City [NOTE: MY SIS LAUREN AND COUSIN BRITNEY SWEAR BY THIS STUFF!]. I love their sulfate-free shampoo, DevaCurl No Poo ($17.95)--so I joke that I haven't "poo'd" in ten years! And I live for their gel, DevaCurl Angell ($17.95).

TIA: You’re a fabulous pole-dancer and S Factor devotee. How has the workout changed your bod?

KROB: S-Factor changed more than my body--it changed my mind Poledancing isn't about stripping, it's about exploring your femininity in a safe (mirrorless!) environment. In classes, girls wear little boy shorts because they'll slip on the pole in long pants. At first, I HATED them because I thought they made me look fat. But the environment was so liberating--and the women so supportive--that I soon forgot about my thighs! I loved knowing that I was fully in my body, not stuck in my head. Every girl should get a pole and take S-Factor classes.

TIA: Vanity vs. Appollonia?

KROB: That's right, I'm please to meet you... still don't wanna tell you my name...

TIA: Tell us how you enter a room and command attention, fancy girl.

KROB: Fancy? Please, I go to bed early and watch reality shows! But I do have my secret weapons: Big heels. Big hair. Shiny lips.


Almost forgot!! In celebration of the launch of Huge Lips Skinny Hips, Karen is gifting one free gloss each to six lucky SYB Babes! To win, answer this pop culture trivia question correctly, and I'll RANDOMLY pick six chicas:

"What year, and at what occasion, did Jennifer Lopez popularize fur faux-lashes?"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh Mama

Hello darlings,
Thank you so much for participating in week nine of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! This week's winner is Lucky! I mean, yes, she's "lucky," but her tagname is also Lucky! Congrats, sugarplum! And listen, I just want you guys to know that it's SO hard to randomly select one winner. I wish you all could win, just for being such devoted readers (she says, wiping away a tear). I love my SYB Babes!! Anyway, Ms. Lucky, shoot me an email at with your address so I can send you your prize: A trio of genius gems from Kiehls including the Limited Edition Erykah Badu Superbly Restorative Body Lotion, Essence Oil in Musk, and Marvelous Mineral Mascara ($97 value)! Ladies, come back next Monday and compete to win my favorite skincare products from Neutrogena!!

As we all know, Mother's Day is quickly rounding the corner. And I SO have a fabulous gift idea. Well, I can't really claim the's actually the brainchild of my fabulous Fairy Supermodel, Ms. Iman Abdulmajid. She's just come out with a brand new handbag from her wildly popular IMAN Global Chic line for HSN, the IMAN Global Chic Hampton Style Bamboo Tote with Key Fob ($69.95). Honestly, what mommy wouldn't love this? It comes in six spring-erific colors, including yellow, green, brown, black, camel (love), and purple, and it's the perfect throw-in-everything-you-own size. And it has the cutest little removal keychain with wood beads. So breezy-cool, right? This bag truly looks like some ridiculously expensive designer situation, but it's a fraction of the price. Loving that.

Oh, and speaking of Mother's Day, Bath and Body Works is celebrating your mom with a super-special sweepstakes! The delicious beauty company wants to know if your mom is cuddly, romantic, fresh, or sexy. To enter, visit to sumbit a short story along with a video or photo explaining your mom's personality! Participants have a chance to win the grand prize...a $1,001 Bath & Body Works shopping spree for you and your mama. Four second-place winners will receive a $250 Bath & Body Works shopping spree, and ten third-place winners get a Signature Collection Eau de Toilette. Hurry up, because the cutoff date is May 10th!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Feelin' Fine

Hola locas,
Well! Last night I had the distinct pleasure of attending the launch of my dear friend Sam Fine's makeup how-to DVD, called FINE: THE BASICS OF BEAUTY ($24.99)! There we are, looking eerily like brother and sister. Oh ladies, I'm SO excited. Sam and I have been musing about this DVD on and off for years, so I'm thrilled to see the dream come to life! For the uninitiated, Sam Fine is one of the most influential celebrity makeup artists, like, ever (just ask his devotees, including Iman, Naomi, Halle, Veronica Webb, Tyra, Queen Latifah and Queen Rupaul). Ten years ago, he wrote the bestselling makeup book, FINE BEAUTY, and now he's expanded his beauty empire with this gorgeous instructional DVD, which educates both "regular" women and aspiring makeup artists on how to create great face. There are application tips, professional tricks, tool how-to's, and tons of practical advice on how women of color can look their most amazing-mazing. Finally, right?! The DVD comes out in May, but in the meantime here are some tips from Sam on how to create a devastating 15-minute face. And...time!


1.) PREP: After applying moisturizer, press a tissue to your face to blot off excess shininess. This evens out your skin texture so your powder doesn't go on streaky or blotchy.

2.) CONCEALER: Use your finger to apply concealer over blemishes and under eyes (if you need a bit more coverage, use a stick foundation as concealer...just make sure it's a shade or two lighter than your complexion). When concealing the undereye area, make sure you fan the color out over the cheeks so it looks seamless. To set, dust a translucent loose powder allover with a big, fluffy brush.

3.) BROWS: Fill in brows with two different brown pencils--one a shade lighter than your haircolor, the other a shade darker. This makes for a more natural look!

4.) LASHES: Before curling your lashes, wipe your mascara wand with a tissue and apply a thin coat to lashes. This technique actually sets your lashes, making the curl last longer! Followup with another, thicker coat.

5.) FACE: Instead of blush, choose a powder bronzer two shades darker than your skintone, and dust it along cheekbones and the outer perimeter of your face (ie, hairline, jaw, etc.). Not only does this technique give your face a sultry glow, it adds dimension. Has your face ever looked mask-like in pictures? It's probably because you applied only ONE foundation or powder shade. The thing is, no one has a monochromatic skintone! Adding bronzer helps give your complexion natural-looking dimension. The lesson? Don't go anywhere near a camera without first applying bronzer.

6.) LIP: Line and fill in lips with a pencil a shade or two darker than your skin color. Follow up with your favorite gloss or lipstick, and you're done!

Brilliant. Thanks Sam! Make sure you stop by to pick up the DVD in May. Love you,

PS: Here's an example of Sam's exquisite handiwork, up close. This was seconds after he painted my face for my
IT CHICKS author photo. I've never looked so delish, honey.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You. Betta. Work.

Hello darlings,
Thank you so much for participating in week eight of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! This week's winner is "From Gullah to Ghetto and Now Ivory Tower!" Because, well...because she's one of the veddy veddy few girls who noted that I co-wrote Iman's "Beauty of Color" (hello?). I'm vain, dammit. Appeal to my ego and you win prizes!

I'm kidding, of course. Vaguely.

Anyway, Ms. Gullah, Etc., send me an email at with your address so I can send you your prize: A trio of bestselling products from Carol's Daughter, including Mimosa Hair Honey, Almond Cookie Bar Soap, and Bring in the Moisture Face Wash ($47.50 value)! Come back next Monday and compete to win bath and body favorites from none other than, drumroll...KIEHLS!! And now, onto le beaute...

I am hell and gone obsessed with Rupaul's Drag Race. I mean, obviously. I didn't catch it the first time around, so now I'm watching it on LOGO. Sweet baby Jesus, Ru found some drop-dead gorgeous girls, didn't he? Punk-fierce Nina Flowers (left), cute-as-a-button Ongina...I can't get enough. And the makeup, the makeup, the makeup! These ladies are true artists. Anyone who has watched Bebe Benet contour the living s*&t out of a cheekbone will agree.

In tribute to these sultry-eyed sirens, allow me to introduce my all-time favorite smoky eye palette, Sephora Smoky Eyes Palette ($38, $50 value). The thing is, it's sooo hard to create a grade-A smokey eye if you have no idea how to start. And this genius kit makes a major eye ridiculously easy to do. It comes with four shadows--a base, contour, lid, and brow shade--as well an inky-black eyeliner and a volumizing mascara. Plus, the kit includes step-by-step instructions and a mirror! You absolutely cannot go wrong.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Giveaway #8: Bestsellers from Carol's Daughter

Hello ladies,
Welcome to week eight of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! The rules, for the latecomers: Every Monday, I'll ask a trivia question from SYB's archives, and if you know the answer, leave it in the "comments" section. On Wednesday, I'll RANDOMLY pick a reader from the correct answers to win that week's free product giveaway. Here goes...

THE PRIZE: A trio of bestselling products from Carol's Daughter, including Mimosa Hair Honey, Almond Cookie Bar Soap, and Bring in the Moisture Face Wash ($47.50 value)

Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey ($15.50) is simply one of my favorite hair products of ALL TIME. It's a delicious, citrus-scented herbal pomade that smoothes fly-aways and frizzies like nobody's business. Plus, it contains sage to stimulate the scalp and help with flakes (I hate the word "dandruff"), and nettles that assuage scalp irritation (fabulous after a particularly harsh relaxer). You'll be obsessed.

Almond Cookie Bar Soap ($12) is downright delish. This handmade soap contains tons of glycerin, which leaves skin feeling cashmere-soft. The best part? It's infused with a knee-weakingly yummy blend of marzipan and musk (very unisex...keep it away from your man). Almost edible.

Bring in the Moisture Gentle Face Wash ($20) is a super-gentle foaming cleanser blended with ylang-ylang and patchouli essential oils. So invigorating and tingly-good, it'll definitely perk you up after a night of carousing and canoodling. Removes makeup, too--including mascara!

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: In a January '08 post, I discuss an irritating article that ran in the New York Times Style section about me and my beauty blogging sisthren. Name AT LEAST TWO of the beauty books behind my head in the corresponding photo. Good luck!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Color me happy

Hi my darling Dorothy Zbornaks,
Thank you so much for participating in week seven of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! This week's winner is Miss Miranda! And yep, it was indeed a trick question...the answer was that I didn't suggest anything for a sassy tween in December 07. Wait, please reserve your tomato-throwing...I had to do SOMETHING to make this a little tougher, right? Mama loves you? Miss Miranda, shoot me an email at with your address so I can send you your prize: Bobbi Brown Platinum Collection ($180 value). Girls, make sure you come back next Monday for week eight of "Free at Last," and compete to win a slew of must-haves from Carol's Daughter! And now, onto my newest beauty obsession...

I hate this, but I'm getting MAD gray hair. It's popping up all over the place, and for some reason it's pin-straight, so it sticks out like crazy. It's so bad that yanking out the offending hairs has taken the place of eyebrow-tweezing as my number one insomniac activity. Pout. I was never supposed to have gray hair! I was going to be a plucky young ingenue forever! I thought about dying my hair, but with my post-pregnancy shedding issues (I'm making myself sound like a real catch, here), I'm not about to slap chemicals into my hair. I'd heard about those little pen thingies you get at the drugstore to color in your grays, but I always thought they were for old ladies. When I discovered that glamorous, hairstylist-to-the-stars Oscar Blandi makes one, I totally revised my thinking! Oscar Blandi's Pronto Colore Root Touch-Up & Highlighting Pen ($23) not only fills in errant grays, it also colors-in roots as your highlights grow out. So easy, so cute, and it comes in five shades: Neutral Brown, Beige Blonde, Light Golden Blonde, Dark Brown/Black, and Warm Reddish Brown. Oh, and it washes out with one shampoo, and the ammonia and peroxide-free formula is totally safe for pregnant women. So smart...and with this economy, who can afford regular hair appointments? Brilliant!

PS...You asked for a La Lina Easter pic! Here she is, mad as hell at the indignity of these bunny ears.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Giveaway #7: Bobbi Brown Platinum Collection

Hello ladies,
Hope you had a fabulous Easter weekend!! Welcome to week seven of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! Again, the rules have switched up a bit. Here's how it goes: Every Monday, I'll ask a trivia question from SYB's archives, and if you know the answer, leave it in the "comments" section. On Wednesday, I'll RANDOMLY pick a reader from the correct answers to win that week's free product giveaway (this is to make it fair for SYB Babes on the West Coast). Good luck, girls!

THE PRIZE: Bobbi Brown's new Platinum Collection ($180 value)

THE DETAILS: Bobbi Brown's brand-new Platinum Collection includes the beyond-stunning Platinum Pink Shimmer Brick (a shot of radiance for dull, winter-worn complexions); four new shades of Long-Wear Cream Shadow, which lasts all day with no creases; and three new, super-shiny Lip Glosses. Looks fabulous on all complexions and, I know this doesn't really mean anything, but for some reason Bobbi Brown's products always SMELL so delish. I'm a scent girl.

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: What gift do I suggest for "sassy tweens" in a December '07 post?


Thursday, April 09, 2009

La Lina Speaks

"Happy Easter, SYB Babes!"

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Flirty Eyes and Curly Girls

Hi ladies,
Our winner for week six of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza is...drumroll...TNDRHRT! And the answer was New Orleans, not Shreveport (trick question, muchachas). Ms. TNDRHRT, shoot me an email at with your address and foundation color (choose your shade here), so I can send you your prize: Bare Minerals Foundation, Concealer and Blush ($60 value). Girls, make sure you come back next Monday for week seven of "Free at Last," and compete to win makeup essentials from Bobbi Brown! And now, onto le beaute...

I'm just gonna get straight to the point. I'm having a little bit of a beauty crisis. I feel that my look is lacking that "ooh la la" quality. I'm kind of married to my gloss and blush moment, so I decided to amp up my eyeshadow game. LADIES. I believe I've found the sexiest new eye palette on the market...Flirt! Lash-a-delic Dreamy Eyes Eyeshadow Palette in Groovy Blues ($16). Now, the name is a little misleading--the shadows themselves aren't blue; they're formulated to match Flirt!'s blue mascara. Since I don't really believe in Pantone-colored lashes, I'm skipping that part. Anyway, the Groove Blue kit comes with the MOST gorgeous collection of soft golds, taupes and bronze shimmer shadows. They're just neutral enough to work beautifully for day, and just sexy enough to look super-hot at night. Oh, and the shimmer is exquisitely subtle--ie, just enough to give your lids some oomph. I use the buttery-champagne shade on my browbone and in the inner corners of my eyes (this trick makes you look instantly radiant and awake), the soft gold allover my lids, and the deeper bronze-brown in my crease. If I'm feeling saucy, I add the orangey-copper moment ontop of the brown for a shot of sauciness. Genius!!

BTW, hats off to whoever can figure out how to open the damn near childproof packaging.

Got curly hair? Live in California? Well, the curly hair guru herself, Ouidad, is doing a special, limited-time-only promotion at her Ouidad Santa Monica Salon! When you book her signature "carve and slice" cut, you'll get a free Deep Treatment service ($90 value). Make sure you mention the EXCLUSIVE EMAIL OFFER, though. To book an appointment, call 310-393-3542.

Do you wanna make my day? Help Shake Your Beauty win a 2009 Glam Network Award! Click HERE to vote, darlings. Kisses!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Giveaway #6: Bare Minerals Foundation, Concealer and Blush

Hello ladies,
Welcome to week six of SYB's "Free at Last" Giveaway Extravaganza! Okay, so starting this week, the rules are switching up a bit. Here's how it goes: Every Monday, I'll ask a trivia question from SYB's archives, and if you know the answer, leave it in the "comments" section. On Wednesday, I'll RANDOMLY pick a reader from the correct answers to win that week's free product giveaway (this is to make it fair for SYB Babes on the West Coast). Good luck, girls!

THE PRIZE: Bare Minerals Foundation, Concealer and Blush ($60 value)

THE DETAILS: Bare Minerals makes the #1 foundation in the US, which isn't surprising to anyone who's bathed their skin in it's silky-smooth, blemish-erasing goodness. Totally free of skin-irritating preservatives, oils, talc, dyes and chemicals, this wildly popular foundation goes on like a dream, looks utterly natural, and comes in a thousand colors to complement every skin tone. Seriously, it's the foundation for chicks that HATE foundation (like moi). And guess what? The winner will pick her foundation shade here, and then the geniuses at Bare Minerals will choose a corresponding blush and foundation for you!

AND NOW, THE SYB TRIVIA QUESTION: Oooh, this one's tricky. Answer the trivia question I posted in my October 22, 2006 post.