Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let the Sunshine In

Hola mis muchachitas,
I don't know about you, but every year, long 'round mid-July, my hair gets FA-RIED. It's a combination of relaxer, styling, and color damage--plus the harsh effects of the sun. In their infinite wisdom, Kiehls has just invented the Sunflower Color Preserving Hair Care line, which includes a shampoo, conditioner, and deep moisturizing pak, each containing all kinds of anti-oxidants, nutrient-rich conditioners and most importantly, Sunflower Seed Oil, which is a natural UV filter! The collection is brilliant--it not only helps repair color-damaged hair, it prevents your shade from oxidizing (ie, getting all brassy and orange-tinged) in the sun. The best part? Each of the three products are totally paraben, sulfate, and silicone-free. Very 2009. Get into it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Botox in a Bottle"

Hey mamacitas,
The other night I was enjoying a very sexy dinner at Waverly Inn with my equally sexy girlfriends Tina Wells and Stephanie Smith, when I was suddenly distracted by Steph's glorious, glowy complexion (check it out, left). Being me, I immediately pushed pause on the convo and DEMANDED that she explain precisely how she achieved le luminosity (an otherworldly concealer? Afterglow?). As she divulged her secret weapon, I had an idea. Stephanie is actually a brilliant journalist--for the past three years, she's been a media reporter at WWD, and she's also written for the likes of Playboy, People, Money and Vibe (RIP, sniff)--so, why not have her write up a little testimonial about her favorite beauty obsession? Here, Miss Stephanie gives you ladies the 411 on what's behind her complexion perfection...

"You know, there's truth to the old saying, “black don’t crack.” But that doesn’t mean a little preventative care isn’t necessary.

Though I’m barely into my 30s, I use Strivectin SD Eye Cream ($59) underneath my eyes each night. The stuff is truly Botox in a bottle. It was formulated to prevent stretch marks on the body, but women soon discovered that it was fantastic for preventing wrinkles around the eyes and on the neck. Soon, the manufacturers produced formulas specific to other body parts.

Dabbing one small drop of the light cream around the eyes at night soothes the skin around the eye and literally erases any signs of aging. Whether I've had a hard day’s work or a hard night of partying, I apply it at night and by the next morning, I look like I’ve gotten a facelift. I have not one line around my eyes—-not one crow’s foot, not even a crow’s toe—-because of this super-cream.

This stuff is so good, I once risked being arrested rather than losing my bottle! On a flight to Miami, I forgot about the "no liquids over 3 ounces" rule and almost had my Strivectin confiscated by the TSA. After hyperventilating and declaring that the male security employee had something against age-defiant women, he gave me a choice between the eye cream or my toothpaste.

Sorry, I’m just not that attached to Colgate."

I hear you, Steph. And I'm the daughter of a dentist.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Q&A Wednesday

SYB BABE: Anonymous

ISSUE: "What can I do about the hyperpigmentation that has resulted from years of shaving my underarms? My underarms look like I have five o'clock shadow even though nothing is there. Is there anything that can help?"

TIA'S 2 CENTS: Oh, Anonymous, the dark underarm thing is something so many brown girls have to deal with (we're all super-prone to hyperpigmentation). Adding to the problem? Most skin-lightening agents contain hydroquinone, a harsh bleaching agent that can cause further irritation, which causes even more darkening. What you need is a gentle product like Medliten Skin Lightening Serum ($49.95), a mild-but-insanely-effective gel used to fade dark spots not only on underarms, but also age spots, some birthmarks, knees, bikini area and, well...(earmuffs, kids) some porn stars use it for, um, at-home anal bleaching. I say that only to bring home how effective it is!

On a budget? At half the price of Medliten, DermaDoctor Total NonScents Ultra-Gentle Brightening Antiperspirant ($28) is just as fabulous! Instead of hydroquinone, the anti-perspirant/deodorant contains Kojic Dipalmitate, a powerful, all-natural botanical brightener. It helps balance skin tone with regular use. Both of these products really do work, but it must be noted that it can take up to a year to reverse hyperpigmentation under the arms. So be patient, chickens!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Two Things...

Hi ladies,
Happy Monday! Okay, let's get down to business. Today, mama has two things to get off the smooth, flat, planes of her chest...

1.) You all need to run out and get Nars Cream Blush in Gueule de Nuit ($25). You know I've long been a fan of Nars Powder Blush, but the cream version is even better. I just started wearing it, and the compliments are almost starting to embarrass me (almost). It's a dewy stain in the juiciest peachy-coral shade (looks super-bright in the packaging, but you won't believe how natural it looks on brown skin--just a healthy, outdoorsy pop of color). To apply, just smile, and use your fingers to dot and blend over the apples of your cheeks. Instant radiance! So good, you won't even need any other makeup.

2.) Remember the profile I wrote on my friend Karen Robinovitz, the one who invented Huge Lips Skinny Hips ($20, each), the lip-plumping, appetite-surpressing gloss that's sweeping the nation? Well, her beauty company, PurpleLab, is sponsoring a lavish "Kiss and Tell" contest with a host of super-glamorous prizes. Here are the deets: Log onto, upload your hottest pic, and explain which lipgloss shade best represents your style and personality. Then, readers will vote on their favorites (the coolest part? You'll be able to see how many times your entry was well as where it has traveled as others share your content!). In the end, Karen and her panel will choose a bunch of random winners and a "most viral" prize, but the ultimate Grand Prize Winner will win a trip to NYC with a friend, a stay at the ridiculously chic new Smyth Hotel in Tribeca, and a host of sexysexysexy prizes inspired by each of the "Huge Lips Skinny Hips" glosses, including:

* "Kitty Poledancer": A private pole-dancing lesson with S Factor

* "Worship Kate": A shopping spree at Kate Moss fave, TopShop

* "Lychee Martini": A sexy night out at a NYC hotspot...and Lychee Martini lessons!

* "Red Sole": A trip to the Christian Louboutin store

* "Love Your Thighs": A burlesque lesson with professional vixen, Veronica Varlow

* "No Panty Lines": A pair of Karen's favorite G-strings

Plus, Karen will film the whole experience, you'll get all the glosses, and fabulous dinners out. The best part, in my opinion? I'LL BE AT THE POLE-DANCING CLASS AND ONE OF YOUR DINNERS! I cannot wait to meet you, so start entering. Good luck, darlings!

Check here to see if your entry is one of the top six most viral!  Kisses!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Essence's Makeover Magic Tool

Ladies!!! Allow me to introduce you to Shake Your Beauty's new Essence Makeover Magic tool (you'll find it by scrolling down on the right hand side)! I'm SO excited about this, and you will be too. All you have to do is upload your favorite photo, and you can try on virtually any celebrity hairdo under the all the hottest new makeup looks, courtesy of Cover Girl Queen! Girls, in this economy, no one has the ca-ching to throw away on a fancy cut or expensive makeup that might look a hot mess on you. Avoid a beauty money pit by taking your new look for a test drive on Shake Your Beauty!

Have fun, girls...and tell your friends all about my fancy new feature!

Lend me your ear

Hey ladies,
Obviously this is a beauty blog, but I had to give a little shoutout to one of my "fairy godmodel's" new costume jewelry pieces. Iman's Global Chic Bohemian Chandelier Earrings ($27) are almost too spangly-dangly-dazzling for their own good. I wore them to lunch at Pastis today, and the host gushed all over them (okay, he was a man, but he was a slinky little thing wearing skintight, Will-I-Am-ish highwaters, a shrunken blazer and a cockeyed fedora, so I have a feeling he knew his earrings). They just look so rich and fun and indulgent, you know? Thank you, Iman, for making a doughy-in-the-middle mom feel like a kittenish, carousing siren. While eating french fries and strawberry shortcake.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Naughty Little Minx

Hey ladies,
Check out my sister Lauren's new nails (that is, if you can get past the megawatt glare of her engagement ring)! So sexy and sleek and RAOWR, right? You're looking at the product of Minx Nails, the hot--and GREEN, no less--new nail trend that's got ubercelebs like Sasha Fierce obsessed (click on for salons that offer the service). Here's how it works: The salon technician heats up these fab little stickers under heat lamps, apply them to your nails, and then file off the excess. To remove them, you just blowdry your fingers and peel it off. Ingenious! The results are insane...super-slick, glossy, lacquered-looking nails that rock the casa. And we hear that in the next year or so, you'll be able to get personalized designs--even baby pictures and stuff. The only thing is, Minx Nails are kind of expensive. $55 expensive. But if you loved Lauren's metallic digits, there is a recessionista alternative...

Lippmann Collection Nail Color in Believe ($15) looks like pure liquid gold, stay on forever, and (this is the best part) none other than CHER helped create the shade. And speaking of Lady Bono, check out this clip of Cher and Michael performing "Dance-Dance-Dance-Dance-Dancin' Machine" (thanks, Nissa!). I know, I know, you've had it up to hear with MJ nostalgia, but this is really cute.
Love you madly,

Monday, July 13, 2009

Girls of Summer

Hi ladies,
Sigh. Swoon. Summer is really here! I spent the whole weekend slathered in sunscreen, lounging by the pool, watching La Lina splash around in her teeny-tiny bathing suit (need a visual? look to the left). Heaven! It was such a lazy, lovely weekend. So naturally, I'm feeling super-summery right now. I want to dip myself in a vat of bronzer and slink around my neighborhood in a tankini (wait, am I describing Kate Gosselin?).

Anyway, in celebration of summer, I wanted to introduce you to my new favorite summertime makeup staple, Dior Bronze Lumieres D'or Face and Lip Palette ($45). Okay yes, it's kinda pricey...but if you have a few extra bucks, it's SO worth it. This super-glam, 70s-chic compact comes with a two-toned pan of gold and bronze pressed powder, and a shimmering honey-gold lip gloss. For the ultimate sun-kissed moment, I swirl a large, fluffy brush over both the gold and bronze powders, and then swirl it over my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. And that gloss!! After slicking on my favorite pinky-brown lipstick, I dab a bit of this liquid-gold gloss in the center of my bottom lip, and it instantly plumps up my whole situation. With my gilded cheeks and lips, I look like I should be vamping on a Scavullo-shot Cosmo cover, circa '78. This is a good thing. Get into it!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Hi Ladies,
How are you??! Did you have a fantastic July Fourth weekend? We certainly did. There was a disastrous experiment involving La Lina and the pool, but more on that later. Wanted to let you know that I'm on vacay this week, but I'll return with tons o'beauty hotness next Monday. Love ya lots!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Natural Woman's Lament

Hi ladies,
At our friend Emily's birthday party awhile ago, me and friend Shay were having an interesting convo. Shay, who'd recently grown out her relaxer, was trying to understand why her folks at the swanky SoHo restaurant where she works thought it was okay to touch her hair. You know, "ooh, it's so soft!" "Do I look like the star animal in a petting zoo?" she wailed. We got to talking more about her hairdo, her favorite products, and other stuff I thought my SYB Babes would be interested in...especially those of you considering going the au naturel route. So I decided to introduce her to you guys with a Q&A. SYB Babes, Shay. Shay, SYB Babes. Discuss!

TIA: Okay, so tell us why you grew out your relaxer.

SHAY: I'd always admired the natural look. Plus, I got tired of having frizzy, unmanageable hair in the summer, even with a perm.  I got a pixie cut first, so it only took less than a year to grow out.

TIA: Smart girl. So, now that you've been relaxed AND natural, which do you prefer?

SHAY: I definitely prefer my natural hair! I have the best of both worlds.  I can wear it straight for half of the year and I have the option of wearing it curly for the other half.  Also, my hair is so much healthier!

TIA: I hear that. My split ends are so bad, my hair looks like it should be blowing across the American West. What’s your haircare regimen?

SHAY: I'm CONSTANTLY changing it. These days, I wet my hair daily, let it dry a little, and then massage in avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil while it is damp. Then, I use Miss Jessie's "scrunch and pull" technique and style with my fingers. My Dominican stylist got me hooked on Emergencia Conditioner ($10) keeps my hair so shiny and healthy. It's my secret weapon! I'm also a huge fan of Ouidad's products.

TIA: They don't call Ouidad the "Queen of Curl" for nothing. So, let's get right down to it. In an effort to keep it from happening again, explain to everyone why strangers petting your hair is weird and annoying.

SHAY: Don't get me wrong, it's flattering that people want to touch my hair! But most folks don't realize that having natural hair takes a lot of effort. It looks like I just woke up and rolled out, but my hair is actually styled. I'm constantly scrunching and pulling to make sure that it looks right. When my hair is straight, no one thinks twice about touching it because they respect the fact that it's been styled, and they don't want to mess it up.

TIA: I feel like next time I see you, you'll be wearing a tee shirt that says "Respect the Natural."


PS...What are your biggest hair pet peeves? Dying to know!