Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Night Weepies

I love you guys. Really a lot.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Love You, SYB Babes

Hi ladies,
I don't know how to say it. I guess I should just jump into it, since my keyboard is soaked with tears and my laptop will probably die in seconds. Next Tuesday, I will begin a full-time position as Beauty Director at Which means I'm also shutting down "Shake Your Beauty."

I know. I know. Believe me, it hurts me more than it hurts you. I feel like we're best friends. Sisters, even. Play cousins. You and I have been through five and a half years of love, laughter, marriages, babies, bad perms, migraines, Revlon Raisin Glaze Lipgloss, Q&A Wednesdays, a zillion posts about Tarte Cheek Stain and, and...well, LIFE. You don't know this, but you've gotten me through some really hard times. For three of our fives years together, I was going through a series of emotionally and physically traumatic IVF procedures. They kept failing and failing, and there were some really bleak times. YOU kept me smiling. Your comments, your emails...even all the drama over the Saks dress during AMBI-gate. Thank you. Girls, when I started SYB, I had no idea it would become so successful. I barely even knew what a blog was; all I knew was that I'd just left my post as Teen People's beauty director and wasn't ready to stop talking beauty. You helped me turn it into something that really mattered. We did it together! We rock!

How quickly my mood turned from despondent to rah-rah! I'm PMSing.

Recently, my life has taken some rather major turns...which I decided meant that the universe was telling me to switch some things up. This position couldn't have come into my life at a more perfect time! I've always adored the magazine, the site, and Emil Wilbekin,'s irresistibly debonair managing editor (you also know him as the former Editor-in-Chief of Vibe and Giant). His vision for the site was so positively delicious and sexy that I was dying to be involved. Girls, as bittersweet as it is, I'm over-the-moon, hell-and-gone excited to begin this new chapter in my career. I really am. And I'm not moving to Siberia! Please, please follow me over to! I have some really exciting stuff planned for the beauty and hair channels. Essence's digital staff is incredible, so I can do fun things I'd never have been able to pull off here (mainly because I thought the "ht" in "html" meant hot tamale).

Thank you so much for supporting SYB over the years, dear readers. You made it so fun for me. I'll always love you (especially the know who you are). And even though the blog as we know it will be no longer, I'll send you updates here and there just so you know what's going on with me. And La Lina!

Here's what I know: You will ALWAYS be my SYB Babes. I don't care what other blogs you're into, or even if you never catch on to my orange blush thing. You'll always be my girls! Got that? Good. Now have a glorious Thanksgiving. I know what I'm thankful for!

Kisses, kisses, and mo' kisses,

Your Tia

Monday, November 23, 2009

AMAzing Alicia

Hi ladies,
So, what were your thoughts on the AMA? Here are mine:

* J Lo's performance was hilariously ill-advised (the champ is back? really?), and the fall before her Big Dance Break proved it. If you didn't see it, you never will...shortly after telling Ryan Seacrest on his radio show that "she meant to do that," the clip disappeared from the internet.

* I've had it up to here with Jermaine Jackson's painted-on sideburns. I'm tired of sitting idly by, doing nothing, while this man makes appearances with shoe polish smeared on the sides of his head. I need some answers. Oprah or somebody needs to confront him about this.

* Lady Gaga rules EVERYTHING. When she broke through the glass to bang the #$*t out of that piano, I died. LOVE. HER.

* Will I Am is a wiggly little thing, isn't he? As much as they annoy me, the Black Eyed Peas really did rock the crowd with that Nirvana/Rob Bass moment.

* Jay Z and Alicia Keys almost made me weep with love for New York. The lights will inspire you, indeed!

Speaking of Alicia and inspiration, didn't you think she looked particularly soft and feminine last night? Here's what her makeup artist, Ashunta Sheriff, had to say about the look:

“Alicia's look was inspired by her hand-beaded Armani Prive Gown. I focused on golden glowing skin, beautiful blue and burgundy eyes, soft pink shimmery cheeks, full lashes and light pink lips. On Alicia's skin, I used Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Minerals Bronzer in Light Bronze ($8.18)--its golden sparkly flecks gave her complexion a fabulous glow. Mary Kay Lipgloss in Pink Diamonds ($13) perfectly set off the look in a soft and subtle way. Finally, I topped off her eyes with Shu Uemura False Lashes ($29). I love their lashes because there's sooo many to choose from."

And thanks to Pantene celeb stylist Tippi Shorter (there she is, working her magic), Alicia's braided updo was twelve kinds of elegant. Here's how Tippi made it happen:

"Alicia recently got her hair colored a few shades lighter with Clairol, so I washed it with
Pantene Pro-V Color Revival Shampoo & Conditioner ($8.99). Then, I spritzed on
Pantene Pro-V Detangling Light Conditioning Spray ($4.99) to protect her hair before heat styling. To recreate the backwards Mohawk braid we did for Alicia's most recent music video, I sectioned the hair into three pieces. Then, I gathered the two outermost sections and secured them in ponytail using Ojon Animated Styling Cream ($26). Using the center section, I braided the center section from the nape of the neck to the front, making it a little off-center. I tucked the end of the braid underneath the main braid and secured with bobby pins. To finish the look, I used Ojon Tunu Elastik Hairspray ($25)."

Thanks for the insider info, Ashunta and Tippi!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rita to the rescue

Hi ladies,
Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of getting my hair colored by one of the industry's most legendary colorists and favored Oprah guests, the lovely and talented Ms. Rita Hazan. She's responsible for highlighting luminaries like Jessica Simpson (she took her from blonde, to lovesick-over-John-Mayer brunette, and back to blonde), Britney Spears, Debra Messing, Michelle Williams, Ellen Pompeo, Rachel Weiz, Keyshia Cole and Renee Zellweger. Probably her most important celeb moment is La Lopez--circa '99, Rita gave J. Lo the honey-caramel streaks that became her signature look! Major! Anyway, hair was in such a state that I had no choice but to call on the best of the best. I showed up at Rita's eponymous 5th Avenue salon looking crazy...the bottom half of my hair was a mass of dead, brassy highlights, and the top half was scattered with errant greys. SO GROSS. I was hoping Rita could tell me there was a way to get a head full of cinnamon-y highlights that wouldn't damage my over-relaxed hair. I was sadly mistaken. Instead, she decided I needed to go for a deeper, richer color...a chestnutty/auburn vegetable die (ie, no harsh chemicals or bleach that would further damage my hair). So, I went for it, and let me tell hair hasn't looked so glossy and healthy in YEARS. It's so shiny, so mink-like! Penelope Cruz is somewhere wailing with envy! Stay tuned for a picture...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy First Birthday, La Lina!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aint Nothin' but a Party

Hey ladies,
Hello! New mascara obsesh! Bobbi Brown's brand new Extreme Party Mascara ($22) means business. It makes my lashes crazy-big, super-lush, blacker-than-blackety-black...but wait, that's not all. The groundbreaking (no seriously, it's groundbreaking) formula actually stays flexible after it dries. What does this mean for you? Basically, it's the very first mascara in the history of lash-batting that allows you to layer on coat after coat (whether immediately, or hourse later) without dragging or clumping. Or getting all dry and flaking on your cheeks. So, you can apply your mascara in the AM, and then add a couple coats before you go out after work, and your lashes will look ridiculously fresh. Buildable mascara! Genius!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is see-wee-ous!

Hey ladies,
Last week, my Fairy Godmodel, Iman, invited editors and bloggers to her showroom to present the latest and greatest from Iman Global Chic, her bestselling accessories, jewelry and clothing collection for HSN. As usual, I was knocked out. The jewelry! Oh, so luxe...dripping with sparkly things and artful, deco-esque flourishes...and most of it, under $100! I could go on and on about the cuffs and earrings, but that would leave me little time to gush about what I consider to be THE Global Chic standout of the season: the "Jet Set Go!" Luxury Duffel Roller Luggage ($109). Buttery-soft and chock full of travel-friendly compartments and pockets, this carry-on bag takes the "lug" out of luggage. It's just so fancy, right? And it's deceptively spacious on the, it comes with cosmetic bag and shoe bag. Cannot wait to storm LaGuardia Airport during the holiday season with my fancy, uber-expensive looking duffel!

After Iman wrapped up the presentation, we obviously started talking beauty. Being that she is my Fairy Godmodel, I pointed out my hormonal chin breakout and asked her if she had any suggestions. Girls, she summoned her associate, Byron, and had him bring me Iman Second to None Cover Cream in Clay Medium ($12.99). Which is the best concealer I've ever used in my life. I'm not kidding. This is very, very serious (do any of my SYB Babe mommies watch "Wonder Pets?" I was like Ming-Ming when she goes, "This is see-wee-ous!"). I don't understand why I've never used it before? The great thing about it--aside from the pitch-perfect shade--is that it dries to a powder finish. So you don't need to set the concealer with powder...and it doesn't settle into fine lines. Iman doesn't even use foundation with it; she just covers up her problem areas with the concealer, and calls it a day. Cannot sing it's praises enough!!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Precious Monique!

Hey muchachas,
Okay, so I don't have the balls to see Precious just yet (**ducking tomatoes**). I don't know, something about the profound sexual and emotional abuse in the story just really brings me to my knees. It might be because I'm a mom now (my excuse for everything). When I had La Lina a year ago tomorrow, I turned into a big, throbbing was like I took on all the suffering of the world. I had to stop watching America's Best Dance Crew because JC's critiques were like daggers in my heart. But I digress. Anyway, I'm giving myself until next Monday to see "Precious." I'm a writer; I work best with deadlines.

Since I haven't seen it, I can't comment on the movie, but I can talk to you about Monique's GORGE makeup look at the November 1st premiere! Of course, she owed her stunning face to my lovely and fierce friend, legendary makeup artist Sam Fine (if you haven't gotten his genius new how-to DVD, "The Basics of Beauty," what are you waiting for, woman?). Here, he breaks down the myriad was he hooked up Monique, with her sure-to-be-nominated-for-an-Oscar self.

FACE: “The key is to subtly layer your bronzer and blush until you create a softly sculpted look. After finishing her base, I used a dark-hued bronzer from CoverGirl Queen, and then layered it with the Iman Sheer Finishing Bronzer in Afterglow, which contains a bronzer, blush and highlighter trio.”

EYES: “I lined her eyes, and then used a beige liner on the inner rim of her lower lash line. Beige liner is much more subtle than white but still opens up the eye area. Then, I applied golden hues on her lids, like Stila Eyeshadow in Twig ($18), and Nars Eyeshadow in NightStar ($22). Lashes are a must on the red carpet, so of course I used false lashes! After applying the falsies, I fused them to her natural lashes with a couple swipes of L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara ($7.50) I finished the look by adding a touch of gold glitter on the inner corners of her eyes to offset her dress!”

LIPS: “I applied golden shades on Monique's lips, taking the same layering approach I used on the rest of her face. To complete the look, I used lip liner, lipstick and a golden gloss (try Dior Addict Ultra Gloss)."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Hi girls,
So yesterday, the legendary makeup artist--and Cover Girl/Max Factor spokesperson--Pat McGrath held her bi-annual recap of beauty trends from the collections. Her overview was genius, of course, the second she mentioned using Cover Girl Smokey Shadow Blast Shadow Stick in Onyx Smoke ($8.49) at zillions of the shows, I sort of tuned out. When she held this darling little double-sided crayon stick up in the air, and I had a beautygasm. It's all you need to create the perfect smokey eye! One one side is a dazzling pearl crayon for the browbone; and on the other is a deep, metallic black crayon you can use to smudge along the lashline. I immediately tried both sides on, and the texture is perfectly creamy and smudgelicious. I'm so in love I'm making up words. In any event, I predict that the Smokey Shadow Blast Stick will be the Next Big Thing. You heard it here first.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


So, um, last night MAC threw a super-exclusive little fete celebrating their two new spokespeople, Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga (check out WWD's piece on the event). I was there. I WAS THEERRRRE! Hyperventilating. Okay, here's the huge admission. Aside from La Lina, Lady Gaga is my favorite person on Earth right now. I mean, I grew up in the '80s, right? I was raised on Prince, Madonna, and MJ...artists that were true-blue, absolutely-not-pre-packaged, balls-to-the-wall ORIGINALS that created truly unique music, fashion, videos, etc. I mean, it was clear who their influences were (Little Richard, James Brown, Debbie Harry, etc.), but they took it to a whole new level. I think Lady Gaga is one of only a few stars that actually goes there, too. Her voice is ridiculous, she plays a zillion instruments, and her stage shows are no less than performance art. Yay to MAC for choosing Cyndi and Gaga to be their next Viva Glam spokesladies!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Post-H'ween Hydration

Hey girls,
How was your Halloween! What was your costume? I was particularly proud of mine! One of my Halloween parties was my girlfriend Abby's "Come as Your Most Hated Celebrity" soiree, and of course I was Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

And La Lina was Brooklyn's sweetest fuzzy pink bunny! Could you just die? She was a little hot in her costume, though, so five minutes after we took pictures, she was hopping around in a pink onesie. Ah well.

Cannot believe it's November. Last year at this time I was enormously pregnant, about to eat the Jamaican beef pattie that would give me food poisoning and an emergency C-section. Time flies! Some things don't change, of them being that the cold weather makes my skin SOOO DRRRYYYY. Parched. My lips, my hands, my legs. Everything. The mistake we make in the fall, I believe, is not moisturizing our bod is well as we should because no one sees it. In the summer, we're in miniskirts and sandals, so we HAVE to lube up...or risk being handcuffed by the Ash Police. Girls, we cannot ignore the ash in the fall! And in fact, I've taken to attacking the problem from several different angles. I have a lotion for my body, a special balm for my lips, and a portable moisturizing stick for my bag (well, it's for touch-ups during the day, but I KEEP it in my bag). Here are the details:

Vaseline Cocoa Butter Smoothing Body Butter ($8.49): Simply put, this stuff is a cold-weather-miracle-worker. This super-rich, decadent body butter melts into my skin on contact and manages to keep it supple and smooth ALL DAY (thanks to a winning combination of cocoa butter and shea butter). Particularly yummy after a good shave...I slather it on my legs the second I step out of the shower, and I swear my gams are Victoria's Secret Angel-worthy. Vaseline, man. The gift that keeps on giving.

Kiehls Lip Gloss in East Village Vibe ($14.50): Any beauty buff worth her weight in blush is more than familiar with Kiehls' famous Lip Balm. This stuff is a cult-fave bestseller for good reason. Blended with apricot kernel oil and grapeseed oil, the non-sticky balm keeps lips super-moisturized and shiny for hours. Well, recently Kiehls updated things a bit by adding a hint of tint to the formula! So smart. I love that you get the moisturizing properties of the balm, but also a sexy little shot of color, too. My favorite shade is East Village Vibe, a coffee-hued bronzey-nude.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick ($22): Remember the model Josie Maran? She was, like, on the cover of Glamour every other month for a good two years in the late '90s. Anyway, she's now the creator of an amazing organic beauty line (all her stuff is authentically all-natural, too...we're talking no parabens, no preservatives, the whole 9). Anyway, she has this best-selling Argan Oil that makeup artists love to use on models for instant sheen and hydration. And now, it comes in a stick form! So clever. I keep it this portable little stick in my bag for touch-ups on my hands, elbows, cuticles, lips, split ends...anywhere that calls for a moisture boost. So luscious--and it smells HEAVENLY.