Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big, Big Hair...

Gilda Radner Picture Gallery
I have “big” hair. If you do, you know exactly what I mean. It expands with any moisture in the air. My dear blog partner has “perfect, straight” hair. Sometimes she complains about it but come on…. Remember the series “My Sister Sam”? One of my favorite lines from that series is when the sisters look at each other and say “We hate girls with perfectly straight hair who complain about it!” I will always contend that my life would have been different if my hair hadn’t required so much work. Summer or any vacation that includes a beach is a special challenge. Remember Courtney Cox on Friends on holiday somewhere in the Caribbean, her hair growing wider and wider? That is me. Fortunately there are wonderful new products on the market that keep the frizz in check. Aveeda has a line Smooth Infusion, shampoo, conditioner and a leave in called Hang Straight. Dove has a line Frizz Control Therapy, and I especially like the leave in Taming Cream which I use on my wet hair before drying and also as a little “touch up” on those especially difficult days. John Frieda Collection, Weather Works by Frizz Ease is new and like the others will control and smooth the frizz. So girls there is hope for us yet and who knows, maybe my life will take an unexpected turn!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shoeties, Booties...


Booties began as a street trend and were quickly picked up by designers. Variations on yesterday's ankle boot, they are a cross between a shoe and a low boot, more closely resembling a shoe that is cut a little higher. Heels can be chunky, platform or stiletto steep. There are menswear inspired lace-up oxfords, (try ribbons as laces), ruched suede pointy-toe and peep-toe versions, (especially modern teamed with opaque tights). Textured leathers are big. Dark purple seems to be the leading color and will certainly give an edge to your outfit, but we think you'll get more mileage from black or brown. Nordstrom's, as always, offers all the varieties of this trend. We love the Marc Jacobs oxford and the Mizrahi for Target black patent version is cute, too, (at $39.00,very affordable)! If you have gorgeous, model-thin legs, add opaque tights, and wear them with skirts or dresses. With pants or slim jeans, (never baggy), these boots add style and ease to your morning dressing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New and Otherwise Noteworthy…Ped Egg

If you haven’t discovered this wonderful tool on your own then by all means we want to introduce it to you. The Ped Egg is perfect to keep your feet looking sandal ready all year long. We like to use it every day after bathing to keep our feet smooth between pedicures. It gently removes callouses and dead skin. Available at all major drug stores and beauty outlets, the Ped Egg also does double duty with a buffer on one side. It is important to keep your heels polished all year long. Don’t forget to moisturize!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Eyeliner will cake." - Sean Young in the movie "Cousins"

Eyeliner for us is as much a necessity as concealer or lipstick. We have been wearing it since our teens and though we have been advised by the “beauty experts” over the years to abandon it, we remain steadfast. We just don’t feel complete without it. Of course it is no longer the dark, heavy lines of our youth but we think if you feel naked without something then by all means wear it. We advise making the statement more subdued but evident none the less. Clinque eye defining liquid liner is an excellent choice and can be applied as very thin line under lashes. The new liquid eye liner, Le Stylo by Chantecaille is easy to apply and is really smudge proof.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Long Hair Myth...

Long hair can still be an asset after 50. For years, the myth persisted that women of a “certain age” needed to have short hair even it wasn’t flattering. But now there is too much evidence to the contrary. Think Jaclyn Smith! Long hair can soften your look and you shouldn’t feel that you are too old to wear it.
We recommend keeping it trimmed and well groomed. Of course short cropped hair has a definite je ne sais quois as well. We just don’t want you to think that there aren't choices. Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme or Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream will add control and restore a healthy shine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Signature Style...

http://girldir.com/files/images/Annie-Hall-25a.jpg

When you are young, you can transform your style daily. So many choices, so little time! One day you can be Bohemian, layered with exotic fabrics and jewelry or an interesting mix of different elements. The next day, you can channel a Romantic heroine with velvets, capes and wild curls. Or you can create your own mix of all the trends, start a trend of your own, and still look adorable. When you are older, "adorable" isn't the image you may want to convey. After so much experimenting, it is time to define your style with a signature look.

Celebrities are good at this. Consider the Modern Classic, which requires careful editing. Diane Sawyer and Lauren Bacall have made this look their own. It remains timeless. Lauren Hutton and Katherine Hepburn have put a feminine twist on a natural, outdoorsy menswear look, which is constantly being reinterpreted by fashion designers. Always surprising, this style can be personalized with the addition of quirky accessories so that it is never boring. Diane Keaton has a confidence that makes it possible for her to own a style that is many times, over the top, but is consistently interesting and flattering to her. By now, we can look in our closets and see a direction our choices have taken. Continue on your own path. You can be your own version of Coco, Audrey, or Jackie. With close editing and consideration of new updates each season, you won’t long to wear clothes that look fabulous on your daughter. You will look perfectly, gorgeously like yourself.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New and Otherwise Noteworthy...

Bumble and Bumble hair powders have been around for a while but are definitely still noteworthy. Introduced to us by colleague of ours, this product can be used to cover roots or gray. The powder can be also be used in a pinch for dry cleansing. Available in white, blondish, red, brown and black, it truly can be a lifesaver.

from the Bumble and Bumble site:

"Hair powders add sexy va-va volume, extend the life of a blow-dry by absorbing excess oil and provide a dry texture that keeps pins and clips from slipping (so styles stay put). The shades enhance or shift hair color – these fantastic (and fun) forms of temporary color can be used to blend away roots between color appointments (Hallelujah!)."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hip, Hip, Beret...


Hip, Hip Beret!..

Since we were just thinking of Paris yesterday, we thought we might mention the beret. As ubiquitous as aviator sunglasses, the beret offers a way to keep your head warm and take your style up a notch. Although they are a constant presence in fashion, some years berets are more visible on the street than others. This is a beret year! A tweed beret, in neutral colors, is available at Banana Republic. Kangol, the quintessential hat maker, offers the Modelaine, a classic, yet shower-proof beret, in eight colors, www.kangolstore.com. Berets can be stuffed in your purse and pulled down over your ears on an unexpectedly windy day. This is a hat that will stay put and not blow away! They are way to add color to your winter wardrobe, or you can stick with black for a bit of mystery.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Women We Admire: Taking a Chance...

We met a schoolteacher in our French class last year. She had been through a bad divorce and a worse bout with breast cancer, so at the age of 57, she took a chance. On-line, she found a garret in the heart of the left bank of Paris. Two days after school was out, she boarded a plane and spent her summer walking the streets of Paris, discovering things she never would've known about the city and herself had she gone on a tour. When we met her, she was planning her third summer in the same apartment, a small room at the top of an ancient, iron spiral staircase. She had never learned the language. Everyday she was in France, she would pick up a new phrase. Now she had decided to take a class. It wasn't courage that had led her on her journey, she explained. It was a decision to live without regret. "Non, je ne regrette rien," Edith Piaf.http://broadwaycafesociety.com/images/piaf.JPG

A Writer's Paris, by Eric Maisel, will have you longing to take a chance, as will two websites: www.escapeartist.com and www.fusac.fr/en. But it doesn't have to be Paris, or travel abroad. Taking a chance requires that you step outside your comfort zone. "...throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tip # 2...

It has happened to all of us. We buy a lipstick and for whatever reason it just doesnʼt work. If you can return it great but if not, donʼt throw it out. You can always layer it with another. Some of the best lipstick combinations are all about using up something that doesnʼt work by itself. So be adventurous and create a color that is just your own.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Balzac...

"She said she had learnt one thing from Balzac: that a woman's beauty is a treasure beyond price." Bazac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Walking...

"Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thoughts so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it…Thus if one just keeps on walking everything will be all right." Soren Kierkegaard.

We are walkers. It is, they say, one of the healthiest of exercises, but that isn’t why we do it. Walking may make our bones strong, but it also strengthens our resolve. A form of meditation, it is a way to let go and just be. We begin our walk with a head full of clutter; random thoughts, worries, and as our gait picks up, we breathe, notice the change of seasons, hear the birds, the crickets drowning them out, and a shift takes place. We feel more grounded. No Walkman for us. It is a distraction. There is too much to see. We set out and keep going. Some of our best walks are the most unpredictable ones, a walk through a town on a snowy night, on a beach in winter after the crowds are gone, or through a city, having no set destination.
There are no age limits or equipment requirements other than a good pair of walking shoes. We know an eighty-three year old mother of twelve who has been walking eight miles every day since her youth and still looks amazing in slim dresses and tall stiletto boots. She carries a love of life that, we think, can be attributed in part to her daily ritual. Our dogs are happy, too, when we take them with us on our walk. They slow us down, stopping to investigate every smell, but we are learning from them. We are enjoying the moment.
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New and Noteworthy...

Normally any lipstick that is suppose to be long lasting tends to be dry and settles into our lip lines. Revlon Color Stay Mineral Lipglaze seems to be the exception. More a lip gloss then a lipstick it is moist and lasts. Stay Ablaze is a great color that is neither too light nor dark. The word is out as most drug stores we went to had a limited supply. A definite thumbs up!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Magic of Accessorizing...

Ah, the allure of accessories! Do you have a perfect pair of earrings or a string of pearls that you wear with everything? Is it your signature? Did you inherit a Kelly bag from your mother that you wear with your jeans and favorite black dress? We all have those special accessories that turn a great outfit into a spectacular one. Sometimes to update our look all we need is the right jewelry, the perfect bag or scarf. Right now pearls are experiencing a rebirth. Layering makes them more modern, Chunky jewelry and longer earrings, (choose one!), add interest to the simple necklines of fall styles. Large handbags, a staple of the past few seasons, are still around, but clutches are giving them some competition. It is a fun way to change your look without spending a fortune. Don't forget to edit. Too many statement accessories will take the attention away from you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pencil Skirts...

At last the return of a skirt that makes us feel sophisticated and sexy at the same time. We did look cute in prairie skirts with our little jean jackets, and adorable in minis, but it feels good to move on. Dresses, too, which have taken center stage for a while, are being upstaged by the pencil skirt. Whether with ruching, draping or texture, they offer a way to dress like a grown up. We are reminded of Katherine Hepburn perched on her desk, (in a pencil skirt), crossing her long legs and commanding Spencer Tracy’s attention in the film, Desk Set. These skirts are available in all price ranges. We found a metallic tweed skirt at J. Crew that is an early indicator of a spring trend. On the runway this week, Ralph Lauren gilded his sportswear and mixed it with khaki, bringing an evening fabric clearly into day. Maybe it is the return of the strong, modern woman or just a need for a breath of fresh air, but there are so many interesting changes in fashion, we think it will be fun to shop again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rosy Cheeks...

Who doesn't look better with rosy cheeks? In the fall, the color palette of fashion is more intense. A pale face washes out. The magic of blusher can fix that. A dewy, healthy glow makes us look more beautiful and confident. The flush of an outdoor walk through the leaves is best achieved with a cream blush. Stick with a rosy color that has no brown undertones. Blaze by Laura Mercier is one of our favorites. Begin with a freshly moisturized face. A make up primer, (we like Smashbox Photo Finish), followed by a creamy foundation, (stay tuned for our foundation survey), keeps the color from fading. Apply the blush with two fingers on the apple of your cheek, working back to your temple. Blend well. If you prefer powder blush, Chanel in their new fall shade Rose Dust has the perfect amount of shimmer to restore your youthful glow. Be careful. Too much blush is often worse than none at all. Makeup should enhance and never distract.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fashion Week Redux...

“It's too early to make declarations, but I sense a 1930-40s air in the spring collection. Witness the head wraps, silk hoods and round glasses at Elise Overland's show yesterday.”
- Cathy Horyn, The New York Times

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In A Pinch!

Tip #1
Right before you need to color your hair and the roots or the dreaded gray is showing, just grab an eye shadow that is very close to your hair color and with a little brush apply where needed. The eye shadow works like magic and actually has staying power. It will help you get by until you can color your hair. There are wonderful products out there for root touch ups but this little trick works in a pinch!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cleansing and Moisturizing...

As the weather gets colder we need to change our cleanser and moisturizer. Even before the heat gets turned on in the house, our skin tends to get drier. Try switching to a creamy or oil cleanser. Purifying Oil (rich or light depending on your skin type) by Laura Mercier not only cleanses but moisturizes as well. Donʼt let the oil put you off, it isnʼt greasy and doesnʼt leave a residue. It leaves your skin dewy. The Youth As We Know It by Bliss is an excellent creamy cleanser. Try using those little yellow sponges and rinse well. If this is the point in your nightly beauty regime when you add Retin A or Retional let your face dry for at least an hour before applying. If your skin is still dry you can add your moisturizer after waiting again. There are many good moisturizers depending on your needs. Clinique Repairwear intensive night cream and Bobbi Brownʼs Overnight Cream are good choices. Rich In Shea Butter by LʼOccitane is great for very dry, dehydrated skin. Donʼt forget eye cream. In the AM you can wash again or just splash with warm water. Use your daytime moisturizer, eye cream and donʼt forget your SPF. Yes, even if it is raining. There are products that have the SPF or you can layer. Put your makeup on and voila! You are ready to start the day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Newsflash!!!

Coco Chanel, starring Shirley MacLaine, will premiere on Saturday, September 13 at 8:00pm on Lifetime TV. We haven't read any reviews, so...

It's A Wrap...

Scarves have been a trend for the past several seasons. Breezy fabrics wrapped several times around the necks of stylish women from LA to NYC took over where pashminas left off. This summer, we saw innovative adaptations of this trend on the streets. Scarves add interest and color to a simple outfit and, most importantly, warmth during the blustery days to come. J. Crew offers a long, ombre wool version which can be wrapped several times and knotted. It comes in deep autumn colors, as well as jewel tones. The Gap has Patrick Robinson designs in soft, fringed plaids. Tied once behind the neck, the pattern falls into a V, filling in the neckline of a long cardigan or fitted jacket. Madewell stocks a jersey scarf wide enough to double as a wrap on a cool, cross country flight. The French have always used scarves to extend their wardrobes. With the uncertain economy, a scarf is a small investment paying big dividends in personal style.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Penelope, A Fairy Tale Like No Other

We love Penelope, the newly released DVD with Christina Ricci, (our favorite Wednesday Addams). It is the enchanting story of a young aristocrat, the victim of a witch's curse, who must find true love with "one of her kind" in order to break the spell. James McAvoy, still making us sigh after Atonement, and Peter Dinklage, the charismatic star of The Station Agent, appear with Catherine O'Hara, the brilliant comedic actress. Reese Witherspoon, who produced the film, makes a cameo appearance. Penelope is a quirky, modern take on a fairy tale that reminds us to honor our fabulous selves when we catch our reflection in the glass. Each of us is perfect just the way we are. If only we had realized that earlier...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Concealer

If we had to choose one beauty product if we were stranded on a desert island it would be concealer. Nothing hides “a multitude of sins” quite like concealer. Color choice is crucial. You can’t go either too dark or too light for your skin color. If you have dark circles under your eyes start with a corrective color like Clinique’s red neutralizer. Use a small makeup brush to apply your concealer. Bobbi Brown’s is a good choice, and it has a top so you can carry with you in your purse. Try to avoid getting it in your laugh lines, not funny. Use the brush to cover up any other facial blemishes or dark spots. There are a lot of good products on the market that provide varying degrees of coverage. Sometimes it takes more than one. Remember first to moisturize. This is especially important if you need touch up during the day. Here are some of our tried and true suggestions. Bobbi Brown has both a Corrector and a Creamy Concealer that comes in a nice little pot with a mirror and is quite moist. There is an array of colors to choose from. Cle De Peau Concealer is considered the “Cadillac” of concealer and being concealer junkies, it too is in our makeup arsenal. It gives excellent coverage but you must moisturize. Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat (Radiant Touch Highlighter) is one of the best multipurpose concealers and can be used as a touch up during the day over makeup without build up. Last but definitely not least is Maybelline Cover Stick Corrective Concealer. It has been around forever and provides great coverage. We believe that concealer is indeed a bit a magic!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fashion fades. Only style remains. Coco Chanel

With Fashion Week in full swing, we have been thinking about style. "Style is the intersection of what you wear with who you are."- Leah Feldon-Mitchell The timeless style of black was attributed to Coco Chanel, who in 1919 at a charity ball, noticed that the women wearing colour looked "too awful. Colours make the women ugly. I think they ought to be dressed in black." The little black day-to-night dress waits in that intersection of fashion with identity, perfect for every woman. We have found a LBD at Isabella Bird, square neck, with a hint of spandex for an unbelievable price. (The website is listed in resources.) We have tested it with opaque black tights, pumps, and a fitted jacket for work, with flip flops and a jean jacket, and with strappy sandals, great jewelry and a Chanel red lipstick. Coco Chanel, the inspiration for much of the creativity you'll see in NYC this week, is also being celebrated in a new film starring Audrey Tatou, the gamine of Amelie, and directed by Anne Fontaine. Coco Avant Chanel is in production with a release date set for next year. Check in with us for the review!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Waitress

Happily, we can now watch Waitress on DVD. Adrienne Shelly wrote, directed and starred in this poignant film which won rave reviews at Sundance. With Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, and Andy Griffith, it is about a small town diner, its staff and, according to the film's official site, "one young woman's belief in the curative power of pastry." We follow the charming story of Jenna, an unhappily married, pregnant waitress, who was taught by her mother how to make pies. Each day she creates new recipes and gives the pies names that reflect her emotional state, "I Hate Earl's Baby" pie, "Bad Baby Crying All Night "pie. Hoping to enter and win the state pie-baking contest, she plots her escape from her marriage only to become involved with the local "prince" who offers to save her. Whether or not we choose to admit it, we have all been influenced by the Cinderella syndrome. It is everywhere, advertising, lyrics, etc. You know the story in its many disguises. Girl/woman gets “rescued” by prince, boyfriend. That is why we love Waitress. Jenna has a prince waiting in the wings, but her ultimate choice reflects her own courage.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What Does Your Fragrance Say About You?

Are you still wearing the same fragrance you wore in high school or college? Is it your signature? STOP! They say that our body chemistry changes every seven years, and there are so many wonderful new fragrances on the market. Transform yourself. Start with your fragrance! We like to mix it up and choose a different scent for each season. Ralph Lauren’s new fragrance, Notorious, is perfect now that we head into autumn and winter.

Notorious is the introduction of a new elegance in fragrance, a sophisticated change from the recent emphasis on young and sweet scents. Wearing it, you are transported to a cafe in Paris. You are waiting, in your slim black dress and peep toe pumps, for Bogey to appear. It is a captivating mix of deep black currant, bright bergamot, chocolate cosmos and patchouli musk. Be careful that your perfume does not arrive before you do. Just a touch on your pulse points so the allure is “up close and personal”.

New York Fashion Week opens...

Spring 2009 is appearing on the runways of New York today. Fashion is not something that only exists in clothes... it has something to do with ideas, with the way we live, with what happens around us...Coco Chanel. It will be interesting to see which designers will generate the excitement that will get us thinking about Spring shopping! Will a new star appear? We are still updating our Fall wardrobes. We love Kate Spade's "georgia." With its subtle platform toe and stacked heel, these alligator-printed patent peep toes can take us happily through until the first snowfall.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New and Otherwise Noteworthy Beauty Products

There are many products that promise to reduce eye puffiness and dark circles. Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew anti puff eye roller actually delivers. The roller cools and de-puffs and the dark circles appear lighter. Of course nothing can completely eliminate puffiness and darkness, but this product really helps, and it is not pricey. Definitely worth a try!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School...

It’s September, the beginning of a new season and the opportunity for reinvention. Many universities have opened their curriculum to include returning adult students. The New School for General Studies in NYC has one of the most acclaimed on-line programs in the country. The Paul McGhee Division of NYU and Columbia University offer communities of learning that can transform your life and take it in a new direction. Why lament the passage of time when there are so many opportunities to become who you’ve always meant to be. Check out the sites in Resources or find colleges in your area. Of course, part of the fun of returning to school will be the purchase of new school clothes. J. Crew offers the perfect fitted Donegal Tweed Ecole Jacket in gorgeous fall colors to throw on over your jeans when you are rushing off to class. Stop at the Gap for one of their twill totes. Buy a fresh notebook and begin again.