Thursday, September 30, 2010


Milan, home to fashion powerhouses such as Gucci, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, just wrapped their shows. And many a beauty lesson can be learned from them. I'm truly envious of my gorgeous friend who leaves for Italy tomorrow, however, I probably would have tried to stow away in her luggage if she was going during fashion week.

The trends keep on coming down the catwalk. The sheer volume of things I loved is staggering. Eyes popped with shades of blue for the Armani show. A smoky midnight blue was smudged to perfection across lids to create a shade of sky on a dark, stormy night. Black and blue liner added to the effect. The rest of the face was kept neutral and relatively bare. I tempted to wear this for fall, perhaps beginning tomorrow (I'm kind of obsessed).


Punchy colored pouts were the standouts at Fendi, Gucci and my personal favorite Jil Sander. I was moments away from hugging the computer screen to my face while viewing Jil's show. Every single thing was wonderful. The clothes were drool worthy, hair and makeup just added to the allure. But I digress. Flashy colored lips are making a statement across the globe. Fun shades of coral, red and pink are worth a try. Matte or glossy, you can't really go wrong with either.



(Jil Sander)

The beautiful sheer wash of neutrals at the Dolce and Gabbanna along with their sister line D&G were the epitome of wearable makeup (makeup maven Pat McGrath created both looks). The colors are flattering to everyone (yes, everyone) and the look isn't some crazy, gazillion-step process that is impossible to do without endless time and a personal makeup artist. And it's office appropriate even in the corporate world.

(Dolce and Gabbana)


There is something for everyone to be found on the runways whether it be sweet and sexy looking natural makeup or dayglo lipstick. Hair happenings from Milan are up next.

(all photos via

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frizz for All

Before the lovely ladies of the Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs shows (followed by Topshop in London) strutted down the catwalk in frizzed-out glory, we thought frizz was to be avoided at all costs. It still seemed a little too good to be true that frizz could be (gulp) stylish.

It certainly looked pretty on all the freakishly gorgeous models but is it really meant for the real world? A question I was not sure I could answer. I thought about trying the technique Guido used for the girls backstage at MJ and Marc by MJ however it seemed like it would be a lot of effort to create something I have tried so desperately to avoid in the past.

Enter Cecilia Dean, co-founder of Visionaire and all-around stylish lady. She always looks stunning and put together regardless of the occasion. What would be considered a fashion risk for most, she wears effortlessly. Jealous? (I am.)

You can typically find Cecilia wearing a simple, pulled back hairstyle. Often times her hair is the most understated part of her look. However, she was recently spotted bringing the runway frizz to the streets! I was floored- on her, this hair actually worked. Does it work because she's a fashion phenom? Maybe. But you've got to admit, girl is working it. Cecilia, thank you for paving the way for the rest of us to give this potentially disastrous 'do a whirl. You look amazing.

(image via

Monday, September 27, 2010

London Calling

London Fashion Week has now wrapped up (I've been slow on posting due t0 a very busy work schedule) and Milan's shows are in full swing. And then Paris, which I'm very much looking forward to.

London's backstage trends did not deviate much from that of New York. There were bright pops of color, pretty natural beauty, and frizzy hair made another appearance.

Amongst the natural looks was Burberry Prorsum. I have not had the opportunity to try out any of Burberry's newly launched beauty line, but it looks pretty amazing. The backstage spread was quite impressive and the beautiful taupey eye combined with flawless skin and a nude lip was lovely. I'm even more inclined to try out a shadow or two after seeing this. The hair was simple, and easy- a straight look with a bit of volume and movement.

Christopher Kane was in the same vein with a simple and sweet look for hair and makeup. “I’m never into big hairdos, I like simple but beautiful looks. I feel the same about the makeup for the shows. So it’s not overly styled to soften up the severe colors in the clothes,” Kane said. Models were adorned with a peach blush, a thick defined brow, a touch of black liner along the upper lash line and a mauve shade that gave lips a just-kissed color. Soft waves were slicked backed at the sides to add a touch of glamour to the otherwise sweet look.

There were bright colors abound during the Issa show. The hot pinks and purples of the clothes were the standouts but the hair and makeup was just as eye-catching. The models' hair was put up into turbans (which we saw on the NY runways as well) and models who weren't turban-clad had hair structured to look like one. The hair was definitely the spotlight and the makeup merely a complement. Very wearable; the look was comprised of a traditional smoky eye and lots of liner and a pale nude lip.

Frizzy hair cropped up on the Topshop runway for their Unique show. This trend is being described as Grace Coddington hair (she is quite the style icon). Topshop featured a 70's hippie vibe. Voluminous frizz had pastel extensions added to bulk up hair and it looked super cute, too. The makeup was sassy as all get out: defined arches (brows, that is) and glossy red lips. Makeup artist Hannah Murray used Topshop’s own Lipstick Pencil in Flame and Gloss in Cardinal Sin.

I love Sass and Bide, they have always been a favorite of mine. And this collection is no exception; the clothes are just fantastic. So I just assumed the hair and makeup would be an immediate favorite as well. In actuality, I had to think this over before deciding that I did in fact like it. The makeup had me sold from the start, it was the hair I was hung up on. I love a quality top knot. In my long-hair days I was certainly a huge fan of piling my hair atop my head in a messy knot. I think my hold-out on falling for this was that I feel like the knot is just way too close to the front of the models' heads. It just looked off, but I'm looking past that knowing that I can easily recreate this look with a more centered bun. Rant over.

And lastly, this final look is not really wearable in the real world but I would have expected nothing less from Vivienne Westwood. With a look all her own, it was no surprise the models strutted down the runway with painted faces. Yes, you read that right. The models faces were splotched in shades of blue and green. You can file this one away as it would just be weird for us regular gals. However, the hair is completely wearable (and enviable). The soft waves looked touchably soft. I will be trying this on my own hair for sure.

(all images via

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Show-Mania Pt. 2

New York's first fashion week at Lincoln Center is officially over. Seems to me it was a rousing success. Now the fashion and beauty elite head to London to do it all over in a new locale. (More on that later in the week).

I have to say that I am truly excited by all the new beauty and hair trends. And I'm even more thrilled that most of them are totally wearable and easily replicated for the non-model genre. As I mentioned, there a few distinct themes floating around backstage: bright pops of color and a very simple and pretty no-makeup look. As for hair - simplicity ruled the runway and braids are here to stay. I'm all for simple hair and I adore a good braid, be it a tiny side braid or more of a messy I-just-woke-up-with-major-bedhead braid a la the Lela Rose show.

One of my absolute favorite looks was the Rag and Bone show. I have said before that I sweat. I don't glisten or glow, I sweat in the most unladylike of ways. Well, my fellow sweaty Betties, rejoice with me- the backstage team at Rag and Bone has made sweaty sexy! In the hot summer months when the city is 100+ degrees with 1000% humidity, it's hard to not look like you desperately need a shower. However, by following the R&B lead, you can look like you intentionally left the house that way. The hair was pulled back with a black American Apparel headband and tied into messy, wet-looking knots, which is exactly how my hair would look on a sticky summer evening. And the makeup, oh Gucci Westman, thank you for showing the dryness-impaired ladies that we too can look just as lovely as everyone else in the heat. The skin was dewy and cheeks lightly flushed like you'd just run up several flights of stairs, or got stuck on the non-working a/c car on the subway. And the defined, glistening, pure love.

Another of my favorite runway looks was the Lela Rose show. Hair guy extraordinaire, Ted Gibson, has done it once again. The messy, roughed up braids are just gorgeous. It's a second day hair lover's dream come true. This look is ready for the beach or a night on the town. And the bright red-orange lip strikes again. Ladies, buy your mandarin colored lipsticks and glosses now, this look is everywhere (see Lela Rose and Cynthia Rowley images below).

Marc by Marc Jacobs also showcased an orange lip in matte version. The models were sporting a rosy cheek and bleached brows so as not to distract from the bright lip. And who ever thought frizz could be cool? Apparently, hair god Guido, that's who. Guido and team had quite a bit of work cut out for them seeing as intentionally creating frizz is a multi-step process. Product was added, then hair was wrapped around large bobby pins in a figure-eight pattern, then it was flatironed while wrapped around the pins (creating a very kinky, tight curl), once the pins were removed the hair was brushed out to create a pretty ball of fluff and pinned back a bit near the face.

Two more looks I fell head over heels for were the Proenza Schouler show and the Preen show. And they could not have been more different in their beauty direction. The PS team created a schoolgirl with an edge look. The skin was clean and fresh with a dark, very defined brow taking center stage. The hair was an unkempt, french twist that looked like it was coming loose. All in all a pretty easy look to recreate. My french twists typically come undone shortly after the labor intensive session it took to create. At least now my shoddy workmanship will be fashionable.

At Preen the barely-there shade of blue used on models lids was dreamy. The soft, muted pastels were almost angelic. Blue shadow isn't the beauty pariah it once was. If done right it's quite flattering. And man did Preen get it right. A soft baby blue eyeshadow mixed in with a taupe lead into a touch of dusty rose blush finished off with a natural colored lip to complete this sweet look. It was enhanced natural beauty, so of course, the hair was very natural looking as well. The soft waves look like they were created by simply air-drying hair after a shower. How easy is that? I'll definitely be wearing this look, probably long before spring.

(all images via

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Dear Jason Wu, thank you for making my hair and makeup dreams come true. 

The beautiful chiffon-incorporated braids seen making their way down the lapis-tiled runway at Jason's show may very well be my favorite of this season. Talk about "business in the front and party in the back"- in front you see a sleek, deep side part of what appears to be an unassuming chignon or bun, but from the back- well, it's beyond gorgeous. Hairstylist Odile Gilbert created the chiffon blooms by weaving the pieces of fabric into the braids and then pinning it together to create a floralesque design.

This ultra-cool and sophisticated look is pretty easy to recreate, surprisingly so. Separate hair into four sections, secure with an elastic band, anchor your fabric pieces in each elastic and braid away. Then take all four pieces and pin up to create your own look. I am admittedly terrible at recreating hairstyles that require anything more than a brush, but this is a must try.

(Jason Wu)
The makeup for Jason's show was just as pretty as the hair. Eyes were done up in jewel tones, my favorite of which was the purple, none of the colors were overpowering. The sexy, yet subtle eye was complemented with a flush cheek and nude lips. Definitely wearable off the runway.

(Jason Wu)
There has been two recurring themes this season: a very naturally pretty, minimal makeup look and then bright pops of color, used to highlight either the lips or eyes or sometimes both. I'm a huge fan of both looks. And again, both are incredibly wearable.

Diane von Furstenburg's models' pretty pouts were adorned with a very matte magenta lip. Sounds scary, right? Quite frankly, there is potential to go horribly wrong here. But if this is wrong, I don't want to be right. Makeup man James Kaliardos used MAC's Chromographic Pencil in Processed Magenta. Sold! (Yes, it was that easy to convince me to purchase this- you know you want it too). And I love the full brow (lazy pluckers rejoice).

Bright eyes were the focus of both Derek Lam and Peter Som's shows. I have always loved a bright, colorful eye. It offered more variety and was the easiest way to change up my look without going overboard or eliciting stares from strangers. Estee Lauder's creative director, Tom Pecheux, used a coral colored lip liner (!) and two shades of lipstick to create a creamy orange stripe across models' lids. [Editor's note: I used to use lip liners for eye pencils in high school, mostly because I found the lip colors more flattering on my lids.] Who knew I was so ahead of my time? For Peter Som, again makeup mogul Tom Pecheux created the look. This time the color yellow was front and center. The cheerful hue was care of MAC's Pro Acrylic Paint in Primary Yellow and Chromaline pigment pot. I traditionally shy away from bright yellow for fear of becoming a Big Bird look-alike, but I will make an exception for this. PS- models rocked this sans mascara, this bold look can stand alone.

(Derek Lam)

(Peter Som)
I love fall. October in NYC is quite possibly my favorite month, but these bold colors are making me long for summer already! The ideas are swirling around in my imagination. By the time the warmer months roll around again I hope to have mastered a few of these looks.

(all images via

Friday, September 10, 2010

Holy Fashion Week Batman!

NY Fashion Week is in full swing. With Fashion Night Out The Show under Lincoln Center's belt and today's line up, it's official.

I absolutely adore NYFW. It's what I like to think of as controlled chaos. A veritable who's who of the fashion and beauty worlds descend upon the city and run around (in heels no less) attending shows or making them happen. There was some uncertainty over the new digs (Lincoln Center) after so many seasons past at The Tents at Bryant Park. However, it seems like fashion week is settling in quite nicely.

I truly enjoy checking out the new collections but what I really look forward to is the makeup and hair. This part of the runway is much easier for us working gals to attain. And so far, with only one official day of shows down, the Spring 11 season does not disappoint.

Let's talk about how blown away I was by Vena Cava's hair and makeup. Instant love! It seems like summery orange lips will be sticking around a bit longer. This time around they are going a more matte than glossy and it works just perfectly with the navy smoky eye. And the hair....while it was pulled back, hair genius Ted Gibson incorporated a turban into some of the looks. So boho chic.

Richard Chai's collection went in a different direction. The models' eyes were rimmed in heavy black liner around the entire eye. Their skin tone was evened out, but they looked fresh-faced and dewy. The no-makeup makeup look in perfect form. The entire look was rounded out with a nude lip, not too pale, just a muted shade of the natural coloring. This was simply perfect. The hair, on the other hand, I am not a fan of. I don't know, I guess I just don't enjoy the I-just-accidentally-used-too-much-product-look. It looks like a failed attempt at slicking back the hair, looking halfway finished instead of polished. The end result looked a bit unwashed, and not in a good second-day-hair kind of way.

Rachel Comey's pieces are always laid-back and sweetly pretty. The hair and makeup for the show did not fall far from the proverbial tree. The models' makeup was sweet and pretty all while having that I-didn't-try-at-all look. And the hair was pulled back in an unfinished way. Something you could definitely do while running out the door, with a few wisps of hair making their way out, this look can be dressed up or down.

And finally, the fishtail braid that graced the runway of the Nicholas K. show was fantastic. Man, how I wish I could master this style. I have plateaued at regular braiding and seem to lack the necessary skills to fishtail. Hopefully I'll hit a breakthrough sometime soon so I can rock this. Perhaps this is wishful thinking on my part, though. So for now, I'm content to drool over this image.

(all images via

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sample This

On many occasions I've wished I could sample a beauty product before plunking down the money for it and just hoping it delivers on what is promised. However, most samples are little packets or tiny throw-away containers that barely have a full usage in them. Certainly not enough to ascertain whether it's a keeper or not. And asking for multiple samples at beauty counters just gets you a look from the employee that says I know you're not going to end up buying this, so I'm just going to look at you strange and make you uncomfortable until you give up and walk away. Enter Birchbox.

How did someone not think of this idea sooner? How did I not think of this idea? Despite not being able to take credit for this seemingly genius idea, I will be trying it out. You sign up on Birchbox's website, and for just $10/month you'll receive 4-5 deluxe (non-teeny-tiny) samples delivered right to your door. (You can also do a one-year subscription for $110). What's not to love? Plus if you enjoy your samples and want to purchase a full-size product, you can do it right through Birchbox, earning yourself points towards money off future purchases.

You don't get a heads up on what brands are being sent, but that's part of the fun. However, past samples have been from top companies like NARS, Korres and Lipstick Queen. Along with samples you will also gain access to their online videos, how-tos and insider finds. I'll definitely be giving them a try. Be sure to check back for my findings.

To sign up go to