Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Go International: Patrick Robinson

Target has just announced that the next designer for their acclaimed collaboration line, GO International, will be Patrick Robinson. Robinson is a young, fresh designer and, by the look of his Go International 2007 Spring Collection, he has much in store for the budget-conscience and design-hungry. From the look of the promotional pictures, his creative direction is very boho-fem, yet classy and breezy. Another must-have collection for the savvy, saving, and shopoholic.

picture courtesy of

Friday, February 23, 2007

Award Show Blitz: The 79th Annual Academy Awards

The Oscars were once a place where the industry could get together and celebrate achievement in the film making industry. Don't get me wrong, they still do plenty of that, yet there is also a more glamorous competition: fashion. In general I was very impressed this year, there were no swan dresses to say the least. Many actresses chose emerging designers to grace their fabulous selves as they floated amongst the flashbulbs at the biggest award show of the year. Yet there was also the sad, sad, sad, and a few surprises along the way...

The Good

J-Lo looked like a Grecian goddess in Marchesa. This was a great choice for her, a surprise because of her usual tendency towards hoochiness. Kirsten Dunst glimmered in Chanel Haute Couture. Although I am not the fondest of the feathers, I do love the sheer collar detail and the intricate yet delicate pattern. What I most love about this dress is that it reflects Kirsten's quirky-cute style in a very chic way.

Reese Witherspoon was ravishing in Nina Ricci. This lengthens her petite figure, giving her a beautiful hourglass shape. The layers were a pleasant surprise and make this look entirely unique. Ryan Phillipe is crying his puppy-dog eyes out right now.

Cameron Diaz in Valentino Couture blazed in white. I love the off-the-shoulder sleeves of this dress, and the short hemline highlights those gorgeous metallic shoes!

Kate Winslet in Valentino Couture went with an asymmetrical one-shoulder draped dress. A safe choice but pretty nonetheless.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive. A bold choice that Cate carries off with wonderful ease. This dress is a chic example of the new generation of the metallic trend: gunmetal.

Emily Blunt in Calvin Klein. This midnight blue dress shimmers as if it were pure liquid! One of my favorites and one of the best examples of smashing color.

Naomi Watts in buttery Escada. The pregnant star glowed in this gorgeous dress with chic draped sleeves.

SeƱorita Penelope Cruz was muy caliente in this feathery Versace gown. Warning: requires at least ten feet circumference around it.

Gweneth Paltrow in Zac Posen. This dress flatters her statuesque figure, oozing Old-Hollywood glam.

The Family Smith. Jada, in Carolina Herrera, Will, and Jaden win the Oscar for Most Fashionable Family.

Beyonce in Armani Prive. A beautiful dress with just enough va-va-voom for Miss B. This dress is reminds me of a refreshing scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The Bad

Even though she showed Simon a thing or two about talent, earning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, she just didn't quite hit it in this outfit by Oscar de la Renta. I applaud her effort to step outside the box, yet all I wanted to do was just snatch that piece of tin foil off of her shoulders.

Meryl Streep should have picked up a few tips from her alter-ego Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, because she didn't look very Runway in this frumpy frock.

Someone has jungle fever, and it isn't John Travolta. Kelly Preston went a little too wild in this Dolce & Gabbana gown. This dress is just too much leopard, which only ends up looking good on the actual cat. Prescription: Take leopard print in SMALL doses.

Costume designer Patricia Field is a perfect example of when you shouldn't match your dress to your EXACT shade of hair dye.

Catherine Deneuve in Gaultier Paris Couture. Catherine is a classic beauty, this dress not so much. This outfit, complete with bleeding heart, would have been more appropriate at an emo concert than at a glamorous event like the Oscars.

Jessica Biel in Oscar De La Renta. Even though she never looks bad, the pink shade is a bit flat, and the shape is boring. You'll get it right the next time, Jess.

The Vampire Queen of the Red Carpet. Excuse me, Eva Green in Givenchy.
I am crying as type this. Nicole Kidman in Balenciaga. This dress is not only sadly reminiscent of the "pillow" dress worn by Charlize Theron at last year's Oscars, but also comes complete with shoulder cup-holder! Let this be a lesson, even the chicest of us get it wrong sometimes.

The Plastics

I´m a barbie girl,
in a barbie world
Life in plastic,
it´s fantastic.
-"Barbie Girl" by Aqua

As much as I strive for individuality, I must admit that as a little girl I was first exposed to beauty and fashion through the wondrous, disproportionate, and plasticized creation that is Barbie. Although we can hate her for her extreme body ratio, her forays into every career imaginable, and leading poor pretty-boy Ken on for more than forty years, we can instead take her at face value. Barbie is just plain gorgeous, and she has remained an iconic figure in pop culture.

The smart people at MAC must agree with me then, for their new collection, Barbie Loves MAC, is all about everything fun, colorful, and feminine. This collection not only contains Barbie's trademark pink, but also fresh complementary shades of green and smoky tones, a perfect palette for spring.

Once I heard of this I knew that I immediately needed to see first-hand that these were not your run-of-the-mill, sickeningly cutesy collection of cosmetics. I recently had the pleasure of viewing this collection, and I was very impressed. Although every piece in the collection, from the lipsticks to the nail polish, is covetable, my two favorites are the Barbie Loves MAC Eyeshadow in Mothbrown and the Barbie Loves MAC Beauty Powder in Pearl Blossom. The eyeshadow appears an intense and frosty purplish-brown in the case, yet when applied created a very flattering smoky glow, very soft and capable of being layered for day or night. The Beauty Powder is in the perfect shade of shimmery pastel pink, and added a gorgeous luminescent light to my face.

In the end I looked "dolled up", yet very naturally pretty, which seems like an oxymoron coming from a collection about the most highly stylized toy of all time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

London Fall Fashion Week: Vol. 2

Burberry Prorsum

Just hearing the name Burberry conjure up images of the trademark beige, red, and black plaid into my mind. Although the signature Burberry plaid is a classic and one of the most quintessential symbols of Brit fashion, Burberry is so much more. Burberry Prorsum, Burberry's more high-fashion label, combines some of the brands classic shapes, such as the trench, with new designs, making the brand modern and very hipster-chic. This season was especially inspiring, with such rich textures as croc skin, paillettes, and satin. The season's new trench is updated in the new ultra-luxe dark mossy croc with shiny gold-toned hardware, very tough-girl with attitude to spare. One of the coolest styling techniques from this collection is layering a long, slim sweater over a silky dress or skirt, a very flattering and easy way to layer two staples of the fall season. The collection also included beautifully glitzy sequin-type embellishments on smoky grays, all topped off with a fabulous pair of leather gloves. A collection like this almost makes you forget that this was a brand that started off with items as simple as a plaid scarf!

all pictures courtesy of

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Mascara Diaries: Vol. 2

Is there a mascara out there that can give you beautiful lashes without looking as if you have obvious black paint on them? There is with Blinc Kiss Me Mascara, which I finally tried after reading many reviews and testimonials, and finally plunked down some dough after I couldn't stand hearing another word of praise and buzz.

Pros: The exclusive formula forms tubes around the lashes that only come off with both water and pressure. That means that even if you swim, cry, or rub your eyes, this mascara will stay put. Not only that, but it also is very gentle (a rare find for such a long-lasting formula) and an ideal choice for those with sensitive eyes. When applied correctly, the definition is very natural, almost as if you are gifted with naturally plump eyelashes!
Cons: For you drama addicts out there (you know who you are,) this might not be the right mascara for you. Because the definition is so subtle, the formula might not have enough impact to satisfy a preference for rich, inky color. Because I was going for the natural look, I tried the dark brown shade, so the black might provide more richness, but probably not enough to fake full-on-falsies.
Conclusion: A true mascara for naturally beautiful-looking lashes. Not only an ideal choice for the unfussy or athletic, but also a great basic and low-maintenance mascara for everyday wear.

Friday, February 16, 2007

London Fall Fashion Week 2007: Vol. 1

Marc by Marc Jacobs

To me, Fashion Week is not Fashion Week without Marc by Marc Jacobs. This was the first designer brand I fell in love with, and it opened my eyes to all different concepts of fashion. This season the show was held surprisingly in London, as opposed to New York where it has been recently. Nevertheless, it was still amazing. Marc Jacobs kept his signature grunge look, yet there was a European flair to the clothing. The berets added a French touch to a layered palette of burnished tones, charcoal, and smoky greys. The glove trend was seen yet again, adding a toasty touch to an otherwise bare sleeveless top. The ankle boot is still reigning strong as the shoe du-jour, making it a strong component to ground floaty layers. One of the most beautiful looks was a greige dress adorned with a silver filigree print, reminiscent of a Chloe look. Leave it to M by MJ to create another lust-worthy and grungy-chic collection!

All pictures courtesy of New York Magazine

Chemistry Daydreams

Have you ever sat through a chemistry class and heard the Periodic Table of Elements rattled off millions of times over and over, with your teacher droning on and on about the important properties of each? It is enough to put many people to sleep, or produce a notebook chock full of doodles and bubbly messages to other sleepy classmates.

Now you can make chemistry work in your favor with Smashbox O-GLOW. This revolutionary new blushing formula produces beautifully natural results by using only the newest technology. The special ingredient in this clear gel is the Goji Berry-C Complex™, which works with your skin's own circulatory system to stimulate a customized glow, which differs from person to person.

This product truly delivers results, leaving a long-lasting flush that was natural and complemented my skin color. Not only is the product brilliant, it is also extremely fun and oddly satisfying to watch the clear gel turn to pink within seconds of application!

I never thought that chemistry could be so fun...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love: Roses

Happy Valentines Day! It is the day of cupid, and sadly my dear little series of Love posts has come to a close. Do not fret, because I have plenty of more fun posts coming your way, with different themes to suit the direction of both fashion and beauty trends.

Who doesn't love a beautiful rose? Their sweet smell and delicate petals are reminiscent of an English garden and instantly conjure up thoughts of romance.

Although it is always a pleasure to see a tall glass vase filled with these elegant flowers, why not have the same satisfaction for your lips? Smith's Rosebud Salve is the ultimate chic lip saver that puts all other lip balms to shame. Packaged in a delightfully retro-pharmaceutical blue tin, this sheer pink balm contains soothing rose oils that leave lips hydrated, glossy, and naturally rosy.

Not only is this a prime lip treatment, it does double duty as a skin balm and eyebrow enhancer. On one of my recent time-zone-influenced dry skin emergencies, I dabbed a bit of this salve on the offending area and awoke to significantly more hydrated skin. I also often smooth the smallest bit along the shape of my brow to hold them in place and make my whole face appear more polished.

On the cost effective side, this balm is very inexpensive and lasts surprisingly long. I keep a tin of this around at all times for a refreshing option to traditionally tacky lip glosses.

As the great artist Seal once said "Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose," there will certainly be no competition with a rosy pucker from this balm.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

New York Fall Fashion Week 2007: Vol.3

Tracy Reese

This is one of my favorites of the season! After viewing collection after collection of serious clothing, its so refreshing to see these beautifully feminine looks. Once again the tight trend reigned supreme, running the gamut from striped to polka-dotted. There is definitely a baby-doll influence, yet with a touch of sophisticated glam.
Zac Posen

The young and talented Mr. Posen churned out a delightfully rich collection of polished duds this season. Rich purples mixed with warm neutrals and sultry black. A reference to the leather trend was seen in the details of dresses and on opera length gloves-a big trend for fall. Am I currently dreaming of possible future collaborations with Target? Pretty please?

all pictures courtesy of

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Love: Perfume

What would Valentines Day be without perfume? Most women crave the newest, sweetest, most breathtaking scent on the market. Even some women who do not wear cosmetics wear perfume. Smelling divine is just part of what women want. Whether or not is actually good for you doesn't come to mind.

That is all about to change. The health craze has now seeped into perfume culture with LAVANILA. These breakthrough scents are the first that are actually beneficial to your health. Unlike other perfumes, which contain scary additives and mystery chemicals, these contain nutrients that help with overall health. According to Sephora:

"With each spray, proprietary natural technology wraps the skin with super antioxidants goji berry and kakadu plum, soothing willowherb, and hydrating olive leaf for a healthy dose of 30 essential vitamins and minerals and 19 amino acids."

Not only is it practically a multi-vitamin, but the scents sound simply sweet, including Vanilla Blossom, Vanilla Grapefruit, and Pure Vanilla. No scary mystery concoctions or hard-to-pronounce notes here!

Who can feel guilty about a little (as my cousin likes to call it) "smell good" when its this good for you?

New York Fall Fashion Week 2007: Vol. 2

Marc Jacobs

In an interesting fashion, Marc Jacob's Fall 2007 runway collection turned into a chic geometry lesson. Clean lines, a simple palette, and interesting angles all combined to create a modern minimalism. A key trend were the various wide brim, short brim, and tilted hats that almost obscured the faces of the models, adding mystery and retro mystique. Ladylike cuts met menswear tailoring. A departure from his usual urban-friendly aesthetic, these clothes carried a Katherine-Hepburn vibe, both strong and powerful.

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Philip Lim further cemented his status as one of the best new designers in fashion with this collection. It was both young and effortlessly cool, which is part of Lim's trademark style. The short hemline reined, proving to be a persisting trend from spring. The mostly gray, tonal collection was punched up with the occasional glint of dirty metallic, hint of vibrant color, or pop of polka dots. A very chic collection for budding ingenues.


In trademark Luella fashion, this collection was bright and bold. The clothes made no apologies for being decidedly extroverted. Known for her rock n' roll aesthetic, this collection was for the fashion risk-taker. Two words to define this collection: polka dots and, what appeared to be, galoshes. Although the polka dots added fun spice to an otherwise basic black dress, the galoshes brought to mind Jack Sparrow and a band of mangy pirates. Meant for those with a sense of humor, this collection unabashedly demanded attention.

all pictures courtesy of

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Love: Valentines

Remember when you were a little kid and how fun Valentines Day was? On February 14th everyone made their own little shoebox, cut a slit on the top of it, and decorated it with bright, sparkly hearts. Everyone passed out their own Hello Kitty, Spiderman, or any other trademarked cartoon character-themed valentines with a little piece of taped candy on the outside. It was simple. It was straightforward. It was fun.

Yet as the years go by, Valentines Day becomes more and more complicated, and more and more pressure builds up on us to give out the perfect Valentines. Why not travel back in time and go retro with a cute set of nostalgic valentines like this Fredflare Valentine Pocket Tin Set? Not only are these adorable valentines adorned with cheerful 40's and 50's era cartoons, but they also double as tins! This means you can stash a tiny piece of candy, a love note, or any other valentine goody in a secret little compartment for the recipient to discover.

Whoever said hiding was a bad thing? Conceal a little something this holiday for your friends or your sweetie.