Monday, August 31, 2009

Beauty Buzz: M•A•C Cosmetics Behind the Scenes of Mad Men

We all know that everyone is completely crazy for the brilliance that is AMC's Mad Men, but did you know that the genius makeup line, M•A•C Cosmetics, does the makeup? The show's Makeup Department Head, M•A•C artist Lana Horochowski, give you a little behind the scenes of what it takes to get the look of your favorite retro TV heroines:

Q: You’re the new department head for Mad Men for Season 3, will you be making any changes to any characters makeup?
A: Since we are moving a little forward into the future, we have changed up the color palette for each character to go along with the time period.

Q: When you were preparing for this season, did you do any research for inspiration? If so, what inspired you most?
A: Weeks and weeks of meetings and research. I love looking through the old magazines. They are a great reference and a huge source of inspiration; however, we do try to keep the characters looking like real people that do their own makeup and not like movie stars with a makeup artist standing by. Magazines and old movies are a great guideline for a basic look and color selection.

Q: How would you describe the looks of each one of the characters? How do they differ?
A: Joan Holloway- always put together, very sassy and sexy
Betty Draper- although she is a housewife she is an ex-model, so her makeup is clean but very current for the period
Peggy Olson- Peggy is a young and fresh faced business woman of that period, she is a very clean natural makeup

Q: What are your key products for creating the makeup looks for the main female characters?
A: Joan Holloway- We do a heavier eye on Christina, so the key products would be eyeliner and strip lashes.
Betty Draper- Betty has 2 distinct looks, her at home look and her going out/evening look. For home she is very natural, basically a sheer foundation, think black eyeliner and mascara. Evening Betty goes a little thicker on the liner and a brighter lipstick, but aalways coordinated with her clothing.
Peggy Olson - Since the key to Peggy’s look is to appear as though she is wearing no makeup, a great foundation is super important. Also, a natural cheek and lip stain is applied to give her a little color.

Q: What are your favorite M•A•C products for each character?
A: Joan Holloway- Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle, Fluidline in Blacktrack and Rich Ground, brown and black, and Eye Shadow in Soft Brown.
Betty Draper - Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle, Blushcreme in Posey, and Lipsticks in Vegas Volt, Lip Pencil in Redd and Cherry
Peggy Olson - Eye Shadow in Orb, Vanilla, and Soft Brown and Blot Powder

Q: Everyone always notices the lips on the show, but brows seem to play a very important part to the look. Can you talk about the brows on the show?
A: Women of the 60's had a stricter code of style and etiquette, so people tended to follow the trends closer to the book. Nowadays, women have a variety of different brow styles so we are constantly tweezing, shaping, and filling the brows to recreate the look of the period.

Q: Each character has the most perfect lashes framing her eyes. What are your favorite lashes to use to get that perfectly plump line of lashes?
A: We love the M•A•C individual lashes as well as the traditional strip lashes.

Q: Do you collaborate with the hair and costume departments when coming up with a look?
A: Absolutely! We have at least 3 meetings per episode to create the look as a unit. I could not do this show without Lucia Mace (hair), Janie Bryant (costumes), and my fabulous key Ron Pipes!

Q: There seems to be a lot of making out on the show, how many times do you have to redo those red lips? Does it get messy?
A: We do what we can to seal the lip color, but we still have to go in every take to perform a minor clean up.

Q: What can real women take away from the show’s look and incorporate into their everyday look?
A: Well, a great start would be lining the top lash line only with a gel liner like M•A•C Fluidline. We love this product for recreating the perfect 60's eye. Also, replacing gloss and sheer or shimmer lipsticks with matte reds, bright pinks, and corals help create a more retro look. Lastly, instead of a powder blush try using creme in pinks and corals to create a flushed looking cheek. For evening, strip lashes are always a bonus.

The Breakover Diaries: Soak Your Cares Away In A Fabulous Bubble Bath


Photo credit: Inga Marone/Pineapple Public Relations/MCT. Photo via Newscom

There are some days you drag your carcass out of the house only to discover that the day is a complete waste of makeup. When you get home, instead of crawling straight into bed, you need to do something nice for yourself. How about taking a bubble bath? I did the leg work (and boy, the research was TOUGH - not really), but here are some brilliant picks for the world's most rewarding tub o' bubbles to reverse the suckage of your day:

We already know that I am a huge fan of all things Lush and this Pop In the Bath Bubble Bar ($6.95) is like a therapy session. A mixture of lemon oil, orange flower absolute and gardenia essential oils in a solid bar you crumble under running water for pretty much the most mind-blowing bubble bath of your life. It's vegan, it's fabulous and best of all it contains bergamot oil, which is a known anti-depressant and mood enhancer.

Another genius product? Juara Tiare Jasmine Tea Bath Shower Gel ($22) is brilliant as either a shower gel or it delivers beautifully for an amazing bubble bath. The scent is intoxicating without being overpowering, the formula is anti-aging as well as hydrating and the antioxidant benefits of tea leaves you with healthier, flake-free skin. I dare anyone to be in poor spirits after using this product.

Can't sleep? The best solution ever is to squeeze two parts Johnson's Bedtime Baby Bath ($4.99) with one part Johnson's Lavender Baby Oil ($4.29) under warm running water. Even though you're an adult, sometimes you just need to feel like someone's giving you a warm hug and that's what this bath will do for you. Added plus is baby soft skin. Be sure to set you alarm before you take this bath because you might be comatose by the time you hit the bed.

Sometimes it's nice to just spend a little time soaking your cares away. These brilliant bubble baths will help chill out, float your cares away and put you back in the right frame of mind. After all, tomorrow is another day.

NYFW: Sneak Peek at Gottex

So, the invitations are coming in and so are some fabulous sneak peeks at the gorgeous couture we'll get to see in the coming week. After the RSVP for the gorgeousness that is Gottex was received, they in their infinite kindness sent over a fab sneak preview sketch of the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. I love the boning and structure of the suit juxtaposed with the diaphanous look of the long flowing cover up. Very lingerie-inspired. Looking forward to reporting on the show from the tents!


Editor's Thoughts: Where Are All The Black Models?

Formula One Turkish Grand Prix - Race
Photo credit: Photo by Oktay Cilesiz/AA/Cameleon/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom

I just read some news pieces from one of my favorite sites, Fashionologie, about Naomi Campbell's comments regarding the fact that she feels the industry is sliding backwards in their placement of black models on the covers of major magazines. In a recent interview with the UK Telegraph, she says,

"This year, we have gone back all the way that we had advanced," she says. "I don't see any black woman, or of any other race, in big advertising campaigns."

Campbell, ever-outspoken, goes on to address the special edition of Italian Vogue from last year that highlighted models of color, stating, "That made some noise, but, unfortunately, we are the same as before," she says. "People, in the panic of the recession, don't dare to put a girl of colour in their campaign, full stop. Nor of any other race. It's a shame. It's very sad."

As Naomi is about to hit her 25th anniversary in the world of modeling, it seems that her support base is not there as it once was. I reported earlier that Yves Saint Laurent famously threatened to pull all of his advertising if Naomi wasn't given the cover of French Vogue and Naomi's famous supermodel counterparts, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, also protected her and famously threatened not to do shows unless Naomi could come as well. I hope that camaraderie is not completely lost but she does have a point: how many black models (or models of anything other than Caucasian descent) have you seen in advertising lately for luxury goods? I'm not talking about celebrities. I mean models.

It will be interesting to see if the $1 trillion dollars of spending that black women reportedly account for now will demand the shift happen again. We see diversity in ads for mass market brands but other than jewelry or alcohol-related purchases, why does it seem such a risk to show a Black woman living a luxurious lifestyle in the apparel and accessories befitting her status?

We've even taken swipes at our own First Lady if she wears anything that might be too expensive. Every time she wears something over a certain amount of money, people claim that she's "losing touch with her public." My gut instinct is that a black woman in power wearing couture makes people nervous, that it's somehow offensive or unrealistic. It's just silly: women of color are making huge strides in the world and they should dress accordingly. We have a black First Lady wearing Jason Wu, Isabel Toledo, Thakoon and Michael Kors. The rightful place of all women is truly where we dream we can be, not where some lack of image tells us we can't go.

You may ask, why is it important that a black woman be on the cover of a major fashion magazine, why all the fuss? Because in an image-driven world, young women of color are bombarded by images on a daily basis that say, "This could be you someday." Without aspirational branding and images that show women of color highlighted as powerful tastemakers, we must work extra-hard to reinforce the message that it is possible for a woman of color to reach this level.

Naomi has a point and my question to the $1 trillion spenders out there and to the companies who I suppose don't care that their customer base will eventually erode as the world demographic changes: who will make the demand for change? Most important, how soon?

The Breakover Diaries: We've Got Your Back

One of the hardest things about a breakup are those special times when you used to rely on your ex to do certain things: opening jars, grabbing things off the high shelf and having someone do your back when you need to put on lotion or scrub your back in the shower. That last one used to be kind of hard...until now. Ladies, I present Do My Back.

The brainchild of the fabulous Kate Slavin, the idea came to her when she decided to take a vacation after the breakup of a long-term romance. She was sitting by the pool and realized that she didn't want to ask just anyone to put lotion on her back. Realizing other singles everywhere must have the same issue, she came home and began researching devices that would take care of the situation. Since there was no device that would put lotions and potions on her back, she invented one.

This little gadget can be extended to reach further down your back and it comes with four applicator sponges that you can use, detach, wash and reuse again. Lotion, sunscreen, self-tanner or just a general back scrub in the shower: all of these tasks are now completely doable on your own and the device never asks you if you shave you legs. Kinda special, isn't it? I love mine.

Do My Back retails for $22 and refill pads are available in a pack of six for $12. I recommend this product for those going through a breakover and even for those who aren't because, let's face it, sometimes sisters just need to do it for ourselves.

Too Cool for School: Teachers Rule at the Jones New York In The Classroom Photo Shoot

photo credit: Craig Ruttle

Last week, I spent a lovely morning with the fantastic folks of Jones New York and their Style Guy, celebrity stylist and TV personality Lloyd Boston as they prepared for a photo shoot with the winners of the Jones New York In The Classroom’s 2009 Back To School, Back To Style! national contest. Spending the morning with these worthwhile winners and the professionals who shot them touched me, heart and soul.

Have you ever heard of this worthwhile program? Here's a little information: Jones New York In The Classroom is the label's major philanthropy and through a partnership with Macy's and Adopt-A-Classroom (the charity that enables teachers and their students to get the school supplies they need via your generous donations), they select seven very worthy teachers from across the country every year for some serious love and pampering. These lovely women are whisked to New York City, where they receive a $1500 Jones New York wardrobe from Macy's, and a photo shoot where they were given the VIP treatment with professional hair, makeup and personally styling with Lloyd Boston. The lucky winners also have their classrooms adopted and their school receives $1000.

These amazing women from Chicago, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Tampa and
Portland were over the moon with the hair and makeup options (a few of them said they never wear makeup) and the clothes were just spectacular. The photo shoot was so inspiring to watch and really touched my heart. I was honored to watch these unsung heroes become the center of attention and get the praise and attention they so rightly deserved. The lucky winners are:

photo credit: Craig Ruttle
  • Karen Vanderveen (San Francisco Bay Area) has been teaching for 18 years and works with “underserved and underperforming elementary students who have the difficult task of not only learning grade level material, but also a new language.”
  • Jordan Whitcomb (Tampa, Florida – MacDill AFB)fosters a “warm, rich learning environment,” which features 16 live animals (from chinchilla to bearded dragons), rugs, pillows and books purchased with her own money.
  • Imelda Souchet (Chicago)has been teaching for 20 years and teaches her students everything from the importance of performing arts – including a spectacular production of “The Wizard of Oz,” – to leadership and discipline by helping them create a student council with by-laws and a government body.
  • Bhavna Rawal (Houston)receives countless praise for her “Green Club,”which teaches students about building and using alternative energy resources in model homes.
  • Doreen Murphy (New York) is described as the cornerstone of her school and community, with her involvement in a penny harvest, Box Tops for Education, and collecting donations for food pantries on Staten Island.
  • Deb McGowan (Portland, Ore.) spent two years taking night classes to earn an additional teaching endorsement for English as a Second Language (ESL), just so that she could better reach her students.
  • Roberdia Diane Irving (St. Louis) earned her master’s degree in organizational management in business and has been teaching for 30 years. She's a member of school-related programs such as Gateway Elementary School’s Caring School Community Team, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and Community Character-Plus Team. She is also certified as a state foster and adoption parent.
I was saddened to learn that most teachers leave the profession within five years, citing "lack of community support" and that they give thousands of dollars (which they don't have to begin with) to make sure their classrooms are properly stocked and their students have the supplies they need. People, education is ALWAYS in style so PLEASE support your local teachers. Adopt-A-Classroom is a fantastic organization and will make sure that 100% of any donation, no matter how small, goes into an account for the classroom YOU select. The charity provides discounts through selected vendors like Office Max to provide these products at lower cost, then will drop ship them directly to the teacher of your choice.

Thanks to Jones New York for the opportunity to attend this photo shoot and to learn about this worthwhile program. I found the day inspiring, full of fun and - I'm sure the teachers will appreciate this - educational. Please help support your teachers and schools. Giving back is always a beautiful choice.

This Week's Giveaway: A Liz Claiborne Weekender PLUS Beauty Products

Remember I was telling you about that spectacular party I attend at Liz Claiborne? Well, they were kind enough to give me an extra gift bag, the gorgeous plaid weekender you see above. I'm going to give this beautiful bag (lined in pink and with all sorts of gorgeous pockets) to a lucky FSB subscriber because I think a girl needs something to help her travel in style come fall.

Here's the best part: not only do you get the sweet items that they gave us in this bag (gorgeous Liz Claiborne scarf, memo and mouse pad, chocolate) but I'm going to kick it up a notch: I'm going to put two HUGE handfuls of beauty products in there for you! What kind of beauty products you ask? about some Stila, Urban Decay, AquaFresh, Tarte, Mark, Weleda and Philosophy? Yep, because I'm just generous like that.

As per usual, here's how you enter: leave a comment below and let me know where you would take this fabulous weekender if you won it. Now, here's the rub: this contest is for subscribers ONLY so if you're not a subscriber, please do so in order to win this fab prize. No P.O. boxes, US only and again, this contest is for subscribers solamente.

Also, because this is a short week, I will close the contest on Wednesday, September 2nd, due to the fabulous Labor Day holiday weekend so enter NOW!

Good luck!

Friday, August 28, 2009

FSB Directory to Fashion's Night Out: Big-Time Fun At Boutiques

By now you've heard about Fashion's Night Out, the biggest shopping night of the entire year where retailers are pulling out all the stops to get us all shopping again. Where to go on September 10th when literally every retailer in town is participating in this non-stop fashion and shopping party? Here are my picks for the best of the night when it comes to fabulous boutiques:

3.1 Phillip Lim
in Soho will be refabricating and updating five signature styles from his past collections for the current fall season. The limited-size run of these signature styles will be revealed and sold only on Fashion’s Night Out between 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. at all 3.1 phillip lim stores in New York, L.A., and Tokyo. The genius designer himself will make an appearance that night at the SoHo store and some special guests will be on hand to lend personal styling tips as you sip, shop and groove to music curated for the night.

Kirna Zabete is celebrating its tenth anniversary in conjunction with Fashion’s Night Out on the 10th and this retail star is pulling out all the stops. Their favorite New York–based designers—Narciso Rodriguez, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Thakoon Panichgul, Jason Wu, and Peter Som—will be on hand to debut their exclusive items for Kirna Zabête: Peter Som limited-edition aprons, Proenza Schouler print tote bags, Thakoon one-of-a-kind dresses, Narciso Rodriguez photo collages, and Jason Wu fall 2009 fashion sketches.

ADAM by Adam Lippes is throwing a fabulous little soiree, with music by the renowned DJ Phresh, cocktails and two signature items available that night. ADAM has partnered with Havaianas to offer guests and shoppers personalized and custom-made ADAM T-shirts and flip flops. Shoppers can stamp their name or any other designed art available at the store on any purchased T-shirt and they can also choose straps, color combinations and any other details for one-of-a-kind flip flops. This shopping groove fest will go until 1:00 am, so be sure to take a disco nap and plan accordingly.

Kate Spade has decided to spice up the night with cha-cha lessons on the city streets while sipping Havana Highballs, followed by shopping of their debut clothing collection and our limited-edition Fashion’s Night Out tote.

Opening Ceremony is hosting a super-festive block party featuring food, music, and special edition merchandise. Expect appearances from Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, and Alexander Wang and Scott Sternberg of Boy/Band of Outsiders, where each designer will offer goods made exclusively for Fashion's Night Out, sold out of the back of custom cars tailored to each designer's aesthetic. Sshoppers will enjoy DJ sets by special friends as well as food and refreshments from neighborhood vendors.

Patricia Field will keep the party going late into the night with a midnight raffle, custom airbrush demonstrations, trunk shows from A-Morir by Kerin.Rose, Tom Tom Fashions, and Pavon by Luz & Victoria. Tom Tom Fashions will be customizing those fabulous Fashion’s Night Out T-shirts in his unique rock-’n’-roll-glamour style. Refreshments will be on hand and the fabulous Patricia Field will make an appearance. It's a don't miss.

Stay tuned to FSB for more of our picks for Fashion's Night Out. Next up is pop-up shops!

Editor's Thoughts: The Essence of a Beautiful Life

I was just organizing some products this morning when I was thinking about how much my life has changed over the past three years. Many of you wouldn't know this about me, but FSB is dream-turned-reality, a journey into the person that I'd wanted to be my entire life but had somehow never allowed myself to be.

Working corporate jobs since college graduation, I buried my dreams of writing about fashion and beauty underneath a lot of purchases (many of them caused the "WTF was I thinking?" question later), a considerable amount of body weight and put my soul to sleep. I read magazines and followed the writers like most people follow celebrities, wishing I could do that instead of what I was doing. This continued until one day I woke up in an apartment filled with things I didn't need in a life I really didn't want as someone I didn't even recognize. I decided to get rid of almost everything I owned, packed my things and took a chance on a move to New York City to become a writer.

Three years later, I'm preparing to attend New York Fashion Week on my own merits as the Editor of this publication. The funny thing is, if you ask me about all of the "things" I had to give up to get here, I don't honestly remember them. They belonged to another woman as far as I can tell and she is thankfully at rest. After a considerable amount of purging and donations, almost everything in my presence right now is something that makes my heart sing. Well, with the exception of a pair of Louboutins, but I'm working on that.

I write this note to you this Friday morning to encourage you to find your own style of living and unapologetically surround yourself with only the people and items that truly make you happy. A well-curated closet is one thing but a well-curated life is, in my opinion, the basis for all things fashion, the essence of real style, and the foundation for a truly beautiful life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NYFW: Getting Ready for Fashion Week

You know how they say that you know the moment you fall in love? All the air comes out of your body, you can't breathe and it feels like lightening hit you in the chest? I've only had this feeling a few times in my life but the first time I really felt it deep down in my soul was the moment I walked through the tents at Fashion Week.

As insane as all the standing in line while wearing painful shoes can be, I love every crazy, madcap moment of it. I love the energy of the shows, I adore looking at everyone as they dress to impress - it never gets old for me. But the main reason I love to attend Fashion Week is out of a sheer, unabashed love for the clothes. I have always adored good design and when you see these gorgeous items stalking down the runway on a model who is working it for all its worth, they can create moments that take your breath away.

Fashion.Style.Beauty will be reporting live from the tents this year in both photo and video. We're going backstage once or twice and we'll be giving you all the news that's fit to print when it comes to the designers, their collections and all of the fun and fabulousness that is Fashion Week. For the first time ever, we'll be running back and forth between the Bryant Park tents of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and the new MAC at Milk, the beloved makeup brand's collaboration with Milk Studios in Soho. This will be very interesting as some beloved favorite designers are returning to the tents while others have decided to show at Milk. The times they are a-changin' and we'll be reporting on all of it as we can. We're also part of Style Coalition's Inside The Tents. As one of the new kids on the block, we're honored to be included!

If you're not a subscriber, you might want to do so now because we'll be giving exclusives and giveaways during Fashion Week for our beloved subscribers ONLY. I'll be sending along sneak peeks at the collections and reporting on my preparations to wear some pretty brilliant clothes during that time. Every day you'll get a shot of what I'm wearing and where you can get these looks yourself. I hope you'll join me on this journey to the tents (and beyond). It's love and a pure passion for fashion...let's get ready for Fashion Week!


Designer Crush: Rachel Rachel Roy

I've long been a fan of Rachel Roy and her brilliant designs. Rachel has such a genius way of constructing clothes that have edgy but very feminine: mix dashes of streetwise tough with posh Park Avenue couture ideals and construction and there you have the genius that is Rachel Roy. Now you can experience her celebrity cult-followed designs for yourself at your neighborhood Macy's or head to her website: Rachel Rachel Roy has arrived.

I can honestly say that I am crushing hard on this label and I want every single thing in the collection. I'm already crazed over the gorgeous Double Breasted Printed Jacket ($149). Want it, need it, gotta have the Art Deco Party Dress with Chain Straps ($129), I need the Faux Fur Vest ($149), I need the Oversized Tee Shirt Dress ($129) under it, I need everything in this collection and something tells me once you get a look at it, you will too. The highest priced item in the collection is $169 and most items are between $50-$100. Shoes, handbags, jewelry are also available, well-designed and priced beautifully.

I'll be reporting from the pop-up shop in a couple of weeks during Fashion's Night Out, but when you're out fall shopping, I highly recommend you pick up some items from this collection. It's my philosophy that you should always dress to the best of your ability and with style like this at these prices, this truly make impeccable dressing available to everyone.

60 Second Beauty Tip: Get Sexy Eyes Fast with Stila Smudge Pots

I'm the girl who's dangerously close to putting out her eye applying mascara on the subway or I'm slicking on lip gloss before I run into an event. I love maximum impact fast which is why I'm currently loving my new beauty addiction: the Stila Smudge Pot ($20).

This little genius item is my new favorite day-to-night cosmetics secret weapon. It's a soft cosmetic that is highly versatile (it's a liner! it's a shadow!) and goes on smoothly with very little effort. Don't let the soft texture fool you: this has serious staying power so remember to build as you go because cosmetics are like cooking: it's easy to add ingredients but once you've gone too far, you have to start all over again. Either use a thin brush for liner effect or use the tip of your ring finger to dab it and blend for a smoked eye effect (your ring finger is the weakest so you don't have to worry about pressing really hard.)

My recent experience with my Smudge Pot brought me through two events and a late night out with a friend on a very hot, sweaty, your-makeup-should-be-running evening. I'm hooked!

My personal favorite is Black (a sooty, dramatic black), but it also comes in other beautiful hues, like Jade (a shimmering green), Gray (a rich charcoal - huge for fall) and Brown (a luxurious chocolate). If they're out of a color, sign up for them to email you. They'll take care of you.

Best of all, Stila is having a fab little sale right now so you can nab one of these genius little items for yourself but you have to act fast: only two more days of free shipping with any purchase over $25. Just use the code "SMUDGEPOTS" when you shop. This code expires 08/29/09. so act fast!

Get a Smudge Pot and unleash your own inner sex kitten in record time. Just be careful showing up with eyes that sexy...things could get a little messy. ;)

60 Second Fitness Tip: The Netflix Gym

As some of us are too busy to live, we always complain there's no time to go to the gym. Between busy schedules, long hours, kids, boyfriends and other commitments, the very thought of packing a gym bag, heading to a gym or yoga studio to work out and then getting back again is exhausting. So, we blow it off and our backsides continue to take on extra lbs.

I've recently discovered a cure for all of these excuses and a few more: Netflix. Yes, you read that correctly. I just filled my queue with a TON of workout DVDs and I do them during my "lunch hour" or crack of dawn early in my apartment. This alleviates almost all of my issues: I can't get bored because a brand new workout shows up in my mailbox every other day (or some have the "Watch Instantly" option where you can view them on a computer or hook it up to your TV), I can shower and get ready in the privacy of my own home and I can try just about any workout I want. If you have a Netflix account, I presume this means you carve out time to watch a movie. How about taking 45 minutes to do a workout video, then collapse on the floor and do crunches during a real movie?

If you don't have a Netflix account, it's really the smartest way to rent movies and if you use this fitness tip it's seriously a mere fraction of the cost of a gym membership. There are thousands of videos to choose from, so kick up your workout routine with my new favorite workout location: the Netflix gym!

The Breakover Diaries: Restyling His Leftover Clothes

When you were cleaning out your closet and drawers recently, I'll bet you found some leftover items that your ex might have left over at your place. Please don't judge these items too harshly. There are many uses for his leftover clothes. One of my favorites is captured in the movie Singles, when Kyra Sedgwick winds up using Campbell Scott's t-shirt to clean her toilet after he upsets her. Feel free to turn this item into a household product, but how about using this opportunity to add to your own wardrobe? Here are some new and fun ways to style the items he left behind:

Men's dress shirts are perfect for fall but remember that if the shirt is larger and longer than you to keep other proportions slim. Wear it buttoned with a skinny belt at the waist and pair it with a pencil skirt or a pair of skinny jeans.

Stop sleeping in his t-shirt and repurpose that soft wardrobe favorite. This upcoming season, layer it under a long cardigan or rock it with a statement necklace and a leather jacket. I'm pairing mine with leggings and heels but feel free to rock denim with this item as well.

Did he leave a suit or a blazer at your place? The 80's trend of the boyfriend jacket is going to be huge for fall, so feel free to throw this over a cocktail dress or pair it with a comfy t-shirt, shorts and heels for an edgy take on his old suit.

Belts are back again this season so have his cut to fit you or rock it around the hips with an oversized sweater.

If he left a pair of jeans at your place, congrats! You don't have to shop for a pair of "boyfriend" jeans because you've already been magically gifted with a pair. Be sure to keep proportions on top slim and fitted and rock it out with brilliant jewelry.

Gives a whole new meaning to shopping your closet, doesn't it? I mean, you could be nice and give his things away but why not take this as a sign from the universe that he really WANTED you to keep these clothes? After all, possession is 9/10ths of the law, isn't it? Finders keepers, ladies.

Fashion's Night Out: Have You Seen the Genius PSA?

Remember I was telling you earlier about Fashion's Night Out, the biggest shopping night of the entire year and ultimate partnership between Vogue, the CFDA, NYC & Company and the City of New York? Well, the series continues today with the FSB directory of where to spend this amazing night but in case you needed further convincing of why this night is such an amazing idea, here is the official PSA.

Because if you won't listen to me, maybe Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour, Isaac Mizrahi, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ashley Olsen, Diane Von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Vera Wang, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Anna Wintour and countless others can make you stand up and take notice. Get that money ready and get ready to sip, socialize and shop until it stops, people! Get ready for Fashion's Night Out on September 10th!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Five Questions, Five Minutes: Celebrity Stylist Robert Verdi Shares His Thoughts on Fall Fashion

Don't you wish some days that there was a fabulous celebrity stylist that could just pop out of your closet and help you make sense of it all? Me too, which is why I called in celebrity stylist Robert Verdi. Between dressing Eva Longoria Parker and countless other stars, working on his jewelry line, shooting multiple television shows and basically making the world more fabulous every day, he took some time to share his thoughts on the perfect fall wardrobe with you, the FSB reader:

Robert, you fabulous celebrity stylist, what are some of your favorite trends for fall?
I like the return of the toughness of biker chic and really appreciate it when paired with feminine, frilly things. A leather jacket over a tulle skirt or a similar leather jacket cropped over an evening gown is a gorgeous and fresh approach to "tough-but-sweet." I'm also a huge fan of the Hitchcock heroines, so I was pleased to see the return of the 40’s strong female silhouette; a belted jacket with a sharp shoulder paired with slim skirt is very old Hollywood and a classic, strong silhouette. You know, I also have to say that as a child of the 80's, I really appreciate the modern take on neon, like those Michael Kors neon shift dresses (and who didn't love Michelle Obama wearing it recently?) Between neon and flashes of punk rock influence, I'm thrilled with these new takes on some old favorites.

What is one item that women should definitely keep in their closets? What’s one thing we should recycle from last Fall?
I feel like last fall the elongated cardigan, aka "the boyfriend" or "grandpa" sweater, is a key piece that you should recycle from last year. Actually, any oversized sweater or cardigan will look just as fresh and inviting this year. Belting them or layering them over slimmer pieces will be incredibly flattering on everyone and it's a cool twist on your wardrobe to wear outerwear that almost look like you should wear them outdoors inside.

If a woman has to run out and get one key clothing piece for Fall, what should she buy?
I'm always going to advise investing in a fresh jacket or coat. These are necessary pieces that always have great versatility, they make or break your total look and you can amortize the cost against how often you'll use it. I'm also feeling like tweed pieces will be a great investment this season, like the gorgeous pieces Carolina Herrera showed a little while ago. A tweed coat/jacket or a matching vest with skirt combination will add a dash of menswear panache to your wardrobe and can be key pieces this season.

In terms of accessories, what is a key purchase for women for the coming season?
You know, it’s funny because we’ve seen the “It” bag become the centerpiece of a look for a while now, but the statement necklace has its moment now. This accessory sort of crept up the charts in importance this past season and it's definitely front and center for fall as the "it" item. This is the season to invest in a great statement centerpiece necklace. It's the go-to accessory for this season.

Come on, dish with us: if money were no object and we had a fabulous celebrity stylist dressing us, what is the mind-blowing, money-is-no-object you would make sure we all had in our wardrobes.
Oooh, I love this question! This was a hard one but I would have to say that you'll want something that will stand the test of time. I think I would have to advise purchasing a Chanel jacket or handbag because they’re timeless and classic, expensive and they're not something you buy every day. I also think I would advise a really spectacular over-the-knee boot like the Chelsea from Sergio Rossi ($1,195). Again, timeless, classic, expensive and not something you buy every day. These are investment pieces that will pay themselves off over your life because you'll wear them often and you'll love them even more as time goes on.

Stay tuned for more news on this fabulous celebrity stylist coming soon on FSB but definitely take these picks with you when you're looking at planning your own fall wardrobe. After all, who else can say that a celebrity stylist helped them plan their fall looks? You, that's who. :)

Beauty Buzz: Lipstick Queen Wants to Get You Fired Up About Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Last night, I was invited to the headquarters for the amazing cosmetics line Lipstick Queen with a select group of bloggers (that's us above, l-r is me, Jamie Allison Sanders, Carolyn Hsu, Lipstick Queen's Poppy King, Felicia Sullivan, Amber Katz and Dina Fierro) to see what new and fabulous lip products are coming forth. I am a HUGE fan of this label and was honored to have a chance to meet and chat with the brand’s founder, the fabulous Poppy King. Even though I was running slightly late (thank you again, F train), I made it just in time to get the scoop on what’s forthcoming.

Inspired by Andy Warhol’s comment that everyone in the world will be famous for fifteen minutes, the brand is launching their Fifteen Minutes of Fame Lip Gloss Collection ($16.50 each), a range of pop art-inspired colors that have gorgeous hues and incredible staying power. Each lip gloss is named for one of the fifteen minutes you’ll be famous and if you wear it, I dare say you’ll be ready for your close-up.

The other fabulous item they’re launching is this gorgeous Fired Up Power Gloss ($14), an event carpet-ready sheer red that is meant to inspire you to go out and conquer the world (Poppy is all about girl power, ladies.) Even better, 100% of the profits from the product will go to Count Me In, an organization that promotes and supports women's entrepreneurship and their financial independence. It's not available yet but like everything this fabulous, you can put yourself on the wait list...and you should.

I’m really a huge fan of the brand and even more so after reading Poppy’s book, Lessons of a Lipstick Queen, which tells how she founded her brilliant lipstick brand and gives tips and tricks to inspire you to follow your own dream you’d care to see fulfilled. Her charm and spirit really comes through in this book so if you're looking for inspiration to follow your dreams, look no further than this worthy tome.

Between the brilliant packaging, the stays-on-forever formulas and the gorgeous hues, Lipstick Queen is one of my favorite beauty brands and it’s bound to be yours as well. Nab a tube or two of this amazing gloss or one of their mind-blowing lipsticks and you too might discover your inner Lipstick Queen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Daily Style Icon: Naomi Campbell

The First Ladies of Africa Health Summit Gala

Every week on FSB I try to pay homage to those with impeccable style. This week's Daily Style Icon series is a tribute to the fabulous supermodels of the early 90's. We continue the series with another of my all-time favorites, Naomi Campbell.

Despite her tempestuous (and sometimes violent) tabloid headings, no one can argue with the fact that Naomi is arguably one of the greatest supermodels and catwalkers of all time. Discovered window shopping at the age of 15 outside Covent Garden in her native London, Naomi was thrust into runway walking almost immediately and started working in lucrative campaigns with Lee Jeans, Ralph Lauren and François Nars. Her career was solidified when at age 15 she appeared on the cover of Elle, replacing another model and setting what would be a historic career in motion. She became the first black model to grace the cover of Paris Vogue in August 1988, after legendary designer and personal friend Yves Saint Laurent famously threatened to withdraw his advertising if Campbell or any other black model, wouldn't appear on its cover. She was also the first black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue, Vogue Nippon and Time. She has appeared on more than 100 magazine covers and is still a formidable force on the runway long after most models her age have since retired.

Naomi will always be the ultimate catwalk goddess to me, with her legendary stride and fierce strut. I always think of her in dresses with a little bit of sex appeal, like this David Meister Embellished One Shoulder Dress (on sale for $178.90). Paired with these stunning Stuart Weitzman Silver Nitetime Sandals (on sale for $99), you too can borrow a little of Naomi's signature swagger for your own nighttime look.

Naomi, tempestuous one, thank you for hanging in there, being fierce and working it for all its worth. You're still the one to watch, in my opinion.
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