Sally Hensen’s Insta-Dri Nail Polish

I thought I’d share my obsession today… talk about super cheap and instant beauty!

 I love this stuff. Typically, I avoid painting my nails for two reasons… one being they take so long to dry that I will smudge my nails before I ever even get to enjoy the new look, and two, they chip so much after multiple hand washings and after showers that I can’t make time to keep them nice. “Busy Mom” cop out, I know, but it’s true (ain’t it girls?)

Here is the closest I’ve come to resolving my own personal nail polish “dilemma”: Sally Hensen’s Insta-Dri nail polish. The name lives up to its promises, a single coat really is dry in 60-90 seconds. And if you’re generous in your application method, you can get away with just doing a single coat at a time.

 I bought a bottle of this nail polish in August, a wicked shade called Mocachino (second from the left), a gorgeous autumn, brownish red, with just a hint of shimmery gold glitter when you look close. The bottle is already almost empty, and I’ve never used a nail polish that quickly before. But I found that it wears well in the short term, and with the fast drying formula, I’m more motivated to keep after the chips as they inevitably appear. I can easily touch up just the tips and the color blends well with the previous coat, making it so easy to keep them tidy.

And I change about 7 diapers a day! That’s a lot of wear and tear on the nails.

I’m motivated to go find more colors now, I’m definitely craving a rich, true red next. And if you find some for yourself, do share!

Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Henna body art designs

Let’s take a moment to talk about something I know a LOT about… henna! I’ve been a freelance henna artist since 2001, and I really love this little plant.

 Henna, or “mehndi” as it is known in Hindi, is a plant that is used to create temporary body art when made into a paste and painted on the skin. The paste releases its dye onto the upper epidermal layer of skin, and as your skin exfoliates, the design disappears. Typically, a henna design will last about 7-14 days.

This is what henna paste looks like, when painted on the skin. The paste appears black, and often can be istaken as a “finished” look. Instead, the longer the henna paste is worn on the skin, the darker and longer lasting the resulting stain will be. This is due to the dye within the paste having sufficient time to deposit into several layers of the skin’s “strata” of the epidermis.

This is what a henna design looks after paste is removed. You can see the resulting design is a reddish, terracotta brown color.

Natural henna is very safe for folks to wear, but unfortunately there is a product that calls itself “black henna” which is NOT safe. “Black henna” often contains a chemical known as PPD (Para-phenylendiamene) which is known to cause oozing lesions and chemical burns.

Listen to Alissa! Stay Away From Black Henna! (Click it for photo examples of PPD injuries).

If you decide to have a henna done, ask your artist what is in her paste (if she refuses to tell you, that is a BIG red flag!) Also, ask her what color your finished design will be. Real henna never results in a black colored design, and real henna only lasts about 7-14 days, because it disappears as your skin exfoliates.

If you buy your own henna kit, be sure to read over the ingredients (some kits contain black walnut powder which can be extremely hazardous to those with nut allergies). I recommend avoiding premade pastes, which can contain a host of chemicals, and to mix your own (it’s what I do). Once you are certain you’ve got the real stuff to play with, paint and enjoy!

[Henna designs in this post are works I have done for my clients, and are copyright to me.]

Published in: on September 26, 2009 at 9:13 am  Comments (3)  

America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 13

We’ve done plus size, now we need a new gimmick… you can hear the producers’ thoughts jumping off the screen as soon as this season began. So, here we are in the midst of Tyra Bank’s Cycle 13 and the girl’s have had the chance to learn from Super Smize (really Tyra? Really??)

And this week our lovely contestants have the following to share.

Sundai says: Blah blah, I stir up trouble.

Bianca says: Blah blah, defensiveness, blah, trust issues, blah a blah. I GOT NO HAIR, of course I’m vunerable.

Nicole says: Blah blah, tried to be nice but blah. Bloody Eyeball! Have you seen my red hair, not to mention these cheekbones?

Ashley says: Blah blah. I talk about the other girls, all bitchy like.

And Lulu said: What Ashley said.

And then Tyra said, ”  .”

And to Miss J she said, ”  .”

And Miss J said, ”  !”

And then everyone said, “See ya, Lulu. Enjoy the complementary weave, on us!”

…And yet, I make time in my life to continue watching, because I’m somehow strangely addicted anyhow.

For which I can only guess that there was a deal made between the Devil and Bankable Productions somewhere along the way.

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 11:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dior’s “New Look”

Christian Dior began his career as a fashion designer at the age of 33. By 41, with a $500,000 investment from French textile millionaire Marcel Boussac backing his venture, the House of Dior was created. His first collection, designed for Spring 1947 and named “Corolle” after the flowers that inspired him, featured a drastic departure from the established “Chanel-esque” norm of women’s fashion designs.

 Dior chose a silouhette that was already being explored prior to WWII by designers such as Cristobal Balenciaga and Jacques Fath. However, it would be Dior and no one else that people thought of when seeing designs featuring slender shoulders, nipped waistlines, and voluminous skirts. Breaking away from the rationing of textiles during WWII, Dior created his gowns with sumptuous fabrics, using generous pleating details in his patterns that allowed many yards of fabric to be gathered into just one skirt.

 Some applauded his lavish and ladylike design aesthetic as a fresh new approach after decades of Chanel’s menswear-inspired, unstructured silouhettes, while others criticized his extravagent use of fabrics, as well as his reintroduction of the corset as a return to the binding discomfort of a bygone era in women’s fashion.

It was Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow who dubbed Dior’s collection as “the New Look,” and the moniker took hold. While Dior continued to come up with changing silouhettes and hemlines at a dizzying pace for the next few years of his career, the trend chasers bought voraciously to keep up with the freshest designs each season. However, it is his “New Look” that people remember as the catalyst of his stellar design career.

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 7:35 am  Comments (1)  
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Paper dresses on Project Runway

This week’s material for our designers to work from didn’t come from Mood… it came from the Los Angeles Times. Newspaper!

The feather dress by Christopher really caught my attention in sketches, but his actual “feathers” reminded me of elementary school cut outs. I honestly thought the judges were going to rip him apart when he was called for the Final Six. Instead, they applauded him and dissed one of my favorites of the show… Gordana’s.

I’m a Gordana fan, I’ll go on record with that. But the judges found her boring – a fashion no no. The color work of Altheeha’s dress was so amazing that I almost wanted her to win again. It reminded me of colorwash quilts I’ve seen, and I just loved how it changed as she moved from front view to profile.

But Irina’s winning trenchcoat was amazing, and when you consider how many ’40s inspired looks we’re seeing right now and balance that with the fact that this season was shot a year ago? Fashion forward indeed!

Shirin must be more annoying than you or I can ever imagine with her nonstop babbledy twitter. I really wondered who would come up with paper mache for their newspaper, but that’s the crafty Mommy in me coming through.

Is it wrong that I’m glad Johnny got auf’ed? I loved his original origami look, I didn’t understand Tim’s critique in the workroom because I really liked it so much that I winced watching him wad it up and toss it in the trash can. So… why exactly did Johnny lie to the world that it was ruined by a steaming iron? Did he forget cameras were pointed at him every minute, capturing not only his temper tantrum of throwing the dress away, as well as his time spent on crossword puzzles? And, did your eyes pop like mine at Tim’s outburst at the end about Johnny’s statements?

Nicolas, Nicolas, Nicolas… I hope you go home next week. Your punk silly frock wasn’t enough to balance out the smack you talk.

Published in: on September 19, 2009 at 7:23 am  Comments (1)  

Fern Mallis on Fashion Week’s origins

Fern Mallis, currently the senior vice president of IMG Fashion, first organized the early incarnation of Fashion Week as “7th on Sixth” back in 1993, named for the Seventh Avenue (the Fashion District) tent shows at Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue. “I guess I’m somewhat the godmother of Fashion Week. So this is now sixteen years of having created the first organized, centralized, modernized shows in New York.”

 When discussing Fashion Week’s inception, Mallis recalls, “It was Market Week, which is what Fashion Week used to be called. And, typically, if there were fifty shows they were in fifty locations; no two things were ever in the same place. Everybody did their own thing. There was no sense of organizing, no sense of knowing how five hundred people get a taxi from one show to get to the next place and vice versa.”

Regarding the choice of location, Mallis said, “Bryant Park was like the backyard of the fashion industry — it’s the lawn for the industry. And so then the park was under construction and renovation, and we just wound up hiring a freelance show producer to help me put a project together. I went to Paris and Milan that next season to see what everybody else does. And then I got on the phone and started dialing for dollars and got Evian as the first sponsor, then got Anna Wintour from Vogue, then called Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE, and then one thing led to another and we got sponsors, including General Motors at the time.”

It reads like fate, or maybe serendipity, doesn’t it?

(Quotes from Daniel Vosovic’s Fashion Inside Out, 2008).

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 7:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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‘Pin thin’ press on RZP2

I wish I could sit down to a cuppa with Rachel to discuss photo journalism. Bad press is an opportunity; this is the episode’s ‘like it or not’ metamessage. No, you will not control what the press have to say, Rach… but maybe they’re not as offbase or as blood thirsty as you think.

Let’s start with Rachel’s weight. When your spine prominently shows through your back, it’s not a healthy look. When the press calls her ‘pin thin,’ Rach has a meltdown over it. Well, who really feels comfortable having their body discussed by the world? (Except Megan Fox, but let’s not go there).

Undeniably, Rachel is selling her own image, and the public sees this image and has an opinion. To change the storyline of the photos, you need to change the image. Gain a little muscle, and the story about you will change. Because honestly, the image of ‘pin thin and pissed off’ makes Rachel seem defiant to her public, possibly covering up something more sinister with displays of anger, and perhaps even in need of an intervention, with a cheeseburger and shake on hand.

And that’s not because we hate you, Rach! It’s because we love you, and we’re the American Public. We want happy endings and rainbows. And a healthy body.

Then there’s Rachel’s perception of the “Nicole Ritchie paparazzi feeding frenzy.” Truth is, the public knows the vague storyline that once Rachel and Nicole were friends, and then they weren’t. Reason why? Unknown. That’s a key element to keeping gossip alive and well.

So when the photogs see you two cozying up to each other, that’s a photo journalism opportunity… that’s a picture with a story! “Look everyone, they’re friends again, see?” And it’s a story the public is curious about, which makes it a very salable commodity. So of course the paps were excited. Their job is to find pictures that tell stories about people who the public wants to hear more about.

Changing gears, I had to laugh when they showed Rodger talking to their new online consultant… remember, dear readers, how Alissa said over the summer that obviously Rachel had recently hired someone to take on her blog and other online duties? Mmmm?

And while patting myself on the back, let’s not leave without discussing Natalia Vodianova in that silver Herve Leger dress. I gasped when I saw her in that dress, I really did.

And that’s why she makes the big bucks selling clothes, right kittens?

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Minx nails

If you haven’t heard of these yet, let me be the first to tell you. Minx nails are a treatment consisting of a flexible polymer that when applied provide a chip-resistant, mirror-like manicured shine and when I first heard of this nail treatment (thanks to Vogue and Beyonce last year) I thought, “Mirrored nails, wicked!” And being a mommy with permanently chipped nails, I rushed to the website to order some.

 And I soon found out the product line was only available to those with beauty school licenses. And you can’t fudge the order form, they require your license number and your beauty school, just to register you so that you can place an order. Why? The website says it takes special training to apply Minx nails, but watch a few YouTube videos and you can see the “complicated” process of application involves holding the sticker sheet to a lamp to warm them up, and then peeling and applying them to the nail.

Hmph, I could so friggin’ do this, but….

 So, I checked to find where in my state of New Mexico I could get the nail treatment done instead. Maybe I would save and treat myself with one. The Minx manicure seems to run between $40-$60 in other areas, but since it’s a product touted for being so long lasting, it seems a worthwhile splurge.

If you can find somewhere that even provides the service. And in New Mexico, you can’t. Cue the pouting fit, before the scheming took over. Was it worth it?

I read other bloggers’ opinions and discovered Minx nails have a dark side, that being they often peel on folks after only a few days of wear. A few days??? What happened to this “lasts for weeks” reputation? Not according to users’ reports. Suddenly, my burning desire to wear shiny mirror nails was beginning to fade. Eventually I let the crushing realization that these Minx nails weren’t much more than overhyped nail stickers sink in and my dream for perfect mirrored nails that never chip faded away.

“All that glitters,” right girls?

Published in: on September 13, 2009 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  

Fashion’s Night Out

The hype was hyped, the buzz was buzzing all day yesterday… so was Fashion’s Night Out a success?

I don’t know, I live thousands of miles away.

Bitter? Who me?

What it was: “In the United States, American Vogue has joined with NYC & Company, the City of New York, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to enliven again the consumer spirit that churns the economy and boosts the local industry of America’s fashion capital, New York City.

“The first evening of New York Fashion Week, Fashion’s Night Out will encompass festivities galore— from inventive window displays to model and celebrity appearances. Champagne may flow; hors d’oeuvres may be passed. Rumors of musical performances, downtown barbecues, shoe capsules, limited-edition rings, and sweepstakes abound. Apparently there will be makeovers, brow bars, and haircut stations at sundry spots, too.”

How the creators describe the evening’s events: “We’ve invited every fashion retailer across the five boroughs to encourage the fun of fashion again—flagships, tiny boutiques, massive department stores, young designers, mainstream chains, and niche luxury names alike—by keeping its doors open late on the evening of September 10 and to implement creative customer experiences welcoming all. Over 700 retailers and designers across New York City are confirmed participants in Fashion’s Night Out.”

More? Click: 

I don’t want to talk about it any more, I’m pouting.

(All quotes are from the shared link.)

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 11:09 am  Comments (1)  
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Brad goes to the Oscars, RZP2

After a long day with Crankosaurus Rex, the teething & toddling scream-o-saur, there’s nothing like having some Rachel Zoe Project to end the day with.

 We start with Rachel getting her first look at the Armani Prive trains she requested for Anne Hathaway’s dress. I had this feeling train #2 would be the one she liked after last week’s “To Be Continued” cliff hanger ending, but it was my BFF Autumn who pegged that Anne Hathaway would end up walking the red carpet without it. (And that’s without looking it up, folks!) Beautiful creation, wasn’t it, with all the beading? Not my favorite clutch, but we do see Rachel having that one set aside for her to chose from in this episode. 

Liv Tyler’s cameo made me want to call my dentist about getting some more bleach for my teeth. Maybe I’ll just go to instead. I’ll let you know.

And the show ends with Brad getting choked up about going to be Anne’s dresser at the Oscars. How cute was that? Was Taylor seething with jealousy and spouting sour grapes from the couch? Mmmmm??

And btw… bonus gossip round for you, dear readers, did you catch that flame war between Bethenny Franckel and Rachel Zoe on Tuesday? As Andy Cohen tweeted, “Girls girls your BOTH PRETTY! Daddy loves you both very much!”

Published in: on September 10, 2009 at 7:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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