Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spring 2009: Zoya Twist

As you can see, I'm not the only one in this household who thinks nail polish is fun.

Twist is the new collection from Zoya for spring 2009, and it has both traditional springy colors and a couple that are more related to what we've been wearing all winter. My current favorites are Harley, a delicate shimmering dove gray and Malia, a cream violet that's not the easiest to wear (I'm not completely sure I don't look like a corpse bride when sporting it), but is just very pretty. I love looking at Jo, the metallic sky blue, but I can't bring myself to wear it.

The happy pink ones are a too bright for my hands but would make a fabulous summer pedicure (Barbie- shimmering soft pink, Cassi- shimmering soft peach and Moxi-a red plum cream). As always, Zoya proves that a nail polish without the most harmful chemical can be of the highest quality and last for over a week (the cream ones fade slightly and are more likely to chip, but even they remain perfect for 5-6 days with top and base coat).

Zoya nail polish ($6 for one bottle) is available at many fine salons and online from I got the sampler set as a PR freebie.

All photos are mine. Models: Lizzy, Buffy, Kosh and Giselle

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan: Beauty And The Beast

People reading this post can be put into two categories: those who know what MKK stands for and those who don't. If you're in the first group, most chances you have a firm opinion about it.

MKK stands for Muscs Kublai Khan, a perfume from Serge Lutens non-export line. It's what we tend to call a "dirty musk" (mostly to differentiate it from the modern clean musks that evoke nothing but a laundry detergent) , though opinions on the level of dirtiness in this fragrance vary greatly. If you google Muscs Kublai Khan and dig enough, you would find colorful reviews, mentions of horses, genitalia and horses' genitalia. Which is where I make the "whatcha talking 'bout?" face.

I cannot argue with the fact MKK smells "raw", which probably translates to "animalic" for some. I've heard rumors of cumin, but I don't get any at all. Quite the opposite, actually, if we agree that a cumin note in perfume represents the dirty and the sweaty. What I'm getting is actually clean, sweet and warm. The dirty part is not the scent itself, but the warm skin feel it evokes and all the things one might associate with a skin in this state. In his review for Perfume Smellin' Things, my scent twin Tom called it "clean bodies in compromising positions", and that's exactly right.

I can't say I get any of the Mongolian warrior associations of the name. There's nothing horrifying, violent or medieval about Muscs Kublai Khan (but Serge Lutens is known for his interesting way with words. This is the man who named his most recent release "Nuits de Cellophane", whatever that means). On my skin it's a thing of beauty and has nothing to do with the great unwashed. It's also incredibly strong and persistent, even after the big show of the ultra sweet top notes fades away.

It's so strong, actually, that anything more than a couple of dabs can get extremely distracting. Over apply and you will keep smelling MKK, thinking about MKK, feeling MKK. It will occupy your thoughts in a NSFW way, so be careful. Another word of warning: Muscs Kublai Khan is meant to be dabbed and not sprayed. I'm saying this as someone who prefers to spray just about anything and regularly decants parfum extracts into mini atomizers. I did the same with MKK and it's just wrong. You don't want to cover a lot of skin with this, and spraying releases way too much. A discreet dab or two where it matters is all you need, and maybe half a dab on your wrist for a quick fix throughout the day (somehow planting my nose in the cleavage isn't all that graceful).

Muscs Kublai Khan (75 ml, 110 €) is a Paris exclusive, which means you can only buy it directly from the Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido. I bought mine when I was there last summer, but if you live in Europe you can order it either online or by phone. They do not ship elsewhere in the world. Samples (and please sample several times before you even think of asking your aunt Sally to bring you one from Paris. See the horse references above) are available from The Perfumed Court.

Photo: 'Beauty and the Beast', Sydney Dance Company, 1993

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Spirit Of Fashion Victims Past

Scarlett Johansson, July 2007:

Posh Beckham, April 2008:

Spring 2009, according to Bergdorf Goodman, all of us (click to enlarge):

Just say no.

Images: Posh from the Daily Mail, Scarlett from The Superficial, fashion from Left ($1695) and center ($1095) by Stella McCartney. The one on the right is by Vince ($325).

Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour

Earlier this season I spent weeks trying to find the perfect eye shadow. It had to be matte, gray but without blue undertone, silky, very pigmented and to be... just right.

I tried many, bought a few, and learned the many nuances of taupe. But none was quite it, until I came across the matte eye shadows from Laura Mercier. Coffee Ground is as perfect as it gets for me: a charcoal dark taupe/brown, on the cool side but without any blue in the base, so it's perfectly balanced and very flattering. I use it liberally in the crease, as my eyes are somewhat heavy lidded. It would make a perfect smoky eye if you're so inclined, and for the pale would double duty as a liner/brow filler.

The quality is top notch. I use an eye primer, and the shadow stays on from morning till night with no hint of giving up, creasing or fading. It's easy to apply, looks silky smooth and spreads and holds beautifully (I use Sephora Professional crease brush).

It's my top pick lately and the one I reach for 3 out of four times.

I bought mine at Sephora ($22), where Laura Mercier products are available in store and online. You can also find them at Saks, Neiman and Bergdorf.

Photo credits: mine. Models: Gracie ( the pretty calico) and Giselle.

Monday, January 26, 2009

From The 2009 SAG Awards: Angelina Jolie

You'll have to forgive me for being all celebed out after the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago. I just don't feel like doing the full red carpet commentary for the SAG Awards. There were dresses. And Jewelry. And Lisa Rinna. That sort of sums it all up. I still plan on covering the Oscars, but I need a breather from red carpet events.

But allow me one small observation: I can't be the only one who found Angelina Jolie's Max Azria blue dress (thanks to Just Jared for the information) too much like the Guy Laroche gown Hilary Swank wore for the Oscars in 2005.

What do you think?

Photos: Angelina Jolie- Just Jared. Hilary Swank: MSN Movies.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vero Profumo Rubj- Prozac In A Bottle

It's January. The new year is not nearly as exciting as it seemed last month, Valentine's Day is still weeks away, and no matter what the rodent from Pennsylvania is going to say on February 2nd, we still have a couple of months of insanely cold days, dirty snow and icy roads ahead of us.

Am I depressing you? I know I've got a raging case of the ho-hums, the doldrums and the "why don't I just move to L.A.?" all wrapped into one. This calls for some serious sunshine-in-a-bottle, and my current pick in the category is Rubj, Vero Kern's creation.

I was not supposed to like it. A white floral, quite heavy on the jasmine, is not something I'd necessarily choose to wear. But there's something in Rubj that seems to speak to many and triggers many different interpretations of this scent (just check the list of other bloggers' reviews at the end of the post).

What I'm getting varies on the day and the weather. I wore it on some of the hottest and most humid days last summer and felt like I was entering a greenhouse, full of lush blooms. There was more than a hint of tuberose, though I couldn't find Queen T in any list of notes. It almost felt protective, a barrier between my skin and the poisonous air. But in winter, Rubj feels like a promise. It's still opulent and petal-like, a good reminder of days to come. And it's such a happy scent, full of sunshine, thanks to the orange blossom, and very much alive. The jasmine is all flesh and blood (a nice way to say indolic, I guess) and makes one feel very much alive even before the musk makes appearance. I'm not sure what kind of musk it is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's somewhat related to the one in CB Musk, since my skin makes it sweet with a berry note. The musk is not overly strong, it's just makes the scent more rounded and grounds the flowers so they don't shriek like too many orange blossom-jasmine combos.

Skin chemistry makes a huge difference here: I had my mom try it last summer, and on her the flowers were more light and airy and the whole thing far less carnal than what I'm experiencing. She wears white florals a lot better than me, so no surprises here, except for the fact we both like Rubj, just for different reasons.

All three Vero Profumo's creations (Kiki and Onda are the other ones) are in parfum concentration, strong and extremely long lasting. The sillage will not clear the room as long as it's sanely applied. Can this be worn by a man? Yes. See Nathan's review below.

More reviews of Rubj can be found here:
Tom for Perfume Smellin' things
Perfume Shrine
Perfume Posse

And in The Guide, Luca Turin smells rose in Rubj. I have no idea what he's talking about, but if any of you got a rose, please say so and I'll try harder...

Rubj ($185 for 7.5 ml, as well as Kiki and Onda) is available in the US from Luckyscent. It can also be purchased directly from Vero's web site, where there's also an excellent sample set of all three.

art: Waiting For My Butterfly by Victoria Montesinos.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate: Another Month, Another Serum

My quest for the holy grail of serums continues.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate smells divine. It's all about essential oils and nourishing ingredients, from argan oil (a Moroccan nut. You'll find the orange hued pure oil costing an arm and a leg at upscale delis. It's great for your salad) to the more pedestrian avocado and rose hip. The addictive scent comes from neroli and lavender, and I'm writing a note to self about checking out the body care range, because I really want to smell like that.

The problem is that as a serum, Superskin Concentrate doesn't meet my needs. It's supposedly an over achiever product: nourishing mature skin, calming and balancing a more active face. I don't fall under any of these categories, but even so, a girl has some needs. My ideal serum is an active, chock-full of vitamin C and skin ingredients promoting cell renewal product, and this Liz Earle potion simply isn't what I'm after.

If used right after cleansing, it just sits there before sinking in and making my face feel over-saturated, even though it doesn't actually get oily and never clogs pores. But it makes me not want to add another layer of moisturizer. For mature skin, the recommendation is to moisturize first and then apply the serum, but my face liked this option even less.

I didn't use a vitamin C product during the weeks of testing Superskin Concentrate, and the results were obvious to me: less glow and some flaking in the areas prone to skin delinquency, which forced me to do more exfoliating than I like just to maintain decent appearance. Back to square one, serum-wise.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate ($70 for 1 oz) is available from the company's website. I got mine as a PR freebie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cartier So Pretty- Naughty And Nice

A couple of months ago I was wearing So Pretty as my scent of the day when my husband made the observation this Cartier perfume might be the most feminine scent I own. This isn't completely true, but there's no doubt that my shelves host more unisex, masculine or weird fragrances than delicate ladylike ones. But So Pretty is more than just a pretty little thing.

So Pretty is one of the most aptly named perfumes you will find. It belongs in the same category with Annick Goutal Grand Amour and Guerlain Chamade. They are all beautifully and seamlessly blended, not relying too heavily on any of the floral notes as to make it too obvious, smelling rich, sophisticated and drying down into a smooth base that has not even a hint of gourmand leanings. It's not that Chamade, Grand Amour and So Pretty smell similar. But something about them calls to mind a certain type of femininity and elegance which seems a bit out of place in a world where the cover of Vogue is occupied by a Gossip Girl actress and people care about Miley Cyrus.

According to the Cartier web site, the three foundations of So Pretty are rose, iris and sandalwood. Nordstom also mentions fruit and orchid, and I definitely smell both. Basenotes adds musk, but I have no idea what they're talking about. In The Guide, Tania Sanchez calls it 'a blackcurrant chypre' and compares it to Mitsouko. I think she's got it right, and So Pretty does have that classic feel, even if it's not your ass-kicking oakmoss chypre. What I love about So Pretty is how well it manages to be intoxicating without any of the issues I often have with rose-heavy scents. The iris is ethereal, not earthy, the wood more balsamic than creamy, and there's some unexpected backbone to the drydown. It's a lady, but she has a past.

For a long time there were rumors about So Pretty being discontinued. It looks like the result of Cartier getting a tighter hold over the distribution: Many discounters no longer have it in stock, and those who do, only got the EDT. However, both Nordstrom (online, too) and Bloomingdale's still carry the EDP ($100 for 1.6 oz) and both formulations are listed on Cartier's official web site, thus promising that at least for now, So Pretty is alive and well.

This review is for the EDP, which has impressive sillage and easily stays on my skin for more than 12 hours. My first bottle from around 2001 was a gift and bought at one of the local department stores (or maybe Sephora, before they began to suck). I since got another one when one of the discounters still had the eau de parfum. It smells exactly the same as my original one, and a quick testing at Bloomingdale's a few weeks ago didn't detect any changes, either.

Image: Cartier white gold pendant from their Panthere collection. Want.

A New Dawn

Monday, January 19, 2009

International Orange Bath And Body Products

A couple of months ago, before going away for a full week out west, I realized I needed to overhaul and repack my supplies. That was one of those times when what used to be my linen closet and has slowly converted into a beauty product Aladdin's Cave has come in handy, as I found a set of travel size items from International Orange, a San Francisco spa and yoga center (named after the color of the Golden Gate Bridge). The 1-2 oz bottles were the perfect size, and had exactly what I needed: deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion.

The first thing I noticed when started testing was the scent. It was exactly what one would expect from a swanky spa: first grade essential oils, all smelling live, herbal and utterly intoxicating. Looking at the ingredient list on each bottle, the products seem to live to their promise of being all natural (the web site also says "organic", but the bottles don't). There aren't any active ingredients other than plant extracts and oils and no synthetic fillers, stabilizers, SLS, parabens or anything one needs to look up at those scary safety guides online (you know the ones: you type in what's in your lip gloss and the site tells you it's carcinogenic). Almost everything has bergamot and other citrus oils (take that, IFRA), and there's also crisp lavender and dreamy jasmine.

So, everything smelled great. It (almost) transformed a standard Vegas hotel shower into a dreamy spa (if only the water pressure was up to par). The shampoo and hair cream were nice and would satisfy anyone with normal hair, but my thick mane needs a little more TLC, especially when it comes to conditioning, so the 2 oz jasmine-tuberose cream was depleted long before the week was over.

My favorites were the gentle body wash (lavender bergamot) and the body lotion. The latter with its white lotus, bergamot and tuberose scent combination and aloe leaf, safflower, avocado and jojoba oil base (plus shea butter, wheat germ oil and lots of other goodies) is absolutely amazing. It goes on a bit more sticky than I like, but absorbs quickly and leaves the skin nice and soft. I wish the scent lingered longer, but it doesn't and 20 minutes later I can apply perfume. Of course, it makes me crave tuberose...

The one product I dearly suggest you avoid is the deodorant. Sorry, but grape alcohol and rosemary extract do not make a good anti-stinker. Thankfully, I've learned to be suspicious of all-natural underarm products and had backup (and wet wipes in my bag). Otherwise I would have been found frantically scouring the area for the nearest CVS. The liquid in the bottle might make a good pillow spray, but don't expect it to do anything other than smell calming.

IO products are available from the spa's website. The large samples/travel size ones I got were a PR freebie.

Image: bergamot from

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara

I have to confess that the reason I bought the Guerlain Le 2 de Mascara was the sleek packaging. It was so different than the common black plastic tubes. And it was shiny.

I also liked the concept of two differently shaped brushes in one tube. A famous makeup artist trick for superb lashes is to apply two coats of two different mascaras, and Le 2 seems to be using this concept to make sure each and every lash is painted.

Basically, you have the regular wand and a smaller one, curved at a 7 degrees angle which is supposed to reach the corners more easily. It's not a new idea- several companies offer similar brushes, but this is the only one I've come across that has both.

The mascara itself is quite thick and you need to apply carefully and lightly or you'll have too much goop that makes the lashes clamp together. Even when I got it right, a lash comb was still necessary for optimal results. The length/volume effect was satisfactory but not outstanding, and I liked how black and well-defined my lashes looked. But the best thing about Le 2 and what makes it worth the price tag is how it actually curls the lashes and keeps the shape for hours (because of the thick consistency).

I can actually skip the Shu when using Le 2 de Guerlain, and if I don't and go all out with it, I get the most perfect curl that lasts for at least half a day. For my long but straight lashes, this is quite an achievement.

Like all thick mascaras, removing it requires some work and a good cleanser.

The one I got was the limited edition Butterfly Sparkle mascara from the Holiday Collection. The tube is even prettier than the regular (silver with an etched butterfly), and the mascara in the smaller part is a shimmery lavender that you apply over the regular black at the tips and corners. It's a cute concept and not too shiny, but I can't say I really need to have sparkly purple lashes. I put it on for nights out and such, but next time I'll be getting the regular black/black.

Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara ($35) is available from Sephora and every decent department store. I got mine from Neiman Marcus. Most stores still have the Butterfly Sparkle in stock, if you feel the need for it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Serge Lutens Chergui

Maybe I should have saved reviewing Chergui until the week of Valentine's Day. It's such a romantic scent, one that calls to mind passion and intimate spaces more than the devastating eastern wind of the Moroccan desert (I wonder if there's some hidden meaning in the fact two of my most favorite perfumes in the world are named after the dry winds of Morocco. The other one, of course, is Andy Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain). But I'm on a serious Serge kick lately, so why not?

Chergui is an equal opportunity beauty. Not an androgynous unisex, but a scent that works beautifully on both male and female, creating an intoxicating atmosphere around its wearer without resorting to a gender cliché. After all, everyone wants to smell a little honeyed, warm, with a bit of the outdoors and a lot of sex appeal.

It took me a while to get the hey note. Actually, I didn't notice it until I tested Chergui side by side with another Serge Lutens honeyed wonder, Fumerie Turque. The latter's dry smoke made the hey stand out, just the way a similar test against the chewy Ambre Sultan shows Chergui's dryness. It also brought forth the iris note with its leathery connotations, adding to the scent's incredible richness and complexity.

Chergui is a surprisingly quiet scent, though its longevity is very impressive (10-12 hours). You'd think it should be reserved for the cold months, but despite the decidedly fall/winter notes (according to Luckyscent: honey, musk, incense, tobacco leaf, hay sugar, amber, iris, rose and sandalwood), this fragrance blooms beautifully in the summer heat. It's dry enough not to get cloying, instead it radiates and shows a clean, stark facade.

Chergui used to be a Paris exclusive (meaning a bell jar that could only be purchased at the Salon), but a couple of years ago it was released as the limited edition export gift from Uncle Serge to his loyal fans in the rectangular bottle with the higher price tag ($130, if I remember correctly, before the ones in the black labels were promoted to $140). Something has shifted lately at the Palais Royal, and just like how several of the other non-export have found their way to Bergdorf, Aedes and Scent Bar, Chergui has been repackaged with a cream label like the rest of the line and is priced like them at $120 (the Haute Concentration ones, as well as Vetiver Oriental, are still have the black label and the higher price tag).

In a recent interview for Bois de Jasmin, Mr. Lutens has said: "The great problem of commercial perfumery is that people keep buying it!". I believe that a big part of the reason people keep buying mainstream drek is the fact it's readily available. Making the good juice a little easier to find without a trip to Paris and getting lost trying to locate the boutique might be an important step in steering the potential consumer in the right direction. A bottle of Chergui (or any of the regular exports) costs the same as that horrible David Yurman Eau de Jersey Mall (I live here. I can say it). Maybe now a few more people would reach for the good stuff.

Chergui is now available at the better department stores and niche fragrance boutiques on my side of the pond, as well as their equivalents in the UK and the rest of Europe. I bought mine at Barneys.

Photo: Sea of Sand by Declan McCullagh. The description says: "Wind whips the sea of sand in the Sahara Desert across a lone paved road, creating near-whiteout conditions". I thought it was fitting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger

Almost every perfume enthusiast has a story about an unpredictable scent. One that can smell heavenly one day but send them scrubbing the next. It can be mood, season, time of the month and whatever else affect both are skin and our scent perception. Some people sell or swap these bottles only to re-purchase them a week later, wear the perfume for an entire blissful week, completely certain they really got it now, have enough of it soon after, get rid of the bottle... repeat as necessary.

Except for the selling and buying again, I've had a similar relationship with Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger. I've gone through many samples, being utterly in love with its warmth and luminosity, dropped by Aedes to buy the bottle only to spray it one last time at the store and decide it wasn't really working. Then I'd buy something else, request a sample or two of FdO and go through the whole process again.

When Fleurs d'Oranger works it's simply magnificent. While I'm usually mortally afraid of a tuberose-jasmine-orange blossom combination, this one is smooth and balanced without any of the shrieky, flesh eating tendencies of too many white florals (that's what Datura Noir is for). Even the cumin here is well-behaved and only adds a hint of humanity, unlike the gutters and back alleys of Arabie and Serge Noir.

What I get from FdO on a good day is sunshine. It's a scent that can make everything better and radiates optimism and promise. Oh, and it's incredibly sexy. Not in a creature of the night kind of way, but instead by being open and womanly, giving hints of a lacy undergarment under the white silk blouse. It's confidence in a bottle, and some days I absolutely crave it.

The off days find me and Fleurs d'Oranger fighting about who wears whom, with the juice reminding me how I'm not really a floral person and why don't I just go and drown myself in that MKK bell jar. It loses the balance and lets the jasmine have the upper hand, smelling too sharp and cheap. So scrubbing I go.

But I have learned to trust my instinct. When I crave FdO is when I know it's going to be a good day. I have a bottle now, after my husband heard me fawning once too many times and surprised me with it to my utter delight. Incidentally, I haven't had a bad FdO day ever since. I also learned to layer it. At the suggestion of Ida, the fairy godmother of all bloggers, I tried it with a hint of Cuir Mauresque and got the equivalent of my Pucci boots: it stops traffic. Fleurs d'Oranger also works beautifully with Rousse, MKK and with incense scents. I've tried it with Chaos and with CdG Hinoki to good results (someone at the Palais Royal is having an aneurysm right about now).

The bottom line: I love it. Sometimes I stay away for several weeks, but then I have a FdO day and it's all good.

Fleurs d'Oranger ($120) is available both in the 50 ml export bottle everywhere Uncle Serge graces with his other perfumes, and in the Palais Royal exclusive bell jar (75 ml, 110 €). My bottle came from Bergdorf.

Art: White Ladies by JalinePol, from
Vinings Gallery.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bittersweet- Serge Lutens Douce Amere

I first tested Douce Amere by Serge Lutens during a hot summer a few years ago. I was entranced by it and didn't care whatsoever that I was probably fumigating my surroundings and every poor soul, feline and human, unlucky enough to share my space. I went through several samples and eventually bought a bottle. I also learned moderation.

Douce Amere means bitter sweet, but my skin is a sweetness amplifier and I need to really pay attention if I want to smell the interesting parts hiding under the licorice. The wood reveals itself rather quickly (cedar, but I could swear I also get some creamy sandalwood. Note to self: try layering with Tam Dao and see if you survive. Preferably on a day you're not planning on leaving the house) and there's a persistent medicinal green bitterness. It took me a while to train my nose to identify the marigold, being familiar with a much bolder approach in Niki de Saint Phalle. But it's there, doing its thing and keeping Douce Amere from going fully into the gourmand territory of anise cookies.

The result is a seductive, nose-to-wrist wonder, but not necessarily what one would call yummy. It's something I wear for myself and is good for brooding more than as a comfort scent. The dry down remains close to the skin for hours, and it's then that you realize it's much more unisex than it seemed before, as the spiced wood takes center stage. I've tried layering with Rousse and Louve (separately) and I hear it also plays well with Un Bois Vanille (but what doesn't?). However, I find Douce Amere rich and interesting enough by itself.

Douce Amere ($120) is part of the Serge Lutens export line and is available at the best department stores as well as at the usual suspects Aedes, Scent Bar and Beauty Habit. I'm not completely sure, but I think I bought my bottle at Neiman's. Samples can be purchased from Aedes, The Perfumed Court and Posh Peasant.

Image: New York Movie by Edward Hopper, probably my favorite artist.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Golden Globes 2009 Red Carpet : Up Close

So, what did we see?

Pale gowns:
Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace, America Ferrera in Oscar de la Renta, Amanda Seyfried and Demi Moore.

Shiny dresses:
Megan Fox in Ralph Lauren, Venessa Hudgens in Alberta Ferretti and Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa.

Interesting colors:
Cameron Diaz in Chanel, Freida Pinto in Lacroix, Rumer Willis in Reem Acra,

Tightly pulled back hair:
Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum (what do you think of her makeup?) and Kate Beckinsale

(and Tina Fey, lovely and charming otherwise, with the best quote of the night- "If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet"- showed why messy buns can get out of hand by the time you're up there receiving your award)

It's good to see less harsh black eyeliner this year. Eye makeup is softer and more flattering, and it definitely looked better both online and on screen. Above: Julie Benz. I'm not even sure what show she is on these days, but the Buffy nerd in me squeals happily.

Worst hair was a tie between Drew Barrymore and Renee Zellweger, who also had one of the worst outfits. Her Carolina Herrera top and skirt made her look something out of a Tim Burton film.

And is it just me, or does Olivia Wilde have an Angelina Jolie thing going on?

A trend that needs to go away: Beards. Too many men had them, from Sting and Brad Pitt to Steve Carell and Tony Shalhoub. Please shave. Especially you, Steve.

More in last night's live blogging post.

Images: A Socialite's Life, Hot Celebs Home, Just Jared, Faded Youth Blog

Makeup At The Golden Globes: Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek is one of my favorite non-blondes and her at last night's Golden Globes was absolutely perfect. I usually ignore the emails from PR companies detailing the products used on celebrities for such occassions, mostly because it's rarely that simple and more often than not, the makeup artist custom mixes many things together and layers so many coats of paint you can't (and don't want to, really) get the look.

But in this case, things look pretty straightforward and this look, created by NARS Makeup Artist Matthew Vanleeuwen, is worth noting and it's at least a good starting point for us, non-blonded, to get inspired in case we have a red carpet event coming soon. Here's what they say (I think I need to get that Brightening Serum):

· Apply the China Blue Single Eyeshadow to top and bottom lash line [Matthew’s tip: “I love using navy colors because they make the whites of the eyes pop.”]
· Next, use the Corfu Cream Eyeshadow as a base, all over eyelid
· Use the golden champagne side of the Alhambra Duo Eyeshadow on lid
· Then, use the Bengali Single Eyeshadow all along the lash line, rubbing it into the lash line, deepening the outer corner of the eye, creating shading
· Curl the eyelashes and apply 2 coats of Black Orchid Mascara on lashes
· Go back over top lash line with the Night Clubbing Eyeshadow and use what is left on the brush under the eye to define it

· Use the Brightening Serum to make skin glow and apply the Makeup Primer
· Apply the Firming Foundation and set with the Loose Powder

· Use the Marnie Lipliner Pencil and Tutti Fruity Lipstick
· Next, mix the Boogie Nights and Greek Holiday Lipglosses and apply them over the lipstick

· Apply the Desire Blush to the apple of cheeks [Matthew’s tip: “I use a powder brush to apply blush. I find that a bigger brush makes a much softer wash of color.”]
· Next, use the Laguna Bronzer with short, back and forth stokes from the back of cheekbone forward, to blend.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globes 2009 Red Carpet

Red carpet live blogging!

The good news: Eva Longoria must have been listening and toned down the eye makeup (it seems to have migrated to Debra Messing's face).
The bad news: Somewhere there's a bridesmaid missing a dress.

The even better news: Evan Rachel Wood is back to looking like herself.

Lots of updos, which this year are less messy and more pulled together. Good news for hairspray makers everywhere.

Lorraine Schwartz jewelry are everywhere tonight. The one piece I really liked is Christina Applegate's necklace. If you wonder what it would cost you, click here (and remember to keep breathing).

Drew Barrymore: What the hell? The dress (Galliano) is very nice, but the hair is distracting in the worst way.

On the opposite side of the scale, Maggie Gyllenhaal is perfection in Lanvin, Kyra Sedgqick shows how to wear a red dress and Anne Hathaway making up for the pant suit from last week in a seriously glammed Oscar de la Renta gown.

Renee Zellweger: There are no words.

Took a risk: Marisa Tomei in a somewhat Victorian outfit. J. Lo inviting a nip slip in the gold version of her infamous green dress from so many husbands ago. Sting with too much facial hair.

Funniest moment of the night: Brad and Angelina ignoring poor Ryan Seacrest. I guess an E! interview wasn't in their contract.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, when we'll have more pictures available and can look at some trends, ideas and closeups.

Photos: Faded Youth Blog, Just Jared

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