Saturday, July 29, 2006

Project Runway: A Designer's Best Friend

Whoo-hoo, time for another dip in the fabulous pool of reality TV fashion!! Jump on in!

Previouslies: Angela is a total pyscho, Vincent is still crazy, but looking better compared to Angela, Malan has major Freudian issues to work out, but he gets sent home for his driftwood-LOTR-homage.


Ok, I've got to zip through this. You would think that work would slow down as we approach the ghost town days of August, but nooooo. Congress got a bug up its ass and I am working like recess is some sick fantasy I invented myself.

So Heidi does the model selection quickly, and we realize that they are sticking with the system that allowed Zulema to announce, "I want to have a walkoff," like she was Zoolander. Nobody else can be Zoolander! Nobody!! Kayne sticks with his model.

The Heidi announces that they are designing for the "hottest fashion accessory" and sends them away to await their meeting with Tim. They all start speculating and, for some reason, Laura gets this idea that it will involve horses. Whatever. I think she just wanted an excuse to wear her "equestrian Bridgehampton Polo opener outfit," carted all the way downtown from 77th and Park.

They arrive in the Park and Tim shows up walking thirteen tiny PUPPIES!!! Laura looks like she swallowed Draino while all the other designers coo over the dogs and choose.

The most astute comment made in the entire show is when Jeffrey says that they each picked the dog version of themselves. It's SOOO TRUE!

So the designers take their canine Mini-Me-s back to the Sweatshop and get to work. They need a story for their model explaining her outfit and the coordinating dog outfit. They all come up with their little stories and get to work.

There is some drama here involving Laura, Keith and her annoying bird-like chest but I've got to get to a briefing, so I've got to skip it.

The biggest story here is that Bradley is totally screwing off, changing his design and not actually working. He laments that he doesn't want to get kicked off on his birthday, but he doesn't seem to be able to get anything done. Maybe he should go into therapy with Malan after the show. In the news, NBC cancels PR because the psychiatry bills exceed their budgets. This is totally ridonculous because he has the cutest dog!! I love Norwich terriers. It was all I could do to keep myself from jumping into the TV and stealing him.

Onto the runway!!

The best:

Michael, again, he showed a strong tweedly looking dress with crisscrossing neckline and STILL did not get picked for the top panel. What up guys?? I think he's just flying under the radar until BA-BAM he wins out of nowhere.

Uli made this totally hot looking dress which is the type of thing I always want to wear but never have the guts to pull off. Her mix of patterns was pretty fricking awesome and I love the little jacket and the pug. I honestly thought she would get shafted again in favor of Allison, so I thought the win was well deserved.

Allison's outfit was also pretty cool. It was a real outfit too, not just a dress. I thought she did a great job on the coat for the poodle when I saw it in the Sweatshop, but I didn't think it was that visible on the runway. Perhaps a different color would have been better, but what the hell do I know?? Also, NinaGarcia is totally enamored of hairstyles!! What's up with that? Move her to the Elle beauty department or something.

Bradley, despite his total inertia and wishywashy-ness turned out a pretty sick outfit. I would like to wear that to work and cause quite the stir around the hearing room, y'know what I mean? He lives to see another day on the runway...

Jeffrey, Kayne, Robert, Laura and Bonnie all made great outfits, but I also felt as thought they didn't really stand out in this episode. This was one of some really great highs and some MAJOR lows, so the middle is kind of large too. Also, if I don't get moving they are going to send the Capitol Police in here to drag me away from the keyboard.

Although, PS, I'm getting tired of Laura's schtick with the tweedy suity coaty things with the faux fur. Can her five kids put together spell "one-note loser?"

The worst:

Crazy Pants Vincent is oh so crazy. He spend so much time cracking himself up over the dogs outfit that all he made was some teeny black dress and paired it with tights. Whatevs. He'll totally be KOed soon.

Keith is so obnoxious! Talk about another candidate for PR Pyschoanalysis! Why is he such a pathological liar? He is obviously talented and gets stuff done, so why does he misrepresent things all the time to pump himself up? Get thee to a couch!

Also, while Keith was taking his verbal beatdown from the estrogen packed panel, Bitchy Pants Allison is standing watching gleefully. Hey Angela, wipe that shit-eating grin off your face! You dress sucked poo! I'm sorry, I should say, weirdo crop top and hootchie puffy skirt. Oh, yeah, and when you design an outfit that looks EXACTLY LIKE YOURS (only skankier), don't wear it to the runway. It makes it obvious. Ivanka was totally my hero when she said the model looked like a street walker. Have her on the show more often.

Poor, poor Katy. Her dress was just so blah. The puppy was so cute though! I feel bad mostly because she has to live with knwoing that Angela's psycho-crinkly-hooker outfit was chosen over hers. That must sting.

OMG, I'm about to get fired.

But next week!!! We find out what gets some one kicked out!! Will it be Bitchy-Pants Angela stealing Vincent's Lithium and snorting it herself? Will it be Bradley and his constant loser-talk? Keith and his pathological lying? Will Kayne and Robert fall madly in love and elope to Massachusetts have a wedding officiated by Michael Kors? Who knows!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Let the Sun Shine In: Volume 3

Breaking news report!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled goofing off and internet surfing through the final sale items on to bring you some late breaking beauty news.

As recently as, well, like 20 minutes ago, the FDA approved a new sunscreen product which has been shown to be effective in blocking UVA rays, exposure to which is linked to some cancers. Until now, sunscreens containing the active ingredient Mexoryl (or ecamsule, as it will be called in the U.S.) have only been available in Europe and Canada.

Now, beauty junkies may know this product as the famous LaRoche-Posay Anthelios XL Lait SPF 60 which was featured in InStyle's Best Beauty Buys 2005 and recommended by every dematologist worth their salty publicist. It was coveted and brought back from St. Tropez in bulk or purchased at a ghastly price from Zitomer in New York because it was contraband here!

The reason? FDA regulates sunscreens as drugs, not a cosmetics, which means their safety and efficacy must be proven before the product can be marketed. See 21 CFR part 352. Until today, Mexoryl's safety and efficacy had not been proven. Hence the ban, and the reason why Customs would take away your sunscreen and treat you like you had been bringing in Roofies from Mexico if they caught you. (This is really not actually true, but it was illegal to sell here)

But the reign of sunscreen terror is over! The new product will be called Anthelios SX and will be distributed by LaRoche-Posay. Also, the actual SPF is 15, not 60; due to FDA regulations which set the standards for determining the sun protection factor of a product.

For more information on this see the official FDA press release.

And don't feel bad for Zitomer losing business in their $46 sunscreen. They still carry the illicit $32 Elnett hairspray in case you feel like being a rebel with your beauty...

Kismet, or other such concepts

Sometimes things just come together perfectly.

Like when you wander into a Neiman Marcus sale and find a pair of the Prada flats you lusted over all season long...miraculously in your size AND 50% off.

Or when you visit that restaurant you've heard soooo much about (and that it is packed every night) and find that they can seat you that very minute.

Yes, those are life's little charmed moments.

Recently, I had my own beauty version of kismet, fate, destiny, divine intervention or whatever.

On a stroll through Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale offerings I stopped to show a friend the lip gloss and fragrance I picked up from Trish McEvoy recently.

Then I saw it.

The Pretty Face palette.

Typically, I don't think much of palettes. I don't think that everyone can really wear the same colors (witness me and my friend The Beauty Anti-Me) and therefore, even if I like a few of the colors of a palette, there will be at least three that languish untouched, unloved, and unhappy. And that spoils the point of the palette, which is to simplify my beauty bag. (HA! Like that's going to happen.)

But this one is different.

The microscopically thin, sleek black case houses four eyeshadows and a blush/bronzer. The eyeshadows are a cool bone color, a pale pink, a medium purple with gold flecks, and a twiggy brown.

I actually did not buy the palette that day. I thought about for over a week, even though the sales associate told me they didn't have many left. I couldn't stop thinking how perfect all the colors were for me. When I finally stopped by, they told me they were out, but lo and behold! They found one. We were meant for each other.

And the possibilities are endless.

I have used all four of the shadows in varying combinations like Jelly Belly jellybeans to create different flavors/looks:

  • bone + pale pink = daytime shopping around 14th St.
  • bone + purple = looking professional while covering a hearing in Dirksen
  • pale pink + purple + brown-used-as-a-liner = date with boyfriend to Ray's the Steaks
  • bone + pale pink + purple-as-a-liner = drinks at Bourbon

And I've only had it for a week!!

Since I tend to be an awful packer, I have devised a small challenge for myself...this weekend when I head up to New York for the weekend, I will ONLY bring the palette.

It's like Beauty Fear Factor!!

No multiple shadows. No three blushes. Just me, the palette, some mascara and a travel brush kit.

Let's hope I survive.

Although there is a Sephora right down the street....

why, oh why, does Blogger hate me so? No picture today...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Project Runway: Fit for a Queen

Previouslies: Everyone met in the apartments for the first time, Malan is from Taiwan, Keith wins, Jeffrey is a snob with retarded body art, Vincent's a looney toon, and Stacey goes home in her blue halter top.

Okay! On to episode two!

There was some minor lamenting about Stacey going home, particularly by Angela while she was in the bathroom plucking her eyebrows. Somehow I didn't really get the feeling that she was all broken up inside about it. Weird, huh?

So, we go through the song and dance of picking the models. (Who, by the way, seem not as pretty, thin or tall as the models of the previous seasons. Is that just me being a bitchy couch potato?) Then Heidi gives them the challenge: design an evening gown for Miss USA to wear at the Miss Universe pageant!! At this point, I wanted them to cut to the shot of Kayne peeing his pants with excitement, because he obviously did.

Back in the workroom, Tim and Miss USA give them the lowdown: they will pitch designs, Ms. USA will pick team leaders who will pick their companion for the Challenge a Deux. Her Highness would like an earth toned gown (no white!!) and no plunging necklines. Pencils at the ready? SKETCH!

During the pitching process, poor Miss USA was subjected to some seriously bizarro behavior. Keith, who totally had immunity was all, "I vant to see your legssss!! I looooveee legssss!" while close-talking her out of the camera shot. Miss USA looked like she was about to break out her date rape whistle and go postal on his ass.

Then Angela, who was too busy schnerring her way on to Kayne's team (or so she thought!!) to sketch anything tried to play Spanish Inquisition. Miss USA did not look amused. (Hey, Angela, why don't you just break out one of your EEveee. Sant. Looorant. dress designs? Yeah, that's right, you pronounce it wrong and I doubt anyone really thought your artsy crafty stuff looks like Tom Ford or Stefano Pilati. Stuff it.)

Teams are formed and they shop for fabrics. Poor Crazy Pants Vincent gets stuck with Angela, otherwise, the teams all look pretty solid.

Kayne and Robert immediately hit it off and buy a shimmery purple organza. Robert looks skeptical, but defers to Kayne's keen Jedi mind trick, "Tara will love it. You don't need to see his papers." Due to their fabulosity and tank tops, they will hereinafter be refered to as Team Too Gay to Function (2G2F). Except of course they do and they are AWESOME! I love their energy and witty banter with Tim.

Back at the Sweatshop, Malan and Katherine start to work on Malan's vision. Katherine is mumbling about how great Malan is while he has an interview where he plumbs the depths of his soul about his Wicked Witch of the West mother. I will dub them Team Freud. Talk about a screwed up Elektra/Oedipal Complex!

Jeffrey and Allison virtually never appear in this they are Team Invisible. Uli and Bonnie don't rate a whole lot of scenes either. We'll call them Team Invisible the Redux.

Laura and Michael work away, but don't get much airtime in the Sweatshop scenes. However, due to Laura's perpetually slicked back hair (which only accentuates her oddly shaped head and the fact that she is so flat chested, walls everywhere are jealous) and Michael's neo-preppy look, I call them Team Classically Cueball.

Most of the airtime is devoted to Crazy Pants Vincent and Bitchy Pants Angela who bicker over the design of the dress, and the fact that Angela is a freakizoid and Vincent's on crack. Tim looks distressed and seriously puts the smackdown on them in his blog. Ohhh, burn!

After some awkward product placements and a hair and makeup montage, it's runway time!!

I thought that the best dresses were:
  • Keith (who also totally looks like Hugh Laurie in House, but a younger-pre-Vicodin-bender and without the funny quips version) and Bradley's, although I didn't think it was very pageant-y.
  • Team Invisible the Redux, even though it was a little too free-fall in the boob area. Donald Trump would have liked it though (I think he judges these....) Also, guest judge Vera Wang gave them her ultimate compliment of being "modern" (also, love Wang's new line, but waaayy losing interest in her bridal gowns.)
  • Team Classically Cueball: loved the sparkles and the body-clingy-ness (shows off that 'athleticism' those pageant judges are always looking for) but it was a little boring and pretty close to white. PS What was up with black lace thing? Laura looked like she was wearing Britney Spears' castoffs. I don't think that the other Collegiate moms want to see that.

The worst:

  • Team Freud showed up with their self-awareness and the ruching to end all ruchings. The dress looked like it was made out of bark. Their model looked like the tree version of those barnacled dead people in Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, Malan made the unfortunate mistake of insulting his model's rack. Ouch. I give him kudos for taking responsibility though. Backstage, after he gets the axe, he weeps about the shame of being kicked off and his mommy issues. I wonder if Bravo will cough up for therapy after this...
  • Team Invisible the Original showed a totally weird dress that would get Miss USA laughed at in like 40 different languages. I get the point Jeffrey, you're different, you hate everyone else, and you love having toxic inks drilled into your flesh. I'm kind of annoyed that they weren't drilled for their disdain for the point of the challenge but whatever.
  • Team Bitchy-Crazy Pants took most of the heat on the runway. I didn't think the dress would be that bad without the little wingy-things, but it was fairly whatever. I wish they had sent Angela and her hot-pink-skirt-with-patterned-tights ass home, but it wouldn't have really been fair. Oh, yeah, FYI Angela, that look went out in 1994.

And now...the winners...TEAM 2G2T, KAYNE AND ROBERT!!!! I personally didn't love the dress even though it has the jewelry-as-a-part-of-the-outfit thing going on, but I knew it would appeal to Miss USA and was really perfect for her. Very pageant-y, but not over the top and was fairly original.

I was really happy for Kayne because, even if he is out in the next challenge, he can go home to the middle of the country and have lots of pageant clients based on this dress alone. And that makes me happy for him, (Christ, I need a spot on the therapist couch next to Malan) and I loved watching Kayne and Robert collaborate and be all cute when they faux-hit on Tim. Tim loved it too, I can tell.

As always, check out Tim's Take for the news straight from the source and Blogging Project Runway for all the latest news, gossip and polls and lots more recaps!

Blogger REFUSES to let me to publish photos today! Pooh on them!! Check out BPR for photos of the gowns.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Eye-witness News

Well, Heat Wave '06 continues to beat down upon us here on the East Coast. I have to say I never really understand the whole "reporting on the weather" that is going on a lot lately. It seems to consist of people just standing around saying, "Jim, I'm here in Northwest and it's officially HOT."

Thhhhaaaankssss. Like I couldn't figure that out from the weather report?

I'm also not a fan of going to different locations around the country to tell me that it's hot. There was a reporter on the Today Show telling me it was hot in Atlanta. She obviously not their local reporter because she actually used that nickname "Hot-lanta." That's like people who call San Francisco "Frisco." Bad news. Literally.

So, while the rest of the country bakes in the heat, I'm inside freezing my butt off. Oh, that's right. Your tax dollars pay to have the entire government chilled to the temperature of a meat locker. Seriously, I have goosebumps as I type.

However, since I will have to go outside at some point, I prepared my makeup accordingly. I found my tube of Laura Mercier's Eye Basics in Linen, which is a cream shadow-esque product made to match your eyelid shade. It comes in a lip gloss type tube with a wand applicator. and can be used as a primer or as a shadow itself.

Today, I layered a little of Vincent Longo's Baby Love Shadow** on top. When I finally adjusted to the drastic temperature change in my office, I noticed that my shadow had not creased up the way it normally does. The powder stayed even and fresh looking. Which is more than I can say for my attitude about working today. Shouldn't the government save money on AC by shutting down for a few days? Call your congressman and tell him that's what you want!!

**Makeup mystery: Has Vincent Longo discontinued it's single shade eyeshadows? I have seen the new Diamond Shadows, and the Trio shadows, but have not seen the other singles lately? Email me with info...I promise to keep all sources confidential. I can be like Judith Miller, only with better hair and a more friends!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Holy Hotness, Batman!

Well, the extreme weather keeps on rolling here in the Nation's Capital.

While June was "the month that everything you know and love will be washed away in a torrent of water that flows from the sky endlessly," apparently July will be known as "the month where the sun will beat down upon you, the air will feel like split pea soup, and you will use three sticks of deodorant."

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone living in the Northeast, Midwest or Southwest...oh, hell, ANYWHERE...when I say, "It is ridonculously hot out!!"

Yes, folks, here in D.C. the temperature is expected to hit 100 degrees today for the first time since August 2002. And it's apparently going to keep doing this until next week. It's like living in a Bikram yoga class.

These are the days when I would rather stab myself with a red-hot poker than turn on my hair dryer, so I needed to get creative with my styling routine. I dug up a sample of appropriately-named-for-today Kiehl's Heat-Protecting Silk Straightening Cream and ran a dollop through my hair. Then I ran out the door because I was already late for work.

After my weekly staff meeting, I checked my newly dried hair. Wavy, soft and shiny, with just a little puffiness and some flyaways. Pretty good, considering I spared myself the blowtorch that is my hairdryer. Hotter-than-hell conditions approved!

I'm going to try to keep posting about beat-the-heat type beauty products, because the thought of doing anything else is enough to give me heart palpitations.

In the mean time, please refrain from asking anyone, "Hot enough for ya?" Should you be on the receiving end of said statement, you have my permission to smack the speaker.

Also, check out these tips on keeping cool from The Post, stop by a cooling center, or more tips from DCist.

Friday, July 14, 2006

In Keeping With the Theme

Oh, yeah! What is up with the switch from Banana Republic to a Macy's sponsorship???

Color me snobby, call me a label whore, but I like BR better.

I think Tim Gunn agrees with me too.

Also!! My recaps will be included in the Recapalooza over at Blogging Project Runway, which is the official fan site for the show. So definitely check them out for other recaps, PR news, and emails from Tim, the judges, and the contestants!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Project Runway: Home Sewn

So, after the freak show parade in Road to the Runway, the judges have narrowed it down to 15 contestants. That's right, FIF-teen. That's a lot of character. And I'll get to them in a minute.

I know they probably had just as many people in the others, but I have an HM/Memento thing going after a season finale where I forget that there are so many in the first few episodes. And just like my freshman chemistry class, the weak must be weeded out.

The challenge in this episode was to create a garment using whatever materials they could rip from the apartments in 15 minutes. They all went crazy in the apartments tearing stuff off the walls, windows, beds, lamps, etc. Hell, I'm surprised no one brought the toilet paper to make a mummy dress. That would have been my vision. Very Herve Leger.

Off to the workroom they run and start sewing sketching and bitching.

Right away, the personalities start to emerge.

Since everyone (and by that I mean Robin Givhan) is already abuzz about Malan Breton, I'll start with him. Yeah, he sounds like an ass, he turned down a spot on Season 2 (who took his place, by the way?), he snarks about the others' "behavior," and has a bizarre fake accent and laugh. His dress ended up being fine, although not mindblowing, and I didn't think his barbs lived up to the hype.

But doesn't he totally remind you of Baby Stewie from Family Guy with the puffy half closed eyes and the weird laugh??? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Okay, maybe that's just me.

Alison is totally adorable. Her dress was cute, but fit poorly.

Angela? Um, who? Oh, the girl from Ohio. I'm just going to lump Angela, Katherine, Bonnie, Kayne and Bradley together in the truly unmemorable category. They get a big "whatever" from me.

Uli made a fabulous dress that was sort of beachy and totally reminded me of the Marc Jacobs collection that I loved, but couldn't afford when Sweet Home Alabama came out (they used his stuff as Reese's character's "collection"). I was kind of surprised that she wasn't in the top. I'm dying to see her and Heidi get trashed and sing in German or something.

Vincent officially the crazy to the runway. That hat was awesomely hysterical, and the dress wasn't bad. I'm glad he wasn't sent home, because I'm hoping for a Bob Mackie-esque outfit soon. And because...

Stacey sucks. Truly. She can't work a sewing machine and she is fortyish and wearing a halter top from like Forever 21. Hint, it's not called Forever 21 because you think you can still be 21. I think the judges made an excellent call here by sending her packing. A Harvard degree only takes you so far in life, y'know?

Jeffrey's tattoo was so incredibly distracting. I kept touching my neck when he was on screen, wondering how much that must have hurt. The dress was okay, the coat made me want to hurl. What happened to that cute blazer he showed during the auditions? Do that next time, and lose the 'tude.

Keith's dress was pretty great. It was also pretty safe as far as innovation goes. Also, I doubt that was the first dress you ever made. Didn't he say he collaborated with Wyeth? Those dresses are on sale at Barney's as I type.

Personally, I lllllooooovvveeedddd Robert's white dress with the bows. And not just because he designs for Barbie. I have a soft spot for jewelry that is built into clothes, like that Cacharel t-shirt when it first came out or that Azzarro dress that Diane Lane wore once. I think it's because I'm worried I will mix too many metals and look like a freak or something.

Laura is kind of a mystery. She is a non-professional, but she can work a sewing machine. Hmmmm. I also totally agree with her statement about the slippery slope into sweats and minivans, so god bless her for being able to be a strict constructionalist. I'm guessing though, like Scalia, that could get her into trouble with the co-workers. Also, I could have lived without the jangly things and the mirrors on the coat, but maybe they were to detract from her ginormous jaw.

Michael was another person I thought should have made it to the top-panel. I think he is GREAT. I think he is interesting, breaks the gay-white/asian/hispanic-guy-designer-or-a-girl mold that is pervasive on the show, and his dress was soooo pretty. Very Holly Golightly. Minus the cigarette since it would have ignited the coffee filters.

In summation, I think the show is shaping up well. I thought the greatest moment was when they all returned to the apartments, assuming (as I did) that everything would be replaced but it wasn't! And they all had to sleep on broken, feathery furniture. That was funny.

My prediction is that Michael and Robert are the two contenders to beat right now. Michael because I think he will develop a lot, but also sounds pretty drama free and cool.

Robert has class and versatility. After all, Barbie has had many so many careers to design for! Maybe he could make a Hill Staffer Barbie after me some day...little J.Crew suit, pearls, copies of the Federal Register, Congressional ID tag, and a kung fu grip with a Starbucks latte.

Hey...a girl can dream, can't she?

photos courtesy of

Also! Check out Tim's Take for Tim Gunn's very own adorable take on the episode.

Project Runway: Road to the Runway

Road to the Runway

To sum up last night's intro episode, the Road to the Runway is paved with crazy people.

Total lunatics. Have these people EVER watched the show? Have they ever heard of a BRA??? Well, fine they were shut down anyway.

I thought the most interesting section of the show was showing what the previous contestants are up to now. We all know that the non-deranged people they focused on during the selection process are going to end up in the show and will be properly overly dramatized then.

Austin: is designing bridal gowns for Amsale. I think this is actually a really good fit, so he can make girls all over America feel like pretty princesses. Also, I thought he sounded a little like he swallowed a bitter pill when talking about the show. Anyone else get that vibe?

Wendy Pepper: You have to use the full name when talking about her. Umm, she says she's faboo and designing and all but it looked like the main thing she's done since the show is drop some lbs and get a face lift.

Chloe: Chloe expanded her store in Houston, made t-shirts that have the name of her store on it and is charging more for her stuff. We didn't get to see a lot of that stuff though. She is still cute as a button.

Jay: Jay has been working on building a business before showing a line. I agree with him that having the clothes available to a mass market once the collection debuts is important, but what happened to "Project Jay?" I thought that was all wrapped? Methinks there is something else going on here.

Kara Saun: Kara Saun sounds like she is doing the same thing she did before the show, but on a bigger scale. Styling shows and movies, designing outfits for red carpets, Heidi, etc. Cute maternity stuff though.

Daniel V.: Daniel V. says that he has been dressing people for events (I did like the red dress for that MTV VJ, but thought it would have looked better if she hiked up the bodice a little.) He says he would like to design under someone else before starting his own line. Smart cookie.

Santino/Nick: Are both doing what they did before. Nick is teaching and being oh-so-funny-and-inspiring to his students and Santino is making clothes and walking around Venice Beach.

Another thing ... I've heard some grumblings of discontent that DC wasn't chosen as a locale for scouting even though we have just as much talent and style as NY, LA, Miami and Chicago. White sneakers with suits, popped collars, flip flops, and jazzy ID holders aside, I honestly think that this was more a geographic thing than a style snub. We are 250 miles from NY. The Mommie Dearest fanatic traveled from Oklahoma with his sequins, so I think anyone serious about auditioning could have hopped on a Chinatown bus with a garment bag and done it.

But if I see them in Seattle or Detroit next season, I might, in the words of Tim Gunn, be ready to bitchslap the producers.

Next up! I'm working on a recap of the first episode where we see what the contestants are really made of and who is too crazy to live.

I'm going to try to get these up soon after the airing, but let's just say that it's a good thing that it runs through August recess, because I do actually have a day job. Insert cackling laughter here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Makeup by Crayola

In keeping with my Project Runway blitzkrieg theme, I wanted to tell you about my recently aquired L'Oreal H.I.P. Pure Pigment stick in Alluring. You know, as in "Take the models down to the L'oreal/Tresemme hair and makeup room. Cough, cough!! Awkward product placement!! Cough!"

Now, I would looooove to provide you with a picture or a link etc., but for some reason, the internet is not coming up with anything. Damn you Al Gore and your interweb that gives me nothing but trouble!! Just kidding!! I love you Internet!

The other day I took a stroll over to my neighborhood CVS as I was in dire need of shampoo and ... HOLY EXTREME MAKEOVER, BATMAN!!

The store was totally different. All the aisles were reversed, there was a whole La Roche-Posay section and all the cosmetic aisles were backlit. And! Someone asked if she could help me!!

Color me shocked.

So I poked around and settled on the H.I.P. Pigment Stick, which is a part of L'Oreal's line that has some really out-there colors and boasts that it is "high intensity pigment." The pigment stick is kind of like a blunt-end Crayon made entirely out of shadow. There were several tempting colors, but I picked Alluring, a mauve-y purple color to add some punch to my NARS Penelope cream shadow, which is a silvery-mauve.

The pigment stick gives good color, although it's a little dry and the flat end makes it a little difficult to line with. I'm kind of tempted to get all DIY on its ass and sharpen it over the sink.

The color itself is a sparkly purple, but when applied with a light hand is acceptable for day. A heavier application could easily take it to happy hour (or that hour when happy hour ends and you are still ordering drinks).

The price tag rang in around $10, which sounds little high for CVS, (I expect all things in a drugstore to cost $5 for some reason. Maybe I just live in a pre-Reagan world in my head) but I guess they have to pay for all that electricity to run the backlighting and the quality certainly seems better than the average drugstore brand product.

Worth a shot. But you might want to wait and see if they make a cameo in PR3.

All Project Runway, all the time

Project Runway Season 3 is starting tonight!!

I'm so excited I can barely sit still.

Or maybe that's the three cups of coffee I chugged while trying to reconcile the fact that the Matt Lauer interview with Vladimir Putin was interpersed by a segment on the popularity of smoothies. Seriously? That's news? Can't Today save that for at least the 8 o'clock hour?

Reviews of the new season are flying everywhere. Allegedly, Heidi, Nina, Michael and Tim are all back in top form and in the Road to the Runway show, we get a glimpse of Wendy Pepper (yet again. She must hate Middleburg,VA. She's never there.) The new cast is supposedly very talented and includes one Malan Breton, who is quickly singled out as the Wendy/Santino/Zulema of this season.

Pulitzer prize winner and flip flop hater Robin Givhan at WaPo gives a good rundown of the characters (I know, this is reality TV, but c'mon!) BUT! A warning! She tells who wins the first competition, where the contestants must make a garment from the the materials in their Bravo sponsored apartments. DO NOT READ the second page if you wish to remain blissfully ignorant until the final moments.

By the way, if I had known that you could win a Pulitzer for writing about fashion, I might have thought about J-school instead of law school. Oh, well, too late now, because the Pulitzer committee certainly isn't going to consider my Internet ramblings.

Also, one of the reasons I really enjoy PR is because the contestants actually know what they are doing when they compete as opposed to most of the other reality shows.

Don't get me wrong, I watch and love an embarrassingly large number of shows where I can gape in horror at the ridiculousness of humanity.

The cast here have actually, at some point, made a garment, know how to sew, know how to pick fabrics, know how a model should walk, etc. And even though the challenges are often totally absurd, each person actually produces something that a model can wear (except maybe with that teensy ass baring dress Zulema made and then blamed the model's "big" butt).

So, until the big fix tonight, try to stave off the withdrawal cravings by snooping around the official website where there are contestant bios, blogs (Tim Gunn's blog from Season 2 rocked! I'm a little bit in love with him.) and big pictures of Heidi Klum not pregnant this season.

I'll be back with episode recaps later in the week!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Exactly the Same...Except Different

I have a friend who is the makeup Anti-Me.

By this I mean that she has the exact opposite coloring from me. I am pale, rosy and blonde with light eyes, and she has dark brown hair and eyes, in addition to olive skin.

She is also tall and wears heels, which makes me look like a member of the Lollipop Guild when I stand next to her in flats, but I digress.

Therefore, every cosmetic color that looks good on her makes me look like death warmed over or like I am about to join the circus. We love to shop for makeup, and often use the same products in different shades. We get a big laugh out of that. We are also huge nerds.

But there is one color that resides in both our makeup bags. Oh, yeah, FYI, she has a perfectly neat and gleaming all-white bathroom where cosmetics are stored alphabetically, whereas mine are relegated to an old makeup bag on top of my dresser. See what I'm saying? The Anti-Me.

Vincent Longo's Eyeliner in Silvertaupe.

We figured this out by accident once at the Barney's in LA. Anti-Me brought me there because she was obsessed with the Vincent Longo foundation. Upon trying it out, the makeup artist also used a pencil as an eyeliner and to fill in my brows. I was quite taken with this product (apparently I also was British, soon I will start saying that I "fancy" things) and immediately added it to my growing heap of purchasables.

But Anti-Me was looking at it curiously. She then fished around in her purse and produced the same pencil, saying that she bought it the week before. The makeup artist recognized her, that's when you know you have an addiction, by the way. She looked at the artist and said, "But you used it as a lip liner on me!"

Apparently, the pencils do double as both eye, lip and brow pencils (okay, triple). I tried it on my lips later that day as an experiment and I looked like I had just visited the mortician. See? The Anti-Me.

Anyways, I have continued to use the pencil as a perfect everyday neutral eyeliner, both by itself or topped with a variety of brownish eyeshadows. But if you run towards the Anti-Me colors, maybe try it as a lip liner.

Oh, we also never went for the same guys. It's a very symbiotic relationship.

I've joined in on the Great Eyeliner Hunt, started by JilBean. Look for more reviews of eyeliners to come, or check out an old one of mine on the Gel Eyeliner by Bobbi Brown.

photos courtesy of Jilbean and

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Birthday!!

The National Zoo's baby panda Tai Shan (nee, and heretofore referred to as, Butterstick) turned 1!!

Okay, fine. This has nothing to do with beauty.

But look how CUTE he is!!! And as a good Washingtonian, I cannot allow this event to go by without remarking upon it.

B'Stick got some sweet birthday swag, including a wading pool and a giant fruitsicle made from fruit juice, yams, carrots and apples. (He skipped the cake given to the crowd. Too many empty carbs.)

If you are a total sucker for that sweet baby panda face like me, there are lots of pictures, videos and articles available here at the Washington Post.

Screw China! There is no way we are giving him back. So what if it causes World War III?

photo courtesy of the

Friday, July 07, 2006

Like Exxon Valdez, but in a good way

Ahhh, July recess. My mornings are so relaxed. My message light isn't blinking at me when I get to work. Birds chirp, sun shines, and I have free time to go shopping after work.

When I was down in Georgetown at Bluemercury buying my 8,000th pink lip gloss (which is still totally LOVE, so it was worth it) I snagged a sample of the NARS Monoi Body Glow II.

It was an impulse request.

I read in one of the three thousand magazines I go through every month that the Body Glow is this oil that is supposed to smell fantastic and be a great moisturizer which gives you that island-girl-beachy-sheen. And I'm hooked, because I'm all for something that makes me look like I come from an island.

Strike that ... make that an island more tropical than Manhattan.

So I tried it out. I was very concerned that the oil would just make me look kind of greasy and shiny, which would not be a good look for me. But it really didn't. I used a small amount and it sinks right in. In fact, I wish it gave me a little more sheen than it did.

The best part? THE FREAKING SMELL! Yuhhh-my.

The Sephora website gives the whole diatribe about the plant it comes from and gardenias, blah blah. It is really nice. And it actually works well with the new Trish McEvoy perfume. Score one for me! I never believed that I would be able to be someone who mixed frangrances. I typically go with Eau de Lubriderm over everything else.

The only problem is that the smell is so tropical and beachy, I was actually worried that my co-workers would glare at me and say that I was really taking the recess hours a little too far.

Then again, I try not to let them get that close to me.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Would Zyban work for lip gloss?

I think I might have a serious problem.

I am totally addicted to lip glosses.

No joke, I have about five in my purse right now, all in various shades of pink.

But they are so pretty!! And I do like variety. And as far as addictions go, this has to be better than say... meth. Or cookies.

So my latest conquest is Trish McEvoy's lip gloss in Shimmery Pink.

Sampled at Bergdorf's Trish counter, my mother commented that it didn't really look like there was anything on. I responded by piling on a little more before heading out to be tortured by the salesman at Bendel's.

Later, when we did the post-mortem on his ineptitude and dearth of knowledge about buffering solutions, my mother remarks, "Oh, that lip gloss is actually really pretty."

Done. Now I had to have it.

Fast forward to a quick spin around Blue Mercury in Georgetown and it was mine, all mine! Insert evil cackle here.

The gloss is nice because in comes in the small tube, easily slipped into the tiniest of purses (FYI, I have no medium sized purses. Only huge and tiny. Go figure.) has a nice brush and smells kind of like aspartame. Yummy.

One swipe delivers a nice sheer pinky color with silver shimmer that gives a perfect counterbalance to a darker eye, while two swipes produced a slightly disco ball/roller girl effect.

Here's to hoping that I can hold back from future indulgences.

photo courtesy of

Things which are NOT OKAY

You know what is just plain NOT okay in a civilized society?


Oh yes, that's right. This morning on the metro to work I sat in front of a man CLIPPING HIS FINGERNAILS. Right there in the seat.

I almost hurled all over him. But that would also fall under the category of things which are not okay.

insert shuddering and dry heaving here.

Seriously, just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I need a shower.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Tale of Two Beauty Departments - Cont'd

After the big scores at Bergdorf's, I convinced my mother to walk two blocks south to hit up Bendel's.

I swore to all that is holy to me (namely, caffeine and Prada) that we would only go to the beauty section as I wanted to try out the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. We were both a little tired, hungry and be-blistered.

Nota bene on foundation for me: I currently use Vincent Longo Healthy Fluid Foundation in Porcelain. They played a mean trick a few years back where it disappeared from the market to "reformulate" and I had to try other foundations. But it's back, baby!

However, when summer rolls around, I find myself longing for something light and easy, hence the desire to check out the Tinted Moisturizer. And I hear it's all the rage in Paris.

So we roll into Bendel's and I am immediately struck by how much a beauty floor resembles (at least what I imagine) a marketplace in Marrakesh with vendors reaching and jumping out from every direction trying to lure you into their stall.

So I sidle up to the Laura Mercier counter and start poking around. Then the sales guy sidles up to me. I ask about the moisturizer and he looks like he has just won the lottery. "Let me put some on you!" he squeals.

I glance at my mother, and reply, "Well, aren't you pretty hungry Mom? I don't want to take too long." As I say this I shoot her my best "let's get out of here!!" vibe. She says, "We can stay if you want to."

So much for mother-daughter mental telepathy.

So I sit. The guy starts rubbing my face with cleansers and gook, trying to sell me some primer with his totally rehearsed spiel. I notice an older saleswoman peering over his shoulder as he smears. Great...a newbie. He lauches into the ad copy on the Perfecting Water (didn't Nature perfect water on it's own? What with the two hydrogens and the oxygen, there's not that much room for anything else). And he's telling me that it's pH balanced.

Okay, now I get snarky.

"What's the pH?" I inquire. He looks totally befuddled, but regains his composure.

"It's balanced."

Okay, now I'm super-snarky and I whip out my totally obnoxious science nerd skilz.

"No, I mean, what is the pH? It's a number that describes the acid or base quality of the substance."

Pause. "Weeeell...when your skin is not pH balanced, the water will put it back in balance."

I'm guessing my chemistry professor might have a few things to say about that one.

Then he puts on the Tinted Moisturizer.

I glance over at my mother, who has a grimace on her face that I haven't seen since I tried to go to school looking like Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. He hands me a mirror.

GOOD GOD! I look ill. No, seriously, pale and clammy looking. Like I had the stomach flu.

He tried to show me that it would be better with a little blush (picking a pooey brown color that my mother later remarked made me look "dirty") but to no avail. I hightailed it out of there with the "I need to see it in natural light" excuse.

Ugh! Back to the Longo counter I go!

I'm considering experimenting with the Longo Dew Finish foundation version...has anyone tried?

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Tale of Two Beauty Departments

So I managed to fight my way through the hordes of tourists on a hot and sticky Friday to visit Bergdorf's and Bendel's and this is first installment of a two part post whereby I describe my experiences.

Bergdorf Goodman's is a distinctly New York institution. As far as I know, it never branched out a la Barney's (LA, Chicago, Boston and a multitude of Co-Op stores) or Bendel's (anyone remember the outposts in Chicago and some mall in New Jersey? Anyone?). And as such, it has a certain je ne sais quoi air about it.

Oh, wait, I do know what it is. That's the air of superiority. And inaccessibility.

But...they've got the goods.

I was browsing in the handbag section waiting for my mom to meet me when I witnessed a young girl, all of thirteen, walk directly up to a sales woman and ask, "Is there more to the store?"

The woman shot her a withering look that would have stopped Medusa in her tracks.

The girl pressed on, "I mean, are there clothes here?"

At this point I feared for this girl's safety.

As she opened her mouth again, the salewoman cut her off, "What are you looking for?" She replied meekly "Contemporary." The woman sighed, "Five," pointed to the general direction of the escalator and turned her back on the poor girl whose mother rushed over as they scurried off.

That is what you must be prepared for if you want to shop at Bergdorf's. You must show no fear, as the sales staff can smell fear like cheap drugstore perfume and will pounce instantly. Walk tall and carry a big designer purse.

After a romp in the shoe department, my mother and I descended to the beauty level as my mother swears that some salesMAN (later, at the counter at BG, the sales girl would speak very nastily about male makeup artists. I'm totally Switzerland in that debate. Color me neutral.) at Bloomie's sold her the wrong colors at Trish McEvoy. She made a beeline for the counter to rectify the mistake.

As she told her tale of woe and shades too dark lipliner to the sales girl, I perused the merch and was particularly taken by the perfume section. Now, some of you may remember that I am really bad with stinky perfumes. But I began sniffing, and found one that I actually liked! It was Fragrance #4, Gardenia and White Musk. It is really light and floral, but not in an-old-lady-garden-smell (which is what I usually associate with florals). It also reminds me of the original Marc Jacobs perfume, but mercifully lacks that overdone-to-death aspect.

Also, when I shoved my arm into my boyfriend's nose to get his take on the fragrance, he said he liked it. "Very clean," he nodded to me and my mother. This is totally something he is aping from some boyfriend handbook, as "clean" is an adjective typically reserved for socks worn only one day or something which was recently doused with Formula 409. But it's nice that he is so supportive.

The nicest part? I was able to buy a small, travel sized bottle which, if I decide I like the scent, can refill from a bigger bottle, purchased at a later date. Kudos to Trish! This works out well for me.

I also tried a cute peachy lip gloss from Trish, but cannot for the life of me remember what it's name was. I'm off today to try to track it down at Bluemercury in Georgetown (Hey, America's birthday can sort of be like my birthday too).

Tomorrow...Adventures in Beauty, where I submit to a makeup application by a newbie makeup artist at Bendel's...the horrors!!