Thursday, May 29, 2008

life in plastic, it's fantastic

The first time I used a plastic-bristled mascara wand a year and a half ago, I jabbed myself in the eye. I'm not sure what about the instrument proved so difficult for me, but the experience left me with watery eyes and a distrust of these new, unwieldy wands. A few days later, I gave it another go. With caution, I applied two coats of Max Factor Lash Perfection in Deep Blue. The plastic wand effortlessly combed and amplified my skimpy lashes, evenly coating them without clumping. It easily reached the base and outer corners, and eliminated my usual need to reach for the eyelash comb. The result was literally eye-opening. Plastic mascara wands were the wave of the future.

Last week, while waiting at the drugstore for a prescription, I decided to pick up a tube of L'Oreal Voluminous in the new Carbon Black formulation. Voluminous was my favorite mascara in high school, and I thought it was worth a re-visit. The formula was just as I'd remembered, rich, volumizing and clump-free, but I couldn't get over how different the traditional wand felt on my lashes. Although the product glided on, I never felt like I was getting enough of it between my lashes. Voluminous definitely added volume, but it didn't enhance and define my lashes to my new standards.

So, as a testament of my devotion to plastic-bristled mascara wands, I present my three all-time favorites:

Chanel Inimitable: Inimitable lifts, volumizes and separates (I feel like I'm talking about a bra) without clumping. The buildable formula stands up to multiple coats, perfect for those of us who like to spackle on the layers to a spidery finish. It leaves lashes full and glossy, and depending on how much you use, the effect can be natural or dramatic. Usually, I have to force myself to remember to throw out mascara after the recommended six-month shelf life, but I went through my first purchase of Inimitable in three months. That's the fastest I've ever finished a tube of mascara.

Max Factor Volume Couture: Max Factor's follow-up to Lash Perfection, this volumizing formula works wonders on wussy lashes. The drugstore pricing doesn't hurt either. My only complaint is that Max Factor is not carried in Target or in any of my local drugstores, so to pick up this mascara I either have to suck it up and go to Wal-Mart (which I try to avoid at all costs) or place an order through If you don't feel like splurging on Chanel, Volume Couture is a great alternative to Inimitable. A little ironic.

Lancôme Fatale: Fatale's wand isn't made up of the same plastic bristles as my two previous mentions. Instead, the wand is a three-sided comb. Its unique design deposits loads of mascara, creating fat, inky lashes that extend for days. When used with an eyelash curler, the result can rival false eyelashes. Seriously, I have to forgo sunglasses when I wear Fatale, as it often results in that super annoying lash/lens scraping. When applying, I rotate the comb three times per eye. This deposits three intense coats, which can make your eyelashes resemble the long, synthetic lashes that you find on plastic baby dolls (I know that sounds creepy, but I mean it in the best way possible). The wand is a little tricky at first, but the final results are worth some trial and error. This is my favorite mascara for evening, but I'll wear it during the day if I'm rocking liquid liner. Definitely the best mascara on the market for a cat eye.

images: lancôme, chanel, max factor

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

all that glitters

Launched in conjunction with Neo Sci-Fi, MAC's new Solar Field collection introduces Solar Bits. These rich pigments have a more crumbly feel than MAC Pigments (they're described on the website as 'free-formed clusters') and they can make quite a mess. But in four gorgeous, versatile shades, these shadows are worth a mild dusting of glitter on your bathroom counter.

My stand-alone favorite is Black Ore, a sparkly black dust that reminds me of volcanic sand. My favorite shades of black eyeshadow incorporate traces of green, so I was delighted to find that in addition to a hint of gold pearl, the pigment also has a slight olive green undertone. I know it sounds intense, but Black Ore can be used to create both subtle and dramatic effects. Try crumbling some of the bits into a fine powder, then mix in a few drops of Paula Dorf Transformer. The result is a deliciously rich liquid liner, perfect for creating a futuristic cat eye.

I also adore MAC's promotional photo for Solar Field. The jeweled headpiece reminds me of those over-sized gemstone headbands from the Marc Jacobs Spring 2007 Ready-to-Wear Collection.

As for the Neo Sci-Fi Collection, I'd initially missed the return of Soft & Slow Tinted Lipglass. Released as a part of the Smoke Signals collection in August of 2007, this rosy mid-tone plum is worth picking up if you missed it the first time. With its creamy finish and gold undertones, it's a feminine neutral that works on a wide variety of skin tones.

images: mac,

good news, bad news

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is currently in production and the cast sounds amazing. With Christian Bale as John Connor, Charlotte Gainsbourg as Kate Connor, and Josh Brolin rumored to be playing the Terminator, this movie definitely has the on-screen talent to make a worthy addition to the series. Where I get a bit concerned is behind the camera. McG, the director who brought us We Are Marshall and the film versions of Charlie's Angels, is helming the project, which could turn into a trilogy. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but names without vowels weird me out, and I have serious doubts about the intellectual capacity of a person who would willingly go by 'McG' in a professional setting. That said, the preliminary concept art looks pretty wicked.

Monday, May 26, 2008

travelling light

Both Vogue and W have one-page stories in their May issues about airline-approved beauty, even featuring some of the same mini-products. I'm a sucker for anything in miniature form, but I've found that the best way to travel with liquids is to pick up a set of refillable containers that take the guesswork out of the TSA guidelines.

This travel set from Sephora includes seven clear containers, as well as a funnel and two spatulas for easy filling. The two flip-top bottles are ideal for shampoo and conditioner, while the smaller jar is great for creams and moisturizers (the larger jar is the only item that doesn't meet the 3 oz. guideline). Both a spray bottle and a twist-top bottle come with the set, and the 1 oz. dropper bottle is perfect for cleansing oils and serums. Also included are pre-printed labels to keep you from confusing your moisturizer with your conditioner. When carrying luggage on, be sure to trade the clear travel case for the standard quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.

If you still want to invest in some cute little minis, here are a few of my favorite travel-friendly goodies:

Sonia Kashuk offers quality make-up brushes at reasonable prices, and this Travel Brush 6-Piece Set is no exception. The set contains everything you could need on vacation, whether you're spending it at the beach or in the big city. Housed in a sleek, silver case with adorable Pucci-inspired lining, the set includes a blush/powder brush, three soft-bristled eye shadow brushes, a crease brush and an angled brush.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Skin Care Starter Kit is a great option for dry or sensitive skin. With cleanser, toner, moisturizer and night cream, all in TSA-friendly sizes, this gentle line won't irritate travel-weary skin. Enriched with Vitamin E for exfoliation and lanolin for moisture, this kit contains everything you need to protect, soften and repair your skin. Plus, the set comes in an adorable red mesh case with a matching pink cleansing cloth.

Stella McCartney's Stella is an intense, sensual, long-lasting fragrance. With its sophisticated blend of rose and amber, Stella is one of my favorite scents for evening. So naturally, the Eau de Parfum Roll-On is a regular in my travel bag. With its additional notes of mandarin and peony, just a little of this feminine fragrance goes a long way. A set of four is only $35, so you can afford to keep them scattered throughout your purses and carry-ons.

Lippmann Collection 'The Stripper To Go' Nail Lacquer Remover Finger Mitts are a must-have for on-the-go manicures. The lavender and aloe vera formula quickly and gently removes all traces of polish, and the individual pouches keep your belongings safe from spills. To speed up your touch-ups, try Lippmann's fast-drying top coat, Addicted To Speed. In addition to cutting down drying time, this formula has the strength of a regular top coat, leaving your nails protected and chip-free for the rest of your vacation.

I'm no stranger to sunburns, so Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel is one of my summer staples. The hydrating formula soothes and moisturizes sunburned skin, while gently relieving the hot, stinging sensation that lingers long after you're out of the sun. Best of all, the dermatologically-tested formula won't clog pores or trigger breakouts. Now available in a travel-size tube, this product is even easier to toss into a beach bag or carry-on.

I've written about my love of Benefit Benetint Pocket Pal before, but it's worth mentioning again here. The double-sided wand is a great multi-tasker. With Benetint stain on one end and shiny clear gloss on the other, this product is all you need for a natural flush on lips and cheeks. It even comes with its own handy pocket protector! To avoid spills, be sure to hold the bottle upright when using the stain.

Evian Mineral Water Spray is one of those products that I feel a little embarassed picking up. Luxury water in a spray can isn't exactly a necessity. But after sitting for hours in a cramped airplane cabin, nothing feels more refreshing than this cool mist. That stale, recycled air can make foundation flaky and cakey, so I use this to freshen up and re-blend my make-up when I arrive at my final destination. And now, the mini Travel Trio offers that same cool blast in 1.7 oz. cans. I even keep one in my desk at work for a quick pick-me-up.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

movie news for freaks and geeks

Celluloid Dreams, who brought us the film version of Persepolis, has optioned the Philip K. Dick novel Ubik. Hopefully, the end result will be more Bladerunner than Screamers.

Rumors persist that the film adaptation of Y: The Last Man will be in three parts, and feature Shia LaBeouf as Yorick.

Brian K. Vaughan
is one of my favorites, so I was ecstatic to find out that Runaways is being developed for the big screen by Marvel.

The Watchmen movie is chugging right along. For updates, keep an eye on the film version's official blog.

Were you despondent when the Sci Fi Channel cancelled the delightfully campy Flash Gordon? Well, for all four of us that were, Sony won the rights to develop a new film version.

The Highlander franchise (I was totally into the television series) is getting a jump start from the writers who brought us Ironman.

So in honor of both Flash Gordon and Highlander, I give you Queen:

what could've been

As songs from Scarlett Johansson's album of Tom Waits covers trickle onto airwaves, the PR machine has spun up. I may not be a big fan of Johansson's foray into music (I'm a firm believer that to deserve the opportunity to record an album, one should be either a talented vocalist or a songwriter. She is neither), she is an absolutely gorgeous young woman. So to see her looking this haggard on the cover of the June/July Nylon is a major disappointment. She looks like Lucinda Williams, who is totally gorgeous, but also 55 (Johansson is 23). It's just an awful, awful cover shot. The photos inside are a vast improvement, but I can't help imagining the cover that could've been.

Inside, my favorite Gossip girl, Beth Ditto, looks more gorgeous than ever. I'm a long-time fan of Ditto's (we do have the same name, after all), and it's disappointing to see this cover-worthy spread relegated to the back pages. I already have a bajillion back issues of Vogue, W and Harper's Bazaar with Johannson on the cover. Putting Ditto on the cover would have been a refeshing change of pace, and considering how photogenic she is, she practically guarantees a gorgeous cover.

images: nylon

flapper fashion

Trends come and go with almost predicatable regularity, so I can count on my favorite eras to return every few seasons as either subtle allusions or obvious inspirations. One of my favorite periods of fashion is the 1920s. With their boyish style and brash attitudes, the young women of the time challenged social norms, flaunting their disdain for acceptable female fashion and behavior.

After the first World War, the U.S. was in a period of celebration. Women emerged as men's equals in society, and the flapper generation was born. Known for their casual attitudes towards drinking, smoking and sex, flappers announced their irreverent, almost hedonistic, lifestyles through fashion. With loose cuts, dropped waists, and raised hemlines, these modern women asserted themselves as independent and care-free.

This drop-waist cocktail dress from Chanel's Spring 2008 Couture Collection alludes to the era, but with a distinctively modern approach (although Sasha Pivovarova would have made an excellent flapper). The clean lines and silver sequins create a futuristic effect, while drawing inspiration from the past. The result is a prime example of how trends of a bygone era can be woven together with modern elements.

Diane Kruger wore this vintage, flapper-influenced Chanel Haute Couture gown to amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS event at Cannes. The gown subtly references a multitide of '20s trends, including a straight cut, bare arms and embellished details. The trends of the era are also present in her heavy eye make-up. Flappers channeled Louise Brooks and Clara Bow (the first "It Girl") with kohl-rimmed eyes. While Kruger went modern with a soft, nude lip, the young women of the '20s were known for layering on dark lipstick to a kiss-proof finish.

Flappers were known for creating a look from head to toe, and in 1925, Max Factor introduced his Supreme Nail Polish. A powder that was sprinkled on and buffed down, the product delivered shiny, tinted nails, another trend for flappers to incorporate into their style. Unfortunately, his pancake make-up was not developed until 1937. The heavy finish would've been a major hit in the early '20s, when fair skin was in demand. It was Coco Chanel, who was instrumental in developing flapper fashion, who shifted the trends toward bronzed skin later in the decade.

Perhaps the most defining feature of a flapper was her short hair. Thousands of women chopped off their curls for sharp, face-framing bobs. Model Alison Nix, already a moderate success on the runway, saw her career take off in 2007, when she traded in her long, straight hair for a Louise Brooks-inspired bob. Not for the meek, sharp, short hair is the best way to draw attention to your facial features. Long hair can feel safe and feminine, but whenever I'm in a crowd, my eyes always drift to the girl with the shortest hair in the room.

There are enough trends from the '20s, that you can easily pick and choose your favorites and incorporate them into a modern wardrobe. The trick is to be selective, otherwise you can look like you're off to a costume party. Try raising your hemlines and dropping your waistlines. Play with embellished details, such as fringe and beading. And accesorize with mary janes, gloves, or a close fitting cloche.

If you're still unsure about how to bring elements of flapper style together, watch this clip of Julie Andrews in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her struggle as an ample-chested woman in a sea of flat-chested flappers is priceless.


Friday, May 23, 2008

a beautiful friendship

Marchesa co-founders Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have made a career out of high glamour. Favored by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, Sienna Miller and Jessica Alba, Marchesa's dramatic gowns are regular fixtures at red carpet events.

Stila has collaborated with Marchesa for their last four runway shows, creating feminine looks that compliment the brand's delectable gowns. Building further on this partnership, Stila will release The Backstage Beauty Collection this fall. The line includes three limited-edition palettes in pewter, black and red, each accented with a detachable, faux leather rosette. Individual Stila shadows sell for $18 a pop, so with three shadows, a mini kajal eyeliner and beautiful packaging, the palettes are a great deal at $40.

Chapman and Craig also designed a pair of lipsticks that will be added to the permanent line. Craig's color, a soft nude, and Chapman's color, a sheer red, were directly inspired by the look that Stila created for Marchesa's Fall 2008 Ready-to-Wear Collection. Each will retail for $22.

The collection will be part of Stila's Fall 2008 Color Collection, available in August, exclusively at Sephora.

shades of white

Natalie Portman took a break from Lanvin for the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS event in Cannes. The angles and layers of her Givenchy Haute Couture dress immediately reminded me of one of my all-time favorite runway looks, the finale gown worn by Shalom Harlow during the Christian Dior Spring 2007 Couture show.


wanted: roles for black actresses

Wanted rolls into theaters this summer, bringing the violent comic book mini-series to life. Director Timur Bekmambetov has been clear that he took many liberties when adapting the story for film, including losing the super-villain mythos, and instead building the story around a league of super-assassins. I don't have a problem with directors and screenwriters significantly adapting source material to make their films work, and Wanted is not a series that would easily translate without major changes. What bothers me is the casting.

The character of The Fox will be played by Angelina Jolie. This is the second time Jolie has portrayed a woman of color in the last year (the first being Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart). Colorblind casting is great in theory, but in an industry that's severely lacking in quality roles for women of color, I'm incredibly saddened to see another great black female role go to a white woman. There are dozens of actresses of color that could've carried out the role of The Fox, including Thandie Newton, Zoe Saldana, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kerry Washington and Anika Noni Rose. All of these women have the chops and the look to pull off the character. Despite her disastrous portrayals of Storm and Catwoman, I'd even have been pleased to see Halle Berry in the role (supposedly, the comic book character's physical appearance is based on Berry).

In response to criticism about her casting, Jolie stated, "I know that people are frustrated at the lack of great roles [for people of color], but I think they've picked the wrong example here." If this isn't a perfect example of Hollywood's disregard for talented, black actresses, what is?

fantasy women

The Guardian examines the plight of the female fantasy writer in When Harry Met Sexism:

"Speculative fiction - whether that is historical epic, space psychodrama or telepathic warrior quest - has always been about infinite possibilities. Why is it so hard to imagine a world which acknowledges the importance, multitude and sheer brilliance of its women writers?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

sci-fi glam

Hmmm. I'm not quite sure what to make of the new MAC Neo Sci-Fi Collection. Comprised mostly of neutral shades (with a couple of bright exceptions), the line is loaded with shine and shimmer. The entire collection feels like a Star Trek homage. But as much as I appreciate the Uhura vibe, I'm not sure if this is going to be a big hit for MAC. Not a lot of women wear frosty make-up on a regular basis, and the bright orange packaging probably won't fly with traditionalists. However, if you're going for a '60s sexpot look, this is the collection you've been waiting for. Stock up. As usual, this collection is limited-edition.

in love with lanvin

Forget the films. Lanvin has gotten the most acclaim at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Favored by young starlets, accomplished thespians and supermodels alike, the French fashion house has dominated the red carpet.

At the screening of Wild Blood, Natalie Portman opted for a tiered, flouncy, cobalt confection. I'm not crazy about the shoes, but if they're from the vegan line of footwear the actress designed for Te Casan, I'll give her a pass.

For the premiere of Che, the Cannes juror (who's practically a Lanvin ambassador at this point) went short and ruffled in delicious poppy-red with Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Gwyneth Paltrow attended the Chopard Trophy Ceremony in a delectable draped grecian number, Chopard diamonds (of course) and gladiator heels. Gwyneth is one of those envy-inducing women who can take a dress that, while beautiful, should be totally unflattering, and somehow make it seem totally wearable. It makes me angry.

Kristin Scott Thomas wore her red carpet-worthy blue gown from the premiere of Le Silence de Lorna to the Chopard event. Both Natalie and Kristin wore blue Lanvin dresses on the same day, prompting tabloids around the world to gasp at such a fashion faux pas. But really, they both looked lovely. Why all the grousing?

Even the new face of Prada wore Lanvin. Linda Evangelista attended the premiere of Indiana Jones: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in a gold, sequined, asymmetrical gown that screamed "supermodel."


the end is near

Cormac McCarthy's best-selling novel, The Road, is a harrowing read. Set in a nuclear wasteland, the post-apocalyptic tale follows a father and son journeying south towards a warmer climate. As they travel across the desolate landscape, they scavenge for food and are forced to hide from other survivors, many of whom have resorted to cannibalism. The film adaptation is currently in production, scheduled for a fall release.

phenomenal roster of talent should help translate McCarthy's barebones prose well into film. Helming the film is John Hillcoat, who proved with The Proposition that he's capable of directing a bleak, desperate tale. The cast includes Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, and Charlize Theron, a first-rate line-up that should garner the film plenty of buzz.

Stills from shooting are already trickling out, and with the film's release scheduled for November, we should be seeing a preview of The Road in the next month or two. I'm anxious to see the final product in the theater, but it's not much of a leap to assume that the viewing experience will be particularly unpleasant. The novel haunted my dreams for weeks, so a visual experience will probably have me sleeping with the lights on for the next month.

On to lighter news in dystopic film development. Tales of human struggle for survival in a grim future aren't just for adults anymore. Children can get in on the post-apocalyptic action this October with City of Ember. Based on the popular young adult novel, the film follows Lina (Atonement's Saoirse Ronan) and Doon (Control's Harry Treadaway) as they try to restore power to their dying city, the only light in a desolate, underground world. The production features Bill Murray as a corrupt mayor, set on keeping the metropolis in the dark. But with Tim Robbins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and the legendary Martin Landau rounding out the cast, City of Ember has all the star power it needs.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

target, target, target

With a star-studded kick-off party in Los Angeles and a New York launch that had women stripping down to their skivvies in the middle of Barney's, Rogan Gregory's line for Target has been getting loads of hype. Today I checked out the collection and I'm sad to say that I was a little underwhelmed. I'm a huge fan of Gregory's eco-conscious design philosophy, and I had high hopes for his addition to the Go International series. Although the line was well-made, possibly better constructed than any of the other Target capsule collections, some of the clothes felt basic to the point of boring. Even the leopard print felt a little bland.

That said, the line offered a lot of basics that could easily be integrated into a variety of wardrobes. I had a brief swooning moment over a sheer, silk, giraffe-print minidress (top half of model's head not included), but unfortunately, my size was already out of stock. That's what I get for stopping by three days after the official launch.

I'd been eyeing the one-piece animal print bathing suits online, but in person they were both quite short in the torso. If you're 5'5" or under and in the market for some outrageous swimwear, these suits were made for you. The cuts are pretty risqué and definitely require some confidence to pull off, but just use that as an excuse to indulge in another poolside daiquiri.

And in other news, a second Private Collection is on the horizon. Although the reactions to Target's first Go International Private Collection were mixed, the line had a lot to offer. There were construction issues with a couple of the dresses and not everyone loved the plasticy fabric, but I thought the line was a great alternative to the usual discount fare. Target's second Private Collection will be in stores June 29, and it's overflowing with feminine ruffles and flirty florals. I'm already pining after this little flowered number.

And...drumroll please...the rumors are true! Jonathan Saunders will be designing a Go International collection for fall. Fresh off the success of a capsule collection for Topshop, Saunders will be bringing his signature style stateside this October. Is that really five whole months away?

images: target

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a serious job is at stake

I was terribly disappointed when A Serious Job Is No Excuse, one of my favorite fashion blogs, shut down without warning this winter. Although Johanna and I have very different philosophies about fashion (and politics), her spot-on observations and acerbic wit kept me entertained during the workday. So I'm incredibly grateful to Fashion Is Spinach, who has shared what appears to be the motivation behind ASJINE's sudden disappearance.

Johanna (that's her in the tomato and cream Marc Jacobs) is competing on Stylista, The CW and Elle's new reality series. Participants are competing for the chance to become the assistant to Fashion News Director Anne Slowey. Yes, this is basically a cheap, reality show version of The Devil Wears Prada (and Anne Slowey's obvious imitation of Meryl Streep imitating Anna Wintour is a little sad), but now that I know Johanna's on board, I'll be watching every Wednesday this fall.

a standing ovation

from What Chicks Don't Like About Science Fiction at io9:

"If there's something keeping women away from enjoying science fiction, it's not spaceships. It's not "aliens on some far-off planet." It's the fact that people on our very own planet keep telling us that women aren't supposed to like science fiction. It's a self-confirming prophesy, because the more that scifi creators are told this, the more they imagine that their audience is all boys. So they write rich, believable male characters and boring, cookie-cutter lady characters. They organize conventions with panels devoted to shit like "the hottest women of science fiction" and nothing devoted to female heroes — or the kinds of hotties that straight women might want to see (i.e., men)."

a little more gwyneth

I know that Gwyneth Paltrow can rub people the wrong way when she waxes macrobiotic, but I don't understand the disproportionate amount of venom aimed in her direction. Sure, she can come off as pretentious. But in a culture where celebrities check in and out of rehab like day spas (see: Lohan, Lindsay) and tip off the paparazzi to their whereabouts (see: Montag, Heidi), it's a relief for someone in the public eye to be so consistently polite, articulate, and well put-together.

For Iron Man's international press tour, Gwyneth made the most of her enviable gams with leg-baring looks from Preen, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney, Jean Paul Gaultier and Balmain. Her appearances were a mini-tutorial: How To Exit A Limousine While In A Gynecologist-Friendly Minidress Without Sharing Your Ladybusiness With The World (donations for Lindsay's tuition are tax deductible).

The soles of my feet ache just thinking about how long she had to stand to pose for photos in all of those sky-high heels, and I appreciate someone willing to risk permanent damage to her arches for the sake of fashion. It's a rare woman who has the ability to wear a laser-cut Stella McCartney minidress without looking like a total tart. I'd like to see one of the girls from The Hills try to pull that off.

images: fabsugar, styledash

fresh off the runway

Ah, to have friends in high places. Gwyneth Paltrow at Cannes wearing a gown from Chanel's 2009 Resort Collection, which debuted in Miami last Thursday. Must be rough.

images: e!online,

fox: the new sci fi channel?

It looks like FOX will be pairing Fringe with medical drama House this fall. The second season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will also air in the fall, but won't be teamed up with any of the other great scifi shows on the network's roster. Dollhouse is slated to air on Monday nights, and Virtuality, the holodeck-themed series from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, has been picked up as a mid-season replacement. All of this network science fiction has me hoping that FOX has learned its lesson from Firefly's post-cancellation success.

Monday, May 19, 2008


It's not something I usually broadcast, but I try to make it as long as I can between shampoos. Washing and blow drying on a daily basis can dry out and damage even the healthiest head of hair, so it pays to give your mane a day or two off whenever you can. Plus, if I only wash my hair every couple of days, my jumbo bottle of Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo lasts forever.

Dry shampoos counteract oiliness, add volume at the roots, and prolong the life of a blowout. There are a ton on the market, and most of them fall short in one way or another. Some are messy, others are smelly, and most leave hair with a flat, whitish cast.

I've also found many dry shampoos to be criminally overpriced. I cannot in good conscience spend $18+ on a product that is glorified scented talcum powder (Oscar Blandi's Pronto Dry Shampoo springs to mind) . Which brings me to my secret weapon. Psssssst has been around since the '70s and can be found in drugstores. I've never seen it for more than $5.99, and I've found it marked down to about $3 on several occasions.

Psssssst absorbs oil while leaving far less white residue than its overpriced competitors. While other dry spray shampoos can coat your bathroom with residual powder, Psssssst delivers a controlled dose to the roots. The directions are simple, but be sure to follow them closely for best results. Although I catch a whiff of Static Guard every time I spray this, the scent is short-lived. My only real complaint is that the can runs out too quickly. But a little of this product goes a long way, so if you use it sparingly, you're sure to get your money's worth.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

can you wipe away a soul?

When a trailer for Dollhouse trickled out onto the internet at the end of last week, I was a little underwhelmed. However, a revised trailer has since been released and I'm fairly confident I can blame my lack of enthusiasm on poor editing. The new trailer explains the show's premise far more clearly, while offering up a lot more of the action that could make this series such a great joyride.

how to shop vintage without stressing about sizing

When I'm feeling economical, I peruse the websites of my favorite beauty brands, hoping for steals on discontinued products. I've had good luck with Stila, DuWop and Benefit, but almost every beauty brand has a section on their site for "vintage" items. As you can imagine, the stock is in constant flux. But if you check often, the odds of finding a great deal are in your favor.

Currently available from the DuWop vintage shop is ICE, a pale pink pressed powder. I bought this shimmery confection full-price, when it was introduced as a limited-edition must-have two winters ago. Although I love the product (despite being a very cool shade, it works as a great highlighter on both warm and cool skin tones), seeing it available now for 20% off with free shipping is a great reminder of just how much of the beauty industry is about creating hype.

Be discerning when it comes to limited-edition items, unless it's a new Chanel nail polish. In which case, stockpile those bottles to your heart's content.

the gun show

Freja Beha Erichsen's pistol tattoo peeking out during the ladylike Dior Resort 2009 fashion show.

Karl Lagerfeld's Miami Vice-inspired footwear at the Chanel Resort 2009 show, appropriately staged in South Beach.


bsg + rp 4eva

I'm not sure who came up with this brilliant idea, but the glorious artist Richard Prince recently shot some of the women of Battlestar Galactica for the May issue of Interview Magazine. Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff and Grace Park posed with Helfer's motorcycle in a clear nod to Prince's girlfriends series. No word on whether Prince plans to recreate one of his nurse paintings with Doc Cottle. The entire spread is posted at FASHIONARTEDIT, but I'd recommend going out and grabbing a copy of the magazine, while it's still on newstands.

If you're in the mood for more Richard Prince, the artist's phenomenal retrospective, Spiritual America, will be up at the Walker Art Center through September.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

little boy blue

Love this look from the Chanel Resort 2009 Collection. The show was staged atop the famous swimming pool at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach, and featured a performance by the U.S. Synchronized Swimming Team. Can't wait for a good clip of the routine to surface.

there are not enough movies about punk rock cannibalism

I finally got around to watching Doomsday, and I think Heroine Content sums up my reaction to the film better than I ever could:

"First of all, I wish to reassure everyone. If you ever get quarantined in Scotland during an outbreak of a terrifying virus, THERE WILL BE ENOUGH MANIC PANIC HAIR DYE FOR EVERYONE. You will not have to live without that purple mohawk just because the government has left you behind concrete walls to die. Someone in Scotland has also apparently been stockpiling tattoo guns and ink, fishnets, axes, and Adam Ant CDs, so you should be well prepared to make a go of it as part of a cannibalistic tribe whose leader has a fondness for stage shows."

Director and screenwriter Neil Marshall gave us the critically-acclaimed film The Descent, one of the best horror movies of the last decade. Doomsday, on the other hand, was not even screened for critics. The film is unapologetically ridiculous, combining elements of Mad Max, 28 Days Later, and the Medieval Times fight scene in The Cable Guy. The gore is hysterical, if you can stomach it (spoiler: the bunny explodes!). Doomsday is not a good movie, but it is an enjoyable one. Plus, Malcom McDowell!

ruffles and layers at cannes

Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé

Julianne Moore in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture

Mischa Barton in Matthew Williamson

Natalie Portman in Lanvin

Friday, May 16, 2008

the best night on television?

The new J.J. Abrams series Fringe has been described as a medical version of the X-Files. Picked up by FOX for mid-season, rumors are that the series will be paired with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. With Dollhouse in the mix, FOX has the opportunity to create a block of science-fiction that could give the Sci Fi Channel a run for its money. Check out the Fringe promo trailer to get a better idea of what to expect this January.

freshly picked

Benefit Benetint is a cult favorite, and one of the best products for no-make-up make-up. The berry stain delivers a natural, rosy flush that's appealing to both beauty minimalists and connoisseurs. The color lasts all day, and flatters a wide variety of skin tones.

Posietint is like Benetint's kid sister. Released just in time for summer, this petal-pink cheek and lip tint creates a subtle, innocent glow. The see-through stain delivers hours of lasting color. Because it sets quickly, be sure to blend Posietint right away. Applying the stain on top of powder can create an uneven finish, so blend Posietint directly onto bare or primed skin. Although the packaging includes a brush similar to a nail polish brush, I recommend dabbing the product on with fingers for a more controlled dose.

Benefit has created a few products around Benetint including Pocket Pal, a double-sided wand housing both Benetint and a clear gloss. Pocket Pal is a great item to keep in your purse for quick touch-ups, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll release a Posietint version as well. In the meantime, you can pick up the original Posietint at Benefit.