Monday, December 8, 2008

CRUSH: Let's Hear it for the Boys

The “borrowed from the boyfriend” look permeated the fashion world in seasons past (encompassing a range of statement pieces from the boyfriend tee, the boyfriend tank, the boyfriend cardigan, and now the boyfriend jean) but Burberry Prossum proved to be this year’s best manifestation. Each outfit is perfectly balanced, and each look consists of oversized outerwear paired with the chunky yet feminine heels on the bottom. The aborigine and taffeta fabrics capture the androgynous appeal without overpowering the woman.

As this male inspired look continues to appear on the red carpet and in everyday career and casual wear of high profile celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Alba, Ashley Olsen, Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and others, it is clear this boy/girl phenomenon is here to stay. So sneak into your boyfriend’s closet, slip into his clothes, and don’t be afraid to look better than he does sporting his wardrobe.

CRUSH: Sweet Deals

As popularized by NYC’s Magnolia Bakery and Crumbs in the Hamptons, the confection obsession is every bit au currant. Whether frosted or whipped, coated with sprinkles or sugared décor, the best thing about cupcakes is variety. When the desire to embrace cupcake chic arises, here’s a recipe to satisfy all your cravings.

The batter: The Vanilla Cupcake Body Collection by Sephora. Ingredients:
Bath and body products lightly scented with Sephora Brand Vanilla Cupcake fragrance. The Sephora Brand Vanilla Cupcake Body Collection is a sweet mix of decadent French vanilla and almond, infused with honey and buttermilk that creates a lavish lather to clean, moisturize, and smooth all skin types. Each product contains deeply hydrating ingredients, such as aloe vera and jojoba, for delectably soft skin. Consider this a 100 percent calorie free alternative to satisfying your craving. Price per item varies. Complete set available at, $76.

If vanilla’s not your forte, embrace your chocolate side. Chocolate once a deadly sin, now can be good for you skin. Lush Cosmetics chocolate-scented cleansing cupcake is great for preventing (and soothing) breakouts and removing excess oils. With anti-microbial, deep cleansing Rhassoul mud and stimulating peppermint and spearmint oils, this delicacy works even better than it smells. Available at, $20.

The butter: Add a hint of butter to your cupcake batch with Cupcake Candy Butter Cream by Dylan’s Candybar, the perfect delicious-smelling remedy for thirsty skin. This unique, protective, non-greasy formula with Vitamin E, Jojoba Seed Oil, and Shea Butter (one of the world's best moisturizers) promotes healing of rough, dry skin all year long. Available in chocolate and vanilla. Sprinkles are totally optional. Available at, $22.

The Frosting: Ice your cake with the I Taste Like Sugar Mini Lip Gloss Set (Original Price $28) 
These sugary treats come in a clear, purse-sized case containing twelve delectably sweet lip glosses in sheer, opaque, and shimmer shades that can be worn over bare lips or your favorite lip color for a yummy, long-lasting flavored shine. Available at, $14.

REVIEW: Sneak Peak

Bright lights. Oversized clocks. Nuts roasting on every street corner. A Starbucks to the left. Dean & Deluca on the right. Billboards galore. An overabundance of stores each waiting to suck you into their fantasyland. It’s Manhattan. Anything can happen. Rebecca Bloomwood is a sweet and charming New York City girl who’s hopelessly addicted to shopping. She’s drowning in debt, desperately seeking her dream job at a top fashion magazine, struggling to keep her life in control. Confessions of a Shopaholic, based on the bestselling novel by Sophie Kinsella and starring Isla Fisher, is scheduled to debut in February 2009. When the credit card is maxxed, we could all use a little entertainment.

Watch the trailer here:

LOOKS FOR LESS: Runway New Years

New Years glitz and glam always calls for a new outfit. Something about champagne and a midnight kiss that demand you look your best. But fashion splurges are about as common these days as finding true love at a New Years party. That doesn’t mean you can’t look like you stepped off the runway as you waltz into 2009. Here are three lusts and musts for the special evening:

Dolce and Gabbana Stretch Sateen Bustier Dress: (Saks Fifth Avenue $525)

Jenny McCarthy looked sophisticated sexy (a crazy tan) in a D&G black corset dress. This sleek number is a perfect go-to dress for any evening event. But at $525, this look is too steep for anyone without a hired stylist and a Hollywood income.

Bebe Shirred Corset Dress: (Sale: $69)

Instead, try Bebe’s version of the same style. With a show-stopping piece like this, magic is bound to happen. The stretchy front adds room for all the bubbly your heart desires. And because it’s so simple, you won’t mind recycling this dress from party to party. Just change up the accessories.

Burberry Nova Plate Platform ($410)

Shoe lovers beware: these Burberry prorsum collection platforms are fierce. The five-inch heel makes any fashionista drool. Made of silver patent leather and nova plates down the front strap, these personify decadent spending (and wearing).

Steve Madden Rufles (Sale: $69.95)

Mimic the look with Steve Madden’s Rufles style, with a similar five-inch heel and platform design. Ruffles replace the silver plating, but the payoff is a more affordable price (sale!).

Kors by Michael Kors Fur-Trim Wool Coat ($750)

Cover up from the cold with a winter pea coat that features a fur trim. This chic wool jacket ties at the waist, and the collar is made with coyote fur. Fit for any non-PETA celeb.

Forever 21 Dora Faux Fur Coat ($54.80)

Animal activists and smart shoppers prefer this gray pea coat with a faux-fur-collar embellishment. This coat makes you look polished, poised, and ready to party, all without breaking the bank. Save that money for the Moët and Chandon.


Though you would not guess it by glancing at my fingers, manicured nails fascinate me. I’m not talking about your regular French tips or average flower stencil. No, my obsession falls under the category of bling nails. Nails with attitude: florescent air brushed talons adorned with anything from tiny Swarovski crystals to glow-in-the-dark paint. Bling nails range anywhere from short squared cuticles to two-inch long, acrylic, curved claws.

While the shapes vary, the designs feature elaborate techniques and intricate patterns. One practice known as ‘water coloring’ is an ancient Vietnamese practice where the nail polish is suspended in water, as the fingernail get dipped in, the polish creates a marble affect. The difficult process produces a stunning result: a fabulously tie-died nail. Stenciling and airbrushing make up the most common designs of bling nails. These miniscule airbrushes produce everything from realistic graffiti scenes to zebra stripes and Hawaiian sunsets across your thumb and pinky finger.
If you find yourself craving some colorful claws, downtown Syracuse offers a few salons that’ll do you right. Lovely Nails (324 Salina Street), a cozy little shop, offers an assortment of colors, and designs start at $8. For $22, you get a full set of acrylics and your choice of design. Walk a block south, and you will find Oriental Nail and Hair Salon (348 Salina Street). Oriental offers a larger selection with florescent colors and cool decals. Hand designs start at $10, but can cost up to $35. By the looks of the packed nail counters, Oriental Nail and Hair Salon was popping; I suggest making an appointment.

If you want to spruce up your look consider getting some bling tips. They offer the attitude of tattoos without the permanence. A friend of mine in high school got her nails done every two weeks to match her various day-glo Nikes. While some nails err on the side of tacky, the overall art form gives off fun and funky vibes to your fingers. Snaps!

HOW-TO: Pout-Smile

Sometimes I unleash my inner Facebook stalker and click through hundreds of photos. I know. It's creepy (I also know you do it too). But it taught me something (not a marketable skill but helpful nonetheless): Some people make the same winning smile in every picture. Others struggle. If you lack natural-smile skills, take a tip from the Olsens and intensify your look with a pout-smile. It'll come in handy for all those holiday snaps.

Release all giggles and take yourself very seriously. Think job interview, an appearance at the United Nations, your first lecture on your book tour.
Transfer your attention away from your lips. Think CHEEKS.
1. Gently suck in and hallow out your cheeks.
2. Slightly pucker and pout your lips.
3. Smile with your eyes.
4. Tilt your chin down.

1. The goal is to thin out the cheeks. Concentrate on creating angles with your bone structure so that attention focuses on your lips.

2. Employ pout aids like Lip Venom, a plumper helper.

3. To create the illusion of higher cheekbones, sweep a highlighter cream or powder to the top of the cheekbones. Using a round blush brush apply bronzer about two finger widths below your cheekbones.

Advanced Technique:
Try widening your eyes or smirking without showing any teeth.

Pout Smile Don't:

HOW-TO: Take It Off

Purchasing expensive long-lasting make up products requires knowing how to take them off at the end of the night, or the next morning (oh, you bad, girl.)
Baby wipes and hand soap only take you so far.

Step 1. Buy a cleanser specially designed for waterproof or polymer based make up products. Try DDF Doctors Dermatologic Formula Brightening Cleanser.
In makeup artistry lore, your face ages six days every night you neglect to wash your make up off.

Step 2. Use a product specifically for your eyes and lashes.
The average eyelash lasts about 150 days, and then new ones grow in. By leaving on your mascara at night you cut that lifespan in half. Thus, you need products with emollients such as vitamins A, C, and E that help to soften and nourish your lashes.
Try Balms Away Eye Make Up Break Up.

HOW TO: Find Unique Holiday Gifts

The 14th annual Good Girls Holiday Sale is here again! It features Michelle DaRin’s one-of-a-kind jewelry, Kathy Barry’s vintage inspired hats, and Amy Morrissey’s beautiful mosaics. Come check out local goods by local good girls.

Local female artists who specialize in handmade design items started this annual tradition by showcasing their wares in university-neighborhood homes, downtown studios, and other local spots. But the last couple of years it has been at 2nd Story Books.

Come to the kick-off on Friday night with live music and great eats. “If you don’t want to shop at the mall for the holidays it is an excellent way to support local artists in your community doing really cool things,” says Michelle DaRin

HOW-TO: Holiday Vamp-Glam

Beauty Sensei Jessica Pugliese looks both gorgeous and frightening in her signature “metal equestrian” ensemble (complete with vampire glam make up reminiscent of YSL Fall '08). Jessica glares at the passersby as we sit outdoors at a café in center city, Philadelphia on Black Friday. Jessica discusses her latest guilty pleasure: Twilight. Consider this your guide to holiday vampire-glam inspired by the cult vampire movie Twilight.
Make up by Jessica Pugliese.

Step 1: Moisturize with Boscia Oil Free Daily Hydration with SPF 15. (It's preservative free!)

Step 2: Apply Boscia Intensive Eye Treatment cream.

Step 3: Prime with Tarte's Clean Slate Primer.

Step 4. Apply Make Up Forever HD foundation with a brush with synthetic fibers. (Natural fibers leave more makeup on the brush than your face.)

Step 5. Treat under-eye baggage with Benefit's Boiing Concealer, blending up to the to create a visual lift. Spot-treat any pimples or redness.

Step 6. Contour your face by applying Tarte's Park Ave. Princess bronzer under your cheekbones.

Step 7. The eyes. Prime with Urban Decay's Eye Shadow Primer Potion, which prevents creasing and corrects eye-lid discoloration. This product ensures that the color in your pan is the color that goes on your lid. You can sleep in your eye shadow and it won't fade or melt into your skin (a necessary detail for all vampires).

Step 8. Line the inner rim of your lashes with white Aqua Eyes Make Up Forever pencil
to make your eyes appear more open.

Step 9. Line the outer rims of your eyes with black Aqua Eyes Make Up Forever pencil
Smudge with Q-tip or finger.

Step 10. Sweep matte black eye shadow from Make Up Forever all over lid leaving a pinky width of space under the brow bone.

Step 11. Sweep a midnight blue shadow Thunderball from NARS for a more smoky look.

Step 12. Gently press Make Up Forever Star Powder No. 950 over the eye shadow to add a hint of sparkle. (You're a sultry holiday vampire not a goth.)

Step 13. Tip. If loose powder gets onto the undereye area, put some Boiing Concealer on a tissue and wipe away. The powder sticks to the concealer.

Step 14. Apply a few coats of Make Up Forever Smoky Lash mascara.
Reminder: Never pump your mascara wand. Air gets into the
container and dries it out faster.

Step 15. For the Brave: Line the lips with black liquid eye liner and fill in with a deep red
gloss or stain like NARS Daredevil.

Step 16. Too Intense? Use a pink or red lip stain and apply a clear gloss over top.
Or try a neutral beige eye shadow with a lined and stained red lip.

Find these products at