Friday, December 23, 2005

Even Shining Intellects need some time off!

Dear Readers,

Las Fashionistas will be taking a blog hiatus through next Tuesday. We won't be absent from the computer, though! Our inbox is ALWAYS open, and we love hearing from you! Feel free to write us with any questions or comments you may have.

We started this blog strictly for fun. We never had any idea so many people would enjoy it. We're very very grateful for all of you and your continued support. We're delighted to do something we love and have others benefit from it as well!

This holiday season, we're wishing you all the best that life has to offer: good food, fun with your loved ones, and dreams come true! Enjoy the magic of the season, and have a safe, happy, and glamorous New Year!

All the best,

Las Fashionistas

PS-As we've said before, this is a GREAT time to send in topic requests or ideas for articles you'd like to see here. We'll take the time over the holidays to respond to some of your requests.

What to wear to a Broadway Show in the winter

iheartpink asks:

I have a question for you, I am going to a Broadway show (Wicked to be exact in case you know anything about it) over the holidays with my boyfriend and his parents. I was wondering: what is the appropriate attire to wear to the show? I know it is December and New York is just as cold as it is here in Boston so I wasn't sure if a dress would be right or not. So if you have any advice that would be great! To give you some help, I should let you know I am 22 and very, very small. Thanks bunches!

Well, Pink,
It used to be that going to a concert or a play of any kind was call for dressing to the nines. Not anymore! I've seen people at the performing arts in blue jeans, though I'd never recommend this attire myself. I'm a musician and recognize the time that goes into getting ready for a performance. Out of respect to the performers you should dress up at least a little bit.
Being warm is the key for this kind of event, especially in New York! I personally love this outfit from Ann Taylor Loft. It's cozy, it's glamorous, and it looks great. Click on the link to see the separate pieces of the outfit--a pair of basic pants, a yummy soft sweater, and a killer jacket. You probably already have items like that in your closet. If not, this may be a good time to splurge!

Since you're really small, you may want a more streamlined coat. I adore this green coat, also from Ann Taylor. (By the way, Ann Taylor, we should be getting PAID to promote you as often we do. Call us!)

You could wear a dress, but in this kind of weather, I wouldn't unless you have a really heavy coat to wear over it. It'll be warm in the theatre, but depending on how long you have to wait for a cab, you may regret it!

Have fun! Broadway musicals are a blast. I've been wanting to see Wicked for some time. I'm so jealous!

Product Review: Tutti Dolci Bath and Body

When I was in college, I used to wear this scent called "Vanilla Fantasy". My roommate introduced me to it, and we used to go around wearing it together. The guys LOVED it! Now, thanks in no small part to "Dumb is the New Black" Jessica Simpson (and I say that lovingly), dessert-flavored scents are really popular right now.

Finding the right scent was a personal mission for me. I sampled Jessica Simpson's Dessert line, and I didn't like it. It was too cloying. But I really wanted a luxurious body lotion. The Body Shop's Body Butters came close, but none of them had quite the scent I wanted.

I had almost given up hope when I stumbled, quite by accident, across Tutti Dolci. Available at Bath and Body Works, it's a line so indulgent I was sure that putting it on my body alone would cost me calories! I tried several flavors before settling on Sugar Wafer, pictured at right. I bought the scrub as well as the body souffle. I use the scrub in the shower. Since it's quite oily (in a very pleasant way), I've used it to shave my legs. My skin doesn't react well to shaving, and I find that the scrub leaves the legs much smoother than shampoo or even hair conditioner, my previous favorite choice for shaving. Call me weird if you want--I do what works.

Anyway, back to business. The body souffle, as I already mentioned, is QUITE decadent. It leaves your skin feeling pampered, and the scent I chose, Sugar Wafer, is sweet without being too cloying.

Maven's verdict: If you love indulgent, rich scents, Tutti Dolci is right for you! It's well worth the price and a must for any pampered princess!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Product review: DuWop Lip Venom

This is a new feature of Las F. We feel that in order to deliver the best possible service to you, our dear readers, we should review the products that we've tried as makeup mavens! If you have a product you're interested in trying, but you're not sure if you should spring for it, then let us know! We'll try to get our well-manicured hands on it, and give it a try. Consider us your Consumer Report for makeup, skin and hair products!

I've been hearing about DuWop Lip Venom for awhile. It seemed like an interesting concept--a lip gloss that plumped your lips by "stinging" them! Well ladies, I'm pleased to report that for the most party, DuWop Lip Venom, $15 at Sephora, holds true to its claims.

I first tried the gloss by itself. At first I felt nothing, then after about 3 minutes, I noticed a slight burning sensation in my lips. They appeared fuller to me, and I liked the look! I then tried the Venom over my regular lip stain, and guess what?! It still works!

Here are the disadvantages: first of all, Venom is a gloss, which means if you want a fuller look with matte lips you're out of luck! The second problem is also related to Venom being a gloss: as with most glosses I found it tended to catch on my hair sometimes. However, my hair is fairly long and curly, so maybe that's just me.

Final verdict: If you have a little extra cash to burn and are interested in plumping your lips, by all means try this gloss! If you don't, well, then don't worry. This goes in the makeup 'toy' category--fun to have, but not a necessity.

On with the fashion!

For the umpteenth time, Marcia avoids the question of what to wear by checking the stocks.

One of our faithful readers, Kristen, asks a very good question:

"Do you ladies have any recommendations on how to develop personal style, perhaps even a signature style?"

Well, as with anything else, developing your own style takes time, patience and money. It is a worthwhile investment in yourself that will pay off for years to come.

Every woman has her own style, whether she realizes it or not. The question is if she can be conscious of this style, and then modify it to include other elements of style that she likes.

That last part (what SHE, the woman in question, likes) is important. Las F is not out to promote what's hot or what is fashionable this year per se. Instead, we want to promote wearing the clothes, makeup, shoes, and accessories that make YOU as an INDIVIDUAL look and feel good. That's why you'll see us promoting some funny things around here, things that most fashion mavens wouldn't be caught dead promoting as a 'look'. (Stockings with open-toe shoes, and striped tights and clogs come to mind.)

We're OK with being different, and we're OK with people disagreeing with us. We think our readers should be OK with being different and unique. Who cares if you wear all the latest trends if you don't FEEL good in them? Get over it, ladies! Stop listening to the fashion designers in New York City. Stop paying attention to the celebrities. Toss out Cosmo. Use Vogue to start your fires. Really. You can do this. In the immortal words of Elle Woods, ladies (and gents!), you have ALL the equipment. You just need to read the manual!

(On second thought, save those beauty mags. You'll need them in a minute.)

I spent some time thinking about what makes a wardrobe unique. I decided it's not as much the clothes as it is the finishing accessories--the bag, the shoes, the earrings, the watch, the necklace, the coat.

First, take inventory of your wardrobe. What do you have? Hopefully you have most of the basics by now: the black slacks, the little black dresses, a pair of nice denim trousers, blue jeans, etc. We've written a lot about what a items a well-dressed lady (or guy) should have. (Maybe I should write a separate post about the specific items needed? What do you guys think?)

After you've covered the basics, you need to decide what kind of style you want. Are you looking for a more bohemian or hippie look with flowing skirts and peasant blouses? Do you like artsy-funky, with lots of red accents, velvet smoking jackets and cute corduroy pants? Do you want a classy look with suits, clean lines and pearls?

There is no commandment that reads Thou Shalt Adopt One Style Alone, and One Style Alone shalt Thou Serve, for Lo, Style is a Jealous God. Most people incorporate several styles to make something all their own. Don't worry about sticking to one look exclusively. Buy what you love! Buy what compliments YOU. That's the secret to true and unique style.

Now, as I was saying, take one of your basic pieces. Let's take these gorgeous denim trousers from Bluefly. They're a pretty standard item and it's easy to create many different styles with them. Consider good jeans, slacks, and skirts as your canvas over which you can paint your very own colors.

Pull out those rejected beauty magazines. Ignore the skinny models, but pay attention to the kinds of outfits that you like. Take note of what appeals to you. If you have a lot of time, make a scrapbook of the looks you like and take it shopping with you. I have a running list of items I'd like to add to my wardrobe. I can recall these items to mind with the same readiness that my husband reports sports statistics. Once you cover the basics of your wardrobe, you can add pieces based on your wish list. Those pieces are up to you. Don't be afraid to experiment. Sometimes when I see an item I like, I do what I like to call 'circling'. I'll try it on, but I won't buy it. I'll come back home and check my closet. Will anything go with this item? How many outfits can I make out of it? Will I wear it? If the answers are positive, then I get it. Don't feel compelled to snatch up everything that catches your fancy. As my mom says, there will always be another great deal.

Now let's look at those trousers. What do YOU see with them? When I look at them, I see a simple black top, probably a V-neck, and a killer red corduroy jacket. I'd probably finish the look with my favorite accessories, my Fossil Watch and my Tiffany Bracelet, and a pair of black high-heeled boots. However, that's me! They'd also look lovely with a crisp white blouse and brown books or red clogs and a tan sweater.

The bottom line? Fashion is not a religion. Fashion should be fun. Finding the best version of yourself is fun. Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Kaeli wrote in and asked about her freckles (check the previous post for her comment). Before I get into what I think you should do about them, let me tell you a story.

I know a woman who I had spoken to many times over the phone for work, but had never actually laid eyes on her until months later. When she came in, I was shocked to see a grayish blue mark around her eye. I asked her, "Oh my goodness, are you okay? You look like you got hit in the face!" She smiled and explained that it was just a birthmark, not a bruise. Of course I felt like a prize idiot. I should have thought to say that a little more sensitively, but I was concerned for her. In any regard, she really took it in stride. I'm sure people ask her about this very obvious birthmark every day, and she must get annoyed answering the question repeatedly. But what I admired most about her was that she didn't try to bleach her skin, graft it off or cover it up. It's a part of her, and she's not making any apologies for it. I hope that I can be that comfortable in my own skin one day.

Now, on to the freckles. I, too, have freckles, and I have found many people (especially guys, as I get older) that find freckles absolutely adorable, and I have been asked not to cover them up. They give the face a little panache, they make you stand out from others, and they certainly aren't ugly by any stretch of the imagination. In the case of yours, they make you memorable. I'll certainly never forget my friend from the story above, and with such distinctive marks as you must have, people will not forget you, either. I would encourage you to wear your freckles with pride, as you may lose them as you age, and wear a good sunblock every day to make sure they don't get any darker or more numerous. Otherwise, just get a foundation that matches your skin tone and slap it on with some finishing powder. Some of the lighter freckles will blend, but most will stay visible, and they will be your mark of distinction. Think of Cindy Crawford and her mole - she almost had that removed. What a mistake that would have been. She might have ended up being just another model at that rate.

Of course, having the freckles, I understand that you may not like having your freckles show, so here's my advice for that. Start with a foundation appropriate for your face, and then follow up with a really excellent concealer. I have no recommendation on this score - some people go with a drugstore brand and love it, others go for a more expensive brand and swear by it. I'd personally recommend at least a higher-end drugstore brand, if not a department store brand. Concealer, like foundation, is often a get what you pay for scenario, and with something like freckles, you're going to really want the product to stay on all day and cover very well. You should get a concealer that matches your skin tone and dab it gently on top of the freckle. Remember that concealer should sit on top of the skin, not absorb into it. Blend the edges so you don't look like you have chicken pox and top it off with a little powder. That should do a pretty good job of hiding them, but remember, the more contrast in color between your freckle and your face, the less likely it will hide well. Don't be surprised if you can't hide them completely. If that's the case, you may have to go for option #1 after all.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Music, Vol. 3

It's been a while since we've done one of these, but music is probably my favorite subject, so it's worth revisiting.

So, let's start with some old tunes. Nikka Costa's new album came out in May, so if you're going to invest in that you're going to want to study some of her old stuff. Fortunately you don't even have to buy her old album, Everybody Got Their Something, to find out what her old stuff was. If you ever heard that Tommy Hilfiger commercial where the kids are getting freaky in the photo booth, you heard her hit single "Like a Feather," and more recently her title single was featured in a commercial for Sears. There were a few other commercial spots you may have noticed, but the point is her tunes are catchy and danceable. I remember telling a friend to listen to her music, and breaking him in slowly. I first had him listen to "Hope It Felt Good," the perfect breakup song, and then the two tracks mentioned earlier. Then I hit him with "Nothing," a stripped-down ballad that really lets the emotion through. It was at this point that he said, "I liked her earlier, but now I respect her." She's got a lot of depth and talent, going from soft slow jams to funk soul-fest. The album does her voice and style justice. I just hope her sophomore effort is just as good.

As for the new music, this time around I simply can't get enough of Pharrell Williams. This man is an unrecognized genius. As a member of N.E.R.D. ("No one Ever Really Dies") he lent his vocal stylings to their outstanding album In Search of... If you want a sample of their music, I recommend "Run to the Sun" and "Rock Star." In any regard, it didn't end there. He was also a member of the Neptunes, who released their album Clones and single-handedly skyrocketed a few careers, including Kelis, Clipse and N.O.R.E. He's a prolific producer for artists from Snoop Dogg to the aforementioned Kelis, including the all-too-famous "Milkshake." This man has so many tricks up his sleeve it's about time he got to take some of them for himself, and he did just that on his recent solo album In My Mind, a Japanese import with a small selection but a masterful chart-climber, "Can I Have It Like That," which you probably heard on the Yahoo! music commercial. So, I guess with Pharrell you'll get some old music and some new. Bonus! And remember, friends, CDs make excellent gifts.