Friday, March 24, 2006

PRODUCT REVIEW: John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze

Many fashionistas dye their hair, and as we all know, continual dyeing can do a lot of damage to a girl’s coif. A new product sparked my interest recently: John Frieda's Luminous Color Glaze. It's an in-the-shower glaze (without the expense and chemical damage of a dye-job touch-up) available through John Frieda. You can purchase it at most drugstores for $9.99 and it is available in six ravishing shades (two variations each of blonde, red and brunette). It is suitable for both virgin and dyed hair.

A few of the claims:

  • It’s an easy-to-use gel-creme formula that adds a hint of glossy color and boosts shine right in the shower.
  • Recharges faded hair with a dose of vivid color, supple texture and blazing shine
  • Delivers the results of a salon glazing treatment – reviving color and adding a high-gloss finish to hair – right in your shower. Now, just shampoo, condition…then glaze!
  • Essential in maintaining a fresh, healthy “right from the salon” look and feel, all the time
  • Ammonia and peroxide free
  • Will not lift or lighten hair color

For the most part, the claims hold true. I tried it and loved the glossy shine it gave my hair. I used the darkest brunette shade offered (“chestnut to espresso”) for one week after every shampooing and my hair looked and felt shinier, healthier and…brunette-ier, although with a bit more red than I am accustomed to.

Unfortunately for you environmentally-conscious fashionistas, the product was packaged in a plastic outer casing that, while eye-catching in the store, was completely useless and quickly thrown away. Also, the glaze will stain the scalp and forehead if it is not thoroughly rinsed; usually a gentle scrubbing with soap and water will remove it. You also must be sure to not leave any of the glaze drippings on your sides of the shower or the curtain; these will stain as well and won’t be removed as easily.

The glaze is supposed to be left on for three minutes after shampooing and conditioning your hair. It may take a little flexibility to keep the water on and stay warm while keeping your head out of the water. (All the better to practice your yoga poses, perhaps?) The product's scent was not altogether unpleasant, but it reminded me of self-tanner--not exactly a lovely fragrance.

I give it an “A-” as a glaze. It is an excellent value for the price; I will probably continue to purchase it in between dyeing my hair in order to maintain its color and luster.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mineral Makeup?

One of our readers asked us how we felt about mineral makeup. I can't speak for the other fashionistas, but my answer is simple--I know nothing. Nothing at all.

But, luckily for you readers, I'm endlessly curious, and I had some extra cash this week!

So a few days ago I was at the gym, and I saw an infomercial for BareID mineral makeup. I was wary at first, but then they made over a woman who had to be at least 55. She had sun and age spots, and with the makeup on, they disappeared. She looked like she was in her 30's again! Also, the makeup is supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines. You know how you always have to re-apply your makeup around smile and frown lines during the day? Bummer. If I could eliminate some of that, it would be fabulous!

They had a great special going on that included a starter kit and three professional brushes, which I've desperately needed. So...I ordered it! I still can't believe I did it.

Readers, if you have any experience with mineral makeup, good or bad, I want to hear about it! My makeup won't be here for awhile. Meanwhile, send me your comments at lasfashionistas at yahoo dot com, or just pop in the comments section and let me know what you think!

love, F Cali

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Short Debate: Las F's platform on shorts and platforms

Flackette asks:
"Would one of you please, pretty please, with a cherry on top talk about the whole 'shorts with chunky sandals' trend that seems to be popular this summer? I would love to get your thoughts on it! I think Jessica Simpson started that trend with her get-ups last summer..."

These shoes weren't made for walking!

Flackette, we're fairly certain that this trend can go nowhere good with the Average Jane. If we all had Jessica's gorgeous gams and toned stomach, then I'd be less concerned.

The problem is, though, most of us don't have the figures to pull off shorts in the first place. And some of us are in denial of this fact, unnecessarily searing the corneas of an unsuspecting public by gaily flaunting our pale cottage cheese thighs and bubbly bums. Why? Because the Average Jane usually looks to Hollywood for her fashion ideas. I won't debate the virtues (or many disadvantages) of this policy, because if I did we'd be here until next week.

I avoid shorts like the plague, even though I could get away with them if I wanted to. They're, well, shorts. The kind you wore when you were playing in the sandbox or on the beach. I just don't like them. There are so many other cute things to wear, why would I waste my time with an outfit that will make me self-conscious? I like Jessica, and I can tolerate her Daisy Dukes with platforms, but I draw the line at formal shorts. What an offense to my shining sensibilities:
Nothing says 'desperate for attention' quite like a wardrobe malfunction. Nice posture honey!

We at Las F heartily approve of a healthy dose of R-E-A-L-I-T-Y. That is to say, if you're every bit as toned and as compact as Jessica, then go right ahead and wear those Daisy Dukes and platforms with pride. You've earned it! But do consider first if Ahoy Mate is really a fashion philosophy you feel comfortable adopting. Every has to have limits.

And if you're not fit for a Simpson Lookalike contest, take heart. Find something more sensible to wear, and remember that ten years from now you're one outfit less likely to look at your summer 2006 pictures and say in disbelief: "What was I thinking?!"

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Retro Dressing: How Far is Too Far? Or, Are the 80's a Good Idea?

Belinda writes:

"I wanted your opinion on some of the 80's fashion that is coming back. Love it or hate it? Personally, some of it just makes me cringe. I distinctly remember being a kid and thinking it looked bad the first time around..."

Belinda, there are things we love about the 80's and also things we loathe. Love? All the great Brat Pack movies, anything with Molly Ringwald (ever seen "For Keeps"?). Loathe? Some of the disgusting fashions that have managed to worm their way back into the shriveled hearts of fashion designers. Sometimes I think that big fashion names sit at their easels and think: "What can I dupe the public into wearing this year?"

No matter how you feel about the 80's, it's clear that they're back with a vengeance.
Here's a visual run-down of some of the 80's fashions I like...and some I wish never had existed in the first place:

Minis with leggings: Or really, leggings with anything. Or actually, minis with anything. Really, who thought of this? I don't care who you are. Don't wear them unless you're under 17 and even then, where is your mother, young lady?

Shoulder Pads: Fortunately, this one may have passed us up. I really hope so. They're an unnecessarily masculine touch. Who wants more bulk around their shoulders?

The Gold-Strap Chanel bag: This style, I think, never really went out altogether. It's one of the less obnoxious fashions and when worn with the right outfit, can look polished and classy.

The Louis Vuitton Bag: Another 80's classic, this one never disappeared. Today, it's been reincarnated in different colors and knocked off by everyone, but it's a symbol of class that will probably never leave us.

Lace and Patterned Stockings: I'll be honest. I've been known to wear stockings just like these. And I love them. I'm a firm believer in wearing stockings. They're ladylike and sophisticated. Lacy stockings can add a feminine twist to what would otherwise be a rather boring outfit. Just be careful about overcomplicating the look. If you're going to wear lace or patterned stockings, keep the rest of your outfit simple!

Vans: I didn't like these back then, and I don't like them now. Even at the tender age of 8, I had a feeling that shoes with checks on them were a bad idea. I've seen teenagers wearing them, and on a teenager I suppose it looks OK, but my standards for fashion are considerably higher than the average mall rat. Again--wear them if you're 17 or under, and if you HAVE to wear them, then keep the rest of your outfit simple.

These...things. I hesitate to call them boots. That would insult the entire sartorial genre of the boot. At any rate, LOATHE. AVOID. Avoid these boots like you'd avoid buying boots that are too pointy or too square. Why?

Because next year, or in a few years, you'll find them buried in a dark corner of your closet and wonder what in the name of all that is good and sensible you were thinking.

Which is what, I suspect, most of these people are wondering today:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Grab your coat, get your hat...

Mike recently asked for advice on choosing a men's hat. We'll show you a few styles we like, but this is an activity best done in person. Here are a few tips to get you started:

-Pick a few styles you like--and know their names well enough to talk to the milliner, should you be one of those blessed people with a bonafide hat shop nearby. You can browse a few websites to learn more about hats, including Miller Hats and Dad's Hats.

-Take a friend to the store with you when you try them on. Sadly, I look hideous in newsboy caps, but I've always wanted to buy one, even if they are a little "pop star 2004."


(Thanks a million, Justin and Cameron.)

Every time I try one on, my husband gives me that look: "Um, you know I love you, but that hat is...just...wrong." On the other hand, he "forced" me to buy a fuzzy, ivory cap for winter--and I've never received so many compliments on my appearance! A fashionable friend can definitely steer you in the right direction and help you determine if the hat of your liking fits your personality, face and head shape, and lifestyle.

Ladies and gentlemen, do not fear the hat.

Hats add panache to your look and are a sure way to stand out in a crowd. They also serve practical purposes: keeping your head warm; protecting your hairstyle in some cases; keeping the sun and rain out of your eyes (I wear a ballcap while running outdoors); and protecting your face from sun and wind damage.

A few rules:

-Never wear a porkpie hat. Just don't. Something about them screams, "I am a nerd; please make fun of me." Same goes for most berets...unless you're under the age of seven.


-Keep it simple. While wearing a hat, the rest of one's outfit should be somewhat understated. Your hat doesn't necessarily need to match your style of clothing; for example, you can wear a cowboy hat without wearing a bolo (dear God, no!), western shirt, jeans and boots. At the same time, wearing a nubby wool cap with a bikini on the beach seems a little disjointed. Use discretion.

-Know the laws of the land. Hats are fine in same places of worship in some parts of the country; headwear is not okay in others.

-No superfluous plumage. If you must wear a feather in your cap, keep it small and to the side...preferably on a fedora. No Robin Hood caps and feathers permitted.


Some hats we give a hearty thumbs-up:



Hope this advice assists you in your search for a chic chapeau!