Friday, July 21, 2006

Makeup Part I

Starlet writes:

1) Since we so often hear the ideology: "Natural is beautiful", why do people use makeup?

First of all, I want to clear up a few misconceptions about makeup. I've heard lots of people knock on makeup in my time. One girl I know even went as far to say that girls who wore too much makeup were insecure! I'm here to toss out those sorts of opinions like last week's moldy sushi.

Ready? Let's go.

1. Makeup is complimentary. This is to say that makeup is designed to take the great assets that God gave you and highlight or showcase them. Similarly, makeup can be a great way to minimize, mask, hide anything you don't want noticed--those puffy undereye circles (get yourself some concealer), barely-there lashes (mascara is great for that), shapeless eyebrows (God bless brow shaper).

2. Makeup is NOT meant to make you look like a different person. You will not look like a drag queen if you wear makeup. Wearing makeup also does not mean selling out to the patriarchal system and its supposed idea of what beauty really is. Makeup is not a mask. It masks flaws, but it is not in and of itself a mask. Natural IS beautiful, and makeup both accentuates the natural and helps to preserve the natural (I'll get into this more in a minute).

3. It takes a lot of makeup to make you look like a different person, and I do mean the kind of makeup you shovel on with a trowel. Fear not, you makeup-shy gals! A little swipe of this and that is NOT going to turn you into a hussy.

So why wear makeup?

First of all, it's a great way to accessorize your look. Going out for the evening? A little sparkly eyeshadow and a killer gloss can turn an ordinary look into something special.

Makeup protects your face from the elements-sun, pollution, and the dirt that you encounter every day. You encounter these negative forces without even realizing it. They either go directly onto your skin, contributing to fine lines and clogged pores, or they can rest on the makeup, which you'll wash off at night anyway. Most good foundations now include SPF, so you're getting protection from the aging effects of the sun. Bottom line? You're actually doing your skin a favor by covering it.

As I've already said, makeup enhances the beauty that God gave you. It can do everything from highlight cheekbones to make pale eyes pop. In college I often gave my friends makeovers. There was nothing more rewarding to me than seeing my friends feel pretty-and have their best features front and center. Actually, that's part of why I started this website-because I love empowering real women (and men) to find and accentuate their own unique style.

It takes awhile to put on makeup correctly, but looking in the mirror and feeling good about what you see is well worth the effort. If you were to meet me, you might think that I spent a significant amount of time getting myself ready in the morning, and you'd be right! However, I view this time as my little gift to myself. I feel better about myself when I'm all made up. If you're having trouble justifying the time and effort it takes to put on makeup, just remember: no one will make this investment in YOU if you don't do it. It's an acknowledgement of your unique beauty!

Last, makeup is FUN! It's exciting to try out new products and see what works best for you. It's fun to find new ways of doing your makeup, or matching your favorite red blazer to that perfect shade of red lipstick.

Next time, I'll offer some tips for makeup newbies, as well as offer some advice on how to care for your skin if you're wearing makeup regularly.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Graphic Tease

I don't know if it's my inner punk-rock princess emerging or what, but I love graphic tees. You know, those fitted, incredibly soft, t-shirts boasting anything from your favorite band to a mild insult. Some are vintage-inspired and others front cartoony characters. Either way, I can't get enough of them. They're cheap, fun, flirty, and perfect with bermuda shorts and flip flops for a night at the fair or a minor league baseball game.

Here are a few tees to "tease" you:

The mild-insult t-shirt isn't always so mild, but hilarious, nonetheless. Be careful to use your best judgement with a mild-insult tee---some insults are too politically incorrect or vulgar for a classy Fashionista.

The graphic tee world allows you to wax 80s nostalgia easily. Some of these retro tees don the faces of vintage television stars, like the John Stamos (Full House) tee to the right. Others feature products or slogans characteristic of the decade.

The cartoon character tee is a lot of fun, with a wide range of animated personalities to choose from. David & Goliath, whose Dumb Blonde character is to the left, created their own line of cartoon characters specifically made for you to express thyself.

The state-pride tee gives you reason to pay homage to the land under your feet--in a not-so-tactful way, of course. My own state shirt says, "You're the only ten-i-see!"

Lastly, the band tshirt grants you instant street cred---unless your favorite musician is Britney Spears...

Whatever flavor of tee you choose, you're certain to come across as one laid-back, flirty gal!

Photos linked to online vendor.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Product Review: Rembrandt Whitening Strips

I recently purchased these strips at Costco because they didn't have the Crest strips. I'd never used whitening strips though I use whitening toothpaste all the time.

The strips are easy to put on and quickly mold to your teeth. However, I have to warn you that if your teeth are sensitive you may have problems with them. I loved these strips and they really did whiten my teeth significantly but they did cause heightened sensitivity.

My dentist said that the only difference between the $600 whitening jobs he does and over-the-counter strips is the strength. He says if you're really serious about whitening you could wear the strips for an hour without hurting your teeth.

All in all, if you're looking for an alternative to Crest, these strips are the way to go. I definitely recommend them for all you whitening types out there.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Men of Style

Drumroll please: Las Fashionistas nominate the following men for our own little "Las F Men of Style" award. Vote for your favorite in the comments section!

The ever-gorgeous, George Clooney. The man looks good in scrubs, a Batsuit, a tuxedo or totally dressed down. Hubba-hubba.

He is the perfect example of how to go gray with class--and without "letting yourself go."

Our favorite quirky bad boy, Johnny Depp. He has a sexy, not-too-serious sense of style.

He also looks noticeably better in eyeliner than Jared Leto, and to that we say, "Bravo." (Admit it, you know you are supposed to root for Will, but Captain Jack Sparrow is the ultimate underdog hero.)

Finally, there's up-and-coming star, Terrence Howard. This man is just way too gorgeous for his own good. Or mine.

Not afraid to take the occasional fashion risk, Mr. Howard seems to score every time. Besides, check out those eyes, and those lips, and those...well, you get the picture.

A few honorable mentions:

Seriously, does Will Smith ever look bad?

Although he pained me recently with his straggly long hair, Hugh Jackman has great taste and is a major cutie to boot. As a sidenote, Scarlett Johansson also seems to think he's a pretty great kisser. Nice!

Vote for your faves below!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scarf it up!

Ellen writes:

I love the idea of wearing a scarf, and have received gifts of beautiful European scarves, but don't have a clue how to wear them! Can you help? I need tips on how to wear a scarf without looking like my grandmother!

It may be the middle of July, but that doesn't mean that scarves must be packed in moth balls until the winter months roll around. The latest trend in scarves are made of gauzy, silky and breezy materials, inviting themselves to dance around your head, neck, waist, wrists, and even around your favorite handbag.

Scarf by Ralph Lauren.
Photo courtesy of

Scarves instantly give a boring hairdo new life. For a bohemian-chic look, wrap a long scarf around the top of the head and finish with a knot at the base of the skull. This look works best with long hair and is perfect for a day at the beach or picnic at the park. For shorter hair, fold the scarf into an inch-wide strip and begin to wrap just behind the bang-line on top of your head. Continue smoothing the scarf behind the ears and tie in the back, just below the hairline.

The scarf is the most versatile around the neck, and can be worn in many different ways. Because of the heat, scarves should be kept loose and flowy. To trend-ify an ensemble, loop a long scarf around the neck, allowing it to float freely in front. You can also wrap a long scarf from the front of your neck, tying it in a loose knot behind your neck, and allowing it to dangle down your back. Or try a short scarf tied in a knot and positioned to the side, like the one pictured above in the Ralph Lauren runway show.

A long scarf can double as a belt around the waist. Roll the scarf into a long strip and tie to the side with a knot, like shown in the photo. You can also fold the scarf in half, point-to-point, and tie in a knot on one hip, allowing the rest of the scarf to lay in a v-shape on the other hip.

Scarves can also be worn in unconventional ways. Twist a short scarf a couple of times around your wrist and knot into a cool bracelet. Knot a scarf around the base of your handbag strap to transform a boring bag.

The most important piece of advice is to be creative! As we affirm over and over again, a true Fashionista takes fashion risks and defines her style all on her own!

Photos hyperlinked to online vendor.