Friday, September 15, 2006

Fall Furor: Part Two

Just like the leaves change, so should your cosmetics repertoire. And this season's faces' match the autumnal palette of colors outside including warm reds, cocoa browns, soft oranges, and a range of cool blues, lush greens, and royal purples.

Face & Cheeks

Time to shelve the bronzer, but that doesn't mean you're destined for pasty white skin. Warm tones of peach can be found dabbed across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. Natural hues reign, yet boring beige is nowhere in sight. Check out J-Lo's honeyed-apricot countenance to the left for inspiration.

In addition, glints of gold are awash over the face. Bobbi Brown created a line of golden cosmetics, including one of her popular Shimmer Bricks, specifically for the season.


This is where the fun begins. Fall's eye makeup ranges from metallic to jewel tones, dusky to icy. Catching its inspiration from the abundance of runway metals, eyes lined in pewter and bronze and dusted with a hint of iridescence shine above all the rest.

Old Hollywood glamour is found in ruby reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues and amethyst purples. A new "smoky eye" is fashioned using mocha and rose-colored browns. And last but certainly not least, icy cool shades in a frosty navy or chilled lilac, balance the drop in temperature.


One reocurring trend, that cannot be ignored this fall, is matte, red lips. Why are they so hard to pull off? Why are we all so scared to experiment with this primary color? It's time you grow some courage and try every red out there until you find one that works for your skintone. Whether it's a bluish-red, an orangey-red, or a true red, there is one out there for all of us!


Two rules: keep them short and keep them dark. Whether it be a burgandy red, plummy eggplant, or chocolate brown, dark nails are the way to go this season. Darker hued nails require a little more maintenance, so keep those paws groomed. Just say no to chips!

Photos hyperlinked to online vendor.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fall Furor: Part One

The runways have finally come alive, and after a fashionably boring summer, fall delivers a smattering of trendy wears. Unleash the trends!

Full Metal

Shimmery shades of gold, copper and silver are shinging brightly from the runways. The great thing about metallics are the range of moods one can employ. Use bronzy colors to create a warm effect, and pewter hues for cool attitude. Go for muted metals. Too much patina can look cheap and distracting.

The Good

Bottega Veneta

J. Mendel
The Bad

Viktor & Rolf

The Ugly

Gareth Pugh

Plaid is Rad

The last time I wore plaid was circa 1997. I was sixteen years old and it was a pleated skirt that channeled naughty Catholic schoolgirl. I've got to give myself some credit---afterall, Brit copied the look two years later. I'll admit, I didn't see plaid resurfacing anytime soon, but here we go again.

Plaid doesn't have to remind us of the pop princess, William Wallace, or Paul Bunyan. This season's modernized twist on plaid boasts tailored, feminine shapes in non-traditional fabrics like chiffon or silk. Look for windowpane or tartan-style plaid to surface in an array of primary colors. Plaid tends to cast a heaviness on the body, so steer clear of oversized pieces. Opaque tights offset a plaid ensemble nicely.


James Coviello

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Primal Progression

Animal prints are a toughie. On one hand, they make great accessories. On the other hand, head-to-toe leopard can be a bit scary. Go ladylike and be adventurous with animal print handbags, shoes and scarves. Conserve on animal print dresses and coasts. Find that happy medium, where fashionista and animal can leave peacefully.

Meet Heinous

Charles Anastase

& Abomination


Furs are also resurfacing, but I am finding most of them suited for Cruella de Vil. Seriously---have you ever seen a fur coat that wasn't a bit over the top? If you must, wear contoured pieces that reduce bulk. And for goodness sakes, consider synthetics, if for nothing else than to keep the PETA people off your back.


Salvatore Ferragamo

Alexander McQueen

The season is full of bold moves allowing experimentation and risk-taking. But you don't want to be a fashion victim, and many of the season's trends will be a distant memory this time next year. Remember to use the runways as a guideline, not as the gold standard. Designers like to be theatrical and artsy, and that doesn't always translate well into the professional world. Have fun with it, but like my friend Lisa says, "it's like wrasslin'---it ain't real..."

Photos courtesy of

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


What is wrong with these pictures? What? I'll tell you what. Two perfectly acceptable outfits were ruined by the most detestably WRONG pair of shoess imaginable.

Case #1:

As usual Katie Holmes looks darling. This outfit is charming if a bit black. But we'll forgive her that. However, the shoes end AT HER ANKLES, showcasing the think part of her legs. The long and lean look is completely overpowered by the stumpy effect created by these horrible shoes.

Meanwhile we have "I was born in LA but I prefer to make like Madonna and be a UK poser while turning down my milk-white nose at all things American" Gywneth Paltrow. Gwynnie "I'm so much more cultured than Americans" nearly always looks put together. I don't like the pencil jeans, but I hate pencil jeans in general, so I'll let it slide. She looks fine...but what IS she wearing on her feet? They look like Dearfoams with a heel.

Bottom line, ladies? Your shoes are noticeable, people WILL see them. Choose wisely.

And don't ever let me catch you wearing shoes like these, or I will totally get all Gwyneth Paltrow on you and shoot you a withering stare.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Age before beauty...or was it the other way around...

Usually I'd say, If you got it, flaunt it!

But is there ever an age, say, past 40, where the breasts just need to be a little less exposed? Like taking driver's licenses away from senior citizens (not saying I agree with that), do you take the boob-bearing gowns away from an actress once she hits a certain maturity? What's your take, fashionistas?

In other news, if you are looking for photos from Fashion Week, there are some videos and photos on the MSN Lifestyle "Fashion Week Daily" page. One of my early favorites:

Designed by Naeem Khan. I mean, girlfriend looks crazy, but the black and ivory combination and the chunky necklace really work for me. Another dress getting raves (by wrap dress queen, Diane Von Furstenberg):

I don't know how anyone could frown wearing such an extreme, happy color, but hey, a model's gotta do what a model's gotta do.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Can't wear wool

Singlemuslimah writes, "I'm seriously allergic to wool. Can you do a feature on non-wool, non-puffy winter coats. I want the pretty ladylike coats but I just can't wear wool. Unfortunately, the alternative seems to be wearing a puffer coat or being cold. Thanks so much. "

We are here to help! Interesting enough, when you type "wool allergy" into Google, you end with a whole lotta articles describing the controversy about "people who think they are allergic, but really aren't" and "how to determine if you really are allergic."

Only you know, muslimah, but if you (and others) would like to check it out, these are pretty good articles here and here.

Your best bet may be search for "cruelty-free" and "animal-friendly" products, including stylish faux leather and furs, to avoid aggravating your wool allergy.

PETA recommended a few coats, including the one featured here, all available at the Burlington Coat Factory.

These coats have the classic wool coat styling while being made entirely of nylon, acrylic and polyester, and are still quite warm.

Simply do a search for cruelty-free clothing or synthetic clothing, and when you shop, look for the materials mentioned above while avoiding wool (and mohair, cashmere and angora, if you, dear reader, wish to make animal-friendly clothing part of your lifestyle).