Monday, January 29, 2007

Getting All McGyver

Ms. New Beauty has an amazing memory for minutia, but tends to forget the bigger stuff. Random trivia, pop culture, what shirt she was wearing when she first kissed her crush in the middle school stairwell. (By the way, it was a maroon Aeropostale button-up long sleeve t-shirt which from that day forward was anointed her lucky shirt.) She remembers all of those things vividly. Despite this, she constantly forgets what time her hair appointment is, even though it’s a standing weekly appointment. The Mr. Magoo tendencies really peak when it’s time to travel. MNB focuses so much on having clothing options that when she travels that she often forgets the important stuff, like a toothbrush, moisturizer, or even pajamas, although not having pajamas proves to be a delightful treat during weekend getaways with her boyfriend. Having forgotten the important stuff so often, MNB has channeled her inner McGyver and found reasonable substitutes for almost all of her beauty essentials. Although, she has yet to find a way to jump start a car with just a tube of chapstick, a gum wrapper and a penny.

Since I'm headed off for a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean, this post has been proven to be quite timely. These solutions can never take the place of the real thing, but they will hold you for a day or two until you can get replacements.

Moisturizer – mix body lotion and water in the palm of your hands until the consistency is thin enough to moisturize your face without feeling heavy.

Eye Makeup Remover – use body lotion or baby oil on a cottonball to loosen eyeshadow and mascara

Mascara – rub a little Vaseline or petroleum based lip balm, like Rosebud Salve, on your lashes with fingertips. It will condition your lashes and make them look darker and shiny.

Face Wash – use a gentle moisturizing shampoo to wash your face

Polish Drying Spray – spray nails with cooking spray, like Pam, to speed up drying time

Body Lotion – any hair oil or lip balm can be used on your body, provided you have enough. When all else fails, there's always Vaseline.

I'm off on vacation, so there won't be any posts for a week, but get creative, tap in to your inner McGyver, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In My Condition

Ms. New Beauty's hair has always been dry. Ever since she started washing and caring for her own hair, with her hairdresser's help of course, she has always conditioned her hair dutifully and faithfully. She's worked creme conditioners through her hair with the thoroughness of a stylist combing through a relaxer. She's purchased hooded hair dryers just so she can cover her tresses with a plastic cap and sit under for a good heated deep conditioning. In the past, Ms. New Beauty has blogged about all parts of The Beautiful Life. Makeup, skincare, fashion, style, current happenings. In the shuffle, hair care has gotten lost in the midst. Since the birth of Ms. New Beauty, the blog, not the woman, no posts have covered haircare. MNB just realized this oversight this morning as she was washing and conditioning her own hair. Aghast at her absentmindedness in skipping over this vital part of any beautiful woman's personal care, MNB is going to make up for lost time by profiling some her favorite conditioners.

Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Mask

Phyto is one of my favorite hair care lines. I’ve been in love with this line since I first used Phytovolume shampoo and my fine tresses were left looking thicker than a snicker. All Phyto products use high quality ingredients derived from plant and botanical sources. They are so, so effective. The Phytojoba hair mask really penetrated and hydrated my hair and has jus
t the slightest citrus scent. I applied this to my hair last week and actually let it stay on for two or three hours. I just went on about my day and when I finally rinsed it out, my hair was soft and silky.

I realize that Phyto is not a line that is specifically marketed towards women of color. However, unlike a lot of people, I don't believe that there is any such thing as "black" hair care. I believe that there are products designed to meet certain hair needs - dry hair, thinning hair, color or chemical treated, etc. - and those needs are color blind. So, while some women have told me that I'm using products designed for "white girls," I don't care and continue to use Phyto, and whatever else catches my fancy.

Phytojoba is $36, available at Sephora, C.O. Bigelow, Neiman Marcus and other finer retailers.

Keracare Dry & Itchy Scalp Conditioner

This product does happen to come from a “black” haircare line. But, I use it because it works, not because I’m black. Whe
n the cold winter air finally rolls in, my scalp gets dry and itchy just like the rest of my skin. Keracare Dry & Itchy Scalp Conditioner is the only product that has ever kept my scalp moisturized and flake free. After using this regularly for 6 weeks, my flakes were completely gone. No more snowy shoulders. I still use this regularly to keep the flakes away. It's been two years and I haven't had any dandruff since. Cooling ingredients in the conditioner make your scalp feel tingly clean. I typically apply this conditioner just to my scalp and use a different hydrating conditioner on my ends. Keracare Humecto Crème Conditioner gives excellent results when used in tandem with this one.

KeraCare is a professional product line and can be purchased through licensed stylists. However, I have found it sold in reputable beauty retailers, like Ulta, and in one of my favorite haircare stores, Super Cuts. I wouldn’t get my hair done there, but Super Cuts tends to sell salon products at low prices. This conditioner typically retails for $10-15 per bottle, but can be more expensive at salons.

Lush Retread Conditioner

A new Lush shop opened up right downstairs from my yoga studio. You know a new cosmetic and beauty store can’t be opened up for too long before I wander in. Last week, I walked into Lush and went straight to heaven. Everything in their store is handmade from all natural ingredients. I went crazy, buying bath jellies, body wash, fizzing bubble bath balls for a friend, hand cream. I ended up spending almost $100 in less than 20 minutes. Lush products come in the cutest packages, and even have stickers on the back with the expiration date and name and picture of the person who mixed and created that product. A pretty woman named Kokeb made my hand cream.

My absolute favorite purchase was the Retread conditioner. Designed to be used with their Rehab shampoo (dontcha just love the names), Retread is formulated for dry and damaged hair. Formulated with soya milk, seaweed, and oils to soften and strengthen your hair, Retread really moisturized and conditioned my hair. But the best part was the smell! After I rinsed, roller set, and dried my hair, it smelled luscious. I literally spent the next two days smelling myself (literally and in the colloquial sense). Even my hairdresser commented on how nice my hair smelled when I went in for my weekly appointment.

Lush cosmetics are available in a number of countries through their website. Retread costs $20.95 but right now, it’s so popular that it’s currently sold out, but it’s well worth the wait.

Have silky soft hydrated tresses, no matter what color you are, and don’t forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Easy. Breezy. Beautiful.

Ms. New Beauty is feeling oh so easy and breezy right now. She just turned in her papers after finishing up a seven hour final exam (yes you read it right, seven hours!). Now, she is all about decompressing and luxuriating. Well, at least for the next two hours until she hits up her yoga class and then packs her bags for her vacation next week to Dominican Republic. In the meantime, she's sharing some info for the rest of you ladies who are feeling equally easy and breezy.

Can you be fierce? Do you have intensity in your eyes? Have you watched far too many episodes of ANTM like me? If so, you should head down to the open casting call for the CoverGirl Queen Collection taking place next week. Queen Latifah is looking for women of color to find the new face of her collection with CoverGirl. The Queen Collection is one of the few, if not only, drug store collections to provide foundation for women of color in more than the three typical shades - light, dark, and in between. I don't use it myself, but I definitely believe in the message and applaud Latifah for having the foresight to see that this was a product desperately needed in the market.
Queen Latifah and CoverGirl are holding a casting call in NYC on 1/29 to find the next CoverGirl. Queen Latifah believes every woman is a "queen" and on Monday, January 29th, she is holding an open casting call in NYC to find a new face to appear in an ad for the CoverGirl Queen Collection.

All women of color -- from Latina to African American -- ages 18-48 are invited to strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges, including Queen Latifah herself. Contestants will be asked to share their story as to how they have achieved both inner and outer beauty - whether it was through a recent accomplishment, community service, overcoming an obstacle or standing up for something they were passionate about.

WHAT: Queen Latifah open-casting call to find a real woman to appear in the next CoverGirl Queen Collection advertisement

WHEN: January 29, 2007 from 11AM to 4PM (line forms at 10AM)

WHERE: BB King Blues Club & Grill -- 237 West 42nd Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues)

If you live in, around, or near NYC, you should definitely get down there early on Monday and try for your spot in CoverGirl history. I would go myself, but I'll be leaving for my vacay, and with the way I'm feeling now, I soooo need some sun. But trust I'm sending my Partner In Crime in my place and she is going to rock it and end up in magazines all over the world! I just know it!

Strut your stuff ladies, and be a Queen, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Friday, January 19, 2007

5 Things You Don't Know About Me

Every morning Ms. New Beauty follows pretty much the same shedule - wake up; contemplate going back to sleep; decide to stay up; turn the tv to the Oxygen network for reruns; turn on the computer; check email and favorite blogs for updates. MNB checks every blog under her favorites list every day, sometimes several times a day. Well this morning began just like all the others. Her television was playing an old episode of Living Single and MNB was cruising through the blog list. Reading through The Life of a Ladybug posts as usual, MNB was surprised and flattered to be tagged by Toya to participate in this game going around the beauty and style blogs, 5 Things You Don't Know About Me. So here goes.

1. I have an endless memory for minutia. Trivia games, especially pop culture stuff, are right up my alley. I can remember the most mundane details of life. I can still remember what outfits I had on during all the memorable points of my life, right down to the brand of clothes, store I bought it from and the purchase price. One day, I'm going to try out for Jeopardy and the World Series of Pop Culture. This is what made me a beauty resource for my friends, and eventually the web, via this blog. If I hear something about an additive or ingredient that makes a product better, I remember it. When I learn the difference between one product and another, I keep that tucked away until I or somebody else needs it.

2. If I can't read one of my magazines from cover to cover, I don't even bother. I subscribe to almost 15 magazines and I read every tidbit each month. Every little blurb, bubble, article. I read it. The only thing that I tend to skip is the cover story about "Random Actress with Movie Coming Out Next Month." It's the content that actually interests me, not the same old fluff pieces about actresses that truly aren't that interesting to begin with.

3. I am less than six months away from graduating law school and I have no clue what I am going to do. I am one of the few people in my class that does not have a permanent job all lined up for post-graduation. I had an offer from a really nice law firm, paying a really nice salary (I mean reeeeeaaaalllyyy nice), but I turned it down because I realized that is not what I want to do. I think I'm too young to start out my career by settling for something I do well but don't enjoy. At this point, I'm trying to figure out how to turn my love for beauty, style, and fashion and my natural talents into some kind of career. We'll see.

4. I am never ever barefoot. Something about walking around barefoot just grosses me out. When I am home, I always have on socks and slippers. Just the thought of putting my socks or feet on the floor where people walk with shoes makes me uncomfortable. I can't imagine putting the dirt from the floor onto the sheets where I sleep. I know I'm weird about stuff like that. Even in the summer when I'm wearing flip flops and sandals all day, as soon as I come home, I wash my feet and put on socks.

5. I want to be fluent in three languages by the time I'm 30. Clearly, I'm fluent in English, but I guess that's really no feat to brag about. I studied Spanish for three years, so I can read and write it pretty well but speaking it is such a challenge. I learned French two summers ago because I was living in North Africa where they speak French and Arabic. I knew that I wouldn't be able to learn Arabic, so I chose French. I actually speak it pretty well, and for some reason, I can understand French speakers as long as they aren't French. When Haitians, Africans, or Canadians speak French, I'm right there. But if someone from France says anything to me, I turn into Baby Huey. I think after I graduate but before I start working (whenever and where ever that may be), I'm going to go to France for a language immersion program.

Now, you know a little bit more about the woman behind Ms. New Beauty (I guess this may count as number 6, but my name is Antonia). To keep the revelations coming, I'm tagging Johnica, Sylvia, The Ghetto Fashionista, and Tia Williams (this one's a longshot, but she's one of my favorite bloggers/writers so it's worth a try).

Have a great day ladies, learn about yourselves and others, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Living Life Like It's Golden

Ms. New Beauty loves award season, but she does not ever watch the awards. Sometimes she'll tune in to the red carpet commentary, but most she waits until the show is over and catches the highlights on E!, and nowadays, YouTube. She always checks online to see the truly standout dresses that come down the carpet, and the designer catastrophes that follow closely behind. She had not planned to do a recap post, particularly since she did not have the time to do one yesterday in a timely fashion. But, she's decided to go ahead and give her picks two days after the show because the world is still talking about the show. Better late than never.

Ms. New Beauty's Golden Globe Picks

Best Dresses

Penelope Cruz in Chanel Couture

Ali Larter

Best Use of Color

Mary J. Blige dripping in tons of Bulgari jewels

Jada Pinkett-Smith in Armani Prive

With so many women draped in white or basic black, Mary J. and Jada wore color beautifully to the awards (although Mary's dress looks just a bit saggy around the cleavage). There's nothing better than standing out in a bright fabulous dress.

Most Out of Place Ensemble

Beyonce in Elie Saab

Beyonce Knowles for this glittering, sparkling Vegas-showgirl worthy gown. So not appropriate for a dressy yet understated event like the Golden Globes. She clearly knows better, so this one must have just been her taking a risk, albeit a failing risk.

Worst Hair

It pains me to type this about a woman who is typically flawless, but Vanessa Williams has the worst hair award in a white-knuckled death grip. No explanation necessary just prayers that she will do better next time.

Worst Dresses

Cameron Diaz in Valentino

Nicolette Sheriden

White gowns really dominated the red carpet. But these two were definitely disappointing. Nicolette's is way too "Peggy Sue Got Married" meets "Dreamgirls." And, Cameron. What can we say about Cameron. Where is her normally irreverent, carefree yet always perfect sense of style? This dress is just a frothy contraption. It really looks like she wasn't planning to attend and at the last second grabbed some drapes and made her own gown Scarlett O'Hara-style.

Something's Just Off

Eva Longoria in Emanuel Ungaro

Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa

In theory, I admit that I should like both of these dresses, but something about them is just not working for me. Both women have the hair and makeup thing down, but something about both dresses is just off.

Favorite Wins

Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada "that is all."
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls "Effie White finally won"

Best Acceptance Speeches

America Ferrera and Jennifer Hudson for their heartfelt, honest, and humble speeches.

Missing in Action

Halle Berry. She is such a beautiful and stylish woman, so I am very surprised to not have seen any pictures or reports on Ms. Berry's whereabouts at the awards. I know that she was not nominated for anything, but as a steadfast member of the Hollywood A-List, she certainly could have and should have attended. Admittedly, I did not watch the show, so if she has merely been skipped over by the photogs working the event and the afterparties, please someone let me know.

Well, stay golden ladies, and be red carpet ravishing no matter where you go, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Pretty Pink Powder

There are some things in this world that just bring a smile to Ms. New Beauty. Well-mannered children. Elderly couples that have been married for 50+ years and still giggle like teenagers in love. Cosmetics that are pretty just for the sake of being pretty. Sure that M.A.C. lipstick is the same color and looks just as good on your lips even if it does come in that simple charcoal tube. Maybelline Great Lash works just the same regardless of the kind of tube it's sold in. But doesn't a pretty package, like that pink and green mascara, make using it more fun? It does for MNB. For her, the packaging is half the fun. But what's even better is when the makeup itself is pretty. It's like a pleasant pretty surprise once she opens the plastic case that it comes in. A makeup jack-in-the-box popping out just to make her giggle. Pretty on the inside, just the way thing should be. The edition of Ms. New Beauty Cheap & Chic is devoted to those pretty powders that look just as good in the package as they do on the face.

Pretty Blush

Clinique Fresh Bloom Allover Colour, $29.50


Revlon Golden Affair Sculpting Blush, $12

Both blushes come in four colors to warm up your face and give you a glow to stand out from the masses of pale winter skin. And they both are sculpted into beautiful designs to give you something pretty to look at while giving you something pretty to wear. If you're easily enamored like me, you may want to invest in two - one for wearing and one for staring.

Stay pretty, and have something pretty to look at, but never forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. I have to send a special Founder's Day Skee Wee to all of my beautiful sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 99 years of Service to ALL Mankind.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Les Bijoux de Beaute

The Beauty Jewels. Ms. New Beauty loves beauty. She spends plenty of time and money on the little things that make her life more beautiful. Makeup. Cleansers. Creams. Lotions. Basically anything she can get her hands on. She'll give almost any beauty product at least one try. And, like most girls, she has a thing for jewelry. Rings. Necklaces. Earrings. Pins. The little things that finish a look and add a touch of polish. If it sparkles, twinkles, or dangles, MNB can't get enough. So, it's no surprise that she would be the first to fall in love with products that combine the two. Gold flecks in a night cream? Send it over. A diamond cream facial? Why not? Makeup bracelets and charms? Absolutely!

Kimora Lee Simmons Charm Bracelet

This limited edition charm bracelet is pretty and discrete. You can easily wear this bracelet with any outfit and only fellow beauty fiends will know that's lipgloss you're sporting around your wrist. And, since Ms. Lee Simmons has never been known for her restraint, you can trust that she didn't just stop at the bracelet with the gold. The compact opens to reveal a sheer lipgloss full of golden sparkle that will warm up any face.

$37 at Sephora

Dior Midnight Charm Lip Gloss Locket

This sparkler is great for those oh so girly outfits. The adorable heart shaped charm and the bunches of crystal are utterly feminine and so are the lipglosses inside. The chain is versatile enough to wear on your wrist, strap on to your favorite purse, or hook through a belt loop. It'll look great where ever you want to wear it. But, we can't forget the best part. The keyhole. It's just so perfect and completes the locket effect. And don't your cosmetics deserve to be under lock and key?

$55 at Neiman Marcus

Too Faced Beauty Brooch

Perfectly cute and unpredictably practical. This brooch's looks are deceiving. At first glance, just a simple pin to adorn the shirts and sweaters of sweet girls everywhere. But a closer look shows mini handcuffs and skulls attached to the pin and a two flattering lip glosses, in beige or rose, hiding that behind the silhouette. Even without the lipgloss, I just the contrast between the naughty and nice elements. This one is perfect for the good girl that has her bad side.

$28.50 at Too Faced

Have glamourous lips, save room in your purse, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Scrub a Dub Dub

Some of Ms. New Beauty's fondest childhood memories involve spending as many minutes as possible at her grandmother's house in West Philadelphia. MNB loved sitting out on the porch and watching the people walk by, waiting for the trolley to stop on the corner to see who might be getting off, running across the street to buy candy from the corner store, and waiting for her grandmother to serve up some of the best food to ever bless tastebuds. It must be written in a Holy book somewhere that no one on earth is allowed to cook better than a black grandmother. One thing MNB did not enjoy about those trips was sitting on the edge of the tub while her grandmother pulled out a nail brush and scrubbed her knees and elbows. Convinced that their darker color was a result of playing outside, Grandma New Beauty would scrub those joints until they were sore. One day, MNB's Aunt J intervened, finally convincing Grams that knees and elbows were supposed to be dark. And, Ms. New Beauty never had her knees scrubbed again.

That fairytale ending was set to hold on in perpetuity until just a few days ago. MNB was reading about skin lightening on one of her fave blogs on beauty and life from a black woman's perspective, Afrobella, when she came upon a link to another blog discussing darkened knees and elbows. 55 Secret Street says that they can be lightened with simple exfoliating followed by sunscreen. I guess Grams was right all along. Trying to do her family proud, MNB has been religiously scrubbing her knees and elbows in the shower. And, thus we come to her new favorite body scrub.

Maryam's Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Glow

Until today, I had been a die hard Fresh Brown Sugar Body Scrub girl. It was that or nothing else. But, I'm going to be a Maryam devotee from now on. Chocked full of essential oils, like avocado, olive, and jojoba, Maryam's Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Glow moisturizes as it exfoliates, an absolute essential for dry skin. Since winter has finally hit Boston (the weather dropped 40 degrees almost overnight; this global warming is no joke), my skin is starting to dry up faster than little old ladies on Miami Beach. This scrub exfoliated me and left my skin as soft as a newborn's.

But, I must say that the Fresh body scrub does the same thing. That was one of the main reasons why I fell in love with it in the first place. So merely meeting the standard was not going to be enough to make me leave my baby. What pushed me over the edge, you ask? The texture!!!!! Maryam's scrub uses fine salt particles to scrub gently and the scrub itself is of a thicker consistency than any I've used before. Most scrubs, including Fresh, are runny and the ingredients seperate, forcing you to stir with your finger before trying to slap it on your skin as it slips through your fingers and runs down the drain. There is none of that here. This one has a thick jellylike consistency so everything stays perfectly blended and you don't end up spilling more product on the shower floor than actually gets on your skin.

I used the Ginger Cardmom scent and my bathroom smelled like heaven. It felt like being at a very relaxing spa in the South Pacific, somewhere like Bora Bora or Fiji. Let's just go with Bora Bora - it sounds more tropical to me. My ramblings about locales aside, the scent was exactly what I needed to relax me today.

I am also loving Maryam's Shea Monoi Whipped Body Butter. It was the perfect follow up to the scrub. The whipped texture is divine, and we remember how I feel about a body butter's texture right? It was so soft and smooth and melted right into my skin. After a hot shower using that scrub and following with the body butter, I just could not wait to hop on my laptop and start raving about these products. Check more of Maryam's fabulous handmade bath luxuries at Maryam's Soap Nook.

Scrub those knees ladies, do your grandmothers proud, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Love to Love You

Ms. New Beauty loves to blog about makeup, fashion, style, and all things new beautiful. But, every now and again, MNB goes off on a personal tangent. Well, now is one of those times. Two days before Christmas, MNB's oldest sister got engaged. Not only did her boyfriend propose, but BrothaMan wrote in to Essence magazine and had them document the proposal. Yeah, he's a keeper. Well, Essence has featured him, along with 5 other men, in their current issue and posted video footage of all 6 proposals on their website. You can view the proposals and vote for your favorite couple. The couple with the most votes gets an all-expense paid honeymoon to South Africa. How fabulous!

Now you all know the competition for this is getting stiff, so Ms. New Beauty is putting in a shameless plug for her sister to win. Please vote for MNB's sister and soon to be brother-in-law, Kia & Daryle, to win this one. Click the pic to watch the proposal and vote online.

He loves her, she loves me, and of course, I love you, my dear and faithful readers. Oh, it's just love all around.

Watch the video, try not to get teary, and most important, vote for my sister, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Color Wonderful

Ms. New Beauty has had an on-again/off-again relationship with lipstick for a while. In high school, she was madly in love with a warm bronzy color by M.A.C. called Cult. The shade has been discontinued, but when it was out, MNB had her system of application down pat. She lined her lips with a chestnut lip liner and then filled in only the top lip with Cult. She finished the whole look with a top coat of gold lip gloss and pressed those lips together. Sounds crazy now, but in the late 90's, it was very in, very Mary J. Blige from Not Gon' Cry.

Then, in college, high shine lip gloss had a Ms. New Beauty moment. She was so in love with Lancome Juicy Tubes in every color. There was just something about that sticky, goopy, shiny gloss that sent MNB's heart all aflutter. But that moment passed too, and since that time Ms. New Beauty has been content with the natural color and shine she gets from Rosebud Salve, only putting on a very sheer lip gloss on special occasion. Life was set to continue on like this, with lips taking a backseat to the rest of her face, until now. A new lipstick has Ms. New Beauty ready to jump back in with a color that's custom made and perfect for her.

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited

This lipstick comes in a range of almost 50 shades and is made with technology designed to lock in moisture for up to 8 hours. The packaging is also very cool. It gives it a Matrix-like futuristic appeal that I love. Very on time considering what went down quite a few of the spring runways. This will look great for those times when you have to touch up in public. Fabulous packaging is one of my favorite parts of cosmetics.

But, I know you're probably thinking - "yada yada yada, all lipsticks say they do the same thing, what's so special about this?" Well, here's what sets Rouge Unlimited apart. In addition to the 42 traditional colors the line offers, it also includes 6 artist colors - white, blue, yellow, green, black and purple - that can be used to customize any of the lip colors. The red you chose is a little too bright? Tone it down with the blue. Coral not warm enough? Use the yellow to add golden tones. That pink is coming off ashy on you? Darken it up with the black. The possibilities are endless and because the regular lip colors are designed to be layered and blended, you can completely customize your lipstick and tweak any other shades you have so they are perfect for you. The artist colors alone are a wise investment by themselves because you can use them to adjust any lipstick you have. Playing with this is more fun than the 64 color Crayola crayon box with the built in sharpener.

Mix the colors, have a perfect pout, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Subscriber Services

Ms. New Beauty was so delighted to tear into her new issue of Lucky Magazine. January was a disappointing month for fashion and beauty magazines. The editors probably spend so much time putting together the December issues, replete with their gift guides and slew of holiday party appropriate frocks, and by January they're spent. There was nothing much interesting to report from any of the 15 or so magazines that came to Ms. New Beauty's mailbox in January. But, February is a new month. February marks the beginnings of spring dressing, Valentine's Day, and a certain beauty blogger's birthday (hint - her initials are MNB). And, February is when the magazines come back with the goodies. This month's Lucky did not disappoint. Read on for the highlights.

  • Rosario Dawson looks beautiful on the cover. Inside, it says that they used all Maybelline products on her, but I'm not buying it. That Dream Matte Mousse Foundation is notoriously ashy and unnatural looking, at least it was on me, and the Shadow Stylist can be hard to apply with any kind of precision. But, she still looks great, regardless of what they used on her.
  • Fashion Picks from this issue
    • A color block knit jersey dress from WD NY (p. 38)
    • Cracked leather gold pumps (p. 58)
    • Silk striped Zac Posen dress (p. 62)
    • Yellow chiffon Diane von Furstenberg dress (p. 91)
    • Tweed sheath by Forthe and Towne (p. 113)
  • Quick tip - use an old pair of nylon stockings to rub deodorant marks off your clothes
  • TV Anchor Julie Chang uses the Kett Cosmetics Kett Jett Pump to airbrush flawless but natural looking foundation on. It's quite and investment at over $500 for the pump and the airbrush, but if I could afford it, I'd try it. (p. 72)
  • Roots growing back in? No time for a touch up? Try QuickTint to mask tell tale roots. They come in ten shades, last up to two or three shampoos, and best of all, come in a convenient pen that you can carry with you anywhere. (p. 72)
  • Jean Godfrey-June raves about the reviving powers of Dior L'Or de Vie L'Extrait (p. 74)
  • The Shopping Report features the best boutiques and stores in the Caribbean. Very timely for me since the boyfriend and I are planning a beach getaway for our anniversary next month. (p. 124)
As always, there are tons of Lucky Breaks, sweepstakes and giveaways.

Read it yourself, or skip it because I've already done it for you, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Surf's Up

Ms. New Beauty really should be doing some work right now. If she were as committed to one of her New Year's resolutions as she should be, she'd be in the library right now studying. Instead, she's at home, watching Law & Order and biding her time until her Bikram Yoga class begins by playing on the internet. During that time, she's stumbled upon some interesting reads. Find some interesting fashion and beauty reads for the day below. Enjoy!

  • A profile of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe that is running in the February issue of W magazine is available online, even though the issue doesn't hit stands until the 19th
  • Fabsugar is reporting on the launch of Amazon's new bag and shoe boutique
  • Perez Hilton has pics from Tyra Banks' photo shoot in next month's Vanity Fair
Now, I really have to do some work. I have to run to the university copy shop to pick up some reading for class before they close in 26 minutes.

Happy reading ladies and have a fabulous weekend, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

New Beautiful Women

Every now and again, Ms. New Beauty stumbles across likeminded women. Girls who appreciate a good pedicure, know the difference a great bronzer can make in their lives, and who understand that skipping a few meals can be a legitimate way to pay for a good bag or shoe that technically doesn't fit in the budget. Most of the time when I meet these women, I befriend them and add them to the Ms. New Beauty cypher. But, in some cases, that's difficult because the women turn out to be celebrities. So, MNB is adding a new feature to the blog, New Beautiful Women. Celebrity women who live up to the Ms. New Beauty standard - fun women who are equally at home in Barneys as they are in the boardroom.

This month, while reading Allure, I discovered a fabulous New Beautiful Woman - Raquel Welch. She has always been an icon of unabashed glamour and sexiness, but it was this quote that cemented her New Beautiful status for me.
"Part of the art of being a woman is to know makeup. I suppose it's a slightly politically incorrect concept. But . . . who wouldn't want to sharpen her skills at being a woman? To me, makeup is one of the basics. I don't see any shame in that."

Me neither, Raquel, me neither. I love smart beautiful women who aren't ashamed of being either. She's a Golden Globe Award-winning actress who redefined modern ideas of sexiness and went on to create and run her own successful business.

M.A.C. 2007 Beauty Icon Collection

Given her career credentials and just all around fabulous attitudes on life, it's only fitting that M.A.C. would partner with her to launch the new Beauty Icon Collection, which will debut in stores in February. The collection is a full line of lip colors, eyeshadows, powders, blushes, and brushes, all inspired by the glamour of Ms. Raquel. And, what icon collection would be complete without false eyelashes. The colors are truly fitting for those days when you just ooze sex appeal but can also be worked into the normal everyday rotation.

The best part of the collection, and you know I can't leave out the best part, is the packaging. Everything comes in tiger printed tubes and compacts. I love, love, love that. How sexy is it to reapply your lipgloss from a tiger printed tube?!? Even on occasions when you must be demure, like in the office or at luncheons, these cosmetics can be that little touch of sex appeal that only you know about. Just like wearing sexy lingerie under a conservative suit.

For a picture of the full collection, try here, and for a full list of the colors and products in the collection, visit Spektra. Thanks to Janice over at Spektra for all the photos used here.

Be New Beautiful, stay glamourous like Raquel, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Getting the Good Stuff

Ms. New Beauty loves a good sale. And, she especially loves it when one of her fave beauty brands has a big blowout for the new year. As soon as she finishes typing up this post, she's headed right over to stock up on some L'Occitane to start the new year off right. No crusty feet or ashy elbows for her. MNB sees lots of shea butter body creme, almond shower gels, and lavender scented candles - all for up to 75% off. If you're in the market for some L'Occitane goodies, you better hurry - the sale stated today and ends on Tuesday.

Stock up on the good stuff ladies and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you.

Dark Touches

Ms. New Beauty has admitted it before, and she'll do it again - she's lazy. She's not a so lazy that she only gets out of bed for bathroom breaks kind of girl. Just one whose life is busy enough that certain things have to be eliminated or completed only by using the shortest of short cuts. Thus far, it's been her nails. No time for polish that always chips and peels off, and definitely over the acrylic tips that require bimonthly refills, MNB has contented herself by keeping her nails short and groomed with just a touch of cuticle oil. After months of holding onto this lazy side while desperately trying to resist a new trend, MNB has finally relented and given in to one of the chicest nail colors in years - black.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in #337 Noir Ceramic

This polish became the signature of the black polish trend in recent months. A limited edition black polish with subtle blue metallic undertones that expertly recreated the look of, as the name implies, black ceramic. That sublte shimmer ups the chic quotient of black nails, keeping them from straying too far into goth girl territory.

This polish has been sold out for months. At this point, the only way to get ahold of one yourself is to call every retailer in your area (which isn't likely to be successful considering that the holiday shopping season just passed) or to resort to eBay. So not in the mood for hours of dialing and reserving, I'm getting mine off of eBay. To avoid a price war, I downloaded a free trial of Auction Defender. This program will place your bid 15 seconds before the end of the auction, so you can get the best price. Pray for me though, because we all know how easy it is to get burnt by those online auctions. I am going to be so hurt if I go through all of this and end up with a bottle of Wet N' Wild.

There are other options available if you are not married to any particular shade of black. And, if black nails don't work with your skin tone or would be too harsh in a conservative office, you can get the same chic look with softer colors.

Orly Liquid Vinyl

On a whim, I picked this shade up from Sally Beauty Supply. Surprisingly, it looked really good on me and lasted few days despite me skipping both a base and top coat. My only pet peeve is that despite the ultra high shine, the color is flat. There is no depth or shimmer like the Chanel color. The result is that I have a slightly Morticia Adams look about my fingers. The flat black seems so much like a Halloween costume to me, while the subtle shimmer of the Chanel makes more of a chic adult statement.

But, I do like the slightly subversive look to it. It's been four days since I painted it on and it's starting to chip ever so slightly around the edges. A chipped manicure is normally a huge no-no in my world, but with the black polish, something just seems right about it, like I'm the kind of girl who just doesn't give a damn. Whereas in another color, like pink, chipped nails come off as just plain old unkempt and messy, it works with black.

If you just want to buy in on a trend easily, this may be the best choice since it only cost me $4 at Sally's and the Noir Ceramic is going for around $50 on eBay.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

Part of OPI's "Be Bold, Go Deliciously Dark!" Collection, this shade still gives that dark polish look but in a softer way than the black. This plum will never be harsh or scary on the fingers, making it appropriate for almost any occasion. Great as a first step into the realm of dark polishes.

This deep plum shade is also ultra flattering on almost all skin tones. For darker skinned women, this may work better than black. The chicness of the black polish comes from the high contrast between the color of the polish and the skin of the fingers. That effect may be lost or less attractive on darker women. But, this plum is rich and warm and will perfectly complement any skin tone while still achieving that dark tipped look.

OPI Romeo & Juliet

Perfect for the girl who doesn't want to buy completely into the black nail polish. This shade is a deep burgundy that's less harsh than black and is perfectly appropriate for wearing to the office, no matter how conservative your profession. Just a tad darker than the standard burgunday, this polish takes advantage of a popular trend while still looking fresh and new.

If you buy into to the dark polish trend, regardless of the shade you choose, make sure to take the polish off after a few days with an acetone remover. Otherwise, your nails can start to turn icky yellow.

Follow the trends, whether by eBay or different shades, paint carefully, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Champagne Eyes

Ms. New Beauty is luxuriating in the new year and loving every minute of it. After a relaxing holiday with the family, she spent an outrageous New Year's weekend in New York City. She had so much fun with two of her best girlfriends, her boyfriend, and some college friends. During that weekend, the girls coined and, more importantly, lived up to the quotable - "champagne goes straight to your brain." Truer words have never been spoken. Just like that sparkly, bubbly drink that brought so many giggles into her life this weekend, Ms. New Beauty has found an eyeshadow that does the same - a sparkly, glittery palette that brings on the glitz and makes her smile.

CHANEL Lumiere D'Artifices Palette

Just looking at this palette makes me smile. While I'm not a girl who wears sequins often, ever since I used to tag along with my mother on shopping trips to the dress department, I've loved looking at some sequins. Like I deer in headlights, I tend to get captivated by them and find myself just staring at sequins - head slightly leaned to the side, pleasant smile on my face. So, I knew instantly that I would be in love with this limited edition palette that was actually molded by a goldsmith to resemble a beautiful pile of sequins. I'm sure I'll spend more time just admiring these shadows than actually applying them to my lids.

But, I will be able to drag myself away to use these fabulous colors. A combination of bronze, silver and anthracite, these beautiful metallics can be used alone or together. I am going to go all the way and use them together for full on glamourous champagne eyes. I've already come up with several combinations - bronze on lids with anthracite use as liner and silver at the corners, anthracite on lids with bronze at crease and silver under brows, silver on lids with gold at the corners and anthracite as liner. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

This limited edition palette is already sold out at, but it's still available at Neiman Marcus.

Be captivated by sequins, but remember "champagne goes straight to your brain," and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

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