Thursday, May 31, 2007

Slang for Hot Dog

Ms. New Beauty has been buried under boxes for the past week or so trying to pack up and move out of her apartment. It's amazing how much stuff an avid shopper and product junkie like MNB can accumulate over the course of three short years. She's been purging all kinds of stuff and putting everything else in cardboard. Cleaning out some old files, Ms. New Beauty came across old pictures and papers from her freshman year of college and of course, she got to reminiscing.

Now, MNB went through a moderate case of culture shock during her first semester of college, being a 17 year old from the fast moving Northeast transplanted to the slow, tortoise-worthy pace of the deep South. Besides the change of pace and adjusting to the heat and humidity, adapting to the language barrier was the hardest part for Ms. New Beauty. Some of her southern classmates had accents so thick, MNB could barely hold conversation with them. But at least they were speaking English. Ms. New Beauty had the hardest time understanding what her friends from the Midwest (and by Midwest she means Detroit) were saying. Their slang was so different to her. They didn't go to the movies, they went to "the show." Didn't drink soda, they drank "pop." But the strangest one for MNB was what they called hot dogs. Oscar Mayer doesn't make hot dogs or even franks. Detroit people called them "Coney Islands." What?!?!? MNB never saw that one coming but she still loves her people from "The D." Well, here's to another Coney Island namesake, although this one smells much better than the pork variety.

Bond No. 9 Coney Island

Coney Island is the newest scent from Bond No. 9, the company that made its mark by formulating perfumes representing the many neighborhoods of New York City. This one is definitely going to be one of the go-to scents for summer. The very idea behind creating this blend was to take the smell of fun and put it in a bottle. Mission accomplished!

Blending notes of margarita mix, melon guave, cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, vanilla and more, Bond No. 9 has taken all of your favorite summer time treats, put them in a glass bottle and shaken it up. Now, with that list of ingredients, you would think that it would smell absolutely crazy, like a 6 year old's dirty laundry after a long day at summer camp, but trust me, it doesn't! The margarita mix is the strongest scent and gives this perfume a nice lemony citrus scent. When I smelled it, I instantly thought of Lemon Water Ice. Yes, I know that technically, "water ice" sounds like an oxymoron, but it is one of my favorite summer time treats and lemon is the best flavor. Philly people will definitely agree with me on this one. There is also something slightly outdoorsy about this scent to me. You all know I do not have a perfumer's nose, so scent is all about the evocative nature of the perfume for me and the things it makes me feel. This one takes me to a backyard barbecue, sitting in a lawn chair in a white sundress and wedge heels, drinking my lemon water ice right out of the cup, no spoon. This is definitely my fun summertime perfume.

$125, available at

Smell sweet for summer, and get yourself a water ice if you've never had one, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

On That Juice

Phew! After weeks of slaving away in a flourescent lit library, sitting in uncomfortable chairs, and smelling funky freshmen's feet (seriously), Ms. New Beauty is finally done. She turned in her thesis last week and she's officially finished with school, forever! (Or unless she decides to go back for yet another degree). MNB's end of school schedule pretty much went as follows - wake up, go to the library, consume at least three energy drinks, go home at 5 am, sleep, repeat.

After two weeks of this grueling routine, Ms. New Beauty was drained and absolutely welcomed the invitation to a friend's graduation party as a much needed break. During the party, one of her fabulous friends asked MNB "what are you doing to your skin? You are absolutely glowing!" Well, Ms. New Beauty was completely shocked at the compliment. She had been feeling like Shrek the Third and was sure that she looked like it too. But, after getting home and getting real personal with a magnifying mirror, MNB realized that her skin was not only holding up under the pressure of her studies, but doing better than normal. The tiny problem breakouts near her chin had cleared up, the tone was evened out, and there was a subtle radiance shining through. She was indeed glowing. And all thanks to some new juice.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel

I originally headed into Sephora a few weeks ago to buy Kate in a Jar by Kate Somerville. At my last facial, my aesthetician suggested I take my exfoliating up a notch. And, after she left my skin soft, smooth, and radiant, I decided to heed her suggestion. I'd heard about Kate in a Jar a while ago because this product has legions of adoring devotees, despite the $85 price tag. All it takes is one rave review and I'm hooked, so I just knew I was going to try it.

But silly me! Sephora doesn't carry Kate Somerville products. So, I just decided to browse since I was already there and I stumbled upon this new line. Using organic ingredients, the women behind this line leave out the fragrance, the petroleum, and the paraben (no, I'm not completely sure what that is but I figure it's bad enough to warrant getting left out) to create all natural but powerful products. This peel is brimming with powerful antioxidants, vitamins A, C, & E, and fruit extracts to expertly exfoliate and leave your skin soft and glowing. The texture is smooth and creamy and goes on evenly with the faint scent of apple cider. Leave on for 15 minutes once a week and get your glow on too!

$39, available at Sephora

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum

I'm always good for a two-fer, so you know I couldn't try just one product. I'm a Proactiv devotee and that pretty much keeps any blemishes under control. But, I'm all about the preventative maintenance, so I'm always on the lookout for other good acne products.

I love this serum! My inner Mrs. Wizard just swoons over any product that has even the slightest scientific feel. So the glass bottle and dropper built into the top just sent me right over the edge. But, it's the results that have kept me dancing in clear skin Shangri-La la land. My skin is clear and glowing like I just got back from vacay, even though I have barely seen the sun in ages.

Just like the peel, this serum is packed with Vitamins A, C, & E and other antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties to prevent breakouts. This is effective as a spot treatment but I've taken to smoothing a few drops over my entire face after cleansing. Just make sure to use the dropper on your clean hands and not directly onto your face. You don't want to transfer any bacteria from your face into the bottle of serum. If I learned one thing from Doc Stemnisky's tenth grade chemistry class, it's never to contaminate the whole bottle.

$29, available at Sephora.

Get on that juice girls, and get glowing skin too, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Staying Alive

Ms. New Beauty just finished her last final. EVER! She still has her thesis staring down at her before she can finally tell law school to kiss her . . . . grits. No new products reviews yet. But, in the meantime, here's a mini installation of Subscriber Services. Check out the beauty offerings from the last issue of Elle.

Jessica Biel is looking very Sophia Loren on this cover to me. And, I never would have thought that Gold Lame bermuda shorts could look good, but I'm loving these.

The IT List

Elle's Top 5 Self-Tanners

For self-tanner reviews, please check out Fake Bake Month over at Beauty Addict. The St. Tropez tanner on the far right comes highly recommended.

Check for more info.

Stay fabulous, and pray for me and this thesis, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Pledge

As a general rule, Ms. New Beauty doesn't do email forwards. Long messages about how a billionaire will save a baby, or Microsoft will pay for helping to test a new program, or MNB will be visited with a curse, if only she hits that forward button and passes the annoyance on to everyone in her addressbook. No. These get no action on Divinity, Ms. New Beauty's laptop. With all of the email accounts she checks several times each day - her school account, the ones her friends use, the account just for this blog, the spam email address - there just is not time to entertain forwards. But, every now and again MNB comes across something that warrants sharing. Lately, it's been funny clips from the internet's black hole of comedy, Youtube. But every year around this time, a clever little email about the proper feet and toe etiquette for fabulous women shows up in Ms. New Beauty's inbox. Though she's seen it a million times, it never fails to bring a smile to her face, probably because ashy, crusty, jacked up feet are the bane of MNB's existence. They are her Newman. So, she's adapting it to make it most applicable here.
The New Beauty Open Toed Shoe Pledge

Please raise your right hand and repeat the following. As a member of the New Beauty Sisterhood, I, (insert your name here) pledge to follow the following Rules when wearing sandals and other open-toe shoes:

I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free.

I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

I will shave, wax, pluck, or otherwise remove the hairs off my big toe and any other digits with visible fuzz.

I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend/coworker/mother/sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him.

I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

I will promise to go to my local nail salon at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are about $30 and worth EVERY penny). But first, I will research and make sure that the salon I choose follows the proper health and safety standards. Perfectly painted toes are not worth this.

Now that we've established what is to be expected of sandal wearers, on to the products that will help you uphold this solemn pledge.

Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Arch Supports

So this season every woman with an ounce of style and $200 to spare has been slipping around town in Tory Burch's oh so cute ballet flats. I bought the gold metallic leather ones as soon as they hit the shelves in Neimans (for $165 before they became this season's it shoe and the price went up). Sadly, they'd been sitting in my shoe closet for months because I cannot wear flat shoes. I don't know if I have flat feet or fallen arches or what, but flat shoes make my feet burn. Literally. I can run around the city for hours on end in a pair of 4 inch heels, but flats just hurt my feet.

But, my girl Johnica raved about those very same Tory Burch flats, and I was so sad to be missing out. How can I let a cute pair of this season shoes wallow in the depths of my shoe closet alongside 8 year old pairs? I couldn't. So I picked up these inserts from CVS. At first, the shoes felt a little tight with the added bulk but after a few steps, I was in heaven. My feet had the support they needed and I walked to, from, and all around campus with no pain at all. No blisters. No raw skin from rubbing. And, these inserts are three quarter length, so they're perfect for the season's cute little peep toe flats. Now the world of flats has opened up its doors to me and I am rejoicing.

$9.99, available at drugstores

Bliss Softening Socks

By now, we're all familiar with the "slather your feet with vaseline and put on socks before bed" routine to get softer feet. But when you have very, very dry feet, that is simply not enough. That's purely maintenance for after you've gotten them soft. You still need something to soften them up in the first place. *Bliss socks enter stage left.* If you're feet are helplessly dry, these socks are a must have. They are truly a godsend and will soften your feet to newborn baby levels.

These socks are a cut above your regular old white Hanes tube socks. Lined with gel to trap in heat and moisture, these socks do not absorb your foot creme like regular ones do. That gel lining keeps the creme from evaporating and forces your feet absorb that moisture. The result is two ridiculous soft tootsies that are sandal season ready.

For best results, scrub feet with a pumice stone everyday in the shower. It works better if you wait until the end of the shower so that the hot water can soften up your heels. Scrub vigorously and then apply a heavy foot creme or body butter soon after to trap in the moisture from the shower. Put these socks on for at least 20 minutes. If your feet need intensive treatment, and you know if they do, put them on and go to sleep. You will wake up walking on clouds. Use these as often as needed because there is absolutely no excuse for dry, crusty feet. None.

$48, available at Bliss or Sephora

Have pretty perfect feet, and do those sexy sandals justice, but please don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. I am still buried under more work than I know how to finish, but I felt really bad for not updating for such a long time. Things will be a little slow for the next week or so, but once I'm finished with school, everything will get back to normal

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