Friday, June 22, 2007

Shock To The System

Cardboard boxes. Ms. New Beauty has had her fill of them. In the past week or so, it seems like all she saw were cardboard boxes. MNB was moving of course and the brown cubes became a necessary part of that process. Yesterday, after a week of packing, lifting, and unpacking cardboard boxes, she thought she was finally done with them - at least for the time being. But lo and behold, as Ms. New Beauty approached her front door, there was another cardboard box waiting for her. Initially, she thought she was being tormented and followed by the evil container. She soon realized that this box, unlike all the others, was not demanding her to fill it up with styrofoam peanuts and keepsakes. This one held a special present just for her and brought nothing but delight to her life. This box held a new summer makeup collection full of eye popping eyeshadows and luscious lipsticks and it was all waiting patiently inside just for MNB.

M.A.C. C-Shock Collection

M.A.C. can do something a lot of other makeup brands can't. It can claim that it has a legion of faithful and adoring fans without stretching the truth one bit. I know women who have tried other brands and run straight to the M.A.C. counter after professing their sins and begging for forgiveness in the form of a new concealer. I used M.A.C. in high school but I am not such a die hard fan as others are. I'm greedy, and there are so many great brands out there that I could never commit to just one. I am not a Makeup Monogamist.

But I have always loved M.A.C. for their richly pigmented eye shadows and absolutely juicy lipglosses, so C-Shock is just the jolt my makeup case needed. When I first poured everything out onto my bed, I instantly put together my eye looks for summer. I am so not a fan of understated eyes for evening. When it's time for me and the girls to hit the clubs, lounges, and bars of the world, it must be with bright eyes. Brown eyeshadow is only for situations when I have to be daytime demure. So these colors are perfect for me. A veritable rainbow of punchy, vivid colors. The eyeshadows are bright and rich in pigment, but they go on quite smooth and sheer. You can build the intensity of them to make the look as daring or as subtle as you want.

Now, the lip colors are a kind of bright that's harder to work with. You can wear almost any color on your eyes, but the lips are a beast of a different breed entirely. I tried four of the lipsticks - a frosty pink (similar to Proenza Pink so you know that didn't work on me - Brown Girls of the World Beware!), a bright blue, a frosty coral, and a shimmery purple. Momma New Beauty helped me try them and we both agreed that the blue lipstick on brown skin gives a frostbite effect. The coral looked great but the jury was split on the shimmery purple. On Momma New Beauty, it was a sheer pinky wash of color that worked. On me, it looked like a holdover from a 1986 pre-Easter raid on the Fashion Fair counter. Interestingly enough, the lip gloss in a similar purple shade looked amazing on me. So I guess the formulation of the color does a lot to determine how it will work for you.

C-Shock is a limited edition collection and will only be available at M-A-C counters until mid-July, so if you like what you see hurry up and get it before it's gone.

Shock your system with a bit of brights and look perfectly punchy for summer, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chic Goes Cheap

Ms. New Beauty is a huge fan of the cheap goes chic trend. She loves it. She loves seeing the way designers reinterpret their runway hits for the masses. Unlike other fashion and style bloggers, she doesn't believe that there is something foul or odious about low-priced versions of designer creations. Ms. New Beauty dutifully lines up early to scoop up the latest Discount Designer collections. And, MNB is still bitter about missing the Stella McCartney collection for H&M because her Peapod delivery was running late. But, she made it up by grabbing the cutest pieces from Proenza Schouler's spring collection for Target and she'll be doing the same for the Libertine collection as well. So, Ms. New Beauty's uber-excited about Roberto Cavalli coming to H&M in the fall.
Roberto Cavalli to design H&M collection

Wed Jun 20, 11:17 AM ET
ROME (AFP) - Roberto Cavalli is set to be the latest designer to create a collection for Swedish clothing giant H&M, he announced Wednesday, following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney.

The Italian will create 25 pieces for women, mainly evening wear, and 20 for men, as well as accessories and lingerie. They will be available in about 200 shops from November 8.

"I hope that on December 8 there will be nothing left in the shops! I am very flattered to be the first Italian chosen by H&M," Cavalli said from the Pitti Uomo fashion fair in Florence, according to Italy's Ansa news agency.

"It is true that our creations are closer to haute couture, but I thought of all the young people who stopped me in the street, and I thought I could finally make them happy," he said.

"I have dedicated this collection to young people, who will be able to wear a Cavalli piece of clothing for the New Year."

Margareta Van Den Bosch of H&M said the most expensive items would be about 150 euros (200 dollars).

In 2004, the Hennes Mauritz group asked Lagerfeld, the designer for the Chanel fashion house, to create a collection for them. He was followed by British designer McCartney in 2005, designers Viktor and Rolf in 2006 and the singer Madonna in spring this year.

Created in 1947, H&M now has 1,345 shops in 24 countries.

Meanwhile, Cavalli, whose business recorded a turnover of seven billion euros last year, said he was considering "taking on an associate so we could be quoted on the stock exchange".

His wife Eva, who works alongside the designer, added: "We are currently in discussion with fashion groups and investment funds. We will need at least a year because these are decisions that need to be taken carefully."

But, I'm neither here nor there about Vera Wang's line for Kohl's. Here's an interesting commentary or Vera's new venture from the New York Times - Can You Be Too Fashionable?

Happy reading ladies, and don't let fashion snobs make you shy away from discount designer offering, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Just A Touch

Just a touch. Of Love. A Little Bit. Ms. New Beauty has been planning this post for well over two weeks. And she knew that the title would be "Just a Touch." Ever since then, she's been singing that song to herself and dancing a little bop to herself. She can't help herself. She's still having a little private party on the couch as she types. Okay, enough of that. On to the regularly scheduled post.

Now any faithful reader of Ms. New Beauty knows that MNB has a number of mandatory beauty routines to keep up with. There's the weekly hair appointment. The bi-weekly eyebrow wax and pedicure. Weekly exfoliation and monthly hair removal. And, that does not even take into account all of the daily rituals that help MNB preserve her sexy - pushing back the cuticles, taking the pumice stone to her heels, cleansing, toning and moisturizing her face day and night, plus the regular sun protection. Anyone who says living a beautiful life is low maintenance lies like a rug. But don't get her wrong, MNB loves all of these beauty routines. They are the sunshine in her life. But, she just doesn't have time for everything. And, the one thing to be consistently sacrificed is nail care. Ms. New Beauty just does not have the time or energy to worry about keeping her fingers painted. Shamefully, the only reason she keeps her nails trimmed is because they interfere with her text messaging when they get too long. Most days, a swipe of cuticle oil is all they get. So, when MNB saw a new nail polish pen that's just as easy to apply as her faithful cuticle oil, she just had to try it.

Yves Saint Laurent Nail Touch

The idea behind this nail color pen is ingenious. Similar to their cult favorite concealer Touche Eclat, Nail Touch is a pen with the color and brush attached right to it. Just pump the end and the color dispenses on the brush, ready to hit your fingernails. It's the perfect size to just drop into your purse and go. The nail polish inside is thinner than the average nail polish, which I assume is to make it dry quicker. As soon as you brush it on, the polish gets really tacky almost instantly and then is dry within about a minute. In theory, I should be in love with this.

But, in practice, I'm underwhelmed. The brush attached to the pen was a little too wide and unwieldy for me. The polish did not go on smoothly at all. Also, because the polish is so thin, it goes on really streaky. I tried two colors - #4 (a beigey pink similar to Essie Ballet Slippers) and #1 (clear). The both went on streaky. The clear dried to a pretty finish but the beigey pink dried with the streaks and looked quite the mess on my fingers. The drying is also a little hard to navigate. By the time you get one coat on all your fingers, it's way too tacky to come back for the second coat so the streaks just look even worse.

All in all, this could be a great product but it definitely has some kinks to be worked out. It's barely available online which could be because it was released with the new summer collection or because it's just sold out. But, I picked mine up with no problems at the YSL counter in Neiman's. If you see it, I'd suggest you keep that $20 and treat yourself to something you know you'll love.

$24, available at Nordstrom and YSL Beaute counters

Save your money on this one, but keep on having your own little private parties, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. And Comments 4 A Cure is still running on Ms. New Beauty until Saturday, so keep them coming.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Forgive Us Father

It's June. And, June is a month that means so many things to so many people. The end of that long educational road for the graduates like Ms. New Beauty. The beginning of a new life together for all of the June brides. And, the most important, the start of summer for everybody. June is the time to officially bust out the white linen, book your pedicures for the next three months, stock up on sunscreen and self tanner, and to figure out which tiny square of fabric called a bathing suit will look best on your body on the beach.

June is also the month for dads since we celebrate Father's Day this month. But, MNB realizes that fathers often get what she calls "the shaft." Women often treat their mothers to carefully thought out gifts like luxurious vacations and treatments at the city's best spa and then throw dad a Home Depot gift card without a second thought. Ms. New Beauty herself has been guilty of this offense many years running. But, no more. MNB is bringing you the best in beauty for Father's Day because dads deserve to Live The Beautiful Life too! And since no two dads are alike, Ms. New Beauty lists the best gifts for your type of father.

For The Cat Daddy

The Cat Daddy is a special kind of dad. He doesn't get older, he gets better. His looks sharpen with age and make him look more distinguished and experienced. Literally, the Cat Daddy is a man of a certain age who can still get a young, fly, and fresh girl by his side. The point is not if he would, but if he could. If you've got a Cat Daddy for a father, you probably know it by now. But in case you need some guidance, here are two great examples - Sean Connery and the late Ed Bradley.

Since Cat Daddy appreciates the luxuries of life, CREED Millesime Imperial is the perfect scent for him. The shiny gold bottle will look great on his bureau or in his medicine cabinet. With notes that blend the citrus with the sea, Millesime Imperial will remind him of yachting off the Amalfi Coast or make him want to if he never has. And, the women in his life will appreciate the scent too. I won't say that the smell will melt the elastic in panties, because nobody wants to think of their dad like that, but it sure smells good.

$185, available at Neiman Marcus

For the No Maintenance Man

Does your dad wash up with whatever soap was on sale? Does he only shave when he has to - ie for work and those certain social events where decency dictates a soft face? Do you have to beg him to use beauty basics like lotion or chapstick? A yes to any of these questions means you have the No Maintenance Man for a dad. I speak from experience because my dad certainly falls into this category. The No Maintenance Man won't appreciate the subtleties of products, he just needs them to get the job done. Think Bob Vila or any of the makeover recipients on Queer Eye before the Fab 5 got their hands on them. Interestingly enough, No Maintenance Man dads tend to produce very high maintenance daughters. Go figure.

For your No Maintenance Man, get him products that do double duty and fit in with his super simple routine. If your gift requires more thought than he currently expends, he won't use it. Slide Jack Black All Over Wash into his shower and he won't even notice how much you've upgraded him for Father's Day. This gentle wash is designed to be used as a facial cleanser, shampoo, and body wash. It works well for all skin types and what man can resist anything that does three things at once? If he resists, remind him that this product can cut even the most pared down routine in half. Once he works up a lather, he can get clean from head to toe, literally. After he falls in love with this, slip a bottle of this oil free sunscreen (that can be used on his scalp, face and body) into his medicine cabinet to complete the set.

$14, available at Sephora.

For the Impeccable Pops

The Impeccable Pop sometimes puts you to shame. He is the living embodiment of the words "well groomed." He reads his Sunday paper in a cashmere robe and eats every meal in nothing less than a tailored jacket. His hands are always manicured and errant nose or ear hairs do not exist. A true gentleman, he has an Old Hollywood charm about himself. If your dad taught you who the best tailors, cobblers, and dry cleaners are in your town, you have an Impeccable Pop.

Since Impeccable Pop relishes the process of grooming, upgrade his shave with this all natural Fine Badger Brush and Lemon Shaving Cream from The Art of Shaving. White foam from an aluminum can is so beneath your dad. No pre made shaving cream for him, let him whip up his own and take him back to a time when shaving was an event. The natural badger bristles will pick up the shaving cream evenly, lift his beard for a close shave and exfoliate while the cream will moisturize for the ultimate baby's bottom smooth face when he's done. The shaving cream also comes in three other varieties for your dad's exact skin type (and since he is so impeccable he already knows what it is). For a full shaving experience, pick up the Full Size Shaving Kit which includes the Pre-Shave Oil, Shaving Cream, Badger Brush, and After Shave. And, if he's prone to razor bumps, don't forget to pick up a bottle of Tend Skin.

$50 for Badger Brush and $22 for Shaving Cream, available at

Treat your dad to the beautiful life, no matter what kind you got, and remember that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. - I know you may be wondering why I did a beauty gift guide for Father's Day but totally skipped over Mother's Day. Well, the answer is simple my dear New Beauties - Mother's Day fell on the week my thesis was due.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Ms. New Beauty just wanted to let all of her readers know that she has officially graduated and received her Juris Doctor (aka law degree, but MNB likes being able to put the word "doctor" somewhere near her name). All of the pomp and circumstance of the graduation, with extra emphasis on the pomp, has left MNB completely worn out. So much so that she slept almost fourteen hours yesterday. But once she gets her mojo back, posting will resume as normal.

And, since Ms. New Beauty was too busy to post regularly this week, she's extending the Comments for a Cure initiative. She will count every comment that she gets until June 16, even the ones not designated for charity, as part of the tally for donations. So keep them coming, even if you only leave one word.

Leave a comment, and bask in the glory of letters behind your name, but don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Comments for a Cure

Ms. New Beauty is a passionate public servant. She relishes the opportunity to use whatever skills or influence she has to help someone else. She does however find it tacky to brag about giving back, so she will not be listing her service initiatives here. But, MNB will always use what power or influence she has a blogger to help others when she can.

So, when the creator of the Beauty Blog Network approached her to participate in a breast cancer awareness project in the blogosphere, she couldn't say no. Starting today, participating blogs will be hosting "Comments for a Cure." The concept is simple - for every comment that readers leave from June 4 - 6, Ms. New Beauty and the other participating bloggers will be donating a dollar, up to $250, to a breast cancer charity. MNB has chosen the Celebrating Life Foundation to receive her donation. Celebrating Life focuses on educating women of color about breast cancer risks and reducing the prevalence of this disease in these communities. For more information about how breast cancer affects black women, click here.

Comments for a Cure also has a fabulous gift bag going up for auction on eBay and a number of other promotions to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. And, there are a ton of other bloogers participating, so make the rounds and leave comments for all of them. Check the full list of participants and other promotions out at Comments for a Cure.

Leave a comment and join in the fight against breast cancer, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

© New Blogger Templates | Webtalks