Needing the 90’s

Man, maybe it’s the disease of coming of age in a certain decade, that it sticks with you forever as an ideal, but I can’t stop loving the seriously made up look that prevailed with the 90s supermodel. Pre-heroine chic was the opposite of everything the grunge move seemed to stand for and I loved every minute of it. Healthy bodied, cheek-laden models looked ready for anything and capable of anything – and still drop dead gorgeous. More often than we all want to admit in today’s culture – and I’m not sure what decade this will be dubbed (the teens? the twenty-tens?) – those things are not synonymous with each other. Frail thin, razor boned models still dominate. That’s why we all remember the 90s with such respect.

That classical, contoured, matte face punctuated with a red brown lip (I wore so many green marbleized tubes of Revlon Toast of New York down to the nub that it’s like remembering an old friend when I think of it) still gets me. It made you feel well, done.

Revlon Toast of New York

And we need a little more done in today’s yoga pants world (guilty speaking).

My essential 90s-light updated playlist:

Whitney Houston I Will Always Love You and Guns N’ Roses November Rain 

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium You want cheekbones, you got cheekbones! You can’t find them? Look no further than this powder that creates somethin outta nothin. It is the perfect “shadow” shade, the formula’s light, finely milled, and highly pigmented. Blend to your satisfaction, hit play and go. This and a little brow and gloss go a loooooong way.

T. LeClerc Lip Pencil is 07 Desir Want to know a little known secret for lips? Pssst. It’s T. Clerc. The maker of the French powder formula that dominated makeup artists tables all through the 90’s (pre HD powder days, T. LeClerc WAS. IT.) also kills it in the lip department. This lip pencil is a brown red that sways way more red, to update the brown a bit, and the formula is beautiful, long lasting, and just beyond gorgeous with just about any eye. But use it with a nude-y face look and it’s modern and seriously showstopping.

By Terry Teint Terrybly Bronzing Powder in Shade 3 is bronzer incognito. It’s the subtlest still warming shade I can find, and you’ll never worry about streaks, oompa-loompah-ism, or any of the usual suspects when it comes to applying bronzer. IOW, it’s foolproof. Yes.

Rodial Glamstick in Bite Here’s the one I wear down faster than the ninth grade me wore down a tube of Toast of New York. It’s a balm, a plumper, and the perfect pigmented shade of nude to contour lips on top of the brown-red of your choosing, or it’s a shade you can we wear everywhere from the soccer field to that big night and never be wrong. How do I know? My second tube is nearly gone.


DV8T7669PS – Did you know that Christie Brinkley is just as photogenic in a photo of her photo as she is in person? Seriously.



Artful Makeup by Violette: French Masters on Makeup

This is the perfect makeup tutorial. Violette, the Dior magante makeup artist, displays her artistic expertise and inspires us to look at makeup in totally different light. Which is what great makeup both understands and commands. Her deep soothing voice and soft French accent elevates this video to art itself.

Lip Clinic [+]

I believe it’s best to start beauty blogging at absolute zero, or the whole “if I could only have one product, it would be…” bit. That question is so very easy for me, no doubt in my mind, it’s lip balm. It works multi-tasking wonders on everything from cuticles to eyelashes in a pinch, but the main reason is that nothing, I mean, nothing annoys me more than dry, flaky, cracked or chapped lips. And lucky for you; I have spent an indecent amount of time and money buying and trying literally everything I can find when it comes to this simple remedy that turns out to be rather complex when it comes to finding the perfect formula. Thousands of tubes and jars later, I have narrowed the lineup to a small but impenetrable little army I call the lip clinic. Even one or two of these little soldiers is all you will ever need (bearing mind you stay reasonably hydrated – drink water!) to forever retain the perfect lip moisture levels… promise.

Lip Clinic

1. Sisley Confort Extreme Levres Nutritive Lip Balm : Don’t let the long French name confuse you one bit. At $74 a jar, this is both the priciest lip concoction I can imagine. However, it is, by far, the most effective formula of all, bar none. This is the one & only formula that offers lasting effects – it has no equal. For the price, I ration myself to one tiny q-tip dip every night before bed, and since I started the routine, I hardly use other balms throughout the day following – it’s that good. And anytime my lips just freak out and start peeling, get sunburned, over sensitized, or any kind of issue really, this gets swiped on for instant healing, and it just works. Later I am going to have to launch a chemical investigation into exactly why this works like it does – stay tuned.

2. Nuxe Reve De Miel Baume Levres : By now you get it, levres = lips, not so hard, right? This balm distinguishes itself by its naturally light and delicious taste (miel=honey) and its beautifully matte finish which is a perfect base for days or nights when rich lipstick in order. In all its perfection, there is still a slight amount of slide to the Sisley formula, and especially if you want a matte or semi-matte lip, while you must (!) have lip balm underneath or else the lipstick will go dry and cakey – that extra bit of slide, while still remarkably less than average pot of balm, will definitely shorten the wear of your lipstick and thin it out, affecting the richness of the color. Reve De Miel however, will not. It is much tackier in texture so it’s a little (very little) bit more work to work it into the lips, but once it’s on, you will have perfectly primed and prepped lips for any color to adhere to, and stay hydrated at the same time. If you like lipstick, this should be in your bag. At $19, it’s a straight bargain compared to the Sisley brand, and it will last longer than any other balm so you can be generous with it!

3. Laura Mercier Lip Silk : One thing you will not find among my plethora of tubes, jars, palettes, sprays, creams and the like is a lip exfoliator. I know they probably do the job, but I just think they are messy and way too harsh for my delicate lip skin! Ouch, is all I have to say. A heavy slick of balm and a warm washcloth does the job just the same, if not better. So I see no need. That said, one superstar product that I have depended on pre-red lip (notorious for revealing every little flakey spot on my lips) for something around ten years – is Lip Silk. It it super thick, and uses a chemical exfoliant that is oh-so-gentle and faithfully preps lips for any color rich look. Just give it about 15 min, then remove. Presto change-o, new mouth. It does have a bit of a very faint chemical smell so I keep its use to a minimum. I’m not sure if it’s bad for you – but I prefer a more natural product for the lips for everyday use. Lip Silk = big guns.

4. Clinique Repairwear Intensive Lip Treatment :  Because there’s airports, buses, subways, taxis, grocery stores, soccer fields, post offices, and every other germ-ridden place when the last thing you want to do is stick your ‘well-socialized’ finger (gag!) in your precious pot of $74 lip balm then smear it on your (holy cow, I can’t hardly believe how many times I must have done this in 7th grade with my Body Shop Kiwi Lip Balm…cringe) mouth! Enough said, sometimes you just need a lip bullet! Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene. This one blows away every other lip balm in tube form you may encounter. Tried just about all of them. Get this.

5. One final brave and versatile soldier: Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm. I have to add it to the list because it feels, smells, and makes your lips all around beautiful. And it’s only $34, which I know, is still quite a lot for a lip balm. If you can’t stomach the Sisley price (and I understand), pick up Rodin & you will not be disappointed. It’s faithful and consistent in performance with the most imperceptible amount of sheer gleam, I can’t say sparkle, or you’ll thin glitter. It’s just a really pretty light reflecting touch which pull a lot of weight in the lip department. A stunner, and I love it. Later to be discussed: Rodin Olio Lusso Facial Oil. Can’t wait.

Rodin Lip









Bonpoint Elegance

Bonpoint: I’m not sure if it is designed for children’s use but it is certainly not limited to them! It smells clean and delicately orange – floral with textures and cremes that feel precious but pampering and gentle. The staples are on my shelf everyday, and a very favorite travel companion. It’s utter luxury to detox with the light fragrance and oils in the travel kit. The body cream is indulgent but not the teeniest bit greasy, a dream.


Burberry: Let me count the ways . . .

Logos annoy me and, in fact I mostly loathe them. So many times I look at a garment or accessory that seems wonderful – if only that hideous gold plated logo wasn’t glued right on. It makes one feel like a billboard. I constantly wonder if tearing them off or covering them would be obvious and worse than bearing with them at times. Burberry, however, is one of those brands that I feel consistently holds up to par long ago after the logo has been peeled away. The luxe fabrics and classic, London damp weather city-meets-country styling has always had me at hello. And, somehow they translated this into beauty speak and out came the Burberry beauty line. It’s fields, flowers, grass, rain showers, and streets, cabs, and concrete all in cashmere blend formulas that never scream makeup but whisper beauty instead.
Absolutely in love + here are my current favorites:

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