Archive for April, 2010

I know this is kind of late in the game, but Earth Day was April 22nd.  And, I don’t know about you, but I care about the earth.   I’m not a tree-hugger or anything, but I’d like to point out this event because I think it’s important we take care of our planet and just try to contribute to the “green” revolution because eventually we’re saving this place for our kids.

“Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.”‘

Visit the Earth Day Headquarters for more info

Since the “green” revolution many companies have hopped on the bandwagon in trying to support the cause.  You basically hear about being “green” or going “green”at least once a week.   On an individual level there’s small things you can do in order to “minimize” your carbon footprint.  And, since this blog is about beauty and women, let’s name a few products out there that are getting “green” for a cause.

We recently heard about the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. It’s a cool organization that is looking out for harmful chemicals in beauty products. “The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working to protect your health by eliminating the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems”

Their website has an interesting post about lipstick. Think about how many times you apply it a day. Lead in lipstick? Turns out, the ur­ban legend is true. In October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipsticks at an independent lab for lead content.  The results: 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead, with levels ranging up to 0.65 parts per million.  Rather than scouring every label, you can also choose a cosmetics company that has signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics compact and uses certified organic and natural ingredients.

One of my favorite brands is Burt’s Bees. I love their chapstick and can’t live without it. It’s minty and sweet. It freshens your breath and it’s only $2.99   They actually have a great line of products including lip gloss, lotion and shampoo. There’s only one way to find out what you’ll really like, so give it a try, the natural way.  Burt’s has put together a head-to-toe kit of their fantastic products for you to try. Also makes a thoughtful gift. Click here to purchase

Have you ever gone to a nail salon and wondered, “what is that horrible smell?” You’re probably inhaling some pretty unhealthy chemicals from the actual nail polish, nail polish remover and the acrylic used on fake nails.  Fake nails, are so 10 years ago anyway. They ruin your nails and in my opinion always look fake. Girls should work on strengthening their natural nails for a healthier and better look. The good news is that some nail polish manufacturers have reformulated their products to remove the “toxic trio” of ingredients: dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene.  Although we really like OPI, not going to lie. We want to try Priti Polish. Created by New York City’s first organic spa. They also carry some non-toxic nail polish remover.  Priti Polish!

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the three leading nail polish companies, OPI, Orly and Sally Hansen, removed three of the most toxic chemicals from nail polish – formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate – due to pressure from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

When it comes to hair, good products do make a difference.   Aveda is one of those brands that has long held a reputation for being pure, natural, safe and environmentally friendly. After all, Aveda brands itself as “providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet.”  Some of my friends really like Aveda and I’ve consistently using it now for a couple of months. I do love most of their products, the only thing is that it can get expensive and there has been some debate on how really “green” they are.

My favorite is the Clove Shampoo, Smoothing Shampoo, Smooth Infusion,  Air Control Hair Spray and the Glossing Straightener.  All of these make my hair feel really clean and light, but I really don’t know if there are parabens in these products. I guess it doesn’t hurt to do some digging around.  What do you think? Ever since Estee Lauder bought them out, their product’s ingredients have changed.

Another friend, Joetta Harris ( a very knowledgeable lady in all senses)  told me about Carol’s Daughter.   They have a line of hair, body, skincare and fragrances. Price started developing fragrances for herself in her Brooklyn kitchen while she worked behind the scenes on The Cosby Show. She was soon producing and bottling fragrances and body lotions and selling them from her home, and in 1993 she started selling at flea markets.

“All of our products contain natural ingredients specially formulated to bring out your natural beauty, but sometimes there are limitations to create products that contain only natural ingredients – which if you’ve been a long time customer, you let us know that product separation was a major problem and we in turn spared no expense to rectify this issue.”

I have never tried these products, but I have seen them on Oprah and have heard great reviews.  Carol’s Daughter’s fans include celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Shaka Khan, Oprah & Brad Pitt?? Or so their website says. Not that anything that is endorsed by a celebrity is actually a “good thing.”  If you’ve had a good experience with these products let me know.

ECO TOOLS- Makeup Brushes. “Earth-friendly beauty” is their tag-line. One of our MUA contacts, Kelly Oswalt of, told us about these.  I have to say, I think I actually own a few of these brushes! I just never knew they were green. So, happy points for me.
The handles of these tools are made from sustainable bamboo, which is very fast growing. The brush hairs are made from Taklon, which is a synthetic material and are naturally cruelty free. Even the pouch has been made from a blend of cotton and hemp. Plus they are inexpensive, I believe they carry them at Target.  EcoTools has joined with 1% For the Planet® to donate 1% of annual sales to environmental organizations that create a healthier place to live. We recently made our annual donation. Click here for the press release and to learn more!
“In 2007, Paris Presents started an internal initiative to make our products and daily business practices more earth-friendly. We launched an entire line of bath and cosmetic accessories that are eco-friendly, using sustainable resources that minimize the negative impact on the environment (such as bamboo, cruelty-free taklon bristles and recycled/recyclable materials). Internally, we are continually evaluating simple ways we can help the environment.” (excerpt from their website)

You can use this list to start off your “green” adventure into beauty products. Or, tell me which ones you love and why.  Would love to hear what you have to say.  Remember, that ever little bit we do to help the environment helps. Now, I sound like a cliche, but it’s the truth.  Why not start with some nice healthy beauty products you’re already using anyway.


Working his brow magic.

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of spending some time with  the power couple of  beauty, Georgio & Mikaela Fernandez.  If you remember, I recently interviewed Mikaela about her work with cancer patients and how LadyLash was  making a difference in the lives of everyday women through eyelash applications.  Luckily, through some friend connections LadyLash let me into their lives and invited me into their world of glamour for a weekend.  Their studio is set on an artsy street on Delray beach, and had been decorated to make you feel like a star with their red carpet and director style chairs.    The Marilyn Monroe pictures line the red walls, as well as the couple’s portraits with their celebrity clients  that are a reminder of how far they’ve gone.

I was intrigued with what this young couple had accomplished in such a short  period of time, all while juggling a family of 3 beautiful daugthers, running two studios, launching a new product,  and keeping on top of their game!   Georgio is known for his amazing transformations with eyebrows and makeup, while Mikaela’s real passion lies in eyelash extensions.   I was lucky enough to tag along with Georgio to the amazing Eau de Spa at the Ritz Carlton (their second location) while he worked his magic on some special ladies from CBS 12 anchors Suzanne Boyd, Liz Quirantes and Mayor Frankel from Delray Beach who were preparing for a “Dancing with the Stars” event.  When the makeup was done, the women were transformed into the eras of their dance. 

Makeup application at the Ritz Carlton

Fernandez is not your typical make up artist.  He’s straight, he’s attractive and is good at his job.   These attributes definitely have helped Georgio  get  “all the ladies”, clients that is. It was easy to see how Georgio’s charisma has helped him achieve the respect and admiration of all the clients that sit in his chair and leave feeling “beautiful.”

Their three adorable daugthers which range in the ages of 10 years old  to 8 months are also a very central part of LadyLash.  They are the drive and passion behind the powerful duo, and its nice to see how a talented family pulls it all together every day for the love of beauty.

The man is very passionate about his art.  “I’m into making a woman look and feel beautiful. That’s it for me,” said Georgio while we had a small brainstorming session about his upcoming ideas.

Mikaela Fernandez with baby in the Studio

Stay tuned for my next post on LadyLash !

For now, read about what they’re up on their Facebook page.

Curvier models are taking back the runway in Paris & Milan Fashion week these past  months.   Several Victoria Secret ladies were being flown into to walk for Prada, Jacobs, and other well-known designers. Voluptuous beauties Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, and Doutzen Kroes (below) were flown to Milan exclusively for the show, which also included fashion’s bombshell-of-the-moment Lara Stone.  We’re all kind of tired of the super stick look. Although we  do realize that some girls are just “skinny,” however as Marc Jacobs puts it, if you’re designing for “women” then you need to represent them. And let’s face it girls, we are not all a size 2, 5’10,  125lbs… So how can we relate to those designers when they don’t have our body type in mind?

“Designers are always talking about how they design for women, and then you look at our runways and there no girls over 20,” Marc Jacobs told reporters backstage at his Louis Vuitton show in Paris on Wednesday. “This time, I set out to cast a variety of sexy women — younger, older, thin, voluptuous, from every ethnic background.”

But who is considered a curvy model?   In the fashion world someone who wears a size 4 or higher is considered curvy. That is kind of alarming since most of the people size 4 that I know are pretty thin.   The average size for a woman nowadays, is a size 10 to 14. That is, a bust of 90 to 95 cm, 75cm waist and 100cm. hips.

Curvy women such as Shakira, Salma Hayek, Jlo, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian , are becoming more and more the new fashion icons.  We’re happy to see these curvy ladies strut their stuff, because in reality we all would much rather be curvier and sexier. Hence: Victoria Secret model voluptuous catalogs your man keeps after you’re done looking at the new bras.

Big boobs and big booties are now in! Latin women however, have always been aware of this. And if nature did not give us enough we could always find multiple solutions such as the famous Wonderbra, padded panties or for the more serious girl: fat injections or even implants!

Well, somebody out there is listening because Vogue, who  is arguably the central and single most important editorial force in the fashion industry have just unleashed their curves  by launching  a “Vogue Curvy” website.   The Italian division just re-designed and launched this website, making everything available in English as well as Italian. Part of the redesign included the addition of a few auxiliary pages, two of which are entitled “Vogue Black” and “Vogue Curvy.”

Recently, Elle interviewed  designer Michael Kors and US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and model Natalia Vodianova who  were at a Harvard forum to discuss changing body types in fashion. Vodianova talked about her postnatal anorexia, and Kors called waif-like models an “army of children” and announced he would no longer book models aged under 16.  This is a huge step in the fashion industry.

“The fashion industry is starting to address real women again,” Kors said. “The emphasis in fashion is shifting toward an emphasis on real women who are women, not girls.”

We’ll see what happens next year at Fashion Week around the world, but so far this year we’re happy with what we’re hearing.

As we expect the recession to end soon, fashion is about to take a different turn. Expect a lot of designers to aim for safety; with all the cuts you’d expect of a Spring/Summer season heavily mixed with 2010 fashion trends.
And speaking of cuts, the cutaway clothing trend is cutting back into style this spring/summer. The trend that started in 2009, is still going strong in 2010.   The Sexy Cut Away Swimsuit  or Monokini is a major trend of 2010 it’s a style being applied to  swimwear. It’s super sexy and it can be as subtle or as daring as you’re willing to go. If you’re going subtle with the cut away, you can definitely look into a bold color to sport along with this trend.  This is the one bikini trend that isn’t for the wall flower but can be styled to ooze both sex and sophistication without ever saying ‘easy. Take a look at some of this cutaway swimwear at affordable pricing!   Browse for more Monokinis and shop here at Zesty Pink!

Florals are in.  Take a look here at Gaby Couture’s Spring 2010 Boho Floral Dresses that were  recently featured at Midwest Fashion Week- Visit her website at or email the Gaby Team to purchase. Mention you saw them on Passion4Beauty and get them for $119!

Fun cocktail dresses in pastels, mini drapped dresses  as well as maxi- and mini-prints all managed to offer a blooming and spectacular allure to the collections on the catwalk.  Here’s a few that caught our eye and our wallet can afford from Forever 21 &  Asos. Click to purchase!

Pastel colors should be second choice when you are shopping for the spring. The top 10 colors for women’s fashion were announced by PANTONE at the Fashion Color Report Spring 2010. Turquoise, tomato purée, fusion coral, violet, tuscany, aurora, amparo blue, pink champagne, dried herb and eucalyptus will be favorite colors.

The top 10 Spring 2010 colors for women

When it comes to dresses, handbags, and shirts  lots of ruffles should be in your shopping list. Especially, ruffles will be big in spring 2010. However, we will find that ruffles are no longer considered stuffy or “overly girlie.” Look for blouses with subtle references that help suits to “pop.” (Choose the tiny accents that add a touch of exotic flair instead of ruffled hems. ) Also, the best way to make it work is to mix and match with more classic pieces.

Spring 2010 RTW – Dolce & Gabbana, Isabel Marant, Valentino

Chiffon halter maxi dress with purple tropical print. Front keyhole detail and pleating on chest with side zip closure. Fully lined with soft purple satin. 100% Polyester. ~48″ long.

Love this dress! Sexy, feminine, affordable and great colors for spring/summer.

Order at :

Mikaela Fernandez is a national  lash artist and along with her celebrity makeup artist husband Georgio, they have formed LadyLash studios.  The duo out of South Florida is  known for perfecting eyebrows, enhancing eyelashes and creating amazing makeup applications.  They recently sat down with us and shared their experience as they work with cancer survivors, celebs, and their vision of making every woman that walks through their door feel beautiful.

What is your idea of beauty?

Beauty is absolutely from the inside out. Here at LadyLash we are all about capturing the true beauty, the essence, of each guest that enters our boutique. This is an experience and each experience is unique to each individual. Our goal is for you to leave with a smile and a feeling of importance and of course a killer set of brows & lashes to match!  We find out what beauty is to you and re-define that!

Who is your favorite celebrity you’ve worked on so far?

My favorite celebrity to date is Grammy awarding winning “hip hop violinst” Miri Ben-Ari. This woman embodies “the LadyLash way” through and through. Her inner and outer beauty RADIATES.  I had the pleasure of meeting & applying her makeup @ the Zac Posen spring collection Preview fashion show in Palm Beach FL last month.  Her first words to me where that of one of my favorite quotes “live life, love much & laugh often”.  There you have it, she was in my makeup chair for an “experience” and I was the one experiencing. I also had the honor of being flown up to NYC in March to apply Miri’s first set of custom designed Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions for a Gotham magazine gala.

Why did you decide to work with Susan Komen & Cancer survivors?

There has been a constant theme throughout my life and career. From an early age I have been surrounded by women, mostly strangers, that have been touched by Cancer.  Later, throughout my makeup career, I realized how important a little swipe of lipstick and a pair of lashes could make a woman feel. I have often been one of the first people women have come to see after getting a life changing diagnosis.  That is simply because I have lipstick to offer, perhaps a small piece of reassurance in a tube.

When we see a woman leave our shop with their head held high and a smile painted on, it makes us realize our jobs here are so very important.

In October we partnered up with the Susan Komen foundation and developed a year round program. LadyLash created & introduced “The Pink Wink”, a program that specifically donates to breast cancer. Guests can come in and have a couple subtle pink lash extensions or pink crystals added in to their “wink” and a percentage of the service is donated.

How do a pair of eyelashes and eyebrows empower women who’ve been affect by Cancer?

Most recently LadyLash has introduced “Lashing out against Cancer”.  We have partnered up with local oncologists to help patients regain a sense of themselves. Cancer can steal the identity of these women and it is our pleasure to help in recovering a sense of normalcy when they look in the mirror. We use expert brow sculpting techniques along with permanent makeup application and subtle lash extensions and/or custom designed lash strips to help find the woman (or man) they once saw in the mirror. This proves to be a remarkable experience …there is usually not a dry eye in the shop.

Cancer is a physical disease but what I’ve come to see is that it is a very social disease as well. Everywhere these women go they are constantly being reminded of their disease. Loss of eyelashes & eyebrows contributes to this.

Where do you see LadyLash going 5 years from now?

Within the next 5 years will will continue to expand this philosophy of empowering women by uncovering their true beauty. We have many additions to our makeup line in the works and future locations throughout the US  are in the planning stages in effort to reach a more global hand print.

In March National Lash Artist and Co-owner of Ladyash, Mikaela Fernandez introduced her long awaited lash enhancer, Luster Lash.   While every man or woman can use this to achieve longer, thick, lush lashes it was her passion to specifically help women, touched with Cancer, to safely and effectively strengthen and recover lash health that prompted her to create this serum. The product has already been featured on the Today Show, The Early Show and Self-Magazine.

” Art inspires us. We are creating the “art of beauty” everyday at LadyLash. These are tough times right now and here we realize and understand women want to continue to look and FEEL beautiful no matter what is going on in the world and that truly inspires us to keep creating beauty,” Mikaela Fernandez, National Lash Artist.

Ready more about Mikaela and her amazing work by visiting her Facebook Page & Website!

LadyLash Studios
170 N.E. 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL. 33444
Ring (561) 865-5111
Cell  (201) 927-3083

Interesting news article that our friend Francesca sent us today regarding Brittney Griner, a basketball star who at 6’8 is making grand slams in terms of redefining what is beautiful in America.  The article appeared today  in the New York Times, and Guy Trebay goes deeply into the topic of how women athletes have slowly started to change the norm of what is considered  beautiful by accepting their own bodies and being comfortable with who they are.

Ms. Griner, who broke into the scene as an all American basketball player, has now started to get job offers from Ford Models.  “With her attenuated Gumby torso, coltish legs and tomboy features, the still growing Ms. Griner falls well outside familiar beauty standards. Yet for some in the image business — fashion stylists, model casting agents and editors — that is a large part of her potential appeal,” says Trebay (2010).   Griner who has been called a lesbian and androgynous looking by ignorant gossip columnist, is slowly making a name for herself by stepping outside of the box. She  joins the likes of other strong muscular women athletes that have been gracing the pages of our fashion magazines like the Williams twins, Mia Hamm, and Maria Sharapova perhaps the highest paid female athlete in endorsements.   Not too long ago, I caught a picture of Serena Williams on showing off her amazing body in a very small bikini ( . Girlfriend is not afraid to show off what tennis has done to her body!

Slowly,  women athletes are gaining respect for their sport but also making it okay to be muscular and sexy at the same time by representing strong brands just like themselves.  Companies like HP, Procter & Gamble, Gatorade, Canon and Land Rover are just a few that have featured at least one strong female in their ads.

These are all positive things happening for women in sports, but its also a positive image for women everywhere that have a more muscular build due to sports or exercise.  Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and this is a big step in taking it more mainstream. What do you guys think?  Is this a positive step towards the acceptance of unconventional beauty? Are  we slowly starting to  step out of that 5’11, 110 lbs chic  that seems to take up most of our Glamour Magazine?

To read the entire article featured in the New York Times click on the link

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What is beautiful to me, might not be beautiful to you.  We are constantly bombarded with images, videos, movies and pictures of what is beautiful today in the U.S.  However, around the world women are expected to look , act and carry themselves a certain way.

For the most part, women  enjoy enhancing their attributes by using the methods consistent with those of their cultural ideals of beauty.  Make-up,  facials, expensive haircuts, waxing, manicures, pedicures are all part of the beauty repertoire for most modern women.  But when is it taken too far? You be the judge as we take a look at what is considered beautiful around the world.

In the small country of Mauritania in Africa young women are submitted to excessive eating in order to attain that “wealthy look” otherwise known as fat in other parts of the world.  These women, sometimes start as young as 10 years old and are taken to “fat farms” where their only job is to eat until they’ve reached obesity.  Recently, BBC News shed a light on this topic and they explored the life of a forced fed future wife.

By Pascale Harter
BBC, Mauritania

Mauritanian women

Fat women are traditionally seen as more desirable

“Obesity is so revered among Mauritania’s white Moor Arab population that the young girls are sometimes force-fed to obtain a weight the government has described as “life-threatening”.

“I make them eat lots of dates, lots and lots of couscous and other fattening food,” Fatematou, a voluminous woman in her sixties who runs a kind of “fat farm” in the northern desert town of Atar, told BBC World Service’s The World Today programme.

America is known to be obsessed with thin.  In today’s USA, we’ve all heard of Trim Spa, Atkins, South Beach and the Zone.  At some point or another, we’ve at least contemplated or tried one of these diets.  A $40 billion industry, there’s no wonder we see celebrities every where using their image to sell us these products.  Although, there’s no harm in trying to lose weight to be healthier, some people can take it to the extreme.  We’ve become an obsessed culture of  celebrity worship (sometimes stalking) where we want to measure up by sometimes measuring down in our own weight standards.

According to market research firm NPD Group, 63 percent of U.S. adults would like to lose 20 pounds, the highest percentage in 20 years of counting. “Fifteen years ago no one ever said, `I want to lose 15 pounds because diabetes runs in the family,’ ” says Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer at Weight Watchers (Piling on the profits, Pamela Sherid, 2003. The truth is the with a thin-obsessed culture like America, many look at fashion models wearing clothes, and hope such clothes will make them look just as thin and, some say attractive. Studies show that women tend to respond more positively to products advertised on thinner fashion models.  A turning point came when designers in Spain in 2006 made a clear statement by setting minimum weight and BMI requirements for models. This perhaps represents a turning point in the fashion industry toward encouraging healthier weights among models.

In Japan, hair is a big thing. And, we don’t means girls piling on the gallons of Aqua net.  One beauty treatment that was developed in Japan is now used by women around the world is the art of hair straightening.   Originating in Japan in the late 90’s the chemical products used in the process go by the names Liscio, Yuko and U.S. made Bio Ionics.

Known as Japanese hair straightening, hair correcting or thermal reconditioning, this technique uses chemical creams and flat irons to straighten wavy hair.  In Japan, straight hair is considered “the norm,” and therefore, more attractive.  Women will spend hundreds on having smooth, silky hair.

Hello world, we’re excited about our new venture!