Category: Beauty around the world

I have to give a quick rave review for KP Duty from We discovered it in a Marie Claire magazine and thought, what the heck?  Let’s try it! 

KP Duty helps eliminate ” Keratosis Pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder, typified by “chicken skin” bumps on upper arms, thighs, torso, buttocks and occasionally the cheeks. Excess skin forms around individual hair follicles, creating the characteristic minute, rough, grater-like bumps.”   We’ve been suffering from a little KP on the back of our arms for years!  Nothing had worked, not even a visit to my dermatologist.  Just a lot of frustrating scrubs and medications that didn’t really make a difference.  Some days it would get pretty bad that I’d hate to wear a sleeveless shirt or dress in the summer.  However, this summer all that is about to change thanks to KP Duty!

I started using the cream about 3 weeks ago, and at first I didn’t see much of change.  I got frustrated. I waited.  I convinced myself to keep using it to give a try, and now at almost 4 weeks, my arms have started to reveal much smoother skin.  I couldn’t believe that it actually was working! It made me very happy.  I thought, I must let others know about this product that actually works.

According to their site, “KP Duty incorporates medically proven technology including ingredients for hydrated and healthy skin. Medically potent levels of Glycolic Acid blends with Urea, the dermatologist recommended humectant, to soften and smooth away the driest roughest skin.”

Keratosis Pilaris affects almost 50% of the world’s population and is particularly likely to affect anyone prone to eczema, asthma or hayfever.

It’s never a chore to attain flawless, smooth skin. KP Duty effectively eliminates crustiness, flaking, and dry, rough chicken skin – no prep work or scrubbing required.

Try it and let us know if it worked for you!


Lashes are in! From long and feathery, to curly and even some color lashes. We love long lashes, but we especially like when you can play up your own lashes. That’s why cosmetic companies are rolling in the dough these days.   So many mascara companies out there are targeting our love of lashes by offering products to make them longer, curlier, grow faster, thicker, and on and on!   Our lashes have become a beauty obsession, and buying mascara is something we can’t  seem to do with out!  We’ve even said it’s one of the top three beauty products we can’t live without, and we just keep buying more of it. We have almost every mascara Lancome puts out, and we love Oscillation!

False eyelash sales have increased by 6.2 percent to about $44 million, while lash-enhancing products like Latisse (prescription-only), and Luster Lash (From LadyLash Studios @ $100) are flying off the shelves.

Women have started to use false lashes more frequently, for special events,holidays as well as daily wear. They  are turning to sites like YouTube for application tips. Even Facebook  & Twitter have helped boost sales of lash-enhancers, with fan pages and testimonials.

We recently had a chance to try Luster Lash for ourselves, and the verdict… It works! It really does elongate your lashes. And, it’s an easy Rx-less way to get them.  Luster Lash Eyelash Enhancer, $100 at, uses vitamins to help lashes grow fuller and thicker as it moisturizes, hydrates and conditions.  We’ve been using it for about 3 weeks, twice a day (morning & night).  And we love it!  Plus you don’t need a prescription like Latisse. We fully recommend this product to all of our friends.

“Everyone wants longer fuller more lush lashes. Every single day a clients ask me how they make their lashes more full. After witnessing the side effects of prescription lash serums (and seeing a need within my own business to provide help for those with brittle ,weak lashes as a result of different treatments/medications) I sought a means to help… Because of my passion for lashes and lash health, I wanted to create my own safe, gentle but highly effective serum …alas, Luster Lash was born,” Mikaela Fernandez owner & creator of Luster Lash.

Extensions are the ultimate in lash glamour. At LadyLash Studios eyelash specialist Mikaela attaches tiny silk lashes to your own. It can take up to three hours to get a full set, and the initial application costs $300, but they make a huge difference and last six to eight weeks. “Right away a client’s eyes look brighter and more alert,” says Mikaela, who sees up to 40 clients a week.

LadyLash Model

The quickest way to make your lashes look gorgeous is by curling them—and heated eyelash curlers have a better effect than curling mascaras. Our favorite is Sephora’s Professional Heated Lash Curler ($16;, for its non-scary shape and the incredible uplift it provides.  We discovered eyelash curlers at the age of 15, and we never looked back! For best results, curl your lashes after applying mascara.

No matter how you decide to get your lash on this summer, make sure you do it right. There are several cool things to try, from falsies to serums or just your regular ol’ eyelash curler.  Let us know what is your favorite way of enhancing your lashes!

We’ve been so busy prepping for upcoming events and exciting partnerships that we’ve slacked a little on our posting. We promise to keep you updated on all our fun.  However, we can’t fail to mention our favorite Midwest designer Gaby Couture, who just launched her pre-fall & fall 2010 collection. We’re in love with this line because it’s so feminine, classy and we can afford it! This collection features fine fabrics, (chiffon, silk, chiffon, metallic organza, linen & tons of details).  You can see a lot of grays, lace, black & white as well as some beautiful prints in purple.

Here is a link to the Gaby Couture Look Book!

The line features plenty of hot cocktail dresses, boho dresses that can be dressed up with sexy boots and a gorgeous corset-tie in the back gown.  Here are some pictures below of the line.

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THE color of the season is “RED”. We just told you how Tango inspired clothing and red sexy lips are filling up the runways… Just in time  for the season, is  “Record Breaker Red” lipstick from our favorite celeb make up artist Georgio Fernandez.  The smooth moisturizing color, will leave your lips kissable  and ready for summer action.

But,  not only are your lips going to look extra sexy, but you’ll be helping out the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Why not look hot and help make a child’s wish come true?  

Reserve yours today!


Proceeds go to Make-A-Wish

Buenos Aires. The city of sensual Tango, and sexy women who are daring and care about fashion. This summer several designers have taken a little bit of that sensuality and translated into great collections that give a flare of that South American dance that embodies passion and sophistication. 

Tango used to be one of several dances and a far cry from the international phenomenon that it has now become . However, it grew quickly in popularity and status, acquiring the name Tango during the 1890s.It then started to spread rapidly through the working-class slums in and around Buenos Aires, before, in the early years of the twentieth century, dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires decided to take Tango to Europe.

The Tango shows took Europe’s major capitals by storm, capturing the hearts and minds of fashionable Parisians, Londoners and Berliners alike. The Tango ‘craze’ soon spread throughout Europe before making its way back across the Atlantic to New York and the rest of the USA by 1913.

From  red pouts to delicate form fitting black dresses that  suggested the denizens of a tango bar could be seen at D&G’s Milan’s Fashion week. Some women may shy away from bold colors in the heat of the summer, but these styles are hot in a “cool” way.  Remember Madonna as Evita?

Yves Saint Laurent  wilted rose-and-thorn shoes have me shifting into full-on shoe-dream mode. And, at a price tag of $895…they will continue to be just a dream in shoe heaven. These architectural, open shoes  have a sweet and flirty summer appeal, that screams Tango.

Andrew Sotomayor from Lancome makeup, says that the perfect red can heat things up this summer. “Nothing says strong, sexy, confident woman like a bright red lipstick,” (Sotomayor, 2010, Marie Claire-June issue).  Try wearing it straight from the tube and don’t use liner in the summer.

Yes, red lipstick can be scary — but not if you know which shades will look best for your complexion! Pale ladies or those who have pink tones to their skin would look smashing with reds that are more plum colored, while women who have yellow tones to their skin will look great with a red shade that has a brown base.

Women with darker tones will look gorgeous with a pinkish red or a shade with orange tones. For Asian women, try a lipstick that has shades of plum, cherry, or raspberry.

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.  Try a little of Buenos Aires in your closet this summer!

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By Nicole McClain at NotableStyles

Our girl over at NotableStyles, contributed this great piece what it means to be beautiful.   Check out her blog for some great fashion sense and fun info!

Beauty is an ideal that many individuals have come to define within their own minds and spectrum. Although, beauty is one of the simplest topics to define, the fact that people have deviated from its original meaning is why there are so many people confused about the subject.

Within the African-American culture there are many examples of what people have decided define physical beauty and that is based on that persons social and economic status, what that person is exposed to through the media and their family life.

In the 20th century, beauty is more prominently being measured from a physical aspect only. And some people’s approach to beauty has become, I like the reaction that “reality show actress/actor X” is getting and I believe it is their nose that makes them beautiful, so I want to be beautiful in the same way as this person.

Beauty is only a portion about the reaction that people get when they look at an individual, but that reaction does not have to be solely a physically induced reaction and I believe people across all cultures have forgotten this. Yes it is important, to be well groomed, well dressed, presentable, and to look nice everyday, but it is not the only responsibility one has to maintain a beautiful life.

Beauty (n.) – the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. Merriam Webster

Being beautiful is determined by being pleasing to others in 3 categories: the physical, mental and spiritual. I have come to see less of this kind of beauty being displayed everyday within the African-American culture. I think people have lost their respect for all 3 parts that make up beauty and have decided to just work on 1 of 3 or 2 of the 3 core principles of beauty.

Maybe people still respect the 3 key qualities of beauty, but because of the lack of interaction between one another it is hard to tell what people respect or how they feel about themselves, outside of the social networking updates and the persona that others decide to portray. Are there really beautiful people sitting behind the computers and the world doesn’t even know it?

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.

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.

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.