Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

Fashion Lesson #22: A Faux Air Brushed Face

Envision a scene where all your fine lines are delicately swept away with the whisper and a puff of fine air brushed make up.  (Cue the needle scratching on the record.)  Now open your eyes to the $300 plus price tag for such a machine.

How can you achieve that look at home without looking like a clown?

That’s the focus for this week’s Fashion Lesson.  I recently read an interesting article by Ellen Byron who interviewed J.P. McCary, vice president of consumer products and artistry for the Temptu makeup line, asking him to help unlock the secrets to flawless, air brushed looking skin.

Cleanse, Tone & Moisturize

Mr. McCary advises you must first start with a clean face.  A couple of suggestions would be Cetaphil and Phisoderm.  While being prepped for surgery this summer, the nurse insisted that I wash my already clean face with Phisoderm prior to surgery.  I thought it was nice.

As for the toner, I really like Neutragena, but I know there are countless others out there.  Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite.

Then when it comes to moisturizer, the suggestion by our expert, is to find a lightweight formula that works well with your individual needs.

I have found that when it comes to moisturizing, you have to be disciplined.  Once in the morning and again at night.  No exceptions.

Apply a Silicone Base Primer


Here’s where the secrets begin to be revealed to us.  McCary states, “… silicone will fill in any fine lines and wrinkles and flattens the skin so you get a smooth canvas.”

So what sort of silicone based primers are out there and where do I get them? 

Well, I have a little funny aside for you.  I decided to do a little research on drugstore.com for reasonable primer products.

I typed in “Silicone Based Primer” in the drugstore.com search engine.  When the results popped up, I had to giggle to myself.  Personal lubricants were not my target. 😀

I moved on to Sephora and found several to choose from.  bareVitamins Prime Time was a product that stuck out in my eyes because it did not contain parabans (at least I couldn’t find any).

Once you have your primer, McCary instructs to apply the product with one’s fingers in a circular motion to fully blend.  “It breaks the product down, which helps it absorb into the skin faster.”  Further, it’s a good idea to use your ring finger when blending products under your eyes.  Believe it or not, the ring finger according to the article is the weakest on our hands.  The skin around your eyes can be prone to tugging and stretching when putting on foundation, mascara or eyeliner, so take care when working on that area.



When looking for a concealer, we are once again reminded to find a product with a silicone base.  This time, instead of using our fingers, we should use a concealer brush.  Be sure to only apply the product where it is needed, such as under the eyes.  Further, don’t forget the inside of the corners of your eyes.  Like using a light eyeshadow in this area, it will help to open the eye so that it appears wider.


Choose a silicone base foundation that blends well with your neck and face.  We all remember those girls in High School who looked like they were wearing masks.  If you’re not sure, take a trip to the cosmetic counter to have a professional assist you.  You also want to test it in natural light, so step out of the store and have a second look.

After finding the right shade, technique and tools are key.  Mr. McCary advises that we should use a synthetic-hair brush, and like the concealer, add only where you need it.  “Less is more”, he says.  “Press it into the skin with the brush, blend it, then take a sponge and buff it.  You want to push it down, then swipe away, so you never see where the foundation ends and your skin begins.”

I see I was missing a step. I usually use a brush or a buff, but rarely both. 

Powder–The last step

The finishing touch for our at-home flawless faux air brush makeup, is a strategic dusting of silica based powder on those stubborn areas with powder brush.  Mr. McCary warns against using a puff or sponge as it will provide too much coverage.

Finishing Touches

After completing your foundation, finish up with the eyes and cheeks.  He imparts a bit of really helpful advice when it comes to natural rosy cheeks; use two shades of blush. 

Yes, but how? 

The warmer tone he advises, should be applied from the temple to the cheekbone, what he dubs the “Nike Swoosh”.  Then like adding a cherry to a sundae, blend in a bright shade to the apple of your cheeks.

Voila!  You’re ready for your close-up.

(Click on individual pictures for photo sources)

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Filed under Beauty, blogging, Cosmetics, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, News

Fashion Sensei Says…


Visual DNA


A friend of mine sent me this link for an interactive test to discover your Visual DNA.  You are taken through a series of pictures where you are asked to click on the photo that most appeals to you in that category.

At the end of the visual questionnaire, you will have a profile that describes your visual personality.

I took a test like this once at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.  It was set up during a big social function for people to determine their dating personality.  The funny thing is, at the end of the test, you were assigned a color and a corresponding “match” color.  The idea was for everyone to wear their sticker and you would then be better able to identify your perfect mate.

Click here to determine your Visual DNA.

Get Ready to Laugh Out Loud


On a recent trip to the library, I was reviewing the New York Times Best Seller List, in hopes of finding an interesting new read.  I was immediately drawn to Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler.  Mainly because it was a take on my all time favorite book from adolescence, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume

I certainly wasn’t disappointed by this hysterically absurd memoir written by comedian Chelsea Handler.  My only disappointment, was not skipping my girls night out two weeks ago, and driving the 10 miles to Barnes and Nobel to meet her when she was in town.

Be aware though, she is very irreverent.  There were a few topics that I was a little bummed that she poked fun at, but I think that’s her shtick.

Irresponsible and Disturbing


MTV has initiated a casting call for young women from 17 and 24, five foot nine and six feet tall, and between 130 and 190 pounds to be a part of their new reality show Model Maker.

Here is an excerpt from their press release:

“Women come in all shapes and sizes, but models don’t. The term model conjures an image of stick-thin, towering beauties oozing confidence, glamour, poise and sexuality from every pore. “Skinny,” “no body fat,” and “size zero” are the words and phrases associated with models. “Chubby,” “well-fed,” and “big- boned” are not.”

It goes on to say, “With weekly eliminations looming, models must put their best foot forward at all times while staying focused on losing weight.”

The winner will receive $100,000, a modeling portfolio, a personal trainer for a year and “the chance to jumpstart the career of your dreams.”

Can you say disgusting?!

Source: amNewYork; theCut

From Buns to Bust


Have you ever dreamed of transplanting the extra junk in your trunk to your bust?  According to a recent report in the WSJ, the option may be on it’s way to the U.S. 

A procedure that couples a person’s own fat cells with stem cells is already being administered in Japan and Europe and may be a better alternative to saline and silicone.

With recent news from Christina Applegate’s courageous battle with breast cancer, and her subsequent election to have a double mastectomy, using the patients own fat cells, may be a welcome option for breast cancer survivors.

All I have to say is, I am more than willing to donate some of my belly fat to science.

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Filed under Advertising, Beauty, blogging, books, Comedy, controversial, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, News, Photography, pop culture, runway, television

Legal Price-Fixing Hurts Consumers

In 2007,  you would have thought I was a contestant in a year long sale snatching competition at Macy’s.  So much so, that I rose to the level of a platinum credit card holder by years end. 

prod Throughout that year, I reveled in my jaw dropping deals, especially in the children’s Ralph Lauren Polo department.  With my Macy’s 20% off coupons, I enjoyed in some instances, 80% off retail prices when I hit the right sale.  I bought my 3 and 5 year old son’s polo shirts for around $7.00 (reg. $35) and even a sweatshirt regularly priced at $75 for $18.25.  For prices like that, who wouldn’t outfit their kids in the ultra-preppy designer?

That all came to a screeching halt in 2008 and now I am beginning to understand why.  I have visited Macy’s several times over this past year with my 20% off coupons in hand ready to scoop up some more deals only to leave many times over empty handed.  It seems that my coupons no longer apply to any of the major brand name collections.

What happened?

Since 1980, manufacturers have been banned from placing a minimum price on their products.  You may have seen a MSRP price on products ranging from bread to cars, but that Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price wasn’t legally enforceable.  That is until last summer.

In June 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that certain minimum-pricing pacts between manufacturers and retailers are not necessarily illegal and such pacts should be judged on a case-by-case basis. 

What does that mean exactly?

The Supreme Court, specifically Justice Kennedy, feels that these pacts could encourage competition, resulting in higher potential profits to then promote certain brands or offer better services. 

I think I would prefer a discounted price.

So don’t be surprised if some of those brands that you have been accustomed to buying at rock bottom prices, especially on line, are no longer available. 

PG_NWHAMPTONESK_MEDPUSA_PD One such example is Nine West.  In May, the shoe company (I love because they are the only dependable brand that consistently carries size 10.5), was granted their petition to set minimum prices on their products.

Why are companies doing this?

Well aside from increasing profits, companies are afraid of tarnishing their brand’s image.  Their feeling is that the prestige of their product is reduced with each reduction below the threshold of their MSRP. 

This minimum pricing isn’t limited to just apparel and accessories.  It spans the whole of consumer goods and services.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “Consumer advocates say they are seeing the impact particularly in baby goods, consumer electronics, home furnishings and pet food.”

So now I am beginning to understand why my already over inflated favorite name brands are no longer available at such coveted prices.  I can only hope that the pendulum will swing back in the consumer’s direction. 

I’m interested to know if you have noticed this change in pricing.  Leave me a comment and let me know.

To read more about this story in today’s Wall Street Journal, click here.

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Filed under Business, Fashion, fashion blogger, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, News, retail, sale, Shoes, Style

The Great Debate: To Wear Or Go Bare


Last week, I read a very interesting story in the Wall Street Journal debating whether woman should be wearing panty hose in the office.  The question was asked as the weather grows warmer, “Are bare legs proper?”

The writer of this article, Christina Binkley responded to a request by the president of a small financial institution in Wichita, Kansas with approximately 50 employees spanning several generations.  The business until four years ago prohibited women from wearing boots, mules or backless shoes; and hose were strictly enforced.  Now, the president of this Credit Union is finding it increasingly difficult to enforce his company dress code concerning stockings.

This pressing issue came to the forefront when Mr. Holt hired a 28 year old executive director of administration and human resources, about a year and a half ago.  According to the article, Ms. Spear informed her boss that “wearing hose to professional events sometimes made her stand out awkwardly.”

To say the least.  In doing a little research, ABC television did an unofficial survey and discovered “that most large companies, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft and insurance giant AFLAC, do not require women to wear hosiery. Women in New York also said that virtually no one they know wears pantyhose to work, and if they were required to, there might be an uprising. ‘I think there would be a definite lash out by the women,’ said one New York woman.”

This brings us back to Mid American Credit Union.  It appears after speaking with the WSJ, along with Ms. Spear’s survey of 17 other financial institutions (75%  polled did not require stockings), Mr. Holt is relenting.  “I didn’t want to be so old-fashioned that people would be like, ‘Do you require corsets, too?’ ” he said.  In coming weeks the company plans on holding meeting to roll out a new policy on wearing panty hose.

stocking ad

Nearly 6 years ago when I worked in the insurance industry, there was no question about whether or not to wear hose to work.  The answer was always.  I had a female office manager in her 40’s who frowned upon wearing mules, open toes or sling back shoes as well.

When dealing with opinions of stockings, the WSJ article, infers that stockings have a generation gap.  If you are a woman who entered the workforce before 1990, you may consider “hose…as necessary as underwear.” 

I have to say that I am just a little conflicted on this topic.  Generally speaking, I hate wearing pantyhose.  That being said, I think a woman wearing a suit with a skirt should wear hose.  Call me old school, but I think a business suit is really dressy and conservative, lending the same invitation to your legs. I recently spoke about this with a friend of mine and she seemed a little taken aback that one would even consider wearing hose in the summer.

So if you are going without stockings at work, I think you should keep a few things in mind. First, keep your skin well hydrated.  Use lotion everyday to keep your skin looking soft and healthy.  Ashy, scaly skin is not attractive.  Further, if you have varicose veins, several mosquito bites or bruises, wear stockings or cropped pants.  It just looks bad at work.  You want to look polished and professional, not like you just left a rugby match or a hiking expedition.

Also, if you are wearing sandals with open toes, YOU MUST HAVE GROOMED TOES!  Ok, sorry for the screaming, but I just can’t stand to see women with 6 month old chipped polish and untrimmed toe nails.  You don’t have to pay for a pedicure, do it yourself.  (This could be a whole new post, so I will leave it at that, but please keep this in mind.)

So now I’m interested to know how you feel about this topic.  Does your company have a hose policy?  Do you think it’s fair?  Should panty hose be banned?  Leave a comment!

By the way, I would be remiss if I didn’t direct you to the fantastic site that I found these vintage advertisements, Found In Mom’s Basement.

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Filed under Advertising, Beauty, Business, Fashion, Fashion Sensei, pop culture, retail, Style

Global Warming Meets the Runways


It’s not just the polarbears that are feeling the heat with Global Warming, Designers are affected too.

In a recent article by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan in the Wall Street Journal,  she explores how recent warm temperatures that can last until October are effecting what sort of pieces will hit the Fall runways. 

With Fall looks arriving to department stores in July, not too many of us are looking for cozy wool sweaters and pants.  In response, designers are offering layered looks of thinner materials like tissue-weight wools, with the intention of adding layers for a cool day and less for unpredictable shifts in temperatures.

This reaction is being dubbed, “Seasonless Dressing”.  You will still see a change in color pallet to coincided with the season, but more and more expect a shift to clothes that may just work for three seasons. 

“Some retailers think the new looks will have commercial appeal.  Michael Fink, vice president and women’s fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, got an early look at several fall collections before New York’s fashion week began and praised what he saw.” [Wall Street Journal, Saturday Feb. 2]

I will be uploading some videos of the shows this week, so keep a sharp eye out for the new trend.  The first show Lacoste, though, must not have gotten the memo because there is a lot of heavy jackets etc. 😀

As a side note, I included the beautiful sketches by Malo, Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, Peter Som and Carmen Marc Valvo that were included in the article.


Filed under Fashion, News, retail, Style