Sally Hershberger Debuts Luxe Layers Protective Blow Out Gel on HSN

Stylist to the stars (and judge on Bravo's Shear Genius) is introducing her new product exclusively on HSN: Luxe Layers Protecting Blow Out Gel.

Created for those who blow out or flat iron their hair, Luxe Layers protects against heat damage, helps seal in color treatments, keeps out damaging elements from the environment, and blocks humidity and static.

It is alcohol and silicone free, so if you are concerned about those in your hair, you are in the clear on this one.

Retails for $18.00 for five ounces. Available only on HSN in September.

New York Fashion's Night Out: Costume National

Everyone knows about the goings on at Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys, but I'd like to talk about a few places that might be a little more out of the way, but no less exciting for Fashion's Night Out in NYC on September 10, 2009.

Costume National is hosting artist Shinique Smith from the Yvon Lambert Gallery for their FNO celebration. Held in their new Soho space, art will be on display until a late closing time of 11 PM. In addition, shoppers will be able to purchase the highly-sought after event t-shirts. Come by and visit!

Costume National Boutique
160 Mercier Street, Soho
6 - 11 PM, September 10, 2009

Sneak Peek: Gottex Swim

Molly Grad has taken over as head of design for Gottex, and will be showing her debut on September 17 in the Tent at Bryant Park. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the sketches, and wanted to share it with you. It's going to be a gorgeous collection.

Beauty Budget Remedies

With the anniversary of the birth of the Recession right around the corner, I saw it imperative to celebrate right and well. So in true Recession"money-saving" style, I give you my top picks for HOMEMADE BEAUTY AIDES AND REMEDIES. If you don't have the money, then you won't spend it! Let's all tip one back for Mr. Recession. Hooray. Please don't stick around but until you decide to go, here's some tried-and-trues from my broke desperation to your's!

I went online to as my first resource. I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of using this website. I hate having to think when I shouldn't have to, (hello, search engines!), so I entered this domain with a sigh of relief. My first challenge was finding a facial cleanser that was simple, successful and most importantly, cheap! I ended up finding a few, trying a few and LOVING a few! Enjoy these made-from-scratch beauties!

Creamy Oatmeal Facial Cleanser
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tbs heavy Cream (or milk)
It's best if you can grind the oatmeal to a finer dust using a blender or coffee grinder. Mix ingredients, smooth over entire face in a circular motion. Rinse well.
** Best for oily and acne-prone skin types

Almond Milk Cleanser
1 tsp almond oil
2 tbs whole milk
1 tsp honey
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Apply to skin in a circular motion for a minute or 2. Rinse with a warm cloth and water.
**Best for dry, under-moisturized skin types

Strawberry Acne Cleanser
strawberry yogurt or
1 strawberry
2 tbs plain yogurt
Apply to skin in a circular motion for a minute or 2. Rinse with a warm cloth and water.
**Best for acne-prone, oily or combination skin types

Lavender Cleanser
6 tablespoon grape seed oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
5 drops of geranium essential oils
5 drops of rose essential oils
Add carrier oils to a clean, dark glass bottle. Add essential oils. Gently shake to blend before each use. Store in a dark, glass bottle in a cool place. Apply a small amount to face and massage to cleanse. Rinse with warm water and a wash cloth. Skin will feel super smooth and silky!
**Best for normal skin types; Also great as anti-aging cleanser!

Next, I found some great "miscellaneous" recipes that I thought you guys might be interested in! I tried the pimple zapper and was ecstatic over the scent AND the redness relief!

Pimple Zapper
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon milk (milk works wonderfully to remove redness!)
Mix the ingredients together and apply to infected area or pimple. Can be washed off after 20 minutes or apply before bed and rinse in am.

Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
1 tablespoon castor oil
1 tablespoon light olive oil
Mix the ingredients together and pour into a clean container. Store at room temp.
To use pour a small amount of oil onto a clean white cotton ball and gently wipe over your upper and lower eyelashes and eyelids. You can also apply a small amount while you are cleansing your face, before your final rinse. Works great!

For the conclusion of our celebration, I want each of you to yell as loud as you can, "The Recession will not break me!" I repeated this step quite a few times, just to make sure everyone knew just what I'm all about. Stay tuned for more homemade recipes and discoveries! Happy saving!

Because I'm Smart Enough to Search the Internet: Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles Edition

I don't know what's pollinating or floating around in the air lately, but I've been a big allergic mess. Not only am I sneezing and dealing with a stuffy nose, but my eyes! If they aren't watering, they are itching. They are puffy with huge dark circles that my doctor tells me are "allergy shiners." Whatever they are, they are ugly, and I don't like them.

A long time ago, when I lived in south Texas and suffered from allergies every day of my life, I came across a fantastic product that I never found again when I moved back to the East Coast. Of all places, I found it at JC Penney, but they have long since gotten rid of the beauty counters (remember when you could buy Ultima II there? Those were the days) and I hoarded one bottle just as long as I could, but when it was gone I was unable to replace it no matter where I asked.

As I was standing in front of my mirror today, I was lamenting the fact that I didn't have my Lotion Bleue anymore, and then the brilliant idea of searching for it on the web came into my head. Yeah, I know. I'm just a real genius, aren't I? And of course, I found it:

Payot Lotion Bleue 125ml/4.2oz

There it was, in all it's glory. Trumpets sounded and the angels sang.

Payot Lotion Bleue
actually works as a decongestant, getting rid of those puffy bags under the eyes. You soak a cotton ball and lay it on the eyelids, then lay down and relax for 10 minutes. When you get up again, your eyes will feel and look amazing. Payot also says that it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but when I used this in the past I was in my mid-twenties, and I didn't have any wrinkles, and was fairly confident that I wouldn't ever get them, either. Ah, youth.

I placed my order immediately. And while I was at it, I picked up my other favorite from Payot:

Payot Doux Regard Soothing & Decongesting Eye Gel 15ml/0.5oz

Another little pot of goodness that I hoarded forever. Payot Doux Regard Soothing & Decongesting Eye Gel was my only eye cream for years, and it was because of those decongesting properties that Payot does so well with their eye products. It does miracles with puffiness and dark circles. Miracles, I tell you! And apparently it is also excellent for wrinkle depth and hydration, although again, I never paid any attention to that sort of thing in my 20s. I was far too busy being invincible for that.

If you suffer from allergies like I do, and it affects your eyes in ways that most people can't imagine, do yourself a favor and try these products. You will join me in singing their praises, I'm quite certain.

Sneak Peek: Ports 1961 at New York Fashion Week

One of the shows that I am really excited about attending is the Ports 1961 show. If you're not familiar with the Ports 1961 brand, you really should be. They are the epitome of jet-set fashion and luxury. I was overwhelmed at the beauty of their fall 09 collection, and I can't wait to see what they are going to do for spring! They were kind enough to send me a couple of sketches so that we could get a little peek and really whet our collective appetite:

IMG and MyGoodDeed Team Up for 9/11 Rememberance

I don't normally just reproduce press releases, but this one is so important and a cause very close to my heart that I wanted to make sure it was exactly right. I have also added a button on the right side of the blog to take you directly to this charity auction as well as provide you more information on this important commemoration.

MyGoodDeed, the 9/11 nonprofit organization, is partnering with IMG Fashion to create “Runway to Service,” a designer auction that will benefit several charities.

The organization is hoping designers will donate one piece of clothing from their spring collections for the online auction.

“We think the fashion community is one of the most important in this country,” said David Paine, president and founder of MyGoodDeed, adding the industry is comprised of “influencers” who can be instrumental in raising awareness of 9/11, which President Obama recently declared a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

“Each year, when shows fall on 9/11, we find the appropriate tone to remember this unfortunate day,” said Fern Mallis, senior vice president of IMG Fashion, which organizes New York Fashion Week. “We are delighted to work with MyGoodDeed, one of the most respected 9/11 organizations, to make this year a very special commemoration in honor of Sept. 11 officially becoming a National Day of Service.”

Designers and brands that have so far agreed to participate include Donna Karan, Phillip Lim, Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Roy, Carmen Marc Valvo, James Coviello, Charlotte Ronson, Milly, Tibi, Vivienne Tam, Tracy Reece, Rebecca Taylor, Max Azria, BCBG Max Azria and Hervé Léger. The auction will take place from Sept. 11 to Sept. 30 at Sales of the items will support 9/11 and fashion charities, including Fashion for All.

“[The initiative] with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is part of a national effort to encourage people throughout the U.S. and outside of the U.S. to remember the events of Sept. 11 by doing good deeds,” Paine added. “We are trying to rekindle the spirit of unity and selflessness that we had after the attacks.”

Let the Sun Shine!

Generally speaking, I am a minimalist in most areas of my life. I'm learning more and more that I shouldn't let my minimalist attitude cloud my judgement. I am a new admirer in the world of makeup and beauty products. But it was a long, gradual, uphill climb for me. I wrongly understood "minimalist" to mean that I shouldn't, and wouldn't, spend much on things. I should use the bear minimum daily. I now believe that by choosing to be a minimalist, I am wisely deciding where I can cut back by researching my dollars spent vs. the quality of the product. I am learning that it pays (pun intended) to do some investigating and have trial-and-error time until you find products/things that you are happy with. Imagine how genuinely happy you will be when you find the one that works! It becomes a love affair.

Everpure UV Protect Spray

Enter my new lova, L'Oreal Everpure UV Protect Spray. I am a home hair color fiend. I have always been drawn to the hair color aisle, calling me with it's "cinnaberry" and "indigo black". I gaze lovingly at the beautiful hues, imagining myself as a fiery redhead or a smoky blue black. Well, that and I am one of the lucky women who got her grays early. Yes, it's fabulous approaching my 28th birthday with funky style, a great laugh and....grays. No, really. Thanks, Mom. Point of the story is this. Since my home hair color routine has changed from "for fun" to "for those @#!*&@ grays", I have become serious about it. I did my research and had a few bad runs with some color only to find some really amazing products. Going back to my minimalist attitude (budget), I am not interested in spending beaucoup bucks on products that don't work. I wanted my T & E to be quick and painless for me and my wallet. I knew summertime was the best season to test strength and staying power of each color, so off I went on my hair hue adventure. Along the way, I stumbled across this protectant spray. My first thought was, "Riiiight. Because I need to spend more money." But then I started doing my reading and it turns out this product is right up my alley.

It is sulfate-free which is the first bonus. Second, it is a 100% vegan product with no animal testing or animal byproducts. Score! Now comes the most important test for me: the scent. I noticed it was "rosemary mint" so I was intrigued immediately. How fabulous and aromatic! I was taken back to my Grandma's backyard, with her fresh herbs growing and fragrant. I decided to give it an honest 2 weeks. I put it on my hair each morning and go about my day. First of all, I loved that my hair smelled of rosemary and mint all day. Second and most importantly, I saw very little fading. And I'm super critical. The texture of my hair changed from more dry to softer and rich. I didn't have any breaks or split ends which is rockstar strength during the summer with salt water, sun and chlorine.

I was mucho impressed. For approximately $8.99, you can cut back on how often you buy your hair color. Yes, you're still spending money but for a well-made product that prolongs the between-coloring time. Stretch the buck and save the time. I love it!
Also check out their Everpure Moisture Shampoo and Everpure Moisture Conditoner, great teammates to the spray!

Erin Featherston Releases Short Film Showcasing Fall/Winter Collection

Designer Erin Featherston has released her third short film on recently, and it showcases her Fall/Winter 2009 collection. Directed by Marisa Crawford, the film features Erin’s Fall/Winter 2009 collection and features cameo’s from some of Erin’s favorite models and muses including Reni Lane, Kelsey Barrett of the all female punk band Effi Briest, actress Paz De La Huerta, model/actress Ingrid Schram, as well as models Daria Strokous, Kelsey Close, Rudi Ovchinnikova, Sacha Blue and Karina G. Below are all details as well as a bevy of images from the film.

For the first time, Erin Fetherston is partnering with online retailer Shopbop for hosting the collection as seen in “Birds of a Fether” for purchase and will be running a special promotion to enter to win an all-expenses paid trip to New York City and tickets to the Erin Fetherston Spring 2010 show during this September’s Fashion Week.

Style Picks: Fall Boots from Payless

I have to admit, I've never really been a Payless shopper. But with the new collection by Christian Siriano, I decided I needed to pay a visit over there and see what was up. I was surprised to find quite a few things that I would be willing to purchase, and the price was well within my recession-friendly budget.


alice + olivia for Payless Robertson Jeweled Boot
, $49.99. Now these don't look comfortable at all, but who needs comfortable if you're looking good? Okay, it does say that there is a padded insole, but it also mentions a one inch platform and a five inch square heel.


alice + olivia Madison Biker Boot
, $49.99. This time we're only looking at a four and a half inch heel with a one inch platform, but that doesn't make them any less awesome.


alice + olivia for Payless Red Sunset Slouch Boot
, $49.99. They are red. They are slouchy. They are awesome.


Christian Siriano for Payless Black Slither Boot
, $49.99. This is what I came for, and sadly, was the only thing out of the (very small) collection that I found worth considering. The sole is turquoise, which is fun and features a padded insole with a four inch cone heel. I like the zipper pull as well - it's the whole Egyptian theme that Christian has going on lately.

I should mention that I haven't been able to find any of these locally - only online. Now I just need to decide which one I'm going to order.

On the Style Radar: Claudiae by Claudia Estrada

Originally from Ecuador, Claudia Estrada has traveled around the world in the name of fashion. Claudiae is the fashionista's namesake line, featuring her personal aesthetic, which favors shimmering fabrics, bold prints, and feminine details. The collection includes textured leggings, loose tunics and blouses as well as the season's latest retro throwback, the romper. The minis are versatile from season to season when paired with leggings and offer various options for day or night. The entire collection is feminine and fun, emphasizing the waist, with drawstring ties or belts as well as drop waists and high-waisted options. A believer in showcasing every woman’s individual beauty the line is created to be worn with ease, comfort and a fashion-forward attitude.

While I'm not a huge fan of leggings and jumpsuits, I think these are actually well done and quite unique. I love the mod prints and the definitive 80's influence.

Billion Dollar Babes Upcoming Sales of Interest

visit us at

  • Monday 8/24-Tuesday 8/25 – American Vintage, ella moss & little ella
  • Wednesday 8/26-Thursday 8/27 – Splendid, Splendid Mills (men’s), Splendid Littles, Altru (home fragrance colletion) & Hobo International Handbags
  • Friday 8/28-Saturday 8/29 – Falls, Sheri Bodell & The ProportionofB
All sales start at 8am PST/11am EST and end at 11:59pm PST/2:59am EST.

Eyebrow Maintenance 101

Eyebrow maintenance has always been a headache for me. As you all know, I have some Italian in my blood which translated into caterpillars sleeping on my forehead, right above my eyes. I had no idea how pretty my eyes were until I sculpted those bad boys into shape! Now, please understand. This was not an overnight change for me. It took many trial-and-errors to really get the system down. But I wouldn’t had known how to create the most flattering brow line for my face without the help of some beautiful ladies (and one beautiful man!) Come along with me and enjoy my story of transformation from an average girl to a confident woman. Sit down and stay a while!

I should start by discussing the numerous options one has nowadays for eyebrow care. First, we have the old reliable – tweezers. Not my favorite option because I yelp like a baby yet the quickest and least expensive option out there. We have waxing, salon or take-home, and a new technique called threading. Now, although I have not tried the third option, I have heard it works well with duration between sessions. It is more costly and the process does take longer than a tweezing or waxing.

Regardless of your method, the theory is the same. To find the optimum eyebrow shape for your face, follow these simple steps:

1. Use a white pencil to line up your inner brow with the inner corner of your eye. Once you’ve done that, draw a white line vertically straight as a guide. You do not want any hairs inside those white lines. Extract those buggers!
2. For the length of your brow line, use the same white pencil to line up at the outer corner of your eye and hold at a 45 degree angle towards your temple. Draw another white line and use this as a guide. No hairs beyond the white line!
3. Now for the arch. This can seem intimidating because this part is really what matches the shape of your eyes and face. You want the brows to be thickest at your inner brow and gradually get thinner towards the outer brow line. Your arch should peak at the middle of your eyebrow. You can find this by lining up the pencil with your pupil vertically and drawing a dot below the brow line to reference the middle. You determine the thickness and thinness. Although I would suggest starting slowly and chipping away until you find the shape you like. It’s better to take more time and have a perfect brow than overzealously yank out more than enough and have to draw them on. Yikes.
4. One more thing! I always keep a toothbrush handy for makeup purposes. It’s a great tool to use to brush and straighten your brows out! Remember to keep all the hairs in an orderly brow!

My thoughts on which technique works the best are varied. I get mine waxed every once and a while to treat myself. This way, I can maintain for a few weeks with tweezers until my heritage comes creeping back through and my brows start to form a UNI-BROW. Thankfully, because I’ve been pulling tweezing the same area for so long it started to grow back baby fine and blond. However, this makes it that much harder to grab them with your tweezers. So once the peach-fuzz starts showing, I say it’s time to visit the salon. I hope this tutorial on brows has cleared up some confusion. Tweezing, waxing, hell…extracting hair from one’s body is torture. At least make sure you’re getting the look you want by doing it!

Total Beauty

About Me

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Meredith Edwards-Cornwall is the founder of online lifestyle websites and She is also known as @retrodiva on Twitter. She specializes in drinking large amounts of espresso, shopping, and enjoying social media. In all of her free time she writes for twice a week, and does various other freelance gigs involving writing, designing, and generally being awesome. While she believes that success is indeed a job in New York, she currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, two children, and two cats and has hung on to her day job.