Category Archives: Beauty

11 January 2015

It’s winter. Do something about your lips.

Freezing in style

Freezing in style wearing Origins Hydrating Lip Balm in Nude Nectarine

Cold weather can wreak havoc on my skin, but it’s my lips that suffer the most. More often than not, I’ve emerged from the snowy slopes of the Alps looking like I’ve been doing something strange with a powdered doughnut.

Not too appetizing for aprè-ski, eh?

During Zurich’s recent snowgasm a friend invited me for a jaunt from Felsenegg along a path that ends at the top of the Albis Pass. It all started great.

Then the snow came.

Then more snow came.

Yep. Me.

Yep. Me.

Then I started thinking of this movie:

Not really Dances with Wolves.

I don’t think he dances with wolves.

Luckily, Mr Neeson’s services weren’t needed. And if they were, my lips remained nice and soft just in case I wanted to give him a kiss thanks to Origins Drink Up Hydrating Lip Balm in Nude Nectarine.

Origins Drink Up Hydrating Lip Balm (image from

Origins Drink Up Hydrating Lip Balm (Image:

I had shied away from the entire Origins line since it moved from make-up to “anti-aging” skin care (I have no qualms about aging, thank you very much). But I bought this lip balm in a pinch while I was on the road and was pleasantly surprised. The texture is thick enough to protect and condition in cold temps, but not as tacky. In addition, the Nude Nectarine shade didn’t make my lips look ashy. It’s available in different tints.

Here are a few more tools in my cold weather arsenal for lips:

 Vaseline Lip Therapy

Vaseline Lip Therapy. Which is really just Vaseline.

Vaseline Lip Therapy. Which is really just Vaseline.

I snagged a couple these babies (the packaging is tiny, 0.25 oz / 7 g) back home. Unless I’m daft, there’s not that much difference between Vaseline and Vaseline Lip Therapy except for the addition of “Yellow 5 Lake,” a dye. With that said, it’s Vaseline. It works. Yes, I know that it contains petroleum, and for some that’s a no no. But for me, I haven’t had any issues with it. After I’m done with the “Lip Therapy,” I’ll probably refill the container with plain ol’ Vaseline.

Weleda Everon Lip Balm

Weleda Everon Lippenpflege

Weleda Everon Lip Balm

Weleda’s Everon Lip Balm (“ever on,” get it?)  is my workhorse. It also has magical powers. When I lose one and buy another tube to replace it, two previously lost tubes pop up in a coat pocket or my make-up bag. Joking aside, it gives a great matte layer of protection that you can wear alone or under your lipstick. I use this under my MAC Red Satin Lipstick (see bio pic) as a moisturizer since my lips dry out when I wear the lipstick alone.

What’s in your winter lip care arsenal?

24 December 2014

Five fashionable flicks for the holidays

Diana Vreeland in a still from The Eye Has to Travel

Diana Vreeland in a still from The Eye Has to Travel (IMDB)

Tis the season to vegetate as stylishly as possible while your stomach oozes over your waistband. What better way to do it than sitting in front of the TV (or laptop) and taking in a couple of fashion-forward films on Netflix?

On my list:

1. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel 

DV holds court in this first-person documentary. Ms Vreeland recounts her life from her childhood to when she was unceremoniously booted from Vogue in 1971. Grab a cup of tea and have a seat with this legend.

Still from Mademoiselle C

Roitfeld and Lagerfeld in Mademoiselle C (Image: IMDB)

2. Mademoiselle C

It’s not clear to me why this documentary about the launch of Carine Roitfield’s new fashion mag garnered such bad reviews. Of course it’s not The September Issue, but you do get the chance to follow the former Vogue Paris editor behind the scenes as she puts together the premiere issue of CR Fashion Book. Roitfeld comes across in the film as – gasp – likeable. And it’s worth the watch just to see Karl Lagerfeld push a baby carriage.

Halston (Image: IMDB)

Halston (Image: IMDB)

3. Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston 

This one is in my queue. Whitney Sudley-Smith takes on the story of designer Roy Halston. The reviewers aren’t kind to this documentary, but I’ll keep an open mind.


Poster for Advanced Style (Image: IMDB)

4. Advanced Style

I can’t wait to watch the film version of Ari Seth Cohen’s website.  I’m slightly surprised at it being streamed so soon after its release though.

Girl crush: Tilda Swinton wearing Jil Sander in I Am Love (Image: IMDB)

Girl crush: Tilda Swinton wearing Jil Sander in I Am Love (Image: IMDB)

5. I Am Love 

If you don’t watch anything else while you’re home for the holidays, watch I Am Love. Although it’s not a fashion documentary, Tilda Swinton wearing Raf Simons of Jil Sander makes this movie a lesson in style. Just in case you’re interested: It’s the story of the trials and tribulations of a wealthy textile manufacturing family in Milan. And it’s in Italian. And the film’s backstory is just as interesting.

So what’s in your queue? And what did I miss?

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30 November 2014

Catwalking down memory lane: The Battle of Versailles ’73

Screenshot from "Versailles '73"

Screenshot from “Versailles ’73”

On 28 November 1973, a group of US models walked down the middle of the Versailles Palace and into history. The designs attracted attention, but it was the models wearing the clothes that brought the crowd to its feet.

They were black.

The Battle of Versailles has a unique place in fashion history for two reasons: one was that this was when designers Bill Blass, Stephan Burrows, Halston and Oscar de la Renta captured international attention; the other was the use of 12 models of African American descent in a group of 36. Pioneers Alva Chinn, Bethann Hardison, Pat Cleveland and Billie Blair were among them.

The purpose for the show was to raise money for the French monument’s restoration in an event that pitted upstart American designers, more known for sportswear than “real fashion,” against well-established French ones. But the outcome established a reputation more solid than bricks and mortar for the models.

“Fashion had never witnessed black beauty in such concentrated magnitude, all wearing the best designer clothes in the world.” – Ben Arongudade

“I walked like I defied the French,” Bethann Hardison told ABC News in 2011.

“Thirty-three minutes of taped music –  Cole Porter, Al Green, Barry White – set the pace, with the black models front and center. Wearing billowing Stephen Burrows, model Pat Cleveland whirled downstage like a spinning top; Billie Blair starred as Mr. de la Renta’s magic genie; the elegant Alva Chinn let a Halston feather boa slip to reveal a bare breast. At the end, the audience went wild, cheering and tossing programs into the air.” (Wall Street Journal)

ABC News has more here:

Deborah Riley Draper produced a documentary about the show:

Even though the black girls were a hit, there’s still a lack of diversity on the runway, as Hardison has signaled by reviving the Black Girls Coalition.

So where are they now?

Well,  Billie Blair is preaching the Gospel. Alva Chinn is an actress and yoga teacher. Pat Cleveland is about to tell all.

(I wonder if she’ll tell us how to twirl? Image swiped from


And Bethann Hardison is officially a legend:

Learn more about Versailles:

Looking back at American fashion’s coming out party – NY Times

Versailles ’73: American runway revolution – Coffee Bluff Pictures

Moving mountains in chiffon – Huffington Post

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