Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do It Yourself, Don’t Do It At All, and a Few We’ll be Happy to Do

The Winner at Michael Kors
Michael Kors
Our last look at Fashion Week hairstyles, in the Spring, was titled “Fashion Roadkill.” And I feel perhaps a bit less ambivalent for Fall, but that may be because what I liked, I liked a bit more; and what I disliked, I disliked with a passion
Fashion editors unanimously and excessively praised the hair at Michael Kors as being the “best of the shows.” It probably took Orlando Pita and his team hours to achieve the messy, leather-woven braids that look as if the models did their own hair. It was the most attractive “DIY” look of the season, and one I believe will appeal to a lot of women.

Jason Wu, side view
Jason Wu, rear view
At Jason Wu, we had another do-it-yourself-looking runway style; one that required lots of randomly placed black feathers and bobby pins. Again, I’m sure it took Odile Gilbert and team a lot of effort to obtain such a no-effort look. Frankly, I do not see the fashion in it or what it proves – the model looks as if she was attacked by a crow – but it IS an attention-getter, and a form of artistic expression and artistic freedom. I just wonder if anyone noticed the clothes.

"The Trump" at Jill Stuart
Less "Trumpish" at Jill Stuart
I certainly noticed “The Trump Look” at Jill Stuart. It’s as if today, what’s “in” is not necessarily attractive or compelling, but rather what is famous or attached to fame, and it can be anything – including runway hairstyles. This isn’t a good look, its proportions are all wrong, but as long as it reflects a famous personality, it doesn’t actually have to be appealing. No one would ever walk into my salon and ask for this look.

The disaster at Thakooon
But again, this is the era of freedom of expression in fashion, freedom of choice in how we look, and anything goes. As an artist, I just want to ask you to remember to always have you makeup and brows looking their best – when your face is done and attention is paid, you can pull off even the wildest hair and make it look intentional and fashion-forward.

Even the model seems upset at Thakoon
What is the meaning with the awful hair paste and powder at Thakoon? They could have added color with ornaments, feathers, or extensions, and created a look women would want to copy. Who would actually want to try and reproduce this? They’re selling very expensive fashion but cheapening the look with such distractingly awful hair. They didn’t even bother to clean the over-spilled powder from one model’s forehead. Ugly AND sloppy.

United Bamboo's corn rows
It’s obvious some designers feel the hair isn’t important on the runway, yet we all know that in the real world, hair is one of the most important fashion and beauty accessories a woman has, and she spends time and money on it. Ridiculous hair detracts from the clothing – look at the fake “corn-shaped” corn rows at United Bamboo. The hair is fighting with the clothes instead of complementing them. If she were walking down the street, she’d get attention with that hair – negative attention. As an artist, again I want to see hair that is appealing and commercial, hair that makes a woman want to come into my salon and say, “I want that.”

Donna Karan
The hair that I expect I will be reproducing, if perhaps in a slightly less dramatic form:

Carolina Herrera
Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Amanda Wakely, Philip Lim, and Marchesa – all up-dos of some kind, whether they’re soft or controlled.

Amanda Wakely
Philip Lim
And I’m sure I will also be asked to work with the trio of French twists shown by Narciso Rodriguez, Diane Von Furstenberg, and the tallest of all, Bagley Mischka.

Narciso Rodriguez
Diane Von Furstenberg
These are all high-fashion looks – but ones that women will ask for.

Bagley Mischka
And I will probably be asked do a few Michael Kors’ braids – they only LOOK like you can do them yourself.

Until next week, ciao!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Ladies of the EMMYS…and a Few Good Men

Sofia Vergara
Sarah Hyland
Overall, there wasn’t anything happening at the EMMYS that made us sit up and say, “wow!” except for a few of the dresses – but none of the hair. The same trends continue that we’ve seen since the beginning of the awards season in January – long and sideswept, shoulder-length texturized bobs, bangs, and some very short-and-sleek styles.

Nina Dobrev
Long and sideswept almost became “long and sideswept AND wearing red.” Sofia Vergara, Sarah Hyland, and Nina Dobrev wore all three elements the best, but they weren’t alone. All had beautifully healthy, shiny hair, with lots of tones and highlights that gave their various brunette shades plenty of dimension, and each wore a shade, from deep espresso to light chestnut, that suited her coloring. All three were definite winners.

Cat Deeley
Dancer and presenter Cat Deeley may be English, but she looked like the quintessential California Girl with her beachy blonde waves and high- and low-lights. There are lots of variations in the blonde on top and around her face, with darker tones peeking out from the back, but at one time a color like this would never have been acceptable – it would have been considered too brassy. It’s a nice, sexy, playful look, and it suits her.

Julie Bowen
Julie Bowen chose a very severe, center-parted ponytail – nothing terribly original – but with her plunging neckline and smoldering eye makeup, she looked just smashing. A perfect example of how simplicity can be very sexy.

Christina Hendricks
Let’s stop right here and make note that every woman mentioned in this blog has much heavier (yet exceedingly well-groomed) eyebrows than was popular even a year ago. Brows are as important to your look today as your hairstyle and makeup.

Aubrey Plaza
Now, the bobs. Bombshell Christina Hendricks has gone a bit shorter and her red is simply gorgeous, but I must admit that red has always been one of my very favorite hair colors. She is a master at matching her makeup to her hair and clothing, and that “come hither” smile, painted in just the right shade of red, just works. While most redheads shy away from red lipstick, she totally embraces it. 

Cobie Smulders
Aubrey Plaza’s and Cobie Smulders’ bobs are more texturized and casual, but they are more suited to their younger, more playful looks. Both chose a deep side part that accentuates the slight asymmetry of their bobs, which brings out their eyes and accentuates their bone structure. 

Lea Michele
Glee’s Lea Michele debuted bangs at the EMMYS, and she looks fantastic. Another “lady in red,” her shiny dark brunette color has plenty of dimensional shades, and it just looks healthy and silky. The bangs are the right amount of wisp and weight, and are just the right length to bring attention to her eyes. Great choice!

Evan Rachel Wood & Kate Winslet
Finally, short and sleek. Evan Rachel Wood and Kate Winslet starred together in the remake of Mildred Pierce, and their cuts are very similar as you can see from the photo of them together. 

Evan Rachel, short & slick
But Evan Rachel decided to show off her beautiful face with a slicked back look and a Twenties-style finger wave in the bangs. 

Kate, short & soft
Kate softened her look from the more severe pompadour we commented on at the Venice Film Festival, and instead let her bags wave softly across her forehead. With a strong brow and a deeper lipstick shade, she looks much prettier and more feminine. 

THE Mad Man, Jon Hamm
The Jimmys: Kimmel and Fallon
Despite the age difference, both have the kind of beauty it takes to get away with these short cuts, but remember that when you look at any celebrity, that look is a collage of things: the right hair cut and color, the hair styling, the makeup, the eyebrows – the whole package. That’s why those shots of them in the tabloids without makeup are often so shocking, and why people are fascinated by them. We’re used to our celebrities looking effortlessly beautiful. But it’s work – and their job!

Lest we forget the men, the Sixties look was on full display, thanks to the Mad Men influence – take a look at Jon Hamm, and Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon together on stage. Totally swinging. 

Until next week, ciao!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ladies of Venice and Toronto: Film Festival Highlights (No Pun Intended)

Kate Winslet
Sometimes we wonder what it must be like for these stars to go from festival to festival, from film premiere to premiere, with trunks of dresses and gowns for the daytime photo ops and the evening screenings and all the other appearances they must do to promote a film. Sometimes we feel a bit jealous, but how many of us could handle the constant criticisms of the fashion and entertainment media  that goes with the fame?  That said, I always try to offer constructive criticism in my blogs to help every woman who reads them learn from the triumphs and stumbles of the stars we love to watch and apply what they learn to improving their own fashion image.

 At the Venice Film Festival, many of the fashion columns thought Kate Winslet looked absolutely gorgeous with this high-fashion bouffant ponytail and minimalist makeup, but we think she looks a bit washed out. The hairstyle is great, but it elongates her face, and while she did break it up with very strong brows, she needed to do that again with a deeper-colored lip. She would have looked more polished and softer, her face less elongated. She forgot the rule: Strong eyes, soft lip; strong lip, soft eyes. Her eye makeup is almost non-existent, so she needed that strong lip. She should have talked to Madonna.

And speaking of Madge (as she is known in her adopted home of England), she did it all right. First, she just looks amazing for her age, showing no fear of standing in between her two twenty-something co-stars, and frankly looking fitter than both. She wore a bright, glossy red lip, and therefore minimal eye makeup – just loads of mascara. Her hair was perfect – beautiful golden blonde with plenty of tones and highlights, and a very “Old Hollywood” upswept front with loose curls cascading around her shoulders. A total hit. 

Gwyneth Paltrow, over her shoulder
Gwyneth, full frontal
Gwyneth Paltrow had her look down completely. What could have been a misfire (she’s done it before) with her blonde hair, pale complexion, and a pale blush-colored gown instead was spot-on. She’s gone much blonder and acquired a tan, so the dress doesn’t wash her out, and her makeup brought that out further with bronzer and a bright lip. Her only mistake, in our opinion, is that her brows are so pale that they’re practically invisible. 
Evan Rachel Wood, look 1
Evan Rachel Wood, look 2
Evan Rachel Wood has been a very busy girl, and she’s been in our posts every week for at least the last month – ever since she cropped off her long hair. The three pictures here – two from Venice and one from the Toronto Film Festival – are a perfect example of how versatile a short haircut can be. 

Evan Rachel Wood, look 3
Going short hasn’t limited her in the least. She’s swept it to the side and worn it with a headband and smoky eyes, in a pompadour with lots of false eyelashes and a fuchsia mouth, and spike up under a bowler while wearing a manly suit. She knows how to play to her strengths, and she’s proven she has a real wardrobe for her hair!  
Keira Knightly
Keira Knightly, who also attended both festivals, won the “most amazing gown” award in the fashion press for her gold lace Valentino Couture in Venice, but we preferred her daytime hair: her precise angled bob worn down and straight. She has a great combination of hues in her hair that compliment her “English rose” complexion, and she’s sporting the heaviest brows of all the stars – a look she totally pulls off with her bone structure and penetrating dark eyes. 

Angelina Jolie
In Toronto, Angelina Jolie does what she does best: Looks fantastic. Sometimes her hair is a few shades lighter, a few shades darker; sometimes she emphasizes her uptilted eyes, sometimes she wears a strong color on her world-famous lips. You cannot argue with beauty – she always looks perfect.

Elizabeth Olsen
Also in Toronto, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s “little sister” Elizabeth has finally grown up. She started the promotional tour wearing sweet dresses, ballet flats, and light brown hair. But she showed up in Toronto a much more daring multi-tonal blonde, wearing a colorful dress, with a peek-a-boo cutout, and she’s stepped up her makeup to go with the dress and the new haircolor. I think we can safely say that Elizabeth Olsen has matured, and is ready to play it a bit sexy.  
Michelle Monaghan
Michelle Monaghan showed up in Toronto with a new red shade, a vast improvement over her one-dimensional chocolate brown. She also has a better cut, with the bangs a bit shorter and shaggier – and the combination of the two makes her eyes the focal point and brightens up her whole face. She’s been a good girl and changed her makeup to match her new haircolor, so brava, Michelle! 
Marisa Tomei
Finally, Marisa Tomei showed up in Toronto in a perfectly awful dress. She is one of those actors who is sometimes very striking, and not so much at others. This evening, it’s too much brown: her hair, her skin, and her lipstick. Her haircut is flattering and a good length for her, with the right tones and highlights, but everything is overwhelmed by the dress. The shoes are completely hot, though. She should have worn something that didn’t take over, and added a bright lip, and it would have turned the whole thing around.

Until next week, ciao!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


As we approach September 11, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and our Pentagon, we remember the loss of thousands of our fellow Americans, and others from around the world. 

United We Stand, Remembering September 11, 2001

We remember the innocent men, women, and children who were someone’s father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife. As we remember this unprovoked, deliberate terrorist attack, let us remember not only the devastation and the loss of life, but also the courage of our heroes who gave their lives trying to save others. Let us honor all those who lost their lives with our prayers and thoughts. Let us find strength in our unbreakable American Spirit by holding hands, just as we did then. Let us again be united as Americans, not divided as Democrats and Republicans. Let us be brothers and sisters, united under one God, one Nation, indivisible. Let us preserve our Freedom and Love, and let the world acknowledge that the United States is unique and exceptional because we are Free and United, willing to give our lives but never our Freedom. 

The Poem, Eternal Flame of America
This week, instead of my usual beauty blog, I want to share with you a poem I wrote on September 11, 2001, as the tragic events were occurring. This poem was read to The U.S. House and Senate on September 24, 2001, and is now in the Congressional Record. 

A copy of the Congressional Record
An American flag was flown in Iraq in my honor by soldiers serving there who also read my poem. That flag and a framed copy of the Congressional Record are two of my most cherished possessions. I also had a painting commissioned to illustrate the poem, titled, “Eternal Flame of America,” which summarizes who we are, who we were, and who we will always be as Americans. God bless America.

Eternal Flame of America
As I watched in horror and grief as the towers of the World Trade Center burn…
I cried in pain and disbelief. As I wiped the tears from my eyes and 
removed my hands from my face I had a vision…

The painting commissioned to illustrate the poem
In front of me the burning towers turned 
into burning torches…
Torches of hope…
Torches of courage and strength…
Torches of unity and love…
Torches that will guide us into the darkness
to seek and defeat our enemy.
The same enemy that ignited that fire, 
believing he could bring us to our knees.

Torches that will engulf our hearts with love 
and tenacity. Torches that will always burn; 
for the freedom that America stands for 
and that every American will fight for 
and would rather die for than succumb 
to defeat or submission.

Torches that will always remind us that 
we are all equal no matter what religion, race, 
or background and we stand together in peace, brotherhood, and love.
We believe that God is the only one who is above us.
He enables us to carry within us the fire of 
the burning towers as torches of eternal light.
To remind us that America is Freedom, 
and Freedom is America.
Our Forefathers established it, 
our Fathers believed in it,
we will fight for it, 
and our children will keep it forever.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The VMAs Didn’t Really Do It For Us…

What a boring night for hair. Britney Spears, Katie Holmes, and Kim Kardashian all wore their signature center-parted, extension-enhanced, slightly waved hair, the same as always.

Miley Cyrus
The simple updo made an appearance on Selena Gomez, Maria Menounos, Zoe Saldana, and Ashley Rickards. The one updo we loved was Miley Cyrus, who finally looked appropriate and elegant with her tasteful chignon, her floral-and-leopard print dress that was conservatively cut from the front, and an eyeful from behind. Her makeup was lovely, and she looked fabulous.

Adele is perfect: her hair, her makeup, she knows what works for her. 

Beyonce, with her simple side ponytail -- her hair looks healthy, the color compliments her skin tone, she’s just glowing (no doubt due to her news that she’s expecting), and her makeup is simple.   

Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland, one of Beyonce’s partners in Destiny’s Child, looks fabulous with her just-right bangs and long hair. It’s shiny and healthy, and the bangs hit at just the right place to enhance her eyes.

Jessie J
Singer Jessie J, who made crutches look cool, wears what used to be called a China Bob with total aplomb. It suits her, her hair is shiny and healthy looking, and her almost-black shade works with her pale skin, blue eyes, and avante garde make up.

Crystal Reed
Then there were the train wrecks. Crystal Reed, with a braid in the front and probably extensions, looks like she just rolled out of bed, but nothing like the Sixties sex kittens we talked about last week. It’s not sexy; it just looks like she needs a date with a deep conditioner.

Deena Cortese
We think it’s safe to say there is not a single thing on “Jersey Shore’s” Deena Cortese that is real – not the emerald-green contacts, not the gravity-defying cleavage, not the fake-bake tan, not the fake fingernails, and certainly not the bumped-up multicolored extensions.

Demi Lovato
We were sad to see former Disney star Demi Lovato looking like one of the cast of “Jersey Shore” with her own extensions, bad highlights, damaged hair, fake tan, and exposed cleavage. We expect better of her. This is not a great entrĂ©e into adulthood.

There are so many cautionary tales with “rapper” Kreayshawn that we don’t know where to start – but certainly the hair is a total disaster. The black curly part is likely a wig, leaving the smooth curled-under blonde bangs likely to be her real hair, though not likely her natural color. This bi-colored, bi-textured ‘do is an attention-getter, but it is so unattractive that who wants THAT sort of attention? Aren’t the tattoos and loud clothing enough?

Nicki Minaj
We understand Nicki Minaj is known for her outrageous wigs, but with a voice like hers, isn’t it time to dump the synthetic and step out in her real hair? We doubt sales of her music will drop off just because she doesn’t look like a child’s confection.

Katy Perry
Oh, Katy Perry. Lavender?

Until next week, ciao!