Backstage Fashion Week

Backstage Beauty Tips

Learn the 26 tricks we picked up from top hair, makeup and nail pros

Backstage Beauty Tips

We asked hair, makeup and nail artists backstage at Fashion Week for their best kept secrets. Read on to find tips that will help add a little runway glamour to your signature style.

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A Life of Style: The $12.50 Dress


How cute is this dress? I love that it's so plain which allows for a variety of looks.

I found it while checking some of my favorite online shopping sites. Forever 21 rarely lets me down and since their quality has greatly improved over the years, I shop there on a regular basis. This adorable little frock is only $12.50, so I ordered two! When was the last time you got a dress for under $20?

A Life of Style: Midday Oil Crisis

Having oily skin gets on my nerves. Usually by 11 a.m. I whip out my purse mirror and sure enough my forehead is gleaming and my nose is glowing. The midday oil crisis has reigned its shiny terror all over an otherwise cute face.

Blotting tissues in my purse are a must have at all times.
I alternate between the Tea Tree Oil Facial Blotting Tissues and Boscia Blotting Linens. Both products deliver their promised results of absorbing oil and leaving my makeup in tact. I only wish the Tea Tree Oil tissues were larger to cover more of my face. I have to use two or three at a time as opposed to one Boscia Linen. The sheets are $10 and you get 65 Tea Tree Oil sheets and 100 Boscia Linens.
If you're an oily gal, how do you combat your midday oil crisis?

A Life of Style: Vanilla Passion

Vanilla is such a soothing scent and I absolutely adore it. Whenever a fragrant vanilla wafts my way, I instantly feel all warm and cozy. During the winter months, my apartment is a vanilla haven. I have soy vanilla candles, vanilla reed diffusers, and the very vanilla scentstories disc for my Scentstories player. Its vanilla overload and I love it. As soon as I step inside my apartment I take a deep breath and smile. That's the power of scent at work.

For my birthday this year, my good friend gave me the Vanilla Spice Joyful Times gift set (pictured above) from The Body Shop. The set contains: Body Butter, Shower Gel, Body Polish, Mini Votive Candle, and a Two-tone Bath Lily Mesh Sponge. I used the shower gel, body polish and body butter the next day. The scent filled my bathroom and I was taken to a new level of vanilla love. Vanilla Spice is a warm, passionate, almost musky scent. The body butter is so decadent and smooth. It melts into the skin and leaves a great sheen.

I needed a body splash to compliment the set, so I stopped by The Body Shop and purchased the Vanilla Body Mist. It's a perfect compliment to my Vanilla Spice products. The body butter and mist are great pick me ups during a very dreadful Chicago winter.

Vanilla Rocks!!!! Yeah!!!!

Michelle Obama's Beauty Secrets

From her volume-packed bob hairstyles to her radiant skin, photos and tips on recreating the first lady's looks

Read these pro tips on how to make her best looks, from her inauguration 'do to her pre-campaign glow, work for you.

See Michelle Obama

A Life of Style: Happy Birthday Michelle Obama!!!!!


Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama celebrates her 45th birthday today.
First Lady Michelle Obama is a Capricorn just like me :)

Capricorns are FABULOUS people and if you're fortunate to know one or are one...
then you know I'm right *smile*

A Life of Style: 2009 Skin Care Revamp

Buenos Dias Beautiful People!

So in 2009 I'm really trying to take my skincare game to the next level. I recently invested in a Conair Facial Sauna for at home steam treatments and facials. I can't wait to begin making it a part of my weekly skincare regimen and of course I'll post my reviews here.

Last month I received Liz Earle skincare products from my friend and I added the pretty box to my jam packed product shelf vowing to use them soon (of course more products were added to the shelf and the Liz Earle box was soon covered and pushed towards the back). While I was cataloging and reorganizing my products last night the Liz Earle box surfaced! I had one of those Homer Simpson "Doh!!!" moments and opened the box to get familiar with the products...again.

Inside the box:
**Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - a concentrated cream cleanser with almond milk, rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus oil. Smells divine!!!!
** Two Pure Muslin Cloths - 100% cotton muslin cloth. This cloth is used with the Cleanse z& Polish Cleanser. Better than any wash cloth I've EVER used.
**Instant Boost Skin Tonic - organic aloe vera, calendula, rose-scented geranium, cucumber, and natural vitamin E. This toner is amazing. Great scent and it's alcohol free!!!!
**Superskin Moisturizer - this moisturizer is geared towards aging/mature dry skin so I won't be using it.
**Superskin Concentrate - an intense night-time treatment with 100% pure plant oils.

I sat down to read the accompanying product guide and then got down to the business of using the cleanser, toner, and serum. I think I have found my night time skin care regimen. I'll report back in a week to let you guys the results. But I can tell you all that after one use, I'm very impressed ;)

A Life of Style: Smell Pretty


I'm a major fragrance addict. The top of my dresser is filled with a wide assortment of perfumes and the matching lotions or body creams. I layer my scent for the full scentual experience, lol!

Ralph Lauren Romance has been my favorite fragrance since it debuted in 1999. As much as I love the smell goods, I've never declared a signature scent. I have too many favorites to be loyal to just one fragrance but I think I may have found the one...for now. Ralph Lauren Romance Always Yours is all that. It's sexy, vibrant, sensual, and pretty all at once.

According to the ad, Ralph Lauren Romance Always Yours is the essence of eternal romance. The fragrance has notes of the iconic sun goddess rose, sensual musk, freesia, ginger, lotus flower, day lily, white violet, patchouli, and oakmoss. After spritzing it on while at Nordstrom (my second home) last week, I had to own it. I've been wearing my new love for the past five days and I smell fabulous if I do say so myself.

If you're looking for a new scent, stop by Sephora, Nordstrom, or Bloomingdales and give Ralph Lauren Romance Always Yours a whiff.

A Life of Style: OPI You Don't Know Jacques Happy B'day Mani

1.11.2009 yeah this was the birthday mani. The polish actually looks better than the picture is letting on, lol. I promise it does.

17 Funniest Beauty Product Reviews of 2008

Lip stains that smell like horse hoof balm?! These strong opinions make beauty so much fun reader reviews help you decide which products are must-haves and which ones to avoid like the plague, but they’re also an endless source of amusement. Here are the reviews that had us spewing coffee from our noses.

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Best and Worst Sally Hansen Products

Nail, hair removal and makeup products our readers love, and um, hate

Read these reviews before wasting cash on products that don't work.

See products

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeee!!!!!!


Yep. Today is the day. My B'day. I'm celebrating my thirty-shh.... birthday. A lady never tells her age and a lady knows not to ask, lol. And to toot my own horn, I look damn good to be in my thirties - on a no makeup day (mascara and lipgloss) I can pass for sixteen, with makeup I can look 25ish. Good genes. Thanks Mom & Dad!!!!

A Life of Style: Beyonce & Jay-Z


Rarely do I post anything about celebs but I couldn't let any of this go.

WTF is up with Beyonce's hair? The roots are clearly in need of service and her weave is going in all four directions looking as if it wants to lift off her head altogther. Was there not enough time to grab a brush and smooth this mess into a chic low chignon?
Jay-Z, Jay-Z, Jay-Z...Hova, what's wrong? *sigh* The glasses. You have been rocking those Mr. Peabody frames for too damn long and it must stop. Now I too wear glasses for reading and watching TV so I can totally sympathize if you in fact are near sighted or far sighted but ummm...these frames are just not you. If anyone from Oliver Peoples is reading this, holla at Hov please.
These pictures were snapped last night at the premiere of "Notorious". Beyonce's "hair" looked a ragged mess and her husband looked as though he came straight from the studio or a very thought provoking lecture at NYU. I can't call it.
Not too long ago, Mrs. Knowles Carter was quoted in Seventeen magazine saying "I've been wearing my hair straight without any extensions." Yeah okay...
We all know Beyonce has a "special relationship" with the truth and even Stevie Wonder can see she has a weave.
Try again Bey and Jay-Z let the glasses go.

A Life of Style: Milani Lip Mixer Color Shine & Shimmer Gloss


Milani Lip Mixer Color Shine & Shimmer Gloss in Lip Mix 702 is a gorgeous gloss.

Inside the tube are three layers - the bottom layer is the conditioning color, the middle layer contains high shine polymers, and the top layer has reflective pearls. Pull the wand through all three layers and you get a pretty mix of color, shine, and glitz.

Lip Mix 702 is the most perfect nude gloss I have come across in a very long time. My local Walgreens had some new beauty displays up today and the Milani just caught my eye. Lip Mixer just looks so sparkly in the tube - it mesmerized me, lol.

I wore it with my MAC Cork Lip Liner and it looked great. You know how some glittery glosses have a slightly rough texture due to the glitter? None of that here. The gloss goes on very smooth and is quite moisturizing.

And after one day of wear, I feel safe in stating, this is now my favorite lip gloss.

You can find Milani Cosmetics at CVS, Walgreens, and Target. It cost $6.29 - a fab gloss at a wallet friendly price ;)

A Life of Style: Ladies Cufflinks


I had a hard time finding cute and feminine cufflinks. Thank goodness for Google! I found a great website Cuff Daddy.

Cuff Daddy has the cutest assortment of cufflinks for women all priced under $60.

A Life of Style: Hair Care Boot Camp - Finding a New Stylist

The relationship between a woman and her hair stylist is very important. I know people who have their hair done at random by any and everybody, they salon hop, and have the nerve to complain about the poor condition of their hair.

I believe in patronizing a quality salon with talented and capable stylists whose main concern is healthy hair.

If you don't have a regular hair stylist it's time to get serious about finding someone.

So here are my tips for finding a new stylist:

**Ask a friend who has great hair, "Who does your hair?" Referrals can be a great way to find your new stylist.

**Check out salons close to your job or in your neighborhood. Ask the receptionist who the best stylists are. I used to pass a very posh salon on my way to S'bucks every morning. I went in one day to get some information and possibly schedule a consultation. Not only was the salon very upscale, the staff had that 'more upscale than thou' attitude which I detest. Fancy and upscale aren't always good things.

**Interview potential stylists in person so they can see your hair. Ask what is their hair philosophy, what products they use, how do they keep up to date on the latest products, techniques, etc, do they have pictures of their work, what are their hours, what are their rates, how can they help with particular hair issues you may be having, what do they recommend for your hair? During the interview/consultation, the stylist should ask you questions as well and offer some recommendations based on your specific hair type.

**Schedule an appointment with the stylist you feel most comfortable with. It's also a good idea to take a picture of a hair style along so you can see how well the stylist can reproduce the look. If you don't have a picture, that's fine just tell the stylist how you normally wear your hair.

**Pay close attention to the stylist and the salon. Is his/her station clean? What is the salon atmosphere like? Does he have too many clients at the same time causing him to do what I call assembly line styling? Do the clients appear comfortable with the stylist? Is he/she super chatty? Are the clients smiling when they leave the chair?

**If you're pleased with your hair then schedule another appointment and start going to the stylist on a weekly or biweekly basis - that's how you build a good rapport with the hair stylist. It's important to stay with one person who can get your hair in the best condition. Consistency is important in achieving healthy hair.

A Life of Style: Mocha Martini


Mocha Martini - A yummy cocktail for winter nights at home.

4 shots ABSOLUT Vodka (adjust if 4 shots is too much)
4 parts Espresso Coffee (Cold)
3 parts Dark Cacao Liqueur

Chocolate syrup
Cocktail Sugar Rimmer in Chocolate Bar

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Rim glasses with Cocktail Sugar Chocolate Bar and chill. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Drizzle some chocolate syrup on top for an extra chocolate treat.

Get Perfect Skin in 2009

Use this step-by-step guide and have glowing skin all year long

Here's the scoop on what products you should think about using in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s to keep your skin looking great. With these regimens, you can be on your way to flawless skin in the new year. Who doesn't want that?

Find your regime

A Life of Style: Date Night Chic

With a new year comes new romantic possibilities.

Here are some cute date looks that can work for a first date (look 1), theatre and dinner at an upscale restaurant (look 2), a night at the movies or drinks & appetizers at a hip lounge (look 3):

1st date casual chic by citydiva19

dressy date night by citydiva19

dinner & a movie date night by citydiva19

A Life of Style: My 2009 Beauty & Fashion Resolutions

My Beauty and Fashion Resolutions:

- Take makeup application lessons - I want to apply makeup like a PRO
- Grow my hair to shoulder length and try new hairstyles - I'm in a real hair style rut
- Develop healthy eating habits - Less cookies, more fruits & veggies. More water, less lattes
- Go back to wearing heels because I've been wearing flats for a while - I need to feel tall again. Some children are taller than me when I have on flats, lol
- Take my vitamins everyday
- Start a Sunday evening at home spa regimen - facial, exfoliation, moisturizing, scalp treatment
- Continue taking care of my hair so that I can meet my growth goal
- At least once a week disconnect for 30 to 45 minutes (no phones, no laptop, no TV)
- Purchase a Mason Pearson hair brush, NARS lipstick in Pigalle, and Rapid Lash Eyelash Renewal Serum
- Always keep blotting papers in my purse/bag (Boscia are my fave!!)
- Organize all my nail polish by brand and shade
- Start getting massages
- Reorganize my closet and FINALLY sell all my old Coach and Dooney & Bourke bags
- Add to my Audrey Hepburn collection
- Continue my weekly manis and biweekly pedis
- Go to all Chicago sample sales especially the denim ones
- Try looks from different eras like the 1940s ladylike chic but with a modern twist - I have a really nice black pencil skirt and jade green patent leather T-strap pumps...There's an outfit waiting to happen.
- Take advantage of all opportunities that blogging brings my way

A Life of Style: My 2009 Shopping List


2009 shopping list beauty, home, fashion by citydiva19

Just a few items I want to get this year and everyone knows this list WILL get longer as the year goes on, LOL!


- Bobbi Brown Copper Diamond Shimmer Brick

- An FHI Flat iron

- Sedu Hair Styler

- Beauty Blender Sponge & Beauty Blender Cleanser

- Loreal Hair Fixer

- Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curler

- Rapid Lash Eyelash renewal

- L'Oreal HIP Kohl Eyeliner - NEW!!!!

- L'Oreal Color Presso - NEW!!!!

- Rene Furterer Vitalfan Vitality Supplements


- New bookcases

- Vacuum cleaner

- Vases

- New glasses from Crate & Barrel

- Leather storage ottoman


- Maxi dresses

- Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 - My dream bag *sigh*

- 1 pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (I can dream...Can't I?)

- More skirts

- Killer job interview ensembles (I HATE suits)

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