Friday, August 31, 2012

Aerin: The Dynasty Continues...

Aerin Lauder Zinterhof

Aerin Lauder, the granddaughter of the legendary Estee Lauder is launching her own cosmetics line this fall, after working for the company her grandparents founded for the last 20 years.  I, for one, am excited to see Aerin's personal vision of a woman's beauty essentials.

Aerin is a chic stunner, who doesn't look like she requires much more than a dash of bronzer, a quick pop of rosy lip gloss and a quick swipe of mascara to achieve her  polish.
Whether or not that will translate for the rest of us remains to be seen...I would imagine that some 'real makeup' types, (me), may not get enough color from her launch collection, but it's fun to imagine we have a bit of Aerin in us and that is all we will need.

Eventually, the line will branch into a lifestyle collection that will include jewelry, linens and table top items, in addition to cosmetics.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Leonard Lauder, William Lauder Bobbi Brown and a host of other top tier executives at aTotalBeauty cocktail reception at Lauder Headquarters in the G.M. building.

Mrs.Estee's office has been left in the exact condition as the last day she worked in it. Elegantly appointed, I was thrilled to be photographed at her desk. It's easy to imagine how her grandmother's love of color and all things feminine and pretty have resonated with Aerin. (

Diva at Mrs. Estee's desk.  An honor and a thrill!!!
You can preview a flavor of Aerin's website on the main Estee Lauder page.
Many of the items in this small, tightly edited collection are already sold out.

I am crossing my toes, holding my breath and knocking wood, that I will be lucky enough to be invited to some of the launch parties.  You know I will keep you posted.

I have the feeling this is going to be big--very big.  No doubt, Mrs. Estee is smiling...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Thomas Crown Affair(s)

Rene Russo/The Thomas Crowne Affair

Rene Russo/The Thomas Crown Affair by divadebbi (Clothes by Michael Kors)

I remember seeing the original Thomas Crown Affair when I was young and impressionable. It starred Faye Dunaway as a brilliant insurance investigator. Some brilliantly devised bank heists were being committed in Boston and the police were stumped.  

They called in Faye Dunaway, (at the peak of her beauty,) in a desperate attempt to solve them.  It is she, who figures out that the master mind is Thomas Crown, a bored billionaire playboy, (played by Steve McQueen at his most handsome,) who for kicks, commits them to test his skill and nerve.  I was enthralled with her her brains and her chic. I thought, "that's what I want to be like when I grow up"!!!

In this film, the incredible ensembles worn by Faye Dunaway, were created by Oscar nominated costume designer Theodora Von Runkle.  Von Runkle also had designed Dunaway's memorable wardrobe in Bonnie and Clyde, as well as for her personally.

The cat and mouse games between them were delicious and so was the love affair-of heart, mind and body.  The kiss that they finally give into, during an equally matched chess game, is   still the longest one in film creation.


When they remade this film with Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan  in 1999, Rene was in her late forties and also at the peak of her beauty. Pierce, (though a wee slim for my taste), was devilish and delicious in his role.

Remakes can be such  painful let downs, I was a bit reticent to even see it (after beingcrushed by the hatchet job done to"Sabrina",) but TC2 was every bit as much fun as the original. They changed a few details; Boston to New York, Banks to Boticelli's and Botero's, but the essence and that mad, passionate attraction, remained gorgeously intact.

Michael Kors did the entire wardrobe for the film and Rene Russo wore it all like a second skin.  To his complete credit, 13 years later, every outfit looks as effortless and chic as it did when it was first released.

Rene's hair, also caused quite a stir, for both the exquisite cut and the dramatic fiery auburn color.

One of the Polyvore groups I am part of, is featuring a new contest.  The theme was to create a set based on one of our fashion muses. I tripped down memory lane and thought of this alluring character, played with wry confidence by both actresses.

Clothes may "make the man", but they also may "make the woman" too...


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Laura Mercier: Helping Women Fight Ovarian Cancer

I received this email from my friends at Kaplow P.R. who represent Laura Mercier, a brand fave of mine. I was touched and pleased to see a major cosmetics company championing Ovarian Cancer for a change:

I’m honored to share the news that this September will mark the unveiling of the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among gynecological cancers in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women.

Beginning in September 2012, in recognition of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Laura Mercier will donate100 percent of the profits from the sale of two products – Bonne Mine Healthy Glow for Face & Cheeks Crème Colour Palette and Rose Hope Lip Glacé – to the Fund.

Rose Hope Lip Glace $24
Bonne Mine Healthy Glow For Face and Cheeks $48
100 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to the
Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund

This cause is very near and dear to the hearts of Laura Mercier, and the company’s President and CEO, Claudia Poccia. Both women have been personally touched by the disease – Laura through a dear friend, and Claudia through her sister.

As we speak, my dear friend Debbie is battling this devastating disease. She knows how loved she is and how much we are championing her recovery.

Don't get me wrong.  I am myself a long term breast cancer survivor (knock wood, poo poo, spit spit), and actively fund raise for the cause.  The spectacular work and hundreds of millions of dollars that have been raised by the Laudercompanies and Avon provides money for research, help and hope.

The challenge with ovarian cancer is that fewer women are diagnosed with it than breast cancer, and thus it gets less funding an attention.  

In the last 30 years, there have been huge strides in the detection and treatment of breast cancer.  Not so for ovarian cancer.  In fact, there have beenNO STRIDES.

The reason ovarian cancer is referred to as the, "silent killer" is simple and sad.  The symptoms are vague and mimic things that women don't associate with gynecological problems, like back pain, bloating and frequent urination to name a few.  Women often lose precious time seeking treatment from Chiropractors, Gastroenterologists and Urologists.  By the time they see their Gynecologist, (who will then recommend them to an Gynecological Oncologist), their cancers are often in advanced stages.

Please read the information below to familiarize yourself with symptoms and factors that may elevate your personal risk, it could be life saving.  Please share it:

There is no screening method for early detection for ovarian cancer.  The symptoms of the disease are vague, and are not always gynecologic.  But research shows that  women with ovarian cancer often report having the following symptoms: 
  • A swollen or bloated abdomen, increased girth.  Some women notice that their pants or skirts are getting tight around the waist. The bloating is a sign that fluid, called ascites, is building up in the abdominal cavity in later stage disease
  • Persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis 
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency
  • Change in bowel habits with new onset constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding

Any woman may have these symptoms for reasons not related to ovarian cancer.  However, if these symptoms are new and unusual, and persist daily for more than two weeks, a woman should see her doctor, preferably a gynecologist, and should ask about ovarian cancer.  

Factors that may increase the risk of ovarian cancer:

  • Family history of cancer: Women with a grandmother, mother, daughter or sister with ovarian cancer are at higher risk for the disease. Women with a family history of cancer of the breast, uterus, colon or rectum may also have an increased risk of the disease.
  • Strong family history of cancer of the ovary or breast: Several women in a family having ovarian or breast cancer, especially if it occurs at a young age, is deemed a strong family history for cancer. In such cases, a doctor may recommend a genetic test that can show the presence of specific gene changes or mutations in genes called BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Having these changes in the genes greatly increase the risk ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Approximately 10-15 percent of epithelial ovarian cancers are caused by the inheritance of mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and a few other identified genes (including MLH1, MSH2, or MSH6, called Lynch Syndrome) . What is responsible for the remaining 90 percent of ovarian cancer is unknown. OCRF supports research to find out why cancer occurs in certain women and not others. 
  • Personal history of cancer or endometriosis: Women who have had cancer of the breast, uterus, colon or rectum have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.  Having endometriosis increases the risk of clear cell and endometrioid ovarian cancers by 2-3 fold
  • Age over 55: Most women are over age 55 when diagnosed with ovarian cancer
  • No pregnancies: Older women who have never been pregnant are at increased risk
  • Menopausal hormone therapy: Women who take estrogen by itself, without progesterone, for 10 years or more may have an increased risk of ovarian cancer, studies suggest.

Don't forget to take good care of yourself and to consider making a beautiful purchase for a beautiful cause...

I will, giving a gift to Debbie and others in the process.



Friday, August 24, 2012

DivaDebbi's Most Wanted Fall Accessories

DivaDebbi's Most Wanted Fall Accessories

I am having a love affair with this Fall's accessories...

I have built a wardrobe based on classic styles that suit my figure over the years. My closet is fairly bulging with sheath dresses and pencil skirts from Giorgio Armani, Brioni, Valentino, Diane Von Furstenberg, Helmut Lang, Dolce and Gabanna, Malene Birger, Lela Rose, Michael Kors, Luciano Barbera, Alberta Ferretti, Tory Burch, Vince and Zara, (to name a few!).

It occurred to me, that I could be perfectly happy buying nothing but accessories this Fall, but don't quote me!

The Polvore set I created above gives you a flavor of what I'm craving.  Check back this weekend for my complete update of Accessories Trends for  Fall 2012.

I think you will be coveting them too...


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fall Trends 2012: Makeup

I have been savoring and digesting the fall tomes. I am half way through guts of the Fall 2012 trends in beauty, ready-to-wear and accessories. It's not nearly as overwhelming when your realize that literally hundreds of pages are advertising.

I have no qualm with that really.  The publishing industry has struggled as more and more eyeballs continue to read their glossies digitally (and save a tree or three in the process).  I'm all for successful rebounds and truth be told, even if you never read any content, the consistency of the trends would resonate, just by the ads alone.

In any given season, the worlds of clothing, hair and makeup compliment each other. Designers don't design in a vacuum. They collaborate with the best in the industry to enhance their visions. We then get see the finished "product" on the runway, in live streamed videos and print.

Here's the thing about any trend, if it doesn't suit you to wear a brocade, sapphire nails or full bangs, by all means don't. You will only feel like a poser.  Stick with what feels like you in and on your skin. It will never fail you because you will radiate confidence.

I always love Fall clothes best...who doesn't?, but this season is particularly luscious...

For the first time, in several seasons, there is truly something for everyone,both in silhouette, hue and palette. Here is a round up of this seasons makeup trends. I'll let you know if I'm in,out or trying:

Lady Sings the Blues:  Blue was a major trend in eye shadow, liner, mascara and nail polish, (it's migrated north from the toes.)  Powder, cornflower, teal, sapphire, royal, navy, midnight and every shade in between is being touted. I'm out.

You Glow Girl: I'm not sure when radiant skin isn't fashionable, but luminous skin is definitely having a moment.  The trick is to find illuminators that are subtly infused in foundations and powders.  The world has waited a long time for YSL to introduce a foundation to compliment their cult favorite concealer Touche Eclat. 
Le Teint Touche is available in 17 shades and is already winning raves...I'm in.

Red Reins:  There was a tremendous amount of red shown on the runways this fall.  To me, red ready-to-wear is a brunette Girls color.  I have never cared for it on a blonde or a redhead.  Since it was shown so prominently on the runway, red lipstick was a huge trend.  If you are going to attempt it, The best bet is to wear it with a neutral cheek.  I have tried, many, many times to wear red lipstick. It always feels false and harsh on me, particularly if it has yellow undertones.  I'm out.

Cheers! Burgundy and merlot lips and nails: Fashion is having a love affair with the vineyard this season and I am stoked.  I have never worn such a deep hued lip before, but I will give it a whirl.  It helps to look for sheer textures and to apply it with a lip brush while the eye adjusts. I'm trying.

Ever since Chanel introduced "Vamp" nail polish in 1994, (yes, it's been 16 years already), browned burgundies are more or less a Fall staple, this year, even more so. Always loved it, always will.  I'm in.

Browsing:  Full for Fall is the edict.  If you have over tweezed, over the years,
it's pretty much safe to say that ship has sailed.

Back in June, I discovered a fabulous product made by Anastasia of Beverly Hills. (  This cleanly textured brow gel applies easily with the wand it comes with.  It adds fullness, defines and if you have a stray gray, it will cover that too.
Nicely, it stays perfectly put, all day.

Thick or thin, it's worth it to have your brows  professionally shaped every 6 weeks or so, (and no I don't mean at the corner nail salon.)  I'm in.

Getting Down to Earth: 
I have always been a fan of earth tone shadows.  I think they are flattering to every eye color. In reality, the shades are more edible than earthy;  the best are rich truffle, cinnamon, mocha, chocolate and coffee. Besides, it's hard to mess them up.  I'm in.

Bold Liner; Meow: This is just code for 'Cat's Eye" another look that frequently resurfaces.  I've been trying my hand at it for more than years than I care to admit.  I have two lining staples:  Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Gel and Le Metier de Beaute's Precision Liner.  The applicator brush was designed by Mont Blanc,  the venerable German writing instrument house.  It does not exempt me from having to use a lot of Q-tips. It's a gorgeous look for evening and I will never not covet it.  I'm trying.  Again.

What's your pretty???


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Penelope Cruz in W...and Polyvore


Penelope Cruz  graces the cover of W Magazine's September fashion issue. I think she is ravishingly gorgeous.

The photography in this issue is stunning, though I can see very little correlation to clothing and hence; fashion.

The current Editor, Stefano Tonchi, has a curious predilection for mice type.  I might not be able to spot my mother across an auditorium, but I do pride myself on being able to read the N.Y. Times sans reading glasses...This makes me crazy. One question.  WHY???

So, I no longer read W., because I can't... I just look at the pretty pictures.  As their 40th anniversary approaches, they showed some wonderful shots of the swans who frequently graced their pages, Jacqueline de Ribes, Jackie O., Pat Buckley, Nancy Kissinger, C.Z. Guest, Gloria Vanderbilt et al.

It made me miss the days of former editor Patrick McCarthy and founder John Fairchild's reign, when we saw plenty of fashion.  Every issue finished with 'Countess Louise J. Esterhazy' (aka J.F.) hilariously griping and skewering Society, always evening the score. (FYI: There is an enjoyable article about the always mischievous and brilliant Mr. Fairchild in September's Vanity Fair.)

Thus, I had Penelope on the brain.  I didn't get to see her outfitted as I might have wanted to in this month's W., so in this Polyvore set I dressed her as if I did.

Would she not look stunning in this ruched, floral satin Dolce and Gabanna dress, with Lanvin clutch and Nak Armstrong earrings?  Oh and I adore the shoes too.

I think the Countess would have approved...


Thursday, August 16, 2012

EmerginC Lavender Toner: Do you need this?

EmerginC Lavender Toner $29

When one of my P.R. pals at Crier Beauty inquired whether I wanted to sample EmerginC's new Lavender Tone, created especially for sensitive skin, my first thought was, "no, not really."

It's not that I have anything against toners--I used them for years.  I often found, that despite scrupulous cleansing, I still would see makeup remnants on a toner soaked cotton ball.

What changed?  My love affair with my Clarisonic Mia, which truly DOES get the dirty deed done.  I wrote back explaining I was taking a pass, when my pal informed me she is also a Clarisonic devotee.  She assured me that I too would love this lovely lavender toner.  O.K. Twist my arm...

I was not familiar with emerginC's cosmeceutical collection. This paraben-free line is also devoid of artificial colors and fragrances and does not test on animals. The preservatives are plant based as well. It is well recommended by leading dermatologists and is used at many top spas.

For starters, its smells wonderful.  In addition to lavender, which is well known for its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, it also contains green tea.  Green tea contains anti-bacterial agents and well as anti-inflammatory ones.  As a result, it's a great choice for sensitive and acne prone skin.  Additional ingredients include; cornflower, chamomile, balm mint, calendula, azulene, magnolia and witch hazel.

So, what did I find on my lavender toner soaked cotton ball?

Not much, but it smelled and felt fabulous.  Another benefit?  My skin was so radiant after applying my serum and moisturizer, that I have started using it in the morning as well.

I have never used a toner twice a day in my life.  This so gentle and refreshing that I feel has though I am hydrating, rather than stripping and drying out my skin.


Holy Grail toner?  Check.  Ding, ding, ding, emerginC Lavender Toneris in a class by itself. I've never used one better and I thank you Amanda.

Do you need this???  Yes.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

YBF Dual-Action Makeup Remover: Twice as Good

YBF dual-action makeup remover
for eyes and lips $20
Though you might view this skeptically, the goal of testing the myriad of products I try, is to find the Holy Grail of each category so I have to look no further.

I  have posted frequently of my frustration to find a great eye makeup remover, with little success.

At last, this and one better...YBF's dual action makeup remover for eyes and lips is nothing short of wonderful.

This unique product needs to be shaken gently, to get the ingredients to emulsify a bit.  It whisks on gently (and yes, I did use it on my lips too,) and instantly whisks off every bit of makeup with zero greasy residue.

Is love to strong a word for a makeup remover??? I think not...

Here is blip from creator Stacey Schiefflin description:

This combination remover feels fresh as water but when gently shaken, it is activated to whisk away all eye makeup, even waterproof mascara, as well as long lasting lipsticks & lip stains! This formula provides effective makeup removal with the refreshing feel of water, aloe, fennel extract & cucumber extract that soothe and calm your vulnerable eye area! We need to keep in mind that all pretty peepers are sensitive so this ybf goodie is ideal for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers too! The technology (which you know I love) is an innovative bi-phase liquid – the lipid phase lifts off the makeup, the water phase contains our special emollients to refresh and condition skin without a greasy residue! How perfectly clean! 

I don't know a lot about YBF makeup but I know this: I want to know more.  Who knows???  Another HG may be on the cusp of discovery.

If so, you know you will be the first to know.


Friday, August 3, 2012

About Face: Supermodels Then and Now

Supermodel Paulina Porizkova and Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

I was looking forward to seeing portrait photographer Timothy Greenfield- Sanders HBO documentary about the stories of the original "Supermodels".  I had memories of many of these beauties gracing the covers of magazines I devoured.

It's challenging enough for many of us to face our own aging faces. I was curious to hear how much harder that must be for these women, who were lauded for their great beauty and lead incredibly glamorous lives.The voyeur in me, also was curious to see how well, (or badly!) they had aged.

It's a sprawling cast that includes: Isabella Rosellini, Jerry Hall, Christie Brinkley, Beverly Johnson, Pat, Cleveland, Patti Hansen, Marissa Berenson, Kim Alexis, Carol, Alt, Dayle Haddon, Bethann Hardison, Paulina Porzkova, Lisa Taylor, Cheryl Tiegs, China Machado and the exquisite 80 year old Carmen Dell'Orefice.

Some of the women were more well known for their runway work, since their ethnicity kept them from being featured in print, until Beverly Johnson broke that barrier by being the first African American model to land a Vogue cover.

Supermodels Then and Now is strongest when it spends enough time letting its subjects reflect about their experiences in depth. I got to "know"Isabella Rosellini, Carmen Dell'Orefice, China Machado, Jerry Hall, Marissa Berenson, Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison and Paulina Porizkova.  I appreciated hearing their stories and was happy to hear how comfortable they are in their older skin.

The others seemed air brushed over, so to speak.  I would have been more content with either another hour, so we got to hear every ones tale, or sticking with a smaller cast and delving deeper into the feelings about their physical aging.

Seriously...can we tawk about plastic surgery???  Throw me a bone.

Almost all of the women were still stunningly beautiful.  Most looked to be slim and healthy which, to a large degree is something that is within our control. I'll admit to breathing a sigh of some extent, if they can keep it together, so can we...

I just wish I knew how they were doing it.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Actively Radiant with Murad's Active Radiance Serum

Murad's Active Radiance Serum
1 fl. oz. $89.00
When I first started blogging back in March of 2008 (!), I recalled my introduction to the world of serums.

I have always been a PBS Girl, and will slog through the fundraising events because I know they need viewer support.

One evening, I became mesmerized, watching the Internationally known Dermatologist, Dr. Denese spouting her shpil.   Dr. Denese is a Hungarian blonde of a certain age. Initially, I wasn't paying any attention to what she was saying because I couldn't take my eyes off her glowing skin...Then I snapped out of my revelry and whipped out a  notepad.

 Dr. Denese's skin care philosophy is backed up with a whole lotta science and boils down to 5 simple steps: 

1) Cleanse 
2) Tone
3) Exfoliate with glycolic acid 
4) Apply a "serum" with a watery consistency to 
5) Bind with an application of a "fatty" night creme.

It all resonated well with me, and I still follow this regimen every day and every night for the last 6 years. In addition to my beloved La Peau Skincare (the best day, night and eye cream ever), I have added a miracle booster, a 2 part system from 3 Sisters Restorasis before my serum. This one, two easy system clinically reverses damage. I have promised and will be providing you with in depth information about this amazing find. I am proud to be the the Brand Ambassador for both products.

In the beginning, it was nearly impossible to find a "serum with a watery consistency".  They barely  existed as a skin care category.  The market is now proliferated with them,  so hunting for an effective serum, that delivers the glow I pursue like a truffle hound is always something I am open to sample.

I  am quite enamored with Dr. Howard Murad's Skincare products.  One of the easiest, most effective glow getters I have added to my skin care regimen is  a simple application of  Murad's Intensive-C Radiance Peel, for 10 minutes, once a week.  ($49.50 and a little goes a long way).

When I had the opportunity to sample the well reviewed Murad Active Radiance Serum, I pounced.  Here's the promise:

What it is:
A clinically proven treatment for environmentally aging skin that brightens and renews the complexion by improving natural radiance and clarity. 

What it is formulated to do:
This radiance-enhancing serum protects and repairs skin to provide superior all-day defense against environmental aggressors with Resilient-C Complex, a remarkable new vitamin C technology that delivers 50-times the free radical neutralizing power of prior generations. This unique formula restores tone and smoothes texture while improving skin firmness. 

Of all the serums I have tried, I would say it's in my top 5. I have not noticed additional firming, but it definitely does brighten and leave the skin finished with a radiant glow.  At this price point, I think it will best serve those with  mature or damaged skin.

Murad makes an extensive line of skincare products targeted to different needs from acne and rosacea to hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.  Whatever ails you, he has used the best science possible to create a treatment to improve it.

I still feel lucky to have learned how essential a serum is to a good skincare regiment from Dr. Denese and whole heartily recommend you use one too.

I always keep a notepad and pen in my night table (in the past to write down whatever I think I can't live without that is being hawked on QVC at 3:00 am.  Amazing the clarity the light of day brings...)  If Dr. Murad ever gets a gig onPBSI'll be ready for him too...