August 31, 2007

Costa Rica bound!

No posts for the next week, my dears. I'm off to faaaaabulous Costa Rica for a week-long yoga retreat with the awesome Kimberly Wilson (a.k.a. Hip Tranquil Chick)!

We'll be staying at the magical Pura Vida Wellness Resort and Spa (that's their main yoga studio at left—ain't it divine?) for seven days of yoga, meditation, creativity work, and even a couple of eco-adventures. Should be loads of fun and I can't wait to share my enlightenments with you when I return next weekend.

'Til then, be well and stay gorgeous!

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Quote of the week for August 31

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.”

– Margaret Bonnano

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August 30, 2007

Fall trend alert: passionate puckers

The "it" look for Fall 2007 is pure glamour—and what could be more glamorous than a sexy red pout that just screams "bombshell?"

No question about it, ladies: this is a bold look that takes skill and strategy to pull off. Fortunately, Julyne Derrick of Beauty is here to demystify the perfect crimson pout. Just stick to Julyne's five simple rules and you'll do just fine:

Rule No. 1: The secret lies in the rest of your face. Go easy on the eye makeup and blush to avoid the circus-clown-slash-aging-drag-queen look.

Rule No. 2: Line inside of lips. The bolder the color, the more vigilant you need to be in preventing bleeding, else your carefully crafted pout will quickly melt into a hot mess. Start by filling the lips in with liner; this creates a matte foundation that helps color stay put.

More rules after the jump.


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August 29, 2007

White out?

As we head into the Labor Day weekend, the "official" end of summer (yeah, tell it to the weatherman...), that most ancient of style questions raises its often-revered, often-reviled head.

I'm speaking, of course, about whether or not it's acceptable to wear white shoes after Labor Day.

Let's consult no lesser an authority than Manolo the Sheblogger himself to set us all straight on this age-old question.

Here's the gist:

Certainly, the Manolo is the traditionalist, one who believes that our standards of dress and comportment have slipped badly in recent times, but the Manolo is also the realist one who recognizes that this ancient and petty dictum had outlived it usefulness in the modern age.

So, unless you are having the high tea with the ladies of the Biloxi Garden Society, this is the rule you can safely ignore well into the fall, but only if the weather remains hot and sunny, as white shoes are indeed summer weather shoes.

So there you have it, ladies. As long as the sun is shining and temps are high—which in Texas should take us well into mid-October—you can slip on your fave white footwear and rock it with pride.

Personally, I'd recommend a sweet little two-toned number that can ease from floaty summer dresses into the more structured styles of fall—like the ultra-delish Whisper from Charles David. Pair them with your flirty black-and-white sundress for Labor Day festivities, then with soft gray (this season's hot neutral!) trousers as the season wears on.

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August 27, 2007

Calling all mommies!

If you're the fabulous mommy of an equally fabulous bambino (or will be soon), have we got news for you!

The eternally superfantastic Manolo has expanded his blogging empire yet again—this time into the world of parenting with Teeny Manolo.

So if you're looking to swath your bundle of joy into the latest and greatest fall fashions—or if you're just curious which celebrity mom almost dropped her kid this week—cruise on over and create a bookmark right now.

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August 26, 2007

Getting into character

Ever wonder what you'd look like as a Simpsons character? Wonder no more.

Visit the Simpsonize Me website to upload a photo and turn yourself into Springfield's newest neighbor. You select the hairstyle, clothing style, accessories, and other details, then save and download your creation.

That's me over at the right. I think she's pretty cute.

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August 24, 2007

Quote of the week for August 24

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

e.e. cummings

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August 23, 2007

Fall fashion buzz from Elaine Turner

Houstonian Elaine Turner has come quite a long way since the year 2000, when her lifelong love of accessories inspired her to open her own handbag business. Now her work has earned the patronage of Hollywood fashionistas such as Debra Messing, in addition to appearing in such hallowed publications as Elle, In Style, and O.

Elaine recently appeared on Great Day Houston to unveil her Fall 2007 line and enlighten us about some of the season's hottest trends. Two things she says we can keep an eye out for:

  • While they never seem to go away altogether, metallics are particularly in this season. Look for golds, silvers, bronzes, and other shinies to be gracing the season's "it" bags—especially silver. And don't worry about matching your jewelry to your bag; since all metallics are neutrals, you can feel free to mix and match.
  • Expect to see lots of hardware—chains, buckles, charms, you name it—like the link-chain strap on this ultra-sweet Alice shoulder bag pictured here.
To see the video, just go to the Great Day Houston website and select "Bag It Up in Style!" from the list of clips at right.

So where can you snag one of Elaine's fab-tastic creations? See them up close and personal at Tootsie's and Nordstrom in Houston, or at her flagship store in Dallas. And of course, you can always shop at her website (the new fall line isn't up yet, but I'm sure it will be soon).

Thanks to the fabulous Tammy and her buddy Lauren—one of Elaine's fabulous deisgners—for the tip.

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August 22, 2007

Dressing well ... the nerve!

The fabulous Manolo recently posted a link to an interesting editorial in last week's Washington Post, "The Risk of Overdressing," which author Robin Givhan opens with the following provocative observation:

"It has become common practice among the self-righteous burlap-and-sandals set to indict a woman for being too perfectly turned out. Interest in fashion, at its highest and glossiest level, is seen as shorthand for self-absorption, vapidness and thoughtlessness."

The article goes on to present the treatment of Laura Linney's character in The Nanny Diaries as a metaphor for the disdain often showed toward women who obviously put time, effort, and money into their appearance. And while I found Ms. Givhan's commentary both relevant and thought-provoking, I think she neglects the fundamental question of where this prejudice against polish came from in the first place.

Personally, I feel it's inextricably bound with the "don't give a damn" vibe that has so pervaded our society's sartorial sensibilities over the last few years. As the masses dress down to unspeakable lows—case in point: crocs—those who take a more elevated approach to their image are increasingly portrayed as shallow, conceited, and, often, just too dumb to spend their time on anything else.

(continued after the jump)


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Fall trend alert: gray expectations

Buh-bye espresso, taupe, and nutmeg—the hot neutral for this fall is cool, classic gray.

Synonymous with both cozy sweaters and sophisticated suiting, gray is making a huge comeback across the board, from easy knit dresses like this honey from The Gap (pictured) to Ralph Lauren's menswear-inspired tailored pieces.

Also look for gray flannel accessories galore, like this delicious "Emily" t-strap flat from Michael Kors. Just the thing for strolling down a leaf-covered park pathway on a crisp autumnal day. (Again, I know it's effin' stifling right now, but work with me here ...)

I for one am thrilled to see gray back in the limelight, and not just because it's a refreshing change from those oh-so-predictable autumnal earthtones. Gray's been a fave standby of mine for years, and believe it or not, this understated hue actually has extraordinary sentimental value. (Find out why after the jump.)


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August 21, 2007

Showers: his and hers

Guess who has more fun?

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Let the battle begin!

Two will enter ... one will leave ...

No, I'm no talking about Thunderdome.

I'm referring to this fall's Battle of the Sex-and-the-City Heirs Apparent.

In the Blue Corner: Cashmere Mafia, ABC's new series from SatC producer Darren Starr. The story follows four powerful Manhattan executives—played by Lucy Liu, Miranda Otto, Frances O'Connor, and Bonnie Somerville—as they support each other through the ups and downs of life, love, and career in the big city.

And in the Red Corner: Lipstick Jungle, NBC's new series based on the book by SatC author Candace Bushnell. The story follows three powerful Manhattan executives—played by Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, and Lindsay Price—as they support each other through the ups and downs of life, love, and career in the big city.

What's that? No, silly, of course they're totally different. One has four main characters, the other has three—don't ya get it? Gawh!

Yes, the glaring similarities have been duly noted by both press and public. Now both sides seem to have called a truce in the "who copied whom" fingerpointing game and have decided to let the people out in TV-land decide.

So take a look at each promo and leave a comment on which one you'd be more likely to watch.

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August 20, 2007

Monday morning fun

Maybe we all have to wait until September 27 for the new season of Ugly Betty, but ABC is getting the party started early with a promo video featuring an adaptation of Mika's "Big Girl."

Check it out at the Ugly Betty home page for some Monday morning fabulousness.

Update: For those of you diehard Office/My Name Is Earl fans who may have missed Season 1, it's now available on DVD—including a behind-the-scenes segment showing exactly what it takes to get gorgeous America Ferrera "Bettified."

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August 16, 2007

Quote of the week for August 17

This week's quote comes from one of the funniest ladies ever: the late, great Gilda Radner.

        "I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch."

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Heavy weather chic

As all of us in southeast Texas brace ourselves for the effects of former–Tropical Storm Erin and approaching Hurricane Dean, there's just one thing on my mind.

What does one wear to a hurricane?

On the one hand, in a severe weather situation, protecting one's self and family is the most important thing. On the other, who says you can't protect your fabulista image at the same time?

I'd start with the ultimate rainy-day accessory, the umbrella—specifically, this gorgeous Tiffany Dragonfly Umbrella from the U.K.-based Umbrella Shop. (After all, who knows rainy days better than the Brits?)

 Next, of course, must come a fabulously chic trenchcoat. (No slickers, darling—let's leave the plastic to the Tupperware people.) As we've already made a strong statement with the umbrella, I'd go subtle on this element with Banana Republic's black button trench.

And now for some fabulous footwear to pull it all together—can't have those Manolos getting all wet and nasty now, can we, ladies? Here I'd go for a solid-color Wellie that pulls out one of the umbrella shades, like these Hunter Original rain boots in light green.

So let the rain fall and the wind blow—you're covered with a storm-proof fashion statement that lasts all hurricane season long.


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August 15, 2007

From "Allure" to "All-whore?"

Good God, Allure! First Lindsay, now Britney?

As an avid Allure reader (as in, best not come between me and my mailbox during the third week of the month), I was willing to forgive the May cover featuring professional trainwreck Lindsay Lohan. Okay, fine, we're being all edgy and controversial, blah, blah, blah ...

Then I got wind that Britney had been signed for the September marquis. I was skeptical but optimistic; hey, if I were getting serious about a pop-princess comeback, Allure would be one of my first stops.

When I first heard that she flaked out on her interview for the cover story (not once, but four times), then followed up with behavior bizarre enough to have us all rooting for KFed to get the kids, I was sure the editors would yank the whole thing. Surely editor-in-chief Linda Wells could call in a favor from Scarlett or Sienna and cobble together a serviceable cover package.

Alas, no. Somehow they managed to slap a feature together and went ahead with the cover story. All I can say is, that Photoshopping job must've been a major investment of time and money to merit such an editorial disaster.

So, okay, Allure. You know I love you no matter what you do, but let's all hope that you've finally gotten this rebellious streak out of your system. Let's finish out 2007 on a high note and get some class back on your cover, 'kay?

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Disconcerted by "discontinueds?"

Ah, you can still recall the day when you first found The One that was right for you. You just knew it was right from the first moment. Day after day, season after season, your affection only deepened as time marched on.

Until the day when the magic was gone. And there was no getting it back.

I'm speaking, of course, about that perfect shade of lipstick-blush-eyeshadow-nail polish that was discontinued just when you thought you'd never love another. But fear not, forlorn maiden—your knight in shining armor is just a mouse click away.

Introducing Three Custom Color, the solution for your discontinued-product heartache.

Just visit their custom studio and tell them the brand, the name and the shade of your lost love—or send them whatever's left of your last tube or pot. The first thing they'll do is search their own extensive inventory of discontinued brands for an exact match. If that doesn't work, their custom colorists will get to work to produce an exact replica.

And, of course, your customized formula remains in their permanent files, so you can reorder whenever you need to.

Ah, I love happy endings.

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Fall trend alert: cap toe shoes

Just got a memo from your toes, ladies.

They don't quite know how to break it to you, but, em, after two solid seasons, they're getting tired of peeping.

Yes, as summer whimsy gives way to fall sophistication (and yes, I know it's still hotter than the Hinges of Hell outside, but work with me here), the peep-toe shoe is taking a back seat to one of fall's hottest trends, the cap toe.

Classic and sophisticated (think Jackie O and Marilyn), the cap toe adds a touch of flair to an otherwise homgenous landscape, while still keeping everything demurely covered. And that can be very sexy. Like this cuter-than-cutey-cute pump from Oh Deer, which brightens up a classic black-and-white houndstooth with a pop of yellow (still a hot color, by the way). I'd totally wear these with jeans as well as with a conservative black business suit--then just let the compliments roll on in.

Oh, and here's the best part: you can finally take a break from pedicures for a bit. (It's OK: your secret's safe with me...)

So when your fall fashion forays find you in the shoe department, just remember this cap-tivating fall trend. With a cap-ital T. Then we'll all go for a cap-puccino.

Okay, I'll stop now.

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August 14, 2007

Why should coeds have all the fun?

collegeAs you moms are well aware, the back-to-school vibe is definitely in the air. (BTW, the Texas tax holiday is this weekend. You diehard bargain-hunters will want to set your alarms and eat your Wheaties--me, I'll be curled up with the mister until it's time for my morning yoga. Even I have limits.)

Yes, the shopping blogs are all abuzz with must-haves for our collegiate sisters as they gear up for another school year. But why should they have all the fun?

And with that, I present my top five back-to-school buys that we can all enjoy. 

iPod Dock and Travel Speakers from iFusion: Hey, it's still plenty warm enough for pool parties, and with this portable jam generator, you'll be the life of every one you attend. Just charge it up, pack up your 'Pod, and you're ready to go. There's no outlet required; all you need is your favorite party playlist to keep the tunes spinning!

Hoodie Sweater from Newport News: Once seen only on college compuses, usually in gray fleece and usually less-than-recently washed, the hoodie has gone totally mainstream. Love, love, love this soft blue option from Newport News, embellished with feminine crochet details. Sure, you might have to hold off until the next cool front, but it's worth the wait.

Post-Its, Fashionista Style: Yes, your favorite office supply has gotten a long-overdue makeover for Fall 2007. Keep an eye out for hot new colors like coral and lime, as well as stylish patterns that make up the "Samba" collection.

Faux-Croc Laptop Bag from TechStyle: Sure we all love basic black, but when it comes to your laptop bag, why miss the chance to make a fashion statement? Pack your tech into this hot pink number from TechStyle and you'll never want to put it down.

Red-Stripe "Crunch Basket" from the Container Store: Even if you're not living in a dorm, this little space-saving gem can be quite a lifesaver. It pops up into a structured rectangular basket, ideal for things like hauling in your dry cleaning. And when you're done, just crunch it up again; it folds perfectly flat for easy storage.

So whether you're fresh out of school or are somewhat more "established," there's no need to miss out on these fun back-to-school buys. Happy shopping!


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August 13, 2007

Well, hellooooo, gorgeous!

Greetings and welcome to the all-new Hellooooo, Gorgeous blog!hellooooo_gorgeous

For those of you wondering who I am and what I'm doing here, lemme 'splain.

No, is too much. Lemme sum up.

Hellooooo, Gorgeous began as a weekly newsletter I'd created for the girls at the ad agency where I used to work, for two distinct purposes:

  1. sharing my passion for all things fabulous in beauty and fashion with my galpals, and
  2. enjoying a desperately-needed respite from the abysmal drudgery of writing insurance copy.
Anyway, I changed jobs about six weeks ago and have been encountering byzantine technical problems getting each week's issue through to my girls at the office. (For those of you who missed the last two issues, I've posted them here and here.)

So finally I just said, eff it, I'm starting a blog.

And here I am to enter the wonderful world of blogging and reach a whole new audience of gorgeous fabulistas.

Check in early and often for fashion news, beauty tips, book and blog reviews, and any other fabulousness that's fit to print.

Thanks for visiting and welcome!

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