Monthly Archives: March 2011

Josie Maran Cosmetics ~ GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

Josie Maran, best known for her stint as a cheesy Maybelline spokesbitch and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, launched a “natural” beauty line with the goal of using sustainable, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced ingredients where possible.Let’s acknowledge the obvious: natural makeup doesn’t have the best reputation for performance.  Good face isn’t up for compromise.  Therefore, natural makeup must be judged against the same standards as its synthetic counterparts.When compared with other luxury brands, Josie Maran’s GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara fails to impress.  For starters, the brush isn’t great.  Add to that the clump of product that failed to disperse and sat on the end of the wand defiantly.  Third, the formula causes lashes to stick together into little spikes.  Not especially lengthening or thickening, GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara is utterly mediocre.Josie claims the mascara contains organic, cruelty-fragrance-toxin free ingredients, however glance below – some of the components are natural, but there are definitely a few WTFs on the list.

Water, Styrene/acrylates Copolymer, Organic Copernicia Cerifera Wax, Dilinoleic Acid/propanediol Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Ci 77499, Tromethamine, Black 2, Kaolin, Pvp, Mica, Organic Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Organic Beeswax, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Aloe Barbadensis, Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol, Laureth-4, Panthenol, Simethicone, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.At $22, GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara’s price point rivals that of Korres, Lancome, and Christian Dior’s mascaras, but in no way competes with any of these brands in lush-lashed results.

BETHENNY EVER AFTER: metro card

The first of several 40th birthday parties kicked off at a suite at the Gansevoort where Bethenny and her girls pre-gamed with Skinnygirl and mini-sliders.  Later, Bethenny rallied the group for a schlong hunt at Plunge.Why does Bethenny think she has game?  She acted like a crazed Ramona lusting over the general manager conveniently named Jason.  At 40 not 30, Bethenny’s a little more resistible than she thinks.  Seriously, slow your roll and stop embarrassing yourself.After a few drinks, each sloppster took a turn stomping out her dignity in the center of the dance circle.  Julie offered the most interesting dance craze – the metro card – a reenactment of that graceful moment when the metro card fails and you whiplash against the immobile turnstile.  Bethenny acted like Julie was nutz.  Apparently it has been awhile since bougie Bethenny has taken the train, because that shit was brilliant.  Anyone who takes public transportation would know that dance of shame anywhere.The next day, Bethenny got the call about Skating With the Stars and it was immediately obvious that she was going to say “yes,” even though she pretended she was going to discuss it with the family.  Back at casa Hoppy, Jason braced himself for the latest news.Jason didn’t seem too enthusiastic about the idea and immediately started chipping away at her excitement with loaded questions.  Jealous much?  Then he asked if it would be better for her to do Dancing With the Stars.  Her response was fucking priceless, and proves how big her head has become.

Super snotty she says, “I don’t really want to do the twelfth of anything.”

Her implication – that she would turn down the highly rated Dancing With the Stars in favor of Skating With the Stars – could not be more patently absurd.  Bitch please.  No one asked you to be on Dancing With the Stars.  Don’t fucking act like you would have turned down Dancing with the God Damn Stars because no one on this planet believes your fame-seeking ass would ever do any such thing.Julie joined the meeting and even though she and Jason had concerns about time and scheduling, there was no talking Bethenny out of her skates.  She knew she was accepting the offer the minute they called.  Make no mistake: Bethenny furthers her fame first.Even though no one had even mentioned Bethenny’s birthday, she moaned that everyone kept “harping on her 40th birthday,” so she simply must have a lavish party to satisfy the masses or some such self-important bullshit.  She met up with her wedding planner Shawn for lunch and he offered to plan the party for her as a product placement gift.  Bravo probably pressured Bethenny into having a party on the show to give it some zest, and this might explain her mixed messages.  This does not bode well since when the sentiments “reluctant” and “party” are combined, it never makes for a very festive event.Later Jason and Bethenny took Bryn on an afternoon stroll.  Jason nit-picked the proposed plans.  The two began to bicker about the number of guests, the timing of food and drink, and the appropriate night for the party.With a proposed guest list of 35-45, Bethenny didn’t want to exclude her friends for Jason’s buddies.  In another dick move, Jason played the “you’re married now, Bethenny” card.  In this instance, Bethenny’s right on.  It is her birthday, and the guest list should be comprised of her friends.  Jason manipulated her by calling her selfish, and got his way to invite ten friends to her party.  When Jason turns forty he can invite all his friends.  Not all couples must share friends.  Furthermore, Jason’s friends don’t actually give a fuck about celebrating Bethenny’s birthday, so he should stop fronting like they do.From there things got progressively uglier, and a sour cloud hovered over the rest of the walk, the talk, and the party.  Bethenny began to regret agreeing to the bash.  Considering the amount of celebrations Bethenny’s had for Bethenny this year – engagement, showers, a televised wedding – a low key fortieth might have been a better way to go.Bethenny met her skating partner Ethan Burgess at the rink, but the chemistry wasn’t exactly gelling.  Awkward chatter peppered practice and culminated with Bethenny declaring that she’d seen Ethan fall in a competition on youtube.  Not knowing when to STFU, Bethenny continued to prattle and opined his fall was due to the rocky relationship with his girlfriend/skate partner.  Nice first impression.Back in bed, Bethenny and Jason continued to write “birthday party disaster” all over the walls.  Each time the topic came up, the two clashed.Since Bethenny’s latest book is about conquering negative thoughts, take note of Bethenny’s own self-defeating behavior.  She says things like “my whole life has been like that.”  Boo Fucking Hoo.

Your life is a result of your own choices.  Quit bitching.

Tuesday’s Tarot

This card is such a bummer.  Four letters sum it up: L-O-S-S.  The worst thing about having something ripped away is that once its gone we tend to hyper-analyze what we could have done to prevent its loss.  The Five of Cups reminds us that misfortune is just another card in the tarot deck of life.  Regret, dispossession, and demise represent different manifestations of the Five of Cups.  Anticipating an inheritance?  Unfortunately, it won’t meet expectations.

FLAGG > FRANKEL

Recently, Bravo stars Josh Flagg (Million Dollar Listing) and Bethenny Frankel (Bethenny Ever After) both released books.  Frankel authored two previous best-sellers: Naturally Thin and the companion cookbook Skinnygirl Dish.  By now you’ve surely heard of her latest offering – A Place of Yes, a self-help guide including “10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life.”  After reading the first twenty pages of Place of Yes, a response of “fuck no” started to form.  Place of Obvious might be a better title for all the wisdom and insight tucked into the pages of this meandering manifesto.

Million Dollar Agent: Brokering the Dream might sound like a real estate book, and in many ways it is.  Flagg writes with endearing honesty about his upbringing and family.  Shaped by strong women, Flagg gives credit where credit is due – to his grandmothers and mother for shaping him into his current success.  He discusses his first feelings of detachment from the crowd, and how his burgeoning homosexuality further reinforced his isolation.  This description makes the book sound heavy; it’s not.  It’s hilarious.  If you watch Josh on Million Dollar Listing, his voice narrates the anecdotes.  Here are a few gems:On his Grandma Edith bringing polyester to the U.S. fabric market, “So in short, my grandmother became incredibly successful and was single handedly responsible for the horrendous synthetic fiber jogging suits of the 1970’s.”On Mom and Dad, “I blame them both for my precocious demeanor and pretentious sense of self-worth.”Concerning his Father specifically,”…his plan to make me a humble human being backfired.”“Parents of other kids in my class, they loved me!  For the ones that couldn’t tell I pitched for the other team, they were thrilled because they thought their daughters were going to marry me.  For the ones who could tell, they wanted me to come over to their houses and help them redecorate their living rooms.”From his Grandfather’s death at Auschwitz to his reign as cotillion queen, page after page, Flagg’s disarming candor reveals his unvarnished, often painful truth.When you compare these two books, the startling difference boils down to authenticity.  Josh’s account resonates as personal and genuine.  Bethenny’s book reads like she’s trying to convince us she’s got life all figured out.Check out Flagg’s Million Dollar Agent: Brokering the Dream – not only will you learn a thing or two about real estate, Josh’s forthright career memoir may change and inform your opinion of the squeaky-voiced (yet charming) dork.

Sunday with Laurieann Gibson

NANCY CUERVO

new face

The face for this spring starts with a translucent sheer foundation finished with little to no powder.  Berry-stained lips provide interest as shown at Carolina HerreraAs beauty strategies go, emphasizing one feature isn’t a revelation, but most get it wrong.  Perfect execution requires an extremely subtle hand. Brows play an essential part in framing an otherwise mostly unadorned face.  The most forward-thinking interpretation serves a super strong, darker sculpted brow with impeccable skin and modest color.  The finish on lips and cheeks reciprocate each other – think color wash – a single shade layered for various levels of intensity. Eye smokers, you don’t have to give up the liner, but please exercise some restraint.  See WangVera or Alexander – for different ways to smoke it out.

glove love

Don’t expect to see any “spring cleaning” proclamations here.  In the land of Demeter Clarc, cleaning is a daily activity, not just a seasonal one.  One product in particular makes cleaning tolerable and even enjoyable: True Blues.  “The Ultimate Household Gloves” protect hands, grip when wet, and allow for nimble dexterity. Even though they are called “True Blues,” they come in other colors.  Recently, an equally cleaning-obsessed friend gifted me a purple pair and they have been put to good use every day since.  (Merci Blanche)Durable, comfortable, and essential, True Blues complete a cleaning kit.  The far superiority of these gloves over cheaper versions justify the modest investment.

True Blues – for all the nasty shit you don’t want to touch.

Bethenny Ever After: baptism by fire and Brynstone

This week’s Bethenny Ever After reminded us just how offensive folks can be while hiding behind a shield of overprotective parenting philosophies.  Gina brought the Hoppy Family outside the ivory towers of TriBeCa to Brooklyn to enjoy the Yoruba–Orisha Baptist Church.  Those of you who paid attention in undergrad may remember Yoruba as a religion geographically rooted in Nigeria and Benin, that traveled with the people, and subsequently flourished in parts of the Caribbean and South America.  The flavor of this particular church blends Christian Baptist and Yoruba traditions.Bethenny and Jason marveled at the congregants like they were a tribe of primitive aboriginals.  The two commented on their “exotic” dress and head-wear as Bravo layered the cheapest canned “island beats” they could afford into the background.Even though every single other woman in the room had their head covered, Bethenny didn’t seem to take the hint that she needed to cover her hair as a sign of respect, so one of the women helped her out by offering a scarf.  Despite the obvious religious significance, both Bethenny and Jason seemed to confuse the gesture of humility with a fashion statement and giggled like school kids about the aesthetic.Instead of wondering about whether her Fredrick’s of Hollywood hand-me-down lingerie was supporting those billowy garments (sidebar: Who the fuck donates skanky used lingerie to a baptist church?), it should have occurred to Bethenny to cover her legs, or better yet, her crotch when visiting a place of worship.  The concept of modesty as a gesture of reverence apparently never entered her mind.The tour through Offensiville didn’t stop there.  Jason thought it appropriate to crack several jokes about “The Spirit” entering Bryn, and generally mocked the traditions of the congregation, all while sitting front row in a church that took special effort to honor his family.Based on the footage shown, it is pretty difficult to ascertain exactly how many conversations transpired between Gina and the Parents Hoppy prior to the event, but it is pretty obvious that there was a failure to manage expectations all around.Clearly, the blessing was indeed a baptism.  Specifically, the words “that she may be baptized with water received into Christ’s Holy Church” were uttered, and admittedly it doesn’t get much more baptismal than that.Jason just kept repeating, “it’ll be over in a minute.”  Pastor Wilkinson cradled Bryn and dabbed water on her forehead as the congregation sang and clapped.  Bethenny completely lost her shit and told Gina she wasn’t comfortable with all these black people touching her white babyShe started to maneuver around the group looking for an opening to snatch Bryn back.  When she got her opportunity, she grabbed the baby and made a run for it – right down the aisle out the church doors onto the sidewalk.Gina kept assuring the couple, against the weight of the evidence, that it wasn’t a baptism. Jason’s panties were especially knotted over the fact that his parents missed the impromptu saving.  Always with the parents Jason – seriously, enough with the parents already.Back at home, Bethenny and Jason reinforced each other’s bad behavior and justified their over-reaction by chalking it up to primal parenting instincts.  Weirder yet, the experience convinced Bethenny that she wanted Bryn baptized Catholic – because the church has such a sterling history with children?Since fame has replaced her non-paid friends, Bethenny asked Julie to be Bryn’s Godmother.  Julie seemed genuinely touched, and she does heart Bryn.On the day of the christening, Father Daly kept calling Bethenny “Brittany,” and limply phoned-in what was likely his fortieth baby bath of the year.  Of the two ceremonies, who wouldn’t prefer Gina’s jubilation and song over Father Daly’s anointing oil and an evil-nature-of-man ethos?

Team Gina!