Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Product Review ~MUD Towelettes~

The Make-Up Designory (MUD), a renowned beauty school based in L.A. and NYC, has just released a new product: make-up removing towelettes. They sent me over a package to review, so here's the skinny on the latest addition to my arsenal of beauty tools.

Packaging: The MUD Make-Up Remover Towelettes are packaged in a packet-type container with a resealable slot for depositing fresh wipes; this seal also locks in moisture. At first I was doubtful about this arrangement, because I prefer a more structure package (preferably something tiny I can keep in the medicine cabinet, or something attractive I can keep out on the bathroom vanity). However, when I learned that these are being advertised for space conservation and travel use--"simply toss [into your] carry on, gym bag, purse or work tote"--I realized that it's the perfect design.

Quality: The MUD towelettes do a great job of removing make-up from the face and neck. I particularly like that they are not standard wipes, but rather like an oversized hanky damp with cleanser that provide enough acreage to give your whole face a good scrub without running out of towel. One takes care of the job, and you're done. The first time I used these, I tried using the towelette by itself (it seems to suggest that you can use them in lieu of washing your face), but I personally thought that while my face was clear of make-up (even tricky mascara) there was too much residue from the towelette still on my face. This may be a matter of sensitivity, but I gave my face a quick wash afterward.

After more experience, here's how I would suggest using them:

1) Wash your face with your usual soap (mine is Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser).
2) Use a MUD towelette to remove any excess make-up.
3) Splash water on your face to remove an excess residue from towelettes.

After I wash my face, I typically use make-up remover or astringent to remove remaining traces of make-up, then follow with a toner or moisturizer. MUD towelettes are designed to leave your face feeling fresh and balanced, so you can skip the last step.

Pricing: Suggested retail value is 40 wipes for $18, which equals roughly $2.50 per week for me. I would invest in the towelettes again for travel purposes, but not everyday use.

If you're interested in trying them yourself, you can check them out at the Make-Up Designory shop, under "Skincare."

Be sure to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New (York City) Blog!

Hey guys! Exciting news! The Style Bard will now be writing as an Insider for the UK-based website,! Check out my first post:

Ok - I have to admit. I never really saw myself living in New York City.

Sure, everyone always said I’d grow up and become a city girl with a swanky apartment and a splendid writing career (right). But after hopping from Florida to Boston to Florida to Cambridge to New Paltz (where? - exactly) to Florida again, I decided that I needed to stop my shenanigans and pick a place of residence, already. Even my cat felt like she was constantly living out of a suitcase, and I was beginning to annoy USPS.

Read More of "Hello, New York City!" at One More New Yorker

Monday, June 22, 2009

LOL Spam

Here are 20 more hilarious subject lines from my spam inbox:

1. You're a jerk
2. Cheap drugs.

(SB: I like the forthrightness. And the use of punctuation.)

3. Step by step to her chair.
4. What now?
5. Your love is worthy to receive what she wants. Give it it!

(SB: Your love is worthy to be called an it!)

6. We thought something's wrong.
7. Ready to go with us?
8. Could you use $1060 a Month or even a weekly?
10. Say a few words here

(SB: This one came straight from the email blast template form, no doubt! You're supposed to change the text prompts, guys. Just a head's up.)

11. Saw that girl anywhere?
12. Hey, pal. Damn you
13. You upset me.
14. Correcting your mistake
15. And when the sun went down
16. Sir, reply, sir
17. Rode the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
18. All past efforts at world peace have failed...
19. Reply or get killed!
20. That is your life

Feel free to email me some of yours and I'll include them in the next round! But, uhm, since your comments are likely to end up in spam, please try to include a relevant subject line so that they don't get deleted. I know, I know, the irony.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tie Bar Helps Men Coordinate Outfits

I remember being less than 5 years old, standing in my father's bedroom in the morning and helping him pick out ties to go with his suits. Whether he was just heading into the office, or about to go to court, he always valued my input and instincts. It's really sad when a grown man thinks that a preschooler has a better fashion sense than he does. Men shouldn't doubt their own instincts quite so much. But here I am, 20 years later, and the last time I saw my dad he still asked me which tie he should wear to dinner. So I guess things never do change. (Although I do like to consider myself a little more credible in the fashion department nowadays!)

But male haplessness is soon to be a thing of the past (when it comes to ties, anyhow). The Tie Bar website has launched a new interface which actually helps guys match their tie to their suit without the help of their wives or daughters. Men are able to "try on" ties by picking a shirt and suit jacket color, and then placing ties against the fabric on-screen to see what works and what doesn't. If men still don't trust their own judgment, Tie Bar suggests ties based on your suit jacket. So if you select 'Navy Suit' for instance, the menu will immediately show only the silk ties which coordinate with a navy blue background. (It took me about 30 seconds to put together the combination shown above, which looks exactly like something my dad would wear back in the day.)

Another reason this works is because unlike other garments, ties are not an accessory you need to try on, so once you know how it'll look, it's easy to shop online. After browsing by suit color, you can double-check your combo by adding a shirt in the "try-on" interface before checking out with your complete order. I think it's a great idea! It's straightforward and practical, which are the two traits guys want when they're forced to go shopping. Tie Bar was created in 2004 by former lawyers (just like my dad!) Greg and Gina Shugar. They wanted to create a way for men to buy affordable accessories that still helped them look sharp every day; now they aim to help men shop and dress with ease and confidence as well.

My dad doesn't wear ties to work anymore. But if yours does, forget the nonsense about a tie being a cliche Father's Day gift. A tie is a wonderful gift for those who wear them, and whose co-workers may be sick of seeing them in the same outfits time and again. But you know what would make an even better gift? Sitting down with dad and showing him how he can use Tie Bar to create stylish new combos all by himself. My dad always appreciates when I take a deep breath and sit down with him to show him how to do newfangled interweb thingys, so I imagine that your dad will appreciate the time and thought, too. Besides, if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, if you show a man to fish...

Then again, since every tie is only $15 and 100% silk, why not throw a tie or two into the gift bag as well? He can put the outfit together and you can pay at check-out. This is also a great last-minute gift idea, since it won't take much forethought and it won't need to be shipped in advance.

Whatever you do with dad this Sunday, I hope you cherish the time spent with your family. Both my father and step-father are far away this weekend, so I envy you your quality time. Give an extra hug for me and all those who can't be with their dads this weekend. Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scary Mascara - Three Product Reviews

As a lifelong Maybelline Great Lash user, I have finally begun to consider updating my product by finding the perfect mascara for a night out. I recently received two mascaras from The first is IMAN Global Chic Signature Gold Long & Lush Mascara Duo in Black Caviar (it's also available in Cognac Brown), and the second is Global Goddess Exotic Eyes Lash-Building Mascara in Blackest Black.

Let's talk about IMAN, and start with internet reviews. You know it's never good when a mascara review contains the words "raccoon eyes." But that was just the beginning of a host of poor reviews for the IMAN product; many conclude with the phrase, "...which is why I sent it back" and a terse "skip this product" warning. As it turns out, I concur. But I have a quick little story that provides the background on why:

The IMAN mascara comes in a very beautiful sleek package, I have to give it that, though I'm a bit of a magpie, and good packaging gets me every time. It has two ends with two different brush types: one for lengthening, and one for thickening. Going out to my friend's house for a casual poker night, I chose what I believed was the lengthening mascara (the ends aren't marked) because I thought there was no need to lay it on thick just to go to someone's apartment. It applied well and looked good on. At first. As I was walking to the apartment from the subway, it began to rain. You all know where this is going. I knew that I was soaked from head to toe when I finally arrived (after getting lost, of course) and when I showed up, I introduced myself to a few new acquaintances before going into the bathroom with a towel to dry off and freshen up. One look in the mirror, and I was hysterically laughing. Little did I know that as I entered the apartment to greet new friends, my face was covered in mascara smudges, starting with two giant dark ovals around my eyes. 'Raccoon' doesn't even begin to cover it. Think Panda. Think Hamburglar. Anyway, because we're talking about a boy's apartment, there was only handsoap and water to be found, so it actually took some vigorous rubbing to get the worst off. When I got home to take off the rest, it still took several washes to completely cleanse my face. Thankfully, the guys were a good sport about my first impression, and the night improved from there. But I never plan to wear the IMAN again (at least, not for long periods of time); and the idea of applying even more at once with the thickening end of the brush just terrifies me.

As for the Global Goddess mascara, though the sales website claims that the product creates "bold, beautiful lashes for sultry seduction" (they like their alliteration), I found it to actually be a perfect everyday mascara. I thought it went on well and separated my lashes nicely (although, I will admit, I am still learning how to apply mascara with a curved brush)(apparently there's a steep learning curve---get it?). Because it was a daytime look, I only applied it once, and only to my top lashes. I thought it stayed in place well and provided a flattering look for many hours.

When it came time to wash it off, I did need more than soap and water, and it made a great big mess under my eyes. Fortunately, along with the original order of two mascaras, I also received Talika Lash Conditioning Cleanser, an oil-free makeup remover which can be applied to a cotton swab and used to remove tricky eye makeup--without needing a finishing rinse afterward. I love it because I usually keep makeup removers in the bathroom so that I can wash them off my face, but I keep this one by my bed so it's just a quick swipe before I go to sleep.

All in all, I do recommend the Global Goddess over the IMAN mascara, but the truth is that I would never spend upwards of $20 to replace either product. The cleanser, however, I would buy in a heartbeat. It's a steal at $24.00, and I know it sounds pricey, but the tube is huge and will last you forever--plus, it's not just a soap, it's also a lash conditioner(not that I'm sure I would notice the difference in my eyelashes). Alas, my hunt for the perfect mascara continues. Got any suggestions?

Monday, June 08, 2009

LOL Spam

Here's another installment of weird, funny, eye-roll-worthy subject lines from my spam inbox (all [sic] of course). I particularly like how they become increasingly volatile about some answer I haven't given. And that I'm apparently very ambiguous about either my gender or sexual orientation. Oh, well; enjoy!

1. Strains in relationship?
2. Asking you last time!
3. bovines
4. Your wife take deep
5. Her emotion will go off-scale!
6. pears
7. Need m-f-ing answer!
8. Mr., I need to know now
9. Become a sophisticated perfume? She'll adore your talent
10. Literally become a monster snake in my pants

(SB: "Literally.")

11. Let women excite you more
12. Turbines for your meat jet
13. Be so kind as to read this please
14. Monsters
15. I really like you.
16. Tom asked about you
17. dude, what's up?
18. Please
19. Tell me, what's this?
20. Our price: $

(SB: Sold!)

I think I need to make like, a t-shirt that's just a series of the one-word subject lines: 'Bovines, Pears, Monsters, Please...' Man. Now I really want that shirt. It's so damn irrelevant!

Feel free to share some of your funny spam messages with me in the comments, or shoot me an email and I'll publish them in the next round of LOL Spam.