Posts by Dara

All Dolled Up

imageThe older I get, the more I gravitate towards things reminiscent of my youth. From Nutella and Marshmallow Fluff sandwiches, roller skates, to Kermit the Frog slippers – guess I’m just a kid a heart. But when it comes to make-up, since I’m too embarrassed to flaunt my strawberry-flavored Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in public, I’ve found a fun yet adult-friendly alternative: Fafi for M.A.C. – a new, limited-edition cosmetics line named after a famous French graffiti artist known for her Harajuku-like characters.

The Fafi packaging is so colorful and kitschy, it’s guaranteed to bring out your inner child. A girly make-up collection that harkens back to my Hello Kitty days, Fafi is a punchy spring palette of shimmery purple and electric aqua eye shadows, lustrous pink lipsticks, coral blushes and cosmetics cases, all of which are adorned with a Japanese anime caricature. For the less adventurous, each of Fafi’s sheer, Technicolor shades can easily be toned down for the office.

Having recently “Fafi-fied” my face at my neighborhood M.A.C. store (always try before you buy), I narrowed it down to a few faves: Fun & Sexy, a pinky-blue holographic lip shade that looks especially striking when layered beneath Sugar Trance (a creamy soft pink gloss), Hipness, a shimmery coral blush, Sauced Up, an iridescent pressed powder for highlighting the cheeks, temples and décolletage, and Boom!, an eggplant nail polish with frosty pink undertones. With all these cartoonish Fafinette characters and playful packaging, no wonder my six year-old niece is jealous!

  • Fafi for M.A.C.
  • $11 (mascara) to $60 (tote bags)
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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Spring Fling

Having recently attended the Fashion Group Int’l Spring ’08 ready-to-wear runway overview, I thought I’d share some crib notes with my readers. I know, you’re probably thinking it’s way too early to plan your warm-weather wardrobe. But with pre-spring shipments having already hit boutiques, you’d better take some notes if you don’t want to be left out in the cold. 

imageEverything’s coming up roses and daisies and lilacs and tulips! That’s right, larger-than-life flirty ‘n feminine floral prints are emblazoned on just about everything from long, ankle-grazing gowns (the must-have length this season) to billowy tops, bags and shoes. Finally, a look that’s fun and flattering for everyone.  Emmett McCarthy Caroline dress, $395,

imageStep into spring with Grecian-inspired gladiator sandals, the footwear of choice for fashion influencers’ Ashley Olsen and Kate Moss. Bring out your inner goddess by donning this gleaming gold, leather number. Sport ‘em with a slinky tunic dress for a luxe, lengthening effect. Tory Burch metallic gold gladiator sandals, $275,

imageDon’t put away your patents just yet! High-gloss leathers in candy-colored hues will continue to outshine matte. That includes pretty patent shoes, bags, cropped jackets and even faux eyelashes (I kid you not!).  Marc Jacobs Rocker Fergie Clutch in acid yellow, $895,

imageRemember those hippie dippy, maxi dresses? Well, guess what… they’re back! Whether adorned with tribal prints or tie-dye (two other big trends), this sophisticated floor-sweeping silhouette will make dressing from April to August a cinch. Plus, it’s much more wearable than last year’s must-have mini skirt in my humble opinion. Lacey Parker Silk Ombré Gown, $398,

imageTribal prints on dresses, skirts, shorts, belts, shoes and tops have come a long way from tacky. Be it African (zebra stripes to leopard spots), Indian or Asian-inspired patterns (cool dragon motifs), this ethnic look consistently tops the fashion charts. Too loud for your taste? Try a more subdued khaki-colored shirtdress with a chunky beaded necklace and stacked heels. Paul & Joe zebra top, $265,

imageIt’s time to put those dreadfully drab midnight black and dark gray threads in storage. For spring, its ultra bright, eye-popping fabrics that will reign supreme. Work your warm weather wardrobe with punchy hits of neon including lime green, citron, sunburst orange, hot pink and electric blue – a bevy of in-your-face shades that are already ruling the streets of Manhattan.  Christian Louboutin patent d’Orsay wedge, $645,

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Filed: Clothes Encounters

Spring Awakening

With warmer climes around the bend, now’s the time to fill your make-up bag with this spring’s must-have beauty staples. Having just returned from a Sephora shopping sojourn (my fave cosmetics retailer), I was taken aback by the endless assortment of eye-popping colors and cool packaging. From fluorescent shadows and velvety-soft, fire-engine red lipsticks (gloss is so 2007) to fancy SPF-infused bronzers, brightening-up for spring has never been more fun!

imagePerk up your pout and pearly whites with a bold red lip shade. Try this jumbo-sized, pigment-rich pencil for a matte, creamy finish that stays put without drying out your lips. Wear it day and night for an ultra chic 1930’s look. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, $24,

imageFor a contemporary take on the cat eye, line your top lids with a shimmery turquoise pencil – the season’s hautest hue. The creamy waterproof formula glides on like buttah, yet won’t budge ‘til bedtime. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Deviant, $16,

imageMake your peepers really pop with crayola-colored eye shadows. This punchy Urban Decay palette is packed with 8 of the season’s must-have matte and shimmery shades, including golden yellow, hot pink, glimmery turquoise and metallic green. Wear ‘em alone or layer ‘em for a more dramatic effect. Sugar Cosmetics Round The Clock Eye Shadow Palette in Punch Out, $28,

imageUnless you’ve yet to visit a dermatologist, the days of the deep, dark Coppertone tan are totally out. For the ultimate faux glow, swipe Stila’s Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15 across your cheeks, temples, shoulders and décolleté. Just remember, a little bit goes a long way. Sun-Kissed Skin: Stila Sun Bronzing Powder SPF 15, $28,

imageChanel’s Black Satin polish has had its day. For Spring ‘08, try jumping-in on the blue bandwagon with Chanel’s Blue Satin – a luxe, long-lasting cobalt lacquer. Top your tips with a thin line of opaque white polish for a fab futuristic finish. Chanel Blue Satin, $19,

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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Lost and Found

imageA born scatterbrain, I’ve lost many things over the years such as keys, jobs, boyfriends, my mind and even shirt sleeves (that’s another story). But nothing compares to the anxiety I felt after carelessly leaving my beloved black beret behind in a taxi – a perfect-fitting Parisian velvet design, which worked wonders for bad hair days. Fortunately, while escorting a client on a recent shopping safari, I spotted a knockout knit hunting cap from designer Lara Kazan, which has quickly become much more than a suitable replacement.

Perfect for absent-minded women like me, the haute Lara Kazan cocoa-colored hat (pictured above) comes with a handy conjoined scarf, ensuring maximum warmth and style. Better yet, the neckwear can be detached, giving you two killer accoutrements for the price of one. Now how cool is that? And yes, the extra-long scarf looks just as chic when worn solo.

A New York-based designer who kicked-off her hand-knit accessory line in 2000 with “Lara Legs,” a funky, vintage-inspired collection of hand-crocheted legwear, Lara recently added a jaw-dropping assortment of clothing and other cutting-edge accessories. My personal faves: a pair of chocolate knit cuffs with detachable mittens, Lara’s signature ‘80’s-inspired legwarmers (much more fashionable than the Flashdance kind), arm warmers in edgy checkered-color combos like charcoal and violet, chic riding hood capes, cozy cocoon sweaters (the electric blue ensemble is to-die-for), fitted vests with contrasting piping and leather saddle belts.

Now that Lara Kazan’s headpiece has neatly filled the void of my erstwhile beret, my only fear: what happens if I have another senior moment and lose the hat and scarf altogether?

  • Lara Kazan Designs
  • $75 and up
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

My Funny Valentine

With Valentine’s Day only a week away, you’re probably wondering how you can spruce up one of the most obligatory and saccharine of Hallmark holidays. Rather than bore your sweetie with a candlelit dinner of white truffle risotto, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of bubbly (so predictable), why not have some fun this year. From boudoir board games to edible body paint (ooh la la!), massage bars to eye-opening masks, here’ some sultry Valentine’s Day treats that are guaranteed to make your sweetie smile!

imageSatiate two major cravings at once with this naughty box of edible body paints. Dip the supple brush into creamy dark, milk or white chocolate-filled jars – all the tools you’ll need to create your masterpiece. Kama Sutra Lover’s Paintbox, $34.99,

imageCelebrate your burning desire for each other by stripping over flickering candlelight. The rich, warm, animalistic scent guarantees explosive results. Handi-wipes not included. Strip Votive, $40,

imageGive your honey a head-to-toe rubdown with this hydrating, heart-adorned body bar. A heady blend of jasmine, ylang ylang and sage is unleashed as soon as the bar’s exposed to body heat. Meow! Play Your Cards Right Lush Massage Bar, $8.95,

imageWhy play a traditional game of Texas Hold ‘em when you can instantly perk up his libido with this eyebrow-raising, Agent Provocateur board game. The box includes a deck of erotic cards, game chips and a book filled with guilty pleasures for the lucky winner. Condoms not included. Agent Provocateur, The Game, $21.95,

imageShow him who’s the boss with this satin, tuxedo-inspired push-up bra and panty set. While a little extra cleave never hurts, its the saucy keyhole detail on the bottoms that are the pièce de résistance. Sista Shei “Tux Deluxe” push-up bra ($80) and brief ($60),

imageBring out your inner bad girl with this satin, Marquis De Sade-inspired eye mask. For those unfamiliar with fine French literature, Marquis de Sade was an infamous writer who was incarcerated for publishing erotic prose, just like the sadistic quote on this mask! (Treat me Like the…). Marquee Eye Mask, $85,


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Filed: Beauti-Fixation