Posts by Dara

Hair Apparent

imageAdmittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Jessica Simpson, however, I must say, I do admire her beautiful, bouncy (nope, not those!), natural-looking locks. Since I’m cursed with ultra-fine and thinning tresses, I find myself frequently covering my head with hats. But that only serves as a band-aid and not a long-term solution for coping with my condition. That’s why I’ve turned to HairDo – a collection of virtually undetectable clip-in hair extensions designed by, none other than, Jessica Simpson and her personal stylist, Ken Pavés.

imageWith HairDo, you too can instantly sport dozens of faux, yet fabulous-looking red carpet manes everyday day of the week. Unlike those el cheapo, drugstore extension brands, HairDo is a luxe clip-in line made from 100% human hair that’s dying to be colored, permed and heat styled. Available in a variety of head-turning hues (bleach-blonde, black to reddish brown), lengths (10-23 inches) and textures (wavy to pin straight), HairDo wants you to be free to change your hair as often as you change your mind.

Perfect for time-pressed prima donnas, HairDo allows you to create dozens of chic styles such as low-slung ponytails and sexy chignons, none of which require pricey and professional salon application. For best results, however, it’s worth having a stylist cut, bleach and curl it with a hot iron before attaching it to your natural strands. Kelly from L.A.‘s Ken Pavés salon did the honors with my 17” chocolate copper extension. As for the results – check out the before and after photos above and judge for yourself.

Feel free to email your thoughts to and I’ll post your comments on my blog.

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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Earthly Delights

imageFashion designer Nina Valenti’s raison d’être is to minimize waste. So much so, that she recently designed a formal dress made entirely from trash! Created exclusively for world-renowned concert pianist Soyean Lee, during her Carnegie Hall debut in New York this February, this wearable work of art (pictured above) was compiled from over 6,000 recycled juice pouches and took Nina over 2 months to make. Now that’s what I call dedication!

While the “garbage” gown is guaranteed to generate some buzz, Nina’s biggest claim to fame is Nature vs Future, her cutting-edge, yet eco-friendly and biodegradable clothing label. Designed for confident women who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd, Nature vs Future has received accolades for its ultra flattering fit and innovative use of sustainable fabrics. Even celebs such as Parker Posey and Tina Fey are fans of Nina’s earthy, yet edgy approach to fashion.

Unlike traditional eco-friendly clothing lines that often resemble potato sacks, Nature vs Future’s silhouettes are sexy yet sophisticated, with tailored, architecturally designed shapes. Each piece is produced from organic wool, hemp, soy, bamboo, seaweed, lyocell (a.k.a. wood pulp) and Ingeo (made from corn), along with recycled and technologically-forward fabrics such as Polartec, which is made from soda pop bottles and industrial waste (who knew?).

A few earth-friendly numbers I have my eye on: a fitted Polartec fleece jacket in chocolate brown, a swirl collar tunic dress in black, a leaf-green top with ruching and a silk charmeuse button-down shirt in dove grey. As for Spring ’08, standouts include a soft pink, body-hugging jersey dress with edgy shoulder cutouts, a pleated, bubble hem shift with multiple shoulder straps (made from recycled polyester) and a delicate sea foam, linen sheath.

Just goes to show you, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Exclusive Deal Just For YOU! is giving Fashion Junkie subscribers 20% off any Fall/Winter items of your choice from Thursday, January 24 through Thursday, January, 31st. Simply enter the promo code “FJFIX” upon checkout to redeem your discount. Happy shopping!

  • Nature vs Future
  • $100-$600
  • within 7 days of purchase with receipt
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

Kind of Blue

imageAs an entrepreneur who works from home, I’m embarrassed to say showering during the week is sometimes optional. But when it comes to my nails, I simply can’t function without picture perfect, freshly polished tips. Since sheer pink shades make my pasty white skin look even more sallow (particularly given Gotham’s grime), I stick to darker, more luxurious nail lacquers. Rather than continue to sport last year’s witchy Halloween hues, I’m jumping in on the blue bandwagon… as in Chanel’s Blue Satin.

In case you haven’t already heard, the mood for Spring ’08 is shifting to blue. Following the success of last year’s coveted Black Satin polish comes the arrival of Blue Satin – a deep cobalt hue that’s been flying off the shelves of cosmetics counters since debuting earlier this month. Spotted on les mains of models at Chanel’s recent RTW runway shows, Blue Satin’s long-lasting formula, not surprisingly, is already infiltrating the fashionable streets of Manhattan.

It’s day three of my first Blue Satin manicure (I snagged one of the last bottles at and I’m pleased to report that I still don’t see any chips. Another cool thing about Blue Satin: it’s like having two sultry shades in one. During the day, the indigo shade emits a subtle glimmer, whereas after dark, it turns an intense twilight hue. Another added benefit: the goof-proof handle and extra-wide brush glides on easily, making it a cinch for at-home touch-ups. But at $19 a pop, you’d better use your supply sparingly. Buy some now before it’s out of stock – I’ve already seen some listed on eBay for double the price!

P.S. Can’t get enough Fashion Junkie? Check out the new “Steals & Deals” blog. Tune-in daily for expert shopping tips and irresistible insider bargains brought to you by yours truly. Happy shopping!

  • Chanel Black Satin Nail Polish
  • $19 per bottle
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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Visit the new Steals & Deals Blog!

Check out Steals & Deals for expert shopping tips and irresistible insider bargains brought to you by yours truly and the iVillage Beauty & Style team.

Tune-in daily for buzz-worthy buys that offer the best bang for your buck.

Happy shopping!


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Filed: Uncategorized

Best In Snow

imageAfter an eight-year hiatus from the slopes, my husband recently surprised me with a trip to Vail. While I’m thrilled to pieces with his generous gift, truth is, I’m also petrified. Forget about the fact that I haven’t skied downhill since the ‘90’s, what terrifies me the most is that I’m completely dumbfounded about what to wear – unless spandex stirrup pants are still in style. But after some serious sleuthing, I came across the hautest women’s skiwear apparel this side of St. Moritz – Erin Snow.

Created for active and confident femmes who refuse to don baggy pants and boxy coats with in-your-face fluorescent colors, Erin Snow is a refreshingly stylish, yet technical take on women’s skiwear. After noticing a dearth of luxe snow gear on the market for the post high school demographic, self-taught designer and avid skier, Erin Isakov decided to create her own line of upscale items. The fruits of Isakov’s labor have clearly paid off, as Erin Snow recently expanded its sportswear franchise to include high fashion pieces for sailing, tennis and golf. My personal faves: the slimming boot cut Romy pant, the foxy, fur-trim Johanna coat in mahogany (pictured above) and the lightweight Erika top – essential for layering. Other must-haves include a belted metallic silver vest (the Ula), a vintage-inspired army green ski jacket made from waterproof wool (who knew?) and a sleek, down-filled puffy coat, all of which are perfect for lounging by the fire or a night out on the town.

With innovative, waterproof fabrics like Mectex (extremely breathable and lightweight), and high-end accents such as leather and fur (sourced from the finest ski mills in Switzerland and Italy), its no wonder this high-performance and high-style ski apparel carries a steep price. But once you slip into any of Erin Snow’s form-fitting, Thermor-insulated silhouettes (a must for regulating body temperature), you’ll instantly see why they’re worth the investment. Regardless of my questionable skiing abilities, thanks to my new Erin Snow gear, I’m confident that I can master the black diamonds of aprés ski.

P.S. If you’re fortunate enough to be in Park City, Utah this week, you might want to pop in and hob-knob with Hollywood celebs at Erin Snow’s first-ever Sundance pop-up store.

  • Erin Snow
  • $648 (ski jacket) – $25,000 (fur ski jacket)
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Filed: Clothes Encounters