Posts by Dara

Sole Mate

imageWhile I’m fanatical about the importance of clean feet, pedicures aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong… I love the pampering foot massage and royal treatment that accompanies it. But what good are professionally polished toes when your soles end up just as scaly as before in a matter of days? Besides, I feel uncomfortable with the aesthetician’s utensils at my neighborhood nail salon. Lets face it… you never really know where they’ve been. And since I don’t have the time or budget for weekly pedicures, I found a cost-effective and convenient alternative: the PedEgg – a revolutionary at-home foot care system.

Far more sanitary and safer than those scary credo blades, PedEgg does the job of a cheese grater, but without the gnarly mess. Similar to a pencil sharpener, PedEgg’s ergonomic, egg-shaped receptacle smartly captures your dead skin while you pumice. Equipped with precision micro-files, PedEgg gently sloughs off cracks and calluses, making your feet as soft as a baby’s bottom. Best of all, it’s designed to work on clean, dry skin so there’s no need to pre-soak your toesies in the tub. For the finishing touch, PedEgg comes equipped with high quality emery buffing pads.

At only $19.99 a pop, I figure, with the money I’ll save by deferring regular pedicures, I’ll soon be able to justify those Christian Louboutin peep-toe pumps I’ve been eyeing.

  • PedEgg (available at
  • $19.95
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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Fashion With Compassion

imageWith outside temps pushing a bone-chilling 30 degrees, why on earth would I bother to venture out of my home office today, let alone shower? Then again, having just received an e-vite for tonight’s “Fashion with Compassion” shopping event at Té Casan, my favorite New York footwear haven, I just might have to rethink my plans. Plus, I can still make it home in time to watch Lipstick Jungle (pathetic, I know).

Stop by tonight’s free Té Casan shopping soirée for VIP access to dreamy designer footwear, schmoozing and sipping cocktails. Glam up your gams with Natalie Portman’s new vegan line (pictured above), which includes a chic assortment of metallic gold and silver fabric sandals with dainty rhinestone buckles, black satin ballet flats to faux red-patent pumps. Also not-to-be-missed are the chunky wooden platform sandals by Fay Baldock (my personal fave) and the cobalt blue Grecian-inspired flats by Niki Robinson. Be sure not to overlook the slightly reduced Fall/Winter ‘07 stock, which can all be previewed online. Take my word for it… you won’t be disappointed!

You can shop without the guilt since a portion of the proceeds from the evening’s sales will go to LESC Foundation (dba Angel Street Thrift Shop), to benefit those afflicted with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness and Bridge2Life Camp, a LES Foundation youth initiative who’s goal is to enrich the lives of children of substance abusers.

  • The Retail Details!

  • What: Fashion with Compassion
  • When: Thursday, February 21, 2008
  • Time: 7pm-9pm
  • Where: Té Casan, 382 West Broadway (between Spring and Broome)
  • RSVP: or call 212-566-7781

Happy shopping!

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Filed: Shop Talk

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