Re-Tales: confessions of a shopaholic


imageI’ve always been a sucker for the latest hi-tech gadgets, whether it be a BlackBerry Pearl, iPod Shuffle, HD DVD and even makeup. From talking eye palettes to plug-in spray foundations, who could have predicted that technology would actually improve the way we beautify our faces every day. That’s right, it’s no longer enough for lipstick to merely paint your pout – it must also be fun and multi-functional. Among the latest of these cosmetic gizmos is Go Light On My Lips, a new line of gloss that comes equipped with a battery operated light and built-in mirror.

Unlike most of the crap you typically find on infomercials, Go Light On My Lips really works and is a brilliant way to shorten your time spent primping. Elena George, a makeup artist to the stars, came up with this bright idea so that busy gals can glam-up their lips on the go, ensuring a smudge-free Cupid’s bow. Cool and compact, Go Light On My Lips is perfect for touch-ups in dimly lit lounges, movie theatres, taxis (no more Joker grins!) and those unexpected emergencies (remember the New York City blackout a few years back?). A must for road trips, Go Light On My Lips could even save your arse should you suddenly find yourself with a flat tire on the freeway after midnight. Simply twist off the tube, click the button on the cap, et voila… the applicator wand instantly illuminates like a flashlight.

These goof-proof glosses are available in a 5 knockout shades ($19 each) including Red Carpet (a hot fire-engine hue), Chili Spice (a shimmery copper), Poppin’ Pink (a sheer glaze), Invisible (a clear gloss), Brown Sugar Baby (a glitzy bronze) as well as a lighted black mascara ($24). And if you’ve got cash to burn, you can even encrust your very own case with Swarovski crystals for a mere $250. Gimmicky packaging aside, Go Light On My Lips glosses are loaded with nourishing vitamin E and jojoba oils to keep your smooch shiny and super supple. Buyers beware: better not lacquer your lips compulsively after dark. Once the light on the cap blows, that’s it… the batteries aren’t rechargeable.

  • Go Light On My Lips
  • 718-977-0100
  • $19-$24 ($38 for one monogrammed initial)
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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

Girls Will Be Boys

imageAs a tomboy growing up in Vermont, I was obsessed with climbing trees, collecting daddy long legs and donning my older brother’s pants and oversized polos. Fortunately for my parents, I grew out of that awkward phase and have since gravitated towards more girly things like manicures and mini skirts. Ironically, with menswear-inspired frocks like Sally Tseng’s suddenly in fashion, I again find myself yearning for those borrowed-from-the-boys looks I shed so many years ago.

A Taiwanese-born fashion designer whose “man-spiration” comes from the button-down shirts she once raided from her brother’s closet, Sally Tseng meticulously tailors her androgynous garments to suit a woman’s frame. With sewing in her genes (her grandmother was a seamstress), it was a given that Sally would one day follow in her footsteps. Now in her third season, Tseng continues to make her mark with sexy day-to-night silhouettes that are topped off with a modicum of mannish sophistication. Expect signature details such as exaggerated cuffs, elongated sleeves and tuxedo pleats, all of which are coveted by style-savvy women who exude confidence. “Boy oh boy,” just wait ‘til you get a hold of her luxe, ‘20’s-inspired lineup for fall, which comes in a host of eye-catching hues like cobalt blue, mustard, burgundy and charcoal gray.

Some standouts I’m considering from the 24-piece collection include a short-sleeved silk tuxedo chemise, wide-legged pin-striped trousers, a billowy blouse with faint polka dots and a slit back, a belted shirt dress, a silver thigh-grazing tunic (a must for the holidays), a midnight black bubble dress with a racer back and a swingy A-line coat with puffy sleeves. Now if only I can convince my hubby to lend me his silk tie, fedora and antique pocket watch, I’ll have the Diane Keaton look down pat. 

Support Sally! Sally Tseng is one of 6 fashion semi-finalists competing for a chance to win a $20,000 grant from Bioré® Skincare. Help Sally bring her business to the next level by casting your vote at But don’t dilly-dally…. the contest closes this Friday, August 31st! Every click counts!

  • Sally Tseng
  • 866-811-3466
  • $190-$500
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Filed: Clothes Encounters

Shoe York

imageMove over Park Avenue, there’s a posh new neighborhood in town – 10022-SHOE. That’s right, Saks Fifth Avenue’s newly expanded high-end (eighth floor) heel emporium is so big (8,500 square-feet to be exact), it has its very own zip code. If that’s not outlandish enough, you can even commemorate the occasion by collecting their limited-edition shoe-adorned stamps. More than just a fancy address for pumps, 10022-SHOE also offers in-house shoe repair (should you break a heel running to the register), a VIP back room for private “head-to-toe” shopping and a ritzy café – all the creature comforts you’ll need to feel right at home. But what you’ll really be blown away by are the 10,000 jaw-dropping designer footwear styles – nearly double the amount the flagship formerly carried on the fourth floor.

The Willy Wonka of footwear, 10022-SHOE carries such an abundance of styles it will put you in catatonic state. From the moment I set foot inside, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Picture a striking 70-foot-long curving wall centerpiece covered with hanging, hand-blown Murano glass bubbles and spacious seating banquettes organized by designer. As for the merch, expect a dazzling museum-like display of 38 world-class designers such as Marni and Miu Miu, along with an impressive roster of new tenants including Azzedine Alaïa, Brian Atwood, Costume National, Derek Lam, Gianvito Rossi, Jonathan Kelsey, Nicole Brundage and Sergio Rossi. If you can’t stomach blowing all your rent money on a $785 pair of Christian Louboutin pumps, there’s always the sweeter $5 candy version at Charbonnel et Walker, the adjacent all-chocolate café.

Truth be told, I was so paralyzed by the sheer plethora of patent-leather platforms, men’s-inspired booties, sky-high sequined stilettos and suede knee-high boots that I sadly headed home empty handed. Pathetic, I know.

  • 10022-SHOE
  • Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue (between 49th & 50th Streets)
  • 212-753-4000
  • Mon.-Fri., 10am-8pm; Sat., 10am-7pm; Sun., noon-7pm
  • $200-$4,000
  • 60 days for an exchange or refund with receipt
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Filed: Shop Talk

Speaking Beauty

imageWhenever I head to the cosmetics counter for a makeover, I can never replicate the same sultry look at home. While I’ll admit I suffer from selective hearing, it’s just that I simply forget all those detailed application steps the makeup artist says to do. Even those fancy color-coded face charts don’t help. But that was before I discovered Stila Cosmetics’ talking compact – a clever 4-pan eye palette that literally talks you through every step out loud. With the simple press of a button, I can now recreate those smokey eye looks I love… without the fear of looking like Krusty the Clown. 

More than a gimmicky gadget, Stila’s Smoky Eye Palette is like having your very own professional makeup artist on call… minus the ’tude and hefty bill. Simply flip open the silver lid, press the tiny button inside and a tongue ’n cheek fifty second voice recording from a Stila makeup artist plays, guiding you through the 5-step application process, along with recommendations on what brushes to use. Should the battery conk out, there’s even a handy manual with pretty illustrations and expert tips. Even the compact itself is covered with an eye-catching hologram that winks when tilted forward.

Girly packaging aside, you’re only paying $38 for four of-the-moment shimmery shades including base (an icy champagne for the entire eye area), slate (a silvery gray for lids), kettle (a dark gray contour shade) and ebony (a smoky black brown for lining inner rims). Just be prepared to splurge on the three “suggested” Stila brushes, since they’re sold separately from the kit. You also better add your name to Sephora’s waiting list (the last shipment sold out in 2 weeks) if you want to snag a speaking palette when the next delivery arrives in September.

A fun and futuristic way to wear makeup, Stila’s speaking eye palette gives new meaning to the term “beauty talk.” As my recently turned 40 year-old friend Ellyn said, “What’s next… a compact that tells me it’s time to get a facelift?”

  • Stila Smoky Eye Palette
  • 1-877-SEPHORA
  • $38 per palette
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Filed: Beauti-Fixation

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Filed: Beauti-Fixation