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A childhood interest for art and design grew into a passion for all things beauty. Currently, I’m still smitten.


Diva Designers -- Sample Sale

Every now and then, we need a cheap thrill! I've got two for you!

Enjoy the two-day sale for TRACY REESE, PLENTY and FROCK. Chance to grab some one-of-a-kind pieces...samples are $30 to $50! A steal!

WHERE: 260 Fifth Avenue (btwn 28th & 29th Streets)/2nd Floor
WHEN: Wednesday Dec 1st & Thursday Dec 2nd
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 pm

Then check for VERA WANG's sample sale for ready to wear pieces and sexy cocktail dresses.

WHERE: 8 West 39th Street (btwn 7th & 8th Aves)/9th Floor
WHEN: Thursday Dec 2nd
TIME: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 pm

Score everything from Waterford Crystal, hand-crafted silk ties to maternity wear here!


Long Lasting (Get Noticed) Lipstick

Lots of upcoming cocktail parties, soirees and celebrations in the next few weeks. Perfecting your look is key. Make a statement with a gor-gi-us mouth...bold color is the easiest way to stand out.

Since red hot lips are so right now, one to try is LANCOME L'Absolu Rouge Lipcolor in Absolute Rouge -- claims to be universally flattering. Full color with a hint of shine yet doesn't feel dry at all. Also protects with SPF 12. (Won ALLURE's Best of Beauty Award two years in a row!) Looking for something deeper to double as a stain? Try Berry Noir. $29 at

If you prefer a matte finish, head to your local drugstore for REVLON Matte Lipstick in In The Red. The texture is creamy smooth and comfortable. Full color impact without drying or caking. Take your pick from 13 shades in total/$13.

NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks are ultra-matte! But they actually hydrate lips with a creamy formula blended with Mango Butter. Promises stay-true color (read: long wearing), glides on without dragging or resistance and is available in six shades. I like Volga and Terre De Feu/$25 at Nordstrom.

You should/can/will indulge in saturated color with this classic cosmetic!

(pix from &


Cyber Monday Beauty Buys

Welcome to Cyber Monday...Get these deals today only!



Catch deals at these sites and save big on beauty today and every day!

Savings up to 70% on makeup, hair and skin luxury brands like Vincent Longo and Smashbox. Also deals on spa treatments from Bliss, Exhale and more. Of course, like any Black Friday deal, quantities are limited -- buy fast! Enjoy free shipping today and tomorrow on orders $50 or more. Free shipping on any order Cyber Monday!

The online beauty superstore has all the drugstore dandies -- L'Oreal and Bare Minerals plus great skin care brands like Murad and Ahava. Free shipping on orders $25 or more and doorbuster deals til 11/27!

Get new beauty goodies daily and save up to 75% from MD Skincare, Laura Mercier, Kiehl's and so much more. Preview Cyber Monday's sale on NYX Professional Makeup palettes.

Get free personalized skin care analysis and hair care consultations. Then scroll down to the "best beauty buys" tab for markdowns, free samples, gifts with purchase and value sets. DKNY Men's Fragrance, Butter London, and Philosophy.



Carol's Daughter & Chrisette Michelle

Talented beauty Chrisette Michelle will be at CAROL'S DAUGHTER/125th Street next week signing copies of her latest release. Whether you're a fan of the songbird or of the store itself, it's a win! The first 50 people get an exclusive makeup bag and a gift day at The Back Room Hand & Foot Spa. Also, a consultation with my friend, Khadija DeShong, Chrisette's personal celebrity MUA, to copy her pouty mouth. Her signature red lip is amazing!

24 West 125th Street
(btwn Lenox & Fifth Avenue)
Harlem USA
Monday/November 29th
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Pssst...Preorder her cd, "Let Freedom Reign" here from!


J.Lo, Marc Anthony & Kohl's

Guys and dolls, prepare for a lifestyle launch from Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony that includes clothing, accessories and home goods. Where? KOHLS stores nationwide and The two are the first celebrity married couple to collaborate on a collection for a single retailer. And the Mrs. already had success with her private label. Jennifer's Sweetface line generated sales up to $400 million back in 04 -- not too shabby. Projected sales for KOHL'S is $3 billion.... (blank stare). The line is set for a Fall 2011 release.

Jenny from the block is back in fashion with her hubby by her side. What more can a girl ask for! More details here.


"Coming to America" -- black Up is Back!

Guess who's coming to the States? black Up, the French cosmetics brand. Products will be available December 1st online at black Up was the first MUA brand created and dedicated to women with deeper skin tones and is considered to be a luxury line. The French seemingly appreciate the finer things and have pushed black Up to the country's #1 spot for ethnic brands, selling in close to 200 retailers. The line was sold in MACYS/Herald Square a few years back. I remember the highly pigmented shadows and a shade range in just about every hue. For product previews, see Vex in the City blog post here.

Hoping for a retail outlet for future buys and a flagship store in NYC would be g-r-e-a-t!

In search of the perfect foundation? Check out another underrated brand. Visit a LOOKBoutique at Duane Reade (Madison Ave & 38th St.) for BECCA Cosmetics (previously sold at Sephora). Take note of foundations at far left of photo. A brown girl's dream....


Forget Black Friday -- Shop Now

There are a ton of sales, bargains and steals at these sample sales and online events.

For Big Apple Babes only:
sexy intimates
Shop Now til Thurs 11/18
225 Fifth Ave @ 26th/27th Sts
9:30 a.m. to 6 pm

jewelry at $10/rhinestone cuffs at $75
apparel up to 70% off
Wednesday 11/17
423 W. 14th St/btwn 9th Ave & Washington Street
Suite #423-3R

couture bridal gown
Sat/Nov 20
580 Broadway, Suite 210
Appt ONLY 212/206.9302
(see more sample sales here.)

high-end brands for cosm, hair & skin
Enter PSWB360 at checkout for savings on full-price items til 11/22 (restrictions may apply).

Shop online or at spectacular shopping events with cocktails, beauty bars and swag bags. BDB is partnered with posh retailers.


Korres Cosmetics...For Natural Beauty

A brand for those who prefer a natural approach to beauty without compromising color and care.
KORRES delivers with the High Drama Antioxidant Color Collection -- seven pieces of their best-selling color products needed to create a look for every day or special occasions. The set includes:
mascara -- with pro vitamin B5 and rice bran to strengthen and condition lashes.
four shadows -- formulated with sunflower and evening primrose oil for crease resistant lids.
eyeliner --creamy formula rich in Vitamin E and jojoba oil.
lip gloss -- high shine gloss potent with Vitamins C and E.

The collection is formulated without parabens, dyes and sulfates but contains high concentrations of the good stuff like botanicals, minerals and essential oils. Available at for $39.50 You may also like the Evening Primrose & Sunflower Oil Antioxidant Eye Quad in Warm, Neutral, Cool and Smoky/$35.

Although the eye palettes had the shades I'm drawn to, I found that the payoff wasn't quite the same (but this can quickly be remedied by using an eye shadow base). The shimmer isn't overwhelming in any quad and will look good on the mature woman. The four-pack shadows are inseparable but small enough to carry in your makeup case for retouches. If you prefer ingredients that are good for your skin and make you look good, then this is for you.



The body shop has a secret weapon in its men's skin care line -- Peruvian Maca Root. This ingredient is known for maintaining skin's firmness. Even more noteworthy (and random), it's referred to as the Peruvian Viagra -- hmmm. Maca Root improves the vitality and condition of skin. The shaving cream also contains Trade Brazil nut and sesame oil for softening. The aloe vera soothes skin after shaving. FOR MEN MACA ROOT SHAVE CREAM boasts of a closer shave and protects skin from irritation, nicks and cuts with a cooling effect. On sale for $11.20 at

Tips for a Close Shave:

1. Wet face first to soften whiskers.
2. Go with the flow/leave rough patches for last.
3. Wash with soap-free cleanser.
4. Soothe the burn.

For details, click here.


Slough It Off

FOUND: Yet another body scrub. Why do I love them so? I liken them to a mini-spa treatment every time I use them. They buff away dead skin, hydrate with oils and increase circulation. You already know I LOVE my Kiehls Soy & Honey. The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Scrub didn't have the grainy texture I prefer in a scrub. But my skin felt baby smooth.

On to the next one: TREEHUT SHEA SUGAR BODY SCRUB. Borrowing from the super food group - almond oil and honey - it does the body good. Also combines safflower seed and avocado oil for a nourishing treatment. And fragrant orange oil supports collagen formation, detoxifying and repairs sun damage. Plus the Shea is moisturizing, increases elasticity, and diminishes stretch marks and scars. The sugar provides exfoliation to remove dry/dead skin. Only quip is it's somewhat messy when you're scooping it out of the jar. It's paraben free and super cheap/$8.



Flawless Skin with Make Up For Ever

The best beauty advice I've recently heard is to splurge on foundation and skimp on color. Along with a good skin care regimen, you can't go wrong. I've found that MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation may be synonymous with flawless skin and yet, is not burdensome to my wallet ($40). This oil-free foundation offers great coverage, covers imperfections, smooths lines and minimizes pores. The formula was created to give you a look so clean that it would appear that you're not wearing make-up at all. I found my perfect match with their Perfect Canvas shade finder. Choose from 25 shades that specifically target your undertones (pink, beige, yellow, coral...). Click here to find yours.
On a day to day, I apply foundation only to the areas I need to: atop blemishes, around my nose and mouth. This foundation is seamless and blends beautifully with my beautyblender for an even skin tone. After a few minor touches -- eye liner and mascara, swipe of soft blush and a ripe color on my lips -- I'm out the door.
My advice: head to the nearest Sephora for a shade match and sample. If you do, would love to get feedback right here on the BSBB blog.
Note to the Big Apple Beauties: The MAKE UP FOR EVER Boutique and Studio in Soho is a product junkies dream.
(Photos from


The Tom Ford Black Orchid Collection

Designer TOM FORD has managed to transfer the sultriness of the Black Orchid fragrance into color cosmetics. Enter The Black Orchid Collection -- a set that consists of a lipstick, nail color and a pressed fragrance. The lipstick and nail lacquer are vampy shades that are trending now...full, plush, deep color that are perfect for the fall/winter season (cherry/blackish red). The lipstick contains emollient ingredients: Brazilian Murumuru Butter, chamomilla flower oil and soja seed extract along with special pigments that deposit pure color with a touch of luminosity. The already heady Black Orchid fragrance will last even longer in a solid formula. Infused with black truffle, black currant, lotus wood, floral and fruit accords...It's so delicious and still my favorite!

This luxurious limited edition trio is available til December at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for $140.



MOVEMBER is the November celebration that raises money to support research, increase awareness and find a cure for prostrate cancer. The moustache is their "ribbon"'s a commitment for 30 days comparable to a walk for other charities. The mantra is "Grow a Mo, Help a Bro." It promotes male health and gives a quirky edge to sponsorship.

While many men are passionate about their physique, they frequently neglect comprehensive health checks. Most are quick to see a doctor for broken bones after a football game but lack the same motivation for annual physicals. The goal behind MOVEMBER is to change their viewpoint about their overall health and inform them of potential health risks.

To create your own affair, click here. For events near you, click here. Donations benefit the Prostrate Cancer Foundation ( and LiveSTRONG which supports young adults and their families battling cancer (WWW.LIVESTRONG.ORG). For questions or assistance, call 310/450.3331.

Pssst... Fellas, I think growing a beard, goatee or side burns counts too! It's sexy and for a good cause. It's not too late to get involved.


Kiehl's Soy Milk & Honey Combo

This abrupt cold weather is already wrecking havoc on my skin -- it's dry! So to smooth and soften my body parts, I reach for one of my favorite scrubs at bath time. KIEHL'S Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish -- rich with Shea and Jojoba butters, sweet almond oil and, of course, honey and soy milk. The creamy formula comfortably exfoliates skin leaving it primed for hydration. Add to the routine the new Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter and my skin feels silky smooth. Claims to provide up to 24-hour hydration. When I pair the two together, I feel the difference (especially when I remove my socks -- my legs don't itch where the elastic was :) and it doesn't feel greasy. $35 for 8 oz.

Got a full sample of The Body Shop Cranberry Joy Body Scrub and I'm also a fan of this one. It's subtle and gentle for those who prefer a softer scrub. Has a sweet berry scent and contains honey (ultra hydrating).


Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale 2010

It's women and children first...for the half-yearly sale at NORDSTROM. Sale starts today November 3rd til Sunday November 14.
  • Enjoy markdowns on over 500 brands.
  • Schedule an "appointment" with a Personal Stylist to update your wardrobe.
  • Use your NORDSTROM credit card to get double rewards for purchases from 11/3 to 11/6 ONLY!
  • On site alterations and tailoring services available at cost.
  • Buy online/pick up in store sans shipping fees.
  • Free shipping on all orders over $100 with promo code HOLIDAY10 til December 20th.

Find a store near you here. Shop early to get the best deals! Have fun!


The Primary Step

Many women complain that their makeup virtually disappears by end of day. Shadows are creased, blush is gone, and foundation has slid off! What you can do to make your "look" last all day is apply primer. Primer ensures that your makeup stays on longer, fills fine lines, diminishes pores and evens skin tone. More importantly, (for me anyway), it absorbs oil. Some contain silicone while some don't. I've been playing with a few over the last few weeks with my clients. Most recently:

LORAC aquaPRIME Oil Free Makeup Primer: Silicone-free, water-based and hydrating. My client's skin had a soft dewy finish without a greasy feel or look. Her skin looked flawless and natural. I got a sample to try myself...will let you know my findings. $30 at Sephora.

CLARINS Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch: Light and smooth to the touch yet still melts lines away. Take a test run -- apply a bit in the palm of your hand. Compare with the other hand to see the difference for yourself. It smooths almost completely and is ultra soft. Small jar but a little goes a long way. $32 at

Other favs: MAC Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, L'Oreal Studio Secrets Perfecting Magic Base and BENEFITS Dr. Feelgood (contains Vitamins C & E).