Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Women Get So Ripped Off - Cont.

How did women end up in a situation where they just can't get by without spending a huge amount of money on products that men never have to pay for.

The beauty/make-up industry, aka Big Beauty, has created and marketed products that we have become addicted to...
and now like crack addicts we'll pay the going price to get our fix.

How many products do women use on a daily basis just to get out the door in the morning?
Here's a potential list
eyebrow pencil

And how many product do men use on daily basis
come on people I mean real men here...
maybe sunscreen...

And, how much does all this cost?
Well I don't know the exact amount...but it isn't inexpensive.
Let's just take a look at the cost of one product, foundation.
Your basic low end foundation by L'Oreal cost $14.49 at Drugstore.com for 1.25 fluid ounces
so that works out to $11.78 per fluid ounce.

Your basic high end foundation by Chanel at Neiman Marcus cost $65.00 for 1 fluid ounce

A bottle of Dom Perignon cost $159 for 24.7 fluid ounces...or $6.43 per ounce.
Can someone please tell me why make-up cost more on a per ounce basis than champagne.
What in this stuff anyway....magic faerie dust mixed with unicorn tears?
And don't go telling me that I just don't have to buy this stuff...because as far as I know there isn't yet a twelve step program for recovering make-up addicts.
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Monday, June 29, 2009

How To Wear Pearls The Grace Kelly Way

I am a big fan of Turner Classic Movies because I love to see how life in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s was depicted through film, especially in terms of interior decoration and fashion. After watching Hitchcock's "Rear Window" starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly (in her prime) last weekend, I have been thinking about how jewelry was used as a part of costuming in film.

From Screen Goddess to Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly had a the kind of icy beauty that few could match. While there wasn't a movie in which she didn't capture the attention of the audience by her sheer beauty alone, in "Rear Window" she stands out even further by being the main visual element in the claustrophobic interior set of the Jimmy Stewart character's apartment. Hitchcock's filmed her in such a way that she dominates the scenes that she is in, and as in the typical Hitchcockian oeuvre, she is his vision of the elegant upper class blonde with perfect skin, impeccably tailored outfits and coiffed with not a hair out of place.

My favorite costume from the film on Kelly's character, a career woman, was this smart Edith Head celadon green suit with white gloves and hat. The suit was simplistically designed with minimal embellishments. The suit had a jacket with no lapel or buttons, only a stand up collar that drew the attention upward to her face, and a straight knee length skirt. Under the suit she wore an crisp shirt that crisscrossed in the front high at the neck and then as she removed her jacket proved to be a halter style that exposed her upper back. The outfit, like the Kelly character, was both smart and sexy.

Even more than the chic suit, the jewelry was what stood out, particularly the multi-strand pearl bracelet with dangling charms which caught the light as she moved through the scene. The bracelet was a hybrid style that used demure pearls but in Retro glam way, with big clunky gold charms that were typical of the Retro era. Also typical of Retro styling was the way that she wore her earrings, large rounded button style worn on the ears, rather than anything in a dangling or chandelier design.

But my favorite jewelry element was the single strand of pearls, the Grace Kelly signature look. She wore rather large cultured pearls, 9mm or perhaps even South Sea size of 10mm and she wore them high on the neck choker style. No prim triple stand or swinging opera length, the choker style gave her a sort of girl next door - dominatrix look which was incredibly sexy.

Like the necklines of the blouses and evening gowns that she wore in the film, the choker length pearls focused all the attention on her face which of course the camera loved.
It wasn't by accident of course that Hitchcock cast beautiful blondes in his films. Not only did he cast actresses with a look of virgin-esque unapproachablity (is that a word?) and innocence who needed the main character's protection to carry his plots forward, Hitchcock was acutely aware of the importance of eye candy for his commercial success.
While all the famous Hitchcockian actresses were stunning, Tippi Hedrin, Kim Novak, Ingrid Bergman, Eva Marie Saint, etc., I think that Grace Kelly had the most memorable individual style and today I can't picture her in my mind without that iconic choker length pearl necklace.
And that is what jewelry is supposed to do, add that little je ne sais quoi that makes our look unique and memorable.
Since I'm loving this look so much I feel like having a BHB contest for my BHB followers.
Next Friday, I will randomly choose one of my BHB followers and give away a choker style pearl necklace using authentic Chinese freshwater pearls, 7-7.5mm, with a 14K clasp. My freshwater pearls are oval shaped with beautiful luster...the shape gives them an edgier rather than a girlie-girl look.
So be sexy and smart and follow my blog!
Also, if you sign up to be a fan of Beladora on facebook, there is a discount code for a David Yurman bangle bracelet with pearl ends in 18K. Get the code from the Beladora page on Facebook!
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The Glam Girl With The Glam Job

The Glamorous Eccentric
If you haven't already done this, please stop by the Glamorous Eccentric and congratulate her on her summer internship with vogue.
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Bada Bada Bing

I don't know about you but I for one am happy that the internet search monopoly, also known as Google, is finally gets some serious competition.
Is anyone else liking bing as much as I am?
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just Another Day On Rodeo Drive

Juggling Jewelry
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A Little Sumthin' Sumthin' On The Side For Sanford

Just another week in the news
with lots of celebrity nonsense which was over reported, as usual
and the big important story which was under reported, as to be expected.

I didn't want to let the week go by without commenting on craziness coming out of South Carolina.
While I'm generally nonchalant about people and their issues arising from affairs of the heart, I don't look kindly on the hypocrisy of politicians.
I've posted on Eliot Spitzer and his hooker habit
and the investigation into Dominique Strauss Kahn's affair
and John Edwards and his baby mama
so onto South Carolina's Governor Mark Stanford.

Here's a really bright and accomplished guy (ex wall street banker)
with a really gorgeous and super bright wife (also ex wall street banker)
and four fabulous sons

who risks losing his marriage and his career for this woman

OK so I understand that affairs of the heart are inexplicable and cause otherwise rational adults to behave in irrational ways
but risking his marriage, and future presidential bid, and doing it by using $8,000 in public funds for the affair is another thing entirely.
At the very least Mark Sanford is wealthy, so why didn't he finance his trip with his own money?
And what was up with the televised Mea Culpa, hadn't he embarrassed his family enough?
And why didn't he realize that as a public servant he was always under constant scrutiny?
What is it about the psyche of politicians, on both sides of the aisle, that allows them assume that there is one set of rules, moral and economic, that govern us little people while another set applies to their behavior. From Newt Gingrich to John Edwards, it seems that the more powerful the politician, the more likely it will be that he is getting a little sumthin' sumthin' on the side.
To borrow from a couple of comments from this article
What Sanford did was inexcusable but he didn’t drive off a bridge, flee the scene, and leave a girl to die, ala the Lion of the Senate.
He didn’t have a prostitution ring, a gay one in fact, run out of his house.
He didn’t lie under oath about a protein stain while serving as the POTUS.
He wasn’t a Grand Wizard of the KKK.
If his wife can't trust him, how can the people of South Carolina trust him.
Mark Steyn has an interesting take on "The Bubble" the Sanford claimed he was in and needed to escape.
In a republic of limited government, the governor, two-thirds of the state legislature and the heads of every regulatory agency should be able to go "hiking the Appalachian Trail" for a lot longer than five days, and nobody would notice.
Instead, we have the governor of South Carolina resorting to subterfuge worthy of one of those Mitteleuropean operettas where the Ruritanian princess disguises herself as a scullery maid to leave the castle by the back gate for an assignation with a dashing if impoverished hussar garbed as a stable lad. Perhaps some enterprising producer would like to option a Carolinian update of "Prince Bob," the hit of the 1902 theatrical season in Budapest, in which the eponymous hero, a son of Queen Victoria, escapes "the bubble" of Buckingham Palace by getting out on the streets and wooing a Cockney serving wench
He continues
I was asked the other day about the difference between American and British sex scandals. In its heyday, Brit sex was about the action – Lord Lambton's three-in-a-bed biracial sex romp; Harvey Proctor's industrial-scale spanking of rent boys; Max Mosley's Nazi bondage sessions, with a fine eye for historical accuracy and the orders barked out in surprisingly accurate German; Stephen Milligan's accidental auto-erotic asphyxiation while lying on a kitchen table wearing fishnet stockings…. With the exception of the last ill-fated foray, there was an insouciance to these remarkably specialized peccadilloes.
By contrast, American sex scandals seem to be either minor campaign-finance infractions – the cheerless half-hearted affair with an aide – or, like Gov. Sanford's pitiful tale (at least as recounted at his news conference and as confirmed by the e-mails), a glimpse of loneliness and social isolation, as if in the end all they want is the chance to be sitting at the bar telling the gal with the nice smile, "My wife, and my staffers, and my security detail, and the State House press corps, and the guy who writes my Twitter Tweet of the Day, don't understand me."
I don't know about this...somehow it sounds like Steyn is giving Sanford a pass and blaming it all on big government. Regardless of the size of the Sanford's state, staff and securitydetail...the entire situation shows bad judgement.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Become A Fan Of Beladora On Facebook

Yes...you too can become a fan of Beladora on Facebook.
And get a discount code for an David Yurman bangle bracelet in 18K!

Also...hello people...why aren't you following my BHB blog?
Don't be shy, sign up.
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Jewelry Business - The Bankruptcies Begin

A month of mayhem in the jewelry market.
First the bankruptcy of Michael Beaudry
Then two days ago Henry Dunay


Henry Dunay Designs files for Chapter 11
(June 24, '09, 8:31 Courtesy National Jeweler Network)
Henry Dunay Designs Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the second high-profile jewelry design company to do so in recent weeks.

In a voluntary petition form filed at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, the corporation estimated that it has between 100 and 199 creditors. Its assets total between $1 million and $10 million, and its liabilities total between $1 million and $10 million.

The paperwork was signed by the company's attorney and by its president, Henry Dunay, on June 18.

According to the company's Web site, Dunay launched his company in 1965 and has won more than 50 awards in his five decades in the jewelry industry. Robb Report magazine named Dunay "World's Best Jewelry Designer" in 2000 and 2001.

In addition to having his designs line the showcases of high-end stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Dunay's clientele includes Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among many others.
Earlier this month, Michael Beaudry Inc., based in Los Angeles and also known as a jeweler to the stars, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Then yesterday David Webb

From Diamond World

David Webb Inc. files for Chapter 11
The company’s gross revenues were less than$5 million
By: Diamond World News Service

David Webb Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. Its lowered sales have not been able to absorb the high operational costs, or pay off its debts and expenses, owing to the market slowdown. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009, gross revenues from sales amounted to less than $5 million, as compared to gross revenues worth $13.25 million in the previous fiscal.

On June 18, a Board decision was taken to file for Chapter 11. The filing notes 50-99 creditors, assets valued between $10 million to $50 million, and liabilities worth $1 million to $10 million. The 61-year-old family-owned retail and manufacturing jewellery company has stores in Manhattan and Beverly Hills, Calif.

Now the question is

who's next

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All In A Day In LA

Farrah Fawcett...The face that launched a million posters.

Before Playboy-esque platinum blonde Pamela Anderson launched a bevy of bikini clad women of dubious proportions...all double D's on teeny tiny physiques
This is what a beautiful babe in a swimsuit was supposed to look like.
Tan and natural with slightly messy hair and a mega watt smile
The light, breezy and approachable California Girl icon of the 1970s.

Of course she wasn't at all approachable, she was a Seventies Superstar.

Decades later, despite her turbulent personal life, cancer and the trend towards excessive plastic surgery so prevalent in Hollywood, she kept her naturalistic beauty as she aged.

And then we have Michael Jackson
Just a seemingly normal 1970s kid...except way more talented

Who morphed into freak of nature on so many levels

One death expected
The other completely out of the blue
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - A Return To Eighties Excess

With all the reporting on rising gas prices, looming inflation, government spending, high unemployment and rioting in the streets of Iran it's been like the 1970's all over again
and I've been feeling the creeping malaise.

But then I just read that
Goldman Sachs is to make record bonus payouts
Oprah has chartered an ocean liner to take her staff on a Mediterranean cruise
Fashion is trending towards big shouldered looks
it's as though the 1980's are back in a big way and with all of the associated excess.

When I think about the 1980's I can't help but to remember the ultimate fashion icons of that decade...the Dynasty Women, Linda Evans and Joan Collins.
I never really related to Dynasty because I was only a bohemian bookish student not a high maintenance glam girl who lived in an Oil Barron's mansion in Colorado.
Nor did I relate to the Dynasty babes, in spite of the fact that at that time my tall, thin, Teutonic blonde mother looked enough like Linda Evans to be her twin sister...her prettier twin sister.

Thinking about the return of 1980s fashion, if I had to choose a Dynasty style icon to emulate I would definitely go for the Joan Collins look....and not just because I'm not a tall, thin, Teutonic blonde.
The fabrics, the furs, the jewels, the voice, the stare and the scheming
what's not to love?
Joan Collins on Dynasty was the whole package...and more!

So, this is how I would roll....Joan Collins Style

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Beladora For The Beauty Shoot

Gorgeous girls, a talented fashion photographer, a chic fashion stylist
and vintage estate jewelry from Beladora.com
and this is what you get
The Moulin Rouge beauty shoot
which you can read about at the Fashion Photography Blog

And here's the video about the beauty shoot

Beauty Story from Melissa Rodwell on Vimeo.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice Weekend

I bet that you thought that I spent the Summer Solstice weekend doing this

but no...my Summer Solstice weekend was all about being low key.

The weekend started Friday night with cocktails and conversation with friends on the terrace at the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica.

Then Saturday I took a long walk along this beach with my tech guru.

Then the highlight of my weekend was receiving a long awaited copy of my father's memoirs that he gave to me at our Father's Day barbecue.
So far, I've read up to the part where he takes his post college trip to Europe in 1953 with his buddies. The trip involved an Atlantic crossing on the SS Maasdam, an MG roadster purchased in England, a rented villa in Palma Majorca, copious amounts of alcohol and hot American babes....
let's just say hilarity ensued and that it was all very Mr. Ripley...but without the murder.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Food, Inc. - The Movie

Food, Inc. -What every foodie should see this summer

When you travel to Argentina you see the people who consume that largest amount of meat on a per capita basis. They are so thin that they make even French people look hefty. Why do you think that is? My opinion...they eat a high protein diet but they don't eat meat, poultry and dairy that is full of growth hormones.

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Angelina Jolie - Glamour Icon and Goddess of the UnAttainable

OK....so I'll come out and admit that I'm an unrepentant fan of Angelina Jolie, the poster girl for getting it all....the career, the kids, the chateau and the Pitt.

When I consider that she went from alien eyed teenager
to pouty pretty young woman

to doe eyed goddess

it makes me think that with maturity and a little help
women everywhere can blossom into beauties.
This is my own projection of course.
Is there a month that goes by without at least one photo of Angelina Jolie in celebrity magazines...I don't think so... because the mystique of Angelina Jolie sells.
Even Harper's Bazaar has jumped on the Jolie bandwagon with publishing a paparazzi photo on its cover and article by Naomi Wolf.
You can skip the Wolf article but be sure to read Virgina Postrel's take on Wolf on her Deep Glamour blog.
Her article demonstrates how glamour works by letting us inside the mind of someone as she projects her own longings onto a glamorous icon.
Certainly she never reminds herself, or her readers, how much Jolie’s life depends on unusual gifts and extraordinary wealth, and she never addresses the tradeoffs involved in living with all those tabloid headlines. Instead, Angelina Jolie's life functions as proof that the desires that inform Wolf's own oeuvre are all attainable: to be effortlessly beautiful and thin (The Beauty Myth), to participate in high-level public debates (Fire with Fire), to indulge sexual desire without condemnation or consequence (Promiscuities), to become a mother without hassle or pain (Misconceptions).
Read the whole thing here
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Around Town - Father's Day Fun On Rodeo Drive

Instead of giving your father a silly tie this year why don't you bring him to Rodeo Drive


The 2009 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance will take place on Sunday, June 21.
This year, the Father's Day tradition will highlight classic alternative energy vehicles including steam, electric and hybrid models.
More than 100 exotic cars will be on display in Beverly Hills, lining the 300 and 400 blocks of Rodeo Drive.
This annual event will be free and open to the public from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Playing With Polyvore - Magritte Mania

Miss de Ville stepping up the creativity.
This one of course reminds me of Magritte.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Bet On Beauty In A Bottle Unless It's Botox (or Retin A)

Do we get more out of magazines like More?
I was thinking about the subject after reading this post by Miss Cavendish and reading what image consultant Karen at Of A Certain Age posted an article about her dissatisfaction with More this week.
Her pet peeve is why do these magazine show outfits that we can only afford to knock off instead of showing outfits that we can actually afford.
Don't make me knock off your expensive fashions, just show me ones that I really can afford, please! Oh! And while you're at it, how to wear them in my real life!
With so many articles about beauty products, particularly about those that buy ad space, can we believe anything that is written?
I don't read More, but I do glance at Vogue, Bazaar, W, Elle, Marie Claire, Lucky and In Style every month to see fashion and jewelry trends. But glance is the key word here.
And I totally ignore articles promoting beauty products.

I have always been skeptical of any cream, lotion or gel that claims to make you younger looking. Aging of course is genetic and perhaps the only way to slow down the process is to live a healthy lifestyle an avoid sun damage. No matter how much you spend on products like La Mer you're not going to change your DNA.
I spent my childhood in Southern California, except for one short year in Southeast Asia, and this was back in the days before sunscreen, when a tan was considered healthy. Of course I was out in the sun all the time.
So now I'm on a regime of sunscreen and Retin-A and when the time comes there will be appointments with my own Dr. Dreamy, Dr. David Sayah who has the loveliest way of saying "we can do something about those jowls"...."yeah, oh great, thanks maybe later".
The Center Epiderme at Frederic Fekkai on Rodeo Drive is Dr. Sayah's salon center for non surgical procedures and I'm thinking about investing in laser treatment. I know that it won't change my DNA but I think that it will be a better investment than $150 face cream.
Question: Has anyone tried an IPL Photofacial and if so what were the results?

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dictator Chic - Can Ahmadinejad Take A Tip From Qaddafi?

By now we've all read about the outcome of the recent elections in Iran and seen the photos of the protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
I was just wondering
if Ahmadinejad stepped up his style à la Qaddafi
would he be more popular in Iran

God knows that here in the US a sense of style is always desired in our elected leaders
because for so many of us
Style = Substance

Here we have Ahmadinejad in his early early flak jacket look
circa 1979

And later in classic Camo with the AK47 accessory du jour

Reaching his mature look
Classic khaki jacket and the always in style kifaya scarf
In spite of what Matt Yglesias described in 2006
Ahmadinejad's "sweet hipster style"
I keep talking about this with people in real life, but it deserves a blog mention as well — Mahmoun [sic] Ahmadinejad has a pretty sweet hipster style. It all starts with a beard not unlike the one I and many of my twentysomething male friends sport. But it goes deeper. The man went without a tie to address the UN General Assembly. And I was in a bar where the TV was showing his interview with Anderson Cooper (it's DC, these things happen) and while there was no sound, he certainly looked witty and charming. There was also this clip of him walking down some hallway shooting the sh** with Kofi Annan

I prefer what Manolo had to say about his look
Briefly and remarkably, the President of the Iran wears the same khaki windbreaker, wrinkled trousers, cheap oxford shirts, scruffy beard and wild eyes favored by the aging high school chemistry teachers everywhere.

And then we have the fashion sense of the Lion Of The Desert, Colonel Qaddafi
who brings us more Tyra than Tyrant!

Gorgeous in Gold
Now, let's face it, you never see any protests in the streets of Libya
Could it be that the Libyans just really appreciate their leader's senses of style
Let's just take a minute to ponder the golden gorgeousness of Qaddafi in this photo
Color coordination, beautiful use of prints with solids and draping,
matching hat, sunglasses
Note: no small flag lapel pin
he's sporting great big green brooch in the shape of Libya

And here, pretty in pink

Even Qaddafi's personal bodyguards look better than the Ahmadinejad's Revolutionary Guards

Blue and black, one of my personal favorites

And regal purple

Mutassim Qaddafi with Hillary Clinton
And now we have Qaddafi's son
a chip off the old block sartorially speaking
looking sleek and chic in is skinny sharkskin suit
I'm assuming that Ahmadinejad will become Iran's leader for life, as Qaddafi has in Libya
If that happens will Ahmadinejad's sons keep the khaki or step up to something more Shah like.
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