Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week the amazing Kari of Fab Over Forty is hosting  Fashion Flash.  This beautiful site  covers, skin care, make-up,  and fashion with a hands-on  advice that I have come to depend on.  I have to admit that I am an eye liner  junkie and I am always looking for the  perfect tool for the perfect  line.  Kari   tries them all and now I know what brands and  products will deliver the results I want.  Check out  her recent posts on the perfect sports  bra and the new Laura Mercier  just launched fall colors.  You will thank me.

Fashion FLash Book Review-- Vegetarian Cooking for EveryoneFashion Flash Book Review:  Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

There is a very simple reason  that Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a classic– its just amazing! Published in 1997 it was decades ahead of its time.  The comprehensive   650 page  book covers essential ideas  while offering more than 1000 recipes that are simple, healthy and delicious.

The  first 50 pages could be a short  book all on its own.  It offers a wide range of fundamentals of equipment, best choices of staples and essential cooking techniques.   I love the way Deborah Madison drills down into each and every subject.  For example she clearly explains the differences between the five different types of peppercorns and how each impacts on the flavor of a dish.  She does the same for different types of oils, salts, vinegars, and olives.   So  many dishes are ruined with the wrong  form of an ingredient– a total waste of time and money. With this book,  it should  never  happen again in your kitchen.

Ingredients are especailly imporant in vegetarian  cooking and these recipes illustrate how to deliver powerhouse  texture and flavor.   For examle, I could not understand why my avocodo  and tomato sandwich was  just blah while I devoured  them at my local   vegan spot.   Madison’s recipe  included a light layer of mustard and mayo as well as a sprinkle of arugala.  It made all the diffference.

Madison really understands the  challenges  of creating  satisfying vegetarian  main  dishes that don’t rely on cream and cheese.   There are recipes for  gratins, stir-fries, veggie fillings for crepes and  chunky veggie stews.  My current favorite  is a veggie souffle that is totally satisfying as it uses up  all those bits of leftover veggies from other dinners.

Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone is such a welcome difference  from the weak celebrity  or  TV food show cookbooks.  These days there seems to be an arc  to a celebrity career– initial job followed by book, then product  line and then some type of cookbook.   The scope and   passion of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone   has a rare integrity  in a reality TV dominated culture.



Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week the fabulous Kari of Fab Over Forty is hosting Fashion Flash.    And now that we  can count  on more than one day of sunshine at a time, our bloggers are deep into spring.  For example, Fabulous After 40 shares three styles of spring dresses for women over 40,  Aging  Backwards has great spring cleaning tips and Positive Living  Advocate Barbara Hannah Grufferman  chats with a dating coach  for advice about  dating over 50.  At No-Nonsense Beauty Blog  I look at ways to layer different skin care products (including sunscreen, antioxidants and serums), to make sure you  get the very  best results.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Toss the Gloss by Andrea Robinson

Crowd sourcing  information  on everything  from how to do a smoky eye to how to build a chicken coop  has become   the  current standard  for acquiring  knowledge and skills.  I  like   the girl friend to girl friend feeling of sharing   best practices, but I am thrilled when I get the chance to hear how its done from a world class expert.  And Andrea Robinson  certainly  has  amazing credentials.  Something of a legend in the  beauty industry, she has been chief marketing officer of Estee lauder, President  of Tom Ford Beauty,  Beauty Editor at Vogue and President  at Ralph Lauren Fragrances.

But  these are  just titles and what sets Robinson apart  from  other  beauty executives  is her creation of the ” The Nakeds” for Revlon,   the revolutionary line   of neutral cosmetics that forever  changed the way we  used make-up.  Until the  “Nakeds”  make-up colors were harsh.  Rouge was bright  pink, eyeshadow was blue, and lipsticks were  basically orange,  pink and red.  The subtle soft  make-up on fashion shoots and films  were only available  in the hands of skillled make-up artists.  Robinson changed all that with a line of almost thirty  neutral  products that included foundation, powder, eye hadow, blush and lipstick.  When they arrived in the 1990, they were bigger than  the Hunger Games are today.

With  this background, its  not surprising that  her first book, Toss the Gloss is packed with  detailed, always useful information.  Like  all great experts (  eg Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Mahmet Oz)  she drills down  into a subject to provide comprehensive advice that  is  always on point.  For example she  has an  entire  20 page chapter devoted just  to  make-up foundations.   In addition to explaining the   pros and cons for different types ( eg  anti-acne, oil free, self adjusting,  luminizing,  cream, stick  and whipped)  she provides numerous  lists of  recommendations  from both drugstore and designer  brands.    Robinson does the same for  all  types   of make-up including blush, eye shadow, liners, lipsticks and  highlighers.

In addition to which types we should buy, she  offers clear and understandable  diagrams on better ways to apply make-up.  IMO her seven step guide  for a lip pencil is alone woth the price of the book.  This book is so valuable  that I downloaded another  copy for my I Pad so that I can take it with me when I hit  Sephora.

One last thought:  Toss the Gloss  was published by Seal Press.  This house is committed to producing  books for women  that cover a wide range of issues.  When I see a book from Seal , I know its going to be  both relevant and well done.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoI  love hosting Fashion Flash during the holiday season.   Our bloggers   have assembled a great selection of  posts that reflect  the fashion, beauty and health needs  for this time of year:

* Jodell of BlackCatPlus shares an inerview on Katie Couric that  encourages plus size women to start moving.

* Deb of Fabulous After 40 wants you to  look gorgeous  AND save money.  With all the expenses of the holidays, she doesn’t want you to blow your Christmas budget on a single dress.  Deb shares  5 holiday party dresses that are under $158!

* Staness of Menopause Makeover  share a wonderful Christmas story!  Heather lost 52 pounds during her Menopause Makeover and her family lost weight too.  What are you giving yourself for Christmas this year?

*Still busy with work and holiday parties?  Kari at Fab Over Forty has a look to take you from office to office party and make-up by ther reknowned Sandy Linter.  Check out this quick and easy party change.

*  Do you have alligator skin? Jackie of Aging Backwards consulted experts for  dry  itchy winter skin tips.

* Positive Aging guru  Barbara Hannah Gufferman  of the Best of Everything After  50 knows how dry everything can get… especially after 50.  But don’t  despair because help is on the way!  Check out her Head to Toe Guide to  Fighting Dryness  with products and tips  for  dealing with dryness… just about everywhere!

* Cindy of Prime Beauty found a fabulous gift  for the traveler. Whether you are going away  for the weekend or a long distance trip, you will definately want the Jonny bag with you.

*  Mirabai  of Moving Free with Mirabai helps you get a jump on New Year’s fitness resolutions with   the top five holiday workouts.

Babble Honors Fashion Flash Bloggers

Fashion FLash Babble honors

I  was  so excited to read that three of us  on Fashion Flash  have  been named to  the Babble list of  Ten  Best Beauty Blogs for women over  40.  Prime Beauty,  Fabulous Over  Forty and   No-Nonsense Beauty Blog  have been recognized  for  the scope and value of their  work.  I think all the independant  bloggers in Fashion Flash   continue to   post  up to date and truely helpful  info on beauty, health, fashion  and fitness.  I’m so proud   to be  working  with them.


Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week Kari of Fab Over 40 is hosting  Fashion Flash.   She is  my go-to person for  the  best  in new skin care and fragrances.  This week  The Fashion Flash bloggers are determined to stay healthy and beautiful  as winter approaches. For example, Prime Beauty highlights melanoma risks, Moving Free with Mirabai features a bone healthy diet;  The Best of Everything Over Fifty  wants you  to start taking  charge of your  health NOW; And Black Cat Plus  takes on Lululemon. And  at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I compare the nutritional profile of chicken vs turkey and why  our national bird is such a winner.



Fashion Flash Book Review: Steal  This Style by Sarah  Kennedy Fashion Flash Book Review( Barron’s ,  $16.

I’m not a big fan of celebrity inspired fashion guides, but Steal This Style ueses celebrities in a unique and  helpful way.   Author Kennedy breaks fashion down into 25 inspiring iconic styles and offers examples of the women who wore them.  She  identifies distinct looks that include   Rock Chick ( Joan Jett), Ingenue( Audrey Hepburn), American Classic ( Jackie Kennedy) and Indie Girl ( Molly Ringwald). In addition to  gorgeous photos  ( which take me  back to a time  when I didn’t have children, much less grandchildren) the book decodes  each look into  lists of style tips.  For example, the “key looks” list for Jackie includes black  polo tees and hite jeans, twin sets, loafers, Hermes scarves and over size sunglasses.  She also suggest vintage options, color pallettes and make-up tips.

Steal This Style  was originally published in  London and has that “dress-up” quality of UK style guides. Rather than focusing on  what’s new, trendy or sexy,British fashion writers like to look back for style inspirations.  If you work in law and banking this might not give you the most useful  fashion info , but if you are freelance or work in creative fields, Steal This Style  deserves a place on  your  beauty book shelf.

Its Fashion Flash Monday

  FF1  Its Fashion Flash Monday and this week Kari of Fab Over Forty is hosting. True story: Less than five years ago I went to meeting with a dermatologist and a branding team to discuss launching a new line of skin care products. Estimated cost was almost $1,000,000. The bulk of the costs were for marketing, advertising and fees to get products onto shelves. Today all a good new brand needs to launch is a web site to directly reach the consumer. This has led to an explosion of brands– and its a good thing we have Kari to sort out the best ones for every situation.  She has  has helped me find new favorite   fragrances, mascaras and  liners, saving me  both time and money. 

I love  fashion history and  this week I  went to  an exhibit on Fortuny with Mary Lou Floyd, co-fortuny (2)founder of Second Lives Club,  an addicting site on  life  in  our second fifty years.  In the early 1900’s Fortuny developed a line of clothing and fabrics that reflected  the new modern sensibility of the time.  His  flowing dresses made of  finely  pleated silk  liberated women  from corsets  and bustles.   His Delphos dress ( see photo on right) was inspired by  Greek design and emphasized  movement and a woman’s natural shape.     Isasora Duncan  LOVED his clothing and wore it both on stage  and in daily  life.   Fashionistas  including Gloria Vanderbilt and  Lauren Hutton  collected vintage examples of his clothing and  would be certain that no one would be wearing the same dress at any event.  His technique  for pleating silk was a trade secret and he took it with  him to his grave.   Many  have tried, but no one has  been able to  duplicate his technique.

The exhibit it at the Spanish Institue in NYC  which is itself  is  so striking, its worth a visit just  to see the black and white  floors and  red carpeted stairs.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week Kari of Fab Over Forty is hosting Fashion Flash.  I have  fallen into  the good habit of checking out Fab Over Forty when I am looking for new make-up.  This month I took her advice on a Dolce and Gabanna liquid eyeliner- and as usual Kari had picked another winner.  I always thought that I was just a klutz when it came  to liners but it turned out that its the way my eyelashes grow which make lining such a challenge.   The D &G consultant at Saks explained not only why I had trouble with eye make-up, but showed me how to get around the  problem.  With the D&G pen I now make tiny connected dot and voila, a prfect line appears on the upper lids.  It only took 40 years to learn this trick.

One of the most frustating aspects of  popular health news report is that they  are constantly changing or even reversing their recommendendations–eg soy soy is good– no, its bad.

One week I read a study  that profiles the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.  Next week an equally impressive report is excited about  the reduced risk of breast cancer with an Asian style diet.  Who’s right?

A book  by a  husband and wife nutrition writers whose popular blog explores combining the health benefits of both cuisines has  many of the answers.  The  first third of this book  details the science behind both diets.  The book continues with a review of  healthy foods that meet  both  Asian and Mediterranean guidelines.  Especially helpful is a list of 40 healthy snacks such as cheese and crackers, fruit and yogurt and tuna and olives.  The last part of the book deals offers dozens of  of healthy recipes including Thai chicken stir-fry, Greek pizza with chicken, artichokes and feta, Indonesian veggies with peanut cause and my new favorite,  fresh tuna and veggie skewers.

I wish the recipes   included  nutritional breakdown and calorie count– but you can tell by the list of ingredients that its all good.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Its a gorgeous spring day to be hosting Fashion Flash. This week our bloggers are bursting with info to keep you  young AND beautiful:

* The Glam  Gals of Fabulous After40  demonstrate  how to show off one of this spring’s boldest and hottest trends

* Shawna at Female Fat Loss Over Forty celebrates her 49th birthday and gives her top tips to staying  young

* Geri at Fab Over Fifty turns her camera on FOF street style.  She found a women who’s definitely channeling 70’s glam– shaggy vest, round shades and  wide legged trousers.  But did she ace this retro trend or should we send her back to Studio 54?

*Jodell of  Black Cat Plus  gives us a heads up that Full Figure Week is coming to New York City in June!

* Jackie of Aging Backwards looks at the importance of protein to your daily diet– and why those guys slurping down  protein shakes at the gym might actually be onto something.

* Deja Pseu of Une Femme d’un Certain Age is planning for a trip  to Paris and Provence and is starting her packing with shoes.

* Kari of Fab Over Forty knows that choosing the right shade can take years off  her look– and shares  some tools to find out which tone is best.

Like  most women  over 40, I loved Life Love and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman. I went to the play with Jackie of Aging Backwards, and we laughed   and teared up for a solid two hours.   This weekend I found a another book by Ilene and as usual she hit home.  Makeovers at the Beauty Counter of Happiness is  focused on her feeling about  an upcoming 50th  Elementary School Reunion.  Since we  went to the same elementary school, I  was hooked,  but  I’m certain her thoughts and experiences  are pretty universal. In preparation for the reunion she thinks  about losing  twenty pounds, visits too many make-up counters and writes  letters ( unsent) to famous women  asking for beauty advice.   It  should be required reading  for any women facing a reunion.  Do you have a reunion anecdote?  I’ll ‘share mine  if you share  yours.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Its Fashion Flash Monday and this week the host is Kari of Fab Over Forty.  This great site has some of the best make-up videos on the web.  Recently  she uploaded a smokey eye tutorial where I finally learned  the ultimate  way to apply mascara.  I never knew  that the goal  is to  get definition at the roots of the lashes.   Following these instructions made my eyes pop!  Kari also has an extensive review of  spring make-up colors and which  work best  when you’re over 40. 

And if you ever  thought about starting  your own  beauty line, you should read  Lessons of a Lipstick Queen by Poppy King.  When she was  still a teenager in Australia, King  came up with a lipstick line that  had interesting colors in a matte formulation.  Through creative marketing and sheer determination, King built her lipstick into a multimillion-dollar brand.  She shares her journey, offering advice and tips to other would-be entrepreneurs.  For example she offers advice on the best ways to get  finanacing  and do’s and don’ts of working with the media and how to be successful at cold calling.  King  is especially effective when  she  deals with the inner critic and insecurities that  accompany any enterrprise.  She shares  her own anecdotes of self doubts and discoveries  in a way that offers both guidence and comfort.

But perhaps the  most important part of the book  looks at how to bounce back  when  plan A fails.  After several years of great success, King ran into problems with her partners, and  her once vibrant  company began to collapse.  King reinvented herself, came to the US and went to work as VP for creative marketing  for Prescriptives, a  line for Estee Lauder.  Most business books focus on the upward journey and  how to  build a brand.  Lessons of a Lipstick Queen  looks at both sides of a journey and how  to keep going.