BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT DANGER: Does Flat Equal Formaldehyde?

Brazilian Blowout Smooth-As-Silk Results

As one of the masses of women who’ve gushed about the smooth-as-silk results of the Brazilian Blowout, I gave a little *sob* when I read the recent news.  The Brazilian Blowout (and other keratin based straightening treatments) is under intense scrutiny by Canadian and US health agencies for the companies refuted claim that it contains “no formaldehyde”.

But is that the truth?  Reports as early as 2007 have suggested that these treatments contain dangerously high amounts of formaldehyde.  Add to that US and Canadian salon workers and clients complaining of eye irritation, nose burning, and difficulty breathing – yep… Houston… uh Brazil… we have a problem.

Formaldehyde, for those of you still in denial, is a known carcinogen and also causes breathing and skin problems – so, that’s bad.  The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, who’s in charge of monitoring cosmetic safety, says that a product should contain less than 0.2% formaldehyde to be considered safe – so where does the Brazilian measure up?

The numbers vary – but, it doesn’t look good for the BB.  Health Canada, a government-based agency found a whopping 12% formaldehyde in their testing, and the Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology tested the formula and found between 4.85 and 10.6% formaldehyde.  So let’s do the math: at it’s highest levels that’s 60 times the acceptable amount of formaldehyde – doesn’t exactly make a gal feel special, does it?

The company behind the Brazilian Blowout is arguing semantics, including it’s October 8th response to the OSHA’s test results, calling the organization’s testing methods faulty because it measured methylene glycol, not formaldehyde.  Ahem.  While I’m no scientific genius – isn’t methylene glycol another name for… formaldehyde?  Why yes.  Yes it is.

As the debate rages on, and the FDA has yet to make a statement, some salons have voluntarily removed the product (Health Canada actually issued a statement on October 7 recommending that ALL Canadian Salons stop offering the treatment), while others continue to offer up this frizz-removing wunderkind treatment to it’s devoted followers.

So where do you fall?  Is a head full of smooth, shiny, frizz-free hair worth it?  Let us know.

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YouTube Makeup Mania

Not long ago little girls and their mothers would telephone their trusted Mary Kay ladies or their Avon reps to find out how to master the latest beauty trends. With the invention of the internet, however, MK and Avon have become nearly obsolete. Enter: YouTube. Everyone from twelve-year-old tweenies to fifty-year-old career women are heading to the Tube to find out what’s hot and what’s not. More importantly, they’re searching for videos that demonstrate how to conquer the popular deep burgundy lip or how to perfect the classic cat eye. Here are a few of the hottest do-it-yourself videos we’ve selected for you and your friends. Gather ’round and check them out.

Bottega Veneta F/W 2010

Futuristic Cat Eye
Add a little shock-value into your standby cat eye and you’ll be sure to make ‘em purr. Topshop has the tutorial for you with Topshop: Core Midnight Eye. (For the toned-down classic, visit celebrity makeup artist Kandee Johnson. We’re obsessed with her!)

Peter Som F/W 2010

Power Pout
Punch up your pretty pout with goth-like shades of purple. Are you nervous it’s a bit much for your modest makeup skills? No worries! Test drive the look at home while watching Lisa Eldridge: Dark Lipsticks.

Rag and Bone F/W 2010

Kate Moss-Inspired
Grab the essence of your favorite supermodel with ReLook TV: Kate Moss. This is the first of four videos to effortlessly transition you from Day Kate to Naughty Night Kate.

Narciso Rodriguez F/W 2010

Bold Brows
Forget those wimpy brows of yesteryear. Step in line behind Balenciaga, The Row, Gucci, and Valentino for a strong, healthy arch that spotlights the eye and livens up your visage. (Think Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon, but don’t admit you secretly love that movie.) Go to MAC Cosmetics: Power Brows to learn the know-how.

Maria Denardo

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RUMORS: A Pop Princess Meets a Shoe King

Katy Perry Teams With Steve Madden

Once upon a time.  In a land… well… not so far away.  A rather tabloid-friendly pop princess decided to team up with one of footwear’s most infamous naughty boys to create a line of shoes that sexily sparkle, girlishly glow and cause an outright stir.  At least that’s the rumor.

Whispers in the fashion world are reporting that Steve Madden – he of one of my favorite Fall clogs the ‘Dissco’ – and one Ms. Katy Perry (soon to be Mrs. Russell Brand) will collaborate on a footwear line that we can only imagine will include sky-sky-sky high stripper heels, lots of pink glitter and candy embellishments and the occasional light-up lucite heels – (Much like the highly photographed Jimmy Choo light-up sandals she wore on the red carpet in April 2010.)

Katie Perry

You know, pretty much what all of us dreamed about sporting… when we were ten years old.

And while this is, as yet, ‘just a rumor’ – we here at PoshBeauty.com will be sure to keep you posted.  With Ms. Perry co-chairing the design helm, you’d be hard pressed to miss it.

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A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Beverly Hills Announces Signature Scent

Beverly Hills Cosmetics?

I’m not entirely sure what a ‘city’ would smell like – so this little bit of news had me shaking my head.  “Why?”

It’s Beverly Hills, that’s why.

The city of Beverly Hills has announced that it will launch itself into the world of cosmetics with it’s own perfume, emblazoned with the city logo, followed by a line of hydrating skin products.  With celebrities galore getting into the ‘signature scent’ game, the city reasons that it should too.

“This is a center of fashion, sophistication, energy,” Mayor Jimmy Delshad said in a recent interview. “We decided this was the right product for us.”

Come January 2011, you’ll be able to waltz into department stores, slap down $120 bucks ($75 for men’s cologne) and walk away smelling like… um… like… well, we’re not entirely sure.

Available in three varieties (“Must Have”, “Rodeo” (think Drive) and “Iconic”), the perfume(s) are being developed by a Swiss perfumier and will include hints of “flowers grown in the city” – again, I am completely baffled.

The AP (seemingly as confused as I am) interviewed branding consultant, Unity Marketing President Pam Danziger, who couldn’t think of another city with a line of beauty products, but thought Beverly Hills had the right credentials.

“When I think of Beverly Hills, I think of ground zero in conspicuous consumption lifestyle. Every city has souvenirs, so for Beverly Hills, why not some perfume? It makes sense.”

The City hopes this strategy will help raise revenue, with profits split between itself and the Chamber of Commerce.  I guess it beats raising parking fees – again.

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10 Beauty Buys for Breast Cancer Awareness

In between planning a pumpkin carving extravaganza and finding the perfect Halloween costume, remember to shop pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every year the beauty industry gives back by creating limited-edition pink products to raise awareness and funding for a disease that affects one in eight women. Let’s do our part and shop, shop, shop! From affordable hair straighteners to budget-friendly lip gloss, we’ve rounded up ten gifts under $25 that keep on giving.

Estée Lauder Pink Ribbon Collection: Evelyn Lauder Lip Design Collection

Estée Lauder will donate $500,000 from their Pink Ribbon Collection to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (EsteeLauder.com, $25)

Mission Skincare Pink Lemonade Lip Balmer SPF15

$1 from each lip balm sold will be given to the Young Survival Coalition. (MissionSkinCare.com, $3.49)

Conair Power of Pink Ceramic Straightener

$1 from each straightener will go toward The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (Conair.com, $19.99)

FingerPaints Nail Enamel in "I am a Survivor" by Sally Beauty

Sally Beauty has pledged to give $65,000 to the Cancer Support Community. (SallyBeauty.com, $4.99)

Boscia Rose Blotting Linens

10% of sales will go to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. (BosciaSkincare.com, $10)

Kim Kardashian Fragrance Rollerball

The Young Survival Coalition will receive 10% of the proceeds. (KKFragrance.com, $16 with a 10% off discount if you type in “CURE” at checkout.)

Jane Iredale Phoenix Sugar & Butter Lip Exfoliator & Plumper

From September 2010 to September 2011, $2 from each sale will be donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer. (Beauty.com, $24)

Shiseido Luminizing Lip Gloss in "Pop Life"

$5 from each Shiseido Luminizing “Pop Life” Lip Gloss purchase will be given to Cosmetic Executive Women’s Cancer and Careers. (Sephora.com, $22)

Philosophy Shower for the Cure Shower Gel

100% of net proceeds will benefit the Women’s Cancer Research Fund. (Philosophy.com, $20)

Sonia Kashuk Circle Around a Cause Travel Brush Set

Until October 24th, 15% of the sale price will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (Target.com, $19.99)

Maria Denardo

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Mood Swings

Fall foliage isn’t the only thing changing color this October. With the drop-off of the 80′s and the rise of the 70′s, say hello to the chic modern version of the mood ring–shade-shifting cosmetics. Communication is key in every relationship so what better way to wear your mood than on your lips or your Monday mani.

Too Faced Mood Swing Emotionally Activated Lip Gloss

Too Faced Mood Swing Emotionally Activated Lip Gloss: Who needs couples therapy? At $18.50 a pop, this shiny gem will reveal all your secrets…in light shades of pink to be exact. Formulated with a hydrating blend of Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, and Vitamin E (and packed with a delightful fruity flavor), you’re bound to have long-lasting smoothness on your pout and with that special someone. Who knew such a cathartic experience would taste so good? (Sephora, $18.50)

In the Mood Nail Polish

In the Mood Nail Polish: Finally a color palette that reflects all your inner most feelings!  Pick from Mellow, Hyper, Flirty, Devious, Curious, or Blissful and watch as your digits dare to bare it all. Mellow shifts back and forth from calm lilac to restful rose while Hyper morphs from a milky melon to a sassy shade of coral. With each fluctuating mood, and body temperature, your whimsical polish will have your date trying to guess what’s on your mind all night long. Admit it. You love the chase as much as they do. (In the Mood, $8 each)

Maria Denardo

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GRAY GOES FROM GLOOMY TO GLAM: Fall Nails Keep It Neutral.

Sephora OPI 'Metro Chic' Nail Lacquer

Once reserved for stormy skies and sleety snow, various shades of gray have come out from under the cloud to shine brightly on the fingertips of fashionistas everywhere. Taking over as the new ‘it’ nail trend, gray manages to steer clear of the hardened goth-like feel of the blacks and near-blacks of seasons past.  Instead, it evokes a modern elegance that crosses easily from retro to right now and into infinite.

In a fit of procrastination last night, I decided to give myself a manicure as opposed to write about one.  Naturally, I called it research.  And while I’m not often sold on the appearance of neutral shaded polishes (sadly, I’m quite pale and many shades just aren’t that flattering on me) I was elated by the grayish-lavender outcome.  So elated, in fact that I paired the polish with a vintage lucite ring that my grandmother had given me – and spent the rest of the evening admiring the dazzling combination.

Lady Gaga goes gray for Vanity Fair

And I’m certainly not alone.  Fashionista’s like Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss have displayed gray manicures and let’s not forget the stunning Vanity Fair Lady Gaga cover with her beautifully polished gray finger-tips.  It seems gray = good.  Very, very good.

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RUMORS: Diane Von Furstenberg Expands Her Repertoire.

The Radiant Diane Von Furstenberg

It’s been rumored that – she of the famed wrap-dress – Diane Von Furstenberg is once again up to something beautiful.  NY Magazine announced that Ms. Von Furstenberg is ready to get back into the beauty game with a new cosmetics line come fall.  (Did they mean this year or next? We’re unsure – but will stay on top of it.)
We needn’t worry though, this isn’t her first time at the rodeo.  Ms. Von Furstenberg helmed a beauty line and the perfume ‘Tatiana’ in the seventies (sold in 1983 to Beecham).  Now she’s back and rumored to be in cahoots with the former president of YSL Beauté, Chantal Roos, brewing up another fantastic fragrance.
Reportedly, the intent is to later expand into a skin care and cosmetics line.  Of what, you ask?  Well, we’re not entirely certain – but we here at PoshBeauty.com are very excited. Who else can bring that chic yet casual glamour – she has a gift.  We have to assume that whatever the line includes will be complementary to the Von Furstenberg woman – on full and fashionable display in her Spring 2011 collection.  Here’s a little sample – let’s call it eye-candy.

A delicious look from Diane Von Furstenberg's 2011 Spring Collection

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Gucci Goes Glam: Spring 2011 Runway Make-up

Not to belabor the point of red lips –  but we here at PoshBeauty.com need to give credit where credit is due.  So in the realm of make-up and hair we give massive applause to Gucci’s styling of the models in their 2011′s Spring Collection Runway Shows.

Gucci Spring 2011 Hair and Make-up

Firstly, there is a stunning quality of simplicity… and Gucci plays that card in spades (pardon the pun/pun).

The drama is in the pout.  Which PoshBeauty.com already highlighted, while every other aspect is down-played from the full-frontal (let’s keep it clean, people… I’m only talking about the model’s beautiful face).

Makeup artist, Pat McGrath (CoverGirl) and hair stylist, Luigi Mureno (John Frieda) provide the skill behind Tom Ford’s vision.  Stark, styled hair pulled back from the face, but softened with a side part and a beautifully plaited structure (bun?) behind the models head.

Gucci Spring 2011 Make-up and Hair

Softened, full-lid eye-shadows, with plum high-lighted cheek-bones and those beautiful red, red lips.  A glamourous, yet simple nod to those ladies of the Studio’s age – and one worthy of emulation.

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Painting the Town Red: Red Lipstick is Back

Red is all the rage.  Lipstick that is.  And stylists and makeup artists are using the hottest celeb pouts as canvases to highlight the resurgence of this timeless trend.

Sienna Miller sports vintage-red lips at the opening ceremony of the 21st British Film Festival.

This lip color has been a recent favorite of one Ms. Sienna Miller, who has rocked this look at countless London fashion week events, and on the flawlessly painted pout of Glee’s Diana Agron for Vanity Fair’s October 2010 issue – and while it’s definitely a statement (READ: Not for the faint of the fashion hearted.) you want to make sure you choose the right shade of red for your skin.  It’s too easy, with this bold lip color, to veer into the world of looking clownish or costumishly pin-up, so here are some pointers in choosing the perfect shade.

Choose the right red for your skin tone.

Those of you with a pale complexion should stick with brighter reds – either a pinkish or coral tone.  You don’t want to choose anything that will overpower your porcelain skin, so stay away from darker, deeper reds.

If you have a medium complexion – your carmine options are a bit more vast.  Choosing anything from pinky-cranberry reds to a true red, anything with deeper tones is perfect.  You probably want to avoid brighter reds, as they could quickly send your look into clownish territory.

For medium-darker complexions – think drama.  Deep burgundy or a chic rich brick tone will beautifully complement your skin tone.  Anything in the brown-red catagory, really.

Of course, as skin tones are immensely vast, don’t be afraid to experiment.  Playing with the red lip craze is not a one-size-fits-all venture.

Make sure your lips are moisturized (sometimes a nice slick of lip balm helps) and, if necessary, exfoliate your lips before applying your favorite red.  This trend is not for hiding – so if your lips are cracked and dry – everyone will know… in spades.

Another strategic move is keeping your red from straying outside of your lips – which means lip liner.  Make sure the shade is an exact match to your lipstick or just try lining your lips super gently with clear powder and a Q-tip (this works like a charm).

And finally?  Be bold.  Paint your pout and don’t look back – this look is a perfect accessory for painting the town red.

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