I’ll Get You My Pretty!

elizabeth-montgomery-14veronica-lake-7Since we’re dedicating this Halloween Week to witches, who better to tell us the best and worst beauty advice than women who have been masquerading as lovely humans?

  • DO ask witches their anti-aging secrets! (Some are hundreds of years old!)angela-bassett-6stockard-channing-8
  • But, DO NOT suck the youth out of little children to stay young…sjp-26
  • DO use kitty cats to bring out your eyes (& keep warm)!kim-novak-4veonica-lake-6
  • DO NOT use mirrors to trap your twin sister in!cloris-leachman-1
  • DO support your local witches’ beauty business!sandra-bullock-13
  • DO NOT insult your hairdresser!angela-bassett-7jessica-lange-10
  • DO rock a dark manicure.jessica-lange-9
  • DO NOT set fire to buildings, just so you can make a smoky entrance.veronica-lake-8
  • DO encourage the use of natural products!lily-rabe-4
  • DO NOT doubt yourself or your beauty. 😉sjp-27
  • But DO summon intense weather for a killer background. 😉alice-englert-3
  • DO rock blue eyeshadow! anjelica-huston-2agnes-moorehead-6
  • DO NOT underestimate the power of a cat eye.elizabeth-montgomery-16
  • When it comes to hair, DO remember more is more!frances-conroy-10cher-6-susan-sarandon-9-michelle-pfeiffer-13
  • DO remember the impression a redhead can make!
  • DO NOT stress over a bad hair day – wear a wrap!angela-bassett-8jessica-lange-11
  • DO mix magic & hair!elizabeth-montgomery-15The-Craft-Hair
  • DO NOT flatten those natural waves.Cher-7-susan-sarandon-10-Michelle-Pfeiffer-14
  • DO experiment with unnatural hair colors, no matter your age!meryl-streep-4 
  • DO NOT let your skin succumb to the ravages of the sunstockard-channing-7-dianne-wiest-7!frances-conroy-11
  • DO shield your eyes from too much sun, too!jessica-lange-12
  • DO NOT smoke cigarettes!ahs-coven-6
  • DO know the importance of mood lighting.sandra-bullock-14
  • DO NOT lie!  It’s bad for your skin.stockard-channing-9kathy-bates-1
  • Finally, DO wear something black…emma-roberts-10-taissa-farmiga-3
  • And, DO NOT underestimate the power of a bold hat. :)jessica-lange-13

Happy Halloween!

7 Beauty Lessons Learned from Downton Abbey

Check out our favorite Downton Abbey beauty tips from our friends at Daily Glow: The Crawleys may have old-fashioned manners, but their skin and hair are modern marvels. Here are the best beauty tips from the third season of the Masterpiece broadcast on PBS.

1. Your complexion always looks better in candlelight.

2. For an instant anti-aging trick, stand next to someone who’s at least 30 years your senior.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a red lip.

4. If you’re going without makeup, make sure your skin is flawless.

5. When in doubt, wear a hat.

6. You’ll never have a bad hair day if you stick to braids and updos.

7. A blushing bride is a beautiful bride… as long as she’s not left at the altar.  (Sorry, Edith!)

Carmindy is Crazy Busy Beautiful

Carmindy is the happy-go-lucky make-up artist on the popular style show What Not to Wear.  While Clinton and Stacy tell you how ugly your clothes are in the first half of the show, Carmindy is there in the second half to tell you how pretty you are.  She doesn’t lie either – Carmindy points out the most attractive feature on every woman that sits in her chair and tells her why she is beautiful.  Each woman is glowing before Carmindy even applies bronzer.  The blonde babe was born Carmindy Kathryn Bowyer in Newport Beach, California, and her sunny disposition matches her home state.  As one of the world’s most famous beauty experts, Carmindy pens books and her own website, in addition to appearing on TLC’s only good show.  Crazy Busy Beautiful is the make-up artist’s third publication (theSkinnyStiletto will certainly be reviewing her first two books soon, especially after finishing this entertaining read…)  Crazy Busy Beautiful is a collection of beauty tips from not only Carmindy, but everyday women.  Some of the secrets are really quirky (Cheri, 37, uses snail slime to clear up her acne), but most of the advice is creative and helpful.  Quick way to restore beat-up eyelashes?  Put a dab of leave-in conditioner on them before going to bed.  Hate getting those tiny black dots on your eyelids when applying mascara?  Coat your bottom lashes first, and then the top – and voila, no dots!  (Yes, very simple, and yet this hadn’t occurred to me in the 15 years this editor has been applying eye make-up.)  The book is broken up into the following sections: Start with Skin Care, Body Basics, Laying the Foundation: Skin Makeup, Brows that Wow, Eye Essentials, Eyeliner It Up, Luscious Lashes, Get Cheeky, and Lips Lips Lips.  theSkinnyStiletto was glad to see Carmindy’s reinforcement of using sunscreen everyday.  Too many women ignore this beauty tip, and it’s wildly important – not only to avoid wrinkles, age spots and sagging, but preventing skin cancer!  Way too many women die every year because they didn’t heed their parents’ advice about protecting your skin.  Quite aware of the current economy, Carmindy also has money-saving tips in every section, too.  Our favorite?  Buying cheap, unscented lotion and adding a bit of your favorite perfume or even some glitter for a little shine.  Since perfume can be so potent, a little can go a long way, and instead of purchasing expensive lotion to match your favorite scent, you just made your own for a much lower price!  This was such a simple, yet brilliant idea, and Carmindy has quite a few of them.  Down to the bottom of a gloss or lipstick you love?  Scoop out the remainder and put it in an empty pillbox and apply with a brush.  Don’t want to spend the money on an expensive tinted moisturizer?  Add your foundation into the cream you’re already using, and ta-da!  Crazy Busy Beautiful is also decorated with adorable, girlie drawings by Amy Sai.  Our only criticism of this book is that there aren’t any photographs or pictures depicting some of the trickier tips, like the proper ways to apply eye make-up or blush.  Without the visuals, it automatically becomes a book targeted at women that are already acquainted with applying make-up.  (Although, women who choose to go au naturel probably aren’t looking to read about ways on to improve your beauty…)  In short, it’s not a book for beginners.  One of Carmindy’s bits of advice was to compliment another woman’s appearance at least once a week – you don’t know how good that will make the other woman feel… it could possibly brighten an otherwise crappy day for her.  It’s no surprise the nicest girl on television’s beauty secret is to make someone else feel pretty.  It epitomizes exactly what she’s all about: matching her exterior to the truly beautiful person she is on the inside.

Gisele the Gaelic Goddess

To complete theSkinnyStiletto‘s Irish week, we thought it’d be appropriate to review one of our favorite fashion/lifestyle books, The Goddess Guide, written by Gisele Scanlon.  Scanlon is Irish-bred and born (from Co. Kerry), who has written for Irish Tatler and The Irish Independent.  The beautiful book contains Scanlon’s tips, advice, interviews and pictures, collected in her own notebooks working as a fashion journalist.  (This editor asked for it for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it wasn’t even published stateside yet, so her father went to the British version of Amazon to track it down for me!)  To say the book is visually stunning is an understatement – it’s bound in the pattern of Scanlon’s favorite wallpaper (the black part is velvet!), includes her own doodles, lists and photos in the margins, and each page seems to be a different color and theme – keeping eyes dazzled for hours… literally.  (I sat down to reread it for this “Book Review” and nearly finished the entire thing in one sitting.)  Scanlon describes her six goddesses, the Home Goddess, Sex Goddess, Office Goddess, Earth Goddess, Urban Goddess, and the Luxurious Goddess, and how each side of her own personality has discovered helpful information for home, body, mind, and the shopping spirit.  Scanlon’s work is separated by the following sections: style, beauty, travel, home, garden, food, havin’ fun, joie de vivre, pillow talk and g-spots (Gisele’s favorite locations, not actual g-spots.)  The style and beauty chapters are the longest, chock full of useful recommendations on shopping, denim, cellulite, cashmere, purses, make-up, vintage-hunting, online stores, you name it.  The other sections are smaller, and not as detailed, but still have fun tips.  The book has been criticized, usually due to this.  Reviewers wondered what does gardening or how to wrap a present have to do with a style book?  But Scanlon never claimed it was strictly a journal on fashion – she stated in the beginning of the book she had tips “From the practical to the frivolous.”  While other critics may have disliked the non-beauty/fashion sections, I thought they were very helpful.  This editor lived abroad for a year, and she was quite regretful she didn’t take this lovely publication along to London, Dublin or Barcelona where Scanlon details the best places to eat, drink, shop, be merry, and even get sandals personally made!  (Definitely regretted that part.)  Her food section contains a recipe for Fat Duck Heston Blumenthal’s popping chocolate cake (Scanlon’s personal favorite).  This editor and her friends attempted to make it for Easter three years ago, and while we screwed up the base of the cake, the remainder of it was still one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever had.  There are so many facts (like why Christian Louboutin’s stilettos are red underneath), and ideas (like various types of gifts to buy for people) throughout, this editor is positive she’ll be writing future articles on some of the subjects featured in The Goddess Guide.  Scanlon wrote a follow-up journal, The Goddess Experience (Goddess Guide II), which this editor will be tracking down, as well as a blog called The Goddess Guide.  In conclusion, Gisele Scanlon – you are definitely a Gaelic Goddess after our own hearts.

Go Big or Go Home with Your Eyebrows!

Jennifer Connelly

Camilla Belle

Audrey Hepburn

We here at theSkinnyStiletto are big fans of big brows.  Eyebrows are Mother Nature’s gift to each and every one of us, and should be treated as such.  If eyes are the windows to your soul, then eyebrows are the shutters.  Back in 2008, magazines and websites were going crazy about “big brows being back,” but they were never “out.”  Thin eyebrows were all the rage in the 1930s, but for all her daring looks, Jean Harlow doesn’t remain one of our beauty icons.  Brooke Shields broke onto the scene in the 1980s at the tender age of twelve, and her bountiful brows inspired girls to surrender their tweezers in order to emulate the teen queen.

Brooke Shields in the 1980s

Not that we all can’t use a light tweezing session every now and again, but plenty of us know all about over-plucking and the agonizing months (which can turn into years…) it takes for brows to grow back properly.  This is one piece of free beauty advice many of us do not heed when we’re in our early teens, terrified of having “bushy brows.”  Eyebrows naturally complement your face, which is why everyone was born with their own individualized pair.  Our parents always told us “thicker brows are more attractive – just look at your favorite fashion icon.” Of course, they were referring to Audrey Hepburn.  Today, look at the models on the runway – they don’t have over-plucked pencil scribbles on their beautiful faces.  Which are our current favs?  Camilla Belle, Jordana Brewster, Jennifer Connelly, and Keira Knightley.  So ladies, put the tweezers down, cancel those weekly wax appointments, and indulge in the only good form of facial hair!

Tips for Faking Full Brows:

  • Use an eyebrow brush or small comb to brush brows straight up, and trim off excess hairs (but don’t cut too short!).  Fill in with pencil or powder to match your hair color.  Use pencil first to fill in gaps and then proceed with powder for a full finish.
  • Brush your eyebrows up and out to your temples to soften the look.  A dot of hairspray or gel can keep unruly brows tamed throughout the day.
  • Blondes should use a very pale, ashy brown pencil, while brunettes should look for medium-toned browns.  If you use dark brown pencils or powders, your brows may end up looking very black or overly thick, and therefore, fake.

    Jordana Brewster

    Keira Knightley