The Man who Faked It to Make It

Kenneth Jay Lane in 1970. Credit Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

I read that costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane passed away at his home in Manhattan last week. He was 85. Mr. Lane was regarded as the first American jewelry designer to make it not only acceptable but also chic to wear fake jewelry. “I myself am a fabulous fake,” he once said of his success. Born in Detroit, the son of an automotive parts supplier, the process to create his own persona started as a young boy when he first fell in love with fashion. He left home as a teenager to fulfill his destiny to be a designer – New York City his destination. His entrance into fake jewelry began almost by accident; he had been designing jewelry in his spare time when he was hired to design bejeweled shoes, some with rhinestone toes and heels, for a Scaasi fashion show. He suggested that he create matching earrings and and bracelets and designer Arnold Scaasi agreed. Mr. Lane went to a five and dime store to purchase plastic bangles and asked the shoe company to cover them with the rhinestones. Eventually, Mr. Lane would begin his own jewelry collection in 1962. His creations caught the fancy of high society and within a few years he was selling to most of the Fifth Avenue stores. Quickly, his name was in fashion magazines and society columns – he, himself, lived and jet-setted with his famous customers and friends, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Nancy Reagan and princesses Margaret and Diana.

But it was also his 20 year relationship with QVC where his costume jewelry designs would expand to the mainstream. I heard of Mr. Lane through QVC. Chris Sheppard, executive vice president of Kenneth Jay Lane, said a memorial would be held during New York Fashion Week in September.

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

The Beauty of Argan Oil

My secret weapon against dry skin: Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil

My secret weapon against dry skin: Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

It’s funny how by the time October rolls in my skin starts to feel dry. It’s almost like everything in my system is on a time clock. One of my secrets to combatting dry skin is Argan Oil. In fact, it has become my trusted skincare ritual. I discovered Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil over a year ago on QVC. I use it on my face (after applying a facial serum), my body, and my hands. I even add drops to my cuticles. And my skin feels softer, more supple, and well-hydrated – immediately.

Native Californian Josie Maran is a model-turned-entrepreneur who started her own signature brand, Josie Maran Cosmetics, to “make cosmetics that are top-quality and healthy for people and for the planet.” The key ingredient in everything in the line is 100% Pure Argan Oil. About 10 years ago, on a modeling trip in the South of France, Josie met a French woman with beautiful, healthy, glowing skin – who turned out to be 70 years old! She asked the woman her secret and she told her, “Argan Oil.” Josie then researched Argan Oil and created her line of cosmetics,

They call it liquid gold and I believe it: Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil.  I’m buying it!

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Joan Rivers: Beeautiful!

My lady bug bee pin, by Joan Rivers, paired with a tee by Missoni (for you, Joan)

My lady bug bee pin, by Joan Rivers, paired with a tee by Missoni (for you, Joan)

The bee pin, for those of you who don’t know, has been my signature. It represents achieving the impossible, because the bee absolutely cannot fly, cannot get off the ground, the way it’s built; yet it flies, and makes the world beautiful. So, it gives you hope … When people say, ‘give up,’ … no, no, no, no, no … don’t give up, up and at ’em, make the world better.” ~ Joan Rivers speaking on  QVC

I am heartbroken at the loss of Joan Rivers. I celebrate her life today, with my own Joan Rivers signature bee pin from QVC. Thank you for this beautiful, meaningful piece, which I will wear and think of you. And no, I won’t give up, nor say ‘I can’t.’ Rest in peace, Joan.

Photo by Alexandra

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Celebrating an American Worker, Joan Rivers

 

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers – Photo Credit: Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue

Labor Day is the day to honor the American working man, but I must take a moment to celebrate America’s hardest working woman, Joan Rivers. After a medical procedure, Joan Rivers remains in critical condition at Mount Sinai hospital, and today, I am thinking of Joan.

I have been a Joan Rivers admirer for a while; I followed her career, and have been inspired by her resiliency. When she lost everything, and started a new design career with QVC, I followed her (I own a signature Joan Rivers bumble bee pin). And as she worked her way back, I followed her, watching her on E’s “Fashion Police.” But it wasn’t until last year, when Joan Rivers turned 80, and I watched the touching documentary, A Piece of Work, that I had a real peek at the hard-working woman who is Joan Rivers (which I documented, here). I learned that Joan Rivers never stops. She is always working. She never gives up. And she loves her family and friends and takes care of them.

I am thinking of Joan Rivers on this Labor Day. Her family is prayerful, as am I.

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Josie Maran Cosmetics is easy on the eyes

IMGP1132Ever since I discovered Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil on QVC I have been a fan. Josie Maran believes in luxury with a conscience and has created a cosmetic line with the best ingredients, including 100% pure argan oil. I have heard Josie describe argan oil as liquid gold; when I rub it on my face and my skin I feel like I found a treasure.

Now I have discovered a new favorite: Josie Maran Argan Infused Creamy Chubby Concealer. Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

There is nothing like having young and healthy hair. Nothing.

Play
Chaz Dean

Chaz Dean

Happy Thanksgiving! It was a dream come true for me to speak with Chaz Dean, Los Angeles stylist and creator and visionary of WEN hair care product line in today’s podcast. I am a big fan of Chaz Dean – I tune in to QVC when he visits (QVC is a great way to purchase WEN at a good price), and WEN has literally turned back the clock for me, leaving my hair feeling younger and healthier.

Chaz talks about what drew him to the hair care industry, the creation of WEN and why this special cleansing conditioner cleans your hair without using harsh chemicals that strip away its natural shine, why our hair is so important to our self-esteem, and why the satisfaction of knowing he is helping people to feel better about themselves is the most important thing to him!

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Jillian

Jillian

Jillian

Jillian is a beauty expert, who has worked with some of the most important cosmetics houses in the business. She has worked extensively behind the scenes and in front of the camera, and was a regular on QVC. Jillian’s career has included working for Chanel and Bobbi Brown as an International spokesperson and makeup artist … doing everything from education, special events, award shows, Fashion Week, and editorial; for Prescriptives, as the Director of Beauty/On air QVC spokesperson. And most recently, Jillian was the Senior Director of Beauty/On air spokesperson for Philosophy. A year ago, Jillian took time off to work on a fictional novel, a passion project for her, but plans to return to her career when the project is complete. I met with Jillian to discuss beauty and makeup and self-esteem, what it means to age appropriately with our makeup choices, and ‘how to’ makeup advice. Here is part one of my conversation with Jillian …

Jillian, I would love to know how you got started in makeup and skin care? What inspired you?
Most likely, I started playing with make up around six years old, rummaging through my mother’s junk makeup drawer. I was always attracted to anything having to do with cosmetics. From my Barbie Head Beauty Salon, to obsessing over magazines and Charlie’s Angels. Around twenty, I began to flounder, searching for a career goal and not finding anything that really hit the passion spot. Things were different in the late 1980’s; one of the best freelance jobs was spraying perfume in the aisles of the Department Stores. (I still laugh thinking about that, because today it’s such a caricature of that era!) I worked spraying perfume for Chanel for a few months. One day at Macy’s the makeup artist didn’t show up. The woman behind the counter asked if I could apply the client’s makeup. I said yes, although I was uncertain. (You always say yes!) And that was it! I found my talent and my passion. I was always very focused and eager to learn, which I did from some of the best in the business, and still do today. Twenty-five years later, and still going, I’ve had an amazing career working in many aspects of the industry, with some of the most talented people in the world …

It was hard work and I paid my dues. But when you do something that you love it doesn’t feel like you wasted a minute of your time…

I am inspired by many things, but two stand out: I love to hear people’s stories and, I could watch The Biography Channel all day. You never know what someone has been through or feels until you listen to him/her. From a physical beauty perspective I am drawn to anything from the 1920’s or the classic era of Hollywood. I love glamorous things yet I appreciate everything.

You see a person from the outside but I wonder what you have learned about beauty, inside and out?

Well, listen. To be honest, when we’re young, we tend to view beauty as an exterior thing. It’s hard for a young person to see beauty outside the perimeters of her own age. As we mature we start to see things differently and realize that beauty can’t always be defined by a strictly physical trait. We learn as we grow that beauty can be found on so many levels; mind, body and soul. When I apply makeup now as opposed to twenty years ago, I look at the whole person …

What are the makeup basics and essentials for any woman? (if you could just choose a few)

I am asked this question a lot. I would say that aside from a good SPF moisturizer, night and eye cream, the rest of the makeup picture is about the individual. If you have perfect flawless skin without under eye circles but have skimpy lashes without color, your go-to should be eyeliner, mascara and bronzer blush. If you have no brows, eyebrow pencil is your must have. Interestingly enough, if you search 75% of the handbags women carry every day, most have their essentials inside without realizing it. My eyes disappear without liner; I never leave the house without black eyeliner in my bag. To break it down:

–   Step one: Get your skin care in place

–   Step two: Honestly assess your face’s absolute needs

–   Step three: Ditch the extra’s…eye shadow colors, trendy items, etc. Remember, this step is critical!

–   Step four: Once you pick the essentials, and only your essentials, apply them and see how you feel. If you feel confident … great! These are your essentials. If you don’t, add what you need, one at a time, until you create your essential kit …” Jillian

Wonderful, Jillian! Thank you. More of my conversation with Jillian to follow

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

If not now, WEN?!

getinline1

I am a WEN girl!
Photo Credit: Patricia Saxton

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. This is the rhythm of hair washing and we do it every day or every other day, or at the very least, every few days. We have been doing it all our lives, but these days hair washing has become much more complex – and expensive. It is shampooing and conditioning and detangling and sometimes, deep conditioning. If you are like me, you are a little nuts about your hair and are willing to pay for quality hair products. I have tried several different brands in search of the perfect combination. What I never knew was that by using these traditional products, many of which contain harsh chemicals, I was actually stripping and damaging my hair.

Two years ago a bout of insomnia led me to a new way of cleansing my hair. I had never heard of WEN before and as I watched the infomercial I knew that it was something different. A few days later, I saw WEN creator, Chaz Dean, on QVC and this time I decided to try it. Now I know that I will never go back to traditional shampoo. I am a WEN girl.

What exactly is WEN? Not a shampoo, WEN is actually a cleansing conditioner, free of the chemical sodium lauryl sulfate. And because WEN cleanses and conditions, it is a one-product process. It does the cleansing and conditioning and detangling and deep conditioning all in one. You won’t see lather because it is the chemicals that create the suds. But what you will see is clean, soft, shiny hair. And if you color your hair, as I do, WEN actually protects and maintains the color longer than traditional shampoo. Chaz Dean, Los Angeles-based hair stylist and colorist, created WEN in 1993 after seeing his clients’ damaged hair. He developed a natural alternative to the traditional shampoo and now, he is my new best friend.

You may find yourself pulling an all-nighter and catching the infomercial. Or you may see Chaz Dean on QVC (the most cost-effective way to purchase WEN by the way). If you do, consider trying it as a gift to you and your hair. You won’t be lathering, but the rinsing and repeating is the same.

Ask yourself: if not now … WEN?

What do you think?

(by the way, I use Pomegranate and my teenage sons use it, too!)

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

QVC + HSN = OMG!

Luxe Rachel Zoe on QVC

Do you want to go to a fashion party where you can see fashion stylists, designers and celebrities? Here is an idea: Turn on your television. By now you know that I am a little hooked on QVC; it has become a destination for shopping for a few of my basics. But it is more than that; it is an opportunity to hear and see fashion forecasts from stylists, designers and celebrities whom I have come to know and love. Names like: Rachel Zoe, Isaac Mizrahi, Nicole Richie, Lori Goldstein, and the latest celebrity, Jennifer Hudson, have all found homes on QVC. Home Shopping may have had a practical and utilitarian reputation at one time, but today it is much more fun. And QVC is not the only game in town. It may not be the giant that QVC is but HSN (Home Shopping Network) is hitting its stride and updating its programming. The other night I saw Fern’s Finds on HSN. After watching for a moment I realized that Fern was the Fern Mallis, credited as creator of New York Fashion Week (see: SOF, New York Fashion Week, Part 1). Very cool. Other celebrity sightings and fashion labels featured on HSN are: J.Lo, DKNY, IMAN and Badgley Mischka.

Just this week (October 8, 2012) Time Magazine ran an article profiling CEO of HSN, Mindy Grossman. Grossman took over as CEO in 2006, and at sales of about $2.2 billion last year, has made her mark. According to Time, “How did a first-time CEO with no experience in television and direct-to-consumer retailing turn HSN around? It was pretty simple, really. She just got everybody to think in a whole new way.” ~ Belinda Luscombe, Time Magazine.

So, I don’t have to look much further than my television to find inspiration. Fashion and fun are coming to ME!

What do you think?

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Not your 80s shoulder pads!

Kathleen Kirkwood shoulder pads

Kathleen Kirkwood shoulder pads

I think shoulder definition will play a big part in dressing for the fall; a small shift that will make a big difference in how our clothes fit and feel. Not your 80s shoulder pads that lifted up from the neck (or should I say lifted off?!) but rather a softer, fitted pad that gently sits flat and creates fullness and structure at the edge of the shoulder. Last night I tuned in to QVC just in time to see Kathleen Kirkwood highlighting her camisole design with built-in shoulder pads. I’m not sure that a cami is for me, but I loved what she said about the look; how a little lift is all you need to broaden your shoulders and at the same time give the illusion of a smaller waist. Definitely a confidence-builder. I bought my own pair of detachable shoulder pads before the summer season and now I am ready to wear them this fall. I think we could all use a little lift now and then.

What do you think?

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours