Wednesday, December 30, 2009


MK's slogan..."Built For The Mountain Life" conjurs up a state of mind> its garments, like the claim to fame Original Mountain Pants---- are so versatile--- 

What we covet now---are the slick graphics--- and comfy--- recycled and 100% American Made ~ Tees from North Carolina fashion company "Dirtball." (HA HA HA bet there is a story behind that moniker).

Made of 65% recycled cotton fiber and 35% recycle post-consumer polyester each MK Dirtball® T-shirt 'contains' two 16oz water bottles! Very ECO and very cool.

AVAILABLE NOW: MOUNTAIN KHAKIS in Sizes S-XL $24.95-$25.95 for short/long sleeves

Monday, December 28, 2009


A plant based formula, French company Talika’s Lipocils makes lashes reach their maximum length and fullness in twenty- eight days by using its penetration of natural ingredients like Nettle Extract and Horse Chestnut to strengthen stimulate lash growth.

FYI: Lipocils conditioning gel been on the market for years…whereas some of these new formulas have no tract record- IMHO.

POINTS: The new lashes that grow in are thicker, longer, and stronger than ever before...a better version of one's natural self. To use, apply once or twice a day to clean lashes for four weeks. It’s packaged like a mascara so it’s easy to apply--- with the brush that seems to grab the right amount.

What we really like…besides that our lashes needed the thickness/lengthening boost, we’re not worried about any long term silliness- like turning our green eyes, brown.

We found it priced on the web from $30-$40…though why anyone would buy a used one on confuses us.

Saturday, December 26, 2009



Middle Look A Top Pick--- Trouville Stripe Day Coat...with a Chartreuse Splash Floral Charmeuse T-Shirt, Steel Digital Leopard Jacquard Skirt

Presentation: Milk Studios West 15th Street, NYC

Inspite of the major ‘tude we experienced from a black clad Allie in the lobby downstairs…Peter Som was one of our top presentations of NYFW S/S 2010, clothing wise.

Sparkling whimsy came to mind as soon as we got an eyeful of the really stunning printed fabrics that ranged from polka dot paired with leopard, to floral and marine stripe. Bright, cheerful and upbeat.

It all worked. Usually the Brits can only pull off this quirky mash up of graphics and colors…in a sophisticated manner…but Peter Som certainly did. And the polished attire was all beautifully made. Not a single loose thread anywhere.

Vintage flair cruise wear (swim shorts)-mixed up with uptown girl pouf minis with pockets, and pretty dresses -- were styled just right too.

Influences cited included Lartigue’s black and white photos of Deauville (like Lacoste another line we loved for S/S 2010), Japanese (Hokusai) delicate woodcut images, and…cruise wear like the kind our grandmother wore when sailing the QEII…meaning dress-up outfits not leisure wear velour sweats.

Millicent Charm bracelet


The Manolo Blahniks pumps for Peter Som and the See Eyewear Sunglasses.

Hair: Jimmy Paul for Bumble and Bumble.

Makeup: Tom Pecheux for MAC


Sublative Rejuvenation™ using eMatrix™ by Syneron™


Frankly, we’re a bit mystified by all the new lasers and non-laser gadgets, pumped up creams and potions, and little or no downtime treatments aimed at rejuvenating lax skin, toning out spotted pigmentation, polishing off fine lines, smoothing out acne scars etc…

But the array of dermatological weapons against the march of time keeps growing…geared at combating all of the aforementioned…AND…available for all ethnic groups.

One of the newest non-laser, non-light based treatments that uses “RF sublation—fractionated bipolar radio frequency technology—to place the heat energy effectively into the dermis where it can produce significant dermal impact with minimal epidermal disruption.” (Syneron’s Sublative Rejuvanation™)----was introduced this past summer (2009): eMatrix™


Quoting straight off the website:

“The eMatrix system’s ergonomic applicator delivers bipolar radio frequency energy via a matrix of 64 electrodes in the disposable applicator tip. The RF energy generates fractional deep dermal heating in the region of the electrode matrix to induce skin injury, thus eliciting a wound healing response. Less affected tissue surrounding the matrix points may be stimulated by heat which helps accelerate the healing process, leading to tighter, rejuvenated appearance of the skin.
After treatment with the eMatrix system for Sublative Rejuvenation, most patients showed improvement in facial parameters such as skin brightness (83%) and skin smoothness/wrinkle reduction (90%)1.”

1 Journal of Drugs & Dermatology, March 2009

Basically, the heat is delivered sub dermal ---deep beneath the top layer of the skin…to maximize collagen stimulation without damaging the upper layers---the real downside of older/other (ablative) skin lasers that require(d) long recovery time and served up that beet red hue (yech) that can last for months.

We tried the eMatrix™…and actually had an enthused Syneron™ rep at our first session by Dr. Yan Trokel (of the popular Y-Lift).

After washing our skin and having rubbing alcohol swabbed on/off…we lied down comfortably…eyes shut NO GOGGLES NEEDED (like with light base laser treatments)…while Dr. Trokel wielded a wand like device from a small machine--- that emitted the frequency on and into our facial skin. It felt like tiny rubber bands being snapped across it. Annoying but not painful IMHO. Dr. Trokel moved along quickly …with tiny spaces between each clicking zap.

MORE INFO: The intensity and depth is customizable up or down, depending on the area being treated (some areas of the face are more sensitive than others)… and desired results.

Afterwards, our treated fair tone skin (the lower part of our face only---and not on our nose or directly under our eyes though those areas could have been zapped)- was a mild sunburn red…and within twenty fours, it felt dry too. On close up inspection in one of those mirrors that blow up every little pore…we saw that our treated skin actually had tiny little red pricks…miniscule scabs in a grid system---where the e Matrix™ hit. Kinda like our tiny kitty cat danced in a linear grid fashion across our cheeks.

NOTE: We would not call this a ‘back to work’ lunchtime treatment…as Dr. Trokel said no makeup for twenty-four hours. But the next day, our regular foundation went on just fine…with no irritation either.

PLUS: No one noticed anything the next day- and we work with people who have no edit function. It all cleared up in three days.

The first time we had the treatment we itched a tad, and slapped on some over the counter cortisone crèam that worked just fine.

A series of three treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart is the usual recommendation. Costs by the few physicians who actually have the eMatrix™ seem to range from $1500 to $3000 for the series depending on where the treatments are performed--- and what part of the face is actually treated.

And it’s quick…our lower face took maybe seven minutes to do.

A month after our last treatment (we had three)…there is an improvement in our skin tone…and we know this because we use way less spackle (foundation) to even out our skin…cause we don’t need it.

Apparently we can expect our skin to improve in tone and texture for another year…as collagen rebuilds. How long it lasts---we shall see ---although on a Rachel Ray Show…a Doctor who demo-ed it…claims it should last a few years.

Interesting for us…as we have an older gal pal who actually had a pricey and recovery intensive, lower face lift that seemed to last just a few years. Yes, she has very, very different skin from us---but we’re thinking…that nowadays…more options will give individuals more alternatives that cost less with the same, if not better, results.

FYI: Syneron™ is the company behind the popular VelaShape™ the cellulite and circumferential reduction device.

WE WISH: More before and after shots on the Syneron™’s website cause seeing is believing.

But there are assorted YouTubes up (another one) though we find these somewhat obnoxious at times.


Yan Center for Corrective and Cosmetic Surgery: 212 861-7787

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

RADLEY London –The UK’s Bestselling Handbags New Spring/Summer 2010


British Traditions of “The Good Life”

Radley’s premium leather bags and accessories are bestsellers across the Pond.

In the former colonies, the upscale line is really catching on ---as the classic styles (hobos, satchels, pocket bags),


oversized shoppers, and totes are made, keeps the hardware bling to a tasteful minimum, and has the kind of zips, magnetic closures and inner / outer pockets that are needed for modern lives.



And Radley carryalls have distinctly feminine styling ---pretty and practical.


Big plus for us…the bright graphics of the printed linings

and the adorable leather tag---a Scottish dog-the signature icon (hand painted)…that comes with the haulers.

Best Selling Pocket Bags-Small, Medium, Large

And of course the quiky vibe---so English.

Primrose Hill

The new colors for Spring take their cues from the British seaside…and "The Good Life" of English gardens we think--- as there are warm hues like pomegranate red as well as the basics (tan).

What else is fresh--- are the non-leather collections---the totes---made from light-weight fabrics in perky polka dot and stripy prints.

Our favorites in the collection are the impact resistant, hard sided luggage (on sale now)…made for The Grand Tour. The pieces come with vintage looking stickers to apply anywhere and bags to stash away our stuff.

Available in a sturdy two and four wheel rollers--- and vanity case…and we’re pretty sure we can pick this out from the sea of black luggage. ($150-$300).

Naturally, there’s an assortment of tough umbrellas ($45-$65) that come in great perky prints (and with matchy matchy accessories). We actually have one that survived the major wind tunnels and driving rains that blow through Manhattan streets. And we liked how when we opened the umbrella…we had to open it facing down… the metal clasps are really strong…not the flimsy spring open kind that always break in a New York minute.

Radley is priced in that value luxury price range--- with most styles ranging from $125 to $325 for the large Barnstaple Flapover Tote with a handy zip and metal closure--- and $425 for the Grosvenor Music bag Tote.

Grosvenor - Medium Satchel ($298) Large Satchel ($398)



Monday, December 21, 2009



Words, Judith Ecochard

Brand extension makes sense for a company known for it’s aesthetic portfolio of products that include FDA approved options for a more youthful appearance.

And so now we have Vivité - a new (2007) over-the-counter skin care line from Allergan, that has the Juvederm™ family of injectible gels, Botox® Cosmetic and by prescription only Latisse® lash lengthener (that has Brooke Shields batting her peepers over the airways)… in its stable of offerings.

Available without a prescription…(online--- and on its website--- there’s a list of health care professionals offices’ that have it), the twelve Vivité products aim to hydrate skin and apparently “enhance the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid (a good thing), stimulating epidermal growth factor and collagen.”

Plumper. moisturized skin for more youthful looking faces is highly desirable, obviosuly…and Vivité’s solution is its own GLX™ technology --- “…a highly specialized blend of hydrating glycolic acid and powerful antioxidants.”

There’s a core four product skin care system…loaded with antioxidants like green tea, vitamin c and e that fight free radicals that can damage the dermis…

…that includes the Exfoliating Facial Cleanser for clean, smooth skin, and a Daily Antioxidant Facial Serum to help moisturize (both containing 15% glycolic compound).
FYI: The Exfoliating Facial Cleanser is a best seller and on one of our fav reads---InStyle Magazine Best Beauty Buy List in the April 2009 issue

… a Night Renewal Facial Cream that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines (with 20% glycolic compound), and a Revitalizing Eye Treatment (10% glycolic compound with de-puffing caffeine).

We actually demo-ed the Defining Lip Plumper that has peptides- palmitoyl oiligopeptide and centella asiatica extract- to restore volume and fullness---and plant extracts, conditioners, and moisturizers designed to help improve the appearance of fine line and wrinkles and moisturize.

The product is packaged like a tube of mascara and goes on like lip gloss. (HINT: Twist the bottom of the metal tube a few times to get the white lotion going through the tip).

The Defining Lip Plumper comes out white at first--- but invisibly blended into our lip color. Initially our lips felt a very very very slight tinge…not weird burning and definitely not stinging like other lip plumpers on the market…

Also for about a nano second, it was slightly sticky…but that went away right after our lips easily absorbed the thin application. Our kissers weren’t that dry to begin with--- and after applying the Defining Lip Plumper---they were not any drier…a common complaint found in other lip plumpers. Plus--- we were happy to see that our regular lipstick/gloss went on as usual...without any color difference.

Vivité recommends using the Defining Lip Plumper 3x a day…with best results after 30 days use, meaning the effects are cumulative. And we applied the product on unadorned lips but apparently one can put it on lips... over lipstick too.

ADDED PLUS: the packaging—the tube--- is easily portable and leakproof.

INFO: Vivité


Words Judith Ecochard, Images courtesy of Lumixyl™

Cosmeceutical skin brightening creams and lotions are in big demand…as people want to get rid of the brown spots and photo-damaged skin (courtesy of the sun, acne etc) and unwanted discoloration (blotchiness) of skin tones that SCREAM aging person.

Fairly new to the market, Lumixyl™ Topical Brightening Crème is embedded with a “ground-breaking” peptide (“naturally occurring amino acids”), developed by dermatological researchers at Stanford University. Apparently it reduces tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for initiating the overproduction of melanin…the culprit of uneven/over pigmentation, melasma (that fun brown line gals can get during pregnancy), and dark spots.

We read that the skin bleaching hydroquinone--- in many prescribed and over the counter skincare products for the aforementioned skin afflictions, has generated controversy and is in fact today banned for sale in the European Union, Canada, and Japan (though we presume, easily obtained online).

…So we were happy to see that noted dermatologists give Lumixyl™ serious consideration… and offer the product for sale in their offices.

PLUS: An added plus to the water soluble Lumixyl™---is that it can be safely used by all skin tones.

We actually tried the white crème (more lotion thickness IMHO) on our hands. A little goes a long way so we dabbed out a dime size sample…enough for the back of both of our hands.

Easily absorbed as soon as we lightly rubbed it in…we felt barely a tingle. We also dabbed a tiny bit on our forehead…as the skin on our face is very sensitive and we wanted to feel/see if we would have some kind of yech reaction. And we didn’t have any problems--- as Lumixyl™ is non-irritating.


After three weeks use, once a day, we felt the tiny brown spots on the back of our hands slightly faded…but note that Lumixyl™’s own study of very satisfied volunteers…lasted 8 weeks. So we are happy and certainly not as visibly speckled and will continue using it for the recommended 16 weeks---the usage length info we got online.


ADDED PLUS: Lumixyl™ can be used alone or if directed by a physician, to compliment other treatments such as Tretinoin (an acid form of vitamin A and the key ingredient in the prescribed crèmes/gels Renova® and Retin A®), laser resurfacing etc.

INFO including list of Physicians LUMIXYL
FYI: $120 MSRP


Sunday, December 20, 2009

CAVI: MENSWEAR - Spring 2010

Garment District, NYC

Words, Showroom Images Judith Ecochard

Contemporary ‘urban’ sportswear at value price points …the mantra of today’s consumers. There are a lot of labels out there fit that segment, but a “lifestyle brand” done well is rare.

CAVI, a new to us label--- was, according to the website... started up in 2004 by three guys. Two of the three friends got some life/work experience ---

as interns in the music biz. Which might explain why the styling is spot-on...and a lot of hip hop/pop celebs appreciate/wear the brand.

For us, we always zero in on the quality…and CAVI’s separates are well made …and thought out.
Meaning, a top works with a jacket…that looks great paired up with shorts real men would wear (not some if those skinny uber fitted cuts we saw struttin’ down the runways).

Versatility done right.

CAVI’s appeal is broad…currently its outfitting NASCAR driver Chase Austin…and has expanded to include surf inspired pieces like board shorts, hoodies, jackets and pima cotton tees.

We took in some of the new Spring 2010 line recently…and were impressed with the silhouettes and fit of the shirts, jackets and pants.


Double zipped sleeves

The signature crest, solid buttons and military inspired styling are polished up street wear handsome not hokey.

Epaulets on a checked long sleeve gives edge to a basic

For Spring and the capsule surf collections we saw some basics that any guy could wear and afford ($50-$150).

Graphics on the pima-cotton tees- in bold colors- make this casual wear staple a “hot” top to pair with jeans or shorts…or night ready under a blazer.

For Spring (ships late January) key pieces from the collection include the Yacht Jacket (available in white, navy blue and khaki) and the army green Bowery Track jacket.

Safari gets civilized with durable double stitched tailoring and utility pockets galore.

From the quality denim of the jeans to functional details like inner and outer pockets

rugged zips, and performance wear functionality, CAVI is well positioned to grow…very cool.

Built in belt

INFO: Available at Macy’s and online CAVI NYC