Oh, man. With all due respect to Crash, Reese Witherspoon and, um, Three 6 Mafia — Brokeback Mountain, Felicity Huffman and Dolly Parton were robbed. Oh, Oscar, I wish I knew how to quit you.
Also overlooked — by critics and the Academy alike — was Memoirs of a Geisha. While visually stunning in its cinematic narrative, Geisha may have made the critics happier if the screenplay had been bookended by (warning: spoilers — you may highlight the following white text if you’ve already seen the movie) scenes of New York City as the novel had been. I believe this would have made the story more cohesive and satisfying — especially to those who hadn’t read the book. But heck, what do I know.
The movie may not have inspired critics, but it did inspire Geisha fashion, renewed popularity of the Maiko Barbie Doll, and — from Fresh, makers of my new favorite scent — the "Memoirs of a Geisha" beauty collection.
Posted March 6, 2006 by Mariva in arts, beauty, books, fashion, gifts, movies, music
If you like to bathe in luxury, try Pacifica soaps. Before buying, you can wander through a virtual garden of high-quality scents with names like Sandalwood, Tahitian Gardenia, Tunisian Jasmine, French Lilac, Bergamot Amber Rose, Vanilla Orchid, Bali Lime Papaya, Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Thai Lemongrass and so on.
The soaps are nature-friendly (biodegradable, vegan, not tested on animals, no artificial colors), and the scents are strong but smell authentic — it’s hard to detect a chemical base that’s typical for some scented soaps. Each beautifully boxed 6-ounce bar is priced at or close to $7 — which might seem extravagant until you realize that with scented products of this caliber, you get what you pay for.
Posted March 2, 2006 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, gifts, home
I made a special trip to Pure Beauty in the Castro to purchase its last inventory of the Smoothies hair claws that I like so much. (The Rake, Chunky Square and Skate claws are my favorites for quick, no-fuss updos. And check out the Trap Claw, which features a patented hidden spring that makes your French and faux-French twists look more elegant.) While I was there, the employees were busy clearing out the old "beauty supply" items and replacing them with chichi "beauty boutique" stuff. I decided to scope out the higher-end merchandise.
I found the most miraculous thing: a bottle — with an unostentatious label — of Fresh Pink Jasmine Eau de Parfum, the scent of which was splendiferous, even transcendent. (The product description lists its scent notes — a top of red orange, freesia, spring lilac; a heart of magnolia, peony, fresh jasmine, tiare flower; and a base of precious woods, velvety peach skin, marsh mallow — which I can’t make heads or tails out of, but hey, it sounds fabulous.)
OK, I decided, I’ll bite. So how much?
Seventy-five dollars. Oh. Definitely beyond my "impulse purchase" budget. OK, so how much for the Pink Jasmine Body Cream? Another $75? Well, then how about the Pink Jasmine Soap Set? Twenty-five dollars? Twenty-five dollars for soap? Man, that’d better be some fresh soap.
Luckily, I found the Fresh Pink Jasmine Gift Set — which includes the perfume, body cream and soap — for $95, instead of $175 for the three separate products. Now that I can live with — especially since the distinct scent from the tester bottle lasted on my cotton jacket for two days afterward.
Other notable products include LaLicious Gardenia Body Butter, Bumble and Bumble hair care products and Calypso fragrances.
« Hide it
Posted February 3, 2006 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, gifts
I walked into Pure Beauty to pick up the perfect Smoothies hair clips, which had always been in stock. But I noticed this time that the selection was very low, and I asked the sales clerk what gave. She informed me that Pure Beauty’s current CEO has decided to give the store — and the business model — a makeover. "It’ll be less of a beauty supply shop and more of a beauty boutique," she said. Huh?
Then she showed me photos. Oh. I guess Pure Beauty is aiming to become the Williams-Sonoma of beauty and personal care products.
Fine, but where am I going to get my hair clips?
« Hide it
Posted January 27, 2006 by Mariva in beauty, business, fashion, news
||When I was conducting research for my post on scented paper, I came across some interesting smell-related sites:
- Better Living with Essential Oils: information about and uses for essential oils for body and home care. #24 is instructions on infusing scents into paper, although I would suggest adding the drops of essential oils to a cotton pad rather than directly onto the paper.
Posted December 29, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, education, health, home, resources
A cup of tea, the big newspaper (or a good book) and feet soaking in warm bubbling water — can you imagine a better way to spend Sunday mornings in winter? The only challenge to this cozy scenario is how to keep the water warm in the foot bath. I grew frustrated with having to get up to refill the foot bath in the middle of a relaxing soak because the water had become tepid. Unlike other foot spa baths, the HoMedics JetSpa Ultra Jet Action Pedicure Footbath not only actually keeps the water warm (even hot!), it can heat up cold water via its own safe heating mechanism. The bubbles and jet action are nice, too. It comes with a brush and pumice stone pedicure attachments, but I never use them. The system is great for softening toenails for a spa-quality pedicure. So no more annoying refill interruptions — you can keep your feet in this thing until your soles wrinkle and you’ve gotten through the entire paper.
Available for under $60 here and here.
Posted December 26, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, gifts, health, home
|What a great gift idea: with a PajamaGram (your choice of pajamas, robe or slippers), your recipient gets a free:
- keepsake organza hatbox
- lavender sachet
- "Do Not Disturb" sign
- personalized gift card
- decorative shipping box
Also available are bath & body spa supplies, candles, gourmet treats and relaxation accessories for creating the perfect retreat-at-home experience. (Maybe I’ll send one of these gifts to myself!)
Posted December 14, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, edibles, fashion, gifts, holidays, home
Dior Addict Plastic Gloss and Dior Addict Ultra Gloss are the most beautiful tubes of lip gloss I’ve ever seen. Plastic Gloss comes in several luscious shades. I would choose Edgy Rosewood for day and Electrifying Red for night.
The Ultra Gloss seems even more decadent for lip gloss: the various shades appear translucent, iridescent or metallic. My favorite: A Delight of Apricot, shown here.
Dior Addict Plastic Gloss and Ultra Gloss are available from Amazon.com as well.
Posted December 12, 2005 by Mariva in beauty, fashion
DailyCandy provides today’s gift idea at Amazon.com and offers reviews of things to eat, wear, visit and enjoy. You can choose an "edition" set to your city (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas and London are available so far), although moms and dads may prefer viewing the "Kids" edition. Personally, I find the most interesting and valuable stuff listed in the "Everywhere" edition. For your convenience, you may sign up for the daily shopping deals and the daily email messages.
In addition to providing daily candy, this site offers delicious eye candy as well; you’ll love the beautiful watercolor/pen & ink graphics. Check out each "edition" to see all the drawings.
Posted November 10, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, edibles, entertainment, fashion, fun, gifts, jewelry, resources, social, travel
[17:35] mariva: Look at this great hairdo. I wish I could figure out how to do that sort of thing with my hair.
[17:35] alisa: I think they put a sponge under her hair and pin pieces of hair over it.
[17:36] mariva: But, according to the instructions, you’re supposed to “comb the crown section back and secure with a seamless elastic, leaving bangs or shorter front layers around the face,” which seems kind of impossible.
[17:37] alisa: No, that is all wrong. They are lying.
[17:37] mariva: This in particular seems impossible: “Brush the side and back sections; twist, tuck ends under and pin, like a French Twist.” And then this: “Fan the ponytail, tuck the ends under and secure with bob pins, creating a bouffant crown.” But how does that work? How can you accomplish this if you can’t see the top of your head?
[17:37] alisa: OK, here’s how you do it:
[17:37] alisa: …
[17:37] alisa: …
[17:37] mariva: Nu?
[17:37] alisa: …
[17:37] alisa: Go to a salon,
[17:37] alisa: and have somebody do it
[17:37] mariva: LOL!!
[17:37] mariva: Pay $$$, in other words.
[17:37] mariva: You’re hilarious.
[17:37] alisa: It’s hard to do yourself — unless you’re good at that type of thing.
[17:37] mariva: Nah, I suck at that type of thing.
[17:38] mariva: I only just recently figured out how to blow-dry my hair, and I had to get a special device to do it.
[17:38] alisa: A diffuser?
[17:38] mariva: No, it’s a wand that looks like a curling brush and sends hot air through holes in between the bristles.
[17:38] alisa: Huh. It works? Easy to do?
[17:39] mariva: Yeah, for the most part. I wouldn’t say it’s that easy, but it’s not impossible, as it is with a regular blow dryer. I basically brush my hair with this round brush, and the hair dries while I’m brushing. I have to use those salon clips to hold various sections of my hair, and I dry only one section at a time, starting at the bottom of the back. I have to brush slowly, but, if I do it right, it does “flip up” the bottom in that cute way that’s all the rage right now.
[17:39] alisa: I never have enough energy to blow dry my hair; my arm gets tired.
[17:39] mariva: Mine, too. It’s definitely a 20-minute intensive project.
[17:40] alisa: Huh.
[17:40] mariva: You know what I used to do? Turn my head upside down, fry all my hair with a regular blow dryer, and then curl it into place with a curling iron. It took forever.
[17:40] alisa: Oh god, I used to dry & curl, too! In seventh grade. And sometimes, when I was late for school, only one side was curled under.
[17:41] mariva: Oh, jeez.
[17:41] alisa: The left would be curled; the right would be straight.
[17:41] mariva: I hated those days. A full 40 minutes with the curling iron. What a godawful waste of time.
[17:41] alisa: Where did we get the patience?
[17:41] mariva: I think the desire to fit in overshadowed our impatience.
[17:41] alisa: Yeah.
« Hide it
Posted October 26, 2005 by Mariva in beauty, fashion