Archive for July, 2008

30
Jul
08

DUTY-FREE WONDERS…

Hello Divas,

I am sorry for having  been away for sooo long! I have been very busy traveling and being stuck around airports with delayed flights and uncomfortable middle seats (don’t you just hate being in the middle especially when you have to be on a 6 hour flight???)…well, well…

I made it safely to my home country Senegal and have not been able to rest since then…partying, sleeping, eating, then partying again…Now I am focused on working on my professional plans and will definately spend more time sharing my adventures with you divas!!!

So I had the chance to browse the cosmetics aisle duty free at the airport in Montreal and in Paris last week. I was sooo happy to see a MAC counter at the Roissy airport (Paris) that I automatically forgot about how bad my flight was…lol 🙂

So I started shopping (not MAC since I do not get my discount there…). Here are the wonders I found (I should mention that I didnt realize that all the prices were in Euros until I got to the cashier…I almost cried as I realized I was going to be really broke before getting to Dakar…

Thierry Mugler “ALIEN” Eau de Parfum: The beautiful bottle attracted me!!! I bought it for my mom and I just love the smell too! It’s a lil bit fresher than ANGEL and its better for summer…

COCO MADEMOISELLE EAU DE PARFUM: This is my signature parfum…a lil’ pricey but it’s definately worth the price!

 Set of LANCOME mascaras: 2 in a box for the price of 1 and 1/2. My favorite mascaras FATALE and DEFINICIL

DIOR MAKEUP PALETTE: I didn’t really need it but thought it could be nice to have and a cute gift for one of my cousins…The colors are pretty light so they won’t pop out on darker complexion (one of the major problem with Christian Dior makeup…)

Trio Juicy Tubes Lancome: I absolutely have to buy at least one set everytime I travel. You can usually only find them at airports or during the holiday season…great gift for your lil niece or sister who is just starting to wear makeup…

So next time you are between flights, make sure you browse the cosmetics aisle of the duty free (especially in Europe)!

 

30
Jul
08

JOB OPPORTUNITY AT KIEHL’S IN GEORGETOWN, DC!!

Hello my lovelies,

I promise to get into fashion soon…life just keeps getting in the way. 🙂

I was in Georgetown this week-end and walked into Kiehl’s boutique. I’ve heard a lot of great things about their products and have sampled a couple over the years. For someone with sensitive skin who loves the sun and her skin moisturized, Kiehl’s products are a worthy investment. You may find them at high end retailers but nothing beats an actual Kiehl’s store where the employees wear white doctor coats and are extremely knowledgeable.

 Recently, I’ve taken up kayaking and have been spending up to 5 hours at a time in the sun paddling and enjoying nature. Therefore, I needed to find sunscreen with a high SPF, that was not too greasy and that would not make me half blind when mixed with sweat and dripping into my eyes. Heather Brown is the manager at Kiehl’s in Georgetown. I explained my dilemma to her and she gave me lots of samples of the Vital Sun Protection with SPF 40. It worked perfectly on Sunday. I also used the Creme de Corps samples after a long shower, which kept my skin moisturized and supple after spending 6 hours in the sun.

 

Heather told me that they were looking for a part time and a full time associate. She is looking for “a friendly  and welcoming person who is comfortable approaching people, with good customer service manners and a passion for beauty.” Kiehl’s offers, of course, an employee discount AND a quarterly allowance for products, i.e. every three months employees get to select a number of products FOR FREE! I told her, I might apply! 🙂

Now, having visited Kiehl’s store, and many other stores in my life, I have to say that Kiehl’s customer service (in person and over the phone) is excellent. It is above that of many stores, high and low end. So if it bothers you to be extremely curteous, if you lack patience and if you don’t really like people (you know who you are), please don’t apply… 🙂 Just stop in for their lip balm with SPF 15, a must – especially in the summer. It is affordable, fragrance free, emollient and won’t leave a white ring around your lips. It comes in various tints, which I intend to try.

“Kiehl’s was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York’s East Village neighborhood over 150 years ago. Our unique and extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed through the generations. Our products are made utilizing the finest ingredients known to us in our unique formulations to assure the high quality skin, hair and body care that our customers have come to expect from us. Our unique, extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and passed on through the generations.” (www.kiehls.com)

 If you are interested, please contact Heather at 200-333-5101, 3110 M Street, N.W. Washington, DC. (hbrown@kiehls-usa.com)

 

 

24
Jul
08

BATH & BODY MUSTS: CRABTREE & EVELYN

 

I love clothes. I also love the process that prepares me for wearing clothes: bathing. I don’t take as many baths as I used to but the shower is another potential place of indulgence. We live in a fast paced world where the shower may be one of the only places where we can disconnect and recharge. Especially for those of us who know what it’s like not to be able to take a shower (water outages in the summer), taking a shower/ bath is a treat. It should feel as such. I used to be a bar soap and water kinda gal but now I love browsing in stores like Bath & Body Works, the Body Shop and Whole Foods for products that will enhance my bathing experience.

 

Last year, I unexpectedly discovered Crabtree and Evelyn in a mall oh so far away from my home. It was love at first sight. Amongst the beauty treasures, I found beautiful draw liners! I had not seen any since Dakar! Yes, I am a dork…  Crabtree & Evelyn makes some of my favorite body butters and as a frequent traveler, they touched my repeat-offender-travel-violation heart with their travel size eau de toilette roll on. My skin, not I, is allergic to most perfumes but eau de parfum (eau de toilette for us Francophones) is a great option especially when packaged in a slick, slim roll-on bottle that won’t spill. Genius!

 

I’d been meaning to find another Crabtree and Evelyn store since there aren’t any within 40 miles of my home but wait….I’d forgotten the airport…ahh yes! My sister and I stepped into the store so I could get a refill of my mango body butter and left with two big bags, not including one bag they would ship (for free!) to her abode in Florida. My sister was a Crabtree virgin and I made sure she was well suited for a trip to Senegal (scented travel towels anyone?) and for her return to a stress-filled life. Now why you ask would I, the notorious bargain hunter (others have less flattering names for me), leave with a bag full of goodies AND a smile (as opposed to a frown). Well, because they were having their annual sale where $17 items were $5 and most of the items I bought were $3. There is an outlet sale on their website but it might be worth calling their store at DCA (those in the DC area) or in other airports. For your pleasure, please find below my review of some of their products:

 

Mango Butter & Grapefruit Body Butter: Loooove it! Am on my second jar. My significant other loves it. I can’t get enough of its tangy, fruity smell and smooth in application.

 

Cocoa Butter, Nutmeg & Cardamom Body Butter: Like it. Got it on sale with Mango Butter last December and wish I’d gotten two mango butters instead. It’s nice. Reminds me of Christmas. Not enough fragrance for me but perfect as a hand lotion. Subtle smell but am in the mood for more fruitiness, especially in the summer. Nice if you like understated smells.

 

Nadira Body Meringue: Loved it in the store. Hesitated before getting it. Loved the way it melted into my skin leaving it smooth but not greasy. Did not like it so much at home. Took a shower and slathered it over moist skin before going to bed and loved it again. It’s perfect for hot summer nights.

 

Nadira Bath & Shower Gel: You know how some things make you feel luxurious? You feel elevated to a state of pleasure and sophistication all at once? This shower gel does that for me. I inhale deeply when I apply it and don’t want to wash it off immediately so I massage my back (holds most of my tension), scrub my face, push back my cuticles or simply daydream while lingering in its scent. It leaves my skin smoother than most, if not all, of my shower gels. I love it!

 

Lavender Hand Therapy Cream: My hands are always dry and I am forever hunting for a good hand cream. I’ve tried simple and elaborate ones. Some I’ve loved, others, not so much. I like this one. I use it at night before going to bed so the smell of lavender can soothe me to sleep. It has the consistency of a good hand cream, emollient and not greasy. I need to use for a while longer before giving my honest opinion about its effectiveness.

 

Last, but not least, Lost Conditioning Body Spray: All right. How can I say this…it’s In.cre.di.ble! It’s a light moisturizing spray that smells amazing. I use it after Nadira Bath & Shower Gel, it allows me to skip perfume or eau de toilette. It lasts all day and is so light that I can comfortably layer it on top of my moisturizer. It is perfect for the summer and for those is warm weather. I got the accompanying shower gel but have yet to try it. I am too much in like with Nadira’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23
Jul
08

PROPER INTRODUCTIONS

 

So…in our virtual community, you can call me Ebene. As Eva, our favorite diva, embarks on new adventures around the world, I will be holding the fort stateside and fashion wise. In tandem, we aim to keep you informed, entertained and empowered. Just as beauty related tools and additives can make you feel strong, so can clothes and accessories. That’s where I come in. While in graduate school, I worked at a retail shop where my affable nature and passion for fashion led me to become a personal shopper. I enthusiastically selected outfits for my clients, their husbands (or significant others), children, grand-children, bankers, nannies and sometimes yes, even for their pets (you’d be amazed at how many dog cashmere sweaters I ordered). I learned a lot about fashion, about people and was able to pay my bills. I will share with you some of these lessons. There are a few universal truths about fashion, tailoring and clothing but I believe in cultivating individuality in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to appearance.

 

The picture above is not me but it could be. I am a young professional hailing from the Continent. I have been wearing my hair natural (and really short) for the past couple of months after spending years brushing a mane that was both thick and long but that grew thinner and thinner until I decided that all of us (my hair, brushes, perms and hair dryers) needed a break. I work in corporate America but will always stand out as the “African.” Why you ask, because my accent, jewelry, style and interests reveal my allegiance to the Continent.

 

Stylewise, I have always been preppy. Blame the nuns in catholic school. Blame Jeune et Jolie. Blame our French colonizers. Blame boarding school in the northeast of the United States. I feel most at ease in a pair of jeans (trousers jeans today, bootcut yesterday), a man’s belt (or tie belt), a white shirt (or a plain t-shirt) with sandals (or flip-flops) and a tote. Following a foot injury, I was unable to run for the past 10 months and because I refused to adjust my epicurean endeavors, I put on about a pound (okay maybe more) per month of inactivity. Hence, I became unable to fit into my $500 suiting (which I got for $100…will explain in another post) and other pants of my liking. Instead of undergoing a complete wardrobe regeneration, I bought about ten dresses (one of which cost $350 but was bought for $40) over a year, for about $300 and became a dress lady. So these days, you are most likely to find me in an Anthropology dress with Madras flip flops and a tote.

My personal style has not impeded my ability to style women (and men) whose sartorial predilections differed from mine. i am six feet tall, curvy, with a small waist and a not so small derriere. Some of my best clients barely passed the five feet mark, had blue eyes, jessica simpson’s bosom and long blond hair. Others were men in their fifties.

 

My opinion (about anything) is that only, an opinion. You may agree. You may not. When sharing my tips for bargain shopping or for dressing, I surely welcome dissent and suggestions. I could stand to learn a thing or two.

 

I won’t pretend that my tastes, experiences and suggestions aren’t specific to a certain socio-economic status. However, I’ve been broke. I’ve been not so broke. I’ve dressed people who flew in private jets and others who could barely afford top ramen noodles. In college, I once wore a handmade purple suit that was far too big with a yellow shirt underneath. A classmate said I looked like a pimp. Well, I was going to church…(LOL) I say this to say that in all of our journeys, we had to start somewhere. I hope that I’ll be able to help you move forward. I know that a lot of readers are Eva’s friends. She is an exquisite dresser, as are most of her friends, so please feel free to jump in.

 

I think I’ve covered everything. Feel free to ask me questions. It will help narrow my focus on posts because as you can already tell, I will drown you in words if you let me. Blame my professional training. Actually, no. I like to write. So, in closing, I thank you for this opportunity to share a part of myself with you. I really appreciate it. And to my diva Eva, I love you and am oh so proud of you!

 

 

 

 

 

19
Jul
08

MAKING HISTORY: ITALIAN VOGUE – THE BLACK ISSUE

Hello Divas!

Ebene, at your service. How are you? I am feeling fabulous, if not a little sleepy. I will write another  post to properly introduce myself and to thank you for your warm welcome but this could not wait. In case, you have not heard, Italian Vogue made history by publishing a limited collector’s edition called “The Black Issue,” 50 and more pages of amazing pictures by the uber-talented Steven Meisel of black models and celebrities from Iman to Tina Turner and every young, older and cult-like ebony beauty in our recent history. For those of you who happen to read Vogue (American, Australian, Japanese, British…yes I know, I may be slighly obsessed), you understand the MAJUH nature of this publishing feat. Therefore, the demand for this gem of a magazine has been INSANE!

So, this week, I spent a good three hours, ok more, trying to track down a copy in the DC area. After many a phone calls, and stalker visits to Borders, I found a couple of copies, which I had to go get this morning before 8, thereby explaining my sleepiness, in my pyjamas downtown DC (don’t worry the only people who saw me were the sweaty joggers and the homeless people who were also just waking up). So…I took a couple of copies, NOT cheap at $20 a piece but REALLY worth it bellas (and bellos, if you are reading)! When next will you able to pick up a well-respected glossy with a woman of African descent on the cover, in the ads and through the majority of the editorial layouts??? All right, I am getting to the point,  if you are in the DC area, call or run to News World at 1001 Connecticut Ave NW, (202)872-0190. If not, I have a couple of copies on hold so email me at ebenemoda@yahoo.com and I may be able to mail a copy to you at your cost. Hurry! I don’t know how long they will hold them for me. 🙂

Have a wonderful week-end!

14
Jul
08

new cities…new lifestyle…new life

Hello Divas,

This past weekend was full of tears and emotions for me as I was leaving Maryland after spending almost 9 years there…My friends threw a farewell party for me on saturday and we danced the night away clubbing! I still don’t know how I was able to make it on time and catch my flight for Montreal the next day…

So I will be writing from Montreal for now, where I will be going to one of my childhood friend’s wedding on saturday!!! I am soooo excited about her wedding, especially because I will be the one doing her makeup!!!

After the wedding, I am planning to go back home to my beautiful country Senegal! I am even more excited as I will get to see my lil niece Naeemah who I have not seen for almost a year!!! I may settle in Senegal for a while before returning to Canada…where I am planning to stay in Toronto, MAC COSMETICS capital!!!

Well, that was just to give you an update on my life (and to explain why I’ve sort of been MIA lately) as it will change the blog in a more “exotic” and “adventurous” way…We will talk beauty, fashion, and travel…basically, how to live a fabulous and full life. I still have tons of products to review and fully intend to pursue my beauty-centered existence.

I’d also like to introduce Ebene, my co-editor who will become a co-writer on the blog. As a licensed personal shopper and fashion consultant (when she is not busy legislatively ridding the world of its evils), she will share her tips for a fabulous, budget-friendly (and not) and individual wardrobe. She might share some of her favorite products with you and other trends of the moment as well. Please join me in officially welcoming her! 

Thank you all for your support in the past few months. This blog means more to me than you will ever know. You, my readers, motivate and inspire me. I can’t wait to share my adventures, beauty-related and otherwise, with you. Get ready!

Until then, I am on my way to dsicover the beautiful city of Montreal…

XoXo

eVaDiVa

I will be posting more pics of the city soon…

Montreal   

 

Dakar

04
Jul
08

Beauty of the Week ***GENEVIEVE NNAJI***

So I have been sitting around all weekend watching Nigerian and Ghanean movies instead of running some “very important” errands…I went to my local African market and decided to buy a few movies where Van Vicker a.k.a “Eva’s Husband” 🙂 was playing. I am sooo happy that I bought BROKEN TEARS and RIVER OF TEARS because that’s how I discovered the beautiful Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji. She is just simply naturally beautiful! She did not have too much makeup in the movie and you could see that she is a true African Beauty! She is also a great actress and I have to admit that I like her waaaayyy better than Nadia Buari (who is also a great actress).

Here is a short bio from Wikipedia about the actress:

Genevieve Nnaji (born May 03, 1979) is a popular Nigerian actress from the Mbaise region of Imo State, Nigeria. Genevieve found mainstream success in Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry’s nickname, in 2001, and has consistently added accolades, such as singer, producer to her resume. In 2004 she became the face for Lux soap in a highly lucrative sponsorship deal. Among other actors and actresses, she released her first album, titled No More, in 2005, following a one year acting ban in Nigeria.

 

ALL MAC UNLESS SPECIFIED

FACE

Foundation: Select SPF 15

Powder: Mineralize skinfinish Lose powder

Blush: X-Rocks from Neo Sci-Fi collection

Bronzer: as a countour only BOBBI BROWN in DEEP 4

EYES

Eyebrows: Spiked or Stud eyenrow pencil (stud is for darker complexion)

Eyebase: Paint in architecture

Eyelid: Samoa Silk

Eye crease: Charcoal Brown

Outer Crease corner: Brun

Highligter: Arena

Eyeliner: Blacktrack on top and Graphblack at the bottom

Lashes: Lancome Mascara Definicils in Black

LIPS

Liner: Chestnut

Lipgloss: Revealing or plushglass in Ample Pink if you want a hint of pink…

 

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY WEEK-END EVERYONE!!




Follow me…

Quote of the Day…

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." Mahatma Ghandi

Cause of the Week… S.O.S Children’s Villages

Product of the week…

NARS TAJ MAHAL BLUSH Great color and a beautiful glow!

MAKEUP PIC of the Week

Narscosmetics.com

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