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April 2011 Archives

Model Foolproof

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Her entire outfit cost $19.95, plus tax.

April Fool's.

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Since my return from Europe a little over a week ago, my boyfriend has riddled me with handfuls of questions:

What did you eat? What did you see? What did you buy? Were you hit on? Did you miss me? Where's my chocolat?

Yesterday the line of questioning continued when he asked me if French people smelled as badly as they have been rumored to.

Au contraire, mon amour. My sensory recall can instantly bring back the aromas that I will now forever associate with my journey to France... the warm French bread, croissants and crepes baking in the back of the corner bistros, the tantalizing whiff of garlic and roasting chicken in the evenings, the delightful yet unStarbucks like scent of café allongés and espressos to start the day. Perhaps I'm romanticizing a bit, but I could swear that even the manure in the glorious gardens (jardins) smelled intoxicating.

France is also the perfume capital of the world, and I was thrilled that dozens of perfumeries and beauty shop windows featured posters advertising Christian Dior's Miss Dior Cherie, the very same fragrance that this American girl had checked in her baggage in preparation for her grand Parisian adventures.

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I was happy to fit in, especially when I was handed samples of the stuff while strolling along the Champs-Élysées. Although I returned home with a pair of exclusively French parfums that I could never score in the states, I realized that I can still smell like the French with scents sold in my own backyard. Here are a few of my go-to French favorites.

best%20french%20perfumes.JPG Miss Dior Cherie - Fragrance X features the current olfactory fad aforementioned. I'll always have a soft spot for this scent since it was gifted to me by my best mon amis on my last birthday.

Chanel No. 5 - Fragrance X also features this iconic classic that will never go out of style. The French government reports that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every thirty seconds. It takes me longer than that to apply deoderant...there goes another bottle.

Fracas - It may not sound extremely appealing, but this creation by French couturier, Robert Piguet, is a secret of the French elite. Be prepared, it is très expensive at $95 for a quarter of an ounce.

Parisienne - Would a perfume by any other name smell as sweet? Up for grabs at Perfumania is Yves Saint Laurent's newest French fragrance offering that evokes soft notes of rose petals, violets, sandalwood and musk.

In short, the French smell very good, especially when they're wearing the fragrances I've mentioned above.

Have a beautiful day, and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers (fleurs).

Abbie Cornish, the pretty Australian import (and the girl who allegedly wrecked Reese Witherspoon's first marriage), is having a pretty decent month.

Even though her ex (and Reese's), Ryan Phillipe, is reportedly off gallivanting around town with chicks like Rihanna and Amanda Seyfried, Abbie is spending her time lucratively, gallivanting down the red carpet with two big blockbuster films opening back to back. This week I found her in my mailbox twice, promoting her flicks on the covers of two of my favorite fashion mags.

As well as sharing the April cover of Marie Claire with her Limitless co-star Bradley Cooper, Abbie also rocks one of the 5 alternate covers of this month's Nylon, along with some mad 80's styling, a pompadour, and a mean pair of hot Hide and Seek Heels that pack quite a Sucker Punch.

Seek and score your own bad girl Chiffon & Satin bootie-pumps in black or red for $89.95 from Chinese Laundry, with free shipping on all orders over $100.

I'm Sucker Punch drunk in love.

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Model Stripes

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Do these horizontal stripes make us look fat?

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At times we are ruled by our vices. Some people smoke like chimneys, some folks stuff their faces with chocolate covered anything, others gamble their kids' college funds away every weekend at the craps tables.

My vice isn't really harmful to my health, waistline or financial security, but it is a problem. I'm addicted to fashion magazines.

I currently have a dozen or so subscriptions to my name (not to mention new age digital subscriptions on my iPad à-la- Zinio). I have more magazine racks/baskets in my home than I have matching wine glasses and/or lighting fixtures. This weekend I discovered just how bad my obsession was when I asked my boyfriend to please refrain from using my glossy new Interview magazine cover as a coaster for his coffee. Sorry babe.

As bad as my addiction is, my trip to Europe made it worse, literally opening up a whole new world of magazines to me.

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It began innocently enough. I had a handful of one and two Euro coins left in my change purse, and wanted to spend them all before I headed back to the states. My plan was simple, pick up a few fistfuls of fab French candies from the newsstand at the Metro station to bring home when I saw them: a bunch of pocket-sized French fashion mags listed for 1 euro and 1.50 euro each. Score.

Never mind that I can't understand a single word in these French mags other than très chic, très hip, très sexy! I learned that fashion magazines are universal. I thumbed right to the main fashion editorial spreads where they listed the designers' names and prices (I can read French numbers).

Here is a rundown of my top 10 French magazines on the scene.

10. Purple - Not your French grand-mère's magazine. Real, raw and anti-fashion flavor.

9. Marie Claire France - Simply put, Marie Claire, en français.

8. Muteen - France's answer to Teen Vogue, only cooler, grungier and cheaper.

7. Numéro - Fashion, art, luxury. Très fanastique.

6. Elle France - Elle, en français.

5.Le Figaro Madame - Natalie Portman was on the cover of this mini mag and I spent 3.5 hours trying to translate her interview during the plane trip home.

4. Jalouse - I'm 99.8% sure this means jealous in French. Jalouse much?

3. Be.com - I wanted every model's haircut in this mag. A magazine for the now generation and one of my favorite newsstand scores.

2. La Femme Actuelle - A little bit of everything French and feminine. Reminded me of Glamour, but with more beauty marks.

1. Vogue Paris - Fashion begins and ends here. The end all be all of fashion magazines.

Vive le French Vogue.

Confession: Most of my time here in the blogosphere is spent scouting out the newest styles and trends while helping my readers avoid a multitude of dreaded fashion faux pas. Although battling visible panty lines and mismatched dress/shoe combinations is indeed a worthy cause, I sometimes feel the need to step away from the bling and booties and more towards a worthier cause.

I have always believed that the only accessory you really need to look fabulous, is a smile. Flash a smile and you instantly look better. Try it, I dare you. A good smile has the power to make your eyes sparkle, get you out of a speeding ticket, or help you meet the man of your dreams. Smiles exude confidence, happiness and warmth.

Here's the thing: What if you couldn't smile?

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More than 200,000 children are born with conditions that leave them unable to smile. Many cannot eat, speak or socialize. In some areas of the world, these children are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a normal life.

Since 1982, Operation Smile has served as an international ambassador of smiling, changing lives one smile at a time. Through the help of dedicated medical volunteers, celebrity Smile Ambassadors, (i.e. Jessica Simpson, Molly Sims, Matthew Fox, Brooke Burke and Maggie Rizer) and partnerships with companies like CampusBookRentals.com, this charitable organization has provided free surgeries to children around the world to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities, giving thousands of children per year literally something to smile about.

Today, more than 160,000 girls and boys are smiling thanks to Operation Smile, and you can help double or even triple that number. You might dismiss this post with the same annoyance you'd reserve for a chain letter that beckoned you to do something you thought was stupid, but guess what? It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile, and you're lucky that you even can smile, so poo on you. p.s. You're going to have 10 years bad luck.

I'll leave you with one last thought before I step off of my smile soapbox.

What if your child couldn't smile? Imagine what your world would be like if you were unable to enjoy that glowing grin that fuels you everyday.

Learn more about Operation Smile and donate today, because the only thing better than flashing smiles, is spreading them.

White Models

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White Models Can't Jump.

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Good as Rose Gold

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I'm an 18k yellow gold kind of gal. When it comes to jewelry, I'll usually swap sterling silver or white gold for the more mellow yellow gold variety.

What can I say? Yellow gold makes me feel good. It makes me feel all seventies/Halston chic. Not to mention the fact that every jewelry store or pawn shop I drive by has huge signs plastered in their storefront windows desperately trying to lure me in with "WE WILL BUY YOUR GOLD!!" It makes me feel important. Like I gots what you wants and you can't have it. So, other than a dream 1+ carat princess or asscher cut diamond ring in a setting made of purely platinum, I'm going to choose to stay gold like Ponyboy (*my favorite quote from the Outsiders).

If I were to stray away from my signature yellow gold, I might gravitate towards the new trend in the gold mines this season and go the rose gold route. Rose gold adds a hint of femininity to your spring and summer bling, offering a pinky copperish twist on the old gold standard.

From Rose Gold Stretch Rings to vintage style Fire Stud Earrings, everything is coming up rose gold in the latest crop of Fossil catalogs. At the moment, I'm blushing over this Riley Multifunction Rose Gold Watch as well as the ultra ladylike Three Hand Rose Gold style and my favorite Stella Multifunction that works in a brown satin dial with just a light whisper of rosiness on the band.

p.s. You can also experiment with Fossil's Lillian Square sunglasses that will give you the good kind of pink eye, because sometimes it's just better to see the world through rose colored glasses.

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HoneyBear Your Hair

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There are many terms of endearment that I do not like. Dear, Toots, Snooki, Shorty. I also despise made up words that can not be cited in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, mostly ending in ey or ie - patootie, schmoopsie, poopsie, baba booey.

Don't get me wrong, there is a select sprinkling of one word terms that I love being addressed with - i.e. Sunshine, Angel, Baby, Pumpkin, Darling. It's when those words are combined with other words to create an ultra sickeningly sweet pet name hybrid that makes me really want to punch someone in the kidney. Angel-puss, Baby-cakes, Sugar-booger...Muffin-top.

There is one word that I adore, alone or in any other combination. Honey.

Honey-lamb, Honey-bunny, Honey-toast, Honey-pie, Honey bunches of oats... Whatever honey handle you want to call me, I'll answer. Everyone loves honey. To sweeten your tea, ease a sore throat, whip up a homemade facial mask or to make mustard awesomer, honey has always been one of my favorite substances.

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This is precisely why I'm so sweet on my newest honey discovery, Honey'do Shampoo from A Beautiful Life Brands. These all natural paraben and sulfate free shampoos and conditioners are formulated with organic honey to produce unbelievable shine, bounce, and manageability. Plus they come packaged in these simply irresistible Honey-bear shaped bottles to add a little whimsy while you wash, rinse and repeat.

Honey-bear your hair for only $16 a bottle, $30 for a set of shampoo and conditioner.

Just make sure your Honey-bear/stoner boyfriend doesn't bogart your bottle for later use.

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I've got weddings on the brain, mainly because I still haven't received my invite to Kate and Willie's wedding this Friday.

You'd think the royal family would have better etiquette that that, especially when all of the other 1900 invitations were mailed back in February. American royalty, President Barack Obama and his first lady Michelle were both snubbed as well, so I don't feel too offended. I'm just wondering why I even went through the trouble of getting them a gift. I have a good mind to spend that $25 Ikea gift card all on myself.

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All kidding aside, Kate Middleton and William, the Prince of Wales, are finally tying the royal knot. The wedding of the new millennium is a mere 5 days away and all of the world is ready to watch what happens when Will and Kate finally mate after 8 years of a fairy tale courtship. Interestingly enough, the big questions aren't "Will it last?", "Will Kate crack under paparazzi pressure?" or "Will Charlie Sheen crash the reception?" No, the real question on everyone's mind is "What will Kate wear?"

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Every fashion house wanted this gig, from Gucci to Valentino, Alberta Ferretti to Badgley Mischka, Reem Acra to Vera Wang, Nina Ricci to Lela Rose and then some. Rumors are that Kate will walk down the Westminster Abbey aisle in a gown designed by Bruce Oldfield, one of Princess Diana's favorite designers. I'm not calling my bookie to place any bets on British bridal attire, but there is one thing I do know. No matter which frock the future Queen of England does decide to wear, it will be brilliant.

For the rest of us gals who don't have the biggest names in the fashion world bidding to build us the wedding gowns of our dreams, we still have quite a list of affordable options and bridal bargains that will suit us on our big day. JCrew has outfitted brides and bridesmaids for years with their bridal gown collection featuring dresses that range from $350 to $3000.

Anne Taylor and The Limited also recently jumped on the bridal bandwagon with new Wedding and Events stores online that showcase a number of stylish dresses for both brides and bridesmaids, all under a grand. The Limited bridal site also features helpful catwalk videos that allow you to see your potential dress actually move on the runway. Just be wary, odds are that model is x feet taller, x lbs lighter and x times hungrier than you.

Congratulations William and Kate. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together.

p.s. You're so not invited to my wedding.

Model Double Take

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Samara Sanchez

About Sammy

Sammy Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer, greeting card designer, and self-professed USWeeklyholic. Sammy loves tall coffee light frappuccinos, vino not from a box, and Mark Ruffalo...not necessarily in that order.
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