Tag Archives: celebrities

This girl set her make-up on fire …

Alicia Keys is a lot of things; singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress – a wildly successful and respected hit maker who recently made another kind of hit by beginning to appear in public without make-up.

In an article (“Time to Uncover“) for Lena Dunham’s online magazine, Lenny, Ms. Keys describes how her role in the #nomakeup movement began.  In a nutshell, make-up had been a chore that no longer felt necessary for the authentic Alicia.  I dig it.

Her message has rung true for thousands of women who have used the #nomakeup hashtag to show their faces in the raw.  I just checked Instagram and as of 10/3/16 at 2:30 p.m. EST, there were over 12 million posts.  Granted, some of them are of a) body parts, not faces; b) faces, but with make-up on; c) landscapes and d) dudes.  Still, nice going, ladies.

In addition to the large scale and enthusiastic support Ms. Keys has received, she has also been charged, by other women, of being, in various ways, inauthentic.

Most unscientific is the complaint that she can afford to buy beautiful skin.  Nope.  Beautiful skin is mostly heredity, and our habits – sun exposure and questionable enjoyments such as heavy drinking and smoking – determine the rest.  Come to think of it, I may be a poster child for how good genes trump beat years of extracurricular activities consistent with a rock and roll lifestyle.  If habits are everything, I should look like Yoda.  Thanks Dad.

From my experience, women know that they can look better by using a bit of make-up, and I maintain that it should take no longer for a woman to apply it than it takes a man to shave.  That’s my kind of feminism – equal output.

We spend far too much physical and emotional energy on how we look, and an obsessive concern can be a drain on our happiness and goals.   Expending a reasonable amount of time and money on style and grooming is about self-respect, while exhausting ourselves over our appearance is about exactly the opposite.  (Unless you’re Kim Kardashian; then it’s all business.)

What do you think?

Sorry Kylie Jenner, and, some lip tips…

I was delighted to appear with adorable newswoman Alex Holley on Fox29 Good Day here in Philadelphia a few weeks ago to demonstrate how to get full-looking lips like Kylie Jenner without the injections that she totally had.

Here are the tips I shared before I went to the on-air spokesperson dark side (watch all the way to the end, do not ever do this on network TV, and….. I crack myself up sometimes!):

1.  Prep lips with water before applying lip balm, Vaseline or whatever you use.  Putting these products on already dry lips won’t do you much good.
2.  Dark colors work best for those with fuller lips, and will make thin lips look even thinner, sad, Goth, etc.
3.  To make lips look full, use a lip liner one or two tones deeper than your natural lip shade.  I often line lips after applying color – less drag, less chance of overdoing it.
4. Less than full lips look better in light-to-mid-tone pink, peach or rose shades.  Full lips look good in any shade.  Bitches.
5.  A bit of gloss in the center of the lower lip will add fullness.  I love me some clear gloss.

Thanks for putting up with me, Alex and Fox29.  No offence, Kylie Jenner.   Less hope, more wisdom.


You may not want “Bette Davis eyes”

Lining the lower lids is not good after a certain age, and I’ve had a theory about why that is for some time.  Here goes:

As we age, our skin slackens, droops, etc. – super fun.  The lower eye lid that was once tightly related to our eye ball is now sagging, and as it does, the waterline – that moist part between the lower lashes and said ball – starts to tilt outward, giving us a delightful bloodhound effect.  Lining the lower lid only highlights this unfortunate situation.

Case in point: Bette Davis in the film “What ever happened to Baby Jane?”  Yes, there are many things wrong with what’s happening here cosmetically, but as you can observe, her maniacal droopiness is glorified by the dark black liner on the lower lid.  She looks like a crazy bloodhound.

Bette Davis

Now, in real life, and although she was an eccentric life-long smoker who never had plastic surgery as far as I can tell, Ms. Davis would not be caught dead or alive looking un-glamorous.


What a broad.  Meanwhile, I’m delighted to report that I was visiting a highly-respected and gifted Philadelphia plastic surgeon recently (who shall remain nameless but whose initials are the same as Kentucky Fried Chicken if you leave out the “Fried”) and he said I wasn’t incorrect.  Bam.

So you can go for Bette Davis eyes if you want, but just make sure it’s from the right movie (like “Dark Victory” – she dies in the end, but looks divine while doing it).


Don’t: bright eyeliner

smsilkissime sm








I can hear Patricia Heaton’s make-up artist saying something like “We’ll do electric teal liner underneath the eye! It is so on trend!!”

Patricia Heaton, an Emmy Award winning actress, probably relies on stylists to get her ready for public consumption.   Make-up is probably not the main concern in her life and that’s okay.  But I don’t like to see women become victims of beauty trends that don’t work for them.

This was not a successful look for Patricia.  The too bright eye liner is all we can see, like a little blue train wreck.  As with any other discoloration (redness, darkness under the eye, blemishes), it’s distracting.  A deep eggplant would be about as colorful as I’d go here, so that we see her pretty eyes, instead of being held captive by her liner.

In spite of the marketing, there is no point in owning an eye liner this bright, unless you’re me, and if I have such a pencil in my kit, I almost never use it.  And neither should you.  If you bring something like this to me I will throw it out.

Thanks for inspiring this post, Patricia Heaton.  Call me.