More to Love: Additions to the Reading List


  • I’ve had my eye on China when it comes to beauty, luxury and fashion for a few years now.  Turns out they have a long heritage in clothing design…check it out for yourself

  • Seems like beauty pageants have gotten a ton of press this year for unusual contestants.  This one is blind?!  How does she put her face on then?

  • As erotica is becoming hyper-cool these days, Anne Rice is jumping on the band wagon AGAIN with a revival of her old trilogy

  • Not only can beauties have brains, but bravery too!  The story of how a Parisian beauty acts as spy, smuggler and decoy for a defecting Syrian general

Anything more to add? Comment or tweet us @Beautyskew

Weekend Observations: What My Grandmother Taught Me

Today we celebrated my grandmother, Miriam’s, 92nd birthday.  She’s pretty remarkable.  While she is somewhat hard of hearing, she lives by herself, shops for herself, and even takes care of her friends.  And she never, ever misses her weekly beauty salon appointment.  No matter when I see her, her hair is coiffed and strawberry blonde.

And, boy, you should see her in pictures from decades ago.  Even in some of the recent pics, she looks elegant.

Every so often, when I visit, I’ll look like something the cat dragged in and she notices.  In a grandmotherly way, she’ll point out the benefits of a little lipstick and blusher.  “Even just a little color makes a difference,” she would say.

But don’t think for a second that her only currency is her looks.  She’s an extremely bright woman who reads a ton, kills the NY Times crossword puzzles, and spent her later years continuing her education in multiple ways.  And for over decade, she cared for my grandfather in their home as he suffered from Alzheimer’s.

My grandmother is clearly a strong woman.  Her attention to her looks over the years isn’t just a typical reaction of women from her era, but a way of expressing that strength, and showing the world that she has pride in who she is.

A little bit of blusher and lipstick don’t just brighten up my face.  It tells the world I care about me, and that I’m a confident woman.

Thank you grandma for this wisdom.  Happy Birthday, and may you have many more years of hair salon appointments.

Can We Just Stop Judging Women Who Love Fashion

Anna Wintour

Say what you will about Anna Wintour, but she made a great point recently about perceptions of women who love fashion.  She was fed up with people viewing women who are both in positions of power and who also love fashion as “idiots.”  Her exact words:
“When women are in positions of power, and they’re featured in a women’s magazine like Vogue … they tend to be incredibly unfairly criticized. It’s an incredibly old-fashioned approach. Just because you’re in a position of power, and you look good and you enjoy fashion — does that mean you’re an idiot, or that it’s not seemly to be in a woman’s magazine? If a man is in GQ, they don’t get the same kind of criticism.”
The blurb in that published her views then reinforces this stereotype by referring to Vogue magazine as an institution that emphasizes “materialism and consumerism.”   I interpret this as fashion is for the vapid, brainless type who just want to show off.
Now wait a second.  I’m not naive about the fashion industry and how it encourages us to spend, spend, spend every season.  But clothing design is also an art.  And if people appreciate the art of fashion and, at the same time, try to make themselves look more attractive with clothing, more power to them!
I don’t think we should be slaves to fashion.  And quite honestly, I don’t know very many people who are.  But I do know wonderful, brilliant people who also like to look good and enjoy seeing what new creations designers have crafted.
Why can’t we just let people love what they love and live as they live without passing judgement?

Week in Review: 9/25-10/1

Here’s a glimpse of what we discussed this week:

The cheapest, most fun, and most hilarious way to feel youthful and beautiful Weekend Observations: We Really Do Look Younger As We Age

The amazing skill of make-up artists results in an amazing transformation Pic of the Week: an AMAZING Transformation

The proven scary effects of stress on your skin Stop Stressing Out Or Your Skin Will Scream At You!

A highly complex neurological study now proves that your brains responds to beauty in a unique way It’s Been Proven: Your Brain Responds to Beauty in a Special Way

More engrossing beauty reading we had to share More to Love: Additions to the Reading List

Enjoy the weekend and Happy Jewish New Year!





Can Botox Turn You Into A Bad Friend?

If you’re considering getting Botox injections, watch out.  You may turn into a crappy friend or spouse.  Why?  Botox is designed to inhibit our ability to express emotions on our faces.  According to a study discussed recently in The New York Times, this inability to display emotions means we also can’t mimic others’ emotions which in turn “robs [us] of the ability to understand what people are feeling.”

Huh?  You see when we listen to others, we unconsciously imitate their expressions which then “communicates emotions to the brain.”  So if you’re unable to physically express emotion, then you can’t imitate it either, thereby making you less able to empathize.

I’m all for trying to look great.  But is being line-free worth being less empathetic and friend-less?

Thoughtful or Beautiful? Must We Choose?

Attorney and legal analyst Lisa Bloom just published a book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World.  Elle Magazine interviewed her about it.  In her book, Bloom argues that while women have made tremendous strides in society over the past decades, they are actually becoming dumber.
She sites studies (the actual studies weren’t mentioned) claiming that women would rather lose their ability to read than lose their figure, and she believes that women, included herself, spend way too much time caring for their beauty rather than nurturing their brains.  “As a television personality,” she says, “I spend a fair amount of time keeping up my appearance — and I hate it…that’s hundreds of hours a year I’m not getting back.”Obviously I can’t disagree that our celebrity, reality TV-based culture dumbs us down.  And of course I don’t think we should forgo our intelligence for beauty.
BUT it’s not an all or nothing equation! First of all, feeling beautiful gives us the confidence we need to excel in our world…not just as beauty queens but as smart professionals. Second of all, as I’ve written many times before, spending a few minutes a day taking care of our bodies nourishes us emotionally.  Finally, if taking care of our bodies means were eating better and exercising, that much better for the health of our bodies and our minds!
Sure, Bloom wants to sell her book so she has to go to the extreme.  And I’m all for empowering women to be smarter and more successful in life.  But beauty can be a part of doing that, not a hindrance to it.
By the way, Bloom could always cease dying her hair and wearing make-up.  She’s obviously powerful enough not to have to succumb to society’s grooming “rules.”  But she doesn’t.  What does that say?