We Have A Winner!

Congratulations to reader Belle Braunig, who wins an autographed copy of Carmindy's Get Positively Beautiful. Belle was the first to tell us how Max Factor painted his celebrity makeup rooms: blue for blondes, mint green for redheads, dusty pink rose for brunettes, and pale peach for "brownettes." You can still see the rooms at the Hollywood History Museum in the old Max Factor Building.

DG Contest: Carmindy's Get Positively Beautiful

DSCF1065 Makeup artist Carmindy, best known for her work on What Not to Wear, talked with fans and signed her new book Get Positively Beautiful: The Ultimate Guide to Looking and Feeling Gorgeous Saturday in Los Angeles. (We'll have a DG Q&A with Carmindy tomorrow.)

She was frank and funny, demonstrating why you shouldn't just squirt spray-on foundation at your face unless you also want it on your hair and ears (use a sponge) and reassuring the audience that it's OK to apply foundation with your fingers or a sponge, no matter what the makeup counter rep tells you about the advantages of a brush. ("They want to sell you stuff.") A special eye shadow base is equally unnecessary, she said, even though her makeup line includes one. Foundation and powder accomplish the same thing. She is, however, a big fan of face primer and the chemists who invented it.

Get Positively Beautiful is both a how-to and Carmindy's "manifesto." And you can win a free copy signed by Carmindy. Just be the first person to tell us what colors Max Factor painted his celebrity makeup rooms and what hair color each of the paint colors was designed to flatter. Email your answer to contest-at-deepglamour.net. Do NOT put the answer in the comments.

Tonight at 7 p.m. Carmindy will be at the Columbus Circle Borders in New York.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m., she and the What Not to Wear cast will be at the Barnes & Noble at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Clinton Kelly will also be signing his new book Freakin' Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else.

Lifetime Tries Science Glamour

Living_Proof_(2008_television_movie) Can "television for women" tell a story about science? Tonight, Lifetime tries with Living Proof, the story of my hero Dr. Dennis Slamon, the UCLA oncologist behind the biotech drug Herceptin. Based on the melodramatic trailer, I'm not optimistic. But since I may owe my life to the drug--it raised my chances of surviving breast cancer from 50% to 95%--I've got the Tivo set. (The movie repeats Sunday and Monday nights.)

The Hollywood Reporter is encouraging: "the kind of L.A. story you can't help but love," a good description of the true story.

But the LAT is not encouraging: "'Living Proof' is good only in a moral sense." I'm not even sure about the moral sense, since, if the LAT is to be believed, the movie gratuitously bashes Genentech, the company whose extremely risky bet on Herceptin turned research into reality (and a lot of profits--but that's with benefit of hindsight).

The Boston Globe is kinder: "Of course it's earnest. Of course it lacks subtlety. Of course you'll shed a tear at some point....[A]ll Lifetime movies about major illnesses are required to move the viewer at all costs. It's TV law.

Variety sums up my expectations: "'Living Proof' rises above most Lifetime movie fare." But it still "attacks its subject matter with unapologetic sentimentality."

The movie is based on NBC science correspondent Robert Bazell's Her-2: The Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer.

The Politics Of Headshots

Palincover Last week, Fox News set off a short-lived controversy when it attacked Newsweek for not retouching the magazine’s larger-than-life cover photo of Sarah Palin. Calling the headshot “ridiculously unfair to her,” anchor Megyn Kelly declared that “any respectable magazine should be doing a little retouching.”

Demanding that a news magazine manipulate photos in order to remain “respectable” may seem odd, all the more so since Governor Palin looks quite attractive in the photograph. But the criticism reveals more than ratings-plumping partisan grievance. In an image-savvy culture, we’re increasingly forced to consider just what constitutes a valid portrait. The way most of us instinctively answer the question demonstrates the difference between objectivity and truth.

Consider the apolitical act of selecting a personal headshot: a bridal photo, a website image, an author portrait. You don’t just face the camera and accept the first photo that come out. That’s for driver’s licenses, mug shots, and security badges—the ID photos most people find not only embarrassing but somehow untrue. At the very least, you want to choose a shot where your eyes are open, your smile looks genuine, and your cowlick is under control.

If strangers’ snap judgments matter, you go for a bit more artifice. Take an attractive single friend of mine. When she moved to Los Angeles, she signed up with an online dating service, using a handy snapshot to illustrate her profile. She got no inquiries. Then she hired one of the many local photographers who specialize in actors’ headshots. With exactly the same profile information but a more professional photo, my friend was suddenly inundated with emails from prospective dates. She didn’t even use retouching or special makeup. The difference she says, “was the lighting, the camera angles, plus the sheer volume of shots.” She had hundreds to choose from.

Partisans demand that magazine portraits glamorize their heroes for the same reason my friend hired a professional photographer. Humans seem hard-wired to assume that good-looking means good and, conversely, to equate physical flaws with character flaws. We may preach that beauty is skin deep, but we’re equally certain that portraits “reveal character.” In a media culture, we not only judge strangers by how they look but by the images of how they look. So we want attractive pictures of our heroes and repulsive images of our enemies.

Dullest Project Runway Season Yet?

Project Runway's season finale aired last night, to a sort of general meh? attitude.  The Minx has the funniest thought balloons.

Portland-based designer Leanne Marshall won, with a collection inspired by waves, which was pretty enough, but what woman wants more fabric around her hips?

Lackluster challenges, personality-deficient casting, and speculation about the move to Lifetime sabotaged this season for many viewers.

Winner of the first season, Jay McCarroll hints that leathah girl Stella and her beau, Rat Bones, might get their own series.

Keen observers noticed ANTM's Bianca Golden on the runway. She's facing assault charges in conjunction with a weird airplane incident involving her family and Nikki Blonsky. If only she'd punched someone in the front row. WWF meets PR?

North Of 60 With Sarah--New Reality Show?

Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic speculated about a Sarah Palin reality show, but you can tell he's not really familiar with the parameters of the genre. (Ophelia Swims came closer.) For a really successful series, you need an attractive protagonist (because they come into your home, every week), a lively and diverse supporting cast, and a location or situation in which conflict, resolution, and emotion can bloom.

Spreality_2 North of 60 with Sarah

In this new reality series, former candidate for Vice-President, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, a forty-ish, flirty mother of 5 (!), juggles affairs of state, lost homework, disgruntled constituents, injunction-waving lawyers, wedding planning, and putting meat on the table. Think docu-drama meets C-Span, shot on location in the wilds of the frozen north.

In the first episode, spunky Sarah vetos anti-gill net legislation and an extended curfew for Willow with equal aplomb. Piper stows away on a float plane, but a quick thinking state trooper has her home for dinner.

Future episodes include a show-down between Sarah and Putin over fishing rights that's soon eclipsed by the furor raised by Bristol's determination to have a vegan wedding buffet.

Later, French premier Sarkozy shows up for a fly-fishing lesson--without his wife! Thanks to an emergency international call, the First Dude saves the day.

Sounds almost real, doesn't it? Have your people call my people. (Looks like cameras are rolling!)

(Apologies to the CBC.)

Diaries Of A Groomzilla, Part 5

Previously: Groomzilla and Lesbian Bridezilla submitted their list of unreasonable demands to the florist and arrived at the perfect floral arrangement.

Madonna the Divorcee has 4 minutes to save the world.  Groomzilla has 10 days to finish a wedding.


The last two weeks before the wedding are when Groomzilla at his most resplendently irrational finally tears down Tokyo brick by brick.  In lieu of breathing fire, I rely on the Groomzillagram: a panicked e-mail (cc'd with text, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace) tasking Fiancé with a random task critical to the success or failure of the wedding. Ten days before the wedding, there is no distinction between e-mails announcing that "we need a photographer" and those that demand "a white ice bucket that doesn't have rope handles, preferably from Pottery Barn." All dispatches from the front come marked with Outlook's critical red exclamation mark.

Poor Sainted Fiancé does not understand the need for the Groomzillagram (or white ice buckets from Pottery Barn). Fiancé does not embrace technology unless it allows one to shoot elves with laser beams or drive virtual go-carts with cute talking animals behind the wheel, so he would prefer that I cease the 25 daily e-mails that I send to his work and home e-mail, and then read to him over the phone if I have not received a response within 10 minutes, and then print for placement on the dining room table with key action items highlighted. 

Ten days before the wedding, there is no distinction between e-mails announcing that "we need a photographer" and those that demand "a white ice bucket that doesn't have rope handles, preferably from Pottery Barn." All dispatches from the front come marked with Outlook's critical red exclamation mark.

Take, for example, last Thursday. My wonderful assistant, in a good-natured effort to make sure I didn’t forget any details on my special day, cheerfully popped into my office one morning with a letter for me to sign. As I looked up from the desk, she asked, “By the way, do you have your toasting glasses yet?”  

A slow trickle of sweat sprung forth from my neck and inched its way down my spine. 

PANIC. Then...




Please add to Tuesday shopping list along with the beeswax candles, the special pens for the guest book and the wine glass charms!

Fiancé’s response did not inspire confidence: “Can’t everyone drink out of plastic cups? What’s a wine glass charm? Are we casting spells on the guests?”

A few days later, I attended the wedding of my former officemate at my previous job. Much like the cautious expectant mother steers clear of the airport her last trimester, the Groomzilla should not attend others’ weddings in the weeks leading up to his own. One cute idea that he hadn’t thought of could induce cramps. Such was the case when I laid eyes upon a small table set up by the guest book, where the bride asked her guests to fill out a recipe card with “your favorite recipe for a successful marriage….or a real recipe that we can cook in our new kitchen!” and file it in the little cherrywood recipe box next to the instructions sign.




A and S had most adorable idea for wedding involving recipe box. Too gay? Who cares – MUST DO THIS. Add to list behind toasting glasses, beeswax candles, the special pens and the wine glass charms. Also, do we trust that caterer’s tablecloth isn’t foul? These tablecloths are perfect. Add to list with asterisk to note tentative item. Oh, also add disposable cameras for “candid” shots. When are you getting these????

I'm fairly certain that the last 10 days will produce the greatest exemplars of the Groomzillagram genre. With invitations, attire, food, flowers, venue, and most every other major component in place, the remaining to-do list items are the straw from which OCD is woven into gold.  Hence this morning's e-mail: 




Have you asked the caterer what she's wearing?  Did you tell her the color story we're telling?

In two weeks: The final entry, in which the Happy Day arrives and the newlyweds anxiously await the outcome of California's referendum on their marriage.

Sarah Palin's Animal House And Banksy's Pet Store


Sarah Palin decorated her Alaska office with a massive bearskin, shot by her father. Shawn Henderson at the Huffington Post is appalled.  (Who he? The eBay design director. Who knew they had one?)

Taxidermy is a tricky subject--animal lovers hate it, no matter how long ago the animal died, decorators love it, especially the out sized and/or rare.  The September Vanity Fair ran a story by Olga of Greece, (royals don't use last names, except for the Windsors, who aren't really named Windsor, but that's a different story) about the rebirth of the famed French animal stuffing atelier,  Deyrolle, after a devastating fire.

Apartment Therapy frequently riles up the faithful readership with posts featuring animal skins, heads, etc.

Mrs. Blandings has a nice retrospective going on,  as does The  House of Beauty and Culture.

Banksy takes the whole meme there and back again, by mounting McNuggets in a less-than-natural pose.


DG Contest: The Domino Effect

9781416575467 Fall's a good time to spruce up the domicile, and DG readers in need of inspiration are in luck. The nice people at Domino magazine (the guide to living with style) kindly offered us a copy of Domino: The Book of Decorating

Win the book by being the first to email [email protected] with a concise statement about why you want this guide that promises to "demystify and democratize decorating."

Written by Domino's EIC Deborah Needleman with co-authors Sara Costello and Dara Caponigro, the book promises  to show you how to create a home that makes you happy, room by room.