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Fall's Hot Beauty Trends: Interview with's Carolyn Brundage About the Ladylike Trend - Red Lips, Flushed Cheek, Matte; Blunders like Frizzy Hair; Fave Products & Treatments; Her Fab Beauty Websites - FASHIONTRIBES BEAUTY PODCAST & BLOG

Fall's Hot Beauty Trends: Interview with's Carolyn Brundage About the Ladylike Trend - Red Lips, Flushed Cheek, Matte; Blunders like Frizzy Hair; Fave Products & Treatments; Her Fab Beauty Websites - FASHIONTRIBES BEAUTY PODCAST & BLOG - MP3 File

Forget the tea leaves. In this case, the Barbie makeup head was definitely a sign of things to come.

Ny_beauty_carolyn_brundage_pic “I spent my entire childhood with one of those…if that wasn’t predicting the future, I don’t know what was. I took the hobby that we all had – trying on makeup and playing with lotion – to the next level,” explains Carolyn Brundage about her personal obsession which she successfully parlayed into a profession.

A self professed “beauty connoisseur and consumer expert,” Brundage pens weekly columns for The Chicago Sun Times and The St. Petersberg Times, and owns a string of wildly successful beauty websites –, and now – which are visited (and trusted) by millions of women each year.  For everything on the best new spas and salons (yes, they actually visit each & every one of them), to where to get a Brazilian wax, what it’s like to get Botox, the season’s must-haves, trend lists, and a helpful weekly newsletter, has the goods. “I think when it comes to beauty, everyone needs something different. We go in there, we tell you what it looks like. Whether you want to go to a spa where everyone’s frou frou and you have to get dressed up to go there or you’re the type of person who wants a laid back spa where you can walk in in your sweats – we’ll tell you that that’s the kind of spa this place is. We really give people an inside scoop.”

They also traffic in free-stuff – which we here at Fashiontribes are all about! Not only do they give away $10,000 worth of beauty loot monthly, each month 50 lucky readers also win a visit to a spa to be pampered from head-to-toe, plied with martinis, massaged, and sent off with goodie bags worth hundreds of dollars – all free of charge. (Simply click on the pink-clad martini-quaffing “Spa Girl Parties” icon to enter the lottery.) “When we first launched ChicagoBeauty, we invited all these fellow journalists and media members to come to the spa and get complimentary treatments, and be treated like celebrities – in an attempt to launch our site. And that went great,” explains Brundage.  “But afterward, I thought to myself: why should only the press or only the people that we’re trying to impress be treated this way? They’re so much fun, and we literally treat people like they’re royalty. Everyone has such a great time.”


  • Ny_beauty_louis_vuitton ACT LIKE A LADY “Beauty always mimics fashion. We’re seeing a lot less skin, so we’re also seeing that trend in makeup. For Fall, the ladylike trend is really continuing. We’re getting away from glitz, we’re getting away from sparkle. We’re getting more subdued and sophisticated.” (Louis Vuitton from
  • Ny_beauty_britney_spears HAVE IT YOUR WAY  From lipsticks to eyeshadows, girls are customizing their makeup. “I think a really big, burgeoning trend in beauty is custom mixing, where even the average girl is taking shades and really mixing them together to really find out what’s best for them from lipsticks to eyeshadows…I like to think that we’re starting to see the beginning of a trend, where the trends are going to stop being dictated totally by the Britney Spears of the world. I would say that we’re starting to get our own sense of individuality and some confidence that we don’t need to be dictated to by pop stars and actresses which I think is really great because I’ve gotten really tired of whatever this person wears is the next big trend. It’s not even always good.”
  • Ny_beauty_eyelashes THE EYELASHES HAVE IT From a natural daytime look to over-the-top drama, girls from all walks of life are beefing up their lashes. “I’m surprised that the eyelash trend has gotten as big as it has. People are really enhancing their eyelashes and applying false eyelashes even for a night on the town.” And with good reason – well applied lashes make eyes ginormous. “Celebrities all look like their eyes are so big. It’s because they’ve got these fake eyelashes on.”
  • Ny_beauty_straight_hair_1 STRAIGHTEN OUT Thermal reconditioning, aka Japanese straightening, shows no signs of slowing down, despite its relatively steep pricetag of around $1000 and up. “What surprises me more than anything is that we really will stop at nothing to feel good about the way we look.”
  • Ny_beauty_lipglossgirlGLOSS MANIA "A few years ago, I would never have guessed that lip gloss was going to become what it was, and I love gloss now. I think that trend is kind of beginning to die down. Again, the thing that’s important to me is: Does it work for you or not?"
  • Ny_beauty_fountain_of_youth A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH “I love what’s happening with skincare because I think that we’re getting away from an era where we see women in their 50s and 60s who have kind of – not been forced – but had no choice other than to have a facelift if they wanted to look younger. And I think what’s nice is that we’ve got so many options that you can start young taking care of your skin, doing things for the way you look, and hope to age gracefully in a way that maybe our mothers wished that they could have because they didn’t have all the advances that we have.”


  • Ny_beauty_flushed_cheek MATTE SKIN & FLUSHED CHEEKS
That bronze-y J.Lo glow is now “a look gone by.” Fall’s face is matte, with a rosy pink or reddish cheek. “And what’s really nice about that is it’s very flattering,” explains Brundage. “If you’re in your thirties and you’re worried about looking younger, it makes you look younger. If you’re young you can pull it off.” The key to making this look work is choosing the right shade of blush. (Photo M.A.C. Cosmetics at

  • Ny_beauty_red_lips_example RED LIPS  A femme-fatale’ish pout is surprisingly easy as long as you follow get the shade right and follow these three rules: 1) Wear lipliner. 2) Wear lipliner. 3) Wear lipliner. Either use one that matches the color exactly or go for an invisible liner DuWop makes a great one - Brundage's secret for long-lasting lipstick? Dab a little eyeshadow on top of your lipstick – a gold or bronze if you’re warm toned; silver if your complexion is cool. Not only will your lipstick have some majoy staying power, it adds a sexy, pouty look.
  • Ny_beauty_eyelashes_big BIG LASHES With the new focus on lips, tone down the eyes. Black mascara, big lashes and a natural shadow are all you need.
  • Ny_beauty_dark_polishDARK NAILS As part of the ladylike trend, dark nails are back. However….(there’s always a however!) Brundage warns that this trend isn’t for everyone. Unless you have “a certain kind of hand and nails” dark polish can actually be quite unflattering.


  • Ny_beauty_duwop_lip_venomDUWOP LIP VENOM “ I love-love-love-love DuWop’s Lip Venom. It’s amazing. DuWop is one of those products where a lot of people I talk to are like, ‘I love it! It’s fabulous! It’s wonderful!’ I think it’s great. “
  • Ny_beauty_lancome_powderLANCOME LIGHT DIFFUSING POWDER  “It does wonders for the imperfections that we all have.”
  • Ny_beauty_microdermMICRODERMABRASION “In terms of treatments, I’m a big, huge fan of microdermabrasion. I think it’s amazing, it’s amazing for skin. It’s one of my favorite treatments.”
  • Ny_beauty_fire_cuppingNy_beauty_fire_cupping_bruisesFIRE-CUPPING It's what gave Gwyneth that bruised back. The practitioner uses cups and heat to (somewhat painfully) pull toxins out of the system. “I’ve been really impressed with the results. I saw a reduction in the dark circles under my eyes, which can be hereditary, but can also be from a build-up of toxins. But I saw and immediate and significant difference and that was something that really impressed me.” (Based on the sheer number of inquiries she gets at her websites, Brundage estimates that up to 9 out of 10 women struggle to some degree with dark circles under their eyes.)


  • WARM OR COOL? Beautywise, everything starts with your skintone. A quick ‘n easy way to find out if you’ve got warm or cool skin tones is with a white shirt and a cream colored shirt. If the white one looks better on you, you’re cool. If the cream color flatters, you need warm shades. Even the most sketchily educated makeup artist at the makeup counter will be able to help you out; plus, they can show you their makeup line's warm or cool toned products for the season.
  • Ny_beauty_get_helpGET HELP We beauty junkies like to think we’re experts, but with the sheer amount of product out there, sometimes you need to throw in the towel and bring in some backup. “There’s so much help out there when it comes to makeup – we’ve got makeup counters we can go to, we’ve got people that are constantly willing to give us help – but I think we shy away from that. We don’t want to say, “hey, I need help finding the right red.” Or, “I’m not really sure how to do my eyes,” and eyes tend to be a huge problem for people. First of all, go get the help that you can get that’s free at any major department store. There’s no shame in that. Try things on.” REMEMBER: Beauty websites like or Sephora are great for stocking up on that perfect shade of red lipstick, but not to pick it out initally.


  • Ny_beauty_frosty_lipstick ICE THE FROST "I’d like to see the end of the frosty trend. I think frost, as a rule, should be avoided. So if you’ve got a frosty pink gloss or a frosty nail polish – not that there’s not an exception to the rule once in a while – but in general they aren’t flattering and they’re kind of dated looking to me. I don’t think it’s modern."
  • Ny_beauty_frizzy_hair FRUMPY FRIZZIES Girls always want what they haven’t got, especially when it comes to hair. Brundage has noticed a trend of girls spending hours in the chair to achieve towering, frizzy tresses. “It’s a surprising trend that I’m not wild about.”
  • Ny_beauty_rollers ROLLERS?! “I got a phone call not too long ago from a New York paper wanting me to comment on the trend of people wearing rollers in their hair. And I was like, ‘are you kidding?!’ They told me Reese Witherspoon was recently pictured with rollers in her hair, and I said, ‘I’m sorry, I just can’t go there.’” Smart woman.
  • Ny_beauty_bad_lipliner  DARK LIPLINER “I wrote a column recently on the biggest beauty blunders and one of them was girls who wear dark, dark lipliner,” remarks Brundage. “Or, girls that draw in these really overdone lips where we all know that those are not their real lips.” Yikes.


Having witnessed one too many beauty blunders, Brundage has observed that the truly chic and stunningly stylish woman understand something crucial: they only embrace trends that actually work for them. “What differentiates the “stylish” from the people who just try and never really succeed,” explains Brundage, “is that you want to embrace what works for you. So take a trend if you see a trend, and let’s say it’s dark nail polish, let’s say it’s red lips, whatever it is, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s not a good trend for you to embrace. Wait until the next season when something that will suit you better appears.  You always kind of want to pick and choose based on what works for you. The most important thing is that you never want to embrace any kind of a trend that isn’t making you look fabulous – that  isn’t embracing you back.”

July 31, 2005 in Beauty, PODCAST, Weblogs | Permalink


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