What’s uP: Blogs That Make Me Laugh

25 03 2010

People often send me links to blogs that I look at for a few seconds and move right along. These three blogs, however,  have been cracking me up for a week straight and I thought I would share.

Blog #1: These Colors Don’t Run: A Gentle Reminder That Tattoos Are Permanent http://aseriesofchoices.blogspot.com/

A biting commentary on some unfortunate body art. My personal favorite is from February 1, 2010.

Blog #2: Hot Chicks with Douchebags http://www.hotchickswithdbags.blogspot.com/

I think the name pretty much says it all. Loads of pics, full throttle snark and haiku!

Blog #3: Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber http://lesbianswholooklikejustinbieber.tumblr.com/

I have no idea what the obsession is with Justin Bieber. Even if I was 14 I’d still think he looked like a fetus. But this blog is hilarious; even New York Magazine thought so.

Move over, Timberlake...there's a NEW Justin in town



Make uP: MAC Viva Glam

23 03 2010

Sexy AND for a good cause?!

Back in the day, when the pH was just a measly little email I’d send out to a few buddies and co-workers, my friend Michelle would continuously give me great ideas for upcoming “Miss P’s Fashion Tips.” Whether it was for makeup, hair products or the best boots for curvier calves, she was and continues to be a great inspiration when I can’t decide on what the heck I want to write about. Last week, Michelle informed me that she thought she had died and gone to heaven when she tried the new MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lauper lipstick and has been getting non-stop compliments whenever she wears it. It was a timely email since I’d been thinking about featuring Viva Glam lipsticks for a while now.

In 1994, MAC created Viva Glam I, a stunning “retro red” lipstick, and donated 100% of the proceeds to the MAC AIDS Fund, a charity supporting men, women and children worldwide who are affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. In the 16 years that followed, MAC has developed six continuous Viva Glam lipsticks and two glosses, joined forces with many notable celebrities to design “special edition” Viva Glam products and, best of all, has raised over $100 million for this worthy cause.

Here’s a quick guide to the Viva Glam Series:

Viva Glam I– The very first in the series, Viva Glam I is the perfect neutral red (i.e. not clownish) that’s completely matte, long-wearing and devoid of all those scary old lady orange tones. Think Chicago not Grannytown.

Viva Glam II- This satin finish pink-beige reminds me of an Austin Powers fembot. I’d pair it with black liquid liner for a 1960s factory girl look.

Viva Glam III- This matte lipstick, described as a “foxy brown plum,” looks really great on African American and darker skin tones. It’s no wonder Mary J. went crazy for this shade.

Viva Glam IV– A rose-based frost lipstick with a gold pearl sheen, this is a lovely summer shade.

Viva Glam V- For those who like a clean face with the slightest bit of shimmer, this pure neutral pink is definitely for you. Layer the Viva Glam V lip glass on top for some added pop.

Viva Glam VI- This warm terracotta plum provides a perfect finish for the lavender and orchid shadows of the spring season. The Viva Glam VI lip glass brushed on top softens the color a bit for daytime.

Viva Glam Cyndi- Named after spokeswoman, Cyndi Lauper, this is a light reddish coral that complements many skin tones (I’m olive with dark hair and Michelle is fair with red hair and it works for us both. Way to go, MAC!).

Viva Glam Gaga– Lady Gaga inspired this light bluish-pink lipstick and drag queens everywhere are shaking in their sequins; definitely a statement on the old pucker.

Viva Glam is $14 a tube, which is certainly not the cheapest lipstick on the market, but the quality of the product and the fact that all proceeds go to such a great cause makes it worth every penny. Available at http://www.maccosmetics.com

For more about the MAC AIDS Fund, please visit: http://www.macaidsfund.org

Listen uP: Two for Tuesday

16 03 2010

Grrrrrrrrl Power Straight from Sirius

I originally bought Sirius satellite radio so that my husband and I could listen to Howard Stern in the morning. What we didn’t know was how amazing the other hundred channels were. In the three plus years that we’ve had Sirius, I’ve discovered countless new talents as well as rediscovered old favorites (without commercials, yay!). This week, since I’m feeling empowered by the extended daylight, I’d like to feature two badass lady songs that make me stand up just a little bit taller.

Download #1: “Kiss From a Fist” by Florence + The Machine. I’m so psyched that this song is finally available for download on iTunes without having to buy the entire crappy “Jennifer’s Body” soundtrack. “Kiss From a Fist” is part of the brilliant album “Lungs” by Florence + The Machine and is literally an ass kicking anthem at its two-minute finest (“A kiss with a fist is better than none”). Florence’s dreamy vocals make me think of Bjork on certain tunes, Regina Spektor on others, but she’s got a groove that’s all her own:


Download #2: “Heavy Cross” by The Gossip. I first heard this tune while putting together my summer running mixes and for a split second thought it was Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” But then lead singer Beth Ditto kicked it into full gear and there was no mistaking that this was something special. Almost eight months later, it’s still on my mix, motivating me to get just a little bit faster. From the album “Music for Men.”

Although both these songs are incredibly download-worthy, I can honestly say that both albums are also worth owning. Support female artists and get the whole darn thing!

Follow uP: Booze is Making Me Fat

5 03 2010

Well, after a primarily booze-free February (minus a 4-hour dinner with my bosses that got a little rowdy), I lost a grand total of: 2 pounds. At first I was really miffed that the weight didn’t come pouring off like I foolishly expected, but when I realized that two pounds a month in the long run could equal 24 pounds per year, it was a little more eye-opening.

I don’t necessarily think that the alcohol itself is the problem. For me, it’s what accompanies it. Glass of Pinot Noir? No problem until the cheese plate, 3 loaves of bread and olive oil are rolled out along with it. Beers? Fantasic! And what’s even better with beer is a GIGANTIC slice of pizza from Rizzo’s, conveniently located next to the liquor store. Drunken calories never count until your muffin top has a muffin top and you’re insisting that your stretch pants must have shrunk in the wash.

I’m not planning on going back to balls-to-the-wall drinking just because it’s March and a certain Irish holiday is coming up. As a matter of fact I’m going to try to turn 2 pounds into 4 by continuing to make more responsible choices this month. My friend Josh has adopted the 0-1-2 rule this month and I think I’ll abide by it as well. It’s pretty simple really; when you go out you can have zero, one or two drinks. I think it’s a pretty solid plan.

To read the original post, click here: https://alysonph.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/fess-up-booze-is-making-me-fat/

Wise uP: A Few Words on Waxing

1 03 2010

This should NEVER happen to you

I love and rue the day I started waxing.  As a dark haired woman of Mediterranean descent I must submit to the sticky stuff more than most, but I have come to appreciate its value, especially when faced with the dreaded razor stubble.  I tried to do the GiGi home waxing kit for a while, which was fine until my husband chucked it, box and all,  into the hall closet where the hot wax dripped all over the floor and the waxing unit, permanently sealing it shut. It was probably better anyway because I was way too chicken to do my own moustache wax and my eyebrows were looking like two very uneven toothpicks. From then on I decided to leave it to the professionals.

Sadly, the one thing I realized was that the professionals were not much better. They were either rude and intimidating (J Sisters), completely overpriced and not that good (Completely Bare), totally incompetent (insert well known central NJ spa here), unbelievably unsanitary (any number of NYC salons), or so unbelievably painful that I wished for a Motrin IV (pretty much anywhere that a bikini wax is administered, but I’m thinking of one midtown joint in particular). In my pain and fury I decided to compile a checklist of things to look for and do in order to make your waxing experience as pain free as possible.

  • Make sure the salon/spa is clean!!! There should be NO double dipping the stick into that wax.  Salon owners are cheap bastards but that does NOT justify double dipping the Popsicle stick and risking rash, infection and STDs.  The wax is not hot enough to starve off infection, no matter what your Russian esthetician tries to tell you.  A box of wax sticks costs about $5 so there’s absolutely no excuse for unsanitary conditions. Also, when you go into the room, the paper on the table should be changed and all plucking tools should be sanitized.
  • Make sure your esthetician is wearing disposable gloves. This shouldn’t even be an issue but you’d be surprised.
  • Take 2 Ibuprofen before waxing. This decreases pain and swelling.
  • Lidocaine cream applied  20-30 minutes before your wax application really reduces the pain.
  • Do not get waxed during your period. It hurts about 100 times more than usual.
  • Do not exercise after a bikini wax. This could cause irritation to an already sensitive area.
  • Do not use products like Retin-A, Renova or any other Retinoids within two weeks of getting waxed. If you are using these products, please inform your waxing specialist.
  • Milk will reduce redness and swelling to lip and eyebrow area. Soak a cotton ball in cold milk and apply to area for five minutes.  Heaven!
  • When making an appointment for a Brazilian wax, do your homework.  Get recommendations from friends or ask the front desk of the spa for someone who is experienced in Brazilian waxing. This is NOT an area in your life in which you want to save a couple of pennies.
  • Don’t shave or Nair in between wax appointments. I know it’s annoying to have regrowth but shave stubble will completely backhand anything you’re trying to do with the wax.
  • Don’t get waxed at nail salons. They are probably the dirtiest, most unsanitary venues out there for waxing. Trust me gals, a ‘stache wax at Nails Plus is  $5 for a reason…and not a good one.
  • The morning before you get waxed and in between waxings, exfoliate with a poof or gloves to prevent pesky ingrown hairs. Another great tool is Tendskin, available for purchase at your local drugstore.
  • If a waxing place feels “off” it probably is. Get out of there immediately and don’t worry about offending someone.

Waxing sucks. But it shouldn’t have to. If you’re smart you will have many years of positive experiences ahead of you.

The pH recommends:

Shoba Salon: http://myshobha.com

Bliss: http://www.blissworld.com

Rapid Transit (Irina): Westfield, NJ 908-654-4417

Lookin Good Day Spa: http://www.lookingoodspa.net