Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My New York Times debut

This just excites me beyond words—I had no idea about this until, oh, about two seconds ago.
Job Posting (NY Times)

Trouble in Paradise...again

Are Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson fighting rumors even gossip-worthy anymore? They were only holding hands for the paparazzi at the VMA's, Jessica wasn't wearing her ring, Nick and Bam Margera had a silent and invisible pissing match, yada yada. Yawn. Call me when the divorce papers are finally public. Or when Jessica decides to start dressing like a human being again. You know, either.
Jess & Nick now do "The Newly-mads" (The Lowdown)

Page Six thinks Julia Stiles is fishy

Page Six is inexplicably angry at my personal celebrity Julia Stiles today, calling her "haughty" for having an (I think healthy and refreshing!) attitude that, "(Gossip is) fun fodder for a cocktail party...it would be bad to be so obsessed and self-involved to think that people are actually paying that much attention to you from one little blurb on Page Six." I know Page Six doesn't take kindly to people bashing them, but this is hardly a Lohan-Duff style feud—unless maybe Julia stole Paula's boyfriend? Nah, probably not.
Wrap This, Julia! (Page Six)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Big 2-0 (0,000)

Can't believe I forgot to post this! I recently passed the 200,000 hit mark—thanks for all your support, guys!

Beauty Follow-up: Day vs. Night Moisturizers

A. writes,
Hi Jolie,
Several of the companies who produce organic skincare (Dr. Hauschka, Jurliqie, the Organic Pharmacy) recommend *not* using creams at night (just cleanse and tone). I've always thought that, well, if they're actually recommending that you buy 50% less of their face cream, how can they be lying? And what is the probability that the other companies *are*? Anyhow, I was just thinking that if you've got skin that breaks out from most beauty products, then giving it a rest during the night might be a good idea? I'm just wondering what your take on this "no cream at night" thing is.
Hi A.,
Thanks for your email! Very, very interesting. I'm sure the companies aren't lying—and I'm a big fan of both Dr. Hauschka and Jurlique!—but I've found that, for me (with skin that starts molting if I don't moisturize it, gets tight when I tone it, but breaks out when my moisturizer is too heavy!), moisturizer is a must and toners simply don't work. In the past, I've tried forgoing moisturizing at night, but my skin feels very tight and quickly gets flaky; when I do moisturize with something light, my skin simply looks and feels better, and I welcome the opportunity to treat it with ingredients like glycolic and retinol that you don't normally find in day creams. The jury's still out on whether toners are necessary or not: some dermatologists recommend them, others think they're a total waste of money. I fall in the latter category, although I am occasionally a fan of the Kiehl's Blue Herbal Astringent in the summer. I think the key is finding the right regimen for you; there really is no one-size-fits-all program, and some complexions can be extremely tempermental and defy normal advice! In general, though, once you find the best formulas for your skin, you can't really go wrong with cleanser + moisturizer, day or night (with SPF during the day, of course!).

For Your Viewing Pleasure

You just knew that those dastardly little fuggers would have oodles of vitriol to spew over Jessica Simpson's outfit at the VMAs—and they do, in spades. It's bad enough from the front; what those of you who missed the show can't see is the back, which features, um, a black bra and not much else. Classy.

(Image courtesy of Go Fug Yourself)

Marriage is good...except for when it's very bad (and between two WB stars)

Believe it or not, I respect the sanctity of marriage. I think it's a beautiful thing between two people that should ideally last until, you know, death parts them, and all that. So does it make me a bad person for hoping that Sophia Bush will wise the hell up and divorce Chad Michael Murray's cheating ass already? He is disgusting and repulsive and is really much better suited for, say, Paris Hilton. Just a thought.
Notes From All Over (Scoop)

Because eating is for fat people

Poor Teri Hatcher. Rachel Hunter's making public digs at her for glamorizing starvation, saying, "When women get too skinny, like Teri Hatcher, it shows on their faces and ages them." (So true.) What you don't seem to understand, Rachel, is that it's not Teri's fault. Sure, she looks like a twig that could be snapped in half by any toddler on the playground, and yeah, the bones protrude from her arms and legs, and no, she didn't look like that (in the slightest) when she was on Lois and Clark or in Tomorrow Never Dies. But Teri has no choice but to embrace an eating disorder. It's for the good of her art. America simply Would Not Accept a fortysomething actress who dared (dared!) to weigh a hair over 110. It's society's fault, really.
Weighty Issue (Page Six)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Britney gets protective of her mini-me

So today we have news that Britney Spears went apeshit on the set of her sister Jamie-Lynn's show Zoey 101, chewing out Jamie-Lynn's costar Alexa Nikolas after she dared to get into a fight with Jamie-Lynn over something or another. How do you think that exchange went?
Britney: "Oh my God, I will, like, end you. D'you even, like, know who I am? I am Britney Spears, y'all. I am a pregnant goddess and you better watch out, or my man Kevin will come and cut ya! And he can too, ya know! He's a real man! He will whomp your white ass!"
Alexa: "But—"
Britney: "Do not interrupt me! You are, like, an evil little girl! How dare you fight with Jamie-Lynn! Do you know who she is? She is the sister of Britney Spears. Does that, like, mean nothing to you people?"
Alexa: "Yes, but—"
Britney: "Are you, like, freakin retarded? Don't you ever talk back to me or my sis, or you'll never work in this town again, ungrateful little beyotch. For reals."
Alexa: "(Sob) Okay."
High drama, y'all.
Britney Bawls Out Tiny Teen (Page Six)

A Few Thoughts on the MTV Video Music Awards

1) I just wasted three and a half hours of my life. I will never get them back. This makes me feel bitter.
2) Gwen Stefani's boob job is in the Tara Reid-realm of "Where the hell did those things come from?" Why, Gwen? Why? When you were flat and proud of it, it was awesome. Now that you've bitten the dust, you fill out your dress and all, but do you really expect us not to notice that you suddenly have weird-looking, smushy cleavage? Hmph.
3) Apparently we Americans only listen to rap music, with the exception of Green Day and Kelly Clarkson. If you are an aspiring musican, but are not Green Day, Kelly Clarkson, or a rapper, just give up now and get a job at the mall, 'cause you ain't never getting played on MTV.
4) I am obsessed with The Killers. Still.
5) I am secretly obsessed with Kelly Clarkson. Still.
6) Somebody needs to feed Hilary Duff immediately and explain to her that, for better or worse, she is not Lindsay Lohan.
7) Jessica Simpson: WTF?? I'm sorry, was that outfit intentional? Did she mistakenly think she was attending the International Crack-Ho awards? Very disappointing, Jess. I don't know why, I don't know how, but Joe Simpson has failed you. And it hurts.

Beauty Question: Day vs. Night Moisturizers

V. writes,
I can't wait to try some of the lotions and washes you recommended recently. My skin seems to be similar to yours: seriously sensitive, but I still manage to break out--not to mention dry out! I'm always confused as to whether I should be using different products at night. If my day lotion has SPF in it, I don't like to use it at night. Any recommendations? What should a nightly beauty routine consist of?
Hi V.!
The whole SPF/night cream thing is so confusing! Even though there's little, if any, difference between most moisturizers marketed for AM or for PM, I think it just doesn't feel right putting on "night cream" during the day, or SPF-infused moisturizer at night. Regardless, unless you have extra-sensitive skin that gets irritated by sunscreen, it's actually fine to use your day cream at night and vice versa. (So next time you go on a trip and forget a night moisturizer, don't freak out!) Night moisturizers are often slightly heavier and day moisturizers usually have sunscreen, but other than that, they're pretty much indistinguishable. That being said, there are so many excellent night products out there, why not pick one that's going to do something good for your skin? Some of my favorites: ROC Age Diminishing Moisturizing Night Cream, Kinerase, IS Clinical Active Serum, Philosophy Save Me and Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin. These products won't inflame breakout-prone skin, and (except for the ROC and Neutrogena, which are just great, non-oily moisturizers) will even help reduce breakouts, so you won't have to deal with that annoying "Okay, this cream has zapped my zits, but now I'm molting" experience common to so many acne-fighting moisturizers. As far as the general routine, keep it simple: a gentle cleanser followed by moisturizer—and that's it. (Toners are generally a crock of BS, unless you simply enjoy the squeaky-clean feeling. Then, by all means, tone away!)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's not that I don't love you...

...but I have to go up to Boston to help my brother move into school. I'll try to post while I'm out of town, but in all likelihood, I'll probably be off (read: without internet access!) these next few days. I promise to post upon my return, and also to answer all of the emails that have been piling up. Have a great (early) weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Beauty Question= "Help Me Fight Blemishes!"

J. writes,
Hi Jolie! (or Nadine, whichever you prefer:-) )
I need help! I'm a redhead with fair, freckled skin that's ridiculously sensitive. I'm kind of weird in that I actually do have the
ability to tan a little bit but I try to avoid that. In any case, my skin is really sensitive and I find myself breaking out all the time. I'm 24 years old and still in school so I avoid makeup, especially foundation, most of the time but I put on a tinted moisturizer for a job interview the other day and within 24 hours my skin had completely broken out. I thought I found a great face wash (I'm currently using Aveeno) but everytime I try something new, it works for a couple of weeks and then starts failing on me. Any suggestions? Thanks!
J., I think you and I are secretly twins, since your description and issues sound exactly like me! (Yes, my hair is naturally reddish...I think...it's been so long!) My skin is especially sensitive and keeping breakouts at bay is a daily struggle, but I've finally found a regimen that works for me (and will work for you, too, I hope!). One of the only cleansers that consistently works for me is Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. I'm in love with it, and using it twice a day keeps my skin clear. (It has 2% salicylic acid, so you might need to alternate with another cleanser for a week or two. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash is an excellent choice—although it doesn't fight acne, it's extremely gentle, doesn't leave any residue and even helps get rid of eye makeup.) I then follow with Purpose Dual-Treatment Moisture Lotion SPF 15 (dermatologists love this line because it's non-irritating), my beloved OC8 (to sop up oil) and, finally, Bare Escentuals makeup. (This is the point where you're thinking, "Why won't she shut up about Bare Escentuals?" And my response: Because it just really is that good.) It is the only foundation I've found that won't clog my pores, feels weightless—so doesn't leave you with that nasty "I have a face full of makeup" feeling—and completely covers redness and pigmentation. (It goes without saying: whatever foundation you choose, make sure it's oil-free!!) Give yourself about three weeks on the new regimen to let your skin get used to it and, of course, be religious about washing your face twice daily. I hope it works for you as well as it's worked for me!

The Money Boat

Is this really necessary? The Lowdown reports that 2,000 fans have paid up to $5,000 for the chance to take an eight-day cruise with the stars of the Apprentice. Who are these people? And the Apprentice cast actually has stalkers?? Seriously? I am so confused right now.
'Apprentice' cruise has cast queasy (NY Daily News)

Ciao, it's George!

I think this is the funniest thing I've heard all day. While talking about Brad What's-his-name and that chick he's dating, George Clooney confirms that a pair of Belgian tourists walked right through the gates of his impenetrable Lake Como compound by simply pressing the buzzer and calling out, "Ciao, it's George!" Why, naturally! Only in Italy. (Oh, yeah, and Brad and Angelina are very happy together. Isn't that nice.)
Clooney: Brangelina 'Very Content' (MSN)

Well, I never!

I am absolutely shocked and appalled by the news that Victoria Gotti lied to the Daily News about having breast cancer (and being a lawyer...giggle). How could Victoria do something like that? Did her parents teach her nothing about morality and values? Oh, wait...
Victoria 'Cancer' Was Tall Tale (Page Six)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Happy Birthday to me, part deux

Thanks for the birthday wishes, guys! I really appreciate it.

I lied earlier, however—I will be accepting gifts after all. No, really. Why are you laughing?

I love, love, love blogging and emailing and chatting with all of you, but it's getting slightly cost-prohibitive (as in, going to have to get an actual job soon and then will likely be forced to stop blogging...since we all know how well that combination worked last time!). It never even occured to me to ask for donations, but last night another blogger friend of mine slapped some sense into me and was like, "What are you waiting for? All the cool kids do it." Wait, you mean they don't all live off of their parents while freelancing and waiting on book deals and contemplating bartending at that nasty frat-bar (with great music!) around the corner? Eureka!

So, I figure it's worth a shot—if, like, 1% of you donate $10, it will be enough to keep Jolie going for months. Years, even! And by then, maybe I'll have finished my book and you'll all really like it and we can hold hands and run through fields of daisies singing songs together. And it will be magic. Doesn't that sound nice?

If you don't want to donate (see that pretty little button there, underneath my profile?), I still love you. But if you do—a penny! a nickel! a houseboat! anything!—me love you long time.

Update: Whoops, didn't mean to mandate $10 for everyone. I fixed it so that you can donate whatever you'd like, if you're so inclined.

Lessons Learned From MTV's The 10 Spot Last Night

1) Extensions are really gross. Still. Doesn't matter if you're that sweet new girl Barbie Casey or cool untouchables Kristen and Taylor. You get extensions, it will look like a mop attacked your head.
2) Even bad boys have hearts. Did you not feel the pathos in that scene when Jason rued the effects of his actions on poor Jessica? The conflicting emotions flickering across his face: desire; pain; fear; frustration? He's not just a pretty face with valiantly-grown facial hair. He is So Much More. (He's also, like, twenty-four, by the way. My ass that kid is still in high school—unless maybe he's in the seven-year program. Quite possible.)
3) Triplets are much cattier than twins, and also usually not as cute. Sad fact of life.

Alias Spoiler alert!

As readers of Watch With Kristin have known for weeks, Michael Vartan's character Vaughn is supposedly being killed off the new season of Alias. (For the three of you who actually care, but haven't already heard this widely-repeated rumor elsewhere: sorry!) Page Six reports that, just last week, Vaughn's death was filmed, and goes on to quote inside sources as saying that MV was fired. Kristin, meanwhile, has been reporting that Vartan left voluntarily (since, really, who would want to stick around to see your ex-girlfriend incubating a baby that, disgustingly, was spawned by Ben Affleck's penis? Shudder.) Whether or not he left of his own accord, one thing is certain: Jennifer Garner is the most improbable man-eating vixen in the history of Hollywood. But damn if her dimples aren't adorable! (Well, okay, two things.)
Rally for Doomed Alias' Star (Page Six)

Happy Birthday to Me!

That's right, it's Jolie's birthday: the big 2-5. I'm ready for my quarter-life crisis now, please! In lieu of gifts, please send Wellbutrin or Paxil. (Just don't tell Tom. You know how he gets.)

Beauty Question: Daily Moisturizers

A. writes,
Help! I don't have a lot of money to spend on a good daily facial moisturizer, and I'm never sure if what I'm using (currently Nivea Q10 Advanced Wrinkle Reducer Lotion with SPF 15) is the best out there. I don't want to fall in love with one that costs an arm and a leg. What do you recommend?
A., you're in luck! There are tons of inexpensive options at the drugstore that are just as good (if not better) than pricier face creams. The Nivea lotion you're using is stellar (I love Nivea products, and only wish that they had as many choices here in the US as they do over in Europe!) and its main ingredient, coenzyme Q10, is an energizing antioxidant that will help keep your skin looking radiant. If you want another choice, one of my absolute favorite moisturizers in the world (and the one that I currently use every morning over my IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum) is Purpose Dual Treatment Moisture Lotion with SPF 15—dermatologists love it, it absorbs quickly (so it's great under makeup) and it's one of the only moisturizers that absolutely, positively never makes my skin break out. Other great options that rival anything you'll find at Bloomingdale's: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 15, ROC Age Diminishing Daily Moisturizer (the Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer is amazing, too; it battles fine-lines) and Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum. You're just as likely to find any of these moisturizers in a beauty-insider's cabinet as you are to find the Crème de la Mers and the SK-IIs. And, of course, the price is right!

But, I mean, I could still be royal someday...right?

Am I wrong to be mildly obsessed with Kate Middleton? It irritates me that this random little English girl (with no title, mind you. No title!) has managed to waltz along and snare my future husband Prince William, denying all of us perfectly sane, not-at-all-Princess-crazy gals from pretending that we, too, have a chance. Sure, Kate's pretty, I guess, but what does she have that I don't? (I mean, aside from the glossy hair and shiny eyes and banging body and perfectly preppy sartorial style. I'm obviously not talking about that.) Now comes news that Kate and William are reportedly moving in together, and worse, that the Palace sanctions this behavior! (That crazy Monarchy. I tell ya, in my day, none of this would have flown. Hooligans.) Well, if Kate and William do actually move in together, it's only a matter of time before he pops the question, so the royal-watchers say. (Yes, he is only 23. Yes, yes, I know.) And then poor Kate is destined to become the most hunted girl in the world. For that, I definitely do not envy her, prematurely-balding-yet-destined-to-be-the-future-King-so-he's-still-hot-boyfriend be damned.

Image courtesy of Hello
.

It is done

A moment of silence, please, for the official dissolution of the once-golden marriage of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston: a judge today signed their papers, meaning that they're both finally single. (Not that being married—technically or otherwise—ever stopped Brad before, of course.) As I look back on that blustery January day when Rachel and Oh-My-God-He's-So-Hot split up, what really stands out is the pain. How could they have done this to us? They looked so happy in that wedding photo! They're too pretty to not make it work! Pot is supposed to make people happy! Don't they know that we need them? Sigh.

Oh, well. Should be fun to watch Angelina eat Brad alive. I bet he makes a tasty breakfast.
Brad, Jen's Divorce: Done Deal (E! Online)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Beauty Question: Bouncy Curls

V. writes,
Hi Nadine,
I was wondering if you know of a product that can bring the bounce back into my curls? I get my hair double processed (highlights and color). I try not to do it often, and not because I like to show my dark roots, but because I don't want to go through the thinning hair thing. I have used deep conditioners, Kerastase, Neutrogena, Helene Curtis, cholesterol. The only thing that seems to sligthly work for me is Infusium, but it weighs my hair down. Know of anything that will hydrate and not weigh down?
Any suggestions will help.
Thanks.
Hi V.!
As a wavy/straight-haired gal, I'm only slightly familiar with curly hair issues, but I'll do my best to point you in the right direction! Have you tried any products by Ouidad? They're all specially designed for curly hair and help separate and define curls while adding moisture and banishing frizz. Check out Ouidad's Playcurl line, specifically designed for thinning hair that that needs some extra lift and bounce. Ouidad has a salon on 57th street in New York, and she has a reverence for curly hair and genuinely wants to help women love their curls. Also, I'm sure you're already familiar with it, but if not, definitely check out naturallycurly.com, where you'll find a wealth of information, including articles, tips and product suggestions. (It's always helpful to chat with like-minded—and tressed—girls.) Good luck!

I'm with the band

After reading this article, and then spying this item in Gatecrasher, I decided it was time to stop being so lazy and to write about my encounter last weekend with Adrian Grenier and The Honey Brothers.

A., G., and I went to the Mercury Lounge to check out The Honey Brothers and see what all the hype was about. Of course, as Entourage fans, we basically just wanted to ogle Adrian and maybe get a chance to meet him—the music was, let's say, a secondary concern. So, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the band is great, sort of The Beach Boys-meets-Phish-meets-The Beatles.

We rocked out, then had a few drinks at the bar, debating whether to head to Kush for the after-party. After a couple of Coronas, we decide that we will indeed go to Kush and make our way out into the street, wondering if we'll have any chance of getting in. Just then, we turn and Adrian and another band member are standing directly in front of us. G. being G., she introduces herself and starts chatting with them, and before we know it, we're heading to the after-party with the band. We all walk up to the club together, breeze in past the velvet ropes and then head into the VIP area, where we chat and drink champagne for three hours. At some point, A. looks over at me and says, "What the hell are we doing here?!" (Glamorous groupies we are not.) Regardless, it was a fun evening, and I don't think I'll be able to watch Entourage in the same light ever again.

Weekend Blind Item Fun!

Gatecrasher gives us the following blind items:
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Which loose-lipped supermodel has been privately confirming rumors about a certain famous TV host's sexuality?

Which gal pal of a name-brand baseball player is said to be relaxing certain precautions in an effort to handcuff the hunk with a baby?
The second is probably Vanessa Minnillo and Derek Jeter, but I'm a little stumped by the first. I assume that the famous TV host is a closeted lesbian, but it could also be a man battling (on target) gay rumors, no? I only know of one famous female TV host that's often targeted as a lesbian...and I'm not even going there. As far as the supermodel: Janice Dickinson? Cindy Crawford? (Can't forget those Jenna Jameson whispers.) Or...who? I'm stumped—guess this weekend's birthday festivities put a few pop-culture brain cells to rest.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Beauty Question: Complexion Luminizers

C. writes,
I would LOVE it if you would write something about luminizers (if that's the right name for them). It's obvious that every model/celebrity in every magazine is wearing it, yet the accompanying text will inevitably only mention a blush color--are they trying to perepetuate the illusion that celebrites actually just naturally sparkle and glow? I want to know what is really on Naomi Watt's cheeks!
Very astute observation, C.! Yes, most celebrities have liberal amounts of luminizing powder, gel or cream applied just so to make their already blessed complexions look magical, like they've been kissed by fairies or something. (Obviously impossible, unless Colin Farrell counts. I have heard rumors.) Anyhow, there are several great products you can use for the same effect, and some of them are dirt cheap—no Hamptons home required for a gazillion-dollar glow, I swear. Try Wet 'n' Wild Mega Glow Face Illuminator, which is under $3 and works just as well as pricier luminizers. Dab it in the inner corners of your eye, under your eyebrows on the browbone, and on the apples of your cheeks, blending slightly. Just be careful not to get it near your nose or in the area between your eyebrows—both are high-shine zones, and you might end up looking like an oil slick. If you're more of a powder-lover, try Bare Escentuals Clear Radiance ($18 and worth every penny). I've spoken at length about my love for this product, which makes your skin look healthy and glowy. (Apply a very small amount with a brush in a C-shape around your eyes and up to your temples.) Voilà! Now you'll be Beyoncé-on-the-cover-of-Dangerously-in-Love's twin.

Jessica Alba's charmed life

Jessica Alba is a pretty little girl, but she certainly doesn't have very much to say. Among the fascinating tidbits in an interview she gives the current Newsweek: "You have to be really, really smart if you're going to go on a date with me," (like, are we talking Mensa here? What's the deal?) and "I can't wait for Barack Obama to run for something. Cause I am voting." (Glad we cleared that up.) Jessica clams up when the interviewer asks about the Tom Cruise rumors and starts giving clipped answers ("No." "That's so weird." "That's silly."). Bless his heart—Tom has that effect on people, doesn't he?
"Life is Good" (Newsweek)

Drugs are bad

A friendly reminder, courtesy of those cuddly lovebugs Eminem and Natasha Lyonne: just say no!
Eminem in rehab with pill problem (NY Daily News)
Natasha Lyonne in Hospital, Diseased but De-Drugged (Gawker)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Beauty Question: Facials

A. writes,
Hi Jolie (or Nadine),
I was wondering if you could recommend any good facialists or spas for me to try out. I've always envied girls with really tight, flawless, glowing skin and I think it's time for me to experience the kind of happiness that can only come from perfect skin as well. I can't go anywhere too too expensive, nor can I bear the thought of being in a room full of UES women. I'd love to hear back from you.
A.,
I've never really been into facials—I'm much more of a massage lover—probably because I dread the extractions. I have to tell you, though, the most amazing facial I ever had in my life was at the Sally Hershberger Face Place. It's not cheap, unfortunately (I just called, and it's $120 for about an hour and twenty minutes, and $170 if you include reflexology), but it was the most relaxing, pain-free, blissful thing you could imagine. I recommend going just once, as a treat, and getting the facial plus reflexology—it was so fantastic that I forgot about the extractions and actually fell asleep. Better yet, my face wasn't red afterward, and for me (I'm literally pink for 20 minutes after I wash my face), that's really saying something!

Another great option is Ella Bache, one of the best places in the city. Their standard Hydrating or Radiance facials aren't exactly cheap (both are $110), but they have a half-hour mini-facial for $50, and also offer an hour-long "Spa Saver" facial for $50 if you book it that day. And, of course, there's always Bliss (try the new 49th street location, in the W hotel; $100 for the 70 minute Basic Bliss Facial)—not the most zen atmosphere, but as long as you arrive on time, they'll get the job done!

Jessica Simpson takes over the world

WWD reports that Jessica Simpson has inked a $15 million fashion and accessories deal to expand the Jessica Simpson empire. Not too shabby, Jess! But lest we forget, may I remind you that two short years ago, Jessica Simpson was a B-list celebrity at best, viewed as a third-rate Christina Aguilera and probably best known for being a preacher's daughter and having massive boobs (well, okay, she's still known for that, but whatever.) My, how our girl has grown! Congrats, Jess! (Sincerely.) Now if only you could smother those pesky divorce rumors...

I will repeat it over and over until I am blue in the face—Joe Simpson is a genius.

Sour Grapes

Looks like Gwen Stefani won't be attending next week's MTV Music Awards, hosted by pick a damn name already! Diddy, even though she holds the most nominations. Gwennie is pissed-off that MTV didn't invite her to perform and so, like any good sport, she's digging her heels in and pouting in the corner. One of my best friends met Gwen Stefani in SoCal years ago, after the release of their first album (the one with "Trapped in a Box", before Tragic Kingdom), and she was so rude and diva to him that he's harbored disgust and hatred for her ever since. I don't know the specifics of what Gwen said or did (he just sniffed that she was "beyond rude" and "incredibly stuck-up", even though she wasn't yet famous), but hey, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt—everybody has bad days once in a while, right?

Side note: No Doubt briefly dethroned Pearl Jam as my favorite band in 1996 (this is massive people), but don't worry—Pearl Jam quickly regained their place and have been my darlings ever since. (Eddie Vedder, I remain gutted by the recent revelation that you have a child!) And damn it, I still don't have tickets to their Philadelphia show. Need to get on this. Uh, wait, what was I saying? Gwen Stefani has no class, or something? Eh.
No MTV Gig? Gwen Won't Accept It (NY Daily News)

Paris does Disney

Page Six is claiming that Paris Hilton recently donned a fake wig and prosthetic nose to take her little brothers to Disneyland, so as to avoid screaming fans. Am I the only one who finds this implausible? First of all, everybody knows Paris Hilton doesn't have any fans! (Wait, unless you count the Japanese—was this Disneyland Tokyo?) Secondly, if Paris was really in "regular gal" disguise, then she wouldn't be able to walk to the head of any of the lines—and you know our darling diva wouldn't be having any of that.
Prosthetic Paris (NY Post)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Beauty Question: Thinning Hair

I get tons of emails everyday asking for help with beauty dilemmas, so I've decided that I'm going to occasionally post them, in the event that anybody else has similar problems!

S. writes me,
I'm writing you to ask for some hair care advice. I've been dying my hair about six times a year since I was fourteen. I'm twenty eight now. Mathematically that spells disaster for my hair. It's still long...unlike you I don't have the brevity to cut it, though in honesty it really just needs to be chopped to my chin. The ends are fried, split and horribly thin. Worse and far more embarrassing is that it has begun falling out. A lot. Long platinum blond strands continue to fall out everywhere and my hairbrush looks worse than the one that girl holds out in the Garnier Fructis commercial. It's sad. I need a product that will regrow hair. It used to be thick and lovely and now I find myself parting it certain ways to hide ultra-thin areas. I'm turning into The Donald and I'm not even thirty yet. Can you recommend something?
Thanks. S


S,
Honestly, the first step is to get a haircut to remove all of the dead ends. I had a similar dilemma last summer: my hair was several inches past my shoulders and I was obsessed with keeping it long. But after it got fried—thanks random hairstylist, wherever you are!—there wasn't much I could do to salvage it and I was forced to chop it all off. If you are bound and determined to keep your long hair, however, there are definitely some products you could try: namely those by Nioxin and by JF Lazartigue, both of which have cult products designed to help with regrowth that many women swear by. (Try Stimulactine by Lazartigue or Bionutrient Actives Treatment by Nioxin). I also love Appearex vitamins, available at CVS.)

Put hair color plans on hold until you've gotten rid of all the dead bits, and try not to curl it, blow-dry it, or straighten it—air-drying will be your hair's new best friend! Go in for small trims regularly—about every six weeks—to get rid of the dead ends as frequently as you can. It will probably take the better part of a year, but eventually your hair will grow in and recover and the fried hair will be replaced by new, healthy hair. Good luck!

Nepotism+Talent=International Bestseller

A friend passed me Nick McDonell's book Twelve to read a couple of years ago; I finished it that night, then promptly had blood-soaked nightmares. I haven't touched the book since, and whenever I see it on my bookshelves (huh, just occured to me that I should probably return it to my friend!) it kind of makes me feel dirty and creeps me out. While I didn't like the book very much—violence and gore are not my things at all—I did admire the writer, and I was particularly impressed that he'd written it at such a young age: at the time, he was 17. I read a lot of press about him, but somehow it escaped me, until now, that he's Terry McDonell's son. And suddenly the fact that he was able to get it published before he could vote—brilliantly explosive writing or no—makes a lot more sense.
The Charmed Life of 21-Year-Old Bestselling Author Nick McDonell (NY Magazine)

But with their powers combined...

So, Jude Law has a small...uh...you know? Well, what do you expect, people? Nobody's perfect. (Not even our little "Can't keep his little in his pants" Judy.) That's okay. My favorite gossip tidbit comes via Perez Hilton, who claims that those darling Notebook-ers Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are dating. Love, love, love it. (And that MTV kiss? Scorching.) As vintage Jolie readers will remember, I had a run-in with Ryan in the East Village a couple of months ago that ended in drunken yelling and quizzical looks. Ahh, memories.

What's wrong with real beauty?

You've surely noticed those Dove advertisements all over town and in magazines featuring "real" women (read: not models) in their underwear. I was fortunate enough to go on a press trip last year (one of the famous "private jet" trips) when Dove unveiled their Campaign for Real Beauty. Clever corporate marketing or not, it's a powerful message and all of the editors were moved by the campaign. After the presentations were finished, there wasn't a dry eye in the room; who can't relate to not feeling skinny, sexy or pretty enough? That's why I'm surprised and kind of annoyed by some of the reactions I've heard to the ads: making fun of the big thighs, bemoaning the lack of blonds, wondering who would actually find those women pretty. I guess we've become so celebrity obsessed—and seduced by airbrushing—that we think if it doesn't look like Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson or Gisele Bundchen, it can't possibly be sexy.

This month's Glamour magazine has an interesting article with Aisha Tyler called "I don't want to be perfect!" where Aisha agrees to be photographed, then to have photos of the "real" Aisha and the airbrushed Aisha placed side-by-side. Real Aisha is pretty, but airbrushed Aisha is glowy, taut, sleek and perfect. Of course, she doesn't actually exist—but she sure is gorgeous, huh?

I think the problem with all of these ads and messages is that you have to be in the right mood and mindframe to accept them. If you're at the gym working up a sweat on the elliptical and come across the Nike ads celebrating big butts and scraped knees and strong legs, you might think "Hell, yeah! I'm strong like that! Hear me roar!" and kick up the speed. But if you're on your way to a club, primped, powdered, lipglossed, coiffed and dolled up to look as sexy as possible, you might pass by one of the Dove billboards and think "Thank God I'm skinnier than those women," and feel really pleased with yourself. (I'm guilty on that front, I'll admit it.) I guess the challenge is to get to a place where everybody sees celebrities as too skinny (because, let's be real, 95% of them are walking eating disorders) and can appreciate real women (what does that term even mean anymore?) in all of their, uh, real woman-ness.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Obsession of the month

Yes, yes, I know—I'm obsessed with many things: Bare Escentuals, Laguna Beach, the state of Nick and Jessica's marriage. I am a simple girl. But one category of products stands out above all others for me: intensive hair conditioners. I've been dying my hair since I was fourteen (blonde! red! brunette! weird dishwater-color! back to blonde!) and my poor locks are beyond fried. Because my hair is also exceedingly frizz-prone, I can't do that whole "wash 'n' wear" thing, which means I have made very, very good friends with my blow-dryer. So the only way I can keep my hair from calling it quits and falling out (which, yes, it actually did last summer, hence my current very short 'do—trying to grow the hair back, people!) is by conditioning it into oblivion. A few of my favorites:

Kerastase Olèo-Relax: Not only does this have an amazing floral scent, but it helps reduce frizz and keeps hair sleek.
Fresh Meadowfoam Cream Treatment Conditioner: Has a great, thick consistency that leaves hair shiny and extra soft.
Bio-Ionic Super-Hydrator: My favorite hairdryer is by Bio-Ionic (the ions are supposed to make your hair smoother and softer) and when I use this conditioner, then follow with my blowdryer, my hair looks as polished and flat as when I go to the salon.
Frederic Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Treatment Mask: Contains protein to help strengthen damaged and colored hair, and has a really nice, vanilla-y smell.
Terax Crema: A classic—detangles in a snap, helps reduce static and fly-aways, and leaves hair beyond silky. It doesn't smell as amazing as some other conditioners, but I suppose you can't win 'em all.

Look ma, I'm on Gothamist!

I suppose it's very meta to link to an interview that talks about and links to this very site, but I was thrilled to participate in one of Gothamist's famous interviews and so I'm posting it here anyway. I currently have a killer cold, so I apologize for the infrequency of my posts over the last few days. I'm hoping to be back up and running at full-speed by Wednesday!
Nadine Haobsh: beauty journalist and "Jolie in NYC" blogger (Gothamist)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stop the madness

There is a very serious epidemic ravaging Hollywood. It strikes indiscriminately: old or young, rich or poor, famous or not-really-famous-but-still-more-well-known-than-you. It can appear pretty, or it can be exposed for the tangled mess it really is. It is the epidemic of hair extensions, and it has got to stop.

Jessica? Paris? Britney? (You, too, Jessica Alba!) We know that's not your real hair. You chopped off all your hair last month, remember? I know that Hollywood is very special and full of magical things, but I'm pretty sure miracle hair growth products—like, say, fifteen inches in three weeks—aren't among them. We can see your real hair peeking out near your collarbone. It's weird and, frankly, it's kind of gross. I speak as a survivor—yes, I was among your kind once. Many moons ago, I walked into the salon with shoulder-length locks and emerged four hours later sporting glossy, beautiful tresses that reached the middle of my back. I thought I was a rock star. My friends thought I needed professional help.

Only now, when I see the weaves in all of their "No way is that her real hair" glory, do I realize the error of my ways. Remove them! Free yourselves! Let your naturally short hair shine through! Or at least try to make it a little less obvious. It's hard to idolize you when you have a shaggy—yet oh-so-beautiful-and-stylized!—mop on your head.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Luuuuuuucy!

The whole dead-actors-endorsing-vacuum-cleaners-thing totally freaks me out, but I am a nut for anything involving classic old-time celebrities, particularly my personal hero Lucille Ball. I went through a brief phase (if eight years counts as brief) where I watched I Love Lucy twice a day, and bought everything Lucy related (biographies, postcards, coffee-table books, VHS-copies of The Mambo Kings) that I could get my grubby little hands on. I still worship Lucy, but haven't watched the show in years, sadly. You know, so I can watch quality tv—like crappy reality shows.
Lucy Still Loved (E! Online)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pale is hip, right?

I'm an avid fan of self-tanner...but for some reason I'm currently whiter than a polar bear. Normally, I'm okay with being tan. Nicole Kidman looks like Caspar, and she's beautiful, right? (Of course, I am no Nicole Kidman. Hmph.) Maybe it's 'cause I'm lazy, maybe it's 'cause...well, I'm lazy...but I haven't been able to bring myself to do the whole regimen—shave, exfoliate, moisturize and self-tan—in weeks. I can do three out of four at any given time, but the whole routine is just overwhelming. What do you want from me? It's August. (My birthday month! Um, not that I'm hinting you should send me gifts or anything.)

When I do occasionally self-tan—usually in months like November or February, when only people who live in California or vacation in St. Barths have actual color—I stick with tried and true favorites: Lancome Flash Bronzer Self-Tanner for Legs (an old boss swears by it, to use all over your body) and L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Gel in Medium/Deep (dries instantly, develops into the perfect, streak-free, you've-obviously-been-at-the-beach-color). Love.

I've heard whisperings that Origins, Philosophy and Fake Bake have excellent self-tanners, too. Maybe someday, eventually, in the future, I will finally get around to trying them. For now, I'm just pretending I don't care that there's a very bright glare reflecting off of my arms and legs.

Giving Melanie Griffith a run for her money

I spent fifteen minutes rummaging through one of my enormous bins o' product this morning, looking for a particular lip gloss I like, when I came across a brand-new, never used City Lips lip plumping treatment. City Lips contains Maxi-Lip, a formula made up of peptides that claims to restore collagen to the lips, making them fuller with repeated use. I've heard people rave about it, but have always been skeptical of lip plumping claims: some lip plumpers do seem to work temporarily, but leave you with that "Oh my god, a scorpion just bit my lip" feeling. (Not really a fan of that.) So, in the name of completely-unscientific-and-not-at-all-controlled research, I'm going to use City Lips everyday for a month to see if I can actually see a difference. And because I really am that much of a geek, I took a before picture of my "normal" lips this morning (see giant scary photo below), and plan to compare it to an after photo of my mutant lips (dare to dream!) in a month.



Giant scary photo. Enjoy.

If Jake Gyllenhaal's sexuality is still under debate, it must be time for the Awful Truth!

Ted Casablanca just won't stop taunting us with tales of Hollywood's latest "gay when he feels like it" heartthrob, Toothy Tile. Defamer's been saying for weeks that it's Jake Gyllenhaal (see here, too), and while I've been resisting, today's column does certainly seem to edge us in that direction...
(Two) Bad-Boy Blind Vices (E! Online)

Women who—how 'bout that!—like each other

Now, this is refreshing: an article about women who admire, respect and adore each other, rather than displaying the usual clichéd outpouring of jealousy, cattiness and bitchiness. It's great to see women building each other up rather than trying to tear each other down. And, hey, if you get somebody else to swap clothes and makeup with, all the better.
She's So Cool, So Smart, So Beautiful: Must Be a Girl Crush (NY Times)

My eyebrow dilemma

I have a serious problem with my eyebrows. No matter how much I try to grow them out into some sort of normal shape, they're always weirdly skimpy in the middle, with crazy, straggly little hairs at the ends. I've always been lazy about my brows and never really cared much about grooming them (luckily, the hairs are very light, so I can go months without plucking or waxing them), but when I see myself in pictures now, my eyebrows always look ridiculously out of proportion to my face. I've tried filling them in with pencils, powder, and/or wax (been using a Prescriptives powder for years that matches my natural color pretty closely), but I'm so used to not having any eyebrows that when I "apply them", I automatically feel like Groucho Marx. Sigh. So not the desired effect.

The Realest of the Real

Despite a piping hot movie career, Rosario Dawson is still real. (She was in Kids, you know. It was, like, the epitome of real.) She lives the in "tenement" building she grew up in, and proves she's the same ol' gal, not a soulless movie star, by not paying her $100/month rent like any regular Jane. The building is designated as low-income housing, but Rosario's mom, Isabel, defends her daughter by saying, "Wherever Rosario decides to live — especially the building she grew up in as a little girl — she has that right." Low-income housing be damned! Isabel then tries to promote her own career, denying any success has come from Rosario and saying, "I am the chicken and she is the egg." Mama Dawson sounds like one classy lady.
Tenants Ticked off at Rosario (Page Six)

I'm OK, You're OK

So, I finally caved and bought the new OK magazine featuring Jessica Simpson on the cover. I'm a fan of British gossip rags like OK and Hello, but mainly because I love all the royalty tidbits (Queen Elizabeth french kisses her corgis! Prince Harry is a raging stoner! Who the hell is Kate Middleton?), plus the scoop on randoms like Jade, Lady Victoria and Jordan. But, I'll admit, even though I really, really wanted to like it, I was bored to tears by the US edition of OK. Does America really need another kiss-ass celebrity magazine? Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy the next issue...but I won't like it. No, siree.

As for OK's ravishing cover girl, Jessica Simpson, she was sold to OK by her Simp Daddy for $200,000. Jessica will appear on six more OK covers and host the magazine's launch party at trés chic Cornelia Day Spa—no word if she'll perform like a circus monkey while Joe blows a whistle by her side.
OK Gets Jessica Simpson Cheap (Page Six)

Friendly Matt

Matt LeBlanc confesses to this week's National Enquirer (has Joey really plunged his career that low?) that he once almost cheated on his wife with a stripper. The stripper was, like, really aggressive and poor Matt didn't want to be in the strip club in the first place—I'm sure his friends forced him there against his will, since Matt loves his wife and baby, of course—but, well, you know how it is when you get drunk and some naked girl is waving her breasts in your face. Good times, Matt, good times.
Matt's Close Call With Stripper (Page Six)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Fishbowl love!

I have to send a special thank you to the lovely ladies over at FishbowlNY, who have been overwhelmingly gracious and witty during this whole mess. Their recaps of my mini-scandale have been high points during otherwise bizarre and occasionally difficult days:
Not to Sound Too Corny, But Sometimes Beauty Comes from Within
...and my personal favorite...
Wither Jolie? Beauty, it seems, is fleeting.

That's all the navel-gazing for today - taking a much needed break and heading to the beach. To all of you who've defended me (and pointed out that I'm just one girl who was blogging for fun, not some crazy machine trying to take down an industry), I send a very hearty thanks. Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

While I can certainly admire intricately-plotted books, nuanced films and edgy music, sometimes you just want to consume the cultural equivalent of Twinkie. On a grey, boring day, what could be better than a dishy novel or cheesy chick-flick? My latest guilty pleasure (and believe me, I have plenty of them) is the show Instant Star on The N. If you don't know what The N is, it's probably because you're over the age of fifteen. But since I do a lot of babysitting, I was exposed to The N (its marquee show is Degrassi: The Next Generation, a spinoff of the 80's classic) last year, and have been hooked ever since. Instant Star is about Jude, a Kelly Clarkson-meets-Avril Lavigne-ish singer who wins an American Idol-like competition and gets everything she's ever dreamed of—but discovers that fame and fortune have a price. Last night, I found out that my new friend G.—an indie film producer who actually has, like, real taste—is similarly hooked. And suddenly I didn't feel so bad about myself.
Instant Star (The N)

The magazine world is going crazy!

On the heels of, well, everything that's been happening recently (new magazines being created every seven seconds, Meredith buying a bunch of titles from G&J, Jane Pratt stepping down, my own sort-of-fired-but-not-really drama) comes the news that AMI boss David Pecker is completely restructuring Shape magazine. Not only are the art and production departments getting shipped from California to New York, but the editor-in-chief Anne Russell has been fired, with more heads expected to roll soon.

Beauty blog mania

For a funny site with great beauty tips, check out Tia Williams-Cabeza's blog Shake Your Beauty. I worked with Tia a few years ago, and she's chock-full of stories, advice and oh-so-fabulous product suggestions.

Drugstore vs. Department store

It's the age old question: if it's expensive, is it better? While skincare technology is rapidly advancing, some of the best mass-market companies (like Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson and L'Oreal) are actually at the forefront of research and development innovations. That means you can pay $300 for a cream from Neiman Marcus or Saks, or can pay $15 for something just as good—or maybe even better—from Olay, Neutrogena, L'Oreal or ROC. Some of my favorite hair products, such as Garnier Fructis or Aussie, are only a few dollars, but for the most part, when it comes to shampoos, conditioners and stylers, I find that top-quality products (like Bumble, Phyto, Kerastase, Terax and Fekkai) really do make a difference with my hair's texture and manageability. And I can't skimp on my foundation, concealer, blush or eyeshadow: the expensive stuff simply looks better.

Flirting With Greatness?

The Daily reports that beauty editors all over town are flipping for Napoleon Perdis, the Australian makeup artist with his own eponymous line of cosmetics. A slew of NP products were sent to me right before I left my last job, and I confess that I only briefly glanced at them, having mounds of other, more advertiser-friendly concealers and foundations to swim through. In the end, I included an attention-worthy Napoleon Perdis primer in the story I was working on, but I haven't tested any of his other products. And now I feel so out of the loop.
Napoleon Dynamite (Fashion Week Daily)

Ahh, young love

When does an apology just not cut it?
1) When you're insincere
2) When you say you're sorry, but keep repeating your mistakes
3) When you're Jude Law and you've just tumbled with the nanny, cheating on your possibly pregnant fianceé—who may or may not have cheated on you with Sean Penn, but just didn't get caught

Too little, too late (NY Daily News)
Just Asking (NY Post)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Mascara Question

When it comes to mascara, women are fiercly protective, wearing their choices as a badge of pride. I'm a Lancome gal through and through, ranking Defincils and Flextencils mascara as two of my all-time favorites. While, in a pinch, I'll reach for Benefit Bad Gal lash and Prescriptives False Eyelashes, few other mascaras meet my standards: I need dramatic, long, thick, voluminous! Many of my friends can't stand Flextencils or False Eyelashes, however, instead preferring Maybelline Great Lash, that old standby classic. When I asked my friend F. what she liked about it, she said (and I quote!), "I like that it defines my lashes but doesn't make them look clumpy, like I have a ton of gross product on my eyelashes. I hate that clumpy, spidery look." Sold! Except, Great Lash does nothing for me—aside from providing a bit of color, it makes my already albino lashes look skimpy and anorexic.

So here's my question to you: what's your favorite mascara, and why? I'm genuinely curious.

The whispers become a deafening roar

Cindy Adams is still insisting that she has heard from very reliable sources—are there any other kind?—that Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are absolutely getting a divorce, and have already signed and sealed the papers. Jessica is the one who (supposedly, rumoredly, apparently) initiated the proceedings, no doubt because she finally realized what she was missing out on—fame, fortune and lotsa boys!—being tied up with what's-his-name. I mean, please, we all know who the star is in this relationship: Joe Jessica Simpson, of course!
Looks Like The Lady Started The Divorce (NY Post)

Score:
Nick and Jessica Breakup Watch: 1
Celebrity Marriages Enduring Temptation: 0

Blindish Item

From today's Rush and Malloy...
What movie star is explaining away his nightclub make-out session with a woman who wasn't his girlfriend by insisting the other beauty is a lesbian? Really, it meant nothing - even if it felt good ...
With all the crazy kids out there, it could be anyone—but my money's on Mandy Moore (I love you, Mandy!) and Zack Braff, who was caught making out with a woman at Level V two weeks ago, then spotted hand in hand with Mandy a few days later.
Side Dish (NY Daily News)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Not that I have anything to hide, but...

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, "Can you recommend a good concealer?" Finding a good concealer borders on the impossible—it's either too cakey, or too thin, too goopy, or too dry. Many beauty editors rave about Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (for undereyes) and Secret Camouflage (for blemishes), but something about their consistencies doesn't do it for me: I find Secret Concealer too hard to blend, and Secret Camouflage too heavy. I often use my Bare Escentuals foundation to hide pigmentation and blemishes by dipping a concealer brush in it, but now that I'm doing the occasional TV segment (wow, that doesn't sound pretentious or anything), I need something more effective at hiding redness and dark circles.

Enter YSL Touche Eclat. If you're a beauty junkie, it won't surprise you that I've turned to Touche Eclat. In fact, you'll probably wonder, "Why the hell didn't you try it earlier?" It's a mystery to me, too, but for some reason I stubbornly resisted. You know how Tom Cruise keeps inexplicably laughing in the face of common sense and good taste, despite all evidence pointing to his carefully crafted public persona shattering to pieces and undoing years of hard work? It's kind of like that. I just thought, "It can't be that good." Oh, how young and foolish I was back then.

Once I finally caved and tried Touche Eclat, I realized what all the fuss was about: it's super light, blends like a dream, can be layered for a lot or a little coverage, and hides even the most stubborn redness. Plus, it has just the faintest hint of something (magic? stardust?) that gives you that perfect, "I'm not wearing any makeup and yes I really do just look this good naturally" radiance.

Team Aniston or Team Jolie?

I'm just so confused right now. On the one hand, I've always been fascinated with sexy Angie Jolie. She's an Oscar-winning actress. She's a UN ambassador. She adopts orphaned children, for the love of God. She donates money to worthwhile causes, sure, but—more importantly—she also donates her time. But she's also broken up several relationships, and has that whole weird knives-and-tattoos-and-blood-vials thing going on. Hmm. Very interesting.

On the other hand, we have Jennifer Aniston. Sweet, sunny, down-to-earth, and everybody's favorite girl next door. Perhaps not quite as accomplished as Angelina (although she does have an Emmy! And a Golden Globe!), but lovable and wonderful nonetheless. She's so cute and vulnerable that you can't help but love her, bless her multimillion-dollar little heart.

I confess: After Brangelina broke, I was seduced by their bedroom eyes and perfectly coiffed hair. Those smiles! Those lips! A fusion of the two most genetically perfect people on earth! But now we have Jennifer on the cover of Vanity Fair, looking fetching and finally breaking her silence with quotes such as, "I'd be a robot if I said I didn't feel moments of anger, of hurt, of embarrassment," "I love Brad...I will love him for the rest of my life. He's a fantastic man," and, "Am I lonely? Yes. Am I upset? Yes. Do I have my days when I've thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely." The writer, Leslie Bennetts, reveals that fat tears slipped down Jen's cheeks when told that Angie might be pregnant with Brad's baby. You made Jennifer Aniston cry, you heartless, beautiful monsters!

Poor Jen. At least she looks great on the VF cover—take that, Brad! And, of course, she has eleventy-katrillion dollars. I'm sure she'll be fine.

But I still can't choose between them.
Jen Makes the Best of a Brad Situation (NY Daily News)
Jen Without Pitty (NY Post)

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Conscientious Objection to The Island

My friend R.'s lengthy-yet-wonderful review of The Island as emailed to me. Well played, R. Well played.
I wasn't expecting it to be good. I knew Michael Bay produced it, so I was ready for some big plot holes and lots of explosions. Which, there were, in spades. For clarity, I have divided my issues with this movie into three areas:

Problem Area #1: The anti-science propaganda machine.

To be fair, this section is not about me being nitpicky because I'm going to be a scientist, saying "They used sodium perchoride when they should have used sodium perchlorate! Imbeciles!" No, no, I care not about such things. I also don't mind that the movie take an anti-cloning stance, even though I disagree. What bothered me is that instead of letting the basis of the movie speak for itself, every over-the-top nightmare cloning scenario was used to beat into your head that cloning is bad! Bad, I say!

For example, Clone A is created as a surrogate mother for her "sponsor" and believes that when she gives birth, she gets a free pass to the "Island". Ewan McGregor gets a peek at her giving birth, due to a series of totally unlikely events that involve him climbing a ladder that inexplicably leads him out of a tile in the middle of a laboratory hallway. After the baby is born, you would think that the smart thing to do, for both the sponsor and the cloning business, is to keep the clone alive, in case she is needed later. Well, you would be wrong. They decide to kill her immediately with some sort of evil green viscous goo that when injected IV, causes her to have a seizure and die a fairly violent and unnecessary death.

Michael Clark Duncan also wins a pass to the Island. He undergoes open heart surgery using a mean-looking bone saw and, what's this? The anesthesia wears off midway during the surgery! Fueled by the adrenaline rush of waking up in the middle of having your chest ripped open, MCD jumps off the table and runs down the hall, trailing all sorts of wires and tubes, with an open chest cavity. Ok, the adrenaline thing is possible. What gets me is that instead of getting him back with high tech tranq darts, they shoot him with some sort of weird grappling hooks that attach under his skin and pull him backward, and as he claws the tile floor screams, "I want to live! I don't want to die!!! Aarghhh!" Oh, come on. Grappling hooks?? This is apparently what happens when you clone people. Go figure.

Problem Area #2: The clones, who have zero knowledge of the outside world, have more common sense then everyone else in the movie put together.

This is where I really started to have serious problems with the movie. Ewan and Scarlett have lived in what is essentially an underground cave their whole lives, yet can elude a team of elite Marines for days. The owner of the cloning company has enough advanced technology that he can analyze Ewan's urine for nutrient imbalances as it hits the toilet, but never thinks that some sort of implanted tracking devices might be a good idea.

The leader of the aforementioned elite Marines is the worst possible person for the job of tracking the clones. The main requirement for this job is subtlety, which he presumably doesn't know the meaning of. He kills civilians in train stations, blows up buildings, sends armed helicopters after trucks on the highway...the list goes on. There is no media coverage of this rampage, and no one seems interested as to why this could be going on.

Merrick, the owner of the cloning company, also succumbs to this crazy over-reaction syndrome. Another clone besides Ewan starts asking questions, but instead of trying to manipulate him and win him over (seemingly a fairly easy task, as the clones are bred to be docile and trusting...Ewan was an anomaly), he decides to attack him with a giant syringe and throw $5 million down the drain. (the price of each clone). Not the best businessman, that Merrick.

Problem Area #3: Events occur that are simply beyond any rational person's ability to suspend their disbelief.

This is sort of a catch-all category, as it includes random tidbits like:

1. Scarlett and Ewan drive a motorcycle through a building, then proceed to fall 70 stories (this is specifically mentioned) and are both fine. No, wait, I take that back...Ewan suffers a sexy cut to his forehead. I believe this was one of the times I actually laughed out loud in the theater.

2. Scarlett and Ewan are hiding on the back of a truck which is hauling giant pipes of some sort. The Marine Team of Incompetence is after them with armed helicopters and ground vehicles. Ewan unclips one strap, and the several ton pipes start flying off the truck and taking out the Marines. Even stranger, the truck driver DOES NOT STOP DRIVING OR EVEN SLOW DOWN.

I could go on, but I'll spare you. Only watch this movie if you are feeling particularly masochistic or are at least sort of drunk.
Would you judge me if I said I still wanted to see it?

Say It Ain't So, CNN!

In case you're watching CNN...oh, right about now...I'm not going to be on Anderson Cooper tonight after all. They're airing a very hard-hitting and depressing segment with Anderson from Niger, and think—rightly so—that starving children+bloggers=a very weird combination. So, check me out Tuesday around 7:40 am on CNN American Morning, instead. And tomorrow night, maybe Anderson will finally show me the love.

Wish Me Luck

In just a few hours, I'm heading over to the CNN studios for an appearance tonight at 7pm on the Anderson Cooper show. Keep your fingers crossed that Jolie doesn't make an utter fool of herself. And if you feel like waking up really early tomorrow, I'll be on CNN American Morning. Funny that CNN is giving me so much love—they were my very first internship ever, way back in the day. (You know, like, seven years ago.)

She was married to Humphrey Bogart, you know

Lauren Bacall knows how to hit 'em where it hurts. After bristling at journalists last year who fawned over Nicole Kidman, saying, "She's not a legend. She's a beginner. What is this 'legend'?", Lauren turns her steely gaze on Tom Cruise. She calls his recent behavior "inappropriate and vulgar" and goes in for the kill by declaring, "The word 'great' stands for something. When you talk about a great actor, you're not talking about Tom Cruise." (Oh, no you didn't!) I almost feel sorry for Tom, but then I remember that he has a bajillion dollars, very comfy blinders on, and a gorgeous little trained monkey, so I'm sure he'll bounce back fine. Can't argue with Lauren Bacall, though—living legend, and all.
Bacall rips into 'vulgar' Tom Cruise (NY Daily News)

Breaking news: Nick thinks Jessica is pretty!

You all remember that story about how, a few months back, Nick Lachey slipped his phone number to the friend of a reporter for the New York Daily News—while the reporter was right there—yes? Poor Nick ran into the reporter a few days ago, and immediately began talking about how hot his ex-wife wife is. I'm sure that wasn't awkward at all.
Nick makes nice (NY Daily News)

Oh, John Casablancas, you big ol' teddy bear, you!

The John Casablancas and Naomi Campbell love fest continues. John insists that he didn't apologize to Naomi for calling her "unbearable" in an interview, and sends her a nasty email dissing her yet again: "I don't grovel...and I feel quite comfortable with my contradictory feelings about you: A+ as a person; D- for behavior with your bookers." John does have a point, although I don't know if I'd go so far as using the words "Naomi Campbell", "person" and "A+" in the same sentence. Bold move, John. Bold move. Think maybe they can just hug it out?
Mogul Can't Bear Naomi (Page Six)

The Blind Leading the Blind

Page Six has some toughie blind items today. I'd spend more than 15 seconds trying to come up with the answers, but, frankly, if it's not about Lindsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson, I don't care as much.
WHICH Hollywood honcho married to the president of a star's production company is in rehab for drug abuse? Sadly, word is he won't have his job when he gets out . . . WHICH chic South Beach hotel employs a handsome masseur who is famous for delivering "happy endings" to female clients? The hotel either doesn't know or doesn't care — but more than a few wives of high-profile guests have been singing his praises . . . WHICH heads of talent agencies are looking to cash out? They've been quietly asking around for buyers for their agencies, much to their employees' ignorance. Seems they're sick of standing on the sidelines, working like dogs to make a mere $5 million a year.

Just Asking (Page Six)