Saturday, December 30, 2006

I may be mad/sad/tired, but you'll never know.

Zoey from Shop DC has done a pretty extensive writeup on her recent IPL (laser) treatment. For a much less detailed review, you can read mine in the fine print here.

So on to the next procedure. And that, my friends, would be Botox.

But first, a brief history.

About a year ago, I was planning two huge events during every waking hour that I wasn't slaving away at my day job, the combination of which brought about a month-long bout of insomnia combined with a few unbearable migranes. I felt like crap, and looked even worse.

While at my dermatologist (getting the aforementioned IPL), I sat up post-treatment in what could be the most brightly lit whitest dermatologist's office ever, and found myself face to face with a mirror. It was a scary sight (esp. after just going through a pretty intensive round with the laser).

"What can you do about THESE?" I asked the nurse, pointing to the four huge creases running across my forehead. Figured there wasn't much she could do about the greyish-greenish hue I had acquired from the insomnia. And before I could say "Creme de la Mer," out came the Botox needle.

So flash forward, it's a year later, I'm in a fairly stressful place again, and looking pretty haggard. Asked for, and got, a gift certificate for my derm for a Botox treatment. I headed in this week.

Dr. Adrian offers walk-in Botox (you just need to call ahead to make sure the Doc is in). I went in on my way to work, which is a good thing, as you can't lie down for at least four hours post.

I was brought back from the waiting room about 5 minutes after arriving, and after some small talk, out came the needle. They have you furrow your brow to figure out where to inject it; it takes about 3 seconds per shot. It hurt a bit worse than I remembered, but then again, the last time I had it done I had been on 30 minutes of sleep total from the night before. It isn't that painful, just your standard pin prick. With botchulism.

You can get Botox in several areas, but they typically don't recommend doing the top of the forehead without doing the crease in between your eyes as well, as this apparently minimizes the eye-droop risk (have you seen it? Not so pretty. If this should happen, you can always go with the incredibly karma-tempting yet fairly plausible "Bell's Palsy" excuse).

Some slight swelling usually occurs, but it goes down in about 10 minutes. Definitely go for the ice pack as that will speed it up as well.

For the next few hours, you'll need to furrow your brow and raise your eyebrows as much as you can to work the magic (okay, poison) in. Enjoy it, because you won't be doing that for a while.

About 8 hours later, you'll still be able to move just as you did, although it will feel a bit numb. About 8 hours after that, you'll have a slight loss of mobility, but your forehead lines will be just about gone. You will look fabulous. You will be thrilled. This perfection will not last. So don't get cocky about it.

The next day, you'll be able to move your eyebrows about 1/4 as much as the day prior. And you may start to take on the Dr. Brandt/Nicole Kidman freakish forehead/eyebrows that point a bit weird look. Or, as I like to call it, the "DAMMITDAMMITDAMMITWHATINTHEHOLYFUCKWASITHINKING????" stage. Just another reminder that no matter how good the science, there is just no replacement for sunscreen, sleep, and the magic potion that is youth.

And the next day--yup. Frozen. Frozen as a slurpee in January in Novgorod.

Not sure if the freakish look goes away or if you just get used to it.

This is when the fun starts. If you're my husband.

He likes to pick fights and then, end it with "What--what--are you MAD? Sorry--can't tell. Let me take a closer look...yeah, um...nothing."

The results last for about 3-4 months--you'll go back to the fabulous slight movement/not completely scary look in about 1-1/2 to 2.

And my husband will stop taunting me in, well, never.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

And...I'm back.

Sorry, a rather wide detour from vapidity, that. Happens.


Headed over to Hair Lounge on Wisconsin today (rather pathetic that I couldn't figure out where it was until they explained "Um, it's right near Good Guys?" and then I totally got it). Anyway, beautiful space, nice guys, and their catch is that their team is incredibly well versed on color. Like phenomenally so.

"Launch" party on January 11, worth at least popping in to get a peek. (Quotes because they've been open for a few months, but are just starting to get out there).

Speaking of hair, whilst trying to get a bit organized for a few big moves coming up in the next few weeks (including a total renovation and add-on to our house that we're completely unprepared for--YIKES!), I came across a stash of beauty products that I forgot about. And that totally rock.

First and foremost, Graham Webb Vivid Color conditioner. I've never found anything in any price range that works better than Pantene (especially since getting the Japanese straightening earlier this year) until now. Every day since I started using it I've gotten a hair compliment. Every single day.

Also discovered my stash of Pat Wexler products--promptly threw out everything but her Microdermabrasion scrub and her Face Wash. Never want to endure the PW Pox again; these two, however, are definitely the stars in the lineup.

Then--AND THEN--I found a whole bag of Laura Mercier bath products, bought while a weeee bit buzzed at Wild About Beauty this fall (I think I was hiding them so my husband wouldn't see the huge trove I bought). Score! So if you are in a crowd and someone just absolutely stinks like yellow cake batter, that would be me and my 18 layers of Creme Brulee. Just an FYI.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seriously, is it really only Tuesday?

Sunday night: the Zinzi Christmas Party (aka The Bartender's Ball) at the Grand Hyatt. About a thousand people, the place was PACKED. And smoky. Ensembles were Over. The. Top. I have never seen so many dresses cut to the navel in Washington. Or maybe ever. Music was surprising--80's dance music--I would have expected it to be a bit more cutting edge. I had no idea that there were that many bartenders in Washington (just when I think this city is really small...).

Monday, freshly hungover: dinner at Mendocino Grille. My first time there--and it was fabulous. Great food, good wine list (although service was mediocre)--it just seems like there aren't that many decent restaurants in Georgetown, at least proportional to the seemingly hundreds of restaurants that are packed in there. Up for discussion: the DSS. Details to follow...

Today: lunch at Milano. Spotted: Bill Frist, big ol' Tiffany Box in tow, Henry Kissinger, milling about.

Tonight: holiday party for the Smithsonian Channel at the Castle. I'm sure I've been called "highly inappropriate" before, but never have been told it to my face. So that was interesting.*

So what have we learned?
-Tina Alster's incredible new skincare store, Skin Couture, will be opening near 14th and K within the next few months (her practice will also be located in the building).
-Nora O'Donnell: pregnant. With twins.
-Phillipe Cousteau: dating one of Washington's most beautiful women--for the past year. Who knew? (Perhaps everyone).
-Me: highly inappropriate (at least according to Smithsonian staffers for attempting to take the above picture).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Things to remember

-If you find the career that you'd do for free, if not for your mortgage and your car and your need to provide square meals for dependents*, then you should figure out a way to do it. Even if you can't do it, say, by 5 p.m. today.
-There will always be an eager beaver 26-year old out nipping at your heels looking to do your job on the cheap.
-Eventually they'll be 36 and figure it out for themselves. Karma from when they (okay, you) were 26.
-Not everyone will understand the value of "not cheap." It's your job to explain your value, but don't be pissed when they still don't understand. Cheap is pretty tempting.
-In the end, rejection, especially if provided with feedback, can be incredibly helpful.
-You may even find yourself consoling yourself over a big fat bottle of Chianti at a remote Italian restaurant reconnecting with the husband you've basically ignored in the midst of all of your hard work. Hypothetically.

*and Botox and LaMer and the occasional B Bag for yourself--but hell, those are even worth giving up for a short while in pursuit of a long term goal. Wow. I just typed that--and meant it. Yikes.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

There's nothing more I hate than losing.

Well, except for mayonnaise.


For those of you who know of my Friday deadline, well, kids, it ain't gonna happen. I just got my first no, and it doesn't like I'll know of the other two until, well, who knows when.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More sources...

1.) Those absolutely blinding lights and sirens at the Naval Observatory Entrance last night: The first of several Cheney Holiday parties. Two word description from multiple sources: Powerful (for the moment) and Stuffy. Food: mediocre. Drinks: aplenty--though everyone seemed remarkably sober right up to the bitter end--with staffers trying to act as self-important as their actually important bosses.
2.) Top-secret celebrity dinner: moved to Thursday.
3.) Billionaire alert: the younger brother of Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio (also heirs to the Luxottica fortune) will be coming stateside in January to get his MBA at Columbia. He has great friends here in town, so is expected to be a frequent visitor.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My sources tell me...

1.) ...that Richard Dreyfuss' Martha's Vineyard political foray last week went off almost without a hitch. Not long before he was to begin the town hall meeting he organized and hosted, there was a little tooth issue resulting in severe exposed nerves. Thanks to the heroism of a small town, off-season dentist in residence, he was fixed up in a flash and started the discussion on his recent passion, introducing civics back into American public schools (remember when there was such a thing as calm discourse?). He's in town often as his documentary production team is located here, and James Madison University is somewhat nearby (he is active with their faculty and was married there earlier this year).
2.) ...that a certain very-uber-super-duper A-list VIP will be flying into town tomorrow, hosting a top-secret dinner for 30 at a private residence, then *poof!* he'll be gone. I've heard he uses Signature, so if you see a few darkened SUVs near the tarmac, try to snag a peek...

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Tonight: Tiny Jewel Box and Capitol File fete. It seems like Tiny Jewel Box is having a billion of these, but hey, it's holiday cocktails and some interesting designers (Temple St. Clair, Leslie Greene) will be personally showing their collections.

Tomorrow: Jolly Holiday for the Smithsonian Young Benefactors. Sponsored by Washington Life; this year they're breaking from their wine & beer format and will be featuring Snow Queen vodka cocktails. Castle at the Smithsonian.

Saturday: Fundraiser for Horton's Kids, an amazing charity which provides mentoring and assistance to impoverished children right here in DC. Grand prize is a reception for 40 at Cafe Milano; featured guest is Eric Felten, What's Your Drink columnist from WSJ. Private residence.

Sunday: ...and rest.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Love House

So today, I went to a few houses. The first belonged to a pretty renowned architect, and it was a SWEET house. It had a moat (well, kind of--it ran along the whole front of the house). And amazing woodwork. And the basement--it was dug out about 15 feet beyond the main floor, and it had a glass ceiling. Stop for a minute and picture that. It was rather sick. The furniture looked like it would be straight from Vallency, but no--it was all custom. The parties you could have there would be unbelievable. The cars in the garage were worth around $400k. And there were only two of them.

Then we went to another house. Wasn't nearly as big, or as grand, or as obvious. Then you stepped inside and looked out the glass doors that ran the length of the living room. Directly outside were state-protected undeveloped cliffs leading to the ocean, beautiful desert cliffs with hawks circling* with the sun making beautiful shadows on the terrain.

The woodwork inside--cedar curved walls that were so pristinely assembled and finished and mitred that I was witness to a group of about 10 architects trying to figure out how they were crafted. Cement countertops in the kitchen were cast in glass, which makes them shiny and smooth beyond material recognition. The back yard was landscaped with Korean grass, which looks almost otherworldly, but oh so very cool.

Every wall was covered in beautiful art--upon further exploration, I realized that the majority of it was created by the lady of the house. Pictures of and notes from kids and grandkids were everywhere. The house just resonated with love and care.

Across the cliffs was a huge, Mediterranean monstrosity that we learned was where Michael Jackson sequestered himself when he was first found to have a liking for the kiddies.

I looked across, and I just felt cold. Then I thought of the other house we had seen, and felt the same.

I learned later that the Love House belongs to a man rated by Forbes as being one of the 40 richest men in the country. But to me, he just looked like he lives a happy, happy life. So yes, pretty damn rich, indeed.

*Okay, so the circling hawks: beautiful to me; probably not so much to the rabbit or squirrel or whatever little fluffy thing they were actually circling. But still.

The Perfect...

1. Birthday party: mine. I love my friends. Loved the night. Loved DC Celine's fantabulous boots. Loved the Botox gift cert my husband got me, even though he hates the thought of it. Loved seeing all of my disperate groups of friends getting together and making new friends. Loved my Johnny Cash auction book from Sotheby's (thanks B2!) and all of the other so very thoughtful things I rec'd despite ze no gifting policy (notes en route!).

2. Day: this one. Because RIGHT NOW, I'm sitting on a bench. On a beach. In La Jolla. It's 80 degrees, and I just finished a private tour of a famed architect's sicksicksick home. Oh, and I'm eating a chocolate chip cookie the size of my head.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Thursday, after not quite recovering from Wednesday (head hangover, mental exhaustion plus feet hangover from wearing the most fabulous-looking but heinous-wearing 5" patent platforms), it was time to head out for another night.

M2 came over, looking fabulous as ever in her vintage flapper dress* she bought from the Alex event the night before. Me: oh, I thought I'd be fine by wearing the World's Most Uncomfortable Heels again for another night. IDIOT.

First, off to the OnLokation event at T Street Flats. It wasn't bad, better than I expected, although I think her business model needs to be tweaked a bit. Either it should be a free, invite-only event with focus on sponsors and exhibitors, or a ticketed event that is more of a scene. It's hard to do both--very hard. But I think this was their second event, and attendance was not bad, although the bar could have been much better. The space: much better than it looks from the outside, strange smells and bad front entrance aside. It could really be transformed into a great space for the right event.

Speaking to T Street Flats developer Chip Ellis at the event, he told of their ambitious plans--beautiful condo spaces, lots of bottom floor retail, terraces above with views of Washington from every angle--and dear god, the location could not be better. Renovations start this spring.

Next, off to the CapFile anniversary party. Packed to the gills with a few celebs (Fran Drescher, Iman) thrown in for effect. Could have made HUGE points with the fam by scoring a picture with The Nanny, but no luck. It was a beautiful space, albeit acoustically challenged. Food: excellent. Bar: stocked. Scene: the usual suspects, but everyone looked fabulous. A solid event all around.

About 10:00, my feet Could. Not. Take. It. Anymore. So I left M2 to head to the afterparty at Posh, and headed home to catch a bit of rest before my big day.

*Note: all of the remaining vintage from the event is still at Alex, through the end of this week. Get in there and check it out while you can!

So First Things First...

Haute for the Holidays: What a great night. Attendance was smashing, everyone had fun, lots of new faces at Alex (all of which hopefully found their perfect holiday frocks!). Fabulous goodie bags including bottles of Snow Queen vodka, R. Nichols notecards, Graham Webb Halo shampoo & conditioner, Altoids, and the first edition of the Alex Stylette (you may be able to get one if you stop in and ask nicely!).

The vintage couture brought in for the event was truly phenomenal. It was worth it just to come and walk through the fashion history stored on those racks. Amazing.

The Vogue book and Jaanu diamond pendant were both raffled off to incredibly happy winners--and all proceeds went to Labels for Love and Suited for Change, which was just the icing on the cake.

So for all of you who came out, thanks!