Blog Posts by Jennifer Romolini, Shine editor in chief

  • M. Obama! C. Bruni-Sarkozy! One explosive fashion showdown

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesThis is totally silly/ridiculous, but let's play along...

    OMG! Right this minute, all over the world, people's brains are exploding. You know why? Because Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy were photographed together, in France, while wearing clothes!

    As part of their ongoing European tour, President and Mrs. Obama met with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy this morning. Michelle wore a Thakoon floral-print coat, kitten heels, and pretty diamond earrings. The French lady pulled off a belted gray trench by Dior and black flats. Because both women are considered international fashion icons, the world is dying to know: Who looked better?

    I'm torn. I kind of think both jackets are too busy, though I feel Michelle looks better in her little heels and made more of an effort with her hair.Getty ImagesGetty Images But I am really not into those girlish pink flowers. Oh, so confusing!
    What do you guys think?

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  • Is it ever OK to write about Michelle Obama's butt?

    Now this seems like bad idea: On Tuesday, a story appeared on New York magazine's website about Michelle Obama's "booty," specifically outlining how President Obama admires his wife's backside.

    The post, titled "Now That's Something To Salute," was illustrated with a photo of the president saluting a marine as the first lady entered a helicopter ahead of him. The text of the story read:

    "This morning President Obama departed for the G20 summit in London ... As he boarded Marine One, Obama returned the salute of the marine standing guard ... we think. It also looks like Obama might just be blocking the sun's glare as he checks out Michelle's booty."

    Soon after going up, the post was deleted. According to the Huffington Post, New York's publicist responded to the controversy by stating: "As you know, bloggers work in a hurry, and occasionally items go up that are not in the best taste. In this instance we decided the best solution was to take the post down."

    OK. So, his particular

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  • Michelle Obama takes London! The dresses, the jewels, AND what she wore to meet the Queen

    Ap PhotoAp PhotoBarack Obama and his wife departed for the UK earlier this week, and, while the president is tending to serious business-- the G20 economic summit in London and, from there, a week of meetings in five different countries--Michelle Obama is along for more jovial pursuits. She's playing high-style dress up, sitting for tea, giving official gifts, and even meeting the Queen (see image, left).

    So, what is she wearing? Thus far, no big surprises: She's sticking to favorite designers Jason Wu, Thakoon, and J.Crew; her usual cool color palette; kitten heels; pearls and brooches, and as for beauty, minimal makeup and soft hair. She looks feminine, stylish, and appropriate, but also totally safe. The only outfit I found rather dull and matronly is the Isabel Toledo ensemble she chose to meet the Queen. There was something almost uniform-like about its dull black and white, the skirt is an awkward length, and although Mrs.O did cover her arms with an Azzedine Alaïa cardigan and the look is

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  • Shine quiz: Do you know these famous faces in fashion?

    This afternoon, because it's big fashion news, I wrote a little story about Michelle Obama's style choices on her first European trip. Immediately, in the 2,000+ comments, readers started weighing in about how downright idiotic this topic was, how "nobody cares," and how I should have better things to think about. Oh, snap! Listen: I hear you. I know that, in these crap times, there are many, many more significant issues to write about. But, y' know, this is a space to talk about fashion and, though I try to keep things (as one famous MTV show said) "real," I have a rather large obligation to blog about what's going on right this second in the world of style.

    Anyway, let's go back to having fun. For fashion lovers and haters alike, I've put together a slideshow of some of the industry's most (self?) important faces. Do you know who they are? Check the images above. Answers are below.

    1. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue

    2. Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys

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  • "But, you lost weight, right?" Our sick relationship with stomach sickness

    A few weeks ago, while sitting in the Buenos Aires airport waiting for my flight to board, I experienced a strange, sharp pain in my lower abdomen. Ten minutes later, I was sweating, clutching my stomach, and wishing for death--it felt like someone had taken a blender to my insides. Alone and in full crisis mode, I managed to track down some Argentinean Imodium and $15 worth of bottled water, but was told I had to empty all liquids before getting on the plane. (My desperate pleas of "Por favor, estoy muy enferma," did not help a bit.) I had 11 hours of flying time ahead of me.

    Back at home, things only got worse. I'll spare you the gross details, but, for a week, I subsisted entirely on yogurt shakes and brown rice. This was the most my stomach would agree to and, still, I was walking around like I'd been punched in the gut with a brick. So, I went to the doctor, and then I went to another doctor. A few extra-violating tests later, and I found out I'd ingested some kind of intestinal

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  • Spring shoes for every style, all under $50 (!)

    One of the things I love about spring and summer (OK, actually, I love almost everything about spring and summer) is that the clothes, shoes, and accessories are more affordable than they are in the fall, which means we can all look really amazing and stylish in stuff that costs a fraction of designer goods. I've rounded up 16 pairs of warm-weather shoes above-each represents a spring '09 trend and each comes with a fabulous, accessible price tag.

    Yay, spring!


    20 amazing spring bags, all under $50

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  • Should you stop shampooing your hair (so much)?

    I came across a story on Jezebel yesterday about the "no-poo" movement, a silly name for a concept that essentially says we Americans are washing our hair too much.

    According to the original report on NPR, folks in the U.S. shampoo about 5 times a week, which is twice as much as Italians and Spaniards. Though we've been sold the "squeaky-clean hair is better" line through bouncy Salon Selectives-type commercials for decades, in reality, dermatologists believe frequent washing strips the hair of beneficial oil, causing follicular damage and drying out our manes.

    This makes a ton of sense to me. Much to my husband's and closest friends' horror, I've long thought that Americans are overly obsessed with hygiene and freakish with how frequently we need to shower. I'm also unnerved by the numerous, super-powered products we use to keep us from smelling anywhere near human-think of the foaming washes on top of flowery exfoliators on top of soap; the industrial-strength, aluminum-based

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  • Kim Kardashian is Photoshop's latest victim

    I won't lie to you, readers. I have been staring at the images at left, on and off, for at least two hours. They depict celebreality star Kim Kardashian, pre- and post-airbrushing, for a feature in Complex magazine, and they are, to me anyway, beyond fascinating.

    The release of the original pic (far left) was apparently a mistake. Some bloggers found it on Complex's site as part of an "exclusive photo gallery" and it was quickly taken down. The second, thinner, smoother image of KK is the one that ran in the magazine.

    What's striking about these photographs is what the retouchers decided to change. For starters, they lightened Kardashian's skin all over, and they took out any texture that made it appear in any way like real skin. (Can you see how her thighs look human in the first pic and like a Barbie in the second?) Next, they shaved a few inches off her thighs, waist, and maybe her arm; added a bit to left breast; and cleaned up the weird bodysuit thing she's wearing so it's less

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  • Today in retro beauty: Secrets from a '70s socialite

    For my birthday last week, my wonderful husband presented me with The Beautiful People's Beauty Book-a vintage how-to guide on everything from how to stave off aging skin to keeping one's boobs firm-and, ever since, it's been the gift that keeps on giving. It's also a gift I feel the need to share, if only to remind all of us that beauty standards were once much worse than what we deal with today-more isolating, more sexist, more high-maintenance, more complicated and, seemingly, out of reach.

    The Beautiful People's Beauty Book was written by Princess Luciana Pignatelli, a sort of aging Paris Hilton-type. She'd been the wife of Prince Nicolo Pignatelli Aragona Cortes, but at the time of the book's publication (1970), is married to a man named Burt S. Avedon. Beyond her royal title, Princess Luciana's bio states that she has been a fashion designer, has two children, and "her picture appears often in the leading fashion magazines." Awesome.

    Throughout this lofty 122-page tome, the

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  • Beauty deal of the day: $120 worth of makeup for just 22 bucks

    Usually I wouldn't devote an entire post to just one item, but this jam-packed, limited-edition makeup compact from Sephora is too good not to share. Open up its sleek black case and you'll find: 36 eyeshadows, 12 lip glosses, 3 shades of blush, bronzing powder, and 3 different applicator brushes. On top of that, there's a big square mirror, which is ideal for when you're trying out an updo and need to check the back of your hair.

    This is a seriously awesome deal-essentially all the colors you'll need for spring with enough options so you can try new looks (Bronze-y lipgloss? Why not! Purple eyeshadow? Heidi Klum swears by it!)

    I'd add in one excellent mascara, a supplemental set of makeup brushes, and then skip around feeling free, because I would not have to think about cosmetics for months.
    Sephora Color Play Palette

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