Thursday, December 8, 2011

Israeli Women Get Naked (For A Good Cause)

Middle Eastern women need to stick together. That's why it makes me so happy to see that forty Israeli women have taken all their clothes off to support an Egyptian woman who posted nude photographs of herself in a protest against the repression of women in Egypt.

The naked Israeli ladies are Jewish and Arab, straight and lesbian, and they are shown here, with a nice big banner to cover them up decently for the camera:

Don't they look wonderful, and happy! Kol ha-kavod!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Miss Israel 1953: Chavatzelet Dror

Born 1934, in Austria, Chavatzelet Dror, whose alluring smile you can see above, was the first soldier to be Miss Israel. Wikipedia says the first soldier to compete, but I'm not sure that can be true. She went on to the Miss World competition, where you can see her standing between Miss Greece and Miss France. Doesn't she have wonderful style and poise? That short haircut is very charming. Just think: five years after the State of Israel struggled into existence, they were sending their soldiers to compete in beauty pageants. For me, this is the essence of Jewish women, this ability to be strong and feminine at the same time.

Her runner-up was Miriam Gershoni. She is a beautiful girl, but all I can think when I see this picture is that I'm so happy that very boned and corseted shape for dresses went out of fashion!

I have only been able to find out a little about the contestants in these early contests. If you know more, please let me know at I'll be happy to add any information, and credit you.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Taste of Paradise

Really, I'm not only into shoes and eyeshadow. I also like to eat! For Shabat brunch this week, I made a pasta salad with olives and feta cheese. I finally tried the Pastures of Eden feta that Alisa has been telling me about, and it's good, very good.

First of all, it's kosher, and it's made in Israel, which immediately makes it terrific! And they carry it at the Trader Joe's on Geary, which makes it even more terrific. And it's still Buy Israel Week through tomorrow, so this is a great time to get some. (Of course, you can still buy it after tomorrow.) This is a delicious way to make the ugly BDS campaigns even less effective.

But enough politics. What is the cheese like? It's a sheep's milk feta, not goat, so it's a little different. The website describes it as a 'Balkan style feta'. It's milder to my taste than the Greek-style feta, less tangy, and also less salty. It's also got a softer texture, and seems to crumble a little differently. It has a wonderful flavor, and it worked beautifully in the salad. Next, I think I'll try it with a tomato salad.

Chanel: Bois Des Iles

I put away my summer clothes with a sigh. But every fall, when the cold creeps in...and the cold does creep, even here in California, where my family in France thinks it's eighty degrees all year round...I'm so glad to reach for my bottle of Chanel's great Bois des Iles. 

What can you truly say about a classic, and a quirky one like this? Perfume bloggers like Bois de Jasmin have described this in such beautiful words, that I can hardly add anything. It's one of my favorite scents for fall and winter, and it reminds me of this picture, so full of light and darkness, and golden woods.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Israelis Asked To Get Naked To Save The Dead Sea

American photographer Spencer Tunick has posted a registration for volunteers to participate in a photo shoot of nude Israelis at the Dead Sea.Tunick, who has gained fame for taking photographs of crowds of naked people at sites around the world, is calling on Israelis to "Disrobe to Save the Dead Sea."

If you are in Israel, and do not mind getting naked with a lot of other people, please consider signing up for this. The increased use of water from the Jordan means that the water level in the Dead Sea has been falling. This is a body of water that not only has great historical and geological significance, but also serves a source of economic cooperation between Israel and Jordan, as Israeli companies such as Ahava buy raw mineral products extracted by Jordanian companies.

Besides, Tunick's art is, in my opinion, very lovely. People respond to the sight of the human body in nature. The picture above is an example of his work. Isn't there something awe-inspiring and mysterious about it?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Miss Israel, 1952: Ora Vered

Miss Israel 1952, Ora Vered, was born in Yemen in 1934. I've been unable to find out much about this beauty queen, but from the few pictures I can find, she certainly was a lovely woman. Ora went on to compete for Israel in the Miss Universe pageant.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Orange Eyes? Non.

I think that one thing that may prevent me from ever becoming a true fashioniste is that extreme makeup looks hardly ever please me. Now, I am not talking about a dramatic smoky eye, a vivid red lip. I can even see, now and then, the appeal of a hot pink lip. But mostly, I think that these very bright colors are for little girls.

This spring, Estee Lauder tried to make orange eyeshadow of the moment. Many fashion bloggers went wild over it. I can't see it.

I agree that Estee Lauder's Orange Crush eyeshadow is a very beautiful color. I would buy a dress in that orange in a heartbeat. But on one's eyes? Give me a break! Look at this girl over here. Pretty face, pale lips, and then this gruesome pop of orange that doesn't suit her complexion. Perhaps on a very dark girl with warm skin this would work. Perhaps not.

This is runway makeup. It cannot be made wearable for a woman who doesn't work on a catwalk.

However, if you want bright orange lids, remember, as always, that Estee Lauder is the Great Zionist Cosmetic Company, the dread of all the little BDS activists in their hemp ponchos--so feel free to indulge in whatever shades suit you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

LEMMING: Fabulous Israeli Shoe Designs

Super-sexy, non? These are by Kobi Levi, an eccentric Israeli shoe designer who does the most remarkable and whimsical designs. Most of his designs, I must say, are too strange for my taste. The ones that look like ducks, for example. Or the ones that look like naked women. Or banana peels.

But these! The color and flame effects are supposed to suggest dragons, while those clever double heels are meant to look like a pair of chopsticks. Pair them with a sexy neutral dress, and you have the perfect costume for dinner out, or a concert. Frivolous, but also wearable.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Miss Israel 1951: Michal Har'el

Israel's second Malkat Hayofi, crowned in 1951, was Michael Har'el, born in Jerusalem in 1931. An article in the Forward describes her as a kindergarten teacher and 'stalwart defender of the City of David in the 1948 siege of Jerusalem'. She would have been seventeen during the War of Independence.

The picture below shows her at her wedding with her husband Yitzchak Modai. He was in the Knesset for many years. You can see in this photo that he knows what a lucky man he is.

LEMMING: Armani, Summer 2011

Karla Sugar (love her love her love her!) has pictures up of the Armani Summer 2011 collection.

The lipstick #34 and the eyeshadow quad are calling my name!

And of course, Armani's beauty products are owned by Estee Lauder--so these beautiful products are, of course, pro-Israel.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Emmanuelle Chriqui : "We Only Have One Planet"

I love Emmanuelle Chriqui's look. As another Moroccan Jewish girl, I'm very proud of her, and even though she's been in some pretty trashy movies and shows, she herself always looks beautiful and chic.

She's also green!! You can read the interview at E! Online.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Miss Israel 1950: Miriam Yaron

Miriam Yaron
Let me introduce you to some beautiful women! This is the first installment of a series of posts about the winners and runners-up of Israel's "Malkat Hayofi", or Queen of Beauty contest, also called Miss Israel.

The very first Miss Israel, Miriam Yaron, was crowned in 1950. Doesn't she have a great early fifties look in this photograph? All hair, and smoky eyes, and terrific legs.

Miriam was born in Germany in 1929. When she won Miss Israel she was a married woman with a baby. One of the differences between Israel's beauty pageants and most others is that married women were always allowed to compete.

She was also a nurse. The postcard image below shows her in a less glamorous, but equally beautiful role.

This was two years after the founding of the State of Israel! Imagine it. It was a nation full of refugees, fleeing from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. A terrifying war for independence and survival had just ended. And what do they do? They have a beauty pageant, of course!!

Left to right: Yaffa Schpitzer, Yaron and Carmela Fargi. Fargi and Schpitzer were first and second runners-up in 1950.
Miriam Yaron, in her nursing uniform.

LEMMING: Estee Lauder's Wild Violet Palette

I am totally lemming this eyeshadow palette from Estee Lauder's limited-edition Wild Violet collection. I haven't had a chance to swatch it in person, but I am intrigued by this combination of warm- and cool-looking neutrals, with that one pop of beautiful intense violet, perfect to bring out brown eyes.

This is much more to my taste than many of the purple palettes on the market, where you get several different shades of purple. That's great, if you're fifteen! An adult woman just can't appear in public with five stripes of different bright purples and lavenders on her eyelids. With this blend, you can have that wonderful zing of color that makes you feel springlike, while staying chic. It's just enough, but not too much.

Estee Lauder is under constant attack from the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic BDS movement. In 2009, they were number 6 on the official BDS movement's Top Ten Brands to Boycott This Christmas. About Estee Lauder, they say:

This company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that was established in 1901 to acquire Palestinian land and is connected to the continued building of illegal settlements. Estee Lauder’s popular brands include Clinique, MAC, Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, fragrance lines for top designers, and many others. They have been the target of QUIT’s “Estee Slaughter Killer Products” campaign.

The problem with this is that it's a big, BIG lie. The JNF 'acquired Palestinian land' by paying top dollar for it, so that Jewish farmers could support themselves. The BDS movement hates them, because they do not want to be reminded that Israel is built on land that was not only fought for, but paid for. As for 'illegal settlements', as far as these people are concerned, Tel Aviv is an illegal settlement. They do not believe that Jews should have the right to live anywhere in the land of Israel.

The good news is, as you can see, if you're not an anti-Semite, you can support Israel in so many different ways, by buying products from Estee Lauder, Clinique, MAC, Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, and top fragrances! Being a supporter of Israel is great for your beauty routine.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Made-In-Israel Tampons from Target!

Target's house brand of tampons "Up and Up" (yes, it's a funny name) are made in Israel.

I drive to Colma to go to the Target there once a month, usually. I happened to throw a box of these into the cart, to see if they were any good. It was my husband who saw them on the counter in the bathroom and pointed out they are from Israel.

Now, I read a lot of blogs about beauty and fashion. I have never seen a post about tampons. But they are a beauty supply are they not? If body wash or toothpaste are, then tampons should be too. Either way, I'm going to review these!! I am a fashion trendsetter, after all.

The tampons come in all the different sizes and quantities that we are used to from Tampax. I bought a box of forty supers, and they are individually wrapped with a a nice cardboard applicator. There is no tip on the applicator. (Which is my personal preference.) The applicator has finger grooves, and is sturdy and easy to use.

The tampons themselves are cotton and/or rayon fiber blend, with a polypropelene/polyethelyne overwrap and cotton string. They work fine.

Full Disclosure: I bought my box at the Target in Colma.

Where You Can Get Them: Targets everywhere. Online, too.

Why It's Wonderful: Buying these is an excellent way to support Israel every month!!!

NEWS: Ahava Expanding Onto New Shelves

Ahava has been under attack by the anti-Israel BDS movement for a few years now. I'll be discussing some of the issues around that in coming posts, but today I have cardamom coffee and my last muffin before Pesach begins, and ma grand is taking me out to dinner later so I don't have to mess up the kitchen. So today I am just dropping a note about how Ahava is expanding into some new major markets. Sears will be carrying their products. Also, Target, along with many other fine retailers, is carrying Ahava's new, less expensive line, Dead Sea Essentials. These products are an affordable version of Ahava's wonderful Dead Sea mineral products, and have been received enthusiastically in the beauty world. (Stay tuned for reviews. I have a bag full of Dead Sea Essentials products, now, and look forward to telling everyone all about them.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Ahava Skin Replenisher for Normal to Dry Skin

Ahava is one of my favorite Israeli brands. I have to confess that I don't buy it for myself very often, because every time one of my aunts goes to Israel, they stock up as though none of this were available in the United States and bring it back for me and my sister as presents. The Skin Replenisher is my go-to night moisturizer at the moment, and it came in one of the care packages along with back issues of French Vogue.

Ahava Skin Replenisher also comes in Very Dry Skin, which I haven't tried. It is a light, velvety cream that soaks into the skin quickly, and doesn't feel greasy or oily at all. It is very lightly scented, and the scent quickly fades to a very light 'soapy' smell, which doesn't compete with perfume I put on to go to bed. I've been using it for three or four weeks now, and I will probably buy another jar for myself when this runs out, unless another aunt makes a run to Jerusalem for me in the meantime.

Full Disclosure: This review is based on my personal jar, which was a gift from a relation.

Where You Can Get It: At department stores, and many places online.

Why It's Wonderful: Ahava has been targeted by the anti-Israel BDS Movement. Proud Jewish women everywhere have responded to this by clearing the shelves of their favorite boutiques of all of Ahava's wonderful products. Even gentlemen can help!