Beauty + Fashion

Seat Mates: Grad-School Pals Build Pants Biz One Leg at a Time

By Jocelyn Voo
New York Post | Aug. 11, 2008

Asking a guy if you can feel his pants isn’t a standard interview line. Then again, having him jut out his canary-yellow seersucker-clad butt and enthusiastically suggest, "You might want to grab the right cheek," isn’t a standard response, either.

Brian Spaly, 31, and Andy Dunn, 29, are those kinds of guys – playful, personable and kickback. Still, behind their California-guy demeanor and longish, untamed hair lie a pair of enterprising businessmen with a full-fledged fixation: pants.

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Revenge of the Size 12 Woman

By Jocelyn Voo
Psychology Today | February 2007

That zaftig redhead hawking body lotion on the 20-foot billboard? The three-by-four-foot poster of a woman unapologetically embracing her thunder thighs? Yep, they’re talking to you. And if you’re a woman, you’re listening.

Women will compare themselves to pictures of superthin models more than to pics of regular women only when accompanying text reinforces the “need” to be slender and attractive. Otherwise, research published in Body Image finds, they’re much more likely to relate to everyday models. And, ad mavens hope, buy what’s on offer.

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Name Games: The Dirt on Selling Beauty

By Jocelyn Voo
Psychology Today | December 2006

The multibillion dollar beauty industry spends plenty promising to make you desirable. So why would a cosmetics line christen a shade of eye shadow “mildew”?

Studies suggest that consumers may be sold on “ugly beauty” because the more time they spend reconciling the inconsistency—a pretty product with a nasty name—the more likely they are to remember and purchase the goods. Even a few seconds could be enough to trigger an effect, says Lars Perner, assistant professor of clinical marketing at the University of Southern California.

Results from the lab bench and makeup counter agree: A little bit of ugly can make a pretty profit.

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Make Your Wardrobe Last Longer

By Jocelyn Voo
Ladies’ Home Journal online | August 2006

With a little TLC, you can greatly extend the lifecycle of your clothing, shoes, and undergarments.


Anybody who’s adopted a “do it yourself” spirit and shrunk a beloved dry-clean-only sweater knows that proper care of your clothes is paramount to getting the best and most wear out of them. Here, we’ve gathered expert opinions on the cleaning, storage, and repair dos and don’ts for every type of garment in your closet.

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Faking It With Makeup

By Jocelyn Voo
Ladies’ Home Journal online | July 2006

Makeup tricks for everything you ever wanted, from bigger eyes to flawless skin to plumper lips.

Bigger Eyes

Weren’t born with the perfect eyes, lips, and cheek structure? Not many of us are. Luckily, a few simple makeup techniques can help you create the features you’ve always wanted.

“Shaping the eyebrows is the first step to enhancing your eyes,” says Eve Pearl, key makeup artist for ABC’s The View and author of Plastic Surgery Without the Surgery: The Miracle of Makeup Techniques . A general rule is to create the arch of your eyebrow three-quarters of the way toward the outer part of your eye. Use an eyebrow pencil or powder one shade lighter than your natural brows so they look natural.

Gently curl your eyelashes with an eyelash curler, then apply one or two thin coats of mascara to lashes. For fine lashes, applying volumizing mascara with a thick brush will help coat lashes and make them look fuller. For straight lashes, look for curling mascara with a slightly curved brush that will help extend eyelashes upward. How to make your eyes really pop? “Using fake eyelashes will make the biggest difference in having your eyes really stand out,” says Pearl.

Products we like: Try Cover Girl LashExact Mascara, $6.99, or Max Factor Lash Perfection, $7.75, both of which feature flexible rubber brush bristles that separate and coat lashes evenly. To fatten lashes, Stila Fiber Optics Mascara, $12.50, has a rich formula composed of micro fibers. It bulks up even the thinnest lashes and won’t wilt a curl.

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Quiz: Which Jeans Are Right For You?

By Jocelyn Voo
Assisted by India Jewel-Jackson
Ladies’ Home Journal online | June 2006

For most of us, jeans are a closet staple. We wear them so much, sometimes it’s hard to recognize when you’re in a denim rut, wearing the same style that may be outdated or just plain unflattering. Are you wearing the jeans that really suit your shape and your personality? Take our quiz to find out which styles are best for you.

Laser Hair Removal: Is It Worth It?

By Jocelyn Voo
Ladies’ Home Journal online | May 2006

Voluntarily allowing a hot laser to penetrate your delicate skin — sounds like high-tech torture, right? Yet an increasing number of women are opting for laser hair removal as their gateway to silky smooth skin.

Here’s how it works: A laser is pulsed on skin for milliseconds at a time, emitting a beam of light that converts into heat as it passes harmlessly through the skin. The heat is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the hair follicle and shaft, which inhibits growth. Contrary to popular belief, laser hair removal does not result in permanent removal of all hair (electrolysis is the only procedure that results in permanent hair removal). Instead, laser hair removal results in a permanent reduction of the number of hairs.

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Summer Style Faux Pas

By Jocelyn Voo and Lisa Kovalovich
Ladies’ Home Journal online | April 2006

You’re stylish, you’re chic, and you probably pride yourself on looking pulled-together. But admit it: There are times when you just miss the fashion mark. And in the summer, when the rules of good style become a lot looser, those style faux pas are even easier to commit. Here, top summer fashion mistakes — and how to correct them.

Faux Pas: You pull on a dark tank, forgetting about the deodorant you just applied, and get white streaks down the front of your shirt.
Fix: Try Gal Pal ($10,, a sponge-like product that literally erases deodorant from almost any fabric, except silk. Or, in a pinch, remove the white spots by rubbing the deodorant-laced sections of your top with the clean hem of the shirt — by rubbing the like materials together, you’ll remove much of the white stain. Tip for next time: Flip the hem of your shirt up when you pull it over your head; any deodorant residue will settle on the inside of your top.

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Organic Beauty 101

By Jocelyn Voo
Ladies’ Home Journal online (via | March 2006

What Does Organic Mean? When it comes to the beauty industry, the term “organic” has been lobbed about so casually that most consumers equate organic with natural products. However, this is a common misconception.

The main difference between natural and organic is that there are no official guidelines as to what constitutes natural beauty products, whereas organic products must abide by stringent regulations. According to the USDA’s National Organic Program, the term “organic” may only be used on labels for raw or processed agricultural products or ingredients that have been produced according to the regulations put forth by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Among other things, these standards require 100 percent organic feed for organic livestock, and prohibit the use of irradiation, sewage sludge, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetic engineering in organic production.

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The Clothes That Make the Wo/Man: Parisa Parnian

By Jocelyn Voo
Curve magazine | March 2006

Versace, Armani, Calvin Klein — you can’t rummage through a Bergdorf women’s rack without flipping past a dozen frocks envisioned by a queer eye. The clothes are sensual and evocative, but their aesthetic almost always conforms perfectly to the mainstream definition of feminine attire: flowing couture gowns, delicate silk shirts, form-fitting tailored pants. And while no one can claim there’s a lack of gay designers, for a gay designer to produce a specifically queer-themed women’s line that defies traditional notions of femininity — well, that’s rarer in the fashion industry than a model wolfing down a pint of Häagen-Dazs without making a post-snack trip to the bathroom.

But Parisa Parnian is one such fashion rebel out to leave her mark on gender-divided clothing. While growing up in a traditional Iranian family — where Islamic dress code requires a woman’s head, neck and arms be covered — and a conservative Republican community in Arizona, Parnian struggled with the idea of discrete gender categories, which seemed increasingly anachronistic as she matured.

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Fashion Insider Style Secrets

Interviews by India Jewel-Jackson, Jocelyn Voo and Neha Gandhi
Ladies’ Home Journal online | January 2006

As New York’s Olympus Fashion Week struts into town again, chatted with seven of the fashion industry’s finest about their personal fashion obsessions and beloved trends. Get in the know as these style connoisseurs tell all.

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10 Lingerie Rules to Live By

By Jocelyn Voo
Ladies’ Home Journal online | January 2006

If your underwear collection has pieces dating back to your college years or if you’ve given up on hiding your bra straps, you’re not alone. Most of us aren’t sure how to find undergarments that fit perfectly, or that work seamlessly with our outfit. It’s time to create a foundation that flatters with these 10 commandments of lingerie every woman should follow.

1. Everyone should own at least one sexy matching bra-and-panty set. Even if you wear mismatched pieces more often than not, splurge on one special set. Whether it’s black lace or clean white cotton that makes you feel scrumptious, wearing a sexy bra and panties can give you a secret boost your confidence. “Don’t be afraid to go and try something you’ve never tried before,” says lingerie fit expert Lisa Cole, author of Lingerie: The Foundation of a Woman’s Life . You might be surprised at what looks best.

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