Monday, March 29, 2010

Ready For Some April Showers?

With a few days hitting above 65 degrees this March, it was very easy to unsubscribe from the Winter Wonderland Newsletter and sign up for Spring's in Session! However, this happens every year. There are a few days that come in out of nowhere and pull the wool over all of our eyes. As I write this it is rainy and cold and I am trying to remember what warm feels like.

And now that April is less than a week away, we have April Showers to look forward to. Anyone who lives in a metropolis knows that rainy days suck. They just do. I can't tell you how many times I have had to go on editor desk sides in the rain in NY and I always came up looking like a wet dog. Hopefully, I didn’t smell like one. As Liz Lemon would say, Deal Breaker.

Rain is uncomfortable at its best. It's gross and cold and even for someone who has stick straight hair like me, somehow I manage to produce some serious frizz. So, for these upcoming Spring Showers I thought I would share some of the things I have worn that have worked, as best as a rainy day will let them.

Kamik Ellie Rainboots. These are a lifesaver. I wore these once during Fashion Week and a few people stopped me under the tents and said they were fab. Why? I think it’s the feminine fit they have and the subtle chocolate brown fabric under the outside coating. They are warm, because they are lined with Polartec, and they do not leak! I have had them for years and I am someone who likes to head straight for the puddles, so if they were going to leak, they would have by now. Big thumbs up on these!

The thing with rain is it seems to come at you from all directions. At times I have been convinced that it's coming up from the ground. I also find that umbrellas only help when there is no wind and it’s a perfect "movie rain", meaning, it actually comes straight down. I love this Big Fish umbrella from First, it’s a shout out to way back when and it totally makes sense in a city like NY when you are walking with crowds and would rather not poke someone’s eye out ( and you can be sure someone will sue you). It also protects from the chest up, so you can be sure that your makeup won't turn you into the killer clown.

Continuing on the topic of crazy, all over the place rain, I found that a waist length rain coat was no good. I don’t like when my jeans get soaked or the back of my legs. Maybe some people do, not this girl. L.L. Bean has the best jacket for these rainy days. Its called the Trail Model Rain Coat and it comes in different colors (I have brown). I can't say enough about this jacket. It totally takes the hit for me in the rain, but when I come indoors and disrobe, I am dry as can be! I tried to take a pic of mine, because I can't find one big enough for the blog. Elton didn't like the idea, so he used it as a rug. It made me laugh, so I put it in.

Now you're prepared, go get 'em!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Cleaning Mix, 2010.

Last year I posted a list of songs that helped me get through spring cleaning. Over the past year, I have heard some amazing new music and recently I was rocking out to some pretty cool tunes that helped me feel good about weeding out my beloved clothes. Because we all know, in order to grow we gotta let go. And let go I did. As you can see below, I was having a pretty good time doing it.

The music helped me to keep going, to be OK with the fact that one of my favorite blouses just didn't work with my style anymore, and therefore needed to go. So, here are some song suggestions, if you are going through the same process:

Vampire Weekend- Horchata
Broken Social Scene- Backyards
Doves- Satellites
Phoenix- Rome
Lily Allen- The Fear
Lady Gaga- Any song here folks, cant go wrong
Scott Sullivan- Princess Jean Jellypop
Annie Lennox- Pavement Cracks
Ingrid Michaelson- Maybe
Slumdog Millionaire- Track 10
Freelance Whales- Location

Anyway, it's all just a suggestive music list. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kimberly Hendrix: No Bedazzler Here.

I'm always drawn to the beautiful clothing of the 1920's, specifically the flapper style. When I see pictures of those chic hairdos, long, dazzling dresses detailed with beads and satin, I just want to rush out and redo my whole style. There was a night back in my late teens when I did dress up as a flapper; hair accessory, makeup, dress and all. Actually, my whole family did, because my brother's wedding was a 1920's theme and we all played the part. I have secretly been hoping they would renew their vows so I can rush out and play dress up again. However, weddings cost money, so I think a vow renewal on paper would be more realistic. But hey, I will still dress up in their honor.

So, naturally when I saw Kimberly Hendrix's collection, K.Hendrix Couture, a couple of years ago I was smitten. There is something about the draping of the fabric from the beading that is just so sexy and elegant. The ethereal photography puts the clothing in a landscape of fantasy, but make no mistake, these are very wearable pieces, for any occasion and any style.

What's even more beautiful about this line, is that her pieces are revivals. Her statement about the brand is this:

reuse. recycle. renew
everything can be beautiful in the right hands. Kimberly collects, updates, reworks, meticulously edits, creates and presents only the most unique and fabulous ever-evolving treasures for your collection. every creation is one-of-a-kind, as it should be.

Kimberly Hendrix
spent many years as a vintage collector, and over time she decided to transition into making one of a kind pieces much like the designs she was collecting. The K.Hendrix Couture line features beading, embroidery, raw edges and use of high end green materials.

Kimberly notes, "I am really trying to create a luxury line for everyday and I am so focused on reusing and recycling in every way I can. I truly believe in the beauty of imperfection and I do not want to create a stuffy line only for rich women. I want women to intermingle these special pieces with their everyday clothes. I mean there is nothing wrong with sequins during the day. Isn't it possible to have ready-to-wear couture?"

I strongly support ready- to-wear couture! Isn't it what we have all been dreaming of since days of trying on our mothers gowns and heels as a young lass? You can view current and past collections of K.Hendrix Couture at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eva Longoria Parker Dazzles in Adriana Carador.

As a designer, it's quite exciting to see everyday people wearing something from their collection. It's even more exciting when a celebrity is seen wearing the collection! And having that someone be Eva Longoria Parker is over the moon exciting!

Last Thursday on the NBC show, The Marriage Ref, Eva Longoria Parker wore two pieces from the Adriana Carador collection. As always, Robert Verdi styled her beautifully and the colors of the jewelry, the dress, and her makeup looked amazing!
"Eva exudes glamour, style, and grace and we couldn't be more flattered and thrilled that she was wearing our collection. " Adriana Carador

Above, you can see Eva rocking the Drops Earrings and..BAM... that Vinho Ring. The ring made quite an impression; Seinfeld commented on it during the show. Quite stunning, don't you think?

For more on the Adriana Carador collection, you can head over to and

(Eva Longoria Parker photo from Jewelry images by

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ava Anderson Non Toxic: Fixing What's Broken.

There is no denying that we live in somewhat scary times. It seems like every minute there is some report about the harmful chemicals in our food, air, and personal care products. But, I have to ask: Do you know what's in your beauty products? Do you feel safe with your face lotion because it’s natural and organic and has been advocated by editors and beauty professionals everywhere? Well, unless you are using oats and water to wash your face, then you are consuming some very toxic ingredients through the things that are supposed to make us beautiful. It's easy for me to want to swear off everything and live off the land, but I also don't want to spend the rest of my life living in a bubble and fearing exposure to everything.

I won't name the brand I use, but it is backed by dermatologists, so naturally, I thought it was safe. Last week I was challenged by Ava Anderson of Ava Anderson Non Toxic skin care to look up my products and review what the ingredients are. Ava sent me a link which explains in layman's terms, what each ingredient means and what it can do to a human being. The website is Cosmetic Database and the link is here. Take a minute or two and look up your brand of products. What I found was alarming, and I assume you will feel the same way.

For Ava, a sophomore in high school, these facts were just too much to handle, and she decided to do something about this. That something launched this January, and its called Ava Anderson Non Toxic; a skin care line where every ingredient in every product scores ZERO on the Cosmetics Database toxicity scale. First. Ever. In the world. I cant help but wonder, with so many "responsible" adults running the beauty business world, why a sixteen year old is the first one to successfully fix what's broken in the personal care industry?

I contacted Ava and her mother Kim, who works with Ava on the day to day business aspects of the company. I have learned so much from Ava and Kim, more than I wish I ever knew. But, being educated and aware is the first step to fixing whats wrong. I wanted to pick Ava's brain, so I did, and here is the result:

KickinKate: First off, you are my new hero. Seriously. I am truly impressed! You are sixteen years old and recently launched the world's first non toxic skin care line. When I was sixteen, I wasn't doing that, not even close. What got you started on this path?

Ava Anderson: Thank you. I saw a report with my mom on the news about the Teen Study performed by the Environmental Working Group. They tested the blood and urine of twenty teenagers across the country looking for known carcinogens, neurotoxic ingredients, hormone-disruptors etc and every single teenager tested positive for every ingredient. This really shocked me especially because I was fourteen and they were focusing mainly on teens.

KK: Wow! That is shocking and scary.

KK: There are so many reasons why I am thrilled about you and your brand. Recently I watched a documentary called America The Beautiful, which touches on a few topics, one of them being all of the harmful ingredients that large corporations put in everyday skincare and makeup. It's scary to think that we are at risk from the products we wear every day, to make ourselves look and feel beautiful. Why do you think companies use these ingredients, when you have shown us we can be offered a line that is 100% free of toxic chemicals?

AA: Because they always have, and no one is telling them that they cannot. We are poisoned for profit. I think a great quote on the topic is from Edward Kennedy in 1997, "The cosmetics industry has borrowed a page from the playbook of the tobacco industry by putting profits ahead of public health."

"We are poisoned for profit." ~ Ava Anderson

KK: It looks like you have got a pretty good team working on the brand, which is smart. Can you tell me how the team came about? They all seem to have specific roles that are imperative for the business to grow.

AA: My mom is President and my dad is VP. They both have a lot of experience in business and because I only recently turned sixteen, there are a lot of business things I cannot do, i.e. sign a check. We hired three fantastic people that were former employees of Princess House – our COO, IT Director, and Consultant Services Manager. They all understand the direct sales industry and have been so important to the success of our business. We have also brought on board a National Training Director, to help all of our consultants be successful. We have close to 500 consultants around the country in over 35 states since our launch a few months ago in December.

KK: How do you juggle running a business, being a full time student, and a teenager?

AA: School is my priority. I meet with mom after homework and studying. I call her at lunch and in the car ride home for updates and information. We try to make interviews on days off, and in the evening. Most of the initial product development happened over the summer. Next summer will be the same. I am also going to have a small foundation that will give “seed grants” to other teenagers with great ideas who wish to start a business.

KK: Can you take me through an average day?

AA: School, homework, check in with mom. Work on a new product, check formulations, research on toxic issue. Possibly an interview, or approval of bags, boxes, brushes, samples. Lots of time on the computer and always time for my friends. On Wednesday evenings we have a National Conference call with our Director of Training, that I participate in. I love hearing the enthusiasm from the consultants all over the country.

KK: My jaw is dropped, really. You are obviously so motivated and driven to turn this product into a great success. We need more people like you running the businesses of the world!

KK: I saw the press release on PR Newswire, how else are you spreading the word? I can just see a celebrity getting a hold of this and really loving it.

AA: The press has been really great so far. This is how many of our new consultants around the country are finding us. Most recently, we were featured in Vanity Fair Italy, Teen Vogue, and Glamour. Most of our local press came from one article by our local newspaper. The National Press is coming from our PR team in New York. They are really amazing. Last week on a day off from school, I went to New York to interview with Teen Vogue, Self, Fitness, and Natural Health magazine. There is a lot going on in this area. I get really excited every time a new article or post is published because I know people are getting this urgent health message that they probably would not have gotten had they not read the article.

KK: Congrats! Those one on one meetings with editors are so important and I am sure they are 100% behind the cause!

KK: As an alumni of Moses Brown, I often find myself tracing my small success now back to my time there. I have nothing but good things to say about the teaching staff there and the school life. Now that was over 10 years ago, but do you feel like MB has been a part of why you are able to do such a magnificent thing at such a young age?
AA: I love my school. It is a place that allows me, and my peers, to do anything and be our best self. We have a classmate who was in a film with Ben Affleck over the summer, due to release in the Spring. I also have two good friends who started a cupcake business and they give all proceeds to the hungry in America. We have big ideas. The school and Headmaster have been very supportive.

I want to thank Ava for her time. As you can see, she is a busy girl and Ava Anderson Non Toxic is growing fast! I told Ava to let me know if there was any information she wanted me to add. Ava wants to share with the public that currently, Europe bans 1,342 toxic ingredients, whereas the United States has only banned 9, and that manufacturers can legally hide 600 toxic chemicals in the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on your ingredient label…and they do! ( This chills me to the bone.) Johnson & Johnson and Walmart are currently being sued for using one of the 9 banned ingredients in their baby shampoo. This affects everyone. Remember, just because your high end lotion cost you half of your rent, doesn't mean its safe.

Also, Ava Anderson Non Toxic is coming out with cosmetics, a baby line, bath and body line, a men’s line, and more to replace all of the toxic products that touch us daily. You can find much more eye opening and helpful information on and on their Facebook and Twitter pages.