Top 5 Roles of Ming Na Wen

Ming Na Wen is an incredible actress with a long and successful career. She’s appeared in some of the most popular movies and tv shows of all time, and she always brings her A-game. Here are five of Ming Na Wen’s best roles throughout her career.

5. The Joy Luck Club

20 years ago, the movie The Joy Luck Club came out and introduced many Westerners to the lives of Asian Americans. The film was based on the novel by Amy Tan, and starred Ming-Na Wen as one of the four mothers. The story follows the mothers and their daughters as they grapple with their relationships, cultural differences, and identity.

Ming-Na Wen’s performance was groundbreaking. She brought to life a complex character who was struggling with her own identity and her place in the world. Her performance was nuanced and honest, and she helped to humanize a culture that was often misunderstood.

The Joy Luck Club was an important film for Asian Americans, and Ming-Na Wen’s performance was a big part of that. She helped to change the way that Hollywood saw Asian American actresses, and she continues to be an inspiration for many young women today. Thank you, Ming-Na Wen, for your amazing work!

What are your thoughts on The Joy Luck Club? Did you know about Ming-Na Wen before watching the film? Let us know!

4. Disney’s Mulan

Ming Na Wen is an incredibly talented actress who has demonstrated her vocal chops time and time again. In Disney’s Mulan, she brought the character to life with her powerful voice and helped make the movie one of the most successful animated Disney films of all time.

While she is an accomplished actress, many people don’t know that she is also a talented singer. In fact, she sang several of the songs in Mulan, including “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

Wen’s performance in Mulan was praised by both fans and critics alike. Her powerful voice brought the character to life and helped make the movie one of the most successful Disney films of all time. If you haven’t seen Mulan, or if you’re looking for a reason to watch it again, be sure to check out Ming Na Wen’s amazing performance. You won’t be disappointed!

3. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Ming-Na Wen’s character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Melinda May, is one of the most bold women on television. She’s a total boss and she knows it, which is why we love her so much. She doesn’t take guff from anyone and she always stands up for what she believes in, no matter what the cost. We can all learn a lot from Melinda May.

She’s also fiercely loyal to her team and would do anything to protect them, even if it means putting herself in danger. That’s the kind of loyalty that we should all aspire to have in our lives.

Ming-Na Wen brings such strength and power to the role of Melinda May, and we can’t imagine anyone else playing her. She’s absolutely perfect in the role and we can’t wait to see what she does next. Thank you, Ming-Na Wen, for bringing such an amazing character to life!

Do you have a favorite episode or moment that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!

2. Fennec Shand in The Mandolorian and Book of Boba Fett

Ming Na Wen’s performance as Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett is one of the best things about those shows. She brings an incredible amount of charisma, badassery, and heart to the character.

It’s impossible not to root for Fennec, even when she’s doing some pretty shady things. She’s a survivor who has been through a lot in her life, and she does whatever it takes to make it through another day.

Wen imbues Fennec with so much humanity that you can’t help but feel for her, no matter what she’s done. She’s a complex character who is always fascinating to watch on screen.

If you haven’t seen The Mandalorian or Book of Boba Fett yet, do yourself a favor and check them out. And be sure to keep an eye on Ming Na Wen’s Fennec Shand – she’s a force to be reckoned with.

What do you think of Ming Na Wen’s performance as Fennec Shand? Let us know!

1. Mister Roger’s Neighborhood

Ming Na Wen’s first acting gig was on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. She played a character named Suzy Ming, who was a part of Mister Rogers’ neighborhood. Ming Na Wen has said that she enjoyed playing the role and found the experience to be very positive. Mister Rogers was a kind and caring man, and she feels that he had a great impact on her life. Mister Rogers passed away in 2003, but his legacy continues to live on through his work and through the people who knew him. Ming Na Wen is just one of many people who were impacted by his work and his kindness. Thank you, Mister Rogers, for everything. You will be missed.

During her time on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Ming Na Wen got to know him as a person and not just as a character on television. What a way to start such an amazing acting career! It’s no wonder she’s had such success. We can all learn a lot from Mister Rogers, and we hope that his legacy will continue to live on through the work of people like Ming Na Wen.

What do you think of Ming Na Wen’s top five roles? Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out her upcoming projects – she’s sure to wow us again and again. Thank you, Ming Na Wen, for everything!

Bang for the Buck

High-Performance Cosmetics Don’t Have to Come with a Knockout Price.      

Competition in the beauty business has always been brutal. Today, with everyone cinching their belts, it’s a no-holds-barred event. Budgets may be tight, but the good news is that there’s no reason to cry “Uncle!” when it comes to the four essentials—moisturizer, mascara, lip balm and concealer. As we all know, in these divisions there are champs and bums. I’ve crowned a winner in each, and also identified the top contender. Whether you choose to splurge for luxury items or stick to the staples, these picks should keep you covered. The good news is that each weighs in at under $60. So let’s get ready to rumble!


CHAMPION: Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream

PRICE: $42.95 A great moisturizer is the keystone of any beauty regimen, and Dr. Hauschka has it on lockdown. This is a rich, luxurious daily moisturizer, which actually manages to keep you covered in all four seasons. Soothing rose ingredients nurture and renew sensitive and weather-damaged skin while protecting your face against dryness by using soothing extracts of rose petal, rose hip and avocado. Thirty rose flowers go into each tube of Rose Day Cream, which lasts a staggering three months.

TOP CONTENDER: Eucerin Sensitive Facial Skin Moisture Lotion

PRICE: $18.00 Yes, I understand the juxtaposition from Dr. Hauschka’s to Eucerin, but this is really a great product for an amazing price—a true drug-store steal. Although Eucerin is geared toward drier skin types, this moisturizer is light to the touch, hypoallergenic, long-lasting, and packs an SPF 30.



CHAMPION: Chanel’s Inimitable Mascara (available in both black and brown)

PRICE: $30.00 Ok, ok, I know Chanel never sounds like a bargain, but this mascara is more than makeup. It’s an investment. It sets new standards with a secret formula that does it all, and a brush design that lengthens, plumps and curls. The geniuses at Chanel are never wrong, and this product delivers lush, long-wearing color that is so precise that it actually defines and separates each lash. It’s a favorite among celebrity makeup artists, whose results are unreal.

TOP CONTENDER: Bare Essentials Buxom Lash

 PRICE: $18.00 A truly great product that fattens your lashes up to 300 percent! Buxom Lashes will leave your lashes feeling silky and weightless, as the patented hourglass brush manages to hit each and every lash for maximum coverage. It’s a fabulous, new product available only at Sephora.



CHAMPION: Baume de Rose, by Terry

PRICE: $59.00 You’d spend $25 on a great lipstick, right? And how long would that last you? Terry’s Baume de Rose is an absolute phenomenon. First of all, it endures for six months. Second, it’s the purest, most luxurious balm your lips will ever feel. It contains a high concentration of lipid building rose wax that hydrates and nourishes. Baume de Rose also helps to repair, rejuvenate, strengthen, and fight early signs of aging in your lips. And its fragrance is unbelievable. The bonus? This gloss/balm plumps up your puckers ever so slightly, leaving them glowing and kissable. Who needs collagen?

TOP CONTENDER: Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in Vanilla

PRICE: $8.50 A classic. It’s a quality product for an amazing price that leaves lips protected and soft. My only issue with Kiehl’s Lip Balm is that, at times, I have found the taste of the balm itself to be slightly unpleasant. Yet, with the advent of their flavored balms, vanilla swoops in to save the day. Et voila, c’est parfait!



CHAMPION: YSL Touche Éclat

 PRICE: $40.00 Touche Éclat is suitable for all skin types, and ideal at any time of the day over bare skin—under or over foundation. For best results, use the pen around the eye area, the hollow of the chin, the contour of the lips and the sides of the nose. It probably seems slightly strange to “write” your makeup onto your face, but it’s genius! YSL managed to create a lightweight, perfectly hued concealer with a look that is absolutely flawless.

TOP CONTENDER: Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer

PRICE: $28.00 What’s revolutionary about Secret Camouflage is Mercier’s two-tone system. Each concealer comes with one tone to match your skin’s depth of color, and another to match its highlights. This system enables users to blend their own perfect tone, while using very little concealer, thanks to the high content of pigment in this product.

Editor’s Note: Dan Brickley is a fashion, beauty and grooming consultant. He hosted TLC’s A Makeover Story.

Saving Grace

 Five essentials for that little bit of Grace in all of us. 

When you name your daughter Grace, let’s face it, you set the bar high. Starting in toddler-hood, the heat is on these girls to be just a bit more refined and elegant than the other kids. As Grace blossoms into young adulthood there comes the added pressure of living up to the divine blessing suggested by her name. And as the years pass, she must make us feel graced by her presence just to stay in our good graces. Let her slip, even for an instant, and—surprise—there is no grace period! In that respect perhaps there is indeed a little Grace in all of us. At least I’d like to think there is. So it’s worth noting that the saving grace of being Grace is that no two Graces are exactly alike. Among the myriad ways to express this individuality is through the products one uses to look and feel wonderful when venturing out into the world. Whichever of the following five Graces you happen to be, here are five essentials you can use to save the day.

GRACE KELLY • ICONIC ACTRESS The quintessential Grace. If anyone were ever just born perfect, it was she. Refined yet warm, bold yet demure, perpetually charming and unyieldingly beautiful. This Grace is sophisticated and chic. She spares no expense, gravitating to CHANEL’S SUBLIMAGE cream ($350, 1 oz.) to keep that million-dollar face in check and JO MALONE’S GRAPEFRUIT cologne ($100, 100 ml) to seduce and mystify. In the crowning glory department, she never forgets to keep her blonde icy with FREDERIC FEKKAI’S very own “Grace” color serum ($30) because flawless hue is essential. And this Grace uses BREMENN RESEARCH LAB’S LUMEDIA FACIAL BRIGHTENER ($90, 3 oz.) and MURAD’S RESURGENCE RENEWAL EYE CREAM ($73, .5 oz.) to remain luminous at any hour.

GRACE SLICK • 60s ROCK GODDESS The rebellious Grace. This Grace is the very essence of revolutionary cool. She is wildly beautiful, a fierce Athena with a twist of Venus. Her spirit is unwavering, yet elegant. She is a mix of earth mother and warrior, of intellect and magic. This Grace wears CREED’S WILD JASMAL perfume ($190, 2.5 oz.), BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Bb.SHINE ($35, 4 oz.) for glossy shag hair, and CHANEL’S navy liquid eyeliner ($45) to enhance her powerful, exotic gaze. It might be said that this particular Grace is known to, ahem, indulge now and again, and that’s one of the reasons we love her. On the flip side of that coin, AMORÉ PACIFIC’S TREATMENT ENZYME PEEL ($60, 2.5 oz) is sure to erase the evidence of any debauchery. Meanwhile, DECLEOR’S 10 DAY RADIANCE POWER CURE ($37, .33 oz) is a quick and holistic fix to brighten her complexion after dehydration from lack of sleep, sun exposure or perhaps, one too many summertime cocktails.

GRACE JONES • SULTRY SUPERMODEL The exotic Grace. She is a modern surrealist. This Grace is fueled by an almost primal force. She is staggeringly, savagely beautiful, and Amazonian in her sensuality. This Grace is not demure; instead her beauty flows from an overt and fabulous artistry. She wears ROBERT PIGUET’S FRACAS perfume ($95, .25 oz.), MAKE UP FOREVER’S NEON PINK POWDER BLUSH ($19), and PHILOSOPHY’S MIMOSA LIP SHINE ($12) for a bold pop art palette. This Grace is nothing if not physical, and to keep her body tip-top, CLINIQUE’S TURNAROUND BODY SMOOTHING CREAM ($28.50, 5 oz) is a unifier on the front against strain and age, while NUDE SKINCARE’S AGE DEFENSE DIETARY SUPPLEMENT ($108, 80 capsules) is an innovative regimen to keep skin tight, firm, and youthful.

GRACIE ALLEN • CLASSIC COMEDIENNE The witty Grace. She is quick and clever. This Grace is the first person you look for at every party, and the last you forget. She is fiercely independent, irresistibly fiery, and complexly rich. What she sacrifices in mystery, she more than compensates for in her confident allure. She wears BOND NO. 9’S WEST SIDE EAU DE PARFUM ($200, 100 ml.), NARS SEPHORA FLAME lipstick ($24), and BARE ESSENTIALS’ BUXOM LASH MASCARA ($18) for deep red, sumptuous lips and bold, beautiful eyes. In a pinch, this Grace turns to CLARINS’ INSTANT LIGHT PERFECTION TOUCH concealer ($30) and DUWOP’S SIDEWINDER CHEEK VENOM ($24, .35 oz) to ensure coverage and a brazen, natural flush.

GRACE GARCIAPARRA • BABY GRACE The Grace of things to come. When you’re the progeny of the ultimate soccer mom (Mia Hamm) and a baseball All-Star (Nomar Garciaparra) you had better soak up all the pampering you can before it’s time to get fitted for that first pair of cleats. WELEDA has the most delicate, organic products in its CALENDULA line. The company’s Starter Kit ($12)—which includes Baby Cream, Lotion, Shampoo/Body Wash, Calendula Oil, and Diaper Care—is as gentle as can be and everyone knows that comfortable baby equals happy mother. When it comes to dressing a toddler, PETIT BATEAU is at the top of the list. Classic, comfortable, and pure products for baby abound. Check out the MILLERAIES LONG-SLEEVE NEWBORN BODYSUIT ($20) and ROBBIE ADRIAN’S VELOUR ORGANIC BABY BLANKET WITH SILK TRIM ($44-$270) for the ultimate in cuddling.

Editor’s Note: Dan Brickley was the host of TLC’s A Makeover Story for three seasons. He has authored numerous articles on fashion and beauty.


Net Results

Skins Game

Turns out you can judge a wine by its color.

Although wines have myriad and complex properties, perhaps the most obvious can be attributed directly to the skins of their grapes. The basics of wine-making are well known…grapes are picked, then crushed, and the skins either stay in contact with the crush or have little to no contact. Wines can be grouped into three primary categories relative to the skin of the grape: white wines, red wines, and rosés wines.

WHITE WINES are wines that contain little or no red pigmentation. These wines have had little or no interaction with the skins of their grapes as they are processed. White wines are almost always made from white grapes, but they can be made from black grapes as well, because the juice of most black grapes is actually clear. White wines can be sweet or dry, or somewhere in between. Popular white wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

RED WINES are made from black grapes and have a red or blue tint. Since most grapes have colorless juice, red wine needs its grape skins, which contain nearly all of the grapes’ pigmentation, to remain intact along with the juice during all or part of the fermentation process. Tannins, also found in the grape skins, are transferred into the wine while the skins are in contact with the juice. Besides the difference in color, the primary difference between red and white wines has to do with their respective tannins.

Found mainly in red wines, tannins provide a dry, puckery sensation in the mouth and in the back of the throat. They also help preserve wine, allowing most (but not all) red wines to be aged longer than white wines. Popular red wines include Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

ROSÉ WINES are pinkish in color, so they are often referred to as pink or blush wines. Rosés are made from black grapes, but they do not fully turn red because the grape skins are removed from the juice mere hours after initial contact. This brief exposure to the skins gives the wine its signature color through the slight transference of red pigments. Rosés can also be produced by blending white and red wines. This technique also involves brief skin contact, which ensures that a minimal amount of tannins enters the blush wine. Many rosés are sweet, with White Merlot and White Zinfandel serving as typical examples.

The best and most traditional vintages, however, are the European rosés, which tend to be bone dry. Given today’s high-tech instant information resources, grape skin and its extracts have been getting a lot of attention in terms of potential health benefits. Antioxidants, called pycogenols, are present in grape skins. The darker the grapes, the greater concentration of pycogenols, hence the media’s infatuation with the healthful properties of red wine. In the 1950s, these compounds were isolated from grapes and used in the treatment of cirrohosis, varicose veins, and retinopathy (an eye disease attributed to diabetes). As scientific discovery progressed, the researchers were able to isolate reservatrol, the most hyped compound on the market associated with grape skins. Studies have shown reservatrol’s benefits to include: • High potency anti-inflamatory properties • Blood thinning capabilities as good or better than aspirin • May interfere with the development of cancer • Natural anti-fungal agent • Helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) • Can increase good cholesterol (HDL) • Reduces blood pressure.

Now before we all go out and drink massive quantities of red wine to saturate ourselves with reserves of reservatrol, there are some offsetting side effects. In order to enjoy most of reservatrol’s positive health benefits through red wine consumption, we would have to drink red wine practically all day long, every day. Perhaps not a bad idea to some, but our livers would undoubtedly have something to say about this. A further, consideration is that reservatrol is a plant estrogen, which has received much attention as contributing to the proliferation of certain breast cancer cells. Grapes, once an innocent treat we all enjoyed as youngsters, now provide us as grown-ups with the fruit of the vine in its fi nest form—wine, complete with all its trappings, some good, some bad. We can now appreciate that wine is more than just grapes and their juices. It’s got some real skin, too.

Mike Cohen owns the Wine Concierge (www.gourmetwc. com). He specializes in locating hard-to-find wines for customers in New York and New Jersey.


Sun Dance

What’s Cooking This Summer? Hopefully Not YOU!

When it comes to summertime beauty, looking good is a whole different ballgame. While winter hues tend to accentuate the delicacies of one’s skin tone, hair and eye color, the warmer months are all about bright bursts of color against a healthy, sun-kissed palette. Of course, getting that sunny summery look often means increased UV exposure. Preventing skin damage during

the sultry summer months requires careful attention to protection, hydration, and (of course) daily product application. First rule of thumb—you don’t have to hit the beach to grab a perfect tan. TERRACOTTA SUNLESS BALM by Guerlain ($50/5.7 oz) is enriched with 100% natural Moroccan argan oil, so it hydrates, protects, and even helps to regenerate the skin for a smooth, flawless finish. Mimicking the effects of a deeply hydrating body butter treatment, this rich formula is ideal for quenching sun- and wind-parched dry skin. A subtle iridescence also gives your skin a natural glow for several days after the first application. Most importantly, Terracotta will leave your skin looking naturally tan, not orange or streaked. It’s quality luxury and, most importantly, it’s safe.

If you do plan to tan the natural way, you absolutely must protect your skin before leaving the house. Given the impact of a diminished ozone layer, you just can’t be too careful. And just because you don’t feel as if you’re baking in the high-noon sun doesn’t mean you aren’t burning. Doctors recommend wearing at least an SPF 15 at all times and these days it’s easy to find a light, smooth moisturizer with built-in UV protection (without breaking the bank). I highly recommend RoC RETINOL CORREXION DEEP WRINKLE DAILY MOISTURIZER SPF 15. This wonder product is a huge favorite among skin care gurus. Don’t let the name scare you off! This moisturizer helps to visibly reduce expression lines and wrinkles while protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Enriched with Vitamin E and SPF 15 sunscreens, it also helps prevent the signs of premature aging.

It does contain Retinol, however, which can be a challenge. In fact, it’s recommended that the user test the product for two weeks while building up the dosage gradually. The buzz on this product is incredible. Although it’s relatively new to the market, it’s being touted as a miracle cream inasmuch as it’s hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), oil free, and amazingly inexpensive (only $18.00/oz.). And since a good base cream won’t send you into foreclosure, ladies, I say splurge on your lips! CHANEL’S AQUALUMIERE SHEER COLOUR LIPSHINE is super light for those hot, balmy nights and also packs an SPF 15. Even at $30.00 a tube, don’t waste time shopping around. Survey says “Monte- Carlo” will be this summer’s hottest shade, so grab it while you can!


For the fellas, don’t be swayed by what your buddies tell you! Harsh sun, salt-water, and chlorine hold as many dangers for your skin and hair as they do for the ladies. Unless you want to end up looking like George Hamilton, here are some tips for summer maintenance. First of all, shaving is key. The ART OF SHAVING’S LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL ($22/5 oz.) is the perfect shave cream for summer. Rich with glycerin, coconut and other essential oils, it leaves your skin smooth and moisturized. But, once you’ve got a stubble-free, clean canvas of a face…what to do? This is where great unisex skincare comes in. What’s a beauty regimen without the quintessential summer face soap? Origins A PERFECT WORLD DEEP CLEANSER WITH WHITE TEA (5 fl . oz./150 ml) might sound like an afternoon drink, but as soaps go, it’s life changing. This perfect foaming face wash is formulated with nature’s rare Silver Tipped White Tea. In a preemptive sweep, dirt-grabbing minerals combined with the gentle, skin-compatible cleansing action of palm and coconut oils plus oat amino acid reach deep to help detoxify and free skin of harmful, free radical-releasing impurities before they settle down and cause skin-aging oxidation, dehydration, and irritation.


Now that your face is smooth and clean, there’s just one more step. Toner is essential for healthy skin in warm weather climate. Lately, vegan products have become all the rage. long last, I believe a non-chemical toner has finally been perfected. LUSH BREATH OF FRESH AIR TONER ($17.45/8.4 fl . oz.) is pretty much as naturally perfect as it gets. It rehydrates dry skin with soothing, nutritious ingredients like real sea water (fetched from deep in the Pacific), natural spring water, aloe vera gel, patchouli oil, rosemary oil, and seaweed absolute. Just a spritz softens and balances, while it refreshes and renews. Everybody needs a little extra help when it comes to maintaining a fresh face when the heat is on. So follow these tips, be prudent, and enjoy a skin-tillating summer.

Editor’s Note: Dan Brickley was the host of TLC’s A Makeover Story for three seasons. He has authored numerous articles on fashion and beauty.


Rack ’Em Up

Four Cornerstones Make a Great Wine Collection

A solid foundation relies on its cornerstones. Webster defines cornerstone as a physical stone, often ceremonial in nature. According to Wikipedia (which, as we know, is infallible) a cornerstone can also be “a concept which provides the basic tools for understanding or manipulating a larger intellectual edifice.” The edifice here is your wine cellar, and its cornerstones are the basic elements that provide a fi rm foundation upon which to build—or extend—a great collection. Making cornerstone selections for your wine cellar can present a formidable challenge, since the choices are many and the costs can be considerable. But fear not, brave oenophile. Get squared away on these four building blocks and the heavy lifting can begin: A well-rounded white that does not need to age, but stands ready to deliver outstanding taste right now and for the entire year ’round.

An age-worthy red that does need some years to soften its tannins and firm the structure indigenous to the grape and the region.

A delightful boutique wine, whether red or white, which is a special personal discovery and will enhance your status among your cellar’s guests.

A prestigious trophy wine, one that commands respect both for itself and for you, and which endows you with extensive bragging rights among your peers. Feel free to bask away in such a venerable wine’s reflected glory. While these cornerstones are only guidelines, they certainly give you lots of room to indulge in personal preferences while expanding your collection. Your cellar is limited only by your own investment of time and money…and, of course, by the size of the cellar itself.

White Wines for Now The choices here are huge and include grape varietals such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and chenin blanc. Focusing on reliable regions such as Napa, Burgundy, Stellenbosch, and Vouvray can help to optimize your search. I personally find the white Burgundies the most versatile and satisfying in this cornerstone category. These wines are a chardonnay grape, which particularly in the subzone of the Côte de Beaune, have made wine connoisseurs sit up and take notice. The soil and the climate—predominately clay and benignly temperate—work together to bring a steeliness to the wine without compromising its unctuousness or creaminess. One particular producer in the Côte de Beaune region, Sylvan Bzikot, produces some of the most amazing white Burgundies at several different sites. Bzikot’s wines can range some in price. Since this is a wine to be enjoyed right now, I would definitely choose his Bourgogne Blanc, a stunning stainless steel vinified juice punctuated by stone fruit and lively acidity.

Red Wines for Later This category probably evokes the most controversy among serious wine enthusiasts. The battle rages over whether the best are Italian, French, Australian, or our own domestic reds. In all cases, the grapes of these wines (for example, the cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo, syrah, and malbec) have thicker skins and possess innate properties that lend themselves to the aging process. By laying down the wine, time allows a new set of aromas and tastes to develop that differs from the wine’s inauguration. A velvety soft structure and complex fruit flavors evolve within age-worthy wines, hence the fatal attraction for red wine lovers. My favorite among the age worthiest is a really big red, Dal Forno Amarone. This is a wine comprised of several grapes indigenous to the Veneto region of Italy that are known for their power, structure and tannins. After a decade or more of aging, the other irresistible qualities of this wine are the amazing taste and aroma that spring forth from each glass to caress your senses. This beauty may be hard to come by, but it is certainly worth the effort.

Boutique Wines Whenever Boutique wines by definition are small production, hard to get and typically not very well known or popular… at least not at the time of your purchase. In fact, that is most of their charm. Wines in this category can tickle your fancy and sing to you like no others. The romance begins with the chase and blossoms with the wine’s delightful character and taste. My recommendation here has been one of my favorites for years. It is from the Brogan Cellars, a winery run by Margi Wierenga in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma, CA. Margi is the daughter of Burt Williams of William Seylem fame. By virtue of her father’s contacts, Margi has secured grapes from some of the most exalted vineyards in the U.S., recognized for their pinot noir production. Each year, she makes perhaps 25 cases from each of several different locales, the best of which I believe is the Russian River Valley, an area famous for the incredible strawberry and raspberry notes of its pinot noirs.

The Trophy Wines Forever Herein lie the Monsters, the Bad Boys, the true Princes of your wine cellar! A trophy wine will cost you, but if you choose wisely it will always be worth the price. After fl aunting your pride of ownership and you are finally sitting in front of a glass of this divine nectar, you will understand why it is called a trophy. Although such a wine might technically qualify in some ways as a boutique wine, most boutiques will never command the ratings and recognition of these masterpieces. A true trophy wine is a pride-filled selection, one that should be reserved to celebrate only the most auspicious occasions… perhaps a wedding, a birth, a market rally or even a hard-earned bonus (no matter how diminished in these trying times). My unrivaled selection here may surprise many, since it is not on the popular wine buyers’ radar. I nominate Chateau d’Yquem, the ultimate dessert wine produced by French wine-making masters. The wine is made only in spectacular years and consequently garners accolades from the moment it is mis en bouteille. The price is commensurate with the quality. Having had the privilege of imbibing this delicately sweet perfection after an especially memorable dinner, I can still recall my reaction to the very first sip: There was a pregnant pause and then I slowly lifted my glass to the heavens in heartfelt thanks. Nothing could have been more perfect. The trophy wine, whatever your selection, will always be the ultimate cornerstone and the crowning glory of your collection.

Mike Cohen owns the Wine Concierge (www. He specializes in locating hard-to-find wines for customers in New York and New Jersey.


Camera Ready

Looking like a star is worth every penny

 Heatproof Yourself Like the Stars

The allure and glamour of Hollywood is something that will always define and inspire stylish culture. When summer weather turns hot and heavy (and it certainly does here in New Jersey), droves of people flock to darkened cinemas more than any other time of the year. After a long, dehydrating day at the shore, there’s nothing better than settling into a big, comfy seat in a vaulted, air-cooled theater to watch your favorite flawlessly put-together movie star perform in front of the camera. That may well be the secret star quality of all big-screen idols—they always manage to look so cool, literally and figuratively.

You’ll never see George Clooney sweat, Kate Hudson’s t-zone get shiny, or Julia Roberts’s curls frizz. There’s no doubt that having skin, hair, and makeup experts on call for minute-by-minute touch-ups is essential for movie icons to stay camera-ready at all times. I myself, however, while shooting some scenes for my television show, have had to rely on my own quick fixes and ever-ready products to work their magic. After some arm-twisting, the EDGE editors have convinced me to divulge a few of my closely guarded secrets. The truth is, there are tons of ways to keep yourself in camera- ready condition (even when off-film).

The ones I have chosen to share with you will easily get you through any heatwave looking as flawless as Catherine Zeta Jones on her best day. Light hydration is key. Shy away from heavy moisturizers that in summer heat will transform that healthy matte finish on your skin into a shiny, mirrored surface. Instead, always keep an EVIAN MINERAL WATER SPRAY in your bag. Although this spray has been around forever, it’s still an industry staple that manages to keep skin looking supple, not slippery. The spray comes in a handy 5-oz. size and retails for around $10. When the heat and humidity get a little out of hand, it’s always a great idea to keep blotting sheets at hand. Although they say the camera adds at least 10 pounds, a sure-fire way to keep your face looking trim and contoured is to eliminate any shine. After shooting for eight hours in 103-degree, dense New Orleans heat, I found that DIOR’S BLOTTING PAPERS ($21) were a total and complete lifesaver.

Not only do the sheets wipe away shine, they come with their own mirror and are treated with a light fragrant powder that adds a matte finish to even the most reflective of t-zones. As far as light makeup is concerned, PHILOSOPHY’S THE PRESENT ($25) is a true gift in any season, but particularly useful during summer. Made with natural antimicrobial agents, The Present literally forms a barrier over your skin that both locks in moisture and blocks out environmental impurities. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

Simply rub a dime-sized portion of The Present on your clean face every morning before applying any other makeup and your skin will literally appear flawless all day long—I promise! As a final step to finish your face, most makeup artists recommend a quick brush-over with a loose powder. LANCOME’S PHOTOGENIC SHEER LOOSE POWDER ($32) is a dream come true. With a large blush brush, gently dust your face and neck with light powder, then follow up by blotting around your nose and under your eyes with CHANEL’S MAT LUMIERE foundation ($52). If, perchance, you spot a dreaded blemish, CHANEL’S PRO LUMIERE CORRECTEUR PROFESSIONAL FINISH CONCEALER ($38) is a quick and easy fix.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this but it’s worth a reminder: make sure your foundation and concealer perfectly match your skin tone. When choosing a base or cover-up, it’s critical to test the makeup against your skin in natural light. Fluorescent lighting can so drastically skew color perception that you just might end up looking more like Marcel Marceau than Marilyn Monroe. On a final note, hair has always caused the most problems for me personally on film. I’m one of those people with insane, schizophrenic hair—something like Zeppo Marx meets Alfalfa from The Little Rascals. While shooting,

I always keep a travel-sized can of L’OREAL ELNETT SATIN FLEXIBLE HOLD HAIRSPRAY ($16) on the set. The Elnett line is a hair lacquer that doesn’t overload the follicle with fragrance or dry it out with tons of extra alcohol. This particular spray manages to be light, yet nourishing with a bouncy, non-static hold. Believe me, if it can keep my hair in check, it will work wonders for you. By applying these simple cosmetic fixes and stocking up on the recommended products, you’ll be able to get yourself camera-ready in no time. Most importantly, remember that a natural, healthy glow is the order of each and every day. With these simple tips, you will easily put your best face forward through any heat wave. Keep your personality as light as your moisturizer and makeup and you’ll discover, soon enough, how to not shine…like a true star!

Editor’s Note: Dan Brickley was the host of TLC’s A Makeover Story for three seasons. He has authored numerous articles on fashion and beauty.