Know any geeks like me?

About a month ago, I bought a Nintendo DS and the Nintendogs game. I did it because one night I was out for dinner with my friend Akari, a very very cool girl I first met in Paris years ago. I mean, she is cool. And she is obsessed with Nintendogs.

So like I was saying, we were having dinner at Blaue Gans and she whipped out her pink Nintendo DS and showed me her new 'pet'. Her dog rolled over on command and loves having its tummy rubbed. We even played with toys -- her puppy loved when we blew bubbles at it. Yes, sitting in the middle of one of New York's best Austrian restaurants blowing bubbles at a Nintendo screen.

Anyway, From that moment? I was sold.

Now I have two Nintendogs -- two corgis: Buggles (pirate hat) and Goober (cowboy hat):

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The idea is that you feed them, water them, take them for walks, play with them (my dogs can jump rope! No joke!), and train them to participate in competitions. You're given a set amount of money at the beginning and, in order to afford food, accessories, toys, and (most importantly) more dogs, you have to train your dog to do tricks (they respond to voice commands!) and win at agility and disc competitions. It's amazing.

Ooh, you also have to bathe them so they don't get fleas (they get dirty after going to the park):

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And if your friends have Nintendogs too, you can beam to each others' handhelds and your dogs can play!

Seriously, this is the best fake-pet ever. No poop to clean up!

Say hello to everyone, Buggles!

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Hollywood can read your mind

To occupy all this extra free-time during this holiday season -- seriously, give me three days off without travel plans and I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself (ordinarily I only have enough time-sucks to last a normal, 48-hour weekend) -- I've been entertaining myself with screens -- TV, catching up on emails and other computer stuff, and seeing movies like they're going out of fashion.

Like, this morning, I woke up around 10:30 and, by 11:30, was at the movie theater watching Dreamgirls, which was good, but didn't floor me.

Last weekend I saw two movies: first, The Pursuit of Happyness, which was lovely, but one of those films where when you've seen the trailer you've seen it all. The child is brilliant and Will Smith is earnest, as always. It was definitely a feel-good film, perfect for Christmas weekend.

I also saw The Holiday.

Now, I loved 'The Holiday' -- loved in that sort of unreasonable, irrational way that I know I will probably see it at least once more in the theatres and then buy the DVD the day it comes out and watch it three more times in one weekend.

See, the thing about this movie is that I really felt (and I think most women will, as well) that I could identify with a piece of each character -- Cameron Diaz's type-A career-woman character's ambition, Kate Winslet's pathetic puppy-eyed unrequited love for a hopeless man, Jack Black's feeling that he's not good enough to be loved, and Jude Law's -- well, I don't know what I identified with about Jude Law's character except that he occasionally drinks too much and has a really great library.**



**Footnote: A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch with a friend down in the Lower East Side and Jude Law was sitting at the table next to ours clearly eavesdropping on our conversation and making ridiculous, loud declarations to his lunch companion (a guy) about how 'tasty' the food was. He is much better looking in person -- so much so that I totally didn't recognize him and was fully convinced (until the waitress informed me afterwards that it had, indeed, been Jude Law sitting across from me) that he and the other fellow were just a very suspiciously good looking male model gay couple from London.

The best room fragrance I've ever used


I just unwrapped and set up this Aedes de Venustas Anthousa home fragrance in my apartment and have already sworn that I'll never use another home fragrance again. Well, until another drop-dead amazing one shows up on my doorstep in a matte black bottle.

It's sexy and sleek, minimalist and ultra-incredible smelling. Plus it's not chemical-ly at all -- and, while it might be intimidatingly pricey, I've used plenty of Anthousa and Alora Ambiance home fragrance before (they're both famous for doing the stick-in-bottle style of home scents), and each bottle has always lasted me upwards of SIX months -- most of the time, even more.

PS Right now I'm watching 'Boys on the Side' on HBO. Doesn't Drew Barrymore look amazing in this film?

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Not just minimalist -- small minimalist


Once upon a time I lived in a 1100 square foot two-bedroom apartment all by myself. The space was great, but, truth be told, 1100 square feet is far too big for one New York City career girl to handle on her own -- too many options for where to leave piles of clothes, shoes, papers, and to make a mess.

So now I live in a 400 square foot studio, which is, for me, the perfect size for one person. Only problem? I have to edit my belongings in a serious way -- can't buy just anything I want anymore because I can't just go out and buy extra storage space (I've used nearly all available wall space in my flat -- I mean, I have a piano...). No additional shelves or drawers will fit in my place.

So there's this store on Seventh Street between 1st Ave and Avenue A called Tiny Living that stocks small-scale furniture and products to furnish these small boxes we live in here in NYC. Today I dropped by for the first time and picked up this great toothbrush/toiletries holder for my bathroom wall. Ta-da! Counter spaced saved.

They even have tiny sofas and chairs. Check it out.

Obsession of the day: Dirty Dancing tees

Yeah, that's right.

Concealer you can wear all night and more!


HAUTE LIST

By DANICA LO and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI

December 28, 2006 --

Tips for the Eve:

1. Back away from the glitter - tourists should not confuse your face with the ball drop in Times Square. Somehow, on New Year's Eve, perfectly sensible women abandon common sense and smear their faces with as much of the sparkly stuff as they can find. Instead, pick one part of your face you'd like to highlight, and focus on that. If you're a die-hard sparkle seeker, opt for a shimmer lip gloss.

2. Get your face put on and your hair blown out by a professional. Both the Rita Hazan Salon (720 Fifth Ave.; [212] 734-4757) and Warren Tricomi (16 W. 57th St,; [212] 262-8899) are staffed Sunday to cater to New Year's Eve party people. Both salons are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. It's all about your brows. "The biggest thing is to make sure they're really groomed," says Rae Dawn Johnson, makeup artist at Rita Hazan, the salon that touts Jessica Simpson, Carmen Electra and J.Lo as clients. "Groomed brows, lip gloss and mascara go a long way. You don't need all that glitz, glimmer and shimmer."

Johnson also says to skip foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer and bronzer, instead.

For the aftermath:

1. Best deal of the new year: Borba's Hangover Recovery System ($25 at borba.net) includes the brand's innovative fiber-knit concentrate, emulsion, skin-replenishing drink mix, vitamin-infused "Gummi Boosters," and eye cream.

2. Freeze 24-7's anti-aging eye serum and anti-wrinkle cream ($105 and $115 at freeze247.com) uses gamma-aminobutyric acid, the body's own muscle-relaxing agent, to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, puffiness and sagging - and deliver a refreshing tingly cooling sensation at the same time.

3. The Balm's "Time Balm" concealer (above, $16 at thebalm.com) is "the best concealer I've ever used," swears one beauty junkie we know. Its trick? Wear it overnight to treat under-eye circles and wake up already made up! Also perfect for sleepovers, when you don't want to be barefaced in the a.m. (if you know what I mean).

4. Amore Pacific's Vitalizing Masque ($50 at Amore Pacific, 114 Spring St.; [212] 966-0400) is amazing. Put it on, and it instantly improves your face - de-puffs, soothes, freshens, hydrates and protects. You'll wind up looking like you never went out at all.

Obsessions of the week

* Vanity, thy name is ... (your name here): Monogramming, blinging, personalizing and customizing - there's nothing our narcissistic little hearts crave more than our names artfully emblazoned on each and every one of our girly possessions. Through January, Estée Lauder rolls out free engraving on lip glosses and compacts (from $20) at Bloomingdale's (1000 Third Ave.; [212] 705-2000) and Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Ave.; [212] 753-4000). Just make your purchase, submit the names you want engraved and have a jaunt around the shop. Engraved while-u-wait! Now your little sister can't steal your shimmer.

* Jeanius: Dedicated denim lovers have been stalking Habitual's sold-out $198 Skinny Glory jeans in dark blue/black (what they call "Satellite"). Search no more, the coveted pairs are being restocked at Barneys tomorrow.

* Pin your gloss on your sleeve: Or, on your purse. Too Faced's Beauty Brooch ($28.50 at sephora.com), the part punk, part glam, part Goth cameo pin, combines function and fashion. Once you clasp it in place, you'll never have to search around at the bottom of your bag for your lip gloss again.

Supersize scents

SMELL like royalty - if your medicine cabinet is big enough. Roger & Gallet are celebrating their 200-year anniversary with a 1,000-milliliter bottle of their classic Jean Marie Farina Eau de Cologne, complete with floating flecks of 22-karat gold, all for $145. It's the size of a bottle of vodka (compare it to the lipstick). And though England's Queen Victoria and France's Napoleon III and Empress Josephine all used it, you might be sick of the scent by 2040, when you'll finally run out. For slightly smaller necks and wrists, Comme des Garçons has introduced 500-milliliter bottles of their Anbar, Citrico and Vettiveru fragrances, $80 each at Jeffrey New York.

Haute List


HAUTE LIST

By DANICA LO and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI

December 21, 2006 --

Mary Kay corrals

WHILE Mary Kay's always been popular with the suburban mom set - its well-priced products, which barely even graze the radar of urban fashionistas, are the best-selling skin-care and color cosmetics in the country - the company's only now seeping into Hollywood and show biz's collective consciousness.

Backstage at Z100's Jingle Ball, there was a frenzy around the table Mary Kay set up to court the young celebrity audience. Nick Lachey picked up a collection of MK Signature products to gift his mother for Christmas; Evanescence's Amy Lee applied the company's new scent, Affection, before going onstage; and the Pussycat Dolls ooh-ed and aah-ed over the Velvet Shimmer line. What's next: Snoop Dogg in a low-riding pink Cadillac? Even boys got in on the fun - Mario Vasquez picked up a bronzing powder for stage-use and the Killers' Ronnie Vanucci Jr., along with the fellows from the Fray, spent time pawing the Velocity for Men collection.

Some standouts? "I really like to wear red," says Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta. "A lot of the time I do my own makeup when we're on the road, so this color [Velvet Lip Color in Crystal Berry] will be perfect."

Her bandmates Kimberly Wyatt and Melody Thornton loved the Affection fragrance. And Ashley Roberts loved the eye shadow, "It's so shimmery!"

Available at marykay.com

- Danica Lo

Dry skin? Be a pod person

BABY, it's cold outside. And, since nobody wants to cuddle up to dry, scaly skin, try out the Hydration Station, a new full-body moisturizing machine much like a tanning bed.

First, you lie down in the spaceship style pod, pull the top down and adjust the air vent above your face. I suggest turning it way up, as the pod heats up to 118 degrees.

Basically, the machine works like a combination between a personal sauna and massage bed - it vibrates while the jets shoot out steam and mineral fragrances that drench your skin. Meanwhile, the pod changes colors to relax you.

Verdict: It works. The experience is pretty relaxing and also a relative bargain - $25 for 20 minutes.

To locate a Hydration Station, log on to planetbeach.com.

- Raakhee Mirchandani

Obsessions of the week

* Get the J. Lo glow: Check out the new, multitasking mineral makeup - it helps prevent wrinkles, breakouts and still covers up whatever you don't want people to see. Susan Ciminelli, beauty and skin-care expert to J.Lo, Ashanti and Naomi Campbell, has a new 59-piece beauty line that is made with SPF 26, doesn't clog your pores, helps prevent blackheads, and even includes healing ingredients such as jasmine, green tea, jojoba oil and lavender. Susan Ciminelli Day Spa, ninth floor at Bergdorf Goodman.


* House of Holland: Ex-journalist Henry Holland started making T-shirts as a joke - creating funny rhyming slogans for his friend, London It-designer Gareth Pugh ("Uhu Gareth Pugh"). After Pugh showed up on the runway wearing one, House of Holland hit the big time, securing accolades from British Vogue and a fan-base that includes Lindsay Lohan, Gwen Stefani, Lady Sovereign and the Olsen twins.

This week, the cult tees ($95) hit downtown fashion destination Seven New York (110 Mercer St., [646] 654-0156). We especially like "Cause me pain Hedi Slimane" and "Get yer freak on Giles Deacon." Check back soon for others to come, including "Do me daily Christopher Bailey" and "Do me in the park Marc."

• Naturally Beautiful: Green is chic. Going green that is. We especially love the hemp Nature v. Future OBI shirtdress ($225) and the Hoodlamb jacket ($235) made out synethic vegan lambswool at Organic Avenue, the eco-conscious LES boutique. Plus, the store stocks awesome organic beauty products such as the Rich Hippie/Dirty Rock Star organic perfume and the Your Right to Be Beautiful face cream. Organic Avenue, 101 Stanton St.; (212) 334-4593

Deal or No Deal


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One of these shoes costs $495 a pair. The other $99.

While the photography is disparate, in real life they look shockingly similar...

Which one is which? Guess. And then click on the photos to see if you're right...

More Deal or No Deal

This is fun!

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One of these shoes costs $110, the other costs $690.

But when they're on your feet and you're looking down from five feet up, can you really tell?

Guess which one is which and then click on the pictures to see if you're right.

Monster Mash


A round-up of some of today's biggest 'Monster Bands'. I mean, just in case you were wondering...

MONSTER MASHERS

By DANICA LO

December 14, 2006 -- LORDI

Sound: Balls-out rock straight from the '80s

Looks: They're from hell

Shtick: Lots of pyro, and Mr. Lordi wears animatronic wings.

MUSHROOMHEAD

Sound: Melodic industrial metal

Looks like: Dead alien dolls with fangs

Shtick: Most critically acclaimed, tend not to decapitate anyone.

SLIPKNOT

Sound: Platinum-selling heavy rap-metal

Looks like: Horror-movie rejects

Shtick: They call their fans maggots.

INSANE CLOWN POSSE

Sound: Rap-metal rage

Looks like: Psycho carnies

Shtick: High-drama live shows featuring chain saws and free-flying soda.

I follow my own advice, proof here!


Structured, medium-sized tote bags with handles that are long enough to allow for both hand-carrying and shoulder-toting, are the most flattering size. They avoid looking slouchy and sloppy and neither underwhelm nor overwhelm most sizes and shapes (of people). So you won't look like a huge person carrying a tiny bag -- but at the same time you won't look like you're shlepping your life around with you.

So, Happy Birthday To Me yesterday, I bought myself a brand new structured top-handle medium-size bag. Shiny with gold hardware. Can be worn on the shoulder or carried in hand. Last night I went to a party and paired it with my crazy Miu Miu boots (seen here in the latest issue of Self Service Magazine)

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and my new fitted and paneled knee-length Margiela black wool coat.

Welcome to the Black Parade.

Haute List


HAUTE LIST

By RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI and DANICA LO

December 14, 2006 --

Click here for Haute List Blog

Ugg! They won't die

THEY'RE the Ugg-ly trend that's hung around, amazingly, for four years - the giant fur boots women insist on wearing with everything, from jeans to skirts.

"Uggs are unbearable and need to leave town with the big glasses," says publicist and Kritik designer Jonathan Cheban. "Girls look like beasts walking down the street wearing them."

And yet ... they just won't GO AWAY.

Bloomingdale's? Sold out - and "we're not taking names because we don't know when they'll come in again," says a spokeswoman. Online? Bloomingdales.com projects an 89-day wait and zappos.com aren't shipping any more classic Uggs until Feb. 19, 2007.

The only way to wrangle a pair is to bid on eBay - where prices are currently around $150, or 25 percent higher than manufacturer's suggested retail - or overseas boutiques.

"We feel that this season particularly proves the permanence of these boots as a footwear staple," says brand spokeswoman Mary Slevin. "They're a trend that's managed to became a classic."

Ironic, since Uggs are practically the Spice Girls of the footwear world - platinum-selling, but no one you know will admit to actually liking them. The closest we could get to a testimonial? "Um, they're really practical," one wearer says. Function over form trumps all in the urban tundra.

- Danica Lo

Obsessions of the week

MORE FLASH THAN CASH: Save money and be good to the Earth this season by wrapping gifts in reusable or recyclable materials. Or "give a service any New Yorker would love: a free housekeeping visit from zenhomecleaning .com," says eco-stylist Danny Seo. "They use nontoxic products and even turn down the bed." Try this and other top Earth-friendly holiday tips from Seo's book "Simply Green Giving."

* PEACE OFFERINGS: Alex and Ani, famous for those expandable charm bracelets, has a new, genius design - a necklace that expands from 15 inches all the way to 30 inches. The dainty 18-karat gold charm necklace features a peace sign, fleur-de-lis and horn pendants, $175 exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue.

* PORTABLE LUXURY: Juicy Couture's Leather Ballerina Flats, $150 at eluxury.com, is a pair of supersoft foldable shoes that come packaged in a small, leather purse - perfect for packing on long plane trips and holiday vacations.

* SNOT-FREE: Graceful Services has the perfect way to help you kick that cold - an 80-minute decongestion massage that helps work the toxins out of your body by focusing on the right meridians. But be warned - no pain, no gain. The treatment hurts a little but actually cleared out our sinuses and head. $100, Graceful Service, 1097 Second Ave. (212) 593-9904.

* DIRTY GIRL: Jonathan Product's texturing Dirt was a runaway beauty best seller last year - now the long-locked can get in on the action with light-as-air Silky Dirt, $28 at sephora.com

• WINO SKIN: Carlo Mondavi, grandson of Napa winemaker Robert Mondavi, is using Grandpa's grapes to make face cream. Davi - the line of skin care - is available at Bergdorf Goodman and includes Le Grand Cru face cream, $175; Vine Fresh Lotion, $48.50; Moscato Purifying Cleanser, $38.50; and Harvest Mist Tone, $38.50.

Five hot tips for the holiday season


Check out Fitsugar, where I provided five tips on how to look svelter this holiday season!

Also, check out my new work-blogging project, for general fashion interest: NY Post Fashion Blog.

ShopStyle!

Here's the link to My ShopStyle Stylebook, where I'll be putting together new outfits every day!

Sign up for free and be my "friend" -- check out new updates and request outfits for special occasions!

Haute List


HAUTE LIST

By SERENA FRENCH, RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI, and DANICA LO

December 7, 2006 -- The body bag

WHAT nature has neglected, now a $235 bag can correct.

The Premiere Line is a kit of silicone covers, pads and tape that will give you a new butt or boobs without costing an arm and a leg. Frederick's of Hollywood developed the product along with Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley, stylists for Nicole Richie, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Biel, to get the perfection-challenged ready for the red carpet.

The white nylon packs come in two parts: The upper body kit contains double-sided fashion tape, two pairs of nipple-concealing silicone covers and a flex bra for backless or deep-plunge looks. The flex bra consists of two silicone strips, one for lifting and one for coverage.

The lower body kit has a few innovations: There's a low-rise short that holds everything in like a vacuum pack but doesn't feel thick like a wetsuit. The Pick Me Up Derriere bands look like stockings but push each cheek up from the bottom. But the Booty Pads take the tush over the top: a pair of silicone cheeks that pass the slap test.

"Just remember if you're going home after the hot date, take 'em out first," Ehrlich says.

Upper body kit, $125; lower body kit, $110, at Frederick's of Hollywood, King's Plaza mall, Brooklyn

- Serena French

Obsessions of the week

Hollaback bag: Forget the new album, and instead spend your money on Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. collection's new gorgeous black leather Venezia Bag, $725 at Henri Bendel.

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Uggly boots: Thought Ugg boots were a passing trend? Think again.

Despite the fact that they may very well be the least attractive pair of shoes you have in your closet, there's no arguing about how soft and comfy they are.

And today the company opens their first U.S. retail store in SoHo at 79 Mercer St. between Broome and Prince, stocked with boots, slippers and the brand's first line of outerwear, including tailored trench coats and denim.

*
Wearing your gloss on your sleeve: This season's cutest compacts are lipglosses that double as charm bracelets. There's the KLS Lucky Charm Bracelet, $37, at Macy's; Dior Pretty Charms, $70, at eluxury.com; and Lancome Glossy Charms Bracelet, $40, at Lancome.

What a pear: A humble pear tree, originally planted on Peter Stuyvesant's farm, stood on the northeast corner of on 13th Street and Third Avenue for 220 years - "The Oldest living thing in New York City," declared Harper's Monthly in 1862 - gracing the front steps of Kiehl's apothecary until it was run over by a wagon in 1867. In 2003, Kiehl's replanted the tree - and this season, they've created a limited-edition Pear Tree Corner body cleanser and lotion ($15-$19.50 at kiehls.com) in its honor.

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Ro, ro, ro: Italian xylography (um, that's woodcarving) artist Mariaelisa Leboroni has designed a nine-piece collection with ro handbags (robags.com) that will be auctioned off for cancer charity Team Continuum Monday at Nolita's Public.

- Raakhee Mirchandani and Danica Lo

TOP POPS

Anglo-fashion-philes, break out your plastic, because this week, for the first time, Topshop.com began shipping to the USA. For about $20 in shipping, you can don the togs of celebs such as Kate Bosworth, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss - who is in cahoots to design a line with the British megastore.

When did we get too old to say, "I'm mad at you, I'm going to kick your ass" and start saying, instead, "I'm mad at you, I'm going to sue you."

Seriously, WTF.
"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn