{Giveaway} A $300 ravishing red necklace from Bess Heitner

bessheitnerFOF Bess Heitner wears many hats, but we wanted to showcase her jewelry business, Bess Heitner Jewelry Designs, which features stones and gems from around the world in colorful and distinctive pieces. Ranging from $58 earrings to necklaces for more than $2,000, Bess keeps FOFs in mind when designing her collection. Today, she’s giving away a ravishing red necklace, “Multi-Coral Torsade” (retail value: $300), which is made of coral “in every shade,” freshwater pearls, and lacquered bone toggle. To win this beautiful necklace, first visit Bess’ website, then comment below with the name of your favorite piece and why. 1 FOF will win!

How old are you?

How did you launch your business?
Even as a kid I tinkered with design. My mother was a millinery buyer at Bloomingdale’s in the days when no fashionable woman would be seen outside without a hat. Our home was filled with brightly colored ribbons, flowers, pins, felt shapes and all the fixings for elaborate bonnets. I discovered I had a flair for combining forms, textures, and colors. Before long I was helping my mother concoct her elaborate creations. After my husband died in June 2000, I began taking jewelry courses to help me figure out what to do next. I have never enjoyed anything as much as this. In my “second act,” I found my true passion that I love more than anything I’ve ever done.

What were you doing before?
I taught English in Japan and at the New School for Social Research in New York. I was a professional writer and worked with my husband, a Japanese TV producer, on documentaries. I also created costumes for several feature films.

Where are you based?
My studio is in Manhattan where I make each one-of-a-kind and limited edition piece by hand.

What is your typical workday like?
Designing and jewelry making take up a large part of each day. I also write blog posts and do other business and PR tasks. Some days I have private appointments with clients. And I always spend an hour or two studying fashion magazines and favorite websites for inspiration.

opulentpearls-citrineWhat jewelry do you sell?
I sell necklaces, earrings, pins, and bracelets in a wide variety of styles.

Where do the stones and gems come from?
I get my materials from a few trusted vendors. Most of my top quality gems and minerals, such as Peruvian Opal, Brazilian amethyst and tourmaline, rubies and other interesting stones come from Brazil, Australia, Africa and India. The pearls come from China and Australia.

What trends have you noticed with jewelry this year?
I like the bold statement pieces that are in now because I favor drama, bold shapes, and vivid color in my own work. Chains and ropes also are popular and have
South Sea Pearl Brazilian Citrine Collar

always been favorites of mine. Long before the Gatsby and Boho trends hit, I began offering many kinds of ropes with clasps that are versatile and can be doubled, tripled, worn as lariats, or wrapped around the wrist many times.

What are your best-selling items?
The multi-coral torsade I am offering is very popular because it looks great with bright white, picks up the colors in strong prints, and perks up almost every shade. Genuine coral is becoming extinct so people are glad to get this. A raw iridescent quartz collar I designed in several colors has been selling well because it makes a dramatic statement.

Why does your collection looks good on FOFs?
Women over fifty know who they are and aren’t afraid to make unique statements at work and in their personal lives. I design wearable artwork, pieces that are both contemporary and timeless, that echo the qualities of the women who wear them. I use stones, pearls, and tiny crystals that flatter the skin. And my pieces are versatile; easy to wear in a work setting, in casual surroundings or on a dressy occasion.

To win this necklace, first visit Bess’ website; then comment below with the name of your favorite piece and why. 1 FOF will win!

P.S. Want to get your hands on one of Bess’ designs now? All of her products are 25% off until July 24.

1 FOF will win. (See official rules, here.) Contest closes July 24, 2013 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.

{Giveaway} The next generation of “business cards!”

FOF is giving away three brilliant alternatives to old-school business cards. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: Do you prefer networking in person or online?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Has the desktop Rolodex gone the way of the dodo? And if it has, where are we supposed to keep all those business cards?! Business card swapping, once an in-person business ritual, has migrated to the web. Discover a whole new generation of contact management, below:

Virtual business cards: About.Me connects your physical business cards to your online networking profiles. When you create an About.Me online profile, you receive business cards (printed by Moo.com) with a special barcode. When potential customers or business associates scan the code with their smartphones, they’re taken to your About.me profile page which includes links to your website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. You can track who visited your “virtual business card” and where they are coming from.
*Win: A pack of 50 About.me business cards printed by Moo.com (a $21.99 value)


The ultimate contact management app: Connected helps you reference all your contacts in one place. It builds a single online contact book using your e-mail, LinkedIn, Facebook and other online networks. Among other fab features, it sends you reminders when one of your contacts has a birthday or changes jobs.
*Win: A 3-month subscription to Connected (normally $9.99 per month)


Business card scanner app: Take a photo of a physical business card with your  iPhone or Droid, and the ScanBizCards app will recognize and store all the contact information in your phone. It also creates a virtual library of business cards and contact information that you can access from your desktop.
*Win: Unlimited version of the ScanBizCards app (normally $5.99)


*Enter to win one of these 3 fab networking tools: a stack of business cards from About.Me and Moo.com, a Connected contact management app or the ScanBizCards app. 3 FOFs will win. Answer this question in the comments below: Do you prefer to network in person or online?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Three winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes June 9, 2011.)

{Giveaway} Pocket-sized family tree

FOF genealogy guru, Rhonda Earley, is giving away 3 of her Pocket Trees. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: Where are your ancestors from?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

When FOF Rhonda Earley turned 50 she realized she didn’t have long to learn about her family. “I thought I better do research now while I still have my parents here to answer questions.”

Each day that year, after she dropped her son off at elementary school, she would head to the library to begin work on her family tree.

She was fascinated with her findings. “I found one of the letters my ancestor wrote home to Germany. I also learned that there had been a great deal of land in my family at one point, but, surprisingly, my father grew up poor,” says Rhonda. “That’s something I’m still piecing together.”

Rhonda would carry her computer around the library as well as poster-sized sheets of paper. “It wasn’t convenient,” says Rhonda. “I was running upstairs and downstairs between files, microfilm and maps. You need to be mobile.”

Sitting on the floor of the library next to a file cabinet, she had her A-ha! moment. “There’s got to be a way to transport all my research easily,” thought Rhonda.

The result was Rhoda’s Pocket Tree, which folds up to the size of an index card and opens up to a family tree that can go back nine generations.

“Besides being a great research tool, it’s a great keepsake to pass down to younger generations,” says Rhonda. “Imagine how cool would it be to see your great, great grandfather’s handwriting on a Pocket Tree.”

Enter to win a Pocket Tree. 3 FOFs will win. Answer this question in the comments below: Where are your ancestors from?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Three winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes June 2, 2011.)

{Giveaway} Luxe Leather Handbag from Barr + Barr

FOF fashion designer, Helen Barr, is giving away a luxe, calfskin hobo. To enter, answer this question in the comments below: Do you match your bags to your shoes?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

FOF Helen Barr had “former lives” as an artist, fashion exec and magazine editor. Then, in the late 90s, she decided she wanted to get into the booming business of bags. “I took a deep breath, rented an office, and began designing and manufacturing private label bags for Spiegel and Bloomingdales until I had a bit of money in the business,” says Helen. After three years designing private label, Helen launched Barr + Barr in 2000. Her bags were an instant hit, with her first designs selling to Neiman Marcus and Saks. “I grew it bag by bag,” she says.

Now, just a decade since it launched, Barr + Barr has received accolades from InStyle, Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar editors and has been picked up by the Home Shopping Network (where the bags have been known to sell out in minutes). They’ve been toted around Tinseltown by Kim Cattrall, Sharon Stone and Debra Messing, and have made appearances on prime time shows including Sex and the City and Will and Grace. One of Helen’s bags was even worn by first lady, Laura Bush. “I keep the letter from her hanging on my showroom wall,” says Helen.

More details about the bag you could win:

  • Value – $289
  • Genuine calfskin leather
  • Inside zip, cell phone and multifunction pockets
  • Top zipper closure
  • Two outside pockets
  • Handle with 8 3/4″ drop
  • Removable, adjustable crossbody strap
  • Signature removable key fob
  • Dust bag
  • Signature love letter lining
  • 12 1/2″ (L) x 13″ (H) x 6 1/4″ (W)

Enter to win a luxe leather bag designed by FOF Helen Barr. Comment below and answer: Do you match your bags to your shoes?

Plus! FOF Exclusive Discount: Receive 15% off any bag from Barr & Barr when you “like” them on Facebook. (Mention on their wall that you came from FabOverFifty and they’ll send you a discount code valid until June 2, 2011.)

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winners is chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes May 26, 2011.)

{Giveaway} 5 Molton Brown Travel Beauty Bundles

FOF is giving away 5 Molton Brown ‘Travellers.’ To enter, ask a travel question here.

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Frequent FOFlyers, rejoice! You can look great and get through the gate with this adorable bundle of TSA-size-approved bath, body and hair products. Molton Brown’s ‘Traveller” bundle includes shower gel and lotion in Pink Pepperpod, “hairwash,” “haircondition,” hand cream (from their just-released Body Remedies Collection for 2011) and moisture mist.

Molton Brown salon opened London in 1973 and became an instant hit for it’s “natural,” finger-styled cuts–a reaction to the structured styles of the 1960s. Their plant-based products were hand-mixed in a kitchen upstairs and sold only to those “in the know.” Today, their complete line of luxury products for body, skin, hair, men, home and travel is available in the U.S. and over 70 countries as well as many of the world’s luxury hotels and spas.

Ask the FOF gurus a travel question here and you’ll be entered to win a Molton Brown ‘Traveller.’ Five FOFs will win.

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Five winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes May 18, 2011.)

{Giveaway} Win a “couture” seed kit from an FOF Garden Guru!

FOF gardening guru, Laura Baldwin, is giving away a starter gardening kit with a dozen types of her favorite spring seeds. To enter, ask her a gardening question here.

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Twenty years ago, FOF Laura Baldwin, then a financial analyst for IBM, was involved in a crippling accident (she was hit by a dump truck while in a phone booth). Unable to work due to injuries for three years, Laura found respite in the garden. “Gardening is therapeautic, it’s grounding and it’s healthy because it’s so connected to eating,” says Laura.

Laura enjoyed gardening so much that when she was ready to return to work she traded “counting beans” in the corporate world for growing them. She opened her own nursery, “Reba and Roses,” housed in a reclaimed chicken coop in Hilsboro, N.C.

Laura operated “Reba and Roses” until 2009 when she launched InTheKoop.com, a website where she sells carefully-selected seed combinations in egg carton planters. She sells only “heirlooms” (the “haute couture” of seeds) in her kits. Through her website, she aims to spread her passion and knowledge for gardening far beyond North Carolina.

Below, Laura shares her top tips for beginning gardeners:

1. Choose heirloom seeds over hybrid seeds. “Heirlooms are like antique seeds. They produce the same variety of vegetable or plant that your grandmother or great-grandmother planted. Heirloom vegetables have more nutrients too.”

2. Egg cartons make great planters. “Plants can be started out in egg cartons and then transplanted to your garden. You don’t even have to remove the plant because egg cartons decompose and make great fertilizer.”

3. Start simple. “If you’ve never gardened before, start with herbs, peppers or tomatoes, which are simple, then graduate onto more complicated varieties.”

4. Start small. “Don’t start with a 10″x 20” garden. Start with container gardening such as a window box, then graduate to bigger projects.

5. You don’t have to water plants every day. Women, in particular, tend to over-nurture plants. Rather than water every day, you can water a plant very heavily, wait until it dries out and then water again. This ensures you are not over watering.”

Have a gardening question for Laura? Ask it here and you’ll be entered to win her “Back to the Garden” starter kit.

{Giveaway} Paula Dorf Eye and Face Primer

FOF makeup maven, Paula Dorf, is giving away 10 sets of her eye and face primer. To enter, read her “7 FOF Beauty Sins,” then answer this question in the comments below: Which of these “sins” do you commit most often?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

[Read the entire interview with Paula here]

Sin #1: We don’t use primer.
Be a saint: Primer neutralizes oil, dryness and redness. It helps foundation go on better and stay in place. To use primer, let it absorb into the skin and dry before applying foundation. Try: Paula’s “Perfect Primer,” for oily or dry skin.

Sin #2: We don’t fill in our eyebrows.
Be a saint: As you get older, your brows get thinner and more sparse. Don’t fear filling them in–just do it correctly. Use a brow stencil that matches the shape of your brow and fill in with powder in your natural brow color. Try: Paula’s Brow Stencil Kit and 2+1 For Brows powder and wax

Sin #3: We’re over 50, but we wear our blush like 20-somethings.
Be a saint: Blush on the apples of your cheek looks great when you’re younger. But after 50, it can make you look sunken-in if not applied properly. Smile and place a cream blush on your cheek, then sweep it back to the hairline.  Follow with cheek color powder for added staying power. Use a professional cheek brush for the most natural looking results. Try: Paula’s Cheek Brush

Sin #4: Lip liner overload!
Be a saint: Put lipstick on first, then a little liner afterwards. This way you’re not going over your lips, you’re staying inside. Finish with a little bit of gloss.

Sin #5: We’re afraid of colored lipstick.
Reverse your sin: Any woman can wear colors on her lips. Don’t be afraid! Lips and eyes are very connected. When you put more color on your lips, your eyes will pop more.

Sin #6: We use too much eyeliner.
Reverse your sin: When eyeliner is too heavy, it closes the eyes. So as we get older, we need to apply a thinner line.

Sin #7: We use our cleanser as makeup remover
Reverse your sin:
Your cleanser shouldn’t be doing double-duty as makeup remover. When you use cleanser, you tend to rub. A makeup remover takes it off gently–that’s especially important around the eyes. Try: Sweep Away Makeup Remover

Enter to win a set of Paula Dorf’s eye and face primer. 10 FOFs will win. Read her 7 FOF beauty sins then comment below and tell her: Which one do you commit most often?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Ten winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes May 5, 2011.)

{Food} Add these 5 cookbooks to your collection!

It may not be as glamorous as Oscar season, but cookbook season shouldn’t be overlooked. Around this time each year, the best new cookbooks go head-to-head for prestigious industry awards, including the James Beard Cookbook Awards and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Awards . Discover and win this year’s leading contenders and then, meet the FOFs who wrote them.

Enter to win by answering this question in the comments below: Which cookbook would you most want to win?

1. Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners by Sara Moulton

Former Food Network star and Gourmet test kitchen chef Sara Moulton jokes that she’s “unemployed.” With a new cookbook, an in-the-works iPhone app and a slew of freelance gigs, we beg to differ. [Read the entire interview here.]

What was your mission with this cookbook?
To help people get dinner on the table during the work week. Most people really like the idea of making a home cooked meal but can’t figure out how to make it happen. They have kids, they don’t get home until 7, or they tend to make the same boring 5-10 dishes over and over again.

How does this cookbook help?
I came home from work at Gourmet at 5 or 6 p.m. and I had to get dinner on the table for my family. I came up with all these tips and tricks about how to do it that I wanted to share. I also want to free people from this idea that dinner should be a protein, a starch and a vegetable. There are other ways to get a healthy dinner on the table. Why not have breakfast for dinner? Or soup? Or a substantial sandwich?

Where did you get inspiration for the recipes?
Sometimes I took a classic and updated it. Or I took a dish I like — a Reuben sandwich, for instance — and put it on a pizza instead. I tried to make the book international because it’s more interesting. Grocery stores have so many worldly ingredients now.

Do you have a favorite recipe from this book?
I have so many favorites. I can’t believe I have to pick. There’s a smoky fish chowder with Canadian bacon, smoked trout and potatoes. I’m from New England so I love chowders. Can I give you one more favorite?

A hearty salad with hearts of palm, smoked salmon and watercress with buttermilk dressing. It’s a meal in a salad and I love that the buttermilk dressing is low fat.

2. Bon Appétit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild

Last September, when Bon Appétit magazine relocated from California to New York City, FOF Barbara Fairchild stepped down as editor-in-chief after a 32-year career there. Her final “course” at the magazine? Bon Appétit Desserts, the ultimate ode to sweets.

Has Bon Appétit Desserts been a sweet success so far?
As Bon Appétit transitioned to New York with an entirely new staff, Bon Appétit Desserts made the New York Times Bestseller list. No pun intended, it was ‘the icing on the cake.’

Why did you decide to publish a book on desserts?
There are books about pies, books about cakes, and books about cookies… but there was nothing as broad of a resource on desserts as this book.

What do you think readers enjoy most about this book?
Each recipe is rated from one to five whisks based on how complicated it is. In the back, we have the recipes listed by the number of whisks, so you can do the whole Julie & Julia thing and start with the one-whisk recipes and work your way up.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
The ‘Deep, Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.’ It’s every bit as seductive and delicious as it sounds.

When you’re not baking from Bon Appetit desserts, where do you go for baked goods?
I love City Bakery in New York. I’m a big fan of their pretzel croissants. Here in L.A., I like Joan’s on 3rd. She does wonderful cookies and a fantastic chocolate peanut butter cup cake.

Your ideal birthday cake?
An all-chocolate cake from Pierre Hermé in Paris.

3. Around my French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

At age 13 she burned down her parents’ kitchen and vowed never to cook again. Today, FOF Dorie Greenspan has published 10 cookbooks (five of them are award-winning and one she wrote for Julia Child). Her newest, Around My French Table, is up for a International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award and has a cult of fans (French Fridays with Dorie) who cook one recipe from the book each week.

Are you French?
I’m not. The first time I went to Paris, I came home to my mother in Brooklyn, and said ‘I love you madly, but you made this terrible mistake and had me in Brooklyn.’ I teasingly say I forgave her and spent the rest of my life making up for her poor judgment.

Do you live in Paris now?
Four months of the year. I have three kitchens; New York, Connecticut and Paris. I wrote Around my French Table after I bought a place in France.

You published quite a few successful books before Around my French Table, is that correct?
Up until this book, all my books were about pastry. This book is proof that in all those years I was feeding my kids cookies and cakes, I was making them eat their dinner first.

What’s the essence of this cookbook?
It’s not Escoffier, it’s not Julia Child, it’s not a textbook. It’s a kitchen journal. It’s the food I cook in my kitchen, that my French friends cook and recipes from working with French chefs. It’s a snapshot of what French food is like today.

What is French food like today?
It’s lighter, it’s more diverse. French cuisine is taking influences from all around the world now.

Where do you shop for your ingredients?
For Around my French Table I shopped in the supermarket. I wanted all my readers, no matter where they live, to be able to replicate the recipes.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
‘Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake.’ She’s my editor and a great cook. She makes this cake I adore but doesn’t use a recipe. I worked and worked to get the recipe right, just the way she wanted.

4. Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort your Soul by Julia della Croce

“My favorite Italian cookbook author,” Julia Child once said of FOF Julia della Croce. Julia is one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian food. Her newest book, up for an IACP award, is an ode to cucina casalinga or Italian comfort food.

On your website, you call Italian home cooking “endangered.” Why?
Women passed the torch of Italian cuisine for thousands of years. When they started going into the workplace, they weren’t home cooking. Also, young Italian chefs want to cook new cuisine, not what their grandmothers made. It’s not profitable to make home cooking in a restaurant. You don’t spend 6 hours making gnocchi if you can’t charge for it.

Why did you write this cookbook?
This cookbook looks at what we could lose. I’m not saying women should be in the kitchen—it’s a good thing they are in the workplace. I’m saying that [Italian home cooking] is a precious thing, let’s keep it.

When did you start cooking?
I lived in Edinburgh while I did graduate work. The food was awful, although there were great ingredients, so I cooked. My professor gave me Italian Food by Elizabeth David. I read the book backwards, forwards and cooked everything in it.

Are you Italian?
Both of my parents were born in Italy. I’m first generation American. When my first cookbook came out in 1986, Italian cooking was very hot, so I specialized in it.

Do you have a favorite recipe in the book?
On the cover, what looks like lasagna is actually pasticciata di polenta. It’s like a lasagna with polenta in place of the pasta. This dish came from my grandmother, who was from Sardinia.

Where do you shop for ingredients?
Di Palo Fine Foods in New York City. They must have over 300 Italian cheeses although it’s not a big store. It’s been family owned for six generations.

5. The Wild Table by Connie Green and Sarah Scott

When Napa Valley chefs want the newest, most unique and seasonal ingredients, they turn to FOF Connie Green. Connie is the a top forager and purveyor of food. Thirty years ago, she turned chefs onto chanterelle mushrooms, an unheard of ingredient at the time.

Sarah Scott has been a chef in Napa for 30 years and has worked with culinary greats such as Jacques Pepin, Daniel Boulud and Alice Waters. The two joined forces to write The Wild Table, perhaps the most comprehensive guide to foraging and cooking earth-to-table cuisine at home.

Tell me about the structure of this book.
Connie: It’s structured by season. We have five seasons including Indian Summer. Readers can refer to the upcoming season and learn how to deal with what’s on hand. ‘The wild’ can include peoples’ backyards as well as wilderness areas.

Why did you write this book?
Sarah: An interest in foraging and raw foods is emerging. Connie wanted to make sure foraging isn’t just about survival—about being stuck in the wild and chewing on tree bark. It’s about finding these incredible ingredients that have delicious flavor and nuances.

How did you come up with the recipes?
Sarah: I created these recipes to be accessible. There are 10-12 chef recipes in here from Connie’s clients—chefs who actually use these ingredients in their kitchens. I took those recipes and adapted them for the home cook.

What if someone couldn’t find the ingredients in their area?
Sarah: We’ve offered substitutions as well so it’s not daunting. If you can find some but not all of the ingredients, you can still learn from and enjoy the book.

What’s an under-the-radar, wild ingredient everyone should know about?
Connie: Sea beans. They’re thick, spaghetti-shaped, crunchy and salty. I expect that two to three years from now they’ll be very well known. Sara does this incredible Nicoise-inspired salad which uses sea beans instead of haricot vert.

Enter to win one of five award-nominated cookbooks by answering this question in the comments below: Which cookbook would you most want to win?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Five winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes April 21, 2011.)

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{Giveaway} Win a gift for you and for the charity of your choice!

FabOverFifty and CafeGive are giving away a $100 gift certificate to the FOF Shop! Anytime you shop through CafeGive this month, 5% of your purchase goes to one of five fab charities.

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

To enter to win the gift card: Visit CafeGive to see all five charities, then comment below and tell us which of those charities you would like to support.

FOFs love to give. We also love to shop. This month, we’re partnering with CafeGive to help you give back while you’re shopping at some of your favorite stores. CafeGive will donate 5% of every purchase you make from fabulous shops such as Nordstrom, Soft Surroundings and our own store. You choose where the 5% will go!

To kick it off, we are giving one lucky FOF a $100 shopping spree to the FOF Shop.

Enter to win by visiting CafeGive to see the charities you can choose. Then comment below to tell us which of those charities you would most like to support.

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Five winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes April 14, 2011.)

{Giveaway} The perfect shade of red nail polish by Deborah Lippmann

Manicurist to the stars, FOF Deborah Lippmann, is giving away five bottles of “My Old Flame,” a universally flattering shade of red. Enter to win by commenting below: Do you get professional manicures or do it yourself?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

FOF Deborah Lippmann has cut and colored the claws of Cher, Martha Stewart and an impressive roster of other A-list celebs.

After dreams of becoming a jazz diva didn’t materialize, Deborah enrolled in cosmetology school where she discovered her true talent — nails.

Then, she nailed it in Phoenix, where the city’s socialites lined up at her manicure chair. But, it wasn’t enough, Deborah had stars in her eyes.

She tried her hand in New York City where by a stroke of luck, an Allure editor ended up in her chair. “One of the best manicurists in the country” wrote the editor after her life-changing mani. Editors at Vogue later dubbed Deborah a “mega-manicurist.”

From there, Deborah’s career took off. She gained a reputation not only for her magical manicures but for mixing custom colors so celebs such as Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Renee Zellweger and Penelope Cruz could have unique nail shades when accepting their Oscars.

Deborah continues to do manicures for top clients, but she also spends her days crafting colors for her award-winning line of lacquer.

Enter to win one of five bottles of “My Old Flame,” FOF Deborah Lippmann’s perfect shade of red nail polish by commenting below and answering: Do you get professional manicures or do it yourself?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Five winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes April 7, 2011.)