March 31, 2011

In Like Lion, Out Like "Meh."

March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but that never seems to happen. It usually comes in like lion, teases us with a couple of lamby days, catches us off guard with freezing temps because we refuse wear our big down coat anymore, and then goes out like whatever. Cold and gray, like today. And tomorrow, it seriously might snow. SNOW! I am absolutely dying for some lamb days, so today I’m writing about one of the most useful fleecy white things in the beauty world, the humble cotton swab.

March 30, 2011

Lip Stain’s Got Your Back

On Monday, we learned you can use Lip Spackle to extend the wear of  lip gloss too, as opposed to only using it with lipstick. But what if you don’t want the opaqueness that comes with it? Or the color lightening effect? The pastelification of your sheer gloss? I recently heard another long-wear trick where you apply a lip stain first, then a gloss on top. It seemed like a great idea, so I had to test it out.

March 29, 2011

Your Face in High Def

Make Up For Ever is running what they say are the first ever make up ads without any retouching. (Notarized and all!) In order to be able to make this claim, they couldn’t even retouch the stuff that really needs it, like the mysterious white powder on her elbow. Or how her arm looks a little lumpy and weird due to the angle and lighting. Plus her armpit! Ugh. In fact, all the ads have too much armpit. Maybe next time put the girls in shirts with sleeves, Wardrobe Stylist! But: her face looks great. Part of the reason could be that the girl is probably 17 and is definitely a model who looks a lot like Blake Lively. Still, it’s pretty impressive!

March 28, 2011

Building Lips That Stay

If you’ve ever worn lipstick, you know it requires ongoing maintenance to keep your lips painted the desired hue. You can either reapply frequently, or go with a longwearing formula (or one of those two-step thingies) and then reapply a little less frequently. I have a method to reapply LEAST frequently, but it requires some effort up front, and you’ll need to lay the proper foundation.

March 25, 2011

My Favorite Band

You know when there’s something that consistently annoys you, but it’s so small you don’t bother to fix it?
That was happening to me whenever I washed my face. I had been using elastic headbands from the drugstore to hold my hair back, and they just weren't working for me. They were the ones they make for little girls, because I have a little tiny head, so they were pink, lavender, and teal. They were 1” wide, and because I have a serious amount of bangs, my hair always curled over the top and onto my (also little tiny) forehead. Then, the tips of my bangs and my hairline would get wet, and I’d end up with a “There’s Something About Mary” hairdo by the time I took the headband off.

March 24, 2011

Golden Oldie

I’ve been using this forever, and maybe you have too, but it’s recently come to my attention that not everyone knows about it. And really, everyone should. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclatis a gold magic wand that basically erases dark shadows on your face. It’s not a concealer, it’s a luminizer, which “brings light and radiance to the skin.” But don’t get it confused with highlighter, because it’s not that either. No shimmer, no sparkles, lighter-weight than concealer, or even foundation. Just consider it a magical shadow eraser and you'll be fine.

March 23, 2011

PSSST! Eat More Water.

The road to wellness is an uphill climb, and the road to un-wellness is a slippery slope, made slipperier by pork fat and ice cream. It doesn’t take much to get off course: An injury, an illness, a lot of late nights at work or up with baby, any kind of stress really. Conversely, too much fun can also cause problems. Skipping the gym for happy hour too frequently or going on a vacation can screw things up too. Anything that gets you out of your routine or causes you to be extra tired is a “really good” excuse to eat badly and avoid exercise.

Then there are the seasonal temptations: Holiday Season, Fondue Season, Cinnamon and/or Chocolate Heart Season, Girl Scout Cookie Season, Jelly Bean Season, Wedding Season, BBQ Season, and Halloween. The effects of many of these are easy to hide during Sweater Season, but then, before you’re ready: BIKINI SEASON.

March 22, 2011

Sweet! DIY Sugar Body Scrub

Winter has been very long, and very cold, to the surprise of no one. Now that we have extra daylight, and are treated to the occasional warm day, it’s time to make some preparations for spring. We need to get ready to break free from our sweater cocoons, and I’d rather emerge a beautiful butterfly than a dusty old moth.

Let’s save our dollars for some spring clothes (and maybe a little makeup), and make our own body scrub to cast off the dry skin of winter. Like a snake! (Not at all like a snake.)

March 21, 2011

Dr. Dennis Gross: Temporary Superhero

The unfortunately named Dr. Dennis Gross saved me, if only briefly. I had been blessed with good skin for most of my life, and probably never had more than four pimples at any one time. Until recently. I have been having what are considered “hormonal breakouts” and they suck. Some are regular zits, some are clusters of bumps, and all of them are hated. I started out using a sulfur spot treatment, which had worked for my occasional zits in the past. A sulfur spot treatment, in this case Kate Somerville’s EradiKate, involves going to bed with stinky pink dots on your face. It was kind of working, but left me flakey and subject to ridicule.

March 18, 2011

Art Club Nail Polish for DIY Awesome

Happy Friday! Let's get awesome.

March 17, 2011

My Blender Can Beat Up Your Blender

Unless, of course, you have a Vitamix. Or this thing.
In January, feeling a desperate need to clean up my act, I started researching juicers. I figured it would be an easy way for my husband and I to sneak more fruits and vegetables into our diets. Did you know when they say “Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day” they mean 5 servings of fruit AND 5 servings of vegetables? They do.

March 16, 2011

Awww... You're Making Me Blush!

Stila Custom Color Blush claims that it is “the first-ever pH-based powder that takes the guesswork out of picking the perfect shade.” Word is still out on whether or not it is strong enough for a man, though it is obviously made for a woman. Since I had been searching for the perfect shade, (along with the perfect everything) for quite some time, I decided to give it a shot.

March 15, 2011

Does This Lip Stick Make Me Look Fat?

Clinique’s new Chubby Sticks, shown here with what appear to be the most delicious knox blox ever, will make your lips sneaky-pretty.

March 14, 2011

Spring Ahead!

In spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, and MY fancy inevitably turns to thoughts of shopping. I do 90% of my shopping online, and I think I have it pretty well figured out. Even though spring doesn’t officially start until March 20th, and I started my own spring shopping at some desperate point in February, I’ll share my tips now, in honor of Daylight Savings. In my opinion, it’s the unofficial official start of spring.

March 11, 2011

It sounds French, so it MUST BE fancy!

Yesterday I explained how investing in a good quality flat iron changed my life. Today, a smaller investment, but no less life changing: Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat. If you’re like me, or my mom, or most of my fellow New Yorkers, you’re impatient and have ruined quite a few manicures by not waiting long enough for them to dry. But they seemed dry! But they weren’t dry, were they? And now your manicure has dents/ fingerprints/a piece of lint stuck in it or is totally scraped off in one spot and you just wasted a bunch of time, and possibly $10-20.

March 10, 2011

Jesus Built My Flat Iron

I have what could be called “combination” hair. It’s a mix of straight, curly, wavy, and… wiggly. Unless I have it short enough to really boost the waves, I need to do more than just let this shit air dry. I have to pick a direction and actively pursue it, and most of the time, if I’m not fighting late summer humidity, I go with straight.

At one point in my life, I had a Japanese straightening treatment, which gave me fantastic hair for nearly 10 months. But I missed being able to have curls if I wanted. Plus, it was EXPENSIVE. Not wanting to commit to that again, and before the popularity of keratin treatments, I resorted to straightening my hair myself with a drugstore flat iron, and going to a salon for a blowout if I had a special event. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize “Hey, if I buy a better flat iron, I will get better results” but it did.

March 9, 2011

My Mia vs My Milia

One of the things I’ve spent a lot of time researching online is Milia. Primarily: How to prevent them. My dermatologist had already explained how to get rid of them. It involves either getting them cut out of your face, or applying Retin-A over the course of however long it takes the little sucker to come to the surface and roll away. This is why prevention is key.

For preventing milia, the general consensus is that an ounce of exfoliation is worth a pound of cure. And when I say “an ounce” I mean “a shit ton”. I need to do it every day, and with gusto!

March 8, 2011

A Rosé for Your Tulips

I had been eyeing Fresh’s Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment for quite some time before finally taking it home. It was always there with the other impulse buys, in the checkout line at Sephora, looking pretty and smelling amazing in it’s lovely metallic lavender tube. But $22.50 (plus tax) for lip balm? I was in the store to return something when I finally pulled the trigger. Since it was an “exchange” it wasn’t really like spending the money.
I applied it the moment I left the store, and instantly understood the expense. This stuff is FANCY! It felt amazing! Luxurious! Indulgent! It made my old standby, Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm, seem like plain-flavor Chapstick.

March 7, 2011

Why Sephora is My BFF

Oh, Sephora. How I love you. Let me count the ways.
I love the way you will always, always let me return anything. No matter how long I’ve had it. No matter how much of it I’ve used. No matter if I have the receipt or not. Unconditional return policies are harder to find than unconditional love.
I love how you will let me sample anything you have, even though I always try it on my hand because I’m pretty sure you have a social disease.
I love how, if I have time to kill, I can spend forever browsing your aisles and using your free tissues, before checking my makeup and my teeth in one of your many well-lit mirrors, and heading off to wherever it is I was going. 

The Impossible Dream: My Quest for The Best Mascara

I had been searching for the perfect mascara for somewhere between two years and my entire life. Sure, I’d spent some time with Covergirl Lash Exact and L’Oreal Voluminous, but it wasn't anything serious. Looking for more excitement, I had an expensive one-tube fling with DiorShow, who’s fluffy brush was dramatic, luxurious, and unwieldy. Eventually, and without actually deciding, it became my quest to find the best mascara.