Archive | May 2008

Summer Beauty

Sun, heat, humidity, sweat…the summertime brings its own special package of beauty challenges, but here are some tips to get through the season:

First, ladies and gentlemen, always REMEMBER YOUR SUNSCREEN. Don’t make me say it again. There is nothing beautiful about flaky, peeling, painfully red skin, or for that matter, about sheer stupidity. The message about sun damage and skin cancer is out there, loud and clear. No excuses; use sunscreen already.

These tips are from Indobase.com:

  • Let your skin breathe and use sheer makeup that serve more than one purposes. It is important to keep the humidity locked in as sweating dries skin out. So, lock away your foundation for the season and use a light moisturizer with sun block instead.
  • Cheek sticks and crème eye colors are easy to apply and last longer in summer.
  • If you must apply foundation, mix it with loose powder to keep you looking fresh throughout the day.
  • Eyes should be done simply. Use neutral and soft shimmery eye shadow on lids and work on lashes instead.
  • Go for the nude natural look for the lips. Even for evening parties, it is preferable to use loose shimmer powder on arms and neck and a soft gloss on lips.

One last tip from yours truly: remember to get real. When it’s soaring past 100 degrees and it’s so humid there are moisture droplets dangling breathlessly in the air, give up trying to look flawless and fresh as a daisy. It’s hot. Keep a dose of reality on stand-by and remember to have fun and be safe, above all else.

Avon FootWorks Pedi-Peel

Since sandal season is in full swing, I picked up a jar of Avon’s FootWorks Pedi-Peel recently. According to Avon’s website, this product is “a fast-acting, retexturizing treatment with glycolic acid to refine and smooth rough, callused surfaces and moisturizers to help soften dry skin.”

Whew! A lot of promise from a little liquid-soaked pad. I’ve been trying these out, and they are simple as can be to use. Just use one pad per foot, wipe rough areas, and wait for the liquid to dry. That’s it, nothing more.

Although Avon reviewers call this product a “must-have” and a “miracle”, I am once again in the fuzzy ho-hum, shrug, not terribly impressed gray area. There does appear to be some softening of the skin, but I use foot cream at night and can’t be certain the difference isn’t the result of the cream (most likely). I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product, but noticable results would have been rewarding. My bottom line: if you already take care of your feet with lotion, I doubt you need this product. It doesn’t seem to add anything significant to the mix.

I swear I’m not anti-Avon these days! I use Avon’s Foot Works foot cream at night, and I have tried the Overnight Renewing Foot Cream. (Tip: Wearing socks overnight, after rubbing in the cream, helps the lotion do its job.) I’d recommend the foot cream over the pedi-peel for real results.

Lipstick and the Economy

A wise and alert reader e-mailed me this story, The Economy is in the Toilet—Naturally, You’ll Start Wearing Lipstick. (Don’t worry, it’s a very short article, so click the link already!)

I agree with it… to a point. Yes, I do agree that, in hard times, lipstick replaces more expensive indulgences like perfume, spa treatments, and the like, but then the writer announced: Women wear lipstick, “to put forward an image that they are more alive and more vibrant, and not as down in the mouth. It’s part of the uniform of desirability and attractiveness.”

When I was finished laughing at this oversimplification, and when I was done shaking my head at its condescending tone, I wondered if just a bit wee bit too much significance is placed on why women wear lipstick. I must say I have never been applying lipstick and gunning for its political, economical, or social message, no matter the state of the economy. Perhaps I’m in the minority and other women don’t choose lipstick based on how it flatters skin tone or just helps the lips not feel so dry; do you put forth economical proclamations every time you slick on lipstick?

e.l.f. Plumping Lip Glaze

My mom’s Mother’s Day gift arrived yesterday, and lo and behold, there was a little something extra in the box for me…how could I resist trying out e.l.f.’s Plumping Lip Glaze, when it runs for merely a dollar?

I bought the Lip Glaze in Baby Doll (the shade to the left). My first reaction: “plumping”? This word conjures up images of tender roasted chicken breasts for me, not something I want to associate with my lips. Second, the puffy, fish-lip fascination has escaped me. Desiring to appear as if someone has just socked you dead in the mouth still seems bizarre to me.

Fear not, though, because although the clear coat you put on first will make your lips tingle and feel mildly electrified, no tender-roasted-chicken or fish-lip effect will be rendered, thankfully. As said, I never hopped onto the fat lips trend, so this is not a drawback for me about this lipgloss. (As an aside, I’ve read magazines that describe this trend as the “bee-stung look”. Ladies…insect venom is not attractive. Can we stop with it already?)

The gloss color is very sheer, so don’t expect the color to look just like it does in the bottle. For a dollar, I am very pleased with this lipgloss. The texture is not sticky and gross like some glosses, there’s a subtle shine instead of that slick, greasy look, and it actually has some staying power (I drank a cup of tea this morning and still had gloss left on my lips).

The e.l.f. website (www.eyeslipsface.com) has 76 reviews of this product, so don’t just take my word for it. Bottom line, for a dollar, this gloss has a nice, subtle shine and color, a tingly feel, and comes in several pretty colors. If you’re seeking that infected, puffy-lipped look, however…keep shopping.

Mark Glow Baby Glow Hook Up Lipgloss

I really wanted to like Mark’s Glow Baby Glow Hook Up Lipgloss in Sun Luxe (color swatch at left). The Hook Up cosmetics use a connector to “hook” together, so you can carry lip gloss on one end, mascara on the other, or any other combination your little heart desires. I like the tiny bottles, and the colors are beautiful (I think that’s Melon Luxe below; I wanted a picture of the full bottle for demonstration), with tiny flecks of shimmer to feel “look at me” without feeling “teeny bopper mall brat”. It also surprised me with a pleasant, clean, minty scent.I liked the color when I first tried it on, but it has a tendency to gradually migrate, and I ended up feeling like I had to wipe lipgloss drool from my chin. It’s uncomfortable after a while, as you can imagine. The texture of the gloss is too runny or watery; it just doesn’t stay put.I seem to be in the minority, however, unless the Avon website simply doesn’t publish negative comments. All the reviews of this gloss on the Avon site are positive, but I just don’t love it. Cool bottle, gorgeous colors, nice scent…but lipgloss that doesn’t stay on my lips is hard to like!

Gifts for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is 10 days away, and if you inherited your make-up obsession from your mom, then a logical stop for gift shopping is Sephora! I challenge you not to purchase something for yourself while you’re at it though. For every item I think my mom might like, I see about a dozen for me.

Since my mother occasionally drifts over to this blog, I won’t reveal yet what I have in store for her, but here are some items that caught my eye:

1. Philosophy Amazing Grace Gift Set (above): This is one of the cleanest, lightest, gentlest fragrances I’ve ever tested. The gift set includes a fragrance spray, a perfume oil, and a shampoo, bath and shower gel for $68.

2. Urban Decay Foreshadow Eye Shadow Palette (to right): This palette includes Urban Decay’s four best-selling eye shadows: Oil Slick, Stray Dog, Midnight Cowboy, and Flipside, all for $24.

3. The Sephora book! : The new book claims to be “The Ultimate Guide to Makeup, Skin and Hair From The Beauty Authority”, and chapters include “What is Beauty?”; “Secret Ingredients”; “Zero to Flawless”; and “The Future of Beauty”, plus more, for $27.95.

4. You can’t go wrong with a Sephora gift card! Sephora is huge, so damn near anyone can find something they will like.

I like the idea of a Mother’s Day gift that is 100% for her, absolutely and completely all about her. Mothers, and women in general, devote so much time to taking care of someone else, and I like giving a gift that reminds her to take care of herself too.