Archive | September 2008

Best Beauty Advice Ever

I’m about to dispense what I consider the best beauty advice ever. Are you ready? Here goes:

GET REAL.

Yes, real. Not air-brushed, not pinned, not tucked, not injected, not sucked in, not sucked out, not glued on, not weaved in, not waxed, not implanted.

How many advertisements for a beauty product promise the look of fake lashes, the look of injected lips, essentially the appearance of artificiality…as if this is the new “natural” and any make-up routine lacking scalpels, syringes, bags of silicone, glue, or saline is for slackers?

Do we even know what a woman naturally looks like anymore? Do we know what an unwaxed, unbleached, un-retouched woman looks like without outside interference into what she “should” look like, before the army of conformists get their grip on her?

I find it highly disturbing that women have been so plasticized, so objectified, that even we buy into the build-a-woman mentality with “beauty treatments” that simply erase who we are and what we look like naturally. You are not allowed to have natural expression lines on your forehead! Inject them away! Got hips? No problem. We can work wonders with a scalpel and lipo. Boobs not quite large enough to lift right off your chest and begin to orbit the sun on their own planetary plane? Check. We can handle that too.

The oddity now is not the nipped and tucked. It is the natural. I find that scary, anti-woman, and frighteningly conformist that it goes so unquestioned. Well, I’m calling it out. Knives, needles, bandages, and vacuum hoses will never be a part of my beauty routine. What should be a fun and creative expression of our personalities has been bastardized into rigidly molding ourselves into one ideal, and no effort, however extreme, is too far to go to fall in line.

I’ll stay out here, outside the lines. For good.

Too Faced vs. Urban Decay

Calling all eye shadow primer users: I need some opinions! I am on the last of my L’Oreal De-Crease eye shadow primer, and although this product has acceptable results, I still occasionally have some creasing by the end of the day. After taking the extra step to use an eye shadow base, I’d really prefer to see NO creasing!

I have also tried Urban Decay’s iconic Eyeshadow Primer Potion, but like many users, I have gripes about the bottle and not being able to get all of the product from it. For $16 for basically eye shadow spackle, I’d appreciate full usage of what is in the bottle.

One I have heard of but never tried is Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($17 on Sephora.com). Do any of you use this? What are your thoughts on it? How does it compare to Urban Decay’s primer? If you have $20 to blow at Sephora, which eye shadow primer would you choose?

Tagged!

Fellow blogger Wearing Mascara tagged me recently, so here are my 7 random/weird facts about me:

  1. In elementary school, some wildly clever classmates called me “Mountain Peak” because my eyebrows come up to a point in the center. Now, I am told, this is a shape that people pay to have their brows waxed into…last laugh is on them, I suppose!
  2. I hate getting my hair cut. I just don’t get why “half inch off the ends” must be so complicated. Did I say “layers that will pop out of my ponytail and get on my last nerve”?
  3. I love cats. This is neither random or weird but very central to who I am, because I love animals and believe in compassionate and responsible care of animals…hell, and people. A lot of people haven’t learned the art of either one yet.
  4. I love books. A cool morning, a blanket, a comfy spot to curl up, and one of my cats purring away on my lap…maybe a warm cup of tea…ahhhhhh.
  5. I have a Master’s degree in psychology. I find myself analyzing everything, even related to this beauty blog, from advertisements to the choice of a color name, and what messages beauty companies are hoping will snag in our minds and make us spend, spend, spend!
  6. I can’t dance worth a flip. I love music, but I can’t sing, dance, or keep rhythm to save my life.
  7. I am partially blind in one eye, which makes applying eyeliner very, very tricky when I have to close my “good” eye to do so! If you ever see me with a crooked line or uneven make-up…that’s why!

Now I need to tag more bloggers. Roll call!

Ask Me Whats
Big Eyed Gal
Beauty Rookie
Kiss and Make Up

Makeup Alley

This is one of my new favorite websites! Makeup Alley is a great resource to check out product reviews before you buy something, which is the main reason I love this site. I like to read what others have thought of a product before I make a decision.

The site has far more than product reviews, though. There are message boards on every beauty topic imaginable, from cosmetics to fragrance to bath and body, skin care, hair care, fitness, and a set of lifestyle boards as well.

You can swap items too, or set up a purchasing diary to log your beauty-related buys.

Here’s a link to my profile on Makeup Alley: LipstickGraffiti’s profile. I only have one product review posted so far, but I’ll add to it!

Review: Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara

Not long ago, I was excited to receive a sample of Chanel’s Exceptionnel Intense Volume and Curl Mascara, with an “innovative six-sided brush” that “ensures dramatic results”, according to its product description. So I put it to the test.The six-sided brush takes a second to get used to, and the mascara actually comes with an application diagram instructing you to rotate the brush outward at the base of the lashes, then to stretch the brush upward to the tips of the lashes.

When I first applied the mascara, I really liked it. This is what my lashes (on one eye, anyway) looked like with this macara:


(Yep, that’s an extreme close-up of my very own eyeball! How narcissistic does it feel to snap shots of your own face for a make-up review?)

My mascara love affair was short, however. In the time it took me to drive to work, get settled at my desk, and pop open my powder compact, there were fine little black flakes beneath my eyes. My biggest pet peeve with mascaras is flaking. It is a cardinal sin I cannot forgive.

On the next test run, I tried rolling the brush lightly against a tissue to remove some excess mascara, hoping it was just clumping on the brush or was applied too thickly, leading to the flakes. I applied a single coat instead of two. No luck; it still left confetti under my eyes.

To be fair, I wore this mascara a few more days, but the flaking is apparently a nasty habit it doesn’t want to give up. I was extremely disappointed.

PRO’s: My lashes looked very thick and defined after first applying this mascara.

CON’s: This mascara flakes all over the damn place. Nothing I tried stopped it from shedding little black flakes. Not the least bit attractive! It also costs $28, which is one the more expensive mascaras I have seen.

Would I buy this again?: A definitive NO.

The sample I tried was, of course, free. Good thing. Look, Chanel, if you’re going to charge $28 for a mascara, it needs to deliver a tad more than a $6 drugstore mascara, and this one simply doesn’t do that. In fact, it performed worse than some drugstore mascaras at literally a third of the price. The Chanel name on the tube and a cutesy gold tip on the cap doesn’t gloss over a shoddy product. For 3 times the cost, women deserve 3 times the quality.

Hair Loss

With all the hair strands I am constantly pulling off my clothes and sweeping up from the bathroom floor, I am astounded that I am not completely bald yet. Ever wonder what normal hair loss is? I wondered, so I checked out Healthscout.com. Shedding 50 to 100 hairs per day is actually normal. At any given time, about 90% of the hair on your scalp is growing, a phase that lasts between 2 and 6 years. The remaining 10% of your hair is in a resting phase that lasts between 2 and 3 months before that hair sheds.

A sudden increase in shedding can be caused by stress, medication, surgery, fever, inadequate protein, and even birth control pills. Read the full article to find out how these factors influence hair loss, and what to do if you think your hair loss is excessive.

L’Oreal De-Crease Tip

If you use L’Oreal De-Crease eyeshadow primer, but find (like I do) that after a few hours your eye shadow creases anyway, try this trick: after I apply the primer, I let it dry for maybe 10-15 seconds, then powder my lids with pressed powder before letting the primer dry the rest of the way. Once it’s completely dry, I smooth out any excess or creases by gently tapping my lids with my finger, then I apply eye shadow. Adding the powder just before it dries has helped immensely. Eye shadow that I applied at 7 o’clock this morning is still going strong and crease-free!