Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Youth Movement" August 2008 Allure

The August issue of Allure contains an article in it entitled “Youth Movement”. The general gist of this article is that signs of aging can occur a lot sooner than what doctors and the beauty industry have always thought. The focus of this article is to tell women how to ward off and how to help to treat these signs without having to resort to the plastic surgeon.

The article starts by talking about photoaging and how 80% of the signs of aging are caused by UV exposure. I loved reading this because I am obsessed with covering myself in SPF 30 every single day and many people think I am crazy for it. It is really nice to be proved right for once.

The part of this article that I found to be the most interesting was the part about lines that form around the mouth. These lines seem to impossible to prevent since they occur when talking, drinking through straws, and the area is hard to consistently keep covered with SPF. The part that really made me think was about drinking through straws. I was at restaurant last night with a friend and I was served a drink with a straw in it and I realized how hard this would be to get around. However, one thing I can control is consistently exfoliating this area and applying moisturizer to it.

The second part of this article that really caught my interest is the section on dull skin. This talks about how when the early 30s are reached, skin will begin to lose its radiance and cell turnover is slowed and the skin then begins to appear dull, dry, and patchy. I never realized that by using a mechanical scrub on my face, I might actually not be helping it as much as I thought I was. The article states that people rarely ever can exfoliate their face evenly with a scrub of this type. The article recommends the use of an AHA peal to evenly exfoliate all areas of the face. I have only used AHAs once in my life and I only used that product once a week. I am intrigued about the Juice Beauty product that this article recommends for sensitive skin.

I feel like this article could scare some people into running right to plastic surgeon to prevent signs of aging. However, this article gives a very simple option on how to help prevent the signs of aging…wear an SPF 30 every single day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My favorite hair care line is the nature based line, Phyto. I have dry, color treated hair that I straighten every single day. So, I am always interested in new hair products and consistently try almost every new product that comes out on the market. I have very few hair products that I am loyal to. As far as I’m concerned, something new will always come out at the beginning of every season and usually it will be comparable or better than something that I have previously used. Phyto is one line that has done almost the impossible…make fantastic products that I repurchase over and over again.

Everyone knows that if a woman colors her hair, she must begin to use products made specially for color treated hair. Products for color treated hair are meant to protect the new hue and to help treat some of the damage that occurred during the dyeing process. The dyeing techniques are based on based on chemical reactions that modify the hair structure, and despite careful neutralization, alkalinity can remain. The scales of the hair can remain open, which leads to a loss of radiance and poor color function. The above explanation I found on the Phyto site. I choose to find the explanation on this site because it reflects what the Phytocitrus line is trying to heal.

There are three products in the Phytocitrus line; a shampoo, a mask, and a leave-in spray. The shampoo contains grapefruit extract to neutralize the alkalinity. Alkalinity occurs when the chemicals used in the procedure change the hair follicle’s chemical makeup and the pH of the follicle is no longer neutral (as unprocessed hair is). The grapefruit is very acidic and helps the follicles to go back to their neutral state.

The mask contains grapefruit extract and plant butters to hydrate. The leave-in mist contains lotus flower to hydrate and protect the hair. The leave-in is not hydrating enough on its own, so I do have to put a separate leave-in on my ends.

My hair and I love the products from this line. I have been able to extend the time between my colorings with the regular use of this line and I have even had someone ask me if I had freshly dyed my hair after one night of using all three.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lines That I Have Never Tried

When I look through my train case, it seems like I have makeup from every single line carried in Sephora and major department stores. However, as I read magazines and look through people’s reviews on Makeup Alley, I feel like I only own products from a couple of lines. So I complied a list of several lines that I hear a lot about but still haven’t had the chance to try any of the products from.

The lines are…
- Stila

- Lancome

- Shu Uemura

- Lorac

- Make Up Forever

- Clarins

- Bobbi Brown

- The Body Shop

- Givenchy

I think that I as I begin to look for new fall makeup, I am going to investigate many of these lines. My goal is that within the next six months to a year, I will have tried products from every single one of these line.

Monday, July 28, 2008

August 2008 Issue of Lucky

The August issue of most magazines is the official end of summer to me. They touch on how to transition one’s look from summer to fall and how to save one’s skin or hair from the horrors of summer weather. But mostly, they are beginning to look toward fall and what will be the trends of the new season.

This issue of Lucky introduced me to bunch of new products that absolutely must get within the next few weeks. It is rare that I want multiple products from the same article, being that most of the products grouped together do the similar or the exact same things.

- Bumble and Bumble Crème de Coco Masque “Based on Bumble and Bumble’s all time best-selling conditioner and shampoo, this mask is super-concentrated, with a new, high-tech repairing complex”

- Fruits and Passion Monoi Nourishing Hair Mask “A tiare flower and coconut-oil concoction that’s been used as a moisturizer for centuries. It leaves hair ultra-glossy, not to mention gorgeously fragrant”

- Redken Real control Intense Renewal “Specifically designed for the driest, most damaged hair - i.e. chemically straightened, relaxed, or repeatedly dyed - it’s an amazing defrizzer and silkifier”

- Pureology Nanoworks Luxury Hair Masque “Noticeably brightens highlights (and prevents them from fading) with extracts of antioxidant fruits and certified organic mushrooms”

- Mistral Mer du Sud South Seas Bath and Shower Gel “Crisp-smelling with white flowers, this body wash contains shea butter and aloe to hydrate”

- Bobbi Brown Almost Bare “Like fresh-cut bergamot blossoms and just-showered skin - simple and perfect”

- Estee Lauder Sensuous “Very midnight-in-the-garden: jasmine touched with subtle woodsiness and a sultry hint of amber”

- David Yurman “ Soft musk and natural rose combined with patchouli and cassis make this spicy, bright, and complex”

- Guerlain Le 2 de Guerlain Two Brush Mascara in Noir “Double-sided, with a small wand on one end and a big one, for a lush effect, on the other”

- Lorac Makeup Prep Gentle Skin Resurfacer “The tiniest mineral and jojoba grains slough away dry skin - plus, a spongy applicator attached to the end makes it easy to massage in”

Jean Godfrey June’s column this month focused on the massive sale that Nordstrom has every summer and how beauty companies are coming out with LE just for this event. The new editions created by MAC got me the most excited. The brand new shades are fantastic and the mini brush sets are just to die for. These two products alone are worth making the trips to Nordstrom. New obsession created…

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Viniferine and Caudalie

As I have mentioned before several times, I considered anti-oxidants to be the end-all of skincare and in helping to prevent the signs of aging. I am never without at least one product in my regime that contains some type of anti-oxidant protection.

So what is an anti-oxidant? It is an ingredient, either natural or chemical, that helps to protect skin from harming free radicals. Well what is a free radical? This term is bounced around in every magazine and used in almost every skin care product that claims to help prevent the outer signs of aging. A free radical is a charged particle that has been broken off of its compound. Free radicals come from smoke and most any kind of pollution in the air. An anti-oxidant protects skin by binding to the free radicals instead of allowing them to bind to the skin.

Caudalie uses grape-seed polyphenols (a compound that they have patented) as the major anti-oxidant ingredient in their entire line of skincare. In a brochure published by the company, they have stated that Viniferine is 20 times more effective than Vitamin C (the current popular anti-oxidant) in free radical protection. Viniferine is a molecule that is found in the stalks of the sauvignon blanc vine. In addition to free radical protection, it also helps to clear the complexion and reduce pigmentation.

Another patent from this company is grapevine resveratrol, which is a natural active ingredient extracted from the stalks and stems of the vine. It is said to have exceptional firming and wrinkle reducing action and helps to promote younger looking skin.

Caudalie is obviously one of my favorite skincare companies and therefore, I am rather biased in their favor. I know that natural anti-oxidants aren’t the ingredients for everyone. They are better at helping to prevent the signs of aging than at correctly problematic skin. Someone with major signs of aging and/or massive sun damage will not find these ingredients of any help to their skin.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My latest experience at MAC

So several weeks ago, I decided that I had to go back to MAC and try to find a makeup look that would work for me. Last week, I finally got up the courage to go and try something new.

It started very simply. I picked up the tester of their new fragrance, Turquatic Heat and sprayed some on. I was really impressed by it and decided that it was in my comfort zone. After that, several sales associates asked if they could help me as I was standing there staring at the massive array of eye shadows. However, I was feeling rather awkward because all the girls had absolutely perfect makeup that I would never be able to pull off in the real world.

I was actually getting ready to leave when another sales associate approached me and asked if she could help. This girl actually had more subtle (but still perfectly applied) makeup so I decided to take the MAC plunge. I have always heard that when you try to get your makeup done, it is best to pick with a overall look close to the one that you are going for. I explained to her that I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I still wanted a more dramatic look for my eyes.

She started with Filament, a very shimmery silver, for the highlighter shade than added Silver rain, a shimmery gray to be put right in the crease. She showed me how to use both shades to create a very subtle and easy smoky eye. She then sold me on the crease brush, number 244. In addition to the help with the eye makeup, she added on MAC plushglass in ample pink, a very my-lips-but-better shade. She also told that should I ever want to add more colors or liner to the look, I should come back and she would help me again.

Very impressed with the results and actually confident that I could reproduce this look on my own, I purchased all of the above products. Oh yeah, I also bought the perfume that kept me in the comfort zone at MAC.

So I will never be one of the girls at MAC with the perfect and dramatic makeup but I have managed to prove to myself that I can step out of my comfort zone and create a subtle yet made up look.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My latest Clinique makeover

I have used Clinique since I was in high school but I was never a really big fan of it, i more just bought a product here and there if i liked the color or the texture of something.

However, a few weeks ago, the Clinique counter in my local Macy*s was having an event and giving free makeovers out, I had some time on my hands so I decided to go for it and see what they would recommend. My primary motivation was that I needed a new foundation and I had read about their Almost Powder foundation in an issue of Allure.

On to the makeover...first they used liquid foundation on me with the Almost Powder foundation over it. This was not what i had asked them and not what I wanted from the makeover. Also, with the liquid foundation, they used a brush and spackled it all over my face and neck, creating a nice, mask like effect. This was the lowest point of the makeover, it did improve very dramatically after this.

The makeup artist made my eyes the focus of my face, using the eye color trio called Ebb and Flow. This is supposed to have been a best seller right when it first came out and they said that they had only recently gotten it back in stock. The darkest shade is a forest green, the medium is a mossy green, the lightest is a shimmery khaki color. To finish the look, High Impact mascara in black was used on my upper and lower lashes.

The look was finished with Superbalm moisturizing lip gloss in Grapefruit, a bright sheer pink color.

What i bought - the Almost Powder foundation (what I actually came there for!), the Ebb and Flow eye trio, the High Impact mascara in Black, and the Superbalm gloss in Grapefruit. so far the Almost Powder foundation has become a makeup staple and so has the lip gloss.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Self tanners - Lancaster vs. St. Tropez

A staple of my summer beauty routine is self tanning. I just don't feel comfortable in cute little dresses and miniskirts with very pale skin. So i turn to self tanners. A long time ago, i used to try and use some of the ones available at CVS. These never worked and usually made me more self conscious of the streaks and mistakes rather than just not tanning at all. In college, I finally had the knowledge and money to begin to use higher quality products, such as my perennial favorite St. Tropez. then several months ago, I met the Lancaster rep and he convinced me that I would love the Lancaster line of self tanning products. So I bought their products also.

St. Tropez is by far the better known of the two brands. It is rumored to have been used on the set of Baywatch and preferred by many models and celebrities. The company states that their products has the highest concentration of DHA available in any self tanner on the market today. DHA is the chemical that reacts with the amino acids in the skin to create the tanned effect. St. Tropez is used in many professional tanning salons and is available in kit format so that anyone has the ability to create the perfect tan. The result is a deep, even tan that has gotten me many compliments over the years.

Obviously, the sales rep from Lancaster must have been very good at his job to get me to try another brand. Lancaster was founded right on the Rivera in Monaco and is the most popular line of tanning and sun care products in the European Union. This company believes in free radical protection and adds this into all of its products. the Lancaster created more of golden tan and it is much less of an instant gratification product. After the bronzer is rinsed off, much less color remains and it is much harder to build up to a perfect tan.

Is the gradual color better? I don't know. It seems to look more natural to tan slowly but the Lancaster products are much more high maintenance and don't last as long as those from St. Tropez. Lancaster was no help when i got a last minute beach invitation and wanted some color.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Most Wanted July 2008

The last few products of summer before the fall collections hit...

1. Philosophy Purity Made Simple High Foaming Daily Cleanser
2. Smashbox Sheer Focus tinted moisturizer UVA/UVB SPF 15
3. Jo Malone Lotus Blossom and Water Lily cologne
4. Benefit Posie Tint
5. Sachajuan Ocean Mist
6. By Terry Rose de Rose Sheer Liquid blush
7. MAC Lip Glass in Killing Me Softly
8. Clinique Quick Eye Cream Shadow in Starlit Pink
9. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
10. Stila Eyeshadow Trio in bronze Glow

Friday, July 4, 2008

Pale Skin - The New Summer Beauty?

The trends of the past few summers have had one large common thread, perfectly bronzed skin. with the dangers of the sun and tanning beds, this has left people who care about the future of their skin only one alternative, time consuming and rather smelly self tanners. I have been using these products for several years now. The first and second summers that i used them, i truly went wild for this bronzed look and "tanned" almost everyday.

However, self tanners are really beginning to lose their appeal to me. I have actually only "tanned" a handful of times so far this summer.

The July issue of Allure contained an article entitled "Pale Force" discussing ladies who have pale skin and how the bronzed look is no longer the only choice for summer skin. With the increased knowledge that the world has about the dangers of tanning, it really isn't even seen as all that attractive anymore.

This article shows that bright, summery shades actually may look better against a porcelain complexion than a deeply bronzed one. There are three looks that allure set forth, the last of which I utterly adore. it is peachy version of the smoky eye. I have used peachy eye shadows for about a year now and have realized that I have yet to find a better looking pale shade for my blue eyes. The peachy shades of this look are soft, beautiful, and fantastic for any pale skinned female.

Will this trend last? I really have no answer to this question. It seemed that we are coming into a more enlightened age about tanning and its ill effects and hopefully beauty will get intelligent and follow.