Showing posts from May, 2011

Most Underrated Beauty Products

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster: Delivers far more than the attention it gets.

There are products and brands that get a lot of love in beauty magazines, by celebrities, etc. Then there are products we hardly hear about: Maybe we used them years ago and recently rediscovered them, remembering how good they are; maybe we stumbled upon them and wonder why they don't get more attention and fanfare.

Here are a few products that fit both molds: some are oldies but goodies, while others are newer products that have never gotten the respect they deserve. All of them are reasonably priced, which is one thing to love and respect now more than ever.

1. Suave haircare: The shampoos and conditioners are still in the $2/bottle range, have recently been upgraded to what's called The Professionals line, and best of all, they truly work as well as products three or four times their price. In my poorest days, I've gone back to Suave and always wondered why it's a default brand; it lea…

Quick Sunscreen Tips

In preparation for the long weekend, please keep these tips in mind when wearing sunscreen or sunblock.

1. Areas that are often forgotten when people apply: Ears, feet and the backs of hands. On a more aesthetic note, work the product onto your jawline and along your neck, as it helps prevent some of the jowling we see later in life. Also, use a lip product with an SPF of at least 15. Dermatologists report seeing skin cancer in the lips, since the skin is delicate and the area is often neglected.

2. Sunscreen wears off after about three hours. Even if you're not swimming, remember to reapply. If you're wearing makeup, bring a light powder that contains SPF so that you can reapply without rubbing off your makeup.

3. If your hair is colored, mix a little sunscreen in a spray bottle filled mostly with water. This will cut down on fading and brassiness from the sun. Of course, there are also hair products that contain UV filters.

4. I know some people have concerns around the safe…

Youtube Gurus Accepting Subscriber Gifts

I posted a quick Twitter comment about this today and want to explain it a little more. There are a few Youtube beauty gurus I know of who routinely accept gifts from their subscribers. Some of them don't solicit these gifts, so I want to be fair in pointing that out. However, they do accept and say they use the products, sometimes reviewing them and sometimes not.

The reason I don't like the concept is because a Youtube guru with a high subscriber and view count has easy access to many items for free. This is a nice benefit to being popular (anyone see Xsparkage's open box video?), which any savvy product reviewer will understand and work to his or her advantage. The companies should be donating any items to the reviewers; the subscribers shouldn't be donating as much (and especially not young teen subscribers). Like the business that promoting products is, this is an equitable exchange.

A Youtube or beauty reviewer with a large following can easily reach out to compa…

Product review: Stila Prime Pot Concealer Shadow and Base

I got this product at IMATS, so it was a quick grab. I didn't realize it wasn't a Kitten item until I got home. The Stila Prime Pot eyeshadow base in Caramel is an orange-hued cream base similar in idea to the MAC Paint Pots. The problem with this product is the pigmentation: It is so dark and deeply pigmented that it doesn't just conceal; it actually overpowers your eyeshadow and alters the shadow's color. This defeats the purpose Stila was attempting. I can't imagine this shade resembles anyone's skin color, mainly because the undertone is so orange. The darkness may be to cover bluish tones from veining, but the Prime Pot could've accomplished that with a color that occurs in nature (or, better yet, within the human race).

The product is also meant to be a primer and claims to prevent creasing. The texture is smooth, but it doesn't blend easily onto the skin; it tugs a bit. Does it seem to prevent creasing? Yes. But one could easily accomplish the sa…

Applying "Red Carpet Makeup:" A Seminar at Make Up For Ever

We've all seen the paparazzi shots of celebrities with botched makeup jobs (Nicole Kidman's bad concealer makeup is the most famous): the white undereye powder that wasn't blended away, the bleeding lipstick on the teeth, the mismatched face and neck due to the wrong foundation color. These photos capture more than an embarrassing moment: They can break a celebrity makeup artist's career.

As celebrities are photographed more than ever, the pressure on a celebrity makeup artist to do work that survives all camera angles and flashes is increasing. Fabiola is one of those makeup artists: She preps celebrity clients for red carpet and television appearances. Her clientele includes actresses Amanda Seyfried, Lea Michelle, January Jones, Maggie Q, Minka Kelly, and Michelle Trachtenberg. Men in Hollywood also wear makeup, not just on film, but also during appearances. Her clients include Ben Stiller, Jimmy Fallon, and Ryan Gosling.

Fabiola gave a presentation and highlighted …

No-Budge, (Truly) Waterproof Eyeliner

So I did my first wedding makeup last weekend. There were two water-based elements I was up against: Cloudy with a good chance of rain and happy with a good chance of tears. I had a waterproof pencil liner, but I didn't have the most faith in it (more on that in an upcoming blog). I asked if anyone knew of a waterproof liquid liner that really holds up. Wendy, whose blog I will link below, responded that Milani Cosmetics makes a great liquid liner. She wore it on vacation: I forget what the actual events were, but it sounded like she did the equivalent of an Iron Man and it was still on at the end.


I bought the Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner for the bride. A few days later, I bought some for myself and tested it out of curiosity (yes, I know it's typically done the other way around). Since I didn't have tropical conditions to try it in, I tried to replicate it a little with a hot shower. I didn't wash my face, but I definitely let it get saturated under the wat…

Blogging, Product Promotion & Concerns

Every time I attempt to do a product review, there's hesitation: I'm one of thousands of bloggers out there pushing products. It's an era unlike the one I came of age in: We had one or two media outlets for exposure to beauty products: Television and magazine advertising. Today there is the Internet - from Youtube to beauty blogs to v-logs and beyond - and the mantra seems to be, "buy, buy, buy." Literally anyone can now get on the Internet and promote products, do how-to videos, etc. The groundswell seems overwhelming in swatch and haul videos.

There is one beauty blogger I follow who will simply buy a product because the packaging "looks pretty" or she saw it really quickly and thought, "I just have to have it." Because I'm older, I can step back and be aware of two crucial things: She has a large following, which means she's likely sponsored (this means she is paid or given products to endorse). It's a very different reality th…

Tinted Moisturizer: A Waste of Money

As summer approaches, I keep reading questions about how to lighten one's makeup routine. The top question is, What's the best tinted moisturizer out there? Tinted moisturizer is like macaroni and cheese: All of the ingredients are in the name. You probably have all two of the ingredients already. I see tinted moisturizers out there for $30. This is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. The craziest thing is they actually sell.

For summer, simply mix an oil-free, broad spectrum sunscreen moisturizer with a few drops of a matte foundation. You want to achieve a little added color, protection, and coverage in a product that won't slide off your skin or clog your pores. Stay away from setting powders and keep your T-zone shine free with blotting papers.

Summer makeup shouldn't be an added expense and effort; you're removing layers and weight from your makeup, not adding anything. Your goal is to keep skin as bare as possible while maintaining defined features and a p…