Once upon a time, a woman with a thick head of thin hair had a problem. This problem was that every winter, her hair frizzed up like static electricity was running through her veins. She fretted wearing hats. She fretted wearing earmuffs. Winter was quite unpleasant. Then she discovered L’Oreal Professional Mythic Nourishing Oil — a fancy sounding product that is basically just beautifully-scented oil to be patted on the ends of wet or dry hair. To her great joy, Mythic Oil lived up to its name: winter frizzies are now as rare as a unicorn. And woman and her think head of thin hair lived happily ever after! [$14.69, Amazon]
Real talk: when it comes to shopping, a single, professional lady’s eyes are usually bigger than her stomach. I am not just referring to coveting $250 sandals that you really don’t need. I’m taking about the way we try to tackle huge style or beauty problems all at once. We watch too many chick flick movies growing up with “ugly-swan-to-princess” makeover scenes and get the idea — the wrong idea, that is — that kickass personal style, gorgeous hair or the perfect beauty routine for you will come at the snap of your fingers.
The reality, which is a lot less sexy, is that these things develop over time. Few of us have a bunch of Benjamins to blow on a whole new wardrobe all at once, or stock a whole makeup bag at the beauty counter. We acquire these things over time and usually there’s lots of trial and error involved.
I’ll leave developing a better style to the folks on “What Not To Wear.” (I love you, Clinton!) But one think I do know about is makeup and how, over time, you can develop your own Big Girl Makeup Bag. I’ve chosen five types of products and two price points — one around $25 or below, and one above $25 — depending on what fits in your budget for each product. Five paychecks from now, you’ll be looking fiiiiine, girl.
Black eyeliner is the dependent variable of my life. From when I wake up in the morning until I take off my makeup at night, I’ve got it on … and not exactly subtly, either. While I love a good tightly lined look that defines the eyes without the telltale sign of makeup, I’m all about laying it on thick. Whether I’m all smoked out or doubly cat-eyed, I just don’t feel like myself without my black eyeliner. The best thing about it is that it’s completely universal: anyone can look good with a slick of noir liner. Using the right formula for the look you wish to achieve is the most important task. Liquid is stark and won’t blend to smoke, while a pencil, no matter how sharp, will never be able to replicate a feline flick. Luckily, black eyeliner comes in many forms. You’ve just got to play with it a bit, maybe even watch some YouTube tutorials, and it won’t be long before you find the look that’s best for you. Still, there’s nothing worse than a liner that flakes, fades, or drags. I’ve given ‘em all a shot, so here’s the tried-and-true formulas to help you find your favorite.
With all of the new colors, formulas, and innovations that have stepped out onto the makeup scene in the past few months, it can be all too easy to let your basic skincare fall to the wayside. If you’re a beauty fiend, the kind of person who enjoys nothing more than the dewy first swipe of a new coral lipstick or the cool slick of a pitch-black liquid liner, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to lay down a damn good foundation. This doesn’t apply only to those who rise early to “put their face on,” as I always say — this is for everyone who’s ever been known to neglect their skin, to fall asleep with foundation on and wake up with mascara rings around their eyes, to slap body wash on their face during a hurried shower, to forgo moisturizer in a rush: your new skincare regimen starts today.
There was once a time, long ago, when I — desperate to maintain a yearlong tan — used bronzer made for African-Americans. I finally figured out that wasn’t the most “natural”-looking way to go, and have tried many bronzers since, but didn’t find the perfect one until now. LORAC’s bronzer, first of all, comes in a big ass compact, that way when you swirl your brush in the color it’s more distributed among the bristles, leading to a more even application. The color is incredibly warm and natural, giving just the right amount of “Did she just get back from Mexico?” glow, and is never garishly orange or “dirty” looking. While I wish I had just gotten back from Mexico, this is the next best thing — for my skin anyway. [$28, Sephora]
If you’re going to add one thing to your skincare routine, it should be a face mask — that is, if you don’t use one already. They come in so many different incarnations and address so many specific issues that it’s next to impossible to choose just one to make a habit of. Whatever your skin worry, there’s a mask out there for you. Admittedly, it can be a bit difficult to decipher the seller jargon, especially with so many new, hyper-effective ingredients available on the market. I’ll take the guesswork out of it — here’s 10 masks that will change your life… or maybe just your skin.