Skincare used to be a whole daunting arena of the beauty industry that I avoided out of fear. My dry, sensitive skin is so fickle. I washed daily with Cetaphil, scrubbed once or twice a week with St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and glopped on a pricy Bliss face mask every month or so. Most days I removed my makeup before going to bed, but not always, because I am lazy. My skin neither looked nor felt particularly good or particularly bad — just kinda blah and dry, as usual.
In the past few months, I’ve gotten really into skincare for my criminally dry visage. I’ve added new skincare products to my arsenal, which I’ll save for Beauty Test Drives another day. My skin has really been perking up, to the point where The Frisky’s boss has been complimenting me! And for the past few days, I have been using a little handheld device called the Clarisonic Mia 2. No joke, it’s already making my skin look and feel amazing. Keep reading »
I’m a diehard believer in the power of makeup to make you not just look better (though it’s a fortunate byproduct) but truly feel better. We’ve all reenacted, purposely or not, the scene from “Mean Girls” that shows the Plastics staring in the mirror alongside one another, discrediting their appearances, one by one, for one reason or another. Everybody is flawed, thank the powers that be, and it’s up to us to make the best of those flaws — in many cases, to embrace them, rather than hide or strive to change. Self-confidence is a tenuous thing, but it’s always important to do what you can to benefit your own. For me, not necessarily everyone, the most negligible amount of makeup on a bare face can spin my worldview 360 degrees. I’ve narrowed it down to a few products that, in conjunction or on their own, can take my slightly swollen Sunday morning face from sad to suitable — not just for public viewing, but for feeling good about myself, too. My must-haves may not apply to everyone, but if you’re the type of person like me who spends a couple of days lazing around the house, resultantly feels like crap, and needs an about-face instant-beauty pick-me-up, there’s nothing quite like one of these quick fixes.
Ever since I quit drinking coffee regularly, I’ve fallen victim to a very serious case of the 3 o’clock brain lapse. Every day around the same time I suffer the same symptoms: heavy eyelids, fuzzy thought process, 10 yawns per minute, a mind that wanders to visions of mattresses … and the only known cure for such a cognitive issue is a splash of icy water to the face. It’s a less than desirable proposal for this habitual makeup-wearer — as in, not happening. Luckily, Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir makes a pretty decent stand-in for when hovering over the sink is just this side of totally impractical. The spray is gentle enough so as not to be jarring, but it’s a welcome, refreshing blaster for that all-too-familiar mid-day haze, one that won’t disturb your makeup and even imparts a dewy, fresh glow to the most fatigued of faces … like mine. [$28.99, Dermstore]
This lovely purple eyeshadow palette isn’t just easy on the eyes, it’s easy to put on your eyes too. Each color in the eye-shaped palette is sectioned off according to where it should be applied to your eyelid. There’s a dark purple for the lash-line, lavender for the lid, a shimmery white for just under the brow, and even a subtle pink shade to highlight the inner corners of your eyes. Just follow the format for a flattering–and foolproof–look. [$5, AVON]
Finnish beauty brand Lumene’s line of moisturizers and skin creams has all the usual bells and whistles — a built-in sunscreen and a luxurious, smooth feel with no greasy after-sheen. But its added secret weapon? Arctic Cloudberries. Native to Finland, cloudberries offer amazing age-defying benefits. Their seed oil protects and strengthens the skin, and the berries contain an extra high dose of Vitamin C, which make the skin look bright and radiant. But what you really want to know is: Does it smell good? Of course it does! Fresh, clean and with a hint of berry fragrance. [$19.99, Drugstore.com]
I love lipstick, possibly to a point of obsession and definitely to a point of monetary drain. The more luxurious (and French), the better — Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté, Chantecaille Lip Chic, Guerlain Rouge Automatique… be still, my beating heart. I maintain that the last testament to my sanity is the fact that I’ve held off on purchasing an exorbitantly priced yet allegedly unprecedented Tom Ford Private Blend (though the fateful day I make one my own is indeed on the horizon). I’ve never fallen in love with a Lancôme lipstick, but their brand new formula may just become my latest squeeze. The collection, intended to be supremely moisturizing and lightweight, comes in three categories: “Jolis Matins” are fresh and glossy for daytime, “Boudoir Time” promises high-impact brights and evening-appropriate offerings, and “Tonight Is My Night” claims the more sophisticated, intense shades for a lacquered effect. I can’t wait to get my hands on these — I plan on picking up 146B Miss Coquelicot, 322M Corail In Love, and 200B Lasting Kiss, which Julia Roberts wore this weekend to the premiere of her new flick. At $25, they aren’t exactly pocket change, but hey, they still won’t set you back almost $50 like a Guerlain or that elusive Tom Ford. If you’re a drugstore girl looking to delve into the world of luxury lipsticks, Rouge In Love is the perfect place to start. [$25, Sephora]
My mom often sends me texts alerting me to new beauty products I “need to try ASAP.” Often times, the sense of urgency is a tad overdone. But the S.O.S. to try Colgate Optic White was warranted. This toothpaste uses deep whitening technology to dramatically whiten your pearly whites in just one week, and more dramatically over time. The enamel-safe formula removes coffee, wine or whatever kinds of stains from the surface of your teeth. God, I sound like a toothpaste commercial. Blah blah blah BEST TOOHTPASTE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. But … I swear! My grill was gleaming after just one brush with the miracle paste. It was like my smile needed a sound effect. I’m off to go buy a lifetime supply. I suggest you do the same.
Amped to try some of this spring’s nail art trends? Get started with Sally Hansen’s nail art pen. This fine-tipped pen is as easy to use as a marker and opaque enough to only require a single coat. Play it safe with some easy yet colorful French tips, or go crazy with stripes, shapes, and patterns! Seriously, despite never having been artistically-inclined, even we found it just that easy to use. Now, which colors to stock up on… [$7.49, ULTA]
Have you heard about BB cream? It’s the latest buzzword in beauty, and for good reason. Any product can claim to change your life, but this one actually will. “BB” stands for Blemish Balm, a product that’s been popular on the Asian market for years but has only recently presented itself in the States and Europe. It was originally formulated by a German dermatologist as a treatment to help patients of laser facial surgery soothe and protect the resulting extremely sensitive skin while imparting light coverage. Somehow it found its way to Asia, where it became increasingly celebrated, before it was brought to other countries. BB cream is like a primer plus tinted moisturizer on crack, if crack was skincare benefits and sun protection and made foundation totally superfluous. While before it could only be accessed through questionable Korean dealers on Amazon (I went there), big American brands are now cashing in on this in-demand beauty booster, and I couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t sampled a BB cream yet, you must. Once you give it a try, you’ll never go back to thick, cake foundation. They come at all different price points and there’s bound to be one that suits you.
I carry around a makeup bag with me every day. It’s a small makeup bag, but it’s not light, mostly because I have shoved things into it over capacity. I stuff it into whatever bag I’m carrying, even if it’s a teeny-tiny crossbody like the one I use during the week to offset my 1,000-pound laptop bag. Some days I don’t even use anything in the makeup bag, but it comforts me to have it in my possession, like a narcissistic safety blanket. This little bag is the one I’m sharing because my at-home makeup bag, the one I use to get ready in the morning, has been known to leave brothers, fathers, boyfriends, and even mothers flabbergasted by the sheer weight and seize of it. This one is marginally less shocking: it contains very little real makeup and is more like a shrine to lip balm. Here’s what’s in my dirty little makeup bag — do you have a permanent purse beauty fixture like mine? Keep reading »