You know who I blame for my never-ending pursuit of the perfect tan? Francine Pascal. The author behind the widely popular ’80s teen/tween book series, Sweet Valley High, instilled me with the belief that to be beautiful meant I needed to be bronzed. After all, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, the most beautiful 16-year-old twins on the face of the earth, had “sun-streaked, silky blonde hair,” “blue-green eyes the color of the Pacific” and, of course, “sun-kissed skin.” I couldn’t do anything about the blue-green eyes, but for years I “chased the blonde dragon,” which I finally gave up after a hairdresser finally told me platinum hair didn’t look good on me. But thanks to SVH and being California born and bred, I’ve remained pretty obsessed with having a glowing tan. During the summer, I lay out every weekend, though I realize that even with a high SPF, this isn’t the wisest idea. Thankfully, a recent trip to the dermatologist confirmed I am skin cancer-free. (I’m lucky — for about six months in college I went to the tanning salon once a week. Big no-no!) And I always emphasize the tan I’ve got with bronzer — for awhile, I had the boneheaded notion to use bronzer meant for Black women.
Now that I’ve lived in NYC for nearly 12 years, I’ve gotten some distance from my California-roots and have begrudgingly let go of my desire to be tan 365 days a year; during the winter, I leave my naturally fair skin well enough alone (though I still use a little bit of bronzer every day). But summer is on its way and in less than a month I’m headed to Nicaragua for vacation. I need a (fake) base tan! You know, something close to the subtle, sun-kissed glow of Snooki’s knee-caps. Luckily for me, Sephora sent over their Express Self-Tanning Kit For Face And Body and I rushed home to try it last night. Let’s review… Keep reading »
I am not coordinated or motivated enough to wear false eyelashes, even though they always look totally amazing. I’ve tried putting them on once or twice, but thanks to having perma-shaky Hamburger Helper hands, I was never capable of getting them properly in place or sticking right. Plus? They’re not the best investment — you can wear the once, maybe twice, tops — before you’ve got to toss ‘em. Enter Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System. This product! I’m obsessed — obsessed! — with this product. And here’s why…
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My skin has been all but terrible lately, and it’s all but my fault. My breakouts, dryness, redness, blotchiness, sensitivity, and unidentified non-pimple bumps covering my forehead have either everything or nothing to do with my recent proclivity toward sleeping in my makeup, staying out late, eating terribly (but deliciously), hanging out in smoke-filled rooms, making out with dudes with abrasive facial hair, and finally, because I am The Worst, going off the antibiotics prescribed to me for acne because I ran out and didn’t feel like making a trip to the drugstore that day. It turns out that the libertine lifestyle is not conducive to maintaining clear, calm skin — who knew (and, more importantly, how do all of my favorite celebrities do it)?
I have a veritable apothecary full of cleansers, toners, masques, moisturizers, spot treatments, serums, oils, creams… and the more I piled them on in unlikely combinations hoping for some small miracle, the worse my skin got. Even my tried-and-true lifesavers were like, “Fuck yo’ skin.” I’m always hesitant to try new products when I’m having this kind of facial meltdown, but something about the claims touted by Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer compelled me to take a leap of faith. Maybe it was the reasoning that it addressed skin’s response to external stressors (like, um, my friends, always making me do things, geez), or maybe it was just that classic Kiehl’s packaging that did me in. But whatever it was, I eschewed my customary routine of cleanser/toner/as many other things as I can pile on in favor of this single product. Gulp. Keep reading »
I’ve had my tube of Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer for awhile now, and for most of that time I’ve used it occasionally when I needed an extra layer of coverage for under my eyes or to conceal redness around my nose. I liked it a lot, but it probably wouldn’t have made it into my deserted island makeup bag (AKA the bag of makeup essentials that I’m inexplicably bringing to a deserted island with me, along with Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and a pile of White Stripes CDs).
Then, last week, something weird happened: the sun came out in Portland. I wasn’t expecting this to happen for another 4 months, so I didn’t have any sunscreen on hand. Since my Dermalogica Primer has SPF 30, I started using more of it, spreading a thin layer all over my skin before I applied my makeup. Within 24 hours of slathering my face with primer, the following things happened… Keep reading »
Or, “why you should spend $20 on an eyelash curler.” Because really, as a beauty editor, my job isn’t just to write about products; it’s to make you want to buy the products I write about. This is why I straight-up refuse to write in any capacity about anything I don’t genuinely love (unless there’s a hilarious/horrific story to go along with it). I will never recommend anything to you or to anyone (I love to dole out beauty advice in person, too!) that I wouldn’t personally spend my own hard-earned money on. The Shu Uemura eyelash curler is one of those things. It seems like a luxury, and it technically is — why should you part with a twenty for an eyelash curler when you can pick up a perfectly fine substitute for $6 at the drugstore? Keep reading »
Concealer is one of those beauty products that isn’t the least bit fun to purchase. It’s a lot more exciting to go straight to the eyeshadows and lip glosses, you know? But the un-fun stuff like foundation and concealer is what someone with, say, redness around their T-zone uses to get an unblemished palette, so to speak. So it’s absolutely worth your while to find a concealer to cover up zits, undereye circles or redness. And if you have more widespread skin issues, go for the gold with a liquid, cream or powder foundation to cover a larger area. I’ve been a fan of Benefit’s Boi-Ing concealer, but now I’m an even bigger fan of their newest product, Fakeup, a hydrating crease-control concealer. Keep reading »
I came really late to the powder foundation game. I remember all these girls way back in high school with their little Cover Girl compacts. But me, I’ve usually kicked it old school with regular foundation and then set it with powder. Why I did this, I don’t know. It involved twice as many brushes to get dirty and I’ve never really liked the flaky way powder sits on my skin.
But I think that’s all changed now with the new powder foundation I’ve been using from Drew Barrymore’s Flower line with Walmart. I’ve already kvelled about her Flower lip butter. Turns out that I’m also a big fan of her creamy powder foundation. My fabulous Beauty Test Drive pal Winona claims “obsessed” with her Jane Iredale powder foundation — but Flower’s powder foundation does not come with the same $52 price tag! Keep reading »
The story of how I came to own Jane Iredale mineral powder foundation goes something like this: I met my friend Aileen for dinner and as soon as I saw her flawless skin I shrieked, “Oh my god what makeup are you wearing please teach me to make my face look like your face!”
“It’s Jane Iredale powder foundation,” she replied. “It’s the best.”
So a few days later we went to a local beauty shop and I accidentally spent my life savings on Jane Iredale products. The purple eyeshadow I picked up was a bit of a disappointment, but this mineral foundation? That’s a whole different story… Keep reading »
Never in the million years did I think I’d be recommending you a product sold exclusively at Walmart, renowned big box store of sex discrimination lawsuits and sexist tee shirts. Neither would I have suspected that Drew Barrymore, hippie goddess of love and light, would choose Walmart to exclusively sell her makeup line, Flower. But she did, and I am, and honestly, her Flower lip butter is the best lip product I’ve ever used. Yes, better than the expensive department store lipsticks and drug store lip crayons. It’s the shit. For realz.
I went home from a Flower event with a bag full of goodies to test drive and the quality of all of them is very high. I’ll review them one-by-one, but first up, the lip butter!
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