Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Beginning to Feel Like Summer

Here in Los Angeles, many of us are taking our fans out of storage in preparation for another California summer. My own little apartment is slowly turning into a sauna and I’ve been using my SPF 50 sunscreen on a regular basis. Although many of us wear sunscreen on our faces, we often forget about protecting our lips. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that my pigmented lips become a deep pink by the end of the warmer months.

Exposure to UVA and UVB rays is dangerous but having to cover natural lip pigmentation prior to using trendy lipstick shades is just plain annoying. The solution for your health and vanity comes from an old favorite: Softlips. With an SPF 20, smooth texture, and a multitude of great flavors (my favorite is Strawberry), you can’t go wrong! I wear Softlips underneath lipstick to combat my notoriously dry lips and create a good base for my lipstick. Since Softlips is neither oily nor pigmented, there is no need to blot. And although your lips will feel moisturized, you won’t mind reapplying after meals to ensure that your lips are protected from sunburn.

Do you remember keeping a tube of Softlips in your backpack throughout middle and high school? I find myself doing the same as an adult; it makes me nostalgic for summer vacations from school and running through the sprinklers with friends.

Tell me about your favorite summer essentials!

Image Credit:

Monday, March 30, 2009

In Case of Emergency, Bring on the Rogaine

If you’ve exhausted all your other options and still find gaps or “holes” in your eyebrows, Rogaine may be your solution. Please note that the active ingredients in this product, along with potential danger in application (i.e. blindness if you aren’t careful), make Rogaine less than an ideal choice if your goal is rapid results. I trust you to do your own research and weight the benefits and risks prior to purchase. Nevertheless, the results are pretty much a guarantee. I’ve used Rogaine to encourage growth in an area of my eyebrow that never grew brow hair as a result of many years of tweezing and was able to grow a fuller brow in approximately two weeks. If you bleach or dye your eyebrows at home, the application should be easy. Otherwise, here are a few helpful tips:

1. Apply to a clean eyebrow at night as the Rogaine will interfere with any brow products you may choose to use during the day.

2. Pour a small amount of Rogaine into the cap and lightly saturate a cotton swab, spoolie, or a lip brush. I recommend using a disposable applicator or designating one that you will only use for Rogaine application. Be sure to avoid over-saturating so as to reduce the risk of the liquid dripping into your eye.

3. Apply to the desired area a little bit at a time and tilt your head back slightly. You may also want to close the eye below the chosen eyebrow as a precaution.

4. Be sure to apply only where you’d like to grow hair because you will grow hair in any area that the product touches. I accidentally dripped some Rogaine down the side of my cheek and got some “baby hairs” even though I washed and scrubbed after the accident took place.

5. Please don’t use this on your eyelashes!

Image Credit:

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Brow Epic Continues

This post is for those among us who, like myself, have plucked and failed. Despite of your best efforts, your brows remain an unmitigated disaster (at least for the next two months). Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite products to disguise your poor spermies as you wait for them to grow back to normal.

1. Physician’s Formula Brow Definer in Black-Brown:

My primary issue with most brow pencils and waxes is their tendency to oxidize into a very warm orange color. Although I have a warmer skin tone, my eyebrows are a neutral black brown. The other problem tends to be in the color choices: either the product is too light or so dark that it turns me into Bert with only a couple of swipes. The Physician’s Formula Brow Definer is my current favorite. A thin, waxy led allows me to apply in small hair-like strokes and the pigmentation is sheer enough to look natural with even a dark color such as Black-Brown. And the best part is that the wax stays put and grooms your brows as you shade. The convenient brush on the cap is helpful in distributing the product for a natural, blended look.

2. MAC 208 Brush:

I use my 208 with brow powders or pencils for a more precise application or to feather and blend an otherwise harsh brow. This brush is quite stiff and can easily serve double-duty as an eyeliner brush for gel, cream, and liquid liner.

3. Wet n’ Wild Ultimate Brow Kit:

This is another great budget buy. The kit comes with a small angled brush, tweezers, two shades of brow powder, and a brow wax. I purchased “Ash Brown” to avoid the aforementioned oxidization and brassyness. The lighter shade was a lot darker than I anticipated, matching my dark eyebrows perfectly.

4. Covergirl Great Lash Clear Mascara:

Although I have never understood the appeal of Great Lash Mascara, the small wand and reasonable price tag make it the perfect brow gel. Sometimes a little clear gel is all it takes to make an average eyebrow look amazing. Just use the gel to brush the inner 1/3 of your eyebrow (the part closest to your nose) up and groom the rest of the eyebrow into the direction the hair naturally grows. Even though the product is clear, your brows will look slightly darker.

5. Wet n’ Wild Kohl Brow-Eyeliner in Mink Brown #649:

Wet n’ Wild scores another point with this soft, inexpensive pencil. I tried the same pencil in Taupe and while it would be great for blondes and those with lighter brows, it just didn’t work for me. However, I do have to use a brush to apply this color or else risk the Groucho Marx effect. Mink Brown is the perfect color for someone with very dark brown or black eyebrows who is looking for a smooth application.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Belated Triple Awards Post

I was so touched to be nominated by the lovely Happy Face, Happy Wallet that I (almost) forgot to mention it here. Better late than never, right? This award really made my day and I'm grateful for the opportunity to nominate some of my favorite bloggers. Without further ado, here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I nominate, in no particular order...drum roll please...

1. The Lip Print
2. Blogdorf Goodman
3. Lipsticks & Lightsabers
4. All Lacquered Up
5. Padmita's Makeup Blog
6. Nessasary Makeup
7. Fashion Under $100
8. Scrangie
9. Babyassface
10. Fabuless Beauty

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

These Are a Few Of My Favorite...Tools

The crux of human evolution revolved around our ability to use tools. Before you go stabbing yourself in the eye with the same pair of dull tweezers you’ve had since the sixth grade, consider these options, listed in order of appearance.

  1. Clean Spoolie, Clean Mascara Wand or Lash Comb: You will need this to brush your eyebrow hairs up to see if any of the hairs are too long. I recommend trimming your brow hair prior to tweezing so to avoid accidental bald spots. This way, you can groom your eyebrows conservatively and with minimal collateral damage. I prefer to brush my brows in the direction I’d like them to go (rather than up) and only trimming the hairs that disrupt the shape. Trim in small sections (rather than one fell swoop) to avoid cutting the hairs too short and creating too severe a shape.

  1. Small, Sharp Cuticle Scissors: You didn’t think you could trim with the spoolie alone, did you? You will need a pair of scissors that is small enough to single out each hair. I have tried scissors (with an attached comb) designed especially for eyebrow grooming but the comb made it difficult to see which hairs were being trimmed and the resultant gaps in my eyebrows were not pretty.

  1. Mini Razors: I know you see them at your local drugstore and think they look scary. Fear not, my dears. You will not shave off your epidermis or your eyebrows (unless you’re too aggressive) but you will achieve that clean, waxed look without having to neither pluck maliciously nor pay through the nose. I don’t have a preference as to brand but the smaller, the better. Razors will allow you to get all of those tiny hairs that you don’t see around your eyebrows in one go.

  1. Tweezerman Slant Tip Tweezers: All the hype about these babies is spot-on. I really don’t know how I groomed my brows without them. They can be pricey but they stay sharp for an insane amount of time (mine haven’t been sharpened in at least three years) and the best part? Tweezerman offers to sharpen them for free. The slanted tip allows you to get at the tiny hairs without ripping out the majority of your eyebrow in the process. Since you likely have only a few stray hairs, the tweezing step should be last to avoid going overboard.

Please don’t groom your eyebrows after a trip to the bar, a breakup, or a very long, exhausting day. The results will be on your face for the next few weeks so it helps to be of sober mind and body.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

All About Brows

Before I say anything further, I have a confession to make: my eyebrows aren’t twins. In fact, even calling them cousins would be a stretch. Each could happily reside on another person’s face without so much as missing her counterpart. The quest for perfectly matching brows has driven me to the very edge of sanity; in high school, I allowed a friend to pluck me into a very surprised, Ronald McDonald wannabe which brought my mother to tears. Nevertheless, I persisted in my quest only to conclude that only brow powder or pencil can make my brows look similar. If you suffer a similar affliction, I urge to put down the tweezers and pick up some brow gel. You may find solace in the fact that even celebrity eyebrows aren’t identical.

The next controversy is the debate of thinner brows versus the fuller, more voluptuous option. We are so shocked to see anything thicker deemed trendy that we automatically jump on the bandwagon whether it flatters our facial features or not. Again, I will be the first to admit my own wrong doing. I am obsessed with Brooke Shield’s full, perfectly groomed, straight eyebrows and have tried to replicate the look on myself. Unfortunately, not own do my brows grow with a natural arch but they aren’t nearly as thick. Most of my attempts at channeling Brooke have resembled Graucho instead.

What’s my point? You can’t fight your natural features. If you are blessed with naturally full brows, please, keep them a (groomed) version of full. However, if you have a petite face and naturally thinner brows, Mother Nature might be trying to tell you something. I find that the best eyebrow is a refined, enhanced version of the one we have naturally.

In celebration of all things eyebrow, I plan to discuss tips, tricks and products to improve the brows you have and fix some of the mistakes that may be keeping you from full eyebrow satisfaction.

Wet n' Wild Creme Eyeliner: A Review

I stumbled upon an entirely new display of Wet n’ Wild products at my local Walgreens. I was curious at first but stricken in awe when I saw a bevy of beautifully packaged, colorful products. In my humble estimation, this is the jackpot of all Wet n’ Wild collections so be on the lookout for more reviews; I purchased a few products.

The focus of this post is the coveted Mega Eyes Crème Eyeliner. If you can look past the superfluous repetition of the word “eye” on the label, this cream eyeliner is quite a bargain at $3.99. I purchased the Eggplant but this is also available in Black for those seeking a more traditional option. Eggplant is a blue-toned, blackened plum without a hint of red; nearly an indigo. For reference, I’ve taken a picture of Eggplant along with my other purple cream liners. If you’d like to try a purple liner but find that it accentuates redness, this is the liner for you. I found that this color makes eyes appear whiter and brighter and made my (normally blue-green) eyes look a vivid blue.

There is a liner brush included but I found it too wide. However, it is the perfect size for shading eyebrows.

My only qualm with the liner, one which some may find beneficial, is that it does not budge! It took several Jojoba Oil soaked cotton pads to get it off. In fact, I was scared that it stained my skin but luckily, that was not the case.

This can be purchased in various drugstores and if all else fails, you’re sure to find it at Kmart!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Castor Oil: Another Beautiful Cheapie

I have been M.I.A. for quite a while and for that I apologize. I had to do some soul searching and felt generally uninspired. Excuses, I know, but I do love my blog and what few readers I have. On to the topic at hand…Eyelashes!

Castor Oil has been touted as a great eyelash conditioner on Makeup Alley and some even reported experiencing lash growth. After trying Talika and Ardell, I was convinced that there was nothing that could stimulate eyelash growth short of miraculous lab engineering. I decided to try Castor Oil as a lash conditioner in an attempt to combat the fact that no less than three eyelashes fell out every time I removed my makeup. Before you admonish me for being too rough, I assure you, I do not rub and make every attempt to remove my makeup in the gentlest way possible. To my surprise, the Castor Oil really did make my lashes grow! Unfortunately, they did not grow uniformly and some eyelashes look more like unkempt, stray hairs that found their way onto my eye but I’m happy with the overall effect.

Unfortunately, I did not think to take a “before” picture, nor is my camera sophisticated enough to capture something as detailed as an eyelash. I don’t promise that Castor Oil will give you a set of lashes that rival falsies but it’s worth a try and it’s cheap! Worst case scenario, you can always use it for its intended purpose when prunes alone aren’t doing the trick.

If you’re wondering whether it is safe to use in the eye area, check the ingredient list of Ardell Lash Growth Accelerator and you will find Castor Oil, combined with a few unfamiliar chemical compounds. I did not experience any irritation nor did I detect a scent.

I apply using disposable mascara wands—these are available in most beauty supply stores. The Castor Oil absorbs quickly; you can apply mascara on top without any problems. Better yet, if you want to add a little bit of something to your eye area but feel lazy, Castor Oil gives eyelids and lashes that wet, glossy look. Just be careful if you wear contact lenses or are prone to milia. If you are brave, you can even try it to stimulate hair growth on your head and tell me all about it!