Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bronzed Bombshell

The weather is getting warmer, more skin is being revealed and yikes- it's usually legs that get the first unveiling. Yes, the gams that have been undercover all winter want to be set free- except they're not ready.
They're rather unattractive. If you're Caucasian, they're probably the color of Wonder Bread; if you're Latino or African American they're a tad ashy, and Asian skin is probably sallow.

You could go the self-tanning route. St. Tropez has a spray-on version that almost guarantees that you won't miss a spot. Plus, they've eliminated that nasty post, self-tanning odor. The cost - $35.

For those who still have bad QT flash-backs ( the very first self tanner that came out in the 60's), Michael Kors has a travel size ( $10) of his "Leg Shine" that you apply to your legs like a deodorant stick. It comes in one tint ( Classic Golden Sheen) and even leaves the lovely Michael Kors scent behind as an added bonus.

I finally found the perfect face bronzer. Smashbox Cosmetics has come out with Halo Bronzer ($39). I don't know if any of you are familiar with their regular Halo Face Powder, but their bronzer has the same qualities - it "minimizes the signs of aging with 48 minerals and a powerful peptide and patented hydration system that delivers time released moisturization for a radiant, healthy complexion all day". You twist the shaver once and it delivers the perfect amount of bronzer. Use a large, fluffy blush brush. swirl it around the compact, then shake off the excess and apply it to your face starting with the forehead and easing down to the cheeks going back across the cheeks and and ending at your chin. Basically, think of the number 3 when brushing it on. What I especially love is that there are no mica particles that you see in most bronzing powders that give your face a look that resembles a hologram. Not a good thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discontinued Makeup

Don't you it hate when makeup companies discontinue a color that took you forever to find? Don't even get me started on how much money you spent trying to find that color- you can even hear yourself saying, "they can put a man on the moon, but, blah,blah, blah..."
Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics can match lipstick or nail polish. All you have to do is send your old lipstick tube, lip gloss container or nail polish bottle to Giella, 63 Tec St., Hicksville, N.Y., 11801, along with your name, address, telephone number and a credit card number( with expiration date) or money order. The cost is $27 for lipstick ( 2 tube minimum), $25 for bottle of nail color, plus shipping and handling. For more details go to

Another company, one that takes this concept a few steps further is, Three Custom Color Specialists.In addition to lip color, they also will duplicate blush,eye shadow, concealer, eyeliner and even brow color. You can either send in a dime size sample of your discontinued color or even a snippet of your hair (for the brow color). With the lipstick there is a minimum purchase of two in the same shade for $50. The cost of one pot of concealer, eye shadow, or brow powder is $36.50 and blush is $37.50 plus $6.50 for shipping and handling. If you do not have a sample but remember the brand name and color name of the shade, they can check their archive of over 7500 shades that they've matched for other clients. Their website address is,

Both companies keep your recipe on file for future orders.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

There's Something To Be Said About Beauty Rituals

Amidst all the sad and devastating news in the past few months following the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Baja, to name a few, I remembered that right after Hurricane Katrina, an article in the L.A. Times caught my eye. The article read, "Beauty in the Eye of Katrina" and went on to tell about a beauty salon in Long Beach, Mississippi that was doing a booming business. The women who came in said it was a "way to reclaim a sense of normalcy in an environment where nothing is normal." When residents from New Orleans were evacuated to the Houston Astrodome, they lined up at 4AM to get their hair cut and colored by volunteer stylists.
There's something so reassuring about these rituals, whether it's just a wash and blow dry or applying some mascara and lipstick. One woman said "It's the little luxuries that make you feel human again."
Back when Billy Crystal was a regular on Saturday Night Live, as the character, Fernando, he would say, "It is more important to look good than to feel good." A lot of times you do feel good if you look good. I know that when I just conceal my dark circles and curl my lashes I feel as though I can get to the gym or make some business calls. I'm well aware that it's a mental thing for me and I'm sure that the person on the other end of the phone is not thinking, "I'll bet she's got on some concealer 'cause she sure sounds chipper." But, it works for me. And, no I'm not comparing my inability to face my morning workout or make business calls with the plight of the victims of natural disasters. I just know that we all have things in our lives that are helped along by a little ritual.
So, yeah, I can totally understand how the women down on the Gulf Coast got so much joy from having their hair done or a manicure/pedicure- a ritual to help them feel normal enough to keep going, to help them face their next challenges. They deserve it, they're worth it and, they're speaking my language.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Makeup For the Mature Bride

Mature, meaning over 40 or "I was too busy doing stuff" or "didn't find the right guy till now"....well, you know what I'm saying. It doesn't mean you can't wear the white dress. You just might want to look beautiful, classic and understated. I happen to think that brides of any age would want to look this way but that's just me. First, you want to start with a beautiful complexion. I apply an oil free primer. Laura Mercier's is one of the best ( $30) and creates the perfect surface for your foundation. Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation is pricey ($59) but well worth it. In fact, foundation is the one product that you should spend money on. Next, the Creamy Concealer Kit by Bobbi Brown ($32) should be applied with a synthetic brush in all the dark areas like the inner corners of the eye, under the eye and around the nose.Her kit comes with a sheer, loose powder to dust on after applying the concealer to alleviate shine. Before applying an all over face powder ( Smashbox Halo Powder and brush set, $59) smile, and dab the apples of your cheeks with MAC Blush Cream ($18.50). Brush your entire face with the Halo Powder.The most natural looking brows are filled in with powder rather than penciled in. Anastasia Soare, the Brow queen of the West Coast has Brow Double Duo ($22) , 2 shades in a small compact that you can mix to achieve your own personal brow color. Lightly line your eyes with Le Crayon Kohl in Black Coffee by Lancome ($24.50) as close to your lashes as you can. Line underneath the eyes, too. Brush your entire lid with a neutral eyeshadow in a matte color such as Brule by MAC . Brush a rosy brown, Haux by MAC, into the crease and apply Embark( a reddish brown ,also by MAC) to the outer corners, blending all three colors with a large fluffy brush. MAC shadows are $14 each. Curl your lashes with a Shu Uemura Eyelash curler ( $19) and brush a few coats of L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara in Black Noir ( $7.99). Line your lips with a lip pencil, Whirl (Mac, $13) and apply Viva Glam VI lipstick ( a terracotta plum w/pearl lustre, MAC, $14).You'll be looking at the most beautiful version of you.