Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finding those hard-to-find inexpensive cosmetics

Every now and then, I get inquiries about specific Love My Lips products. Unfortunately, finding these products is catch-as-catch-can. I don't know of any store that carries a complete line of Love My Lips products. Moreover, Bari Cosmetics, which distributes Love My Lips, has not been responsive to my inquiries. To those people looking for Love My Lips products, I suggest prowling dollar and close-out stores, including, but not limited to, the big chains such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Big Lots!

is another much sought-after brand of inexpensive cosmetics, particularly for their eyeliner pencils. Walgreen's drugstores carry Jordana's eyeliner and lip liner pencils, and you can find a broader range of Jordana cosmetics at dollar stores, although I haven't seen Jordana at the big chain stores. Alas, I can no longer find Jordana's eyeliner in Bittersweet - it was the perfect black-brown eyeliner that I favor. Now, however, you can shop for Jordana online at

My web stats indicate a number of queries on L'Oreal HIP foundation. It has been harder to find this in stores. My contact at L'Oreal tells me that several retailers are no longer carrying L'Oreal HIP Flawless Liquid Makeup, in order to make room for other L'Oreal HIP products; however, Rite-Aid and Wal-Mart are still carrying L'Oreal HIP Flawless Liquid Makeup. Rite-Aid partners with for online shopping.

My web stats also show a few queries on Boots No 7 products at Canada's Shoppers Drug Mart. While Boots No 7 and Botanicals may be found at select CVS stores and many Target stores in the U.S., only four Shoppers Drug Mart stores in Canada carry Boots cosmetics: for more information, visit Shoppers Drug Mart.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Kate Moss, marketing juggernaut

In the 90s, she was the target for criticism about the fashion industry promoting unhealthy body images. In this decade, she's a marketing juggernaut. Although the notorious tabloid picture of her allegedly snorting cocaine (below) cost her several contracts, most notably a campaign for Stella McCartney's limited edition collection for H+M, ads featuring her were never absent from the fashion magazines. Now Kate Moss is bigger than ever before.

Kate allegedly snorting cocaine

Her collection Kate Moss Topshop for UK high street retailer Topshop ("high street" is Britspeak for "chain store" for example, H+M, Forever 21, Gap, Banana Republic) was sold in US, incongruously, through Barneys. Barneys featured a countdown clock on its web site for Kate Moss Topshop on its website: orders could be placed beginning midnight. By the morning, however, the collection was sold out.

For all those who went away disappointed that they missed out on shopping Kate Moss Topshop, Barneys helpfully (or maybe not so helpfully) covered the launch party after the collection sold out. Check out Kate's outfit that featured a sheer muumuu, cinched with a belt, which plainly shows the black bikini bottom underneath.

Kate's latest endeavors include the projected launch of a skin care line and a partnering with hair stylist James Brown on a new line of hair care products.

Revlon limited edition collection

No doubt about it - Revlon took a drubbing in 2006, with the collapse of Vital Radiance the same year that it debuted. One also wishes that Revlon would have brought in new faces when it totally revamped Almay, but instead model Elaine Mellencamp (wife of singer John) continues as the face of Almay.

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain

Enough of that - Revlon has introduced a number of flashy new products in its limited edition collection, including Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain
icon and Bedroom Eyes™ Powder Liner. Just Bitten™ Lip Stain has a rollerball applicator - not the best for even layering. What's more, it dries quickly. The shade of Just Bitten™ in Blood Orange reminded me of orange popsicle stain. Other shades include Berry Juicy, Cherry Tart, and Plum Wicked.

I chose Revlon Bedroom Eyes™ Powder Liner in Smokin', which is great for creating the smoky eye. Be sure to tap excess powder from the applicator onto a tissue beofre applying - otherwise, it gets all over your cheek and countertop. Clearly, when using Bedroom Eyes™ as part of your eye makeup, do your eye makeup before you apply base. As FT Weekend columnist Edwina Ings-Chambers, who had a makeup application by NARS artist James Boehmer, writes:

The first thing to remember, Boehmer says, is that you shouldn’t try to replicate the 60s thing: keep the liner off the lid and stick to putting it round the eyes. “It’s more about the outer corner of the lid, not all over the lid,” he says.

Be prepared with cotton balls and eye makeup remover or Swabplus Liquid Filled Cotton Swabs, Eye Makeup Remover. Be sure to finish this look with lots of volumizing mascara.

BTW Generally, I find lipliners too harsh. Revlon is one of the two companies I know that offers a clear lipliner (ColorStay®) at a nominal price - the other being Paula Begoun's Paula's Choice line. Paula also recommends Lip Line Fixer from The Body Shop, which proves that she's not partisan.

I haven't seen L'Oreal's clear lipliner in ages, so I guessed that L'Oreal discontinued it. An alternative is a lipliner that exactly matches the color of your lips, which is why MAC's lip pencil in Spice has remained so popuplar.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A sad trip home

Tragedy, it seems, comes in chunks. The morning after my post on the Virginia Tech massacre, my mother called and told me that my father had been admitted to the Cardio ICU. I called my brother, whom I hadn’t seen in nearly 13 years, and our family friend Susan to let them what was happening. I set aside all my plans for that weekend and began packing for St. Louis. As I packed, my husband went online to make plane reservations for me. He completed making reservations at 12:30 PM, and my flight was to depart at 2:30 PM. I had a connecting flight from O’Hare, and didn’t arrive in St. Louis until that evening. Fortunately, Susan gave my mother company before my brother and I could arrive.

My father was put on a respirator. By Sunday, it was apparent that he wasn’t going to recover, so my mother, brother, and I made the fateful decision to have the respirator removed. It was removed at about 1:30 PM. We sat by my father’s bedside, held his hands, listened to his breathing, and watched the heart rate monitor. His breaths grew less and less frequent, as his heart rate dropped. When his heart rate dropped below 30, the monitor sounded. The nurse came to shut it off. My father died 3:42 PM, Sunday, April 22, 2007.

That was not the end of bad news. Susan called to let us know that her son was diagnosed with cancer. Also, the daughter of my mother’s late friend called to say that her father had died. As I had to contend with my mother at the same time, I’m sorry that I couldn’t be fully present for these people when they called.