Monday, January 28, 2008

Be Prepared

You wouldn't have guessed that women are eschewing lip gloss for lipstick through the introduction of new products from Trish McEvoy and Carol's Daughter. This post will deal with the Be Prepared Pink Compact from Trish McEvoy; a subsequent post will deal with Candy Paints from Carol's Daughter.

Be Prepared Pink Compact from Trish McEvoy

Trish McEvoy is a New York-based makeup artist with an eponymous makeup line. She's already shrunk makeup palettes to the size of a credit card. Now she's squeezed eight different shades of lipgloss into this 2" x 1" compact. The shades range from faintly there neutrals to bright pinks like Sparkling Pink and Tropical Pink (flamingo pink) ... in other words, a whole wardrobe of shades for every mood and outfit. You can carry this compact with you in your purse and "be prepared" for any occasion.

The real meaning of "Be Prepared"? Net proceeds from sale of this compact support Girl Scouting! You can forego Girl Scout cookies (with the exception of Thin Mints and Samoas, my favorites) for this less caloric means of supporting Girl Scouting.

Girl Scouts was the best thing I did while in grade school and possibly in my entire life. Shoutout to my friend Tina:

Tina, if you find this blog, I appreciate all the work that your Mom did as a Girl Scout leader, particularly when she invited me to accompany another Girl Scout troop on its weekend camping trip. Thanks to your Mom, I completed requirements for five merit badges that weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Color them red (or pink or rose brown)

I've already mentioned Bobbi Brown's advice that the most flattering lip color is two shades darker than your natural lip color. The continuum between light and dark is referred to as value.

This article Color them red (or pink or rose brown) from the San Jose (California) Mercury News deals with another aspect of color, namely hue. The article cites various lip colors such as coral, fuchsia, and red, but Laura Mercier and Linda Wells, Editor-in-chief, Allure agree: the most foolproof color is rose brown.

American Beauty Enduring Beauty™ Longwear Lipcolor
My favorite rose brown? American Beauty Enduring Beauty™ Longwear Lipcolor in Chestnut Rose, sold exclusively at Kohl's. I wasn't smitten with American Beauty when it first came out, even though Ashley Judd is the face of American Beauty. I seldom go to the movies and I don't even have a Netflix membership, so the only time I get to watch movies is on cross-country or overseas flights. Ashley invariably stars in the feature film, whether it's a tearjerker like Simon Birch or potboilers like Double Jeopardy and High Crimes. It's almost like she's become a traveling companion.

Back to the lipstick ... it goes on like a cream, that dries to a semi-matte and compares very well with favorite lipsticks such as Besame's Enchanting Lipstick and MAC's Satin Lipstick. While I like experimenting with lip glosses and lip stains, these are the lipsticks I like the best.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three from Laura Mercier

I've always had a soft touch for Laura Mercier. When other cosmetics brands were going for gimmicky products, she's remained true to making women look beautiful. More to the point, I had a very positive experience at a Laura Mercier counter, when the makeup artist commented that I must be very diligent about sunscreen, as my face didn't have any lines. Then I told her about my upcoming birthday, and she was amazed!

Anyway, here are product reviews for three of her recent introductions:

Laura Mercier Brow Definer Soft - I get my brows tinted when I go to the salon to get my hair done. However, the brows are resistant to taking color. I'm always on the lookout for products that tint the brows. I've become dissatisfied with LORAC's Brow Wax, as it's too hard, so I was interested in this product. The Brow Definer is described as an "innovative wax/gel formula," but I couldn't find anything innovative about it. It looks and feels like a gel eyeliner, which is no longer a new innovative product.

I purchased this product at bluemercury. I thought that I should use the Warm (brunette) shade, but the saleswoman was adamant that Soft (deep blonde/soft brunette) was right for me. Regardless, the best solution I've found to date is taking a cue from the guys: I use moustache wax to define the brows (use a brow brush to brush them into place first); then I apply a brown-black eyeshadow with a stiff angled brush to color the brows.

Laura Mercier Lip Stain Mulberry - This lip stain is a red-plum. When I tried it at bluemercury, I swiped it over my lips. It was bright! The saleswoman told me that the best application is by patting the color onto the lips: in that way, you can build color to your desired intensity.

As with other lip stains I've reviewed (Underground by Rimmel, Revlon), well-conditioned lips are necessary to making lip stain feel comfortable on the lips.

Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil Black Gold (not pictured) - I was intrigued by the color. I love metallics, but not pure silver or gold shades. Instead, I prefer pewter shades to silver or bronzy shades to gold. This pencil seemed right up my line.

However, I find eyeliner pencils (except for retractable ones) a nuisance. Is the pencil too hard to use? Then run hot air from a blow dryer over it. Too soft to sharpen? Put in it the fridge or freezer. Then there's the mess of keeping your sharpeners clean (I used cotton swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol). This pencil is no different, and at $19.00, it's no bargain, either.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Let's stop glamorising pregnancy out of wedlock

Pregnant and unmarried

Call me old-fashioned, but I'm getting tired of the endless parade of celebrities getting pregnant out of wedlock. Beauty Addict has run a series of posts showing magazine covers of pregnant celebrities:
  • Jessica Alba (unmarried)
  • Lily Allen (unmarried)
  • Halle Berry (unmarried)
  • Jennifer Lopez (married!)
No, I am not suggesting that we go back to the days when Ingrid Bergmann left the U.S. because of the relentlessly hostile press she had for conceiving out of wedlock. Media has simply gone too far on the other side of the pendulum, and it's time to go back to the center. One can't escape these magazines - these magazines are point of purchase items when one checks out at the cashier.

What sort of example is this giving to young women that pregnancy out of wedlock is desirable? OK, I take marriage seriously - I've held to my heart what my father-in-law wrote to me prior to my marriage - that marriage is a sacrament, not merely a contract.

I received negative replies when I posted my opinions on Beauty Addict. Kristen herself said my comments about Halle Berry were "insensitive." I know Halle Berry's story: her family abandoned by her father and two wrenching divorces (the first from baseball star David Justice, the second from singer Eric Benet). No wonder that she's bummed on marriage. Still, this is not reason to emblazon her picture on magazine covers such as InStyle and People (does her publicist have an "in" with Time Warner, which owns both magazines?). Is Halle Berry seeking validation from the magazines's audiences for her choices?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

sweet tarte

Tarte We Wish You Health Skinvigorating Discovery Kit

We Wish You Health Skinvigorating Discovery Kit is a limited edition set from tarte. It consists of mini clean slate™ face primer, mini lock & roll creaseless eyeshadow duo (shade: slate), mini lights, camera, lashes! 4-in-1 mascara, and mini Inside out vitamin-infused lipgloss powered by BORBA in serenity.

My least favorite item was the lock & roll creaseless eyeshadow duo. One end features a cream eyeshadow with an itty-bitty pointed brush: hardly the implement for shading the lid. Moreover, the eyeshadow sets before you can blend it. The other end features eyeshadow that's applied with a rollerball, not the best for even application.

While initially I wasn't that smitten with the mascara, as it doesn't create thicker lashes, I found that it didn't smear after crying (Christmas was very emotional for me, as I had to call an ambulance to take my mother to the ER on Christmas Day. She's been in the hospital since.)

I had never understood the benefit of face primer. I had always reasoned that if you use moisturizer and alpha and beta hydroxy acid products judiciously, there was no need for face primer. I first tried
clean slate™ face primer on New Years Eve. It felt very much like John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Serum for hair(!) - the principal ingredient in both products is silicon. What this products does is to make your complexion look dewier.

My favorite product from this kit is the lipgloss. It's one of those proverbial "looks bright in the tube, goes on subtle" products. I'm not one for lipgloss in a wand - to me, there always seem to be something unhygieinic about running the wand over the lips and then sticking the wand back into the tube, over and over again. Nonetheless, this product is a keeper. It just intensifies the natural color of my lips and dries to a semi-matte finish.

NOTE This review has been cross-posted at Total Beauty.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Best wishes for 2008

The Style Page wishes all its readers and friends the best for the New Year.

Upcoming: reviews of tarte's We Wish You Health Skinvigorating Discovery Kit and Laura Mercier products.