Tuesday, June 30, 2009

HiP high intensity pigments™ Kohl Eyeliner

There’s some thing exotic about loose kohl powder. Matin said that everyone in his native Afghanistan used surma (kohl) powder to line their eyes and that it remains his favorite product to use. My husband, who grew up in Calcutta, remembers how the Afghan wallahs walked up and down the streets peddling surma and hing, a sulfurous natural resin used in cooking (because of its odor, hing is usually cut with rice flour or chickpea flour).

L'Oreal HiP high intensity pigments™ Kohl Eyeliner

Now L'Oreal has come out with its HiP high intensity pigments™ Kohl Eyeliner. At $12-13, it's nearly one-third the cost of Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner ($34.00), a similar product.

When I first tried L'Oreal HIP Kohl Eyeliner icon, I had a lot of problems with smearing on my lower lids - as though I had some sort of Alice Cooper thing going on. At first, I thought that it might be the Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer that I was using. The Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer has a lot of slip, due to the presence of silicones. I switched to L'Oreal True Match™ Super-Blendable Concealer icon, but had the same problem.

With some experimentation, I learned how to work HiP high intensity pigments™ Kohl Eyeliner. Here's how:

* Stroke the fine-tipped brush on the back of your hand to remove excess.
* Apply. The brush enables you to get right at the root of your lashes.
* To intensify or smudge the line, pick up the pigment on your hand with a chisel-head eyeliner brush, and smudge

You might also use a sealer, but bypass an overpriced product like Paula Dorf Transformer ($19-20) in favor of La Femme Cake Eyeliner Sealer ($3.50) through makeupmania.com.

Now that I've gotten the hang of using HiP high intensity pigments™ Kohl Eyeliner, I'm enjoying using it.

You may find HiP high intensity pigments™ Kohl Eyeliner at big box stores (Target, Walmart), supermarkets, drugstores (particularly The Big Three), and drugstore.com.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Better days

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 - June 25, 2009) on her top-selling pin-up (1976)

"I want you back"
The Jackson Five featuring Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009) on The Ed Sullivan Show (1970)

"Pushin' Too Hard"
Casey Kasem introduces Sky Saxon (d. June 25, 2009) and The Seeds (1967)

Bitten by Twilight

Yes, I too have become "bitten" by Twilight. I bought Twilight at the bookshop at the airport to while away the hours on the plane. I love a good romance, and Twilight fits the bill. Now I'm reading New Moon.

DuWop Lip Venom V

Given the anticipation of the New Moon movie, scheduled for release this fall, it's not surprising that tie-ins with the movie are being announced. DuWop will release a limited edition version of its popular Lip Venom inspired by Twilight next month. DuWop describes Lip Venom V as:

"... a shimmering crimson lip stain suspended in a venom-laced liquid lip conditioner with a bite, and contains argan, avocado, olive oils and vitamin E. This product should be shaken before use to represent the blending of the human and vampire worlds …"

Hat tip: Gabrielle Long, NY Beauty Secrets Examiner.

As for me, here's the tie-in I want:

The Twilight Journals

A tie-in with the New Moon movie, The Twilight Journals set includes four blank journals with cover art from the Twilight series of books packaged in a keepsake tin. Pre-order: the product won't be released until October 13, 2009.

For the time being, be tantalized by the HD trailer for New Moon presented by Summit Entertainment on YouTube (I had to remove it from the blog because the space allowed for my articles truncated the trailer).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chesapeake Bay Candle

I was pleased to receive a travel set from Chesapeake Bay Candle. The set contains a soy wax candle in travel tin, a fragrance diffuser kit (silkscreened glass jar, reeds, and fragrance oil) and a bag of scented stones in a silkscreened glass vessel. It comes in an elegant presentation box fastened by a ribbon. My travel set, which came in Green Tea Jasmine, was so fragrant, I could smell it with the box closed.

Chesapeake Bay Candle travel set

The travel set is also available in:

Amber Vanilla Hazelnut (gourmand)
Honey Lemon Creme (citrus)
Tonka Bean Fig (fruit)

Other Chesapeake Bay Candle products come in these fragrance groups:


Browse Chespeake Bay Candle to find out more about products available in the different fragrance groups.

Chesapeake Bay Candle was founded by Mei Xu and David Wang, who created their products in a basement in Annapolis, MD. The couple also founded Blissliving Home, which offers coordinated bedding, home fragrance, and decorative accessories.

It's a pleasure to learn about lifestyle companies in the area surrounding the DC metro area, where I live.

PS Still trying to get the hang of my digital camera. Did you notice that the dates are wrong?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup SPF 15

I've been critical of the marketing of so-called mineral cosmetics: in a previous article Mineral Madness, I wrote:

The term "mineral" had referred to loose powders, but now it's being associated with products such as lipstick, liquid foundation, and pressed powders that contain other ingredients in addition to minerals. Thus, all cosmetics can be considered mineral cosmetics! Be critical, and recognize that "mineral" is just another marketing construct.

Pür Minerals is seizing on the marketing construct of mineral makeup being "pure." It is a line of pressed powder foundation, blushes, and eye shadows that contain ingredients other than minerals.

Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation With SPF 15

Despite my criticism of the marketing of so-called mineral products, I do like Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation With SPF 15. I took it along with me on my recent trip, in addition to Daniel Chinchilla Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation and Paula's Choice loose powder (no longer available). I found that Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation With SPF 15 met my needs (particularly coverage of redness on the cheeks) and that I could have done without the last two products and lightened my makeup bag.

One can easily pick up powder from Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation With SPF 15. To apply, I use the tools and techniques recommended by Pür Minerals founder Joli Baker:

I remind everyone that a light dusting of powder will not provide adequate protection from the sun. I wear smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 15 and Dermaxyl under Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation With SPF 15.

Find out what others say about Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation With SPF 15.

You may find Pür Minerals at Ulta and Dillard's in the U.S. and Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rethinking Mally Beauty

After a recent spate of presentations by Mally Roncal on QVC, I began to rethink my opinions about Mally Beauty. I still like the packaging of Mally Beauty products and the beautiful shades of Mally's Shimmer, Shape & Glow Face System, but the pressed powders are so hard, it's difficult to pick up color on a brush. I have to scrape powder with my fingernail to pick up color on my brush.

Also, some of Mally's products outrageously priced. A 4.0 oz bottle of dual-phase eye remover for $25, when you can buy dual-phase eye makeup removers from Neutrogena or Boots Botanicals for less than $10, with more product? A waxy brow pencil for $25, when Revlon ColorStay Brow Enhancer, a comparable product, costs less than $10?

If Mally would reformulate the Mally's Shimmer, Shape & Glow Face System, I'd be a repeat customer. I'll pass on the Eye-Opening Brow Boost and Dual Action Makeup Remover.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vivesana organic sun care

Vivesana Suncare
Vivesana calls itself "the planet's first 100% natural, 70% organic high performance and baby sunscreen." It seeks to blend safe, sustainable ingredients with style.

Vivesana provides:

* the first 70% organic baby and high performance sun care on the market.
* the first 100% natural sun care with strong protection SPF (40 & 42)
* the first sun care - as far as it knows - to use exclusively US-grown organics and domestic, sustainable, BPA-free packaging.

Its products include Solar to Polar Baby and Solar to Polar Ultra sunscreens.

It's no surprise that the active ingredients in Vivesana sun care were titanium dioxide and zinc oxide minerals, both barrier sunscreens. Plant oils and extracts are "carrier" ingredients.

Be prepared: Vivesana sunscreens are as thick as ointment. Its sunscreens are packaged in metal squeeze tubes, which are less common, as companies move to plastic squeeze tubes.

Some might not like the thick consistency and the white cover that Vivesana provides. However, for those people who have sensitive skin and/or who want an organic, natural product that performs and has style, then Vivesana is a very good choice.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quiz: What's Your Ideal Foundation?

Find the formula that will finally give you flawless-looking skin

We talked to celebrity makeup artists Gita Bass and Molly Stern and Procter & Gamble senior scientist Sarah Vickery to help you figure out the perfect formula for your skin type. Take the quiz to find out what kind of makeup your skin really needs and get expert tips on making your skin look its best.

Take the quiz

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Developments in sunscreen technology

Cosmetics Design Europe is a great resource for developments in cosmetics formulation. Here are three recent articles concerning sunscreen technologies:

SymHelios® 1031
According to the linked article, SymHelios® 1031 prevents a protein called the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) from inducing long term skin damage. UVB rays are said to cause the amino acid tryptophan to form a toxin that binds with AhR to induce the negative effects of exposure to UVB rays. SymHelios® 1031 is not a UV filter and should not take the place of UV filters.

SymHelios® 1031 was developed by the German company Symrise AG. I could not find any evidence that the FDA has approved SymHelios® 1031. Nor do I know of any products containing SymHelios® 1031. If there are independent studies that support or refute Symrise's claims, please tell me about them.

Solastay S1
Specialty chemicals company Hallstar has launched a new photostabilizer called Solastay S1. Hallstar claims that Solastay S1 enables Octyl methocycinnamate (OMC), a UVB absorber, and Avobenzone, a UVA absorber, to be combined. OMC and Avobenzone are unstable together.

If there are independent studies that support or refute the claims for Hallstar's claims, please tell me about them.

Nanoparticles are one of the most controversial topics in cosmetics formulation. Due to the efforts of the Environmental Working Group and companies marketing natural and organic products, consumers have become scared about the use of nanoparticles in cosmetics. However, NANODERM, a project that involves twelve European universities and institutes, has shown that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, an active ingredient used in mineral sunblock, do not penetrate the skin. Watch this video featuring Professor Tilman Butz of the University of Leipzig (Germany), who led the NANODERM project.

Mineral sunscreens, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, can look ashen, particularly on deeper skin tones. Micronized titanium dioxide minimizes the ashen appearance.

Want more? Cosmeticsdesign.com has a special edition on sunscreens.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

P&G to pull Max Factor from the U.S.

I was stunned - and saddened - to learn that P&G is discontinuing sale of Max Factor in the U.S.

Stunned, because P&G seemed to be investing so much into the brand, by hiring Gisele to be the face of Max Factor and heavily promoting its Extreme Lash Plumper and Vivid Impact Lipstick (which I think is very good), particularly through TotalBeauty.

Saddened, because we are losing a truly iconic brand. I do not use the term iconic lightly - it's overused.

Business is business, however. P&G is pulling Max Factor from the U.S. because of poor sales. It's probably the same reason that distribution of Max Factor was limited to Wal-Mart and a few other outlets (Ulta), but not to the Big Three of drugstore chains: CVS, Walgreen's, and Rite-Aid.

I agree with SF Beauty Examiner Mira Torres that tastes have changed. Women no longer want the full coverage of Pan-Stik and Pan-Face. Then, as Ms. Torres rightly points out,

Max Factor's downfall may be that it tried to stay "hollywood glamour," even if the term "Hollywood" (with the train-wreck tabloids and and reality world mayhem) has become kind of a joke.

As for me, I had to reproduce this image of Elizabeth Taylor advertising Pan-Stik that graced Ms. Torres's article:
Elizabeth Taylor for Max Factor's Pan-Stik
This is Liz from the 50s: pixie cut; dramatic, arched eyebrows, and painted lips. Now many, including my husband, might see Elizabeth Taylor as the ultimate train-wreck (multiple marriages, her friendship with Michael Jackson), but she's kept people fascinated for well over 60 years: no mean feat.

If anyone epitomized the "Hollywood Glamour" that Max Factor promoted, it's Liz.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Sunscreen ingredients

You know about the need to wear sunscreen. You know about the need for a sunscreen that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. But are you confused about sunscreen ingredients and how they work? What about proprietary names, such as Helioplex (Neutrogena), and trademarked ingredients, such as Meroxyl FX (L'Oreal) and Parsol® 1789?

dermatology.about.com answers these questions and more. Heather Brannon, MD is the "guide" for dermatology.about.com. While Dr. Brannon is not a dermatologist (she is a family practice doctor), she has a definite interest in dermatologic topics.

Dr. Brannon's article Proper Use of Sunscreen describes the various kinds of ultraviolet radiations and classifies sunscreen ingredients as either physical barriers (for example, titanium oxide) or radiation absorbers, in addition to discussing appropriate application of sunscreen. Her article Sunscreen Information - Information About UVA Sunscreen Ingredients describes various UVA radiation absorbers, including Helioplex, Meroxyl FX, and Parsol® 1789.

Given the importance of wearing sunscreen, these two articles are must-reads.

In a subsequent article, I will mention recent innovations in sunscreen technology.