Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More winter skin care advice - lips

The article Expert advice on winter skin care provided a lot of excellent tips about protecting your skin during cold winter weather.  In this article, I provide my time-proven tips about keeping lips soft in winter.

Instead of removing dry flakes from my lips with a soft toothbrush, I use Paula Begoun’s lip treatment, a wax that removes flaking skin, but it’s no longer available through her website. It was modeled after Beauticontrol’s Lip Apeel.

May I say something about Aquaphor? Allure touted it as a lip protectant, but it does little for me. A lip product with Vitamin E works better than Aquaphor. The Agatha Ruiz de la Prada fruit-flavored lip balms that you find at duty-free shops at airports in Europe (I have also seen them at anthropologie) are very emollient. Sally Hansen Healing Butter for Lips and the Reviva Labs Vitamin E Stick are satisfactory, but not as good as the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada lip balms. Skin care expert Liz Earle recommends ingesting Vitamin E capsules, but Vitamin E is also great as a topical treatment.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

RIP Brittany Murphy

I  very rarely blog about celebrities, although I'm continually fed fashion & beauty stories about celebrities.  It's just that I can't in good conscience blog about celebrities whose work I don't know.   Our DirectTV service is out, I haven't joined Netflix, and I seldom go to the movies.  That explains why I don't know the work of many celebrities, or else they are merely famous for being famous.

Today I was saddened to learn about the death of Brittany Murphy at age 32.  Her breakthrough role was as Tai, the new kid whom Cher and Dionne make over in Clueless.  One of her unsung roles was that of Luann Platter, Hank and Peggy Hill's bird-brained live-in niece, on the long-running animated TV series King of the Hill.  Luann was hilarious, whether bawling "UNCLE HANK!!"  or providing the voices for the Manger Babies puppets during her born-again phase.

Lady Bird, Bobby Hill, Hank Hill, Peggy Hill, and Luann Platter from King of the Hill

Brittany Murphy will be missed.

Brittany Murphy, 1977-2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best #Beauty Tools

Missing are favorites such as Beautyblender and the sensuously soft Make Up For Ever HD Kabuki Brush, which I use to apply MUFE HD Microfinish Powder.

See which brushes, tweezers and eyelash curlers Total Beauty Readers love

The 13 Best Makeup Tools
Even if you use your fingers to apply most things, all of us have a few tools in our makeup arsenal that we wouldn't want to live without. readers shared their favorite makeup tools, maybe it's time to add a few to your stash? average reader rating: 9.1

No. 13: Shiseido Eyelash Curler, $19
Readers call this "the most perfectly designed eyelash curler …" average reader rating: 9.3

No. 12: Too Faced Kabuki Brush, $30
It "provides fuller coverage than the usual brushes that eat up your powder …" average reader rating: 9.3

No. 11: Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush, $20
It is best when you want "skin tone perfection," as it allows …

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Expert advice on winter skin care

Need help with dry, chapped skin and lips? We've got the answers

Solutions for All Your Winter Skin Issues
Cold weather outside and dry heat inside can really do a number on your skin. If you've tried slathering on every lotion you can get your hands on to no avail, then you need these expert tips to fight dry skin. We talked to Arielle N.B. Kauvar, M.D., director of New York Laser & Skin Care, and Liz Earle, a natural skin care expert, to find out what ingredients, methods and products work best to get you soft, silky skin all season long.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ultimate Holiday #Beauty Gifts UPDATED

Ultimate Holiday Beauty gifts

Thirteen shopping days before Christmas, and here are my picks for the ultimate holiday beauty gifts. From left to right:

Clarisonic Plus Skin Care Sonic Cleansing System - I was skeptical about Clarisonic until I had a chance to try it. You don't have to apply pressure to clean your face, and you can switch out the face brush head with the body brush head to exfoliate your skin in the shower.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Tour Atour perfumed bracelet - If Ellis Faas is the cosmetics story of 2009, then Maison Francis Kurkdjian is THE fragrance story of 2009. Parfumeur Francis Kurkdjian has made fragrance conceptual art, through staging a light, sound, and scent show and other spectacles at Versailles. His new fragrance line Maison Francis Kurkdjian is as innovative as his conceptual art. Among its unique products is the Tour Atour perfumed bracelet.

Edward Bess Lip Wardrobe
- Each winter holiday brings a slew of gift sets and limited edition palettes, the cheesiest being the mammoth palettes from Markwins International's The Color Workshop. This set of 10 lipsticks and 5 lip glosses is elegantly presented in a black lacquer box. It's exclusive to Bergdorf Goodman.

Don't expect value gifts here. The Clarisonic system costs around $200, while the Edward Bess Lip Wardrobe costs a whopping $400!

UPDATE Want to see more ultimate beauty gifts and salivate? Visit Best beauty gifts, as told by beauty bloggers from Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis. My input was the Bond No. 9 New York Bon Bon Box.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

JK Jemma Kidd giveaway #in #beauty

I had planned to participate in a webinar featuring makeup artist Jemma Kidd on Wednesday, December 2. The webinar began at 2 PM Eastern Time. At 1 PM, we lost power. What should have been an enjoyable afternoon became a nightmare, as I scrambled to get power restored. I was disappointed (to put it mildly) that I couldn't participate in the webinar and share this story with you.

My loss is your gain! While I couldn't provide you breaking news from the webinar, I can still host the giveaway that I planned to accompany the story. This time, the prize comprises two JK Jemma Kidd palettes: the JK fashion junkie lip palette and the JK fashion junkie eye palette.

This contest runs two weeks, so that I can ship the prize out on Saturday, December 19 and get it to you by Christmas!

The webinar is archived at It is a .wmv file running about 30 minutes. You won't find action video, but slides presented by Jemma Kidd and her lead makeup artist. I thought that the webinar was well managed and paced.

The fine print: these items were provided by representatives for JK Jemma Kidd.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Cosmetics Story of 2009

It's official. I have reviewed the articles published on More Than a Pretty Face this year and selected The Cosmetics Story of 2009.

Ellis Faas is THE cosmetics story of 2009. Hers is the most exciting and original cosmetics story this year. Her Human Colours concept is based on colors based in the human body, a concept that evolved from her experience in doing special effects makeup (simulating wounds, bruises, and blood) for PSAs. Somehow it doesn't fit to call the sleek space age pens that she uses for her products as unique, distinctive, standout, etc., as these words have become so overused that they have lost meaning. Her packaging is truly one of a kind.

Since I published my interview with Ellis Faas back in August, she's launched Ellis Skin (foundation, blusher, concealer, and powder) and Ellis Eyes (eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner), all packaged in the same sleek space age pens used for Ellis Lips.

Now Ellis Faas has launched Ellis Holder to hold her products. It's a cylinder that can hold up to eight of her products. The skin veil pen fits in the center slot, while other products can be put in the six surrounding slots. Compact powder may be placed in the lid.

Ellis Holder - image from

Here is Ellis Faas demonstrating how to use Ellis Holder:

Video from

Not sure about the music with the overdub, though. It sounds like background for soft-core porn! Madonna's Justify My Love comes to mind.

And here is a video of her showing how not to use Ellis Holder:

Video from Ellis Faas's YouTube channel

The Dutch love strong coffee! I traveled across Canada with several folks from The Netherlands, and we were dumbstruck as they added teaspoon after teaspoon of instant coffee and teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar to approximate what they drank back home. It was more like slurry than coffee.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Erno Laszlo TranspHuse Lip pHixative

Erno Lazslo TranspHuse Lip pHixative is a colorless lip plumper designed to be worn under lip color.

The tube features a roller ball for smooth application. Silicone ingredients help. When I tested it, it didn't burn or sting on contact like the lip plumping Lip Butter from Fruits and Passion. Once the lip plumper dries, a numbing sensation kicks in. The numbing sensation and lip plumping last a couple of days.

Although Erno Lazslo TranspHuse Lip pHixative contains emollient ingredients, lip plumpers should be used judiciously during cold winter months. You need all the lubrication you can get.

NOTE This product was provided to me by Erno Laszlo.