Friday, September 30, 2011

Lipstick tips

I have a couple of MAC lipsticks - Plum and Bourbon from the limited edition Beauty Icon 3 collection - Catherine Deneuve.  These lipsticks are demi-matte in their finish and have a tendency to "grab" and not apply smoothly.  I remedied this problem by applying face primer to my lips - it gives "glide" to the application.

When applying lipstick, I finish by swiping lipstick inside my lower lip for a polished look.  It also makes lips look fuller.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Her name is Aphrodite ...

and she rides a crimson shell"

The myth of Aphrodite brought to mind the song Tales of Brave Ulysses:

The band is Cream.  It released its last album in 1969.  Cream consisted of Eric Clapton (who needs no introduction), Jack Bruce (bass and vocals), and Ginger Baker (drums).  Jack Bruce might be my favorite rock vocalist, but this video doesn't present his voice to best effect.  Interestingly, Clapton receives little face time, as the focus is on Jack Bruce and the somewhat crazed looking ("creepy but cool") Ginger Baker.

This performance is from a 1968 appearance on The Smother Brothers TV Hour.  The Smother Brothers TV Hour was the only show on TV, certainly in prime time, to feature bands such as The Who, Jim Morrison and The Doors, and Jefferson Airplane - the latter with Kate ("God Bless America") Smith!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Illuminating Powder

Korres has its roots in the first homeopathic pharmacy in Athens, Greece.  It has since had broad distribution in the United States, particularly through Sephora retail stores and

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Illuminating Powder contains burnished rose, ivory rose, and gold rose reflective minerals.  I use it as a highlighter on top of the cheekbones.  To apply:
  • Shake a little powder onto the lid
  • Fold the sponge that comes in the package in half, flocked side up
  • Press the edge of the sponge into the powder
  • Tap the sponge onto the top of the cheekbones
  • Run a fluffy brush along the top of the cheekbones to diffuse the powder
According to the press materials,

... the rose used to be white until Aphrodite, hurrying to save the dying Adonis, injured herself on thorns and turned the white petals red with blood.  Since then, roses are thought to be Aphrodite's flowers, and they're symbolic of life, love, the heart and soul.

This is one myth that I didn't know.  I thought that myrtle was Aphrodite's flower.

The fine print:  The PR firm representing Korres provided me with a sample of Korres Wild Rose Mineral Illuminating Powder me.  It also provided me with a sample of Korres Colour Lip Butter in Mango, a tinted balm with shea butter and rice wax emollients.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bare Escentuals' Be a Force of Beauty advertising campaign

The New York Times had a feature on Bare Escentuals' much ballyhooed "Be a Force of Beauty" advertising campaign: Beauty Might Not Be Blind, but the Casting Call Was.

According to the NYT:

To find models that represented the elusive notion of beauty, the company held a blind casting call for women ages 20 to 60. Representatives from Bare Escentuals did not see the women who applied until they were selected for the campaign. Instead, they asked more than 270 women to complete a questionnaire about who they were and what they were like.

“My agent wouldn’t even tell me who the company was,” said Keri Shahidi, 42, one of the women chosen for the campaign, because the agent did not want the knowledge to affect her answers. The list was then whittled to 78 women, who were chosen based on their answers to the survey and brought in for interviews with casting agents. That list was reduced to 26 women, and after an a additional round of interviews, five women made the final cut.

Not seeing the women before they were chosen, Ms. Blodgett said, was a bit nerve-racking. “Do you know what a huge risk that is? What if all five of them were blonde, blue-eyed and 30?”

The follow-up trailers suggest that the casting agents screened the women by answers to questionnaires and audio interviews alone - sight unseen.  I have a hard time believing that these attractive women were selected through answers to questionnaires and audio interviews alone.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Treat it, don't conceal it

Temptalia, who might be the foremost beauty blogger in the blogosphere, asked, How do you conceal acne?

My answer: treat it, don't conceal it.  I think that concealer only draws attention to pimples - or else I'm not that skilled in applying concealer.

Paula Begoun's 2% Exfoliating BHA Lotion

When I got pimples, I used Paula Begoun's Exfoliating 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Lotion and applied a thin layer of mild 5% or less benzoyl peroxide lotion (less expensive store brands are available) to treat the pimple.  I would apply hot water compresses (soak a washcloth in steaming hot water, let cool slightly, wring out the washcloth, and press) to bring the pimple to a head.  I don't recommend that others follow my example, but I have been known to pop the pimple once it comes to a head.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Nuance Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek has made the transition from being a Mexican telenovela actress to being a force to reckon with in Hollywood - nominee for Best Actress Oscar for Frida and producer for Frida and Ugly Betty, which itself was based on a telenovela.

Now she’s rolled out Nuance Salma Hayek, a line of skin, hair, and body care products and cosmetics for CVS. The cover story for the September 2011 issue of Allure gave her an opportunity to promote her line (the line between editorial and advertising in beauty and fashion magazines is razor thin).

Salma Hayek on the cover of the September issue of Allure

Buy one get one 50% off specials, CVS ExtraCare rewards, and $5 rewards for $50 spent on beauty products at CVS provided incentives to buy Nuance Salma Hayek cosmetics.

I tried Color Vibrance Lipstick in My Favorite (a pinky shade) and Paprika.  While My Favorite went on smoothly, Paprika had poor color payoff (I seek color payoff when it comes to red lipstick), was uneven in its application, and the color wasn't true.  I returned Paprika to CVS.  My husband was surprised that CVS accepts returns on cosmetics.

I'm a sucker for standout packaging, and the Beautiful Blends Eye Quad and Perfect Lips Lip Quad are packaged in a unique pod in which you open the "petals":

Perfect Lips Lip Quad

Other interesting products are:
  • Front and Center Concealer and Brightener, which looks a lot like LORAC's Double Feature Concealer/Highlighter (minus the rollerball)
  • Lights, Camera, Action Eye Trio, a single wand that contains "creamy eyeshadow, shimmery highlighter and eyeliner"
The packaging is adorned with delicate long-stemmed flowers - certainly not the bold designs of her talented brother Sami!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Using eyebrow pencil as an eyeliner

I discovered another use for the YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil, but it could work with any taupe-colored pencil.  I use it to fill in gaps on my lower eyelashes - simple dot on the eyebrow pencil in the gaps of your eyelashes.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

YBF Eyebrow Pencil

YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil

YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil is an automatic pencil (no need to sharpen) in a universal dark taupe color. It has a mascara-type brush on the other end.

Before using the YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil, groom your brows by brushing them. Start at the inner edge of the eyebrow and brush upwards and outwards following the shape of the eyebrow to the outer edge.  I prefer using an eyebrow brush to the brush on the YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil.  Then use short, feathery strokes to apply the YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil.  Again, apply upwards and outwards.

I have full eyebrows and don't like to tweeze or wax them. I do have my hairdresser dye my eyebrows when she colors my hair. I use the YBF Automatic Eyebrow Pencil only to fill in my eyebrows on the outer corners.

You may purchase the YBF Eyebrow Pencil, two for $20, from HSN.

Disclaimer: The YBF Eyebrow Pencil was supplied by the representative for YBF Beauty.