Sunday, June 29, 2008

Makeup Tip for Curled Eyelash Challenged

You all might know this already, but somehow this beauty tidbit has alluded me all these years: If you have hard to curl eyelashes, curl first with your eyelash curler and then apply waterproof mascara! I recently bought CoverGirl LashBlast mascara and accidentally bought the waterproof version. I was ready to return it to the store, but I thought, hey, it's summer. There will be swimming, and other water-related activities, maybe it's a good idea to have at least one waterproof mascara in my arsenal of lash enhancers. While I was not overwhelmed by LashBlast, and was very disappointed by not being overwhelmed, I was astounded by the fact that my eyelashes remained curled ALL DAY after applying this mascara. I did use an eyelash curler first, and then applied the mascara. Usually after I apply mascara, even after using a curler first, my eyelashes uncurl, maybe not going all the way back to straight, but definitely not holding the curl made by the curler. This even happened with the Lancome curling mascara, Courbe Virtuôse - I literally watched as my eyelashes "deflated." $23.50 mascara that promises lashes that curl past 90 degrees for 12 hours, and my lashes do the exact opposite. I even thought I'd then help the mascara out by curling the lashes first, and my lashes still unfurled the curl when I put on the mascara. Having used several different Lancome mascaras previously and liking them, I was shocked at the dismal performance of Courbe Virtuôse. I had even thrown away my receipt thinking that, of course, this Lancome mascara would work. Ok, maybe I wouldn't get crazy curled eyelashes, but I thought they would at least keep a curl. Ah, no such luck, and I'm out $23.50!

Now, I don't think I will make LashBlast waterproof formula my everyday mascara. It really did not give me the blast of lashes I expected. It was also a little too "wet" for me - it went on a little gloppily for my liking, making for somewhat sloppy application. Plus, and this is a big plus, it requires a lot of work to remove it -- many, many cottonballs soaked with eye makeup remover, and I am much too lazy to deal with that every night, especially when I'm exhausted and trying to get to bed. And though I am one who does wash her makeup off every night before going to sleep, I did a little experiment one night while wearing the Lash Blast to see if my lashes would still be curled the next morning, and they were! (Ok, ok, maybe I also didn't feel like dealing with taking off the LashBlast that night). I also noticed that my eyelashes stayed curled (though not as dramatically as with LashBlast) when I used Prescriptives Here To Stay24-Hour Longwear Mascara. And, no, I don't know exactly why or what it is in the waterproof formulas that keep the eyelashes curled, but it works. So now my mission is to find the waterproof mascara that delivers volume and lengthening effects while not adding an additional 5 minutes to my nighttime makeup removal routine! Oh, dream mascara, where are you?!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Little Extra Protection is A Good Thing

For my recent shore vacation (the "shore" is what we southeast Pennsylvanians and southern New Jerseyans call the "beach") I purchased St. Ives Elements Protective Cleanser with SPF 10. This is a facial cleanser that, when you wash the cleanser off your face, is supposed to leave behind a layer of SPF 10 protection. Pretty cool, huh? Now, some people say this will help them skip a pesky extra step in their morning skincare routine by eliminating the application of SPF. I understand how one could feel this way, but c'mon ladies. SPF 10? From a cleanser you just washed off your face? I mean, really, how much protection can that really give you? Now, I'm not denying that the product does what it says, but we should all know by now that you need a lot higher SPF protection on your delicate face than a 10.My dermatologist said nothing less than 30 would do, and she herself wore, like, 75 (and she was probably late 40's/early 50's and her skin was porcelain-like).

Anyhoo...the cleanser, surprisingly, did not leave behind a greasy film that you might expect. The directions have you massage it into your face for one to two minutes, I guess to make sure the product really adheres to your skin. But it washes off just like any other cleanser. It's hard to believe that anything is truly left behind. I wrote to the company asking how this product worked, and, alas, I was told that "this technology is considered proprietary information". However, even though St. Ives didn't want to divulge their top-secret technology, apparently, someone else found out, because after only one search for "cleanser with SPF," I found out the following info from DailyBeauty:

This SPF 10 source works because it’s encapsulated in a positively-charged silica shell that sticks to the negatively-charged skin, so when the cleanser is rinsed off, the sun protection stays. In addition to protecting against 90% of UVB rays, Protective Cleanser also contains antioxidant vitamin E.

Really, was that soooo top-secret?! Also, this technology is not completely new to the St. Ives cleanser, as freeze 24.7 has a cleanser with SPF 15 called Ice Shield. However, the St. Ives cleanser is much less expensive -- I got it for $3.45 ($1 off coupon, and it was on sale) vs. $48. I, personally, can't see spending $48 for SPF 15 cleanser, but, seems like plenty of others will because Ice Shield is sold out on their website.

Basically, I think this is a good product, works as a cleanser (but do not get it in your eyes - it stings!), but not as your sole means of sun protection. Maybe if you work in an office all day long, eating lunch at your desk, never seeing the light of day, but in general, it's probably best to just use this cleanser as a supplement to your sunscreen routine - I like to think I'm adding yet another layer of protection, giving that sneaky sun one more barrier to have to break through before it can inflict any damage. But also keep in mind, layering SPF 10 under say, SPF 15 foundation does NOT equal SPF 25.

Now I wish I could say I was really dedicated to finding out if this cleanser truly protected, but I have to say I was not at all willing to go outside and offer up my already sun-damaged face to the harmful rays of the sun for research, knowing that I would never go out with a sunscreen that only contained SPF10. Like I said, I'll use this cleanser, but will keep in mind that the SPF10 I'm getting from it is just a little extra insurance, not my only source of protection.

Clearance is Bliss...

Gee, if they only had free shipping, too! Ok, I shouldn't be greedy...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can She BE More Beautiful?!

Ok, we all know Angelina is gorgeous. Well, except for that moron Donald Trump, but then again, he goes out in public with that hair of his. 'Nuf said. Anyway, when I saw this cover shot of Angie, I was blown away. I think this may be the most beautiful pic I've ever seen of her - though there are many, many incredible ones to choose from. She can't take a bad one. I think maybe I like this one so much because I love big hair, and while I don't like makeup that is heavy and caked-on, I do appreciate her oh-so-glam makeup in this shot. The bold, velvety red lips against the fair skin, and the defined, but not too heavily, eyes. And the pillowy boobs, don't forget them, as if you could. So not fair that someone (who is not me!) can be that gorgeous.

Oh, yeah, I want to read the article, too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bronzer Search - Almost Found a Keeper

Thanks to Beauty Blogging Junkie, I entered a Physicians Formula Organic wear sweepstakes in honor of Earth Day and won a free PF product of my choice (coupon for free item sent in the mail). Since I am on the hunt for the perfect bronzer to give my pale skin a warm but a not muddy, orange or too dark of a glow, I choose as my free product the new Bronze Organics bronzer for Light Skin. According to the packaging, this is 100% free of all of the following:

  • Harsh Chemicals
  • Synthetic preservatives
  • Parabens
  • GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms - yuck!)
  • Synthetic Colors
  • Synthetic Fragrances
  • and is 100% Cruelty Free
They claim they are the first 100% Natural Organic makeup line in the U.S. with Certified Organic ingredients. Very cool. I can bronze and feel good about it! Also, all the Organic wear products are recyclable, too.

As for the product itself, I definitely like the color. It is not too dark on me. It is also not glittery, which is great if you are over 13, and I certainly am. The website says it contains cornstarch to mattify the skin, but I do not think it is a completely matte bronzer. It seems to have a very subtle sheen to it. I also really like that aspect - not completely matte, which can sometimes look dull and flat, but not too shiny, or shimmery. Too much shimmer can settle into pores and fine lines and accentuate them, not something I want to do.

The packaging is cute. Natural color paper packaging - no plastic. Well, wait, there is a plastic window so you can see the product - wonder if that's recyclable? Pretty little delicate green leaf drawings all over. The top flips opens to access the bronzer, and then, you open up the bronzer pan and there is a compartment for the included natural goat hair brush, and a mirror. Very convenient, but when I'm at home I'll be using a fluffier brush.

The only drawback I'm finding so far is...the smell. And the thing is, I just can't put my finger on what it reminds me of in order to give you an idea. I just know I've smelled something like it before, and I don't like it. I'm sure I'll figure out what the offending odor reminds me of as soon as I publish this post, though. Luckily, it doesn't linger, so the unfortunate scent is not too big of a problem.

Overall, I think it's a winner, but not necessarily the Grand Prize winner in my bronzer search, But at least I can add some a decent faux-glow as I continue my quest.