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THE COSMETIC REPORT
March 17, 2004

Welcome to this week's Cosmetic Report newsletter. It's our goal to bring you unbiased information about cosmetic products and trends so you can make educated buying decisions. If you've been searching for straightforward beauty information and advice, you've found it here. The Cosmetic Connection Panel of reviewers are consumers just like you who face the same issues and challenges, and look to the beauty industry to help solve them.

In this issue of The Cosmetic Report, guest contributor Kimber shares with you some of the skin and beauty products she has discovered while "on the road" that work really well and serve double duty, so that her cosmetic bag is lightweight enough for frequent travel.

Kimber, 42, has fine, wavy dark blonde hair with lighter highlights, green eyes and fair-to-light skin tone (Prescriptives color Real Vellum) that burns, then tans. Her skin type is sensitive, prone to breakouts once a month and has mild skin damage (freckles) from those Southern California summers as a kid. She has some fine lines around the eye and mouth area that can be concealed fairly well - but more noticeably has #11 lines between her eyebrows that she just can't seem to hide anymore.

There is something that happens to your skin when you're just over 40. And I do mean "just". Not two months went by before I saw the bags under my eyes looking as big as the ones I bring home from the Nordstrom Semi-Annual Women's Sale.

Call me Goldilocks. I've got fine, wavy hair that's highlighted, and my skin is sensitive. Which means I need to be careful when choosing products - the really "effective ones" can be harsh, and yet I want results! The other Goldilocks may have headed off to the Bear's cottage for some porridge and sleep, but for this working woman, it was off on planes, trains and automobiles while finding a portable solution that's "just right" for on the road - whether it's the boardroom, the ballroom or the bedroom.

What did I find? Oh, so many wrong answers, but also some wonderful "just right" products, as long as I didn't let brand loyalty stand in my way.

I've measured products on a 50/30/20 scale: 50% in effectiveness, 30% in travel-friendly packaging (after all, what good is a great eye cream if the only thing it moisturizes is the bottom of your travel bag because it broke during transit?), and 20% if the product is multipurpose. I mean, ya gotta be able to pick the bag up! Ready?

Cleansing
Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 Cleanser is a makeup remover, cleanser, light exfoliator and toner in a plastic squeeze bottle. What's not to love? Others that I really like are Jurlique Foaming Facial Wash with tea tree and lavender (great in the shower), Caudalie Grape Seed Gentle Cleanser, and Morgen Schick Mimosa Citrus/Champagne Balm.

Toner
I still haven't found a liquid toner that really takes to travel well. My favorite are Jurlique Aromamist Sprays. Similar to toners (without the usual alcohol component), they do a great job to refresh the skin during airplane travel or in dry climates. Travel blend, Party blend and Clarity blend are my favorites, although there are six to choose from.

Eye Cream
If you've got the travel puffies, nothing cures them like Molton Brown Eye Rescue. For something a bit more creamy, my pick is Caudalie Grape Seed Eye Contour Cream. Both are effective, don't irritate sensitive skin and come in good plastic tubes with stay-on-until-you-screw-them-off lids.

Moisturizer
I recommend two, with the first being Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 30. It is the first high SPF sunscreen/moisturizer that makes my skin feel healthy, and it's inexpensive enough to use on my chest, arms, legs or other parts that will be exposed to the sun, so I don't need to take another body sunscreen and moisturizer with me. The other recommendation is Lancome Imanance Environmental Protection Tinted Cream SPF 15 (and all this time I thought it was just a tinted moisturizer!). While there are other tinted moisturizers out there that are just as good ­ Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown both make great ones, Lancome Imanance takes first place for me because of its ultra-flat packaging. One thing to note, though: it is too sheer to be a true foundation for most people.

Concealer/Foundation/Primer
Ramy Beauty Therapy Skin Sticks are seriously portable and can serve as concealer, foundation and moisturizer! Loads of vitamins, too, to make up for travel dehydration or jet lag. This is a great tool for those early morning meetings after a red-eye flight.

Powder
I just can't recommend pressed powder, because I don't use it much; since I've hit the 4-0, little lines tend to become more noticeable with powder. I recommend a light touch of Laura Mercier Loose Powder or Urban Decay Universal Loose Powder after moisturizing and concealing and any cream blush you may use. You'll get more coverage and a nice, natural/slightly matte finish ­ and no creeping in the lines.

Color Makeup
Trust me on this: Buy a kit with eye, lip and cheek colors. Single packages take up too much room. My favorites, because the colors can go from morning to night are from Nars, Urban Decay and Tarte, but there are many good kits out there.

Color Sticks
I can't leave home without a pinky-brown 3-in-1 (lips, cheeks, eyes) stick. My favorites are Nars The Multiple and Cargo Colortube. Both come in great colors and last well, and some of the colors can also be used on shoulders or chest area for a little glow.

Brow Pencil
L'Oreal, Ramy and Clarins all make brow pencils that include a grooming brush. It's a nice touch.

Add these must-haves to your favorite eye pencil, lip pencil and mascara and you're good to go just about anywhere!

Other "just right" products a girl's gotta have in her travel kit include:

Philosophy Strawberry Milkshake - yummy smelling shampoo, conditioner and body wash with vitamins that leave hair and skin clean and soft.

Rosebud Perfume Company Rosebud Salve - great lip balm that can serve as a first aid balm if your elbows, knees or heels need a little relief from dryness, or if you get a couple of mosquito bites or burns.

Schick Intuition - not only a packing saver, but a timesaver - soaps, shaves and moisturizes at the same time.

Deodorant/Anti-perspirant - just take your favorite. But make sure you take one that works! Nothing is worse than a pongy person sitting next to you on a long flight! P-U!

Robert Craig No More Bad Hairdays Kit - comes with twelve test strips, three shampoos for different water (soft, moderately hard and extremely hard) and a spray-on, leave-in conditioner. If you're traveling a lot and your hair is color-treated, water can play havoc. These travel-sized shampoos really do perform mini-miracles, and the spray-on conditioner is nice, too.

We hope you enjoyed this issue of The Cosmetic Report!


 

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