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April 7, 2004

Welcome to the 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, Lisa shares her picks for glowing, springtime skin. You glow, girl!

Lisa is 30 years old, and hails from from Ohio. She has very fair skin that tends to be "combination," with unexpected rages of sensitivity. Lisa's heritage is rather mixed - mostly Hungarian, with some Scottish and French mixed in with a dash of Native American. Her very fair skin tans like nobody's business and produces a myriad of freckles, so she always wears plenty of sunscreen. Lisa has golden-green eyes, and auburn hair (not naturally, though - she's been coloring it every shade of red imaginable since she was 15). Lisa's main beauty concerns are puffy, sensitive, "circled" eyes, (which she remedies with Creme de la Mer applied at night, and Avon Lighten Up Plus in the daytime) and blackheads on her nose. The best thing she's found so far for the blackheads is Queen Helene Mint Julep mask - it works great, and has that fun retro packaging (it's available for mere dollars at drugstores and beauty supply stores nationwide) - and the AHA mask from Tipton Charles.

Officially, it is spring, but we're still getting our share of blustery blasts here in the Midwest. Aside from an endless case of the sniffles, most of us have gotten a serious case of sallow, flaky skin during the winter months. If the skin on your face and bod are looking a bit, ahem, scary, here are five great products that will help turn you right back into that glowing goddess!

BeneFit Cosmetics Mr. Frosty
BeneFit Cosmetics Mr. Frosty During the winter, cold winds make my eyes watery and red; not a real great canvas for eye makeup. As warmer weather approaches, I like to start using a bit more color. Mr. Frosty is a great option when you want to brighten up the whole eye area. This chubby pencil lays down a subtle layer of sheer, white frost. Use it as a liner under eyes, or, take the late, great Kevyn Aucoin's advice, and put just a little under the inner corners to mimic the eyes of children (you know, well rested, stress free). I keep this pencil in my "everyday" makeup bag.

Kiss My Face Sudz Soaps
Kiss My Face Sudz Soaps Sometimes, we concentrate so much on our complexions that we totally neglect all that beautiful skin from neck to toe. Itchy, ashy skin doesn't exactly beg to be touched, you know? These organic soaps from Kiss My Face are rich with organic palm oil, so they moisturize beautifully. I tried "In the Pink" complexion bar (with grapefruit and alpha hydroxy acids), "C-Weed" (with orange and hemp oil), and "Rough Seas" (an exfoliating body bar with lichen).

I loved all three of these (especially the complexion bar ­ which I used it for my whole body): they lather beautifully, smell fantastic, and bring skin back to life. They're even organic! And, quite a steal at $4-$6 a bar. These soaps are a great find.

Lush Cosmetics Dream Cream
Lush Cosmetics Dream Cream After you lather, preserve that soft skin with a great moisturizer. I have become completely addicted to this rather odd-smelling, herbal-infused body cream. It does not smell unpleasant, mind you, just very "green," this isn't the usual saccharine-sweetness of many brands ­ it can take a little getting used to. Lush uses very little artificial fragrance in their products, and I appreciate how different these scents can be.

Packed with all sorts of healing oils and extracts, like Tea Tree oil, Rose Water, Chamomile, and Oat Milk. It absorbs quickly, moisturizes completely, and soothes bumps and rashes. I use it everyday, and marvel at how much it has helped to calm my often-irritable skin. If you have sensitive skin, you should definitely give this cream a try. One of my friends uses it for his eczema, and swears it helps to keep it in check! Worth a try for anyone who struggles with skin problems from the neck down.

Prada Hydrating Gel Cream for Face with SPF 15 in "Glow"
Prada Hydrating Gel Cream for Face with SPF 15 Now, I'll admit, this is a splurge item. But remember splurges ARE really fun, and this is a worthy one. This tinted moisturizer has a velvet-y texture that somehow manages to feel incredibly light and sheer on. And, while I normally despise individually packaged "ampoules," for something like moisturizer, which breeds bacteria like nobody's business, I'll make an exception.

"Glow" is a shimmering neutral-beige that would work for a variety of skintones. While it is a very refined shimmer, I still think it can be a little intense for daytime. I use it alone for evening, but for daytime I mix it half and half with my favorite, regular tinted moisturizer, CG Smoothers, for a softer effect. Available at NeimanMarcus.com.

Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in "Lick of Taffy"
Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss I need another lipgloss like I need a hole in the head, but this sheer, luxurious formula from Christian Dior called to me from the makeup counter (I may hear voices, but at least they're friendly!). "Lick of Taffy" is a sheer, light pink with a hint of iridescence. The formula is very smooth, despite the presence of subtle "sparkles." Don't worry, this is glimmer for big girls. While it doesn't have the greatest staying power, it does remarkably well for a non-tacky formula. Great when you want a natural look, but need something more than bare-faced.

We hope you enjoyed this issue of The Cosmetic Report!



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