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November 6, 1998

It's gotten rainy and chilly here in Oregon, and that always means the beginning of The Great Winter Dry Out - hair, nails, and skin all becoming dry, dull, and flaky from wind, cold, and dry, indoor heating. I decided to start looking for products that would help now, and I found two great ones to keep your hands and nails protected this season.

After our Panelist Kiki's review of private label skin care from Hollywood facialist Steven Miller, I visited his website (www.smsc.net) to see what other goodies he had to offer. From his collection of lines, I found R. A. Eckstein Body Active Lecithin Nail Oil ($20 for .5 ounce). I have always believed that the secret to healthy nails is moisture - without it, nails become brittle and weak, so they break and peel more easily. Simply brush on this lanolin and jojoba oil (it's packaged like nail polish), then massage into your nails and cuticles. I've been using it at least once (preferably twice) a day for a week over bare nails and already notice a difference in my nails - the dryness is gone, and they're not peeling or splitting anymore. The price seems a bit steep at first, but I can tell this bottle will last a very long time even with twice daily use (mine doesn't even look opened).

For incredible lip protection, I'd also highly recommend the Eckstein Lipbalm ($10). I found it on Steven's site, too, and I'm sold! It smells fantastic and conditions lips better than any balm I've used (even Kiehl's).

My dried-out nails are always joined by dry, itchy hands. Better Botanicals, an Ayurvedic-based botanical skin care company from Washington D.C., just came out with a Kokum Butter Body Balm ($14.99 for 8 ounces) that is the best for dry skin. Not only does it make my itchy hands feel better, but, for all you expectant moms, it's been great on my pregnant belly! Kokum butter is rich in essential fatty acids (good for your skin), it actually penetrates better than shea or cocoa butter (less greasy, too), and this balm lotion is enriched with antioxidant and tonic herbs like watercress, betel leaf, and wild tumeric to help stimulate the skin and boost circulation. Did I mention it smells good enough to eat?

For a complete listing of Better Botanical products, check out their website at http://www.betterbotanicals.com

Is lipstick your makeup passion? Looking for that perfect shade of pink or brown? Three Custom Color Specialists, pioneers in the custom lipcolor market, has just come out with brand new Lip Color Palettes for both warm and cool skintones in their fantastic ready-to-wear colors.

Three Custom’s palettes come in 5 varieties to let you choose the kit that suits your skin tone, and your tastes, the best. Select from cool lipstick, cool lip gloss, warm lipstick, warm lip gloss, or special effects. The lipstick and lip gloss kits each come with 10 shades: rose, pink, salmon, orange, red, mauve, burgundy, plum, brown and beige. (For more information on cool versus warm tones, visit the Three Custom site).

The special effects palette gives you 9 effect shades that let you create your own personal color. The palette includes white, black, silver, white frost, opal frost, cool gold, warm gold, copper, sheering gloss, and one empty compartment for custom blending on your own shade.

All five palettes are packaged in sleek silver mirrored cases with a lipbrush and spatula for custom blending, and contain more than 3 tubes worth of lipstick. Each kit is priced at $50.00 including shipping and handling when you order direct from the company; call toll-free at 1-888-262-7714 to order or for more information. Three Custom Color products are also available at the new Sephora cosmetics and fragrance store in San Francisco.

Looking for a particular review, or curious if I've ever reviewed your favorite brand of lipstick? We've got a brand new, updated search function on Cosmetic Connection that will make your quest easier. Simply click on the "search" button on the front of Cosmetic Connection, or use this direct URL: http://www.cosmeticconnection.com/search.html.

The Makeup Diva may have her own site (www.makeupdiva.com), but we've got her again on Cosmetic Connection for a Feature update of her Ultimate Product Picks from last September! Don't miss her all-new picks, including completely updated favorites in categories like best skin cleanser and best oil-free foundation. This is a must-print for your next trip to the counters or drugstore!

November Feature: The Makeup Diva's Favorite Products

We've got reviews galore! Check out our newest on Cosmetic Connection of Yves Rocher skin care and Nectar Cosmetics. You'll find them linked from our Product Reviews page.



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