December 17, 2003
This week I am excited to feature a new report from our Panelist Lisa. As we head into the holiday season, Lisa has some great ideas for color and skincare that will help you look and feel your best at this crazy but fun time of year.
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.
Now on to Lisa's end-of-the-year report...
It's hard to believe that 2003 is almost over! If you all are like me, the holiday season is a dizzying combination of family, friends, and a whole lotta BUSY! Between the hectic pace of work, and tying up a variety loose "business" at year's end, I wonder where I'll find any energy to be social. Thankfully, my friends remind me that taking some to relax and unwind should be high on my list of priorities. Lure me with promises of laughter and cocktails, and watch me follow.
At any rate, I've managed to find a bit of time to test some new cosmetic and personal care goodies. Keeping with the spirit of the season, this list focuses on an arsenal of items to help bring out your inner party gal, as well as items for relaxing, recovering, and renewing after the celebration ends, and you actually have to face a new day. Enjoy!
Revlon Lip Shimmy Lip Color Palette in Pink Jubilee
I adore trying new drugstore makeup items. Because of the kinder price point, I find that I'm more willing to take a chance on new colors or textures. When I saw this lip palette, I took a chance and picked it up. While I usually shy-away from bright pink shades, this collection caught my eye because the five colors seemed especially pretty, and were a departure from my usual collection of about 5012 slightly different, but still brown-based shades. The pigment levels in this compact range from sheer to medium coverage, but all have a fair amount of gloss to them. I tried every color, and found them all to be flattering to my ultra-pale complexion. The palette comes with its own lip brush, and generously sized mirror. I had a ball mixing the colors, and made some pretty cool combinations. There is also a red-based collection (Red Rocks, I believe) but I wasn't feeling quite THAT adventurous. Maybe you will, though.
Comodynes Makeup Remover Cloths in "Oats" formula for sensitive skin
I had never heard of this product before I visited Trader Joe's (a truly excellent, unique grocery store in selected states), and considering that I adore water-less makeup remover cloths, I just had to give them a try, especially since they were under $4. Thus far, they are my favorite of any brand. The cloths are nice and big, and are actually "wet" enough to remove all makeup easily. I was worried at first, because these cloths leave a bit of sudsy residue, at first. But, they didn't irritate my skin; in fact, they left my complexion feeling really soft and healthy. Remember, nothing ravages your complexion like sleeping in makeup (oh, the horror!) so take two little minutes to whisk makeup away, and save yourself the morning shocker of raccoon eyes, chapped lips, and cosmetic acne. Because really, that's just too much to deal with before coffee.
You can also find these at comodynes.net for $4.99 for a pack of 20 wipes.
Rescue Beauty Lounge Makeup Remover Cloths ($18 for 30)
While I loved the convenience of these individually wrapped (very prettily, I might add, with their pastel plaid design) water-less cloths, and the screamingly funny "scenarios" for their use on the back of the package, I just didn't like them as much as the Comodynes. They were a little on the dry side, so I had to rub a little harder to get my makeup off. And while they didn't break me out, they seemed to leave a bit of oily shine on the skin that I didn't care for. These were just okay.
Rescue Beauty Lounge Anti-bacterial Hand Wipes ($18 for 30)
During the holidays, viruses are passed around more often than Aunt Gladys' fruitcake. These wipes provide a little extra defense. Like the Makeup Remover Cloths, they are individually wrapped in smart little plaid "jackets," so you can easily slip a few of them in your purse for use when needed (think lots of parties, lots of shaking of little, germ-infested hands). They also feature some hilarious "suggestions for use" on the back of the package. These wipes are generously sized and clean hands without making them dry and itchy. They also don't smell quite as antiseptic as some other brands, which is a nice bonus.
You can find Rescue Beauty Lounge products at RescueBeauty.com.
MAC Lipstick in O ($14)
While we won't discuss the origin of the name of this lipstick (this is a PG rated site, after all tee hee), I will say that this is one amazing tube of SEXY. This full pigment, gilded berry-brown-burgundy-ish color has a satin finish, and a chameleon quality that slightly adjusts depending on what you are wearing. Perfect with black, winter white, or about any shade of beige or brown, it is versatile and wearable while remaining lush, and just a bit dramatic. This is a party lipstick to die for, but I wear it to work and get tons of compliments, so I think it is appropriate for day or night.
As an interesting aside, I found that this lipstick has a "twin." Indeed, "Surprise" by Clinique is almost exactly the same color. While it is a perfectly acceptable substitute if you don't have a MAC counter close by, MAC's lipstick is just a better formula, in my opinion.
Aveda Lip Glaze in Pomegranate Juice ($15)
If you want to wear one of the rich, Merlot lip shades that are so popular right now, but are scared to commit to a pigment-packed lipstick (an especially dangerous notion at parties, where just a little snacking can do a number on opaque lipstick), this lightweight gloss is a great alternative. The color is dark in the tube, but sheer (and moisturizing!) on lips. A great color that wears well to a very pretty, soft stain. It even has that great Aveda peppermint-ginger flavor that helps freshen breath. While it is a bit expensive at $15, you are totally entitled to little splurge to get yourself through the holiday season.
BeneFit Cosmetics Sketching Pencils Kohl Eyeliner in Sable ($15)
I had used, and loved, BeneFit's Hussy eyeliner in the past, but it was something that had fallen off my radar some time ago. Recently, I saw that BeneFit had re-introduced their eyeliner in a new formula. While the list of available colors has shortened notably (brown, black, dark gray, light gray, and royal blue) the formula is much improved. While these pencils definitely have a powder base, as opposed to the more waxy formula of the past, they don't flake or get dusty. Application is silky-smooth, without any drag or skipping. A sponge applicator on the opposite end smudges to smoky perfection that wears and wears. Although this formula will hold up beautifully under most normal circumstances, you can add a bit of BeneFit's She-Laq to seal the eyeliner, if you expect an especially teary/happy/crazy night.
BeneFit Maybe Baby fragrance ($46 for 3.4oz spray)
I have been wishing for a fragrance that mimicked the scent of Bathina's Body So Fine Balm since it came out. Here it is! While floral fragrances are usually not my thing, this scent is soft and fresh, with an effervescent quality that makes me want to constantly sniff at my wrist. The white flower heart is sweetened with what smells to me like a tart topnote of peach/nectarine/apricot. During the season in which the air is filled with what seems like endless clouds of Opium, Poison, and other heavy, rich scents, this lighter choice is a lovely change of pace.
Just a hint, gentle readers: your fragrance should be SUBTLE, which means that unless I am no more than 2 feet from you, I should not smell your perfume. At all. At 2 feet away, I should detect only a delicate layer of fragrance. More women, and men, for that matter, should adhere to this rule. Sheesh.
Nickel Morning After Rescue Gel ($40 for 75ml)
While Nickel is primarily marketed as a men's line of personal care items, this face gel is quite a find for women, as well. Formulated with caffeine, and a host of other natural ingredients to diminish puffiness, boost sallow color, and alleviate dark circles, I was skeptical it wouldn't really work, or would just be too harsh for my often grumpy, sensitive skin.
I was totally wrong on both counts. This gel can be used either on the entire face, under makeup (when you really should have stopped at that third cosmopolitan last night), or just on problem areas we fight with every day, like the skin under our eyes. While it is startlingly chilly upon application, and initially smells quite strongly of menthol, it didn't irritate my skin, or make my eyes tear up, at all. This gel feels so excellent and refreshing, and it made my skin and under-eye areas look more firm, awake, and rested. Most days, I use this in place of eye cream in the morning, and it provides a super canvas for concealer. This is now a staple in my cosmetic closet, and I consider it a must-have. You can find Nickel online at Sephora.com.
So there you have it! Armed with these products, you may now go forward, party thy booty off, and recover in style!
Thanks for that great report, Lisa. I hope you enjoyed this week's Cosmetic Report!
Until next time,