Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty . . .

The responses to my post about cosmetics (Hope In A Jar) have been pouring in faster than mascara runs in the rain. I am delighted to share these secrets and recommendations from some of the loveliest women I know . . . and moi.

Origins moisturizers: Brighter By Nature, a skin tone correcting serum. "Somehow it almost makes the fine hairs on your face twinkle. Have used it for maybe three years. I remember when the first few weeks people kept saying, 'Wow you look great!' and I knew nothing had changed but this stuff. If you happen to get some, it only takes a little and if you use too much it makes your face feel sticky. 

 "In The Help, Minnie describes the benefit of Crisco. ("Your man got scaly feet?" Crisco.") My Crisco is olive oil. In spite of my oily skin, olive oil is a great product for over night moisturizing, whether on your face or hair. We live at the beach so my hair dries out easily. Before heading out I'll slather my hair with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. When I wash it out it is soft and smooth rather than dry or brittle."

Avon's Anew Luminosity Ultra Advanced Skin Brightener: "This is a great facial moisturizer and I use it to take make-up off, too. Blends blush nicely, and gives skin a nice glow." 

"The very best thing we can do for our skin is sunscreen, sunscreen, suncreen. As a child of the seventies I bathed in Hawaiian Tropic and am now paying the price; however, I am amazed at the difference in my skin since I started being sunscreen smart about 10 years ago. I love Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch. I have oily skin and this is a perfect consistency."

Lip stains: "I was never good at replacing lipstick during the day and so these are great for me . . . my very favorite is Almay [#200 Honey]. I have been using Cover Girl's Outlast but it doesn't stay as well as the Almay. I have also tried Revlon's ColorStay."
(Note: I think #200 Honey has been discontinued, but it is available online.)

"NYC has terrific cheap lip gloss at Target. Costs about two dollars, goes on great and lasts a long time."
St. Ives Timeless Skin, collagen elastin facial moisturizer: "I get it at the grocery store—and always keep 2 backups—because I am afraid they will discontinue it. (Everything I love gets discontinued.) BIG ole jar, 10 ounces, $4.98. I use it from face to heels. There is a “Fresh Skin” version too – same stuff. Love it. Slather it—it all soaks in—not greasy at all."
(Note: everything I love gets discontinued, too.)

Donna Karan Cashmere Mist deodorant: "I don’t use fragrance . . . but I splurge so that my pits smell nice."

"The one thing I think I couldn't manage without is my eyelash curler. I don't think a woman can do anything to instantly look better than curl her lashes, with or without mascara. My cheap one works just as well as the expensive ones I've owned, too. Just be sure to clean it with a Q-tip daily to avoid gunk that might pull your lashes out."

Almay eye liner crayon in black/brown: "Bet I have used 20 of these over the years (and tried 8 or 9 others also)—I think it smudges less than any other I have tried—and doesn’t bug my eyes . . . I wear contacts."

"I guess my favorite mascara of the trillion I have tried is Rimmel Lycra Lash Extender Length & Curl Mascara in Black. I have bought it at least 3 times, if that says anything . . . "

"I use Cover Girl Lash Blast in the orange tube. I've tried other things including Cover Girl's Nature Luxe and even Christian Dior (which I've heard others RAVE about), yet I've never received more compliments than when I'm wearing the $8 tube!"

"I have used Great Lash for many years. One thing I do is pull the wand out of my old tube and put it in the new one each time. It goes on lighter that way. (If you're concerned about bacteria or whatever, wash it in hot soapy water first.)"
Eye makeup remover: "Used to like Almay oil free—but they changed it. My favorite I guess is Arbonne About Face Wipe out—but I hate the bottle. Too tall to go in the drawer and the base is small and so I am constantly knocking it out of the medicine cabinet . . . after about 15 hits—the seam splits. So it is in an old Almay bottle in the drawer now. It is pricey . . . "

"I use Maybelline Oil Free Eye Make-Up Remover. It doesn't bother my contacts, and I've relied on it for many years."

Burt’s Bees w/pomegranate oil lip balm: "Every morning, in my purse and before bed. I think lip balm is addictive."

"I love Yes To Carrots lip balm in the melon flavor. It's light and not greasy. I put it on before bed and every morning. I also exfoliate my lips with a moistened Q-Tip . . . works very well for softness."

"LOVE Burt's [Bees] products. I always put it under my lipstick and it keeps all the lines from filling up with product. Mascara? Whatever is buy one get one free at CVS. Seriously. I have never found a huge difference in mascara. Just put on several coats, make sure it's not clumpy or thick, and brush the entire length of the lash."

e.l.f. cosmetics [Eyes Lips Face]: "Target carries this line now, and I love it! Almost everything is priced from $1 to $3, and the quality is good. Even if you are just experimenting, it's hard to go wrong at those prices."

Res-Q-ointment in a tin: "It is always on the counter for the little yard/boat whatever scrapes I get. I travel with it too. I am a klutz."

New Skin Liquid Bandage: "A must if you're as addicted to high heels as I am. Touch up your blister and endure. It's also good if you rip a fingernail below the quick."

Orly “Soul Mate” nail polish: "I get it at Sally’s. The only red that “goes” with red AND pink and doesn’t fight with orange that I have found."

Kiss artificial nails: "A friend started me using these toenails years ago. I picked up the fingernails, too. I only use the French manicure type, and get compliments on my nails all the time. If they break, they come off clean and you just put another one on. Who needs to sit in a nail salon for an exasperating hour or more?"

Dove “Nutrium” body washes: "In the shower as wash and as shave gel—and haven’t had to moisturize my legs since I started that years ago. I like the orange one—Nectarine Ginger I think it is."
Method Tub and Tile soap scum remover in eucalyptus mint: "I don’t know that it works on soap scum—but a couple of squirts of that in the shower . . . And I am briefly transported to a spa . . . That’s not a bad way to start or end the day."

ULTA Chocolate Milkshake Shower Smoothie: "I have used Philosophy and other great smelling body washes, but this is even better and costs so much less. I walk around smelling like a French bakery and I love it. It's being discontinued, but is still available in ULTA stores." 

HAIR: A few words about the Brazilan Blowout . . .

     Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate and despise doing my own hair. Trips to the salon are an indulgence, yes, but when your style is long and sleek, a good blowout is essential. I am attempting to embrace my husband's austerity program by performing my own hair feats at home more often. 
     I will admit that I am not the most wonderful client in the chair. I know what I want my hair to do, and I usually end up arranging my own bangs and fussing with my style before I ever get up to leave. I have known some spectacularly talented stylists over the years, and they have tolerated my little quirks with patience and humor.
     If my novel ever sells, I will be in the salon three times per week or more. This thought makes me happy.
     Step One of my new self hair-do dedication was getting a Brazilian Blowout, the expensive keratin treatment I'd been flirting with for years. I took the plunge last week, and want to share my observations with those interested in the process and follow-up. (You would not believe how much internet space is dedicated to Brazilian Blowout results and aftercare.)
     Following a keratin application, you can't use shampoo or other products with sodium chloride or sulfates. Salons (naturally) want you to buy their wares, so they make you very afraid to venture out and select your own. 
     I spent a lot of time doing research, and became so jittery over a shampoo choice that I went to Sally Beauty Supply and bought ion Smooth Solutions shampoo and a keratin conditioner by Brazilian Tech on the clerk's recommendation. (I told her that if they messed my hair up, I was going to come back and cry on her.)
     The bottles sat on the edge of the tub for a while. I was terrified to try them. What if I messed up the soft, silky tresses I'd paid for?
     This morning I made myself do my own hair. No one with short hair (particularly my husband) can understand why this is such an ordeal, but it is. This is what I am thinking as I blow dry my hair: "This is taking forever it is so hot in here I can't believe it's not dry right there OH LORD I have wrapped my hair around the gel handle of the brush ouch it is so hot in here this is taking forever there is a REASON people get paid good money to do this I hate doing my own hair my eyes are burning this is taking forever why is it so hot in here my arm hurts I hate doing my own hair . . . "
     When it is finally dry (my hair is very thick, and I am pretty sure it takes as long for me to dry it as a groomer takes to hand comb and towel a Golden Retriever to perfection), it looks frizzy to me. I must force myself to take a break before tackling the flat iron portion. Otherwise I might start screaming in the bathroom, and no one wants to walk in on that in the middle of the day.
     I took a break to write all that while the flat iron heated up. I sprayed my hair with organix brazilian keratin therapy flat iron spray (this smells like coconut, and gave me the will to go on) and got to work. I am happy to report that the hair went from zero to silky in about four minutes (this is what a Brazilian Blowout is supposed to do, after all). I put a teeny bit of ion Silk Drops on the ends for final smoothing.
     I am not sure what the rear view looked like, but I can always back out of rooms.
     At that point, I realized I'd not eaten all day and was famished, so I'm scarfing down a mozzarella cheese stick as I type this. The lone hot roller that will bring my bangs to proper attention (I sincerely hope) is heating up.
     After the hot roller, I will spritz a bit of light spray on and start on make-up so that I can go to the post office this afternoon. After I do my nails . . . 
     It's a good thing I have a sense of humor. I just realized I really need a haircut.

I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. 
I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick.
I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day, and . . . I believe in miracles.
- Audrey Hepburn

Love from beautiful Delta.


  1. I know every make up tip that you added on your own, mom. & I also know that you didnt give me credit for the Organix flat iron spray. (EVERYONE SHOULD BUY THAT STUFF!)because I showed it to you first :P lol xo ~S~

  2. Lol . . . Ladies, I bought Organix flat iron spray because I grew to like it whilst stealing it from my lovely and talented daughter over the summer.