Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
The economy is suffering and everyone is writing about ways to economize.
This is not that post.
I'm writing for a very special segment: beauty chicks who are going on interviews. Maybe you are looking for a better opportunity, or worse, you are out of work and trying to find a new gig, pronto. You want to present your best self to the interviewer, but you've been know to, well... overdo it from time to time. Here are a few tips.
1. Keep the makeup light
You might be obsessed with the latest in thickening mascara, sparkly eye shadow, deep bronzing powders and lip lacquer - aren't we all? EVEN if you're interviewing for a job in beauty, you don't want your makeup to be center-stage. So apply with a light hand; you want to look like yourself, only better. Certainly cover up those 'I've-been-up-all-night-on-Monster.com' dark circles and 'I've-been-living-on-Ramen-and-M'n'M's' zits! My favorite concealer is Lancome's Effacernes - it applies evenly and is waterproof as well. There are lots of shades to choose from. I suggest applying with Lancome's #8 brush for the most natural look.
2. If you wear fragrance, think Light & Pretty
Conventional wisdom says not to wear fragrance to a job interview. Since fragrance is so subjective, it can easily give the wrong impression and it's too easy to overdo it. BUT if you are one of those chicks who feels absolutely naked without fragrance, and you can't feel like you look put together or pretty without it, I have a solution for you. The new fragrance by Elizabeth Arden, appropriately named Pretty, fits the bill. It's light enough that if you use one spritz more than an hour before the interview, it won't overwhelm. It's centered on Petalia, a "perfect floral" note developed by the famed fragrance house Givaudan. Accented with citrus fruits and sensual woods, it is a very soft and feminine scent. The bottle is designed to look like a bud vase making it look even more, well, pretty.
3. A readable resume. Duh.
The other day I was asked to provide some advice to a graduating college senior. She sent me her resume. It had like 2 millimeter margins, and her name was in such a crazy script font, I could barely tell what her name is. Friends, legibility and brevity are the key to killer resumes.
Now, go out and get em!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
eos: an extraordinary option for shaving
The eos Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream is fantastic. The formula is a thick cream that can be used wet or dry. It's so rich, you'd think it would clog your razor, but it rinses clean so you get a close shave from toe to top. The scents are great - choose from Pomegranate Raspberry, Island Blue, Vanilla Bliss, Lavender Jasmine, Cucumber Melon or Fragrance Free for sensitive types.
The bottle is so well designed you'd think it costs twice the price. First of all, it's the same kind of soft-touch plastic that NARS makeup compacts have, and has finger grip depressions - so it won't slide out of wet soapy hands. I love that it's plastic - say goodbye rust rings on the tub! The bottle is recyclable and the pump is 100% propellant free so you can feel good about the environment.
The formula is skin-friendly too. It contains aloe, oat, shea butter and vitamins E&C. My easily irritated skin felt calm and silky smooth.
Look for eos ultra moisturizing shave cream at Target, drugstores or grocery stores, or order online at drugstore.com. It's priced around $5, and the cheapest prices are at the eos store, where you can also find some really cool looking lip balms. I can't wait to see more from this brand - looks like they have a body lotion coming soon.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My Personal Sanctuary
Years ago, I was travelling alone and befriended a great English gal. She let me use her shower after I used the pool after check-out time, and I fell in love with her Sanctuary products, which come from the esteemed ladies-only spa in London. I adored the Body Moisture Spray. It has a warm, spicy scent and absorbs quickly, leaving skin dewy but not greasy. This product is responsible for my long-standing obsession with spray-on body oils - because who really has time to slather on moisturizer after a shower? It's much easy to spritz on some oil while the skin is damp.
Anyway, I thought about these products long after we parted ways, and picked some up at an airport Boots (the fabulous British pharmacy) while on the way home. But, alas, my stash soon ran out. Imagine, then, my excitement when Target started carrying some Boots products in their stores, including those from The Sanctuary! I've stocked up on quite a few items from the Spa Essentials line, including the Bath Relaxer (a heavier oil, more like a baby oil, great for soaking in a bath or smoothing over extra-dry skin) and the Foaming Shower Mousse (a very rich and moisturizing self-foaming wash). I can't find the beloved Body Moisture Spray on Target's website so I'm not sure if they carry it - my current bottle came from a pal abroad.
Next time you're at Target, be sure to try this line. It's affordable, smells amazing and pampers your skin. For me, it will always bring me back to that sunny afternoon in Thailand, as I set forth for the next leg of my journey.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Black History Month
February is Black History Month, and is a perfect time to take a look at the brands that celebrate the beauty of African American women. Not so long ago, women of deeper skin tones and coarser hair types had limited beauty product options. Just think about that section of the drugstore where products have unappealing names involving the words cholesterol or placenta.
Now there are more luxurious options, and their products are bound to find a following outside of their target market. And being beyond pale with thin, limp hair, I'm the perfect person to test that theory!
The first brand that comes to mind is Fashion Fair. Fashion Fair Cosmetics was introduced in September 1973 at Marshall Field’s in Chicago, and can now be found in over 1,000 fine stores in the U.S. and around the world. I have visited the counter in Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue several times. They have a huge range of makeup for all skin tones. I found the Finishings Lipstick to be richly pigmented, smooth and hydrating. When I feel like a bold, brown lip I pick up "Uptown Brown" which has reddish undertones.
Mizani is a salon brand designed for hair that is "naturally curly and highly textured to color-treated, relaxed and everything in between". Mizani is a Swahili word meaning "balance", and the founding principle of the brand is "Beauty and Chemistry in Balance." A favorite product of mine (and my husband's!) is Mizani's Spradiance High Gloss Serum. It is lightweight, imparts a ridiculous amount of shine and smells wonderful (a little bit like Mugler's Angel).
Next up is Dr. Miracle's. Now this is a funny story. I often receive emails from brands announcing new products and so on, so I can share the info with you. I got a very nice email from the people at Dr. Miracle's showing how People Magazine had highlighted their hair product that helps repair broken hair around the nape and forehead. Well! Since having my baby, I have dealt with thinning hair around the forehead and thought this might help me out. So I received the Temple & Nape Gro Balm and press kit, and ONLY THEN realized it was for African American hair. Oops! I sheepishly emailed the rep, asking if this would work on my blonde, thin hair, and she suggested I give it a try. The packaging is very retro and has a vague snake-oil-salesman a.k.a. infomercial look and tone to it. (Just check out their website and you'll see what I mean). I did try the formula and unfortunately it made my hair very greasy since I don't have any texture to absorb it. The "Feel It" Formula" (no, I'm not making this up) does tingle with a combination of menthol and clove oil, so I can imagine that it does stimulate blood flow to the area's hair follicles. Thanks to the kind folks at the brand, I do have a few bottles of the product - leave a comment with your email address if you're interested in trying the Gentle or Super strength formula.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Warm Your Home with Cinnamon
In searching for a good cinnamon cookie recipe, I stumbled across a great blog - Kitchen Addiction. Rachel posts amazing recipes and I made her Chewy Cinnamon Cookies for my party. Her recipe held up to my numerous mistakes and they still tasted good. (She even fielded frantic questions from me via email - thanks so much!) But the biggest benefit of baking all day was that my house smelled deliciously cinnamon-y.
Now, to recapture that scent without the mixing, beating, measuring and cleaning up! Just like the gal in the silly Glade gingerbread man commercial (you know the one I mean), I burn a cinnamon candle. I have a few favorites:
For a spicy vanilla with a little bite, burn Votivo's Cinnamon candle, No 76. This is no longer on Votivo's website - very sad if discontinued - but you can find it here for $24.90.
Enjoy these candles on days you're not baking... and when you are, definitely head to Kitchen Addiction!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
You Smell... I mean that in a good way
Let's be honest, a big percentage of beauty purchasing decisions are packaging-based. I'm not even much of a soap user, but I was excited when I saw these soaps from YOU SMELL. Yes, that's the name. The packages say "You Smell" on the front and "like a
The design is really fun - it reminds me of a cross between vintage fruit-box labels and old botanical prints. The copy is cheeky but not too silly; on the front we're reminded that "people like people who smell good" and on the side of the wrapper, we are assured that "help is on the way" and reminded to "resist the urge to eat it". Can't you just see these for sale in an Anthropologie store?
But of course, packaging is only part of the story - the product has to be good! These soaps are made from all-natural goat's milk and shea butter. It's hand-made from start to finish and has a smooth and creamy texture. I put them near my kitchen sink and used them for my frequent hand-washing, and they didn't dry out my skin.
There are only 2 fragrances at the moment - Lemon Verbena and Lavender Mint. I am partial to the calming Lavender Mint, but my recent houseguests preferred the zesty Lemon Verbena. Contrary to what the name might suggest, the soaps are not overly perfumed such that they leave a heavy scent on your skin, a benefit for those wanting little interference with their perfumes. The scent remains only as a hint, but I find myself wishing these lovely scents would stick around and make "me smell" a bit more!
The company is just getting started so you're hearing about it before the Anthropologies of the world make them available all over. For now, purchase online at YouSmellSoap.com for $8.50/bar. They would be a funny stocking stuffer for a sibling or anyone else who can stand up to being told, "You smell!"