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Drugstore Blush Hack

20 Aug

I had an “a-ha!” (more like “doh!”) moment a couple weeks ago and had to share. You’ve probably already figured this out, but if you replace the little brush that comes with your drugstore pressed powder blush with a real brush–like a soft, luxurious one that comes in a set–your blush will look infinitely better.

I had a set of brushes laying around–I use the big one for my powder foundation every day, but the others were just stuffed under the sink. Sometimes I’d bring out the lipstick ones on special occasions, but for the most part, I ignored them. When my blush was looking streaky (and the brush was feeling scratchy on my supple cheeks), I got the idea to switch out the brushes. Success! You should try it, too. (But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the last person on earth to figure this out.)


Photoshop Before & Afters

29 Jun

I love looking at Photoshop before & afters, and I recently stumbled upon a blog with a nice round-up (featuring men, too!).

Here’s a little preview:


See the rest here!

Sunscreen Rules!

28 May

It’s unofficially summertime (in the US)!!! Speaking of…did you guys see this article in the New York Times today?

Clarity on how sunscreen works and what all those numbers mean is something I’ve been talking blogging about for a while.

Here are some of the take-aways from the article that I think are particularly helpful (content copied from the article, my notes are Italicized):

  • Look for products with an SPF of 15 to 50, and that are labeled “broad spectrum protection,” meaning they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid sunscreen sprays. The F.D.A. has banned sunscreen powders (though some products may still be available) and has asked for more data on sprays. The concern is twofold: that not enough sunscreen makes it onto the skin, and that the spray may be inhaled into the lungs. [Enough sunscreen = 1 fluid ounce (the size of a golf ball)]
  • Avoid products with vitamin A, retinol or its derivatives, such as retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate. At the moment, the F.D.A. says there isn’t enough evidence to suggest these are harmful, but the Canadian health authorities appear to be concerned that the additives increase sun sensitivity. [A lot of “skin tightening” creams (especially for your under-eye area) have retinol in them, so beware!]
  • Look for fragrance-free products. Scents bring more unnecessary chemicals and potential allergens to the mix.
  • Take endorsements and seals of approval with a grain of salt. The Skin Cancer Foundation gives a “seal of recommendation” to sunscreens, but only if their manufacturer has donated $10,000 to become a member of the organization. [I blogged about this a few years ago! Take a look at #4!]

Click here for more of my musings on sun protection, and stay safe this summer!

A response to a response to Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign

17 Apr

My brilliant sister in-law linked to this blog post today. It’s a response to Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign (you know, the thing I posted about yesterday).

I think it’s great. I did notice that the video celebrated a conventional definition of beauty. I also noticed that most of the women in the video were white. I’m annoyed that when people think of beauty they think of looks. And I’m enraged that we’re taught that looks are so important–sometimes (oftentimes) more important that confidence, strength, intelligence, gusto, creativity. All of the points made in the blog post are great and INCREDIBLY important.

But here’s the thing. This is a 6:36 Dove video we’re talking about. This is not a women’s studies course. It’s not a book. Broadening the scope of their experiment would be chaos. The explicit message is good (great, even). It’s the meta-messages that are upsetting.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a firm believer in making conscious, inclusive decisions across the board to invite change into societal standards–to change norms. That means videos like this certainly should include a more diverse group of women (and men!). The video also could have been edited with less of an emphasis (or no emphasis at all) on words like “skinny” and “thin” as (in jazzylittledrops‘ words) “implied positive” descriptors and crows feet, moles, scars, and fat as implied negative descriptors. Because who says that certain things are positive/beautiful and certain things are negative/ugly? (Society, that’s who! But anyway…)

So, what I’m saying (in circles) boils down to this: jazzylittledrops, YOU’RE RIGHT. But this Dove project can only do so much. And from what I can tell on my Facebook wall, it’s been very moving to a lot of women. I just hope they take it at face-value (ha!) like I did.

UPDATE: In my (beautiful, intelligent, creative) mom’s words, “If it makes us aware that we aren’t fair to ourselves, more power to it.” Well said.

You are more beautiful than you think.

16 Apr

This video is currently making the rounds on Facebook, but I had to share it here, too.

Dove does it again with their “Real Beauty” campaign, this time taking a fabulously artistic approach: a forensic artist sketches women based on how they describe themselves. Then, he sketches them again based on how a stranger describes them. How do you think the two sketches turned out and differed? See for yourself.

I teared up.

Red Lips

4 Feb

I love the look of red lipstick. Matte, gloss, orange-red, blue-red–I love it all.

What I don’t love is how much work it takes! I’m not the kind of girl who even thinks to touch-up her makeup in the middle of things, so a pop of red on my lips usually only lasts as long as it takes to get through my first drink.

So, I’ve been experimenting a bit, along with asking friends for tricks of the trade.

Lots of folks swear by filling in their lips with a matching lip pencil first. I’m not a fan, because I usually end up with a ring around the perimeter of my lips.

I started using Maybelline SuperStay 10HR Stain Gloss. I put on a few layers and then apply my ‘stick. So far, this has worked best.

But as I was reviewing some of “for my face” pins, I came across this cute little tutorial from The Beauty Department:

I’m going to have to try it out!

Do you rock a bold lip? What are your tricks?

Socially-Aware Shopping

25 Jan

Sorry for my unexpected hiatus, everyone! I’m fine; just needed a bit of a break from blogging!

Scarlet lipstick by Make via

Scarlet lipstick by Make via

When I opened my inbox and found a link to this gem of a website, I was shaken out of my blogless stupor and inspired to tell the world all about it!

We See Beauty is a shop of products (beauty, design, print, film, and well-being) in which the sales go towards supporting cooperative development. In other words, a portion of the sales goes to the We See Beauty Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping out women-led, worker-owned organizations!

And it’s not just the business model that’s socially-aware: the products are, too. We See Beauty selects brands and artisans that produce goods that are socially responsible and in line with their vision of a cooperative movement.

Now that’s spending we can feel good about.