Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Leighton's Emmy makeup

You either loved it or hated it: Leighton Meester's Emmy makeup. Personally, I thought LM looked like Snow White and really pulled off the whole dramatic eyes, sculpted cheeks, and bold lips thing. Not an easy feat, considering the temp on the red carpet was in the upper 90s. My face would have undoubtedly melted onto my dress.

But alas, it is nowhere NEAR 90 in NYC and so I'm inspired to try this. Personally, I'll be trying this with more of a bare cheek (shiny apples would look horrid on me), so I've improvised below.


Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Earth Reflection (a neutral palette of smoky browns, plus a pink and a gold highlighter shade)

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in Burgandy 18L and Matte Black 0L

Lancome Hypnose Mascara in black


Benefit Georgia on cheekbones only (this tends to be more of a peachy highlight for me, since it's a very light shade and I'm fair-medium skinned)


Sally Hansen Natural Beauty (Inspired by Carmindy) Color Comfort Lip Color in Sangria
MAC Dubonnet, Red Pepper, or Fresh Moroccan
I'm telepathically channeling my makeup stash for these shades, but I'm sure I have lots more that'll work. The key here is not going too light or too pink. Leighton's wearing more of a wine shade, so if in doubt, go darker and vampy-er - you can always blot.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

can you "smize"?

I can't. I've tried to...and I can't.

Smize is a term that Tyra Banks has coined, and it means smiling with your eyes. FYI, coincidentally, it's also the name of her alter superhero ego.

You'll recognize all this smize talk if you guys watched America's Next Top Model last night. The entire show was dedicated to the not-so-easy task of smizing. I was SO intrigued by this smizing phenomenon because I am usually one to smouth (my own term for smiling with one's mouth) and not smize. All. the. time. I don't think there's a single photo of me where I'm not smouthing. I've actually tried to do what I think is smizing, but I end up coming off like a squinty freak who is trying too hard to smize. Smizing, apparently, is not to look forced in any way shape or form.

According to TB, anyone can perfect a smize. Here's how:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep shoulders down as if somebody is pushing them down. Keep neck up. Make believe there's a string coming out of the top of your head, squint, put your hand on your tummy and think of something delicious.

Well, if smizing is that easy, I had to try it right then and there! I followed her instructions, stood in front of a mirror, and thought of cupcakes. Then chocolate. Then shrimp tempura. For some reason, I was unable to smize. Sour patch kids. PopChips. Still not there. I definitely felt happy thinking about these things, but you wouldn't know it without my signature toothy smile.

The problem was, every time I tried to smize, I ended up grinning slightly, which is a major smize no-no. Maybe I'm destined to never smize, or perhaps it just takes more practice. Until then, I'll continue to smouth as usual, and take the Olsen twins' prune idea for pictures, which I happen to think is brilliant.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the Latisse phenomenon

Funny story – this month, three different people (one of whom is my new dermatologist) asked me if I used Latisse. Latisse, as you probably know from seeing ads EVERYWHERE, is the prescription product that you brush onto sparse lashes to make them grow thicker, longer, and darker. Although I was flattered that people think my lashes were Rx-enhanced, they are not. My lashes are au naturel.

I don’t consider myself genetically blessed in very many aspects, but I managed to inherit very long lashes from some random member of my family. It’s not my mom, and it sure isn’t my dad, who I’m pretty sure doesn’t even have eyelashes. I kid, I kid – I’m sure he does, but they aren’t very visible. I love my long lashes, but I have to say they can be a nuisance at times. I know all you short-lashed folks would kill me for complaining, but hear me out. It’s hard to find a mascara that doesn’t make them look fake and TOO long. I’m all for dramatic eyes on a Saturday night, but for work, I’d prefer not to look like I’m wearing falsies. For example, Maybelline Lash Stiletto was a disaster on me (as was Fiberwig). My lashes were so long they were curving upward onto my brow bone!

To avoid that, I tend to gravitate toward thickening mascaras to give the illusion of volume rather than length. On my lashes now is Lancome Hypnose Drama, which has a cool S-shaped curved wand and coats my lashes without leaving clumps (I loathe clumpy mascara). An amazing pick if you’re long-but-thin-lashed like myself.

The beauty experimentalist in me would love to try Latisse for its thickening properties, but I probably shouldn't. I'd hate to have to end up trimming my lashes because, as you know, beauty experimentalists do crazy things like that as well.

Monday, September 14, 2009

tans reigned at the VMAs

You know, a tan is an awfully hard thing to get just right, especially in famouspeopleland where there's an unlimited supply of free airbrush tanning liquid.

I applaud Miss Whitney Port here for getting the perfect fall-appropriate glow. Just last week Whit was seen at a few NY fashion shows looking pale (and pretty! Trust me, I have no problems with pale), and last night she looked like a glowing goddess.

I'm literally on my last droplet of my beloved Nivea Sunkissed Firming gradual moisturizer, so I'm scouting out a new one to try. Next on my list: Mystic Tan's Glow Moisturizer SPF 15. I love that it's a gradual with sunscreen (you all know I've been a sunblock Nazi lately) - perfection in a bottle.

Feeling inspired to tan tonight? Make it last all week with this tip from Mystic Tan's founder, Ricky Croft: before showering, apply a thin coat of light body oil to create a natural barrier to protect your skin. No more gross patches of worn-off tanner - sign me up!

VMA style: Taylor Swift

I didn't think it was possible, but I love T.Swift more now than I did before last night. Not only does that girl now have everyone and their MOTHER on her side after what happened on stage (I won't even discuss the antics of kiss-my-a** Kanye), but she looked flawless. Literally, flawless! Look at her skin. It's porcelain perfection. Quite refreshing to see amongst her fellow stars who all looked like they've been bronzed within an inch of their life. Also loving the red lips - looks like it could be MAC Chili - and the fact that she chose not to go bare on the eyes.
Some argue that this goddess-y dress and glam makeup was a bit too much for the laid-back carpet of the VMAs, but I think it made her stand out and look sophisticated beyond her 19 years. Well done!

MTV VMA style: Kristin's long pony

Normally, I'd think long ponytails are cheesy and tacky-looking, but I really really love this look on Kristin Cavallari at the VMAs. I'm pretty sure there's some hair extension action going on in there, but she manages to make it look sleek and pretty.

I might, MIGHT, just be inspired to buy hair extensions just so I too could pull this off. However, I fear I may come off more street-walkerish than red carpet-ready.

What's your take on extensions? I have a major history with them (I'll tell you that story another time), but I feel as though they will make a comeback in my stash very soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

the perfect shave

The perfect shave - does it really exist? I used to think no, because although I've been shaving my legs for 14 years (holy good god) I'm clutzy as hell with a razor. Not one shave goes by that I don't get a nick here, a cut there, end up with dryness, razor burn, redness, missed patches of stubble, you name it. I used to think there was something wrong with ME, but then I realized that my shaving tool kit - if you can even call it that - really sucked.

Problem number one: don't laugh, but for nearly a decade and a half I used those pink Gillette "Daisy" razors that I first started using at the ripe young age of 12. And why shouldn't I? They were good enough for mom all those years, and they were cheap (I'm sorry, but college Jill would have much rather spent $10 on a Grey Goose and cranberry than a Venus Divine). I have since learned that your razor makes THE biggest difference - the more blades, the better. It also really helps to have a built-in moisture strip to help the razor glide across the skin rather than pull it. The Schick Intuition is my all-time favorite, because it's got a cool chunk of bar soap all around it and my legs never get dry or razor burned when I use it. The downside is that the soap rim wears out in, like, 3 shaves - but I keep using it anyway (it's got four blades unlike my sad little Daisy which has two). For times that I'm too broke to get the Intuition, the Schick Quattro is my trusty standby, and also much more travel-friendly.

Problem number two: Bar soap really sucks for shaving. It does. But then again, why buy shave gel? It always felt like one of those "do I really need it?" beauty products. To this day I'm not a huge fan of shave gel because a) I do not need another bottle in my shower and b) there are other things you can use in its place. I always mix a dollop of my body wash with a dollop of hair conditioner - works like a charm.

Problem number three: Dryness and itching used to be a major post-shave problem - until I started moisturizing RIGHT after getting out of the shower. If dryness is your only problem, pick a lotion, any lotion, and use it. If razor burn is an issue, use a bit of Bikini Zone gel (totally acceptable to use it on non-bikini areas) with an unscented lotion or one made for sensitive skin and slather it on.

Do you have any happy shaving tips? Now that fall's coming, my dry skin is going to need extra TLC. And I refuse to revert back to my shave-once-a-week rule because my skin is SO dry. It's not a good look.