I just got an email asking me where my "Best Beauty Buys of 2014" were; somehow I had completely forgotten to publish my annual list!
Sorry about that everyone; I was sure I had written and posted it. Just goes to show how powerful my dreams must be because that is the only way I can explain overlooking such a list. I simply must have dreamed doing it and convinced myself it was complete.
So without any further ado:
From the Department Store
Razor Pit calls itself a blade sharpener, but it is actually a blade cleaner. The reality is razor blades actually do not become dull after a few uses, rather they become coated with microscopic skin, hair, and debris, which prevents the blade from actually connecting with the area being shaved. So with each use of the blade it becomes more difficult to get a close and irritation-free shave. The problem is that these particles are so small, simply rinsing the blade will not remove them. Barbers know this and that is why they always prep a blade before use (a barber uses a wide strip of leather called a strop)—they are not actually sharpening their blades, but rather cleaning them so the already fine blade will connect smoothly with the surface of the skin.
Razor Pit actually removes the particles so the blades themselves can do the very job for which they were intended.
From the Spa
This is the product everyone keeps wishing was available on the market - an all-in-one formula that replaces seven different skin care and make up items!
Irresistibly comfortable and lightweight moisturizer melts into skin while providing a fresh, radiant, and undetectable coverage. Silk particles, pre-coated with star shaped Titanium Dioxide, create a perfectly even skin tone. Mineral Moisturizer offers the benefits of skin care and makeup in one product: day cream, eye cream, serum, primer, concealer, foundation and setting powder. Optical diffusion imparts radiance while natural botanicals of White Lily and Jasmine reduce visible pores. Enriched with Vitamins C and E for full antioxidant protection.
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From Mass Retail Store
This product is absolutely a spa quality hair care treatment for almost half the price!
This product reduces frizziness and creates a smooth, sleek hairstyle, with just enough shine to reflect light without causing a greasy effect. Never accept that a product sold in a salon is somehow superior in formulation than similar products sold in a grocery store. Just check the ingredients to verify that fact.
For more Beauty: Busted! read: Top 3 "Never Use" Beauty Products
I had a great walk through my local drug store last night. I was on the hunt for a white body sponge to use in the shower (I recently switched the decor in my bathroom to all white). I didn't see any white sponges in the assortment on the shelf and asked the cosmetician if she might be able to locate one for me.
After a few minutes she returned with a pink sponge and offered to sell it to me. I declined. She asked if I was sure. I replied that I have a rule with cosmetics purchases: I don't buy anything that is not exactly what I am seeking and I don't buy anything that I don't need.
The five phrases you will hear at a cosmetics counter that you should never believe.
Which then got me thinking as I walked home. The other night a friend of mine pulled out his favourite cosmetic product: lip balm. He uses it all day everyday. Of course he asked what I thought of lip balm (and in those situations I always defer with the answer: "It doesn't matter what I think; it's you who has to use it.")
I do, however, have an opinion. I think there are a great many cosmetics products, on the market, which are just a waste of money, time and effort.
Here is a list of the three which sell the most at this time of year. All of these, without exception, are a complete waste of money:
You know the products which claim they can "repair" split ends. Using very careful language which implies the product can reverse the damage done to the hair. This is untrue.
Split ends are permanent damage done to the cuticle of the hair from blow drying, curling irons, heat sources, over washing and very often, using drying styling aids (hair spray is an example). You cannot reverse the damage. All the over-the-counter remedies are made with flexible polymer molecules which simply "glue" the frayed ends into place for a period of time. As soon as you wash your hair again the problem still remains.
The only way to fix split ends it to cut them off. If you're going to pay money for an over the counter remedy the money would be better spent visiting your stylist.
You can prevent split ends. Use conditioner regularly. A leave in conditioner works well. Also try limit the amount of heated styling aids used on the hair.
Cellulite creams have always been marketed on the premise the cellulite is caused by poor circulations, fat distribution and toxin build up. The creams claim to increase circulation, break down fat and flush toxins. The problem is even if these creams could do these things (which is questionable) cellulite is not caused by these factors.
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Cellulite is a natural contour characteristic of some body shapes. Simply put, it is how some women store fat - like some men get love handles, some women get cellulite.
Sorry to say the remedy for both is simple and old fashioned: exercise and diet. In fact, certain exercises are very helpful at eliminating cellulite. Sorry, there's no quick fix for the cellulite texture. Money spent on expensive cellulite products would be better spent on your gym membership.
Lip balms don't actually moisturize your lips. Rather they seal the skin with an occlusive film which, in turn, disrupts the skin's natural water and oil exchange. In winter the lips feel dry because they lose water rapidly and do not naturally produce oil. This causes the tight irritated feeling. Lip balms do not actually add any water or hydration at all. The more you use them the more you will need to because the skin's natural water balance cannot regulate itself while the occlusive film is on the skin.
It becomes this horrible catch-22, the more you alleviate the irritation the worse it will become.
The better option: in the dry season exfoliate your lips everyday, apply an NMF oil to the lips to alleviate the irritation (something as simple as olive oil will work). NMF oils do not occlude the skin and keep the "tightness" at bay without disrupting the skin's ability to regulate its own hydration level. Apply the NMF oil (as needed) for about 7 days and the seasonal dryness will be gone.
January always brings the list of resolutions. Some are just lofty dreams while others are real life-changing commitments. I have a list I would like to offer to all cosmetics/beauty/make up fans.
Here is the Beauty: BUSTED! 2015 Resolutions:
1. Clean Your Make Up Brushes
Most women never clean their brushes. It just seems like another chore to do. A host of problems occur with dirty brushes:
a) make up looks heavy and dry
b) bacteria spreads from face to product and back
c) colours mix together creating a fake effect on the face
d) make up does not blend easily
One of the quickest and easiest ways to ensure your make up looks amazing and stays clean is to wash your brushes regularly. A simple rule is when your make up looks like it was applied too heavily (even when you use the regular amount you always use) it is time to wash your brushes. Anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on how frequently you wear make up. Avoid any brush cleaner containing alcohol. I use a mild shampoo and it works just fine.
Leaving your make up on will not only cause breakouts but it actually damages the skin. From sallow colouring, to dark circles under the eyes, to enlarged pores, to skin irritation and rashes - all these can be avoided simply by washing your face before bed. Too tired and lazy some nights? Simple - just use a baby wipe to remove all your make up. You're done in less time than it takes to brush your teeth.
3. Use Correct Lighting
Make up needs to applied in natural light. The different glows cast by artificial light cause make up to look warmer or cooler than it actually is. The best place to apply make up is near a window that allows natural light. Of course in winter this can be difficult in the early morning (what with the sun not coming up until well past a reasonable hour) so I suggest using directional lighting that is aimed toward the face. When selecting artificial light sources check the CRI on the bulbs (Colour Rendering Index). The higher the number the more close it will match natural daylight. You want to select a CRI of 90 or higher for use when applying make up.
4. Throw Away Old Make Up
Haven't used it for a while? Can't remember when you bought it? It smells sweet or sour? Make up has a shelf life, usually from a few months to a few years. It needs to be discarded if not used because it will start to grow bacteria, microbes, and fungus. Don't get all hung up that you spent money and now you are throwing it away; it's better safe than sorry.
Mascara = 3 months
Powder products = 24 months
Creams = 18 months
Shampoo = 9 months
Concealer = 9 months
Liquid make up = 12 months
Lipstick = 9 months