"Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting"

-William Shakespeare

The Best Way To Shop

Shop through igive to support the New Repertory Theatre! Here's how it works: shop your (and my!) favorite websites by clicking through igive, or install the igive shopping window on your computer. The retailer will give a percentage of your sale to The New Repertory Theatre. What's in it for you? Besides supporting a great cause, you get access to special shopping deals!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Eucerin Daily Replenishing Lotion

This is another lightweight body lotion. However, I did not feel the same level of hydration as I've felt with other products.
Retail: $6.65 On Sale!
Rating: 2 lipsticks

Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough SPF

Philosophy is a smart line. This anti-aging moisturizer gets right to the bottom line-to prevent aging protect your skin from UVA, UVB, and free radicals. No fancy marketing, no grand promises. This moisturizer has a broad spectrum SPF of 20, yet is non-sticky, and non-greasy. I used it today under my makeup, and it was perfect. It absorbs into the skin leaving a smooth surface for makeup to just glide over. And the smell-I guess it's the lavender oil, but to me it smells like a spicy blend of licorice and molasses taffy.
Retail: $35
Rating: 5 lipsticks

No Apple?

Every so often you have an experience that reminds you of why you do what you do. Today I had one of these.

The theatre I work for has a summer program: Musical Theater for High School Students, and today it was my turn to teach a class-in stage makeup, of course!

We had so much fun! Thirteen teenage girls, me, and a room full of makeup. Everybody (except me!) left with a face of full, basic stage makeup. Some of the girls needed no direction at all, and some were absolute beginners. We went off my class plan a little bit, like when I demonstrated (on myself) how to cover a tattoo. The girls were all beautiful when they came in, and when they left, they were ready to hit the stage. I can't wait to see their final performance on Friday night. They are all such an enthusiastic bunch, and so dedicated to the theatre. Maybe someday, I can say "I knew her when......"

This is they syllabus I designed:

Stage Makeup
The purpose of makeup for the stage is two-fold: to accentuate the features of the face, as stage lights and distance can make it hard for the audience to discern features without makeup; and to assist in creating a character.
Because most of you will be playing multiple roles in Les Miserables, we will be focusing on a simple, basic makeup to accentuate your features.
Before we start with makeup application, a few words about hygiene. To prevent acne, infection, and disease, there are a few basic rules to follow:
-Never put your fingers in a makeup container. Use a brush or tool.
-Don’t double dip! This will put germs into the makeup container.
-Don’t use a product the smells funny-this means it is old and could cause a reaction.
Basic Makeup Application
Step 1: apply foundation that matches your skin tone. For Les Miserables, we can actually go slightly lighter than your natural skin tone. This will aid our character development.
If necessary, use a concealer to cover blemishes, red spots, and under eye circles. Again, for Les Mis, we don’t need to cover under eye circles.
Set with powder that matches your foundation. Note: if you are using a cream blush, this should be applied before powder. If using a powder blush, apply after face powder.
Blush: for our purposes, we will be using a natural color blush-nothing bright, dark, or shimmery!
Eyes: Start with a flesh toned color all over the lid-lashes to brow. Next, and darker neutral tone-Brown, beige, grey etc, in the crease of the eye. Blend well. Next, a neutral liner (brown, black or grey) on upper and lower lash lines. Finally, mascara.
Lips: A neutral flesh tone-medium toned.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dove Shampoo Advanced Care Therapy Shampoo

I'm still battling the frizz halo-curse the summer humidity and the summer blonde! But, this is a good weapon. It is a deeply moisturizing shampoo for dry and damaged hair, and while it didn't make the frizz instantly disappear, I was able to smooth on some gel and smooth down my hair. Surprise, surprise: it contains dimethiconol, a derivative of my new best friend, dimethicone.


Rating: 4 lipsticks

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Proof that fancy is not always better. This lotion offers superior moisturization that lasts and lasts. It absorbs quickly, is non-greasy, and really does keep your skin soft for 24 hours. The active ingredient is dimethicone, which is listed on the bottle as a skin protectant. I was pretty sure I could guess what this was, but I did some research to be sure. Dimethicone is a silicone, and works by coating the skin and creating a barrier. What this means? This lotion not only moisturizes, but it seals that moisture in. No wonder it works so well!
Retail: $10.00
Rating: 5 lipsticks

Jergens Soft Shimmer Skin Radiance Moisturizer

I always get excited about products with shimmer in them, but I must say I was diappointed. This lotion does offer a subtle shimmery glow, but why can't the lotion be soft too? It did not deliver the mosturization I expected. The verdict: good for a cosmetic application of shimmer, but don't expect softer skin with it too.

Retail: $5.99 On Sale
Rating: 2 lipsticks

Sephora Radical Eye & Lip Makeup Remover

UPDATE: I heard back from Sephora. This is being discontinued, so stock up before it's too late!

I love, love, love this makeup remover. It is a gel form, and takes everything off. Just squirt it on a cotton ball, and wipe off your makeup. The best part- even though it is highly effective, it never stings the eyes!

The bad news is, I fear that it is being discontinued. It is now 50% off at Sephora.com. I am going to check with them to see what I can find out. I'll keep you updated!

Retail: $4 On Sale

Rating: 5 lipsticks

Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Oil Slick

This is a fun color-pure black with multi-colored glitter. However, I was not impressed with the texture. I found it to be somewhat crumbly, and it tends to migrate during application. This is good for goths with impeccable makeup application skills, but everyone else should take a pass.

Retail: $16

Rating: 1 lipstick

What I bought: 7.30.07

I'm a sucker for a sale! After my doctor's appointment this morning, I popped into The Body Shop and got these treats off the sale rack:

  • Peach Body Lotion
  • Vanilla Spice Hand Wash

  • Vanilla Spice Shimmer Lotion

  • Cranberry Shower Gel

  • Pineapple & Coconut Soap

Sunday, July 29, 2007

101: Fast Track to a Soft Body

Want the soft skin you get from taking a bath, but don't have the time? Try this trick. Before jumping in the shower, use a washcloth to massage bath oil all over your skin. (just don't use this one!)

In the shower, use a body exfoliator to cleanse, and voila! Soft skin, no bath required.

Vitabath Moisturizing Bath & Body Oil Plus for Dry Skin

This is an oil that doesn't so much moisturize as sit on top of the skin. The fragrance is no winner either.

Retail: $2.39 On Sale

Rating: 0 lipsticks

Website Review: The Daily Plate

So, I've chunked up a little over the past few months. The truth is, I've been very busy at work, and haven't been thinking about what I eat. The jeans are getting a little tight!

But, I found this fabulous new website. You enter in yours stats (age, height, weight and activity level), and your goal (I chose to lose 1 lb. a week.) Then, every day you enter in what you eat and any exercising you do, and presto! It tracks how many calories you may eat each day to reach your goal.

I started it on Wednesday, and so far it's been really easy and has kept me eating right. I finally bought a scale last night. I'm not going to tell you what my weight is, but I will update on if I've lost weight.

Wish me luck!

L'occitane Verbena Body Salt Scrub

Proof that there is an exception to every rule! Generally speaking, I do not like salt scrubs. Any microscopic tear in your skin becomes an orifice of torture.
But, not this one! It didn't hurt a bit, and left my skin feeling exfoliated, soft, and clean. Plus, the verbena fragrance smells like lemon-scented sunshine!
Retail: $34
Rating: 5 lipsticks

Sue Devitt Microquatic Anti-aging Eye Concentrate

I don't usually judge a product on price, but really? $100? This is a perfectly serviceable eye cream, but for this much money I would want to see all my fine lines disappear. I really don't see it deliver this much money's worth.

Retail: $100

Rating: 2 lipsticks

Jaqua Pink Champagne Hand Creme

I liked this hand creme so much more than I expected too! It is a great moisturizer-hydrating and absorbs without greasiness. It doesn't smell like champagne to me, but it does smell like a fruit stand.
Retail: $8
Rating: 4 lipsticks

YSL Natural Action Exfoliator

There is a learning curve with this exfoliator. It is to be applied to dry skin, and then massaged in until it liquifies. If you have the time, this will smooth and soften the skin. If you like to feel your scrub, be warned-all the exfoliating in this is chemical, so you will feel no granules.

Retail: $43

Rating: 3 lipsticks

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sunsilk De-Frizz Shampoo

Yes, it de-frizzes, but at what cost? My hair was limp and lanky all day. 'Nuff said.

Retail: $4.49

Rating 1 lipstick

Guinea Pig: Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips: Day 5

Okay, five days of whitening strips: here's the status

See a difference yet?

Compare with Day 0

I am obligated to disclose to you that I am doing this a BzzAgent. I am not paid to talk about this item, I just do it for fun!

Sekkisei Lotion Mask

Any benefits this product offers are outweighed by the sheer annoyingness factor. This is a paper mask that is meant to be soaked in the Sekkisei Lotion (sold separately, of course) and then placed on your face for 10-15 minutes, after which your skin will be luminous.
What they don't tell you is that you must remain absolutely still. Even breathing caused the mask to flop around my face.
My skin does feel softer, but I've stared at myself in the mirror for ten minutes, and I don't see any luminousity.
Retail: $6.50 (plus you need to buy the lotion)
Rating: 1 lipstick

Friday, July 27, 2007

Davies Gate Sea Grass Hydrating Body Lotion

I have to admit-I am a sucker for anything with the words "beach," "ocean" or "sea" in the name. This lotion is no exception. Now, I don't exactly know what Sea Grass really smells like, but this is a light, clean floral fragrance.

It's not just for show, though-this lotion really does hydrate, and the effect is long lasting. Twenty-four hours after using it, my hands still feel soft. My only complaint? Smelling it did not transport me to my happy seaside place.

Retail: $18

Rating: 4 lipsticks

Frederic Fekkai Technician Color Care Mask

Finally, my frizz halo is gone. This mask is great! It really did make my hair, soft, shiny and hydrated. In fact, my hair actually took longer to air dry today than it normally does, which leads me to believe that this product may actually be a humectant* to boot!

*A humectant actually draws water from the air, therefore creating greater hydration.

Retail: $35

Rating: 5 lipsticks

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Clinique Blended Face Powder

This is a very nice loose powder. It sets makeup perfectly without leaving any cakey powder residue. The included brush, however, is waaay too small to apply loose powder properly. Take the plunge and buy a real brush!

Retail: $18.50

Rating: 4 lipsticks

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup

This foundation is a staple of my makeup kit. I've used it on film sets, photo shoots, theatre gigs, and myself. It has the rare ability of both providing good coverage and looking natural. Not only that, it is oil-free, but never looks dry, and has an SPF of 20. It even comes in a good variety of shades!

Retail: $7.99-$10.99 On Sale!

Rating: 5 lipsticks

Coppertone Sunless Tanning Moisture Mist Tan Continuous Spray Light/Medium

Unbelievable! A spray is supposed to stay right where you aim it, so why does this streak and move and leave me looking like I have strange birthmarks? Perhaps because the product does not spray evenly. Sometimes it comes out as a fine mist, other times as a spluttery foam. There are much, much better sunless tanning options out there.

Retail: $10.99

Rating: 0 lipsticks

Redken Blonde Glam Conditioner

This conditioner is designed for "multi-tonal" blondes. AKA-Highlights!

It hydrated my hair, and did add more shine and sparkle to my summer blonde-dare I say, my hair was glam? It did a good job at holding down the frizzies too. Finally! I've had a frizz halo for a week!

The one thing I did not like was the odor, which was faintly reminiscent of perm solution. I have an overly acute sense of smell, though, so I think most would not be bothered by it.

Retail: $11.95-$26.95

Rating: 4 lipsticks

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Guinea Pig: Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips: Day 0

In the interest of science, I have taken a photograph of my own teeth. It's not as easy as it sounds. For your viewing pleasure, My Teeth, ladies and gentlemen, before I start my course of Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips. Full disclosure: I am a smoker, and I drink my coffee black.

I know it's not a great picture. You want a better one? Send me a real digital camera and I can stop using my phone.

In the meantime, learn what will be happening to my teeth with the Listerine Strips.

Warren-Tricomi Pure Strength Strengthener for All Hair Types

Just what we all need. Another step in the shower.

This product is designed to be used after shampoo and before conditioner. It claims to "cure split ends instantly while repairing damaged cuticles."

This product made no noticeable difference to my hair, and for good reason. There is only one way to cure split ends, instantly or no.......

it's called a trim, people.

Retail: $28

Raitings: 0 lipsticks

Monday, July 23, 2007

Today's Goodies 7.23.07

I got my Listerine Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips Bzzkit today.

What's a Bzzkit? I'm a Bzzagent...meaning I am a member of a program that sends me products to try out, distribute to friends, and, well, Bzz about.

Anyway, I'll be posting on how they do! I've been a fan of the Listerine Whitening Rinse for some time, so I have high expectations!

Terax Crema Conditioner

I have to admit, I don't ususally get overwhelmed by a product just because every person with a Sephora VIP card has already got five of them. This may explain why I've never had an Orgasm (from Nars, that is!) But, Terax Crema is one of those products that deserve the cult. I'm pretty sure that this conditioner can indeed turn straw into gold. It's a bargain at any price!

Retail: $9-$48

Rating: 5 lipsticks

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle

There is nothing fancy about this conditioner, but I am a fan. Right now I am summer blonde, and it does a fine job of hydrating. I started using it in high school, so the fragrance does make me feel like a teenager-at least for a few minutes.

Retail: $3.59 On Sale

Rating: 3 lipsticks

Bvlgari Black Shampoo/Shower Gel

As a shower gel, this is pretty basic. It cleanses well, but it is slightly drying. You will need a body moisturizer afterwards. But the fragrance....I love Black. It is a deep sexy, musky scent, without being too overpowering. A cold weather fragrance!

As a shampoo? What can I say? I am skeptical of these multi products, and spent too much time coloring my hair to wash it with a shower gel. Maybe if you have healthy, normal, virgin hair?

Retail: $41

Rating: 2 lipsticks

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Shower & Body Cleansing Gel

Okay, first the bad news. 3% is not enough to really get any exfoliating benefits. Now the good news. I love this shower gel! It cleanses well, so you feel really clean, but your skin does not feel dry. (Remember-Squeaky clean is bad- it means you stripped your skin!) It has a fresh clean scent-great for summer!

Retail: $20

Rating: 4 lipsticks

Dove Define & Shine Control Gel

My old hair mentor, Big Tony, always said "foam expands, gel contracts." It didn't take into account all the other forms of styling products out there, but it is a good starting point.
So, gel should make your hair sleeker and smoother. Using this gel today, on a drizzly day, I can say...it's okay. My hair was not as frizzy as it would have been sans gel, but it was not smooth and sleek either. And the shine? Not so much.

Retail: $3.86 On Sale

Rating: 1 lipstick

Jergens Shea Butter Skin Enriching Moisturizer

This is a great body mositurizer! It is deeply hydtrating. leaves no residue and it easy on the wallet. If you have problems with ashiness, this should work very well for you.

Retail: $6.99 On Sale

Rating: 5 lipsticks

What I bought: 7.23.07

  • L'oreal Excellence Hair Color 9A Light Ash Blonde

  • L'oreal Excellence Hair Color 8 1/2A Champagne Blond

  • CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Liquid Makeup in Natural Ivory

  • Neutrogena Instant Bronze Medium
  • Neutrogena Build-A-Tan

Healing Garden reNourish Moiture Lotion SPF 15

This lotion is not suitable to wear under makeup. It does not absorb into the skin and leaves a sticky film. As to use as a sunscreen, I would go with something stronger.

Retail: not available

Rating: 1 lipstick

Bath and Body Works Body Lotion Wild Honeysuckle

What can be said about Bath and Body Works lotion that hasn't been said before? It's a good basic body lotion, so it's really all about the fragrance. Wild Honeysuckle is nice-softly scented like childhood summers.

Retail: Seemingly now only available in the gift set, $17

Rating: 3 Lipsticks

Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion

Heavenly! This lotion is cooling and moisturizing and smells just like a candy cane. It is great after a long day on your feet, or after a hot day on or off 'em. Feel free to spread the lotion all the way up your legs. It feels great if you're sore!

Retail: $8-$24

Rating: 4 lipsticks

Bliss Naked Body Butter

This is a really nice lotion. It is unscented, so it won't compete with your perfume. It hydrates nicely, and absorbs without greasiness. Great as an after sun lotion, too!

Retail: $35

Rating: 4 lipsticks

Sunday, July 22, 2007

CARGO Blush in Catalina

The same comments apply regarding the general quality of CARGO blush as here. This is a different color though, somewhere between cotton candy and hot pink. Only for the fair of skin, and possibly the fair of heart, it makes you look as though you've been sledding in the snow all day!

Retail: $24

Rating: 4 lipsticks

CARGO Blush in Topeka

CARGO Powder Blushes have a really nice texture. Silkiness is key with a powder. This means it blends easily and looks natural. They are highly pigmented, so you actually get the color you see in the pan! Topeka is a pretty, corally, bronzy type color, nice when you're not quite ready for a bronzer. I haven't used it in a while, but I'd say it's good for light and medium skin tones.

Retail: $24

Rating: 3 lipsticks

Paula Dorf Cheek Color Cream in Candy Apple

This is the cream blush that works on everybody! It blends easily, and gives a glow that can be interpreted as a day picking apples, or a night post-coital. It can also be used as a lip stain that won't dry out your lips.

Retail: $19.00

Rating: 5 lipsticks