Thursday, April 9, 2009

Glow . . . Kinerase Face Serum

This week I've been sampling Kinerase's Brightening Face Serum

When I was in Arizona last month I got a Vitamin C facial and let me tell you - it stung like you wouldn't believe. This product felt like a milder version of that facial. 

I'm always torn when a product stings because while it's not the most comfortable and makes me think that there must be lots of chemicals involved, it does tell me that it's working. It maybe a close cousin of an acid wash but at least I didn't pay $140 to have nothing happen to my face. Or worse - have it happen gradually. I grew up in the age of microwave popcorn and the internet, people. I wait for nothing, not even face serums. To make the insta-results even better, there's something in this product that is subtly glittery, so my face not only felt like something serious was happening to it, it looked nice and shimmery for the rest of the day. 

All that being said, however, I'm just not accustomed to paying so much money for any type of face product, so the $140 price tag would be a little tough for me to swallow. I just keep thinking, "This is worth 3 months of yoga- or an outfit at Banana- or a WHOLE MONTH of In'N'Out dinners . . !"

Not that I would eat a whole month's worth of In'N'Out burgers . . . Ahem. 

So in summary - if you're looking for a brightening serum that you know will work and will be pleasantly shimmery in the meantime - this is your product. If you're in the middle of a recession like the rest of us, I recommend a good mud mask and a bottle of two buck chuck. It'll get you through the week a lot faster and a whole lot cheaper. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kiss . . . Black Honey Lip Gloss

This is undeniably my new obsession: Clinique's Black Honey Almost Lipstick ($14). The color is not quite a berry, it's more caramel in it's base, but it's a very light color, making it look rosy at the same time. Raspberry Honey is maybe a better way to describe it. Very few dark shades look good on my lighter complexion, but this works for me. I love it. 

And just to keep you all on your toes, I thought I'd share this little tid-bit so you know what song gets stuck in my head whenever I think/blog/talk/wear lip gloss: 

My Clinique Black Honey is prolly the reason all these boyz got crusheeeeeesss. . . . 

And yes, I know I'm cheating by posting Kiss on a Wednesday but you know how I feel about structure. I promise to return to less random, on-theme posts soon, but I'll have to make it through the Budget Revision at work first. Sigh.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Soul . . . Commitment

Okay, don't judge me for this, but I'm about to share a quote with you from the back of a Starbuck's cup. If you're like my husband, then this quote will have little impact on you. Hubby has been an athlete his whole life, focused, disciplined, committed. Me? Not so much. In fact, the quickest way to get me to not do something is to tell me I have to do it. 

When I was thinking about started this blog, I was incredibly hesitant. What if it fails? What if I don't feel like writing every day? What if I tell people about it, they read it, and hate it? Or worse, what if I tell people about it and then don't follow through on writing it? They'll think I'm a flake. (Which I am, but I don't want everyone knowing it).  And one day, while I was thinking all this, I read the quote on the back of my Grande Non-Fat Misto:

"The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. 
The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, 
from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as 
rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." 
~ Anne Morris

I realized that while I didn't have a commitment problem in love (married at 22 - who does that?), I did have one in almost every other area of my life. So I decided to do it - just start the blog, commit to it and see how it played out. I can't say I've posted every day - is that even realistic? - but I can say I've enjoyed it and I'm glad I'm giving it a shot. 

So the warm-fuzzy challenge of the day - try committing to something for a while that you've been wanting to do, but maybe were afraid of. Even if your commitment is short-lived (oxymoron?), sometimes you have to throw your whole self and intention into it in order to see if it'll really work. 

P.S. Thank you, Starbuck's, for enriching my life in oh-so-many ways. I know my contribution to your daily profit margin is gesture enough for you, but thought I'd say it anyway. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Glow . . . Fun with Blush

Only time for a quick one tonight, but I thought I'd share one of my favorite blush tricks. Most people (including me until a few years ago) only put blush on the apples of their cheeks and call it a day. There nothing wrong with this, it's how you should wear blush . . . but one thing my wedding makeup consultant taught me was to add a little dash of blush on the brow bone, right below the brow: 

Make sure to use just a little bit - seriously, just a dash - but it makes your whole face look lighter and more healthy. I do it every morning and it makes me look that mush more awake and bright-eyed. I found it works especially well with a really light, bright pink shade - like NARS' Orgasm ($25):

Disclaimer: Because I live in San Fran, I see very little sunshine on a regular basis, so this maybe one of those remedial tricks that works only for us sunshine-depraved folk to make us look like we don't live in a fog-enclosed tundra of a city. I think there's a good chance though that this might work for everyone, so give it shot and let me know. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Care . . . Sunless Tanners

First off, everyone please do NOT forget that today is April Fool's Day. My boss just pulled us all into his office, told us the CFO was in a panic and needed a massive report by Monday. Three of us had a heart attack and one of us was nearly in tears by the time we put two and two together. 

Last year, I wasn't working on April Fools, and I had been asking Hubby for a dog for a couple of years. So I gave him a call and told him a pretty convincing story of the mutt I had found while walking down by the wharf who didn't have a tag so I brought him home and he seems pretty clean except for the first few mud prints he left on the carpet . . . He was mid-way through yelling "Do NOT let it PEE!" when he realized there's no way this was possible - he would kill me and I knew it. Those three seconds of panic were so worth it though. And now, one short year later, we have Little Dog - who did pee in our house last night. And Hubby didn't like it any more in the reality than he did in the hypothetical April Fools joke. Hmm. Good thing Little Dog has a face like this: 

Because he's a little shit. 

ANYWAY - back to beauty. Since it's about that time of year when you start pulling out your tank tops and skirts, only to realize your skin hasn't seen the light of day in 6 months and is in no shape to be bared . . . let's talk sunless tanners! I was the Matron of Honor (ew, I hate the word matron- really? Matron?) in an April wedding last year so I went through a phase of testing every sunless tanner known to womankind in an effort to look presentable (meaning not sickly or streaky) at the wedding.  Here's a quick review of what I liked best: 

- For face, I love Jergen's Natural Glow Face with SPF 20 ($8). I recently got a reader email about this so I hope this helps answer your question RP! I love this one because the smell is barable, and the fact that it has SPF is a bonus. When you have combination skin like mine, the fewer poducts you put on your face, the better, so I skip the moisturizer and the SPF when I use this instead. I also feel the color I get from this is really natural looking. For those of you who want more dramatic results, you might want to try buying a shade up in this product - so try medium/dark, even if you have light skin. That worked well when I need more color from it. 

- I also love the Jergen's Natural Glow for body ($8). It just goes one easily and the color is the most natural and streak-free I've found. The one downside is that especially at first, you really need to use this every day and you really need to put it everywhere. Depending on whether or not you full-body moisturize already, this can add a full 5 minutes to your morning routine and gets old fast. 

- For those of us with little time or patience, I recommend Clarin's Get Glowing Self-Tanning products.  Nordie's has a nice little set for $32 right now. This stuff is great for a quick result - by using it every other day for a week I was able to get the color I wanted and then I used the Jergen's every week or so after that to maintain it and get the most bang for my buck. The one annoying thing about this one is that because it works faster and has more color to it, it's much more important that you fully exfoliate beforehand to get even color and avoid orange knees/elbows. So it takes longer upfront, but you get more immediate results. 
In other news - Lindsay Lohan's sunless tanner just launched at Sephora. I have yet to try it - mainly because of the ridiculous photo being used to promote it: 

See what I mean? Ridiculous. Put some clothes on and LAY OFF THE SELF TANNER (ironically) . . . But if you're a LiLo fan, by all means, try her Sevin Nyne line and let me know what you think. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wink . . . Kind of gross, kind of pretty

Monday mornings are usually pretty rough for me - no matter how many March Madness basketball games I napped through on Sunday, I still am not quite ready for the 6 am alarm.  And neither is my face. Even after my walk with Little Dog, my skin is blotchy and my eyes are puffy. A warm shower and some moisturizer works wonders for my skin, but my eyes are tougher. On your average workday, I don't worry about it, but there is a trick you can use when it really matters - wedding days, presentations, Twilight DVD release parties . . . the usual. 
The trick? Preparation H. 
I know, the idea is a little gross, but the science makes sense. It's a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood vessels, reducing swelling. I've heard the cream works better than the gel, since it rubs in slightly better. It doesn't work on everyone (depends how puffy and sensitive your skin is) and you should test it on your skin BEFORE a big day, just in case. But sometimes knowing I look more prepared for a Monday/Twilight Party than I may feel makes it a little easier to get through. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Soul . . . Dove's "Onslaught" Video

My friend who just had a baby girl sent me this video that made her think about how she can raise a daughter that feels beautiful , even when the beauty industry or mainstream media can make us feel so ugly at times: 

Since I don't have any kids, this video made me think of me and my friends. For many of us, no matter how much our parents/schools/clubs talked to us about body image and self esteem, there were times in our lives when we felt ugly compared to all the images of "perfection" that we see in television and magazines. We grew up with an onslaught, certainly, though I felt it more at some times (i.e. MIDDLE SCHOOL) than others. 

So as a mother one day or a friend now, I want to be a voice against the onslaught, reminding the people in my life of what makes them beautiful - not in a generic "love yourself!" kind of a way, but by pointing out the unique, beautiful things about them that I love.