Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dream Cream

I've spent the last three weeks studying like a rockstar instead of partying like one and it's been rough. About half way through writing an epic research paper last week my eyes had just about give up from me- achy from hours on the computer, and puffy from five hours of sleep a night.

Good thing my research took me to the Clinique counter at Lord & Taylor during free gift with purchase time! When I purchased a new tube of Clarifying Makeup foundation I received a mini jar of All About Eyes- the most fantastic item in my stress-combating arsenal to date.

I've had bad luck with every anti-aging eye cream I've tried, they all break me out. I took a chance on this one because it has caffeine to reduce puffiness and my puffiness was getting a little out of control. The sales associate recommended keeping this in the fridge, and I have to admit this dish is best served cold- its silky texture is instantly soothing. It has a non-greasy drydown to boot, which doesn't interfere with eye makeup while still giving skin some moisture. This is a far superior product to MAC's Fast Response Eye Cream, which packs a more serious caffeine content but is drying with daily use. I've been able to use All About Eyes sometimes four times a day for the past two weeks with no dryness, no breakout, no irritation, and no signs of bags under my eyes. Paired with soothing eye drops, mascara, and a bit of MAC's Luna cream color base on my browbone and my eyes look fresh and well rested. It seems a bit overpriced at $27.50 for a half ounce, but it only takes a small dab per eye for great results. The only problem is getting your friends to believe that you only got two hours of sleep.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Shop for the Cure 2007

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and tons of cosmetics companies have released limited edition items with proceeds benefiting breast cancer organizations.

Most of these items are luxe and best suited for personal rewards, but C.O. Bigelow's Shine for Life Mentha Lip Tint, available at Bath & Body Works for $7.50, is a fantastic gift for the ladies in your life.

The mentha lip products are wonderfully soothing and moisturizing, provide lovely shine, and the sheer tints are subtly pretty. There wasn't a tester available, but sheer pink doesn't easily go awry. Stock up now for holiday gifts to benefit the American Breast Cancer Foundation.

Breakfast at Lord & Taylor

Your mother might not wear that much makeup now (or maybe she's been rocking the same lipstick for ages). Don't let that fool you, she was around for some amazing moments in cosmetics history no matter how old she is.

Case in point: my mother rocked that incredible liquid liner and matte apricot lips of the late 1960s. As an homage to her, and because I inexplicably woke up in a totally Audrey Hepburn mood this morning, I took a trip over to Lord & Taylor first thing this morning.

My last experiment with liquid liner was in 1997 when my mom got me a tube from the drugstore for dance performances. It was a goopy brown with a sickly little brush that seemed to peel off in chunks a couple hours after application: in short, a total nightmare. I vowed that today I would find a liquid liner that would be easy to master and would take less than a minute to apply, with fantastic lasting power.

Lancome's Artliner completely fits the bill. I've been hearing good things about it for years, so it was at the top of my list. What sets it apart from its competitors is its felt tip, versus floppy brushes that splay and slide around on the lash line. I don't really have a steady hand, but I was able to nail the application of this on the first try.

The color selection is pretty great as well. My favorite is Brown, a gorgeous blackened brown with a sparkly sheen. Pale girls with very fair hair or the liquid liner phobic should check out Ice Carob, a pearly medium brown which gives you all of the shape and drama of liquid liner without any potential severity.

To nail the look:

-To insure lasting power, it always helps to prep your eyelid with Urban Decay Primer Potion.
-Dust a little shimmery nude powder all over your eyelid and on the inner tear duct to give contrast to the liner.
-Trace your lashes with a pencil liner before applying the liquid; it seems redundant, but it insures perfect coverage and your hand will be much steadier if you're tracing something.

The sales associate also shared a brilliant tip: after the liner dries, take a q-tip dipped in makeup remover or moisturizer and brush it in short upward strokes at the outer corner of the eye to shape the corners evenly and visually give the eye beautiful lift.

For advice on liquid liner from makeup artist Pat McGrath, check out pg 134 of October's Allure.