Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.

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· The Weekend Blogger: Supima fever
· The Weekend Blogger: Close a door, open a window
· The Weekend Blogger: Bit o' honey
· The Weekend Blogger: Happy 4th of July!
· Beauty Notes: I Like This
· Beauty Notes: EcoLips
· Beauty Notes: I Like This
· The Weekend Blogger: Bit of hauling
· Beauty Notes: I Like This
· The Weekend Blogger: Mixed bag
· Beauty Notes: Mists & Hydrosols - Part I

· August 21, 2008 8:36 AM by Blogger Bryna
· August 30, 2008 4:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 3, 2008 11:10 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 26, 2008 11:36 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 5, 2008 4:18 AM by Blogger Perfumeshrine
· July 8, 2008 11:34 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 29, 2008 12:08 AM by Blogger Dain
· June 29, 2008 2:20 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 24, 2008 7:43 AM by Blogger Perfumeshrine
· June 22, 2008 8:38 PM by Blogger Dain

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog

Posted by, Thursday, August 21, 2008 12:31 AM (Eastern)

darwin's path

After four and a half years of operation, The Lipstick Page Forums has finally closed.

We would like to thank Dain Choi in particular for her years of extraordinary work on this site, and thank all who have passed by here, and stopped for a spell, or maybe a wee bit longer.

You may join Dain at her new site:

Colleen Shirazi (aka The Weekend Blogger) will continue to blog here: Life of Colleen.


Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
2 comment(s)  
August 21, 2008 8:36 AM, Blogger Bryna said...

There will be no more posts on this blog???

August 30, 2008 4:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...


They've posted links to the new locations of the bloggers, why not check them out?

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The Weekend Blogger: Supima fever
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 03, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)

I'm becoming intrigued by Supima cotton.

Mind you, I'd never heard of Supima until a few days ago, when I came across it in a clothing catalogue. At first I thought Supima was a patented type of cotton, but it's not:

Founded in 1954, Supima is the promotional organization of the American Pima cotton growers. The Board of Directors of this non-profit organization is composed of Pima growers from the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. All members pay a voluntary per bale assessment to support Supima's marketing and promotional activities.

Supima's primary objective is to promote the increased consumption of American Pima cotton around the world. Supima is a major sponsor of research programs to improve the quality of American Pima. Supima also works closely with cotton industry organizations and government agencies to ensure a fair and viable marketing environment for American Pima cotton growers. Supima also provides timely crop and market information to its grower-members and licensees.

At the core of Supima's promotional activities is a licensing program in which select, high-quality textile mills, apparel and textile manufacturers, and retailers are granted a license to use the Supima® trademark. Licensees use the Supima® trademark to market and promote their textile, home fashion and apparel products made of 100% American Pima cotton. Over 300-fine count textile mills, manufacturers and retailers from around the world are licensed to use the Supima® brand.

In order to promote its awareness of the Supima® brand, Supima advertises in both consumer and trade publications. Additionally, Supima staff members regularly make presentations to customers both in the U.S. and abroad. To the extent possible, Supima staff personally visit major fine-count textile mills in locations around the world. Supima regularly participates in major international home fashion and apparel exhibitions and events.

Okay, I was going to bust this down to a bite-sized blogger blurb, but I think it's interesting. One of my chief complaints about clothing which doesn't cost hundreds of dollars, after all, is poor material. Not poor construction, which I can fix myself in ten minutes with a needle and thread. Shoddy material, you can do nothing about; you simply watch in horror as your clothing dissolves in less than a year.

Is Supima licensed cotton better?

Scanning their merchant list, I see the familiar Brooks Brothers and Land's End. Not listed is Eddie Bauer, where I first stumbled across the Supima reference.

I will say a word about my small obsession with made in the U.S.A. products (or in this case, grown in the U.S.A.). I don't think it translates to people who don't remember when Americans...manufactured, when we made stuff.

I don't propose we return to that era; the cost would be prohibitive for certain things, it wouldn't make sense. But we've been far too quick to throw out every kind of manufacturing, to not give our own citizens something to do.

On a more personal level, my own industry, software engineering, went out the same window as all the rest, the making of shoes, steel, of...dishes, of major appliances, of everything. Pure consumption is not the same thing as production. It's not only the dignity of earning a paycheck, it...kills your brain, if all you do is consume. When you make something, you have to make the decisions...the materials and sourcing them, the design and engineering, the actual process of fabrication.

We've lost that, we have become incredibly impatient as a nation, because all we do now is buy, which takes less than a minute.

Hence I have taken an interest in whatever is made here. It's a personal thing, it's based on my budget, and I'll emphasize it's hardly altruistic. I live here. If there's some small way I can support whatever people are up to here, I'm in.

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August 3, 2008 11:10 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Hey cool, I was thinking of getting Brooks Brothers shirts, now I've got good reason to. They look real nice, and the non-iron aspect is pretty awesome.

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The Weekend Blogger: Close a door, open a window
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 26, 2008 11:06 PM (Eastern)

Hm, there's nothing quite so magical as the hour of 5, post meridian, on a Friday. Eyes begin to sparkle, steps wax lively; there is harmony of motion, towards the elevators, towards the street, towards mass transit.

So, what have I been up to? There are masses of summer sales going on right now, just when you're being mauled by the exorbitant prices of gas, health care, water (I kid you not; after years of pissing rain around here, our municipal utility district has the nerve to cry "water shortage"), rice ($20 a bag at Costco for the good stuff), oh, what's cheaper to be a cocaine addict than to be an ordinary citizen.

Hence, the extraordinary summer sales. No one has cash to spend, so, logically, retail has to cut prices or else sit on their summer merchandise. Banana Republic, The Gap, J.Crew, Eddie Bauer, Land's End...those are the obvious have prices comparable to those of way crappy stores. Like any other good sales, you have to dig, and the sizes do tend to run from extra small to small, then jump straight to extra extra large, and the white blouses tend to be, in the words of Lloyd Cole (ask your mother)...gone, gone, gone, pretty gone.

I had this cute number in my cart today:

...a bit stunned at finding a nice-looking white top at a good price. It's rayon, not the cotton I was seeking--The Gap has some nice white cotton blouses on sale right now, but not the ones I want in the right sizes--and it is sleeveless, which is okay I suppose.

I had this number in the cart along with some stuff from their 30% off sale. The latter are not clearance items, so all the sizes are there. Plus it's a flat $7 shipping. Plus you can use the same $7 for purchases across The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime.

It's all been a bit of a shock.

Take this yellow dress:

Isn't it nice? I'm talking about for someone who isn't twenty years old. Pima cotton/modal rayon/spandex, machine wash, that sweet detail of tiny ruffles at the hem. It's really pretty darn decent.

I went to Eddie Bauer recently and got this...creamy...pima cotton tank top, with all the details: smaller arm-holes, so you don't get "side boob"; slightly higher neck, wider straps, longer length with these teeny side vents. Lovely light yellow (a killer clothing color for blondes) and a light aquamarine blue--for $10 each. The same price for dreary tank tops at Target, which don't cover bra straps, don't conceal "the vault," straps fall down, et cetera, et cetera.

That's probably it for clothes shopping for me, until cooler weather sets in. What I'd like next entails boots, possibly shoes...more planning involved. I'll likely tap the outlets in Napa for those.

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July 26, 2008 11:36 PM, Blogger Dain said...

It's $30 more expensive, but down from $443, so a much more designery option: Madame a Paris, elegant and simple and a cool color.

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The Weekend Blogger: Bit o' honey
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 18, 2008 11:45 PM (Eastern)

An Earnest Sewn Co.'s invitation to A NEW HIVE

...An art installation inspired by the worldwide en masse disappearance of honeybees
by Derrick R. Cruz of Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons

Proceeds from A NEW HIVE support the establishment of beehives in public gardens, educational programs focusing on the importance of bees and the art of beekeeping, as well as research for the development of sustainable beekeeping practices.

I've often commended the labor of bees (but then I ponder the engineering of spiders). What you see is the honey, and it's simple, and you eat it. But how many bees travelled how many miles to gather nectar from hundreds of flowers, to alchemize said nectar into what you see. I prefer honey to sugar, myself.

What I've been up to...
  • Face. The Zia pressed powder of a few posts back...meh. And I seldom say "meh." If it's not the worst powder I ever tried--and it's not--still I miss my MAC Blot pressed. What's in that stuff, that can't be replicated anywhere else? I've decided to repurchase Blot after all. Not sure what to do with the Zia...I don't like returning used cosmetics even to stores which accept them...but until I update my review...meh.

  • Clothes. Made it out to the City last weekend, to visit both Golden Gate Park and Stonestown Galleria. The park has a certain amount of sentimental value; once, I lived within walking distance of it, and I've seen much of it. It's still good, though they recently decimated the children's playground, replacing funky old swings, merry-go-rounds and see-saws with sterile New Age-y constructions. I don't know what they were thinking, beyond fewer lawsuits, and fewer things for older children to play with, but it's hardly worth going to the playground any more.

    Stow Lake still rocks.

    Stonestown was surprisingly lovely. I got a couple of items--a sky blue hoodie, and an aquamarine blue skirt.

  • Perfume. Still using up samples. I retried Annick Goutal's Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT, after reading Dain's review of the EDP (I doubt they smell different, particularly, but the Annick Goutal EDT's don't last well).

    I can smell more clearly these days. In Les Nuits... there lies the same exquisite lemon-and-cypress heart of Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien, only prettied up with frills of more traditional perfumery. I haven't smelled Eau d'Hadrien in ages, but there was something geometrical about it, the way they managed to trap sunlight and evoke whitewashed houses, narrow streets, lemon groves, and pretty dark-haired girls, in a scent perfume mavens don't seem to particularly care for lol

    It's a good thing I don't do decants. I think I'd end up with a hundred, easily.

Not much else to add; I may go to a bead show this weekend, although I'm not sure.

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The Weekend Blogger: Happy 4th of July!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 04, 2008 10:04 PM (Eastern)

You'll really like this song.

Now that I've rejoined the 9-to-5 culture, I can admit this holiday has become, well, okay, a paid holiday, yet it is still Independence Day of course, and let it ever remain the magnificent celebration it is.
  • Jewelry. Today we did what we do every year; we went to the Fourth of July Fair. I don't buy readymade jewelry that much anymore, but I always find something at this fair (I have for years). Particularly rings, since these cannot be made without metalworking. People have made lovely rings with wire, and I've made them too, but it's not the same.

    I got a ring of heavy silver set with a rough ruby. I like this style; they also use rough emeralds. By "rough" I mean a fairly low-grade stone, translucent at best, but somehow, I just like it. I also got a spectrolite ring and a blue topaz ring, both for my daughter.

  • More jewelry thoughts. Making jewelry has now become almost too easy. lol! Okay it's not actually easy, but I've become better at it. For one thing, I've gotten accustomed to the idea that even a simple piece of jewelry can take all day, two days, or longer to make.

    And the same piece usually has to be redone several times. Unless you're copying an existing design, there are quite a few variables at play, and no hard and fast rules about anything. You have to go with the materials at hand (I've long given up the romantic notion of having everything you need at hand, because that never happens), so you need to be versatile enough to bend half-hard wire as easily as soft, and use whatever gauges you have.

    Tried my hand today at making post earrings. Not intentionally--I had the idea of making a hammered silver spiral to cover the ear lobe, and hanging something underneath it. I've felt in a rut; most of my earrings are french wires or hoops. I have tried my hand at making kidney wires (and should make more), and have used argentium silver leverbacks, but anyway...I made the spiral, and realized it would never sit right unless it had a post back, rather than the french wire style I had originally.

    It was a matter of cutting the french wire and straightening it, and digging up some earring backs, and getting them to fit the wire (I used a piece of stiff heavy wire to enlarge the earring backs slightly).

    For the spirals, I couldn't use too-heavy wire (this works for necklaces but not for earrings, where you need more delicacy and less weight). But I decided to hang teardrop-shaped hoops from the spirals, and these should be heavy wire. I used 18 gauge but would have been happier with 16 (as I say, you have to use what's at hand, otherwise you'll never make anything, but I have plans to try thicker wire later on).

    It's a sort of...gestalt (I'm envisioning dudes with elbow patches and pipes, bear with me). The spirals would be wrong without the post, or made in heavier wire (or lighter for that matter). The hoops would be wrong without the spirals (I've tried many times to make heavy wire hoops, to no avail). The shape of the hoops can't be too perfect (which would make them appear prefabricated), nor too crude (making them look amateurish, by someone who can't intimately bend wire, with tools including fingernails, mandrels, the handle of the chasing hammer). It's crossed my mind I love nothing so much as working with metal. It's my dream to do metalworking someday (silversmithing is more attractive to me than goldsmithing, though the latter would be more lucrative). It's the sheer physics of it.

  • Face. The Zia pressed powder I bought last It's not as good as MAC Blot pressed powder, for all-day oil blotting goodness. Yet it's not bad enough that I'd toss it and head out to the MAC counter, either. It's a decent pressed powder, better than a Dior one I have in ability to suck up oil. More coverage than MAC Blot pressed (not something I look for in powder though). I got the "Smoky Quartz" shade; it's definitely darker than my MAC Blot "Medium," but then Medium was getting too light anyway. (The "Quartz" shade might be more similar.)

    I'm not likely to repurchase it, but have decided to use it up.

  • Clothes. One of my favorite dress shops bit the dust, just like that.

    I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop in and look around. Cripe! They used to have two solid aisles of dresses, each aisle comprised of stands, each stand with four kinds of dresses...and yet more dresses, further in. All they kept was the aisle bordering the display windows, and this aisle was sparse, buddy, it was sparse. I used to grab ten dresses at a pop to try on, and walk out with two or four. This time there was one that looked nice (sheer layer with a print, over a solid layer of the same print; the interplay was interesting), but I hesitated, as it was similar to dresses I already own. But that's it. One dress in the "tempting to try on" category.

    To replace the dresses, they'd put separates...crappy separates (this shop never had good separates, only good dresses).

I hate to finish on a sour note, but I've run out of things to say.

Have a great holiday!

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July 5, 2008 4:18 AM, Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

Happy 4th to you!

It was very interesting reading about making jewellery: I love the finished product although I haven't much invested in actually trying to replicate. You make it sound fun though :-)
And enjoy your new found little trinkets!

July 8, 2008 11:34 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...


There's a point where making jewelry becomes insanely fun. As soon as you can make one kind, you want to make something more difficult. It takes time to get where you want to's a long term project...but at least you always have something cool to wear in the meantime. :D

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Beauty Notes: I Like This
Posted by Joy Rothke, 9:44 PM (Eastern)

Saaf Organic Enriching Hair Oil

Saaf is a new product line developed by Dr. Mah Hussain-Gambles, a UK-based homeopath and pharmacologist. Her Hair Oil ($54.95/3.4 oz.) is part of a skin and bodycare line designed to be "Highly Effective, Totally Organic, Utterly Ethical." All products are vegetarian, alcohol-free, non-irradiated, free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Halal and Kosher.

The hair oil is represented as being for fine, flyaway hair and split ends, but I found it especially effective on my thick and dry hair. I rub two or three drops between my hands, and apply it to the length of my wet hair. It adds softness, defrizzes and absorbs quickly. Ingredients include Mustard Seed oil, Sesame oil, Neem extract and natural Vitamin E; Rosemary, Bay Leaf and Ylang-Ylang essential oils. While this oil is pricey, it's quite concentrated, and I'd estimate my bottle will last at least a year.

Beautorium, a new online beauty boutique, is the exclusive US distributor for Saaf. They also sell a variety of hard-to-find, organic, international products--and offer wonderful customer service.

Parissa Natural Hair Removal Systems

Waxing isn't fun, but Parissa's Express Wax Strips ($9) are easy to use, virtually painless and get the job done.

The Express strips are designed for face and bikini; I've only used them on my face. Each box includes eight double-sided wax strips and a vial of azulene oil. You separate the strips, press against your upper lip chin or brow line, and pull off. Each strip can be reused several times to get rid of any errant hairs, and any wax left on your face can be easily removed with the azulene oil. It's fast and takes little to no expertise.

Parissa also sells a variety of other waxing systems for the rest of your body.

Lily Gulch Soaps

Until I discovered artisan soapmakers like Lily Gulch, I hadn't used bar soap in at least 15 years, finding it poison to my dry skin. Of course, the only bar soap I'd ever used was the junk from the supermarket or so-called "glycerine" bars I bought at various places. I didn't know that those soaps weren't soaps at all, but detergents. I just knew they didn't work, and I stuck to gels.

Lily Gulch has been producing old-fashioned, handmade, cold process soap in Evergreen, Colorado since 1995. They sell dozens of scented and unscented bars, and I've been testing their best-selling almond soap ($5.50/4.5 oz.) for the past couple of weeks. Tucked into my Soap Cinch, I'm enjoying the subtle almond fragrance as well as the fact it cleans well without leaving my skin dry and parched.

The Soap Cinch

I refuse to keep my artisan soap in a soap dish, unless I'm interested in washing with a slimy, melting mess. Soap Cinch ($6.85) has come up with a new take on a soap keeper. It's a hemp bag that holds most sizes of bar soap and doubles as a washcloth/exfoliator. There's an elastic tab at the bottom that allows you to connect two or more Soap Cinches to form a back scrubber.

Supracor Stimulite Bath Mitt

The first time you see the Supracor Stimulite Bath Mitt, it looks like it's made of some sort of bubble wrap, but it's actually a proprietary material called Stimulite® Honeycomb. It's available in a variety of lifestyle and medical products, including bath mitts and facial sponges.

Stimulite® is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. You can use the Bath Mitt ($32) wet with soap or shower gel for cleansing, or for dry brushing of your skin to encourage cell turnover and lymph system stimulation.

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Beauty Notes: EcoLips
Posted by Joy Rothke, Monday, June 30, 2008 2:02 PM (Eastern)

A lifetime of lip balm use has made me an expert, and I'm very particular about the balms I use. They have to be non-waxy, organic, soothing and preferably, moderately priced. I keep tubes and tins of lip balm all over the place [desk, car, bathroom, purse, etc.] so I prefer to keep the cost under $5, since inevitably, some will disappear or get misplaced.

I started using EcoLips last year, after reading about them in someone's blog. I liked the fact that they're an American, family-owned company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They offer a wide variety of balms, including vegan and vegetarian. Their prices are reasonable, with most balms between $1.99 - 3.99.

I ordered a selection and they're all excellent. My favorite is their Organic Eco Lips Gold ($3.49). It's 99% organic and exceptionally soothing (Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Vitamin E, Organic Calendula Flower Extract, Vitamin A. Cruelty,Gluten and Petrolatum free. No Hydrogenated Oils.) This lip balm addict considers Eco Lips one of the top three lip balms on the market (the other two are Badger Balm and Aroma Borealis.)

If you're looking for a light colored balm/lipstick substitute for summer, try Eco Tints ($3.99 ea; set of 3, $9.99), a 99% organic gluten/carmine/lanolin free lip moisturizer in Rose Quartz, Plush Red and Mocha Velvet.

Along with hundreds of other Cedar Rapids business owners, Eco Lips has been hit hard by flood damage. They're back in business and offering a free Eco Lips Organic Gold Lip Balm with any order over $10.00, and free shipping to the U.S. for orders over $15.00. Use the coupon code: FLOOD. This offer is good through August. This is a good time to try some excellent products and help an indie business get back on its feet.

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Beauty Notes: I Like This
Posted by Joy Rothke, Sunday, June 29, 2008 12:04 PM (Eastern)

Sensatia Botanicals

A primary benefit of using natural and organic products is the opportunity to sample things from from all over the world, and encounter product lines I'd never know about if I bought everything at Nordstrom, CVS or even Whole Foods.

Sensatia Botanicals is a small line of 100% natural products from the island of Bali. I'm hooked on their essential oil blends and body oils, especially the
Balinese Herbal Lulur Body Oil ($17.95/100 ml.) It's a Balinese home remedy, and made of a traditional blend of oils, including sandalwood, fennel, star anise, eaglewood, fenugreek, gandepure and laurel leaf. It's a very soothing and earthy fragrance. I like to add a few drops to an unscented body lotion or cream.


I can't decide if naming a hair product "Product" is a good idea or a way to get caught in an endless Abbott and Costello "what's its name" loop. It's a basic, little organic hair product with five organic ingredients: shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E (tocopherol), beeswax, and fragrance ($14.00/1.5 oz.)

I use just the tiniest amount, emulsify between my palms, and work it into wet or dry hair. I'm happy with the simplicity of a simple, all purpose hair product, and also appreciate the convenience of a single jar. This is a great product for traveling.

Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie

Even though they're in my backyard, I only recently learned about Hollywood-based Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie. They've been around since 1986, mixing up quite a selection of "hand-crafted, micro-brewed" fragrances, almost all of which are limited editions--other than their signature "Love Potion" line. They were doing the BPAL thing long before BPAL.

Perfumer Mara Fox sent me a bunch of varied samples, and I've been trying them for the past few months. Her line is large and varied, ranging from pheromone-enhanced scents like Super for Men, Super for Women, PheroGirl Cuddle Bunny and Synchonicity ($24.95/1/4 oz.)

My favorite is Allegro, an ode to the Goddess of Joy. Allegro is a light but long-lasting green/fruity blend, and includes a bit of the pheromone Alpha-Androstenol, which is a mood elevator ($24.95/1/3 oz.)

Yoga Toes

My family's first reaction to my YogaToes was puzzlement over the "big old pink plastic things" on my feet. I politely explained that they're my YogaToes ($49.95) and that I'm stretching my feet.

There's no a stiletto in sight in my shoe closet; it's mostly flip-flops, Tevas, Birks and sneakers, so my feet are in fairly good condition. Nevertheless, I've found YogaToes helps my good feet feel even better.

They're simple to use. Slide/wiggle your toes into the flexible gel YogaToes, and wear for 15 minutes or so. I find the first 30 seconds or so slightly uncomfortable as my feet adjust to the stretch, but after that, I barely feel them, and can wear them for an hour or more. (They're not designed for walking, but you can stumble around the house if need be.) They come in two sizes and a number of colors, and have a 90-day unconditional guarantee. If you're a runner, dancer or someone who sacrifices foot comfort for high-heeled fabulousness, give these a try.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate

Liz Earle is one of the biggest names in natural skincare in the UK, and her products are now available in North America. Superskin Concentrate ($34.00/0.3 fl. oz) has everything I like in a skincare product: portability (it's in a wee rollerball bottle), organic and filled with a variety of soothing, light and quick-absorbing oils like hazelnut, argan, rosehip and avocado.

I've been using this a few nights a week. It's simple, easy to use, and I wake up with smooth, glowing skin.

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The Weekend Blogger: Bit of hauling
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, June 28, 2008 11:47 PM (Eastern)

I shop rather strategically now; long gone are the days of carefree middle-class browsing. An item is either astronomically expensive, requiring months, even years, of planning to acquire, or else it tends to be junk, worth less than the space it occupies. It's truly an art to figure out where to shop, and to emerge with something of value, without blowing half a week's paycheck over it.

This time I went to a b & m bead shop, something I don't do often anymore. But sometimes it's worth the markup to be able to choose individual beads, particularly for earrings. I got some carnelian and some jade beads. I had this odd impulse to make red earrings, and I've wanted for some time to use green jade for something.

On to our local health food store, where I repurchased Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream. Normally the price would have been a tad appalling, but I tried this out first as a sample, loved it, bought a full sized tube, found it lasted five months and noticeably improved my acne-prone skin. I felt it was a good purchase.

On a bit of an impulse, I also bought a Zia pressed powder compact. I'm almost out of my traditional MAC Blot pressed, and was planning on the trek out to the MAC counter to repurchase it, but if this stuff works, I'd rather buy it instead. I've long fallen out of love with MAC in general, so the Back to MAC isn't much of an incentive to me anymore, plus the customer service at our local MAC Counter isn't much of an encouragement to go there. The first two ingredients listed are mica and cornstarch. I've used Zia liquid foundation for years, to make tinted sunscreen, so I'm fairly optimistic about the powder prospect.

Finally, I picked up Avalon Organics Lavender shampoo, since I had run out of their Lemon Clarifying one. The Lavender is more moisturizing, but then I often use two shampoos anyway--a little tea tree oil shampoo on my scalp (Giovanni, but I'm thinking of trying the Paul Mitchell one when that runs out), and a different one on the rest of my hair (it's not as complicated as it sounds, just slap on a bit of one and a bit of the other, and lather).

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June 29, 2008 12:08 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I want to try those Avalon Organics now. I really need to get myself to a Whole Foods soon, and root around the products section.

June 29, 2008 2:20 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

There's a lot of bath & body at health food stores...and some of it is really good. Some of it is bad--Jason shampoos are terrible, imo, and Kiss My Face is only eh.

Avalon, Alba Hawaiian, Giovanni, Nature's Gate Organics...all good. There's one I always look at called Desert Essence. It costs a bit more but it smells stupendous.

I rotate shampoos, since I wash my hair every day. Otherwise there's no way to prevent buildup. I like to have three shampoos in the shower at a given time, and two conditioners. :D

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Beauty Notes: I Like This
Posted by Joy Rothke, Sunday, June 22, 2008 12:38 PM (Eastern)

I'm not a hot weather person. This summer, I've promised myself to have a Zen-like attitude towards the heat. I'm accepting the weather as it is--and this being Southern California, that means a lot of dry heat. We've had our first heat wave of the year, and the temps the last several days have been over 100.

In this sort of heat, I like to use light, cooling and minimalist products--just enough to keep my skin clean and hydrated. A number of the new products I've been testing are heatwave-worthy.

Solavedi Hibiscus Daily Cleansing Milk

Carollanne Crichton runs Solavedi, an organic/Ayurvedic-based skincare and bodywork company. She sent me several samples last week of products she thought appropriate for my
Vata-Kapha skin. Ayurveda is India's 5000-year-old traditional herbal medicine, and puts people into three doshas or categories: Vata, Kapha or Pita. Vata (also spelled Vatta) skin like mine is frequently dry, mature and may have hyper-pigmentation.

The Hibiscus Cleansing Milk ($12, 8 oz.) is a light, mildly fragrant mix of organic light sesame oil, purified water, organic carrot seed oil, organic rosa mosqueta oil, rose absolute essential oil, hibiscus distillate, French lavender essential oil, juniper distillate and French white clay. It got the dirt and muck of a 95 degree day off my face without stripping it or making my skin feel tight.

A light and cooling toner is a must in this weather, especially when the heat is causing a mild rosacea flare. I've been using Kimberly Sayer of London Organic Lavender Toner ($29, 5 oz.) Sayer is a famous London facialist/esthetician whose skincare products are now available in the USA. This toner is especially soothing for dry, red and rosacea-prone complexions, and I particularly like the way the bottle delivers an exceptionally gentle mist.

I have dark, undereye circles most of the time, but the combination of summer heat, allergies and LA pollution makes them particularly evident this time of year. About six weeks ago, I started using Derma e Organic Expressions Brighter Eye Creme ($19.50, 1/2 oz.) I'd seen their products in Whole Foods, and wanted to try some of their newer organic products. I've been using Brighter Eye Creme as a treatment under my regular eye cream, and I like the light texture and quick absorption. There's no hydroquinone (a possible carcinogen) in any of Derma e's brightening products--a product best avoided. Instead, it uses Pycnogenol®, organic Almond and Safflower oils and Shea Butter, among other ingredients.

And it's working. I've been using it twice daily since May 12, and I can see some definite lightening of the dark circles.

Allergies also bring out the eye bags, so I've been using Simply Divine Botanicals Pack Your Bags They're Leaving Instant Gratification Eye Gel ($39.95, 1 oz.) Simply Divine's a super-crunchy company run by Master Herbalist in, of all places, Las Vegas. This gel, with its ingredients of "Unconditional Love and Gratitude, Cucumber, 24 kt Gold, Seaweed, Sea Buckthorn oil, Watermelon seed oil, Essential oils of Frankincense, Myrrh, Tangerine and Lemongrass and Vitamin E" works, they say, by activating the kidney's acupuncture meridians.

It's a very light and cooling gel that did tighten under my eyes, without the tight, cement-like effect of other products I've tried. Sample sizes available.

I've had mild rosacea for about 10 years, and until this summer, it was only very cold weather that exacerbated it. rosacea has decided that it doesn't like hot weather as well. I don't want to take Rx antibiotics or topical gels, the usual treatment for rosacea, so I did some research on available products.

Rosacea Care Products in Rhode Island sells an extensive line of rosacea treatments. These aren't glamorous or elegantly packaged, but they sounded effective, so I've been giving them a try. Rosacea Care sent me a sample of six of their products, and I've been slowly introducing them into my skincare regimen, as suggested. My favorite so far is the Willowherb Serum With Vitamin K ($52, 1 oz.) When I saw that the primary ingredient is Willowherb from the Yukon Territory (my favorite place on earth) I had a feeling this was made for me. I've been alternating it with Strontium Calming Lotion ($38, 2 oz.) that can be used both as a localized treatment or a fragrance-free moisturizer. The Calming Lotion contains COSMEDERM-7, a strontium compound developed at the University of California, San Diego. According to them, this compound "electively blocks the irritation-producing nerve endings (type C nociceptors) that become activated when itching, burning and stinging occur from any cause." Sample sizes available.

If I want a simple moisturizer, I've been reaching for Lily Organic's Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Cream ($29.90, 2 oz.) Like all of Lily's products, it's 100 percent vegetarian, and full of soothing ingredients like sweet almond oil, shea butter, kosher vegetable glycerin, tincture of lily flower, soy protein, hectorite mineral, citrus seed extract. All the Lily products are made in small weekly batches, so the products she ships from Boulder, Colorado are always fresh. Sample sizes

When it's so hot, the only kind of scent I consider is something light and cool--usually something lemon. Pacifica Candles now has an aerosol and solid perfume line, and their Malibu Lemon Blossom (aerosol $19.95, 1.2 oz; solid $8.95, 0.3. oz) is the sort of light and refreshing citrus/herbal scent that works on triple digit days.

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June 24, 2008 7:43 AM, Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

I admire your Zen acceptance. I get irritated myself and break the trance!
Thanks for the recs though :-)

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The Weekend Blogger: Mixed bag
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:38 AM (Eastern)

A photo tour of Iran...the music is killer

I suspect I have nothing cohesive to say, so have elected to use a bullet list.

  • Skin. Finally used the last squeeze of Dr. Hauschka's Cleansing Cream. The tube lasted about five months, used once per day (I use the Cleansing Milk at night). I tried going without it for several days to see what would happen, and have decided my skin was better off with it. I was going to repurchase it today, then got caught up finishing some earrings I'd been fiddling around with for weeks, so I'll probably shoot for tomorrow, but it's a keeper.

  • Clothes. Here's a tip I got from the administrative assistant at my job. You can get rid of static cling by spinning your clothes in the dryer--no heat--with a dryer sheet. These are clothes you have to line dry, so line-dry them first, but it really does work.

    While I was at it, I tossed in some clothes I'd normally have to iron. If they're not super wrinkly, you may not need to iron them.

  • Perfume. Debating between Patou's Joy and Sublime as my next perfume (after I've used up Etro's Heliotrope). I've been wearing Sublime as a's a tad too sweet worn alone, but so what, so is Montale's Aoud Blossom. It's a sentimental choice, as would be Joy, but Sublime is the more significant of the two to me.

    Sublime is about Washington State in the early 1990's, when Kurt Cobain was still alive, and Nordstrom still had superior customer service (okay, they probably still do in Washington State, but it's lousy here). I was a starving student and loved passing by the perfume counter at Nordies, and this was one of the fragrances I coveted most.

  • Shoes. I've been okay with the shoes I got. They're not my dream shoes, which would be Cydwoq, Jim Barnier or Taryn Rose (in that order). Something more beautiful, more durable.

    I'm not really against high heels, I just don't wear them. I can see the point; they are a sculpture. For something like a party or occasion, I would consider wearing them...I had some when I was fifteen or so, that were genuine stiletto heels (not super high, but actual heel-heels).

    My gripe is finding shoes that look the way I want them to look, yet allow me to walk eight city blocks in half an hour, or break into a run to catch a bus, and the like. I hate feeling constrained in shoes. In that regard, the ones I have are not it either. "It" starts at $300, so, my shoes should last until I feel like paying that much. :D

    I can admit I like them all the same. The strappy ones are good for hot weather; your feet don't get sweaty. I'm still stretching out the pump toeboxes, off and on, when I have nothing better to do.

  • Jewelry. I've made some good earrings lately. I keep hoping to take pictures, but jewelry is one of the hardest things to photograph. You'd need a small area reserved just for taking pictures of it, or a whole lotta time.

    I can describe them, but, eh. One is three lengths of oxidized textured silver chain, with the shortest length on the outside and the longest on the inside. I hung three colors of tourmaline faceted "hearts" (the "pear" is the flat teardrop shape, while the "heart" is the fat bottomed flat teardrop)--deep pink, green, and lavender, one at the end of each chain.

    The next was my first attempt at a theme: a simulation of falling rain. So I used lengths of silver flat cable chain (the flat surfaces catch the light when they move), small green amethyst faceted pears, and small aquamarine faceted drops. (It's funny, you always think to buy the bigger stones, but earrings often require small ones).

    The third pair I finished today. Were they a pain to make! I'm already planning to solder soon...I've heard you can buy a soldering iron at the dollar shop; the real cost is the solder and flux, both of which I now own.

    These are hammered golden hoops, and I wanted to hang a bar across the center. Hanging the bar is relatively easy, but without soldering, you have to devise a means of keeping the bar stable. Squashing or hammering the bar on the hoop doesn't do it.

    I came up with two ideas. One is to use a crimp bead--a tiny round seamless metal bead--you thread two beads on the hoop when you're making it. You use crimping pliers (as they sound, special pliers to neatly press and fold the crimps) to crimp a bead under each end of your horizontal bar. I've done this with crimp tubes because I had no crimp beads on hand, and it works well, but the crimp beads would look nicer than the tubes.

    The other involves wrapping fine-gauge wire on the sides of the hoops above either end of the horizontal bar. The idea is to block either end of the bar from moving up the side of the hoop. This also works, and the fineness of the wire makes it unobtrusive. on each horizontal bar, I have a metal fringe, made of pieces of make a loop on one end of each piece of wire, hammer out the other end flat, then file the edges of the hammered end to make them smooth and rounded.

    I'm trying out some wire-intensive ideas, because I'm thinking of getting karat gold wire. You have to be sure of your design because you can't make mistakes with the spendy stuff. Not sure if this design is "karat-worthy" yet. It's nice...the swinging golden fringe sparkles like fanciful sun rays. But the construction turned out to be more involved than I'd thought. I like the fringe and hoop; perhaps I could come up with a simpler version, or even just start out with a plain heavy hammered hoop.

  • Reading. Technical manuals, such as "Lasso for Dummies" (just kidding, I think the only book written on Lasso is the manual the Lasso people publish). Lasso is a scripting language. I don't think I'll ever read anything but technical manuals until Dain publishes her book, then I'll be happy to read that. I haven't heard of anything tempting to read lately, at any rate.

Have a good one!

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June 22, 2008 8:38 PM, Blogger Dain said...

That's sweet. I haven't really started work on it yet, though. Shhhh. The blogging gets in the way, so I guess I'll just have to stop once we do CoC.

That video's pretty awesome. Iran seems sad, though.

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Beauty Notes: Mists & Hydrosols - Part I
Posted by Joy Rothke, Wednesday, June 18, 2008 11:56 PM (Eastern)

My favorite skin treatments are mists and hydrosols, and I use them year round. During the hot days of summer, they're essential. From the simple DIY versions I sometimes cook up to the sublime versions offered by green/organic skincare mavens, misting your face with a cooling stream of herbal goodness can make the hottest afternoon bearable. I like to store some of mine in the fridge, and spritz myself when I come in from walking the dog or an errand.

Daybreak Lavender Farm Only Rose Petal Toner

Jody Byrne and her husband operate Daybreak Lavender Farm in Streetsboro, Ohio. Self-described "old hippies," everything they make is fresh and hand-crafted. The Only Rose Petal Toner ($22.95, 6 oz.) is a simple and refreshing mix of white willow (witch hazel distillate), rose floral water, rose hydrosol and rose petal tea. It's also used in some of Daybreak's skin care regimens (I'm on one and will be reviewing it soon) and works well as a stand-alone product.

Healing Anthropology Rejuvenating Face & Body Mist

If you're traveling this summer, include this in your purse or daypack. The Face & Body Mist ($30.00, 2 oz.) is a blend of essential oils and aloe that are particularly soothing to sun-exposed skin. This would be an excellent product to use during airplane flights. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, HA is an woman-owned company, and all its products are 100% natural.

Owner Sabrina Posillico has pledged 15% of company proceeds in June to Gabriel's Angels, an Arizona non-profit that provides pet therapy to abused and at-risk children. So order this month and combine skincare and good deeds.

Garden Of Eve Clearly Lovely Toner

I like to introduce LP readers to the many small, artisan skincare lines. Garden of Eve is a small company in Afton, Virginia, operated by an herbalist named Eve, who creates products made with aromatic essential oils and no troublesome ingredients like parabens or synthetic dyes.

Her Clearly Lovely Toner ($39.00, 2 oz.) is designed for combination, acenic or rosacea-prone skin, and is made of organic and wild-crafted hydrosols, including Lavender, Rose Geranium, Rose and Roman Chamomile. Eve creates toners for other skin types, as well as providing a custom-blending service for clients.

Manor Hall Lavender & Chamomile Facial Toner

Susan Mann's Manor Hall Soap Company in Springfield, Mass., makes wonderful olive oil-based soaps. I've been a fan for a while. After trying her Lavender & Chamomile Facial Toner ($7.85, 2 oz.), I also love her skincare products. All Manor Hall products are natural and vegetarian, and made with natural colors and botanical essences. They're also very affordable, so you can use this alcohol-free toner with impunity all summer.

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