Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.
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· Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
· Beauty Notes: Salux Beauty Skin Cloth
· NARS: The Consummate Stocking Stuffer
· Trader Joe's Shea Butter Soap rules!
· Price vs. value
· Favorite "budget" beauty products
· April 27, 2008 12:28 AM by EZE
· April 27, 2008 1:20 AM by Dain
· April 30, 2008 12:52 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· April 12, 2008 4:34 PM by Dain
· April 12, 2008 10:03 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· April 13, 2008 4:48 PM by Dain
· April 13, 2008 5:41 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· April 15, 2008 2:14 PM by Dain
· April 17, 2008 11:03 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· April 18, 2008 3:24 PM by Dain
· July 6, 2007 3:13 AM by Dain
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Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, April 26, 2008 8:34 PM (Eastern)
Salux Beauty Skin Cloth. A marvel of modern engineering; I'm impressed with it, every shower. I use half the soap I normally would, without skimping on lather. Any keratosis pilaris-y bumps are neatly filed away; great for keeping legs ingrown-hair-less; ankles, toes and elbows are radiantly free of dead skin.
Yet it's pleasant to use, rather like a spa in your morning shower.
Its true might though is as a facial exfoliator. I pity the fool (okay I don't actually pity the fool, just having a Mr. T moment) who blows hundreds of dollars on a Clarisonic, while this under-five-bucks nylon gem sits on the shelf. I see skin on my face I haven't seen in years. Fewer flakes, clogged pores, pimples...it's all that, and the proverbial bag of chips.
Andy Tauer's L'air du désert marocain. Dain sent me a sample, I have it in my cubicle. :) It's not something you could ever wear a lot of, in an office, yet it's ideal for hot weather, when you want to smell soapy.
As a fragrance, I can admit it's a bit literal. It smells hot and dry, and like a spice market, okay...but it's done with such care. So it doesn't smell cheap-spicy, or as if it were trying too hard to be sexy. To me it's not sexy at all, it's rather...dry and clean, masculine. If I could fault it for anything, it's the mediocre staying power, the price...cheaper than the Montale oud eau de parfums, more expensive than the regular Montale line, but, all in all, a lousy deal, given how many times you'd have to reapply it during the day.
As a sample though, it's my favorite among many, many samples. I tried the Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger sample I'd bought (kicks self) as an office cubicle hot weather scent, and regretted it bitterly the first time I used it...pure eau de cleaning products, albeit really good cleaning products. mumbles...
Along with Giò lotion from a bygone era, I've dug out my Dr. Hauschka kits and delved into the body one. These kits have a long life; you can dabble for months inside just one kit. So far I'm liking the Rose Body Oil, perhaps for the novelty of using a body oil, but it's genuinely likable, with its delicate rose scent and light feeling.
images courtesy buy4asianlife.com, luckyscent.com
Beauty Notes: Salux Beauty Skin Cloth
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, April 12, 2008 12:34 PM (Eastern)
If this doesn't qualify as a cheap thrill, I don't know what does. ($2.69)
I picked up one of these on a whim from a local Japanese shop, after having passed it over numerous times at other markets. They had several knock-offs, but I decided to go with the Japanese version (it really wasn't much more than the knock-offs anyway).
You get a large stretchy towel, as shown in the image; you can easily wash your back with it, and then some. As promised in the copy on the package, you don't need to use much soap. A couple of swipes generate ton loads of lather. Assuming the towel is durable, which it certainly seems to be, this is a good way to extend your soap budget.
It's scratchy, as you'd imagine, but then you don't need to scrub. Using a light touch, you get painless exfoliation and super smooth, soft skin. It's kinda like a loofah, only more efficient and likely much longer-lasting.
The one bugger I experienced was trying to wash my ears with it. It doesn't work well for ears, or else I haven't gotten the hang of it. I had to do the ears a couple of times to get them squeaky clean. And I don't dare use it on my face. It seems a bit rough for that.
All in all...how did I live without this? (I've been using for a week, after a lifetime of washcloths.)
NARS: The Consummate Stocking Stuffer
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, December 06, 2007 3:02 PM (Eastern)
So you want to snag a lil' something for your best girl's stocking this year. And you're thinking: "I have no idea what to get. What if she hates it?"
Enter the makeup palette, which performs for cosmetics what perfume samples do for fragrance. You give your gal a whole bunch of options, the opportunity to try various shades of this or that, at her leisure. The key is to choose a good brand, a universal brand even, so that some of the shades are bound to work.
Here is the whompin' Nars Artist Palette. $60 at Sephora.com
Palette includes eye shadows in India Song (soft butter yellow with a hint of shimmer), Night Star (sheer peach with gold pearls), Night Clubbing (black with gold pearls), Ondine (plum with gold shimmer); The Multiple in Copacabana (glistening pearl) and Malibu (pinkish brown); and lipstick in Honolulu Honey (satin flesh toned beige), Dolce Vita (sheer dusty rose), Gipsy (sheer warm berry), and Trans Siberian (semi matte ruby rose).
On a personal note, this palette contains several shades I've been meaning to try since forever, plus one shade that is my holy grail blush (the Malibu).
The Fame lipstick palette $65 at narscosmetics.com (scroll down some) contains a full dozen shades of lipstick in a range of hues.
For a more compact, red-oriented lip palette, consider the Nars Hot Sauce palette $30 at Sephora.com:
Palette includes lip colors in Tobago (sheer warm taupe-grape with soft shimmer), Dolce Vita (sheer dusty rose), Gipsy (sheer, warm berry), Catfight (semi matte nude-rose), Flair (sheer burnished berry), and Captiva (sheer currant).
If all of these seem a bit too practical to you, you might go for something more luxe and sensual (not a bad idea this time of year), such as the Nars Body Glow set $98 at Sephora.com (also available on the narscosmetics.com site):
"In the tradition of French Polynesia, Monoï de Tahiti oil is the result of macerating the native Tiare flower (Tahitian gardenia) in refined coconut extract for at least ten days, a process that slowly infuses the oil with Tiare's delicate, natural fragrance." The set includes a bronzed version of the oil, to rekindle the heat of summer (sighs), and an untinted oil containing an authentic tiare flower. (You'll note either bottle may be purchased individually as well.)
Finally, if she's already pretty Nars-savvy, you'll want to skip the palettes, and maybe even the body oils, and get straight to the Nars e-Gift Certificate (available in denominations of $50, $100 and $200):
Trader Joe's Shea Butter Soap rules!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 06, 2007 2:23 AM (Eastern)
A quick Internet search for reviews of Trader Joe's soap produces three charming blog entries:
All The News That's Fit To Print
I want a clean as real as Ivory!
"The Time Has Come," The Walrus Said, "To Talk Of Shallow Things . . ."
I thought I'd throw in my two cents on their Shea Butter Soap, because, even among their superlative soaps--Bisous de Provence lavender (featuring little scrubby bits of real lavender), wild rose (with dried rose petals), lemon verbena and green tea--to Trader Jacques (uber thick bars of oatmeal, ginger and almond soap)--it's outstanding.
TJ's Shea Butter soap is a creamy white smooth bar of lushly, cleanly scented, moisturizing goodness. And it lasts a goooood long time. And it's what, three bucks? You've got to try it.
Price vs. value
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, March 27, 2007 12:36 PM (Eastern)
A couple of recent incidents have made me reflect just how...planned...my beauty existence has become over the years.
Just as beauty boards may be blamed for many an impulse purchase, as well as many a "haul" (this is planned, but may include extraneous items, or else be an orgy of superfluousness...whatever), so they may be blamed for my next-to-obsessive strategic approach to buying, say, a bar of soap, or a bottle of shampoo.
Gone are the days when I would go to Target or Longs Drugs and simply choose the most interesting-looking product on the shelf. I don't think I've done that in years. I always consult my own experience (aka a "repurchase") or "the boards" first. If a product has been raved about enough on the boards...and by this, I mean it's been raved about by people I've heard of, like Edina Monsoon, or Lipstick Chick, or Rupa, or M...that might mean something. I'm not gonna list the people on my own board, since you need only go there (link at the top of this blog).
One of the incidents was, I was explaining to my son about the shampoos in the shower...how the Alba Hawaiian Plumeria shampoo was the fancy, expensive one (okay it's $9 for 12 oz.) that we use occasionally, because it's a great shampoo but costs too much to use all the time. The Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo on the other hand, is $3+something for what amounts to nearly a gallon of shampoo--like a gallon of milk. The soap is the Bisous De Provence you get at Trader Joe's for about $3 (might have gone up some lately). This is a very hard milled soap, lasts a good long time, lathers nicely, not drying, smells terrific... My facial cleanser is that board gem, Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash.
We've got Jason Satin Shower Body Wash in there, Nature's Gate Herbal hair conditioner...outside I have Heather Loraine jojoba butter (which I reported on the board as a UEU, meaning I'd used it up, yet there remain little dibs and dabs of it...it's lasting a month longer than I'd thought it would), Lab Series Age Rescue eye cream (damn good eye cream, tube lasts about a year), MAC Blot pressed powder, MAC Powerpoint eyepencils, Nars the Multiple in Malibu...
These are all, generally speaking, "expensive" items, save the Queen Helene shampoo and the J & J. They all cost more than comparable items. Why I buy them, is that they last a long time.
For example, I don't think I've owned a drugstore eyepencil that lasted more than a year. Two years would be a stretch. The pencils either turned rock hard, or else went crumbly. The Powerpoints I have, haven't changed much from when I bought them more than two years ago.
You could find cheaper soaps, but how long would they last? Would they dry your skin to the point that you needed to use lotion? (After having switched to Bisous De Provence, I didn't get itchy skin this winter.)
Continuity is also key...I've used the Lab Series eye cream since...just realized...2004. They did "reformulate" once (same cream, a dollar more), but that is far better than having to look for a new eye cream.
Conclusion: it is folly to base sales of beauty products on customer impulsiveness alone, in this era of the Internet. If consumers temporarily go mad and buy more makeup in a year or two than they'd bought their entire lives up to that point, so these same consumers evolve rapidly into much pickier buyers than ever before.
Picky buyers are like good lovers in that they are capable of intense, unshakable loyalty. If you treat them right, they'll remember you. They will buy your products again and again and again.
But if you treat them badly, with price spikes, frequently discontinued or limited edition products, and declining quality, don't be surprised if they go somewhere else.
Favorite "budget" beauty products
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:26 PM (Eastern)
Call them "low end," "drugstore," "crap"--remember crap? no one calls it crap anymore. I even remember cr*p, as in "cr*p haul"...for those offended by the term "crap"!
Anyhow, I've long espoused being cheap. The more money you can save on your everyday basics, the more money you will have to spend on other things.
Here is my current list: