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· The Weekend Blogger: Bit of hauling
· The Weekend Blogger: Mixed bag
· Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
· Beauty Notes: Skincare thoughts
· Beauty Notes: Day Two of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk
· Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately #2
· Beauty Notes: this 'n' that
· Day Two of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
· Exfoliating skin care video by RiceBunny
· Side note about biotin supplement
· Where to buy Anthelios?
· Price vs. value
· Favorite "budget" beauty products
· Latest sulfate-free shampoo venture; cheap beauty products in general
· 2006, the year in beauty, and plans for 2007
· Beauty breakthroughs
· Adult acne rambling...

Comments
· June 29, 2008 12:08 AM by Blogger Dain
· June 29, 2008 2:20 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 22, 2008 8:38 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 24, 2008 1:31 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 24, 2008 4:11 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 25, 2008 5:45 PM by Blogger Joy Rothke
· May 26, 2008 3:42 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 26, 2008 3:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 2, 2008 5:11 PM by Blogger Dain
· February 5, 2008 4:51 PM by Blogger Dain
· February 6, 2008 12:27 AM by Blogger Dain
· February 7, 2008 1:49 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· February 7, 2008 12:05 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· February 7, 2008 7:16 PM by Blogger Dain
· February 7, 2008 7:47 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· January 18, 2008 4:31 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 18, 2008 4:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· January 18, 2008 8:54 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 19, 2008 3:28 PM by Blogger Dain
· January 20, 2008 1:53 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· September 24, 2007 1:05 PM by Blogger Dain
· September 20, 2007 11:42 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 27, 2007 9:20 PM by Blogger cmm
· July 27, 2007 10:02 PM by Blogger Dain
· June 13, 2007 8:55 PM by Blogger Dain
· June 14, 2007 9:21 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog


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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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
2 comment(s)  
 
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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The Weekend Blogger: Mixed bag
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, June 22, 2008 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 layer...it'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.

    Okay...so on each horizontal bar, I have a metal fringe, made of pieces of wire...you 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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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
1 comment(s)  
 
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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Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)

shoesContemplating trying my hand at a regular feature, titled--surprise!--"The Weekend Blogger." But let's see if I can produce something intelligible on a weekly basis, in the first place.

Shoes. I finally got some shoes, having no choice in the matter: my beloved Cole Haan woven shoes, which I've worn for...ten years? more, no doubt...finally commenced to spring a leak. The uppers are entirely woven, so it would be possible to mend them with E-6000 (or GS Hypo Cement, haven't worked out which would be better), and I haven't actually thrown them away. It would require time and patience to do the repair, and the shoes would need to dry the full 24 hours...I didn't have another pair of shoes on hand, so elected to shelve the project for now and just get some new shoes.

It's impossible to replace the Cole Haans. New Cole Haans, which don't seem nearly as nice as old Cole Haans, are in the nefarious $300 range, at which decent shoes begin these days. I realize our economy is a comedy, and our dollar is in the toilet, but if I wanted to pay $300 for shoes, I would buy U.S. made Cydwoqs--which I am still planning to do, as my next shoe purchase, along with Joy perfume and a Nars eyeshadow (single or duo); something quite neutral.

I ended up with the working-girl's kit--you get some reasonably priced leather shoes, and you stretch them with one of those wooden shoe forms. You don't need a specific stretching device; you can use a plain old wooden form (doesn't have to be your size either). You just have to be careful not to damage the shoes or over-stretch them.

Along with this, Foot Petals...I don't need them for one of the pairs I bought, but the other pair definitely need padding in the heel. I turned down numerous Dr. Scholls made-in-China heel pads because I wanted to try Foot Petals, but they're absurdly hard to find, particularly the heel pads. I found some of the ball-of-foot pads at Shoe Pavilion...on a side note, our local Shoe Pavilion has became a small Indian market, with inexpensive Indian tops and dresses...interesting...hmmm...I'm determined to try authentic Foot Petals, but I'm hoping to find them locally.

So I've been wearing these pre-stretched shoes, and looking for Foot Petals so I can wear the other pair. I'll have to admit they don't have the same pizazz as my old Cole Haans, but they'll do for now, and I've made at least the first pair ridiculously comfortable (they have a small wedge heel).

Skincare. Thinking of ditching Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream once it's used up. Its chief attraction was its exfoliating property, but the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth I've been employing is far superior at that. The Cleansing Cream is yet great as a moisturizing cleanser for oily skin, but then their Cleansing Milk is fine for that, and more economical. What sucks is the Cleansing Milk is bottled in glass, rendering it useless for the shower. I suppose I'll think of something when the time comes.

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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May 24, 2008 1:31 PM, Blogger Dain said...

That's a very sensible plan. I take a very long time to make any expensive purchases myself, and you can get a cheap pair for the mean time. I've had good luck with Banana Republic. They're nicely styled and sturdily made for the price. I have a pair of espadrilles that I got for $68 that are still going very strong, and I've worn them everywhere.

Err... or if I misunderstood you, perhaps you got some shoes already.

I've been curious about Foot Petals too. If you get them, please let us know how they work out. I have a couple pairs of shoes that might need them.

Yeah, I definitely agree, you probably don't need both exfoliators. The appeal of the Dr. Hauschka is that it exfoliates without abrading, but if you don't mind rubbing away at your skin, then it doesn't really matter, right? I think it's a good plan. And you could also always move the cleansing milk into a plastic bottle. I wonder how you'd feel about the Eve Lom balm cleanser phenomenon (obviously, there are cheaper options): just one product to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize?

 
May 24, 2008 4:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hehe, this gets more interesting...I did some calling around about Foot Petals. One place in Berkeley told me they don't recommend back-of-the-heel pads...what they do, is give you a pad to put in the toe of your shoe. The idea is if the heel is loose, it's because the shoe is big, and the toe-pad should push your foot back far enough to make the heel fit.

So, I'm going to check that out today. Yup, I got some shoes. They are the ones in the pic, I just photoshopped some commercial shoe images together.

I've seen the ball-of-foot 'Petals around a lot, wondering how good they are for high heels. The shoes I got don't need padding there...they had some nice-looking flats, but I turned them down for that reason. Now I'm wondering how good the 'Petals technology is...some people swear by them, as a means of turning a cheap shoe into an expensive one. lol

That Salux cloth is interesting, from an engineering point of view. You don't feel as if you're scrubbing...and you're not scrubbing...yet, it lifts off what feels like years' worth of dead skin. It's eerie. I'm not sure I need a cleanser at all...thinking of trying the cloth with a mild body wash, like the Jason one.

 
May 25, 2008 5:45 PM, Blogger Joy Rothke said...

I'm staying loyal to Dr. H! I think the cleansing cream does more than exfoliate, and is exceptionally good at gently drawing gunk out of one's pores. I'm also having good luck with rhassoul clay soap, which I'll be writing about. [Colleen: I can send you a sample.]

Some of the ingredients in Eve Lom cleanser:

paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cetearyl alcohol, peg-30 lanolin, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, aluminum stearate, theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), peg-75 lanolin, chamomilla recutita (chamomile oil), eugenia caryophyllus (clove oil), eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus oil), humulus lupulus (hops oil), phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, p-chloro-m-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol

are almost as appalling as its price [GBP 48 for 100 ml]. I wouldn't touch this stuff with a 10-foot pole.

 
May 26, 2008 3:42 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I don't mean Eve Lom exactly, I just thought Colleen may like the idea because it's got a similar feel to the cleansing milk and may work well in conjunction with her Salux cloth. I was really thinking of the LUSH Ultrabland, which I think is a great product, except for the dreaded peanut oil that clogs my pores.

 
May 26, 2008 3:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Dain: Right now I'm using soap with the Salux cloth. I got some Canus goat milk soap on sale, so I've been using that. (It smells really good btw, it's the marigold extract one.)

After I do that, I use the Cleansing Cream...mostly because I feel I should use it up, and also because it is handily moisturizing. That's why I was thinking the Cleansing Milk would do just as well, but I haven't thought of using it with the cloth, which actually makes more sense.

Joy: Thanks for the offer. Not sure what I'm going to do yet... I'll look forward to your writing about rhassoul clay soap (which admittedly I've never heard of). It sounds Arabic?

I've found the Hauschka Cleansing Milk good...I use it at night, and it seems to last well. I might just port some to a plastic bottle and see how that flies.

Their lipstick is good too, it is up there with Chanel.

 
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Beauty Notes: Skincare thoughts
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, March 02, 2008 12:37 AM (Eastern)

science!
Science!


Oh well, I broke down and bought Dr. Hauschka's Cleansing Milk today. My local health food store now carries this brand, thus negating the need to travel to Berkeley. I experienced a small pain in the wallet as I bought my Milk, and wondered if an earlier casual remark--that a dollar spent on good skincare meant saving at least five dollars on everything else--held much water. And decided there was something to it.

I'd run out of my usual evening facial cleanser, the (in)famous beauty-board darling, Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash, a while back. That's when I started using a sample of the Hauschka Cleansing Milk, and realized its odd, almost greasy whitish lotion was good for my skin. Less acne, fewer flakes, softer texture, all-around expensive skincare goodness.

When I'd squeezed the last drops from the sample tube, I was left with nothing, and started washing my face with some tea-tree oil soap. Now this was not good for my skin. Makes a great hand wash, but, face-wise, I was beginning to see pimples. Pimples are depressing enough in their own right, but are particularly disturbing to those who have been to acne hell. Signs of returning to hell...eh...not good.

But, five dollars on everything else? What would I be spending $169.75 on? How long is this cleanser going to last? My Hauschka Cleansing Cream, purchased mid-January, is less than half-way used up. Let's be optimistic and say it will endure three months (I use it only once per day in a pea-sized blob). If the Cleansing Milk can do the same, that's $169.75 over three months, or $56.58 per month. It is conceivable I'd be tempted to spend $56.58 in a month, depressed over having lousy skin. Hermmm...


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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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March 2, 2008 5:11 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I found the Cleansing Milk lasted for a surprisingly long time. I used it sporadically, so I can't be accurate, but three months is probably a conservative estimate, I'd guess a bottle'd last twice as much.

 
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Beauty Notes: Day Two of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, February 04, 2008 9:30 PM (Eastern)

dr. hauschka cleansing milk


Finally getting around to trying this. I bring in new skincare products slowly, but that's because, when you have skin problems such as being acne-prone, you should do it that way. It then becomes obvious if the new product aggravates your skin.

I've been using their Cleansing Cream since September of last year. The Cleansing Cream was more important, as I'd already had in mind to find an exfoliating product of some sort. The idea of a mild cleanser...eh...I'd been using Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash to cleanse, and Heather Loraine jojoba butter to moisturize, for years.

Recently I ran out of the J&J--it's cheap but goes fast--and, stealthily, began to substitute an old clear natural shampoo I'd fallen out of love with. It seemed to work just as well as an "official" facial cleanser. Then I remembered the Hauschka Cleansing Milk so thought I'd give it a whirl.

So far: very interesting. It's moisturizing, where typically someone with oily acne-prone skin would gravitate toward a more astringent cleanser. It's almost too moisturizing, but then the Cleansing Cream is sort of like that.

The Cleansing Milk is a white lotion-y substance which smells, like most of the Hauschka products, pleasantly herbal. It's almost like washing your face with lotion. Unlike the Cleansing Cream, which leaves a delicate film of oil after rinsing, the Cleansing Milk feels as if you've already applied moisturizer, after rinsing.

That's where I feel it just might work. Instead of using the more astringent cleanser and then moisturizing, this would appear to do both.

It's too soon to say about results...the Cleansing Cream took a while to kick in, and it's my philosophy anyway that good long-term skincare seldom works instantly. I can admit I'm a bit surprised something so moisturizing doesn't seem to have aggravated my acne-prone-ness one way or the other, but, as I say, it's too early.


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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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February 5, 2008 4:51 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Interesting. The peanut oil in this product clogs my pores. Otherwise, I like it. I'll agree that you don't really need moisturizer afterwards. The spritz of a toner will do. In fact, that's how you are supposed to do it at night, according to the Dr. Hauschka regime, so that skin can "breathe". That might be why the cleansers have such a heaviness to them.

 
February 6, 2008 12:27 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Hey Colleen, you know that hoop design you've been working with lately? Have you considered looping it back down before you wrap it and making a small hoop that descends into the center? That way, you can attach a stone that floats in the middle of the large hoop, and whatever you like on the ring itself. It might be a way to tinker around with color combinations and not worry about the stones themselves knocking into each other.

 
February 7, 2008 1:49 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

The funny part is, it doesn't leave my face greasy. When I'm using it, it feels like hand cream--after rinsing and drying, it doesn't feel different from my regular moisturizer. Possibly it's better for oily skin than for dry.

I haven't bothered with the toner yet. I've used the cleansing milk for three nights now--I'm using it only at night, I use the cleansing cream in the AM. My skin does feel a bit softer and smoother.

Ah, the quest for the handmade wire hoop. The thing is you can buy readymade components, but they'll look readymade, in the sense of being something anyone can buy. I'm not knocking it...I've been pondering getting some myself, like a round hammered silver link with tiny holes in it.

The handmade ones are a bit tricky...you have to get it so it doesn't look bulky, since you have to get the thing to stay together using only wire.

 
February 7, 2008 12:05 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Doh?

Recently I've been doing the double-looped wrap I saw on the SkyDreams Etsy site...it really does work better. The old top wrap had only one loop, which you used to wrap the other end of the wire. I was having a problem with the end of the wire popping out of the wrap if you pulled it. If you put a loop at the top of the end, it really can't pop out.

What I'd need to do is bring the wrap itself down and terminate it in another loop. The hoop would have to be bigger of course but there's no reason it wouldn't work.

 
February 7, 2008 7:16 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Yeah, I figured that might be it. Dr. Hauschka, try as I might, never quite suited me. And I first scorned Jurlique as a Dr. Hauschka copycat, but it suits my skin far better.

The toner is great--it's the only toner I'd actually recommend. It's somehow "more than toner". There's alcohol in it, plant alcohol, but IIRC is it's ethyl not isopropryl, as it is for so many products. There's just lovely botanicals floating around, and it smells wonderful, and like nothing else. (I'm talking about the Facial Toner, am allergic to Clarifying).

 
February 7, 2008 7:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

It's weird eh? It seems to me the greatest fans of Hauschka are in fact those with oily skin and/or acne.

 
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Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately #2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, January 18, 2008 3:14 PM (Eastern)

I think we need a label for this, somehow...a blend of favorite things and Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida at a Drive-Thru.

Anyhow. Shall we commence?

Ava Luxe Voyage earrings

ava luxe earrings


I'm not affiliated with Ava Luxe, I should mention. I just like her stuff. Here I thought this was beautiful, a binary combination of kyanite and labradorite, strung on karat gold. Sometime I will do something similarly binary...I can't wear 14KT gold earrings, but I'm hoping someone will come up with a wearable golden leverback cheaper than 18KT gold. mumbles...


handmade sapphire earrings


Here is my own stuff. Less spectacular for sure, but keep in mind, there can be a difference between making something to wear, and making something to sell. With the emphasis on "can be."

It's been on my mind lately, because I tend to acquire less for the sake of owning something beautiful, and more for that of owning something useful. Sometimes the twain meet, oh, take this for example:

nars eyeshadow duos


I've gotten the most mileage from Island Fever (far right). In the pan: a gorgeous shimmery sea blue shade, plus a medium shimmery iridescent grey. It should be pretty, but useless; something you bought on a whim because it looked nice. But it isn't useless by far. The blue shade, applied very lightly, is the most natural, unobtrusive shadow I own. It shouldn't work but it does.

Hence, the Ava Luxe earrings could well correspond to this concept. Bright and pretty, but potentially utile as well.

My little hoops (these are the most conservative earrings I've made thus far) would be more like this:

nars mambo eye pencil


Nars Mambo, the unsung eyepencil. I paid $19 for you at Sephora, and momentarily felt a complete idiot; you can buy a perfectly decent deep brown eyepencil at Longs Drugs for four bucks. Then I started using you.

Mambo is deep brown, yet possesses hints of purple and red--making it subtly ideal for green or blue eyes, and making it go with everything. Thereby replacing brown, purple, and bronze pencils for me. No, you don't swatch particularly well, but on, you are a minor genius.

perfumes


The Scented Salamander follows up on the Bond No. 9/Liz Zorn Perfumes story:

Trademark Questions Over The Use Of The Word "Peace" / Q & A with Laurice Rahme of Bond No.9, Liz Zorn of Liz Zorn Perfumes, & Sarah Horowitz -Thran of Creative Scentualization

Dwelling in lawyer-infested California, I suspect the entire thing was less of a shock to me. And I found some people seemed to turn it into a girl-on-girl fight--not good for business, for either party. Oh well. I see Zorn has some samples on her site; you might want to check them out.

aspirin mask screenshot


And finally, for your perusal--Michelle Phan, aka RiceBunny, demos the aspirin mask (here with honey): RiceBunny's Xanga Site - Aspirin = Beautiful Skin

No, I'm not into this myself. I'm far too lazy. But the idea of using aspirin and honey as a mask makes perfect logical sense. You are exfoliating. Exfoliating is good.

Have a great weekend!


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January 18, 2008 4:31 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I've been trying "just notes" for random things, but I'm not sure how it might work.

I like labradorite; from a design perspective, it would go with so many things. Pearls, watery green amethysts, mm... it's just pretty to look at.

I think the reason why the blue might work is the fact that it may be a perfect contrast. A perfect contrast works better than a near match. Someone with brown hair, for example, might do well with green.

Hm, it's interesting that she was able to get an interview with Laurice Rahme. I don't really buy it, though, it is insincere. But I'm tired of the issue, and I still think Bond is a silly brand, just from a purely aesthetic standpoint. It is really the sort of thing that could go back and forth forever, and I think it was very wise for Liz Zorn to drop it.

 
January 18, 2008 4:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah...I just didn't want to leave it hanging. There was a big splash about it, then nothing. From the article, it would appear this sort of thing happens fairly regularly...and from what I've seen of lawyers, I wouldn't be too surprised.

Every few months in California, you get something in the mail informing you there is a class-action lawsuit you might be able to participate in. At first I thought hey, great...then I read the thing. Usually it boils down to, you sign a form and mail it back. By signing, you agree the settlement is final, yadda yadda...and if the suit is successful, you are entitled to a $15 voucher toward, say, renewing your contract with your wireless phone company for another year...or $50 toward the purchase of a new stove.

It's a joke! The settlement "terms" are invariably next to worthless. It's clear to me that lawyers simply file these "class-action lawsuits" against major corporations...the corporations probably settle (cheaper than taking it to court)...whoever bothered to sign the form gets their $15 gift certificate. And the lawyers collect a fat percentage of the settlement. If I were cynical, I'd say they split the take with the lawyers for the major corporation, but I'd like to think they're far too honest for that. lol

 
January 18, 2008 8:54 PM, Blogger Dain said...

It seemed absurd to me at the time because in cosmetics, people copy each other all the time, and it's not something trifling like names, it's like, NARS makes a gold-pink-peach blush with a clever title, and everyone from Chanel to Milani has something like a year later. It seems like copycatting in this business is a given.

Oddly enough, it has come up in fashion, too. I was just reading an article on Marc Jacobs' derivativeness in W today. Apparently, it caused quite the furor, and all things considered, it must have been far nastier. Fashion is bitcher than even Hollywood.

 
January 19, 2008 3:28 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I think that gold-and-sapphire earring is especially rich. The colors kind of resonate with each other in a way that the silver doesn't. If it doesn't get too heavy, some vivid green drops at the bottom would add some extra intensity.

 
January 20, 2008 1:53 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Mmmm...the gold ones did come out prettier. I got some 14KT gold beads to try out...as usual, the cost per bead is relatively low, but they go so fast. Suddenly every piece "could use some of those." rolls eyes

I've found it's entirely different buying jewelry, and making it. If you're buying, then I can see jewelry minimalism. That's when you would want to get the most impact out of your pieces, because you have to pay the markup.

If you're making it, there's no point to minimalism. That's when you want to experiment and develop your own designs--which tend to be specific to you. When I'm making anything, I don't tend to lay it out, I tend to put it on. I'll try it on as I'm making it.

Now if you're selling it...that's when the design itself would take precedence. Because you have no idea who's going to wear it.

I have some tiny emeralds actually, I got them at the same time as the sapphires. It's amazing how tiny these things are. Imagine cutting and drilling them.

I was going to make something similar to these hoops using emeralds...but also thinking of combining the stones somehow.

 
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Beauty Notes: this 'n' that
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, September 24, 2007 2:30 AM (Eastern)

I'm putting together which Montale perfumes to try. There are a lot of them; it would be expensive to try them all...and I don't actually want to try them all. I don't think it's necessary. I do think it's possible to cobble together what the perfume smells like, by gathering a few reliable sources for descriptions, and then sort of triangulating them.

Luckyscent's perfume descriptions are overly long and flowery, too...I dunno, enthusiastic? While Aedes' descriptions tend toward the too-short and spare. Put the two together...so far I've got:
  • White Aoud
  • Black Aoud
  • Chypre Fruite
  • Vanille Absolu
  • Soleil de Capri
  • Chypre Vanille (dithering)
  • Intense Tiare
  • Orient Extreme
  • Attar
  • Blue Amber
  • Velvet Flowers
  • Roses Musk (dithering)
  • Aoud Velvet
  • Patchouli Leaves
Before I decide on a final list, I'll check some perfume blogs and Basenotes.

My trial of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream is going well. It truly is a gentle exfoliant (at least to my skin it is; I don't have particularly sensitive skin). What I like best is the slightly "oily" feeling it leaves after rinsing. I know that sounds counterintuitive, since I have naturally oily skin, but that odd moist feeling does not translate into an oily face; quite the contrary.

My skin is already smoother and softer; seem to be fewer and smaller clogged pores. It's not a miraculous transformation by any means, but I'm suspicious of quick results when you're talking about skin. Most of the products I've tried that ended up working over the long run, worked gradually rather than right away.

I have a theory--that skincare is similar to weight loss. You don't gain the weight overnight (even though it feels that way); you gain it over time, which is why gradual weight loss works in the long run. Quick dramatic weight loss tends to work at first, but then stop working.

Your face doesn't get cruddy overnight either (even though it feels that way!), which is why mild, gradual treatments tend to work best in the long run.

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September 24, 2007 1:05 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I'm jealous. I really wanted to be able to use Dr. Hauschka cleansing cream, but can't... I really liked the premise, a paste that you "press" into a creamy emulsion that lifts away all that is bad without disturbing what is good, and it works, but... ach, allergies.

I agree 100% about skincare. Things that work miracles at first never keep up to the promise.

 
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Day Two of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 20, 2007 2:30 AM (Eastern)

dr. hauschka cleansing cream

I suppose I should preface this by saying I've never really been into skincare.

Part, if not most, of my disinterest stems from having gotten adult acne at age twenty-nine. (Before I got adult acne, I had literally perfect skin, which itself made me uninterested in skincare.) As adult acne sufferers know, the finer points of skincare get lost in the shuffle as the sufferer tries everything within grasp to attain normal, reasonably clear skin.

My experience with adult acne taught me a couple of things:
  1. Skin conditions such as acne cannot be "cured" externally. You have to discover what triggers the condition, if not the root cause. I wasted years trying to treat my acne externally, and finally got rid of most of it through internal methods such as diet changes, vitamins, and birth control pills.

  2. Of the treatments that do work, most do not work right away. Typically you see some results, but you won't see the full results unless you stick with it for weeks, months, sometimes even years.

    The products that make your skin look really good right away, tend to fall into the "works at first, then stops working" category.
I don't want to generalize overly much; those are just my experiences with acne. Since my skin is still acne-prone, I am going to have a conservative approach to skincare.

For some time now, I've had it in mind to...exfoliate. When you have real acne, that's out of the question. But now, I don't have pimples, but I could do with some sort of a scrubby thing.

Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream isn't exactly what it sounds like. It's a cleanser, but also an exfoliant, thanks to its star ingredient, sweet almond meal. From the Dr. Hauschka website:

Almond meal is a blend of whole ground almonds, including shell and nut. The meal mixes readily with water to form a natural emulsion that is highly absorbent of water and oil. In Cleansing Cream it absorbs oils, dirt and perspiration from the skin. The soothing, calming properties of almond make it gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Almond meal has been used traditionally for its cleansing and purifying effect on the skin. In ancient India and Egypt ground almonds were pressed into bars for cleansing the body.

Sounds a tad scratchy, doesn't it? There's another reason I've been reluctant to try exfoliants: I've had these visions of scratchy bits of nut shell, scraping away at my face (I'd prefer to have dead skin, thanks).

You are to use a "press and roll" application method for this, rather than outright scrubbing.

I've used this three times now (and am planning to give it another go tonight). The almond meal particles are quite small, thank goodness. They don't scratch.

Like just about all "premium"-ish products, a little goes a long way. A glob the size of a large pea is enough to cleanse your face.

I didn't actually "press and roll" all that much, but then I don't have sensitive skin. Light massaging does the job for me.

This smells pleasant, of faint real roses and some other natural stuff.

I was a bit surprised it left the surface of my face feeling almost oily. Mind you I've been putting jojoba products on my face for years; "oily" doesn't freak me out. After I'd dried my face though, it felt not oily at all, in fact it felt somehow...not dry on the surface, but dry inside. Kinda weird but not unpleasant.

It hasn't as of yet exfoliated perfectly. My skin feels smoother, less flaky, but I still detect some rough spots. My gut tells me that's actually a good thing, due to #2 above...that continued use might produce perfect results, rather than having perfect results right away.

In any case, I'll update this later on.

image courtesy www.drhauschka.com

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September 20, 2007 11:42 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I find this takes practice to use correctly. It's best used on damp, softened skin, so after a shower is best. The press-and-roll method emulsifies the almond meal on your skin, and all that loosened up skin just lifts off. This is the gentlest, most effective exfoliating method, because it doesn't peel away anything that isn't ready to go yet. The only problem with it is that it's expensive, but it's easy to make at home.

I am sooo allergic to this stuff though.

 
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Exfoliating skin care video by RiceBunny
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 27, 2007 8:53 PM (Eastern)

Thanks to our wonderful Carol (who seems to discover the most ingenious things) for this link, which demonstrates exfoliating with an inexpensive electric toothbrush:

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July 27, 2007 9:20 PM, Blogger cmm said...

I've been doing this for a couple of weeks now. My skin looks amazing! I don't even use any of the products she recommends. I've tried this with honey+ baking soda, Cetaphil+baking soda, generic Pro-Active cleanser and plain old Cetaphil (generic). It works crazy-good if you're using something scrubby and it also works well, albeit not AS good with just plain cleanser. The honey+bakingsoda blend is my personal favorite.

I'd been having some problems with big blemishes occurring along my jawline, using the toothbrush a couple of times a week has made that problem literally disappear. Good stuff!!

 
July 27, 2007 10:02 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Wow! That is such a cool idea... I gotta try it out now.

 
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Side note about biotin supplement
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, June 18, 2007 2:55 PM (Eastern)



It seems to have made my arms smoother. I had some of those little bumps on them, I don't know if it was keratosis pilaris, but they're all but gone now. Taking my regular multi-vitamin didn't do anything; I noticed the change after I'd been taking the biotin for a while.

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Where to buy Anthelios?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:39 PM (Eastern)

So, I am getting more serious about sunscreen this year. The sun has gotten noticeably stronger around here.

It's...a bemusing experience. Apparently it is not possible to just go to your local drugstore in Northern California and buy a sunscreen containing what is widely touted as the best sunscreen ingredient: Mexoryl. It just isn't.

I tried Longs Drugs, Walgreens and Target, before accepting that this substance just might be slightly more difficult to procure than cocaine. Here is a thread from the forums, on the first etailers that showed when searching Anthelios.

I will post here what I decide to buy and from whom.

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June 13, 2007 8:55 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I'm pretty sure that Bigelows sells it. And also, spalook.com. And L'Oreal has just come out with a sunscreen with Meroxyl... or maybe that was Lancome. I fail to discern the difference between the two.

 
June 14, 2007 9:21 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yup, it was Lancome. Arabella tried it and didn't care for it. The Anthelios formula has gotten more favorable reviews from what I can tell.

I'm still a bit fuddled as to why L'Oreal has released this in only two brands. I can dig they own the patent, but why not make it more easily available? Don't they think people would buy it? There's a tremendous demand now for better and better sunscreens. It freaks me out a bit that I actually went to a European site to check their prices.

 
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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.

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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:

Face
  • Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash (facial cleanser and brush wash, among other things). This is a beauty board classic and yes, you can still get two ginormous bottles of this at Costco for a reasonable price. Best for normal to oily skin.

  • Heather Loraine jojoba butter...cheap and the perfect moisturizer for my oily/combo, acne prone skin ($15 for a jar that has lasted more than two years).

  • daily multi-vitamin, for acne

  • home-made tinted sunscreen (liquid foundation mixed with sunscreen)


Hair

  • Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo

  • Nature's Gate Herbal Hair Conditioner (daily)...in the $5 - $6 range, and a little goes a long way.

  • L'Oreal Feria color components at Sally's Beauty Supply or other beauty supply shops

  • L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner at Sally's Beauty Supply or other beauty supply shops

  • biotin supplement...being using this since September of last year, very happy with the results (noticeably less hair fallout)


Body

  • Right Guard XTreme Sport solid deodorant in Cool Peak. It's a men's deodorant, but Cool Peak doesn't smell much one way or the other; it has a soft unisex scent. Lasts forever, works well (in fact might be too strong for sensitive skin), not much in the way of white residue...a "grail" product for me.


Makeup

  • Milani "Golden Bronze" eyeshadow single

  • Neutrogena tinted lip balm in "Sunny"

  • Prestige waterproof automatic eyepencil in "Expresso"

  • Burt's Bees lip balm (yellow tube)

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Latest sulfate-free shampoo venture; cheap beauty products in general
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, January 03, 2007 1:57 AM (Eastern)

Thanks to our Carol, I have gotten into this product (drum roll):



Okay, it doesn't look fancy...that little picture resembles exactly how it looks in real life. No colorful packaging, no celeb endorsements, and it costs three dollars and change, for a pint bottle of concentrate that makes a gallon of shampoo (sorry for all the italics; the sheer gravity of this situation is only now beginning to sink in).

I've used it four times now. The first go-round, I tried the "less heavy" mix (one part concentrate to 15 parts water), and didn't care for how watery it came out. The second, I tried the "heavy mix" (one part concentrate to 7 parts water) and loved it. (This mix is like a regular shampoo that's on the thin side; can't see why you couldn't make it slightly thicker if you wanted to.)

It smells pleasant: soft spearmint, softly minty. Even if mint were not your thing, you'd probably like it.

It lathers acceptably (this can be a concern with sulfate-less shampoos), doesn't strip hair, doesn't weigh down...gently cleans. In fact my hair got softer after I'd used it a couple of times. Good for that "winter itchy scalp" thing; good to clarify your regular shampoo.

I got mine at Sallys Beauty Supply, as well.

What still hasn't completely sunk in...how dirt cheap this great product really is. I'm trying to think of similar discoveries, sometimes termed "board lemmings," I have known. The list is short.

  1. Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash as facial cleanser, the ginormous two-bottle set at Costco.

  2. Jojoba butter. I'm still working my way through my 2004 jar of this.

  3. L'Oreal Feria haircolor components, again at Sallys Beauty Supply or other beauty supply shops. Get yourself a big bottle of creme developer, a couple of color liquids to custom-mix, and a big tube of...

  4. L'Oreal Feria Deep Conditioner. Use this over several days after coloring your hair; hair is as soft as it was before coloring.

  5. Nature's Gate Herbal Hair Conditioner. I use a glob the size of a quarter; it's very effective (and no silicones).


On the color cosmetics front, oh, Nars the Multiple qualifies. It costs a bum, sure, but it's a huge stick of color, it's complex, blends easily...I won't add it to the short list until I've had mine longer though.

MAC Powerpoint eyepencils qualify for me; mine have kept well for more than two years, they don't fade easily, they do sharpen easily, the colors are good (albeit not quite as sublime as the Eye Kohls, oh well).

Biotin in my experience is worth taking. Also the various things I've done for my acne.

I suspect this innocuous-looking shampoo may join the pantheon of the Economical and the Great, and become a Board Lemming. If you read about it here though, please bookmark this site. I found out about almost all of the above lemmings from The Lipstick Page.

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2006, the year in beauty, and plans for 2007
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, January 01, 2007 11:34 PM (Eastern)

2006 was, oddly, a good year for me, beauty-wise.

I would say that 2006 was quite possibly the first year I felt "settled"...confident, even...about makeup and beauty products in general. I could go back and see what I was writing in 2005, of course. Oh heck let's just do that.

Eye Makeup for Green Eyes #1

Was I ever that intent on popping the green in my eyes? Who cares really? Okay, I can say that now, because virtually all of my current eye makeup stash works with my eyes. It has simply evolved.

Here's another:

Adult Acne

That's pretty settled too. I take my daily multi-vitamin, I'm on Yasmin birth control, I watch what I eat, I avoid stress as much as possible.

What else was I up to back then?

The perfect lipstick

That's fairly easy, it's got to be Chanel Hydrabase, with some MAC's in the mix. I'm not being fair, of course; there are tons of worthy lipsticks I've yet to try. I'm hard pressed to beat that Hydrabase though...and the next MAC lipstick is free for me. By the time I need a new MAC lipstick, I'll more than likely have the requisite six empty MAC containers to qualify for it.

Hmmm...one more.

The perfect blush

Conclusion: Nars the Multiple in Malibu.

There is a seemingly sudden plethora of sulfate-less shampoos and silicone-free conditioners on the market...another of 2006's concerns resolved. Carol's kind post on the subject added a breathtakingly inexpensive shampoo to my mix. Dain's Nature's Gate discovery added a daily conditioner. Aside from these, my pick for 2006 is Alba Botanica Honeydew Nourishing Hair Wash.

Now, 2007...I'd like to play more with perfumes. I'd like to actually buy that Chanel Moiré Hydrabase lipstick. Someone keeps borrowing my sample of it.

I could do with that MAC "Buried Treasure" Powerpoint eyepencil. Why? I've had my Permaplum Powerpoint for more than two years now. It takes me forever to use up an eyepencil...and it's still nice and soft and silky, it still sharpens without crumbling. My Prestige waterproof automatic has lasted just as well, but it is automatic, and I prefer the kind you have to sharpen (you get a finer point with the latter).

That's about it.


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Beauty breakthroughs
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, November 17, 2006 1:08 AM (Eastern)

Once in a while, there comes along a beauty product that actually does change your life. Most of them don't, of course, but some of them do.

This has been on my mind for a while...because once such a product becomes part of your life, you tend to forget what your life was like before.

Here is my personal list of breakthrough products, starting with:

  1. Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash. This has been my facial cleanser for years, literally. It seems to me it was already a "board lemming" (something everyone on the beauty board has to own!) when I joined The Lipstick Page forum in 1998, and I tried it at that time.

    Why is this revolutionary? It is the perfect cleanser for my oily/combo, acne prone skin. It cleans without stripping (though I doubt it would work for dry skin; too astringent), removes makeup (at least the level of makeup I wear...I don't wear mascara, so I don't know if it works for that), does not irritate eyes--being baby wash--making it ideal for removing eye shadow and liner...has a light pleasant scent, is overall pleasant to use, no breakouts...and best of all, it is cheap. It comes in ginormous bottles at Costco...yes, the price has risen, but it's still a mere $10 for two huge bottles.

    And--if there needed to be an "and"--it's terrific for washing makeup brushes and puffs, hair brushes, I use it to wash out my haircolor bottles; any time you need a mild, yet effective, cleanser, there it is.


  2. A daily multi-vitamin. This has made a tremendous difference in my (acne prone) skin and overall well-being. Do some research...and, especially if you are of child-bearing age, consult your doctor before starting on a vitamin regimen.


  3. For acne: consider switching your birth control pill. Some are better than others. Some are horrible in fact. I've gotten the best results from Ortho Tricyclen and Yasmin.


  4. For acne: analyze your diet and check for allergies. My own acne is triggered by particular foods. If I eat a lot of beef that was raised with growth hormone, I'm sure to get blemishes and extra-oily skin. I've heard of people getting acne from allergies to foods such as tomatoes, citrus, or milk. I've heard of someone who got acne because she was allergic to parabens. Give it some thought, see what you're eating and what's in your environment.


  5. Jojoba butter/jojoba oil. The butter form is superior to the oil if you're going to use it as a night cream or moisturizer. The oil is better if you're going to mix it into something else, such as a tinted moisturizer or shampoo.

    This is my ideal moisturizer, and--like the J & J Head to Toe above--it is way cheap (I'm still working my way through my original jar), and the perfect thing for oily/combo, acne prone skin. I use it only at night (I don't use a moisturizer during the day)...it gets rid of flakes, makes my face feel nice and soft--not greasy...it sinks in--and, it helps keep pores clear.


  6. MAC Blot pressed powder. Worth the $18 price tag (did I just say that?), if you have oil or shine to deal with.

    I didn't believe it either, until I tried it.


  7. For thin hair: a biotin supplement. Disclaimer: I am an ordinary person, not a medical professional. I've had thin hair the greater part of my life, I wrote it off as hereditary...but this stuff really does work. Here are some links for your perusal:
    Vitamins (BBC site)
    Treating Hair Loss Naturally (Webmd.com)


  8. L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner. How did I ever live without this? I started out coloring my hair with Preference and used the Preference deep conditioner before, but I like the Feria one better...and you don't need to use the Feria kits to use the conditioner. Just buy it at Sallys Beauty Supply.

    This is "the cure for colored hair"...just use it after coloring, for the next few days. Your hair will feel as if it had never been colored, and ladies, I bleach. No crispy, crunchy hair here.


  9. Nars the Multiple in Malibu. Not necessarily ideal as a multi-purpose product...as a lip color it's gorgeous, but imo too dry. As an eyeshadow it'll do, but I have better shadows. But oh, as a blush, it is perfect.

    I say this because I have been, by and large, far too lazy to put on blush. This cool stick form means I can grab it after I put on my tinted sunscreen, dab it once or twice on each cheek, blend with my fingers, voila! Done! Painless!

    Moreover, this somewhat bronzy, neutral rose color (if anything, it is ever so slightly warm) is perfect year round, because of the bronze. As my skin gets paler, this stuff looks more bronze...it morphs into something of a bronzer. In summer the bronze fades into my tan and I'm left with a lovely rose blush.


  10. Nars Babylon duo eyeshadow. I still love this duo; it's foolproof. Okay, you have to be able to wear orange eyeshadow. If your coloring is cool, I don't think it would work. But for neutral-to-warm coloring, and green eyes...it would work for any eye color, but it's stupendous with green or blue...you've gotta have it.

    I am of the opinion that there is a Nars eyeshadow duo for everyone. Babylon is mine but there are many more to choose from.


  11. Christian Dior Beige Massaï eyeshadow quint. This is the "subtle" version of Babylon; again it is ideal for green or blue eyes and neutral to warmer coloring. Instead of the shimmery tangerine of Babylon, you get a soft cantaloupe shade, along with a surprisingly useful creamy light shade (makes a divine wash), a neat shimmery terracotta shade (looks great with the creamy shade) and a couple of browns (look great with the cantaloupe shade).

    Likewise, I feel there is a Dior eyeshadow quint for everyone. These are $ so pick carefully, but you will get a lot of mileage out of it.


  12. MAC Permaplum Powerpoint eyepencil. By far my favorite eyeliner, both the color...it's a deep, slightly blue-toned purple, with a smidge of (largely invisible) pink shimmer...and the formula, which neither smears nor fades (in fact it's a bit difficult to remove, be forewarned), holds a point perfectly, sharpens without crumbling (at least not yet, and I've owned mine for about two years), it hasn't turned hard yet, still goes on silky smooth... The color is quite versatile.


  13. MAC Lustre formula lipsticks. These are great, especially if you've been avoiding lipstick because most lipsticks look unnatural on you. The Lustres are sheer (the sheerness varies from shade to shade) and come in a range of wearable shades. Plus, MAC lipsticks taste faintly and pleasantly of vanilla, and you can do a Back to MAC (see Back to MAC and Back to MAC expanded for MAC freestanding stores). Plus, these wear quite well for being sheer and shiny.


  14. Chanel Hydrabase lipstick in Moiré. I dream about this lipstick. I do. I have a sample size of it; it's addictive.

    Note: some people hate the scent of this lipstick. I happen to love it, but, well, it's likely to be either love or hate, so you might want to try it before buying it.

    This has a rather strong, candied rose fragrance, which only makes it more addictive to me. The coverage is interestingly "medium" rather than "full" or "sheer." It really is medium. You get quite a bit of color, yet it's more forgiving than a full coverage lipstick.

    Moiré is many colors in one. It goes with everything and always looks right, from business/office/meeting to casual to festive. It's almost YLBB (Your Lips But Better) but it's more color than that...it's got brick red, plum, rose, a neat little twist of fuchsia shimmer (as the shade name implies)...it's on the warm side. If lipsticks easily turn orange on you, it may not do.

    It's nice and moisturizing, lasts well on...no smearing or bleeding...feels light as a feather.


Oh I'm sure I'll think of something else right after I publish this.

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Adult acne rambling...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, November 15, 2006 8:36 PM (Eastern)

I had a sort of a bad skin day a few days ago. (Though I have an Adult Acne Blog, I feel a little cross-posting can be a good thing.)

What passed through my mind, was how awful it was for me before...the acne itself is not nearly as bad as not knowing what triggers it, or what to do to get rid of it. You feel as if you're always walking on eggshells. You don't know why some days are good and then the acne comes back, which it always does. You spend a lot of time and money on surface treatments, which in my own experience either don't work at all, or else work at first and then stop working, or else do work, but destroy your skin in the process.

Those days are long gone for me; I know what triggered the bad skin day. Simple. I was on my placebo week of Yasmin birth control pills and I was eating regular, i.e. growth-hormone-raised, beef, several times. I should have been more careful, since it was the placebo week; I shouldn't have eaten the beef that much. To clear it up simply means not eating beef for a few days, drinking white tea or water, and piling Differin directly on the blemishes (don't get it on the surrounding skin).

That's what I've been doing, and the blemishes are nearly gone, with no new blemishes. (The sooner you put the Differin on, the better. The first day or so, you can put it on twice. Once it starts working, just do it once per day.) If I wanted to clear the skin more quickly, I would just drink more water or white tea. But the simple idea of avoiding hormone-processed beef, and shrinking the existing zits with Differin...works like a charm.

On a side note, my skin also felt oilier during the bad skin day. It feels much drier now.

On another side note, I have no affiliation with Differin. In fact it was horrible as an all-over acne treatment. It made my skin so flaky, it was scaly. It was worse than having acne...I mean literally...I dropped it and went back to having acne back when Differin was what I was supposed to be using. But as a spot treatment...applied only on the zits...it's brilliant.


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