Friday, August 29, 2008

Forget Perfect

I'm a big believer in the one-off--you know, hair that's not too perfect, or a made-up face with lipstick-free lips. Well, it seems that this theory works for teeth, too. The New York Times reports that dentists and dental ceramicists are being asked to create dental veneers that are slightly stained, a little crooked, or otherwise not perfect (read: realistic). I think it's a great concept--there's nothing scarier than bright white chompers that are all the same size.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is Your Moisturizer Safe?

You may have heard recent reports about certain moisturizers being potentially dangerous. A study from Rutgers University found that some moisturizers, including the dermatologist favorite Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, seem to spur skin cancer growth in mice. But before you freak and toss your favorite lotions, hear this: previous studies on mice have been found to be unrelated to any effects in humans. In any case, for all my obsession with face lotions and potions, I stick to completely natural stuff for the rest of my body. (My all-time favorite: Mother's Special Blend, a preservative-free blend of different nut and vegetable oils. It's made to prevent stretch marks but it does wonders for the whole body). Will this study effect what you slather on your skin?

Monday, August 25, 2008

La Creme de la Creme

I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who always looks good, but on this particular afternoon, looked amazing. Her skin was absolutely glowing, and she looked easily five years younger than the last time I saw her. I raved about her appearance (secretly wondering to myself, did she have work done?) and she confessed that she'd recently started using La Mer foundation. "You must try it," she told me. And I want to ... but it's a whopping $85 for 1 ounce. I'd like to try it at a makeup counter to see if it's worth the hype. The thing is, given how great my friend's skin looks, I'm truly worried I'm going to get hooked, and that's one expensive addiction. How much are you willing to spend to look good?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beauty Icon: Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields, who is a stunning 43 years old, graces the cover of In Style Makeovers, a special edition that hit stores this month. In an interview with the magazine, she says she only shampoos every five days, because her hair looks good dirty. (That's something I could never get away with--two days max for me!). Although she's best known for her brows, Ms. Shields says that she keeps her trademark tresses long because she knows what works for her. I like Brooke precisely because she's not trendy--she's a true classic. Are you a fan?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Works (Really!)

There are a zillion different products on the market that promise to reduce wrinkles ... but, as most of us know, few deliver. According to a new study in The Archives of Dermatology, there are just three anti-aging treatments that are actually clinically proven to be effective: topical retinol, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing; and the injection of hyaluronic acid (think Restylane). Now, those last two are a bit extreme for my taste--but topical retinoid is something that's easy to use, and you can even get it over the counter. Years ago, my dermatologist recommended RoC products, and I still use the eye cream regularly (although I use Rx Retin-A for the rest of my face). Do you use retinoids?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Big and Bushy

I lost my tweezers. To another woman, this might be a minor crisis; for me, it's a major ordeal: I've had the hardest time finding ones that really work, and yet for the life of me, I can't remember where this beloved pair came from---which means I'm going to have to start the hunt all over. In the meantime, I'm going to steal a trick from a makeup artist friend and use the tiniest bit of concealer to cover the stray hairs that threaten to turn me into Frida Kahlo. (Thank goodness full brows are all the rage this season--I suspect there's only so much a bit of Bobbi Brown can do). Any recommendations for tweezers that really work??

Friday, August 15, 2008

Best Beauty Blogs

Happy Friday! Just a quick shout-out about some of the other fantastic beauty blogs out there. Here's where I go to get inspired:

Style Bakery
The Girls in the Beauty Department
Jack and Hill
Makeup Bag

What are your favorite beauty sites?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Au Naturale

I eat as organically as possible. But when it comes to beauty products, most of the organic products I've tried (with a few exceptions--love Weleda and Avalon!) haven't wowed me. But lately I've resolved to become a more natural beauty, so to speak--after all, who needs more chemicals? First on my list of changes: healthier hair dye. I'm going to try out the much-hyped Grace Heaven salon in NYC, which uses herbal, non-toxic products that are so gentle, pregnant women can even safely color their locks. Have you tried non-toxic hair dye?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beach Beauty

I haven't been to the ocean once this summer (which my dermatologist is no doubt cheering about). But in the spirit of the season, these two beach scents will take me there, if only in spirit:

*Bobbi Brown Beach ($55). This dreamy fragrance is the perfect mix of sea spray and suntan lotion (the good kind--trust me).

*Carol's Daughter Ocean ($27). A fabulous blend of floral scents like hyacinth and lavender along with a splash of cucumber, this perfume brings me back to the shore.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Motopowered Mascara

I'm all for power tools. But mascara wands that vibrate? Really?? Estée Lauder Lauder just introduced TurboLash, which contains a wand that produces 7,5000 vibrations per minute; Lancôme responded by launching Ôscillation, with a wand that produces 7,000 micro-oscillations per minute. Supposedly, the mechanical brushes coats lashes more evenly. They're not cheap--$30 and $34, respectively--but the limited amounts that the companies have released sold out quickly (one sign our economy hasn't gone completely belly-up). Would you buy them?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Short and Sassy

I've been contemplating cutting off my long locks, but have held back because it's often said that short hair ages women--and I didn't want to end up with a "mom do". But then I came across photos of the lovely Mariska Hargitay, who in my opinion looks far, far better with short hair than she does with long. Which made me realize that it's not really about the length--it's about the cut, color, and of course your face shape and what compliments it. What do you think--can short hair look young and chic?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Beauty Deal of the Day

Glycolic peels do wonders for your complexion; the glycolic acid sloughs off old skin and encourages the growth of new cells. Trouble is, go to a medi-spa or dermatologist and you'll pay $100, minimum, for a glycolic peel ... not exactly cheap. Which is why I was thrilled to recently get the chance to try out Boots' new DIY glycolic peel kit, which costs just $25 (and is good for several uses). It contains about a third of the acid that you'd receive from a medical peel in a doctor's office, but certainly enough to be effective--my skin certainly looked glowier after using it. Bonus: the lower acid content means it stings less (read: barely at all) than an Rx peel.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who Knew?

I read in O magazine that pumping your mascara wand in and out of the tube doesn't help it pick up more product. Huh! And here I've been doing that every day for, oh, 20 years. (Mascara and blush are the two things I never leave the house without putting on). Turns out that you're getting the same amount every time--so if you want more, you have to apply another coat or two. Lesson learned!