Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Lipgloss = Summer 2008

I usually pay very little attention to makeup trends. Trends in makeup generally strike me as a pretty stupid phenomenon, because it's not like your skin tone is going to change to accommodate whatever color lipstick or eye shadow it's cool to buy this week. Duh. Wear whatever flatters you, trendy or no. Damn the Man!

But I changed purses before flying to California recently, and discovered in the airport (stupid plastic bags!) that none of my lip things made it into the traveling purse. Which meant that I needed to make a stop at Sephora.

I, like Natasha, love the NARS products, particularly for lips. So that's where I beelined. And when I saw this gloss that is clear with zillions of itty-bitty gold glitter pieces, I knew that I at least had to try it. It's called Greek Holiday -- how could I resist? And I am happy to report that Greek Holiday totally looks hot on me. The bonus? Since it's clear gloss, it goes over any ol' lipstick and also looks amazing.

I don't even care that this lipgloss is the epitome of the summer 2008 makeup trend. One month, Lucky Magazine is hailing the complete-and-utter-now-ness of including copper/gold glitter in all sorts of makeup items, and the next month, I'm buying a gloss called Greek Holiday and applying it every chance I get. Before 9 a.m. While driving. I swear I don't know what happened.

Anyway, this stuff is genius. Clear gloss. So much glitter you can't tell that there's no actual color (the NARS website claims it's "sparkling pink sand," but I promise you that it's just gold glitter). Great for daytime when you wear it plain, awesome at night when you wear it over a matte lipcolor. I think I'm in love. Either that or I've been transported to Greece.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Victory Is Mine!

So, remember back when, fueled by childhood memories of my mother's post-shower winter ministrations, I went on that quest to find mineral oil and was completely stumped? Not in the Big Box Store. Not in the drugstore. Not in the lotion aisle. Not in the baby aisle. I even tried a couple of hardware stores, just in case. No dice.

Well, the other day I dropped into a Rite-Aid on my way from Meeting A to Meeting B to pick up some sunscreen, and I stumbled upon a new product from Nivea called Smooth Sensations Body Oil. Main ingredient? Mineral oil. Second ingredient? Some kind of triglyceride. Third ingredient? Avocado oil. And that's it. Victory! If I can't find just-plain mineral oil (and I apparently can't), a product that is approximately 99% mineral oil is the next-best option.

And, y'all, I completely love this stuff. It soaks in to my skin right away, and holds in all that shower moisture still on my skin after toweling. It smells like mineral oil (and maybe a hint of rancid avocado, but it goes away quickly), not like chemical fragrance. My skin is still soft the next day, even! I swear, I've been having fantasies that this must be what having normal skin feels like. My skin is pretty much as smooth and happy as it's going to get. Ever.

My one beef is with the cap on the product: there's a little too much packaging-spillage for my taste. After all, I spent all that time and effort and gasoline looking for mineral oil: now that I've found it, I don't want to waste a single precious drop!

Still, though. I'm thrilled. Now to figure out what the heck a tryglyceride is, and how exactly that's good for my skin.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Shampoo and Conditioner...

Things I hate: Parking in Georgetown. Seriously. Georgetown, I hate you. Plus, you're to NIMBY to have a metro stop. Getting to Georgetown is a pain in the ass, which I'm sure helps it's whole up-scale snooty feeling.

Sadly, the only Lush in DC is in Georgetown. I went to go buy more shampoo, and a new pair of shoes, and got so frustrated I said "SCREW THIS!" and went to the Pentagon City mall. Where there's a ramp that costs a mere $1.50 NOT $10.50. DID YOU HEAR THAT GEORGETOWN?! I SHOPPED SOMEWHERE ELSE BECAUSE YOU SUCK SO MUCH!

But, that meant no Lush shampoo for me, so I'm currently using Aveda's Madder Root Shampoo and Conditioner. It's supposed to enhance the auburn and warm tones in my hair.

I've been using it for almost 2 weeks now. Comments:

I love the fact that this shampoo bottle is HUGE. It smells a little more chemically than I'm used to, but the smell doesn't linger in my hair. When the conditioner bottle says to "rinse surfaces immediately, as product may stain" they ain't kidding. Nothing some spray bleach can't get out but... also, one day my fingernails were dyed a pinkish tone. Sadly, sometimes my scalp is, too.

It is definetely enhancing my color. Multiple people have commented "did you dye your hair?" but I think I need to only use the condition every other time I condition, because it's starting to get a little "boy that's eggplant" as Diversery calls it.

I miss the weight of my hair from when I was using the Redken All Soft Heavy Cream, so I've been using more product. BUT without product, my hair is fairly frizz-free. Also, it's super-super shiny. It's still very soft and not tangly.

I probably won't continue to use this in the future, but I probably will try out the Aveda Clove combo, which is supposed to enhance the brown and alternate it with my All Soft.

Or, one day I will once again brave Georgetown and pick up some Ultimate Shine.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Skin Milk Body Polish: too much milk, not enough polish

Skin Milk's slick packaging caught my eye immediately. I like the spare coloring, the sans-serif font, the homey blue-and-white, the subtle shape of old fashioned milk bottles (on some items -- not this one)(sorry the photo's so terrible; that's all I could find on Google Images). I would have tried any of their products just because the packaging was pretty, but I was specifically looking to test out a new facial scrub. The price also was rather appealing: the Body Polish was $2.59 on clearance.

Maybe that should have told me something.

On first squirt, I noticed the pearly-white sheen of the scrub and thought "hm, that reminds me of something. But what?" Turns out, that "something" was yeast infection cream. This scrub has the exact same appearance and viscosity as Monistat -- and yet, I'm supposed to slather it all over my body? Ew! But I did it, in the interest of science (and blogging). Well, okay. I tried it on my legs. And boy am I glad I went the leg route, because...

The next thing I noticed was the fragrance. Vanilla. Really sugary-sweet cloying vanilla, that smacks you upside the head. I double-checked the packaging -- y'all know how much I hate the smelly products, and vanilla in particular -- and sure enough, the front label doesn't say anything about being vanilla-scented (turns out it's all over the website -- but that's not particularly helpful when you're standing in the bath products aisle). The ingredients list "fragrance," but there is no mention of what kind. I was glad I'd only put it on my legs, because they're the farthest from my nose.

So now I'm grossed out and also vaguely annoyed at the company.

The scrubby texture of the product itself isn't bad. But there's something about the slippery feeling of the base -- it's probably the milk itself, what with all those proteins and whatnot -- that made me feel like I was counteracting the scrubbiness itself. Like the proteins made a barrier that didn't let the scrubby-bits get all the way to my skin. It just didn't feel like it was as effective as it should be. Kind of like putting on lotion but then immediately washing it off. What's the point? I didn't feel "polished." I didn't even feel "mildly buffed." I just felt like I'd wasted a minute of my life.

I really want to be able to recommend this product, because it looks pretty on the shelf and is widely available in grocery and drug stores all over the country, but is also affordable and isn't produced by a big "family products" conglomerate. And milk is good for your skin. Hell, 5% of their gross proceeds goes to Heifer International, which is a program I've been supporting since I can remember. I like all of that.

But I can't say that using the actual product was an enjoyable experience. I cannot tell you that I felt adequately "polished." And really, who wants to be reminded of yeast infection cream when you're supposed to be getting clean? And vanilla... yuck.

So I guess in the end, all I got was something pretty to send to the landfill. Good thing it was on clearance. I'd rather just send Heifer International a direct contribution.