Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation ($28.00)
The face is like a fresh canvas — Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation provides the ideal base for transforming the face into a masterpiece of color. The consistency is lightweight and buildable, allowing women to determine their own preferred coverage level and desired color impact. With a sweep of the brush, the multitasking powder-based foundation glides on easily, blends seamlessly and hugs the skin for long-lasting coverage. Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation controls shine and instantly conceals minor skin imperfections, helping to create a glamorous finish like those produced by professional makeup artists.
What I liked: First, I found that Beige 2 was a good color-match for my skintone, and I always seem to have trouble finding a suitable shade when it comes to mineral makeup, so that was a pleasant surprise. You get a nice amount for the price, and I feel like the jar would last me at least six months, if not more. Since it is a powder, the shelf life is even better than a liquid foundation, since it is harder (almost impossible) for powders to harbor bacteria (which like wet and moist environments, e.g. liquids). It is incredibly fine milled, making it easier to pick up and buff onto the skin. The biggest secret to mineral makeup is buffing it into the skin, rather than just placing it on it. The more you buff, the more it works into the skin and becomes “one” with it (ha!). It is a soft, buildable mineral foundation, though I would say it tops off at light-medium coverage, so those who want heavy coverage should probably still opt for heavy creams and/or liquids.
What I didn’t like: Nothing stuck out about this that made me go, “Grr!” The packaging could be a bit more sleek/aesthetically pleasing, perhaps, but I think that’s such a minor (and not to mention, superficial!) detail that can easily be overlooked. I think they should promote a buffer brush with this, just because I find that works much better than any other powder brush! The color range only includes six shades, which makes it fairly limited in my eyes, so I’m not sure how our lightest/darkest ladies will fair in finding an appropriate match.
OVERALL, as a blush lover, this collection agrees with me! I think the colors are all vibrant and wearable, though some moreso than others. I really loved Joyous and True Romantic the most, and I will definitely be grabbing these. The texture for all of these is satiny, silky, and just smooth, while the intensity and color pay off is amazing–consistently good across all eight blushes. I’m so happy to be able to have colors that are true-to-pot, because there’s nothing worse than being impressed by the color you see, but disappointed when it goes on! These will not leave you disappointed in the least–and a plus for addicts? These look exactly like blushes in terms of size, shape, and packaging, which means you can depot if you wish! In my opinion, the name “beauty powder blushes” attempts to convey that the texture is like beauty powders (silky, soft, velvety) with the characteristics of a blush (more intense color, size, shape).
Feel free to share or submit your swatches and product photos for the beauty powder blushes! Link them in the comments or send them to email@example.com. Thanks!
- Eversun is a subdued shade of peachy-brown with low level shimmer (more like just a touch of sheen). It reminds me of a warmer, peachier bronzing kind of color, and I think it’d be fab during summer as a great part of a minimal look.
- Feeling is a dirty plum-pink with some raspberry in it. It reminds me of a warmer, more wearable Ablaze blush. No real visible shimmer, very much like Eversun in texture.
- Joyous is a fun shade of bright pink with peach undertones and gold sheen. I think this is one of my favorites, because the color is so warm and perfect for spring.
- Secret Blush is a dirty mauve with brown undertones that would make a nice choice for night time looks. I did find this was a little chalkier than the rest (but I wouldn’t classify it as chalky, just in comparison to the other seven blushes).
- Serenely is a dark brick red kind of color with gold sheen. It is pretty intense, so it is important to use a light hand with this color in particular. I don’t know if I would personally purchase this one, just because I would so rarely use it, but it looks divine in the pot and as a swatch!
- Shy Beauty is a light pale pink with peachy undertones and light sheen/shimmer. I think this is going to be the most wearable shade, because I think it will work well on a variety of skin tones.
- Sweetness is an incredibly bright pink with blue undertones, making it quite cool overall. It is unlike past cool blushes (e.g. Don’t Be Shy), but it does remind me of a more intense Pink Swoon blush. It’s pretty, but it’s so cool that I don’t know how wearable it would be on myself and others. Light handedness is a must for this!
- True Romantic is a warm pink with mauvey-rose undertones with subtle sheen. This is my other favorite from the launch, because it is just a gorgeous shade. It will be pleasant used lightly to add color to cheeks, but it can be used more generously for an absolutely divine night time flush. It reminds me of Afterdusk blush, but with a way better texture and more pink than mauve.
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The Sweet (and Cool) Smell of Pop Art in Andy Warhol Union Square by Bond No. 9
“My favorite smell is the first smell of spring in New York,” Andy Warhol once said. Perhaps in a similar spirit, Warhol began painting and silk-screening a series of highly stylized, phantasmagorically colored flowers during the 1960s. He returned to this age-old painter’s subject in 1970, when he developed a portfolio of vibrantly colored flower screenprints at the first of his two studios on Union Square. Both the florals and the location were the inspiration for Andy Warhol Union Square, the latest in Bond No. 9′s series of collectible Warhol eaux de parfum, arriving on counter in March, 2008.
The scent, a seductive green floral that’s simultaneously cool and warm, is housed in the slim Bond No. 9 superstar flacon, this time displaying Warhol’s flowers as its surface design. Outsize, otherworldly flowers such as these are of course a major fashion statement for spring 2008 — with multitudes of designers taking their cue from the Warhol Flowers series. Likewise, Bond No. 9′s Andy Warhol Union Square is in tune with the times (as perfumes should be). But let us go one further and propose that this latest scent of ours, enveloped in Warhol’s iconic flower motif, raises the art of perfumery to — dare we say it? — a new level of sophistication.
The bottle is in typical Warhol artistry, but instead on a sculpted glass perfume bottle. It comes decorated in various shades ranging from red and yellow colored flowers to blue shaded blades of grass. As part of an effort to be more environmentally friendly this year, Bond No.9 boutiques will accept empty perfume bottles [to recycle for you], and as a reward, they will give you a refillable pocket spray.
The scent itself is a soft, feminine floral that definitely reminds of spring blooms and decadence. It dries down to a nice subtle scent that delights the nose, but it isn’t overwhelming. I found the scent stayed on throughout the day, fading minimally, but never turning. I definitely detected the Lily of the Valley and Blue Freesia notes, and when it dried down, I noticed a touch of musk and wood.
Top notes include: Lily of the Valley, Green Stem Notes, Sweet Blue Freesia, Golden Amber, Silver-cloud Musk Accord, White Birch Wood.
Union Square launches March 15th, 2008 at their four New York boutiques, www.bondno9.com, and Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide. It will be available in 50ml size ($135) or 100ml size ($195). A special collector set will be available of ten different bottles ($1500 for ten 100ml bottles) as well.
Zeno ($149.00 to $200.00)
As a bit of a gadget geek, high-tech beauty products are always on my radar, including Zeno, a handheld device designed to treat acne. Zeno works using ClearPoint Technology that uses heat to treat P. acnes (read more about this type of acne at Wikipedia), which accounts for nearly 90% of blemishes according to Zeno.
The device takes thirty seconds to heat up after turning it on, and then it is applied to each pimple for two minutes, treated by a heated tip at 118.5 degrees F. Zeno beeps every thirty seconds, and then it does a little video game-like sound to signal that it’s been two minutes. You wait thirty seconds in between treatments before you can treat another pimple, and you can only treat three per session. After three, Zeno automatically has a safety mechanism that kicks in and forces you to wait another two minutes before treating additional pimples.
First and foremost, yes, I saw results, and yes, they were amazing. Zeno manages to “dry out” pimples within 24 hours, which means they’re healed within two or three days. When you have just one or two pimples that aren’t noticeable, it’s not a big deal, but when you’re plagued with more or ones that you can see easily, it is a godsend. The heat is also not at all painful — it’s quite like holding a warm washcloth against your face, soothing and pleasant.
So I must rave about the results, because who doesn’t want a way to treat unsightly acne? I’ve yet to find a cream/gel that actually produces such impressive results in the same time frame. Zeno does work better on newly developing pimples than ones that have already fully surfaced, though I personally found that it still worked well on that type, too.
The bad news about Zeno is that is cost-prohibitive. The device itself has a hefty pricetag, ranging from $149 to $200 (it is available in three versions — Zeno with 60-uses-tip, Zeno Pro with 90-uses-tip, and Zeno MD with 150-uses-tip). I wouldn’t mind spending that on a device that would last me quite awhile, but each tip will only work for a certain amount of uses — 60, 90, or 150, depending on your version. Tip replacements are $25, 35, and 55, and if you think 60 is plenty of uses, think again!
Say you need to treat five pimples, and you’ll need to do it 4 days out of the week. For effective treatment, it is good to treat each pimple two to three times a day. Just treating each pimple twice for four days (5 pimples x 2 treatments/day x 4 days) is 40 uses. Stay with me — think about your yearly usage, is 100 days out of the question? If we were going at 4 days per week for the year, we would end up with over 200 days. In 100 days, you will need 1000 uses (5 pimples x 2 treatments/day x 100 days)! If you opt for the 90-uses-tip ($35), you’ll need 11 of them, bringing you to a yearly total of $385.
While the results were amazing, I think my money could be better spent on prescription acne treatments, and at the very least, the long-term thinking and cost pattern of Zeno makes me more inclined to think about what’s causing my acne instead. I think the Zeno would be worth it for those who are not acne-plagued; for those who only need to treat one or two pimples a week or less. It is even great for treating that solitary pimple that shows up right before a big date or fancy occasion. Simply put, if you don’t need to use your Zeno that often, you won’t need to replace the tip as often, which means it comes to you at a much lower cost.
(By the way, I am aware that several users try to “cheat” the system that Zeno uses — as once your uses are up, it stops working — by simply using the heat that emanates from it as it heats up, but 1) it is not as effective as a full treatment cycle; 2) I’ll probably forget to do this half the time.)
Conclusion? Pick up Zeno if you only have a few dastardly pimples in a month, but look for other treatments and alternatives if you have persistent, regular acne.
Have you tried Zeno? Love it, hate it, worked for you? Is it worth it?
P.S. — Next week, I will bring you a review on ThermaClear, a product that is often compared to Zeno, so watch for that!
Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!
Applying Your Tan | After you’ve properly prepared you body to take on a self-tan, you’re eager to get to the tanning part, right? I want to preface this piece with the fact that I am new to self-tanning, I spent the past two weeks learning about self-tanners, application, etc., and for the most part, it’s really not as daunting as it may seem.
- Wash hands frequently and vigorously with soap. You don’t want dark orange palms, so you can avoid this by washing your hands multiple times during the application to minimize any orange palm effect.
- Make a mistake? Try toner, acetone, or hydrogen peroxide to help minimize or erase it.
- Slow and steady wins the race. It is much better to give yourself time to apply the self-tanner and let it dry appropriately rather than hope it will all come together in fifteen minutes.
- Dry land only for at least eight to twelve hours if you’re able to. Your self-tan should develop within three hours, but it may continue to darken for as long as twelve hours. Avoid sweating, exercising, bathing, etc., as all of these can lead to undesirable effects (streaking, fading, etc.).
1. Get everything you need together. Self-tanning will probably take you at least twenty minutes to apply from head to toe, plus additional drying time. I recommend the following products/items to gather: self-tanner of choice for body, self-tanner of choice for face, moisturizer (lightweight), hair tie, soap, back sponge, fingernail scrub brush, sink, dark towel/dark robe.
2. Extra dry skin? It is probably best for you to moisturize either as you go (diluting your self-tanner in the process) or applying a light amount to extra dry areas like ankles, toes, knees, elbows, etc. I would only recommend this for those who have really, really dry skin. It is better to dilute self-tanner with a moisturizer than applying moisturizer before the self-tanner.
3. Apply from bottom to top. You want to start applying your self-tanner to your feet and legs, being sure to apply sparingly on any dry parts (e.g. ankles) if you have them. If you’re using a lotion, be sure to squeeze it onto your fingers/palms, and then work it into your skin in circular motions. If you merely squeeze it onto your skin, you may end up with visible streaks from where it was squeezed! If you’re using a spray or aerosol tanner, make sure that you follow directions (usually says how far to hold it and not to exceed a certain distance).
4. Dry spots, joints, etc. may require diluted tanner. Judge your skin – if you have dry knees and luscious elbows or you’re like a sahara on both, know about it! You do a half-and-half combo with moisturizer with self-tanner or go a little heavier on the self-tanner, just depends on how dry you’re skin is. Nevertheless, go sparingly over these areas, because they tend to darken more heavily than other parts of the skin.
5. If you’re doing your entire body, some people want tan lines. If this is the case, make sure you’re wearing something that you can put the tanner right up against (e.g. a black bathing suit), as the tanner will stain light clothing. I personally hate tan lines, so self-tanning is totally up my alley and I just stand in the bathroom naked while applying. Back issues? If you can’t reach your back, try investing in a handled sponge to help you get those hard-to-reach areas.
6. Work your way up to your upper chest. Apply your self-tanner for body all over your body (arms, legs, etc.), but you may want to switch to a gradual tanner or your self-tanner for face. The neck tends to tan better and darker than the rest of your body (like the face). Otherwise, dilute your self-tanner with moisturizer when applying to the neck.
7. Switch to a self-tanner for face. I always recommend using a product targeted for the face to avoid getting an ultra dark or orange face. You can, of course, dilute your body self-tanner with moisturizer if you feel confident doing so. Make sure you apply your self-tanner up to your hair line and behind your ears (often missed spots).
8. Let it all hang out! Optimally, you’ve given yourself three hours of time before you need to get dressed. Realistically, you may only have an hour or two–don’t worry, you can probably get away with it. After you’ve done applying the self-tanner, let it dry for at least 15 minutes. If you’re able, walking around the house naked for awhile is a good move. Otherwise, slip on your dark robe or loosely tie a dark towel around your body and busy yourself for the next 45 minutes to an hour.
9. Your tan develops in 3 hours usually. This does mean that waiting three hours before putting on clothes is the best course of action, but waiting simply a half hour or so is usually enough. I like to put on some ratty, loose-fitting clothes after about 30-45 minutes. Even when I put regular clothes on, I opt for dark colors and nothing too tight.
10. Enjoy your new tan! You’ll want to check out part three of this guide, though, which will offer you some tips on making your sunless tan last longer and how to let it fade without looking like a molting bird.
Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!
Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Hazel ($9.95)
Enhance your natural eye color with three blendable trios that color, contour and line your eyes for illuminating, high impact. Available in 4 shades. Hypoallergenic. Dermatologist Approved. Fragrance Free. Safe for Sensitive Etes and Contact Lense Wearers. Shade: Brown Eyes Blue Eyes Green Eyes Hazel Eyes *
What I liked: I found the eyeshadow strips to have pretty good pay off, with the browns giving the best intensity out of the bunch. The whites are quite shimmery for the most part, making them not the best highlighters (an overly white highlight with intense frost finish can look off on some). I think the lighter pink may work better as a more natural highlighter than the whites. I do like the variation in shades, and I do feel like you could get a few looks out of this – and definitely lighter/darker versions of the looks you do come up with.
What I didn’t like: Having them directly next to each other can make it easy to blend them together–which may or may not be something you like–but I hate having different color dust accumulate on my other shadows. It drives me bonkers! I also feel like there is a frost overload in this palette; I know they’re called Shimmer Strips, so that’s a definite tip-off, but it could have been a lower level shimmer. For instance, the browns have a pleasant shimmer finish, without being frosty, and I think this kind of finish would complement the skin of most people, especially in the lighter shades of pink/white.