- TheFabZilla: It's officially summer! Get sexy-smooth summer legs in 3 easy ways.
- Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: Looking for a pigmented pink pout in a lip gloss formula? Hourglass Extreme Shine High Shine Lip Gloss in Ballet is the one!
- Adna Cristina Beauty: Adna's Beauty Blog reviewed OROGOLD skin care products which the main ingredient is gold
- Beauty Apocalypse : Beauty Apocalypse tries out natural lip gloss from Juice Beauty
- The Feminine Files: Kristina does a review and a full makeup look using just 4 Benefit Cosmetics products!
- Color Me So Crazy: Neon Zebra Stripes in all of their GLORY!!
- Glamorable!: Looking for an affordable lipstick with great formula? Check out these fabulous colors from Prestige Cosmetics!
- Beauty by Miss L: DoesAvon Super Full mascara add any fullness to your lashes?
- New World Beautiful: Shiseido Knows My Secret Shame: I have facial hair and you do to! Here's how to get rid of it
- Makeup Life and Love: Acne? Lacking Radiance? Skin needing hydration? Head on over to Makeup Life and Love to find out what face mask you should be using for your skin's concerns...
I have hundreds of shameful little secrets; maybe even thousands. In the past, I’ve been able to keep them hidden and as far as I knew, no one was the wiser. But now my new apartment has shed light, quite literally, on my secret shame.
I’ve always had a designated place in my apartment to do my makeup every morning. In my Boston apartment, I chose a prime space right next to the window to ensure that I have ample natural light to work with. It was working out wonderfully until one day I was looking in the mirror when the sun hit me just right and I saw them: hundreds of little blonde hairs sticking out from my cheek. I was horrified.
Obviously I know that all men and women have peach fuzz (or vellus hair if you want to get technical) on their face. On some women it can be pretty noticeable and I am lucky that mine only show up in certain lighting. But now that I look into this well-lit mirror every day, my barely-there facial hair is the only thing I see.
Luckily, over hundreds of years, Japanese women have perfected the art of facial hair removal in an easy, quick, and affordable way. Since the days of the geisha, Japanese women have, in general, sported some of the smoothest, porcelain-like skin in the world. One way they accomplish this is by shaving their face. I’m serious.
Some Japanese salon’s offer face-shaving services, but mainly, shaving one’s face is a personal affair and most women do it in the privacy of their own homes. I discovered this when I was perusing the beauty aisle of an Asian grocery store and saw a pretty Shiseido product decorated with a drawing of a lovely woman...shaving her face, looking back at me like it was no big deal. I literally gasped and thought “she knows my shameful secret!” Without further thought I ripped the package off the shelf and threw it into my cart along with my containers of shumai and 100 year old eggs.
"Watcha doin'?" "Oh, nothing. Just taking a sharp blade to my face in the name of beauty." To be honest, I never even thought that shaving my face was an option. I didn’t even think other women were bothered by their peach fuzz enough to do anything about it. I was happy to realize that I wasn’t alone with my insecurity.
Based on some research and various YouTube videos I’ve found, it seem like many Japanese women apply lotion, like Ponds Cold Cream, thickly to their face before shaving and some of them even shave using a straight razor. The diagram on my Shiseido razor package indicated that I should shave with the grain in the downward motion, although it seems like many women shave first with the grain, and then against, which would give you a closer shave.
I skipped the cold cream (I never use shaving lotion on my legs) and very cautiously started to shave my clean, dry skin. The Shiseido razors are long and angular. The blades themselves are very narrow and the razors come with a plastic safeguard. I think you would have to try really hard to draw blood using these things, but since it’s the face we’re dealing with, I wasn’t about to take any chances. I started at my problem area, my cheeks, and I was really surprised to see how much facial hair I actually had. From there I got a bit bolder and before I knew it, I had shaved my whole face. It’s kind of like tweezing your eyebrows or cutting your bangs- once you start it is very hard to stop!
Shaving your face does a lot more than just remove your hair. It exfoliates your face, removes dead skin cells, and speeds up the regeneration of your first layer of skin. Your face will be smoother, your makeup will apply and stick to your skin better, and skincare products will absorb more completely. Some women say that shaving makes their skin brighter and Japanese women also shave to make their skin appear whiter.
A face shave and Biore Pore Strips- If I'm going to go micro, I'm going to go all the way. This picture was taken in front of my vanity and you can see how the sun would've really pick up my vellus hair had I not just shaved. If I didn't take this myself, I would've sworn that JJ Abrams set up this shot. He'd save a lot of money on lens flare effects if he shot the next Star Trek in my apartment.
If you give it a go, take it slowly and hold the razor at a 45 degree angle with your face so you avoid cutting your skin. Don’t go over the same area more than 4-5 times or you will irritate your skin and make it red. People with active acne shouldn’t face shave since it can spread bacteria and worsen the condition. However, once your acne heals you can shave your face to improve the look of acne scars. If you have very sensitive skin, try applying lotion or oil to your face before shaving. Apply lotion to your skin afterward as well; my face wasn’t irritated by the shave, but it felt drier.
Facial hair regrows after 20 days, so if you want to incorporate face shaving into your beauty routine, you only have to do it about once a month. Also, the old myth that shaving any hair makes it grow back faster, darker, and thicker is absolute bunk- just ask the Mayo Clinic. If that was the case, every woman in Japan would have a beard.
If any part of this article sounds familiar to you, you might have heard of a new spa treatment called dermaplaning. It is EXACTLY the same thing as Japanese face shaving, except that most dermatologists use a much sharper blade and they will charge you much more than the $5-10 Shiseido charges you for three razors.
So what about you? Have you ever been bothered by your peach fuzz? What's your preferred hair removal method? I hear some women thread their faces- I can assure you that shaving is much less painful!
The Summer Solstice is less than two days away and women all over the western hemisphere have shed their muted earth tones for the bright, colorful, floral shades that come with the sun.
It’s possible, in these days of 8 pm sunsets and new-found tan lines, for some cosmetic companies to go a little overboard with their color selection. I mean, not everyone can pull off neon. Personally, I tend to wear less makeup in the summer. My blindingly pale Irish skin gets a little color and I want to take advantage. Plus I don’t want to worry about my well-made face sweating off halfway through the day. Luckily, Missha, a popular South Korean cosmetic company, has found a way to deliver insanely bright summer lip balms without compromising anyone’s natural beauty.
Missha’s Glow Tint Lip Balm (available here and here) comes in five ridiculously colorful shades. Concentrated in the tube, it will look scary to anyone who regularly rocks the no-makeup-makeup look, but once applied, Missha’s formula melts into soft, subtle pinks and corals that let you partake in the neon madness without looking like Nicki Minaj a la Super Bass.
As an added bonus, Glow Tint Lip Balm feels amazing. It has SPF 18 which is all the more important during the summer months, but it also moisturizes your lips and leaves them feeling softer even after the balm has worn off.
In fact, my only problem with the Glow Tint Lip Balm is that, like other lip balms, it doesn’t have real staying power. In fact, the English name “Lip Tint” is somewhat misleading as it won’t stain your lips like other American lip tints will do. As long as you understand that it’s more lip balm than lip tint, you won’t be disappointed.
I need to confess, beauty blogging has driven me slightly insane. I mean, when you spend twenty minutes taking pictures of your lips, and then another hour editing those pictures, you begin to forget what lips even are. Should they look like that? Am I crooked? Why am I taking these pictures again? Regardless, the orange shade is swatched up top, and the pink shade is on the bottom. There's not a huge difference between these shades, so I guess it just depends on if you prefer orange over pink. I like to wear both at the same time.
Now Missha makes a similarly dubious claim as Dior Addict Lip Glow does. The Glow Tint product guide (at least the one I could find in English) claims that the tint “color reacts on moisture to give a natural and healthy looking tone.” I don’t think if it’s the moisture in my lips that give the tint its color, but I will say that the tint goes on sheer and slowly deepens in shade. The color intensifies with each application but not to the point where you have to consult a mirror to reapply.
The bottom line is that I'm sold on this product. It protects and condition lips and comes in some kick-ass colors that I can customize by blending or reapplying. Along with my sunglasses and sandals, Missha's Lip Glow has joined my summer staples.
A little while ago I shared my beauty wishlist with you that featured products from Nigeria, Japan, France, and Australia. Since then there have been a few other products that refuse to leave my mind. The three I’ve chosen to share with you today are all lip products and each costs more than I would like to spend. Luckily for you and me, I’ve found drugstore dupes for all three cosmetics that will hopefully satisfy your temptation to buy big- at least for a little while.
Hourglass’ Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Icon
Country of Origin: USA, but many products including this gloss are made in Europe
Available: Sephora and other major retailers
I’m always envious of a woman who can wear a perfect red lip with casual confidence. I’ve never been able to pull off red without feeling garish, but when I stumbled upon Hourglass’s blue-red lip gloss shade “Icon,” I knew I found my true red. Despite it’s name, the gloss isn’t shiny or sticky and it wears more like a stain. I tried it on in Sephora and the shade lasted through my coffee, bagel, and two-hour shopping session at DSW.
Hourglass offers “Icon” in a lip pencil, liquid lipstick, creme lipstick and the lip gloss. The shade transfers to the lips differently with each product. I prefer the brighter Icon that the lip gloss offers.
Hourglass is an American cosmetic brand based in LA, but the bottoms of many of their products claim “Made in Italy/France/Various European Countries." But the brand’s domestic roots don’t give me the justification to buy this gloss “for the blog’s sake” (that really is the best excuse ever). As a rule, $28 for a lip gloss is way too much, especially if it’s not “for the blog,” but it’s literally been months since I first tried it on and I still can’t stop thinking about it. This is a cosmetic that I truly covet and one day it will be mine. Most likely sooner than later.
DUPE ALERT: Rimmel’s Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in “Kiss of Life”
It doesn’t last as long and it’s not as easy to apply since the red bleeds a lot more than the Icon, but it’s about $5 which is great for someone like me who is a bit hesitant to wear a red lip and doesn't want to make a big investment until she’s sure.
Dior Addict Lip Glow or Givenchy Rouge Interdit Magic Lipstick
Country of Origin: France
Available: Sephora and other major retailers
Price: Both cost $32
If I’m to believe Dior or Givenchy, Lip Glow and Magic Lipstick are, in fact, magic in a tube. Both are a sheer gloss that, once applied, somehow mixes with “the chemistry of your lips” (says Dior) and “reacts with the skin’s pH” (says Givenchy) to produce a unique, I’m-a-special-snowflake lip color that plays upon your natural coloring. I picture it producing the same effect on your lips that sucking on an ice cube for a minute or two would have: your natural lip shade but more saturated.
I’m almost positive this is bunk, but damn if I’m not intrigued. I just really want to see if it works and brings out that snowflake in me. But if I'm hesitant to spend $28 on the perfect red lip, then it would take a lot of convincing (or a raise) to add the more expensive Lip Glow or Magic Lipstick to my shopping cart.
DUPE ALERT: Sephora Collection Color Reveal Lip Balm
For $13 I could solve this little mystery, but I’m still hesitant to spend that much on what is most likely glorified lip balm. However, if one of my lovely readers can convince me that this stuff works, I will try it myself. I’m like an older kid at Christmas, I really want to believe!
BY TERRY Baume de Rose
Country of Origin: France
Available: Barney’s and other high-end retailers
First created in 2003, BY TERRY Baume de Rose, or Rose Balm, quickly gained cult status amongst models and celebrities. The 0.35 ounce pot of rose-scented goodness costs $60, and if you are to believe the hype, it could be worth every penny. It not only nourishes and hydrates lips, but smells divine and can actually heal damaged lips over time. After a few days of use, your lips will feel softer and look fuller. It also doubles as a cuticle cream.
BY Terry’s lip balm, like La Mer lotion or SK-II essence, is one of those products whose reputation and cult-status almost make the price seem reasonable. Whether or not you would spend the money is up to you, I reserve no judgement. But if you have tried Baume de Rose, please let me know if it’s worth it. Otherwise, I’ll just spend my days thinking that the perfect lip balm actually exists, and it is made by a woman named Terry.
DUPE ALERT: Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve
For one tenth of the price of BY TERRY Baume de Rose, you can get more than twice the amount of Rosebud Salve in a much cuter tin. Rosebud Salve is consistently celebrated by models, celebrities, beauty bloggers, and any regular pedestrian cruising CVS for some lip balm. It smells great and feels good. For $6, there’s not much else to say.
Except if you’re looking for something a bit more high-end. Dior’s Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm might be a more accurate dupe for BY TERRY Baume de Rose. For $32 it’s almost half the price and many beauty bloggers prefer Dior’s rose balm over By TERRY’s.
Now it's time for you to spill! What are your favorite lipsticks and balms? Do you have a coveted cosmetic out there that you just can't bring yourself to buy? Have you tried any of the brands I talked about? Let me know in the comments!
Most of my posts focus on beauty products women from different countries use. Some have highlighted the beauty routines of women from different generations. Today I’m going to focus on another group of women- those who are sadly losing their hair due to sickness or stress.
Personally, I have suffered from some hair loss. For a period of time I couldn’t brush my hair without becoming disheartened by how many strands I saw left on my hairbrush. I was lucky that my combination of sickness and stress only lasted for a short time and I never lost enough to show bald patches. Many women close to my heart are dealing with hair loss right now, and through my personal experience and observations I have created a short list of products that can help prevent and cover thinning hair.
Biotin or a Vitamin B Complex:
It’s almost an old wives’ tale, but I have heard countless women recommend a daily dose of biotin to strengthen nail and hair follicles. Biotin is naturally found in our foods-- whole grains, eggs, salmon, etc-- but if you are losing hair, it won’t hurt to either eat more of those foods or take an over-the-counter biotin supplement (and here is the part where I tell you to consult your doctor before you run out to the pharmacy, but you knew that already). I tried taking biotin in the hopes of strengthening my nails which are incredibly fragile, but I stopped taking it after about four months when I noticed that my hair was noticeably oilier than usual. I had mixed results with the supplement- my hair and nails did feel stronger, but I would rather have weak nails than an oily scalp. Obviously results vary, but biotin works so well for some women that I was glad I gave it a chance.
Tangle Teezer Detangling Hair Brush:
The original hot pink tangle teezer has become something of a cult favorite amongst parents of little girls. The plastic hairbrush that hails from Great Britain is guaranteed to detangle the worst hair knots tear-free. I definitely would have appreciated it as a child (I refused to shower and my birds nests were epic. Most of the time, I just wore hats.), but curly-haired women also swear by it since it just glides through knots without tugging or pulling hair. When I was going through my own bout of hair loss, I could feel my usual paddle brush stripping my scalp of follicles. The tangle teezer has small plastic teeth that “flick” between strands instead of pulling them like regular bristles. The difference between my paddle brush and the tangle teezer was obvious and it is a great investment for anyone with fragile hair.
My only caveat is that once my hair became healthier and thicker, it didn’t feel as satisfying to brush with the tangle teezer. Since the teeth are so small, it doesn’t feel like the brush connects with the underside of really thick hair. I ended up returning to my paddle brush and gifting the tangle teezer to another woman who was dealing with hair loss. The brush’s new mistress loves it!
got2b Powder’ful Volumizing Style Powder:
If you’re suffering from hair loss, a lot of stylists might recommend teasing your hair into a giant ‘fro before styling. But manhandling and backcombing already fragile hair can exacerbate the problem. You should be gentle with your locks even as you try to volumize. Luckily, there’s got2b’s Powder’ful to help you out.
This stuff is the tits, plain and simple. This little plastic canister of powder does more than any mousse or hairspray could fathom. You use it a little like you would a dry shampoo powder. Just shake a bit into the palm of our hands and the white powder disappears, but you can still feel the magic in your hands. Massage your scalp, run your fingers through your hair and each strand gets instant texture. Any type of style will instantly bloom into a volumized, dynamic coiff. And the volume doesn’t disappear after a few hours. I used Powder’ful before an all-night concert in my younger days, and by the time the sun came up, I still had the best hair in the entire arena.
I do have another caveat for you though. If you enjoy effortlessly running your fingers through soft, silky hair, then you’ll only want to break out the Powder’ful on special occasions. The texture it adds to your hair is amazing, but it can cause some knots and if you have longer hair, you should only apply the powder to your scalp.
Joan Rivers Beauty Great Hair Day Fill In Powder with Brush:
Whatever you feel about Joan Rivers (I personally adore that catty bitch), you should not let her name distract you from the pure awesomeness that is Great Hair Day. If you have thinning hair, no amount of volumizing can fill in the patches on your scalp, and that’s where Joan comes in. QVC sells the hair fill in powder in six shades so that it works for anybody. There’s more to the product than the shades- the fill in powder feels fibrous and actually stays on your scalp. It won’t even transfer to your pillow. It’s easy to use and the brush that comes with it works well. Depending on how much hair loss and where it is, you might be better off enlisting a friend to make sure you get full coverage.
I recommend applying the powder directly to your scalp (or as close as you can get). You don’t have to be exact in your application to get good results. The QVC page has some great before and afters, but I took the ones below myself.
Just like any skin problem, dealing with hair loss can wreck your self-esteem at a time when you might be already dealing with a bitch called reality. It’s important to take the time to try to feel your best, and if that means cruising QVC for fill in powder or stealing your niece’s hot pink hairbrush, I say go for it. Do whatever you can to make yourself feel better. Be gentle with your scalp, your hair, and yourself. Good luck!
Now that my skin is healthy again and I can look in the mirror makeup free without compromising my self-esteem, I have the opportunity to experiment with a bunch of products I wouldn’t dare touch during my battle with adult acne.
The composition of my skin seems to have completely changed. I was never shiny before, but now after I apply moisturizer I beam like a lighthouse on a stormy night. It does not look good. To combat this aurora borealis of the face, I use Boots No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder. Boots is a British pharmacy chain that makes my beloved CVS look like a small town general store. Walgreens recently bought a stake in it which is how I got my hands on what is now my new go-to cosmetic. The powder evens my skin tone but feels so light it’s like I’m not wearing any makeup at all. And for $12, I think it’s pretty perfect.
But sometimes I just want my face to be naked! I’m really trying to take advantage of my reborn skin. Enter Peach Sake Pore Serum by Korean cosmetic giant Skin Food.
To be honest, I really didn’t buy what Skin Food was selling with this pore serum. I mean, what the hell is a pore serum anyway? And why do I need to put yet another cream on my face? It’s not like it’s a moisturizer, primer, or sunscreen.
Skin Food’s motto is “food that is good for your health is also good for your skin” (I’m sure it sounds better in Korean). Every Skin Food product is made with food like avocado, rice, or tomato. It’s pretty easy to guess what Peach Sake Pore Serum is made from- peach extract and rice sake- but the question is why?
Peach extract is full of vitamins A and C and the rice in the sake acts as a natural whitening agent and helps with discoloration to create an even tone. Throw in some silica powder for a gel-like consistency and you get a serum that proves me wrong. Peach Sake Pore Serum (or PSPS as I will now call it) is indeed moisturizing and works pretty damn well as a makeup primer too (it still doesn’t protect me from the sun but nothing is perfect).
Most importantly for me, PSPS does a great job at neutralizing shine. If it wasn’t for this crazy food gel my skin would be so shiny you could see your reflection on my forehead. And PSPS feels so smooth when applying I feel like they should fill ice rinks with it.
I highly recommend this product to anyone whose skin reflects light like a prism. Skin Food has a whole line of Peach Sake products including toner, face powder, BB cream and even sunscreen. You can be sure that the sunscreen will be next on my list to try. I'm looking for the trifecta.