Archive for February, 2011

Whip Shine Into Shape

Anonymous complains about shine appearing on her makeup (even though she has normal/dry skin) after only a few hours, and wonders if there’s any way to combat this.

Well, normally, I’d point you to using a mattifying agent before your foundation to prevent oil production throughout the day.  My favorite is Philip’s Milk of Magnesia (before you balk at this, check out my review of it by clicking the link).  However, the fact that she has normal/dry skin makes me believe that there may be another problem here.

The first thing I’d do is check every product you use on your face to see whether it is oil or water based.  Remember that really old experiment you do in elementary school where you pour oil and water together in a beaker, and then wait a while for them to separate?  Well, putting both oil and water based products on your face is basically the same thing.  You’re just asking for your foundation to curdle.  This could cause even the best, most long-wearing products to detach from the skin and and separate into its components, which could definitely be causing the shine.  Another simple, though not very common cause, is using a product with silicone along with a product composed mainly of water.  When mixed, water causes silicone to curdle, which could be causing this shine as it microscopically clumps and collects, reflecting light.

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Quick Update!

Just checking in real fast.  Today’s our third to last day of the trip, and we’re getting an early start to check out the Kremlin and the Church of the Assumption.  Gonna be a looooooong day…  Fun, though!

Anywho, the only “beauty” news I have is that we found this kinda incredible herbal remedy for the flu: plantain syrup.  It’s this thick, viscous, liquid that basically coats your throat and makes your mouth feel all slippery, but it completely stops coughing and relieves fevers!  How remarkable!

So, my question for today is:  Have you ever found a localized beauty secret or remedy while traveling abroad?

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Russia is…

Wow.  Russia is incredible.  I’ve only been here for two days, and already, I’m in love.  The cold may be a bit harsh, but the food, the people, the fashion, the lifestyle…  I’m proud to call myself a Russian.

Probably my favorite restaurant so far was this Georgian place we went earlier today.  The waitress was so cute; her English was pretty spot on, and she was way friendlier than I would have expected.  I think she started to get a bit nervous when I started speaking at normal speed (assuming that her English was probably a bit better than it was) and started fumbling, but she definitely helped us out a lot.  The food was incredible: there’s this dish called jonjoli (pickled buds from the Caucasus tree) that’s simply one of the best things I have ever eaten.  Salty, a bit spicy, tangy… Delicious.

As for beauty here, I’ve noticed this:

  • Russian women are either model skinny or pleasantly plump.
  • Russian men are either stick thin, slim and toned, or have a bit of a tummy.

Honestly, this is true of everyone below forty.  No joke.

Russian women look immaculate: perfect hair, perfect makeup (like, amazingly perfect), perfect accessorising.  At least from a distance.  Up close, half of them have terrible skin.  I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the makeup they use, but some of these girls could definitely use some laser resurfacing…

The men all look incredible.  Really Russian hair (effortlessly sexy and chic), fantastic Euro-fashion sense, and polished but not in an overworked way.

I have not seen a single person dressed frumpily.  Nothing equivalent to the football jersey, Nike running pants, and sneakers you see so often in the states.  No douchebag chinstrap beards, sunglasses inside, and chains/loafers either.  Everyone looks like they just stepped off a runway.  However, we haven’t left the area around the Tverskaya Ulitsa yet, so who knows how that will change once we venture out.

I haven’t had much of a chance to check out foreign beauty products yet, but I definitely will in the next few days.  Stay tuned for updates in that vein.

Sorry about being so lax with posting; we’re rarely back at our apartment except to sleep or shower, so…  And I don’t get cell reception here, so unless I find a cafe (Кафе) with wifi, I’m completely cut off from home.

I hope to do a few more posts in the coming week, but definitely expect a slowdown until I return on the 27th.  Don’t stop reading though! I’ll know if you do…



Off to Russia!

Hey y’all!  So, my camera died in the middle of making my haul video, and I won’t have time to redo it tonight… I leave at 5am tomorrow morning for Russia!  Hopefully, I’ll be able to make that video once I arrive, and check back for tons of pictures in the next week!

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Big Hair and Beauty Order

Hey guys!  Sorry I’ve been a little lackluster with posting this week.  I’m taking off for Russia in less than 48 hours, and my mind has just been consumed with packing and brushing up on my language skills.

Anyway, I just placed two big orders with Mehron and Kevin Murphy.  Both packages should be coming in tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll be able to bust out a haul/first impressions video tomorrow amid my frantic running around.  Yes, I did order these specifically for my trip…

Anyway, do you tend to purchase new products when going on a trip for a long time?  I feel like it’s a great opportunity to test out different stuff in a new environment where people don’t know how you normally look.

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Trial Run: Graftobian High Definition Glamour Color Creme Foundation

So I decided to give my Graftobian creme foundation a go again.  Our school just installed these horrific fluorescent lights (kinda like the ones in Sephora) that make my Revlon Colorstay just not suitable (Buff is a slight bit too pink, and while not noticeable in any other light, it’s relatively obvious now).  Here’s my test run from tonight.  This pic is from 3 hours in.  Please forgive the lack of hair styling; I’m getting it cut and colored tomorrow, so I couldn’t use anything in it today…


I know that my face looks lighter than my neck.  Trust me, it’s the lighting (and the flash).  This shade matches me perfectly.

So, whadya think?  How does it photograph?


Haul: Sally Beauty Supply

Check out my new video on my recent haul from Sally Beauty Supply.  Sorry in advance about the top of my head being cut off and the lighting being a bit wonky.  That’s what I get for filming without a tripod!  Pics will be coming up here tomorrow, so check back soon!

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Clarisonic Review

It’s finally here!! My fabled Clarisonic review that I’ve been promising all of you since… forever.  Check out a preview and hit that link after the jump.

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My Hair is Against Me!

Ugh.  We’ve all had bad hair days, right?  Well, the past few days have been one constant ‘do disaster after another.  Not only has it been about two and half months since I’ve last had a haircut (my hair tends to poof out and get really resistant to product when it’s longer), but I tried a new shampoo/conditioner duo, and after a full week of testing, I can honestly say I hate it.  A review on the set will be coming up later tonight or tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, wanna see what I finally managed to do with my rebellious locks?  Check it after the break!

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My Thoughts on Sephora

Recently, I’ve become rather disenchanted with this once-wondrous store.  A year ago, Sephora was the pinnacle of quality, class, and accessibility for makeup and skincare; now, it’s begun to pander more to the casual consumer, lowering its quality and exclusivity in exchange for cheaper pricing and flashier displays.

Back then, I would walk into Sephora, and feel privileged.  The salespeople were always well groomed and looked flawless (a must for someone who represents a beauty corporation), and spanned a great range of ages, which I appreciated.  They were always very pleasant, and seemed more wanting to genuinely help than just make a sale.  Asking for a sample was easy and painless, and more often than not, I was offered a freebie or tester even when I just idly mused over a product.  When I had questions, someone in the store always had the right answer, and tailored their response and advice to my needs.  Getting color-matched was a breeze, and I rarely returned anything.

Every single product was of superior quality and was obviously selected to fit the brand’s image.  Packaging looked and felt expensive (even on Sephora’s own housebrand), and I took some pride in displaying anything I bought there on my cabinet as opposed to drugstore products which go in the drawers.  Not to say that I couldn’t simply have purchased these brands from the parent company.  But there was a simple pleasure in being able to walk into a single store and be surrounded by a complete range of products that all radiate elegance.

And the store itself was almost medi-grade clean.  It seemed as if every day, someone had wiped off the tops of the lipsticks, droppered a bit of alcohol onto the eyeshadows, and washed the sample brushes.  The mini trash bins always seemed freshly emptied; the tester tools were always well stocked.

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