Archive for March, 2011

Waxing… Help?

So, there’s this site I’m part of that offers exclusive deals on clothes, accessories, travel opportunities, and “events”.  Yesterday, a 30% off deal came on for male treatments at the Bliss Spa in New York.

I’ve been considering waxing for a while (shaving some areas is just so tedious, time-consuming, and occasionally painful!), but had been daunted by the procedure and the price.  However, with this deal, I’m willing to try it out.  I’ve heard amazing things about Bliss’ male treatments, too, so it’s kinda a win-win.

However, I’ve never waxed before, and have no idea what I need to do to prepare, what to expect, etc…  And I’m sure there are others of you out there!

So, how do you prepare for a waxing procedure?  What should someone new to this expect?  How often do you get it done? And anything else you think someone who has never done this should know!



Repurposing Bad Products

I recently wrote an article for Karen on Makeup and Beauty Blog (not yet published) about giving new uses to products that for some reason, just don’t work.  Here’s a preview:

We’ve all done it.  Bought that product, tried it, tested it, hated it, forgot about it, stuffed it in a drawer, a bag.  A few months later, we find it, only to think “What a waste of money.”  Was it that the foundation was too dark?  The blush too intense?  The fragrance too strong?

Don’t let these products go to waste!  Let’s cover some creative ways to repurpose beauty buys that for some reason, just didn’t work out.

So.  What are your tips for giving new life to that expensive item that just doesn’t cut it for normal use?


What’s Your Current Skin Woe?

Well, since my skin has been clearing up rather nicely since I upped my dosage of BP, Adapalene, and Soladyn, I guess the biggest thing I have to complain about now is my persistent and excessive oilyness.  Seriously, if sebum is ever established as a fossil fuel alternative, I could set up a small refinery on my nose and make some serious bank. I’ve been attempting to combat this by trying out different powders and setting oversprays (currently trying out OCC Skin Clear, which I will probably mention in my video tomorrow…)

So, what awful thing is your skin plaguing you with these days?  Dryness, ruddiness, broken capillaries?  And how are you dealing with it?  Dish!


Makeup for Men

Jack messaged me asking for recommendations on long-lasting, natural-looking face products (both qualifications essential for guys).

First off, let me say that I am so proud to finally have some other guys partake in this blog and makeup in general.  Bonus points for not submitting this anonymously.  Thanks, Jack!

Okay, before we move onto specific product recommendations, why don’t y’all check out the post I did previously about men and makeup.

Now that you’ve glanced over that, here are my specifics:

  1. Cleanse: The basis of any good face look is proper skincare.  Makeup just won’t look good if the skin below it isn’t in at least relatively good condition.  Men’s skin is often much more oily than women’s, and while the epidermis layer is slightly thicker, men’s skin tends to react more severely to irritants.  The aim then is to simply cleanse skin mildly without stripping it, and unless you’re specifically trying to target a problem (excessive oilyness/dryness, etc.), a mild face wash is going to be your best bet.  Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38 for 5.1oz) is absolutely fantastic, and is what I use every day.  While it’s gentle enough for my easily reddened skin, it (along with my Clarisonic) removes all traces of makeup (and… take note, ladies and gents… even the waterproof stuff!) and leaves my skin soft and moveable (not dry and tight).  However, if this is outside your budget, check out Cerave Hydrating Cleanser ($13.59 for 12oz).  It’s even milder than the beloved Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.  It works a treat on all skintypes and removes all but the most stay-put makeup.
  2. Moisturise: It’s relatively easy to find a cheap, OK moisturiser that won’t cause your skin too much woe.  But by making this the only step in your routine before you head on over to makeup means that you’re missing out on something that most good face lotions lack: SPF.  No one, no matter how old, what gender, or whatever else he/she may use on his/her face, should ever skip out on sunscreen.  Picking a broad-spectrum one that blocks out both UVA (which causes burning and wrinkles) and UVB (which are behind the development of skin cancer) is super important.  The one I use daily is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45 ($9.99 for 3oz).  It’s thick and emollient, but dries down to a soft, non-greasy finish in seconds and absorbs completely without leaving any film or sticky layer behind.  Normally, for my extremely oily skin, this acts as both my sunscreen and moisturiser, but on occasion, when my skin is rather parched, I do feel like I need a bit more.  By far, the best moisturiser I’ve found is Elizabeth Arden Velva Moisture Film ($43 for 6.7oz).  This runny, spicey-smelling fluid adjusts to your skintype to hydrate just enough, leaving both oily and dry faces feeling supple, sealing in moisture without ever overdoing it.  A drop the size of a dime can cover the entire face, and it absorbs in less than thirty seconds.
  3. Conceal: I’ve said before that I tend to turn to full-coverage foundations to do my concealing work for me, but if you are so inclined, the only concealer I ever recommend for men is the MUFE Full Cover ($30 for .5oz).  This stuff is absolutely amazing.  A drop the size of a pinprick of this thick cream is enough to do both undereyes, and another is often perfect for concealing a mild-moderate amount of blemishes.  It dries down to a demi-matte finish that looks like real skin, and is virtually waterproof. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Many Haircare Products…?

So, I’ve decided to start a new “mini-series” of weekly posts, asking and answering “How Many…” (or “How Much…” in some cases, I suppose) of certain products types, tools, etc. you use daily, weekly, etc.

So, today is how many haircare products do you include in your normal routine?  Some of you may be shocked (or, if you know me at all, completely unphased) at my list:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Miracle 7 Color Protect Shampoo and Conditioner

Tuesday, Thursday: Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo and Conditioner

Saturday, Sunday: One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

Once a week, every other week: Ion Clarifying Shampoo and One ‘n Only Argan Oil Restorative Mask

Yep, you counted right.  That’s eight.  The Miracle 7 Duo is fantastic for extending the time in between colorings and leaves my hair soft and manageable.  The Clairol Shimmer Lights are an absolute godsend for blonde or grey hair, getting rid of brassiness and yellow overtones like that (check back soon for my review on the two).  The One ‘n Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair pair is great for just pampering my hair, leaving it silky, soft, and smelling heavenly.  And because I use semi-heavy (though water-soluble) styling products after drying off, my hair needs a good deep cleansing every so often to remove build-up and restore luster: thus, the Ion Clarifying Shampoo, and the One ‘n Only mask to restore moisture and protect the now-stripped-of-all-oils/barriers cuticles.

Although this is a point of contention among beauty gurus, I find that cycling any type of product used to treat or care for hair or skin keeps all of them working at maximum efficacy.  If I use the same shampoo/conditioner for more than three weeks, I can certainly tell that my hair starts to feel and look more lackluster and not as clean.

Anywho, that’s my routine.  How about you?  How many haircare products do you incorporate into your weekly routine?


How *Do* You Deal With a Wrong Foundation Shade?

So, my foundations and other goodies for my new airbrush finally came in!! I’ve been experimenting all weekend. I feel like a makeup mad scientist or something. Seriously, all this mixing and spraying and cleaning and diluting… Perhaps I do have a future as a chemist (yeah, right…)

Anywho, I never realized how truly pale I am until I got these foundations. While OCC does sell adjusters, I really don’t think that their palest shades are meant to be lightened even more. I ordered the first three shades in their yellow range, hoping I could mix two together and use the last as either a highlighter or a contour product. The first thing I tried was using the middle shade (Y1) straight-up, and boy was it way too dark for me. I looked like I had popped just my face in the oven for a few minutes! Deluding myself into believing that I wasn’t a shade above Elmer’s Glue, I tried a 1:1 mixture of Y0 (the lightest) and Y1, and it was still way too dark; this will probably be the shade I make when summer hits and I tan a bit.

So, this morning, I did a 5:1 mix of Y0 to Y1, and still… Too (young-people-read-this-so-imagine-your-own-good-expletive) deep! I’ve been walking around all day with a face that’s darker even than my arms (where I match to when I’m not wearing a V-neck {check out why here}), and it is just not cute.

Tomorrow, I’m going full-out Y0,and hoping for the best. If it’s still too deep, I’m gonna have to order a white adjuster… I really didn’t think I was this pale!! Granted, I’ve not once been able to find a foundation that matches me perfectly (even among department store brands) that isn’t a creme (from the professional brands I tend to buy from). Often, the palest shades have a pink based, and I have not even a hint of pink in my skin. I’m often left to work with a more beigey, slightly darker foundation that leaves my face with a pink cast in harsh lighting (an stark opposition to my neck, chest, and arms…)

So, after this long winded post…

How do you deal with a wrong foundation shade for a day?

I tend to suck it up in the name of experimentation, but that’s just me. Do you wash it off? Redo it? Use a colored powder?


Can I Have a Redo?

It’s 7am.  You’re rushing to dry your hair, throw some makeup on, and get out that door.  Time’s ticking, darling, and you’re not paying as much attention as you normally do.  Big mistake.  Looking in the mirror, you see that your foundation looks splotchy, your mascara has clumped, and your hair is a big, tangled mess.


How often does something like this (hopefully not as awful!) happen to you?  About once a month, if I haven’t gotten any sleep, or, conversely, overslept, I’ll look in the mirror after doing my normal routine and just freak out.  Fortunately, I wake up early enough to have time to redo any potential mishaps.  So I’ll grab my oil cleanser, wash everything off, and start completely from scratch (occasionally even misting down my hair with water to start anew on that!)


So, does something like this ever happen to you?  And do you completely redo it, or suck it up and live with it for a day?  Any tips for quickly remedying makeup/hair mishaps without a completely new start?


Stage Makeup

Hey y’all!

So, quick update and quick question.

Update first:  I’m doing the makeup for a production of Macbeth.  It’s so much fun!  I’ve done theatre makeup a good bit in the past, but the most “exciting” thing I ever got to do was an ’80s version of Taming of the Shrew (bright eyeshadow and punk rock makeup!!)  But in this, I got to order and use fake blood, ash powder, bruise wheels… It’s way more fun that it sounds.

Also, I’m still waiting on the supplies for my airbrush… Hopefully they’ll be in today and I’ll be able to squeeze in a quick vid before I rush off to dress rehearsal.

And those “Reader Questions”… Just need to put the finishing touches on ’em!  I’ll have a lot of downtime at the theatre (as the only real makeup changes are a bloodied and bruised Banquo and a couple post-fight looks), so I should have them all done tonight and they’ll be posted periodically over the next four or five days.

So, my question is:  Have you ever had the opportunity to do SFX makeup, and for what?  What brand/products did you use?

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Temptu Unboxing

Just got my Temptu air compressor and gun. Let’s check ’em out!!



Reader Questions

So, I know a few of you have sent me questions in the past few weeks that are still unanswered, but have no fear, I have them, and they are a’coming!  Look for all of them in the next week.

Also, just to clear things up… Please do not post your questions as comments on the “Ask Me” tab.  If you have questions, send them to the email address provided on that page.  This allows that page to stay as clear and clutter-free as possible, and for me to respond to your questions as promptly as I’m able.  Thanks!

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