Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Beauties

I recently finished reading The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family and was astonished by all the incredible details and anecdotes about these remarkable sisters who all gained notoriety of some sort (go get a copy now!).  What intrigued me the most, though, were the family photographs included throughout the book.  See how stunning they were?

I LOVE family portraits.  I collect them, in fact.  It's so cool and interesting to see some of the same beauty traits and features in different family members, don't you think?  I especially love seeing these traits in my own family...

Wasn't my grandmother Lillye a stunner?!  She was around nineteen or twenty when this photograph was taken in the late 1940s.  She's celebrating her 82nd birthday this October!  And at first glance, I thought this picture was of my own mother.  The resemblance in their expressions is uncanny.

Here's my mom at fifteen with her nieces (my cousins).  I thought this was me at first and wondered when I ever owned a pair of striped pants like that.  She and I have the same natural hair!  This looks exactly like every photo ever taken of me as a teenager.  

I'm an only child, but I sure do have a family of beautiful cousins!  Here we are, all posing like Mitford sisters.  I'm wearing the black dress in the middle, but couldn't I also pass for my cousin Beth (far right)?  This is definitely one of my all-time favorite pictures.  My cousins are the best (and the prettiest!).

What gorgeous traits do you share with your family?  I want to see some pictures!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Interview: Red Herring

Red Herring is quite possibly the coolest girl I've had the pleasure to meet since I started this website.  Not only is she a super hot burlesque dancer in Toronto, we share a lot of "geeky" interests, too.  Her latest project is Babes In Space, a Star Trek vs. Star Wars themed burlesque show dance-off.  This year she's producing and performing for the Star Wars team!  If you're in or near Toronto (I wish I was!), go get your tickets!  They're going fast!  Red Herring can also be found making hilarious YouTube videos, posting fascinating articles for her #CryptozoologyThursdays via Twitter, and sharing lots of useful/interesting burlesque related anecdotes on her blog.  She's everywhere!

I came across this quote on her blog and couldn't agree more:
"I believe it was Kitten De Ville who said that burlesque dancers are to women what rockstars are to men. Girls look up to them, find them awesome, raw, empowering, and leave a (good) show with a feeling of 'I could totally do that! I want to do that!' and then they throw up some horns and headbang on the way home."

Her being a gorgeous burlesque dancer and me being a huge burlesque fangirl, I was dying to ask Red Herring all about her makeup, performance and otherwise.  She's got some incredible tips!  And did I mention she's hilarious?  Read on for the most entertaining beauty interview ever!

At what age did you first start wearing makeup?
I first started wearing makeup when I was probably nine or ten. I was in productions back then (dance, theatre) so it was a necessary introduction. Of course, bright red lipstick wasn't the staple it is for me now when I was ten years old unless I was on stage.

How did you learn to apply it?
I wore it offstage too, and learned how to apply it from the people around me in theatre. Luckily I had those around to show me the difference between stage and day makeup!

What products were your favorite back then?
I was an artsy child, and there was this line of flavoured and brightly coloured lipsticks that I thought were awesome. I used to wear dark purple all the time. Goth phase forever! I can't remember the brand, and it's not like I was making out with anyone to take advantage of the flavour, but I wish they still made flavoured lipsticks!

What are your current favorites?
I buy my stage/photoshoot foundation from MAC...and half my lipstick. I adore their lipglasses like no other. I'm a fan of MAC eyeshadows but tend to shop Coastal Scents for their colour palettes, worship drugstore mascara (Rimmel's Sexy Curves and Covergirl Lashblast), and go for OPI polish (or the super-cheap quick-dry type because I'm impatient). Everyday foundation is usually drugstore Maybelline Dream Liquid mousse (fingers!) with a MAC Studio Fix powder to set it. I don't need the coverage of my stage foundation for my office job!

What is your usual makeup routine? How does it change from everyday to performing?
On a typical day, I blearily stumble to my makeup desk and moisturize and prime. Foundation, concealer, blush and bronzer. I then spend about five minutes yawning if it's a weekday, or five minutes with tea if it's a weekend. Weekday calls for a neutral eyeshadow with black liner (always black liner. I use a cake and a paintbrush most times, or Gosh), mascara, lipgloss and boom, gone. Weekend usually calls for much more colour. I love Coastal Scents and their 88 palettes, so I'll play around with whatever I feel like and work off of what I'm wearing.

For stage it's a similar routine with a heavier hand...but longer.

My foundation for stage and photoshoots is MAC's Studio Fix fluid with a brush, and their powder to set. This is followed by contouring and highlighting (cheek hollows, under the bottom lip, and sides of nose for contour, under eyes and cheekbones for highlight) and a blush applied with stage lights in mind.

Eyes get primed and coloured into whatever look suits my performance, with contrasting colours. I put a lot of emphasis on my eyes for stage. I always line with my brush, apply the false lashes (sometimes two or three pairs, sometimes bottom lashes), swear when they're crooked, and re-line when the glue is dry. Glitter is a necessary evil, and I tend to use cheap glitter (though I would love to grab some MAC glitters...) and make sure it sticks by dabbing body lotion on the eyelid, then patting the glitter on with a brush.

Lips get slightly over-lined for emphasis, filled, and then red (or other suitable glitter) gets patted on top. Glitter is liberally applied over the body with lotion to adhere it. Boobs are contoured (ALWAYS contour the boobs!). Glitter is once more liberally applied.

Please note that my cats tend to help me with every step of this process. They believe they are very important and talented.

What product could you never live without, and what will you never try again?

It's a tie between eyeliner and mascara. When pushed...probably eyeliner. I would never give up my black eyeliner.

As for never try again? I have an aversion to cream-cake foundations from drugstores (not to cream-cakes. I love cream-cakes. My thighs do not). They don't sit well on my skin, look cakey, and feel...bleh.

Got a special tip or trick you'd like to share?
Contour your boobs!  Put on your Special Bra of the night, look in the mirror, and shade either side of your cleavage, with a highlight right down the centre. Picture how boobs tend to get photoshopped in magazines.

For girls that are lacking a bit up top, or boys who want to do drag, this step is So. Valuable. It creates the illusion of depth and shadow. Check out petrilude's video on YouTube for a more detailed explanation.  Also, YouTube is a goldmine. Petrilude and xsparkage taught me 80% of what I know. You can learn anything on YouTube.

How do you take care of your skin?
ALWAYS remove your makeup before you go to bed. I don't care if you spent four hours hula-hooping with circus freaks after a two hour show, in no AC, and you're tired and dead on your feet at 5am. Roll your damn face off on a babywipe! I always have babywipes for lazy-removal. Show makeup, even normal makeup, will wreak all sorts of chaotic havoc on your skin if you sleep in it.

On showless nights, I usually use Babyface by Lush, smear it around (it will take off EVERYTHING), and then wipe it off with warm water. Moisturize and boom.

Who are your beauty inspirations?
For stage? Drag queens and wild parrots mixed with the demure classic beauty of someone like Dita von Teese. I know that makes it hard to picture! That's why my closet is a mess!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara

I'm late to the party on this one, I know.  Despite hearing rave after rave of Buxom Lash mascara, despite that Beauty Bets named it her best mascara pick of 2010...I couldn't get past the name.  Isn't that completely ridiculous and silly??  Are you guys like that too?  Averse to using products with less-than-appealing names?  Just like Perricone's Cold Plasma skincare line and products by Dr. Dennis Gross, something about the name Buxom was a turn off so I never bothered with the brand or its knockout mascara.  Thankfully I can also admit when I'm wrong.  And oh, how wrong I was to overlook Buxom Lash.

I'll just let these before/after pictures speak for themselves...

Hi, Internet.  Here I am with no eye makeup on AT ALL. Please forget this happened ASAP.

And SHAZAM! that's the power of mascara, you guys!  Although my eyes look kinda crazy.  I'm just THAT excited about my mascara, clearly.

Taken with my webcam (sorry), no editing, no other eye makeup on except Buxom Lash mascara. Not even eyeliner.  None!  Can you believe it?!  Are you ready to go buy your own tube now??  I thought so. 

Are there any products you avoid solely on the basis of their ill-chosen names, or am I just weird like that?  What products have pleasantly surprised you?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Glamour Guide: The Fine Art of Beauty Sleep

I am decidedly NOT one of those "I'll sleep when I dead!" kind of people.  No, I'll sleep as much as I want, thank you!  Hey, you have your vices, I'll have mine.  It's been said a million times before, but a beautiful face is one that's well rested.  There really is something to the notion of beauty sleep!  We've all read tons of guides out there on how to get a good night's rest: turn off the computer and TV before bed, develop a nighttime ritual, go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday, yeah, yeah, we know.  What those guides don't tell you is how to get your beauty sleep glamorously and in style!
beauty sleep
So you want a glamorous nighttime ritual?  Start by slipping into a gorgeous silk and lacy chemise that feels cool and soft against your skin.  Get the matching robe for extra elegance!  This nourishing Healthy Body Butter from Lavanila is an excellent way to moisturize and relax; it's lavender and vanilla scented for extra soothing properties.  Nothing could be more decadent than spritzing your sheets with rose scented linen spray like this one from Grab Green!  It's so much easier to fall asleep surrounded by calming scents, don't you think?  Hop into bed and curl up with a soft fuzzy blanket to complete this full-on glamorous sensory bedtime experience.  Finally, block out any light with this sleep mask modeled after the one Audrey Hepburn wore as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's! 

 Sweet dreams, lovelies!  Zzzzz....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fall 2011 Fragrance Picks

Fall is the perfect time to bid goodbye to sweet fruity floral perfumes and try something different.  This time around I want woody, oriental perfumes with lots of spice and just a hint of flowers.  My top three fall/winter fragrance picks have a lot of warmth, too, making them perfect for when temperatures start dropping!

Bvlgari Omnia
This fragrance is laced with saffron and masala tea, making it extra warm and spicy.  I was surprised to discover white chocolate and mandarin are the other two primary notes in this mysterious, almost shape-shifting, apparently gourmand fragrance.  There aren't any woody notes listed, but I'm definitely detecting an element of wood in this perfume.  My only gripe is that it doesn't last long enough.  Regardless, the combination is heavenly and exotic.

Etat Libre d'Orange Noel au Balcon
LuckyScent.com's magnificent description is what prompted me to test this perfume: "Noël au balcon, Pâques aux tisons”, goes an old French saying, meaning that if it’s warm enough to spend Christmas at the balcony, at Easter you’ll need firebrands. And État Libre d’Orange leaves no doubt as to quite what type of firebrand they have in mind: the kind who prances around the Christmas tree in a red corset, half-unlaced like a present in the process of being unwrapped."

I don't know about you, but prancing around the Christmas tree in a half-unlaced corset has got to be one of my favorite pastimes.  Noel Au Balcon is one of those "serious", highbrow fragrances that doesn't take itself seriously.  It's sexy, playful, and fun, with lots of fiery cinnamon and red pepper.  The spice is rounded out with apricot, amber, and honey, to name just a few notes.  It's glorious and complex.

Tom Ford Black Orchid
Though orchid and jasmine are strong notes in this incredible fragrance, it's hardly a floral.  Any flowery sweetness is tempered with warm notes of sandalwood, ylang ylang, and lotus wood.  I especially love the way it reacts with my skin.  You know how some fragrances have a distinct artificial "perfume" scent?  Black Orchid isn't like that at all.  It's as if my skin was always supposed to smell like orchids and lotus wood and "spicy floral accord."  This fragrance is purely sexy, luxurious, and sophisticated.  The kind of perfume a gentleman friend will want to lean in closer to sniff.  It's definitely my favorite of the three.

Do you switch perfumes when the weather gets cooler?  What are your favorite fall/winter fragrances?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fall 2011: Tarte SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner

Never will I ever stop loving my liquid black eyeliner.  Still, this girl loves to experiment and my most recent favorite way to switch things up is with this stunning SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner from Tarte,  This pencil is by no means skinny; try as I might, I can barely get anything resembling a thin line.  But that's what I love about it.  It's thick and made to create eye looks that smolder, literally.  One end is even a smudger to bring out the smokiness of the liner.  Smoky eye with the ease of an eyeliner pencil?  Yes, please!  The formula is incredible and it glides on smoothly and flawlessly.  My shade of choice is Fig, a deep plummy brown.  It's particularly gorgeous for fall!

For the last line I used the smudger.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fall 2011 Trend: Blue Period

NARS Fall 2011 Campaign

 It seems a little strange to start thinking about fall trends already, but if turquoise was a hot color for summer, this fall's color is a deeper blue.  More primary than midnight, this sapphire shade is popping up everywhere!  Only fitting, as sapphire is September's birthstone and the primary blue evokes back-to-school art supplies.  Perhaps it also has a bit to do with Kate's iconic engagement ring?

Wearing blue has benefits: it makes your eyes look brighter and your teeth looker whiter!  Throw on Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes" and check out these true blue picks to stay on-trend this fall!
blue period

NARS released the fabulous bright blue shade Outremer for fall 2011; models for the campaign show you how to keep it modern and artistic (see first picture, above).  Other great blue shadows include Sugarpill's Afterparty, a metallic blue, and MAC's frosty Corn Flower pigment.  If blue eyeshadow is a bit much, try Urban Decay's 24/7 Eyeliner pencil in Deviant, a bright electric blue for a hint of color on your eyelids.  For the most subtle eye brightening trick, try a blue mascara like this one called Blue Noir from Buxom Lash!

Another simple way to wear the blue trend?  Nail polish, naturally!  Essie Mesmerize is a gorgeous primary blue and Sephora by OPI Midnight Mambo amps it up with chunky bits of glitter.

The easiest trick of all is Benefit's California Kissin' lip gloss; it has the slightest aqua sheen to make your teeth look extra white! 

Finally, pretty up your vanity with one of these beautifully blue packaged products.  Van Cleef & Arpels's Midnight in Paris perfume is decorated like the night sky and is one of the most gorgeous bottles I've ever seen.  And don;t forget your complexion!  This enzyme mask from Ole Henriksen is loaded with antioxidant rich blue-and-blackberries to keep skin young and glowing. 

So what do you think?  Will you participate in fall's blue makeup trend?  Which product would you most likely wear?  Let me know!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. IV (Volume 4)

Urban Decay just posted this sneak preview of their upcoming Book of Shadows Vol. IV eyeshadow palette on their Facebook page.  So far commenters appear to have mixed feelings about it.  Many are disappointed with the abundance of neutral shades, but an equal number seem to be enthusiastic.  Everybody, though, is speculating what that cord included on the right must be for.  This Book of Shadows features technology like no other palette before it!  Included is a portable speaker, audio cable, and USB cord so you can access "Get The Look" palette tutorials via your iPod or smart phone.

What do you think?  Would you purchase this?

Quick and Easy Nail Art

It began, as these things usually do, with late-night boredom.  Unable to sleep, I began painting my nails with Trophy Wife, this amazing blue green nail polish from Essie that I'm currently obsessed with.  The name makes me laugh and the color is gorgeous!  Then I spotted a bottle of sparkly silver glitter bomb nail polish that I impulsively bought trying to dupe Chanel Graphite.  It didn't work of course and I had promptly forgotten about it, but when I saw it on my nightstand I decided to try some nail art and painted the tips of my nails with the silver glitter polish in a modified French manicure style.  I just free-handed it; I think the glitter bit would have turned out much better and neater if I had used those French manicure nail guides instead.  But overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spotlight On: DHC

Never has a company been so generous with samples.  Japanese skincare and makeup giant DHC is hitting North America, and they're bringing FREE STUFF.  Who can resist four free samples just by calling their customer service line?  And that every catalog contains four samples, too?  I've used a different moisturizer every night this week, plus experimented with DHC's masks, sunscreen, and cult favorite status Deep Cleansing Oil.  I'm loving every second of it!

Removing your makeup with oil may sound like an absolute nightmare, but trust me.  It's the most luxurious cleanser I've ever used.  You apply it straight to dry skin, massage over your face, and rinse.  Easy-peasy!  It won't lather, but the Deep Cleansing Oil completely dissolves foundation and even mascara.  Afterward you'll be truly amazed.  You won't believe it's your skin.  My face has never felt so smooth or looked so flawless than after I've rinsed off the oil!  Even if you have oily skin, you need this.  Promise.

If you aren't convinced, just call the customer service line and order up a sample for yourself!  The number is 1-800-342-2273 and the representatives are so nice.  I don't remember who I spoke with, but she also recommended some moisturizers and sent them to me as well after I told her a little about my skin type.  Generous!  A week later DHC sent me another catalog with even more free samples!  The products are pretty reasonably priced, too; most are in the $30 range.  They've got a treatment for every skincare woe you can imagine, and they want you to try before you buy!

Another favorite product I sampled was the Tourmaline Pack mask.  It contains microfine particles of the gemstone tourmaline!  How glamorous does that sound?  I couldn't resist.  Out of the packet it was a weird purple-grey color but the results were absolutely ah-may-ZING!  The Tourmaline Pack deep-cleansed my pores and left behind a radiant glow I haven't seen on my skin in quite a while.  I will definitely be ordering up the full size version.  My skin looks better than it has in ages!

If you love sampling new products, you need to call DHC's customer service line and start getting some free samples for yourself!  Nothing beats finding a new product that does wonders for your skin, am I right?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Your Best Friend Automatic Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe

I was skeptical.  The text on the side of this brow pencil insisted "universal!" but it initially appeared much too dark for my red hair when I swatched it on my hand.  It arrived in my July Birchbox and I was admittedly disappointed, Cynthia Rowley pick or not.  Universal? No way!  I almost gave the pencil to a friend, but then one day, tried it myself on a whim.  It. Was. Perfect!

This eyebrow pencil from Your Best Friend in Universal Taupe really does magically look good on everyone!  It worked with my red hair, my friend's dark brown hair, and even my mom's light blonde locks.  The secret is mostly in how much pressure you use to apply it.  Lighter pressure means a lighter application.  Plus, one side is also a spoolie to keep your brows groomed and in place.  Simple and a timesaver; now I don't need to hunt down a brow brush, it's attached to my eyebrow pencil!  This product is extremely useful.  It never needs to be sharpened, either.  Just twist it up when you need more product, and that's it!  It's reasonably priced, too, at just $12 for an extremely high quality eyebrow pencil.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Obsessed With: Face Sprays!

You guys?  It's HOT outside.  Temperatures are climbing into the triple digits where I live!  I'm mostly hiding inside with the thermostat on 67 and watching YouTube videos of snowstorms so I can pretend it's winter.  As you can imagine, this isn't terribly practical.  What IS practical, though, is carrying one of these amazing face sprays with you at all times to stay cool! They all have added benefits to keep your skin healthy and amazing, too.
face sprays
1. SUPER by Dr. Perricone Coconut Quench Hydrating Mist ($38): This spray is loaded with coconut water, antioxidants, and proteins, making it perfect for dry or mature skin.  It also contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that absorb and transport nutrients to your skin cells extra quickly.  Plus it smells like an island!

2. Clickr Skin Care Vanishing Mist ($32): Perfect for those with younger skin or acne! Salicylic acid fights blemishes and bacteria, cucumber extract softens skin, and aloe leaf juice heals blemishes and promotes new cell growth. 

3. Skyn Icelandic Arctic Face Mist with Biospheric Complex ($35): What's better to keep cool with than Arctic inspired products?!  Brr!  This freezing-sounding mist contains extracts to hydrate, calm irritated skin, keep bacteria at bay, and protect against environmental damage.

4. By Elizabeth Dehn Face Spray ($28): An all-natural spray formulated with organic essentials oils of Melissa, bergamot, and sweet orange to keep your skin glowing and hydrated.  Smells delicious and the citrus oils are a great pick-me-up when you hit that afternoon slump!

5. Alba Botanica Hibiscus Facial Toner ($12): Decant this tropical scented drugstore toner into small spray bottles to use throughout the day!  Hibiscus and honeysuckle balance your skin's pH, witch hazel controls oil, and aloe vera soothes irritation.  Fantastic bargain!

Bonus! Celebrity Beauty Secret: Gwyneth Paltrow swears by this cooling Blue Spray ($28) from Philip B. and uses it to mist her whole body to stay cool!  It contains tingly menthol and peppermint for extra cooling properties. This sounds fabulous!  I'd expect nothing less from gorgeous Gwynnie.

To stay extra cool in the heat, store your face mist in the refrigerator.  It's incredibly refreshing!  I also like to carry around Japanese folding fans to fan myself off after I've spritzed my face.  It feels sooo good, not to mention it's extremely elegant.

These tips will hopefully get you through this dreadful heatwave!  What other ways do you stay cool?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Glamour Guide: The Fine Art of Bubble Baths

What are some things that make you feel extra glamorous in an instant?  I've got a weakness for false eyelashes, faux fur, Sinatra songs, and BUBBLE BATHS!  Is there anything more decadent than luxuriating in a tub filled with hot water and bubbles with nothing to do but soak and read as long as you like?  I think not.  It's my number one favorite way to relax!  Bubble baths are a magical bad day cure-all, but who needs a reason to hop in a tub of bubbles?  I like to go all out with scalding hot water, deliciously scented bubbles, skin-softening bath salts, and fancy candles.  These are my top five picks!
bath time
Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath in Bubbly: Philosophy has, without a doubt, some of the most amazing-smelling bubble baths on the planet, but my favorite of all is Bubbly!  It's bright, slightly fruity, and the perfect scent to lift your spirits.  A small amount yields a tub-full of glamorous bubbles!

Village Naturals Ultra Softening Body Soak in Sea Island Mist:  This soak is enriched with Dead Sea salts and vitamin E, and the difference it makes in my skin is incredible!  I know soaking in scalding hot water is terrible for my skin but I do it anyway, and this restores what the hot water depletes!  What I love best about it, though, is the scent.  It smells like no other "sea" or "ocean" fragrances I've ever come across.  Instead (and this is totally weird), to me this smells like a Disney perfume I adored as a child!  The perfume was called Sparkles and that's exactly how Sea Island Mist smells: sparkly. 

Tokyo Milk Marie Antoinette Bubble Bath No. 15: What really sold me on this bubble bath from was the packaging.  It comes in a lovely glass bottle with a sticker image of Marie Antoinette on the back, so that the clear liquid in the bottle diffracts and makes the picture look huge.   It looks so beautiful sitting in my bathroom, I almost hate to use it.  The fragrance has feminine notes of mandarin, tuberose, and gardenia, but the vetiver makes this an almost divinely masculine scent.  And the scent has a LOT of staying power: it lingers even after the bubbles have drained!           

Tocca Brigitte Candle:  Brigitte is currently my favorite perfume, so of course I love this candle with its matching scent!  It's inspired by (who else?) Brigitte Bardot, and if that's not ridiculously glamorous I don't know what is.  I imagine she'd light this while soaking in her bathtub, too.  Right?

Archipelago Botanicals L Monogram Candle: This monogram candle collection takes your initials to new stylishly scented heights, with each letter featuring a different scent: A for azalea and violet, B for bougainvilla and tuberose, and so on.  L stands for Laura (!) and also lemon verbena and lavender, two of my favorite candle scents!  Wouldn't it be cool to buy the letters of your name (which I fully plan on doing one day!)?  This would also make an excellent gift.

Of course, a bubble bath isn't complete without reading material!  I love soaking with a stack of magazines; Allure, InStyle, and Marie Clarie are my favorites.  Other great reads:

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler: quintessential noir crime novel; money, murders, femme fatales, and a hyper-observant detective protagonist tooling around Hollywood in the 1930s.

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann: the rise (and fall) of three best friends in the entertainment industry; one gets engaged to a millionaire in disguise within the first thirty pages. Trashy, ridiculous, and highly entertaining.

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald; need I say more?

Famous for 15 Minutes by Ultra Violet: a former Warhol Superstar reminisces on her crazy times at the Factory

Burlesque and the Art of the Teese by Dita Von Teese: quite possibly the most magnificent, fabulous book you'll ever read. A history/autobiography featuring lots and lots of gorgeous photographs!

Alright, so these aren't exactly the pinnacle of highbrow literary choices, but come on! Who wants to tackle a serious book while you're soaking your cares away?  Not this girl!

A long, hot soak in a bubble bath will have you emerging much more glamorous!  Don't we all deserve a bit of luxury and pampering in our lives?  What are your favorite bath products or ways to pamper yourself?  Let's get some book recommendations going too! : )

Monday, August 1, 2011

Did You Know? The "Period After Opening" Symbol

One of the first posts I ever wrote for Applied Glamour detailed the dangers of hanging on to old cosmetics, how they can harbor bacteria, and general guidelines for makeup expiration.  The FDA doesn't require expiration dates on beauty products, but many cosmetic companies have started expressing shelf life guidelines with the Period After Opening (PaO) symbol.  The PaO symbol tells you how many months the product will be useful after you open it the very first time. It's typically found on the back of product packaging, where the rest of the information is listed.  It's not yet a requirement in the United States so not every product will have a PaO symbol, but many do.  It looks like this:

Have you noticed it before?  I can't believe I never have!  I looked through the products in my makeup bag, and sure enough, there it was!  NARS pressed powder and eyeshadows are good for 36 months, my moisturizer should last 12, and I was shocked to discover that my Urban Decay Brightening Face Primer only lasts three months.  I bought it, oh, nine months ago!  Uhm, whoops...  I was also shocked to see that Rimmel thinks their mascara is good for 12 months.  Ladies, NO.  Mascara should always, always, always be tossed after four months.  Period.   

Clearly the PaO system isn't perfect, but it's cool that companies are trying, right?  At least most are off to a good start.  Still, it's important to familiarize yourself with traditionally accepted guidelines for makeup expiration.  Use your own judgement, and for goodness sake, if a product ever changes color, consistency, or smell, throw it out immediately!