Random Beauty

Latisse update – I’ve been lining my upper and lower lash line with Latisse for two months now; maximum results expected at 16 weeks.  A week ago, even, I’d have said “not worth it” but my opinion’s changed.  I think people with a lot of short, stubby lashes would get the best result, because it clearly lengthens the growth cycle of the lashes.  For folks like me with longer, sparse lashes, results are less clear.  My lashes are longer, but I want more of them, and I want them to be thicker.  Having said that, my lower lash line is definitely less bald-ish,  I could have counted my lower lashes easily and quickly at the start of this – I had literally six lashes on the outer half of my lower right eye.  There are more lashlets there now, and I’m hoping they get thicker, but they’re starting to at least resemble normal.  BTW they’re charging $140 for Latisse at the dermatologist office, but if you can scam a prescription for Lumigan from your friendly GP it’s the same stuff from Allergan in the same bottle for 1/3 the price.  I use my own lash brush, and I’m doing my lower lash line against their instructions.  What else would you expect from someone who wears room spray on her skin?

sephora-mermaid-2Face/mineral powder foundation. Louise and I both ponied up for the Lancome mineral foundation powders – I got the starter kit with the brush, and Louise got just the powder.  I think she hooked Melissa up with some too.  The finish is amazing.  It does get a little shiny on me, so after some experimentation with various setting powders I went with the Laura Mercier Translucent ($34 from Sephora) simply because I put it on and had one of those oh my god moments – I have pore-magnification issues if foundations/powders sit wrong, and the Mercier is flawless.  It’s super fine milled. It does lighten the color of my face a little, which for me was a good thing, as my face is slightly darker than my neck and that can look weird.  I also got the Mercier velour puff and am experimenting with her recommended press-and-roll application, which looks great on my cheeks and forehead but is hard to do around my nose.

sephora-mermaidWhile I was at Sephora I tried the new Sephora/OPI Mermaid in the Shade nail polish collection.  I’ve included two pics so you can see the colors. Three of them (the two silvers and the very light blue) are similar on the nail – sheer micro-shimmers, if I’ve got my terminology right.  A fun, fresh look but you only need one, if you don’t have something like it already; I’d pick Just a Fairy-Tail, an iridescent shimmer that simply isn’t done justice by these photos.  The cornflower-blue is sheer and kind of meh IMO, I’m not putting on enough coats (four?) to make it interesting.  The alleged star of the show – that dense, gorgeous metallic green – I was underwhelmed by, to be honest; I can’t escape the hunch that we all owned something like this from Milani or Wet n’ Wild in our past.   It looks prettier in the bottle than on my hand, but maybe I’d like it better on my toes.  For me the winner was Blue Grotto — the only matte color, an opaque mid-darkish-blue that doesn’t go vampy, and in my world you can’t have too many matte opaque blues.  I know some of you feel the same way.

  • Savannah Smith says:

    WOW!! Latisse is expensive! I have used Revitalash for about 5 months now and have longer, curlier lashes. It took 8-9 weeks to see a noticable difference. It was definitely cheaper than Latisse. So—why would anyone use Latisse when they can get the same results (in the same amount of time) for less $$$? It just doesn’t make sense…

    • March says:

      Well, things were a little sketchy with Revitalash, which I also used for awhile. It was pulled from the market because they were using the same chemical in Latisse, but hadn’t gotten it approved by the FDA. (Another way to say that: Allergan, which owns the patent on the drug, sicced the FDA on them.) So Revitalash got in trouble because it actually *worked.* But after the revamping, reviews were mixed online and the company wouldn’t say what, if anything, was in there to replace the drug. Also, at least everywhere I looked besides eBay, the prices were the same — I think old Revitalash was $130 – $140 a tube. Maybe it’s cheaper now?

  • BBJ says:

    Can someone of you ladies give me some info on how you balance all the gunk one wants to be on one’s skin?

    I can see in my mid-thirties that the sun is getting to me, and I promised my mother I’d wear proper sunblock.

    I want to go out wearing moisturizer, because my skin is beginning to need it.

    I like to have a layer of sheer-sheer foundation if I’m at work, or otherwise looking classy.

    And I keep getting little spritches of Smashbox primer on my hands, and thinking DAMN that’s nice.

    The problem is that the sunblock and the moisturizer seem to have different goals, and all the dimestore moisturizers come in no higher than 15 SPF. The moisturizer and/or sunblock eats the foundation. And I have NO idea where the hell the primer is supposed to go in all of this gunk.

    What do people do? How do I sort all this out without ending up wearing five layers on my face, all fighting with each other?

    • March says:

      We had this discussion, sort of (?!) under my mineral foundation post on April 18, search for mineral makeup. Bonus hot pic of Beckham in his tidy whities.

      Technically, I suppose you can layer as much crap as you want on your face, but in reality it just doesn’t work that way. And you’re right, trying to get, say, primer and/or foundation to sit on top of a sunblock can be really tough.

      I can only speak for me; I am fair, and sun averse, and I wear SPF year round. So mostly I skip the primer and wear Anthelios or Neutrogena at least SPF30 (usually higher) on my face, and I put Make Up Forever on top. This works on *me,* not necessarily on anyone else. I honestly believe that if you are going to be serious about sunblock, the amount of block you’ll obtain from a foundation with SPF just isn’t going to do it, because you don’t put enough on — including the mineral foundations. Again, my opinion — but we have a family history of skin cancer, my concerns are more than cosmetic.

      I’m now using the Lancome powder mineral foundation on top of my sunscreen. Works okay.

  • carter says:

    I have my share of fine lines, but my basic problem is little flakies. I have them only on the left side of my face (go figure) and they are on my eyelid and under my eye right at the top corner and edge of my cheekbone. They drive me crazy, because I can use anything I want everywhere else, but have to pick a foundation for my entire face based on that one area. I don’t know that much about minerals, simply because I have always assumed that they would never fly on the flakies. On the other hand, I can’t stand anything that isn’t sheer, but tinted moisturizer is too sheer. I use Longo now, but I’m lemming for the Serge Lutens. I just loathe the Barney’s experience, so I’m procrastinating about getting my tuchus over there so that the SAs can mock it behind their hands. No, I’m not paranoid — I have a friend who is a ballerina in her *real* life and at one time worked at Barney’s part time. Wow, the merciless stories! If evil exists, it exists at Barney’s in Manhattan.

    • March says:

      Barneys is where they put that Calamine pink foundation on Patty and tried to convince us what a great color it was. Whatever those people are smoking, I want some.

      Have you experimented with any topicals? I am the queen of topicals. A glycolic cream or gel might help with the flakies. I use that and Tazorac (a variation on Retin-A.)

  • Leslie says:

    In an earlier post, someone mentioned Silk Naturals; that’s the one I’m experimenting with now. You mix it yourself, which can be a mixed blessing, but overall, I think I really like it. Of course, we’re having a prolonged wet and cool spring, so I have no clue how this will work out when the temps shoot up about 30 degrees overnight. I was SO tempted by the Lancome (is pretty!), but it turns out to have bismuth, which, for me, seems to be flirting with itchy, flaky disaster. (But it’s so pretty!)

    Now, the polishes. Wow; I’m thinking that my skin tone would just not work with these colors. But, irrationally…LEMMING! So much fun, and I suppose I can look the other way when my daughter snags them if/when it doesn’t work out.

    • March says:

      Four of them are really, really sheer, so it’s more about the shine than the color. And the green is a perfect color for cooler skin tones, I think — but I also think I’m about 20 years too old for it! And that’s what the teenagers are for, they always appreciate it…

  • erin says:

    The only powder mineral foundation I’ve ever tried is the Bare Escentuals stuff–a 29 year old friend of mine raved about it and applied it for me a few months ago–but when I got it on it settled into very fine lines that I didn’t even know I had! I was surprised because I don’t have many obvious wrinkles. And yet I looked all kabuki and aged. So is the idea here that the Lancome powder is so fine it doesn’t do this? Or perhaps my skin is just too far gone for powders at this point? I think a number of you here are about the same age as me, so I’m curious as to your experience with this. Also, what happens when you’re in the heat? I noticed that our constant Florida humidity made the problem worse. Could this be something best worn by those in cooler climates?

    Tangentially, if anyone has any idea for a foundation that gives a little coverage and evens you out in hot weather (without melting into a beige puddle around your neck), I’d be thrilled to hear about it

    • Musette says:

      Oooh! I di! I do!

      But it’s not a foundation. I use Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer in the extreme heat/humidity. It works like a charm. I am old(er) so I have plenty o’ line, plus a bunch of little moles that will have to be lasered off – the moisturizer doesn’t attempt to cover the moles (which are around my lower eyelids, so ewww), which is great. NOthing says ‘what the hell?’ like covered moles.

      For a more finished look (like for evening or a bigtime meeting) I dust on a miniscule amount of silica powder (MUF Hi-Def has it for about $38 – you can get the exact same thing for $8 @ coastal scents). I use either a wide kabuki brush with all the powder shaken off or else I use a velour puff (ditto on the ‘all the powder taken off)


      • erin says:

        See, that’s why I stop off here–you get perfume poetry AND practical advice. I’ll check out MUA and Mercier…

        “nothing says what the hell like covered moles…” Hee hee hee. I’m quoting that every chance I get.

      • carter says:

        I have age spots on lids! One on my upper lid and one on my lower, right on the inside corner. It’s the weirdest looking thing and I just hate, hate, hate it to pieces. There’s nothing I can do about it though, so I attempt stoicism, but you can probably tell that I am failing miserably.

    • March says:

      I’m hardly the mineral-powder foundation expert — I got started on this because it’s so humid here in the summer in DC, and I wanted to try a powder because the concept seems right. So I tried several different powders, and the Lancome was one that didn’t magnify pores and wrinkles (BE stuff looks ghastly on me.)

      I did a couple regular foundation posts on here, if you search I assume they’ll show up. I think it comes down to the best foundation for *you*, which involves a lot of experimenting. I had a really hard time getting a tonal match. I think the other key factor is whether you need something moist or oil-controlling; that makes a huge difference in the wear.

      You could probably find someone to rave about any foundation; have you read reviews at MUA? The nice thing about that is you get a sense of what works on various skin types.

      In general: people love the Armani Silk. I love Make Up Forever Face and Body; many people like Musette rave over Hi-Def. For a good color match you can try Prescriptives.

  • Melissa says:

    I think it was on this very site that I declared my resistance to mineral foundations, ummm, a month or two ago? Well, slap me with a foundation brush, but I was oh, so wrong. Louise skillfully steered me toward the Lancome counter where we discovered that I have a perfect color match in just one shade! I haven’t purchased it yet, but based on past history, it won’t be long.

    And speaking of evil influences, I’m sure that I will be showing up for all sorts of work-related meetings wearing peacock-colored shades on my nails soon. Looking forward to the puzzled glances.

    • March says:

      I know, I know — Louise and I played with these for awhile, and amusingly enough we ended up kind of mixing the same 2 or 3 colors, just in different proportions, because I’m so much pinker.

      Everyone will admire your peacock nails!

  • Louise says:

    I’m still skeered of the lash-grower, but when I finally see your lashes brushing your cheeks, I’ll probably give it a try.

    The Lancome mineral foundation is wonderful, no? The problem for me has been getting a good color match-I ended up with a starter kit and a jar of lighter powder, and I’m mixing them, to nice effect. I’ll have to try the Mercier finishing powder, though-I don’t care much for the Lancome topper that comes in the kit.

    Those $OPIs do look kinda ordinary. My new np crush is all about the matte-I got the KO pink and the topcoat. Best discovery so far-a too bright yellow (oxymoron?) topped with the matte topcoat turns out a very wearable creamy matte yellow, very cool. I hear that Orly has a cheaper matte topcoat, and that NailTek II works well as well for matte-ing.

    • March says:

      The Lancome finishing powder is just okay — it’s a little pink, and it doesn’t do much about shine.

      Oh, I want to try that yellow! Remember how I said I was looking for a yellow that was kind of soft? I think something like a butter yellow would be amazing.

    • carter says:

      I’ve got the KO pink, but I didn’t buy their topcoat and got the Orly instead. Not good! It isn’t all that matte, and it ruins your mani or, in my case, pedi. I was quite P.O.’ed lemme tell ya! Love the polish, though. Love it! Too old for it, but f**k it and the horse it rode in on. What’s the word on the KO topcoat? Rumor has it that Maybelline used to make a great flat topcoat but it’s as rare as hens teeth, even on the bay.

      • carter says:

        Oh, and one other thing — you must have purrfect nails for these matte polishes. I kicked a piece of cast iron patio furniture last fall and have a ridge the size of a buick across my big toenail that still hasn’t grown out and ain’t so pretty in flat pink.

      • Louise says:

        Ima using the KO topcoat…it is great, but ya need to let the underpolish dry very well before applying. We’ll see how it wears. I refuse to believe that the matter look (or anything else) is too young for me 😉

        • carter says:

          Well damn. Now I’m gonna have to fork over $22 for the topcoat, too. I could try the Nail Tek, but I’ll probably just bite the bullet and get the one that works. I’m not loving the enormous brush on the KO, but I adore the polish.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    March, I love your sparsely lashed self.
    Although, next to me, I’m sure that you’re Liza Minelli in her ”
    Cabaret” prime.