Random Sunday: Thanks

Thanks to everyone for your kind words last week. I dropped by and couldn’t believe all the comments and well-wishes, especially considering how vague I was.  That meant a lot to me.  One of my kids got sick very quickly with potential diagnosis shifting, fortunately, from meningitis to flu.    I’m still waiting for the shoe to drop regarding the other kids, so I’m typing while nobody’s actively vomiting (TMI?) so there’ll be a proper perfume review on Monday. And can I mention how perfume helps keep me sane? Or marginally less insane? But you already knew that, didn’t you?

Today’s off topic tidbits:

Glass Nail Files.  I’m a nail polish newbie but I follow some of the np blogs a little, and they’re always raving about glass nail files.  I use an emery board and I thought, seriously, how much difference could a glass file make?   The answer is: a huge difference.  I got mine in some random beauty supply store, but Sephora has them, and it’s one of the best $8 investments I’ve made.   The fine side of an emery board can leave you with micro snags, especially if your nails are prone to splitting as mine are, but the glass file gives a perfect, smooth, shaped finish.  As I like to wear my nails a little longer in an oval I’m loving the control it gives me over the final shape and the flawless nail edge.  I also like that I can rinse the file off.  The only downside is I had to get used to the sensation — it’s the teeniest bit nails-on-the-blackboard, and how many of you got a shiver up your spine reading that?

More Red Lips, with a Twist.  Red lips were all over the fashion mags this spring — they look fresh and unexpected with lighter seasonal clothing.  For those of you who went for the red lip after our Red Lip Lovefest this winter, you can still work that look.  But I’ve had a duh! moment with my red lippie stash, when I was jonesing for a pretty spring pink:  if you put on some ChapStick or whatever, then dab a tiny bit of red on top of it, either using the lipstick itself (this takes a very light hand) or applied and smudged with your finger, it looks gorgeous.  A blotted down sheer red is softer and sexier than most of the pinks I own.  I usually slick some more ChapStick on top, or some gloss.  You’d be surprised how well it lasts.   My Dior in Rouge Premiere looks particularly lovely worn this way.

While I’m at it, here’s a link to my favorite ChapStick, that smells/tastes nice but subtle and is not waxy and has SPF30 (you know you’re supposed to be wearing sunscreen on your lips, right?  If you’ve ever burned your lips at the beach or sailing you know what I’m talking about.)  I have them all over the house, in the car, my purse, etc.

  • Wendi says:

    Yuck! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you; hopefully you can get them all back in soon and the schools won’t close! There are two districts near me that are shut down… =/

    So… In my search for my perfect red lippie I happened to pick up a cheapie drugstore tube that is AMAZING both as a sheer pink on top of ChapStick and as a great slightly blue-based red: NYC Sheer Red (with NYC Lip Liner Pencil in Red 957A, if you’re using it as a red lippie.) I like having drugstore backups to my favs in case I find myself on vacation somewhere and something has happened to my makeup bag (silly, I know.) The color looks darker in the tube than it is on the lips, but there’s nothing shy about this one! LOL 😉

  • Shelley says:

    Uff-da! I heard those words once after a soccer injury…with “it’s hard to walk”…scary. Glad it’s “just” the flu.

    Lip balms I am all over. Blistex, in addition to the one Joe mentioned, also makes some kind of “extreme” which comes in a metal looking tube. Roll on. Let me look…”lip infusion.” I love how hydrating this one is–and yes, “hydrating” from the outside is supposed to be a myth. But, as a flute player who is prone to chapped lips (especially in the winter) and a fair-skinned one who knows about the sun, this one actually helps reverse things when I feel them getting started. Well enough that I can play comfortably (and purposefully).

    Welcome back.

  • violetnoir says:

    Whew! Looks like you skirted the worst of it, babe. Still keeping you and the family in my thoughts for a complete and total recovery.

    I have a Nail Tek glass file that a lovely friend from Chi Town gave to me last year. I love it!

    Love you, too!

  • Francesca says:

    OMG, sorry to hear about Diva but glad she is doing better. Don’t know what I would do if I had little ones (and they’re always little ones to moms, aren’t they) to worry about.

    • March says:

      I am praying they’ll all be back in school tomorrow AND that they don’t close the county schools, which they are threatening to do if swine cuts loose…

  • Lavanya says:

    Glad Diva’s doing better!

    I am a nail polish newbie too (actually newer than a newbie..lol)..After reading some of the np blogs I’ve been thinking of getting a glass file(couldn’t find any at trandesign or head2toebeauty – will check at sephora)..but am verrry wary of the chalk on blackboard effect- cannot handle even the thought of that..eek!! Also, I need to let me nails grow atleast a little bit..The last time I removed my nail polish- I went ahead and cut my nails- I swear I was possessed..

    I usually buy my lip balms from etailers- I am becoming/have become (annoyingly) ingredient conscious and so these are among the only ones that I can buy without cringing..:)

    • March says:

      The last time I let the gal cut my nails for a mani she clipped them short and square, I was so irritated (and then embarrassed about how irritated I was.) Natalie above says we should file in one direction, which is what we’re supposed to be doing anyway I am pretty sure (not sawing back and forth.)

  • Natalie says:

    Sorry about the barf, but it sure as heck beats meningits — yikes, how scary even to contemplate.

    My current lip balm fave is Yes to Carrots. No SPF, alas, but it’s cheap and everywhere and comparable to Kiehls in its moisturizing properties. And the carrot flavor is actually kind of nice, believe it or not. However, I am one of those bizarros who likes the Blistex taste (the kind in the little pot, although the menthol supposedly dries out your lips) — a friend of mine used to call it “lip crack”!

    • Natalie says:

      Forgot to mention that I, too, am a glass file fan! I don’t get the nails-on-a-blackboard effect with mine, however, as long as I go in only one direction, toward the tip, and don’t saw back and forth.

    • March says:

      That menthol! People love that stuff. Lip crack indeed. It’s not my cup of tea, but then again I love the way Icy Hot smells, so what do I know? 😉

  • sweetlife says:

    So when are coming down to Texas to take *me* shopping, Louise? I see a consulting business in this for you — Lip Stylist to the Slightly Baffled.

    I hit the Lipstick Queen counter on my last trip to NYC and came home with Rose Sinner and Wine Sinner and, most importantly, the invisible liner, which has become my BFF. I use it all over my lip and then all my sheered out experiments STAY ON. Also playing with MAC Dubonnet and Grenadine. Apparently true reds are strange on me, but things that lean to wine and fuschia read as red, so it’s all good.

    • carter says:

      Did you try any of the Saints?

      • sweetlife says:

        No! I kind of got distracted by the Sinners… Plus I have to admit that I don’t quite see the point of glosses and sheers and such, since I can just dab on less of the high pigment stuff. Still, I sort of regretted it once Spring arrived in full glory. I’m definitely going to try them next time.

      • March says:

        I have Saint Red which ended up being kind of boring. Using a strong red and sheering it is a better color. Coral Sinner is a squidge too orange/brown on me but looks great with a slick of pink over it. Pink Sinner is lovely, a deep rich rose pink.

        I have to say, several months later I’m a little disappointed with the Sinners. They’ve developed textural issues. I know lipsticks go “off,” but not that quickly.

        My favorite Saint is Saint Natural, which I’d venture to guess is one of their top shades. Most of the LQ fans I know have one. It’s YLBB on me, only with a boost. Great color.

  • Melissa says:

    Glad everything is settling down with the kids. Scary symptoms and shifting diagnoses are a parent’s nightmare.

    Thanks for the tips on sheer reds. Louise tried to move me away from red last time we were out cavorting among the aisles of Sephora, but I didn’t budge. I don’t think I bought any more though. That time.

    I have been wearing glosses instead of big bold lippies, but I want more depth! Maybe I can create sheer depth? And have I told you about the Nouba lipstain I bought at Tak? Yikes! Talk about red!

    I am now back to wearing nail polish too, after years of abusing my hands in the garden. It’s either neglect my nails or the perennials. I think my nails are going to win the fight this year.

    • March says:

      Oh, I’d love to see the Nouba! I haven’t seen it, maybe next time we get together?

      Sure, try those lippies as a stain. Keep on rockin’ the red!

  • Gretchen says:

    Haven’t tried a glass file, but must put in a good word for diamond files as MUCH better than emery boards. I’ve been using “DiamonDebs” for years now. (When I did use emery boards, I had to keep a spare one on hand for my cat– as soon as he heard me scritching, he had to come over and start gnawing on an emery board himself).

  • kathleen says:

    Well, that’s good news (not the flu, the lack of meningitis). I had flu, myself, this week. Don usually brings me back something when he travels, this time it was flu. On the mend, and lost a couple of pounds. So, not all bad

    • March says:

      What a terrible thing to bring back to you! And my daughter was gloating over her weight loss (shudder.) I hope he gets you a nice consolation present too.

      • kathleen says:

        Turns out, whilst I’ll was upstairs puking, SA from Saks called to ask if I wanted to try the new Mitsouko, so he ordered it for me. Guilt is a wonderful thing

  • Louise says:

    I am so glad that Diva is on the mend and crossing all digits that the others fend it off. You’re a great mom 🙂

    I, too, have a nail file issue-I can only use the glass ones…no blackboard issues at all. The others…screech! I sometimes get a manicure just to avoid having to file my own nails, I hate it sooo much.

    Sheer reds are awesome. I have an old one from Stila that actually stays on a bit, and is moisturizing. For balm, I favor Blistex (the white tube) for exfoliation, then LipFusion for plumping. Works for me 😉

    • March says:

      Gawd, isn’t LipFusion amazing?!? I should devote an entire post to LipFusion, although IT’S AMAZING, BUY IT is really all I’ve got to say…. that sheer red (I think it’s called Sexy?) is gorgeous.

      Although they turn eventually, which annoys me for $40 or whatever they cost. I’ve tossed more than one.

      You know, you’re the one who got me started with the professional manis. And thinking about it, having someone ELSE file your nails feels so ooky, why is that, I wonder?

      • pavlova says:

        So glad your daughter is on the mend! And am sending good thoughts that the rest of the household stays healthy. Soooo….you are tempting me to try the LipFusion. I have always wanted to, but then decide it probably won’t work. I could most definitely use the plumping — how is it on the feathering/bleeding as that is an issue for me ?

        • March says:

          Thanks for your good thoughts.

          The LipFusion. Let’s see… I think their marketing angle is/was, instead of irritating the lips into plumpness with cinnamon oil or whatever most of them contain, LipFusion allegedly allowed microspheres of something to penetrate the lips. I’m no chemist and all of that is possibly pure b.s. It does tingle slightly when you put it on, and I have relatively full lips (as does Louise). But it certainly gives the *illusion* of a sexy pout whether it’s doing much else. I was introduced to the line via a 6-color mini set at Sephora a couple of years ago, and that was great because you could try different colors and they fit nicely in the purse. The colors are mostly sheerer than they look in the tubes, and I steer clear of the sparkle ones. I think the cherry-red one (which goes on translucent) is gorgeous, and I had a pinky-brown YLBB one for awhile I loved.

          They stay put on me — no feathering/bleeding. Remember if you buy it at Sephora and don’t like it, you can return it used no questions asked. I didn’t know that for the longest time!

          • carter says:

            The one I have is clear and is supposed to make your lips permanently plumper over time, so I keep it on my nightstand and slap it on twice a day and pray that they’re not lying to me. That is, I did until I dropped it and it rolled under the bed — I’d rather buy a new one than face up to what else is under there.

          • March says:

            Shudder. Better to buy a new one.

  • sara says:

    I’m so glad all is well! I like the Neutrogena lip balms. Affordable and nice range of colors.

  • Sweet Sue says:

    I’m very glad that your child is better and things are settling down a little bit.

    • March says:

      Thanks. Of course my husband left last Sunday, the day before she got sick. 🙂 His timing is extraordinary.

  • Connie says:

    So glad everyone is on the mend. Oh my God, I really feel for you regarding the vomiting … not the most pleasant thing in the world, especially when the gag reflex kicks in. (Shudder!)

    I’ve never tried the glass nail file either but most do so post haste nails-on-the-blackboard notwithstanding. Thank you! 🙂

    • March says:

      I just tried it again, and definitely that uncomfortable sensation of the file diminishes with exposure (I think I already said that above somewhere.) To me, the results are worth it.

      Knock wood, nobody’s fallen ill yet. And my 14YO missed a week of school but will likely go tomorrow, she’s much better.

  • Nava says:

    I’ve always thought the glass nail files were used on women who had tips/wraps/acrylic nails, etc. I’ve always been partial to those black emery boards with the spongy stuff in-between the sides. And those Diamancel foot files that Bliss started selling about a decade ago. They’re expensive, but the two I have still work like gangbusters.

    I’m skipping the red lipstick love-fest since I wholeheartedly believe there is not one shade of red lipstick/gloss/whatever that would ever work on me. However, lip balm has been a long-time obsession of mine. Right now, I’m loving Kiehls Coconut and my old standby is Labello/Nivea. The Nivea ones are now available here, and I believe they have an SPF 30 one, too.

    Glad to hear the kids are doing better. Hopefully the germs are contained. 🙂

    • Louise says:

      Hi Nava-I bet I could shop you into the “right” red…let’s make a mall date, K?

    • March says:

      Hah, I knew I’d lure you on here, lip balm fetishist that you are! 😉 And if anyone can find the right red for you, it’s Louise. Although frankly you just strike me as a neutral-lip gal, if you don’t mind my saying so. You have a really no-drama makeup style.

      • March says:

        PS I’ll have to try the Nivea, I love their lotions. Is it flavored/scented?

        • Nava says:

          Geez, I’ve gained quite a reputation as a lip balm fetishist! Let me remind you that it was a can’t-live-without proposition when I took Accutane 10 years ago. I think I’m the only person who ever managed to get to the bottom of a 1 oz. jar of Kiehls lip balm. And, halfway through a second jar in the span of only 6 months.

          I believe there are a couple of flavored/tinted Nivea balms; one being cherry with a red tint. 😀 The website smallflower.com (Merz Apothecary in Chicago) sells a bunch of Labellos that are not available anywhere else in the US. They’ve got strawberry, starfruit, passionfruit and a few others.

          Louise and Melissa, you are on. It will be quite the challenge to get me into a red lipstick. As March said, I am the no-drama makeup queen, and neutral lips are my standby. Consider yourselves challenged. 🙂

  • Alt godt says:

    I’ll definitely check out the glass file, my metals are kind of old and my nails sorely in need of some TLC due to intensive gardening.

    • March says:

      Then you need a file and some really good hand cream! Giggling, that’s something I’ll waste money on.

  • carter says:

    Flu definitely preferable to meningitis, but nothing to laugh about either. Hope you all squeek through with a minimum of vomitation, and yes, I can totally see how perfume can help to ease the psychic pain. That and gin.

    Sheered-out red is brilliant and great if you aren’t in the mood or dressed to go whole hog. I often do it the way you describe, but sans SPF, which is something I must change toot sweet. I also like Armani sheer lippies (the exact name of the line escapes me at the moment) because they aren’t too shiny or gloppy and the dark red shade I have is very flattering.

    Must try the file. It’s like shoes — just buck up and ignore the pain (or in this case, the heebie-jeebies) because it’s so worth it. My current nail obsession is flat matte polish for toes. I had a lemming for one in pepto pink, but at $22 wasn’t chomping at the bit, and then discovered that you can buy matte topcoat and use it to flatten the shine of any color you like for much less cash. It’s a trend that has come and gone and will again, but there’s something about the look that has a way of making regular polish outdated to my eyes and I’m definitely going to jump on the bandwagon with it this go-round.

    • March says:

      I’m afraid of saying anything, but so far so good. Swine flu will be tearing through here shortly — it’s already in our schools, and I know a bunch of those kids went to Mexico over spring break. It’s only a matter of time. But flu is flu, I’m a little baffled by the hysteria. Yep, sure beats meningitis, though. “mom I can’t move my neck” are not words any parent wants to hear.

      Hey, look it up sometime and tell me which Armani dark you’re using. I feel like I still haven’t found the right dark lippie, they all look too Vampirella on me. But maybe sheer would work? Maybe it’s my actual lip color, too dark?

      • March says:

        PS I love matte polish, and I remember buying a mattifier the last go-round (20 years ago?) And you’re right, it looks great on toes.

        • Louise says:

          Oh, yeah, I am digging the matte KO (Knock-out) polishes-trying to decide color, or whether to just get that topcoat. Go Carter!

          • carter says:

            Me too, Louise. I think I’m going to get the pink KO one and then also buy a $5 bottle of matte topcoat to ‘speriment with 😉

      • carter says:

        March–the Armani color I have is so old it’s been discontinued, and GA has the most annoying policy of using numbers instead of color names so it’s hard to know what’s what, but in perusing the website it looks to me like #21, which is described as *bordeaux*, might be the closest shade. These are very sheer lippies (but not so sheer that you don’t have distinct color) so don’t be afraid of the very dark swatches. I may give #6, which is just *red*, a try too.

  • Joe says:

    Also happy to hear everyone’s “ok”, more or less (isn’t it something when you think of a “mere” flu diagnosis as a good thing??!). Best of luck to you there in the infirmary. Eek.

    On the topic of lip balms, I don’t dig the ChapStick brand much at all anymore, but my tip to you and other lip-balm-connoisseurs is Blistex Herbal Answer (only SPF 15). All kinds of good oils in there, but I’ve been in love with the smell for years — don’t let the Blistex brand put you off, it’s the only one of theirs I like at all. I can hardly find it in regular stores anymore and have taken to ordering it online. Only balm I’ve liked more is Aveda LipSaver, but 3x the price doesn’t thrill me for something that seems to get lost more easily than socks in a clothesdryer.

    • March says:

      Hey, I’m always looking for people’s lip balm recommendations! I’ve not tried that Blistex, and finding ones that smell good is nice. People have such personal tastes in lip balm — I’ve never understood the appeal of Carmex. I guess it’s like perfume, eh? 😉

  • Musette says:

    So glad to know everybody’s on the mend! Re glass nail files, they ook me out but my nails are so fragile that I simply have to use them. So I grit my teeth and git ‘er done!


    • March says:

      Ugh, that sensation is horrible, isn’t it? Although it’s bothering me less over time. I had the same sort of amusing reaction when I started using an electric toothbrush — using it along my upper gumline gave me the shivers. Weird, huh?

      • Musette says:

        Nope. Me, too! In fact, I tend to just brush extra-carefully with a manual brush because the battery ones drive me nuts and make my nose all zingy!


  • Elizabeth says:

    Oops, I just realized I assumed it was your son, instead of a daughter. 😛

    • March says:

      Well, my son would be a good guess, but in this case it was Diva, the never-gets-sick eldest daughter.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I had no idea your son was sick, but I am so happy he’s going to be okay. ((P))Thanks for the red lipstick tip!