THE BLOG

20
Aug

Three fantastic long-last glowy foundations.

Remember the days when I used to talk about silk pillowcases? Seems like an eternity ago. Anyway, on that pillowcase post there was an interesting query by a fruit named Amy, who said:

“I was hoping you might have some product suggestions for foundations that suit long day wear, wedding occasions. I was hoping to go for the glowy look!”

To which I obviously in my head yelped, OF COURSE I DO YOU GORGEOUS DUNCE! Here are three long lasting liquid foundations, right here, right now, as Jesus Jones once famously sang.

The radiant, nourishing one: Lancome’s Teint Visionnaire, $65

LancomeTeintVisionnaire

This is a liquid foundation with skincare benefits that was created for a “mature” skin, which means it will be a bit richer, a bit thicker, and real good at smoothing out your lines and reducing the look of pores and uneven skin tone. And, it gives a radiant, non-matte finish. I don’t think at 33 I quite qualify for mature skin, but I will tell you that this is my foundation of choice because I have thirsty, dry, dehydrated skin, and it can take the richness of the formula, and I very much enjoy the full coverage and the glowy – but not shiny – finish, which lasts beautifully. It comes with concealer in the lid, which is undoubtably handy, but I find it too sheer for my undereye circles. It’s better for around the schnoz, lips and on the eyelids. I find a touch of powder down the T-zone sets it perfectly. Tip: Use primer underneath and a touch of powder on the T-zone to set. Don’t eat for breakfast.

 

The natural-looking one: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation $68

NARS-Sheer-Glow

 

Possibly a better choice for those who prefer a lighter, more ‘skin-like’ finish, this makeup artist’s fave gives a more natural-medium coverage finish, but since it’s easily buildable, you can layer for more coverage that still looks and feels light and glowing. No powder is required to set this stay-put foundation, in my opinion, but I’m not a shiny dolly, so it may differ for others. Lack of pump can be a bit annoying/messy – but you can buy them internationally online. Tip: Use primer underneath for the best results. Don’t apply to elbows.

 

The all-in-one with a matte finish: Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation, $19.95

CoverGirl Outlast


Definitely the pick for those with oily or combination skin, this primer, foundation and concealer in one (translation: it stays put, and is high coverage, therefore able to act as a concealer on uneven skin tone/pigmentation/redness, dark cricles etc) is remarkable in its lightweight texture/high pay off. In other words, you don’t feel like you’re slapping on a layer of stage paint, but get excellent all-over coverage that doesn’t move for many hours. The finish is definitely on the matte side, so avoid if you have dry or lined skin, as they may be exacerbated, and you will look older than you are, which seems unfair. Tip: No primer or powder required. Finish off with a luminous highlighter for glow. Don’t use as deodorant.

 

Responses to this drivel: 56 Comments
13
Aug

Nail art is dead! All hail nude nails. Here’s how, and which shade is right for you.

Nail art was never going to last, we all knew that.

Oh COME ON, how many pictures of scrunched up claw hands with ombre polish or newspaper prints or American flags or godamn Nintendo characters must we be reduced to on Instagram before we decide enough is enough? Yeah I’ve done it, shoosh. But I don’t do it anymore. It’s not special or exciting or unique if we’re all doing is doing it, is it?  This is an industry of swift trends and what’s fun and enchanting this minute almost definitely won’t be in five minutes time. Just ask anyone who swore by at home micro-dermabrasion kits back in 2006. (“Me.”)

Watermelon nail art

Stop! No more!  Eat watermelons, don’t paint them on your nails.

Even if nail art hasn’t been officially called, then pass me my official calling skivvy and allow me to don my Calling It cap, for I am calling it. Let’s all cool it with the palm trees and pineapples and glitter tips for a bit.

I’m not entirely making this all up – a recent article in WWD compared nail polish’s meteoric rise back in the “recession” days of 2011, when sales went up 67% for high-end polish brands, and 35.7% for pharmacy brands, to what they are sitting at now, two years later, at 19% a piece. Which, yes, is still pretty good growth, but the boom-boom for polish has definitely gone.

Could be because there are so many brands on the (DIY nail art especially) nail polish bandwagon now, and competition is tough.

Could be a sign that the economy is back on its feet (nail polish, like lipstick sales always increase when there is an economic downturn).

Could be a sign that we are all just really into gel manicures and pedicures now, and traditional nail polish, with all that smudging and chipping, won’t cut it.

Could just be because like most trends, and therefore proving the very definition of the word, this trend is now over and a new one is about to rise.

IF I may be so bold, I would like to suggest that this new “trend” is for a complete and polar opposite to everything nail art is, which is to say, beautiful simple, nude, natural nails. I use “these” around the word “trend” because nude, natural nails are always in. Always.

eva_mendes_Nails

Daaaamn. Eva Mendes knows how to give good nude nail.

Whether that’s just a lovely nude, natural shade of polish (more on those in a moment) or gel (I use OPI Bubble Bath or CND Romantique) or just healthy polish free nails that are beautifully buffed, neat and shiny, there is something clean and fresh, and refreshing about simple, chic plain nails after a few years of so much colour and movement.

I’m quite partial to a coat of clear and some white pencil under the tip of the nail, you know, like we used to all do back before reality TV shows made the French manicure so incredibly tacky.

HOW TO BE GOOD AT NUDE NAILS

1. Make sure your nails are short, neat and naturally shaped. Naturally shaped, for the record, is usually the most flattering shape for your fingers, because it mirrors the way your cuticle sits at the bottom edge of the nail.

2. Choose the right nude/natural for your skin tone. Think of your nude polish as you would foundation, it has to match your skin tone. Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez might both be wearing “nude” polish but oh MY, will the shades they wear differ.

Basically, do your hands look better or worse with that nude polish? If your nude polish makes your hands look dead or sick, or chalky and cold, or dirty, or yellow, or red and raw, or your cuticle is really standing out, then you have chosen the wrong shade. If your hands look lovely, clean and neat, well, you’ve nailed it. Oh, well done Fosters.

Also, there are sheer and opaque nudes, the more sheer you go, the more truly natural you will look, but if you get the perfect shade, opaque can look just as delightful. One coat of sheer with one coat of opaque can give a lovely finish – don’t be bound to one polish per mani.

FAIR /COOL SKIN TONES

Generally you should probably head towards soft, creamy, mauve-based ballet pinks. Try: L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail in How Romantic, Essie in Brooch The Subject or Allure, Deborah Lipmann in Tiny Dancer, Sally Hansen Complete Manicure in Shell We Dance.

ShellWeDance HowRomantic

WARM SKIN TONES / OLIVE

Something with a hint of peach or beige will be most flattering on us birds. Try: OPI Samoan Sand (my favourite), Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Royal Blush, Chanel Beige, Revlon Colorstay Longwear Enamel in Sandy Nude, Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Nudite (It’s worth checking out the collection, French Nudes, this is from as there is a nude for every skin tone, ready-made, all done, bing bam zap.)

 estee-lauder-nudite samoansand

 

TAN TO DARK SKIN TONES

Try coffee-coloured hues of nude and tan. Try:  OPI Tickle My Francey, Laura Mercier Lacquer in Bare Mocha, Essie Sand of a Beach, Chanel Inattendu, Dior Vernis in Nude Chic or Butter London in Tea and Toast.

 

Chanel_inattendu ButterLondonTeaAndToast

3. Maintain with top coat every second day to keep up the shine and prolong the life of your mani. I love Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine. Oh, and definitely steer clear of matte finishes. A high-shine finish ensures your nail stands out and looks healthy, even if the colour is extremely subtle.

4. Consider the toes. I was always a bright orange pedicure bird until a few years ago when I went soft sheer pink while on holiday in Greece. Felt better with my slight tan and leather sandals for some reason. More chic. Cleaner. More elegant. Toes are ugly enough without adding harsh colour, I realised, and I never looked back. Try it and see. But make sure you get the right nude for your skin tone – like I said, toes are ugly enough, they don’t need much assistance to look even more unattractive. But the perfect nude shade to complement your skin, and a neat, short shape – splendid.

Did I forget your favourite nude?

Was it this guy?

Naked-Cosmopolitan-UK-Naked-Centrefold-Defined-Muscles-What-Do-You-Think

Sorry, you know what I mean. Pop your most loved nude polish in comments below with your skin tone and share your wisdom!

Responses to this drivel: 38 Comments
08
Aug

A few wild new products.

I’ve just called this mascara in from Avon for one reason, which I think will become evident when you see this clip.

That’s right: because it makes me giggle.

No, no, I mean because I am curious regarding the design. I’m all for innovation, and that brush might just be the best thing any of us ever apply mascara with, so let us not judge until we have wonder painted, yeah? I’ll let you know how it goes.

Another product that intrigues me but which certainly sped past intrigue right into necessity for a lot of you, is Nanoblur, $30, which has been the number one selling product in Priceline since launch in January.

Nanoblur

Nanoblur claims to make “people look 10 years younger in 40 seconds,” which I think would be fascinating to see on an 11-year old. Essentially it ‘blurs’ lines and wrinkles, you see, using, light reflective particles. A bit of soft-focus in a tube, if you will. It feels and looks like a primer, and as if proving it’s not skin care, but an optical illusion product (for those liable to be confused) you use it after your makeup, and dab it onto crow’s feet, marionette lines, the forehead, etc. To be crude, it’s cosmetic Spakfilla.  There have been a few of these come out over the years, L’Oreal and Clarins both did similar products, but none have sold so phenomenally as this.

I’ve given it a few goes, but not enough to honestly say I’ve trialled it thoroughly. I softly dab it on to my smile lines with my middle finger, which I find always crease within about an hour of makeup being applied, especially if my skin is tired or thirsty, or just being, yknow, “old.”

The lines seem a little less obvious but the best part is that unlike the oils and balms I tend to use for this issue usually, Nanoblur won’t make your makeup move and slip. In that sense, you can pretty much use it in place of sheer finishing powder to take away shine, mattify, reduce imperfections, and make your makeup stay in place, which is important if you get shine or your skin eats your makeup like mine does….

It’s a kind of finishing primer, if you will. I am considering mixing a little in with my foundation next for an all-over blur. Why not! Why not indeed.

Have you tried Nanoblur? What did you think? Also, I love your hair like that.

Responses to this drivel: 22 Comments
01
Aug

Making an Effort: Bronzey Lids and Melon Lips

Ugh, I know. There are so many ridiculous “beauty blogger” words in that title.

But! I assure you, this Making an Effort is actually very simple to do.

Making an Effort, by the way, is something I just made up that is not dissimilar to my original fruitybeauty concept of Make an Effort Monday, except this one is way more wild because it might be on a Tuesday or even a Friday. I know! The new fruitybeauty is so outrageous. She probably parks in loading zones. Point is, sometimes we just gotta make an effort. Easy to become lazy and neglect all those delicious eye shadows and lipsticks we own. I do. Gary Pepper Girl would want it this way.

Here’s my MAE look, taken at the prestigious Zoe’s Car Studios. I like metallic eyes with girly pink lips. It balances it out, adds some softness. Bronzed eyelids with red lips are also pretty high up my favourite looks.

Bronzey Lids Melon Lips

 

THE BASE

Apply primer. It will make your skin look great. I used the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, (fork out the $95 at DJs Elizabeth St and Bourke St) which is fucking incredible, if I may be so vulgar. It’s illuminating and skin-tone-evening, has some sunscreen and makes your skin look like you had a facial yesterday.

I compounded this glow by applying with my fingers the outstanding and much hyped Lancôme Teint Visionnaire liquid foundation, which deserves its own post, and may just get one. It’s designed for mature skin, (code for: will give radiance and glow and fill in lines, hence my favourite kind of foundation) and as such, gives my skin a rude shade of health. If I’m not wearing a lot of colour on eyes and lids I use BB or CC cream, but for this look I wanted a full and even base of foundation.

LancomeTeintVisionnaire


THE EYES

A quick swipe of cream bronzer over the lid, blending out just up and over the crease line, as is customary if I harbour any hope for my eye makeup to stay in place. I used Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Bronze which is a lovely sheer bronzey colour and terrific for green eyes.

Bobbi Brown Beach BronzeBeccaJacquard

I followed on with Becca’s Eye Colour (Shimmer) in Jacquard, pressing it in lightly with my fluffy shadow brush just up until the crease. Then, black liner along the lash line to define. (I blended a more little shadow over the line so it wasn’t so sharp or obvious.) And then mascara. My regular tubular gear, Clinique Lash Power, probably.

THE BROWS

Filled them in (almost, anyone else see the gap atop my brow?!) Ahhh, what fun) with the Bobbi Brown brow kit, which is to say, a thin, stiff brush, and a brown brow powder. (Eye shadow works perfectly well, too.)

THE CHEEKS

Not too much here. Don’t want to compete. Just a very soft swipe of the wonderfully illuminating St Stropez Bronzing Rocks, currently my favourite and most loved bronzer due to its ability to, well, NOT look like bronzer. It’s not for those who don’t like shimmer, (even though I find it sinks seamlessly into the skin and isn’t so much shimmer as ‘gleam’) but it is for those who don’t like a matte, muddy bronzed look, and who are capable of a light handed touch.

I take it, using a fluffy blush brush, along the top of my cheekbones and around like a boomerang along the top of my brows, and then super lightly blend into my hair line on the right and left sides of my head. I finished with a touch of Benefit Coralista blush on the fleshiest parts of my cheek.

Picture 9903

 

THE LIPS

An oldie but a goodie – Laura Mercier Lip Color in Tangerine Cream. Loved this shade for about a decade now. A gorgeous pinky-melon-coral that brightens the face, whitens the eyes and teeth, and suits A LOT of skin tones. It does! It really does.

lauramercierTangerine

 THE NECKLACE

Since someone with terrific taste in fake jewels is bound to ask, is ZARA.

 

Responses to this drivel: 17 Comments
30
Jul

Sleep in your makeup? Ruin your skin and look older, faster.

What could be better than being lectured at as you innocently read a blog?! Most things, I’d say, especially banoffee pie.

But for once this isn’t just me being bossy: The Daily Mail (yes, yes, I know, everyone’s font for authentic, intelligent journalism) did a study on wearing makeup to bed, and while admittedly, the poor dame subjected to the test didn’t cleanse at night for a whole month, and you might only do it once a week or so, you are still doing your skin damage.

Here she is, poor lamb. Before and after.

fml-anna pursglove 'after surgery eyebrow'-15.jpgslept in make up for a month

The findings were that not cleaning your face properly at night not only caused havoc with your skin, but it ages the skin.

If you don’t cleanse your skin at night – and I’m talking even the fastest in-shower foam and rinse – you may just be the lucky beneficiary of:

Larger, dirtier and more visible pores that may irreversibly stretch

Redness leading to rosacea

Deeper lines and wrinkles

Acute dryness

Irritated, puffy eyes

Brittle, shitty lashes that fall out

Not to mention feeling self-conscious when you read posts like this.

Bottom line is, and I know you’ve heard this before, but perhaps you’re still not listening because you have earphones in or something: You have to cleanse your skin at night.

I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to clean your face at the end of the day.  ESPECIALLY if you’ve been wearing a shittonne of makeup or even just sunscreen, or face cream. (It’s not just the products you need to remove, but dirt and grime from, you know, the world.)  If you don’t remove it properly each night, you’re building onto it again the next morning, and as this case study shows, the skin enjoys that about as much as a swift kick.

Even in your drunkest moments, use a facial wipe (keep them in your bedside drawer for just these occasions), or if you’re stuck at a “friend’s” place (WINK WINK) use his stuff, or even just wipe olive oil from the kitchen over the face with some tissues or toilet paper. Yes, that actually works.

Sure, you can do it a few times with no real consequence, but if you’re doing it more than say, ten nights a month, and this study suggests that a lot of women are, well, that’s enough to have a long term effect. Also, all those expensive and impressive serums and creams you’re using can’t do their job if your skin isn’t a clean slate to begin. Loading them on top of yesterday’s layers is an atrocious idea but a wonderful gift to any pores that were hoping to produce a pimple that day.

I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever done it, but that’s just the cute anal retentive babe I am.

What I cleanse with at night: On a normal day, when I just wear some daily moisturiser with SPF and BB cream I use  a cream cleanser in the shower. Massage on, rinse off. When I’ve been wearing full makeup, I first use a cleansing oil on dry skin, then I follow on with regular cleanser in the shower or over the sink. And three times a week I use an AHA exfoliating cleansing gel to really clean all that product I wear off.

In the morning: I quickly rinse with some Cetaphil and water to remove all the night creams and serums.

Are you guilty of this?

Will you now finally change your ways?

Isn’t it awesome fun when I yell-write at you?

 

Responses to this drivel: 58 Comments
24
Jul

Just some lovely new products.

That’s all.

Nothing to be scared about.

Here we go.

A LARGE, USEFUL SIZED BOTTLE OF WHAT MIGHT BE THE WORLD’S FINEST MAKEUP REMOVER SLASH CLEANSER.

Bioderma Crealine 500ml

I concede it is not a new product, actually, but a new size of a product (twice the usual 250ml) that we already all love, and is, ‘ow you say, magnifique. I’ve written about it before, and so has every person who has ever:

Been into a French pharmacy and bought some because they read about it on a blog or in a magazine
Been French and just known about it since birth, thank you very much
Been on a photographic shoot and had their makeup removed for a new look with this gentle, soft, powerful cleansing water
Been a model or a makeup artist or celebrity, because they go mad for this shit.

It can easily qualify as your night time cleanser, so thoroughly and wonderfully does it remove makeup and grime, but I prefer to use it as a makeup remover, then cleanse when I get in the shower again (for the heavier stuff like sunscreen and primers etc.)

(It’s a limited edition, this 500ml, and will be available via Adore beauty and Priceline and selected stockists just before Christmas. Buy regular-sized Bioderma Crealine st these places right now, this second.)

A HYDRATING MIST THAT SMELLS LIKE A COUNTRY ROSE GARDEN, AND QUENCHES YOUR DESIRE TO HELP WOMEN.

Jurlique Rosewater Intense

Mists are underrated. They are far more than just nice smelling water, they can tone, calm, soothe and depending on the formula, even brighten or firm or exfoliate. I apply a few mists before I apply makeup to ensure the face is happy and hydrated, and then often when it is complete, a few more to set it, and add just that touch of glow. Also, I keep one on my desk for squirts through the day. They smell good. Make me relaxed. Do nice, moisturising things to my computer face.

Jurlique’s new limited edition Rosewater Balancing Mist Intense, $69 is probably good looking enough and scented so deliciously that it need not incorporate a charity angle, but guess what, it bloody well does. Jurlique have an umbrella charity called the Ideas of Beauty Fund, which exists to support and empower women all over the world. This particular product sees them contributing a portion of each sale of this mist to AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience), which helps Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders complete high school at the same rate as all Australians, and more specifically, to help 500 young women become mentors for the program, which is obviously terrific. Also, it smells great. Which I think I mentioned. (And rose is the new gardenia, fragrance wise.)

A CHEAP, LONG-LASTING EYE LINER IN A TRENDY COLOUR.

CoverGirl LiquilineBlast

In scary news for some, exciting news for others, blue, aqua and green eye makeup is trendy again. I blame/attribute this to Pantone calling emerald green the colour of 2013. In any case, I think we can all agree a huge splodge of these colours on the eye suits only the very young, the very fashion-forward, or the very on-stage-in-an-80s-musical.

So, sneak into the trend (and in all honesty, watch your iris explode with new depth of colour, esp if it is blue or brown) with just a line of colour on the upper lashline. OR, smash a few cool-o-meters, by leaving the top lash line bare, (LOTS OF mascara notwithstanding) and do the lower lashline instead, smudging it in for a lived-in look. Oooooh, get you!

I like the CoverGirl Liquiline Blast liners in general, ($14.95) but found this shade, ‘Blue Boom’ to be quite fun for this exact style of makeup hooliganism. It’s soft, waxy and easily smudged (with a brush or the rubber smudger on the opposite end), but also stays nice and put when used as a thin, precise liner, because it’s waterproof, innit. You DO need to sharpen it, which might sound obvious, but with all the self-sharpening crayons out there, is worth mentioning.

Obviously if there are any new products YOU are enjoying, you ought to list them below. Can’t be all one way now can it? How terrifically dull that would be.

Responses to this drivel: 38 Comments
11
Jul

Who makes up your Personal Beauty Army?

CHILL. I’m not asking cos I’m nosy, or because I want to steal them.

Yes I am.

Sorry.

After writing up a delightful beauty space earlier this week, one which I have decided has become part of my Melbourne Personal Beauty Army (a very specific appearance-based army focused on grooming and maintenance) I realised I still had a way to go in terms of my Melbourne PBA.

Like, just say I can’t shimmy back to Sydney to have Lien Davies masterfully, lovingly tend to my eyebrows for six weeks (I’m at seven and counting, things are getting tense) – who will do them?

[Just on Lien, she has released a fantastic ebook called How To Create Your Ultimate Brow Shape At Home – complete with How To videos and a mountain of gorgeous illustrations and photos. Yes, I see the irony of promoting her DIY Brow Shape book in the same paragraph as detailing my desire for a new professional brow shaper. Shut up.]

And what if I need a spray tan? FOR GOD’S SAKE WHAT IF I NEED A SPRAY TAN.

I don’t even have a hairdresser down here. Still pop up to Barney Martin for my hairs. (Finally getting my ‘underlights‘ put in this Saturday. Thinking very hard about installing a fringe as I do every now and again, but then remember do not have Jane Birkin’s hair texture/lack of cowlicks and am forbidden.)

 

02_jane_birkin

Jane Birkin arrogantly showing off her great hair texture and terrific fringe.

Anyway.

As I mentioned the other day, the way a dame generally finds her PBA is via word of mouth. And what better use of the comments section than for us to all share our PBAs? Let’s use our keyboards as our mouths, and our eyes as our ears and our teeth as our teeth! (In case we’re eating almonds.)

Just before we begin, let’s clarify the Personal Beauty Army Code.

To be considered a member of ones’s PBA, one must be not only reliable, talented, honest, skilled, pleasant to be around and offer better results than any other in their field, but they must thinly skate the line between being too good to share with others, and so good they must be shared with others”

Probably most women have a hairdresser, waxer and facialist in their PBA, but those who are slightly more invested in their physical upkeep, or who may be in a profession which demands a higher level of personal grooming, may also occasionally employ spray tanners, massage therapists, manicurists/pedicurists, eyebrow shapers, Botox injectors, dentists (for Invisalign/whitening, say), makeup artists for special occasions and of course, an ear polisher.

So, share!

Go right ahead and share. First clearly list which city you live in, and then list the members/salons of your PBA. And don’t be all greedy and keep some for yourselves. This is the sisterhood we’re immersed in here, we need to help each other out.

Just think, maybe one day your job as a Nanotechnological Bioinformatics System Integrations Researcher might see you transferred to Wollongong, and wouldn’t it be nice to know where to get some decent highlights when you arrive? Yes. It would be splendid.

In a perfect world, this post will become a kind of Little Black Book for Excellent Australian Beauty Services, where you can type in a search word (such as “Burleigh Heads”) and then just find the waxer of your dreams instantly…

So I dare to dream big. Sue me*.

A VERY HANDY HINT: Press Control F (“find”) and type in the city or state you’re looking for.

*Please don’t sue me.

Responses to this drivel: 329 Comments
02
Jul

Questions I’m asked a lot: Do you need eye cream? Which one is best?

I use eye cream sometimes.

Mostly when a new exciting one is sent to me, or I have a facial and the therapist says things like, “Are you using eye cream? You should be using eye cream. Jesus, Zoe, why won’t you use an eye cream? Why do you insist on denying me this one thing? Etc.”

Look. Generally my thinking is that if you have a pretty normal eye area (not too dark, puffy or creased) and if you’re using a good serum and good facial moisturiser, and neither irritate your eyes, then they will do the trick nicely, hydrating and protecting, and doing all the things the serum/cream does on the rest of your face. (Just don’t take them up any closer than about 1cm under your eye.)

Of course, being a dame with dry skin and fine lines round my eyes that can take a thick cream, I would say that, because the face creams I use tend to be deliciously rich, and can adequately quench the eye area. And oh, it needs quenching, the eye area. It endures the most muscle movement of the entire face (laughing is especially bad and should be ruled out completely) and with little to no oil glands around there, it’s going to be where you see your lines first.

But, if you have sensitive skin or eyes, and they tend to easily go red, teary, puffy or irritated, then you might need something specifically designed for the area: something soft, lightweight, instantly absorbed and which won’t piss your eyes off. A specific eye cream, in other words. (Which generally have less additives than face cream, due to their proximity to said eyes.)

There are plenty of great eye creams (‘eye moisturisers’) around for those wanting some hydration and some assistance battling lines. Look for words like sensitive if you know that’s what you are, and go for a gel or serum if you want it to sink in real fast and pose no sneak up risk. (The new Dermalogica UltraSmoothing Eye Serum is one such serumy product, and one I currently am trialling. All lovely and collagen-boosting, they tell me. Ideal for plumping my fine lines.)

DermalogicaUltraSmoothingEye

Some options? Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum is the latest offering from cult Estee AR range, loved the world over, and Eminence Organics Herbal Eye Contour Cream is a lovely and nourishing organic option. For a very effective anti-ageing effect, (ie: something that visibly-no shit has an effect) you’ll need something with retinol, like ROC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, say. (Applied only at night due to UV sensitivity.)

roc-retinol-correxion-eye-cream

But! There are some other reasons, aside of moisturisation, that you might like to invest in a specific eye cream. And they run parallel to why you might invest in a serum: because you have a specific issue you want to treat. In this case? Yes. They can help. Advised.

The issue might be…

Dark circles

This is a tricky one, often genetic or lifestyle-based, and I am yet to hear of a product that completely solves the issue… Many in the eye cream expert field will tell you that regardless which product you use, you still need to get the circulation moving with massage (pitter pattering up and down gently with the fingers.) My recommendation honestly? Buy a fantastic corrector such as those made by Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier, a good concealer and a great brightener.

Products specifically for this include Clinique Even Better Dark Circle Corrector, and Dr Brandt’s Flaws No More.

 

Cliniquedarkcirclecorrector

(Temporary) Puffiness

Generally from lack of sleep, shitty diet, fluid retention, allergies, crying at Nicholas Spark movies and minor inflammation. Cold compresses – like teaspoons left in the freezer while you shower then held (back down) over the eyes, or cotton pads dipped in witch hazel, or a chilled, soaked green tea bag (or more specifically their tannins) in a tissue – work when used for a few minutes, shrinking everything down nicely.

The best eye cream for puffy eyes? Actually a mask in my opinion. I love the Gernetic Eye Mask for puffy eyes, five minutes of tingling and I get fresh, detoxed, unpuffed eyes.

 

GerneticMasqueYeuxcopy

Pigmentation

Under the eyes is a common place to get sun damage as the cheekbones are a high point on the face and ripe for it. The pill and pregnancy can also stitch you up here. Also, metal rims on sunglasses attract more sun, and therefore more sun damage, so be mindful of that, Aviator fans. (Google laser toning melasma if you want a more permanent solution.) It’s hard to remove, sorry, but Vitamin C and ‘brightening’ and ‘whitening’ eye products can reduce the appearance of the melanin and cosmetically illuminate the area.

I like both the nice-price Olay Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex, and Priori’s Idebenone Eye Serum.

olay-pro-x-eye-restoration-complex

Now, listen here.

If you do use eye cream, in order to avoid puffy eyes from product exposure, and to get the best results, make sure it’s applied NO HIGHER THAN THE ORBITAL BONE and UP ALMOST UNDER THE BROW BONE because man that shit moves around with body heat. Too close to the actual eye, (less than 1cm) and it’s pretty much going in there. Which sucks a doz.

Responses to this drivel: 19 Comments
26
Jun

Q&A: Is the Clarisonic worth it?

Zoe, do I need a Clarisonic? Everyone is talking about them but I don’t know if really just a cream cleanser will do (and a bi-weekly scrub). Have you written about them before? I have dry, sensitive skin, prone to a little patchy eczema in winter, but otherwise manageable. I also get the occasional break-out around my chin, which I’m told is hormonal. Meg

Oh, Meg. Silly, silly Meg. I will never tell someone they “need” something, unless it is to wear sunscreen or to fill in their brows or to try pink lipstick or lash extensions or gradual tanner or this awesome pimple drying lotion that really works or dry shampoo.

What a hilarious joke! I am the biggest and most loving beauty bully this side of a revolving door.

Now, in fact I have written about the Clarisonic before, and I use one myself – the original Clarisonic Mia, $140-ish (there is a Mia 2 now, $179-ish, and it has cool colours and cool beeps that tell you when to move on to the next part of your face) – on occasion. I do get lazy, I must admit. I used about 5x a week when I first got it, but too much travel makes falling in love with appliances tricky.

I like the Clarisonic for the reasons most people do:

Skin feels more smooth.

Makeup seems to go on better, and you get a better application.

Skin care products used afterwards seem to penetrate deeper. Terrific news for those spending serious clams on serums.

It is gentle, and after using it, the skin feels extra clean, and glowing, and debris is thoroughly removed.

These are all good things. Especially if you’re dry-skinned, or the type to work outdoors in grime, or wear, say, sunscreen, primer and foundation and then colour makeup each day. (Like I do sometimes, and when one round of cleanser won’t cut it.)

Let me not be your guide, though, because I know at least six women personally who LOVE and SWEAR by and WANT TO THIRD BASE their Clarisonic. One of them is a girl called Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom I do jazz ballet with on Tuesdays.

 ClarisonicMia

 

But is it for you, Meg? Let’s see. Obviously I can’t see your skin, and double obviously I am a writer, not a beauty therapist, but I’ll have a crack:

You currently cream cleanse and bi-weekly scrub – this sounds like good practice to me. And great job on the cream cleanser for dry/sensitive skin. Anything too foaming and scratchy will irritate you. You may even like to switch to a chemical exfoliant, something with lactic or citric acid, say rather than a physical exfoliant (“scrub.”) I prefer these because they exfoliate evenly, and feel more thorough. Personal choice. (I especially enjoy exfoliating “peely” wipes, like these Philosophy Microdelivery Pads.)

philosophy-microdelivery-multi-peel-pads

 

 

The hormonal breakouts? The jury is out, but a few bloggers seem to think it helps lessen the anger of the breakouts and the number of blemishes (I would put this down to the basic fundamental of your skin being cleaned properly, and the treatment products being used up next being able to sink in real good and do their job.) Some say it makes it worse.

So, bottom line, yes, you might love it. You might love it a lot. A deep clean is paramount to Great Skin, and the Clarisonic certainly ensures that. If you’re not getting it from the Clarisonic, then that 2-3 weekly exfoliation will do the trick.

Responses to this drivel: 51 Comments
24
Jun

Underlights: For fine hair that wants volume but not regrowth.

When there is no permanent hair colour or highlights or tints in my hair it is so… thin. So fine. And if, like me, you already have fine hair, your levels of fineness and thinness and flatness reach levels that were previously reserved for uncooked angel hair pasta.

This is because, as we all know, hair colour adds plumpness to the hair strand. Some volume. A bit of sass and excitement. And I always forget this when I set out to get my natural colour back. What a pity.

Now that the first six inches of my hair is completely natural, with no colour whatsoever, it is arrogantly healthy but I find:

1. My hair needs more washing because my cute scalp oils have more effect, faster

2. My hair is flatter and even the usual root-boost/volume-crank-up products aren’t really doing much (or they do much initially, but by day two the effect has buzzed off to get a latte on Degraves St)

3. I use double the products (esp magic dusts and mousses) which leads to build-up and even – GASP – a dry scalp

4. Styles won’t hold, because the hair is too limp and pathetic and deserved of being bullied quite frankly

5. I eat more Lindor balls than I should.

 

LorealVolumeDust

Just one of the many wonderful magic (“volume”) dusts on the market.

 

I find it most amusing that every few years I bang on about wanting my “natural hair” back and then as soon as I have it, I immediately resent it for its overwhelming thinness and dullness… Of course the one VERY big plus to having hair that is not permanently coloured is that you can donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which puts you in the Fabulous Saint category.

Incidentally, during some wonderful trips to Sydney and Brisbane for Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Look Good Feel Better last week, I got to chatting about this with my fellow Beautiful Length ambassador and hair dresser and the chap who did my wedding hair, Barney ‘Bananas’ Martin.

 

WeddingUpdo

My fancy wedding updo, care of Barney.

I pretended not to be offended when he commented after blow-drying my hair that it was very fine wasn’t it, and perhaps I needed some colour back in there..?

“NO, Barney,” I said, unnecessarily loud. “I like having my natural colour back. Is healthy and shiny and the curls are behaving. Also I am lazy and care not for regrowth.’

“Just get some highlights underneath the top layer, silly!” he said in that fun British accent. “That would give you some volume and some texture, and you needn’t worry about regrowth because the top layes is still your natural colour.”

He had a point. It was large and red and wailing like some form of emergency vehicle.

“Almost like… underlights.” I said, trademarking it in my brain as I did so.

“Yes!” he said.

“And I suppose I could just have a colour similar to my own, couldn’t I. I don’t want obvious highlights at present.”

Ocourse you can, you duffer. Anything you like. So long as it’s permanent.”

“Just some lovely, natural smudging on the under layes of my hair, right up at the roots, but concealed by my top layers,” I said, in a way that would be helpful and very explanatory should I ever be enthused to write the conversation out as a blog post. “Yes, that could work.”

Barney is as tired of super-obvious ombre balayage as I am, but we both agreed the balayage (“painting”) technique. also called smudging, is still terrific, in terms of how natural the finish is, and how non-traditional-foils-or-streaks-cap it is.

So, I’m going to do it and report back. What fun!

Is your hair flat and uninspiring at present?

Does it shit you?  Yeah me too. When there is no permanent hair colour or highlights or tints in my hair it is so… thin. (Post continues on in a never-ending loop.)

 

 

Responses to this drivel: 15 Comments