Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brace Yourself.

That's exactly what you're going to have to do before trying out the newest thing in mascara. This stuff is beyond-ridiculous-super-awesome, and you'll have to make sure you use it for the first time completely alone because you're going to want to smack somebody.

Wait, let me back it up a tic...

You all know how I feel about mascara (I'm very black-and-white about it: I either love a mascara or I hate it, nothing inbetween, and if I hate it, I will hold a nasty grudge against it and its manufacturer for all eternity). You also know how I feel about Lancome's Cils Booster XL, and if you haven't tried it yet, well, I can't really help you. It rules all, and kicks my ass everyday with its blistering awesomeness. It freed me from the snobbery of department-store mascaras, and showed me that, as long as I had Cils Booster on board (think of it as underwear for lashes-- they should call it Lash Panties! Ha!), I could freely slap on six-dollar drugstore stuff and get heavy-duty results.

Quite simply, I love it, I love it, I love it.

Okay, so we have that established. I also told you a few months ago that Lancome had launched their vibrating mascara Oscillation (see older post for details). It was only a matter of time before they put two and two together and launched a vibrating version of Cils Booster XL. (I'd like to think that they did it just to make me happy.) Oscillation Powerbooster has a totally stupid name, and costs almost forty bucks, but you're just going to have to deal with it, like I did. It does an even better job than Cils Booster at priming, boosting, separating, and prepping lashes for whatever mascara you want (I humbly suggest the fabu Lash Blast), and produces the fattest, most defined, prettiest, flirtiest, sexiest lashes ever.

EVER.

Powerbooster is available just about everywhere. Nordstrom carried it first earlier in the month, but I found it a bit ridiculous to have it shipped to me when I could wait a couple of weeks and snag it at a department store. I don't care how you get it, just get it and, as I said, brace yourself. The vibrating mascaras can take a little time to get used to, but not Powerbooster. It hooks your ass up right out of the gate. The first time I tried it (earlier this week, when I immediately washed my face upon arriving home so I could tee it up), I almost blinded myself trying to take closeup pictures of my results so I could post them online. I even kept one eye totally bare, for the sake of comparison. I couldn't get the pics to turn out right, and was starting to see spots from so many flashes, so you'll just have to trust me. Be prepared to yell out expletives/ exultations/ a few lines from the Hallelujah Chorus/ whatever, and advise your loved ones to keep a safe distance, because you will feel the need to just haul off and smack the fire out of whoever's closeby.

Oh, I also tried Maybelline's vibrating mascara this week. Pulse Perfection promises to do what Oscillation does, at half the price. Fifteen bucks is pricey for drugstore mascara, and we all know how I feel about other Maybelline mascaras (see my rant about their Colossal formula in an earlier post). That said, I was willing to suspend my grudge and peep the Pulse. And?

Meh.

It's fine, but a little thick for a vibrating format, and is a little clumpy. It's hard to know when you're crossing over into Clumpytown, because you keep thinking that the vibrating wand will separate lashes. If you just can't bear to spend thirty bucks for the department-store version (or are saving that cash for the Powerbooster-- a wise choice), I'm fine with your using Pulse Perfection, but I'd rather you use Lash Blast. More bang for the buck, in my opinion.

So what are you doing still reading? Get off your duff and go by some Powerbooster! I expect a full report!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Confessions of an Aspiring Tanorexic

It's a holiday weekend! That means I get to blog! Woo-hoo, yippee, and so forth! I'm also coming off of a fantabulous birthday Girl Night, wherein I received many compliments on my sunless tan, and felt the need to share my strategy. (P.S.? Not to brag, but Ihave the best friends ever. I was all down in the dumps that Hubs was out-of-town, and didn't want to be my own friggin' D.D. on my birthday, and cooked up a "come-by-the-house-for-a-glass" extravaganza. Totally worth feeling like I did this morning.)

Okay, so. Tanning. I've already established that real tanning and tanning beds are evil temptresses hell-bent on making us all look like the Cryptkeeper, and have a two-inch scar on my stomach to prove it (thanks, pre-cancerous cells, for migrating beyond the little hole-punch that my awesome dermatologist dutifully removed first-- you just had to spread out, and you shall pay for it). I've also established that my natural skin tone is fair, fair, fair, and that I merely burn and freckle in the sun (although I spent countless hours toiling away in "sanitized," mushroom-scented tanning beds trying to prove to myself otherwise), and am now terrified of the waste that sun damage can lay to one's face, which brings me to slapping on mystery potions to replicate a healthy glow. I've tried countless varieties of such, because I'm not secure enough in myself to flaunt my pasty ass a' la Nicole Kidman (Nic, please, in the name of all things holy, lay off the Botox and eat a sandwich. You're thin, you're pale, you're not a fan of a natural-looking smile-- we get it, already.). Which brings me to this post. Let's unpack it, shall we?

I'm a big fan of the everyday, subtle-tan body lotions, but it's hard to get them right. They smell weird, and tend to build up too much in pockets (inside of elbows, backs of knees, inside of wrists) and roll up on themselves, producing a skin-disease-esque effect. Not pretty. That said, I really like the Neutrogena daily sunless tanner that has a broad-spectrun SPF of 20, mainly for the fact that it contains a sunscreen. We all need sunscreen every single day, and not just on our faces. I also like Jergens' Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer, but don't really notice a cumulative firming effect. My main beef with the run-of-the-mill daily sunless lotion is that, for what it does in the tanning department, it lacks in moisturization. It's common for my skin to feel tight and uncomfortable by the end of the day if I've applied one of these in the morning post-shower. My skin is not unlike the friggin' Sahara, and I can't skimp on moisture. If I double up, I find myself in mystery-skin-disease-lookin' territory twice as fast. What to do?

I've found a daily lotion that I really, really like, but am conflicted. Rodial Brazilian Tan Daily smells like yummy cocoa butter, moisturizes better than the rest, and builds a pretty, believable tan. Additionally, Rodial also makes a more potent Brazilian Tan formula for full-on self-tanning (in two color formulations: Light and Dark) that offers similar properties (although the Daily formula is certainly a better moisturizer than the tanning lotion). My issue? Each of these bitches will set you back an amount on the fighting side of fifty bucks. [Sigh.] I find it hard to justify this expense, except in the occasions in which I garner compliments on my natural-looking glow, as I did last night (and, look, it was my stinking birthday-- I'm big on buying presents for myself, and a luxurious self-tanning routine seemed in order). I'm still in search of a similar formula that will offer the same results without the expense, and will keep you posted.

I mentioned in my previous post that I'm a big fan of Modelco Airbrush Tan in a Can, and still am. That said, I picked up a bottle of the new Sevin Nyne airbrush tan at Sephora just prior to leaving for vacation to evaluate. First, after finding out that Lindsay Lohan (aka Crackie Crackerton McFaux-Lesbian) helped develop the product, I kind of wanted my money back, on principle alone. Alas, we were headed south the following morning, so I didn't have the time. I have to say that the smell was very non-starchy (nice, even), and the aerosol mist was finer and easier to apply than that of the Modelco formula. My only complaints are these: first, the mist is fine enough that you have to make several passes at the body part in question to produce an even color, which uses an inordinate amount of product (I think I got two full-body applications out of the can-- unacceptable); second, there are absolutely no moisturizing properties in this formula whatsoever. If you're not tragically dry, this may not matter, but it does for me-- my skin positively cried when I got out of bed the morning after applying it the night before post-shower. Ouchie.

I guess, in the meantime, I'll stick with Modelco and supplement with the Rodial and Jergens lotions. I'll continue to explore and will definitely keep you bitches posted. Until then, what sunless formulas to do you like?