If this Liberty of London beauty-product-a-day advent calendar did not already exist, I feel it might have come to me in a dream.
It was back to the old neighborhood last week to meet my friend Dini at the new Organic Pharmacy on Bleecker, which is one of those dangerous places where the longer you stay, the more you want. Their big thing is that they are an actual organic pharmacy, and that you can go there and speak to an expert who will recommend supplements based on your all your various needs, from insomnia to migraine to the common cold. It’s all very impressive.
Of course I was most interested in the beauty products on offer, and could not stop sniffing this Neroli Shower Gel, which I wound up taking home with me. It is fresh and earthy all at once, and smells a bit like patchouli, if patchouli grew up and got a job.
I also grabbed one of their lipsticks in a very alluring shade of dark pink. According to Dini—who is a font of this kind of wisdom—we are supposed to wear pinker shades as we get older, and I have to say it is definitely more flattering than that all-out red I bought the other day (although I am still loving that red). I like a matte color, which can be a problem in the winter with chapping and what have you, but this stuff is packed full of moisturizing nutrients like castor oil and meadowfoam seed oil, which I recall from my days editing beauty copy is something of a super-moisturizer.
Their eye shimmers were a bit of a revelation: I would usually find this type of thing too sparkly for my taste, but just a slash of the emerald green at the eye line woke my whole face up.
I am such a devotee of Deep Sleep Bath Oil from British beauty brand This Works that when the company’s products briefly stopped being available in the US, I spent a tiny fortune on essential oils, trying to replicate its scent for myself. If you’d have become addicted to it, you might have too: it’s as effective as Ambien and smells divine (in addition to the expected lavender and camomile, there are notes of coconut and patchouli, which skews things decidedly sexy. In fact I have, on more than one occasion, dabbed it on my pulse points before a date). Yes, the bottle will set you back, but you only use the tiniest little capful for the whole bath. Or, if you still can’t quite take the leap, there’s always the Deep Sleep Shower Gel or pillow spray.
Magazine editors are the pickiest beauty consumers I know—they have access to everything for free, all the time. And so when more than a few of them go full-on obsessive about any one thing—as they are right now for uber-natural line Beautycounter—I generally pay attention. The company is radical in its approach to creating clean products, which—once you start really paying attention to what’s dumped into our makeup and shampoos and cleansers—becomes a very appealing proposition. I’m liking the body wash, which has the best I-want-to-smell-like-this-first-thing-in-the-morning citrus-mint scent, and the body lotion, which goes on lighter and faster than any I’ve ever tried.
I’m currently doing battle with what I’m pretty sure is my first-ever outbreak of roseaca—little satellites of tiny red bumps accompanied by redness are spread across both of my cheeks, which looks just about as charming as you might imagine—so yesterday I decided that a little something in the way of coverage was called for, and got myself to Sephora. Where, as it turns out, they’ve got a perfectly genius contraption, about the size of a Clairsonic, that takes an exact measurement of your skin tone, and suggests all of the items in store that match it. I tried about five different options—all tinted moisturizers; I can’t quite make the leap to foundation—and finally settled on this Amazonian Clay Tinted BB Moisturizer from Tarte, which quite deftly made the red disappear while staying on the sheer side. Now I just have to make the actual roseaca go away, and on that I’m totally stumped. I put it to you, readers: are there good over-the-counter remedies? Or do I just get myself to a dermatologist?
I have been in a real mood the past few days, and I totally blame House of Cards. There are not enough antidepressants in the world to make it OK to binge-watch that show, and yet I couldn’t help myself over the weekend, because it is just so crazy good. Still, we hate it when art hurts our souls.
I crammed in about ten episodes in over the weekend, and by Sunday night was suffering from full misanthropy overload. A visit to casa Tribeca Mom was just what was needed to take the edge off. As her two perfect offspring watched Mary Poppins and Tribeca Dad prepared dinner, I tore into the big old bag of beauty products she’d brought me from work. Things started looking better immediately. This lip color from YSL is a both a gloss and a stain, and appealingly light. It comes in a nice variety of colors, but I surprise myself by liking this mauve-y tone.
In my effort not to be such a rookie in the eyeshadow department, I’ve been trying to do that thing where you blend a lighter hue above your darker one so you don’t just have a single abrupt slash of color. This selection from Chanel goes perfectly with all my browns and eggplants.
I generally splurge on fancy eyeliners, but this trio of kohl-style pencils from Physician’s Formula is rather fantastic. They’re simple to use for one thing, and the lighter shades are actually more flattering than straight-up black on me, something I’d never have known.
I do not like a cheekily-named beauty product, and this mascara from Too Faced is a prime offender. But it is too seriously good—thickening, lengthening, and conditioning too, apparently—not to share.
I went for it.
I am so picky about my lip balms that I often end up using none at all—the ones that work well are so heavy, and more lightweight versions simply don’t get the job done. But I’m very excited this stuff, which a friend gave me the other day: it’s got no glop factor, keeps lips nicely hydrated, and mitigates the need for lipstick, which is always a plus.
Here’s what I learned from the lady at the MAC store on Friday: when attempting to apply liner to the the outer corners of the lower lash line—always such a tricky maneuver—swap out your brush liner for an old-school pencil. Goodbye, smudgy mess, hello, eyes so huge and pretty you won’t believe they’re yours.
I’ve got wicked under eye circles. They go away sometimes and then return whenever I start to feel too good about my appearance, just to keep me in line. There was a time when I held out hope they might be banished altogether, but that was before I had access to a fashion magazine’s beauty closet, which enabled me to sample copious of-the-moment remedies and finally conclude that the only true cure for under eye circles is a first-rate concealer. I still feel that way. But this Kate Somerville cream, of which I was given a sample the other day, definitely has some kind of magic in it. I put it on the other morning as a base before applying concealer, then returned to the mirror five minutes later* and the thick purple crescents under my eyes were, much to my astonishment, significantly diminished. Anything that allows me to spackle on the makeup just a little less thick is aces in my book, so I bought the stuff, which wasn’t cheap, but I think will work out very well on a cost-per-use basis because you only use just the eensiest little squirtlet of it.
* A beauty editor once instructed me to wait a full five minutes between application of eye cream and concealer, and indeed that does seem to be the exact right amount of time necessary for for maximal concealer absorption and minimal concealer smudging.