Childhood is calling. There’s something about the newest makeup products these days that reminds me of elementary school art class. From markers to paint brushes to finger painting, the easiest makeup this summer just requires a little dexterity.
Tokidoki Fantastico Lip Ink
I’m not a lipstick person and I’m certainly not a lip liner person, and that goes double for the hotter months of the year. And yet nothing is worse than hair stuck in lip gloss. Ew.
But the genius that is Tokidoki Fantastico Lip Ink stains your lips with a soft marker tip and feels like you have nothing on (except for that luscious mango scent and the fact that it has moisturizing panthenol so your lips stay hydrated). It goes on sheer and light, allowing you to layer more for a deeper stain. And it lasts. Wow, does it last.
Available at Sephora, $15.
Hard Candy Powder Keg in Dagger
Throw away the brushes and the applicators. Nothing is easier than dab, dab, dabbing with your ring finger.
Case in point. Hard Candy’s Powder Keg Loose Eye Shadow in Dagger is so easy to use, you’re liable to go a little crazy. Spill proof container and applicator deposit just the right amount on your finger, allowing you to dab silky smooth olive green shadow with just a hint of golden sheen on your lid. Dab a little for a sheer sheen. Dab more for a unique, deep smoky eye perfect for summer.
Oh, and the hue looks so good on Asian skin tones.
Available at Walmart, $6.
Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen
I may be great at dabbing (cream eye shadow, lip gloss), but anything requiring precision application (nail polish, eye brow pencil) gets a bit tricky. I have a cousin who always has the prettiest, coolest nails — sometimes with just a swipe of blood red on the tips, sometimes with a unique design on each nail — and she always does it herself.
Sure, it helps if you’re an art major, like she is. But if you’re not, you can always cheat with Sally Hansen’s Nail Art Pen. A fine tip pen lets you draw precise lines and the water-based formula can be corrected with a moist cotton swab without damaging dry nail polish.
Available in eight different shades, and as always, it’s toluene, DBP and formaldehyde free.
Available at most drugstores.
Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic
I’m not usually fan of makeup palettes and kits, especially the eye-cheek-and-lip kind. Before you know it, little bits of aubergine shadow are embedded in your nude pot gloss, and everything becomes one gritty mess.
Benefit’s concealer kit, on the other hand, is genius because now you have everything you need to touch up those blemishes on the go — even a handy mirror built right in.
With mini sizes of their best selling concealing products including That Gal primer, their hard-core Erase Paste concealer, two shades of concealer (for dark circles versus blemishes), a pink concealer for under eyes, a yellow for everything else, and two double sided brushes that get you covered!
Available at Benefit, $36.
A few months ago, Audrey contributor Janice Jann won First Princess in the 2010 Miss Los Angeles Chinatown. Since then, she’s been blogging about life as a beauty queen — from a real girl perspective. Here, part two of a First Princess’s tales from the inside.
A couple of days ago, I went to the gym and weighed myself on the scale and my jaw dropped to the ground. I had lost 20 pounds in the past six months. Physically, it’s not that big of a difference, is it?
Winning Miss Los Angeles Chinatown 2010 First Princess is not the best reward I received from this whole pageant experience. This body was.
For the past four months, I dragged myself out of bed nearly every single morning and worked out, whether taking ballroom dancing classes, lifting weights or just using the bicycle machines. I moderated what I ate, chomping on carrot sticks like I was Roger Rabbit and turning a blind eye to every burger joint and taco shack. It was not an easy task. I am a girl who loves to eat. If I could choose eternal beauty or the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals every single day of my life, food will win every time. I get giddy over a beautiful piece of steak. I think sharing a meal with someone is one of the most worthwhile ways of bonding and communion. I take pictures of food, for goodness sakes! So yea, it’s safe to say I like food a lot.
And I am not naturally skinny. While it is true that I am skinnier than most, I am by no means a lithe size 0 with a six pack (maybe of beer …). I worked hard to get to this size. There is no secret magic shortcut to staying thin. You pretty much have to love yourself and your body enough to want to eat healthy and work out.
Taking care of your body the right way will not only give you a satisfactory physical appearance, it will make you feel better all around. I’m more alert, more awake because I don’t weigh myself down with sweets and fatty foods. I don’t break out as much. I go (you know, go) easily and on a regular basis. Endorphins flow through my veins, making me happier and smilier. I’m more flexible and quicker on my feet (still as klumsy as ever, though). I find that taking classes greatly boosts my motivation towards working out. It is really hard to slack off when you have all these middle-aged housewives puffing away, sweating bullets.
Now that the pageant is over, my top priority is keeping myself in shape. It does get kind of hard when I have weekly banquets to go to, where seven-course Chinese meals await, but I just also remember to keep my portions in check and remember that if I eat too much today, tomorrow is always a fresh new day.
Summertime is one time when I do not feel like fussing and preening. When the weather’s this nice, I don’t even feel like shopping! Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to let myself go. Thank goodness for these quick fixes that’ll make the hottest season just a little bit cooler.
Goody Pro Volumizing Comb and Simple Styles Spin Pin
Be forewarned: I’m not a hair person. That is to say, I’m a lazy hair person. I can’t straighten, pin curl, or do anything requiring bobby pins. I’ve never been a very good French braider. That’s why I love the messy ponytail seen on spring runways — I know no other kind.
On the other hand, a messy updo is a bit trickier and generally far too complicated for my unskilled paws. To get it just unkempt enough, but still chic, one needs a whole lotta bobby pins, more than a pair of hands and apparently eyes on the back of one’s head. To wit, Filipina-Irish-Native American Vanessa Hudgen’s wonderfully undone updo:
But I have to admit. Goody makes it pretty easy. Their Pro Get Volume comb features several rows of tines of variegated length, so all it takes is a couple of backcombing swipes for instant volume.
Then use their Spin Pin, which is fairly easy, even for me. Just twist your hair into a bun, then spin the pins in. The twisting action magically keeps your hair in place, but not so much so. Instant undone! It gives you that perfectly undone chignon we all covet on actresses on the red carpet. And best of all, no bobby pins.
Available in blonde and brunette shades. Get it at Walmart or Target, starting at $2.50, or at Goody.
We Love Colors shoelaces
One of my favorite things to do is tweaking my existing wardrobe with little DIY projects that instantly update for the new season.
Case in point: last year’s booties. The easiest update for last year’s lace-up booties is with bright neon laces. Whether in black, cognac or grey, a pop of neon color instantly gives your shoes a modern twist.
I like We Love Colors splash color laces in every color from pastels to neon. It’s a little bit surfer chic a la Proenza Schouler and Versace, a little futuristic a la Balenciaga.
We Love Colors laces, starting at $2.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI
I never believe those testimonials in beauty magazines anymore — “dab it on your blemish and it’s gone tomorrow!” Sure, that may work for the occasional teeny tiny red spot that models swear they get. But for those nasty, hormonal, once-a-month, deep-down painful, rock-hard bulbs, there is little one can do. You just have to wait for the angry mass to run its course. And use plenty of cover-up.
Now, I’m a big fan of La Roche-Posay. Nothing beats their sunscreens. But when I came across the brand’s Effaclar AI — an “intensive acne spot treatment” — I was skeptical. Like I said, I’ve tried quite a few products as an Audrey editor. But this one not only had a higher percentage of benzoyl peroxide (5.5%) than I’ve ever seen, it also claimed to treat the residual reddish brown spot that lingers long after the blemish itself has actually healed.
So I gave it a shot. The minute I felt that painful lump, I dabbed Effaclar AI on it. No, the lump did not magically disappear the next morning. But the pain was gone, a miracle in and of itself. And the lump did magically disappear in three days.
The ultimate proof? I dabbed it on my husband’s angry little blemish for a couple days, and then forgot about it. A week later, I asked him about it. He couldn’t remember where it was.
What’s your favorite quick fix style secret this summer?
Four seasons? Hardly. In Southern California, we’re lucky if we get two.
In fashion, it’s the opposite. There are now officially seven sartorial seasons. (Good for fashion rags, good — or bad, depending on your wardrobe budget — for consumers.) Besides the traditional four, there’s also resort, pre-spring and pre-fall.
I know. Confusing, especially when one hails from the West Coast where, really, the only weather considerations are “nice” and “not nice.”
But fear not. All it really means is you have more choice and don’t have to resign yourself to wearing that tired, old look displayed in every magazine, on every red carpet. After all, with the frenetic pace of fashion and 24/7 media saturation of what everyone is wearing everywhere, it really is too easy to develop some serious fashion ADD.
So just take a step back, wind down and enjoy a leisurely evening of style, beauty and drinks at Ardistia‘s private sneak preview sale! Yes, the award-winning, Indonesian American designer Ardistia Dwiasri, whom we featured in our Oct/Nov 2007 issue, will have her spring/summer collection on sale (and summer’s just started!), but she’ll also have her pre-fall collection available for preview.
Ardistia is known for her architectural cuts (she got her undergrad and master’s degrees in industrial and and manufacturing engineering before turning to fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York). Famous for her structured coats and jackets, she creates pieces always with an element of innovation or surprise — there’s so much more there than meets the eye.
While you discover the ins and outs of Ardistia’s workmanship, enjoy some pampering with complimentary hand massages courtesy of Juara Skincare as you peruse their line of rich, natural, lusciously-scented products. Juara was founded by four Asian American women — Metta Murdaya, Tami Chuang, Yoshiko Roth and Jill Sung — with the goal of harnessing the active botanicals of Indonesian herbal recipes (rice, tamarind, turmeric, etc.) and fusing them with Western science to create products that represent the best of both worlds.
Sip some wine, nibble on chocolate, get pampered. Let that sweet, fleeting season that is pre-fall sink in.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
6 pm – 9 pm
280 Park Avenue South, Suite 9E, New York
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more at the Facebook event page.
In winter, I pamper my skin. Lots of creams, lotions, masks … it’s a veritable moisturizing love fest at my house.
Come summer, it’s all about the exfoliation boot camp. Kicking the butt out of grime, oil and sweat is my daily mantra.
And MCK Labs M2 exfoliating cleanser is good weapon of choice. Ideal for all skin types, this skin refining gel cleanser combines mandelic and malic acids to gently exfoliate and remove impurities from the skin.
Now, if you don’t know what mandelic and malic acids are, pay attention. They’re essentially alpha hydroxy acids, which means they exfoliate dulling dead skin cells and eliminate the look of damage and discoloration.
But unlike typical AHAs, mandelic and malic acids have a slightly larger molecular structure, which results in slower, more even penetration and less irritation, according to MCK. This allows people who are normally unable to tolerate high concentrations of AHAs (like me) to enjoy the collagen-promoting benefits of M2.
It’s not just a cleanser; it’s a treatment. It’s got plenty of humectants to restore balance, and its natural antioxidant properties also help fight free radicals in the skin, which can contribute to skin damage.
So though I talk big about exfoliating and kicking the crap out of oil and sweat, I’m actually still pampering my skin. I’m just a big softie.
When you get a virtual tome on the benefits of a beauty product from the exclusive U.S. distributor, you know there’s got to be something of substance there.
That’s what happened when I emailed Lillian Wang of KosmeLink, the exclusive importer of Japan’s famous beauty line Marie Louise Cosmetics. Believe me, she believes in her product (a “gem” from Japan whose story has not yet been told in the U.S., she says), and her enthusiasm is infectious.
The Marie Louise Moistraiser α-VC is a personal favorite of Lillian’s. Why? “Toners in Asia are very different from toners in the U.S.,” she says. Toners in the U.S. are meant to be “astringent,” or a part of cleansing, but toners in Asia are actually the first step in moisturization, she says. That’s where this “toner” got it’s name — “Moistraiser.”
But it’s not just that. Marie Louise products are emulsified and utilize nanotechnology. Essentially, what that means is that the products undergo a process that applies extreme high pressure to emulsify oil and water together, allowing for both hydration (water) and moisturization (oil). Most products are either oil-based or water-based, not both. But you need both for healthy skin.
Marie Louise goes even one step further. They nano-emulsify, which means the high pressure creates nano-sized particles that are smaller than the space between skin cells. This allows for far better absorption into skin cells than other products which, though it may contain high quality ingredients, don’t have the technology to allow these ingredients to penetrate between these skin cells. And if it can’t penetrate your cells, you might as well not even put it on.
That’s impressive, admittedly. But what will it do for my skin? Well, it’s actually perfect for anyone in the summertime when heavy creams can be a bit much, but especially for people like me with oily T-zones that can’t handle heavy creams but need to hydrate (lack of water) and moisturize (lack of oil) their skin. (Even oily skin needs anti-aging help and dehydration can cause break outs.)
But an added bonus to the moisturizing, antioxidant and anti-aging benefits is something I didn’t expect — the Moistraiser contains alpha-arbutin, a mulberry extract, that works like hydroquinone to whiten dark spots on the skin. (I’m sold!)
I personally love the ever-so-slightly viscous yet not at all sticky feel of the Moistraiser. (That’s the emulsified nanotechnology I’m feeling — it’s penetrating power doesn’t leave a residue on the skin.) It’s so soothing, they even recommend using it to massage the face. For me, this is one product I would actually buy. And you know beauty products almost never go on sale, but you can get it now at a one-day only, guaranteed low price at AudreyShops.
I love food delivery. I think everything should be delivered. And on those days when I’m working late at the office, glued to my computer screen, I keep reminding myself that someone out there — somewhere — you need to start a cocktail delivery service!
And if not cocktails, why not beauty at your doorstep?
You’ve all heard of Minx™ nails by now, haven’t you? It’s the super chic molten metal look for your fingernails, sported by all the trendiest stars. Essentially what it is is a solid film with an adhesive back that is heat activated. The result is a stand-out, “wow” manicure.
And now Manicures R Mobile™ brings it to your home or office. No more waiting, no more lines. Manicures R Mobile™ brings the luxury, professionalism and pampering of a spa straight to you.
And they don’t do just nails (though it’s worth mentioning that they use polishes that are non-toxic and free from DBP, formaldehyde and tuolene). Indulge in a massage, a makeover, waxing, spray tanning, even wig styling! The treatments are performed by a team of renowned celebrity nail, makeup, hair and body artists who work on and off the red carpet for socialites, stay-at-home moms and working professionals. Manicures R Mobile™ does party packages, too (it is bachelorette party season …).
So for one very, very lucky Audrey reader, we are going to hook you up with a Minx™ manicure and pedicure from Manicures R Mobile™. The only catch? You have to be in the Los Angeles area to win. (Sorry East Coasters!) Manicures R Mobile™ are solely L.A.-based for now, but I have a feeling it’s a trend that catching on (think taco trucks).
So get commenting below! You have until Wednesday, June 23, 11:59 pm to enter!
Each year since 2006, L’Oréal Paris, through their Women of Worth campaign, has been honoring 10 women for their services in a variety of causes, including education, encouraging female and youth empowerment, military support, and healing for survivors of cancer or sexual violence.
In 2008, Nancy Chang of Seattle, Wash., was one of the 10 Women of Worth award winners for her work with underprivileged girls in the Seattle area. She is the director of Skate Like a Girl, which provides skateboarding lessons to girls as a way of promoting an all-inclusive female skateboarding community, helping to empower girls and women. The program also encourages them to make positive decisions in life and increases their confidence and self-image.
As in years past, L’Oréal will make a $5,000 donation to each of the 2010 honorees’ most loved charity. A $5,000 donation will also be made by L’Oréal in each woman’s name to support The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), L’Oréal Paris’ primary philanthropy.
Once all nominees are in and the 10 honorees are chosen, the public will have the opportunity to vote online for which of the 10 women they believe should be recognized as the National Woman Of Worth Honoree. L’Oréal Paris will make an additional $25,000 donation to the winner’s charity in her name.
Nominations are open until July 9, 2010 so hurry up and nominate an amazing Asian American woman! I know there are tons of them out there! Go to www.womenofworth.com to nominate your woman of worth.
I find that there’s an inverse relationship between the temperature outside and how long it takes to get ready in the morning. The warmer the weather gets, the quicker I’m out the door in the morning. I let my hair’s natural wave come out, eschewing time-consuming blow outs. My outfits are much less complicated, with a bright print substituting for the layered intricacies of a cold weather look. And if ever there was a time to feel less self-conscious about freckles showing, now is it.
That’s when a tinted moisturizer is perfect. One easy step to even out skin tone and moisturize. Lavere Natural Anti-Aging Hydro Bronzer has a nice yellow-based tint, and is not a “bronzer” in the traditional sense. I found the color to be light enough to blend with my pale skin, while giving it the sheerest boost and a nice “blurring” of discoloration and unevenness. All the while, organic fruit acids eat away dulling dead skin cells, and hyaluronic acid, organic aloe vera and jojoba oil moisturize and work to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Skin is soft and plumped without being greasy.
I don’t know about you, but after a winter of leggings, tights, woolen socks and boots, my legs and feet end up a bit neglected. Inevitably, when the weather starts to warm up, I’ll do my routine inspection of the pale, dry, rough skin on my legs and sigh. Thence begins the work of exfoliating, moisturizing and self-tanning before any warm weather debut becomes even remotely possible.
I wouldn’t have to have worked half as hard if I had known about this however. MCK Labs has a M2 Body Refinish 15% that does the exfoliating and moisturizing in one easy step.
It’s not just a lotion; it’s a treatment. Indeed, it feels more like a serum than a lotion. And they say it transforms dry, sun damaged skin with its high potency blend of mandelic and malic acids.
Now, if you don’t know what mandelic and malic acids are, they’re essentially alpha hydroxy acids. That means they exfoliate dulling dead skin cells and eliminate the look of damage and discoloration.
But unlike typical AHAs, mandelic and malic acids have a slightly larger molecular structure, which results in slower, more even penetration and less irritation. This allows people who are normally unable to tolerate high concentrations of AHAs (like me) to enjoy the collagen-promoting benefits of M2.
And because the M2 Body Refinish has plenty of humectants, this treatment can serve as your daily moisturizer as well as an exfoliant. Its natural antioxidant properties also help fight free radicals in the skin, which can contribute to skin damage.
So getting bikini ready — or even shorts ready — this summer got a whole lot easier.