I recently found myself on the hunt for the perfect tinted moisturizer. Having grown tired of the one I had been using by Laura Mercier, I headed over to the Space NK store at Bloomingdales. I am a makeup and cosmetic junkie, (hence this blog), and love Space NK since they carry the very latest and finest of makeup and skincare. Full disclosure: I was actually looking for a concealer, and told the manger of the department that I was in a “concealer conundrum,” not being able to find one with the perfect amount of coverage and correction. She suggested that I try Chantecaille’s, since she felt it would address all of my needs. After she applied it, she asked what foundation I had been using. I told her that I my daily routine calls for a tinted moisturizer and nothing heavier, but that I was tired of the one I had been using. It was not giving me the perfect combination of coverage and glow that I was seeking. She suggested I try the Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF by Chantecaille. The result was fabulous…just the right amount of coverage and an amazing glow to the skin. I told her that I had just used a self tanner on my skin and that my natural color was bit lighter. I asked her if we could try mixing 2 colors so that as the self tanner dissipates, I could still get that glow from the tan and yet not appear as if I had spent the day in the sun. The next day, after the self tanner began to fade, I applied the two colors together and was amazed by the perfect match of color to my skin. If you find that your foundation is not exactly a match, try mixing 2 shades and see if you, too, get the perfect shade!
I am all about paring down my makeup for summer. I believe that as we age, less foundation looks better. And in the summer months, I especially like the less is more approach. Here is my routine.
After cleansing and moisturizing, I apply a primer. I am absolutely in LOVE with this one by Tatcha. You can order it by clicking on the link, or head over to your local Sephora and try it in person. It is luxuriously applied and creates beautiful silk canvas. I sometimes wear it alone over my SPF moisturizer, and find that my skin looks radiant.
In the summer, I like to have a little glow to my skin. I am an enormous fan of this bronzing gel by Sisley. I mix it with my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, (complete with SPF) and it glides on over the Tatcha primer perfectly evenly and stays put all day. I love the fact that is sheer, and the little boost of color that it gives my face makes me glow from the inside out!
If you are planning a trip to a warm and sunny destination, and you don't want to arrive with a pale complexion and white legs, try my self tan prep. Before you embark on any self tanning routine, you must prep your skin with a good face and body scrub.
For the face, I love the Epicuren Micro Derm Scrub, which have been using weekly for years. The tiny beads truly refine your skin leaving it super soft and smooth. This scrub is the perfect exfoliator in preparation for my absolute favorite, the Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze and Glow Mask. I am addicted to this product and use it regularly.
For the body, I love all of the Bliss body scrubs. They are highly effective and smell fantastic.
Follow with the best tan towelettes by Kate Somerville. I find these to give subtle, natural color. They are easy to apply and come in individual packets that make them perfect for travel. I use these all year long.
Now that you are going to be exposed to the sun, you will need a good sunscreen. On my face, I use Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recover SPF 50
For the body, I like the Neutrogena products, especially Wet Skin, since it is formulated for water sports.
And don't forget your lips! They are most vulnerable to sun damage. Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment has SPF 25 and is something that I use on a daily basis.It is ultra moisturizing and smells great! I keep one in my handbag, car and vanity. I never leave home without it!
Do you often wake up with eyes that are puffy and dull? I know that I do. As we age, the skin under the eye becomes loose and more prone to fluid retention. It also loses its luster, color and integrity. All of this is age related. But fear not... although I can't make those bags and dark circles disappear, I can make them less noticeable with this 4 step rescue kit, which I am all about right now!
Step 1: When I wake up, before I even brush my teeth, I apply Biossance Peptide eye gel which instantly cools and tightens the skin.
Step 2: After washing and moisturizing I apply Ole Henriksen's brightening eye cream with SPF. It hydrates and brightens the area while providing SPF to this delicate and vulnerable area.
Step 3: I apply Laura Mercier's Candle Glow Concealer in an upside down triangle with the base of the triangle directly below my eye. I then dab lightly with my fourth fingers, until the color is even. I use number 1 shade. I like to go a little lighter under my eye to brighten it.
Step 4: I lightly brush on Laura Mercier's Brightening powder, which is specifically designed for the under eye area. This is where the magic comes in. You will see an immediate result and the powder helps to maintain the effects of the concealer over several hours.
I have been wanting to try Ole Henriksen's products for a while now, but was waiting until my current serum and moisturizers were near empty before investing in new products. However, after reading many beauty blogs and articles about Ole Henriksen's Power Bright, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. I loved the results and am now a devotée of this brightening system. This at home treatment takes very little time and leaves the complexion brighter, smoother and more even. I wore absolutely no makeup after using it, only sunscreen. Give it a try...I highly recommend it!
Below are my "brave" photos (sans any filter or touch up!), of each of the 3 steps plus the final result.
My skincare routine has not varied since I turned seventeen, except for the addition of a few products such as exfoliators, serums and neck cream. To the 3 steps of cleanse tone and moisturize, I have remained steadfast and true.
This will be the first in a series that I will present on the blog, called Fab Skin.
Since Step One is Cleansing, let’s start with some of my favorite cleansers:
In the morning, after I have worked out and my face has accumulated a lot of sweat, I like to use a foam cleanser and brush such as those by Clinique or Clarisonic and wash it off with water. Unless your skin is extremely dry or sensitive, a foam cleanser and brush should not affect your skin in any way except for getting it clean. You can use the brush and a foam cleanser both in the morning and evening if you so choose. I am now addicted to Chanel's Sublimage skin cleanser which melts away the makeup and is removed with a wet washcloth. As you massage this cleanser into your skin, it warms and essentially moisturizes your skin at the same time as it cleanses it. Your washcloth will not retain the makeup that is removed; a simple wash with water will clean it from the washcloth before laundering.
Here are some of my favorites
Fresh Soy Cleanser (smells great too!)
I have been using some form of a self tanner for probably close to 3 decades. I have fair, freckled skin, that burns first before it tans. I prefer to have a bit of color, and since lying in the sun is a definite no-no, I rely on these miracle creams to achieve that summer glow, even if it is mid January!
Not all self tanners are created equally, and I am going to give you the low down on may favorites.
1. If you are in need of some color for a specific event, and you need it in a hurry, (for instance, your legs have not seen the sun in months and you are going to bare them in a shorter length dress), then you should do an airbrushed tan or the Mystic Spray tan. These tend to be pricey, but if you purchase them in a package, the price is significantly reduced.
Pros: a lot of color is deposited quickly. The tan emerges in about 4 hours and lasts about a week, if you maintain it with a special moisturizer.
Cons: There is a definite odor. It is not offensive, just easily identifiable. If you don’t blend it properly your skin will look blotchy especially around the toes, tops of feet and ankles.
2. Tan Cloths: My favorites are Kate Sommerville and The Tan Towel .
This is a quick way to achieve a light tan that is very natural looking.
Pro: Very easy to apply. The cloth contains the self tanner product and you simply wipe it all over your face and body.
Con: There is not a great deal of product on the towel, so you need to apply it first to your legs, arms and décolletage and leave your midsection and back to the end. If you want more color, you will need to apply it the next day. It does not have a distinctly offensive smell.
It does not last more than a couple of days.
The color is deposited evenly over the course of three days. The result is a deep, rich looking tan, but you should gauge the amount of color you want, and stop after you achieve it, which could be after day two.
Pros: It is inexpensive, and has no odor. In fact, it smells great! It gives you a natural overall tan over a period of 3 days You can stop after one or two days depending on how much color you desire.
You can easily correct a blotched ankle or foot by applying more cream to that area the next day.
Con: It lasts only about 5 days and you should use the recommended product to moisturize: Jergens Tan Extender (which also has a pleasant fragrance).
This product gives you a very light tan and can be used as a daily moisturizer. I love it because it has SPF 20 and a pleasing light fragrance.
This product works as you sleep, it is full of nourishing ingredients for your face, and is considered a mask. You wake up with both moisturized skin and a hint of color.
For an instant glow that washes away, I use this spray by Guerlain. It is a bronzing powder mist with sunscreen (SPF 10).
For an instant but wash away color, I often use this product. It has a great fragrance and you can wash it off at the end of the day. It is also great for correcting any mistakes produced by your self-tanner. It gives your arms, legs and chest an instant glow. I use it all over my body even though it’s meant for your legs.
Some helpful tips:
As with any self-tanning product, you must, and I cannot stress this enough, you must exfoliate your skin. You should use an exfoliator (I use DermaDoctor KP Duty) that does not contain moisturizing product as it will hinder the effect of the self-tanning product.
Make sure to wash your hands after applying the product. This includes the insides of your wrists.
Tread lightly, no pun intended, on the tops of your feet. Since the skin there is thinner than on the rest of your body, it absorbs the color more easily. This can lead to blotchiness and uneven application, but sometimes there is no way around it—but unless someone is staring closely at your feet, you can hardly tell. And it’s a much better alternative to skin cancer if and when you want to fake a tan!
The perfect way to apply it to your back is with a little bit of help from your friends! But here are some products, which I have not yet tested, to help accomplish this!
My wonderful hair stylist, Farah Ghorbani, has been after me for months to cut my hair. She thinks that after five years of sporting the same hairstyle, it might be time for a change.
First let’s get one thing straight, (no pun intended)….I hate my hair. I have very kinky curly hair that has a mind of its own. I have tamed it over the years with reverse perms, straighteners, flat irons, curlers and curling irons. When I was in high school, I used to place a large curler at the crown, and then proceed to wrap my hair around my head, secure it with bobby pins, and sit under the hair dryer for an hour. This remained my routine until my early 20’s when I got talked into going “au naturel” and letting my true “Jew-fro” curls out of their cage.
I tamed them with product and pinned them up, but I was never truly comfortable with this look. It impeded my ability, so I thought, to book enough jobs in TV and film. I was being considered for mostly ethnic roles, and this limited my oppotunities, especially in Toronto in the 80’s. I decided to be more mainstream, and straightened it. That seemed to enable me to go out for more commercial work and I was getting to “like” my hair better than I did before. Don’t get me wrong, we still battled, but the good hair days were not out numbered by the bad ones.
For me, finding the right hair stylist, amounts to someone who truly “gets” my hair. That person has to know how to work with curly hair; for instance, he or she must know that wispy bangs are the closest thing I am going to get to wearing a bang, because curly hair never lies flat for long. The Keratin relaxer has truly changed my life, and Farah applies it every five months. Layers are another essential for maintaining curly hair. If I didn’t layer my hair, it would grow into the shape of a triangle, not a good look on me!
Now let us return to the subject of changing the hairstyle.…which I had been avoiding for half a year. I loved my long hair, but it wasn’t until I saw how my gorgeous cousin had become even more beautiful when she cut her long hair into a chic bob. It inspired me to do something. I asked Farah if we could do an ombre and cut it shorter in the back. She cautioned me about going too short in the back, and thought a gradual change would be better for me. To achieve the look I am after, I also need to grow out the front layers, and this will take months.
I love my new look, although it is not that much different, it is a work in progress, and I promise to keep you posted!
I am having a MAC (makeup) attack! I was a fan of this Canadian (I bet you didn’t know that), cosmetic line many moons ago when I resided in Toronto. They arrived on the scene in the mid to late 80’s. Jeff actually did some tax work for them when he first became an accountant. I used a great deal of their makeup. It was hip, young and trendy. Later on, when I moved to the States, and fancied myself a more sophisticated consumer, I gravitated towards the top European lines like Chanel, YSL, Guerlain and Armani. My relationship with MAC faded and I rarely frequented their counters. That is until recently; Serena, my 18 year old, uses MAC lipsticks and I soon found myself alongside her at the MAC store in Soho, NY and here in Bloomies and Nordstrom. I decided to do a huge Spring makeup makeover with MAC and chose a bunch of lipsticks, shadows, foundations and cheek colors. I am so delighted with the results. I am fairly adept at makeup application and can attest to the fact that I know my way around a makeup wand; so trust me when I tell you that you should visit the nearest MAC counter without reservation. Some of my friends tell me that MAC is for younger people….NOT TRUE! The makeup artists are knowledgeable, talented and honest. You will not be sold a bag full of items you will never use. You have to learn to use your makeup sparingly but wisely in order to achieve the look with which you are comfortable. Always experiment, because the color can be adjusted or even removed with the wipe of a hand. Here are some of my newest loves.
Visit them here online or in stores.
Since Spring is associated with color, both in nature and fashion, you should also consider adding it to your make up routine. Here are three different ways to wear a pop of color on your lips.
1) I cannot say enough great things about the chubby lip crayon. It comes in an array of colors and goes on sheer. You can determine how much color you want by going over it a number of times. They are easy to use and my favorite, by Sisley, requires no sharpener!
I am a stickler for manicured nails and smooth hands. My skin tends to be dry and therefore I am highly susceptible to chapped skin. To combat this, I use hand creams multiple times during the day and a cuticle cream nightly. I begin my day with a hand cream which contains SPF and always carry a small tube in my handbag and another in my car. At night I dab on a cuticle cream to keep my cuticles and ultimately my nails healthy.
Here are some of my favorites
In the morning I apply La Prairie Hand Cream with SPF 15 (because I am out running every morning).
During the day I use Laura Mercier hand cream in the small tubes I received as a gift. They are small enough to fit into my makeup bag.
Every night I use Sisley Eau De Campagne Body Lotion. I love the scent and it is incredibly hydrating and softening for my hands.
Christian Dior Crème Abricot for my cuticles. I have been using this since I was 18 and I am addicted to it.
Other hand creams that I have used and loved include:
Over the years, I have discovered that many beauty items available at the drugstore, cost a fraction of the price as their department store counterparts, and deliver the same results. Here are some of my favorite items, guaranteed to put a smile on my face ad hopefully yours as well.
Removes every trace of eye makeup and mascara without leaving an oily residue.
The little massage roller glides over puffy under eyes leaving the area feeling refreshed and moisturized.
This is a great sulfate free shampoo.
It cleans beautifully leaving your hair soft, moisturized and healthy.
Yes, there is still nothing like it for incredible hold
Keeps the frizz out and the shine in!
I am a sucker for nostalgic scents. This one takes me back to my childhood! Love it!
The title says it all. Used by the entire family.
I tuck these away in my make up drawer to clean my hands and fingers from makeup after I blend it into my skin.
As summer nears its end, but the temperatures are still on the rise, there is an inner battle between switching to an autumnal makeup palette or maintaining your summer glow kit. I have always opted for the latter. Here are my favorite items that assist me in carrying over the sun and fun.
Because I am not out in the sun as much in September, I mix my winter foundation with my summer and apply it with a brush. This way I don’t look as if I have just returned from a beach vacation, but I still have that summer glow.
1. First, I apply a makeup primer to my face; I use La Prairie or Smashbox, both are terrific. Next I apply Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to my eyelid. This primer is bomb. It smooths the eyelid allowing the eyeshadow to adhere beautifully for the entire day and night.
2. I use my La Prairie Anti Aging Hydra Tint with 20 SPF mixed with my Guerlain Healthy Glow (Terracotta Skin line) Foundation. Both are quite sheer (my freckles still show through), but give enough coverage, evening out my skin tone and adding summer glow. I mix the two on the back of my hand and apply with a makeup brush.
3. I apply a golden bronze color all over the eye area, moving my brush back and forth on the crease to create depth. I like to use Daniel Thompson’s Rendezvous or Givenchy’s Le Prism Quad #76. Both achieve a summer glow without looking too made up. Remember to be light handed.
4. I use a thin brush to apply eyeliner to both the upper and lower lid, being generous on the upper and not so on the lower. I like La Prairie’s Smokey Quartz because it is a true chocolate brown. But anything you have in brown, should work perfectly.
5. I clean up the undereye with a light reflecting concealer. La Prairie Light Fantastic Concealer or YSL Touche Eclat are both great.
6. Using a fluffy brush I apply Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzing Powder to my cheeks and nose and NARS The Multiple stick to my cheekbones.
7. If I want to add a bit of color to my arms and decolatage, I use Laura Mercier’s Radiance Baked Body Bronzer.
8. I love a tanned leg without the sun exposure, so I use Caudalie’s Divine Leg tinted body lotion. It does not rub off on my clothes and the scent is fresh and lovely.
9. I finish with my favorite YSL moisturizing sheer lip color Rouge Volupte Shine #16 and gloss over it with YSL Gloss Volupte #3.
This week is all about breaking the rules, and I love it!
We are often advised not to wear red lipstick after a certain age, because it ages us. We are told to stick with light pinks, corals, and nude glosses, because they soften our look. I say phooey, that is a lot of hooey! I will admit that not every red is right for every woman, and even though some claim that there is a “universal” red, I disagree. All of us have a skin undertone of either blue or yellow. I was taught to look at the inside of my wrist to determine the color of my undertone. Mine is yellow, and my daughter’s is blue. My red lipsticks have more orange tones and hers have more blue in them.
No matter the color, applying red lipstick is an art and there are a few steps you should take to ensure that yours is as beautiful and flattering as possible. Of note is the advice that one should keep the eye neutral and not layer the lid with a lot of color. Again, this is totally up to you. Here I kept my neutral and swiped a black liner over the top lid with a soft brown on the bottom.
- Start with a clean palette, and wipe off any traces of lipstick. It even helps to dab a tiny bit of foundation or concealer.
2. Line your lips with a red liner that closely matches the lipstick.
3. Using a lip brush, fill in the lips with the lipstick.
4. Blot with a tissue.
5. Re fill in the color and blot again.
6. Insert a finger into your mouth to remove any lipstick that might smudge onto your teeth.
Here are some of my faves!
YSL - 203 and 204
NARS - Jungle Red
La Prairie - Flame
Chanel - 63 (Rebelle)
Prestige - Salmon
Bite - Pomegranate
La Prairie - Ruby Lip Liner
Prestige - Tomango Lip Liner
People often ask me what makeup I use, or would I help them with a makeover. My standard reply is that no matter what makeup you use, if your skin is not in good condition, it really won’t have much impact. Treat your skin as if it is a canvas, and the makeup, your paint. The condition of the canvas will affect and alter the artwork. How that translates for your face, is that you must maintain the condition of your skin with the 3 step regimen of cleansing, toning and moisturizing, and you must adhere to this on a daily basis. I am an advocate of facials because I cannot get my skin as clean as a professional aesthetician. As we age, and our skin becomes more dry and less elastic, it is essential to step it up. Although I have good skin genes, I will tell you that my mother started me on a skin care regimen when I was 14. I didn’t wear makeup, but she insisted that I cleanse and moisturize from that age on. This established a habit of taking care of my skin; I did the same for my daughter. I will not advise one brand over another, because I believe that is a personal choice and is dependent upon your budget and preferences. The important thing is that you do it, and do it now! In addition to the administering of lotions and potions, it is essential to drink a great deal of water and to get enough sleep. I drink about 2 liters per day, and have become intimately acquainted with all of the nicest restrooms in the Los Angeles and New York areas! In terms of sleep, I don’t really get more than 6-7 hours. Unfortunately, I stay up far too late and get up far too early. At my age, I find that lack of sleep really shows itself on my face. We must all do our very best to treat our skin with respect and kindness. As Coco Chanel said ” Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50.”