Friday, April 28, 2006

Do Share!

I'm just loving the community feeling of this blog lately. Someone asks a question, and you all rush in to help! Simply wonderful.

In the spirit of sharing and helping, take a moment to share your favorite "beauty secret" in the comments section below.

My faves:

-Plain white sugar for exfolliating--face, lips, hands, body, rough spots, you name it.

-Black eye shadow as eye liner for a long-lasting, smoky-without-going-full-on-goth look, a la Natalie Portman.

-Apply, then blot, apply again, then blot again for long-lasting lipstick wear.

Now share yours!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

If You Can't Say Something Nice...Tell the Truth!

Recently the Shining Intellects recieved this question:

Hi fashionistas! I was wondering if you could do a little bit of forecasting: in what direction do you think celebrity fashion is moving?

I've been procrastinating answering this question because I really didn't have an opinion. I finally decided that in the interest of my readers I should answer it, despite the fact that my unequivocal answer to the question: "In what direction is celebrity fashion moving?" must be: "Nowhere good, and nowhere I want myself or anyone I remotely care about to go."

Ladies and gents, I give you Vogue's and Mr. Blackwell's best dressed of 2005. I give you these images not to harm you, or to grieve you, but to teach you all a lesson, the lesson of course being this: Ignore the celebrities.

I could make jokes about how the coke has finally gotten to her, but this sort of thing has been going on for awhile.
She actually TOPPED Vogue's list. She was the first one they thought of! It is exactly facts like this that underline, for me, all that is wrong with this world. Super-skinny jeans? Furry boots? And the worst part is that she's sort of cute despite it all. Think what would happen if she cleaned up her act...
It pains me to post this picture because my first encounter with Kirsten Dunst was when she played Amy in Little Women, also known as One of the Last Movies Off Which Winona Ryder Made Any Money. I loved her! She was so cute and innocent, petulant in all the right spots...ouch. How the mighty have fallen!

...This just confuses me. What is it? A dance leotard? A tunic? A dress? Whatever it is, it's weird. Even leggings (did I just say that?!) would make the outfit look better. Also doing Whatsherface Barton no favors is the fact that the shoes are brown, and the dress clearly has a black stripe on it.

So, I have nothing nice to say about celebrities. I don't think that's news for most of you. Bottom line? You'll see stuff you love on celebs, and feel free to copy it. As for the direction of celeb fashion...

The mind, it boggles.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Not Just a Face in the Crowd

We recently received an e-mail from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous: “I am an Asian student and my school is starting on the 24th April…The thing is I am facing this problem, I have got no idea what to school. Jeans and tees are so common…what are some of things I can wear to be different?”

Well, you came to the right place, Ms. Anonymous! Although there are days where a simple jeans-and-t-shirt look are perfect, sometimes you just want to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ways to do just that:

-Accessorize! Sunglasses, scarves, jewelry, and fun shoes are the perfect way to express your individual style. Usually these things are less expensive than other items of clothing and easier to experiment with. If you find out you just really aren't a skulls-and-crossbones kind of gal, you didn't just drop $200 on an outfit to try it out.

-Wear a skirt. Enough said. I could go on and on about why skirts are so cool, but I already have, so I'll leave it at that.

-Experiment with a signature color. Try wearing a variation of one color in most or all of your outfits. A red sweater, a red watch, and red pumps can all be a little overpowering together... but having a signature color can set you apart. C'mon, we all know the person who wears black every day, right? If blue is your favorite color and you look nice in it, why not incorporate a little blue into all your outfits. It's something you can be known for. (Me, I'm all about the pink.)

-Take the jeans and tees combination up a notch. Antique and thrift stores are a great place to find funky tees and jeans from a bygone era. The internet is also a good place to look. Consider re-tooling a tired t-shirt to fit your own needs. A perfect example of this: the formerly ubiquitous Mickey Mouse t-shirt. It may look a little immature on its own...

(Why do people do this to their poor, innocent dogs? Why?)

but when properly faded and/or worn just peeking out of a jean jacket, it can have its own cool attitude.

-Speaking of attitude...I know it's crazy to hear a fashionista say this, but you are more than your clothes. Your attitude, your smile, your posture, and the way you carry yourself is the best way to set yourself apart from the crowd. You may look like a teenager student, but once people get to know you, your personality and carriage will mean more than anything you could wear.

Hope that helps, Anonymous!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Former Potentate of Pout Graces us with her smile yet again

I had an audition today for an MA program in Vocal Performance, so blogging time was nonexistent. But I did find these pictures of Kelly Osbourne:
She's looking better than ever. She's lost some weight, she's lost her anorexic accessories (Nicole Richie is SO 2005), and she's got a smile on her face. Just look at those legs! I'd smile too.
I think she's a peach. No matter what she does, her face has this babyish look about it. Her hair is cute, her purse is cute, the coat is cute. Everything coordinates, except maybe the shoes. As usual, however, feel free to disagree. What do you think, lovelies?

Pictures courtesy of this lot.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Stop the Rearing of Ugly Blackheads

Nadezhda asks:

Girls, could you write something about getting rid of blackheads? I’m in my twenties so acne and zits are no longer a problem, but I still have plenty of blackheads. Most prominent are on my nose, but there are also tiny ones on my chin and cheeks.

Nadezhda, I definitely sympathize with your blackhead problem, but there is hope. As most women age, they grow out of their acne phase, yielding to a blemish every now and then. Acne is almost directly related to genetics and horomones, blackheads are a result of the excess buildup of oil on the skin. Buildup is caused by having extremely oily skin, using cosmetics and beauty products containing oil, pollution, or by our own actions, such as not washing your face before we sleep or touching your face with your hands. The excess oil settles into your pores and oxidizes, creating the tiny, dark clump of specks we call a blackhead.

Image courtesy of Aveeno

Blackheads are tough to rid of, and typically take longer to disappear versus your average blemish. With a little diligence and care, you can send them packing for good!

Start by cleansing your face with a mild, oil-free cleanser. If you have dry skin, a cream-based cleanser works best and if you have oily skin, a gel-based cleanser is your best bet. You may find it necessary to follow-up with a toner. Try Burt’s Bees line of toners, made for all skin types.

Once you have a clean slate, it’s time to get serious. While your skin is still damp, gently rub a facial scrub into your skin, focusing on blackhead problem areas. Choose a scrub that's made specifically for skin with blackheads, being careful to avoid those that are overly abrasive. Rinse the scrub from skin wth warm water. This process opens up pores, then deep cleans with 2% Salicylic Acid. I've used Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Scrub faithfully for a long time and have been exceptionally pleased with the results. This stuff really works! The same product also comes in Daily Cleansing Pads.

Once a week, apply a mud-based mask to only the area blackheads are present. In many cases, this is the bridge of your nose. Beware that liberal usage of a mud mask may over-dry your skin, causing it to feel itchy and flake. Try Bath & Body Works' Pure Simplicity Neem Pore Refining Face Mask.

Before applying makeup, mattify with an oil-free lightweight moisturizer. Kiehl's Blue Herbal Moisturizer contains 2% Salicylic Acid and will fight to eliminate blackheads underneath makeup, while prepping skin for makeup application.

Once you are blakhead free, a proactive approach can aid in keeping your skin clear. Use an oil-free foundation and keep your hands away from your face!

To add to your blackhead fighting arsenal, pick up some Body Shop Tea Tree Oil. It sounds counter-intuitive to add more oil to your face, but Tea Tree Oil is 100% natural and actually helps rid of a wide range of blemishes, including blackheads.

You also might want to pick up some oil-blotting sheets, for midday touchoups in problem areas.

I don’t recommend using blackhead extractor because misuse can result in pain, infection or permanent scarring. If your blackhead problem is severe or persists, consult a dermatologist.