Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rudolph in June

hat’s what you can call me. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and I both have the red, shiny nose thing in common (minus the cuteness factor). Even though I apply Neutrogena SPF 100+ generously to my face as I recommended in a blog post, I have apparently missed the tip of my nose, causing it to burn and flake. (picture below) The only place on my entire body that I burn is on my nose!

Last year, after my three-day trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I went to Pakistan and my outspoken niece flatly asked me why my nose was so red. I was so embarrassed at how noticeable the red burn was on my brown skin. In Pakistan, I had no idea what to do about this reddened nose, so the tip of my nose flaked and eventually scarred. I was determined to avoid any scarring this year, so as soon as I noticed that the very tip of my nose made me resemble a very cute reindeer in a not-so-flattering way, I did a Google search on sunburn remedies. I realized that liberally applying my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer would only cover up, not treat.

I found many, including applying white, plain yogurt, oatmeal, a baking soda mixture, vinegar and finally Aloe Vera lotion. The thought of applying food to my face freaked me out so I immediately crossed oatmeal and yogurt off my list. I knew that white vinegar had some magic healing qualities so I located some in our cupboard, soaked it into a cotton ball and applied it to my nose. And boy, did it burn and sting!! I immediately applied my cool, Vitamin E face cream from the Body Shop to my nose to curb the burning, and it subsided after about 10 seconds. I found that I was supposed to dilute the vinegar in cold water before applying, oops.

Still, the white vinegar helped reduce the redness of my nose overnight. While I am still flaking a bit, I hope that continuous application of facial lotion will help curb it.

So for all of you who want a quick, at home remedy for sunburns, vinegar is one of the many quick fixes! If you have body burns, you can take a cool bath with a bit of white or apple cider vinegar mixed in your water. You might smell like a pickle, but it will take away the pain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lost-Lasting, Lucious Liners

I can be quite lazy with my makeup, and that is especially true when it comes to my eyeliner. I can’t be counted on to have a sharpener on hand no matter how many I buy, and I never, ever seem to be able to locate mine, so for that reason, I stick to liquid eyeliner. First, because I am so angry about this product, I will talk about the one I absolutely loathe with a passion. I hate this $16.50 eyeliner so much that I returned it within a week. It looked so cool, but this eyeliner stirs up nothing but negative feelings. Mostly because I feel bad for the poor girls who think this type of liquid liner will convert them to the liquid side of liners…but it really does nothing but disappoint.

I’m talking about you, MAC Penultimate eyeliner ($16.50). Here you come on the scene, a nifty pen type liner with a felt tip that reminded me of the felt pens my teachers used to grade my homework in elementary school. You seemed so easy to apply, and sure, compared to the gel pot liners, you were. You didn’t require extra effort or thought, it was a quick swish and there you were lining my eyes. Sometimes it was two swipes. But by lunchtime, this sneaky product faded to gray. Having to reapply did not go well with my laziness. It made me hate you, MAC Penultimate eyeliner. I needed a liner that lasted the entire day! Not an awful product that lasted just half a day.

  • Cons: Didn’t last all day, not as dark as I’d like, required two applications to be dark
  • Pro: Easy to apply, fast-drying

So of course, I took the advice of my cousin who showed me her fantastic L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Precise Liquid Eyeliner that lasts all day! The pointed brush wasn’t too soft or too long like some liners, and the texture of the liner was great. It didn’t smear or smudge which was so important to me. The best part—it did last me all day. I only had to reapply if I was going out at night, which I didn’t mind. The "brush" is actually quite stiff, similar to the MAC Penultimate, but it may take a while to get used. The price can’t be beat! It is just about $8 at your local drugstore, less than half the price of MAC’s Penultimate liner.

  • Cons: it can go on thick and it doesn't dry fast, so if you aren't careful and blink right away, you'll end up with liner on the top of your lids. It's happened to me before.. not pretty.
  • Pro: long-lasting, thick texture, rich, easy to apply, the black is super bold, matte finish

Another liner I love is the Sephora brand liquid liner. It is only $10, and while it is a bit more “watery” than the L’Oreal Paris liner and has a thin, long brush, I still did enjoy this product greatly. I am more loyal to the L’Oreal, but the Sephora brand is great too.

  • Cons: Not water-proof like it claims to be, doesn't last all day (you might need a touch-up)
  • Pro: good color, goes on super thin thanks to the brush

Stay tuned for my NEXT POST: Pencil Eyeliners

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Bottom Line

Like most Middle-Eastern/South Asian women, I have a love affair with eyeliner. I am constantly on the quest for good eyeliner, and I refuse to leave my house without it. Coco Chanel may have famously advised women never to leave home without lipstick, and while I admire and respect her, eyeliner is the product I will never leave my home without.

And because of my love affair with this product, I am constantly on the lookout for eyeliner that lasts me all day. I used to play with my mother’s Kohl eyeliner (kajol) from Pakistan when I was younger, and while this lasted long, it smudged easily and was too messy to apply. I could never master it like the women overseas have. Apparently, Japan loves eyeliner too, and I’ve noticed a trend in the Japanese style eyeliners that come in cute little pots that are applied with a brush.

MAC has a line of eyeliners that are very popular, not only because their products are famously used for film productions, but because they typical sell long-lasting products that are rather affordable. MAC’s Fluidline liquid gel pot is probably the most popular of the dip-and-line type products, and it does take a while to get used to applying. It runs for $15 for the pot, and an additional $17.50 for their eyeliner brushes (the 209 or 210 work fine with this product). I prefer to use a thin, angled brush when I use the gel pots only because I prefer a winged look. What is great about this eyeliner is it really does stay on all day and o
Boldnce you get the hang of applying it, it’s a flawless look.

I found a less pricey alternative when sister-in-law came to visit. She had the L’Oreal Paris HiP Studio Secrets gel pot liner (at this point, I didn’t know that L’Oreal sold one!) and then I saw it at Target for $12…and it included a brush! This product is certainly a more economical version of the MAC one. I personally haven’t tried it, so I can recommend Sumita Beauty’s Gel Pot liner in black, which runs for $11 (no brush included). These products are available at Ziba Beauty stores in California or online. It doesn't seem like the black is in stock online now. However, this product is a bit watery and doesn't go on as dark as the MAC Fluidline.

Here is a photo of my with the Sumita Beauty Eyeliner. (the mascara is Benefit's BADGal Lash while the eyeshadow is by MAC Cosmetics and was hastily applied for the purpose of this photo.)

It looks effortless, but applying the eyeliner using a brush definitely took a lot of practice!!

So, in my opinion, the only downside to using these eyeliner pots with a brush is that for one—they tend to go on rather thick if you aren’t careful, and two, you need to practice in order for it to go on well. I have been in a hurry and ended up with badly lined eyes, or mismatching eyes.

But a benefit of the gel pots--the liner lasts ALL DAY! I don't have to reapply and it is just so much easier than some other pencil or liquid liners.

In my next post, I’ll talk about other types of eyeliners for those who wish to stick to pencil or liquid liners. I’ve tried all three kinds now!

*imaged via MAC Cosmetics and Google Images, while the two last ones are my own.