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Archive for March, 2011

Ladies in Red

Thursday, March 17th, 2011
By Glinda

It takes a certain personality, does it not, to pull off red hair? 

I don’t think I could do it convincingly.

Here are some famous ladies and their red locks, ranging from strawberry blonde to deep red.  The color may or may not be their “natural” color, but I’m including them if they are well known for their hair, regardless of the dye bottle. Did I manage to include your favorite?

Julianne Moore


Lucille Ball

Christina Hendricks

Bryce Dallas Howard

Amy Adams

Lindsay Lohan

Molly Ringwald


Nicole Kidman

More redheads after the jump… (more…)

Things I Love: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
By Glinda

What can I say, I’m a bar-soap in the shower kind of gal.

Even with all the bajillions of liquid soap options out there for me, I prefer a to use a bar, period.  Based on the bar soap to liquid soap ratio I see on store shelves, I’m a dying breed.

Up until very recently, I’ve used whatever bar soap they carried at Costco, mostly some version of Dove.

But unlike years past, my skin would be dry and flaky (oh the joys of getting older) and I just didn’t feel totally clean.  I always felt like there was some sort of residue on me, and don’t tell me to use the liquid soaps, because those are even worse.

Enter Dr. Bronner’s.

This soap, it changed my life.

Full disclosure, I am an unpaid products tester for a PR firm that deals with all-natural products.  Well, I get paid in products, but not cash.  One day I was sent a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap in its liquid form.  I used it because even though I dislike liquid soap, the agreement was that I try it out and rate it.  And try it out, I did.

Religious and other rantings on the label aside, I am inloooove

You are skeptical.  I can sense it.  In love with a soap, eh Glinda?

I have never used a liquid soap that smelled so wonderful and produced so much lather.  Nor made me feel almost obscenely clean.  And despite my recent Dove habit, I’ve used some pretty expensive soaps in my time. Warning, though, if you use the Peppermint on your private areas, it will make them tingle.  And not necessarily in a good way.  Not in an “oh-god-shoot-me-now” way but more like a “damn-I-need-to-rinse-this-stuff-off-ASAP” kind of way.  Once it is off,  though, its off and there are no ill after-effects.

So after trying the liquid, I found out the soap also comes in bars. The heavens opened up and the angels trumpeted and smiled indulgently as me as I eagerly bought the almond version.   I adore almond scent and nobody makes anything with an almond scent any more.  At least, not that I can easily find.

The aromatherapy aspect is reduced with the bar soap, but it is every bit as effective. You can use it to shave, and I assure you it is just as good if not better than using a product like Skintimates or something similar.  You can use it on your face in a pinch as well, although I wouldn’t personally recommend it for every day.  It comes in many scents, including lavender and citrus and one especially for babies, which I am so totally going to buy for my toddler once I use up the California Baby stuff I’m currently on. Oh yeah, and you can wash your floors and veggies with it too. 

Now, let me get a little TMI with you.  If you don’t want to read anything vaguely TMI, skip the next sentence or two.  I have always been self-conscious about my lady-bits and any smells that emanate from that area.   It seemed that no matter how much I cleansed, some kind of smell would eventually arrive.  Can I tell you that this soap has stopped that IN ITS TRACKS.  My lady garden now smells like NOTHING.  It is amazing.  I cannot promise that it will do for you what it did for me, but I swear I will never stop using this soap. 

And my veggies have never smelled better, either.

Models I Irrationally Dislike: Kate Moss

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
By Glinda

I know, I know.

She is considered to be one of the best models, like, EVAH.

I have no idea why, but she just doesn’t do it for me.  Never has.

Maybe I started to turn on her when she began dating Johnny.  The only woman I’ve ever liked that Johhny Depp has been with is Jennifer Grey. 

Oh, I can readily admit that she is truly a chameleon in front of the camera.  She definitely has a talent for being able to change her looks for different ad campaigns.  Is she beautiful? Absolutely. 

So really, I have no good reason for not being a Kate Moss fan.  She is just one of those people that sort of bugs me whenever I see her, through no real fault of her own.  Well, except for the coking around, maybe.  And maybe because I read once that she just sort of leaves her daughter behind while she goes to party extremely heartily.  Which, if you think about it, is certainly better than taking her along.

What I wouldn’t give for those cheekbones, though.

Monday Beauty Poll

Monday, March 14th, 2011
By Glinda

Well, a whopping 41% of you think that your eyes are your best feature.  I’m with you ladies on that one.  The next highest vote-getter was a fabulous face overall, with 20%, which is wonderful to see.  The next highest was the category of not really having a “best” feature, and I’m going to take that to mean that your face works in perfect harmony with itself, amirite?  Because there will be no self-deprecating allowed on Manolo Beauty.  The rest of the choices came in at 10% or under, but I was surprised to see that not one soul chose their nose.  I refuse to believe that not one of you has a fantastic nose. 

Today I’ve got a question about your beauty-related shopping habits.

Cosmetics Cage Match: Boots Botanics VS Dr. Brandt

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
By Glinda

In this corner: Boots Botanics Intensive Wrinkle Reduction Serum

In the other corner: Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster

Both of these serums, meant to be worn every day under regular moisturizer, purport to boost collagen production, firm skin, and reduce wrinkles.

I’ll be using three criteria to declare a winner.

The winner will be the serum that 1) Feels best on the skin. 2) Produces a noticeable difference in skin appearance, anywhere from reduction in fine lines to plain old “healthier looking.”  This, of course, is highly subjective. 3) Value for the money.

First up we have Boots Botanics.  In the beginning of this blog, I was surprised by a bunch of Boots No. 7 love that was being thrown out there by readers.  Impressed with the praise but unfamiliar with the brand, it wasn’t until I got back home from the store that I realized I had bought the Botanics line and not the No. 7 line, but I was too lazy to take it back.

Both products were used for three weeks, with a two week “breather” period in between to make sure that I wasn’t attributing the effects of the first serum onto the second.

So, on to the fight!

The Boots Botanic serum felt lovely on my skin.  It has a very velvety texture that I liked a lot.  It seemed to absorb well into the skin, although I certainly wouldn’t use it in place of a moisturizer.

Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster has a more gel-like texture, but it also absorbed well.  To be honest, it seemed like I could feel it on my skin during the day, as opposed to the Boots, which does a nice disappearing act once applied. It also felt a bit tingly the first few applications, but that wore off after about two days.

Point to Boots!

Boots Botanic has somewhat reduced the two fairly prominent (to me, anyway) vertical frown lines on my forehead that I am using as a performance barometer.  It seemed like they went away to a point, and then the serum just sort of threw its hands up in defeat.  My skin doesn’t look very bright, but I would have to say it looks better than before I began using it.

Dr. Brandt’s Collagen Booster made a rather shocking impact on those stubborn wrinkles.  They all but disappeared.  I had to really get close to the mirror to see them.  It was this short of amazing.

It also seemed like my skin was brighter and younger looking. 

Point to Dr. Brandt’s!

Now, value for the money.

This is where the opponents are both getting dizzy and it looks like they are both ready to pass out from sheer exhuastion.

Because although the Boots Botanics did not perform as well overall in affecting the actual look of my skin, it only costs about fourteen bucks for one fluid ounce.

The Dr. Brandt Collagen Booster costs $75.00 for one fluid ounce.

Is the Dr. Brandt really worth $61.oo more a pop?

Even though I have say that the Dr. Brandt is a better product than the Boots Botanics, (as well it should be for that much money!) I have a truly hard time heartily recommending a product that is so very pricey.  At this stage in my personal wrinkle game, I am loathe to spend that amount.  I can’t say that at some point a few years down the road that I won’t change my tune, though.

Ding, ding, ding…

A draw!

Things I Don’t Do: Eyeshadow Primer

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
By Glinda

I’ve got a thing lately with the word “primer” it seems.

It’s not that I have something against eyeshadow  primers.  Not at all.  Technically, I am for a product that will help other products I own stay on longer and look better.

However, every time I find myself lingering over the most popular eyeshadow primer out there, I am unable to pull the trigger.

I would categorize myself as someone whose lids have a tendency to get slick quick.

And I definitely enjoy my eyeshadow, so what prejudice do I have against the sad, sad eyeshadow primer that I leave forlornly on the shelf every single time?

I think it’s because I am currently not working. Actually I haven’t worked outside the home for almost nine years, but if I am no longer interviewing potential employees or conducting training sessions, who really cares about my eyeshadow staying put for ten hours?

Certainly not my kids, and my husband lacks that fine eye for detail that would notice my shadow growing fainter and fainter by the minute.  I would say at this point in my life, eyeshadow goes on for special events. Going to Target, as exciting as that can be, doesn’t qualify as a special event.  Not yet, anyway.  My time to get out the door is usually pretty limited, and I’m always going to choose foundation, concealer, lipstick, and even mascara over eyeshadow.

So as I’m standing there pondering, my mind always seems to justify the non-purchase of the primer.

Because in my world, if I’ve got the extra money, I can never have too many lipsticks.

A Mineral Makeup Primer

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
By Glinda

Because there was so much reaction on my Bare Escentuals post, I simply had to make another one!

The superfantastic Jelly wanted to know:

This powder foundation: I can use it with my oily skin? It won’t cake-up on my face at 2 p.m. like my foundation/powder process that I’ve given up on?

Jelly, as someone who has oily skin herself, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that the mineral foundation will not cake or slide in the dreaded mid-afternoon slump.  It is so finely textured, and the kabuki brush I use to apply it does a great job of really getting it on there.  Also, if set with the Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, not even a hot summer day will cause this stuff to look much different than when you applied it.  Thus my undying love for it.

The lovely Toyouke also had this to say:

I’ve tried Bare Escentuals before, but I didn’t really see any benefit over regular foundation/powder. Is it something you need someone to show you how to do? I don’t wear makeup a lot, and it’s entirely possible I was doing it wrong. Is there a trick? Should I have someone at the store show me what to do?

I’m sorry that you didn’t have a good experience with the product.  Without knowing a lot about how you put it on, my first guess would be that you might have used the wrong type of brush to apply it.  Mineral makeup looks and works best when applied with a type of brush known as a kabuki.

Kabuki brushes tend to have shorter handles (although they do make them with regular-sized ones) and a set of soft, full bristles. The wide arc of the bristles is perfect for applying powder foundation evenly.

I love my short-handled BE kabuki brush (as pictured above)  lots.  I also have one with a long handle, and for no reason that I can pinpoint, does not seem to work as well.  So Toyouke, I would suggest that you try the kabuki brush (if my guess is correct, which it may not be) and give it another shot.

The only other trick I have, as I said in my reply to Jelly, is to set it with the Mineral Veil finishing powder to really give it the oomph to last all day.

And when in doubt, it can never hurt to have someone show you how to do it if you are unsure!  Or, if you still have the makeup, try YouTube, they’ve got lots of makeup tutorials. I found one that didn’t annoy the crap out of me.

A few people mentioned a bad reaction to one of the key ingredients in mineral makeup, which as noted by some astute commenters, is Bismuth Oxychloride. More than a few readers recommended Everyday Minerals as an excellent bismuth-free alternative, and I’m inclined to believe them! I noticed on the website that you can actually order a free sample online, so if you have any doubts, that would definitely be the way to go. Lord knows I love free makeup.

So I hope this helped a bit. I’m determined to have everyone I know switch to mineral foundation! And, I have gotten a big fat zero in compensation of any sort from any mineral makeup producer, so rest assured that my motives are pure!

Monday Beauty Poll

Monday, March 7th, 2011
By Glinda

Last week I wanted to know the last time you made a fairly major change to your hair.  23% have done so in the last six months, while 28% did within the last year.  Of those people, a rather astounding 89% had no regrets about doing so.  Wow.  There must be lots of talented stylists out there!  Actually, you all were my inspiration when I went to my stylist last Friday.  I decided to bite the bullet and get some layers, which I haven’t done in over fifteen years.  At first I was a bit traumatized, but I think I’m slowly getting used to it. 

25% changed their hairstyle two to four years ago, 11% five to nine years, 6% ten to fifteen, and 5% over fifteen years ago.  You know, there is something to be said for finding and keeping a style that works for you.  As long as you don’t look stuck in a time warp, stick with what you love.

Today’s question is something a friend of mine and I were talking about the other day.

You Don’t Need No Stinking Brushes

Friday, March 4th, 2011
By Glinda

Or do you?

On my post addressing how to clean your hair brush, the beauteous wildflower asked:

Is there any reason one has to use a brush? I use a medium-toothed comb, and I have thick, stick-straight hair that is very amenable to a brush. I’d guess that anyone with curly or wavy hair would have all the more reason to use a comb instead. What exactly does one need a brush for?

Excellent question.

And when I really got to thinking about it, I wondered what the hell a good answer was.

Have I, all these years, been a victim of some sort of anti-comb conspiracy?  Have I spent all sorts of money on brushes that I didn’t need?

Well, yes and no.

I am sure that I could definitely get by using just a comb.  I use a comb in the shower to distribute my conditioner evenly, and then I use another comb apres shower to detangle my wet hair.   So I am certainly no stranger to combs.

But then once my hair is dry, I find myself compelled to brush it out with a brush.

Why is that?

For me, a brush (and the better the brush, the better the final result) gives my hair a smoothness and sheen that I simply cannot get with a comb.   I have long, straight hair and after brushing, it gleams.   That gleaming unfortunately does not occur with a combing.

Granted, the gleaming effect goes away after a bit, but I can’t resist it.

And we cannot ignore the styling options that round brushes such as these can bring to the table when blow-drying and such.

So I guess the answer is that I don’t NEED a brush, but rather I prefer a brush when I want my hair to look a certain way.

Anyone? Bueller?

Things I Love: Bare Escentuals Mineral Makeup

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
By Glinda

I take this makeup so much for granted that it took me this long to post about it. 

I have used foundation for forever, since as a teen I was acne-prone.  Actually, since I played sports it was probably a bad idea to wear foundation while playing/practicing, but it was one of those escalating situations where the more I wore, the more I needed to wear it to cover everything up. 

Yeah, I never said I was a particularly bright teenager.

If only the Bare Escentuals line had been around back then!

I love everything about this stuff.  I love how it blends flawlessly, how effortlessly matte it makes my skin look, its staying power, the SPF, the fact that under my eyes I no longer look like this. Or possibly worse, this, from overcompensation.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to find liquid foundation and undereye concealer that matched perfectly. The only one that came close was Prescriptives Custom Blend Foundation, but it was pricey and once I tried the mineral makeup, I never bought it again.  I’ve been wearing Bare Escentuals now for about five years, and you will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands before I stop using it.  This is despite the fact that now that I am getting older, all the advice tells me I should be switching to a liquid foundation.  Bah! Never again, says crone-Glinda!

I find that people come in basically two camps about Bare Escentuals. 

Either they love it passionately, or they hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.

Are you a convert?

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