maria semple is a screenwriter for such shows as saturday night live & arrested development, so i had to read her new novel. beware: your sudden bursts of laughter while reading this book will make the people around you think your nuts…
product: estee lauder advanced multi-protection anti-oxidant lotion broad spectrum spf 15 $48
uses: apply on face am, pm, or both to prevent premature aging & reduce the appearance of wrinkles–the “anti-oxidant” complex is supposed to protect & nourish skin by fighting free radicals. can be used under make-up.
verdict: i like the smell & the texture–& the fact that it has spf in it…only i wish the spf was higher. i don’t see any dramatic differences with my skin, but the anti-oxidant ingredients in this & the fact that it has sun protection too, makes this product very desirable. 3 out of 5
beauty tip: you know what i’ve noticed? whenever someone has spectacular skin & i comment on it, or if i am reading about an exquisite beauty in a magazine & they ask her about her skin regimen, do you know what these stunning women say? ‘i always wear sunscreen.’
product: lilash eyelash growth serum $139.97 (6 month supply), $79.99 (3 month supply)–but you can find it cheaper on sites such as cleopatra’s choice
uses: apply a thin layer to top lashes every night until desired eyelash length is reached. then use as needed.
verdict: this product works. like i’ve mentioned before, i am cursed with short & sparse eyelashes. i cannot afford latisse (about $120 per month), so i’ve always looked for alternatives. i hadn’t found one that’s worked (don’t try talika lipocils, or smartlash), until now. after 2 weeks my eyelashes were noticeably longer & thicker to the point where the product does not need to be used every night. i now use it maybe 3 or 4 nights a week. drawbacks: if you accidentally use too much product your eyelids near the lash line get red & sore. also, lashes do tend to fall out more frequently than normal (to be honest you won’t even notice them missing), but just be more careful when removing make-up. 4 1/2 out of 5
beauty tip: i use this on my eyebrows too! & my eyebrows are noticeably thicker! since you use such a small amount of product, a full-size tube lasts a long time… so why do you need to buy another separate tube for eyebrows?
product: roc retinol correxion deep wrinkle night cream $23
uses: massage into face, neck, and décolletage to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles
verdict: this product is supposed to be one of the best non-prescription retinol products available. while i’m not able to reap all the benefits of this product (i am only 28, after all), the wrinkles i do have–i’m looking at you, forehead creases–i noticed slight improvement. beware though: retinol can be very irritating on skin–luckily they have a version for sensitive skin available! 3 out of 5
beauty tip: be proactive! women should begin incorporating anti-aging ingredients such as retinol in their beauty regimen in their mid-20’s. skin experts believe this can delay signs of aging. i began using retinol, the “best” wrinkle-fighter, 2 nights a week when i was 25. over the years i increased my usage & now i use some form of anti-ager 3-4 nights a week. like i mentioned earlier, some of these chemicals can be harsh so i like to give my skin a breather by interchanging pure vitamin e, argan, or coconut oil with the man-made wrinkle-fighters.
product: benefit they’re real! mascara, $23
uses: to lengthen, volumize, curl, and darken eyelashes
verdict: okay. let me just say this: i am a COMPLETE mascara snob. complete… WHY? because i was cursed with skimpy, stubby, & sad eyelashes. i have tried basically all of the mascaras on the market–yes, i did say all. diorshow is my absolute fave, but this one is pretty good…i’m actually very impressed. i like the novel wand shape & how the non-waterproof formula stays put. plus, you don’t need an eyelash curler! 4 out of 5
beauty tip: wait a few minutes before you apply your second coat of mascara to lashes. after i apply my first coat, i busy myself with another part of my routine then come back several minutes later for the second coat. this way the first coat has time to dry so when the second coat is applied your eyelashes are darkened & defined easier–and therefore you use less product!
i’ve read everything this brilliant man has ever written: this is a pure culmination of all his previous writings. its just fabulous. please. read.
product: josie maran argan matchmaker powder foundation spf 20, $34
uses: a light dusting on the t-zone instantly conceals redness & shine
verdict: i don’t like to wear face make-up, but with argan oil and spf i feel i am nourishing & protecting my skin with this powder. it conceals perfectly, & blends flawlessly so i look like i’m not wearing any make-up! i can work up to 16 hour days sometimes & it seems to stay put pretty well! it will not conceal zits or dark spots though–you’ll need something liquidy for that… 4 out of 5!
beauty tip: if you drop your compact, just glue the powder pieces together back in it with a little rubbing alcohol, let dry for 30 and, voila! almost good as new!
product: benefit‘s watt’s up highlighter, sample size (lasts forever) $8
uses: to highlight under brow arch–can also be used on the face
verdict: this product is now a mainstay in my make-up bag. it is the perfect champagne color, blends easily, & does its job without fail! 5 out of 5!
beauty tip: i like to put a little bit of highlighter in the corners of my eyes near the nasal bridge–it really makes your eyes pop!