Today’s post is written by our Nashville-based editor, Amy Norton.
Here’s the reality of the situation. I’m no longer 25. Or 35, even. I’m busier than I’ve ever been (aren’t we all!), which means I have less time to devote to fluffing and primping than I did when I was a decade or two younger. And though my dear, sweet hubs always says, à la Billy Joel, “I love you just the way you are,” who are we kidding? Going au naturel just doesn’t quite cut it these days. The opposite isn’t good either… We’ve all seen the women who don a baseball cap, dark glasses, lotsa lipstick and skulk around town, pretending to be invisible. (And word to the wise: when you adopt this strategy, bank on the fact that you will run into literally everyone you know at the grocery.)
I think it was Dolly Parton who said in Steel Magnolias – a fave movie – “Every old barn looks better with a coat of red paint,” but sometimes old barns don’t have time to wait around for a whole paint job to dry and have to rely on one coat, quick-dry products instead. So for all you harried women out there who want some scoop on beauty notions to get you out the door quickly and on to the important stuff of life, this post is for you!
Everywhere I turn, I seem to be hearing about BB cream (the “BB” is short for beauty balm). I had no idea what this stuff was until an article in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal caught my attention recently. Purportedly an all-in-one moisturizer, protectant, primer and color-correcter, it sounded like just the product one would need to speed through her morning grooming routine. I’ll admit, I was somewhat skeptical, having spent a small fortune over the years on oversold, underperforming products, but friends, let me tell you what. This beauty balm business is not bunk!
The WSJ article mentioned that Sephora couldn’t keep their BB cream on the shelves, so I figured that would be a great place to conduct my field research. I asked which products they had in-house, and was offered samples of Dr. Jarts, Smashbox, Too Faced and Clinique products. All retail for under $40. If you want to see all their beauty balm options, visit the website: www.sephora.com.
My favorite? Hands-down, it’s Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream. With an SPF of 35, this product allows me to forego other sunscreen, and the slight moisturizing effect makes for easy application. The color-correcting and priming components are what really sold me, though. When I apply it, I don’t usually feel the need to go back and use lots of concealer or powder, although for a more finished “look” those are both advisable products to add, time permitting. A quick swipe with what’s left on the blush or bronzer brush from the day before, a swipe of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Berry Rose and I’m done. Mascara if I have the extra minute to apply. (Note: I’ve had the best results applying BB cream to damp skin. Not a problem when you only have five minutes to shower and get out the door!) Bottom line, I like that this beauty balm does what it says – it evens out my skin tone, and I feel fresh faced, as if I’m not wearing makeup. It can also be found at The Cosmetic Market.
InStyler Rotating Hot Iron
I kid you not. This “as seen on tv” hair styling tool is my lifesaver and newest obsession for days when I’m in a hurry, as well on days when I want my hair to look finished. I’ll have to thank one of SB’s summer interns, Emma, for introducing me to this fabulous gadget. (Thanks, Emma!) The InStyler is one part flat iron, one part curling iron, and the extra set of hands you don’t have when you’re trying to blow out your hair. I LOVE it!
The ideal way to use this device is to dry your hair unti it’s damp, grab sections of your hair between the brush and rolling iron, clamp and pull slowly. Repeat over your whole head, turning ends under slightly. Click on this link for a video demonstrating the proper technique: www.instyler.com/tips. On days when I don’t have time to rewash and dry my hair, this tool comes in handy to tame, straighten and smooth my ‘do.
The InStyler is available at a number of local stores like Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond, as well as online, and retails for just under $100. www.bedbathandbeyond.com
Gillette Venus MoistureRich Razor
Am I the last woman on the face of the earth to discover this time-saver of a razor?! I may be late to this particular party, but no matter. It’s a happy discovery, even if it was my tween daughter and her BFF who introduced me.
Two things that make this product a must: the close shave, and the shave gel bars built into the razor head that allow you to skip lathering up the legs with shaving cream. That’s right. I did say skip a step entirely. Genius, I tell you! And, I love not standing precariously balanced on one leg, trying the keep the shower spray from washing away all the suds while reaching for the nether region of my ankle where long goat hairs seem to spout. TMI? Oh well… Get one if you don’t have one already. Available conveniently at drugstores, grocery stores and department stores like Target. $10, give or take.
I asked Liza to share some of her recent beauty quicker fixer uppers, and here’s what she had to say…
Eyelid Primer for Concealer:
I am forever trying to find the perfect concealer, as in my opinion, it’s the single most important item in your beauty bag. I have some favorites, but I just discovered a secret that will make any concealer work better: eyelid primer. That’s right, use your eyelid primer UNDER your eyes and then put on your concealer. No more makeup in your little crinkles. No more smearing. It stays and does what it does best: makes you look well-rested and radiant. My eyelid primer of choice for this application is by Smashbox, available at The Cosmetic Market and Sephora.
Kevin Murphy Easy Rider:
I just can’t say enough about this hair care line. Each product is made with all-natural ingredients and the scent alone will have you reaching for your product of choice, as they all smell amazing. For those who have hair that tends to frizz, take a small dollop of this balm and rub vigorously between your palms for a good 20 seconds. Then, evenly distribute into your hair. This will let air-dried hair (I never seem to have time to actually blow dry my hair!) look its best or give you just what you need for the best possible blowout. Sold at many area salons.
This semi-permanent mascara may be just what you need if you simply find it easier to make an appointment than to find extra minutes in the morning. I know there is a solid contingent of you that I am speaking to. The application takes about 30 minutes and you will have curled, thick, coated lashes for about 4 weeks. It’s best to have the 2 week “touch up” session as mine were definitely needing this. The touch-up is free. You can use LashDip with lash extensions and Latisse. It’s waterproof, making a vacation a great time to try this out.
Did I like it? I did, but I really like to be able to have a clean face at night so this service is not for me. It did make it easy to walk out the door in the morning. I like being in control of what is on my face and not being able to remove the LashDip myself was irritating, but more of a window into my personality than the product itself. I didn’t like having my bottom lashes coated, as I don’t even put mascara on my bottom lashes and they tended to “stick” a bit with both uppers and lowers done (not excessively, but it was an issue for me). For women who struggle with mascara, this is a great alternative. For those that have to try “the latest,” this is definitely a service to try so that you continue to be in-the-know. I’m back to my By Terry mascara but happy I experienced LashDip. $150.
For an appointment, book with Victoria (an eyelash and eyebrow specialist who will take excellent care of you no matter if you are LashDip-ing, tinting, adding extensions or getting your brows shaped) at Private Edition, (615) 292-8606.
Not from Nashville? For a LashDip specialist near you, click here.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
When my skin is looking not-so-good, I’m sure to switch from my lazy makeup remover wipes to actually washing my face with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant as the smoothing results are quick and my skin glows instantly. Now, if they could make this into a beauty wipe, with the same results, the perfect night-time product will have been created! For now, splash on water to activate the unique rice based formula and your skin will thank you, immediately. Available at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics.
Thanks, Liza. And SB friends, let us know what your beauty quick fix picks are!
Be sure to check out SB Louisville’s post “We Wear Short Shorts” today: here