Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Favorite Favorites

The Fray is on my favorites list right now and I have to share...I've been listening to "Look After You" and "Hundred" over and over and over. And over again. My commute is a little over 2 hours everyday - that's a lot of repeats.

Give it a listen...


Too much of a good thing?

I have a problem.

I know that.

But I don't use all of them. Not all the time anyway. And not all at the same time either - my standard brushes are the ones on the right in the black brush case.

I refuse to count the number of brushes I have. Ignorance is bliss. But if I had to pick the basics for myself or someone else, here is what they would be...

-blush brush*
-bronzer brush (if you use a bronzer but it also does a good job of over all blending)
-2 eyeshadow brushes: 1 all-over & 1 small*
-1 eyeliner brush*
-1 eyebrow brush
-1 powder brush*
-1 concealer brush (if you use a concealer)
-1 foundation brush (if you use a liquid foundation)

A total of 9 brushes give or take a few - I could do with 5 of them (*).

Most of them were gifted but some I did purchase. Here's my brief rundown...
Chanel Brushes - don't' bother - the cost-to-value ratio just isn't there
Bobbi Brown - good brushes but the blush and powder brushes shed - I love the little Kabuki brush though (it doesn't shed)
Sonia Kashuk (for Target) - great bang for your buck but the white handles look beat up after 2 uses otherwise a fantastic buy
Fresh - grood (better than good but not quite great because of the price) brushes for a basic, no fuss approach to color - the entire line only consists of 7 brushes
Giorgio Armani - their foundation brush is the softest thing in the world but other than that he needs to stick to clothes
Shu Uemura - if you're a professional make-up artist go for it! their too fancy for me in functionality and price
Bare Escentuals - crap! crap! crap!
Laura Mercier - love! - great weight, great handles, great investment if you want to splurge
Trish McEvoy - great - great weight but I like tapered handles, also a great investment if you want to splurge; (Trish started out as a brush company)

lipstick kisses!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wake-Up Call

This ad has been making the rounds and responses have been interesting. For some, the end product is conservative when compared to the possibilities available with PhotoShop etc. - "So she's just a little more polished - what's the big deal"? For others it's a crime in the war of weight obsession and plunging self-esteem that women have to fight everyday.

I personally am not shocked by the ad - if you didn't know that practically everything we look at is retouched then you've been living under a rock. I like that the model in this case still looks like herself but I am glad that Dove has taken the first step to shake-up the public with a bold wake-up call. It's a given that we shouldn't hold our ideals of beauty and perfection to what we see in any form of media but this commercial takes you somewhere beyond the rhetoric of loving who we are just as we are. Images in any form should be something to be inspired by - not ruled by.

I would love to hear your thoughts...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quote of the Moment

Richard Buckminster Fuller
When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

I came across this quote in high school when I had become obsessed with fullerenes and buckyballs. [A little bit of history first because I can’t help myself: Fullerenes were discovered at Rice University in 1985/1986 (can’t remember which) and were named after Richard Buckminster Fuller – a renowned architect known for his dome structures. Anyway, fullerenes are molecules composed entirely of carbon and the buckyball is a type of fullerene that resembles a hollow soccer ball (also called C60). I won’t go into the story of the discovery here but it’s a very exciting one – one that I’ll be telling the kids at bedtime (not anytime soon though!). The team that discovered this new form of carbon received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 or 1997 - again I can’t remember which – I’m really bad with remembering dates. ]

Now back to what I was saying…
I came across the quote when I was reading about Fuller and wrote it down because it sounded nice but I couldn’t quite connect the problem solving and the beauty part. I’d read it again here and there hoping something would leap out and hit me in the head because the words were simple enough – why didn’t I understand what they were saying? It wasn’t until college when I fell hard for Organic Chemistry (we’re talking holding-up-a-boom-box-outside-a-window kind of hard) that the pieces clicked – I understood without a doubt what Fuller was saying.

And since then it’s been one of my favorites. Esoteric but when you get it – you know you’ve earned it and it kind of becomes yours. I can find beauty in an aldehyde reaction just as easily as I can find it in a Dior 5-colour Eyeshadow compact (once I figure out how to use all 5 colors!).

lipstick kisses!


Monday, November 20, 2006

One Layer at a Time...

I recently read somewhere that Cindy Crawford started getting botox injections and all sorts of other injections when she turned 28! 28! Yeah I just turned 28 and that is so not happening. I know that Cindy's livelihood is her face so I can understand the need for her to take preemptive measures but I'm not into needles. I'm into products!

I got married this past August and because I'm me my face broke out like it has never broken out before. It was bad - really, really bad. Now people being people everyone had advise - from pills, to treatments, to ground up plants soaked in water and then applied to the face on a full moon - I heard it all. And tried it all. But one thing that I started using and LOVE is GlycoPeeling 25% (also available in 50%) from Natura Bisse. It's a family owned spa skincare line from Spain that has been around for about 30 years.

First - the science (thanks to my aesthetician!). We all know that we have layers and layers of skin. The skin we see on top is actually the old stuff - the new, fresh, dewy stuff is underneath just waiting to come up. But the new skin sometimes has trouble coming up when it's being held down by the old skin. That's why we exfoliate - to get rid of the gunk and allow the new skin to surface. But because I have oily skin I need to exfoliate EVERYDAY! Because it's the oil that traps deadskin cells into pores that causes those damn things to fester in the first place! And sometimes the everyday scrub isn't enough for me. I like to use St. Ives Apricot Scrub to get everyday gunk off like the oil and make-up and product build up but I needed something stronger to really get my skin into gear.

Second - the product. That's where GlycoPeeling came into play. It's an fruit acid peel treatment that I started doing at home. And it works. I've been doing do 2-3 treatments a week and after about 2 weeks I can see a difference - my skin doesn't look like a burlap sack anymore. And the hyperpigmentation is getting lighter and lighter to where now with some bare escentuals you can't very much of the spots at all. I've got a couple of residual bumps but they're healing a lot quicker than B.T.P (before the peel).

And the best part is that the peel also helps prevent wrinkles because the fresh skin just keeps coming up.

I'm clearing up my skin AND preventing wrinkles! Cindy would be so proud!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chocolate Mousse Under the Influence

This weekend the Lobster, Cusak (the Lobster's brother), and I went down to San Antonio to celebrate my uber good friend Mo's birthday (Happy Birthday Mo!). She planned a party with a great South American menu sans birthday cake. Now you cannot not have a birthday cake on your birthday - but she insisted and we compromised on a birthday cupcake with sparkler candles and chocolate mousse for dessert!

I found this amazing recipe in an even more amazing book called Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham. I have never, ever had mousse this good (Shister - it's better than Whole Food's) and it couldn't have been easier to make (something like one egg, 1/8 cup sugar, 1 ounce chocolate, 1/8 cup cream per person so it's a super easy recipe to double or even triple). But the ENTIRE book is full of dessert recipes that sound almost too simple to be so, so good. The pictures are good enough to eat but my favorite part of the book are the stories the author links to each recipe - it gives the entire book provenance - something that you just don't get very often from recipes.

I know all this sounds too deep for a cookbook but seriously. If you like to bake, and you love chocolate, you want this book. Or someone you know who likes to bake and loves chocolate wants this book. (Hint Hint!)

I think this one is going on the list as well.

Eat chocolate!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Confessions of a Logophile

I love words. I mean I really, really love words. I keep a journal full of words that I revisit every now and then like old notes from high school and journal entries – the words a memory of what was going on in my life or a reminder of what I was reading at the time. I love words on their own - words like “miscreant” and “pugilistic”. And I love words in lyrics. And in quotes - words that are strung together so well that the quote itself deserves a word.

I have a mini library of quotation books that I’ve collected from resale shops and bookfairs but nothing that’s a solid compilation of quotes. So you can imagine my excitement when I found that Yale University Press had just published a book of 12,000 quotations. The book itself is a beautiful thick hardback with a smooth white jacket with such a nice hand that you can’t help but hold it to your chest and feel the weight of it and just savor it and never want to put it down. All this hit me before even breaking the spine but the pages inside did not disappoint. The book is organized alphabetically by author, and then within that chronologically by when and where the words were first uttered. The not so good – it’s difficult to find a quote for a particular topic. The great – you can read it “from the top of the first page to the end of the last day” (bonus points if you know where that’s from) like a novel. Want to know what unexpected insightful gems J.K Rowling has penned? You’ll have a page worth of quotes. Anything from Rumsfield? Done. Tupac? Present!

I’m adding this book to my list. A must have on any bookshelf.

Even if the shelf is in the bathroom.

lipstick kisses,


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


So yesterday I learned two things about myself. One, I don’t like yellow Skittles. And two, I don’t like Guerlain’s MaxiLash Mascara.

Now I’ve never really been a big Skittle fan (I am a true chocolate lover) and wear glasses most of the time so mascara was never an issue because my lashes would just end up swiping against my lenses every time I blinked but I will take an increased sense of self-awareness anytime.

That said, I thought I would give the tube of MaxiLash I was gifted a try in an attempt to expand my horizons. I’m trying to change my look and dramatic, smoky eyes are a part of the plan. And you can’t have “look at my eyes” eyes without the lashes…

To be blunt, MaxiLash is highly overrated for the price. My biggest pet peeve of any mascara is the flakes and MaxiLash delivers a storm by mid afternoon. And to add further insult to injury, I looked like I hadn’t slept in days from the dark remnants that were left behind when I tried to brush, swipe, and flick off the flakes. It also doesn’t give you the volume you would expect from the brush. My lashes were visibly longer, I suppose hence the “lash” but I didn’t get the “maxi” – no lash volume in sight. I can't see any difference between MaxiLash and Maybelline’s Great Lash Masacara (Of which I do have a tube but only because make-up artists say time and time again that no make-up bag is complete without one and god forbid I have an incomplete make-up bag.)

Now since I am a sucker for packaging, I can’t sign off without a mention of the beige box that doesn’t connect with the black tube off mascara itself. But I hear that Guerlain is changing their packing this spring…until then I’m going to continue working on the perfect smoky eye…

Lipstick kisses,