Tag Archives: m.a.c

Beat the Summer Gross

If you live in the New York City area, you’ve been either sweating your butt off for the past couple of weeks, or adding money to your electric bill by cranking the AC day and night. Earlier this month records were broken from Central Park to La Guardia Airport. Just this past weekend more heat records were set across the area, and we still have another 2 weeks of July. Even when records aren’t being broken, the temperature has been sitting at an average of 90 degrees each day, so it’s hard not to feel like this:

Maybe you’re one of those people who thrive in the heat, who soak up the suns rays with pleasure and feel invigorated by the sweat—if that’s you, I’m in total awe.

If you see a girl looking sweaty, angry, tired, sunglasses slipping down her nose, a halo of frizz around her head, blisters on her feet, and using her skirt as a means to fan herself, well that’s probably me. I was not made for the heat, I am of hearty eastern European and Irish stock, I flourish in winter and was born in December, heat and humidity have always felt foreign and unbearable to me.

What drives me nuts about the heat is that you can’t escape it, the air just bears down on you. When you’re cold you can add on more layers, drink hot tea, start a fire, snuggle up with a buddy, do some vigorous exercise—you have some (usually inexpensive) options besides turning up the thermostat. When it’s nearly 100 degrees outside and the air is wet with humidity, all you can do is turn on the AC, or bathe yourself in cold water.

What’s worse is dealing with the back and forth between superficially freezing places like office buildings or supermarkets and the baking heat of the outdoors, it makes you nauseous. Then you have the constant worry of bringing a sweater wherever you go, and having to carry it around since it won’t fit in your bag—and maybe you should just bring a bigger bag, ugh, frustrating.

I recently read in a magazine (I have no idea which one, I can’t keep them straight at this point) that around 75% of women feel more beautiful in the summer, I found that sort of shocking. I guess it makes sense when you think about it, people work out more because you end up showing off your body more, and if you tan then you feel better about yourself too. For me though, the summer means frizzy hair, shiny skin, visible sweat stains and eww—chafing.

Chafing is gross, and while it’s stigmatized as something that only happens if you’re overweight, it can happen to anyone at anytime. It occurs from sweating and rubbing and it can happen anywhere on your body. It can even happen on your feet when you’re wearing cute new sandals and decide that even though you haven’t broken them in, it will probably be OK to walk around the city in them all day—big mistake.

The summer makes me long for socks, and boots, and comfy sweaters, but come February it will be a different story. Anyway, it’s hard enough to bear the dumbing heat, but trying to look attractive on top of it—who even cares? Unfortunately there are also a lot of events in the summer; parties, BBQs, weddings, and when you attend these events you want to feel you’re looking your best. So, I’ve put together a list of a some products that help keep me feeling human when I can’t sit around the house in my underwear with the fan blowing on me.

If you’re going to wear make-up in the summer, you have to be prepared for it to slide off your face, so what I suggest is a tinted moisturizer with SPF because it’s very light and gives you sun protection too. Now the problem for me is that I’m incredibly pale, so even the “fair” shade in most tinted moisturizers is too orange for me. I don’t think I’m alone here, a lot of these products only come in 1-3 shades and people come in a lot more shades than that. Laura Mercier makes this one in a variety of shades, it has a nice light coverage, but is a bit pricey, there is also an oil free version available.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $42 for 1.5 oz.

I like to make my own tinted moisturizer by using my normal moisturizer and mixing it with concealer. This way you have control over how light you want your coverage to be, and it’s much cheaper. You can just mix it together on your hand and then apply it, or you can get fancy and actually mix it up in a container, just make sure it’s well sealed.

M.A.C Studio finish SPF 35 concealer, $16.50

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, Fragrance Free, $11.49 for 4 fl oz

I’ve spoken before about my love of powder, specifically Lush dusting powders, but they’re $11.95 for 3.5 oz and in the summer I go through powder fast. I always keep this Johnson & Johnson powder on hand because it’s inexpensive and with the lavender and chamomile scent you won’t have to smell like a baby either.  If you dust yourself with this stuff after a shower you will stay smelling sweet and you’ll minimize sweat too!

Johnson’s Baby Baby Powder, Lavender & Chamomile, $5.49 for 22 oz.

Frizz is the enemy. During the summer months it can be completely unavoidable, but I’ve found that if I use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and then while my hair is wet I work in an anti-frizz finishing creme, I manage to keep the poof under control. I also give my hair a blast of ice-cold water right before I jump out of the shower, it’s supposed to seal the cuticles and increase shine or something, also the cold water feels invigorating when it’s this hot out. I’ve also decided that the Fekkai glossing conditioner is worth the hefty price tag, because it really works. I’m still on a quest to find a conditioner that works as well for less money. That all sounds complicated, but avoiding frizz is a battle people!

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme, $5.99 for 4 oz.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, $35 for 16 oz

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner, $35 for 16 oz

Nexxus Humectress Luxe Ultimate Moisturizing Leave-In Spray, $11.49 for 5.1 fl. oz.

Remember when I mentioned chafing? Yeah, it happens whether you want to admit it or not, and Aquaphor ointment is a great way to sooth yourself after you’ve fallen victim to the rub. I love this stuff, it is great for chapped skin in the winter, chafed skin in the summer, burns, small cuts, even bug bites.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment $5.99 for 1.75 oz.

This one is more for after you’ve been in the heat and you’ve forgotten your sunscreen and are now suffering from a painful and unattractive sunburn. When you get home from the beach or a walk in the park and notice that your skin is turning a brighter and brighter shade of pink each moment, you’ll be very glad you bought some aloe gel and put it in your fridge. My mom always kept a bottle in our fridge year round, and it remains to be one of the most comforting things for a bad sunburn, you can also just put it on if you’re really hot, anything helps right?

Up & Up Green Aloe Gel, $3.49 for 16 oz.

Lastly, but most importantly—put your hair up! Seriously, this seems like a no brainer, but when I see girls with their long hair sticking to the back of their necks, it instantly makes me feel hotter. I think sometimes we’re willing to sweat our butts off and be miserable to avoid ponytail bumps in our hair. But for real, this instantly cools you down, unless you’re lucky and can sport a cute short hair cut, then you have us all beat!

Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics, $2.99 for 14 pieces

I’d love to hear what other tips people have for managing to feel human when you really just want to seek out the nearest air conditioner. Please give me more tips, I need them!!



Filed under cosmetics, hair, shopping

Lovable Lipsticks

It often seems like you’re either a lipstick person or you’re not. My generation seems to prefer lip gloss and lip stains, not to mention tinted lip balm, over your standard lipstick. I think the time is ripe for a lipstick comeback, and I credit Mad Men for paving the way, who doesn’t want to look like Joan Holloway? I was never that much of a lipstick person. I tend to forget I’m wearing it and smudge it everywhere, and I’m also too lazy to re-apply it. My collection stands at a measly 29, and most of them are either from Clinique bonuses or gratis I received while working for M.A.C. Recently however, I’ve rediscovered lipstick, which has sparked me to go back and check out what I have, and of course buy some new ones!

Here is my current collection, not so interesting, definitely not nearly as interesting as nail polish.

Within seconds of setting these out my adorably, evil cat Loki jumped up into the middle of the shot, then he just sat there, all pissed at me for invading his space. Ugh, cats.

Some lipsticks I keep only because I love the packaging, mainly this applies to Anna Sui, in fact I’ve never been too crazy about any of her make-up, but the packaging gets me every time, I do love her perfume though.

Moving on, with lipstick you really need to see the color, and you can never tell what it looks like until you try it on. Unlike things like nail polish or eyeliner, you need to choose a shade that works with your skin tone. I was going to photograph the colors on my hand, but it wasn’t very interesting, so I got my lovely fiance James to try them out for me—no wait, just to photograph me, that would have been creepy. I’m also trying to get more comfortable in front of the camera so I won’t freak out when I have to take my wedding pictures, so please bear with me!

This is one of my favorites, and it’s only $12 at Sephora. It goes on a bit sheer and is very moisturizing!

Sephora Lip Attitude – Glamour in Rosy Frivol $12

This shade is a matte pinkish brown, I think it flatters a lot of skin tones, it was one of the bestselling shades when I worked at M.A.C, and I think it still is.

M.A.C. lipstick in Twig $14

If I were to eat a lipstick (which probably wouldn’t be advisable) it would be this one. It’s the most expensive in my collection by far at $30, but it is oh so delicious! It goes on very light and can be layered, and it has a glossy finish. A great summer lipstick, it’s not heavy at all, and gives a perfect, bright wash of color.

Gloss Volupte in Frozen Cherry $30

I used to wear this shade a lot and have only just rediscovered it. It has a 60’s mod vibe because it is a very light pink, not too bright. It is part of the Lustre Lipstick collection from M.A.C, which I happen to love because they are slightly more sheer and not messy, very easy to apply.

Mac Lustre lipstick in Lovelorn $14

I can’t pass up a Clinique bonus, which is where I got this shade. It is very berry colored, nice in the fall, and as usual with the Clinique bonuses it flatters many skin tones.

Clinique Different Lipstick in A Different Grape $14

I usually go for bright when I wear lipstick, but this one is a very pretty nude, very comfortable to wear, and goes on nice and smooth.

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick in Blushing Nude $14

I had to leave out a bunch of my favorite colors because they’re no longer available, but I couldn’t leave this one out even though it was a limited edition and was discontinued. It is RED, like, serious red. It’s a huge pain to apply because it gets everywhere, but when you put it on you just have to pout like Gwen Stefani or snarl like Cyndi Lauper, which is fun, everyone should try a red lip every once in a while! You can try M.A.C in Russian Red or Lady Bug for a similar effect, or YSL Rouge Volupte in Red Muse ($34).

M.A.C. lipstick in Powerhouse (discontinued)

Remember what I said about skin tone and lipstick, yeah well here is an example of why it is important, gold lips + pale skin=not good.

This color has been discontinued also, but you can try the shade Chintz, for a similar frosty golden look.

M.A.C. lipstick in Golden Rule (discontinued)

I’ll end with my favorite lipstick, I got this one free with the back to M.A.C, which is a great program where you can bring six empty M.A.C. products (powder, lipstick, whatever as long as it’s M.A.C) and they give you a free lipstick, you can find more information about it here. It’s a great way to get a free product, and recycle.

I love this color, pink, bright, light, love it. I think this is the perfect shade for summer!

M.A.C Lustre Lipstick in Lustering $14

How does everyone else feel about lipstick, do you wear it? Does it make you feel beautiful? Do you have a favorite shade? If you don’t wear it, why not?


Filed under cosmetics