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Valerie Monroe (20 posts)
Its new Botanicals collection comes in three scents—Fig & Bamboo, Vetiver & Cardamom, and Coriander & Mandarin—and consists of seven body-pampering treats (from a rich sugar butter scrub to a moisturizing soufflé) the likes of which you might expect to find in a thoroughly modern spa rather than an old-timey apothecary.
I especially like the delicate fragrance of the hydrating Coriander & Mandarin Hand Crème and Body Lotion ($16 and $26; caswellmassey.com).
My problem appears to have been solved, though, by the new Clarins 3-Dot Liner ($26; clarinsusa.com). The tiny applicator brush at the end of the pen has three points, which I dot along my upper lashline; the result looks like a continuous line, very neat and consistent. Brillante!
If you're the type who feels more beautiful when you're philanthropic, the new Kahina Giving Beauty Spa Set ($145; Kahina-GivingBeauty.com) will have you feeling extra gorgeous. Kahina Giving Beauty donates 25 percent of all profits to the Moroccan women who extract the argan oil the company uses in its products. This set includes skin-softening 100 percent pure Moroccan argan oil, a rich eye cream, and an antioxidant clay mask in a cute fabric pouch sewn by workers at Destiny Reflection, a nonprofit that provides employment and support for Indian women at high risk of being sex-trafficked.
Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian's fragrances smell of desire, of glamorous, exuberant style, and some other indefinable essence that makes me feel far more sophisticated than I actually am. After a recent visit he left me a new body cream scented with one of my favorite fragrances, Aqua Universalis. The rich cream, infused with bergamot, sweet mock orange, and jasmine, captures the original scent perfectly. A light layer on my shoulders keeps me happily spellbound all day. ($60; BergdorfGoodman.com)
Q: Is it safe for me to use self-tanner lotion year-round?
A: Those long, lazy weekend afternoons, the balmy evenings, the flattering fake glow—I, too, find it hard to relinquish the joys of summer. And I'm happy to tell you that as far as your tan goes, you don't have to. There's no health-related reason to quit using self-tanner lotion after the beach has closed, says Ava Shamban, MD, author of Heal Your Skin. The active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone, is simply a sugar that reacts with amino acids in the skin's outermost layer, darkening it; the color fades gradually as that skin sloughs off. Just be sure, if you're using an aerosolized self-tanner rather than a lotion, that you protect your lips and eyes and avoid inhaling the product, says cosmetic chemist Mort Westman, president of Westman Associates.
Keep in Mind: If you have psoriasis or rosacea (or another skin condition), test a small area before you apply self-tanner; the color can concentrate on the affected skin, making it look more pronounced.
The power of pink: Prolong your glow for good
A safer tan than ever
The secret to eliminating your sunspots for good
A: Though I once saw a fine result with eyebrow tattoos, I doubt I'll ever do it myself. Why? Two words: indelible ink. Once the ink has dried, that's your look. For the rest of your life. If it's pretty, lucky you. If not: three to six laser removal treatments costing anywhere from $700 to $1,000 each, likely accompanied by a refrain of What was I thinking? Your decision, but Mitchel Goldman, MD, volunteer clinical professor in medicine/dermatology at UC San Diego, advises against it."I have seen patients with infected eyebrows thanks to the use of unsterile water and equipment," he says.
Keep in mind: You can get fuller brows using an eyebrow pencil or marker. Makeup artist Laura Geller makes feathered strokes with her Brow Sculpting Marker where her brows are thin. Her marked-in brows look great.
How to make eyes look bigger with makeup
Find the perfect concealer
How to keep lipstick from fading
Q: How can I get rid of the awful end-of-summer brassy color in my hair?
A: Brassiness, or oxidation of haircolor, can be due to sun exposure, chlorine, or salt water, says Tammy Sherman, creative director at Frédéric Fekkai at the Mark Hotel in New York City. She suggests that the next time you color your hair, you choose a shade and tone that will darken slightly and neutralize; for example, if your hair is light brown, use a medium ash brown. Most colorists agree that using an ashy tone is typically the best way to combat brassiness.
Keep in mind: A good offense is the best defense. The more brassiness you develop, the harder it is to get back to the shade you started with. So be sure to color your hair (or see your colorist) regularly, especially during the summer, says Marie Leppard, senior colorist at the Julien Farel Salon in New York City.
Q: Is it possible to make my eyes look bigger with makeup?
A: Yes, it is, and it's pretty easy. Elizabeth Arden makeup artist Rebecca Restrepo (who appears to have enormous eyes, but...does she really?) suggests you first line the inside lower lid with an off-white pencil (she likes Nars Rue Bonaparte, $23; narscosmetics.com). That will brighten the whites and make your eyes look more open. Next, apply a soft, medium-toned shadow (like Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Singles in Shimmering Taupe, $18.50; elizabetharden.com) from the upper lashline to just above the crease. Curl your lashes, then apply a couple of coats of black mascara. Presto: All eyes!
Keep in mind: Well-shaped brows also help open up the eyes, so if you haven't been professionally groomed, try that, too.
Keep gray hair looking great
How to pair shampoo and conditioner
Do expensive shampoos work better than drugstore brands?