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Beauty (125 posts)
Post-shower, towel off and sprinkle powder (like Zeasorb Super Absorbent Powder, $8.50) over areas that tend to be particularly sweaty. If your feet get slippery in summer, use the cool setting on your hair dryer to dry them completely, then pat powder on them (don't miss between your toes).
And consider upping your antiperspirant power. Secret Clinical Strength ($8.50) and Degree Clinical Protection ($9) contain the highest over-the-counter concentrations of an effective sweat-duct-blocking ingredient (aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine, FYI).
For the best results, apply antiperspirant to totally dry skin before bed. If you need even-more-potent sweat prevention, ask your dermatologist for a prescription antiperspirant, like Xerac AC or Drysol. And if you're a bucket sweater, there's always Botox. Underarm injections can cost up to $3,000, but you'll stay dry for at least three--and up to seven--months.
Keep Reading: O's Beauty Survival Handbook
If you never know what to expect from your hair in the morning, you're going to love the new (free!) app "Curls on the Go." The creators of NaturallyCurly.com worked with a chemist to create an equation based on temperature, precipitation, humidity and dew point that provides you with a daily, 3-day, or weekend frizz forecast, tailored to your kind of curls and where you live.
You can also browse a list of products recommended to keep things under control. They're road-tested and reviewed by women with a curl pattern similar to yours (the app breaks curls down into 9 types--from wavy swavy to kinky ziggly). Plus, there's advice from experts, a salon-finder to help you locate stylists in your area who specialize in cutting and styling curls, and how-to videos so you can treat your hair like a pro. With this tech-y tool in hand, you'll never have to guess about what Mother Nature has in store for your curls--making bad hair days a thing of the past.
Keep reading for more curly hair advice:
Curls gone flat? Val explains why and what to do about it
The best products for your hair type
If crazily-colored shadows aren't your bag, you're going to love this palette that comes with 20 eyeshadows and 10 lipsticks all in neutral, foolproof shades. (And the fact that you get all of them for $25 doesn't hurt either). Neutral, however, definitely doesn't mean boring--there are enough eyeshadow options here that you can create a smoky eye for night or a barely-there look for day. Plus, the lipsticks (which include a bright red and coral) are so sheer you can pull off the most vibrant shades at the office. The bottom line: Getting gorgeous on a budget has never been easier.
NYX Cosmetics Nude on Nude Set, $25
Most of the time when I meet new people and they hear that I'm a beauty editor, they'll listen to my considered defenses of the president, or my musings about a recent movie I've seen, while they pretend to be interested, drumming their fingers impatiently on the table, waiting for the moment when they can break in with a question.
"So what's the best thing to use on my face?" "Does La Mer really work?" "How can I get glowing skin?" That's what they really want to know. They want advice. But recently I met a woman, who, when I told her that I'm a beauty editor, started giving me advice. "You really need to start wearing foundation every day," she said. "Pack it on; it'll keep your skin moisturized all day long." "Apply lots of moisturizer before you apply your retinoid in the evening," she told me. "Then apply lots of the retinoid on top of that. It works better that way." (Dermatologists uniformly recommend a pea-size amount.)
This woman's passion about her beauty regimen interested me for a couple of reasons. She is smart, and we agreed (passionately) about many other things--favorite actresses (Rosalind Russell), movies (All About Eve), politics (left). Maybe more importantly, she had astonishingly flawless skin--creamy, poreless, completely unlined. Though she didn't reveal her age, I know she's in her mid-fifties. So whatever she was doing for her skin worked very well for her.
There seem to be two types of women in the beauty arena: Those who know exactly what works for them and are passionate about it and those who think they have no clue, that there's a secret (or many secrets) they're sadly unaware of.
Which one are you? If you have a regimen that you think is world-class, what is it? And if you don't, what exactly do you want to know?
For more beauty insight keep reading:
Exclusive: The Best of Ask Val
Listen in on Gayle's interview with O's beauty director
Get answers to your top 20 skincare questions
While there are many things we enjoy about summer (long days, warm nights, and multiple excuses to indulge in ice cream), there will forever be the annoying signatures of this season that drive us all bananas--sweat, frizz, and humidity-induced cranky-ness--just to name a few. That's why we were excited to discover MAC Cosmetics' Magically Cool Liquid Powder--this product offers summer skin temporary relief from the heat and gives an instant glow. Formulated with 70 percent water, it feels like a liquid going on, but dries to a sheer powder finish. We especially love dusting it on sun-kissed cheekbones or the tops of our shoulders for extra shimmer. But no matter where you choose to wear it, applying this--especially on steamy days--feels, as the name suggests, like magic.
Check out 12 other beauty treats that will keep you cool all summer
Self-tanner is a smart alternative to spending days baking in the sun, but applying it can be tricky, especially to your face. (Not to mention the Oompa Loompa factor). That's why we're glad we found Givenchy's Mister Radiant. This weightless clear gel is filled with gold and bronze beads that distribute color as you rub it in--leaving you with a subtle glow minus the commitment and the streaks. Plus, it gives enough coverage that skipping foundation--especially appealing on hot, sticky days--is an option.
Givenchy Mister Radiant, $36
Self-tan without the streaks
5 Steps to getting gorgeous legs
Life's a beach (as they say), but if you didn't have time to get away this weekend at least you can fake that post-sun glow with this slim, purse-sized palette from Stila. It comes filled with a blush, bronzer, and four shadows inspired by the Hamptons--the ultra-chic beach retreat New Yorkers flock to for R&R. Plus, a step-by-step guide for getting an easy, warm-weather look comes screen-printed inside the compact (which means you'll never be at a loss for where to put that bold azure shade). With colors reminiscent of blue skies, sandy beaches, and golden sunsets, this is the only makeup you'll need to pack for your next summer escape.
Stila Haute in the Hamptons Palette, $14
For more info on the Hamptons this season, check out Stila's website for the best shopping destinations, restaurants, and summer sites they discovered while doing "research" for this palette.
For more summer makeup ideas keep reading:
Check out July's best beauty buys
10 ways to summerize your beauty routine
Lernert and Sander--set out to answer that question by directing a short film entitled, "Natural Beauty," starring Belgian supermodel Hannelore Knuts. They applied 365 layers of Ellis Faas makeup in one day. It took seven bottles of foundation, two bottles of cream shadow, three lip glosses, and two bottles of liquid blush, and NINE HOURS of non-stop work to get the job done. (Knuts--with her head fixed between two panels--drank her yogurt lunch through a straw all in the name of beauty and art).
As I watched the layers of foundation melting off her face I wondered--do I really use this much makeup over the course of the year? How much do I actually pile on every morning in an attempt to look like I'm not wearing any at all? If only I had kept a tally of how many bottles of tinted moisturizer I'd gone through in 2010. (I'm just about at the bottom of my first bottle for 2011). What are we really trying to cover up? Why do we feel the need to mask our natural beauty on a daily basis?
What about you? Where do you stand after watching this? And what makes you feel beautiful?
11 Ways to Feel Beautiful (And not one involves more makeup)
It's the little things that count, and these Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes, with their sleek wooden handles and gold accents, will look great displayed on your vanity. Since this set comes with seven different options, you're guaranteed to have every brush need covered. Plus, the wicker makeup bag doubles as a clutch for steamy summer nights out. Getting back to nature has never been so affordable or so chic.
Sonia Kashuk Gold Mine 7-Piece Brush Set, $25
More Summer Style Ideas
10 nature-inspired wooden accessories
Check out O's Great Buy of the Day
Chanel's chic nail polishes generate waiting lists a mile long, and we have a feeling that this intoxicating new shade will be no exception. Since it's named after one of our favorite brunchtime cocktails, we think this is the perfect shade to be wearing at all your lazy Sunday morning meals (and the best way to cure today's 3 o'clock slump).
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Mimosa, $25 (Chanel.com)