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beauty (124 posts)
A: Nothing against big, sweet, heady fragrances, but the ones you've been trying may be too big, sweet, and heady, says Adam Eastwood, cofounder of luckyscent.com. He suggests you try something light and sheer with a citrus or white floral base (like gardenia or jasmine). But if you've already gone down that garden path and still smell a bit more indecorous than you'd like, you may be one of those people whose skin just doesn't tolerate fragrance. (Why the intolerance? There are so many variables in formulas and skin chemistry, it's probably impossible to determine.)
Calice Becker, executive perfumer at fragrance and flavor company Givaudan, has a solution: Spray your favorite fragrance in your hair, where it won't react with your skin. And because hair contains oils, it's very good at retaining scent, she says.
Keep in mind: Some fragrances are specially formulated for hair; try the sexy Serge Normant Avah Eau de Parfum ($60; sergenormant.com). For details see Shop Guide.
A: Yes, you can get better eye makeup if you pay more for it—up to a point, says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer, founder and president of Mix Solutions in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. There are terrific options at the drugstore, home of big brands with great research and development teams. Because they're vying for your loyalty, these companies are constantly developing cutting-edge applicator and pigment technologies. At the department store, says Hammer, you'll see diminishing returns on your money: What you get is very similar to high-end drugstore brands.
Very similar, maybe, but not the same, says Anne Carullo, senior vice president of global product development at EstÉe Lauder. "The arsenal of ingredients and processes available to us aren't available to less expensive brands," she says. "We create our own pigments and coat them in a way that makes the application smoother and the wear longer, and we use a higher concentration of color." Department store brands are also likely to have more-durable packaging and include more bells and whistles. (A weighty gold compact does not equal better eyeshadow, but pulling it out of your bag can feel pleasingly luxurious.)
Keep in mind: Whether you're thrifty or extravagant, don't forget to replace your mascara every three months and your eyeshadows every two years, because they can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
"At work it was all about packaging, marketing, and advertising," says Liz. "But once we decided to make products just for us, we thought about only one thing: efficacy." Their goal was to include the highest possible levels of various antioxidants, peptides, fruit acids, and moisturizing sodium hyaluronate. More than a year later, Rachel and Liz left the lab with their dream products in clear vials labeled with a Sharpie. Before long, Liz's fine lines were fading, Rachel no longer needed antibiotics to control her rosacea—and their friends wanted what they were having.
Now everyone can; their Radical Skincare line is available at Barneys New York stores and barneys.com, as well as their own site, radicalskincare.com. The packaging has been upgraded, but it's still simple. "We wanted to keep all the value inside the bottle," says Rachel. "A fancy jar or celebrity endorsement isn't going to transform your skin."
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!
Goody Heat Wave Creator
|Photo: Greg Kessler|
Answer: Dark circles are to complexion problems as frizz is to hair problems. Which is to say almost everyone is plagued by them. Circles can be caused by puffiness (often from allergies), hyperpigmentation, and blood vessels showing through the skin, says Elizabeth F. Callahan, MD, a dermatologist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida. Puffiness can be treated by taking an antihistamine and reducing your salt intake. Intense pulsed light treatment works well on hyperpigmentation; the Vbeam laser very effectively zaps blood vessels.But if you've really tried everything and nothing has worked as well as you'd like, then concealer is your best friend. Choose a concealer one or two shades lighter than your skin, says makeup artist Carmindy. Pat it directly on the discoloration and set it with a translucent powder.
Keep in mind: An eye cream can help reduce puffiness and shadows; try one containing niacin, caffeine, or green tea.