|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
beauty (125 posts)
It happens at least once a day in one way or another. Yesterday it was someone on the street. "Look at those blonde curls! Those huge blue eyes! I love your tutu! Aren't you a little doll!?" the well-meaning lady screamed at my toddler, who was lounging in her stroller wearing her favorite floofy "dancing dress."
"No," my daughter said, confused by the lady's baffling mix-up. "I’m a pewhson."
I was as pleased with her response as I was turned off by the stranger's greeting. It always makes me feel weird when people talk to my daughter about how pretty she is. She is, after all, a pewhson. I mean, like every child her age, she is adorable. And she likes to dress herself in frilly pink dresses and strings of beads and my one pair of heels she deems dress-up-worthy, and then she likes to twirl in front of the mirror and pretend she's a fairy. And of course I want her to feel good about herself, and to feel beautiful. So why don't I like that automatic "You’re so pretty!" people are always cooing into her (pretty) face? Aren't they just being nice? Luckily writer Lisa Bloom is smarter than I, and put her finger exactly on just what is wrong with greeting a little girl by saying "Oh, you’re so pretty!"
The world is full of loyalists: Mac users versus PC users, hybrid drivers versus SUV drivers, fliers who check luggage versus fliers who carry on. To this venerable list of life debates, I'd like to add: lipstick wearers versus lip gloss wearers. Lipstick, the lip glossers claim, is too dry to go on smoothly and looks too loud and bright. My all-time favorite complaint, uttered by an old college friend: "It feels like nail polish on my mouth."
Which is why I put this lipstick to the test, handing out tubes to a few colleagues at O—all of whom were die-hard gloss fans or didn't wear lip color at all. After one day, they were hooked. The reason? The sheer formula went on like a moisturizing balm, while the micro-mirror pigments added some shine, but it didn't make anyone feel gaudy or overdressed. At last, some middle ground....when it comes to lips, at least.
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we've got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #29: Bold lipcolor transforms your look in a single instant.
A sheer peach gloss is lovely, and a soft pink stain has its place. But for an under-a-minute total transformation, you can't beat a bold, bright lipcolor. Here's how makeup artist Denise Markey says anyone (including you) can pull off a poppy red or fuchsia mouth: Use a brush to apply lipstick in the center of the lips. With your finger, tap the color out to the corners of your mouth. This ensures that the color isn't opaque, which can make it too intense and likely to migrate beyond the edges of your lips. Limit the rest of your beauty routine to tinted moisturizer, mascara, and a sheer cream blush.
A: If you have very deep-set eyes (as I do), you might find that brushing an eyeshadow primer (like Too Faced Shadow Insurance Lemon Drop, $18; toofaced.com) over your lids does a lot to keep liner from migrating. A few other good suggestions from makeup artist Pati Dubroff:
• Before applying liner, blot your upper and lower lids with a tissue.
• Use a waterproof eyeliner pencil.
• After lining your eyes, lightly dust your lids with either a translucent powder or a powdery eyeshadow, which will set the liner.
Keep in mind: A heavy eye cream will sabotage all your efforts against smudging, so use a lighter cream during the day (and save the rich one for nighttime).
Everyone has at least one body part that doesn't exactly thrill them. Mine is my calves. I have wide, chunky calves—hunks of muscle the width of some women's thighs, made for running marathons or surging up mountains (neither of which I use them for). Each fall, as I attempt to buy boots—not the galoshes type, the flattering, elegant, go-to-work or go-to-dinner models—I have to endure the raised eyebrow of more than one skinny-legged saleswoman as she struggles and fails to zip them over my below-the-knee bulge. I know I'm supposed to laugh about my calves and accept them as my inheritance from my dad and grandmother, who handed them down, but I can't. They remind me of big canned hams strapped to the back of my shins.
Now along comes Masha Turchinsky a creative producer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who professes her love for hawkish noses and charts their present throughout history using different pieces of art from the museum's collection. Rather then hide her family's less-than-perfect facial trait, she celebrates it for reasons you'll understand from her video:
Her analysis of J.P. Morgan's approach to his nose ("He chose to emphasis it. This is a powerful man who makes sure we look at his face") led me to briefly muse to how to deal with my calves in a more original and up front way: Paint them red? wear short shorts? Give them sassy, lovable nicknames like Lois and Sherri?
What really gives me pause for thought, however, is Turchinsky's comment about Mary Cassatt's Lady at the Tea Table. "It's interesting" she says, "That you could like everything else except for a nose—and that could render it [the painting] unacceptable." I can't go so far as to say that my dislike of my calves make me want to stick my whole body away in a closet, the way that happened to Cassatt's painting, but I do suspect that fixating on any one part of anything—be it anatomical or artistic—can and does miscolor your perspective of the whole.
For example, the one thing I noticed about the lady in Lady at the Tea Table was her clear, alive blue eyes, and how the light in them highlights the color of the wall behind her. Her nose, to me, was a blob. Her nose was just a piece of her face. Perhaps the key to self-acceptance is treating our legs—and the rest of us—with the same courtesy as we'd give a painting at the Met—by looking for the detail that's beautiful instead of the one that's not, a detail that, in the final analysis, has the exact same power as one that's not, because it can overwhelm and illuminate the entire picture.
Learning to love the gap in your teeth (and other supposed flaws)
Living a mirror-free life
Extend your summer tan (which you still managed to get even though we know you applied your sunscreen religiously) with this heart-stamped, shimmery bronzer. Swirl the different tones together with the brush that comes conveniently stored beneath the powder, and sweep it under your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose and across your forehead for a streak-free, sun-kissed look. For a rosier effect, dab your the bristles into the bright pink and pop this color on the apples of your cheeks. Bonus: this bronzer is scented with violet floral notes to invigorate your senses and lift your spirits (even on a manic Monday).
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Bronzer, $14.
Soothe dry skin for a cause
Get 30 wearable colors for under $30
We love these brushes created by makeup artist Samantha Chapman (best known for her YouTube channel, Pixiwoo) not only because they're cruelty-free and ultra-soft, but you can score the entire set for under $20. All the tools you need for a weekend away come in a sleek case (so the bristles don't get twisted or crushed in your suitcase) and serve multiple-purposes (use the brush with the orange handle for foundation and concealer, the purple for shadow or under-eye concealer, and the pink for bronzer, powder, and blush). Plus, the synthetic bristles work with powders or creams and don't absorb as much product as natural ones, meaning that less of the color gets stuck on your brush, and more ends up where it belongs—on you.
Real Techniques Travel Essentials, $18
Watch Chapman create a day-to-night tutorial with this brush set by clicking here.
Get Adam's travel checklist
Watch another YouTube sensation, Lauren Luke, apply false lashes
7 things never to wear to the airport
A: I had broken capillaries, too, and several years ago had them treated with a pulsed dye (V-beam) laser. It left dark purple squiggles on the treated areas (basically, both cheeks) for ten days. I looked, my concerned husband said, as if a glass had exploded on my face. Fortunately, today there are lasers that won't cause "purpura" (meaning they don't leave you temporarily looking like a Jackson Pollock painting). Of these, the newer V-beam and the KTP (Gemini) are the best choices, says Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. They heat the blood vessels, which then collapse and disappear. Two to four treatments may be needed (at about $400 each).
Keep in mind: Broken capillaries can be a sign of rosacea; if your dermatologist determines that this is part of your problem, prescription anti-inflammatories such as MetroGel or Finacea (in addition to laser treatment) will help resolve it, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Keep Reading: Val answers your top skincare questions
Staying with a friend this weekend and want to bring her something with a bit more pizazz than a bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers? Pick up one of these beauty finds and you may find yourself invited back again and again.
Motif Hand Wash: These liquid soaps—wrapped with vibrant designs—are so gorgeous she'll never guess you paid less than $5 for each.
Kat Burki Body Cream: Give an eco-conscious host something that's green and looks nice on her vanity table. Plus, this lotion comes in a beautiful, printed box that doesn't require wrapping.
Acqua Di Parma Leather Purse Spray: This purse-sized fragrance is a bit pricey, but for the friend who's letting you stay free of charge at her beach retreat or lake house is saving on hotel costs. And trust me, it smells as luxurious as it looks. Wrapped in leather, this bottle features a sliding pump that can be tucked in so it won't leak all over your friend's handbag.
Going anywhere special this holiday weekend? What are you bringing your host?
5 more unforgettable hostess gifts
14 gifts that give back (for under $100)