Friday, April 05, 2013

Beauty Balm


                                  ONE  OF THE BEST NEW BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Maybe you've noticed one of the newest beauty products on the market.  It actually crawled in under my radar and onto the shelves without attracting my attention.  A sales person at the Body Shop first introduced me when I said I was looking for a tinted moisturizer. " Try this,"   She held a small tube marked BB. "It's Beauty Balm" I then recalled seeing ads for it but they had failed to pique my interest.   So many products .. so little time.  She must have read my mind.  "Just give it try. It's  a bit different from what else is out there.  
 I smoothed some over my face and checked the mirror. My skin  had that luminous glow I'm forever in search of.  Best of all it didn't look like I was wearing makeup

Beauty Balm, I think originated in Asia . It is a combination of primer, color, moisturizer and  sunscreen.    It is light and impacts a nice healthy look when you chose the right shade (go lighter rather than darker). It's inexpensive.  Maybelline's, which I tried next was under $10.  I then moved on to Cover Girl (also good )and L'Oreal which  is marketed for mature skin and is a little more moisturizing  than the others.  However it didn't impart as much color.

On a trip to Sephora, I found that they too had hopped on the Beauty Balm bandwagon with everyone from Benefit to Dior hawking their versions. I decided to be extravagant and try a high end balm.  After taking a good look at my face the salesperson returned with a jar.  This BB was a water based gel and was one of several from a line I  had never heard of, Dr. Jart.  The product was rather thick and not easy to apply.I was skeptical,but she was convincing and I had a train to catch so I put another  $35plus tax on my credit card and took it home.   If  there was a glow, I couldn't see it and the gel like texture wasn't to my liking.     Back it went no questions asked.  For now I'm sticking with  the drug store brands .
The balm is a great idea for those of us who like to think we really don't need foundation but look much better with it.  Foundation? Me?  Of course not! Just a little BB Balm. 



Sunday, September 30, 2012


Maybe you've noticed them too.  I'm talking about women whose faces appear to have landed on the wrong bodies .The face is usually taut and unlined.  It looks maybe forty or  fifty but the body is a different story. It has little to do with size although a very small thin woman may look like an odd child and slack skin on the rest of the body  is at odds with a smooth face. However it's posture and pace that  are the real giveaways  .

 Too many of us ignored our mother's admonishments  to stand  up straight.  One of my mother's favorite tips for a youthful look was to lift from the ribcage.   This simple and easy to hold adjustment  automatically flattens the stomach, squares the shoulders and is not a hard position to maintain.

I recently discovered  that don't walk as fast as I used to.  It's not that I'm unable to pick up the pace but rather that if I don't give it some concerted thought, I tend to amble along.  So now I'm making a new effort to be mindful of my posture and pace, hell bent on  projecting that youthful energetic look  no matter what my age.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Time was when those communal dressing rooms didn't intimidate me.  Not that I ever had a knockout figure; no matter what my age and weight my thighs were chunky and despite all the marathons run and  ballet classes taken they could best be described as flabby
However I subscribed to the no body's perfect school of thought and had little trouble disrobing until recently. While makeup, botox and other procedures may rescue our faces, there's no easy fix for an aging body.  Skin loses it's firmness; it wrinkles, creases and hangs and broadcasts our real age like nothing else.    Exercise may help a bit, as will self tanner or a body stocking if you're really desperate, but none work magic  Our darker skinned sisters fare better because their skin tends to be thicker.

So what's the answer ?A bit of camouflage and enhancement is in order.  Devote more time and attention to your underwear purchases especially when it comes to color .  Chances are few of us would appear on the beach  in a white or flesh colored bathing suit.    (Again darker skinned women can take a pass on this part of the advice).  Nothing makes a pale older body look worse than white or nude.  Banish those colors from your underwear drawer.  More flattering is black, other deep shades or even a print. Take the same amount of time shopping for underwear that you do for the rest of your wardrobe.  I would usually whip my way through the lingerie department  guessing at size and hoping for flattery.  I made lots of mistakes.
Fit is all important and too big is as bad as too small; no droopy drawers or loose bras.  Bypass the cotton or any thing else matte and look for fabric with a bit of shine  and some percentage of stretch   The garment should hug your contours with out squeezing.  A flattering underpant style is the high cut  brief.  It helps flattens the stomach and lengthens the leg. An under wire bra works best for most sizes and gives good support. If your breasts are small look for a slight push up. I've found that  Soma makes well fitting bras for our age group. They have wide side panels that hold in any extra flesh and are sexy too  No matter what style you pick don't forget a hint of lace.       
It  never occurred to me to have a bra fitted but lately more and more of my friends have taken that step and have been happy with the result.   And think of using self tanner  (Jergens has several] .  Any body,  no matter what its shape, looks much better with a glow. Who says you can't look sexy after 60?

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Husband the Metro-Sexual?
My husband blew in from a windy round of golf looking ruddy cheeked as Santa
"Would you have any moisturizer?" he asked. Does Poland Springs have water? It was only a matter of which to chose. I quickly produced one from Kiehl's and mentioned that they, among many other cosmetic companies are now producing skin care lines especially for men. Always at the ready for any excuse to go cosmetic shopping, I offered to pick him up some. At this point he was busy cruising the TV channels and just nodded.
A few weeks later I left a tube of Keihl's Facial Fuel Moisturizer on the bathroom counter and because I couldn't resist and secretly thought he would use it, a tube of Eye Alert also from their men's collection . He thanked me and then in a gruff voice asked, "What's this eye stuff?"I assured him it was good and would help with puffiness and undereye circles. Maybe it was my imagination but he appeared a bit taken back. I heard no more about these additions to his grooming routine until a couple of months later when he asked for replacements.

Can a man on the far side of 60 be labeled a metro-sexual? My six year old granddaughter who has never heard that word describes her grandfather as a neat and tidy man. When asked what that meant, she said . "You know he wears shirts with collars in all really pretty colors,his hair is never messy and he always smells good."

She's right. Her grandfather is always well groomed but it's more than that. You'll never catch him in shorts and a tee shirt unless he's gardening and he doesn't own a pair of jeans. His closet is more full and colorful than mine and he spends considerable time picking out the perfect tie or after shave lotion. His shoes are always polished and you'll never see him in need of a shave.
Yes, grooming and clothing are definite priorities but he does have his limits. While some men his age may resort to dying their hair or may dye or wax their chest hair in lieu of decorating it with gold chains, such sleaze is not for him. He's comfortably settled for a full head of white hair and his only jewelry is a vintage Rolex and his wedding ring. Still I do envision a future when his collection of skin care products may rival mine and why not?
Definitions of metro-sexual abound on the web and I've been browsing them to see if my husband qualifies. Most say the word refers to a young straight urban man who is concerned about his appearance, enjoys the art of decorating, and sophisticated living.
OK so he's not young but I've yet been left to decorate any living space on my own without significant input and a lot of arguing from him. And although I may carry on about them initially, his choices in general, are successful. He knows his way around the kitchen too and has a full repertoire of dishes that he enjoys making. My favorite definition of a metro sexual says that this person also makes great cocktails. No doubt about that . My husband has a stellar reputation as a maker of the perfect martini and his daughters would testify that he also whips up a powerful cosmo.
So call him neat and tidy or metro-sexual. Either way I'm glad he's mine and I'll drink to that.

Cheers, Barb

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Bobbie Brown does it. So does Benefit,Nars and a host of others. What I'm talking about are those two in one products a cream formula color stick marketed to be used on lips and cheeks. I'm all for it. There's nothing like paring down the amount of cosmetics you tote around to make you feel like a natural beauty. However there's but no need to rush to Sephora to add another product to an already burgeoning collection. We already have multiple use products tumbling out of our makeup drawers and bags. It's just a matter of using a little creativity
A lipstick can easily duplicate as a blush, in fact many makeup artists have long used it as such. The trick in to have well moisturized skin at the site of application. It's also vital to blend well.
Concealer is probably your most versatile product. Nix the eyeshadow base the makeup consultants will tell you is a must; concealer applied with a brush works just as well. And here's a confession: I substitute concealer for eyeshadow itself on a regular basis. When used along with eyeliner and mascara, it gives a natural look that works well for daytime.
The possibilities for double uses are endless. When my daughter was in college she made her own tinted moisturizer be mixing a small amount of foundation with moisturizer. And speaking of moisturizer never ever discard or give it away. what wrecks havoc with your face will be heaven for your feet!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Put Away That Hand Lotion!

As usual I wasn't paying attention as I squeezed some sunblock out of the tube. I had already generously coated my face and messaged some over my throat but my hands were still covered with the stuff.
I was trying a new one from Bath and Body Works, True Blue Spa. The first listed active ingredient is Avobenzone which is proven to protect against those dreaded UVA rays, the ones responsible for aging . At $12. for six ounces I didn't want to waste the remainder of the lotion and so rubbed it on the backs of my hands
Those hands haven't been looking so good lately despite my being more diligent about moisturizing them. I even went so far as to invest in creams and lotions just for that body part instead of using what ever I had.
About an hour later as I was typing, I glanced down at my hands. They didn't have their usual dried out, dull look. The skin even looked a bit thicker and much smoother than it had in quite awhile.
All and all it's a good purchase, a multi purpose product that's both enhancing, protecting and water-proof
Give it a try.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


A reader messaged me recently saying she was looking for a new moisturizer.  She wasn't looking for a miracle transformation just something that would be well absorbed, moisturize her skin,and keep it looking its best. She also hoped the product wouldn't cost a fortune
Well she got me at the right time because I've been doing a bit of moisturizer research myself.   After years of using Cliniques, Super Defence  Moisturizer I decided it was time for a different one  Not that I was displeased with my old choice.  I liked the way it was absorbed , loved the glow in gave my skin and the way it felt.  However it contained oxybenzone as one of it primary ingredients which made the red spots ever lurking just beneath the skin on my left cheek rise to the surface and become scaly.  (See prior post What the Dermatologist said for the entire story)   So it was farewell to Super Defence and its glow because I still believe it was the oxybenzone that supplied it
I took up my search for a replacement using my usual tactics of trying out various samples at  department store cosmetic counters and  Sephora Most were over $40.and not that all impressive. I'm also trying to cut down on my beauty product spending and decided to hit the mass market stores.
My sister-in-law had mentioned how much she liked  Boots No7 products The line comes from Great Britain and is carried by Target    After losing my self among their vast array of Boots products I  purchased their Advanced Hydration  Day Cream ($14.99 ) and decided to give it a try.
Bingo!  It went on smoothly, had a rich creamy texture and was nicely absorbed.  The best part was that it kept me skin feeling moisturized all day both with and without makeup and I didn't  get that tight dry feeling mid afternoon which as been a complaint of mine with some of the other drug store moisturizers.       Unlike most other mass market store lines, Boots does very little advertising which of course keeps the price down.  Stay tuned .  Ill be checking out  other products from them.
PS Serums are  the latest entry on the path to perfect skin.  I've yet to try them but would love to hear from anyone who has