skeptic

Friday Snark: Bobbi Brown Peony and Python, MAC Wonder Woman

Friday Snark is a new feature that may be regular, irregular, or completely unpredictable. It may show up on days other than Friday. It will, however, be snarky.

Who (or what) is Snark Bait in this installment?

Bobbi Brown Peony and Python Eyeshadow Palette

Quoth Bobbi’s website: “Inspired by lush peonies & the playful, feminine chic of cult label Tibi, Bobbi introduces the NEW, Limited Edition Peony & Python Palette. Soft pink lilacs play off cool grays to create a distinctive eye that’s equal parts lovely & edgy…. Comes in a gorgeous Peony & Python case, designed by Tibi exclusively for Bobbi Brown.”

Here is the palette:

Question: Has Bobbi Brown ever actually seen a peony? Because they don’t come in any of them there colors. Oh, wait, she mentioned lilacs. Yeah … not the same. Also, those purple shades are hardly “pink-toned.” They look pretty blue from here.

And as for the case, Bobbi says gorgeous, I say ZOMG fugly.

I do not know why cosmetics companies have to come up with such horrible-looking bags, cases, and palette coverings. Someday I think I will do a blog post with all of the horrendous bags I’ve acquired.

This palette will run you $50, but for $95 Bobbi is also offering a Neiman Marcus exclusive set in which it seems more likely that she has, in fact, seen a peony. Here is that:

Hey! That compact in the upper right is a color found in a peony! Is that a blush? No? Oh. I see. It’s called Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer. Um… maybe I’m being a silly academic, what with insisting that words actually mean things, but a “bronzer” is supposed to give you a color that is, well, bronze. Bronze is a real color. It is not pink. There is no such thing as a “pink bronzer.” But how about that lip gloss? Oh, that’s called Pink Lilac. In Bobbi’s defense, there is also a peony-colored lip gloss available separately that’s called Pale Peony. It is significantly darker than Pink Lilac. But there is also a lipstick dubbed Lilac which is not the color of any lilac I’ve ever seen. Swatches aren’t out yet, but in the tube it looks… well, dark brownish pink. In fact, it’s much closer in color to a … oh, never mind.

MAC Wonder Woman

Speaking of fugly bags, I would be remiss if I did not share with you this gem from the MAC Wonder Woman collection, which I skipped entirely for various reasons that I’ll rant about separately if you like. Dear readers, I do not quite know how to prepare you for the shock, other than to entreat you to sit down. Behold — the MAC Wonder Woman utility belt:

Is MAC serious? Oh, yes, indeed they are. Sayeth their website: “To meet the demands of the Wonder Woman life, a Utility Belt Brush Set! Wear as an accessory.”

The demands of the Wonder Woman life apparently require … a gold fanny pack.

When I was five, the demands of the Wonder Woman life pretty much only required a set of Wonder Woman Underoos. Because I was an overachiever, I also made a tiara out of cardboard. It never occurred to me that I needed a gold fanny pack. You have to wonder if MAC actually telling people to wear these as an accessory is some sort of giant prank.

(And no, there is no invisible plane. Sorry.)

 

Monday Mix: LUSH Lovely Jubblies (Yes, It’s What You Think); Sales

You knew it was coming, right? It’s been awhile since we’ve had a post about how we can all become more boobalicious. Never fear, LUSH is here, with their new Lovely Jubblies breast cream.

[Bullwinkle: "Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of this hat!" Rocky: "Again?"]

Yes, it’s another Magic Breast Cream. And in case you are wondering exactly how far LUSH is going to go with the descriptions (and you are, you know you are), allow me to share the details from the website.

Keep your knockers in tit top shape

Dirty pillows feeling too cushy?

Introducing our brilliant breast cream, packed full of tightening meadowsweet infusion and firming tiger lily petals to help your girls fight the forces of gravity. We add heaps of beeswax and organic oils like almond and avocado to soften your melons (and to make it even harder to keep the boys at bay!) We think everyone deserves a pair of lovely jubblies.

Irresistible, Floral Fragrance

Smooth a generous amount of Lovely Jubblies over your décolletage area to tone down the wiggle and leave your cleavage smelling like a fresh floral bouquet of orange blossom, rose, jasmine and ylang ylang.

Tiger Lily Petals

Tiger lilies have astringent properties and are traditionally used to tighten the skin, making them perfect for firming up wobbly bits.

Fresh Rose Infusion

Rose is brilliant at soothing and gently toning the delicate skin of your décolletage area, leaving it with a fresh, floral fragrance.

First, I call bullshit. Second, eeew. Third, just in case you haven’t had enough, LUSH’s 2010 summer issue of LUSH TIMES (their quarterly catalog) features a contest to win a $500 LUSH gift card — and all you have to do is tell them what you call your “jubblies” and why. Oh, and you have to include a photo. It doesn’t say whether it has to include your jubblies. It actually doesn’t even say that it has to include your face. Maybe it is supposed to be a jubblies-only shot.

In case you want to purchase this concoction, it retails for $24.95 at LUSH stores and online.

Sales!

OK, I missed announcing the Tarte F&F sale, which is 40% off with code FFAUG, and which ends today. Sorry, ladies. However — as usual, Tarte’s website is so sold out that there’s really no point in going over to have a peek.

HauteLook has Mario Badescu today and Blinc tomorrow. All sales start at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

Thursday Tossup: Empty Mailbox Syndrome; Yum! It’s Hair Jam; Sales

Hate Mail by TerryJohnston.If my mailman does not bring my Urban Decay Naked palette in the mail today… well, let’s just say there will be consequences. By which I mean, I will fume and sulk a lot. This will be unpleasant for my friends and for people who have the bad luck to meet me in the street. So, Mr. Postman, you have been warned.

UPDATE: Yay for Mr. Postman! UD palette arrived; will photograph and hopefully swatch this afternoon!

I wasn’t originally going to talk about this, but what the heck. It remains fascinatingly macabre. You can read about it elsewhere on the Web (search “occult jam”), but this CNN blog is an excellent start:

For Sale: Jam Infused with Princess Diana’s Hair

Sales!

Still a Super. Slow. Week. It’s the heat, probably.

HauteLook has LORAC today starting at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

Gilt has Mario Badescu skincare going on now. The prices aren’t a huge discount (especially when you tack on shipping), but if you have a hard time getting Mario Badescu where you are, it might be worth it.

Previously announced sales still in progress:

Stila is offering 20% off through 8/31 with code DERBYDOLLS • SkinCareRX has 20% off of most things through 7/19 with code NEWLOOK20.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/powerbooktrance/348518831/

Open-Thread Thursday: I Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up If I Tried (mildly NSFW), and Sales

Bwah hah hah. I’m putting this one in just for A Biologist, who thinks I make this stuff up. If you are currently eating or drinking anything that you might spit up on the computer monitor, I encourage you to finish chewing and swallowing before going on.

IT Cosmetics has created the “My Beautiful Breasts” kit, because OH MY GOD I HAVEN’T BEEN PUTTING MAKEUP ON MY BOOBS! WHO KNEW?!?

The thing comes with the “Library of Secrets Manual” (no, I do not think that is a euphemism for the Kama Sutra), Waterproof and Sweatproof Bust Shadows and Highlighters, My Firm and Beautiful Breasts Primer (a primer for your breasts? Are you kidding me? And oh my God, the name), Setting Spray (because … why, again?), Bust Stain – Semi-Permanent (Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!), a Mini Buffing Brush, and a Dual-Sided Body Contouring and Highlighting Brush.It’s so cringeworthy you just have to laugh. So I’m reprinting the entire directions.

First, apply My Firm and Beautiful Breasts Primer to clean, dry skin. Rub in the primer in a circular motion until fully absorbed. Once the primer is absorbed your skin will be primed perfectly for your desired definition. Next, define your breasts to their sexiest! Once your breasts are defined, set them in place. Hold the Setting Spray 6-12 inches away and mist the areas you chose to define. For the Appearance of Enhanced Cleavage: First, choose the defining shade that best matches your skin tone. Next, use the pointed defining end of the Body Contouring and Defining Brush to apply the defining shade, tracing along your natural cleavage lines. Once these lines are drawn in, buff out using a circular motion with the Mini-Buffer Brush. This will create a natural undetectable defined look. Next, use that same shade to contour above and below your collar bones. Optional: To finish the look, use the large contouring side of your brush to dust on your choice of highlighting shades lightly across your entire bosom as well as to the collar bone and shoulder areas. For the Appearance of Larger Breasts: First follow steps 1-5 to achieve enhanced cleavage. Next, take your defining shade and pointed end of your Body Defining and Contouring Brush and define a circle around your entire breast. Once these lines are drawn in, buff out using a circular motion with the Mini-Buffer Brush. To add the illusion of even more volume, chose your favorite highlighting shade and use the large contouring side of your Body Defining and Contouring Brush to apply the highlighting shade to the inner area of the circles you defined. For the Appearance of Smaller Breasts: First follow steps 1-5 to achieve natural enhanced cleavage. Now, using the large contouring side of your Body Defining and Contouring Brush chose your favorite defining shade and apply to the entire upper breast using a circular motion. The defining shade will absorb light instead of reflecting it, giving you the illusion of a smaller bosom. For the Appearance of a Breast Lift: First, follow steps 1-5 to achieve a natural enhanced cleavage. Now, using the large contouring side of your Body Defining and Contouring Brush chose your favorite highlighting shade and apply to the entire upper breast using a circular motion. The highlighting shade will attract and reflect light creating the illusion of a higher, lifted bosom. Semi-Permanent Definition – Using Body Stain: Important Tip: If you want semi-permanent definition using the Body Stain, first make sure to practice achieving your desired look using the breast shadows and the steps above. Once you have perfected the areas that you want defined and enhanced, simply follow each of the steps in this manual, but instead of using the defining shadows, use the Semi-Permanent Body Stain in their place. Using the Semi-Permanent Body Stain: Once your skin is primed with the My Firm and Beautiful Breasts Primer apply the stain to the areas you desire definition. Let stain completely dry. Apply a second coat if desired. Wash hands immediately after applying. Wait 30 minutes before direct contact with water or clothing. This stain will darken considerably over the next 3-5 hours and will last several days.

“Once your breasts are defined, set them in place.” Set them in place! With a spray! “No matter how wet or sweaty you get – your breasts aren’t going anywhere!” The mental imagery on that one just kills me.

Oh, the mind just boggles. There are no words, really. In case anyone wants to purchase this product (and PLEASE let there be one of you who decides to purchase it), it can be found here for $69.

Sales!

Sephora VIBs can get 10% off through 6/7 with code V436CB.

Beauty360 (the upscale arm of CVS’s cosmetics department and the site from which I got the information above) has 25% off through 5/30 with code VIP25. So I guess the kit above would only be about $52.

Smashbox has 20% off through 5/28 (tomorrow) with code FF2010.

ENDS TODAY: Beautyticket, 20% off with code CITY20.

Photo via beauty360.com

Skeptic Files: Stila One-Step PrimeColor

It’s been awhile since I’ve been openly skeptical of something (besides our dear friend Jenna), so I thought we were about due.

Check out this new product from Stila — their One-Step PrimeColor. Via Sephora, here is the description of the product:

“This revolutionary new formula combines primer, eyeshadow, highlighter, lip color, cheek color, and bronzer with mineral pigments to deliver an innovative, high-definition, long-wearing, all-over color. One Step PrimeColor is formulated with Stila’s Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex™, which reads and reacts to the skin zone-by-zone, visibly priming, balancing, correcting, and optimizing for a supremely flawless finish. The formula is hydrating and balancing and and [sic] reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Shades will include matte or shimmer finishes.”

So wait a minute. It’s a combination primer, eyeshadow, highlighter, lip color, cheek color, AND bronzer. Um, OK… but there’s only one color of pigment in the tube, right? So your face, cheeks, eyelids, lips, cheekbones, and brow will all be … pink?

AND it primes, balances, corrects, optimizes, hydrates, and reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a floor wax AND a dessert topping!!!

(I don’t even want to get into the Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex ™ ). I just don’t.

If you decide to give it a go, you can score this baby from Sephora at $22 for 0.33 oz. Who wants to go first? Come on, I’ll even give you a cookie…

Olay Professional Pro-X Anti-Aging Regimen: Day 1

I am grumpy.

I am grumpy for many reasons. For example, there is a distinct lack of tulips and hyacinths outside my window, even though I have declared, repeatedly, that it is time for spring.

I am also grumpy because I recently finished a tube of RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. The grumpiness here is not because I’m sad to see the end of the tube, but because in spite of using it as directed, in near-perfect compliance, it had no visible effect on my skin. Their website says it “visibly reduces wrinkles around the eyes and crow’s feet in 12 weeks. In addition, it evens out dark circles and reduces puffiness in 4 weeks.”

It did nothing at all for darkness and puffiness, and I think I have more wrinkles around the eyes now than I did when I started. Srsly. It feels like several months of wasted time.

To add to my general pissiness, I have grudgingly decided to try the Olay Professional Pro-X line instead. This contributes to my grumpiness for two reasons: 1) it costs an arm and a leg given that these are drugstore products, and b) I have not liked the Olay line for many years. I know lots of people do like Olay, but my skin has never taken kindly to their products: they are either not nearly moisturizing enough and leave me dry and flaky, or they make me greasy and clog my pores. Plus, their sunscreens irritate my skin. Gripe, gripe, gripe.

So why on God’s not-yet-green-and-flowery earth did I decide to try it? Because of the recent clinical trial, reported last month in the British Journal of Dermatology, in which Olay Pro-X was pitted against prescription Renova — and won. (You can read a nice summary of the trial here at agelessbeauty.com.)

I purchased the Anti-Aging Starter Kit, which contains small sizes of three different products, for $59.99 at my local Tarjay. Yeah, that’s some serious sticker shock for a drugstore line — but the price of each full-size individual product was $39.99, so this seemed like the lesser evil. The Anti-Aging Starter Kit contains their age repair lotion, SPF 30 (their recommended daytime moisturizer/sunscreen), the eye restorative complex, and the wrinkle smoothing cream. (They also have an Intensive Wrinkle Protocol starter kit, which contains the age repair lotion, the wrinkle smoothing cream, and a small tube of their deep wrinkle treatment. This kit sells for a few dollars more.)

Olay’s website promises the Pro-X line will give me “younger-acting, younger-looking skin in 28 days.” All right, Olay, you’re on. Today is Day 1. Check back in with me 28 days from now and we’ll see what’s happened.

Skeptic Files: I Have No Words

Just in case you didn’t get enough with the previous “pink button” product… BellaSugar says it so much better than I can:

Have you ever thought, “My life would be so much better if only there were a facial for my crotch”?


Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cesarastudillo/ / CC BY 2.0

Skeptic Files: Lawn Care Is Not Necessarily A Good Skin Care Model

Two thousand years from now, when people (if they’re still around) look back on the accomplishments of the early 2000s, what will we be remembered for? Will it be that we cured cancer, achieved world peace, and colonized other planets? Sadly, I’m betting it will be that we paid people to run rollers spiked with needles over our faces. (And Jersey Shore.)

From the fine people at Style.com’s Beauty Counter blog, an overview of the Dermaroller skin needling system. Written for Style.com by Afsun Qureshi, and snarkily annotated (in pink) by me.

“A small handheld roller covered in tiny steel spikes, the [Dermaroller] tool is designed to leave thousands of pricks as it glides over your skin, causing trauma to the epidermis and stimulating the repair process, thus boosting collagen production for a coveted youthful glow. It may sound suspect, but the technology behind it is legit, according to U.K.-based dermatologist Dr. Samantha Bunting, who has become one of its increasingly long list of acolytes.”

Here’s my favorite sentence:

“Dr. Bunting, who advised me against seeking out down-market versions of skin-needling kits for sale online or in drugstores…”

Ya think?!?!?!!?

“…explains that the efficacy of the treatment lies not just in simply rolling needles over the face, but achieving the optimal needle penetration with pinpoint bleeding and swelling, which often requires a physician’s care. Don’t let words like “bleeding” and “swelling” deter you, though [!!]; the semi-frightening process can really do wonders for remedying acne scars and stretch marks, as well as increasing general radiance. It also has a lower risk for post-procedure problems, like pigmentation, than lasers and chemical peels—and is considerably less expensive (a single treatment with the good doctor costs about $485 [So I can pay almost $500 for someone to hurt me with needles. Bargain!]). But patience—as well as a high tolerance for pain—are necessary if you want to reap the benefits; three to five sessions over the course of four to five months are recommended for optimal results. And it’s not a particularly, um, pleasurable experience. Despite the fact that a topical anesthetic agent was used to freeze my face, the pain in some parts was well north of a ten [Raise your hand if you're surprised. No one? Huh.]. I was red and puffy for the first day, but by day two people started telling me how rested and “well” I looked [for someone who had just had a lawn aerator run over her face]. My skin tone was noticeably clearer, too, and the circles around my eyes had diminished. Call me a masochist, but I’ll take the pain for a noticeable gain.” [You are crazy.]

Personally, I’d go for the less expensive hit-yourself-in-the-face-with-a-meat-tenderizer version, but what do I know? A poke around the interwebz indicates that you can buy your very own, so you can use it in the privacy of your own home — while you’re watching Jersey Shore, even. And according to the people who make the Dermaroller, you can also use it on your head to encourage hair growth! Because I can’t think of anything I’d like better than rolling a porcupine over my scalp. Here are the directions:

Each morning / night, after showering and washing your scalp, dry well with a clean towel. Roll the Scientia Derma Roller over the scalp in one direction (and not back and forth). Apply 1ml of 5% Minoxidil (which should be available from your local Pharmacy) to balding areas and massage into the scalp thoroughly. If you notice the scalp flaking after a few days, simply rub the dead skin away whilst shampooing your hair. Treat no more than once per day, 5 times per week.

And, in the tradition of Happy Fun Ball, here are the disclaimers:

Never share your Scientia Derma Roller with anyone else, and do not use on children or animals.

When used as a home based treatment regimen, cosmetic skin micro needling is for professionally responsible use only. Use entirely at your own risk. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we are not responsible for negative or damaging results obtained by proper or improper use of this product. Even though many of our customers have experienced very positive results, we cannot guarantee results.

Please do not use this product if you have open cuts, wounds, sun-burnt skin, active herpes outbreaks, pustule acne lesions, or any other acute infection or inflammation of the skin, have a history of poor wound healing, collagen diseases, blood problems, are pregnant or lactating, are prone to keloid scarring or have diabetes. Aspirin, Nurofen, Vitamin E and blood thinning drugs all cause increased bruising and should not be taken in the two weeks leading up to treatment.

After that, what is there left to say?

Photo from Alibaba.com, as shown on Style.com’s Beauty Counter blog.

Skeptic Files: Chanel Temporary Tattoos

I’ll wait while you process the phrase “Chanel tattoos.” No, go ahead, take your time.

As reported by Allure:

For $74, you get 55 press-on Chanel bracelets, necklaces, pendants, cherry blossoms, and (my fave) a bejeweled bird. They’re based on the temporary tattoos that global creative director for Chanel makeup Peter Philips created for the models at the spring fashion show…. You can score the faux ink on Chanel’s website starting February 15, and at Chanel boutiques in March.

Allure Beauty Director Amy Kelly Laird, who wrote the blog post from which the above is quoted, also posts a photo of herself trying out two of the tattoos:

I have a hard time seeing not only how these are attractive, but also where they would represent meaningful social capital outside of the Manhattan “any-trend-you-can-wear-I-can-wear-louder” crowd. I can’t think of too many other places in which you could find a bizarre enough intersection of economic status, age, and social norms that would enable Chanel and fake tattoos to coexist in the same nightclub. Is this Chanel’s equivalent of the Hameau de la Reine?

What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Let me know in the comments!

Skeptic Files: Too Faced Mood Swing Lip Gloss

too faced mood swingHeh heh heh. I’ve been trying to write this post for about 20 minutes and I can’t stop chortling.

Meet Mood Swing Lip Gloss, which goes on clear and then changes color on your lips. Now that’s not so much new, since a few years ago the Smashbox folks came out with O-this and O-that (actually, I’m kind of surprised that Oprah hasn’t filed a lawsuit for Initial Letter Infringement). And frankly, this product isn’t new either; it’s just that I’m only now getting around to snarking about it. But here’s the best part! From Too Faced’s website:

“Our supernatural formulation starts off crystal clear and blossoms into countless shades of pink from cotton candy to deep fuchsia, depending on your emotional state. Are you in love, jealous, angry, happy, or hot and bothered? Your lips will tell the tale and allow you to express yourself like never before! Your moods change faster than super models change diets, now so can your lips!”

OK, let’s not even unpack all of the -ism stuff in there. There’s a lot. (And, “supernatural”???) We’ll just call it a trainwreck and go on from there. The theory of the product is that it goes on clear, determines your emotional state, and then changes color accordingly. So if you are late to a meeting, it turns “worried,” and then you get there and you find that your boss isn’t even there yet, so your lips turn “relieved,” and then you find there are donuts at the meeting, so your lips become “excited,” and then you eat too many and feel sick, so your lips take on the color of “nauseated.”

What colors are those, exactly?

I’m going to talk more about color-changing cosmetics when I do this O-roundup, which (like so many interesting blog post ideas in the lineup) must wait until after finals. For the moment, let us just say that while this product will indeed change from colorless to some shade of pink on your lips, it is not going to change colors as your mood changes. It just isn’t. Yes, these things react to body heat and pH, but only to a limited extent and they don’t change as you go through the day — and respond to your mood? What is that? Even if that did work, would it really be a good idea?

All I can say is that if it really reflects your mood, then you would not have wanted to see me wearing this during my recent Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day, the remnants of which are still popping about in my psyche. My lips would have been black. Jet black. Angry, scowling jet black. With flames. And smoke. And very, very small villagers with torches and pitchforks.

But ladies, it seems that this might be a very necessary tool for some people. A poor lost soul by the name of Megan tried this product and discovered a serious — nay, fatal — flaw. Her comment out there on the interwebz says it all:

“i love this product but how do you know what mood your in because it doesn’t tell you”

How, indeed. As Yul Brynner would say, “Is a puzzlement.”

But wait! Megan, there is a solution to your dilemma! Take the box in which the product arrived and turn it over. Yes, that was pretty sneaky of them, putting it on the back like that! Look there on the back, and if you cannot figure out your mood on your own (it is tricky sometimes, I know), then the Mysterious Too Faced Oracle will tell you! Just look at your lips and compare them to one of the six shades of pink depicted on the box. What’s that? The box is process color ink printed on glossy white cardboard, and your lips are already pigmented and you’re seeing them against the background of your skin tone, which unless you are a Sparkly Vampire is probably not ultra-white? Pish-tosh. Details. Here are your six mood choices, from lightest to darkest:

Totally Zen

Slightly Smitten

Feelin’ Frisky

Dirty Thoughts

Hot & Bothered

Bask in the Afterglow

I am not sure what happened between shades #5 and #6, but I’m sure it was very interesting. Perhaps if there were a shade #7, it would be “Craving a Cigarette.” Also, ladies, I suppose that the only moods you are allowed to have are moods about sex. Shocker.

Anyway, as with anything that first appears in Voxy’s Skeptic Files, I don’t own this product. But if you want to buy it, it’s available where Too Faced products are sold, and costs $18.50.