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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ride out the Economic Downturn with Bangs Instead of Botox

Press releases that hit my inbox are generally ho hum sales pitches, but this budget savvy one from a PR wiz at Trent & Co deserves a shout out.

Bangs instead of Botox? A simple snip could have the same overall affect to someone’s face as those paralyzing toxins. According to celebrity stylist Suki Duggan, owner of Donsuki Townhouse Salon, bangs are an affordable wrinkle fix. “A lot of my clients are asking me for bangs as a way to hide the imperfections of their forehead,” said Duggan.
Budget style on a shoestring adds: Hurray for bangs; this season they're a major beauty trend. Many models and stars ( including Kate Beckinsale) showed up at NY Fashion Week sporting freshly cropped fringes. Insider tip: Bangs need more frequent trims then the rest of your hair but, it's protocol for hairdressers to offer free bang trims in between haircuts.
Instyle.com tells how to groom long wispy bangs like Jessica Alba's:
HOW-TO: Blow-dry with a paddle brush, not a round one, to avoid a wave-like effect on hair and bangs. Finish with an anti-frizz sp
ray to ensure a smooth look. TRICK: Because of the thinness of these bangs, they can easily be pinned to the side or clipped back and are easy to
grow out.
BUY ONLINE NOW Spornette Small Paddle Brush, $6; shop.com.

Monday, March 23, 2009

When your beauty favorite goes bye bye

What to do when your favorite beauty product is hard to find or discontinued? Find out by reading my story in latest Consumer Reports Shop Smart Magazine, featured on CBS early show this morning. See When Your Beauty Favorite Goes Bye Bye http://shopsmartmag.org/

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quick Fix for Biggest Beauty Blunders

Producing makeovers for magazines for years (including 620 makeovers in 12 years for Woman's World Magazine) I've witnessed what works and what doesn't, what's too pricey, too time consuming or a waste of time. Between budget friendly blogging, I'll be sharing some of the best hair and makeup artists tips I've come across. I'll also blog about makeovers for beauty blunders ... those no no's hair and makeup artists see most ... and that are easiest to fix.
First installment: Coping with comma brow
Comma brow comes from over plucking, resulting in a sperm-like blob where the brow starts, and an overly rounded pencil thin line to the rest of it ... like a big surprised comma.
Quick fix: brush or pencil in a natural looking arch while you try to let your brows grow in.
Best way to learn: stop in at Sephora or a makeup counter at Macy's and have their makeup pro show you how-to, for free.
On your own: find your ideal arch. To do, line an eyeshadow brush up with the outside edge of the colored part of your eye; where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of your arch should be. Your brow line should be full from the inner corner to the arch, gradually narrowing from the arch to the outer corner.
To plump comma brows: Makeup artists recommend you use an eyeliner brush to brush brown or taupe matte eye shadow or brow powder along your brow line. To try: Maybelline Ultra Brow Brush on Color, $4.99.
For truly sparse spots: using a brown or taupe pencil, diagonally feather tiny hair-like flecks to fill in. Many makeup lines include a brush on brow color, which is ideal for plumping the brow line and to cover grays ... but it doesn't fix a comma shape.
If you're really all thumbs: it's more of an investment than a splurge to get a one-time grooming by celebrity brow maven, Eliza Petrescu ($120 at Exhale Spa in NY). She'll also tell-all about how to do-it-yourself so from then on, you can do your own upkeep. Check Eliza's website, elizaseyes.com, for more dish on her and for a virtual encyclopedia of tips on beautifying your brows.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't Fall Victim to Beauty Puffery!

Can a lip product plump your pout? DuWop Lip Venom ($16), Lipfusion ($38) and a slew of other plumpers promise to boost lips like collagen.

On assignment for the NY Daily News, I convinced my daughter Julie (pictured, right) to test dozens of popular lip plumpers. Julie said some made her lips sting or burn, others added a pretty gloss, but none truly plumped her pout … and she’s not the only one. In a study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, researchers found the products offered no observable change in lip size on a study of female patients. "If a lip-enhancing product did what a dermatologist can do, armed with lip-plumping injectables, it would be classified as a drug and not a cosmetic," says Deborah Sarnoff, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Medical School. "Like all 'cosmeceuticals,' lip plumpers don't require FDA approval, nor do they need to prove their claims," she adds.

Lip plumpers contain ingredients such as niacin, cinnamon, capsaicin, menthol and clove that can make the mouth sting or burn. You'll
get fuller looking lips with reasonably priced lip liner and lipstick from companies like L'Oreal, Cover Girl, Max Factor or Maybelline. To do:

* Using lip pencil in a shade close to the lip color you'll wear, keep mouth relaxed and slightly open. Rest your elbow on a table or counter for support and hold the lip pencil like a regular pencil. Balance your pinky on the side of your chin to help maintain a steady hand.
* Place pencil tip at the center point between crests of your upper lip. Following the outer rim of the natural shape of your lips, draw a line from center to top of crest on one side; repeat on other side. Extend the line from top of each crest, along the very outer edge of your lip line, down to the outer corners of your mouth. For bottom lip, pinpoint the exact center by holding the lip pencil vertically under the tip of your nose. The point where the pencil touches your bottom lip is the center. Draw a dot there. Starting at the dot, draw a line along the very outer rim of your lip line, to the outer corner of your mouth; repeat on other side. Apply a long wearing lip color within outlined area. Another option: Use a lip pencil to line and color lips; it's less creamy than lipstick, so color lasts longer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Save on Avon

Looking to earn extra cash? A popular way is direct marketing, selling products not available in stores to consumers. Problem is, many companies require a substantial initial investment, offer pricey goods and pressure you to stalk everyone –- from your babysitter to your boss -- to buy. One exception is Avon: becoming a Representative is a $10 investment; you needn't sell to a single customer and you automatically get substantial discounts on your personal orders.

Scaling back on spending? Avon has some great buys. Their Anew costs less than most other anti-aging brands, and budget friendly Skin-So-Soft is a global best-seller. Today you no longer need to thumb through little catalogues, since many Avon Representatives are online. My Avon "Lady," Susan Broderick, currently offers Free Shipping on online orders (use coupon code 6SFWR) and 50% off on many items, including ANEW REJUVENATE Flash Facial Revitalizing Concentrate, now $24; Lighten Up Plus Eye Cream, now $7.50; MOISTURE THERAPY Intensive Hand Cream, now $0.99; Skin So Soft Body Wash, now $2.99. Shop Susan’s store (or sign up to be an Avon Rep) at youravon.com/sbroderick.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Freebie Finds

Free Shoes: As a DSW Rewards Member (no fee), you get a $10 Welcome Certificate, reward certificates for every 1,500 points earned, double points shopping days, special offers and a birthday gift certificate. At a recent DSW clearance sale, I found my favorite sneakers -- New Balance 725's -- marked down from $75 to $29.95. Armed with a $20 reward certificate and my $10 birthday certificate, the cashier handed over the shoes and I paid nothing. Unlike most stores, DSW allows you to apply multiple offers to a single purchase.

If you've had a similar experience at another store, please tell us about it.