Neon Pink Lips & Other Ways to Combat Warm Weather Envy

From what I hear, back home in North Carolina spring has officially arrived! Flowers are blooming, pollen is in the air, and eighty degree weather is urging everyone down I-70 towards the beach for the weekend. Of course, if you’re living in or around the Denver area, you may have just experienced EIGHT INCHES OF SNOW. Yes, it is thirty degrees in mid-April and while the freshly blanketed snow is very pretty and reminiscent of more festive, Christmas-like times…again, it is mid-April.

Naturally, all these spring false starts, combined with pictures of friends from home lounging (smugly) poolside have made all the bright, spring-y things I’ve been compulsively buying seem like (at least slightly) deserved consolation prizes. Despite days that call for ice scrapers rather than open windows, a quick look around the mall reveals that Denver stores, like much of the rest of the nation, have moved on to a warmer state of mind. Beauty trends this spring are all about color: shades of turquoise, coral, tangerine and emerald add excitement to wardrobes and pop against skin and nails.

Along with warmer weather (PLEASE), here’s my spring wishlist. What’s yours?

1. Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics in Anime: Because what says spring like a bright pink lip? This stuff (for lack of a better term) goes on like gloss but lasts like a lipstick and is super, SUPER pigmented. Available in literally all spectrums of the rainbow, lip tar will brighten your complexion and add interest to otherwise understated makeup. Available for $16 at Sephora.

Colors don't get much brighter than this. Via beautylish.com.

Colors don’t get much brighter than this. Via beautylish.com.

2. Feather Effects Nail Polish by Nails Inc. in Brighton: If you come out with a new nail “effect” and package it cutely, I’ll probably be interested. In this case, the feathery effect of the nail polish and use of bright colors makes Nail Inc.’s new line perfect for warm, spring weather. Pair with bright white and make these nails a central focus of your outfit! Available for $18.29 from ASOS.

These feathery nails remind me that, like a bird, I should've headed south for the winter. Ok, end of complaining. Via vampyvarnish.com.

These feathery nails remind me that, like a bird, I should’ve headed south for the winter. Ok, end of complaining. Via vampyvarnish.com.

3. Body Tint by Lush in Black Stockings: So, I really want to bask, nap and read in the sun from dawn until dusk. But even once it reaches a pool-worthy level of degrees here (approximately sometime in mid-August), I’m not going to do that. Because here’s the thing: I don’t want to look like I’ve aged 50+ years by September, and that’s where Lush’s tinted body bar comes in. Packaged like a soap, this stick of lotion seeps into skin easily and leaves a subtle glow on skin that mimics a perfect, slight tan ideal for skirt and tank top-wearing days. Available for $10.95 at Lush.

Don't let the rich, warm color deceive you; you can customize color to suit almost any skin tone. Via: tinselcreation.com.

Don’t let the rich, warm color deceive you; you can customize color to suit almost any skin tone. Via: tinselcreation.com.

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Tried & True: What’s Your Go-To Product?

 

Via: boudoirvanity.tumblr.com

Via: boudoirvanity.tumblr.com

Some of my most vivid memories, so lifelike they bring back a flood of crisp colors and rich aromas, are the summers I spent as a child at my grandparents’ home outside of Chicago.

One muggy day I remember lying in the grass beside the backyard patio, when I heard the screen door open and lazily slam behind my grandmother, who approached with a small box in her hand. I knew from the signature design on the box that it was her Coty Powder, one of the few items of makeup she used, a loose powder I associated with glamorous parties and complex, grownup conversation.

In her ceremonial way that made everything seem vastly exciting and infinitely special, she presented the box to me, the powder all used up, and told me to keep whatever I wanted in it. That summer, I hoarded everything from 25 cent jewelry to glittery bouncy balls in that box; and although faded, the subtle fragrance that reminds me so intensely of my grandmother still remains.

When I recently searched for the powder online, it made me smile to see that it is still sold and that many women write raving reviews for the product, some of the women having used it for over 20 years. Equipped with a fluffy powder puff, the powder is still made using its original formula, and the packaging still evokes the days of Hollywood starlets and old school glamor.

Whenever my overpriced, “high definition” powder runs out, I think I may try experiencing this tried and true cosmetic. The feeling of opening a new box, the familiar scent scattered into the air will alone make the $7 worth it.

Do you have a cosmetic that’s tried & true? What beauty tricks did your grandmother teach you? Let us know!

Health & Beauty Wisdom From the Olympic Elite

 

When it comes to the Olympics, even skin tone, creaseless eye shadow and shiny hair hardly matter as much as making the goal, landing the dismount or crossing the finish line. Interestingly, however, and sometimes amazingly so, Olympians often manage to look fresher and more put-together than I do after a 30 minute treadmill session. And of course, in some sports, such as synchronized swimming, vibrant makeup and a costumed appearance is an important theatrical element of each routine.

So while appearance is secondary to the amazing physical talents of these athletes, taking a look at the techniques used by Olympians is nonetheless an interesting lesson in how it’s possible to look great in even the most extreme conditions. In honor of the last few days of the Olympics, let’s take a look at some of the methods used by these elite athletes:

  • Synchronized Swimming: To keep hair in place during their intensive routines, swimmers comb unflavored jello into their hair and twist it into a tight bun. When jello mixes with the water of the pool, it creates a paste and keeps hair in place (but is also very tough to remove and may take several showers to completely wash out). To keep eyeshadow from smudging off underwater, swimmers often use chapstick as a primer.
  • Field & Track: While most runners subscribe to a minimal makeup routine while performing, a tinted moisturizer is often used to ward off harmful rays, and a waterproof mascara can be a hassle-free way to leave a face looking its best.
  • Swimming: Despite wearing a swim cap (or often two), swimmers often suffer from dry, brittle hair. Therefore, many of these athletes apply a deep conditioner to their locks under their swim caps during races to avoid substantial damage.
  • Gymnastics: A large dose of strong-hold hairspray is key for keeping fly-aways out of gymnasts’ eyes. More than other athletes, women gymnasts often go all out with a full face of waterproof makeup, ensuring a performance-focused face ready for bright lights and cameras.
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics: With hair pulled back tight for practices and performances, these athletes know the importance of hair masks and a balm for split ends to keep hair looking smooth and healthy. Russian Evgeniya Kanaeva describes applying lemon juice ice cubes to her face to wake up and rejuvenate her complexion after long days in the gym.

What Olympic sport do you love watching? As the games draw to a close, let’s all agree that our athletes have looked, and more importantly, performed amazingly this year!