Old Reliables

I’ve been wearing some ugly clothes lately.  Mom jeans (hear me, they were literally labeled as mom jeans), Birkenstocks (the originals), and tapered track pants with mules.  There’s something freeing about forcing yourself to try and make good out of something known as “ugly” by conventional standards.  It’s a good challenge in personal creativity, and you sort of give up on how others feel about what you’re wearing.

One trend I haven’t been dabbling in, however, would be the return of overalls.  And by gosh by golly, even Olivia Palermo’s been wearing those and Lord knows how I drool over her!  I don’t know, I think it has to do with the fact that they bring back old memories of the cool girls in middle school who would wear their overalls (which were nothing short of a staple back in the day) with … tube tops.  Yep.  Hot pink tube top, overalls from some place now deceased like Anchor blue, top it off with an Etnies skater jacket, and you’re good to go.  Did we want to be Fred Durst video girls or farmers?  We didn’t know, but we had to have the best of both worlds or God strike us dead!

So, I’ll try a trend here and there (or in my case, more like here, there, and everywhere), but I’d say I’ve now managed to round up my set of old wardrobe reliables that I’ll probably keep in rotation until I die or my then-20-year-old child tells me it’s time to stop.  Such items include leather jackets, striped tees, a lot of denim, and a pair of leopard print pumps.

Now what, may I ask, would be the beauty equivalent of these items?

Old faithfuls

I’ve mentioned all of these items in previous posts, but if I’m buying them multiple times then they’re worth mentioning again.

I’ve used Bumble&bumble’s Prep Spray for years as a detangler once I hop out of the shower after washing my hair.  Speaking of washing my hair, it’s very likely that I’ve also just used Davines’ Momo conditioner for dry hair.  The scent (sort of gummy and cotton-y, yet addicting), the texture, and the long-term effectiveness of this balm have managed to give it a top space at an extremely long list of conditioners that I’ve tried.  I try to focus more on moisture with my wash as opposed to “damage repair” or protein (which I do every so often), because it can lead to more breakage as I’ve previously discussed.

So anyhow, after washing, I give a few sprays of Prep directly into my roots, sort of massage my scalp a bit, and then gently comb through with (only!) a wide-tooth comb.  I appreciate Prep for the vitamins and, again, the detangling qualities, but I don’t think it really serves a styling purpose.  That’s fine with me considering I tend to let me hair air-dry completely most of the time before laying any heat on it.

I keep a couple shampoos in rotation, but Rahua has been in my shower for two-and-a-half years now.  It is completely free of detergents and soap, is safe for color-treated hair, and has an almost wholly natural ingredients list.  It is not particularly cheap, but I love it so much.  My hair is noticeably less dry after using it, thanks to the lack of ingredients in drugstore shampoo that ironically do more harm than good for dry hair.  I love it, and it gives me an excuse to go to Bloomingdale’s.

Once my hair is dry and I decide to break out the hot tools, I spray a liberal amount of Sally Hershberger’s Hyper Hydration Super Keratin Spray on each section.  It works as a heat protectant, but also serves as an argan oil spray to smooth for blowouts.  The scent is phenomenal, and I love spraying it all over my hair once I’ve twisted it up in a bun at the beach, just to keep it hydrated.  The more concentrated versions of argan oil tend to be too heavy for me, unless I’m going for a pin-straight, shiney look.

And finally, once my hair is taken care of I move on to face and body.  I’ve often sung the praises of Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil Deodorant for the fact that it has no aluminum (which means it’s not an antiperspirant, and yes, your body can acclimate to this as all bodies once did a few decades ago), and it contains no propylene glycol.  Tom’s of Maine’s natural deodorant worked for a couple years before I found myself with red, peeling, burning rashes in both of my armpits that would not stop itching.  I discovered this to be the fault of propylene glycol.  Desert Essence is pretty much all oil, and yes, I do not go through my day sweat-free when I wear this stuff but you’re seriously not supposed to go through any day sweat-free.  Bad.

Once I’ve moisturized with some kind of somethin’ (still trying to nail down a favorite), I’ll move on to my precious BB cream from Boscia.  I loooooove this stuff like no other.  This will sound hilarious, but I cannot believe how good my skin looks after putting just a dab of this on!  I like to mix it with some kind of face lotion because it isn’t super spreadable, but I love how even and luminous it makes my skin.  There is a lighter version, a bronze version, and it contains SPF 27.  I recommend this one to anyone with a face.  Anyone.

Any mainstays in your own repertoire?  Holler at me; I’m always curious to know what others can’t live without, whether it’s a tube top or a good nail polish remover.  xo, MR

B.B. creams and my scheme for becoming the Hulk.

I have many dream jobs.  Many dream jobs.  I dream of being a makeup artist to the celebrities (though I hear from Laura Mercier that you have ZERO-POINT-ZERO life when you achieve such a status).  I dream of doing animation voice-overs for cartoons because apparently my impressions of Butters and the oh-long-Johnson cat are impeccable.  I dream of writing for fashion and beauty publications (so feel free to pay me for this any time, or do you pride yourself in robbing the poor and disenfranchised?).  I dream of being a spectacular teacher that is somehow able to incorporate culture and film and art into every lesson on American history.  I dream of being a model because I’m hot for approximately two out of seven days during the week so long as I remember to shower and check my feet for toe jam.  I dream of being a professional restaurant reviewer that literally must only eat the best food your sorry fanny can serve up in a five-star kitchen.  And bring me a side of Takis with that lobster bisque, you lemming!

But most of all … I dream of being paid for the oh-so-miserable task of reviewing makeup products.  And I’m even willing to be a human tester for the unfinished products too so the lab rabbits no longer have to suffer!  Animal testing typically involves a product being placed directly on to an animal’s eyes or skin, and if they go crazy from pain and perhaps break their own necks while struggling to free themselves from the restraint they’re being held in, then the consensus is that the formula probably needs some improvement before showing up at your local drugstore as the latest and greatest liquid foundation to slather all over your face.  Am I making this up?  Nope.  So test unfinished products on my eyes, I say!  Maybe a  faulty new eyeliner formula will turn my eyes violet and I can be Elizabeth Taylor come back from the dead with a search-and-destroy mission on Lindsay Lohan for soiling my good name with Liz & Ick (you read that right).  Or even better, a testing of a bad moisturizer will turn me into the Hulk (the Ed Norton kind).  I’ve always wanted to be able to open tightly-sealed jars of salsa without crying and bruising my fingerbones.  HULK SMASH SALSA JAR!  Or maybe it’ll just turn me into Ed Norton.  Either way, I’ll get more respect and more free meals.

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So for the moment, I’ll choose to review a product that’s already passed the rabbit-neck-break test.  Actually, I don’t think the B.B. cream I’ve tried even had a rabbit-neck-break test to begin with because the brand I’ve used says a big fat no to lab rabbits (or as I like to call them, “labbits”)!  That brand would be Boscia, by the way.  It’s a Japanese skincare line that’s a little more on the pricier end of things, but they produce some seriously good stuff.

I first read about B.B. creams (or Beauty Balms, or Blemish Balms) maybe two years ago, I believe in either Vogue or Elle.  The idea sounded fantastic, like the ultimate multifunctional tinted moisturizer.  Their alleged purpose is to provide hydration, conceal imperfections and give natural coverage, firm and even out skin tone, protect from future damage with SPF, and repair existing flaws with ingredients like antioxidants.  It read like a hybrid of makeup and skincare.  They’d originated in Japan and had already started trickling into the United States through brands like Dr. Jart, Boscia, and Dior, and I was interested.  I’m not really into foundation (especially for everyday use), but the idea of something that could provide a light bit of evening-out along with sun protection sounded like a good way to ramp up my routine.

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I purchased the Boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++ (with PA being a superior grade of UVA protection) at Sephora and gave it a shot.  And you know what?  I liked it, and I still use it!  It comes in one self-adjusting shade and it blends extraordinarily well.  I also can’t express enough appreciation for it’s lack of phthalates, parabens, and sulfates (though it still has PEGs and lots of “-cones”). Now, have I tried any other B.B. creams?  Nope?  Do I intend to?  Nope.  I’ve found a high-quality one that I love and, as far as I know, is the most natural one currently on the market counting both drugstore and luxury brands.  And as I’ve explained before, I’d rather pay more for safer, higher-quality ingredients (or at the very least, fewer sketchy ingredients), especially when it comes to face makeup.  So do I recommend this product?  Yes.  Below, I’ve applied a light layer of the B.B. cream.  Pretty even with a decently dewy finish, I’d say.

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And there you have it- my one review of the only B.B. cream I’ll probably ever use (and I don’t wear it everyday because I don’t wear makeup everyday), and my plan to give myself up for animal rights so I can become the Hulk or an undead Liz Taylor or a reasonably healthy Ed Norton.  Be at peace now that your day has been nothing short of MADE.  xo, MR