Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beauty Fact: Lipstick Theory

Did you know that lipstick sales are linked to the state of the economy? But not in the way you might think!!

This is called Lipstick Theory. The first to suggest the relation between beauty products sales and the state of the economy was the former head of Estee Lauder – Leonard Lauder. If you expect lipstick sales go down during the hard times, you are wrong. On the contrary, they go up! And “the thinking behind the theory is that consumers turn to inexpensive luxury goods such as lipstick to console themselves” when the higher priced pleasures are out of their reach (

Another surprising statistical fact has been recently revealed by Kline, a consulting & market research company. "Our data shows that for every 1% increase in the unemployment rate, women buy $25 million more lipstick during the year." (see this article)
Kline analyzed 50 years of lipstick sales and confirmed that the Lipstick Theory is real.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beauty Digest: Beauty Reading in July

Here is a short overview of articles from various fashion and beauty magazines I have been reading this July.

Editors of the of Marie Claire UK are concerned that, while the summer is at its peak, we have not yet made the right decision about the sun block and might be cooking ourselves to a crisp at the up-coming vacation. So Marie Claire features an easy-to-understand guide to skin type (according to Fitzpatrick system) and the perfect SPF. I am definitely a skin type III: “usually able to get light tan in time but, without care, you’re still prone to burning.”… It appears I can use “any type of sunscreen, as your skin won’t be that sensitive”. And, in fact, as it is recommended in the article I do usually use spf 15 on the body and 30 on the face… However, last two years I have been developing sun allergy on vacations by the sea, so I use 30 SPF on the face and body and lie in the shade.

Elle Magazine US has a spotlight on Hyaluronic acid, interviews makeup artist Mark Carrasquillo on makeup tricks and best products, and reveals favorite beauty products of superstars such as Leona Lewis, Lil’ Mama, Estelle, etc. A skin remedy from Leona Lewis caught my attention. She uses Huggies baby wipes to remove her makeup after a hard day at a shoot or a concert. Interesting idea! For those who feel enslaved by their hair salon, Elle runs a long and detailed article on how to break free. I am hardly enslaved but would never experiment at home alone, so I kind of skipped this piece. I did read the article Terms of Endowment revealing that if you decide to have a breast augmentation, it most probably won’t be your first and last one… That is what statistics show. Various unpredictable side effects of the operation resulting from scar tissue formation to changes in body fat level and leakages will land you at the doctor’s once again sooner or later.

Further on the topic of plastic surgery, German Jolie magazine featured an article on plastic surgeries/corrections gone bad. And you can see how bad in the photos. When deciding on a plastic surgeon, they recommend to be critical, “trust your gut feeling”, be very careful with OPs (that are much cheaper) in foreign countries and make sure you are in the hands of a professional.

Russian Vogue with the beautiful Natasha Poly on the cover reminds that aqua colors are in this summer, gives not a very timely explanation on how to do makeup in style of noir “for a gothic party”, Carnival and Halloween . It also runs a very useful article on moles and their potential carcinogenic danger. The advise is to remember about the ABCD rule. Be worried if: A (asymmetry) – your moll is asymmetric in form or color, B (border)- borders are not smooth, C (color)- is uneven, D (diameter) – is more than 6 mm.

In Style US gives great advice on how to do a Minimalist Makeup, writes about ways and products that can help you to get a brighter smile and features A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Your Best Abs. In the latter you will find several “no-sweat” excercises that you can do while indulging into things you love. I personally think this will work only for those who are good at multi-tasking. As for me, I cannot enjoy a novel while lying on the floor with feet flat, exhaling as I “pull in at my navel and the abs just below it” and at the same time curling my bottom slightly up. BTW, don't miss a fun interview with Cameron Diaz!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Beauty Shopping: Paris, Champs-Elysées - Guerlain Boutique

Paris and shopping are the two things that simply go together! And when you think shopping in Paris, you think Champs-Elysées. According to wikipedia, the name refers to the “Elysian Fields”, the place of the blessed in Greek mythology. When you find yourself in this world famous avenue you can consider yourself truly blessed with shopping opportunities! This most prestigious and broadest Paris avenue offers quite a few must-at-least-drop-by shopping spots. For a great choice of beauty products such as perfumes, makeup and skin care, you can choose from Sephora, Marriannaud, Guerlain and other boutiques!

Most of these stores have a modern design and feel to them. However in one particular place you will feel magically transported a hundred years back and will have a really memorable shopping experience. 68 Champs-Elysées is the address of a 3-floor Guerlain boutique. It is elegant, luxurious and unforgetable. The boutique first opened its doors in 1914 and was built for Guerlain by architect Méwès known for for building the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vendôme.

When you walk into the boutique, you find yourself on the ground floor with a couple displays of Guerlain perfumes and skin care. Friendly staff recommended taking a look upstairs. Right across from the entrance is a staircase leading to the mezzanine floor.
This floor as I read online was initially made up of small partitioned rooms and left vacant for several years and then it was restructured into a single space. Now this area is divided into 2 spacious rooms. One of them is devoted to "haute" perfumery and is located on the side of Champs-Elysées.

The centerpiece of this room is a gorgeous crystal chandelier over a lighted round perfume display. On the other side with windows looking into a courtyard I found a beauty area with makeup and skin care displays, several chairs and three large mirrors that seemed to be suspended over you in mid-air.

The sales girl gave me a small tour and told shortly how the successful history of Guerlain House began. She told me about the Eau de Cologne Impérial created by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain in honor of Empress Eugenie which lead him to become Her Majesty’s Official Perfumer.

I tested several recent Guerlain’s perfumes including the Aqua Allegoria Fig-Iris and Cruel Gardenia. First the perfume is sprayed on a fan which is then lightly waved at you so that you can experience various notes and get a feel for the fragrance.

I like very light refreshing notes so my favorite out of the Guerlain’s perfumes I tested appeared to be Herba Fresca from Aqua Allegoria collection.

Further on, I was quite nosy to try out Guerlain’s classics Shalimar, Jicky and inquire into the story of their creation.

Then I took a look at the other room to try out Guerlain’s newest mascara - Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara.

And, finally, I made my purchase - no, not a perfume. I bought my favorite eye cream ever – Happylogy Eye (Glowing Eye Care/Action on first wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness). The best cream I have ever used, I stay true to it for already 3 years.

I requested it to be packed as it was a gift. Well, it was a gift - a gift for myself on the wonderful occasion of enjoying Paris and the beauty of shopping at La Maison Guerlain.

As I was about to leave the boutique the sales girl offered to spray Herba Fresca over me. The offer I was more than happy to accept!

Read more about

  • Guerlain beauty products: make-up, skin care, perfumes. Shop online!

  • Guerlain's official website
  • La Maison Guerlain
  • Sunday, July 6, 2008

    Beauty Review: Schick Quattro - Razor for Women

    Summer makes several beauty related issues a priority. Light summer clothes and beach season means we are all concerned with the issues of smooth skin. And, of course, getting rid of unwanted hair is one of the top priorities. Smooth beautiful legs and sexy bikinis are a must for the sunny season. In summer we depilate more often than in other seasons. That’s why the time it takes and the convenience matter a lot. In this review, let’s speak razors! Recently I was requested to review a new razor for women: Schick Quattro. For this purpose I was provided with a sample razor (thanks!). However, note - this is an unpaid for and unbiased review.

    - four ultra-thin blades
    - pivoting head “ to follow all your contours”
    - 2 conditioning strips with Vitamins
    - sleek metal handle for precise control
    - comfortable rubber grip
    - shower hanger (not sure if available in every package)

    "Long lasting smoothness - so you can skip a day or two"

    When using the razor, I was very impressed with the angle (radius) of the pivoting head. It is very flexible and moves within about 40 degrees range which does make it easy to follow all the contours of the body.


    Before I even used Schick Quattro razor I already liked it! Why, you ask? The package includes a shower hanger. My bathroom is always overloaded with things that just get scattered around so it does not look particularly neat. However, with Schick Quattro you just hang your razor on the wall right where you need it. Convenient! Loved this feature!

    When using the razor, I was very impressed with the angle (radius) of the pivoting head. It is very flexible and moves within about 40 degrees range which does make it easy to follow all the contours of the body.

    Due to the pivoting head and overall design you can also easily do the knee area, reach any stray hairs underarms, or even depilate the bikini area. Shaving feels smooth, comfortable and did not give me razor bumps. And it is quicker than using an electric epilator or a depilation cream. Usually, I do not use a razor on the bikini area but I decided to give it a try. It went quite fine, but the skin felt sensitive afterwords so I still prefer using an electric shaver on this area.

    Note: For shaving to be bumps and redness free you have to follow some main rules: do not apply too much pressure on the razor against the skin, do not stretch the skin, do not go against the grain and do use a shaving gel.

    The time the smoothness lasts will vary from person to person. In my case, the skin usually remains smooth for a couple days.

    I also enjoy some things about Schick Quattro that are not directly related to the quality of shave. For example, I like the handle. It is very convenient due to rubber grips so the razor does not slip out of your hands. I also like that due to the fact that the handle is partly metal it does have some weight to it. Feels nice in the hand.

    Excellent product!

    Price Time: about 10-15$ - great quality for affordable price ;-)

    Read more about hair removal methods
    Feel like shopping? You can buy Schick Quattro online.
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