September Beauty Favorites


I thought I’d switch up the content from breast cancer bitchiness (remember to think before you pink), and idiot politicians, to some current beauty and skin care favorites. Yes, I am riffing on the half-my-age YouTube beauty gurus. In doing so, I deliberately took a crappy picture of the products on my overcrowded dresser, instead of posing them on a pristine piece of fake marble or some other maddeningly perfect platform. That’s what malcontents do – we don’t run with the traffic, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

So, here’s the list, not in corresponding order to the photo – just to make things even more interesting:

WEN by Chaz Dean Fig Sweet Orange Intensive Treatment Oil: This is from the man who brought us cleansing conditioner for our hair. “Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Shampoo” is his motto. If you have the time in your day to take a two-hour shower and properly use WEN in your hair instead of traditional shampoo, you know what I’m talking about. I like to use the oil as a leave-in after shampooing what hair I have. I take about half a dropperful and massage it all over my hair and scalp. It turns my curls to ringlets and makes my hair really shiny. I’m hoping that the benefits will be fully realized once my hair is a bit longer. I’ll keep you posted.

Pixi Glow Tonic: If you’re old like me, and your idea of a toner is still Clinique Clarifying Lotion, put down the cotton ball. At this stage of life, ladies, using alcohol on your face is a bit like stripping the finish off an antique chifferobe (no, I haven’t re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird” recently). You need to be a bit nicer to yourselves, yet still get the dead skin off your face. The U.K. brand Pixi, sold exclusively at Target here in the U.S., makes this glorious toner with 5 percent glycolic acid, and no alcohol. It smells divine, and makes your skin soft and glowy like a video vixen before she trowels on ten pounds of concealer.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging MoisturizerI’ve used a few of Dr. Gross’s products over the years, and this one is relatively new. It contains retinol, the over-the-counter cousin to Retin A, the stuff people of my generation thought would get rid of acne, but turned out to be better suited to erasing wrinkles, and something called ferulic acid, an anti-oxidant. I like this cream because it is very gentle, and doesn’t turn your face bright red with irritation. I got the 100 ml (3.4 oz) jar from QVC because a regular-size 50 ml (1.7 oz) jar is regularly $72. Remember I said I like to buy in bulk? This cream is worth having the bigger jar. It isn’t greasy, and from what I can tell, it seems to be ironing out my creases.

Laniege Water Bank Eye Gel: I love this Korean skin care brand, and I love the fact that you can get it at Target. I have to give props to Nicole, a.k.a. Young Wild and Polished, an “older” YouTuber who got me hooked on this brand. This is surprisingly hydrating for an eye gel, and doesn’t migrate into your eyes. It also layers really well under moisturizer. The jar contains almost one full ounce of product, so that makes it a great buy for the price ($35), since you only need the tiniest amount.

Bare Minerals Mineralixers Eye Nourishing Oil Balm: Recently, I’ve been experiencing annoying dry patches around my eyes. When the Laniege eye gel isn’t getting the job done, this stuff is bomb-diggety. It’s a solid oil that you warm up by rubbing a clean finger over it, and smooth it on around your eye. Dry patches say bye-bye if you use it regularly. And, it’s not greasy. Yes, it’s oil and it’s not greasy. Really.

Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Serum: I’ve been a fan of Josie Maran’s argan oil since I bought a bottle of it at Barney’s New York in 2007. Now that she sells gallons of it on QVC, she’s got all kinds of products to go along with it. This serum is a great alternative when you want something very moisturizing on your skin, but you don’t want to anoint yourself with pure oil. It’s genius under the Dr. Gross cream, or any other potent anti-aging treatment that might cause irritation.

Laniege BB Cushion SPF 50+: As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found putting on makeup to be more of a challenge. First it was my eyes going – poking myself repeatedly with a mascara wand was the first indication that I needed reading glasses – then cancer treatment further affected my vision, making it nearly impossible to wear contact lenses.

I’ve never needed super heavy-duty coverage, and BB creams have worked well for me since they hit the North American market. These compact BB cushions are genius because they are sponges impregnated with a weightless, buildable base that offers sun protection and is easy to apply. The Laniege BB Cushion is O.G., and a great deal, because you get a pre-loaded compact plus a refill for $32 at Target. No need for me to repeat how awesome I think Laniege is.

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Milk Chocolate: It used to be that fair-skinned individuals needed to avoid bronzer because it would make you look like you collided with a terracotta pot. That’s not the case anymore. Too Faced is a whimsical brand the YouTubers love, but I remember them from way back when, before they were so coveted. I must give props to some of the girls who use bronzer the way it is intended – to “warm up” the complexion, which is how I use it. The ones who attempt to carve and contour with this category of product aren’t fooling anyone. The color of this bronzer is perfect for the pale and pasty (moi), plus it smells like the most delicious cup of hot chocolate.

Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush in Love Hangover: I won’t even speculate as to whether or not this blush is capable of lasting 16 hours. What I will say is that it is a gorgeous, subtle color, and the powder formulation works well on more “mature” skin. Same goes for the bronzer. And how could you not love a heart-shaped compact? You’re never too old to appreciate great packaging, as long as there is quality product inside it. When you get to be a certain age, you see the value of both.

Please let me know what you think about this post. And let me know if this is something you’d like to see again. There’s plenty of room for the malcontent to express herself on a wide variety of topics.

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2 thoughts on “September Beauty Favorites

  1. I love it!! I’m never sure what goes on when for either skin care or makeup. I’ve been using Philosophy Miracle Worker and Ultimate Miracle Worker, (I am 68 you know?). I also am a pastey white lady so I probably need a bronzer. Who knew?! I’m a BB or CC user, blush, mascara, very little shadow and lip stain.

    Keep us up to date on your makeup world!

    1. Sherry, you should definitely try some bronzer. Even with minimal makeup (which is my look these days), the right color does wonders to wake up your face.

      I am also a Philosophy girl. I tried the original Miracle Worker cream a few years ago, and I would love to try the Ultimate Miracle Worker. One of these days… 🙂

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