Archive for Cosmetics

Handwasher’s Helpmate: Avoiding Granny Hands with Lush Dream Cream (Review)

November 13, 2011  |  Cosmetics  |  , ,  |  4 Comments

Sinus Sister reaches for some lube

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Washing your hands six or seven times a day has consequences. Not only does it give people the chance to mock your O.C.D., but your hands start to look old—old like they survived the siege of Leningrad. Looking down at her red and cracked fingers of Irish descent, Sinus Sister thought her hands belonged to a refugee from the Potato Famine, clawing her way onto a coffin ship bound for Canada.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But when a woman sees the early stages of her own granny hands, she freaks. Then she spends money. Enter the hand creams. Expensive hand cream is one of the most satisfying spends in the pharmacy, because the results are instant and reassuring. Lush’s Dream Cream is aptly named and worth considering for your sink-side moisturizer. It soothed my embattled hands within a few days and doesn’t feel slippery or oily. Witness the lack of fingerprints on my laptop. There are oats in the formula—always a good sign—along with rose water and chamomile.

What we love about Dream Cream: the whipped-creamy consistency
What it smells like: Play-Doh, which isn’t necessarily a deterrent
What we don’t love so much about Dream Cream: the price ($24.95 for 8.4 oz.)
Why we’re willing to pay: gnarled hands are avoidable

Day For Night: Clarins Wonder Waterproof Mascara – Review

October 17, 2011  |  Cosmetics  |   |  14 Comments

Sinus Sister bats her lashes and hopes for the best

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Hay fever is hell on the eyes, with all that rubbing and watering. Wearing mascara is foolhardy, at best, unless you like that heroin addict look. Yet, I refuse to give up on mascara when I need it most–to distract from my bloodshot eyes. This summer, I’m reclaiming mascara, one tube at a time. Here’s my review of a mascara from Clarins called Wonder Waterproof Mascara  ($27).

The packaging sends a mixed message: “water resistant”, it says, after claiming to be waterproof. That’s odd. Which one is it—water resistant or waterproof? Maybe I’m splitting hairs. The lawyers at Clarins probably forced the marketing department to backpedal on the water-tight claim, afraid of recriminations. Understandable, since Beauty bloggers can be vicious. Sinus Sister was not turned off by the conflicting semantics because she knows that water resistant jackets, for example, are better than waterproof ones (i.e. plastic bags that stick to your skin). Maybe it’s the same for mascara: 100% waterproof isn’t actually better.

All this musing about the product’s performance faded away as I applied my first, luxurious coat of a colour called “01 Wonder Black”….Wonder Black, indeed. WOW! It goes on like silk, in one big swooosh, with full coverage. I didn’t feel the need to blot off any little clumps with my finger. My eyelash comb went unused, because they didn’t clump together. That’s what spending $27 gets you! It’s supposed to offer “full volume”, which is debatable, but I was happy with the lush-yet-natural look achieved with just one coat. This is the mascara you can wear in full daylight without looking like a cheap slap. This is the mascara for business breakfasts, outdoor weddings, and lunch with the sporty “ex” who hated it when you wore makeup. He’ll think you look great, without suspecting a thing.

The Socializer Review: How an Under-Eye Cream Made My Hard Day’s Night Alright

Sinus Sister’s fresh start

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Hay fever is hell on the eyes, with all that itching and rubbing. By first frost, Sinus Sister usually looks like a new mom without a nanny. The dark circles under her eyes—called “blue luggage” by flight attendants—aren’t pretty. This year, however, I refuse to look wretched. I’m reclaiming my bright eyes, or at least faking it with as many eye products as possible.

The magazine’s advice to revive tired eyes: cold slices of cucumber.

Sinus Sister’s response: bite me.

Sliced vegetables cannot fix these eyes. After a night at the Arcade Fire concert, my eyes need a serious intervention…. What does Mick Jagger use? I need summa that. Up close to the bathroom mirror, Sinus Sister is appalled by what she sees: dark circles, puffy skin, general destruction under both eyes. Sigh. It’s time to rebuild.

I reach for The Socializer ($40), an eye product geared toward hard-partying rock stars—or anyone who has had too many apple martinis served in a cloud of second-hand smoke. The Socializer’s silver tube of day cream, called Bright Lights, has light-reflecting mica to deal with under-eye bags. The cheeky packaging (“go straight from owning the bar to owning the boardroom”) describes our predicament without once using the word hangover. Well done. It promises to de-puff, cool, hydrate, sooth and illuminate. Removing the lid, I find a dry brush. To release some product into the brush, I click the tube’s bottom 14 times to get the first squirt, then it comes out with just three clicks between applications. It paints on evenly. Yes….yes…I immediately look less like a refugee in a detention centre. Ten minutes later, I look even better. Taking my index finger, I give the product an extra little dab to smooth it in. This is too easy…too good. Irish Protestants like to work hard for success, or else we can’t relax. When will the other shoe drop? Will I go blind for cheating Mother Nature? No, that’s ridiculous. The refreshed woman in the mirror says,”Go with it…and don’t forget to use the night cream.”

The money shot: torricelumn, the cream’s anti-aging ingredient, oozing into the brush

Who to thank: skincare genius Elizabeth Grant, for knowing that cucumbers are lame

Who to tell: Mick Jagger.

Where to get:  from this guy at CAJH Mâitres Coiffures or the web link above.

 

DiorShow Backstage Mascara Review

Sinus Sister bats her lashes and hopes for the best.

 

Hay fever is hell on the eyes, with all that rubbing and watering. Wearing mascara is foolhardy, at best, unless you like that heroin addict look. Yet, I refuse to give up on mascara when I need it most–to distract from my bloodshot eyes. This summer, I’m reclaiming mascara, one tube at a time. Here’s my review of a mascara from Dior called DiorShow Backstage Waterproof Mascara  ($24.50).

Luxury items are vulgar. That’s the hard-working Irish Protestant-Canadian attitude instilled at birth. Defying this childhood conditioning, I finally went upmarket for mascara. At $31 a tube, DiorShow is a “reasonable spend” for most women, but it’s waaaay out of my comfort zone. After a week of testing, it taught me a lesson: pay more, get more. This high-end mascara delivered on its promise for va-va-va-voom lashes. The big brush was a revelation–like the first time I played tennis with an over-sized racket.  The mascara went on velvety thick, with full coverage and little clumping. I repeat “little clumping“, not no clumping. For $31, I don’t want to see a single clump. The wand seemed a bit fragile, so handle it daintily.

Is it well suited for teary-eyed sneezers? Yes. DiorShow is waterproof and not smudgy. It takes work to remove DiorShow, but you can’t expect waterproof mascara to glide off like lipstick. While you may want a more demure mascara for every-day wear, this is perfect for glamour girls who like attracting a little attention.

9/10

Maybelline Volum’Express Mascara Review

July 20, 2011  |  Cosmetics  |  , ,  |  No Comments

Sinus Sister bats her lashes and hopes for the best.

Hay fever is hell on the eyes, with all that rubbing and watering. Wearing mascara is foolhardy, at best, unless you like that heroin addict look. Yet, I refuse to give up on mascara when I need it most–to distract from my bloodshot eyes. This summer, I’m reclaiming mascara, one tube at a time. Here’s my review of a new waterproof variety from Maybelline called Volum’ Express, The Falsies  ($10 at most major drugstores).

Blink. Well, this mascara certainly stays put, including the clumps. And there are clumps. Any self-respecting drag queen would toss this product in the garbage, but I gave it a two-day trial. What a mistake. The “patented spoon-shaped brush” is easy to hold, but it’s shedding a few of its fibers onto my cheek bones. While Maybelline delivers on this mascara’s main promise–creating the illusion of false, waterproof eyelashes–they look like cheap falsies applied by your drunken teenage sister. Dousing my eyelashes in makeup remover for the third time, they finally wiped clean. The result. I looked like a tear-stained clown…with hay fever.

Rating: 2/10