Stories by: Kathleen

Cheap & Chic, Home, Paper GoodsObsession of the Moment: Pick Your Nose Cups

Beauty, MakeupMascara for Mermaids

I’m pretty sure that Urban Decay’s Cannonball Mascara was a staple in Ariel’s beauty bag. In between fighting off Ursula and using seaweed and kelp to keep her long lustrous hair moisturized, she was definitely using this waterproof mascara to keep her eyelashes bat-worthy for seducing Prince Eric.

For modern day mermaids who are fighting battles of good, evil and love on land, this mascara is sweat-proof, stress-proof, and smudge-proof. I put this mascara to the test through a morning grueling Diesel Kickboxing session that was like a Billy Blanks set at DeadMau5, and none of my super-extended, feathery, separate lashes budged a millimeter. And my sooty black lashes continued to hold their curl and form like an American gymnast on the balance beam, following a humid, 20-minute afternoon wait on the L train subway platform, all the way into a late-night dinner. 16 hours later, I came home for a mascara check and found my lashes in the same exact pristine form. This formula is so strong that you actually need an eye makeup remover to get all of the pigment off, or else you wake up with major raccoon eyes if you try to lazily remove it with water, like me. This mascara is so indestructible, I’m thinking they should include it in Rio’s 2016 Olympic Village, as it’s a gold medal contender against heat, humidity, water, and time.

 

Beauty, MakeupBest of British: Rimmel

Apart from people-watch, my second favorite thing to do when traveling is to browse for drugstore beauty. There’s no better way to get a sense of a country’s culture by looking at their beauty ideals (and to come back with a few secret products no one else will have!). Makeup artists like Pat McGrath are obsessed with French drugstores, which are more like beauty apothecaries than anything. When I visited the UK a few years ago, I was similarly enthused with Boots, their main pharmacy chain. It’s like a UK all-in-one combination of a 7-11, Target, and Duane Reade, where you can buy delicious sandwiches (with interesting fillings like roast beef with rocket) and an anti-wrinkle cream that rivals the luxury brands.

Rimmel, is one of those UK bestseller pharmacy secrets that I am so happy to see stateside because I am a HUGE Kate Moss fan. Yes, I have a Pinterest board exclusively devoted to her and Johnny Depp’s brief romance. Yes, that’s her, pinned all over my “90s nostalgia” board. I want one of those Supreme posters you see all over billboards in New York. And so naturally, I want the Rimmel x Kate lipsticks that have her signature emblazoned all over the packaging.

And the lipsticks are fantastic. They deliver bright slashes of color, in vibrant red and plums, with an emollience normally only found in expensive lippies. My favorite is 01, which is the classic blue-red that Kate wears in all the ads. And they cost $5, which is less than the price of a sandwich! Also great, are the Union Jack eyeshadows, which give you four-five complementary colors in the lines of the UK flag. Their True Union Jack color combo, complements my current navy eye color addiction. Fellow brown eyed girls: put down the black eyeshadow/liner and replace it with navy. Trust me. It will change your life. Something about the color simultaneously brings out the deeper browns of your eyes, while brightening the whites, so that your entire eye area looks fresher and more awake. There’s a sparkly navy sliver in the Rimmel compact that I like to apply in the outer corners of my eye that makes them look bigger and better in photographs. Navy and Kate! You can’t go wrong!

Beauty, SkincareBest of British: Eve Lom and Liz Earle

Eve Lom holds a special place in my heart, because it was my conversation-starter to meeting Carolyn for the first time. We were introduced by a friend and scheduled to meet for brunch. Fortuitously, having arrived for brunch early, I stopped into Space NK for a quick browse, and as is wont to happen, came out with a shopping bag and my first box of Eve Lom cleanser.

Eve Lom, beauty blogging, and writing were some of the centerpieces of our conversation that Carolyn and I had that day, and led to my writing for TDO. It’s been four wonderful years since I started contributing. It’s amazing how one little product was able to effect such a change in my life (and skin), and a demonstrable case to how beauty is the great equalizer. You can be sitting next to a stranger on the subway, but a simple question of “What are you wearing?” can make her your friend by the time the train rolls to 31st street.

We’ve been lucky enough to interview Eve Lom on our site before and I still think her cleanser is the best of all time. But if I were to pull a “Kanye, Imma Gonna Let You Finish” Grammys moment, the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish would be the Beyonce to my Taylor Swift. Both of these British brands still reign supreme in my bathroom cabinet, so I urge you to re-visit their greatness in this original post.

Accessories, Jewelry, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Rachel Zoe Love Me Knot Bangle

Beauty, MakeupBest of British: Lush’s Emotional Brilliance Collection

Next up in our best of British series, is one of my favorite bath/body lines. Lush is a longtime favorite at TDO for its incredibly whimsical and inventive products.   Glitter bubbles? Hot and cold shower jelly? A great pumpkin soap? If you’ve dreamed it, they’ve probably built it.

For their newest line, they want you to forget all about being in-season or on-trend. Emotional brilliance, is all about choosing colors to suit your mood. Like the mood ring, the classic 80’s throwback, each of Lush’s 30-shade collection is associated with an emotion. Feeling fuchsia? Maybe you’re in the mood to believe. Orange-red? Strong. Classic red-blue? Ambition.

The range includes lip glosses, eyeshadows, and eyeliners. My favorite is Lush’s Liquid Lipstick, a super-emollient, high-definition, bold colored lippie infused with candelilla wax, jojoba oil, rose wax, and ultrabalm, the super ingredient responsible for Lush’s ultra-moisturizing products. The finish is smooth, non-sticky, incredibly long lasting and the hues are incredibly pigmented and vibrant. Have difficulty choosing a color? You can also stop into any Lush store and get a custom reading from the color wheel. Spin the wheel, pick your top three colors, and learn more about your strengths/weaknesses, subconscious, and aspirations. It’s one part psychic evaluation/makeup consultation and just the thing to show the world how you feel.

Hair, New York, Spas & SalonsOld Fashioned Marilyn, Straight Up

No color, no cuts, just blow-outs. Now why didn’t I think of the Drybar concept? I’m filing this under “Things I Wish I had Invented,” taking its place alongside post-its, designer jeans, and Rent the Runway.  For $40 and about an hour, you get to watch a movie and drink, as a stylist washes your hair and helps you choose from a menu of blow-out looks.

The blow-out “menu” has 11 choices range from the Manhattan (super straight, sleek) to the Mai-Tai (beach waves). And specially, for the month of August, they’ll have a new addition to the menu: the Old-Fashioned, inspired by Marilyn Monroe.

It’s a super-coiffed, 50′s screen siren inspired hairstyle, with smooth, loose curls. In honor of Miss Monroe, Drybar will also be showing her movies so you can sit back and enjoy her greatness in Some Like It Hot and How to Marry a Millionaire via the Forever Marilyn: Blu-ray Collection. What? You’ve never seen her movies before? Then I suggest you you start with this clip.

 

Beauty, InternationalBest of British: Elemis

The sentiment of cheering for sports has never made sense to me. My high school football team had a record of 1 (wins) – 19 (losses.) I went to a university where the mascot was the viola adorata, better known as the fighting violet. But during the Olympics, my inner Bill Simmons comes forth and I become the rabid sports fan I could have been (had I been raised in a house where the SuperBowl and not QuizBowl was celebrated.)

In honor of the epic event being hosted across the pond, we’ve decided to highlight some of our favorite UK beauty products the next few weeks. We start first with an old TDO favorite (the subject of our first beauty product spotlight when we were only one year old!): Elemis. A favorite of Victoria Beckham and many other beauty editors, it’s a standard in UK spas and holds a cherished spot on many beauty vanities.

To kick off the games, Elemis is hosting a special promotion for TDO readers allowing you to stock up on your skincare favorites for 25% off from July 26th through July 31st . Use code BRITISH25 at TimetoSpa.com to redeem. Not sure what to buy? Here are some of our favorites.

Beauty, Makeup, SkincareOne BB Cream to Rule Them All

Like the hot foreign exchange student that surprisingly trumped the homecoming court, this has been the year of the BB (better known as blemish balm/beauty balm) cream. As Foundation and Tinted Moisturizer have looked on, jealously flipping their hair, this Asian import has been sweeping up all the attention (Sephora shelf space) and awards (beauty coverage.) Originally developed by doctors to speed healing after laser surgery, the product became popularized by Korean actresses who used it to appear flawless and poreless on camera.

As a moisturizer/primer/foundation/tinted moisturizer in one, it’s now become widely popular in Asia and stateside. Leave it to a Harvard MBA student (overachiever) to try to perfect an already overachieving beauty formula. Grace Choi, fashion and beauty entrepreneur has taken the concept one step further, by creating a BB cream range suitable for all skin colors of the rainbow.

A major shortfall of current BB creams is that they’re offered in at best, three to four colors, or at worst, one. Having been originally formulated in countries like Korea, where the variety of skin tones is more homogeneous, the original product color range made sense but left many Americans out of luck. Grace recognized this as an opportunity to create an inspired porcelain skin BB cream in the largest variety of tones yet: 10 different shades ranging from neutral to deep olive. READ MORE

Bath & Body, Beauty, TechWorth the Hype

Standing in contrast to things not worth the hype (prom, 50 Shades of Gray, the comfort of Christian Louboutin shoes, actually seeing the Mona Lisa in person), is the Clarisonic Mia. I’m sure you’ve read the hype: it’s been endorsed by multiple beauty magazines and blogs, Oprah’s last “Favorite Things” giveaways, and even “Page Six” mention/pill popper/beauty editor Cat Marnell recommended it in one of her last XOJane columns (check out her review if you haven’t, it’s seriously funny.)

The Clarisonic has become such an intrinsic part of my nighttime routine that I’m not sure how I lived without it. It’s one, the best exfoliating tool ever used, two, a cleansing gift for lazy people, and three, has a brush head that’s soft like bunnies.  Like an electric toothbrush for your face, Clarisonic is a self-vibrating brush that oscillates at over 300 movements per second as you move over your face in automated increments of time. The brush gently beeps every 10-15 seconds to alert you to switch brush focus from your forehead to your cheeks, chin, and nose so that the entire cleansing process takes about a minute. Responding to demands from people who wanted a specific acne cleansing system, Clarisonic released a special brush head, with softer and slightly tapered bristles, to deeper clean pores and sweep out dirt.

And afterwards? Your skin gets that gleamy, luminous look, normally achieved only post-facial or post-facial mask. It’s noticeably soft after using it only one time. Since I started using Retin-A, my skin has been clear but somewhat flaky. A few beeps with the Clarisonic, buffs them out so that it becomes an even canvas. Yes, it’s undeniably pricey, but using retail math, the convenient rationalizer for all large ticket prices, it comes out to less than dollar per use. And isn’t that worth the hype?

 

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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