Beauty Wednesday: Skincare and Aging

wrinkles - part I, originally uploaded to Flickr by kroszk@.So here’s a fun question:  how has your skincare routine changed through the years?  For the older readers, when did you notice that you needed to add a little “somethin somethin” to your routine?  Do you think particular brands matter, or is it just important to do something?  (For example: does a particular brand of eye cream work better than the others, or does your eye area just need extra moisture and any eye cream will work as long as you’re consistent?)  (Pictured:  wrinkles – part I, originally uploaded to Flickr by kroszk@.)

For my $.02:  For the most part, my skincare routine is roughly the same as it was when I first settled onto it at as a pre-teen.  Most mornings, I wash my face with Basis, and (once I’m out of the shower), I follow up with a light moisturizer with SPF in it (usually Neutrogena’s basic one sans retinols, but I’m still finishing a container of Kimberly Sayer that I bought during my pregnancy because it had proper zinc oxide instead of chemical SPF).  Things I’ve added over the years:

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The Professional Implications of a “Naturally Frowny Face”

A recent SNL episode featured a fictional campaign advertisement for a mayoral candidate.  The character, Glenda Okones (played by Kristen Wiig),  listed her flaws, including her reputation for being harsh and cold.  “Here’s why,” she said:  “I just have a naturally frowny face. Not ugly, but certainly severe looking.”

Ah, perfect, I thought: an opportunity to talk about bitchface.

I’ll admit: the main reason we haven’t talked about it before is because I didn’t want to use bad words in the headline of the post!  But I think this is something that can affect a professional woman’s career, and something we should talk about.

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To Try: Work-Appropriate Up-Dos

I don’t know about you, but I end up pulling my hair back a lot in the winter — the frizz, the hat hair, etc., etc. I always used to keep a few bobby-pins and other pretty hair supplies in my office so I could pull it back once I got into work, but I never made it all day in any one up-do because it started to hurt. It even feels weird to write that — your hair hurting you — because I’ve never seen anyone talk about it in magazines, but after an hour or two my head and scalp would start to hurt, and I always seemed to end up with a headache. Probably the longest I’ve ever made it in one updo was while carrying out bridesmaid duties, and I remember vividly getting home each time and ripping out the hundreds and hundreds of bobby pins (or so it seemed) stuck in my hair. Ahhh… relief! (Pictured: A Gibson Roll, from the tutorial by A Cup of Jo.) [Read more...]

Beauty Wednesday: Eyebrow Maintenance

If you’re looking for a simple way to “clean” your look up for the holidays, one thing I always do is to get my eyebrows done.  I was reluctant for years (years!) to get any professional eyebrow maintenance, but I’m here to tell you that, when done right, it cleans up your face oh-so-subtly, and makes you look more refined and elegant.  I also think that if you wear glasses frequently (as I do) it puts even more emphasis on your brows to be perfect.  For example, one of my brow’s arches goes much higher than the other, and it’s really noticeable when I wear my glasses, I think because there’s a straight line to gauge how far apart/even things are on your face.  (This sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true.)

I’ve tried plucking them myself, shaping, waxing, and threading, and personally I prefer threading — the look is sharper and more uniform, and while the pain is more intense than waxing the experience is generally shorter — much better for a busy day.  I’ve paid anywhere from $9-$20 for threading, and $9-22 for waxing, so the price is about the same.  The first few times I got them done I wound up paying $60 (!!!) but I suspect the woman I went to would call herself a “shaper” since she both plucked and waxed my brows.  But she cost so much more ($60) and took an hour, so I’d much rather take my quick and cheap threading, thankyouverymuch. [Read more...]

Eyeliner & Competence: An Open Thread

So a few weeks ago there was this survey: more makeup makes you look more competent. Or so they say. This seems like exactly the kind of thing we should explore here… hence today’s open thread.

So here are some of the pictures they showed to test subjects. And I thought I’d share my thoughts (I typed these specifically for the first row, but really they sort of apply across the board).
- Picture 1: Aww, is she a college student on summer break? (Which is really interesting, because while we’ve talked about young women feeling unprofessional if they’re not wearing makeup, it isn’t a bias I generally think I have.)
- Picture 2: Meh. No opinion. She doesn’t look very friendly.
- Picture 3: Ok, if I were this chick, this is probably the amount of makeup that I’d be comfortable wearing on a daily basis, at least at the beginning of the day. That said, does it affect how I feel to look at her as a potential colleague? I suppose it does, but it comes back to me — she and I both feel comfortable putting the same amount of work into our makeup and outfits, so we must have similar/same outlooks on life. Great!
- Picture 4: This is the “glamorous” look. Maybe I’ve been hanging out with fashion bloggers too long, but she doesn’t look particularly glamorous to me. She looks kind of like the villainous boss in a movie. Is it because of the makeup? Because of the darker brows and lighter hair? The expression? This is also interesting, because according to the study, “women in glamorous makeup were found to be less trustworthy.”

The thing that I kept thinking while looking at the pictures, though is this:  expressions are huge.  [Read more...]

What Nail Colors Are Acceptable in a Conservative Office?

Colorful argyle nails, originally uploaded to Flickr by borispumpsWhat nail polish colors are acceptable in a conservative office? It has been ages since we visited this subject, so I thought we should revisit. For my $.02, I really think your fingernails should be limited to the pinks and beiges… possibly entering the reds and purples family. If I were in a daring mood, I might try to get away with the “it” color of the season (which I believe, this season, is Chanel’s silvery-gray Graphite) — but I suspect any other color really is going to cause people to notice your fashion sense, and probably not in a good way. (Pictured: Colorful argyle nails, originally uploaded to Flickr by borispumps.) [Read more...]