Thursday, March 22, 2007

Girl's Night In

There are certain events that Ms. New Beauty plans her life around. Her weekly hair appointment, America's Next Top Model, shopping on the day after Christmas, and Lucky Shops. You may remember that MNB strength trained just to prepare for Lucky Shops. And, she and her Partner in Crime went in and tore that sale up. So, when Ms. New Beauty heard about a similar sale going on right in her own city, of course she bought a ticket and prepared walk out with arms full of shopping bags. Well, MNB scheduled her week around Shecky's Girls Night Out and she was so disappointed.

Shecky's was like a bootleg, low budget, crappy version of Lucky Shops. Instead of walking into a room full of designer clothing and accessories marked down to ridiculous prices, like the Marc Jacobs boutique that was practically giving away pink leather wallets for only $25, I walked into a room of no name vendors charging way too much for their poorly made clothes and jewelry. The clothes all just looked cheap and were way overpriced. Imagine if someone took a jersey knit dress that retails for $60 full price at Arden B. but is always on sale there for $30 and then slapped a $125 price tage on it. Now multiply that by 100 and you'd end up with Shecky's Girls Night Out. The jewelry all looked very homemade. And not in that vintagey, kitschy way, but in that soccer mom who's taken a beading class at Michael's kind of way. And, what really disappointed me was the beauty offerings. The only vendors selling personal care products were Warm Spirit and Arbonne. I haven't tried their products so I'm not knocking them, but really, why should I pay to visit the Millenium's version of the Avon Lady?

On top of the shoddy offerings, you had to pay extra to get a gift bag and of course, I coughed up the extra money for it, because I just knew there was going to be something fabulous inside it. Well, I got an elastic tie for my hair, some Sunsilk samples, a tube of foundation that will never ever come close to blending in with my brown skin, and a cheap hair brush. But, the bag did contain a sample size jar of Clinique Superdefense moisturizer and an issue of, wait for it, wait for it, now!, New Beauty Magazine!!! I've never heard of this publication before, but of course I'm going to read through it to see if they're doing my name justice. All in all, this event was so not worth my time and it damn sure wasn't worth my money.

Skip Shecky's, and have your own Girl's Night In, but please remember that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Think Pink

It may come as no surprise to most loyal readers that Ms. New Beauty is a girly girl. Clearly, she loves makeup and pampering products. But she also loves things that are just pretty for pretty's sake. And, MNB is far more comfortable in heels than in flats. A good dress will always brighten her day and put a little pep in her step. With all these girly loves, it's only fitting that pink is one of Ms. New Beauty's favorite colors. Not her signature color in a Shelby from Steel Magnolias kind of way, but moreso a color that represents those things that MNB loves best. Softness, femininity, and happiness among other things. Surprisingly, MNB associates pink with acne. It seems that the best acne treatments are always pink, from Oxy 10 back in the day to some new found favorites. When Ms. New Beauty thinks pimples, she thinks pink.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

This drying lotion is one of those cult faves that works wonders. Flip through any women's magazine and once you get to those ad pages in the back that typically sell customized t-shirts and how-to sex manuals, you'll see an ad for this magic potion. Mother New Beauty is the one who put me onto to this. She's been going to bed with pink dots on her face since Pepa was on TV for pushing it real good and not for living in a tacky house with a bunch of C-listers. This stuff dries up pimples over night.

It comes with a thick pink sediment settled on the bottom and some yellowish liquid floating on top. At first glance, you'll probably think that the product has spoiled but it's supposed to look like this. Don't shake it up! Just dip a q-tip down into the pink sediment on the bottom and dab on any pimples you have. Go to bed and you'll wake up with those breakouts all dried up.

$17, available at

Dr Sebagh Breakout Creme & Antibacterial Powder

Despite having a slight crush on Mr. Wizard in the first grade and really, really, really wanting a chemistry set in the second, I have never been good at science. I've tried and tried, but science just doesn't make sense to me. But, I tried to live out my scientist dreams through this product. It comes in the most fabulous beauty chemist packaging and I really felt like a black Marie Curie every time I mixed the breakout creme with the antibacterial powder. That feeling quickly faded once I realized that all my work was really going to waste, because this stuff did nothing to control breakouts.

The idea behind this two part treatment is to prevent acne by killing the bacteria on your face that causes it. To use, you mix equal parts of the antibacterial powder with the breakout creme and slather on. I found that adding the powder made the creme really thick and heavy. It left my face feeling tight, and as a girl with oily skin, I never get that tight face feeling. And, I didn't find that all that extra work and tightness really did anything. I still got the same few pimples cropping up when using this religiously as when I just skipped washing my face altogether. It also claims to control oil production. I did notice that I was blotting and touching up my nose a little less during the day. The oil control was nice benefit, but at such a high price, I really expected it to be more effective on pimples.

$120, available at Barneys and BlissSpa

Benefit Boo Boo Zap

Well, this one isn't pink, but it definitely works. This is like the daytime, all liquid counterpart to the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. It dries pimples out really quickly. Just put a drop on your finger or a q-tip and dab directly onto your pimple or problem area. Reapply throughout the day as needed. And, this opaque liquid comes in a small tube and can be used under or over makeup, with no smudging. So that means you can carry it with you and use it all day. You know how much I love purse portable cosmetics. And who wouldn't fall in love with a pimple potion called Boo Boo Zap? A woman without a heart and/or sense of humor, that's who.

But, just a note of warning, this stuff is a very strong drying potion. So only use it on your pimples. Don't go crazy and rub it all over your face in the name of preventive maintenance or your skin will be cracking and peeling like you've got a bad sunburn. I'm not admitting to doing that myself, but let's just say that I was the only cocoa brown girl walking around Boston like I took a Rip van Winkle nap in a tanning bed in the middle of winter.

$18, available at Sephora

Have flawlessly clear skin ladies, and remember to Think Pink, just please don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ms. New Beauty's Space

This post will be short and to the point - Ms. New Beauty has finally joined myspace. Visit her new page and add her as a friend.

Click, add, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

All The Buzz

Ms. New Beauty isn't what you would call a "techie." Some products she just doesn't get. Like the iPhone. It looks cool and it probably does everything a phone can, short of waking you up in the morning, laying out your clothes and sending you on your way with a hearty breakfast in your belly. But, MNB just doesn't get the hype, and she is still unsure of how she'll be able to keep up her 60 words per minute text messaging average on a phone with no buttons. But, Ms. New Beauty isn't completely stuck in the dark ages. She welcomes the latest gadgets into plenty aspects of her life. She fell in love with her pink Sony digital camera over Christmas and carries it with her on most days. Her laptop, named Divinity, is the love of her life. And, when companies decide to merge technology with beauty, MNB just kvells.

Dove SkinVitalizer

Dove is one of my favorite beauty companies. The only bar of soap that is permitted to cross my threshold is Dove and I have been using this soap all my life. I was beyond delighted a few years ago when Dove decided to grow their brand and expand to offer more than just soap. And I have been following them with almost every new thing they offer - body wash, facial cleansers, lotions, deodorants. And I am absolutely in love with the Real Beauty campaign. Real women, with real bodies posing proudly in their skivvies? It's about time. But I just can't hop on board with this one.

The SkinVitalizer is a battery powered tool designed to add deep cleansing, massage, and exfoliation to your daily face washing routine. Used with the Dove Gentle Exfoliating Pillows, the SkinVitalizer gently vibrates to amp up the power of your cleansing. And, this is where it left me underwhelmed. The exfoliating pillows are pretty thick and I just didn't find that the SkinVitalizer vibrated enough. I could barely feel the difference and truthfully, I got a better exfoliation by using the pillows alone and adding pressure myself. However, it does make cleansing a little easier because it requires very little energy to use. If you want to try it because you like to have the newest and latest, or just want something else to do the work for you, click here to get a $3 coupon.

Around $14.99, available at drugstores and most retailers.

Get buzzin, or just do the exfoliation yourself, but please don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Where There's Smoke

Ms. New Beauty spends most of her days in school, debating some of the most pressing issues facing our society. But, when she comes home, she needs to put her mind on autopilot. Once she gets in the house and gets settled, the television goes right to the mindless television. And, reality shows tend to be the most mindless offerings available. Most reality shows are horrible, but Ms. New Beauty really thinks that The Hills is a standout program. She knows that watching these rich kids bitch and moan about the simple little dramas that fill their lives should be annoying, but she loves it. She is glued to the screen as soon as Natasha Bedingfield finishes the theme song and then calls up her girfriends to debate the finer points of the past thirty minutes once the show goes off. So far, the girls have all agreed that Spencer is indeed "the ultimate cheese," Heidi is a bad friend, and despite skipping the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Paris for the summer, Lauren is a really cool girl. After watching this show for months, Ms. New Beauty has found herself being influenced by some of the girls' style, specifically, the loads and loads of black eye liner and smoky eyes. These girls always have on black eyeliner. Rain, sleet, snow or hail, those lids have a nice dark rim. So, MNB dug through her crates and found her favorite eye liners and smoky eye tools.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero

I've taken to wearing my black eyeliner night and day. Black eyeliner for day used to be hailed as overdone, but I really think that its more a sign of unabashed glamour. I love it. I strut around with my eyes lined in the darkest black like every bit of my day is a huge event. And, this eye pencil makes that so easy.

24/7 Glide-On is the perfect pencil for New Beauties with "Shaky Hand Syndrome." I cannot apply liquid liner to save my life but I don't need to worry about that anymore. This pencil is so soft and creamy that is glides easily along lids with no problem. You can smudge the line to create a softer effect if a sharp black line is too much for your daytime activities. But, it's formulation is so ingenious. It's soft and creamy for about 30 seconds, and then dries to a waterproof all day finish. No worries about blinking your eyeliner off.

$15, available at Urban Decay counters.

Stila Smoky Eye Palette

The smoky eye is one of the prettiest makeup techniques that can truly be adjusted and tweaked for every person, every skintone, every situation. But all that versatility definitely comes at a price. The smoky eye looks so deceivingly simple, but it can be very tricky to pull off. I shied away from the smoky eye effect for years, preferring to not do it at all rather than mess it up. But, I've recently conquered the smoky eye (take a glance at my profile pic for proof) and Stila has come up with the perfect product for anyone still unsure of her Smoky Eye Skills.

This palette comes with the quintessential smoky eyeshadow shades - champagne to highlight your brow bone, silvery gray to cover your lids, and a dark gray to contour the crease - and a black eyeliner to pull everything together. But the best part, and you know we love a "best part" here at Ms. New Beauty, is the instructions that come with it. The palette doesn't just have an instruction sheet or diagram to show you how to wear the colors. You just push a button and a recording plays of a Stila makeup artist talking you through the smoky eye. Step. By. Step. I know I'm not the only one wishing that I had started my own makeup company, thought of this idea years ago, and made millions off of it.

$40, available at Stila counters.

And, just in case you still need a little help mastering the smoky eye, check out this very insightful photo tutorial over at The Dazzling Girl.

Smoke up your eyes, and do it up for daytime, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Lashing Out

It may be surprising to learn, but Ms. New Beauty is quite the domestic goddess. She can cook up soul food so filling you have to pop the button on your pants when the meal's over. She can paint, stain, and polyurethane. MNB sews and reupholsters. And she also has a soft spot for arts and crafts. Scrapbooking, making custom photo frames and paddles, and crocheting take Ms. New Beauty to a wonderfully peaceful place. All this domesticity, but sometimes MNB still forgets some of life's necessary chores, like getting the mail. In college, Ms. New Beauty's roommate (whom she still calls "Roommate" though they haven't lived together for three years) always got the mail - she was such a thoughtful girl. Roomate got the mail and left it right outside of Ms. New Beauty's door. MNB barely knew where the mailbox was at their apartment complex. Even though she's been fending for herself on the postal front for a few years now, Ms. New Beauty still breezes past the mailbox for days at a time before she realizes there may actually be something in it for her. Well, last week, MNB checked the mail and found the most fabulous free gift.

CHANEL Inimitable Mascara

Inside my mailbox was a small package from Allure magazine. I tore into it, excited to see what my Beauty Bible could be sending me, and found a tube of Chanel Inimitable Mascara. I had read the positive reviews of Inimitable when it was first introduced in the fall, but I decided against it. Because the eyes are so sensitive and mascara tubes are just breeding grounds for bacteria, you need to replace your mascara every two to three months, if you are a regular user. Now, since I wear mascara every day, even on days when I don't wear any other makeup or even wash my face, I am a regular replacer. And, though I have expensive taste, I just can't see spending a lot of money on something that I will not use up and will end up in the bottom of my trash can.

But, (and that's a BIG but), this mascara is fabulous!!!!! I mean, literally fabulous. Fabulous like Miss Chi Chi Rodriguez in To Wong Foo (she was your favorite too wasn't she?). Inimitable has the same plastic brush that other brands like CoverGirl and Max Factor have adopted. This brush makes sure that each lash gets evenly coated without clumps and even reaches the tiny little lashes at the inner corner of your eyes. But something about this formula makes my lashes look long and fake, in a way that no other mascara has. I was seriously contemplating getting lash extensions, and by contemplating I mean figuring out a way to pay for them, but I'm going to stick with this. For now. Once my income taxes come back, I probably will head into the salon for some fake Lavish Lashes. In the meantime, I will be inimitably addicted to this.

$26.50, available where ever CHANEL cosmetics are sold.

Bat those lashes fabulously, and remember to toss out your mascara every few months, just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

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