Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Oily Girl's Burden

Ms. New Beauty is a firm believer in the motto "practice what you preach." And, she tries to do the best that she can. She recycles her plastic bottles because she announced her commitment to going green. She's following her passions because she's gotten on friends for ignoring their own. MNB is so committed to practicing what she preaches because she cannot stand hypocrites. Especially the hypocrites that tell women one thing and then do the other. Like the female celebrities who tone up and drop ten pounds by living on a combo of caffeine, cigarettes and five hour daily workouts, but then claim that they owe those abs all to yoga. Since Ms. New Beauty lovingly dispenses her own beauty advice, rantings and ravings to the world on this site, she has to admit the times when she's fallen short. Though she knows the importance, MNB sometimes skipped her sunscreen. It wasn't that she didn't want sun protection or just felt like being lazy. It was because as an oily girl, a lot of sunscreens just left her way too shiny to be a faithful user, even the ones billed as "oil free." It was the Oily Girl's Burden - skipping products you know you need just for the sake of not wanting to bring sand to the beach, so to speak. But Ms. New Beauty knew better. So instead of just skipping it altogether, she got serious about finding sunscreens that work for an oily complexion and she did!

Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF 15

I'm sure this is a side effect of the world's favorite color being green lately, but I find myself paying natural and organic skin care lines a lot more attention. Recent news about the number of chemicals that the FDA bans from use in cosmetics (like 7) and the comparable number banned by the EU (like 300) has me being a lot more conscious about what I'm putting on my body. Boscia specializes in preservative-free products that are packed full of natural botanicals. And, since I'm always on the look out for a good sunscreen that won't leave me greasy, I tried this with very little hesitation.

I'm glad that I did because I love the results. This is the most lightweight and easily absorbed sunscreen that I have ever tried. At first, I was wary of the super light consistency. I was afraid that it would be too thin and leave certain areas of my face feeling dry against the winter air so I layered it over my normal moisturizer. Even then, the finish on my skin was still flawless. No shine, no heavy feeling, no greasy buildup after a few minutes. My face just felt clean and soft and it looked even better. My skin was matte with no shine, not even in my t-zone. Eventually, I moved to just using it by itself and I found that the results were the same. My skin was neither dry nor oily. It was that perfect flawless happy medium.

$27, available at Sephora

Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20

If an absolutely matte finish is what you demand from your sunscreen, this is the ultimate choice. Medi-Matte is a thick, creamy white sunscreen that's about the consistency of Elmer's school glue. It actually feels just a little tacky on your fingers when you smooth it on. Normally, a texture that's anything but divine is enough for me to tell a product to hit the bricks. But, I can't with this one because it really delivers. It leaves my skin absolutely matte. Even my ever defiant nose, who just loves to get her little shine on right in the middle of my face, was no match for this sunscreen. And, after giving it a minute or two to really absorb, that tackiness goes away and leave a smooth finish behind. Plus the sun protection is right where it needs to be (anything above SPF 15 is good for everyday use) and the formula actually keeps oil and shine under control throughout the day.

Now, I do find that this is a little too thick to use on the hottest of hot days. It works, but the heaviness just makes my skin feel smothered and I soon start to "glow." (Ladies don't perspire, we glow). But this is perfect for days when the sun is high, but the temperature is still reasonable. I am going to be using this from now through the spring and right on until the beginning of summer. Any temperature below 75 would be perfect for this.

$42, available at Sephora

Protect your skin oily girls, and stop worrying about added the added burdens of most sunscreens, and don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Not Pudding

One of Ms. New Beauty's greatest joys in life is eating and eating well. She's not so much a "foodie" as she is a "greedy" - meaning that she can rarely turn down the opportunity to eat really, really good food. Naturally, MNB loves to eat out. From 5 Star restaurants (on the cheap during restaurant week) to local Mom & Pops, if you cook it, Ms. New Beauty will come. She also loves eating out with friends and of course, tasting food from their plates. What never ceases to amaze MNB is some of her friends funny eating habits. Like one fabulous lawyer friend of hers who always wants to try something that the restaurant does not specialize in. She'll order Moet at a small town pub or even cheesecake from a greasy Thai joint. (In the latter instance, said cheesecake proved to be of the frozen Sara Lee variety and came to the table completely melted as the waiter had put it in the microwave to defrost). Ms. New Beauty has another close friend, we'll call her D, who is more predictable than Tyra "that's fierce/she's pretty, [dramatic pause] but is she a model?/you're dead behind the eyes" Banks on ANTM when it comes to eating. If a restaurant serves pancakes, that's what D will order. If you offer D pudding, she will eat it, even if she's full to the point of sickness. Well, Ms. New Beauty just found a delightful pudding for D that won't make her wish she could resist.

Epoch Baobab Body Butter

This body butter is perfect for dry, parched winter skin that hasn't quite adjusted to the slightly rising temperatures. Named for the African tree that's known for it's ability to survive droughts by storing water, this body butter is ridiculously moisturizing. It is packed with shea butter, which any person who has ever been ashy knows is one of the world most moisturizing ingredients, macadamia nut oil, and the actual fruit of the baobab tree. The texture is smooth and creamy without being too thin. It sinks right in and leaves my skin soft and supple without being greasy. I've found a lot of shea butter moisturizers leave trails of grease in their wakes that almost make you prefer being dry and ashy.

What I really love, and what D will die for, is the fact that it smells just like vanilla pudding. It's sweet, but for some reason, it doesn't make me want to chuck it, which is normally my reaction to the gourmand scents. This one smells like vanilla, but doesn't beat you over the head trying to make its point. It just kind of wafts up and lets you realize that all that smooth, creamy moisture smells good too. It's a humble body butter, if such a thing ever existed.

$29.50, available at

Find treats for your friends that treat their quirks too but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Surprise Sunshine!

Ms. New Beauty really likes to entertain. From a simple dinner at home to a full out catered backyard barbecue with tents, MNB is in her element putting together a fun event. So it was only fitting that she decided to throw a birthday party this weekend for her boyfriend who has never celebrated his big day. Just to shake things up a bit, she decided to make this bash a surprise party and conspire with one of his friends to get him to the club after all the other guests had arrived. Sounds simple in theory but it actually required a lot of work. First, she had to send out a number of "semi" threatening emails to keep people in the loop without anyone spilling the beans. (Ms. New Beauty found that threatening a fine for violations was surprisingly effective). Then, on the day of the actual event, MNB's fingers were caught in a flurry of texting. Texting the friend who was bringing him to the club almost every other minute for location checks. Texting other friends who were having trouble at the door to hide out at the WaMu ATM so as not to ruin the surprise. All in all, the party was worth the trouble. Ms. New Beauty's boyfriend was completely surprised and had a great time. But, now, on the Monday after, MNB is looking down to find that all that furious texting has left her hands badly in need of a manicure. The polish is chipped, cuticles are dry, and those pesky hangnails are starting to creep up. So today, she's going to pamper her fingers and treat them to the newest trend in nail colors, just in time to bring in the spring.

OPI Need Sunglasses?

This bright, lemony yellow is the perfect shade to wear on your nails this spring. After what seems like an eternity of black, dark purple, and navy nails, this is like a breath of fresh air. Especially since it seems like everyone from 80 year old retirees to 8 year old elementary school kids had black nails this winter. This sounds incredibly snobby of me, but once a trend hits the masses, you really have to let it go.

With this, you get the same sense of the unexpected that made the dark nail polishes so interesting, but in a much newer way. Plus, the yellow will really stand out against most skin tones and give the same dramatic contrast. And, yellow just makes me happy. I see yellow and I want to smile and giggle and frolic. This will be my own personal springtime on my fingers.

Around $7.50, available in drugstores and at

Creative Nail Design Hot Pop Blue

This spring, both Chanel and Dior released their takes on the navy nail polish trend. And, while I normally love both companies' cosmetics, I couldn't help but think "too little, too late." Why would I pay $20 for dark blue polish released four months too late when OPI Russian Navy was only $7.50 and released while the trend was still relevant? But, I digress.

Navy nails were quite a beautiful take on the dark polish trend. Blue is such a new and different color for nails in a sea of reds and pinks. But after two dark winters, it's time to update that look for spring. Try this bright pop of blue instead. The opaque finish makes this color's statement much bolder than a shade in a shimmer or frost finish. This would look fabulous paired with some of this seasons neutral, safari-inspired pieces. It'll be just that touch of the unexpected that makes life interesting.

$5.95, available at

OPI Goin Ape-ricot

First, don't you just love the names OPI gives their polishes? I know I can't be the only one laughing at bottles of nail polish at the salon. Moving on.

Want to get in on the bright nail trend but need to keep your nails a little more subdued for work? Try a pretty tangerine shade like this. It's just a little bolder than your average coral, but still not so left field that your manager will wonder if you lead a secret double life once the clock strikes 5. And, since this polish has the aforementioned pearl finish, the look is much softer and wearable.

The best part about wearing an orange shade is that you can always find one to suit your complexion. Since orange is a mix of yellow and red, you can just choose a shade that has more of one or the other to suit your undertones. My complexion is really yellow based, so this would work well on me. For those of you with more pink or red in your skin, look for a shade that's more like a ripe tomato.

About $7.50, available at and drugstores

Treat your fingers to bright burst of spring with your next manicure, and give the darks a much needed break, but just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

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