| Beauty: January 2009 Archives | Beauty: January 2009 Archives

January 2009 Archives

Q: What’s the best and quickest way to get rid of blackheads? I’ve already tried many things; salicylic acid does not do anything for my blackheads or whiteheads.

Woman Looking Into Mirror

A: Blackheads are little annoying things that aren’t the same as typical acne. While salicylic acid can aid in keeping them at bay, it won’t get rid of them on its own. You see, blackheads are caused by excess oil that has clogged a pore. This clog occurs when the built-up oil is unable to come up to the surface of the skin because the pore is misshapen or impaired and dead skin cells blocking the way. When the pore is open, the oil is exposed to oxygen, which reacts and turns it a dark color, resulting in a blackhead.

Here’s our simple recipe for removing blackheads:

  • After cleansing, use a mild scrub or skin exfoliant to remove any dead cells and expose the blackhead. Pat your face dry.
  • Place a slightly warm compress on your face for about 8-12 minutes in order to soften the blackhead, making it easier to remove. Pat your face dry again.
  • Wrap a piece of tissue on the tip of each index finger to avoid slipping, which could tear the skin and cause damage.
  • Gently apply even pressure to both sides of the blackhead by pushing down, then up around the blemish. Think of trying to apply the pressure from “underneath” the blackhead.
  • Attempt this no more than twice— you don’t want to bruise your skin or cause damage to your skin.


Allow a couple of days to go by before you attempt to extract again. Between these attempts, try using a clay mask to absorb excess oil. Also, consider visiting a dermatologist, as he or she may be able to prescribe a treatment containing a retinoid to keep pores functioning properly, thus keeping pore blockage to a minimum.

Best of luck.

organicwear.jpgSo it seems like everyone is buzzing about the benefits of organic things these days. I’ll admit, my family is all about organic foods; Trader Joes anyone? But organic makeup seems to just be making its way to your local mall. Toting a heavy price-tag and boasting health benefits, organic makeup seems pretty legit.

But the Katie Couric in me has decided to investigate just how legit this organic makeup is.

First off, let’s make this Organic 101 for a second and define what it means to be organic. Organic products are products that are produced without pesticides or other chemicals. They are also produced in a way that is environmentally friendly, as toxins are not released into the air. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has now made standards that regulate which foods can be deemed organic. Although usually more expensive, organic foods can be better for you, so the same should be true for organic makeup right? Turns out, not so much.

I decided to check out my best friend, Sephora, to see just what organic products they offer. Sephora is stocked with three “organic” brands: Care by Stella McCartney, Juice Beauty and NVEY Eco. Each brand claims to be pure, luxurious, and certified organic. Looking through their products they look pretty great: Care is big on moisturizing skincare and NVEY has some really pretty eyeshadow kits.

Too bad that upon further research the term organic kinda seems like a hoax…

According to (yeah it’s a .org so I trust it) it turns out there are no standards for organic beauty products! The Organic Consumers Association is doing its best to alert buyers that “certified” labels are not actually set to a specific government standard unless they actually say “USDA Certified.” Unless these products are certified with that specific label, they often still contain the same chemicals as their non-Organic counterparts. Oftentimes the carcinogenic chemical 1,4-Dioxide is still put in makeup products falsely labeled as organic. These products claim to be certified but they are often certified by lax regulations.

Unfortunately, none of the makeup brands on Sephora are USDA certified and thus are not recommended by the Organic Consumer Association. (Shame on you Stella McCartney!)

Check out a list of more approved beauty products here. Some companies like Organic Essence have a 100% USDA organic line of beauty products (but it is mostly lotions and soaps).

I guess the bottom line is: if you’re gonna buy organic makeup be aware that many make false claims and are often equivalent to regular or natural makeup lines. Stay in the know and save your dough!


Courtesy of our friends at

jenna fischer at golden globes.png jenna fischer golden globes2.jpg

Jenna Fischer
, who plays our favorite secretary on the hit series The Office, looked beautiful at the Golden Globes. We were mesmerized by her flawless look, and her makeup complemented her dress so well. So, just how did she get this look? We did some digging to bring you the beauty scoop.

Makeup artist Brett Freedman played up the Jenna’s look by extending the eyeliner on her eyes and created a more vivid, “out of the box glam” for the usually subtle Jenna using the following products:


Foundation: LORAC Oil Free Powder Foundation in #02 (light), $35, 

Loose Powder: Magic by Prescriptives in Deep Translucent. Brett says, “This product has a gorgeous light reflective quality with a hint of bronze, so it photographs beautifully.” $35,

Concealer: Cle De Peau Concealer in Beige.$85, 

Blush: Almay Smart Shade Blush in Natural, $5.39,, topped with LORAC Oil Free Illuminating Powder in Luminous on apples of the cheeks. $32,

Eyeshadow: RIMMEL Colour Rush Mono Eyeshadow in #330 Azure, applied wet and swept over lids and blended down to a sheer finish.

Liquid Liner: LANCOME La Laque Liner in Pure Black, applied in a line across the top lash line, thickening and extending out and upward for a dramatic look. $25,

Brow Highlight Shadow: LOREAL HiP pigment powder in Restless. Brett says, “I love a bright, crisp browbone. This champagne hued shadow looks natural yet packs a punch.” $12,

Mascara: VANITYMARK ‘the LASH’ in Blackest. Three coats were applied to really amp up the top lashline. One full coat on the bottom to give eyes definition without overpowering the top lash line. $16,

Faux Lashes: Kre-At Beauty individual lashes. A mix of the short (on the inner eye) and the long (for outer) in black were used to give an alluring sweep.

Body Bronzer: VANITYMARK Summerskin, applied first to ‘tone down’ the tawny shade so Jenna would have a healthy glow without being too tan. Brett says, “When you’re showing that much flesh it’s good to have a nice lift of color.”  $14,

Lips: BENEFIT Pocket Pal in Benetint, $20,


The Golden Globes was a night of gorgeous gowns and beautiful hair and makeup looks. Most of our favorite celebrities showed up and wowed us. Unfortunately, some of them didn’t. Take a look at our favorite and not so favorite looks of the big night.


Our Favorites:



Maria Menounos golden globes2.jpg

Maria Menounos looked gorgeous as always. We love the romantic updo and soft makup that ony helped to compliment her one-shoulder royal blue gown.  



kate beckinsale golden globes2.jpg

Kate Beckinsale never dissapoints us when it comes to red-carpet looks. At the Golden Globes she opted for a sleek updo and dewy skin. Bold earrings really helped add a strong, yet polished statement.



Beyonce golden globes2.jpg

Beyonce isn’t one to shy away from trying bold looks, but we were happy to see her looking more refined at this event. Soft grey smokey eyes, a pale shiny lip, and a polished low ponytail brought this very beautiful look together.



Kristen Scott Thomas golden globes2.jpg

Kristen Scott Thomas was the picture of glamour and elegance on Sunday night. We couldn’t help but be in awe of her glowing skin. Nothing overdone, just sheer and pretty. 



olivia wilde golden globes2.jpg

Olivia Wilde looked fabulous in her strapless lilac gown, and instead of going the updo route, chose to wear her hair down. Thankfully, the Golden Globes aren’t a stuffy event, so it worked. Lightly smudged eye makeup, pink cheeks and pale pink lips make this star look cool and comfortable under the heat of the sun.




isla fisher golden globes2.jpgIsla Fisher glowed in neutral pink and brown makeup tones. But while this makeup made the Confessions of a Shopaholic star look gorgeous, we could only covet her shiny hair! It seemed to be the focal point of her look as her dress was also neutral. Wow…


jennifer morrison golden globes2.jpg

Jennifer Morrison had all eyes on her as she walked the red carpet in her breath-taking blue gown. Of course our eyes were on her hair and makeup: icy metallic-rimmed eyes, peachy-pink cheeks and lips, not to mention glowing skin. Could she look any better?



Our Not-So-Favorites:


Renee Zellweger golden globes2.jpg  

Renee Zellweger could have knocked her look out of the park had it not been for her over-done hair. We were disappointed, of course, to see one of our favorite stars not looking her best. At least this is only the start of award season. She’ll have many more chances to wow us in the coming weeks.



Drew Barrymore golden globes2.jpg

Drew Barrymore has shown us many looks in the past. Some have been good, some not, and this has definitely landed on the latter list. We love the idea of a bombshell ‘do Drew was going for, but somehow the finished look didn’t work for us, though we know many people loved her look.




Angelina Jolie golden globes2.jpg

Angelina Jolie didn’t seem too into the night’s event, and it showed. Her look, to us, fell flat. We’re sure she would much rather have been home with her kids than attending yet another red-carpet function, so we hold nothing against her for that.




Blake Lively golden globes2.jpg

Blake Lively arrived at the Golden Globes in a fabulous blue gown, and her makeup was stunning, but we didn’t really care for the under-done look of her hair. Don’t get us wrong, loose waves are always a do, but this style just missed the mark.


Megan Fox golden globes2.jpgMegan Fox is one actress we feel has many missteps on the red carpet. Her gold gown is beyond flattering, and her makeup is flawless, but, like the other starlets on our not-so-favorite list, she threw it off with her hairstyle. The bun is just too tight. We would have preferred to see her hair in a looser style. Oh well, maybe next time.

Q: I am fair skinned, blonde hair (highlighted), blue eyes. I have some pink in my skin. What blush and lip colors are for me? I sometimes feel colors are too bold for me or they wash me out.

A: If you have a natural flush of pink in your cheeks, look for a blush that is the same tone. This is best for daytime when you’ll want a more natural look. For evening, use a blush that is about a shade darker than your cheeks, or the color your cheeks might be after a moderate workout. Apply with a light hand to ensure you don’t over-do it, and blend until the color you want is acheived.

When it comes to lip color, we suggest the same; look for shades that are in the same color family as your lips. It’s best to keep blush and lip color’s undertones the same. Once you find one product it will be easy to find the other. Visit your local beauty retailer or department store beauty counter to test out different hues. Best of luck.

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