December 2014 #beauty deals and picks

Here is my list of favorite December 2014 #beauty deals and picks:

Enter for a chance to win a TEMPTU Signature Starter Kit.

Enter for a chance to win a TEMPTU Signature Starter Kit.

  • $15 off orders $60+ at  Offer expires 12/13/14. Some exclusions apply. Free shipping $35+. 5% back in dollars™ to spend on a future® and™ purchase.  4% Ebates cash back. You win twice!
  • Remember Prescriptives?  It’s still around, but online only.  Get 30% off through December 5 03:00AM ET. Discount is applied at checkout for qualifying items. U.S. residents only. Free shipping and free returns.
  • Lucky Breaks: from now until December 31st, receive 35% off all FACE Stockholm lip products using code: LUCKYBREAKS5
  • 30 days of giving: $60,000 in prizes from upscale brands courtesy of Byrdie, Who What Wear, and Domaine. All entries must be received NLT 11:59 p.m. PT Thurs Dec 18. To enter, go to
  • My favorite: celebrate Jolen‘s blue box by entering to win Jolen Cream Bleach for your hag hairs.  Ugh.  But wait!  There’s more!  The winner also gets another blue box with a Tiffany Atlas® Pierced Pendant.  Good things come in little blue boxes!  Contest starts November 24 03:00 pm (US/Eastern) and ends December 19 12:00 pm (US/Eastern). Four winnters.  One winner will be picked randomly on Friday 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, and 12/19.
  • 30% off everything Milani through December 5 11:59 PM Eastern.  Code CYBERWEEK
  • Cyber week is still on at Paula’s Choice. 15% off everything + free shipping to US and Canada through Sunday, December 7.  6% cash back through Ebates.  I like the 2% BHA liquid – used in conjunction with a mild (2.5% or 5%) benzoyl peroxide lotion, it’s the best way to treat acne.
  • Love K-beauty?  Memebox is offering 20% off its USA shop through December 7.  Code GIVETHANKS
  • Free standard shipping + complimentary poppy print (of course!) gift wrap from Lipstick Queen until Noon December 17.
  • 12 Days of Kissmas with Jouer.  Subscribe to Jouer’s newsletter for daily specials.

The Style Page reviews How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp

How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times BetterHow Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better by Charla Krupp

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read How Not to Look Old after reading Andrea Robinson’s Toss the Gloss. Charla Krupp’s book is more extensive, as it covers fashion in addition to make-up.

Charla Krupp begins this book by saying that looking old negatively impacts you both personally and financially. Not a very upbeat way to begin a book.

I disagree with Krupp’s aversion to nude pantyhose: I feel undressed without hosiery. Krupp also advocates shimmery pink gloss (see the back cover), something that Robinson opposes.

Krupp’s best chapter is on bra fitting. Did you know that the band should provide more support than the straps? For more tips about bra fitting, I recommend reading How to properly measure from my favorite lingerie store Trousseau.

Had I not read Kathy Shaidle’s humorous 50 is the New Crappy, I would not have known that Charla Krupp died in 2012 at age 58. She did not get to live to old age.

View all my reviews

Culling my makeup collection

I’m culling my makeup collection as Andrea Robinson recommended in Toss the Gloss. As I go through my collection, I think of the wonderful creative entrepreneurial people that I’ve met over the years through The Style Page. Their pieces hold special memories for me, and I’ve kept them.

Then there are the products that are no longer around (except in my closet):

  •, an abortive attempt by P&G to create “customized” palettes (actually, the options were pretty limited).  My item is not a custom palette, but a limited edition face palette that reflect created for Chico’s (yes, Chico’s)
  • M Professional, an inexpensive line (not tested on animals except boyfriends :-)  that featured eye shadow singles with the screw-top lids that MAC made famous in the 90s
  • Lisa Hoffman Beauty skin care (before she focused on fragrance)
  • B’Box, which featured eye shadow and lip color matchsticks
  • Vital Radiance, which was Revlon’s disastrous venture in creating a cosmetics line for women 50+
  • L’Oreal Paris True Match liquid bronzer: it came in a mini-me glass bottle and looked like malted milk!
  • FYLO (For Your Lips Only), which featured lip gloss cubes that you could snap into a palette.  This brand was created by Heidi Harris, who is now associate concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Hometown hero! Yay!
  • Calvin Klein, a color cosmetic line sold at Sephora that predated his CK Calvin Klein line from Markwins International and his current line CK One from Coty, which is sold exclusively by Ulta stores and  I miss Calvin Klein: no gimmicky or cutesy stuff, just sophisticated shades for grown women, and the Lucite packaging made this line stand out among  color cosmetics lines.
  • Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy, which predates her current line Carmindy & Co.  There was a commentator on my old blog whose hatred of Carmindy came across as pathological.

There was the Givenchy make-up that a PR person gave me to thank me for a story I published about a charity auction for the Somaly Mam Foundation. Alas, Somaly Mam proved to be a fraud.

I couldn’t find those little plastic spatulas (great for scooping out loose powders and creams), but by going through my makeup collection, I found a lot of them.  Likewise, I couldn’t find nail boards and I’d pester the folks at the local TD Bank branch to get nail boards that they give away.  Again, by going through my collection, I found lots of nail boards.

I’m thinking about buying this Tabletop Spinning Cosmetic Organizer by Lori Greiner to organize my newly edited and curated (cough, cough) makeup collection.  Do you own one?  What do you think?

Tabletop Spinning Cosmetic Organizer by Lori Greiner

Tabletop Spinning Cosmetic Organizer by Lori Greiner

I’ll never get my collection down to the size of a Prada black nylon cosmetics bag, as Ms. Robinson suggested. I had a perfectly good knock-off where the emblem looked like the Prada emblem.

The Style Page reviews @TosstheGloss

Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+ by Andrea Q. Robinson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Andrea Robinson has had a storied career in the beauty industry, both as a magazine editor and cosmetics executive. She created The Nakeds product line for Ultima II in the late 80s/early 90s, predating both Bobbi Brown and the UD Naked palettes, which has had numerous knock-offs: see…. More recently, she was the brains behind Tom Ford Beauty, but was later fired.

First, the negative aspects of Toss the Gloss:

* I find it implausible that Robinson, who is 73, looks that young. This negatively impacts the credibility of the book.

* This book will become dated fast, as cosmetics companies will discontinue products listed as “best bets.”

* The make-up techniques are poorly described and illustrated, no matter how “charming” the illustrations are.

* You can find more extensive coverage of “non-invasive” techniques such as Botox and fillers and cosmetic surgery in Paula Begoun’s The Original Beauty Bible and Allure magazine.

On the plus side, Robinson offers many affordable options as best bets. She also blows the lid off the beauty industry, surprisingly, as she is a long-time beauty insider. Or could she have been bitter after her firing from Tom Ford Beauty?

As for me, I’m acting on Robinson’s advice to cull my make-up collection, but I can’t bring it down to the size of a cosmetic bag.

View all my reviews

Best brow product, ever

When I go to the salon to get my hair colored, I ask my hairdresser to tint my eyebrows; however, a couple of weeks before I go to the salon (I go every 5 weeks), the grey hairs begin appearing on my brows.

I’ve experimented with various products:

Both 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyebrow and TouchBack Brow Marker are good for covering individual hairs.

Paula's Choice Brow Tint

Paula’s Choice Brow Tint –

However, my favorite brow product is Paula’s Choice Hair/Brow Tint.  It comes in a tube, much like a mascara, and has a brush that it is flat on one side, enabling it to act like a comb.   I like it because I can groom and tint my eyebrows in one step.

#mystealthyfreedom Iranian women take a stand for freedom

I love Iran: its food, its culture, its music. I look forward to the day when Iranians will remove their theocracy from power.

In the meantime, I’ll have to satisfy myself with My Stealthy Freedom,, a Facebook page where Iranian women protest compulsory hijab by doffing their hijabs.



Launched May 3, My Stealthy Freedom now has over 500 thousand fans from all over the world offering their moral support.  The women are frequently photographed in natural settings: mountains, seas, and deserts.  They often turn their faces away from the camera or are photographed at a distance to avoid detection: in fact, a Facebook page was set up to identify these women and put them at risk for reprisal; fortunately, that page was taken down.

There is a support site, Men Supporting Freedoms of Iranian Women,, where men submit pictures of themselves holding signs indicating their support of these women.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Men’s Stealthy Freedom page, (“It’s just for fun!”), where Iranian men submit pictures of themselves in drag or in various stages of undress. I love this picture  where a guy looks like a cross between Lana del Rey and Conchita Wurst.  These guys have got to be some of the hairiest guys that I’ve ever seen.  Disgusting, but soooooooooooo funny.  There’s nothing stealthy about it: the men show their faces and are clearly not afraid of reprisal.  Talk about double standards!

Laneige BB Cushion is not worth the hype or hassle

From Korea, where trends (BB cream, face masks) in skin care begin, comes the latest innovation: BB cushion!

What is BB cushion?  BB Cushion is a sponge that is soaked in foundation. To apply, you press a flat pad (included) in the sponge to pick up the foundation and then press or pat onto your face.

I understand that IOPE, one of Amore Pacific’s brands, was the first to bring out BB air cushion. When I was at the Amore store within Super H mart (see Asian beauty stores in the DC Metro Area), one of the saleswomen patted a bit of IOPE Air Cushion on my hand. She said it replaced primer, foundation, sunscreen, and powder. The finish of IOPE Air Cushion suggested the presence of silicones. It also had a white-ish cast, but then, whitening products are popular in Asia.

As I mentioned, Target has entered the premium skin care market. One of the brands that it is now carrying is Laneige, yet another Amore Pacific brand. Not surprisingly, Laneige has a BB Cushion product.

Laneige BB Cushion

Laneige BB Cushion –

So why do I say that Laneige BB Air Cushion is not worth the hype or hassle?  It is difficult to apply, and it’s hard to know how much foundation to pick up. For the first couple of times that I used, I applied too much: it was obvious to my husband, who joked about it.  Also, the pad doesn’t provide precision in covering spots and other detailed work.  I’ll stick with my IT Cosmetics YSBB™ Your Skin But Better™ CC Cream with SPF 50+ and Beautyblender.

You may purchase Laneige BB Cushion for $34 (taxes & shipping not included) from and Target stores (check online for availability in store – that’s how I found mine)