Vixenly Villainess, Brought to You by MAC

Hot on the heels of the Maleficent Trailer release, MAC has announced plans for a new beauty collection inspired by everyone’s favorite spindle-loving party crasher.

If this collection is anything like the Venomous Villains collection that was introduced 3 years ago, I’m sure we’re in for a real treat (as an aside, those eyeshadows were my EVERYTHING). Bring on the red lips and pearlescent eyeshadows!

Did you enjoy the 2010 Maleficent set? What are your hopes for the 2013 edition?

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Instead of [BLANK], Try [BLANK]

Instead of St. Ives Apricot Scrub, why not try St. Ives Exfoliating Pads? The second listed ingredient in the scrub is crushed walnut shell, which acts as a mechanical exfoliant by scrubbing away any dead skin cells or other debris resting on the face. The walnut shell particles have jagged edges which can cause microlacerations (tiny tears) in the surface of the skin, resulting in beaucoup irritation. Chemical exfoliants like lactic acid (the second listed ingredient in the pads) cause less wear and tear (and, therefore, needless irritation) on the skin while retaining the efficacy of related mechanical exfoliation products.

The scrub is popular; I know many people who own it. If you can’t bear to part, try it as a body, foot, or hand scrub. Using the apricot scrub prior to a manicure or pedicure feels wonderfully indulgent and removes dry flakes of dead skin.

I’m introducing “Instead of [BLANK], Try [BLANK]” as a regular category for posts. Stay tuned for more helpful substitutions to your beauty routine!

Natural Beauty Products: The Not-Scary Version

While DIY skincare is generally messy, the formulations are inelegant, and analogs to at-home concoctions can easily (and often inexpensively) be found at your local drug or department store, I am not immune to the siren song of good old-fashioned kitchen chemistry. After my most recent post, I feel inclined to prove that not all DIY skincare ingredients are out to wreak havoc on your face. In that spirit, I’m going to share one kickass anti-inflammatory tip and one slap-yo-mama-it’s-so-good spot treatment you can make in your kitchen.  Continue reading

Q & A: Natural Beauty Products

I frequently field queries from friends and acquaintances regarding cosmetics, and particularly about skincare. I don’t mind being asked questions; people know I have an interest in cosmetics and I love talking about my interests. Futhermore, I’m glad I can dispell some ridiculous and downright harmful skincare myths that have gained traction in the more gullible factions of the internet (yeah, I’m looking at you, Pinterest).

A question I have received on multiple occasions goes something like this: “I’ve read some pieces online about DIY skincare and how I can make cheap facial scrubs and masks using kitchen ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice. What are the benefits of using DIY skincare? Are they as effective as store-bought manufactured products?” Continue reading