Makeup Porn

I didn’t really know what else to call it when a woman takes photographs of her makeup that looks good just sitting there, even when she’s not wearing it.

Since I am striving to kick this photography thing up a notch or two, I just decided to grab a few things that I love, place them in relatively good light and work the Manual setting on my camera. I also happened to have a nice glossy piece of white paper sitting around so I threw the stuff on there and started clicking.

Specifically, this color of lipstick called “Wannabe” that Lancome sent with my gift with purchase is out of this world. It’s very hot pink and very me.

Won’t you ooh and ahh with me?

This was excellent practice for me and I loved the final outcomes, especially of the lipstick photos. The white paper + editing in PSE really did the trick to get a more professional look.

Happy (Easter) weekend!

Lipstick and Brush


An Unsung Hero

Still glowing from all the buzz surrounding this wee blog yesterday, I came up with several ideas of what to write for the next post. Obviously quality is important but I also wanted to be sure to keep the process going.

Coming up with constant relevant articles is no easy task, which is why there are people who are paid to do that. Since I am paycheck free to write this blog and I can write whatever I damn well please, I decided to post a product review. It certainly won’t apply to everyone and I wondered whether there are people who had even heard of this product. One never knows with these things.

But as my “A Little Extra on the Author” page describes, I am a girly girl and from time to time I am going to write about girly stuff. This is one of those times.

<Insert image of a conductor tapping his baton on the podium.>

For those of us whom God gifted with oily skin, we have to arm ourselves as best we can against our pores’ daily proclivity to re-enact the BP Oil Disaster.*

Disgusted and frustrated as a teenager with my skin veritably oozing, I was so relieved to discover a product that helped me out with this problem. It has resurrected itself in my late 20s and I have found no other product remotely competitive. Are you ready for this? It is Clean & Clear’s Oil Absorbing Sheets (Johnson & Johnson).

These little babies touch down to the surface oil on your skin and if you listen really closely, you can almost hear a faint sucking noise as they soak up all that sebum. I know, isn’t sebum such a gross-sounding word? Nasty.

When I was a teenager, I would go through three or four in one sitting mid-day. As I’ve gotten older, I have noticed that with my hormones not-as-raging as they once were, I do not have to worry about as much shine on my face as four oil-absorbing sheets’ worth. Nonetheless, I still have to use them or I could have some kind of accident where I touch my face and my hand slips and goes careening off, causing me to lose my balance and my chin to hit whatever surface may be nearby. Hey, it could happen.

If you generally keep a firm hold on your purse strings, fear not: these are not super expensive. On the other hand, if you’re like me and you have to have them, the fact that they cost about $6 for 50 little sheets seems almost like a slap in the face. Yet I can not stress how much better your face feels after you have pressed one or two of these pale blue babies to it when you need them most. Doesn’t matter if you wear makeup or not – they can help out any person in need.

Ladies, your makeup stays in place and your pores can breathe again. You’re not throwing the equivalent of kitty litter onto an icy sidewalk here – it’s an actual solution. Dudes, if you have a sexy high forehead that gleams under indoor lighting as if a searchlight is pinned to your face, you’ll need these for your next Big Meeting. Relax, the packet is super slim and will fit in any one of your pockets.

Blotting one’s face has never been more enjoyable. I know it’s strange at first to press this cute, teensy, flimsy piece of tissue to your eyes, cheeks, forehead and anywhere else that gets greasy. Actually — are they tissues? The substance is unto itself. I really have no idea what they’re made of. Let’s just hope the FDA didn’t have to approve them. They’re miracles, that’s what they are.

Anyhow, the best part about these cute little guys is that they show you how much oil is being absorbed because the sheet turns transparent. You read that right. The same way one blots a piece of pepperoni pizza with a paper towel, the sheets slowly go from blue to clear as the oil is absorbed, so you can really maximize the sheet. Once these have sponged up the T-zone, your face feels smooth and soft again, as if you just washed it. Or in my case, as if I just finished putting my makeup on.

Being the amateur photographer that I am, I took some photos of the product and what they look like when used. See below. Note: I try to wear SPF everyday, like the good little fair-skinned woman that I am. However, it can cause my skin to be extra… moisturized, if you will. That is why there are two sheets shown in one of the photos. It was one of those days.

Granted, this isn’t the sexiest post I’ll ever write, but damn it if it isn’t helpful. I know I’m no Michelle Phan but I am here to give the full-on Zoe Recommends Seal of Approval. I have tried other products that are versions of these and none compare. Try ’em for yourself!

*I donated money to aid in the cleanup from the oil spill so I am not actually glib about the incident. Just wanted to clear that up. It would have been cool, though, if there had existed one giant Oil Absorbing Sheet that could have been dropped onto the surface of the Gulf.

Poor Man’s Lancôme Mascara

Foreword: I minored in French and it never ceases to frustrate me that I can’t get the proper accents on French words – at least easily. I went out of my way to get the one for Lancôme, but not the rest of the words listed. My apologies to anyone who cringes at this, as I do.

Most of you know what a devout fan I am of Lancôme. See “Bottom line, these are awesome.” In that particular post, I laud the traits of Lancôme’s L’Extreme mascara.

Their Definicils is one of their best-selling, and it is also very good. This post refers to their Hypnose Drama mascara. For some reason, I can’t get on board with the regular Hypnose, but I tried a tube of Hypnose Drama and I’m hooked. I love having mascaras that produce different effects and this one definitely gives you that lash ‘wow’ factor. It’s very black and gives the lashes lots of volume and oomph, if you will. I go between it and the L’Extreme, depending on my mood.

The illustrious tube of Hypnose Drama

However!  I have found myself unable to splurge on Lancôme before, seeing as each tube of mascara is at least $24. Desperate times call for desperate measures and so I found myself staring at all the mascaras in my local drugstore not too long ago. I knew that there were certain brands that had good reputations and I had also remembered seeing an ad for a relatively new mascara from Maybelline….So for less than half the price of a tube of Hypnose Drama (about $11.50), I went ahead and purchased Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto mascara in black. Tada!

Lash Stiletto

And the results are in. This is HONESTLY the most similar mascara you will find to Lancôme. It even has the same chemical in it because it has the same funny smell. (I never thought mascara smelled before but whatever product they’re using in these two is distinct. L’Extreme doesn’t have it, nor does Definicils.) Your lashes don’t dry like twigs, it’s a very black, glossy mascara when you put it on, and your lashes look absolutely gorgeous. I’m going to post a photo below of me just wearing the mascara below. The quality isn’t amazing (it’s a tad orange) but it’s not terrible. You can definitely see my eyelashes standing out.

So this is definitely on the list of Zoe Recommends. You save money and you look fabulous. Way to go, Maybelline. My hat is off to you. This is not to say that you should cut Lancôme out of your life or anything – that’d be plain ridiculous – but as a short-term alternative to the best mascara in the world, this one will do very nicely.

Anybody else tried it and loved it? Leave me feedback!