The important thing you really need to do with your facial products

Think you know exactly how to apply your favorite face care products? Think again: there’s something very important you need to do that you’re probably not doing…

…and that would be: using them on your neck and chest, too.

Why? Well, unless you’re wearing turtlenecks 24/7 (um, nope), the skin on your neck and chest receives just as much damage from sun, wind, and pollution as your face–and while it isn’t quite as delicate as the skin on your face, it is thinner and more damage-prone than the skin on the rest of your body.

In other words, if you’re diligent about your face, but neglect your neck and decolletage, you’ll wind up with a youthful face and a dead giveaway of wrinkles and sunspots right below it.

So, next time you’re applying a facial masque, slathering on sunscreen, or applying your nightly antioxidant cream, remember to continue on down past the jawline and apply to your neck and chest, too. You’ll thank yourself later!

Trending: Shades of grey…polish

What’s the hottest nail polish color for fall/winter 2012? Grey! I personally love grey nail polish in all of its assorted shades and am super-excited to see it return to popularity. Here are a dozen hip shades of grey, from smoky charcoal to dove grey to sparkly silver, for your consideration:

1.Butter London Gobsmacked Nail Lacquer, $14
2. Sonia Kashuk Nail Color in Dime A Dozen, $5
3. Zoya Nail Polish in Freja, $8
4. Sonia Kashuk Nail Color in Blank Slate, $5
5. Milani Nail Lacquer in Just Grayt, $4.50
6. Wet N Wild Megalast Nail Color in Wet Cement, $4
7. E.L.F. Essential Nail Polish in Smoky Brown, $2
8. Zoya Nail Polish in Dove, $8
9. Butter London Lady Muck Nail Lacquer, $14
10. Sonia Kashuk Nail Color in Smoke and Mirrors, $5
11. Wet N Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in Metallica, $1
12. Milani Nail Lacquer in Silver Stilettos, $4.50

Cute Shoe Monday: totally trendy heeled brogues

Now that fall is officially underway, I’m going crazy for boots and booties. These totally trendy heeled brogues look just like a pair I bought at Payless a couple of seasons ago, and I can’t wait to break them out again.

Lace-Up Leatherette Oxford Bootie, $35.50, Charlotte Russe

Fall trend: oxblood

Burgundy, wine, deep red, oxblood…you’ll see a few different color terms tossed around this fall, but they all point to the same thing: shades of deep, dark, rich burgundy-red that scream “autumn” in all the best ways.

1. Ponte Knit Blazer, $29.80, Forever 21
2. Red Lucite Bangle Set, $14, Maurice’s
3. Wish You Were Sheer High-Low Burgundy Lace Dress, $40, Lulu’s
4. Embossed Faux Crocodile Wallet, $9.50, Forever 21
5. Sequin Lace Panel Tank, $18.99, Charlotte Russe
6. Melange Pattern Tights, $7.80, Forever 21
7. Rocket Dog Amery Cassis Burgundy Velvet Knotted Ballet Flats, $32, Lulu’s
8. Waxed Mamba Skinny Jean, $29.50, Wet Seal
9. Patent Platform Mary Janes, $22.80, Forever 21

Product review: Wet N Wild Magnetic Nail Color

Sorry about the dearth of posts this week–I’ve been recovering from minor surgery and the post-op meds made me too fuzzy-headed to put together anything coherent for QCP. (Hence the lack of a Friday post.) But now that I’m back, I wanted to share my opinion on a new nail polish I spotted at Walgreens.

Wet N Wild is famous for creating less-expensive dupes of your favorite cosmetic products, so it was only a matter of time before they jumped on the magnetic nail polish bandwagon. I saw their magnetic polishes on a special counter display at Walgreens and have no idea if they’ll be coming to the regular side counter display in the future.

Product: Wet N Wild Magnetic Nail Polish, $5, drugstores

Claim: The built-in magnet in the cap causes particles in the polish to move, forming a striped pattern.

 

I tried it: I’ve been waiting and waiting for a cruelty-free company to come out with a line of magnetic polishes available at the regular ol’ drugstore for a reasonable price. So you can imagine that I was super-excited when I saw this WNW display! I picked up a copper shade, “I Won’t Repel You” for testing.
Here’s the very first thing I’ll say: don’t follow the directions. No, seriously, the directions on the cap tell you to hold the magnet over the wet polish for “five to ten seconds”. In my experience, that isn’t nearly enough time for the pattern to form. Here’s what I did:
  1. Paint each nail with one coat of the polish; let dry very thoroughly.
  2. Paint one nail with the polish and immediately hold the magnet over the nail, being careful not to let the magnet touch the polish. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Repeat on each remaining nail.

Why do I stress painting each nail individually–and waiting so long on each one? Well, the polish dries pretty quickly, so if you don’t “magnetize” it while it’s still wet, the pattern won’t pull. Also, if you don’t hold the magnet in place long enough, the pattern won’t pull.

Here’s where my excitement was dampened somewhat: while the pattern turned out great on my left hand, the stripes were barely visible or nonexistent on my right:

 

What’s going on here? Well, I’m a righty, so when I’m applying anything with my left hand it’s going to be a bit shaky. My theory is that the magnet in the cap isn’t that strong, so any amount of shaking means it can’t effectively move the polish. That’s why my left hand (holding the magnet in my right) was fine, while my right hand (holding the magnet in my left) was only so-so.

I do think the striped effect is very cool and as a bonus, this is a lovely full-coverage metallic even without the magnet–just in case you’re not into the whole patterned-nail look.

My vote: Worth trying. I love the color and the striped effect is cool, but I’m bummed that it’s not so easy to get an even stripe effect on both hands. If you’re dying to try the magnetic nail trend and have steady hands (or a steady-handed friend to help you), then it’s well worth trying; even if you don’t end up magnetizing the polish every time, it’s a gorgeous copper metallic that will probably see plenty of wear anyway.

Fall 2012 shoe guide: flats and pumps

Today I’m running through the best fall 2012 trends for flats and pumps, along with a few of my favorite pairs for each trend. Let the shopping begin!

Loafer pumps
Sexy yet smart, these say “sexy boss lady”–and they’re comfy enough to wear to the office without your feet going on strike.

Brogues
Whether flat or heeled, this menswear-inspired shoe is the perfect companion to fall skirts and cuffed skinny pants alike.

Embellished flats
Glitter, studs, jewels–what isn’t appearing on fall 2012’s party-worthy, yet totally comfortable flat shoes?


Metal accents
On tips and toes alike, this trend adds edge to any pair of flats or heels.

Fall 2012 shoe guide: boots, boots, and more boots

If there’s one shoe that says “autumn” to me, it’s a pair of boots. It’s fitting, then, that there are so many great styles of boots surfacing on the fall fashion scene this year. From low to high and flat to heeled, here are the best fall 2012 boot trends to add to your closet.

Low ankle boots
Proof that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style–or vice versa–these boots are a versatile and trendy pick that won’t leave you hobbling at the end of a long day at a music festival.

Riding boots
This equestrian-inspired style goes with skirts and pants alike and keeps your feet warm and dry through the winter months.

Knee-high heeled boots
The seventies staple is back in a big way after a long year of ankle booties. (Don’t worry, those haven’t gone away either!)

Buckle boots
Low, high, heeled, flat–all styles are sporting serious buckles this year, which lend major edge to even the flounciest frock.

High-heeled boots
Yes, they’re wildly impractical. But they’re also wildly fun. Wear them with colored or sweater-knit tights for maximum trendiness.

Product review: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow in Nude

Nude shadow palettes are a dime a dozen, right? Not really. A good one has shades that subtley enhance your eyes; a bad one can make them look flat and blah. Here’s a drugstore palette that boasts a whopping nine shades, from bone to black, for creating a variety of nude eye looks.

Product: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow in Nude; $11 at drugstores

Claim: Naked and neutral, yet “never boring”.

How cute is that black and pink lace packaging?!

I tried it: I love nude eye palettes and natural shades in general; you can mix up a variety of eye looks, from subtle to smoky, and it’s hard to look overdone. This one caught my eye for the wide range of shades, including multiple nudes, light taupes, brown and black for lining, and a peachy pink for highlighting the browbone. 

As you can see, in the sunlight, all of the shadows in this palette are pretty shimmery, which I don’t mind; I prefer subtle shimmer over matte for most of my shadow looks anyway. Most shimmery shadows leave residue on your face, but these seem to stay put much better than other formulas I’ve tried in the past.

The palette comes with a single sponge applicator, albeit one with a nice long handle and an angled tip for lining the eyes (a vast improvement over most palettes, which feature small, unassuming sponge applicators).

The shades are really sheer and buildable–I think it would be almost impossible to overdo the shadow with this palette. I personally love this buildable coverage, but if you prefer really intense color, you can also apply the shadow with a wet brush.

The shadows are divided into three groups; one, two, and three form a highlighter, base, and liner trio for a natural look; four, five, and six form the same for a “playful” look; and seven, eight, and nine form a trio for a dramatic look. Mixing the shadows lets you create multiple nude eye looks, from very subtle to a little dark and smoky for nighttime.

Lots of nude palettes contain a “wild card” color–something that’s bright and you won’t use much, or one that’s so flat and dull you neglect it altogether. However, I don’t think there’s a single color in this palette that I don’t love. I would use the first three as base colors; #4 (pink) for a highlighter; five, six, and seven as crease shadows; and eight and nine as liners.

My vote: A winner! This is by far the best nude palette I’ve found at the drugstore in a long time. It makes me eager to try some of Physicians Formula’s other shadow palettes (they have tons to suit different eye colors and makeup styles).

Want to see these shadows in action? Head over to my YouTube page for a nude smoky eye tutorial using this palette.